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

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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

Why and how I became Vegan!

IMG_5611Yesterday I was thinking I’ve never told you guys why I became vegan and how I did it. As a lot of vegans get this question I would like to share it with you. Since I was a little child I wanted to become vegetarian, but I couldn’t do it. I loved meat, a lot! What was weird, because I also love animals a lot from, probably, the day I was born. I grew up with goats, chickens, horses, dogs, rats, cats, ferrets.. you name it and I had one. Everybody knew (and still) me as ‘the girl who loves animals’. Still I couldn’t be vegetarian. I think because I didn’t have the knowledge at that time. Whenever I was in a restaurant I made sure I ordered something containing a lot of meat. Especially steak and spare ribs were my absolute favourite. When I became a teenager I didn’t eat less meat, but it actually became more and more. I just loved the taste.
5Then the day came when somebody took me to do a workshop about massaging pigs. There is this big farm in Amstelveen (Netherlands) called ‘Het Beloofde Varkensland’ (The Promised Pigs Land) and they organise workshops to massage pigs and learn about them. There are a lot of rescue pigs. From the bio-industry or pigs who used to be pets, but then grow too big, got out of control by people not understanding them etc. They now all have a lovely life living with this lady called Dafne Westerhof. They have a lot of land to go for a stroll, straw to hide in, mud to roll in and a lot of attention.. living the dream! I aways liked pigs a lot, but since that day I really started to look at them in a different way. It was such an amazing day and I really didn’t want to leave those precious pigs. From FOKthat day I couldn’t eat pork anymore. How could I? So I stopped eating it and only bought 100% organic meat. I also ate meat substitutes at least 4 times a week. But then after a few weeks I realised that the meat on my plate, organic or not, from whatever animal it was, didn’t look nice to me anymore. I couldn’t eat it anymore. So I became vegetarian. It was very easy as I never really made the decision, it was more like an automatic thing what happened.
So before I became vegan I was already vegetarian for a few years. Though I must say, when I was vegetarian I did eat sweets containing gelatine, telling myself that I shouldn’t make life too difficult and that it wouldn’t make such a big difference. When I moved to the UK I started to think about veganism. Thinking I could never do that, it’s so extreme and why shouldn’t we eat eggs and drink milk? There is no reason to stop consuming that. I was closing my eyes for it, because I liked eggs, I loveeeed milk and what about cheese…. I could never ever give that up! Only I couldn’t help it, it was in my head the whole time, so I did make a few changes. I replaced my milk by soy milk and my yogurt by soy yogurt. I did eat products containing milk, but I never drunk or used milk by itself anymore.
book2Then the day came that I watched the documentary ‘Forks Over Knives’ and I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. Still I didn’t believe if I could ever be vegan. So many questions came up: What can I eat? Would I still be able to enjoy food? Can I ever go to a restaurant again without being difficult? Will there be vegan food on the menu? How will my environment react? So I decided to learn about veganism more and more. I read the book ‘Eat Like You Care’, I did my research and then the same thing happened to me when I became vegetarian. I couldn’t eat it anymore. So I automatically started to eat more and more plant based food. At first I replaced or stopped all the products on its own. So I did still eat biscuits and cakes where 12887559_1113547965355972_988058013_oeggs were used for example. I still struggled a little bit with the questions I had. Then I bought this book called ‘Vegan in 30 Days’. And that book helped me to take the last steps. My last questions were answered, like.. How would my environment react? Or can I still go to restaurants? One thing what really helped me was: What if I had an allergy? There are a lot of people who are intolerant to dairy or eggs for example. That is all accepted, people are kind and will help you to find something you can eat. Only when you choose not to eat it, when you choose not to eat animals or contribute to the cruelty, when you choose to be healthier, people make it a problem. When I read that, it was so clear to me. This is my choice and I decide what I put in my body or not. IT really encouraged me.

Everything you can eat, I can eat vegan!

Everything you can eat, I can eat vegan!

I remember I started a try out in November 2014. I went to restaurants to see if it was possible to enjoy a nice meal out. I went to supermarkets and started to read labels. I think I almost read every single label in every supermarket and I learned so much. I was surprised by all the products with dairy in it, but I also was surprised by a lot of product which turned out to be vegan. The try out went very well. I kept learning about veganism, watched documentaries, googled a lot of things and I tried a lot of different products and recipes. I sometimes ate something containing milk or egg, but once the new year started I never looked back! I fully made the decision to go vegan. What made me research things like leather, wool, silk and other animal products. The last thing I gave up (happily) was honey. Every time I look back in my journey and think about everything I learned I’m so grateful that I did! My whole world changed, in a good way. I started to look at things different. I feel a lot of compassion and love. I feel more grateful and appreciate the things around me even more than I did before.

So the the main reason I went vegan is for the animals. To stop the cruelty, abuse and unnecessary killing. I do have 2 other very important reasons and those are: my health and the environment. Living on a plant based diet is so much better for your body and I can feel that. Also going vegan makes a huge difference to the environment and I want to be good to this earth, there is only 1. There are a number of other reasons to go vegan and I do find those important too, but in the end it doesn’t really matter what my most important reasons are. Going vegan is the best decision I made in my life!

vegan-in-30-daysThe things that helped me becoming vegan:
Pigs farm – ‘Het Beloofde Varkensland’.
Documentary – ‘Forks Over Knives’.
Documentary – ‘Earthlings’.
Book – ‘Eat Like You Care’ by Gary L. Francione and Anna Charlton.
Book – ‘Vegan in 30 Days’ by Sarah Taylor.

PS: As my journey started with pigs, they became like a symbol for me. Pigs are my favourite animals. I love them so much. They can change the world. They changed me from somebody who ate a lot of meat, thinking I could never give that up, to somebody feeling so compassionate. I’m full of energy, thriving on a plant based diet. I feel very emotional writing this at the moment, because my love for them goes so far. They made me see what I couldn’t see by myself. They are the worlds biggest treasure!

Are you vegan? What made you become vegan? How did you do it and how does it make you feel today? I would love to hear about your vegan journey! Please let me know in the comments below. You could also let me know or show me by tagging me or using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

FLEUR & ROOS

13020512_1134885639888871_2003050333_nToday I have double rescue joy! Let me introduce you to Fleur and Roos, 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels owned by my best friends Jeroen and Nienke.

Fleur is 9 years old and was adopted 5 years ago. One day when Nienke was groceries shopping, Jeroen gave her a call to ask if she could also bring some dog food and a dog bed. He had been surfing the internet and found a dog available for adoption, not far from their house. That same day they went to have a look and there was Fleur. Her previous owner wasn’t able to look after het anymore for health reasons. They were very sad to put her up for adoption, but they didn’t have another choice. Fleur was adorable and of course they took her home. When they got home they took her for a nice walk and she seemed to be all fine with it. She is very calm and affectionate. They both love to have her company since!

12992832_1134885686555533_1871109432_nAfter a year they saw another Cavalier on the internet who was available for adoption. It was a bit further from their house, but they decided to have a look anyway. Roos lived with people who rescued abused and neglected dogs. The amount of dogs was a bit much at that moment and so they were looking for forever home for Roos. She was very sweet and friendly and so yes.. they took her home too! When they came home, meeting Fleur went really well and they are inseparable ever since. Friends for life.. real BFF’s! She just turned 9 in March, but looks much younger with her big puppy eyes.

They both have very different characters, but that is what’s making it so fun to have them, says Nienke. Fleur is the most cheeky as she regularly takes a walk by herself. Luckily she always came home safely so far. And Roos.. well.. she isn’t that clever, haha! She needs a bit of extra support now and then. Though she is full of enthusiasm and always comes running to you being all happy.

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left: Fleur / right: Roos

They both love to run around in the forrest near their house, to go for long refreshing walks on the Dutch dikes near the sea, sleeping with the cat(all 3 in 1 dog bed.. they make sure it fits, haha!), playing with the chickens and their mini pig.

They are also very child friendly and that is a good thing as their almost 1 year old daughter is totally in love with them!

Now and then they have a trim, bath and blow dry and they are ok with that, but the most fun part is to roll in a nice fresh towel afterwards. A joy to watch! They definitely bring a lot of happiness and it’s so nice to hear that both of them are living such a nice life full of attention and love!

Do you also have a dog you adopted and would you like me to tell his/her story here on my blog to inspire others? By entering you can win a small price too! So where are you waiting for? Please send me a message!

Vegan-style Documentaries

Why are you vegan? A question I get asked a lot. People always assume it’s because of all the poor animals. And yes, that is my main reason. I simply do not believe we should be in charge of life and death. All animals have the desire to live and abusing and killing them for our own pleasure just isn’t right. But there are so many more reasons why I am vegan. 2 very close together reasons are my overall health and the environment. Now to learn more about these 3 reasons I want to recommend these three documentaries: ‘Earthlings’, ‘Forks Over Knives’ and ‘Cowspiracy’.

EL‘Earthlings’ is a 2005 American documentary and is written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson. It’s divided in 5 chapters: pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research. I have to be honest, it’s very hard to watch it all the way to the end. Also I felt very angry and powerless after watching it. But I would still recommend it, because this is the truth and we can’t close our eyes to that. ‘Earthlings’ is a documentary who opened many peoples eyes. You can watch the full documentary on You Tube.

FOK‘Forks Over Knives’ is one of the first vegan related documentaries I watched myself and it’s still one of my favourites. It’s a 2011 American documentary directed by Lee Fulkerson and produced by John Corry. It’s about that most (or maybe even all) diseases can be controlled or even reversed by a whole foods plant based diet. Now that is interesting isn’t it? It’s a very clear and easy to follow documentary and you can watch it on Netflix. Also they have a really nice website with lots of information and recipes.

Cowspiracy_ScreeningPoster3Now I think a lot of people have heard about the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’. Especially after Leonardo DiCaprio, who is executive-producer, mentioned the environment in his speech after finally winning his well deserved Oscar. The documentary is produced and directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn and is about the sustainability secret: animal agriculture. So the environmental reason to go vegan. I really like this documentary as it’s easy to follow for everyone. They are very clear and come with a lot of easy explained facts. ‘Cowspiracy was exclusively released on Netflix on September 15, 2015.

Have you watched any of these documentaries already? Are you planning on watching them now? Let me know what your thoughts are!