Sue Joyce, a former veterinary nurse who runs a bird sanctuary called The Little Green Pigeon in Stone, Staffordshire, England, has been publicly defending her decision to seek vegans as volunteers for her sanctuary after non-vegans complained that was unfair. She advertised a volunteer opportunity for someone to help her by asking applicants a question about their “vegan journey” in a post on Facebook.

Ms Joyce, understandably, explained on Facebook that she would only be happy with a volunteer who shared her vegan beliefs working at the sanctuary she runs from her home, where she cares for injured pigeons and other birds. She said: “The reason there is a little question about ’your vegan journey’’ is that Little Green Pigeon is a vegan run company therefore, unless you are vegan, unfortunately, you cannot work for us. Around 10 of you that have applied are vegetarian. I absolutely applaud that, I was a vegetarian for 30 years before I became vegan, for many of us, it’s still a journey. However, unless you are vegan you are willfully contributing to the abuse and death of billions of cows, hens, cockerels, sheep, goats, geese, ducks, and pigs each day.”

Ms Joyce told StokeonTrentLive that she didn’t specify the person had to be vegan but that the volunteer she eventually hired happened to be so. She said: “I interviewed meat eaters but part of the job is to talk at vegan fairs so some of the applicants withdrew because it wasn’t for them, and the person I employed so happened to be vegan. I do work with people that aren’t vegan.” It beggars belief that carnists (including vegetarians) complained against Ms Joyce wanting to work with people that would not bring her sanctuary under disrepute for being inconsistent with their choices regarding animals and for supporting some forms of animal exploitation. But at least the controversy of such complaints have given her a public voice to talk about veganism more. The Express quoted her saying: “Emailing saying you are an animal lover but not actually vegan, well… that’s basically not true. That means you love ‘some’ animals. For example: You can’t love all animals then eat an egg because thousands of male chicks will have been gassed to death AT BIRTH so that that egg can get to your plate.”

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.