Veganism, for me, has always been one dimension of a broader ache and interest—in truth-seeking, in the study of higher consciousness, in matters of the heart. It is one course in a study of love.
The same love drives my first calling—art—through which my activism unfolded into the series of children's books you know. But for most of my life, the art I've created has been about women, our bodies and our inner lives, what we are in this world.
I'm writing to tell you about a shift I'm making in my work, a return to broader territory and themes, although I do think you'll find that the new intersects with the old. I hope you'll follow along, the shift is tectonic for me.
Just over a year ago, I superbombed my life, and in the void of the detonation, created a very personal body of artwork.
What flowed out were girl gods, wild women, wise women, and an understanding that, in all dimensions—personal, familial, social, political, environmental, cosmic—ashes are always ingredients for new forms.
I made a shop for my art, separate from my children's books, and there I'll tell you more about how and why it came to be. The story is not just my own, it's about you, too.
For now, my newsletters will remain separate. If you'd like to follow my personal artwork and upcoming shows separately, please sign up for the Draw Or Die x Ruby Roth newsletter in the print shop—or follow @ruby_roth on Instagram (@wedonteatanimals, too). Not yet, but one day, I may tell you that I'm combining my newsletters...because to me, there are no boundaries between my art and activism; there is no "children's" work versus "adult" work, it is all lines on paper. And it all stems from that ongoing study of love.
Thank you for your support always,
Waaaaaahhhhh, this news!
I reckon I'd rather live under a rock sometimes, you know?! But even then, I think I'd have heard the world's collective outcry against Trump's withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement today. The reverberation is palpable.
Dear Trump, the "pullout" method is neither a reliable form of birth control nor climate control!
You, Sweet Agent of Change, and I are connected via this newsletter to begin with because we're people who, at some point, by way of other peoples' efforts, luckily came into contact with the idea of veganism and all its far-reaching benefits, solutions, and transformative powers.
That being said, I wanted to drop you a time-sensitive note. At this very moment, we need to:
• waste ZERO time and energy being outraged at the lunacy.
• be extra extroverted about vegan choices in our businesses, workplaces, social media, schools, and communities.
• be extra loud amongst the "progressive" population of people who recycle, drive Priuses, etc., but continue to eat animals.
No matter how much we all want to demonstrate our rage, let's be leaders by managing it wisely instead. Let's not hate outwardly in social media, let's not retreat under a rock, let's just make ourselves known to others as go-to resources, in the context of this very time, for how to be legitimately, practically, truly sustainable—with our food, our clothing, our purchases, our habits.
In Vegan Is Love, I wrote: How wonderful that at this very moment, everyone has the power to make the world a better place. We don't have to wait to grow older, for laws to change, or Presidents to be elected. We can begin right now."
Go to it, and let's get the next generation on board immediately. Fill them in on what's happening. My books will help you explain the motives behind veganism in a way they'll understand (the Help Yourself Cookbook, by the way, is good for all ages, vegans and non—it will encourage "healthy eating" without causing any wars with anyone you give it to).
Energy is intense right now, right?! The whole United States is feeling feelings!
Amidst all the resistance and fear and protest and negativity, I wanted to express/suggest something else:
I am excited. I feel very goddamn strong.
All the ugly has to come out if we're going to annihilate it (that goes for personal and public matters; the micro and the macro) and the progressive population needed to realize that buying a Prius ain't enough.
In my 10+ years of vegan activism, the worst offenders have been progressive people who won't change the personal choices that are destructive to the world; "conscious" people who reform instead of revolutionize their habits; smart, caring people who have the wherewithal to vastly change markets and society with their personal agency, and don't. They are the meditating, electric-car-driving, organic-meat-buying, Greenpeace-donating, outraged-by-police-shooting types who merely voice their concerns or throw money at bandaids versus participating in the most effective solutions. Their concerns about the world do almost nothing to change it.
In light of Trump's election, this demographic wants to make sure that the progressive agenda is not reversed or ignored. This is an opportune time for us to make veganism's power known.
It's time to step up OUR game and promote the political motivations behind veganism—matters of healthcare, energy, environment, labor and workers' rights, feminism, gender, racism, subsidies, pharmaceuticals, water, local and global food distribution—all the dimensions of life which are, in fact, more immediately affected by people's everyday choices than by any legislation these cockamamie politicians will or will not support in the coming years.
The question we need to pose now to the population upset about Trump is, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? In other words, where are you pushing and pulling your money? What are you going to eat? What do you do for anyone or anything besides yourself? Are your habits revolutionary or just reformist? Comforting or effective?
I'm not afraid of what's coming because I see all sides. I know transformation, I know my power, and I know WHAT TO DO now. Death cycles bring life cycles. A new America is not on Trump, it's on us.
P.S. Sending a little love from a time of deeply spiritual and effective opposition (play this loud!):