In today’s world, corporations and private organizations intentionally make it very easy for one to follow instructions and advertisements blindly, without critically analyzing their choices or the consequences of such. “Buy this, eat that, wear this, listen to that, watch this…” we are told what to do and who to be every minute we are in the public space, and even in the privacy of our homes. Naturally we choose the path that requires the least effort (human nature, wassup) and in our contemporary Westernized environment, that equates to sticking to the status quo (eating fast food, buying clothes from the GAP, throwing away plastic bags) and not asking questions (Where did the food come from? Who made the clothes? What impact does plastic have on the environment?)
The point I am trying to get at is that many of us have a tendency to do the minimum required in our lifestyles, because it is the easiest way to get by. I am not laying down any blame or judgement on you; but I am calling out a pattern I see. The following words might seem a little harsh, but I mean absolutely no offense, I am simply stating my opinions and the reasons behind the lifestyle I choose to lead. Also: my main issues are with factory farming and mega corporations that choose cheapness over responsibility, not unknowing consumers who aren’t aware of the effects of their choices.
My message is: eff the minimum!
Let’s be excellent! Let’s bring up any repressed questions, guilt or concerns we have about the impacts we have on the planet and other beings, find real answers and change our actions accordingly. I am vegan because I do not believe someone innocent whom I love should have to dieso I can eat a beef burger for lunch. I am vegan because I respect all beings and believe we all have the right to happiness and freedom. I am vegan because factory farming and agribusiness is worse for the environment – they produce more carbon dioxide – than ALL transportationcombined.
I do not buy clothes from stores that outsource manufacturing to developing countries because I want the people who make my clothes to be fairly paid and in control of their job; not separated from their families for weeks at a time, paid mere cents an hour, or suffering from back problems from sitting at a sewing machine for 15 hours at a time while the heads of the corporations make millions because they have cut so many moral corners and are doing the minimum. I buy mostly used clothing because there is more than enough new clothing to go around and recycling is more important than ever, as we are just now experiencing the first effects of human-caused climate change.
My family buys natural, eco-friendly cleaning products and I buy organic, not-tested-on-animals beauty products because I don’t think the planet or any innocent creatures should have to suffer just so I can have pink lips, smell pretty and have a clean sink.
I believe we all have the right to live freely, and have the opportunity for happiness, love and growth. I am proud of my values, choices and beliefs. I think they are right and responsible. I appreciate each day for the gift it is and understand that although serious inequalities of all kinds are still prevalent in our world, we can change that. I am doing my part by voting with my dollars for what I think is sustainable, compassionate, fair and just. I am doing something morebecause I am choosing to feel something more. More than the minimum. I will not allow myself to go the easy route and ignorantly believe baseless advertisements and claims by opportunistic corporations, or support what I know is wrong. I want you to join me. It is as simple as choosing organic almond yogurt (recipe below!) instead of pasteurized dairy yogurt, thrift jeans instead of new Levi’s, and non-toxic house products instead of animal-tested chemicals. Let’s do something more. Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world.
ALMOND YOGURT with FRUIT & CINNAMON
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight then rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or raw cane sugar
1 mango, cubed
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
To make the yogurt: blend all the ingredients together until very smooth, adding more sweetener or other ingredients as you desire. Leave in a bowl at room temperature for about 9 hours. Keep in the fridge after that, or eat right away.
To serve: layer a bowl with the fruit, cinnamon, raisins and yogurt. Mmm… tasting something more!