Kimberly Carroll is a founding board member for Mercy For Animals Canada. Growing up in farm country—specifically the "Wheat City" of Brandon, Manitoba—Kimberly’s love for animals led her to become vegetarian in 1996 and eventually a vegan and avid animal protection advocate in the field of farmed animals.
As a television host, producer, and personal development coach, Kimberly's animal protection/veg advocacy specialties range from media affairs to hosting and moderating events to teaching activist empowerment/self-care. She was the campaign co-creator, co-coordinator, and spokesperson for the "Why Love One but Eat the Other?" ad series on the Toronto subway system in 2009 and 2011–12 that created an international pro-veg wave. She has also been the spokesperson and MC for the Toronto Veggie Pride Parade since its inauguration in 2009, a spokesperson for IFAW’s campaign to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt, and a board member for the Toronto Animal Rights Society. Kimberly’s various animal advocacy initiatives have landed her appearances on CTV News, CP24, CBC News, Global News, Talktv's The Chatroom, Metro Morning, Newstalk 1010 and Animal Voices, as well as features in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, National Post, the Sun, and various international publications. As an activist, Kimberly is also passionate about human rights, politics, and environmental issues and often lends her hosting talents to these causes as well.
Professionally, Kimberly has appeared on screens and stages across the world—from Africa to the U.S. to France. She holds a degree in broadcasting from Ryerson University, and as a broadcaster she has hosted and produced shows for W Network, WE TV, CBC Television and Radio, and CTV, to name just a few. As a coach, she has helped hundreds of people live more conscious and ignited lives.
She's thrilled to be a part of Mercy For Animals Canada and looks forward to helping to cultivate more compassion and action for farmed animals in this country.
Director of Investigations
Twyla Francois is director of investigations for Mercy For Animals Canada. Twyla holds a bachelor’s degree with a double major in anthropology and psychology and spent two years studying forensic anthropology at the master’s level learning to speak for victims of violent crime who could no longer speak for themselves. After receiving a photo of a tied up, suffering pig at a local collecting station, Twyla went on to conduct an investigation through which she learned of the shocking, systemic, and routine cruelty inflicted on farmed animals. Her work as a farmed animal cruelty investigator has been the focus of numerous documentaries, including No Country for Animals (Global National), Bêtes à bord (CBC Radio-Canada), and No Country for Horses (CBC National).
Investigations conducted or overseen by Twyla have led to the closure of facilities, animal cruelty charges and convictions, corporate animal welfare policy reforms, government-commissioned research, rescues of abused and neglected farmed animals, and millions of Canadians’ hearts and minds opened to the power of food choices to create a kinder world.
Through her role with Mercy For Animals Canada, Twyla works closely with undercover investigators to obtain video footage and other evidence of animal abuse at factory farms, hatcheries, and slaughterhouses. She also works with attorneys, veterinarians, and animal welfare experts to review covert footage and draft criminal complaints, and with local, provincial, and federal law enforcement agencies to secure animal cruelty convictions against individuals and facilities that abuse animals.
Twyla has rescued and been fortunate to share her life with numerous farmed animals, including Wilbur, the pig she rescued off the highway after a trailer accident, Marlene and Natalie, unsold chicks about to be stomped at a livestock auction, and Sophie and Katie, two injured and traumatized turkeys who escaped the catchers hired to load them for slaughter.
Camille Labchuk is a volunteer board member for Mercy For Animals Canada. Based in Toronto, she is a longtime animal advocate, seasoned political strategist, and student-at-law.
A native of Prince Edward Island, Camille holds an honours degree in psychology
from Mount Allison University and a law degree from the University of Toronto.
Sensitive to animal suffering for as long as she can remember, Camille was raised
in a politically active household where she was encouraged to question the status
quo. She was inspired to become vegetarian as a twelve-year-old after watching a
documentary about needless animal suffering at the hands of animal use industries,
and she adopted a vegan lifestyle in her early twenties after learning more about the
cruelty inherent in the meat, dairy, and egg industries.
After completing her first degree, Camille ran for Parliament in the 2006 federal
election, and she went on to serve as press secretary to Green Party leader Elizabeth
May in Ottawa. Following her time in politics, Camille worked as a public relations
specialist for an international animal protection organization.
In 2009, Camille decided to dedicate her career to animal protection issues by
studying law. Having recently earned her law degree, she currently works as an
articling student at a criminal defence firm where she is fortunate enough to be able
to work pro bono on behalf of animals. Camille has a particular interest in using
the legal and political systems to achieve animal protection goals. She intends to
practice animal rights law, harnessing the power of the legal system to protect animals’
interests—particularly the voiceless victims of industrialized factory farms.
Camille’s animal advocacy work includes documenting the commercial seal
kill on the ice floes of Canada’s East Coast for three years, and working on issues as diverse as factory farming, horse slaughter, puppy mills, trophy hunting, captive
marine mammals, circuses, and shark finning.
In addition to Camille’s work on behalf of animals, she is committed to environmental
protection and a fair, just society. Her passion for a sustainable, more equal
world has led her to work on countless election campaigns at the federal, provincial,
and municipal levels. She is also a former board member of the National Capital
Vegetarian Association, past president of the University of Toronto Student
Animal Legal Defense Fund club, and a former member of the federal Green Party’s
governing council. Camille writes a weekly political column for the Hill Times
newspaper, and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post Canada.
When not working to help animals, Camille enjoys sailing, reading, cycling,
digging in her organic vegetable garden, and cooking delicious vegan meals.
Director of Operations
Stephane Perrais is director of operations for Mercy For Animals Canada, responsible for financial management, government and industry relations, human resources, volunteer coordination, outreach campaigns, and media relations.
After completing a master’s degree in management with a focus on entrepreneurship from Europe’s leading business school, HEC Paris, he started his career in investment banking in Paris and then moved on to the United Kingdom where he spent almost a decade working for various international financial institutions. Ultimately, Stephane became responsible for large corporate accounts and high-net-worth clients across Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Benelux countries.
In 1998, he and his family decided to immigrate to Canada. He settled down in Montreal where he became a partner in a leading-edge digital special effects company, working on various television and documentary projects, and in a major film studio that boasted the most soundstages under one roof in North America. A few years later, following the sale of the company to local partners, he became intrigued by the potential of the Canadian wine industry and subsequently moved to the Niagara region where he purchased some farm land and started a vineyard. From the beginning, the vision was to promote sustainable and organic growing practices, with an unrelenting focus on quality and respect for the environment. As the years passed and the vines slowly matured, a local winery purchased the vineyard and Stephane moved to Toronto where he joined the private aviation sector, working primarily on operational and organizational matters.
As a young child growing up in France, Stephane always had a keen interest in animal welfare, attending numerous conferences, particularly on vivisection and the welfare of animals used in labs. But it was not until later in life that he realized the profoundly disturbing social, moral, and ethical implications of factory farming and decided to become more engaged. He is currently pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Animals and Public Policy from Humane Society University for which he has written various papers on animal behaviour and consciousness, as well as policy papers on animal welfare legislation. He firmly believes that farmed animal protection will be one of the defining social movements of the twenty-first century.
Stephane is not only passionate about farmed animal protection, but loves to fly and is a fully licensed commercial pilot. He also enjoys competing in triathlons and endeavours to use these races to showcase the performance benefits of a vegan diet. He resides in the Toronto area with his wife, children, and rescue rabbits.
Director of Legal Advocacy
Anna Pippus is a founding board member of Mercy For Animals Canada and helped to establish the governance and strategic planning of the organization. She currently serves as the director of legal advocacy, pushing for both the enforcement and the enactment of laws on behalf of farmed animals.
Anna is a lawyer admitted to practice in Ontario. She obtained her juris doctor from the University of Toronto where she won the Nancy Park Book Prize in International Women's Rights and the Helton Fellowship from the American Society for International Law. She articled at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto as a judicial law clerk. Anna also holds an undergraduate degree in psychology with first class honours from the University of British Columbia where she won numerous scholarships and awards.
Anna has long been motivated to act on behalf of individuals whose suffering goes unnoticed. She has represented refugees at the University of Toronto’s Downtown Legal Services where she also led volunteers through their casework and served as a board member. As a rape crisis counsellor, she has supported and advocated for sexual assault survivors. She has also worked in poverty reduction and agricultural management, examining farming practices through the Wetlands Alliance Programme in northeastern Thailand and Laos.
Anna now focuses the majority of her efforts on advocating for animals because their suffering is profound, widespread, and largely socially accepted. She has been active with major and grassroots animal protection organizations, as well as with her own campaigns, serving on the frontlines in organizational governance and as a researcher and writer. She continues to volunteer with the Toronto Vegetarian Association, the We Animals project, and Americans For Medical Advancement, and to provide legal information to local animal rights activists.
Anna shares her home and heart with her four rescue cats and her wonderful vegan husband and son.
Nathan Runkle is a founding board member of Mercy For Animals Canada and the founder and executive director of Mercy For Animals. Raised on a farm in rural Ohio, Nathan has long had a deep connection with farmed animals and agriculture. After a local farmed animal abuse case involving a piglet slammed headfirst into a concrete floor during an agricultural project at a nearby high school, Nathan founded Mercy For Animals to give "food" animals a much-needed advocate in his local community.
Since founding Mercy For Animals a decade ago, Nathan has overseen the organization's growth into a leading national force for the respectful and compassionate treatment of farmed animals. A grassroots organizer and coordinator for many years, Nathan has spearheaded hundreds of demonstrations and outreach events across the United States, ranging from protests outside pork and egg producers’ conventions to parades, educational exhibits, and more.
An internationally recognized speaker on animal advocacy, grassroots activism, and factory farming, Nathan has spoken at a wide range of colleges, conferences, and other forums.
Through his work with MFA, Nathan has been an outspoken advocate for animal rights, featured in hundreds of television, radio, and newspaper interviews, including on CNN and National Public Radio, and in USA Today, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.
Nathan works closely with MFA's diverse group of members, supporters, and employees to oversee, develop, and implement the organization's campaigns, publications, advertisements, and undercover investigations.
During the formative years of MFA, Nathan conducted numerous investigations and rescue operations at factory farms, livestock auctions, and rodeos. Nathan led teams of MFA investigators into Ohio's four largest egg factory farms, exposing egregious animal cruelty and neglect, as well as directly rescuing dozens of animals in dire need of veterinary care. Nathan also led the organization's efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for over 500 hens rescued from a battery-cage facility dilapidated by a tornado.
Nathan has worked alongside elected officials, corporate executives, heads of international organizations, professors, farmers, celebrities, and film producers to pass landmark farmed animal protection legislation, raise public awareness about vegetarianism, and implement animal welfare policy changes.
Overseeing MFA's hard-hitting pro-vegetarian MTV commercials, highway billboards, and bus campaigns in Chicago, New York, and Boston, Nathan has helped the organization open the hearts and minds of American consumers to the hidden cost of factory-farmed meat, dairy, and eggs. Through Mercy For Animals Canada he now looks forward to doing the same for Canadians.
VegNews magazine has recognized both Mercy For Animals and Nathan for making substantial contributions to the vegetarian movement, naming MFA "Non-Profit of the Year" and Nathan one of the "25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians" and one of the country's "Top 20 Activists Under 30 Years Old." In 2009, at the age of 25, Nathan became the youngest person ever inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame.
Director of Information Technology
Johnathan Skinner is director of information technology for Mercy For Animals Canada, building and maintaining the websites that serve as windows into veganism and the plight of farmed animals for thousands of people every day.
Raised in Calgary, Alberta, right in the middle of cattle country, Johnathan's upbringing was far from veg-friendly. It wasn't until his twenties that he met his first vegetarian. This chance encounter became a life-changing event and he quickly transformed from a cowboy-hat-wielding Calgary Stampede attendee into an animal rights advocate protesting outside the gates.
At the turn of the millennium, Johnathan moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, to start afresh with his new vegan lifestyle. He has spent most of the years since as a volunteer advocate for animal rights, organizing outreach and vegan social events, and interning with various organizations around the world, including Mercy For Animals in Chicago. He is currently the sole coordinator of Veg Fest Vancouver—an all-vegan summer street festival hosted right in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
Johnathan started his professional career as a video game programmer. Only a year out of high school, he landed a job creating a game for Nintendo. Since then he’s also worked on titles published by Microsoft, Sierra, Capcom, EA, and his own independent company, Veggie Games. Johnathan’s entrepreneurial drive gave rise to Steer Madness, a popular animal rights computer game of his own design, construction, and publication. More recently, he expanded into website and app development, finding himself designing and programming software systems for the world’s largest dating website, PlentyofFish.
Possessing the right combination of programming, design, database, and IT skills, along with his passion to make the world a better place for animals, Johnathan has settled very happily into his role at MFA Canada.
National Outreach Coordinator
Lucas Solowey joins the Mercy For Animals Canada team as the national outreach coordinator. Raised in Montreal, Lucas knew at a young age that the plight of animals was his cause and that he would do everything in his power to make the world a kinder place for all sentient beings. Lucas has been turning his beliefs into hard work and action for animals since 1999.
Lucas has organized and participated in events in over twenty cities worldwide and has been named by local, national, and international media outlets. He has worked professionally with celebrities, film directors, members of the media, politicians, businesses, and international nonprofit organizations, garnering the attention and respect of the global community. In 2011, Lucas toured North America on a college outreach campaign that encouraged students to sign petitions in support of Meatless Mondays and increased vegan options on campuses. Not only did over 70,000 students lend their signatures, numerous schools adopted more veg-friendly policies.
While completing his bachelor of arts degree in sociology at Montreal’s Concordia University, Lucas was president of the Concordia Animal Rights Association (CARA) and achieved many victories for animals. For his contribution to sustainability and community involvement, Lucas was honoured with the 2007 Concordia University Eco-Sense award and for his work with CARA, the 2008 “Most Dedicated Executive” award from the Concordia Student Union. As a councillor with the Concordia Student Union, he penned the Ethical Choice Policy, which requires that one third of all food options at university events be vegetarian and that at least one option be vegan. This policy passed unanimously.
Lucas’s other awards and accolades include PETA’s 2008 Matthew Eyton Animal Advocate Award and a 2009 nomination for PETA’s sexiest vegetarian competition. For several years he was also voted “Loudest Activist” in the Montreal Mirror newspaper’s Best of Montreal poll.
Lucas currently lives in Toronto and is a passionate advocate for animal protection, delicious plant-based cuisine, and sustainable living. In addition to his work in animal advocacy, Lucas is a body-care specialist at The Big Carrot Natural Food Market in Toronto. He has knowledge of over 5,000 cruelty-free products. Lucas’s love for vegan cooking can often be seen in The National Post’s “Gastropost” section, where he is a frequent contributor.