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. ❤

Wellbeing Crafted Through Mindfulness and Meditaion

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For the past few years, I had been tempted to begin practicing meditation. I would meditate periodically, but found it hard to remain consistent due to my underlying skepticism about it’s effectiveness. Just recently, however, I found myself experiencing a lot of suffering and self-doubt. Through the haze of this emptiness I turned towards yoga and meditation. I desperately desired to find peace and felt that looking inward was really my only option at this point in my life.

I began setting aside a moment of time, either in the morning or after returning from the gym in the afternoon, to take a breath and relax for merely a half an hour through yoga and meditation. After doing this routinely for perhaps three weeks now, I am already noticing incredible changes in my daily mood and awareness. I’ve noticed myself feeling excited about the day before me when I wake up each morning. I feel eager for the future and what I know that I can do. I used to wake up each morning feeling desolate, feeling each activity of the day to be a burden and a chore.

Little annoyances and small misfortunes no longer seem to get under my skin the way they used to. These daily encounters roll off of my skin like beads of water. I find myself focusing much more on the encounters I share from day to day with loved ones and the joy of knowing my darling kitten, Lucy, will be there to greet me with affection when I return home each day. I feel refreshed. I no longer feel so heavy and tired. Instead, there is an underlying sense of calm and serenity in my mind. I feel capable of catching myself even if I should fall.

It has been a wonderful and uplifting transformation! I am most certainly going to continue my daily meditation. I cannot wait to discover the person I can become. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in meditation to give it a try as well. Your mind is the most powerful and influential thing in your universe. Get to know yourself and search for peace within. Your consciousness contains everything that you are searching for and more.

Stay mindful, dear ones. 

One Week Down

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Overall, I would have to say that my first week back at college this semester went pretty well. I made some new friends and managed to break out of my shell more than I ever had in my past years on campus. I hope that the rest of the year continues to go this smoothly. I know that I haven’t posted much this week, but I will try to manage my time better in the weeks to come so I will be able to post more. Hope you all had a good week as well. ^_^

Stay positive, dears.

Branch Out

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Hello dears! Today was my first day back at college for the fall semester. So, as I usually seem to do, I set some new goals for myself this year in West Liberty. I want to make new friends. This may seem like something that wouldn’t need to be a goal, but as I have stated in one of my previous posts, until recently I suffered from a lot of social anxiety. Getting to know people was a terrifyingly and taxing affair.

However, I have been taking the anti-anxiety medication Paxil for almost a year now and am feeling very differently about things. I had been noticing myself getting bored with my life for the past few years, but only after quieting my anxieties have I been able to figure out why that is. I miss knowing people. All of this time I have been getting lost inside my own head. I forgot the joy of the moments like the one pictured above. This is a photo my closest friend for over twelve years took the other night of us talking. This photo really represents to me all of the wonderful and heartfelt conversations that we have had in those twelve years.

I feel the warmth and significance of those encounters and the way we have helped and watched each other grow. I realize now that these moments with other people are one of the most precious things in this life. To discuss abstract concepts and ideologies and really consider and discover the way another person sees the world is a magnificent thing.

Now that I am no longer so nervous around people, I would really like to work on forming more close relationships and seeing the world from some new perspectives. I am tired of living inside my own head and I am curios. I am curious to see if there are any other minds out there as beautiful as my dear friend Valarie’s. 

So let’s all try to be a little more open to new people and new encounters this year. Who knows who you will meet?

Stay peaceful, friends. 

A Daily Dose of Play

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Most people understand that for their animals to remain healthy and happy that they must make sure they get enough exercise. Whether it be going for a walk, playing fetch, or chasing a string, animals need physical exertion to be a part of their day to day routine.

What many people don’t seem to understand though, is that we are also animals. I believe that this means we also need to get a fair amount of exercise. For the past few years I have been running close to nine miles everyday. Granted, that may be a bit excessive for most people, but it has completely transformed my life. 

I feel more alert, stronger, and happier. Daily exercise is almost a form of meditation in a way. The hours I spend at the gym, listening to my favorite music, helps me to clear my mind and burn off all of the stresses of my day. My body and mind feel refreshed and renewed. Now instead of a lethargic and tired, my body feels awake. It is a high-functioning, synchronized machine. Daily exercise has allowed me to be more positive and optimistic than ever before. Also, after 20 years, I can finally say that I love my body.

So, let your inner animal out! Give yourself at least an hour of some type of physical activity every day. I promise you will not regret it!

Stay active, dear ones.

 

The Affiliation Affliction

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In the past few years I have been noticing more and more cars on the road with some type of coal mining pride sticker. They say something along the lines of “proud/girlfriend wife of a coal miner” or some such nonsense. Now, this may seem offensive to some people, but I just cannot understand why you would be proud of that. Coal mining is not a difficult job to acquire. You don’t need a degree or any certain set of special skills. Anyone can become a coal miner. It is a highly dangerous, time-consuming career. Not only that, but it is also destroying our environment. I could understand having a “proud wife/girlfriend of a doctor”, but not a coal miner.

After contemplating this baffling concept for months, I think that I have finally come to a realization. It seems to me that a lot of people think that if they are affiliated with something, then that makes it the best. This irrational point of view can be seen in many aspects of life such as thinking America is the best country simply because you are an American or the undying loyalty to a favorite sports team even after many consecutive losses and change of players/coaches.

This mindset, I believe, is part of the reason why our species cannot seem to move forward towards a more clean and efficient future. I think that these people are feeling threatened by the changes that we so desperately need. They view these things, such as eating meat, as part of who they are. If they admit that any of those things are less than ideal, then they feel that they are a bad person or less than they were. So, thanks to cognitive dissonance, they hold firm to their old ways of thinking and acting.

I just wanted to bring this theory I have been mulling over to light, and to let everyone out there that feels this way know that they are mistaken. No one is perfect. We all tend to be affiliated with something that we later discover was wrong from time to time. This does not make you a bad person. We all have been blessed with beautiful minds that are capable of reason and contemplation. Don’t feel personally threatened by new ways of thinking or new developments in our industries. Some things that we feel a part of (such as coal mining) must collapse in order for us to build a better world. What would our world be today if Thomas Edison had not forsaken his candle making business in order to create the light bulb? Let us all move forward together. There is room for all of us to grow.

Grow with me, my darlings. ❤ 

Vegan on the Go

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Sometimes, when you are on the go or in a hurry, veganism is not the most convenient diet. It is hard enough to find vegan options in a restaurant, let alone a fast food place. There is always the option of ordering a salad without meat or cheese, but in my experience, a good percentage of the time you will be thoroughly ignored and receive the salad with no alterations whatsoever. Then there are some who may consider just an order of french fries. However, many fast food restaurants fry these in meat greases. Also, french fries are not very nutritious or filling. Even the veggie burgers that are served by Burger King contain egg ingredients.

The struggle to find vegan options from fast food restaurants can be a blessing and a curse. It does prevent you from eating poorly when you could be eating something a little better for you. However, sometimes a quick bite of food is necessary. So, after years of irritation, I have finally found an option that has worked for me, and it is my hope that it can work for all of you other vegans out there as well. 

When I need a cheap morsel of food in a hurry, I will occasionally go to Taco Bell. For merely two dollars you can get a delicious and moderately healthy little meal! On their menu they offer a very yummy black bean burrito. It does come with cheese on it, but you can ask them to exclude that part. (I have yet to get one that still had cheese as I have with salads.) I also ask them to add guacamole, which is a wonderful replacement. 

Mexican fast food can be a delightful option for vegans trying to get a quick meal. There are only Taco Bell’s near my hometown, but I am sure any such fast food restaurant would have similar options. I hope that this can help some of you out. Now instead of greasy fries or a limp, unappetizing fast food salad, you can get a delicious, nutritious bean burrito!

Enjoy, my vegan darlings. ❤ 

Gardein Fishless Filet Review

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I am not sure if this is a new product or if my little backward, country hick town has just now gotten it in our grocery stores. However, my sister and I seriously had a shameless victory dance in the freezer isle of our super market when we saw this. We pretty much made a scene we were so excited.

One of the hardest parts of veganism for me has been giving up all the different and delicious different types of seafood. Up until now, there wasn’t really any replacement for this type of meat. I had come across a few recipes online for fishy vegan meals, but only one seemed easy enough for me to try and I was not very impressed with the results. I feel like these frozen fish-less filets are a glorious blessing from the universe to thank me and all other vegans for our endeavors. 

These are somewhat more expensive than the things I usually allow myself to buy, but after trying some, I would say that they are well worth it for an occasional treat. They only take 20 minutes to bake. They are also extremely thick, crispy, and tender when finished. The taste is not exactly like fish, but it is pretty darn close. The glorious texture seems to make up for the slight difference in flavor. They are also relatively low-calorie at 180 calories for two pieces (which is more than enough to fill you up.)

Overall, I give this product a big thumbs up. I would also like to profusely thank the fine people of Gardein for gracing the vegan populace with this fish-less delight. If you haven’t tried this yet, go get some! and let me know what you thought of it in the comments below or give me a follow for more vegan posts.

Stay peaceful, lovelies. 

Cows are My Friends

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I went to a local fair today to pay a visit to the sweet babies that are in those hot barns all day. I am not entirely sure if it is very vegan to have anything to do with a fair, but nonetheless, I can never stay away. I feel that it is the least that I can do to go give those darling animals a few moments of kindness before they are sold off to slaughter. 

It is so wonderful to meet those timid little souls and offer them affection, sympathy, and kindness. I met so many wonderful angels today, but I must say, the cows truly stole my heart this year. They were so sweet and grateful for the attention and caresses I gave them. Some were so fluffy and soft. I looked into their dark, intelligent eyes, and it broke my heart that their lives should be so wasted. Why is a cow so different from a horse or even a dog?

I saw the people happily petting the goats and the piglets and being so enthralled with these animals. I just don’t understand why so few people are making the connection. It is time to wake up and realize that though we would like to believe these animals are happy and our friends while still going home to a steak dinner, that isn’t reality. These animals a beautiful and innocent. I know that everyone can see that. Well, they are dying and suffering because of us. We have the power to change that. All animals are precious. I don’t want to have to know that all of the precious souls I met today are going to die for a dinner. Most people can’t argue that if they were to be the one to kill the animal they wouldn’t be able to do so. There is a reason for that.

Listen to your heart, go vegan. ❤

Veganism is Not Expensive or Limiting

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Many people do not consider veganism an option because of their socio-economic standing or their desire for variety in their diets. Well, I have just returned home from doing my grocery shopping for the upcoming week, and just look at all of the wonderful treats I bought! In case you cannot see clearly enough in the picture I will list them for you:

  1. 2 cartons of blueberries
  2. 1 carton of strawberries
  3. Tofurky kielbasa
  4. Earth Balance vegan butter
  5. Popcorn with sea salt
  6. Grilled chik’n patties
  7. Apple crisps
  8. Frozen lima beans
  9. Fruit puree (which I mentioned in my post about vegan snacks)
  10. Croissants 
  11. Vegan riblets
  12. Granola cereal

Better yet, all of these items only cost me $23! Granted, I managed to find some incredible deals this week at my local grocery store, but if you are flexible with what you buy from week to week, it is always possible to save just as much money. I never spend more than $25 a week on groceries. So, there is no need to feel intimidated by veganism. You can do it! ^_^ Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go inhale some vegan noms.

Stay peaceful, my darlings.