This weekend, we’re heading to Farm Sanctuary to shoot the pilot episode of what we hope is our new series, Activist. We are doing this in collaboration with filmmaker Seth Webster — the editor behind the viral video, What Came Before? #PRIVATE#Activist will be a series of 5-minute documentaries focusing on folks from all walks who change the world for animals — and we’re kicking it off with the incredible Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director. As I’m sure you know from Susie’s interviews on the podcast (most recently on Episode 187, and, prior to that, way back on Episode 82), there are few (if any) who are as vivacious, charming, and dripping with passion and compassion as Susie. I have a feeling that this video might make itself.
On a personal note, I’m hoping that the leaves are still turning, so that we can bask in the autumnal beauty as we drive upstate early Saturday morning. There’s a very small window of time when the maroons and golds of the fall landscape are at their brightest. Though, admittedly, I’m one of the weirdos who also loves bare trees. (Presumably, it’s way too early in the season for that.)
Then, on Monday, Mariann has a speaking engagement at Cornell Law School, as part of the book celebration for Sherry Colb and her new masterpiece, Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans (Lantern, 2013). (Incidentally, OHH columnist Piper Hoffman has a review of that book coming out on OHH tomorrow, which I strongly suggest you check out — and I also hope you listen to Sherry’s recent interview on Episode 191 of our podcast, since she really is a gem of a thinker.) So it will be a busy few days for us hens, though I’m starting to realize that “busy” is just the name of the game! And when I get to stop in the middle to snuggle with a lamb, well, who can complain?
Otherwise, things are going exceedingly well with OHH. We’re happily drawing in new supporters thanks to our Barnyard Benefactor-inspired Donor Challenge, where all contributions (including recurring monthly donations) are being matched — up to $10,000 — between now and the end of the year. And, possibly thanks to OHH Outreach Manager Danielle Legg’s recent article about the fabulous new items on our Etsy page, our Etsy shop has been very active, too! My birthday campaign is not going as well, but there’s still a couple weeks to get closer to my goal! Let me take this opportunity to remind you that for those of you who became flock members in when our online magazine launched in December 2012 through a one-time donation (as opposed to you recurring donors) your yearly membership is about to expire! Please renew by making a tax-deductible donation to Our Hen House at your earliest convenience, keeping in mind that, because of the matching donations, your contributions count more now than ever, and will go even further in our efforts to change the world for animals. And if you’re a monthly donor, we hope you will consider increasing your monthly donation level, knowing that it will be doubled! Thank you!
Saturday’s podcast episode will feature the incredible Dr. Theo Capaldo, president and executive director of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, a national animal advocacy organization dedicated to ending the use of animals in research, testing, and science education – which, get this, was founded way back in 1895. Dr. Capaldo will discuss with us how her organization fights science with science. She’ll let us in on the current state of chimpanzee research, and what still needs to be done. And she’ll tell us what we need to do, right now, to help stop animal testing and experimentation. And this coming Tuesday, she’ll follow-up her podcast interview with a passionate, thought-provoking feature article on Our Hen House that will make animal rights activists consider getting even further involved with the anti-vivisection movement.
We’ll also talk about vegan Halloween candy on Episode 197, and — following our Facebook survey — we’ll report back on some of your favorites. On the episode, we’ll be giving away a huge bag of Smarties (check out their handy vegan landing page). I don’t know about you, but Smarties have a special place in my heart because, growing up, they were my go-to candy of choice — on Halloween, and just about every other day of the year, too. Anyway, because we love our flock so much, we’re giving away an additional bag of Smarties just for you!
Want your candy fix? Email contest [at] ourhenhouse [dot] org and put in the title of the email, “FLOCK SMARTIES GIVEAWAY.” (If you don’t specify “flock” in your subject line, then you won’t get entered in this contest — you’ll get entered in the regular podcast giveaway — so be sure to spell out “flock” in the subject line. And feel free to enter the podcast contest, too.) Include your name and full mailing address. You have just over one week, until midnight EDT on Friday, October 25, to enter. We’ll select a random winner (as well as a winner for the podcast contest) on Saturday, October 26, and we’ll let the winners know! My apologies to those of you who are overseas; this particular contest is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. (Note that Canadian winners will receive “Rockets,” which is the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Smarties. Canada’s “Smarties” — and the U.K.’s “Smarties” — are not the same brand as the U.S. Smarties, and are not vegan.) We could all use some extra sweetness in our lives, so I hope you win!
Speaking of sugar, as I type this, I’m on the 10th and final day of a cleanse. We do them fairly regularly. I always find them a mix of rejuvenating and a tad overwhelming. But then again, that’s just me. It’s nearly impossible for me to do anything without feeling those two emotions — maybe, for me, they’re two sides of the same coin. And maybe that’s not a bad thing.