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!

How one woman healed her menstrual pain by changing her diet…

Hello everyone and happy Wellness Wednesday!

Today’s Wellness Wednesday Spotlight comes from my friend and fellow activist, Lindsay Mitchell.  Below is her story of how changing her diet helped decrease the pain of her monthly menstrual cycle…

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY SPOTLIGHT Lindsay

 

 

“I’ve been vegan for 1.5 years. Before I went vegan I suffered from severe menstrual pain. My periods would basically cripple me so much so I couldn’t even move without agonizing pain. I’d get very bad headaches, and irritability and I took every pain med under the sun to ease the pain but nothing helped. Furthermore, they would last an entire week and be very heavy. The only thing that has kept me from work or sent me home from work aside from an injured neck, is the pain of my period.”

“Since I have had a whole food plant based approach to my diet, the pain of my menstrual cycle is virtually diminished. It was noticeable within the first couple months of a shift in my diet! It is now very light, only lasting but a few days and the pain is not completely gone but more of just a mild annoyance. That may not seem like much, but if you’ve ever experienced chronic symptoms due to your menstrual cycle then you know it’s actually HUGE deal.”

 

Do you have a Wellness Wednesday story that you would like to share?  Please contact me to featured. ❤

Other Names for “Dairy”

Did you know that there are other sources of dairy than just cheese and milk?!

I think that one of the hardest parts about transitioning to a vegan diet is that dairy is found in so many foods.  In addition, dairy isn’t always labeled as that.  It can be referred to by many other names.

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Let’s start with the basics.  Dairy from cows or goats (yes, goats!) is used to make cheese, ice cream, whey, yogurt, Greek yogurt, milk, ghee, cream cheese, cottage cheese, butter, milk chocolate, kefir, and creamer.  It can also be found in processed foods such as crackers, candies, vitamins and medication.

One of the best ways to check to see if a food is dairy free is to read the ingredient list.  Stay away from the list above as well as the following: casein, lactose, galactose, rennet, quark, lactate, cream, nisin preparation, recaldent, natural flavors.

The best way to avoid dairy all together is to stick to a whole food plant based diet and to avoid packaged foods.  You can also look for the “Vegan” label when buying packaged items.

I hope that helps a little bit. If you need even more help transitioning to a dairy free life, please read the following blog posts: How to Make “Cheese” without the Dairy and It’s easy to give up dairy with these awesome alternatives!  Also, feel free to contact me anytime!

 

Healing From Allergies, Asthma and Acne With a Vegan Diet…

There are so many benefits to switching to a vegan diet including incredible, health transformations.  For Wellness Wednesdays I want to feature those who have healed from an illness, disease or health issue from simply changing what they were eating.

Today’s Wellness Wednesday Spotlight comes from Kathleen Kastner, my inspiring friend who has been vegan since 2002. Below is her story:

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY SPOTLIGHT

“I’ve been vegan since 2002. I was already vegetarian due to my love for animals and fish. I was having allergies, asthma and acne and was on an inhaler and nasal steroid. My doctor never asked me the four magic words, ” What are you eating?!”

I learned about the book called Diet for a New America by John Robbins and decided to go vegan to see if it would help my health issues, and it worked! Turns out I was allergic to the dairy. My skin cleared up and I got off my allergy and asthma medicine.

Once I learned about the cruelty of the egg, dairy and veal industry I became vegan for ethical reasons. Veganism is my passion and purpose in life: for the health, the animals and the planet!”

 

Thank you so much Kathleen for sharing your story with us.  If you want to learn more about Kathleen, please visit her Instagram: @Kathleenvegan or check out her Youtube channel.

 

Did you heal a health issue by switching to a vegan diet?  If so, I would love to feature you!  Please send me a message ❤ 

Sometimes it would be easier to not care…

Hello everyone,

This is a blog that I wrote just last year and I wanted to share it again today.  Facebook reminded me that it has been one year since we went to visit these babies and I want to honor them with this story.  We started off with twelve babies and today 5 of them are still alive and thriving!!!  Please take a moment to read this blog.  I still feel just as strongly about this today!

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“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act.” -James Aspey.

Most of the time, in this blog, I try to share information with you: whether it’s vegan nutrition, facts or a kick butt workout that I have created.  Well today is not that day!  Today, I need to share a story with you in order to get it off my chest…that’s what a blog is for, right?!  I truly hope that you will read it anyway; you never know, you may still learn from it or may find it inspiring 🙂

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Since becoming vegan, I have definitely had my share of bad days and this past Sunday was no exception.  Over the past two weeks, my husband and I had been volunteering at an animal sanctuary where 12 baby cows had been rescued the day before they were scheduled for slaughter.  Just like other days, we showed up ready to feed the 9 remaining babies and to give them some love (during the last few months, I have absolutely fallen in LOVE with cows, realizing how incredibly smart and docile they are.  They honestly remind me of a big version of my sweet dog).

When we arrived at the sanctuary, we could tell immediately that the energy was completely different.  Not only were we one of the only people there, but the people surrounding us were completely silent.  We walked in, said hi to the babies and checked to see if they had been fed.  In the meantime, we noticed a baby on the ground who was being loved and kindly spoken to by the sanctuary owner (a 16 year old teen girl, by the way!).  She told us, “this one isn’t doing so well.”  We went on with our sanctuary chores, which included picking up the stall and being sucked on by the other babies, but knew that this poor baby had reached the end.  Surely enough, this baby passed away within minutes of our arrival.

Although we were in complete shock, we stayed, comforted the young teen, helped around the sanctuary (all while walking around the dead calf), and left after an hour.  I cried the whole way home.

IMG_7671*This is not the deceased baby.  Just one that is sleeping……

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ANOTHER REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM DAIRY:  I knew how incredibly scary the dairy industry was but we learned another horrifying fact before we left.  This sanctuary, which had now lost 4 babies of the original 12, had rescued the calves from a dairy farmer.  He was a completely evil man, who wouldn’t let the rescuers take all of the calves, and even kicked the babies in front of them so that they would “die quicker”.  As if this wasn’t bad enough!  I learned that sometimes in the diary industry, if the farmer knows that the mama cow is having boys, they will abort the babies to get them out sooner.  The sooner the babies are out, the sooner they can use the milk and make a profit!!!  These 12 babies were not only young but they were abortions who didn’t stand a chance.  They were incredibly malnourished and didn’t receive ANY love, or even colostrum, from their mom.  REMEMBER THAT MALE CALVES ARE THROWN AWAY, SLAUGHTERED AND ARE USED FOR VEAL.  NO MILK = NO LIFE

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Two days later, and I am still having an extremely difficult time dealing with not only the loss of this baby, but also the enormity of this horrendous industry.  When we came home on Sunday, I was absolutely in shock!  I wanted to cry, scream, run away and completely check out.  I thought to myself that maybe I am not strong enough to deal with this suffering; maybe this is a hopeless cause that I should run away from right now!  Wouldn’t it be easier to just not care and to go on with everyday life?!  Maybe then I can stop being sad.  I can stop being pissed off that we as a society are contributing to this EVERY SINGLE SECOND of every single day!  And just maybe I can stop being pissed off at those around me who are selfishly taking lives so that they can enjoy a minute of satisfaction on their tongues!

MESSAGE TO VEGANS AND NON VEGANS:  And then I realized something.  I realized that it simply not the faults of my family, friends and strangers.  We have been convinced by media and the power of this industry for so long. “Milk does a body good.”  “Milk builds strong bones.”  “We need milk for calcium.”  “At least milk isn’t killing anyone, right?” “Dairy cows need to be milked.”  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

And if we, as vegans, don’t speak up and fight…who will?  This horror will just continue and these animals will continue to be tortured, murdered and have their babies taken away from them.  So as much as I would love to crawl into my bed and grieve, I cannot.  I have to spread awareness and I owe it to these babies who didn’t make it.  There is no more time to be silent.  Once you know the truth, you are obligated to spread the message!

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So as I leave you, to wipe the tears off my face, please, please, please consider how you can make a change.  Are you a vegan who is afraid to speak your mind?  Or are you a non vegan who is ready to make a change?  Either way, please get out there, educate yourself and fight for these innocent creatures who just wanted to be loved!!!

Thank you ❤

 

For more information on the dairy industry, please visit my “Resource” page and check out the following links:

Cowspiracy http://www.cowspiracy.com

Dairy Is Scary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcN7SGGoCNI

Dairy is Scary (No Graphic Images)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DcxKBSEzeQ&t=3s

 

The First Step to Going Vegan

I often talk to people who are thinking about going vegan but they have no idea where to start.  It can seem like an overwhelming process to someone who has been consuming meat for their entire life.  But it doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing.

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I believe that the first step to going vegan is to find your “why”.  This can seem like a simple process, but it is also a crucial one.  Are you considering going vegan to save animals, to reduce climate change, to protect your body from disease, to increase your energy, to improve your skin, to lose weight, to improve your digestion, to align with your morals and spirituality or to save our planet?  The reasons are endless!

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So how do you find your “why”?  I highly recommend watching the following documentaries to see what resonates with you the most:

*Forks Over Knives on Netflix  (Health)

*What the Health on Netflix (Health)

*Cowspiracy on Netflix (Environment)

*Food Inc. on Netflix (all encompassing)

*Earthlings on Youtube (Animals)

*Dominion (Animals)

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I also recommend visiting a local sanctuary.  Not only will you get to be up close and personal with animals who have been rescued from the animal agriculture industries, but you will also get to hear their stories and to learn about what happens to animals destined to be on our plates.

(Two of my favorite,  local sanctuaries are Farm Animal Refuge and Sale Ranch Sanctuary).  If you aren’t local, there is always Google 🙂

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Now that you have your “why” make sure to post it everywhere!  Post pictures of your why around the house, on your computer, on your phone and on your refrigerator.  Changing old habits isn’t always easy and having this reminder will give you constant motivation so that you will stick with the transition to going vegan.

I hope that helps!

If you have already found your “why”, please comment below with your reason. I would love to hear from you!