Our founder

Peter Roberts: A remarkable life

Peter Roberts campaigning for farm animal welfare

Peter Roberts campaigning for farm animal welfare.

Our founder Peter Roberts was an ordinary man with extraordinary vision. At a time when farming was heading down a path of increased industrialisation, Peter saw a way forward to a world where people could be fed humanely and sustainably.

He was a man of immense integrity and humility and used his considerable skills as an orator and campaigner to influence change. His significant achievements continue to ensure better lives for billions of farm animals in the UK and around the world.

A conventional start

For the first 40 years of his life, Peter led a fairly conventional life. He had a happy childhood in Staffordshire and, as a young man during the Second World War, served in the Far East. He went on to earn an agricultural diploma and then settled down happily to dairy farming. However, Peter became increasingly concerned about the direction that post-war farming was heading. As a spiritual man, his humanity naturally extended to all sentient beings. His call to animal welfare charities to tackle the issues around intensive methods of farming went unheard. So, in the early 1960s, Peter took the path that went on to define his life: championing farm animal welfare around the world.

A movement is born

In 1967, Peter, with his wife Anna, started Compassion in World Farming from their home in Hampshire. Determination and hard work over the years ensured that Peter gained many loyal supporters and was able to take on paid staff. Starting as just a back room protest it grew into a powerful global movement, achieving profound and enduring advancements in farm animal welfare. Today, we are guardians of Peter’s visionary belief; that a society can be judged by the way in which it feeds its people and treats its animals. We believe that everyone has the right to healthy food that doesn’t involve cruelty, doesn’t involve suffering and doesn’t destroy our planet.

A fitting tribute

Receiving his MBE with Anna and two daughters

Receiving his MBE with Anna and two daughters

Today, Compassion in World Farming remains guided by the principles of our founder. His legacy is one of intellectual discipline and immense compassion. To discover more about Peter and his remarkable life you can visit the Peter Roberts Tribute Fund.

There are stories, photos and tributes from people who knew and admired Peter. You may want to include your own message and you will also have the opportunity to donate to Compassion in World Farming in Peter’s name.

Visit the Peter Roberts Tribute Fund at MuchLoved.com


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