3 years. Not perfect, not preaching, just trying.

June 2017 is not only my Birthday month but also my Veganniversary month!
This time 3 years ago I started to live a Vegan lifestyle and I haven't looked back since.
At the beginning I simply cut out the most basic things such as meat, dairy, honey and other food products, but as time went on I changed other items I bought too, such as household products, make up, toiletries and more.
To some people this might sound a bit daunting but to be completely honest I don't miss any animal foods or animal tested items at all. Once your outlook on these products changes you do not see them in the same light anymore.

One thing I have learnt on this journey of mine is that you can always be better, you can always improve! Animals can be used and exploited in so many different ways and we can change our habits in ways we wouldn't imagine, these changes can send a message and slowly make a difference. My Husband and I changed our energy provider, we stopped supporting certain charities, we have started to look at how sustainable our clothing is, I have begun to actively buy from and support independent shops and artists, the list goes on. Without starting my Vegan lifestyle I don't think I would have changed any of the above, these things would have seemed completely irrelevant to me.

All this being said, you cannot be too harsh on yourself, as no one in this world can be 100% Vegan.
None of us can totally stop our actions causing harm to animals or the environment, it is simply impossible. We live in such a world where animal by-products are used in so many things, most of which you wouldn't even be aware of. If you are to buy a pair of trainers, buy a car, take medication, own an electronic device or drink alcohol then you are most certainly using animal products, or aiding animal testing in some way or another.
Since being Vegan I purchased a car which has a leather steering wheel, I have taken pain relief medication, I have accidentally bought food with honey in, I have bought shoes which probably use glue containing animal products, I have bought fruit and veggies which may have killed animals through using pesticides, I have bought products from many companies whose mother company test on animals, I have eaten many foods with palm oil in and the list can go on and on and on, yet i am still Vegan.
(oh yeah! I also swallowed multiple flies whilst running and I once ran over a squirrel, what is a girl to do)

The definition of Veganism from the "Vegan Society" -

"A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."
The one thing which annoys me beyond anything else is when people say they will not go Vegan because being 100% Vegan is not possible, or that it is pointless to save some animals when other people continue to eat them, or that wildlife will still be harmed from growing vegetables....this thought process is madness, or probably just an excuse. Why? Because if you can do good, then why wouldn't you? If you can help, then why wouldn't you?

Imagine you are walking down a street and there is a house on fire, there is no one else around and you can see two people in easy reach, two people you can rescue without harming yourself. However, you can also hear screams from the back of the house, screams which are too far into the fire for you to get to. So instead of helping the few that you can, you just decide to just walk on past, you do not help anyone, you do not even call the fire services, you completely ignore the situation.

I know this sounds weird and maybe it does sound over the top, but this is essentially what a lot of people do every day in regards to animal cruelty. Each day we are presented with choices to make and I believe that each and every choice can make a difference.

But if you want a better example than my pathetic attempt, then Vegansidekick (http://vegansidekick.com/) always does it best :)

So, how will i celebrate my 3 year Veganniversary? Most likely handing out leaflets in Birmingham (Sat 3rd June) in the hope we can reach out to individuals and create change. Birmingham city centre is a great place to leaflet as it is always pretty busy with a lot of foot fall. We all know most people do not like to take leaflets from random people in the street, however you would be surprised how many people do take one, or how many people stop and talk to you. I think it helps when we have a nice stall with leaflets and a large number of friendly faces like this Saturday! :)
(Plus free brownies donated to us from Three Three's coffee shop!)

Come rain or shine we can help the voiceless.

Thanks to a fab group called West Midlands Connection I have taken part in few different activist days/marches/leaflet giving etc... I most certainly want to continue with this as it is so lovely to meet like minded people and to also help spread compassion! I will do another Blog post about specific events such as the "World day for animals in laboratories March" and "Earthlings" events. In the meantime if you are at all interested in joining some friendly people to encourage kindness and eat some yummy food, then check them out on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/WestMidsConnection/

Lovely chalk work from Anna Harrison! :)  

Variation of leaflets, from diet to fox hunting. All free for members of the public to take.  

3 years on and I am continuing my journey of compassion, I have many things I plan to do and I hope that some of you will join me :)

More blog posts soon! Thanks for reading!  C x


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