Thursday, February 26, 2009

Finding Renewed Hope in Fellow Activists

"Please don't be depressed. Don't dwell on the big picture. Because that's more than any sensitive person can ever endure. Remember all we've achieved in history, all the changes we've made in this very small time of animal rights activity." - Ingrid Newkirk.

The above quote is something I need to remind myself of often as an animal and environmental advocate. The big picture can be overwhelming. But for as many people who don't give a second thought to animal welfare or the well-being of our Earth, there are passionate people everywhere standing up for these causes.

I met many of these eco guardians at a volunteer appreciation dinner held by the Hackensack Riverkeeper. The event came at the perfect time...the same day my spirits were down, as my company inexplicably decided to start regularly supplying free, unlimited Poland Spring water bottles. Just when our office kitchen was becoming so green! Among the volunteers I met was a school administrator who works with his children to collect bottle caps to send to Aveda, who recycles them into caps and bottles, as well as a woman who works for the Land Conservancy of New Jersey, which strives to save our open land from development.

Onto the night's events. There was a festive pirate theme, and catering was by Jamaican Delight Restaurant, 463 S Washington Ave., Bergenfield, NJ.

Eco-friendly cups and plates, and delicious veggie food.

I couldn't indulge in the non-vegan dessert, rum raisin ice cream, although I did find a vegan recipe, should you have an ice cream maker (I don't).

There was a tricky tray raffle. This fair trade coffee and organic chocolate had my name written all over it. I didn't win.

Aveda Bottle Cap project
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey
Hackensack Riverkeeper


Chessbuff said...

The problem is we have only one life to live, and cruelty to animals will far outlive us. For as long as their is humankind on Earth, the animals will be on the receiving end of our brute force and ignorance. It's best to return this planet to the animals, and let them settle things on their own. At least, animals are not capable of deliberate cruelty on other animals. Since the elimination of humankind will not happen in our lifetime, what we have to do is to make our individual lives count. Our individual contributions to animal welfare does make the world better even if our acts of kindness seem isolated and insignificant. Just keep hacking away at the problem, in whatever way possible for us as an individuals, and we would have performed your duty as a foot soldiers in the war for animal welfare and a better environment.

Vegan Good Life said...

Thanks so much for your comment. So true what you say. As Ingrid said in that same speech I quoted from, "our own species has trashed the place [Earth]." And it is often out of pure greed, laziness or entitlement. But encountering activists regularly gives me REM sings in These Days, "We are young despite the years. We are concern. We are hope despite the times."

Thank you for being a caring advocate.