I’m Baaack!

Hey y’all! How is everyone doing out there? First of all, I did not quit writing this blog because I decided veganism wasn’t for me anymore!!! Some of you actually follow me on Instagram and know that to be true. I have not wavered once in the past few years. I just wanted to put that out there since there have been several people saying “I’m no longer vegan” into a megaphone lately.

This is a strange time for me to be popping back in to say hi. With the pandemic and now the Black Lives Matter revolution, I thought it might be a good time to re-introduce myself. My last post was 3 and a half years ago. Wow, have things changed since then! Much learning and growth has taken place. Many goals have been accomplished. So, here I am, a changed woman.

lessons

Lessons from last week.

Before I get into all that, I have to say I fully support Black Lives Matter. I’m doing what I feel that I can. I know it’s still not enough. I have not been present for any of the protests around my city. Right now, I am supporting the movement through monetary means (NAACP, Equal Justice Initiative, Colorado Freedom Fund, Black Lives Matter 5280), using my social media accounts to spread knowledge, signing petitions, and teaching our girls how to be anti-racist in this world.

I recognize that I have made plenty of mistakes in the past with my lack of actions and words that have contributed to the problem. I honestly have no excuses. We need to be able to have these fragile conversations about race more often and with an approach of respect and compassion. It’s easy for folks to get heated when they are on the defense because no one wants to be called a racist, resorting to cruel name-calling, overgeneralized assumptions, and sometimes threats. Now is the time for us white people to sit down and listen to Black voices, then speak that truth to other white people that don’t seem to want to learn or are completely oblivious.

One good thing that has come from this for me is becoming more aware of who and what I support. I admit, I like my information handed to me. I never made it a priority to research specific businesses for any reason. I see something I like and I get it without batting an eye. That’s a whole other issue of mine. Anyway, because there have been so many great articles published about Black-owned businesses to support, I have enjoyed looking them up and ordering things. I’m patiently waiting the arrival of my goodies (Symphony Chips, Southern Roots Bakery – I’m from San Antonio and I’m jealous my hometown has become more vegan-friendly since I moved, Maya’s Cookies, Kizzy’s Books and More, and I’m waiting to hear when Liquid Gold Cheese Sauce will be back in stock). I never would’ve known about these companies before now.

Here are some of the lists you can peruse:

11 Black-Owned Vegan Businesses to Support that Ship Nationwide

Black-owned independent bookstores

Black-owned vegan restaurants across the US

Black-owned Etsy shops

Black-owned businesses in Denver

I do worry that this might come off as virtue signaling. I would like to kindly retort, y’all don’t actually know me well enough to say that, but you can believe what you want. Or maybe it is a little bit, according to this article (although difficult to read, unless you’re a subscriber of the NY Times). It’s more of a personal declaration that I haven’t been true to my beliefs and I’m trying to do better by being vocal about it. It’s the same with veganism. I’ve always kept quiet about being vegan around people I meet in person and I’ve localized all my veganism online to only take place on Instagram. I do this because I would rather not say anything than get into an argument with someone. I realize how shitty that makes me. I’m working on changing that.

The most surprising thing in all of this is discovering how many vegans are against Black Lives Matters and that certain ones are legitimately okay with flaunting their racism. This is beyond baffling since MOST vegans have chosen this path to fight for justice of the oppressed and voiceless. I expected more from this community by using the same energy they do for animals to fight for their family, friends, and neighbors. I follow some wonderful Black vegans on Instagram that have also spoken about this (Diary of a Mad Black Vegan, Badass Vegan, Black Veg Fest, and others). I mean really, think about it. It’s called intersectionality!

If I haven’t lost any of you yet, hi there! I’m going to assume that some of what I said resonated with you and you’re also taking steps to better yourself. Let’s move onward and upward together.

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Our last family photo was taken right before Christmas last year.

Now I’ll give you a rundown of everything that has happened since November 2016 – the shortened version.

  • I went back to college in 2017 after being a stay-at-home mom for four years to finish my degree.
  • I ended up creating my own degree to pull all my credits together into one cohesive Bachelor of Science that I titled Social Outreach Services.
  • I applied to a Master of Social Work program, got accepted, was going to be offered a full-ride deal, but I ultimately decided to start working full-time instead.
  • I’ve been working at a Denver nonprofit called Art from Ashes ever since I graduated.
  • Papa Tummy graduated in 2018 from CU Denver’s College of Nursing and got a RN position at a hospital after.
  • Papa Tummy and I sold our first home last year to make an upgrade.
  • Shortly after settling in, we adopted a dog to join our family. She’s a mix between Great Dane and Catahoula. We named her Sadie. (See above photo)
  • Shortly after that, we adopted an adorable mouse named Smokey. (Not in the photo)
  • And again shortly after that, we started the long process in certifying to become foster parents. We’re getting super close to completing our certification now!
  • The whole household caught coronavirus (please see above about Papa Tummy getting a job at a hospital)
  • Little Tummy will be 7 in August and Tiny Tummy will be 5 next month. (How did that happen?!)
  • Remote learning with Little Tummy and trying to do the same with Tiny Tummy to prepare her for Kindergarten in the fall was… interesting
  • I have left the house a total of two times since mid-March, because thankfully, I can work full-time from home

That’s about all the big points I can think of right now. It’s kinda hard to believe all that happened in that short amount of time. I have been wanting to work on this blog again for awhile. It became messy when I lost my domain name. I’ll be taking the time to clean up the links and editing some pages. Don’t expect that to happen quickly though.

I’m happy to be back. I’ve missed writing to you all!

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