Too Funny!

I ran across this from The Vegan Underground and figured I would share it with those that haven't seen it yet.  Too funny!

Stay vegan!

Share/Save/Bookmark StumbleUpon View blog reactions


My Vegan Slow Food

Hey guys,

Miranda again, with an interesting take on vegan slow food.

So back to the grocery store sadness.  Every day I check out people's food.  Literally, I take a gander at what's in the basket to base a conversation, how quickly they want out of the store, and what type of eaters they really are.  Stick with me here.  This will all make sense in the end. Promise.  

Growing up as a child in a family of five, we didn't always have a ton of money to eat lavishly for every meal.  My mom made the most of everything she could put onto our plates.  Even if it meant eating chicken six nights a week, she still put thought and love into every dish.  I laugh thinking about how it was so easy for me to become a vegan.  I couldn't stand to eat another chicken in my entire life! 
Back to the market.  There are four types of shoppers as I see it.  
1. Staple buyers, the type of folks that will get bread, fruits, veggies, grains, and water.
2. Frozen food only. I rarely find maybe a jug of milk or a non frozen item in these baskets.
3. 50% to 50% folks, they have a little bit fresh, and a little bit frozen. 
4. Meal to meal shoppers, these are the kind we most relate to.  Shopping for each specific meal.

My mom was a staple shopper.  She made the most of every penny she had (coupon clipping and all) to make sure that her children still had food to eat.  We, on the other hand, are meal to meal shoppers.  We buy for specific meals that we are making in our home, as not waste food (and money) in our everyday lives.  Sometimes, people think this is a hassle.  I think this is an opportunity to get back to the vegan roots.  Just roots in general.  I love to take pride in the meals that we cook.  I love to bring my leftovers to work the next day, and let non vegans (I don't work with a single vegan person) try the great stuff we come up with.  Not that I want to shove it in their face (well sometimes I'd like to), they all seem to think that being vegan means having no fun with the food that we work so hard to make and eat.  Geoff spent 3 hours the other day making seitan for me.  I've been wanting to step away from the pre-packaged commercial "vegan" eats that are available.  Not that there is anything wrong with these products, but they lose the focus.  We have stopped buying peanut butter, we're making it at home! We make cookies, cakes, granola, bagels, anything that would be quicker just to buy, we make it at home.  The basics for us now are just the basics.  The way vegan cooking should be. Nice and slow, not always easy, but well worth it in the long run. This is also better for your pocketbook! 
The focus for us starts here: we are vegan for the animals first and foremost, but secondly we are vegan for the vegetables.  If I can't even recognize what it is, or the ingredients in it, should I really consume it?  The answer blaring in my ears is no.  I can tell you what went into the seitan Geoff made.  No questions asked.  It took time and absolute caring to get six pieces of seitan after two hours of cooking.  The pride and satisfaction to have conquered that goal, and had five kick ass meals after that, are priceless.  Have we all forgotten that sort of pride?  Are we stuck in the rut of buying frozen foods because it's quicker?  Most of the meals we make at home take at least and hour to make.  I think we put thought into every dish and don't skip ahead to get the food at the table faster.  I personally don't think 30 minutes is enough.  Dinner is an event.  I have said this before, we plan dinner for the next night while we're eating the one we just made.

Take pride in the food you eat.  Take pride in the food you cook.  Take pride in knowing that you took the time to make something you cared about.  Even when the caring goes past the animals.  Treat your food right.  Give it the time and justice it deserves.  

Have fun staying vegan!


Photo credit thegrocer* on flickr.

Share/Save/Bookmark StumbleUpon View blog reactions

Is Veganism Just a Fad?

Short answer - NO.

With vegan topics frequently in the news, Oprah, Skinny Bitch, Al Gore's frozen food, Gwyneth Paltrow's pancakes, and the who's who list of vegan celebs, it may seem like veganism is becoming a flash in the pan fad.  More and more people are "trying" the vegan diet now than ever.  30 day vegan challenges are popping up on vegetarian and diet forums all over the web.  Funny vegan license plates are getting lots of attention from the social bookmark sites and Twitter.  Is all of this media helping our cause or marginalizing it?

The more media attention that we get, the more detractors come out of the woodwork.  The more detractors, the more myth-busting we spend our time on.  These are the people who want to write us off as a fad.  It would be easy for us to turn this into a vegans vs. everyone else conflict, but this erases all of the hard work we've already done.  

The idea that this may be a fad is almost insulting to the vegans who have worked so hard to give us soymilk in the grocery store and other amenities that weren't available 20 or 30 years ago.  If you're reading this while in the middle of a "vegan challenge" and trying to decide if you want to stay the course or curious if you could ever possibly stay vegan take a look around, subscribe, and follow me and the rest of the vegan community on Twitter and Facebook.  We're all here to help, and dispel the myth that this is here to stay.

How do you prove it's not a fad?

Stay vegan!

That'll show 'em.

Share/Save/Bookmark StumbleUpon View blog reactions


5 Tips To Staying A Healthy Vegan

It would be really easy for me to write an entire post on the health benefits of veganism, but there are better places for that info than here at Stay Vegan.  What I am going to do though, is give you five quick and easy tips to keep the healthy train a rollin'.
  1. Eat the rainbow.  I know that sounds silly, but an easy way to make sure that you are eating a balanced diet is to make sure that you are eating a colorful diet.  No, I don't mean Skittles.  Eating the rainbow ensures that you're eating a large variety of fruits and veggies.  If you notice that your meals over the last few days have been predominantly green and red, throw in some squash or blueberries to mix it up.
  2. Eat soy in moderation.  There are vegan substitutes for most animal foods and the majority of them are soy-based.  It's really easy for us to base our diets around pseudo meat and dairy, but the health benefits of soy are lost in over-consumption.  Eating too much soy can lead to health problems.  
  3. Grow the rainbow.  Working in the garden leads to added exercise and free vitamin D.  Spending time cultivating fruits and vegetables also helps you to be aware of the seasonality of food and proud of your job well done.  Veggies from your garden taste better than they do from the store.  This also allows you to grow the variety of food you need for your vegan diet.
  4. Eat more raw food.  Fruits and veggies lose some of their nutrients when cooked.  The only way to keep these valuable nutrients in is to eat them raw.  The Big Raw Vegan Blog has tons of recipes and tips for eating more raw food.
  5. Vegan doesn't mean healthy.  With the fact that Oreo's and Skittles don't contain animal products (except for sugar, maybe) is making its way on to vegan message boards all over the web, the options for us to eat more junk food are becoming well known.  This is great for animals, but crappy for us (who want to stay healthy).  Everything is good in moderation, but keep in mind that just because you could, doesn't mean you should.  Bake some cookies or eat a banana instead.
This is obviously not an all-encompassing list, but the things that I do.  What are your easy tips for a healthy vegan lifestyle?

Stay Vegan!

Share/Save/Bookmark StumbleUpon View blog reactions


How I Stay Vegan #5: Vegan Clothing

We all wear clothes. We all love to have new clothes that make us feel good about who we are. Remember being vegan is a statement from your heart and I always wear mine on my sleeve. Choosing to not wear animal clothing is a statement itself. You won't catch me in a shirt that says, "I Love Tofu," but when you know me and talk to me, my everyday apparel speaks volumes. In the city we live in there isn't very good shopping for clothes. Finding clothing is not always easy, size, shape, length, and now we add on no animal? It's not a sacrifice you had to make, it's a sacrifice that the animal that died to give it's life to make you a leather belt or pair of shoes had to make. I don't want to get preachy because there are tons of blogs and sites that better explain reasons to wear vegan gear. Even more on top of that, are blogs and sites that tell you were to buy stuff. We had to weed out some of the stuff when we first went vegan that just weren't the style that fit who we are. So here are a few sites that have done us right.

Simple Shoes

Have fun staying vegan!

Share/Save/Bookmark StumbleUpon View blog reactions


How I Stay Vegan #4: Companion Animals

I came across an article by Eccentric Vegan at Vegan Soap Box titled, Can Vegans Have Pets, and it got my thinking about my pooches and the pivotal role they've played in my veganism.  Having those guys around really helped me understand the value of an animals life and the role they play in mine.  There are a lot of subtopics we could discuss here, but I think that focusing on caring for a species other than your own is most appropriate.

I don't remember the point in my childhood when I realized that a chicken was a McNugget, but I imagine that it was fairly early on.  Seeing animals as living, breathing entities with feelings is something that some folks have a hard time doing.  We're trained from early on to separate and curb our feelings towards animals in order to justify their use in food, testing and exhibition (defined as speciesism by Peter Singer).  This is a part of the seafood vs. sea animal debate.  Just because they're another fishes food, doesn't mean they're our food.  I'll tackle that one in another blog...
Knowing that a pig feels pain and is as smart as my alarm clocks that jump on my bed every morning to wake me up reinforces my veganism.  Caring for an animal lowers that barrier between seeing animals as tools and as sentient beings.  This reminds me of a conversation I had with a dude once about why I was vegan, and I responded with, "because I wouldn't eat my dogs."  Obviously, eating dogs is extreme but when all animals are held in the same regard as we hold the ones who live by our side cruelty will disappear.

This isn't a call for everyone to rush out and adopt a puppy.  Do your homework first, make sure you have the time and resources to give your new family member a great home.  Don't cause more suffering by not being able to provide everything an animal needs.  To quote the blog linked above:
Vegans do not want to put animals in bad situations or remove animals from good situations. We just want to save lives and protect animals.
Well put.  

Stay vegan!

Share/Save/Bookmark StumbleUpon View blog reactions