Meet the Team: Vinyse Barber – Operations Coordinator
Vinyse Barber – Operations Coordinator. Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur
Meet some of the wonderful individuals behind We Animals Media (WAM) in our Meet the Team Q&A series. Each month throughout 2023 we’ll be publishing a new behind-the-scenes feature for you to learn about the folks at WAM.
This month we spoke with our Operations Coordinator, Vinyse Barber.
Hometown and where I live now
What’s my background?
After getting an accounting designation, I quickly realized I wanted to change careers! I went back to school to do a Masters in non-profit management and have worked in volunteer engagement, operations and program coordination with charities for the past 15 years. My volunteer work has focused on the environment and animals and has led to making so many friends with similar values and interests.
My favourite snack is onigiri, a Japanese rice ball stuffed with savoury morsels of deliciousness (such as soy-marinated mushrooms), usually shaped into a triangle and wrapped with seaweed. They are the perfect on-the-go snack!
What I do at We Animals Media (WAM)
I’m the Operations Coordinator at WAM, which means I do a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff, including policy and process development, HR, contracts, travel coordination and general administration. In addition, I love my external-facing responsibilities, including volunteer coordination and connecting with people who reach out through our general inbox.
How I like to spend my leisure time
I love connecting with friends over food and often organize potlucks, cookbook clubs and gatherings at Toronto’s amazing vegan restaurants.
What I love about working at WAM
Since joining the WAM team this past spring, I’ve been consistently in awe of my incredible colleagues. I have never worked somewhere where every single person is so passionate about the organization, committed wholeheartedly to the cause and incredibly good at their job! It’s so motivating!
A little about my rescue animals
Stubby showed up at a feral cat colony in 2011 – he has no teeth or tail! We adopted him in 2017, and since then, he’s gotten used to the luxuries of indoor life. We adopted sweet senior dog Quizno in January 2020. He can often be heard snoring during online meetings.
Something quirky about me people don’t know
I have a million side project ideas that I plan out with great enthusiasm. The most recent ones include selling onigiri (see above) and/or vegan dim sum, mostly because I want easy access to eating both, all the time.
This photo taken by Aaron Gekoski in Vietnam is burned in my mind. Four frightened dogs in a cage, looking away from two dogs who have been slaughtered and gutted for the meat trade. It’s unbearably sad, and anyone seeing the photo would feel incredible empathy for the dogs. It makes me think about ALL the animals who are used for food – what they see, and what they go through in their lives that are cut too short for someone’s meal. I felt many different types of emotions when I first saw Aaron’s photo. I felt sadness for the dogs, frustration knowing that some people will feel moved only because dogs are seen as companion animals, and hope – for a future when all animals will be viewed with the same amount of compassion and concern.
Dogs slated to be killed for their meat stare into the camera from within a small and crowded cage at a slaughterhouse on Huu Hung Street in Hanoi, Vietnam. From within the cage, these dogs have a full view of the other individuals slaughtered before them. Behind this cage lie the charred bodies of two recently killed dogs. Vietnam, 2022. Aaron Gekoski / Asia for Animals Coalition / We Animals Media
Connect with me if…
You’re interested in volunteering with WAM!