Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Compassion in Action

Among vegans and vegetarians, compassionate living through diet and lifestyle choices is not the only way to show love toward fuzzy/scaly/feathered friends. Many EtsyVeggers take compassion into action by committing to donate a portion of their Etsy shop sales to support charities that fight for the humane treatment of animals.

Though love for animals is the major reason given for aiding animal causes, each individual's motivation is a bit different. For instance, looloolambie, who contributes 15% of her Etsy shop’s profits to three terrific local animal groups, sees her “giving” ethics as rooted in a religious background and the desire to help her community. Other EtsyVeg folks are setting aside profits for organizations such as Vegan Outreach (julep115), the Native Animal Rescue of Santa Cruz Co. (glittergirlgalleries), the Woodstock Farm & Sanctuary (LilyPig), and various shelters and rescue groups.

Along with solo ventures in kindness, a bunch of EtsyVeg members (mvegan5, JaneDiamond, and sciostarbug, to name just a few) support pro-animal organizations as part of the fabulous EtsyforAnimals (EFA) street team. EFA’s Web site explains that they aid “… charities that exist for the benefit of helping animals, and that do not support hunting or animal testing." Their members can participate by donating part of their shop’s profits to the team’s charity of the month (the Visakha SPCA Cow Sanctuary for March) or by listing an item in EFA’s Etsy shop, which contributes 100% of its sales to the monthly cause.

For EtsyVeg members, making the world a better place extends to helping all sorts of charitable organizations . MadsBelly gives a generous 50% of her shop's income to charities that benefit women and children, and VeganHoney gives 5% to support environmental and social justice causes, as well as animal-advocacy. But whether helping animals, people, or the planet, it’s both the receiver and the giver that benefit. When asked about the rewards of contributing 10% of her profits to the Animal Place, DaisyWares explained, “It makes me feel good inside that I have contributed in keeping an animal warm, full, and safe. HelloKiddo feels that donating 10% to the Farm Sanctuary allows her to know that she’s helping to make a positive difference for animals through both diet and daily decisions. :)

There are too many members who support worthy causes through their shops to mention them all here, but feel free to add a comment if you’d like to promote your own shop's good works. Those who aren’t doing so already can share the love by supporting the shops of EtsyVeg members and other Etsians who donate a portion of their profits to charities, by joining up with others who are doing so as part of an Etsy team like EFA, by setting up their own giving project, or even just by sending out positive energy toward those who need it. When in question, Gandhi said it best when he advised to “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Saturday, March 15, 2008

EtsyVeg Happenin's

EtsyVeg has recently made the exciting move toward team management! Last month the call was made for members to take over various aspects of team management. Several vegheads stepped up to the plate to take on tasks such as membership, blogging, overseeing the blogring, and handling Flickr membership requests. Suggestions were made for future team activities, including a team swap and recipe-sharing. This expansion into group admin takes the already-palpable feeling of community among EtsyVeg members to a whole new level! Anyone interested in contributing in some way, please post to the Google Group.

Speaking of members, we've had a whopping 18 Etsians join our wonderful team since mid-February (apologies to anyone who was missed)!! They bring a head-spinning bevy of talents to EtsyVeg! Go see what they're all about: