Pleas for an attorney to help
From Helen and Steve Rayshick today:
IN BARRE (CENTRAL) MASSACHUSETTS
If you would like to come help out, that would be great. Just email us anytime at:
Holden, MA 01520-1279
What’s the Why behind Sudo Shoes?
The Why is pretty simple. Until we opened the nearest vegan shoe store was in Manhattan! Roughly 5% of the local population identifies as vegan or vegetarian. The Boston commuting area is home to a little over 7 million people, that’s 350,000 veg folks without a shoe store, not to mention those a little farther out in New England.
What percentage of customers would you guess are vegan?
Surprisingly it’s about 50/50.
If you had a mission statement, what would it be?
I believe that most people truly live according to their principals only when doing so is made possible and practical by the society or market which they exist within. For example, if the nearest vegan shop is hundreds of miles away many people will indeed just take the next best thing, a cheap synthetic shoe likely made with animal glues, in other words not at all vegan.
If we had a mission statement it would be something like: “Sudo strives to create a market where veg minded people can easily find shoes and bags that don’t ask them to sacrifice their principals.”
Did any other vegan stores influence or inspire you?
Moo Shoes in New York City, how could it not? I just love the store and they were the pioneers, in the U.S. anyway. That’s where I bought all of my shoes…until now of course.
Ten years ago, did you imagine yourself owning a vegan shoe store?
Nope, but I did always assume that someone else would open one in Boston. It surprised me that it never happened so I decided to open Sudo.
Before opening, did you have a fear of the business failing?
I always believed that Sudo would work, if I didn’t truly believe it I never would have been able to follow through with all the various tasks and challenges required to get opened in the first place. It did work too! We’re a small team and we are always growing but Sudo was paying the bills from day one.
Do most people know that it’s an all vegan shoe store before stepping foot inside?
Yes, most do know what we’re up to, but not all! It’s funny but when you allow people to figure it out for themselves they’re almost always excited and supportive of this cool shop which they discovered, there’s a sense of being in on something. If you just blurt it out and they don’t happen to be veg they often feel immediately unwelcome.
Has Cambridge proven to be a good choice? Why or why not?
Cambridge was a great choice, the neighbors are really supportive and friendly and Cantabrigians are just very educated and conscientious people in general.
What’s the farthest anyone has traveled from to shop at Sudo?
There’s a lot of competition for that title! Boston is a big hub for international business so we regularly get people from literally the other side of the world. We have regular customers from San Francisco, Japan and many from France and the U.K.
What is the best part about owning the store?
Saving animal hides!
Along with the common assumption that synthetic shoes are automatically vegan, what are other misconceptions about vegan shoes?
I have experienced a lot of misconceptions about vegan shoes. People think that they’re saving animals if they buy vegan shoes but they are also making a much more environmentally friendly choice when they stop buying leather shoes. They often forget to take into account the impact that raising cattle has on the planet.
Also, I’ve been wearing this same pair of vegan Chelsea Boots every day for over 5 years! Vegan shoes last as long, maybe even longer than leather shoes.
What advice would you give someone opening a small vegan business?
Believe in it and hire people who believe in it. The business is most likely to succeed if it’s an extension of who you are. You should be proud of every aspect of the business, if you’re not then change something.
Sudo Shoes is located at 1771 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge (Porter Square). Tel. 617.354.1771 – email: email@example.com
By Sherry Jepson Zitter | Vegan Villager Contributing Writer
The animal rights vegans. The health-conscious vegans. And the environmental vegans. Those are the reasons mentioned by most people for choosing veganism, and referenced by Lisa Bouley in “The many shades of vegan” in the preview issue of Vegan Villager.
I would like to highlight a fourth group that is small but undeniable: the often invisible humanitarians or social activists who choose their diet primarily, or originally, from a concern about humanity’s world hunger. As with the other groups, this initial choice is often but a step on the path into our Vegan Village, as one learns more about the other sound reasons and benefits of a vegan diet and lifestyle. Yet each of us is unique and is compelled to give up animal products from that special tug in our own hearts, at that specific “teachable moment” in time.
I was just out of college and sharing an apartment when I began to cook daily meals for myself. I bought a copy of Diet for a Small Planet and Recipes for a Small Planet (by Frances Moore Lappe, 1971), and what I read that summer of 1977 horrified me: each pound of meat I consumed was said to take 7 pounds of grain to produce! With 2/3 of the world going to bed hungry every night, my hamburger was using up 7 times worth of valuable grain that could potentially feed every human being on earth!
This modest figure has been found to be actually far higher: In 1997, Cornell University’s David Pimental, professor of ecology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, reported that beef cattle production actually requires an energy input to protein output ratio of 54:1! (His analysis showed that beef uses over eight times the fossil-fuel energy of plant production, but the animal protein produced is only 1.4 times more nutritious for humans, pound for pound, than plant protein.)
Pimental went on to show that grain-fed cattle use more than 200 times the amount of water required to produce an equivalent weight in potatoes! (Unicef reported in 2005 that over 400 children die per day due to lack of safe drinking water.)
And Lappe’s 1971 analysis of how meat-eaters contribute to world hunger continues to be true: the landmark 2009 study by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, World Bank Group environmental specialists, reported: “if the hundreds of thousands of acres of grassland now used to raise cattle feed were used to raise 16 times the amount of food for humans, we would sharply decrease world hunger and greatly increase self-sufficiency among poorer nations.” Catherine Badgley, et. al, in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems (2007), is even more optimistic: “If the whole world moved to sustainable agriculture, a U. of Michigan study found that enough food could be grown to feed the world’s current and projected population.”
Lappe’s 1971 data was enough for me to wear off red meat that very day; yet it took me years to totally eschew all animal flesh, including fish — and decades to become completely vegan. But that’s a story for another article.
Of course, there are countless other groups of vegan villagers, each with their own reasons for being vegan: those practicing a vegan religion, such as Jainism; or those born into a vegan household who absorbed these values as they were learning about honesty and kindness, so that such a lifestyle feels natural to them. Will Tuttle, in The World Peace Diet, states that the fear, grief and anger in the enzymes of slaughtered animals causes similar emotions in humans (“you are what you eat,” literally), citing among many arguments the ancient practice of feeding animal flesh to soldiers to make them more aggressive. Those of us who prioritize world peace may be led to veganism through Will’s viewpoint.
There may be many other paths that lead people to choose this way of living, and we would love to hear from you about your journey and what put you on the path to becoming a vegan villager.
Sherry Jeppson Zitter is a vegan activist and writer who, with her wife Sarah, keeps working on shrinking her global footprint in creative and zany ways. She is a singer-songwriter, an eco-biker, and a clinical social worker in Maynard MA who loves to help people free their spirits. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM THE RAYSHICKS:
WHAT: Vegan Leafleting @ Riverfest in Cambridge. The location has changed this year and will be held in Central Square because of construction. This will be a great opportunity to spread the word about farmed animal suffering and the easy vegan solution.
WHEN: Saturday June 6th, 2:00-4:00pm.
WHERE: Central Square, meet up location to be announced.
RSVP/INFO: email@example.com or just answer this email or just show up. (Event is weather permitting only. Check for postponement email or call 978-257-7062 on morning of protest.) Leaflets, signs, and banner provided.
WHY: For the pigs, chickens, cows, dairy calves, lambs, sheep, and goats. Over 90% of farmed animals live in horrible factory farms, where they are overcrowded, neglected, and never go outdoors. Worldwide, 51 billion farmed animals are killed each year. The suffering this represents is staggering. Hidden away, animals are abused and neglected in factory and family farms throughout the U.S. Female pigs, egg laying hens, and veal calves are kept in cages and crates so small that they cannot turn around. Common practices include tail docking, beak cutting, castration, branding, and forced impregnation, all without anesthesia. Starvation for 7-14 days (forced molting) is routinely practiced on laying hens. Animals’ deaths are just as bad. They are dragged, terrified, to their deaths. They are often skinned while still alive. Chickens and other birds are killed without even the most lenient protections. Most “food animals” are killed at such young ages, that if they were dogs or cats, they would still be called puppies or kittens. If people did to companion animals what is done to farm animals, they would be in jail.
By Public Transit
Take the Red Line to Central Square.
MBTA Bus#1 will run from Boston to the MIT Museum then turn around and return to Boston. A new bus #1 will pick up on the other side of Prospect Street and run the rest of the route.
Valet Bicycle Parking will be provided by MassBike in Carol Barron Plaza and Jill Brown-Rhone Memorial Park.
Many roads in and around Central Square will be closed for this event including Massachusetts Avenue. Parking will be limited due to restrictions for event parking for performers and vendors. We strongly encourage the use of public transportation.
WHERE: Outside Greendale Mall, 7 Neponset St, Worcester, MA 01606.
FROM HELEN AND STEVE RAYSCHICK
WHAT: Animal Testing Leafleting & Banner Holding @ the Boston Common.
RSVP/INFO: firstname.lastname@example.org or just answer this email or just show up. (Event is weather permitting only. Check for postponement email or call 978-257-7062 on morning of protest.) Leaflets and banner provided.
In February 2008, 3 agencies – the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the National Institutes of Health – signed a “Memorandum of understanding” to develop and implement new methods that could lead to the end of animal testing to evaluate the safety for humans of new chemicals and drugs. Source:
This change is the result of scientific findings that animal tests do not work to protect humans. In 2007, the National Research Council (a committee of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences) reported that the US government must develop new testing to assess the effects of chemicals on human health.
Their report, which was requested by the EPA, suggested the use of new technologies such as biomonitoring–analyzing chemical levels in blood, urine, breast milk and human tissue–and high-throughput assays. We will describe these viable alternatives, identify the companies that still use animal testing (including Proctor and Gamble) and give contact info, and identify the companies that do not animal test.
We will be near the fountain and Park Street Subway Station near the corners of Park and Tremont Streets. Public transportation is best and cheapest but the entrance to the Boston Common Garage is on Charles St. directly across from the Public Gardens. There are also passenger elevators down to the garage from four pedestrian kiosks within the Common. Cost=$10 all day. When you exit the garage at ground level, find the tree lined sidewalks and walk on them with the hill on your left, then pass the bandstand area, and continue to the corner of Park and Tremont. Brewer’s Fountain is near that corner. You can always ask passersby where the Park Street T Stop or fountain are. Here’s a map of the T system:
The Common is the big green oblong in the middle and Park Street Station is in the upper right hand corner of that oblong. Here is a map of Boston: http://www.bostoncitylinks.
From the T:
Exit the Green or Red Line at Park Street then walk towards the middle of the park. You will see us near the fountain and on the sidewalks going into the park.
Driving Directions to the Commons Parking Garage:
From the Mass Pike:
Take Mass Pike Eastbound
Take exit 20 toward I-90, Airport & South Station
Take exit 26 toward Storrow Drive-North Station
FROM HELEN AND STEVE RAYSCHICK…
We are having a Work Day & Vegan Potluck here at Sunny Meadow Sanctuary this Sunday, August 3rd, from noon to 7:30ish and we hope you can make it!
If you need or can give other members a ride to the Work Day, please let us know. And if you can’t make it then, but can help some other day to help out, just let us know that as well.
Jobs include light carpentry, barn, pasture, and paddock cleanup, animal care, fencing, etc.. There will be a great variety of jobs to do and many hands needed!
So if you would like to come help out, that would be great. Just email us anytime at:
This is a weather-related event so please either check your email or call us on our cell at 978-257-7062 on the morning of the event for possible cancellation/rescheduling due to inclement weather.
It will also be a vegan potluck, so just let us what you will be bringing if you are staying for the potluck.
Treats for the animals are also needed; we especially need organic apples, organic carrots and organic spinach. (The huge spinach packs are best – our ducks and hens gobble them up.) All veggies are welcome!
And/or if you can make a MUCH needed donation for the sanctuary, click on the PayPal button on the upper left, or go to the website:
or, even better, you can send checks to:
Sunny Meadow Sanctuary
P.O. Box 114
Holden, MA 01520-1279
Any size donation will greatly help! We will send you a receipt for your taxes.
And if you have an idea for fundraising, let us know. We sure could use the help!
No dogs please. Many of our farm animals are afraid of strange dogs. Plus our yard is full of baby rabbits. (Working with a wonderful state licensed wildlife rehabilitator, we also rescue wild rabbits and squirrels – most of whom were either orphaned or hurt badly by cat attacks.)
For the animals,
Helen & Steve