Thinking. (The Start of the 365 Day Challenge.)

Lately I have been thinking a lot. Assessing my life and just spending time reflecting on where I am right now, in this present moment. I came to a few conclusions; one being that I am probably the happiest I have ever been, but one stood out, and that was this blog, in particular the fact that I don’t write for this blog half as much as I should, and would like. Honestly, uploading a blog post is my favourite thing to do. Just seeing the likes come in (granted it isn’t many, but it’s still super cool) always feels extremely rewarding, yet, due to laziness, I haven’t uploaded a blog post in almost a month and this must change. So I have decided to make a bold decision, one which I aim to stick to and complete, and that is to upload an Instagram picture and hopefully an accompanying blog post every day for 365 days, or a year, as 365 days is known. I feel this will be a great way to document the year and maybe even inspire others as there isn’t much positivity on social media these days. Now, hear me out, the blog post may not happen every day. In an ideal world it will, but uni and stuff, so sometimes it will only be a picture, or a very short post, but still, there will be something. And it won’t just be a stupid Instagram picture either, it will be something that has inspired me in that day, something I’ve done etc. Kind of like a mini blog post in itself. But yeah, I have made a new Instagram account for this (so not the one on the side of this page), I would love it if you could follow it. The account is @mrharrisondavis (just click that and it should appear like magic).

Anyway, that’s all from me. Hope you’re all doling well and thanks for reading. Keep smiling Harrison.

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Solo Travel vs Travelling in a Group

Travelling solo versus travelling in a group/with friends. It’s a topic debated by many travelers around the world and I’m here to offer my share of wisdom on this topic. I may not have an abundance of knowledge on this, however; I have done both and therefore feel like I am adequately experienced to provide some good and valid insight, so here we go.

All my life I have traveled in a group, whether that be for a school trip, a family holiday, a lad’s holiday, or anything in between and they have all been great. On the other hand; I have also traveled a few times alone, recently on my month long backpacking trip to Thailand, which again was amazing. Now there are obviously pro’s and con’s to both, and that’s what I’m here to discuss, starting with travelling in a group.

The obvious benefit of travelling with other people is that it’s cheaper. 1 room split between 2 people, for example, is the best and most obvious saving. But the savings don’t stop there. Depending on the size of your group you can save on things like tours, taxi’s, entrance fee’s etc, granted this isn’t a guarantee, but with good haggling skills it can be achieved and sometimes with great success, and depending on where you are in the world, it can save you a lot of money.

Another positive for travelling in a group is that you have someone to share your incredible travel experiences with, something that will make you closer with that person and something that you can reminisce about together for years to come. In my opinion, it’s always better to share these moments with others, especially friends, however; I do understand that solo travelers prefer the more personal feelings of travelling alone, I just prefer to share these experiences with others.

Travelling in a group also means you won’t, or are less likely to, get lonely. Sometimes you just want someone to talk to, and if you are travelling solo this is, sometimes, not an option. But obviously if you have a travel partner/s you will always have someone to lift your spirits and mask the feeling of homesickness which might creep in from time to time. Travelling is not always easy, it can get stressful as things won’t always go to plan, therefore having someone you know with you is often very beneficial and again can keep your morale up and get you through the challenges of travelling.

On the other hand, solo travel also has its benefits. The main one is the fact that it is you and only you making all of the decisions. In a group people will have differing opinions on where to go, what to eat, where to stay etc. This could mean that you miss out on something you wanted to do due to the fact the majority of your party chose something else. Also, it could slow you down as it can often take a while to come to a decision on said subjects. Furthermore, the feeling of total freedom you get travelling alone is unbeatable. It’s very intimate, and evolves you as a person in ways you could never imagine. It’s just you and the earth, and that is so powerful.

However; obviously the best thing about solo travel is the fact that you will meet new people and make some great new friends. Whilst this isn’t restricted to solo travel, you will be more inclined to go out and interact with new people more. This can lead to new friendships made and a massive growth in your confidence. I mean, if you can go to a completely foreign country, overcome an insane amount of culture shock, meet new friends, gain amazing new experiences and just have an overall amazing time, then it is quite clear solo travel is definitely worth it, and in my opinion can be more rewarding than travelling with a group, particularly due to the amount of personal growth you will achieve.

So there is my two cents on the subject, I hope you enjoyed reading this. Stay tuned for new posts and keep smiling 🙂

 

Time Flies

I know it’s a cliche, but time does really fly. It feels like yesterday that I was nervous about transitioning into uni life, but here I am now, with a year under my belt and loving every minute of it.

I genuinely can’t believe that I have finished a year at uni, like how did that happen? (okay I still have one exam left, but still!) And not only that, but I’m actually doing quite well, despite my attendance may suggest. I mean, I haven’t failed anything yet, emphasis on the yet as I just submitted my poetry assignment, and this first year I’m on for at least a 2:1, which is bloody good and far better than I expected. Granted I’m not the perfect uni student, I have been roped into doing a few things I probably shouldn’t have and left whole assignments till the last day etc etc, but in my opinion that’s what uni is about, having fun, you just happen to get a degree out of it at the end. That outlook is more than likely an awful one, however; I just think Uni is far more about growing as a person than getting a qualification, but maybe that’s just my laid back attitude coming into play again.

Anyways, I’m rambling, as usual. If anyone reading this is on the fence about university, I say go for it, you won’t regret it. People look at it like it’s just the degree, but it’s so much more than that. You make friends and have experiences that will stay for life, you discover new passions, finally live independently and most importantly, grow exponentially as a person whilst still holding onto that childish, teenager side who goes clubbing the day before 9am lectures. Obviously it’s not for everyone, but uni, like life, is what you make of it, and in my opinion everyone can make uni the time of their lives if they want to.

But back to the title of this post. One of my favourite quotes is this “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” I like to try and live my life by that. Making the most of every opportunity, being the best possible person I can be and having a load of fun along the way.  We’re all on this rollercoaster that is life together, so let’s make the most of it hey. And…

Keep smiling, Harrison

(Soz for going all inspirational, Gandhi style on you there)

“But Hitler Was Vegetarian, So That Means All Vegans Are Evil” – Anti-Vegan Argument #4

Believe it or not this is actually an argument us vegans hear, quite regularly as well unfortunately. And it is a quite simple one to refute, simply by saying no; Hitler wasn’t a vegetarian, not even close. Hitler was advised by his doctors to follow a vegetarian diet from ‘time to time’, emphasises on the time to time part of the sentence, due to the fact he suffered from severe flatulence, however; he was never an actual vegetarian. Just by looking at the facts we can decipher this. Biographers who wrote about Hitler (and who knew him quite well on a personal basis) openly describe his love for Bavarian sausages and game pie (“game” meaning wild meat from birds and other creatures) and Hitler’s own personal chef described his favourite meal as stuffed pigeon, not very vegetarian huh. Thanks to ‘naturalnews.com’ for the info. But let’s play it your way, let’s pretend Hitler was a vegetarian. The problem with that is the argument is a logical fallacy, aka an argument with extremely poor reasoning. To put it simply, one does not impact the other. You can be evil and you can be vegan, the two are by no means mutually inclusive. If you want to play that card then allow me to play mine. Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot… the list goes on, were all meat eaters, so surely that means meat eaters are also evil serial killers, right? No. Of course not, so can we agree to put this argument to bed now, as it really is a stupid one and just makes the arguer look like an idiot. Granted it is usually played at the end of debates when said party realises they have lost, but go out with dignity for goodness sakes. So, to clear up, no Hitler was not a vegetarian, but who cares if he was?

Keep smiling, Harrison.

Cognitive Dissonance – Dolphin Dies For Selfies

Cognitive dissonance. That pretty much summarises the whole human race at this point. The definition of this term is the following: “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change”. Mainstream beliefs are constantly contradicting themselves in this day and age, and the most recent example of this is the controversial death of the rare La Plata Dolphin which tragically died after being passed around for a selfie on a beach in Argentina. Now I love animals, as you can tell by my passion for being Vegan so this upset me more than most, however; I love all animals and believe they all have the right to live just like you and I, and, despite the fact this particular dolphin is a very rare species, the death of this dolphin upsets me just as much as the death of a cow for your burger, or the death of a male chick for simply not being born a woman. All animals have the desire to live and, in my opinion, are equally deserving of that right. Death is death, and I am fully aware that dying for a selfie is ridiculous, but dying for food after spending an entire life enslaved and being pumped full of steroids and antibiotics is equally ridiculous, particularly in 2016 when humans have no need to eat meat, in fact the general consensus of science is that a vegan diet is actually optimum for human health, despite what mainstream media propaganda/coverups will have you believe, such as that recent video from WatchMojo. Just look at people like Dr. Kim A Williams, who happens to be the president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Michael Greger who uploads daily content on his site (click here), Dr. T Colin Campbell, who published the biggest study on nutrition of all time in the China Study. There are tons of mechanistic data and studies showing that Vegan diets actually can reverse disease and, considering that 14 out of the 15 biggest killers in the UK/US are diet related, this is revolutionary. There is not one nutrient that benefits the human body which cannot be obtained from a vegan diet, humans simply choose to eat meat, it’s traditional, they have you believe it’s ‘natural’, it tastes good and by consuming meat/dairy you are actively supporting the rape, exploitation, enslavement and slaughter of innocent, sentient beings that are motivated by the same emotions to live as we are, and if that upsets or offends you, maybe it’s time to wake up from this fantasy land the media portrays where chickens and cows run around happy and accept the reality of your decisions to consume animal products.

To summarise; it’s obvious that humans love animals, you can tell that from how upset everyone is about this dolphin, not to mention the fact many of us have pets which we love. Humans have no carnivorous instincts, as I said in my last post (here), and more and more people are realising this, making the connection, and going vegan. I understand we don’t see a dolphin as food in this country, but other cultures eat dolphin, we are just desensitised to other animals dying and being labelled as bacon or sausage, it’s wrong and will change, sooner or later.

And this is not the truth because I’m Vegan, I’m Vegan because it’s the truth. Keep smiling, Harrison.

Anti Vegan Argument #2 “You Must Take Life To Have Life”

This, believe it or not, is another anti-vegan argument that people love to use. Something has to die in order for us to survive so why can’t we just eat whatever we want. That’s the argument and I’m surprised people actually think this is a good reason to contribute to the needless death and suffering of animals, but apparently it is, hence this post.

Now this probably won’t be a long post because of how stupid this argument is but here goes.

The quote I have seen articles refuting veganism use is this:

“If we truly believe that no living thing should have to die for our dinner, we shouldn’t eat at all. If we truly believe that all life deserves equal respect, why not equalize ourselves by embracing the elegant fact that we are all, as Nelson writes, “driven by the same hungers that motivate any other creature— the squirrel in the forest, the vole in the meadow, the bear on the mountainside, the deer in the valley”?

This quote can be made irrelevant purely by the definition of veganism. Vegans believe that, as far as possible and practical, we should abstain from all forms of cruelty and suffering of sentient beings for food, clothing or any other purpose. Emphasis on the ‘as far as possible and practical’ bit. Humans have to eat something, that much is obvious, so vegans just choose the lifestyle that provides animals, and the environment, with the least amount of suffering as possible, it’s quite simple.

Now for the part of the quote which states humans are ‘driven by the same hungers that motivate any other creature’, that is quite simply ridiculous. Obviously we experience hunger like any other animal and therefore go and seek food to satisfy this hunger; however, humans certainly have no instincts to kill and eat meat. Animals with these instincts, for example a lion or bear, see an animal and immediately think food, they even salivate at the sight of these animals. Humans have zero carnivorous instincts and have to cook our meat before it is even safe for us to eat, and even then we struggle with digestion. As activist Gary Yourofsky says: If you put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit, tell me the time where the baby plays with the apple and eats the rabbit, it will never happen. Humans go to a supermarket and buy meat with names such as bacon, sausage or steak, nothing about that is natural or shows carnivorous instincts and definitely doesn’t resemble the behaviour of other animals who do actually need meat in their diet to survive, unlike humans.

People also like to say the classic line of ‘but lions kill other animals for food, it’s the circle of life’. The circle of life definitely doesn’t involve breeding animals purely for the purpose of being food/used for dairy, pumping them full of steroids and antibiotics, using them for their bodies and then finally killing them for food, that doesn’t sound like nature at work at all to me. Also, isn’t it unfair to replicate one trait of a lion and ignore all of the other things they do? Like you don’t see many humans licking their own anuses, killing their infants, or urinating in bushes to mark their territory.

Pardon my ridiculous reasoning in that last paragraph but I feel it is okay and relevant when such a ludicrous statement like this is used to try and dispute veganism. So yeah, hope you enjoyed. Keep smiling, Harrison.

circle of life

Amazing Vegan Content and Inspiration

So I thought I’d share some inspiration that persuaded and helped me to go Vegan, along with some motivational content I watch on a regular basis now that I am Vegan. Now the content I will be featuring uses a variety of activism methods, some calm and ‘nicer’, some aggressive in its approach and language and some which uses shocking images to emphasise its truths. So yeah, there’s your warning.

Documentaries

Earthlings: Okay this was my tipping point in terms of going Vegan, or vegetarian at the time. It is probably the saddest and most influential documentary I will ever watch. It goes through each of the ways humans exploit, hurt or kill other earthlings showing videos of examples, and it’s safe to say these videos don’t hold back, showing you every detail in order to portray its message. It really is shocking but, if you do find it shocking, then maybe it’s time to make a change, like I did. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB_ZMiYy_OQ&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DPB_ZMiYy_OQ&has_verified=1

Cowspiracy: Now you have probably heard of this amazing documentary. It has recently been made available on Netflix with none other than 2016 Oscar winning actor (we can hope) Leonardo Di Caprio as a producer. Cowspiracy is a very intelligent documentary, exposing the animal agriculture as the leading cause of global warming, far ahead of any other industry with 51% of Carbon Dioxide emissions, using scientific facts from non-biased, reliable sources. It’s definitely worth a watch if you give a shit about earth and the environment, as we all should, since it is very eye opening and has convinced many to think consciously about their diet choices, I love it! http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

Websites

http://nutritionfacts.org/: This website is amazing at showing you the science behind nutrition and in particular the wealth of benefits that come with eating plant based. It is run by Michael Gregor M.D. who is a NYT best-selling author and provides some of the best research on nutrition you will ever find. He also does amazing talks, for example this one, which are extremely informative and despite what you may initially think, they are presented in an entertaining style. Definitely worth checking out.

YouTube People

Vegan Gains: I talked about VG briefly in my last post, he is really what started the ball rolling in me becoming Vegan. Now his content isn’t for everyone, he is aggressive in his activism and uses a lot of bad language but I find it funny and very informative. He concentrates on the fitness industry, exposing ‘fitness’ personalities who spread false information/lie to their audience in order to make money off of them. He doesn’t just say that what these people are saying is wrong, he backs it up with comprehensive scientific data and studies, again in an entertaining and comedic manner. So yeah, if you like fitness and Veganism he is definitely worth a watch. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr2eKhGzPhN5RPVk5dd5o3g

Durianrider: Harley aka Durianrider is another who could be considered controversial. He, like Vegan Gains, portrays his information in an aggressive manner and also concentrates on fitness, cycling in particular. The advice he gives is very helpful, and this is proven by the overwhelming responses he gets off of his fans. If you want someone who uploads very regular content and is not afraid to say it how it is, the Durianrider is your guy. https://www.youtube.com/user/durianriders

Timothy: Timothy, also known as Tim the Human, is widely considered ‘The Vegan Prince’. Unlike Durianrider and Vegan Gains he is a lot calmer and laid back in his activism and this rings better with a lot of people. Not only is Tim, what seems, an extremely nice guy, he is also a freak athlete and free runner. He has captained Team Europe in Ninja Warrior twice and won as well as breaking records in the singles competition. If you want some inspiration for how to live a peaceful and ethical life then watch Tim and check out his Parkour show reels, they really are out of this world. https://www.youtube.com/user/99timshi

Gary Yourofsky Speech

The ‘best speech you will ever hear’ by Gary Yourofsky deserves a category of it’s own for the simple fact that it really does live up to its name. Probably the most inspirational video on YouTube, in my opinion, and there’s not much I can say about this that hasn’t already been said, you have to watch it for yourself. Trust me, it’s amazing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4

 

Okay so there are some of my favourite sources of inspiration and amazing content regarding Veganism. Feel free to check them out and let me know if you like any of the stuff mentioned as much as I do. Also, who do you take your inspiration from? Would be interesting to find out. Keep smiling, Harrison 🙂