Having a well-stocked kitchen is essential whether you’re looking to throw together a last-minute meal, a well-planned meal (which I recommend should be the default), or if you’re just not able to get out of the house because of weather, sickness, or other circumstances.
Knowing what to have in your pantry, cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer also provides security and predictability when the future is uncertain and people are social distancing and sheltering at home, such as during the time of the Coronavirus pandemic 2020.
Today’s episode is focused on my personal strategies for buying wisely, eating well, and stocking up — principles that can be applied every day or during emergencies. Also, see below for links to my favorite appliances, including my favorite pressure cooker, air fryer, and popcorn maker!
People ask me all the time how I stay so hopeful. The answer is two fold:
1) because there is much to be hopeful about 2) because I dwell on solutions rather than problems
Yes, there is much work to do, but:
*I live in a Democratic country, and I exercise all of the powers and privileges that affords me. I can criticize elected officials, I can vote them out, I can help others vote, and I can start a political action committee (like I did — East Bay Animal PAC) to help elect animal-friendly officials.
*I live at a time when, yes, technology makes it possible to mechanize animals’ lives, confine billions of individuals at a time, and systematically slaughter them. But I also live at a time when technology can help end that.
*I live within a system where I have the choice to purchase cruelty-free products from a wide-range of companies and innovators. I have the freedom to buy what I want and reject what I don’t want.
*I spend my time with the most compassionate, intelligent, committed people I know — dedicated to solutions for a brighter future and to experiencing a beautiful present. I’m grateful to be surrounded by the most incredible people I get to call my friends — and husband.
*I read about what’s wrong, but I focus on the agency I have to make things right. I also read about what has improved. I believe in progress. It’s not all bad out there, though the media and cranky pessimists certainly paint that picture.
*I see beauty all around me all the time in everything I do and in everywhere I go. In my husband, in nature, in animals, in friends, in wildlife, in perfections, in imperfections.
And because of that, I am hopeful — unapologetically and unabashedly.
I recently returned from a dream trip to Rwanda seeing mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and chimpanzees — all of whom are threatened due to human activity. But still I have hope.
Afterwards, we saw lions, giraffes, impalas, warthogs, ostriches, hippos, zebras, and elephants in Botswana, a country that banned trophy hunting but is still dealing with poaching. But still I have hope. In fact, we were in Botswana when we heard the news that China is banning the legal trade in ivory, which is a thing to celebrate although the work is not done. It never is.
Even as I stood awe-struck looking at the animals characterized as “exotic,” I thought of the animals in my Oakland backyard—the ones considered mundane—the deer, the squirrels, the foxes, opossums, raccoons, skunks, crows, and jays. Rather than pay to view them, people pay to eradicate them, but nonetheless, they’re valuable to me, to themselves, to the entire ecosystem.
I thought of our state’s coyotes, mountain lions, and wolves—all of whom are demonized by private ranchers who use public land to graze their livestock, then blame the predators for being who they are.
I thought of our nation’s animals, who will be negatively impacted if the current administration makes good on its promises to support fossil fuels, curtail plans to cut carbon emissions, withdraw from the Paris Agreement, construct oil pipelines, dismantle the Endangered Species Act, and build a wall that will impact the lives and migratory habits of native species.
And still I have hope. While I daily urge our federal congresswomen and congressmen to pass legislation that protects animals and reject legislation that harms them, we have much work to do on a state and local level, both of which can get neglected when our fears are focused on an animal-, environment-, and human-hostile White House.
I have hope because possibility dwells in uncertainty. The darkness that lies before us is not inevitably bleak; it’s just unwritten. And we are its authors. We have a future to write—for the animals near and the animals far. For the human and the non-human animals. And I intend to write it.