It was amazing to be with others who felt the same about animals.
At Viva!, we know that our local campaigners have lives to live and that many are involved in helping animals in all sorts of ways. We don’t expect every campaigner to be able to support every campaign – but some of them always manage to do so anyway. Jenny from Edinburgh is one of those. Still in her early twenties, not only has she supported all our recent days of action against Tesco and Marks & Spencer but she even organised a Vegan Fair in Glasgow this summer, giving Scottish vegans and vegetarians a chance to find out more about the issues, check out the latest products and eat some fabulous food – food which she even helped to cook! She is in regular contact with Scottish politicians and the media but despite a busy life away from campaigning, never loses her sense of humour.
“From the age of three I irritated my parents with questions about animals. I couldn’t understand why we would hurt them and didn’t believe my dinner was once a living creature. I ate animals’ right up until I left home at seventeen. I began as a vegetarian and after three years changed to a vegan diet.
“I was unaware of the extent of animal abuse until I read one of Viva!’s books. It devastated me to think of the pain and fear that most animals are subjected to for human consumption, entertainment and ‘sport’. It is a basic fact that all animals have a central nervous system (humans included!) therefore feel pain and fear pain. I still can’t understand why some humans in the face of this scientific fact tend to ignore it.
“In July 2002 I attended the Viva! ‘ban-factory farming’ march through London. It was amazing to be with others who felt the same about animals and encouraged me to become more active. I then joined a local animal rights group - Edinburgh Animal Rights. They were very welcoming and I helped out with info stalls and demos. Initially I found it difficult to motivate myself to turn up for demos – I know how difficult it can be especially if you don’t enjoy excess attention – but it is easier for us to spare a few hours of our time, even it we do feel uncomfortable, than it is for the millions of animals who are suffering silently every day of their lives.
“Edinburgh Animal Rights has now metamorphosed into a new group called EVA – Edinburgh Voice 4 Animals. I intend to help with demos, information stalls and press releases in the future and hope to help others who want to get more involved in campaigning or who want support in changing to a vegetarian/vegan diet.”