Last April, Waits and I attended the historic Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival. Unfortunately, it was not what I expected. And that night I went home, and I wrote that teary, heartfelt post, and I said my piece, and I renewed my resolve, and then I moved on. Life goes on.
But then, a few weeks later, I was contacted by a woman named Sigrid. Sigrid is the assistant director for The Community Environmental Council, which is the non-profit organization that runs the SB Earth Day Festival. As it turns out, she had read my piece. And she invited me in for a meeting.
Funny what a little blog can do.
So I went, not quite knowing what to expect. That first morning I met with one of the event coordinators, the food and music coordinator, and Sigrid. And what was so amazing, was how receptive they all were to what I was saying. They were so open-minded! No, they weren’t ready to convert the entire festival to strictly-vegan, right then and there (and I wasn’t asking them to). But they listened, and they asked questions. And when it was all said and done, they invited me to be a part of planning the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, so that it would be more inclusive, more reflective of holistic environmentalism, and more animal-friendly.
Amazing, what a little blog can do.
So, since that initial meeting, I’ve stayed in touch with Sigrid. We’ve shared a number of working lunches, bouncing ideas back and forth as we approach this upcoming Earth Day. I’ve also met with the online marketing coordinator (who is vegan, yay!), and I even wrote a guest article for the CEC blog. A lot has come out of that one little blog post, and I really feel like this story is a powerful testament to the impact we can have when we just raise our voices and speak out!
But maybe that’s another post for another time.
For now, the 2014 Earth Day Festival is shaping up to be an awesome event. And there will be big changes this year. With vegan food!
So. This is the part where you come in.
I am registering a booth at Earth Day! It’s called “Eat Plants, Save The Planet” and it’s going to focus on veg outreach in the context of environmentalism. We’re going to have vegan literature, kids activities, product coupons, giveaways, cookbooks to peruse, specialists to chat with, the whole nine yards! This is a weekend-long festival and last year saw over 35,000 attendees. That is a TON of potential new veg*ns!
But the catch is, I have to rent the space. And that’s where I need some help! I’m asking for donations to help me cover the weekend. I’ll need to pay for the space, and also rent equipment (table, chairs, umbrella, etc). If you can afford to help me out, even just a few bucks, it would mean so much to me. I want to showcase a powerful, positive vegan presence at this year’s festival!
You can donate through PayPal, here:
In my Earth Day post last year, I concluded with these words:
And the mantra “Be the change you wish to see in the world” has been chanting itself in my head all night.
Why wasn’t veganism represented at Earth Day? Because I wasn’t there representing it.
Why were those animals being publicly tortured? Because we haven’t been hollering our oppositional voices loudly enough.
So that’s my lesson, Earth Day 2013.
Consider my fire re-ignited.
Whether you can afford to donate to the effort, or you just want to cheer us on, I hope those words and this whole little story helps to ignite your own fires. Because this really is a real, tangible example of how our own small voices have power in this world, and that we really can affect change. Burn bright, my friends. BURN BRIGHT!
♥ ♥ ♥
PS – SoCal folks! I am looking for volunteers to man the booth all weekend, and help Waits, Jeremy, and I share our message of environmental veganism. I would LOVE to meet some Bonzai readers, so if you’re interested in being a part of the party, hit me up! info AT bonzaiaphrodite DOT com