Brigid Sweeney, M.Sc., M.P.A.
Director of Corporate Outreach
Brigid Sweeney serves as director of corporate outreach for Mercy For Animals, working with major food retailers, fast-food chains, grocery stores, and other corporations to implement and improve farmed animal welfare policies and expand cruelty-free food options.
Through her role at Mercy For Animals, Brigid has already garnered some major corporate victories. After months of discussion about gestation crates as one of the worst forms of animal cruelty, Sears/Kmart, the third-largest discount retailer in the World, and Costco Wholesale, the second-largest retailer in the United States, committed to completely eliminating gestation crates from their pork supply chains.
Brigid is also working with major corporations to implement a set of dairy cattle protection standards that she developed. Her first dairy cattle welfare success came with Kraft, the world’s third-largest food and beverage company. Extensive dialog and a viewing of MFA's undercover video of one of its dairy suppliers prompted Kraft to make the historical commitment to require all of its dairy suppliers to phase out the cruel practice of bovine tail docking. More victories are definitely on the horizon. Brigid is currently corresponding with over 100 major corporations not only on the issue of improved dairy cattle welfare, but also on the elimination of cruel gestation crates and veal crates from their US supply chains.
Brigid first began working with farmed animals in 2001 when she accepted a life-changing internship involving hands-on care and rehabilitation of abused and neglected cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys at a farmed animal sanctuary in upstate New York. Ever since, Brigid has been seeking the most effective ways to improve farmed animal protection in the United States.
In order to become an expert in the field, Brigid earned a master’s degree in applied animal behaviour and animal welfare at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and conducted research in British Columbia, Canada, from 2006 through 2007. Her coursework included the biology of suffering and animal cognition and consciousness. Also in the course of obtaining her M.Sc. degree, Brigid was fortunate to work with some of the most prominent scientists in the animal welfare and behavior fields on the care of dairy calves. Brigid later also received a master’s in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management and public policy from Bernard Baruch College (CUNY) in New York City in 2008.
In addition to her farmed animal advocacy work, Brigid assisted Dr. Diana Reiss, scientific advisor for the Academy Award-winning film The Cove, with her campaign to eliminate dolphin slaughter in Japan and her Asian elephant self-awareness research. She even had the opportunity to assist a doctoral student of Dr. Reiss in a wild dolphin behavior study on the island of Bimini in the Bahamas.
When Brigid isn’t working to improve the world for animals, she enjoys bowling, swimming, roller skating, and hiking.