My name is Lynn and I am a vegan/animal rights activist. My mission in life is to educate people about the animals our society refers to as 'food' animals. To achieve this goal, I am working to set up a vegan sanctuary: a go-to place for people to contact when they know of an animal in need of safe shelter. For such an ambitious project, sufficient funding must be raised urgently which is why I'm appealing to you here.
You might be wondering what sets a vegan sanctuary apart from a non-vegan sanctuary. In short, non-vegan sanctuaries are more specific about the animals they take in. They do not believe in rescuing animals from slaughter - their protocol is only to rescue animals who they consider to have been abused. A vegan sanctuary, on the other hand, will attempt to save all animals unconditionally. If they are unable to take them themselves, they will try to assist with finding forever homes elsewhere.
Having ex-'food' animals in a sanctuary where people are able to visit and interact with them is hugely important in encouraging the public to see them for the sentient, emotional creatures that they are. As people rarely have immediate contact with cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and turkeys (in the way they do with cats and dogs) there is often no connection made between the animals and the meat purchased in supermarkets. Providing a platform for this kind of interaction will help adults and children to understand that these animals are just the same as the ones we share our homes with – with an equivalent capacity to give and receive love; to form friendships with other animals and humans; to play; and to feel and experience the same wide range of emotions as we do ourselves.
Now, this mission is of particular importance to me at the moment, as my current goal is to save 1-2 day old calves from being shot. This barbaric treatment comes from males calves being seen as being surplus to requirements in the dairy industry. As a result, they are most often killed immediately after being taken from their mothers; if not, they're slaughtered for veal at around 18-20 weeks old. It is imperative that these calves be taken to a fully vegan sanctuary, which will provide the care they do deserve.
Not only do I see this sanctuary as being a haven for animals, it will be a sanctuary for humans too. There will be facilities offering holistic therapies, stress management, meditation and relaxation, with a view to providing yoga and counselling too. There will also be a shop selling animal rights/vegan merchandise (which is currently sold at www.bohemianhippy.com to raise money for the sanctuary. There will ideally be a vegan café too.
The sanctuary will offer jobs to volunteers; aim to work hand-in-hand with the job centre to provide employment opportunities; and secure placements for people referred from psychological services, social work, and children's homes.
So, to summarise my aim, I want to use the money raised here to fund an educational sanctuary in central Scotland. The sanctuary will be fully vegan and will be a safe haven for all animals living there. It will operate as a space in which to enlighten children, young people, and adults about these animals, alongside providing cohesive and important information about animal rights, the huge impact animal agriculture has on our environment and global warming, and about leading a compassionate and cruelty-free lifestyle. This venture means so much to me because – having had significant interaction over the years with cows, pigs, sheep and goats – I've learned that these creatures are no different to the dogs I've shared my life with. Ultimately, everything comes down to perception – and this sanctuary will exist to challenge and rebuild the way we've been conditioned to view animals. I want to remind people of the beautiful beings these creatures are. The sanctuary will not only cater for visitors, but will provide a webcam to live stream what the animals are up to so you can observe from the comfort of your home! We will also invite in groups to give talks (which will be available online); hold screenings of documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Earthlings, and Forks over Knives; and use iAnimal headset to really allow people to view the lives of animals within a slaughterhouse. These events will highlight the stark contrast between sanctuaries and abattoirs and emphasise the real importance of saving 'food' animals.
All support is very much appreciated – please help us spread the word to turn our vision into a reality!
In Autumn 2016, I saved the two-year-old son of a dairy cow from slaughter. When he was born, he was taken from his mother and denied the milk her body had produced for him – simply so that the milk could be reserved for human consumption. I named this bullock, Prince; he now lives safely in a sanctuary near the Scottish Borders.
BERRY AND BRAMBLE’S STORY
Between Christmas and New Year, I also helped to rescue two Highland cattle from slaughter. Their names are Berry and Bramble: a 19-year-old mother and her two-year-old son. Just as they were about to enter the food chain, I was contacted to ask if I could help them. I managed to find them a sanctuary, organised transport, and made the 15 hour round-trip with the transporters to rescue the cows and accompany them to their safe home in Dunbartonshire.
Disclaimer: If the target amount is not reached, the money collected will be used to make an educational documentary about the lives of these types of animals. Anything left over will be split between UK vegan animal sanctuaries.