Hipsters for Sisters founders Debra and Rachel Denniston at the Mercy for Animals Gala
"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." – Thomas A. Edison, inventor and scientist
As you may know, we donate 5% of the purchase price of every belt bag sold online to organizations that either help empower women, protect animals or save the planet. This month we are adding a new organization, Mercy for Animals, to the mix of organizations we support. Mercy For Animals (MFA) is an international, non-profit organization, founded in 1999, dedicated to the prevention of cruel and inhumane treatment of farm animals. Their mission, as described on their website, states: “We are committed to reducing the greatest amount of suffering for the largest number of animals. Our efforts focus on protecting farmed animals—the most abused and exploited animals on the planet—and utilize a broad range of strategic approaches that seek to expose cruelty, prosecute abusers, and inspire consumers to make compassionate food choices.” MFA believes, as we do, that a non-violent, humane society is not only possible, but as Thomas A. Edison pointed out almost 100 years ago, it is necessary for our own evolution.
The four strategic approaches they use to accomplish their mission are:
- Corporate Outreach
- Undercover Investigations and
- Legal Advocacy
What we like most about Mercy for Animals is that they know the world we currently live in and apply these approaches to advocate for and create common sense, practical, “do-able,” reforms. They do not expect or fantasize that factory farms will be shut down immediately, but seek to insure the humane treatment of farm animals based on a set of ethical imperatives for farmed animal welfare called The Five Freedoms:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
- Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal's own kind
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
One stunning example of the type of reform they have been able to achieve is Walmart’s announcement last year of its commitment to improving farmed animal welfare across its entire global supply chain with one of the most comprehensive animal welfare policies of its kind. Citing the “five freedoms,” Walmart announced its commitment to ending many of the cruelest forms of institutionalized animal abuse in its entire supply chain, including the intensive confinement of pregnant pigs in gestation crates, baby calves in veal crates, and egg-laying hens in battery cages. It also announced that it is also working to end the needless mutilations of animals without painkillers, such as castration, tail docking, and dehorning, and is moving towards less cruel slaughter methods.
In addition to donating 5% of each bag sold online, Hipsters for Sisters also donated three of their belt bags to be sold in the silent auction at their Hidden Heroes gala. To read more about Mercy for Animals and more ways to help please visit their website at www.MercyForAnimals.org.