The Mercy For Animals Internship: Week 1

Week one of my four week internship is nearing completion. I’ll admit it’s been a very stressful week with Pete breaking his collar bone and having to take on a lot more responsibility at the house things have been very stressful.

Here are some of my duties at Mercy:

1. Leafleting when I’m in the Chicago. Leafleting is passing out informational brochures to people on the street in a selected location typically with good lighting and high foot traffic.

2. Scanning articles on the newspapers for Letter to the Editor responses. I check out Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader and The Red Eye in Illinois. I also check out NWI Times, Post Tribune, Journal Gazette, South Bend Tribune and Indianapolis Star scanning the news headlines/stories for anything MFA could react to.

3. I check out google alerts on veganism, vegetarianism, Mercy For Animals and animal cruelty for articles written by online writers and blogs for articles to comment on to get MFA’s name out there. I comment as a citizen and not a MFA intern. I direct people to and and make quick comments on their applicable posts.

4. I was assigned to a project where I’m helping Phil who is on an outreach campaign against Walmart’s cruelty towards mother pigs in gestational crates. I google vegan and animal right’s groups in a particular city and send out emails to those groups telling them when Phil will be in their area and that encouraging them to come help out the protest.

5. I go to fairs on the weekends and (wo)man the MFA table along with other interns and volunteers.

6. I get to hang out with Oliver, the office dog on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I go into the office.

This is what I’ve been doing so far and will be doing this weekend. It’s been a full week! I love every minute of it. One thing my mentor/supervisor Mikael constantly tells me is to stay balanced. He says if you don’t take care of yourself then you can’t help the animals and he’s right.

One thing I did with teaching dance was I put every extra ounce of time I had and gave it to my students. I would say I would come in and teach every Saturday when I really had no desire to do that. I felt like I gave so much and never got any appreciation back. This is different because it’s a selfless act. I know that even if I put in 5 minutes a day an animal will be helped somehow, someway, somewhere. I can make an impact and difference because I want to.

If you want to see what animal activism is all about I highly recommend either this 20 hour per week part-time internship or simply volunteering a few hours to leaflet or table at an event. MFA couldn’t exist without their interns and volunteers.

I’ll be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park in Chicago from 10:30am-3:30pm this weekend helping out at the MFA table. Please come join me and volunteer if you wish. I’d love to see you there. Animal activism is a great way to make a difference in an animal’s life and whether they have one or not.

I’ll admit that the internship being in Chicago is just amazing. I love the drive and seeing city twice a week. The office is right down the street from Trader Joe’s and very close to The Chicago Diner!!! If you’ve ever had their mac n cheese or shakes then you know what I’m talking about…delish!

It’s been a great first week! I’ll post on my progress next Friday for week two!

Sara Sawochka


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