We believe animals are sentient beings
and share the same natural right as
humans to inhabit this planet.
Our vision is a world where we acknowledge
the interconnection and embrace the intrinsic
value of all animals to a sustainable future
We pledge to coexist
with all other species,
treat them with respect,
and protect them from
human-generated threats
to their survival and well-being.
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Our vision is a world where we acknowledge the interconnection and embrace
the intrinsic value of all animals to a sustainable future


Our mission is to promote an understanding of the vital role that animals play
in our well-being and in the viability of the natural world


The Rethinking Animals Summit brought together a diverse group of experts from around the world to discuss global biodiversity loss through the lens of the human and environmental impact of our treatment of other species. The Summit looked at the consequences to human health, global security, world financial systems, environmental sustainability, and individual well-being. In addition, the Summit  spotlighted people and organizations trying to mitigate this impact.

The nature of our relationship with other species has enormous and quantifiable impacts on our health, on the environment, global security, our economies, and the viability of the world that our children will inherit. Furthermore, the nature of our relationships to other species and their environments have qualitative moral, ethical and psychological implications for us as a civil society and as individuals. We cannot afford to ignore the need to change our perceptions of the importance of other species in our lives, nor the need to reconsider the nature of our dominion over theirs.

The care, protection, and conservation of animals world-wide touches all 17 of the  Sustainable Development Goals, and if the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to be successful, it is imperative that other species be considered in its implementation.

Photographs from Summit 2019

We need to ensure that other species and their habitats are integral to every decision we make about the planet.

Lecture Series

See videos and learn about the amazing world of animal thinking, emotions, and behavior from world-renowned scientists.

Interviews with, and Blogs by Conservationists, Scientists, Animal Advocates, and Innovators.

1. What industry ranks as the second largest industrial polluter on the planet?

A. Factory farming
B. Automobiles
C. Apparel
D. Energy production


Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, an award winning author, ornithologist, photographer, naturalist, and animal advocate talks in our Wild Voices interview about the global effects of industrial farming.

Learn about the work of the Animal Issues Thematic Cluster (AITC) at the United Nations, founded by Thinking Animals United in 2017, to ensure animals are included in the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

We believe animals are sentient beings who share the same natural right as humans to inhabit this planet.

Northern Muriqui
Brachyteles hypoxanthus


In compiling this list, we looked at the IUCN’s Red List most critically endangered species in the world (the top 4 of 9 criteria) and cross-referenced these species with the CITES Appendix I (of III) of the most trafficked mammals in the world. These distressing lists cover all species in all countries in the world. Amphibians and birds will soon be added.

In 2017, Bonnie Wyper from Thinking Animals United and David Kirschbaum from Peace International founded the Animal Issues Thematic Cluster (AITC) at the United Nations, and invited 35 other organizations to join with them to insure that the plight of animals world-wide, and their impact on human life and the environment was included in the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030. The group has grown and is now offering a series of webinars hosted by Wolf Gordon Clifton of Animal People.


Wildlife Whistleblowers

Thinking Animals United partners with organizations that share the same desire to educate the public about the many roles that animals play in our lives, and help them find ways to become engaged in the global effort to save other species and their habitats.


Do you know which animals are endangered in your US State?  Or who to call if you see any illegal activities related to them?

We have put together, BY STATE, a list of  places you can call if you see illegal activity involving wildlife in your state. We have also included a sample of some of the pages of the State of Virginia’s site so you can see some of the information that you can expect to see in your state, although each state is different in their presentation and information offered.

They deserve respect and to be protected from all human generated threats to their survival and well-being.

Speaker Quotes

Bruce Rich

I have worked for over 35 years in research and advocacy to promote environmental sustainability in international finance. The Rethinking Animals Summit 2019 was one of the most intellectually stimulating, broadening–and inspiring– events I have ever experienced. I can’t begin in a short comment to fully convey the diversity and world class caliber of many of the speakers, all working in different disciplines and with different approaches to promote conservation and sustainability. What ties all their work together, and what we can learn from their work, is the insight, more urgent every day, that conserving the world’s biodiversity is the fundamental challenge that links and unifies almost all other environmental and conservation efforts. Whether we approach the measures needed to address climate change, or promote environmental education at home and abroad, or seek  solutions for smart cities, or advocate the elimination of economically and environmental harmful subsidies (for fossil fuels, over-fishing, input intensive agriculture etc. etc.) inevitably the sentinels for the success or failure of our efforts are the voiceless species with whom we share this, our only, world.

It is urgent that the dialogue and catalytic sharing of experience of the Rethinking Animals Summit be continued.

Bruce Rich, former Director, International Program, Environmental Defense Fund, former Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor Awardee for Environmental Achievements


I attended and spoke at the first Rethinking Animals Summit in 2017 and at the second in 2019 which even  topped the first and superb Summit in terms of diversity of speakers, subject matter and robust  discussions. The 2019 Summit was simply fabulous and inspirational in generating new ideas, approaches and opportunities for tackling the challenges facing the Earth  and its species. I very much look forward to contributing to an even more ambitious third Rethinking Animals Summit.

Steve Kohn, Chair of the Board of the National Whistleblower Center.


I think the Rethinking Animals Summit is at the top of my list as the all-time great. You brought together such amazing people!

Leilani Munter, Former professional stock car racing driver, environmental activist, biologist.

Sara Walker
I was honored to be included in the Thinking Animals United Summit 2019.  The event brought together a unique and inspiring assembly of thought leaders, animal welfare advocates, conservationists, and others, to share information about the drivers of the world’s loss of biodiversity and the ways we are working to bring about positive change for the health of our planet.  I look forward to the next Summit and to hear from colleagues about the collective impact we have made as a result of collaboration within the conservation community.

Sara Walker, Senior Advisor on Wildlife Trafficking, Association of Zoos & Aquariums 

Beth Allgood
U.S. Country Director,

It was such a pleasure to partner and participate in the Thinking Animals United Summit in 2019.  The mix of perspectives from experts in the terrestrial and marine conservation fields along with animal welfare experts brought out new solutions for animals, people and the planet.  Bonnie and her team have an incredible ability to bring together not just conservation and animal welfare experts but also technology, food, design and other innovators for inspired action throughout society.  I can’t wait for the next summit!

Beth Allgood, U.S. Country Director, International Fund for Animals Welfare (IFAW)


The Rethinking Animals Summit was an extraordinary and unique event where innovators of animal welfare and conservation were able to meaningfully collaborate on making our planet a healthy home for all people and animals. 

Mary Melnyk, Senior Adviser for Natural Resource Management,Asia and Middle East Bureaus,U.S. Agency for  Development

Lindsay Moran
The Rethinking Animals Summit brought together thought leaders and willful, purpose-driven participants in the critical fight to save our planet and its species against enormous odds. It was an extraordinary event that harnessed innovation, energy, critical thinking and, above all, hope for a sustainable and ethical future, for humans and animals alike.

Lindsey Moran, Head of Communications Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

Glenn Prickett
I thoroughly enjoyed the Thinking Animals United Summit in 2019.  I met fascinating people, heard inspiring speakers, and had the opportunity to lead a stimulating panel discussion with all the participants.  It was an interesting mix of people from a wide range of perspectives, backgrounds, and geographies.  Bonnie and her colleagues did a terrific job pulling it together.  Kudos!

Glenn Prickett,  Founder & Principal, Rock Creek Strategies, LLC.
Curt Stager

The Summit was a powerful and inspiring experience full of new ideas, positive energy, practical advice, and networking opportunities to help us face the challenges of biodiversity loss and environmental change.

Curt Stager, Author, radio co-host, musician, and professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith’s College where he holds the Draper-Lussi Endowed Chair in Lake Ecology and Paleoecology

International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species, including animals and plants, has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. It uses precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world.

These are the categories the IUCN Red List is set upon

– Extinct (EX) – beyond reasonable doubt that the species is no longer extant.
– Extinct in the wild (EW) – survives only in captivity, cultivation and/or outside native range, as presumed after exhaustive surveys.
– Critically endangered (CR) – in a particularly and extremely critical state.
– Endangered (EN) – very high risk of extinction in the wild, meets any of criteria A to E for Endangered.
– Vulnerable (VU) – meets one of the 5 red list criteria and thus considered to be at high risk of unnatural (human-caused) extinction without further human intervention.
– Near threatened (NT) – close to being at high risk of extinction in the near future.
– Least concern (LC) – unlikely to become extinct in the near future.
– Data deficient (DD)
– Not evaluated (NE)

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants.

Roughly 5,000 species of animals and 29,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade. Each protected species or population is included in one of three lists, called appendices (explained below). The Appendix that lists a species or population reflects the extent of the threat to it and the controls that apply to the trade.

– Appendix I, about 1200 species, are species that are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by trade. Commercial trade in wild-caught specimens of these species is illegal (permitted only in exceptional licensed circumstances)

– Appendix II, about 21,000 species, are species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilization incompatible with the survival of the species in the wild.

– Appendix III, about 170 species, are species that are listed after one member country has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling trade in a species. The species are not necessarily threatened with extinction globally.