Day: November 6, 2021

In memory of Barry Horne

“The fight is not for us, not for our personal wants or needs.
It is for every animal that has ever suffered and died in the vivisection labs, and for every animal that will suffer and die in those same labs unless we end this evil business now.
The souls of the tortured dead cry out for justice, the cry of the living is for freedom.
We can create that justice and we can deliver that freedom.
The animals have no-one but us, we will not fail them.”
Barry. Sept 1998

Barry Horne (17 March 1952 – 5 November 2001) The Animal Liberation Activist!
Barry’s life- The third hunger strike

I want to go back to that 3rd hunger strike because nothing was ever the same after that.
Barry had gone on this hunger strike with more determination than ever.
He’d recently been slammed with an 18 year prison sentence. I remember sitting in court, at his sentencing, and letting out a sigh of relief when the prosecution accepted that he had never intended to endanger or harm anyone but then the judge just carried on regardless with a savagely long sentence.

Barry never took anything lying down and carried on fighting from within prison. He knew that he had the strength and determination to take a hunger strike to its limits if necessary. There would be no backing down on this one unless the goverment delivered on its pre-election promises.

He set out to make a major breakthrough in the institutionalized support of vivisection and he was going to use his own life as the bargaining chip.

Tony Blair had made promises and Barry was simply taking him to task for it. If they ignored his demand to hold a total review of the vivisection industry then his death would be on their hands, to add to the millions of animal victims.

In the infamous catalogue of lies “New Labour, New Life” they promised amongst other things to hold a Royal Commission into vivisection.

For many it was a surprise to see Barry getting involved with politics but once again it soon became clear that he had a much wider vision than that – he wanted to send a clear message out to us – his friends – that in order to fight for animal liberation it was always necessary to make sacrifices and here he was showing that he was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.

By the time the hunger strike had reached day 60, the Home Office again agreed to meet with Barry’s representatives.
Barry’s health was rapidly declining, but this time he remained on hunger strike for over a week longer, not believing they were promising anything new.

There was a final communication by fax from Labour MP Kerry Pollard on the 66th day of the hunger strike, promising a parliamentary consultative body.

At this stage Barry became very ill and confused and was moved from York Hospital, where he was surrounded by friends and loved ones, back to the isolation of prison and subjected to normal “A Cat” prison visiting conditions.

Immediately George Howarth, the then Home Office minister responsible for animal experiments, stepped in to tell the media that Barry’s hunger strike had been a hoax and “We have not been negotiating with Barry Horne. Nothing has been offered”.

The Minister always made it clear the government would not give in to blackmail. “There has been no concession, no negotiation, no deal”.
Barry never recovered from the effects of that hunger strike and he died because of it.
Nothing was ever heard from the all party animal welfare investigation.

Barry the man/Barry the animal liberation activist
For me there was no distinction between “Barry the man” and Barry the animal liberation activist. He had a wicked sense of humour, a mischievous smile, an incredible level of energy, dedication and sense of self-sacrifice.

He had a kind and gentle heart but also a burning sense of rage towards bullies – be they racist or animal abusers.
I’ll never forget his input into a raid we did together at Interfauna on St. Patrick’s night 1990, in which 82 beagles and 26 rabbits were liberated.

In any situation that I think back involving Barry he was always up there at the front – not one for hanging at the back. He always had a high level of frustration for those who he felt were not truly committed.

Not that he expected everyone to go down the road that he’d gone down, but what he did expect from people who considered themselves to be animal liberation activists was committment. He had high expectations.
He had that sense of urgency running through his veins. He was sensitive to the fact that animals are dying now – being around him you always got that feeling – it was often un-nerving to be around him.

He once told Nancy Phipps on a visit during that 3rd hunger strike, as his health was failing, that he was scared of dying and that, to me, was a sign of his courage that he could face up to such a fear.

Mike Hill, Jill Phipps and Tom Worby had no control over their deaths but Barry intentionally gave his life for the animals he cared so much about.
He didn’t want to die but now he is dead.

R.I.P Barry, the fight goes on

regards, Venus

England: Check Out the Viva! Podcast For Fun and News.

Russell Brand: Actor, Comedian, Vegan and Activist

In this episode, Viva! founder and director, Juliet Gellatley, chats with award-winning comedian, actor and activist, Russell Brand.

Russell is passionate about climate change, animals and veganism. He shares his thoughts on these issues in a lively conversation with Juliet.

The interview was recorded live at Vegan Camp Out 2021.

Helen and Faye’s chat

Viva!’s head of communications, Faye, joins Helen to break down the interview and expand on some of the topics discussed.


You can hear our show via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and on lots of other apps and websites.

The Viva! Vegan Podcast and Vegan News Minisode – available every month!

In addition to the Viva! monthly Podcast, we now have a Vegan News Minisode!

Together, they’ve got you covered with the latest vegan news, the best celebrity and thought-leader interviews, expert vegan advice and more than a few laughs as well…

Co-hosted by Helen Wilson and Viva!’s head of comms Faye Lewis, each month they’ll be serving up some cracking in-depth chats with some of the most interesting figures in the vegan movement.

Each Podcast episode features a different individual – breaking down their vegan journey and recounting their highs and lows – followed by a candid chat between Helen and Faye on everything from mushroom-based leather alternatives to terrible cooking blunders.

In our Vegan News Minisode, we deep-dive into the world of vegan news and politics in a quick five-minute round-up of newsworthy events in veganism.

No matter where you are in your vegan journey, there’ll be something for you in the Viva! Vegan Podcast and the Vegan News Minisode.

Check out and listen to the Podcasts via this link:

Viva! Vegan Podcast | Viva! The Vegan Charity

Canada: British Columbia will close its mink farms in 2025

BREAKING VICTORY: Following pressure from PETA and our honorary Director Pamela Anderson, British Columbia’s government is shutting down ALL mink fur farms 🎉

The Canadian province has already banned breeding minks — soon the sensitive animals will be spared from the violent cycle of being jammed together in filthy wire-floored cages and skinned for their fur.

And I mean…Exactly a year ago the following message came in Forbes Magazine:

“Health officials in Canada’s British Columbia have declared a Covid-19 outbreak at a mink farm after eight people tested positive for the disease, with employees and animals now undergoing testing and contact tracing in a bid to control the spread of the virus”.

Most people don’t want to know (or suppress) what exactly is going on in the fur farms.
The fur industry is to blame.

Behind closed doors, hidden from the control of the public and the government, millions of minks are bred, tortured, and skinned alive under brutal conditions for fur, and it is precisely on such mink farms that the coronavirus has been detected and workers who have worked there have turned away infected.


We would never have believed that this industry would cease to exist so quickly as a result due to Corona.

After the coronavirus outbreaks on 22 Dutch mink farms, the mink farms there were closed at the end of 2020.
It was followed by Denmark (until 2023), after an unprecedented genocide by Mink with 15 million living beings.

The same reasons have already led other countries to ban fur farming.
These include Great Britain, Belgium, Japan, Norway, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg.
In countries such as Germany, Sweden, Italy or Switzerland, the rules for fur farms have recently been tightened in such a way that the operation in these countries is no longer financially viable for the breeders.

Mink fur farm-Canada

Canada is home to a large fur industry for mink, fox, marten, chinchilla, and other fur-bearing species.
According to the statistics of Canada, more than 230 registered mink farms and 50 registered fox farms have been counted across the country. In total, over three million animals are bred.
And just like in Europe, the conditions there, under which the animals suffer because of their fur, are catastrophic.

Even after the corona outbreak on mink farms in the Netherlands, public pressure increased in Canada to give health priority and close fur farms.
British Columbia has taken the first step.

Now is the time for ALL countries to follow the example of many fur-free countries around the world and put an end to this bloody business once and for all.

My best regards to all, Venus