Vegan elitism should die with 2018

Guilting People Into Becoming Vegans Needs To Die With 2018

You know that old trope of the guy with the Prius being a snobby douche to the guy with a Hummer? That's you, vegans, that's all you.


I'm all about taking care of the environment. I think next to ensuring every child in our country has access to a stellar education and ample amounts of food, it should be one of our nation's highest priorities.

From the displacement of families in places like California, Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida on account of natural disasters to the extreme danger pollinators are suffering from the impacts of climate change, our environment is in dire need of our advocacy. In reality, if we all make small changes to our lifestyles (ie: carpooling, using paraben-free products, recycling) we can collectively have one hell of an impact on the world we rely on so much.

With all of that said, I'm really sick of being guilted into veganism. I understand the benefits to our environment and the overall health of our bodies and that's awesome. Seriously, if you are proud to live a vegan lifestyle, I applaud you. But that doesn't make it okay to make me feel like shit about not being a vegan.

You know that old trope of the guy with the Prius being a snobby douche to the guy with a Hummer? That's you, vegans, that's all you.

Need an example of how you might take it a little to far? Maybe you're familiar with some of these standard vegan/non-vegan friend conversations:

Vegan: "Want to go have lunch at this new vegan restaurant?"

Non-Vegan: "Awesome, I heard the pot-stickers are amaze-balls."

So far, so good. Not too pushy, we're both fulfilling our love of food. Awesome!

Vegan: "Did you like your Christmas gift?"

Non-Vegan: "Honestly I'm in love with this vegan purse. It's so cute!"

Wow, now you're getting me presents...maybe vegans aren't so bad after all.

Vegan: "Hey, have you ever seen this 120-minute documentary of cows getting slaughtered filmed in ultra 4KHD? I think it will really make you vomit and reassess all of your life choices."

Non-Vegan: "Yeah, that's going to be a hard pass."

Oh, now I remember. You're always trying to horrify me into giving up animal by-products.

So I get it, "Food Inc." was traumatizing and made you feel really bad. But I'm afraid I just can't relate. The way I see it, those animals were bred solely to be slaughtered and to give me something I need, food. It's called the circle of life and to be really real with you, I'm a pretty big fan.

We all have lifestyle habits I'm sure we'd love everyone else to adopt, but life doesn't work that way. Instead of guilting others into being a vegan, encourage them to find more sustainable habits (outside of their dietary ones) to help nourish our planet. If you can do that, you can probably shake the bad impression the Prius-guy analogy has left you with.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Went Meat-Free For One Whole Week, And I Changed In Ways I Never Imagined

I didn't expect there would be these many benefits.


It all started with a simple challenge.

I urged myself to give the vegetarian diet a try, even just for seven days.

I got excited, but also really worried. Excited because this is another adventure in itself. New things are always fun, right? Because my family is not vegetarian, I had to either do my own meal preparations or buy outside food. I got the chance to experiment with ingredients that I didn't normally use. I didn't know that cooking your own food would be such a fulfilling, yet liberating experience. But also, I was nervous — simply because I was not sure if I could do this for a week. Moreso, I got worried about potential nutritional deficiencies. I didn't want to be missing the needed nutrients from my usual meat diet that could negatively affect my daily activities.

Little did I know, the opposite happened.

I expected that my lack of iron from meat would make me more restless and anxious. Rather, I felt way lighter and even had a better mood. Research suggests that the low amount of arachidonic acid from avoiding meat is the reason behind this. To make sure that my lack of iron from meat is being met, I ate right amounts of tofu, nuts, and mushrooms.

Before this challenge, I wasn't really conscious of what I put in my body. My regular diet usually consists of rice, protein (pork, beef, chicken, seafood), and maybe leafy vegetables. Note that "maybe" over there. As long as it's tasty, it will get in my belly. Through this challenge, I started to think about the nutrients that I do need and the junk that I should start to avoid.

Being my competitive-self, I knew I'd have to live up to the challenge no matter what. I also knew it would be hard, though; especially since I've never done it before. What initially started as a mission quickly became an enjoyable experience.

Why the sudden need to try a new diet, you may ask?

One day, I realized how I claimed to love the Earth so much but never considered how much processing went into my daily consumptions. This challenge forced me to dismiss packaged food such as bacon and SPAM for breakfast. It made me choose the actual whole food instead. These involved fruits like bananas, grapes, and kiwis. As a result, my plastic consumption also went downhill.

Even after this challenge, I might continue with my new habits of choosing healthier alternatives. It's always a good idea to be kind to our bodies — even better if that idea helps in taking care of our planet.

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