Latest news

Press Release: Michelle Thew becomes Tenth Honorary Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

5th July 2022

Michelle Thew

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is delighted to announce the appointment of Michelle Thew as its tenth Honorary Fellow. The award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Centre and/or the protection of animals.

Michelle Thew is the Chief Executive of Cruelty Free International, the leading organisation working to end animal experiments worldwide. Michelle is one of the most respected and accomplished individuals in the animal protection movement. 

Educating, challenging and inspiring others across the globe to respect and protect animals, Cruelty Free International investigates and exposes the reality of life for animals in laboratories, challenges decision-makers to make a positive difference for animals, and champions better science and cruelty free living. The organisation also runs the globally recognisable Leaping Bunny approval programme, the gold standard which encourages companies worldwide to go cruelty free, and Michelle has worked tirelessly across the globe to persuade companies to drive animal testing from their supply chains. 

For over two decades, Michelle has led campaigns to create a world without animal testing and has spearheaded the largest global effort dedicated to making cosmetics cruelty free. She is currently personally leading an initiative to achieve a worldwide end to the practice of using animals in the beauty industry, working with the UN to accelerate a shift towards sustainable production and consumption.  

Professor Linzey commented: “Ever since the Centre published its report on animal experimentation called “Normalising the Unthinkable” in 2015, we have become increasing concerned about the entrenched institutionalisation of animal testing and how voices for reform are often silenced.

“We are delighted that Michelle has accepted our invitation as a way of recognising her tremendous contribution to seeking fundamental change.”

Michelle Thew said: “I am deeply honoured to become an Honorary Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Placing animals at the heart of ethical debate is critical to creating the kind of just society that benefits everyone. As the need to protect animals is increasingly recognised, I am delighted to continue to support the pioneering work of the Oxford Centre, joining a team of distinguished academics, advocates and thinkers in this field to advance the cause of animals.” 

Honorary Fellowship is the highest award that the Centre can bestow. Thew joins a prestigious line up of current Honorary Fellows including the Nobel Laureate for Literature, Professor J. M. Coetzee; the distinguished international philanthropist, Dr Irene W. Crowe; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Professor Joy Carter; Madame Jeanne Marchig, founder of the Marchig Trust for Animal Welfare; Professor Justus George Lawler, theologian and scholar; multi Emmy award winning television personality, philanthropist, and educational pioneer, Bob Barker; Australian philanthropic pioneer and founder of the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust, Philip Wollen, OAM; educator and humanitarian, Anne Rees, and President and Director of the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy, Timothy S. Midura.


Notes for editors

  • The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is an independent centre devoted to pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through research, teaching, and publication. See
  • The Centre’s report on animal experimentation is published by the University of Illinois Press and is titled The Ethical Case against Animal Experiments. See
  • Cruelty Free International is one of the world’s longest standing and most respected animal protection organisations. The organisation is widely regarded as an authority on animal testing issues and is frequently called upon by governments, media, corporations and official bodies for its advice or expert opinion. See