Lifestyle · Opinion · vegan

How The Manchester Bombing Made Me Realise That Humanity Will Never Be Vegan, So What’s The Point In Trying?

Disclaimer: I want to address this matter as sensitively as I can. I do not want to take the thoughts off those that were killed, injured and traumatised. Therefore, I ask if you will read what I have to say with an open heart. I am not using this to push my beliefs on others. I only want to inspire a better world. 

Humanity works on a spectrum. There are those who are the tallest and the shortest and  those who are the strongest and the weakest. Therefore, there are also those that are good and bad to the extremes. This week something horrific happened in Britain. ISIS took responsibility for another terrorist attack in the UK. The horror is unimaginable and I couldn’t help putting myself there, in the crowds. I was the dying woman, being comforted by the homeless man, the child who had no legs and the running teenagers trying to find their parents.

It’s hard for me, as a pacifist, to see why anyone would justify murder. I can agree that many would think that I am an extremist on the left hand side of the political spectrum. It’s physically sewn into me to have a deep opposition to violence of any kind. I was born with a sensitive essence and a single bout of violence or conflict makes me feel physically ill. I feel sick, shake, cry and feel all kinds of negative emotions and physical sensations. That’s how I can see that there are people who have the opposite effect, or are unable to care. I am physically forced to care. There are no boundaries to protect me other than avoidance. All I can do about it is mediate and promote peace.

As a Brit, I am pretty clueless to why terrorists are attacking the western world. I’ve heard so many different opinions online and off but I still don’t understand it fully. I’m only admitting this because I believe there is no way any of us, who is not a member of ISIS or considering it, really will ever understand. To us, it is ludicrous to even consider the thoughts inside these peoples heads, that justifies what they are doing. Our culture is the only way most of us have ever lived and so we are going to be biased towards it and we are going to want to protect it. It’s hard for us to see why would anyone want to destroy our way of living.

Although the solidarity was incredibly moving and probably one of the only good things to come out of the attacks, the worst thing that came after was the racism. All I can see behind these racist comments are close minded and uneducated people, who are scared. They want us to ban Muslims from entering the country and many want us to bomb the terrorists. This just can’t be done. They are all over the world, in this country and in many others. There is no way that we can even find out who they all are, never mind kill them all, especially without innocent people being killed. If you lived in a village where there were crazy gunmen running free, would you think that it would be justified to bomb the entire village to kill them all, including all of the innocent people who have there doors locked in fear. What if one of those innocent people was you? I can’t see how that is ever justified. It is murder. I would hope that most people would understand how unethical that would be.

It’s apparent to some of us, but not all of us, that Islam is not the problem but the extremists themselves are. Just as I said earlier, many things in life are on a spectrum. I want to promote peace, they don’t. It’s simple, yet complicated. If Islam was the problem, we would be having far worse issues than we are today. The problem lies within humanity. There have been many who have fought for land, power and weapons over greed, selfishness and religion for all of our existence. It’s not something new. Correct me if I’m wrong, as I am not exactly well versed in the religion. I’ve heard it’s contradictory and I’m pretty sure that ISIS is getting a lot out of bombing us and I can believe that they are doing it in order to gain more popularity as more and more people hate on Muslims.

We still have a lot of growing to do in this country. However, let’s not forget that we have already grown as a collective in so many ways. In this country women politically have the same rights as men. Change will continue to happen if we work on it. Our ideologies have changed. When something like this happens, people act and speak out of fear. It’s natural to do this. However, the fear from the initial problem creates more problems, as we start to see our own protection as the most important thing. We don’t think about those who live in war zones right now, whose lives have been completely ruined by ISIS. We want freedom from terror but the way we think we should go about it will not always create that freedom that we want. How is it freeing to export innocent Muslims, who are conscious people just like you and I, into a place governed by evil, a place full of poverty and war? How is it freeing to bomb countries and risk killing thousands of innocent people, just like you and I?

I can already feel people hitting me over the head. I know the world isn’t black and white and I know that in my life time I will never see a perfect world, or one that’s perfect to me, but what’s so wrong with working towards positive change? What’s wrong with giving a damn? Ever heard the saying, ‘be the change you want to see in the world?’ Change starts from an individuals desire to make the world they perceive a better place for as many as possible.

If you aren’t vegan, you probably still know that vegans want a vegan world, where no animal will experience violence at the hand of a human, even though most of us know that this will never happen.  The reasons why it won’t happen are so clear to me today. Even after all the centuries that have passed, people are still being hurt and killed by our own kind. Right now, there is no way that I can believe that humans will all stop doing the same to animals.

Killing animals and using them for the greed of human kind is violence, whatever way you look at it. Most people just accept it as just something that has to be done. You might think that vegans aren’t making a difference but as populations increase we will eventually run out of time to fix the issues that are inevitable. We are just trying to make the world a little better.

As a rule, humans generally follow each other, which creates our society. The more humans promote peace, for humanity and the way we treat other species, the better. The more people promoted women’s rights, the closer it got to us actually receiving them. Please be on the side of good, always, and please promote peace, always.

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Lifestyle

Do I Have Coeliac Disease?

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NB To get a diagnosis you have to at least have a blood test and then potentially a biopsy via endoscopy (eek). In medical terms it appears that you either have it or you don’t. There’s no diagnosis for gluten sensitivity. Not yet anyway but I hear it’s being worked on.

I’ve had a lot of the symptoms associated with Coeliac Disease. However, what made me decide to give up gluten was my period. I was suffering horrendously with pain and discomfort. Every month was the same and I’d be so worried a few days before. I knew what was coming. Severe pain where I couldn’t even stand upright, never mind walk normally. I was so bloated I looked like I was pregnant. I couldn’t go to the toilet without feeling like my insides were being teared apart. I was exhausted and frazzled. I always thought that the pain felt more in my bowels than where you’re suppose to get period pain. I had brain fog, anxiety and felt very low during them. I had cystitis every time. After researching, I was convinced I probably had endometriosis and went to the doctors. Many times I was told to go on the pill. I didn’t want to. I had bad side effects in the past that lasted all month and I hated the idea of putting synthetic hormones in my body to mask the fact that my body was suffering and was telling me to heal. However, the pain got worse each month and I had to do something. I even started to feel some of the symptoms throughout the month. I very reluctantly took the pill and oh did it cause havoc. They gave me a progesterone only pill because it was suppose to cause less side effects. So not only was I getting headaches and anxiety from it, I was constantly in a really bad mood. I felt detached and worthless, to say the least. The doctor told me to give it time so I did.

The first month was just as bad, if not worse, than my period normally was. It was my birthday and I was in agony. I had took some pills and decided that I wanted to go out for my birthday. I spent two hours in the passenger seat of the car, doubled over, dreading every bump in the road. I raced round Ikea the quickest I ever had, hunched over and then headed home. I spent the rest of the day in the bath and in bed and the next day my stomach was so sore. The night before I had been out for a birthday meal and I had eaten a pizza. I was convinced it had something to do with what I was eating. I looked up to see if there was a correlation between dairy, gluten and endometriosis and there was. I don’t think there were studies but real people online in forums saying that giving these things up helped.

My period the next month was a breeze. Barely any pain and I almost felt like I had finally found a cure. I knew deep down that I was masking it but for a while it was worth the side effects. Then I read a book called Sweetening The Pill. This confirmed that I needed to stop taking it. I had already been vegan for a few months and my digestion has improved so I thought that perhaps I would be OK or I could at least tolerate it. When I came off I was faced with pain again. I felt like I had no choice but to go back on it. I begun researching some more about a gluten free diet. It didn’t make sense that it would work – how does gluten affect the menstrual cycle? I’m not going to get scientific but many have reason to believe it does. I had nothing to lose so I gave it a go. I had very little pain on my next period and I was so happy. The one after that was completely pain free. It had worked. My life improved greatly after that. I also began to feel better in other ways too. My headaches and migraines decreased, my cystitis was hardly an issue anymore, I had less acid reflux and nausea, my cycle regulated and I felt like I had more energy.

It’s hard for people to understand that you have a gluten sensitivity. There’s this stigma around it that if you haven’t been diagnosed, you don’t have an issue. I can feel it though, but I don’t want to tell people I don’t eat gluten because it makes my periods really bad. I didn’t tell many people and I still ate gluten occasionally when people gave me cake and biscuits. This past month I ate a lot more than usual. I had bread with a vegan burger, bread rolls to absorb acid when I was out and felt bad, churros at a vegan festival, several cakes as people at work had made them especially so I would have felt bad not to eat them (plus they were tasty) and I had some falafel. I decided to use it beneficially as an experiment.

So the results are almost all in. My stomach hasn’t been feeling good. I’ve had more nausea and acid reflux. I had daily headaches for over a week (I used to get chronic headaches as a teenager). My period is days late (so it’s already becoming irregular) but I can tell it is coming because I have a little cystitis and I can feel a little pain. I had a week and a half of PMS. It hurt to go to the toilet this morning. Lastly, my mood has been very low. I think that’s all of it.

Coeliac Disease can be very detrimental to your health, which is why I have realised that it is very important to know if I have it or not. In order to get tested, and if the doctor will actually allow me to, I will need to eat gluten everyday for several weeks. This is the bit I am not looking forward to. I probably won’t go through with the endoscopy unless I can get a lot more sedation than last time. I had too much adrenaline and as soon as they were putting the pipe in I was pulling it out and couldn’t calm down. It was terrifying! I will book an appointment shortly.

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Lifestyle · Mind · spirituality

My Story: From Fear To Freedom


For as long as I remember I have allowed fear to control my life. A few years ago I wouldn’t even leave the safety of the house unless I had to. I wouldn’t interact with people unless I had to or unless I trusted them. I couldn’t walk down the street without having to turn back after 200 yards, feeling like the air was pinching my skin and the ground was going to pull me over. Going to public places alone was too intense and exhausting. I would cry and cry and wonder why my life was so hard. I was paralysed by my own self worth. I hated being me. I had hidden my internal thoughts and feelings for so long that they had manifested into mental and physical pain. I became ill and abused myself, and for what? For not wanting to be me. But who else could I be? I didn’t want people to see who I really was. I didn’t honour my sensitivity or my feelings and needs. My intuition was bruised and I had weaved negativity deep into my veins. Somewhere along the way, I had enough and I began untangling the mess inside my head. I reached out to others and I started nurturing myself in anyway that I needed. I practiced gratitude and self care. I took up yoga and meditation. I started to eat better. I started writing poetry on my Instagram and I started a blog and I begun voicing my feelings out to the world. Then others began to hear what I had to say and by doing that I was honouring who I truly was. I discovered an amazing internal world that I was proud of and I wanted to share it. I unstrapped my inner child and embraced her. I set myself free.
Taken from my Instagram. Follow me: @sarahnityxo

vegan

Empathy & Emotional Bias // Veganism


On this random picture of my sweet dog, I would like to talk about emotional bias and empathy. I’ve been reading up on it and it’s interesting and something I want to share. It explains why many people are veggies/vegans and so many more are not. Many people stop eating meat because of empathy. When I think of young pigs being gassed to death I feel as if I were in their shoes. I’d be suffocating and terrified. Even though I did eat a little meat through my teenage years, I didn’t eat a lot and I certainly didn’t eat any pigs or cows. I could empathise with them greatly. However, when I thought about eggs being laid or cows being milked, I didn’t feel as if it was a bad thing so I didn’t feel empathetic. When I found out, from vegan activists, that almost one in two baby chicks were being killed at a day old as they weren’t needed and that dairy cows only lived a quarter of their lives before being killed for meat, and that their babies either had the same fate as them or they were killed for veal, I was able to see how that it wasn’t enough for me to just not eat meat. I was still paying into the industries that kill. If someone can’t empathise with animals being killed in the first place, then they might not consider that it is morally wrong to eat them. In my eyes, it has nothing to do with whose life is more important (a humans or an animals) but whether one can SUFFER. 
Which takes me on to my next point about emotional bias. As humans we are emotionally biased to our own kind. If animals could talk they would tell us that their own kind was the best. There are so many things that makes humans better than animals and vice versa. Just because we appear more intelligent and have the ability for moral reasoning doesn’t make us better than them. In fact, we could argue that humans have done more bad to the planet than good. But of course we would always take a humans side over an animals because we have an emotional bias. We feel a lot more empathy for a human than an animal because we are one. Humans have also been well known to have an emotional bias of people of the same race to them. Black people were slaves once because white people thought that they were better than them, which is truly shocking to many. Vegans and vegetarians don’t hold this strong emotional bias of other species as meat eaters do.

Now look at this picture of my dog. If anyone took him and killed him I’d be beyond devastated because I am emotionally attached to him. Just because I’m not attached to every other animal being killed, raised for meat or not (really doesn’t matter to me), it doesn’t mean I want them to suffer. I don’t hate people who eat meat. I think they just lack empathy for animals and have a stronger emotional bias towards humans than me. 

Taken from my Instagram. Follow me: @sarahnityxo 

Lifestyle

Saturday morning, 08:00


It’s 8am and it feels like I’ve had one of those bad nights sleep where you just can’t wait for it to be morning so you can get up and get on. I first woke up at 5am as the electric blanket had been left on all night. I love how comforting it is when I first get in bed but after I’ve slept for a bit, it just gets uncomfortable. I then woke up again at 7am and knew I wasn’t going to get any more sleep. It’s not exactly blue skies outside but the light shone right through our blue curtains and I struggle to sleep when it’s light. I often think that I’d sleep better with blackout ones but I shrug that off because I don’t think it’s healthy for me to wake up to a dark room. I noticed my wrist aching so I probably had slept on it all night. It probably will be a pain all day.

I picked up my phone from underneath my pillow and sat up a little. I went straight to Instagram as it’s my favourite app right now. I scrolled through and somehow ended up on someones blog. It was a pretty cool site. I often think that my blog is not very together.  It’s messy and unprofessional. I constantly compare it to others. However, it literally is just a place for me to come and express myself, in any way that I want to at that moment in time.  I don’t set rules or boundaries – as long as it’s not something too private or someone else is involved it’s fine by me. I just let myself become immersed in what’s going on and it just seems to flow out of me as easy as breathing is. There’s no long pauses to think about what to write next or how to write. It’s my favourite way of communicating and it’s the best way of figuring out some kind of structure and direction to what is actually going on up there. I firstly do it for me and secondly for the reader. All of the creative things I do, I do for me first. I think it should always be that way.

My alarm officially went off at 8am and I turned it off, gave my sleepy partner a cuddle, crawled down to the end of the bed and climbed out. I opened the door, asked Jasper if he wanted to come and entered the living room and then the kitchen. I grabbed a tall glass, poured some juice and ran the cold tap. I’m feeling particularly dehydrated this morning. I honestly only drank two of these glasses yesterday. I took it and sat down at my computer. Our desks are both in the living room. We spend more waking time at them than anywhere else in the house, even the sofa. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten used to it but the light doesn’t seem to be as bright in here. As I look through the dark-brown framed window I was see grey clouds and damp green bushes. It’s so peaceful this morning. I can hear the birds outside and the odd car going by. I look down to my Apple keyboard laid down on a shaded bamboo surface and it comforts me. I wake up my iMac and open up WordPress.

I’m feeling slightly sick this morning. I’ve had a cold for a week now and I often get some mild nausea with it. My stomach often produces too much acid anyway but I think it’s the phlegm in my stomach causing this. I don’t really mind it too much but it interferes with how much I drink and I just don’t enjoy eating. I hope it clears up later because I am going to a vegan festival in Nottingham this morning and I want to eat things. That is after a quick stop off at McDonald’s en route so my partner can load up his laptop and do some urgent business. I admit that it isn’t the ideal place for a vegan to be. McDonald’s did pretty much introduce the western world to factory farms but it just happens to be an ideal location and my partner is a meat eater who enjoys their breakfasts. I’ll probably munch on a couple of hash browns and go through my Instagram feed whilst I wait.

My sister just happens to be going to Nottingham for the weekend with her boyfriend. I doubt I’ll see them though. We will probably go into the city centre after the festival. Nottingham is one of my favourite concrete places in the UK. If we are talking country then it’s a totally different list. I’ve been going there since I was young – shopping with my Nan or loitering with friends. I have good memories there. When I was 14 and went to see Cradle of Filth at Rock City, my friend, her friend and I went there to buy clothes because you couldn’t buy goth clothes in Grantham. We got a child return on the train for under £3. That was my first proper gig, not including pop bands from when I was >10.

At this point in time I am sat in the passenger seat of the car. Still feeling sick and achy. The window wipers are in use and we are about to drive off. There’s no point to this post for you. There’s no message that you are reading until the end for. It just is what it is.

spirituality

What We Are


How come it’s so easy for us humans to see our differences? More so than it is to see our similarities. We are all made from the same material and the same way, literally from star dust. We are the universe as much as everything else is. Why can’t you see it? The vastness beyond the surface. The deep layers of who we really are. We have this amazing ability to see beyond the reality we are taught. We are told to perceive it a certain way. We are told it is wrong to show sympathy for certain people. We are told it is wrong to be a certain way and so we punish ourselves internally. The only way you can know what is really right is by looking within because everything we have and need is inside ourselves. Stop listening to other people and start listen to yourself fully. Once you do this, your reality starts to change in amazing ways. I really wish this would have been drilled into us as kids and not the bs that only benefits society ☮️.