Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Handling anger at non-vegan lifestyles

It IS frustrating, but....
You will notice in the title, that I did not say handling anger at non-vegans, but at non-vegan lifestyles. And that's the whole thing, right there. When we raise our kids, we say, hate the behavior, not the child. And while non-vegans certainly shouldn't be treated like children, they should be treated as kindly as you would treat your child. Everyone should.

But what about when you get really angry? It's easy to do so. Especially when you're a victim of vegan bashing or bad jokes. People do have a tendency to laugh at the vegan lifestyle, for whatever reason.

And it's certainly frustrating to watch as those around you do exactly what you're trying to prevent because that's the way it's always been done.

Well, you could do what I do, I guess. I write about it. I prove my point in an article, post it on social media and reap the benefits.

What do I mean by reap the benefits? Well, for some reason, writing on controversial subjects really makes those page views soar. People's emotions get all involved, you know? And anytime that happens, you're looking at viral voodoo.

It's especially profitable when people become angry at your viewpoint.

Now, I don't make people angry on purpose, mind you. That's not really my thing. My thing is compassion. But somehow, even that angers certain people. They pass around my link to their friends to show them what an idiot I am and suddenly, my article or blog hits it big.

Meh, whatever. At least they're reading it. Maybe some of it will sink in. Or not.

The point is that the best comeback for anger directed against the vegan lifestyle is to just live your life. Be happy. Do your thing. Talk about it if you like. After all, everyone else on the planet is free to talk about their lifestyle, so why not vegans?

And if you're a writer, use that pent up anger in a positive way. Write. Educate. Rejoice on paper. And perhaps accidentally, you'll influence someone or at least upset them enough to spread it around where someone else will be inspired. In which case, you'll be teaching more people to be compassionate and make a bit of a profit doing it as well.

No harm done. Compassion retained. Anger squelched. Mission accomplished. Well, not completely. But at least you can say that you're making an effort and remaining compassionate to all. Yes?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What's your vegan way?

Vegan cheese. Yes or no?
How do you do vegan? We we each choose our path on the vegan road, don't we? Not all vegans are alike, just as, not all omnivores are alike. Surprise! But the biggest surprise to me is how cruel other vegans can be to vegans who are not on their path. Compassion is our mantra. Kindness is our thing and yet, a few of us don't project that to our fellow vegans.

For instance, what is your take on vegan meat and cheese? Do you do it or not do it? How about vegan processed foods? Yes or no? Is it merely your diet that's vegan or do you choose vegan everything (clothes, shoes, etc.) Have you become completely vegan yet or are you progressing toward becoming vegan, like myself?

Do you make your own vegan meats and cheeses or purchase the store-bought kind? Are you as 100% vegan as possible or do you bend a bit with the branches of society? Do you pass on the vegan “word” at every given opportunity?

Do you educate others or refrain from the reactionary melee? Do you attend protests? Do you speak out regularly, even at the risk of losing friendships or do you choose to remain silent and simply live your life as an example to others?

And here's my point:

My personal opinion, for what it's worth, coming from this tiny grain of sand in an infinite universe, is this; All vegans are OK with me. And by the way, maybe I don't agree with their lifestyle, but all those other people are too. We have to support each other, you guys. All of us have to help and guide each other with love and kindness. Otherwise, what's the point in being vegan at all?

So, my vegan friends, back to the subject at hand. Do you look down on other vegans because they eat processed food, “fake” food or because they still haven't made it to their goal? Or do you lend them your support and offer a hand up if they want one? Do you judge people, vegan or not, because they're not living the exact way you feel is right?

Because, you guys, whether you know it or not, that's not exactly compassionate, is it? That's not vegan at all. That's not what we're fighting for. It's not kind or compassionate. It's not understanding and frankly (once again from this inconsequential speck of sand in an infinite universe) it just doesn't feel right.

Be the kind of vegan you wish to be. Celebrate the fact that you are making progress or have reached your goal. Absolutely. But most of all, please, do vegan your way and give others the same opportunity, consideration and appreciation. Because the more encouragement and the less belittlement people receive, the more likely they are to stick to their goals.

Yes, it's that simple. Respect begets respect. Example is the best teacher. And every kindness multiplies.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

3 Lifestyle choices with Vegan connections

As delicious as vegan food is, that's not all there is to going vegan.
When I began making the switch from Vegetarian to Vegan, I began making connections I never have before. There's so much more to Veganism than just diet. It's a whole different way of life. It encompasses so much!

There is environmentalism and sustainability. It's also about making a minimal impact and creating less waste. It's about doing the right thing for planetary and animal life, human or otherwise. So if you're going Vegan, whether for health or ethical reasons, why not change your whole lifestyle to reflect those values and concepts?


A friend of mine told me once that her choice was not to go Vegan, but to embrace sustainable living. That's wonderful. I applaud her efforts. I know she's very dedicated to sustainable living. However, I believe that being sustainable alone isn't enough. For example, my friend raises chickens. She treats them well, but even so, there are humane issues she may not be aware of.

For instance, laying hens rely on the calcium that goes into their unfertilized eggs to sustain themselves. When we take them, we force them to lay more, thus shortening their life spans. Of course, there are many other reasons sustainable practices fall short. That's just one example. So, why stop at sustainable or Vegan? Why not combine them for a more humane way of life?


Choosing a Vegan diet alone makes a huge impact. Still, it won't completely save the planet. Why not carry those Vegan principles through to the rest of your lifestyle choices? It makes no sense to preach about the environmental impact of a meat based diet if you don't recycle, for instance.

If you're a shopaholic, you're no friend to the earth either. What do you do to help the planet outside of your Vegan diet? Not adopting other environmentally sound practices can make even the strictest of vegans seem hypocritical.


Minimalism, sustainability, environmentalism and a Vegan diet are all connected. Like the rest, minimalism focuses on doing the least harm to the planet and life in general. It's a low impact lifestyle. Own less, occupy less space and you do less harm.

So, why stop at Veganism? When you dare to make the connection, do something about it. You'll improve your life and the lives of every living being on the planet. Go Vegan. Go minimalist. Live sustain-ably. Care for the environment. They're not exclusive ways of life. They're inclusive. Nature is waiting for you to make the connection and make your life more meaningful than it already is.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Connecting with bad press as a vegan

Whether you're going vegan, like me or already there, chances are that you've been impacted by the bad press surrounding the vegan lifestyle. It's pretty hard to take sometimes right? Heck, sometimes I even get grief from vegans who feel that I'm not trying hard enough. Let's face it, veganism is not exactly mainstream. And even your fellow vegans can take it too far, hurting your feelings and making you feel isolated.

Your fellow vegans can turn on you.

We are passionately compassionate, aren't we? And like it or not, there are those of us who are critical of those who have not yet reached their goals. To which I sarcastically say, I am so sorry for being human. I'll try harder to be infallible in the future. I bow to your greatness. LOL

All vegans get a bad rap due to bad apples.

Unfortunately, those same overly critical vegans are often the very people non-vegans look to as an example of what a vegan is. They ironically spread the word about how wonderful it is to be compassionate, save the earth and prevent resource depletion/starvation by being.... ahem.... somewhat less than compassionate. What a shame.

People are very critical of things they don't understand.

Many people believe veganism is some kind of cult. It's not. It's just a bunch of people who have done the research and found veganism to be the most sustainable and compassionate lifestyle choice one can make and decided that's the path they'd like to take in life. And yes, of course we talk about it a lot. It's important to us, just as other people's passions are important to them, right?

Laughing it off is no joke.

How often, as a vegan or potential vegan, have you been greatly hurt by the “jokes” of your non-vegan friends and acquaintances? Personally, I can't even count the number of times I've just been minding my own business, not saying a word about veganism and been attacked with non-vegan “humor.” And no offense intended, but honestly, I have literally heard every joke, pun quip or argument against veganism in existence. I just don't even respond any more. It's not worth the aggravation.

Tradition is easier to comprehend than fact, especially when....

Tradition is on your side if you're a non-vegan. We get it, right? People have supposedly been eating meat, dairy and eggs since the very beginning. But hey, who said cavemen were smart? Just because something has always been done doesn't mean it's the best thing to do or the best way to live, does it? Of course not.

But again, I get it. It's hard to accept certain facts, when you've been told otherwise your entire life. So, I try to be patient, understanding and above all, compassionate, because that's the whole idea of being vegan, isn't it? Connecting with bad press as a vegan happens often and mostly without provocation. But if you try hard enough, you can emit the compassion you preach and squelch it.