Valentine's Day is around the corner....
Depending on your view of this national day, that statement would have conjured up a very unique feeling. Personally, as the years trundle by, I am becoming more cynical of the whole affair, or maybe I am just becoming cynical in general.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE 'love'. I love my husband, being married (never thought I would say that!) and the happiness he brings to my life has never been matched by anyone. Having a day to celebrate that love is quite sweet, but I was glad to learn early on that he ins't into the gushiness of V Day, in favour of small moments of affection on a regular basis all year round. So what? Each to their own, if you want the heart-shaped balloons and lavish dinners surrounded by other gooey eyed couples, enjoy each moment, they only happen once.
BUT, there is one thing that irks me that I can not, will not allow to go un-discussed.
Ok, Jim Carry. Thanks.
GIF aside, this is something I think all of us should consider on 14th.
Allow me to share with you a wee fact that I learned that I had to double, triple check to make sure we hadn't lost our damn minds...
In 2017 - in the UK alone - customers spent £908 MILLION POUNDS on Valentine’s Day...that's almost A BILLION POUNDS. Oh but it gets worse..each year, it is predicted to continue rising and guess what? Last year, for Valentine's Day 2018 we spend A BILLION AND A HALF POUNDS. Just think about that.
Think about what we could use that kind of money for. Think about all of the people lying cold on the streets, begging for 20p we begrudge paying them for a cuppa, but collectively, we spend a billion quid on tat, sexy underwear and Jimmy Choo shoes (according to my social media feed).
See where I am going?
Social media is rife at the moment with shock and outrage about climate change, world hunger, animal abuse, refugee crisis and so many other traumatic and appalling circumstances our planet, its people and animals are going through.
Many of these issues are caused by humans.
And you know what might help? A billion quid. Heck even half, quarter a fifth, anything!
The average person spends £50 on a Valentine's Day gift, could some of that be allocated for a person in need? And as averages go, this means there are people out there spending hundreds, if not thousands on their special person each year.
It's easy to ask 'But I am only one person, what difference will it make?'. I went vegan 3 years ago and wondered the same thing. It is now mainstream and thousands less animals every year are not being tortured and killed, not to mention the contribution to our earth and everyone on it. Ripple affect - it works.
So I am asking you to please share a small amount of your love on Valentine's Day, just a tiny piece. Go ahead and buy your box of chocs or red roses, just remember that there is, somewhere close to you, a mother who is unable to buy nappies or formula for her baby. £1 won't help anyone? I think she would disagree.
One night in December 2017, as January approached, I was thinking about all the crap that is happening in the world that humans have caused. So much of it.
I was thinking about Valentine's Day and how much of our hart goes into one day for one person when someone else is in desperate need of attention or help. I think a lot when I should be sleeping. I had recently launched lifebymslewis.com and was wondering how I could use it to help fight through said 'crap'.
I started Vegantine's Day because I could no longer sit and complain and get emotional about something I wasn't willing to try to change myself. The thought behind the campaign aligns with everything I stand for as a vegan - equality for every living being regardless if they are human or animal (dog, cat, chicken, pig or cow) and their right to live on this planet regardless of background, circumstance, species or disability.
Vegantine's Day includes 12 charities in 3 categories 'Our Humans', 'Our Animals' and 'Our Planet'. The simple goal of the campaign is to encourage people to share a little of the money they would spend on Valentine's Gifts on one of the 12 charities (or all of it if you're feeling generous).
After all...what is the purpose of our life if we can't help others when they cannot help themselves?
If it was you, would you want someone to help? Give? Volunteer? Donate?
Maybe one day it will be. Don't worry, I've got your back.
Find out more about the Vegantine's Day campaign and full details of all 12 charities and links to their websites, click here
100% of the money donated goes directly to the charity, I do not receive any remuneration. Charities are listed and promoted free of charge.
Please tag Life by Ms. Lewis and the charity where possible in social media posts using hashtag #vegantinesday
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