hong kong, where 1 million dollars (us) buys you only 20 square meters of apartment living space. that makes the city the second most expensive place to live in the world. and with 7 million residents, it also ranks fourth in terms of population density. 

many of these buildings, some 100 stories high, are consequently public housing projects home to almost half the city’s population, who earn on average 1800 dollars a month. hong kong also has one of the world’s highest gini coefficients; 1.3 million residents live under poverty line, while 45 residents are worth 214 billion dollars.

the recent hong kong protest can be understood in this context; chinese authorities have limited voter choice in hong kong elections knowing their preferred candidates would otherwise be unable to compete for the vote of the cities have-nots, choosing instead to placate them with public housing. 

photos by (click pic) bobby yip, sean pavone, simon longsimon kwan and coolbie re. (see also: hong kong residents who live in closet apartments

I’m so fucking sick of people discrediting veganism by saying it’s classist and only rich white people can do it. Oh okay so I guess I, a person of color who lives well under the poverty line and DOES buy all of my food off of my 189 dollars a month food stamps, just doesn’t fucking exist. Fuck off the face of the earth and stop erasing us poor vegans, because I’m getting sick and fucking tired of this.

hey friends i’m sorry to ask again but is anyone in the mood & position to help out a struggling disabled blogger trying to survive under the poverty line?

i would be so grateful for even a tiny donation to my paypal for groceries or something from my amazon wishlist. (food cw in that wishlist)

there’s also an orphaned kid i know who’s about halfway thru their pregnancy & still needs a bunch of essentials if u wanna take a look at that wishlist

i know it’s hard times out there for everyone - please don’t feel pressured. if anyone is able/willing to help, i’d love to know who u are so i can message u some personal thanks if ur comfortable w that! otherwise pls just know i’m grateful for anything at all.


I’ll always agree with Ashley Horner that a “well-built physique” is a status symbol, but #fitspo and I have vastly different explanations for why this is the case.

A thin, muscular body is often seen as a status symbol because it represents:

  1. Disposable income. Typically, people under the poverty line suffer from poor health because they are more vulnerable. There is a very clear connection between poverty and health problems. Wealthier people who can afford access to a gym, a personal trainer, a meal plan, a safe place to store their food, a safe place to exercise, workout clothes, healthy/safe shoes, and educational materials will be more likely to achieve a “well-built” physique.
  2. Income security. Disposable income for a short period of time isn’t enough, you also need to have a reliable income in order to maintain this specific body shape. When people are unsure of when they’ll be paid next, they can’t afford to pay for subscriptions to a gym or trainer, or invest significant money into fitness gadgets. Accumulating resources that need to be paid off regularly isn’t an option, which decreases the opportunity that a person may have to cultivate and preserve their physique.
  3. Disposable time and energy. It takes a lot of effort to exercise on a regular basis and prep your meals, and not everyone has access to that. For many people who work multiple jobs, have children or have outside commitments, that time and energy simply isn’t available. Fitspo loves to tell us that you’ll “make time” if you care enough, but there are only 24 hours in a day, If you’re only getting 4 hours of sleep as it is, and never get to play with your children, you’re probably going to “make time” for something else instead. But if you have a significant amount of extra time each day, with no large commitments that might pull you away from your hobbies, it’s much easier to dedicate hours to exercising.
  4. Access to health care. We all get sick, but not all of us recover the same way. People who have access to doctors and health care are more likely to rebound from an illness and be able to continue their lives in a safe and healthy manner. Others who do not have access to these things can be permanently debilitated by common illnesses or easily treated injuries. How often and how long we stay sick or injured will impact our ability to build muscle mass and/or lose weight in a healthy manner.
  5. Community support. It takes more than one person to attain a “well-built” physique. If your family or friends actively attempt to prevent your fitness lifestyle, due to either a community bias against it or an unconscious preference of other outside virtues, it can be difficult to pave your own way. While we may find it praise-worthy for someone to fight for their own desires above all else, the reality is that this is an incredibly tough situation that may involve fighting with loved one, disappointing them, or being outright shunned. It is more difficult to attain a specific physique this way, than it is if everyone you know and love supports your choices. 
  6. Diverse dietary access. Food deserts inhibit a lot of people from eating a balanced and affordable diet. If you do not have access to fresh and nutritious food, then your diet is going to err on the side of quick and fatty meals. Even if you can afford to spend more money on your diet, it may not even be possible to find fresh foods. This can make is outright impossible to eat a “clean” and balanced diet. Those people who have easy and affordable access to a diverse array of foods will instead be able to control their diet, to the point where they have the option of avoiding fast food, preserved food, and processed food.
  7. Education. In order to attain a muscular and thin physique, it’s often necessary to learn how we can actually achieve that look! Not everyone has access to that sort of education, even if they strive to do the research and educate themselves. Being ignorant of safe weight loss methods, how to build a nutritious meal, how to exercise safely and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle will make it difficult to ever gain muscle mass in a safe manner. Those who are educated in physiology and the exercise sciences will be more likely to maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle. 
  8. Adherence to socialized beauty standards. If you have a “well built” physique, it’s likely because you personally prefer and want to have that body shape. For many people, that isn’t going to be the case. Some of us prefer that our bodies be larger, or smaller, more more muscular, or less muscular, than society’s idealized image of beauty. Choosing to aim for a different goal than a “well built” body is perfectly fine, and shouldn’t be associated with a lack of effort or self-respect. It’s just a difference of preference.

A “fit” body demonstrates a lot of different things, including hard work and dedication, but we still have to acknowledge that it is primarily rooted in privilege.

late capitalism
  • no ethical consumption
  • unsustainable
  • extremely imbalanced allocation of resources
  • minimum wage under the poverty line
  • ruined the end of naruto

Congratulations on getting a job and graduating! And congrats on deciding to try veg again!

Here’s my very unofficial guide to cheap veg living :)

Money tips:

1. One of the biggest keys I think is buying in bulk. Bulk beans, rice, and wheat berries (or barley/farro/etc) are great bases for a lot of delicious not-boring meals. (Especially ones you can make in bulk and store for later meals like wheat salad or stir fry)

2. Good, inexpensive, and healthy protein options are whole grains, eggs, beans, and tofu. I especially like garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Learning to cook good-tasting tofu takes practice, but can be done. I basically just cut it into cubes and fry it in oil until it’s golden-brown. You can also marinade it like you would meat before you do this!

3. If you can, shop from Asian and Hispanic markets. They are usually half (or less) the price of your average grocery store and have tons of delicious spices, sauces, and veggies. The Asian place I shop at has everything from Chinese and Korean food to Indian and Thai food, plus really cheap humane eggs that come from the owner’s backyard-roaming chickens.

4. Eat seasonal produce as much as you can. This is where people feel like vegetarian/vegan diets get expensive, but they don’t have to be. Avoid getting spring/summer fruits in the dead of winter, and stick with dark leafy greens, winter gourds/squashes, and tomatoes while it’s still cold.

5. When you do shop at a regular grocery store, always buy the store brand over the name brand. There’s usually no difference and it’ll save you so much. Also, if you have one, Aldi’s is a magical wonderful grocery store full of cheap produce/other necessities.

Try and make sure any pastas you buy are whole grain, as they have a good deal of your daily protein needs. We also have a smoothie aficionado in the apartment, and he uses either peanut butter or protein powder to give it that extra kick. If you like bananas, there’s not much better than a peanut butter banana smoothie with some chocolate syrup/ hot chocolate packs in it. It’s healthy and tastes like dessert. Regular nuts have good protein in them too but can get pretty expensive, so I just keep peanut butter around. Nutritional yeast is also pretty fantastic. A little goes a long way and it’s packed with protein, iron, and other nutrients. Tastes cheesy.

All in all our monthly grocery bill for 2 people looks like this:

$1-2 for bulk rice ($9 20lb bag from Walmart that lasts several months for 2 people)
$3-5 for beans
$25 for supplies from the Asian market (2 lb rice noodles, 3 packs tofu, fresh produce, sauces, Indian curry, tea, egg rolls, miso)
$10-15 for cheese
$2 wheat berries. I order these online. You can get $1/lb on Amazon or most other sites. It lasts forever.
$15 on whole wheat pasta (you can get this in bulk too, making it even cheaper)
$12-15 on eggs and almond milk
$25 on other produce/misc

Total: $93-$104

I do spend more on the eggs and milk since they’re backyard eggs and almond milk, so if you’re really strapped for cash that would bring it down probably an extra $5-$10 a month.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions about this set-up/anything else. And best of luck!

hi so i added a donate button to my blog, if you have any extra money, i’d really appreciate it if you could donate to me, i have to pay for my transition and pay for bus fare to get to where i need to be because of an un supportive mother, and i would appreciate it so much if you could donate!!! i live under the poverty line, i can’t afford this on my own. (autoplay warning on my blog)

Knitting clubs provide refuge for teens from high-crime neighborhoods

Four years ago, Mary Visconti took an unconventional approach to keeping her North Lawndale students out of trouble.

The communities where many of Visconti’s students grow up are impoverished, and crime rates are high. In North Lawndale, nearly 40 percent of the residents live under the poverty line, and 30 percent do not graduate high school, according to the 2010 U.S. census.

Visconti, the CEO of the Better Boys Foundation, decided the dismal data could be combated with something radically different: knitting.

“Our neighborhood can be chaotic,” she said. “It’s a hard space to move around in as a young person. I thought that knitting would offer some peace and quiet. It’s a refuge where students can create things together and be peaceful, calm and safe.”

Visconti rounded up donated skeins of yarn and plastic knitting needles, and she hired an art teacher. KnitLAB, a fiber arts workshop, was created.

Read more


A little introduction

After bills on my income level I’m left with an average of $6 a day, that’s not just food money, that’s money for emergency expenses, clothes, cleaning supplies, fun, socializing, hobbies, AND food. Sounds minimal but I’ve lived off less! I’ve been under the poverty line my entire adult life, so I’ve gathered a bit of advice over the years. This blog is for people who aren’t vegan due to the assumption that they can’t afford it. This blog is also for vegans who want a less repetitive diet but don’t know how to budget it. This blog may or may not be helpful to poor vegans with children, I can’t say, I have no kids. I try to keep poor healthy and not boring. This blog is proof that you can get an all-inclusive vegan diet on any budget, if you can afford food you can afford eating vegan.

Do you ever write about all the journalists who have been “early retired” out of our careers? I’m 52 and lost my job in 2007 when I was 45, not realizing it was the end of my career, too. But that’s when the newspaper industry started bottoming out and I was never able to find another job. After ripping through my 401K (minus half, because the poor apparently deserve to have half their savings taken when they’re unfortunate enough to be poor) and trying to fight cancer without healthcare, I got near-death enough to qualify for Medicare. Lucky me. I now make an under-the-poverty-line income thanks to having been employed for 25 years. But my calling is gone.

JK Rowling used to be an obscure single mum struggling with depression and living under the poverty line, shot down 12 times when trying to follow her dreams, and is now one of the most successful and wealthy women alive, has a loving family, taught children all over to love reading and has touched millions and millions of hearts all over the world.

Official appreciation post for that god damn inspiring and magical lady.


The Geography of Poverty: A Journey Through Forgotten America

The most vulnerable Americans are being crushed by the grip of poverty, from the deserts of the Southwest through the black belt in the South, to the post-industrial, rusting factory towns that dot the Midwest and Northeast.

From border to border, high-poverty rates have crippled entire communities, leaving bellies burning with hunger and hope of better days dwindling. Income inequality has widened in recent decades while upward mobility has declined. A tiny percentage of high income Americans hold the majority of the wealth in this country.

Quite plainly, the rich have grown richer and if you’re born poor here you’re likely to die poor. 

Follow Pulitzer Center grantee Matt Black, along with MSNBC, as he spends the next few months profiling the struggles of Americans living near and under the poverty line. See the story on MSNBC.


Hamilton, Iowa
Population: 130

“The median income for a household in the city was $37,083, and the median income for a family was $46,250. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $30,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $42,935. There were 5.1% of families and 10.5% of the population living below the poverty line, including 9.1% of under eighteens and 11.1% of those over 64.”

Laos was considered one of the world’s 10 poorest countries. More than one quarter of the population lives under the national poverty line. In the early 2000s the per capita income was about $350 and malnutrition affected half of the nation’s children. Many people subsist on donated grains. In the 1990s, by one count more than 90 percent of the people who lived outside of Vientiane lived below the poverty level of $1 a day.

To Learn About Purple Buddha Project Upcycling Weapons of Conflict in Laos into Jewelry & Sign-up to be Notified for Early Bird Pricing

it’s really cute how when poor people have any kind of luxury (non-bulk bought food, tickets to a band or concert they like, a decent phone, a pet, INTERNET) suddenly they aren’t really poor and they’re just trying to get pity points because how could they be poor, they have a nice thing wow?!?

it’s almost like poor people aren’t allowed to have anything nice that might make them happy or be moderately better than the bare fucking minimum because yall hate anyone under the poverty line!!! wow!!! fucking shocking i know!!!

I swear the vast majority of SSI ‘fraud’ is ‘committed’ by perfectly eligible, legitimately disabled people who are bending the rules in order to survive because you literally cannot make ends meet under the SSA’s regulations holy shit.

Oh, hello there. Let’s take a ‘reasonable’ maximum savings amount from the motherfucking 1930s and never fucking update it. Nevermind that it’s not enough to buy first/last months rent and security deposit on an apartment or even a beater car. Also, let’s pay you a monthly stipend that will just barely afford a cheap studio apartment. Oops, now you don’t have money for food! Oh! did I mention that being on SSI in my state makes me fucking ineligible for food stamps, despite the fact that I live under the motherfucking poverty line jesus fucking christ what the fuck?!

*overturns the table and screams*

Vegan = privileged?


Not all vegans their breakfasts cost +$15,-.

I pay for a 0.5 kg bag of oats 35 eurocents and then 1,50 euros for chocolate soymilk.

Cheap vegan food:
1 euro for a kg bananas, 1 euro for a kg apples and 1 euro for a kg pears.
1 kg of rice 0,80 cents, 1 kg of macaroni 0,70 cents, kidney-beans 80 cents for 0.5 kg, must I go on?

I limit ‘special’ products and even under the poverty-line I could manage as a vegan.

Even now I’m just above the poverty-line, I can’t afford buying: avocados, papayas (or other very exotic fruit), expensive mock meat and vegan frozen pizzas. 

And yes, I’m getting all my vitamins and minerals.

People are really calling vegans ableist for pointing out that you can be vegan while poor. And the fact that many poor people are vegan because they’re poor, since animal products are luxury products in most countries.



Guidance counselors generally tell students to register for the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests in the spring of their junior year, and again in the autumn of their senior year.

That’s what my guidance counselor told me. Being a student who is eligible for fee waivers (and, personally, really needs them) I asked her if they would be available for each. She said yes- that I would be able to get fee waivers for two SATs, two SAT Subject Tests, and two ACTs. This is due to the fact that I am eligible for/use the free lunch program, and because my household income is under the poverty line.

All I had to do was fill out the form that allowed the College Board and ACT access to my economic information.

I did it. I got the waivers I needed at the time! I took an SAT, a Subject Test, and an ACT during the spring of my junior year.

When asking for more waivers for next year, I was told I would have to WAIT until that year.

HOWEVER, as many of you know, the deadline for the September 12th ACT is August 7th. 

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