Hello 2015

I started 2015 on a good footing: with a glass of water, a sun salutation to loosen up the hamstrings and wake up my back, followed by a good cup of strong Rwandan coffee. There’s something about January 1st that imbues me with positivity. It’s a nifty psychological trick, I’m sure it’s only a self-propelled mind game. Regardless, I think it’s harmless, in fact, pretty great. I’m super excited about 2015. There are some game-changing events on the horizon, and a positive attitude will help me make the most of them! So, here’s my (long?) list of New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps it’s ambitious, but I might as well shoot high.

  • Personal growth:
    • smile more, and laugh more;
    • be more patient;
    • schedule my productive time;
    • improve my morning habit: make the bed, drink a glass of water, do a sun salutation, then have my coffee;
    • wean myself off sugar in coffee (I’m on a half-teaspoon now…);
    • do more for animals;
    • support the Big Issue more regularly;
    • write daily, even just a little, and blog regularly;
    • get back into the habit of reading a novel at bedtime and on weekends.
  • Family:
    • have more coffee/movie/dinner/hiking dates with my family
  • Friends:
    • stay in touch (or get back in touch) with the special people in my life that I don’t see enough (you know who you are, please hold me to this!)
  • Home:
    • keep the floor a no-clothes zone;
    • make dish-washing an obsessive habit;
    • do a monthly clean-out;
    • track my finances more diligently.
  • Lindy:
    • bounce more;
    • style more;
    • work on my responsiveness as a follow;
    • start learning to lead.
  •  Ballet:
    • work on my posture;
    • work on my feet for a better arch;
    • strengthen my core for better stability;
    • work on my feet and legs for better jumps;
    • work on my back and hamstrings for a higher and stronger arabesque;
    • do a bit of cross training.

The key to achieving these goals will be to keep them realistic and achievable, and measurable where possible, with regular check-ins. On the first of every month, I’ll refer back to this post to see where I’m at, and whether I need to re-evaluate anything.

Oh and one final resolution: I want to be more conscious about how I influence others. I want to make a positive impact on the world, and I think that’s best achieved with a positive attitude. My veganism has taken me through periods of frustration, despair and sadness, but it has also given me reason to hope for a better world, thanks to all the wonderful vegans I’ve met in the last few years. Here’s to a 2015 full of inspiration for others to join the path of compassion and justice for animals.

Love!

#myveganstory | Brendan

We live in a world that’s so messed up, it seems nothing we can do will make any real difference. What can I do about Famine? Violence? Disease? Climate change? Deforestation? Pollution? Over fishing? The list seems endless and each problem insurmountable. My vegan story began when I realized that there was one simple thing I could do, to not only reduce my contribution to many of these problems, but also become part of the solution.

Animal agriculture is the number one cause of almost every environmental disaster you can name: from deforestation to climate change; from over fishing to desertification. Add to that the enormous inefficiency of growing plants to feed to animals instead of eating them directly; the majority of antibiotics produced are used on animals and the majority of infectious diseases come from animals. When I discovered that on top of these there were negative impacts of animal products on our health via obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, I really had to ask: is it necessary?

But by far the most persuasive reason I discovered to stop eating animals and their ‘products’ relates to the hypocrisy I saw in myself. I love animals, I’m crazy about my dogs and cats and even the chickens we used to have as pets. I would never do anything to harm an animal and would go out of my way to help animals in distress. And yet I was funding the most barbaric mistreatment of pigs, cows, sheep, chickens and fish (not to mention dogs, rabbits, rats and mice used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical testing). As if they were different to the other animals I loved. This sort of discrimination is identical to racism and sexism.

But as I discovered, there is great news: we can opt out! We can thrive on a diet that avoids, as far as possible, the use of animals. And while we’re at it, we get bonus health points, and massively reduce our environmental impact to boot.

Everyone has to eat. If you’re looking for a new-year’s resolution why not choose to make a difference with every meal in January.