Celebrating 40 Years of Animal Aid
Animal Aid is 40 years old this year and we thought long and hard about how to mark the occasion. While we’re proud of what we’ve achieved for animals over four decades – from an end to compulsory dissection for school students in our early days to recent undercover investigations that have exposed the brutal world of slaughterhouses and led to closures and prosecutions – we didn’t simply want to dwell in the past.
Eventually, we decided that probably the greatest sign of our influence has been the change in public attitudes to animals and, in particular, the acceptance and rising popularity of veganism. While we certainly don’t claim all the credit for this heartening progress, we can certainly claim to have played our part. From the beginning, we have championed veganism as the non-violent response to animal cruelty, environmental degradation and human poverty. And it was Animal Aid that launched the first all-vegan Living Without Cruelty Festival (way back in 1987).
Therefore, to celebrate our anniversary, we thought that our vegan campaign ought to be at the centre, and that’s why we are co-ordinating the first Vegan Festival of Britain (VFOB), May 20th – June 10th 2017 and asking for support from the whole vegan community to ensure its success.
VFOB is not about one single big event. Our idea is to pull together and inspire all the boundless creativity, talent, energy and commitment out there – whether businesses, cooks, campaign groups, celebrities, local campaigners or individuals. From special events and promotions to vegan street parties, dedicated restaurant menus, online innovations and company/shop promotions – right down to individuals inviting their neighbours over for a meal or a slice of cake – we want to inspire with the idea of a national celebration of veganism and see where it takes us. While Animal Aid’s 40th anniversary is the catalyst, we see it as collaboration with other vegan interest groups and individuals. We want to show that we are all plant-based and proud! And, in doing so, help to show others the benefits of a vegan life.
How Can You Help?
We hope that you will want to join us by becoming a key part of this groundbreaking initiative. Can you organise a vegan cake sale to raise funds, invite a friend to try some vegan food, give out leaflets, put up a display in a local library, order leaflets and posters, arrange a vegan party, take in biscuits or cakes for work colleagues, persuade your local wholefood store to do a promotion or a restaurant to offer a special vegan menu – even it’s just for one day some time between May 20-June 10? There are lots more ideas at our website – as well as information on what’s already happening. Or possibly you have ideas of your own? Please do get involved, in whatever way suits you best (and let us know about it), because every contribution will help us to make a difference.