Going vegan can be really difficult- especially in situations where your spouse/family isn't exactly on the same page. The biggest difficulty I hear fellow vegetarians/vegans facing is sticking to their diet in the beginning months of their transitions. I myself struggled in my first attempt to remove animal products from my diet. Three years later, I'm animal product free and training for my first half marathon- who would have thought?! It's possible and we're here to help you stay motivated.
Remembering the real reason for cutting animal products- the horrific PETA videos that we are all too familiar with, has been the biggest motivation behind my new lifestyle. Knowing how horrific animals on factory farms are treated has helped me greatly in my quest to become plant based. My neice is turning 4 this weekend. She has never eaten meat- her mom is a vegetarian. She's never asked for it- never had any inclination to try. In fact, at the grocery store, she asks 'which dead animal is that?' as we pass the deli and meat freezers alone the way. She may be the worlds youngest animal activist. Anyway, one of the things we constantly talk about is how all animals are our friends, not food. Kind of like that Finding Nemo scene where the sharks are getting together for their AA-esque meeting, proclaiming proudly 'Fish are friends, not food'. Why love a cat or a dog, and eat a pig? How can you call something 'ethical' when it's too gruesome, sad, sickening to do it yourself? What's more- how mentally stable are people who enjoy the act of killing a sentient being? Not wholly stable in my mind. I created a series of novelty mugs in my studio this past month. They are just as cute as they are thought provoking. Who knew that a simple line drawing could spark such incredible office controversy?! I have had so many interesting conversations with co-workers who found themselves intrigued/offended/fascinated with the simple three word phrase 'Friends not food'. I've heard it all- "If we don't eat them, they'll over populate" or my favorite "It isn't healthy not to eat meat". Instead of taking instant offense, I quietly challenge their thoughts and statements- would you eat your cat? why not? would you wear your cat once it passes naturally and you've consumed its flesh? probably not. Cognitive dissonance plagues many americans who fight against the plant based movement. I used to be one of them- defending my occasional hamburger. Telling my sister that I would 'eat extra meat for her tonight'. Eventually through education and constant exposure, I've realized how wrong my perspective was and feel ashamed of my selfish thirst for animal flesh. I'm hoping to do some good with this line of 'friends not food' ware. It's amazing what a simple conversation can do. I actually had a conversation with a student who commented on my 'Friends not Food' mug. He went home and did some research about where our food comes from- he was so shocked and appalled at our factory farming practices that he went on to create an entire series of art work dedicated to the subject. In line today at Nice Slice, my sister and I ordered vegan pizza slices and rejoiced to hear several other behind us doing the same. Even Taco Bell is benign to offer vegan options for clients! Oh the times they are a-changin'. Check out our new 'Friends not Food' mugs and coasters on Etsy. We will be donating a percentage of the profits generated from each sale to an animal sanctuary of our choice on a rotating month to month schedule. Do you run a not-for-profit animal sanctuary for animals liberated from factory farms? Send us your info and we'll get you on our rotating list! Thank you for taking the time to read. We hope you'll check out our work and share with your friends! Until all animals are free :) Xx