Being vegan in a non-vegan world can be very frustrating. You always feel you could do more to encourage others to adopt an ethical lifestyle.
One way is to support vegan owned and run businesses, and I’ve been meaning to write a post about the connections between how we spend our money and how businesses treat animals and the environment. Essentially the argument is that if we want to see change we need to make animal exploitation uneconomic. The meat industry may already be uneconomic, but it receives massive subsidies from you and me via our taxes
Using Money Positively
Anyway, I will save this for another post, and here I will just concentrate on using your vegan pound/dollar to help vegan projects through crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is a recent internet-age way of financing an initiative, whether business, personal or non-profit, using backers who pledge money to support the project. Most projects give you some kind of incentive to contribute. For example, if the project is to help finance a product, you might get the product early before it hits the market, or a special version of it. When backing books, films or events you might get a credit or dedication in your name.
A number of internet platforms have sprung up to enable crowdfunding: Kickstarter and Indiegogo are probably the most well-known. The sites allow you to filter on a keyword, so I regularly search them for vegan-related projects. Below are links to some of the popular crowdfunding sites, and where possible with the search term already set to “vegan”.
There seems to be a plethora of vegan projects available, also noted by blogger J L FIelds
Links for finding vegan-related projects
- Crowd Cube (Note that Crowd Cube is aimed at more sophisticated investors, who in general receive shares in the projects they back).
- Crowd Funder
This is a list of some of the projects I have backed this year (in reverse chronological order) showing the range of initiatives available. Most were successful, but sadly not all. Some may still be open for funding. My favourite project so far is Made in Hackney, highlighted below.
- GROW a future for families – heling families in Manu, Peru to plant trees for sustainable farming and protect the rainforest. Crowdfunder Link
- Sewing Kit Cafe – asking for funding to create a cafe in London based around a “sewing hub” serving vegan treats. If this is successful I will be getting a branded T-shirt and bag. Kickstarter link
- Growl – a book that is “part memoir, part manifesto” by animal rights advocate Kim Stallwood. For my contribution I will receive a limited edition Sue Coe print, as well as a copy of the book. Indiegogo link
- Strongest Hearts – a series of web-based episodes highlighting nutrition for plant-based athletes. Kickstarter link
- Being Vegan – A comic aimed at breaking vegan stereotypes. Sadly this project did not meet its funding target. Kickstarter link.
- 30 Day Vegan Challenge – A project to fund the publishing of an updated version of this best-selling book by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This project raised an amazing $53,560, almost double the target of $31,000. Indiegogo link
- Food Choices DVD – an ambitious food documentary aimed to educate the audience about the impact of their food. Indiegogo link
- Esther the Wonderpig Pig Sanctuary – Esther the Wonderpig is a pig who was sold to an unsuspecting couple as a pet micro-pig but was in fact a “runt” and quickly grew up into a large pig. But she opened her new owners’ eyes to how we treat animals and inspired them to become vegan animal advocates. The campaign is to help create a pig sanctuary. Indiegogo Link
- Cowspiracy – a film about the links between animal agriculture and the environment. Raised more than double of its $54,000 goal! Indiegogo Link
- Live and Let Live event – helping Sydney Vegan Club to hold an educational event. Indiegogo link
- Mad City Vegan Fest 2014 – To help the Alliance for Animals and Environment bring speakers to the Madison City Vegan Fest and video them for reaching more people. Indiegogo Link
- Circles of Compassion – a book of essays by leading authors and activists on the connections between human, animal, and environmental well-being. Indiegogo Link
- Mink Shoes – Couture vegan shoes for men and women. Indiegogo Link
- Gij Vegan Handbags – Vegan, Unisex Bags and Pouches. Indiegogo Link
- Hweets – healthy sweets: chocolatey balls with 100% natural ingredients, no sugar, chemicals, eggs, milk or gluten. Sadly this project failed to make its funding target. Kickstarter Link
- Zero Carbon Foods – Not a specifically vegan project, the idea is to grow pesticide-free salad greens and vegetables in disused underground tunnels beneath London, just metres away from the restaurants that will use them. Reached almost £600,000 investment. Crowdcude Link
- Vegan Naturally Water Resistant Jacket – a 100% organic cotton jacket made wind and water resistant without harmful chemicals. Kickstarter Link
- Think, Eat, Act! Sea Shepherd vegan cookbook – a cook book featuring the vegan recipes prepared onboard the Sea Shepherd’s ships during their anti-whaling and dolphin protection campaigns. Over $13,000 was pledged beating its $3000 target. Kickstarter link
- T-O-F-U Magazine – A vegan lifestyle magazine “The Organic Fashion Utopia”. The campaign was for a print edition, but full funding was not reached and the magazine remains a digital edition for now. We Make It Link
- Made In Hackney – a great project, a kind of food empowerment project to help underprivileged people learn how to grow and prepare healthy food, their food policy is “Local. Organic. Seasonal. Plant Based”. The team run subsidised courses as well as fee paying, and have also trained community and NHS workers on the benefits of plant-based foods. Funding site on Crowd Funder: The official Made in Hackney website is: http://madeinhackney.org. This is my star project.
- Cry of the Innocent – a precedent-setting film revealing the spiritual truth of an egocentric society that perpetuates the holocaust of animals, with its center on the fur trade. Indiegogo Link
- Vegetarianism: the story so far – a series of radio programmes tracing the ancient history of vegetarianism. Kickstarter Link
- Vegan Mobile Food Truck – a vegan mobile catering van. Indiegogo Link
- Ani Shoes: As Nature Intended – “Barefoot”, Vegan and Eco-Friendly Footwear / Shoes / Sneakers. Kickstarter Link
- Mohop Shoes – custom-fit, vegan, eco-friendly sandals that express your personal style, built by collaboration between artisan designers and robots. Kickstarter Link
Other Ways of Giving
Some projects are looking for funds and not offering any incentives beyond the fact that you are helping a worthwhile cause.
An example is the “Take Your Blinders Off” project by Randall Vegan-Cannon, who drives around a specially adapted vehicle that shows videos of our treatment of animals: Go Fund Me page
Go Fund Me is a popular platform for such projects – this link will search the site for vegan-related projects.
There are also a number of vegan-run relief charities:
- VegFam – feeds the hungry without exploiting animals
- A Well Fed World – promotes the benefits of sustainable, plant-based solutions in response to global food security, health, hunger, and environmental concerns.
- Food For Life – food relief in disaster zones
Donating Your Time
Not everyone is able to donate money, and just as important is helping with street collections, running stalls at festivals etc. Local vegan groups often publicise such opportunities, on their websites, twitter feeds, facebook pages or meetup pages.