vegan

These celebrities are making this world a better place

I typically don’t care much about celebrities; I don’t follow the gossip mags or obsess over who’s wearing what or who won which award. But when people (famous or otherwise) do wonderful things to help animals, I take notice. Here are five creative and inspiring celebrities using their fortunes, connections and popularity to help animals in need and make our world a better place …

What happens when animal lovers eat mindfully?

Most of us share our lives with beloved animals—cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, parrots, guinea pigs, rats and the like. Animals are wonderful partners on our journey toward mindfulness. But keeping that powerful connection alive when it comes to mindful eating can be extremely difficult, especially in today’s world, where eating animal products is not just expected, but practically celebrated.

But what if there was a way to bring our mindfulness practice to our next trip to the grocery store? Remember, even small steps will make a difference. Here are a few thoughts to meditate on next time you fill your shopping cart …

The amazing ways farm animals are inspiring change

I just spent a wonderful weekend teaching animal Reiki at Chenoa Manor, a farm sanctuary in Avondale, Pennsylvania. The animals (and people) were so welcoming! I just loved spending time with them and being on the farm. There is something special about farm animals. I feel like these days, everywhere I turn I’m hearing stories of how farm animals opened people’s hearts to compassion, inspiring amazing lifestyle and diet changes. Even Jon Stewart of Daily Show fame has purchased a New Jersey farm to turn into an animal sanctuary. Here are a few more inspiring examples of farm animals inspiring change …

13 amazing quotes about animals from your favorite celebrities

I absolutely love it when celebrities speak out about animal rights and causes; their fame allows them to bring crucial attention to important issues. It would be amazing to meet each of the following famous actors (and one supermodel, one hip-hop mogul and one singer/songwriter) and thank them personally for supporting the animals of this planet. To brighten your day (and warm your heart), here are some inspiring quotes about animals from our favorite celebrities …

5 awesome projects you can help to support right now

Have you seen Kickstarter? This amazing crowdfunding site lets you support a variety of creative projects for very little cash. Kickstarters set a financial goal (say, $1,000) and a target deadline. People then start sending donations—and the person behind the campaign gets to keep all that cash (and more) if they hit or exceed their financial goal by their target date. And, of course, if you have an idea for a project of your own, you can launch a campaign on Kickstarter, too!

Though some of the projects can be, ahem, a little bit strange (such as “Pug-let: The First All-Pug Production of Hamlet” and “A Dr. Who Concept Rap Album”—OK, I admit I’d probably watch/listen to both!), the following are actually some really solid ideas and goals I’d like to see come to fruition—some even help animals, too! Just this past Tuesday on Kickstarter, Walkzee, a free online platform that matches shelter dogs needing walks with “dog lovers looking for a walking buddy,” surpassed its $20,000 goal! I look forward to seeing the Walkzee site someday soon. Here are a few more projects that look interesting …

Life lessons from our animals

I can’t believe it’s almost 2015! Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year filled with many blessings. In addition to my family, friends and health, here are a few things I’m feeling gratitude for this sparkly evening …

1. I suppose it goes without saying, but I am immensely grateful for the animals I’ve encountered in my life and the ones that have walked gently by my side. Here’s a wonderful article from One Green Planet that lists 10 beautiful life lessons we can learn from animals. I agree with all of these lessons; #1 (compassion) and #3 (live for today), especially, are important elements of my Reiki work with animals. Read the full article here for all 10 life lessons …

What’s your favorite cookbook?

Historically speaking, I never really enjoyed cooking (unless it was homemade chocolate-chip cookies!). But recently—since changing my diet to include mostly vegan and gluten-free meals—I haven’t really had a choice. I’ve been cooking vegetarian for so many years, but I always paired the veggies with pasta, cheese and breads. After going vegan and gluten-free, I wondered, could I survive on lettuce alone? And secondly, what was I going to eat, anyway?

A total rethinking of my go-to cookbooks was in order. So after much Googling, talking to friends and testing in my own home kitchen, I’ve settled upon my top three veg cookbooks. Here they are, plus four more I can’t wait to try!

1. Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi: Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant in Notting Hill is my favorite place in London! That’s where I first discovered his mouthwatering vegetarian dishes …

Cutest vegan shoes

I gave up buying leather shoes a few years ago and never looked back. Vegan shoes get a bad rap, so at first I thought there would be slim pickings when it came to stylish, cruelty-free footwear. Boy was I wrong: I’ve found so many wonderful, comfortable (and popular!) options from innovative companies and designers entering the animal-friendly fray. Even celebrities like Anne Hathaway, Alicia Silverstone and Natalie Portman have been known to flaunt their ethical footwear.

I discovered my favorite pair of vegan boots by Madden Girl tucked inside a cute boutique in New York City called MooShoes. I absolutely love wearing them! But if you’re always on the lookout for vegan shoes like me, these other companies are worth a look, too …