8 Jan 2016

Awesome Acts of Kindness for Self, Others and the Earth!

There are two ways to consider the New Year, according to the half-empty vs. half-full paradigm. You may either equal New Year to getting one year older, or... one year wiser! If your cup is decidedly looking half full, count me in! And bonus, I'll fill it up to the brim with a short series of Hints 'N' Tips on making this New Year kinder, not only to Yourself but to Others and the Earth!

The Ultimate Crudité Platter with White Miso Dip by The Clever Carrot

We're not selfish, but we'll get started with Self! It might be something to do with the fact that if you want change in your life, you should instigate that change, start off with yourself, rather than rely on others to instigate it for you. Anyhoo, let's bite those bullet (points)!

For Self #1:
  • Make friends with veg and pledge to become a vegetarian! The best way is to build this up gradually, starting off with the legendary Meat Free Monday (or whichever day of the week is most suitable to you, like a day off, when you are relaxed). To forgo meat one whole day a week is actually easier than you might think, and from then you may up the ante! The web is a treasure trove of veggie recipes (Pinterest is a fun starting point!), and most quality culinary blogs like The Clever Carrot  have vegetarian dishes on the menu. Meanwhile The HSUS have devised The Guide to Meat-Free Meals, which is set to get you on track. They also have a comprehensive meat-free recipe section that includes a wide array of enticing dishes, from entrées to desserts, via breakfast, kid-friendly and even treats for your pet companions! Sign up in order to get a handy recipe each week, like I do! And eh, PETA is at it too, with a comprehensive recipe section and another one there too covering dishes from around the world! And - if you are considering the next step up to veganism - you can order your Free Vegan Starter Kit!
Try to fathom the figures! 'Numbers of Animals Slaughtered in the U.S.: Per minute -- 38,627 * Per hour -- 2,317,596 * Per day -- 55,622,293 * Per year -- More than 27 billion!' (source: PETA Vegan Starter Kit and Vegetarian 101).

Rooney Mara, photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Vogue: The Editor's Eye book

For Self #2:
  • Wear kindness on your face and wrap your body in it too! Not only do we have to worry about the toxicity of ingredients, but also how earth-friendly or cruelty-free they are. Help! Leaping Bunny to the rescue! Do you bit: Pay attention to ingredients, and right off the bat, rule out environmental foes (phtalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, palm oil derivatives, etc.). And steer clear of brands that still condone animal testing (the softy word for vivisection). Aim for brands and products that aim for less to no cruelty whatsoever. Yet consumer quest for anti-cruelty is no mean feat because what goes on under the surface, deep inside jars and tubes and the interweavings of fabrics and materials is even more opaque and insidious than with food ingredients. For instance, a haircare manufacturer might use very generic/ loose wording like 'squalane' in its shampoo ingredients list, and skip any details under secret formulation privacy laws. Meanwhile uninformed consumers are unlikely to tick on 'squalane' when they actually should! So beware what lies beneath the safe-sounding words! Squalane is a substance sourced from gulper shark liver, that lends shampoos, hair conditioners and face creams their distinctive texture and non-greasy emollience. According to a study by Bloom Association, 3 million deep-sea sharks are estimated to fall foul of the squalane industry each year. You'll have to 'thank' the likes of L'Oréal for their helping hand to the shark fin soup industry in their relentless shark hunt that in turn is leading oceans to turn shark-free!  All in all, stay vigilant and conduct your own research.... And be kind to life by saying no to leather and fur, and the 'uggly' truth about the trade! Pamela Anderson's vegan Pammies boots are the anti-cruelty - and trendy - answer to Ugg! If you seek heels, Pamela's teamed up with French designer Amélie Pichard. And since 'Compassion is sexy', who said vegan shoes were not fashion-friendly?

    For Self #3:
  • Shut down the TV and cut down on social media! You'll thank me later. So no, you don't need to channel any more of your personal time into yet another social media platform and wear its button on your blog like a badge of honour! Snapchat, Periscope, you bet, what next? You have a life to live, and to live it is not to fritter it away online. Life happens offline! As for the box, I haven't watched it since last October and I do not miss it one bit (OK, apart maybe the odd documentary or film, and 'odd' implies said feature to be 'greater than average'). Anyway it had become painful for me to watch the news and witness how biased the media have become, as the voice of the state (and EU superstate), and how they peddle the terminology and smarmy tone of voice and skewered undertones, and inseminate us deep with the thoughts and reactions they want us to have for ourselves and make ours, as they are recreating a reality. A BS propaganda that I do not want to be a part of! Freedom of the press, ha-ha! Free your mind (and time!) from the news that is no news! 
Munch on another celery stick and catch us in our next post: Awesome Acts of Kindness for Others!

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