While working for LUSH Cosmetics part time as a Regional Charitable Giving’s Ambassador, my responsibilities were finding new grassroots charities for LUSH to donate money to and engage the staff in volunteering with our current charity partners. It is a dream job, but because I was constantly researching nonprofit organizations, it made me want to do more to tackle a few animal welfare issues that are near and dear to my heart – elephant tourism, orangutan habitat loss, and stray dogs and cats.
While researching nonprofits it also helped me see that there are people out there making a difference and that it is possible to shift paradigms in order to protect animals, the environment, and human right. Because of this, I put in my notice to leave my roll as Store Manager for LUSH and asked to have my part time Charitable Giving job placed on hold. Luckily for me they agreed.
I left not knowing how I could make a difference, but I left because it didn’t feel right to do nothing. I felt that if I began to pursue the things that I love most and volunteer with innovative and passionate organizations that my path would become more clear.
I knew I definitely had to go to Thailand, Borneo, and India while I was away. India was on my list because I love yoga and I wanted to get my teacher training where yoga began. Thailand and Borneo were musts because most elephant tourism happens in Thailand and Borneo is where the orangutans are. It also just so happens that all of these locations have a huge stray dog and cat problem. It isn’t about petting the animals for me, it is about picking the brains of directors of organizations that are working on these issues as well as speaking to locals and living among them so that I could better understand why they do what they do. It would be an added bonus if I could find alternatives for locals so that they don’t continue to exploit, endanger, or abuse the animals.
I am only one person, but I know it is possible to “shake the world in a gentle way.”