Blogging Confusion


Unless you've been living under a rock in the blogging world, you've heard about blogger Josi Denise and her recent meltdown over mommy blogging. While most bloggers were inclined to be offended by her post,  I have to admit that I found a lot of truth in it. No, I'm not slagging off mommy bloggers, but I related regards to my own blogging journey.

I find recently, while I love blogging and writing, sometimes blogging in general seems vacuous and silly. I changed my policies on receiving free products to review, and even though I've only received a few recently, I do have to wonder if Josi is right. Does anyone care about my review of this random hair care product? Do I even care about it?

It's not to say that I don't want to work with brands anymore, I still do on a selectively basis and am always happy to do so if we reach an agreement that meets both of our needs. However, between finishing my thesis, working and doing more YouTube videos than I have before, it seems less and less appealing to write a review of a product I'm not super excited about without any compensation at all. I realize a lot of people feel that receiving a product in itself is compensation, and it is fantastic, but after a while, I can't pretend like it doesn't become burdensome. Is three hours worth of work for a product that cost £7 at the shop really worth it? And does anyone really care what I think anyway?

In the end, bloggers end up with a stockpile of stuff that eventually never gets used or gets given away or donated because we can't possibly use up everything we've got. And to be honest, that makes me feel a bit guilty since companies often went out of their way to give me things.

And is all of our content the same? Are we only reading each other's blogs to promote our own? It is a worthwhile question to ask yourself.

While I still want to blog and vlog, I'm pondering the direction that this blog will be going in in the future. I will definitely still talk about beauty products and continue to work with some PR and brands, but otherwise I'm not sure where we'll be going with this blog.

Will it become vegan? I don't know. Will I continue with beauty products, fashion and travel as I'm able? Absolutely. But excuse the less frequent updates as I overall and re-think.

NOTE TO PR AND BRANDS: YES! I AM STILL PR AND BRAND FRIENDLY, HOWEVER I AM BEING QUITE SELECTIVE THESE DAYS. IT DOESN'T MEAN DON'T PROPOSE SOMETHING TO ME! IT JUST MEANS I WON'T AUTOMATICALLY SAY YES TO EVERYTHING! 




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Coping with Rejection



Rejection is an incredibly difficult thing to cope with, especially as an artist. And because of that, I felt like writing this in case anyone else out there was feeling the same way I was about their own art and projects.

Unravelled, my book which a lot of you have probably read, has had amazing success...much more than I have ever hoped. I've had book clubs pick it up and even schools nab it to read and purchase in bulk. I am literally shocked by this, but seriously stoked about it at the same time.

Although I was once represented by an agent, this book was never put on submission because she never really "connected" with it. However, the book has proved otherwise to so many people. I have sold thousands of copies (which is nuts), have overwhelming positive reviews on Amazon and get messages from complete strangers telling me how much the book affected his or her life.

With all of this in mind, I felt the book could seriously reach a wider audience, so I asked a friend of mine in publishing if I should query it to agents again, and she said absolutely. She gave me a bit of advice, and I dove in.

However, when the rejections came pouring in, I began to feel frustrated again, like banging my head against the wall. I think what's worse is that there is no real constructive criticism anyone is giving me, or why they feel the project "is not for me" or "I don't connect with the voice." With an impressive sales record and so many happy readers, it seems like a no-brainer...I've even read success stories of self-published authors who have sold fewer books than myself, which the agents in question viewed as "impressive."

At this point, it feels like perhaps I should be giving up on it. Maybe it is time to throw in the towel and accept that the story is, no matter how many copies I sell, not "sellable" on the mainstream market. Still...there's that glimmer of hope inside of me that maybe someone somewhere will want to take it on and give it its moment of glory with a real publishing house and real marketing. But it seems so unlikely.

Of course, the advice is to just keep writing and maybe a new project will be "the one," but with so many rejections, it seems like it's always just for nothing.

4 rejections today, 2 on Friday, 2 yesterday. I wonder how many more I can wrack up!





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Was Hitler Vegetarian?


Note: If you'd rather watch my YouTube video, you can do so below. It presents virtually the same information: 




Most vegans will say no, precisely because Gary Yourofsky condemned this notion in a video and the following Facebook post. 

 However, this is not the full case and it is important that if you want to speak to people in an informed manner about not consuming animal products, you think critically about what people say and not take them at face value just because it comes from one of your vegan heros.

Yourofsky does not cite his sources, but it is probably from the 1973 book Life and Death of Adolf Hitler in which it is asserted that it is actually propaganda from Goebbels.  While vegan and veg sources not wishing to claim Hitler as one of us cite Payne is one of Hitler’s premier biographers, this is not the case. Payne was a novelist and a general biographer with a degree in English. He has written over 100 books, and only one biography of Hitler. His biography of Hitler is not used in current historical discourse, as it is widely believed to be problematic. The book even invents Hitler spending a year in the UK, which never occurred.

So was Hitler a vegetarian? Well, it is pretty clear that by all first and second hand accounts, he was actually a vegetarian by 1942. Before then is when things get a little bit murky.

In 1911, Hitler wrote a letter claiming he was vegetarian (allegedly), however restauranteur Dione Lucas, an English chef living in Hamburg before WWII notes Hitler eating meat at her café as late as the 1930s. Though she did write a book in 1964 attesting to Hitler’s love of the dumplings, she was not, as Yourofsky incorrectly states, Hitler’s personal cook. Ilse Hess, the wife of Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Fuhrer, attested that by 1937, Hitler gave up all meat except liver dumplings. This is in accordance with other first-hand accounts, including those of others in the Nazi Elite.

Hitler’s food taster, Margot Woelke, states that by 1942, all of his food was vegetarian and she does not remember ever being served a dish that contained meat or even fish. She says of the experience, “It was all vegetarian, the most delicious fresh things, from asparagus to peppers and peas, served with rice and salads. It was all arranged on one plate, just as it was served to him. There was no meat and I do not remember any fish.”

Alexander Cockburn, a political journalist writes, “Nazi leaders were noted for love of their pets and for certain animals, notably apex predators like the wolf and the lion. Hitler, a vegetarian and hater of hunting, adored dogs and spent some of his final hours in the company of Blondi, whom he would take for walks outside the bunker at some danger to himself. He had a particular enthusiasm for birds and most of all for wolves. [...] Goebbels said, famously, ‘The only real friend one has in the end is the dog. . . The more I get to know the human species, the more I care for my Benno.’ Goebbels also agreed with Hitler that ‘meat eating is a perversion in our human nature,’ and that Christianity was a ‘symptom of decay’, since it did not urge vegetarianism”

Walter C. Langer writes of Hitler’s vegetarianism in his 1973 book Inside the Mind of Adolf Hitler: “If he (Hitler) does not eat meat, drink alcoholic beverages, or smoke, it is not due to the fact that he has some kind of inhibition or does it because he believes it will improve his health. He abstains from these because he is following the example of the great German, Richard Wagner, or because he has discovered that it increases his energy and endurance to such a degree that he can give much more of himself to the creation of the new German Reich.”

Albert Speer, one of Hitler’s greatest friends and chief architect of Nazi Germany says in his book Inside the Third Reich that Hitler often made fun of his friends for beingcarrion” or corpse eaters.

On April 26, 1942, Goebbels writes in his diary, “An extended chapter of our talk was devoted by the Führer to the vegetarian question. He believes more than ever that meat-eating is harmful to humanity. Of course he knows that during the war we cannot completely upset our food system. After the war, however, he intends to tackle this problem also. Maybe he is right. Certainly the arguments that he adduces in favor of his standpoint are very compelling


Yourofsky also quotes the book Hitler Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover on his Facebook page, a book by a vegetarian activist and not a historian. When Historians were asked to comment on it, they told Slate.com, “Mainstream historians don't refute Berry's assertion that Hitler didn't meet contemporary vegetarian standards, but they do have trouble finding meaning in it. John Lukacs, author of Hitler of History, says that the German leader was "mostly a vegetarian," especially after 1938, when Hitler began to worry that his health was failing….But whether he was a strict vegetarian or not doesn't register with Lukacs. "What difference does it make? Hitler never cared much for food," he says, "Except he liked sweets. He had a weakness for creamy cakes, not for chocolates, Viennese creamy cakes. He had pastry cooks make him sweets until the end of his life, even in the bunker."


So while it is clear that Hitler ate SOME meat up until 1942, despite claims featured in the 1937 British Homes and Gardens magazine that called Hitler a “life-long vegetarian at table,” it is possible Hitler believed in vegetarianism, but cheated a bit, or eschewed ate all meat but liver dumplings. It is difficult to say.

There is also the question of Hitler disbanding vegetarian societies. I do not know much about this, but with my knowledge of WWII and the Holocaust, I would say that this is likely because any kind of meeting that was not specifically related to Nazism could have been perceived as dangerous. During that time, as well, it should be noted that vegetarians were allowed to trade their meat ration cards for non-meat items. A little over 8, .000 people supposedly participated in this program. 

But I guess the whole core of the matter is…does it matter if he was a vegetarian or not? In the argument against veganism or vegetarianism, it doesn’t hold much weight. Respected historian, Daniel Goldhagen and vegetarian says in the Slate article I mentioned above, "Hitler liked his followers to wear black clothes. Just because I like to wear black doesn't lump me in with him." Unsurprisingly, Goldhagen finds the whole topic off base. "The reason we are interested in this time period is not because of Hitler's diet.”


 The only thing that matters is that when presented with information by people you deem credible, stop and think about whether or not they are cherry picking before coming to a conclusion and parroting it to others.



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Travel This Summer Without Breaking the Bank


With school holidays fast approaching in the US (and soon in the UK!) and the days of freedom ahead, most of us dream about taking a few days off for a vacation or holiday. While many think this is out of their budget, consider some of these tips to have a fun, budget friendly holiday for yourself, your whole family or you and your partner.

Be Flexible with Dates

This may not be incredibly easy if your kids only have a certain time they can travel with you, but if this isn't a factor, don't schedule your days off of work until you know for certain which days you'll be traveling. Being flexible allows you to pick the cheapest dates.

Use Hotwire, Priceline and Expedia Secret Rates

When searching for a hotel, don't just settle for whatever price you're given. Instead, shop around. Hotwire and Expedia Secret Rates allow you to grab deals on hotels without knowing the name. You will be given the hotel's whereabouts, star rating, customer satisfactory rating and amenities (such as if pets are allowed or if there is a pool). For some, this may not work well, but for others, especially if you are flexible, this is a great way to grab a deal. Priceline can be an amazing tool as well, as you will simply name your price for unsold hotel rooms.

Use Google Flights

Google Flights has been an absolute savior for me. I recommend it over any other travel Matrix there is, as it doesn't falsely advertise low prices and is incredibly easy to use. It may take a bit of fiddling to get a price within your budget, but as long as you're flexible, you'll be guided to the absolute cheapest days to fly.

Be Flexible on Your Destination

Instead of having your heart set on one destination, consider several places you and your traveling companions would like to go. This way, you can research the cheapest destination and go there. Google Flights also lets you look in a region, for instance, if you're interested in a Caribbean holiday, but aren't sure where, Google Flights will help you find the cheapest place.

Consider Couch Surfing

This is likely best done in at least groups of at least two and likely not with kids. However, if you're a couple or a group of friends traveling, this can be a great economical way to stay in your destination and meet local people. The concept is simple, you put up an ad and stay with with locals who will host you. In addition to giving you a place to stay, they can give you local tips on cuisine, places to go and may even take you out on the town to see their city through a local's eyes. Go to the website here. 

Utilize Budget Airlines

In Europe, these budget airlines are rampant and aren't actually that bad. Although they don't offer any bells and whistles (you have to pay for everything on board and often to check a bag), they can be great for jaunts under 2 hours around Europe. Within Europe, these include Ryan Air, Easy Jet and Wizz Air.

Take a Staycation

Want to get away but don't have a lot of time or the money for a flight? Use Hotwire or Priceline to book a hotel in your area for a couple of nights. Grab a massage, go swimming and eat out at your local favorites. Go see something in your town or nearby you have been meaning to see but haven't done yet...we all have those places!





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Unravelled is FREE Through May 17!

Not a huge fan of Friday the 13th? I've got you covered. Unravelled, my best selling book, will be free on Kindle for the next few days. Grab it here in the US or here in the UK.




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Tips for Drinking 2 Liters of Water Per Day


Drinking two liters of water per day is recommended for healthy hair, skin, nails, bladder and a digestive system in general. I am attempting to get myself up to drinking two liters per day, so I'm going to share some of the things I've been able to do to trick myself into getting it all in.

Measure

Measure your water so you can see exactly how much you need to drink per day. The best way to do this is to fill a 2 liter bottle full of water that you either drink out of or pour out of. That way, you can see what you have left and how much you have had.

Add Some Mint

This has probably been the best thing I've done in order to up my water intake. I fill a glass with ice and some live mint (you can purchase a mint plant for pretty cheap at the grocery store) and then just drink it. It gives it a little bit of extra flavor that gives it a taste for something a little more than water.

Fruit Ice Cubes

The night before, freeze some fruit in an ice tray. Pieces of citrus, grapes and chopped up strawberries work particularly well. Fill the tray with water after you put in the fruit and the freeze overnight. Put then in your water to add some fruitiness.

Berries

Mash up strawberries, blueberries or raspberry or a mixture and throw them in a glass. Then fill the glass with water and ice. This will give it a little kick!

Rose Water

Add a couple drops of rose water to your glass. This should keep things sweet and satisfying without adding too much extra sugar.





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Have You Caught My Latest Videos?


Now that I'm feeling a little better, I've been hopping on the video train. Have you caught my newest videos?


Freelee vs. Tana Mongeau (And Sorsha Morava): What is Effective Vegan Activism?


What is Speciesism?




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Dr. Paw Paw Does It All


Dr. Paw Paw was kind enough to send me a sample of their new product, Dr. Paw Paw Does It All.  Best of all, it's totally cruelty free and doesn't test on animals.

Dr. Paw Paw's 7 in 1 product does seven things:

1. Heat Protection
2. Reduces split ends
3. Detangler
4. Leave-in Hair Treatment
5. Reduces frizz and smoothes
6. Blowdrying styling aid
7. Adds shine

At first I was skeptical....what can this stuff actually do? But after using it for a week, I have noticed that my hair is actually shinier and feels healthier! Definitely a product that I'm keeping. I'm running out of my leave in conditioner that ISN'T cruelty free, so I'm pretty glad I was given this. Could be a great replacement.




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Life Lately--An Update


While I don't normally sit here and discuss my day-to-date life, I thought I might as well give you guys a little update on what's been going on with me.

Life has been extremely difficult lately, which is very hard as it is my birthday tomorrow. To say that this constant pain I have hasn't affected every aspect of my life negatively in some way would be a lie. Today, as the sun shines out over the clouds outside, I'm hoping that so will soon be the end of this period of my life.

This constant pain, as you may have listened to in my video, has been on and off for nearing two years. I've had three surgeries, one which found endometriosis, though it wasn't a lot. I've been put through the ringer through the NHS with doctors who don't seem to care about my plight and was even turned away from treatment by a doctor who told me I was wasting the hospital's time.

Still, I am showing clinical signs of certain illnesses that can be managed with proper medication (and sometimes surgical intervention, but I don't care at this point), but the doctors still make me wait, still check things out independently of one another (LIKE HELLO SOMETIMES THEY ARE INTERCONNECTED!) and still act like I'm a burden. Because of this, I have chosen to receive private specialist treatment with people who specialize in this issue and am hoping that will help get everything under control.

I'm having a rare good day today, but to say this illness has not affected every aspect of my life would be impossible: my relationship, my friends, my mental health, this blog, taking forward professional opportunities, money, even my dog not being able to get out as much as he would like now that he feels better. But I am hoping there are warmer days ahead for me.

If you are healthy, cherish it, honestly. It is the greatest gift you can be given.



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