When I became aware of my own excessive plastic usage, I felt completely alone. I knew nothing about environmental issues, nor did I know any activists. Once I decided to start sharing my thoughts publicly, I fully expected to receive hate from self-entitled consumers who would fight for their right to plastic packaging. It took me by surprise though when the harshest attacks came from people who claimed to care about the environment.
Back in 2015, I naively posted a photo to Facebook, proudly showing that I successfully purchased meat in my own reusable containers. I felt like I had achieved something monumental! If I could buy food without single use plastic wrap, perhaps other people could too? I was so excited!
My euphoria was short lived. Some vegans saw my post and left the most hateful, nasty comments I’ve ever received. Those vegans also tagged their vegan friends who joined in. What I thought was a meaningful post was soon overwhelmed by angry commenters. As I read each typed insult, I felt disturbed on a deep, personal level. I was devastated. Afterwards, I felt extremely stressed and depressed.
This was not the first time I have plummeted to a low state or had my head filled with insults. You see, I’ve suffered through major depression and long-term low self-esteem, exacerbated by the loss of my entire personal identity (I’m currently writing a book about this). I was raised in a very strict, fundamentalist belief system. All my decisions and opinions were made on my behalf by a belief system I had one-hundred percent faith in. But as an adult, I started to question the rigidity of my beliefs. I could feel that my strong faith had transformed into arrogance. I’d been taught to believe that people who had different values to me, were morally compromised, and inferior to me. As an adult, this bigotry began to make me uncomfortable. Trying to loosen the shackles of my fundamentalism was against everything I thought I believed. It was against my nature to turn my back on these beliefs and I felt it would betray the people I loved. The people who had gifted these beliefs to me.
I lost and loathed myself and almost didn’t make it out the other side. After the psychological rubble stopped bouncing, I healed myself and started my journey into plastic awareness. I was absolutely shocked at what I learnt. Strangers began to approach me to support my work, a network started to develop. I was terrified of making connections and still tremble with fear at even being labelled an ‘environmentalist’. I rebel against being put into any kind of predetermined box.
This journey, as rewarding as it is, has been immensely challenging for me. Whilst I have made wonderful connections, I have also been exposed to issues I had no previous knowledge of. Fracking, greenhouse emissions, oil spills, wasting of precious resources, and the pollution caused by our disposable lifestyle. I have learnt that plastic is chopped up and put on crop fields, plus bee populations are under threat. I’ve learnt about the cruel act of shark finning, that coral is dying en masse, and our oceans are being overfished, etc. All this devastating knowledge has come crashing into my fragile, ‘post mental breakdown’ self and has been crammed into just three years. On top of this, I have been confronted by the real effects of climate change. Observing my car thermometer shoot up to fifty degrees Celsius during summer induced panic. Some days I can barely keep it together. I cannot cope with all the problems in this world, let alone feel responsible for trying to fix them. I do my best, making choices that I feel are reasonable for who I am now. My actions factor in my current level of knowledge, energy and time, while working, being a mother, and dedicating twenty unpaid hours a week to my chosen cause – plastic packaging on food.
I cannot cope with all the problems in this world, let alone feel responsible for trying to fix them.
So, I think it is awful when people send me hate messages, or tell me they are disappointed, or I’m a hypocrite for not being vegan. I have gradually allowed myself to learn about the animal industry through a slow drip feed of knowledge, as I can’t cope with any more drastic changes or distressing information in my head. I currently have about ten articles people have sent me on environmental issues, waiting to be read. Honestly, it is just too much for me to shoulder. I can’t carry everyone else’s passion for varying causes, that is an unfair demand. I can’t even get through all my reading on plastic. I think it’s close minded to say that anyone who does not have identical values to you, does not care about the environment, nor is entitled to have a voice on environmental issues. It is an act of intolerance, to categorise people as our enemy, because they have not adopted our precise world view. I am so over that attitude, because that’s who I used to be. When I talk about plastic packaging and plastic pollution, I make a point of focusing on societal and corporate behaviour, rather than attack any single person.
Interestingly, my involvement in environmental issues has opened the door to my eleven-year-old daughter becoming vegan and even wanting to be a vegan activist. I am fully supportive of her passion and beliefs. And the knowledge I have slowly allowed myself to be exposed to has motivated me to reduce my meat and dairy consumption. It has been very difficult, as I was a big meat and dairy eater. I was raised in a country, a culture, and a family, that told me it was normal and healthy to eat meat and dairy regularly, and I learned to love it. It has been hard to cut back, but I am doing very well, patting myself on the back for the progress I have made. I even celebrated my daughter’s choice to become vegan, and my openness towards veganism. I made a Facebook post about how wonderful it was to take my child to her first ever vegan café. We had a splendid time and I took lovely photos to capture the memory and shared my joy online. Yet, I took a sharp intake of breath and braced myself for that militant vegan who would attack me. And even though I was ready, it still hurt when they did criticise me. It hurt a lot. I would never go to someone’s Facebook page and leave personal insults about them, that is disgusting human behaviour. In an age when we are apparently embracing tolerance, how is there still so much hatred and bigotry? I will never, ever, ever in my life, choose beliefs because someone else calls me out publicly and pressures me to believe what they believe. I want to voluntarily make those choices myself, not be bullied into making them.
I think it is awful when people send me hate messages, or tell me they are disappointed, or I’m a hypocrite for not being vegan.
I deliberately expose myself to different viewpoints, and even agreed to meet with a vegan so they could explain their beliefs to me. I was kind to them and thought we had become friends, but over time they continued to harass me that veganism was more important than plastic pollution and accused me of hypocrisy. How could I talk about plastic pollution if I wasn’t a vegan, don’t they go together? I tried to explain all the other things I do to help the planet – grow some of my own food, wash my clothes by hand, etc. Veganism just wasn’t something I was ready for or had chosen to pursue. Their response was to accuse me of thinking I was Christ the Saviour and they proceeded to bombard me with countless, hateful private messages on Facebook, until I blocked them. So, no, I will not even attempt to enter discussions with any kind of fundamentalist who resorts to personal insults to promote their cause, no matter what that cause is.
It is not just militant vegans who have expressed fury at me. I have had people angry at me for eating sushi, for washing my clothes in cold water, for putting my groceries loose in my trolley, for getting a tattoo, for having a light on in the background of a video, for shopping in the major supermarkets, for the brand of eggs I once bought, for not wearing only natural fibre clothing and for buying a tin of coconut milk that was imported. I will NEVER meet everyone’s expectations and I won’t even try to not ‘disappoint’ you. To make you happy, will mean infuriating someone else. I can never win, someone will always be angry at me. I have lost almost every single person who ever loved me, when I chose to build a value system that I decided to make for myself. I’m not going to suddenly become vegan because some stranger hiding behind a social media handle, hurls insults at me.
I know what it’s like to be a fundamentalist. To be militant and think you’re right, that your chosen beliefs are correct and superior. To have endless evidence to prove it and to feel the need to pick fights with people who have a different opinion. If only everyone listened to me and adopted my beliefs, the woes of the world would be cured. Please don’t mistake arrogance for faith. I will fight with all my might not to fit into a predetermined box that someone else defines as the only valid path or choice. I will not buy into the myopic view that you don’t care about the environment nor are entitled to a voice, if you are not vegan. I object to the belief that any one individual or belief system has a monopoly on purity.
I almost died breaking free from my close-minded shackles. Seriously, it’s a hell of a story, that’s why I’m determined to finish my next book. I am happy that I am still alive, that I have a beautiful family, live on a beautiful planet, and have many supportive people visit my pages. I’ve made many new online friends. I am pleased to say that some of the people who have treated me with kindness, are vegan.
Yes, veganism is great, and I admire what vegans do. I am proud of my daughter and will support her and cook and enjoy vegan meals with her. But who knows what path anyone will take? I love to not commit to anything, to stay open to new information, to be flexible and to have a bendy mind. My postal address is Round Corner, that tells you all you need to know about me. I will not fit into a neat box with right angles. I will not force myself into someone else’s fixed worldview. And if I become aware that my mind is closing, I will find my malleable parts and reshape myself into something new.
If someone feels that what I am doing is not enough or is offended because I have adopted a different set of values, then they need to learn to sit with the discomfort of intolerance. To see it for what it is. I will not change for them nor will I want to be like them. I am me. Finally, after forty-five years of thinking that self-acceptance was not permissible, I am finally OK with myself and I won’t let anyone sabotage the self-worth that took me so long to discover. And if that’s not good enough for some people, I am sorry that they have expectations I can never meet.
I am maxed out, I can’t fight every battle. I can’t adopt everyone else’s passions and beliefs. I have chosen a cause to donate my time and energy to. I don’t need conflict every time I make a post about the positives of veganism or how great it is to take my own container to buy meat. I learnt the hard way – if I respond to people’s aggression, it just fuels their fury. So, I wrote this article for closure. Now, whenever I am confronted with this issue online, I can stop devoting time and energy to it. I will paste this article in response to any negative comments and will not engage in any further discussion. I have better things to do with my time than endlessly replay Facebook fights.
I don’t claim to be pure, but truth is, none of us are. My partner takes delight in pointing out the hypocrisy of everyone (himself included). While I wrote this, he shared an article with me that reported on the environmental catastrophe caused by the production of phones and other devices. The mining and processing of rare earth elements that allow us to use smartphones to comment on social media is causing great harm to humans, animals, and the land. More proof that none of us are perfect, even the people sending me angry messages are doing so from devices that cause environmental damage. I won’t aim for the impossible goal of perfection, that is a path to failure. My goal is to educate, motivate and activate. To create a social shift away from single use plastic and to make re-use cool again. If you are asking for something beyond this from me, please re-evaluate your expectations.
I think we should all appreciate anyone who is prepared to donate their time and energy to an environmental cause, even if it is not the cause we personally feel most passionate about.
This… is my journey. At my own pace. In my own way.
62 Replies to “What, You’re Not a Vegan?!”
Hi Anita Renee or on fb you will know me as Renazzal from Love Thy Earth. May I start with “You are amazing Anita” 💚 and I am with you all the way! Your choice of words during this blog was perfect and very well written. I resonated with your blog, as I too have had the same experience with byo containers and the butcher, and I too have felt bad for not being vegan, I was actually vegetarian 2x in my
Life for several years each time- didn’t suit me, for many reasons, I’m compl my BHCs in Naturopathy & nutrition, and I have been “challenged” by many for not being this, or not being that. We are all different You are so right, and no one knows or needs to know what we are learning during this journey called life! Dedicating your time to a cause is a completely selfless act, this is a beautiful human experience. Anyways- thank you and I wish you great health and strength on your amazing g journey ☺️🌿 xx Renee
Thank you Renee, for reading my story and for taking the time to reply. And thank you for your kind words and support, I’m glad my article resonated with you.
Beautifully written & heart felt as always 😘 We should never stop being ourselves to fit into someone else’s belief system. You can never please everyone. I have seen people torn down on Facebook for *having children* or *driving a car*. The possibilities are endless when it comes to environmental impact. I’m so glad you’re strong enough to put these attacks into perspective. Don’t stop being you, you’re loved all the more for your passion and raw honesty.
Claire, what a beautiful comment. Thank you for your amazing ongoing support. xxx
You ROCK! And hurt people hurt people……. and it takes a life time to know ourselves….so judge not people…….
I myself choose a plant based diet and have so for many years and I think you are doing more for this planet and animals with your voice even within a meat based diet. Thank you for all u do!!
Be strong. Be you and show your daughter that haters are not who you guys be!
Thank you Judith. What a gorgeous vegan you are. 🙂 and I love what you said “I think you are doing more for this planet and animals with your voice even within a meat based diet. “, that really means a lot. Anita xx
Judith, just wanted to add, my diet isn’t really ‘meat based’, it’s like … mostly plant with just a teeny bit of meat 🙂
The world needs more people like BOTH of you.
Factory Farming will not end as long as Vegans and ethical meat-eaters engage in petty feuds.
In fact, that’s exactly what Big Factory Farming WANTS:
Keep ’em fighting, keep ’em distracted, and let the rest of the world – who don’t care – fill in the rest.
It’s gotten to the point where self-righteousness has become its own religion. Factory farming continues right along its intended path while no effective unity can form to effectively oppose it.
It’s definitely true that some people lash out because they cannot bear to witness animal suffering. Factory farming is very disturbing. But people arguing about which way is best to EAT isn’t doing anything to end it.
If more people could accept the food choices (which we are entirely PRIVILEGED to have, as long as it is, in fact, a choice) of another besides the one they prefer, we could unite. We could make a real difference if we could stand side by side – ethical vegan next to ethical meat-eater – and demand that factory farming ENDS.
But as long as people hate each other and form exclusive camps, people remain divided on crucial issues. The lack of tolerance for the individuals privileged choice builds an altogether different tolerance for the industry that continues to plow on ahead, and as people continue to argue over which diet is better, they form the division that allows the atrocity to continue.
Thank you Anita for letting your heart out! Thank you for writing down what I am thinking all the time (even though I am vegetarian for 28 years now)… We cant change anything if we fight each other, if we fight people with hatred even though we are all fighting for a similar cause, and yes, no one can be 100%… I read articles about people who say you must eat only seasonal and local and then they buy rice from asia… so lets support each other, dont hate each other!
I love what you do, and whenever you need a few words of support you know where you can reach me 😉 (thehappychoices)
Thank you Jule, you have been such a great support to me. Yes, the ‘in fighting’ needs to stop. Let’s focus on behaviour as a whole and not criticise any one individual. Thanks again. Anita x
I’m really sorry that people have got to you in this way! As you said no matter what you do someone will always have something to say. You could live self sufficiently, never buy anything, walk everywhere, only eat raw foods and someone would still have a bone to pick. (Haha – you’d come across the person who says “plant murderer!”) I would say Anita please don’t let those inconsiderate, ill worded people put you off working towards a plant based diet if your journey takes you there.
It took me a long time, now I’ve done it I’m happy I’m there but I do it for my own reasons and my partner also does it for his own reasons! That’s the thing, very very few people are born or brought up vegan. So I don’t know why they give people a hard time, I would say that to the next person who feels like being a d**k. I’m not going to defend anyone!
I was lucky to be brought up vegetarian and I made that choice for myself at a young age because I’d been exposed to what happens in the slaughter process.
People have to make the choice what they want to be a part of in this world and what they think is best at that point in their life and that can only be done by them synthesising what knowledge they find and making their own conclusions. I started by watching what the health and it was my partner who suggested we tried a month vegan (he was a meat eater so I nearly fell off my seat with surprise) and we went on from there. It’s been a very exciting and fun transition, it feels good to make new foods and try different things. It’s got to suit you, your family and be at the right time. This is how it should be! Well done for reducing meat and dairy!! Give yourself a massive 👍 it’s been ingrained in most of us that it is what we need to be ok. Some people have forgotten that.
So enjoy where you are at! I think it’s fantastic what you’re doing with your vegan daughter and what you post about plastic. Focus on the good positive people! Sod the rest!
Thank you Jennifer, for taking the time to read and for such a thoughtful comment. I agree with you 100%
When I was young my older sister was very good at cross country and she tried to get me to train. But I was better at short distance sprints. She would run up the road and drag me along and try to motivate me. I would get a stitch and be puffed and have to stop after a 200 metres. But one day, I went for a run on my own. I was shocked that I went three times as far when I was able to choose when, and how fast I could run and not have someone dictating to me how to do it. Our journeys are more pleasant, fulfilling and productive when we do them on our own terms 🙂
Vegans (& other Eco-centric “fundamentalist” attitudes) do more harm than good with their vitriol and trolling ‘hate speech ‘, both online and in real life.
As an ardent and committed environmentalist who works every day at improving my chosen element I wish they’d stop emulating ISIS and start just reasonably chatting to those around them – peaceful conversion!
But well done you for everything you’ve been thru and coming thru it with the strength to keep on “doing your bit”…
Peace and love from Cambridge England
Thanks Greg, it’s so true. The harsh insults, just took away my enthusiasm to do anything at all. Criticising someone, doesn’t motive them, it’s just soul destroying. But I am at a really good place at the moment, so stuff them. I’ll do whatever the hell I want. Lucky what I want to do is fight plastic 🙂 Thanks again.
Well done you on your journey! An inspiration.I cannot understand the meaness of some people this holier than thou attitude from people who hide behind their facebook wall and hurl grenades of insults. When we are all trying to improve our lives and the lives of others by our actions, their spitefull behaviour speaks of sad people with no joy in their lives.Go you!!!!
Thanks so much Wendy.
Thanks for posting your article about eating meat. It’s like you’ve voiced how I feel. I helped organise a plastic free meeting and mentioned that wooden toothbrush with natural boar bristles existed and a gasp from many in the room was ‘not vegan’. When I said not everyone on the journey to plastic free was vegan – and actually sometimes plastic free and vegan don’t go hand in hand, as many vegan alternatives are plastic (look at robust boots – I will always buy leathers not plastic), I had heads shaken at me.
Like you, i admire vegans and their determination and how much they cut out their diet, and I respect their beliefs but I don’t actually agree with them. I actually believe in the farming culture and that it maintains a balance on a working farm (that has meat and veg stock). I do not agree wirh the factory farming levels of meat consumption, and wish that would end. Like you, I’ve reduced but not stopped my meat and dairy consumption, but I hate that I have to justify my beliefs to vegans that actually, we have evolved as hunters into farmers and meat has always been part of our diet. I support responsible farming and vastly reducing consumption, and I do that by making informed choices (only buying local, organic and free range – and only do that at most once a month, most the time I’m actually a vegetarian). I’m so fed up of being judged by strangers who tell me I HAVE to be vegan to care about the environment, and whenever I state my opinion I get told ‘yeah, but cowspiracy’ 🙄. It has started to affect my mental health, in fact, I have stopped going on my Instagram account which I used to love posting my plastic free grocery hauls and sharing how my little family was doing in our efforts. Now, I only really follow you and some accounts for work on Facebook, the once supportive plastic free and zero waste groups are depressing in that I never feel like I’m doing enough or I’m criticised for, you guessed it, not being vegan. The world is a mess, so thank you for doing what you can – and thank you for being a kindred spirit – in the meat eating world.
Thank you Fadingfootprint. I absolutely agree. The ‘industry’ is a major problem. And non vegan items may be biodegradable whereas vegan substitutes may be made from polymers that will cause long term pollution. As I said, no one has a monopoly on purity and it is arrogance to think one belief system is the perfect solution to all the world’s woes. And I agree, I have left pages and minimised my contact in some group because of self righteous nastiness. Let’s all play nice, we can do this 🙂
From one environmental advocate to another thankyou so much for sharing truth. We can not be all thing to all people or all things to this planet. We can only do the best we can do! All this shows me is that once again the fundamental problem with our world is acceptance and understanding of all people from all walks. When you see someone destroying the earth yes speak up have the guts to say it to their faces. When you see someone trying to make a change remember rather than criticise about what they could do praise them for their efforts and encourage further action. Together we are a strong force but we need to be together in kindness.
Thanks Melanle, I totally agree.
People are judgy. From our life experience people like you and I try hard not to be judgemental, but it’s human nature. People will grab a belief or cause or lifestyle and cling to it so hard because it brings them comfort or meaning to their lives. This is nice for them but just because they are into it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. My final overwhelming statement about leaving the religion was ‘just because I believe it, doesn’t make it true’. Keep your mind bendy, spend your time on YOUR passions and the haters can take a leap. Hang in there buddy. Xx
Thanks Alida, it is such a great life lesson, ‘just because I believe it, doesn’t make it true’. It takes a of lot of self analysis to accept that truth. Yes, bendy minds are the way to go 🙂
Anita ❤️❤️ Exactly true! I was shocked when Bea Johnson posted a similar photo to IG, and how it triggered some people to make nasty NASTY comments!!! Her way is ZW, not vegan way, and people should respect that. And the comments like “ how can you call yourself eco-person if you are not vegan? Could stop whole ZW!!” left me mouth open…. I do not think there is many people who eat only meat, every day and every meal…. and nasty comments do not help anyone’s cause. Be strong, and continue on you well chosen path ❤️
Thanks Eva, Yes it is so counterproductive to tell people they can not be environmentally friendly in one area, if they are not perfect in all areas. None of us are perfect, so that attitude would make everyone stop trying. And yes, we are a meat eating nation, and I hardly eat any meat. That should count for something. Thanks for your support.
My favourite quote from your article – “It is an act of intolerance, to categorise people as our enemy, because they have not adopted our precise world view. I am so over that attitude, because that’s who I used to be.” – Keep up the amazing work. From a mental health perspective I think you’re doing the best thing. Focus on what you can, & do the best you can at that. 😍😍
Thanks Julie, great advice. xx
I personally don’t think you need to even explain yourself and I am sorry you felt it was necessary. Honestly, each of us makes a decision about what we can and cannot live with and we are the only ones who we should be answering to on these issues. Please don’t listen to the militant vegans out there and continue your journey in your own time. You are doing an amazing job at inspiring others to reduce their plastic footprint on the world x
Thanks so much Tracey. Wise words indeed. x
Anita, you have explained it beautifully. You are already doing an incredible work and, as you said, we cannot solve the entire world. We do what we can and we try our best. I attempt not to buy with plastic but I am not perfect at it. For the past year I have tried vegan but cannot avoid eating cheese occasionally. I do now my own toothpaste but I am not a zero waste person. And what is really frustrating is while you are doing the best you can , with your own daily battles, other people dare to judge. While I think plastic and veganism are equally important, I could not be more grateful to discover your work. Vegans or plastic activists who choose insulting or rejecting others just because of that, I dare to say they don’t have the values in which they pretend to label themselves. Everyone choses their own battles, and most importantly, we need to focus on the positive to keep going. Our legacy is what we do ourselves, not how much we FORCE to change others’ people behaviours’, as this is a losing and sad game. We meant to be happy and I sleep very well every time I do something that is aligned with my beliefs. If I don’t do it one day, I do my reflections and allow myself to go one step forward; but I don’t punish myself because it would not give me the motivatution to keep going. You are Amazing Anita, much love to you. It was very nice also discovering you on a personal level, so thanks for sharing. Maxime
Thanks so much Maxime. Yes, I have found it perplexing that a belief system that claims to be based on compassion, can be so compassion-less. But it is the case, isn’t it, with any belief system? Christianity is said to be based on love, but if someone rejects you for leaving a church, where’s the love in that?
And yes, I can only ever follow what I am passionate about. As is probably the case with most of us.
Thank you so much for your kind words and support. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story.
Each of us struggles with our own journeys in life, and, each of us gets to choose the path we take, life is difficult enough at times without being hassled for that choice. Compassion and empathy are a huge step towards being a mindful, insightful human, if only we could all live in peace.
Thank you Sunshine Lately.
Yes, Compassion and empathy are beautiful qualities that will enhance mankind.
Thank you for your kind support.
Thank you for your well balanced perspective. We all have different cares, priorities and goals in life. We should not ever be shamed for them. Please keep rocking yours!
Thank you Blanca,
Yes, it is a gift to feel passionate about a cause, and it is close minded to think our passion is more important and more noble than another person’s passion.
We should all celebrate passion, it makes life interesting 🙂
Love your blog! I just started following you due to your mission to help this planet. Unfortunately when you become public figure, you get all sides… Good and the bad. I’m surprised that animal loving people can be so mean. I consider myself an environmentalist, planet loving person. I hand wash my clothes, don’t own a dryer, upcycle clothes, shop at thrift stores, buy organic, use reuseable produce bags, organic garden, creating edible yard, reduce my plastic use, buy bamboo tooth brush and do so much more to help this planet. Guess what?! I eat meat yet don’t support big agi! Being vegan doesn’t automatically make you environmentalist, just like believing in a god doesn’t automatically make you good person. I’ll never be a vegan. Love raising chickens and buy grass fed beef from local farmer. I love my daily dose of chicken broth. Love the eggs our ladies give us. I buy organic soy free feed from a small local company. There is so much more to helping this world than being vegan. You are doing so much and if you want to continue eating meat, go for it.
I’m sorry you are getting bullied. Wish people would look more on what you are doing and not what you are not doing. But it’s the way of this world, finding the downfall in people (from their point of view). You are doing something amazing so keep your chin up and try not let the negativity get to you (easier said than done, I know).
Thanks so much Margaret. I agree with your every word. 🙂
Anita, you only know you are making a difference when you are upsetting someone. If everyone loves you, you are not trying hard enough. Wear that criticism like a badge of honour! You’re doing an awesome job.
Thanks Barbara, wise words. x
You triggered a vegan????? How did that happen? No seriously, vegans are easily the most triggered group in society. So entitled and not very self aware. Single most hypocritical bunch of misfits out there.
Haha. I was a fundamentalist Christian, it was pretty easy to trigger me back then. Any extreme belief system can trigger intense reactions.
Thanks for you support. 🙂
Dear Vegans: Western science has now proven rocks have life forces and trees feel pain now by the way.
Enjoy your pesticide laden false organic branded salad, murdered baby carrots 😵, additive coated seaweed crisps and nanoplastic contaminated seasoning.
It came to you via a high-emissions, top soil and water exploitative Industry that takes land, displaces Indigenous peoples and disrupts ancient food relationships.
You’re still getting gypped so dismount the tall steed and stop trying to colonize the world with your misguided good intentions. You want to eat vegan fine, do that and I hope you will do it in a way that is also kind to the Earth (because as demonstrated veganism itself is not intrinsically kind).
This is why Food Sovereignty matters.
Well said Tina,
I agree and think it is close minded to think any one single approach is going to help our planet. We need to look at all aspects of human and planetary health.
Food sovereignty does matter.
Wow. I had no idea (and have no idea) what you’ve been through. I’d go for a coffee with you right now if we were in the same city and tell you you are ok. No one is perfect (not even vegans). In terms of accessible environmentalism and spreading small changes to lifestyle that can make a big impact, your continuous message is getting through! Keep up the good work! Not many people would give up 20 hours a week to a cause for the planet and humanity without getting paid or expecting an award or gold star. Big hug from the other side of the planet.
Thanks Alexandra, yes we all have a story, that’s why I make it a point never to criticise any one individual. We don’t know their history or what they are going through.
Thank you very much for your compliments and support, it really means a lot.
Thank you for this post, Anita. I too, feel overwhelmed with all of the things that are wrong with our world, and really depressed with our current political situation here in the USA. I have chosen to focus on reducing plastic consumption in my own day to day life. It is a small thing on which I can focus my positive energy. Gradually I began sharing my progress in an album on my Facebook page with just my own friends. After a while I made the album public so that friends can share things if they want. I have had some criticism even within that small group. I never thought that taking care of the environment could be so controversial, especially when I am just talking about personal changes. I am shy and averse to confrontation, so it is upsetting. Heck, I get tearful when the person at the deli counter says no to my container!
Their are plenty of us who care very much about this problem of plastic. I am so glad to have your example for encouragement in my own little corner! The good news is that a handful of my friends have becoming interested in making some changes themselves, and spreading the message to their own friends and family members.
Thank you for reading my story and for your comment. Yes, the whole situation was a complete shock to me too, that there would be more hate from ‘environmentalists’, than the public at large. But I understand now, I have been researching group mentality for the past few years and it is the way it will always be, sadly.
And I confess, I am exactly like you, well, I am not shy, but I suffer from terrible social anxiety and am very sensitive. I too may tear up at the deli if they refused to use my container.
Keep chipping away at the great work you are doing. I was you three years ago, and look how much good has come from it all. We can do this!
I dont think we can be perfect consumers unless we live completely off the grid. Being considerate consumers is much more realistic.
Wow, screw all those asshats. You are a Hero! You are making a good impact in the world. Keep up the good work!
Thanks Kat, you made me laugh and smile 🙂
Just wanna say, I totally hear you, being sensitive to critisism by the people! This is the reason I have avoided to write a blog or do any “suggestions” to them, because I am afraid of them saying “who are you to tell all of that to us”. So I right now I continue doing “environmentally friendly acts” (read avoiding plastic and wasting) on my own, but soon will be brave enough to be fully heard!
I am not vegan, but mainly vegetarian, I just dont like meat any more and all the problems industry behind it has caused. But also there is a huge industry behind veganism, plus exessive (plastic) packaging etc…I think there is no black and white regarding environmental issues, but also people could care more of their effects on our planet.
You are one of my heroes too! 🙂 Wishing you good luck!
Thanks so much Kat. Yes, everything is complex with shades of grey. None of us are perfect and even if we were perfect in someone’s view, someone else would condemn us. We need to be true to ourselves while continuing to educate ourselves and adapt as we learn. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and kind words. Cheers, Anita
For some people nothing will ever be good enough, and sometimes I think people become blindesided and don’t even see how cruel they are being . The zero waste community can be so supportive and can also incredibly critical. In everything you do you have made such a big impact to many people’s lives and made such big changes. It was your plastic free campaign that encouraged me to go further with my eco living. You are amazing 🙏 Hope you can tune out to some of those naysayers. It’s always going to come up I’m afraid.
Hi Zoe, thanks so much for taking the time to read my article and for your reply. Your words mean a lot to me. Thank you. Anita x
Excellent. Beautifully written. ♥️
Thanks so much Leah 🙂
You are incredibly inspiring Anita! I find you a pioneer for helping the environment in a multitude of ways!
You are Incredible with spreading awareness to consumers to help us see the bigger picture. To shop greener, smarter, plastic free and live happier with less.
You are what the world needs. Because one voice resinates with many peoples hearts.
You are one of the people I seek on Instagram because I’m always learning, it’s helping me with making my own changes in tackling the huge plastic issue and is pushed me to confront companies (nicely) about easy to change simple things like plastic straws.
The issue is not about if you eat meat or are vegan or vegetarian, it is that we are all trying each day to do more to lessen our negative impact on our beautiful world. I know you would only choose ethical butchers with animals that were free range and grass fed. I eat meat too and while I am reducing my intake, I don’t feel anyone should be condemned, (especially someone as amazing and proactive as you)! It’s not about comparison, it’s if we all do what we can within our means and beliefs.
You are right, you can become so overwhelmed with the MULTIPLE world issues. I’ve felt like that with the various documentaries and information I hear. Fast fashion, cotton crops wiping out bodies of water, the treatment of people and the conditions they work in to make the clothes. Where fast fashion ends up.
Treatment of animals, what they eat, how they live, how they die. Their impact on the Ozone. Being suffocated by plastic and unnecessary packaging!!! Air pollution. Water pollution. Climate change. Icebergs melting. Deforestation. IT SERIOUSLY MAKES YOU ANXIOUS.
But people like you are exposing the shocking, opening peoples eyes and educating us more each day. I want people to feel empowered and outraged at the issues and do something. I’m saddened people would attack you when you are a prime example of “be the change you want to see”. You are amazing! 💚
Oh My Goodness Carlie, what a beautiful beautiful comment. It means the world to me, thank you so much. XXX
I knew somebody would be able to articulate how I’m feeling right now.
It seems to me that most of the self righteous online vegans were able to adopt that lifestyle quite easily, as they were already young and self absorbed. All they needed to do was change the way they eat. There’s a vegan option for nearly everything these days. No big deal for just one person.
BUT for those of us already a good part of the way through our life cycle, with responsibilities like 40-50 hour working weeks, other family members including elderly, children, those with food aversions or allergies to shop AND cook for, time already spent meal planning and shopping, time getting to and from extracurricular activities, appointments, volunteer positions etc etc etc its not just ‘easy to go vegan’
Being a keyboard warrior vegan is an indication they have yet to learn how precious little time you have when you truly grow up.
You should be proud of what you can/have/will acomplish(ed). Everyone has different variables that need to be factored into their own circumstances and it isn’t anyone else’s business. As long as you are doing what you can to help the world be more comfortable to live in, you should be proud of yourself.
Thanks for taking the time to read my article and for your lovely feedback Tailsa. 🙂