Despite the fact that there is much to be said for e-versions of magazines (I mean, clearly…) — it’s much more environmentally-friendly, for one — I’ve mentioned before that I still get extreme satisfaction from having an actual publication in my hand. It’s a tragic flaw, I know. I talked about this recently when I told you about how giddy I was when The Animal’s Voice Magazine arrived in our mailbox. And beyond actual magazines, I am gaga for zines (remember Nathalie VanBalen’s Happy Thanksliving Coloring Zine?). A zine, of course, is a small, independently-produced publication. It can be as DIY as a photocopied hand-written booklet, or it can look extremely “professional.” And when you combine the heart and soul that is frequently found in good zines, with innovative thinking, with changing the world for animals, I am basically a puddle of awe.
So when I learned about Peace to All Creatures, I sat upright, cracked my knuckles (excuse me), and got my hands on a few copies. Published by Jessi Van Pelt and Pippi Howard (“two women on a mission to educate, empower and entertain”), this 5-series zine (with more in the works) includes pieces by writers from around the world, many of whom are actively involved with Vegan Etsy. The zines, which will only set you back 6 bucks each (order them directly from Jessi’s Etsy page), are roughly 50-pages, and covers topics that run the gamut from dog and cat issues (“Got Cats? TNR Can Help!”, Issue 5, Fall 2011), to farmed animal issues and vegan outreach (“How to Advocate for More Vegan Options in Local Eating Establishments,” Issue 3, Spring 2010).
Though some of the information in the zines is on the rudimentary side (that is, for long-time vegans and animal activists), I quickly realized the beauty of that. In fact, what I like best about the Peace to All Creatures zine is precisely that it is equal parts dog-and-cat focused and farmed animal focused. The cover of Issue 5, for example, bears a gorgeous painting of a pit bull (by the talented Megan Boyd), then, a few pages in, has an article on making your own dog treats (all vegan, of course). So, I can foreseeably gift this zine to some of the “dog people” I know, and then — oh look at that — on page 26 they will read the article by Roni Seabury, “Why I Don’t Consume Dairy.” So — ding ding! — this zine is connecting dots for animal-lovers. The all-too-often fragmented worlds of animal advocates are on common ground in Peace to All Creatures. (I suppose that’s why it’s not called “Peace to SOME Creatures.”)
Moreover, remembering that even long-time animal rights activists can use a refresher every now and again (note to self), I realized while I flipped through Peace to All Creatures that there’s always pertinent information to take in, and there’s always a new vantage point from which to see it. And for times when I don’t feel like enriching my brain, I can always focus on the recipes (such as the vegan Lemon Cheesecake by Sarah Summer, featured in Issue 5, which, after reading the recipe, I am now craving so badly that I clearly must materialize one pronto), or gawk at the stunning artwork — all created by good-hearted animal-lovers.
Pippi and Jessi, who took it upon themselves to create this project, have the kind of “go get ’em” that is necessary for each of us who want to change the world for animals. They saw a niche and they went ahead and filled it — putting their creative prowess to work, all to help animals. Beyond that, they made it a community-wide effort, engaging writers and artists to provide content. It doesn’t stop there, either, because part of the proceeds from this zine goes to companion animal rescues and farm animal sanctuaries (such as Peaceful Prairie).
If you’re interested in submitting an article or artwork for consideration, Peace to All Creatures is currently scouting out material for the next issue, with the theme “Activism Around the World.” The deadline is quickly approaching on March 15. In addition to visiting their website, you can visit their Facebook page, their blog, and — on March 18 and 19 — bid for some delicious vegan baked goods that will be part of their virtual bake sale! Not only does that mean that you can get some homemade vegan goodies mailed directly to your kitchen table, but you’ll also be helping Peace to All Creatures raise funds for charities that include Animal Coalition of Tampa, Dogs for the Deaf, Darlynn’s Darlins Pig Sanctuary, and Friends of Arlington Animal Services. Now there’s a reason to eat a cupcake (as if you needed one).
For your chance to win a set of Peace to All Creatures zines (Issues 2, 3, and 4), all you have to do is follow Our Hen House on Twitter, then comment below with your Twitter handle. You have until March 12 at midnight EST, when the contest officially ends. The randomly-selected winner will be notified by email.
And if you want to change the world for animals, be like Pippi and Jessi: Get creative, and get involved with animal advocacy in whatever way makes sense for you.