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.

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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.

Odds and Ends

I’m not dead!  Just incredibly busy trying to keep afloat during the last month of school before summer!

I’ve actually started a few real, thoughtful posts.  However, my brain is mush at the moment, so I’ve been unable to sort them into anything publishable.   In the mean time, here are some interesting vegan articles that I’ve read when I’ve had free time in between going to class and preparing for class.

I always like reading about celebrity vegans– especially the lovely Mayim Bialik, aka Amy from The Big Bang Theory.

Woody Harrelson was great in the Hunger Games as Haymitch, and he shared his recipe for vegan brownies with VegNews.  However, in true Woody fashion, these are adult vegan brownies.

Another funny celebrity, Ellen DeGeneres, also talked about her vegan journey in this article from the Washington Post.

On a more serious note, Burger King is actually headed in the right direction, pledging to only buy cage-free pork and eggs…..eventually.  I guess it’s a start.

Most importantly, let’s talk about cheeze!  Specifically, how can we make it more delicious?  I totally want to be a food scientist and get to taste test all the cheeze!

Actually…I bet there’s a lot of money in that…hm, something to look into after graduation :)

Spring Break: Boise ’12, NO REGRETS!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post.  Things get pretty busy mid-semester.  However, at the moment my brain is on vacation thanks to a magical time of year that comes around just when you need it: spring break!  A time traditionally associated with beaches, beer, and boobs…. or so I’ve heard.  Well, I went to a place that starts with “B”, but that was about as close as I got to having a traditional spring break.

The place: Boise, Idaho.  Not my first choice for a spring break destination.  I know it would have been more appropriate and exciting for my first vegan adventure post to be to Portland or Austin.  However, I have a hard enough time picking out socks in the morning, so it’s probably better that I didn’t dive straight into a vegan mecca where my brain would have exploded with all the options…and I inevitably would have tried to eat everything, not knowing when I would be back, and I would stuff my cheeks with food, and hide it in my suitcase, and gained twenty pounds in a week having spent all my time eating.  Yes, it’s probably best that didn’t happen.

Anyway…

I should explain this bizarre and bewildering choice of destination; my family is making the leap from Texas, to Idaho this summer; so for spring break we went house hunting in Boise, as well as to get a taste of what it had to offer.  My brother has recently adopted a vegetarian diet, so my family started planning well in advance where we could go to eat.  Now, I will admit I wasn’t very excited about going to Boise.  But, in the end I was pleasantly surprised with the eclectic and delicious meals I had in such a short time.

We arrived in the afternoon and our first stop was the Boise Co-op, where I wanted to EAT ALL THE THINGS!

There was a great selection of vegan goodies at the Co-op, both in the way of frozen stuffs and snack goodies.  There was a sizable selection of raw goodies as well.  The produce section was quite extensive, and they were giving away samples of a delicious green smoothie with ginger, apple, and spinach.

The Co-op does gets points off, however, for charging extra for soy milk at their cafe; but it was worth it because my latte was delicious, as was the bagel I enjoyed with it.

For our first night in Boise we went to Fork.  Yes, Fork.  It’s a restaurant in the heart of downtown that prides itself on being “loyal to local”.  All the ingredients either come from Idaho, Oregon, or Washington.  I enjoyed the Grilled Portobello Sandwhich, which was awesome.  I expected the mushroom to be whole so it would be like a patty, but was surprised that they cut it up.  I think this allowed it to soak up even more flavor because it sure was tasty!  It came with a side of chips as well, which I had high hopes for, it being Idaho and all.  I mean, the license plates say “Famous Potatoes”, a point of much distress for my mother.  Anyway, I was not disappointed.  Some of the fries were crispy, while some were softer, but all yummy and obviously homemade from scratch.  Sadly, I could not dip them in the remoulade sauce, but my family loved it. I would have liked to see a few more vegan and veggie options on the menu, but what I did have was very satisfying; and not a salad!!  A promising start to the week!  And it only got better from there.

I meant to take pictures of all my meals to share with y’all.  But, being me, I forgot ever single time and scarfed down my food before I even remembered that I was carrying my camera.  But, you all know what a portobello burger looks like, right?  So, here’s a picture that I did manage to snap of my brother’s dessert at Fork, some donut balls.  Don’t they look incredible?!  I was so jealous, they smelled fantastic and came with chocolate and peanut butter dipping sauces; although my family agreed they didn’t need them.  

Our next stop on the Boise Vegan Tour was the Taj Mahal for dinner.  Again, I wanted to EAT ALL THE THINGS!  There were like ten vegan dishes to choose from, but I eventually settled for the Mung Daal and my brother got the Bombay Aloo.  Both dishes could only be described as incredible taste sensations that exploded with deliciousness in ma mouth!  Also, they had the best naan I’ve ever had the delight to introduce to my taste buds.  Needless to say, it was hard to keep ourselves from going back for every meal.  Located in the center of downtown Boise though, I don’t think it will be very hard to find an excuse to visit the Taj Mahal again and again this summer.

I thought every other place would pale in comparison with the Taj Mahal.  But oh how wrong I was.  The next night we discovered Mazzah, a Mediterranean grill with amazing falafel.  I got the falafel sandwich and was all prepared to ask for the tzatzki to be omitted from my sandwich when the server asked me if I would like tahini or tzatziki.  I’m sure I had this giddy grin on my face when I said tahini.  More and more I find myself getting excited about simple things, like being able to have a choice between sauces on my sandwich and finding things on menus that are accidentally vegan– and aren’t salads :)  Anyway, back to the food; it was amazing!  For $3.99 my falafel sandwich was a bargain considering how much flavor it had and how filling it was.  Mazzah definitely made it on the list of places I’ll be hanging out this summer.

Finally, we made our way to the Boise Fry Company, a small place whose motto is “Burgers on the side”.  I was surprised to see a burger place show up on Happycow.net’s list of vegan places in Boise.  However, all became clear when I walked in and saw the menu.  Although there are only three choices of burgers, there are a multitude of options for fries.  And one of the burger options just happens to be vegan, so I was all set!  We got an assortment of fries to try–curly, skinny, regular and made of various different taters– and I was all set with my vegan burger, made of quinoa and black beans, when we made another scrumptious discovery.  Against the wall next to the drinks, there was a sauce and seasoning station.  All the sauces were marked if they were vegan, and so I was over the moon.  The garlic aioli absolutely rocked my world.  I wanted to smear it over everything!!  Some of the other sauces included blueberry curry, which I wasn’t brave enough to try, as well as just plain ketchup.  But really, after the garlic aioli I stopped using any other sauces.  I saw and ate more fries that night than I am proud to admit.  However, the fact that my mouth is watering just writing about this is a testament to the deliciousness of the experience.

Overall, I give Boise a B+.  The food I had was delicious, and while all of it was probably not 100% vegan, like we vegans are always so fond of saying– it’s not about being pure and perfect, but about limiting suffering.

Also, any city where I’m not limited to eating salad when I go out, gets a pretty good mark in my book….

….although I probably should have thrown a few salads in there :)  Oh well.

My spring break is now finishing up splendidly with reading, reading, and  more reading.  And I was just pleasantly surprised by one of my housemates when she returned home with a vegan treat for me, all the way from Portland’s Sweet Pea Bakery!  It’s a Charlie Brown– which I can only describe as a delicious peanut butter cup cookie.  And it’s huge!!  It’s sitting here taunting me….I’m trying to resist it until I get some more reading done.  We’ll see how that goes.

Also on the menu tonight, I’ve been craving pasta, so I’m going to try this recipe for creamy avocado pasta sauce, which looks scrumptious!  I figure I should eat something slightly green in honor of St. Patty.

Thanks for everyone’s continued support and kind comments!  I’ll have to think of something special to do for my three month vegan-versary which is rapidly approaching.   I’m thinking something with a mountain of Daiya, mmmm…..

Golden Rule

I’ve just finished my first two months of being vegan.  And I’ve noticed that I’ve been living my life more consciously.  Not only have I become an expert ingredient reader, but I’m more conscious of how I live my life as a whole, how my actions affect others,  and how I treat myself.  So, I thought I would mark this anniversary by reflecting on the Golden Rule.

~

Treat others as you wish to be treated.  That’s the Golden Rule that has been instilled in us since we were very small.  It’s the basis of all major religions in the world.  It’s repeated so often that it’s joined the ranks of motivational poster sayings.

But most of us don’t really live the Golden Rule.

When you really think about it, we don’t treat ourselves very well.  If we treated other people like we treat ourselves…the world would be a really crappy place to live.  We reserve a lot of judgment, self-doubt, criticism, guilt, and name calling for ourselves.

What we need to recognize is that the Golden Rule isn’t just about treating others well.  It also reminds us that we need to learn how to treat ourselves with the same compassion we extend to others.

I am the first to admit that I’m a harsh critic of myself; but when others are genuinely compassionate and caring towards me, that little nagging voice of inner-judgment in my head gets smaller.  So lately I’ve been trying to direct some compassion inward.  This not only means being  mindful of my self-judgment, but also compassionate towards my physical body and the things I put in it.

I went vegan because I wanted to live the part of the Golden Rule that tells us to treat others well; for me this meant animals.  But now I’m also trying to live the part of the Rule that asks that we treat ourselves with kindness as well.

I don’t eat animals because I see it as an act of disrespect towards them and towards myself.  I do not condone the torture that is used in factory farms, and the suffering that animals have to go through for people to enjoy a meal.  I do not eat any animal products because I wish to treat all beings as I wish to be treated– with compassion.

But, in these past two months I’ve also recognized that being vegan is a way of caring about myself as well– emotionally and physically.  Since becoming vegan I have experienced first hand the health benefits of this compassionate diet.  I have more energy, I am less stressed (although stress never completely goes away, especially for college students), and I feel that I am living a fuller life.

I feel better that I am not forcing others to kill or torture animals so that I might enjoy a meal.  I feel better that I am not putting anything in my body that had to suffer or endure pain.  And I feel better because I’ve learned how to eat healthier and make new and exciting meals for myself!

In other words, now I’m truly living the Golden Rule; by treating myself just as compassionately as I treat others.  This doesn’t mean that I’ve eradicated that little nagging voice of self-judgment completely.  But now whenever it speaks up, I refuse to let it beat me down; and instead I act compassionately toward myself and others… by making myself a vegan cupcake :)

Inspiration

Here are some of my favorite quotations dealing with compassionate/veg living.  What people or sayings inspire you to live a compassionate life?

“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’
Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’
Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’
But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’

“And there comes a point when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”  ~Jim Davis

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread” ~Mother Teresa

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” ~Gandhi

“Who was the guy who first looked at a cow and said, ‘I think I’ll drink whatever comes out of these things when I squeeze ’em!’? ~Calvin & Hobbes

“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” ~Leonardo Da Vinci

“It’s a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done.” ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.” ~Albert Einstein

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

“When non-vegetarians say that human problems come first, I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farmed animals.” ~Dr. Peter Singer

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~Mark Twain

Chocolate Vegan Kahlua Cupcakes

Warning: Only for true chocoholics

These cupcakes combine two of my favorite things:  coffee and chocolate.  You don’t necessarily need to use Kahlua.  Any kind of coffee flavoring will give the chocolate much more depth and make these the chocolatiest, richest cupcakes you’ve ever tasted.

I adapted the recipe from the wonderful Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, by Isa and Terry, everyone’s two favorite punk vegan bakers.  If you don’t own a copy, you should get one.

Recipe:

  • Start with “Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake” batter on page 37 of Vegan Cupcakes
  • Add two tablespoons of Kahlua to the wet mixture.
  • Add one cup of chocolate chips to the dry mixture.
  • Mix together
  • Note:  When I’ve made these they’ve always had to cook a few minutes longer than the 18-22 minutes suggested in the book.  However, I don’t know if that’s because of the added ingredients or it’s just my oven :)

You can use any frosting recipe, but I prefer to keep everything at maximum chocolateness so I used this basic chocolate frosting recipe:

  • 1/4 cup soy margarine
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon agave syrup (or any other kind of liquid sweetener you may have)
  • 1 Tablespoon chocolate soymilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • and more Kahlua!  I added about 1 Tablespoon
  • Mix together
  • Add 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • and 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Mix well

Frost and enjoy the most scrumptious cupcakes ever!  But make sure to pace yourself or you may end up like this.

 

 

How can you be vegan?

A dear friend of mine once told me that her parents found the idea of veganism harder to grasp than homosexuality, because: “homosexuality you’re born with, but vegan…well I don’t know where that comes from”.

I should say that my friend’s parents are Texas conservatives and highly religious, so I found their remark very funny.

For those that might find the choice to be vegan odd, especially if you live in the land of red meat, I have tried to explain myself here.

Being vegan for me is a continuation of social justice.  However, when compared with other pressing– and depressing– issues of the day, choosing lettuce over lamb sometimes seems insignificant.  With so many wars and conflicts, inequality and oppression, I sometimes find myself asking, what does it matter that I don’t eat meat?

It matters because I recognize that there is something in my life that I have the power to change.

We spend a lot of time wishing and hoping for things to change.  So when the opportunity presents itself to actually make the world a better place it’s important that we take it.  We cannot give up simply because we cannot change the big things.

Paraphrasing from something I’m sure I’ve seen embroidered on a pillow somewhere: If we fail to take the first step, we will never begin the journey.

Because, as I see it, being vegan, or vegetarian, is one of the easiest ways to live a compassionate life.  I’m not physically fighting against factory farms, I’m not petitioning congress, I am simply removing my support from an industry that produces a product I do not wish to consume.  What I’m trying to say, is that I’m no radical and that I think everyone can be vegan if they choose.  Because unlike trying to Free Tibet, or stop racism, or fight for gay rights, being vegan is an individual choice that doesn’t depend on a bureaucracy or government to make a change.  All it takes is you.  If everyone became vegan, there would be less suffering in the world.  If everyone asked the government to free Tibet….Tibet probably still wouldn’t be free.  That does not mean that we shouldn’t take on the big issues.  But nor should we ignore the small fights.

I accept that I am only one person.  But I am going to use my personal agency to the best of my ability.  And that includes signing petitions to Free Tibet as well as eating a plant-based diet.

This quote from Dominion, Matthew Scully’s book on the morals and ethics of how we treat animals, describes perfectly what I believe:  There is not a limited supply of compassion.  And there should be no hierarchy of who we extend our compassion to.

“And it is true that there will always be enough injustice and human suffering in the world to make the wrongs done to animals seems small and secondary.  The answer is that justice is not a finite commodity, nor are kindness and love.  Where we find wrongs done to animals, it is no excuse to say that more important wrongs are done to human beings, and let us concentrate on those.  A wrong is a wrong, and often the little ones, when they are shrugged off as nothing, spread and do the gravest harm to ourselves and others (Matthew Scully, Dominion).

I believe veganism is a concrete way to promote social justice in a world that has enough suffering.  People might dismiss it as trivial and think it will accomplish nothing.  And I say, no, I am not ending the suffering of animals.  But I know that I am ending the suffering of a few.  And that is not nothing.

I don’t think we should wait to extend the hand of kindness to animals until after we have solved all our human problems first.  Because that is never going to happen.

So let us offer our protection to the weak, and perhaps it will help us learn to be more compassionate to each other as well.  It can’t hurt.  Often times tackling the easy things first can create the momentum that pushes us through the harder things as well.

Sweet teeth

Unable to grab any junk food I come across, I now have to go searching for vegan treats when my sweet tooth starts calling.  While Oreos are good, sometimes a vegan wants a little something else.  So, until my newly ordered copies of “Vegan Cupcakes Take over the world”, and “Vegan Cookies Invade your cookie jar” arrive, I’ve been trolling the web for some quick easy sugar fixes.  I came across this recipe gem: Cheesecake Sopapillas from That Was Vegan?.  Being from Texas, I’m definitely a fan of Sopapillas; and adding vegan cream cheese?  Yes please.

If it we weren’t having a snowpocalypse in the Pacific Northwest at the moment, I would be at the grocery store getting the ingredients right now.  As it is, I’ll have to be content with my Oreos until the frozen wasteland thaws.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, and today I saw it in theaters for the first time.  When it was released in 1991 I was too wee to take to the theater, so this was my first time seeing it on the big screen.  And, as often happens when we watch Disney movies after having spent some time growing up– I realized some things.

I guess it’s the liberal arts education sinking in, but I couldn’t help analyzing the film, especially the characters.  Gaston in particular has always been repulsive to me– probably because I identify strongly with Belle as an intellectual, bookish girl longing for ‘adventure in the great wide somewhere’.  However, seeing the film now, I realized that I also find Gaston disgusting for his lack of compassion.  The strong-jawed manly man that uses antlers in all of his decorating, and eats five dozen eggs, is definitely not a vegan.  He hunts, he fights, and he belittles those weaker than him.

Compassion is about recognizing the suffering of others, something Gaston definitely does not do.  In fact, he seeks to capitalize on it, and in turn becomes the villain of the story.  And because this is a Disney movie,  the villain is always defeated…or in this case he falls off a castle that was built right next to a conveniently placed gorge.  Because when you see a giant gorge, you automatically get the urge to build a castle, don’tcha?  (Sorry, there’s just so much more to laugh at in Disney movies when you’re all grown up and cynical).  However, in our cruel, sadly un-Disney-fied world, those that capitalize on the suffering of others are often rewarded for their actions instead of being stopped.

Further proof that a greater effort needs to be made into making the world more like a Disney movie.

But I suppose if real life were like a Disney movie, animals would talk and then there’d probably be a lot more veggie eaters in the world.

But I guess there’d also be more people like Gaston……hm.  It’s the philosophical question of the century :)