Meet the Second Warped Tour Crew for 10 Billion Lives!

We’re more than halfway through our Summer of #SavingAnimals and our outreach at Vans Warped Tour is going strong! Say hello to the 10 Billion Lives crew who are speaking out for animals for the last half of the nationwide music festival.

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Brian Lutz joins the tour from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Brian has been touring with different animal rights organizations for over a year now. When he’s not on the road advocating for animals, Brian raises awareness about the suffering involved in horse-drawn carriages.

WT2AndreaAndrea Holt joins the crew from Kansas City, Missouri. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 2013. Andrea says, “I have a strong interest in marine biology and ocean conservation, so I graduated and went to live on a boat, the American Pride docked in Long Beach, CA, for six months teaching ocean science and conservation. Then went on to work for Ocean Institute, a non-profit organization in South Orange County, as a marine science instructor.” Andrea recently celebrated her first vegan anniversary!

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Ryan Hajek climbs aboard the 10 Billion Lives tour from Ventura, California. He is in his second year of political science studies at Cal Poly Pomona. Ryan has accomplished a lot for the animals on campus: he founded the school’s first animal rights group, Bronco Animal Rights Network (BARN); has campaigned for Meatless Mondays on campus; has protested and petitioned sale of SeaWorld tickets at the university; and does outreach with FARM’s Compassionate Activist Network and has volunteered with 10 Billion Lives. Ryan is also a Campus Representative for PETA and a Campaigns Intern for Humane League.

Andrew Kinnecom is a music producer and musician from New York City, joining 10 Billion Lives following a 4-year stint with Greenpeace. Andrew has been vegan for the past 6 years. His advocacy focuses primarily on deforestation, overfishing, dirty energy, and factory farming issues.

Jillian Lowry is still driving the crew from coast-to-coast, following her spring campus tour with 10 Billion Lives!

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We’re thrilled to have another compassionate crew of activists advocating for animals at Vans Warped Tour! Please leave a note of thanks & encouragement for the crew in the comments below!

Support the tour wherever you are with a tax-deductible donation! Every $1 donated = 1 more viewer of our important 4-minute video, which inspires them to work toward a vegan diet!

 

 

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Meet the First 2015 10 Billion Lives Warped Tour Crew!

Today is the first day of the 10 Billion Lives summer-long outreach at Vans Warped Tour! Two different crews will be following the famous music festival from coast-to-coast, educating young concert-goers about the truth behind meat, dairy, and eggs and helping them move toward a vegan diet. Meet the first crew that will kick off this exciting season of outreach!

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Jillian Lowry (driver) is from Cleveland, Ohio and has been a vegan for nearly 10 years. After learning about the various forms of exploitation occurring in the animal agriculture industry, she knew animal rights was her calling. Jillian participated in animal rights activism while earning her Master’s in Ireland and continues to support the cause in the USA. Just finishing off last semester’s 10 Billion Lives National Tour, she is excited to drive the crew across the country for Warped Tour! Go Jillian!

Radish (crew leader) has mostly been involved in vegan outreach/animal rights activism (FARM, peta2, Vegan Outreach, Direct Action Everywhere, etc.), but is also involved with anarchist/community organizing (like Food Not Bombs). Radish cares deeply about environmental, feminist, and LGBTQ+ rights issues. This is Radish’s THIRD Warped Tour with FARM, in addition to a fall semester of outreach with the 10 Billion Lives Southwest tour in 2014. Great to have you back, Radish!

Raven Corrigan is from Chicago, Illinois, and has been one of FARM’s top coordinators in our Compassionate Activist Network! Through CAN, Raven has done leafleting and pay-per-view events. They have also been a fantastic volunteer every time the 10 Billion Lives tour comes to their area. Raven is a current college student and has been vegan for 3 years. Great to have you on tour, Raven!

Karly Placek joins the crew from Monroe, Wisconsin. Karly was the founder & president of the Ithaca College Animal Rights club! She earned her BA in Documentary Studies. Karly has volunteered with Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. Fun fact: She can identify nearly any species of primate. Welcome aboard, Karly!

Lydia Harris is currently a student at New York University. After 8 years of vegetarianism, she has now been vegan for one year. She has interned with Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, and Farm Animal Rights Movement; volunteered with Missouri Wildlife Rescue Center; is a co-organizer of Vegan P:OWER Events; and is an undergraduate representative for Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. Wow! Great to have you, Lydia!

As you can see, we have a fantastic crew of compassionate change-makers all set to get our Warped Tour outreach off to a great start! We are so thankful for the dedication of these individuals to spend their summer #SavingAnimals!

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Volunteers are needed for every USA stop along the way! Check dates HERE and submit a volunteer application HERE. Can’t help out in person? Your donations keep the tours going all summer long! Every $1 donated = 1 more person reached with our life-saving message! Make your tax-deductible donation HERE.

Follow the tour’s journey on Twitter and Instagram!

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Say Hello to the Summer 2015 10 Billion Lives Tour Operators!

Our Summer of #SavingAnimals is underway and today we’re excited to introduce you to 4 individuals who are dedicating their summer to just that! Say hello to the tour operators of the 10 Billion Lives East Coast & Southwest tours!

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Nicole & Shiri, Southwest Summer Crew

Shiri Takacs leads this summer’s Southwest tour. Shiri was born and raised in South Africa and now resides in sunny California. Shiri has been working in graphic & web design for the past 9 years, focusing most recently on providing designs to vegan companies and animal-focused non-profits. Eager to dive more fully into activism, Shiri is excited to be on the road with 10 Billion Lives this summer!

Nicole Casares went vegan two years ago after watching the documentary, Vegucated. Since then she has devoted most of her free time to spreading the compassionate message of vegan living by leafleting at colleges. She is now excited to be on tour and have more conversations with people about how they can adopt a plant based diet. Nicole attended California State University Long Beach and majored in Studio Art. This fall she plans to go back to school and earn her masters in Social Work.

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Niko & Isaac, East Coast Summer Crew

Niko Morozov is leading this summer’s East Coast tour of 10 Billion Lives. Niko currently attends Willamette University and is president of the Vegan Club. Niko has been vegan for four years and enjoys sushi, French toast, and all animals (especially dogs and ferrets). Dessert is her favorite meal of the day, especially when it involves chocolate.

Isaac Boswell joins the tour from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Isaac dedicates a lot of his energy and compassion into various animal rights projects while also working as a cook, courier, and bicycle mechanic at a non-profit bike recycler. In his free time, Isaac enjoys reading, playing music, and making all kinds of different crafts, including jewelry, sewing, and screen printing.

 

We are excited to have Shiri, Nicole, Niko, and Isaac join us for a tremendous Summer of #SavingAnimals! Please leave them a note of thanks & encouragement in the comments below.

Stay tuned — we’ll soon be introducing you to our Vans Warped Tour crew!

How are YOU saving animals this summer? We have a variety of exciting outreach opportunities that will not only help create a kinder world for animals, but will also earn you rewards! Learn more HERE.

All three tours of our 10 Billion Lives campaign need volunteers all summer long! Get all the details & apply at 10BILLIONTOUR.ORG/VOLUNTEER

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Join Us for Our Summer of #SavingAnimals!

Warmer, sunnier days are upon us and what better way to soak up the sun than by participating in FARM’s Summer of #SavingAnimals! This year we have several ways for anyone anywhere to make a monumental difference for animals.

WARPED TOUR

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Our 10 Billion Lives National Tour will once again be following the Vans Warped Tour, reaching thousands of people through our unique and effective pay-per-view outreach. Volunteers are greatly needed to help reach as many people as possible about the plight of farmed animals. Join the crew for an unforgettable day of activism when the tour comes to your city! Find Vans Warped Tour stops near you HERE then apply for an exciting day of outreach at 10BILLIONTOUR.ORG/VOLUNTEER

You can also support the tour near or far with a monetary donation! With our pay-per-view model set to reach tens of thousands of people this summer, we need your support! Every $1 you donate = 1 person inspired to live more compassionately. Make a tax-deductible donation HERE.

EAST COAST & SOUTHWEST 10 BILLION LIVES TOURS

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Our other two 10 Billion Lives tours will be covering the Southwest and East Coast areas, setting up at festivals and concerts to reach as many people as possible, including Capital Pride DC, LA Pride, San Francisco Pride, San Diego Pride, Orange County Pride, & several dates of the Rockstar Mayhem Music Festival! Learn more at 10BILLIONTOUR.ORG/VOLUNTEER

CELEBRATE EQUALITY – LEAFLET ANY PRIDE FESTIVAL!

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Pride festivals are happening all over the country this summer and it’s a great way to reach thousands of people about the plight of farmed animals. Join our Compassionate Activist Network (CAN) & order FREE leaflets! You’ll earn BONUS rewards credits for leafleting any Pride festival this summer. (Rewards credits can be redeemed for great vegan products or even cash!) CLICK HERE for a calendar of Pride events.

TAYLOR SWIFT LEAFLETING

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Taylor Swift is on tour this summer and she sure draws a crowd! Leaflet her concert stops & you’ll earn BONUS rewards credits through CAN. Concert leafleting is fun with a friend, so grab some pals and rock it! See Taylor Swift’s tour schedule HERE.

TASTE OF SUMMER VEGAN POTLUCKS

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When the days get longer and sunnier, naturally we want to enjoy it as much as we can! Celebrate the season with a vegan potluck in your community! This is a great way to enjoy and explore different vegan foods and strengthen your community.

However you’re saving animals this summer (volunteering at a shelter or sanctuary, organizing a film screening, etc), we encourage you to share it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #SavingAnimals. We look forward to seeing how YOU are creating a kinder future for animals this summer!

 

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10 Billion Lives National Tour Concludes Sensational Spring Outreach!

All three of our 10 Billion Lives outreach tours have wrapped up a fantastic spring semester of outreach! The 6 dedicated activists who took to the road for the animals had 18,882 viewers of our influential 4-minute video! Before we announce our plans for our best Summer of #SavingAnimals yet (which includes our exciting summerlong outreach with the Vans Warped Tour!), let’s hear from Tara & Jillian, the crew with the 10 Billion Lives National Tour, about their experience this spring.

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Jillian and Tara had an awesome time this semester on the National Tour! The journey began in Tennessee and traveled west through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and finally ending our travels in Colorado. We talked to almost 3,500 people in just three months! We love facilitating the pay-per-view style of outreach as so many viewers have told us they would have never known what really happens on farms if it wasn’t for our video. We were able to raise awareness to so many folks and we had inspiring conversations with those who participated. It has been such an incredible and empowering experience for both of us. We met amazing people, saw beautiful parts of the country, and as a bonus, ate the most delicious vegan food along the way!

Our tour began at University Tennessee Knoxville where it snowed for our first few days, but that didn’t stop us from having wonderful conversations with students. A few days later at Tennessee State University we had an awesome reception and one of our first really busy days with almost 200 people. Our final stop in Tennessee was UT Chattanooga, where we had lovely talks with students, visited Ruby Falls, and ate some of the best vegan food of our tour at Cashew!

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We had one stop in Illinois: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. We spoke to 240 people with the help of the president of Natural Connections, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging students to grow their own food. Onward to Missouri! At Mizzou, we met some really wonderful people along with their companion animals, specifically a hedgehog and a beautiful Great Pyrenees puppy (who’s human friend decided to switch back to a vegan lifestyle after watching our video!).

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Our next stop – Kansas! We saw beautiful sunsets, insane weather, and engaged in some interesting conversations with agricultural students. From Kansas, we made it to the last state for tour, Colorado, where we camped in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. We spent a lovely weekend enjoying nature! Finally, we held our busiest event of the tour at Colorado State University Fort Collins and talked to over 250 students! Thankfully there were wonderful volunteers from the Rams Organizing for Animal Rights (ROAR) with us all day to help us spread awareness.

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We both feel so lucky to be part of the 10 Billion Lives Tour. Traveling across the country, talking about animal rights, meeting new people every day, and exploring new places all the time has been such an amazing experience for us. We can’t wait to continue doing our part to help the animals for this year’s Warped Tour!

We at FARM are so thankful for Tara & Jillian’s hard work this semester and we are elated to have them come aboard for this summer’s outreach with Vans Warped Tour! Tara will be leading the crew for half of the tour and Jillian will be driving all summer long. Please leave a word of thanks & encouragement for these two amazing activists! 

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Say Hello to the 10 Billion Lives National Tour Crew for Spring 2015!

We’re excited to announce the crew aboard the 10 Billion Lives National Tour for Spring 2015!

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Jillian Lowry is from the Cleveland area of Ohio and has been vegan for nearly 9 years. She graduated with a MSC in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development from the University College Dublin in Ireland in 2013 and a BA in Communications from John Carroll University from Cleveland in 2011. After years of animal rights activism in Ohio and Ireland, she’s happy to take her passion on the road for the National Tour!

Joining us from Brooklyn NY, Tara recently went vegan as of January 1st after being vegetarian for 2 and a half years. Tara was working in the entertainment industry and volunteering at farm sanctuaries on the weekends. Combining her passion for animal rights and being on the road, Tara is thrilled to be joining the 10 Billion Lives tour!

Welcome to the FARMily, Jillian & Tara! The animals are lucky to have you advocating for them!

Please leave a note of thanks and encouragement for Jillian and Tara, as well as the other crew members of our other tours, whom you met earlier this spring! You can follow the adventures of all these dedicated activists on Twitter and Instagram. If you’d like to volunteer with our 10 Billion Lives tour when it stops in your city, please send an email to VOLUNTEER@10BILLIONTOUR.ORG

 

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Update from the Road: Southwest Tour, Spring 2015

We’re halfway through the spring semester, which means it’s time to check in with our fearless activists on the road with our 10 Billion Lives campaign! The first crew you’ll hear from are Todd & Erica with the  Southwest Tour, who have been educating college students all over southern California. 

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     Greetings from a very sunny southern California! We can hardly believe the tour is already half way though and we wanted to give our friends and supporters an update from the road. We’ve met so many passionate people at the many schools we’ve visited, eaten at a plethora of amazing vegan restaurants and connected with other passionate activists doing awesome things for animals!

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Our first weekend happened to line up with a celebration of former 10 Billion Lives Alum Stephanie Frankle’s first year anniversary of the Humane League’s San Francisco office. It was such a fun event full of celebrating the many wins for the animals they have achieved. Attending this event gave us an opportunity to bond with FARM’s 10 Billion Lives Program Manager, Ryan, who’s based in the Bay area. His family was beyond hospitable in accommodating us that weekend. We headed south with many baked goods from the Frazier family for the road! Valentine’s Day brought another fun opportunity to meet fellow activists and meet some farmed animal friends! We jumped at the chance to volunteer at Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres event, where the public could visit the sanctuary and meet some of their rescues! There are so many great people and groups out there, and we both feel lucky to be able to play our part with FARM!

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Southern California is home to so many wonderful vegan restaurants (60 at last count) and we’ve made it our mission to eat our way through them as time and our stomachs allow! Some of our favorite places have been Sage Café, Real Food Daily and Native Foods Cafe. The Native Foods nachos are not to be missed, nor is brunch at Real Food Daily! Erica still finds herself daydreaming about the spinach basil ravioli she had at Sage.  We’re already salivating at the thought of 9 more weeks of delicious food and supporting vegan businesses!

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It hasn’t all been good times and gluttony, though. We’ve been putting in long hours each day and have reached over 5,500 students in the last 8 weeks! Interacting with so many students has lead to meaningful connections for them and us. Being on tour and living in a van is hectic and stressful, but every day we talk to students who are ready or interested in going vegan and that makes all the late nights and headaches worth it.  We’re both loving the Southwest Tour, for Todd it’s a chance to see the progress on campuses he’s visited in the past, and Erica is loving the opportunity to see all the beauty that Southern California has to offer! There have been some standout student run groups at the campuses too! The Bronco Animal Rights Network (BARN) at Cal Poly Pomona and Vikings for Animals at Long Beach City College really stand out in our minds. We both see that good things are to come from the awesome people that organize these groups! FARM’s new Southwest Outreach Coordinator and 3-time Tour operator, Angie Fitzgerald, is helping us reach out to students interested in starting new clubs. She’s a great resource for assisting sometimes-overwhelmed students to get clubs going on their campuses. Thanks Angie!

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Last and anything but least, we must give huge shout outs to both Beau Broughton, our Tour Coordinator and Ryan Frazier.  Thank you both for everything you do, being so selfless to your operators and always being available 24/7!

THANK YOU to Todd & Erica for this great update and for all their hard work on the road. Please leave a comment with some words of praise & encouragement for them & our other 10 Billion Lives activists (whom you’ll hear from soon). Also be sure to follow along their adventures on Twitter and Instagram

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Meet the Spring 2015 10 Billion Lives Tour Crew!

While it’s still a winter wonderland in many parts of the country, two of our 10 Billion Lives tours are already hard at work thawing the hearts of young people. Thankfully, both of these tours have kicked off in warmer climates!

Todd and Erica, Southwest tour
Todd and Erica, Southwest tour

The Southwest tour is educating college students around California. Joining us again for his fifth tour is Todd Lee. Todd previously led 3 Southwest tours, helped out the National tour last semester, and is back in Cali for round 5! Todd has also interned with Farm Sanctuary and volunteered with Vegan Outreach. Last summer he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. We’re excited to have you back, Todd!

Erica O’Neill is extremely proud to be joining Todd for the next four months as associate operator. She comes from Indiana to California for the first time and is very excited to take her activism to the next level.  She has previously volunteered with the Indiana Animal Rights Alliance and worked as a relationship specialist for Hampton Creek.  Even though she will miss her dear cat Henry, she knows he is in good hands and can’t wait to impact Southern California with her compassion for all animals.

Blake & Amanda, East Coast tour
Blake & Amanda, East Coast tour

The East Coast tour kicked off in sunny Florida this week! Joining us again as lead operator is Blake Underwood. Blake is from Baltimore, Maryland. He is the co-founder and worker-owner of Just Walk Collective, a worker-owned and operated pet care cooperative. Blake has also written for the Baltimore Indypendent Reader and Counter-Conduct. Blake has been vegan for almost 15 years. We’re glad to have you back, Blake!

The associate operator of the East Coast tour is Amanda Nooter. Amanda is a native of Washington, D.C. and has been a lifelong vegetarian and seven year vegan. Recently graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in Anthropology, Amanda is excited to get involved with the world of animal activism. She just wrapped up a two month long internship with Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY in the fall, and is looking forward to a great spring on the road!

Please give a warm welcome to the Spring 2015 touring crews and join us in expressing our gratitude for their sacrifice and commitment to creating a kinder future for animals!

Want to volunteer with the 10 Billion Lives campaign when they’re in your city? Send an email to VOLUNTEER@10BILLIONTOUR.ORG.

Follow the 10 Billion Lives journey on Twitter & Instagram!

 

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2014: A Triumphant Year for Farmed Animals!

2014 has been a year of tremendous success in the animal rights movement and FARM is proud to have played a significant role! We invite you to look back on the year and celebrate with us, and also look forward to another amazing year in 2015.

Our annual FARM Report is here and available online. Read all about the Great American Meatout, our biggest Animal Rights National Conference yet, the launch of our third 10 Billion Lives tour, and our hugely successful World Day for Farmed Animals, and more.

Read the 2014 FARM Report here!
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Also check out our year-end video below, starring many of our FARM staffers sharing highlights from the year, as well as our deepest gratitude for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

If you are able to fuel our lifesaving work in the new year, all donations made in December will be triple matched by a generous donor! This means a donation of $25 becomes $75 toward the freedom of farmed animals. Your tax-deductible donations can be made HERE.

Thank you again for supporting Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM)! 

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What Are You Thankful for This Year?

Between saving animals every day at Farm Animal Rights Movement and putting the final touches on our vegan holiday menus, FARM staffers paused to reflect on the things they are thankful for this year. Between our amazing successes for animals and our own personal triumphs, every one on the FARM team has a lot to be thankful for! Hear from some of the team below. 

I am thankful for my superb team at FARM and for a cataract removal that restored vision to my left eye. – Alex Hershaft, FARM’s Founding President

Every morning when I wake up, I am thankful that I have the privilege to advocate for the beings who are most in need of our voices. And every night as I wind down, I am even more thankful that our movement is winning, and that fewer animals are exploited because of the work of FARM and the rest of the animal rights movement. – Michael Webermann, Executive Director

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I’m thankful to be able to work every day on behalf of animals with an amazingly dedicated team comprised of the most compassionate, intelligent, and hard-working individuals I know. – Jen Riley, Managing Director (who celebrated 10 years with FARM in 2014!)

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I’m thankful for the freedom to live my life the way I choose and thankful that I’ve been given an opportunity to raise awareness through FARM on behalf of others that are deprived of their freedom. – Cara Frye, Graphic Designer

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I am thankful for friends & family – spending time with those we love and who love us – a social network of people we can turn to for support and comfort, reassurance and even re-direction; good health – feeling alive and well, able to enjoy the moment and even have the energy to help others through their struggles; nice weather – whether we enjoy the great outdoors or simply have to get from point A to B (or perhaps we’re hosting an outreach effort or demonstration), with the sun shining, a warm breeze and fresh air; and, of course, delicious vegan food! – Shemirah Brachah, Food Liaison and Ed Letter Coordinator

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I am thankful for being able to live and work with some of the finest  people I have ever known each of whom are committed to working on ending the exploitation and suffering of all beings. I am thankful for working for an organization that brings the world hope for a better future.  And I am thankful for all the people around the world who I’ll never know but who are working in their own way to bring peace and tranquility to this earth. – Bryan Monell, Project Coordinator

I’m thankful for all the people and other animals that have inspired me to follow my nature and be involved in this movement at this critical time. – Ryan Frazier, 10 Billion Lives Program Manager

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I am thankful for those who give so much for the animals. Whether you’re a community organizer, potluck host, undercover investigator, volunteer, or incredible 10 Billion Lives Tour crew member, and whether or not you receive praise for your efforts, I am grateful for the sacrifices you—yes, you!—have made to make the world a better place for farmed animals. – Beau Broughton, 10 Billion Lives Program Coordinator

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I’m grateful for the opportunity to become a better activist every day on the 10 Billion Lives Tour. – Angie Fitzgerald, 10 Billion Lives National Tour Operator Fall 2014

This year I am thankful for the kindness of strangers, the beauty of coincidences and the growing number of people waking up. – Alison Moser, 10 Billion Lives East Coast Associate Tour Operator

This year I am most thankful for my friends. Both those that I’ve had for many years, and those that I’ve only recently met during my travels with FARM. Along with my mother, they have all been an amazing support system to help keep me focused and grounded during a year that has been both exciting and challenging. – Blake Underwood, 10 Billion Lives East Coast Tour Operator

I am supremely thankful for my time with the 10 Billion Lives tour (Spring 2014), an amazing experience that taught me so much about effective activism and myself. I feel blessed to work with such incredible people at FARM every single day. I am endlessly thankful for the people who have empowered me during all the twists and turns of the past year. And I have immense gratitude for individuals everywhere who are fighting hard to make the world a kinder and more just place for all living beings. – Amanda Just, Communications Manager

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This year I’m thankful to have joined the FARM team and  work on things I believe in that truly make a difference in the world. I’m also thankful for the people in my life that will always love and support me, no matter what. – Roxanne Ramirez, Communication Action Coordinator

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for having such great friends, loving family, and supportive co-workers here at FARM. I am thankful that I am healthy and that I am able to have so many wonderful experiences with my loved ones. – Matt Hersh, Office Manager

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for piglets. They are just the cutest little creatures. Alternatively, I am also thankful for vegan pies. Pumpkin and pecan in particular, due to their obvious superiority. Preferably with a little coconut whipped cream. And, I guess, my friends and family. But mostly piglets and pie. – John Corrigan, Education Coordinator

This year, I am grateful for transformation. In addition to the personal growth I’ve experienced as a vegan advocate, I’ve also enjoyed watching others expand into the realm of veganism, better health and personal care, and compassion for all beings around us. – Kristin Lajeunesse, Meatout Mondays Manager

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Everyone at FARM is thankful for all the major successes for animals this year, which will be highlighted in our year-end video, coming soon! We also extend our sincerest gratitude to all of our supporters and volunteers from coast to coast and around the world. Together we are changing the world for animals! Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for this year? Tell us in the comments! 

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