I would like to say a heartfelt and sincere thanks to the Institute for International Research Archivio Disarmo for the very great honour of recognising Compassion in World Farming by awarding me the International Golden Dove for Peace Award (Colombe d’oro per la Pace).
The Institute’s 31st awards ceremony was held at the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome last night. I would like to offer grateful thanks to its President, Fabrizio Battistelli, and distinguished panel of judges for bestowing this great honour.
During my acceptance speech, I paid tribute to the inspiration and vision of Compassion’s late founders, Peter and Anna Roberts. I accepted the award on their behalf and that of everyone who makes the charity the strong international voice for farm animals. The timing of the award was particularly poignant; only the weekend before, Peter and Anna’s ashes were scattered under their favourite oak tree.
Farmageddon was the culmination of three years travelling the world with Sunday Times journalist, Isabel Oakeshott, to expose the true cost of factory farming. Our journey brought home to me how the well-being of people and the environment is inextricably linked to the welfare of animals. Ultimately, Farmageddon is a story of hope; that a common sense approach to food, without factory farming, is by far the best way to ensure decent food for everyone forever.
I would like to say special thanks to actor, Luca Zingaretti (Inspector Montalbano), for reading so beautifully the entire introduction of Farmageddon during the citation. Special thanks to Farmageddon’s publisher, Nutrimenti in Italy and Bloomsbury in London. To Annamaria Pisapia, Compassion’s director in Italy, for her support throughout. To my co-author, Isabel Oakeshott. And thanks and shared congratulations to all Compassion’s trustees, staff and supporters worldwide.
Congratulations to journalists, Laura Silvia Battaglia, Giampaolo Cadalanu (La Repubblica) and Corrado Formigli, who were also awarded on the night.
When I look back at the people who have received the International Golden Dove for Peace Award in the past, I feel like a small man amongst giants. Jesse Jackson, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and Jane Goodall to name but some. But I hope by accepting this wonderful award, it will help inspire people from all walks of life to stand up for peace, social justice and humanity. By walking together with giants, we can all bring about a better world.