Making a difference with micro movements

Lovely Charlie Plunkett shares what 'small-steps' activism means to her in our eighth Mama Activism guest post. It's also the first leg on her virtual book tour (find out more below) so we're cutting some bright shiny ribbon and popping some fizz in her honour! 

I was delighted to be asked to write a piece about being a mum and an activist, delighted and then slightly worried as the word activist is not one I have ever used about myself before.

I was really inspired by the wonderful blog Jenelle Montilone wrote. She started her piece by telling the story of a young man, who on seeing a beach full of starfish started saving them by throwing them back in the ocean and this really resonated with me.

During my pregnancy I found myself in this exact scenario. My husband Dave and I were walking along a beach and as far as the eye could see were washed up starfish. I started tossing them into the sea and soon Dave joined me. As we passed other people on the beach they saw what we were doing and helped us. Just as the young man in the story expressed, we couldn’t save all the starfish but we made a difference for many of them and it felt the right thing to do.

This got me thinking... The word activist sounds very grown up and something that I have never labelled myself. Yet here I am entering my 18th year of being a strict vegan. True, I don’t go on marches, as crowds make me nervous, but I actively save animals with the choices I make.

My husband is a vegetarian, vegan when I’m cooking! I had a healthy vegan pregnancy and my little boy is now a healthy, happy four year old. We have given him the choice if he would like to be vegetarian or vegan and at the moment he chooses to be vegan.

As a mother I obviously wish only the best for my child. I am raising him to be his own person, and as he gets older I hope to arm with information to make his own informed decisions as to what is right for him.

I believe in something I call ‘micro-movements’ by that I mean taking lots of little steps that at the time don’t appear too big of a deal, but over time these micro-movements make a big difference. We don’t preach our beliefs to others but we try to lead by example. Our family know there will be no meat or fish served in our home and we even had an entirely veggie/vegan wedding. All the guests loved the delicious food we served and it made us feel good that on our special day no animals had suffered.

Every time I prepare a meal for family or friends, (which is quite often as I love cooking), I have actively promoted an animal-free lifestyle and I have found people to be genuinely interested in why I chose to abstain from animal products.

I have written about being a vegan in a series of ‘true diaries’ and have provided menus from our wedding day in The True Diary of a Bride-to-be, how to eat  a healthy vegan diet in The True Diary of a Mum-to-be and a vegan weaning chart in my book The True Diary of Baby’s First Year.

If my words touch anyone enough to make a change to their lifestyle then fabulous, but regardless I know as a family we will continue to care about the welfare of animals and in our own ‘micro’ way make a difference.

To celebrate the publication of Charlie's fourth book 100 Little Words on Parenthood she is going on a mega book blog tour. Commencing right here and running for two weeks up untill Mothers day. Charlie will be visiting some of the best parenting sites there are as well as popping in on some of her favourite authors. She will be guest blogging, being interviewed and her book will be reviewed. Full details at her site


You might also like these other fab posts in our Mama Activism series:

Activate Mama Bloggers (about Team HONK and Red Nose Day)

Parenting and activism: @Lulasticblog

Powerful mothers: on body distraction and changing the world@storyofmum

Mumra and other thunderous Kats@katpearce

How do you measure making a difference? Jenelle @TrashN2Tees

On Empowerment: Teika @mothersmilkbks

An activist at heart: Lisa @lisahassanscott

Better than nothing: Chelsea @msmummyoftwo

And these posts from us at story of mum:

Let's change the world piece by piece: Pippa @storyofmum

Powerful mothers: on body distraction and changing the world: Pippa @storyofmum

We talked about Mama Activism at our last #somum Make Date.

And please sign Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger campaign petition.