Sandra Higgins

Sandra Higgins

Founder of Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary and Go Vegan World campaign

Sandra Higgins, BSc (Hons) Psych, MSc Couns Psych, MBPsS, founded Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary in 2008. It was the first vegan sanctuary in Ireland. Eden is now home to more than 100 residents, all of whom have been rescued from human use.

In 2012 she founded Matilda’s Promise, an Animal Rights and Vegan Education Centre dedicated to the memory of one of Eden’s first residents. The centre provides individual, group and online lectures and workshops aimed at simplifying and clarifying veganism and helping people learn the practicalities of living as vegans.
In 2015 she founded Go Vegan Ireland, a public educational advertising campaign which quickly developed into the international campaign Go Vegan World.

Sandra’s interest in animal rights stems from her previous career as a psychologist specialising in trauma. She studied Pure Psychology at The Open University, and at Trinity College, Dublin where she obtained an MSc in Counselling Psychology with Distinction. She also trained at The Positive Psychology Centre, University of Pennsylvania, The Human Animal Connection Unit at The University of Denver, Colorado, and The Institute for Humane Education, Maine, United States. Sandra is a Certified MB-EAT Instructor (Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Instructor) and Intuitive Eating Instructor and has trained in working with Trauma & Dissociation with the UK ESTD (European Society for Trauma & Dissociation). She is also a Schema Therapy practitioner. She works in private practice at The Compassion Foundation of Ireland where she incorporates the non-violent philosophy of veganism in her clinical work. She also works with trauma and other mental health issues faced by animal rights activists. She is also the author of The Power of Compassion (2nd ed) in Halpin, M (2014) How to be Happy & Healthy, The Seven Natural Elements of Mental Health, Ashfield Press: Dublin.

Go Vegan World

Go Vegan Ireland

Matilda’s Promise Vegan Education Centre

Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary

12:00pm - 12:45pm

Go Vegan World and The Animals of Eden

Go Vegan World is a unique public advertising campaign. Originating in Ireland, it has now become an international campaign which is the biggest and longest running of its kind on the planet. Its billboards feature animals who are not fictional or anonymous: they are the real, feeling beings with names, histories, and personalities, who have lived and died at Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary, Ireland. For the first time in history, the animals have taken to the streets. In this presentation, Sandra Higgins discusses how they have inspired and informed this campaign and how they have been received by the media and mainstream public.

The presentation outlines the goal, history, message and strategy of Go Vegan World. It discusses the campaign methods including its design and presentation to the public. Some of the significant results up to March 2017 are included and some of the campaign hurdles and future plans are discussed. The presentation demonstrates how this campaign is run for, and by, the animals on whose behalf it advocates due to the influence of the residents of Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary Ireland.

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