Viva! Poland - A Star in the East | Viva! - The Vegan Charity

Viva! Poland - A Star in the East

Viva! Poland - A Star in the East

Tony Wardle above, outside the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw. Seal products have now been banned. 

It all began with a visit to Warsaw to launch our book The Silent Ark. While there, we were implored to do something to help stop the live export of 100,000 horses every year by road to Italy. What we learned of its cruelty shocked us.

 In 2001, just months later, we were back in Warsaw to launch Viva! Poland, to marshal the revulsion of Polish people behind us and attack the trade. Within three years, 40 per cent of people in Poland knew of Viva! and the horse trade had been slashed by two thirds. No one could have foreseen that Viva! Poland would become one of the pre-eminent animal groups in the country.

 To gain charitable status, which allows people to nominate Viva! Poland to receive a percentage of their tax payments, they were required to take on a wide variety of issues. Now, under the extraordinary leadership of Cezary Wyzinsky (picture right speaking to media), they promote veganism, campaign for farmed animals and attack live exports but also campaign against fur, arrange adoptions and sterilisation of domestic animals and recently took over the 700 animal sanctuary at Korabiewicach.

Staff have learned extraordinary media skills and are rarely out of the headlines. Quite rightly, they claim that Poland has changed in its attitude to animals and Viva! Poland can claim much of the credit. All opinion polls show that the number of Polish people giving up meat and dairy is constantly climbing – from a base of almost zero. So quickly has the audience grown that Viva! Poland’s consumer magazine, VEGE, is available nationwide. They are very keen to work with other organisations and to foster the growth of local groups. This inclusiveness has led to a 200,000 signature petition, now going through parliament, for a new Animal Protection Act which would ban fur farming and animal circuses, amongst many other things. Manager Cezary very kindly says: “We look up to Viva! UK, trying to catch up with them and do as many campaigns where they are most needed.” We say, Cezary, you have done an extraordinary job that no one else could have matched!


Viva! Poland is brilliant at what they call 'happenings' which always attracts the media, this one is anti-bullfighting.

One of our rescue animals at the Korabiewicach sanctuary.