Roger is a lecturer in sociology at University College Dublin and the University of Wales, specialising in animal rights. He is a former executive committee member of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), a former Animal Liberation Front (ALF) press officer, and a co-founder of the Fur Action Group. Roger was sentenced to four years' imprisonment in 1987 for conspiracy to commit criminal damage on behalf of the ALF. He absconded during the trial and was on the run for two years, before being apprehended and serving his sentence. After his release in 1990, he began an academic study of animal protectionism and social movements, obtaining his PhD in 2005 on the subject of human/non-human relations. His current work focuses on the social transmission of speciesism. Yates maintains a blog on his web site, On Human Relations with Other Sentient Beings and often co-hosts pro-intersectional podcasts with Carolyn Bailey of Animal Rights Zone (ARZone.)
Roger is vegan and has a sentiocentric moral scope. He is an atheist and seems to have a naturalistic worldview. In this Blog post he comments: "Cockburn’s advice about addressing the issue of the construction of human attitudes toward other animals is impressively clear: ‘Start with God’, he says."