Emerging from your Old Skin

 take a chance

Sometimes, nature teaches you life lessons. Today, I found a cicada’s empty shell in my back yard. Since the outer skeleton does not grow with the insect, from time to time, it crawls out of its old skin and grows a new, stronger, and bigger one. The cicada emerges weak and vulnerable. But without looking back, it leaves its old shell behind and aspires to become something more. I started thinking about the empty skin and realized that it serves as a great metaphor for life.

Right now, I am on the precipice of adulthood. In a couple of weeks, I will be starting my sophomore year of college and moving into my first apartment. Finding a job and saving up for a car are at the front of my mind, as well as declaring my major and pursuing a career after graduation. Choosing your path in life is scary. It means letting go of the past and venturing into the dangerous and unknown future, even though it may not turn out the way you want it to.

But at times like these, I think we all could channel the courage of a cicada. We can’t remain complacent and comfortable in our old  skin. We must aspire to grow and move forward, even if it means taking a risk and leaving familiarity behind. That moment when you first emerge from your old skin, unsure of whether you will ever find your new beautiful armor, must be tough. But like the cicada, we need to have faith in who we are meant to be and keep flying.

Best,

Leila

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

Today, Saturday October 4th, is the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. This event aims to call attention to the dire need of a worldwide ban on selling rhino horns and elephant tusks. Each year, a staggering 35,000 elephants and 1,000 rhinos are killed each year due to the demand for ivory and rhino horn and increasing poaching rates. It has been estimated that, if this trend continues, both species could be extinct within 20 years.

Imagine that. Our generation’s children will be living on an earth that is not graced by these graceful, gentle, beautiful giants. Elephants and Rhinos will become a whimsical memory, elusive as dinosaurs. And all that will be left of them is the reason why they were extinguished: the ivory humans stole from them.

Elephant Tusks are used to make jewelry, souvenirs, and other trinkets.

Rhino Horns are believed to cure fever, pain, arthritis, convulsions, and other maladies.

We demand greater protection for Rhinos and Elephants. We cannot stand by and allow this vicious, greed-driven massacre to continue. Drastic action must be taken now. It doesn’t matter how lucrative the elephant tusk and rhino horn trade is. It doesn’t matter how many ignorant customers will be disappointed when they don’t get their precious ivory goods. Elephants and rhinos play an irreplaceable role in their environments. Saving these species must become the priority.

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To voice the need to extend greater protection to elephants and rhinos, I participated in a March for Elephants and Rhinos in my college town. Individual voices are small. But together, our shouts will be heard around the world. We demand that all trade and poaching of elephant tusks and rhino horns be immediately put to an end. That all carving shops and factories be shut down. For the law to strictly enforce penalties for harming these animals.

Today, we are at a crossroads of two futures. In one, elephants and rhinos roam freely and peacefully, awing the world with their grace and beauty.

But in the other, the earth is barren and plain. Their large, looming figures do not frame the horizon. The ground never rumbles with their mighty steps. Instead, the quaking earth mourns the loss of the beautiful beasts who used to bring such pride and magnificence to her plains.

If we do not take initiative today, that somber, desolate future will become a reality. We will be left in painful regret, that we were the reason why these remarkable and irreplaceable creatures were driven into extinction.

Sometimes, giants need protection, too. And there will always be space in my heart for them, no matter their size.

 Below are my photos from the March:

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I couldn’t go to the march without my beautiful elephant tee shirt. Unfortunately, it was super cold so I had to wear a jacket over it. 😦

I made these signs the night before:

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We marched through the streets yelling these chants. Many heads turned. Some applauded to show their support. One woman we met even joined our march!

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I marched alongside these inspiring, motivated people.

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Afterwards, we hung up the signs for display on campus.

Participating in the 2014 Global March for Elephants and Rhinos was an amazing experience.  This was my first animal rights protest, and I truly feel like I have found my passion in life: fighting for animal rights! I hope to participate in many, many more protests to spread awareness of the suffering of our animal friends.  The world must see and know!

Best,

Leila

I Wish the World was Different

slice of cruelty

Yesterday, Mercy For Animals presented evidence of horrifying animal cruelty taking place at the milk producer for Leprino Foods, the world’s largest mozzarella cheese maker. Their undercover footage showed workers violently abusing the cows. The cows were whipped, sometimes on the face, and electrocuted. Injured or ill cows were not provided with veterinary care, and instead their pain was exacerbated by the workers’ intervention. You can view the footage here.

This investigation demonstrates that when animals are used as a food source, the product becomes more valuable than the individuals it comes from. In an industrialized setting where one downed cow is easily replaced by another, the animals are reduced to bits in an enormous machine The cows, marked by a number on a tag punched through their ears, lose all control of their own lives and bodies. They become tiny, insignificant milk machines, their suffering only contributing a mere drop to quench people’s endless thirst for dairy. Before they even open their eyes on this planet, their fate has already been sealed.  They are robbed of all individuality, freedom, and hope. And once they are no longer profitable, they are sent to slaughter and quickly replaced.

Not property

Nothing is worth this vicious torture. Not only are we stealing these animals’ milk, we are stealing their entire lives. If animals could speak, humans would weep. One day, we will look back on the way we treated animals and see how wrong we were. I just wish that day could come sooner.

like this

Best,

Leila

The Fashionista Award

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I was recently nominated for the Fashionista Award by Sarah from Kitty Approved Beauty, an amazing blog about cruelty free makeup. If you are not following her, you should check out her blog: http://kittyapprovedbeauty.wordpress.com/

So in this post, I will be answering the questions for this award.

1) What motivated you to start blogging?

For the past three years, I have been cultivating my makeup skills. The idea of starting a blog had been growing in the back of my mind all year, but I never acted on it. Finally, bored at the beginning of July, I decided to start a blog to share my interests in beauty and fashion, as well as document my first year of college experience.

2) Favorite movies?

I don’t watch movies very often, as I find them too long. However, I enjoy watching Elf during the holidays. As for my animated favorites, I love Monsters, Inc.

3) What is you’re dream career?

As of now, I have no idea what career I want to pursue. But I know I want to somehow use my talents to save the world by promoting global veganism. If factory farming continues at the rate it is progressing now, the earth and its species will see grave consequences in just fifty years. This is an urgent matter and we have the means to stop this. We need to spread the word and implement the switch to plant based diets. It’s a huge task, but I’m ready to put my energy into promoting it. I’ve only been vegan for two weeks, but the power of veganism to solve the most massive global issues is obvious to me. Its simplicity and power are amazing. I feel that it’s my calling to spread this knowledge and understanding to the rest of world.

4) Top wish list items at the moment?

There’s nothing that I strongly desire right now, but someday I’d like an Urban Decay Naked palette and vegan Doc Martens. Every time I see someone in a green army-style anorak, I get major jacket envy, so I’d love to add one to my closet.

5) Favorite television shows?

Friends! Friends! Friends! That’s pretty much the only show I watch. I’m not really into watching TV. But no matter how I’m feeling, Friends never fails to put a smile on my face.

6) What store do you find yourself shopping in the most?

Undoubtedly, I find myself at Target the most. It is a convenient one-stop shop. From beauty to food, or anything else I find myself needing, Target is the place I go to.

7) Favorite fashion designers?

I don’t own any designer items (nor am I familiar with any designers), so I don’t have anything to say for this one. I honestly find designer items not worth the money, so I have no interest in acquiring any.

8) Describe your dream vacation.

I would like to explore a new place, maybe with mountains and lots of stars in the sky. I’m into the more action filled vacations than the relaxing ones, so I’d like to do a lot of sight seeing, shopping, and exploring. And of course I’d love to go to a place with lots of delicious food! 😛

9) What are the goals for your blog?

I’d like to improve my photography to include fashion look books and outfits of the day. I want to continue improving my makeup tutorials and expanding my readership so women will see that true beauty is cruelty free! One day, I would love to have the opportunity to review products from different companies and attend conferences like BlogHer.

10) If you had the opportunity to interview a celebrity, who would it be?

Alissa White-Gluz. She is an amazing inspiration and role model to me, so if I could interview any celebrity it would have to be her.

That’s all of the questions! The bloggers I would like to nominate to answer these questions next are:

Moonlight Chai

Glammed Up Me

Cruelty-Free Confidence

TheBeautyFanatic

Catwalk Closet

Here are the official rules:

http://thatchicfashionblog.wordpress.com/the-fashionista-award/

That’s it! Thanks so much for checking out my Fashionista Award nomination. 🙂

Best,

Leila.

My Vegan Diary: Week 2

Consequences3I have completed my first two weeks being vegan! With each day, I feel more and more affirmed that a vegan lifestyle is a better lifestyle. This week, I have been learning as much as I can about the benefits of being vegan and the consequences of the animal industry. I watched the documentaries Food, Inc., Forks over Knives, Food Matters, and Vegucated. I also read the free Kindle book Why We Should Go Vegan by Magnus Vinding. To summarize what I learned, I created this graphic, which shows just a few of the ways the animal industry is destroying our planet and people.

The image in the upper left hand corner is of heart disease. Consuming high amounts of cholesterol, which is only found in animal products, increases one’s risk. Switching to a plant based diet can prevent and reverse the effects of heart disease. The upper right hand image shows a heartbreaking issue: world hunger. Cattle in the animal industry consume 40% of the world’s grain. It would be far more efficient to eat this grain directly. Without the meat industry, we could feed an additional 2 billion people. The picture on the bottom left shows the effects of global warming. The animal industry releases more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation industry combined! Undoubtedly, if the world was vegan, global warming would be a much less critical issue. The last image is of a cattle feed lot. Thousands of cattle are crammed into these barren lots to await slaughter, fed an unnatural diet, and are often struck with disease. We all get one chance at life. It is so unfair that these animals must spend it languishing in misery and pain, only to be confronted by a cruel and torturous death.

I made this graphic because people fail to realize the consequences of consuming animal products. When you go to the store, all you see are the racks of neatly packaged animal flesh, cartons of milk adorned with bucolic scenes, and neatly sliced cheeses. When it is as simple as picking up an item and putting it in your cart, people are blind to the effects that are attached to their choices. With bountiful food all around and no obvious consequences, people continue to suck the life out of the world around them by choosing to eat animal products.

I wish people could see that the solution to the most massive global issues–global warming, hunger, heart disease, cancer–is as simple as switching to a plant based diet. I don’t understand why people keep skirting around the issue by driving electric cars and aggressively monitoring their calorie intake when simply putting down the meat and picking up some vegetables instead would solve these problems directly. We spend billions of dollars each year attacking these issues in such roundabout ways, but the solution is already here. It is obvious: the consequences of consuming animal products massively outweigh the pleasure of taste. I wish people could make this connection and stop putting their desires above the needs of the rest of the world.

Have a <3. Be Vegan.

Best,

Leila