Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Letter From A Vegan World

The following is from the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary website. It can be downloaded in English and several other languages here.

Letter From A Vegan World

Dear friends and fellow activists,

At a time when most animal rights organizations are actively promoting, advocating and rewarding "humane" animal products and farming methods, I am writing to you on behalf of three of the recipients of that mercy.

To the industry, they are known as production units #6, #35, and #67,595. To the "compassionate" consumer, they are known as feel-good labels: "organic dairy", "rose veal", "free-range eggs". To welfare advocates, they are known as "humane alternatives". To each other, they are known as mother, son, sister, friend. To themselves, they are simply what you and I are to ourselves: a self-aware, self-contained world of subjective experiences, feelings, fears, memories – someone with the absolute certainty that his or her life is worth living.

#6, is a first time mother. She is frantic. Her baby is missing. She is pacing desperately up and down the paddock, bellowing and crying, and calling for her lost boy, fearing the worst, having her fears confirmed. She is one of the thousands of defenseless females born into a quaint, verdant, organic dairy farm. She will spend her entire short life grieving the loss of baby after baby. She will be milked relentlessly through repeated cycles of pregnancies and bereavements. Her only experience of motherhood will be that of a mother's worst loss. In the prime of her life, her body will give, her spirit will break, her milk "production" will decline, and she will be sent to a horrifying slaughter, along with other grieving, defeated, "spent" mothers like herself.

She is the face of organic milk.

#35 is a two-days old baby, his umbilical chord is still attached, his coat is still slick with birth fluids, his eyes are unfocused, his legs, wobbly. He is crying pitifully for his mother. No one answers. He will live his entire short life an orphan, his only experience of mother love will be one of yearning for it, his only experience of emotional connection, one of absence. Soon, the memory of his mother, her face, her voice, her scent, will fade, but the painful, irrepressible longing for her warmth will still be there. At four months old, he and other orphans like himself will be corralled into trucks and hauled to slaughter. As he will be dragged onto the killing floor, he will still be looking for his mother, still desperately needing her nurturing presence, especially at that dark time when he will be frightened and needing her more than ever in the midst of the terrible sights, and sounds, and scents of death all around him and, in his despair, in his want for a shred of consolation and protection, he, like most baby calves, will try to suckle the fingers of his killers.

He is the face of the "rose" veal we are encouraging "responsible restaurant leaders" to use.

#67,595 is one of the 80,000 birds in a family-owned "free-range" egg facility. She has never seen the sun, or felt the grass under her feet, she has never met her mother. Her eyes are burning with the sting of ammonia fumes, her featherless body is covered with bruises and abrasions, her bones are brittle from the constant drain of egg production, her severed beak is throbbing in pain. She is exhausted, depleted and defeated. After a lifetime of social, psychological, emotional, physical deprivation, she copes by pecking neurotically at phantom targets for hours on end. She is two years old and her life is over. Her egg production has declined, and she will be disposed of by the cheapest means possible – she will be gassed along with the other 80,000 birds in her community. It will take three full work days to finish the job. For two long days, she will hear the sounds and breathe the smells of her sisters being killed in the gas drums outside her shed. On the third day, it will be her turn. She will be grabbed by the legs and taken outdoors for the first time in her life and, like every single one of the 80,000 "spent" hens, like every single one of the 50 billion annual victims of our appetite, she will fight to go on living, and she will accept no explanation and no justification for being robbed of her pathetic only life.

She is the face of the "free-range" eggs we are encouraging college campuses, businesses and consumers to use.

These are the "beneficiaries" of the "humane farming practices" that we, the animals' defenders, are developing, promoting, and publicly rewarding by encouraging "compassionate" consumers to buy the products of what we know to be nothing but misery. "Humane" practices that, if any of us were forced to endure, none of us would experience as humane.

We, the activists, know that there is no such thing as compassionate, responsible or ethical farming on any scale. We know that the only humane and ethical alternative is vegan living.

Why are so few of us telling the truth? Why are we describing "free-range" products as "humane" when we know the horror such practices inflict on their victims? Why are we lying to the public, and ourselves, that "compassionate" animal farming is anything but a myth, a marketing scheme, a deceptive label? Why are so many of us offering up the lives of animals by encouraging the consumption of their flesh, eggs and milk, when our only duty is to fight for their lives as if they were our own? Why are we promoting the practice of consuming animals when we know it to be brutal, inexcusable, unconscionable and completely unnecessary? Why are we rewarding consumers for demanding more of the the very thing we are struggling to eliminate? Why are we strengthening and rewarding the worlds' entrenched speciesist assumptions, when our job, our only job, as vegan educators and activists, is to challenge and change those assumptions by offering a new model of thinking about nonhuman animals, a new model of interacting with them, a new practice of living, a new way of being in the world?

Many of us justify our endorsement of "humane" animal products and our pursuit of welfare reforms by saying that the world is not ready to change, that it may never go vegan, that the most we can hope to accomplish in the meantime is to reduce the suffering of today's doomed animals. But this is not true. This is not a fact. It is a fear – a fear of action, a failure of will, a self- defeating attitude and, ultimately, a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The truth is, the world can change. Indeed, the world has changed many times before, and it has changed in ways that seemed impossible at the time. The truth is, the world will change, but only if we work towards creating that change. It will stay the same if we, the self-proclaimed agents of change, encourage it to stay the same. It will change if all of us tell the whole truth that there is no such thing as humane animal farming, or animal use of any kind, the truth that the only humane alternative is vegan living, the truth that animal farming on any scale is an ethical and environmental disaster, the truth that animals are persons like you and me who happen to be nonhuman and who have the same inherent right to life and liberty as you and I. The truth that vegan living is not a "lifestyle choice", but a moral imperative.

We can do better. Indeed, we have an obligation to do better.

I invite you to see for yourselves how much can be accomplished when a small group of dedicated activists commits all of its time and resources to vegan education that is consistent with, not undermining of, our ultimate goal – Animal Liberation – and when the Go Vegan message is central to every single one of its communications, from online resources, to printed literature, to ads, demos, and billboards, to outreach events, to the in-depth exploration of farmed animal personhood detailed in the individual portraits published on the Prairie Blog.

On a shoestring budget, with an all-volunteer core of vegan educators who are determined to tell the whole truth about meat, dairy and egg production, a small, grassroots organization like Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary has built something that large, wealthy organizations have not only failed to bring forth, but have consistently undermined through years of anti-vegan advocacy: A vibrant vegan world growing in the middle of the nonvegan world, a place where the animal refugees are regarded and represented as the persons they rightly are, a place where the human residents advocate tirelessly for nothing less than total liberation, a Free State in the heart of the human-subjugated world, a place where the principles of abolition are applied in word, thought, and deed. A vegan enclave whose very presence has already changed the world's physical, political, psychological and spiritual geography.

I invite you to experience it for yourselves. Join us in our struggle to expand its reach. Help us make it borderless.

Joanna Lucas,
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Two new treasuries!

Carla of Threaded Smiles snagged this treasury today and Heather of Holistically Heather and For The Love Of Vegan grabbed this one for the upcoming Vegan Samples shop! Lots of thanks to you both!!

*Skinessentials is not a Vegan Etsy member, but is contributing to the Vegan Samplers*



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Giveaways and a Sale!

Today is the last day to enter to win a prize in this month's Great Vegan Etsy Giveaway, so enter while there's still time!

Melissa of Bright is having a giveaway on her blog. She's giving away a sticker to the first three people that can answer her question correctly. It gets better, though! If you can also answer her bonus question, you will get a button! Go here for details.

Daisy Wares is having a huge sale!

Buy 2 lip balms, get one free
Buy 2 soaps, get one free
Buy 2 lotions, get one free
Buy 2 creams, get one free
Buy 2 eye shadows, get one free
Buy 2 blush, get one free
Buy 2 perfumes, get one free

This is a great opportunity to try a variety of her goods!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Shops & a Treasury!

Two of our members have opened up new shops. Starr of Starrlight Jewelry has opened up Starrlight Boutique and Heather of Holistically Heather, For The Love Of Vegan and Recycled Cycle has opened up Vegan Samples. Vegan Samples is the etsy shop for her new project. If you're interested in sending her items for the first round of vegan sample packs, make sure to contact her as soon as possible.

Heather also made this treasury, featuring etsy shops that are signed up for the first round of sample packs so far. (please note that inkybinkyproductions and bohogoods are not members of Vegan Etsy, but the rest of the featured shops are).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Congratulations KM Stitchery


Congratulations to Lindsay of KM Stitchery for being featured on Bitch magazine's blog! The article is titled "Wearing Your Feminism On Your Sleeve" and can be found here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Team Events and Activities

Below is a summary of everything that is currently going on with our team. Members, you will have to follow the links to the message board for details.

February Team Challenge- http://s9.zetaboards.com/Vegan_Etsy/topic/7073199/1/ Entries are due by February 21.

The Great Vegan Etsy Giveaway- http://s9.zetaboards.com/Vegan_Etsy/topic/7073934/1/ If you'd like to send anything in for this, the first round of items is due by March 1. The first giveaway is going on right now, but there are many more to come!

Vegan Sampler Packs- http://s9.zetaboards.com/Vegan_Etsy/topic/7075211/1/ This is Heather's project and if you would like to be involved with it, the first round of sample/promo items is due by March 31.

SASHA Farm Silent Auction- http://s9.zetaboards.com/Vegan_Etsy/topic/7065410/1/ If you'd like to donate something to this, the deadline for this is April 4.

Bowling for Animals Raffle- http://s9.zetaboards.com/Vegan_Etsy/topic/7070295/1/ If you'd like to donate something to this, the dealine for this is April 4.

Postcard Exchange- http://s9.zetaboards.com/Vegan_Etsy/topic/7075793/1/

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Interview With Two Silver Stars


Today's interview is with Rachel of Two Silver Stars.

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?

I've been a member of etsy since January 2008, but didn't start selling until late July. I've been using silverstars or twosilverstars as my online user name at other sites for about six years now, so I figured I would use it here as well. If silverstars is taken I add the "two". The name doesn't really reflect what I sell in my shop, I just thought it was pretty.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?

I am a fantasy artist and I sell prints of my original paintings. I also sell items that feature my art like cameos, pocket mirrors, and greeting cards. I have a chronically overactive imagination so I am never short on ideas for my paintings. I love creating images that reflect the beauty and magic of nature.

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

I love looking at the wide variety of creative things that people are making. It is so amazing and inspiring, and it's hard to get any work done when all I want to do is browse through the site all day.

Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?

I sell my art through my website, and there are also some companies that license my art for things like t-shirts and cross stitch patterns that are sold online and in retail stores.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

I would love to expand my jewelry line, maybe make some OOAK (one of a kind) pieces. And I guess just adding to the variety of items that I offer.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?

Besides painting, I also love baking vegan treats and experimenting with new vegan recipes. And I'm a big reader and have recently discovered the wonderful world of audio books which has enabled me to paint and read at the same time. So convenient!

Do you have any animal companions?

I have a "tuxedo" (black and white) rescue kitty named Stella who drools when she's happy.

Do you have any websites besides your shop that you would like to tell us about?

There is more info on how I create my art and some tutorials posted at my website: http://silverstars.us/ I also have a new blog: http://twosilverstars.blogspot.com/

How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?

I went veg when I was about sixteen because I saw a news segment on an e coli outbreak. They showed meat being ground at a factory, and told about a little boy who died from e coli poisoning he contracted from his first hamburger. I had never really thought much about what I ate until that point. Over the years after that I slowly learned more and more about the horrible treatment of animals, not just in the meat industry, but also for dairy and eggs and other by products like wool. It became obvious that veganism was really the only true cruelty-free option.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

I love my vegan cookbooks. Some of my favs are Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, Vegan With A Vengeance, Eat Drink & Be Vegan, and the Uncheese Cookbook. I'm always looking to add to my collection. Also, Vegan Treats bakery in Bethlehem, PA. has the most divine treats ever to be created!

What are your favorite foods?

I have a pretty open mind when it comes to cooking and trying new recipes and foods, so it's hard to pick favorites. The fresher the better, fruits and veggies. I'm also a big fan of veganized comfort foods like mac & cheese and mashed potatoes. I have a serious sweet tooth so vegan caramel and marshmallows (Sweet & Sara!) are pretty high up on my list.

Is there anything else you would like to add or share?

Go Vegan!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Welcome to new members & a new treasury!

I'd like to welcome the following new members to the team-

Vegancraftastic
Patchwork by Sarah
With Metta

Please give them a warm welcome and don't forget to heart their shops!

Also, Kathy of The Garbologist's Wife snagged this treasury today! Please show it some love. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Three new treasuries tody!

**If you haven't seen it yet, please look at the post below this one for details about our first blog giveaway!**

Thanks so much to Carla of Threaded Smiles for snagging two treasuries today! You can find them here and here. I was also able to grab one here. Show 'em some love!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vegan Etsy is a year old!

We turned a year old a few days ago, so this is a bit belated. Happy birthday to us!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Stray Dog Blog

Nicole of Late July Photography is having a giveaway on her blog, The Stray Dog Blog, a blog that is documenting stray dogs across the world. If you are the first to submit all of the requirements for the giveaway, you will win a package of postcards of stray dogs from her area, courtesy of her shop. For details, visit her blog.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Member Interview- Scorch

Today's interview is with Heather of Scorch.

How did you choose the name of your shop?

In Middle School I wanted to be a fashion designer. It was the mid-eighties, so all of my designs were fantastically poofy, cheesy, bright patterned princess dress abominations of awesomeness. They were like, rad, you know? Scorch was the name I came up with for my fashion label. Now I'm all 'grown up' and have always wanted to find a way to use the Scorch name in an art or craft project, so when I started up on Etsy it seemed like the perfect time.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?

I make necklaces from all kinds of salvaged, upcycled, thrifted, and magpied materials. Most of my necklaces have a sort of neo-victorian/steampunk/romantic/baroque kinda thing going on, but sometimes I use bits of circuit boards, hardware, and who-knows-whats resulting in Egyptian Disco, '70s owls, assorted geekery, etc... I've also started making scarves out of vintage men's neckties, thread, paint, and patience. I get inspired to create cool stuff from other people's detritus - I'm the kind of person who would rather remake a tuxedo jacket into a mini-skirt than go to the fabric store and buy a yard of perfect fabric!

Do you do any volunteer work?

I used to, but it's been a while and I miss it! I'm thinking it's time to get my butt in gear and go help the local Humane Society.

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

How nice most everyone is, how talented, and how dedicated to creating a handmade world. I like watching to see what my friends post in their shops, and how much I chat with those friends about the projects we're working on. And how cool is it that in such an Omnivore centric world, we have an entirely awesome team of vegan crafters on Etsy?

Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?

Not yet. I think I may try finding some boutiques for my Tie Scarves once I have a chance to build up my inventory, but I think my jewelry will stay exclusive to Etsy... If anyone has a compelling argument for me about that one way or the other though, I'd love to hear it!
Do you have any future plans for your shop?

Oh my, yes! More inventory for starters. More necklaces, way more Tie Scarves, and maybe some wrist cuffs? I really need to make a banner that I'm actually happy with. And I need to learn patience when the sales come slow as molasses in winter. That's the hardest part for me!

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?

I love crafting for Etsy, but when I'm not doing that, I'm working on fine art projects with my collaborator. I like having crafts for pure materialism and esthetics, and then also having my art for conceptual and theoretcial exploration as well. Some folks are really talented at integrating all of that together, but for me, it's freeing to keep craft and art separate. I also ride my bike around town, go for walks with my dog, hang out with my vegan husband, eat yummy food with all my vegan friends, and ogle every dog and cat I see around town.

Do you have any animal companions?

I have one orange and white 15yr old cat named Joey that we rescued from my folks when they decided to take him to the pound once they retired. ::shakes fist:: He likes to sleep on my hair at night, and his favorite toy is a plastic stick. We also have a portly dog named Sid that we adopted from the Humane Society. I think he was in some terrier puppy mill, because he had minimal social skills when we first adopted him, and we're still working on not barking at strangers. He's an absolute lover to us though, he pouts like mad if he doesn't get at least one nap a day laying on top of me. As soon as we move to a different apartment we're adopting another cat and another dog so Joey and Sid will have little friends of their own kind.

How long have you been vegan?

I thought I was vegan September of 2002, but it took me another six months or a year to finally give up the honey. I wish I could remember when it was exactly that I finally looked into bees and honey farming and how it is exactly the same as every other kind of exploitation.

What made you go vegan?

It's pretty much the same story everyone else has, I think. I'll give the short version and just say that as far as I'm concerned, Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz should be mandatory reading for vegans. I just realized how important animals were to me, and started researching what I could do for them. The more I read the clearer it became that as important as ecological, habitat, and domestic animal issues are, the only way I can truly work to help the status of animals in society is if I stopped eating their corpses. Slaughterhouse has been very useful research for me. Followed by Animal Rights, A-Z by Gary Francione, and Vegan Freak by Bob and Jenna Torres.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

I love Dino Sarma's cookbook the Alternative Vegan, everything in the Vegan Freak empire including book, podcast, and forums. Food Fight grocery store is awesomeness and they do SO MUCH for the animals and to connect the activist community.

What are your favorite foods?

Mmm, food. I have many favorite vegan foods, and because I'm lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon (aka vegan mecca) there are almost dangerous amounts of yummy dishes at awesome restaurants all over town. If you visit, Portobello restaurant is a mandatory stop. Also, Burritos. I love love 'em. There are just so damn many ways to combine the flavors, plus they're nutritious and cheap! Beans, rice, veggies, yumm. I'm addicted to Miso soup, and I go through phases of insanity with oatmeal. And kale, kale is magical.

Is there anything else you would like to add or share?

Group hug!!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Welcome to new members!

I'd like to welcome the following new members to the team.

Bright
Dark Faerie Creations
The Garbologist's Wife
Super Awesome Vegan Handknits

Please give them all a warm welcome and don't forget to hear their shops!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Great Vegan Etsy Giveaway!

That's right, we're going to be having givaways on this blog, starting soon! The things we will be giving away will be a variety of items and sampler packs from our team members.

If you are a member and would like to contribute an item or items to the giveaway, please convo Starr through her shop or go to our message board for more details.

The giveaway contests will be every 2 to 4 weeks and will be starting soon, so make sure to check back often. You won't want to miss out on this!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Congratulations Heather!

Congratulations to Heather of Holistically Heather, For The Love Of Vegan and Recycled Cycle for winning the January team challenge! The challenge was to get as many team treasuries as you could throughout the month and Heather got the most- a total of 10 of them!! Thanks so much for being such a team player, Heather!

I'd also like to thank all of the other members that took part in this month's challenge. Whether you made treasuries or showed your support of them by clicking on the featured items and leaving a comment, it was all very much appreciated!

The team will be a year old in less than a week and we have had a total of over one hundred treasuries in that time. Way to go, everyone!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Exciting Giveaways and New Items!

Three of our members are having giveaways. How cool is that?

Heather of Holistically Heather, For The Love of Vegan and Recycled Cycle is giving away an organic hemp fleece reusable menstrual pad on her blog. All you have to do is check out her shop, find your favorite item, go to her blog and post the link to let her know. Remember to put your email address or a way to get ahold of you!

Roni of Daisy Wares and Daisy's Destash is doing a promotion with Animal Place where you can have a chance to win a collection of her bath and body products that's worth $104! For details, see her blog on how to enter and help animals at the same time.

Roni also has some exciting new products that are now available for purchase at Daisy Wares. She is now carrying handmade mineral makeup and soaps. Congratulations to Roni for being the first Vegan Etsy member that is carrying mineral makeup. If you don't know what it is, please check it out because it's really great stuff!

Starr of Starrlight Jewelry is also having a giveaway where you can win a Neo-Victorian Black Rose Brass Ring. All you need to do is respond to this post on her blog, naming three items found in nature that are red. Please see her blog for more details and specifics.

Good luck, everyone!

Recipe- Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

Thanks so much to Heather of Holistically Heather, For The Love Of Vegan and Recycled Cycle for sharing this recipe with us! Yum!!

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza!!!!

Preheat your oven to 450

what you will need:
cast iron skillet
olive oil
1 package yeast
1tsp. agave nectar (or sugar if you want)
1 c. warm water
2 1/2 c. flour
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
and whatever sauce and toppings you dig!

Combine the yeast, agave (sugar) and warm water in a bowl, stir and let sit for 10 minutes
During that 10 minute period I mix the other ingredients to get them ready for the yeasties
After 10 minutes add your dry ingredients to your yeast water, cover with towel and let sit for 5 minutes
grease your skillet, fill the bottom with half of your dough (this recipe makes 2 skillet pizzas) poke fork holes in the dough then lightly brush with olive oil
put it in the preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes- until the top starts to brown a bit
pull it out and slather it with sauce and veggies

Here is what we like on our pizza!
black and green olivesf
resh garlic
fresh chopped onion
broccoli
spinach
zucchini
tomato slices
mushrooms

We even mixed all of our veggies in with our sauce, and then put it on the pizza
sprinkle a layer of nutritional yeast on the top for a cheesey flavor- it honestly even looks like melted cheese when you put a decent amount!

bake for about 15-20 minutes, you can check the bottom with a spatula, when it starts to brown and get crispy...depends on how you like your pizza!

Sorry there are no photos for this recipe, my batteries died at a bad time! hah

Enjoy, if you do make it please share with us what toppings and how it came out!!!

Two New Treasuries

You can find them here and here. Show 'em some love!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Interview With Pink Bubble


This week's member of the week is Renee of Pink Bubble.

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?

I choose this name because it has been my online alias for awhile, including most of my email address. I originally picked it because I like bubbles and pink I suppose! I've been a member since about when I opened, in July of 2008.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?

I sell mainly jewelry and accessories. I had been making them for years for friends and family as gifts, and after finding etsy knew I had found a place I would love to share some of my designs with.

Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

I donate to peaceful prarie (http://www.peacefulprairie.org ). I also do work with Habitat for Humanity and Food not Bombs whenever I get the chance.

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

I love that everything is handmade and has a person and a story behind everything you might buy.

Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?

just etsy!

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?

When I'm not studying or crafting; I also love skiing, running, and writing.


Do you have any animal companions?

nope

Do you have any websites besides your shop that you would like to tell us about?

I blog very sporadically at : http://pinkfishcanfly.blogspot.com/

How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?

I've been vegan for about 5 years after coming across some of Carol Adam's, then Gary Francione's works. After that I researched more online and got more active and aware.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

I love Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe and Food Fight!, also basically any cookbook as I love expirementing and unleashing my creativity in the kitchen for every meal.

What are your favorite foods?

That is a hard decision, and basically changes with what is in season; but generally plums, black-eyed peas, strawberries, okra, garlic, sweet potatoes, peas and oatmeal. Not all together though!