Thursday, March 29, 2012

So Good To Be Awake

Tomorrow, 30 March, 2012, marks my 90th day as an ethical Vegan. :D

Easy Vegan Chili

Okay, I threw this together because I had a hankering for chili (on an 80 degree day?) and didn't have half of the ingredients my cookbooks called for. It turned out great. I don't have measurements on here because I basically just added what didn't look like too much ;) Feel free to add more chili powder/cajun seasoning or what have you if you like it hot!

P.S. Aside from any toppings you may add, this yummy goodness has NO cholesterol, NO saturated fat, and only 1.5 total grams of fat. So enjoy an entire guilt-free bowl (or two)!

  • 1 package soy crumbles
  • 1 can pinto beans in mild chili sauce (check for lard on the label!)
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 1/4 cup water

    Throw all of this in a saucepan and start heating while you sprinkle in oh, say, 1/4 tsp or so of the following: garlic powder, onion powder, cajun seasoning (I use Slap Yo Mama), cumin, curry, chili powder, ground mustard. Then add about a Tbsp or so of maple syrup, and about 3-4 drops of liquid smoke. Mix very well and just leave it in the pan til it's hot.

    I have mine shown here topped with Daiya cheddar and Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream. Enjoy!

  • Sunday, March 25, 2012

    Insanity In A Skillet

    Here's another original recipe that's fast, easy, delicious, and full of texture and nutrition.

  • heat up enough olive oil to more than coat the bottom of a medium skillet
  • add about a tsp of garlic (powder or salt), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice.
  • sautee one sweet red pepper, 1/2 can of chopped portobello mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped kale, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 3-4 sliced medium artichoke hearts

    This is enough for 2 to make a great topping for rice, pasta or to add to beans for a taco or just wrap in a tortilla. Or if you're cooking for one like me, I had half with some leftover jasmine rice and half with some leftover whole wheat rotini. Yum!

  • Saturday, March 17, 2012

    A Wider Audience

    Asking help from my vegetarian and vegan friends out there. I know I've been sharing my posts from this blog on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. But how to expand even more - to reach out to more people? Especially when I get posts together about cruelty to specific species. Any ideas are appreciated.

    The Truth About Pigs

    It's time for some more grueling information about the factory farm business. Again, I am going to share information from different resources, so some of it may be repetitive. But we are the only ones who can speak out for these animals.

  • Pigs
    1 Pigs snuggle close to one another and prefer to sleep nose to nose. They dream, much as humans do. In their natural surroundings, pigs spend hours playing, sunbathing, and exploring. People who run animal sanctuaries for farmed animals often report that pigs, like humans, enjoy listening to music, playing with soccer balls, and getting massages.
    2 Pigs communicate constantly with one another; more than 20 vocalizations have been identified that pigs use in different situations, from wooing mates to saying, "I'm hungry!"
    3 Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers' voices and to recognize their own names. Mother pigs sing to their young while nursing.
    4 According to Professor Donald Broom of the Cambridge University Veterinary School, "[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than human] 3-year-olds."
    5 Pigs appear to have a good sense of direction and have found their way home over great distances. Adult pigs can run at speeds of up to 11 miles an hour.
    6 Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University has found that pigs can play joystick-controlled video games and are "capable of abstract representation." Dr. Curtis believes that "there is much more going on in terms of thinking and observing by these pigs than we would ever have guessed."
    7 Pigs do not "eat like pigs" or "pig out." They prefer to eat slowly and savor their food.
    8 Suzanne Held, who studies the cognitive abilities of farmed animals at the University of Bristol's Centre of Behavioural Biology, says that pigs are "really good at remembering where food is located, because in their natural environment food is patchily distributed and it pays to revisit profitable food patches."
    9 Pigs are clean animals. If given sufficient space, they will be careful not to soil the area where they sleep or eat. Pigs don't "sweat like pigs"; they are actually unable to sweat. They like to bathe in water or mud to keep cool, and they actually prefer water to mud. One woman developed a shower for her pigs, and they learned to turn it on and off by themselves.
    10 In his book The Whole Hog, biologist and Johannesburg Zoo director Lyall Watson writes, "I know of no other animals [who] are more consistently curious, more willing to explore new experiences, more ready to meet the world with open mouthed enthusiasm. Pigs, I have discovered, are incurable optimists and get a big kick out of just being."

  • from
    This video investigates all factory farming, but shows quite of bit of the cruelty endured by pigs.

    Life on the farm isn't what it used to be. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes portrayed in children's books have been replaced by windowless sheds, tiny crates, wire cages, and other confinement systems integral to what is now known as "factory farming."

    Today the majority of farmed animals are:

    confined to the point that they can barely move,
    denied veterinary care,
    mutilated without painkillers,
    and finally slaughtered -- often while fully conscious.

    Fortunately, each one of us has the power to help end this suffering by simply choosing to eat vegetarian.

  • from

    The majority of the 100 million pigs killed in the U.S.
    for their flesh each year spend their lives in cramped
    metal pens inside filthy sheds. The animals are given
    almost no room to move and they are deprived of
    everything that is natural to them—they won't be
    allowed to step outdoors or breathe fresh air until
    the day that they are loaded onto trucks bound for
    slaughter. They are pumped full of drugs to make
    them grow faster, and many become crippled under
    their own artificially massive weight.

    Gestation Crates
    In factory farms, mother pigs are intensively confined and forcibly impregnated. A mother pig (sow) spends her entire adult life
    confined to a metal crate so small that she can't even turn around or lie down comfortably. Forced to live lying in her own feces and
    urine, she and millions of other pigs like her will not be allowed to step outdoors until they are forced onto trucks headed for
    Pigs are social and intelligent animals who often go insane from their intensive confinement and complete lack of mental
    stimulation in factory farms. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, many pigs spend their days compulsively chewing on the metal
    bars of their stalls.

    "Dead piles" are a constant presence in factory farms. While pigs are fed massive amounts of antibiotics to keep them alive in
    conditions that would otherwise kill them, hundreds of thousands succumb to the stress of violent mutilations and intensive
    confinement. Dead pigs are sent to rendering plants, where they are made into dog and cat food or into feed that will be given to
    pigs, chickens, and other farmed animals.

    Pig Transport
    Pigs are generally given no food or water for the entire trip to the slaughterhouse, which often covers hundreds of miles. One former
    pig transporter told PETA that pigs are "packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually
    comes out." The pigs are shipped through all weather extremes, and many collapse in the heat of summer or become frozen to the
    sides of the truck in the winter. One worker reports, "In the wintertime there are always hogs stuck to the sides and floors of the
    trucks. They [slaughterhouse workers] go in there with wires or knives and just cut or pry the hogs loose. The skin pulls right off.
    These hogs were alive when we did this."
  • Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Still On The Animal-Wagon

    Just nothing new to report lately. I did just get in, bought used, "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Vegan Eating For Kids." Written by a couple of docs and recommended by another. I am hoping this will give me some insight into introducing the exciting world of animal-free foods to my 3-year-old. Only received it yesterday. I will likely post any tips I find especially helpful. It's not plagiarism if it's properly cited, right?

    Really, I'm kidding. I'm a freelance writer ;)

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    The 7 Cruelest Foods On Earth

    from Organic Authority:

    Most of us consider ourselves to be kind and compassionate, and rightfully so. Humans possess a great capacity for empathy and love; and we rely on support systems of family and friends to not only help us in our times of need, but also to bring us joy and pleasure, love and happiness. For some of us, dogs and cats fit into this discussion; they are as much family members as they are companions. But hidden from our sight are the more than 10 billion animals raised and killed for food every year just in the U.S. Instead, we view cows as burgers or ice cream, pigs as ribs and bacon, chickens as nuggets, wings or eggs.

    But if we could see the suffering endured by animals in the name of faster-cheaper-processed foods, we might demand better treatment, or opt out of the system entirely. Can you imagine a world where the harsh treatment of animals happened in the public eye? Could you still stomach a bite of these 7 cruelest foods?

    While there is an immense variety of animals consumed around the world, these make up some of the largest animal populations to suffer in the name of the human appetite.

    1.Foie Gras: This paté made from goose or duck liver is a French delicacy that has also recently become popular in the U.S. But in order to create this fatty liver spread, birds are forced to live with steel pipes rammed down their throats several times a day with excessive amounts of grain and fat pumped in so their livers bloat. Many of the animals cannot stand because of their swollen liver; they suffer injuries, tear out their own feathers and cannibalize each other from the stress. Opt instead for lentil-walnut paté, hummus or white bean puree.

    2. Shark Fins: Regarded as a royal delicacy since the Ming Dynasty, shark fins have become increasingly more popular as more and more Chinese have disposable incomes. The industry has boomed to an estimated 75 million sharks killed each year, threatening the future of several important species. And the act of acquiring the fins is uncommonly cruel: After catching the sharks, their fins are cut off, rendering the great fish incapable of swimming. The mutliated bodies are then tossed back into the ocean where they bleed to death, drown or are eaten by other animals. Besides status, shark fins add little else to soups, so opt instead for a great soup loaded with veggies and herbs.

    3. Veal: Because the dairy industry requires cows to be constantly pregnant in order to produce milk, that means there are lots of newborn baby cows taken from their mothers and forced into veal stalls, so tiny they cannot turn around. These intelligent and kind creatures live in darkness while their muscles atrophy from lack of exercise. After as many as five months in these conditions, they endure a traumatic truck ride to slaughter where many are trampled because they're too weak to stand. Opt instead for seitan or tempeh.

    4. Eggs: The majority of eggs come from nearly 300 million chickens living in what are called battery cages. Roughly just 18 by 20 inches, these cages will typically hold between 5 to 10 birds. The normal wingspan of the intelligent, curious and playful bird is 32 inches, which means they never experience spreading their wings while in captivity. The stress leads them to episodes of fighting and cannibalism, and they also often endure major injuries and illnesses. Opt instead for organic tofu omelets, use chia or flax seed gel for baking, or secure a super small-scale local source of free-range, organic eggs that you can verify are sourced humanely.

    5. Pork: Any dog lover knows that they're intelligent, curious and emotional creatures. Pigs have shown to be even more intelligent than dogs, but because we see them as food, we dismiss their personalities and force them into unimaginable suffering. Mother pigs live in what are called gestation crates, which are so small they cannot even turn around, or in some cases even completely stand. Constantly impregnated until their bodies give out, their newborn piglets are taken away from loving mothers after just the bare minimum of nursing. Without pain relief, tails are docked, male pigs are castrated and sharp teeth are broken off with pliers. Opt instead for plant proteins like beans, lentils and nuts, tempeh bacon and Tofurky sausage.

    6. Dairy: We think of milk as the most wholesome food there is; however, the secret behind the dairy industry is anything but. In order to produce milk, mammals must be pregnant, so cows are constantly and forcefully inseminated. Their young babies are taken away and many become veal. The majority of cows are not milked by hand; they're tethered to harsh mechanical machines that often infect their udders and cause great pain. Opt instead for coconut, almond or rice milks, or source from a vetted small-scale local organic dairy producer that treats their cows ethically.

    7. Lobster: Considered a staple indulgence for seafood lovers, these intelligent and social creatures can live to be 100 years old if they're not one of the 20 million killed each year for food. A captured lobster forced into a tank can suffer a great deal of stress, and their complex nervous systems are very sensitive to pain. Whether being cut open while alive or dropped into a scalding pot of hot water, lobsters captured for food rarely live out their remaining days free from suffering. Opt instead for fungus—like the lobster mushroom—which is meaty and buttery with a slight hint of seafood.


    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Potato Soup - Help!

    I made a potato soup the other day, with new potatoes, kale, and carrots. A chunk of nondairy butter, some onion powder, and just enough almond milk to cover the goods. My problem was - the milk is just too sweet. Any suggestions?

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Look At Me! :)

    As of today, I have been an ethical Vegan for 65 days.

    Vegan Pregnancy

    Okay, so I was seriously considering trying for another baby, but have reconsidered due to a mountain of good reasons. Preemptively, I ordered a couple of books from Amazon for reference, but now don't have a need for them. I will hold on to them, of course, unless you or someone you know can use them. I'll either loan them out, or sell them, cheaper than Amazon, of course. Please leave a comment if you're interested!

  • Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, by Sayward Rebhal

  • The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book: All You Need To Know For A Healthy Pregnancy That Fits Your Lifestyle, by Mangels, Reed
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