I am an immigrant.

I am a young, white woman fluent in the American tongue. I smile at you and tell you I am from Africa. You look at me, puzzled. I can see the question in your eyes before it reaches your lips: “Why aren’t you black?” Because only black people live in Africa, wearing lion-cloths and emerging from their wooden huts every morning to collect water from a well. Certainly, most Africans are black. But not me. I am an anomaly to you. I look just like an American girl, yet I am an immigrant. In your mind you try to equate me with those dirty Mexicans desperately sneaking across the border.

In the beginning, you put my heritage at the back of your mind. After all, I am no different from any other white woman you normally interact with. I can talk to you about politics, religion, the weather, and current trends in social media.

But then, you hear about my documents. I am applying for a visa, I am waiting for work authorization, I am in the process of getting a green card. You don’t understand why it’s taking so long. It should be easy for a pretty white girl with an American accent to get a green card. You’re surprised they didn’t hand one to me the day I entered the country. You cannot fathom the fact that I’m not a citizen yet even after I married an American man. You ask me whether I’ve talked to my lawyer. Have I done my research? Have I made the right phone calls? Have I talked to the right people? I can hear the accusation in these questions. Obviously, I am not trying hard enough. I am ignorant of how the American system works. I try to tell you the system is broken, but somehow, you end up believing that I am broken instead.

Work is important to you. It’s the American way. Your job defines your worth. You see I have no job, so you think I’m worthless. You ask me, “why don’t you work?” I tell you I am not allowed. You hear that I’m lazy. You ask why I don’t work illegally like those dirty Mexicans. I tell you they will throw me out of the country. You scoff and tell me your aunt cleaned houses under the table once and nothing happened to her. I don’t try to explain that breaking the law is not worth it to me because too much depends on me getting my documents. I don’t tell you that sometimes at night I have nightmares about the police knocking on my door, putting handcuffs on my wrists, and tearing me away from my husband and my family to go back to a country I’ve worked so hard to escape.

Now you pity me because I don’t have money. Your family is in debt, but they work, so they have money. My family is not in debt, but we are immigrants, so we are poor. You give us your second-hand clothing as a kind gesture—you are a charitable soul helping poor Africans. When you and me hang out, you take care to tell me how much your family is struggling. College tuition is expensive after all, never mind graduate school. I nod in agreement, while deciding not to tell you that there were times when my family hardly had enough to eat and we had no furniture in the house. I smile because your definition of poverty is my definition of wealth.

I never even dreamed of going to college, but here I am with a college degree and a perfect GPA. Every grade to me meant the difference between life and death. Life, because good grades will enable me to receive scholarships to continue my studies and stay in this country, or death, because bad grades will send me home. You have a college degree too, so you don’t think it’s that much of an achievement, as long as I get a good job.

Since I don’t have one, you remind me constantly of how much of a burden I am to my American husband. He has to work hard to take care of me, while I relax around the house. You never consider the fact that he might be a burden to me, because if not for him I could already be working and enjoying many opportunities in another country. But now I’m stuck here, waiting on papers, waiting on my husband, and dealing with your condescending stare. I know what you’re thinking: why didn’t he just marry an American girl, so he wouldn’t have to deal with all of this? He could have. But he chose to marry me because he is different from you. He is open-minded and understanding. Being married has allowed us both to think further and deeper than we ever could have done alone, and we have inspired and enlightened each other with our different perspectives of the world.

“Yes, but he needs to look after himself first. He can’t support you, and even worse, why is he helping out your family!” Apparently American families don’t help each other. Every individual for himself.  I assure you that my husband is taking care of himself. I am assured you don’t know the first thing about family. In my culture, we believe in ubuntu, we believe in helping each other and supporting each other because it’s the human thing to do. My husband believes in compassion, and every day, I tell him that there are parts of the world where it exists.

You are my friend, but every time I’m with you, I am made to understand that I am second-class, somehow less, than you and other Americans. Despite my values, despite my achievements, despite my lack of opportunities or barriers to opportunities, you still think that I’m not trying and that I cannot possibly succeed. You pity me and feel good about yourself because you do. I am a white woman and you are a white person but you are also an American and I am an immigrant. Every day I think that if I were not white and did not speak American then my struggle would be a million times worse. If you see me this way, how do you see the South American or Middle Eastern person who tries to immigrate to the land of opportunity? I cannot say that I understand their struggle, but my heart goes out to them because I have experienced but a small piece of it and some days it is hard to keep myself from falling apart.


Disclaimer: This essay is not based on a single person or a single experience; it is written creatively to explain the attitudes of many different people whom I encounter. I do know Americans who truly care and support me, and to them I am very grateful. Also, I realize that attitudes towards foreigners is not always conscious–many people truly mean well, they just don’t understand how their actions or attitudes come across. Immigration is frustrating, demoralizing, and sometimes dehumanizing, but I am still grateful to be here and grateful for my experience. I am sharing these particular feelings to make people aware that immigration is not always easy, and hopefully, when they encounter an immigrant, they can be understanding.

Thoughts on Prayer in School

So I watched a documentary yesterday called “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers,” and I liked a point that it made about people, especially here in America, turning every issue into a “war” and refusing to listen to one another.

Today in class we were talking about the Bible, and the teacher reminisced about an experience he had “before they [the atheists] made prayer in school illegal.” Now I’m not a Christian, but I used to be, and from what I understand it is possible to pray wherever and whenever you like. You don’t even have to close your eyes. You can simply talk to Jesus, out loud or in your head, and he will hear you. So I feel like the way he worded it made it sound like prayer in school was attacked and destroyed in this war against religion, when in fact, prayer is not illegal in school at all! You are welcome to pray in school all you like; the school (here in America) that I attended even had religious meetings in the mornings before homeroom. You are just not allowed to force others to pray to your god anymore. There is even a moment of silence during homeroom, which gives religious kids the opportunity to pray (and atheists kids to finish their homework). To me, this seems like a win-win situation for both sides. Even if I were a Christian, I couldn’t see myself being upset at this arrangement. Besides, it’s usually the parents who have an issue with this, not the kids. When I was in school, the moment of silence was not really observed by any of the students, even though it would be the perfect opportunity for them to pray.

When I went to school in South Africa, we were all subjected not just to a prayer, but to a sermon every morning before school. For the most part, sitting out there didn’t bother me, because I just used the time to lose myself in my own thoughts or to look up at the sky. But it really started bothering me when they preached blatant lies and when their sermons included judgments of non-believers. As much as I don’t mind you talking about Jesus’ teachings of “turn the other cheek,” I really do mind you telling me that I’m going to burn in hell for all eternity or telling me that Darwin is the incarnation of Satan and that the fossils were planted on the earth by the devil to mislead us. Then I’m going to get pissed. I did my homework and found out that the laws in South Africa are similar to the ones in America – schools are not allowed to promote religion, only teach it in a world religions class. So my parents and I talked to the school and eventually I was able to sit out these prayer sessions. Even though I became the infamous atheist in the school, I felt like I was doing the right thing by standing up for myself and refusing to be subjected to that.

That is the perspective of an atheist kid being forced to attend prayers in school. Christians, you believe in loving your neigbor, so why are you insisting that your neighbors be subjected to not just prayers to a god they don’t believe in, but to judgment and the proclamation of scientific inaccuracies? You come onto my Facebook page and tell me that I’m forcing my atheism down your throat, but aren’t you being a little hypocritical? You can’t force anyone to change their views by subjecting them to something they really don’t want to be subjected to. They will just resent you and think badly of you, and you have lost any hope you had of them finding Jesus one day. I think the religious club at my school had the best idea: they always had doughnuts at their meetings. Some kids would just go for the doughnuts, but who knows? Maybe they stayed and got something out of it. This is highly likely, because they chose to go themselves, not because you made them.

I suppose the biggest problem is that Christianity requires you to spread the gospel, and of course, like any religion, Christians think that they are right and everyone else is wrong (this is not an insult – anyone who holds a stong opinion/belief probably feels this way). I will always have a problem with Christian doctrine, but to me it is a big-picture issue. I know many Christians who are good people and who, like anyone, have a reason for thinking the way that they do. When I speak out against Christianity, I’m speaking out against the discrimination, oppression, and suffering that it causes and that the Bible promotes; I’m not saying you are a bad person for being a Christian. I just wish you guys would listen to the other side more often and try to put yourself in their shoes. Mandatory prayer in public schools is not religious freedom, it is religious opression. How would you feel if you lived in a country were you had to pray to Allah or some other god? We are not “banning prayer,” we are simply saying that prayer is your business, not the business of the government. Personally, I think that is what true freedom and democracy looks like, and I don’t understand why everyone, regardless of religion, isn’t embracing it.

Dedicated to my family:

What do you do when you are trapped and cornered?
When you are out of options?
When no matter which way you turn, you face dead-ends?
When your life is hanging on by a thread threatening to break, and all you can do
is hope that it breaks gently so that you have time to catch your breath before the fall?

Do you make and re-make plans in a last desperate attempt
to piece together the shards of broken dreams in a way that they may not cut too deep
and spill too much blood? Or do you make the cut yourself
recklessly and spitefully destroying yourself, claiming certainty through death?
Do you settle instead for something less severe, sickness not death, for the sake of dulling and numbing your brain-
a temporary respite from your troubles, and too weak for worry afterwards?
Maybe that is cowardice. After all, things will only get worse. Now is the best time.
Should you make today special, and enjoy it to the fullest-
knowing full well that good memories are poison to the soul?
No. The most joyful moments do not keep us as sane as the mundane,
the little things we do every day. Do I dutifully continue to do them-study, cook, clean,
as if these things are the stones that will stabilize and save my life from disintegrating?

One can only bear so much uncertainty before it becomes a part of you
Without dreams, and goals, and purpose, meaning soon departs as well
Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether I make plans or not
If I choose not to die tonight, I will surely die tomorrow
If I numb myself, I lose the last of my control
If I enjoy myself, I will pay too dearly for it
And if I just continue, I still cannot be saved
I care too much but can do nothing at all to escape the fate that lies before me
Regardless of the road I take.

I can’t find it within myself to assign meaning to life anymore
In this darkness, happiness and pain remain indistinguishable
Even if I reach out to you, it won’t matter-you can’t save me
You, who have bound yourself to me so tightly, will be brought down with me
and together we will be destroyed.
But we chose to die this way instead of another
It doesn’t matter-it’s only the method that’s different, not the outcome.

I have exhausted all my tears.
What good is it to weep for the futility of our lives?
They tell us to reach for the sky and at the same time cut out our wings
For if we still had them, you and me would surely fly
And dance amongst the stars, free and carelessly.


Last night I had this dream: I was in a grocery store where they had little piggies and chicks, and I held them close (they were so cute). There were also doves that were stuffed in bags made with rope and made to lay eggs for the shoppers. Seeing this, I was horrified and then I realized that people were going to buy the animals and kill them for food. I wanted to save them, but I didn’t see how I could get them all out without anyone noticing. 
When I woke up I was close to tears, because I realized that animals, babies, are still dying every day and there is nothing I can do to save them, even though I don’t kill them or exploit them myself. I guess I’ve just been realizing these past few weeks that I can’t be happy when I know that there is still suffering in this world. How can I laugh and smile and enjoy my day when animals and humans alike, innocent beings, are being tortured, abused, and killed? When they are unable to eat or to live, how can I be at peace? I have my own dreams, but when I reach them, there will still be those whose dreams are unattainable through no fault of their own. Will I then justify my good fortune? Will I be able to sleep soundly and spend money, knowing that they are out there, wishing and crying out for help? 
Right now I’m caught somewhere in the middle. I need help out of this desperate situation myself, but at the same time I feel guilty for enjoying small luxuries when others have it worse than me. When I walk into a store and spend money, I question all of this and it makes me feel ashamed to be human. How have we come to this? And how do we fix it?


Life Update

This post is for all my closest friends – the people who still want to be a part of my life, even though I don’t write, or chat, or try to keep in touch at all. I’m surprised that you are still around, because I would not blame you at all if you decided that you were not getting anything out of our friendship. But I want you guys to know that I think of you all the time, and that even though we don’t talk, I still consider you all my friends. To be honest, I do isolate myself purposefully sometimes. I feel like I don’t belong, and that my problems are so difficult and different from everyone else’s that talking to anyone about them will be pointless. You guys tell me everything, yet I say nothing. I guess I don’t want to upset you or burden you with my problems, and I feel like you will be frustrated, because there are no solutions to them. But I underestimate you in your ability to be there for me, and I don’t even give you a chance to prove that you can indeed be there for me and emotionally support me. So I’m going to try to change all of that. I want to tell you all about my current situation and state of mind, because I think that you deserve to know.

Since I can remember, my life has been unstable. I have moved around more times than I can count. Whenever we settle somewhere, it’s not permanent, a fact that I constantly have to keep in mind. From the start I know that any friendships and relationships I get involved in will eventually have to end or endure distance. This may be another reason why I’m afraid to get too involved, and why, when I leave, I try to cut myself off from the people I know so that the separation wouldn’t hurt as much. At 21, I’m still in the same uncertain situation, and it’s still completely out of my control.

I believe in setting goals and doing absolutely everything in my power to reach them. As you all probably realize, this is extremely naïve, and lately I have been disillusioned. I have had to let go of my dreams one by one, little by little. I barely have time to mourn the loss of one before I have to let another one go. All these years, my dreams have been my motivation, my reason to live. It provided my life with meaning. Needless to say, without my dreams, I’m starting to find life more and more meaningless, and I suspect that I was right all along for thinking that this world is not meant for me.

My life is sort of turning into a perfect example of why the concept of the American Dream is a myth. No matter which way I look, every opportunity is blocked for my family and I. We probably won’t be able to stay here, because we don’t have money or degrees, but we can only get that if we are able to stay. If we go back, our lives will be in danger again, and we will have nothing. If we have nothing, chances are that we will lose our lives before we get our degrees, which will get us out. Regardless of what happens, it will require people to sacrifice their happiness and their dreams. And there is no help, no mercy. Only injustice and inequality. After all, it doesn’t matter how many sacrifices we’ve made or how tirelessly we’ve worked-the American Dream is a myth. When you’re without resources, no matter what some people do, they will be without for the rest of their lives.

I may even lose those closest to me. My family has been united for so long, and now we are being torn apart, physically and emotionally. We are all dying our own personal death, digging our own graves for our hopes and dreams and laying them to rest, becoming detached from life, not living, just surviving. Yet we still cling to each other for support, being so isolated from the rest of the world. The only way we have been able to stay afloat for so long was by operating as a unit and combining our goals. But once we lose that, then what do we have left?

Despite all of this, I’m still fighting and trying, basically grasping for straws, though sometimes even the straws break and I am left with nothing. I don’t talk to you because I’ve forgotten how to joke and smile. All my free time is spent studying; it’s keeping me extremely busy, which is another reason why I never have time. So please be patient with me. Right now, I only have a month left of this semester, and after that I’m going to do my best to apply for scholarships. But please feel free to send me a Facebook message every once in a while and I will do my best to reply. I can explain things to you more in-depth if you like, since I did not include specific details here.

Response to the 2nd Romney/Obama Debate

I wanted to post this as a status on my Facebook, but I did not want to be viciously attacked, so I decided to post it on here, just to be safe. I saw a lot of my friends on Facebook practically worshiping Obama after the debate, and this is my response to them:

Yes, Obama did well debating tonight. But don’t base your decision on the debates alone. Think about the war, the national debt, corporate influence, income inequality, the ever-expanding definition of what a “terrorist” is, the declining freedoms of the American people (for example, their freedom to protest), the environment, and natural resources. They may disagree on the small issues, such as gay rights and birth control, but on the bigger issues they have very similar ideas. Although Obama is, in my opinion, more intelligent and eloquent, I could not support him whole-heartedly with a clear conscience. This two party system is not leaving people with much of a choice. But that’s just my two cents. It’s not worth much anyway since I can’t vote, although the political process is very interesting to observe.

New Beginnings

I just randomly decided to revisit this blog and go through all my old posts. I’m 21 now and most of my writings are from when I was 19. That’s one reason why blogging is great – you can look back and see exactly what kind of person you were in the past and how much you’ve changed over the years. But you can also see how much you’ve stayed the same.

Back then I was so passionate and just wanted a place to share my thoughts and feelings. Now I’m still that person, but I have mostly confined my writing to college assignments. I’ve become more reserved when stating opinions. My opinions online have received so much criticism that I’ve almost withdrawn completely from the social world. I don’t have a tumblr anymore, I rarely go on Facebook, and I haven’t spent time with a friend since the start of this semester.

However, I don’t have many subscribers on here, and most of the feedback I’ve received to these posts have been positive. Maybe it’s because blog posts are more in-depth than status updates and people are better able to gauge my sincerity. Either way, I think I need to start writing again, if only to keep a record of my thoughts and feelings at various stages of my life. Honestly, I haven’t even taken a decent picture of myself in the last two years. I need to change all of that.

Westboro Baptist Church: Thoughts

Last night I was watching a documentary about these people, and today someone posted about it on Facebook, so I thought I’d share my thoughts about these crazy people, because this documentary really gave me a lot to think about.

The documentary was sort of like a debate, because it represented two sides – the Westboro people, and then those who disagree with them (most of them being moderate Christians). Surprisingly, I felt myself almost siding with the Phelps family because of the way they were depicted. I know it sounds strange, but I prefer an extremist to a moderate any day, because I’ve found that moderate religious people don’t really have their facts straight – they have a sort of idealized version of what religion should be, while extremists follow the Bible word for word, because after all, that’s what the Bible tells them to do! At least, I know the Bible claims to be the word of God, and if you’re a Christian, it makes sense that you would believe every word in the Bible, not cherry-pick the ones which suit your comfortable lifestyle.

I honestly believe that these people believe that they are doing the right thing. They’re just doing what God is telling them to through the Bible – in the documentary, every single action they took was backed up by a verse from the Bible, whilst the moderate pastor specifically said that he doesn’t talk about anything that Jesus didn’t talk about, and kept making vague statements about love and compassion. I really wanted to just hit him over the head with a Bible and make him read what is actually in it (Fred Phelps actually did). How can you call yourself a Christian, yet not adhere to all the teachings of God? You can’t just live by what Jesus said, because Jesus and God are technically the same entity, so they should both carry equal weight!

People tend to label everyone who follow their scripture closely as “extremists”. The Phelps family, Hitler and the Nazi’s, and Muslims, for example. I’m sorry guys, but they represent religion in its pure form – religion not watered down by political correctness, human compassion, and common sense. Moderate religious people, however, want to cling to the comfort, security, tradition, and social acceptance of religion, but they don’t want to go all the way. They “sin” on a daily basis, because they don’t really care too much about the afterlife. After all, they really don’t read scripture, they just hear bits and pieces of it, and claim to have a “personal relationship with god”, which is really just their conscience.

People call me crazy and naive for imagining a world without religion, but I’m an idealist. I can’t help thinking that if we did away with religion, then it would be harder for the Phelps family to keep doing what they’re doing. Right now, they believe they are completely justified, because they’re just following God’s orders. But what if there was no God? How would they justify their hatred? Now they would have to say “I hate fags” instead of “God hates fags”, which makes them personally responsible for that statement. And when you have to take personal responsibility, you’re less likely to make statements like that. I’ve seen that on the internet – people posting as anonymous say the worst things, but once there’s a name attached to the post, they’re more likely to be civil.

There is no doubt in my mind that Fred Phelps harbors a lot of hatred, and that he’s using religion to express it. Not every religious extremist will go to those lengths, and I think it has a lot to do with all the contradictions in the Bible as well. You never know if you should love or hate. And I think a naturally hateful person would pick hate, and a naturally kind person would pick love. My grandad believes almost everything that Phelps and Hitler does, yet I’ve never witnessed him being horrible to any other human being, “sinner” or not, even though he believes in his heart that God hates them. I believe that religion makes “good people do bad things”. Religion teaches a warped sense of morality, and is not good for your mental health. That is, if you care about what the Bible says.

The moderate people just confuse me. It seems like they want to somehow tie their own sense of morality to religion. I just don’t understand how you can do that and still believe you’re going to heaven – it’s like eating junk food all week long, working out for ten minutes, and expecting to lose weight. I don’t understand how they can be secure in their beliefs when it’s all so vague. I really wish they would think it through a little more, because all I hear from them is a bunch of contradictions. I think it’s really sad that these people still call themselves Christians, thus putting a happy face on a really cruel and horrible religion. On the surface, when you talk about Jesus and a few nice psalms, it sounds lovely, but I don’t think they’re fully aware of the damage their religion has done and is doing to this world on a daily basis. Their main argument always seems to be that religion is comforting, but I feel like they haven’t thought that through either. What is more comforting – saying “God will get me through this” or “I know I’m strong enough to get through this, because I’ve gotten through tough times before”? I know which one makes me feel strong, confident, and capable of solving anything.

Basically, I think the documentary was blaming the symptoms instead of the cause. Yes, the Westboro Baptist Church is horrible, BUT should we really put all the blame on them instead of on the God/religion/Bible that they base their ideology and actions on? We need to stop defending religion and start recognizing that the reason groups like these exist is because of it. Moderates need to start reading the Bible and start realizing that these guys truly believe that what they are doing is good because of religion. We need to stop being so politically correct, and start being brutally honest with ourselves, or we will never make any progress.

Please Note: This is my initial reaction to watching the documentary, and these are my ideas and speculations only. Even though I generalize sometimes, there are always exceptions. You might be the one moderate Christian who has read the Bible and thought your position through, and that’s fine – I wasn’t talking about you specifically, so please don’t take offense. I don’t want anyone to take offense. I would never spill these thoughts anywhere else than on this highly personal blog, and they are strictly opinion.

Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

I pretty much opened the fridge and threw together whatever looked delicious and nutritious. I wasn’t in the mood for eating, because it’s so hot outside, so this is my very refreshing alternative.


1 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 medium banana
5 strawberries
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 ice cubes

1 teaspoon raspberry syrup
A squirt of sublingual B-complex vitamins
1 tablespoon acai juice

Maybe You Misunderstood

One misconception meat-eaters seem to have regarding vegans is that we’re somehow deprived. They wonder, “if there are so many things she can’t eat, what does she eat?” And then of course they chow down on their meat with an orgasmic expression on their faces to try to elicit a reaction from me, and then go on to tell me how delicious their food is and how they can’t possible imagine a meal without bacon, or fried chicken, or steak…it’s a true story!
So, while lying in bed unable to sleep because of all the activist, idealistic ideas taking over my brain, I decided to give up on sleeping and try to show you my perspective:

Whenever a vegan is involved, I always hear the word “can’t” – “oh, she can’t eat this or that.” But personally, I think that’s a misnomer.

It’s not that I can’t eat meat – I just choose to eat vegetables, grains, nuts, vegan meat alternatives, tofu, seitan, tempeh, and mushrooms instead.
It’s not that I can’t consume dairy – I just drink almond, coconut, rice, or soy milk instead, use soy or coconut coffee creamer, use Earth Balance vegan butter, eat rice, soy, almond, and coconut milk ice-cream, and eat vegan alternative cheese, or use tofu or nutritional yeast for that cheesy taste instead.
It’s not that I can’t eat eggs – I just choose to use tofu instead, whether it’s tofu scramble, in a quiche, or in a tofu eggless salad; or I use recipes that don’t require eggs (which replaces them with many alternatives, such as egg-replacer, vinegar, applesauce, or ground flaxseeds) when baking.
It’s not that I can’t wear animal skins – I just choose not to, because firstly, they’re too expensive anyway, and secondly, fake leather, fur, and wool is widely available.
It’s not that I can’t use beauty or household products with animal ingredients in them – I just choose to use the ones without the animal ingredients.

So you see – I’m not missing out on anything! Everything you can imagine can be veganized. On the contrary, I can argue that you’re missing out on the beautiful colors, flavors, and health benefits of vegan food. Visualize it like this: if there are two meals, both equally delicious, but one requiring the exploitation of animals, vegans always choose the cruelty-free option. Yes, we won’t experience the taste of eggs, meat, and dairy, but we experience food equally delicious. I’m not giving something up – I’m simply swapping one delicious thing for another and taking the cruelty out of the equation. Vegans are happy and (most of them) are healthy, without ever having to consume something that an animal had to suffer and die for. It’s a powerful idea.

The only thing vegans are missing out on is social acceptance. I’ve always marveled at the hypocrisy of certain meat-eaters, who feel the need to rant and rave about how they hate preachy vegans followed by a string of insults and stereotypes. Actually, every single vegan and vegetarian I’ve ever known believed in compassion and respect, and would never (in real life) talk about their veganism with non-vegans unless asked. I know the obnoxious attention-whore “vegans” are out there somewhere, but all I’ve encountered so far have been preachy meat-eaters! They can’t resist the opportunity to make snide comments or look condescendingly at my plate. They also seem to have a very skewed idea of what “preachy” means, because apparently bringing over vegan cupcakes or posting a vegan article on my Facebook is me pushing my beliefs down their throats (hey, no one said you had to eat my cupcakes or read my profile). I’m a horrible person for having a different point of view, but when they eat animals who have suffered needlessly, and blissfully contribute to the destruction of the earth without a care in the world, I need to respect their taste buds.

However, I know people are more complex than that, which is why I always reserve judgement. The way they were brought up, the influence of society, and a lack of knowledge all contribute to them acting this way. Everyone has a story and a reason behind what they do. I can’t change the way they were brought up, society will take years to change, but a lack of knowledge I plan to work on. That’s why I write these blog posts, regardless of all the hate I receive. It allows me to say things I will never say to you in real life, and you have a choice whether to read it or not. My goal is to let the world know that vegans are not extremists. There’s nothing radical about their ideas or the way they live. Vegans are normal people from all walks of life trying to make the world a better place. I don’t think we deserve all the insults and stereotypes – we deserve a voice. Blacks, women, gays, and even atheists have all fought for their right to speak up and express themselves, and now it’s our turn. Even if you disagree with us, we are all human, and we should all be allowed to live our lives the way we want to, as long as we don’t harm other people (vegans extend this idea to other species :)). I hope you will take the time to learn more about veganism. You might just discover that veganism is not about what you can’t do, it’s about having a can-do attitude and being empowered to choose only food and products that align with your moral values.

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