Today is International Volunteer Day, and we’re celebrating the volunteers who help make PETA such an effective voice for animals. This year, we’re recognising three particularly dedicated volunteers – Rose, Natalie and Kate – with PETA’s Volunteer Award. Rose Patterson from Harrogate has been responsible for making some of the most eye-catching animal rights demonstrations an absolute success. The photographic arts student joined 100 other PETA members in Trafalgar Square to strip down, spatter herself with fake blood and lie naked in a heap in a pro-vegan demonstration – held on World Vegan Day – to encourage passers-by to have compassion for the billions of animals who are slaughtered for their flesh by the meat and fishing industries every year. She delivered a “dead goose” to Fortnum & Mason to serve as an upsetting reminder of where foie gras really comes from. And on International Pillow Fight Day, she led PETA members who participated in a flash mob in Trafalgar Square with a large “goose.” Demonstrators held signs that encouraged pillow fighters to spare a thought for the ducks and geese who are plucked alive to the point of bleeding and to choose down- and feather-free pillows.
Natalie Spencer from Redhill is never afraid to stand up against the abuse and killing of animals for food, clothing, experiments and entertainment. Earlier this year, following a video exposé which revealed that hundreds of infant monkeys are being torn away from their mothers at a US National Institutes of Health laboratory in Maryland, causing them to suffer from psychoses, Natalie interrupted a speech in Cardiff by the head experimenter and unfolded a sign which read, “Stop Abusing Baby Monkeys”. Natalie has also worked tirelessly speaking up for animals used for food and helping to encourage people to go vegan, including by joining Morrissey’s tour and urging fans to give up meat. She’s helped inspire others to get involved in the worldwide struggle for justice for animals, and for that, we are truly grateful. Some of the most important volunteer work occurs behind the scenes, and Kate from Liverpool is probably PETA’s most dedicated volunteer. Students write to PETA for help with campaigning, local activists from across Europe send us requests for leaflets and tens of thousands of people go vegan, thanks to our free vegan starter kits. Since 2006, Kate has been one of the volunteers who helps us deal with these requests and get our life-saving resources to people around the world. She reliably helps us distribute our resources, and over the years, she has made herself available to assist in the office with anything that our campaigners might need, from data entry to research – and always with a smile. PETA has achieved so many victories, thanks to the help of volunteers such as Rose, Natalie and Kate. If you feel inspired by their stories and would like to get active for animals with PETA, joining our Action Team is the best way to start.