Assessment 1: EVA make their Third-Year Mark on Edinburgh

Thursday 18th November, 2010

The Edinburgh-based charity, otherwise known as EVA recently turned three years old last month. EVA are known for their work in aiming to abolish the use of animals in experimentation, clothing, entertainment, and food.

Since 2007 EVA, have been working to help local communities tackle a variety of animal protection issues. In the three years that EVA have existed, they have successfully managed to raise awareness of animal welfare through protests, stalls, school talks, discussion groups and their Compassionate Living Fayre, an event which attracts thousands of visitors each year and is now a permanent fixture in Edinburgh.

Their strong belief that all forms of animal abuse are inexcusable has contributed to the survival of the charity in the three years it has existed when it initially began simply as a small group of activists.

EVA are also noteworthy in Edinburgh for their protest against real fur sporrans that are part of traditional Scottish dress. The organisation feels the manner in which the animals are skinned is completely inhumane. Through their Edinburgh the Fur-Free City campaign they have managed to successfully raise awareness of the brutality and horror behind the fur trade the agony and torment animals go through such as rabbits, foxes, chinchillas, badgers, skinks, bobcats, beavers, muskrats and musquash. A staggering 45 million non-human animals are killed each year due to the fur-trade using inhumane methods such as gassing, neck-breaking and anal electrocution; methods that allow their coveted coats to be preserved in a flawless state for the fashion industry. EVA claims that not only do these animals suffer a horrific death, but while they are still alive, they are kept in squalid, cramped conditions that causes them great boredom and suffering.

Varda Mehrotra is involved with EVA’s campaigning and claims that the organisations’s campaign against fur-sporrans has been their biggest campaign yet:

“Fur in sporrans – has been largely unchallenged and the industry was getting away with it. We have been successfully working with retailers and manufacturers all over Scotland and many have gone 100% fur-free – and are offering discounts as a part of our programme.”

The success of EVA in this area of preventing and stopping animal cruelty is a prime example of how far they have come in since the three years they started as a grassroots group that received no government funding and limited resources.

The Compassionate Living Fayre which is to be held this month is another success story of EVA in their three years of existence. The yearly fayre will be held on Saturday 20th November at the Augustine United Church Hall on George IV Bridge. It will include free food, talks, stalls and activities for children. By hosting the Compassionate Living Fayre, EVA hope to bring together organisations campaigning for animal rights, human rights and the environment and also to introduce everyone to an ethical lifestyle, with free vegan food and tips on how to make local and practical changes.

Varda hopes that the Compassionate Living Fayre will open up the possibilities of a cruelty-free lifestyle to many of its visitors.

The Fayre hopes to attract many with its messages of an ethical lifestyle

“The Fayre is the largest event of its kind that takes place in Scotland. An animal-free, green, compassionate and ethical lifestyle is very easy – and the fayre demonstrates that. People can not only sample food and get advice on their diet, but also their lifestyle along with plenty of free resources to take away that enables them to continue it after the day.

Committed to the build of a joined up movement in Scotland for animal rights, human rights and the environment, the fayre also brings together lots of different groups and organisations from all over Scotland together – people come together and ideas can take off!”

However, although Varda may be hopeful that EVA’s fayre can convert some people, others will be harder to convince when it comes to turning vegetarian or vegan. Jake Cruikshank 18, a Facebook user from Elgin, Morayshire was questioned about his views on vegetarianisms after posting a status update which said: “If vegetarians love animals so much, why do they eat all their food?”

Although his point was not taken seriously by many users on the social networking site, his opinion of a meat-free diet is obvious: he just does not agree with it. After being asked if his views would change if he were to visit EVA’s Compassionate Living Fayre this month he simply replied with:

“Sure I will go to the fayre, but to be honest nothing on this planet could make me stop eating meat. You can try though!”

However, Varda is hopeful that due to EVA’s success story in the past three years, the Compassionate Living Fayre this Saturday is sure to convert even the most stubborn of meat eaters with its strong messages of animal welfare and ethical lifestyle choices.

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