Two Salfordians have come together to form a New Animal Rights group in the city.
Mike Faulkner, together with Fay Watts, owner of zero waste shop ‘The Dispensary’, have come together to form ‘Salford Animal Rights’ to help promote animal rights and veganism in the community.
Fay has stated her aims for the group, with them looking to raise awareness on animal welfare.
She said: “Our main aim is to put animals first and protect the animals in Salford, but on a wider scale too. We wanted to get a group of like-minded people together who wanted to do proper activism.”
The group has already amassed 707 members on Facebook, an achievement considering the group was only created two and a half weeks ago.
After already being active members of Salford Wildlife, Mike and Fay decided to start a group that would not only look at wildlife and its conservation around the Salford area, but take a broader, radical, and all-encompassing lifestyle approach that promotes cutting all animal products out of your diet not only to save animals, but to help to save the future of the environment.
Fay said: “Veganism is still the elephant in the room, it’s a dirty word. We know the facts, we know that if we cut out animal products we can reduce carbon emissions by 70%.
“Mike and I want to talk about veganism and the facts. With the climate crisis, animal agriculture is worse for the environment than all transport put together. The way we treat animals and use them for our own good, our financial purposes, is wrong and inappropriate. It really upsets me.”
Fay highlighted that even if testing cosmetics on animals is banned in the UK and in the EU it is not in China, or the US for that matter and with so many products on our shelves and on the internet from the two largest economies in the world, it perhaps shows that this is very much so still an ongoing issue.
Recently Fay went up to COP26 and was dismayed to see although vegan options were on the menu and each dish had an estimated carbon footprint, there was a beef option that showed a much greater footprint.
She said: “You’re basically admitting it’s wrong but you’re going to do it anyway”.
Her shop, The Dispensary, has already made an impact on the local community in Walkden, with people travelling from all over Salford and the surrounding areas to buy products that they can trust are ethically sourced and made free from suffering.
It has been attracting a lot of attention from big local names. With Actress Maxine Peake and Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett both visiting and taking part in her Salford Vegan Challenge. Rebecca Long Bailey was set to do the challenge, but had to cancel due to contracting COVID-19, but will visit the shop to talk to Fay soon.
Fay feels local politicians have been very supportive but do not want to push veganism or animal rights too much because of fear of backlash, herself identifying that she would lose followers whenever she posted about these topics.
Fay also stated that plastic is a threat for animals.
She said: “Plastic is a huge problem for animals. Something like only 9% gets recycled. Soft plastic ends up in landfill, and inevitably blows around, ending up in the ocean, it’s a disaster”.