Daily Vegan 26: The Save Movement, a new kind of activism – by Issie Hutchinson

If you’ve been exploring vegan Facebook groups over the last few weeks, you’ll probably have come across the Save movement. You might have heard of Manchester Pig Save, Kent Animal Save, or one of the many groups now established across the world.

These groups are part of a powerful new kind of advocacy for animals. Their volunteers organise vigils outside slaughterhouses, where they witness animals on the final stage of their journey to slaughter, and try to show them some compassion before they are killed.

Despite their name, the Save groups do not usually manage to spare animals from their awful fate at the slaughterhouse. But the footage and photos they gather have an extraordinary impact for animals – exposing their suffering to the public and inspiring people to choose a kinder way of life. And by offering water and kind words, the activists ensure that these animals experience at least a moment of compassion during their short, miserable lives.

The Save Movement began in December 2010, when Toronto Pig Save was founded. There are now around 80 groups across the world, in countries including the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Brazil and Poland. You can read more about the Save Movement on their website.

At Animal Aid, we wholeheartedly support this essential work, and admire the bravery of the activists who attend vigils month after month. Back in August, we joined up with Essex Pig Save to film pigs on the final stage of their journey to Cheale Meats slaughterhouse in Essex. We filmed exhausted pigs in cramped, stressful conditions, some of whom were sick or injured. But all we could offer them was water and a kind word. It was truly heartbreaking to know that we could not save these animals from a brutal death, but the powerful footage and photos we gathered during the vigil resulted in more than 200 orders for our Go Vegan packs. You can view the film we created below.

If you’d like to get involved with the Save Movement, you can find your nearest group here and click on ‘more details’ to access their Facebook group.