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. 

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. ❤

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. ❤

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. 

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I have always been repulsed by most advertisements. They are almost insulting the way they pander to the most feeble minded individuals. I have come to realize that they do this because that is the majority of the population. How depressing that was to figure out. To make things worse, these advertisements are particularly insulting and infuriating to vegans. 

I am so fed up with fast food restaurants putting attractive, skinny little girls in their commercials. It makes my blood boil. Are men really that easy to fool? *Subliminal Message* Sexy women will want you if you eat this disgusting greasy poison food! Really? Not only do women not want a man who is overweight, unhealthy, and irresponsible (which is pretty likely if you are eating such horrid foods), those women are certainly not eating such junk! I think it is about time that this is put under the category of false advertising. 

Not only is this type of advertisement downright ridiculous, it is also very offensive to women and animal rights activists everywhere! There is nothing “sexy” about the torture, confinement, and murder of millions of animals. What makes it worse is that they are killing these animals only to create further harm to all that consume these products. The people that create, participate in, and enjoy these commercials disgust me. 

The latest Arby’s commercial is not much better. They may not degrade women, but they do strongly promote the idea that meat is “manly”. There is absolutely nothing tough or alluring about sentencing innocent, peaceful creatures to death for your own unhealthy pleasures. It is sickening. This only solidifies the idea in the minds of men that Veganism is for women and weaklings. And I am pretty damn tired of there being so many less men who would even consider Veganism for this idiotic reason. A real man would be kind to those that are weaker than him. A real man is secure enough in his own masculinity to know that what you eat doesn’t define you. A real man protects the innocent. He doesn’t exploit them. 

Sorry about the rant. Stay peaceful, my loves.