It is with mixed emotions that we bring you this issue of the AWI Quarterly, which has a special center section devoted to the Animal Welfare Institute's founder and president, Christine Stevens, who died this past fall. I say "mixed emotions" because while her death brought great sadness to me and all the other people whose lives she touched, I know she would never approve of us dwelling on the loss when there is still so much work to do on the animals' behalf. We choose to celebrate Christine's remarkable life and all of her accomplishments.
Thank goodness for Christine! I say with utter confidence that no single individual has done more for animals than she, and animals everywhere were so very fortunate to have had her as their tireless advocate. Christine devoted her life to helping any and all animals in need of protection from the myriad cruelties inflicted on them by humans. No animal was too small to receive Christine's aid and no opponent was too large to take on.
The Animal Welfare Institute and Christine, institutions both, have been integral to my life for the past 22 years. Christine's position as my boss was overshadowed by her roles as mentor, friend, and co-conspirator. I share her belief in the vital niche that the Animal Welfare Institute fills and I am, therefore, humbled and honored to have accepted the AWI Board of Directors' invitation to assume the position of president.
During my tenure at the Institute I have held nearly every job at one time or another and have been involved in most of AWI's campaigns: I have inspected animal laboratories across the country, investigated animal dealers, scrutinized traplines and factory farms, and spoke on behalf of the Institute at a variety of local, national, and international forums.
I won't say that I will follow in Christine's footsteps, for her shoes simply cannot be filled. But I am firmly committed to continuing AWI's work and building on the phenomenal groundwork laid by Christine, inspired by her love and respect for animals, her devotion to the cause and her incredible fortitude.