Cast Your Vote

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Ever since I was very young, I was taught the importance of voting. In school we learn about how hard our country fought for individual freedoms and the ability to choose those who govern them. We’re taught that even though we are only one person, our say matters and can lead to change. These values are the heart and soul of the United States.

However, it seems that this principle applies in many other areas of life outside of politics, but continues to go unnoticed by many. What else has history taught us? That money makes the world go ’round. Therefore, as individuals and as a society, we need to pay attention to and be cautious of what we spend our money on.

For each item that you buy, you are casting your vote that you would like to see more of this product and everything that went into making it and getting it to your local stores. In this way, becoming a vegan can make a practical influence on the world. This is the connection I think many people are failing to make. It may be easy to love animals, yet still find it easy to eat meat because there is such a large distance between the practices of factory farms, the act of killing an animal and seeing its pain and suffering.

Sadly, ignoring the harsh realities behind the steak on your dinner plate will not make them cease to exist. Each time you stop at McDonald’s, buy deli meat, or pick up some bacon for your breakfast the next morning, you are casting your vote as a citizen of this society. You are saying you approve and support the product and its means. We can never expect these horrible atrocities and business practices to stop if we continue to finance them. We need to stand up and make an effort to produce the change we want to see in the world.

Don’t vote for violence. ❤

Be Your Own Shoulder to Cry On

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I sincerely apologize for periodically disappearing and not posting for months. However, I have just recently come to the climax of a long, drawn-out emotional ordeal involving the former love of my life. After my decision to break off our two-year relationship, we stayed close for months, keeping in regular contact and seeing each other often. Unfortunately, now that he has began seeing a new woman, he has seen fit to severe ties with me completely.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that I was the one who ended things and most likely broke his heart. He had every right to hate me. However, given that things roughly stayed the same regarding our friendship afterwards, I am absolutely crushed to lose such an influential and important person in my life, someone I’d even have gone as far as to consider my family. This sudden change of heart has left me feeling rather alone in this world. To think that someone who truly and intimately knew me could cast me aside and forget me so easily is a staggering blow. Am I so worthless and replaceable?

I found myself close to cutting myself for the first time in years, hating myself for the first time in years. I felt as though I had no true friends left in the world and any new friendship that developed would be transient and someday fade away with similar agony.

But then I remembered that even if I have been abandoned by everyone in my life, I will never again abandon myself. I will love myself. I will continue to fight and to try to make myself the person I know that I am inside. I will be the one to hold myself tight and calm myself down. I will confide in myself and care for my own pain. I will never leave me, and I will always understand.

So if any of you reading this have felt or are feeling the way I have been, I encourage you to be gentle with yourself. Stand up for yourself and when the world turns away, don’t be afraid to stand alone. You are a magnificent and unique soul and you have your own consciousness and desires and passion to live for. You have yourself, and you also have me if you ever need someone to talk to. Don’t ever forget that.

Stay strong, my loves.

The Responsibility of Being Human

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It seems to be agreed upon by the vast majority of the world, than humans are different, superior, to the other animals that inhabit this earth. I would agree except, instead, I would say that human beings have the potential to be great. However, as things stand right now, we are merely more pompous and self-righteous.

You see, as humans we have been blessed and cursed with a large capacity for intellect and understanding. We can conceive of the future, for ourselves and for things beyond us, we recognize death, and we comprehend the intricate relationship between our actions, individually and as a species, on each other and our world.

Up until this point in our progression as a species, we have been selfish, as would be expected. We, like any other animal, strive to secure our place in this world and ensure our survival and comfort. However, we have long since achieved these goals. With the technology we have created and the availability of information and resources that we have accumulated, there is no longer any excuse for us to continue existing is such a short-sighted and selfish manner.

It is time that we set aside our childish pleasures that we know to harm the earth and even ourselves. We must do what is best for all of the world and its inhabitants. We have the power to do so. Human beings are capable of so much more. It is time for us to realize what is important and stop behaving like we have no control over our fates and the fate of our world. Together we could create a utopia. We could live with nature instead of against it, if only greed was not so many people’s driving force.

Open your hearts. Use your heads. We do not have much time left to us. We owe it to ourselves and to the world to utilize our sublime ability to reason and understand and act. Let us help each other to reach enlightenment. Don’t live your life in comfortable ignorance. Do your part to spread intelligence and joy and tolerance. We say that we are more than animals. Let’s start showing it.

Stay peaceful, fellows. ❤

The Frustration of Veganism

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You often hear people discuss the “challenges” of becoming vegan such as limiting yourself, constantly having to read ingredients, not being able to eat at certain restaurants, expenses, etc. However, no one ever mentioned to me the most difficult part of veganism: other people. The constant battle that you face everyday is having to justify yourself to ignorant, inconsiderate, and often down-right rude people.

Before becoming vegan, I was, of course, exposed to the classic holier-than-thou vegan stereotype. I never thought much of it, but after becoming vegan myself, it is infuriating. As a vegan, you are questioned and criticized at every turn (at least if you are from an area like I am.) But if you even attempt to defend yourself, then you are just some “crazy” tree-hugger that thinks you are better than everyone else.

You are expected to have endless references from which you acquired your knowledge, yet no one else seems to need any kind of justification for their false statements about meat and dairy and protein and whatnot. I would have hoped that by this point in history that people would know that just because something is widely believed, does not make it true. I just cannot for the life of me understand what these vegan critics want from us.

Vegans are the victims of endless jokes and ribbing that we are supposed to just brush off. Well, I am fed up with it. This is not just some silly game to make ourselves feel important. Why would so many people make such a drastic change from the ordinary just to feel superior? We are clearly standing up for the things we believe. I am sorry that that seems to threaten so many people out there. If you don’t want to lend a hand in saving our environment, your own body, and millions of innocent lives, then that is your problem, but don’t you dare try to make me feel silly for doing so. Even if the world is too far gone to save, I will not be a part of its destruction and it sickens me that so many people would rather do that than open their minds to a new way of living and admit that we as a species have been selfish and careless.

Time to stand up for our Mother Earth, my loves. ❤

Do Not Buy These Products!

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I am not certain how other grocery stores around the country (or world) are set up, but the ones in my area seem to be purposefully misleading. The stores that I frequent generally contain all of the strictly vegan food products that I buy in a designated area. It is sometimes labeled the organic section. This is very convenient, but can also be quite frustrating.

Frequently, I still find myself scanning over many items among the selection that are not vegan or not even vegetarian. These items such as “organic eggs” or “grass-fed beef” are set among vegan products as just another “healthful alternative” to more commonplace foods. However, as we vegans know, this is not the case. Despite packaging labels like “free-range” we know that these foods are still contributing to the abuse and subjugation of our animal friends and that meat and dairy, no matter how it is raised or processed, is still unhealthy for the human body.

The brand Go Veggie!, shown above, is one example of this misleading situation. For the first few years of exploring the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, I saw this green packaging, suggestive brand name, and lactose free label and bought this product countless times under the impression that it must be a vegan cheese alternative. However, after finally reading the ingredients on the back of the package, I saw that these “cheddar flavor slices” did contain a small amount of dairy!

I was alarmed and outraged. It seems like brands such as this one are purposefully trying to obtain more customers by deceiving them. Not only that, this cheese tastes awful! It is not nearly as close to the taste of cheese as are true vegan alternatives such as Daiya. Upon further investigation of the Go Veggie! brand, I found that they do produce actual dairy free cheese products, so I am not entirely sure why they are even making this alternate, non-vegan, merely lactose-free option. This company just does not sit well with me.

The point is, never let yourself assume that a product is vegan just based on its packaging or placement in the grocery store. As much as we’d all like to stop obsessing over endless lists of ingredients, unless it specifically says it is vegan, there is a good chance that it is not. Don’t let these bullies push their products on us unknowingly. Make sure your money is supporting true vegan brands.

Stay vigilant, my friends. ❤

5 Benefits of a Vegan Lifestyle

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Unlike many people out there. I have no interest in guilting anyone into becoming a vegan. I do not want anyone to feel like they are an awful person for eating meat, because not so long ago, I was one of those people. It can be extremely hard to break away from the norms of our society. It is even harder when you feel like to do so you have to admit you have been committing evil and shameful acts. So don’t look at it that way. We all make mistakes, and the meat and dairy industries are working hard every day to make sure that consuming animal products is one of them. Instead of focusing on the abuse and the pain and all the years you have been a part of it, focus on all of the positive aspects of veganism! Your body deserves to receive the nourishment it was meant to have. Be kind to yourself! Allow me to show you the benefits of veganism instead of just the consequences of carnism.

1. Weight Loss: Veganism is a wonderful and healthy way to shed those extra pounds. A lot of people try vegetarianism as a way of accomplishing this, but as one of the many people who have tried that and failed, I can tell you that veganism actually does work! A vegetarian diet leaves most people suddenly replacing the meat in their diets with more bread, pasta, pastries, and cheese. This may even cause you to gain weight. However, veganism forces you to center your diet around fruits and vegetables. It is awfully hard to be unhealthy and vegan. Even high calorie vegan meals are better for your body and are less likely to be turned into fat. Unlike calories from meat and dairy, which cannot be burnt up without exercise, plant based calories can be used immediately and efficiently by your body. When you eat the things your body needs, you will gravitate towards the weight nature intended without really trying.

2. No Food Hangovers: You know that feeling you have right after eating a decadent meal at a restaurant or after a holiday meal? You almost just want to lay down and die. Well, thanks to a vegan diet, I no longer have to suffer through that. I can eat as much as I want during a meal, yet I still feel wonderful afterwards. I don’t feel heavy or bloated at all! It is such a relief to know that horrible “too full” feeling is in the past.

3. Quicker Food Prep: One of the benefits of veganism that never even crossed my mind is how much easier cooking is. I am not a chef by any means, but I assume many of you are, so this may be a bigger plus for you than it is for me. I would always remember waiting for, what seemed like an eternity, for my mother to finish cooking dinner each night. Now that I use imitation meat or tofu for most of my dishes, I no longer have to wait nearly as long! While meat needs to be cooked thoroughly until it is safe, imitation meat/tofu only needs to be cooked until it is warm, which takes much less time. I am the first one to eat at any barbecue!

4. New Foods: Making the transition to a vegan diet closes the door to many classic food options. However, it also opens many doors to new, exciting, and foreign foods as well. The best part is, these new dishes are healthy as well as delicious! Many of my favorite foods were not discovered until I became vegan. There is not a single day that I miss meat or dairy. Also, veganism allows you to appreciate more fully the simple foods that you used to take for granted. I have never loved broccoli, bananas, and apples more. Fruits are as they should be to me now, a delicious delight.

5. Overall Health: By far the best part of veganism is the health aspect. I have never felt better in all of my life. I have more energy than I ever have. I am able to do more at the gym. Even my thoughts are more clear and organized in my mind. Vegans life longer and are less likely to develop problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. These are some of the biggest health problems in America today. This generation also eats more meat and dairy products than previous generations. This is not a coincidence people. Don’t destroy your body. It is the vessel that will carry your consciousness through your whole life. Be kind to it. Take care of yourself. The best part is, doing so will allow you to care for all those innocent animals as well.

So there you have it! Five of the best benefits of becoming vegan. Those aren’t the only ones either! Leave a comment and tell me one of your favorite parts of becoming vegan. I would love to hear what you have to say!

Stay peaceful, loves.