An animal rescue group out of Asheville, NC, is officially asking its fellow animal advocacy organizations to go vegan. Brother Wolf Animal Rescue (BWAR) has launched an online campaign and petition called Save the Animals, Save the Earth, calling for every companion animal group across the country to adopt a public vegan policy in order to prevent a planetary crisis.
After BWAR noticed an increase in their rescue work related to floods, fires, and other natural disasters, they reached out to scientists and experts to determine the cause of this global shift. They quickly discovered that the meat, dairy, and egg industries were driving climate change and causing a mass species extinction of epic proportions; the BWAR team was shocked that they hadn’t heard the extinction statistics before.
“We’re an animal welfare organization organized to protect animals,” says Paul Magee Berry, executive director of BWAR. “Learning that, as of this year, we’ve already lost up to 70% of the world’s wildlife population since 1970, and that we’re on track to lose 90% of the world’s wildlife by 2025. That’s less than ten years from now! It’s easily the most urgent crisis for animals in the history of the movement – and no one is talking about it, at least not with any real urgency.”
BWAR became a vegan organization in 2015. It no longer serves any animal products at fundraisers or events, and has a vegan advocacy arm — Asheville Vegan Outreach — that does local and national work.
The campaign cites that meat and dairy consumption are the leading causes of global deforestation, soil degradation, water scarcity, desertification, ocean dead zones, and climate change through the production of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (NO2). Animal agriculture is responsible for more carbon emissions than the entire transportation sector combined. As BWAR’s campaign video says: “The consumption of meat and dairy is the single most destructive force on earth.”
Scientists say that humans have 10 to 20 years to create real change when it comes to the climate, or a fatal “runaway” scenario could occur, says BWAR. “Animal lovers, animal rescuers, and nonprofits organized for animal welfare – together, we have the power to forestall this mass extinction of Earth’s species, but we must step up and lead – now,” the petition reads.
Since going vegan is the most powerful way to fight back against this force, BWAR has committed itself to raising awareness and getting other groups on board.
“We’re presenting the science we’ve learned on all this [please see our Case Document], and asking animal lovers and animal rescuers to help encourage all animal rescue groups across the country to adopt a public vegan policy for their organization; to share it with their public, explain the urgency— and share the good news, too, about the massive gains we can make on these crises by transitioning to a vegan diet,” says Berry.
The campaign also includes an activist toolkit to help organizations and individuals further the cause.
“In the U.S. alone, there are over 10,000 animal rescue groups, with an audience reach of over 100 million people. Those are huge numbers with the potential to create the urgent change needed,” says Berry.
The group is shooting for 100,000 signatures on the petition, and once that goal is reached, BWAR founder Denise Bitz will personally contact the leader of every rescue group nationwide and ask them to adopt a public vegan policy.
“We’re reaching out to celebrities and other luminaries as well who understand this urgency, to encourage their favorite rescue groups to do the same,” adds Berry.
“And we’ve created a Facebook page for the campaign that folks can like and follow for updates, as well as a community group with an Activist Toolkit and a downloadable database of contact info for all the nonprofit animal welfare groups in the country. We’re hopeful that regular folks like us, who understand the urgency of all this will use the email templates we provide and email leaders of their favorite rescue groups to encourage them as well.”
“I’m proud our team is taking this issue seriously – and I’m very hopeful,” says Berry. “Animal rescuers are the scrappiest, most effective folks I know in the work of social justice. We live our work 24-7. Most rescuers I know are relentless in their fight for the animals. If we have any real chance of turning these crises around, I believe it’ll be animal rescuers that lead the change.”
Click here to sign the Save the Animals, Save the Earth petition, and ask all animal rescue groups to go vegan! And use the hashtag #SavetheAnimalsSavetheEarth to share via social media.