Animal love

Sleeping ruff – 24 hours as a rescue dog

Next weekend, 2 of my friends and I will be spending 24 hours in a kennel, completely cut off from technology and living on a budget of £1.20 each (the price of 2 cans of dog food). We’re doing this to raise funds for Foal Farm, the rescue centre we voluteer at, to build a much-needed new kennel block for the dogs.

Foal farm is an incredible no-kill animal rescue that is funded entirely on donations, so fundraising like this is really important as it enables Foal Farm to continue saving lives.

We’ve filmed a short video explaining a bit about what we’ll be doing and more importantly, why we’re doing it  ▹▸▹▸

If you’d like to find out a little more about why this cause is so special to us, please check out my post 5 REASONS TO ADOPT YOUR NEXT BEST FRIEND and my friend Maria’s post about her dog rescue story.

We, and the dogs, will be incredibly grateful for anything you can donate, no matter how big or small. The more money we raise, the more lives we save! If you’d like to contribute, you can find our fundraising page at: gofundme.com/sleepingruff

Thanks so much for your support guys!

Jade xxx

5 reasons to adopt your next best friend

A common misconception that dissuades people from adoption is that most dogs in rescue centres have behavioural issues. In reality, the vast majority of dogs are there through no fault of their own and fit perfectly into family life. Since I started volunteering at Foal Farm, I have seen first hand the wide variety of amazing dogs available for adoption: lazy/energetic, playful/calm, independent/loyal, puppies/oaps, big/small, purebreds/cross breeds – there is a dog to suit everyone. With such a diverse range of dogs available for adoption, I’m confident in saying that there is a dog perfectly suited to your family and your lifestyle sitting in a rescue centre near you, just waiting for you to come and give them their happily ever after. In case you’re not already convinced, here are my top 5 reasons to adopt your next best friend.

All pictures featured in this post are of dogs at Foal Farm who are currently waiting for their forever home. If you think that could be with you, you can contact Foal Farm here or fill out an adoption application form here.

1. The special bond you form is incomparable

There is something extremely special about the bond a rescuer forms with a rescue dog. My mum went to collect our rescue dog Teddy and the loyalty and adoration he feels towards my mum is incredible. Dogs without a doubt know when you’ve rescued them, and in return shower you with a lifetime of love and loyalty. What could be better?

rescue collie

Gypsy is a beautiful & extremely special dog who I’ve completely fallen in love with, whoever adopts her is one very lucky human

2. You get to skip the difficult puppy stage

Whilst it is undeniable that puppies are adorable, there is nothing cute about coming home to a house full of wee and poo, being the chew toy for a teething puppy, or having your brand new GHDs bitten up (I’m looking at you Panda). What I’m trying to say is, puppies are hard work, so one major advantage of rescuing a slightly older dog is that you can skip the puppy stage and get straight to the good stuff.

Ember is gorgeous friendly and playful boy who is great with other dogs

Ember is a gorgeous, friendly and playful boy who is great with other dogs and absolutely loves cuddles

3. Rescuing saves lives

For each dog you rescue, not only are you saving that dog’s life, but you are also freeing up shelter space for another dog to have the chance to be saved from euthanasia and find their forever home. So basically, you get a BFF and save lives. What’s not to love?!

Rescue lurcher

Bunny is a beautiful & bouncy little girl who was rescued from a pound, she is super friendly & has a tail that won’t stop wagging

4. You can find the perfect companion for you and your family

Most good recuse centres spend a lot time getting to know the families who come to adopt a dog. This means that they will be able to pair you up with a dog that will suit your lifestyle and fit perfectly into your family. Plus, rescue centres are so committed to ensuring their dogs find a forever home, that they offer ongoing support to adopters should you need any help/advice in the future.

jack russel rescue

Dolly is a cute and energitic jack russel terrier who loves to play fetch but also loves to snuggle up for kisses and cuddles

5.  Rescuing feels amazing!

Rescuing a dog is honestly one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. Seeing a dog that hasn’t had the best start in life happily running around in a field or cuddled up with you on the sofa is an incredibly special thing. It’s pretty amazing knowing that you were able to give a dog a second chance and provide them with their happily ever after.

Nala is a beautiful 1 year old cross breed who loves nothing more than to cuddle up with you on the sofa and cover you in kisses

Nala is a beautiful 1 year old cross breed who loves nothing more than to cuddle up with you on the sofa and cover you in kisses

If you think you’ve got room for some unconditional love in your life, rescue a dog today, you might be surprised to find that they rescue you too.

Adopt don’t shop – a rescue story

Today I am so excited to share the first ever guest post on Jade Green Vegan; and I can’t think of anyone better to write it than my animal-loving, dog-rescuing, veggie-eating best friend – Maria.  As you guys probably know from my recent post, Maria and I have recently started volunteering at an amazing animal rescue center, after she rescued her dog Max from there just before Christmas.

I know people can sometimes be a little apprehensive about adopting a dog, but since I started volunteering I am just simply amazed at how many friendly, playful, gentle and just generally loveable dogs there are waiting to be adopted. According to this survey by the Dogs Trust,  7,058 dogs were put down last year by local authorities alone, that’s almost one dog an hour! With staffies at particular risk, I thought it would be great for Maria to share her adoption story with all of  us, to show what an amazing experience rescuing a dog can be.

black rescue dog

Maria and her previous dog Benny (one of the most special dogs I’ve ever known)

Maria Smith, guest blogger:

Yay I am so excited to be able to:

1. Share my experience of getting my rescue dog at Foal Farm (an AMAZING shelter may I start with, that we now volunteer at every weekend); and

2. To be able to write this on my incredible best friend’s blog- it doesn’t get much better than that!

To give you wonderful readers a background, I’ll start at the beginning. As you may know, in order to start a new chapter in your life, you have to unfortunately end one, which in my case meant having to make the hardest decision in my life so far – saying goodbye to our gorgeous previous dog called Benny! I know it may sound cliché but I genuinely think we were blessed to have a dog as gentle, kind, obedient and friendly as Benny, which made letting him go even harder. Something that only other dog lovers know is that dogs are family, and so to lose a dog is to lose a part of your family. They provide the same unconditional love, only they can’t speak to tell you this, which in a way makes the bond you have with them even more special!

cockapoo and staff

Benny with his girlfriend, Panda

After a couple of months of grieving over losing Benny, I was the first in my family to realise that we could either carry on grieving (which no matter how much we hoped couldn’t bring him back); or we could give another dog the love and care we gave to Benny. My mum was adamant that this was not going to happen. However, after gentle persuasion, she recommended we visit an animal shelter (Foal Farm), continuously reminding me that we were just ‘looking’, to which I would just roll my eyes…

The next step was sitting down with Dan and Kayleigh from Foal Farm (both amazing people who devote pretty much their whole life to caring for abandoned dogs) so they could find out more about us as a family, and find a dog whose needs we could meet. We were really passionate about getting a dog who had been in kennels for some time and who had been struggling to settle. So, with that in mind, Dan and Kayleigh recommended Max (who had been in the kennels for about 3 months after being rescued from a pound who were due to put him to sleep after 7 days)! He was just under one and he had his whole life to spend with us! He was well trained (thank you to the dog team at Foal Farm for this), gentle, kind, loving, bursting with energy (which is great for when my sister – Natalie – and I go for runs and play with him), the list is endless!

staff rescue

Max playing in the park

We were eager to provide a home for him before Christmas so that we could spoil him rotten with presents!  The first day we could have picked him up was 22nd December, which was actually the first day foal farm was closed for Christmas! However, foal farm opened for us, purely so we could take him home that day, and I quote the dog team said “we would never close our doors, if it meant a dog going home earlier”- This I will never forget! This truly is the motto which Foal Farm carry, they care so deeply for their animals! They are a no-kill animal shelter and do everything they can to try save dogs’ lives; and for that, myself and my family are so grateful, as we never would have found our amazing addition to our family without them!

cross breed dogs playing

Max playing with Poppy after a dip in the river

We have now had Max for over a month and considering his past, it is amazing how gentle and loving he is. I love learning new and interesting things about him every day, like the way he snores LOUDLY (that one we picked up on the first night), the way he cuddles you by jumping on your shoulders, the way he destroys every toy within 5 seconds (literally!), the way he thinks he can get a bird that’s flying 100ft above him (bearing in mind there’s one that is sitting right in front of him 10ft away).. I could go on! But the main thing I’ve enjoyed learning is even though these dogs have all had confused, troubled pasts, they all still find somewhere in their hearts to love again!

So if there is one thing I could say, it would be to foster/adopt a RESCUE dog (in particularly from Foal Farm, I’m biased- I know :))! Each dog has a unique character and I’m sure there would be one (two/three/four? Ha) that would make a great addition to your family too!

dog cuddling arm

Max making himself right at home with Maria and her family

Editor’s note: I’m totally not crying right now or anything! I am seriously so grateful that Maria and her family were able to open up their homes and hearts to another dog who really needed it. Max is a very lucky boy and I know Benny would be so proud. I think Maria pretty much said it all, but if you can foster/adopt a dog, not only are you helping to save that dog but you are also opening up a space for another dog in need like Max.

Volunteering at Foal Farm

Last weekend was extremely exciting for me, as I was able to fulfil a life-long dream of becoming a volunteer at an animal shelter. Just before Christmas, one of my besties, Maria, rescued her gorgeous dog Max from Foal Farm and shortly afterwards started volunteering there with her sister. When they asked if I want to volunteer with them, to say I was excited (like-pee-my-pants excited) would be an understatement, as as you all know I am a big time crazy dog lady and anything I can do to help animals in need makes my soul extremely happy.

animal shelter volunteer

We had a great time walking some of the dogs around Foal Farm‘s beautiful grounds, and after spending time with them I just couldn’t believe how many gorgeous, friendly, and just generally loveable dogs there are waiting to find their forever homes. If you are able to open your home to a dog, in my experience, rescuing is honestly one of the most rewarding things you could ever do.  Two of my dogs have been rescues and they are some of the most loving, loyal dogs you could ever meet.

animal shelter volunteers

All of the dogs that we we walked/spent time with were special in their own ways, like the lovely Stanley above, who has the most gentle soul and is extremely well behaved on the lead.

I particularly fell in love with this gorgeous boy Rex ▽▼▽▼▽. Five dogs wouldn’t be too crazy, right?! Seriously though.

border collie cross springer spaniel

All in all, my first volunteering experience was amazing, and I am so grateful that I can now hang out with all of these lovely doggies on a regular basis. Foal Farm is an incredible no-kill rescue that relies solely on voluntary contributions, legacies and money made from fund raising events, and I feel so humbled to be a part of it.

Have any of you volunteered at an animal shelter? I’d love to hear all of your stories, you know I can talk about animals all day!

World Animal Day

This weekend, I celebrated World Animal Day in the best way possible: hanging out with some of my best friends and lots of adorable animals at Pennywell Farm; of course all whilst my besty and I sported our matching Peta2 Animal hats.

pennywell farm

I have always loved all animals and getting to spend quality time with them just solidifies in my mind how happy I am to be living a vegan lifestyle.  The animals at Pennywell are all adorable, and we definitely came dangerously close to sneaking one of the tiny piglets and/ or bunnies out in our jumpers. How freaking adorable are they?!

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I find it so strange that lots of people see dogs as pets, yet see pigs as food. Pigs make just as awesome companions as dogs and are such clever animals. Some fun facts about pigs: they have their own language, mother pigs sing to their young and some pigs have even been taught to play video games! That’s at least one thing that they’re better than me at… although admittedly given my shocking (lack of) FIFA skills, that’s not too surprising! If you need more convincing of how awesome pigs are, check out Esther the Wonder Pig. Esther is a total babe who is revolutionising the way we view pigs, one adorable picture at a time! I fully intend to share my home with a gorgeous piggy one day, but until then I will coo over cute pictures like this one on a regular basis ▶▷▸▹

How unbearably cute is that little face?!

micro piggy

Beautiful bunnies and micro piglets aside, we got the chance to chill out with lots of other gorgeous animals including: huge (and I mean huge) shire horses, cashmere goats, and lots of sheep. Here are some of my favourite pictures from the day ▶▷▸▹

pennywell

penywell

pennywell

pennywell

Summary of this post: I seriously need to live on a farm one day so that I can chill out with lots of beautiful animals like these on a daily basis! I hope you all had an awesome World Animal Day too, let me know if you got up to anything fun.

One more extremely exciting thing that happened this weekend; I was featured on the awesome Lindsay Living Vegan‘s blog. You can check out the interview here and be sure to check out the rest of her blog whilst you’re there as she has lots of great posts ranging from beauty to health to recipes. A huge thanks to Lindsay for inviting me onto her blog; I’m looking forward to featuring her in the JGV Interview Series soon.

lindsaylivingvegan

10 reasons to go vegan

Since going vegan, I have been asked by so many people why I chose this lifestyle. There have been a lot of these moments…

i am vegan

However, it has also got me thinking. I’m always taken a little off guard and never know what to say when I’m asked this question, so I normally end up mumbling something about loving animals. The truth is, whilst my love for animals is my primary reason, I didn’t realise how many other amazing reasons I have until I started writing them all down. I thought it’d be fun to share my top 10 with you all, and also to maybe have somewhere to refer people to next time I get asked the question ;)…

My Top 10 Reasons for being Vegan

1. I have always loved animals, and this George Bernard Shaw quote pretty much sums it up Quotation-George-Bernard-Shaw-friends-Meetville-Quotes-156371

2. Animals are all sentient beings and I don’t believe that any of them have less of a right to live than I do

peace

3. Esther the wonder pig is so awesome and has shown us just how similar pigs can be to the dogs we love and share our homes with

esther the wonder pig4 cockapoos

4. Vegan food is awesome and I’m now so much more aware of what I’m putting into my body IMG_5973

5. I get to try out all of these cool, new vegan restaurants like Mildred’s and Bistro 1847 Bistro 1847 - battered vegetables

6. At 20 years old, I’ve finally given myself a good enough reason to learn to cook IMG_1392

7. Amazing people who I really admire, like Alicia Silverstone are great examples of how rewarding a vegan lifestyle can be

alicia silverstone

8. Since making this lifestyle change, I can honestly say I am feeling the healthiest I ever have vegans are healthier

9. I get to connect with like minded people and hopefully inspire people to live a kinder life through my vegan blog

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10. And if all of that isn’t convincing enough, who am I to argue with a genius?!

albert einstein veganism

I’d love to hear what made you decide to go vegetarian/ vegan in the comments box below this post?