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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vegan Mama || Janell Wolford @RaisingLittleVegans

I am so excited to start this new series where I interview vegan mamas and papas to share their story. As a pregnant vegan I love learning from other parents who are coming from a similar background. I cannot wait to share so many more of these amazing parents with you guys. My first lovely mama is Janell Wolford from @RaisingLittleVegans on Instagram. I have been friends with Janell on Instagram for a while and have fallen in love over and over again with her incredible family. Here is my interview with her. Be sure to show her some love!




- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a 24 year old military wife and mother to three beautiful children and two furbabies. I'm an artist, photographer, activist, avid book reader, and smoothie enthusiast. When I'm not busy learning about life with my little ones, you can find me in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes!




- What is your vegan story? When and why you went vegan?
I have been vegan for over three years, I first went vegan when I was 21 and pregnant with my second child. I was a vegetarian at the time (along with my one year old daughter) and I remember reading a post online about veganism, and it sort of clicked for me right then. I had never even really heard the term before. I started researching, reading studies and articles, watching undercover videos and documentaries... and I was stunned. I was livid. I was horrified. I felt guilty. And my heart was broken. I had never looked into where my "food" came from, I had never taken the time to learn about any part of animal agriculture. I was vegetarian because (I thought) I loved animals, but I never knew about the cruelty involved in the dairy industry. I haven't looked back since. In the past three years I have educated myself on the harmful effects animal agriculture has on our planet, as well as the treatment and lives of animals that are used for food, clothing, entertainment, and experimentation. It isn't something I ever want myself or my children to take part in. Now I try to inform other parents about veganism, and help them to transition to a cruelty-free life.



- Did you get any  opposition from family or friends when they knew when you had intentions of raising your children vegan?
My family had a lot of negative comments and feelings about veganism at first. No one was really worried about veganism in terms of health for myself or my children, but there were a lot of disagreements about the treatment and use of animals in general. My parents and siblings are hunters, and I was the only one who would stay behind when they went out hunting as I was growing up. I feel like there was a lot of negativity from my family stemming from my disapproval of the lifestyle I had been raised in. I couldn't keep my eyes closed any longer, and no one else wanted to open theirs. In the past few years they have slowly come around more to the idea of veganism, they all say they could never go vegan, but they see firsthand that it isn't such a bad thing after all. My mother is the one who has been great from the beginning, and I'm thankful for how supportive she is.




- What is your favorite go to meal for your children?
My favorite meals for my little ones would have to be either banana ice cream (can that be a meal?!) or a dish I make with quinoa, zucchini noodles, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach tossed together, with a smoothie on the side!




- How do you handle social events?
For social events, we always make sure they are vegan friendly (no zoos, circuses with animals, or animal exhibits) and that we are prepared for when the kids need to eat. If you don't know if there will be vegan friendly meals, be sure to ask if there will be or if you can bring your own! Always be prepared beforehand, it doesn't take much to make sure the event is enjoyable for everyone.




- What advice do you have to upcoming vegan mamas?
My advice for new vegan mamas is to ignore any negativity from other people, and to always stick with what you believe in. Motherhood is hard sometimes, especially when it seems there is always criticism from other parents who don't have the same lifestyle as you. It isn't the easiest to raise vegan kids in a non-vegan world, but it is so rewarding. We are raising the next generation, a generation with compassionate, caring, and cruelty-free kids. Our children will be the future, and it us up to us to make sure they care about their world and the other beings who coexist here with us.✌




Toodles


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Vegan Goodies || DazzlingDezignz4U

I found my perfect Instagram worthy fork! (Weirdest sentence ever) Haha. I found this cute shop on Etsy called DazzlingDezignz4U that makes adorable stamped vintage silverware. These beautiful items make perfect gift that can get awesome use out of. Can't wait to get super cute pictures with my new vegan fork! Check them out here to see all of their other designs. 


Hope everyone is having an awesome day! 





Toodles

Vlog || Tomango with Pecho and Erin

Toodles

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vegan Goodies || Breathe. Resist.

A few says ago I had the utmost pleasure of interviewing Jess Five the incredible artist from Breathe. Resist. I was just strolling through Etsy when I came about this shop. It is a punk patch shop that promotes social justice. I mean it doesn't get much better than that. I as so interested in her shop that buying a patch as not enough. So I reached out and asked her a few questions. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Jess Five and I am the artist for Breathe. Resist. - breatheresist.com - and I am an one-person band called Morningstar Rising.  I like cats and vegan chocolate chips. My personal motto is, "Change yourself, change the world."



It is so incredible that you have a shop that promotes veganism. When did you become a vegan? 

Thanks!  My story starts when I had an epiphany about 10 years ago that I didn't want to be another creature's food.  So, I extended that courtesy to all sentient beings as they probably didn't want to be my food either.  With that insight, I went vegetarian.  After two or so years of being vegetarian, I realized that it wasn't enough as animals were still being abused. I quickly went vegan as I wanted no part in their suffering.  That being said, I've never considered being a vegan an act of activism.  Rather, it is an act of standing in solidarity to end all forms of oppression.  For example, someone who goes to a feminist event doesn't go home and start making homophobic remarks.  Even if it isn't their battle, they are still an ally to that cause.  So, why is it acceptable for people to go to a human rights event and then go home and take part in animal exploitation?  There is no difference between the two scenarios yet the latter is socially acceptable.  I hope through outreach, that that situation will change and more people will be an ally to stop the torture of animals.


I really enjoy that you bring up other very important social issues within the patches you create. How did you involve yourself in creating patches that send out such critical messages?
I started making patches while I was attending art school in New York City.  While at school, I fell in love with the DIY punk scene in the lower east side at Abc No Rio and was very involved with helping to put on shows and cooking with Food Not Bombs.  I somehow found out there was going to be an anarchist book fair and at that time I was taking a silkscreening (silkscreens don't use silk anymore) class.  I signed up to vend the book fair and the rest is history.  




What are some future plans for your shop?

I have big plans for the shop in the future.  Most notably, I will start making buttons in the upcoming month or two.  Plus, I have some real rad new patch designs in the works.  On the music side, I am hoping to release my first full length LP online for free in the fall.  I also have a few tricks up my sleeves so please "like" the shop at facebook.com/breatheresist or follow me on Instagram: @breatheresist to stay updated.

In closing, I'd liked to thank Why Choose Vegan for taking an interest in my art and shop.  It is blogs like this and readers like you that are the reason Breathe. Resist. exists as everything I make - I make for you.  Your support is everything.  Thank you.



I got these two patches! I will have the left one and Zac will have the right one, we are so excited to put these on our backpacks!

I am so glad that there are wonderful artist out there like Jess who can spread amazing messages through their passion. 


Toodles


Vlog|| Vegan Banana Split


Toodles

Monday, May 23, 2016

Vegan Goodies || V Dog

Our little Nana Banana is finally making the switch! Zac and I have been discussing it for a while and decided that V-Dog would be perfect. I did tons of research and read a butt load of reviews and they had so much great feed back I knew they were the one. I will be doing a full review on it once Nana has been eating it for a while.


Happy Monday ya'll! 


Toodles

Doc || Welcome to Leith

Shocking does not begin to describe this documentary. Growing up in rural parts of the south I have witnessed and experienced my fair share of racism, but watching this documentary opened my eyes up to a whole new realm of thinking. Welcome to Leith tells the story of how Craig Cobb, a white supremacist tries to take over a small North Dakota town. It sounds so outrageous it kinda sounds made up. This is a must watch. What this shows is how these racist ways of thinking are taught. We are not born hating, we are not born discriminating. We are taught to think that one race, one gender, one sexual orientation is better than an other. We are responsible to teach our children other wise. If we teach our children to have compassion, to show kindness, to show respect for one another that's the world that we will create. Young people follow by example. We must set the example for future generations follow.  


Toodles
   

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Vegan Goodies || FAB DEO

I am fab! Okay I'll stop. Haha. But these deodorants really are! I got the pleasure of getting some awesome goodies from Fab Deo an unbelievably awesome shop. They are metal free, vegan and cruelty free! 


These awesome little dudes are hand made in small batches by the lovely husband and wife duo that run Fab Deo. These deodorants can really pack a punch. I know because I not only tested them on myself but also my husband (a remarkably sweaty man haha). With many natural deodorants they can small great but can't really help with the smell, these on the other hand work fantastically. Zac and I spend about half of the day inside and half outside and Louisiana heat/humidity ain't kind. So for a deodorant to hold up to that it means business!


As many of you may know conventional deodorants come with some down right scary ingredients. What's most terrifying is that many of the chemicals in conventional deodorants have been links to various health conditions. I try my hardest to find the safest products for my family, that's why when I find companies like Fab Deo I get so ecstatic. It brings me such great joy that there are small businesses with the same values as me. 


Oh yeah and also they've got lip balm! My all time favorite is def the cherry, I think it's because it reminds me of borrowing my mom's chapstick as a kid. The same incredible smell without all of the scary ingredients. One of the best things is that they are not overly greasy, they leave your lips feeling moisturized not like you just ate a large popcorn at the movies. These lip balms are a must have for those dry summer lips. I'm packin my cherry one in my back pocket right now! Haha.


Check out Fab Deo here. Show this amazing company some love and get you some vegan cruelty free deodorant and lip balm!


Hope everyone is having an awesome day!

Toodles


Vlog || Vegan Potluck at Our New House

Toodles

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Vegan Goodies || Lite + Cyle

Our souse is finally starting to feel like home now. We are finishing up all the little touches and what better way than with a candle. I was on a quest to find a candle that was of course vegan but also eco friendly and smelled great. I found Lite + Cycle. There shop took me by surprise not only are their products unbelievably beautiful but also environmentally conscious. I couldn't ask for more. 

Just looking at the label on the candle make me want to just do a little dance of joy. I have always wanted to get the safest and least toxic products out there, but now that I have a little one inside I am even more aware of what I am putting in my home. There are so many great smelling candles that have horrific chemicals in them and they just spread those around your home. I find myself enjoying even just the process of finding these products because I know that I am providing my home with the highest quality materials. 


Finding a candle that can beat the ethical, environmental and health concerns that I have how Lite + Cycle does is hard to beat. Find their page here and show them some love. Remember that every product you buy, being food, bath and beauty or home goods is a vote in what ever direction you please. Always do your best to support quality ethical brands. 


Toodles

Monday, May 16, 2016

What I Eat In A Day || #7


Toodles

Doc || Africa

Started watching this incredible series called Africa. I absolutely love shows like this and really enjoy watching them with my little sister Jes. We hear the "zoo argument" all the time as vegans. "Zoos are a place for education." That is just some shit. Zoos (not all of them, some of them are certified as sanctuaries and as places of rehabilitation) are a business. These animals are trades as products from place to place for a profit. That's why I believe that shows like Planet Earth and Africa are fascinating ways for adults and children alike to learn about these animals. In these shows the animals are in their natural habitat, doing what they normally do, with their families. Not trapped in some cage, laying there. That is not the life that those animals deserve. With these shows we can feel like we are up close and personal and see what they do on their day to day lives without having to destroy their lives. Not to mention this show is super bad ass. Really recommend it to anyone wanting to watch some killer fight scenes. 



Toodles

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Vegan Pregnancy || 1st Trimester

1st Trimester gone already! It is crazy how fast it has gone by already. Before I know it our little potato will be running around with Mowgli and Nana. Haha So I wanted to give you guys a little video update on how my 1st trimester went. Just about my experience, what I did, and how I am feeling now. 


Toodles

Monday, May 9, 2016

Doc || Documented

Documented is a documentary that shows and exposed the life of Jose Antonio Vargas, an extremely successful American journalist. Jose was brought over from the Philippines at the age of 12 to live with his grandparents. He is by all spirit an American, who lived the American dream. He has been a very well known journalist who has written for The New Yorkers, The Washington Post, among many other reputable forms of print. His secret: he is an illegal immigrant undocumented American. He is not alone. He is one of 12 million undocumented Americans. This is story that really hits my heart being that my family is from El Salvador. People will say "Well why don't they just come here legally? Why don't they just get their papers?" The answer to that is it's not that simple. Many of these undocumented Americans came over at a very young age, they have grown up with American ideals, in American school, living the American way. Much like Jose's story, these people can't just "get legal." This documentary shows the great fear that undocumented Americans have to live in. It is a must watch.







Toodles

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I'm Pregnant!



That's right! I am gonna be a mama (well a human mama now). I can't even begin to explain how incredibly excited I am for this insane journey ahead of us. We just moved into our home, so the timing was pretty spot on haha. I kept it traditional and wanted to wait a bit before telling everyone (SO DAMN HARD BTW), but now I cannot wait to share our story. I also cannot wait to make mom friends that I can learn from, so if you are a momma please feel free to email me to chat about your experience with motherhood! Well Happy Mothers day to all the lovely mamas out there! 








Toodles

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mowgli for the day || Mornin' Snacks

Mornin'! Everyone loves a mornin' snack and Mowgli is no exception. This morning before her breakfast she had a few carrots. These are a few action shots (that's what she calls them) of her eating them and a whole video of her enjoying them! I hope everyone had a fantastic week and hope ya'll all have a very awesome weekend. 







Happy Friday! 
Toodles

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Vegan Goodies || Pure Vitality Beauty Nail Polish Remover

Finally! I found a natural finger nail polish remover! I have been searching for ages and let me tell you it was not easy to find. Then I found Pure Vitality Beauty 100% nail polish remover. This incredible nail polish remover is plant based! So I know that with natural products they might not be as powerful as their chemical laded counter parts but that is no biggie for me. Compared to the regular polish remover that you would get from the store this one must be left on for a longer time, but when it comes to toxic chemicals I don't mind waiting a little bit longer in my nail polish removal process. And the cherry on top is that it is made here in the US. So if you are looking for a quality, non-toxic, plant based nail polish remover I would totally suggest you guys check Pure Vitality Beauty. You can find the nail polish remover here




Happy Thursday ya'll!
Toodles

Monday, May 2, 2016

Doc || Prescription Thugs

Prescription Thugs is an incredibly powerful documentary speaking up about a very critical issue, prescription drug addiction. To some this may seem like a non-issue because it is totally legal and doctors are prescribing the medication, how could this possibly be a bad thing, well that is the wrong way of looking at it. The sheer number of people who die due to prescription drug addition is outrageous. It is a problem that needs very open lenses to find the solution. There are so many angles to this problem that it is a little nerve-racking. It is a must watch documentary that shows the true dangers of prescription drugs from a very personal angle.


Toodles