Tributes to Andrew Tyler

Posted on the 4th November 2016

The Winter 2016 issue of our members' magazine 'Outrage' contained a tribute to Andrew Tyler on his retirement. Andrew served more than 20 years as Animal Aid's director.

Here are the tributes to him in full.

Animal Aid Staff

The whole team salutes you for your inspirational leadership, compassion, integrity, dedication and brilliant achievements in making Animal Aid the foremost organisation in the fight for animal rights. Your contribution over 22 years will not be forgotten, nor the strides forward in helping to create a kinder world and to stamp out cruelty.

Your guidance, warmth and humour have seen us through the best and worst of times. We are truly a ‘family’ with you at the helm, all bound together with one common purpose. We cannot imagine Animal Aid without you and hoped this day would never come, but we send you all our love and gratitude for so many years of devotion to us and the cause. You have been our rock and inspiration – a hero to us all. With love from all of us, xx

Virginia Alexander

Dear Andrew, Don’t want you to go. Always there when I needed you. I wish you peace and contentment in your retirement. Love Virginia

Kathy & Rob Archibald

Congratulations on your very many achievements for animals – you have made such a difference for so many. It’s reassuring to know that your inspirational work will continue until the day it is no longer needed, and that, thanks to your dedication and determination, that day comes ever closer. Wishing you and Sara some well-deserved time to rest and focus on looking after YOU for once! With love and admiration, Kathy and Rob

Mary Ashton

My earliest memories of Andrew go back a long way, but there’s one special article which tore my heart out, after he had bravely entered a pig slaughterhouse and wrote graphically of all that entailed. His heart was broken too. All his comment pages and articles in Outrage have been so full of guts, compassion, wisdom, common sense and truth. I realise how far we have come thanks to Andrew and all Animal Aid staff. Andrew has dedicated his life to all animals and I know he will still be there in the background helping where he can. Thank you Andrew for all you have done to work tirelessly for enlightenment and change. When I despair, I read one of your Comments and swiftly recover, ready to fight on inspired. Love and peace, Mary

Jeff Baldwin

There are only a few people I have met in my life who I hold in high esteem. Andrew is one of them. He is very compassionate not only towards animals but also the people he has encountered during his very interesting life and that has been very important as a communicator during his tenure as Director of Animal Aid.

Mary and Andrew offered me a job following my wife’s death with MND. She started cleaning at Animal Aid in 2009 and I started to help her as she was struggling (we didn’t know about her illness until the following year). So that was how I met Andrew and he cheered me up, despite his own health problems, with his quite often shocking sense of humour! So, thank you Andrew Tyler for the love, help and support you give to us all. Thanks, Jeff x

Tim Barford

In years to come, history will judge those that made a significant contribution to the total liberation of all non-human animals. And it will be Andrew’s name that will be at the helm of some the past 40 years of growth of what is now the biggest social justice movement on the planet. He has helped steer this ship with integrity, courage and dedication and the thanks and gratitude for his work come from many and from afar, beyond just those of us that are privileged to know him and work with him. Big, big love from all our team. Tim – VegfestUK and Yaoh

Alan Bates

Andrew, It has been a great pleasure to get to know you, and to occasionally give some legal input into issues you have dealt with, during your leadership at Animal Aid. Your contribution to Animal Aid and to the cause of animal rights has been extraordinary. Animal Aid has not been ‘just another animal protection group’, but has been willing to ‘plough its own furrow’, pursuing important issues and angles that would otherwise not have been pursued. That has been largely due to the special gifts you have brought to Animal Aid through your independence of mind, and your journalistic willingness to ask questions and test options and possibilities. In doing so, you have been guided by your deep moral commitment to advancing animal protection, and to finding new ways to expose the otherwise hidden sufferings of animals so as to prick the consciences of the public. I know from the issues I have worked with you on that you have also been deeply committed to treating all people – Animal Aid staff, supporters, and even opponents – fairly and compassionately. I am personally very grateful to you for the support and encouragement you have given to ALAW over the years. Animal Aid could not have hoped for a better leader. All the very best for the future. Alan

John Bryant

I am a great admirer of Andrew. I doubt whether there is anyone else who could have held a position leading an unashamedly animal rights organisation for two decades without it being the subject of serious internal strife and without sustaining damaging external attacks. For an organisation successfully handling such diverse issues of cruelty and exploitation, Animal Aid is universally respected and admired throughout the animal movement. Andrew’s careful and intelligent leadership has been the inspiration. John. Author and Animal Aid’s Wildlife Consultant

Bernadette & Colin Bullen

The success of Animal Aid as an organisation stands as a tribute to all your work on behalf of animals and you have earned the affection and loyalty of your staff by the tolerant and approachable manner in which you have guided their efforts. Focused and totally committed, there are a great number of innocent creatures whose lives have been saved both now and in future by the campaigns which you have led and fought and on whose behalf you have spoken so eloquently. You will be a very hard act to follow. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement. Bernadette & Colin

Sophie Clements

I’ve worked with you for 13 years, I can’t quite believe that I am now writing a farewell message – it doesn’t seem possible to imagine Animal Aid without you. It goes without saying that your steady leadership, hard work and dedication to the cause has kept Animal Aid at the forefront of our movement and your retirement is such a great loss, not only for Animal Aid but for the wider animal rights world, however it is on a personal level that I will miss you most.

As you know, over the years I have faced my fair share of trauma and tragedy in my personal life, which affected my attendance and left me unable to cope with work on several occasions. The compassion and kindness I was shown by you (and others at AA) during these times will always stay with me. I cannot imagine another workplace, another boss, being so supportive and understanding, particularly as I was new at the time. You put your trust in me and I hope the fact that I have stayed at AA for over a decade is testament to my loyalty and love for the organisation.

Amongst all the heartache and stress involved in working for an animal rights group there have been so many happy and funny times. One in particular springs to mind when a journalist arrived to speak with you, only to find the director of Animal Aid lying in the middle of the floor demonstrating pelvic thrusts (for back pain relief as I recall) I’m not sure who looked more shocked, you or the journo, but we were in fits of laughter! I will never have another boss like Andrew Tyler. I will miss you so much. Love you loads AT! Sophie & Ed too xxx

PS I hope you’ll continue to sing the Animal Aid anthem with pride whenever the mood takes you!

Janet Cummings

I cannot express in a few words my admiration for such a wonderful man as Andrew Tyler with the animals.

I have, over many years, felt that I could fully rely on him to fight to improve conditions for the thousands of abused creatures. In fact, he would put the welfare of animals first and that to me is so important, particularly as most have few friends.

It is a privilege to have met him and spoken with him over the radio, concerning the fight for animals.

Many thanks

Yours sincerely

Janet Cummings, Rugby

Audrey Eyton

My work has brought me in contact with many animal welfare campaigners over many years. Never have I come across one more totally and sincerely dedicated to fighting cruelty than Andrew Tyler. Running Animal Aid has been not just his job, but his life. Audrey Eyton. Matthew Eyton Animal Welfare Trust

Iain Green

The most dedicated campaigner for what is right, Andrew is a man of true kindness and compassion and humility. It has been a real privilege to call Andrew a friend and work with him over the past 20 years.

Ann Harriman

We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all those who have held positions of responsibility at Animal Aid, beginning with our founder, Jean Pink, followed by Mark Gold and now Andrew Tyler. Each, in their own individual way, have achieved so much for animals, and because of this – will never be forgotten.

Andrew has campaigned tirelessly to bring about meaningful changes and reforms for animals. Words can be such a powerful instrument for change, and he has been a most eloquent ‘voice’ for animals both with the spoken and written word. This has helped to raise support for our cause by changing peoples’ attitudes towards animals, making them aware that animals are sentient beings who have the same feelings and needs as us, and the same right to share our world.

Andrew lives his beliefs and one very good example of this is the way he and Sara, his wife, have rescued so many elderly dogs over the years. These dogs are always more difficult to home, but Andrew and Sara have taken them into their home and loved and protected and cared for them. So – for your words and your actions, Andrew, we love and salute you! Ann

Caroline Hill

It is probably impossible for anyone, other than those who have worked alongside Andrew at Animal Aid, to have a true picture of the extent of his dedication to the distressing and thankless task of publicising animal cruelty and his constant battle against, and identification of, its perpetrators.

However, it is obvious to those of us who have had the privilege of knowing Andrew, from outside so to speak, that he has worked tirelessly with vigorous determination, day after day, month after month, year after year to make his voice, and that of like-minded people, heard and that he has devoted his life to the cause of preventing animal suffering and of headlining cruelty in a wide range of media.

He will, I am certain, always be remembered for his magnificent example of dedication and perseverance for which he is owed immeasurable gratitude. Thank you Andrew. Caroline

Brian Jacobs

Andrew, it’s been a pleasure knowing you for the last 21 years. I admire your skills as a journalist and writer and value you as a friend and colleague. I thank you for your devotion and commitment to helping animals, and specifically for leading Animal Aid over these last 21 years and for helping make it the leading animal rights group in this country. We will miss you. Brian, Chair, Animal Aid Council

Anthony Keen

In your dedication to the task, determination, resilience, work ethic and single-minded commitment to the animal cause, you have been, and always will be, an unparalleled inspriation to us all. The animals have no better champion and advocate.
Anthony, Treasurer, Animal Aid Council

Mike Maas

Andrew’s Contribution has been tremendous. Up against the indifference and hostility of politicians and the denial of the public, he has created inspiring campaigns, and recruited wonderful people to Animal Aid, making it the outstanding a-r society, resourceful, competent, energetic, relentless, undeterred. His beautifully expressed editorials in Outrage deserve collection and publication, and the entire magazine should be heaped with prizes. Mike

Virginia McKenna & Will Travers

Andrew came into our lives in the early 1980s. An elephant brought us together. An elephant called Pole Pole, who lived alone and was euthanised, aged 77, in the bleak elephant ‘house’ at London Zoo. Andrew wrote the most powerful and brilliant article about her decline in the May 73 issue of Time Out magazine, five months before her death. I have it still.

Andrew always managed to get to the heart of a story in a deeply moving yet factual way. I felt the same when he wrote a piece, following his visit to an abattoir. Surely, I thought, we will now look differently on the chops in the supermarket tray.

His many years devoted to working tirelessly on behalf of various species and individuals, will surely have been fulfilling, however many disappointments he faced. The fact that his humanitarian and courageous approach has inspired countless people will, I hope, reassure him that those years have not been wasted.

After all, helping one animal to live a life worth living is infinitely better than helping none.

It will be a very sad day for Animal Aid when he says goodbye. And that feeling will be echoed by all of us who are lucky enough to know him. All he so courageously fought for and fought against, over so many years, has changed because of him. His quiet determination has been a beacon of hope for us all. Virginia McKenna & Will Travers, Founders of the Born Free Foundation

Jon Mann

You have directed Animal Aid with astonishing commitment, success and integrity, and you will be deeply missed by me and many others. With every good wish for your retirement, Jon, Honesty Cosmetics and Animal Aid Council

Diana Marshall

Many, many thanks Andrew for all the amazing years and hard work you’ve given to Animal Aid. Always admired your fortitude, courage, patience and humour come what may. Wishing you all the very best for the future, with deepest respect and fondest wishes, Diana xx, Animal Aid Council

Andre Menache

Andrew, thank you for all you have done for animals over the years in your role as director of Animal Aid. I cherish the years spent as your scientific consultant and our after work debates and discussions on how to defeat vivisection. Wishing you everything of the best, Andre.

Rebecca Ram

Very best wishes to you Andrew. Your work really has been an inspiration to me and you’ll be greatly missed. Thank you for the chats over work and great advice and lets keep in touch. Love and best wishes, Rebecca. Animal Aid’s Scientific Consultant

Julian & Rosie Richer

We are big supporters of Animal Aid and hugely valued the relationship we had with Andrew who, through his knowledge and professionalism, made us feel our money would unerringly be used in the most effective way for the welfare of animals. On a personal level, Andrew has been stimulating company and a pleasure to work with. We wish him all the very best for the future whatever he does. Julian & Rosie Richer

Carol Royle

My affiliation with Animal Aid goes back over thirty years and I’ve been proud to be a Patron, and even to have been present at the official opening of the HQ in Tonbridge. Andrew is a remarkable man, not frightened of speaking his mind, and every single thing he speaks out for is total, utter logic; the frustratingly obtuse misunderstanding shown by those not emotionally or intellectually connected to the animal rights movement is sensitively and rationally countered by Andrew, and there isn’t a subject in this arena that he does not have an encyclopaedic knowledge of. I’m sure that he will be sorely missed by the wonderful, dedicated and hardworking team at Animal Aid, but then…there will be others to whom his baton will have been passed, to carry on his amazing work…. Carol, Patron and Actress

Jill Russell

You can be very proud of your many and extraordinary achievements to help animals. You have made an enormous difference Andrew.
We will miss you. Love and best wishes, Jill

Mary Shephard

Having worked so very closely with you for the last 19 years, I’ve witnessed at first hand your dedication, determination and commitment and above all your compassion for underprivileged and persecuted beings – whether human or non-human. You’ve worked tirelessly for animals, especially those considered to be vermin or just commodities for human use, whether worn out and abused cows, pigs or hens, or unfashionable species such as grey squirrels, pigeons or ruddy ducks. Your encyclopaedic knowledge and drive have characterised your tenure at Animal Aid. There’s barely a relevant subject that you’re unable to debate skilfully and intelligently and your writing skills are legendary.

It has been a huge privilege to have been at your side for so many years and I will miss you dearly. I just can’t imagine Animal Aid without you. You’re an inspiration to us all and your support and wry sense of humour to make us laugh, even through the most difficult times, have been wonderful. Who else can I sing songs of the ‘30s and ‘60s with now!! You’ve not only been our much-loved boss, but also a true and dear friend. With much love, Mary xx

Cath Sleigh

THANK YOU so very much for bringing sanity into our upside down world, for your devotion for what is right and for achieving so much! And, of course, for being a compassionate and lovely person. Thank you and I wish you so much love and peace for your retirement. Cath xx

Paula Sparkes

We are very grateful for your support of ALAW over the years. We have deeply appreciated your generosity of spirit, integrity and fair-mindedness and it has been a true pleasure to work with you. It has been such a privilege. Thank you.

Dene Stansall

“Let me get my cup of tea, and we’ll discuss this in detail.” I remember this clearly as the first words you said to me down a telephone line back in 1991.

We were talking about the broiler chicken industry and its rapid growth in my hometown of Scunthorpe. Little did we know then Andrew, that we would both be involved with Animal Aid a decade later; you as the Director and myself as the Horse Consultant. From those first words, your approach has continued to be cool, calm and collected with the ability to listen, discuss and make a sound judgment. Across the breadth of Animal Aid’s campaigns this has lead to effective strategies that have directly helped animals as well as raising their public profile. Some of these have been unique in the world of animal rights and welfare: taking a stand for race horses, game birds, grey squirrels, pigeons, parakeets and so many, many more. The best interest of the animals, on whose behalf you have so passionately campaigned, has always been paramount.

Andrew, you are leaving a strong legacy. Your leadership skills have built a great team in all of Animal Aid’s departments that will continue to strive for animals in need of a voice and to endeavour to educate those who lack tolerance and sensitivity to the weak and vulnerable creatures who share our Earth.
Thank you Andrew. Dene. Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant

Peter Tatchell

Much admiration and appreciation to Andrew for his 22-years of inspiring leadership of Animal Aid. A much-loved champion of the rights and welfare of non-human animals. Hero! Peter. Patron and Rights Campaigner

Jana Tratt

Wishing you all the best now that you are stepping back from your day-to-day role at Animal Aid. I know I will miss your friendly approach and your wry sense of humour, which has always made my job so much easier and more enjoyable! I do hope that our paths will cross again during your continuing involvement at Animal Aid. With my warmest wishes, Jana. Kilnwood Graphics

Andy Watts

A huge thank you for your unstinting hard work for Animal Aid, which I have witnessed firsthand for many years. I’ve always admired your passion, perseverance and dedication to the animals cause. Your unwavering clarity of vision, attention to detail, ability to deal with the most demanding circumstances with a steady hand and reflective wisdom, plus a good measure of wit and humour, have meant that it’s been a pleasure working with you over the past few decades. I will remember those times fondly. You are leaving a great legacy, something you should be immensely proud of, and I know you will be sorely missed by us all. Now try and have some “me time”!
Andy Watts. Imaner Consultants and Animal Aid Council

Dave Wetton

I’ll particularly remember Andrew for his calm reasoning in debates with defenders of cruelty and in discussions with wally interviewers, where most of us would have lost our cool, and his unwavering fearlessness about stepping on the toes of the “politically correct” brigade when it came to tackling taboo subjects such as cancer charities and their ilk. Very definitely one of the movement’s front line warriors. 22 years put to very good use – thanks a million Andrew and enjoy your dotage – Dave

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