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Resume or Reset?

reset

Covid-19 cases have hit 5.4 million today, with 340,000 deaths. Yes, the number of those who have recovered is much higher at two million, but even one death is reason enough to mourn. People are not simply numbers, even in death. They were somebody’s family, loved one, and friend. And I can’t understand the nonchalance of government leaders when they try to joke or speak lightly of the pandemic that has placed the world on the greatest disruption that many of us couldn’t have imagined possible.

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Love in the time of Corona

Image result for covid 19

The world is being gripped by fear and anxiety over yet another zootonic disease, except that this seems worse than what we have seen before, what with people’s immediate access and ability to spread information, and the tendency to focus on everything that is not going right.

I thought maybe its time to post some thoughts about the virus that I don’t always articulate on social media. Pandemics are not the easiest subjects for a simple blogger like me. But I would like to be able to look and put out a bit of positivity despite the global doom and gloom scenario. My intention is not to gloss over a real global challenge, but to find meaning in a crisis, lessons, and maybe even inspiration if this post could ever succeed in doing that.

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My vegan journey so far

Vegan flag

With the Vegan Flag at high noon in Manila, October 26, 2019, just before the second Official Animal Rights March.

As you may have known, I have been vegan since September 21, 2015. Three of those four years I have been living and working in Cambodia while attending major activism events in the Philippines. I was the climate speaker at the very first VegFest Pilipinas in 2016, speaker at the very first National Animal Rights Day in the Philippines in 2018, and also a speaker at the second Official Animal Rights March in the Philippines in October this year.

Earlier on, I even did an online petition to make vegan food accessible in the Philippines which I called #Right2VeganFood. I also joined Save Vigils and Cube of Truths whenever I was in the Philippines. In this blog, I wrote a lot of vegan posts such as when I wrote about how I realized I love animals more than people. I collaborated with another vegan to do the Vegan Philippines flogo, based on the international vegan flag.

Even though I consider myself an animal rights activist, I totally fall short in my engagements in activism in Cambodia. I live in a city and country with very little opportunity to do vegan activism. I did flyering in the province of Mondulkiri before and did a giant chalk art in my own yard for those walking by to see. I have met with vegans and supported in my little way a little restaurant that has now closed.

VVW green

Vegan for the animals, first and foremost. But so many benefits for myself, in terms of my health and happiness, and the Mother Earth as well, from whom I owe everything.

Currently, my initiatives are online. I set up the facebook page Vision Vegan World, the group Vision Vegan Cambodia, and Vegan Philippines Singles. I am also an admin of Vegan Philippines. I have donated to vegan events and activists, but of course, as a social development worker, I could only give so much.

I want to give my best but I do hold a full-time job and do other projects on the side as well, contrary to the popular belief that vegan activists are bums. But if you feel strongly for animal liberation much as I do, you would know that these initiatives are not enough. So I continue to rack my brain to come up with ways on how I could help in the animal liberation movement.

My friend and kumpare Jerry Gracio once called me “lagalag” or wanderer. I guess I am a bit like that. But as a communicator, I have planted my roots in the worldwide web. So I thought it would be perfect to use the internet as a platform to raise awareness on veganism and animal rights.

In November 2019, I did a Learning Call for United Edge on the climate emergency, the call was attended by more than 30 participants from 13 countries. Zoom provided an online platform to share my powerpoint presentation and interact with the participants. My talk was well-received. That gave me an idea to do my aware-raising campaign through a Learning Call.

Initiatives like this entail some costs and take a bit of time to take traction. I have done many initiatives before and there are those that didn’t fly. What I realized in my journey is that I am only a planter of seeds, and I should focus more on how I put myself in the initiative, rather than the immediate and visible results. I just have to do what I’m passionate about, and the universe will sort out everything else.

VVW Learning Call

To know more about the event, please visit the Facebook event page here.

But I am willing to explore where this initiative will take me. I have a lot of ideas for later but also would like to seize the opportunity to engage the vegan-curious who might want to make the shift in the new year. So in only five days before the event itself, I organized the 1st Vision: Vegan World Learning Call on January 4, 2020, at 4:00 pm Philippine Time (UTC+8) Would you like to join me? Here is the Learning Call link. Looking forward to seeing you there!

I really intended to have a deep reflection on my life this New Year. But then I have zeroed in on my vegan journey and it just goes to show how being an animal rights activist is such a huge part of my life. I hope to do more in the coming months and years, in my own little capacity, planting seeds as I go along this path. I hope to meet you along the way. #src