I loved this article in the Chicago Tribune, “Animal welfare groups may be losing their appetite for meat,” which is about rescue organizations that realize serving meat at events goes against their mission: protecting animals.
Many organizations already get it; some are still learning. Organizations that rescue farm animals, of course, don’t put pork on the menu — yet those that help pets like dogs and cats often don’t make the connection when it comes to the food at their fundraisers.
St. Hubert’s in New Jersey walks the walk, and the organization went meatless after its new CEO, Heather J. Cammisa, joined the organization. As she told the Tribune: ”Our mission involves the humane treatment of animals, building an environment where people respect all living creatures,” Cammisa says. “And this aligns with that.”
The article notes that a California survey found that 85 percent of those involved with shelters believe it’s ethically inconsistent for an organization that rescues animals to sell or serve animal products. Yet only 29 percent of organizations have adopted a vegetarian or vegan policy.
Most people simply don’t realize what animals suffer in order to get to their plates, and once they do, the change to a cruelty-free environment is welcome. As Cammisa told the Tribune, “Over 90 percent of animals raised for food are raised in factory farms. When that information is shared people don’t want to be part of that.”
For any organization to be a true advocate for animals, it must be meatless. And making this change may not turn supporters into vegans overnight, but it will help make the connection and show that all animals deserve protection.