Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Guest Post :: Why I Blog :: Tread Kindly

When I think of Ing from Tread Kindly this is how I imagine her.  Face to the sun, flowers in her hair.  Possibly surrounded by a menagerie of much loved animals at her feet.  I've not met Ing in really life (yet!) so reality needn't shatter this mental image I have of her.  And even if this image is worlds away from the truth of the matter, I'm not sure it's that far from the truth of her soul.

Kindness emanates from the small space of the internets occupied by Tread Kindly.  And in more ways than one.  For while Ing promotes making kind decisions around what products we buy, what services we use, what we do with our refuse and how we spend our dollars she is also very kind in the way that she does this.

Shouty, intimidating, overwhelming she is not.  And that is a good thing. A very good thing.  Because let me tell you, the biggest road block I have to living a more environmentally, ethically friendly, consciously consumerist life is overwhelm.  As soon as I think about making one small change in my life, I start researching and in very quick succession I get overwhelmed and then I tend to give up.

The beautiful thing about Tread Kindly is that it is realistic, it is non-judgmental and it makes making ethical choices easier, not harder.

Reading at Tread Kindly never makes me feel bad about myself.  And believe me, some ethically minded sites can leave me feeling either like I'll never be able to make a difference, or guilty for all the "wrong" choices I've made up until this point.  But at Tread Kindly you get honest, well researched advice for the real world.  No expectation that you need to give up cheese, or even chocolate. But if you want to know where to buy ethically produced running shoes (yes! they do exist!) Tread Kindly can tell you.

There is a warmth in the way Ing shares her research, her opinions and her ethical journey and that's what keeps me coming back.  And ever so slowly it's what will help me in making small (but hopefully great) ethical choices for me and my family.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Tread Kindly if you haven't already.  And as an extra special bonus Ing has a wonderful list of Ethical Christmas Ideas for you up at the site - so if you still have some Christmas Shopping to do have a look, their are some great choices on offer (read or scroll down to get to the list).

Guest Post :: Why I Blog :: Tread Kindly

I am feeling completely chuffed to feature on one of my favourite blogs One Small Life, created by the delightful Kate.  Thank you Kate for having me here. I cannot think of a more suitable person to host my post on what Treading Kindly entails.

My blog eventuated back in 2012 after a friend asked me what practical steps she could take to do “something” after watching the Four Corners episode “A Bloody Business”, which revealed the appalling treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs. 

I thought about all the practical ideas (vegetarian meal suggestions, where to buy “ethical meat”, writing letters to politicians etc) I had for her. My luddite self decided to take the plunge and created a BLOG so I could share my ideas with more than just one friend and that is how Tread Kindly was born.

My immediate world has definitely become a kinder place in the last 3 years, directly as a result of what I’ve learnt by researching my blog topics – from what to do with my plastic bags to discovering the unanticipated pleasure of vegan cheese and everything which lies in between. 

I am in the enviable position of having an endless supply of things to write about. Virtually every single thing we do each day from brushing our teeth in the morning to what little square of chocolate we chose to nibble on in the evening has an impact on either the environment or animals, or often both. 

We are all more than capable of making informed decisions to choose the thing or action which has the least negative impact – we just need to know where to look and this is where my blog steps in.

Despite my lifestyle gradually creeping towards a completely animal product free way of life, directly as a result of what I’ve learnt (and the alternatives I’ve been loving), my blog is neither entirely vegan focused nor always about animals (I do love people too!). 

As for veganism, I want to remain realistic, acknowledge that we are all on different paths (mine has been a lengthy one to get where I am) and to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. The vast majority of my (very kind) friends and family are by no ways vegan-y inclined and are as likely to give up cheese as I am at winning the 100m hurdles at the next Olympics. (But smaller amounts of “kindly sourced” cheese - now that would be achievable).

There are a lot of good people out there who are improving the lives of animals, even when these animals are being used / consumed (for example dairies who keep their bobby calves and let their cows retire on the farm, cattle or sheep farmers who make the ethical, rather than economic decision not to subject their animals to the live animal export trade or those who sell wool from sheep who will never be mulesed or shorn in the midst of winter). 

So, I am keen to promote these good people / companies too – the ones which lie in between factory farming and veganism – (but much closer to the latter). But I will warn you, once you start learning about what goes on in animal industries – whether it be for food, fashion or entertainment, it is a mighty slippery slope!

I think that by making kinder choices, you encourage your inner compassion to blossom. It also encompasses mindfulness, simplicity and living purposefully – traits which so many of us seem to be aspiring to these days. Furthermore, it teaches you a degree of healthy scepticism by not blindly accepting what society / laws / dieticians tell us is right – often it is not and it will be hidden from view (like factory farming). It takes some courage and effort to look beyond our comfort zone and face up to what is not acceptable and the tenacity to go against the grain and take a stand for those who can’t.

Importantly too, you will be directing your hard earned money to the little, altruistic companies out there who are trying to do good things in this too often greedy, self-centred world – which is much more satisfying than the alternative.

By learning to tread kindly I am finally closer to living the life I want. By making “kind” decisions for everything I wear, eat, buy and do, I have found my “thing”, albeit tardily (I am in my mid 40s). 

I can safely say that I am not the type of person who will ever set the world ablaze with my actions or discoveries.  I love going to bed early, pottering aimlessly around the house, cloud gazing, avoiding learning about technology, drinking wine in the bath, reading, watching episodes of Olive Kitteridge, my job security of “working for the man” (or the NSW government in my case) and going on meandering walks with my dog too much. But, as stated by Napoleon Hill “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way”.  Please come and join me in doing lots of small things (or big things if you so desire!) in a great way – the world needs us!


I hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit about Tread Kindly and that you'll pop over and visit the next time you are looking for information on a more ethical way to shop, or even just be in the world.  And don't forget that helpful Christmas Gift List (there's only 10 days left you know!)

Are you interested in making more ethical choices?

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