Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Martin Fox - Exeter

Becoming 'Animal Active' is immensely rewarding and it’s so good to be amongst like minded veggie friends. Come and join us. We really do make a difference.”

Far more women are vegetarian and involved in animal activism than men. We all have our own theories about this but one possible reason is that it isn’t traditionally “manly” to be seen to care about animals. Fortunately, however, there are an increasing number of men who aren’t ashamed to be compassionate and who recognise that there’s nothing manly about standing by while others suffer. Martin is one of Viva!’s most effective local contacts, representing Exeter Friends For Animals who are an active and dedicated group. EFFA recently organised a very successful Veggie Festival in the centre of Exeter involving talks, the opportunity for people to buy veggie and vegan products and – best of all – taking the message to ordinary people out shopping on a Saturday afternoon.

“Can it really be all those years ago since, as a younger man I made the decision to go vegetarian? I remember getting quite excited when a restaurant offered a vegetable lasagne instead of an omelette or cheese salad. The endless amount of time my then girlfriend and I spent trying to do something interesting with Sosmix! And wondering how many times a week you could eat Beanfeast spagbol. I knew though, that I didn’t want to be a participant in animal suffering and death just for an unnecessary taste on my plate.

“Information is the key. When, after many years of passive vegetarianism I decided about six years ago, to find out what more I could do to help animals ( and meet more like minded people ) I started to write letters to the local press, attended meetings of local groups and joined Viva! The wealth of well researched information available immediately led me to the next step of a totally animal free diet.

“Now, as a Viva! local contact and joint coordinator of Exeter Friends for Animals (EFFA), I get great satisfaction from sharing knowledge and communicating with prospective new vegetarians and animal activists at our monthly information stalls in the centre of Exeter. It’s so easy to start campaigning, even if you can only spare the occasional hour or two, and importantly, only involving yourself initially with activities with which you feel comfortable.