I learned about some new-to-me amazing projects at the AR conference last week. They are all working to make change in really creative ways.
Okay, so this organization is not new-to-me, but I love the work they do so much, I had to feature them here:
Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.
Check them out if you haven’t already!
This project draws together many different issues relating to intersectionality in the food system in the form of addressing injustice relating to humans, animals, and the environment. Their mission is as follows:
The Food Empowerment Project seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices.We encourage healthy food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, and the unavailability of healthy foods in low-income areas.
By making informed choices, we can prevent injustices against animals, people, and the environment. We also work to discourage negligent corporations from pushing unhealthy foods into low-income areas and empower people to make healthier choices by growing their own fruits and vegetables. In all of our work, the Food Empowerment Project seeks specifically to empower those with the fewest resources.
Founded by Lauren Ornelas, The Food Empowerment Project recognizes that people of color are disprotionately denied access to healthy foods through a pervasive form of environmental racism. Looking at food access issues, social justice issues for humans, animals and the environment in the U.S. and abroad, F.E.P. is currently working on a couple of great campaigns. One works to end slavery in the cacao industry by urging companies to support non-slavery cocoa producers. They make recommendations for vegan chocolate options that do not support slavery. Another campaign is VeganMexicanFood.com, which recognizes the diet-related health issues in latino communities in the U.S. and works toward access to healthier culturally appropriate options.
This project is coordinated by FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement):
According to USDA reports, nearly 10 billion land animals are raised and killed every year for food in the U.S. alone. The appropriately named 10 Billion Lives Tour, coordinated by Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), will be bringing this injustice to the country’s attention by showing the hard-hitting Farm to Fridge video on a vehicle specially equipped to host up to 32 simultaneous viewers.
The vehicle will stop in busy public locations and offer people $1 to watch a video showcasing the cruel treatment of farmed animals – an outreach method known as “pay-per-view.” After watching, viewers are encouraged to decrease consumption of animals and work towards a vegan diet.
The results speak for themselves – more than 80% of viewers commit to eating fewer animal products afterward, and over 60% maintain their pledge! In fact, through detailed follow-up surveys, we’ve determined that an average viewer eats 10 fewer animals per year after participating, meaning that if we reach 100,000 people in our first year, we’ll spare one million animals from a miserable life and a terrifying death.
I thought this was a fun, creative way to engage young people in particular and get them thinking about the issues.
This program was featured in a session on Engaging Young People at the conference and I thought the work they do sounds pretty interesting.
Healing Species is the first student intervention program in the nation addressing issues of the heart to overcome violence, bullying and crime – with the assistance of rescued dogs – dogs nobody else wanted. Healing Species is the “first of its kind” and paving a new standard among results-oriented programming.
- The Healing Species reaches children and teens with a message of hope and healing. Even children who have never been nurtured can learn how to heal and then nurture others, thus intercepting the cycle of cruelty, abuse, and neglect.
- Students learn life skills in self-esteem, conflict resolution, anger management, empathy, and respect for all life.
- The Healing Species curriculum is designed for public and private schools, incarceration facilities, youth rehab programs, and other venues
- Our Parent Connections class allows parents to learn these same skills, while creating opportunities to engage with their children
The innovative approach to engaging youth with stories, exercises, videos, and discussion centered around rescued animals leads students to discover and practice:
- Life-lessons in respect for the feelings of others
- Appropriate ways to respond to a bully
- How to gain power by leading with acts of kindness, respect and “rising above the actions of others”
- Age-appropriate awareness on abuse and how to get help
- Methods for conflict resolution
- Self-esteem from developing responsibility
- Responsible choices lead to good consequences
- How to take the initiative and follow-through to create a more compassionate planet for self and others
- Empowers youth to not “give up”, “drop out” or return “hate for hate”
Just a few of the organizations I learned about that are doing some interesting, important work. There are so many others as well! Do you have any favorite organizations or projects relating to animal advocacy and/or veganism?