Animal Crackers

In 2019 while visiting an animal sanctuary in the UK, I found myself faced with hypocrisy of monumental proportions.


courtesy EVG Photos (please note: ALL images are stock, NOT from the sanctuary in question)

For the most part the sanctuary was as expected: cats and dogs up for adoption, plus a whole host of other animals with nowhere else to go; ducks, hens, horses, cows, rabbits, sheep and pigs amongst them.

So far so good.

The problem came when getting to the on-site cafeteria; not subcontracted in anyway, very much part and parcel of the sanctuary.

On the menu options featuring chicken, beef, bacon and duck.

Eh? What? Wait – I thought this was meant to be a safe place for animals!


courtesy Brett Jordan

Anyone genuinely concerned with animal welfare will tell you there’s no good food chain for animals. Free range eggs aren’t what we think and even if they were, etc.

The fact I’m a mere vegetarian doesn’t stop me being objective enough to know they’re right. But for the average meat eater, walking into an animal sanctuary of all places and finding meat on the menu sends a clear message about their already held assumption/belief that there is in fact a nice way of doing it all.

Therefore, while the sanctuary serves a healthy purpose for the nine or ten hens residing there, it actually does incredible damage to numerous more elsewhere.

There’s also the environmental impact. The chicken in the shop has not only had to endure terrible conditions, it’s also had to get there from the farm and from the shop to the sanctuary.

That’s a lot of travelling, infrastructure and energy there, when the sanctuary not only has perfectly healthy chickens, pigs and cows, etc, already running about, they’re also FREE.

What’s so special about the animals that happen to wind up at the sanctuary, anyway – why do they get oohed and aahed over while their brethren are slaughtered appallingly so as to be served up for lunch?


courtesy chris carroll

Given this, it’s not really a sanctuary, but more so a zoo getting its stock from donations. That said, people don’t pay to go to zoos just to look at cows, sheep and other such things that can quite easily found in fields or ponds.

However, as the sanctuary also charged an entry fee, people evidently do, so long as some form of abandonment can be attached to the animals, that is.

Whereas when they’re used for food, then they’re considered definitely wanted and that makes the whole thing just fine, apparently.

Here’s an idea: how about setting it up more as a restaurant, with just as much, if not greater, emphasise on that side of things?

Sanctuaries and shelters are always complaining about not having enough money or room; this would not only go a long way to solving these problems by ‘finding homes’ for animals on a regular mealtime basis, it would also increase revenue substantially; meaning it would be possible to obtain greater capacity, so allowing the saving/re-homing of even more animals!

It’s surely the epitome of a win-win situation; why, before long I’ve no doubt a chain of such sanctuaries would be more than achievable. Up and down the country, animals saved, people well fed with highly organic fodder, plus the environment all the better for it!

And it’s not like there can be any objection to the idea of a restaurant with live animals that are picked and eaten by patrons given the plight of many a lobster, unless hypocrisy is to rear its ugly head once again.

Which is exactly what it does in:

Or why not try some poetry about veganism:

Thanks for reading 🙂

N. P. Ryan.

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