Erin and Justin Jackson are the epitome of power couples. These two love birds (and bird lovers) are the founders and visionaries behind The Magnanimal Project, an organization capturing the essence of local animal welfare nonprofits through monthly “movements.” Each month, The Magnanimal Project joins forces with a nonprofit to feature behind-the-scenes stories, photos of their sweetest creatures, and selling limited edition t-shirt swag.
Their first movement just launched, so we sat down with Justin and Erin over veggie burgers to find out how The Magnanimal Project was born, who they feature, and how you can help (even if you’re a meat lover).
What’s your background and why did you start The Magnanimal Project?
Erin: I started working with animals back in 2013. I met the founder of a farm sanctuary in New York at the first VegFest in Atlanta. She talked about an internship they offered and I had an urge to take a leap of faith embarking on a new career path. So I went up to New York to do work with them for 6 weeks and it was very life changing for me.
At that point, I was already vegan and had always been involved in some sort of animal advocacy. Doing the internship was a catalyst for other work I became involved in.
When I started to think about what I wanted to do next, animals always stuck out in my mind. I wanted to use my talents that is beneficial to the community.
Justin: I went to school for graphic communication management, which in 2009 was a dying industry. I have a creative background but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it post college. I was able to teach myself graphic design which I do full-time now as a senior designer.
When Erin and I had the idea for The Magnanimal Project, I was so excited because I finally get to put my art out into the world in a way that will benefit so many lives.
Can you talk about The Magnanimal Project and what you want to accomplish?
Justin: Every month we partner with an organization within the vegan/animal community. During that time we will be piecing together what they’re doing through storytelling alongside amazing pictures taken by Erin. In addition, we design a limited edition t-shirt that will be for sale on our website. At the end of the month, 25% of proceeds goes directly to them to help further their mission.
For us, it’s about shining a light on the varying organizations that do different things for animals. Even looking at our first three organizations, they couldn’t be more different. We have a farm sanctuary, a vegan food co-op and a group which works with animals from domestic violence households.
Erin: The foundation of The Magnanimal Project is showing the humanity behind the stories as well as the beauty of animals. What I really love is highlighting an organization in a way to promote community involvement to further animal advocacy.
Justin: There is such diversity within the organizations that we work with, it’s about showing different audiences the cross-pollination and the common thread regarding overall compassion for animals.
People may not be vegetarian, let alone vegan. Can you talk about why it’s still beneficial for people to be involved with The Maganimal Project even if they’re meat lovers?
Erin: It’s about awareness. Bringing attention to the treatment of animals in any situation and how we can lend a more compassionate hand. In the end, if people feel inspired to participate in a Meatless Monday or go vegan then yay!
At the very least, we hope people will read the stories we share.
Why start in Atlanta? How do we stack up against some of the other major cities?
Erin: We wanted to start out in Atlanta because we love our city and want to show what it has to offer. It is booming with more vegan-friendly options and opportunities every day. We are still discovering new restaurants and organizations ourselves. Therefore, we want to be a platform of resources and education.
Justin: Every group we’ve encountered or have volunteered with here are all made up of really wonderful, and tenaciously passionate people. They care so deeply about what they stand for, and it’s really an honor to be working next to them, period.
Plus, who doesn’t love a little hometown pride?
Grab your limited-edition t-shirts and help Full Circle Farm Sanctuary here. Learn more about The Magnanimal Project here and keep up with their animal-loving journey by following them on Instagram and Facebook.
Photos are property of The Magnanimal Project.