Is It Hypocritical for Animal Shelters to Serve Animal Products at Fundraisers?

Thousands of animal shelters and animal rescue organizations work tirelessly for the animals under their care, with volunteers and staff often going above and beyond what’s expected in order to ensure that their animals are properly looked after.

Fundraising is a huge part of the process as medical treatment, food and housing for abused and abandoned animals is costly, but should animal shelters be raising money to help one animal by serving up another?

Speciesism Ingrained in Society

The use of animals for food is so deeply ingrained in our society that most people never even consider its morality. It is normal for people to consume the flesh and secretions of cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys and other ‘farm animals,’ so when it comes to fundraising for a dog shelter, or an exotic pet rescue organization, it often never enters the thought process that it might be hypocritical to organize a hog roast or BBQ to raise money for these rescued animals.

Speciesism is a term used to define the way in which we assign differing rights to animals based on their species, and it applies to this situation perfectly. The animals at the rescue shelter are loved, cared for and protected, while other animals are killed and eaten to raise money in their name. This means that we are choosing which animal’s life has value and which animal is simply a product, and this is something which surely needs to be addressed if we want to create a kinder and fairer world. If we would not feel happy holding a dog roast to raise money for a pig sanctuary, why is it acceptable to do it the other way around?

Food for Thought

Food for Thought is a campaign run by Animal Place, which is raising awareness of the issue and encouraging shelters to pledge a more animal friendly approach to their fundraising efforts. Many animal shelters, large and small, have already joined the initiative and are widening their circle of compassion to include all species.

The campaign helps to address the issue of speciesism in society by bringing it to the attention of those who already have a keen interest in helping one particular group of animals. Many people attending a fundraising event for their local dog shelter may never have come across the concept before, but once they learn more about why the shelters have decided to implement a no animal product policy, they may start to view animal use in a completely different light.

Raise the Issue With Your Local Shelter

If you believe that animal organizations should leave animals off the menu at fundraising events, then raise the issue with your local shelter and tell them all about the Food for Thought campaign. Animal shelters need to recognize and understand that animals raised for food are subjected to many forms of cruelty and inhumane treatment, and that it is not just our companion animals that are deserving of respect and compassion.

Photo Credit: LollypopFarm

184 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Past Member
Past Member 2 years ago

I became a vegan after seeing dogs eaten in SE Asia. The sight of those poor terrified creatures being dragged to slaughter opened my eyes to what my eating flesh really meant.

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Diane B.
Diane Chadwick2 years ago

I believe it is hypocritical if you serve animal products at a fundraiser for animal shelters. There are so many other food options to be served.


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Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

No, Barbara. I wouldn't call an 'animal lover' someone regards only dogs and cats as animals and other species as walking pieces of meat.

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Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

yes, it is

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John S.
Past Member 2 years ago

Yes, I'm certain eliminatin 95% of the potential donars make great financial sense. I certainly would attend any event offering the chance to explore the world of grilled tofu....

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Natasha Salgado
natasha s2 years ago

Yes I think so...most animal fundraisers serve Vegan options or at least Veggie...after all the welfare of all animals matter that def means the billions of animals suffering unimaginable cruelty like those in Factory farms so people can eat their dead flesh.

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Azaima A.
Azaima A2 years ago

appreciate what good people can do rather than holding everyone to your own standards

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Heather M.
Heather M2 years ago

I can't imagine how someone can rationalize eating animals at an event meant to raise awareness and money to save animals. That is like serving Beluga caviar at a Save the Whales event. There is no reason to serve animal products. Even if you are not Vegan or Vegetarian it is not going to kill you to not eat animal products at one meal one time. Would you serve a Vegan meal at a fundraiser for some cattle ranchers who lost their livelyhood?

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Barbara DeFratis
Barbara DeFratis2 years ago

Not unless they are serving dog or cat. After all, meat eaters are animal lovers too.

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