Investigations and Research Associate
Leslie Hemstreet serves as investigations and research associate for Mercy For Animals. Leslie works closely with the director of investigations, reviewing and analyzing evidence documented by MFA’s undercover investigators.
Leslie has a tremendous depth of experience in undercover investigative research. Most notably, she provided the primary support for an independent, two-year undercover investigation of a federally run U.S. primate research and breeding facility. This investigation resulted in multiple policy changes after the facility’s head vet and operations manager were fired. Leslie’s previous work led to the rescue of 22 capuchin monkeys, some of whom had been captured in the wild as babies 30 years before. During her over two decades as an animal advocate, Leslie has also assisted undercover investigations of the circus industry, fur farming, exotic pet breeding, and roadside animal attractions.
A lifelong activist, Leslie has also worked for Justice for Janitors, advocated for immigrants’ rights and environmental protection, and been a vocal supporter of gay rights.
A graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, with a bachelor’s in history, Leslie was the first person in her family to attend college and was honored as a National Merit Scholar. Leslie’s family is very pro-active in the animal rescue movement, rescuing and rehoming dogs and cats from the streets. Leslie and her family also enjoy providing a permanent, loving home to hens who have managed to escape the atrocities of the factory.
Leslie became a vegetarian after months of rolling beef enchiladas at her after-school job in high school while growing up in Texas. As an environmentalist, she learned about the devastating impact factory farming has on the planet and took the next step to veganism.
Currently, Leslie enjoys inventing new vegan dishes to please her family and her expanding circle of vegan friends, as well as the omnivores in her life.