Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti (guest post by Gabrielle Pope)
Category : Uncategorized
On the 13th of January of this year, many of us woke up to the devastating news that the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere had been rocked by 7.0 magnitude catastrophic earthquake, which has since claimed the lives of at least 150,000 people, injured innumerable people, destroyed national landmarks and ravaged homes, hospitals, communication, electricity and transportation systems, and left a desperate country with far‐ranging needs regarding medical care, sanitation (and the necessary development of mass graves to bury those killed by the effects of the quake), emergency services, and a general rebuilding of an already shaky Haitian human and political infrastructure.
Those are the facts, neither sensationalized nor exaggerated, and as I sat at my computer in my heated apartment eating a morning bagel and reading of the calamities while people in Haiti were struggling to live, witnessing countless deaths and dread too horrific for me to even imagine, I felt, as many others, a disparate sense of injustice and a longing to do something, anything, to give those affected by the quake a sense of aid, no matter how minimal.
Since the event and in response to the sizeable amount of aid given by individuals, organizations and governments in an attempt to provide Haiti with the emergency services so badly needed, on blog posts and in editorial OP’s I’ve heard cynics collectively sneer about the sense of self‐righteousness donors were enjoying in response to their philanthropy. I’ve read accusations that those putting their face on relief efforts all but ignore aid needed elsewhere in the world (including, but not limited to, the Middle East). Celebrities are mocked for their self‐promoting very public donations, and obvious targets such as the Georges (Clooney and W. Bush) are torn apart because their efforts are not great enough, nor sincere enough, nor even acceptable according to whatever sins they’ve yet to be publically absolved of in the past.
This is no request for sentimental appeal to the Georges, but far be it for anyone to criticize any type of aid in times of tragedy. What good does it do for me to compare myself as a significantly indebted grad student to someone like George Clooney, and to claim that he should be doing a lot more, because he “can”? It is my feeling that anyone who cares about the situation in Haiti and realizes that they can help in whatever way possible for them should put their money and their efforts where their mouths are. The looting, sick, desperate, stranded, mourning people of Haiti aren’t waiting around for us to argue about ethics and manners of giving.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a vegan activist and cookbook author. When the call for need comes, she answers as any compassionate vegan would: bake sales. Bake sales can be scoffed at for garnering minimal funds, but when those of us without the means to personally send significant donations off to Doctors Without Borders, the Humanitarian Coalition and the like put our heads together to hustle up a series of worldwide vegan bake sales under Moskowitz’s original manifesto of sorts for this worthy cause, what is the result? So far: over 10 thousand dollars from vegan bake sales alone(held in the US, Canada, Britain and beyond). That’s a lot of baking, a lot of volunteers, a lot of happy bellies stuffed with vegan goodies, and a lot of Earth Balance. Upcoming bake sales in Portland, LA, NYC, Minneapolis, Miami, Seattle, Ottawa, right here in Vancouver and many more promise to add significantly to that pool of support.
It was through Moskowitz’s website’s forums that several of us from Vancouver came together and decided to rally up our baked goods and be proactive vegans.
Initially turned down by UBC (turns out there are only certain foodstuffs okay to sell on campus, and those do not include vegan baked goods with all‐natural and mostly organic ingredients) and denied donations by some bigger natural health markets, we turned our attentions to Radha Yoga and Eatery, the city’s best vegan restaurant doubling as a non‐profit organization and committed to community and the environment (in 2009 Radha closed their doors for several months to undergo green renovations that include an air‐source heat pump, solar light tubes, LED and fluorescent dimmable lights, and a green roof). I was genuinely touched and thoroughly uplifted by Radha’s enthusiasm to not only host us, but also support a full‐on event complete with live music from a (volunteering) Frazey Ford of the Be Good Tanya’s, an art opening, and of course the sale, held during Radha’s Thursday night dinner service and featuring baked goods by a slew of Vancouver talents including Radha themselves, Vegan Mania, the Vancouver Vegan Cupcake Queen, and the bakers behind blogs such as Pistachio Rose and Epicurvegan.
On February 4th, 2010, we invite you between the hours of 6:30 and 10 PM to join us for music, art, cupcakes and beyond, and to witness a community sense of compassion and giving that will make your sweet treats taste all the more decadent, with a lingering impression that these small‐scale activist efforts really do make a difference, and the more they happen, the more we foster a local spirit for compassion for all types of animals, humans included.
Vancouver Vegan Bake Sale with Musical Performance by Frazey Ford
Radha Yoga and Eatery
728 Main Street
Thursday February 4th, 2010 from 6:30 pm – 10 pm
Note: Radha’s regular dinner service will be served, and we encourage you to taste the best vegan food in the city. Menu here.
Special thanks to our amazing sponsors: Radha, Karmavore, Mainly Organics, Anita’s Organics, Indigo, Horizon Distributors, Wholesome Sweeteners, Queensdale Market, and all our amazing volunteers! We’re still happily taking contributions for baked goods.
Gabrielle Pope is writer of fiction, plays, nonfiction and children’s literature completing an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. She is an avid (yet self-taught) vegan chef and animal right’s advocate. She is currently working on a vegan cookbook, young adult novel, and collection of short stories.