Posted in Shalyse Speaks

“Now y’all kids need to get involved in politics.”

Oh that beauteous howl of our parental units and those well-meaning older generation folks who are often so wrought with their own assumptions about us.

” You need to learn about the political system.”

Oh buddy, we have.

We have become acutely aware of just how f*#ked the political system and our government have gotten.
I mean it wasn’t super fabulous, to begin with.  How can it be when we built a nation based on hypocrisy and I don’t know, the backs of other people.

Equal rights?

No. Only if you fit into a preconceived notion of what is right. Otherwise you have to fight for your rights, and struggle  get by in a world  that views you as less than or deficient in some way; and for what? Because of the color of your skin and the ingrained  stereotypes and even some very stupidly conceive prejudices. Yo, don’t event get me started.

Or because your sexual or romantic attractions are deemed unnatural, because of a very narrow view humans hold and call it being evolved. I mean have you seen our culture being ravished by the  ideology of toxic masculinity and possessiveness.

What about ignoring the gender and sex spectrum, and calling transgender and non-binary confused when you are the one is confused because this is new to you. Or better yet calling intersex people monsters or needing to be fixed.

OMG, gender equality, because we have ridiculous predispositions towards all genders.

Y’all! VETERANS. How long has it taken us to move forward with helping to take care the people who risked their lives to defend all of our so called rights. Bruh.

I’ll stop right here. That “All  men are created equal”, not so much. And you can have the “pursuit of happiness” and the “American dream”but if you don’t reach it it’s your fault for not climbing out of poverty because you are lazy and uneducated. Even though you probably work full-time and maybe even went to school and couldn’t find a job that allows you to meet your basic needs and get out of debt.

I read somewhere that America needs a moral rebirth. I agree. On more levels than just economic, we need to care about more than just getting where we are going.

We ( the younger generations)  are out here educating ourselves and noting all the shit that is happening. We see a system that in theory was suppose to work, but we let greed and power take over and we want to fix that.

“You need to vote.”

Welp, I don’t disagree with that either.

We do. We have to use the current system to some degree to change it.

But we don’t know a lot about certain political processes and how to get involved.

I grew in an apolitical household because that’s what our religion told us. Government  class didn’t teach you all the real things you need to know and I was AP. Our teacher tried to get in as much extra stuff into the curriculum, but even in 2009 they were still testing us for test.

Onward college, I started seeing things a lot differently.and trying to figure out what to do.

Now this is definitely not the we didn’t know excuse.

I mean some of us don’t know at 18, but we have resources, but we only have them after we realize that there is so much more than the major elections.

See, what happens is that you are busy telling us what you think we don’t know, that you aren’t telling us what we really need to know. But this isn’t the blame game. This is just a synopsis of how screwed up education and politics are.

My life partner was into politics. She wanted to be a politician before she died. One of the major things that she helped me to see is that no, the current system doesn’t serve a lot of the younger generations interest and needs, but we can change that.

She believed in activism and using the current system to get what we want.

Voting falls short. Some of the major reasons we don’t vote include:

  • We are away for college, interning, or traveling for experience so we don’t have stable addresses or can’t be there for most local elections,
  •  but that is also if we do know about the local elections. This is a problem that can be addressed to some extent by better outreach and education before we get out of high school as well.
  • If we work, we may have conflicting work schedules that make it hard or near impossible to make it during election times.
  • Being busy is a real thing if you are balancing an education, gaining experience, and even having a job just to get by. I think sometimes the older folk forget things like that.
  • Some people just don’t deal with politics because they don’t see how it helps.

The last one is really for everyone. Since when we are tiny children, we are told to avoid the topics of politics and religion because they cause issues. We aren’t taught to respect differing opinions, respects people right to be able to have the same rights as you, have a healthy debate, and explain ourselves, we are taught to avoid the subject (Which is why many activist get the to the “shut up” point when dealing with people). Like let’s talk about the weather and shit instead. BTW I can turn that political too. Please, stop with the small talk y’all.

Essentially this avoidance of political discussion has caused younger folks to not see the importance of  political discussion in our everyday lives. My personal experience has showed me that many of my peers don’t care until something affects them negatively.

We also have the problem that people view activism in a negative light. Sorry folks, but you don’t get to say what types of activism are ok to use. There are various audiences out there and not all methods work for all people, but it gets people talking. Don’t white-wash any revolution and pretend it was all peaceful. America’s freedom wasn’t even won with a “Pretty please with sugar on top.”

So yea, we may be apathetic and we may not know what to do sometimes, but as our parents. mentors, and predecessors its your job to foster environments of political involvement and education. Not the version where you force us to follow your beliefs, but to really think for ourselves. You want to guide us, do it. Hiding from politics helps no one.

We should be able to critic, explore, and discuss the reinvention of the political system without the words entitled, selfish, ignorant, lazy being thrown at us.

The economic and political environments have been experiencing a shifts for a long while now. We can’t necessarily keep doing things the same way. That’s just something you have to deal with.



Posted in Shalyse Speaks

Because they are sentient


feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception and thought.

of being sentient:

able to feel, see, hear, smell, or taste

-Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I’ll say it here.
Humans are omnivores. We are adapted to eat plant and animal matter. I do not bother to argue that fact with people.

Our adaptation is about survival from times where we had limited access to food.

What I do discuss is that animals are sentient beings and DESERVE compassion.

They don’t deserve to be an after-thought, and in a world that treats them as nothing more than property or food unless they are cute (then they are still more than likely viewed as property), living a life built around the principles of veganism is a must.

In America alone we consume more meat than necessary in the “typical” American diet. There is the disconnect between knowing where your food is coming from. That hunk of meat on your plate used to be a living being, but the likelihood that the meat that you are eating came from an animal living a happy life free from terror is not likely. Most aren’t even aware of the practices that often get them dairy and eggs which has a lot of cruel behavior in itself.

We have the trait of humanity, but many times we fail to use it. We often forget to  exercise humanity because we are busy making advances and enjoying being at the “top of the food chain” due to our luck with evolution.

Humans are specist in nature, yet we have the ability to think objectively to witness the pain of another living being n still turn a blind eye because “It taste so good!”


When I say ” living a life built around the principles of veganism is a must” I don’t mean drop meat now. I mean it would be great if everyone could do that. I mean learn to be conscious of your actions and the impact on the world around you. Take step steps to reduce and even cut the harm you cause.

Full plant-based veganism is not accessible to everyone for various reason, the principles and finding ways to continue and promote advances that allow a vegan- based lifestyle are however available to all.

Remember the definition of veganism:

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” ~Veganism as defined by The Vegan Society 1979

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable…” That is the part that we too often forget. The foundation. The fact that we are to do as much as we CAN,  to help prevent the exploitation and cruelty towards animals of all types.  Some can do a lot more than others, but every little bit counts.

Every attitude change, every realization that torture and cruelty are not valid to our survival counts.



I won’t post links and resources this time. I want you to research. I want you to learn and feel free to report back to the comments your feelings and anything you have learned.

Posted in Shalyse Speaks

Why sustainable living is important to my family.

I love science. It is the foundation of everything I support spiritually and practically. Unfortunately,  over human’s time of scientific discovery and  scientific advances so many of us forgot that these amazing things we can now do at accelerated rates are actually quite dangerous for the lovely piece of organic matter that houses us in the perfect conditions for human, ANIMAL, and PLANT life to thrive. I felt the need to emphasize the last part since so many do not even recognize life beyond humans despite biology being taught since grade school.

Continue reading “Why sustainable living is important to my family.”

Posted in Shalyse Speaks

Writer’s Block

I run a few blogs over a variety of topics. I love writing. I love reading. Unfortunately, none of that helps when you can’t think of a solitary word that is worth writing on the subject you are  discussing. I mean I have ideas. I’m highly opinionated, but sometimes just making the words come out in a manner everyone else will understand is just a little far outside your current brain capacity.

Sometimes writer’s block is not even about not having an idea. It’s can be as simply frustrating as I have this amazing idea but it’s in the wrong “language”.

My partner and I were talking about this the other day. I think in pictures and have to translate it over to words. Sometimes it’s easier to do than other times.

I have lists of posts for each of my blogs. It’s mostly the purpose behind starting. I had a lot to say and I say it better in writing. First, however, I have to get past not being able to translate the idea into words, at least enough to create an outline or losing my thought because I tried multiple ways of getting it into words that it doesn’t even make sense.

I love the writing process. This is why I write multiple posts at a time now. As I get to the point that I have made my thoughts more clear and concise, each post grows until complete.

It’s not an enjoyable reality to experience your brains awareness that it can’t complete a thought because te connections aren’t matched.

But I will never let it stop my love of writing.





Posted in Shalyse Speaks

Veganism versus Plant Based

Two Sides of the Same Coin.

Veganism is Activism.

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” ~Veganism as defined by The Vegan Society 1979

I’ve spoken a lot about what vegan is and the, “trend of veganism”. I don’t randomly go up to people and tell them that they are not what they claim, but I do feel the need to make sure people understand…

Being a person who consumes a plant-based diet does not automatically make you vegan, but being vegan means you lead a plant-diet.

One is based on trends, research, and the latest fad, one is based on learning, understanding, and taking a stand aka being a catalyst for change; an activist.

There are many types of veganism, but we can, for the most part, boil them down to Ethical veganism, that has a large focus on speciesism,  and Environmental  Veganism.

I’ve noted over the years, at least,  3 major reasons a person will become vegan:

  • 1) health reason and/or to live a healthier lifestyle
  • 2)animal rights
  • 3)to help preserve the ecosystems

We can choose any one/combination or all of these reasons based on our understanding of what is happening in the world. These personal reasons and experiences are our guiding force as a vegan. It’s all about reform whether we can easily admit that or not.

People often assume a vegan’s personal choices for choosing the lifestyle because it’s easier. They often do not realize that they are stereotyping and regurgitating  information. Like the idea that every vegan supports PETA, so people feel the need to constantly inform you of PETA’s unsavory past. Or that we all live off of Spaghetti and Salad. Or even better, that since we don’t consume animals we aren’t getting protein. I’ll be honest, however, one of the most interesting experiences that I have had, as someone who leads a primarily vegan lifestyle, is that people ( let’s be real, other activists) assume that Vegans think we are superior.

Now vegan elitism does exist and I’m going to briefly explain how that elitism is not the whole movement but in fact a segment (like most movements have their elitist segment). The folly of individuals, including other activists, laying a general claim that vegan is elitist is that they are being hypocritical in their reasoning.

Not only do they forget that in their activism they are pushing for change that recognizes the sentience of other beings, but they often forget that minorities and people without money are largely underrepresented in the media perception of many movements.

These are the same things that they constantly discuss and work to change, but because veganism is now challenging something that makes them personally uncomfortable, the idea that the entire movement is elitist is fostered, as well as the assumption that we all have exuberant amounts of disposable income. It’s an excuse to not admit what you are truly experiencing, which is confusion about your perception of the world around you. The people who make these claims forget that they must make a conscious decision to go against a belief and lifestyle they were brought up in.We do this as well.

But this is not just non-vegans fault. As a vegan, if we are not helping to guide, spread information, and educate on proper nutrition from all socioeconomic backgrounds, we are not helping our image. If anything our supposed elitism comes expecting others to choose veganism and know what to do and judge them harshly for not doing it our way.

I’ve had this experience, and I’m very open about my life experiences. One of the reasons it took me so long to transition was because I struggle with managing an eating disorder. I struggle with food guilt and body image.  Before I finally managed to make the transition, I had a person who had been vegan for quite a number of years tell me that I was being ridiculous for choosing to be a vegetarian as I learned food nutrition, and to balance my bad habits. It took me almost 3 and 1/2 years before I felt confident in my nutrition knowledge and started inching into the full transition. I know first hand, because this individual was not the only criticism that I faced, that some vegans do not try to see and help people understand what they can do for their situation. They just react.

So many don’t even try to understand the definitions of being vegan, the philosophies, the mindsets, the support, and the education that goes with it. That, however, does not turn an entire activist movement elitist, just shows us where to pick up our slack, and we have.  In the vegan blogosphere, there are student bloggers, single bloggers, bloggers who are parents, bloggers ( like me) with non-vegan others, budget vegans, and so much more. We are making strides to be better and more proactive about the needs of people interested in the ideologies encompassed by veganism.

As vegans, it is not our job to make people comfortable, but to make people think. We do not need to hide our beliefs and opinions any more than a non-vegan individual must. We should, however, be humane and compassionate. We need to learn what it means to be an activist before we make such overarching statements about activism. Activism is about uncovering the ugly truths that people strive to hide. Activism is the foundation or at least a very large part of the vegan movement.

For more on this subject check out my post on Design and Scheme.