MY UPRISING Oil, revolution and war jolted me out of a simple married life and turned me into a vegan peace activist committed to changing the global food system into one that will serve the many not the few while regreening the planet and ending chronic illnesses, most of which are caused by food.
When I was pregnant with my first kid, Muhammar Gadaffi kidnapped my husband at the beginning of the Arab Uprisings in 2011. My incredible son Jack had been conceived in the 40 year Islamic Dictatorship that suddenly descended into war taking his dad with it while I was home in Vancouver. This experience forced to me get involved with foreign policy, diplomatic negotiations and at times, covert behaviour to find him and overcome awful circumstances my family was forced to endure. Sadly one of these moments included being told by a woman, that I would not be given a job to support our family in England while my husband was in therapy because I was pregnant and I 'shouldn't be working' in her view of the world. I looked her in the eye and said 'That is a priviledge that was taken away from me.'
My life had become like so many people's lives living with daily systemic injustices perpetuated by those in power. I changed as a person because of this and because of my transformation into a mother.
Libya's revolution had followed Egypt and Tunisia's; wars that began over a cart of fresh vegetables being sold on the street by a kid. These modern Arab Uprisings + wars still raging in the Middle Eastern oil states of Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen opened my eyes to the corruption and toxicity of our global food system and the increasing vulnerability of our planet due to climate change. They became a catalyst to my own 'uprising' to challenge food corruption that threatens the health of our planet and the future of my children. I had already survived one African war and a genocide but recovering from such a personally devastating life experience 'activated' me to become a voice of change and reach women + mothers just like me all over the world to use food as a tool of peace.
I wear this necklace everyday as a talisman and reminder that as women we all need to 'rise up' against injustices, fight corruption and create a better more peaceful and inclusive world for our children in any way we can, everyday. The leaf symobizes the planet and all it's abundance to heal us. The small ring symobizes my marriage and family and the UPRISING ring reminds me everyday of my strength as a woman and mother to be a voice for the voiceless.
xo Susan Standfield, founder of GOJIGO plant based fast food EDIBLE PLANET global education campaign