Fast Against Slaughter, October 2nd

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They are brought into a dark and cruel world, already marked for execution. Every day of their short and miserable lives, they endure merciless pain and cruelty. Their bodies are marred and mutilated. Not even their own flesh belongs to them. Every night, they hope for deliverance that never comes. When their time is up, they are crowded so tightly onto trucks that they can barely breathe or move. Through torturous heat or bitter cold they ride for hours on end, not receiving a drop of water or food. When their heinous journey finally comes to an end, they are met with an unthinkably cruel and agonizing death. Never in their days were they shown a single ounce of love, mercy, or compassion. Unseen, they suffered. Unheard, they cried. Hopeless, they died.

Right now, 70 billion animals across the world are living this horror story. Thursday October 2nd is the World Day for Farmed Animals. To experience an infinitesimally small fraction of the suffering animals in the meat, dairy, and egg industries endure every day, I will not eat. If you feel moved by the plight of farm animals, you are welcome to join me in this fast. (Pledge here!) If you are incapable of fasting, I encourage you to eat VEGAN. This means only consuming food free from meat, dairy, eggs, and honey.

Veganism is based upon values you already believe in, such as peace, non-violence, kindness, compassion, and equality. It is as simple as not harming innocent, feeling beings because you do not have to and they don’t want to die! I hope you choose to eat compassionately and always give thought to the suffering you spare yourself the sight, Thursday and onward.

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See why I FAST against SLAUGHTER here.

Best,

Leila

What’s the Buzz about Honey?

Recently, I have gotten a lot of questions about my decision to not eat honey as a vegan. I found it a bit difficult to explain, as the cruelty in the honey industry is not as obvious as in the meat, dairy, and egg industries, so I decided to articulate my thoughts here.

Reasons why Honey is not Vegan:

1. It is a form of animal exploitation. Bees work hard to make their honey. When humans take it from them, bottle it, and sell it, they are making a profit off the bees’ natural body functions, just like the dairy and egg industries do. Bees are not our personal honey making machines. They exist for their own independent purposes. No animals should be exploited as a food source, including bees.

2. Bees need to keep their honey. Bees work hard to make their honey. A single worker bee may visit up to 10,000 flowers in one day, only to produce one teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. In addition, honey provides vital nutrients to the bees, especially during the wintertime. We have no right to take it from them just because we like how it tastes. The bees need and deserve their honey more than we do.

3. Taking honey from bees is stealing. We cannot ask for bees permission to use their honey. However, it is not difficult to deduce that bees do not want humans to take it from them. Why would they prefer to live in a box with a large human intermittently disrupting their hive to steal their hard-earned honey? We must respect that honey is the bees’ property, not ours.

4. Bee farming is often industrialized. Just like other forms of factory farming, industrialized bee farming forces bees into cramped and unnatural environments. With the large amount of honey made available cheaply, the bees inevitably suffer. They are often subjected to genetic manipulations and stressful transportation when their “hive,” reduced to a cabinet, is moved from place to place. Additionally, bees are frequently injured or killed in the honey-harvesting process.

When raised for honey, bees are forced to live here:

When they should be living here:

5. It is unnecessary for humans to take bees’ honey. There are plenty of plant-based sweeteners we can use in our food, such as maple syrup, agave, and a cool product called “Bee Free Honee,” which is made from apples. (Check it out here) With so many delicious alternatives, we may as well let the bees keep their honey. Forcing bees to make sweetener for us is simply unnecessary nowadays.

So this is why I choose to leave honey out of my diet. Honey can be a gray area for many vegans, as bees are not animals (they are insects). However, I extend my circle of compassion to include bees and give them the same respect and freedom as I give to other animals.

More Information about Honey:

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/animals-used-food-factsheets/honey-factory-farmed-bees/

Honey Alternatives:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/best-alternatives-to-honey/

Best,

Leila

Lost in the Woods: A Fall Makeup Look

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Today was a lovely fall day. The sky was clear, the temperature was perfect, and the leaves were just starting to change color. To capture the beauty of the season, I created this fall eye look inspired by golden sunlight, autumn leaves, and getting lost in the woods.

To begin, I primed my eyes with the Urban Decay Primer Potion and applied Josie Maran’s coconut watercolor eyeshadow in Playa del Pink as a base.

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Using Urban Decay’s Ammo Palette, I applied Chopper, a warm rose gold, to  the lid, avoiding the inner third. I then applied Smog, a rich woodsy brown, to the outer half of the lid, focusing on the outer V. I dragged this color into the crease and blended it well to give a soft, smokey, and blown out effect.

I then applied Sin, a soft champagne, to the tear duct and inner third of the lid. I also re-applied Chopper to the center of the lid to intensify the color. Then, I ran Smog along the outer third of the lower lashline and applied chopper to the middle of the lower lashline, blending the two colors together.

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To further intensify the outer corner, I smudged Urban Decay’s 24/7 eye pencil in Black Velvet into the outer half of the waterline and applied thick winged liner using Wet n Wild’s Mega Eyes liquid liner in black. I love how firm and precise the tip of this liner pen is, allowing me to create a sharp wing with ease. I finished the eyes by curling my lashes and applying mascara.

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To fill in my eyebrows, I applied the Anastasia brow powder with an angled brush and set them with the Anastasia Lash Genius brow gel.

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As a finishing touch, I applied Wet n Wild’s Silkfinish Lipstick in Black Orchid. This deep, bold wine color is beautiful for fall. I love how this lipstick glides on smoothly and is extremely pigmented. The quality is amazing for its low price!

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Here is the completed look:

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I hope you are enjoying autumn! It is a busy season for me, with midterms coming up. But sometimes it is best to pause, take a deep breath, look up at the beautiful sky and golden leaves, and get lost in the moment. Time is constantly passing by, like the falling autumn leaves, so never lose sight of the beauty in the simple things.

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Best,

Leila

Tofu Vegetable Chow Mein Bowl

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Tonight, my friend and I did not feel like eating at the dining hall, and because we’re broke college students, going out for dinner was out of our budget. So instead, we decided to use some of the dining dollars that came with our meal plans at our campus Panda Express!

The only vegan options Panda Express carries are white rice, chow mein, and a tofu eggplant dish. (Their steamed vegetables contain milk. Why!?) Unfortunately, our Panda Express did not carry the tofu, so I just picked up some of the chow mein. To jazz it up a bit, I heated up some frozen veggies, edamame, and baked tofu in the microwave and mixed them in with the noodles. This dish would be even more incredible topped with crushed peanuts or sesame seeds.

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As you can see, being vegan can be convenient and affordable! Most chain restaurants, like Panda Express, have the allergen information for all of their menu items listed online, so you can plan your meal in advance. The size small chow mein cost $2.50, and I only used about half of the container for one meal. Frozen veggies are typically around $3 or less per package, and one bag tends to last for 2-3 meals. Tofu, depending on the type, size, and brand, typically costs around $3-$5 and lasts for 3 or more meals.

So there goes your last excuse! Being vegan is easy, delicious, and cheap. It just takes some creativity! 🙂

Best,

Leila

My Vegan Diary: Week 10

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HAPPY HUG A VEGAN DAY! ❤ 🙂 ❤ Sending virtual hugs to all of you today!

Wishing I could hug my favorite little vegan:

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I have been giving and receiving lots of hugs this afternoon. I even saw a group of people in the middle of campus with “Free Hugs” signs! After classes, I went to a local grocery store and picked up a box of Tofutti Cuties to share with the girls in my hallway. Everyone has been enjoying how adorable they are. Someone even said they tasted better than dairy ice cream! No one can tell the difference between dairy ice cream and vegan ice cream, but the cows sure can! ❤

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But what’s Hug A Vegan Day all about anyways? When I first heard about it, I wondered about its power as an animal rights activism campaign. But after giving it some thought, I realized that it has a great ability to spread awareness of veganism. It shows that vegans are friendly, compassionate, kind, and hugable, not hateful, judgmental, isolated or uptight. It allows the vegan message into people’s minds in a light-hearted manner. Sometimes, a friendly hug and a conversation can change people’s hearts more than watching a graphic video about where meat comes from. Showing the world how friendly and happy vegans are can make a powerful effect on others.

So hug a vegan today, for all they do for the animals, planet, and people! 🙂

Best,

Leila

5 Perks of being Vegan!

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The vegan diet gets a reputation for being extremely restrictive and difficult to stick to. When I tell people I’m vegan, 90% of the time I get a response along the lines of “I could never do that!” Well, this post is dedicated to the amazing perks of being vegan that often go unacknowledged.

1. You can eat MORE! It seems miserable to have to constantly count your calories and control portion sizes. Who can honestly say that a Lean Cuisine makes a satisfying meal? Because animal products are more dense in calories and fat, you cannot eat a large volume of them. Fortunately, 400 calories of plant material fills the stomach perfectly, leaving you feeling satisfied after every meal. So go vegan and eat up!

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Meet The Big Vegan Bowl. Ummm, yes? Recipe here.

2. You are leaving a smaller ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT. No more fooling yourself with the environmental benefits of shutting off  the sink while you brush your teeth or turning off the lights when you leave the room. Though you should still use your resources wisely, know that the vegan diet alone contributes tremendously to reducing environmental damage, more than the aforementioned gestures ever could. So grab your veggies feel good about helping the environment!

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3. You feel HEALTHIER! Going vegan immediately eliminates the most unhealthy foods in your diet, such as fast food, ice cream, and hot dogs. All vegan food, even Oreos and vegan ice cream, are cholesterol free! It is a great relief to know that your risk for terrible diseases like heart disease and cancer have been dramatically decreased.

Here in college, my friends constantly complain about overeating the dining hall’s cookies or soft serve. As a vegan, avoiding junk food and making healthy choices is so much easier! Have I successfully escaped the dreaded Freshman 15?

None of this for me!

4. Food tastes BETTER! Once you have been vegan for awhile, your taste preferences change to favor delicious and nutritious foods like veggies and fruits. (And besides, who doesn’t feel nauseated after eating a greasy bacon double cheeseburger? Yuck!) Once you know that no pain, suffering, or death went into the making of your meal, your food tastes better than ever before! A clear conscience makes eating MUCH more enjoyable! Nothing feeds the body, mind, and soul better than a wholesome vegan meal.

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5. You are living INDEPENDENTLY! Think of the your most proud accomplishments in life. The reason why you were able to achieve them was because you ate food, which gave you the energy to live. If you are not vegan, then your entire existence is dependent upon causing pain, suffering, and death to other living beings. When you stop eating animal products, you liberate yourself from gaining nourishment at others’ expense. No longer do you stand upon the crushed skulls of other beings to reach your goals. Every success and victory you achieve is truly yours.

THE COST: On average, people eat 1094 animals in their lifetime, including 4 cows, 4 sheep, 12 geese, 37 ducks, 46 pigs, 46 turkeys and 945 chickens. Nothing can make up for this merciless bloodshed.

All of these amazing perks and more are free for you to enjoy! All you have to do is put down those nasty animal products. Once you begin experiencing all of the wonderful benefits of going vegan, you will never dream of going back! So let’s face it…Being VEGAN is pretty awesome!

Maybe one day the tables will turn and people will instead say, “Wow! You’re a meat eater! I could never do that!”

Best,

Leila

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

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I was recently nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by PluAnna, a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. It was so kind of her to think of my blog for this award! Be sure to check out her blog! Her reviews and recommendations are excellent. ❤

Onto the award!

Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.

2. Put the award logo on your blog.

3. Answer the ten questions they have written for you.

4. Write ten different questions for your nominees to answer.

5. Nominate ten people.

Here are the questions from PluAnna! 🙂

1. If you had to choose only one perfume for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I am not a huge perfume wearer, mainly because I do not have the money to spend on them, but I do love Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mists. They are inexpensive, come in a variety of scents, and last all day! My favorite scent of those I have tried is Aspen Caramel Woods, a limited edition fall scent I picked up last year. It smells very sweet, warm, and cozy, and I especially love wearing it over a warm sweater and scarf! And I wouldn’t mind wearing it all year round…

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2. Do you have any tattoos and piercings?

None right now, though I am planning on getting piercings once I turn the magic age of 18. I am open to the idea of getting tattoos, but I am not ready to commit to any yet.

3. What is one thing you are looking forward to?

I am mainly looking forward to becoming involved in my college’s animal respect society. At our club festival last week, I briefly spoke with one of the representatives there. Some of its projects include promoting an all-vegan cafeteria on campus (the answer to my prayers!) and volunteering at a nearby farm sanctuary. Lately, I have been feeling so out of place with non-vegans. It seems like every other conversation is about animal products! I cannot wait to find my place in a community of other vegans and animal right’s activists.

4. Do you change your makeup depending on a season or do you keep it similar throughout the year?

I do wear my makeup seasonally. During the summer, my makeup is very minimal, if I wear any at all. I usually just for some water proof eyeliner, mascara, and lip balm. But during the fall and winter, I enjoy wearing warm-toned eyeshadows, eyeliner, and tinted lip balms, as well as concealer and powder.

5. Do you have any pets?

Yes! I have a pet red footed tortoise named Macantosh, who is the key to my heart. ❤ He came into my life over 7 years ago when he was so small he could fit into the palm of my hand! Now, he’s so big, we let him walk around the house sometimes like a dog or cat would. He even takes food from my hand and climbs onto my lap! He has such a sweet and friendly personality, and I miss him so much right now! </3

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This past summer, my sister adopted a dog named Dahlia. She is an Eskimo-Pomeranian mix. I feel a *bit* uncomfortable around dogs and cats. The fact that they have sharp teeth and claws and can run quickly scares me! (This is probably linked to a frightening childhood encounter  with a neighborhood dog while on my bicycle, but that is a story for another time.)  However, Dahlia is a gentle dog and has definitely grown on me.  Sometimes I catch her and Macantosh napping together in the corner!

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6. Books or movies?

I have never been a movie watcher. They are just too long for my taste! I do not read a lot of books, either. I prefer reading short articles and stories. (Again a result of my short attention span!) But I recently read The Inner World of Farm Animals by Amy Hatkoff. It truly opened my eyes to the high intelligence and emotions of farm animals. I would highly recommend it.

7. Favourite coffee drink?

I do not drink coffee anymore because I am straight edge. I have felt dependent upon coffee before, and I don’t want to give coffee the power to control my mood and energy every day.  However, I still drink tea occasionally, even though tea also contains caffeine. My favorite tea drink is Chai lattes. The spicy cinnamon-nutmeg flavor of them feels so warm and cozy!

8. What is the best thing about Fall for you?

This is a hard question! Between the sweaters and boots, pumpkins, and chilly weather, it is difficult to choose. However, I would have to pick the beautiful leaves! I love being outside when the sky is clear and the leaves are ablaze with red, orange, and yellow. The trees look so beautiful when their colors reflect in a river or lake. The sound of the dry leaves when I walk in them or when they rattle in the wind is so relaxing. Fall is just the most beautiful time of year.

9. Do you have any hobbies?

Blogging is my main hobby. This blog has become a large part of my life over the past three months, which I am very glad about. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to spend my free time more productively. Writing and brainstorming new posts is my favorite thing to do, and it is satisfying to have something to show for the time I spend working on it.

10. What is one of your happiest memories?

One of my happiest memories was graduating from high school. Walking across the stage and receiving my diploma was a feeling of great accomplishment.

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Questions for my nominees:

1. What is something that made you smile today?

2. Who are your role models, and how have they influenced you?

3. Describe your favorite fall fashion pieces.

4. What is your favorite restaurant, cafe, or coffee shop?

5. It is the perfect fall day, and you are entirely free. How do you spend it?

6. What is your favorite fall meal, dessert, or dish?

7. Explain something you care about.

8. Share a story from your childhood.

9. What are your favorite fall makeup trends?

10. What are your favorite type of blog posts to write and read?

My nominees:

bertathevegan

talkerblogger

The Inner Ramblings of Me

My Vegan Valentine

IsadoraMaria

hippiefig

Moonlight Chai

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me! I will be looking forward to reading my nominees’ responses! 🙂

Best,

Leila