Professor John Webster
John Webster is Professor Emeritus at the University of Bristol. He has been a Patron of Compassion for many years. As Chair of Animal Husbandry at Bristol he established the unit for the study of animal welfare and behaviour. A founder member of the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council, he first propounded the ‘Five Freedoms’, internationally recognised as standards defining good welfare. He is a former president of the British Society of Animal Science. He has published many books including A Cool Eye Towards Eden and Limping Towards Eden. His book Animal Husbandry Regained: The Place of Farm Animals in Sustainable Agriculture extends the principle of unsentimental compassion beyond that for the farm animals to embrace all concerns for the life on the land. John is also a Visionaries having signed our Vision for Fair Food and Farming.
I have always held Compassion in the highest regard because they concentrate their concern on the welfare of those in the greatest need; the farm animals whom we exploit the most for the food they provide but whose lives we largely ignore. In recent years Compassion (and I) have expanded our concerns to embrace the impact of farming on the whole living environment: flora and fauna, animals domestic and wild. What we share is the will to seek the best possible practical application of the principle of reverence for life.