By Claire Howe
Comprehensive humane education, by its very name, covers an expansive number of topics, everything from oceanic plastic pollution to oppressive child labor. While an issue may seem isolated, humane education invites students to think critically about that problem and better understand how it affects people, animals, and the planet, connecting the life force dots so to speak. This is a powerful experience; developing solutions and putting them into action is an empowering experience. One surefire way to get active and effect change is by supporting ethical companies with sound business practices, and last week at Franklin High School in Portland, Oregon, that’s just what they did.
Miyoko’s Kitchen, makers of decadently delicious vegan artisanal cheeses and winners of this year’s VegNews Product of the Year, are working to help people, animals, and the planet one grilled Panini, enchilada, or lasagna at a time. Last month, Miyoko’s donated 1% of all online sales to HEART while giving our supporters a 15% discount on their orders. This generosity was not only greatly appreciated, it was a tool for change-making.
After telling the Animal Rights Club at Franklin High about Miyoko’s mission and support for humane education, the students chose to use Miyoko’s products to advocate for dairy cows, hosting two different outreach events. The first event, hosted last week during a club meeting, was a Miyoko’s cook-off. Students created their own recipes and brought in samples for anyone and everyone at the school to try. Taste testers of everything from pizza to pasta to sandwiches were impressed, to say the least, and many couldn’t believe they were eating such delicious cheese. Sage Friedman, a sophomore said, “Miyokos really tastes like cheese but better, knowing no animal’s welfare was sacrificed.” Students were also excited to spread the good word about this delicious alternative to dairy. Alexis Roulette, a sophomore, said, “I thought the cheese was really good and had so much flavor…I brought it home to my parents and they also loved it.”
Just a few hours after the cook-off, club members decided to keep the momentum going at their student club fair, the Harvest Festival. Franklin Animal Rights Club students figured they could “hug three birds with one embrace” by selling Miyoko’s cheese and crackers to promote an alternative to dairy, support an ethical company, and raise money for HEART. For just $1, both club members and non-club affiliated students could sample two different kinds of cheese, sandwiched between Back to Nature crackers. The results were inspiring. According to Ruby Boyer, a sophomore, “Unlike a lot of vegan cheeses, Miyoko’s Kitchen cheeses are made of healthy ingredients and taste great. These cheeses are probably the best I’ve tried, no animal cruelty needed! I will definitely be purchasing some myself in the near future.” By hosting these two awareness-raising events, the Franklin Animal Rights Club connected the dots between what we choose to buy and the enormous good that can come from promoting ethical companies and organizations who are working together to make the world a better place.
If you missed your opportunity to support both HEART and Miyoko’s last month, fear not! For the month of December, Miyoko’s has generously offered to donate not one, but 2% of all online sales to one of 2015’s recipient non-profits. Just click on this link to vote for HEART anytime from November 16 – 22, and please share with friends, family, and anyone else who believes in making the world a kinder place through education…and delicious cheese!