Rich Adams a.k.a Rich the Vegan is stopping in Penticton on his push-scooter journey from coast to coast, bringing awareness to the dog-meat trade in South Korea. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Rich Adams, better known as Rich the Vegan, is taking his push scooter from ocean to ocean as part of his Kathy’s Tail 2019 campaign.

The campaign aims to bring awareness to the dog meat trade, particularly in South Korea, and is named after a dog that died in Canada after being rescued from South Korea by Adams.

“I brought some of the dogs to live with me, and one of them was called Kathy. She was probably in the worst condition out of all the dogs. She was in a cage, essentially left to rot. There was no roof on the cage, she was exposed to the sun, and the heat, and the rain,” said Adams. “Her eyes were bleeding, she was in very bad condition. We got her healthy, she was living with me, we were lining up adopters for her, and then all of a sudden she took ill, and unfortunately, died in my arms.”

Kathy’s Tail started in April this year, as a means to make her life matter, and to share Kathy and other dogs’ plight with the people of Canada. The ride started with Adams dipping the rear wheel of his scooter in the Atlantic Ocean before beginning his journey west. This is the second scooter campaign that Adams has run, after last year when he used a child’s scooter to cross South Korea and start the discussion there.

It was during his trip across South Korea that he transitioned from bringing awareness about the dog meat trade to also rescuing some of the dogs. It was during this campaign that he met a local activist, Jenny Kim, who helped him to rescue a number of dogs, including Kathy.

“I’ve rescued 14 dogs myself, and I’m in the process of rescuing another right now. Jenny has rescued hundreds,” said Adams. “One of the things I try and live by is if you can save one life, just one life, you’ve altered destiny for that living being. And that is priceless.”

Throughout his journey, Adams has been greeted warmly by Canadians. Where he hasn’t camped, he has been able to stay at motels, or with people who have heard of him and Kathy’s story and have opened up their homes for the night. Once he’s finished, which Adams currently hopes to be on July 26, he said that he is already thinking about going across another country next year.

“A small country,” Adams said with a laugh. “I’ve hiked across England coast to coast, but never scooted. So maybe England next year.”

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