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Awakin Calls » Jasmin Singer on Dec 2, 2017

Compassion Unlocks Identity
Our guest this week was led to animal rights activism through the practice of self-care. Compassion bestowed on herself blossomed into compassion for all sentient beings. In your own experience, what is the relationship between self-care and service, or self-care and taking a stand on behalf of the well-being of other beings in the world?
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Call with Jasmin Singer
Dec 2, 2017, 9:00AM PST

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"What I want to stand for is compassion for myself first, and then for all those other individuals, humans and non humans whom we so easily cast aside. The ones we marginalize, the ones we choose not to see, the ones we don't call beautiful." -Jasmin Singer from her TED talk "Compassion Unlocks Identity" Jasmin Singer is the co-founder and co-host of Our Hen House, Inc, a non-profit multimedia hub that aspires to change the world for animals, as well as the Senior Editor for the award-winning VegNews Magazine, the world's leading vegan media brand. She is passionate about mainstreaming veganism and helping people achieve better health while living in alignment with their values. Bullied through childhood and her young adult years for being See full.
"What I want to stand for is compassion for myself first, and then for all those other individuals, humans and non humans whom we so easily cast aside. The ones we marginalize, the ones we choose not to see, the ones we don't call beautiful." -Jasmin Singer from her TED talk "Compassion Unlocks Identity"

Jasmin Singer is the co-founder and co-host of Our Hen House, Inc, a non-profit multimedia hub that aspires to change the world for animals, as well as the Senior Editor for the award-winning VegNews Magazine, the world's leading vegan media brand. She is passionate about mainstreaming veganism and helping people achieve better health while living in alignment with their values. Bullied through childhood and her young adult years for being overweight, Singer's life dramatically changed when she began to take self-care seriously. Her weight dropped by 100 pounds, and the world that had overlooked her before suddenly began to take notice. The unsettling social implications of this fueled a deeper inquiry into her relationship with herself -- for the first time on her own terms. Discovering a self-compassion that transcended labels and judgments soon flung open the door to compassion for all living beings. There was no looking back. 

Today Jasmin is author of the acclaimed memoir, "Always Too Much and Never Enough", and the cohost of the Webby-recognized "Our Hen House" podcast. Online and on screen she appears in the "Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan" podcast, the award-winning documentaries Vegucated and The Ghosts In Our Machine, and she has also been featured on the Dr. Oz Show and HuffPo Live. She speaks regularly across the country and beyond its borders on veganism and animal activism.

Jasmin's invitation to the world is for each person to step up and be a better version of themselves, an invitation she vibrantly embraces herself -- with a potent mixture of honesty, humor, grit and empathy. She recently moved to Northern California from NYC, and is the companion human to a sweet pit bull named Rose and a cute kitty called Stella.


Five Questions for Jasmin

What Makes You Come Alive?
I am passionate about mainstreaming veganism, which includes sharing the countless benefits of living a plant-based life with those who are ready to live in alignment with their values and achieve better health. One of my favorite ways to reach people is through creating responsible media that is accessible and engaging, yet challenges readers and listeners to step up and be a better version of themselves (as a lifelong learner, I'm constantly trying to be a better version of myself as well). The medium of personal narrative as a way to create personal and social change is also something that I am passionate about, which is a process that has come alive for me during the last year and a half of my book tour. When I see people begin to prioritize self-care, and when I see them extend that self-compassion to others, including animals, I am moved and inspired.

Your Greatest Inspiration?
My grandmother was, and remains, extremely beloved to me. She was the light of my life, until I realized that I was my own light ... she just knew where the flashlight's "on" button was well before I did. When she was dying and lost the use of her limbs due to a brain tumor, she began to live her life from a wheelchair. It was very shocking to me, when I would take her out, to see how people began to dismiss this now-disabled person, when they had once celebrated her. What was pivotal to me was that Grandma didn't let that get her down. When people would address me instead of her, as I pushed her wheelchair, she would look them in the eye and answer for herself. That's because she answered to herself. Experiencing that, and regularly recalling those moments, has emboldened me to stop caring so much what others think of me, and instead prioritize how I think of myself, their opinions notwithstanding.

An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
A few years ago, I was feeling very down in my life. I challenged myself to run in a half-marathon so that I could focus on something other than my sadness. I was shocked when I went to pick my race number up and it was 1979, the year I was born. Despite the excitement from the synchronicity of my race number, and the pride I felt for completing my training for the race, I was still feeling blue, and couldn't seem to shake it. On the night before the race, I wound up in a conversation with a stranger, and mentioned my 1979 race number. He asked if anyone was coming to see me run, and I said no. The next day, somewhere around mile 11, when I was really feeling the run wearing on my muscles, a huge group of people I had never seen before, holding 1979 signs, started wildly cheering me on. In the middle of the group was that stranger from the day before. He had gotten a group of his friends to come and cheer on a woman they had never met before. I was so moved by that act that I was lifted out of my depression, and inspired to do random acts of kindness for others. I felt so refreshed to be reminded of the big hearts of complete strangers. That moment will always stick with me.

One Thing On Your Bucket List?
I would like to write and perform a one-woman show centered around social justice.

One-line Message for the World?
Boldly allow compassion--for ourselves first, and then for every other individual who is so easily pushed aside--to unlock our true identity.


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