Work Experience for a Vegan Vet Student - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-06-2010, 03:48 AM
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Hello everyone!

I'm hoping some of you may have suggestions for me:

In summary: need to do some work experience at a 'commercial animal enterprise', and would like it to be vegan-friendly, rather than 'farm work'

I'm studying Vet Science, and have to do 6 weeks work experience in 'commercial animal enterprises' (having already had experience in a different category that covered shelters and zoos). For most people this means sheep or cattle farms, piggeries, etc. and I'm actually finding it a bit difficult to come up with vegan ideas.

The work should be hands-on (which counts out 'eco-tourism' type enterprises), although doesn't have to be of a veterinary nature: the aim of the exercise is really just to familiarise myself with some animal industries, and get some practical handling in. Only idea I've had so far is with a horse group, doing trail rides or something (I would like to avoid the racing industry, I've seen the consequences of that too many times already).

So if you have any ideas, general or specific, I'd love to hear them. I'm in Australia (Melbourne), but happy to travel. Happy to work with any animals, although you get bonus marks for wildlife and marine animals! Also, as I'm a poor student, accomodation and food are important too, if you know of places that may offer upkeep for otherwise free labour.

Please let me hear what you've got, and thanks in advance!!
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#2 Old 04-07-2010, 08:31 AM
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Pet boarding kennel, dog daycare, training school for guide dogs, horse boarding stable?

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#3 Old 04-07-2010, 09:38 AM
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Near my parent's home there is sort of a "petting zoo" (though not all animals are petable) where all the animals are rescued farm animals, or animals used for entertainment. Most have spacious and clean living quarters and the money you pay to enter is used to upgrade the areas. You can feed and go into the pen with some of the more calm animals. I consider this place vegan friendly because the animals would have been killed otherwise.

The farm sanctuary would also be good (though its no where near you), I'm lucky enough to have it an hour away, but there may be smaller farm rescues in your area - even if its a more specific rescue like a horse rescue?

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#4 Old 04-08-2010, 11:55 PM
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I don't personally, but I can point you in the direction of someone I'm aquainted with who has plenty of experience in the field.
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#5 Old 04-10-2010, 09:12 PM
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Thanks very much for your replies!

peace: good suggestions - there's actually a welfare shelter I'm on good terms with who have boarding kennels and daycare schemes set up to raise funds, so that's an option for me. I'd love to see how the guide dog groups operate, although I'm not sure whether my course coordinators would view that as a 'commercial' enterprise. I did work for a shelter for 2 years so have considerable experience with 'pets' already - not that that means I like them any less, but I might see if I can gain experience with animals I'm less familiar with to expand my repertoire a bit, so horses sound great. I've done a little bit with them but not enough to really know what I'm doing, so I think a few weeks with horses sounds good!

s0ad: that farm sanctuary sounds like a great organisation, one I'd be very happy to support. I know there are a few sanctuaries in my area (there's a donkey shelter nearby), but I don't think they have a commercial side to them, so might not count towards my course credit. I'll definitely do some research along this path though, sounds right up my alley!

SPJ: a great reference! she sounds like exactly the kind of person I hope to become, and I'm sure her site will be a great avenue for me to follow.

Thanks again for the suggestions, very much appreciated. I don't want to end up helping someone exploit animals for profit, but had been a bit unsure of other paths to follow that would give me credit, so you've really given me some good starts.

As a sidenote, I had considered maybe doing a little bit of time with a production farm, just to learn to 'know my enemy'. I'm not sure whether it's worth it though: I suppose it's a toss-up of whether I'd learn more through practical acquaintance with the system than I could by reading the memoirs of someone who has already done so. I could always surreptitiously sabotage the place though, right?

This in mind, there is a mandatory requirement down the track for me to spend a few days at an abattoir (not really looking forward to that). I think this task has more of an animal welfare focus, but might give me similar insights into the industry as wasting time on work experience would. What do you guys think?

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