Though I usually donate to a few random charities, personally, each year, I decided that 2015 is my year to highlight my favorite non-profit animal, health, environmental and veg-based charities, and formally start giving back.
I am so happy to announce that ten cents from every sale of my new FindingVegan.com App will be donated to different charity each month. Check out the donation schedule for the year, and visit the links below to learn more about my favorite organizations.
1. Farm Sanctuary – Headed by FS President, Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary is a beyond amazing organization that I am always to happy and proud to work with. Their sanctuaries are magical places where animals are given a second chance and humans are able to connect first hand with farm animals and be awakened to the love and lives and planet that we all share.
Mission: “To protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.”
2. Compassion Over Killing (COK) – Headed by Executive Director Erica Meier, COK’s Vegetarian Starter Kit is a must for every person on this planet with an interest in living a more kind and compassionate life! It is an amazing piece of work that can open doors for veg-curious people.
About: “Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a national nonprofit animal advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC, with an additional office in Los Angeles, CA. Working to end animal abuse since 1995, COK focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all of us, both human and nonhuman.
Since 1995, COK has served as an unwavering force bringing about positive changes for animals and thanks to our many generous supporters, we’ve come a long way in our short history: starting as an all-volunteer high school club and evolving into a national voice for animals.
Despite our small staff and limited budget, COK’s innovative, cost-effective campaigns are having a tremendous impact.”
3. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – I adore this DC-based non-profit and the genius work they churn out. PCRM is headed by one of my favorite vegans, Dr. Neal Barnard. I was thrilled to be hired by them to shoot the photos for their 21-Day Vegan Kickstart iPhone App! As well as a few other recipe photos for their organization.
About PCRM: “The Physicians Committee is leading a revolution in medicine—putting a new focus on health and compassion. The Physicians Committee combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of 150,000 members across the United States and around the world. Our efforts are dramatically changing the way doctors treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. By putting prevention over pills, doctors are empowering their patients to take control of their own health.
And we are also building a new way of viewing research. Since 1985, the Physicians Committee has been working tirelessly for alternatives to the use of animals in medical education and research and advocating for more effective scientific methods.
Our staff of physicians, dietitians, and scientists is working with policymakers, industry, the medical community, the media, and the public to create a better future for people and animals.”
4. Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary – I discovered Blind Cat Rescue when I was looking for kitty charities to support after my beloved cat Nelly died of cancer. I virtually adopted a cat named Gallie via BCR and adore the dedicated and challenging work of this non-profit that cares for all cats with vision disabilities, and beyond.
About: “Blind Cat Rescue was started in 2005 to answer the need for a safe place for blind cats that were deemed not adoptable by regular shelters. They were going to be killed just because they are blind. In 2011 we built a building to provide a safe sanctuary for FELV+ & FIV+ cats.We will accept an animal into our sanctuary IF we have space available. Blind cats must be certified by a vet as blind. Cats with 20% or less sight are accepted as blind. All cats must be fixed. FELV+ cats must be verified by an IFA test. FIV+ cats must be verified by the Western Blot test. We will NOT accept a cat as positive based upon the snap test. …… Fact: Blind cats do not know they are blind, they know they are cats. They act like cats.”
5. Mercy For Animals (MFA) – MFA is headed by president Nathan Runkle, who I was happy to meet one day when I visited VegNews in San Francisco (lucky timing!) I adore their investigations, and they have won many awards for their outstanding work.
Mission: “MFA works to create a society where all animals are treated with the compassion and respect they so rightfully deserve. We serve as a voice for animals through proactive consumer education initiatives, cruelty investigations, corporate outreach, and legal advocacy.”
6. Surfrider – “Thirty years ago a group of surfers from Malibu, California, were concerned about the health risks associated with environmental threats posed by escalating coastal development at their favorite surf spot. They took action. Not even they could have envisioned the history they were making when they succeeded in protecting their beloved surf spot. ….. Since our inception in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation has evolved into one of the largest non-profit grassroots organizations dedicated to protection of the ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.”
Surfrider was one of the first charities I ever donated to. Growing up in the surfer-infused community of Santa Cruz, California, I heard about this cause and wanted to join their inspiring movement to protect the ocean I love so much.
7. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) – PETA is one of the most well known animal activist groups out there. And I am always impressed y how they manage to get the media’s attention and give animals a powerful voice.
“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters.
PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds, and other “pests” as well as cruelty to domesticated animals.
PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.”
8. Beagle Freedom Project – Did you know that Beagles are the most popular breed of dogs for lab use? Well this amazing organization works to free lab beagles and find them homes – and in turn help educate the public and hopefully prevent further testing on these beautiful animals.
About: “Beagle Freedom Project began in December 2010 when Shannon Keith received information that beagles who were used for animal experiments in a research lab were to be given a chance at freedom. Our mission is rescuing and finding homes for beagles used in laboratory research. Their Youtube Channel is absolutely one of my favorites. Their Beagle rescues are incredible.
Beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. The research industry says they adapt well to living in a cage, and are inexpensive to feed. Research beagles are usually obtained directly from commercial breeders who specifically breed dogs to sell to scientific institutions.”
9. Save Tigers Now (WWF) – “A hundred years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today there are as few as 3,200. Your support will help WWF save tigers across their habitat—from India and Indonesia all the way to the Russian Far East. #SaveTigersNow” – I especially love that Leonardo DiCaprio is an outspoken name for SaveTigersNow.
10. Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – Lead by Wayne Pacelle, this mammoth organization is a leader in making this planet a safer, happier and more compassionate place for animals — all animals.
About: “The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization. We and our affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and we professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. We are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. We are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.”
11. The Shelter Pet Project (HSUS + Maddie’s Fund) – I was so lucky to see this project work its magic first hand at an event here in LA a year ago. I adore their mission and work.
Mission: “Our goal is to make shelters the first place potential adopters turn when looking to get a new pet, ensuring that all healthy and treatable pets find loving homes. We do this by breaking down misconceptions surrounding shelter pets and communicating that “A person is the best thing to happen to a shelter pet. Be that person. Adopt.”
12. The DCC Fund (Dog and Cat Cancer Fund) – I discovered DCC Fund when I was looking for cat and dog cancer charities to support after my beloved cat Nelly died of cancer in 2013. I wrote more about cat cancer awareness here. Fact: “Cancer is the number one disease-related death of dogs and cats, a fact known by only 20% of pet owners.”
Mission: “Our mission is to fight cancer through treatment, research and prevention. Currently, the majority of our work is involved in helping needy families get treatment for their cats and dogs suffering from cancer. We offer treatment grants to help pet parents pay for their pet’s chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and holistic therapy (including alternative medicine and accupuncture).”
13. Ally Cat Allies – Headed by President Becky Robinson, this amazing cat organization is one of my favorites. They look out for my cats. Their Trap-Neuter-Return program is one incredible success from this organization.
Mission: “To transform and develop communities to protect and improve the lives of cats.” …. About: “Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. An engine for social change, Alley Cat Allies was the first organization to introduce and advocate for humane methods of feral cat care, particularly Trap-Neuter-Return, in the American animal protection community. By establishing and promoting standards of care, our organization has brought humane treatment of cats into the national spotlight, now embraced by major cities and animal protection organizations coast to coast. In 20 short years, we’ve changed America to better understand and respect the lives of cats.”
Stray Cat Alliance: Local non-profit, here in Los Angeles, that supports cats. Amazing work they do.
Founded by Christi metropole, they are dedicated to building a no-kill nation, one stray at a time.
(If you want to recommend a charity, email me at kathy at lunchboxbunch dot com with subject line: check out this non-profit!)