Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2007:
Janet Regina Hyland, 73, died on
October 9, 2007 from breast cancer in Sarasota
Florida, 50 years after the start of a
successful six-year struggle against ovarian
cancer. Hyland married Glen Edward on July 2,
1954. Hit by a drunk driver just 37 days later,
he died after eight years in a “persistant
vegetative state,” recalled longtime friend
Vasudev Murti, of Oakland, California.
Originally Catholic, Hyland became an
evangelical Protestant because Catholicism does
not ordain women. Beginning seminary studies in
1955-1958, she completed a masters degree in
theology more than 25 years later. Ordained by
the Assembly of God in 1984, she worked in
prison ministry and with migrant farmworkers.
Hyland became an ethical vegetarian in 1973. Her
first book, The Slaughter Of Terrified Beasts:
A Biblical Basis for the Humane Treatment of
Animals, appeared in 1988. It was revised and
reissued in 2000 as God’s Covenant With Animals.
Her second book, Sexism is a Sin: The Biblical
Basis of Female Equality, appeared in 1995.
Also in 1995 Hyland founded a periodical, Humane
Religion, which she continued until 1998.

Helen Freeman, 75, died of a lung
disease on September 20, 2007 in Seattle. Born
Helen Maniotas, she married Coast Guard officer
Stanley Freeman in 1958, and became a volunteer
docent at the Woodland Park Zoo when their two
sons entered school. Earning a degree in animal
behavior from the University of Washington, she
helped the zoo to build a snow leopard captive
breeding program, beginning in 1972. The
original pair produced 29 cubs in 29 years.
Freeman founded the International Snow Leopard
Trust in 1981, to help protect the species in
the wild, and in 1984 became chair of the
American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Snow
Leopard Species Survival Plan.

Lindsey Stahl, 14, of Crandon,
Wisconsin, a vegetarian animal rights advocate,
was the youngest of six victims killed on October
7, 2007 by rampage shooter Tyler Peterson, 20.
Peterson, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, was
later shot by police.

Prudy Wood, 81, died of lymphoma on
September 19, 2007 in San Diego. “Prudy was a
very active member of San Diego Animal Advocates
in our early days, involved heavily in the fight
against pound seizure and vivisection,”
remembered longtime friend Jane Cartmill. “She
opened her home many times to visiting activists
and hosted the first of our vegetarian/vegan
Thanks-giving holidays. Into her late seventies
Prudy could be found at protest rallies, holding
a sign or handing out literature. She attended
virtually every circus demo ever arranged by
SDAA. Her short stories about animals were
published widely and her letters to the editor on
behalf of animal rights issues were legion.”
Wood was once married to Gene Wentz, the former
U.S. Navy SEAL whose 1992 book Men In Green Faces
is considered the definitive history of SEAL
activity in Vietnam. Dolphin Project founder Ric
O’Barry recalled that Wood lived near the San
Diego Navy base, and “provided me with a safe
house while campaigning against the U.S. Navy
dolphins of war program. She was the best,”
O’Barry said, “the real deal.”

Aleykutty, who for 30 years kept goats
and rescued dogs at the cemetery in
Pathanamthitta, India, near the Ayyappa temple,
was found strangled on October 8, 2007, two
days after the similar murder of Prabha-karan,
who helped her. “Aleykutty and her vigilant army
of dogs were apparently a threat to anti-social
elements who were trying to make the cemetery a
haven for their operations,” reported
Radhakrishnan Kuttoor of The Hindu. “She
complained to the authorities about some people
trying to attack her and steal her goats a few
days before her body was found.” Of her 59
goats, only 37 were found after the murders.
“According to reliable sources, the lady was
murdered by butchers who had been eyeing her
goats,” wrote Idduki SPCA chief executive A.G.
Babu. Babu, Rachel Varghese of the recently
reorganized Pathanamthitta SPCA, and People for
Ani-mals founder Maneka Gandhi were reportedly
arranging sanctuary care for Aleykutty’s
surviving animals.

Laurel Burch, 61, died on September 13,
2007 at her home in Novato, California, from
complications of osteopetrosis. Born Laurel Anne
Harte, she left her highly unstable family at
age 14, surviving by cleaning houses and looking
after children. Becoming a guitar-playing street
musician, she married jazz artist Robert Burch
at age 19. Divorced at 20, with a son and
daughter to support, and a police record for
stealing a piece of meat, Laurel Burch began
making jewelry from scrap metal, selling it on
the street in the Haight-Ashbury district of San
Francisco. Her favorite themes included cats,
birds, horses, and tigers. Indian trader
Shashi Singapuri took examples of her work to
China. In 1971, when few Americans visited
China, Laurel Burch accepted an invitation to
go, and learned cloisonné there, an enamel work
method that resembles stained glass. Singapuri
funded her first manufacturing venture,
producing earrings and cloisonné patterns in
other media, including fabric. She founded
Laurel Burch Inc. in 1979. As her art business
rose to commercial success, she began sharing
her output with humane societies, donating some
items to benefit sales, providing others at
discounts. By the mid-1990s Laurel Burch art
objects were ubiquitous in humane society
boutiques. Her most noted contributions were the
murals ornamenting the lobby at the Oakland SPCA
shelter in California. Opened in 1992, this was
the first shelter funded by PeopleSoft founders
David and Cheryl Duffield, who funded Maddie’s
Adoption Center in San Francisco in 1996, and
created Maddie’s Fund in 1998. The Oakland SPCA
is now the East Bay SPCA, operating two shelters
and three clinics.

Chinmoy Kumar Ghose, 76, a vegetarian
spiritual leader known to more than 7,000
followers as Sri Chinmoy, died on October 11,
2007, from a sudden heart attack at his home in
New York City. Born in Bangladesh, then part of
India, Chinmoy lived in ashrams from age 12 on.
His boyhood hero, he recalled, was 1936 Olympic
medalist Jesse Owens, whom he emulated as a
track-and-field athlete. Emigrating to New York
in 1964, as a clerk for the Indian consulate,
Chinmoy opened a meditation center in Queens,
which grew into a global string of ashrams,
exercise centers, and vegetarian restaurants.
Early followers included guitarist John
McLaughlin, bandleader Carlos Santana, singer
Roberta Flack, and saxaphonist Clarence Clemons.
Chinmoy promoted vegetarianism, celibacy, and
meditation through exercise with demonstrations
of strength and endurance, hosting marathons and
ultramarathons of up to 3,100 miles in length. A
knee injury ended Chinmoy’s own running when he
was more than 60 years old, but he continued to
perform weight lifting feats, using pulley
devices, until his death. Because pulleys have
the same effect in weight lifting as gearing on a
bicycle, Chinmoy’s feats are mostly not
recognized by keepers of serious athletic
records, but Chinmoy and followers came to
dominate the Guinness Book of World Records with
stunts also including prolific production of
short poems of dubious literary value. Though
animals were not among Chinmoy’s usual lecture
topics, he spoke fondly of animals, especially
dogs. The Sri Chinmoy restaurant near McGill
University in Montreal often hosted pro-animal
gatherings from 1982 to 1989, when it closed.
Though not a Sri Chinmoy disciple, ANIMAL PEOPLE
editor Merritt Clifton frequently competed in Sri
Chinmoy Marathon Team events in Quebec and New
Hampshire, 1983-1988. Ethical vegetarian and
animal advocate Cindy New debuted as a marathoner
in the 1983 Sri Chinmoy Marathon in Montreal.
She went on to become a two-time winner of the
Montreal International Marathon and silver
medalist in the 1989 Francophone Games marathon.

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