Formerly the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Montreal SPCA was founded in Montreal in 1869 as the first humane society in Canada. The organization advocates on behalf of all animals, and rescues both companion animals and wildlife. Their programs include Foster Care, a brand new Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic, and a Trap-Neuter-Release-and-Maintain program. They also educate the public regarding wildlife, and have a large Investigations and Inspections department that enforces the criminal code in regard to crimes against animals.
When the Montreal SPCA began increasing our focus on special events in 2011 we knew we had to tackle the food issue. As with most other humane organizations, our supporters may contribute to our cause, but they are not necessarily vegan or vegetarian. Our senior staff agreed that we needed to take a strong stand on this issue. There seemed little sense in accepting donations from the public toward our cause of protecting animals only to then spend some of that money on unnecessarily supporting the very industries that were causing so much pain and suffering to animals. We are a humane organization; what is the point of protecting animals all day long, only to serve them up on a platter at that evening’s donor reception?
Even if not all of our staff, Board or supporters are vegans, our job as a humane organization remains unambiguous: our sole duty is to protect animals. It is the one thing we must do. Our staff, our Board, and those who attend our events seem to understand that if they come to a Montreal SPCA event, they will get high-end vegan-only food.
We do work extra hard to ensure that our vegan food is really good. We tend to put extra effort into this so that the experience our supporters get at one of our events is completely satisfying, especially the food.
Why do you feel it’s important for shelters and rescue groups to adopt such a policy?
This is simple. Our job is to protect animals. How does killing them and eating them do that? Every dollar that a humane organization spends in its budget should be justified by asking the question “will this help animals?” But, beef hot dogs at a dog walk? How does that help animals?
continue to do for animals in Canada!