Animal Place's Food For Thought campaign encourages animal shelters to adopt an animal friendly menu policy at shelter-sponsored events.
85% of those polled by Animal Place believe that it is ethically inconsistent for an animal shelter that rescues dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, goats, sheep, and other animals to sell or serve animal products at shelter-sponsored fundraising events.
There is an alternative - adopt an animal friendly menu policy.
Debunking some of the MYTHS about serving vegan meals at animal shelter events:
People won't come if they know the food is vegan or vegetarian. This is a common concern that is not based on reality! People are attending your event because they support your mission - they want to help! Either focus on the event and not mention the type of food served, or take it as an opportunity to engage your supporters by explaining why you've chosen to adopt an animal friendly menu policy at your events. In our experience, most people understand why it is inconsistent as an organization that helps some farm animals (e.g. rabbits, goats, horses, sheep, chickens) to serve the flesh or by-products of similar animals at events.
Vegan and vegetarian food isn't delicious. This simply isn't true. Well-prepared food tastes good, regardless of whether it is vegan or not. If people don't enjoy the food, try something different. Complaints about food occur whether food is vegan or not and should be used as constructive criticism...but NOT a reason to alter a policy that is, at its heart, in the best interest of the animals you rescue and protect. If you live in California, contact one of these vegan or veg-friendly caterers to set up a menu. Outside of California? Look up your local caterer and find out what plant-based menu options they have and if they can create a menu for your event.
Vegan alternatives to animal products don't taste the same. Okay, this isn't exactly a myth. While some alternatives are shockingly similar to animal products, most have their own taste and texture. There are many brands of vegan hot dogs and burgers, and they all taste and feel different. Try them out! Have a blind taste test with some of your volunteers and staff - make it a fun event! But what is wonderful about plant-based menu options is the incredible diversity and deliciousness that comes with well-prepared food. Reach out to vegan friendly businesses and ask about donations or samples to try.
Food for Thought and Animal Place want to force you to become vegan. Animal Place promotes a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle because we rescue and advocate on behalf of farmed animals. It would make little sense for a farmed animal rescue to save a cow and then advocate eating cows, right? We recognize that not every individual is ready, able, or at a place in their life to be vegan. It is why Food for Thought is set up to encourage a board-approved policy change, not coerce any individual to adopt a particular lifestyle. As an animal protection agency, you are held to a higher standard, a higher ethic. Adopting a plant-based menu policy for your shelter events is simply a logical aligning of your ethics with your actions.
What about feeding the dogs and cats at my shelter animal products? Food for Thought is NOT about changing the menu policy of the rescued dogs and cats (or other animals) at your shelter!