“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.”
— Alice Walker
I started on the road to becoming an advocate for animals at a very young age, when I would spend my time volunteering at the SPCA. Soon my attention turned towards other animals too, and when I watched a programme about the slaughter of turtles for turtle soup, I realised that, as someone who ate turtle soup, I was part of the problem and causing them to be killed. I stopped eating turtle soup and over the next years eliminated all animals from my diet.
After seeing the film Gorillas in the Mist aged about 14, I became fascinated with primates and decided I wanted to spend my life saving them, which led me to pursuing a degree in Biology and a Masters in Primate Conservation.
The real turning point for me though was when, aged about 21 years old, I fell in love with a young chimpanzee called Ramba, who lived a terrible life as a photography chimp. When our campaign to see her reunited with her mother succeeded I felt as though I had won a million dollars, and decided to dedicate the rest of my life to making a difference for suffering animals like Ramba, and I founded ACRES with a group of friends.
Today I am lucky to be working with a passionate team at ACRES who share my dream of a better world for animals, and am so grateful for all of our supporters who make our work possible.
In 2007, Louis was presented with The Outstanding Young Persons of Singapore award. In 2002, Louis received the HSBC (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) / NYAA (National Youth Achievement Award) Youth Environmental Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the field of environmental protection and nature conservation in Singapore.
When I picked up my first brochures on factory farming and experimentation on animals aged about ten, I knew I had to do something- anything- to stop these terrible things happening. I turned vegetarian, volunteered with animal welfare groups and held my own mini-campaigns at school. I studied Zoology at Sheffield University, specialising in animal behaviour, which gave me the knowledge I now use for conducting behavioural studies of zoo animals. I was also an active member of the animal protection society.
Before joining ACRES in 2005 I managed a wildlife rescue centre in Thailand, overseeing the care of bears, primates, elephants and many other wild animals.
As Director of Education, I’m responsible for developing, overseeing and implementing our educational programmes and materials. As Director of Cruelty-Free Living Campaigns I work on promoting cruelty-free lifestyles. I’m also very involved in our zoo animal work, and have written scientific reports on zoo animal welfare and conducted zoo survey training. I also work on various ACRES campaigns.
My passions are promoting an animal-friendly lifestyle, instilling compassion for animals in others and speaking up for farm animals, laboratory animals and zoo animals, who are often overlooked. I have a soft spot for bears, gibbons, whales, horses, donkeys, pigs, sheep, cows, ducks and chickens!
Walking home one day, many years ago, I saw a snail on the road. Great way to meet a vehicle tyre right? That's what I thought! So I moved the little one to the side of the road and carried on walking, feeling proud of myself. Yet when I reached home, life's routine fell in place and ordinary comfort zones made me feel silly about my "rescue". I no longer feel silly about this though.
As Director of Community Outreach, I provide opportunities for individuals to stand out and make things right - to make a difference. I engage the community in making a difference and enjoying a fulfilling experience. In short, my job is to break the typical concept of "let someone else do it", or "if I don't see it, it doesn't matter".
My love for animals and design gives me the perfect fit to speak up for animals. With a BA (Hons) from NAFA, I use my skills to create new ideas to engage volunteers to make a difference for animals. In my field of work, I often meet new people and, in turn, I can better reach out to others to play a more active role as advocates for animals.
For strange reasons, I have to thank the plain-pouched hornbill and an Indian star tortoise- when I first came to Singapore in 2005 - for bringing me to ACRES! I was shocked to see them being so openly kept as illegal pets in Singapore. With a strong passion to make a difference for animals since very young, I also have the hope for change and a better world for the animals and everyone.
I have a Masters in Life Sciences from India and a Masters in Environmental Management from NUS, and I worked for wildlife protection for two years in India.
I joined ACRES without hesitation. The ACRES team and everyday work at ACRES for the animals mean a lot to me.
I live 24/7 in at the AWRC with two lovely rescued mongrels. Coming across several animals urgently needing help, our wildlife rescue team works 24/7 to provide the best care for the animals, and respond to the wildlife crime tip-offs. In the end, nothing beats the sight of an animal recovering or being set free after all that they have been through.
I still remember how my brother and I would go around our neighbourhood area to feed the stray cats. We took pictures of the different stray cats that we fed and even took time to play with them. Those were the days… The cats would always put a smile on our faces and warm our hearts.
I have been volunteering for different non-profit organisations since the early start of my working life, in year 1999. However, it was not until 2008 that I became much more involved in not only supporting and participating in various events for the different causes, but I also had the opportunity to plan and execute a couple of events as well.
My work experience of over 16 years in events management, logistics and operations includes volunteer management, planning and organising. My love for animals has brought me to join ACRES and I am thankful that ACRES has given me this great opportunity to be a part of the team. What better way to not just be a “voice”, but to be part of a team to speak up for the animals!
I remember I was sitting on the beach in the middle of the night when a mother turtle landed from the waves and crawled onto the beach with much effort, just to lay her eggs. I feel the greatness of mother nature when I know that the turtles swim across millions of fishing hooks, persisting through the threats they may encounter along the long journey, just to return to their place of birth for nesting. However, their young ones might not even have a chance to see this beautiful world because some of the turtle eggs are collected for human consumption. My heart sank when I was told that probably only one of a thousand turtle hatchlings can survive to reach maturity.
I seek to make a difference for animals and look forward a future in which wildlife is as rich and healthy as it once was.
I have always felt a special love and appreciation for animals. There is something so alluringly mysterious about them and their incomprehensible world. Their seemingly silent existence is filled with communication, freedom, choices and even playtime that is on a frequency that we are unable to tune into. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
I am keen to empower the young and old to make decisions that are knowledge-based and to remind them that the world that we can’t experience shouldn’t be ignored or taken advantage of.
I hope to give them the power-boast and confidence to stare straight back into the eyes of reality that we have been averting for the longest time and to inspire them to step up and make a difference for animals. I am passionate about spreading the positive message that it is never too late to get involved and that ultimately, every single one of us can make a difference!
Since I was a young child, I have always had the pleasure of being surrounded by animals. My family used to adopt the stray cats around my area. I can even recount how once my dad got to witness a pregnant cat hold her ground and fend off a pack of rebellious stray dogs, showcasing her determination to survive. I remember once watching the Japanese movie 'Hachiko' whilst tears flowed from my eyes. That movie taught me about the loyalty that an animal can express that no man can equal. I remember clinging tightly to my chair while being fascinated and intrigued by the splendour that the natural world had to offer while watching Jurassic park. All these memories and experiences have instilled a deeply rooted love and respect for all animals in me, whether it’s an adorable little puppy, a 10ft long python or a curious little ant, for I believe in loving an animal not only because it’s cute, but because it has feelings, a soul and a reason to live, just like our very own loved ones.
Though I graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts with a design background, I always had this urge, this calling that my true life-long aspiration was to make a difference for animals. ACRES offers me that opportunity to make that difference, and it was an offer I simply couldn’t resist. I hope to use my design/problem solving skills to tackle animal welfare issues and bridge the gaps between man and the natural world.
I grew up with animals practically my entire life and have always felt a better connection with them because of their intelligent and intuitive nature. I remember going on "mini-conquests" of my own as a child just so I could do my part for the animals - whether it was to place a fallen baby bird back into its nest or driving half way across Singapore to find a no-kill shelter (Mdm Wong's shelter @Pasir Ris Farmway) to take in a blind stray dog I found by the road side.
The drastic turning point for me was in 2010 where I came across a video of how domestic dogs were killed in China before it was served on a dish. It was a gruesome video and as a result of it had many sleepless nights. Many other cruel animal videos soon found its way to my computer screen. With each day I grew frustrated with myself because I wanted to take action but I was just too busy with my bachelor studies (and life) back then.
Soon after returning from a Yoga retreat in India, I took off my rose coloured lens. Life was in a totally different perspective. I decided to leave my comfortable paying job and took a leap of faith to really live up to the passion I had for animals. That is the most satisfying feeling in the world.
A once tired and weary adventurer in the exciting but unscrupulous advertising world, I left my position as Lead Copywriter in a top digital agency to join the outstanding team at ACRES.
Having taken a leap from creative briefs and crates of beer to dancing with doggies and daring to do more, I now enjoy the exciting evolution of education and engagement (almost as much as I appreciate alliteration).
A lover of all creatures since I turned vegan 3 years ago (vegetarian 2 years before that), I continue to seek new ways of working towards saving ALL the animals – not just the ones we keep at home – with words, social media, education programmes and my amazing colleagues.
A strong believer in equality – whether in gender, orientation, ethnicity or species – my punk ideology reserves my silent but scathing judgement only for those who have an inferior taste in music.
Juggi Ramakrishnan, is one of the founding members of ACRES. He is an advertising creative by profession, currently with Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific as Deputy Regional Executive Creative Director. He has been consistently ranked in the top 10 of Asia’s creative advertising professionals by Campaign Brief Asia and his advertising work has picked up more than 250 awards around the world, including Golds Lions from Cannes, Gold statues from Clios and Yellow pencils from D&AD. Juggi is an amateur naturalist and an ethical vegan. His interests also include running, hiking, history, travel, wine, and reading.
Since 1991, I've been a full-time professional freelance photographer and have always had an interest in animals and nature in general thanks to wonderful people like Jane Goodall, Diane Fossey and David Attenborough.
Having been an 'armchair naturalist' for too long, I decided to get off my behind and actually get out into the wide wild open spaces and joined the Nature Society, Singapore through which I came to know about ACRES and the great work it does. Realising that I had to do more than just appreciate the wonders of Nature as a passive observer, I joined ACRES as a volunteer in 2005.
Animals were on this Earth before us and they have as much right as we do to co-exist on this planet. I believe that they are not meant to serve or entertain us but to enrich and educate us on the tenacity, adaptability and diversity of Life. As such, they deserve to be treated humanely, for if we cannot even treat animals kindly, how are we to treat our fellow humans likewise?
I have always been fascinated by wildlife from watching documentaries and reading about wild animals, but I have never been too good with seeing them up close. Fear and not knowing how to react for one thing resulted in this. I was afraid of stray cats, although I was curious about them. All that changed when I met my girlfriend who was a major animal lover, and she helped me to understand animals better. Well, her pet cats helped as well. She got me to see animals as how we would see anyone else and I got over my fear. In fact she was the one that introduced me to ACRES, thinking that my experience in events would be able to benefit them. Several years down the road and many gala dinners later, I have now upped my level of participation by also doing wildlife rescues on a weekly basis and helping others also get pass their fear of animals that they may not know much about.
I am a self-employed nature education consultant, and have been in this field of work since 1994, when I worked as executive and education officer for the Nature Society (Singapore) for about twelve years. Before that I did graphics and fashion, though have been obsessed about Nature since a kid.
My interests in Nature have now broadened to permaculture and other forms of ecologically sustainable food gardening.
My main focus is always to encourage people to love our only home Planet Earth and its incredible diversity of life forms.
Growing up, I always loved animals. Fondly remembered are times when, as a primary school kid, I would smuggle milk and bread out of the house to feed a stray kitten I had found in a nearby drain. Not surprisingly though, the poor kitten didn’t enjoy her meals at all. Being young and ignorant then, I couldn’t understand why-that it was the wrong food.
That is why today, I strongly believe that education is a really powerful tool in inculcating love, respect and compassion for our fellow animals. After joining ACRES in 2005 as a volunteer, I have never looked back. Since then, I have helped out in events like roadshows, ACRES' social events and even participated in some exciting undercover investigations!
Having served as the Treasurer for ACRES' committee since 2007 and being the current Secretary, my greatest wish is that everyone will come to give our fellow planet inhabitants the due respect these wonderful beings deserve!
It was in 2001 during a Cat Welfare Society TNR cat trapping night at Holland Drive that Sandy, a co-founder of ACRES, approached me for assistance to help transport and set-up for ACRES roadshows. Since then I have been actively involved with ACRES, and in 2006 I was invited to join the Committee.
I am the Director of Mutts & Mittens, a shelter for dogs and cats, established since 1995 to be one of the VOICES for animals and advocate for their rights, as well as to encourage our human kind to appreciate and understand our fellow sentient beings.