I Love finding New Awesome People

Anyone interested in one, or all of the following:

1.  Sobriety

2.  Being Vegan/Vegetarian

3.  Lesbian/Gay Lifestyle

Should check out this new blog.  This woman is awesome!  I hope you will check it out and show some support by following and sharing.

www.soberveganlesbian.com

thank you my fellow blogging community!

634 days equals…

1 year.  8 months.  25 days.

That is how long I have been clean and sober, today.  One day at a time.  One feeling/emotion at a time.  One life event at a time.  One solution at a time.

My life is so good today.  And it is changing daily.  So many experiences have manifested since I chose to show up for my life.  1 year, 8 months, and 25 days ago I was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  I was sick.  Hung-over.  Ashamed of my behavior and my life.  I was angry and scared.  I was tired…exhausted.  I had no love for myself, and I certainly didn’t know how to love you.  I wanted to just vanish.

I am no longer that person.  I am not ashamed of who I am and the life I live and am no longer a puppet for the fear and anxiety that barely strung me along.

Life presents itself in so many forms, and today I embrace it, even if it is scary.  Even if I am unsure.  Even if I feel incapable of succeeding.  Where my thinking can destroy me, my perception can save me.  And with that truth I can trudge through anything. My world has changed dramatically since sobriety became my number one focus.  I recently left my job, after over a decade of working there.  I love the company I worked for.  I love the friendships I have made there.  However, it was time for me to move on.  To extend my creative playing field a bit more.  I needed a change.  And I went for it.  If I was not sober…if I had not worked this program during the past year and 8 months, I would never have followed through with my desire to grow in my career, and thus leave my job.  I would never have had the courage to do it.  Fear would have continued to consume me and I would likely have stayed where I was… comfortable, and therefore “safe.”  Today I see that as nice as it is to feel safe, there comes a time when risks need to be taken in order for growth to occur.

I am constantly growing.

Becoming a vegan has been a beautiful transformation for me in sobriety.  I realized the true definition of compassion.  After becoming sober, I became more present and aware of the horrible ways our human race treat animals that are slaughtered for food consumption. I could no longer be a consumer of meat and dairy after I witnessed the truth behind factory farming….because for me, it was not a compassionate, loving way to live any longer.  Sobriety brings many truths and many gifts.  Becoming vegan was one of them for me.

And more is constantly revealed.

I am in a committed, loving relationship with a truly beautiful, sober woman.  I get the opportunity to live a bi-coastal life, bouncing between New York and Los Angeles, living in the two best cities in the country, in my opinion.  Sobriety has given me this gift.  The confidence to be myself in my relationship.  Genuine and authentic.  Sobriety has taught me that with truth and honesty, grows intimacy.  And with intimacy, grows love.  Sobriety has taught me that my character defects do not define me, and I am lovable even with my faults.   My confidence and self-worth has blossomed, naturally.  I have learned the importance of loving without expectation.

Serenity is always near, should I want it.

I have sobriety to thank for that.  I wasn’t expecting to grow so much and have such awesome experiences in such a short period of time.  But it has happened, and if I continue to do the work, I suspect more gifts from life will appear, and growth will continue.

There are key tools for living that help make it easier….I have a couple go to suggestions that help me along the way…

The best tools for my life are:  Understanding and accepting that I am not in control.  Knowing and believing that most of my thinking and fears are not reality.  Realizing that if I just do the next indicated thing, and stay out of the results, life will work itself out.   It is all very simple, really.  And if I continue to live by these simple rules, I can say to myself:

dont worry

and for that, i am grateful!

Till next time…

Our planet is pissed.

We hear it all the time.  our planet and all its sentient beings, are in danger.  Well, it is the truth.  And we need to open our eyes and become aware of what the hell is going on!  Climate change/global warming is not a hoax people.  Look at the stats.  Look at our climate patterns in the recent years.  Change is occurring, and it is fierce.  Most people feel the problem is too big.  We are in way over our heads.  Nothing can be done, etc.  I use to be one of those ignorant, non educated, fearful of the truth, cover thy eyes & ears kind of person.  Not anymore.  Today I choose to do what i can to be part of the solution, not the growing problem.  I’m not perfect, but I at least put forth an effort!

Check out this amazing video:

First of all…what is the cause of global warming?  There are several greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.  Human beings contribute to their production in many ways..the burning of fossil fuels in cars, factories, and electricity production.  Carbon Dioxide  is the number one contributor to global warming.  Methane is another gas which is released at an alarming rate…a large percentage coming from the digestive systems of grazing farm animals, from landfills, and other agricultural sources.  Nitrous oxide is another big contributor, produced largely from fertilizers.  The decrease in forests is a problem, since trees store CO2, the main culprit of global warming.  This is just a small summary to give an idea of where the problem comes from.

Changing our daily lives by incorporating more renewable energy sources is important…replacing lightbulbs with more energy-efficient ones.  Driving less or perhaps investing in a hybrid car.  Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.  Unplug appliances you aren’t using. etc. are all good ways to take part in reducing energy use. .  But let me share with you one HUGE step you can take to have an immediate impact on our environment and it’s future well-being.  Stop eating meat.  The following information is knowledge everyone should have.  It is vital to the well being of our planet.

the following article by contributor Michelle Maisto, published on April 28, 2012 by Forbes explains very clearly the issues with meat production and it’s effect on global warming:

Shifting the world’s reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is important, certainly. But the world’s best chance for achieving timely, disaster-averting climate change may actually be a vegetarian diet eating less meat, according to a recent report in World Watch Magazine. (While I’d happily nudge the world toward a vegetarian diet, the report authors are more measured and simply suggest diets containing less meat.)

“The entire goal of today’s international climate objectives can be achieved by replacing just one-fourth of today’s least eco-friendly food products with better alternatives,” co-author Robert Goodland, a former World Bank Group environmental advisor wrote in an April 18 blog post on the report.

A widely cited 2006 report estimated that 18% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions were attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs and poultry. However, analysis performed by Goodland, with co-writer Jeff Anhang, an environmental specialist at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, found that figure to now more accurately be 51%.

Consequently, state the pair, replacing livestock products with meat alternatives would “have far more rapid effects on greenhouse gas emissions and their atmospheric concentrations — and thus on the rate the climate is warming — than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.”

The pair describe several areas related to anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gases that have been overlooked or underestimated. For example, livestock breathing. They explain:

[L]ivestock (like automobiles) are a human invention and convenience, not part of pre-human times, and a molecule of CO2 exhaled by livestock is no more natural than one from an auto tailpipe. Moreover, while over time an equilibrium of CO2 may exist between the amount respired by animals and the amount photosynthesized by plants, that equilibrium has never been static. Today, tens of billions more livestock are exhaling CO2 than in preindustrial days, while Earth’s photosynthetic capacity (its capacity to keep carbon out of the atmosphere by absorbing it in plant mass) has declined sharply as forest has been cleared. (Meanwhile, of course, we add more carbon to the air by burning fossil fuels, further overwhelming the carbon-absorption system.)

The human population is expected to grow by 35% between 2006 and 2050, while livestock numbers are expected to double during the same period.

“This would make the amount of livestock-related emissions even more unacceptable than today’s perilous levels,” states the report. “It also means that an effective strategy must involved replacing livestock products with better alternatives, rather than substituting one meat product with another that has a somewhat lower carbon footprint.”

Food companies, Goodland and Anhang believe, have at least three incentives to respond to current risks in their industry. The first is that companies already suffer from disruptive climate events — floods, hurricanes, etc. — and so it’s in their best interests to not worsen the situation.

Second, they expect the demand for oil to rise to point of collapsing “many parts of today’s economy.” One way in which this will be particularly troublesome for livestock producers will be that crops grown for feed will be refocused on biofuel sources.

A third incentive is to offer “alternatives to livestock products that taste similar but are easier to cook, less expensive and healthier, and so are better than livestock products.”

Sales of just soy “analogs,” or alternatives to livestock products — such as ice cream, milk and cheese — totaled $1.9 billion in 2007. That same year, sales of U.S. meat and poultry products totaled $100 billion — which they optimistically suggest means there’s much room for growth.

“Worldwide, the market for meat and dairy analogs is potentially almost as big as the market for livestock products,” they write.

Still further motivation, they note: “Meat and dairy analog projects will not only slow climate change but also help ease the global food crisis, as it takes a much smaller quantity of crops to produce any given number of calories in the form of an analog than a livestock product.”

Plus, meat alternatives  would help to alleviate the global water crisis, since livestock production uses a tremendous amount of water; it could have health and nutritional benefits; and, given that meat alternatives are more labor intensive, they would create both more jobs and more skilled jobs — while workers in the livestock industry could be retrained for jobs in meat-alternative industries.

“The case for change is no longer only a public policy or an ethical case, but is now also a business case,” write Goodland and Anhang. “We believe it is the best available business case among all industries to reverse climate change quickly.”

   Forbes, Michelle Maisto, contributor.

After reading the above article, I felt even better about my choice to become a vegan  a year and some months ago.  I’m not only saving the lives of animals, but I am also decreasing my carbon footprint in a very big way by not eating meat/dairy.

If you don’t already live by a vegetarian or vegan diet, I urge you to consider eliminating, or at least decreasing your meat consumption.  The facts are there and you do have the power to contribute towards a better, healthier, happier, and less destructive future for yourself and those to follow.

thanks for stopping by.

a little change goes a long way.

i was very different in the recent past.  one major change…compassion.

i always say how “time flies.”  and it does.  when i was twenty, i never thought i would be 30.  or 35.  or 36 (next month).  it just never crossed my mind.  i figured i’d be in my twenties forever.  i never looked into the future with truthful eyes.  i was going to be young for the duration of my life.  i went about my business as if nothing could harm me or touch me or kill me.  I lived behind a very thick smoke screen.  i ignored the sadness i recognize today in the world.  i paid no attention to the inconceivable.  if it didn’t affect me first hand, i didn’t care. and i didn’t care cause i refused to acknowledge anything that my heart couldn’t tolerate with ease.  im not proud of that, but it is the truth.  and today i speak the truth.  sadly, i know now that i was living my life with very little compassion.  for myself or for any other living being or species on earth.  i didn’t understand that at the time.

my eyes really started to open just over a year ago.  it started with getting sober.  eliminating the heavy drinking from my life.  forcing me to face reality head on.  all of it. 35 years of dirty build up had to be taken on.  challenged.  dissected.  acknowledged.  and dealt with.  it took a lot of forgiveness towards myself, and others.  it took, and will continue to take, many amends and apologies for my past behavior. and that is okay. it’s all part of the process.  and through this process i have found compassion.

compassion.  a small word with a massive impact on life.

       :sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

if someone says something unkind to me or is inconsiderate, etc. i am better at not taking it personally than i was before.  in the past, i would obsess over what they did or said for hours or days on end.  today i can accept, usually, that whatever they did or said to me most likely doesn’t have anything to do with me personally…but rather it is something born from their own issue/s.  maybe they are having a bad day.  or maybe someone said something that hurt their ego and they are taking it out on me.  whatever it might be, i try hard to not take it personally today.  instead i’ll have compassion for them and whatever they might be going through.  and then i let it go.  theoretically.  like i said, i am no saint.  but most of the time i can act with compassion today.

if someone is hurting.  i have compassion.  if i am hurting, i have compassion.  i try to be kind.  to you, and to all living species on earth.  i feel now.  and it is best to feel good about myself, then to feel bad.  and i feel good when i live in compassion.

compassionate living is something i now strive for.  i’ve taken it further than with just humans and human contact.  i want to live compassionately towards all living species on earth.  as i mentioned earlier in this post, back in my younger years i lived in a thick fog.  i refused to recognize the inconceivable that is around me.  and there is a lot of it in our world.  this includes the cruelty and lack of compassion that is thrown upon the animals on our planet.  i chose to bear witness to the truth nearly a year ago, and by doing so, i had no choice but to change my ways.  my heart wouldn’t allow me to turn away any longer.  and so i became a vegan.  i refuse to be a consumer of meat and dairy products, knowing what i know today.  this also includes non-food products that are tested on animals.  i can no longer take part in any of that.  i simply can’t do it.  it’s compassion.  and i have it today.  i suppose i always had it, i just didn’t know to what degree.  with the choice of becoming vegan and showing compassion towards all animals, i’ve gotten to know a side of myself that was once hidden.  and i like this side a lot.  it just feels…right.

no, im not perfect at the game of life, but i am certainly better at it today then i was last year and the years prior.  i still have many faults.  and insecurities.  and i make huge mistakes.  i still have a dark side i can fall into.  i can loose my compassionate side at times. i can take things personally.   if i didn’t then i wouldn’t be able to call myself human.  but i now recognize these characteristics when they present themselves.  i can move past those barriers faster.  continuing to better myself in the process.  it’s progress not perfection.

i’ve visited my darkest demons through this journey.   and continue to.  and let me tell you, my skin has thickened in the process.  my heart has grown.  my voice has been found.  and my personality has escaped its own personal jail… and continues to make itself known.  i am present.  finally.

sobriety and my truth has brought me far.

far from what i once was, but not yet what i am going to be.

what a journey.

incase you are interested, below are websites that have helped open my eyes and helped me make my choice to become a vegan:

http://www.peta.org/ 

http://www.farmsanctuary.org/

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/

what does ‘americana’ look like?

i am doing visual research on the subject ‘americana’ for a project i am working on and it has really saddened me.  the visuals that are tied with the word ‘americana’ are horrifying to me.  america and what it is known for seems to visually look like McDonald’s burgers.  super sized fries. coke. and mass amounts of junk food.  i even ran across an advert for a DONUT BURGER:

we really have become a fast food crack house of a country.  the red white and blue has been well associated with McDonald’s since the burger was 15 cents:

and it has only gotten worse.  i used the search term “americana” and here are just a few of the images that i ran across:

a picture of american health huh?  i think not.

and we wonder why we are in the midst of an obesity crisis.  some call it an epidemic.

we introduce this horrible food to our kids at such a young age.  McDonlad’s happy meals.  cotton candy.  gummy bears.  coke.  ice cream.  etc.  they become little addicts of junk food quickly.

i loved fast food as a kid.  as a teenager.  i craved it.  the sapidity of it all.   my taste buds coated with the salty fried goodness.  i wanted more. and more.  and more.  and more.  fast food is addictive.  fried fatty, salty food is addictive.  sugary sweets are addictive.  just like cocaine.  alcohol.  nicotine.  there is not much of a difference, in my opinion.  

some people don’t buy the idea that food is addictive.  that the term addiction should be linked only to  drugs and alcohol and that people who overeat are simply lacking self-control and self-will.  hmmmmm.  i disagree.  lets examine this further:

“What other term would you use for a woman who gets into her car at 11:30 at night and drives six miles to the 7-Eleven to get a chocolate bar, and does it every night? She’s gaining weight, she feels profoundly guilty afterward, and though she resolves to stop this behavior, she does it every night, night after night? That’s a food addiction.” – (pulled from webMD)

that sounds much like the actions of a drug addict.  replace the word chocolate with cocaine, vodka, or heroin.  addiction is addiction. and america is feeding it to us by the mouthful.  breeding addicts through inexpensive, fattening, processed, meat heavy, dairy heavy, salty, sugary, horrible excuses for food and beverage.

luckily i escaped food addiction in young adulthood.  i woke up to reality and realized the harm i was doing to myself.  i managed to stay away from fast food 90 percent of the time once i reached 25 years of age.

i got even smarter close to a year ago, at age 35, when i chose to become vegan.  today i am a compassionate, healthy, plant-based consumer.  and i couldn’t be happier with that decision…and i certainly feel much healthier ridding my body of americas fast food, meat and dairy based consumption.  i am a guilt free consumer today.  and the chances of me becoming obese, are much less being a vegan.  and i feel good, knowing no animal died in order for me to eat today.

i hope that america can move away from the iconic fast food symbolism that has been stamped upon us, and adopt a much more compassionate, healthy, guilt free visual for the red white and blue.

aren’t these much nicer visions of health:

i think so.  and i challenge you to give healthy and compassionate living a try.  only good will come of it.  and if you think being vegan lacks taste in the mouth, you are mistaken.  it is some of the best, most imaginative food i have ever had.  i will never go back to how i ate in my younger years.  i couldn’t possibly stomach it, for a number of reasons.  but for the purpose of this blog….try the change for your health, if nothing else.

 

 

 

 

i know i am but what are you?

key fact #3

i am a vegan.

what exactly does that mean?  here is a brief definition….

WIKIPEDIA:  Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal productsEthical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only. Another form, environmental veganism, rejects the use of animal products on the premise that the industrial practice is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.

so what kind of vegan is donna?

well, im not here to lecture, or be an activist, cause my knowledge of the topic is not strong enough yet.  and im not interested in being something i am not.  so what i am, today, is a budding student in the area of animal activism and animal rights as well as environmental issues and sustainability.  truth be told, i have spent most of my 35 years of life avoiding the truth behind the cruelty of animals on factory farms.  anytime an undercover video or story would be placed in front of me showing the torture of these precious animals, i would turn my head.  if someone tried to speak to me about the topic i would cover my ears.  out of sight, out of mind.  don’t tell me cause i don’t want to feel bad!

well, life came to a fork in the road for me.   I met a woman.  intriguing.  beautiful.  passionate for animals and the planet.  an activist.  she has soul.  and a divine purpose.  and i wanted to know more.

so there i stood.  at the fork.

i saw two choices.  turn right, down the comfortable road, and continue on my merry ignorant way.  walk the path where i choose to only see what i want to see.  and become voluntarily blind when uncomfortable with whats in front of me.

OR

turn left, and choose the unfamiliar road.  feel uncomfortable.  choose to learn some truths.  to feel some pain and discomfort.  and in doing so, feel which way my heart is pulled, once the visor has been removed from my eyes.

i chose the unknown road.  i turned left.

so here is this woman.  i had never met someone of her caliber.  i wanted to know why she was the way she was.  i wanted to know what fed her drive and purpose.  i wanted to know the pain she felt which fueled her passion for animals.  i wanted to know her.

and so began my journey.

I started with some research.  good old google. i was led to sites like PETA and Mercy for Animals.  very informative.  i would share specific links to videos and articles here for you to see, but it’s a personal choice to make the leap and learn about this subject manner.  i don’t believe in forcing such topics onto people.  however, i do believe in supplying the info and leaving the decision up to you to look further.  so click on the links above if you want to learn some truth about factory farms and the abuse those animals are put through in order to “feed” America.  there are so many facts i could share here…regarding the health benefits on not being a meat eater.  the environmental benefits.  the compassion that develops  by not eating meat.  etc.  but im not going to do that now.  instead i will leave it up to you to go and research some facts.  they are easily available in this computer generated world we live in.  i will for sure be discussing this topic on occasion as this blog grows, because my compassion and passion on the subject continues to grow.  it’s no longer out of sight, out of mind for this girl.

hello my name is donna, and i am a vegan.

here are just a FEW animals who have positively touched my life in one way or another.

thank you for stopping by.  tomorrow i will share key fact #4 about who donna is.

4.  i think a lot and talk a little.