I’m Vegan.

I’m Vegan.

I’m vegan.

And hearing that you’ll shake your head,

and roll your eyes because vegans are

angry, carnivore-hating, rabbit-food eating, anemics

with nothing better to do than hug trees,

and preach that meat is murder.

I mean it is…but that’s besides the point.

So let me explain.

I don’t eat meat because I stood in the freezer of a slaughterhouse on ‘kill day’ surrounded by carcasses when I was 15 years old and I lost my appetite for murder.

I don’t eat meat because no matter what we tell ourselves or are raised to believe, humane slaughter has nothing to do with animals, and everything to do with your conscience.

Why keep looking for a right way to do the wrong thing? There is no right way to murder. There is no right way to end a life.

I don’t eat meat because I believe that there is beauty in all life no matter one’s level of intelligence.

I believe that our bodies are gardens not graveyards, and kindness is a hypocrisy if the main course of dinner last night required the death of a living being.

I don’t eat meat because I’m human and my anatomy defines me as a herbivore with a maze of intestines and teeth meant to tear through plants not flesh.

I don’t eat meat because I think that Alice Walker was right when she said that animals exist for their own reasons. They weren’t made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. I don’t know about you but I believe in equality.

I believe that all lives matter, and this idea that some matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.

I’m vegan, and yes, that means I don’t drink cow’s milk because in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m human and I was weaned before I was 9 months old so why consume another mother’s milk if I don’t need it to survive?

Dairy intake is linked to prostrate cancer, ovarian cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, over 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant but for some strange reason corporate farms and agricultural boards have us believing that milk is a necessity. Did it ever occur to you that consumption of animal products is simply a branch of the reality that is capitalism and consumerist tradition?

Milk isn’t a necessity and neither are eggs, leather jackets, fur lined coats, vivisection labs, Sea World, or the circus. We do not need to use animals as a source of entertainment, food, experimentation, or survival.

And no, actually, I don’t just care about animals. I’m vegan for the planet above all else because our futures are dependant on the lives we live now so take responsibility for the choices you make, starting with what you put on your plate.

Because with an every growing population earth doesn’t have enough land mass to raise the crops and livestock we’ll need to feed humanity 20 years from now if we continue down this path of unsustainable living. In killing over 150 billion animals each year because we like the taste of their flesh or the products their bodies produce we are killing ourselves. 

I’m vegan because I believe that plant-based living is the beginning of a better world, one where peace and compassion are a priority.

So yes, I’m vegan. And maybe I’m crazy but if living this way is the first step in the right direction than I have no regrets. Because like Ghandi said, if we want to change the world, than we have to be the change.

Living in the Now.

Living in the Now.

Where do you live, or rather, where does your mind live? Do you spend the precious moments of your presence reliving the past, or are you focused on the future, on what could be rather than what is? Are you angry, or disappointed, are you impatient, or anxious; what are you feeling?

Close your eyes for a moment.

Notice where your thoughts first wander.

Wherever they go, don’t stop them from going. Give your mind the freedom to think its own thoughts, subconsciously. In the meantime, with your eyes still closed, feel your heart beating in your chest. Don’t find your pulse, remain completely still, allow your conscious mind to find your heart. Let it hover there, as your body rises and falls with every breath it takes.

Notice how, for a moment, you had forgotten about your subconscious self and its frantic dissection of past and future events or occurrences. Notice how, for a moment, you were completely present.

That feeling of being grounded in the energy your being radiates is peace. You are at peace. You are at peace amongst the chaos your mind creates, so breathe in.

Breathe out, and breathe in again.

Find solace in simply being.

A Crime Against Normalcy

A Crime Against Normalcy

Once upon a time I believed that depression was a crime. A crime against my family, a crime against normalcy, a crime against society, a crime against myself. I refused to accept the fact that I was born with neurotransmitters that don’t transmit properly, like my DNA was something over which I had authority, and too little dopamine in my brain to be what I though I was supposed to be: happy. I refused to accept the fact that depression and anxiety are not me.

Running away from my emotions did not make them disappear. Running away only made the emptiness that once swallowed me a million times more difficult to bear.

So I stopped running.

I stopped running.

I take sertraline like diabetics take insulin because the beast that used to live inside of me no longer lives my life for me.

I am not depressed, I have depression. There is a difference.

You are not your mental illness.

I Choose Life

I Choose Life

My brain has spent the past month curled in the corner of my head between the thesis of an essay I have yet to complete, and the knowledge that I’m am completely insignificant, the knowledge that my life, your life, will inevitably end. And, maybe its depression slowly worming its way back into my head, dragging curtains of anxiety across the panes of whatever it is September was supposed to be, or maybe its just me.

Maybe its just me.

But I’m right, aren’t I? In the great scheme of the universe, from the milky way to galaxies we haven’t dreamt of discovering, we are nothing. I am nothing, you are nothing.

If you had told me that a week ago I would have shut down, emptied myself of emotion, and refused to accept reality for what it is, but today, I smile. I smile because there is beauty in insignificance. I smile because life is beautiful, because we are life, because I’ve been blessed with the light of living, with the ability to feel, and connect, and grow.

And maybe there’s no reason, but this is life. This moment, right now. I may not have the future, but I have the present, and what I do with it is completely up to me.

Centre yourself, allow yourself to fall into the flow of Earth’s rhythm, into the rhythm of 8 billion hearts beating as one, rising and falling, and breathing. Always breathing. The past has already been claimed, the future is uncertain, and life is being lived, right now.

Let go, and live.

 

Losing My Beautiful

Losing My Beautiful

On July seventeenth of 2012, I turned 13 years old. I had finally reached that dreaded but so exhilarating stage of life as a teenager. I was a teenager, I had grown up in a matter of weeks, but on the morning of my birthday I sat down in front of my mother’s vanity and applied a layer of mascara for the first time. It was monumental really, the beginning and the end of something I wouldn’t understand until 4 years later on a Monday morning as I sat in my Grandma’s car and stared into the rearview mirror at my face without the mask I had become so accustomed to living in: my makeup. I found confidence in painted lips, and eyeliner that made me into the person I thought the world wanted me to be, the girl whose cheekbones were ‘too wide set’ to be considered beautiful, whose reality could be blended out with a feathered brush and setting powder.

I lost my beautiful.

I lost my beautiful the day I realized I couldn’t leave the house without having concealed the evidence of another sleepless night, without having curled my lashes, or combed out my brows. I became unknowingly obsessed with myself. Makeup was supposed to be proof of my coming of age, another adventure, another accomplishment. Its only ever proved to be more deadly to me than depression or anxiety ever was.

The moment you can no longer stand the sight of your unmade up self, is the moment in which you will finally understand the power society’s routines, and rituals, have over you. From your first trip to the pharmacy, a drive along a billboarded highway, or a google search of anything, your mind is bombarded with the reality of women everywhere: makeup has become the epitome of a feminine feature.

I will no longer be considered less of a woman because I choose to embrace a makeup-less face on the daily. I will no longer be considered less of a woman because I choose to dress up for myself rather than for the pleasure of society and its standards of beauty.

My womanliness will be found in the kindness I bestow upon the world, measured by the sound of my heart beating in my chest as I live and thrive as a being not a woman. I am not just a woman. I am a human. I am alive, and because I am alive I am beautiful.

We are beautiful.

We are alive.

 

‘Streaming’

‘Streaming’

Saturated starlight, stories, pages without ink. You don’t live here, you live there, in a world created out of contrasted gigabytes, and the death of conversation.  Worlds that depend on your ignorance, a currency developed out of the consumerist being that lives inside of us, teaching generations to become a race of copy written features, lost without the static of life not lived, of dreams that end in the syllables of words we create because we’ve lost the motivation to be a species that looks up rather than down, that laughs rather than inserts a fragile lol.  how to live outside this universe our obsessions have become. To create, to laugh loudly, without the echoes of streamed happiness running through our minds, to fall in love, to find ourselves, we must look to the universe inside.

Put down your phone.

(Who are you really?)

The Happy Pill

The Happy Pill

What if I told you that happiness is self-made? What if I told you that you do have control over your emotions, would you believe me? The following is a 3 step guide to attaining the benefits of dopamine, or prozac, without ever swallowing a pill:
  1. Find your passion, and do what you love. Whether you’re caught up in schoolwork or a busy schedule, making time to do something you enjoy will completely change your outlook on life.
  2. Surround yourself with positivity. This is especially important for anyone struggling with depression, loneliness, or even anxiety, a large portion of your mood is dictated completely by the people you spend your time with. So don’t be afraid to let people go if they’re encouraging negativity, and aren’t a source of inspiration or motivation.
  3. Make time for yourself. This is something I struggle with on the daily, because I let my job, and my schedule consume me. But in order to feel content I’ve learned that I need to connect with myself daily, whether that be through yoga, sitting down with a cup of coffee and a book, or simply taking a bath. Dedicate a portion of your day to doing absolutely nothing. Productivity is just as important as down time, but your relationship with yourself and your emotions needs to be a priority.
A ‘happy pill’ doesn’t exist, there’s no cure for sadness, or melancholy. Contentment (opposed to happiness, a word overused, and too high a state of mind to permanently attain) is temporary, but my hope for you is that maybe one day, with time, you do have moments, whether they last seconds, hours, or days, when you are genuinely thankful to be alive.
You are entirely up to you.