Spotlight On Grantee: Lourdes Jimenez Mora

by | Apr 5, 2023 | ShiftHappens

This year Lourdes celebrates 33 years working to protect animals!

Lourdes has been a grantee since 2018 when she received a seed grant to support the International Congress of Animal Rights in Veracruz, Mexico. Lourdes holds this yearly conference to bring together activists, scientists, and academics to discuss animal protection. In 2022, she included a special session on farmed animals and raised the important conversation about farmed animal protection to diverse stakeholders.

Lourdes also received an impact grant for her organization, Project ARPA (Actions for Respect and Animal Protection), in 2020 and a coalition grant in 2021 for the Best Practices campaign. She serves as TPP’s coordinator in Mexico for the Global Animal Advocacy Program and is an animal rights leader in Veracruz, Mexico. She has dedicated her life to being a voice for animals and inspiring others to take action.

“I always felt a special connection with animals. From a very young age I always liked helping cats and dogs, animals with whom I lived the most; I did my first rescues when I was very young. However, it was approximately 33 years ago that we decided to start more serious work for animals. I came from Mexico City to Xalapa and when I arrived in the province I realized that there was no work for animals, so at the age of 17 me and my sister started work. I started planning how I could help the animals…and I dedicated myself to visit groups, shelters to be able to make the correct decisions…from that moment we decided that we had to work in education and to change the legislation.”

In the past few decades, Lourdes has worked on educational campaigns for companion animals, taught children about animal sentience and caring for all animals, carried out sterilization and adoption events, disseminated scientific research about animals, and more. Some of her most notable successes include persuading her municipality to substitute motorcycle carts for the cruel horse carts that had long been used for garbage collection (thanks to her work, the use of horses is prohibited!), and helping to pass the first state law for animals in 2012. In subsequent updates to the law in 2016, due to her advocacy, the first prosecutor’s office focused on crimes against animals in Latin America was created, making Veracruz the first state at the national level to prohibit the killing of companion animals as a method of population control.

“I like working in many areas but I’m always focused on education, law, and public policy.”

Lourdes has made huge progress for animal rights in Mexico through her various roles including through her work with TPP.

While working her full-time job as a logistics coordinator at the Universidad Veracruzana where she’s in charge of social and sustainability issues at the Directorate General office, and changing laws and educating the public in her spare time, she also serves as the Mexico coordinator for TPP’s Global Animal Advocacy Program which focuses on grantmaking and movement building to protect farmed animals in Mexico, Brazil, and India.

“I am finally working in the area of animals used on farms. This is a great opportunity for me because although I have always worked in coordination, I have never represented an organization as strong as TPP. Now thanks to this opportunity I am working with many other activists and people who haven’t worked before in activism and who are doing things for…farm animals.”

Lourdes is applying all of her experience working with legislators, scientists, animal activists, educators, and so many other animal welfare stakeholders to fight for farmed animal protection to become law in Veracruz, Mexico in 2023.

In her role at TPP, she not only connects with and funds activists working for animals throughout Mexico; she also leads a coalition made up largely of companion animal activists that campaigned last summer to garner support for a bill that would make many of the cruelties inflicted on farmed animals illegal. She is awaiting the final vote from the Chamber of Deputies but received initial majority support in December 2022. Regardless of the legal outcome, this has made farmed animal protection an animal rights issue that cannot be ignored by governing bodies and, perhaps more so, this has been an extraordinary initiative that has demonstrated the importance and power of working with allies to advance protections for animals.

Lourdes’ 33 years working for animals highlights many important lessons and this one may be most fundamental to the success of the animal protection movement: the networks we build through genuine relationships which are centered around what we have in common are essential and powerful.

Lourdes is an inspirational educator, organizer, and changemaker who leads with compassion – we cannot wait to see what more she does and the changes that cascade across Mexico and the world because of her dedication.

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Academic professionals Carla Forte Maiolino Molento and Rodrigo Morais-da-Silva founded Cell Ag Brazil at the end of 2023 with support received from The Pollination Project. The objective of the newly created association is to reflect, contribute, and promote the development of cellular agriculture in Brazil through proactive promotion and unifying actions among different audiences interested in the development, production, and commercialization of food through cell cultivation processes. 
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With a seed grant, they founded the organization and designed a logo that represents their mission. They are now inviting people and organizations to participate in the association so that it gains greater relevance. 
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Their members will be distributed across three chambers: 1) academia, 2) private sector, and 3) third sector and civil society. With this, they aim for diverse representation and to create a positive movement to act in different areas to promote and accelerate alternative proteins in Brazil and Latin America.
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Billions of animals involved in food production in Brazil will be impacted in the medium to long term from this work. Data from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) indicates that approximately 6.1 billion chickens, 56.5 million pigs, and 30 million cattle were slaughtered in Brazil in 2022. 
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With this association, Carla and Rodrigo may help reduce the number of non-human individuals involved in food production as they help to speed up the replacement process with alternative proteins.
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In this World Day of Social Justice we celebrate the transformative impact of The Pollination Project and our dedication to seeding the essential change our world needs. Since its inception, The Pollination Project has been at the forefront of empowering grassroots initiatives, providing the crucial support needed for small-scale projects to blossom into powerful agents of social change.

Our unique model of micro-granting has enabled a diverse array of projects across the globe, touching upon various facets of social justice including environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and human rights. From providing clean water solutions in remote villages to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship, we always believed in the power of individual action to create a collective impact.

Each project funded is a testament to our faith in the inherent goodness and potential of every person to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. These initiatives not only address immediate community needs but also foster a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusiveness - essential pillars for achieving true social justice.

On this World Day of Social Justice, let's draw inspiration from the myriad projects The Pollination Project has nurtured. Their work reminds us that each small seed of kindness and action can indeed grow into a mighty force for good, paving the way for a more just and compassionate world.