I’ve been a vegan for five years and, in that time, I’ve learned about many advantages of being vegan that I didn’t know when I started. The truth of why 15-year-old me went vegan is because I love animals and I didn’t want to be responsible for their suffering anymore. It’s that simple. However, I have come to learn that there are other benefits too. Health is one; I’m just less at risk of heart problems and certain cancers because I’m vegan. The second biggest benefit to animal welfare, however, has to be that I’m doing a lot for the environment.
I see a lot of eco-friendly people around, saying how they have swapped straws. The truth is that straws are not the threat. They make up around 0.03% of all the plastic in the ocean and, whilst you may help the environment very slightly, the difference isn’t really all that significant just by changing straws. If you really want to help the environment, then remember that at least 46% of all plastic in the ocean comes from fishing nets. They are the single biggest threat to fish. It’s time to stop supporting the fishermen that put them there, if you want to keep the entire eco-system safe. I’m not suggesting you go vegan because I know that many people have different excuses for not becoming vegan but I am suggesting that you think more carefully about how to save the environment, if that’s your goal.
I see lots of disabled people struggling with plastic straws being swapped out for paper or metal ones and I can’t help but think that the companies swapping straws should instead be saving the environment in other, much more significant ways. They say every little bit helps but for such little impact, I do not think disabled people should have to suffer.
Cutting out fish from your diet is the first step you can make to a more environmentally secure future. Plus, you can get so many fish alternatives these days! My personal favourite is Sophie’s Kitchen fishless Smoked Salmon. I love it on a bagel with vegan cream cheese and watercress or salad leaves. I also love Gardein fishless fillets. Vbites and Quorn also have fishless alternatives which are delicious. You can get Gardein and Sophie’s Kitchen from Sainsburys. Quorn can be found in most supermarkets. I get Vbites from Holland and Barrett though I’m sure other places do it too.
I hope this post made you think a little about the fish in the sea.
The birds are singing, the cats are howling, the dogs are yapping. Everyone is up but you. You lie in bed, stiffened by the thoughts that tighten the ropes around you. You’re still, motionless, yet completely awake. You want to get up, to have a life, to just say hi to someone, but you can’t. Your body is paralyzed by the cuffs of sadness. You find no meaning, no reason, to exist but you also find no meaning, no reason, not to exist. It is as if you are caught between the two. This feeling means that you do not want to die but you do not want to live either. You are caught in a bind that strangles you with every breath.
Every day that goes by, you feel the knots tightening, until you’re almost completely wrapped up in them. You can speak, you can move, you can live, but you don’t. You become just another blade of grass. Your presence is not acknowledged, not anymore. You don’t exist… but you do. You know that you exist and you want to scream it from the rooftops but, again, you don’t. You won’t.
“Help…” you utter, still tied up in bed.
And with that, the ropes burn, leaving scars on your arms. The scars will never leave your arms but they will fade overtime. You realise now that you are finally free to speak, to move, to live.
You get up, you go outside, and you scream.
You can breathe again.
you’re in bed.
Anxiety rings the bell.
Anxiety knocks on the door.
you’re outside, for once.
Oh, hello Anxiety!
everywhere you go,
Anxiety is behind you.
is it wrong to be jealous?
to want to enjoy what you like,
to want to experience what you see,
to be able to be by your side,
and not just an extra part.
is it wrong to be yearning
for a part of your life?
i want to be like you,
i want to be happy
and smart and fun
but im just me.
no one wants to be me.
Depression is easy.
When people leave you behind,
When they wish you well,
But don’t do anything to suggest
that they mean it —
When you’re left all alone,
Just a lonely girl in a room alone,
They’re going off to places
and you’re in the bathroom
but maybe they do like you;
they just don’t understand.
You want love, you crave it,
Like a cat or a dog,
It’s your energy, it keeps you going,
But seeing them happy
makes you smile for a moment,
Only a moment,
as you realise,
you’ll never be good enough
because you’re you and they’re them.
They can go into the world and embrace
the love of everyone around them,
because that’s what being normal is —
and you aren’t like them,
that’s why they left you alone.
You wouldn’t get on with the world.
Depression is why.
Anxiety is why.
Autism is why.
That’s why you cry,
You want to be a part of an art gallery
but you’re just the frame of a painting;
you’re there, to make the painting
look nicer, but the painting is the main
What’s wrong with you?
You should be happy!
Depression, that’s why.
Poetry is the main thing in life that keeps me going. I’ve been through hard times and just getting it out onto paper helps. I can’t tell people about the hardest of times because they won’t understand but I can write about it. I can write about all the things that keep me up at night. Sometimes I lock away the poems, for my eyes only, and other times I share them with the world.
My mum is an artist. I always found that to be such an awesome job (even if you don’t get paid much mostly) because you can express who you are in art. I tried to do art but it just wasn’t for me. At one point, when I was a kid, I wanted to be an actress. I loved acting! But then I lost my confidence due to events and gave up on that. At one stage, I wanted to be vet. I’ve always been writing, since I was young, but never thought it was something that could become more meaningful than just a hobby. I started out writing picture books and soon turned to short stories. Now poetry is my domain.
Writing has saved me a lot, I’d say. It has helped with my depression and anxiety. It hasn’t cured them but getting words out onto paper has really helped me. I do wish I could tell people my true feelings but I fear loneliness. Once you place your burdens on people, they might leave you. It’s happened before. So I place my burdens on writing now. The paper absorbs my soul and breathes my air.
Poetry is art too; it’s just a different form of art. No one sees the world the way I see it. Especially due to me being autistic. I often find myself holding back thorns in my mouth because I want to tell people how I see the world. But they will not approve because it’s not how you’re supposed to see the world. At least poetry will always be my friend, and it will always accept me, even though I’m different. Poetry doesn’t give me bad advice or tell me things I don’t need to know; it just listens and that’s why I love it.
Thank you poetry.
whispers entrancing my thoughts,
seducing me into a state of confusion,
my eyes low, the floor my ally,
everyone around the enemy,
if I look up, they will know
that I’m not worth the time of day,
the whispers tell me that
they’re not my friends,
they will never like me,
because I am insane,
I am existence’s bane.
friends talk about how they understand
but they don’t,
only the whispers do,
they know my deepest fears,
my worst insecurities,
and everyone else will pretend
it’s not that bad, that it can go away
if I just tried —
but the whispers know that
it’s not something I can fix.
that’s why they’re who I trust the most,
they might be mean and harsh,
but they accept me for who I am,
with all the bad too.
they don’t silence me for talking bad,
for having a rant, for a meltdown,
for moaning, or just being me,
they’re always here.
they always have time.
This poem is by my dad. I’m very proud.
We breathe so we cannot drown.
We love so we cannot spread doom.
We smile to better soften our foe.
We light the room which was so cold.
We pass through this world in a flash
We live for the now but not in a rush.
We are our future we are our past.
why is the world so cold?
I just want to breathe
deep and long
but my lungs shatter
with every breath.
The girl sits in a chair. Her hair is covered in moss, so has become green, as if she were a creature of the sea. Her skin is pale, though, and fresh, smooth; not like the wrinkled skin she’d have if she were from the sea. Her eyes are fixated on a lamp that hides in the corner of the room. She wants the lamp to stop hiding. It is a fairly extravagant-looking lamp, perhaps that is why it hides. It doubles as a coat hanger due to the hook-like spirals coming out from it. The girl regrets the time she put her coat on it. She made the lamp feel confused and conflicted. Since then, it has been in the corner.
She gets up from the chair, brusquely, and confidently strides over to the lamp, having prepared a speech.
“I know we haven’t talked in a while,” she begins, lowering her eyes so to avoid the overpowering glare of the lamp, “but I am sorry for how I treated you. I never imagined how that would make you feel. I will never hang a coat on you again. You are my friend and you’re special to me. Please forgive me.”
The lamp turns off. The girl looks dazed for a second, wondering if that is a sign of rejection. But then, the lamp starts flickering, and a message comes through.
I’M SORRY I HID IN THIS CORNER the light flicks. CAN WE MOVE PAST THIS?
“Of course we can,” the girl responds, embracing the lamp in a warm hug.
Once the hug has finished, the lamp moves across the floor and positions itself in the middle of the room, on the rug, like before.
Everything is bright again.