Vegan Advice #4

I got some more questions asked I would like to answer here. This way everybody can read it in case more people have these questions about veganism. I answer everything form my own perspective. I’m sure there are people with a different opinion. Last time I wrote a Vegan Advice I answered the questions: ‘Why is horse riding wrong?’, ‘Do you respect that some people are not vegan?’ and ‘Why is honey not vegan?’. Today I will answer these questions: ‘Why are you not going to the zoo?’, ‘Why do you not wear fur, wool, leather and silk?’ and ‘Do you take any supplements?. Here we go..

Why are you not going to the zoo?
I think everybody agrees with me that nobody should live in a prison for no reason. A zoo is like a prison for animals. They didn’t do anything wrong and till they are behind bars. They are used for entertainment. There are zoo’s who work with reproduce programs. You think this might be good for the animals who are nearly extinct. But why are they nearly extinct? Because of people killing them, because of people using their land to keep cows for beef and to grow their food. It’s people who are destroying these animals. Keeping them imprisoned is not fair to them, just as it’s unfair to kill them for something we don’t need (beef). Animals have no natural enemies in the zoo and are likely to become a lot older than in the wild. Though.. imagine this: if you had the choice to live in a tiny house with a tiny garden, with the promise you will become a 100 years old. Or.. you can go outside and risk your life, but you can go anywhere you want to. What would you choose? Exactly! I agree some animals are living a generally ok life in the zoo, but why make circumstance less bad if it’s something unnatural to them? They have instincts, which may be less whilst living at the zoo, but it has to stop somewhere. So I’m against reproducing in zoo’s. Zoo’s should be banned. If you want to desperately see a lion.. book a ticket to Africa!

Why do you not wear fur, wool, leather and silk?
Vegans don’t use anything what comes from animals. This also means fur, wool, leather and silk. Using animals in any way is just not necessary and very often cruel. Fur and leather are the most cruel industries there are. Animals for fur are kept in horrible circumstances and electrocuted. This happens with metal pins in their bottom and mouth or they are skinned alive. Only for people who think it’s fashion to wear a dead animal who suffered unimaginable. Many people think leather is just a product what is left over from the meat industry. What is true in a way (and wrong anyway, because we don’t need meat), but leather is a product with a lot of profit. So it’s not just something nobody wanted anymore. Then the sheep who are shaved these days are sheep who are bred with a lot of wool, so we can shave it off and use it. These sheep are not natural, because normally sheep don’t need to be shaved. And what about silk. Most silk is coming from the mulberry silkworm. They are kept to create silk, used for fashion, whilst we have so many other options to choose from. So again, not necessary.

Do you take any supplements?
As a vegan you have to take a lot of supplements to stay healthy. This is what a lot of people think anyway. I hear this all the time. I don’t take any supplements myself, apart from the ones who are necessary for everybody. I only take B12. Some vegans don’t take any supplements, but are relying on the foods fortified with B12 (plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes etc.). I eat that too, but I also take a supplement, just in case, to make sure I have more than enough. I don’t take it every day though, just 2 times a week, to top it up. This B12 thing, is often used as a thing for omnivores to prove that a plant-based diet isn’t the way and you need meat to stay healthy. Though, what a lot of people don’t know is that meat only contains B12 if the animals were given B12 themselves through their food. So why take B12 through killing and eating animals, whilst you can take it straight away? B12 is a bacteria that grows on sugar. B12 used to be in the dirt, this way it got into plants and into animals who ate gras. Nowadays though, the dirt is ruined by overuse and by the use of pesticides. This means everybody needs to make sure to take B12 in a way, because your body can’t make B12 by itself. For some people it’s also advised to take a vitD supplement, especially when you live in a country with not too much sun. I don’t take this myself though.

Did you already know about this or did you learn something? Are there any other questions you’re struggling with? I’d be more than happy to help! Please let me know by leaving a comment below or by sending me a private email. You can also contact me via Instagram by sending me a message, by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Being Happy

There is a lot of power in being happy. That is why a lot of people these days try to find their happiness. But what is it what makes us happy? There are so many different ways to feel happy and some are very personal. I wrote about happiness before and I’m sure this will also not be the last time I write about it. It’s always a hot topic, because everyone wants to experience happiness. Some people spend a lifetime looking for it and for some it clicks within a few days. Happiness is not something you can buy or wait for. It’s the opposite of waiting actually, you need to do something to become happy. It’s something you experience in living your every day life, because happiness is now. No matter in what circumstances you are. I agree that there will be times you’re less happy, gong through something traumatic for example. You can’t be euphorically happy all the time. That is also not what I’m talking about. I’m more into a feeling of an overall happy feeling. Whatever you might go through sometimes, as soon as you master the trick of happiness, I’m sure you will be back on top soon. So what are those daily things that makes us feel happy?

From the way you wake up until you close your eyes going to sleep.. there are things you can actively do to make yourself feel good. Try to make room for several healthy habits throughout your day. This may include: waking up early, drinking enough water, exercise and practice meditation. Not long ago I wrote about my personal healthy habits and that might give you some ideas and inspiration. Healthy habits can also be creating a routine for yourself. Now, this is very personal, because there are people who get very unhappy from having a routine and there are people who get overly happy from routine (I’m definitely on that side). Though I do advice to always have some sort of routine. You can make it as detailed as you want it to be. You can keep it simple to at least try to wake up and go to bed at the same time and to try having regular healthy meals. Or you can create a morning routine a daytime routine and an evening routine. Like I said, this might make some people feel paranoid, but it can also function as something you can hold onto, so it will give you some calm and peace. You have to experiment with this yourself.

Something else I wrote about before, is about being kind. Being kind to others, but also to yourself will give you a sense of happiness. Doing something nice for somebody else, a family member, a colleague or your neighbour gives meaning. It doesn’t always matter how big the act of kindness is, because it will give you a feeling of joy. Looking after others make you feel satisfied. So don’t hesitate if there is something you can do for somebody else, because it will not only make that person feel good, but it’s instant karma too. Also don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself in a nice calm voice and give yourself a compliment now and then. Reward yourself when you accomplished something and smile at yourself when seeing yourself in the mirror.

I think we all heard about the powder of endorphins. Our bodies own drug which is released by a number of things. We all know our body releases it when doing physical exercise, the well known ‘runner’s high’. And I definitely recommend exercise as one of the things you can do to treat yourself to some daily endorphins. But did you know that there are other ways too? Like laughing, listening to your favourite music, meditation, have sex (ok, this might fall under physical exercise too), eat dark chocolate and smell lavender? So let those endorphins go free and discover which of these give you peaks of happiness!

We all know the feeling (some more than others) of not really want to go out. It’s just so much easier and relaxing to stay at home and watch your favourite show with a steamy cup of tea in your hand. Isn’t it? Does it sounds familiar, telling yourself you’re feeling too tired to go out after a long day (or week) at work? We’re very good at making excuses. Though going out actually isn’t such a bad idea. Especially when you are feeling a little down. Breathing in the fresh air, the exercise of a little walk (exercise for body and mind) or going out with a friend, can all actually give you loads of energy. So even though you already switched on your kettle, you can always change your mind and put on your shoes to go out! It doesn’t have to be long, even a 10 min walk will make you feel refreshed. Or go out for dinner with a friend one evening, you will see that chatting and laughing with somebody you care about, will do you good.

It’s important to feel happy. Because being happy makes everything else work. Feeling good makes you an attractive person, you will be better at your job, it will make you study go easier and it will make your life more enjoyable. If you’re not happy, you don’t have the right energy around you to attract success. You want to go into the circle of happiness. So push yourself to do things that will make you happy. Don’t sit and wait for it, because it’s not going to be dropped on your doorstep any time soon (read: never). Life is now. So even when you’re very busy with whatever you’re doing at the moment, thinking you do not have time for all these things, make time to live in the now, because your life is now. In the end it will make things go better and faster anyway. Experience life to the fullest!

Can you call yourself a happy person? Are you in the circle of happiness? Do you have something to add to this, something to say about this or do you have questions? Please let me know! You can do this in the comments below or you can send me a message via CONTACT. Thank you! X

The Bon Vie Tops

I was gifted these great looking tops with beautiful designs from ‘The Bon Vie’. This is the company of a lovely girl who started to make tops with vegan designs. She always loved animals, but it wasn’t until about 2 years ago she came to realise how many animals suffered on a daily basis. This made her go vegan. She also started to volunteer at animal sanctuaries and shelters, trying to make a difference. But about 6 months ago she felt like she wanted to do more and make a bigger impact. She already knew a lot about T-shirts and graphic, so she decided to combine those 2 and I’m happy she did. Her designs are so nice. Quite different from other ones. The Bon Vie is all about spreading awareness and bringing people together. In the future she hopes to switch to recycled shirts to help the environment. I think the avocado shirt is so cute.. ‘Wanna Avocuddle?’ hehe.. This T-shirt I like best in white, so the design is very visible. I really like the V-neck too. I don’t like tops with the color too high and V-necks are perfect, my favourite. Both the other tops, whilst not having a V-neck, are low cuts and that is the best thing about these tops. Out of all the design and shapes, I chose the avocado T-shirt, but I said I also liked the elephant and the ‘I just want to yoga all day, eat yum vegan food and save animal’. It was hard to choose! When I received my parcel it turned out she also include the other 2 designs. So sweet en generous of her! And it turns out I like the elephant the best. Even though it has a round neck, I absolutely love it. It has such a nice fit and I really like the colour, a very nice, not so common, blue. A few weeks ago I bought new elephant trousers and they are a perfect combination together. Very nice for the summer. Make me so happy!

The shirts are a very nice shape and fit nicely. The T-shirts are quite a small fit, so if you like a lose fit, I recommend choosing a size bigger than you normally get. Though the tank top was perfect fit. You can go to The Bon Vie website to see all the other designs. For every sale, $2 goes to help animals! This either goes to a sanctuary or a shelter (it changes on a regular basis). So you don’t only get a nice top, you’re also doing it for a good cause. Help yourself to a nice T-shirt and help an animal to have a better life. Where are you waiting for?

Are you familiar with The Bon Vie tops? Do you love them as much as I do? Please show me your choice on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. You can also tag me (and @thebonvie) of course. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Veganism and Christianity

I was raised as a Christian. I went to church (almost) every Sunday, went to church-group and I went to a christian primary school. As a child you believe in God, because your parents do. When I grew older I started to think and I started to ask questions. I didn’t go to church anymore from when I was about 18 years old. That was not becuase I didn’t believe in God anymore, but because I don’t like churches. In my opinion it’s a lot about the people and not so much about God. Also, I’m not a big fan of ‘living in a community’ and to be part of ‘a group’. It makes me feel obligated. Then (personal) things happened in my life and I started to lose my faith. I started to have questions nobody was able to answer. Nowadays I do not call  myself a christian anymore, but I do still have difficulties to say that I don’t believe in God. I do believe in a God. Just, what and who is God?! The way he is described in the bible? I always loved the bible as a child and I still do in many ways. I think it’s a beautiful book full of life lessons. I think a lot of things in the bible really happened, but I also think that a lot of stories are made up and used as an example for us to learn from. Either way, I’m happy I was raised with this knowledge, about the christian God and the bible.

Now I’m vegan, I get told a lot ‘but God gave us animals so we can eat them’. I do not believe that and that inspired me to write this article and tell you what I think about this subject. There are a lot of things that don’t make sense to me, looking at christianity and veganism. Christianity teaches us that God created the world and Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, where everything was perfect. Then Adam and Eve fell into sin and from that moment things changed. A lot of bad and painful things came into the world. Some things that humans couldn’t control, but a lot of things happened because of humans. Humans started to give in to hate and choosing the wrong path. They started to curse, hurt and kill each other. This is not what God intended and this is what humans did to themselves and each other. You can choose love and compassion and you can choose hate and selfishness. People have own responsibility. If I ask you which one you prefer I’m quite sure you will choose love over hate. Christianity teaches us that one day the people who truly believed in God, will go to heaven. Now this is the part where a lot of questions come to my mind. If you truly believe in God, but you still do bad things you could control, will you go to heaven? And when you are not sure if there is a God, but you are a good person and always try to do the right thing, will you go to heaven? According to the people I talked to from church, you have to believe in God and be a good person. So what makes you a good person? Coming from christianity, I believe, next to honouring God, we should look after the world, look after each other, in peace, the way God intended. God designed the world perfectly. Everything is working in the perfect way. Just take a look at your own body, the growth of plants and the animals we share the world with.

Nowadays there are a lot of problems in the world. We are destroying it.The opposite from what God asked humans to do. The biggest, direct threat to planet earth is CO2. A lot comes from cars, aeroplanes, factories etc. Everybody knows this, because we get encouraged by the government to not use the car if not necessary, for example. It’s a worldwide problem. Not all CO2 comes from this though. So then what is responsible for the other percentage? It’s agriculture. In simple words ‘it’s the animals we breed for consumption’. The world that God created is destroyed by your food choice. This is not everything. What about our bodies? We are a threat to our own bodies. People are dying from welfare. We now know diseases like cancer, diabetes and about 40% of people (worldwide) has hypertension, what causes heart disease (45%) and strokes (51%). We are killing ourselves. What is causing these diseases? Consumption of meat, dairy and eggs. So again, the human body God created, is destroyed with the choice of food. How does this work? Meat, dairy and eggs are full of bad fats for humans. Apart form that, the human body has a long digestive system. Perfect for plant based foods, but animals products will rot as they digest a lot slower. What makes your body sour, toxins spread and guess what cells feel very comfortable in that environment? Cancer cells! So this is what happens to humans directly.

And what about the animals? Humans think that they have the right to own them, use them and kill them. God created animals and humans are using them like they are not important. Or actually, some are not important. We love our pets, but if it comes to a cow or a pig you didn’t know and never met before, what does it matter, right?! I think we should be loving and compassionate towards animals. They give us so much in return. We can learn so much of them. Christianity teaches us that they are also God’s creation. So why be cruel to them if you can love them too? Isn’t this choosing hate and selfishness over love and compassion? All animals have their own ability of understanding, that we don’t always understand them, doesn’t mean we can rule over their life’s. All animals have the will to live. If God created animals for us to eat, why are they trying to safe their life’s if they are about to be murdered? He didn’t give them to us to eat, in the Garden of Eden he said, in Genesis 1:29 – ‘Behold, I have given you every plantyielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you’. After the fall of man into sin, the bible doesn’t say: Because you ruined it, you can now also kill animals for food. It definitely doesn’t say ‘build mega farms and make as much profit as you can, despite of suffering’. This all came into the world by humans! Because humans can be selfish. They want money, power and rule over others. Animals don’t have a voice, they can’t literally tell us that they don’t want to turn into food. But if you look into their eyes, if you look at their fear when they smell and hear death all around them, how can you support this? I know I can’t speak for God, but for me it’s logic that this is not ok! Even though I’m not a christian, if there is a loving God (and I truly hope there is, in any form), than how can we humans justify this?

*The art you see, is by the artist Limppu – Laura Witick. She’s also a Master of Theology.

Are you a christian and are you vegan? I would love to hear your view on this too. Also when you do not agree, I’m honestly interested in how you will justify this. (Let’s stay nice to each other though!) You can comment below or send me a message via CONTACT. I look forward to it! Thank you! X

 

How to be: Highly Attractive

You know these girls with a perfect body, a gorgeous smile, smooth skin and it seems like the wind is always in their favour, blowing gently through their hair. Or these guys with a tanned skin, a six pack, shiny hair and when they smile their super white teeth are glistering in the sunlight. From the outside they seem typically attractive. Is this real attraction though? Of course it’s nice when somebody looks good, everybody will admit that. Though, somebody can be incredibly beautiful from the outside, but if they then say the most dumb things or are super insecure, the outside doesn’t seem to matter anymore. If you look at it the other way around.. somebody who maybe isn’t typically beautiful at first sight, but does have a beautiful personality, can become insanely beautiful from the outside too. But what is it what makes people attractive? I wrote down the top 5 of what makes you highly attractive.

1 –CONFIDENCE
I think this is the most important one for sure. As you can have it all, but without confidence, it doesn’t look half that appealing. If you lok confident, people are automatically attracted to you. It’s hard to fake confidence, as most people will easily notice that you’re just pretending. But if you have self acceptance, laugh out loud, feel free to say what’s on your mind, all without thinking about what other people might think of you, you’re pretty confident! Being independent, knowing that you’re capable of doing many great things, having faith in yourself and your ability to make things work.. then you’re talking about the whole package! This all together works like a magnet. In general life, but also for the people around you. Your lover, your social group and the bond you have with your family. So work on your confidence and I promise you that doors will open.

2 –PASSIONS
What are your hobbies or passions? ‘I don’t really have hobbies’. This for me is one of the least attractive things people can say. How can you not have hobbies? It states that there is not a lot going on in your life, that you don’t really care and you think it’s alright to live a routine life and just live for existence. Isn’t it super attractive if somebody would respond like this: ‘Hobbies? I have a lot! I love drawing, going for hikes in the mountains, playing football, playing piano and I’m very passionate about veganism and cooking’. It shows that you care and you’re full of life. Very attractive!

3 –KINDNESS
Act with kindness. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about that. When you’re kind, people want to be around you. You give them a good feeling. If you know somebody who is kind, you probably experience that as well. It’s nice to be around people who are polite, have the best interest, listen, show respect and are trustworthy. If somebody is rude to you or to others, doesn’t listen and always has something negative to say about other people, if they talk behind your back and are selfish, it’s unpleasant to be around them and you will avoid this. It’s logic.

4 –HUMOUR
Humour does a lot of good. Now of course different people have a different sense of humour, but if you find somebody who can make you laugh, it’s super attractive. Laughing releases endorphins and that gives you a happy feeling. The more endorphins your body gets, the more it wants. So having a sense of humour if not only attractive, it’s addictive.

5 –OPEN MIND
This is quite an important one in my opinion, even though it’s the number 5. Being open minded: looking at different possibilities, taking risks, be easy going and accept the people around you, makes you attractive. People who only believe and do what they think is good (because they’ve alway done it like that), without looking at what else is out there feels a bit like suffocation. Being open minded also means you respect people who maybe look different, are from different cultures, are gay, transexual or whatever. People who can’t tolerate this are people who are highly unattractive in my eyes. People are people and you should treat everybody the same.

The law of attraction is this: You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

This isn’t only about feeling attracted to people. It also means that with a positive attitude, positive things will come to you. In work, in health, life in general.. So stay positive, be happy and smile, you’ll be irresistible!

Did you like this article? Do you agree with me, do you disagree or do you have something to add to this? Please leave your comment below! Thank you! X

Act With Kindness

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-21-22-33A simple act of kindness can mean so much. That’s why it’s so important to always be kind. Even when you don’t get kind back, you should never lower your level by being rude, just because somebody else is acting rude. Always act with kindness. A person who’s being rude, might learn how they can react the next time when they feel like shouting and cursing. Shouting and cursing back might make you feel good in the moment itself, but in the end of the day it isn’t rewarding at all. Don’t try to end hate with hate. Always show love and kindness. Spread it around and the people around you will feel inspired and hopefully in this way, all together, we can make the world a better place. Of course you’ll be in situations you can’t be only loving. But at least always be polite, be firm if needed and stay honest, but never give in to this angriness inside of you. It’s never worth it. You’ll gain nothing from it and nobody ever will.

hugIn general, spreading kindness is making you feel happy yourself too. It’s very rewarding and it adds to your own happiness. Giving a random person a smile, having a little chat with the person next to you whilst picking the tastiest apples at the supermarket, giving your seat in the bus to a pregnant lady, giving your best friend a hug, spreading compliments and sending your mum a message to tell her she’s appreciated and thought of. All acts of kindness. These things will somebody else feel special, appreciated and loved. Feeling special gives you a good feeling. A reason why a child (and adults.. hehe..) loves its birthday. This special feeling is such a strong feeling, that it will always accomplish a lot more than being angry and going mad. Again.. choose kindness, always.

Because all we can do is being kind, but it’s important to keep your own boundaries in mind. (That rhymes.. yay!) You can be yourself, be your unique self. Stay kind, polite and always show that you’re grateful for the acts of kindness coming from somebody else. You will be liked by the people who can appreciate that and you don’t need more. Give kindness, make people feel special, let people feel known and appreciated. This will give you a good feeling in the moment, but karma will also make sure it will all come back to you. Let’s keep that flowing!

Do you always try to be kind? Do you find it hard or does it come very natural to you? Do you have something to add to this, something to say about this or do you have questions? Please let me know! You can do this in the comments below or you can send me a message via CONTACT. Thank you! X

The Way We Grow Up

As some of you might know, I’m a nanny. Recently I started to work 4 days instead of 5, so I can focus on Planet Manel more. Being a nanny, obviously means that you’re always in contact with children. It also means you’re always in contact with the things around children. You go to playgroups, music classes, libraries, parties, nurseries, schools, meet other nannies and parents, playgrounds, zoo’s.. I can keep going, but I think you have an idea of what I mean. I’m vegan now for a bit over 3 years, but only lately I keep noticing how we grow up in this society where killing and using animals is so normal. In fact, most of us are getting familiar with it since birth I would say.

img_6609A child is pure and honest. How can a baby choose what to eat? And though 2 year olds can be really controlling about what they eat, in the end, they can only eat what you give them. You can get a lot of critic raising your child vegan. People say that you’re forcing your child to be vegan. I see it the other way around. Feeding your child animal products is forcing them to eat animals and you’re teaching them not to respect them. I do believe that if a child is able to choose, it would not choose to use, kill or eat an animal. Children are naturally very compassionate towards animals. Animals are friends in their eyes, not food, not shoes and not an ingredient in their bath bubbles. Only a child doesn’t know most of the times that it’s eating pork or wearing a woollen jumper. There comes a point though that they find out that the mince meat in their bolognese is made of a cow and that the fish next to their chips is a fish who swam in the ocean not long before. For some children that comes when they’re 4 years old and another realises it when turning 9. Though, at that point, people tell them ‘it’s ok’. You’re literally telling them that it’s alright to make a difference between animals. To not care about their feelings or maybe to act like those animals have no feelings. Isn’t that unfair?

i-only-drink-human-milk-onesieYou are what you eat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much for breast-feeding, it’s totally vegan! Though, if the mum eats meat or drinks milk.. part of that is also going to the baby. Not only with breast-feeding, but already since the very beginning, starting in the womb. The body uses the food the mum eats to help the baby grow and to produce milk. This is the reason you can’t eat very spicy things for example, you risk the baby getting cramps. This is the very first thing what happens to a young innocent baby. Then after a few weeks or months a lot of mums have to stop breast-feeding for all sorts of reasons. So a lot of people will start giving their babies formula, based on cow’s milk. Milk what is made for a baby cow. From about 4 months, the weaning starts. First some fruit and veggies, but then also yogurt, milk, cheese, eggs and meat. This article is not about sugar and E-numbers, but with the weaning that also starts. A lot of children biscuits or cereals are full of crap.

img_5912That is all about food, but what about toys, books and education? How many toys are out there of happy elephants in the circus? Or the smily hippo’s in the zoo? Children are taught that elephants belong in the zoo, not in Africa. Worst of all, they’re being taught that the elephants like to be in the circus. But one of the biggest things that annoys me I think, is the farm books and toys. Children are being taught that chickens are here to give us eggs, cows exist so they can give us their milk, sheep are here to give us wool etc. Then I’m not even talking about the hypocritical way of pretending that the animals are happy farm animals. Then I’m thinking, how will the world ever change, if children are being taught lies? A few weeks ago I was at a playgroup and we img_6839had story time. The children were all excited and sat down, so the lady could read the story. It was about animals. Lovely! A lot of animals were mentioned, cows, cats, ducks, dogs and also a turkey. A beautiful gracious black turkey. Instead of mentioning what wonderful animals they are, she said: ‘we probably all had them at Christmas’! Everybody was laughing and some people started nodding. It made me furious and I almost wanted to say something about it, but I know that it’s not the way. People will only think of me being extreme and I would get the opposite result. It was a hard moment though. Nobody was thinking about what we were teaching the children here. Probably because these people grew up the same way. Where and when do we break this circle?! It was a very sad moment and it really got to me. One of the reasons I decided to start writing an article about this subject.

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-20-12-56About pets. I’m very much for keeping pets, especially around children. There is no better way to teach children compassion and love for the beautiful animals in this world. Letting them close to them and care for them is great. You have to admit, that children love pets too. A lot of children get excited about seeing a dog or stroking a fluffy bunny rabbit. But shouldn’t we also teach them how to keep them? Most dogs and cats are fine, apart from being teased sometimes, without parents teaching the children how to approach them in a correct way. If the dog or cat bites or scratches, the animals gets blamed. Weird. A lot of parents like to get hamsters or fishes as a first pet. You get a cage, food and some other necessary supplies and the hamster can live there its whole life. Some cages are not bigger than an A3 paper. It’s like a prison. Also a lot of times they’re being kept alone. No social interaction with its own species what so ever. I don’t agree with this at all. I have to admit, I used to have a lot of hamster and bunny rabbits living like this when I was a child. It makes me sad thinking about it now, but at that time I didn’t now better, I didn’t think about it. Now I am and I fishythink it’s important to get it out there. Hamster like space, they like running around, exploring.. and not only in plastic tunnels. This is just as sad as a fish in a bowl or an aquarium. Fishes would normally have the ‘whole ocean’ to swim in and now they have a few litre of water. Just because we want to keep and own them. ‘My child love fishes, so I bought him a fish in a bowl’. Not thinking about, that if you really love fish, you wouldn’t do this to the fish. Same as fishing. Fathers taking their son on a fishing trip, sounds all very nice, being in the fresh air, near the water.. but it’s basically teaching them how to torture a fish. How can the world become a better world if we keep teaching the children to have selective compassion? You should not pull a cat’s tail, but it’s ok to catch a fish with a hook through its lip. You should not kick a dog, but it’s ok to take away a calf from its mum so we can drink the milk. You should not poke a bunny rabbits eyes, but it’s ok to kill a fly. Maybe a fly sounds extreme to you, but why can’t we teach them respect instead?

img_6610In London a lot of little children are chasing the pigeons in the streets. ‘So much fun’! I never liked it and I never allowed the children I looked after. It’s not like they’re harming the pigeons, but I always told them to be nice to the pigeons and not to scare them. I always tell them to say hi and wish them a good day. Just a little compassion for the living beings we share this earth with. Why can’t we teach them to do that with all animals? A spider isn’t scary and a rat isn’t disgusting. They’re animals with feelings and emotions. They can feel pain and all they want is to live, just like us. I’m sure if we all educate ourselves, we’ll educate our children better. Teach them to only eat plants, to choose compassion and to show love and respect for everything that lives. We have a choice nowadays. Children are not only the future, it is their future. And so far children are being taught to destroy the world they grow up in.

What do you think about this subject? Do you agree with me or do you have something you would like to add or do you have something to say about it? Please let me know in the comments below! Thank you! X

Vegan Style Documentaries #2

fcFOOD CHOICES 
In my opinion, this one of the best documentaries around at the moment. It’s a very new documentary, as it appeared in 2016. I like ‘Food Choices’, because it’s a very clear and easy to understand documentary and a lot of important aspects are mentioned. It’s about animal cruelty, the environment and also about what a plant-based diet does to your health. It’s like an all in one package. After watching it, you have a very clear idea of what is happening to the world. You will understand that by simply choosing the food on your plate, you can actually make a difference: A difference for the animals and all the unnecessary suffering, A difference for the world we are living in and where the next generation has to grow up in, A difference in your health. If you want to watch the documentary, then go to their website. You can watch it via the website itself or you can order the dvd. Oh and it’s also on Netflix, yay!

hfc-2HUNGRY FOR CHANGE
This is a really interesting documentary. I’m a big fan of this documentary! It’s all about your health and how the food industries are telling you lies. About that the food industries want us to buy things and how they get us to buy things. They especially talking about sugar and how bad it is for you and how much sugar you’re actually eating/drinking without really realising. It’s shows you that everything is about money and that they don’t care about your health at all. They show you what is wrong with the ‘food’ available nowadays. It also shows you what it does to you and your body, but the best part is, they also show you what happens if you are changing that. A lot of interesting people are talking, a lot of you probably know from other documentaries or tv. If you want to watch this documentary you can go to their website. You can watch it via the website or you can order the dvd. But again.. it’s also on Netflix!

Did you watch these documentaries already? Are you considering watching them now? Let me know what your thoughts are! You can do that by leaving a comment below, but you can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Happiness and Self Acceptance

We live in a society where it’s very important to be accepted by everybody. Not only accepted, people want to be better than other people. This, I think, is mainly created by social media. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, otherwise I wouldn’t be a blogger. It’s just that I see a lot of obsessing over things that don’t seem important in daily life. For example: having the perfect body, gadgets or having a crazy busy social life. Does being thin really make you happy? Does that new phone really make you happy? ..and who are your real friends?

14037802_1213183238725777_1913738389_oFAKE HAPPINESS
A big thing nowadays is ‘finding happiness’. Everybody seems to be on a journey to find true happiness. They travel to the other side of the world to go to tropical holiday resorts, treat themselves to expensive massages, buy stuff, make more friends and then they post all these things on Instagram to show others how happy they are. But are you? Really? It’s great if you can do this all and at the same time you’re truly happy. But if you are, you also know that the things I just mentioned is not what is making you happy. Of course you’re happy going on holiday and of course buying something makes you happy. Only that is not the happy I’m talking about. I’m talking about being happy in the now. Are you happy with yourself? Are you doing the things you want? Are you living the life you imagined? Because owning that just released new phone, doesn’t change the fact you’re going to your work every day feeling reluctant and stressed. Having tons of friends doesn’t make you love your body and going on expensive holidays don’t make your responsibilities magically disappear.

htTHE RIGHT WAY OF BEING HAPPY
Then what is the right way of being happy? Nobody can hand you a ticket of happiness. There is no manual for ‘being happy’. It has to come from you. Only you can make yourself happy. There are no external factors involved. I think it all starts with the question: ‘Who are you?!’. Do you know who you are and are you exactly that person? One simple question, but mostly very complicated to come up with the answer. Because this simple question means you have to ask yourself a lot of other question and you have to be able to answer them. If the answers don’t match with reality, it makes you unhappy. It means you’re not staying close to who you are and from what you want in life.

QUESTIONS
What kind of questions? I’ll give you some examples:
-How do I like to feel?
-Am I happy to look at myself in the mirror?
-What would be my dream job?
-Do I have goals and do I reach my goals?

img_5749ANSWERS
Now you want to answer those questions and compare them with reality.
-Are you feeling the way you like to feel most of the time?
-Can you look at yourself in the mirror and smile with confidence, without feeling devastated about not having a thigh gab or because you can see your bones sticking out?
-Are you happily going to work because you love what you do?
-Do you have something to work on and look forward to? ..and can you look back and be proud of yourself looking at all the things you’ve accomplished in your life already?

SELF ACCEPTANCE 
When you can answer those questions and your answers honestly match with reality, you can accept yourself. Being happy with yourself brings happiness. Then it doesn’t matter what others think of you, because you are who you are. Nobody can tell you you’re wrong, because this is who you are.

img_1080HAPPINESS HIGH
Happiness doesn’t mean that you’re always feeling high of happiness. There will be highlights in your life, what gives you this euphoric feeling. These are great and you should use the energy you get from it, to motivate yourself. Or you can use them if you have a bad moment. Because of course you will still have bad moments. Nobody can be happy 24/7. Things happen. But being happy with yourself means you can handle these things a lot better. You can see them more clear and put them in perspective. It’s all about being stable and feeling grounded, even though something awful is happening.

Of course there is a lot more to happiness, but I think it starts with knowing who you are and by accepting yourself. At the moment I’m working on an ultimate Happiness-Lifestyle. To help people finding themselves and for them to feel happy. Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Stay tuned! To keep you up to date, register yourself on the bottom of my website. This way you’ll never miss a post or an update.

Are you happy the way you live your life? Do you know who you truly are? Or are there some things you want to work on? I hope this article pushed you in the right direction. If you have any questions or if you want to say something about this, please leave a comment below or contact me via CONTACT. You can also get in touch via Instagram. Thank you! X

 

 

 

ART: Limppu by Laura Witick

laura-4Via Facebook I came across ‘Limppu’, the artist name of Laura Witick. I saw this beautiful image of a pig she painted. (My eyes always seem to spy pigs..) The painting really got to me. It had my full attention from the first second I saw it. I absolutely love it! It gives me goosebumps, makes me feel incredibly happy and it makes me want to burst out in tears at the same time. I think it’s amazing and Laura is a beautiful person, as she is involved in different animal rights organisations, donates part of what she earns with her art to all sorts of different charities and she is vegan. I really wanted to interview her and write about her, so more people will get to know her and can enjoy and support her work.


lauraIn March 1991, Laura Witick was born in Kokkola in Finland. It was right then when her father gave her the nickname ‘Limppu’, what literally means ‘loaf of bread’ in Finnish. Unfortunately he can’t remember how he came up with it anymore, but nowadays she still goes by that name. When her real name got mixed up because more people are called ‘Laura Witick’, she decided to use ‘Limppu’ as het artist name.

Laura always loved drawing and basically started as soon as she was able to hold a pencil. At first she only drew animals, mainly fish. As a teenager she also started to draw people’s faces and she was especially intrigued by drawing eyes. Until the age of 18 she only drew, but then she also started painting when she got her first acrylic paints set, gifted by her mum. Laura is a vegan artist and so she makes sure the materials she is using are vegan too. That means she is using synthetic brushes, acrylic paints from art‘Winsor&Newton’ (note: the colours ‘Ivory Black’ and ‘Payne’s Gray’ are not vegan) and canvases from ‘Daler-Rowney’ for her paintings. For her drawings she uses the pencils from ‘Faber-Castell’ and drawing paper from ‘Canson’. To see what other art supplies she uses, you can click here.

lauraWhen Laura was 6 years old she started Kokkola Art School. It’s an art school for children and young people. You would think it was something she’d love, but the unexpected happened, she quit after a month. She only wanted to draw, paint and mould animals, but because that was not the only thing they did there, she thought it was boring. Though a year later she did attend the entrance exams again and she got in, again. She went to art school for 8 years, but when there was only 1 year left before graduation she quit again. This time because she was moving to Lapland. It didn’t really upset her, as she didn’t have any interest of continuing anyway. Since then she never applied for any art school again. She can be very short about it: ‘I really love art, but I don’t love studying it’. Nevertheless, she did graduate from ‘Upper Secondary School’, ‘Visual Arts’ oriented and she has completed a Fine Arts Diploma in there too (5/5). She has also did several art courses in the ‘Adult Education Centre’ of Joensuu.

laura-2Laura is not just an artist who likes to paint animals, because she also has a Lutheran priest education and she’s a Master of Theology. She believes that God created animals for independent purposes and not so much for the nourishment of humans or for any consumer goods. She has based her views above all on the story of creation, where all beings are depicted as vegetarians. Laura tells me something else what I found very interesting. In her words: ‘Like the famous animal theologian Andrew Linzey deduces, the rule of humans cannot focus on killing or usage of any created being, because humans didn’t have permission to eat animals in paradise despite their rule over creation. The nature of domination is a protective rule. To act as the image of God means the ability of humans to intermediate the love of God’. 

laura-3Laura gets her inspiration from every day life. Most of the time it’s when she is doing something very irrelevant to art, like grocery shopping or reading a book. Any time of the day a great idea can pop into her head and when that happens she feels the urge to paint it. At the moment Laura is creating her first art exhibition, called ‘Mercy!’. It’ll be about the relationship between God and animals in Christianity. She hopes that her art gets more people interested in animal rights. She wants to make the world a better place, for all of us. She’s aware of the fact that it mind sound idealistic and a bit naïve, but I think that people like Laura is what the world needs. Now more than ever.

laura2Laura is self-employed and she also does commissions for a living. If you are interested in her work you can go to her website, her Facebook page or her Instagram page. She will have her first Art Exhibition next year in Joensuu from the 5th of October until the 30th of October, 2017. Joensuu is in Finland, unfortunately for us in the UK, but I’m sure it’ll be worth going. (Finland trip?) Keep an eye on her website and profiles so you won’t miss the exact date!

A personal message from her to all of you guys reading this:
Be nice to all! Peace and love, Limppu.

I’m a fan! How can I not be if somebody is so talented and then uses her talent to make the world a better place? What do you think of Laura and her beautiful work? Please let me, and especially Laura, know by leaving a comment below or on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X