food inc

Living Conscientiously

Through my energy work with living beings, I have developed a love of animals that is so strong, that the thought of harming an animal is unimaginable.

This feeling was cemented when I started watching documentaries about the conditions of animals raised for meat and other products like eggs and milk.

If you put aside the brutality of butchering animals for meat, animals in factory farms still live in cramped, filthy conditions. They are fed drugs and genetically altered to produce more things for us to consume.

Even aside from the animal rights issues, there are worker safety issues and environmental impacts to farming animals on a large scale!

I woke up! The first change I made was to stop eating meat and become a vegetarian. Once I started down the path, I realized I couldn't stop there – I became a vegan.

Being vegan means that you don't use any animal products like eggs, dairy or honey. You don't wear clothing that has silk, wool, or leather. When it comes to beauty products, you have to pay extra attention and read the labels. You have to pass on products like goat's milk soap and creams that have lanolin in them, which comes from sheep.

A common criticism of proponents of animal rights is that they are so focused on animals that they are blind to the suffering of people.

I give a lot of thought to every decision I make, so that I can be as humane and caring as possible.

For example, if I know that a product is manufactured in a third world country where wages are low and conditions are inhumane, then I won't buy the product.

I believe we should treat one another with respect and kindness, so I feel responsible for those who are vulnerable and do not have a voice.

By becoming aware of how my actions affect others and the environment, I can make decisions to reduce the negative effects.

Take palm oil for instance: palm oil is found in all kinds of products ranging from snack foods to fuel. The industry is notorious for deforestation, pollution, and the extinction of animals and indigenous cultures.

As a consumer, I choose to avoid palm oil products and I use my resources to find complementary products that are more ethical and sustainable – and are made closer to home!

Living consciously and conscientiously is not an overnight change, and you are not always in a position where you can make the ideal choice. However, by continually reflecting on your choices and making incremental improvements, you can make the lives of other living beings better, support your local community and help protect the planet!

I HEART Salads!

My New Besties, Kale and Cashew

NEWSFLASH: I am a huge animal lover!

Earlier this year I made the conscious decision to stop eating meat. I had been toying with the idea for a while, and then one evening I watched the documentary, Food Inc.. The section on meat production was truly horrifying. It was apparent that the conditions for the animals were inhumane and that there was a lot of needless pain and suffering.

The suffering really hit me on a soul level! I knew that eating an animal was something I could no longer do in good conscience.

My decision instantly resonated with my spiritual, philosophical and environmental beliefs: Not only do I get to help protect Mother Earth from the pollution and toxic chemicals that are used in meat production, but from a spiritual perspective I don’t have a hand in harming another living being and I don't have that energy in my system.

Through research, I learned that a vegetarian diet has many health benefits! It reduces the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and certain types of cancer. YEAH!!!

Several months later, I watched another documentary - Vegucated. The film follows three meat lovers who adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. They learn the shadow side of animal agriculture, deep-sea fishing and the dairy industry and how this food makes it to the table.

I decided right on the spot to embrace a vegan lifestyle! I wanted to do whatever I could to make the world a more loving and caring place. A plant-based diet seemed to be the most humane way to do this.

This change has definitely been a little more of an adjustment. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not eat seafood, eggs, dairy or honey.

You're probably wondering what Vegans eat. LOTS! And it's tasty too!

There are a lot of companies that are catering to this new market. Also, there are vegan websites that can help you find substitutes for dairy and meat products, so you can still make your favorite dishes, vegan style!!

One such resource is Post Punk Kitchen

Seriously, this website will rock your world! It's the best place for Vegan cooking and baking. Pure yumminess!

If going all the way vegan is not on the cards for you right now, you can still do things to veganize your life. Pick a couple of nights a week to create delish vegetarian dishes and replace a few non-vegan food items with the vegan counterpart, like switching dairy milk for almond, rice or soy milk.

It's only been a few months since I threw myself into this new vegan adventure and my energy feels lighter and my connection to Mother Earth is stronger!

Kale Love