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, a piece of music or a soft bed, 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, all animals (both human and non-human.) We rescue and care for abused animals, and wish to establish and share creative programs, resources and offerings that inspire happiness and positive 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 of compassionate choices 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.
- Rescue, care and advocate for abused animals who are victims of the animal agriculture industries (meat, dairy and eggs). We begin this mission rescuing chickens, as we started with very little space, and they are among most prolifically abused victims. They are beings that the public is least educated about (i.e. the cruelty of the egg industry) and we also feel they are the animals least helped by mainstream "pet-focused" rescues who still often deem them expendable or serve their bodies at their benefits and functions. We do hope to give haven to different species in the future as we improve at what we do and grow.
- Educate on and share vegan alternatives that help us all to bypass the suffering created for both humans and animals that is inherent within the current extremely problematic, unsustainable, unhealthy and destructive animal-based food system.
- Provide a healing, creative, intersectional, ethical and compassionate space for both humans and non-humans to find peace, support and (aiming even higher) extra doses of joy.
- To treat anyone who comes to help the animals here (be it as volunteer now, or staff in the future) with utmost kindness, respect and appreciation for their contributions - and to develop with peers and community a code of conduct and transparency of operation that does not in any way condone abusive treatment, unethical behavior or exploitation of humans or animals. This is necessary, to truly be an organization fully devoted to a compassionate mission.
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 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 care and housing for our growing cast of residents. In 2017 we just completed our first official Institute Outbuilding: a first-class coop! Additionally we created two predator-safe grazing runs/spaces and also acquired a small, moveable quarantine hut with mini-run for intake of new birds!
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 a new huge vegan festival for the Hudson Valley! 2500 people attended, as well as a dozen speakers, presenters and entertainers and 88 vendors. HUDSON VALLEY VEGFEST helped bring incredible new educational offerings to the region and greater vegan awareness, and will also help us support and grow this sanctuary.
- ...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 and the need for to help these animals is great, so we want to learn and do more. We are hard at work to continue the incredible growth and seeds that were planted in 2017. 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.