WHAT IVE BEEN UPTO, PLANS AND HOW EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING TO HELP ANIMALS
I became vegan in October 2016 after taking the Vegan Societies 30day pledge. Previously I was a vegetarian and since a child I have always felt horrified by animal cruelty. I decided to become Vegan after plucking up the courage to look into the egg and dairy industries, I was so appalled at what I discovered I could no longer justify eating eggs or dairy. I have recently taken in 3 rescue hens who came from the egg industry in Scotland and were destined for slaughter at 18 months old. Lottie, Rita and Missy are amazing girls (you can see their progress on my twitter page), over a 1000 hens were rescued that day along with my three girls by Wing and a Prayer. Being Vegan is so interesting, the food is great, the people are great and knowing your no longer taking part in the mass torture and killing of innocent beings is just a wonderful feeling. Going vegan is the best thing I have done with my life so far.
Since becoming vegan I have joined vegan/animal welfare organisations and I have read and researched more on animal food production and animal welfare. I have discovered unimaginable horrors involving animal exploitation all over the world. I decided I needed to do more than going vegan, and decided to stand up and be a voice for the voiceless and exploited. I set up my twitter page to help spread the vegan message, keep up to date with news and to gain support and reach bigger audiences (hopefully) and of course make new friends (being vegan is not a prerequisite of friendship).
I am currently a volunteer Campaign Network Advocate for the Vegan society and assisted with the plate up for the planet campaign. The campaign involved contacting environmental groups and asking them to advertise, sign up or allow me to visit to give a presentation on the campaign. Outcome – The Vegan society exceeded their 10K target of sign ups and the results of their survey advised that 50% of participants said they would remain vegan after the 7 days. Anyone interested in the challenge can still sign up here or why not go for a BIG challenge and sign up for the 30 day pledge here: 30 day pledge
Amazingly I was featured in this month’s Vegan Society Magazine as one of the special volunteers of the season. Cannot believe it and I’m so honoured and pleased as it’s a dream come true to be involved with something proactive to help animals. I really like the Vegan Society’s ethos of positive vegan promotion, which aligns with my values.
I’ve also emailed politicians trying to campaign for change regarding animal welfare issues and over the past few months one of these led me to, set up a meeting and meet with the Scottish Green Party to discuss the Vegan Societies plate up for the planet campaign and discussed Scotland’s food sustainability. Green party MSPs and participants who attended my meeting were Mags Hall, Patrick Harvey MSP, Andy Wightman MSP and Mark Ruskell MSP, who all signed up for the 7 day challenge. They then raised a motion in parliament backing the campaign. See link to that motion here: Plate up for the Planet Scottish Greens Motion During our meeting the green party expressed an interest in working with the Vegan Society on future projects. So Scotland has really done us proud on this one. The Greens were great, very forward thinking and I really enjoyed meeting them all.
*Me pictured with fellow Vegan Andy Wightman MSP
Another issue which is a personal crusade of mine is the treatment of farmed animals in slaughter houses, there is the most horrific article written by investigative journalists the Ferret , which I recommend you read. This is not just an isolated problem in Scotland, as this kind of obscene treatment goes on EVERYWHERE. I am desperate to help these poor animals and have written to many MSPs in my area and Scottish parliament direct to try to help them. We really need mandatory (independently monitored) CCTV in these slaughter houses as a MINIMUM and we need to make it illegal to slaughter pregnant animals. In an ideal world I would love to see the day where we no longer send innocent, defenceless animals to slaughter as I want all slaughter to stop. This is why I feel CCTV is a step in the right direction along with activism. We need to inform the public of what is going on in these abattoirs. It is my hope that the majority of people are decent animal loving people and that if they knew the horrific suffering endured in slaughter houses, they would choose to eat differently. PLEASSE, PLEASE, PLEASE do anything you can to help animals in slaughter houses. The letter I sent to these MSPs is below. I have had a few replies, most MSPs acknowledging that CCTV is required (and as such will support) I will be posting these reply’s on twitter soon.
See full article from the ferret here 🐄warning it makes difficult reading!
*letter to 8 MSPs in my area (sent to various political parties)
Other areas I concentrate on are:
- Signing petitions from all over the world – Cruelty is everywhere
- Contacting companies asking them to consider producing vegan approved products and/or with vegan society trademark.
- I compliment/promote companies who do well or make yummy vegan food and boycott those who don’t cater for vegans.
- Review vegan products for example food, clothing and make up
- I want to get out and get involved more in active campaigns – I have ordered leaflets from Viva to door drop this xmas for turkeys
- I have displayed stickers on my car, my partners car and my mums car stating that dairy, eggs and meat industries are inhumane – these stickers can be obtained from GOVEGANWORLD .
I feel that we all can be helped to choose better food choices for our health, the environment and of course for all the beautiful kind animals in this world. I think anything anyone can do to reduce animal suffering is a good start and that people should not feel intimidated about going vegan or made to feel bad for not achieving 100% veganism, because there are many reasons why people feel they can’t or are just not ready to go vegan. For example none of my family are vegan, but I still love them and don’t think any less of them for it. However I hope by being around me that they can see there is nothing to fear and that it’s actually very easy to not eat or use animal products. Most importantly I want them to know that what they eat is a choice and they can decide to eat differently. Once people reduce and start trying all the yummy vegan alternatives to animal products, it will make it easier for people to see that there are better ways to sustain their lives, without the need to kill others. Food is a complicated issue which can involve many layers of cultural rituals, nostalgia, traditions, allergies or habits (for example).
This said my partner is vegan and has been active with assisting in vegan campaigns and my mum did sign up for the 7 day plate up for the planet challenge! I’m very proud of them both. My partner is truly amazing with a huge heart full of compassion.
It can be scary to stand up, but to stand up for those who cannot speak up for themselves is worth while. You will meet people who treat you like you are crazy or will get downright angry with you. This does not concern me, I just want to help the animals and feel they should have the same rights to have a chance at a pain free happy life, as do humans. My intentions are as plain as that. Anything I can do to help decrease or eliminate animal suffering, Ill happily do.
One of the most common objections to veganism I hear is that people are unsure of what to eat and “I’m too fussy to be vegan”or “I don’t like vegetables”. I think people are also worried they will not get all the correct dietary requirements. There also seems to be a lack of confidence when shopping for vegan food. It need not be difficult and many things you already eat may already be vegan. This is where the Vegan Society is great as they offer support in all these areas. I am not surprised that some find it daunting, it is a complete lifestyle change for some after all. I myself thought it would be way more difficult than what it is. The vegan societys 30 day pledge helped me see how EASY it really is. I’m always here to help anyone with questions on veganism.
The best story I have heard this year is about Jay the vegetarian beef farmer who set his beautiful herd of bovines (cows) free. He is a real hero and an inspiration to me, and proof that people can turn things around and chose to do the right thing In the end. I love his story so much (always makes me cry). I think helping farmers to convert to plant based farming is a very positive and proactive way to help farmers out of situations they may otherwise feel stuck. I also read recently that an Irish farmer has sent his dairy cows to Hillside Sanctuary, so Jay has really done a magnificent thing and has set a good example! Just Magical! I think the Vegan Societies Grow green campaign is fantastic and would love to help get involved in some way with this campaign.
As well as a Vegan society member I am a member of Viva and I also support Hillside Animal Sanctuary with a monthly donation (this is where Jay and the Irish farmers cows are being looked after in their forever homes) It is a good thing to support these sanctuaries – Hillside is exceptional in their impact. Not only do they rescue and take in farmed animals they go undercover to expose cruelty and get justice for abused farm animals.
I have recently ordered up leaflets from viva to door drop – the leaflets contain information on the true cost of a turkey dinner and may make people think twice this Xmas! A staggering 10million turkeys were killed last year for Xmas dinners! Most turkeys never having been outdoors in their very short lives. This is going to be my new Xmas tradition, going out all wrapped up delivering leaflets to raise awareness for the turkeys!! Can’t wait until they arrive, such a great idea.
What can you do to help animals?
- Become a member of an animal welfare society or organisation
- Donate to an animal sanctuary monthly and or raise funds (be inventive and have fun doing it)
- Be VEGAN – one person CAN make a HUGE difference! The average carnist eats their way through 3000 to 7000 animals in their life time.
- Do not buy any cosmetics or household products which are not leaping bunny approved
- Get involved in activism either through a group like Viva or on your own
- Read up and know how your food is produced – be brave and face the ugly truth – but don’t torture yourself, once you know ALL the facts, you don’t have to keep watching horrific images. I’m glad these images and films exist as people need to know. I am in awe and debt to those hero’s who go undercover to expose cruelty (don’t think I could do it)
- Sign as many petitions as you can helping animals
- Contact your MSPs or government on issues which concern you regarding animal rights
- Advocate – either via an organisation like the vegan society or on your own – get out there and speak to people on animal welfare, veganism and animal rights.
- If you are Vegan Be patient with friends, family and the public – be a good example and show them how easy being Vegan is and reward their efforts even if all they will do is reduce (I have to do this) Educate if they are willing to listen!
- Ask your favourite eat out places to provide vegan options and complement them on their efforts! Say you’ll defo be back (we have a few places who now give vegan options because we do this)
- Never buy a pet always rehome from shelters/sanctuaries or give homes to rescue animals.
- Even if you can only do one thing from this list – do it
Vegan and Animal Welfare Group for the North East of Scotland?
I would like to form a group of like minded people with an interest in raising awareness for Veganism and Animal Welfare/Rights. If anyone is in the Aberdeenshire area or willing to travel to attend or would like input from further regarding animal action campaigns events or meetings please get in touch via twitter at first and I can provide contact details. I welcome Ideas on what we should do as a group and would look to organise a get together now and then to discuss campaigns