Rich Hardy has been going undercover for animals since 1999. Vegan since childhood, he got into campaigning for farm animals after being dropped by a professional football club. A former campaigner and lobbyist at Compassion in World Farming, he turned to undercover assignments as a route to be a more effective advocate for animals. By learning how industries that use animals for food, fashion, science and entertainment work from the inside, he has been able to help campaigners generate campaigns that expose their weaknesses. A specialist in infiltration projects, he has undertaken nearly 100 assignments in 28 countries for more than 20 global animal protection societies. He advises and guides campaigners on how to do investigations, what to investigate and how to tell transformational stories as part of public facing campaigns.
His new storytelling project – Not As Nature Intended – is up and running on Instagram and Twitter. Based on journal extracts from his investigative assignments, it tells unique stories about the people and industries exploiting animals for food, fashion and entertainment. Normally reclusive, he recovers from investigative assignments by surfing the waves off Cornwall, a small peninsula in the UK exposed to North Atlantic swells and hanging out with his girlfriend, a fellow activist and their growing collection of rescued animals.