Giving to RASTA sanctuary for Christmas, and Whole Foods drops charges against DXE’s Wayne Hsiung

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Whole Foods continues to punish activists who ask questions about animal welfare

Christmas is upon us…a time to celebrate peace, love and togetherness – and for most people this tradition takes place around a table of murdered turkeys, pig flesh, buttered vegetables etc. Many people are absolving themselves of guilt by buying “free range” turkeys or even slaughtering their own (yes, this is the latest trend.) Before I opened my eyes to the truth of animal agriculture, I believed in “humane” animal products. I was a Whole Foods shopper for this reason, spending $10 for a carton of eggs, and way more than I could afford for chicken and fish. Thankfully, I met Almira Tanner, an organizer with DXE, and learned the truth.

Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) is an international grassroots network of abolitionist animal rights activists founded in 2013 in the San Francisco Bay area. Their tactics include protests that disrupt “business as usual” animal exploitation and abuse (restaurants, grocery stores, etc), non violent direct action tactics such as open rescue of animals from farms, while exposing the inhumane living conditions. Their intent is to build a movement that can eventually shift culture and change social and political institutions. DxE activists work for “total animal liberation” and the creation of a law requiring “species equality.”

DXE activists often enter the farms which supply grocery store giant, Whole Foods to investigate and document the living conditions of the animals, which is nothing like the standards of care that Whole Foods heavily promotes in their so-called 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating. 

In today’s interview, we speak with lead organizer Almira Tanner of Berkeley, on the recently dropped charges against co-lead organizer, Wayne Hsiung who entered Whole Foods to politely ask the staff and management about these lies. On the day Wayne was to appear in court, he returned to the store to ask questions again. Wayne is told by the store manager that he is not allowed to ask questions and that he must leave. DXE is asking YOU to take the #wholefoodschallenge by doing the same, and posting the video on social media. We advise that you only film the person asking the questions, out of respect for the staff, unless they are in management. Whole Foods states on their website that they are transparent, so you can remind them of this if you’re asked to leave the store.


RASTA Sanctuary, raising money for a new barn and seeking monthly sponsors for the animals

As a male calf, “Eddie” is considered a waste product by the dairy industry and would otherwise have been slaughtered if RASTA hadn’t taken him.

This time of year, I find myself seeking out meaningful gift ideas for nieces and nephews who seem to have every material thing they need. How can I nurture their innate love for animals, teach them about the spirit of giving to those less fortunate, and make a difference in another’s life? I decided upon a monthly sponsorship of Baxter the pig at Chemainus’ RASTA Sanctuary on Vancouver Island, with the promise of a farm visit in the spring when they open for visitors.

Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals (RASTA) was founded by Lucie Cerny in January 2001.

Named after her beloved late dog, RASTA is a registered charity devoted to animal rescue and protection through public education.

Originating as Alberta’s premier no kill & cage-less all animal rescue with a unique non-discriminatory approach (open to all animals regardless of breed, size, age or species) almost 20 years ago, RASTA began to see a desperate need for farm animal refuge and advocacy. Over time, this inspiration led to the Sanctuary’s eventual evolution to a permanent refuge for abandoned and abused animals, focusing on farm animal rescue and advocacy.

In 2013 RASTA founded the Potbelly Pig & Farm Animal Rehoming Network and in 2014 the Farm Animal Rescue & Rehoming Movement (FARRM) was also born from RASTA’s inspiration.

Formerly located in De Winton (just south of Calgary, Alberta) in 2015, RASTA’s Founder took on the monumental task of relocating the Sanctuary and all of its rescued residents to Vancouver Island for a better quality of life for the animals, sustainability reasons, as well as to help fill a need for farm animal refuge and advocacy in an area which at the time lacked this support.  RASTA once again pioneered a farm sanctuary movement, this time on Vancouver Island!

The RASTA Sanctuary offers a lifelong safe haven to numerous farm, as well as other domestic animals which for the most part have nowhere else to go.

Honoring education as the most valuable tool in rescue work, RASTA offers a unique one of a kind interactive experience to the public by hosting guided tours to visit the many different types of rescued animals at the Sanctuary.  In doing so, it’s RASTA’s goal to inspire compassion for all animals with no distinction between breeds or species.

RASTA prides itself in being a no kill and cage-less Sanctuary, rather than the conventional approach of a shelter or a pound. The strict no kill policy mandates that only terminally ill or fatally injured animals will ever undergo euthanasia and the cage-less philosophy allows the animals to enjoy freedom and socialization within their own, as well as among other species.

The RASTA Sanctuary operates on a volunteer basis and is maintained for the most part by its founder Lucie, and a handful of devoted volunteers.

Today, we speak with Lucie about the education offered on the farm, the costs of running a sanctuary, and her plans to build a barn for the animals in her care.

We hope you’ll be inspired to sponsor an animal too!

Want to help RASTA but don’t have the money? You can earn money for RASTA Sanctuary JUST by eating vegan meals in vegan or non-vegan restaurants or reviewing vegan products from




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