MEOW (Mercer Island Eastside Orphans and Waifs), a nonprofit no-kill animal rescue organization serving the Puget Sound region, is receiving recognition for adopting an animal-friendly menu policy that specifies only vegetarian foods will be served at official events.
“Food For Thought” is a program of California-based Animal Place, one of the oldest and largest farmed animal sanctuaries in the country, which awards grants to leading shelters, SPCAs, humane societies, and other rescue agencies that have adopted plant-based menu policies for official functions. MEOW was named December’s Shelter of the Month by Animal Place.
Founded in 1997, MEOW places around 1500 cats and dogs into permanent homes each year. The group works to create a “no-kill nation,” where there is no need for any healthy companion animal to be euthanized. MEOW offers spay/neuter support, trap/neuter/return of feral and free-roaming cats, community outreach, and adoptions at their busy Kirkland shelter.
MEOW’s board-approved policy states all activities where food is offered, even meetings and volunteer projects, are to be strictly vegetarian. The policy has been in place for many years, making it a trailblazer in the sheltering community. Today, more and more groups like MEOW are serving plant-based foods as a way to pursue their ethical mission, and to respond to critical public concerns such as environmental sustainability and human health.
“Operating a truly humane organization means taking every opportunity to help animals, and that includes animals who are traditionally regarded as food. Farmed animals are every bit as deserving of our ethical consideration as the cats and dogs we love,” said Jonathan Hussain, campaigns manager at Animal Place. “MEOW is a leader in its region and across the nation for committing to a policy that reduces the suffering of farmed animals.”
“No thinking person can deny that all animals are sentient beings,” said Bonne VeVea, Co-Founder/Board Treasurer. “They are living, breathing, thinking, and feeling creatures capable of experiencing joy, fear, and pain. Knowing this, it falls upon us to be kind to all animals, to alleviate suffering, to do what we can to assure their humane treatment.”
Animal Planet’s “Cat Daddy” Jackson Galaxy, who endorses Food For Thought, offered advice and encouragement for other shelters to adopt a similar policy in a recent video: http://www.foodforthoughtcampaign.org/campaign-video.html.
For more information about MEOW visit http://meowcatrescue.org. For more information about Animal Place’s “Food for Thought” campaign visit http://www.foodforthoughtcampaign.org.