News that the Vegan Society is working with Bradley Nook Farm in Derbyshire to transition from beef to vegan organics is the icing on the (vegan) cake of all our years of campaigning. It shows the great value of networking both within the vegan movement and with movements beyond in the wider world.
Veggies met up with farmer Jay when catering at Northern Green Gatherings at his inherited family farm. The farm near Ashbourne, Derbyshire is also one of a number of locations used on rotation for Earth First! Gatherings. As vegan campaign caterers Veggies has catered for EF! since the very first gathering in 1991, helping in a small way to maintain a vegan ethos in the grass roots eco-action movement.
There was concern amongst animal rights campaigners invited to share space at the 2015 gathering due to the venue being a beef farm, but we knew that both EF! and Jay we’re doing their best is difficult circumstances – finding a vegan friendly location for a gathering of up to 500 people is not an easy task with so much land controlled by agencies outside of our circle of influence.
It was through the involvement of long term Veggies member Cathy in another Vegan Society project (hospital catering) that the opportunity came about to mention in conversation the potential to veganise Jay’s farm. The rest is, as they say, history, and hopefully a turning point in the transition of many more livestock farms to the compassionate and efficient farming of Food for a Future.
Hosting camps & gatherings can provide a useful income stream for vegan landowners. We will actively encourage the gatherings at which we cater to consider holding events at Bradley Nook Farm. As participants in the Northern Green Gathering (NGG) held there each August, we will urge the organisers to encourage other caterers at the event to honour the compassionate stance of the farm by highlighting vegan options. We know this to be a popular position to take as Nottingham Green Festival has declared a fully vegan ethos from 2017.
Since 1984 Veggies has saved hundreds of cows by simply selling, with vegan attitude, possibly half a million Veggies Burgers. All those lives were unknown to us, but the path has led to 100 individual living, breathing lives that you can now meet at Hillside Animal Rescue:
We have been asked to take in a herd of 70 cattle, including 30 pregnant cows, to save them from the slaughterhouse. This has been brought about by a massive turnaround in thinking by a farmer who became vegetarian and could no longer send his cows to such a cruel fate. The farmer was in consultation with the Vegan Society, who contacted Hillside to ask if we could give the cows a permanent safe home in the sanctuary.
Please sponsor Hillside supporter Andy Pemberton and friends, to help the cows – please click here or telephone the Hillside Cow Rescue Helpline on 01603 736200 (9am to 10pm).
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