Alicia Cowan is doing big things in big numbers for animals. Not only does she volunteer her spare time to SAFE but she has adopted her own 22 animals which includes rescue hens, a small horse, cats, and doves. You might recognise her from a recent campaign against cosmetic testing where her and her bunny ‘Willow’ took on the role of SAFE Ambassadors. You may also recgonise her from The Bachelor. This is where she gained SAFE’s attention and ended up with her photo on the back of a bus.
I asked her about another part of her SAFE work that she participated in, being locked in a cage as part of a 40-hour challenge that raised awareness around factory farming. She said even spending 5 hours in the cage was hard enough, “It was literally a cage with a concrete floor. It was really eye-opening and I think the public was able to see that as well”. The cage wasn’t the only part of the simulation either, “You’re sitting in there and you have no stimulation just like the animals and it’s dark and dingy. And they were being fed plain oats, nothing normal like human food.”
Now world volunteer day is upon us and as part of her role, as an ambassador she is encouraging people to start getting on board with SAFE. She says without people helping, these kinds of organisations can’t exist. Being an animal activist is important because it’s giving a voice to the voiceless.
“Giving back to those in need and not expecting anything in return is a generosity like no other. And when it comes to animals, the reward is in being able to help those that cannot help themselves.”
World Volunteer Day takes place on December 5th and is a globally celebrated day that gives visibility to the one billion people who volunteer around the world. “Volunteering for a charity is one of the most selfless things you can do” says Alicia.
Alicia’s advice for the New Year is “Be a Hero in 2018. Volunteer with organizations like SAFE who proactively fight animal cruelty within New Zealand. Together we can achieve anything! Volunteering DOES give back and it’s something that money can’t buy… that ‘feel good’ feeling”.