In honor of Earth Day, this post is going to talk about ways you, in your daily life, can change the world for the better. Please read with an open mind. When I was 14, about a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon a documentary on Netflix called Cowspiracy. I don't remember exactly how I found it, but I'm pretty sure I had seen some sort of recommendation for it from someone I followed or had been subscribed to. I watched the documentary, and upon learning so much from just that single video, I decided that I needed to make a change in my life. From that moment on, I have been vegan in all aspects of my life, from food to products I use. It has not been difficult at all, all it requires is will power and that is something you will immediately have once you educate yourself and realize how you are harming the Earth, the place you live and the place your children and grandchildren will live.
Animal agriculture is the #1 cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and is what is ruining everything from the ice caps to the rainforests. Every second, 1 acre of the Amazon rainforest is cut down to create space for food factories. There are countless species of animals suffering from the meat and dairy that humans are consuming, aside from the ones that are being killed and tortured for their bodies. Environments and habitats are being completely obliterated, and we wonder why the list of endangered species grows by the minute.
It is 2017, and people are still not aware of their footprint on the Earth because of simple things they do. It is so incredibly easy to cut animal products out of your diet, but people are just not willing to do it because what they are consuming now is all they've ever known.
There are also those people who are aware of what is happening, but refuse to make a change in their life because they feel as though they are above all of it. Newsflash: you're not above saving the world, ever. Vegans are not "forcing" anything down your throat. The government has been making people consume meat and dairy for generations upon generations to profit and benefit from this, but people don't realize until they make it their job to. The only thing that is being shoved down your throat is the wellbeing of harmless, beautiful creatures, and you can make the decision to not make your body a graveyard for these wonderful animals.
Being vegan is also not a privilege like many say it is. Sure, those people who choose to buy Gardein meats and Tofutti cream cheeses are choosing to spend the extra dollar and go the extra mile to indulge in "fake" animal products, but that is not necessary. Buying a pound of meat is much more costly than a few cans of beans, some rice and an assortment of fruits and veggies. In today's world, those people who live in extreme poverty and cannot afford food on the table every night would also be benefiting from plant-based diets, as would everyone else. Having food to eat in general is a privilege, but eating plant based is simply a choice one makes to feel more compassionately towards the rest of the world, and themselves.
Along with eating plant based, implementing the vegan values into the rest of your life is also essential to creating the most change you can in the world. Don't buy fur, leather or any kind of product containing animal hairs or skins. Just because it says it's "made with love" does not mean an animal was not killed in the process.
After going vegan, I was eager to know how to make my harmful footprint even smaller, and my beneficial impact bigger. I started shopping secondhand and that has also changed my life. Fast fashion, which has become extremely prominent the past few years not only in retail but also in high fashion, is extremely harmful to the environment, as it utilizes sweat shops and very harsh techniques of making the low-quality clothing. At thrift shops, I find one of a kind pieces I most likely could not find anywhere else, let alone find in a suburban high school filled with people hopping from one trend to the next. Thrifting will allow you to discover what you truly like and enjoy, and what your personal style really is, while saving the planet and the people living in it.
Last but never least, I advise you to make it an effort to save the world. Yes, I mean save the world like a superhero. Each person, by just making one small adjustment to the way they carry on with their days can change the world so immensely and we don't even realize. Stand up for what you believe in, even if people give you shit for it. Do what you love, even if some think of it as "embarrassing". Use your voice for those who do not have the privilege to use theirs. Everyday we are given opportunities to be nicer to one another, to make the choice to be happy, to stand up for others, to make the big picture better, and we have to start taking those opportunities because something needs to change. And slowly, especially with this generation that everyone thinks is addicted to their phones and good for nothing, the world is in fact becoming a better place. Do what you can to make this life better, and be the change you wish to see in the world. Take the leap, and do not worry about the fright of the fall, but the courage you had to jump.
"When given the choice of whether to be kind or to be right, always choose to be kind. Because when you are kind, you will always be right."
YOU can change the world!!!
With love and light,