Michael Mountain is the former President and one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society and its sanctuary in Southern Utah for abused and abandoned animals. Best Friends was one of the pioneers of the no-kill movement for companion animals in the early 1990s, at a time when more than 17 million dogs and cats were being put to death in shelters across the sanctuary. Today that number is down to around 3 million.
Since stepping down from Best Friends in 2008, he has worked on various projects related to animal issues, including putting together the public outreach campaign for the Nonhuman Rights Project, which made news worldwide in its first lawsuits to free four chimpanzees from captivity in New York State and have them transferred to sanctuaries.
He is the co-author, with Lori Marino, of the paper “Denial of Death and the Relationship between Humans and Other Animals,” published in Anthrozoos, which explores how our fellow animals remind us of our own mortal, animal nature, and how this motivates us to distance ourselves from them, leading to abuse and exploitation.