Thursday, 29 May 2014

Week 22 - Almost time

Sorry for the delay on this week's post, I have been doing extra hours at work so that I will have more money to put towards the activities I wish to do for the latter half of this year in regards to Project52ayear. This has left me a little frazzled but I am determined not to drop the ball so to speak.

Following on from earlier this month, one of the participants for the Hate Crime Survey has asked to be able to share my final article with a few members of his local constabulary. I am hopeful that it will be beneficial to them and help in a positive step forward into having discrimination against sub cultures added to their own local definitions of hate crime, as it has already been done in both Bolton and the city of Manchester. Fingers crossed!

I am now a little nearer to my goal of raising £100 for The Hunger Project UK, in participation with Live Below The Line 2014. I start my challenge week of living off £1 a day for 5 days on Monday, so if any of you reading this visit my blog on their site, expect daily updates!

This can be visited at: I'd like the outcome to be that more people are encouraged to waste less and to help those who may be living in poverty in their areas. Anything else is just a bonus! I have also taken up the craze that is Rainbow Loom, and so I am making small gifts using this method to say thank you to anybody who donates to my fund. All donations made through the site link go straight to the charity itself.  

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

I Want To Talk About ..... The Other Faces of Hate Crime

I Want To Talk About .... The Other Faces of Hate Crime - A Project52 investigation

In a change to the usual Q&A features ran by Project52, I chose to draw on my own experiences and produce my own investigation into a subject close to my own heart.

"The Other Faces of Hate Crime"

If you asked any person on the street, most would typically answer that racism is what hate crime is. They would be correct in this, as racism is a form of hate crime, but it is not the only kind. There are hundreds of kinds of discrimination in this world, many of which fall under 'hate crime'. The most predominant after racism are disability, LGBT and sub-culture discrimination. This investigation focuses on the latter two.

In a recent survey held by Project52, the majority of replies came from individuals who were of legal age for gay or lesbian relationships in countries where it is not illegal to be gay. It is unfortunate but there are countries where even the suspicion of being gay could equal a death sentence or prison term. These individuals would also have been active in LGBT or sub-culture lifestyles prior to and post the death of Sophie Lancaster, of whom the charity 'The Sophie Lancaster Foundation' is based upon. It was helpful that the responses came from individuals who were around at this time as they would remember what life was like in the before and after, predominately in the last ten years. 

For myself, as an individual who chose to dress in a manner that reflected my musical preferences, aka sub-culture; goth, rocker, mosher, emo. I remember what it was like to not be able to walk out of my own front door alone without a stranger on the street shouting 'mosher' at me. For wearing a pair of baggy jeans and a t-shirt or vest top. Hardly exposing or risqué clothing, yet it brought me ridicule for it. I consider myself very, very lucky that nothing worse ever happened to me beyond name-calling, as so many people were not so fortunate. I don't recall it ever happening when I was accompanied by somebody, perhaps that second or third person would put them off doing so for the repercussions.

Eventually I stopped wearing the baggy jeans, so as not to draw that unwanted attention and to be able to fly under the radar of local thugs. Didn't stop me wearing any other items of clothing associated with being a 'goth' or 'mosher', but I would save most of those for nights out with friends. Today my main dress is a mix of trendy, emo and geeky, but as I am in my work uniform 5 days a week, it is rare that I am in the streets of my home town in my own clothes. This, I believe has reduced the incidents that I have suffered myself in recent years.

My own experiences may seem hardly relevant to the topic at hand, but if anyone reading this has no experience of being under distress caused by others for the 'crime' of being yourself, it is important to understand what it can be like for the rest of this piece to make sense to you.

Going back to the results of the Project52 survey, a large percentage of those who did answer are based in the north-west of England, which is where I was born and am still based, and is also where Sophie Lancaster was born, raised, lived and was murdered. This means that they will have an awareness of what went on.

I know some of you who have kept on reading this far will be thinking, "who was Sophie Lancaster? why is she important?" Well, Sophie in many ways was just like me or you. Sophie liked going to the cinema, dying her hair and listening to rock/alternative music, she liked to write and would have gone on to university had she lived.  Sophie would also do all she could to support her friends and loved ones. I do not wish to romanticize the image or idea of Sophie, as that would be against the wishes of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, as while it was set up in memory of Sophie, it would detract from their main goal and turn her memory into a commodity.  I will add that Sophie was also a friend of a friend whom I met myself once or twice. As time goes on, the details of our conversations do fade away, but I still remember this tiny girl with long dark hair who loved rock music.

The Sophie Lancaster Trust was set up by Sophie's mother, Sylvia Lancaster and supported by Sophie's boyfriend, Rob and closest friends, following her death in August 2007.  Sophie, herself had suffered verbal abuse on several occasions due to the way she dressed and wore her hair, as she was what they called a "mosher". One evening, Sophie was on her way home after a night out with her boyfriend, Rob, when they were attacked by a small group of men for being "moshers". Rob was very badly beaten but survived, but Sophie was kicked to death simply for being herself. Those who took part in the survey by Project52 will be aware of her story, but beyond those individuals, thousands upon thousands will not know what happened or why it is important to teach others to be tolerant and understanding of those who are different to themselves.

The foundation's motto, which uses Sophie's name is "Stamping Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere". Their goal is to have the law changed through out the UK, to have sub-cultures added to the list of hate crime or discrimination, so that any attack for being of a sub-culture would carry a harsher sentence as it would do for racism. It is not hard to spot supporters of the charity as their wristbands, in black with 's.o.p.h.i.e.' printed on them in silver can be easy to spot and recognise. I myself wear mine everyday, and have even had people ask me about it, which is wonderful as raising awareness will always go a long way. Of the three groups that this piece and the survey focussed on, it is in the middle, while still quite young, but has made the biggest impact within the sub-culture community.

The Kaleidoscope Trust was founded in 2011 and was given charity status in 2012, making it a youngster in how long it has been operational, but as it has projects in other countries, it has quite a far outreach. The trust does aim to support LGBT or LGBTQ individuals in countries where it is dangerous to be so, whether that is in public or private. It is important that their goal comes true, for those who worry about immigration, think of it this way: If The Kaleidoscope Trust are successful in their end goal, the amount of people seeking immigration to the UK, USA or Australia would fall as the risk to their life would significantly reduce.

Finally, Stonewall, were founded in 1989, in order to fight a piece of UK legislation, known as section 28, which was against the 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools. Namely, to make schools teach pupils that it was wrong to be gay or bi-sexual. They are quite well known in the UK due to their campaigns and lobbying for LGBT rights. A Q&A session with a member of the Stonewall team was published recently here on the Project52 a year blog.

Those who did take part in the survey, as there were 60 of you, will recall that I asked about three charity or support groups, these were The Kaleidoscope Trust, who aim to support LGBT people worldwide, Stonewall, who focus on LGBT in the UK, and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, who do include LGBT in the sub-cultures that they aim to help, making all three interlinked in their goals for all to be free to be who they are inside and out.  

Based on the results, a whooping 85% have suffered some kind of discrimination, whether for being a member of the LGBT community, a sub-culture community or both. For over 50% of those who took part, this is a problem in recent years, but what I find even worse is that for nearly 15% of respondents it is an ongoing problem that has not changed at all in the past ten years to present day.

However, for 25% it appears that life has gotten easier for individuals, whether that is due to being out of school, where bullying can be quite high and into the workplace where there are rules in place to protect staff from discrimination, or if they have moved to more accepting areas is unclear. For those 50% that are still suffering, it is clear that the work done by Kaleidoscope, Stonewall or Sophie Lancaster foundation is far from over.

Verbal abuse is the most predominant form of discrimination, as noted by 77% of those who answered this question in the survey, as well as evident in my own experiences as mentioned earlier. The remainder appear to have suffered some kind of physical assault, such as a punch, beating or mugging, but whether this is more recent or further back in time is unclear.

As a final question, I asked the survey participants if they would step in to help if they saw a case of discrimination happening in front of them, of which I am pleased to say that 88% said  yes they would try to help, most likely by reporting it to the police or by stepping in themselves.

In summary, it is clear that the UK, or even the world at large has a long way to go in becoming more accepting of peoples rights to be individuals, I only hope that it can start now, so that if I was to do this again in another ten years, all my answers would be in the past and not present day. In the meantime, I will continue to wear my s.o.p.h.i.e. band with pride.

For more information or to support the charities mentioned, please visit:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Week 21 - Live below the line prep

It's been two weeks since my last official weekly post, although last week's post on 13/5/14 would count as that week's action - registering and starting fund-raising for Live Below The Line 2014, which is a co-allegiance between 36 charities world wide to combine their efforts to help end world poverty & world hunger. I am doing it in aid of The Hunger Project.

So far I'm heading towards my goal of raising £100 for the charity. Participants who take part have to live off £5 (or their country's equivalent currency worth) for 5 days for all their food and drink, including anything in the house that you already own. All must be factored in at cost per portion. I know it will be hard, it's been hard to just find food that will stretch for two meals and be under £1 an item. It's so easy to live off £5 a day, or even £3 a day if you don't buy expensive brands...but £1? and to eat sensibly without skipping meals? near impossible. Yet this is something that many people in the UK or even around the world face every day. No wonder so many rely on food banks or food stamps where they exist.

If you want to see where I'm up to, follow my progress or even donate a small amount...even 50p would be welcome! please visit:
I'm doing my challenge week starting June 2nd!

This past weekend, I also made chocolate cornflake cakes and donated them for sale on a vegan society UK stall at a local vegan fair. All 12 sold for 50p each and went really quickly! In total, we raised £116 for the Vegan Society, which is a campaign and outreach/support group for Vegans in the UK and Europe.

I am hopeful on my next post that I will have reached my personal goal of £100 for Live Below The Line and The hunger project. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

IDAHOT - International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia - May 17th

Courtesy of IDAHOT -

Well, today is turning out to be extra special indeed as it is not only Body Dysmorphia Day (see previous post) but it is also IDAHOT - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I guess they swapped the 'And' for 'Or' when making up the hash tag, because Hot sounds much better than hat. Otherwise it would look like we're all tweetings and talking about some new accessory brand instead of something so much more important than the latest head wear fad.

In case anybody was wondering, yes I do lean more towards straight or heterosexual on the sexuality spectrum. Like Katy Perry once sang, "I kissed a girl and I liked it" and I almost once swallowed a lip ring in the process. I am a firm believer in that you should not knock something until you've tried it, but it wasn't for me in the end. Before anyone thinks about having a go, saying that I was using people whilst tipsy to try out a novelty notion or to get boys attention, though many women have done just this. That was not my aim nor have I ever felt the need to stoop to that level of attention seeking through sapphic actions. I have been on the other side of it, where I have had, on more than two occasions had men kiss me or attempt to initiate sex, to then later say that being with me confirmed they were gay, because if they weren't attracted enough to me, that it helped them figure out exactly what they wanted for themselves. This is a rather backwards compliment in itself, but I am ok with it, because for those people, it was better for them to explore with a friend who would still care no matter what the outcome, rather than reject them for good for the crime of being confused on their journey.  Ultimately, I am mostly straight, and currently happy in a relationship with a wonderful man who feels exactly as I do about LGBT rights. I am quite lucky in this part of my life as I do not need to hide any part of who I am to feel accepted by my friends and family and those around me.

Whilst there have been improvements in LGBT rights in the UK, as of this year [2014] gay marriage became legal, instead of having a commitment ceremony or civil union. This in some ways leaves a sour taste, not because of the idea of gay marriage, I am pro-gay marriage, but it shouldn't have to be called a "gay marriage" gay used to mean happy, and it should be returned to just that. A marriage between two people who happen to have the same chromosome pair should not be classified as a "gay" marriage. It should just be a marriage. Just the same as any other union between a loving couple. A happy one.

Earlier this year, I approached Stonewall and The Kaleidoscope Trust, of whom those who are still reading because of #IDAHOT may be aware of them, and what they do. Earlier this week, I published the results of a Q&A session with a member of the support staff at Stonewall, which confirmed what Stonewall do, and how far things have come, but also that we still have far to go in the UK. After looking at the work that The Kaleidoscope Trust does, it inspired me to write a survey on hate crime, especially that aimed at those who belong to the LGBT community or a sub-culture, and the results were quite saddening. The outcome of that will be published later this month, if you would like to return to read more about the survey held by Project52 about the other faces of hate crime.

Worldwide, what is happening is truly heartbreaking. In some ways, we as a whole, reguardless of orientation have it a little easier being in the UK, in that there are laws in place to protect us, and groups in place to help support us when those do let us down from time to time. However, as I write this, there are at least 59 countries that will discriminate against LGBT within employment, and just as many where gay bashing is rampant, or being gay or even suspected of it will result in the threat of prison or death. As cheesy as it sounds, we are all children of the world and should all be equal in every aspect of our existence, and should be treated as such, regardless of if the person we pledge our love to is the same gender, likes both of the main genders as we love what is inside, not out, though it helps if the wrapping is aesthetically pleasing too! Or, even if the outside does not yet match the inside.

Last week, a bearded lady known as Conchita Wurst (born Thomas Wurst) from Austria won the Eurovision Song contest, and absolutely beautiful she looked too in doing so sparked a new chapter in bringing understanding and tolerance in the face of anti gay countries such as Russia, of which were booed many times during the evening as the crowds voiced their solidarity with Conchita against Russia's stance on LGBT rights. I only hope this is a positive step forward in showing Russia that if it wants to be part of Europe, it needs to get in line with LGBT rights. I don't even like saying LGBT rights, as that indicates a difference between those who identify as heterosexual and those who are on the spectrum. I don't see a difference. We are all human kind and so LGBT rights really should just be called human rights.

This is just how I feel about the state of it today. Just because I am hetero it does not mean I do not care what happens to the rest of us. One day I hope that every country in the world will have a separation of state and religion, but I know it is a very, very long wait, and will not happen in my life time. I didn't want to talk about the face of homophobia or transphobia today, as I won't tolerate it coming from anybody around me. We all know that people have been killed for it, that young boys have been beaten within an inch of their life to 'beat the gay out'. That women have been raped because they are a lesbian. As if sexual assault can make somebody change who they are. Like any form of hate crime, it serves no purpose and makes it clear that the perpetrators are ignorant, ugly creatures who lash out at anything they find to be different or not understand.

Like the pop star and gay icon, Lady Gaga, I could say we were all "Born this way" just as those reading this who just happen to be hetero, gay, bi, trans, queer, two-natured or still just trying to find out who they are, you were also born to be exactly what you are. Unique.

♥ 4 all.
Equal as 1. 

#IDAHOT Image courtesy of 


P.S. Join me on twitter today, @vegankitten or look out for #IDAHOT 

BDD awareness day - May 17th

Today is BDD awareness day!

For those who do not know, BDD stands for Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and is more serious than people think. It is sometimes placed under the eating disorder umberella, which includes Anorexia and Bulimia, and it can be linked to those conditions, but it's roots can often lie with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Earlier this month, a guest blogger shared her experiences with BDD, and more information about it can be found here:

If you suspect that you may indeed suffer from BDD or that a friend or relative may do, please do not go it alone and seek medical help.

I hope that the readers of Project52 will join me in talking about BDD using the hashtag #BDD on twitter. Don't let this condition go on ignored. Let's talk.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Spotlight on... Stonewall & Stonewall Information Service

As part of May's open theme focus on LGBT Charities and Support groups, I spoke to Diana, a volunteer at Stonewall's information service for a little more detail on what that entails.

What made you want to get involved with stonewall and join your current team of colleagues?  I admire the work that Stonewall does and wanted to put my skills to good use
What are the most common questions you get asked by individuals and what do you say to them? – Various, but some of the most common are around Equal Marriage, Parenting, Immigration and bullying or harassment at work – Answer by providing signposting to relevant organisations and/or Stonewall info/publications and guides.
Do you have any success stories or a particular event that has stuck with you long afterwards? – None in particular, but for many callers just being able to speak to someone in confidence who will listen and offer some form of help or direction to organisations that can help is enough. When you sign off of a call and someone tells you that you have helped it can be very rewarding.
What does Stonewall do to set themselves apart from other LGBT support groups and charities? – Stonewall is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying work and also works with a whole range of agencies to address the needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the wider community.
Finally, if there is anything you would like to say to the readers of Project52, what would that be? –  I have found volunteering for Stonewall a rewarding experience and if you are interested in helping out get involved either by volunteering or raising money for Stonewall

With thanks to Diana 

"Stonewall’s info line on 08000 50 20 20 can offer information and referrals to callers on a wide range of topics, including education, parenting and employment. The info line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm, but you can also find our info service online or email us on" 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Live Below The Line Challenge 2014

From 2nd to 6th June (5 days) I'm eating and drinking on just £1 per day with thousands of others across the world in a global movement to help end extreme poverty. It's called Live Below the Line.

I'm taking the challenge raising awareness and funds to support the work of The Hunger Project and I need your help to make a real impact.

Can you spare a few dollars, a pound or even just pocket change and donate to support my efforts for The Hunger Project at

£1 is the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line. Eating and drinking on so little gives a glimpse into the challenges faced by the 1.2 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line everyday for everything — that's food, medical care, transport, education, everything.

Find out how to donate and support my efforts for The Hunger Project at

Pamela &

Update: I set my goal as £100 as I was worried I couldn't hit a higher goal... so far I have had £20 donated directly, and three verbal offers of pledges! wish me luck! I've now started drafting my menu for the week. visit soon for more updates. x

Monday, 12 May 2014

M.E Awareness Day - May 12th

Today is M.E Awareness Day!

If you don't know much about it, today is a great time to learn just what M.E. means and what you can do to help!

As a dear friend of mine is a sufferer, I'll be spending the day raising awareness and cheering on her fight to stay strong.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I Want To Talk About .... M.E.

This week, a dear friend, who also happens to suffer from M.E was supposed to be here as a guest blogger, but unfortunately due to health issues has not been able to. So, instead, I am going to talk about M.E. from what I have seen through being around her.

I Want To Talk About .... M.E

M.E. does not mean 'me'. It stands for Myalgic Encephalopathy, formally known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. It is similar to the more commonly known CFS aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so much that they are often placed together in medical articles. However, they are not the same thing, and often require different treatment, if treatment is to even be given at all.

The friend who was due to guest blog here was officially diagnosed in 2008, but had been showing symptoms for over ten years prior to this. I have seen her go without doing the things she wants to do, as she does not have the strength to do what so many of us take for granted on a daily basis. On a good day, she can walk with crutches, or can sit at a gig, or sit up all night to chat and play games like any other person. These are largely resting type activities.

There are days where I get frustrated for her, as I'd love to see her get up and dance, or come with me on a walk through the woods (at a slow pace, because I do have Spina Bifida Occulta myself, so I can't hike!) or even do a girly day where we pound the streets of the northern quarter [in Manchester, UK] to buy stuff from all the cool, quirky shops. But I know this will never happen as her energy and strength is not high enough to, and it breaks my heart to see her missing out and that she can't share these simple things with me.  

On a bad day, she cannot do anything. Practically confined to bed rest. It is debilitating and extremely painful for her to even move.

I don't want to give many more details than these as it would be against her privacy and unfair to tell her story when she is not well enough to confirm all the details.

So here are the facts I do know:

  • There is more research into HIV or AIDS or any other publicly recognised condition than M.E. 
  • M.E. is an invisible illness, there are no outward signs of it. 
  • It can cause depression, and there is a higher mortality rate due to suicide or M.E leading to other conditions as it can weaken your immune system, letting other illnesses take hold. 
  • M.E. itself has never killed anybody directly, and due to this, there have been no major peer reviewed studies or medical testing into it.
  • many sufferers cannot hold down even part time jobs due to how random the attacks can be, leading to the majority having to rely on relatives for care or the benefits system, which is often under attack, as how can you prove a condition when it cannot be seen? 

 This month sees the annual M.E. awareness day on may 12th. Please join in with Project52 by raising awareness for M.E in which ever shape or form you see fit. I'll be joining in with the blog bomb! #May12BlogBomb

For more information with lots of big medical words, please visit: 
And to visit the lovely Sally, who started the blog bomb! visit:  

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Week 19 - choosing your cause

This week, in the run-up to M.E. awareness day on May 12th and BDD awareness day on May 17th, I will be taking to social media to raise awareness for these conditions. If you want to join in, visit the Project52 facebook page, or come find me on twitter! My username is @vegankitten

It is hard to decide which issue is more important than another, is one more important? Are they all equally important? Is there an issue you would like to see raised on Project52? Get in touch!

Take care and look after yourselves.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Guest Blogger: Support BDD day - 17th May 2014 by Roo James.

Hello there readers of this blog.  Pamela has invited me to hijack this blog today.  To make it more piratey, I am typing this wearing an eye patch.

My name is Roo and, among many awesome talents and jobs, I write funny stuff.  Sometimes I even do it on a computer and leave the crayons in their box.  But I am here today to talk about a special event happening on the 17th of this month.  This day is to spread awareness of a mental disorder that affects 1 in 100 people.  It attacks men as equally as women and is not very well known.  Those who have heard of it tend to sadly be misinformed thanks to terrible media coverage.  I am talking about Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

BDD is a disorder where the sufferer believes that they are physically unattractive or deformed to the point of obsession.  Many sufferers find they can't do everyday tasks because they fear being seen or ridiculed.  It breaks their confidence and can lead to depression, agoraphobia, social anxiety, eating disorders, self harm, and suicide.  No one knows exactly how it starts but the most popular theory is the patient is predisposed at birth and then an emotional "trigger" such as bullying, abuse, bereavement, or depression will start off the illness.

BDD gets a lot of negative press.  It is often referred to as "perceived ugliness syndrome" which is offensive because the distress is very real.  It is put down as a lack of confidence rather than a disorder and gets thrown in with plastic surgery addiction and eating disorders. It is something only Supermodels and Hollywood stars get according to magazines. The truth is BDD is actually a form of Obsessive Compulsive disorder.  With OCD, the sufferer will do certain actions such as excessive cleaning to control their environment and not being able to do so causes deep distress.  With BDD, the control happens with the body of the sufferer.  Excessive showering, cosmetics, dieting/over-eating, exercise, skin picking, etc.

BDD sufferers can't just get over it.  To ask a BDD sufferer to just deal with it is like asking someone to hold their breathe for ten years.  It just won't happen.  Not without serious help.  Treating BDD is very difficult.  For a start, it is hard to diagnose and can be mistaken for other illnesses like despression.  Also, many sufferers feel too ashamed to come forward, thinking they are being selfish or they really are ugly.  Secondly (is that even a word?), it is not a common illness and as such, not everywhere has the facilities and training to deal with it.  Lastly, every sufferer is different.  While Cognitive Behavior Therapy and anti depressants are the most popular forms of treatment, each sufferer will react differently and what works for one may not work for another. .

There are charities trying to change this.  BODY for example has been set up for sufferers of BDD as well as those with eating disorders.  They educate people about BDD, offer sufferers a place to get help, and visit schools to teach children about positive body image.  They are funded by people like you and me and they are small but with help and support, they can reach so many people.  Years ago, it was much harder to get help.  I know because I was one of those people looking for help and coming up with nothing.

I suffered BDD from very young childhood.  Yes, you read that right.  I was only a child.  I was not diagnosed until my late teens and getting help was a struggle.  I could not afford to see my closest specialist who was 200 miles away. My doctors tried but it was much like throwing carrots at a guinea pig.  Not that they like that, don't do it.  They tend to get upset.  I had to look for my own treatment program and while I have its butt pretty much kicked, it never goes away.  It sits on the door step, drinking the milk if you bother to still have it delivered and waiting for a chance to get back in.  That is the case for many and that is why it is so important that people like you help.  You can help by supporting charities like BODY.  You can help by educating your children or younger siblings about positive body image.  You can help by writing to MPs and asking for more funding into research and training for dealing with BDD patients.

For more information about BDD and BODY, visit their website.

If you would like to really make me suffer, please sponsor me on a 5k Canix run for BODY here.

Want to contact Roo James?  Fans, agents, and Nigerian Princes can contact her here.

Picture by Meghan Murphy, courtesy of Roo James.  Copyright 2012 -2014.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

May - Choose your cause

So far here at Project52 we have looked at helping causes through donation, sponsoring animals, helping the homeless, animal shelters and letter writing campaigns. Which is fine if you are like me, but you are not me, you may be nothing like me, as you are you. your own self. So what are your causes?

Are you an animal advocate? An humanitarian? Do you follow environmental issues? Are you more of a Medical research enthusiast (more charities and foundations focus on medical research for disease or disability than any other cause type), conservationist, children's charities, or seek for others to have the right to be an individual?

Or, are you still undecided? It is fine to be undecided, as then if you do choose to get behind a cause it will be of your own free will, and not because a parent or partner believes in it.

The big question around it all is this: "What gives us the right to decide? Is a dog's life more important than a cow's? What if that cow, saved from slaughter saves the life of an owner's child one day by raising the alarm that help is needed or by using body heat to keep them warm? Is a child more important than a dog? what if that child grows up to become a serial killer, and the dog, if given a second chance, saves an owner from a house fire? sniffs out a bomb/drugs?  The difference between an ex-convict and a newly graduated student? The student could end up doing nothing to benefit society at large, but the ex-convict could live by example and help stop others following his/her path. Who are we to say which life has the most value?"

While each month here at Project52 focuses on different actions or umbrella groupings for causes eg homeless aid could be shelter, therapy, food donation - these are all separate methods of helping the end cause.  This month [May] shall take a slight change of direction by looking at different examples of some of the causes listed above, such charities and foundations that campaign for others to have the right to be individual or LGBT groups, and rather than making larger active gestures towards those causes over the month, smaller acts will be made instead due to the varying nature of May's focus.

As well as discussing some of the support groups and charities that are aimed at LGBT, myself and a friend who I have invited to guest-blog, will also be talking about M.E. as it is a serious, debilitating disability, but so little is known about it, as it is an 'invisible' condition. May 12th is M.E. Awareness Day, and here at Project52, I am proud to support it. If any of the readers of Project52 have any comments or thoughts on M.E, please get in touch! You can do this through the contact me option on the left.

On top of this, I will also be looking at other lesser recognized conditions, but these will pop up as the month unfolds.

**Content published during May 2014 are the sole thoughts, political and ethical beliefs of the author and are by no means connected to the charities, foundations, researchers or other trademarked groups and are not intended as defamation of character of said groups and causes**