Jasmine Leyva, director of “The Invisible Vegan”

Jasmine Leyva—a filmmaker and actress, who directed, and appears in, “The Invisible Vegan,” a new documentary that explores various cultural challenges and implications within the black community when some decide to go vegan, or contemplate doing so—recalls her background growing up in Washington, D.C. and her early interest in the entertainment industry. Read more…

Rick Kriseman, Passionately Pro-Pet Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL

Rick Kriseman—the mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, who, a year ago, signed a proclamation declaring St. Petersburg a pet-friendly city—recounts growing up loving animals, dogs in particular. Mayor Kriseman describes how he and his family got started as puppy raisers for Southeastern Guide Dogs, bringing home their first assigned puppy, Jim, when he was 12 weeks old, and returning him at 14 months. Read more…

Sally Williams, founder of The Brodie Fund

Sally Williams—founder and director of The Brodie Fund, which helps pay for the treatment of pets diagnosed with cancer, when their humans can’t afford it, provided the animals are patients at specific veterinary hospitals in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Colorado—acknowledges that she’s been a fervent feline lover all her life, going back to Sandy, the family cat before she was born. Read more…

Jan Creamer, co-founder of Animal Defenders International

Jan Creamer—president and co-founder of Animal Defenders International (ADI), which specializes in educational efforts and campaigns internationally that tend to focus on animals in entertainment and other realms—recounts growing up with assorted pets, and a light bulb moment in her younger years when she was handed a leaflet about beagles being used in smoking experiments. Read more…

Natasha Daly, author of National Geographic story “The Hidden Cost of Wildlife Tourism”

Natasha Daly—a staff writer for the National Geographic, where she wrote the June cover story, “The Hidden Cost of Wildlife Tourism”—addresses her role as the magazine’s “wildlife crime reporter,” how she landed on that beat, and what sort of stories she’s written in that capacity. Read more…