882. Standing in solidarity with Blake and all dairy victims.

Male calves born to mothers in the dairy industry have little hope for a good life. Very little. They are ripped away from their mothers at birth and taken away amid their mother’s cries for them.  If they receive any food it is simply to get them through until auction at which time they might sell for $2 or $3 to a farmer that will raise them for veal or low-quality beef.

Of course they might just die right there on the farm.

Little Blake is an individual that has every right to live a life without humans causing him pain and suffering.

I know that every day I choose no milk, butter, cheese – because it “tastes good and I love it” – I stand with these precious beings. 

Because they deserve a better life.

Audio of The Veg Coach show live at Vida Vegan Con

Interviews with

NataliaKW – “Pure Pleasures Cupcake Heaven” (yum) 

 Nicole Sopko with Upton’s Naturals (again- yum)

Carrie Forrest -Vegan Fudgesicles! http://www.carrieonvegan.com/2011/07/08/homemade-vegan-fudgesicles/

Susan Palmer  Primay and Secondary foods – we need to hear more from her! http://www.theveggiecoach.com/

All GREAT people!

Audio –Veg Coach show live at Vida Vegan Con 8-27 http://www.1150kknw.com/podcast/media/VC-08-27-11.mp3

883. Meeting Amazing People doing Amazing Things

This weekend is Vida Vegan Con in Portland – a conference for vegan bloggers, and I’m so happy to be among the attendees.  It sold out early so many hopefuls were not able to be here, screw procrastination!

But many are, and the people I’ve met in the short 4 hours since I registered are funny, kind, compassionate, interesting, productive souls. We all look different in every kind of way, yet something within all of us is so very similar.

I like being with nice people like this, it is energizing and motivating, thank you, new friends.

884. Walls of cute shoes and bags!

How great to walk into a store and know that everything in the store is not the result of skinning or plucking an animal!

This was my experience today at Alternative Outfitters in Pasadena.  Their primary business is online but there is a storefront to see, smell and try on the merchandise in person.  Yes, I said smell – no leather smell in that store!

Shoes, belts, bags, wallets are often a problem for vegetarians because bits of leather sneak into everything, even if not the entire product it’s often trim.  Reading labels for a pair of shoes is much more difficult than food – they often say “All man made materials” or “leather upper” or similar but not always.  I have to depend on small and touch, and frankly I can’t always tell.   It is truly shopping in ease at a store like this!

 

885. Eating alone in a restaurant surrounded by friends.

I travel a lot for my job, and aside from my clients I usually don’t know anyone in the town I’m in.

I naturally seek out vegan restaurants so I don’t have to worry about what I’m eating.  But the another benefit of eating in a vegan restaurant is knowing the other diners in there share something in common with me.

Now, maybe “friends” is a little strong, and we might have different reasons for eating vegan, but we do eat that way.  And that small fact ties us together.  It’s always easy to talk to the other diners in a vegan restaurant, and  for them I’m thankful.

886. Turning globs of brown goo into yummy “Chinese BBQ Pork”!

There are a few foods I’ve been looking for since my decision to leave animals out of my diet, and chinese bbq pork is one.  I”m sure it’s out there somewhere but I haven’t found it yet.

But that’s okay, because I really love to experiment in the kitchen now! I’ve never cooked so much and loved it. It’s very gratifiying to make delicious meals out of foods I would never have tried on my old “diet”, and I think that’s a shame because I know many people get stuck in their diets just like I did.

While I have a ways to go, I shop much more comfortably and easily in the asian stores now, in the natural foods departments, and even in produce it’s not just lettuce and bananas.

And when I can make my craving – all is right with the world 🙂

BBQ Prk and Hot Mustard!

887. Eating Miang Kum at Thai Pen

What a treat!  A food I had never tried before this week.

Open spinach leaves served to fill as I desired.  Ingredient options included toasted coconut, red onion, ginger, lime, peanut, chili, something that tasted like lemon grass but wasn’t,  and a house sauce of some kind.  Put a little on the spinach leaf, wrap and eaat – a true flavor explosion just as they promised!

It’s so great to look for the new and healthy options at restaurants when I go out.  I try not to get stuck on the same item over and over because really, almost no vegan food is bad!  I’ll be back for these as well as creating a home recipe for them!

Yummy!

Reason 888. I can sleep at night knowing no animals were harmed in the making of me.

888.  I can sleep at night knowing no animals were harmed in the making of me.

I became a vegetarian because I didn’t want the blood of any living being on my hands when I die. I then became vegan when I discovered that thousands of precious baby cows are left to die or bred for veal as a result of eating dairy.  It’s a very

I have no right to take anothers life if it’s unnecessary, and in this day and age it’s so not necessary.  In fact it’s healthier and better for everyone, including Mother Earth, to not raise animals for the sole purpose of then being tortured and put to death so a selfish human can eat it.  Just because a human CAN do something does not mean they should.

The Man

I had a little personal revelation the other day about myself. Some might say it’s a stretch to associate it like I did, but I don’t think so. I think I learned something from it, and hopefully can affect a change about it. But I’ll get that soon, a little related background first.

Our country sucks at education. Our government does not truly want it’s people educated, it simply wants them trained to do jobs to make money for the bank lords and maintain power for those on top. Our education system as a whole is designed to keep us dumb. They don’t want us to think, for if we think we might not like what they do and if we don’t like what they do, god forbid there might be a revolution on our hands. I’m sure if you read anything at all you’ve heard about the inexcusable use (abuse) of the terrorist laws that put honest, hard working people in jail for no good reason. I’m not going to get into all the atrocities our government creates, supports or implements in trying to keep people from thinking and expressing their opinions, if you need to you can easily find those online.

The media does the same thing. They put us into reality show trances so we will ignore the larger issues at hand. If the news can have us focus on creating anger or fear over one or two select murders or child disappearances, something we can do nothing about, then they know we won’t focus our anger on issues that we can do something about.

The almighty powerhouse religions do it, telling us we can’t get to God except through their means. They preach the evils of sin and how bad we are so we can turn to them to be good again, and go to heaven! Hallelujah. The egos of these preachers needs to keep us fixed on them, their power and cash needs, and not finding our own direct path to God.

It’s about keeping us dumb and passive. The Man keeping us down. I always encourage people to think for themselves. I admit I didn’t think for a long time, I believed the Man. I WAS a republican (ouch-feels good to let that go).

I’m so glad something in me shook loose and I started thinking again. At this writing I’m not sure what the turning point was, but so glad it happened, otherwise where would I be today? Shutter to think…

While organizing the LIVE-Stock event, in order to meet the “requests” of one of the speakers, whom I greatly admire, we agreed there would not be any animals on display or for adoption at the event. Their concern was out of respect for that animal as an individual, that the transport process and exhibition stresses go against recognizing the individuality of each animal. My theme for the event was that every animal has the right to live free from fear at human hands, and being unnaturally displayed and transported really does go against this. The original intent of a petting farm and acquainting people with these animals was of the best intention, but in the end it did make sense to me that we let the animal live their lives for themselves.

Back to my revelation. Our chicken has discovered she can hop the backyard fence to join us on our deck and front yard. This is something we’ve wanted to avoid because a) we like to have our doors open in the summer and chickens don’t keep a clean house, and b) we wanted to keep our deck clean enough to walk on. Side note, if you’ve never spent much time with free roaming chickens in the human habitat, you might not know they make a mess! Even just one chicken makes a big enough mess that needs to be cleaned at once daily to keep our shoes clean.

When these gates and fences went up, first for the dog then reinforced for the chickens, we knew that they really weren’t high enough to keep a creature with wings in. And in fact, this fence wouldn’t keep most dogs in either, except the very small ones. But we counted on the fact that they wouldn’t know they could get out. Or maybe I thought the back yard would provide enough food and activity that they’d never want to get out. Not so, since Cookie is now the lone chicken she seeks company, human, dog or cat it doesn’t matter. If she hears something stirring in the front yard, she wants to be there.

So as we watched her hop onto the gate and into the front over and over, I said “We can’t keep her down anymore”. And it struck me. I was keeping her down. Trying anyway. And more so, I’m keeping my dog down. I know he can jump the fence if he tried, he’s a big dog and it’s a small fence, I’ve just invested my time against letting him know he’s capable of it.

So now I’m in a bit of a quandary. He can’t roam the neighborhood, yet he should be able to live to his full capabilities. So how to do that? Or do I just continue to dumb him down for our sake? Doesn’t seem right and against my evolving beliefs. Pets are kind of that way though, just as all animals, the animals that are here deserve our respect and fair treatment.
Now I must figure out management of the animals I’m providing for while respecting their individuality. I think its an issue for pets everywhere. But pets is a whole topic in itself, reserved for another time.

A Little About Me

There are some questions circulating on vegan blog sites, and I thought I’d go ahead and answer as it’s a good way to get to know me a little better, and maybe you can add your own thoughts? I’ve also taken to asking some of these of my guests on my radio show – http://www.seattlevegcoach.com click on the radio link for info. If you blog, how about sharing your answers?
BTW, this is just part 1. Part 2 to come later.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
No favorite, depends on the use. If I want thick or protein I use soy, always organic and whatever’s on sale, or almond. Otherwise rice is fine for cereal and some cooking. I don’t drink plain milk so I don’t have a taste favorite. And I prefer the term plant or vegan milk.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Veggie lettuce wraps
Chinese barbeque pork
Spicy green beans

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Popcorn always cooked the old way in either Safflower or Canola oil, dashed with salt and sometimes with nutritional yeast.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Lemon cake. Had a humongous sink hole in the middle, but it tasted good 

5. Favorite pickled item?
Asparagus

6. How do you organize your recipes?
Fresh internet recipes go straight into a white binder, older recipe cards in a card book. But not fastened in, just stuffed in so you can’t turn either book on its side without recipes spilling out!

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Compost and trash.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Fresh green peas, pasta, beans.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Gosh, I really can’t think of any. Except sneaking candy from open bags in the grocery store (shh!)

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Don’t really eat it, but Almond Dream bites are really good!

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Pampered Chef food chopper.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Garlic! (and basil, salt, thyme, dill)

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Betty Crocker for 23 years now. Still use it, just veganize it!