The following is a guest post by Holly Feral, Editor-in-Chief of the new vegan travel magazine, Driftwood.
We’ve invited Holly to introduce us to the history behind Driftwood and the Kickstarter campaign which is currently live and awaiting your help.
“You can’t be vegan when you travel”
That’s what friends told me when I became vegan. Since I was a little girl, watching news about war and starving countries, I dreamed of traveling and writing stories that would connect cultures, turning differences into uniqueness. Travel has always been a sacred time for me. When I board a plane or hike into a campground, I feel the relief of slipping out of context and being left with just my thoughts, my philosophy, and a few changes of underwear.
I was camping in the Mt. Hood woods last summer when my dreams came together in that "Aha!" moment. Sitting on the forest floor beneath the Douglas fir trees, I found myself explaining veganism to my friends, who couldn’t believe I was camping and not eating grilled eggs. As I spoke, I started to envision a vegan publication with powerful stories and beautiful print, exploring the adventure of vegan life.
I’d been working for several years on a concept for a travel magazine. The idea was to create a “Land-free Press,” publishing from the bowels of a boat that toured the world port-to-port. It would be the dream job, doing what I love, in the way I was skilled, to benefit the world.
My “Land-free Press” idea was evolving with my ethic, but the basics were the same. I took the idea back to the drawing board to look at the pieces. What were the fundamentals of what I wanted to create? It would be a publication that uplifts communities by exploring their culture. It would be without national borders. It would rely on good storytelling, interesting characters, and artistic imagery to celebrate a compassionate world and a better future.
As a journalist and a lover of the printed page, I wanted to see something with the strong print quality of Ad Busters, and the cultural focus of Rolling Stone, but where travel rather than music is the framework to reach out into the world. And I wanted it to reveal a world filled with compassionate people using all their gifts to change the way we treat our fellow beings.
After laying it all out, I realized that vegan travel is the perfect focus for this dream publication! I could use those stories from communities and individuals working to create a kinder world through veganism to share travel advice, innovations in products, and the future of veganism. Just looking around Portland, Oregon, I found the first vegan tattoo shop, clothing stores, and countless other vegan businesses.
I decided to keep the name I had for the boat. The publication would be called Driftwood to evoke a sense of change through travel and a strong aesthetic appeal. So, I got up and hiked down to Clear Lake to find the perfect piece for the logo. Little did I know when I picked up that little sliver of aged wood that it would be tattooed on my chest for the cover of issue one.
I’m finding that veganism is more than just a part of my philosophy. It is a shared belief that links me to a larger community made up of regional subcultures with their own social dynamics, styles, philosophies, and celebrations. A quick tour around Facebook led me to groups like Vegan Japan, Vegan South Korea, Vegan Society South Africa, and Italy for Vegans. There are groups like Vegan Feminists, Vegan Body Building, and For the Love of Vegan Shoes.
I took my rough image of the Driftwood logo and started sharing it with vegan groups. Instantly, there was a reaction from vegans who, like me, were dying for a publication that goes beyond 101 how-tos, recipes, and celebrity lists. Someone shared my post with a blogger who has worked in a range of publishing from Penguin Books to muscle car magazines. She jumped at the opportunity to help create a vegan magazine focused on people and culture. We met up for coffee to talk about the idea. Coffee turned into lunch. Lunch turned into the creation of an editorial board.
Pretty soon, we got an email from a savvy designer who was excited to create something new and uniquely artistic in vegan media. Together, the three of us had the Driftwood website up and running within a few weeks.
We didn’t slow down from there. We immediately launched Vegan Faces, a community portrait collection using high-quality portraits paired with bio information and a personal quote, to start the process of revealing the truth about the vegan community one person at a time. It didn’t take long to reach vegans in other countries, and submissions started coming in from South Korea, Italy, and South Africa.
Now that we’re within a few months of printing our first issue, we’ve launched our subscription drive through a Kickstarter campaign. We’re putting it all on the line to create a magazine where vegans can read about each other. We called it “a travel and culture digest for the graduated vegan” because we want to make a magazine for people who don’t need help becoming vegan. Driftwood is a place for us to celebrate our communities and the possibilities of a vegan world.
As the idea spreads, more inventors, thinkers, and makers are finding ways to veganize our lives in more places than the dinner table.
In the beginning, veganism can seem like a lonely journey. Since creating Driftwood, I’ve met vegans in nearly every country who are musicians, artists, scientists, bakers, and people of all walks and vocations. My world expands with every new story, portrait, and endeavor. We’re on a journey to find new ways of doing things and the people doing them, and to share what we find with you.
Dale & Franca: We’re both incredibly excited to see what the future holds for Holly and the team at Driftwood and hope that they get the funding they need before the end of their current fundraising campaign.