MS 470
Henry Spira
(1927-1998)
Papers, 1963-2002

Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

 

Descriptive summary

creator:

Spira, Henry (1927-1998)

title:

Papers

dates:

1963-2002

extent:

0.42 linear feet (1 document box)  

collection number :  

MS 470

repository:

Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.

   

Administrative information

access:

Open for research

publication rights:  

Consult Head, Special Collections Department

preferred citation:

Henry Spira Papers, MS 470, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.

 

Biographical note


Henry Spira was born in 1927 to Maurice and Margit Spitzer Spira in Antwerp, Belguim. After emigrating to Germany, England, Panama and finally the United States, Spira left home at age 16 to join the Merchant Marines and pursue left-wing causes. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1958 and began teaching English in 1966 at a public high school in Manhattan. Spira retired from teaching in 1982 to devote himself to animal rights.

During the 1970s, Spira founded Animal Rights International. In 1980, he convinced both Avon and Revlon to discontinue animal testing. In 1984 he garnered an agreement from Proctor and Gamble whereby they would phase out animal testing. Spira then began to focus on the treatment of animals intended for human consumption and founded the International Coalition for Farm Animals. In the early 1990s he launched a campaign to end the face branding of imported cattle by pressuring the USDA to outlaw the practice. He won an agreement from McDonalds to require suppliers to meet basic standards for animal welfare and was in the process of strengthening this deal and branching out to Wendy's Inc., when he died of esophageal cancer on September 12, 1998.

Professor Peter Singer (Princeton University) authored two biographies of Spira a video entitled "Henry: One Man's Way" and a book, Ethics into Action: Henry Spira and the Animal Rights Movement.

 

 Collection description

 
The collection contains correspondence, news releases, clippings, and other material, much of which is focused on Spira's efforts targeting Perdue Farms, Inc. (Horsham, PA).  Also included is biographical material describing the life and activism of Henry Spira as well as a volume compiled by Spira entitled Strategies for Activists.  

Researchers should also see Ethics into action: Henry Spira and the animal rights movement by Peter Singer. [HV4764 S69 S55 1998]

 

 Organization

 
The collection is arranged alphabetically.

  

Container list

Box

Folder

Title

Dates

1

1

Animal Rights International

1999-2002

1

2

Biographical materials

1998

1

3

Farm animal welfare/rights

1978-1988

1

4

Human rights

1963-1973

1

5

New Year's salutation

1997

1

6

Perdue Initiative: Ads

1989-1992

1

7

Perdue Initiative: Background/rationale for ads

1989-1991

1

8

Perdue Initiative: Correspondence/internal documents

1989-1992

1

9

Perdue Initiative: Dishonorable mention (for Perdue, America's Corporate Conscience Awards)

1990

1

10

Perdue Initiative: Press attention

1989-1992

1

11

Perdue Initiative: Salisbury State University controversy

1991

1

12

Perdue Initiative: Subpoena

1992

1

13

Program strategies

1979-1988

1

14

Ralston-Purina

1986-1988

1

15

Strategies for Activists

1996

1

16

Writings: Animal rights

1991

 

Descriptive summary   |  Administrative information  |  Biographical/Historical note
Collection description  |  Organization  |  Description of series/container list


Iowa State University Library, Ames, IA 50011
Comments: archives@iastate.edu
URL: http://findingaids.lib.iastate.edu/spcl/manuscripts/MS470.html
Revised: 06 September 2006.