- Nigel MasonCEO of Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare
Stop selling animal products at your animal sanctuary cafe
"My own view, and that of every decent minded person, is that no animal should be caused to suffer at all for any reason." Miss M Raymonde-Hawkins, MBE, founder of Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare.
Currently the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, an animal sanctuary in Ringmer, East Sussex, serves meat, dairy, egg and fish in its café. Since Raystede is also an educational centre, inviting families and school parties to learn from them how to be compassionate towards animals, serving animal products in their café is sending a confusing message, one which is very detrimental to the cause.
Visitors look to Raystede for an example of how best to be kind to animals. If they see that Raystede condones animal farming they will not be likely to question it themselves and millions of animals will continue to be bred for the butcher's knife at the sanctuary supporters' bidding. If Raystede served only plant-based food in its café then it would send a clear and consistent message:
“There is no need for animal protein in the human diet and therefore eating it is done only for pleasure. Animals suffer horrifically for the meat, fish, dairy and egg industries and since hurting animals for pleasure goes against everything Raystede stands for, it will not serve animal products in its café.”
Miss M Raymonde-Hawkins MBE, who set up Raystede as a charity in 1952, truly did care about all animals and strove to end their exploitation in every area. By serving meat, fish, eggs and dairy in their cafe, those in control of Raystede now are flouting her principles and undoing the pioneering educational work she dedicated her life to. She wrote in one of her self-published books (Sensible Pets and Silly People): "I cannot understand the attitude of so many people who say it is wrong to take life and yet themselves probably take a number of lives for their own food during every week of their existence. I feel it is quite illogical to take the line that it is wrong to take life and yet at the same time eat for breakfast a rasher of bacon, for lunch a piece of cow, and just a little cold lamb for supper! ... Too many poems and psalms eulogising skipping lambs seem to be in juxtaposition to the readiness with which the meat-eater enjoys a morsel of mutton seasoned with mint sauce!"
- CEO of Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare
Miss M Raymonde-Hawkins started the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare because she cared for all animals, without exception. She strove to end the exploitation of all animals, not just those considered pets. She believed that the best way to end animal exploitation was to educate the young, those not too stuck in their ways, to stop supporting animal exploitation by going vegn, and in doing so she hoped one day the world would realise that animals are not property.
As the current CEO of Raystede you are therefore acting shamefully in flouting her principles and serving meat, dairy, fish and eggs in your cafe. Her heart would break if she could see what you are doing - running Raystede as a business without heart; making decisions based on the bottom line instead of what is right.
You are supposed to be continuing her legacy, but instead you are following the business principle of making sure you don't go out of business; making sure you keep your jobs; making sure Raystede will continue to be needed because animals will continue to be exploited because Raystede itself is paying for their exploitation and educating their visitors to pay into it too.
You and everyone who supports your decision to sell meat, fish, eggs and dairy in your cafe should be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.
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