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Lunch for a Lion

It's the eve of our 6th birthday as a business, and like so many people we'll be spending it in isolation, but that doesn't mean we have no reason to celebrate.

Us on our 3rd birthday, we can't find pics from our 1st or 2nd!

We've learned in the last 6 years that we truly are resilient, full of energy and ideas, and also that our core values as a company are more important to us than ever in these times we find ourselves in now.

Our 4th birthday, when we accidentally wore matching outfits!

One of these values that has been unwavering since we started the business is to maintain our status as a vegan and cruelty free company, but we feel it's not enough to just be passive and merely place a logo on our packaging. Creating products that don't contain animal derivatives is a challenge yes, but it's one we're used to living up to.

Our 5th birthday last year when we took the whole team to Amsterdam!

What keeps us inspired is working harder to do more, for our customers, community and also our environment, that extends to our love of animals and their wellbeing. However this is not easy.

You would not believe the difficulty involved in trying to partner with a charity, we've been turned down by so many for multiple reasons ranging from 'our brand isn't positive enough' to 'you won't make a difference unless you start with a minimum donation of 20k' and the majority of charities we've tried to contact over the years simply don't reply to e-mails! There are a lot of exceptional charities, we know that, which is why we didn't give up.

That's why we're very happy to partner with The Aspinall Foundation and start fundraising efforts that will support them to continue their groundbreaking conservation work.

A little more about The Aspinall Foundation and their work

The Aspinall Foundation's team believe that the reintroduction of animals into their natural habitats can help conserve wildlife and their environment.

Over the past few years alone, they have bred, nurtured and released hundreds of animals from their animal parks back to the wild where they belong. The ongoing list of re-wilded animals includes 8 black rhino, 12 grizzled langurs, 90 ebony langurs, 33 Javan gibbons, 11 European bison and over 70 western lowland gorillas have been released back into their native homelands.

Amazing results for two Gorillas living in Gabon

The team believe that animals deserve, wherever possible, to live in their natural environments, free from persecution by humans – from hunting, trapping and loss of their habitat. For too long humans have threatened and destroyed the forests, plains and rivers that animals live in. We have a responsibility, a duty, to tackle this destruction and rebuild the population of the far too many endangered animals facing the threat of extinction..

And some African painted dogs now living in Gabon from the wintery Kent climate!

There are three strands to their work:

  • To halt the extinction of endangered species in the wild by reintroducing animals and developing sustainable conservation activities; providing economic benefits to local communities and helping to manage and protect wilderness areas.
  • Provide the most natural environment possible for animals in both animal parks, and be world leaders in our animal husbandry and breeding programmes.
  • Increase public understanding of animal welfare and how we can all act to protect animals in their natural environments.

 

Saba and Nairo are in the process of making their way to a completely new life, they've recently been sent back to Africa, and are enjoying acclimatising. 

Why we want to help...

We've already mentioned that we love animals, but when Sophie went to Africa on a dream safari honeymoon in 2017, she didn't expect to learn so much about the terrible killing and poaching problems that are an ongoing, never ending battle. Also the lack of education in rural communities that means farmers actually kill the animals that are encroaching onto their land, unknowingly and unwillingly, because humans are encroaching into theirs. She was deeply saddened and it has stayed with her ever since, how wild animals are constantly persecuted by humans and we are the cause of their dangerously low numbers, but just as upsetting is the fact that they are extremely vulnerable without our help. It's a horrible, helpless kind of feeling that can be quite overwhelming when you can't imagine where to start solving this, and it's taken a little while to find a way.

Here's a blog post from safari, in case you want to read more.

We visited Port Lympne together this year, after Sophie went in 2019 and came back raving about The Aspinall Foundation and their impressive staff who really keep the message of care, conservation and education at the forefront of their work. We were introduced to the giraffe, and the spider monkeys, all of whom are ever so lovely, and we started talking to the team about how we could help fundraise to support their work.

That was in early March, just before Covid-19 started rapidly taking hold of the UK, and before we imagined that the park would have to close to visitors imminently, immediately shutting off a huge part of their much needed income.

us with the cheeky monkey, we fed them some worms and they went wild

Our original plans for fundraising have had to go on hold, but we came up with a new way to support, especially when we became increasingly aware that the cost of keeping all the animals cared for and fed doesn't go down and funds are needed now more than ever.

The post that spurred on our fundraising initiative

What are we doing to help?

We usually do a big social push for our birthday, but this year feels very different for us all and by now we're getting gradually more used to lockdown. Celebrations are on hold, but we still want to do something special and we want to raise funds to help feed the animals through lockdown.

Through our social platform we can reach a lot of people, so we've decided to create a code ANIMAL15 that our customers can use to get 15% off the whole website that will run from tomorrow our birthday for the next 6 days. The savings that are made by our customers we'll donate to the Animal Support Fund to help maintain the excellent care and continued conservation efforts by The Aspinall Foundation.

Our hope is that through this concept our valued customers will treat themselves and use the code for a discount, the equivalent of which will be donated directly to the Animal Support Fund once the 6 days promotion come to an end.

You can of course choose to donate directly, which would be wonderful if you can. To help you do this there are bespoke care packages starting from £2.50 that will feed lots of different animals, you can purchase a care package here.

Here are some insights to the cost of feeding the animals, and what we're hoping to raise with your help.

  • £3,500 could feed the lion pride for a month
  • £300 could feed a rhino for a month
  • £1,350 could feed the entire giraffe herd for a month
  • £4,830 could feed our band of gorillas for a week
  • £6,300 could feed our elephant herd for a month
  • £3,650 could feed a tapir for a year

Thank you all, 

Love, Sophie & Hannah