About Krista



Social Justice

Krista Hiddema is a social justice activist with nearly thirty years of experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. She lives by the motto that all oppression is interconnected, and when we help animals we are helping people and we are helping the environment.



Animal Protection

Krista consults to animal protection organizations all over the world, she speaks on matters of farmed animal protection, she consults to major corporations and to the government, and major media outlets have published her work.

Krista spent six years as the vice president in Canada for Mercy For Animals, an international non-profit dedicated to protecting farmed animals. Her work on twelve undercover investigations of Canadian slaughterhouses and factory farms helped expose the truth of what happens behind the closed doors of these facilities. This work secured landmark legal victories for animals and led to five exposés on CTV’s W5, a CBC Marketplace episode, and other national and international media coverage.


"I will never be silent - the animals need me too much!"

- Krista Hiddema



Krista is a ‘Pracademic’. This means that she is focused on bridging practical work and academia. After having spent many years as an activist, Krista is strengthening her work through academia. Krista is particularly interested in interspecies friendships, and how personal interactions with farmed animals lead to behavioural change.

Krista is a doctoral student at Royal Roads University who is working on her dissertation.

Krista’s current research question is: Do personal interactions with farmed animals in a sanctuary alter individual attitudes and feelings about the animals and thereby lead to any behaviour changes?

Please meet Krista’s supervisory team: Dr. Joey Castricano, Maheesha Deckha,
Dr. Dianne Groll, and Dr. Hilary Leighton.

Krista is also a member of the Editorial Team for the Journal of Critical Animal Studies.


Royal Roads University


Krista’s academic poster (page 1).

Krista’s academic poster (page 2).


Corporate Engagement

Krista confronting Saputo board regarding their animal welfare policies.

Krista confronting Saputo board regarding their animal welfare policies.

During her time running Mercy For Animals in Canada the entire landscape for farmed animals changed. Much of this work was done through engaging with major food companies. Outcomes included: effectively eliminate gestation crates for mother pigs; veal crates for calves from both the Ontario Veal Association and the Quebec Veal Association; and turning the egg industry upside down by securing commitments to cage-free eggs from almost 100% of the food industry. She worked with Saputo, the largest dairy company in Canada, and the 7th largest in the world to dramatically improve the lives of mother cows forced to give milk, and also negotiated the first ever North American commitment to controlled atmosphere stunning by Maple Leaf Foods, Canada’s largest meat protein company.

Crated calf from the Delimax Veal investigation. Photo credit: Mercy For Animals

Krista also worked with the head office of Burger King and Tim Hortons to help them to commit to improved broiler welfare. This commitment was the first major commitment to improved broiler chicken welfare in North America. With these commitments, the lives of nearly 700 million animals every year in Canada were changed forever.

People may hate you for being different and not living by society’s standards but deep down, they wish they had the courage to do the same.
— Anonymous


Government Relations

Krista has appeared in the House of Commons, is well known on “The Hill” by many Members of Parliament, and has had her written work published in The Hill Times and other political papers. Krista has met with Members of Parliament regarding Canada’s outdated animal protection laws on many occasions, and she has been invited to present to the Standing Committee of Agriculture and Agri-Food, to the Animal Welfare Caucus on various legal matters regarding farmed animals, and is sought out for consultation on Canada’s food system. Krista also designed and lead one of the largest political mobilization campaigns in Canada regarding farmed animal transportation.


Organizational Development

Krista’s first career was in human capital management and organization development, where Krista very successfully climbed the ranks of ‘corporate America’. She was the only female executive in a major manufacturing corporation and a global technology company. She then became vice president of human resources for SAP AG, one of the largest software companies in the world. Krista subsequently founded a Canadian law firm specializing in employment and labour law, where she spent ten years as one of the few non-lawyer partners of a law firm in the country.