FREE CHALLENGE GROUPS start tomorrow! (For vegans and non-vegans)

Hello everyone,

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Starting tomorrow, I am offering two FREE challenge groups every Monday!  They will both run for 7 days at a time and participants will have the opportunity to win some amazing prizes!

The first is a Go Vegan Challenge.  This challenge will be great for anyone who wants to go “cold-kale” for 7 days, for someone who wants to try new recipes, or for anyone who wants to eat more plants.  It’ll include a grocery list, recipes, easy vegan swaps, cooking demonstrations and support.

The second is for anyone who wants to Get Active For the Animals.  It will encourage participants to do something for the animals every day, for 7 days.  It’ll include a list of ways that you can advocate for the animals with large-scale organizations, at the grocery store, on social media or in restaurants.

Did I mention that both challenges are FREE????!  They will start on June 3rd and will run every week from now on.  You are welcome to participate week after week.

To sign up, simply click on the link below:

SIGN UP HERE!!!

Have a great day!  I cannot wait to work with you! ❤

Why I Went Vegan and My Tribute to Jake

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far!

I have been in kind of a funk lately, and I realized it was because I was coming up on an anniversary of one of the worst days of my life.  Two years ago yesterday, I lost my best friend and fur baby, Jake.  Jake was the most incredible dog I have ever known and was part of our family for 11 years.  Not only was he part of our family, but was basically a child to us (since we don’t have human babies).  He was there when I woke up, went on every trip with us, spent the entire day by my side and snuggled against my stomach all night long.  Jake was never grumpy and was always filled with unconditional love, compassion and the energy of a puppy (until his last week on this planet).

Jake became ill in September 2016.  We had noticed a small lump on his paw, which we were praying was just an infection.  Unfortunately, after many round of antibiotics, it didn’t go away and testing came back positive for cancer.  We ended up amputating his toe to try to stop the spread and were initially successful.  All of the margins were clean, and his blood work and X-rays were impeccable.  We had many long months of bandage changes and keeping him calm, but were optimistic about the future.

Right after Thanksgiving, Jake developed a cough that wouldn’t go away.  We finally took him into the vet one late Monday night and were praying that maybe it was a cold or even whooping cough.  When the vet came back in with the X-ray results, she just said, “You guys, I am so sorry.” Jake’s lungs were completely filled with cancer and there was truly nothing we could do.  She said it could be weeks, months or even years but she really didn’t know how long he would make it.  Jake was gone by the following Sunday.

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What I didn’t realize at the time, was that losing Jake would transform the rest of my life. Not only because this was my first real experience with death, but also because he helped me discover my true passion: saving animals and helping people.  You see, when I watched Jake suffer and take his last breath, I realized that I never, ever wanted to contribute to another animal’s suffering for as long as I live.  I also realized at that moment that ALL animals want to be loved, feel fear and want life.  There is no difference between a dog, chicken, cow, pig, sheep, fish, cat, horse, donkey, etc.  So why would I fight so badly for one while paying someone to torture and kill another?!  At that moment I became VEGAN and later discovered animal activism.

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I will miss Jake every day for the rest of my life, but I am so grateful for the lessons that he taught me.  It’s amazing how one, little, 30 pound dog can change your life forever <3. Thank you buddy!

 

How I Feel About Prop 12 and Why I Didn’t Vote on It

Hello everyone, happy post Election Day!  I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that it is over!!  The decisions, the signs and the anxiety are enough to drive anyone crazy!  I found this ballot to be pretty easy to make my mind up about, except for one proposition that we had here in California, proposition 12.

Proposition 12 “establishes minimum requirements for confining certain farm animals. Prohibits sales of meat and egg products from animals confined in noncomplying manner. Fiscal Impact: Potential decrease in state income tax revenues from farm businesses, likely not more than several million dollars annually. State costs up to $10 million annually to enforce the measure.”

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Having read the information you would probably wonder why, as an animal rights activist, I didn’t immediately jump on board with this proposition.  Here are my reasons why even today I am quite unsure….

My first thought when the prop came out was who is going to regulate this?  Many propositions have passed before and have not been regulated.  For example, cage free hens are absolutely not cage free and rarely see the light of day.  My worry is that people will think that these animals have a better life and better standards, when nothing has changed.  This will only encourage them to eat more meat without feeling guilty over their decisions (I used to do the same thing; I would buy the most expensive, organic, and humane meat thinking that it made a difference.  In reality, there is no difference other than the term that the industry uses to make us feel better about our choices).

Here was a CON on the proposition 12 page: “This outrageous sell-out to the egg industry betrays animals and voters. Californians already voted to ban cages by 2015. This cruel measure legalizes cages until at least 2022! And hens get just ONE SQUARE FOOT of space. Vote NO on farm animal cruelty by voting NO on Proposition 12.”

The other reason why I was confused by this proposition, was because so many people from the animal agriculture industry supported it while strong animal rights groups like PETA were against it.

While I completely understand that not everyone is going to stop eating meat and that animals should have a better life while they are here, I am not quite sure that this is the step in the right direction.  Are we just misinforming and lying to the public?

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Regardless, proposition 12 passed by a landslide!!!  And here is the positive side of this entire campaign trail.  The commercials opened people’s eyes about how animals are suffering and are being confined.  In addition, the “yes” vote shows how compassionate people truly are about animals (I am hoping someday that people realize that if they are so compassionate about animals, then they should stop eating them….). In addition, I have had some amazing conversations with people who are ready to be educated about where their “food” actually comes from and it’s opened their eyes.

Having said all of this, I completely admire and respect everyone who worked so hard to get this proposition passed and to fight for the animals!  You are all amazing and we have to do what we can to take steps in the right direction.

Can ONE person make a difference?

Hello everyone, I hope that you had a wonderful weekend.

I spent my Saturday night volunteering with Anonymous for the Voiceless, showing the truth behind factory farming and having peaceful conversations with onlookers (for more information on this, please read my blog post on volunteering).

This was an interesting evening, because we encountered a group of around 300 high school students who were in the area for a convention.  For the most part, the boys turned away or had some nasty comments to make, while the girls completely absorbed themselves in the footage and felt the animals’ suffering (this is not a judgment statement against boys and girls, but I do think that at this age, they are completely different with their emotions.  That is a subject for another time…).

During the night, there was one, young girl who totally touched my heart.  She was mainly watching the footage of how dairy cows are treated, how baby cows are taken away from their moms and are killed (footage that I cannot seem to get out of head even today!).  She couldn’t stop crying and you could see the pain in her eyes.  She completely got it and was asking questions about how to become vegan.  And then she said something that really startled me, “If I become vegan, what does it matter?  I am only one person!  What difference will it make?”

I think this may be the reason why many people don’t change what they are doing, whether it is recycling, going vegan, not using straws, composting, etc.  Can one person really make a difference?!

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First of all, imagine if everyone thought like this!  Imagine the people who have made a huge impact (like Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Oprah!) thinking that there was no point to trying because they were only ONE person.

Second of all, even ONE person who goes vegan can make an impact on this world.  In just one year of being vegan a person can save 365 animals, 10,957 square feet of forest, 16,436 pounds of grain, and 401,766 gallons of water!!!  That is huge!  In addition, if that one vegan encourages 100 other people to go vegan, think of the impact that will have on the planet, their health and the animals who get to live.

ONE person can and WILL absolutely make a difference.  Do not ever sell yourself short because you don’t think that what you do matters.  Every action we take has an effect on this planet (good or bad) and we have to choose wisely.

I actually think it’s pretty cool that what we choose to feed our bodies can affect so much of this world.  I find it empowering ❤

 

Do you want to see how much of an impact you have made on this planet by being vegan?  Head over to vegan calculator to check your statistics!

Anonymous for the Voiceless: Why I Volunteer with Them and What We Do

When I first became vegan, I knew that I wanted to do more than just change the food on my plate.  I started researching about the animal agriculture industry and was horrified by the practices that were referred to as “humane”, “organic”, “free range” and felt the grief and suffering deep in my body.  Honestly, I was completely lost knowing that I wanted to do more.  But what more could I do from my couch then just post on social media about all of the facts that I had found and to scream at people to go vegan?!  Most days, I sat there in tears, feeling completely alone and useless.

Then one day I stumbled upon a Youtube video with James Aspey and he was participating in a peaceful demonstration with a group called Anonymous for the Voiceless. I knew immediately that I had to find a local chapter and to be a public voice for the animals.  Unfortunately, there weren’t any chapters that were less than two hours away.

So, I thought that maybe I could start my own.  I jumped on it but before I could finish the process, a wonderful team started a local chapter here in San Diego.  I was so incredibly excited and there was nothing that would stop me from attending.  Seven months later, the San Diego chapter is still in action and I have teamed up to start an additional chapter in North County San Diego.  I have been organizing that one since June, and it truly has been a dream come true!

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What is Anonymous for the Voiceless and what do we do?

“ESTABLISHED APRIL, 2016.

ANONYMOUS FOR THE VOICELESS IS AN ANIMAL RIGHTS ORGANISATION THAT SPECIALIZES IN STREET ACTIVISM.

OVER 4,026 DEMONSTRATIONS IN 805 CITIES WORLDWIDE, WE’VE CONVINCED AT LEAST 271,747 BYSTANDERS TO TAKE VEGANISM SERIOUSLY.

THROUGH THE USE OF LOCAL STANDARD-PRACTICE FOOTAGE, WE EXPOSE TO THE PUBLIC WHAT IS INTENTIONALLY HIDDEN FROM THEM WHEN IT COMES TO ANIMAL EXPLOITATION. COMBINING THIS WITH A VALUE-BASED SALES APPROACH AND RESOURCE LITERATURE, WE FULLY EQUIP THE PUBLIC WITH EVERYTHING THEY NEED IN SWITCHING TO A VEGAN LIFESTYLE. WE HOLD AN ABOLITIONIST STANCE ON ANIMAL EXPLOITATION.” (www.anonymousforthevoiceless.org)

Basically, in a peaceful demonstration (almost like an art exhibition) we show the truth of the animal agriculture industry.  We show real footage of factory farms and we have thought provoking conversations with the public.  We do not yell and we do not leaflet.

Honestly, there are many forms of activism out there, but for me, this has proved to be the most effective.  I have amazing conversations with people every week who truly had no idea that their “food” was produced this way.  They are angry, feel like they have been lied to, are animal lovers and are ready to make the change.

When leaving what is referred to as the Cube of Truth, the individual will receive a card from us that is full of resources to help them make the transition.

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Being part of Anonymous for the Voiceless has truly changed my life.  I absolutely feel that I am making a difference, have met some of my best friends, am surrounded by people who truly get me and am no longer sitting on my couch feeling hopeless.

If you are vegan, and are looking for a way to help the animals, I truly suggest volunteering with your local chapter.  And if you are not vegan, I hope that you will one day be able to experience a Cube of Truth in person.  Maybe we can have a conversation….

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Experiencing Vystopia in the Real World

Hello everyone, I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready for a fabulous week!

I had an incredible weekend at Farm Animal Refuge in San Diego.  It was their bi-annual open house and I spent all day Saturday with farm animals, my vegan family, and ate delicious food.  It was pure Heaven!  I came home after a 9am-5pm day and felt like I was on a vegan high.  I was encouraged after being surrounded by people who completely got me and who felt the same way that I do.  Every person I talked to was a true, animal lover who is dedicating their lives to advocate for ALL animals, and I truly felt like the world was changing.  I completely felt at peace (and btw, had the best night of sleep that I have experienced in months)!!!

Today has been completely different: it’s as if I have woken up from a great dream into a nightmare that won’t end and is surrounding me.  I am suffering from what Clare Mann refers to as “Vystopia.”  By definition Vystopia is the “existential crisis experienced by vegans, arising out of an awareness of the trance-like collusion with a dystopian world. It is an awareness of the greed, ubiquitous animal exploitation, and speciesism in a modern dystopia”.

Let me take you through my morning.  It started by driving to work, passing the beautiful cows down the street who are being raised to be slaughtered for beef.  Along the way, I pass a dairy truck, filled with milk from cows who have impregnated and have had their babies stolen (and killed!) from them. I pass a Jack in the Box, McDonalds, and Burger King, filled with lines of people who are waiting to eat animals.  Not to mention the constant ads on the radio filled with propaganda from the animal agriculture industries!  Within the 20 minutes that I am in the car, I have become very aware that I am the minority.  One of the few who thinks that animals should live and deserve better!

I always try to remain positive and to stay optimistic.  But today I am feeling sadness, grief and hopelessness.  I am feeling guilty for judging the non vegans that surround me and for worrying about their health and for also selfishly worrying about our planet.  I am tired of worrying about offending people when there are BILLIONS of animals being killed EVERY year for their taste buds!  (And why is it that we have to celebrate birthdays and holidays with a corpse on our plates?! More to come on that one later…..).

In ways I get it.  We have been conditioned to believe that we need to eat animals and I used to do it too.  We all run around with our busy lives and do what we have been told to do, not considering the actions that we are taking.  What I don’t get is how when you know the truth, when you have seen the footage, how you can ever put that piece of animal in your mouth again.

Sorry for the rant but I think it’s important that you know that every day as a vegan activist is not sunshine.  There are days where you feel like the world is out to get you (think about a belief that you have that you are the most passionate about.  Now imagine a whole world telling you that belief is wrong!).

And I know that tomorrow will be better and that I will get out of bed ready to fight for what it right.  But today, I want to step back into my dream of the weekend with peace, amazing friends and animals who have been saved from this terrible nightmare.

Please let me know if you can relate to this post.  I would love to hear from you!