Getting active for animals: The Humane League UK volunteers tell all

Ever wondered what it's like to volunteer for The Humane League UK?
May 31, 2018

Ever wondered what it's really like to volunteer for The Humane League? Wonder no more, as we have gathered some first-hand accounts from our amazing volunteers!

And, we'll be shining a light on our star volunteers every month in our Fast Action Network emails, so sign up now to make sure you don't miss out.

Klara: "I've always been passionate about helping animals in the most effective way possible, and that's why I started an internship with THL in the US last summer to try and kickstart my career in animal protection. When my supervisor told me THL had just started work in the UK I was literally overjoyed - such an exciting time to get involved and help end the caging of hens in the UK!

I am so happy to be organising THL socials and leafleting sessions for our London community, and literally all of them have been my absolute volunteering highlights. It's just so wonderful to see our volunteer community grow bigger, and grow together at the same time! It is so lovely to meet like-minded people and so inspiring when we encourage each other in our activism. My THL volunteering pals have truly become my dearest friends, and I couldn't be more grateful for that.

I guess the things I love most are animals, my friends, philosophy, and cake - I'd pretty much be up for a picnic in the park with my dogs and meaningful conversations with lovely people anytime!

My hope for the future is that the vegan message will spread and more and more people will show compassion towards all sentient beings. And I am confident that, with a strong THL volunteer community, we can campaign effectively and achieve better lives for millions of animals!"

John: "The Humane League UK recently won its largest campaign to date, affecting the lives of 4.3 million hens! The industry leader and food giant Noble Foods has now pledged to remove all of its cage systems by 2025. I'm sharing a bit about my experience as a volunteer, as I happened to join the THL just as the campaign started; and six months later witnessed its success at a final protest outside their HQ.

I joined the Humane League as I wanted to have an impact on industrialised factory farming, and THL seemed an effective charity for this cause. I liked that they evaluate their methods to constantly improve, and their attitude appealed – one of friendly persuasiveness rather than shouty aggression. The treatment of animals in factory farming seems a huge injustice to me, and I have found campaigning for those that are unable to stand up for themselves an extremely meaningful and rewarding experience.

During the Noble Foods campaign, there has been multiple and various ways to get involved in the action. There were plenty of opportunities to get involved from home or online. We have monthly 'work parties', which are a chance to get together and work on the campaign as a group of volunteers. These would involve actions such as letter writing, social media, phone calls, sending postcards etc. We normally put music on the speakers, and I was particularly amused at my first work party when someone started playing 'Free as a bird' by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The campaigning also involved leafleting key targets selling Noble Foods products. I think that a majority of people buying animal products would still prefer manufacturers to cause minimal harm to animals, and my experience of talking to people on the street was that many were very responsive, interested and supportive of the cause.

At the culmination of the campaign, THL had organised a 4.3 day long 'occupy Noble Foods' protest outside their office headquarters in London, representing the 4.3 million hens in captivity. Their office is shared with a large number of other companies, so this was an opportunity to raise awareness about Noble Food's practices and put direct pressure on the business. I joined for the second day of this protest and was very lucky with my timing. In the afternoon, all of the employees disappeared from their offices and the lights went off, and we started to wonder what was happening. It wasn't long after that we got a call from the Grocer magazine, requesting a THL statement on Noble Food's new pledge. We tried to keep it cool whilst confirming the news, but could hardly contain our excitement.

The campaign breakthrough was amazing and had us all buzzing for weeks to come. Not only is advocacy very rewarding, but at times like this it gets you hooked, and I almost can't wait to get stuck into out next target."

Sunita: "Almost a year on, I couldn't be more grateful to have discovered THL. In the past I've been unsure about how to channel the love I have for animals, but volunteering with these wonderful people has proven to me that it can take the smallest of actions to make incredible changes to animal lives. When I'm in London, it's so much fun attending the work parties and getting hands-on with campaign actions – but what I love most about THL is that even as a busy student, I can always get involved with the social media campaigns and contribute to the revolution!

If I'm not making a new four-legged friend, then I've usually got my head in a book. Either that or I'm trying a new vegan cake recipe – I'm a huge baker (and an even bigger eater!) Most of all, I love to meet new people, and I couldn't have found a lovelier bunch than my THL friends. Spending time with people who have the same visions that I do is amazing, and I've learnt so much from them about how to use my voice to effectively advocate for animals.

The best experience I've had with THL to date has to be the protest which finally pushed Noble Foods to commit to going cage-free. The support we had from the public while campaigning outside their office was heart-warming, and it was so satisfying to have our victory cut the week-long protest short after just two days!

I'm so excited to see THL's campaigns getting more and more ambitious. I can see a future where the caging of hens in the UK is a thing of the past, and I'm determined to keep fighting alongside this incredible volunteer base to help make that a reality, and to improve the lives of as many animals as we can."

Would you like to help animals with The Humane League? Sign up to volunteer here!