Today we're featuring a blog from long-term OneKind supporter Edna, who talks about how she became involved in animal welfare, and, in a world where much still needs to change, she finds inspiration to continue to "fight for the cause".

I’ve supported OneKind for over 20 years so wanted to take a moment to write to you as a fellow OneKind member.

OneKind supporter Edna sitting on a riverbank in Zimbabwe.

In a world where there is still so much do to for animals, I feel it’s important to remember just how far we have come. We can be overwhelmed by the reports of cruelty and lack of understanding for animals as the sentient individuals that they are. I am motivated to keep persevering when I read the stories of others' involvement in the animal welfare movement and reflect on the positive impact our collective efforts have had so far. As someone passionate about welfare and improving the lives of animals like you, I hope you don’t mind me sharing my story.

Harold the Hare Club

Letter written to member of Harold Hares pets club.

My first involvement in caring for creatures started when I joined the Harold Hare Club in my weekly comic when I was 4 years old (in 1960). I promised “always to be kind to all animals and birds”.

Connecting with farmed animals

On Christmas Day when I was 15 my older sister told me why she had become a 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.


I became aware of Advocates for Animals in 1976, aged 20 but at the time didn’t really understand what vivisection was so unfortunately didn’t take it further. However, a few years later, I found out about testing makeup on animals and joined Beauty Without Cruelty only ever using Leaping Bunny products.

The cruelty of dairy and becoming vegan

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 the intention was to keep the cows in a shed 24/7 and feed them commercial dairy feed.

Very young calf in barn.

I was horrified at the way the cows were going to be kept – not the happy cow in the field image – and, I discovered 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 was a revelation to me as 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). 

Supporting animal welfare in Zimbabwe

The African Bird Atlas Project logo

Living in Zimbabwe at this time, I was very nature orientated and conservation minded. I undertook various tasks from 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 the people in my employ as to how to treat animals and nature properly.

OneKind and snares

The head of the local SPCA knew the people from Advocates for Animals in Edinburgh and when I returned there in 2001, I immediately contacted them to join. Not long after this I was walking in the foothills to the Lammermuir Hills and was caught in a snare badly hurting my wrist. I contacted Advocates for Animals (now OneKind) about it and was horrified to learn that snares are legal in the UK. I met up with a OneKind investigator and toured the area finding many snares and a stink pit full of dead animals. This all spurred me on to volunteering more regularly with OneKind and identifying strongly with the organisation.

Volunteering 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 stuff 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 to make people more aware and life better for all non-human creatures.

It feels 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 that an awful lot has been done.

I can’t imagine living a life where I did not continue to fight for the cause and keep my "promise to be kind to all animals and birds".

I help animals now by:

  • 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.
  • And last but not least leaving a legacy to OneKind for them to continue working for animals on my behalf after I have died.

I know everyone has their own story on why they are passionate about creating change for animals, and I feel privileged to be part of a movement where together we can make meaningful change for the creatures who share this world with us. I feel uplifted when I hear successes and others’ stories. So, from one supporter to another, I wanted to share my story, and say thank you for choosing to support OneKind too.