About Melanie Blake
As a lifelong dancer and a lover of movement and creative expression, I started out in my young adult years performing and teaching ballet. I eventually became a mum to the three loves of my life: my son and two daughters.
Much like my children, animals are a profound part of my life. I see pure love and innocence. I experience a connection where I find no judgment; only acceptance and unconditional love. From the minute I could walk, it seemed I was already rescuing animals, drawn to animals, and wanted to save them all.
There wasn’t a time in my life that we, as a family, didn’t have companion animals. Yet despite my deep connection to those I knew, I was oblivious and disconnected to the harm I was causing countless other species. This is a disconnect that is learned and normalized in our society. We are comfortably shielded from the gruesome reality, yet we pay someone else to harm them for us as we look the other way.
About 16 years ago, I was finally made aware of the multitude of ways in which animals are exploited, harmed, and killed for human whim. It all began with an email about the seal hunt in Canada. From there, I began to do my own research and found out about the egregious animal agriculture industry, as well as animals used for entertainment, fashion, testing, and more. This was an awakening that left me forever altered. I mourned the animals I had only now learned of and helplessly, I apologized to them all. I vowed to spend the rest of my life speaking up for them. I went vegan overnight!
At the time of abandoning animal-derived ingredients, I did not have the depth of knowledge of what constitutes a healthy, plant-based diet. The common question I got from everyone was “Where do you get your protein?” and in fact, it’s one I still get today. I decided to take a plant-based nutrition course by Dr. Campbell, through Cornell University. It was eye-opening - and I learned not only about the positive benefits of eating plants, but the way that animal agriculture is subsidized by the government. Animal "products" are given false glorification by the dietetic and medical community. It is why so many people are confused about what to eat. After all, when we look at the food pyramid and see it’s telling us to eat a particular kind of food and how many servings, most all of us don’t question this.
Besides being a mum, nutrition coach, and animal rescuer, I serve on the board of a foundation called International Fund for Africa, whose mission is to help save lives both human and non-human in Ethiopia and beyond. It is a great honor to be connected to all these people whose mission it is to live a purpose-driven life. Each day we feed over 500 orphaned children two vegan meals a day. I am most honored to serve on a non-profit with two dear friends which is called Dharma Bear’s Rescue, named after a beloved rescue dog and our mission is to save all species of animals' lives.
Nature is my happy place - and at any given opportunity, I will take off to some quiet place to restore my soul from the world’s ills. My dream is to have a little rescue place for animals of all kinds; a place in the mountains where I can grow my own vegetables, tend to my animals, garden, read, and create recipes – and spread kindness. Our world needs as much gentleness and kindness as we can create, to share with others.
Leading this humble life, I don't profess to have any remarkable qualifications, but rather a deep and passionate love of animals, health, our earth and its inhabitants. I am on a mission to make this world kinder and better for everyone on it, in any way that I am able to. Planting Kindness is the way I have chosen to do this.