It's true that I haven't been blogging as frequently as I should this year. I had to take a temporary hiatus from the blogosphere because a lot has happened in the past few months. The beginning of this year has been a hectic time for me. I have written and published my first book, rebranded my business website, and also taken some valuable time off for personal reflections and development.

Now that the storm has largely blown over, I’ll be able to devote more time to doing what I love: blogging and animal advocacy.

1) Writing my first book.

I have known that I wanted to be a writer since childhood, but a published author? Only in my wildest dreams. Then, over the last few months, I started to feel a creative surge awakening within me. I began writing creatively more than ever before, at one point even averaging 2,000 words a day. I couldn’t hold it in, and as I continued, a story poured out of me. My new book, I Am the Ocean, is a travelogue about a low-budget road trip I took down to the United States in my early twenties. I travelled by bus, slept on couches, stayed in hostels, met some amazing people, and saw some unforgettable things. The book is also filled with spiritual insights that I realized along the journey. In an upcoming blog post, I will be sharing how I went about writing and publishing the book. Be encouraged; writing a book is an extremely rewarding experience and not as daunting as it may seem. For Canadian authors, there are a lot of cool perks that our government provides us to help us along. 😉

2) My new business website.

I started Blossoms, my freelance business, shortly after graduating from university. Now that my business is a couple of years older (as am I), I thought it would be fitting to rebrand the website. It felt especially appropriate now that I've taken a turn in my career, delving into authorship. I also wanted to make the site more content and blog focused so that I can connect better with my readers, something that has always been really important to me.

3) Personal development.

Over the past few months, I have been writing prolifically and taking a new turn in my life and career. Although it has been a productive few months, it has not been without a toll on my stress levels. I have always been a bit of a perfectionist, as writers and editors tend to be, and I have had a lifelong habit of pushing myself. I learned the importance—the necessity—of taking time to myself to unwind. Relaxing is so crucial to maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing, especially since the mind and body are so profoundly connected. And of course, when you take the time to relax, your writing will be all the better for it!

This New Year has been very productive, life changing, and exciting for me. I can't wait to see what the rest of 2016 has in store, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.

 

freelance writer book cover

I was first inspired to start writing about animal rights last spring, when I found out that Maharashtra, India had banned beef. I shared a link to a news article on Facebook, and while my friends usually tolerate my animal rights shares, this time people disagreed. My cousin, who is herself a vegetarian, called me out for supporting the ban (which I actually think should be international, and apply to all animals) and said that by supporting this ban I was infringing on the rights of others. Although she chooses not to eat meat, she supports people who do.

There are many people who believe animal rights infringes on the rights of humans.

Just like there were many people who don't support women's rights (what about the men?!), gay rights (they're destroying marriage!), or civil rights (if black people can also get good jobs, where will whites work???), there are also scarcity-minded people who are worried that if we care about animals, we will somehow stop caring about ourselves.

This myth is so unfair and so unfounded that I vowed to spend the rest of my life trying to dispel it. I had all of these thoughts welling up inside of me, and I just knew that if I didn't get them out, I would go mad. I started a blog, and I wrote about my feelings about the beef ban.

A few days later, I was harassed.

Someone who really loved beef and felt passionately about it contacted me through my cell phone, and wrote me some very strange ad hominem attacks via text message:

twitter rage 2twitter rage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found it strange that the perpetrator chose to attack me from a religious angle, since I did not mention religion in that post at all. It was a little creepy, but I shared the texts on Twitter and moved on. After all, the best way to deal with bullies is to expose them.

Some months later, I also earned the wrath of The Cattle Network. I was featured in one of their articles, wherein my writing was called "a rambling diatribe." I wasn't able to make much more sense out of the article than I could from those peculiar texts. After doing a little bit of research on the writer, I found out that he routinely attacks vegetarians and vegans online.

When I first started writing about animal rights, I didn't realize that there were so many beef advocates who felt so strongly about maintaining their current way of life. But then again, Cowspiracy revealed that over 1,000 activists have been killed in Brazil, all in the name of killing cows, so I guess it shouldn't be too surprising to me.

It's a little scary, but it's a matter of life and death for these animals, who are unable to use a voice of their own.