EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: Birds, Coffee, and Musings About Activism by Ashley of BirdsInHand

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Birds, Coffee, and Musings About Activism by Ashley of BirdsInHand

Birds, Coffee, and 
Musings About Activism
written by Ashley of BirdsInHand

Though the temperatures are still warm for November in Oklahoma, I’m gearing up for Fall.  I enjoy sitting on my back patio with a big cup of coffee in the morning to watch the birds eat seed I scattered in the grass. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the many ways in which we make efforts to help animals, and the things we do unknowingly that cause harm.  

Even my cup of coffee, depending on how it was grown, matters.  Shade-grown coffee is produced using methods that preserve more habitat for native species that share the farmland.  It’s sustainable, uses fewer pesticides, and of course that means it costs more. 

Coffee Dog Collar
by CanineDesign

So why buy seed to provide birds a winter meal yet not be willing to spend a few more bucks on coffee that helps preserve habitat?  Because one act of helping is more directly seen than the other?  That simply isn’t rational.  In mulling this over, I came to the realization that we need to expand our definition of activism.  

Many think of their charitable work as a donation of money or supplies, or time spent volunteering - but I think more things than those direct lines of action count.  

People can feel very limited by that traditional definition, and we need to empower more people to do good things, and feel good about what they are doing.  We need to give ourselves credit for the everyday small decisions, the seemingly unrelated actions that ultimately help our causes.

Rainforest Guardian
Signed Photo by OcelotEyes

Coffee is just one small example; if we choose spend a few extra dollars on something environmentally friendly or ethically sourced, we are avoiding environmental harm one tiny bit at a time.  We are also supporting ethical business practices and encouraging stores to stock these items.  

Time and patience are also major forces of small-scale activism.  It takes time to do research and make educated consumer choices – that time counts as activism too.  Answering questions, setting an example, and being a patient and knowledgeable spokesperson for your cause – all of these are valuable.  

In working with wild birds and the people who bring them to me, part of my work is simply praising them for taking the time to do the right thing so that they will have a positive experience and be more likely to help out in the future.  It only costs a few minutes of time, but education and motivation are priceless.  

Fall brings the beginning of a lot of visiting and connecting with other people… and a lot of shopping!  We have so many opportunities to make small improvements and inspire small changes.  

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful musings, Ashley :)

    So much of this line of wide spread interconnected thinking started in the 80s when the book "101 things you can do the save the planet" came out. It is completely life changing when one starts applying it to one's 'life style' because changing the world in fact begins at home.

    Thanks for sharing !


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