My new book: Life of Pei, the Battle for Compassion

“Pei’s is a riveting story of hope born from action, and of dedication that had its roots in despair. It is an inspiring story that I hope will launch you on youcr own path toward building the same humane future.” – Zoe Weill, Co-Founder and President, Institute for Humane Education

I am honoured that May sees the publication of my autobiography – Life of Pei, the Battle for Compassion,  in the United States, followed by publication in the UK in June. This is the story of my personal learning journey that took me from my harsh upbringing under military rule in Taiwan, to achieving my aim of creating a humane education movement in China and Asia.  Life of Pei explores the role of education, compassion and empathy in driving societal change and how I become aware of the interrelationship between humans, animals and the environment. In writing this book, I truly hope to inspire others to find their own pathways through life.

I am honoured that May sees the publication of my autobiography – Life of Pei, the Battle for Compassion,  in the United States, followed by publication in the UK in June.

My journey from activist to CEO of an international NGO

My harsh teenage years saw the deaths of many family members including my mother and father and my grief was so intense that I became angry and bewildered with life. In search of solace, I attended a Buddhist Institute school for five years, intending to become a monk. 

I believe that my tough childhood made me more aware of equality and justice issues and kindled my desire to take action. In the early 1990s, Taiwan emerged from a dictatorship to a democracy and non-government organisations (NGOs) began to emerge. I became a founding member of the Life Conservationist Association of Taiwan, an NGO run by two female Buddhist Monks, and this was where I learned that justice needs to extend beyond humans. 

This work fuelled my desire to become a change-maker and aged 28, I left Taiwan to follow a humanitarian pathway. Practical work experience and studies in the USA, Europe and the UK taught me the meaning of animal sentience and animal welfare. This led to employment with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), a global NGO investigating Asian issues such as Bear Bile Farming in China, Traditional Chinese Medicine and the illegal wildlife trade and zoos throughout Asia.

These experiences led to the start of a new dawn when my long-term vision of starting an NGO became a reality. In 2006, with no start-up capital, office premises, or sponsors – simply the passion and the belief that I could somehow make compassionate changes in the world – I founded ACTAsia with an Indian veterinarian and a Dutch neuro-psychologist.

In writing this book, I truly hope to inspire others to find their own pathways through life.

Why did I feel compelled to write my story?

I feel that the work that I am doing is not just a job – it’s a belief or even a calling. I know that my journey from troubled teenage years to finding meaning and purpose in life is one that will resonate with others. I set up ACTAsia from nothing. It was simply my life’s experiences combined with my vision for a more compassionate world that has driven me to create an NGO that is now recognised and endorsed by the United Nations. 

Establishing and running an international NGO is incredibly challenging but I now understand the importance of celebrating the small steps and I now accept that change takes time – there is no quick fix.  

What do I hope to achieve with the book?

 I hope that people who read my book will start to look at the bigger picture and the root causes of the issues we are facing today and thereby ACTAsia’s work will be recognised more widely. I also hope to encourage others to feel a connection with ACTAsia’s vision, so they too will decide to work towards the creation of a more compassionate world for animals, people and the environment. 

Despite receiving a cancer diagnosis and treatment last year (I am now in remission), I continue to fight to share the values of compassion and kindness. The work I am doing has helped me through a dark period and has given me renewed purpose and determination. I hope Life of Pei will help to inspire readers who may also be struggling.

Today my main focus for ACTAsia is the training and education of children, professionals and consumers, under the umbrella term of Caring for Life education, so I would be thrilled if this book helps with ACTAsia’s mission. Thank you to those who have given generous reviews of the book so far. All royalties from the book will go directly to help fund ACTAsia’s groundbreaking work in Asia. 

Despite receiving a cancer diagnosis and treatment last year (I am now in remission), I continue to fight to share the values of compassion and kindness.

We would be delighted if you would join us at the following book launch events:

Virtual Launch: 7th May 2024, at 12 p.m. NYC/9 a.m. LA/5 p.m. London. To attend, please register here.

London in-person Launch Event: 27th June, Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, London 6.30-8.30pm. Please register your interest here.

Please contact us for interviews and speaking engagements.

Life of Pei, The Battle for Compassion Media Kit can be downloaded here.

All royalties from the book will go directly to help fund ACTAsia’s groundbreaking work in Asia.

Pei Su is a Chinese sociologist and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ACTAsia, an international NGO established in 2006. She is a strong advocate of education and training as the main vehicle for long term sustainability, aiming to inspire people to understand and appreciate the world we share, and to take responsibility for the protection and preservation of its inhabitants and resources.