How to Go Vegan in 3 Obvious Steps (Overnight Transition on a Low-Budget)

Vegan for Everything

For those who are ready to make the big switch, this will be a total cinch! But to those who aren’t interested, I feel that information like this would be of use anyways because you never know what words will strike a chord…

It didn’t take much for me to want to transition to veganism exactly three years ago. I was already on a basic bitch health kick and would do anything to feel better and get in shape, and the more research I did, the more I found that animal products were possibly the cause of my chronic ailments (like constipation, acne, borderline insomnia, etc.) and decided to cut back on my intake severely. Then, something inside told me to watch a slaughterhouse video to truly see where my “food” was coming from and after that, I went vegan and never looked back! Notice how I describe myself as a vegan and not “plant-based.” When one transitions to a plant-based diet, they are dropping most of the animal products they usually eat (sometimes except for honey) but don’t extend that notion to other parts of their lives; primarily for health reasons. This means they probably still wear fur or leather, do not find animal cruelty as an ethical issue, and will sparingly eat animal byproducts as a treat. Uncool.

Vegans, on the other hand, take animal abuse super fuckin seriously…and I mean that as a good thing haha. They recognize animal suffering as a social error and don’t support businesses that exploit this issue. This means not consuming animal products or its exploitatives of any kind, including food, fashion, makeup, hunting, zoos, aquariums, vivisection, breeding, and a lot more. In my biases, I recognize that I praise veganism and those who live by it, but that does not mean that I think we are superior. Although the lifestyle does alleviate health problems, animal abuse, and planetary destruction, it does not change my philosophy that all animals (and humans too, duh!) are cosmically equal.

Now that I’m done blabbing, lets get down to the nitty gritty! In order to transition to a vegan lifestyle, one would have to:

  1. Get educated.  The reason why most people don’t succeed at living vegan is because of their lack of education before tackling it. It’s too important to do your own research about this serious problem and come to your own conclusions. Of course vegan propaganda exists, where facts and statistics are exaggerated to get people to quit their sick fix; but the more research you do, the more you will notice a consistency in the numbers. Also, the easiest way to learn more about this topic would be to watch the Holy Trinity of Veg Movies: Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, and Cowspiracy; which can all be found on YouTube and/or Netflix. You can also throw in Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech Ever” on YouTube if you dare! These awesome films will give you in-depth looks into the health, ethical, and environmental problems that animal agriculture causes; and they’re well-written to the max, too.
  2. Give up the junk.  After thorough research, hopefully you understand the issue at-hand and decide to swap all your animal products with plant ones. This means buying meat, dairy, and egg alternatives instead of using your dollar to support a corrupt industry. But don’t fret, animal alternatives are just as tasty and affordable as the usual stuff! At a typical grocery store, boneless chicken breasts costs about $3.27/lb while tofu is an average of $2-2.50/lb; and if you wanted to be mega healthy, dried beans are around $1.39/lb. Tofurkey sausages, Daiya cheeses, and Beyond Meat chicken strips ring in at about $4-5 max at your local supermarket, but you can also get your proteins in its whole form with beans, plain tofu, and tempeh (and they’re cheaper!). Commercial grocery stores hold inexpensive vegan and accidentally-vegan items also. This step also includes refusing to purchase anything that exploits animals, like animal-tested makeup; fur, leather, down, or silk; going to circuses or zoos; or supporting speciesism in any way. If you just so happen to have an actual leather jacket or makeup from a cruelty-supportive company laying around, it’s up to you whether or not you want to give it away since you were unaware before you bought it; but just remember that it used to be someone’s skin or that someone was harmed in the making of said product, which is freakin horrifying and sad.
  3. Walk the walk.  Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to make this an actual lifestyle! All you need to do is live the first two steps in its entirety, which sounds like an ordeal but it’s definitely not if you give a shit. It may seem like you’re “reducing” your life to constantly checking  ingredients of simple foods, bitching at meat-eaters, and being burdened by the lack of support you get in a non-vegan world, but that is completely NOT true. Think about what you’d be gaining: a clear conscience, better karma, better health, social awareness, more compassion toward your fellow human, some corporate detachment, respect toward all animals, reduced environmental impact, and, hopefully, a new cause! So don’t be a Negative Nancy and think about your sacrifices, just be happy that no one was sacrificed so that you may be comfortable; there’s no better feeling than that. Now go get your veg on!

If I’m missing anything or you need any help, don’t hesitate to holla at me! I’d be delighted to vegify you 🙂

Trying to Go Zero-Waste? Then You’ve Come to the Right Place: Tips and Alternatives to Living Waste-Free

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I first started looking into zero waste living when a friend sent me a link of an article on Facebook about Trash Is For Tossers blogger Lauren Singer’s unconventional lifestyle, and needlessly to say it blew me the hell away. As someone who went vegan with the planet in mind, it was shocking to learn how much I didn’t know about my other actions that affect the Earth’s health, such as my sick addiction to plastic and nonchalance toward where my garbage ended up. This prompted a huge shift in me and I decided to work my way toward a reduced-trash lifestyle about 6 months ago! Believe me, I am definitely NO expert, especially since I’m still in the learning phases and have missed a couple steps to the process. It’s the journey that’s important too!

Another media source that pushed me over to the dark side was a movie I found on Netflix called Plastic Planet. Now that truly made me wake the fuck up! I won’t say much about it because I want you to view it yourself, but it was definitely an eye-opener that totally repulsed me from using plastic EVER again. Fast-forward to now: I haven’t collected my monthly trash in a cute mason jar like the other zero-wasters, but I can surely say that I’ve significantly reduced my garbage consumption. Though the terms “waste-free” and “zero-waste” describe my overall conscious goal with this lifestyle, I feel much more comfortable claiming myself as a “trash reducer” since I am not guaranteed that all my actions do not produce waste (recyclable products, the waste of manufacturers I support, accidental slip-ups). But since I personally don’t produce trash at home, school, or work, I will use all terms to make my intentions and most actions clear to you.

So how do I do it, you might ask? Well, it’s not as difficult as it seems yet it’s not as easy as you’d want it to be haha. Essentially, you do NOT put anything in your trash can. Our planet is literally one giant garbage disposal, so anymore waste (even the tissue you blew your nose into) sent to the landfill is the waste we absorb. Gross, ain’t it? Plus, most plastics are made out of mineral/industrial oils, extremely toxic chemicals, and are not biodegradable, meaning they don’t naturally or healthfully compost back into the Earth.  There’s luck though! We can frequently reuse plastic alternatives like stainless steel, glass, organic cotton, and wood so that we may lessen our impact and also save a few coins in the process.

At this point you must be wondering “how does this benefit me though??”. I can understand that; waste-free living does not sound like a walk in the park, but your conscious effort to do as little harm to your environment as possible will benefit you greatly in the long run! Just think about how many people are on this planet and how awesome it would be for someone (hopefully you) to not toss another plastic bottle into the trash; one less bottle a day will seriously add up, my friend. You will also yield the benefits of saving money from bringing your own reusable gear everywhere, practicing minimalism since excessive buying is wasteful, not having stank ass garbage rotting in your car or home, and many other upsides that you’ll have to see for yourself!

Now onto what I use that swapped out all of my disposables:

Mason Jar

No-no: Plastic bottles and the like

Hell yeah: Glass mason jars

Tote Bag

No-no: Common plastic shopping bags

Hell yeah: Cotton tote and bulk bags

Ecolunchbox

No-no: Tupperware or styrofoam containers

Hell yeah: Mason jars or stainless steel containers (like an Ecolunchbox)

Cloth Napkins

No-no: Paper towels or napkins

Hell yeah: Cloth napkins and towels

Bambu Utensils

No-no: Plastic utensils

Hell yeah: Reusable bamboo or silver utensils

divacup

No-no: Common tampons and pads

Hell yeah: DivaCup if you dare (I haven’t gotten to this stage yet due to my IUD, lameee…)

Compost bin

No-no: Leftover food scraps

Hell yeah: Either save it for later to add it to another meal or compost it if possible

Bulk Soap

No-no: Packaged or wrapped soaps

Hell yeah: Get loose vegan soap bars at health food stores

With that stuff out the way, here are some tips to utilize it all: 

  1. Buy in bulk at your local health-food store with your reusable cotton shopping/bulk bags! If you do not have access to one near you, see if you can make a day trip with your friends or family to said store and get as much of your chosen bulk item as you can. Rice, beans, pasta, oats, nuts, dried fruit, and so many other tasty plant foods can be found in the bulk section.
  2. Try your hardest to have your reusable items on your person. I know it’s hard to remember when you really want to buy a water bottle or don’t feel like wrapping your sandwich in cloth, but you’ll get the hang of it! As long as you keep a reminder or carry your items around in your car or purse (or murse?), then you won’t have an excuse to buy or use wasteful materials.
  3. For the love of the universe, please don’t buy animal products to substitute for other biodegradable items! Most, if not all, zero wasters still use materials like boar hair or silk, and even eat animals and their secretions despite their efforts at living consciously. There is absolutely nothing environmentally-friendly, sustainable, or compassionate about consuming animal products in any way; there is always an easy alternative.
  4. Think minimally or work with what you have! If you have some old jars lying around the house, wash ’em out and use ’em as a food storer. Or if you can’t find any reusable items in your home, get some at your local thrift shop for super cheap! Also, don’t go on any massive clothing hauls if you don’t have to haha. If need be, make a DIY project out of your old clothes or buy secondhand.
  5. If possible, make your own food and bring it with you to work or school. I LOVE cooking so this is a treat for me no matter where I go, but this is always a healthier and more sustainable option when stored in either a mason jar or stainless steel container.

I hope all this helps and don’t hesitate to leave me questions!

Gotta Get That Soul Food Fix? Then My Sweet Potato Mac N’ Cheez Will Do the Trick!

Sweet Potato Mac N Cheez

Okay so let’s get this out the way: I FRIGGIN LOVED MAC N’ CHEESE! I’m telling you, I used to eat the Standard American Diet to the fullest with Papa Johns, McDonald’s, and Popeyes being my borderline daily staples *cringe*. And you know I couldn’t resist my soul food either! I would gobble ALL the fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, and hush puppies at my bangin’ family cookouts, but that shit gave me the itis (food coma) and bubble guts for hours on end…uncool.

So I figured out a way to have my mac and eat it too! And although I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like cheese, my sweet potato cheez sauce offers great flavor, color, and health benefits without the cruelty and cholesterol of actual dairy. Then what are we waiting for?? Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3-4 cups Whole Wheat shells pasta
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of nooch (nutritional yeast)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cumin
  • Black pepper
  • Water
  • Blender
  • 1 big bowl
  • Non-stick skillet

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat your skillet to medium-high heat (4-5) and add about 2 tablespoons of water. Peel your sweet potatoes, or don’t if you’re into that. I did sort of a mixture of peeled and unpeeled and it tasted awesome!
  2. Chop the taters and toss them in the skillet for about 30 minutes or until it’s in a mashed consistency. Pour in a few tablespoons more of water every 5 or so minutes with the lid on the skillet. Start cooking your pasta in the meantime.
  3. Add the coconut milk first and then the sweet potato mash and spices into your blender. Put on high speed for 45-60 seconds. Drain pasta and transfer to your big bowl.
  4. Play around with the texture of the sweet potato cheez sauce; if perfect, pour evenly on top of your shells and stir for about a minute.
  5. You can add a side of whatever veggies you desire, in this case I made thoroughly steamed fresh broccoli. Yum! Other than that, CHOW DOWN! 

 

Is There Really Such Thing As Humane Slaughter? Let’s Look at the Facts…

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…Actually, no. There are NO “facts” supporting this oxymoron because it is simply impossible. Have you ever heard of humane rape, humane slavery, humane pedophilia? No? Well maybe because they don’t exist! You see, our egos as humans have grown so large that we believe we can oppress other species in a compassionate way…as if. Some people even believe that animals have been put on Earth for us to consume, and although I will never mock their belief because I have no idea where it stems from, I can’t deny that that is a very narcissistic and sadistic point of view. Amirite?

But really though, why do people truly believe in humane slaughter? Why do they fall for the “cage-free, grass-fed, pasteurized-raised” marketing ploy when purchasing animal foods, as if a farm animal possibly having a well-to-do life before it’s murdered is morally acceptable? As a former meat-fanatic, I can attest that it is most likely due to tradition/conformity, religion, or lack of education or empathy. Shit, even I was raised to think it was my moral obligation to eat animal products since God said it was totally cool, so I get it! It’s just that these animals are sacrificed for our guilty pleasures and we’re desensitized to their suffering. We turn a blind eye to the slavery, death, and torture they face so that we may be comfortable and entertained, and that’s just not okay.

I know there are people out there who seriously don’t give a fuck, and I accept that I can’t change their minds, but killing any being for personal “gain” is just plain sick. And I’m talking about those who have a choice; ones who choose to support animal cruelty when they really don’t have to. Was it humane when Jeffrey Dahmer drugged, raped, killed, and ate dozens of men solely because it felt good? Probably not. So why is it different to do so with another species? They are not inferior because they can’t communicate with us, they were not put on Earth for our enjoyment, and they do not deserve to be subject to the bullshit we put them through. Then what’s the point?

 

A Cure for the Insecure: Why We Allow People to Make Us Feel Like Shit and How to Get Over It

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We all know the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” but does anyone truly believe that anymore? I think not, so I call bullshit. Yeah, words definitely do hurt, but nobody truly questions why. Why should we care what another person thinks of us? Why should someone else’s opinion ruin our moods? Why should I let someone browbeat me into wearing a bra again (ain’t gon’ happen, sorry hater!)? I believe it’s because of our desperate need for acceptance, approval, love/community, and to be well-liked. Pathetic, isn’t it?

Actually, it’s human nature to desire such things and we’d honestly be lost without them. I mean, how could one survive without love or being a part of a community? Isolation from the world sounds like a great idea and is ideal for a loner like moi, but the loneliness would literally drive us mad…like Tom Hanks in Cast Away mad. So it’s ingrained within us to want to be loved and have others like us because those are survival instincts, which is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

But emotions, doe! It makes sense why we are so sensitive to other people’s petty opinions, judgments, and remarks, but think about it, those things aren’t completely necessary for our survival. If anything, they keep us from thriving when we become obsessive about our “need” for their approval. For example, constantly thinking about that one time a customer called you a “bitch” while waiting tables 10 years ago will do you no good; the situation already happened, that customer was clearly a sandy cunt, and you have to permit yourself to let it go. We have to understand that hurt people hurt people; no one who is truly happy will feel the need to insult or belittle another person, so it is best to sympathize with the crazy asshole who’s tailgating you on the highway rather than get upset with them. You would do the same thing if you were them, and luckily you won’t have to experience their apparent misery.

In my many years of lessening my monkey mind and practicing mindfulness/meditation, I have developed a few tips for people who really let others’ bullshit put a stick in their craw:

1. Always remember that people are people. They shit, sleep, and eat just like you have to, therefore no one is truly superior or inferior to you. We’re all intimidated by each other to some extent, so just practice the golden rule and take their harsh opinions with a grain of salt.

2. Choose to let it go. Ultimately, happiness and the art of letting go is a choice, so don’t allow someone’s comment about your spider lashes bother you. Of course it was an extremely lame thing for that person to say, but that is something you can change and they’re super weird for staring that hard to notice anyways. Shame on them!

3. Opinions and judgments are ALL subjective. You can’t please everybody! Not everyone is going to like your hair texture, voice, or personality, but that’s totally okay because there will always be someone else who will. So a person’s rude comment to you is basically invalid since it is not factual that all people feel that way. An opinion is called an opinion for a reason; it’s not based on fact.

4. Lastly, have enough confidence and self-love to realize that you are not what people tell you. You are you, you are unique, and you are fuckin awesome. Do NOT let anyone tell you otherwise. Rude people want you to feel just as terrible as they do, so don’t give them that satisfaction and know that you are fabulous despite their tongue-lashing. If you are truly comfortable in your own skin, then it will become a habit to shrug off others’ negativity with ease. Raise your vibration higher than that petty shit!

With mindfulness comes great responsibility. You are responsible for how you let others treat you and make you feel, so don’t fall for their misery trap. Words totally can hurt, and I will never dispute that, but do they really hurt enough that you can’t live your life in peace because of it? Hell to the naw. You should be free to do what you feel without the approval of others (as long as it does not hurt anybody else), so choose happiness, let shit go, and love yourself more because you definitely deserve it.

The “Hypocrisy” of a Proud Black Girl

It may come as a shock to people who understand my Afrocentric philosophies that my partner is a Caucasian male, but nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, he was the first white person I ever allowed in my life after a Pan-Africanist upbringing of believing that whites never wanted to associate with blacks; which is not completely false haha…

So one day as an over-worked and under-paid cashier at Panera Bread, a white dude approaches my register and clearly wanted to make conversation along with his food order, so I humor him to make the time pass by. Then, he mentioned a favored metal band and it blew my mind! As a metal fan myself, it was super cool to hear this guy being into awesome things without even knowing my interests; and at this point, I unconsciously had my eye on him 😉 He continuously swung by my place of work to chat and we even hung out a few times after my shifts, but it wasn’t until he confessed his feelings for me via text a few months after meeting did I realize he was flirting with me. Say whaaattt??? To my understanding, white men found African goddesses repulsive, so I was very confused of his intentions. I was never attracted to white men either and thought he had NO chance; au contraire mes amie!

We made it official almost 2 years later, which was a very dear and special situation, but there were several doubts floating in the air. Doubts that wouldn’t change my feelings about him, but ones that questioned my love for my people and our cause. Even before we got together, I considered myself a hypocrite for having serious feelings for him though I knew I had to quiet that voice in order to enjoy my time with this amazing person. But dat feeling doe! It crept up every so often and made me review my pride in being African, but there were many things I’ve experienced in our delightful relationship that made the voice completely shut the fuck up. In the 2 years we’ve been a match, I’ve witnessed/understood white privilege, white supremacy, microaggressions, institutionalized racism, social hierarchies, poverty in relation to food scarcity, and political corruption much clearer than I would have with any other person; this ALL from just being around him and observing every situation.

Being one with him has taught me more about racism (not on his end) than any book can, because no book can physically show me the life of a privileged white male with the world on his side and the system favoring him and his kind. Due to my interest in the observations I’ve made, I began to do more research on race-relations, governmental structures, and, of course, my own history; and I came to the conclusion, with much dismay, that we are not living in a post-racial society as our leaders want us to believe. This country is just as racist as it was 50 fuckin years ago, but the plan is kept under wraps so we can all comply and consume. Man, that was a hard pill to swallow. And we must remember here that racism IS white supremacy; they are the only group of people that, for generations, have successfully oppressed others that are different than them, and it sadly continues today. Just think about America’s (or the world’s) standard of beauty: blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin, which, in my research, are technically genetic abnormalities haha. Also, think about the people who are highly favored on this planet: they’re white people hands-down. People of color treat white people next to gods because of their makeshift societal power and wanting to be accepted by them to move freely about the system. Kinda sounds like cooning to me, but we can’t blame those POCs (mainly Africans) for being victims of marginalization. Firstly, we are all slaves in the business we call the United States, yet the most enslaved of us all are the Africans.

Although it is said that slavery only existed for 245 years ending with the Emancipation Proclamation, it technically was against the law to own slaves until after World War II (explained better here) where the transition was made from traditional slavery to mass incarcerations; much like what is going on today with false and unjust imprisonment of black folk. So racism, aka white supremacy, is definitely alive and well and left a huge impact on African-American culture, much like the “slave mentality” most Blacks have where they sympathize with their oppressor, remain ignorant due to complacency, practice colorism, consciously act as pawns in a system that doesn’t support them, favor and admire whites, etc. This could also be called “cooning,” well at least it’s my definition of it haha.

But what about me? Am I cooning because I’m in love with a white dude?? Naw yo, not even close. I would understand if I still stayed in the dark about white privilege and refused to see white supremacy as it is, but that sure isn’t the case here. Instead of feeling like a hypocrite, I use my experience in this relationship to build my knowledge on race-relations so I can speak out about it. If anything, our bond has strengthened my Afrocentricity (not that it couldn’t have been done with an African man; oh, it totally could haha) because seeing the grass on the other side was surely not greener and it helped me understand that racism is indeed institutionalized; and that’s where it all started for me. On top of that, I never shut up about racism and white privilege to my boo! He’s probably sick of it but I totally don’t give a shit. I truly feel that I’ve helped him see the truth behind white supremacy, and because of that, he is a definite anti-racist. Also, I believe that with truthful education from actual black people, whites can use their privilege to attack or dismantle institutionalized racism; I could be wrong but they sadly have the platform. Although we Africans do not need white people for the evolution of our consciousness or revolution, I just know they could be useful in making white supremacy well-known in this country if they cared enough. Luckily I’m with one who cares 🙂

So, I am super relieved to let that nagging feeling of hypocrisy escape my ego because I want to enjoy my relationship regardless of the possible negative opinions of others or how Stacey Dash it might make me look. Though it did take me a while to tackle this internal issue, it heightened my passion of researching social injustices and gave me the ovaries to say something about them when others are scared to do so. Insecurities are a bitch, but I refuse to let them stand in my way of the elevation of my consciousness! In essence, I’m super happy with myself, my boo, and my  Afrocentrism, and it all stemmed from taking a unusual chance <3

Naked and Unafraid

Does anybody ever wonder why being naked is a crime, a sin, or a social no no?  Well I do very often, especially since our bodies are a beautiful part of ourselves that should not be shamed.  But what is it about our birthday suits that are so damn taboo?  With much obsessive thought, I’ve come to believe that it is the over-sexualization of the human body in society and the religious/conservative stigma that sex is heathenistic.

That’s probably even why clothes were invented!  There was a time where we human beings walked about in nature bare assed; dicks slangin’ and titties hangin’, but with the advent of strictly structured moral-based systems (you can call it religion), we were taught to be afraid of sex and to not provoke the wonderful act with the exposure of our genitals.  We obviously fell for the trick, so much so that we created customs and laws supporting that nonsense.  Along with this collective ideology came about the painful insecurities many people are made to feel about their physical appearances to prevent them from being comfortable with their true nature: weight, height, symmetry, hair texture, skin color, boob size, dick length, the list goes on for years.  And with the “sex sells” mentality of big businesses and their over-saturated use of size 0 dames and ripped dudes in advertising, it puts the icing on the cake of poor body-image and cultural aversion to sexual-like images.  Although Americans are relatively addicted to sexual culture, it is only so because of the taught moralistic demonization of sex which causes deprivation of healthy sexual expression and appreciation of the naked body.

It seems to be a trend nowadays to discourage women (and sometimes men) from wearing revealing clothing or from finding pride in their appearance, as if showing a little leg makes them less of a respectable being.  Of course professionalism comes into play with that argument, but just how professional and conservative do we humans have to be at all times?  Must we always wear suits and panty hose to let off the appearance of being civilized?  Absolutely not.  The women mentioned earlier might not be what we call “professional,” but at least they’re happy with the way they look and have the balls (well, maybe not haha) to show the world.  I’m not too sure many people can do that, and probably wouldn’t due to backlash; but backlash doesn’t seem as big of a deal when you’re truly content with your being.  As the youngins say, haters gonna hate!

For generations, we have learned that sex and nudity are sinful and problematic, but what’s really problematic is how far we are running away from the truth.  The truth being that there is NOTHING controversial about what we were born with; our naked bodies are beautiful and sex is magical, but we will not learn that in a society where these things are second to murder simply because of worn-out beliefs and corporate profits.  Yes, there are some people who cannot handle sex and nudity: the rapists, pedophiles, and other sexual aggressors, but those sick people have distorted views of intercourse because they link it to power.  This does not mean that nudity necessarily provokes sex, it is that sexual aggressors have no control over their sexual impulses and that is nobody’s fault but their own.  So no, women are not “asking for it” when they wear mini skirts or crop tops, they are pleased with their beauty and show it proudly.

Still not convinced that nudity and sex are our natural-born rights?  Then be mindful of how you feel the next time you stand naked in the shower or achieve that orgasm while making love and tell me that doesn’t feel blissful!  Traditions, customs, social norms, and collective ideologies cannot and should not keep you from appreciating your true nature; those tales are only there to keep you “in line” and ignorant.  So be bare as much as you can, make love responsibly, and more importantly, love the skin you’re in; it’s all you have.

No Bra? No Undies? No Problem!

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Well it probably goes without saying that I do NOT wear under-garments of ANY kind; and you know what?  I fuckin love it <3  This lifestyle was something I literally fell into, not something I wanted to emulate or necessarily advertise, but it’s worth it on so many levels…

I can remember the first day I decided to ditch the dainties cold veggie turkey and go straight commando; ahh, what a glorious day that was!  It was in late August of 2014 after my period, and something inside me was begging me to try it out.  Thank the universe for my intuition because that was one of the best decisions I have ever made haha.  That first time felt like heaven on my lady parts, especially since it was a blisteringly hot day and I wore a skirt to give my boo a little surprise 😉  My yoni felt like it could finally breathe, as if I was suffocating it with a layer of cotton that it didn’t need for years and years.  It only took that one day of genital freedom to un-undie me and the liberation I feel is beyond words.  Of course I wear the occasional bloomers for when the crimson tide rolls in, but after that, you’re not going to see any panty lines on this little booty!

Now onto the hard part: the dreaded brassiere.  Most people wouldn’t mind airing out their buns here and there, but freeing their chest?  Don’t even think about it!  There is much unnecessary stigma surrounding the use of bras; the illusion of support, the illusion of perkiness, the illusion of being attractive.  Sure they may seem helpful, but just how helpful are they?  In a somewhat recent study in France, University of Franche-Comte professor Jean-Denis Rouillon crafted a 15-year experiment on the effectiveness of bras on over 300 women between the ages of 18-35, though not accounting for breast size.  His results were that the lovely ladies who did not wear bras had a huge improvement of the development of stronger muscle tissue, thus the nipples gained a higher lift and they experienced natural support.  The beauties on the other side had an acceleration of sagging due to the restrictive material of bras preventing the supportive muscle tissue from growing.  He came to the shocking conclusion that bras do more harm than good because of its suffocative and uncomfortable qualities.  Damn dude, science don’t lie!

Not too long ago is when I realized bras just weren’t for me.  Well actually, that’s a bold-faced lie!  I ALWAYS hated bras.  See, I’ve had large breasts since the age of 9 so I don’t remember life without the use of boobie seat belts; I only thought I needed them because society told me so. Oh, how wrong.  As of late, due to my clean diet and mindfulness practices, this is the smallest I have ever been in my whole life.  I used to be borderline obese and mega top-heavy with a cup size of about 40 DDD, now I’m probably like a 32 C or something (which doesn’t matter because I’m not going to wear cups anyways haha).  Let me just say that women of all sizes and shapes can be braless, but it wasn’t until I gradually got smaller did I realize the uselessness and discomfort of bras.  Other than the illusions they let off, bras gave me the worst pain!  From sore shoulder muscles to an achey back, and even the embarrassment of having a quadra-boob (a term my dear friend created to describe an ill-fitting brassiere).  The societal pressures, the need to feel “attractive,” the need to feel “feminine,” and the possible stares and judgments seemed to be less important as I go through life day-by-day braless.  Although I have many insecurities concerning my breasts (their lack of perk, lift, and all things cutesy), I let them hang without a care in the world.  So what if I don’t have Barbie tits?  My boobs, my rules bro!  I am not breaking any laws, though it sure feels like it, and I am not hurting anybody’s feelings, so I am entitled to go au natural in any way I please.

It might be difficult to believe that there is so much comfort in being completely nude under our clothes.  Wait, what?  Is it really? Kidding haha.  My point is, we women have been pressured into wearing bras and panties for generations and don’t usually experience life without them.  You will be tickled pink to find that the positives outweigh the “negatives” for sure, and the best part is that it’s completely free to try.  Not $40 to $387,427 (I’m looking at you Victoria’s Secret!), but free.  Ladies, your personal liberation is definitely worth a shot, so I urge you to shamelessly go a week without under-garments and feel ALL the confidence restored in you.  I promise you, it’s the tits 😉

The Schisms of the Isms

 

Racism, speciesism, classism, sexism, donutism, blah blah blah blism; all these “isms” represent one thing: hatred.  I have noticed that most people feel so separated and afraid of other beings, that they allow their ego to get in the way of understanding them, accepting them, loving them.  We must not forget that we are all one; animals, humans, flowers, couches, books, lollipops, and dog shit alike.  So no matter what form life allows us to take, we all have purpose.

These “isms” are also representative of a system designed to oppress the ones affected.  For example, speciesism is not about humans disliking or disrespecting animals, it is the system in which we disrespect animals: animal slaughter for consumption, deforestation, experimental science, hunting, breeding, entertainment, and clothing.  Or racism, for instance.  It is not based solely on someone being prejudiced about someone else of a different race, it is a system built on white supremacy; where anyone who is not white (mostly Africans and Latinx people being blatantly targeted) will get the short end of the stick regardless of their accomplishments or attempts at social survival.  Seen?  But wait, there’s more…

I have made a great, unbiased connection (which may seem biased since I am, in fact, African and vegan, but I promise it’s not haha) between the two oppressive systems I mentioned above, and it made me want to speak out about these issues even more: animal slaughter resembles slavery.  It might sound ridiculous to those who don’t read up on the realities of this modern-day travesty, but you gotta call it what it is yo.  Just like the Africans, animals are taken from their natural habitat, chained, confined to shitty “living” conditions, beaten profusely, raped, fed an unnatural diet, physically and psychologically tortured, unable to perform natural instincts, pumped full of drugs, and forced to work/comply against their will; but unlike the slaves, these beings are murdered for food (amongst other things).  Food.  A choice, when privileged.

It’s totally understandable when people can’t make that connection or don’t know where their “food” comes from; I mean, it’s not like this info is advertised.  We have all been taught from birth that consuming animals is natural, necessary, or normal (terms coined from genius Melanie Joy, the educator on Carnism), when it is indeed the opposite.  Cognitive dissonance will have many people argue this fact, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.  It is not natural because we humans are not carnivores or omnivores.  We do not have carnivorous instincts or qualities, though it may seem like we do; but it is only when flesh is seasoned and cooked with vegetables that it becomes palatable.  If anything, our anatomical make-up resembles that of a frugivore.  It is not necessary because we do not have to slaughter anything for our personal desires.  And for the “plants are alive too” argument, you’re absolutely right.  Plants are indeed alive but they do not have a central nervous system and can’t feel pain, and they also don’t try to bite you when picked nor shit all over the place.  We all have to eat somehow and plant foods are by far the least cruel and the most healthy for us humans.  Finally, it is not normal just because it’s advertised to us 24/7 or because our leaders tell us it’s “healthy.”  Of course they would say or promote these things, animal agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry with political and corporate interests!  They are literally profiting off the destruction of our planet, our decline in health, the genocide of farm animals, world hunger, and your support.  There’s no way that’s normal.  I truly believe that if most people understood what goes into the process of animal farming simply for taste and tradition and are financially stable, then they wouldn’t support this evil business.  I have faith in humanity and know that we are more empathetic than this.

Did you know that if all humans disappeared from the face of the Earth, that EVERYTHING would get better?  No more environmental destruction, no more petty laws, no more genocides, no more pain and suffering, no more fucking “isms”.  All that would die right behind us.  That means we have to find it within ourselves to use our consciousness wisely: to only work with the Earth and its inhabitants (regardless of fears and differences) rather than work against them, which we have unfortunately always done.  We are consciousness, we are one, and with that understanding, we are the change.