Let’s make a difference.

The world is filled with so much injustice, inequality and cruelty. It’s the 21st century yet racism is still a devastating issue, with the police in the US able to shoot a black life almost with ease if they blame it on ‘self defence.’ Gender discrimination still suppresses the majority of our population, as we teach girls to cover up or guard their drinks, instead of teaching boys not to pray on girls like meat. Disgusting cases of rape still go disregarded, where victims are blamed or inadequate sentences are given. Society is still divided by those burdened by poverty and homelessness, while others enjoy affluence and privilege.

How have we allowed such a world to develop? Why is it that our lives are characterised by the social circumstances we were accidentally born into? Politicians preach the message of meritocracy and equality of opportunity, but I can see this is not the case. If a child has nurturing, loving, educated parents, the likelihood of that child going to university and reaching a high earning job are far great than a child born into disfunction and poverty; regardless of each child’s individual effort. Meritocracy, can never break our deeply ingrained social hierarchy.

So I see this plethora of inequality in our consumer driven society and I want to make a change. I can’t been content in a world that allows such injustice. My passion makes me angry and upset, how can other people not agree with me? Why are they so selfish? My parents on numerous occasions have had to sit me down and tell me that not everyone is going to agree with my point of view. They tell me to calm down and not let things get to me go much.

So for the past year I have been exploring a variety of potential professions, be it law, journalism or cooking and all of which I love and might possibly pursue. Yet if i simply neglect the injustice I witness on a daily basis I would be filled with so much guilt. I need to make a difference, things need to change. This does not mean I have to solely devout my life to tackling inequality, but I will stand up for justice in every small, but significant way I can. I will call people out for sexism and racism, I will not eat meat or wear leather, I will attend protest movements and sign human
rights petitions.

Do not let anyone silence your passion. I’m going to make a difference, will you? banksy-follow-your-dreams-cancelled

Everything has changed

I spent my whole schooling career trying to be something I’m not and comparing myself to everyone around me. I lived in a suffocating cycle of thinking I wasn’t cool enough, clever enough or pretty enough; and my competitive nature meant that I had to be the best at everything I tried. I was constantly wishing I had another persons trait, instead of my own. It’s true what they say, comparison really is the theft of joy. I denied myself so much joy in the pursuit of being perfect.

But what really is perfection? The dictionary definition is that of the condition state or quality of being free or as free as possible of any flaws and defects. Yet flaws make us human! No person can possess true perfection. Moreover why have we decided that some traits are more desirable than others? Why are girls made to believe that they must have a large butt and a thigh gap in order to be perceived as beautiful or perfect?

Perfection is an unattainable, damaging concept that does not exist. When you reach your goal or preconcieved idea of perfect it won’t actually feel perfect, it is just be your new reality. So you will strive towards a new goal and a new perfect and from there the cycle continues. Perfection does not coincide with happiness.

I was so sick of living in such a self deprecating society and constantly not feeling good enough. So I stopped and everything changed. I started loving every bit of myself, flaws and all. My life has been filled with failure, rejection, anger and upset, yet it has also been blessed with love, happiness and passion. Instead of trying to ignore or hide the negatives I am so thankful for them as they make me a unique individual and have shaped who I am today.

We all need to start being kind to ourselves and thank our body for everything it does for us; allowing us to live and breathe and experience the world. Stop projecting happiness onto some ambiguous future perfect state and start being happy now. I promise, you will only have yourself to thank.

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Veganism and morality

There are many reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle, be it for your health, for the environment or for the animals. Veganism is a beautiful, cruelty free way of life that enable it’s followers to thrive. Yet there is so much stigma attached to the word ‘vegan,’ stimulating connotations of extreme left wing hippies.

Yet looking back at history left wing ‘extremists’ have lead the way to what we have eventually accepted as todays norms. Take the slave trade for example, initially those who opposed this brutal practise, the Abolitionists, were deemed as an overly radical fractional group. Or take the suffragettes, whose pleas for women to be given the right to vote were dismissed as ridiculous. However eventually as society evolved in morality, we came to accept that these extremists were right and we celebrate there fights as valiant and remember them as hero’s.

Morality is not fixed and there is no black and white, ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but in general it does seem that morality involves giving a voice to the voiceless and helping those who cannot help themselves, hence veganism!

This is not to say that people who eat meat, eggs and dairy are intentionally evil or morally corrupt, instead they are so ingrained by societies norms that they are unable to recognise the suffering they are participating in. In the same way, those who accepted the salve trade were not innately evil, they just simply did not know better.

Therefore if people today judge vegans as radical and extreme, I am very proud to call myself just that.

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Sweet potato and lentil pie

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • Half a courgette, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of almond milk

1) Begin by pre-heating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the sweet potato into a pan of boiling water, allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is very soft.

2) In the meantime, sauté in water, the garlic, onion, carrot and courgette for around 5 minutes.

3) Next add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, spinach and half the fresh basil leaves, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes to really allow the flavours to come out.

4) Once the sweet potatoes are done, mash them up together with the almond milk.

5) Then add the lentil filling to a pot suitable for baking and layer with the mashed sweet potato, use a spatula to help you smooth the potato.

6) Bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is browned slightly.

7) Distribute onto plates, and sprinkle the left over fresh basil leaves on top before serving.

Enjoy! x

 

 

Carrot, apple and cinnamon snacks

Serves: 1 (Makes one snack bar)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a cup oats
  • 1/2 a carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 an apple, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • A splash of water or almond milk

1) Begin by pre-heating the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line one very small baking tray with grease proof paper.

2) Place the oats, carrots, apple and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and stir together, the mixture should be relatively sticky due to the apple juice.

3) Add the dash of water or almond milk, be careful not to add to much as you don’t want the mixture to be too moist. In some cases where the apple is particularly juicy you can skip this stage.

4) Then place the mixture in the baking tray, and press it down firmly with your hands.

5) Place the try in the oven and allow to bake for 40 minutes. At 20 minutes i like to turn the mixture upside down, so both sides become nice and crispy.

6) When cooked, allow the snack to cool for about 5 minutes.

Enjoy! xIMG_1110.JPG

Butternut squash, spinach and almond milk curry

 

Serves: 4IMG_1108.JPG

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 butternut squash, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 big handfuls of spinach
  • 1 and a half cups of almond milk
  • 1 and a half cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • A few cardamom seeds
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh coriander to serve
  • Brown rice to serve (optional)

1) Begin by sautéing the onion and garlic in a large pot for about 3 minutes, I do this with water as opposed to oil.

2) Then add the seasonings, the chilli powder and turmeric can go straight in, but ensure you grind the cardamom seeds and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle before you add them to the pot. Stir all the herbs together.

3) Next add in the butternut squash and pour in the water and almond milk. Stir this together and allow it to come to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

4) If you want to serve with brown rice, put this on now.

5) Then add the spinach, allowing it time to wilt and squeeze in the lemon juice.

6) Divide the curry onto plates and before serving sprinkle with a good amount of fresh coriander.

Enjoy! x