It’s not so easy to be cruelty free

 

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Check out my Marshall’s haul! I was just browsing around killing time the other day and came across an endcap FULL of cruelty-free cleaning, and not only was it not expensive, some of it was cheaper than the stuff we usually buy! Success! Sorta. 

I am writing this blog because my bff just commented on my instagram post (the above pic), “What are you using for dishwashing detergent?”  WHAT AM I USING FOR DISHWASHING DETERGENT!!?? I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF THAT!!!! This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. And we keep coming across things that I didn’t think of!

 

I have learned over the past several days what I am willing, and not willing, to do in the quest to be cruelty-free.

I WILL change the products I use to clean my house, wash my body, and put makeup on my face.

I will NOT be stinky and sweaty. And apparently, all mainstream anti-perspirant/deodorant companies test on animals.

I will NOT go broke in this quest. I am willing to spend a little more.

I am not sure yet about how I feel about changing a few things I am pretty attached to like my Crest Cinnamon toothpaste, and my aromatic array of laundry products that make our clothes and entire upstairs smell like happiness. All the major laundry brands test on animals, and that sucks.

Lonnie, aka Mr. Black & White, is all, “You shouldn’t have talked to me about this if you weren’t ready to make changes, it’s all or nothing.”

But IS it?? Does it HAVE to be? I have always touted myself as the Queen of Half-Assed. Why should this be any different? 😉

Angergy

I was warned.

Before my 4-day intensive residency program for my MSW program, my friend and co-worker, Emily, told me that it would get me all fired up and excited about social work.  I rolled my eyes and assured her that it would be painful and the longest 4 days of my life.  Emily is just good people. One of those positive, ‘rah-rah- GO TEAM!!’ people that we all wish we could be instead of the snarky, eye-rolling bitches that we mostly are. And by we, I obviously mean me 😉  So Emily telling me that I was going to love it, really didn’t hold a lot of water. Sorry, Emily.  lol

Well damnit, she was right.

Every class for those 4 days left me feeling like I need to DO SOMETHING!!  MAKE A CHANGE!! Opening day we had speakers talking about the importance of social work on the macro-level.  BIG CHANGES…. LAW changes…. POLICY changes… FIGHTING FOR CIVIL RIGHTS CHANGES!  I barely waited until the break before texting Jessi to tell her that I believe she is a social worker at heart.  She LIVES to argue for change and, while right now it’s just limited to social media and in-person stuff, I KNOW she has it in her to change the world.

By the end of the 4 days, I had decided that in the interest of personal growth, I needed to do some work, and perhaps my field experience, working with those victims of domestic violence.  The reason?  Well… there was a long pause just now before I could bring myself to type the word “victims,” because, I don’t see women as victims. I see destructive choices that hurt children, and themselves.  I have done a lot of soul-searching since I made that

decision, and while this is something I need to continue thinking about, I don’t think I can do my field experience in that type of situation at this time in my life.  I do work with people from time-to-time as a crisis worker who are in domestic violence situations, and I honestly have no trouble with it.  I have empathy for them, and am fully there with them in that moment.  But when I don’t have a person in front of me living that life, I have a pretty strong bias.

Our final small-group project was to pick an issue and do a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation.  We chose to present on veteran suicide because of all the recent press with the 22 pushups a day challenges to represent the 22 veterans a day who commit suicide.  We slayed our presentation, and I learned a lot from a veteran in our group about military culture and the struggles they face when they come home, and it has me sooooooooo pissed off.  One odd fact that I didn’t know is that the suicide rate is higher for veteran’s who DON’T get sent to fight!  And there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for this anywhere?

OK… I will stop rambling now, because I could easily continue, and talk about rape culture…. elder abuse…. sex trafficking….  racism….  SO MANY THINGS BOUNCING AROUND IN MY HEAD!!

Good thing I am back to exercising to burn off some of this angergy.  <—– HAHA New word!!

99 problems but being black ain’t one

SO WHITE I BURN JUST THINKING ABOUT THE SUN  LOL

I have the best of intentions with zero follow through.  I’m not sure if this is good or bad.  It could be good because at least I care and take the time to think about and talk about things, but it could be worse that I think and talk about things, but never bother to do anything about well…. anything.  This weeks examples are sweat shop clothing, homelessness, and racism.  I really wanted to get into the sweat shop thing, but then I started typing about racism and could not stop.  So…….

Racism drives me crazy.  When I see people use air quotes on facebook when using the word racism or the term race war, I want to crawl through the screen and strangle them.  To suggest that racism is not a huge issue that bazillions of people have to face every day of their lives is asinine. Let’s take this one, miniscule example….

http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/story/investigation-uncovers-racial-bias-in-tampa-bike-arrests/vp-AAbpgkO

In Tampa, FL of 10 bicycle riders are stopped by police, EIGHT of them are black.  EIGHT OF THEM.  One elderly black man had his bike confiscated after being stopped by a police officer who demanded to see the RECEIPT for the bike to prove it was his.  The receipt.  That would NEVER HAPPEN to me, ever.  Because I am a white lady.

I don’t get up in the morning thinking there is a possibility that I may have a run in with the police just because of the color of my skin. 

I don’t ever have to worry about being over while driving, be questioned about what I am ‘up to’ while walking because of the color of my skin.

I am not ‘used to,’ being monitored while I am shopping because I “look suspicious,” just because of the color of my skin.

Can you imagine having to live on edge like that ALL THE TIME!!???  Of COURSE you are going to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder!  Even us ‘first world white folks’ have all had those terrible days when we felt like the world was against us and everything was going wrong…. it makes us pretty damn cranky and worn out. Try having MOST of your days feel like that for the only reason being that your skin is not lily white.

So this leads me to my all talk, no action issue.  I am a white girl in Maine.  I live in a state that is 95.2% white.  I live in a state where racism really is not something we face every day because… well… we are mostly white, so there is nothing for us to be faced with.  So what I am I going to do to fight racism??   I read an article the other day about what white people can do to fight racism, hoping for ideas, but it was kind of a useless fluff piece with a lot of words boiling down to “just listen and be compassionate to others.”  Well duh!

So I guess all I can do is what I do already.  I wrote this blog post.  And I always speak up when rednecks make racist comments in person, and on facebook (I have lost several FB ‘friends’ for this…. good riddance).  ….that’s about it.  Oh yeah…. I will also work hard to listen and be compassionate to others.  DUH!