The Trunks of Love Kick-Off Reception took place this past Saturday, June 10th from 6-8pm at The Baker House 1650 in East Hampton. The third annual event to benefit Veterinarians International was hosted by Baker House 1650 proprietor Antonella Bertello. This beautiful and well-attended event offered guests the opportunity to not only learn more about the mission of Veterinarians International, but to offer supporters the opportunity to meet and greet with Veterinarians International’s veterinarians, nurses and ambassadors.
Veterinarians International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to enhance the health of humans, animals, and the environment through the use of sound veterinary care and expertise.
The reception featured wines provided by Wolffer Estate Vineyard, cocktails by Palm Bay International Inc., and hors d’oeuvres prepared by Gourmet Garage. The hors d’oeuvres included a selection of premium cheeses, dried and fresh fruit, crackers, vegetables, pretzels, pistachios, chips, all accompanied by a variety of dips and accompaniments. I noticed a little nod to the elephants as many of the foods to nosh on while mingling are ones that elephants enjoy to eat.
There was a silent auction table, with donors including Jean-Georges at Topping Rose House, and Mandala Yoga. Available for purchase were professional matted photographs by Don and Kim Toothman and Anders Jorulf, t-shirts for children and adults, beautifully designed tote bags, and baseball caps. Helen Ficorala created beautiful elephant charms that were for sale at the event and specifically made to help fund their programs. I purchased the Pink Gold Charm! Stella Flame Jewelry also had select pieces of her jewelry for sale, with proceeds benefitting Veterinarians International. Flame, the designer had mentioned that she just returned from a trip to Thailand to see first-hand the work that this incredible non-profit does. It is a trip I would love to make one day.
It was so heartwarming to hear the Veterinarians discuss the work that they do in countries across Asia, South America and Africa. The event also brought to light some hard truths about how elephants and many animals are treated. I was startled to learn about an inhumane process called The Crush. Crushing is the traditional Asian torture of young elephants to break their spirit so they will be submissive to humans. The crush may last from several days to weeks, and usually begins by removing the young elephant from its mother at 2-3 years old. The elephant is then restrained, beaten, and starved until its spirit is crushed. This is an outrageous practice that really angered me. Veterinarians International has been tirelessly working to find alternative methods of training elephants and not having them be subjected to such barbaric treatments.
A separate challenge that is faced is unemployment in Thailand. How does this relate to elephants? A complete ban on logging in 1989 put several thousand elephants and mahouts out of work (a mahout is a person who works with, and tends an elephant). Without a steady stream of income, elephants cannot be fed the 200 kilograms of food they require daily, making it increasingly harder to keep and care for them.
Veterinarians International’s mission is to enhance the health of humans, animals, and the environment through the use of sound veterinary care and expertise. To accomplish this, they partner with like-minded groups around the world who are working to ensure the animals in their communities are receiving the veterinary care they so desperately need. The organization participates in community meetings, deliver vaccines, and provide training programs in animal health, food production, nutrition, husbandry, and disease control, so the men and women on the ground can improve the conditions within their communities.
“At Vets International, we believe that we all must work together to achieve mutual well-being. In fact, the CDC estimates that about 75% of recently emerging diseases and more than 60% of all human diseases originate in animals. Thus, improving animal health will dramatically improve human health.”
To make a donation to Veterinarians International, please click here. How will your support help?:
- $10 can pay for dewormers for 5 dogs or cats
- $20 can pay a veterinarian for one full day of work
- $100 can cover the production of educational materials for kids for one school visit
- $200 can provide a basket of veterinary medicine and livestock health supplies for one woman’s herd of goats for 1 year
- $250 can pay for an elephant’s annual preventative veterinary care
(and many more price-point opportunities!)
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Tickets are still available for the Trunks of Love Gala on Friday, August 11th at 6pm in East Hampton. Purchase your tickets soon as the event is selling out quickly.