Newsletter: April 2021

We know we say this EVERY month, but there are just so many fantastic and exciting things happening in the vegan world right now!  Writing this newsletter always makes the Vegan FTA team smile to see so much positivity and inspiration within the movement.  We hope you enjoy reading our selection for the month!

This month’s wins

SEASPIRACY has launched!  The latest film from ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘What the Health’ producer Kip Andersen was released on Netflix on March 24th and has been smashing its way up to the top of the viewing charts around the world. Seaspiracy has quite rightly been attracting a huge amount of attention and driving home the crucial importance of taking fish off the menu. With our oceans being nothing less than critical to our very existence on this planet, protecting them and the beings who inhabit it is not optional if we wish to survive. This documentary has been able to cross the threshold into many homes and reach a variety of audiences to unite them in a common goal – to save our planet and ensure our future. If you haven’t watched it already, please check it out on Netflix, but be warned – it WILL blow your mind.  Vegan FTA’s Gareth and Jackie are super excited to be interviewing Kip later this month, along with Seaspiracy directors and investigators Ali and Lucy Tabrizi.  Watch this space for more news on this groundbreaking documentary!

Mathew Pritchard rows 3200 miles for the animals.  Former MTV stuntman and now vegan ultra-endurance athlete and “Dirty Vegan” cookbook author, Mathew Pritchard never does ANYTHING by halves and his latest mission is no different.  As we speak, the huge hearted Welshman is well underway in his goal to raise money for animal rescue sanctuary Dean Farm Trust, which he is a patron of, and UK mental health charity Humen by undertaking the world’s toughest row – a mammoth 3200 miles across the Atlantic Ocean unaided. Their bums are numb, their arms are tired and sore as they row from Lanzarote to Antigua, and as they approach the halfway point Matt and the crew have had their fair share of dramas and challenges along the way.  In typical Pritchard style however, the big fella is still smiling.  If you can, please  support Mathew and the crew by donating to these two worthy causes, or sending them love and cheering them on via their social media channels.

PETA puts up unmissable billboard in Detroit.. In the closing weeks of February, a semi-truck in Detroit carrying 38 cows rolled, causing at least 20 beautiful, innocent souls to be euthanised at the roadside. This came as a devastating blow to the local animal rights community, as the needless death of these animals was brutally perpetuated by this event. In memorial of the lives lost, PETA started a campaign to raise funds for a billboard near the site of the crash to help spread the message that the cows shouldn’t have been on a truck in the first place, let alone be in anyone’s diet. The loud and proud message of ‘I’m ME, not meat. See the individual. Go Vegan’ now sits prominently over the crash location as a reminder of the events past and possible future.

Cornwall Park live cattle export STOPPED!  An iconic New Zealand park, known and loved by locals and visitors for its roaming farm animals recently announced its pride in taking part in an ‘overseas breeding programme’, using the resident cattle.  Cornwall Park in Auckland painted a bright future as it took to social media to announce the partnership – only to immediately face outrage from animal rights activists, who saw through the pretty words and wasted no time in informing the public of their true meaning. Following the heartbreaking capsize and sinking of the Gulf 1 live export ship carrying around 6000 animals in September 2020, live export was suspended in New Zealand – with the exception of breeding stock. As part of the ‘breeding program’, this clause meant Cornwall Park could legally ship their beautiful bovine residents to Mongolia. Fortunately for the cows, the public outcry which ensued created enough national and international media attention to have the Cornwall Park Trust Board review the decision made and this and all future decisions to export. Continued efforts are still being made by animal rights organisations all over the country to end ALL live export in New Zealand. To help bring a stop to this barbaric and needless practice, learn more here.

World first for the plant based market –  New Food Invest 2021 On the 18th March, our partners at Beyond Animal co-hosted a groundbreaking virtual summit in collaboration with ProVeg International, to bring together key stakeholders and investors with plant based start-up companies and businesses. The rise of the alternative proteins industry has not gone unnoticed and in doing so, has attracted the attention of influential players in the global economy. Events like New Food Invest and the work done by Beyond Animal and ProVeg are steering the direction of a post-Covid economy further towards a more sustainable and ethical future. As individuals we cannot underestimate the power of voting with our wallet and the impact we create with every dollar we spend.

CEO and founder of Beyond Animal, Claire Smith joins us for Episode 11 of our ‘Activist‘ series, coming soon.  Investing in a vegan future appeals to you, be sure not to miss it!

Sanctuary of the Month – Lancaster Farm Sanctuary

We are completely head over heels in love right now with an incredibly brave little calf named Jude and an equally courageous piglet named Jean Marie.  Both are residents at Lancaster Farm Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, US and have been going through some particularly tough battles.  Jude was rescued from a dairy farm where like many male calves, he would otherwise have been disposed of – not least because of his cleft lip and palate.  Fortunately the team at Lancaster took him straight to the hospital and everyone was delighted to learn these differences would not interfere with him being able to drink. Unfortunately, he had already picked up many infections from the farm, including Mycoplasma, a bacteria which can cause serious health issues.  It probably didn’t help that up until his rescue, he was being kept in a small metal cage outside in the cold, in what the vet described as ‘nasty’ conditions.  In Jude’s case however, the bacteria was heavily concentrated in his ears, and despite being on antibiotics for an extended period of time, the bacteria was eating away at his bone and tissue.  

In addition to being attacked by the Mycoplasma, Jude has also had to battle pneumonia, cryptosporidium and bovine coronavirus.  He has undergone multiple surgeries and spent many weeks in hospital fighting for his life but despite being named after the patron saint of lost causes, this beautiful baby has proved himself to be anything but.  He is now home, his health and happiness is improving by the day and he has made many friends.  Every precious animal deserves a chance at life and we are so grateful to everyone at Lancaster Farm Sanctuary for doing everything in their power to help Jude overcome his many challenges and enable him to live his best life.  

As if the team weren’t busy enough caring for Jude, then along came Jean Marie!  An emergency rescue like Jude, Jean Marie had fallen off a transport truck and sustained terrible injuries.  Both her back legs were broken and by the time help arrived, she had been on her own for a few days and was thin, in shock and covered in cuts and bruises.  She had also developed a respiratory infection.  Like Jude, Jean Marie was taken to Cornell Hospital and while she is still there, this little fighter is doing well and can now stand up on her own and can even take a few steps!  With luck this beautiful girl will be brought home to start her new life at the sanctuary soon but with possible nerve damage to her left leg there is still a long road ahead to complete recovery.  With the love and care of the Lancaster team however, we are sure the future will be bright for this brave wee piggy!

Jude and Jean Marie are just two of the gorgeous animals at Lancaster Farm Sanctuary.  Founded by Sarah Salluzzo and Jonina Turzi, the sanctuary is currently home to rescued cows, horses, pigs, chickens, alpacas, goats, ducks, sheep and turkeys. Sarah and Jonina are motivated by their love for animals, humans and the environment and founded the sanctuary in an effort to provide compassionate connections between humans and the lovely beings typically viewed as mere commodities.

Be sure to check out their Instagram account so you can keep up with Jude and Jean Marie – not to mention Pumpkin the pig, Barbara the chicken and many more!  If you are able, please consider a donation to help Lancaster Farm Sanctuary further their important and amazing work.

Activist of the Month – Karen Dawn

The vegan movement is so hugely fortunate to have some incredible female animal rights advocates such as Claire Smith and  Susan Hargreaves, who have devoted decades to being a voice for the voiceless and helping to create a kinder, more vegan world.  Without a doubt, another to add to this list is Karen Dawn.  Karen is the founder of DawnWatch, an organisation dedicated to facilitating the coverage of animal issues in the mainstream media, giving people the ability to make choices in line with their values. With a focus on monitoring and influencing major media stations, the goal of DawnWatch is to get animal friendly messages out of the vegan echo-chamber and onto influential platforms. Throughout the process of recording our ‘Activist‘ series, the use of media as an effective tool for activists has come up time and time again. Karen and her organisation are helping other activists to utilise this tool and become effective advocates for the animals by providing  media alerts, writing services, grassroots actions and also hosting a media awards gala, giving awards to members of the major media who have shone the spotlight on animal issues. Becoming a DawnWatch subscriber is free and the amount of animal rights-focused stories circulating in the media around the world will amaze you.  Karen doesn’t miss a thing!  If you want to keep your finger on the vegan button and be the first to learn all the latest news, be sure to sign up to DawnWatch.  Thank you Karen, for everything you have done and continue to do for the animals! 

Exciting new Vegan FTA partners to announce!

Vegan FTA is excited to announce two new partners, whose work we love and admire and are proud to stand behind.  As an organisation, we firmly believe collaboration is key to our success as a movement.  Here at Vegan FTA, we have been fortunate enough to work with other organisations that share our beliefs and drive to see a vegan world for the animals. By creating partnerships, this has allowed us to work with specialists in different fields that further our joint goals and message as a movement by sharing our combined expertise.

Animal Activism Mentorship

We are delighted to be working alongside Animal Activism Mentorship and their program to help develop activism throughout our community. Whether you are newly vegan or a seasoned activist, AAM provides both free workshops and one-to-one mentorships to educate and empower advocacy for the animals. With a range of experienced mentors, the team provide valuable insights and assistance in creating action across the many fronts of veganism. Our own Gareth and Jackie can regularly be found attending these events and learn from them just as much as they enjoy coming along to them.  You can find out more about the Animal Activism Mentorship program here.

Stay tuned to our YouTube channel too, for the upcoming new episode of ‘Activist‘ featuring AAM mentor and prominent vegan activist, author”Christopher ‘Soul’ Eubanks!

Animal Hero Kids

Founded by the inspirational Susan Hargreaves, Animal Hero Kids is a organisation creating a new generation of empathetic and dedicated heroes for the animals. We are proud to partner with the future generation of activism and help Susan in celebrating youth who are doing incredible things to help animals. Animal Hero Kids also seeks to establish learning centres worldwide with the aid of sanctuaries to provide children and adults with compassionate education about the animals that inhabit this world with us.

In case you missed it, we spoke to Susan in a recent episode of ‘Activist’, where she gave more insight into Animal Hero Kids and their amazing work and goals for the future. Check out the episode!

WATCH: The Challenges of Reporting at Sea

Our friends at Sentient Media do consistently amazing and top quality work.  In their series ‘Sentient Sessions’, a panel of experts were recently brought together to talk on ‘The Challenges of Reporting at Sea‘. With the release of Seaspiracy there couldn’t be a more prominent time to learn about risks and realities of investigating the global fishing industry. Featuring Ian Urbina, Pulitzer Prize winner and Director of The Outlaw Ocean Project, Lex Rigby, Head of Investigations at Viva! and Pete Paxton, whose work has been covered in HBO documentaries. Sentient Media’s Executive Director Ana Bradley and Reporter and Editor Matt Zampa guide the conversation throughout its informative depths and help reveal the challenges faced by advocates at sea. Having attended this live event, Jackie and Gareth learned a lot from all three engaging speakers and can highly recommend watching the recording of this talk!

CHECK OUT: Chantal Poulin Durocher, Vegan Artiste Extraordinaire

Chantal Poulin Durocher is a French artist creating astonishing works of art themed around animals and being a voice for the voiceless. As any vegan knows, different people respond to different messages.  Some people resonate with words, others sounds, and some with images. Chantal’s art is truly breathtaking and is a perfect example of how creative activism is an important element to our movement; providing new and interesting perspectives on topics of advocacy. Check out Chantal’s website – you’ll be glad you did!

Have you got your Vegan FTA t-shirts yet?

Spring is here for our followers in many parts of the world and we’ve got just the gear for you now the weather is getting warmer!  Vegan FTA  has teamed up with our friends at Defender of Animals Clothing to bring you an exclusive range of t-shirts designed by us, as well as an awesome tote bag so you can carry us wherever you go!  They are fantastic and better yet, Defender of Animals is very kindly donating all profits from the sale of these unique products to Vegan FTA, to help us in the work we do.  All products are made from organic cotton and printed in the UK in a renewable energy powered factory.  Top quality apparel made by activists, for activists. Getting your hands on one (or more!) is only a click away!  Check out the order page – and while you’re at it, be sure to check out the rest of their awesome designs too!

Become a Vegan FTA supporter!

Vegan FTA is currently completely unfunded and we need all the support we can get!  By becoming a Vegan FTA supporter, you can help to make our work even better and ensure its continuation. We have so many goals and dreams of bringing you the best possible and exclusive content over the coming year and beyond.  Here are some super easy ways you can help us achieve that:

However small your donation may be, any help you are able to offer Vegan FTA is hugely appreciated and keeps us going! Thank you!