How to Deal with Holiday Meals as a Vegan

Hello everyone,

I realized today that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away!!!  Ahhhhh!!!  Time sure does fly.

For some of us, the holidays can be an extremely difficult time.  We are surrounded by animal suffering and it is thrown in our faces in the grocery store, on tv and at holiday meals (happy turkey anyone?!).

I am hoping that today’s video will make the holidays a bit less overwhelming.  It is important to take care of our mental well-being so I have come up with a few approaches to help us do just that.

Please watch the video and let me know what approach you think you will be taking with your family and friends this year.

And please remember that I am always here if you need even more support. ❤

6 Household Items That May Not Be Vegan

Hello everyone,

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying 2019!

It has been awhile since I have written a blog and have some big things coming up in the following year.  For today, I wanted to kick off my blogging year with some information about daily use items (and some food) that may not be vegan.

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Sometimes I think the most difficult part of going vegan isn’t the food but is switching out all of the items in your home that contain animal products.

Here are just a few of our every day items that may contain animal products:

Razors: most razors have a lubricating strip above the blade that contains lanolin or glycerin (lanolin is a wool byproduct that comes from sheep while glycerin can also be derived from animals. I prefer to use Preserve Razors. They are vegan and are made from recycled yogurt cups. 

Lipstick: red lipstick often contains cochineal, which is made from crushed beetles. Tallow, which is made from rendering animal fat, is also found in many cosmetics. The animals used to make tallow come from sources such as labs, slaughterhouses, zoos and even roadkill! I try to find vegan lipsticks from Beauty Counter, Arbonne, or Elf Cosmetics.

White sugar: the refining process for white sugar often comes from bone char, a granular material from animal ashes.

Beer: beer and wine both can contain Isinglass, a chemical found in fish bladders. It is best to buy products that say “vegan” on the label.

Supplements/medication/vitamins: be careful to read the ingredients on these items. They often contain dairy and gelatin.

Nail polish: nail polish often contains guanine, which is made from ground-up fish scales. It is also found in cleaning products, fragrances, hair conditioners and skin care products.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS.

Also, please make sure to contact me if you need any help with the transition process ❤

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!

 

The Hardest Time of Year to be Vegan and Some Fun Facts About Turkeys

Hello everyone,

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

I have a confession to make: I AM REALLY GRUMPY!  It took me a minute to figure out why I cannot snap out of this horrible mood, and then I realized that Thanksgiving is only one week away.  Some of you may be wondering why this holiday would possibly be anything less than something to be excited about, but let me explain it to you from a vegan point of view.

*Let me start by saying that I know that not all vegans feel the way that I do.  There are some people who are vegan for their health or the environment and may not care about the animals.  When I say vegan in today’s blog, I mean the ethical vegans who are in it for the animals.

I have decided that the holidays are the hardest part of the year for ethical vegans.  Somehow in our society we have decided that it is impossible to celebrate and to be thankful without a dead animal in our mouths:  gelatin and dairy for Halloween, turkey for Thanksgiving, pigs for Christmas and cows for the 4th of July.

And because our society is built upon these traditions, there is no escaping it.  When you go to the store, there are signs celebrating that “the turkeys are coming” and employees gleefully running around with turkey-leg headbands.  I will never understand why we count down the days until the dead corpses arrive at our stores for us to eat!  And do we actually think that these sentient beings are smiling and are happy about being bred, tortured and killed so that we can enjoy them for dinner?!  And did you know that turkeys are babies when they are killed?

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*This sign was in front of Trader Joe’s last week and their employees were wearing turkey-leg headbands.

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*This was a flyer inside of Jimbos today.  I am so glad that their cute turkeys “don’t do drugs!”

 

As if going to the store wasn’t bad enough, it seems that every non vegan is talking about “Turkey Day”.  They are planning their entire week around cooking their turkey!  We had a power outage in our neighborhood this week and the biggest concern was what was going to happen to the turkeys in people’s fridges.

And how can an ethical vegan possibly attend a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, while sitting there staring at the corpse on the table, knowing what that animal went though to get where it is?!  You see, an animal only has one life (that I know of) and I think it is incredibly selfish of us humans to take that away from them, for a fleeting pleasure on one’s tongue (and the irony is that it isn’t even good for us!!!  But that is for another day).

So that is where my bad mood has come from.  I plan on trying to stay away from the grocery stores as much as possible next week and to enjoy a vegan dinner on Thanksgiving with my family.  IT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE TO CELEBRATE WITHOUT PAYING SOMEONE ELSE TO KILL AN INNOCENT BEING.

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I don’t want to leave you on a bad note, so here are some fun facts about turkeys to make your day:

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  • Turkeys enjoy hearing music and will sometimes chirp along.
  • They can run up to 25 miles per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour.
  • Turkeys are highly social and very affectionate.  They create lasting friendships with each other.
  • They have unique voices, which is how they recognize each other.
  • Turkeys have great geography skills and can learn the precise details of an area up to 1,000 acres.
  • They love to be petted.
  • Newborn turkeys search and call for their mother; they never get to be with them.

 

Please consider leaving these beautiful animals off your dinner table this year.  I am here to help if you need holiday, meal ideas. ❤

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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