Last weekend was the first Saturday of the month. This means it was Vegan T-shirt Day. Wearing your favourite vegan t-shirt once day a month is a great way to raise awareness for veganism. We need to remember that we’re all part of the cycle of life, not above it. Therefore we shouldn’t exploit others’ lives for the sake of our own. Another day to remind us of this is World Kindness Day on November 13 each year.
A large part of travelling the vegan road is about supporting those causes that are striving to minimise or eliminate the exploitation of animals. From rescue groups and sanctuaries to animal protection organisations, there is plethora of people working tirelessly for the wellbeing of animals. While we’re a long way from creating an entirely compassionate and cruelty-free planet, we can all do our bit to support such causes. Here are just a few ways you can incorporate your vegan travels into supporting those supporting the animals directly in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses
My hometown of Melbourne is famous for being one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities. Ironically, it’s also known for its deeply embedded horse-racing culture. The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses thus started in 2008 to “address the serious animal welfare concerns that are rife throughout the racing industry”. The first Tuesday in November each year year, Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival reaches its peak with the Melbourne Cup.
It’s staggering to think about the many horses who have died or become injured as a result of this industry. The CPR reported that “119 horses were killed on racetracks across Australia in the last year”. Some of the CPR’s drilled-down statistics are staggering, and heart-breaking to read:
- 16 horses collapsed and died
- 11 horses died from cardiac causes
- 4 horses died from bleeds
This doesn’t take into consideration the number of severe injuries ranging from broken necks, broken pelvises, ruptured aortas or broken humerus. According to the CPR, “there is no requirement for deaths to be recorded if they happen in training or in trials” in most states in Australia.
To help the CPR in their work, you can donate or volunteer your time. One way I love to support the CPR is to attend one of their ‘Nup to the Cup’ events on Melbourne Cup Day. The event is an incredible day, a vegan picnic held close to Flemington Racecourse that supports the CPR while raising awareness about the cruelty that exists in the horse-racing industry.
Nup to the Cup Picnic is held annually on Melbourne Cup Day on the first Tuesday of November at Newmarket Reserve, Flemington, Victoria 3031. Check the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses’ website for regular events throughout the rest of the year.
Edgar’s Mission is instilled in its one question: “If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?”
Located about 16 kilometres from Melbourne in the regional town of Lancefield, Edgar’s Mission is a not-for-profit farm animal sanctuary and rescue organisation. Over 450 animals call Edgar’s Mission home and they are happily living out their lives in peace, tranquillity and free from harm. Chickens, ducks, geese, cows, pigs, horses, dogs, cats and chickens…The list of those who live here seems endless, and is a result of the tireless work of Pam Ahern, the founder of Edgar’s Mission.
Pam’s work started with the rescue of Edgar, a pig who was rescued from a farming situation. According to the Edgar’s Mission website, “an estimated 500 million ‘food’ or ‘production’ animals in Australia are excluded from the protections of animal welfare legislation”. This is a saddening situation, and one that Edgar’s Mission is helping to change, one rescue at a time.
Like any animal sanctuary, there are a huge number of expenses to cover from vet bills, food and shelter for the animals, upkeep to the property and utilities. You can help Edgar’s Mission by making a donation or become a ‘best buddy’ to an animal at Edgar’s Mission in the form of a regular or one-off donation. You can also travel to Edgar’s Mission for its World Kindness Day each year, or partake in a tour of the grounds where you can meet the animals. Volunteering is also welcomed through Edgar’s Mission volunteer program.
Edgar’s Mission, 81 Bridies Lane, Lancefield, Victoria Australia 3435.
Trivia for the Animals
Trivia for the Animals is a non-profit organisation that host trivia events to raise funds for other non-profit organisations that have a “vegan and/or abolitionists aim”. All profits go to the organisation at the centre of each event. All of these events are held at Grey Cells Green, one of the only all-vegan bars in Melbourne that’s situated in the inner-city suburb of Windsor on Melbourne’s famous Chapel Street. Trivia for the Animals has hosted a number of events for non-profits already, from Wala Animal Sanctuary, Vets for Compassion, Animal Activists Australia and Lefty’s Place Farm Sanctuary to animal rescue groups including Lamb Care Australia and Vic Lamb Rescue.
Follow Trivia for the Animals on Facebook and choose from the many events they hold at Grey Cells Green regularly. Book a ticket and you can choose to buy a pub meal to enjoy during the trivia session. Bar snacks, hot and cold drinks, cakes and desserts are also available to purchase over the counter. These trivia events are loads of fun, with much music, dancing fun jokes and mini competitions to be enjoyed throughout.
Grey Cells Green, 50 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria Australia 3181. Phone: 03 9521 4000.