News

Hi all,

Sorry it’s been so long.

I’ve been reading a lot about vegan/food/animal/media things as I’m crafting my thesis.  I’ll be sharing some of that stuff as it comes together.

But until then, here’s some interesting things to ponder.

  • What’s my first instinct when a bird flies into my window?  Not to eat it that’s for sure; but that’s what this guy in Texas did.
  • Do you ever wish that you could marry food?  Well cookies and chai married each other in this new recipe from Post Punk Kitchen; I’ve probably made them four times now since the recipe was posted two weeks ago.  They’re pretty much the pinnacle of cookie perfection.
  • Ever wanted to get a text message from a cow’s vagina?  Nope.  Me neither.  But this farmer in Switzerland thought it would be a good idea.
  • None of my grandparents were vegetarian, or Buddhist for that matter, but this guy chose to honor his grandmother by being vegetarian for a month.
  • Ever wonder what sort of progress is being made in animal law?  Well the Humane Society wrote this handy little piece about the 10 most important state laws made for animals in 2012 so far.
  • Whether you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’ve probably apologized to someone at some point for your diet, because it was either making them uncomfortable or because it was an inconvenience at a dinner party.  Well maybe it’s time we stopped apologizing for our compassion.

And if all this doesn’t satisfy your desire for veggie/animal/weird news, you can check out my Tumblr for more vegan musings, as well as nerd-tastic posts, and ubiquitous pictures of cute animals.

 

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Captain’s Log: Day 2

800 hours: Still alive.  Vegan police are no where to be seen.  Apparently they did not register my infraction.  Am safe for now.

Breakfasting on granola with almond milk, hash browns, an apple, and orange juice, provided by my thoughtful Aunt.

1000 hours: On the road again, grey drizzle spits upon us, taunting us with the promise of rain and failing to follow through.

1200 hours: Stop for lunch at a gas station/Wendy’s.  My lunch consists of some french fries and a baked sweet potato from Wendy’s, as well as a banana and some Oreos.  I am not proud of myself, but pickings are slim as we drive further and further into the armpit of Texas. And hey, I didn’t eat all the french fries.  I gave some to the dog….

However, the baked sweet potato was pleasantly delicious and I have added Wendy’s to my list of emergency fast food joints.  The list now consists of Wendy’s and Taco Bell.

1800 hours: Finally arrive in Amarillo where we proceed to order take out from a restaurant claiming to serve Thai/Japanese/Chinese/Lao food.  I choose the tofu stir fry, but on the menu it was simply called “Tofu”.  Fittingly, the dish was made up of primarily GIANT hunks of tofu, as well as some veggies.  It was tasty, and restored some of the self-respect I lost at lunch, since this meal actually had some green stuff in it.

Yes, my level of self-respect is directly correlated to the amount of green food I eat per day.  The dialogue in my head goes something like: “Good for you!!  Green food!  How exotic and nutritious of you!!  You can look people in the eyes knowing that you have eaten more than just Oreos today!  Great job!!”   It’s sad really.

Anyway, we must have looked tired when we got the food because the restaurant decided to give us eight containers of Sriracha sauce and probably close to twenty packets of soy sauce.  I might or might not have contemplated dipping an Oreo in the Sriracha just to see what it would taste like…

Tomorrow we will finally cross the border into New Mexico– The Land of Enchantment.  Just a hunch, but I think that my definition of enchantment is different from the definition recognized by the state of New Mexico.  When I think of the word “enchanted” I picture unicorns, fairies and clouds made of vegan marshmallows.  When I think of New Mexico, on the other hand, I think of desert, sand, dryness, maybe some skiing and aliens.  But enchantment?

I guess tomorrow I will find out if NM can charm me with its food.  Maybe I’ll come under its  spell and never want to leave.  Perhaps it will bewitch me, body and stomach.  Hayuck yuck.

……..

And now I’ve used up all my remaining self-respect typing that, so I’m going to go eat a bucket of spinach.  Have a good night everybody.

Captain’s Log: Day 1

6 June 2012

1400 hours: The suitcases are packed, the car is loaded, sufficient snacks have been purchased, we are officially on the road.

My family has never been one for road trips.  Flying is more our style.  I think it comes from the fact that as a child, my dad’s family would drive from Texas to Oregon in the summer.  Being the youngest he was forced to sit in the middle in the back seat, between his two sisters, without air conditioning, while his dad smoked in the driver’s seat.  Fortunately for everyone, technology has come a long way and so we are cocooned in a cushion of cold air, sans cigarette smoke, as we breeze down the highway.

This trip has been a long time coming.  As you may remember, my family visited Boise over spring break.  Now we’re finally moving there to stay.  Well, my family is; I guess I will be a temporary resident since I still have to go back to school and get a really expensive piece of paper called a degree.  After that, who knows.  I could become a permanent resident of Boise if the economy tanks again and I can’t get a job and have to live out my days in my parent’s basement.  I can see it now, me making cupcakes to drown my sorrows and watching BBC America ad nauseum.  That doesn’t sound so bad to me, but it’s a harder sell for my parents.

Anyway, now that I am sufficiently recovered from the end of days– aka, the end of the school year– my blog posts shall resume, hopefully with more frequency and greater eloquence as a result of another year of liberal arts education.  As we drive I shall attempt to record our various adventures.

My mom has meticulously planned the trip, going to great lengths, with the help of happycow.net, to find veg-friendly places for us to eat at along the way.  The goal is to not get scurvy from just eating Cliff bars.  We are also traveling with our dog, Ianto, and as she likes to remind me, it sure is a lot easier to find a dog-friendly restaurant than a vegan-friendly restaurant in Texas.

So, for you cat people out there, I’m sorry, I ‘ll only be covering the eateries where canines are welcome.  You’ll have to look elsewhere for a recommendation on where to take your cat out to dinner.

Nutritional yeast in hand, I feel confident that I will survive this adventure!

2200 hours:  I have already been thwarted.

We broke our journey in Fort Worth, Texas, where we stayed with my Aunt and Uncle– lovely people, but not vegan or vegetarian by any means.  We went to dinner at Tres Joses, a Mexican place.

It seems to be a belief of people in Texas that you can’t find good Mexican food out-of-state.  I feel like even some people would claim that Tex-Mex is better than real Mexican food, like, from Mexico, simply out of state-pride and an aversion to foreign food.  My family isn’t like this, we just enjoy Tex-Mex, and feel that as we move North, it is probable that the Mexican food will decrease in “Mexicosity”, and therefore we need to eat as much as we can before we cross the border.  Tres Joses filled this need for my family, managing to balance just the right amount of Tex to Mex– by which I mean that the restaurant was owned and operated by Mexicans, but full of Americans munching on their never-ending bowls of tortilla chips.

Despite it’s promising appearance, the restaurant’s actual menu proved to be a disappointment.  I ordered the Taco Salad, specifying no meat, no cheese, no sour cream.  When the actual dish arrived, my hopes rose again.  I mean, who wouldn’t be tempted by something  that’s basically wearing a crown?

 However, like the restaurant itself, my salad, while fun looking, was actually incredibly disappointing.  I nibble on the tortilla part… most definitely made with butter, okay, too bad, so I started in on the salad.  Avocados, check, lettuce, check, bacon, what?  After munching on a few bites I noticed some bits of brown unidentifiable stuff clustered near the bottom of the salad.  On further inspection I determined that the bits were actually miniscule pieces of bacon.  It was as if they had tried to hide it at the bottom of the salad, and the pieces were so small that they would have added no taste at all to the overall salad if I had actually eaten them.  A blind person probably wouldn’t have been able to identify that there were pieces of bacon in the salad had they eaten it.   What’s the point of that?!?  I asked myself.  Why add something that’s not going to contribute to the meal at all?  Especially something that could have been at least one vegetarian option on your menu?  And I had asked for no meat.  Grrrrr.  If I had been hungry I would have made a fuss.  But, surprisingly, sitting in a car all day doesn’t burn a lot of calories, so I wasn’t hungry enough to cause a ruckus.  I ate my avocado and called it good, shifting around the salad so that it looked like I had eaten some of it, while surreptitiously stealing some of my brother’s rice.

Going to bed now, hopefully the Vegan Police don’t come in and arrest me.

Vegan virgin

Yes, I am a vegan virgin.

~

I’d been a vegetarian for almost two years when one of my closest friends insisted I read “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer or she would unfriend me (and not just on Facebook).  Reading that book caused me to become truly conscious of my beliefs and actions.

In this blog I will chart my journey veganward– into the great nutritional-yeasty-unknown!  As an anthropology major I’m especially interested in not only vegan food but also vegan culture– and how abstaining from animal products brings people together to create awesome vegan communities, as well as how following a compassionate diet helps us to be more compassionate in other areas of life.

~

From beef to beets: The beginning

(ha! That section title makes me sounds freaking important– but, hey, it’s my blog, what’re you going to do about it?  It’s all about me!!  Mwahaha.)

I’ve always loved animals, but it took me 18 years to become a vegetarian.  The decision was relatively painless– I was helping my dad prepare dinner one night– calamari– when I suddenly realized I couldn’t do it any more.  I could not eat animals.  Of course, it wasn’t that quick, but it felt like it at the time.  I had been thinking about becoming vegetarian for a while; but it took the actual act of cutting into flesh to wake me up.  Before that night I had gone back and forth because I knew it would be difficult– living in Texas and being a vegetarian– being a poor college student and being a vegetarian– liking the taste of bacon and being vegetarian.  Yes, I admit, I like bacon!  Scandalous, I know for a vegetarian to admit.  But I didn’t become a vegetarian because I don’t like meat.  I became a vegetarian because my actions and my beliefs were not aligned.  The moral conviction underlying my decision– that eating animals is wrong– is what gave me the strength to give up meat cold turkey– pardon the pun.

But until recently that’s as far as my conviction went.  I was okay with eating eggs, dairy, and other animal products (except gelatin– that stuff’s just nasty).

It took me a few months after reading “Eating Animals” to become vegan, but once again I am making the leap into what I believe will be not only healthier, but happier way of life.

It’s a few weeks since I became vegan and I’m here to say– yes it is possible to be vegan in Texas!  (even outside Austin!  gasp!  But really, Austin isn’t part of Texas, I don’t know where it came from, it’s like a little village of hippy hipsterdom in the middle of the rest of this crap– it’s like a little nugget of tofu on the side of a big ol’ hunk o’ beef).

So, I guess I’m not a vegan virgin anymore.  But I’m not a vegan veteran yet….I guess I’m a vegan newborn….eating lots of mushy tofu and beans.  That is, until my winter break ends and I return to college in Tacoma, Washington.  Which is to Texas like Tofu is to Barbecue.  Okay, maybe Portland is tofu, but Tacoma/Seattle is definitely at least, like, edamame.

So enjoy the blog and my random, random ramblings!