Tuesday, December 24, 2013

THE GIFT OF A LOVING HOME

A volunteer with a homeless kitten at Dallas Animal Services. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon.

EVERY YEAR, APPROXIMATELY FOUR MILLION HOMELESS ANIMALS are killed in shelters around the country. Millions languish in cages, often for years. The problem is staggering, yet one with a tangible and clear solution. If even a fraction of the human population in the United States opened their homes to just one rescued animal; if we all spayed and neutered our pets; and rejected the notion of buying animals from pet stores or breeders, effectively cutting off support to puppy mills — the practice of putting adoptable animals to sleep would become obsolete. What better time to begin the domino effect of compassion than right now, today? During a season when we partake in the tradition of gift-giving and gather with our loved ones, why not give an animal in need the ultimate gift – a loving home and a family? The expression may be a cliché, but in this instance it truly would be “the gift that keeps on giving.” Anyone who has rescued an animal will attest to a love and gratitude unmatched. It is life-transforming and life-affirming. Shelters across the country are holding adoptions with reduced adoption fees. We’ve highlighted a few in major cities, but be sure to check in with shelters in your area.

•DALLAS, TX

Dallas Animal Services will remain open with regular hours Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (and closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). All adoption fees are only $25 every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in December, and the animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Their main location is open until 6.30pm, and its sister adoption location at PetSmart Adoption Center is open until 8 pm. You can view their adoptable pets here, or best yet just show up in person and let your heart guide you to your new friend. Keep up to date on their latest announcements on their Facebook page. Main location: 1818 N. Westmoreland Road Dallas, Texas 75212 phone: 214-670-8246 | PetSmart: 16821 N Coit Road, Dallas, TX 75248 phone: 972-381-1588

•NEW YORK CITY•

Animal Care and Control is the big city shelter, required by law to accept all animals. Although the shelter has a caring staff, it is underfunded and overcrowded. It’s not a no-kill shelter, which means when they run out of space and adoption is not secured, animals are put down. This is the tragic result of the current homeless pet crisis. But it can be remedied simply by welcoming an animal into your home. The shelter will remain open throughout the holiday season with its regular adoption hours of 12-7pm. They are offering reduced adoption fees through December 31st. Cats: $20; dogs: $40; puppies & kittens: $75; and rabbits: $35. All adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccinations, a pre-registered microchip, an identification tag, a collar, and a certificate for a free initial exam at a participating vet. Adoptable pets can be searched for here. You can also foster an animal from AC&C, as you can with any shelter. Primary location is in Manhattan at 326 East 110th Street. phone: 212-788-4000. Other locations: in Brooklyn at 2336 Linden Boulevard | and Staten Island at 3139 Veterans Road West.

North Shore Animal League  is a no-kill shelter that does many of its recuses from kill shelters. They will be open both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Adoptable pets can be viewed here. And follow them on Facebook for latest news. Located at 25 Davis Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050 phone: 516-883-7575  

There are many other wonderful shelters in NYC including Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Animal Haven, Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and more — all of them rescue animals from high-kill shelters and situations of neglect.

A pup who finally found a loving home. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon.

•LOS ANGELES, CA•

Los Angeles Animal Services has six locations around the city, including their North Central Shelter, which has an active Facebook feed, with daily listings of animals in need of adoption. This is a kill shelter, so the urgency to adopt or foster from here is especially great. Every weekend in December, their adoption fee is only $25. Search their adoptable list of pets here, or better yet just show up at 3201 Lacy Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031 phone: 213-485-5767

•PHILADELPHIA, PA•

Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia is offering reduced adoption fees for all pets for the entire month of December. Adult dogs: $25; cats: $20. The adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery, microchip, and age appropriate vaccinations. Find for your new best friend through their online database or come to their open house on Christmas Day from 11am-3pm. The shelter is open weekdays 1–8pm, and weekends 10-5pm. Located at 111 W Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140 phone: 267-385-3800

•CHICAGO, IL•

One Tail at a Time is a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue that houses all of their animals in foster care. This holiday season they are one of the many rescues participating in Best Friends Animal Society’s nationwide “Adopt ’til You Drop” campaign. Best Friends is an organization whose mission is to end the killing in America’s shelters. One Tail at a Time is offering $50 off their regular adoption fees until the end of December. All fees cover a wellness exam, spay/neuter, all age-appropriate vaccinations, heartworm test, and microchip. Follow their Facebook page for frequent updates on adoptable pups.

Your soulmate awaits! And here’s a sweet video that friend-to-animals Moby made at Best Friends’ adoption center in LA to help spring you into action:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ISSUE THREE of LAIKA Has Arrived!

DEAREST READERS, IT IS WITH ABSOLUTE JOY THAT WE PRESENT our Third Issue: The Irresistible Issue! Built with so much heart — it celebrates the wonderment and enchantment of living life with love and compassion. You get closer, because you can’t take your eyes off the dynamic duo gracing our cover – Jason Wrobel, the magnetic star of the Cooking Channel’s How To Live to 100, and Whitney Lauritsen, the powerhouse force behind Eco-Vegan Gal. Individually, they are breaking new ground. And together, they are a captivating example of the camaraderie and mutual support of the vibrant vegan community. Inside the issue, you’ll delve into stories that will stay with you – of influencers who are shaping the world, exciting product developments, big-picture ideas. You’ll get drawn in with compelling, exclusive content, gorgeous photography, and thought-provoking essays. We criss-cross the country, travel to Canada and France, and come back to you with subject matter you won’t find anywhere else.

We bring you tasty tales of culinary creators from the East Coast to the Midwest – all of them innovating in the world of vegan cuisine, using a variety of exciting techniques and styles.

We take you on unforgettable journeys that you won’t want to end – to places where remarkable animals are free to be themselves among their allies – their incredible human caregivers. Like the ones you’ll find in our feature “The Compatriots,” photographed at three different sanctuaries on the West Coast- Animal Place Sanctuary, and Farm Sanctuary in Orland, CA and Farm Sanctuary in Acton, CA.

We continue to bring you the yummiest can’t-look-away-from discoveries from the world of beauty – all curated with great care. And all, as always, vegan and cruelty-free.

We showcase super-fun, showstopping fashion that you covet not only because it turns heads, but because it allows your to wear your heart on your sleeve.

We cover fascinating individuals from a variety of creative spheres, who are good at what they do, and also do good for others. Like the hypertalented DJ and producer Eli Escobar, whose passion for music and dedication to living compassionately are equally inspiring.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We hope you’ll develop as big of a crush on our Third Issue as we have right now. This is our biggest issue yet, brimming with hard-to-resist material. And stay tuned for web-only extras and behind-the-scenes goodies. We are so grateful to have your love and support, dearest readers. See you soon!..

 

Cover and Media Dream Team feature photographed by Melissa Schwartz • Taste Makers photographed by Balarama HellerThe Compatriots photographed by Sylvia Elzafon Play With Makeup photographed by Ashley Barhamand Just Chill photographed by Lauren Perlstein In Tune photographed by Joel Barhamand

Thursday, July 25, 2013

BEHIND THE SCENES

A KEY FACTOR IN A SUCCESSFUL PHOTO SHOOT IS FUN. We had an absolute blast shooting “Super Natural,” the beauty feature in our brand new issue. And how does this fun happen? Well…you start with some sincere passion, then add to that a group of creative individuals, an idea everyone can get behind, some rockin’ tunes… and blend, blend, blend! Oh, and of course, lots of hard work is involved. But when you’re having fun, hard work becomes second nature. Speaking of nature, she was our muse in the making of the beauty feature! Get glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action in our exclusive video: 

Having the talented Melisser Elliott on board again, who did makeup and hair on two features in our Premier Issue, was a no-brainer. Of course, as always, she used all vegan and cruelty-free makeup and hair products, and shared indispensible beauty tips. Our amazing photographer Ashley Macknica provided the city/nature concept for the shoot and the perfect location for it in the form of her East Village home in NYC. Our vegan model Maggie Geha had just the right look, and was a total pro in not only taking direction, but adding her own personality to the shoot (she’s also an actress!) We took things a step further this time and also included fashion stylist! Liz Polden pulled an amazing selection of vegan and ethically-produced garments, which really made all of the beauty looks come alive. Our amazing nail artist Miss Pop dazzled up the digits with her second-to-none artistry and cruelty-free lacquers. We even had a prop stylist—Jules Manoogian finessed the details of our portrait and product shots. All of this amounted to a dream project for me to art direct! So, there you have it—a shoot so fun, you’d want to do it over and over!

IN OUR EQUALLY-FUN FASHION FEATURE “SUMMER FLING,” WE PAIRED cutting-edge style with a vintage hair look. To achieve this, we recruited makeup and hair maestro Bettina May, who also just so happens to be an outspoken vegan burlesque star! Bettina created a lovely modern take on the classic pin-up hair do. “The best way to create soft glamorous curls is with an old-fashioned roller set,” she explains. Here, she gives us simple instructions on how you can re-create this look at home:

[1] To start, comb the hair into the part you want for the style. Then, using the end of a rattail comb, section hair into equal parts, and spritz the setting spray from root to tip (about 3 sprays will do it for medium length hair) holding the bottle 8-10 inches from hair.

[2] Next, rolling away from the part, wrap the hair around your curler, always rolling under, and make sure your ends are wrapped in neatly. For best results, use smaller rollers around the face, and larger curlers on the top of the head.

[3] Leave hot rollers in for at least 30 minutes (just enough time to do your makeup!), and then unroll the curlers and brush fabulous curls out with your fingers or a nylon bristle hair brush (I love the classic Mason Pearson brushes). And voilà— a sexy throwback, perfect for summer.

See the final result on our vegan model Emily Wilson, along with gorgeous vegan fashion and accessories, in our BRAND NEW ISSUE!

Beauty Feature video filmed and edited by Robert Poswall.

Emily Wilson photographed by Balarama Heller.

Written by Julie Gueraseva. Hair how-to written by Bettina May.