Ananda Animal Sanctuary is a registered charity run entirely on volunteers and was established in January 2019 with the sole aim of helping animals in need. We receive no secure funding and rely entirely on donations from our fantastic supporters. Starting out with just 1 acre of land we soon reached capacity and relocated to a much bigger 10 acre site in September 2020 to be able to take in more rescues.
Many of our residents have been rescued from slaughter, neglect or are unwanted pets. We ensure each animal receives optimum care and support, physically and psychologically to allow their individual personalities to blossom and enjoy their lives to the fullest at the sanctuary.
At Ananda Animal Sanctuary we want to see animals freed from suffering and exploitation. Our goal is to rescue and provide refuge for as many farmed animals in need of a home as possible. We want to help people make the connection that farm animals like sheep and pigs are no different to our companion animals and that they all have their own personalities that deserve respect and compassion.
We believe that an animals worth should not be based on its usefulness to humans. With abundant scientific evidence demonstrating that animals do feel pain and stress, it goes without saying that we are morally obligated to ensure animals are free from suffering and exploitation. We should be kind to others whether they are from the same species or not. Jeremy Bentham once said:
“THE QUESTION IS NOT ‘CAN THEY REASON?’ NOR ‘CAN THEY TALK?’ BUT ‘CAN THEY SUFFER?’”
We all have a built in capacity for empathy and compassion however, disappointingly some of us do not extend this from pets to wildlife or the animals that are sadly farmed for food. There is no logical reason why we should treat these animals any differently since they have the same capacity to experience joy, pain and fear. Studies have even shown that pigs are cognitively smarter than dogs!
Our vision is a world of compassionate beings that don’t enslave, torture & kill other animals. We are all vegan at Ananda and would like to see an end to the animal farming industry for the sake of the animals and the planet. The ultimate result would be to see this ethical shift within our lifestime and for animals to suffer needlessly at the hands of humans no more.
Meet the team
Selena – Founder and trustee
My strong bond with animals goes all the way back to when I was 5 years old, my family had just moved back to Scotland from Germany and I needed a friend – I found that friend in a stray cat we rescued called Seema. So while I was learning the Ayrshire dialect (no easy task lol) I was also learning how to communicate with my new friend, reading her body language and trying to understand her needs and wants which I think helped develop my empathy for animals. My love for Seema quickly grew into a love for all animals and a fascination of animal cognition and behaviour, and ultimately their well-being.
I wanted to spend my life helping animals and the environment so I completed a degree in Animal Biology and went on to do my PhD on mangroves and climate change. While at university a lecturer suggested I read Peter Singer’s book ‘Writings on an Ethical Life’ and it changed my life forever! The problem of animal welfare was bigger than I had ever imagined. I cut out meat from my diet and lived a vegetarian life for the next 3-4 years before finally becoming vegan and cutting out all animal products.
Starting a vegan animal sanctuary is very dear to me as I feel a deep sense of responsibility to help every animal but farm animals are especially vulnerable since factory farming is so ingrained in our society and we don’t yet extend the same consideration to farm animals as we do to ‘pets’. It’s hard work running a sanctuary especially as I am on my own doing everything some days but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The joy I get seeing all our residents loving life and building connections with each other and us is so uplifting and outweighs any bad day where I’m covered in animal poop, bruised, cold and soaking wet haha!
Steven – Trustee
I have been an MSK Physiotherapist since I was 22 and have always had a passion for helping people. It is an amazing feeling to see someone leave your treatment room pain free when they entered struggling to walk. I’ll be running a physiotherapy and massage clinic from the sanctuary to raise funds to cover the running costs of looking after the animals and of course helping Selena with the day to day running of the sanctuary.
I’ve been drawn to animals my entire life despite never having had a traditional family pet (2 rats were all my parents would allow), but it took me a long time to make the connection between what we deem as food and those we see as pets. A cow or pig has the same capacity to feel pain, joy and fear just like our dogs and cats so why do we treat them differently? Eating meat isn’t even seen as a dietary choice, it is just the default and sadly the norm.
Emma – Fundraising and Outreach Co-ordinator