AWI Turns 60

"The Animal Welfare Institute has been established by a group of persons interested in the humane treatment of all animals."

Those were the first words to grace Vol. 1 No. 1 of AWI’s Information Report—a publication launched in 1951 to announce the organization’s formation and report on its efforts to improve animal welfare. Chief among that group of persons (though she would never assert it herself) was Christine Stevens, our founding president and “the mother of the animal protection movement” in America.

For 60 years now AWI has been advocating for reasonable, practical measures to alleviate suffering inflicted on animals by humans. For over 50 of those years, until her death in 2002, Christine remained at the helm. From an early emphasis on the need to improve the deplorable conditions under which animals used in research were housed and handled (a need that—despite some improvements—continues today), our work has expanded to include efforts to save the world’s whales, expose the cruelty of factory farming, oppose the use of steel-jaw leghold traps, protect wild horses, safeguard endangered species, and more.

Thirty years after that first issue, an expanded Information Report became the AWI Quarterly. (Not long before that, AWI also hired a college intern by the name of Cathy Liss, who worked her way through the ranks to eventually follow Christine as AWI president.) With this issue, the Quarterly marks exactly thirty years publishing under the “new” title. Whether this is your first issue or you’ve been with us for decades, we thank you for your support and for reading along. There is much work still to be done, and we plan to continue so long as there are animals who suffer needlessly and more humane choices to be made.

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