On Radical Kindness

| Vegan Good Life

On Radical Kindness - Behind the Cover Artwork of Issue 7 - Vegan Good Life Magazine

If not now, when? When we discussed ideas for the cover of our new issue 7, we were not aware that our call for “radical kindness” that is now painted over the actual cover art in thick, yellow, shiny letters, would get a whole other layer of meaning due to recent world affairs.

Text & Photos: Eric Mirbach
Illustration: Tina Tenkmann

With Ed Winters aka Earthling Ed, we have the arguably most prominent representative of a new generation of animal rights activists on the cover. What makes Ed so special is, on the one hand, his omnipresence on social media, especially Youtube, where he speaks to an audience of over 250.000 people (and counting).

“Always respectful, but guided by a demand for the truth – even if it hurts.”

On the other hand, though, it’s the way he’s championing a new form of discussion around animal rights, creating a culture in dialogue that has been missing. Always respectful, always on eye level, always considerate and thoughtful, but always clear, fact oriented and guided by a demand for truth – even if it hurts. As you maybe can imagine, that’s something the Vegan Good Life team, as a whole, can get behind. So we were positive about using the cover to convey that message as well.

Our photographers Aglaja Brix and Florian Maas on set shooting for our cover in Berlin, Germany – and the final result.


Our photographers Aglaja Brix and Florian Maas on set shooting for our cover in Berlin, Germany – and the final result.

One thing was for certain: Our photographer duo Brix and Maas would photograph the activist in a way he has not been shown before. Their signature style, a slightly dark and borderline ‘romantic’ photography that’s heavily influenced by classic Parisian fashion photography, would stage Ed Winters in a different setting than what we’re used to see him in. But when Vegan Good Life aesthetics meet outspoken activism, we thought that should show on the cover. So we asked art director Tina Tenkmann for typography and she illustrated the yellow, bright fonts by hand – it took us days and dozens of tries to get it just right. And here we are.

Art Director Tina Tenkmann creating the base font for the cover artwork by hand to then transfer into digital.

Now what we didn’t know at this point in time is that the outbreak of a worldwide pandemic that is undoubtedly a result of our distorted relationship and our perverted way of interacting with animals. While that’s nothing new and definitely can’t be limited to Chinese wet markets and wild animals (shout out bird flu, what up swine flu), valuing the idea of uncompromising care for others higher than monetary gains, private freedom or the unapologetic commercial of virtually everything money now finds its way into our collective consciousness for the first time.

“This pandemic is a chance for society to finally change its ways.”

For us, the silver lining is that this pandemic is a real chance for society to finally implement this principle in a holistic way. Just because the news seemingly have decided to downgrade to a Covid19 news ticker, climate change is still real and that threat, which is based on very solid science (which is more than what can be said about the pandemic at this point in time), may need even more drastic measures than what the world is going through now with government-declared lockdowns. And maybe, just maybe, we might be able to transfer the new-found sense of responsibility and consideration we have developed for our elders onto other species as well. It is more than time for radical kindness and we need to gift it to all living beings.

The word “radical” originates from the late Latin word for “roots” and means “going to the origin”. I’ve never understood what’s so bad about going to the root of things, thinking them anew and starting at the essentials. With issue 7 of Vegan Good Life magazine, we hope to do exactly that. And we would love it if you could join us. We need you.


Read the full "Earthling" Ed Winters interview in Vegan Good Life 7

The very best in plant based fashion, travel, lifestyle, art & design. Issue 7 of Vegan Good Life Magazine, your one-stop-destination for vegan counterculture.

  • Interview: “Earthling Ed” Winters on Activism
  • Interview: Zero Waste Chef Max La Manna
  • A Weekend in Warsaw
  • How to love Sneakers with a Conscience
  • Streep rap gone vegan: Moses Pelham & Vega
  • Portrait: Tommy Four Seven

148 pages on high quality paper from sustainable forestry. Printed in Germany.

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