Philip Lymbery, Compassion CEO

Philip Lymbery

About Philip


© Country Life

Philip Lymbery is naturalist, author and chief executive of leading international farm animal welfare organisation, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).

His latest book, published by Bloomsbury in 2017, Dead Zone: Where the wild things were, exposes how cheap meat is a key factor in the demise of some of the world’s most endangered species. 

He was recipient of the 2015 ‘International Golden Dove’ peace prize in Rome for his first book Farmageddon: The true cost of cheap meat, written with then Sunday Times journalist, Isabel Oakeshott. Published in six languages, it gained international acclaim, earning him a reputation as one of industrial farming’s fiercest critics. The book was chosen as one of The Times Writers’ Books of the Year, described as an “unusually fast-paced enviro-shocker” (Evening Standard) and cited by the Mail on Sunday as a compelling ‘game-changer’.

An illustrated version of Farmageddon, Farmageddon in Pictures: The True Cost of Cheap Meat – in bite-sized pieces, was published by Bloomsbury in 2017.

Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester, Lymbery has been listed by The Grocer magazine as one of the food industry’s most influential people and he is recipient of the ‘outstanding campaigning’ award by Brussels-based Eurogroup for Animals.

Lymbery led the growth of CIWF internationally, with offices and representatives in 12 countries across Europe, the USA, South Africa and China. He spearheaded work by CIWF with over 800 food companies worldwide, improving living conditions for over a billion farm animals every year. 

CEO since 2005, Lymbery was CIWF’s campaigns director throughout the 1990s, helping to win historic victories such as EU bans on barren battery cages for laying hens and veal crates for calves. More recently he led industry discussions that brought about a major reduction in live calf exports from Britain.

A life-long wildlife enthusiast, Lymbery spent ten years as professional wildlife tour leader, travelling to places like The Seychelles, Costa Rica, the USA and Europe. He is a licensed bird ringer for the British Trust for Ornithology.

He lives in a West Sussex country village with his wife Helen, stepson Luke, Duke the rescue dog, and flock of ex-battery hens.

Further resources:

Country Life Interview with Philip Lymbery

BBC News Meet the author Philip Lymbery

Farmageddon: "Somewhere, somehow, we have taken a wrong turn"

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