The best thing I did in 2016 was to buy CircleV tickets. I was not sure what I was doing as I was going to go by myself. A week prior to the festival, I went by myself to see Sia’s concert at the United Center in Chicago. I just realized that I do not like to go to places with people who does not care about the events as much as I do, so I’d rather go alone. The Sia concert was not the perfect scene as most people go in groups, but after a few seconds literally I was aware that I was by myself, I did not need anybody.
Earlier that day when I arrived at LAX I was starving, so I googled quickly for vegan options near the hotel I had booked in Hollywood (around the block from the festival) and I said ‘OMG, there is a vegan restaurant in each block!”. Was this a sign that I needed to move to Cali? Anyway I set up the Uber app to drop me off at the Veggie Grill.
Let’s start the day with a real Veggie Burger:
Veggie Grill Burger
After that I went for a walk, where I received signs that Cali was the place to be. First, I saw the Farmer’s market:
Hollywood Farmers Market
Hollywood Farmers Market
I wanted to buy it all, however I decided to fly light and I did not bring a suitcase, just my Matt & Nat backpack. So I bought nothing.
I walked around, took a lot of pictures. I kept seeing more vegan restaurants. And there it was the famous Trejo’s Cantina, known for having a lot of vegan options.
Danny Trejo Restaurant
I got some coffee and made my way to the Festival. There was a line around the block. I put myself there, and I saw a lot of people by themselves. I was not the only one without vegan friends who wanted to go to the CircleV.
Circle V Festival line
Excellent vendor selection.
Circle V Vendors
The Kat Vond
Famous people eat too:
The speakers were the best selection possible.
Circle V Speakers
Leilani Munter- Keegan Kuhn- JVM-Cowspiracy-Racing Extinction
John Saleey-Rich Roll-Dotsie Bausch-
JVM-Nathan Runkle-Gene Bauer- Ingrid Newkirk- Kat Von D
Sailesh Krishna Rao
Too many points that resonate with me deeply were spoken by these speakers. The most important one was the idea that there was no need to apologize for being an activist, for being kind.
I saw March Ching at the event, I am following him and all the work he is doing saving animals from the dog meat market in Asia. I built courage and I approached him, he was so down to earth, he even asked me for a hug! Who could use love more than those who have seen all the horrific animal suffering?
If you win the lottery of friends, it will be these ones, casually talking here.
Kathy Freston-Dr Neal Barnard-Ingrid Newkirk-Ethan Brown- Veganish-Blue Zones- Peta
Oh Moby, as if you did not do enough sharing your musical talent with the world and filling my soul with songs like ‘Everloving’ or ‘Porcelain’. You need to top it off showing that you are the best animal activist in the world. You give us so much hope working hard for the animals. Yes, I do not know you personally, and I never understood people saying “I love you” to people they do not know, but sorrynotsorry, I DO LOVE YOU!
Tony Kanal- Moby-Nathan Runkle
The trip was one of the best trips of my life. I felt empowered, optimistic and ready to change the world.
Are you coming next year?
I have been thinking and thinking about the best approach for activism. I am looking for the least offensive and effective. I arrived to a conclusion that the best approach is is advertising.
The documentary Racing Extinction showed us people protesting in front of the restaurant that serves shark fin soup, the business was still on, until this activist came with a projector on the roof of his car, and screen on the wall of the restaurant the most amazing imaginary. Done deal. Restaurant closed down its doors.
The also have this amazing images on the Empire State Building. You can see people walking the streets, stopping and looking up. We are interested in digital images now. Your phone, your computer, or this strong building.
This campaign in Times Square “BE FAIR BE VEGAN” made tourist look up and pay attention.
I do not think every action works. Some do, some don’t. If I write “Go Vegan”, it will get us nowhere. The question is why? So we need to show these pictures of beautiful animals, we need to show their magnificence, and also we need to keep showing the graphic content. I can’t stand it. But it is extremely effective.
Dog, cats, tigers, rhinos, cows, chicken. They all matter. They can feel, they can suffer. I do not care if they are smart or not. We humans, we are so smart that we make sure we kill each other in wars, we eat GMOS and do not legalize cure for cancer.
But it is June 2016 and again the Yulin Festival. Some Chinese people torture, killed and eat dogs. In other countries they do the same with pigs, cows and chickens. I do not agree with any culture, tradition, religion that promotes cruelty. Cows are sacred in India. I do not see Indian Animal Activist in United States trying to save cows. I wonder why. But there are activist from around the world in China right now.
I do not agree with any culture, tradition, religion that promotes cruelty. But today I am talking about this Festival that needs to end forever.
Please, please watch the video below. If you can, share it. The people in the video are not hypocrites, they do a lot for all animals. Marc Ching is one of the heroes there.
For you that are reading this post and you love dogs and cats and eat meat, I want to tell you that it is fine. I was there. There are people who do not like any animals at all. If you like dogs or cats you have some compassion in you. You will care about what is happening in Yulin now. And maybe one day you will be seating in a restaurant and you will order a salad instead of a steak. I am pro reduction in animal consumption.
An American who loves dogs but kills cows is as much an animal lover as a Chinese that rescue pandas but kills dogs
Research and more research. Does it mean they are vegan because they use the word “synthetic” in the description? Can i trust that the Stella McCartney Adidas shoes are really vegan?
There are many options out there that are for sure vegan. You can find them in the Vickerey or Mooshoes website. But do I like them? I am not sure.
How much should we pay for running shoes? We have to consider how long and how often we will wear them. I think it is appropriate to pay more than for a pair of party stilettos. For sure I will wear the sneakers more.
Nike Flyknit Green
Adidas Stella McCartney Boost 10
Adidas Stella McCartney Boost
Adidas Stella McCartney Boost
I decided that the products I owned before I removed the fold over my eyes will remain with me until I have no use of them.
In the case of cosmetics and food was easier. I run out of them and started replacing with cruelty-free options. I am still learning. I am still trying to find a good green dishwasher soap that really works. So far, no luck.
Regarding clothing, I have two feather fill down North Face jackets from years before. Last two winters in Chicago we enjoyed something called “Polar Vortex” which means temperature as low as −16 °F (−27 °C). Therefore I was wearing the two jackets, one on top of the other. They are different sizes, one extra small and the other is small.
Anyway I really like how the extra small look on me, but last year I got a couple of holes in it. So it has to go and I have to find a cruelty free one that will keep me warm.
These are my options. I still did not make up my mind.
The North Face Thermoball. I tried it on. It feels so thin. Employees at the North Face store told me that it is not warm enough for Chicago winter weather.
Norh Face Thermoball
The Columbia Jacket. Same experience at the store. Employees told me that is not warm enough for Chicago winter weather.
Columbia Mighty lite
This new brand, at least new for me. Save the duck. I love the name. There is not a store in Chicago. I could find it in a fancy gym in River North. The truth is that I did not try them on. I contacted the company, they say that the below models are perfect for Polar Vortex. I really like them. I am not sure about “made in china” label.
save the duck
Save the duck
And my last option is this vegan jacket, Hoodlamb. It is pricey. The big con for me is the material, it will keep all my dog hair. I have no time for a high maintenance jacket. But i love the design!
Hoodlamb vegan jacket
Do you own any of these ones? Which one do you prefer? Any model do you recommend?
I am located in Chicago. I have some choices, but whenever i need to buy shoes or bags, I still buy online. Lulu’s and Matt and Nat are my main online sources:
This is the Brave Backpack I just got from this vegan Canadian brand from Canada: Matt & Nat. It is on the big size but perfect to go to work daily.
Matt & Nat Brave Backpack
Now I am following Nicole Neumann, who is an Argentinian model-animal lover and she has her own vegan fashion line. I can’t wait to travel to Buenos Aires to visit her store:
So no matter where you are in the world, there are always vegan sources for your shopping. More brands are understanding this issue. Maybe for some of them it is just a marketing tool. I do not care. I care that less animals were hurt.
I am a numbers person. Analytical. I believe in data and science. It seems silly to say ‘ I believe’ but there are so many people who don’t believe in it. They are scare that they will need to change. So first they deny it. Instead of hating what you don’t understand, I beg humanity, please research, educate yourself. It will not hurt you! It never ends.
I wish I knew then what I know now. Hopefully I will keep saying this as I continue to grow my knowledge base.
What if I told you that it is ok to change your opinion based on new information?
DON’T HATE WHAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. JOHN LENNON
So there we go: Numbers.
We start with protein. People do not care about protein, they only care when you say you are vegetarian. We know doctors do not study nutrition.
So you care more about animals than people? Do you care about world hunger? Do you care about global warming? Do you care about water drought?
Oh yes I care, therefore I am vegan.
So world hunger:
american reduce meat grain to feed the world
So water and grain consumption:
1 pound of beef
1 pound of pork
1 pound of chicken
1 pound of carrots
1 pound of potatoes
and this makes me cry:
I try not to follow trends. I have seen fashion designers trying to create cool ponchos. I never bought those, however I saw friends wearing them and I love them.
My last trip to Argentina included to go through old pictures. I found this bad quality one of me, sitting on the floor wearing a poncho.
So i decided to visit stores that sell them. All those stores sell a lot of leather items, I turned my head not to see them. I was on a mission to find the best authentic cruelty free poncho for the fall season. And I did.