News Blog A life loving animals – a supporter’s story 12-08-22 OneKind supporter Edna discusses why she is leaving a gift in her Will to the charity. "Leaving a legacy was an easy decision for me" "I dream of a world where humans treat the creatures of this planet with the dignity and compassion they deserve. We should not view animals as a resource for humans, but the sentient, characterful individuals they are. That’s why I have chosen to also leave a legacy to OneKind. I entrust them to continue working for animals beyond my lifetime and would like to share my journey with you." Caring for animals from age 4 "My first involvement in caring for animals started when I joined the Harold Hare Club in my weekly comic when I was 4 years old (in 1960). It was there that I promised “always to be kind to all animals and birds”. On Christmas Day when I was 15, my older sister told me why she had become vegetarian. This was the first time I had made any connection between the animals in the fields, the slaughterhouse, and my plate. I was so horrified I haven’t eaten meat since. That was 51 years ago. The ugly truth behind the makeup I became aware of Advocates for Animals (now OneKind) when I was 20. At the time didn’t really understand what vivisection was, so, unfortunately, didn’t take it further. It was difficult to access information before the internet. However, a few years later, I learned how some beauty products involved animal testing so I joined Beauty Without Cruelty. Since then I have only ever used Leaping Bunny products. In 1983, I acquired 6 egg-laying chickens and learned how barbaric factory-farmed hens are. It was soon after this that I also stopped eating eggs. My journey towards veganism When I was 34 I was an Investment Officer with the International Finance Corporation. One of my jobs was the investment appraisal of a dairy farm in Botswana. I travelled to the Kalahari Desert where I discovered the intention was to keep the cows in a shed 24/7. They were given commercial dairy feed, and they would never enjoy the outdoors. I was horrified. This was definitely not the happy cow in the field image that is so often portrayed in the media. That’s when I made the connection between the dairy industry and the slaughterhouse (both cows and day-old calves). This was the start of my journey towards veganism and I joined The Vegan Society. The Vegan Society magazine opened my eyes to all forms of cruelty towards animals in so-called “everyday” life. It helped me to change many practices to make myself as animal friendly and aware as possible. I also joined the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (now Cruelty Free International). Living in Zimbabwe at the time, I was nature-orientated and conservation-minded. I undertook various tasks in my mission to protect animals. This included surveying birds in different parts of the country for the Zimbabwe Bird Atlas, to sweeping commercial farms for snares, to trying to rehabilitate dogs at the local SPCA. I also tried to educate people how to treat animals and nature with kindness and care. The head of the local SPCA knew the people from Advocates for Animals in Edinburgh so when I returned there in 2001, I immediately contacted them to join. The horror of snares Not long after this I was walking in the foothills to the Lammermuir Hills and was caught in a snare. My wrist was badly hurt. I contacted Advocates for Animals (now OneKind) and was horrified to learn that certain snares are legal in the UK. I met up with a OneKind investigator and toured the area finding many snares which were unfortunately legal but also a stink pit which most certainly isn’t. This all spurred me on to volunteering more regularly with OneKind and identifying strongly with the charity. My roles with OneKind I have undertaken lots of different volunteering roles for OneKind; stuffing envelopes, bag packing at supermarkets, absailing from the Forth Rail Bridge (the most fun one!), tying labels on wristbands, and helping with finance to name but a few. On paper, it looks as if I’ve done a lot to promote animal welfare over the years but internally, I still despair about how much needs to be done. We need to make people more aware, and life better for all non-human creatures. It can sometimes feel like the task is too high a mountain. But then I look at what OneKind has achieved over the years I have been involved with them and I realise an awful lot has been done for animals. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I did not keep fighting for non-human animals. It’s important to me that I still “promise to be kind to all animals and birds”. How I help animals now Supporting and volunteering for OneKind. Keeping myself informed as to current animal welfare issues via the Cross Party Group on Animal Welfare at the Scottish Parliament Signing petitions and writing letters to MP’s and MSP’s on animal welfare for a variety of organisations. Continuing to be a fully committed Vegan (30 years now!) in both eating habits and lifestyle. Growing and planting trees for re-wilding projects to encourage biodiversity. You can join me in creating a world that’s kinder to animals, by supporting OneKind. You can do that by taking part in petitions, attending demonstrations, writing to MSPs, sharing on social media, donating, or by leaving a gift in your will to OneKind."