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Michael Mountain is the former President and one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, which was pioneering a nationwide no-kill movement for pets entering shelters in the early 1990s.
He is also co-Founder of the Whale Sanctuary Project, which is creating a model seaside sanctuary in a natural environment so that orcas and beluga whales can be retired from marine entertainment parts and aquariums.
Since stepping down from Best Friends in 2008, he has also worked on various other animal protection projects, including Nonhuman Rights Project, which made news worldwide in 2013 when it filed its first lawsuit to free four chimpanzees from captivity in New York State and have them transferred to sanctuaries.
He is co-author, with his partner, Dr. 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.