Ever dream of starting an animal sanctuary? Or starting a vegan permaculture forest? Don’t have a clue how to fund your vegan dream? We’ve got you.
We spoke to Gina to find how she’s crowdfunding the transformation of a Scottish sheep farm into a vegan nut tree paradise.
Creating a vegan croft isn’t easy, but is made easier with a little help from your vegan friends.
From sheep farm to veggie paradise
We’re a little bit in love with the sound of Gina’s Scottish croft.
“It’s huge,” Gina tells us. “It’s 188 acres and it takes hours to walk around, it’s got waterfalls and all and it’s really incredible.”
“It’s a massive amount of land. I don’t know if you can imagine what 188 acres of land looks like but it’s just like from the horizon to the horizon in some areas.”
When Gina looked around the croft she was excited by the idea of making it the first vegan croft in the Scottish Highlands. But she was also aware of a lack of funding available for such an idea.
“I just couldn’t stop thinking about it after I saw it and I thought: ‘I have to make this into a vegan croft.’ And I thought, ‘We need a platform for vegans to fund themselves.’”
Limited funding is available for plant-based farming
Gina explains to us that finding funding for a nut-tree croft is far from easy.
“After I bought the croft, I had a meeting with the Crofters Commission regarding grants and funding. And guess what? There are zero of either for plant proteins. You only get the funding and subsidies if you have ‘livestock’ (their term).”
“I went to the meeting with the Grow Green report from the Vegan Society and the Oxford University report - Joseph Poore’s report. And basically there was nothing I could tap into because every single grant or body or funding scheme is linked to animal agriculture.”
“So for example they have an Agri-Environment Climate Scheme which is supposed to help against climate change. But it’s dependent on animals grazing.”
“I came away from the Crofters Commission really deflated,” Gina admits.
Global Vegan Crowd Funder can help vegans fund their ventures
Gina didn’t let the lack of funding stop her vegan croft dreams.
She turned to friends Arthur and Sarah and together they launched an entirely vegan (even down to the website host) crowdfunding platform.
You can visit the vegan crowdfunding platform at globalvegancrowdfunder.org
“The aim is to fund change,” explains Gina. “To buy up land, transition farms and rewilding along with funding all vegan ethical business.”
How to help vegans transform farming
Gina’s croft idea was sparked by the need to replace animal farming and traditional industries with ones that don’t harm animals. Gina explains that we need to show solutions for how we can replace animal agriculture.
Why should you support vegan ventures?
“We need to create a vegan world,” Gina says. “We just need to move towards a world that’s free of speciesism. A world where we unite with the rest of life. A world that’s not about materialistic goods and acquisition.”
“It’s about compassion. It’s all about living sustainably and causing the least harm possible.”
“What we really want to do with this platform is to enable people to get the funds they need if they have an idea.”
From a London lifestyle to living in the Scottish wilderness
For 18 years Gina has lived remotely in the highlands of Scotland in a cottage with no running water.
“If you would’ve said to me 25 years ago ‘You’re gonna end up in the middle of wilderness of Scotland’ I would’ve thought you were crazy.” Gina laughs. “Because I had a design business in London. I was all suited and booted with a very expensive haircut.”
“But now I have long dreadlocks. I’m living out in the wilderness and I have to collect water from a stream which is 200 yards away. I forage and I grow loads of my own food. I try to use no single use plastic.”
“It’s really been an incredible journey.”
Finding a vegan community on Twitter
“I think it was just over a year and a half ago, I started with Twitter. I got 4G and I joined Twitter and then suddenly there’s a whole vegan community. And I had no idea you were all out there, a whole vegan community trying to create change.”
Donate to a vegan cause on Global Vegan Crowd Funder
Want to help create a vegan world? Donate what you can today. Or you could even apply to crowd fund your own project.
Visit globalvegancrowdfunder.org to find out more.