Natalia Doran

Natalia Doran

Founder of Urban Squirrels

Natalia Doran is a member of the Council of Management that runs Animal Aid, a national animal rights organisation that campaigns peacefully against all forms of animal abuse and promotes cruelty-free living.

She also runs Urban Squirrels, a licensed wildlife rescue group that specialised in grey squirrels: rescue, advice and advocacy. This work involves practical rescue, as well as organising anti-cull campaigns and giving talks at various vegan and animal welfare events.

Natalia grew up in the USSR, in Moscow. She studied English language, general linguistics and philosophy at the Moscow University of Linguistics. After coming to the UK on a student exchange programme, Natalia worked for the BBC, translating and reading the news for the Russian section of the BBC World Service. A radical career change happened when she married and had four children, two of whom turned out to have autism. She has been their carer from the beginning, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, her children are also passionate about animals (her son runs Urban Squirrels with her) and the juggling act of caring and animal rescue and advocacy is largely successful – though having more than 24 hours in a day would have helped.

Natalia’s present studies and academic interests are in philosophy; areas of particular interests being ontology, general ethics and animal ethics. Natalia believes that the exploitation of animals rests on several largely unrecognised and unquestioned philosophical assumptions that need to be uncovered and confronted in order for society to progress in this area.

12:30pm - 1:00pm

London's Secret Slaughter

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, The Green Park, Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park – Londoners and tourists alike enjoy them as places to relax and reconnect with nature. The animals that inhabit these open spaces, from the more common squirrels, crows, pigeons and geese to the more unusual deer and parakeets, are watched and photographed with joy and fascination. Until recently, however, hardly anyone gave much thought to the killing that goes on behind the scenes. The very animals whom the visitors come to see are culled in astonishingly high numbers. The campaign to address the problem began with a Freedom Information request and followed through the petition stage and beyond. The story of this campaign is the subject of the talk.

Vegan Activists Corner full timetable