Accepting The Things You Can’t Change

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Meg is a fun loving wife and mother while maintaining her career as a nurse.  She is a life-time journaler, yogi, and self-proclaimed vegan chef.  She also loves to escape and find hemailrself lost in her own thoughts on a morning run or scenic walk.  Water is her element and as a little girl, she wanted to be a mermaid, spending her days  frolicking in the ocean.  She understands that the best things in life are also usually the most challenging.  She lives by her motto, “be present, be brave”. Follow her on Instagram @megsgershon.


Accepting the things you cannot change… doesn’t mean you have to roll over like a dog, but it may mean you have to make some difficult decisions, like

“should I stay or should I go?” 

Or may have you putting the Frozen sound track on repeat in your head singing,

“Let it go, let it go!!…”

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So much I’ve loved and lost in life because I thought it was supposed to follow a certain script, often trying to fit a square peg in a round hole due to my people pleasing nature, or because my spirit and my psyche weren’t on the same page.

Watch any patch of sea, and it’s never completely still.  Even when the winds are calm, the deep undercurrents remain invisible to the naked eye until they reach the surface. Here lies the great mysteries of life- the faith that you have what it takes to weather any storm.

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We are all reflections of each other in some way, and the only way to change a reflection, is to change yourself.

Ours is a journey all our own.  And if the picture isn’t what you were wanting or hoping to see, here is how to accept it.

Take a deep breath and connect to the earth.  I suggest taking a walk in the night sky, observing how small you are by looking at the stars above.  Or stand next to a tree and feel it’s strength rooted into the ground.  Do whatever it takes to center yourself.

Admit your ignorance of what to do instead of offering advice.

When someone comes to you in pain, be there to soak it in, not to empty your pockets of all you think you know.  Allow space for the feelings to come through and show empathy by reflecting it back.

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Choose your battles wisely.

Is this about them, or is it really about you?

Answer this question often and honestly.  Sometimes accepting the things we cannot change, means we have to move on because the pain is too repetitious and too deep.  When this happens, the only way to let it go, is to remove yourself from the situation.  This may be permanent, or temporary, but anything that’s meant to be will come back.

Love  completely.  As a human being, I have weathered many storms in life.  When people ask me how I knew J was “the one”- I would reply “He was the first person who accepted ALL of me and additionally, there is not a single thing I would change about him.”  We reflected each other by our similar experiences.  Admittedly, there were times I threatened to leave him, but they were foolish.  I knew this the minute he admitted his wrongdoing or shortcomings and I found myself just wanting to be there, without judgement as I knew he would do the same for me.

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As  a nurse, I have seen life’s difficulties bring people together in ways they never thought possible, to live their fullest, richest life.  I have also seen people fall apart and have to walk away and sometimes, this provides the freedom needed to weather their own battle.

Accepting the things YOU cannot change, means you must accept yourself.  Be happy with your own existence.  Be still your heart.

Do Not Look For Love

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Author Bio: Preeti Singh is an Indian French Interpreter and Media Professional who is engag
ed in writing scripts. In her free time she loves to play sundry characters for television series and feature films.
You can get in touch with her at:

 How searching for ‘Love and Acceptance’ could make our lives ‘Miserable’:

At some point of time, nearly all of us have experienced the feeling of rejection – when love is not reciprocated.  Every one of us wishes to feel valued, cherished, and taken care of. It boosts our self esteem and makes us feel good about ourselves. But, lets say, if love is not returned back- what should we do at such moments? Should we dig more, or stop looking for?
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The answer is never easy and not always the one that we like to hear. But if something is making us miserable and not a happy person that we deserve to be – then we should opt out of it and stop looking for love and acceptance. If something is making our lives miserable then its time to stop looking for it, specially – love and affection.
‘We should not look for love – not just at the wrong places, but – not at any place at all’.

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Reasons why we should not look for love:

Expectation make us unhappy and worn out; when they are not fulfilled .
Running after something is tiresome, and exhausting and viciously draining.
 Wanderer and searchers are never at rest-  as they are always wanting.
To be at peace – we have to stop searching, running after, and expecting.
The moment we stop looking for love, we become relaxed and calmer.

‘Not everything exists, as it is supposed to exist. Not for all of us, at least’

>> A mother should love her child. But, if she does not – let it be, do not look for love!
>> A spouse should be a loving partner, but if they are not – let it be, do not look for love!
>> A father should be a protector, but, if he is not- let it be, do not look for love!
>> A sibling should be a good friend, but if they are not- let it be, do not look for love!
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How to end the vicious cycle-

 The dos:
1) Either we should accept the situation for what it is or leave it – as it is.
2) Expecting love will make our lives more miserable than – it actually is.
3) The moment we start accepting the reality and stop expecting it to change – we are at peace.
 4) Thats what we are all looking for, and thats what we destroying ourselves – by running after.
5) If something is meant to be, it will be. If not – let it be.

The don’ts:

1) Wait around.
2) Expect always.
3) Pray continuously.
4) Look for change.
5) Search for something better.
All of the above, triggers negative energy and does the complete opposite of what we are looking for.
It makes us more miserable  and in return and sends us back to the place that we were initially trying to escape from – being unloved.

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Alter perception:

>> There is a difference in ‘being alone’ and  feeling lonely.
>>  If we are lonely we could  instead chose to be – alone and aloof.
>> By changing our perspectives we could magically change the outlook.
>> The shortcomings could be viewed as uniqueness and used as an advantage.
>> Loneliness is destined but aloofness is a choice. If we are lonely we could chose to be inspiring and alone and not – lonely and miserable.

Few facts to be accepted:

>> We never had control over other persons emotions – and will never have.
>> We cannot force anyone to feel a certain way for us – period.
>> The only person we have a control over – is our own selves.
The moment we accept our situations, we can find a fix to it or learn to live with it; rather than sitting around and waiting around for a better tomorrow to come. Which may or may not come or come very late in life. Till then we cannot sit and wait.  It would increase the misery and pain – nothing more.
If we indulge into self pity, we will give an open invitation to ‘desperation which is often companied by its sister emotion ‘frustration.
Desperation and frustration goes hand in hand.  It fuels the negative energy and our aura becomes that of a needy, clingy person that everyone wishes to avoid.
There are two ways to look at the single status.
Single and miserable.
Single and desirable.
What happens when we stop looking for love:
>> When we stop looking, we make peace with our current status.
>> Unknowingly, we start to radiate positivity around us and become more desirable.
 >> Ironically, we become an inspiration for other people around us not even knowing it.
The situation is  the same – we were alone, but the treatment was different. Cribbing has never been helpful, and will never be. Asking questions like why me? Will never give the answers we are looking for.
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We all are different:

>> The problems that a beautiful girl living at the other end of the road faces on a daily basis – we are not aware of!
>> The problems that famous celebrities whom we watch on television face in their lives behind the camera – we are not aware of!
>> The problems that our superiors at work face back home – we are not aware of!
>> The problems that a seemingly happy family hides behind the closed doors –  we are not aware of!
When our sufferings could not be the same – why  do we expect our happiness to be the same? Comparison is an open invitation to feel miserable.
Our outlook decides – if we are going to end up being miserable or being inspirational.  Every  challenging situation is a call to step out of our comfort zones. Great stories stem from challenging lives.

I Do- The Promise That is Tested

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Meg is a fun loving wife and mother while maintaining her career as a nurse.  She is a life-time journaler, yogi, and self-proclaimed vegan chef.  She also loves to escape and find hemailrself lost in her own thoughts on a morning run or scenic walk.  Water is her element and as a little girl, she wanted to be a mermaid, spending her days  frolicking in the ocean.  She understands that the best things in life are also usually the most challenging.  She lives by her motto, “be present, be brave”. Follow her on Instagram @megsgershon.


People make promises and then break them all the time.

To keep a promise, you must understand, that it’s not just to someone else, but also to yourself.

“I’ll accompany you, and you’ll accompany me”

is the promise my husband and I repeated to each other on our wedding day over 5 years ago.  A day we stood in front of our closest family and friends as we committed to spending the rest of our lives together.

Little did I know that a wrecking ball was going to come crashing in the window 10 days later, that would test us in so many, many ways. But my husband saved our marriage, by saving himself first.  Huh, you ask?

Remember I said the promise is 2 fold, and lucky for me, he realized he had to start with the man in the mirror.

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Long story (to be told another day) short-  the man I married just admitted he was an alcoholic, and not only needed, but wanted help. At that moment, he didn’t want to be alone for a second, not even in the shower, like he was afraid the world was going to swallow him up.  I was kind of wishing it would swallow me up.

I felt like everything was surreal, like I was watching a movie. Watching someone face their demons head on is certainly scary.  But surely as the sun rises each morning, we found light in our love.  It was as easy, and as hard, as getting up each day and asking, “What can I do to help?”.

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Over the next days, weeks, and months, people asked how I managed to continue living life as usual (as opposed to lying on the couch feeling sorry for myself ).  When you love someone, I mean , really love someone- you love all of them.  I believe that we find reflections of ourselves in those around us.

We’re not all that different from each other after all, and realizing that makes life a little easier. I put myself in his shoes everyday. We became better versions of ourselves and grew in ways that only comes from the hard times.

My husband has become the partner, son, brother, and father that he was destined to be because he started with the man in the mirror.  I am so glad I get to look into that mirror and see myself next to him, as the spouse, daughter, sister and mom I was destined to become by keeping my promise.

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If you’re lucky, you will let go of those that you know you will not be able to hold true to your promises.  If you are even luckier, you will find the one that lets you make a promise to be your best self every day by being together.

How To Cope With Not Fitting In As A Vegan

photoAuthor Bio: Rebecca Sykes is a recent college graduate who obtained a  bachelor degree in communications. She is a writer, who hopes to influence people to change what is on their lifestyle to a vegan one. She is a passionate vegan who educates others on this wonderful lifestyle, whether that be posting articles written by PETA or Mercy For Animals on Facebook or just having a discussion with others on how important a vegan lifestyle  is. You can follow her on her vegan Instagram blog @Got_Vegan.


All my life I have always fit in with others. I’ve always had a big group of friends; I constantly hung out with people, and had plans every weekend. Throughout my time in school from elementary to college I felt as if I belong.

That was until I became vegan.

When I first became vegan the only vegans I knew were my mom and my boyfriend. I was lucky to even have my mom and my boyfriend on my side because I am sure there are people out in this world who are vegetarian or vegan who do not know others who live the same lifestyle.

Feeling as if you are an outsider is completely understandable. However regretting being a vegan or telling others you are vegan should not be the case. I can admit I regret telling others that I am vegan because you can feel the sense of judgment coming from them. I have gotten questions like “what do you eat,” “do you miss meat,” “would you throw up when you are around meat,” and “how could you do that.” Now these weren’t hurtful, the hurtful comments included “I could never do that, I don’t understand how you could,” “God gave us animals” “leather bags are already made might as well just buy it.”

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Not to mention I have gotten many strange looks from people shocked that I went vegan for animals. Most people assume I stopped consuming animal products for my health but I always correct people because I am proud for who I am and you should too!

Coping with not fitting in as a vegan can be hard but there are many alternatives to feel as if you fit in with others including non-vegans.

1.) Take your non-vegan friends to your favorite vegan restaurant. This can show them why you love being vegan and give them a taste of your favorite vegan food. There are many vegan restaurants that have food so similar to animal product food. For example, many vegan joints have burgers that are similar to a Big Mac from McDonalds. Have your friends try this and show them you don’t need animal products to enjoy food.

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2.) Take your non-vegan friends to a farm sanctuary. Not only is this a fun outing but a great way to show your friends why you are vegan. Who doesn’t love animals? Your friend’s eyes might open and this will give them a chance to critically think about their actions. Also your friends can have the opportunity to speak to the people who saved the animals and speaking to strangers about animal welfare and rights gives them the chance to really engage in conversation about animal welfare.

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3.) Cook your friends a vegan meal and show them how easy it is to make simple vegan meals. Prove to your friends that going vegan doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. I always hear this myth from many people that being vegan is expensive. It can be if you buy too much products you don’t need. Planning your meals for the week and only buying what is necessary can help you save money. Personally I don’t buy a lot of sweets and snacks because that can be very expensive. Show your friends what you buy in a week and let them know that you are willing to help them buy vegan food.

Now if your friends are not willing to try any of these things and you still feel as if you don’t fit in as a vegan, do not fret, there are many options to feel as if you belong. And what better way to feel as if you belong than finding vegan friends!

This might sound as if I am telling you to find new friends. No! You can still be friends with people who don’t have the same beliefs as you. Though this can be hard, you can find yourself vegan friends to feel as if you belong.

Unfortunately this is easier said than done. But there are ways and you must not forget there are vegans near you you just have to look!

1.) Use social media to find vegans nearby! Whether that means making an Instagram that is solely used to post your vegan findings or whatever people do search for other vegans. My Instagram bio states I am vegan and I have a lot of people requesting to be friends with me that are vegan. Same goes with me, if I see people who say they are vegan I enjoy following them. I feel a sense of fitting in when I see others who share the same lifestyle.

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2.) Looking for that special vegetarian/vegan someone? There are online dating websites that target vegetarian/vegans. This is an excellent was to find someone you want to date that has the same values at you including Greensingles.com, Vegandating.org, and veggieconnection.com. These are the perfect sites to find someone that you could potentially see yourself with for the rest of your lives.

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3.) Not a social media or online person? Look no further than vegan festivals! There are many vegan festivals that happen throughout the world. This can be the perfect way to meet others that are veg and you can feel as if you belong. I know when I start to feel down about myself, not knowing a lot of vegans, I go to vegan festivals and I feel happy, as if I belong. There are so many wonderful people that attend vegan festivals and the perfect opportunity to make friends because you know most of the people attending live in the area.

Now if nothing I have written has helped at all with you feeling as if you fit it, do not feel down. You are contributing to the world and we need more people like you more than ever before. The animals, the planet and your health are thanking you for your lifestyle you have chosen.

I have felt down plenty of times before, I felt as if I didn’t fit in especially the people I have known my whole life.

Then I started meeting vegans on Instagram and at vegan events, I felt reassured that I do fit in and that there are many people who feel the same way. So do not give up and keep vegging!

How To Conquer A Vegan Festival

photoAuthor Bio: Rebecca Sykes is a recent college graduate who obtained a  bachelor degree in communications. She is a writer, who hopes to influence people to change what is on their lifestyle to a vegan one. She is a passionate vegan who educates others on this wonderful lifestyle, whether that be posting articles written by PETA or Mercy For Animals on Facebook or just having a discussion with others on how important a vegan lifestyle  is. You can follow her on her vegan Instagram blog @Got_Vegan.


It is that time of year again with vegan festivals in full swing! Vegan festivals are the perfect opportunity to be your vegan self, meet other vegans and try incredible vegan food.

However, if you have never been to a vegan festival they can be overwhelming due to the large amount of people and the many different food and merchandise vendors.

That is why I am giving you five steps on how to conquer a vegan festival.

1. Arrive early!

I cannot stress this enough. Arriving early is key to mapping out your game plan.Recently I went to Vegan Street Fair in North Hollywood and I arrived two hours early. My family and I walked the street to see where everything was, where the merchandise we wanted to snag was and then we knew where to go once the event started. Even some vendors were open before the event started. I got shirts before the lines got long, saw where food vendors were and arrived to food vendors we wanted to try first before the lines got too long.

Vegan festivals/street fairs tend to get overwhelmingly crowded around two, once the event starts the crowds are not too bad. Near the end of the afternoon, we were in one line for an hour. Knowing we got there early was an ease to our mind while waiting for food knowing the merchandise we wanted wasn’t gone due to the large amounts of people. Having fun is definitely key to any vegan festival but arriving early is how you will accomplish the fun.

2. When you see something you want, get it!

After the recent street fair I went to, I look back and regret certain items of food Idid not get. You never know when you will come across certain, unique vegan food again. That is why when you see something you want, get it! Whether that be food, makeup, lotion, clothes, jewelry, bags, don’t question it, if you like it get it, especially if whatever you are interested in is unique.

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For example, don’t get pizza if you can easily make pizza yourself at home. Now a sushi burrito, that sounds difficult to make and this is something I regret not getting at the Vegan Street Fair. I did not regret not purchasing any merchandise when I was there because one, you didn’t have to pay for shipping like when you do online, two most items at these festivals are priced better than they are online and lastly the merchandise at these events are usually unique. I got the cutest bag with cute pigs all over it, adorable vegan shirts and a necklace with vegan engraved on it.

Trust me when you see something you are interested in, get it because you don’t want to regret it after the event is over.

3. Meet new people

This is the one time and opportunity that you can surround yourself with people who have the same passion and devotion to the vegan lifestyle as you do. These events are the perfect opportunity to meet new people, make friends and even meet someone that you could potentially date. When I was at the Vegan Street Fair in North Hollywood, I had such a blast talking to people on what they have enjoyed so far, seeing people with their vegan shirts on and just having lovely conversations with others about veganism.

I feel so alive when I am with others that are vegan because knowing and meeting others who have the same values and beliefs, feels so refreshing.

I feel accepted at these events and even if I go to a vegan restaurant, being around vegans makes me happy.

This is why I urge you to meet new people because honestly not everyone is lucky to have a group of vegan friends, if you do I am jealous and if you don’t take these festivals as an opportunity to meet new friends or meet that vegan love of your life.

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4. Stay the night at a hotel

If you can get a hotel near the event I would advise this especially if you do not live close to the event. I drove two hours to attend the recent Vegan Street Fair and after the event I was exhausted driving home. Traffic does not make driving home after a long day any easier, especially walking all day, standing in long lines and being in the sun can really drain the energy out of you. You do not have to purchase an expensive hotel; a cheap hotel can make your life a lot easier rather than driving home after the event.

5. Have fun!

This is corny but remember to have fun! Do not stress about the large amounts of people or whether or not you should buy that cute, expensive vegan shirt, remember most people that are there believe in the same values as you and that is pretty incredible. Especially since the vegan community is very small, being around people who believe in animal rights and saving the environment is pretty refreshing.

Remember to have fun, enjoy yourself because time does go by fast and soon it will be the workweek and you’ll be wishing you were back at that vegan festival. So enjoy yourself and bring Tupperware so you can enjoy the yummy food and brag to your coworkers about the amazing experience you had at a Vegan Festival.

What Yoga Is Really All About

unnamed-1.jpgAuthor Bio: Everything began with a iron deficiency. Saskia got ill through her lifestyle and bad eating habits. So she got vegan and is now a girl compassionate for vegan food, animals and body positivity.She thinks that you can live great without eating animal products and that you can truly experience happiness through it.She can be found on her Instagram account @vegmitdemfleisch and her blog www.vegmitdemfleisch.blogspot.de.


When did yoga become a trend sport?

I can still remember when I went to the “small yoga garden” with 6 or 7 years and had no expectations.The course of a maximum of 15 small children, who were hopping around and were quite fidgety, found themselves every Tuesday afternoon and did yoga. It was children yoga, so the asanas were a little simplified and it was playfully brought to us to look at us even at a young age and also to pause times.

Five years later, I switched to the youth course, as I slowly became too old for the other course. The asanas were taken more and more seriously and we could tell at any hour how we are. It was really nice, because at that moment, you realized that it might not be as good as you seem to be.

Exactly This Is Yoga: Mindfulness, thoughtfulness, and love towards one’s own self.

Particularly in women’s and girls’ magazines there are always such articles. 

“You want a slim body with firm muscles? – Try yoga!”

Thereupon, all the young girls run to fitness and yogastudios, and they have shown the expectation of a body as in the same magazines. If I weren’t a yogi, I would do the same for sure.

The sad thing is, and what I want to give you on the way: Yoga is not a sport!

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Yoga has a thousand-year tradition and served the buddhist monks and nuns many years ago to experience mindfulness, gratitude and happiness and to get into nirvana. In the 21st century, we use it for our purposes: to be fit and to look good.

This is not what yoga wants to convey. In our hectic everyday life and by dealing with stressful situations we are tense, tired and energy-less. The huge amount of asanas and what you personally make of it, regular meditation and pranayamas (breathing exercises) are the beginning of a great journey to yourself. By the way you may lose weight and get tight muscles.

But the path you are on shows strength, discipline and courage.

 These qualities are what you really need in life, the muscles are just the clue that you own them.

What Is Eco Fashion?

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetAuthor Bio: Hiya, my name is Ines. I am a sport and exercise science university student and personal trainer. I am very passionate about all things wellness, health and fitness related. I am always on the hunt for a good coffee shop and sunshine! My blog is my happy place where I share all my thoughts and passions, where I get freaky and inspired! Join me @ines_castro_blog for vegan and lifestyle inspo.


We can not deny the impact of the fashion industry on the environment.

The revolution of ‘fast fashion’ caused a demand for cheaper products which lead to the use of synthetic materials which are present in pretty much all clothes nowadays.

ECO FASHION is a broader term used for all clothing, fabrics and accessories that have been manufactured in an environmentally conscious way.”

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Common Synthetic materials:

Nylon and Polyester: these are the two most common materials used to make clothes nowadays. They are made from petrochemicals which not only damage the environment when they are being manufactured by releasing chemicals into the atmosphere but they are also non-biodegradable meaning they don’t breakdown easily and are really hard to dispose of.

Viscose: this is a type of artificial fibre made from wood pulp. In order to get the fibre, the wood pulp is treated with toxic chemicals including caustic soda and sulphuric acid.

Non-organic Cotton: non-organic cotton uses an enormous amount of pesticides per plant. This effects the farmers’ health as they are being exposed to the chemicals daily, leading to illness and even death. Also pesticides cause harm to eco-systems by killing the surrounding plants and animals.

Dyes: some dyes contain toxic chemicals which have lead to illnesses amongst the workers and are drained into sewers and rivers contaminating the waters and damaging eco-systems.

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*Photo by our contributing writer Ines and her shirt is from the eco-friendly brand Raw Apparel!

Eco – Materials

Hemp: hemp is a sustainable plant as it is grows easily without any pesticides. It has a high-yield crop which produces significantly more fibre per acre when compared with cotton for example. Hemp fibers can be blended with organic cotton or wild silk to obtain different types of fabrics. It creates very long lasting and weather resisting clothes that do not harm the planet.

Others: other eco-materials include linen, organic wool and cotton and wild silk.

Eco – Friendly Brands

Nowadays there are a lot of sustainable brands and websites selling exclusively eco-friendly clothes. Here are some suggestions of brands you definitely want to check out:

RawApparel: I personally love supporting independent brands, and RawApparel is definitely one of my all time favourites! Their designs are minimalistic but have a powerful messages making outfits simple yet trendy . Their “Vegan” tee made of organic cotton is one of my faves, however they have plenty of jumpers, tanks and t-shirts with a variety of designs.

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I definitely recommend you check out this beautiful brand and follow them on social media (@rawapparel) for vegan and fashion inspo.

People Tree: People Tree is a website dedicated to promoting and supporting fair trade and sustainable brands. Their product standards include organic cotton, organic dyes and minimal environmental damage during production, therefore you can be assured that you would be getting a beautiful product that does not cost the earth.

PatagoniaI thought I would finish off with a sustainable sports brand. Patagonia’s mission is to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”. It is great to see such a big company caring about environmental issues and making an effort to be as sustainable as possible. They have been using organic cotton to make their products for 20 years and continue to try to find ways to constantly increase the sustainability of their products. Definitely recommend!

Thank you so much for reading this article. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on eco-fashion and if you have any recommendations of sustainable brands, that is something I definitely want to explore more. Lots of love.

Misadventures in Apartment Gardening

unnamed-2Author Bio: Hannah is a recent college graduate wandering her way through life. Devoted plant mom, yogi, and hug-sharer, Hannah loves to share her world experience through Instagram and her blog, Walking on a Peace Sign. When she isn’t traveling, camping, or taking care of her 38 (and growing) houseplants, she is probably at the PETA office where she works as a College Campaign Coordinator. She loves hippos, potatoes, and botanical tattoos. Keep up with her day-to-day adventure on Instagram @lovepeasandsoy!


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I love plants. A lot.

I know that probably sounds rather stereotypical for a vegan to say, but it is true. They keep me alive, yes, but they do so much more than that. They were my focus of study in college. They give me (and you) air to breathe and food to eat.

They have taught me patience, resilience, and the power of symbiotic relationships. They are a life force, the reason we can all exist as we do today.

I have chosen to fill my apartment with plants for all of these reasons. Primarily for the lessons they teach me—my misadventures in apartment gardening have brought me plenty of laughs and even more life insight than I ever thought a little green friend could. Plus, the more I can grow in my yoga room, the less money I have to spend on groceries. Win-win? I like to think so.

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Lesson 1: Patience

If you have ever spent time around any other living being, you know patience is almost always required. I remember the first day I bought a plant for my apartment. I was in my third year of college, could not have a companion animal, and wanted to care for something so badly. So, I drove myself to the store, picked out an adorable succulent and rushed home to plant it in this beautiful glass box I found at an estate sale. Before I knew it, I was graduating and my little succulent was surprisingly GIGANTIC, no longer fitting in its glass home anymore.

When I moved into my current apartment, my succulent was moved into a larger pot and I began creating my own urban jungle. My first plant had grown so quickly and healthily with no help from me, so I assumed all of the new ones would be no different. Well, I was wrong. I noticed some of them were drying out too quickly while others were getting fried by the sun or looked like they were drowning. I quickly realized that each plant required special attention, individualized care. Of course, this is not as easy as one succulent, but it was incredibly rewarding to see each plant make a full recovery and go on to thrive.

But this taught me a very important lesson on the power of patience—an art many of us have lost touch with in this age of holding the world at our fingertips. It would have been easier for me to just let the plants die and go on my merry way.

If I had done that though, I would have lost out on the opportunity to surround myself with the beauty in my life now.

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Lesson 2: Resilience

This is not something I learned through my experiences working with plants, but rather through my observation of them daily. I acquired many of my plants shortly before winter, so many of them struggled with the temperatures in my (very old) apartment. This was obviously difficult for them to adjust to at first and there were a lot of brown leaves. That combined with my busy traveling schedule and horrible lighting conditions left a lot of them looking something like this:

But most of them were resilient little warriors, made it through, and showed me how wondrous resiliency can be. Today, they are all bigger, healthier, and more vibrant than ever. My little plants taught me a life lesson in the benefits of sticking through hard times—you come out a much bolder, beautiful being.

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Lesson 3: The Power of Symbiotic Relationships

I have my degree in Evolutionary/Environmental Biology & Ecology, so I know a thing or two about symbiotic relationships…at least from an academic standpoint. I know there are many different types. Some are necessary for survival of both species (obligate); others are through choice (facultative).

I feel like my relationship with my plants has become a symbiotic relationship. Of course, they get proper care, water, and the attention needed to thrive. But I feel like the lucky one in this relationship because I receive so much more from them than they do from me. I’ve been given gorgeous, sweet smelling flowers; healthy, decadent herbs to cook with; clean, fresh air to breathe; and something to care for, to pour my love into. I’ve been taught important life lessons. I’ve learned a lot about myself. Most importantly, I’ve found a bountiful way to cultivate life and practice daily self-care.

I am by no means an expert in plant care, but I am proud of what I have cultivated in my home, all of the lessons I have learned. The mistakes and missteps have only helped me (and my plants) grow into greater existence. I am looking forward to taking in more plants and, of course, for many more misadventures in apartment gardening.

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Here are some of Hannah’s photos from her very own apartment garden! #gardengoals

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Is Disney Sending A Vegan Message?

photoAuthor Bio: Rebecca Sykes is a recent college graduate who obtained a    bachelor degree in communications. She is a writer, who hopes to influence people to change what is on their lifestyle to a vegan one. She is a passionate vegan who educates others on this wonderful lifestyle, whether that be posting articles written by PETA or Mercy For Animals on Facebook or just having a discussion with others on how important a vegan lifestyle  is. You can follow her on her vegan Instagram blog @Got_Vegan.


For as long as I could remember, I have loved Disney.

The way Disney could make me forget about the world and to feel magic alongside my favorite characters, especially the animals. Recently I have been analyzing Disney movies and questioning whether or not Disney is sending a vegan message?

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I recently saw Moana, a Polynesian princess who wants to save her family’s island and the world due to a demi god stealing the heart of a goddess. This movie was incredible due to the effects, the overall plot, and singing and of course Pua. This adorable pig is Moana’s sidekick and even though this adorable character was not in the whole film, he will forever be your favorite Disney character due to his lovable face and floppy ears. I mention Pua because in the Polynesian culture, pig is a specialty. Maybe Disney wanted to prove to audiences that pigs are friends not food, just as they did with Nemo, “fish are friends not food.”

However, in Moana she does eat pork in front of Pua and quickly realizes what she has eaten. Maybe she is recognizing that she should not eat pork due to her beloved sidekick? In reality, not all people were born vegetarians or vegans.

I can speak for myself because one day I realized why do I love dogs while I eat other animals?

Maybe Moana realized this while eating pork?

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Vegans understand being vegan is not all about what we eat but what we wear as well. 101 Dalmatians opens people’s eyes about wearing fur especially putting the perspective of an innocent dog. If dogs are innocent then why aren’t mink or foxes? Reminding people, if you love your dog why are other animals an exception to our benefit? Another great example is Bambi due to this character being lovable and pure, makes people question whether or not hunting is a sport.

One of my favorite Pixar movies is Ratatouille, a lovable rat who is a talented chef in Paris. Most find a rat disgusting creatures and this is mentioned in the movie when Remy, the main character, is taken to a shop that specializes in killing rats. His father shows him this place in hopes Remy will realize humans are out to kill rats. Though Remy is distraught by this, he still has hope he can change humans minds on rats that they are just like humans, wanting a taste for a BRIGHTER future.

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According to the OC Register, Disneyland attracted 18.2 million visitors in 2015. People are drawn to this corporation and who could blame them Disney is fantastic. Due to the enormous power of Disney, are they using their influence to have people question their actions? Is Disney sending a vegan message to society?

Veganism Will Save the Planet

photoAuthor Bio: Rebecca Sykes is a recent college graduate who obtained a    bachelor degree in communications. She is a writer, who hopes to influence people to change what is on their lifestyle to a vegan one. She is a passionate vegan who educates others on this wonderful lifestyle, whether that be posting articles written by PETA or Mercy For Animals on Facebook or just having a discussion with others on how important a vegan lifestyle  is. You can follow her on her vegan Instagram blog @Got_Vegan.


It is hard to deny that climate change is a hoax.

Each year I can feel the weather changing drastically whether the summers last until November or the drought is continually in affect, I worry for the future. According to NASA, nine of the ten warmest years on record occurred since 2000.

The global temperature has raised 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. I transitioned into the vegan lifestyle over a year ago for the animals. Now I am proud to be vegan for Mother Nature due to the alarming affect animal agriculture has on our planet earth.

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On NASA’s website, a page is reserved for Climate Change and Global Warming. NASA included carbon dioxide “levels in the air are at their highest in 650,000 years.” Carbon Dioxide, CO2, is a naturally occurring gas that is being highly emitted by human activity. This is where the meat industry comes into place.

One of the contributing factors to climate change and animal agriculture is the rainforests. 136 million rainforest acres are destroyed to generate animal agriculture according to Monga Bay. Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction according to World Bank. Destroying rainforests and the trees is detrimental to our environment.

Photosynthesis, a process that removes CO2 from the atmosphere and then reintroduces oxygen back into the atmosphere, is not happening due to the amount of trees being destroyed. Due to the “slash and burn” technique used to destroy the trees, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. This is all done for what, satisfying western countries appetite for meat?

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Another topic people forget is cows produce methane, which is a major contributing factor to greenhouse gas impact. Cows produce “150 billion gallons of methane per day,” International Business Times, 2013. Not to mention, “livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-relate emissions of nitrous oxide- a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of CO2, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006.

According to the popular documentary on veganism, Cowspiracy writes

“each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq. ft. of forested land, 20 lbs. CO2 equivalent and one animals life.” Also a person who lives a vegan lifestyle produces the equivalent of 50% less CO2!

If one is considering giving up meat and sticking to fish, you must know we could see fishless oceans by 2048 due to 90-100 million tons of fish being pulled from the ocean each year and other contributing factors according to National Geographic. Animal agriculture has plays into affect for the fishless ocean theory due to poisonous waterways by the amount of “pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops” that lead into the ocean where fish are, according to Cowspiracy.

However, vegans must pay attention and to not forget about palm oil production. According to Cowspiracy, “26 million rainforest acres have been cleared for palm oil production.” Personally I have forgotten about how palm oil is dangerous to the environment due to rainforests being destroyed.

Recently I was at Disneyland and they have these vegan cookies you can purchase. They say vegan on the back but recently I discovered the palm oil ingredient on the ingredients. I have been vegan for over a year now and I am still learning. Veganism is not only a lifestyle but also a learning process. One must not be discouraged if you accidentally have something with animal products in it; at least you are trying to make a difference.

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