Rescue Journal

Does SAINTS have a Formal Food Menu Policy

Sheila  ·  Feb. 4, 2016

I received an email from an American Organization asking us to have a formal menu policy at our fundraising events and that the board of directors approve it. If we set up a food policy we could apply for a $250 grant. This is such a controversial issue. With just a couple of introductory sentences deleted ... here is my answer:

It has always been a hot spot from people who want us to dictate everything is vegan (including vegan volunteers only) to those people who only see us as a dog rescue and can't understand why I organize an event that is vegetarian with vegan options. We have a mix of volunteers that are vegan ,vegetarian and meat eaters. This mix is reflected in our board of directors. I myself am not a full vegetarian because I eat fish. In the last two years I have reduced my dairy consumption by not consuming it in my home but will consume it when outside the home.

I do one large event where food is served. I have 1 vegan and 1 vegetarian option as the main entrees and no meat. The rest of the food is all vegetarian and vegan. I try very hard not to have leather or gift cards from restaurants that are steak houses as silent auction item and I also look for vegan friendly products for the silent auction table. I do one pub fundraiser and allow the guests to choose if they want to eat vegetarian,vegan or meat. We have had a few people do 3rd party fundraisers for us over the years that involves food. We do not dictate to them what food they must serve.

Does our organization have discussions about ethical eating - Yes we do. Do we talk about our farm animals at our events - yes we do. What we in essence believe is not every one of our donors or volunteers is going to switch over to being vegan (I have done a couple of vegan events and what happened was the food wasn't eaten). But maybe we can help people make ethical choices by us suggesting buying mayo with eggs that are cage free and having a link to our local SPCA organization that has a humane certification for farms.

I believe until we (the collective organization of people that make up saints) can actually be perfectly "animal free" in our eating and buying habits cannot, in all good conscious, have a formal and marketed menu policy.

Sheila Kullar