vegetarianism

Tuesday, 15 August 2017



Humans are the most selfish species that inhabit the Earth. We continue to harm our environment constantly in order to benefit ourselves through using fossil fuels, disposing large amounts of waste (usually non biodegradable), contributing to the meat industry and consuming great amounts of fast fashion that is rendered useless within a few years, if not months. We cut down trees to make more space for housing and commercial buildings. We fund companies that test on animals in order to use makeup products from brands we like (doesn't that sounds so trivial) We do things without considering the ramifications. Biologically speaking, there is a reason for this selfishness and lack of remorse, the theory of evolution through natural selection suggests that individuals must behave in manners that will maximise their ability to survive and pass on DNA. Because that is essentially what we are here for, from a biological perspective, to ensure survival of our genetic material for generations to come. Of course artistically speaking we could say life is to create and love but that is besides the point. We are intrinsically selfish creatures, by nature but we can change our habits and lifestyle to show more compassion to the world we live on. There are some altruistic decisions we can make to lower the negative impact we have on our environment and ourselves. I am a firm believer of your body being your temple and how we only have two homes in our life, our body and our earth, hence why I made the conscious decision a few months ago to completely cut out meat and most dairy because my tastebuds and personal satisfaction is not worth the rape of billions of cows for milk and the murder of 56 billion farm animals (excluding fish)

The cultural and religious traditions I have grown up with have always included the consumption of meat. When a new child is born into the family, it is almost ritual to kill and eat a lamb (or cow) to celebrate. I remember when my younger sister was born and we went to Morocco, my uncle slit the throat of a sheep that I had grown so close with a few weeks beforehand. The ground was bright red with blood whilst the sheep's body continued to bleed out. From then, at 4 years old, I made the decision to never eat lamb or beef again. Therefore I guess it was quite easy for me to cut out all meat products because I had gone without a big part of it for almost 13 years of my life.

Within the last few years there has been a new found consciousness regarding the meat industry (thanks to documentaries like Cowpiracy and What The Health) and subsequently, a soaring growth of vegetarians and vegans. I do not want anyone to feel like I am pushing my diet and beliefs upon them because that is the most counter-productive thing I can do. I respect everyones dietary choices, regardless of whether I believe they are "right" or not. I have a platform, regardless of how small it is, and I want to use it for good. If I can get one person to just question their eating habits then I will be happy. I do not like the stereotype that comes with non-meat eaters, especially vegans, as it is so misleading and only focusses on one type of person which is why I love Earthling Ed's channel, because he approaches people and gently questions them in ways that make them think rather than screaming at them for contributing to murder. You do not even have to cut out meat completely but perhaps limit the amounts of time you eat it per week. The average family incorporates meat into their meals almost every day of the week and consumes 40lb of meat a month. Too much of anything is bad for you and everything must be taken in moderation.

If you would like more reasons to go vegetarian then here you go...

  • Meat nowadays is detrimental to your health. And I don't only mean it in terms of cardiovascular health and cholesterol but actual antibiotic resistance and your immune system. The majority of livestock are kept in cramped conditions where infections can be transmitted across thousands of animals in a matter of weeks. As a result, farmers pump numerous antibiotics into their animals to prevent mass death and help the animal grow up to 3% larger which is significant in an industry where the meat is sold by its weight. 80% of antibiotics in the US are used for livestock, meaning only 20% are for human use.  When animals are fed antibiotics for a long period of time, they begin to retain strains of bacteria that are resistant to it (same principle for humans). Then you buy the meat after it's slaughtered and eat it which passes these resistant bacteria (MRSA is the most common one) to you, if the meat isn't handled with caution or is slightly undercooked. This means that no antibiotic can treat the bacterial infection because the over use of it when the animals were still alive led it to becoming resistant. Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern across the world as we begin to realise that these drugs may not be the solution to bacterial infections anymore, and the consumption of drugged up meat is continuing to contribute to this.
  • The meat industry is disastrous to our environment in so many ways. 18% of greenhouse gas, which contributes to climate change, comes from the livestock industry which is more than the emissions of cars and trucks around the world combined. You've probably seen the statistic that 1,847 gallons of water are needed to produce 1lb of meat. There are so many shocking statistics available online to show just how much livestock farming can harm our precious environment.
  • Possibly the most eye opening factor that led me to vegetarianism is the fact that we could end world hunger if we stopped consuming meat. We have enough food to feed everyone yet 36% of grain and 76% of soy consumption is for livestock and the land it is grown on is strictly for the animals when it could be used to grow crops for human consumption. More than 1 billion people cannot access food in the world even though the grain that is fed to livestock is enough to feed 2 billion people. 
  • I mentioned earlier that it takes almost 2000 gallons of water to produce 1lb of beef. Not only is this extremely wasteful and unsustainable (water is precious, people!) it also leads to water contamination as studies have found that 60% of US water is contaminated largely due to agriculture. Nitrate pollution from fertilisers used for crops for animal consumption is the main reason and also leads to severe eutrophication which is negatively impactful on human health and our ecosystem too.
  • Every animal deserves a chance to live, just like we do. We are not at all superior to other organisms on this earth. What makes your pet dog or cat different to a cow or pig? They are conscious animals at the end of the day that do not deserve to live a life away from its mother in dark and cramped conditions before being taken to the slaughter house to be stunned and packaged for human enjoyment. I find it so hypocritical that people refuse to wear fur (9 out of 10 people in the UK say they would not wear real fur) because of the "cruelty" behind it but continue to consume meat as if there is no cruelty behind that either.


"Perhaps the greatest contrivance in human evolution is the notion of "the self." By virtue of the fact that each and every one of us believes wholeheartedly in our own significance, our own primacy, we are selfish. One could conceive of humans as barely sentient creatures that imagined virtually everything we are able to experience in reality. Our capacity to label, quantify and organize information and ascribe meaning and direction to the shift in matter gives us a kind of god-like ability that is not evident within what we believe are lesser animals. I have spoken to and interacted with various people from all walks of life, and from what I can discern, none of them are "happy" or "satisfied." This is because we are not biologically programmed to be either. Almost all humans strive for the same thing and participate in an artificially constructed social system that perpetuates suffering and ecological domination. Most of us believe in the idea of "deserving" more, having more, being better...But in truth, we own nothing, are never truly better and don't deserve a thing. We are entitled, and the narratives we have prescribed to for centuries have become so deeply entrenched in our genetic makeup that we are all convinced that we are all special and that we are all worthy of happiness and fulfillment. This is fallacious, and our presence on the planet has triggered certain events that are now unavoidable. Billions of animals are slaughtered yearly for our benefit, we produce tonnes of waste and expand at an exponential rate without any real understanding of the consequences. We believe in time but cannot see that it is a man-made construct and that in fact there is no time, no linear upward progression or improvement in circumstances. We all dream this life, believe that we're going somewhere afterwards and that if we do this or that or buy this or that, we're going to be happy forever. It's a terrible, terrible joke, and every day we live the worse it all gets. Life never considered the ramifications of its own ambition, cannot conceive of an end, yet all of us must inevitably perish. In the expanse of infinity we are but a drop in the ocean, and we are an aspect of nature that should not have been. Our consciousness is an incontrovertible mistake, and we are all going to pay dearly for our egregious selfishness and lack of foresight. Humanity had its shot, but it never thought about what it was...What it was doing...And now we sing our swansong - and ultimately, it's for the best."

If you are interested in learning more about vegetarianism or just want some good veggie recipes I live by then comment down below and I'll find a way to contact you. Also, please feel free to exercise your right to freedom of speech in the comments- I love a good debate.
-Dalal

The (not so) Ordinary products

Thursday, 3 August 2017


You have instagram, right? So you're probably familiar with this brand and their clean and very Scandi inspired aesthetic. It's a rarity to come across non-drugstore skincare products that are below £15 these days and rightly so, good things come at a price. Therefore when I saw these products for the first time, the packaging, ingredients and pledges screamed high end to me yet when I saw that the prices were literally £10 and under I had a little "well damn" moment. Because nothing this good can be so cheap (welcome to capitalism)

I searched for my nearest store and ventured there with the intention of gifting these to my mum. I asked for items more suited for "mature" skin (sorry mum) and if most of the things hadn't been out of stock, I would've left with more than two items. I got the Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% and 100% Plant-Derived Squalene which both aim to moisturise and brighten and slow down the effects age. All for a mere £11.40. My mum and I share these, using a few drops of the squalene every morning and night whilst saving the lipoic acid for use bi-weekly. I'm not sure whether it's the absence of a-levels that has made my skin so much more healthier and -I hate this word- glowy or if these two products are actually working but I assume it's the latter. Considering that these products are full of (gentle) chemicals, they don't smell strong or harsh at all which is always a plus especially as a bio student, I don't want to be smelling Phenoxyethanol and Potassium Sorbate anywhere outside the labs lol.

What I love most about these products is how they are so focussed around the foundations of products, the biochem behind it. The Ordinary develop different formulas to cater to their demographic and sell them at such a low price to show that good skincare can truly be accessed by anyone. Not only are they super affordable, they're cruelty free, vegan, alcohol free etc. I'll paste their statements regarding these things below. Everything about the brand is so transparent and overflows with integrity which is why I'm patiently waiting for their lactic acid suspension, hyaluronic acid, caffeine solution and salicylic acid products to come back in stock in the Shoreditch branch (hint hint)

"All DECIEM products, across all brands including The Ordinary, are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone. If you have questions about any ingredient that we use, please reach out to us and our lab will provide a response. 

DECIEM does not test on animals and does not pay others to do so. For this reason, none of our brands are sold in mainland China since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes."

As I read through this post, I realise more and more how much it seems like I am being directed to saying these things. I can assure you that all my views are totally genuine and this is not sponsored (a girl can dream) but it would be amazing to work with the cool people at The Ordinary (hmu)

I don't even know whether this is a product review or me continuously gushing about this brand but nevertheless I hope I've managed to clarify the brand and their products a bit more!

Have you heard of The Ordinary or tried anything from them?
Dalal