Pet food consumer advocate still lacks funds to attend AAFCO meeting, pleads for donations

UPDATE: I have no association with Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food, either personally of professionally, or the Association for Truth in Pet Food.

The 2015 Annual AAFCO Meeting in Denver August 3rd through the 5th is right around the corner, and although I bought my plane ticket to Denver, I still don’t have quite enough to pay for the registration for AAFCO. As most of you know, I sit on two AAFCO Committees, the Pet Food Committee and the Ingredient Definition Committee, so it is vital that I attend those meetings.

This will be the first time I will get to meet some fellow advocates I have never met in person before, including Dr. Jean Hofve of Little Big Cat, who has so kindly offered to let me stay at her house during the meetings instead staying at the hotel (which I could not afford).

Thank you everyone!

And a great big thanks to my other pet food safety advocate/friend, Susan Thixton of Truth About Pet Food, who made a very generous donation to help get me to AAFCO.

Finally, a huge thank you goes out to my family, friends, and readers, who generously donated money to help send me to AAFCO. You know who you are – and without you, none of this would be possible. I am so grateful and blessed to have such great friends in this fight for safe pet food; I couldn’t have done it without you.

Just a wee bit more

But, I still need a wee bit more to make it possible. As you know, from my previous plea, it costs $500 just to walk in the door at AAFCO. My round-trip ticket, which I already bought, was $340, but unfortunately, the donations I have received thus far have only come to $740 – which still leaves me short.

So, now I am asking – no begging – for pet parents to pitch-in a just little bit more to help me represent their interests at this AAFCO meeting.

I will be paying for my own food, airport shuttles, taxis, and whatnot, with my own money and I can manage without the updated AAFCO Official Publication for now, but eventually I will need it.

Earlier, I had pleaded for funds to upgrade my broken-down laptop, which I do all of my advocacy work on, with a refurbished one – but now, I will just be glad if I can pay for the registration to attend the AAFCO meetings. Fortunately, Dr. Hofve has kindly offered to let me use a spare she has during the meetings, because dragging this decrepit old laptop across the country terrifies me.

Do what you can to help

Please, do what you can – I need you and your pets need me. So, let’s get me to AAFCO!

You can make a secure donation via PayPal, or send me a check in the mail if you prefer (email me at molliemorrissette@poisonedpets.com for the address). And if you can’t afford to donate, I understand, at least, please share my plea with anyone you know who thinks it is important to have pet parents’ consumer interests represented at AAFCO.

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Poisoned Pets | Pet Food Safety News remains free (and ad-free) and takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars a year to sustain. Even if all you can spare is $1 it will  help keep the website alive. If you find any value in what I do, please consider a donation of your choosing. Thank you!

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (10) Write a comment

  1. Mollie, I can’t find your products on Society6. I looked and looked and did a search for your name as well. How does Society6 fund Poisoned Pets? Will you get any funding if I buy another artist’s products or is it just for your art products? Thanks, Ann*

    Reply

    • I know – I took them down. The owner would not give me a satisfactory answer as to where the base products are manufactured or what type of materials they are made with. I asked them – are they organic or toxic, fair trade or do they use sweatshop labor, are they sustainable or do they rape the land, are their dies and inks safe, is from certified sustainably managed forests or do they clear cut old growth trees and wipe out the Amazon? I got no answer. None – I wrote several times and the answer was ambiguous and evasive. I tried pinning them down, but now they won’t answer my emails.

      Aside from the American Apparel t-shirts which are printed in the U.S. (made with what type of cotton or using what type of inks I don’t know) seemed like the only product I might consider selling.

      So, I edited my collection –and poof! — everything – including the t’s were gone.

      Maybe it’s just as well.

      Now I need to find and eco, groovy green POD. But, it seems those are as rare as hen’s teeth. Zazzle, Cafe Press, they’re all bad.

      I’m at a loss until I find an ethical printing company in the U.S., but I’m still looking! sigh

      It’s hard work being ethical!

      Reply

      • It is very difficult to find those kinds of companies. It is getting nearly impossible to find a 100% Made in USA product anymore. The definition is getting redefined to being almost meaningless.

        Reply

        • I’m still looking! It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There are printers that I like that will do jobs for you – but you carry the inventory, you sell the merch direct, deal with customer service, shipping, invoicing, run your own store, etc. I don’t have the time!

          Reply

    • Now that I’ve started drawing again, my hope is, that eventually it will finance my work on PP, so I don’t have to beg for donations anymore. Begging is the worst, especially for a triple Leo like me. It’s like swallowing poison. It is the antithesis of everything I believe in about myself. Leos are too proud to ask for help, but when I think of all the suffering out there, I put my epic ego aside. It ain’t easy though, I tell ya.

      Reply

  2. Hello Mollie,
    Thank you so much for the work that you do! I think the reason you still lack funds to go to the next AAFCO meeting is the computer request. Perhaps if you took that out, you’d have the needed funds? I think that puts most people over the top when they’d otherwise be most willing to help out. I understand the need for a new computer, but it strikes me as too much to ask. I got mine with a Best Buy card – no interest, but God help us if we miss a payment or are late on even the last one – high interest on the entire purchase. In other words, I couldn’t afford it either, and I think most people may think that way.
    Also, the beautiful paintings you offer of you and your kitty – they’re just exquisite! Again, most people want to see their own animals on things they buy. It’s just how people are, even though you’re beautiful and so is your kitty, and so is the idea! Perhaps if you offered paintings for people custom ordered of them and their pets?
    With gratitude,
    Marie

    Reply

    • I am so broke, though. Marie. As in b-r-o-k-e. Credit cards? In my dreams.

      I live on nothing – next to nothing. If I told people how bad my situation really is – I think most people would be shocked. I can’t even consider buying a used/refurbished laptop on credit (even if I could get credit) – it is simply out of my reach. If this laptop crashes – it’s no more Poisoned Pets.

      It is a vital necessity for my work to continue. I thought, if people cared – they would understand. Is it really necessary to have to tell people what dire straits I am in, to want to help? Because I do so much for people – without asking for anything in return or selling ad space and all the hundreds of other things that will shoot your credibility to hell – that if I asked for something that is vital to the work I do, that they might want to help.

      As it is Marie, so many other basic necessities come before such an extravagance as a refurbished laptop. I will just have to hope it doesn’t crash. Meanwhile, I run it in safe-mode. I’ve put what I can’t live without on a thumb-drive, for when the worst happens.

      I never even included it in my budget – I simply wanted people to know how desperate the situation is for struggling advocates like myself. I thought, maybe then, they would understand the immense pressure I am under – that I do all this work – essentially for free and on a broken-down ancient laptop.

      As it is, I do not get even enough donations to pay to keep Poisoned Pets running. I pay for it out of what little I have. And I will do it as long I have a breath left in my body.

      If someone want custom portraiture – there are a million hacks who can do that kind of work for peanuts. It took me weeks to do just that one drawing. I do not have the time to do custom portraits on the side. Again – I thought, that if people wanted to support PP they could buy a t-shirt or a mug. Or not.

      And in six months I will have to do this begging all over again. I should never have to do it. I hate it, it’s humiliating and degrading. I detest having to do it, but everyone says, “but you must!” But the humiliation doesn’t end there, the worst humiliation is yet to be endured – when you don’t get enough. It shouldn’t be like this. I shouldn’t have to beg to help.

      Do you know that out of the hundreds of thousands of crappy, useless, fluffy pet-centric websites that there are only three not-for-profit pet food safety advocates in all of the United States? Just three. And that we still have to beg to make ends meet is tragic. Tragic. If we lost just one of us, the balance of power is just that more in favor of Big Pet Food. When we go to those meetings there are hundreds of pet food and animal feed manufacturers there. Hundreds. And just three of us.

      No, I don’t think I have to apologize for asking for help with my broken-down laptop – because pet parents need me. Without us – there is not a hope in hell of anything ever changing.

      Reply

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