Nathan Runkle (born c. 1984) is an American animal rights advocate. He is the founder and executive director of Mercy For Animals. Reared on a farm in rural Ohio, Runkle has long had a deep connection with farmed animals. After a local farmed animal abuse case involving a piglet slammed headfirst into a concrete floor during an agriculture project at a nearby high school, he founded Mercy For Animals to give "food" animals a much-needed advocate in his local community.
Since founding Mercy For Animals over a decade ago, Runkle has overseen the organization's growth into a leading national force in the prevention of cruelty to farmed animals and promotion of compassionate food choices and policies.
Runkle works closely with MFA's diverse group of members, supporters, and employees to oversee, develop, and fulfill objectives within the organization's four areas of focus: education, legal advocacy, corporate outreach, and undercover investigations.
Runkle has worked alongside elected officials, corporate executives, heads of international organizations, professors, farmers, celebrities, and film producers to pass landmark farmed animal protection legislation, raise public awareness about vegetarianism, and implement animal welfare policy changes.
VegNews magazine has recognized both Mercy For Animals and Runkle for making substantial contributions to the vegetarian movement, in early 2014 naming Runkle one of the "25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians" and one of the country's "Top 20 Activists Under 30 Years Old," and twice naming MFA "Non-Profit of the Year." In 2009, at the age of 25, he became the youngest person ever inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame.
Runkle is one of several people who provided information used in the writing of the book Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (2008) by Mark Hawthorne. Also, he is one of several people who provided information used in the writing of the book Uncaged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Farm Animal Advocacy (2013) by Ben Davidow.
- "U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame". Animal Rights National Conference. Farm Animal Rights Movement. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
- Runkle, Nathan (2013-03-25). "Chapter 19". In Davidow, Ben. Uncaged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Farm Animal Advocacy (Kindle ed.). San Francisco: Ben Davidow. ASIN B00C0NF36G. Lay summary – Humane Research Council (2013-10-22).
- Mercy for Animals, accessed 24 May 2012.
- Runkle, Nathan (2008-05-07). "Paul Shapiro and Nathan Runkle on this Week's Undercover Investigations". VegTalk (Interview). Interviewed by Erik Marcus. Retrieved 2012-12-31.
- Karen Iacobbo, Michael Iacobbo, Vegetarians And Vegans in America Today. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.