NOT YOUR MUM? NOT YOUR MILK.

Why do we drink cow’s milk?

Would you drink dogs or cats milk? Think about taking a pregnant dogs milk, and then drinking that milk. If that’s so disgusting to you, why would you drink cow milk? How is it any different?

We have been ignorantly brainwashed by the media (with the help of celebrities including Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell in the ‘got milk’ advertisements which is encouraging the consumption of cow’s milk ..conveniently funded by the $11 billion dollar dairy farm industry) to think that drinking cow milk gives us ‘strong, healthy bones!’…in reality, it’s actually the complete opposite. High cow milk intake can actually lead to increased risk of getting osteoporosis (a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue). 

On top of this, we only absorb 30% of calcium from dairy products, when we eat vegetables and plant-based foods we absorb around 60%. Where do you think cows get their calcium from? From the plants on the ground. 

Cows only lactate when they are pregnant, to provide food for their offspring. This means that in order to get milk from a cow, it must be pregnant. So the dairy industry impregnates cows starting at the young age of 12 months over and over and over again. The male cows are forced to ejaculate often by using an ‘electro-ejaculator’ and the semen of the bull is put into the female cow with a long tube when she is confined into a ‘rape rack’. This process is disturbing, painful and completely unnatural.

After she is painfully and forcefully impregnated, she gives birth to her calf which is immediately taken away from her because it would drink her milk. There is a video of an organic dairy farm where the calf is taken away from its mother within seconds of it being born, the calf is bewildered and looks back at her as she cries out in a fit of rage and burrows her head into the ground wailing.  It’s then locked in a tiny crate next to rows of rows of other calfs.

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A mother’s bond to her child is incredibly strong and she is often crying out for it for days. But nobody gives a shit …because, cheese! If the calf is a female, she is either sold for veal meat or once at 12 months she will be artificially inseminated just like her mother has been over and over and over again. If the calf is male, his throat is slit and he is sold for veal.

Due to the completely unnatural over impregnation of the cows, they become exhausted and weak, until they collapse. These cows are killed cruelly and viscously (for example being dragged across the dirty ground by their heads bearing the whole weight of their body) and are sold for meat- yay, burgers!

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Due to the completely unnatural extraction of milk from the udder, they develop mastitis (inflammation and infection of the udder) which causes blood and pus to go into the milk, oh but don’t worry, its totally filtered!.. but not completely because in Europe up to 400,000 somatic cells are legally allowed in every MILLIMETRE of cows milk. By the way, somatic cells are essentially pus cells. 

ORGANIC MILK IS A LIE. there is no such thing as humane milk.

Does this look natural to you?

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By buying and drinking cow milk you are actively accepting cruelty.

Please please, just make the switch to almond milk, its completely natural and is so much better for you. Its that simple. 

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Amy Woods on Anxiety

Amy is an amazing girl who has been dealing with anxiety since she was 14, because of this she is incredibly passionate about increasing the awareness for this topic, that is why she has answered some questions for me and I’m really excited to share it with you. She writes so eloquently and I am so impressed and so proud. We hope this helps, even if its just one person.

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When did you first start experiencing feelings of anxiety?

I had my first panic attack when I was around 14 and at the time I had no idea what was happening, I had been complaining of chest pain earlier in the day so the first thing that went through my head was that I was having a heart attack. Everything was a blur, I felt completely isolated from the world around me, and all I remember is begging my mum to phone an ambulance. From there I continued to suffer from health anxiety, which, as I got older lead to panic disorder. My anxiety has definitely changed over the years- more recently my panic attacks have actually been the cause of my anxiety. It can be a hard concept for people to get their head around but it went from health anxiety to just the constant fear of having a panic attack – it’s a viscous circle which can be difficult to break.

How does it affect your daily life?

It affects my daily life quite a lot. What seem like simple everyday tasks for others can be huge tasks for me. Getting the train, underground stations, busy roads and anywhere I have previously had a panic attack can be triggers.   

There was a point not that long ago where I felt anxious every second of the day and I would be scared to leave the house by myself in fear of there being no one there to help me if I had a panic attack. Luckily this has passed now, but it definitely made me realise how debilitating anxiety can be and how easy it would be for someone to become completely house bound/agoraphobic.

How have you coped with anxiety?

I went to CAMHS for a while – a lot of people don’t have a great experience with CAMHS, but it really helped me.  After being discharged I felt a real passion to raise awareness for mental health and make sure young peoples voices got heard, so I joined my local participation group ‘The Camhelions’.

We do lots of awareness activities to try and break the stigma surrounding mental health, as well as delivering workshops to local schools/universities and making CAMHS waiting rooms a calmer and happier place.  The Camhelions has also been a stepping stone for me to get involved with other activities and schemes, for example I am now a member of the NHS Youth Forum and I was also involved in the making of a film approaching the topic of mental health, which was shown at the Tate Liverpool. Although I don’t want anxiety to define me, it’s for sure shaped who I am as a person in a positive way today.  I have met so many amazing and inspiring young people going through similar things to me, which has really helped knowing you’re not alone.

One of the less known symptoms of anxiety/panic attacks, but for me one the scariest, is dissociation. Dissociation is basically the feeling of nothing being ‘real’, its like being disconnected from the world around you. For me this mainly happens in the height of panic, it is almost like an out of body experience. For this, I have found mindfulness is a good coping strategy and I would tell anyone to download the ‘headspace’ app onto your phone because it is so quick and easy to use.

As well as this I take earphones everywhere with me so I can listen to music to distract me when I’m feeling panicky; I always have a bobble on my wrist which I can fiddle with and snap  onto my skin  to bring myself ‘back into the moment’ and I take sunglasses everywhere, I’m not really sure why sunglasses help me, its just a strange habit I’ve got myself into. These are all small discrete things to help me cope in public situations.

But most of all, I think having a good support system of people to talk to has helped me the most; my family, friends and boyfriend are so understanding and caring, I don’t think I would be where I am today without them.

What does anxiety mean to you? How would you describe the feeling?

When you have a panic attack, you forget about the world around you and all you want to do is get away.  No matter how many times you have a panic attack, the next one is never any easier.  In that moment your thought process is ‘I am going to die’, all logic goes out the window and all you want to do is run. One overwhelming personal trigger for my panic attacks is the lack of an ‘escape route’ in certain environments. This may seem highly irrational but the idea of losing control and subsequently tripping or falling onto a train track or busy main road seems very possible during moments of panic.

What would your advice be to anyone suffering with anxiety?

Don’t be ashamed of your anxiety and don’t be ashamed to get help when you need it either. I used to keep quite a lot of things to myself and convince myself I didn’t need help, and when I look back now, it’s obvious I was just in denial with how I was feeling.  I was scared that I would go to counselling and they wouldn’t be able to help me, or they wouldn’t take the things I was getting anxious about seriously.  For a while I was getting quite upset at the thought I was going to feel anxious for the rest of my life and   I genuinely thought I was the only person in the world feeling how I did but after speaking to someone I discovered this wasn’t the case. I’ve learnt it’s best to be open and honest because once you have spoken to someone about how you are feeling, a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders.

I’ve accepted I may always have anxieties, and sometimes it may be fine and other times it may be worse, but I now have all the tools to deal with it, which makes me feel so much better. So, yeah, I’d tell people no matter how bad, trapped or lost you are feeling, just know it will get better, even if it doesn’t feel like it will right now.  Ignore people that make you feel stupid about you’re anxieties, because believe me, they wouldn’t be doing that if you had a physical illness. Deal with your anxiety at your own pace; don’t feel bad if certain days you find it hard to fight against the anxiety, I know how draining it can be.

COOL TO CRY💧

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A lot of people are embarrassed when they cry, and feel they have to hide themselves by concealing it or physically covering their faces. I feel this is very wrong, although I have to admit that I also find myself doing this. We should feel safe when we cry, not scared, as it’s just another emotion which we should be able to openly express, like laughing. Since childhood, our parents and society have taught us that crying is wrong and that we shouldn’t cry. This leads to us repressing our feelings, as we think that we are failures if we express these important emotions. We need to teach people that crying should be celebrated! It releases stress and I’m sure everyone can agree that after a good cry, we feel much better, because it actually releases toxins. Crying makes us closer to people and creates stronger connections with friends and family; as it makes you really talk about the subject. It’s very important to not bottle up your feelings, as this makes you feel less connected from the people who matter in your life. You will feel extremely isolated and will start to push people away when you need them to be close. The feelings will then change to anger and frustration, bubbling up in aggressive forms. So the next time you need to cry, let yourself cry. And the next time you see a friend crying, let them know that you are always there to support them and it’s totally fine to cry.

DONT BUY DORY

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in 2003 after the release of finding nemo, sales for clown fish rocketed. marine biologists are extremely anxious about the RELEASE of finding dory as they are concerned the blue tang could become endangered🙁 these fish are meant to be in the ocean! let’s try our hardest to keep them there💙🐟

SIGN THE PETITION

BECOMING HAL

Hal is a girl, physically, but mentally and spiritually he has always been a boy. He is wanting to transition in the near future and he let me ask him a few questions about his journey.  I would like to thank him for opening up to me and being so honest and amazing. He has been incredibly kind and brave. I hope this interview brings you a higher understanding of the topic or even helps you personally in anyway.

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1) when did you know that you wanted to transition?

I think that before puberty, I never really thought about gender much – I knew something was wrong or off, but I could not pinpoint it. It was only really when my body started to change that I began to panic, and only when I learned what the word ‘transgender’ meant that I could find the right word to describe what was going on. That was about a year and a half ago, that I began to realise that what I felt was not uncommon, not just an undefinable feeling that something big in my mind did not line up with my body.

2) did you process it internally alone or with help before sharing with your family?

For the most part it was internalised, just because I wanted to be sure that what I felt was real, and that If I were to tell anyone, they would take me seriously…I went to the GP over Christmas and talked to them, but I also asked them not to write anything down, I just needed to talk to someone who would not hold any opinions on me or whatever. I first told my mother how I felt about a year ago, but had to re explain to her recently because she doesn’t quite get it.

3) how did your family respond?

In a nutshell, not great. I don’t think they take me very seriously, so if I want to have a good conversation then I won’t bring it up. Hey, at least I haven’t been thrown out or anything, there are some real coming out horror stories; it would have been good to have support from family however. My father is the most cool about it, and I am able to make jokes about it with him (for example when he asks my brother ‘how has your day been, son’ I’ll reply ‘very good thank you’) My mother wasn’t so great about it, it isn’t like it is against her religion or anything, she just doesn’t really understand and doesn’t make an effort to. It’s alright, just a bit bloody disheartening. I have not properly told my brothers, just as I don’t think they’ll react so great. So I’ll leave that talk for a while.

4) how have friends and peers in your life responded?

My friends have been great, I’m pretty sure our generation is going to put the nail in the coffin of homophobia, transphobia, racism and sexism…all the bad shit is just not going to stick with us. If I had to make a judgement, I think my female friends have been far more accepting than my male friends, but hey, you can’t have it all.

5) do you think Hal will be different from Helena?

Well, I’m pretty sure that Hal and Helena are one and the same in terms of personality, a name is just a label, right? But yeah, the prospect of hormones changing my personality is a bit scary, but I’m sure most of my self will stay with me. It’ll be an interesting experience from a scientific point of view, I’ll be able to give primary accounts of what biologically female and male are like. But I hope most of my identity will stay with me, I don’t want to end up forgetting myself along the way. But I am Hal, even not on hormones and with ‘female’ anatomy, I am a boy in some sense.

6) are there parts of being Helena you will miss?

Lol nope (But if I had to give an answer, our culture does not give men as many emotional freedoms as women, so to conform I know I’ll have to tone it all down a bit, somehow. Hopefully hormones will help that.)

7) what would your advice be to someone experiencing similar feelings and wanting to go through this transition?

Your emotions are valid. There is no one big truth gauge that analyses what it real and what is not in the universe, this is your truth, and that is good enough. And if it turns out that what you felt is not the case, then that is fine too. Is was real at the time. But yeah, if you are feeling something, it is real, you can’t be ‘not trans enough’ or anything.

8) are you nervous or do you have any fears or are you just excited for the final transition?

Hormones and chest surgery I cannot wait for, but yeah, bottom surgery is not so great for transmen right now, obviously I’ll have to look into it properly, but any photos I’ve found online don’t look so great. Ultimately, yeah, I’d love to have the right stuff down there, but a fully functioning willy, please.

9) is there anything else about this process you would like to share?

Yeah, it sucks. But at least there is a growing media attention on trans issues, meaning that the real meaning of the word is available to younger people. I think my first glimpse of trans men was in the film ’50 first dates’, in which a particularly nasty joke is aimed at a man who used to be a girl when the main protagonist woman knew him…either way, there was nothing about that image I could identify with. So yeah, hopefully things will change surrounding that stuff, and kids won’t feel so lost.

OPENING UP ABOUT ANOREXIA

I interviewed one of my bestest friends, Eve Kinder, she was brave enough and kind enough to open up to me and you about her experience with anorexia.

Look how beautiful she is, inside and out!

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WHEN DID YOU FIRST START CONSCIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU WERE EATING?

Its different for everybody, it kind of just, it came along when i was about 10/9, because I started thinking ‘oh i need to loose weight’. I had friends in primary school but I was constantly bullied because of my weight, I would get called ‘the fat kid’, or the ‘pig’ or whatever and then I suddenly realised and I would look at my self and have thoughts like, oh maybe I am that person that everybody is telling me that I am. People would treat me differently because I was a big girl, so then I began consciously choosing to not touch bread or eat another cookie. It got progressively worse and worse and so by the time I was like 10/11 I was put into cams hospital and thats when it really hit me when I had lost too much weight. I got way too skinny, I wouldn’t eat in the day, Id go for like four days eating one cracker and a few grapes and then I would go on like 12 mile walks everyday. When I went into hospital, at first it was just counselling, but then I had this food plan and that was probably the toughest thing I had to do ever, because people don’t realise its not really about the food at all, its about this lack of control that you feel you have, over your body, over maybe..your family situations or whatever because of what family situations going on before which I felt my eaten habits came from that as I felt I had a lack of control over my family and over how people saw me. I felt like I had no authority with myself and I would just let people roll over me so I felt maybe food was the way i would have control over something that was mine, if I couldn’t have control over my family or friends maybe I would with food? Thats when I didn’t eat anything, my food diary would be like some yoghurt in the morning, some chicken at lunch and something else for dinner, it really wouldn’t be a lot but it was the worse experience I had to do, there would be fights, I wouldn’t let my mum put anything in them, so just cook the chicken and that would be it. Id have panic attacks almost every night, they would be quite bad because suddenly I had no control over my body, people were telling me again to do something just like in primary school when they were telling me ‘your ugly’ or whatever and more people were telling me that I had to eat to do this and I felt like i had this lack of control. I haven’t really told anyone this before but one night my dad called the ambulance because I was having a really bad panic attack and was refusing to eat and thats when I properly got put into hospital.

HOW DID IT EFFECT YOU AND THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU?

It was a lot about the lack of control with my family situation but  none of my family were like this. My dads side are very curvy confident women and I would look up to them and be like ‘oh my god, how can i be like that?’ however my mums side is very different. My mum doesn’t really accept her femininity, at all, so I felt maybe there was a conflict between that. I think it affected them deeply, I was quite selfish in this whole entire situation, I still feel that today. They dealt with it well, i was angry with them at the time because they had counselling as well and I had no idea why, I was like ‘why an earth would they, im the only one that should be getting the help I don’t know why they need it?’. I think it put a lot of strain on the family and I felt like they thought they were to blame for the things that happened. It affects me daily, today if you looked at me you would not think I was ever anorexic, you would think I was quite chubby because Im quite curvy now im not the normal skinny girl. I still have quite an uncomfortable relationship with food, I tend to over eat, almost the other side of the spectrum, so like its always in the back of your mind so you look at yourself and think ‘oh my god. thats disgusting’. People to say it never goes, and I do believe it will never go, but im in a positive place now because im surrounded by positive people, like Maddi!, and amazing friends, and even though I don’t have the best relationship with my parents I have learned not to rely on them to feel confident with myself or for this unconditional love. Im surrounded by, a brilliant school, friends that all support me throughout and also within I felt confident then I ever have before, i look at myself in the mirror now and I say ‘goddamn gurl, you are beautiful!’ and with all my rolls and everything and I don’t think about seeking validation from anyone else when im getting it from myself and my friends are supporting me through everything, so I would say it defiantly doesn’t affect me like it used to.

ADVICE TO GIVE

Um, I think the advice that I would give people is that you do deserve help, I know I felt like I didn’t deserve this help because my self esteem was so low and i felt, you know because your damaging everyone around you, that you don’t want to hurt anybody else so you don’t think you need the help and so you think by carrying on like this it will all work out for the best because at least your going to be ‘skinny’ but really you deserve all the help you need, and even if you feel like its not working, just by talking about how you’re feeling is the most fundamentally important thing when your not at first actively changing but just understanding that you have a problem and talking about it and by doing that you will no longer seek validation from others but realise that you do have self worth and you are strong enough to change.

If you do need help, do not hesitate to ask for it. press here to call the helpline

THE DANGERS OF MICROBEADS

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Until recently, I did not know the effect of microbeads and what they were doing to our oceans. If you have used an exfoliant, or a certain toothpaste, you may have been mistakenly using a product which contains polluting plastic. The microbeads are tiny plastic beads which are so small they do not get filtered by our sewage systems meaning they get flushed into our oceans and in the stomachs of innocent marine life. The microbeads can even end up in the fish that we eat.

Thankfully, Obama has just banned them in the US and so has the Canadian government. It would be so amazing if the UK could follow in his footsteps. Please sign the petition to urge David Cameron to ban microbeads? 

https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/microbeads-ocean

Thank you.

#KeepOurOceansClean