Terror attack on Paris, 13th November 2015- A gesture of sympathy vs multi-media scandal

It’s been just over a week since the latest terrorist attack in Paris last Friday, the Western world has been thrown into a state of deep sympathy towards the 127 innocent people who died, suffered and/or lost loved ones in the vindictive Bataclan attack by ISIS.

When I first heard about the news a day after it happened, I found it depressing, and I felt sympathy towards those who were killed, injured or lost friends or family to the attack, and felt inclined to add the faded Tricolour French colours to my Facebook Profile picture, as it seemed that it was a global  gesture of solidarity and respect for the victims. One of my interviewees said that she decided to do the same gesture, as she had personal experience living in Paris in her past, so she  However, as the controversy increased, my awareness also grew of why the gesture could be easily taken as hypocrisy rather than respect. The issue would be that there is far more concern and empathy has been invested in a close-by capital in a first world country, than the mass-devastation been done by natural and unnatural (terrorist/war) damage being done in far away, poorer countries.

NOTE: It goes without saying that all those who were directly involved with the loss of their friends and loved one’s lives have every right to be outraged, hurt and upset due to the incident, and are commendable and righteous to display their genuine grief, sadness of loss and shock that this act of barbaric war  however this article is addressing why there seems to be far more attention and bias generated by those who were not in any connection with those affected by the attack, because of the western governments and media have made far more blatant display of concern of this incidence, over the other global disasters and atrocities which are taking place.

Referring to News headlines (here focussing on ‘The Independent’) and several peers for their views on the matter of the global, social and media response to the Paris bombings, I have come up with this discussion here.

According to an article in ‘The Independent‘, such a negative valence (the characterisation/categorisation for emotions, event or object) called ‘Euro Centrism’ is the reason why there has been far more exclusive focus on a terrorist attack that is closer to home in the E.U. as more sentimental and moral importance is placed upon the first-world/white citizens, with more disregard to those suffering in faraway lands. Euro-Centrism’ is when the citizens of the western/European-world are regarded in higher importance than people living in countries that are further from home. This view is in clear agreement with some of my peers who I interviewed. One person explained that it’s the right thing to do to display sympathy towards the families and friends who have so recently lost their loved ones to such a devastating, cruel and sad display of misguided belief, but there is the concern that almost on every mainstream website (such as Facebook, Youtube and Ebay) have some form of French flag on the head-banner to display their respect and condolences to all those who suffered due to the attack, where it’s more likely that these websites are just making the effort to seem more human and to raise their reputation in that way.

In regards to the public’s incentive, an interviewee said that a reason as to why they made the social-media gesture was because this kind of terrorism is regarded by many as very ordinary, but made sensational by the news

Of course, the media is quick to sensationalise anything that is so drastically out of the ordinary to create ‘News’, rather than the same-old reports of impoverished and fear-stricken innocent women and children running for their lives in search of  asylum in more peaceful countries within the Western world- but the growing number of more sceptical media-consumers have been arguing that the seemingly compassionate and empathetic gestures of world-wide Governments and mainstream-media have handled the disaster. Another interviewee claimed that as a media-reliant public, we have very little access to what is the whole truth, especially when it’s a simply known truth that governments have sent agents to represent a certain organisation to feed these ongoing conflicts, to promote the profits of war for their own interests, and that the western governments are using the media to focus on a close-to-home incident that is commonplace in the Middle-East, to distract us from the shady deals and plots of the powers that be. Well, I wouldn’t say that this is impossible to comprehend. Can you?

It isn’t wrong to display compassion for any particular event of strife, aggression, or violence; but my advice would be to also demonstrate your compassion to all the other places and people in the world where there are people suffering from war, terrorism, dictatorship, natural and unnatural disasters and so on, and to not just settle for focussing on one of these events, just because the media is selectively focussing on that. As I changed my profile picture, I also made the effort to increase the awareness of other global issues by sharing messages that concerned the Earthquakes in Japan, the Suicide Bombings in Beirut and Baghdad and the everyday atrocities of current conflicts in the Middle East, and so on.

 

 

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A quick review on my top 5 Bloggers for this week.

Here are 5 other authors I have found through the Word Press site, and admired and briefly summed up in short paragraphs my views on their work.

I recommend that you also look them up!

  • Polly Kingdom– This writer writes in the succinct, factual, level-headed creative flow that I can feel attuned/in synchronization with, which reflects my own writing style and viewpoints.  With correct use of punctuation, grammar and colloquial language, this writer has the conviction to pose a strong argument, while adding in her own views with the text to make the document more entertaining, and to let the reader know where she stands with the argument.
  • Exposing the Big Game– This site uses WordPress predominantly to spread awareness and crowd-action with the use of petitions, focusing on issues such as anti-trophy hunting campaigns and reducing the harm caused to marine wildlife by fishnets, and so on. The language is clearly based on a voice of deep concern, but is conveyed formally with a cool-head.
  • Jason Tyler– This is a site that specialises in the discussion of Astronomy. In one of Jason’s articles, he writes about how an asteroid will be coming by quite close to planet Earth. Using a laid-back and casual but slang-free dialect with good grammar and punctuation, the writer explains succinctly how large and fast traveling ‘The NEO 2015 TB145’ will be passing close to Earth on October the 31st.

This blog focuses on poetry- mostly on female poets. It has been very carefully built and laid out. There are organised pictures at the top. A selection of poems running down the left hand side of the page, with lists of other poets with attached hyperlinks in the text which says them. This is a good example of a site in which to be inspired on how to use the available tools available to improve my blog.

  • Broken Light Collective– This photography blog displays various artists and their works, with rich and detailed back-stories about the subjects and reasons behind the work. For example, the site has multiple ‘Contributors’ from people (who they only use the first alias to say who did the work) who took the photographs, and a brief article about that person’s story and reasons for collaborating with the site. The publisher’s aim is to express people’s emotional problems and health issues with photography.

The link between Zombies and our Health

How can we associate Zombies to an improvement to our physical fitness and well being?

It can be quite safe more me to say that it would be very counter-intuitive to hold the contemporary image of a zombie to be the iconic model of the modern standard of a healthy body and mind! However, as odd as it may seem, I have recently discovered that a mindless hoard of the Undead can improve our physical, and perhaps even mental health.

So how can this be? I have recently bought a relatively cheap app. for my Windows smart phone called ”Zombies, Run!” which is an interactive audio story fitness tool, which offers an alternative perspective to the every-day activity of going for a run; which is a past-time which many of us in our society use to improve cardiovascular health, bodily fitness, reduce stress and promote the sense of happiness of having just completed a good workout- through the surge of dopamine running through your blood- a next-best thing to getting a high from another alternative source.

The app. cost me £1.49 after I tried out the free trial (the exhilarating first ‘mission’) and I hold no regrets over the matter. So this blog post will be about me expressing my views & opinions, as balanced as possible, albeit a bit positively biased in promoting you and other readers to give it a go. This app. is worth exploring if you’re already in to running, or are beginning to get into it; but lack the motivation or incentive for exciting adventure in an otherwise mundane & uninteresting plod down the pavement.

This app has been running on the market for around two years; and since then it has become a little cheaper, more updated and has had many bugs fixed to improve the user’s experience. There is fully narrated story line and diverse range of voice-over cast (male, female, multiple nationalities), who supply the consistently moving story version of the app. going. You can register an account on your PC, to ‘Sync’ your mission information- including what items you’ve picked up on each run (which happens automatically) to bring back to base as supplies, your running time and distance for each mission (which is recorded by a timer on the phone & G.P.S.).

So- the link between a very unhealthy visage of a groaning zombie and our improvement of mind and body. This app. encourages you to face the next run as a life-threatening mission, where if you don’t run as fast for as long as you can away from flesh-hungry ‘Zombies’, you get the feeling that your messy demise is imminent. So what is there to do, other than run for your life in order to survive? In your mind, this may be the case. However, for your body, the benefits are almost instantaneous. Your stamina is encouraged to adapt and improve, so does your general physical health with cardiovascular fitness (which means your heart becomes stronger, reducing your chances of developing potentially serious diseases caused by poor heart & circulation health, such as coronary heart disease).

However mentally traumatic this can be at first, this may hold benefits to your psyche as well. On the first mission, I was running- blood full of adrenaline and an ounce of fear- but as I exposed myself to that kind of fright, which doesn’t occur in normal everyday life, my mind also had the opportunity to adapt and strengthen to such a scenario (or similar where running at that pace may improve one’s chances of survival) so afterwards, my psyche may better know how to handle future stressful situations. The stimulation of the imagination can’t do any wrong, either! It encourages you to think creatively of all the landmarks and mission destinations on the map (in your mind) of your otherwise familiar territory, and thus enhances your creative aptitude while thinking logically of where to go and which route is the best way to get there.

Once the app. has been tried/bought; you play the part of the ‘Silent Protagonist’ spurred on by the many voices of all who are depending on you to get each mission successfully completed, giving you full reason and conviction to make it through each task alive. You have your own story developing, as well as being immersed in everyone else’s at your base camp. Some of the characters like you, others are more distrustful. Oh and the encroaching inhuman moans and rasps of the pursuing zombies is highly realistic, which then only makes you want to run harder, faster, and for longer. You can also select a playlist of your own music to listen to between each ‘Transmission’, to keep you motivated to push on.

This evening, I am about to attempt the fifth (out of 27 for the first ‘Season of the first app- there are two more sequels to get if the first wasn’t enough!) missions from the first game. There are so far two fully developed games. After this evening’s shower and recovery meal, I will intend to finish this review with fresh new experience of using this app; this first bit was written before my physical and mental fatigue could kick in, to hopefully provide a far clearer image of this app. to the world. Even though going for a night-time run can help reduce mental fatigue.

The time now is 22:15, and I will be facing the night and all its zombie inhabitants now- the night time is my preferred time of day to run for a few reasons; -There is less traffic to worry about, -my mind is far more alert in the cooler air, -And being on-mission when the monstrous zombies are on your heels makes things far more atmospheric! Once I’ve recovered, I’ll write about the experience so that the experience is fresh in my mind, to give you more of a genuine account of what it’s like to use the app!

23:15- After freshening up and having a small snack, it’s safe to tell you that when is setting up to go for a run with this highly intriguing app.; that you can easily imagine and believe that you’re set out on a mission which is briefed upon you as soon as you start going, and begin to warm up. Mission 5 wasn’t an adrenaline-fuelled zombie chase, per-Se, however the character’s narration then pumped enough urgency into your mind to get going. The mission was about (no spoilers to ruin it for anyone!) running to another base camp to inform some unsuspecting survivors that a hoard of zombies are inbound. Another mission complete; without getting eaten! I returned home feeling like an accomplished hero (again) after saving 50 souls from a grisly end.

Meditation: My Story; A collective perspective.

11083632_10153136073203908_3668386949804550917_nWhat is Meditation? Why is it relevant? Should you ever try it? What happens to your mind and body, with committed practice? This article is my initial exploratory documentation for the public view about the topic of Meditation, arguments for and against (I will be arguing for the practice of it), why it should definitely be encouraged in our modern Westernised culture, and the perks that it provides to those who healthily practice it. With information I have obtained from a book on Yoga which was bought for Christmas by my Grandfather, from various knowledge obtained from many lifestyle websites and also from asking around my friends & family; this article will also serve as an expression of theirs and my perspective on the matter, which hopefully will then encourage you to either begin or to further pursue your development of self awareness and mindfulness.

Originally, the practice of meditation was practised Meditation, in its basic form, is a method of formally practising mindfulness to become more aware of ourselves, and the world/life in which we live. There are many established benefits to meditation; foremost gaining an internal insight to ourselves, slowing down, relieving stress, becoming more calm and appreciative of what we have.

This is a brief account to what practising meditation has done for me: I’m fortunate enough to have been introduced to meditation and mindfulness at a much earlier stage of my development, as a child. First, it was on a large-community camp, where my Uncle was the community leader for the camp’s duration (which was 2 weeks during the summer); and during some of the group meetings, my uncle would lead a ‘Mindful’ exercise, instructing everybody to close their eyes, and fully take in all the sounds and sensations of what Mother Nature had to offer us, in our solitude from the bustle and chaos of city life, where most of us had travelled from.

There were frequent times after that, however, when I’d simply feel the need to slow down and take a breather from my situation. Adolescent years are challenging to the best of us, with a gradual introduction to the stresses of society, the hormonal whirl-wind, establishing our places in the world, wanting to pass exams and courses in education, figuring the complex rules of society, and frequently falling hard from mistakes made in doing so. For a while, all the social, emotional and mental stresses threatened to sweep me off my feet on any day. With the perseverance in which many of us rely, I came through scratched and bruised; and into another massive challenge of leaving home for the first time, to go to University. So, in the Spring-term of the first year of my course, I decided to look deeply into the subject of meditation, in hopes it would help grant me some clarity and stability into my increasingly complicated life. In this time, after a lot of emotional/mental confusion and turmoil; meditation started its growth as a prominent essence of my life.

The first revelation I had at this time of getting into the practice of meditation was around this time, when, during the early hours of the morning in my first student room, away from home. I was kneeling on my bed, and just making the journey inwards to focus on what I was feeling and thinking- without scrutinising it all with a logical and sceptical view. A wave of mixed and intense emotions that felt that I had been suppressing since moving from home, breaking up with both my ex’s, social dramas, academic pressures- and all the rest of it, swelled up and breached the flood gates. This was highly overwhelming, and made my heart light up like a supernova. I couldn’t hold back some tears, which were released by the massive relief of emotional and mental burden. Soon after, I fell asleep- and awoke the next the next morning feeling emotionally, mentally- and to me, personally; spiritually alleviated and refreshed.

The most obvious and effective way, commonly known, to meditate; is by finding a comfortable straight-backed position, fully or half-closed eyes, and quiet spot, free from intruding distraction- then to slow down the mind by focussing on the breath, or something external (such as a candle flame) to keep the mind centred. This may not appeal or work for some, however. Which isn’t a bad thing! As there are many alternative ways in which we can ‘meditate’. The most common way of doing so, is usually just practising what is called ‘Mindfulness’; which comes naturally to every one of us. It is simply the exercise of not being stuck in ‘Auto-pilot’ mode, which is where we fall into a singular state of going through our busy lives, distracted from what our lives really mean- to be alive. In this I mean eating food without tasting it, travelling from A to B without taking any of the view in, not realising the birds are singing, how your home really smells, and not being aware of how the mouse feels, under your fingers.

When we go into this form of being, we blunder through life as if everything is a blur, and each day a dull chore. Mindfulness allows the natural escape in which to use when you feel the need to feel that there is far more to experiencing life, than that is offered to us through a ‘cultured’ perspective, by our society. It teaches us we can slow down, and enjoy our lifetimes, continuously.

Many of us already practice and experience informal meditation, which is also known as ‘Mindfulness’- through a creative hobby; such as painting pictures, reading a novel, writing a story, doing some exercise, appreciating  nature, the evening sunset and the expanse of sky over our heads- the sound of running water, and a cool spring breeze caressing our faces.

The research I obtained from twenty of my peers; including friends, family, acquaintances made in person and also over Facebook, told me of their opinions on Meditation, and what it means to them. I used both direct interviewing, mostly through text-chat on the internet, and also a ‘Survey Monkey’ questionnaire. Using no more than 5 questions, I aimed to get their most natural and straight-forward responses in regards to their opinion of the subject being a mental, emotional, social and spiritual views on the matter.

The questions asked were:

A) What is your perspective/opinion on meditation, when you first think of it?

B) Do you meditate + How often?

C) Do you believe there to be physical/mental benefits?

D) Do you think it would benefit our society/culture to encourage others to meditate?

E) How do you think meditation can be spiritual?

The most frequently answer for the first question was; encouraging the mind to be peaceful and content, ”Release. Stilling the endless internal chatter”, breathing, Yoga, training the mind. A few people said that the word made them picture an orange-clad Buddhist monk sitting crossed-legged, yet my uncle said ”…Although that makes the concept initially appear faraway, and exotic.” When in fact people will meditate at least one point in their life, even without realising, when they are ”… someone may watch the sunset, rapt in music, mind slowing and falling into a deeper part of themselves.” The question also made others think of Zen, peace and power.

When the group of twenty interviewees were asked the second question, most people said that they had tried it, or are endeavouring to do it more frequently. A surprisingly small few said that they weren’t interested in doing it. When asked, one of my house-mates said that he wasn’t interested because; ”I’m not a monk.”. Simply stated like that. Which has made me wonder if it is possible for meditation to improve a person’s perspective to be broader. One person claimed to practice meditation three times a day, no less! Another said around twice a month, during the night-time. Some subjects also said that they don’t meditate in the ‘conventional’ or formal sense, but regularly pray, spend time quieting their mind, and being alone with nature.

In regards to the third question, if there are to be any physical, mental and/or spiritual benefits to the practice; there seemed to be a more apparent pattern and outcome with the mental dividends than the physical. The most obvious answer was that it is stress relieving. An interviewee have said that the mental and emotional sense of calm can directly benefit the body, with results in lower blood pressure, with also a better physical performance in competitive sports- rather that than being stressed or angry.

Another said she believes that it allows her to observe her emotions, without letting them become her. Another interesting answer was that Meditation is a way of training and clearing the mind, which can improve all aspects of life; to decisiveness, mental/academic performance, and to enhance creativity. Another person said that practising meditation through mantras and yoga, she has learned how to trust herself more, and more receptive and generous in sharing all manners of love.

The most prominent and logical answer for the third question, in how meditation can benefit society; is that- ”Immensely beneficial to society, leading to a consensual rather than confrontational model of behaviour. But you cannot coerce, legislate or cajole people to do it.”, and; ”Definitely.To not be so impulsive and to relax. Something that we have seemed to forget.”.

A fairly opposing argument made by a couple was that it shouldn’t be impressed upon other people to do something that would disrupt their way of life- as this could potentially turn their livelihoods upside down. Also, not everybody is open minded to it, so their could be a social division between those who do meditate, and those who believe that the other people are better off for doing something that they aren’t.

To the last question (the interesting part about spirituality), there were some fascinating results. One young man said that meditation is his way of connecting to the universe; much in the way many other people perceive their way of connecting to God.  It allows him to channel his energy into what really matters, and get rid of bad habits which he has developed.

Others said that it surely is, as it can allow the practiser to discover themselves deeply. Most said that it doesn’t necessarily have to be spiritual, and it depends on the person doing it. It can be a means to become more connected to the universe, or simply just to oneself, and relax. One stated that it can also ”… lead even the most sceptical of person to some pretty spiritual revelations.”

In conclusion. my search for answers about if meditation can be relevant to people who aren’t Buddhist monks, residing in any parts of the world, is a definite yes. People have stated that it is highly beneficial on an individual basis; in reducing stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. It can develop a better society, where people are less aggressive, upset and angry with one another; and more love and compassion can be generated and shared around.
On a spiritual level, it can be taken simply as a medicinal/holistic method of gaining more personal benefits in mental and physical health, to connecting more deeply to the universe, and finding more genuine happiness when experiencing one’s lifetime.

Another nocturnal walk of a solitaire

After a weekend of doing very little other than dwelling in my student accommodation, Sunday evening dragged on into night, and I hadn’t set foot outside the threshold all day. Feeling all cooped up & frustrated for want of fresh air, adventure & exercise, it was time to stop wanting, and eliminate such depravity.

It was not the first time I had taken a leisurely stroll at such an hour; as the darkness of night has always welcomed me with promise & opportunity of advancing the boundaries of one’s ‘Comfort Zone’. As with many other people, I share the same innate & often irrepressible  caution, even fear of the darkness. The most obvious reason for this could be that at one point during our human evolution, we were not always the apex predators of our environment, and had to be always alert when traversing our world by night, as there were always watchful eyes of other predators, whom posed as a possible threat.

There is also the reason that I possess a vivid imagination, where thoughts of fantastical things could be hiding behind any object, or within any shadow out of sight. With a more adapt mind for working with such an imagination, these thoughts can be brushed aside quite easily.

However, when walking alone at 21:20 through a lonesome and unlit park, some thoughts of darker things inhabiting shadowy places often spring to mind. Is this just that ancient cautionary instinct of being weary of the darkness preceding into our ‘modernised’ minds, lurking deep within the subconscious? Or purely figments of our imaginations getting carried away and influencing the way we still see the night time? Or could it be something else, which is all entirely open to speculation by all.

For myself, I like to feel that there is far more to the world that meets the eye. I’m open to concepts of ghosts, spirits, aliens, other dimensional entities and other such energies coercing with our world, and our lives. So it’s easy for me to entertain notions of mysterious & enigmatic things dwelling just out of sight, in the corners of our vision, not wishing to be directly discovered. Most the time. These principles can make such a leisurely stroll become an exciting, unnerving and exhilarating adventure! Thus create an opportunity to exceed the boundaries of my comfort zone to face palpable insecurities through action.

Being the highly introspective type, it was also a great opportunity to use such an experience of being enveloped by shadow to be more grounded and discover more about myself. Confronting fears & insecurities is a masterful way of doing this.

Hearing the music of the wind coursing through the bare branches, the mixed sky of rain cloud and star light, and the face numbing temperature of the air provided a surely built environment for self reflection & contemplation, when clarity of mind & soul was needed, as it always is in this life.

About me… Who am I?

Why it’s important to be genuine with yourself, and to others.

Hello reader(s)!
It’s a chilly Wednesday evening, and after a lot of social & physical activity over the last several days, I have decided to sit down at my desk in my tiger onesie by a warm mug of Vanilla Chai tea to write & publish a second blog on this site! I’ve recently had a failed attempt at making a video blog, so hopefully this will suffice.
If you’re in the same country, or close to mine (where it’s rather cold this time of year), then I hope you have been keeping warm & happy.

The main intentions of my blog articles is to express myself to the world, and also to provide at least an interesting insight to myself for you to read. This is my second article on ‘Blogger’, in which to further tell the global audience about who I am, what I do, what I want to do in life- and also to type up a hard-copy of a dairy entry I wrote last year; to supply some perspective to all of us of how things have changed so much for me. This is for both my benefit as it could be for you; as I haven’t had a good read-over of my dairy accounts yet; and it could encourage you to do the same, as it is a surprisingly effective tool to gain further introspection, reflection and direction to one’s personal life. Something I believe is always going to be important, anyway.

As I have already said in my first article, I’m a young Second-Year Wildlife Media student at the University of Cumbria, in Carlisle, U.K. I’m also very passionate at developing & maintaining my ethical principle of being a Vegan -however peacefully, so no need to dread a lecture from me! I did used to be quite preachy about it all, even when being a vegetarian; which has failed about five times in recent years, so I decided to take a further personal leap forward into something stricter… And I’m loving life even more for it! However if you are a Vegan also, or wish to attain that particular lifestyle, then we can get in touch about it.

My passion lies deeply with the natural world, and all its wild inhabitants. That is why I decided to move all the way from London, where I grew up to the age of 18, to Carlisle to study on this very unique & young course. The big idea is to make a reputation in creating media material, through moving image & stills, and use up my life travelling the lands & seas meeting interesting people & wildlife. One reason for this is to allow the continued global appreciation & love for the natural world, as there is a very large & apparent problem of the effects of humanity wiping it away.

I also lead quite a holistic lifestyle. Most of the food I eat I make myself (with some exceptions of the occasional treat of junk food & ready made falafel balls) but increasing my culinary skills to provide me with a far wider array of recipes in which to nourish myself and others with.

I’m also very fond of keeping fit & healthy in other ways- not just physically, but also mentally & spiritually. Yes; I’m one for believing in the trinity of mind, body & soul, also. There’s quite a list of hobbies that I possess, including : -Yoga, -reading, -writing, -listening to music, the violin (absolute beginner, still just learning how to play the notes!), -rock climbing, cooking, -meditating, -gaming, watching television series, documentaries & films, being adventurous when exploring the great outdoors, being around nature & animals & media production. Even though I enjoy being sociable, I’m also quite the solitary beast, and require a fair sum of introverted time alone to recharge my social energy.

It is a goal to write about other aspects of life that are always something I engage myself in, such as spirituality & other levels of personal & psychological (physical as well) health & other larger questions that I and many others can often find ourselves asking. All this writing also has an aim to get discussions sparked up, so go ahead and post your views! It would be most appreciated.

So that explains quite a lot about me, however the story is far from complete & accounted for. I hope you have enjoyed reading, and expect further blogs from me in the future!

Best wishes.

Introduction to the Rowan.

Hi there! I hope you’re happy, healthy and doing well for yourself.
Anyway; I’m Rowan, and this article is to introduce myself and my cause for writing my blog articles.
Currently a second year Wildlife Media Student at the University of Cumbria, Carlisle, it’s in my nature to have an empowering passion for the natural world, its inhabitants and what effect we as humans have on the planet and the animals we share it with.
I’m primarily concerned with the issues entailing animal exploitation; in the meat, hunting/poaching, dairy, clothing, fishing & entertainment industries. This is informed and inspired by my recent choice of becoming vegan, as such a change of lifestyle has driven me to look further into the issues caused by the degradation in which humanity has caused through using the world’s natural resources in an irresponsible manner. -Personally, I believe that environmental concern is a relevant to everyone; as we only have this one planet to live on, and once we ruin it for ourselves; that will significantly lower the quality of our lives and also those of our future generations.
There won’t be any guilt-tripping preaching going on about trying to convert people to be Vegan also, as it is my individual life choice to adhere to and stick to. However, it is a topic in which I will be discussing with any who are interested for a peaceful & insightful exchange of views.
I don’t judge everyone who eats meat & dairy evil and cruel; most of my friends and family are either meat eaters or vegetarians; they’re my loved ones. It is my sole decision to go against the ideology of mainstream consciousness and attitude, thus one must be strong enough to put up with the unending difference of opinion (although when it comes to those closest; it usually is the most challenging). I’m the only vegan in my shared house; and must put up with the smell of cooking dead animal flesh, without complaint. However, my closest friends have said that I’m too opinionated for their comfort and amiability in my company, so being balanced minded & more humble is a principle I’m working on!
I was raised vegetarian until I was about 7; when my father wanted me to start eating animal flesh. My mother wanted to raise me to the point when I could make my own concious decision whether or not I wanted to eat animals. However; it has taken me to my 19th Birthday to fully make my own informed decision of what I wanted to eat & why; as the years of being omnivorous between the age of 7-19 I never had the initiative to gain enough awareness into the topic.
My initial reasons for going vegan was because I failed to be an incorruptible vegetarian (eating dairy & eggs/wearing animal derived clothing) as it was easy to break and eat meat again; this happened thrice within a year. So instead of feeling guilty about this due to my powerful compassion for animals, I decided to go all the way to being a vegan. Vegetarianism was easily breakable for me, and also turned out to be a very obsolete principle in my mind in anyway; as dairy cows usually don’t live full and healthy lives, are slaughtered and many of their young forcefully taken away from them after birth, usually to only replenish the herd or be slaughtered; so that humans can have their dairy. Same applies to the attainment of wool from sheep; those animals in which are also exploited for their carcasses, as well. With eggs; many male chicks are regarded as non-profitable as they don’t lay eggs, and are soon dispatched; in some well known cases; by being ground up alive or drowned/suffocated/decapitation or through a broken neck; you get the idea; lots of infant and adult animals alike being killed for the pleasure of humans.
This all seems abhorrent to me; so I decided to not be part of it any more. Of course, if I was on ‘Survival Mode’, I would eat any creature to stay alive. However, I’m not, so I opt to invest in a purely plant-based diet, in which I thrive healthily & happily. This is proven through my practised exercise principles; I go running and in the process of developing a fit and strong body; which hasn’t been affected negatively by dropping animal products. Toning up is more easily done, too!
So far, it feels as if my immune system has greatly strengthened since not consuming animal proteins, and the food which I (always) make is highly satisfying & enjoyable; granted that it’s all coming off a frugal student budget! Also no increase in food allowance from that budget per week; so it’s not exactly an expensive ethical standpoint.
If you’re a meat eater, vegetarian, vegan and so on; please do tell me what you think, it would be great to get a discussion on all this going!
Also, if you are a like-minded vegan and are looking for others out there (we are very few in number), it would be great to share opinions and our viewpoints.
My future blogs will be in discussion about the environment, being a vegan and probably also touching on a more spiritual concept of how we are in tune with more non-physical aspects in our lives, such as compassion, emotional awareness and how to live a more happier life in becoming clearer thinkers.
Yours kindly,
Rowan