I know I have been giving resources in each post, but I wanted to create a space where they can be easily accessed. I will also be creating a subpage under Conscious Living Tips where you will be able to find these informational resources! Click Read More to see the resources!
Tip 61. Put Your Phone Down
Did you know we spend about 116 minutes per day looking at social media (Sun, 2017)?
What else can we be doing with that time? We pay for many conveniences to make our life easier, but how much of that time is waste with mindless scrolling. Some conveniences can be beneficial, especially if you are working multiple jobs, going to school, or have a family. Just keep in mind how much your time is worth, and think about how you would like to use that precious time?
I’ve written one poem in my life. I have read many poems and have been inspired by them, but I don’t connect with poetry the same way I relate with other forms of writing (or cooking). The lone poem came to me while I was walking in a local park during my lunch break. It had been a hellacious week, and I needed fresh air. The park sits on one corner of a bustling intersection, so I tried to be mindful of my surroundings and block out as much road noise as I could. I walked around the pond, watch the ducks, listened to the wind blowing through the trees, then I was alone. I wasn’t physically alone, because I could see other people walking around me. But I felt like I was the only person there. I couldn’t hear the road noise anymore, just my slow breath.
At that moment, I was completely connected to nature. The troubles of my week melted away, and I felt more relaxed than I had in a long time.
57.Where to go instead of the zoo
Instead of going to a zoo to view animals, find an animal sanctuary where you can volunteer and interact with the animals at the same time. Many sanctuaries also have Open House weekends where you can go to learn about the sanctuary and about the non-human animals who call it home. My husband and I have volunteered at many sanctuaries where we have cleaned stalls, helped rebuild areas, fed the animals, or cleaned up the grounds area. But we have also been to open houses, been on tours, and even to the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down. We have also been to rehabilitation centers. We have met so many animals who were once being farmed for slaughter, were being used in animal testing facilities, or being used in the entertainment industry. You can find a sanctuary in your area here.
I remember the first time I went to Sea WorldSan Antonio. I was about 18 years old at the time, and I was so excited that I was shaking with nerves. My mother, grandmother, and I had been planning the trip for a while, and by the time we arrived, I knew the entire layout of the park. I had memorized the map and taken the routes, to what I knew would be my favorite attractions, in my head countless times. When the day finally arrived, I made sure we left early in the morning so that we would be at the park before it opened, and one of the first to enter. I was ready! The gates opened, I rushed past everyone in race mode. I was headed to the dolphin tank. Dolphins have always been one of my favorite marine mammals. I used to see them splashing in the wild during our trips to Galveston, Texas. They would ride the waves alongside the ferry boat right into Galveston Bay. They fascinated me, and I couldn’t believe that I was about to be close enough to touch one!
51. What are some of your traditions?
Think about your current traditions - birthday, holidays, Halloween, or even weekly traditions that you and your family observe. Traditions are unique and usually hold many memories. Because of that, I don’t think traditions should be done away with, just altered a bit to add more compassionate and humane choices. With your traditions in mind - how do they currently affected fellow humans and non-human animals? What kind of impact do they have on the planet? What can be altered to make your traditions more compassionate? Can you eliminate animal ingredients from your meals while celebrating your traditions? Before buying a random gift for any occasion, stop to think about how that gift will impact those areas.
I thought we could take a mini-break now that we are halfway through the 100 Conscious Living tips so I could share some vegan-friendly recipes with you. I have always loved cooking and baking but found my creativity in the kitchen soared after I became a vegan. I felt limited in my food before, but now I pair many different ingredients together that I wasn’t aware of in the past or was afraid to use. I do create many of my own recipes, but I also seek inspirations in vegan cookbooks, other recipe creators and bloggers, and YouTube channels.
Here are some of my favorite recipes!
Many non-human animals are used for different types of furniture. Leather materials are primarily made from cows, but is also made from the skins of “goats, lambs, sheep, pigs, and horses.” Exotic leathers are made from the skins of “water buffalos, bison, zebras, elephants, sharks, dolphins, frogs, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, boars, kangaroos, eels, seals and walruses” ("Truly Unethical," n.d.). Many people believe that leather is a byproduct of the meat industry, however farmers can make a larger profit from selling the skins than the meat of a farmed animals (Carter, 2008). Down feathers and fur are examples of other non-human animal products being used to create furniture. The TheaterSeatStore.com has an interesting list of how non-human animals are used for furniture. For example, they state, “The difference between down and feather is that down is the soft feathers found underneath the rough exterior. Generally young birds are covered in down” ("Truly Unethical," n.d.). None of these farmed animals live an easy life and are subjected to unimaginable cruelties. However, there are many fabric alternatives when purchasing furniture - including faux leather, synthetic fabric, and recycled materials. You can also look for used furniture on many local resale websites and apps. I have bought several pieces of furniture from Craigslist, and most were in terrific condition. If you are currently looking for new furniture pieces or will be in the future, keep this in mind and see what animal-friendly options are available. Check local stores too. By buying local, you have a better chance of obtaining a piece of furniture that was crafted locally, the makers are being paid fairly, the item wasn’t shipped overseas, and it will most likely be better quality! These piece might be a little more expensive, however you will most likely not have to replace it anytime soon, and you may have the option of being able to contact the maker directly.
44. The Price of Beauty
Non-human animals have had chemicals and drugs tested on them for centuries. It is said that both Aristotle and Erasistratus started using animals for experimentation as early as 300 B.C.E (Hajar, 2011). Fast forward to more current times, in 1938, the US Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act was signed, and started requiring some cosmetic products to be tested on non-human animals. In 1944, the Draize tests were created and deployed in laboratories ("Timeline: Cosmetics," n.d.). The Draize tests are to measure eye and skin irritations from chemicals. These tests cause immense pain to the non-human animals who are used for testing. Within the cosmetic industry, many rabbits are being used for testing, as well as guinea pigs, rats, and mice. New England Anti-Vivisection Society states, “this test involves dropping concentrated amounts of a test substance into an animal’s eye (while their lids are clipped open) or placing a chemical onto an area where the animal’s skin has been shaved. The resulting irritation, which may include ulceration, inflamed/bleeding skin, swollen eyes, and blindness, is subsequently measured on a numerical scale.” In 2005, the FDA said the tests were no longer needed, but some companies are still using them ("What Is the Draize," n.d.). Several tests have been developed as alternatives to this type of harmful testing, and they do not require non-human animals to be used as subjects. Plus many countries and states have started banning the sales of cosmetics in which non-human animal were used for testing. California was the latest state to ban these products. LIVEKINDLY mentioned, “once signed by Governor Brown, the law puts California alongside the European Union, Switzerland, India, Israel, Guatemala, among other countries who have shifted away from animal testing” (Ettinger, 2018).
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. Learn more about me...