Vegan Living

ZERO Waste Gift Basket for the Eco-Friendlies

I’ve gotten into the habit of including a useful basket when gifting instead of purchasing the common gift bag/tissue paper combo.  Most people just throw the wrapping away without skipping a beat and I hate the thought of a perfectly good bag ending up in a landfill instead of being reused.  With the exception of a few slip ups, I have managed to reuse most of the bags, boxes, bows, tissue paper, etc. my family receives from gifts.  The 3 main benefits of reusing these items are less waste (win for the environment), less money spent (win for your wallet) and the convenience of not having to go fetch these last minute items on top of the gift (win for your time).

This is one of the first gift BASKETS I created and it focused on zero waste & conscious living.  All the items shown were found at TJ Max and Marshalls here on the East Coast.  I used a cotton bath towel to play the role as tissue paper and kept the theme going with some other bathroom/spa essentials.  You can do the same thing perhaps with a bathrobe instead, or a bunch of hand/face towels.  The options are endless!  You can never go wrong with a candle and I was lucky enough to score an amazing vegan soy wax one along with bamboo toothbrushes, reusable face towels/pads and a container to hold said pads. Some items not pictured that were also added to the basket include a shampoo bar with a soap saver baggie and some knitted reusable cotton pads.

I had a blast creating this basket and it felt good knowing the items play a beneficial role in improving our planet and health all around.  I intend to incorporate more conscious living items whenever possible as gifts to my loved ones and clients!

Vegan Living

The Rollerblading Vegan

One of my very favorite things to do as a workout is rollerblading.  It’s a workout I do by myself (mainly because I don’t know many others who rollerblade lol) and I love the time it gives me to reflect on anything and everything.  It’s a form of meditation, as weird as that sounds.  The bike paths I rollerblade on have some amazing views and I do my best to take it all in as often as possible.  One thing I’m always cautious of however, are all the little creatures who are currently on the same route as myself.  I do my absolute best to avoid rollerblading over them even though I know it’s impossible to dodge every single one.  This is a prime example of how and when vegans aren’t “perfect”.   We as a species are bound to cause harm to many non-human animals simply for existing.  This is an argument I hear often from non-vegans who claim vegans think they’re perfect and claim to not harm any animal.  The huge difference between incidents like rollerblading or even walking for that matter, is that the harm is UNINTENTIONAL.    Unintentional harm is inevitable.  Farming vegetables causes unintentional harm, construction causes unintentional harm, even driving your car causes unintentional harm (most likely) every time.  These are unintentional deaths simply because humans exist.  INTENTIONAL deaths directly harm others simply for our benefit.  The most obvious being the billions of intentional slaughters that happen around the world every single year simply for our pallet pleasure.  The second most obvious being the intentional killing of the animals we kill to wear and test on. 

 Sheesh, just typing this makes me realize how vain we can be as a species.  One thing we can all strive for however, is to limit the intentional deaths as much as possible, wherever possible.  Most of us live in civilized communities where survival situations are few and far between.  Meaning we have (healthier) alternatives when it comes to food and clothing so there is no reason why everyone shouldn’t be striving to live a vegan lifestyle.  It’s the only way we can limit the intentional deaths (aka murders) of all the innocent non-human animals we share this wonderful planet with. 

Activism & Animal Rights

NYC ANIMAL RIGHTS MARCH 2019 RECAP

AHHHHHH!!  What an amazing day 8/24/2019 was; especially for the animals.  Over 2,000 people attended The Official Animal Rights March in NYC and I am so grateful to have been one of them.  This was my first march and it was amazing to be surrounded by so many like minded individuals marching the streets of the big apple, demanding ANIMAL LIBERATION NOW!!    I traveled to the big city alone and I absolutely enjoyed every second with myself.  During the 3+ hour drive I had so much time to reflect on my activism and listen to podcasts that are focused on mind set (currently listening to The Life Coach School Podcast). 

I purchased all my sign supplies at Dollar Tree, spending roughly about $7.  I decided on “RESPECT EXISTENCE OR EXPECT RESISTANCE; GO VEGAN” for the front because it correlates with the direct action needed from activists to continue to expose the truth, coordinate lock downs and shutdowns at slaughterhouses, save lives openly and demand justice for all animals.  The back of the sign read BE ONE LESS PERSON HARMING ANIMALS; BE VEGAN!  It’s a more compassionate message that most people would agree with because lets face it, who (in their right mind) would ever want to purposely harm animals?!?  It’s just a damn shame that the majority still choose to harm them by supporting such cruelty with their dollars. 

The more I embrace this Vegan journey and open my eyes and heart to all sentient life, the more I realize that being vegan is the very LEAST we can do.  The animals need us marching the streets every single day to wake the world up.  Vegans need to become active and activists need to continue to light up the world with the truth.  This past Saturday was one of those days.  The photos speak for themselves…

Until next time, NYC!  And of course, UNTILL ALL ARE FREE!!!!

BE VEGAN.

Activism & Animal Rights

Day 5 at WEEK OF TRUTH with AV

On July 13th, 2019 Anonymous for the Voiceless (AV) organized a Cube of Truth for 8 days straight, 12 hours per day, in the heart of NYC. This historical event took place at several different locations and on day 5, I was able to attend the cube that was organized at Astor Place.

What an amazing feeling to be part of an organization setting records with activism, pushing the limit and creating history. Animal liberation is inevitable; and AV is making sure they do whatever it takes to make that happen as soon as possible.

Here is the person responsible for AV, badass Asal…my hero

My top 3 highlights from this event were meeting the creators of AV who started the organization and meeting Hudson Tarlow, the badass 17 year old animal activist who dedicates his life to speak up for the animals. I never would of thought a year ago that I would have the privilege to witness Paul Bashir (co-founder/director of AV) outreach to someone while I was in the cube . I also got to witness Asal (Director of AV) outreach and I even captured a special moment with her. I was able to personally thank them both for all that they do and will be forever grateful for every single experience that took place that day.

One of my favorite things to do during a cube of truth is to witness the expressions on everyone’s faces. Whether they stay to witness or just long enough to see what we’re showing, their expressions say it all. I love capturing these moments on camera because they tell a more compelling story than just showing the footage on the screens. People have decided to ignore the suffering of farmed animals to ease their conscious on supporting it; so showing footage it not enough. We must normalize the stance against animal exploitation and show people that being vegan is the LEAST we can do. We must stand up and speak up for the victims until compassion for all beings become the new norm.

~UNTIL ALL ARE FREE~

Activism & Animal Rights

COPLEY SQUARE, BOSTON MA~ CUBE OF TRUTH RECAP

UNITY CUBE OF TRUTH, JUNE 15,2019

On June 15, 2019 at Copley Square in Boston Massachusetts, over 50 members of Anonymous for the Voiceless gathered together from all over New England for a unity cube of truth.  A total of 205 seeds were planted (meaning, Anonymous for the Voiceless cards were handed to 205 bystanders who took interest into our message and seemed genuinely interested in learning more about veganism).  Out of the 205 seeds, I planted 10 of them.  This was by far, the most productive outreach I have been apart of and I left that night feeling so hopeful and inspired as an animal rights activist.

The more cubes I attend, the more I try and observe people’s body language. Especially those that choose to stay and watch the footage long enough to see what exactly they’re watching.  These photos are some of my favorite from the Copley Square Cube because I felt they captured a powerful message behind the common body language I noticed. Most people are extremely uncomfortable with what they are witnessing and even more bothered to comprehend that they directly contribute to that amount of suffering on a daily basis.  Notice the different forms of crossed arms with the bystanders. Crossed arms are a classic gesture of defensiveness. If eating animals was as normal as the industries make them out to be, seeing the process on how animals get turned into “food” shouldn’t make us this uncomfortable.

Next month I’ll be participating in the 168 hour, Week of Truth even in NYC where there will be cubes set up all over the Time Square area for 7 straight days.  This cube event will most likely be one of the largest I’ll EVER attend, given that it will be hosted by the founders of Anonymous for the Voiceless themselves.  I’ll be cubing with some of my favorite social media activists and true heroes behind the movement.  This event will surely go down in history as one of the largest and longest demonstrations for the animal rights movement. That will be a recap worth reading, for sure.

One of my favorite conversations of the night. These ladies were genuinely interested in our message, asked tons of great questions and left that night taking veganism more seriously.
The reason we will never stop fighting…JUSTICE FOR ALL
Vegan Dishes

4 ingredient Spicy Sriracha Chikn VEGAN Sandwich

The title for this blog took longer to type than this amazingly delicious sandwich did to create! Only four ingredients (five including the bread slices) and the only reason this sandwich took 20 minutes to make was because of the time required to bake the Quorn patties.

While the spicy patties are baking, toast the bread slices and smother with the sriracha mayo. Be generous; live a little! Then add some lettuces or greens of choice and patiently wait for the patties to be done for the grand finale. Five minutes before the patties are done, place some plant based cheese on them so that they are nice and melted once the patties are ready. I used the Follow your Heart, provolone cheese brand. Once you let the patties cool for a minute or two, you are now ready to apply to face.

Activism & Animal Rights

5 PASSIVE WAYS TO GET ACTIVE FOR THE ANIMALS

  1. WEAR IT– This one is probably the easiest since it is so diverse.  From hats, tops, bottoms, accessories, you name it, you can cater to your preferences and wear your message.  I currently am collecting t-shirts.  Most are short and sweet (Plant Based, Vegan Vibes, etc.) and a couple are more direct and aggressive.  My favorite shirt being designed by Leah Doellinger (favorite animal liberationist and creator of Meat the Victims).  My more direct message shirts I wear at cubes and protests.  My less direct ones I wear when I’m exercising; either at the gym or running outdoors.

2. SIDEWALK CHALK-TIVISIM–  This is a great way to use your creative side to spread a positive vegan message.  Do it in public areas like parks and bike paths; even if you do it during “off hours” to be more discrete. 

3. STICKER ACTIVISM– This is another area you can get as creative as you’d like to and revolve the stickers around your budget.  There are certain websites and Instagram pages (Activismstickers2 for example), that sell super cute ones and in a wide variety.  Or if you’re strapped on cash, buy your own labels and a sharpie or two.  Carry a few with you when you’re going out. Public bathrooms, bulletin boards and sign posts are great places to speak up for the animals.  I mean, if we have to look at other people’s garbage/graffiti all over the walls, why not use the same platform to spread the love.  I tagged up a few STOP signs in my day, and I don’t plan on stopping. ;o)

4. SHARE SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT– Whether it’s slaughterhouse or factory farm footage, protests, open rescues or farm sanctuary animals, share as much and as often as you can with your social media following.  Our job as animal rights activist is to share their story and normalize veganism.  Most people already agree with the vegan message of peace for all beings and are morally against animal cruelty.  They have to constantly be reminded that they are indirectly funding animal abuse and that this shouldn’t be normalized any longer. Whether you share a plant based meal, rescue animal or graphic footage, the overall message needs to be spread as far and as wide as possible.

Meat the Victims Lockdowns/Protests- ALWAYS SHARE TO HELP THE FOOTAGE GO VIRAL!

5. VOLUNTEER– This is extremely good for the soul.  Especially if you tend to fall into the depression/helpless hole that most activists can relate to.  I find visiting a local farm sanctuary helps me stay grounded for the animals.  I’m fortunate enough to live next to a few and only a handful of hours away from Farm Sanctuary in NY (still on my bucket list to go visit!)  Surround yourself with some happy ending stories of individuals who survived the agricultural industry.

 Another option would be to join some veganism and/or activism Facebook or Meetup Groups to surround yourself with people who share the same message as you do.  This is extremely important to do to remember that you are not alone in the animal rights fight.  As often as you may feel alone and helpless as an activist, we have all been there and need to learn to lean on each other to keep fighting the good fight!

Activism & Animal Rights

Cube of Truth Tips for Beginners

I first started attending Anonymous for the Voiceless, Cube of Truths a little over a year ago. My very first cube of truth was on Thayer Street in Providence, RI on a Friday the 13th (so fitting given how horrific the footage we share is). What’s even more horrific, is that this footage is reality and is happening everywhere, every second, of every day. 

It was April 13, 2018 to be exact. I was so nervous and anxious on what to expect. I didn’t want to see nor hear the horrible footage on the screens. I didn’t know how bystanders would react when they saw our demonstration and I assumed the worst. I thought maybe someone walking by having a bad day would try and take out their frustration on us and knock over a laptop or taunt an AV member. Or maybe a young group of friends trying to empress each other would think it was cool to laugh at our message and harass us. 

I’ve done about 10 cube of truths so far and I must say, it is the most fulfilling form of activism I’ve tried so far. It inspires me on a daily basis to continue spreading such an important message; animal liberation.

Here are a few pointers from a semi-regular AV attender. I’m sure once I get another years worth of cubes under my belt I’ll have even better tips, so stay tuned!

Start in the cube- one of the best ways to understand the process and purpose of this type of activism is to be part of the cube for your first few demonstrations. Listen to how the AV members on outreach converse with the bystanders. Observe the face and body expressions from both the people who stay and bare witness on the screens and those who choose to keep walking once they realize what they’re watching. It’s difficult to explain the sense of fulfillment you gain showing bystanders the truth and witnessing them bare witness for a change. Especially since most of the time, activists feel so helpless. 

Watch Cube of Truth You Tube videos of other activists-  There’s plenty to choose from and are super informative. It’s how I built the courage to outreach at cubes and try to plant as many seeds as possible. Some of my favorite you tube channels are Joey Carbstrong, James Aspey, That Vegan Couple, Earthling Ed, the list goes on but these are great to start with. Being informed is key to having the courage to converse with people. Knowing the common objections (aka excuses) against veganism will prepare you and keep you at a comfortable state while engaging with people.

Ask questions (and keep your cool) when outreaching-  Always remember that your main purpose when on outreach is not to argue with people or try to convert them into vegans.  Outreachers are there to tell the story of the animals, inform people on who we are as a group, what exactly the Cube of Truth demonstration is and most importantly ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS!  We are not there to shame anyone; most people have no idea just how bad the animals we exploit really have it.  Ask people if they ever seen footage like this before.  Ask them how it makes them feel to see it.  Ask them if they know how they can stop contributing to the abuse they are witnessing. Some people won’t make the connection right away and that is totally fine; many vegans (myself included) didn’t make the connection right away.  Some will be curious and ready to at least hear the message and witness the atrocities on the screens.  Inform those willing to listen, be a shoulder to cry on to those who will need it and don’t be judgmental. Also, don’t waste your time on people who are combative or immature.  They are not worth the effort and we are not being active for them or us; we are there for the animals.

Take your role seriously-  Whether you are part of the cube or on the outreach team, play the part.  Cubers should stand in the cube and stay as still as possible while remaining silent when holding a TRUTH sign or Laptop/TV.  Their job is to form a cube and show the public how serious our message for the animals is.  The outreach team should only engage with those willing to watch and learn what the Cube of Truth is all about.  The more professional AV members are, the more attention we’ll gain and most importantly, the more seeds we will plant towards veganism!    

Thayer Street~ Providence, RI ~April 13, 2018
MY VERY FIRST CUBE!
Vegan Dishes

Not So Boring Spicy Vegan Chickn Salad

Salads don’t have to be boring…especially full blown, plant based salads! There are limitless options to keep them exciting. This one was literally created on the whim.

Romaine lettuce with broccoli sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow corn, red onions and cubed up vegan spicy meatless Quorn patties.

I placed all the ingredients in this container to make it easier to shake up with the dressing. I started with the lettuce, sprouts, then added cranberries and sunflower seeds which are always staples in my salads. Then I threw in everything else before pouring my cruelty free ranch dressing all. over. it.

The outcome was amazing even though I was missing another staple, onion crisps. The hubby loved it and it filled us both up for dinner. Keep the creativity in the salads and they never have to be boring. And may I just say, being vegan doesn’t mean you’re missing out on any meals. Luckily, everything can be veganized these days and the animals don’t have to suffer… That’s the best part!

Vegan Dishes, Vegan Living

My Vegan-ish Pup

V-Dog Pupper!

My almost 6 year old Irish Terrier pup, Cooper has been a vegan in training for the past 9 months. Luckily, he took to the V-Dog brand, so I didn’t have much challenges with that. He’s always been a spoiled pup and likes his dry food mixed with some heated up, fresh food. This is a plus for my V-Dog budget since I can stretch out his stash, while saving money making his fresh food at home.


I usually buy a 30 pound bag every 3 months and give him one cup per day (half a cup for breakfast and half a cup for dinner). He gets half a cup of dry and half a cup of the homemade food twice a day. His fresh food varies from a potato or rice base with mixed veggies. Since our family is plant based and we try to cook whole plant based foods more often than not, I just bump up the portions of whatever we’re having for dinner and set some aside for Cooper, unseasoned. Although there are plenty of safe seasonings for pups, I only use nutritional yeast for him at the moment. I do have a goal to start making his fresh food more in bulk instead of relying on family dinner leftovers. Perhaps once I get into this habit, I’ll dress up his fresh food with some different spices.

I’ve been more cautious on his treats also being plant based.  I have luck sometimes at Wal-Mart and Target finding accidentally vegan biscuit treats.  I invest in V-dog long lasting bones (pictured above) when there’s a great deal to buy in bulk. 


Of course there is always Pinterest as well, to get some homemade vegan dog treat recipes.  Some non vegan treats slip through the crack when my husband buys them.  I know that if I kept up with the treat supply, he wouldn’t take it upon himself to buy any, so I try not to nag him for it.


I advise anyone who is thinking of transitioning their companion animal to a plant based diet to do their research.  There is plenty of evidence in favor of a plant based diet for dogs since they are omnivores (can eat both plants and meat).  Cats are a bit more tricky since they are ultimately carnivores, but there are plenty of supplements and plant based diets that cater to cats needs and at the very least, worth looking into further. 

Regardless, there are plenty of resources that mention just how un-fresh meat intended for pet food is.  They literally separate the rotting corpses of these once beautiful, innocent beings and whatever they deem isn’t “suitable” for human consumption, is then sold to pet food companies.  If you knew just how un-fresh pet food really is, trust me you’d explore better options for your furry family members.  

At the end of the day, living a vegan lifestyle in a non vegan world will have its challenges.  The transition can last months and sometimes even years for people and companion animals.  As long as you make sure you’re doing your best while not being too hard on yourself, your and your family’s vegan journey will be more successful and enjoyable.  One day and one treat at a time!