ABOUT THE INSTITUTE!
WHAT IS HAPPINESS?
At a cellular level, all animals (human and non-human) crave happiness in their own way. Whether as dance-floor ecstasy or meditative contentment, scratches under the neck or fresh grass, happiness is a quality that elevates all life to a magical and transcendent state.
The Institute for Animal Happiness (IFAH) seeks to educate about, and alleviate the suffering of, both humans and non-humans. We aim to do this via programs to rescue and care for abused animals, as well as to establish and share creative programs, resources and offerings that inspire change. We want to rescue more animals, via our own efforts and by highlighting the efforts of others - as well as foster greater awareness and understanding through creative mediums. We want to create art and opportunities that encourage joy, learning, non-speciesist dialogue and positive action for animals and all who are oppressed that is linked unequivocally to the rainbow of social justice movements and grounded in a vegan, animal rights = human rights (Intersectional) philosophy.
To cover the costs of animal rescue and care, as well as to grow and establish programs, IFAH also creates empowering and vibrant message-wear. Humbles sales of our merch has not only helped support our own animal rescue, care & advocacy efforts - but has yielded contributions to the efforts of many great organizations. We also make spontaneous gifts of our merch to hard working animal rights advocates in the trenches, because we've been there and know that a sign of support and a warm hat in winter can be meaningful when you are outside caring for animals or leaf-letting in the cold.
our living room cannot fit any more chickens... SO - WE'RE EXPANDING!
We have worked for nearly a decade at other sanctuaries and rescues - doing animal care, administration, educational programs, fundraising, and more - all while supporting a growing rescue family of our own. The humble but proud proceeds from our merch and music sales have been sent to support many wonderful animal rescue and care organizations (see items in our shop for full list of charities.) But at this time any incoming Institute Shop proceeds are being put towards the veterinary bills and additional housing and runs needed for our growing cast of residents. We are in the process of building our first official Institute Outbuilding: a first-class coop and creating two additional predator-safe grazing runs.
As volunteers with creative energy we have completed many projects including the following:
- Used our writing skills and ski hats as incentives in a fundraiser for an animal rescuer starting a sanctuary and raised over $11,000 for them.
- Recorded a song (ANIMAL ANTHEM - see MUSIC) whose proceeds go to animal rescue and care.
- Co-created a meetup group (with animal advocate/singer/songwriter Kirsti Gholson) that is now on FB and have hosted numerous creative and educational events
- Created an online arts advocacy hub for vegan/animal rights artists
- Been at work co-producing (along with activist/writer Sande Nosonowitz) a new huge vegan festival for the Hudson Valley
- ...and most joyously, we picked up a few more rescued, non-human family members along the way, as well. Two were profiled on The Dodo website! Our "rescue family" is really growing.
The need is great, and we want to do more. Thank you for your interest and for visiting this site. Please stay tuned for news as we grow!
Note: We are not a non-profit at this time. We may go in that direction in the future, but for now have chosen to keep our day jobs, while exploring how we can grow in a thoughtful, careful way. It is our goal to be as independent and sustainable as possible. We embrace a B-Corp ethic that endeavors to assist in shifting the status-quo by contributing to a vibrant, growing vegan economy while using proceeds for good. If you'd like to support our work and advocacy (and don't need a hat or a song) we are deeply grateful for any kind offer of support, and truly appreciate it! Every bit helps us continue to expand these efforts. We have a WISH LIST of supplies, in case you have items to donate or just want to help us care for these little ones. But for the time being, donations are not tax-deductible as we are not a 501(c)3. Thanks again.