Serenity in the Storm: A New Year


I’ve never really written here about the blog’s name: Serenity in the Storm. The name comes from the saying: “Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm.” This is related to the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, which is commonly used in recovery programs: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I’ve always loved this piece of wisdom. A reminder that there are so many things in the world we can’t control, that there are things we do have the power to change, and that we must continue on this path of working for change. Seeking serenity for ourselves and others in the storm.

2013, for me, has been about this project of seeking serenity in the storm as I try to figure out how to balance my own emotional and physical well-being with my efforts to change the world for animals. I’ve tried to work on a few things in particular (though I continue to fail miserably at them):

  • To slow down. Breathe. Observe, with open eyes, the world around me.
  • To let go of toxic friendships and people who are emotionally draining.
  • To be mindful and intentional in my encounters with others.
  • To let go of what I can’t control.
  • To try to remain hopeful in spite of the overwhelming amount of suffering and pain in the world.
  • To remember that self-care is essential to sustaining a life of working for others. 
  • To find serenity in the storm.  

These things are obviously life-long projects, important to remember in the new year and in years to come. In 2014, I also have some tangible projects I’m excited to share with you all.

  • Serenity in the Storm’s first e-book. I’ve kept this under wraps completely, but I am just putting the finishing touches on an e-book. It’s called Gently Raw, and it’s a guide to eating a mostly raw diet for health and healing and contains delicious recipes, tips and full-color photos. I will be releasing it for sale here on the blog in the next few days as a special treat for the new year!
  • Animals in Fashion. Next week, I’ll be starting to teach a brand new undergraduate class on animals in the fashion industry. I’ll definitely be posting more details about how that’s going.
  • Completing the dissertation. I will be finishing my dissertation this spring and beginning the process of seeking a publisher so I can create a book on the lives of cows in the dairy industry. I’m really excited about sharing this research with the rest of the world in a book format.
  • Job search. As I finish my PhD in May/June of this year, I’ll be transitioning into the working world. Yikes! Whether it’s an academic job, nonprofit work, or something else will be determined. But I’m searching for jobs where I can put my skills at research, writing and/or teaching to use for animals.

More to come! Happy new year to all of you reading. As ever, I am so grateful for you all and the community we’ve created on the blog here. I love hearing from you (by email and in the comments section of each post), so I hope you’ll feel free to share your thoughts and questions this year.

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Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks for all of your wonderful insights and recipes over the last year. Hope all goes well for you in 2014!

  2. I appreciate your comments since I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of animal suffering in this world and my own limitations in being an activist becauseof my own health issues.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Marla. It is such a frustrating thing to feel limited in what we can do to alleviate suffering by our physical capacities – whether that be health, proximity, resources, time, etc. I just try to remember that it is a survival tactic to try to be compassionate to ourselves about what we can manage. In solidarity – Katie

  3. I so loved reading about the background behind your blog’s title, Katie! I always assumed it had some wondrous meaning behind it, and you confirmed that. How beautiful. 2014 is going to be another exciting year, and I feel so happy that we are friends. Xoxo.

    1. Carrie, happy new year to you! I, too, feel so delighted that we are friends. 🙂 xoxo

  4. I just bought a copy of “Gently Raw”. Thank you so much for this beautiful book, Katie. I love it!

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