Issue 1 – Summer
After rescue, both Milo and Domino were noticeably afraid of humans due to the trauma they had suffered. But Milo recovered fairly quickly. Soon, he was cuddling with humans, giving kisses, and he even developed this adorable little dance when someone scratched his butt! Milo really learned how to forgive humans and trust again.
Domino never did. For the rest of his life (6 years), Domino did not let humans approach him closely. Anytime someone would try, he would buck them away with his head. He only let a few care staff that spent everyday with him even remotely close, but only for a moment or two. He never truly processed the trauma he went through, and never trusted humans again.
Both Milo and Domino suffered the exact same abuse, but they processed the trauma in almost polar opposite ways. Animals are individuals, just like us. They have a story, just like us. Everyone has a life story, a history, a background, that informs who they are and how they act. Including animals.
Vegan Focus: What are some small steps of kindness that anyone can do?
Emma: Everyone can include more plants in their diet. If taking the step toward full-on plant-based
is too much for someone right away – that’s okay! Just focus on incorporating more plants. Not even reducing animal products right away, just crowding more plants onto the plate can help transition even the biggest meat eater into a more “plant-forward eater.” And hopefully, eventually, into a “plant exclusive eater.” In order to transform our food system, we need 99% of people doing veganism imperfectly, not just 1% of people doing it perfectly. It’s all or something. Not all or nothing.
For vegans, talking about veganism, food, animals, or anything really, can be difficult and triggering. In the past, I’ve often lashed out at loved ones because they refused to see things from my “vegan” perspective. Which of course, only made them lean away from veganism even more! Something kind that all vegans can do is have empathy for the omnivores in their life. Understand that in the face of veganism, beliefs and justifications they’ve held onto for their entire lives are being challenged. It’s difficult to let go of those beliefs, especially in the span of one conversation. Be persistent and unwavering in your activism, but always be kind with your words. They are more likely to listen to you and therefore more likely to embrace veganism if you are kind with your words.
No matter if you’re vegan or not, choosing cruelty-free (not tested on animals) and vegan (not containing animal ingredients) beauty products is an easy way to incorporate more kindness into your lifestyle. Most new brands nowadays are opting to make everything cruelty-free as a default because it is such a widely demanded standard by the consumer. This is true to a slightly lesser extent with ensuring products are vegan.
Choosing cruelty free and vegan beauty products is an easy way (most new brands are doing it anyway) to vote for a kinder world with your dollar.
I encourage everyone to visit an animal sanctuary and meet some of our animal friends. The kindest thing you can do for someone, no matter what species, is to really see them. To really understand them. To really listen to their story. No matter what your diet is, hearing the stories of farmed animals is an important part of
understanding our food system and how we can create a kinder one.
Everyone can incorporate more low-waste choices into their lifestyle for the planet. We often forget about the planet when we talk about kindness. But the planet is a living being. We can show our kindness to the planet by embracing more low-waste options in our lives. For every item that you buy frequently, ask yourself, is there a reusable version of this item I could use instead? It may be more expensive up front, but over time it will save you money and help to save the planet! Some easy swaps include: swap microfiber cloths for paper towels, bidet for toilet paper, diva cup for tampons, reusable grocery bags for plastic/paper bags, and bulk foods for packaged foods (bring your own bulk bags). You can also skip the plastic bags for fruits/vegetables altogether! They arrive at the grocery store already dirty, having been transported hundreds or thousands of miles from their origin point. You can just skip the bags and wash them at home! (continue to next page)
Emma Schwarz and John Burton, Co-Founders of Veganography, are artists that are passionate about animal and environmental protection. They utilize their skills in filmmaking, photography, musical composition, 3D animation, pedagogy, and writing to tell stories that create a kinder world for all living beings. Learn more by visiting www.veganography.org