Board of Directors
Executive Director/Treasurer - Tove Reece
Director/Vegan Outreach/Secretary - Karin Nelson
Director/Communications - Maxwell Mah
Director - Sarah Ure
Tove Reece - Executive Director
I’ve been involved in animal rights for about 30 years and co-founded Voice for Animals Society in 1997.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a special affinity for animals and have loved being around them. I always considered animals as fellow beings, never seeing them as “the other”.
Like most people I grew up eating meat but somewhere in my 20s I started to connect the dots and it dawned on me that the animals on my plate did not want to die. I soon became aware of the terrible suffering that the animals we raise for food endure. The decision to become vegetarian was an easy one but regrettably, it took me 15 long years to go vegan.
The exploitation and suffering of animals is everywhere, leading me to the realization that “if animals are being used for profit, there is/will be abuse”. To overcome any fears I had in working for animal rights, I developed my own personal motto: “there is nothing anyone can do to me that is worse than what animals have to endure”. This has given me strength whenever I’ve had to face angry, hostile, threatening opposition, being arrested at WEM or even just speaking to a room full of people.
What keeps me fighting is the terrible injustice towards animals. What keeps me going is the wonderful world of caring, generous, selfless animal rights people.
Karin Nelson - Secretary/ Vegan Outreach
Communications - Maxwell Mah
I am an electronics technologist in the media industry.
In the early days, I was one of the people in society who didn't make the connection with animals and animal issues—how animals play such a vital role in our world, our ecology, our connection to the natural world and how animals shape and share this world with humans. I knew there was something terribly wrong with the world but did not figure out the root cause, especially before the social media explosion, society’s world outlook, perceptions, and views about the natural world were limited in scope and were shaped by corporate funded interests.
In 2013, I read T. Colin Campbell's book "The China Study" which was my initial step into awakening to what humans are doing to animals and the devastating consequences that it has on our world. In 2014, during Edmonton’s International Fringe Theatre Festival, I met one of the Directors of Voice for Animals Society; she was working at her information table along Whyte Avenue, distributing information about the plight of animals and discussing animal issues and other social justice issues with passersby. She spoke with passion, conviction and was very knowledgeable about many issues. As I looked through the literature on the table, and spoke with her, I realized that creating a better world for animals—a world free from exploitation and abuse—is creating a better, more peaceful world for all. She handed me a resource sheet with links to documentary videos, websites, and books about animal issues, human health, environmental and social justice issues, and veganism. I went home and looked up the information on that resource sheet and I realized these issues, the exploitation of animals, was the root problem of so many wrongs in the world all along; it has helped me realize my life purpose. I became vegan and now distribute that resource sheet in the hope that it will change lives for the better, just like it has changed mine.
My favourite activist and philanthropist Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I’m grateful and proud to be working with Voice for Animals Society to create a more compassionate world for animals—a world of peace and freedom from exploitation and abuse.
Sarah Ure - Director
I am a lawyer, currently working with a legal tech company here in Edmonton. I have two bachelor of arts degrees from the University of Calgary, and pursued my law degree at the University of Victoria.
I was interested in the law program at the UVic due to its environmental sustainability focus and specialization program. I’ve been interested in environmental and animal welfare issues for many years, and sat on the board for the Environmental Law Centre during my time at law school, and was also an active member in the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter.
I became a vegetarian in 2008, and went vegan in 2014, when I began my legal articling internship with the animal rights law organization, Animal Justice Canada in Toronto. I was fortunate to gain a wide array of experiences there, working towards creating a more humane legal and social landscape for non-human animals in Canada through various initiatives.
After my internship, I moved back home to Alberta where I worked first in the non-profit sector in an access to justice role with the Elizabeth Fry Society, and then as a criminal defence lawyer in Lethbridge and Calgary before eventually moving to Edmonton in 2019 to begin my current employment.
I began volunteering on the board of Voice For Animals upon moving to Edmonton and speaking with fellow directors Tove and Karin. It became clear that this group is doing important work for non-human animals in Edmonton, Alberta and beyond. Most of my work for the organization is geared towards legal research and writing; petitioning government and proposing legislative improvements to better protect non-human animals.
I believe we must all work towards a better society and planet for human and non-human animals. We must stand up for those who cannot. We must raise our voices for the voiceless."
Sarah Ure, BA, JD