MEET THE TEAM

Indra Lahiri, Founder

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Indra Lahiri, PhD is “a storyteller, dreamer, and friend of the animals,” said the Anishinaabe Medicine Man who adopted her into the tribe of the White Earth Nation, naming her “Ishkudeikwe” (Woman of the Fire). She has rescued thousands of animals from dire circumstances around the world.  Indra tells the animals’ stories in her writing and speaking, and lives amongst them between her travels.  In the course of her decades of learning from the animals, Indra founded Indraloka Animal Sanctuary (2005) and co-organized the newly forming Global Coalition of Farm Sanctuaries.  In addition, she has taught, mentored, coached and keynote addressed tens of thousands of people on a range of topics that are always, at their core, based on ethical leadership and compassion for all. Indra has spoken at the Animal Rights National Conference and International Animal Rights Conference annually for the past several years.  Her award-winning blog, which chronicles sacred moments with rescued animals, is followed by tens of thousands of readers on every continent.  Indra is grateful to have the opportunity to dedicate her life to helping traumatized animals rediscover joy, love, and trust.

Johnny Braz, Creative Director

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Johnny is a documentary filmmaker, environmentalist, and yogi. He began his filmmaking career in 1996 working as a camera operator with Clint Eastwood on “The Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years.” In early 2016, he completed “Truckin’; the Story of Eddie Traffic”, an uplifting glimpse into the unique bliss experienced by a pig named Eddie, who was rescued just hours from slaughter.  Other recent films include “Play it Again,” a film about a legendary basketball tournament, and “Peace, Love & Animals,” a documentary film that has been called “a lyrical message of hope” that premiered to rave reviews in Scranton and at the International Animal Rights Conference 2013 in Luxembourg. Additionally, he has produced several short animal rescue films that have garnered a worldwide audience, and has also directed a number of episodes of “Yoga Journeys,” a children’s program on PBS TV station WVIA.

Johnny holds a deep reverence for the earth. His years of experience designing and installing alternative energy systems for homes and businesses culminated in touring twice with Bonnie Raitt as her environmental spokesperson.

As Indraloka’s Creative Director, Johnny brings these gifts together, creating film and still portraits that reveal his reverence for all life and the earth herself, telling the story of Indraloka’s many rescues through his art. Braz is a teacher at heart. All of his work, whether it be mucking stalls, filming a rescue, feeding a once-traumatized chicken by hand, or teaching others how to meditate, is mindful, kind, and filled with lessons through example. Johnny is honored to put his skills to work raising awareness about animal sentience worldwide.

 

 

Carrie Howerton, Operations Manager

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Carrie has rescued hundreds of farmed animals and is dedicated to the vision of a world where animals are treated with the love, compassion, and respect they deserve. As Indraloka’s Operations Manager, Carrie oversees all aspects of animal care, ensuring that each individual is carefully tended, fully respected, and treated as the beloved, sentient beings they are.

 A vegan animal rights activist, devoted animal caregiver and licensed wildlife rehabilitator,  Carrie has been involved in animal rescue since 2007 when she began volunteering at Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, NY.  From 2013 to 2016 she worked as an animal caregiver at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary where she cultivated a lasting love for farm animal advocacy and agrarian life. Holding a B.A. in Early Childhood Education & Special Education, Carrie believes humane education is the key to creating a world without animal slavery.  She is delighted to live and work amongst Indraloka’s beloved animal ambassadors in the rolling mountains of Northeast PA.  She is owned by her two rescue dogs, ‘Zona and Dakota.

Angelina Tambon, Outreach & Development

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Angelina Tambon manages Indraloka’s Outreach and Development. Residing in Philadelphia, Angelina is actively working to further develop the city’s animal advocacy movement. She cares deeply about all animals and wants to share their stories to spread the passion for their well being.

Angelina finds joy in working with the community, specifically, bringing together people who are passionate about animal rights. As co-organizer of the Indraloka-Philadelphia Meet Up group, she provides opportunities for like-minded people to come together in settings such as coffee hours and educational discussions, allowing them to develop meaningful relationships, and to exchange ideas on how to most effectively assist the cause. She works to educate all on making compassionate choices, and aims to introduce everyone to the intelligence, kindness, and love that farm animals have to give.

When she is not working on outreach, Angelina loves spending time with all of the animal residents at Indraloka. Whether she is feeding the sheep, giving belly rubs to the pigs, or cuddling a cat, she finds peace and happiness in their presence.

Angelina is grateful to be part of such an important and meaningful cause, and is thrilled to spread the message of compassion to more people every day.

Mike Freidlin, Director of Education

Whodini and Mike - Fall 2014Mike Freidlin is a naturalist, athlete, vegan animal rights activist, and environmental science educator with 35 years of teaching experience. In his role as middle and high school science teacher for the Abington Heights, Pennsylvania school district, (a role he held from 1989 until his retirement this year), Mike acted as the Middle and High School Ecology Club Advisor. During that time, he led more than 700 student members of the Tropical Rainforest Ecology Club on trips to such destinations as Panama, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, where they learned about rainforest protection, the rights and concerns of animals and indigenous communities, and students’ roles and responsibilities as global citizens. Mike’s teaching expertise extends to special needs and emotionally traumatized children as well as gifted children.  Mike has served on Board of Directors for Lackawanna Audubon Society and Save The Rainforest. Additionally, he has won numerous awards for excellence in education, including: Rotary Club of the Abingtons “Four Way Test Award” recipient for Environmental Education (2013), Abington Heights School District “Teacher of the Year” awards (2012, 2005), Middle School Teaching Excellence Award (2009), Lauretta Woodson Educator Award for Expertise in Environmental Science (2007), Healthy Community-Healthy Youth Award (2007), Named to Who’s Who in American Teachers (2005, 2000), Named “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine’s Time For Kids (2002).