Friday, March 2, 2012

When is a book more than a book?

When it reaches a global audience...
Impronte di luce (, a publisher in Italy, has acquired the rights to bring Ninety-Five to an Italian audience.

Essays from Ninety-Five will be used by the Albert Schweitzer Foundation for Our Contemporaries, an org whose mission is "to relieve as much suffering as possible. For this reason, we are particularly committed to helping farmed animals." They are now being translated to German to reach whole new audiences (

When it is used to teach...
Molly's story from One at a Time is used to teach humane education as part of a course on "Communication Skills for Animal Protection Professionals" (Humane Society University,

One at a Time is a required text for the "Humane Education with Companion Animals" class at University of Illinois ( ) and "Foundations of Humane Education" at Webster University  ( ).

Ninety-Five is used as a resource for the NYC Department of Education After School Professional Development Program, "Promoting Success in Science and Literacy Through Humane Education, Grades K - 5."

Excerpts of Thought to Exist were used for classes on "Green Consciousness" taught at Florida Atlantic University and "Conservation Biology" at Regis University.

When the stories inspire individuals and shelter workers...
An email we received from a shelter worker in Nevada, "Since we have received the books, I distributed the One at a Time copies to my kennel staff, with permission to read them while at work and of course read them at home. The fire has been rekindled in our hearts...our passion for our work at the shelter is renewed...we both laugh and cry together again...we cannot thank you enough for this book!! It had a profound and lasting effect on me when I first read it several years ago (and again now)."

Email we received from a college student regarding One at a Time, "Thank you SO much for writing this. I'm sure you've already heard this, but you're saving lives with this book. I can't imagine anyone reading this and looking at breeding, shelter pets, or "rehoming" the same way. The book is now sitting on a shelf in my dorm, and I plan to shove it in people's faces next time I hear 'I don't need to neuter my dog' or 'my cat just had a litter.'"

When it is used to support sanctuaries and organizations...
We have worked with the folks behind Vegucated to donate copies of Ninety-Five for door prizes and for community screenings (

We continue to support the sanctuaries featured in Ninety-Five. We recently received this email from Michele at Peaceful Prairie (, "I should tell you more often, but please know that not a day goes by that we aren't grateful for what you did to put it all together!"

Photos from Ninety-Five continue to be sold, with proceeds going to sanctuaries where the photos were taken.

Photos taken for the book have also been used by the sanctuaries featured in Ninety-Five, such as this bus ad by United Poultry Concerns:

We've donated copies of One at a Time to humane conferences, like the Texas Animal Control Association's annual conference, the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators semi-annual meeting, and the Midwest Veterinary conference, to thank them for their work on behalf of animals, and let them know of the power of this book as an outreach tool. We continue to reach out to the kinds of conferences across the country to offer them books to use at their events.

And, we've donated copies of Ninety-Five to veg food festivals from coast to coast, to use as raffle prizes or fund raisers, to support the important work of teaching the public about a plant-based diet. This, too, is an on-going effort to use our books to support other organizations working on behalf of animals.

When it is used by activists for outreach...
And here is how a librarian us using our books, "I am a librarian who purchased Ninety-Five on my own. I believed it was important for our library patrons to have access to as well, but because its subject is so important to me personally, I could not spend the library's money for it in fear that my own personal prejudices and ethics were compelling the purchase. So I gladly purchased it on my own, read it, and then donated it to my library. I am so pleased when I check and see that it is checked out as it currently is. I just added Thought To Exist In the Wild and One at a Time to my Amazon cart with the intention of doing the same. I just want you to know that your message is getting out and I so much appreciated the quality of writing and the lack of preachiness in Ninety-Five, which I think is essential to reaching the ambivalent and yet interested general reader."

First Universalist Church of Denver is using excerpts from Ninety-Five as part of its Carnism Awareness Task Force ( ).

When the book is used to create new educational tools...

As many of you know, we created stickers promoting veganism and shelter awareness, and they continue to be popular outreach tools and conversation starters. We've reprinted them and will keep them in stock ( ).

When we hear from readers, shelter workers, and activists, we are inspired to continue our mission to educate people about animal issues. Based on an email from a shelter in Nevada, we are considering creating educational posters with excerpts from One at a Time for use at shelters, veterinarian offices, and other public spaces. We've done a few mock-ups (please click on the thumbnails below) and hope that putting names and faces to common scenarios will provide animal care workers yet another educational tool.

If you would be interested in utilizing some of these posters, please contact us. Your interest will let us know if we should go ahead with the project. We are still looking for ways to make them low or no-cost. If you would like to help fund this project, or even just sponsor a shelter in your area, please get in touch. If you are a shelter and you have a story from One at a Time that you would like to see on a poster, please let us know. This same idea could be applied to Ninety-Five if the interest is there. 


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Everyday Direct Action

 I've been thinking a great deal about an interaction I had with a co-worker recently. She had spotted a stray kitten in the alley behind our workplace. She was upset about the kitten's plight, tears starting to fill her eyes. I asked her why she wasn't doing something. She looked at me and said she couldn't

I walked over and picked up the small kitten and put him in my car. I walked back to my co-worker, and questioned why she felt she couldn't help. I received no answer and noticed the kitten's mother. I walked over and picked her up and placed her in my car. I brought them into my home as fosters, knowing that to do otherwise would have meant ignoring their suffering. That was what I felt I couldn't do. 

To be honest, at the time of this interaction, I was furious. The more I think about it, though, I'm left feeling simply perplexed. There is an assumption on many people's parts that participating in direct action means living in an occupied park, getting arrested, and protesting en masse. Or liberating captive and exploited animals from puppy mills, laboratories, fur farms, and slaughterhouses. But those are just some forms of direct action. Direct action is also helping a lost dog get home, educating friends about adopting from a shelter, fostering a litter of kittens, donating your skills to an organization, providing a curious co-worker with a copy of "Why Vegan," or even baking dog cookies for a fundraiser. No action is too small, and all of it is "direct action."

Every single person is capable of some level of direct action. The most critical thing to understand is that each person has the power to help and to create change. 

My coworker thought she couldn't help, so she didn't. The only things stopping her were her own fears and uncertainties. Taking the mother cat and kitten into foster and getting them medical care was a direct action I was able to manage. Helping them meant not only ensuring their immediate safety and comfort, but by getting the mother spayed and the kitten neutered (eventually), future suffering has also been alleviated - what is done today has immediate relief, but stopping suffering before it starts is even better. 

Two weeks ago the kitten went to his new family. This past Friday, the mother cat went to her new family. She was adopted by that co-worker who couldn't help a few short weeks ago. From couldn't to will is a short step, but often people need help to understand their own power. 

If everyone took that short step, even just once, imagine the suffering we could alleviate. We're not asking for a year-end donation. We're asking you to consider taking that short step, or to help others to do so, hopefully all-year long. 

Why not you? Why not now? 

Peace and compassion from all of us at No Voice Unheard. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ninety-Five Named One of the 10 Best Vegan Books of 2011

Ninety-Five has been named one of the 10 Best Vegan Books of 2011 by VegNews!

"Much like The Exultant Ark, Ninety-Five matches heart-melting photos with heart-warming prose, in this case former farmed animals now living the life of sanctuary. Each animal has a name, and a story, and it just doesn’t get any better. You will find yourself leafing through Ninety-Five often, sharing each vignette with everyone you know."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finding Teachable Moments During the Holidays

This time of year can be frustrating for many of us, but it can also offer teachable moments. It is easy to yell at co-workers who walk past a homeless cat and kitten in an alley, claiming they want to help but there is nothing they can do. It is harder, but more effective to explain why that kind of thinking is of part of the problem. How, as individuals, we are all capable of helping in some fashion. Those teachable conversations are difficult and one of the reasons we publish educational books. This situation happened to me (Davida) last week and once the cats were taken into a foster home and had received much needed medical care, I brought in copies of One at a Time to share with my co-workers. The book does a much better job explaining not only the plights of unwanted animals, but also how individuals can help, than I ever could. Our goal in publishing One at a Time is to change the way people think about shelter and unwanted animals and create positive change for them.

Likewise, with the holidays, family and workplace gatherings abound and many of us are questioned about why we choose not to eat animals. There are plenty of books touting the health benefits and why too much protein is actually bad for you. However, for many of us our own health benefits are not the reason we became vegetarian (no, that's just karma in action). Instead, we understand that to eat a turkey at Thanksgiving a life must be taken. This conversation can often turn hostile around the dinner table, with accusations of familial rejection and cross-accusations of murder. Those conversations are never teachable or productive. We prefer to introduce people to Amelia, Melvin, Aubrey, Ariala, and Rhosyln, turkeys who have distinct personalities, loves, and needs. These are the lives we seek to spare. Ninety-Five makes that conversation easier.

In the interest of taking difficult conversations and turning them into productive, teachable moments this holiday season, we have a special offer - buy One at a Time: A Week in an American Animal Shelter and Ninety-Five: Meeting America's Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs together for just $24.95. This is $10 off the combined retail price.

We also offer Giving Packages - a set of 5 books at 40% off the cover price - to give as gifts or donations to schools, libraries, coffee houses, community centers or any place where our books can reach the public. Other recipients might include teachers, clergy, legislators and policy makers, community leaders, celebrities, activists in other fields and anyone who can effect social change.

As a special offer to our newsletter readers, we are offering an assortment of free stickers with any book purchase. Please use the code "Stickers" in the special instructions box on our online order form. Please let us know if you want specific stickers, which can be viewed on our online order form.

Thank you for all that you do for the animals, and our best to you for a happy - and teachable - holiday season.

For the animals,
Diane, Marilee, Windi, and Davida

Monday, October 10, 2011

Veg Fests Galore!

We wish we had the ability to do nothing but travel the country attending veg fests! Although the fair season is almost over, there are still some great events coming up... 

It does our hearts good to see veg*anism being promoted in such fun, creative ways, and we send our thanks to the good folks involved in organizing them for their hard work, and for advocating for the animals. To help, we're donating copies of our book Ninety-Five: Meeting America's Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs for raffles and contest prizes.

If you're in the area of one of these wonderful veg fests, we recommend attending, eating yourself silly, and having fun while helping to promote a compassionate lifestyle.

10/15 - The Tampa Bay Veg Fest ( ) is presented by Florida Voices for Animals in honor of World Farm Animals Day (

10/22 - The Florida Veg Fest (, includes speakers, activities, music and of course food! Our donated books will benefit Florida animal rescue groups who will be part of the Fest's Animal Haven, featuring animal sanctuaries, animal rescue groups, dogs and cats for adoption, information on caring for companion animals, feeding dogs and cats a vegetarian diet, the importance of spaying and neutering, caring for feral cats, and more!

10/23 - The Texas State Veggie Fair (, opens with a premier of the new film Vegucated, directed by our friend Marisa Miller Wolfson. The fair also features a vegan fried food contest... yum! We're ready to travel all the way to Texas just for this!

10/29 & 10/30 - The 16th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival ( includes free food sampling, grocery and natural foods store exhibits, food producers and new products, cooking demonstrations by noted chefs, book and cookbook publishers and authors, top national speakers, children's activities, and more.

11/5 - The Northeast Florida Veg Fest in Jacksonville ( will include healthy and sustainable foods, cooking demonstrations, live music, speakers and movie screenings. (Boy, those folks in Florida are really vegging it up, huh? This is Florida's third veg fest in October!)

11/5 - Chicago VeganMania ( gets our vote for the best veg fest name, and will include a vegan food court, live music, speakers and workshops, kids' activities and a presentation by vegan body builders! Yow!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Be a Part of "Vegucated"

One of our favorite non-profit organizations is Kind Green Planet , who is dedicated to educating people about healthy, humane, eco-friendly living. They take a decidedly different approach, saying "We believe that sustainable change happens incrementally, and we understand that any kind of change can be daunting for people at first. So we celebrate the small victories in everyone's evolution, and we appreciate the value of laughter along the way."

Kind Green Planet has a program called "Vegan at Heart", a free e-mail coaching program for people who are vegan at heart but not necessarily in practice. As a subscriber, you receive one vegan "mission" in your inbox every day for 30 days, then once a week after that. The missions take 1 to 10 minutes to complete, are fun and help you discover things you never knew about, and they're always upbeat and supportive. We highly recommend this wonderful service - check it out at:    

Now, Kind Green Planet has launched another project, a documentary titled "Vegucated." They describe it as "guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks and learn what it's all about." Check out the trailer - it looks like it's going to be a fantastic film:  

No Voice Unheard is supporting the film thru Kickstarter, a site that helps creative people raise funds for their creative projects. You check out the Vegucated project there at:  

Vegan at Heart needs to raise $20,000 to finish the film, and they're almost there. If you're moved by the trailer, as we were, we hope you'll help!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Honoring Our Friends on this Memorial Day

One of the hardest parts about working on Ninety-Five has been finding out that some of the animals that touched our hearts have passed away. On this Memorial Day we'd like to honor them and their caregivers. The only thing harder than providing the daily care these rescued animals need is seeing them through their (often premature) final days. This is our way of paying tribute and recognizing their part in helping all of us better understand and support farmed animals. This is part of their legacy.

In November of last year, Ian, a turkey from Peaceful Prairie passed away after finally finding love and friendship with a hen named Simone. (You can read more here.)  
Ian © 2010 Joanna Lucas

Amelia, whose charms earned her an essay in Ninety-Five, passed away in March. She became a resident at United Poultry Concerns (UPC) in 2007, when she was surrendered by a local farmer. She was still quite young when we first met her in May of 2008. On subsequent visits she had matured and had a nest in a quiet part of the yard. According Karen Davis, her caregiver, she died peacefully. Her legs had been giving her trouble and went out altogether. She lost her mobility and will to live. She inspired us, but we also came to think of her as a friend.  

Another friend from United Poultry Concerns was Mr. Frizzle, a rather dashing rooster. He was found as a bedraggled stray in 2007 and made his way to UPC, where he flourished. He lived in the yard there with a flock of tiny Thumbelina hens. He had battled a respiratory infection the last few years and over the weekend of April 2nd, he finally succumbed to it. His portrait can be seen around the DC area on bus ads.  
Mr Frizzle
Mr. Frizzle

On April 22nd, Opal, a turkey from Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, died in her sleep. She arrived at the sanctuary in 2004 and was seven when she passed away, which is very old for a turkey. She was lucky from the start, when she literally escaped from a slaughterhouse, just as two vegan women were driving by. They rescued her and brought her to Poplar Spring where she charmed visitors and volunteers alike.    

We urge you to support your local and national sanctuaries and help them provide animals like Ian, Amelia, Mr. Frizzle, and Opal with the care and love they deserve.