Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Becoming a better activist

There is a lot of yelling.

There is a lot of anger.

I see it all of the time.

I don't know how to be the most effective activist. I have learned a couple of things that have helped, and I'll share those. The bottom line for me is constantly looking within to make sure I am being a strong voice for the voiceless.

First, it helps if I know what I am talking about and not just jump on a bandwagon. I have gotten better at this especially since I started blogging. It is so important to blog about facts and when engaging in activism, to be factual. It can be easy to get caught up in some piece of "news" on Twitter or Facebook, and I've learned to investigate before sharing.

Next, I have to focus. Yes, I want to make the world a better and safer place for all living beings. I can't be all things to all movements. I try to focus on what I am most passionate about and go from there. This doesn't mean I can't participate in an action alert or a protest. It simply means to stay focused, to keep my eye on the prize.

Honor my primary relationships. So important for me. I am fortunate to have an amazing husband, a man who loves me and who I am in love with completely. I have to remember this when involved in activism. Home life is super important to me and creating and keeping peace and love at home has to always come first.

Donate smartly. In the past several years we have chosen a couple organizations that we make larger donations to. We still donate randomly when we see something that seems urgent but we still try to keep focused on making a couple bigger donations rather than a bunch of smaller ones. Note to those asking for money: remember to thank those who give you their hard-earned money.

Kindness. I write about this a lot. Activism gets crazy. With so much bigotry, white supremacy, racism, animal cruelty and violence in the our communities it's easy to get pissed off. It can be easy to blow off anyone who doesn't agree with me. I have found that this doesn't help, nor am I as strong of a voice for the voiceless that I can be . It doesn't hurt to be kind. An example is a fundraiser I went to in LA. I went to support an activist group. I left feeling like most of those present didn't really want anyone outside of their circle present. Very little interaction or welcoming. At a fundraiser.

Remember that all of these are very personal to me and how I have experienced activism over the past 30 years. I hope one of these helps you to also become a better activist.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Another post about voting

One theme clear in many of my blog posts is to encourage activists of every kind to engage in politics and to vote.

This is just as important as it every has been.

With primaries and caucuses getting close, each one of us has an opportunity to create change in our own way, to voice our opinion and to be the voice of those who do not have a voice.

Please vote.

Please caucus.

Wear one of your favorite activist t-shirts that promote a cause near and dear to you.

Bring a friend.

There is so much going on in our world and I believe that the more of us who actually give a shit participate and vote, we have a good chance of making things better.

Just a pipe dream? I don't think so.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A 20-year vegan

In simple terms, if one becomes vegan and doesn't die, eventually they will be vegan for 20 years.

That's the case in my life. January of 2016 marks 20 years of being vegan. I have honestly never looked back and never considered not being vegan since that first day.

I became vegan because I no longer wanted to be part of animal cruelty. I no longer wanted to think that my taste buds trumped the life of an animal who wanted to live.

A lot has changed. There are more vegans. A ton more vegan products. More people today get that animals are tortured and live in fear just to become someones meal.

Many restaurants at least have a vegan option.

Activism has grown too. I was involved in human rights work when I became vegan and now am happily also part of the animal rights movement.

Like many of us, I have passions in other areas, specifically trans equality, liberation, homelessness and poverty.

Being vegan is easy. Becoming vegan is easy. There is so much I don't know so I have a bunch of web links on the main page of my blog which can be helpful for those wanting to learn more.

Newly vegan? Considering veganism? Go easy on yourself. Learn all about food and what foods bring what nutrients to your body. Be kind to yourself and others. Life, veganism and activism are all paths and we each walk them a little differently.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Gym issues

Leaving the gym recently, I started telling Mike about all of the issues I have with not only our new gym, but with many people who go there.

I should say that I am one of the most positive people I know, and that I have always tried to write positive blog posts. After my most recent gym visit I just had to vent.

I love being back in the gym and working out. I feel better physically and mentally.

But come on!

Please put the weights away. There is no one following you around the gym cleaning up after you. It's just common courtesy.

With limited equipment, if you do not want to share or let someone work in, please purchase your own equipment and stay home.

For goodness sake, don't unload with your "bro" in the sauna about what a bitch your girlfriend, wife or one night stand is. I honestly don't think anyone cares to hear it.

Yes, you are a gym god. You have the best body ever, in the whole world. So what.

Would it kill you to be kind to other folks in the gym?

For all of you who go to the gym, do your thing without disrespecting others or maybe even being nice to someone, thank you.

Not all of us know everything there is to know. Not all of us are there to look good. I want to be as fit as possible, and going to the gym makes that a lot easier for me.

Thanks so much for reading.