The founder of the UK’s only fully independent and inclusive networking site for vegans, Lynn Jolly, is looking to open central Scotland’s first ever fully vegan animal sanctuary (see here).
The Glasgow ‘Veganpreneur’ who late last year launched Bohemian Hippy – the UK’s first official social networking site with integrated shop, resources and vegan directory – is using the money generated from the site to fund the project and is looking to get others involved in the project through crowdfunding and possible grants.
“The profits generated by Bohemian Hippy will be put back into worthy campaigns and we hope to raise £200,000 to make this happen,” explains Lynn.
One of the T-shirts available from Bohemian Hippy here
“Sadly most people really have no connection whatsoever to farm animals like cows, chickens, pigs and sheep, but if they are given the opportunity to see them and interact with them, I can guarantee that many will start to change their perception and see them for the beautiful beings they really are.” All of these animals are just like the Cecil and Tilikums of this world, it is just human perception that dictates otherwise!
“It’s all about changing these perceptions, education, and being part of the biggest social justice movement on the planet. It’s really giving people the chance to get a feel for how they can live a truly cruelty-free and compassionate life. It’s also about encouraging people to stand up and speak out and start using their voice for the voiceless.
“In order for me to help people with that, I need to have a safe place for some of these animals to live where people can visit and interact with them.”
The idea for the sanctuary is one that is close to Lynn’s heart, as she recently completed the arduous task of rescuing the 2 year old son of a dairy cow from slaughter, a process that required a lot of legal wrangling. Lynn even had to register as a cattle keeper to legally make this happen. However after months of trials and tribulations, Lynn finally saved him from death in Autumn 2016 and as he was delivered to his place of safety, he was named Prince!
“Prince and I formed an immediate bond when we first met,” explains Lynn.
“Everyone who meets him falls in love with him; he has the personality to match any dog. He has the capacity to give and receive love and friendship both with other animals and with humans. He is loving, playful, affectionate, mischievous and extremely friendly and has the ability to feel pain and sadness just like you and I do!”
Rescuing a cow is easier said than done, however, on top of the legal rigmarole, other difficulties also emerged when it came to re-homing Prince; people’s perception of cattle. “I met quite a bit of negativity from a number of people because he’s a bullock. If he had been a dog, a cat, a pony or a horse he’d have been welcomed with open arms, but only because of his species, he was perceived totally differently.”
Prince is now living a happy and cruelty-free life, even fronting his own social media channels to help teach people about the beautiful beings cows are. Hopefully, Prince will be joined by many more animals once the sanctuary is established, but until then, Lynn is continuing to focus on the expansion of Bohemian Hippy and funding the sanctuary.
In between Christmas and New Year Lynn also helped to save 2 highland cattle from slaughter, a 19 year old mother and her 2 year old son. Just as they were about to enter the food chain, Lynn was contacted to ask if she could help. Lynn managed to find them a sanctuary and organise transport and she made the 15 hour round trip with the transporters to rescue them.
Lynn’s current mission is trying to save 1-2 day old calves from being shot in the head. Non-vegan sanctuaries do not believe in rescuing these little babies, they will only rescue animals who have been abused, but a vegan sanctuary will try to rescue animals unconditionally. If they can’t take them they will try to assist with finding forever homes for them elsewhere.
Lynn adds, “Animals are all someone, they are living beings with personalities and we shouldn’t abandon them just because we’ve been conditioned to view some differently to others.
“Cows are beautiful, friendly creatures and if we could create a place for them to live in peace whilst teaching and educating people about the benefits of veganism for the animals, themselves and the planet, then that would be amazing.”
The sanctuary will not just be a place for animals, it will be a sanctuary for people too, as there will be a facility offering holistic therapies, stress management, meditation and relaxation and possibly yoga and counselling. There will also be a shop selling animal rights/vegan merchandise and hopefully a vegan café.
The sanctuary will offer work to volunteers, aim to work hand in hand with the job centre at getting people into work and provide placements for people referred from psychological services, social work and children’s homes.
Lynn is hoping to raise £200,000 in order to make the sanctuary a reality – at the time of posting, £3490 has been raised so far from generous donations. If you wish to help build the first vegan sanctuary, donations are warmly welcomed and can be made through their YouCaring website here.