June 1st marks the beginning of Volunteers' Week, run by NCVO. It’s a chance to get involved in volunteering, see what volunteers get up to, and for organisations to shout about the amazing work volunteers do for them.
Here at The Vegan Society, we couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers, so we’re running a series of blogs to show the range of work volunteers can get up to. If you’re interested in volunteering with us, please head to this page to read about the different ways to get involved. Happy Volunteers' Week!
Introducing Anna Darke, a much-valued volunteer who brightens up our days in the office
Tell us about your experience going vegan
I have always absolutely loved animals for as long as I can remember. I grew up with dogs for most of my life, and never thought of them as different from us. I could never imagine hurting a dog, so don’t understand why it should be any different for a cow or a pig.
I was vegetarian for several years before I became vegan nearly two years ago. I gained more knowledge about the dairy, egg, and meat industries, both about the exploitation within them and the hugely negative effects they have on the environment. I felt I had to take some kind of action after what I had learned. I felt that I couldn’t have this information and do nothing.
What made you decide to start volunteering with us?
Although, of course, being vegan alone is amazing and makes such a tremendous difference, I felt I needed to so something more. I wanted to help spread knowledge and information, as I believe these are the best tools to help people understand why veganism is so important. As something so important to me, it made sense to dedicate at least some of my time to it.
Talk us through what you do in the office
My main task is packaging leaflets. When people make requests for leaflets to distribute at events or stalls, I package them up, depending on which and how many of each they request, and send them out. It’s a pretty simple job but when you can see so many of thousands of leaflets going out into the world it’s quite rewarding.
How do you manage to also fit in your volunteer work at university?
As well as volunteering at The Vegan Society, I’m also the president of the University of Birmingham VegSoc, which is great fun. We mainly hold social events, like trips to local restaurants, ‘hummus and chill’ evenings, film screenings, discussion evenings etc. As long as I manage my time, having multiple volunteering roles is very enjoyable, especially as it is an opportunity to meet lots of people who care about similar things.
What is your favourite thing about being vegan?
It sounds a bit strange, but I have definitely gained a greater appreciation of food. Now if I find a vegan restaurant and can eat everything on the menu I get so excited and enjoy the food so much more. Aside from that, knowing that everything I eat causes such a minimal amount of harm is a great feeling.
This blog and many others are written and proof read by a team of skilled and dedicated volunteers. If you’re interested in getting involved with writing for The Vegan Society, please email volunteer[at]vegansociety[dot]com with some examples of your work and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.