Category: cooperation

Farming for a Future

Farmer Jay herd at Hillside BBC

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.

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.

Meanwhile Jay has already discussed plans for his new ventures with Derbyshire Dales District Council.

He said: “We’ve got a huge range of brick buildings on the farm which are unused. We’re hoping to turn those into a vegan restaurant, a vegan teaching kitchen and accommodation for people who would like to come and help on the vegetable growing. A vegan holidays sort of thing.” (Derby Telegraph)

Since 1984 Veggies Catering Campaign 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:

 

Farmer Jays Cows at Hillside The cows are now being cared for by Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk which is fundraising for their keep

Please sponsor Hillside to help the cows – please click here or telephone the Hillside Cow Rescue Helpline on 01603 736200 (9am to 10pm).Please Help the Cows

or by bank transfer donation to…
The Co-operative Bank
Account No: 69668302
Sort Code: 08-92-99

 
Or by post to Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Hill Top Farm, Hall Lane, Frettenham, Norwich, NR12 7LT

Vegetarian Farmer Jay article in Vegan Trade Journal
Read the full story in the Vegan Trade Journalfree download here
 

Visit freefromharm.org to read the inspiring stories of other former meat & dairy farmers that became vegan activists.

The story of Farmer Jay is also featured in / at / on:
 

 

BBC News 13 June 2017

A vegetarian farmer has given his herd of cows to an animal sanctuary to protect them from the slaughterhouse.

Jay Wilde, 59, who farms in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, sent 63 cattle to a Norfolk rescue centre as he could no longer bear to send them to be killed.

Mr Wilde, a vegetarian for 25 years, grew up herding cows and took over the family farm when his father died.

“Cows have good memories and a range of emotions. They form relationships. I’ve even seen them cry,” he said.

“It was very difficult to do your best to look after them and then send them to the slaughterhouse for what must be a terrifying death.”

The Hillside Animal Sanctuary near Frettenham said 30 of the cows are pregnant and all the animals “would live out their lives essentially as pets”.

Founder, Wendy Valentine, said Mr Wilde is not the first farmer to have donated his herd.

She recalls a couple who “could not bear to continue dairy farming and kept their cows as pets with the help of the sanctuary”.

Mr Wilde, who switched from dairy farming to organic beef production on the death of his father in 2011, said he always wanted to give up animal production because he “couldn’t believe it was right to eat them”.

He believes dairy farming is particularly hard because calves and cows would often become distressed on separation.

“I’m relieved to have made the decision to no longer farm animals, something which I always found quite upsetting,” he said.

His brother-in-law told him he was “absolutely insane” to give away cattle which could fetch up to £40,000 at market.

He said “a lack of imagination” had previously stopped him switching to arable farming.

Mr Wilde will now be running a vegan organic market farm supplying garden produce without using animal products or fertilisers.

 


Farmer Jay Independent
 
 
A herd of cows from the East Midlands will be mooing a sigh of relief thanks the kindness of their owner, vegetarian farmer Jay Wilde who has sent them to live out their days in an animal sanctuary.

 Leaving their old cattle sheds at Bradley Nook Farm in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, the 59 cows were rehomed in Norfolk at the Hillside Animal Sanctuary on Monday.

A vegetarian for a total of 25 years, Mr Wilde told The Times that he found it “very difficult to do your best to look after them and then send them to the slaughterhouse for what must be a terrifying death.”

“I’m relieved to have made the decision to no longer farm animals, something which I always found quite upsetting,” Mr Wilde said.

“Cows have good memories and a range of emotions. They form relationships. I’ve even seen them cry.” 

The herd, worth £40,000 at market, will avoid the abattoir to join the sanctuary’s 300 cattle and 2,000 horses, donkeys and ponies. Mr Wilde has kept ten as “pets.”

The founder of the sanctuary, Wendy Valentine, said Mr Wilde’s cattle could now enjoy their full 25-year lifespans rather than reaching the slaughter age of two to three years. 

The sanctuary was started in 1995 to draw attention to the effects of factory farming and needs to raise a minimum of £5m per year to continue to care for the animals. 

The donation was organised by the Vegan Society and Mr Wilde now plans to farm organic vegetables free of animal products and fertilisers to sell in the flourishing vegan market. 

Tom Kuehnel, the Vegan Society’s campaign officer, told The Independent: “Jay is a real pioneer, which we hope will inspire other farmers to move towards more compassionate and sustainable farming methods that don’t involve animals.”

… full story …

Nottingham Green Festival

We are delighted to announce that the Nottingham Green Festival will return on Sunday 11th September, following its hugely successful relaunch in 2015.

The event is organised by grass roots, community based volunteers, with no statutory funding, so your help would be most welcome. Whilst we are only a small part of the organising team, Veggies is pleased to provide support by facilitating planning meetings, hosting the NottmGreenFest.org.uk website and, of course, providing Food by Veggies on the day!

Due to the withdrawal of funding the event did not happen in 2014, but Veggies covered essential up-front expenses and the Nottingham community rose to the challenge of making it happen in 2015, regardless of the tight budget. However these funds will need to be recouped and recycled long before 11th September to fund this year’s event, so your support is invited:

Show support for the event by making a small donation. Click the button to donate with PayPal or credit/debit cards; send a cheque to “Nottingham Green Festival”, c/o Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX; or transfer directly to: Nottingham Green Festival, Unity Trust Bank, sort code 08-60-01, a/c no 53110426 …more…

Nottingham Green Festival Ethos

Inspired by the decision by Shambala Festival to be the first mid-scale commercial festival to declare a meat free policy – a position established by Nottingham Green Festival over 30 year ago – we welcome a debate about whether to stay ahead of the game by taking the next logical step, aiming for vegan catering, whilst sharing info inviting other stall holders to leave animal products at home on this occasion.

“Shambala HQ is a mixed bag, with vegans, veggies and meat eaters co-existing harmoniously together, but the whole team agrees that it is important to be bold with our environmental stance, and encourage this debate.”

“The research available clearly demonstrates that overall, a meat-free diet has about half the carbon impact of a meat diet, and a dairy-free vegan diet has a third of the impact.”

Please, see the full meat-and-fish-free-for-2016 discussion.

As Shambala say: “We’re certainly not trying to tell everyone they should become vegan overnight. We are simply not serving meat for [4 days at] the festival to reduce the festival’s impacts, to take a stance, and to encourage an important debate.”

Please let us know what you think: info@NottmGreenFest.org.uk


Nottingham Green Festival Gallery

Veggies is also hosting a mailing list for announcements, news and information about Nottingham Green Festival. (Note: You may get a ‘security certificate‘ warning! Fear not; this is because the list is provided by The Riseup Collective, an activist internet group that doesn’t tick all the corporate boxes). You can safely click through. Honest. Please do subscribe.

Nottingham Green Festival LogoYour support will make all the difference in ensuring the success of Nottingham’s own Green Festival, the place for the whole family to learn, explore and try the latest in everything environmentally friendly and ethical, whilst also having lots of fun in the beautiful setting of the Arboretum Park, Waverley Street / Addison Street, a couple of minutes from Nottingham’s Old Market Square.

With your help, the event will have over 100 product, information and food stalls, kids rides, workshops, natural therapies and sustainable technologies, performers and entertainment throughout the park and live music from the bandstand.

Visit the Nottingham Green Festival website for more event details.


Wild Peak Housing Co-op

In 2012 our friends at Wild Peak (a Radical Routes housing co-op) bought Lawn Cottage on the outskirts of Belper, Derbyshire. The house comes with management of 39 acres of meadow, is adjacent to a Derbyshire Wildlife trust wetland reserve and is two fields away from the Derwent River. The site has lots of sky, wetland birds and views of woods and hills.

They Write:

We’ve got two more spaces available at Wild Peak Housing Co-op…

If anyone’s up for it we’re in the on-going process of building a Housing Co-op. We have a house and out buildings in a beautiful spot at the end of a 2 mile lane, just outside Belper, on the edge of the Peak District, in Derbyshire.

The Co-op owns 69 acres of land running alongside the river Derwent. 39 acres of this is leased to the Wildlife Trust and managed as a wetlands bird reserve, and the other 30 acres is ex-landfill, now grassland, that we’re attempting to manage for conservation, and coppice for our wood fired boiler. This mainly consists of cutting hay, planting trees, and grazing some rescued horses. Our days are touched upon by flights of jackdaws, skeins of geese, the bubbling of curlew, and the passing of badgers. The summer has the added bonus of swimming in the river.

We’re quite unique for a rural co-op in that we have a feeling of rural isolation but with a small town, with hourly train connections to nearby cities, just an easy 10 minute cycle ride away.

The co-op was set up to provide a home for those working, volunteering, or “active” within the environmental “movement”. Wild Peak is a member of the Radical Routes network.

Our current residents include 8 adults and 3 children. We’re also, among other things, a base for Wild Things ecological education collective.

We eat communally every evening. Diet wise we’re a mix of vegans, vegetarians and omnivores, but all communal space is vegan, so you’d have to be happy with that.

By the end of the Summer 2016, we hope to have finished the new extension, which will free up two upstairs rooms in the main house.

As we are a fairly new housing co-op with a lot of land to manage you’d have to be up for having a go at on-going DIY and land management. We’re all learning on the job so an enthusiastic attitude is more important than an existing skill set.

If you fancy finding out more get in touch Wild Peak Housing Co-operative, Lawn Cottage, Wyver Lane, Belper, DE56 2EF.

Tel: 01773 850493. Email: friendsofwildpeak@gmail.com

Follow Wild Peak news at thissiteisunderconstruction.org

See also Ecology Building Society: Wild Peak’s story: co-operative living

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