“Just occasionally one comes across a person with power, drive and sheer persistence to make changes that are really big in the world” said Professor Andrew Knight in his introduction to Compassion’s Ambassador, Joyce D’Silva. And he’s right.
Joyce D’Silva – now Dr D’Silva – has dedicated much of her life to achieving great things for animal welfare. Painstaking research, copious writing and boundless energy has been Joyce’s secret to getting things done for animals for the last three decades.
What a proud moment then to be amongst the massed pillars of Winchester Cathedral to see Joyce receive her Honorary Doctorate from the Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Alan Titchmarsh MBE.
“I feel really fortunate to work for an organisation that does such life-changing work” said Dr D’Silva during her acceptance speech to a packed cathedral.
Earlier, Professor Knight outlined Joyce’s two most memorable achievements for animals; banning sow stalls, the worst confinement systems for pregnant pigs throughout Britain; and handing in a million signatures – and way before the internet age – to the European Parliament calling for legal recognition of animals as sentient beings, something that was realised several years later.
“But there is still much to do until every animal everywhere is recognised as a sentient being, with feelings and needs” Joyce added.
Under the leadership of Vice-chancellor, Professor Joy Carter, the University of Winchester is a gathering centre of excellence on animal welfare. In recent months, not one but two professors of animal welfare have been appointed.
The university is leading the way with its on-campus catering, striving to source only free range, organic and local meat and dairy. To that end, the University is a multiple award-winner for its higher animal welfare sourcing policies.
“Nothing is out of your reach” Professor Carter told the graduation ceremony audience. “Go out into the world with compassion, courage and curiosity” she said, “and with a great determination to make the world a better place.”
All of us at Compassion are so proud of Joyce for receiving this honour. Joyce has long been both inspiration and role model. Now to her long list of accolades she adds Honorary Doctorate for services to animal welfare. Richly deserved and testimony to her dedication to making the world a better place for animals and people alike. Heartfelt congratulations.