Before Haytap, the first Turkish animal rights federation, numerous isolated associations had been struggling for years, focusing exclusively on rescuing local stray dogs and cats. Those kind individuals were so exhausted and resource-strapped that they couldn’t catch their breaths and plan far ahead. It took Ahmet Kemal Şenpolat, a lawyer with a broad perspective, long-term commitment and strategic thinking to create a national umbrella federation with national influence and a clear agenda. But change, no matter how needed, can be painful and face opposition. In this case, Şenpolat’s inclination to spend money on countrywide awareness campaigns was sometimes a tough sell to local rescuers who care for hundreds of dogs and can’t always afford to feed them. This is the story of how an important change of focus took place in the Turkish animal advocacy world. [Read more…]
When Oyku Buyukdere isn’t dispensing advice as a positive psychology life coach, she’s busy fostering and rehabilitating “problematic” rescue dogs, volunteering for charity/shelter Haydos, running awareness campaigns to improve animal laws in her country on behalf of Haytap (the Turkish animal rights federation) and curating her popular YouTube channels. Such a hectic schedule hasn’t affected her sense of humor: “I work eight hours a day to earn money so I can put in another eight hours spending that money on rescue efforts.” This energetic vegan credits positive psychology for her sustained happiness and sanity while advocating for animals in a country where dogs are often beaten, shot or even raped. And if that’s not enough, there are security concerns: Since July 2015, terrorist acts have killed hundreds of civilians. In fact, when the March 19 bombings occurred in Istanbul, Oyku was a few blocks away, attending a Haytap conference with fellow members representing animal rights NGOs from all over Turkey.
Although we usually cover businesses that are already operating, The Positive Animal is making an exception for Dirkosh because it’s such a brilliant idea. This healthy, tasty vegan snack—with potential to become a worldwide fad—will be produced by Ethiopian workers with raw materials bought from local farmers. Read how the founders of this enterprise have really done their homework and are ready to get started. Our readers can get involved with this exciting project and be rewarded with delicious samples. [Read more…]