Saturday, January 16, 2010

Apparently the vegan community is good in a crisis.

I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I made a post on this blog! Well, happy belated New Year. And now to the news: we've already had a really horrible natural disaster for the year 2010.

Well that's just great. Crap!

Being a person who had my own city destroyed in a semi-natural very-disaster not so many years ago, I have to say that sitting here watching this happen is really, really anxiety provoking. I have absolutely zero connection to Haiti, other than the facts that it's also populated by humans and cool animals and is on the planet earth. Nevertheless, the mere thought of the magnitude of human suffering that is happening there right now makes me start to freak out and cry a little bit. So honestly I'm trying not to think about it, and but by the grace of dog there go I, to have the happy privilege of not being one of the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives are directly affected by this earthquake.

What's giving me some consolation, though, is that it seems the whole world has jumped to action. Everywhere I look, everyone is trying to send help to Haiti or to groups that are helping Haiti. And by help I mean money, because let's face it - when a whole slew of people are in need of medical care and a significant portion of your infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, what you need is money and plenty of it.

Even my stupid FaceBook games are getting in on the action! (And so help me, they had better be on the level about it.) Zynga's top three games as well as FishVille (and maybe others?) have all instituted features that promote donating to their Hatian fund, and their blog also has links for direct donations to the nonprofit they're partnering with, the World Food Programme. They're claiming that 100% of profits are being donated!

So... why am I writing about this on the vegan blog? Because! The response that the vegan community has had to this egregious event is quite astounding. We're all having bake sales!

OK. Now, on its face that sounds really stupid. But hear me out. When done right, a good bake sale can bring in some dough. (Ha ha! Pun enjoyed but not intended.) And believe me when I tell you we're doing it right. You get some vegans together who are really into baking, and the delicacies that come forth are out of this world. And then there's the matter of quantity. So check it: so far, that I know of, there are 14 vegan bake sales already organized across the U.S.! And counting! Of course Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Post Punk Kitchen fame has been a major catalyst in making this bake sale thing happen and for this, Isa, NYiG applauds you.

I'll be participating in the bake sale here in NYC - it's going on all day long at Moo Shoes on Sunday, January 31st. Yeah, I'm making cupcakes. You know it. We're donating the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders - those docs do pretty amazing work, and amazing doctors are definitely needed over there right now. I'll also be stopping by this month's Vegan Drinks on Thursday the 28th, which will be featuring its own mini vegan bake sale for Haiti! Like that event needed to get any awesomer. They will be supporting Sodopreca, a group of veterinarians heading across the border from DR to help out.

[Geography Lesson] Hispaniola = the island on which are the countries of Dominican Republic and Haiti.[/Geography Lesson]

But guess what? Bake sales aren't it! There's also the amazing Josh Hooten and his partner Michelle of Herbivore Clothing Company: they teamed up with Ink Brigade to create this fab t-shirt. Naturally proceeds are going straight to the epicenter. I've already ordered mine... you're waiting for what, exactly?

Below you will find a list of all the vegan action happening for Haiti thus far, lifted directly from Animal Rights & AntiOppression (thanks, you're totally awesome!). When something this drastic happens, it's crucial that we all realize it could happen to any of us. Really. And please, please, PLEASE remember that this is not going to be over in a week or a month or even a year. These people are going to be suffering and rebuilding for a long, long time. Just because it's not the top news story, that doesn't mean it's done with. Keep these people in your hearts and minds (and prayers, if you're so inclined), and do whatever it is you can do to help... with or without chocolate chips. :)

1/23 (Sat) Sacramento
Sugar Plum Vegan Cafe
2315 K Street
11:00 – 3:00 pm
Benefits Food for Life Global
1/23 (Sat) Sacramento
R5 Records
2500 16th Street
10:00 – 3:00 pm
Benefits the American Red Cross
1/23 (Sat) San Francisco
Patricia’s Green
Hayes St. at Octavia
11:00 – 4:00 pm
1/31 (Sun) Los Angeles
5825 Franklin Ave
11:00-4:00 pm
Benefits Doctors without Borders

1/30 (Sat) Minneapolis
Ethique Nouveau
317 West 48th St
12:00-5:00 pm

1/24 (Sun) Omaha
McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe
302 S. 38th St
12:00-2:00 pm
Benefits Mercy Corps

New York
1/28 (Th) New York City
Angels and Kings
500 East 11th St.
7:00-9:00 pm
Benefits Sodoprec (Dominican veterinarians, site in Spanish)
1/31 (Sun) New York City
78 Orchard St.
11:30 – 6:00 pm
Benefits Doctors without Borders

1/23 (Sat) Akron
21 Furnace St.
11:00-5:00 pm
Benefits Doctors without Borders

1/31 (Sun) Portland
People’s Coop
3029 Southeast 21st Ave.
2:00-5:00 pm
Benefits Mercy Corps

1/31 (Sun) Seattle
Neptune Coffee
8415 Greenwood Ave North
2:00-5:00 pm
Benefits Partners in Health
Facebook invite page here.

Washington D.C.
DC Vegans
1/24 (Sun) DC
Takoma Park Farmer’s Market
Carroll Ave & Laurel Ave
10:00-2:00 pmFacebook Event Page
Benefits Mercy Corps