Here are some of my favorite recipes!
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).
41. Will it Bring You Joy?
With Christmas quickly approaching (I saw my first Christmas commercial on September 17th!!), there will be an onslaught of product advertisements coming for you. Marching one after another through your television, cell phone, social media accounts, radio, and wherever else they can ooze through into your mind. It is difficult not to get caught in the feelings all of these products deliver. The perfect kiss brought you by a piece of jewelry (because only gold can mean true love), peace on earth handed to you by a soda drinking polar bear (because they really still are in a winter wonderland, and global warming hasn’t affected their habitat yet), or believing in the magic of Santa and not having the candy melt in your hand as you faint. I will be the first to admit that I get swept up in the romance of the holidays. I devour holiday chick-lit and holiday movies as if they are hot buttery popcorn at a movie theater (fun fact..most of that “buttered” popcorn is vegan!). After years of playing Black Friday roulette, I finally started to ask myself if everything that I purchased is going to make mine or the recipient’s holiday season more joyful. No. No, it won’t. For me, the best part of the holidays -besides the holiday books and movies- is making breakfast for my family on Christmas morning, watching my cats and guinea tear through their holiday stockings (usually a bag of treats, a package of food, and a small toy they haven’t seen in a year because it has been buried at the bottom of their toy box...yes, they have a toy box!), and then curling up on the sofa in my PJs to watch the remaining few hours of the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon. I know it may sound like I am a hypocrite because I just mentioned I give my cats a holiday stocking, but these are items we purchase for them on a weekly basis. I think they received new treat bowls a few years ago because their old bowls kept breaking. I still give some gifts at the holidays or for birthdays, but I make sure they are meaningful and ethical. I will go into a little more detail about this tip in a coming post! But my point with this tip, is that before the holidays consume you, stop to ask yourself, are any of these products going to bring more joy? This question also goes beyond the holidays. Try to count how many advertisements you see on a daily basis. There is always time to stop and ask yourself this question.
I remember when my husband and I purchased our first house near Austin, Texas. It was 2013, and the Austin housing market was insanely competitive. We were moving from Salem, Massachusetts, so we were not present for any of the home search process. Steve and I were lucky to have my parents only a few hours from Austin, and they were able to travel to that area on the weekends to view homes. However, since we had a small budget and the market was so tight, it was a stressful and challenging endeavor. We ended up winning an auction for a foreclosed home. We signed the contract without ever seeing the house in person or before moving into it. Again, we were lucky because the home was in decent condition and only needed cosmetic fixes. It was our first house together (even though we had lived in 4 different apartments by that point). I wanted it to sparkle and shine, and welcome everyone with hugs and rainbows. I wanted that house, the one you saw when you flipped through an HGTV magazine or a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I scoured Pinterest, magazines, and devoured decorating television shows. But being new homeowners, expenses stacked up quickly. My dream home kept getting pushed further and further down the priority list.
Tip 35. Racism
Racism and sexism are widely discussed, especially in the political times in which we live right now. The first defense of racism is to understand it and recognize it in everyday interactions and actions. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Anti-Racism Strategy best describes racism and prejudice thinking (I can't define it better than they did, so I quote them). “Racism can take many forms, such as jokes or comments that cause offense or hurt, sometimes unintentionally; name-calling or verbal abuse; harassment or intimidation, or commentary in the media or online that inflames hostility towards certain groups. At its most serious, racism can result in acts of physical abuse and violence. Racism can directly or indirectly exclude people from accessing services or participating in employment, education, sport and social activities. It can also occur at a systemic or institutional level through policies, conditions or practices that disadvantage certain groups. It often manifests through unconscious bias or prejudice. On a structural level, racism serves to perpetuate inequalities in access to power, resources and opportunities across racial and ethnic groups. The belief that a particular race or ethnicity is inferior or superior to others is sometimes used to justify such inequalities” ("Understanding Racism," n.d.).
31. Educate Yourself
First, educate yourself about human rights issues. This tip can go for any topic that I discuss in this book as well. Are you passionate about specific issues? The Human Rights Watch website is a great place to start. They discuss child labor, immigration, LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, health, refugee rights, disability rights, and more. What would you like to learn more about? I know I am still learning new things every day, and that makes more a more informed citizen, consumer, and human.
I recently watched the documentary Happy. It documented cultures and people around the world in their pursuit of happiness. In the end, that is all each of us want, right? We all want to be happy, and we all define happiness a little differently. Happiness might mean a fancy car or a big house, it could mean a tiny house embedded deep in the woods, or it could mean having a large family and a sense of community. Happiness could also mean just being free of discrimination, persecution, slavery, or oppression.
In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It includes 30 articles defining fundamental human rights. The first article states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” It goes on to state “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude,” and “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” ("Universal Declaration," n.d.). During my time at the Institute for Humane Education, I have learned about so many injustices around the world. I have already mentioned people being used as slave laborers in the cocoa fields, including very young children ("Child Labor," n.d.). This is also the case in the coffee and tea industries. In Tip 16, I mentioned how many workers are becoming ill while making and assembling cell phones due to the number of chemicals they have to touch. (Wears, n.d.). This is the case for many electronics, including the laptop I am using to write and research this post.
26. Bring Take Out Containers
In the previous tip, I talked about carrying a reusable coffee cup and water bottle. For this tip, it is about reusable containers. Bring your own take-out containers (preferably glass) to restaurants for the times when you are not able to finish your meal. You save the waste of a to-go box and can reheat the leftovers directly in the container you brought home. Bonus tip - This is also excellent if you are going to a potluck and want to bring something home with you. It will save the host from finding a container for you to use.
Don’t be shy and ask a friend, family member, or neighbor if you can borrow an item. It is a great way to get to know people around you and they might even be willing to help you out. But don’t be the jerk who doesn’t return what you borrowed. You can also check your area for different types of borrowing systems. I found a Tool Lending Library in Portland, OR. Speaking of libraries, if you aren’t utilizing your local library, then you are missing out. Libraries aren’t only for checking out physical books anymore. I check out books, eBooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, DVDs, and also stream movies and TV shows from library supported apps.
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...