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Jon Wynne-Tyson – Trailblazer and Compassion Trustee

News Section Icon Published 01/04/2020

Jon Wynne-Tyson was a trail-blazing author and publisher – and, for many years, a dedicated Trustee on our Board. His book Food for a Future (1979) was perhaps the first book to make the wider ecological case for vegetarianism. It had a profound influence on many. Jon also put together a wonderful anthology, The Extended Circle: A Dictionary of Humane Thought, which made the case for extending our circle of compassion to other sentient beings.

Jon founded Centaur Press publishing house and brought back to light many early books on animal rights philosophy. A Quaker and pacifist, Jon was deeply committed to bringing humane thought into the educational system.

The famous animal philosopher Professor Peter Singer writes: "I remember Jon as an extraordinarily kind man filled with compassion for other suffering creatures, and always puzzled that other people did not see how wrong our treatment of animals is. He firmly believed that humans are by nature good, and that we were originally vegetarian, but have been corrupted. Through his pioneering writings and establishing Centaur Press, he tried to bring about a better future. With the rise of veganism in recent years, the 'Food for a Future' he wrote about does seem to be coming closer."

Philip Lymbery, our Global CEO, paid tribute to Jon, saying: “Food for a Future was such an inspirational book. A well-thumbed resident on my bookshelf, I read it often and learned much. Meeting Jon as a Trustee at Compassion was a huge privilege. He was always gentle, kind, understated and insightful. Quick with a quote, intellectually curious and a true friend of animals. He will be greatly missed.”

Richard Ryder, animal ethicist and author, recalls: "Jon played an important role in establishing the modern animal rights movement that has been so successful in getting over 60 pieces of animal protection legislation passed in Britain and the EU over the last 40 years. In 1977, at the RSPCA's Animal Rights Conference at Trinity College, Cambridge, he came forward as an enlightened publisher of its proceedings and therefore helped to put the whole new movement on a firm and public footing."