I enjoyed reading about Ann Cottrell Free, a writer whose life’s mission involved telling the stories of those who were marginalized by society — whether human or non-human. In the 50s, Ann’s coverage of animal protection stories ultimately led to the Humane Slaughter and Animal Welfare Acts being passed — bills that admittedly are incredibly flawed, but were, in their time, huge steps forward. Ann Cottrell Free was a true pioneer.
Excitingly, that article led to a lovely email relationship between me and Ann’s daughter, Elissa Blake Free. Elissa helps to oversee the National Press Club Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award, an annual honor that recognizes excellence in reporting about animals in the categories of print/online and broadcast. (They are currently seeking submissions for work done in 2013 — and the deadline for this is April 1, 2014. I encourage anyone who is interested to apply.)
Elissa and I were recently emailing, and I was so moved by everything she had to say about her mom that I asked her to jot a few thoughts down for you, our darling flock. She is also giving away two books by Ann — so there will be two lucky winners (one for each of you). Read to the bottom of this for instructions on how to win a copy of Animals, Nature and Albert Schweitzer, and No Room, Save in the Heart.
Dear Members of the Flock,