I never would have thought that when I went vegan three years ago, it would change the course of my life. It was beyond a change in my diet: It ultimately led me to change careers and country. Somehow I found myself on Koh Lanta—a tiny island in southwest Thailand.Read More
Convenient and delicious foods. Who can object to that, right? But when rainforests equivalent to 300 football fields are being destroyed every hour (according to the World Wide Fund for Nature), and the critically endangered orangutans are being driven toward extinction due to the massively destructive palm oil industry … there’s a reason we should object to foods containing palm oil—no matter how delicious they are. And when the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now estimated to be three times the size of France, the mounting problem of plastic pollution can no longer be ignored. We must abstain from conveniently packaged foods to reduce our single-use plastic footprint.Read More
In honor of Earth Day, and after hearing that The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now three times the size of France, I launched Earth Week at work to increase plastic pollution awareness and challenge coworkers to reduce their single-use plastic footprint.Read More
My husband and I just returned from volunteering at the elephant sanctuary and wildlife rescue center at Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT)—a dream of mine three years in the making. Being a volunteer there involves strenuous, physical labor in tropical heat and humidity, but it’s an incredibly rewarding experience that allows you to safely interact with animals in a responsible and meaningful way. You truly do make a difference in these animals’ everyday lives, majority of whom were rescued from decades of unimaginable abuse and mistreatment in the tourism and logging industries as well as the exotic wildlife pet trade.Read More
I recently attended the Compassion in Action Conference presented by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, or as some may know her best, 'The Joyful Vegan'. If there's anyone who can excel at living a vegan life full of hope and optimism; captivate a room with eloquence, warmth, humility and humor; and effectively advocate for animals by communicating truthfully, respectfully and compassionately, it's Colleen.
Every vegan activist—newbie or veteran—could benefit from hearing her speak.
The tagline for the conference was "Putting your values to work to change the world for animals."Read More
I got home from work the other night and as I was pulling into my driveway, I spotted a seabird over a foot tall crossing my neighborhood street. I thought, this can't be normal. This bird must be disoriented, injured or lost to be wandering around in my neighborhood, which happens to be about a half mile from the beach and wetlands.
I knew that if I left the bird there, he would get run over by a car or get attacked by neighborhood dogs, cats or worse, a coyote.Read More
Okja is a super pig genetically engineered to be unnaturally large in order to feed the world’s growing, unsustainable population. Sound familiar? It’s almost immediately evident from the beginning of the movie that its fictional aspect lies mainly in the adorable computer-generated mutant pig, while its parallels with reality is the driving force and haunting message of the film.
In essence, Okja is every factory farmed animal in our world today (minus the fact that she gets to live on a remote mountaintop for the first ten years of her life, unlike real farmed animals imprisoned in cramped, windowless pens with no room to turn around). Although the film’s writer-director Bong Joon-ho, a South Korean filmmaker, didn’t set out to create an exposé on the horrors of factory farming or a social commentary on people's hypocrisy, apathy and cruel nature (greed, yes), the outcome turned out to be just that. It left many viewers to reconsider their diets and search online about veganism and vegetarianism. Just take a look at people's comments and social media posts about the movie and you'll see the overwhelming trend in people declaring they want to go vegan or have gone vegan since watching Okja.Read More
Spread love, joy and awareness this holiday season--and all seasons--with elephantea, the perfect stocking stuffer that blends compassion with conservation with every cup! elephantea is a groundbreaking range of premium tea products that's "ground shakingly good" for your tastebuds and for endangered Asian elephants.
For every elephantea purchase you make, a percentage of the profits fund Sri Lankan-based nonprofits dedicated to Asian elephant conservation.Read More
Art is transcendent. It has a way of creating an emotional and personal connection between the observer and subject. This powerful medium is what inspired photographer and conservationist, KT Merry, to raise global awareness and support for endangered species through fine film photography.
Her limited-edition series, Render Loyalty, premiered as one-night-only exhibits in New York City and Los Angeles, on November 17th and December 1st, respectively. All proceeds from the curated exhibits were donated to conservancy partners, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LEWA) and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), the world's two leading wildlife conservations located in Kenya.
In addition, 20% of all sales from renderloyalty.com will also be donated directly to its conservation partners.Read More
Need eco friendly gift ideas for the holidays? Through a beautiful (eco)llaboration between John Masters Organics luxury beauty line and Freedom of Animals--maker of sustainable, cruelty-free luxury bags--comes exclusively designed, limited-edition makeup bags. They're FREE with purchase at johnmasters.com while supplies last.
Each design is specific to the John Masters Organics holiday skin care collection.Read More
This holiday season, double your charitable deeds by giving the elephant lover in your life the gift that gives back: a newly released 'silver lining' votive by glassbaby. For every 'silver lining' sold, 10% of proceeds will be donated to Conservation International to support elephant and wildlife conservation efforts in Kenya.
In addition to the 'silver lining' proceeds, 10% of all glassbaby's December online sales (excluding single giving colors) will go to Conservation International in further support of their Sarara Initiative, a visionary partnership that uses a sustainable community-run model to protect elephants, their habitat and other wildlife in Kenya.Read More
Many people wonder why we give pigs water when they're about to die anyway. Well, imagine you were born to die. Your whole life has been nothing but violent abuse and mistreatment, and after enduring a long, arduous journey, the smell of death hits your senses. Your terror is heightened, your hunger, thirst and exhaustion is at an all-time high.
Then, out of the darkness, you see people--monsters--who are acting out of the norm. They approach your truck, speak to you in a soothing voice and give you something to quench your thirst as you're panting and foaming at the mouth. You wonder who these monsters are, and why they actually don't seem to be harming you for once. They reach out to you, you nuzzle their hands, suckle their finger, stick your nose out to try and connect with them. In that moment, you experience something you've never had before. What is it? And then, the moment is gone. These "monsters" step back, saying something to you in their soothing voices as the truck starts back up and you're moving again, closer and closer into the air thick with the stench of death--pierced only by the screams of your fellow species, knowing that you will soon share their fate.Read More
“It’s fun for children. It’s not that bad,” said a woman with her several young children as they walked past our signs that read, “Cruelty is NOT entertainment”, “Ban Circus Animals”, and “There’s NO excuse for animal abuse.”
That got my blood boiling.
Last Sunday, I went to my very first protest: it was against Ringling Brothers ... the saddest and cruelest show on earth. For those who don’t know, their tagline is “The Greatest Show on Earth.” This is coming from a circus that punches its animals in the face, whips them and beats them with electric prods to get them to perform unnatural tricks. They also confine animals to tiny cages as they travel across the country for up to 100 hours straight (conditions so grueling that a 2-year old lion named Clyde died from intense heat after being transported through the Mojave desert). Kids can barely stand to be on the road for a few hours; now imagine what it’s like for a wild animal.Read More
There is no shortage of accounts of former slaughterhouse workers or animal farmers who had a change of heart after years of contributing to the mass slaughter of innocent animals.
These ex-slaughterhouse workers have seen hell on earth, and managed to avoid being eternally consumed by the voracious fires of apathy, sadism and depravity. Even they were able to reawaken their compassion and empathy, snapping out of their trance and truly seeing the horrors of the meat, dairy and egg industry.Read More
It’s eye-opening how the news of male chick culling coming to an end in 2020 (at least among 95% of egg producers in the U.S.) has horrified people. Just read people’s reactions and comments to this news on social media. For most people, the practice of male chick culling is breaking news alone. It just goes to show how many people are still in the dark about the horrors of the meat, dairy and egg industry.
Grinding, gassing and suffocating male chicks to death is disgustingly cruel, but it’s also just a fraction of the violent and sadistic abuse, mistreatment and deaths that billions of farmed animals endure every day—from the moment their born, to the moment their slaughtered.Read More
My mom is my biggest supporter. Although she’s not vegan, and doesn’t always share my view on animals, she has always shown her support.
However, we were at Disneyland recently and when I refused to eat half a churro, she said something that struck me, “Not eating half a churro isn’t going to save an animal’s life.”
So if I ate only half a churro, does that make me less guilty than if I were to eat a whole churro? Does that make me less guilty that maybe only one egg was used, versus two?Read More
I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw the headline, "Gorilla Killed at Cincinnati Zoo After Child Climbs in Enclosure". My heart sank--I couldn't get myself to click on the article knowing that the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach would boil over into anger and disgust.
After settling my emotions, I finally read one of the articles and all I kept thinking about was the persistent problem with zoos: wildlife in captivity, exploitation and people's lack of common sense, sensitivity and understanding. A lot of animal lovers are outraged by the mother of the child whose carelessness led to the child getting into the gorilla enclosure. However, the real issue here is the existence of zoos, which function first and foremost as a business, ultimately caring more about profit than safety and their animals.Read More
Recent headlines about a study that suggests going vegan would save 8 million lives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% has, as expected, brought out all the haters: all the haters of plant-based diets, but especially of vegans.
Cue the chorus of excuses found in the comments sections of articles on the aforementioned study:
“Animals are meant to be eaten.”
“So do plants’ lives not matter?”
“Eating vegetables would still require deforestation.”
“That stat is inaccurate so I’m going to keep eating meat.”
The concept of meat consumption causing species extinction will probably unfold the same way climate change has. There will be a lot of resistance and denial, but more and more people will slowly begin to accept that it’s a real issue, as its symptoms become increasingly evident and can no longer be ignored or dismissed.Read More
The other day, fellow blogger Evelyn of Vegan Simplified messaged me about the devastating news … Matthew and Terces Engelhart, owners of the insanely popular Los Angeles vegan restaurants, Café Gratitude and Gracias Madre, were killing animals at their farm for profit. To add to the heartbreak and horror, their daughter and owner of Sage Organic Vegan Bistro sources from the very same farm that kills animals: Be Love Farm.Read More