Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary 2009 Calendar, published

buy this calendar on Lulu.

It took ages, and so this feels very last minute, but I finally have a calendar available for sale. It is 13 months, with the final month containing basic information on the sanctuary. You can see a preview if you follow one of the links. Aside from the final, informational, month which is more of a panorama, all the other months, plus the cover, are different pictures of various animals taken at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary throughout this past year. I had wanted to have brief text for each animal’s story, but that takes too much coordinating (I didn’t know all of the stories) for something time sensitive this late in the year. Next year we will (hopefully) have all this done months in advance!

I ordered a couple copies for myself, and was informed that they should arrive in time for December 25. There is a 3-5 day print time, and then whatever shipping option you choose will determine how long it takes to get to you once printed. It does seem that if you need it in your hands in time for the Christian holiday, you still have time. Definitely time before the end of the year.

I’ve priced the calendar at $18. I thought about offering it at cost, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what it means to give away our work for free. It becomes an ethical issue, in a way I hadn’t thought of until recently. Offering it at cost would mean I was undercutting others who were also working hard to come up with a calendar others might want. In addition, I am no longer comfortable with saying “look at all this work I have done, I value it at nothing.”

However, given that I am not comfortable profiting off of this calendar because I always intended it to be part outreach, part fundraiser (if on a very small scale), I will donate the entire $3.80 profit per calendar straight to Poplar Spring.




14 responses to “Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary 2009 Calendar, published

  1. Stephanie E. December 12, 2008 at 12:14 am

    It’s gorgeous! Great work, Deb. You can expect an order from me!

  2. nothoney December 12, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I love it! Pigs in snow! I get paid today and I need one and I think my Dad needs a new calendar, too.

    Well done!


  3. Mary Martin December 12, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Beautiful. Placed an order this morning. Thanks! One will be in the guest room the next time you visit!

  4. Louche December 13, 2008 at 3:13 am

    I’m not sure how offering it at cost is saying “I value it at nothing.” But I’m of the view that money = privilege, so costs may = violence. However, I’m not complaining about your price decision since the money is like a donation anyway! It looks great. I might order one. Thanks!

  5. Deb December 13, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Stephanie, Sheryl, and Mary – thank you! 🙂

    Louche – you don’t seem to be questioning that Lulu’s employees should be compensated for their efforts in printing the calendars or that the postal service should be compensated for their efforts in delivering the calendars to people’s doors, so I am left to conclude that it is only the photographer whose efforts you don’t seem to think should be compensated on this project. It is a common prejudice. If that’s not what you meant, please do write Lulu to see if they’ll give you a calendar for free. It seems only fair (not to mention consistent and ethical) that you apply your views with regards to compensation to all aspects of the calendar, not just the photographer.

    You don’t know me, so you have no idea what my views are on capitalism. I’d think that the obvious limitations with regards to alternative compensation when offering something online would have occurred to you. If you have ideas of what you’d like to offer, in lieu of money, for the calendar, please let me know. I’m not interested in giving you my work for free, and in fact I feel there are ethical issues if I were to do so.

    You might feel that money = privilege, but the reality for most of us (constrained as we are to living within the bounds of capitalism) is that money = survival. I’m not going to undercut someone else’s survival so that you can get something cheaper. I’ll leave that to Wal-mart, they’re the experts.

  6. brandi December 15, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Thanks a million for your work on this! It is gorgeous.

  7. Oliver Lall December 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Great work! In addition to liking the beautiful pictures of farmed animals, I love the educational value of such calendars. Every year, I buy some to give to friends and colleagues, and always put one on my desk at work. As it is by the photocopier, everyone sees it, and I often get comments and questions, which help me educate people about the plight of animals raised for food, and veganism.

    For other ideas of practical actions for animals, including farmed animals, check out the book:

    ‘Building An Ark: 101 Solutions to Animal Suffering’, by Ethan Smith with Guy Dauncey, forward by Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE.

    You can read online some chapters at:

  8. mburgan December 16, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Deb–Right with you on the capitalism thing. I don’t quite get costs=violence in this case,, and I agree that money= survival in the system we have. In my blog (Crisis? What Crisis? which you have kindly added to your blogroll), you’ll see I’m no friend of corporatism , but there are things to be said for the free market, as long as we don’t say it’s some kind of divine system and we mere mortals shouldn’t regulate it to curb its excesses. Economics, to me, is not just about dollars; we make economic decisions-or should–to reflect our ethics too. Hmm, I’m drifting here, not sure where I’m going. But Lord knows creative types have to put some value on their work if they are going to survive, and too often we get short shrift from “da man” (speaking from my experience as a freelancer). And as always, the photos are great.

  9. Deb December 16, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    brandi – thanks!

    Oliver – that’s definitely one of the hopes that I had, that it could be a calendar that would spark conversation. Good to hear that you use calendars this way every year, and that it does spark those conversations! Thanks for the book recommendation.

    mburgan – definitely, the livelihood of most in the creative careers is precarious, and not only because the arts are seen as a luxury, but also because so many people think that they should be able to get things for free. I’ve a friend who is a singer and piano player, and she gets people quite often assuming she’d be happy to perform at weddings or other events for free — she can charge $200/hour, and these people have no clue. They just think she’d be happy to perform for them.

    It is funny, because I’m most closely aligned with anarchist thought, yet I think that Robert Heinlein had it right in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” – TANSTAAFL. (there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) And it isn’t actually in conflict with anarchist views, despite that it sounds so very capitalist.

  10. haldana January 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I got my calendar in the mail today! It is SO beautiful!! (even if Lulu did screw up and print it without December…but I’m all over them for it) Thank you so much for making this, Deb. It’s a really beautiful reminder to look at all of the time, right next to my desk. Love it.

  11. Deb January 5, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    haldana, I’m so glad you like it! And doesn’t it figure that Lulu sends you, all the way across the ocean, one missing December? I hope they are good about correcting that mistake!

    I haven’t forgotten your desire for something that is not date dependent, too!

  12. sheryl, washington, dc January 6, 2009 at 8:29 am

    My Dad called me last week to thank me for his calendar. He said the pictures were great so perhaps I’ll also send him the individual stories. At least he has something to look at that will remind him of what’s important to me.


  13. Pingback: » Blog Archive » easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-12-13

  14. haldana January 28, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Hey Deb,

    Don’t publish this comment if you think it’ll ruin it for everyone else, but Lulu never sent me a new calendar or refunded my money. In fact, they quit answering emails and I was *one* day too late to issue a charge back through PayPal. I hope no one else had this kind of trouble. I’m happy to have the calendar, but you may want to let Lulu know that unhappy buyers don’t ensure you’ll do business with them again…assuming, of course, that they reply to your email 🙂

    Sorry to be a downer. Just wanted to let you know.

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