Compassion with Jessie from ModCloth!

Happy Thursday, Vagabonders! Today, Jessie from ModCloth wants to share with you a bit on her views of compassion. Jessie is a sponsor of The Vagabond Studio, and I adore working with her. She is also one of my few daily reads. Hope you enjoy!

Jessie, Modcloth, Sheep

People feel compassion in many different ways and for many different things.  A few years ago compassion was not a word I used in my vocabulary.  I’ve always considered myself a nice person who cared about others but now I realize how much compassion was lacking in my life.  I have been Vegan for over a year now.  When I first decided to stop eating meat and all animal products it was only for personal health reasons.  Several months later into my new lifestyle I started watching more and more films that showed how abused animals are in the farm industry.

I have to say it’s hard stuff to watch.  I have to turn my head many times and I cry many tears.  It doesn’t get any easier to see the images of neglect and abuse.  My heart aches when I see a cow being pushed by a bulldozer or it’s baby dragged away from it.  It’s horrifying, but indeed reality.  Humans are doing these horrible things to these animals that are completely helpless.  I grew up with lots of pets and love for animals.  Compassion for animals has always “been there”, I’ve just taken it to the next level in my life.

ModCloth, Vagabond Studio, Vegan, Stickers

Being vegan is a choice.  Not always an easy one if you base it off of how some people will judge you.  Other then that though, it’s simple.  So much of it is truly just will power.  We live in a world where we are all raised to eat meat and drink milk.  It’s considered the “norm”.  You stray away from the “norm” and you are criticized for it by some.  Vegans like me attempt to inform people about it but most people are scared of change and don’t want to hear it.  I love the quote, “You can lead people to water, but you can’t make them drink it.”  I remind myself this everyday.  I can’t change anyone, I just hope to leave someone inspired.

I can relate to being scared of change.  I used to be that person.  I ate meat for the first 30 years of my life and up to a few years ago I didn’t even know what a Vegan was.  Now I am one!  I also used to never believe peace was possible.  I used to roll my eyes every time I would see a shirt with a peace sign on it.  Just a few weeks ago I purchased my first peace sign necklace and I now wear it proudly.  I used to throw everything in the trash.  Never recycled and rarely donated things.  Now I am lucky if I can fill up a normal trash bag in a week because I recycle and reuse so much.

I am living proof that people can change.  I love setting an example now and inspiring people to make better changes in their lives.  Not only for themselves, but the planet, all the people and creatures living on it.  If that’s not compassionate, I don’t know what is.  Being compassionate to me is ending all unnecessary suffering.  We all can make a difference.  Don’t ever doubt yourself or think that one single person can’t leave the world a better place.

Jessie, ModCloth, Black and White

Another thing that happened to me before becoming a Vegan, is I took a road trip by myself across the country.  (I did this drive to be with my husband who was in California and I was living in Ohio.)  The further I got away from the mid-west and the closer I got to the mountains, something clicked inside of me.  I was driving in between these beautiful mountains and rolling hills on highway 40 when I realized there was so much more to life.  I felt connected instantly to nature.  I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness!  At that moment I fell in love with our planet and knew I needed to make some changes.

Little did I know that just a few years after that moment that I would be so deep into my new Vegan lifestyle.  Caring about the environment, being green and not eating animals all goes hand to hand for me.  A lot of people think that you have to be a “hippie” or extremely liberal to care about the planet or being a (GASP) Vegan.  It’s all just a stereotype.  We all share this planet together and we should all care equality about it.  I think caring about the environment is also a very compassionate action that someone can take.  It is our home after all. :)


You can catch Jessie on her blog, Pinterest, and Instagram, as well as follow her on Bloglovin‘ – I know I do! 

Why I am (Semi) Vegetarian:

green pepper and veggie stir fry

Confession time: I’m a semi-vegetarian. ‘No such thing!’, you say? Oh, but there is. I don’t much like labels, anyway, but in order to find a recipe I have to type in ‘vegetarian’, so I’ll go with it. I became a vegetarian, initially, for one main reason: after the birth of Ninja, I couldn’t stomach meat. Literally. While I don’t actually get sick, it often feels like someone is stabbing me in the stomach with a dull knife for hours up to a full 24 hours after I eat. For a girl who loves a steak, this was a bit devastating. I like the idea of vegetarianism, and I love vegetarian food, but I was raised on meat and potatoes and sometimes I just really want a steak (medium rare, please?). My body disagrees, so I’ve bit the bullet and learned to listen. So when people say ‘Ohhhh, you’re vegetarian’ in that very ‘one of those people’ tones, I have to smirk. I didn’t cry at a PETA video and declare protest against factory farms. I didn’t read about all of the corn in ground beef and declare protest against corporate and government involvement in the crap-pi-fication (yes, I invented that word, just now), of our food. I simply got sick. 

Now, since then, I’ve run across dozens upon dozens of reasons to be vegetarian. And, I’m going to share a few of them with you:

1. I’ve discovered some amazing foods since I’ve eliminated meat from my diet. I need sustenance, and salads just don’t cut it. I’m already a tiny little woman, and losing weight would just resound in a big ‘I told you vegetarianism isn’t healthy’ from my family.  So, I dove into the world of online recipes and discovered more filling vegetarian foods. There are so many vegetables that I had never even tried. Asparagus and brussel sprouts are now foods I love instead of cringe at, and I even made roasted chickpeas for a snack a few weeks ago. Old Shai would have reached for Doritos. This leads me to the next point.

2. I’ve started making healthier choices about other foods I eat. Instead of chips and junk, I reach for hummus and organic baked crackers. Instead of cookies and honey buns, I bake homemade banana bread. I’m slowly cutting out not only everything non-vegetarian, but processed foods as well. 

3. I am in complete control of what goes into my body, and it feels great. I no longer grab cupcakes because they taste good, but reach for something else because it’s good for me. I’ve never been much of a foodie, but even more so now I feel it is my job to nourish my body more than it is to give in to tasty, sugary, processed sweets. 

4. ‘Boring’ foods taste great! I’ve always wondered how babies can stomach baby food – even the homemade food that I made for Ninja tasted so gross to me. Now that I’ve removed most artificial sweeteners and processed foods from my diet, I actually enjoy how real food tastes. I eat green peppers, even! I’ve hated green peppers since I was a kid. Ninja and I sat down with a spoon and ate baked pumpkin puree straight from the pumpkin a few weeks ago, and it was heaven. Before my diet change, I wouldn’t have liked anything but pumpkin pie mix from a can. 

5. My life goals have changed. You heard me – life goals. Now that I know how awesome real foods are, I want to grow them myself. I was already very into self-sustainability, but the thought to grow my own food had never crossed my mind. Now that I can eat something out of the garden other than cucumbers and corn, I’m all about having a self-sustaining garden when I grow up. 

Growing up, though..that one I’m not quite ready for. Baby steps. 

Why do you like vegetarian meals? If you’re not a vegetarian, do you ever serve meatless meals to your own family? 

Day 12: I Like to Eat, Eat, Eat….

eeples and baneneeees.

Today’s 31 Day Blog Challenge topic: Day 12: What’s in my fridge?



What isn’t in my fridge?

Luckily, VagabondHusband makes a fridge sweep every time he takes the trash out, so there’s nothing gross going on in there. It is, however, fairly packed with nonsense.

Off the top of my head:
Almond Milk
Vegan Cheese
Leftovers (from this week!)
Lots of condiments
Sweet Tea
…I can’t think of anything else.

Now, what can we make with all of that?

Check out some of my other 31 Day Blog Challenge posts:
Day 6: My Senses Right Now
Day 9: What are your Worst Habits?