Cover picture by Hartmut Kiewert
Dedicated to all you beautiful vegans and animal advocates, wherever you may be. If the animals ran their own Olympics, your places on the podium would be assured. Vegans rock!
Today’s spotlight, lovely people, falls on one of the many vegan projects that deserve gold medals.
It’s the Art of Compassion Project, brainchild of Leigh Sanders, lover of art and animals. South African by birth, artist Leigh lives in Catalonia with her husband where she’s been for the last fourteen years. When she went vegan two years ago, she was so impressed with the support she got from Veganuary, she decided to raise funds for them by creating an art book.
Searching on the net for fellow vegan artists, the response she got from all over the globe was “incredibly overwhelming”, and Leigh soon realised there was potential for something more permanent and ongoing – “to promote equality and compassion for all animals” – the project’s mission.
“To begin with, I wanted to build a strong international network of vegan artists that all share the same vision–to use their art to spread the vegan message. I also wanted to effectively use the art as a means of touching people’s hearts and opening their mind to living life the vegan way,” she says. “Sometimes we can be surprised just how much a painting, poem or piece of music can affect us. Art speaks to the soul even when the mind doesn’t quite grasp what’s being said.”
As we speak, 75 vegan artists from 18 countries representing every continent (except Antarctica!) are involved with Leigh’s project. There are some familiar names on the list, for instance the brilliant Chantal Poulin Durocher, and you may be able to spot one of gifted Andrew Tilsley’s paintings hanging in the website gallery.
Leigh’s noticed how being involved with the Art of Compassion has had an impact on the artists themselves:
“I have seen how these artists have started feeling more determined and motivated to use their art as a form of activism. This emotion, commitment and enthusiasm is tangible in their work,” she says.
Another recipient of funds raised by the project is dear to my own heart – Hillside Animal Sanctuary doing incredible work rescuing animals from death and restoring them to health and happiness .
How can we get involved?
Leigh is always on the lookout for any vegan involved in the arts; visual, music, writers, jewellery designers, fashion designers, photographers, poets, etc. to join the project.
Volunteers with a passion for veganism are also most welcome to get in touch with Leigh via email : firstname.lastname@example.org
“We would really appreciate your support! There are a couple of things you could do; follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tell your friends about us. You can still buy our 2016 calendar (and get 25 percent off). Join us as a ‘member’–either as an artist or volunteer, there’s more info about that on our website. Finally, support our current projects and keep up to date with events.”