Walking 78 miles would be hard enough as it is, but trekking that far without sans shoes or socks? That’s bold, and a vegan UK woman is doing exactly in the name of non-animal research.
The mother-of-three, Heather Shepard, will be hiking the Dales Way in Northern England, all on behalf of Dr. Hadwen Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the use of animals in research, reports The Bolton News.
The trust does lots of work to assist exploited animals, and last month announced the launch of the UK’s first vegan charity shop—with plans to open many more.
“Last year, I managed a day’s hike along the Pennine Way walking barefoot,” she told the newspaper. “The feeling of the peat moors and the grass on the feet was really liberating. So my challenge is to complete the Dales Way without shoes.” Shepard isn’t new to long journeys—in 2006, she and her partner walked Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, she says on her fundraising page.
“This will be my third long distance path, but the first I have done barefoot, and carrying all of the camping equipment alone. I think the biggest challenge will be carrying all my food for the week to ensure I get some tasty vegan food each day,” she explains.
“Our ability to fund innovative research which replaces animals is only made possible by the charitable donations we receive from supporters like Heather,” said the DHT’s Fundraising Coordinator, Gerry Reilly. “We cannot thank her enough for undertaking such a massive physical effort on our behalf.”
Thus far she’s raised £622.00 of her £1,000.00 goal, with 43 donations.
You can support Shepard’s walk at justgiving.com/Barefoot-trek.