Throughout the posts and in this blogged book, I will mention the terms vegan, plant-based, and solutionary. But what do they mean and what are the differences? Vegan and plant-based terms are somewhat interchangeable, but they do hold completely separate values. A person who follows a plant-based diet may or may not subscribe to living an animal-free life as a vegan would. It could be that a person following a plant-based diet is doing so for personal or health reason. The Vegan Society defines veganism as, “Veganism is a 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.” For solutionary, I came to learn about the term through the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). As I mentioned in a previous post, they define a solutionary as, “A person who identifies problems, and their underlying systems, and then develops solutions that are just, humane, and sustainable for people, animals, and the environment, and who strives to make personal choices and to support systems that do the most good and least harm for all.”
I grew up in a typical white American lower-middle-class family. Two parents, three kids, two dogs (well, it was more like 2 - 5 dogs at any given time). We struggled for money many times, but my parents provided everything they could for us. We had enough food, we had clothes, cars - even though a few were clunkers, and we might have had to open the car door to use our feet to push the car forward and backward to get it to go into gear - and house to call our own. We celebrated every holiday with a huge turkey, ham, or my mom’s specialty, Texas beef brisket. I grew up wanting to be popular in school and fit in and wanting only the best name-brand clothes. I wanted all of the latest gadgets, and I couldn’t live without the latest trends. In my teen days, it was a portable cd player that skipped if there was a disturbance in the air around it, a palm pilot, or latest device in the newly developing mobile flip phone market. I felt like a VIP driving around in my light purple 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage, a cd playing in my stereo, and carrying a Nokia StarTAC.
Societal/business rules say that I shouldn’t tell you this because it will damage my credibility. But I don’t exactly follow what society dictates as the rules of life. So here it is, I have self-doubts about writing this book/thesis. I question my authority on the subjects. I doubt why you would want to read it and if you will care about what you find here. I ask if I have anything new to add other than my perspective. I question why my viewpoint matters. I question why I matter. In reality, this is just a state of mind that needs, one of which can change. I am writing about practical ways of conscious living. I have proof that small decisions can change a life because I am living it.
Welcome to my blogged book! Full disclosure, this is my thesis project for the Master of Arts in Humane Education program in which I am earning my master's degree. I started this program in 2014, not fully knowing what it was about, but I had a deep sense that it was going to change my life. I wasn’t wrong; it completely changed my life. I learned about human trafficking, the many forms of current-day slavery, racism, rape, environmental degradation, pollution, environmental poisoning, animal use and abuse, animal slaughter, and seeing a culture that not only accepts most of this but encourages and strives for it. These topics are not for the faint of heart, but everyone has a right to and should know about them. I became very passionate about these issues and realized I have an obligation to use my gifts, as a writer, to share them with you. Don't worry though if you think this will be bleep and utterly depressing. I promise this will be joyful, and sometimes even a funny read!
Hi, I'm Kristy! I'm a writer, photographer, humane educator, solutionary lifestyle coach, vegan cooking coach, and a mom to three cats and a guinea pig. VegfulLife is the place to find news, tips, and recipes on how to live a more conscious, connected, and compassionate life.