Holiday Gifts for Activists & Agitators

December 5th, 2006 9:23 pm by mad mags

Activists know it’s the holiday season when the appeals for cold hard ca$h start to outnumber the calls to action in the good ol’ inbox. While all the pleas can get depressing after awhile (so many causes, so little money), a little dexterity goes a long way. To wit: since, in all likelihood, you’re locked into spending at least a little coinage this Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus, why not buy your gifts and/or holiday knickknacks from a favorite advocacy org or two?

Keep reading for a guide to creative, meaningful and/or eco-friendly gifts for the socially conscious loved ones on your list. Even if the folks on your list aren’t all that into animal rights / feminism / the homosexual agenda / environmental awareness / etc., don’t despair! – It might still prove possible to find a present that they’ll like, and you can live with.

(A note to readers: I plan on crossposting to, and I’m feeling lazy, so I didn’t edit out the non-AR stuff for your eyes. Either enjoy the extra info or skim past it, but please – no retrogressive complaining.)

For instance, my Aunt Millie’s an unconcerned omnivore of going-on-80 years. Even so, she’d probably love to be on the receiving end of a sponsored pig from Farm Sanctuary, since she’s obsessed with cute little porkers herunterladen. A fifth Piglet figurine in as many years isn’t exactly original; her very own piggy, complete with certificate of adoption and a VIP tour of the farm, is way cool. But more on that later.

Adopt an Animal

My favorite gift idea, by far, is the animal adoption. By “adoption”, I don’t mean “go out and adopt (or, worse yet, buy) a cute little puppy that you just knoooow your little sis’ will love and cherish”. The sad fact is, many animals given as gifts wind up abandoned in shelters. Animals aren’t playthings, nor can they be “returned” or “exchanged”. I don’t want to launch into rant, but if you (or someone you know) is considering giving an animal as a present, don’t. More on that here.

No, by “adopt”, I really mean “sponsor”. A number of animal rights, animal welfare and environmental groups have programs that allow you to sponsor an animal herunterladen. Choices run the gamut, from companion animals such as dogs and cats to “farm” animals like pigs and cows. Enviro groups typically have more exotic choices, like polar bears and penguins. Many throw in some pretty cool perks, too.

Farm Sanctuary, which I mentioned above, has to be my starred pick here. You can choose between nine species of animals (cow, pig, sheep, goat, turkey, duck, goose, rabbit or chicken), and even pick a specific individual to adopt from one of their two shelters.

A monthly sponsorship will run you anywhere from $10 to $50. Or you can splurge and sponsor a whole barnyard for $200. A “basic adoption package” comes with an adoption certificate & card, a color photograph of your animal, an Adopt-A-Farm Animal decal, and a Farm Sanctuary calendar. For the pricier animals, Farm Sanctuary also throws in a mug, a VIP tour to meet your animal, and/or a Candle Cafe cookbook to sweeten the deal.

Their sanctuaries are located in Watkins Glenn, NY and Orland, California, making this the perfect gift for the West Coast/East Coast hippie liberal intellectual in your life. Sponsorship order form and additional info here.

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary’s animal adoption program is similar to that of Farm Sanctuary. For $10 to $50 a month, you can sponsor a chicken, turkey, goat, sheep, pig or cow. The recipients of a gift adoption will receive a photo and card that tells the personal story of their adopted critters vba excel herunterladen. Click here for the lowdown.

If cows are too mundane for you, maybe a manatee is more your, um, speed. Through the Save the Manatee Club, you can adopt a manatee for the bargain price of $25. Throw in 10 extra and you’ll even get a wall calendar in addition to your adoption photo, paperwork, and newsletters. Or, be a parent to an orphaned primate via the Jane Goodall Institute, the International Primate Protection League, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, or In Defense of Animals.

For a wider variety of wildlife-in-need, check out the World Wildlife Fund. You can choose from 40 species, including pandas, elephants, giraffes, sharks, ferrets, even dugongs (!?).

According to WWF’s website,

* Each symbolic adoption includes: a formal adoption certificate, a full-color photo and Species Spotlight Card.

* Gifts made online come with an Online Digipak, which includes: a personalized electronic adoption certificate, screensavers, wallpaper and AIM icons gif bild herunterladen. The recipient must have a valid e-mail address to receive this benefit.

* Adoptions of $50 and up include a plush likeness of your adopted animal for the gift recipient. And Fed Ex shipping is available for Adoptions of $50 or more!

They also have a special offer for polar bears; adopt a mother and her cub, and get a too-cute-for-words likeness of your new family members.

Of course, this is just a teeny tiny sampling of the many animal adoption programs out there; many animal advocacy and wildlife groups offer animal sponsorships, with various perks. Before donating your money to an unfamiliar charity/non-profit, be sure to check out their record using an online tool such as Charity Navigator,, or

For something a little diff, surf on over to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), where you can save a seal; help a bear cub; protect elephants; send companion animals urgent veterinary care; and/or rescue animals affected by disasters ’round the world. Details here.

Oh, and WWF has a similar selection of unusual gift donation options where can I download ebook for free. At WWF’s Passport Panda, you can send a turtle to rehab; give a polar bear a tattoo; send a kid to nature camp; or plant to tree. Good stuff.

More Gifts for Animal Lovers & Tree-Huggers

In addition to animal adoptions/sponsorships, most advocacy orgs also run online stores where you can buy all sorts of goodies to advertise and support the cause.

Here are just a few online storefronts:

* Louisiana SPCA – lots of cool apparel, including some unexpectedly risqué swag (“The bitch stole my heart”, “Pitt bulls are lovers, not fighters”) and some swingin’ NO stuff (“Pawsitively New Orleans: Come, Stay, Heal”).

* Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – what with a dog store, a cat store, and a people store, there’s just too much stuff to mention. Go, browse, and enjoy. Also of note: a gift membership will net ya a “Take Along Pet” for those relatives that luv dogs, but hate the poop and vet bills.

* Farm Sanctuary – features a TON of advocacy materials, including pamphelts, literature, stickers, and videos herunterladen.

* Last Chance for Animals (LCA) – again, you can find a wealth of advocacy aids here. My favorites include featured documentaries such as The Witness and Lolita.

* Friends of Animals – tons of stuff, including some very awesome veggie posters (hint, hint!)

* Animal Wow – If there’s a yung’un in your life who you desperately need to indoctrinate, look no further! Animal Wow DVDs teach children about compassion towards animals and the joys of companion animals. Endorsed by the American Humane Association (AHA).

* The Sierra Club – in addition to the usual t-shirts and sweaters, pick up some wildlife puppets for the kiddies and organic coffee for mom and dad.

* Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) – donate $35, get a free 2007 Scientific Integrity Cartoon Calendar.

* If you’re reading this on, you can find a massive list of animal advocacy groups to the right of the page herunterladen. Most every one will have, at the very least, logo apparel and accessories for sale on their site. In the unlikely case that you can’t find a suitable present from any of the above orgs, well, click away – and be sure to leave your recommendations in the comments!

* Also, check out your local humane society and/or animal rescue groups for unique ideas close to home. A few years back, Shane “gave” me a brick in Lollypop Farm’s walkway that was dedicated to my canine “siblings”. We take Ralphie by to visit every time we’re in NY. See if some animal rescue groups near you have similar programs – especially if you (or the recipient of your largess) adopted an animal from the shelter in the past.

Swag for Feminists

Outfit the FemiNazi in your life with the help of these fine man-haters:

* National Organization for Women (NOW) – lotsa cool stuff, with a few standouts: socially conscious book for kids, some totally kickass signs, and the 2007 Love Your Body calendar.

* Feminist Majority Foundation – all you need to give the gift of feminism. For college-age relatives, check out the College Bound gift set. And Wonder Woman’s a no-brainer herunterladen. What broad doesn’t *heart* WW?

Support Teh Homosexual Agenda & More

And I guess this is the catch-all category where I throw in all that other human rights stuff…

* Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) – show your support for our GLBT troops with the merch from SLDN’s Cafe Press store.

* Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – some very cute stuff, including a large selection of holiday cards. Also check out the HRC’s Buying for Equality 2007 shopping guide.

* Electronic Frontier Foundation – get your geek on here.

* People for the American Way (PFAW) – via Charity Folks, bid on all sorts of funky stuff to support this democracy-hugging org.

Trim the Tree, Make a Statement

OK, I was going to make a list of advocacy organizations that sell unique X-Mas tree trimmings with a pro- animal / enviro / GLBT / repro rights message, but…many of the previously listed groups do.

So, a suggestion instead: here’s another great way to incorporate your activism into the holiday season. If you must buy decorations, skip Wal-Mart and buy them instead from orgs that reflect your values zoo bauen spiel kostenlos downloaden. Not only does this help fund their activities, but it opens another avenue for you to spread your message.

Check out some of the animal-friendly ornaments on the Garbato-Brady tree.

Make It a Green One

Last up: some green holiday guides. Gifts don’t have to be material, and they don’t even have to involve spending large sums of money. From some of my favorite green groups and pubs, a list of DIY guides to having a green, frugal, and eco-friendly holiday season.

Grist Magazine: Live and Let Give; Gift ideas and holiday cheer from Grist readers and staff – “We’ve consulted the best and the brightest — our staff and readers — for holiday gift suggestions. And with their brilliant ideas, we’ve built a wondrous virtual department store just for you. Instead of fighting the crowds, sit back and imagine that our readers and staff are friendly clerks offering inspiration and assistance. Doesn’t that feel nice?”

Environmental Defense: Green Gifts for the Holidays; Our annual roundup of earth-friendly ideas – “Finding presents that align with your “green” values — and your friends and loved ones’ tastes — used to be a challenge. But today, as more companies make environmentally responsible products, tracking down the perfect green gift can be downright fun. We at Environmental Defense put our heads together and came up with ideas to spark your imagination.”

New American Dream: Holiday Survival Kit – “But take heart lego jurassic world herunterladen. You aren’t alone and you don’t have to rack up credit card debt while getting sucked into the vortex of the season’s commercialism. Like Charlie Brown, you can shun the ostentatious displays and pink aluminum trees in favor of a little more meaning. This holiday season, treat yourself to some tranquility, togetherness, and renewal… or whatever matters most to you.”

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Reply to the post so all can see! Especially if you’ve got a gift idea or holiday tip to share.



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3 Responses to “Holiday Gifts for Activists & Agitators”

  1. Tom Kay Says:


    This holiday season, EcoMall, one of the Internet’s first and longest-running environmental websites, offers inspiration and gift ideas to show our love for our friends and family – and the Earth. The web site (celebrating its 13th anniversary in 2007) helps to make that process easier by offering over a hundred green gift ideas in its “Gifts” section

    From organic cotton clothing, bedding and toys, to natural body care and aromatherapy products, the EcoMall web site offers a wealth of gift suggestions that use natural and sustainable materials, reduce waste and reinforce our connection with nature.

    Just a few of the ideas include organic coffee or chocolates, stainless steel water bottles, electric scooters, wind chimes, fair trade jewelry and crafts, soft and stylish organic and hemp clothing, home accents made from bamboo and sustainably harvested wood, gifts baskets filled with delicious organic goodies, and even an “Eco Starter kit” which introduces people to a sampling of green and energy-saving products, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs.

    With all the media attention given to issues like global warming through movies like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, this holiday season offers the perfect opportunity to give gifts that truly give – earth-friendly, natural products that are healthy for the recipient as well as our beleaguered Planet Earth.

    Marianne Schnall, co-founder of the EcoMall says, “I think that this year has awakened a real sense of an individual’s personal power, as well as responsibility, in terms of considering how we tread on this earth, and the practices and products we support. It feels good to contribute to being a part of the solution, which we can do by supporting environmentally-friendly products this holiday season, as well as making a New Year’s resolution to be more aware of how our lifestyle impacts the environment. And we can feel good knowing we are making consumer choices that register our vote for a healthier and more sustainable future for our planet.”

    Tom Kay, President of EcoMall, adds, “We want to make it easier for people to find the perfect, cutting-edge, chic eco-gifts this holiday season. offers the most diverse list of environmentally-friendly green gift ideas on the Internet, with gifts to please adults and children of all ages. However, thinking and buying green need not feel like a chore – many people are surprised to discover that earth-friendly products feel, taste and work even better than their conventional counterparts, are healthier for their family, and often times not only save energy but money!”

    For the ultimate positive shopping experience, visit to find the perfect green gift this holiday season!

    Happy Green Shopping!

    Other holiday tips can be found at:

    Since its launch in November 1994, the EcoMall has provided educational articles, a comprehensive selection of environmental companies, products and services, exclusive interviews with celebrities and more. The EcoMall offers a voice to America’s sustainable business industry, featuring over 300 retailers and wholesalers in over 70 shopping categories, links to government education, non-profit groups, environmental news, activism alerts, as well as the EcoMall’s popular “Green Living Magazine.” 2007 will mark the EcoMall’s 13th year on the Internet.


  2. » Blog Archive » Even More Holiday Gifts for Activists & Agitators Says:

    […] Since I last posted a list of holiday gift ideas and green gift guides, many more have found their way to my inbox. Here’s a quick roundup of those I thought to bookmark. […]

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