Nov. 14, 2013
Awesome vegan non-profit needs your help, STAT!
Just last week, your Vegansaurs were kind enough to post a blurb I wrote encouraging everyone to come out to Food Empowerment Project’s first official event. It was a smashing success and I hope some readers were in the crowd.
BUT! I’ve returned with an even more important request.
For many years, folks have rightly bemoaned the lack of accessible resources and support for new vegans. Sure, there’s a constant push to “make new vegans,” to educate folks on the issues and encourage them to move away from consuming animals. That important work is going strong, and it’s part of what F.E.P. strives to do, too. But what about folks who come to agree but find themselves struggling, for whatever reason, a month or two in?
To plug this kind of gap, F.E.P. is trying to launch Food Chain, a vegan retention newsletter. In 12 monthly installments, it will provide new vegans with a booster of information, ideas, and encouragement to keep them in the fold. Our goal is to make Food Chain freely available to individuals who are considering veganism, or who’ve recently decided to pursue a more healthful and compassionate way of life.
The content’s already prepared and the layout done (and they look awesome – F.E.P. founder lauren Ornelas shows them in the linked video), but we need funds for broader production and distribution to make this work. The campaign is just past its halfway point and we’re more than halfway to our target, but we desperately need some help pushing it across the finish line.
I’m very aware that times are tough for a lot of us, but if you could chip in anything, it would be supremely appreciated. (You also get cool shit, so there’s that.) Maybe skip that last beer/coffee/ill-advised delivery order and donate instead? Hit up your friends/family/neighborhood tech billionaires? Share this on your networks, especially?
Anything would help, for real. This could be a rad thing that helps new vegans stay vegan, while drawing attention to a whole range of issues. It would be nice if F.E.P. could pull it off for free (like basically everything else we do), but we can’t on this one.*
So, HELP OUT IF YOU CAN is the point. And spread the word, please and thank you.
* (Unless you run a pro bono union print shop that uses recycled materials and environmentally safe ink, and also have a really profound in with USPS – in which case, call me!)
Guest post by Rick Kelley!!
May. 3, 2013
Lauren Ornelas of Food Empowerment Project wearing our boycott puppy mills shirt. FEP is receiving 5% of every sale for the next month. Check out foodispower.org
Dec. 24, 2012
For International Human Rights Day I wanted to share a message from the Food Empowerment Project about the fight against slavery in the chocolate industry. Currently, much of the chocolate sold worldwide relies on child slavery in places like the Ivory Coast of Africa. These children are treated brutally, and are sometimes sold to cocoa farms for as little as $1.50, after which they will spend their entire lives working 14 to 18 hour days for no pay.
International corporations take advantage of this slave labor. Nestle, Hersheys, Mars, Kraft… The list goes on. Even more frustrating, however, are the corporations that hide behind an image of caring and responsibility. Today I am asking everyone who sees this post to contact Clif Bar and demand that they disclose the country of origin for their chocolate. Clif has tried to avoid answering this question in the past: they will likely send you a long winded post about fair trade policies, or organic certifications. Child slavery has been found on supposedly “fair trade” and organic farms in the past, however! It’s time that Clif responds to the Food Empowerment Project, their supporters, and everyone who opposes slavery worldwide.
Clicking the image above (designed by Felix von der Weppen) will take you to the Food Empowerment Project’s Clif Bar petition, but I am going to ask that once you sign the petition you then go over to Clif’s pages on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/clifbar) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ClifBar) and post some messages there asking about their stance on chocolate slavery and why they haven’t responded to the Food Empowerment Project. Then, pick up your phone, and dial 1-800-254-3227. That is the corporate toll free number for Clif. It costs them money every single time you dial it, so dial it often, and demand to know whether Clif uses slavery in the production of it’s products.
Alright, finally, fellow vegans: pay attention to this stuff. If you say that compassion guides your decisions, and you say that this is one struggle, and you abhor cruelty, how can you support slavery? Visit http://www.foodispower.org/ online for a list of slavery-free chocolate producers.
reblogging because my post about this earlier got like 5 notes. I can post an image of vegan food and get 1000+ notes but stuff like this gets glossed over, it’s extremely disappointing. You know how many vegans do stuff like immediately dismiss/don’t take seriously feminists that aren’t vegan? Well how do you expect human rights activists to take vegans seriously and act in solidarity if we don’t pay attention to issues like these? If we truly believe in intersectionality then we need to treat these issues just as serious as we treat animal rights issues.
Apr. 10, 2012
Most people abhor slavery. At Animal Place, we refuse to accept that it is okay to exploit farmed animals for their flesh, milk, eggs or any other by-product. Extending our compassion to farmed animals does not mean we endorse or support the abuse of humans. In fact, quite the opposite.
We also love chocolate. At our weekly vegan staff potlucks, it is always a joy to eat vegan chocolate cupcakes or cake. It makes most of us very happy (we have a couple staff members who prefer non-chocolate treats, but that’s just so weird that the rest of us pretend they love chocolate too).
But loving the taste of something never trumps suffering. While of course we do not endorse the consumption of non-vegan chocolate products, all of us have been forced to look at our choices when it comes to buying vegan chocolate. Yes, we’re human too!
75% of the world’s cocoa (sold to chocolate companies) comes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The truth is, many cocoa plantations force children into slave labor to harvest cocoa. Children may be stolen or sold to cocoa plantations and may never see their families again. You can learn more about the slave industry in cocoa production at the Food Empowerment Project’s (FEP) site.
Most consumers are unaware of the brutality behind every chocolate bar they purchase. The governments of the Ivory Coast and Ghana lack sufficient resources to properly monitor and prosecute violations. The largest chocolate companies have done virtually nothing to modify their own behavior. They are relying on YOUR blind faith and lack of knowledge. That is wrong.
The Food Empowerment Project has tackled this issue in myriad ways. Since you and I cannot change the governments of the Ivory Coast and Ghana, we have to empower ourselves to make better, kinder choices. And thank goodness for F.E.P. for giving us that chance. They have compiled a list of approved vegan chocolates that do not rely on the exploitation of humans OR nonhumans to produce!
The picture you see is of some vegan fudge I purchased from Allison’s Gourmet. Yes, making more ethical chocolate-choices will cost more money. But I know people can be incredibly compassionate and amazing. People can choose to reduce or eliminate chocolate, because we do not need it to survive (**shock**).
Join us in choosing ethical chocolate!
-Marji Beach, Education Manager
The latest edition of the FEP’s newsletter included a campaign update/action alert in regards to Clif Bar’s refusal to disclose the source of its cacao. Been meaning to crosspost it for a few days now and then this piece shows up on my dash!
You can take action here and sign up for the Food Empowerment Project’s newsletter here. Do it!
1. Clif Bar Campaign Update
As part of our initiative to help stop slavery in the cacao/chocolate industry, we have launched a campaign to get Clif Bar to disclose where they source their cacao. Because Clif Bar is a company that prides itself on doing the right thing, we were shocked that they were unwilling to be transparent about their cacao supply chain even though we only want to know the country of origin of their cacao beans.
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write Clif Bar.
If you have not already, please contact them and spread the word: http://www.foodispower.org/takeaction.htm
Currently, Clif Bar is sending back form letters about what they are doing, but they still have not disclosed this very simple fact that other companies have willingly shared. Please help us hold them accountable!
Join our efforts and ask Clif to raise the bar on child slavery! Please spread the word.
Feb. 9, 2012
In October (2011) we were lucky enough to be able to interview lauren Ornelas of Food Empowerment Project. During this interview lauren discusses environmental racism, the mistreatment of produce farmers, heart wrenching chocolate slavery in Africa and more! If you have the time, we would love for you to check it out. After watching, we hope you read up on these subjects and share with your friends and family. Food is power, knowledge is power.
(Source: burningheartsmedia, via veganmudblood)