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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Animal cruelty, climate change, monoculture...the list goes on.

Topic: Animal cruelty, climate change, monoculture...the list goes on.

  1. Peppermintbach
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    15 August 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi birdy (waves to ChrissyStar and all),

    No worries, you’re most welcome. You deserve those words :)

    Thank you so much for all the vegan cheese suggestions! I’ll have to find out which places stock them. Thanks again. You’re the best...

    Hmm...I will keep my eyes peeled for Sheese and biocheese. They sound handy to have in the kitchen.

    Your vegan cheese kit sounds perfect for you especially as I know how you enjoy cooking. To be honest, I am a little lazy (by a little, I mean “very”) so I’ll just stick to other people making cheese for me or at least for now anyway. Lol.

    I have been doing a little research and stocking up on things like nutritional yeast, flaxseed, walnuts, etc. I have started sprinkling nutritional yeast and ground flaxseed on my veggies to increase certain nutrients. Should probably get a B12 supplement as well though...hmmm...

    I’m also consulting a dietician soon for advice to make sure that I do this “right”; he specialises in vegan and vegetarian dietary needs which is why I specifically requested him at the clinic. I think he will be very helpful although I couldn’t get an appointment till October. Popular guy! Lol. I suppose that’s a good sign...

    The reason that I’m being somewhat pedantic about the health aspect is because, in my research, I found that a leading cause for people going back to eating meat, dairy, etc was for health reasons. This is not because a vegan or vegetarian diet is inherently bad; they can both be very healthy if planned well, which is a stance backed by dieticians and nutritionists from what I’ve read. Apparently, again based on what I’ve read, the real issue is often more about poor meal planning and well meaning people misunderstanding what constitutes a healthy or unhealthy vegan or vegetarian diet.

    For me, as a personal decision (I’m not telling anyone else what to do or what not to do), I don’t want to return to eating meat, etc so I’m trying to be extra vigilant. So if poor meal planning and inadequate knowledge is behind why some people return to old dietary habits then my way to “safeguard” against it (so to speak) is to plan well and try my best to be informed :)

    Thanks again for all your love, advice and wisdom. Also, I look forward to your “More later” post :)

    Love,

    Pepper xoxo

    P.S. Waves to Sez, UB and Grandy :)


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  2. Birdy77
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    20 August 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Dear Pepper (hi to all),

    That's a fantastic idea to see a dietician so that you start out well on your dairy-free journey. Maybe especially because you're a lazy cook 😉.

    I said Pinterest will be your bff, but I lied. Nooch (Nutritional Yeast) will be your bff. Especially if you are a cheese fiend like me. As you will be discovering, it adds a cheesy awesomeness to everything. I made a batch of pizza dough yesterday and I had the idea to add nooch to the dough mixture and it's a winner. I also added it to that vegan Funky Fields "Minced" when I made (more) burgers over the weekend. Nooch makes amazing cheesey sauces (think mac'n'cheese, nachos, cheeze sauce for broccoli/cauliflower etc). Basically it adds a cheezinees and added nutrition to anything and everything.

    I think a b12 supplement is a good idea, although nooch is fortified with b12 (depends how much you use it though). Berocca helps (with hangovers as well).

    The Victorian-made cheeses I mentioned I get at my local IGA, and I'm not in a metro area, so they shouldn't be too hard to find. The Sheese and biocheese are stocked at the big supermarkets, or you can try to put a request in (every time I go shopping I put a request in for something).

    Also check out the Cruelty Free Shop - they have an amazing range of food and deliver cold (and even frozen) food if you don't have an outlet nearby.

    If you or anyone likes ricotta, you can make dairy free ricotta by breaking up a block of firm tofu into a food processor, adding some nooch (Nutritional Yeast/Savoury Yeast Flakes ... say, 1/3 cup), some dried Italian Herbs (e.g. a tbsp), olive oil (maybe ... 4 tbsp?), some onion powder, some garlic powder (or a fresh clove of garlic) and a dash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Blend it up, scraping down the sides with a spatula every now and then, until it has a ricotta-ish consistency. So yummy. You'd never know it was tofu. To make chèvre, basically make the above, roll it up into a log, rest it in the fridge for a bit, bake it.

    Coconut yoghurt ... if you like yoghurt, check out some of the coconut yoghurt available now, so yummy and you would never know they're not dairy if you did a blind taste test.

    Ok I think I've rambled on too long. Sorry everyone. I just love vegan cooking! I love veganising recipes and things. Almost anything anyone loves to eat, can be made cruelty-free, I reckon.

    Pepper, I am just so excited that you are taking this step, I think it's wonderful.

    🌻birdy

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  3. Peppermintbach
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    22 August 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi birdy (waves to all),

    Chrissystar and all: I hope you’re all doing okay and feel free to chime in any time about animal cruelty, climate change, monoculture, etc :)

    birdy: Thank you, I think a dietician will be helpful.

    To be fair though, I feel anyone who plans to make a major change in their diet, and for whatever the reason, could still benefit from visiting their GP and/or a dietician :)

    If we relate it back to mental health, the way I see it is that our physical health (e.g. nutrition) and mental health are interconnected so one inevitably will affect the other....

    Thanks birdy :) You’re right that some nutritional yeast (nooch) contains B12. Very true.

    But I read that not all nooch contains B12. Apparently, according to one nutritionist online, it depends on the product itself so she advised that we need to look for one that explicitly states it’s fortified with B12 :)

    If it doesn’t say it’s fortified then it may not contain B12. She advised supplements as a backup for some people. I’ll double check with my dietician when I see him in October for his opinion ...anyway, just sharing the fun stuff I’ve been reading up on ;) Interesting hey...

    Thank you for the hangover tip ;) It should come in handy at some point. Look at me, going on about health then being happy to drink...let’s not even start talking about my own hypocrisy. Lol

    Your nooch reinforced pizza dough sounds delicious! Nooch does have a certain cheesy and salty flavour so I can see why it would work as a substitute to traditional cheese

    I think your ricotta sounds really tasty plus easy and doable. Quick and easy is very important to me; I leave the more complicated and time consuming recipes to others. Lol. I think that I already have most of those ingredients that you mentioned so maybe I’ll try it out one day. Thank you :)

    Great tip! I have tried coconut yoghurt before. It’s a good alternative but i think the taste isn’t really for me. Then again, I’m not a big yoghurt person in general lol.

    Speaking of food, I have been making this simple and tasty breakfast a couple of times each week that is packed with nutrients: whole grain oats, chia, soy milk, mixed raw nuts, banana, strawberries, dates and ground flaxseed :)

    I was reading something interesting. It was a theory on why (some) people responded so negatively to the plastic bag ban at some places. Apparently, it’s due to customers perception that supermarkets have “breached” their “psychological contract.”

    Pepper xoxo

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  4. Birdy77
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    22 August 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hello Pepper, Chrissystar and everyone 😊

    Pepper, I read about that "psychological contract" as well, and that the backlash from customers was partly to do with the fact that if they no longer received free plastic bags at the checkout, that they had expected the supermarkets to reduce the use of plastic throughout the store?

    There is such a huge amount of plastic in all the packaging, even pasta that comes in those cardboard boxes still has a little plastic window in them. Why is that even necessary? We know what the pasta looks like. Things like flour, rice, sugar, oats, ... almost everything is packaged in plastic in the suoermarkets.

    I used to be able to do the majority of my shopping at a food co-operative, where you bring your own jars/containers, and fill them from their bulk bins. It was brilliant. Then I moved to a different area and there's nothing like that here.

    I don't think the supermarkets did themselves or their credibility any favours by then providing free bags again. It's all just so dumb really.

    Blurgh.

    🌻birdy

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  5. Peppermintbach
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    23 August 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi birdy (waves to Chrissystar and all),

    Yes, I agree that there is a slightly ridiculous (and laughable, albeit in a messed up way) element to this whole plastic situation.

    I think some supermarkets started giving out free plastic bags again because it was starting to eat into their profits as some people were buying less (plus the whole outrage thing). Also, depending on the state, legislation varies.

    I read that NSW is the only state that lacks formal bans on single use plastic bans. The other states have formal bans in place.

    For example, major supermarkets in QLD and WA now potentially face fines if they give out single use plastic bans. All the other states also have formal bans in place whereas NSW is apparently relying on the industry to self regulate/self impose the bans.

    I don’t know enough about the production and packaging process but I’m assuming the use plastic is a combination of convenience, branding products (e.g. you can stamp a brand on plastic packaging but you can’t exactly stamp your brand on refillable containers that people bring from home), current consumer expectations and habits, etc.

    I was going to say something else...I’ve forgotten now. Lol.

    it will come to me...

    Pepper xoxo

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  6. Birdy77
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    25 August 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi ChrissyStar and all,

    I hope you remember what else you wanted to say Pepper 😊

    NSW is so behind the times, it's ridiculous. It frustrates me. Off topic but I saw NSW dedicates the tiniest amount also to public libraries, way below every other state and territory. Very short sighted.

    I saw some article about Woolies saying their profits were down this month because of the bag situation! How stupid.

    It is just so annoying, people need to get with it and BYO bag ... it is not difficult.

    About the branding on plastic etc I agree it's all about marketing and brands and so on. Our society is so addicted to brands and advertising and convenience ... and so disconnected from what the actual ingredients are, where they come from, who was exploited to produce it, what land was ruined to bring it into being. I think we mentioned those coffee pods that a lot of people use these days, and the fact that those plastic coffee pods end up in landfill ... not to mention I wonder if any of them contain fair trade coffee???

    I saw an article about a couple of young women in Melbourne who set up a coffee grounds collection service, they collect the used grounds each week from cafes that subscribe to their service and compost them at some local community gardens. Instead of this 100% compostable waste product going to landfill, it's now going towards growing veges for the community and esp for those who don't have a garden of their own. Way to go ladies!

    Good news on the live export front this week was the biggest live exporter in Australia has had their licence cancelled (finally) due to repeated breaches of regulations. After a long, 15 year legal battle brought by animal rights activists, a sliver of justice for innocent sheep.

    I saw a really valid observation made somewhere this week about how often the govt and others talk about "the environment" and "the planet" ... when actually it is "our environment" and "our planet" ... this simple distinction is really salient I think. There is this massive disconnect with so much in our post modern lives ... we don't see that every single thing in our world in interconnected and has an impact on everything else. It's sad.

    Stay connected everyone. Stay concerned about what matters. Live your truth with passion and compassion.

    🌻birdy

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  7. Peppermintbach
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    29 August 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi Chrissystar and all,

    Chrissystar: I hope you’re okay...kind thoughts to you...

    birdy: I’m very happy to hear that there has been some justice served for the innocent sheep :) It sure has been (is) one long and painful battle (s for lack of a better word)...thank you so much for sharing this with us...

    Yes, I agree with you that there is sometimes a disconnect between our environment and (some) people. I suppose sometimes it’s a genuine lack of awareness and other times, I feel some people forget or try ignore the fact that Planet Earth is everyone’s home.

    The thing is I feel sometimes people choose immediate pleasure, avoidance and/or convenience is chosen over long term environmental sustainability, which is reflected in the the/our distinction.

    In my personal opinion, to motivate any stakeholder to act, I think it’s helps to speak their “language” (so to speak). For example, obviously large corporations aren’t charities. Their main interest and responsibility is to their shareholders so to speak their “language” would be to sell better environmental practices in a way that will either help them make (even more) profit, increase their market share or improve their brand image, etc. At least that’s my opinion anyway...

    I also think that mental health issues related to concerns about climate change (as well as the actual physical environment itself affecting our health and livelihoods, and therefore our wellbeing) will become a bigger and bigger issue over time...

    Love,

    Pepper xoxo

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  8. Peppermintbach
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    8 September 2018

    Hi Chrissystar, birdy and all,

    Chrissystar: been thinking about you. I hope your adoption research/process is going well...I’ve heard that it can be a tough process xoxo

    birdy and all:

    I wanted an outlet to purge some of my own difficult feelings. I’ve chosen this thread purely because I feel it’s probably the most relevant one for what I want to say (plus I feel most comfortable talking about certain issues on this thread).

    I hope that’s okay. Thank you all so much for understanding...

    I’ve been a little hesitant to express some of my thoughts but recently, I’ve been feeling increasingly uncomfortable with some of my own choices and behaviours when it comes to animals...and I don’t really have anyone in the offline realm to talk to about this issue so I’m talking about it here...

    Now, I understand that I’m only speaking for myself here and expressing my own personal decisions. I realise and appreciate that there are diverse views on this topic...and that my perspective is one of many. Sorry if this is scattered or convoluted...

    Long story short, there are things that I’m struggling to continue to justify to myself...

    For a considerable amount of time, I justified to myself that being vegetarian was doing “enough.” I don’t mean this as criticism or judgment towards my fellow vegetarians (friendly wave if you’re reading) but this is a personal struggle that I’m now facing...

    I have been finding my old reasoning/mentality sits less (and less) well with me over time...my own guilt is growing...I have a lot of inner conflict...

    I realise there’s another option; one that I chucked in the “too hard” basket for a long time. I’m only speaking for myself here but for a whole range of reasons, I feel that I want to make some major changes personally.

    I appreciate that this option may not be for everyone but, as I said, I’m only speaking for myself here...sighs, in order for my behaviour to align with my views about animals, I feel that I want to go vegan. Or else, I feel there’s a real disconnect there that I’m really struggling with...

    So that’s it for now...thank you so much for giving me this space to share some of my thoughts and feelings. It really means a lot :)

    Pepper xoxox

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  9. Birdy77
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    8 September 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Dearest Pepper ❤

    I will write more, but for now, I want you to know that you've been heard.

    I feel your pain (I honestly, completely do).

    I am hear listening, understanding, emphasising.

    Opening our eyes is a really difficult thing to do ... it's like stepping out into the dark side .... but if you let your heart speak, and if keep your focus on the ones that suffer, it's easy (to do, but not to feel .... be prepared for some sleepless nights my beautiful friend).

    I am by your side.

    I will write more.

    I admire your courage.

    Big love.

    🌻birdy

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  10. Birdy77
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    8 September 2018

    Hi ChrissyStar and all.

    I came across this quite, thought it was apt for this thread:

    Here's what I think integrity is: it's choosing courage over comfort. Choosing what's right over what's fun, fast or easy. And practicing your values.

    Brené Brown

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  11. Peppermintbach
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    9 September 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi lovely birdy and all,

    Thank you so much for the beautifully understanding and comforting post. I really appreciate your deep compassion...

    A heartfelt thank you for being by my side and for listening. It really does mean a lot...

    The quote was very thoughtful and fitting :) Be prepared to be uncomfortable, yes?

    Also, I don’t think that I could have said it any better myself:

    Opening our eyes is a really difficult thing to do ... it's like stepping out into the dark side .... but if you let your heart speak, and if keep your focus on the ones that suffer, it's easy (to do, but not to feel .... be prepared for some sleepless nights, my beautiful friend).

    Beautifully expressed, my friend...

    I’ve been staring at my hands and feeling as though they have been soaked in all sorts of gruesomeness (so to speak...not literally). My own guilt is enormous...

    I feel once I made that intellectual and emotional connection, it’s something that is hard to ignore...it’s a heavy feeling.

    It didn’t take much for me to grasp (what I perceive to be) cultural double standards for they way we tend to perceive/treat different animal species as whole animals. But it has (clearly) taken me much longer to make that connection with animal secretions like dairy and eggs...

    Sighs, now I’m feeling guilty and I realise that this is my own personal issue/struggle but I feel it’s important for me to sit with those uncomfortable feelings. I think that the discomfort is trying to tell me something...

    Funny how you mentioned sleepless nights as I have been tossing and turning...

    On a loosely related note, I mentioned this book elsewhere but I think it’s very fitting that I mention it here too (in case anyone is interested). It’s called “How animals think and feel” by Ken Cheng. He discusses animal emotions, animal communication, animal learning, etc.

    A loving thank you once again and I look forward to you “write(ing) more” as you said...

    A warm hug to you for being the wonderfully kind and understanding person and friend that you are...

    Love,

    Pepper xoxo

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  12. Peppermintbach
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    9 September 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi birdy and all,

    I don’t know if I posted my own post or whether I’m just having tech issues? Either way, I’m hoping it doesn’t mean I’ve to remember what I wrote. Lol.

    I just wanted to say a big thank you for now and I’ll check again later...

    Grateful hugs to you :)

    Love,

    Pepper xoxo

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  13. Birdy77
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    10 September 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Dear Pepper and all,

    A big warm hug from me Pepper ❤

    I think you will believe me when I say that all those thoughts, feelings, emotions that you described are very, very familiar to me. I completely understand every single part of your post from yesterday.

    The heavy feeling, the guilt, yes, looking at your hands .... I get it all. I think very early in this thread I mentioned that when I made the connection like you have, it triggered a pretty intense episode of depression for me. I would wake in the middle of the night and cry, my heart aching for all those innocent darlings who, right that very minute while I'm tucked up warm and cosy in bed, are in a living hell, because of humans.

    I, too, feel guilt for so stubbornly refusing to make that connection earlier (I was a vegetarian for many years as well), and my only regret about going vegan is that I did not do it earlier. I told my partner about your feelings and asked for her thoughts and she said she thinks your post pretty much could have been written by me, but for her, she is just so happy that we connected the dots and immediately started living our values. Once we educated ourselves, that was it. So she has that positive spin on it, and it may help you to try to stir some of that in with the heaviness, sweeten it just a little.

    We are enculturated from the day we are born into this way of treating sentient beings as ingredients, and as machines to produce ingredients, so that we don't think about it, it's not a "thing", unless we're brave enough to look a bit longer, think a bit deeper, & then do something about it. Refuse to be a part of this completely unnecessary cruelty.

    Many think of it as a restriction, a "lifestyle" with "rules". From my perspective, it's not a restriction but an expansion. An expansion of compassion and empathy for the vulnerable and the voiceless, an expansion of love and respect.

    I can't say that the hurting will stop my lovely friend. It still hurts me on a daily basis. It's like, once you truly make that connection, it's like unlocking this secret door that reveals this horrible darkness that is the daily goings on of our society. For me, it's an ongoing grieving process, & I fully understand how your are feeling, and am right here by your side, in it with you.

    But know that you are doing something. You are one less person harming animals and funding the harming of animals.

    Sending you loving & peaceful vibes to calm some of your anguish.

    🌻birdy xoxo

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  14. Peppermintbach
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    10 September 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi beautiful birdy, Chrissystar and all;

    Thank you so much for the incredibly understanding and compassionate post. Please thank your wonderful partner for me too :)

    I love how you discuss things with each other and seem to really support one another. You have a beautiful relationship and you’re both clearly incredible people.

    Oh birdy, I can’t say that I’m surprised that you, our deeply caring friend, was (is) kept up at night by all sorts of pain and worries about animals. It’s plain to see that you have an enormous well of compassion for both humans and non-humans alike...thank you so much for being you...really...

    Yes, I agree that meat eating is entrenched in many cultures. I feel most people are generally caring at heart but sometimes, i think it’s a lack of awareness, other pressures, confusion/feeling overwhelmed with information and/or even burying their head in the sand in some cases...

    In my own case, I feel that I have been complicit in certain issues related to animals. This is how I feel about myself, and it’s not something that I’m proud of...for a long time, I put going vegan in the “too hard” basket (as I mentioned earlier).

    I just shoved it into some hidden corner. But from time to time, I would revisit that basket and doubts and inner conflict would start surfacing...

    To a large extent, it’s also because I fell into a degree of complacency. I became far too comfortable being vegetarian...I knew what to substitute in place of meat options, how to get my nutrients, how to “create” a vegetarian meal when none/limited options were available at a restaurant (e.g. by ordering multiple entrees as my “meal”), etc, etc. I “knew” (so to speak) how to be vegetarian...

    I agree with you it’s not about “rules” and it’s not a “lifestyle” either. I feel it’s a way of going about daily life in a way that tries to minimise harm to animals. So basically, what you said...

    Once again, a grateful thank you for your support, friendship and kindness. I really do appreciate you :)

    Talking here helps me to process some of my own thoughts and feel less alone in my inner conflict ...again...thank you

    Your loving and peaceful vibes are gracefully accepted and I’m sending some to both you and your partner :)

    Love,

    Pepper xoxo

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  15. BeKindRewind4Life
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    14 September 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi,

    It's great to see someone speaking out about vegetarianism and veganism.

    I just want to say that, I know how you feel about the guilt. I am vegan and I too took too long to become one, my mum and sister were both vegan well before me and it took being exposed to seeing the what the livestock industry looks like, very closely, to turn me. This is what society does, and I did, we turn our heads to the suffering in both animals and humans so we can pretend we have clear consciences, so we can sleep at night.

    Being vegan, I have come to the realisation, that it is a path, some start early, some start later, and if you find the path then you are reducing suffering of both animals, and even humans because of the amount of resources the livestock industry uses. What matters is that you follow the path as much as you feel you are able, every stepping stone you take matters.

    Reducing suffering in this world is all you can do, you can't fix the world but you can improve yourself, and if you do that, you will sleep better.

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  16. Peppermintbach
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    15 September 2018 in reply to BeKindRewind4Life

    Hi BeKindRewind4Life (waves to all),

    A very warm and pleased welcome :)

    I’m really happy to meet you here! Plus I bet beautiful Birdy will be pleased to talk to a fellow vegan when she next visits :)

    Thank you so much for your very kind and understanding post. I really appreciate it...

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re vegan, and that you have a couple of vegan family members. That’s great!

    I agree with you that, for a myriad of reasons, many of us (including me at times) turn our heads to human and animal suffering. I feel you’re very right there...

    Sighs, I haven’t been sleeping very well this past week for a whole range of reasons, and yes, guilt is definitely one of those reasons...thank you so much for getting where I’m coming from. It really does mean a lot to have your encouragement (yours too, Birdy).

    My head hurts a little and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to connect it all in my head, well, I can because it obviously has taken me this long...

    I like your point about reducing suffering...that makes a lot of sense...

    Can I ask what it was like for you becoming vegan? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to...the transition, I mean...or was it an overnight thing?

    Thanks again! I really hope we hear from you again but of course, there’s no pressure :) It’s good to have you here...

    Kind and caring thoughts,

    Pepper

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  17. Birdy77
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    18 September 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hello everyone 😊

    So lovely to have you here BeKindRewind4Life! ✌ (It's a 'v' for vegan ... the new meaning behind the peace sign 😉).

    It always makes my heart soar to be in the company of another vegan, it feels like there is a deep understanding that is just inherently there.

    Thank you for what you do on a daily basis to make the world a more gentle & compassionate place.

    I am really happy to see you here, and I hope to hear more from you, and that you are finding your way around the forums.

    Pepper and I can very much relate to your feelings of guilt. How wonderful that you have family who are vegan. I imagine that would have helped?

    Pepper, I totally get it, with the complacency and comfort, knowing "how to be a vegetarian", but thinking vegan is in the too hard basket.

    Now that I've crossed the border, I know that honestly, for me, nothing could be further from the truth. I think when people focus on their cravings and their wants e.g., cheese, bacon, whatever . .. It will always be seen as difficult.

    But if one always keeps in mind who the victim is that was used to produce that cheese or that bacon (mumma cow+calf/mumma pig + baby piglet etc), I think it's incredibly easy to make the choice.

    A few times I've mentioned the disconnect that makes up everything we consume these days.

    I was talking to my partner the other day about my Gran, she used to have chickens (as did a lot of people back in the day) & on Sunday, if they were going to have roast chicken, she'd go out to the backyard and choose one & pop her in the oven.

    I honestly think that is better than what happens these days. At least she had to do the deed. I honestly think if everyone had to do, or witness where their bacon comes from, nobody would buy it.

    I would love if there was a video everyone had to watch,of meat dairy and eggs being produced & a thing everyone had to sign, every time they bought a packet of bacon, for instance, that they understood & condoned the conditions this came from. Or on every carton of milk: this was produced by a cow for her calf which was taken from her so that you could have this milk .... I wonder how many people would sign that.

    I think we're conditioned to think "oh cows always have milk available, it's there for our use". If you think a bit harder, it is obvious that's not the case.

    Sighs .... it always makes me feel like crying ...

    Sorry I think I've been on a rant. I think it's from leftover stress.

    🌻birdy

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  18. Peppermintbach
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    19 September 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi beautiful birdy, BeKindRewind4Life and all,

    I am listening, my friend, and hearing your frustrations. You’re not alone...no need to apologise.

    I understand all this is very close to heart for you and it’s something that you think about everyday...a pain you carry inside everyday...

    Sighs. I’m tired too and feeling sad for a whole range/combination of reasons so I’m sitting here with you in any residue stress/other feelings you may have...you’re absolutely not alone...here with you.

    I thought that you would be very pleased to meet BeKindRewind4Life ;) I agree with you that it would be fantastic to see him/her (waves) around the forums but no pressure of course..

    Yes, I get what you’re saying about how the perspective that a person takes can influence their decisions...whether a person operates from the perspective of having certain food preferences, for example, versus taking the perspective of the process it takes for an animal to become food...no ‘answers’ here but merely probing thoughts...

    I agree with your point about disconnect. I feel people generally have good intentions but what can sometimes stop those good intentions become actions is disconnect, feeling overwhelmed, lack of awareness, etc.

    Personally, I try to remember while I may be vegetarian now and have been for some time, I once ate meat too. So I once felt that disconnect too...

    I’m not saying it’s an excuse but I think when I remember that, it helps me to empathise with well meaning people who want to help but who are feeling overwhelmed, experiencing other pressures, etc ...

    That being said, I do hear your feelings of sadness and frustration...in my own (guilty) way, I’m in it with you too.

    What I’ve decided to do...I understand everyone has to pursue their own path but here’s what I’ve decided to do. I’m going to try to transition from vegetarian to vegan in the next 6 months. Why 6 months?

    For me, I feel that timeframe is doable/realistic, and it also means that I can use up existing cleaning products, non-cruelty free makeup, etc. I realise some people choose to discard those products overnight but I would prefer to just use it up...

    What I’m really interested to know, and please don’t feel obligated to answer if you don’t want to, can I please ask what was the hardest and easiest parts of becoming vegan?

    Thanks so much!

    Grateful hugs to you :) You’re always welcome to share your worries, pain, etc when it comes to animals, climate change, etc here...

    Love,

    Pepper xoxox

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  19. Birdy77
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    23 September 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hello Pepper & everyone 😊

    I have been feeling a bit bad about my last post. I didn't mean to be harsh, or unempathic ... not to use this as an excuse, but I was feeling very emotional & upset, I probably shouldn't have posted under those circumstances.

    I don't often rant like that here, & I apologise.

    I agree with everything you wrote Pepper. I do completely understand from the other side , as I used to be there too. My upset state of mind was at the fore.

    I think a 6month transition sounds like a smart long term transition Pepper. I don't see the point in throwing things out just because ... if an animal has already suffered for the making of the product, I feel it's more of a waste to throw it out, you know? Then they've suffered for nothing. I still have some products at the back of the cupboard, different cleaning products & such.

    When I connected the dots, I couldn't bring myself to eat the dairy we had in our fridge, but we didn't waste it e.g. we had just bought a massive, very expensive wedge of parmesan, then we went vegan, we gave it to our friends because we couldn't stomach it.

    But other products, makeup etc, there's still some randoms hanging around & I think it's better to use it up.

    Pepper, I have been thinking about your question to me. Sorry it's taken a while to post back, I've been so unbelievably tired and feeling really depressed this week & have found it hard to post.

    I have found it very easy to become vegan, but these were my thoughts to your question:

    Easiest:

    1. Finding alternatives to eggs and dairy (& meat, for my partner);
    2. Finding wonderful recipes that have left us excited, satisfied and full of plants;
    3. Swapping out animal products for vegan ingredients in cooking and baking;
    4. I thought I would miss cheese a lot, but there are so many vegan cheeses available that this has not been a problem at all.

    Hardest:

    1. Going on road trips (you have to bring your own food just in case you can't find a vegan option);
    2. Going to functions (you have to either bring your own food or arrange a vegan option prior);
    3. Having to deal with people assuming they know better than you about what's right for you;
    4. Trying to sleep at night, knowing what goes on to innocent, gentle animals.

    Pepper, is there anything that you are finding hard? You can ask me anything, it is my honour to help you in any tiny way and I want you to ask ... It is my privilege to give you any advice or whatevs.

    Out of characters.

    Lots of love,

    🌻birdy

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  20. Peppermintbach
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    24 September 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi beautiful birdy, Chrissystar and all,

    Oh birdy, I don’t feel your were “harsh” or lacking in empathy in your other post. You have nothing to apologise for, my friend....you obviously have a very caring nature to do so but it really wasn’t necessary.

    I know how close to heart this issue is to you, and if anything, I feel it was a moment of vulnerability. The combination of fatigue, stress and your ongoing sadness for animals led to a very heartfelt and earnest outpouring of emotion/thoughts...in some ways, it was actually very endearing...

    I suppose what I’m trying to say is you don’t have to apologise for your emotions and thoughts. You’re allowed to feel and you’re allowed to care...

    Isn’t that one of the things that so many of us here love about you? That deep caring...

    I must admit that I have been worried about you. You seem so down and lacklustre, and I noticed your absence...I saw your post on UB’s thread. There’s zero obligation but is there anything you want to talk about or ask? That said, I mean it when I say no pressure...but I am here for you...

    Also, you absolutely don’t need to apologise to me either. I know you’ve been really struggling so seriously, please just take your time with posts...no need to reply if you’re not feeling up to it.

    You, and your wellbeing, are many times more important. I value that (you and your wellbeing) much more...

    Thank you so much for your reply. You have been (are) an enormous help to me!

    I must say that I’m impressed that your lovely partner transitioned from eating meat to vegan. That’s a big leap. Well done to her :)

    I’m somewhat concerned about my own ability to ensure adequate nutrients. This isn’t because of the vegan diet itself but it has more to do with my own slack habits, which is my own issue (lol!). But I do have an upcoming dietician appointment, which should help...

    Also, I do feel a tad lonely. Maybe it sounds silly but because all my offline friends and family make very different decisions to me when it comes to diet, consumption, etc. So if I bring up something, it’s a fine line between sounding like I’m raising something because it’s important to me and (accidentally) sounding like I’m criticising them...a fine line...

    A big thank you again. Please...no rush or pressure to reply. Take all the time you need. But if you ever want to talk, there are many open hearts here that await you...

    Sending comfort and much love (plus plant based treats) to you and your partner,

    Pepper xoxo

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  21. BeKindRewind4Life
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    24 September 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi,

    Sorry I didn't respond right away as I've been travelling up and down the coast of Tasmania so a bit tired, off again tomorrow :)

    I saw it asked, what the transition was like for me becoming vegan? Well I turned fully vegetarian in about 2006, from being pescatarian (fish) for a long time. It also took a long time to fully transition to veganism, as turning vegan isn't something I could dive into without a lot of education, and trial and error as when I was younger I didn't take to time to carefully read about everything my body needed. I went from being a vegetarian to a vegan over a number of years and not months as others, I have been fully vegan for around a decade now. Back when I started to become vegan the choice in vegan foods other than fresh (which is the best) wasn't that great. I also took a long time to learn to eat the right foods high in B vitamins, proteins and iron. I once met a girl who worked in a cafeteria, and she told me she "was vegan" but stopped being vegan for health reasons, which I found interesting. Whilst I'm sure people can transition much faster than I did, I feel education is very important in becoming vegan, from a ethical standpoint as well as a health based one.

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  22. Peppermintbach
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    27 September 2018 in reply to BeKindRewind4Life

    Hi BeKindRewind4Life (waves to beautiful birdy, ChrissyStar and all),

    No apology needed. Just reply when and if you’re feeling up to it ;) I hope your coastal travels are going well. It must be so picturesque, even if it’s tiring at times...

    Thank you so much for answering my question. I really appreciate it!

    Yes, I imagine it must have been harder to go vegan 10 years ago than it is now in the year 2018. It sounds like it has been quite a transition and evolution for you...from pescatarian to vegetarian to vegan :) But I feel the most important part is you transitioned in a way that worked for you personally.

    I agree with you that education is important. I personally feel self education should be an ongoing/continual process so we can continue to make more informed choices and/or changes.

    I read before that one common issue is when people transition into a vegan diet that there’s a lack of education/misconceptions about vegan nutrition. It’s not that the vegan diet itself is problematic but it has more to do with a lack of understanding of what constitutes a healthy vegan diet.

    So despite good intentions, some really well meaning people may not make the healthiest decisions because of a gap in nutrition knowledge. This is largely why I’m being somewhat pedantic about the nutrition aspect. Lol.

    For me, motivation is not an issue and food cravings aren’t really an issue either...it’s more figuring out the practical aspect of this transition that is (admittedly) overwhelming me a little. Sighs..

    I suppose it’s about more conscious decision making. That’s how I’m beginning to perceive veganism, that is, I see it as making certain decisions and changes to try to minimise harm to animals to the best of our ability, given our existing knowledge (that we can continue to update) and available resources at the time.

    Then there’s, yes, my own personal feelings of guiltt, which is something that I’m still wrestling with...I feel it’s something that I’m just going to have to sit with, and will hopefully learn to manage better as time passes...

    I hope you get some rest in between all that travelling :) A big thank you again (thank you to you too, birdy!)

    Pepper xoxo

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  23. Birdy77
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    28 September 2018

    Hello everyone 😊

    It's great to hear from you again BeKindRewind4Life. I hope you are enjoying your travels. I always think of Tassie as being such a place of extremes, eg I imagine it to be a wonderful home & place of solace to those with any kind of 'hippie' sensibilities, love of the wilderness & nature & alternative ways of living & also a place where those on a different place on the spectrum find their livelihoods, in forestry work, mining, fishing etc.

    You've had quite a journey into veganism. I jumped right in and learnt (am learning, always learning) on the fly, probably not as educated as you are on the finer points of nutrition, but for me it was a leap of passion, work out the details later kind of thing. I admire your meticulousness and thoroughness.

    Dear Pepper ❤, I completely understand everything you wrote (are you sick of me saying that all the time 😁).

    I am so sorry it feels lonely. But it is lonely. "It's easy to stand with the crowd. It takes courage to stand alone"(Gandhi) for what you believe is right.

    I understand the fine line you mention & I don't know of a way around it yet. The problem lies in the fact that the practices we are against, are just everyday, inherently ingrained practices that most people do not even think about. It is only when they meet someone talking about the issues that it even occurs to them that what they have on their plate or in their lunchbox is the result of the cruelty we are against. It is confronting for them I think & there can be defensiveness/anger, assuming we are criticising them.

    It is hard. It hurts ... having to explain to 97% of the people we know why we are against cruelty.

    We've had friends pretty much shun us when they learned we've gone vegan, out come the reasons why you shouldn't or "jokes" about their meat & where it comes from. Other thinking friends have been inspired to make positive changes.

    We've had family look disgustedly at us (& mother-in-law cry) when we said we'll bring food to share to family dos, (to them we're criticising them & their cooking).

    "Let them look askance at you/And you askance reply" ...!

    I have had to delete a lot of my reply to you Pepper, I keep running out of characters. I will write more another time.

    Wanted to mention, if you go to Animals Australia website they will send you a free vegan starter pack. They also have a cookbook, simple recipes called Taste For Life.

    For a wry laugh, check out Vegan Sidekick.

    I'm here for you. I get it.

    🌻birdy

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  24. Peppermintbach
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    1 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi ChrissyStar, BeKindRewind4Life and all,

    Beautiful birdy: No, of course I’m not sick of you saying that you understand ;)

    If anything, it’s very comforting and reassuring to have your deep understanding. Thank you so very much :) Your insight and understanding is always appreciated..

    Yes, it is a fine line. I agree with you that the defensiveness partly stems from feeling confronted/unexpectedly challenged about things that most people don’t usually question...

    Plus I feel perhaps animal welfare and animal rights can feel removed from (some) people’s personal experience because animals can be seen as the “other” in (some) people’s eyes. As in I think some people perceive animals as not “one of us” (or not human) therefore maybe it’s easier for some people to emotionally disconnect for that reason...just my thoughts anyway...I think that’s why I really like how you describe the choices that you make as an expansion of love :)

    I feel saddened by some of the responses of your friends. It must hurt or at least feel frustrating to have friends poke fun at what you so passionately believe in and are committed too...

    Although it is very heartening to see you have other friends who are much more supportive friends :)

    Yes, I remember you have mentioned your mother-in-law’s response before. I feel perhaps it’s because she isn’t really looking at things from the animals’ perspectives...she seems to be looking at it from her own perspective in the sense of how she feels your choices “affect” her.

    To her, it’s an affront to her and her cooking skills rather than understanding that it’s not about her. It’s about you and your partner making a conscious decision to act on something you both truly believe in. Speaking of which, I think it’s courageous that you both stand by what you believe in :)

    Thank you so much, I have had a quick browse on Animals Australia, and might get through it bit by bit :) It seems very comprehensive.

    Funny you mentioned the vegan sidekick, I actually accidentally stumbled upon it recently (even before you mentioned it). Lol!

    I feel I’m (slowly) learning. There’s a lot to digest, analyse and reflect upon. The feelings of loneliness isn’t exactly fun but I figure, I will get used to it over time. It really helps to have this outlet here to be able to talk...

    I look forward to reading whatever else it is you wanted to write about :) Your comments, insight, etc are always valued and most welcome...

    Love,

    Pepper xoxo

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  25. Birdy77
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    5 October 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hello ChrissyStar and everyone here 😊

    Dear Pepper ❤ I just felt like holding out my hand for you to hold in case you needed to know a friend is close by.

    I saw a poster the other day that said something like "New vegans, remember: it's okay if you screw up; it's ok if it takes time; it's okay if your friends think you're weird. You're doing the right thing." I thought of you (i often do - even my partner said the other night when I was trying a new recipe "wouldn't it be cool if we could invite Pepper for dinner to try this?" True story 😊).

    Try not to feel too overwhelmed by everything. Just do your best, bit by bit ... it will fall into place eventually. E.g. some food labels say "may contain ..." and it might feel too hard to avoid them at first. It's ok. It will be an evolving thing, just be gentle with yourself knowing that you are allowing your compassion to guide you.

    Don't forget you can ask me anything and I will always try to help you, if I can.

    It must be almost time for your consultation with your nutritionist. I hope that gives you a bit more confidence.

    Glad you found vegan sidekick. His sardonic wit is so in-your-face and 100% true.

    Do you like pad thai? If so, I will share a simple recipe with you. I promise even you could cook it.

    I can't remember the other things I was writing to you the other day that I had to delete, but they'll come back some time.

    Just let your gentle and beautiful heart guide you my friend. I'm right beside you.

    Love,

    🌻birdy

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  26. Peppermintbach
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    7 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi ChrissyStar, BeKindRewind4Life and all,

    Beautiful birdy: Your hand of friendship is very gratefully accepted. Thank you so very much, your post brought tears to my eyes...you’re a truly kind and inspiring friend. Thank you also for thinking of me...

    I smiled at your loving partner’s
    kind and generous comment :) So there were both tears and big smiles as I read your very compassionate post...I love how you are always experimenting with new recipes. How did that one go, speaking of which?

    Half the time, I have no idea what I’m doing. The other half of the time, I’m still figuring out what I’m doing. Lol.

    Yes, you’re completely right in saying that this is a gradual thing. I agree with you there :)

    In theory, I understand this but in practice, I do find aspects of it overwhelming. Just the sheer amount of information and labels to figure out...

    On the plus side, even if this is a tad embarrassing to admit, I learnt in the last 2 weeks that there is actually a difference between the cruelty-free and vegan classification on makeup and skincare in Australia (I think?). Ignorant and naive me thought that the 2 classifications meant the same thing.

    Apparently not...

    I learnt that, in Australia, the vegan classification on beauty/skincare products means it contains no animal ingredients or derivatives (but it could still have been tested on animals). Whereas, the CF label means no animal testing (but it can still contain animal ingredients and derivatives). So ideally what I’m looking for is one that is both cruelty free and vegan as that would mean no animal testing and no use of animal ingredients or derivatives.

    As for food, I figure most fresh fruit and veggies are a safe bet plus raw nuts and legumes. I’m still figuring out bread, pasta, etc where there’s a whole list of ingredients that I vaguely recognise but don’t always know what they mean.

    So, yes, it’s an ongoing learning experience...sometimes confusing and sometimes (very) frustrating but it is a rewarding feeling when I think that I’ve learnt something new :)

    I think time and patience (that I’m sorely lacking at times lol) will help...

    Yes, I love pad thai! I would be happy if you felt like sharing it some time....

    Thank you again for your beautiful encouragement and support, especially when I know you’re doing it tough...if you ever want to talk about anything, my heart (plus many others here) is always open to you. But that said, no pressure at all of course...

    Love,

    Pepper xoxox

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  27. Birdy77
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    7 October 2018 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Hi ChrissyStar and everyone here 😊

    Dear Pepper ❤

    I know it can feel really overwhelming, trying to understand it all at once. I'm still learning too. The important thing is to realise you can't do it all perfectly, & that that is ok ... perfection is unattainable & if perfectionism sneaks in, everything can feel like a burden & one might think "why bother at all?"

    Just allow your compassion to guide you & continue to do your best. That's all we're ever doing: our best to not contribute to and pay for/fund the exploitation & suffering of innocent animals.

    You're doing really well, learning new things as you go, & that's the best way to do it. You simply can't do it all straight up unless you go live in the wilderness & eat kale with a side of lettuce & live in a tent woven from organically grown grasses & let birds nest in your hair while you meditate.

    I'm just reminding you to go easy on yourself as your heart expands with the growing depth & width of your compassion.

    With processed food, there are so many additives/preservatives & whatnot that you simply can't learn all at once, so do not give yourself a headache by trying. Reading labels in the supermarket is just something to get used to. Thankfully there are quite a few pastas now that have no animal content (even lasagne sheets & canneloni tubes, yippee!). Bread, I started making my own for a while, because it was doing my head in! I still make my own wraps/flatbreads, but there are a quite a few breads that are vegan friendly.

    With the skincare/beauty products, you are right that cruelty free does not equal vegan. Cruelty Free certified products have not been tested on animals, but may (or may not) have animal products or derivatives in them.

    And yes, there are products out there that are "accidentally vegan" that are not necessarily cruelty-free (ie they happen to not contain animal products, but still may have been tested on animals). This is different to being a certified vegan product.

    If a product is Certified Vegan (explicitly stated on the label), this also certifies that it is Cruelty Free (not tested on animals). A Certified Vegan product is not tested on animals & contains neither animal products nor derivatives.

    Again, just do your best until you can do better. Then do better. It's the only way to do it & stay (relatively) sane & continue to participate in society (not that kale/lettuce campout hermitage mentioned earlier).

    Out of characters!

    Thinking of you. With love ❤

    🌻birdy

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  28. Peppermintbach
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    7 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    Hi ChrissyStar, BeKindRewind4Life and all,

    Beautiful birdy: Thank you so much for your very informative but gently encouraging and very caring post. I really do appreciate all the time, heart and love you put into your replies, especially when I know you’ve been struggling. You have been a terrific help :)

    Your comment about the kale/lettuce lifestyle in the wilderness gave me a good chuckle. But as appealing as the grass tent is, I think that I’ll leave the wilderness to others. Lol!

    Thank you also for elaborating on the whole cruelty free and vegan classification and certification. That was very helpful! I also think it’s very impressive that you make your own bread. Good job...

    Sorry, I feel like I’m talking about myself way too much, which I feel bad about. So please feel free to talk about other things related to animals, climate change, monoculture as well...comments about live exports, etc, for example, are most welcome :) Or just whatever other topics are close to heart that you (or others) want to talk about...

    An enormous thank you once again. I always value and appreciate your comments, thoughts and insight...

    I hope you and your lovely partner are having a relaxing Sunday and that you’ll get to try out another new recipe tonight for dinner ...

    Love and kindness,

    Pepper xoxox

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  29. Birdy77
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    19 October 2018

    Hi everyone,

    Since watching Blue (The Film), I have been acutely more aware of the amount of plastics used in our everyday lives.

    It has changed me as a consumer and I find myself thinking twice about lots of things that, beforehand, unfortunately I didn't even think about once 😔.

    For instance, in the past, as a doggy-Mama, and being a "responsible citizen", when we were out walking I would pick up his poos with little bags and put them in the bin.

    Now, as a new Mama to two fresh young dogs (AKA puppies!), and now very much more aware of the fact that plastic bags wreak havoc on the wellbeing of all sorts of birds, aquatic life and other creatures this has really been bothering me.

    I know you can buy "biodegradable" bags, or use something else maybe like a paper bag or whatever, when you take your dogs out walking, and you can bury your dog's poopies in a hole in the yard for the poos that they do at home ... but unless you have a huge amount of land available, you're going to run out of space soon (this I know from experience).

    So, I may be totally behind the times, but I have just discovered (and purchased) a pet-poo composting kit ... it's just like a small in-ground compost bin but for your pet's poos (which, because of certain pathogens you should not put in your regular compost bin). It doesn't smell, and it promotes earthworms and other awesome stuff to break down the poo-poos into black gold for your garden.

    I think it's brilliant, and wanted to share!!

    It's made by the bokashi company.

    🌻birdy

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  30. monkey_magic
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    20 October 2018 in reply to Birdy77

    I just couldn't stop reading this thread.

    I Iove how you're all full of " feeling" and thoughtfulness and you've really helped me and others understand more from your personal perspectives and experiences.

    What a truelly wonderful and heartnening thing u r doing by thinking about the animals feelings. By reading I'm putting myself in their place too and it's also evoked an emotional/ sensitive response in me.

    Thanks for opening our eyes. I think a huge majority of us are living blind to the cruelty and don't even think twice about it when we eat our animal products. But, reading along has tugged at my heart.

    I can say I am consciously aware now!

    From the bottom of my heart thanks. This sensitivity towards other creatures feelings has gone straight through me.... It honestly feels so good to know the truth.

    I am more aware of how cruel humans can be to other species through lack of sensitivity, thoughtlessness, greed etc.

    When I was 6 yrs old I befriended a lamb on a family farm. One day I learnt of that lamb being on our plates for dinner. I was mad as anyone could be. It was pure hell for me and I literally wanted to disown my family at 6 yrs old and be with lamba ( the name I called him)....they murdered my friend and it really impacted me.

    I'll also never forget seeing a large sea turtle washed up to shore dead because of a plastic bag in its mouth. This caused me to one day go into the water fully clothed to grab a plastic bag I saw floating in the ocean. When u see the cruelty it does instill change.

    My hope is that more and more people feel stronger about these issues. They are so important and significant. It really worries me that our focus isn't on what truelly matters.

    The human race needs a shift, a shake, on what's truelly important and what should be implemented. Life should matter to us- human and animal. I really don't understand how suffering can be so dismissed. I'm scratching my head.

    2 people found this helpful

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