Jonathan Leighton
@Jonathan-Leighton / Trailblazer member


Male, Palma, Illes Balears, Spain, birthday 14th September
Joined July 2017

I'm a writer and activist dedicated to promoting a gentler, more compassionate world.

I was a research scientist in my previous life and also spent time in the fragrance industry before realising that the way I wanted to make a difference was through writing, communicating and developing creative ways of spreading compassion.

I wrote a book called The Battle for Compassion: Ethics in an Apathetic Universe, a philosophical exploration of the human condition, freedom, identity, ethics and the fundamental question "What matters?"

I also made a 20-minute film to communicate some of the key messages from the book:

In June 2016 I set up a non-profit think-and-do tank called OPIS - Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering ( The mission is to develop and execute ideas for embedding compassionate ethics into our society's systems so that the prevention of both human and animal suffering is given highest priority. We are working on a variety of approaches, including developing a toolkit for developing compassion among children, developing concrete policy proposals and spreading compassion through creative filmmaking and campaigns. More info here:

If you are considering shifting towards a plant-based diet, this page brings together some of the best information about ethics, nutrition and recipes:

Want to discuss ideas? Please contact me!

I'm officially resident in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I've lived for many years, but I spent 4 years in Palma de Mallorca until September 2017, and am currently spending time working from Athens.


Key Skills







Jeremy Pearce likes
29 November 2020, 18:46
Jonathan Leighton
24 November 2020, 09:25
Cluster headaches are one of the most excruciating conditions known to medicine and destroy patients' lives. Several substances with hallucinogenic properties have dramatic benefits. But current drug laws prevent doctors from prescribing them and turn patients into criminals. This situation urgently needs to change.
Jonathan Leighton
18 November 2019, 18:24
This is the English translation of an interview from January 2019 that appeared in L’Amorce, a French/Canadian publication that explores the ethical, political and cultural issues involved in the fight against speciesism. In the interview I discuss the role of ethics in decision-making and the need for new forms of cooperative governance.
Katherine Lucy Sang and commented or likes
08 September 2019, 8:22
Jonathan Leighton
2 May 2019, 14:47
As our civilisation faces monumental threats to its existence, it’s time to embrace an ethic of non-violence and care towards all sentient beings
Jeremy Pearce commented and likes
23 March 2018, 21:00
Jonathan Leighton
23 March 2018, 10:46
Millions of children and adults in low- and middle-income countries, inflicted with terminal or life-threatening illnesses and suffering from severe physical pain, are unable to access morphine, an effective treatment that is easy and inexpensive to produce. Our UN Human Rights Council event served as a call to action to governments to address this urgent human rights issue.
Katherine Lucy Sang and commented or likes
21 October 2017, 17:43
Jonathan Leighton
18 October 2017, 12:52
The #MeToo hashtag has enabled a collective catharsis but also provoked some controversies. It seems that while many men have identified as victims, they have been wary of making their voices heard for fear of negative reactions, as Pete Lawrence experienced. I have also seen how some animal rights activists have also tapped into the theme of abuse of power. I was prompted to write a piece with my reflections, including that there is a universal theme and a common way forward.
Jeremy Pearce commented and likes
23 March 2018, 20:15
Jonathan Leighton
14 September 2017, 11:19
I just published a piece that reflects on the paradox of wanting to derive pleasure from existence while there is so much preventable suffering occurring in the world. And on the need for balance in our own lives so that we can be more effective as activists.
Louise Wallis and commented or likes
16 September 2017, 19:47
Jonathan Leighton
6 September 2017, 12:28
The Guardian praises plant-based eating as good for the environment and good for your health. Perhaps most importantly: it is also good for the animals. Here's a guide with some of the best information and resources.