Compassion Made Visible: Animal House

by | Sep 21, 2020 | Heartivist Of The Week

Jessica Gonzalez Castro is a reader.

One book in particular has shaped the trajectory of her life. After reading “Animal Liberation” by Peter Singer, Jessica was moved to learn how she could be a more effective activist for animal rights. So it was with great disappointment that she found her local library in Quintana Roo to be devoid of any resources on veganism, social activism, or speciesism.

Undaunted, Jessica decided she would create her own library; a mobile resource to bring more children and adults into the circle of compassion that includes non-human animals.

Jessica took books to events, formed a reading club, and established a lending library through seed funding from The Pollination Project. But all the while, her dreams were leading her to something bigger.

She wanted the library to have a permanent home, and she also wanted to have a physical space where the community could learn and gather around a shared heart for animal rights. And so, just over a year ago, “Casa Animal” (Animal House) became Mexico’s first vegan antispeciesism community center. 

In a short time, Animal House has offered so much to the community. They have given plant-based foods to vulnerable people, held workshops for entrepreneurs working on vegan businesses, offered vegan cooking classes, and hosted guest activists from around the world. 

In retrospect, her work has all been driving towards one bigger dream: making speciesism visible. 

“Animal suffering happens out of human sight.” says Jessica, “So our responses should be as visible as possible. We give people books they can hold, a community of friends they can hug, and food they can eat.”

Learn more about Animal House here.

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Academic professionals Carla Forte Maiolino Molento and Rodrigo Morais-da-Silva founded Cell Ag Brazil at the end of 2023 with support received from The Pollination Project. The objective of the newly created association is to reflect, contribute, and promote the development of cellular agriculture in Brazil through proactive promotion and unifying actions among different audiences interested in the development, production, and commercialization of food through cell cultivation processes. 
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With a seed grant, they founded the organization and designed a logo that represents their mission. They are now inviting people and organizations to participate in the association so that it gains greater relevance. 
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Their members will be distributed across three chambers: 1) academia, 2) private sector, and 3) third sector and civil society. With this, they aim for diverse representation and to create a positive movement to act in different areas to promote and accelerate alternative proteins in Brazil and Latin America.
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Billions of animals involved in food production in Brazil will be impacted in the medium to long term from this work. Data from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) indicates that approximately 6.1 billion chickens, 56.5 million pigs, and 30 million cattle were slaughtered in Brazil in 2022. 
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With this association, Carla and Rodrigo may help reduce the number of non-human individuals involved in food production as they help to speed up the replacement process with alternative proteins.
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In this World Day of Social Justice we celebrate the transformative impact of The Pollination Project and our dedication to seeding the essential change our world needs. Since its inception, The Pollination Project has been at the forefront of empowering grassroots initiatives, providing the crucial support needed for small-scale projects to blossom into powerful agents of social change.

Our unique model of micro-granting has enabled a diverse array of projects across the globe, touching upon various facets of social justice including environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and human rights. From providing clean water solutions in remote villages to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship, we always believed in the power of individual action to create a collective impact.

Each project funded is a testament to our faith in the inherent goodness and potential of every person to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. These initiatives not only address immediate community needs but also foster a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusiveness - essential pillars for achieving true social justice.

On this World Day of Social Justice, let's draw inspiration from the myriad projects The Pollination Project has nurtured. Their work reminds us that each small seed of kindness and action can indeed grow into a mighty force for good, paving the way for a more just and compassionate world.