He is best known for writing and presenting the nine Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on the planet. He is also a former senior manager at the BBC, having served as controller of BBC Two and director of programming for BBC Television in the 1960s and 1970s. He is the only person to have won BAFTAs for programmes in each of black and white, colour, HD, and 3D.
Attenborough is widely considered a national treasure in Britain, although he himself does not like the term. In 2002 he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide poll for the BBC. He is the younger brother of the late director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough, and older brother of the late motor executive John Attenborough.
Beginning with Life on Earth in 1979, Attenborough set about creating a body of work which became a benchmark of quality in wildlife film-making and influenced a generation of documentary film-makers. The series also established many of the hallmarks of the BBC's natural history output. By treating his subject seriously and researching the latest discoveries, Attenborough and his production team gained the trust of scientists, who responded by allowing him to feature their subjects in his programmes. In Rwanda, for example, Attenborough and his crew were granted privileged access to film Dian Fossey's research group of mountain gorillas. Innovation was another factor in Life on Earth's success: new film-making techniques were devised to get the shots Attenborough wanted, with a focus on events and animals that were hitherto unfilmed. Computerised airline schedules, which had only recently been introduced, enabled the series to be elaborately devised so that Attenborough visited several locations around the globe in each episode, sometimes even changing continents mid-sentence. Although appearing as the on-screen presenter, he consciously restricted his pieces to camera to give his subjects top billing.
The success of Life on Earth prompted the BBC to consider a follow-up, and five years later, The Living Planet was screened. This time, Attenborough built his series around the theme of ecology, the adaptations of living things to their environment. It was another critical and commercial success, generating huge international sales for the BBC. In 1990 The Trials of Life completed the original Life trilogy, looking at animal behaviour through the different stages of life. The series drew strong reactions from the viewing public for its sequences of killer whales hunting sea lions on a Patagonian beach and chimpanzees hunting and violently killing a colobus monkey.
In the 1990s, Attenborough continued to use the "Life" title for a succession of authored documentaries. In 1993 he presented Life in the Freezer, the first television series to survey the natural history of Antarctica. Although past normal retirement age, he then embarked on a number of more specialised surveys of the natural world, beginning with plants. They proved a difficult subject for his producers, who had to deliver five hours of television featuring what are essentially immobile objects. The result, The Private Life of Plants (1995), showed plants as dynamic organisms by using time-lapse photography to speed up their growth.
Prompted by an enthusiastic ornithologist at the BBC Natural History Unit, Attenborough then turned his attention to the animal kingdom and in particular, birds. As he was neither an obsessive twitcher, nor a bird expert, he decided he was better qualified to make The Life of Birds (1998) on the theme of behaviour. The documentary series won a Peabody Award the following year. The order of the remaining "Life" series was dictated by developments in camera technology. For The Life of Mammals (2002), low-light and infrared cameras were deployed to reveal the behaviour of nocturnal mammals. The series contains a number of memorable two shots of Attenborough and his subjects, which included chimpanzees, a blue whale and a grizzly bear. Advances in macro photography made it possible to capture natural behaviour of very small creatures for the first time, and in 2005, Life in the Undergrowth introduced audiences to the world of invertebrates.
At this point, Attenborough realised that he had spent 20 years unconsciously assembling a collection of programmes on all the major groups of terrestrial animals and plants – only reptiles and amphibians were missing. When Life in Cold Blood was broadcast in 2008, he had the satisfaction of completing the set, brought together in a DVD encyclopaedia called Life on Land. In an interview that year, Attenborough was asked to sum up his achievement, and responded:
The evolutionary history is finished. The endeavour is complete. If you'd asked me 20 years ago whether we'd be attempting such a mammoth task, I'd have said "Don't be ridiculous!" These programmes tell a particular story and I'm sure others will come along and tell it much better than I did, but I do hope that if people watch it in 50 years' time, it will still have something to say about the world we live in.
However, in 2010 Attenborough asserted that his First Life – dealing with evolutionary history before Life on Earth – should also be included within the "Life" series. In the documentary Attenborough's Journey he stated, "This series, to a degree which I really didn't fully appreciate until I started working on it, really completes the set."
"David Attenborough is my favourite person on the planet"
A lifelong animal rights activist, the iconic rocker Morrissey has spent decades with cruelty-to-animal issues on his mind—and hasn’t thought twice before voicing his opinions on them. This steadfast vegetarian has inspired millions of fans to think about animal rights ever since releasing The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder album more than a quarter-century ago.
Many albums later, Morrissey continues to raise awareness about issues ranging from the fur trade to factory farm cruelty. In his ad for PETA, Morrissey asks you to help eradicate the animal overpopulation crisis by spaying and neutering your companion animals.
More than 7 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters in the U.S. every year, and more than half of them must be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough good homes for them. The ones who end up in animal shelters are the lucky ones—many homeless dogs and cats face much worse on the streets. Sterilizing animals saves lives because it prevents thousands of unwanted animals from being born, only to compete with the existing homeless population. Although no one wants to dwell on this harsh reality, Morrissey reminds us that the animal overpopulation crisis must not be ignored.
"I admire Morrissey for his bravery especially on stage. He is not afraid of losing fans because of his beliefs".
Mary Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947) is an American professor of animal science at Colorado State University, consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. In the 2010 Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, she was named in the "Heroes" category. She was the subject of the award-winning, semi-biographical film, Temple Grandin.
Grandin is a prominent and widely cited proponent for the humane treatment of livestock for slaughter.
In 1980 she published her first two scientific articles on beef cattle behavior during handling: "Livestock Behavior as Related to Handling Facilities Design" in the International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems, Vol. 1, pp. 33-52 and "Observations of Cattle Behavior Applied to the Design of Cattle Handling Facilities", Applied Animal Ethology, Vol. 6, pp. 19-31. She was one of the first scientists to report that animals are sensitive to visual distractions in handling facilities such as shadows, dangling chains, and other environmental details most people do not notice. When she got her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, she studied the effects of environmental enrichment on pigs. The title of her Dissertation was "Effect of Rearing Environment and Environmental Enrichment on the Behavior and Neural Development in Young Pigs". Grandin expanded on these theories in her book Animals Make Us Human.
In 1993, she edited the first edition of Livestock Handling and Transport. She wrote three chapters and had chapters from contributors from around the world. Subsequent editions of the book were published in 2000, 2007, and 2014. In her academic work as a professor at Colorado State University, her graduate student Bridgett Voisinet conducted one of the early studies that showed that cattle that remained calm during handling had higher weight gains. In 1997, when the paper was published, this was a new concept. The paper is titled "Feedlot Cattle with Calm Temperaments Have Higher Average Daily Gains Than Cattle with Excitable Temperaments", published in The Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 75, pp. 892-896.
Another important paper published by Grandin was "Assessment of Stress During Handling and Transport", Journal of Animal Science, 1997, Vol. 75, pp. 249-257. This paper presented the idea that an animal's previous experiences with handling could have an effect on how it will react to being handled in the future, which was then a new concept in the animal-handling industry.
A major piece of equipment that Grandin developed was a center track (double rail) conveyor restrainer system for holding cattle during stunning in large beef plants. The first system was installed in the mid-eighties for calves and a system for large beef cattle was developed in 1990. This equipment is now being used by many large meat companies. It is described in "Double Rail Restrainer Conveyor for Livestock Handling", first published in the Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, Vol. 4, pp. 327-338 in 1988, and "Transferring results of behavioral research to industry to improve animal welfare on the farm, ranch, and slaughter plant", Applied Animal Behavior Science, Vol. 8, pp. 215-228, published in 2003.
Grandin also developed an objective numerical scoring system for assessing animal welfare at slaughter plants. The use of this scoring system resulted in significant improvements in animal stunning and handling during slaughter. This work is described in "Objective scoring of animal handling and stunning practices in slaughter plants", Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 212, pp. 36-39, "The feasibility of using vocalization scoring as an indicator of poor welfare during slaughter", Applied Animal Behavior Science, Vol. 56, pp. 121-128, and "Effect of animal welfare audits of slaughter plants by a major fast food company on cattle handling and stunning practices", Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 216, pp. 848-851.
Grandin is the author or co-author of over 60 peer reviewed scientific papers on a variety of other animal behavior subjects. Some of the other subjects are: the effect of hair whorl position on cattle behavior, preslaughter stress and meat quality, religious slaughter, mothering behavior of beef cows, cattle temperament, and causes of bruising.
She has lectured widely about her first-hand experiences of the anxiety of feeling threatened by everything in her surroundings, and of being dismissed and feared, which allegedly motivates her work in humane livestock handling processes. She studied the behavior of cattle, how they react to ranchers, movements, objects, and light. Grandin then designed adapted curved corrals, intended to reduce stress, panic and injury in animals being led to slaughter. This has proved to be a further point of criticism and controversy among animal activists who have questioned the congruence of a career built on animal slaughter alongside Grandin's claims of compassion and respect for animals. While her designs are widely used throughout the slaughterhouse industry, her claim of compassion for the animals is that because of her autism she can see the animals' reality from their viewpoint, that when she holds an animal's head in her hands as it is being slaughtered, she feels a deep, godlike connection to them.
Her business website promotes improvement of standards for slaughterhouses and livestock farms. The 'squeeze machine' itself remains on sale at US$2000 a piece from Therafin Corporation. In 2004, she won a "Proggy" award in the "Visionary" category, from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
One of her notable essays about animal welfare is "Animals Are Not Things", in which she posits that technically, animals are property in our society, but the law ultimately gives them ethical protections or rights. She compares the properties and rights of owning cows, versus owning screwdrivers, enumerating how both may be used to serve human purposes in many ways, but when it comes to inflicting pain, there is a vital distinction between such "properties"; legally a person can smash or grind up a screwdriver, but cannot torture an animal.
Her insight into the minds of cattle has taught her to value the changes in details to which animals are particularly
sensitive and to use her visualization skills to design thoughtful and humane animal-handling equipment. She was named a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in 2009.
"I recently met Temple Grandin in a beef plant in Ireland and I had the privilege of shaking her hand."
In 2009 more then 25 years will have past after his first performance. This autodidact is born 12.18.1968 in Chalones sur Loire, in West France. At the age of six, he moved with his family to the DrÔme region. As the third boy of five siblings, he keeps the memory of a privileged childhood that was poor but full of love.
As a youg boy he was sold on sports only thinking about jogging and soccer until the day a newcomer changes his life fundamentally. André, Jean-François` father, bought a oneyearold fillie for a song which he named Gazelle. There is an extraordinary link between the boy and the mare at once. They play for hours and even go to school together. Jean-François took the work with horses up in a natural way. After escorting a lot of times rides of the family-owned enterprise, he built up a company with his brother where they acted the roles of circus riders and acrobats in riding shows. Togethter they take part in some riding scenes in different episodes of the film “Wihelm Tell”. In 1987 they spend a time in “Mer de Sable” (a famous leisure park in France ). When they returned to the french riding shows they had a newcomer coming along with them: Salsa, Gazelle`s daughter.
In 1991 Jean-François presents in Avignon (“Cheval Passion”) an extraordinary show with his horses without any tack for the first time. What a success! A jump in his career that provided the opportunity to perform his show in Verona and Paris and at a lot more important events. The two brothers split. It`s time for both of them to start a career on their own. They are glad to run into each other sometimes at different events in France or other countries.
Since 1993 Jean-François performs in foreign countries, especially Germany, where people love his performance by liberty horses. Jean-François is lucky to get the chance to perform at the biggest events. He takes part at the “Equitana” (the biggest fair concerning horses in Europe) five times. He performs in 15 different countries and visited in this context among others the following cities: Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Barcelona, Sevilla, Oslo, London etc…
In 2003 his group consists of eight horses. He carved the shows out especially for them. Jean-François achieves the maximum of trust between horse an men.
Today he educates embaraced people all over the world and shows them his method of training horses, from Japan to Canada.
For a short time Jean-François presents his own creation, a musical act horseback “LE PARDON” (The forgiveness). Coacting with Caracole, Arnaud Gilette, und Pieric he designed a play that involves the message of peace.
In addition to the riders and the eight live musicians the audience is always involved in the play. Almost 100,000 people came to see the show. And it has more chances of success. They arrange for going on tour in Europe in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Since that time Jean-François has two strings to one`s bow. He trained the horses in the film “Danse avec lui” (Dance with him) directed by Valérie Guignabodet and acted a part.
Monty Roberts, known as the “Man Who Listens to Horses” has led an extraordinary life. An award-winning trainer of championship horses, best-selling author, Hollywood stunt man, foster dad to 47 children (in addition to three of his own) and creator of the world-renowned and revolutionary equine training technique called Join~Up, Monty Roberts could now, in his later years, be resting on his laurels – but that’s not his style.
Roberts has won countless awards and received immense worldwide press coverage, put three books on the New York Times best-seller list, trained some of Queen Elizabeth II’s equestrian team in England and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich. But if you go looking for Monty Roberts, you won’t find him lounging in his favorite chair high up in the hills overlooking his horse-training farm in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.
The “man who listens to horses” is more likely to be found somewhere on the globe continuing to spread his message of nonviolence. You’re more likely to find him speaking to incarcerated youth in a juvenile detention facility, gentling his nearly 15,000th horse at a demonstration, teaching his techniques to the growing number of students at his Equestrian Academy in Solvang, California or advising executives at Fortune 500 companies.
Why have millions of people from all walks of life responded to his PBS television shows, books, demonstrations, and media appearances with such passion? What makes Monty’s message so compelling that everyone from the C.I.A. to Volkswagen invite this cowboy to share his experiences with their executives and leaders?
Perhaps it comes from the undeniable power of personal experience, of having witnessed too many horses “broken” in using violent, traditional methods. Perhaps it’s having experienced an abusive childhood himself.
Monty often expresses that his goal in life is to leave the world a better place for horses and for people. With energy and enthusiasm, he gets up every morning, most often in a hotel in some town far away from his home, his horses, his staff and his farm, to keep talking . . . and listening.
Monty first learned to listen to horses while observing wild mustangs in Nevada at the age of thirteen. Sent there to round up horses for the Salinas Rodeo Association’s Wild Horse Race, he spent hours silently watching the feral horses interact with each other. Soon he realized that they used a discernable, effective and predictable body language to communicate, set boundaries, show fear and express annoyance, relaxation or affection. In a moment that would change his life and the lives of horses and people forever, Roberts understood that utilizing this silent language would allow training to commence in a much more effective and humane manner, encouraging true partnership between horses and humans. Later, he would name this moment of partnership “Join~Up,” and it would become the foundation of all his work with horses and people.
After this revelatory moment with the wild horses, Roberts returned home to his family’s riding school at the Salinas Rodeo Grounds in Salinas, California. There, he had grown up watching his father “break” horses using traditional methods involving pain, control, fear and coercion. Testing his new insights into the nature of horses, Monty tried out some of his new ideas and was promptly punished for challenging his father’s traditional methods.
Monty remained undeterred from his vision and later became a champion Western horseman. Hollywood hired him as a “stand in” rider and stunt double for stars such as Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet and many other films. He even worked with James Dean during the pre-production and filming of the acclaimed movie East of Eden.
Monty knew that his future lay in working with horses, and he commenced an incredible career in Thoroughbred racing. Throughout the years he worked with many champions (including the famed “Alleged”) and opened a training facility, Flag Is Up Farms, on 154 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1966. He and his wife, Pat, enjoyed immense success training Thoroughbreds, becoming the leading consigner of two-year-olds-in-training at the Hollywood Park Racetrack for 18 years. Even today, the walls of Monty and Pat’s offices are covered with artwork, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia from their years on the track.
As the couple raised their own family of three, over the years Pat and Monty also took in 47 foster children. Many of them still return to Flag Is Up Farms for visits, and credit Pat and Monty with helping to turn their lives around. Today, Pat and daughter Debbie (with her husband, Tom Loucks) run the multi-dimensional and international family business from offices on Flag Is Up Farms.
By the 1980s, the Roberts and their extended clan were living their lives on the farm, happily collecting accolades for their work with racehorses. Then a phone call came that once again changed the direction of Monty’s life forever.
The call was from the offices of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning monarch of England and an avid horsewoman. She had heard about Roberts’ work and invited him to come to her country and show her staff his Join~Up® method. The Queen was so impressed by his demonstration she urged him to write a book. That book became “The Man Who Listens to Horses”.
Published in 1996, “The Man Who Listens to Horses” became a full-blown phenomenon. The book went on to sell nearly 5 million copies. Suddenly, Roberts and his training methods had skyrocketed into the limelight. The phone lines were jammed at the farm and the media was clamoring to get an interview; but more importantly, hundreds of thousands of horse lovers heard the message that there was another way.
The PBS and BBC television networks aired documentaries about his work, four more books were published and became best sellers, and countries throughout the world translated these materials, sharing his message that violence is never the answer. Over the past several years, Monty has toured the United States and has raised over $1.6 million for horse-related charities, including 4-H and therapeutic riding organizations.
Monty still demonstrates Join~Up® across the globe. His fourth book From My Hands to Yours: Lessons from a Lifetime of Training Championship Horses,” is a textbook format of his Join-Up training principles. His learning center, the Monty Roberts International Learning Center, located at Flag Is Up Farms, trained more than 140 students last year using his non-violent methods. MRILC is run by the nonprofit organization, Join~Up® International, Inc. which has set out to ensure that Join-Up principles will be available for generations to come.
Monty never forgets the lessons he learns from the horses. In his fifth book, Monty recounts the stories of his best loved horses, chosen from the tens of thousands he has worked with throughout his lifetime. The Horses in My Life is a celebration of the horses he has learned the most from, as well as those that have impressed themselves most indelibly on his memory and in his heart.
On June 11, 2011 Monty was honored privately by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his service to the Royal Family and Her Majesty, for his service to the racing establishment. Monty was made an honorary Member of the Royal Victorian Order. The Royal Victorian Order is given by the Queen to people who have served Her Majesty or the monarchy in a personal way.
Responding to the experience, Roberts said: “The ball is in my court now and it is my obligation to continue to earn the respect that my supporters have given me over this past 22 years since first meeting Her Majesty in 1989.”
In 2011 the Family Care Network honored Monty and Pat Roberts and their family with their “Circle of Serving” award to honor individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership, vision and commitment by improving the lives of children and families, exemplifying the mission of the Family Care Network “To enhance the wellbeing of children and families in partnership with our community.” Monty and Pat Roberts are internationally known for many accomplishments, but most notably is probably the is that not only did they raise three biological children, but they also opened their home over the years to 47 foster children.
On June 4, 2011 the California Air Force Association (CAFA) awarded Monty the Special Consideration Award for his support to veterans. This award is given each year at the CAFA State Convention to individuals providing support to military members and their families within the State of California. This is a very high honor and recognized Roberts’ outstanding efforts in helping veterans recover from their combat related deployments.
In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II became Patron of Monty’s non-profit 501c3 organization, Join-Up International. Her Majesty also honored nine individuals from several different countries for their contribution in supporting Monty’s mission to leave the world a better place by taking violence out of the lives of horses and people. This same year, Monty and Pat were invited as guests to Windsor Castle, where Monty participated in The Queen’s 60th Jubilee celebration parade, riding a horse from his Willing Partners Program, Hawk, owned by Neil McLean.
The following year, 2013, Australian champion Thoroughbred Trainer, Gai Waterhouse called on Monty to work with some very high-profile Thoroughbreds. Monty made several trips to Australia and England to work with these top racehorses to further enhance their racing potential through force-free training. This effort culminated in November 2013, when Gai Waterhouse made history by becoming the first female Australian trainer to win the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most prestigious horse race.
In 2013, Pat and Monty’s registered Quarter Horse, Black Design made the top 25 at the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity out of over 250 entries. Ridden by Phillip Ralls he placed well in the competition.
Also in 2013, and continuing to this day, war veterans and their families visit Flag Is Up Farms to experience the healing power of horses. Monty’s three-day Horse Sense and Healing clinics are free to veterans and have helped individuals toward returning to a normal life after 35 years or more of struggling with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. The horses have done their work with incredible efficiency, and the outcome has been so significant that Monty is writing a book on the topic.
In 2014, Monty launched an additional program centered on the significance of horses in human endeavors. In conjunction with Dr. Sue Cain of the Corporate Learning Institute, Monty led round pen sessions about the powerful relationship of trust and communication between humans and horses, followed by special time with Monty and Pat in their home. These retreats and workshops based on Monty’s principles continue to be offered to corporations at Flag Is Farms to help organizations turn their work performance around.
In 2014, several major corporations have visited Monty and Pat at Flag Is Up Farms throughout the year to experience the concept of Join-Up and enjoyed the results of this exposure back in their corporate headquarters.
Today, Monty remains steadfast to his goal; “to leave the world a better place than I found it, for horses and for people, too.”