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Meet The Team: Sally Thompson – Communications Manager

by | Feb 26, 2024

Sally Thompson – Communications Manager. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur

Meet some of the wonderful individuals behind We Animals in our ‘Meet the Team’ Q&A series. This month we spoke with our talented and creative Communications Manager, Sally Thompson.

Hometown and where I live now

I grew up in County Durham, England. After ten years of moving around the UK, I eventually settled by the coast in Northumberland – not too far from where it all started.

What’s my background

I studied Physical Geography at university and then worked in river conservation and flood risk management. During this time, I got involved with animal rights and met many kindred spirits after years of not knowing any other vegans. In 2015, I set myself up as a freelance communications specialist. My goal was to make animal advocacy my life’s work.

 

Before joining We Animals, I worked in Marketing and Communications at VegFund and Veganuary. My time at both organizations provided a wealth of experience working in early-stage startups, and each role offered unique insights into animal advocacy. In 2017, I joined We Animals as an intern before moving through various roles in Communications.

How I like to spend my leisure time

Trail running. Coastal, forest, moorland, mountain paths–I’m not picky, I love it all! It keeps me grounded and stable in this world.

A little about my rescue animal(s)

Meet Izzy. We were lucky enough to adopt Izzy, thanks to my partner emailing the shelter with a heartfelt note. The rehoming manager was so moved by her words that she reached out and took a chance on us. We first met Izzy via Zoom during the 2021 lockdown, and not long after, she was stepping through our front door. Her first day was all about the sniffs and playing, and soon she was taking up a rather large portion of the bed for such a small dog! She is quite the wee soul – I can’t put it into words, so I’ll let these photographs do the talking…

Izzy girl loving life at Sugar Sands, Northumberland, UK. The beach is her favourite place to be. Photo: Sally Thompson
Sweeper at the beach in Canada. Photo credit: Cindy Hughes.
Did I mention the beach is her favourite place to be? Photo: Sally Thompson

A typical day for me at We Animals

A day as We Animals’ Communications Manager is incredibly varied. One moment, I’m interviewing photojournalists, drafting or editing copy and building web stories; the next, I’m mapping out a communications plan for new assignments and projects, getting lost in analytics and budgets, and supporting our wonderful team.

Favourite movie/book (or both)

Book: The Salt Path by Raynor Winn – it’s about a couple who become homeless and, not knowing what else to do after losing everything around them, decide to go for a walk. Their walk turns into a long-distance hike and a big adventure of the mind, body and soul.

If I were an animal (other than a human), I would be… because…

A puffin – because I’ve always been in awe of birds, and have you seen those beaks? They’re such gorgeous animals and very entertaining to watch. They’re also well protected in my part of the UK, so I wouldn’t need to fear humans (assuming I stayed in Northumberland as a puffin. Alternatively, I would relocate to Staffa Island in the Inner Hebrides and enjoy life there with my feathered friends).

One We Animals image/video that has really stuck with me and why

This image by Jo-Anne has really stayed with me since the first time I saw it. For me, it communicates the loneliness and cold brutality of animal industries. A pig, such a social animal at heart, caged, alone, surrounded by the fear of other pigs and the sounds of a slaughterhouse at work. The warmth of the holiday lights in the background tells a very different story – the stark contrast between their world and ours.

Maxine
An industrial pig slaughterhouse in Taiwan. Taiwan, 2019.

Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

This drone video footage from Ram Daya’s documentation of mega-dairies in Arizona is a more recent visual that’s really impacted me – and We Animals’ followers too. The medium through which this visual is delivered makes it so accessible, yet the information it presents is eye-opening. Obscene is the only word I have for it.

A milk dispenser truck drives between calf hutches on a massive dairy farm and delivers milk to the calves inside. Turkey Creek Dairy, Pearce, Arizona, USA, 2023.

Ram Daya / We Animals

Working at We Animals involves dealing with difficult subject matter on a regular basis. How I cope and my advice for others working in similar fields

Nature, movement and connection. These three things are my tonic. 

 

I also find it important to let myself feel what I’m feeling when engaging with We Animal’s visuals in order to process things properly. Sometimes it can be a fine balance between that and getting consumed by the emotions, but with time, it gets more manageable.

Did you know? Our stock platform offers 30,000+ photos and video clips of animal issues around the globe. Non-commercial (free) and commercial licensing available.