Category Archives: Social Questions

Effective Change

This is my first post that doesn’t directly deal with my vegan lifestyle. Today I want to talk you all about “effective change”. There have been so many things happening in the world and in our own country that deal with the major political, legal, and societal changes that we are facing. As always there are people who are for and against these changes. Here is where my blog becomes controversial. There are a few people and issues we are having in the US that need EFFECTIVE CHANGE for anything to happen.

KIM DAVIS. If you live in America and do not know this woman find CNN right now. Davis is a woman who worked for the county clerk’s office in Kentucky. She refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Is she homophobic? I don’t care. It’s actually irrelevant to the point I am trying to make. Whatever reason she has for not wanting same-sex couples within her state to have marriage licenses is beyond the point. Is she promoting EFFECTIVE CHANGE? When she refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples can they  get licenses anywhere else in the state? I don’t think Davis even meant to promote effective change. She may be the catalyst for an even bigger movement. We have seen the time and time again. More notably, the strength of the Civil Rights Movement with Rosa Parks refusing to sit on the back of the bus. Is there more to come from Davis and her followers?

THE ELECTION. I wish I was paying more attention to the things being said, but I have caught on to some of it. Most of the things I have heard are blatant racism, sexism, and national origin discrimination. But big shock it’s America. Many Americans have some comment to make about illegal immigration: where these people are coming from, what they are doing, and how much money it is costing them. We all know which country is being discriminated against . We all know that this country is a smaller segment of an overarching term for an ethinc group. And most importantly we know as a country that we shoud not generalize, but we do it anyway. Do the candidates running think that trash-talking a seemingly vunerable group of people will cause them to leave. This isn’t junior high where you can bully the girl you don’t like into leaving the lunch table. Bullying does not work and we have seen this time and time again in our country. There is only so long you can bully someone before they retaliate. By the way America, all of the countries in North and South America had a summit not too long ago to discuss the western hemisphere. Which two countries do you think were not invited? Personally, I would zip those lips.

What do Kim Davis and the upcoming election have to do with veganism? I’m not quite sure. But change is among us. I hope that when it comes it serves a purpose whether you are pro same-sex marriage, anti same-sex marriage, republican, democrat, black, white, or indigenous. It’s not enough for us to fight for change. Change can come in the form of a law that can and may never be implemented. We need to fight for change that doesn’t just say change but means change.

The Unemployed Vegan

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from a great university in Philadelphia. I have held multiple employment positions, conducted 3 research studies, wrote a research proposal, spent time in the career office, found two mentors, applied to over 300 jobs, bought an interview suit, bought a padfolio, wrote an amazing CV, and made business cards. I still have no job and no job prospects. How do I fix this? And how in the hell does this translates to veganism?


My standard of living is the bare minimum at this point. I spend little money on groceries. I have a $20 gym membership. And I buy gas ( thank God gas prices are low). My gym membership I can’t get rid of. It’s great for my health and something to do so I don’t lose my mind. I need to buy gas for my car for obvious reasons, the gym and the possible job interview.

My vegan health may be headed for a downward spiral. I am limited in the types of groceries I can afford. I am used to buying mostly vegetables and some whole grains. The grains are cheaper and I get a great deal more than the vegetables. I can buy canned veggies. They don’t taste anywhere near as good as fresh so I’m not excited.

During my time spent at home I have been looking for cheaper options for household products such as making them myself. I can save money, have an activity to do during the day, absord less chemicals, and become more self-sufficient. This will help me save some money. My concern though is not saving but actually MAKING money.

How To? Does anyone have any clue on to how I can get a job? I have the interest of moving to Connecticut for the new year which would mean I will need a job for right now and a job there as well.

What does this employment mean for my health? What does it mean for my finances? My lifestyle changes will forever effect my diet.

Veganism as a Choice

I am spending the last week of August in Aruba and my is it beautiful. This is my first trip as a vegan and I knew it was going to have its ups and downs but mostly downs. As a precaution I packed every vegan snack I could think of: nuts, granola bars, applesauce, oatmeal, powder coconut milk, and hemp protein powder. I was determined to stay alive.
¬†Upon arriving I knew my options would be limited. At an all-inclusive resort I knew there would be vegetarian options smothered in cheese. My biggest obstacle was finding items that weren’t doused in milk and cheese. I enjoy the choices and getting creative, so the struggle isn’t nearly as hard as I expected it to be.


The interesting thing about all-inclusive resorts is that they tend to have restaurants where you can have your meals made to order. I went to a seafood restaurant last night where the two vegetarian options contained cheese. I spoke to the waitor and told him that I did not eat meat, eggs, or dairy. He asked me what I wanted to eat because I was allergic to these ingredients. I was shocked to say the least. Apparently people who do not meat, eggs, or dairy do so because they are deathly allergic. It is as if to say that people only remove these foods from their diets out of necessity, which is true for some, but not for me.


I hate to sound self-righteous, but we need to move out of that mode of thinking. When a person tells you that they are refraining from eating certain foods do not automatically assume that there is no other choice. Some people choose to eat meat and some not. Others choose to only eat candy and others not. This illusion that vegetables sustaining a person’s life as a form of dietary recourse is unfair. We need to spread the word that veganism can be a choice and a great one at that.

Human Rights vs. Animal Rights (Or is it Even a Competition?)

  
Save one and hurt the other…that’s what I always say…not! There is the misconception that many vegans only care about animals and neglect the suffering of humans. For some that may be the case, but not for me. In my vegan journey I have been trying to find a balance. I want to fight for the rights of humans and animals. 

  
Here is my dilemma:

Finding cheap vegan clothing is not a problem. Cotton skirts, jean pants, and polyester tops are pretty easy to come by. The problem lies within the companies who are manufacturing  the clothing. I dare you to check the tags in your clothes to see which countries they are made in. Many will find China, India, and Bandgladesh. Very few may find clothes or any goods purchased in the United States that are made in the United States. 

People providing clothes for Americans overseas are usually severly underpaid, many of whom are sweatshop laborers. These people are sometimes forced to work long hours with minimal breaks, uncomfortable working conditions, unrealistic production goals, and all for less than $1 a day. 

The United Nations has been trying to advocate for sweatshop laborers around the world. There were a list of goals made called the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) that were to be reached by 2015. These goals were expected to be reached by all of the countries in the UN to aid the development of the world and those who have been abused my their governments. In relation to labor rights and extreme poverty the MDGs hoped to decrease poverty. The UN reported that in 1990 nearly half of the developing world was living on less than $1.25 a day and now in 2015 it is only 18%. http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/2015_MDG_Report/pdf/MDG%202015%20rev%20(July%201).pdf

  
In an idealistic world, if one wanted to stop the sweatshops, one would stop shopping from companies that produced their goods using sweatshop labor. The truth is that this will probably do more harm than good. Now let’s think about this logically, if you stop supporting companies that produce their goods using sweatshops then there will be less of a need for employees, which means that the people who were once making $1.25 a day are now making $0 a day. If you had the option to work anywhere else and make more money why would you stay there? Who told you these people had options for ample employment?

We need to fight for effective change by holding many of these companies accountable for their employees in America and overseas. These companies are everywhere: Nike, Forever21, Ugg Australia, Hanes, and thousands more. Advocate for the rights for these workers by holding these people accountable. But how do you do that? Complain until you are blue in the face! Sign petitions and send emails. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/gap-stop-sweatshop-labor

  
FYI: Just because companies claim that their products are made in America does not mean that there are rights for workers. Many of these companies will produce their goods in US territories while abiding by the bare minimum rules and regulations of the countries and creating American sweatshops. 

Fight for the rights of humans and animals!

That’s Tested on Animals??…Damn

The day I decided to be vegan I knew where my struggles would find me. I am always down to try new types of food and after being pescetarian for a while I didn’t have many concerns when it came to dietary restrictions. But my skin care, hair care, and hygiene products would be a completely different story. 

  
Every woman I’m sure can agree that when you find products that work you stick with them. What happens when you make the switch to a vegan lifestyle and the products you have depended on for years have been contributing to the suffering of animals? 

Hardest Products to Give Up:

Aveeno Body Lotion to Trader Joe’s A Midsummer Night’s Moisturizing Cream

   

 It had taken me a great deal of time to find a lotion that works with my skin. I have had eczema on and off for years and everyone with eczema knows that this skin allergy can be hard to control especially when the weather changes. Thankfully Trader Joe’s hit the nail on the head with this product. Yes it is very rich, close to the consistency of an ointment, but it seems to work better than Aveeno for my eczema. I count it as a win!

Dove Deodorant to Tom’s

Dove has been working for me since I started wearing deodorant. Why fix something that’s not broken? Well when taking the vegan plunge I bought Tom’s deodorant. Is it bad? I’m not quite sure. All I know is that’s not strong enough for me. In all fairness I have only ised one line of the product. There may be other lines that are better suited for my needs.  I wanted so badly for it to be a perfect switch. Sadly I’m still in the process of finding a deodorant that’s going to work for my active lifestyle. 

   
 Playtex/Always to Natracare?

I have not made the switch yet, but I will. I am also looking for advice on how effective Natracare actually is. Most women stick to a specific brand of tampons and pads. Broken? Well apparently they have been this entire time. Many of the major feminine hygiene companies have found profitable ways to feed us poison. The cotton is sprayed with pesticides and insecticides. Now to top it off…it’s bleached. My honest belief is that if women were aware of the products they were using they would not continue to use them. In two months I will start on earth friendly feminine hygiene products. 

      

As I move further along in the vegan transition I will update everyone on my new eco-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan products. If anyone has suggestions they would be greatly appreciated. 

Toriann