rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Slaughterhouse donates lamb to Ontario animal sanctuary

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Dedicated animal rights activists convinced a slaughterhouse owner to spare one lamb from being killed over the Easter weekend.

The Toronto-based activists had come to Newmarket for a break-of-dawn vigil last week, organized by Katie Barber of Aurora’s Animal Rights Advocates, at King Cole Ducks, Canada’s largest duck slaughterhouse. 

Photo: Louise Jorgensen

At the same time, a few decided to reach out to a neighbouring lamb slaughterhouse. During a spur-of-the-moment visit, Anita Krajnc and Paul Bali made their appeal for “this small Easter mercy” to Newmarket Meat Packers co-founder Gino Plastino and his son.

Krajnc founded The Save Movement, a network of groups around the world who bear witness of pigs, cows, chickens and other farmed animals en route to slaughter. Their goals are to raise awareness about the plight of farmed animals, to help people become vegan, and to build a mass-based, grassroots animal justice movement. 

Bali, professor of philosophy at Ryerson University, established the Save Response Team, a group that coordinates with a number of Ontario farm sanctuaries. Last October, the Save Response Team helped place a couple of calves at Wishing Well Sanctuary.

Bali told Plastino that if Newmarket Meat Packers could spare it, he could find a permanent home for one lamb. After a ten-minute conversation Plastino agreed to give the group a lamb on the Thursday before Good Friday.

Later on, Newmarket Meat Packers co-owner Nick D’Elia confirmed the agreement in writing.

"In light of it being Easter and with everyone in good spirits we would like to extend a lamb offering to your group", said D'Elia. ”Although we may always agree to disagree, please respect the fact that we are providing a service for people with wants."

In the meantime, Krajnc and Bali worked on arranging a permanent home for the animal at Wishing Well Sanctuary in Bradford, Ontario.

"I am delighted and honoured to rescue one lamb in the spirit of Easter and Passover,” said Brenda Bronfman, founder of Wishing Well Sanctuary. “We look forward to welcoming this one little lamb to the Wishing Well Sanctuary family.”

Six-month-old Meadow left Newmarket Meat Packers at 10 am on Thursday and headed for Wishing Well, where it was welcomed by Bronfman and other activists.

"We welcome this gesture from Gino and Nick,” said Bali.  

“While friends of animals can never stop fighting for their freedom and security, this Easter we are in strange solidarity with one action, at one slaughterhouse.  One life, one lamb, is everything. This is why each must be free.”

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.