Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Lewin, Julie

Julie Lewin Papers, 1947-2003.
11 boxes (5.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 454

Julie Lewin began her career as a freelance writer and newspaper journalist, and went from writing articles about sexual abuse of children and women’s prison reforms to lobbying for the protection and treatment of animals. The collection documents Lewin’s efforts to uphold the rights of animals, and in particular focuses on her opposition to the pet industry and to the use of animals in research.

Biographical Note

A resident of Connecticut, Julie Lewin began her career as a freelance writer and journalist after obtaining degrees from Barnard College and Columbia University. Always politically active, she went from writing articles about the sexual abuse of children and women’s prison reforms to becoming an important advocate for the protection and treatment of animals. Beginning with the Fund for Animals from 1986 to 2000, Lewin led an expose of the Connecticut Humane Society’s donation policy, revealing the world of inhumane practices in the pet industry from puppy mills to illegal pet acquisition and kennel management, and she lobbied for new laws to protect animals in research.

Since 1990, Lewin has been the Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Human Education, an organization that both educates the public about animal rescue and rescues inner-city animals. She has also been involved in establishing new, politically-aware organizations to advance animal rights. In 2001, she founded Animal Advocacy Connecticut to lobby state officials on animal issues, and in the following year, she founded The National Institute For Animal Advocacy (NIFAA), an organization that trains activists to win strong state and local laws for animal protection through political action. Reflecting the evolution in Lewin’s thought, NIFAA was established specifically to create a political culture among animal rescue and rights advocates; to train advocates how to form voting blocs for animals in their towns, cities, counties and states; and to develop local political leadership among animal advocates to lead these voting blocs.

While much of Lewin’s lobbying effort has centered on issues such as hunting, the pet industry, gun control, greyhound racing, dog chaining, rodeos, circuses, marine life, pet overpopulation, and animal research, she has increasingly emerged as an important political strategist, writing about how best to work within the system to effect concrete change. Her book, Get Political For Animals and Win the Laws They Need: Why and How to Launch a Voting Bloc for Animals in Your Town, City, County or State (2007), is a how-to manual for animal rights and rescue advocates. It outlines simple steps that anyone can take to launch a voting bloc, locally or nationally, and it was sponsored or endorsed by a number animal rights organizations, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Trust, Animal World USA, Best Friends Animal Society, Coalition For Animals, Compassion in Entertainment, Connecticut Humane Society, Dogs Deserve Better, Farm Sanctuary, Fox Memorial Clinic, Fund for Animals, Humane Society of the US, Lapin Foundation, and the League of Humane Voters of New York City.

Scope and contents of the collection

The Lewin Papers contain materials on animal advocacy collected by Julie Lewin from 1966 to 2003, with the bulk dating from 1975-1995. In addition to articles written by and about Lewin, the collection includes some background information on Lewin, and a large suite of documents focused both on upholding the inherent rights of animals and on lobbying efforts for the protection and treatment of animals. The majority of the collection was gathered by Lewin’s attorneys in relation to their protracted legal battle with United States Surgical Company over opposition to the use of live animals in medical testing.

The collection is organized chiefly as it was when Lewin presented it to her lawyer, preserving the paper trail she established over the years as she documented the pet industry.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection: Julie Lewin Papers (MS 454). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Julie Lewin in January 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Jen Ditkoff, 2007.


Additional Information

Language
English


Series Descriptions
1982-1993

This series contains a full range of information about the use of animals for research, including materials concerning Draize testing, proposed bills to ban cosmetics testing, and bills to limit the use of animals for research and testing. Articles and pamphlets on alternatives to animal testing are provided as well as cosmetic company information. There are also facility inspection records, information about medical testing, and articles and information concerning a University of Connecticut’s professor animal research.

The rest of series contains information about United States Surgical Company, a company using dogs for medical demonstrations of surgical staplers. In particular, Lewin collected newspaper clippings documenting the case against animal rights activist Fran Trutt, who was charged with the attempted murder of Leon Hirsh, chairman of U.S. Surgical, when she planted a bomb near his parking space. According to Trutt, it was Mary Lou Sapone who first suggested the idea of murdering Hirsch. When it was later revealed that Sapone was hired by Hirsch to infiltrate the animal rights movement, it became clear that Trutt had been entrapped by U.S. Surgical in their effort to discredit the animal rights activists who objected to the company’s practices. The series contains, too, information about the legal case between U.S. Surgical and Julie Lewin.

1983-1991

Series 2 contains information gathered by Lewin before, during, and after the time that the Fund for Animals filed a complaint against the Connecticut Humane Society. The Fund wanted the Connecticut Humane Society to be considered a public agency both because of its size and its law enforcement privileges. The series contains essential background information about the Humane Society’s programs, fundraising activities, law enforcement cases, facility inspections, policies, and copies of early CHS records.

1976-2003

The bulk of Series 3 consists of material that connects puppy mills with pet stores, including the unethical practice of purchasing animals from shelters or pet stores, the practice of stealing pets to sell to research facilities, and issues surrounding the unregulated transport by breeders of animals to be sold in Connecticut pet stores. Among other materials in the series are facility inspection information, U.S. Agricultural Department news on animal transportation and facilities, and background information on breeders and pet stores. Other parts of this series touch on a variety of animal welfare issues from balloons to fairs to zoos.

1966-2003

Even though this series does not provide extensive details about Lewin’s education and professional activities, it does include some of her published articles, articles written about her and her work, and materials relating to her campaign for State Representative. Also of significance are the materials she has used to train others as activists, which reveal the underlying thoughts and principles upon which she has based her own success both as an activist and as a lobbyist.

Contents List
Series 1: Animal Research
1982-1993
Draize Testing
1988-1991
Box 1:1
Facilities: Articles
1983-1989
Box 1:2
Facilities: Bibliographies
1988, undated
Box 1:3
Facilities: Legal
1987-1991
Box 1:4
Facilities: Marketing for Research Animals
1985
Box 1:5
Facilities: Reports
1984-1987
Box 1:6
Medical
1986-1992
Box 1:7
University of Connecticut
1985-1992
Box 1:8
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Articles
1988
Box 1:9
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Articles
1989
Box 1:10
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Articles
1990-1992
Box 1:11
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Lewin, Julie
1982-1988
Box 1:12
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Lewin, Julie
1989-1993
Box 2:1
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Trutt, Fran Stephanie
1988-1989
Box 2:2
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Trutt, Fran Stephanie
1988-1989
Box 2:3
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Trutt, Fran Stephanie
1988-1989
Box 2:4
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Trutt, Fran Stephanie
1988-1989
Box 2:5
U.S. Surgical Corporation: Trutt, Fran Stephanie
1991
Box 2:6

Series 2: Connecticut Humane Society
1983-1991
Articles
1988-1990
Box 2:7
Correspondence
1985-1991
Box 3:1
Legal
undated
Box 3:2
Legal
1983-1987
Box 3:3
Legal
1988-1991
Box 3:4
Legal
1988-1991
Box 3:5
Legal
1988-1991
Box 3:6
Legal
1988-1991
Box 3:7
Notes
1988-1989
Box 3:8
Publications and Mailings
1983-1989
Box 3:9

Series 3: Animal Welfare
1976-2003
Animal Activism
1985-2002
Box 3:10
Animal News
1985-2003
Box 4:1
Balloons
1988-1989
Box 4:2
Beardsley Zoo
1985-1991
Box 4:3
Bird Control
1986
Box 4:4
Breed Specific Legislation
1988-1997
Box 4:5
Breed Specific Legislation
1988-1997
Box 4:6
Charity/Lottery
1987-1992
Box 4:7
Connecticut Land Trust
1985
Box 4:8
Cow Chip Bingo
1990-1991
Box 4:9
Dog Racing
1981-1991
Box 4:10
Dog Racing
1981-1991
Box 4:11
Environmental Education
1986
Box 4:12
Facility Inspections
1982-1990
Box 4:13
Fairs
1980-1990
Box 4:14
Farming
1989-1991
Box 4:15
Hazardous Waste Act
1984
Box 5:1
Hunting: Birds
1977, 1983-1988
Box 5:2
Hunting: Birds
1989
Box 5:3
Hunting: Birds
1990-1991
Box 5:4
Hunting: Birds
1998, 2003
Box 5:5
Hunting: Deer
1974, 1987-1989
Box 5:6
Hunting: Deer
1990
Box 5:7
Hunting: Deer
1991-1997
Box 5:8
Hunting: Hunter Harassment Act
1983-1992
Box 5:9
Hunting: Trapping
1985-1988
Box 5:10
Hunting: Trapping
1986-1998
Box 6:1
Legislation
1987-1991
Box 6:2
Marine Life
1984-1989
Box 6:3
Maritime Aquarium
1988
Box 6:4
Organizational Information
1988-1989
Box 6:5
Pet Protection Act
2002-2003
Box 6:6
Pet Sales
1982-1985
Box 6:7
Pet Sales
1986
Box 7:1
Pet Sales
1987
Box 7:2
Pet Sales
1987
Box 7:3
Pet Sales
1988
Box 7:4
Pet Sales
1989
Box 7:5
Pet Sales
1990-1991
Box 7:6
Pet Sales
1992-1998
Box 7:7
Pet Sales: Esposito, Samuel
1976-1986
Box 7:8
Pet Sales: Esposito, Samuel
1987-1988
Box 8:1
Pet Sales: Research
1986-1989
Box 8:2
Pet Theft Act
1987-1990
Box 8:3
Pulling Contests
1980-1987
Box 8:4
Pulling Contests
1988-1990, 2001
Box 8:5
Rabies
1986-1991
Box 8:6
Rocky Memorial Act
2001-2002
Box 8:7
Rodeos
1987-1998
Box 8:8
Spay-Neuter Bill
1988
Box 8:9
Transportation
1978-1989
Box 8:10
USDA News
1981-1985
Box 9:1
West Rock Nature Center
1988-2002
Box 9:2
Zoos
1983-1990
Box 9:3

Series 4: Biographical and Financial
1966-2003
Articles About Lewin
1987-2001
Box 9:4
Articles By Lewin
1967-2003
Box 9:5
Articles By Lewin: Prison Reform
1977-1982
Box 9:6
College Essays
1966
Box 9:7
Education for Activists
1981-2002
Box 9:8
Finances: Fund For Animals
1986-1987
Box 9:9
Finances: Fund For Animals
1988
Box 9:10
Finances: Fund For Animals
1989
Box 9:11
Finances: Fund For Animals
1990
Box 10:1
Finances: Fund For Animals
1991
Box 10:2
Letters: Fund For Animals
1987-1990
Box 10:3
Notes
1988
Box 10:4
Photographs
2001, undated
Box 10:5
Resume and Cover Letters
1985-1992
Box 10:6
State Representative Campaign
1996
Box 10:7
State Representative Campaign
1996-1998
Box 10:8

Subjects
  • Animal rights--Activism
  • Animal rights--Advocates
  • Animal rights--Law and legislation
  • Animal welfare--Rescue
  • Connecticut Humane Society
  • Greyhound racing
  • Hunting
  • Pet industry
  • Trapping--Leghold
  • Vivisection-Animal research
Contributors
  • Lewin, Julie
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