I Bought a Menstrual Cup and I'm Never Going Back

I Bought a Menstrual Cup and I'm Never Going Back

I am now in a committed relationship with my DivaCup

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If you get a period you probably know all the money that gets poured into buying products for it. Tampons and pads are ridiculously expensive, and the dreaded Pink Tax doesn't help the matter. Tampons and pads are also not great for the environment, which is something to keep in mind because right now our planet is in the worst state it's ever been in, and only getting worse.

I first heard about menstrual cups a year or two ago, and at first I was confused. How do you put a whole cup inside you? Does it even work? I decided to research, and I found that there are so many benefits to using a reusable menstrual cup. Firstly, you only have to buy one every several years because most of them are silicone, and they clean easily and don't need to be replaced for years. This means that you just have to wash them and store them in a safe place in between each period, which reduces waste significantly. Second, they are better for your body because they don't have the chemicals that many big brand tampons have. I had no idea that there were so many not-so-nice things in the tampons that I would use every month. All this research made me wonder, is it worth the purchase? DivaCup, one of the most popular brands of menstrual cup runs for about $40-$45. What if I spend all this money and it doesn't work for me? But do I want to keep spending money on tampons and creating so much waste?

So I bought one. I went to CVS and bought a DivaCup. It was a blow to my bank account, of course, but I was determined to make it work for me. Along with the cup, I bought baby wash to wash it. DivaCup sells a wash made specifically for washing the cup, but the store didn't have any, and after lots of research I found out that baby wash is just as gentle. I was so excited to go home and use it for my next period.

The first time was …. an experience. It takes some practice to get used to inserting and removing the cup, and the first time I did it I was worried that I would get the cup stuck inside me (I didn't, I was just overreacting). I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and that first period that I had with the cup was amazing. I had almost no leaking, which I used to get all the time with tampons, and I didn't have to deal with annoying pads when I was sleeping because the cup can be worn through the night. Also, the cup can be worn for a full 12 hours compared to tampons which are only supposed to be worn for 8 hours maximum.

I bought my cup about a year ago and I haven't spent a dime on tampons or pads since then. The DivaCup has saved me so much money and hassle over the past year and I feel good about what I'm putting in my body because I know it's gentle and safe, and I know I'm reducing waste. Yes, sometimes it's a hassle to empty it in a public bathroom, everything has drawbacks, but I would do that a million times before I purchased tampons again.

If you are someone who is interested in trying some alternative form of menstrual product, such as the cup or Thinx period panties, then I would strongly encourage you to do so. I love my cup, and I love the benefits that come with it. It was so worth the money (it actually saves me money in the long run), and so much better for your body and the environment.

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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Don't Boycott Fairlife Because Of Fair Oaks Farms Just Yet

These shameful acts do not represent the dairy industry or agriculture as a whole.

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I am currently enrolled in Auburn University's College of Agriculture set to graduate in a short time. I am majoring in Poultry Production with a minor in Animal Science. I also work on a small cow-calf operation on the weekends and am completing an internship at a chicken processing plant. I am well-versed in areas of animal welfare, proper husbandry, and have many certifications and countless hours training in proper animal handling for all manner of livestock and meat-producing animals.

Because of this, my Facebook feed and other social media accounts are often filled with farming videos, new agricultural technologies, and the occasional Peta ad. Upon opening Facebook this week, I came across the Fair Oaks Farm scandal. I typically don't click on videos depicting animal abuse allegations without first doing a little research of my own.

Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) is an organization promoting the cessation of severe animal cruelty. A noble cause for sure, but as with many of these organizations, they often seek to demonize agricultural organizations by preying on the heartstrings of individuals who know little about farming or the industry as a whole.

Often, modern farming activities are misconstrued with either adulterated information, misguiding comments, or extremely old, outdated footage. While these actions recorded by ARM in the Fair Oaks Farm were very real instances, they were isolated.

These organizations never seek to show what humane treatment of animals looks like. They never aim to showcase good handling practices. For every minute of abuse, they videoed, how many hours of proper conduct was carried out?

Upper management, supervisors, and individuals in a position to stop unacceptable behavior are incapable of being everywhere at once. In addition, when offenders know they are being watched by such individuals, they will discontinue the behavior until they are unsupervised again.

Because of this, any company that handles livestock practices some form of the "See Something, Say Something" rule. This rule, under one of its many name variations basically means if an employee of any level sees another employee participating in behavior that is inhumane, they are required to report it immediately or risk termination. The undercover videographers were at one point, employed by Fair Oaks Farm.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but that makes the ARM videographers employees of Fair Oaks Farm which men they went through the "See Something, Say Something" training, and knew they were supposed to report it, but didn't.

How many times in the four-month observation of the ARM videographers could they have reported the actions of the men in the videos? How many times did they fail to notify the company of the responsible party's actions? How many of these cruel instances of abuse been prevented had they notified management and how much sooner could the culprit have been terminated? They allowed these activities to continue to transpire until they had enough evidence to smear the dairy industry. They inhibited proper company function and they disregarded the safeguard practices the company had in place.

Fair Oaks Farm is not blameless, and these acts should not go unpunished, but boycotting Fairlife isn't the way to do it.

Sure, boycotting it will pull money away from the company until they inevitably source milk from another dairy in response to the media and consumer's cry for change, but how does this help the dairy cattle at Fair Oaks or the employees who have abided by proper animal handling? When you boycott, the responsible farm and responsible parties fall out of the public eye and the abuse goes uncorrected.

Boycotting is forgetting.

How about instead of refusing to buy their milk, you push for changes in their employee vetting processes or make amendments to their animal welfare checks. Don't let people forget about Fair Oaks, and don't turn your back on a farm because of the actions of a few. Instead of pretending the company doesn't exist, we hold them to a higher standard. Then, we will see change.

But if you simply cannot continue supporting this company, I understand. It's a hard concept to come to terms with. But remember, these shameful acts do not represent the dairy industry or agriculture as a whole. Do not stop supporting the dairy industry and the countless dairy farmers nationally.

Do not assume this is normal behavior because it isn't.

The employees in question were terminated before the release of the video campaign because a responsible employee reported them.

Do not turn your back on agriculture or farmers, and do not idolize organizations like ARM who interfere with proper business practices in order to capture the information they want.

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