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Jill Robinson:

to the Moon and Back

You may remember that during the summer of 2015, a then unknown American dentist called Walter Palmer took a trip to Africa where he hunted and killed a Lion called Cecil. The Global condemnation was vast and vitriolic. But we noticed from various Social Media outlets that among the anger and sadness, there was also a feeling of hopelessness. In fact, we all felt disempowered and thoroughly inert in the face of something that appeared to be ‘quite legal’. How could that be? In the most graphic way, we realised that just because it’s within the law doesn’t make it right.

The mass feeling of inertia was the most worrying aspect, as millions of animal loving people across the world questioned how they could make a difference when something so abhorrent was sanctioned. What can one person do against the imperious march of hunters when a Government says it’s OK?

If ever there is a person to inspire at times like this, it is Jill Robinson. In China, bear bile farming is still legal. When Jill started her drive to end it, it was significantly more prolific and less known that it is now. And here’s the point. When she began, Jill was much like the millions of angry and emotional people who saw countless images of that bespectacled dentist draped over Cecil the lion. With nothing more than her resolve, Jill peacefully and intelligently rose to begin a movement that has now saved hundreds of bears, created two beautiful sanctuaries and ended bile farming for good in Vietnam. Jill was not wealthy or privileged and the path was predictably difficult. But, she did it. She saw animal suffering that was perfectly legal in a politically charged and socially complicated country. She overcame the fury, emotion and inertia and made a change. When she made the decision to act, she wasn’t really any different from the rest of us. We needed to make this film to show that with the right resolve and attitude, one person can make a difference.

Jill arrived in China in the early nineties and there was one animal rights group. Now there are over 150. These are young, dynamic and organised groups who are appalled at the inhumane treatment of animals. Over 90% of the staff at the Animals Asia sanctuaries are Chinese or Vietnamese. It’s a remarkable situation that’s often overlooked in the West. The tide is changing and thanks to Jill’s ability to mobilise activist groups in China, it’s no longer appropriate to see all Chinese as unfeeling when it comes to animal welfare.

Jill Robinson:

to the Moon and Back

About The Film Part i

The way in which Jill has effected these changes in Asia has created a blueprint for a peaceful, intelligent and ‘inward-out’ approach. There are no ‘shouty’ politics, no threatening rallies and no bolshie Western superlatives in the face of unpalatable Asian ‘traditions’. To put in place real and meaningful change means working WITH bear bile farmers, dog meat traders and zoos. Real change comes from the INSIDE.

That’s why we wanted to make this film.

“The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but "Can they suffer?”

Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.


"All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it."

Samuel Butler, British Author, Painter, Photographer, and Art Critic

"If a man aspires toward a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals."

Count Leo Tolstoy, Russian Novelist and Philosopher

Where this film began

Peter Egan

Presenter / Narrator

Peter has an award winning stage, TV and film career spanning 50 years.

He is an active UK Ambassador for Animals Asia, the charity that works to end cruelty to animals in Asia.

He is  patron of All Dogs Matter and Vice President of The League of Cruel Sports.

In August 2015, Peter was announced as patron of the science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE), which fights against animal testing in the field of human medical research.

Peter is an ambassador for the dog rescue Saving Suffering Strays - Sarajevo, Bosnia. He and his wife Myra adopted their Bosnian dog Tidus from this dog rescue. They continue to give constant support to the desperate street dogs of Sarajevo and their lone rescuer Milena Malesevic.

In May 2015, Peter became Patron of Chaldon Animal Sanctuary; a charity that offers homes for life for dogs and cats. Peter personally took one of the Bosnian dogs now named Crusoe to the sanctuary in May.

Andrew Telling

Director / Camera / Editor

Andrew is a qualified Marine Biologist and BNUC-S certified UAV pilot with over 20 years in the film industry. BBC trained, he has a critical and creative eye over all aspects of scripting, filming and editing. His award winning company, Orange Planet Pictures, are specialists in thought provoking and engaging television and online content, focussing on science, nature and learning. They deliver innovative programming strategies and social awareness in a creative and engaging way.

Natalie Coles

Producer / Marketing

Natalie is a qualified Zoologist and experienced multi disciplined producer, specialising in natural history and adventure programme making. Producing single camera location shoots, she has a reputation for gaining the trust and utmost respect from onscreen talent and crew, whilst sourcing the best contributors and experts for interview.

She has worked across most of the major broadcasters in the UK and her shows have been seen by audiences worldwide.

A passionate animal welfare campaigner she supports a number of UK charities.

Nicky Vyvyan-Robinson

Production Manager / PR

Nicky is a professional and well-connected administrator who has previously worked for several animal conservation/welfare charities in the UK and Africa.  Her current position is with Brian May’s ‘Save Me Foundation’. Nicky previously worked as the PR, Events and Education Manager for Animals Asia in the UK. Her deep respect for Jill Robinson has proven invaluable in the making of this film.

Jill Robinson…Starting from Nothing

About The Film PART II

About The Film PART III

Creating Change from the Inside Out

Production Team

Latest News

Jill Robinson’s story is proof that one person with the right attitude can change the world. Emptying every cage. Until the cruelty end. Total run time: 53:13