Since its inception on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund has partnered with Animal Place to expand its North America-wide Food for Thought program to wildlife and environmental organizations.
The Food for Thought program began with a focus on companion animal groups, asking the simple question: why serve some animals as food at organizational functions in order to raise money for other animals? And indeed, hundreds of groups have responded by adopting vegan or vegetarian menu policies for their events.
Animal Place, now based in Grass Valley, CA, was the organization that inspired Greg and me to become vegetarian and later vegan, when we were living in San Francisco and took a weekend tour of their original Vacaville farm animal sanctuary (now the center for their Rescue Ranch adoption program). In addition to going this vegetarian-to-vegan path over the course of our life together, Greg and I also rescued many animals and engaged in many wildlife conservation and environmental protection activities. When I sought ways to honor Greg’s legacy, therefore, I was particularly moved by the opportunity to partner with Animal Place Food for Thought in developing a new wildlife and environmental initiative that addressed all of our shared passions in one!
This month, a year and a half after launching our partnership, the Food for Thought Wildlife & Environmental Program has published a comprehensive new brochure addressing the question of why wildlife and environmental groups should adopt a vegan or vegetarian menu policy, and then presents concrete advice on how to do so.
The program’s accomplishments to date also include:
- Receiving formal endorsements from 38 wildlife and environmental organizations.
- Issuing grants to these nine wildlife and environmental organizations for adopting new vegan or vegetarian menu policies:
Animal Help Now (Colorado)
Fauna Foundation (Quebec, Canada)
Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation (Colorado)
North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (California)
Second Chance Wildlife Center (Maryland)
Friends of Washoe (Washington)
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (District of Columbia)
- Obtaining 9,971 signatures on our Care2 petition “Urge Animal and Environmental Groups to Take Animals Off the Menu.” (That’s just 29 signatures away from our goal of 10,000!)
We look forward to issuing many more grants in the year ahead, to growing our list of endorsers, and to continuing to expand the program in many other ways.