24 June 1920
|Died||13 June 2000 (aged 79)|
|Alma mater||Bedford College, London|
|Occupation||Animal welfare activist and writer|
|Animal Machines (1964)|
Harrison was born in London, the daughter of the author Stephen Winsten and the artist Clara Birnberg. She was educated at Bedford College, London. As a Quaker and as a conscientious objector during the Second World War (thereby following the stand of her father in the First World War), she served in the Friends Ambulance Unit, first in Hackney, London, and then with displaced persons in Schleswig-Holstein and Bochum in Germany. Ruth married architect Dex Harrison in 1954. She served on the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.
In 1964, Harrison published Animal Machines, which describes intensive poultry and livestock farming. The book was said to have exposed the suffering inflicted on farm animals by industrialised agriculture. The book prompted the British government to appoint a committee chaired by Francis Brambell to investigate the welfare of farm animals. In 1965, the "Brambell Report" was published which outlined five freedoms. Harrison's book was published in seven countries and was the inspiration for the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes. In 1986 she was awarded an OBE.
Harrison died of cancer in 2000, shortly before her eightieth birthday.
- Animal Machines: the New Factory Farming Industry. Vincent Stuart Publishers. (1964)
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- Animal Welfare Quarterly - A Tribute to Ruth Harrison
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