Animal Heroes of 2018

Animal Heroes of 2018

Animal Heroes of 2018

Be an Animal Hero

Photo: @birdiesnapdragon, pixabay

To all Animal Rescuers out there, I salute you!

The end of the year is a good time for reflection and looking forward to the year coming up. When I look back, I not only think about my own impact and how I can improve in the coming year, I also remember and honor fearless and amazing heroes who’ve saved the lives of animals. Looking forward, I’m seeing all animals, human included, thrive. I’m seeing brands that give back and doing something good in this world shine. The future looks bright because we’re working together out of love and compassion! This post is solely dedicated to the changemakers who show unconditional love and respect for all living beings and our planet. And, I’ve got a couple of special announcements at the end that will help you shine!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

Where to start! There were so many animal heroes this year and I know for a fact that I didn’t list them all, so please, if you know of other animal heroes, let me know in the comments below. There’s no better resource for animal love stories than The Dodo, so I’ll start there!

Boys and their Best Friends

Happy Dog
This young boy is amazing! At just 4 years old, Roman started to help find homes for dogs in shelters. He’s saved over 1,000 dogs and is still counting! You rock, Roman! And this pumped up savior, Lee Asher, is also inspiring and yes, insane – I love it! Stop life, get an RV and find homes for these fun pups!

Shelter Life isn’t always Hard Knock!

Oliver was hanged, but luckily had enough loving people to help him through his trauma and is now a happy pup at one of the 4 shelters in Tanzania. Only 4 shelters in an entire country???

Ever wonder what life is like at a shelter? Especially as an older dog who apparently no one wants to adopt? Nonsense, says this senior dog hospice; heaven on Earth for these sweet canines.

And wow, talk about fun at this no-kill, free run stray dog paradise in Costa Rica! Squeeeeeee!

There’s no place like home. For all animals, human included.

The Bee and Butterfly Heroes

Bees especially are so very important for our own survival that I couldn’t have an animal hero post without mentioning saving them. And life without butterflies would just be sad, very sad.
This video of one lucky and grateful bee went viral this year. I truly love Fiona Presly’s compassion. The fact that she noticed this little bee had no wings is amazing in itself, but to also build a haven for it to thrive proves that stopping to smell the roses has its advantages and there is faith in humanity.My friend, Sian Conway from the renowned Ethical Hour, wrote me about her experience of getting a text from her boyfriend and running outside – in her pjs – to try to save a bee! She wrapped it up in a kitchen towel soaked in sugar water and laid her in the sun and 20 mins later, she was moving her legs! She couldn’t get full strength to fly though, so it was probably her time to say goodbye. But last year, Sian did the same thing with another bee who gained her strength enough to fly away! YAY! Not only that, Sian planted 16 trees on her #PlantATree day and invested in 5 @standfortrees projects! And thank you, Barbara Lewison, aka my sister, who saved 7 Monarch butterflies in their 2nd stage of metamorphasis, the caterpillar stage. It all started when she saw a Monarch butterfly feeding off and laying eggs on a Milkweed plant in her garden. After losing 10 large caterpillars to predators and 1 chrysalis to fly infestation, she decided to take action! She brought 7 caterpillars inside her home to provide them sanctuary during their transformation. Monarchs are in danger because Milkweed is the only plant they eat and with the increased use of pesticides and drought conditions, Milkweed is currently a threatened plant which has led to decreased Monarch populations over the past decade.
Monarch Butterfly Rescue
monarch free

Farm Animals

As a vegan, I can’t help but cry when I see farm animals being saved. Get your tissues ready! Farm Sanctuary for the disabled How this Vegan Farm Sanctuary was born The moment when 35 rescued farm animals turned into 70 at Broken Shovels Farm and how the community came together to offer help and support. Trying to understand animal body language
Riding on the Power of Others by Ren Hurst
I read a book earlier this year that really makes you think: Riding on the Power of Others* by Ren Hurst (*affiliate link). She describes her long and painful journey of being a high roller in the horse industry to turning vegan and owning a sanctuary where no horse will ever be ridden again. To truly respect them on a level that is unheard of in today’s society is not only transformational but also deserves my utmost respect because the pain she must have gone through to completely stop doing something she loved most in this world – riding – is immense. But she is now free of that pain. And so are her horses.

To those about to save animals, I salute you! Animal heroes rock! Let’s honor the love and compassion of these beautiful souls who actively saved animals this year.

The Bravehearted

Here are short snippets of animal heroes both human and non-human, interspecies and all in the family. Which rescue is your favorite? Getting a little help from your friends Adrenalin kicking in to save a dangerout bear Saving the Whale Witch Dogs save lives all the time

Natural Disaster Rescues

Oh my, this year was rough on many living beings. Here are just a few examples of heroic actions during the aftermath of a natural disaster. Hurricane Florence Hurricane Florence Mudslide and flooding in India California fires Hurricane Michael

Just a Few Brands that Give Back

A special thanks goes out to those brands with a serious mission to save animals by bringing their talents to conscious consumers and supporting organizations that protect/rescue and care for animals in need. Critically Endangered Socks designs sustainably-made comfy cozy feet huggers and give 20% of their total sale price to 4 charity partners around the world. Elephant Gin and Ivory Ella both have a BIG mission to save the largest land mammal who is severaly threathened from poaching and habitat loss. Honestly, there’s nothing more surreal than seeing elephant families in the wild and I’ll never forget my trip to South Africa and Botswana in 2016. I’m ready to go back! And who wouldn’t enjoy a quality fairtrade and organic cup of java knowing that you’re giving rescue dogs a good home? At Grounds & Hounds, they turn passion into action! At Pet Plus, you’re in good hands as a pet owner and every time a new PetPlus member signs up, they’ll donate a FREE membership to a Best Friends adopted animal. Best Friends is America’s largest animal sanctuary.


Speaking of Giving Back

My mission for Ethical Brand Marketing is to help save animals and our environment by working with brands in a strategic and ethical way so that they can master their marketing and thrive in this marketplace. After donating to a couple of larger organizations, I felt I wanted to really know where my money went and as soon as Sian Conway from Ethical Hour (my bee-saving and ethical marketing friend above) gifted me a day of watermelon-eating fun for chickens at Edgar’s Mission, a rescue sanctuary for farm animals in Australia via B1G1 (Buy1GIVE1), I thought, this is IT! B1G1 makes giving back easy and transparent and since I’m all over easy and transparency, I became a proud member today and won’t have to wonder where my money actually goes. And I no longer have to spend much time finding ethical non-profit organizations that I can really trust because B1G1 does the proofing work for me. If you’re interested in becoming a member, too, talk to me so that I can send you a personal invite which will give you $11 of giving back credit and let the giving back begin!

Be The Change Awards 2019

Giving Back has Never Been More Important

And because giving back is a perfect way to help save animals, humans included, and our planet, I’ve just now become a proud sponsor of the Be The Change Awards for the category of BRANDS THAT GIVE BACK! This event will be held on April 26, 2019 and organized by Sian (yeah, she’s everywhere!), from Ethical Hour and Jo Salter, owner of Where Does It Come From? Not only that, I’m also on the judging panel! I’m SO excited to be a part of this ceremony because it’s people like you who are moving mountains and it’s a great honor for me to celebrate you!
Be The Change Awards 2019
The first ever Be The Change Awards in 2019 will bring together ethical and sustainable brands across a range of sectors that have a powerful impact story to tell. Entries are open now until 31st January 2019. It’s FREE to enter so check it out today to try to walk home with an award in April!

Are you an animal-loving business owner, too?

This year is ending with a powerful and harmless BANG! I’d love to hear the impact you’re making in your business, so please comment below and let’s talk! In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season with your family! I’m looking forward to seeing you in the new year!
Peace and love,
Sharing is Caring
When Nature Cries Out for Help | A German Forest Love Story

When Nature Cries Out for Help | A German Forest Love Story

When Nature Cries Out for Help | A German Forest Love Story

Brown coal excavation area which destroyed most of the Hambach Forest in Germany

Photo: KitzD66, pixabay

A Small Triumph for Nature-Lovers

The Oldest German Forest in Danger

Hambach Forest, aka. Bürgewald, is Germany’s oldest forest. It’s 12,000 years old, but unfortunately, it’s owned by RWE, a utility monger who’s been slowly but surely tearing it apart to excavate brown coal for decades. There’s only about 10% of the original forest left. 10%.

Well now, RWE wants to dig up 50% of that 10% starting next week! Germany’s been in an uproar over this the past few weeks, maybe you’ve heard about it.

Steffen M., a blogger, journalist and forest friend, died trying to walk from one treehouse to another via a man-made bridge that collapsed because the police wouldn’t let him and others document the situation from the ground, so they had to seek refuge in the trees. That was on September 19th. May his soul rest in peace.

Yesterday, the Münster court put a stop to the destruction – for now anyway. The main reason was to save the Bechstein’s bat, a near-threatened bat species.

And the court in Aachen uplifted their demonstration ban for today, so 20k people are expected to protest today! UPDATE: There were around 50,000 people there on Saturday!!!


Mystical German Forests

When you think of Germany, does its magical forests come to mind?

Think of the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm set in German forests.

Rheinhardswald is located along the fairy tale route right next to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It’s also where Lily Bowers lives.

And of course the famous Black Forest, known for its mystery and beauty. And yummy cake.

The fall forest colors are amazing in Germany, too. Incredibly amazing! My birthday is next week and I’ve always, in all the 23 years of living here, enjoyed a lovely Indian Summer birthday in a country where grey skies are the norm.

So, yeah, Germany is well-known for its magical forests and I enjoy getting my #forestfix every day with my labrador. I’m not the only one. It’s been proven that spending time in a forest will improve your health.

Unfortunately, German forests are in danger of being destroyed little by little.

Rheinhardswald is in danger of being partially ripped up to make room for wind turbines – which btw are also not very sustainable. Not only because we rip apart forests for those, but those huge turbines are also made out of plastic and are NOT biodegradable!

And the Hambacher Forst has been destroyed, chunk for chunk, for decades and is in danger of being completely destroyed.


Germany as The Environmental Leader ???

Germany leads the way when it comes to tackling environmental issues but still ends up struggling with producing sustainable energy. I live in NorthRhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr Valley Area, where coal mining was the main industry in the 50s/60s/70s.

My husband’s grandfather was a coal mining manager and was killed after a mine collapsed. He went back in to save one of his guys, but couldn’t save himself and left his wife alone with 5 children.

When I moved to Germany in 1995, I could not hang my clothes out to dry on the balcony because they turned black after just a few hours.

I wasn’t allowed to buy a clothes dryer either because that was just not good for the environment, words I NEVER heard together in the United States btw.

This contradiction boggles the mind, right?

Germany’s since terminated most of their coal mining plants and turned them into exhibition halls where art and culture festivals are celebrated. And I can now hang my clothes out to dry once again. Well, mainly because I live out in the country right near a forest, but Dortmund, where I used to live, has cleaned up its act too.

But not all of it. Coal is, by far, the dirtiest source of energy. And the top managers at RWE know it, but yet, they dig and dig and dig.

Even though residents living in these coal mining areas have to deal with sudden earth collapsing incidents that damage their homes.

All for the name of money.

It’s our responsibility to protect plant and animal species that have no other place to call home.

Respect Mother Nature and All She Takes Care Of

There is absolutely no reason to produce brown coal and RWE couldn’t convince the Münster court of it either, so they lost. For now anyway as this is a temporary 2 year stop.

RWE will take a huge financial loss. And energy costs may rise because of it. Or something even worse may happen in our attempts to get energy from another source. But this conversation NEEDS to start so that we don’t continue to use the most damaging source of energy anymore. Those days are over and humans have become more conscious and more intelligent. Let’s not move back in time, but strongly demand more sustainable sources of energy.

When you think of Germany, what comes to mind? The Black Forest, Rheinhardswald and now the Hambach Forest. It’s our responsibility to protect Germany’s most beautiful feature, the forest.

Hope is in the Air

My heart sings a beautiful love song today as the animals in the Hambach forest are safe, for now. And the trees can continue to breathe and provide us with clean air and hope.

I truly believe that if every human being would be one with nature and respect all that Mother Nature provides us, there would be world peace. Yes, I do believe in fairy dust, but I also believe in the power of people and in the opportunity to be the change. This event proves that we DO have the power to inspire change and for that, I’m grateful.

I don’t know what will happen to this magical forest after this 2 years are up, but I do know that humans are not above nature. Nature will prevail. Always.

Let us sing.


How are you helping to save animals or the environment in your own community? Please comment below and let’s talk !

Peace and love,

How Real-Life Experiences Inspire Change

How Real-Life Experiences Inspire Change

How Real-Life Experiences Inspire Change

Experiences Inspire Change

Let’s Talk about Expat Life, Mid-Term Elections, Global Warming and Animal Abuse

This post is super long, but I’ve had so many experiences this year that I just have to share them with you, so I’ll just jump right in.


Expat Life is GOOD

Monday, September 17th was my 23rd anniversary in Germany. That very day in 1995, I landed in Frankfurt without a clue of what I was doing. I was young and in love, that’s all I knew.

When my German fiancée asked me where we should live when we were living in Atlanta, I immediately said, ‘NOT here’. One reason was because of a gun assaulter at the parking lot of a pub who got no money from me but invaded my life in the most horrible way and another reason was my wanderlust that I haven’t yet been able to pursue.

I had no clue I would permanently stay here at the time of my move, let alone realize what other benefits I’d have being a European resident.

The list is long and ranges from: gun control = increased safety to paid maternity leave & real vacation time = happier & more productive employees to affordable healthcare = happier & healthier people to less toxicity in products & food = healthier people who enjoy higher quality food with flavor.

Honestly, the food in the states has decreased in quality so much that I’m actually scared to eat there! It’s disgusting!

Moving to Germany wasn’t the easiest thing for me to do. I had to pack up my whole entire life in 21 boxes, 2 suitcases and 1 carry-on and leave my family and friends to move to a strange place without knowing anyone but my husband and not being able to communicate. But I can tell you it was the best decision I’ve ever made!


Best Experience Ever!

Although I had many challenges as an expat in my early years here in Germany, that move gave me a new perspective on my own country and my life.

It showed me that the American dream is not exactly what it’s cracked up to be.

It taught me to appreciate very important basic human rights that we have in Europe but not in America.

It taught me to be even more compassion for nature, animals (humans included) and our environment.

It taught me about what’s really important in life: relationships, not money.

The list is so long and evergreen. I am truly grateful.

I would love all Americans to experience these feelings too and one way is to vote which brings me to the next topic: Mid-Term Elections.


Your Vote Counts

On November 6th, US citizens have the opportunity to make a change in the administration. And in the loving, tear-jerking words of one of my heroes, Dr. Jane Goodall, “And my goodness, don’t we need to change the world?”

It may not be a huge change that we’ll see, but If the Democrats win the majority, we’ll hopefully see some light in the darkness that’s been hovering over us for the past couple of years. More on this.

As an expat, I have to request an absentee ballot for every presidential election, mid-terms included, so I’ve just sent that in. If you’re an expat, here’s the link for more information.

Please be patient and diligent though because they don’t make it easy for expats to vote! One time, I was told to put my email address in all caps to confirm my ballot and low and behold THAT worked. All caps? Really? Thanks guys for making this easy! As a marketer, I’m all about usability, but this is a whole other level of user-unfriendliness. This is a crime!

If you’re not having any luck with that website, please contact the voting registration office of the county where you last lived and just keep on them. Please do NOT give up your right to vote, because we NEED it! But if you have any questions, please just contact me and I’ll do what I can to help you out.

Can’t we all just get along? It’s time we all learn how to communicate in a more respectful and non-violent way.

Be Respectful with Non-Violent Communication

I often worry and talk about global warming and so I posted something on FB the other day about exercising your right to vote to make some positive changes in our government regarding our environment.

Upon reading a few comments, one stuck with me. It read: ‘fake news’. Now, I knew there were people who didn’t believe in climate change, but I’ve never actually ‘met’ a climate change denier, so I sought the opportunity to discuss this issue further because although I know I won’t change his mind and he’ll never change mine, I honestly want to understand the motivation behind environmentalists and scientists to downright lie. This is the information I’m missing, so I asked about that.

But after reading the bloody fighting match that brewed between two other fb friends and the person who denies climate change, I feel it’s time we all learn how to communicate in a more respectful and non-violent way.

I know that my passion can turn into rage within a millisecond. This, however, does me no good whatsoever. I can’t sleep, I feel exhausted and sometimes when I get in an argument with a close friend or relative, I make myself sick!

So, with this newly gained knowledge of self-sabotage, I know if I keep this up, I will indeed have a heart attack.

Become your Higher Self

This year, I’ve done a lot of self-care because I’ve had a LOT on my plate and was feeling overwhelmed and constantly exhausted, so I sought help and through my work with my dear Burnout Coach, Jess Bonasso, and with my divine leadership mastermind group, I’m slowly learning how to channel my anger and am now practicing a more respectful way to communicate and guess what: it feels SO good.

I now feel more aligned with my higher soul’s purpose of inspiring others to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of through my writing. I’m truly grateful for all my new friends who’ve helped me along the way.

It’s challenging though because of how I was raised and how I feel about certain events that harm humans, animals and our environment. All this upsets me – I mean REALLY upsets me – but I must remember, this is SO important if I want to help create the peaceful and respectful world I want to live in!

Also, I think non-violent communication is the best gift we can give our children.

Experiences Shape Our World and
Form our Higher Soul’s Purpose

There are Many Forms of Animal Abuse

Circus Animals

Not only did I start the conversation about global warming, I felt the need to do the same with a lady who rang my doorbell the other day begging for money for her circus animals.

I politely said no but wanted to explain more and ask her questions about their animals and their care, but she immediately rolled her eyes and walked away to knock on my neighbor’s door.

I had to sit with my rage for a while and then I acted by posting in our local FB group to 1) warn my neighbors that they’re back again and 2) to inform them with an article in German about circus animal abuse as to why they shouldn’t support this cause.

Animals do not belong in a circus

The reactions were positive and it sparked a fellow member of our local animal rescue unit to post a different resource to inform our community.

I don’t think I need to preach to the choir and explain why we shouldn’t support circuses with animals, but if you want to know more information, please contact me.


Animal Testing in the Medical Field

Animal Testing is inhumane, inaccurate and more expensive than alternative methods

Also, during my ‘summer break’, I joined the German organization, Ärzte Gegen Tierversuche e.V. (Doctors Against Animal Testing) who are very active in spreading awareness about alternative methods to testing on animals in the medical field such as in vitro, in vivo and in silico.

But they don’t just inform adults, they inform children (8+) too which is perfect because I’m writing my first fantasy book on the topic of animal testing for middle-graders, so I’d like to work more closely with them.

On Monday, I spoke with a biology teacher of the school my daughter attends and asked if I could send her information about this organization so that she can present it to the school board to invite a representative to speak to the students about this topic.

Education is key when it comes to conservation and children need to know the truth about these topics. Children love animals and usually don’t know how much pain and suffering they unnecessarily have to endure in these lab experiments, so if you’re also interested in learning more about it, please visit their site or find a similar organization in your own country.

And would you know: This year alone, I’ve declined two well-paying voiceover medical projects because I don’t want to support the pharmaceutical industry that make animal testing in the medical field a requirement. I also declined an offer to narrate a campaign video for a US politician who had extremely opposing political views. I don’t like saying no to potential clients, but I couldn’t live with myself if I had said yes.


The Animal Food Industry

In July, my 11-year-old daughter went on a school trip to visit a pig farm. She thought it was going to be an organic farm, but to her dismay, it was a traditional one. She came back home with tears in her eyes and anger in her voice.

During her visit, she was very active and asked the farmer why they weren’t allowed to go outside and why they were stuffed together like sardines and why that pig was bloody, etc. I think she really put him to the test! #proudmama

He explained that this was normal. Some background info: I’m a vegan, so my daughter already knows a lot about animal abuse and the farming industry.

Farm animals need and deserve our love and respect

We’ve visited several dairy farms, but never a pig farm. The thing is, when I didn’t look happy during our last visit to this ‘modern, high-tech’ dairy farm where our dear friend worked, my daughter criticized me for frowning. She didn’t want our friend to feel bad.

I told her that I’m sorry and I don’t want to hurt her, but I can’t be happy when I see cows in small spaces, stepping on their own poop with no chance to see the sunlight or to be with their calves. I just feel so sad and I can’t hide my own feelings by putting on my happy face. She said she understood back then, but now I know she really understands!

There’s nothing better than to have her experience the reality herself. I could talk all I want, but she won’t really be able to understand until she sees it herself.

This is how change is inspired!

My daughter now asks gma for either organic meat or a vegetarian meal at gma’s house, who is, by the way, NOT too happy about it, but will do anything for her granddaughter. Me, her daughter-in-law? I have to bring my own food if I want to eat at her house, but that’s OK because she’s challenged with vegetables and pours a sugar dressing on them!

And I guarantee you my daughter will make the switch to vegetarianism and then to veganism at some point in her life. For me, this is her choice and her choice only, but I can clearly see that she’s already shaping her own path and I’m so proud of her.

Experiences Shape Our World and Form our Higher Soul’s Purpose

Through these – and many more – experiences, I’ve come to realize how I can make a difference.

Through my work as an experienced marketer, I help ethical brand owners and marketers who are making an impact in this world create and implement a marketing strategy that rocks.

I’m currently writing about the adventures of Lily Bowers, a 10-year-old girl who finds out she has an amazing gift, but with that amazing gift, she has the huge challenge of having to save someone very dear to her.

This will be the first book of a fantasy series that addresses various animal rights and environmental issues because my soul purpose on this beautiful Earth is to inspire people, especially children, to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of through my writing.

My work and the changes I want to make inspire me to get up each and every day. What about you?


What differences are you making in your life?


How did your very own experiences shape your life and the work you’re doing today? Please comment below and let’s talk !

Peace and Love,

An Open Letter of Apology to Mother Nature

An Open Letter of Apology to Mother Nature

An Open Letter of Apology to Mother Nature

Southern White Rhino

My Heart Bleeds this Week

Sudan, the last Northern White Rhino male is Dead

I’m sure you’ve heard about him. Sudan was put to sleep on Monday. He was old and it was his time to leave us. His death was painful though, not just for me but for many other caring humans. I’ve been following him and his family for quite some time now. Ever since I found out about Suni, the 2nd to last male, who died in 2014.

The image above is of a Southern White Rhino, NOT the Northern White. There are about 20,000 left of this subspecies which is considered ‘Near Threatened’ according to the IUCN Red List Classification. What’s inspiring though is that in the early 1900s, there were only 50-100 left in the wild, so that’s good news, but still, it would be better if no animal were to land on the IUCN Red List at all.

I had the pleasure to visit the Plettenberg Game Reserve in South Africa through my work with Safari With Us, an ethical tour operator located in Johannesburg.

It was the last stretch of my family’s 3-week tour of South Africa, Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and I hadn’t seen any rhinos yet. Knowing about their fate by poacher’s hands, I felt an enormous surge of hope when I spotted them. Tears streamed down my face as the driver looked in his back mirror and said, ‘I think someone’s very happy.’ He knew all I wanted was to see rhinos in their natural habitat, free of fear. Of course, rangers were near to protect them in that reserve, because poachers are everywhere and have the GPS technology to locate their prey and quickly kill rhinos for their rhino horn and elephants for their tusks.


What’s up with Rhino Horn Anyway?

Rhino horn is sold in a few Asian countries because the myth is that rhino horn, when broken down into a powder, can cure cancer and act as an aphrodisiac or a hallucinogen. It’s also considered a symbol of wealth.

The reality though is that rhino horn is made of keratin, the same stuff our nails are made of. So, anyone who believes rhino horn is magic should just bite their nails if they want to get healthy, horny or high.

I’m sorry for being sarcastic, but it’s unacceptable for us to drive a beautiful species into extinction for absolutely no reason.


It’s Also My Mom’s Birthday Today

My mom holding me in 1972.
She was only 22.

Not only did we lose Sudan, I’m still mourning my mom’s death. She passed away at the age of 66 on July 20, 2016, the same day we arrived in Johannesburg to start our 3-week tour in Southern Africa. I stayed on that trip because it was her wish. She knew she was going to die, but didn’t tell us. She had a cavernoma close to her optic nerve, but not in her brain that was surgically removed one week before my trip and survived that harsh surgery and we thought all was good, but it wasn’t. She had a pulmonary embolus and didn’t make it.

On the flight home, I wrote about her death and my grief during that trip and submitted it directly to the Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. She wrote back and immediately gave me access to become a contributor. She also mentioned that it was her last day at The Huff Post because she founded, Thrive Global, of which I’m also a contributor. I’ve never had contact with her before, but this just proves how amazing this woman is. She’s a celebrity, but took the time to write me in my time of grief. Maybe because she felt her own grief when she lost her mother several years ago and wrote about her profound passing. But from what I’ve heard from others, that’s just how Arianna is – a beautiful woman who cares deeply for the well-being of others.

The reason why I’m writing this today though is that today, March 23, is my mom’s birthday. She – and my dad who passed away on August 8, 2017 at the age of 65 – taught me to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of. I grew up in a household of rescues. To this day, I take spiders outside, either that or just leave them where they are. If they’re too big, I call my husband to take them outside. They deserve to live a safe and happy life, just like we do.

It’s our responsibility to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of. It’s our obligation to stop harming animals and forcing precious species into extinction.

Dear Mother Nature,

I deeply apologize for your suffering. Throughout time, we have shown how easily we can drive entire species into extinction. We were given this power and have taken it for granted.

Although you have shown us time and time again via natural disasters how upset you are about our destructive ways, we still haven’t stopped harming animals (humans included) and our environment. The unnecessary torture continues.

I don’t know what to say except that I am truly sorry and hope that we can collectively help turn things around and make real changes in this world. We respect and love you and want you to thrive. Please forgive us and give us the strength and power to help you heal.

Dear Mother Nature, I deeply apologize for your suffering. Throughout time, we have shown how easily we can drive entire species into extinction. Please forgive us and give us the strength and power to help you heal

What Can I Do?

Over the past few years, I’ve dealt with a lot of loss, not only my parents but also all my grandparents and my father-in-law. I’ve come to accept that life is short and we’re on this Earth for a reason. I’ve realized what my life’s purpose is and that is to:

1) Help ethical brand owners market their incredible business so that they can make positive changes in their industry. In order to heal Mother Nature and our planet Earth, we have to support the good guys. They have to thrive!

2) Inspire children to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of through my writing which is why I’ve started the first of a Middle-Grade Children’s Book series addressing animal rights issues. It’s children who have a powerful voice and the ability and motivation to initiate change. If you want to help me on my mission, please subscribe to receive a updates, free Kindle copies and much more. Feel free to share this link with others too:

3) I’m also now a vegan because I can’t support any animal cruelty, so I don’t eat or wear animals. I’m not perfect though and take meds when I need them which are tested on animals, but that’s why I’m a member of Ärzte Gegen Tierversuche e.V. (Doctors Against Animal Experiments), a German organization with the sole purpose of stopping the cruel and many times, useless animal experiments in the medical field.


What Can You Do?

Think before you buy! As a consumer, you have a choice. You can either shop consciously or not. Every dollar/euro you spend says a lot about the world you want to live in. If you care about endangered species, child labor, your own health and the health of others, then make sure you know how stuff is made before you buy it. Do your research. The more you support horrible industry practices, the more harm will be done and your grandchildren will pay an even higher price than you.

If you need help in finding an ethical brand, please contact me. I can help you find one you’d be more than happy to support!

I have talked about how much of a pain it is to shop consciously, but I strongly believe that if more people are mindful about their shopping habits and if ethical brand owners continue doing good, the bad industry practices will fade away.

Through my work at Ethical Brand Marketing, I’ve met a lot of amazing people who are trying to make positive changes in their industries. People who care about our lovely planet Earth and every living being who inhabits it.

They make sure their materials and ingredients are ethically sourced and healthy, not toxic. They put great care into their employee’s welfare and believe in the value of Fairtrade. They also see to it that no animals are harmed in the process.

This is the world I want to live in. This is the way life SHOULD be!

Humans are not here on this Earth to conquer and destroy, although we’re doing a pretty good job of it. So, which side are you on? Do you want to live in a peaceful and ethical world or do you want to continue conquering and destroying it? It’s your choice.


Do you also have a heart for animals?


How are you helping heal Mother Nature? Please comment below and let’s talk !

Peace and love,

Gone Vegan: How I Show my Respect for Mother Earth

Gone Vegan: How I Show my Respect for Mother Earth

Gone Vegan: How I Show my Respect for Mother Earth

Mutual Love: Vegans love cows and cows love vegans

Celebrating Earth Day 2017

Saturday is International Earth Day and I’m celebrating it big this year!

This year’s theme is: “Environmental & Climate Literacy”. Earth Day will be celebrated more than any other Earth Day in the past, partly because of the lack of support of the new Trump administration, but also because we need to do more to help save our beloved Mother. She is sick!

The official March for Science in Washington DC – as well as smaller marches around the world – are taking place on Earth Day to spread awareness of how important science is to saving our planet. Please take a moment and look for an event nearest you.

My Contribution

I’m not marching this time because I have other nature-related plans, but I’ve got something to announce! It’s official, I have (finally) made the transition from vegetarianism to veganism!

I’ve been working up to this moment, both emotionally and physically, for a few years now, but after talking with a few amazing women and receiving more information about the dairy industry, the last straw was drawn yesterday and I didn’t even get to eat my Easter veggie lasagne leftovers.

Dear Cheese. I’m sorry, but we’re done. Cheese was the only thing holding me back from living a vegan lifestyle. And believe me, I honestly was addicted to cheese, regardless if science proved otherwise.

Although my decision really has nothing to do with Earth Day, there is a strong connection with turning vegan and my love and respect for Mother Nature and everything she offers. I feel her presence every time I go on a walk with my dog, sit down to pick the weeds, plant a new tree or harvest a hokkaido pumpkin or rhubarb stalk in my garden.

When I’m outside, either digging in the dirt or walking in the woods, I’m most happy. I was basically raised in the woods and as a family, we camped a lot. My mom was also the one who taught me to respect all living creatures, big and small, weak and strong. May she rest in peace.

Now, it’s time to give something back to Mother Nature. Even if it’s just a little drop in a huge ocean, every drop is important when decreasing the demand for an industry that is severely doing harm to animals. And a little less methane in the air can’t hurt either.

“Humans have the responsibility to respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of.

For me, living a vegan lifestyle is a small step taken on the right path.”

Jessica Lohmann

Why Vegan? Why so Extreme?

I have a few reasons why I made this decision.

1: It Breaks My Heart

I don’t know about you, but when I watch films and a human dies, I honestly don’t care or shed one tear, but euthanize Marley and I lose it! I was raised in a world full of animals. We had a dogs, cats, birds, fish, a guinea pig and many rescue wild animals along the way. I always had a heart for animals.

ALL animals have feelings. They are able to communicate and show respect and love. They feel pain and they can get depressed. It breaks my heart when I see any kind of animal abuse, whether it be putting a lion in a cage at a zoo, or a bird in a cage in your house or taming an elephant for a tourist to ride or for a circus stunt.

So if this stuff bothers me, how can I live with myself when male chicks get shredded, cow udders get infected or their tails cut off without anesthesia and of course when farmed animals spend more time inside than out? Answer is: I can’t. I’ve been living with this guilt for a long time and although I feel guilty for not taking this step earlier, I have to forgive myself and welcome the transition now.

2: The Animal Food Industry is Unnatural

Baby calves are taken away from their mothers shortly after birth. We’re told because it poses a threat for the baby since their survival rate is low, so it’s better to separate them early and feed them with a bottle. Hhmm, what’s wrong with this picture? Female mammals are physically equipped to feed their baby. Period.

And, I guarantee that if you just had one cow mama and her baby in a field and provided them with freedom, shelter, food and water, they would thrive like you wouldn’t believe.

3: I Have Trust Issues

I do not trust the food industry. With all the chemicals, gmos, antibiotics, steroids and processing that is done to food, no wonder so many people are getting sick. It really scares me and I certainly don’t want to eat poison.

Thank goodness for the internet and social media because now, we are able to do our own research. However, we’ll never know the whole story because many things will always be hidden from us. So, with veganism, I at least know I’m decreasing the poison just a little. yay!

btw: I’m not a Judge

I’m the only vegan in my family. Sure, I have to walk away from the table when my husband eats a chicken neck. What the??? But, I don’t try to change my family, nor anyone else and they certainly know they’re never gonna change me. We all want to eat in peace, right?

I would, however, love to see veganism go beyond the ‘trend’ and become a standard way of life for many others. And for vegan and cruelty-free companies to thrive.

Amazing Resource on Transitioning to Veganism

I’m adding this incredible resource from Future Kind to help you with your own transition.

I wish I had read this when I transitioned in 2017, but since they also wrote about having to deal with the numerous ‘questions from family and friends’ and provide nutrition guidance, I still find it valuable today. The polls of how others transitioned are also very interesting as we all have our own reasons and experiences.

I’m curious, are you a vegan or vegetarian or are thinking about becoming one? Care to share your experiences below?

Sending the very best,

Sharing is Caring

Celebrating my 20th Anniversary as an Expat – This is my special #TBT

Celebrating my 20th Anniversary as an Expat – This is my special #TBT

Celebrating my 20th Anniversary as an Expat
This is my special #TBT

Welcome to Germany

Twenty years ago today …

On September 17, 1995, I landed in Frankfurt, Germany – ready, excited and feeling a bit nauseous to start my new life as an expat. I never left the US before. I didn’t know German except ‘My name is’, ‘I come from’, ‘I am ?? years old’. I knew a total of 5 people.

Since I was engaged to a German, I had someone to hold my hand and I couldn’t have been more grateful. I lived with my fiancée’s grandmother (Oma) and she was great! I was left alone with her for the first 2 weeks while my fiancée went to work. She talked and talked and talked and I understood a word here or there… We laughed a lot, although I didn’t know why. She was so good to me. She not only took me in, but also my cat and my yellow collared mini macaw. She was cute. I miss her.

After those 2 weeks, we were in our own apartment and I started German lessons at the Auslandsgesellschaft (Ausländer = foreigner) in Dortmund. Get this: for 6 hours a day, 8 months straight, I learned German! In that time, I got 2 migraines in a total of 4 in my life. Yes, it was that intense. But, it was good. I learned German, you bet I did! I also learned while watching Star Trek Next Generation and Little House on the Prairie reruns after language school. I learned German while dreaming. I learned German on the tram and on the street.

I still have an accent.

In fact, some companies hire me to do their German voiceovers because they like my accent! That’s fine by me!

Feeling Comfortable

It took me about 4 years to ‘get used to’ the German way of life. Experts say that’s normal. I was homesick when I ate at a Mexican restaurant and they didn’t know what jalapeños were and put ketchup on my nachos. I was homesick every time I went into a store where ‘customer service’ was non-existent. I got homesick when I was told I’d have to put in another 5 years of college because my bachelor’s degree meant diddly squat. I proved them wrong! I got homesick when I was criticized about the American way and our gov’t being bad. I got homesick when I couldn’t watch David Letterman anymore. But am thankful for YouTube that lets me view some special moments. I got homesick when I had to ride the public transportation system for years before I was able to drive with a German license. I got homesick when a family member or a friend was having a celebration. I get homesick when I can’t physically give someone my shoulder to cry on or a big hug. I got homesick when my grandfather died and since then 4 other grandparents and I couldn’t attend any of the funerals.

I still get homesick, but now it’s only because I miss my family and friends.

‘Why on earth are you living here?’

People used to ask me this question all the time. My answer was and still is, ‘I love the beer’ or ‘Not because of the weather’. Both are true, but there’s more… The social system is not perfect by any means, but it is more humane. The business ethic as well… They don’t and are not allowed to just throw you out without any notice from a job. The gov’t cares for their employees and for companies large and small. They take care of immigrants, the ill, the weak, the poor, the mothers AND the fathers and the educators… Did you know there are only 2 countries in the world who doesn’t guarantee maternity leave? Guess which ones: USA & Papua New Guinea. That’s just uncool.

For the most part anyway. It’s not perfect as I wrote. Utopia does not exist.

Europeans seem to be more environmentally conscious, even though I’ll still see people flick cigarettes out their car door windows! They take care of their animals and make sure they have time for them before welcoming them into their homes. They take breaks and value their vacation time.

For the most part anyway.

There are exceptions to everything I’ve written above. There is still corporate stuff to deal with, more red tape than you have ever known in your life and enough sour apples to ruin entire batches, so it’s definitely not perfect over here, but for me, it’s better. And that’s why I’ve chosen to stay.

And oh, let’s not forget the forests here! What beautiful forests Germany has!

But strangely enough – or perhaps obviously enough – I don’t get asked that question anymore. Things have changed drastically over the past 20 years in the states and it’s not all good… But, what are ya gonna do?

Beam Me Up, Scotty

I am still waiting for someone to invent the ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ technology though. C’mon, there are gazillion incredibly brilliant engineers over here, why is this so difficult? The auto industry, that’s why. I knew it, sigh…

So, here I sit with my Skype on, wondering who I’m gonna call tonight on my 20th anniversary of living in Germany. I think I’ll call my parents who brought me to the airport the day before my landing. Or one of my dearest friends of all time who came to say bye. Back then, they were allowed to stay with me until I boarded. They remember that day well.

Tears were shed and no one had a clue it was going to be forever… And who knows, it may not be forever, but for now, I’m here and I’m sorry mom and dad. I’m sorry everyone. I love you and think of you all the time.

As I look back and reflect on this moment of stepping off the plane in Frankfurt and the past 20 years, there are so many memories that I can’t put them all in this blog post. But I would be more than thrilled to discuss anything with you in the comments. Are you an expat? What have you experienced? What was your biggest challenge? Your biggest fear? Your largest triumph?

Sending the very best,

Sharing is Caring

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