We have three days left to raise $6,982. I am writing to ask you to please help us reach our goal, so that our movement to end the exploitation of animals can grow even stronger in the New Year, and so that the media hub that we have created and fostered for the past five years can expand even more as we all work to change the world for animals. The animals need the megaphone, and Our Hen House can provide it (though we may need to interpret for them, since we’re not lucky enough to speak Cow or Chicken). We are so very close to reaching our matching donation of $25,000 — generously offered by our Barnyard Benefactors — the biggest fundraising push in OHHistory. We are literally less than a few thousand dollars away from reaching our goal. I am writing because we need your help to get there; we need your help to keep vegan indie media alive! This is so very urgent, and I’m so completely serious about how vital it is that you support our work now, today.
As I write this, it’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting in my alternate office — aka my bed. I work from here (only briefly) on early mornings when I wake up full of ideas and schemes, or on weekends when it feels luxurious to work while wearing my PJs. (I eventually wind up in my “real” office, but never underestimate the power of a good pillow to prop up not just your body, but also your day’s momentum.) On the plan for the day is to record the “ramblings” section for this weekend’s podcast, edit this week’s interview and review, do a last-minute interview for our “Rising Anxieties” section, and record the “outro.” I will also be writing two articles, planning the January 9 TV show shoot, and crunching some numbers for our 2015 budget. All of the above is made much easier when there’s a super cute pit bull curled up on your feet (which also means that I’d better be comfortable in this position, because there ain’t no chance of moving anytime soon). I’m also keenly aware that the second round of edits for my book are coming in on January 5, and the anticipatory anxiety is, well, there. I’m trying very hard to temporarily shift any thoughts of strategic planning onto a bucket list, because there’s a lot to do today.
In addition to the help from Rose, my foot-warmer-pit-bull, I’m very much not alone in these efforts. I am in good company, not only with my partner in crime, Mariann (who just brought me my second cup of coffee, and who is busy planning her Animal Law courses for the upcoming semester), but also with the help of Anne Green and Alessandra Seiter, who round out the Our Hen House coop. Anne, who joined us earlier this year, has become our left hand hen over in her nest in Tucson, AZ. Though I’m sure this isn’t the case, I like to imagine her working on OHH from under a cactus somewhere. In addition to helping us produce the TV show (our not-for-profit co-producers are the fine folks at Brooklyn Independent Media), Anne acts as our member liaison (chances are, you’ve been in touch with her), spreadsheet organizer (with the amount of content we produce — written, audio, and visual — there’s a lot to keep track of), grant-writer, and occasional therapist. I’m grateful and giddy that, in the New Year, she’ll be joining us full-time as our Director of Operations.
And Alessandra, who has worn many hats this year at OHH (including the Mistress of our eBooks, as well as our summer intern), has landed as our part-time Media Coordinator, and — while not busy studying to get A’s at Vassar, she’s assisting me in producing the podcast (as well as organizing and recording segments for it), writing and editing articles, and managing our social media — among other things. As I type this (from my bed here in Brooklyn) — and as Anne is surely clamoring for a cup of water as she is hard at work in the desert somewhere in Tucson — Alessandra is working hard during her winter break, from her parent’s house in Madison, WI. (Appropriate, too, since Wisconsin is known for its cheese, and Alessandra’s review on the most recent podcast episode is of some game-changing vegan cheese.)
Since I’m updating you on where each of us is at the moment, I’ll just remind you that Rose is still sound asleep on my feet.
There’s a lot to do to produce the amount of vegan media that we produce, and it’s much more than a full-time job. In addition to the things I listed above, we also have thousands of emails to go through each week, not to mention an entire tech world that is, I admit, still sometimes a mystery to me (that’s where our resident rooster, Ben Braman the Tech Guy, comes in.. or our volunteer graphic designer, the incredibly talented Laurie Johnston of Two Trick Pony). I’m also grateful for our dedicated and insightful Board of Directors — JL Fields, Alison Mercer, Alexander Gray, Mariann, and — I’m thrilled to announce the most recent addition — Liz Dee. Plus, we have a very skilled and passionate pool of writers, reviewers, podcast regulars, eBook authors, and Advisory Board members. We are a lucky flock.
(Rose is still asleep.)
Just to warn you, my two cups of coffee have taken effect now, and the plea part of my message is coming next. Well, I suppose it came at the very start of this message to you, but I’m going to reiterate it — even more vehemently — right now…
We have big plans. We want to create an OHH podcast channel, home to more than just our weekly podcast (though that one will remain very much intact — fear not). The idea is to hone in on specific subsets of changemakers, such as those interested in animal law, or those interested in using the arts to create change for animals. We want to broadcast readings of plays, or excerpts from fiction, that include animal rights issues and themes. We want to continue to make our TV show bigger and better this season, reaching more folks who are just starting to awaken to the plight of animals — and who want to change the world for them. We want to publish another eBook this year. We want to grow our flock. We want to use the power of media to change the shape of things for the better. We want to change the world.
But we can’t, unless you are behind us. This is a community-wide effort. We are so proud and lucky to be able to provide you with such consistent, high-quality, cutting-edge, indefatigably positive media. We are so devoted to you, and devoted to the cause. Please show us your devotion by supporting our unique efforts to create all media for all animals. Let’s reach this goal together. We are just so close. Help us change the world.
Looks like Rose just woke up, by the way. She shifted. It’s time to get out of bed.