Heroes helping animals and humans in times of crises: Afgha­nistan and Lebanon

31 August 2021

While Lebanon and Afghanistan are facing a humanitarian crisis, heroes within the local communities are giving the world hope and inspiration by still trying to help human and animals in need.

Animal rescuers in Kabul.

The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has been deepening due to escalating violence after Taliban’s take over, drought, and COVID-19. More and more people are abandoning their homes in search of safety and many animals are having to be left behind. The staff at the Kabul Small Animal Rescue has been working around the clock to get their staff, their families and hundreds of abandoned animals to safety. While the Taliban are breathing down their necks, they are fighting to get a permit to travel to another country with not only humans, but with animals as well.

As with too many crises, governments don’t treat animals as beings worth saving, so regular evacuation flights don’t allow animals. The Kabul Small Animal Rescue is raising funds to get the animals, the rescuers and their families on an evacuation plane in time. The animals would be put in a plane’s cargo bay, which is not fit for human transport anyway.

Time is running out, and the rescuers need everyone’s help to fund the mission. People can help by sharing this story and donating here.

Vegans helping people in need in Lebanon
Lebanon is facing a dire economic crisis worsened by political deadlock. There are shortages of electricity, water, funding, fuel, food and medicine. Prices are spiralling and salaries are collapsing.

In August 2020, after the Beirut Harbour explosion, an animal rights organisation called Lebanese Vegans launched a campaign to distribute plant-based food boxes and ready meals to families and individuals who were affected by the Beirut port explosion. Vegan restaurants that were destroyed in the blast joined the initiative and prepared ready meals with their chefs and a team of volunteers. The organisation continued their food distribution as the crisis in Lebanon continued.

“More than 3685 meals have been distributed after the Beirut Harbour explosion in 2020. Our mission is to help both humans and other animals by distributing strictly plant-based foods”, says Georges Hayek, one of the founders of Lebanese Vegans.

The team of Lebanese Vegans delivering food boxes to people in need.

While delivering the aid boxes, the team of Lebanese Vegans is also raising awareness about vegan food and why it can be a solution to many issues.

"Vegan food is healthy because a person can substitute the protein they are getting from meat and calcium they are getting from cheese as every animal product can be substituted by vegan food. On top of that, it's a cheaper option, and therefore much more suited to this difficult economic situation. A kid who eats a Manoushe every day (a Lebanese pizza topped with cheese) won't get the necessary nutrients, but today with the price of one Manoushe, you can buy a kilo or two of vegetables that can provide them with the needed nutrients," said one of the people distributing the food.

The Lebanese Vegans are also distributing food to homeless people and to migrant workers. “We are trying to bring some warmth in this cold-hearted society we live in. As a lot of organizations were distributing food to Lebanese families and individuals only and as we are strictly against all forms of discrimination and oppression, we decided to also support and help migrant workers from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea”, said Hayek.

For those who wish to volunteer and be part of our Vegan Food Relief Program, they can send a message on Facebook or Instagram to the Lebanese Vegans Social Hub. And if you are able to donate, you can do so here.

Source: Reuters, the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, and Lebanese Vegans.