Mylan Engel Jr. is a philosophy professor at Northern Illinois University, where he received NIU’s 2009 excellence in undergraduate Teaching Award. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona. He specializes in epistemology, philosophy of religion, and animal and environmental ethics. He is the executive secretary of the Society for the Study of ethics and Animals, a position he has held since 2002. He is on the board of the Culture & Animals Foundation.
Mylan grew up in Alabama along the Gulf Coast, where his grandfather and two of his uncles were hog farmers. Steeped in Southern culture, he often went hunting and fishing during the first twenty years of his life. In graduate school, he discovered that eating meat is not necessary for good health. It was then that he realized that all of the suffering he had witnessed animals endure on his uncle’s farm served no significant human interest. He became a vegetarian as a result. In 1996, he became vegan and founded NIU’s Vegetarian education Group with Lisa Joniak and Ray Dybzinski. He has been faculty advisor for the group ever since. Mylan lives with three cats who graciously share their home with him.