Furious campaigners are in a bitter long-running dispute with an animal sanctuary about the charity’s decision to serve meat and eggs in its cafe.
Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare in Ringmer, East Sussex has been flooded with phone calls and emails demanding it takes animal products off its menu.
The local paper has also received relentless letters complaining about the cafe – which serves traditional English breakfast food including bacon, pork sausages, ham and eggs.
Activists claim the owners are going against the core values of an animal charity.
Vegan campaigner Edward Burbank said: ‘The meat-eating trustees at Raystede, for their own convenience, have chosen to categorise that slaughter of farmed animals as necessary suffering – despite the fact that animal products are now known to be not only unnecessary but detrimental to human health.
“Certainly no one could call bacon and beef burgers healthy food. So how can those in charge at Raystede justify ordering the deaths of the cows and pigs out of whom they were made?”
Despite the onslaught the sanctuary shows no sign of budging and will continue to serve animal products – claiming they are all from ‘high welfare farms’.
Campaigners argue the menu goes against the philosophy of the sanctuary’s founder Mabel Raymonde-Hawkins who famously said: “It is my view, and that of every decent minded person, that no animal should be made to suffer at all for any reason.”
But the current owner, who said she knew the Raymonde-Hawkins for two decades, claims the founder ate animal products.
A Raystede spokesperson said: “We are aware of a small but ongoing campaign directed at our staff and trustees by instigators who, despite never having had the privilege of meeting our founder, take the position that she was an active vegan.
“Our President, who knew Ms Raymonde-Hawkins for more than 20 years, fondly remembers meals out with her where she would regularly eat trout, salmon and a range of dairy-based meals whilst she secured funding and legacies from a wide range of supporters.
“We are proud to continue Ms Raymonde-Hawkins’ pioneering work today.
“We welcome visitors to Raystede, to see for themselves the positive impact we have on the animals in our care and to experience the support and guidance we offer to the families and pet owners with whom we work.”
The sanctuary rehomes more than 1,000 animals and attracts more than 200,000 visitors every year.
What do you think of Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare’s decision to serve animal products? Tell us in the comments section below!
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