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can you have both a glass is half-full mindset and a half-empty mindset?

I recently stumbled upon a spoken word video/poetry video from a poet speaking about how the world has gone to chaos and such and how ‘this world should end’. His background of choice was a broken, abandoned house in the middle of nowhere and he sat on what he could make out of the rubble and spoke about how this world should end because the air is polluted, water contaminated, our food is genetically processed and our governments are greedy. Now at first my instant emotion was to feel depressed. To feel a heavy sigh in my chest and to not really want to watch the whole thing because of the sour mood it would inevitability put me in. I didn’t want it to feel like I was discrediting the poet or ignoring his message because his message was the kind of thing all humans need to know, especially the ones who have more power to make change. This poet was releasing extreme truths and things that could hit anyone of any background close to home and I am proud of him for speaking out and was, obviously, inspired by what he said because it got me thinking – what is the better option in this current generation? To think optimistically or to think pessimistically?

As soon as I closed out Facebook to try and soften the blow of sadness that some posts on that website can inflict, I went downstairs to make myself a cup of tea. Equipped with a warm bed robe just taken off the radiator and strolled past my cat who was warm and content next to the stairs. I gave him a stroke and turned on the kettle and started thinking – is it bad to praise the good things in the world? The world is shit and I agree. As a kid who grew up with intense fear of global warming and environmental damage from a weirdly young age, I couldn’t agree more with the fact that humans have messed up the environment we’ve been given. We should have done more to look after it before it got too late for some animal species and plant species. We should be putting more effort into safe energy and more effort into decreasing harmful emissions. But as I sat there letting the kettle brew, I ranted to myself in my head that it’s even more depressing and ignorant to sit by and just accept the doom of a shitty world. There are positives to the generation I live in.

If I was a child in the 19th century, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to have my parents or older family members around now, people I know or even myself may have died from an illness or injury that, in this generation, I could have been easily cured of due to the evolution of healthcare and medical studies. There has been so much progression in technology and science discoveries that can benefit people and animals. We have discovered new species and creatures due to that advancement and I think that’s amazing. In this current generation, although it is still debatable and there is still prejudice and hate crimes, people are working more and more to get LGBT people the safety and equality they deserve but it’s not even been long since it was decriminalised. Racism and racial prejudice is still prominent in so many countries around the world including the UK and US but the internet and communities work so hard to oppose and call out systematic racism. If it wasn’t for the internet and people talking about Black Lives Matter, I may have not even been educated on police systematic racism. Some people would call the internet a downfall of our generation, saying children don’t get the right childhood anymore because of the internet but you could look at the internet positively by saying news is spread much more fast than it was in the past. The internet can also hold many communities that benefit people. If a teenager is feeling lost in their own world they can turn to the internet to discover hobbies, games, music or forums that create distractions for them and may even benefit them and make them happy. More and more people are switching to vegetarian and vegan diets in this current year to which shows a progression for dietary and animal rights.

Of course, when I was thinking that there are so many positives to this world now that people may overlook in the spiral of depression and hatred that there is currently, I didn’t want to be the ignorant one. I don’t want to turn a blind eye to the world’s negatives or what stuff we need to change. If I could ask for wishes about the world I would ask for so much instantly. I want everyone to switch to safer, environmentally friendly energy choices. I want people to create materials that decompose and are safer for the environment. I want people to learn the harm of systematic oppression and racism and educate others. But what can I do if I sit there and just wallow in the fact that the world is ‘shit’? How are any of us going to change if we just accept that the world is shit and wait for our lives to finish?

Would everyone thinking with just a half full or just a half empty mindset help anyone? I think people need to discuss and share the positives of everyday life just as much as we’re quick to share a poem or video about how shit the world is. I think the world could change if we try to look for positive progress as much as negative things. Because if there is negativity, there is no point in sitting behind a computer and complaining but then not doing anything and just accepting it. What do you guys think? Do you think I’m mad for even trying to think of positives? Do you think it makes me ignorant? I’d love to hear people talk more on what they think about trying to make a change for our world, even if its small things.

Thanks for reading my ramblings,

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phone photography adventures and Easter laziness

Hey guys, long time no talk!

Lately I’ve been really missing blogging, art and just general hobbies I used to enjoy. That’s the annoying side of University life mixed with depression, it’s so easy to drop completely off the map when it comes to things that I really used to enjoy doing. Luckily I’m in the middle of a good 2-3 weeks off University and it’s been a mix of good and bad to my schedule. The first bad bit is that I’ve completely lost my sleeping pattern; maybe I didn’t have a good one in the first place but over the course of a week or two it’s definitely gone a bit tipsy. Although the bonus of being awake at 4am with your boyfriend watching Netflix and playing video games is you get to see how pretty the world is when it’s the dead of night. Especially in Manchester.

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I’ve been really enjoying taking photos lately. Now I’m definitely no photographer or skilled, especially with the fact all I have is my shoddy iPhone SE and editing apps/Photoshop – but it’s been something I’ve been doing a lot when I’m out of the house. Me and Will have been on three or four lovely walks during the Easter break which has given me a great chance to take some nice photos and it’s made me want to start doing photography again. Maybe fool around more with photo editing or even create some mixed media pieces if I can ever kick my butt back into art/drawing.

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Visiting Wythenshawe park provided me with a lot of lovely photos! We visited the Community Farm they have there so I got to see a lot of the adorable animals on the farm. Admittedly seeing the cows in their barn made me feel a little bit sad because it was hard to tell if they were happy or upset being there but a lot of the animals on the farm seemed very calm and were eating/just finished being fed.

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As well as picnics in parks and going for walks, I’ve been mostly lazing around playing video games. Persona 5 is my go-to game at the moment which I thoroughly recommend to anybody looking for a new PS4 game to play! It’s also available on PS3. It’s super unique and if you’re a fan of the Persona series, it’s definitely a step up from 4 and with a lot more gripping, darker storyline. The characters are super lovable and you’ll get instantly attached to them like I did. I’d also recommend it if you’re a fan of games like Pokemon or Final Fantasy because of the fighting and collecting monster themes but for anyone who enjoys games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age since they have a role-playing side to it where you can make personal choices to your game with some sides of it.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter holiday and I shall be back soon with another post!

Thanks for reading,

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21.01.17 – Central Vegan Festival

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Hello lovely world,

So today me and my gorgeous friend Natt popped into Manchester to visit the Central Vegan Festival that was taking place! Manchester was extremely busy today and I’m glad to know one of the many things going on today was the Women’s March taking place. Now I’m gutted I couldn’t go, mainly cause I left it to late in the day to make it and my anxiety was acting up a bit so I was wary about going into big crowds but I hope in future I can attend more marches. Of course, Manchester’s march wasn’t as massive as Washington’s but I am so proud to see how many people attended the march in my hometown. It makes me so proud and even feel a little bit more optimistic that I know so many women of all types – black, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, white, disabled, gay, bisexual, trans, cisgender, mothers, single women, elderly women, teenagers etc. etc. are standing strong and looking out for each other after the news of Trump coming into presidency in the US. All the images and videos of marches around the world fill me with hope that so many people want to fight against the despairing, patriarchal presidency taking place.

I recommend taking a look at the images and videos on social media just by searching #WhyIMarch or #WomensMarch. It’s truly inspiring.

The vegan festival also took place in Manchester today and it’s my first proper vegan festival that I’ve attended. It was quite small and humble but very crowded and well-attended! It had that festival feeling where you’re shuffling around slowly and taking everything in, but I really enjoyed it despite the slow movement! There was tons of food stalls serving fresh vegan meals and although I couldn’t eat things from every stall I managed to try a gorgeous slice of ‘pepperoni’ pizza from Vegan Pizza Co.’s stall and I also treated myself to a batch of loaded nachos from Mex It Up‘s stall.

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The staff at both stalls were also super lovely! Next up me and Natt had a lovely look around the other stalls, I recognised a stall for Wear Your Voice UK, who do really nice vegan and anti-cruelty prints on t-shirts and jumpers. I already own two that I’ve bought online but it was really exciting seeing them at a stall in person.

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There was also a very cute stall there from a shop named Rogue Gypsy who did crystals and crystal jewellery. Now I’m a sucker for anything with crystals on so I had to buy something and me and Natt ended up deciding to get matching necklaces (cause we cute)! The man at the stall was super lovely and even told us about the crystals on our necklaces, and gave us a little slip with facts about the crystal with our necklaces.

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Finally, of course, comes the snack haul – because I love food and I can’t help hauling vegan snacks. I managed to nab up some vegan sweet treats from Ananda Food‘s and Forgot the Egg‘s stall which was exciting, as well as picking up some other treats as seen below!

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From left to right: two ‘Wheaty chorizo spacebars’ (they remind me of pepperamis but way better), Raw Cacao Ombar Buttons,, Ananda’s Choca Mocha marshmallows, a Marshmallow pop from Ananda’s, a gingerbread man from Forgot the Eggs and V-Bite’s dairy free Fudgee bites.

All in all I am extremely excited to try some of the stuff I picked up today and fully recommend popping to a vegan festival in future, even if you eat meat and you are curious about the food and such!

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day,

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Should the UK ban plastic cutlery?

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In recent Environmental news, there is a new law in France to ensure all plastic cutlery is made of degradable material that can be put in compost by 2020. This drew my attention at first because most of the online headlines projected it as ‘France bans plastic cutlery’, upon closer inspection it doesn’t mean all plastic cutlery is going all together; they just want to make sure the material can degrade faster. A European packaging manufacturer, named Pack2Go, claim that this law isn’t the best idea as there is no proof that the new material is environmentally beneficial and personally I can see where the secretary of this company is coming from however it got me thinking, would it be a good idea if the UK went through with a law similar to this?

This year and last you may have noticed on the news, environmentally influenced decisions such as the French senate voting to ban supermarktets from throwing away unsold food. A change closer home would be the plastic bag charge that came into effect last October – all large retailers in England must charge at least 5p for single-use carrier bags. You could argue charges and extra taxing only helps a bit in terms of progress but then would people throw a fit if we were to completely ban a disposable, one-time use thing? The process that goes into manufacturing our plastic cutlery; the sporks, spoons, forks and knives we can pick up in a canteen or whilst we’re in a rush to eat – is a lot bigger than we’d expect. The two common materials in plastic cutlery are either polypropylene or polystyrene. They aren’t just discovered randomly and fossil fuels are used in the process of creating these small forks we use for around 3 minutes and then chuck away. Did you know polypropylene produces 1.67 lbs of CO2 emissions for every 1 lb manufactured and then polystyrene produces a wopping 2.5 lbs for every 1 lb. Another scary statistic comes from China, where it is estimated that between 57 and 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are thrown away every year. It was so bad that Greenpeace China persuaded Beijing restaurants to not provide disposable cutlery unless requested.

So if all of this hassle and bad environmental effects go into plastic cutlery, how is it so cheap? Well prices are kept low because of working conditions and paying the manufacturers low wages. It’s a depressing reality. What are ways that banning plastic cutlery and aiming for a year to completely rid of the usage of it benefit us? Obviously we can’t just expect to ban something and suddenly all UK-produced plastic waste is gone like a magic trick, but in the long term would it be better for workers, businesses and the environment? Businesses must have to order bulk of plastic cutlery every so often to meet up with the demand but would no longer ordering it and investing in a bulk of reusable steel cutlery benefit them money-wise in the long run? As well as this point, would we eventually maybe be able to put more money into providing hospitality jobs for unemployed people and paying these employees a higher margin instead of relying on customers to chuck away disposable cutlery? Sure as someone who works in hospitality, washing up lots of food-covered cutlery isn’t my idea of fun but deep down I understand it’s life and in reality it only takes less than a minute to give a single spoon or fork a good scrub and I think I’d prefer to spend 10 or so minutes giving things a clean or loading a mass dishwasher than losing minutes of our planet’s environment harmony.

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The last idea is similar to the solution of getting rid of plastic bags. People were told if they didn’t want to pay the 5p charge for each carrier bag, it was encouraged to bring their own reusable bags. Should we encourage people to bring our own cutlery to cafes? You spend a one off payment to invest in some cutlery that you bring out in your bag and then wash later after use. Would these ideas benefit businesses and people as well as the environment or would it cause inconvenience? What are your guys thoughts?

 

Thanks for reading!

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#WorldAnimalDay and what you can do as an animal lover!

Several times I believe I’ve tried to engrave into my blog and writing that I sometimes struggle sticking with lifestyles such as vegan or even sometimes vegetarian. If I could switch off all my cravings, comfort food, deficiencies, illnesses and have a steady income I would definitely go vegan but sometimes for me and others it’s not always easy to 100% switch to a lifestyle and for some people it’s harder than others. I’ve always been a firm believer that vegans, vegetarians or meat eaters/omnivores shouldn’t force each other’s ‘beliefs’ down each others throats as it is counterproductive and doesn’t always spread the education and facts that people need to hear and instead becomes an ableist, stereotypical mess of joking and narrow-mindedness. Every human being is different underneath the surface and it does more harm than good to angrily assume why someone does the things they do. It’s better to ask questions and discuss than to yell words like ‘murderer’ or ‘hippie’ at each other without actually making any sort of productive change. Regarding my view on that, it means I’m very serious about making sure I never push my boundaries when discussing my views on being vegan or vegetarian and be as honest as possible; an example could be that I’ll admit, yes, sometimes I mess up and eat meat on some days or I’ll eat a chocolate/sweet gift from someone not regarding the dairy in it but at the same time I buy non-dairy milk in a carton for when I make myself tea or food that requires milk so that I reduce my dairy intake/purchases.

Today is ‘World Animal Day’ according to Twitter and obviously it is trending because we share our planet with these creatures. People love all sorts of animals when growing up whether it just be a domesticated pet or even wildlife creatures. Children are taught about these beautiful creatures growing up and it tends to be one of the core things humans relate to; you meet someone and you might ask what their favourite of something is and that could be the question ‘oh, what is your favourite animal?’. Unfortunately growing up you’re never really taught what can happen to the creatures we share our planets with and adults tip toe around the discussion with children because I think most adults don’t want to admit to the knowledge of it either. Nevertheless, it’s there and it doesn’t start or end with say, farm animals, it’s also wildlife, sealife, domestic pets and the list probably goes on in more detail. I think it should be discussed with teenagers and young adults what stuff you can start doing when growing up that has less of a negative impact on animals, much like we are taught to walk instead of drive places or switch the lights off in a room after using it to reduce our carbon footprint. I’d like to see ‘little things to help animals’ promoted a lot more and in more detail than just sending off small donations to charities and that’s that.

#1: Choose one day a week to go meat-free.

I will sympathise only slightly with people who declare ‘I couldn’t go vegetarian, I love meat too much!’, when told they should stop eating meat. It can be relatively easy to stop eating meat products when you put your mind to it. A great idea, inspired by the movement ‘Meatless Monday’, is to pick one day a week that you pledge to just not eat, purchase or consume meat products all day. It doesn’t have to be a Monday it could be any day you prefer, but it’s a great start in reducing your meat intake.

#2: Buy Cruelty-Free beauty dupes.

Unfortunately a lot of beauty companies still get away with animal testing and using ingredients that are derived from animals. Some well-known names include L’Oreal, Benefit, MAC, Maybelline, Revlon, Clearasil and Herbal Essences. I’m definitely not saying if you own any products from these brands to run screaming to the nearest bin and chuck them all in as that is wasting a product and the packaging. The best thing to do is when you finally run out or get rid of said product to look for a dupe in a cruelty-free brand. Some really easy finds include Superdrug’s own brand, Barry M, B. by Superdrug, BH Cosmetics, Lush and Kat Von D. If you are ever unsure of something, look for the little ‘Cruelty Free’ rabbit on the packaging or give it a quick google search as there are so many useful blogs and pages from the company ready to help you. If a company’s stance on cruelty-free practice ever seems dodgy to you, just go with your instinct.

#3: Support adopting pets.

Obviously this idea can only really come into play if you are planning on getting a pet anytime soon. There is plenty of benefits to adopting a pet that include giving a pet that could no longer have a home with it’s old family a new life and home, some pets in adoption shelters may have been taken from a cruel past and you are giving it a chance to experience love and comfort which is such a lovely thought. Always look at chances to help out people who may have had an unexpected litter come into their lives – you know when someone you used to go to high school with advertises on facebook that their cat just had lots of kittens and they need a new home? Definitely support that, it means that the young kittens can grow up in a home with care instead of being separated from it’s litter and put in a home with tons of other cats. Unfortunately in that scenario, if the owner needs to get people to adopt the litter cause they can’t look after them all, both ways the kitten will be separated from it’s mum/litter, but I think it’d be a much better chance for you and the kitten than the hassle of it being put in a shelter and having to wait to be adopted.

#4: Find your local vegan/vegetarian cafe.

Support your local vegan and vegetarian establishments! You’ll be able to discover new food and meals that don’t cost the earth and help work towards encouraging the trend of vegan cooking in the industry. I’ve noticed in the past few years more restaurants and cafes introducing different types of non-dairy milk or even non-dairy cheese in meals. A good example is the vegan stuff restaurant Zizzi is starting to bring into their menu! I believe it all comes down to supporting independent animal-loving businesses, they are the heart of the vegan/vegetarian food industry and should be encouraged so that the word of supporting animals and the environment gets even more out there.

Is there anything else you guys think should be included on the list? I’m also going to leave here some interesting petitions you guys might be interested in signing on World Animal Day.

Ban antifreeze preparations that are putting our pets and children’s lives at stakehttps://www.change.org/p/uk-eu-parliaments-law-defra-ban-all-antifreeze-preparations-unless-they-contain-a-bitterant
Tell the Arts Council of Ireland to stop funding circuseshttps://www.change.org/p/arts-council-of-ireland-stop-funding-animal-circuses#response-4321
Tell British Airways to stop sponsoring Seaworld: https://www.change.org/p/british-airways-stop-selling-trips-to-seaworld-end-your-support-for-these-cruel-orca-circuses
Make a donation and recieve a Bee Saver kit: https://www.foe.co.uk/page/get-your-bee-saver-kit

Thanks for reading,

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Sources:
Information about Meatless Monday – http://www.meatlessmonday.com/
Information about non-cruelty free brands – http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/companies-that-test-on-animals/
Cruelty-free Dupes – https://twitter.com/crueltyfreemu
Benefits of adopting – https://www.animalfriends.co.uk/blog/10-benefits-of-adopting-a-pet/
Zizzi’s vegan menu – https://www.zizzi.co.uk/data/menus/static_menus/1/pdf/Allergen-Information-June-2016.pdf
Vegan/Vegetarian food in the UK – http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/19-of-the-best-vegan-restaurants-in-the-uk-a3266876.html#gallery

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5 Accidentally Vegan Items and 5 I wish were

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One of my favourite Instagram account findings since I took upon myself to go vegetarian and incorporate more vegan/cruelty-free stuff has been an account named AccidentallyVeganUK. They post and collect products found in the UK that are accidentally vegan – hence the name. So somehow these products don’t include any meat, gelatine, milk, cream, eggs – no animal product to be found! A lot of the finds on this page are also treats, cheap snacks; which makes it great for vegans/vegetarians/people with dairy allergies who are on a budget. I decided to share with you today some items I am so happy and surprised are vegan and 5 items I love snacking on/having in the cupboard that I wish were vegan. I hope this list is useful for anybody vegan, vegetarian or omnivore!

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1 – Parma Violets
2 – Double Stuffed Oreos
3 – Propercorn Sweet & Salty
4 – Cheetos Twisted Flamin’ Hot
5 – Nik Naks Nice N Spicy
6 – Pringles Paprika

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1 – BN Chocolate Biscuits
2 – Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli
3 – Super Noodles Curry Flavour
4 – Thorntons Fabulous Vanilla Fudge
5 – Maynards Wine Gums

I’d be so happy and greedy if these junk items were vegan. It’d be great to eat sweets like Wine Gums or Haribo without the worry of gelatine. Have you guys got any stuff you wish was cruelty free at all or are you surprised some of your favourite stuff is accidentally vegan?

Thanks for reading,

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EU Referendum Anxiety

Now I’ll warn everyone now, this post is in no way going to be that educational, I will try at some points and source my findings but this is a blogpost all from my own view and opinion. It is biased in what I believe and also full of anxiety. I’m not the biggest fan of change. Never have been, even since I was little. Obviously now I can handle small change better; New job? nerve-wracking but exciting! Fallen out with a friend? Hurts, but it’s not the end of the world. However big change that will effect me, the people I love, my future, my family’s future, my future children’s lives – when it effects so many things that I can’t control, honestly I hate it so much. That’s what the EU Referendum feels like for me right now. I am blessed to be able to vote; if that wasn’t the case or I wasn’t old enough, this would be like torture right now. I know all I can do really is go out and vote tomorrow and wait, but I want to do more, I want to show the world why I’m scared of the outcome – especially as part of the youth of Great Britain – this is our future that could be changed so obviously I want it to go in a way that benefits everyone not just me.

So let’s cut to the chase. I am very much supporting the Remain campaign. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Obviously this country is far, far from perfect. Especially with the current party that is in power and some of the things that they have allowed/changed. But what I think some people are being blinded from is the fact, some of the things Leave supporters are upset about, is actually down to our Government; not the fact we are in the EU. All the horrible budget cuts are down to our stupid government. As far as I’m aware a lot of Leave supporters think that people from the EU are coming over to ‘take our jobs’ or ‘take our benefits’ yet our economy has actually grown since 2014 when there was a high influx of people migrating to the UK. Our unemployment rates went down when the EU opened borders and as a country in the EU we actually home less non-British residents/’migrants’ than other EU countries do. Apparently Germany doesn’t get why we’re so pissy about our migration campus. The truth is that the media and these stupid rich men in the debates want to scare you into thinking you’re going to have everything pulled out from underneath you by someone who’s nowhere near even meeting you let alone taking your job. Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and David Cameron don’t care about you or your family, they care about winning and getting back at each other. They care about power not the people, and to give someone like Farage power would be a dangerous risk. We can’t forget this is the old twit who confessed to regularly avoiding disabled people, can’t forget his party has a member who called for ‘compulsory abortion if a fetus is discovered to have downs or a syndrome that could burden’.Obviously I don’t want people to base their vote on which politician they hate more. David Cameron is on the Remain side but I still want to punch him in the face.

As well as that the EU has done a lot of things for us and we’ve been part of it for 60 years. Staying in is not going to ruin us. I’ve heard people chant that being part of the EU takes away our British culture? Since when?

You’ve probably seen most of the talk about what the EU does for us is trading, immigration, the euro etc., however I’d like to point out some other things the EU have done for us, that if I’m honest I wouldn’t trust my country trying to sort out independently. The EU push for EU-wide legislation on LGBT rights, which in some countries of the EU their own government would not fight for. It was the EU that outlawed discrimination on grounds of sexuality. Do you really think our government would be that bothered if the EU hadn’t involved them in the discussion? The EU also aim for policies that help the environment. I’ve lived in a city in Great Britain all my life and I am constantly surrounded by building, infrastructure, more and more brand shops being built, more and more CO-emission producing projects being started. I’m honestly sick of it, and think nothing would change positively if we dealt with it independently. EU policy aims to guarantee safe drinking and bathing waterI mean we wouldn’t want to end up like Flint? The EU basically kicked our butts into gear regarding the environment, we used to be ‘the dirty man of Europe’ since we had so much pollution. EU agreements in recent years have seen sulphur dioxide pollution has dropped and almost 500 UK beaches meet clean water standards. Let’s also unleash the ‘ranty animal obsessed, wannabe vegan’ side of me, people assume I have, and make note because of the EU there has been a push for end of sales in the EU of cosmetics that are tested on animals. The European Commission have also put a strategy forward in regards to Animal Welfare. The EU also set standards on how farm animals are treated when they are farmed for produce. EU law requires all zoos to be thoroughly inspected and licensed. 

I could literally write a book on what I think the EU has benefited us with, but this is a blog post and you’ve probably stopped reading by now! I am going to be honest, this post is probably Remain propaganda at a stretch and I understand nobody HAS to think the way I do, not everyone in my family or everyone I know is voting the same as me, and some people will be voting based on other things that I have not thought about. But here is my views on it, and maybe with some links to stuff you didn’t know about the EU. If you’re undecided, maybe my post will help. Maybe it’ll make you decide to vote Remain, maybe you’ll suddenly want to vote Leave to piss me off! (Don’t do that, that’s immature).

 

So thanks for reading! Remember to vote tomorrow!

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