What can I say, when I moved back home to Nova Scotia and heard of your wonderful organization, I was thrilled that there was a place that had compassionate people who wanted to work to save animals. I borrowed the first 2 seasons of Hope for Wildlife on dvd from the local library and was enthralled watching all of the beautiful creatures NS has. Seeing yourself and your hardworking volunteers saving, nurturing and bringing so many animals back from the brink of death and to witness the day of freedom that was unsure for so many. You gave me hope.
Yesterday was your annual open house. I was extremely excited. I arrived with my two good friends and husband. The crowds were unbelievable. I saw Hope doing interviews and got a bit starstruck, as silly as that may seem. I didn't approach her because I knew there was so much going on.
My friend Sam and I made our way over to the petting zoo. As ethical vegans, we had mixed feelings about this. Thinking of the stress these animals must be under and of course, knowing that these are most likely animals used for someone's own purpose. There were a few goats and a couple sheep. Magnificent creatures. We soaked in their pure goodness, trying to not get overwhelmed by the crowds. Samantha immediately mentioned to me that the sheeps tails were docked. This is a painful procedure, normally done without anesthesia in which they cut the lamb's tails off before 6 months of age.
My biggest notice while with the goats and sheep were just how reactive children are to animals. We are naturally compassionate beings. We are born loving animals and being around them is so thrilling and so exciting for children. I question whether these same children would want to consume the hotdogs and hamburgers being served on the BBQ.
We wandered around, enjoyed seeing the baby squirrels, chipmunk, raccoons and many more beautiful animals.
Then our tummies started growling. What are 4 vegans going to find to eat? You are at an event that is supposed to be raising money for animals yet animals are on the menu? Why is the life of a cow so different than that of the deer you save?
I did, however, notice they had veggie burgers as well. I got excited until I approached one of the people BBQing and was told that "no they can't clean or use a separate grill because they are too busy and don't have time." My immediate response was "then having veggie burgers is pointless." The mass majority of vegans or vegetarians do not want to consume something that is being grilled on the very same grill with animal juices and where pieces of animal flesh were. Thank you for the thought but in the end, it was a pointless gesture.
We moved away from the BBQ, hungry and becoming more and more agitated by the whole event. But the kicker came when we walked up a slope to see a booth lined with fur coats. I stared for several seconds, turned to Sam and said "did I just walk into the Twilight Zone?" I was so disturbed and scared I might start a fight if I approached that I don't know even what exactly they were there for. Searching a little bit online later it seems to me it was for an Inuit center of some sort. How could an event for animals condone allowing fur coats there?
I also witnessed lots of animal pelts on the booth across from the coats and also on a tarot card readers tent. As well as several animal skulls here and there. To me this seems like major disconnect. As a vegan, animal activist and animal lover, seeing these things upset me to the core. You are raising money for animals yet displaying their death everywhere. It made no sense whatsoever to any of us.
We left immediately after this, truly in shock, shaken to the core. My heart ached and all ounce of hope I felt was gone.
So here's what I suggest, Hope and Hope for Wildlife staff, whose hearts I believe are in the right place. If you truly love animals, I challenge you to not only look into veganism but search what happens on family and factory farms every single day. Watch Earthlings, Vegucated (also available on Netflix), Speciesism (there is a free public screening in Halifax on Sept. 30th) and a multitude of other animal films. I ask you to listen to Gary Yourofsky's best speech. Read the many animal and vegan related books on the market. Try some of our local vegan restaurants such as Wild Leek, enVie and Fruition. Come visit Halifax Vegfest on September 20th. Visit my website which has databases for all things vegan www.theveganpeach.com. My blog also has a Halifax vegan guide which is perfect to get people started who live locally.
Peace begins on your plate. The animals you save are no different than the ones you consume. All animals deserve life and all animals want to live.
Choose compassion, go vegan!
The Vegan Peach
Monday, 25 August 2014
An Open Letter to Hope for Wildlife
Labels: challenge, hope, hope for wildlife, letter, open letter, the vegan peach, vegan, veganism, vegans
Labels are for soup cans but here's some stuff about me: Ethical Vegan, Activist, Animal lover, Photographer, Dreamer, Wanderer, Survivor, Warrior, Misanthropic, Neurotic, Empath, Socially Awkward, Child of the Earth, Cat Enthusiast, Old Soul, Childlike Spirit, Spiritually Curious, Tree Hugger, Tofu Muncher, Endometriosis Sufferer, Mental Health Advocate, Alien Believer, Doodle Enthusiast. Equality for all! I like to stop and smell the flowers and talk to the squirrels.