Bear Hunt Protester to Receive PETA’s ‘Hero to Animals Award’
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA ) is sending a Hero to Animals Award to the Beekman, New York, home of Dr. William Crain, the college professor and PETA member who served 12 days in Sussex, New Jersey, County Jail for civil disobedience during a protest against New Jersey’s black bear hunt.
Crain first started speaking out against the bear hunts when they were being proposed in 1997. His family lived in Teaneck, New Jersey, at the time. He has participated in protests against them every year since they began in 2003, leading to eight arrests for civil disobedience. Last year was his first jail term, and he expects this year to be his last, as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has pledged to place a moratorium on the hunts.
“Bears, like us, have feelings, social lives, and individual personalities,” says Crain. “And, like us, each bear wants to live. Our society must show far greater compassion and respect for other living beings.”
“Dr. Crain is a hero to animals for putting his own personal freedom on the line to speak out against the slaughter of New Jersey’s black bears,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Communications Lisa Lange. “Kind people everywhere are celebrating the coming end of this cruel hunt, and it’s thanks to the tireless efforts of kind protesters like him.”
Crain is a child development specialist and professor of psychology at The City College of New York, where he has taught for 47 years. In addition to protesting New Jersey’s bear hunts, he and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Ellen Crain, founded Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Beekman where they provide a lifelong home for 100 goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals rescued from slaughter. He is the author of the book, “The Emotional Lives of Animals and Children: Insights from a Farm Sanctuary.”
Crain will receive a framed certificate from PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.”