*six-two 35 under 35 changemakers of 2018 - animal welfare category
Meet Michelle Ellena, the woman on a mission to bring compassion back to the forefront of animal rights campaigns.
As the founder of nonprofit organisation Compassion for Animals, Michelle Ellena believes that 21st century life has meant society is re-evaluating our human purpose. Our view of reality, social relationships and identity are all undergoing a paradigm shift – and it’s this paradigm shift that has reawakened our compassion for the beings around us and our sense of connection with all life forms. As part of this paradigm shift, now is the time to become more aware of how we treat animals, and reconnect with them.
Using their three key pillar foundations: education, animal rescue and media campaigns, Michelle Ellena has pushed to spread awareness of how everyone can show compassion towards stray animals and animals in need. One of her most recent campaigns, ‘Speak Up’, advocates for giving a voice to animals who can’t communicate their suffering. Summed up in a video, visuals and sound are used to make the case for animals with no voice, bridging the gap between humans and animals.
They've even teamed up with save our sharks to push for more research and awareness on shark conservation - is there anything Michelle can't do?
Despite her achievements, she isn’t stopping there. The company recently organised its biggest event to date: spaying and neutering the stray dogs and cats of Chile. In March of this year, the organisation hosted a huge seminar which trained local doctors in spaying and neutering cats and dogs safely in under 10 minutes, in a bid to halt the detrimental aspects of an overpopulation of stray animals.
Michelle Ellena isn’t just saving animals, she’s showing the world how to look at animals differently – with compassion rather than pity. It’s for this reason she takes her place on our 35 under 35 list, nominated by animal welfare judge Aliya Jasmine. If we all lived our lives with a little more compassion, both for animals and for each other, the world would be a better place.
To learn more about the six-two 35 under 35 initiative, and to see the individuals who made the list, including Aliya Jasmine’s nominations, head here.