Community builder, writer, consultant, vegan advocate, mindful consumer, wannabe athlete, feminist, seeker of truth and promoter of kindness.
Pamela blogs about trying to live ethically and sustainably, and animal concerns on www.pamelatourigny.com. She is a decade-long vegan, founder of Vegan Eats Ottawa, co-founder of Ottawa Veg Fest, and recent founder of www.eatveggies.ca. Pamela is passionate about healthy living, so her activities include running, hiking, and playing ultimate frisbee. More info at: www.pamelatourigny.com.
I know, nobody wants to feel like a pain or an inconvenience to a restaurant or our dining partner. But the reality is that every time we cede to the salad, we are allowing people continue to believe that vegan food is dull, boring, tasteless and unfulfilling.
Don't feel badly. Especially if you're a new vegan, you may feel terrible for "imposing" on your host, or intimidated by the looks you're being given by others. Stay firm with your beliefs and don't let anyone make you question the legitimacy of your position.
Veganism isn't about deprivation or being extreme. It's about leaving animals off our plates. I see too many people -- vegans and not -- who have become obsessed with eating their version of a perfectly clean diet. They eliminate soy, gluten, corn, carbs and so on for no clear reason -- often needlessly.
Cecil's death has caused an Internet uproar. It's almost all that I am seeing in my newsfeed. Most of it is unadulterated outrage directed at the perpetrator. The world (or North Americans, at least) are experiencing collective grief, horror, devastation and anger in a way that I haven't seen for some time.
I've been vegan for more than a decade and have picked up some tips and tricks over the years, such as that you can save all kinds of grief by looking at the menu in advance, calling ahead, or offering to bring something shareable to a dinner party.
A number of people have commented to me over my years of involvement within the vegan community that they are often overwhelmed by all of the suffering that animals endure, leaving them unsure how to advocate for them effectively. It's a feeling of helplessness to which many can surely relate.
We live in a world that's built on using animals for every purpose imaginable, and even armed with information and conviction, people can find it challenging to live in alignment with their beliefs. Even though sometimes I am frustrated beyond belief by the actions of humans, I dig deep to find my compassion, to help them find theirs.