Saturday, November 12, 2011

I bought 2 cute sweaters at the Gap yesterday that were 50% wool. I thought to myself, "How bad can cutting wool off sheep be?" Well, after reading about it this morning, I'll be returning those super cute sweaters. (The part about mulesing was enough for me to say no to wool.) Luckily there are PLENTY of alternatives to keep me warm.  
During my vegan journey, I have learned to QUESTION EVERYTHING. Sometimes that old pattern of "Oh, how bad can it REALLY be?" creeps into my head, like last night while buying those sweaters. It is only when I ALLOW myself to find out just how bad it is, that I uncover the truth.
I post alot of articles on my facebook page and I often wonder if they start to annoy my non-vegan friends. I am sure that some people have hit "hide" for me, but I still feel the need to teach people who are willing to listen. I learn new things each day and I just want everyone to know what I never knew about how animals are treated in industry. I've eaten meat and cheese, drank milk, worn leather, worn wool, bought down comforters, etc my whole life only because I didn't know this stuff....I always say that I WISH I read about all of this 20 years ago. 
For me, no piece of clothing or food is worth having if an animal suffered.
More information about sheep mulesing can be found here
PINK made a video to educate further. This one REALLY made me say no to wool products.
My new motto is QUESTION EVERYTHING. Who could have suffered for the products I want to buy? Who could have been tested on? Who could have been sad, scared, hurt, and lonely? Like I said before, NOTHING is worth buying if it causes any creature to suffer in any way.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What a great PSA from a wonderful friend of animals!
I hope this makes some people look into the brands they purchase and change to those who are cruelty-free.
I just realized that I have not written here in a long time. Time for me to get bloggin' again!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not sure how I kept my cool...

My school district had off on Friday, April 1 for César Chávez Day, so a group of us from school decided to go up to Glen Ivy Day Spa and Hot Springs to celebrate our friend's birthday. We had an awesome day of girly bonding and relaxation - we did a red clay mud bath, had moisturizing treatments, went swimming, did pilates, and relaxed in our own super-cool private cabana.
Lunchtime there looked like it was going to be a breeze for me. They had plenty of salads that I could they had a boca burger.
Easy peasy....
or so I thought.

On the menu, the boca burger was listed as having lettuce, tomato and cheese on it with a fruit salad on the side. I figured I would just order it without the cheese and I would be golden. So I did that.

First problem was that everyone else's lunches came out except mine. "The boca burger just takes a little longer...sorry." "Longer than making a pizza?" I asked as I looked at my friend's lunch next to me. Whatever - I am patient.

Finally, as my group was halfway done with their meal (no joke) my boca burger arrives. 
WITH cheese AND without fruit. Instead, it had a pasta salad with grated cheese on top.

I politely said, "I asked for this without cheese. Plus, don't you think that if I asked for it without cheese that I MIGHT NOT want a pasta salad with grated cheese on top?" (Mind you, on the menu it said it had fruit as a side.)

So, I wait again.

Here comes my boca burger, this time with fruit on the side (as it was listed on the menu) but it STILL HAD CHEESE ON IT!!!!

"This still has cheese on it. I am sorry, but I asked this with no cheese. Please take it back and bring it without cheese"

Normally, I don't make THAT big of a deal. But if I SPECIFICALLY ask for something done a certain way, I EXPECT it to be done right.

Now, by the time he FINALLY brings it back without cheese, it does not have any lettuce or tomato on it (like it was supposed to) but this time I just have to take what I can get. The rest of the girls were pretty much done with their meals already, plus I was hungry! So, I began to eat my boca burger...and fast!

After a few bites, I realized something just wasn't quite right. I've eaten lots of boca burgers and this just didn't taste like it.
I lifted the top of the bun and to my disgust, it was not a boca burger, but a TURKEY BURGER! (they had both on the menu)

All I wanted to do was YELL at someone, was my friend's birthday. I needed to remember that this was a celebration for HER. But, inside I was absolutely disgusted. I felt HORRIBLE. So horrible that I excused myself from the table to go to the bathroom to let out a few tears. Years ago, this would not have been a big deal. Hell, I was ordering turkey burgers left and right, since I never really liked regular burgers as much.

But this time it was different.

I KNEW what my meal was.

I KNEW the pain that the turkey endured to make that burger.

I knew the suffering that he went though during his time on earth - his beak was burned off on the end without anesthesia, the ends of his toes were clipped off, and his snood was cut off (the part of skin that hangs under his chin.) He was bred, drugged, and genetically manipulated to grow as big as possible as quickly as possible. He might not have been even able to walk because his breast was grown too fast for his legs to hold him up. If he was able to walk, he only had about 3 square feet, if that, to walk around in a crowded, smelly room. He most likely couldn't even spread his wings out. He certainly didn't see the light of day or feel the grass or ground under his feet while in the factory.

When it was time for him to go to slaughter, he was roughly thrown into a crate which was stacked up on the back of an open truck. If it was very cold or very hot out, he had no protection from the weather, and he certainly was not given any food or water for the ride no matter how far away it was. If he even survived the ride, he was dumped onto a conveyor belt, then his feet were put in metal shackles and he was hung upside down. I can't even type the saddest part - what happened next to him - because I'll just start crying, but you can read the last 3 paragraphs of this article if you want to know.

So, after I composed myself in the bathroom, I walked back to our cabana. I happened to run into the waiter. I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs to him and call him every curse in the book, but I didn't. Instead I educated him on his error and explained to him why it was such a big deal not only to serve cheese who someone who SPECIFICALLY asked for none, but to also confuse a boca and turkey burger. He seemed genuinely apologetic, which was enough for me. He didn't know. Just like there was a time when I didn't know.

But, still....yes he should have gotten me the correct meal that I ASKED for, but....I needed to get back to my friend's birthday celebration. I couldn't let on how much this really affected me. So, I put on my happy face and tried to enjoy the rest of my day there.

The truth was, I felt like shit for the next few hours.
I had to leave the group twice to go to the bathroom. I'm sure you can figure out why. My body just isn't used to even a few bites of animal anymore. Neither is my soul. That part was even worse.

But.... the story does have a nice ending.
The next day I knew I needed to go volunteer at Animal Acres. It is the least I can do for all the suffering I unknowingly caused animals in the past.

Luckily when I arrived, the first creature to greet me at the main door was a turkey. And he looked at me with the most sincere eyes, as if to say, "It wasn't your fault. We still love you." That moment made me suddenly feel better and made me realize that mistakes will always be made along the way and it is my job to EDUCATE others, not to judge.
(But that kid STILL should have gotten my order right!!)

My greeter who still loves me!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Trip to the Doctor...

So, I went to the doctor for a physical today. He was asking me a bunch of questions, looking down at his chart and writing answers down when I told him that I changed to a vegan diet. Suddenly, he looked up from my chart and smiled. "That's awesome! Congratulations!" - he said that it was a great choice and he was happy for me for being able to do it. I began to ask him about my nutrients (especially iron) and he said that as long as I was eating my leafy greens and beans that I should be JUST FINE. He didn't even seem one bit concerned. He said that he would double check my B-12 and iron with my blood test, but that I should be a-ok. (I was low iron even before going veg, so I am curious to see if I still am)

Only problem - I am not a good needle patient. TWO nurses couldn't get a darn vein! One said I was one of her most difficult cases (and she does pediatrics!) So, I have to go back on my next day off to try, try again with the bloodwork. I'll keep you posted... if they ever catch a vein!

Monday, February 21, 2011

What made you do it?

This past week someone asked me if I remembered what it took to finally make me decide to switch to a vegan diet- to finally eliminate all dairy and eggs from my already vegetarian diet.

I definitely do. 

I remember allowing myself over Christmas vacation to watch some videos and learn all I could about factory farming. I had already read a little bit about it before going vegetarian, but I went even more in-depth over my Christmas break. I knew the videos were going to be difficult to watch, but I also knew that I had to do it. I had to finally see where my food was really coming from. I won't lie - they made me cry. But they also made me wake up and say to myself, "I cannot contribute to this industry any more." Sure, there ARE some small farms out there who DO treat their animals well, but sadly, they are not the farms that supply meat, eggs, and dairy to my local grocery stores, Costco, or any of the stores I buy my food from.

I decided to post the videos here with hopes that maybe even one person will allow themselves to watch them and make even one small change (such as buying almond/soy/rice milk instead of cows milk or trying out Meatless Mondays.) I know I keep saying this, but I WISH I would have watched these when I was 20 years old instead of 40. 

I used to say to myself, "I love animals too much to watch videos like that." 
Now I know I should have been saying, "I love animals too much and that is why I need to watch these videos."

As painful as they are to watch, they are necessary to open your eyes to where your meat and dairy TRULY comes from. It is NOT the happy cow on a happy farm, like the commercials show us. There are not wide open pastures like the packaging of the meat shows us. Yes, at one time I did believe that the cows, chickens, turkeys, and pigs I ate lived happy lives on wide open farms and died painlessly and humanely for my nice neat package of meat. I feel so terrible for ignoring it before, so all I can do now is try my best to educate even just one make even just one tiny change.

This video is narrated by Alec Baldwin and is called "Meet your Meat" 

This video is narrated by and stars Paul McCartney.

This video (click this link)  shows how much suffering chickens
used for Mc Donalds food endure
(please think about this one the next time you want to order chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, salads with chicken, egg mc muffins, etc.)

**If you just want to READ about the issues and not watch the videos, Farm Sanctuary has some wonderful education pages found here. also has some great educational resources to read.

Please remember, even just choosing to go meatless for just
one day a week  can make a difference!

Let me know if you decide to make any small changes. I'd love to hear about them! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

This makes my heart smile

I have been reading a lot and learning a lot about Farm Sanctuaries lately. When I win the lottery someday, I would love to put money towards an existing sanctuary and work there. Maybe I would even open my own, but I would have much to learn before going in that direction.

I have watched this video quite a few times. Susie is an inspiration to me and just watching how the animals follow her to their new pastures makes my heart smile!

Farm Sanctuary is a wonderful organization that started in 1986 to bring awareness to the cruel practices of factory farming. They have rescued thousands of animals and have educated so many people about where their meat/dairy. We adopted a turkey from there last year and plan to support them again this year.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cruelty Free Products - Household Cleaning - a New "Method"

It was sad to find out that big companies STILL feel the need to animal test when there are alternatives available.This is an area that I am constantly improving on, since I keep finding things that I use that are owned by the naughty companies. I don't beat myself up or throw things away - I just finish using it, choose a new brand the next time I buy it, and move on. Just from writing this blog and visiting the websites below opened my eyes to new things to think about in the future.

Johnson and JohnsonUnilever (they own lots of products like Dove, Axe, Helmanns, Lipton, Knorr, Bertoli, Slim Fast, and many more) Proctor and Gamble (Tide, Crest, Covergirl, Clairol, Nyquill, Charmin, Bounce, Febreeze, and many more)  Arm and Hammer, Kimberly Clark, and others - basically all of the products that are heavily advertised and easy to find in supermarkets and Costco, Sam's Club, etc. still do conduct unnecessary animal testing.
Clicking on the links will show you the products those companies sell. The product itself might not be animal tested, like toilet paper, but if you don't want your hard earned money going into the hands of animal testers, there are lots of great cruelty-free companies to buy from. Remember to check when in doubt.

Household cleaning products were pretty easy for me, since I found an affordable line of cruelty-free products that has been a slam-dunk across the board. I have tried other brands, but keep coming back to Method for lots of my household cleaning supplies.

My new favorite dish soap - love the scent (sea minerals)

Refill for my hand soap in bathroom and kitchen. Environmentally friendly - I don't have to keep recycling the old plastic pumps.

Le Scrub for the bathroom. Smells like eucalyptus! Plus, the best part is that you don't feel like you need to use a face mask when cleaning the bathroom.

For the toilet...

 These are awesome for quickly wiping down the bathroom sink area...smells like eucalyptus mint!

Laundry detergent. I love that it comes in Free and Clear. Also available in different scents.

Multi Surface - I use this one at school alot, too.

I LOVE this - smells like almonds!

This does work great for cleaning wood -and smells yummy!

For school - I give these to the kids to wipe their desks down. (Or if a kid gets snot all over their hands after blowing their nose.)

For windows, I use a vinegar mixture (vinegar and a little water. You can even add a few drops of dishwashing detergent if you want.)  I never had problems with streaking, but if you do, here is a solution.

I also have a bottle of this just because it smells so good:

For stain removal AND hand sanitizing, I found this little gem at the Whole Foods check out. I bought it as a pocket hand sanitizer, but found out that it works great at stain removal, too! No need to carry Shout wipes anymore!

So, as you can see, my favorite product is Method. It is priced well, readily available at Target, and smells really good! They also sell many more items such as cleaning wipes, hand sanitizers, kids shampoos and soaps, granite cleaners, stainless steel cleaners, dishwasher soap, baby diaper lotion, leather cleaner and much more! At Target, look for their "Natural Cleaners" section and their "Natural Detergent" section. It was tough for me to find the area at first, but luckily some Targets keep all the Method products together. You can also order them online.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cruelty Free Products - Bathroom and Beauty

One of the things that started my whole journey was a simple question asked by my husband in one day as I was joking about having to buy Oil of Olay eye cream...
"Did you know that company tests on animals?" 

I thought that nobody tested on animals anymore. I thought that was a thing of the past. They don't still do that!  Didn't all the animal rights organizations and PETA take care of that years ago?

I was so dumb. I was really dumb. (For real.)

So, I began researching.
I realized that MOST of the products I had in my house were either tested on animals or made by companies who still test on animals. So, I made the decision to try my best to not support the companies who still do test (even if the product itself is not tested on.) Much harder than it seems since so many household and beauty products are owned by the naughty companies, but I am slowly getting the hang of it. For example, I thought that I was doing well by buying Toms of Maine toothpaste until I realized that they are owned by Colgate. Ugh. So, even though Toms ITSELF is not tested on, my money would ultimately go to the bad guy. Not where I want my hard earned cashola to go.

I have been transitioning all of my household and beauty products to cruelty-free choices as much as I can since last May. As I use up the last of certain products, I find cruelty-free alternatives to replace them with. A great resource for me has been Leaping Bunny. They even have an easy to use  Compassionate Shopping guide to search your favorite products and see who the bad guys are. I even have their IPhone app on my phone for easy reference.

I will start with the the beauty products in my bathroom that I use and enjoy, then I will do another post on my cleaning products and makeup.Maybe it can inspire some people to change even just one product they buy :)

Hand soap - I use Method pump soap in Lavender (and Unscented for hubby,) which luckily can be found at Target and even has nice, cheap refill bags.

Air Spray - I used to love the Method Lemongrass and Lavender spray until they discontinued it. Now I use the Orange Air Therapy. I buy this at Trader Joes.

Toothpaste: Kiss My Face Anticavity. Sometimes when I need my Vanilla fix, I will use Jason's Powersmile Vanilla Mint, too. Both of these I buy at Whole Foods or

Face Cream: I had been using Oil of Olay or Dove moisturizers before, but now I use DeVita's Perfecting Time (available at Whole Foods)
Face Soap: I have used Dove bar soap to wash my face for as long as I can remember. Since Unilever is one of the worst companies when it comes to animal testing, I have had to say goodbye to Dove. :( My new face soap of choice is Kirk's.

Shampoo: My life has been made much easier since finding out that Paul Mitchell was cruelty-free. I use his conditioner and detangling spray (my hair has always tangled like a 4 year old.) I like to use different shampoos - right now I am using the Nature's Gate Lavender. 

Sometimes for fun I'll go with the Kiss My Face Mistreated duo. I like the smell.

Speaking of hair, for Hair Color my absolute favorite product is Naturtint. I never feel like I am putting chemicals in my hair like I used to before. It doesn't burn or stink. And the color lasts :) I could seriously color my hair everyday and be happy, but I don't have to with this product. It is not listed on leaping bunny, but from all that I have read about it, I feel safe with it until I read otherwise. It's made in Spain's Phergal Labs. This can be bought at Whole Foods (make sure you wait until it goes on sale) or through for much cheaper.

Body wash: Another product that I love to have a few to choose from each day. Right now my 2 favorites are Shikai Vanilla (or Coconut when I want to switch it up...)
 ...and Kiss My Face Lavendar and Lily (yes, I love lavender!)

Body Lotion: I had a bunch of Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Lavender lotion that I was using up. On the back it says, "Never Tested on Animals" but that could mean the finished product ONLY. It doesn't necessarily mean that some of the components weren't tested. It is not listed on the leaping bunny site as being cruelty free, so after its done, I will be switching to a Nature's Gate or Whole Foods brand lavender lotion.

Until it's done....

then I switch to this...

I also love the body lotions, hand soaps and body washes from Hugo Naturals (Whole Foods and

Now, I am far from perfect. My eyes are very sensitive, so for my contacts I am still using CibaVision to clean them and saline for a rinse. I did find this product to use in the future, but my eye doctor wanted me to stay status quo while I am clearing up an eye issue:

Shave Cream: I am still using up the last of my stock of old stuff, but when I am done, I plan on trying the Kiss My Face products.

Deodorant: I bought a shitload of Dove when it was on sale a long time ago and I'm on my last one. I am nervous about finding a good cruelty-free one, but once I do I will let you know!

Toilet paper: I try my best not to buy from the nasty companies by getting my TP from Trader Joes whenever possible. is a great place to buy some of these products at a discount!

*Just FYI - companies do not have to carry the leaping bunny symbol ON the product for it to be cruelty free (that is an extra step companies take for marketing.) As long as the company is LISTED on the leaping bunny site, it is a cruelty free product :)

I think that is it for my bathroom products (if I forgot something, I will add it.)
Next up....
household cleaning products and makeup!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Chipotle Burrito = VEGAN!

I have two words for that - FUCK YEAH!!!!!!

I have been waiting for a response from Chipotle since my trip to NJ at Christmas, when I *thought* that it was butter that they were mixing with the rice. Well, today i received the email that made me do a happy dance:
Debra, Thanks for writing. Our rice does not have butter in it. We cook our rice with soybean oil, and it is completely vegan. I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any further questions. We hope to see you soon.

Hell yeah you'll see me soon - how about tonight? :)

I also learned that the stuff I *thought* was butter is actually lime juice. No wonder their burritos are like crack.

Also, on the website it lists special diet options - very nice. So basically, the things that are not vegan are: pinto beans (they are cooked with a small amount of bacon), meats (obviously), cheese, sour cream, and chipotle-honey vinaigrette. Sweet. I only ever ate chicken from that list anyway- back when I did the meat thing.

Oh, my dream burrito?
Black beans, fajita veggies, ALL THREE salsas (with EXTRA corn salsa) and....that's it! :) Sometimes I will have them throw on some lettuce if I feel adventurous. Oh, and for some strange reason I like baby carrots on the side when I eat it at home...weird, I know. I can seriously eat baby carrots with anything.

So excited to celebrate with a burrito in about half an hour!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Update on protein shake mix

Yay! I found a protein shake that mixes well (thanks to using a cocktail shaker!)
NutriBiotic Rice Protein!

Plus, I found out a way that I don't have to just drink a "shake" - I now mix it in my almond milk and use that milk for my cereal. Duh, why didn't I ever think of that before? Protein + breakfast all in one shot. I learned that I can also mix it in oatmeal, but I normally have cereal for breakfast.

Oh, the best thing about that mix is that it comes in plain, vanilla and chocolate.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What do you eat for protein?

Lots of people ask me what I eat for my protein source now that I have cut animal products from my diet. Honestly, before going veg, I only really ate chicken and fish with the occasional steak or red meat source. Even when we were grilling, I'd still make a veggie burger for myself.

But, now I do have to make sure that I get enough protein, since apparently chicken had a shitload of lean protein. So now my best sources are:

BEANS They pack alot of protein. Luckily there are plenty of beans to choose from, so I can have a variety. Its been easy to replace my old favorite meat-basted recipes with beans. I use chickpeas for my chickpea salad for lunch as well as using them in recipes. I also have grown to love black beans and kidney beans. Lentils are my newest bean to play around with.

TOFU I already liked tofu, so this one was easy. I love it in stir fries and grilled. I even made scrambled tofu last weekend and it was delicious!

QUINOA (keen-wah) SUPERFOOD! This baby is the queen of whole grains and complete protein. It can be used in place of rice in any recipe. (People in Bolivia even eat it as oatmeal - I have yet to try that one.) It is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  It is a great source of folate, iron, magnesium and zinc...and it is one of the few non-meat foods that provide all eight of the essential amino acids that our bodies need to repair themselves. Mmmm, mmmmm good!

NUTS Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. I try not to eat too much because of fat content, but plenty of protein here.

PROTEIN BARS / PROTEIN SHAKES I really love the Odwalla Super Protein bar that has 16g of protein...sometimes I will have that as part of my breakfast in the car if I am in a hurry or as an afternoon snack. I am still trying to find the best vegan protein mix that dissolves well in almond milk just with a spoon. I hate pulling out the blender, so I need one that dissolves easily - I'll keep you posted.

VEGGIE BURGERS I love my veggie burgers - any variety - bring 'em on! Luckily I loved veggie burgers even before going veg, so this was easy peasy. 

MEAT SUBSTITUTES - Gardein makes a whole bunch of delicious meat substitutes.The ones Ive tried are:
~the crispy tenders "chick'n strips" - my favorite so far- I even got my sister to eat them and she said she'd eat them again.
~the "buffalo wings" - yummy
~the stuffed turk'y breasts (available at Thanksgiving, but I still see them in the stores now)- amazing!
~chick'n & scallopini is still in my freezer - I'll let you know
~bbq pulled shreds - I was never ever big on pulled pork, so i I wasn't too crazy for this one. I got is for Craig to try - he wasn't too crazy for it either.
~chicken strips - I had them once and don't feel the need to have them again. I'd rather put garbanzo beans on my salad

Edamame Mmmmm mmmmm! Fresh green soybeans (thankfully not genetically modified) Another complete protein source! A 1/2-cup serving of shelled edamame contains only 100 calories, with 3 g of unsaturated fat and 8 g of protein. It also provides 4 g of fiber and is a good source of calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Edamame doesn't contain any cholesterol and has very little sodium* (unless you throw some salt on them, of course!)

Protein can even be found in my everyday goodies such as oatmeal, cereals, bagels, breads, broccoli, potatoes, peas, and even spaghetti and rice

I am still learning about / experimenting with..... 

SEITAN - no, not Satan...say-tan -it's the protein part of wheat gluten. Some people refer to it as "wheat meat." Ive used it once in a stir fry - it had a chewy texture like meat- good if you drown it with a yummy sauce. Boring if its plain.

TEMPEH The NKOTB for me (oh, that's 'new kid on the block' for those of you unfamiliar with boy band lingo.) I've been interested in this even though its higher in fat than tofu or other proteins. I bought some 'jalapeno flavored' at the Farmer's Market and it was DELICIOUS! I cant wait to get another container. (wikipedia says..."it is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty.")

Have you lost any weight?

Alot of people ask if I have lost any weight on my new diet.

Well, the thing about losing weight is that you have to stop eating like a piggy and start exercising, no matter what kind of diet you are following. I am still working on both of those, so.... nope....I haven't lost any weight yet, but I plan on it once I get moooving (hee hee a cow pun!) and get a grip on the amount of calories I am taking in each day.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So far so good....

First week of transition to vegan = success in my book....but definitely LOTS to be learned.

Eating at home is quite easy - there are so many recipes out there - plus, most of the vegetarian things I had been making were already vegan (or could be made vegan very easily.) Most of the times, all I need to do is take out the cheese and voila! vegan! Honestly, most things I make don't taste any different to me without the cheese.

Today I made tofu scramble for the first time - YUMMY! Craig said that if I served it to anyone else, that it could pass for real eggs. Hmmm...wonder who I can pull one over on ;)

Going out is another issue.

At dinner this week, we THOUGHT that we ordered something that was vegan, until we got a little surprise when we tasted butter. This is totally a learning experience for us...we are going to make TONS of mistakes along the way...AND we're going to end up eating non-vegan foods by accident or by choice along the line...but the main thing is that we are making an effort to not use/ consume animal products as much as we possibly can without making ourselves crazy. It will not be the end of the world when we mess up...and we will certainly never send anything back at a restaurant if we discover it has something we weren't expecting.

I am going to try my best to be as vegan as possible when out, but I am sure there will be times when it might not work out 100%.

This week we had vegan pizza for the first time at a pizza place at the farmer's market - it was certainly delicious and I didnt miss "real' cheese one bit!

In the same meal, we did learn that Guinness is not vegan....oops!
From Guinness:
In reference to your inquiry, isinglass, a fish product, is used during the clarification process as a magnet to get rid of excess yeast. To the strict Vegan, this would be considered an animal product and therefore unsuitable. 

Like I said....we're going to make LOTS of mistakes along the way!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Making the leap to VEGAN

baby cows are NOT trash :(

This link is just part of the reason that I have decided to cut dairy out of my life. I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to allow myself to see the truth. Animals are not trash and should never be treated that way. I allowed myself to see some of the videos of how cows, pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, etc are treated at farms and it sickens me. It sickens me that for the almighty dollar, animals are allowed to live in disgusting, painful conditions and treated like machines rather than the living, beautiful creatures that they are. I can no longer support an industry that abuses these creatures anymore. It is so sad that people are being fooled by the pictures of "happy cows," wide open pastures, and loving farms on the packaging of dairy and meat products. I feel sick enough that I supported them for this much of my life, but I am THANKFUL that for the rest of my life I will know better.

I only wish that EVERYONE could feel this way. I wish that there was a way to spread this message without sounding preachy or self-righteous. I guess the only way is by the occasional facebook/twitter posting for now to try to get people to open their minds to what is going on. I can also become involved in local organizations and continue to support places like the Gentle Barn and Farm Sanctuary.

I am VERY thankful that Craig is also an animal lover and he is on board with me.He is willing to give a vegan lifestyle a try too! He has a unique way of transitioning in - he tells people "I am vegan when I cook at home, but vegetarian when I am out" since he feels overwhelmed about not being able to find anything to eat when he is out at bars and restaurants, which is understandable in the beginning stages. I think that in time we will find options at our favorite places, even if it means asking the waiter to change up the selections for us.

For now, that may be how I approach things - if we are out and I have no other options, maybe I will have to allow myself to have a dairy item....BUT in time, i would love to be able to just say no to it no matter what the circumstance. I think this will be a learning experience as we go along...maybe there will be situations where we have no choice but to have a small amount of dairy in a dish - we will see as we go along.

I am glad to have very supportive friends for the most part...I feel lucky to know others who are giving this a try so its been fun to be able to share websites, recipes and ideas.

For those interested in learning more....

Food Inc  is a wonderful documentary that exposes the truth about the food industry. I will never look at food the same way again after watching this. This didn't just focus on meat, but also on the soybean and corn industry, which I learned some shocking things about. I continue to read about all the new things I learned from this.

Meet Your Meat  (narrated by Alec Baldwin) is one of the graphic videos that I forced myself to watch. As much as it made me cry, I needed to see the truth. I think it was important for me to look at the images to truly understand the suffering animals live through each day for the sake of meat, eggs, milk, cheese, etc... It isn't a happy cow on a happy farm like the commercials show. Its a miserable cow in miserable conditions. Please watch for yourself.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Its been awhile....

I haven't blogged since July, but I plan on starting up again with the new year....
all I know is  - I have A LOT to learn!