Week 5: Supporting Aran will make a difference to animals' lives
John Carmody of the Animal Rights Action Network talks about the charity's works.
My name is John Carmody and I am founder of Animal Rights Action Network, better known as Aran, which is Ireland's national animal protection group.
We have been working across Ireland to stop cruelty to animals and to replace acts of cruelty with acts of kindness, for the last 20 years. Readers may know Aran from the most recent high-profile rescue of Benjy, the reportedly gay bull in Mayo, or as the organisation that awarded John Byrne a 'Compassionate Action Award' after the man jumped into the River Liffey to save the life of his rabbit, Barney, as a result of someone throwing the rabbit into the freezing river.
Aran's main goal is to firstly expose to the public the many aspects of cruelty that faces so many animals.
From animals being skinned for their fur on Irish fur farms and animals living in chains in circuses, to encouraging people to always adopt an animal from a pound or shelter instead of buying from breeders, and to always spay and neuter their animals.
We also get out on the streets and into the classrooms to help plant seeds of compassion to help the next generation grow up being more responsible and considerate when it comes to all animals.
Some of Aran's achievements include helping Ireland to push for a ban on seal products coming into the EU and we have over ten Irish towns and cities who passed motions to ban animal-act circuses using public land.
We've encouraged many stores to refuse to sell real fur, got restaurants to go foie gras-free, and pushed for an update to the old Protection of Animals Act 1961 to the Animal Health and Welfare Act.
I have been an unpaid volunteer with Aran for the full 20 years of the group's existence, and I enjoy being involved with the organisation because it is well-known and respected in the Irish media, with politicians and with the public.
But there are still a lot of people who are only learning about the importance of Aran's work, and a lot of cruelty that we need to reverse to replace with kindness and compassion.
The Vhi Woman's Mini Marathon is an important day for Irish charities that rely on the help and goodwill of people who want to make a difference to causes that are close to their heart.
For people who choose to select Aran, their donations that will be raised will go towards our educational work, getting us out on the streets and into schools, universities, colleges and youth groups to help educate people about the importance of being compassionate towards animals.
It's something that will benefit all of society. Aran will not only put donations to efficient and effective use, we will also update the people who support our work on how their donations are making a difference to the lives of animals in need.
For more info go to www.aran.ie