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“ It is a matter of morality. It’s so simple. I am not going to take somebody’s life to eat ”

Maria Slough heads to Croatia to uncover the emergence of veganism
Blue Cross Farm Animal Sanctuary

As the Croatian landscape appears through the window of the plane I am excited to meet with the people and animals of the vegan movement in Dalmatia, and to learn about their personal experiences along the plant-based path — journeys that are changing laws and lives and improving equality in welfare for animals and people across the country.

Arriving in Osijek, Eastern Croatia at the HQ for vegan organisation, Udruga Pobjede (, Hrvoje Harac, Zrinka Kosta, Ivana Crnoja, and Santa the dog welcome us. When these three friends visited an unregistered shelter over ten years ago, it was to change their lives forever. “I never dreamt that this would be my life, we had no experience in animal activism we were working and studying,” Svenka laughs. “We started a civil initiative to help the dogs and involved the local media coordinating actions in the shelter. People saw the change; they connected to what we were doing and wanted to help.” Two years later they formed the organisation and are now working to bring about animal welfare change with the minister of agriculture. The shelter itself is flanked in brightly coloured flowers, and modern art made from recycled products adorn the gates. A photo of a cow occupies an entire wall, and they use the shelter to promote veganism. Rescued dogs sit at our feet as we settle on seats made of old tyres and eat a homemade traditional dish of tofu and filo pastry, while Hrvoje talks about their community outreach work. “A key part of our work is to promote veganism. In schools we educate children in animal rights and protection. We open the shelter to the public and after an afternoon of volunteering, making new connections and meeting the dogs, we cook Croatian vegan food and answer questions about veganism. We welcome anyone travelling to come and join our family for the day.”

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our April issue. This month we’ve spent a lot of time discussing advocacy at Vegan Life HQ. The internet has undeniably had a huge impact on spreading the vegan message and our cover star, Monami Frost, is one person who uses her platform for good. She tells us why vegans don’t have to compromise and shares her top tips for advocating online. We were lucky enough to talk to Rich Hardy, now head of campaigns at Veganuary, who has spent 20 years working undercover to expose animal cruelty — putting himself in risky and potentially dangerous situations to share the stories of so many voiceless animals. It was great to catch up with Bob from ETHCS to see how the departure of Tim Shieff has changed things for the vegan brand. They’re so passionate about making ethical and vegan clothing easy and accessible to buy, and also have some exciting plans coming up. Tony Galuidi has written a thought provoking piece on how to approach advocacy — it sparked a big office debate, so we rolled the question out to our readers — should we be more supportive of those cutting down meat, but not cutting it out? Read what was said. Have a great month,

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