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Above: David Carter, lauren Ornelas, and Paige Carter. lauren foundedFood Empowerment Project. David and Paige are holding shirts we designed for FEP. 3 powerful voices for justice.

A few days before Thanksgiving every year the "How to survive the holidays" articles start popping up. I saw at least 3 yesterday about how to avoid emotional destruction at the hands of relatives you can't see eye to eye with.

Some amongst us are lucky enough to spend Eat-till-you-fall-over-day AKA Best-post-meal-nap-of-the-year-day with people whose company we actually enjoy. We may, however, have to bring our own food and be forced to stare in silence at a giant dead turkey and maybe need to endure a few jabs at our ethical choices. *sigh*

Many of us feign mystery illness to avoid the sadness of seeing people we love eating animals we love, or we hide away watching Star Wars or all the Jason Bourne movies in a row. Been there.

Then there is the God awful awfulness of the origin of the "holiday" itself. All the sorries in the world will never undo what has been done to the Native peoples whose home this was before Europeans showed up. *sigh*
You probably just hopped up to grab your favorite coping mechanism of choice -- and we salute you and your wine, chocolate, giant bag of cookies, seitan roast, or maybe your running shoes?!

BUT - it's obviously not news to you that the world can be a real bummer, and I'm actually not here to bum you out, I SWEAR! AND I'M SORRY I PROBABLY JUST BUMMED YOU OUT!

I'm here to tell you something positive we do that gives us hope and keeps us going when things seem grim. We love supporting this community who has supported us for so many years.

We don't make a big deal about this side of Herbivore, but we believe it is a very big deal. It is the giving side of what we do. We get asked literally, (and we mean literally) hundreds of times a year to help all sorts of organizations.

The most frequent type of giving we do is to send our products to organizations to use in fundraisers. We have been sending out stuff several times a week for years and years and we always will. Josh donates his design skills to lots of organizations (good design is expensive and few non-profits can afford it).

The list of groups we've worked with and donated to is long! Farm Sanctuary,Sea Shepherd, Mercy For Animals, The Shac 7, Vegan Outreach, Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary, Food Empowerment Project, Out To Pasture Sanctuary,Wildwood Farm Sanctuary, FARM, The Trevor Project, Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary, House Rabbit Society, Humane Society of the United States, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Green Acres Farm Sanctuary, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, The White Helmets, Alive Rescue, Fences For Fido, and The Animal Museum, amongst so many other inspiring groups. We've done direct fundraising for animal sanctuaries, and with the help of other dedicated folks have donated well over $100,000 to feed, care for, and provide shelter to animals. Please, click the links, learn about the work all of these fine organizations do.

We do this because we are thankful. We are thankful to all these groups doing all this incredible work. We are thankful to be able to work with them to reach common goals of animal liberation and social justice. We are thankful to all of our customers for supporting us, and are inspired to then support others. We are thankful so many people care and we couldn't do anything other than support them back.

Yes, this time of year can be comically shitty, but it is also a time to put all that aside and reconnect with people and groups who are doing amazing work to lessen the suffering of animals, both human and non-human. We know giving back makes a difference, we see it every day. Thank you for caring, giving, and fighting.

-Team Herbivore