Be warned. Vent session ahead!
If you think about sustainability, living naturally, or are on the fence about veganism, etc. This might be a relatable read for you!
If the mind could breathe, mine would literally be out of breath. My brain has been go-go-go between research for my blog and social media accounts, schooling for my certifications in organic and natural formulating, work, research for my journey to natural living, etc. Needless to say, it’s a lot. Never mind the physical work being done turning our home and land from a normal house into a sustainable farmhouse.
First of all, I wish there was more time in the day. Or that I could just retire now at 30 years of age and totally commit myself to what I am truly passionate about. Isn’t that what we all want? But the bills must be paid. So, along I chug balancing it all. This is okay for me though. Because the more I do this balancing act the easier it seems to get. I think it’s because parts of what I am balancing are things I truly care about and it’s outweighing the things I am doing simply because I have to. I find what works and what doesn’t through trial and error and if I get really overwhelmed I take a step back and regroup.
What is currently overwhelming me are the things I cannot step back from or get out of my mind. I am talking about all of the negative, horrible, and painfully TRUE details I am finding out along my journey to sustainability and my attempt to create a life that does not negatively impact the environment.
I started with one goal in mind. Have a sustainable home. But then I found out what sustainability really is and that it needs to be woven into every fiber of our life choices in order to truly make an impact. The products we buy, the companies we buy from, the locations their ingredients are sourced from, the way the ingredients are actually sourced, how the products are packaged and delivered, how the people are treated that work for the companies; are all parts of sustainability as a whole. Phew, that was a lot. I will be posting about different forms of sustainability so whoever is interested can learn what it all means. I want to present the information in a way that is simple and easy to digest. So, I have decided to break the information down into smaller posts rather than one giant purge of information since I don’t want anyone feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.
Please know, that any small change you make to positively impact the planet DOES matter. But there is a whole other level of change that needs to happen. I hope to inspire people who aren’t yet aware, to become aware and do what they can to help heal the planet and their own health one decision at a time. Future generations depend on it.
Back to feeling personally overwhelmed 👉 Along with my (unplanned) discovery of how corrupt many companies and practices are when it comes to “ethically sourced” and “sustainably produced” goods, I have opened my eyes to a level of animal cruelty that I did not know existed. I went to an agricultural high school when I was younger which led me to the decision of becoming a vegetarian for about 4 years because of my interactions with the livestock and being up close and personal with them. I did it because I love animals and respect their rights to live out their lives without fear and abuse. I don’t know what changed but slowly I got back into eating meat because it was easier and everyone around me did it. I put the ideas of what animals go through to the back of my mind (out of sight out of mind right? Pff yeah right😡).
Well, the cruel reality has slapped me in the face once again. But now this time I realize that the cruelty isn’t just in meat production and the fishing industry, but in dairy products as well. I never realized what it takes to get a cow to continuously produce milk on demand. Or what they do with the cow’s offspring. It’s horrifying and disturbing to the core. Not to mention the cows get used and abused for milk and then once they are no longer good enough for this chore they just go to slaughter as if their lives are meaningless. I don’t want to be any part of that. In reality, I don’t want anyone to be a part of that.
When it comes to poultry, what do you think they do with the male chicks? They don’t need them for eggs, ever think about that? Once again, the truth is horrific and cruel. I am not going into details here because I figure, if you want to know, you will go find out. The main point to be made here is, that there is NO HUMANE industrial production of meat, fish, or dairy period. That is a lie that is stuck on our packages to make us feel better about the disgusting treatment animals go through in these facilities. We see “free-range” on a package and naturally picture chickens running around a field. I advise you to look up what “free-range” really means. You will be shocked.
Here is where it gets even more complicated. I think to myself, “Okay, then I’ll just drink plant milk”. Well, certain plant crops take A TON OF WATER to grow which is not sustainable. It is still much less than dairy requires, however, so keep that in mind! But picking plant-based milk is more complex than I thought.
It has been reported that almond milk crops take 1.1 gallons of water PER ALMOND to grow and crops mainly grow in California which has major drought issues. Almond farmers don’t seem to 100% agree with the 1.1 gallons per almond statistic. So, we will just say it takes a lot of water to maintain almond crops (1). Then, you have to look at the water that goes into turning that almond into actual “milk”. After concluding my research I would advise, choosing almond milk OVER dairy but choosing oat milk overall! Organic oat milk is my winner when it comes to the most sustainable and environmentally friendly plant milk and YOU CAN MAKE IT YOURSELF!
A lot of thought has to go into every decision we make when thinking “green”. Hopefully, I can do a lot of the thinking for you! Or we can bounce information and knowledge off one another along our journeys.
Ok, now back to the animals. With this heartbreaking knowledge of what they go through, I am now facing the decision that I knew was coming sooner or later. Do I go vegan? Do I stand behind my values and change my entire way of eating and view on food in support of animal rights and the sustainability of our planet? Or do I continue along the easy path of eating meat and dairy? I live with my daughter and fiancé who of course LOVE meat. How will this work? Will my choices be received negatively or as a pain in the butt? Are shopping and eating going to be a nightmare? And lastly, is there a balance between practicing veganism and using dairy and honey from my own livestock and bees when the time comes, if the time comes? For me, it is not a black-and-white decision. I planned on getting chickens and bees for eggs and honey. Not just for companionship and to add life to our farm, but to nourish my family organically. This is a tough one. But maybe the answer is, that there is no answer. It all comes down to doing what you as an individual feel is ethical and right. But if I eat 95% vegan and 5% from my own stocks of eggs and honey does that mean I cannot identify as a vegan? Yikes! So many questions!
On top of this, I grew up on a small farm where my mother currently raises animals to eat. . I was eating these animals because, at the time, I felt I would rather eat meat from an animal that was cared for and lived a stress-free life as opposed to supporting the slaughterhouses. I support her because I know for a fact these animals are so well taken care of. They are given good healthy lives. Then when the time comes, they are killed by a man who does everything he can to make the animal comfortable and clueless about what’s happening. He stuns them so they are 100% unconscious for when the part that turns people’s stomachs takes place. If you think this sounds harsh or cruel, you should YouTube how the meat you buy in the store is slaughtered. It makes my mum’s process look like a blessing (not saying it is by any means). I support my mum because I know her goals and how appreciative she is of every animal. My family is not going to stop eating meat, it’s not something they are into and that’s fine. To each their own. But I would much rather everyone eats meat they raised and gave a good life to RATHER THAN supporting the despicable industrialized meat and dairy companies that pump out that meat you buy at the grocery store. However, going vegan would mean cutting out consuming all meat including my mother’s.
I know not everyone comes from the same walk of life and we are not all in the same boat. Some people don’t have the option to raise their own livestock or simply cannot go vegan. That is why I write strictly from my own perspective and do not force or spew my choices at anyone. Down below I have listed out my actual Pros and Cons in case anyone is in the same situation and needs a visual!
There you have it. A small slice of where I am at today and the decision I am currently facing. I never want to judge others OR be judged. We are all entitled to our own lives and choices but we should be educated about exactly what those choices really mean. However, I will always share what I learn and how I feel because there are so many people in the world I figure it has to resonate with someone! I look forward to connecting with more people as time goes on and collaborating with others who share the same end goal. Save the planet as much as we can while we are on it and hopefully leave inspiration behind for future generations to grasp onto!
Until next time,
Positive outcomes of veganism as a whole (just a few key points)
- Supports animal rights | animals’ lives will be spared
- Reduces energy consumption
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions (global warming crisis)
- Cleans the Soil
- Conserves water
- Combats world hunger “A vegan diet would mean the earth could produce calories more efficiently, going directly to consumers without animal intermediaries, and the subsequent abundance of land would lead to more space for additional crops, which could help feed hungry people around the world.” (2)
My Personal Pros
- I value all of the positive outcomes from the list above and want to support them
- I don’t eat red meat already or fish
- I would be happier with myself knowing I was NOT contributing to the brutality of animals in the meat and dairy industry
- I would be more conscious of what I am putting in my body. Therefore, leading to healthier choices
- Healthier body and mind overall
- I will become more mindful of my purchases outside of just food when it comes to animal testing and ingredients.
- Less risk of heart disease
- Can inspire others to be more aware of their diets and the impacts they have.
My Personal Cons
- I eat quite a bit of dairy so I will have to find vegan alternatives
- My family would now be on a totally different diet than me which could make things more difficult
- More time will have to be set aside for meal prep and learning how to cook and live vegan
- I will have to bake without real dairy and alter past recipes
- More thought and time will go into food overall.
- No more real ice cream or frozen yogurt.
- Going out or to friends houses for food may prove to be more challenging.
⭐Well, now that I look at the lists and compared “no more real ice cream” to “animals’ lives will be spared and reduces greenhouse gas emissions” it kind of looks like a no-brainer! But it will definitely take some additional thought and research
❕❕❕ UPDATE ❕❕❕
After writing this article I made the decision to go Vegan and can honestly say I will never look back and only wish I had done it sooner. I feel and look better than I ever have in my life. It takes effort to ensure you are getting all the necessary vitamins and proteins etc. but it is SO WORTH IT!
-What is Sustainability