"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates
"If you nuh get it you will lose, mek you food be you medicine, you medicine you food, blend up the carrot wit the lettuce inna juice, nuh 'fraid fi mix the vegetable wit the fruit.
Spirulina wha me drink fi mi dinna" - Chronixx
Photo Source: Greensleeves Records
It was a Rastaman who first told me to remove meat and dairy from my diet. Long before I even knew what a vegan was, I was familiar with ital living, the Rastafari way of life that not only dictates diet, but is couched in an active resistance against the systems of oppression that have brutally removed the descendants of slaves from their roots. Before veganism even started to hit the mainstream, the rejection of foods that were thought to cause illness and further enslave the bodies and minds of Black people was integral to the Rastafari way of life.
"Ital means "springing from the earth, earthy, natural," or organic... One of the ills of Babylon, according to Rastas, is its departure from naturalness and its commitment to artificiality. Thus the Rastafarian ideal proscribes the use of synthetic materials and chemically treated foods... Ital living also means that Rastas are basically vegetarian, rarely eating meat and strictly prohibiting the use of pork, shellfish, and scaleless fishes, especially those that are predators. The strong disapproval of fish that are predators results from the belief that eating them would be an implicit approval of their "human predator" counterparts." - Ennis Edmonds, Rastafari: From Outcasts To Culture Bearers, Oxford University Press, 2003
Rastafari has been unfairly reduced to a stereotype by mainstream media, through imagery that depicts them as mindless, weed-smoking caricatures. However, this couldn't be any further from the truth. As Jamaican culture has rapidly Westernized, it is through the Rastafari way of life that old wisdom continues to persist. The knowledge and reverence of medicinal herbs - both to eat and to smoke - has served as a source of healing for those who have found themselves seemingly abandoned by the medical establishment.
That's how I felt - abandoned - when I found myself seeking the consultation of a Rastaman with knowledge of indigenous healing. I'd spent my entire life up until that point going from doctor to doctor seeking respite from countless ailments, but to no avail. The solution was always a prescription for some medication or another or the empty, clueless shrug of shoulders which indicated "I cant help you". During this consultation, I marveled at the youthful glow this old Rastaman possessed. Though his hair was pure white, he looked younger than me! I knew he must have the answers. And he did. But I didn't listen.
Call it youthful ignorance, as I was in my early twenties at the time, but I didn't stick with the plan that he laid out for me. I won't lie. It was difficult. I felt restricted in what I could eat, I hated the taste of the herbs and concoctions that I was made to drink, and it was all too much for me at the time. It was only a matter of time before I ended up going back to my old ways, and inevitably, getting sicker. However, I never threw out the paper upon which he'd written my dietary plan. I kept it posted on my fridge - for years. It was only last year, after being vegan for a few months and feeling absolutely amazing, that I looked back upon that paper and realized that, though it took me many years, I'd eventually found my way back to the very same diet plan that he'd suggested for me. I knew he was wise; I only wish that I had been wise enough at that point to listen.
His existence, his knowledge, and the ital lifestyle in general has proven invaluable to those of us in the diaspora who feel that they have no other option. I've heard countless stories of Caribbean descendants who, after finding no help from their doctors, finally found healing through the herbal knowledge of a "bush doctor". This kind of "alternative" medicine is the entire point of the Rastafari way of life - to get back to our roots, to find healing and respite from the physical, mental and spiritual damage that has followed us since the first days of colonization. When all else fails, we can go back to our roots.
I don't consider myself a Rasta, though I am married to one. It would also be disingenuous of me to not mention that not all Rastas exclude meat and dairy from their diet. As with any way of life, there are people who follow the tenets to varying degrees. However, it can generally be said that the ital diet is a crucial aspect of the Rasta way of life, and it has become a healing salve for many who have sought health but were previously unable to find it, especially in Caribbean immigrant enclaves like the one I grew up in. Even to this day, the only vegan restaurants available in the Bronx serve ital and Jamaican vegan dishes. While no one else seems to want to serve us food that serves to heal, the Rastas have been doing it for years.
This is why I find it utterly laughable that even in 2018, there are many people who still can't even fathom the notion of a Black vegan. Not only is this a supremely narrow-minded view of Blackness that serves to minimize us all to stereotypes, but it is an ignorant form of erasure that undermines the radical, grassroots work of Black people who have long sought to change lives through changing diets. For so many of us, veganism wasn't initially a conscious decision as much as it was the only thing that finally brought us some healing.
Nowadays, the plant-based Rasta ideals are becoming more and more mainstream, with amazing people like Macka B who, in true Rastafari fashion, uses music to preach the medicinal benefits of plant foods to the masses. Similarly, Grammy-nominated reggae artist Chronixx made an entire song titled Spirulina (featured below), where he also promotes the importance of making your food your medicine. In some of his other songs he openly criticizes the Jamaican government for pushing junk food on the populace, as well as the absurdity of saltfish being part of the nation's national dish.
For Rastafari, promoting healthy foods and criticizing the establishments which do the opposite are all integral parts of the same movement. Just like veganism, the consideration of the food that one consumes is not only about improving one's health, but also about the greater struggle against oppression. The only difference is that there's a certain level of privilege attached to the ability to make the dietary change solely about animals. For Rastafari and Black vegans in general, the struggle against systemic oppression isn't new, it's been an ongoing struggle. Animal abuse is just another form of oppression to add to the list.
Veganism may be widely considered to be a "White" thing, but it is honestly, anything but. The movement as a whole is about dismantling systems of oppression by making the conscious decision to not partake in harmful practices that are the foundations of those systems, and whether people want to admit this or not, poor dietary habits rooted in trash food options pushed upon people by corporate and governmental establishments is a part of that system of oppression. Rastafari proves that the ideals behind veganism - to reduce harm - aren't confined to animal-loving White hippies, but have long extended across racial lines and across borders to those who are still fighting to prove that their lives matter, too.
When I decided for the second time to adapt a plant-based diet, I did tons of research on the health effects of eating meat and dairy, and so much of what I came across was extremely disturbing. Take for example, the fact that heart disease, the world's leading cause of death, may actually start in the womb. Or the fact that consumption of animal foods are directly correlated with the development of heart disease, while plant foods are protective. I thought back to the copious amounts of cheese, eggs, pork and chicken I ate over the course of my life and knew that I had to reverse the early stages of heart disease that had been building since childhood.
This was just the tip of the iceberg, but the more I learned, the more I knew that I could never, ever go back to eating animal foods. But I did start to worry about people I know who still eat a standard American cheese, egg & meat-heavy diet. It's something that's discussed often within plant-based circles, the stress of submerging our concern for loved ones who we know would greatly benefit from changing their diet. We don't want to be that asshole who bombards people with unsolicited nutrition advice. Or we know that if we say something, we'll inevitably be subjected to a vicious verbal backlash. So we say nothing, and let them be. But it can be painful as hell to watch people you care for continue to harm themselves with the foods they eat.
Lately, my husband and I have come to realize that because we're both pushing 30, we're only a few years away from watching people we know succumb to diseases that are largely linked to what's on their plate. I honestly feel a certain level of urgency to speak up more frequently and more loudly about how important it is to take diet seriously, and with all the available scientific and anecdotal evidence regarding the protective benefits of plant food, I need to be a more enthusiastic advocate.
According to the CDC, 48% of African American women have some form of cardiovascular disease. While 7.6% of Black women have full-blown heart disease, many more have heart disease and aren't aware of it, largely because there are often no real serious symptoms until it's too late. A whopping 64% of women who die from heart disease have no previous symptoms at all.
As a Black woman, I sometimes get frustrated. While there's a lot of talk about the stresses we experience as a demographic, and lots of vague discussions about the importance of self-care, there isn't nearly enough discussion about the importance of nutrition. Maybe it's a lack of knowledge, and if that's the case then I hope that this can help fill that void. It isn't stress that's killing us, it's heart disease, and while stress can absolutely pull the trigger, our weakened, congested arteries are the loaded gun.
This isn't to give any credence to the all too common stereotype that Black women are fat, lazy and unhealthy, because not only is this ridiculous, it ignores the fact that people of other races and genders are all living lifestyles that contribute heavily to heart disease, and they, too are dying from it. However, I do want to shed light on a sad truth: heart disease is ravaging the world and as Black women, we're uniquely positioned to not only develop the disease, but to also die prematurely from it.
We speak often about the medical neglect that Black women are all too often subjected to, precisely because of the negative stereotypes that are rife within the medical field. One most recent example is the case of Serena Williams' birthing scare, which helped to further highlight longstanding racial disparities in maternity deaths. I know from personal experience what it's like to go to the doctor and not be treated for my symptoms, but for whatever my doctor thinks must be wrong with me purely because I am a Black woman. This has happened on countless occasions. Sometimes it really does feel like we're the only ones who seem to take our emotional and physical pains seriously.
I say all this because, while I do believe that more individuals in general could benefit from taking control of their health, I think this is even more true for Black women. We've learned too many times before that being our own advocates is a matter of life and death. We have to begin and sustain a serious conversation about preventing poor health in the first place, and all of my research has convinced me that change must start on the plate.
The risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes. According to the most recent available NIH statistics, 37% of Black women have high blood pressure, 20% of Black women smoke, almost 50% of Black women have high cholesterol, nearly 80% are overweight or obese, and 55% are physically inactive. While there are lots of initiatives that overtly teach the public how to quit smoking and how to start exercising, there's a lot of tip-toeing around the dietary aspects of these diseases.
Even the most well-meaning, health conscious woman can fall victim to these illnesses, because our food landscape can be somewhat of a minefield. You might be trying to avoid sodium because of your blood pressure, but you might not know that your chicken has already been injected with salt. You might be eating less red meat, but it might not be making much of a difference. As a matter of fact, Dr. Kim Williams, former president of the American College of Cardiology, explains that his switch to a plant-based diet came when his supposedly healthy boiled, no-skin chicken diet led to his own high cholesterol.
I'm going to be quite clear because I wouldn't forgive myself if I did the same kind of half-assed tip-toeing that we find in the media and other public health initiatives. The only scientifically proven way to prevent and even reverse heart disease is via a vegan, plant-based diet. It's one of those things where there's no half-stepping. Vegetarianism isn't the answer either, because eggs and cheese also contribute to heart disease.
I write this not just for older Black women who are suffering from high blood pressure or cholesterol, but also for those my age who think they're invincible because there are no real signs that anything is wrong. Sometimes the first sign that something is wrong is death. This is my plea, from a place of love, for us to start prioritizing this particular type of self-care, where we feed our bodies with whole plant foods that nourish us, fortify us and build us up, not break us down - because the world does more than enough to try to break us down already.
For my last blog post of 2017, I wanted to simply speak from the heart. This has been quite a transformative year for me, from going vegan to starting this blog to exploring my spirituality, I've experienced quite a bit of radical change. I can say without hesitation that I'm a completely different person than I was this time last year, and for that I am grateful.
When I first started this blog, my goal was to create a space where I could release myself from societal and self-imposed constraints, where I could let my voice be heard. As this is still just the beginning, I can say that in many ways I've done that, but in many ways I haven't. While I'd like to live life fearlessly, proudly embracing my raw vulnerability, just letting it all out without fear of what may follow, that's all easier said than done.
I would've loved to have written a blog article per week, but many times I'd agonize over a topic or idea so much that I'd eventually shelve it, hoping that one day I'd have enough courage to put it out there. I'll be honest. I didn't expect for my words, my writing, or my experiences to resonate with so many people. I didn't expect to receive all the wonderful feedback that I have received from so many people. While it's been amazing, it's also brought to the surface quite a bit of fear.
Without getting into the details, a lot of honest self-reflection has shown me that there's still a lot of work to be done. Fear is that several-headed monster that never quite seems to die, no matter how valiantly I fight. But I have not and will not be defeated; I'll continue to press on and as I grow, I hope that I can encourage others to grow along with me.
That being said, the biggest lesson that I've learned this year is that change starts from the inside. I can find plenty of idealistic dreamers like myself with their own unique visions of what this world would look like if it were a better place. On some things we'll agree and on others we'll argue. Some of us take to Twitter, while others take to the streets. Some of us want to lend our hand to government while others want to take the entire system down.
While the tactics and methods may differ, we all know that we want better for the world around us. But what about the world within ourselves? How can we make the world a better place if we don't take care of the feet that march, if we don't nurture the body that toils, if we don't tend to the voice that screams? Not to sound cliche, but you truly cannot pour from an empty vessel.
We talk about self-care, but it's more than simply going for the occasional massage or wildin' out to some tunes in your living room. When I first decided to go vegan, it was to me a long-overdue act of self-care: finally taking a look at the state of my health and making radical change in hopes of bettering it. I expected a plant-based diet to help me feel better, but I did not expect the crash course in self-discovery that it would catalyze.
Call it a detox, call it shadow work, call it what you will, but I unexpectedly embarked on a purge of all the bullshit that had been holding me back. It was like the better I felt, the more my body, mind, and spirit craved liberation from all the baggage that I'd been carrying for so long. Childhood trauma, unresolved feelings, unacknowledged pains, unrecognized desires and unchecked bad habits all came rushing to the fore. It became clear that I was embarking on a period of growth and transformation, and I was not allowed to move forward until I sat down with all my shit and truly sorted it out.
I'm still sorting through the shit. But I've come far enough to realize that my very existence, my very way of living in the day to day was greatly influenced by all the stuff I had sitting in my subconscious mind. The way I acted and reacted towards things, my ability to observe, understand and regulate my own emotions, all of this was impacted by unresolved issues that sat quietly in the back of my mind, craftily pulling the strings without my noticing.
Though I'd been in therapy for a few months at this point, I was finally starting to understand what my therapist meant about the "old records" in my mind. Every thing that we do or don't do, all the things that we say or don't say, all the emotions that we feel or don't feel are all influenced by the way we've been conditioned throughout our lives. The limitations we place upon ourselves, the triggers that cause us pain, the irrational reactions that we have to benign situations and things, these didn't just fall from the sky. They're all a reflection of what's been placed within us. If truly understood, this can be used to our advantage, but if ignored, it can be to our detriment.
Going through my own emotional and spiritual changes and realizing how much I can evolve in such a short period of time made me wonder: how can we truly understand and inevitably conquer the darkness around us if we can't even face the darkness within ourselves? I spent so much time railing against the system, so much time steeped in the emotional pain of the world around me, so much time wondering what the hell I did to deserve being cast onto this horrific planet, and all any of that accomplished was a steadily deepening depression. Yes, the world around me was and continues to be horrific in many ways, but the feeling of empowerment only arose once I faced the horrors that toiled within me.
I view the world through an entirely different set of lenses now. I see the programming that implanted fear, hopelessness, lack of self-worth and doubt deep within my psyche. I know where they came from and I recognize them when they come knocking at my door, ready to take control. I see the ways that my emotions are constantly being toyed with and manipulated for the sake of perpetuating corporate profit or for someone's individual gain, even in the most minuscule of ways. So much used to feel like a personal attack, but now I try to take very few things personally. I see the world for what it is but I no longer allow it to shake the peace inside of me. Yes, there are hard days, but hard days are much better than weeks and months of pure emotional despair.
More importantly, I see the ways in which my own personal issues shaped my tolerance and lack thereof, and I do suspect that many others will find that to be true of themselves. While I considered myself more socially progressive than most, I came to realize that on many occasions, my own personal pain caused me to dismiss certain individuals based on what I considered to be their own backwards or regressive ideologies. While I still hold no space for hatred or violence, I'm much more willing to try to understand where people are coming from, even if I don't agree.
Maybe the most catalyzing change came from facing the realization that in all my despair surrounding human lives I had very little regard for non-human life. My Sociology degree meant that I could tell you all the ins and outs of systemic oppression but I ignored the very blatant patterns of oppression that exist in animal agriculture. Why? Because it implicated me. It made me complicit in perpetuating the same system of oppression from the very same oppressors that I actively denounced. It forced me to face the limits of my empathy and compassion, limits that I did not believe existed. An entirely new world opened up once I faced the oppressor within myself.
We're living in a time when division is rampant, and purposefully so. Marginalized identities are being played against each other for corporate and political gain. Like a fiddle, peoples' pains are being toyed with, by advertising, politics, media programming and fake online bots alike. Tempers and tensions are at very high highs, flaring up at the slightest provocation. We're not at peace as a collective, and we won't be until we can find it within ourselves. Rather than being unconsciously told who and what to hate, we'll be much more concerned with figuring out how to expand love, both within and outside of ourselves.
So how can we make the world a better place? We begin with ourselves. We find the demons that lurk within our soul and face them head on. We take our problems and pull them out by the root rather than dragging them along by the branches. When we can reach that level of understanding, of who we are and why we are the way we are, then forgiveness of self and others can begin. When we no longer shy away from that which ails us, when we've stared it down and refused to allow it to control us any longer, then we can begin to look at what ails the world. Until then, we'll simply continue aimlessly trying to quench the thirst of an ailing world from an empty cup.
Being of Jamaican descent, there's a certain level of comfort that I have when I go there to visit. In so many ways it feels more like home than my New York home. For one, I find the weather, the fresh air and the general atmosphere to be quite grounding, a refreshing contrast to the anxiety-provoking hustle and bustle of NYC. There's also a lot of comfort in being surrounded by people who look like me, who remind me of family, whose roots can be traced back to the same ancestry.
For a foodie like myself, however, the most comforting and exciting part of going to Jamaica is being able to eat the foods that I grew up on, especially those that I don't get to eat too often. For this particular vacation, my husband and I decided to stay at a resort, simply to be able to have that experience together at least once. We did worry about the food options that would be available, and had even decided that if it came down to it, we'd be willing to try a raw diet for the week.
Looking back, more raw foods probably would've been a great idea. Here's what happened. When we arrived at the buffet for our first meal, we were pleasantly surprised to see that there were plenty of familiar Jamaican foods that we knew to be normally vegan, like callaloo, spinach, rice & peas, breadfruit, plantain and cabbage. Nothing was labeled as vegan but we felt comfortable taking the risk eating familiar vegetables and other normally meat- & dairy-free foods, especially after being assured by a couple of the chefs that there were plenty of vegan options and that we wouldn't have to worry.
The first day, I felt fine. The food was great, and we were happy to not have to worry about finding food to eat. We would be alright as long as we stuck to familiar and obviously vegan foods. Or so we thought. At sometime around 4 am after the second day, I awoke to a violent pain in my stomach. For the next couple hours I was glued to the toilet in agony, wondering what in the hell could've caused this pain. Because I believed that I'd only eaten vegan foods, I chalked it up to the fact that I was eating more fried food than usual (I ate SO MUCH fried plantain), and within a few hours I was back to normal.
Fast forward to dinner the next night, when the head chef came to talk to us about vegan options. Mind you, this was after I had already finished eating. I listened to this chef exclaim proudly that, for the sake of flavor, almost every single thing at the buffet that night had been cooked in butter, including all the vegetables. He offered to cook us up a separate vegan meal, but of course it was already too late. Before I even got up to leave, my stomach was already doing flip-flops. I knew it'd be another early morning on the toilet.
I was quite upset. I went back to our hotel room to cry for a bit and gather myself, because I couldn't believe what I'd heard. I was under the impression that I'd been eating vegetables that were vegan when really they had been cooked in butter. I was terribly confused because, even though I did feel sick earlier in the morning, I had eaten plenty of meals that didn't make me feel sick at all. I'm both lactose intolerant and allergic to whey, so even if I wasn't vegan, I can't eat dairy without feeling ill. Why did I feel alright after some meals and sick after others?
The next morning, we went looking for the chef, only to find that there was a different chef during the daytime shift. After talking with him, we made the realization that while one head chef was cooking all of his vegetables in butter, the other was cooking all of his in vegetable oil. It also seemed that some of the other cooks weren't too clear on what being vegan truly meant, and weren't aware enough to inform us that butter had been used in some of the vegetable dishes. So while the steamed & sauteed vegetables that I had for breakfast and lunch were vegan, the ones I had for dinner were not.
I felt annoyed and angry. Mainly because I got way more familiar with that hotel room toilet than I intended to during my vacation, but also because it was a massive oversight on the part of the second head chef. It wasn't simply the fact that I was eating non-vegan food, but I was eating food that my body could not tolerate. It's one thing not to label foods as vegan, it's another not to label them as possible allergenic, especially when the normal preparation is dairy-free. I was also particularly frustrated at the outdated culinary tradition of dousing vegetables in butter simply for the sake of imparting "flavor". Oil is an option if health is of no concern, and even without oil, there are seasonings for that.
Luckily, my body had become quite resilient since going vegan so I only felt ill for a fraction of the time that I was there. Several months ago, my meetings with the toilet would've been a day-long endeavor. Though I spent my vacation way more bloated and nauseous than I wanted to be, I was still able to have a great time.
Looking back, there were many lessons to be learned during this experience. For one, I'm no longer going to be afraid of being *that* vegan. I was so concerned about not being a bother that I didn't ask enough questions and I didn't advocate for myself when I should have. I also assumed that the dishes coming out of the kitchen were prepared using a standard recipe, so if it was vegan once then it would be vegan again. I definitely didn't expect the preparation to vary so drastically between chefs. Never again will I be making any assumptions.
Ultimately I've come to learn that being vegan means that I may have to teach others about the dietary nuances of veganism. Some of the cooks were clearly unaware of what it meant to be vegan, and didn't realize that butter would be an issue. While veganism is becoming more and more popular, there's still a long way to go, and there's a lot of educating that needs to be done. The day will come when foods will be more carefully and consciously prepared and more clearly labeled. Until then, my husband and I will be opting to stay at places where we can cook the food ourselves... butter-free.
I'm no stranger to dieting. I've battled with my weight since my preteen years, and like I wrote about previously, I've struggled with an emotional eating habit that absolutely contributed to a great amount of weight gain. That all being said, weight loss wasn't on the forefront of my mind when I first decided to go vegan. I was mainly inspired by my desire to improve my health. In the six months since I've been vegan I have lost about twenty pounds, a fact that I won't deny that I delight in. However, it wasn't veganism, but rather my commitment to whole foods, plant based eating and consistent exercise that did the trick.
I say this because I worry that with all the publicity now surrounding the veganism movement, a lot of misconceptions are being spread around, some of which are purposeful attempts at casting a negative light on what is way more than a simple change in diet. Let's be clear. Diets do not work, at least not in the long term. Anything promising that you'll lose a ton of weight in a short amount of time with very minimal effort will more than likely lead to a dangerous cycle of yo-yo dieting. To rope veganism into the world of fraudulent, dangerous diet gimmicks is mistaken at best, dishonest at worst.
Veganism is not a fad diet. At its foundation, veganism is a fundamental shift in consciousness. The rejection of animal foods is not for the purpose of losing weight, but rather to minimize and reverse the damage caused by animal agriculture, not only to our environment but also to the animals themselves. It just so happens that vegan diets also tend to be healthier for the body, particularly if whole, plant-based foods are prioritized over processed junk foods.
So why is veganism picking up steam now? Because we've reached a critical point where individuals, as citizens of this Earth, are deciding that something must be done to stem the detrimental impacts of animal agriculture. People are coming to the realization that cutting down entire forests for the sake of acquiring additional land for grazing and growing feed crops simply isn't sustainable for our collective future. They're realizing that we'll all suffer if we continue overfishing our oceans.
People are hearing the horrific stories and seeing with their own eyes the sadistic treatment of the animals that eventually become our food. They're learning about the unhygienic conditions and cramped quarters that animals are stuffed into, which create breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. People are learning about the nightmare conditions that factory farm workers have to contend with, as well as the physical and mental health consequences of this work. They're learning that these factories are all too often located in the neighborhoods of low-income Black people and other people of color.
Sure, there are going to be those who see veganism solely as a weight loss technique, but to reduce an entire movement to the next dieting fad obscures the fact that the meat and dairy that we consume are linked to animal abuse, worker exploitation, environmental collapse, environmental racism, and poor individual and collective health outcomes of many kinds.
And to be clear, you can be vegan and not lose weight at all. With all the meat and dairy substitutes on the market, it's ridiculously easy to indulge in meals that taste just the same if not better than those made with animal products. This is also part of the growing veganism appeal. People are waking up to the fact that they don't have to deprive themselves of the types of meals they love. They can refuse to participate in animal cruelty AND still have a delicious burger, fries and milkshake if they so desire. Those who are more health conscious have learned that they need not worry about nutritional deficiencies. People are going vegan because in this day and age, going vegan simply makes sense.
Veganism is not a fad diet, it is a moral decision. It is the choice to actively put the future of the planet, of humanity, and of one's individual health before the desire to consume animal meat and dairy. It is an urgent clarion call to corporations to reject practices that result in the unnecessary destruction of life and environment. It is the growing recognition of the inextricable connection between ourselves and the other living beings that walk this Earth with us. It is the selfless desire to leave old paradigms behind for the sake of creating a better future for our children, their children and generations to come.
Call me Niv.