Urge 7-Eleven to Ditch Single-Use Plastic Bags!

Every year, eight million metric tons of plastic waste enters the world’s oceans, including single-use plastic bags. A staggering 1 trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually worldwide, which is equal to an unimaginable 2 million bags per minute.

While most bags are used for just a few minutes, it takes roughly 500 years for many of these bags to degrade. However, know that they will never actually biodegrade, but instead will turn into toxic microplastics which continue to pollute the environment forever.

Up to 80% of plastic in the oceans drifts away from coastal areas and is pulled out to deeper water. Plastic waste is responsible for killing over 1 million marine animals every year. Currently, an estimated 100 million tons of plastic waste can be found in the oceans. If this disastrous trend continues, plastic waste is expected to outweigh all of the fish in the oceans by 2050.

Hundreds of species of marine animals, including fish, seabirds, turtles, sharks, whales, sea lions, and dolphins, are at risk of entanglement, choking, or starving as they’re forced to live in marine habitats that are rapidly becoming inundated with plastic waste.

Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and unknowingly consume them as do whales and other animals. Seabirds also mistake pieces of bags and other small pieces of plastic waste for food. As their stomachs fill with plastic that isn’t passed out of their systems, animals slowly starve to death. Powerful images created by international marine wildlife conservation organization Sea Shepherd Conservation Society highlight how animals become trapped or entangled in bags causing painful injuries, strangulation, suffocation, and death.

Single-use plastics bags not only harm the environment and animals when they are discarded; their production is also extremely destructive. The United States alone uses 100 billion plastic bags every year; the average American family uses a staggering 1,500 plastic bags per year—which requires 12 million barrels of habitat-destroying oil to manufacture. Only 1% of these bags are ever recycled. The vast majority end up in landfills, and ultimately, the oceans.

When 7-Eleven stores throughout Thailand encouraged customers to opt for reusable bags, 169 million single-use plastic bags went unused in just two months! If all 7-Eleven locations offered customers the option of purchasing reusable bags made of recycled and environmentally-friendly materials, countless animals could be spared painful deaths caused by plastic! 

Please sign my alert here to contact 7-Eleven’s President and CEO to urge him to ban single-use plastic bags!

Impossible Burgers Launch at ALL U.S. Locations Next Week!

Mark your calendars! The Impossible Whopper will be available at ALL U.S. locations on August 8th!

This is a HUGE win for animals! The key to getting people to live more sustainable, animal-friendly lifestyles is by making delicious plant-based options accessible to the masses!

*omit the mayo to make it vegan! 🌱

Please make sure to support this launch by buying a burger or two! I’ll be first in line!

Story: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/01/business/impossible-whopper-national/index.html

Compassion Fatigue and Mental Health

So, this blog is a departure from my usual product reviews and activism. As I sit here in Starbucks enjoying a green tea, I feel compelled to speak on a very personal, yet common topic: Compassion fatigue and depression.

With all of today’s technology, virtually anyone, anywhere can be a vegan activist. You can be a keyboard warrior for animals on social media, you can produce hard-hitting documentaries exposing animal cruelty, you can write petitions and blog posts, you can march on the streets, or simply share posts! ANYONE can be an activist, meaning EVERYONE can make a difference.

To do these things mentioned above, the main ingredient needed is compassion! Compassion for the cows who suffer on meat and dairy farms, for the chickens who have the beaks sawed off and are crammed into filthy overcrowded facilities, for the piglets who die on the floor of CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) or have their heads bashed on the concrete because they don’t meet the criteria of a profitable pig.      

After being made of aware of the abject cruelty and violence committed against animals, the realization that all of these horrors are committed or supported by humans can be difficult to swallow. It can also be difficult to acknowledge that until you went vegan yourself, you were also part of the problem.      

Your grandparents eat meat and dairy, so does your significant other, your best friend, your neighbor, so what now?!      

The most important thing you can do is present veganism in a positive light! After all, it is a movement based on respect and compassion for all life… what’s not positive about that? What you DO NOT want to do is shame others for not being on the same level you are. You need to meet people where they are. Most likely, they grew up seeing endless advertisements for meat and dairy and fully believe that animal products are necessary to be strong and healthy (the meat and dairy industry spends billions to convince us – it is not our fault!). It is natural to get defensive when everything you’ve been told your entire life by family, friends, and the media is challenged, and ultimately, false.

So, how do you share veganism in a positive way? Lead by example! Cook and share some delicious vegan food! Watch documentaries together, have productive conversations, show them how easy and fulfilling veganism can be!      

When communicating with people who are not able to accept the truth behind the foods they consume, you can be bombarded with negativity. It is not a personal attack (or shouldn’t be), it is merely people protecting what they have been brainwashed to believe and most likely, they are trying to rectify in their minds the cruelty they have been supporting their entire lives. This is actually a good thing and a step in the right direction! Keep engaging them and show them that veganism is easy, accessible, and delicious! You will be surprised what a bite of a delicious vegan burger or cheese can do!      

Back to the original point of this post – Whether you’re an activist or you work FT for an animal protection organization like I do, constantly hearing about, watching, and witnessing atrocious crimes against animals can take its toll on your morale and spirit. It can also be overwhelming when people cannot see the cruelty of their ways or they flat out refuse to change. Over time, the feeling of defeat and disappointment can become something called “compassion fatigue.”

I am not a mental health professional, but I do suffer from depression and have since a young age – long before I became vegan or an activist. I will always be vegan and I will always fight for animal rights in some capacity! So… I have come up with a few ways to deal with mental health issues to continue my important work! *Please seek professional help if necessary!

It is important to practice self-care and to join or build a community with similar interests. If you need a break from activism, take one! Animals needs us, and we can only do our best work if we take care of ourselves! Spend a day, a week, a month, a year to refocus and recharge! Spend time in nature, try a new hair color, go exploring, volunteer, have fun! Remember to give yourself credit for all of the work you have done. It is not easy! To find like-minded people, try Meetup.com to start or join vegan groups in your area, or find groups on Facebook. There are tons!      

Like I said, I’ve dealt with life-long depression. Compassion fatigue made it even worse. In the same vein as self-care, it is so important to surround yourself with supportive people – including your living environment – who have your best interest and well-being at heart. People who will check in on you, make sure you’re alright, and offer words of encouragement and support because they truly care. People who can recognize when you’re feeling low and will make an effort to make you feel valued and included. If you do not live in that kind of environment (I didn’t), please do whatever you can to change it. Even if it seems impossible.

If you know someone dealing with depression, the best thing you can do is to let them know you care. They are most likely feeling isolated, misunderstood, and lonely. Send a text, give them a call, a hug, invite them out… they may not respond, but your words and efforts can mean the world to someone who is suffering. Just a few seconds of thoughtfulness can be the difference between life and death.

When I was finally able to leave (a few seconds of bravery can radically change your life), I started practicing self-care and allowing people to see the real me. You can too. YOU are worth it – to the animals, the world, and to me! You deserve a beautiful life. We ALL do! If that’s not the very essence of veganism, I don’t know what it is!

OK! I want to throw an offer out there to all of my vegan warriors! If you are experiencing compassion fatigue or depression for any reason (even if you’re not vegan), you can reach out to me at vegantreasurehunter@gmail.com or on IG @VeganTreasureHunter!

If you are feeling overwhelmed or feel like you want to hurt yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to chat with someone!

You are important. You are not alone. You are loved.

Have Crazy Curls? Try the SmartCurl Line from EVOLVh!

I have crazy curls. Curls so out of control that I often put them in a braid just so I didn’t need to deal with them (I’m busy saving animals, OK?!). No products really work for me… they weighed down my hair and made it look greasy and sad. I just wanted frizz free, bouncy curls! Is that too much to ask?

Well, until I found EVOLVh SmartCurl products, it was! They’re vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and really get the job done!

EVOLVh Love Your Curls Discovery Kit

Their Love Your Curls Discovery Kit comes with the SmartCurl Wash and Conditioner, which I absolutely adore! This duo gets your hair clean and conditioned without stripping your natural oils (curly hair is naturally dry) and provides moisture without making your hair look or feel greasy.

It also comes with the SmartStart Leave-in Conditioner which is the first product I tried from this brand. It smells amazingly fresh and helps to strengthen and protect your beautiful strands while fighting frizz. The Ultimate Styling Lotion helps to define your curls so they’re light as a feather and lookin’ healthy!

I highly recommend this kit to try out the line!

EVOLVh Wonderbalm

Last, but definitely not least, is the Wonderbalm, which is appropriately called “Magic for Curls.” I work this light, fragrance free serum into my towel-dried hair and just let it get to work! I don’t heat style my hair, and with this, I don’t need to! My curls looks soft, shiny, and healthy… what more could you ask for?

New curl products will be released soon, and I can’t wait! Have you tried EVOLVh yet?

Help Ban Fur Sales in California!

On March 12, California’s Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee will vote on a bill to implement a statewide fur ban, which is the first vote needed in the process of this bill becoming law. Please call and email to urge your representative to vote “Yes” on AB 44 before March 12th! (California residents only)

Find your assembly member’s contact information by entering your zip code at idausa.org/findmyrep and clicking on the “California” tab.

When you call, introduce yourself and where you are calling from, and simply say “Please vote yes on A.B. 44 to implement a statewide fur ban because California residents do not support animal cruelty for vanity.”

Visit my alert to send a letter to your representative here.

To find out how you can help make California’s statewide fur ban a reality – even if you’re not a CA resident – visit furishistory.org

Let’s make fur history in California!