2014 06 24 19 12 00

Remembering Lyn

The Raw Essentials team have heavy hearts following the passing of our founder, Lyn Thomson.

Lyn bravely carved a new path in New Zealand's pet food industry with the opening of Raw Essentials in 2007. The path was often met with resistance but Lyn's relentless spirit, and determination to stand by her values, created the foundation for Raw Essentials to build an ever-growing community of raw feeders in New Zealand.

Her unwavering belief in the benefits of species-appropriate nutrition - as well as her commitment to ethical & sustainable sourcing practices - enriched the lives of many cats and dogs, their owners and vets. Lyn was also highly regarded globally and an honorary member of the UK-based Raw Feeding Veterinary Society. Her commitment to sustainability was the driving force behind Raw Essentials' success at the Sustainable Business Network Awards, winning the Emerging Small Business Award in 2012 and placing as finalists in subsequent years.

Even though she stepped away from Raw Essentials in 2017 to climb new mountains (and sink her teeth into regenerative agriculture), Lyn remained a cherished friend, close ally, and valued mentor. Her legacy is woven through the core of what we do at Raw Essentials and she will be deeply missed.

We stand beside her family and friends in support and solidarity.

Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane, ka tangi hotuhotu nga manu.

The great totara tree from the forest of Tane has fallen and the birds cry with its passing.

Leave your own message here for Lyn

Joan Harris

Interested in food for my miniature dashhound


Nearly 12 years ago I walked into Raw Essentials at Grey Lyn, the start of my and my dogs raw food. I started when I got my 8 week old German Shepherd “Shadae” and my 2 mini long haired Dachshunds (mother Cayce and daughter Zoe) Shadae celebrated her 12 th birthday in April, Zoe graduated last year at 17 yrs and 2 months, her mum Cayce graduated just 3 weeks shy of 15 years old and her mum Mandy ( was never raw fed )graduated shy of 13 years old. I will be forever grateful for Lyns vision with raw feeding.
So sorry for your loss of and amazing, gentle lady, Lyns family and friends ♥️❤️

Jo Wadsley

So sorry to hear this news! We first dealt with lovely Lyn in 2012 when our little dog was diagnosed with cancer. Lyn took the time to correspond with me personally about our dogs diagnosis and introduced me to the world of raw feeding. I used to make the 5 hour round trip to the original Raw Essentials store every few months to stock up. Our dog outlasted his diagnosis life expectancy by two years and we strongly believe it was the raw feeding that did it! He beat his cancer twice during that time. We have since raw fed all our animals and we’re stoked when the Hamilton store opened! Condolences to Lyn’s family and friends for your loss xx

Jo Campbell

This is such a huge & devastating loss. Lyn was one of the loveliest people you could ever hope to meet. Our paths first crossed in early 2013, when we took our poorly, sickly, young Milo to see her, desperate for answers and help.

At our first consult, she welcomed us with a warm, quiet and gentle assurance. She immediately laid out a fluffy blanket and promptly sat on the floor with Milo, interacting with him with such genuine care and concern, we knew we were in the right place.

Lyn was responsible for turning Milo’s life around. It was a journey that was bumpy at times, but it was thanks to her knowledge, expertise, experience, commitment, determination and compassion that he transitioned from a poorly pup to thriving young dog. She used to refer to Milo as ‘a gem’ and also often called him ‘a little enigma’, for all the quirks he presented with as she treated him. She went above and beyond for him and for us, always so generous with her time and her knowledge. We will be eternally grateful to Lyn for all that she did for Milo.

What started as a vet-client relationship quickly morphed. Lyn was more than Milo’s vet. She became a trusted friend, an excellent listener, an advisor, then an employer, a mentor and always, always an inspiration.

I’m not sure I can put my respect and admiration for Lyn into words. A brilliant mind, a generous spirit, extraordinary vision, tenacious determination, a huge, huge heart and infinite compassion - all these things made Lyn the bright, beautiful and engaging woman that she was. She genuinely cared so much about everyone and everything.

Lyn’s loss has left a huge hole for so many and my heart goes out to Richard, Libby & Olly, along with her wider her family and her friends. I hope she is now at peace. I take comfort from the thought that all the many, many animals she has helped over the years would have been ready to welcome her. Rest In Peace, dear Lyn. You will be missed forever, but your legacy will live on in every single life you touched - two legged and four. x

Lynn Charlton

Am shocked to hear Lyn has died. She helped my dogs for a number of years and was a truly inspiring person and veterinarian.


I was beyond thrilled when Lyn asked me to come work for her at the Grey Lynn shop. My admiration and respect for Lyn stretched back many years when we both worked for Pet & Vet in Milford. In the 5yrs that I worked for her she not only became a boss who was inspirational and caring and I loved working for her. We became friends over the years and this I will treasure for the rest of my life. She was one of life’s gentle souls who’s heart was full of love and concern for everyone and everything around her. She was a warrior for the animals and the planet. I am so proud to have known such a wonderful person and her leaving has left so many heartbroken. I will treasure the night you came for dinner before you left for England, we drank wine and laughed a lot and i will remember that night forever. Fly free my darling friend.

Fiona Lane

Very sad to hear of Lyn’s passing. She had so much passion and determination and was a true trail blazer. Utmost respect and condolences to her family, friends and the Raw Essentials team.


Lyn was 100% the best vet for our Goldie & just a fantastic person. Very sad to hear she has made her way to the rainbow bridge..but I bet she has a huge fan base waiting for her, both 2-legged and 4-legged ❤️

Charlie Emery

Lyn, you were my first vet serious GF…I mean vet!! I was 6 months old, a little charmer but very scared. With your calmness, love, innate knowledge and a soul that any animal would be drawn too, I was smitten, hooked…in love! You could do anything & I wouldn’t complain! The Glenfield store still carries your beautiful energy & it flows through the team members too.
You were one of a kind, a leader in animal welfare & the best advocate for species specific feeding. Setting me up for good health these past 11yrs. I’m sure we’ll meet again, you’ll recognise me…I’m still a charmer & a wee bit handsome too. Rest In Peace Lyn. Xxxx


So sad to hear this. Lyn was such a wonderful find for me for my Harry. Condolences to her family and her family with Raw Essentials.

Carolyn Clark

I'm deeply saddened and heartbroken to hear about Lyn's passing. Words will never be enough to describe how much I owe her for her care of Rosie and her kindness and friendship to me over the years. Rosie wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her passion and knowledge for raw feeding and willingness to do everything in her power to help a sick little dog even when she needed looking after herself, that was the beauty in her soul. When Simon Wright told me she was coming from the UK, I could hardly wait to meet her and I pounced on her as soon as she started consulting. She was a such beautiful person both internally and externally and I will miss her forever. May eternal rest grant upon her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace surrounded by God's love and all the animals who have passed over the rainbow bridge. I send my heartfelt sympathy to her husband, family and friends and hope they will be comforted by each other and the tributes from this side of world she influenced for the good.

Jane Jamieson

NZ was truly honoured to have Lyn as the pioneer in raw feeding in New Zealand & making great use of some of our pests! I myself am truly grateful for having had Lyn help me with great advice on feeding my animals. Sincere condolences to her family - her legacy will live on💕💕


I have Lyn to thank for the health of my cat. She introduced me to correct feeding for animals and recognised biscuits weren’t for her. It was a while ago now but I remember her kindness with my cat at the time.
Sending my deepest condolences to her family and to them employees who had the privilege of working with her in the early days.
. 💕💐


I'm so deeply saddened to hear of Lyn's passing. While I didn't know her well, (I had a consult with her when I was looking at putting my first puppy onto Raw over 10 years ago now), I had a huge amount of respect for her work, her knowledge, her passion, her advocacy and what she brought to our world and our lives.
Thank you Lyn, and I'm sure you have plenty of friends waiting for you over the rainbow bridge.
Me ngā whakaaro, inoi aroha atu <3


Thank you Lyn for being the voice for our animals health and nutrition. I never had the pleasure of meeting you in person, but my dogs and cat have benefited from your knowledge through the amazing staff at our local branch. Love, barks, meows and hugs to family and friends. Rest easy.

Mary Bamford

So saddened to read about the passing of Lyn. She was extremely passionate and helpful with my Frenchie Louie. I will never forget her, RIP Lyn.xxx


Sending so much love to all those grieving Lyn. I worked with Lyn for a short time, but she had a lasting impact on the way I view my animals. So sorry to hear of her passing xxx

Jennifer Saavedra

Today I had the honor to see how much force your life had Lyn and as always, seeing your life in the eyes of others, gave me more that I expected.
You are and always will be a powerful voice! 💜
I am so happy and proud to have known you.
Once again and forever Thank you! 🌈
Now go and rest your soul, enlightening our minds and I hope to see you one day in the other side of the rainbow!
I'll try to share your work with the once who wants to listen and even the ones who doesn't too.😄
Lyn Thomson

Cat Norman

Lyn you were and will always be an inspiration. The many lives you change with pets but also humans. You made us relook at it all.
Working in the vet clinic together was amazing but I was so ever thankful to you for taking me on when you open the first Raw Essentials. The faces of the clients that walk through the door of what we were selling and promoting only to walk straight out but only to be back in a couple of days again. You started changing those pets lives. Seeing those changes still amazes me to this day.
You are missed xx Rest In Peace, beautiful Lyn.


What a phenomenal human that I was so lucky to have met at the very beginning of my vet nursing journey. You made people question what was said to be the norm. You made people feel seen and heard. You made animals feel and look better. You will forever be a change maker and what a legacy to leave behind. One of the best souls to have ever graced this earth gone FAR too soon. Moe mai ra e hoa x

Toni Anns

Lyn was so very kind and compassionate. She had to fight hard ‘against convention’ in the veterinary world, and that’s tough, really tough. She was so very passionate about her quest for well-being in animals and people, and truly longed for a better world for all. Colleagues who worked alongside Lyn told me she was the kindest most understanding leader you could ever wish for. I send my love and thoughts for her family.

Morag Sutherland

I had the great good fortune to work with Lyn when she was President of the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society. She was the most incredible inspiration, and as well as working very hard, we had a great deal of fun together. My thoughts are with her family and friends, she was truly one of the world's loveliest human beings. Lyn, you will always be remembered with love.

Morag Sutherland

On behalf of the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society:
We were so incredibly lucky to have Lyn as such an active member. She supported others so generously and shared so much learning. She was truly an inspiration. It's heart breaking to think that we can no longer turn to her wisdom and kindness. We send so much love to her family and friends, and hope with all our hearts that our dear friend is at peace.

Megan Alderson

You meet many mentors and teachers along the way, who have the courage to speak up and challenge the "norm" - Lyn for me helped ground the foundations of our business The Strand Veterinarian taking a holistic approach, relating back to the gut to the promoter of health as we journeyed together to make a difference. I will miss her very much but her legacy lives on through the many lives she touched. x


Though I only had the pleasure of meeting Lyn once, I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the Raw Essentials Lyn founded.
Her knowledge and undying care for our pets is a legacy that will never be forgotten.
You will be sorely missed, Lyn. x

Jess Oakley

Although I didn't know Lyn personally I will be forever grateful for all her hard work and dedication in setting up what would be her legacy here at Raw Essentials.
My dog Oakley would not be with us today if it wasn't for the knowledge and passion that Lyn passed onto the team at Raw Essentials <3
Thank you Lyn, may you rest in peace xx


Lyn was such a force of kindness and wisdom...she shared her heart so freely...I felt lucky to have her as a support and ally during some tough times...I send much care and thoughts to her children and husband...hold on to the best of who she is, she will remain close to you all. ❤️


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