Just following my heart

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I’m Michelle Cehn, a college student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been the president of the Case Animal Rights & Ethics Society (CARES) for the past three years, during which I have put tremendous effort into spreading awareness about animal welfare and facilitating opportunities for students to make a difference.  I consider myself an animal advocate, but I am not an extremist by any means. I embrace a moderate utilitarian philosophy and strive for an ethical lifestyle. I believe strongly in the importance of being aware of how my actions and consumption affects others, and I am always looking to develop my understanding of people and society, and trying to inspire others to lead a more compassionate life.  

The Animal Welfare movement is a fight against passivity and ignorance, the two forces powerful enough to let us act without conscience or consequence. Powerful enough to let us watch TV for hours while children work all day making our clothes in China. Powerful enough to let us order a burger without a second thought about the suffering and struggling (and greenhouse gas emissions) that went into it.  Most frighteningly these forces are powerful enough to shield us from our guilt. 

At times I feel like I am battling black whole. Many people raised in this era of production and consumption feel no responsibility to society. I have encountered many people that touched me with their generosity, giving selflessly to their friends and family, however beyond their immediate relations they hesitate to give. So many people (myself included) claim to be “spent” with “nothing left to give,” but that is so far from the truth. Just by looking at our daily actions I guarantee every one of us can make little modifications that can build up to make a significant difference. Choose water over wine and donate the money you saved to someone in need. Choose pasta over beef and reduce consumption and demand for the slaughtering of animals. Replace an hour of watching TV with playing FreeRice and feed the hungry while improving your vocabulary skills! There are infinite ways to lead a more compassionate life without sacrificing anything, all it comes down to is being actively aware of the effects of the choices you make and the other options that are available.

This world can be a better place, and easily. We need to stop relying on other people to fix the problems that we perpetuate. It is by taking an active responsibility for our own individual actions that this world will change for the better.

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13 Comments

  1. Karen said,

    AWEsome. i am incredibly thankful for compassionate souls like yourself. Let’s hope that the rest of the world WAKES UP. Change is good… thank you for helping educate others…

    ~Karen

  2. karolciakos said,

    Hi There,

    We might not be the majority, but I’d like to believe that even one person can influence the world and change it to a better place.

    Take Care and never loose hope!

    Karolina

  3. jessi said,

    Aw michelle! you are putting such an important message out there : ) i loved you from the start but you are becoming such an amazing person! i miss u soo much. you are seriously going to go so far and make such a difference, i can really tell.

  4. Hugo said,

    You’re doing fabulous work, Michelle.

    Curious as to know why you identify as an Animal Welfare-ist rather than an Animal Rights supporter, given that your posts seem to place you closer to the latter position…

    But in the end, we’re all on the same team fighting the same fight!

  5. Joan said,

    I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of you.

  6. meat eater said,

    I laugh at you men and woman. Let me break it you easy, no one is going to do what you guys want because most people don’t care enough and you people get into your 40’s and 50’s you people might still vegeans or vegitrians but you will realize nouthing or very little has changed. Deep in your head your brain knows it even if your doesn’t want to.

  7. exuvia said,

    Thanks Michelle, you are making a difference.

    May I share a thought on our relation to animals:
    http://exuvia.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/anthropocentric-chauvinism/

    Come by and share yours; would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

    Greetings
    Exuvia

  8. exuvia said,

    @ meat eater

    I share in your impression that “most people don’t care enough”; but if some people care a lot it may help the victims of those who couldn’t care less.

    Stay well

  9. Melissa said,

    With you all the way!

  10. meat eater said,

    exuvia i want you and your hippy friends to reach your goal were no one eats meat, so i can laugh in your face when millions of animales like pigs die when the cost of keeping them alive would a destroying burden.

  11. exuvia said,

    Actually it is a personal goal and way of living.

    You could be misunderstood by laughing in the gruesome moment you describe; it might look bizarre. Me standing there being saddened and you laughing in my face.
    As for considering me a hippie I take that as a compliment, thank you; how was that again… Oh yes: “Make love not war”. A brilliant phrase; I wish I would have come up with that.

    Peace
    exuvia

  12. Kristina said,

    Dear Michelle,
    I’m making an animation about the cruelties of factory farming for an organisation called Animal Aid. Now I was hoping on your advice on a matter.
    Do you have/ or know where to get a higher res version of the following image?

    I wouldn’t actually use the image, I just want it as a guide for a drawing I’m doing as part of this short film.

    Thank you very much,
    any advice would be much appreciated

    kind regards
    Kristina

  13. unsaidyetunderstood said,

    Hi Michelle, I just came across your blog the other day, and I love it. This past month, I’ve been thinking about making some visits to farm sanctuaries to get my readers to connect with the animals in a way that is deeper than just something on their plate. I’ve been vegan for 6 years now, and foster through animal control and local rescues. What farm sanctuaries have you been to/would recommend. I would love to stay in touch with you, do you have an email? Mine is unsaidyetunderstood@yahoo.com.

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