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Archive for July, 2011

I think a lot about how to present my shop in a way that makes it clear what it is all about but does not alienate somebody who thinks that they may not be welcome here because of the word “vegan” on my sign. Some people come in because it IS vegan and they are so thrilled to be here (love it when that happens!).  I’ve also overheard people making comments outside about the type of shop that it is and then they keep walking without bothering to come in and check it out (hate when that happens!). And then there are the people who come in who are not really interested in the products but want to be with someone else who has a love of animals.

 This past weekend, 2 women came in together and when they spotted the book  “Do Horses Sleep Standing Up”, one of the women made the comment that horses are stupid.  I countered that not only are they not stupid but they possess an intelligence that most humans do not understand. The other woman stood there quietly for a few moments and then proceeded to tell me how she had recently seen some piglets nursing with their mother and how this was one of the most wonderful things that she had ever witnessed. I told her about the time that I saw a mother rabbit nursing her young in our herb garden last year and we both agreed that these were rare gifts that we had received and how lucky we both had been. Then she told me a story about a bird that had flown into her NYC apartment many years ago when she was a young girl- and how the mother bird had flown in and shown her baby how to get out. I knew that these were stories that she wanted very badly to share – and more than likely, her friend who thought that horses were stupid, was not the person to share them with. When they left, the woman with the stories thanked me for sharing with her. And I thought about all of the other times when people came in and after a while started to talk about their dog/cat/horse and knew that they were going to feel encouraged to express  love for their animals because this was a”safe” place for that kind of conversation.

I have a write-up that I’m thinking about posting somewhere in the shop – possibly in a spot where it can be read from the outside. This is what it would say:

We know that you love animals.

Most of you probably share you homes with a cat or a dog.

The thought of them being mistreated is too much for you to bear.

We feel that way about all animals.

Maybe you never thought about what it means to buy cruelty-free products – maybe you didn’t think such a thing existed.

Every act of kindness helps to build momentum for a kinder universe.

The act of opening your eyes, mind and heart is a big one.

We are happy to meet people of all philosophies in the shop and have conversations with them about something we have in common – our love of animals.

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