Faith Under The Microscope: My chat with Legacy of Love author Lynne Chitty

A 300 page celebration of animals coffee table style book with contributions by over 40 animal advocates, artists and actors. Forward by Virginia McKenna.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN LEGACY OF LOVE?

When my cat and soul mate Eliza died in Feb 2020 I was torn between awful grief and a longing to give thanks for and to celebrate the 19 years we had together. The seed of the idea grew and started to take shape and the book is a legacy of love in every way.

YOU’VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS PROJECT FOR OVER A YEAR, WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF IT SO FAR?

I have been overwhelmed at times by the generosity of people and all they have shared and have felt a responsibility to do them justice. As the deadline for publishing approaches the challenge is not to panic and take things one at a time!

 copyright legacyoflovebook.org
copyright legacyoflovebook.org

HOW DO YOU SELECT YOUR CONTRIBUTORS? DO YOU SEEK THEM OUT OR HAVE THEY COME TO YOU?

The first 2 people I contacted were friends – actress and Founder of Mane Chance Jenny Seagrove and Jill Robinson founder of Animals Asia. Their enthusiasm gave me the confidence to contact others, people I greatly admired and who have given their lives to animal welfare such as Virginia McKenna. Then Jenny suggested wildlife artist Gary Hodges and once he came on board it was brilliant. He began to invite artists to join the project and so between us we have a super balance of artists/photographers and actors/animal advocates.

We wanted to invite those who would inspire others and who have gone the extra mile for animals and wildlife.

You have a passion for animal welfare- do you recall when you first realised this was a cause close to your heart?

I can't think of a time when I haven't felt suffering keenly. I would cry when I saw a fly struggling a spiders web!  It was seeing a seal pup clubbed to death on the ice in Canada on the news that turned me into an activist. I must have been about 9 – but in my bestest handwriting I wrote to the Canadian Prime Minister protesting at the cruelty which had a profoud and shocking effect on me. After that I supported every cause I could and gradually became more and more involved in raising funds and awareness.

In your opinion, what is the best way that people can support endangered species?

I don't have a lot of clever answers but I listen and support those who are knowledgable. Sign petitions, give to those charities that are working on the ground to protect endangered species and live as compassionately as you can. 

Copyright legacyoflovebook.org
Copyright legacyoflovebook.org

What are the key takeaways that you hope people draw from your book?

I hope they will be moved by the beauty of the artwork and photographs –  be inspired by the stories of those who have given their lives to protect animals and stop cruelty. I hope they will get a glimpse into the lives of animals at both their zest for life and their capacity to suffer and then ask themselves what can I do?  What is my legacy?

Tell us more about your poetry competition - what kind of things are you looking for to be featured in your book?

We wanted poems that had soul- that really fitted with the title and feel of the book and we have had some wonderful entries – laments, celebrations, protests and moving memories. From wolves to whales, pigs to pigeons – a real variety of styles too.

Copyright legacyoflovebook.org
Copyright legacyoflovebook.org

Can you tell us about a particularly impactful contribution to the book? Something that moved you?

So many of the contributors have written from the heart, But the chapter by Peter Egan really moved me. It is called The Gift of Love and as well as writing beautifully about his passion for  animals it is dedicated to his  wife Myra who died 3 months ago. It really  had me in tears.

Was faith a driver in producing this book? Has your faith influenced the content of the book in any way?

I have always thought that Gods heart must be breaking at the way we treat creation and it is hard in some ways to separate anything I do from my faith as it is part of the person I am.   Some of my closest friends have held the whole project in their prayers and that is really important to me.

Copyright legacyoflovebook.org
Copyright legacyoflovebook.org

Has it been difficult to manage your time in light of creating Legacy of Love?

Initially during lockdown I had a fair amount of time and it didn't feel pressured but the last 3 months have been tricky- I'm training for the London Marathon too so am pushing it a bit! I am very grateful that Rev Jane Taylor who runs the retreat centre where I live and work has given me as much time and space as she can to get everything done. It is such a heart felt project and means the world to me. But I do get overwhlemed at times. Having Gary Hodges alongside has made the difference.

How can people support the creation of this wonderful book?

Until the 25th July they can pledge to pre order a copy of the book at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/legacyoflove/legacy-of-love-art-photos-and-words-about-love-of-animals 

...after that from me at lynnechitty50@gmail.com

About The Author

Lynne Chitty is a Deacon & Spurs fan living and working in Devon. She is passionate about animal welfare and is a life long Spurs fan!

ORDER THE BOOK NOW

All images in this blog: copyright legacyoflovebook.org

Posted on July 16th 2021

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