Archives for 2016

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From Surviving to Thriving – Tools for living expansively in a non-vegan world

Where are you in your vegan journey?  Are you a new vegan who excitedly wants to share veganism but feel thwarted by those who ridicule you, think you’re odd or who show no real interest?  Have you become aware of animal cruelty and are outraged when others don’t become vegan when you tell them about it?  Are you experiencing improved health and wellbeing and yet feel alienated from those who prefer to overconsume and concentrate only on their own personal interests? In short, are you surviving or are you thriving, feeling part of this new era of veganism with all its benefits for people, animals and planet?

The number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle is growing across the world, so is awareness of it by those who wish to resist, ridicule and criticise those who choose this lifestyle, understanding little of the philosophical basis underpinning this lifestyle.  How do you become part of this social justice movement and also enjoy your journey so it underpins your life, rather than feeling your energy is spent defending yourself and countering attacks?  In short, how do you learn to thrive?

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Is a Vegan Meal Really Catering to Your Needs?

There are numerous situations when vegans feel unable to participate, such as dining at certain restaurants or eating when others are eating animal products.  Vegans vary in the extent to which they can tolerate being around others eating non-vegan food; some are satisfied to eat a special meal whereas others feel so uncomfortable being around people who are eating animal products that they feel miserable and anxious, or even avoid going out.  Each vegan has to decide where they stand on this as communication with others about these issues will be different.

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How Living ‘Off the Grid’ Brought Me Nearer to Veganism

Twelve years ago, my partner and I left Sydney for an adventure.  My partber, a social disrupter and avid believer in renewable energy use, and myself embracing the opportunity to ‘live the dream’, moved to New Zealand to build an ‘Off the Grid’ house and experience lowering our environmental footprint.   Like most plans, they don’t always work out as expected.  There are unexpected learnings along the way, much more profound than what was planned.  I entered New Zealand thinking we were doing as much as we could to live sustainably and ethically, and left the country four years later with only a couple of months left of being non-vegan.

We spent the first year building our house incorporating such materials as wool insulation, non-petrochemical bio-paints and a Biolytix converter (giant worm farm) to process sewage into brown water.  With no connection to the grid, we obtained our power from solar panels and a Pelton water turbine for generating electricity.  And with myself being a ‘vege-quarian’ for over 30 years and my partner one for eight, we believed were were living ethically with a light environmental footprint.  Our education was only just beginning.

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