Straws Aren’t That Bad

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.

Lia

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I exist

Another day.

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.

“I exist!”

You can breathe again.