Excusatarianism

January 17, 2012

9 Excuses for Not Going Vegan

I like to hear people’s excuses for not cutting animal products out of their diets because it means they’re actually thinking about it.

A few people in my life lately have told me that my simple presence ‘makes them feel guilty’ about their diets, but the funny thing is they are always the ones to bring up the discussion.

When I remind them that I can’t ‘make’ them feel anything, this is when the juicy part happens; they start to fight with themselves about how consuming animal products is ‘okay’.

Have you ever read the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Well it talks about how when men grumble about doing a requested task, women should see this as a sign of love because this is the process of how men reach within to put the woman’s needs first. This is the exact same thing that happens when people generate excuses to stop eating animals – this is their growth process and it was once mine, too.

Here are the top 9 self-fights I’ve been hearing:

1. It’s Hard Enough being Vegetarian, let alone Vegan.

I feel you. I’ve been there. I was vegetarian for 10+years and towards the end was trying to eat less dairy. But as long as I continued to see dairy as food, I would still eat it. When you learn about the link to casein and most major diseases, when you learn that rape is a mandatory part of dairy, and when you realize that veal is the mandatory byproduct of dairy (calves kept in solitary confinement from birth, then slaughtered as infants), this sickly product starts to look less like food. Mix it with the blood, pus, and bacteria that mixes in during processing  and this secretion cocktail becomes simply inedible.

So what will happen if you don’t have dairy and eggs to support your meat-free diet?? You’ll inevitably make healthier choices. That was the main thing I found in transitioning from vegetarian to vegan. I had to avoid the quickie junk foods like chocolate bars, baked goods when out and about, ice cream, cheese, some types of potato chips, etc. I reached instead for snacks like fruit, some kinds of granola bars, nuts, smoothies, and homemade things. It’s harder to go wrong when vegan because your palette of choices is healthier.

So when worrying that you’ll be even less ‘nourished’ if you take the full plunge, it’s actually easier to be a healthy vegan than a healthy vegetarian.

*I’m all for ‘junk’ food! But as a treat, not a staple.

2. Eating Animal Products is Normal

I’ve heard this one a lot lately. I’m the freak, the animal consuming loved ones are normal because they represent the majority.

In our everyday lives, how many of us kill sentient beings? In our modern day society, this type of behavior usually merits jail and probably the psych ward, and maybe even the fate of being murdered in jail.

In our ‘civilized’ society, killing is not socially acceptable behavior. So then how is hiring others to do if for you behind closed doors any different? Animal cruelty is considered especially sick in our modern world – akin to child molestation.

Eating animal  products = killing.

Killing is not normal. Not anymore, anyway. This isn’t Middle Earth.


3. Veganism Doesn’t Make a Difference Anyway

Less than 1% of the population is vegan so what’s the point? It saves 90 animals per person a year!

Many people believe that unless everyone goes vegan, their doing it somehow doesn’t count. Who cares what everyone else is doing? If you can’t do it, how can you expect anyone else to?

As I said above, you can’t make anyone do anything. All you have control of is yourself and your actions. And that’s all you need.

The real difference is how you feel in making such a small, huge change.

4. I Don’t Like Vegetables that Much

Are you a mama’s boy/girl who was indulged to only eat chicken nuggets and donuts as a kid? Did your idea of veggies consist of perfectly sliced cold cuts and tons of Ranch dip? I was. I was raised with perpetual vegetable threats, probably because my parents had themselves been indoctrinated to believe that if it’s good for you, it probably doesn’t go down easily. Lies.

It’s time to reprogram. Small bites at a time.

You are not a crazy nasty ass honey badger. Do you know how badly your body is craving fresh fruit and vegetables? Can you hear the callings?

But if you love your comfort foods, you can still eat them. Any animal-based indulgence can be vegan: Cadbury cream eggs, poutine, meatball subs, Blizzards, ice cream cake, insert craving here> _____.

5. Eating Animals is a Personal Choice

Some become absolutely livid when confronted about their animal-based diets. How DARE you? they hurl. Eating animals is a PERSONAL choice. I don’t pressure YOU to eat animals.

Well, asking someone to behave non-violently is a little different than asking someone to behave violently, to begin with.

That aside, I believe we are now smart enough as a human race to understand that eating animals is no more a right than enslaving other humans. If eating animals destroys the environment at exponentially greater rates that plant agriculture, if the resources used to raise them perpetuates worldwide hunger when veganism would feed many more, if eating these ‘foods’ is keeping people perpetually ill with documented correlated diseases… then how is this personal?

Eating animals affects us all.

We have a responsibility to the planet, to the other species of this planet, to the oppressed people who are as enslaved as the animals who we pay to kill them, and to ourselves.

I’m all for individualism. However the very idea of civilization is based on the idea that our freedom ends at the loss of another person’s freedom. And what we are learning is that eating animals infringes on not only the violent treatment towards animals, but the violent treatment to people (starvation, destruction of environment, diseases, dangerous slaughterhouse conditions, etc.)

We are only as free as our neighbors.

6. Animal Rights is Not my Cause

Some people feel that going vegan is like choosing a charity to volunteer for. It’s an option among many. Nice try.

You can be vegan and still support whatever causes you choose. It’s not an either/or matter.

The movie Bold Native explains that animal rights activists are the ones who say: me, I will help; I will do something about it. While you don’t need to become an animal rights activist to be vegan, being vegan is the same concept of realizing that if you eat animal products you are the cause of suffering in factory farms, and therefore showing the world that you are willing to try a different lifestyle to change that.

7. Veganism is a Sacrifice

Hate that word. It doesn’t represent me at all. Yet I identify about 95% with the vegan concept. Veganism is not about cutting things out of your diet, it’s about redefining what you see as food.

From the outside, going vegan probably looks like giving something up, but once you’re in the loop learning new cooking skills and places to eat, and meeting veganish people, not only is it not a chore, but it’s a blessing, inside & out.

When you think about it, you’re only cutting out three main animals from your diet: chickens, cows, and pigs (lamb, fish for some). These 3 elements that make up a huge portion of the North American diet. How many thousands of other foods exist that you are not trying because you’re perpetuating a diet your TV raised you with?

The concept of sacrifice is the opposite of non-violence. Sacrifice is the idea that we must suffer for something greater. Non-violence is the quality of approaching all things gently. Veganism is a lifestyle that embraces non-violence. ‘Embrace’ being the key term.

8. Veganism is a Huge Commitment

You don’t have to be convinced that this new lifestyle will work. You don’t have to make a lifetime commitment. Going vegan is like working on your flexibility – one day at a time. Hurts a bit to start, but feels sooo good to progress and expand your power as a human being.

Before assuming that you’re going to be hungry all the time, actually try it for a few days. You will be hungrier more often, because you’re body will be digesting food faster. But you will also be entirely satiated, just without the heaviness.

Like Alicia Silverstone says in her book The Kind Diet: flirt.

9. Vegans are Annoying and I Don’t Want to be Like You

Guilty. People who lean towards veganism in all its variations can be really annoying. Hard to say if they’re genuinely excited about their transformations, or if they’re just trying to spread propaganda to ‘convert’ you. But they sure are vocal about their choices for the most part.

You do realize you can be a silent vegan, right? It’s just that most vegans don’t want to stay silent because they are having the time of their lives growing past what they once knew.

Veganism Feels Good

A few of my vegan friends at Pigs for Peace in Seattle

So how’s that working for you? I’m often asked by curious people, understandably resistant to the concept, but genuinely curious.

Some people might go vegan overnight, but most don’t. I was raised on weekly steak dinners, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, baloney, and other lunch meats that stick to the wall, electric cheese, and yes even veal, as I’ve mentioned. My favourite vegetable was pickles. I was Albertan and my parents were born in the 50s, what can I say.

Honestly, when I went vegan, I was doing it out of guilt. I felt horrible for the cows and chickens. I couldn’t turn a blind eye anymore. I wouldn’t want to be treated the way they were, so I stopped after attending my first foie gras demo with Liberation BC.  What I didn’t know was that going vegan was going to change my whole way of looking at food. Cutting out animal products was essentially cutting out junk food. I couldn’t so easily reach for a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, ice cream anymore – I had to read ingredients. I had to take a moment to think before I ate.

It was hard for me to give up dairy. I let Glenn Gaetz in on my process, explaining to him how I’d cut it down to 2ce a week, 1nce a week, etc. And, bless him, he didn’t (outwardly) judge my process. I told him how it wasn’t working because I’d buy a tub of yogurt and have to eat it every day for a week just to finish it.

But having vegan friends, they showed me alternatives. Have you tried soy ice cream with granola? Coconut ice cream? What about vegan yogurt? Go to this website, try this recipe, shop here. Meat has been flesh to me for a long time. Inedible. Sick. But dairy used to be a craving in its many forms. Now it’s just a liquid stomachache.

The way I’ve changed my diet now… it’s incredible. I eat salads and smoothies every day. I experiment with recipes. I eat a lot more raw foods. I eat more organic and fresh than ever. And bonus – I eat no misery.

Good times @ Pigs for Peace

When I do eat junk food now, I feel AWFUL. I ate a whole pack of Twizzlers last week (which are vegan – props for that, just don’t eat the whole mothaf-in bag) while feeling sorry for myself about somethingr’other, and it seriously ruined my whole day. My body rejects junk now. I am the pinnacle of health, with indulgences of course in moderation. And I love food more than ever. I feel so accomplished to love healthy food. I did it! It’s like learning to love a good man and not the asshole who’s going to use and abuse you. Sometimes you have to reach beyond what you were conditioned to choose.

Now, my body loves me. I love my body. And karma loves me, too. I feel like I need to eat this way for another 4-5 years now until my cells entirely regenerate to full vegan form. Then I’ll full-on morph into… I don’t know, a mermaid or a cartoon character or something.

When I only had one or two friends who were vegan, I thought they were freakish and annoying, with their little self-promotions here and there. Now, I see that they are still crazy hippies, but I get why they’re so gung ho on their diets. Veganism Feels Good. It is the be all end all of guilt free diets. Guilt FREE, do you hear that people? What more can you ask for? Less cellulite? Better skin? A toned ass? It can give you that, too.

Jenna Marbles is Vegan… 6 Days a Week

Who can make a complete ass of themselves and still have a pretty exquisite ass? Why Jenna Marbles of course. And how does she keep her bod in shape?


She’s mainly vegan!

Clearly Jenna Marbles loves animals, since her dogs are her best friends, but she also describes herself as “not some animal freak”, which is okay with me.

People sometimes say to me: “wow, you must LOVE animals”. And I’m all: “I just believe in treating sentient beings with respect”. I don’t have any pets at the moment and I don’t primarily identify with being  an “animal lover”, though I guess I am. I see myself as someone who believes that evolution includes respecting the sentient experience across species. But there are other reasons to go vegan besides compassion for animals. Having a hot bod and not destroying the environment, for example.

And as for Jenna Marbles being vegan only 6 days a week because she feels a need to cheat, I say go for it. (She does say she wants to go vegan full force). For me, I don’t crave meat anymore because it’s not food to me, but I understand how people have cravings for foods they used to eat. There are substitutions for just about every animal product based comfort food in existence, but if all that’s stopping you from going vegan is the thought that you can’t do it a full seven days a week, you are still making leaps and bounds of change by going 6 sevenths of the way.

*It should be noted that Jenna recently went on a fatgirl meateating binge (March 2013), which she bragged about for 10 minutes while cradling her dog in her arms. I like the vegan 6 days a week Jenna better. Snap out of it, girl.

Vegan Alien

March 25, 2011

Always Knew I Was an Alien

Representing less than 1% of the population, it can be a lonely world out there for vegans.

This is a time in history when semantics are sensitive. The gay community (representing about 10% of the population) is quick to point out discrimination, but veganism is fair game for retraining what is appropriate behaviour for the mainstream, too.

Being Vegan is Easy

September 26, 2010

Being Vegan is Easy

Kale Butter, oh sn*p!

… And you Know What they Say – If She’s Easy…

Like Carol J. Adams’ book, Living Among Meateaters, says: “Vegans see death in the meateater’s diet, but the meateater sees death in theirs.”

I feel the most common response I get from meateaters when I mention my vegan inclinations is: “I could never do that.” But, what is it that meateaters are actually picturing when they think of a vegan diet? They are thinking of not one, but two of the food groups they eat taken from them. Firstly, the food groups are sort of old news (a whole group for dairy? C’mon now). It’s all in the way you see food that eases the process over time.

Meateaters make an assumption that vegans are deprived, that we are always secretly craving animal products. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

As a crutch to help myself mentally handle the task of no more dairy, I allowed myself one Blizzard per summer (what flavour?  Probably cookie dough ; ) But last summer, when I went to cash in on this handy clause and I didn’t want one! I have begun to associate dairy products with the dairy process, and the physical pleasure of ice cream really does clash with the emotional discomfort in my heart thinking about the cow’s experience of constant violation (repeated rape), separation from their young, with whom they would naturally have lifelong relationships, then slaughter. Instead I opted for a frozen hot chocolate from Second Cup made with soy. Did the trick. And PS there are a few great recipes for vegan blizzards online.

Don’t be surprised if you crave dairy desserts on your vegan journey. Many dairy-product based sweets simply aren’t obtainable yet in vegan form. And yes, being vegan is all about baking and cooking your own gems, but sometimes when you’re out in the world, the whole appeal of a treat is that it’s prepared for you. I’m a human vegan, doing an adequate job  at it and making choices that feel good to me, not that follow rules set by others. If I make a choice that doesn’t feel good to me, then I can choose differently the next day.

Once you start thinking vegan, choices appear everywhere. I went to Capers today in Kits, and had spent $100.00 dollars on vegan groceries in a matter of 15 minutes, trying a sample of kale butter at the till which was !!amazing!! and had all the richness and flavour of a spinach dip made with dairy.

I would liken the process of becoming vegan to learning another language. At first it’s annoying to have to always check yourself when you go to reach for a word, but eventually, you gain a plethora of vocab to help you express yourself and, if you’re committed, you start thinking in  that language.

Behold!

August 20, 2010

Flash *Veg* News

1. UBC “Fears” Animal Activists’ Campaign

Some of you may have watched THIS video, one of my non-violence aspiring shit-disturbing hardcore amateur pieces of work. However, there must have been something qual about this vid, because it elicited a memo from UBC warning the campus of rampant and possibly “violent” animal activists on the prowl, in turn spurring  THIS article on the FRONT page  of the Vancouver Sun about how UBC is fearing the new Stop UBC Animal Research campaign (shudder), which has since inspired a blog post in the Vancouver Sun on the topic as well as this cartoon:

Stop UBC Animal Research is  happy that animal research is hot in the press and of course, thanks to my animal activist friends – we have different strategies but take turns being fearless and it all works out.

Here is the letter I sent in response to the Vancouver Sun article:

Dear Vancouver Sun:

As an animal rights activist I would agree that there are nuts out there. And it is precisely those individuals who I aim to expose. There is a saying: “When one animal is experimented on – it’s sick, when many are experimented on – it’s science.”

John Hepburn is attempting to instill fear around the UBC campus by putting people on guard for everything from: “protesting” to “unpleasant situations” to “violence”, but  individuals have a right to speak out about the publicly funded animal testing that is occurring. To assume violence from animal rights activists who are intrinsically against violence towards all animals, including humans, is simply diverting attention from what is really going on. Could it be that the real violence IS the animal testing? Hepburn would like to put a blanket over the issue by stating that animal testing “has to be done”, but as we evolve ethically as a society, research methods that were accepted in the past will naturally be called into question. What are good scientific reasons to subject millions of animals a year to confinement, fear, and pain? Can healing ever come through inflicting pain onto sentient beings?

2. Julie & Julia & Hannibal Lecter

I believe the term is “bitch, please”. Or “bitches, please”.

I just wanted to say that because it’s fun to say. But here’s my critique of the fluffy, trite,”adorable” masterpiece Julie & Julia, a film (I’m sure you ALL heard about due to harassing ads) about one blogger’s quest to revive an old school Julia Child cookbook.  The problem here is that slaughter is not cute. You can give the movie posters a cute font, and put in cute wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly-but-would-hurt-poultry Amy Adams, and give Meryl Streep the CUTEST turkey yodle voice evs, but that still doesn’t make things like “boning a duck” cute. All the drama in this film is wrapped up in moments where Julie has to overcome her discomfort of dissecting animals. Well babe, maybe it makes you uncomfortable for a reason. Maybe the old school Julia Child methods of cooking meat into everything (including JELLO) are outdated. Humans have become so far separated from the slaughter (and even meat prep) process, that it is actually helping us to see how unlike other areas of our lives the phenomena of “meat” has become. We don’t kill to sleep, to play, to exercise, to express ourselves (hopefully), but yet killing is still part of the cooking process and it is a dichotomy that many of us have become uncomfortable with, and that vegetarians simply reject. To quote my friend Sheryl: “If it makes you happy, why the hell is it so bad? “

3. The Albs

Meat The Albs

Jess Albs is probably the only woman that every single person I know can agree is unmistakably gorgeous. Jolie is overexposed, Aniston isn’t Jolie, Britney can be beastly… everyone has an opinion about the other female celebrities, but when it comes to the Albs, no one has much to say except: “yep, she’s hot.” Albs even inspires my style, which I like to call “Glam-Chill” (although half the time I’m inspired in a what-not-to-wear way). But does everyone remember when Albs went a little crazazy and plastered a bunch of shark posters around L.A. to warn of the endangerment of the great white shark and was then slapped on the delicate wrist for petty vandalism..? Well, I’m sure there are animal rights activists out there who applauded her for this act, but it always seemed a little poorly thought out and misguided to me. Especially because the Albs is a rather large consumer of pretty much every other animal product out there, pictures of her French vacay proving that if it once breathed, Albs wants a bite, though she has been quoted saying that “people who don’t love animals tend to be selfish”… Albs recently displayed her love of all sorts fleshy goodies on her Twitter. So… we don’t judge Princess Alba, but we do challenge her to question what cruelty free means to her, what true beauty is, and why sharks are more important to save than factory farmed animals. There is not a single person on Earth who wants to debate the Albs’ outer beauty, so here we call into question her inner beauty (and maybe why Honey was her only memorable film…?) I will readily give the Albs props however for choosing to endorse Revlon over l’Oreal or Cover Girl – both the latter animal testers.

Veganity

May 25, 2010

Veganity:

“A religion for the new millennium, the foundations of which are formed by the principles of veganism. At its core is the desire to curb excessive usage of non renewable resources and thus perpetuate the existence of a habitable planet, and hence the human race.”

Urban Dictionary


Is Veganism a Religion?

No, no it’s not.

Recently I started going by a different professional name in order to prevent myself from being discriminated against due to non-violent political and dietary choices. As a public persona, anyone can google me and see that I don’t buy animal products and do advocate the end of all oppressive systems, a lifestyle best described as veganarchy.  I have been asked not to talk about veganism or animal rights at a job, and have also been asked not to answer questions asked to me about my “beliefs”. (What employer you ask? Well I won’t name names. Ok, I will: Spa Utopia! ) But veganism isn’t a belief, yo – it’s an event as current as Obama. I’ve even been called a Bible thumper by my own hardcore barbecuing Albertan family, though I’m actually anti-religion, which brings me to my point: veganism is not a religion.

  1. Religions are gangs groups of people who believe that there is one truth. You can’t be two religions at once. And yet, you can be vegan and any religion you want, or none at all. Veganism, while it reflects a non-violent morality, is a consumer choice.
  2. Religions are based on speculative literature. Whether it’s the Bible or the Koran or The Watchtower, religions are filled with fables and shoulds and predictions. Veganist literature only discusses the here and the now. Factual, pertinent information to show where your food comes from and how your decisions affect yourself and the planet. Veganism doesn’t have ten commandments and doesn’t care if you get loaded or sleep around or trespass against thy neighbour or trespass onto thy neighbour’s driveway or whatever that one means. It only poses questions like: what is nourishment, really? Or, how can we do this differently?
  3. Vegans don’t want to convert you so that you’ll “be saved”, so your soul won’t burn in eternal damnation, so you’ll donate, or so they can recruit another vegan babymaker for the new vegan race – vegans just want to end the long chain of suffering of confined, abused animals. It’s that simple. Sure, they’d love to go for dinner with you, but vegans have no plans of world domination.

Anarchy: “Self-control as the preferable form of government rather than external legislation.”

Veganism: First, do no harm.

Veganarchy: Liberation for all, not just the workers.

The Point of No Return

We’ll let Jamie do the talking on this one.

No (visual) gore.

So. Do you have the balls to watch and listen?

Heaven From Hell

Vegan Gelato

DTES Discount Flesh

Vegan Chocolate Cake

McD's Inside WalMart

Vegan Bakesale

Flesh on Styrofoam

*Interestingly, pictures of slaughter do not come up in a normal Google search. Could this be because the images are being censored? Why should a person who eats meat be disturbed about where it comes from? This is their nourishment.

He Wouldn’t Have Made Them Out of Meat


What vegetarian/vegan hasn’t heart this lame-ass retort?

And it’s not an argument, it’s a dig. Yet somehow, it can drive even the most pacifist vegan to want to grab the nearest blunt object. Non-veg people must understand that these type of comments are received like joking about murdering a particular race because they deserve it – it turns the stomach.  But to all the veg people out there, you can help understand people who make comments like this by knowing that they are repressed vegetarians to whom you represent guilt – you see death in their diet, they see it in yours (a death of the things they are used to). These ideas are from Living Among Meateaters by Carol J. Adams, which I will reference in more detail in a future post.

Most people forget they're quoting Homer on this one...

Here are 2 possible comebacks for this oft repeated un-pc line:

a) Appropriate

(for work or scholastic settings, in situations with relatives, people you need money from, or sensitive people)

…what are humans made of?

Ask the question genuinely, as though you’ve never thought of it before. The comeback allows time for a laugh, and then hopefully later some further ponderance – hmm… humans are made of meat, too… but we’re not made to be eaten, so…. And then they can silently mind-wrestle themselves about being at the top of the food chain and all that shiz.

b) Inappropriate

(for work situations with someone who you know can’t fire you or verbally abusive pedestrians who have just Supersoaked you with milkshake…)

…just like God invented killing because violence is an essential component of human nature.

Deadpan is essential for this one. The person doesn’t want a reply from you, this is their big guns – their last line. Keeping composure is important so it doesn’t sound like you’re delivering a death threat. You’re attempting to remind said human that in order to obtain this meat – a gory, bloody process is necessary. Is said smug metrosexual willing to roll up his pink sleeves and get up to the elbow in cow guts to get his Friday lunchtime steak? This comeback may lead to some further retorts like: “whatever, I like my meat”, or “well, what do you eat?”  (you find yourself racking your brain to come up with the day’s menu – don’t bother, just answer: everything except animal products, or some similar simple statement).  The comeback reaches maximum potential in slow-release form, philosophic annoyances rearing up during crucial meat lovin’ moments. Another spin on the argument could be how God gave animals feelings because he wanted them to suffer…

Cherry on the cake, my friend, Rebecca Dawn, just sent me this:

“The #1 drug on the street”

Luvs

It’s Better than Yours!*

A commentary on “Milkshake” rapper, Kelis’, recent temper tantrum


Here is the letter than PETA recently sent Kelis for wearing fur:

Dear Kelis,

I hope that this finds you well. I’m writing today because we’ve been inundated with phone calls and e-mails from folks alerting us to photos of you wearing a fur hat and coat while out in London over the weekend.

Please know that animals killed for their fur endure immense suffering. Foxes, minks, coyotes, and rabbits—and even dogs and cats—are bludgeoned, strangled, genitally electrocuted, and even skinned alive for their pelts. We hope that you’ll take a moment to watch an undercover exposé of fur farms, hosted by Eva Mendes, at http://www.peta.org/FeatureEvaMendes.asp.

If you enjoy the look of fur, renowned designers, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood, couple fashion with compassion and use only faux fur in their lines. We hope you found this information helpful and will join countless celebrities, like Charlize Theron, Khloe Kardashian, Nia Long, Kid Sister, Pink, and Michelle Obama, in publicly swearing off fur.

Warm regards,
PETA

And HERE is her reply:

On wearing fur:

…it’s not just the look of fur. It’s warm as hell and feels glorious, ever rubbed faux fur on your body? Nothing luxurious about that. Then the letter proceeded to name artist and designers who don’t wear real fur. Great! More for me! I don’t judge them, don’t judge me.

“If I started wearing endangered animals like polar bear or orangutan then talk to me. (Which btw for the record I would not – I do believe in the preservation of endangered species) But the minks and chinchilla that quite honestly are rodents and if weren’t in the form of a coat I would demand they be put to death anyway are not an issue to me.”

dawnofanewera’s reply:

Kelis would demand rodents be “put to death”. Who in Diddy’s name does one-hit wonder, Kelis, think she is??  Wearing endangered animals is heinous, but wearing animals who are bred for their skin is just as horrific when you know the conditions they live and die in: confined and isolated in cages they can barely move in, only to be skinned alive.

And in terms of faux fur not being luxurious, perhaps Kelis hasn’t seen what is being produced these days. Designers no longer want to be associated with the bloody fur industry and have put their efforts into creating soft, realistic faux fur. Always be skeptical in terms of what you’re actually buying (!) but  I’d advise Kelis to shake those milk jugs to the store and open her eyes.

On eating meat:

“There is no humane way to kill anything, let me start there. It’s unfortunate but it’s part of life. With that being said, I would eat pterodactyl if you found some and you told me it was meaty and delicious…I eat meat, and in fact my mouth salivates as I type the word meat!

dawnofanewera’s reply:

Kelis is playing the typical resentful meateater here, threatened by those who have chosen a new diet, and feeling the need to defend her choice to stick to the old ways. Killing is part of life, she communicates inaccurately – killing is part of her life.  And we barely need to remark that some ways of killing are more humane than others. When lying on your deathbed, would you prefer an OD of morphine, or say… being skinned alive?

On how PETA should find a more “worthwhile cause”:

“If u want to preach do it about something worthwhile don’t waste my time trying to save the dang chipmunk. Find a worthwhile cause like the women being maimed in these Middle Eastern countries. Or female circumcision. Or women’s rights here in America, we still get paid less for doing the same jobs as men.

“Quite honestly if you hate the world so much go live in the forest where no one else has to hear you complain about the perfectly good food chain the good Lord created. Everyone has the right to an opinion, and that’s mine on that! xoxo”

dawnofanewera’s reply:

When someone knows you have a point and knows they can’t debate on your intellectual level, what do they do? They change the subject.

Why yes, Kelis, there are other atrocities currently taking place. Where is your sign? We’d love to get behind you.

Kelis then accuses Peta of hating the world (though she’s the one not only wearing animal cruelty but publicly speaking out to support it) and goes on to describe our current food systems as being  created by “Lord”. Human beings have fucked up the food chain to the point where there is no chain anymore. Humans eat anything and everything, and most humans have nothing at all to do with the killing part. The food chain represents an “eat what you can kill” mentality, and very few of us kill our own food. Even fewer of us can bring ourselves to take a look into the slaughter of the animals we eat because it’s disgusting and traumatizing. As real musical artist, Paul McCartney says: “if factory farms had glass walls, we’d all be vegetarian.”

*And here are the milkshakes you’ve all been waiting for:

1) Cookies & Cream

1 cup crumbled sandwich cookies (vanilla or chocolate)

1 cup Chai soy milk

1 cup vanilla soy ice cream

2) Green Tea

1 cup vanilla soy ice cream

1 scoop Vega protein powder

1 teaspoon matcha green tea

1 cup Natura vanilla soy milk

3) Peanut Butter Chocolate

1 tablespoon of smooth peanut butter

1 cup of peanut butter chocolate soy ice cream

1 cup Natura chocolate soy milk

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

In your face, Kelis!

Vegan mint ice cream with hot fudge

Oh No They Di’nt

January 7, 2010

Flash*Veg*News


*Broccoli Bashing on TLC

Last night on TLC’s new One Big Happy Family, a reality show about an obese family who is struggling to lose weight (…so then not so happy about the ‘big’ part??) TLC has heard society’s obsession with the obese (ie. The Biggest Loser) and given us a show for the whole family, but we’re going to jump past the potentially flawed premise of the show and target in on what happens to the big happy family when they ruin their attempt at a healthy meal (broiled chicken; they usually fry it) by placing the glass dish too high in the oven, therefore shattering it and rendering the chicken inedible. The family then sits down to eat four large plates of plain brocoli, lamenting about how they have been denied “the best part of the meal”. Vegetarians would like it, they comment – but they AREN”T vegetarian. Really? Shocking.

A vegetarian wants a plate full of broccoli for their dinner about as much as a 300lb fried chicken lover. Being vegetarian is not about serving one’s self up a load of bland vegetables. It’s about variety, cooking, and experimentation.

While it’s commendable that the family is trying new things, they are in actuality villainizing their vegetables. No one’s going to be losing any weight if you can’t learn to love healthy, fresh foods. As Judge Marilyn Milian says: Good Luck, Folks.

*Calgary’s New “Vegetarian” Restaurant, Gratitude Cafe, Serves Bacteria from the Inside of Baby Cow’s Stomachs!


Yes, that’s right. Gratitude Cafe, the new “veg” restaurant located in Kensington {and a shameless knock off of San Francisco’s vegan restaurant with the same name and menu style – though Calgary’s Gratitude Cafe mentions on their web page that there is no affiliation, uh huh…), has deliberately (according to my waitress) chosen to serve a whole lot of dairy, WITH rennet. There are no vegan cheese alternatives offered, and only a handful of vegan options on the  menu. “We’re a low-end vegetarian place,” my classy waitress went on to explain. “Most people don’t know what vegetarians are.”

What backwoods hick town did they find this chick in?

Vegetarianism is having it’s moment in the sun as more and more people learn about the horrors of factory farming.

And to the owners who made the choice to use cheese with rennet, you are offending the very clientele you are attempting to cater to. Vegetarians who come here can be sure that an animal died for their meal. (Yes, animals used for dairy will die as well, but Gratitude is not acknowledging that to obtain rennet you have to slice open an animal!)

It’s easier than I thought to bash a vegetarian restaurant. I will never eat here again.

PS My greeting at Gratitude was: “don’t worry about wiping your feet, we haven’t cleaned the floor in ten days!”

Let’s eat!

*Amex Attempts to Force Feed

This gigantore Amex ad in Sundidge Mall in Calgary is tasteless in oh- so-many ways. The ad seems to be trying to hit up common folk, as opposed to the rich (who are being supposedly defined as those who induce vomiting in ducks..?). I think we’ve all known for a while that credit card companies make their money on those who can’t pay their monthly dues. But must Amex go about their exploitation in such a blatantly classist manner? Hey all ya’ll who like to chow down on burgers, let us charge you an extra 18% to get your eat on!

And as for the outdated burger filling above, the jig is up for the myth of foie gras being some delicacy or sign of wealth. Amex might as well have posted a banner:

“We’re Number 3. We’re Out of Touch. And We Support the Most Cruel Form of Animal Agriculture on the Planet. Amex.”


*You Want It, You Got It

Tofurky sales have gone up! Report on Business recently published that Tofurky sales have risen from 500 in 1995 to over 300 000 last year. Booya~

Keep on cooking that delicious vegan roast for skeptical friends and family. The proof is in the gravy.

*8 Macho Men Who Don’t Eat Meat

Click here for a slide show of seitan sizzle.

They forgot a few hotties though, like Casey Affleck.

Woodland Creatures

November 30, 2009

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Shaped as our Favorite Forest Friends

Just another way to help animals.

* I used Earth Balance instead of margarine and agave syrup instead of corn syrup.

* cookie cutters from IKEA

PERFECT VEGAN SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE
This makes about 36 cookies. We made two batches.

1 cup margarine/Earth Balance 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 whole egg replacements (Ener-G) 1/4 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg replacements and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and tofu cream cheese. You may have to use your hands at this point to finish the mixing. Form the dough into a long loaf and wrap in cellophane. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cookie sheets or use a non-stick foil.
3. On a lightly floured surface (we taped down a sheet of non-stick foil to our countertop instead), roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

PERFECT VEGAN ICING RECIPE
Each batch is enough to easily coat 24 cookies. We made four batches, one for each color.

2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
6-8 teaspoons of soy milk (Silk Vanilla) Assorted food coloring
4 teaspoons of light corn syrup/agave syrup

Directions:

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1. In medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and soy milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Add food coloring to desired intensity. Dip cookies and allow to dry overnight.

Delicious and nutritious, well… more bootylicious, really.

Perez Tells Portman to STFU

October 29, 2009

Funny, how often Perez Hilton tells people to STFU, considering that he has such a flaming tongue. Today, Perez is putting aside his message to Stop the Slaughter and calling out vegan and animal activist Natalie Portman for an essay for the Huffington Post she wrote about veganism.

natalie-portman

Natalie Portman is against killing. Are you, Perez?

Here is part of Portman’s response to Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals:

“I say that Foer’s ethical charge against animal eating is brave because not only is it unpopular, it has also been characterized as unmanly, inconsiderate, and juvenile. But he reminds us that being a man, and a human, takes more thought than just “This is tasty, and that’s why I do it.” He posits that consideration, as promoted by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which has more to do with being polite to your tablemates than sticking to your own ideals, would be absurd if applied to any other belief (e.g., I don’t believe in rape, but if it’s what it takes to please my dinner hosts, then so be it).”

Perez claims that Portman is taking it too far, but has he considered that rape is the basis of the animal agriculture industry?

These animals we eat for their flesh never normally never see a member of the opposite sex of their species for their entire lives. They are artificially inseminated and made to give birth time and time again, until they are considered spent at a young age, then sent to slaughter, many not even making it through the treacherous journey to the slaughter house.

“How about from now on, you eat your lettuce and we’ll eat our steak and neither one of us brings up rape as a means of comparison?”

Perez Sez

Well, Perez, we suggest that you medidate on your quest for equal rights, your campaign against animal cruelty, and your best friend, Teddy, and consider whether that steak is yours to eat after all. The animal agriculture industry contributes at least 30% of the world’s greenhouse gasses, so maybe it’s not just Natalie’s responsibility to go veg but one that humanity needs to open up to together.

natalie

 

The Kind Diet

It’s such a dawg eat dog world out there these days, people assume that taking, killing, and gorging are part of the process of nourishing ourselves. But if you’ve ever pondered the thought: you are what you eat, the substances that you choose to ingest are not only forming your physical self, but your inner self. {If you’re not vegan, please don’t getcha back up here. Being Halloween and a peak emotional time for me, I’ve hit up a few Reese’s lately (although I’m sure if I had a bit more drive to bake, I could concoct something vegan just as good…)}

Alicia Silverstone’s new book: “The Kind Diet” is sort of the antithesis to “Skinny Bitch” while sharing the same knowledge. Getting older doesn’t have to mean getting fat and sick. I always knew that Cher would make it to the top. Now, if she could just make another good movie (instead of this Miss Match crap).Go Girl.

alicia

Salisbury

August 4, 2009

Craving that Salisbury Seitan from the food vid?

RFD shares the recipe

013

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup roasted tahini

2 tablespoons tamari

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds Basic Seitan

Lightly oil a 13 by 9 by 2 inch pan. Whisk the oil, mustard, tahini, tamari, water, thyme, sage, and pepper in a bowl to blend. Cut the seitan into twelve 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick triangles. Coat the seitan in the marinade, then place in a prepapred dish, overlapping slightly. Pour the remaining marinade over the seitan. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or up to 1 day. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the seitan  uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the marinade is absorbed and the seitan is heated through and golden brown. Pour the gravy over and serve.

A salisbury slice with mushrooms

A salisbury slice with mushrooms

What’s Basic Seitan?

Use a baking pan that fits comfortably within a larger roasting pan to create a bain-marie, or water bath, that will gently cook the seitan dough. Be sure to have all your equipment ready before you begin making the dough, as you’ll want to transfer it to the baking pan as soon as it’s made. Since this recipe makes 4 pounds of seitan, cut it into smaller 1 pound squares and store the extra squares in the freezer so that you’ll always have some seitan on hand when you need it.

3 cups gluten flour

1 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground sage

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups water

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup tamari

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with 2 inch high sides with parchment paper. Stir the gluten flour, whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, coriander, sage, ginger, and salt in a large bowl to blend. In another bowl, whisk the water, oil, and tamari to blend. Quickly stir the tamari mixture into the dry ingredients until a very wet dough forms. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Cover with aluminum foil.

Place the pan of seitan dough in a larger roasting pan, then add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the pan of seitan. Bake for 2 hours, or until the seitan is firm on top, adding more water to the roasting pan if necessary. Cool the seitan to room temperature and quarter it into 3 equal squares (1 pound each).

The seitan will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated. For longer strorage, wrap the seitan squares separately in plastic wrap, then enclose them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze up to 2 weeks.

5 VEGAN SWEET TREATS

Wanting to make more vegan choices after learning about the brutalities of the dairy and egg industries, but having a hard time giving up the indulgences you’re used to?

As a longtime veggie, I crave a good sugar rush but have started exploring ways to replace those cravings (replace, not reduce). On my quest to become more vegan (full vegan, possibly – we’ll take it one day at a time) I have discovered some delightful alternatives to get a good shuga-buzz going, which don’t involve cow rape and/or exploding chickens.

1) Ohmygod Shoes Vegan Cupcakes!

Yesterday for Earth Day, Liberation B.C. gave out 400 vegan cupcakes. I tried the vanilla ones, fell in love, and have tracked down a few similar recipes for y’all.

Earth Day cupcakes

Earth Day cupcakes

- Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes from ChezBettay

- Fluffy White Cupcakes from ShmooedFood (these ones are calling my name, literally. My dad’s nickname for me from my childhood: Schmooker)

- Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from Culinate

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

I have made a lot of cupcakes in my time and have tried them from Crave Cupcakes and other so-called pros, but normally I find that the icing is too buttery and the cake part is too crumbly. These vegan cupcakes were compact, had a delicious cakey taste, and the icing was a very palatable texture.

2) Organic Gummi Bears

These bad boys can be tracked down at Capers or Whole Foods in the bulk section. Make sure you snack on a few before you pay for them though so as not to succumb to being overcharged : ) Made with fruit pectin instead of gelatin so you’re not chomping on animal bones.

Bouncing here and there and everywhere...

Bouncing here and there and everywhere...

They store-bought ones look like this but more polished and colourful as store-bought things should.

The store-bought ones look like this but more polished and colourful as store-bought things should.

3) Organic Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

Move over Girl Guide cookies, this Country Choice brand vanilla Oreo has gooier icing and a sugar kick like a shot of heroine.

Ingredients
Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Powdered Sugar With Organic Corn Starch, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Sugar, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Molasses, Baking Soda, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor.

O-R-E-No

O-R-E-No

4) Soy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Hedonism tip: soy ice cream sandwich + hot bath…

I scream, you scream, we all scream for soy ice cream, except the baby cows being slaughtered : )

I scream, you scream, we all scream for soy ice cream, except the baby cows being slaughtered : )

5) Mango-Hurricane Smoothie from Booster Juice*

(*This smoothie is listed as containing yogurt, you simply have to request no yo)

The Booster version is actually pink, but this makes you crave one, right?

The Booster version is actually pink, but this makes you crave one, right?

The trick to this mango-strawberry-guava-passionfruit smoothie, if you want to try making it at home, is passion fruit juice. This healthy slurpee is refreshing, sour, and packed with fruit. Also a great headache cure.

Here are some ingredients to steer clear of if you don’t want to support factory farming:

Casein—Whey’s cousin, casein is made from curdled milk. Yuck!

Gelatin—Rhymes with “skeleton.” Coincidence? I think not. Gelatin is a protein made by boiling cows’ and pigs’ skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Jell-O? Heck, no!

Lard—Lard is such a gross word, it almost makes you wonder why they just don’t call it what it is: “Fat from hog abdomens.”

Pepsin—If the thought of eating lard turns your stomach, stay away from pepsin, a clotting agent from pigs’ stomachs, used in some cheeses and vitamins.

Rennet—Certain words just make you cringe, like coagulate, congeal, clot—which is what rennet, an enzyme taken from baby calves’ stomachs, is used for in cheese production.

Stearic Acid—It may sound less gross than “lard,” but stearic acid, which often rears its ugly head in chocolate and vitamins, comes from a fatty substance taken from slaughtered pigs’ stomachs—or from cows, sheep, or dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters. Still want to chew on that piece of Fido?

Cetyl Palmitate—Check your head if you’re using margarine that contains cetyl palmitate, the fancy term for the waxy oil derived from sperm whales’ heads or from dolphins. “I can’t believe it’s not ” oh, wait. It is” Whale head wax”?

Urea—Urea comes from urine and other “bodily fluids.” It’s used to “brown” baked goods, like pretzels. Um, yeah. And the oven is for ??

Okay, now just for kicks, let’s watch Shoes, betch:

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