If you were the kind of person who was brought up to eat meat and dairy but had an innate love and sympathy for animals, you might start to worry that raising them and killing them for food might hurt them. You might seek advice, asking – “is it done humanely?” or “do they suffer?”
If you asked a butcher or a farmer those questions and he told you – “oh no, don’t worry, they don’t suffer,” or “no, no, no, it’s all done very humanely” or “there are very strict rules in this country to ensure that there’s nothing cruel about it”, then you might hesitate to believe him, knowing that he has a vested interest in keeping you eating meat and therefore a motivation to deceive you on this point.
However, if you got the same response from people whose job it is to care for animals, to rescue them from abuse and neglect and to give them sanctuary, you’re more likely to believe them.
For this reason, organisations like the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming may well do more to keep people from veganism than the butchers and the farmers. Many many people love animals and only a small fraction of them become vegan. I believe this is because respected animal welfare organisations don’t tell them that there is no such thing as humane animal agriculture or humane slaughter. They assure people that as long as they buy ‘free range’, organic, “freedom food”, and naturally reared animal products their consciences are clear.
Organisations like these have great power and influence. If they told the truth about the horror which is inseparable from animal farming, in every instance without exception, we would see a huge increase in new vegans and enlightenment. So why don’t they use their influence for good? Why do they forsake the very individuals they’ve sworn to protect, as well as the humans who genuinely do want to do the right thing?
Raystede is another such organisation. It is an animal sanctuary in Ringmer, East Sussex which rescues and rehomes dogs, cats and small animals as well as providing a permanent home for horses, donkeys, goats, exotic birds, chickens, turkeys and tortoises. They also provide educational materials for school parties and families in an effort to educate people in how to take better care of their animals. They have done a lot of very good work for many decades. On their front page they write:
“We believe that every animal has the right to health, happiness and freedom from suffering.”
And yet they serve meat, fish, eggs and dairy in their on-site cafe.
So, visitors who come to Raystede are getting a very confusing message:
On the one hand – “every animal has the right to health, happiness and freedom from suffering.”
And on the other hand – it’s ok pay for animals to be enslaved and killed at a young age to satisfy our appetites.
Children get the message: nice people who know about animals and love animals eat meat and fish and eggs and cheese, so it must be ok to do it.
Raystede do the animals, and the people who want to do their best for the animals, a great disservice by setting this very bad example. They sustain the status quo. They keep animals in the horrific cycle of abuse, exploitation and execution. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE sign this petition and share it far and wide so that others will keep asking them to remove animal products from their menu.