I started this newsletter in October 2021, after my dog Lisa suddenly died after a lifetime of adventure and hardship. The goal was simple: to help us connect with animals by understanding, and learning from, their simple hearts.

That goal, however, turned out to be much more complicated than I initially expected. Most notably, beginning in December of 2021, I started facing criminal prosecutions for my efforts to aid animals at factory farms and other places of abuse. The newsletter evolved towards a focus on those cases — some of which we’ve won, and some of which we’ve lost, leading to some stays in jail. The next case, involving the rescue of a blind beagle, will begin on March 18, 2024.

But in many ways, despite the legal pivot, the blog’s original focus remains the same. Humans are animals, whether in a courtroom or in a family kitchen, and the primordial feelings that give us meaning — joy, safety, and love — are shared across all sentient beings. To understand how to survive, and make meaning, from these prosecutions, I always try to connect back to our emotional roots. As Dostoyevsky wrote in his most important book:

“As a general rule, people, even the wicked, are much more naïve and simple‐hearted than we suppose. And we ourselves are, too.”

That statement has taught me immensely about how to be a better and more effective human being. I hope it helps you, too, as we journey through this world, together, with our simple hearts.

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Saving animals through open rescue


Animal rescuer. Animal rights lawyer. Dog dad. Co-founder of The Simple Heart Initiative. Formerly, DxE co-founder & faculty at Northwestern Law.