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Veganize Your Wardrobe – Veganize the World

Published December 6, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

Merrell® Trail Glove 4I love being barefoot – indoors and outdoors. Since I walk for a living, I must have one pair of actual shoes.

Walking 8 to10 miles a day, five days a week, over various terrains, I wear through shoes very quickly. My feet are large and very wide, (I always joke that I have Evil Stepsister size feet), so it’s very difficult to find a comfortable shoe that fits properly even in a male size. Additionally, the variety of shoe choices is astronomical.

Choices, choices, choices. We are faced with choices every day when purchasing clothing and accessories. Shoes, purses, wallets, boots, coats, skirts, hats, sweaters, shirts, pants, scarves, dresses, furniture, pet supplies…the list of everyday items made from tortured and slaughtered animals goes on and on and on.

Thankfully there are cruelty-free shoe options. All you have to do is research and read the label. Avoid leather, fur, suede, exotic animal skins, and other animal-derived materials and glue. Look for acceptable cruelty-free plant fabrics include cotton, linen or hemp. When assessing eco-friendly synthetic materials, be sure to evaluate the sustainability credentials of the brand.

After 7 years of professional dog walking, I have finally found the best athletic shoe to suit all of my needs. The vegan-friendly Merrell® Trail Glove 4 trail running shoes are a miracle. The barefoot style quickly contoured to my feet. They provide excellent flexibility, stability, and traction.

My fingers are crossed that Merrell will continue to manufacture this shoe; I want to be able to continue to purchase this brand and style. Too often, products that conform to my needs and ethics are discontinued.

Although not all products by Merrell are vegan, it is advantageous to the vegan movement to applaud and support large companies that sell quality vegan merchandise. Hopefully, Merrell and other companies will expand their vegan choices as they demonstrate to the non-vegan consumer that vegan products are equal to and better than non-vegan products.

Providing high quality vegan clothing and accessories is extremely important for animals, the environment, and ultimately transforming the non-vegan mindset toward embracing a vegan lifestyle.

When it comes to your everyday product needs, will you choose to go with the mainstream flow and disregard the impact of your purchase or will you choose items that do not harm animals and the environment?

I can’t tell you what to do. Your conscience must walk you to the right choice.

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There is only ONE Earth

Published March 5, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

There is only ONE Earth.

There is only one Earth. The Earth on which each and every one of us live.

earth

There is only ONE Earth:  Original Abstract Art by Jeannie Smith

The Earth that provides our living space, food, water, all the necessities and natural pleasures of life. The Earth that provides all life it’s ability to exist. There is only one Earth – Our Earth.

In addition to allowing the continuation of construction of the North Dakota Pipeline, which will jeopardize the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation primary water source, damage sacred sites near Lake Oahe, and violate tribal treaty rights, Trump and his Climate Change Denier administration proposes to eliminate 38 entire Environmental Protection Agency programs and reduce EPA staff by one-fifth.

Repealing the Clean Water Act protections for wetlands, rollback on federal regulations targeting coal mining, considering roll backs for President Barack Obama’s signature climate change regulations, cuts to the EPA and a 17% budget cut to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will lead to environmental disaster. No doubt, there is more to come.

I believe in Science and Alternative Energy Sources. It is my duty to use my creativity to educate the public and stand against the Trump Administration and all of his dangerous and harmful policies.

PEACE is The Word!

 

Freedom Fighters: Art as Activism

Published February 19, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

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The Earth is a work of art – a Masterpiece. She is the source of all life. She is our provider of bountiful beauty and sustenance. As capable, intelligent, and sentient beings it is our duty to protect The Earth.

The confirmation of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is a travesty for Mother Earth and all life forms. We, as individuals and a collective community, have three critical choices that will determine the life or decline and eventual destruction of our planet:

1. Be afraid to think for ourselves and be a blind follower of the current American Federal Government.

2. Cover our eyes, look the other way, and remain silent in our protective bubbles.

3. Become Freedom Fighters. Be individuals who think for themselves and unite as concerned and educated communities that rise up and fight for what we believe in.

The choice is clear.

All you need is passion. When passion flows, the power imagination and creativity flourishes. Art is inspiring. Art unites humans together.

Art – music, film, visual art, theatre, cartoon, graphic design, illustration, graffiti art, stand-up comedy, poetry, dance, photography, street projection – is the most universal means of communication to reach the masses and spread our message.

Art is a riveting and engaging way we can communicate critical environmental and social issues, expose problems, educate, and help the collective public to care and become involved.

Now…get off the computer and CREATE! Create for the Greater Good. Create for The Earth.

PEACE is The Word!

When Politics Hurt Humans, Politics Hurt Animals and the Earth

Published February 11, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

I don’t get angry very often. When I do, I’m able to sort out my chaotic feelings, calm myself rapidly, and quell the chaos of my emotions and the situation. Recently, I admit, this has not been the case.

November 8, 2016 was my dad’s 72nd birthday. It was supposed to be a day of celebration, but unfortunately, it was all spoiled by the American Presidential election. None of us were in a very good mood. Since then, I began to experience heightened anxiety, depression, and fear. So I read FDR’s first, 1933 inaugural address:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

And I realized that FEAR does have a name: Donald Trump.

If you’ve been paying attention to the wave of chaos the current American Federal Government has created across the globe, you can understand. I’m angry! If you’re not angry, you haven’t been paying attention. If you haven’t been paying attention, you should pay attention.

When politics hurt humans, politics hurt animals and the Earth

We humans are the wellspring of hope and positive change. We are morally bound to help our fellow humans and we are stronger when we stand together. Humans are absolutely instrumental and necessary to help animals and the earth.

We are The Caregivers of The Earth. We are The Defenders of The Earth and all the life systems the earth supports – including our fellow humans.

Humans – Earth – Animals

This intricate, interconnected, bonded trio is already fragile. Under an American Federal Government bent on a path of destruction, the suffering will continue to have a detrimental ripple effect worldwide.

I am an extremely passionate woman. If you’re like me, I care about everything that harms humans, animals, and the earth. Many like me are already involved in causes, but we must make the time and effort to do to support our brothers and sisters in their efforts.

Three Tips to Avoid Burnout and Stay Sane

1. Focus your energy on one or two causes that interest you. Encourage and support the myriad of causes in small positive ways and save your energy by ignoring people who try to undermine your involvement.

2. Make activism fun. Use your talents and creativity. Art as Activism is a fantastic, liberating, and positive means of expression.

3. Take care of yourself. Sleep well, eat healthy, and exercise. Make time for yourself, enjoy your non-activist interests, friends, family, and the little things in life that make you happy.

Do not be silent. Do not think it will not affect you. Get ANGRY! But, direct your anger and outrage into a positive driving force.

PEACE is The Word!

Resistance is NOT futile: The Power of the People and Non-Violent Direct Action

Published January 22, 2017 by Jeannette Louise Smith

Yesterday’s worldwide marches against The Trump Administration and in support of global Human Rights represent a Message of Hope and a testament to The Power of Non-Violent Direct Action.

It confirms three important conclusions. First, people multi-nationally recognize the danger the Trump Administration poses to all of humanity. Second, there are more people around the world, including myself, that do not support the values of The Trump Administration than people who support it.

In his first press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked the media for proving my two aforementioned points by blasting the media for covering the worldwide protests instead of Trump’s agenda and also media reports on inauguration crowd sizes. And he was directed to LIE to Americans.

After his tirade, Spicer refused to answer questions and stomped off in a childish tantrum. If you don’t believe me, watch the news footage.

This one instance foreshadows what lies ahead, what LIES are yet to be told, and the kind of propaganda the Trump Administration is willing to spout.

Criticism comes with the territory; it’s part of the job. This is America. This is the Power of the Press and Media, the Power of Free Speech, and the Power of the People wielding non-violent direct action to preserve, protect, and promote social justice.

It speaks volumes about Donald Trump’s lack of integrity and his desperate need for attention, power, and control by any means. But, I will leave my factually based and subjective opinion on his lack of moral character for a future article.

The third important conclusion is: the international solidarity affirms the inextricable link between Human Rights, Environmental Rights, and Animal Rights has reached the critical crossroads of UNITY.

The world is more connected socioeconomically and culturally than ever. Individuals and groups are working to improve the world for ALL. We must continue to support one another and stand together.

The divisiveness in America that people speak of is not between the separate groups fighting for justice. The division is between the American people who are selfish and the American people who are selfless.

I am both college educated and self-educated making informed decisions by continually learning about and observing the world around me.

I was raised to think for myself, not to blindly follow the status quo. I refuse to be silent. I will always stand-up for and promote Human Rights in America and the World and will wholeheartedly support racial, cultural, religious, and sexual freedom, diversity, and cooperation.

I am not perfect; however, I follow a self-designed Moral Code: I believe in and practice peaceful co-existence, cooperation, kindness, and love to the best of my ability.

We must continue to preserve hope and remain courageous through adversity. Protecting and improving humanity is the cornerstone of protecting animals and the environment. Our fortitude, honesty, loyalty, and kindness will pay off in positive and groundbreaking ways.

Respect and promote diversity. Know the facts. Seek the truth. Act with an informed and enlightened conscience. Continue to utilize Direct Action to it’s zenith. We are NOT powerless – We ARE Powerful.

Remember: Ethical politics = Vegan Politics

Into Africa: Frans Lanting’s profound lessons through photography

Published December 19, 2015 by Jeannette Louise Smith

Franz Lanting_Twilight of the GiantsRecently, I visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History to specifically see the Frans Lanting National Geographic Society INTO AFRICA Photography Exhibition.

Although Frans Lanting photography is a testament to the beauty and diversity of African wildlife it is  furthermore and foremost a confirmation and demonstration of:

  • the sentience of and recognizably distinct societies of animals
  • the recognition of non-human animals as equal to the human animal
  • the reciprocal relationship between the human animal, non-human animals, and the Earth
  • the urgency of preservation and conservation from devastation of our planet and natural resources

Every art placard describing the large scale photos and two videos in the exhibit reflects these essential lessons.

For ALL animal and earth activists, our first and immediate task at hand is clear: EDUCATION. Education leads to appreciation. Appreciation leads to understanding. Understanding leads to compassion. And compassion leads to practice.

As I reflect on the exhibit, I am in awe and reverence of how non-human animals can co-exist with one another (discounting natural predatory dangers by evolutionary design). Their ability to communicate with their own species and their ability to communicate with us – if we look, listen, and learn their language – is profoundly moving.

We can be like non-human animals too, if we take the time and put in the effort to listen and learn…before it’s too late.

Frans Lanting’s National Geographic Society INTO AFRICA Photography Exhibition is on view through the summer of 2016 at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Admission is FREE. Read more:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/wildlife-photographer-frans-lanting-difference-taking-pictures-making-photographs-180955551/?no-ist

And Visit: http://www.lanting.com/index.php

Holy Cow: I am proud to be an ANIMAL

Published November 28, 2015 by Jeannette Louise Smith

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything in regard to animal rights. Reading David Duchovny’s book, Holy Cow, reminded me why I stopped writing: I lost faith in the human animal. Without revealing the gory details, suffice it to say: I am committed to avoiding the Evil Tongue, speaking disparagingly about others and causing hatred.

I could tell you the plot of David Duchovny’s book, Holy Cow, remark about the use of humor and pop culture references in his action packed adventure, but these are just the creative trimmings decorating the most important and compelling aspects of the book.

Ultimately, Duchovny challenges the choices of the human animal, what we have allowed ourselves to become, our resistance to changing our perspective and habits, and our incessant speciesistic outlook and practices – vegans included.

I know humans consider it a grave insult to be called an animal. Well, I would never give a human the fine distinction of being called an animal, because an animal may kill to live but an animal never lives to kill. Humans have to earn the right to be called animals again.”

The most significant and poignant bottom line is – and I will continue to reiterate this until my last breath:

We can only achieve harmony between the human animal and non-human animals, if we achieve harmony amongst, ourselves, our own animal species.

If a cow, turkey, and pig can co-exist, work together to accomplish personal and collective goals (Why a cow, pig, and turkey? Read the book!), the ever-looming question remains: Why can’t the human animal co-exist, collaborate, and achieve the peace we all desire?

The human animal is able to and can cooperate. For whatever reason, which is beyond the psychological scope of this introspection, humans choose not to. Vegans included.

Living a vegan lifestyle extends way beyond our compassion for non-human animals and includes equality, unity, tolerance, understanding, and compassion for ALL of our fellow human animals.

You think I’m crazy? Read the book. Watch the news. Read a newspaper. Deeply study and consider how you treat your own species.

Holy Cow! Self-righteousness leads nowhere – only to dissension and contention.

This is my religion – we’re all animals, perfect animals created in the infinite image and imagination of nature. It’s a life not without pain and competition and suffering, but it can be a life of dignity and mutual respect.”

That goes without saying. That applies to everything and everyone, vegan and non-vegan. As a collective community, all of our vegan and non-vegan efforts and achievements matter.

Now is the time for you and me to “rejoin the animal kingdom and once again be proud to be called animals.”

Click here to visit the HOLY COW Facebook page.