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The United Nations Environmental Program’s Report

You’ve probably heard about their report, or at least got wind of it on blogger sites. It has created quite a debate among vegans, carnivores, environmentalists, and everyone in between. The report, issued this summer, suggested people move to a plant-based diet to save the world from hunger, poverty, and global warming and other environmental issues. This isn’t something we haven’t heard before—there are have been numerous studies showing the same results. The University of Chicago’s findings in 2006 also showed that a vegan diet is healthier for people and for the planet.

Professor Edgar Hertwich, one of the lead authors of the UN report said:

“Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”

According to the report, the production of dairy products, consumes 70% of global fresh water, 38% of land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The report sparked some debate all over the internet world, particularly on the Guardian and it was mixed, but what I found so disheartening, were the amount of people making idiotic jokes about the situation: “Never mind i will just move onto Kangaroo meat…” So many people just don’t care. Telling people that something they love (something we have been eating for generations) is not good for you or for the environment, brings out the worst in people.

What I hope people see is that we’ve been brainwashed into eating animal products and it’s a matter of becoming aware. I strongly urge to read the report HERE.

So I began this post Thursday afternoon and then . . . we decided to go see a movie. Waiting for “Superman. It has absolutely nothing to do with food, let alone vegan food, but it has to do with something that is also very important to me: public education. I had to share this with all of you.



Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient Truth, brings us this documentary about the US’s failing pubic schools and the possible reasons why. It’s a very powerful film that left The Husband and I dumbfounded, furious, and feeling very lucky that our son is able to attend an amazing public school. Millions of kids and families aren’t so lucky. Check out the trailer and please go see it. We even took The Sixth Grader—a great age for kids to see this movie. I think it opened his eyes to the realities that so many other kids face.


Person of the Year

As if just for me, VegNews features Bob Harper on the cover of their latest issue and . . . name him Person of the Year! Woo hoo! As you may recall, I had blogged about my favorite trainer not too long ago and here he is. Also, on VegNews.com, it appears that his cohort, Jillian Michaels, who is not a vegan, is now endorsing So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage. She says avoids eating beef and chicken because of slaughterhouse practices, which I commend, but how is pork, dairy and other animal products different? And why do they promote Jennie-O products on the show? I’m guessing it’s a contractual thing, but it’s too bad. In this case, I say preach what you practice.


“Truely man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds theirs.  We live by the death of others:  we are burial places!  I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”

-Leonardo da Vinci

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Lady Gag-Gag

I’ve tried to avoid anything regarding this because I’m sure it was all about publicity,but when the Sixth Grader heard Lady Gaga’s comments on Ellen about the “dress”, I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

“Well, it’s certainly no disrespect to anyone that’s vegan or vegetarian….I, as you know, am the most judgment-free human being on Earth,” said La Gaga. “However, it has many interpretations — but for me this evening it’s that if we don’t stand up for what we believe in, if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re gonna have as much rights as the meat on our bones.”

First of all, if you can decipher what the hell she is saying, then you’re one-up on me. Whose rights is she referring to? Certainly not the animal’s. Of course she has the right to wear what she wants, but what was the point of this? Could she not have expressed “her right” in another, less offensive and disgusting way? Or am I taking away her right by saying that? And then did she really need to wear it again and parade in front of a vegan (Ellen)?

Apparently, however, she has a “beef” with fur and while wearing a Kermit outfit, said:

“…. I really loved this one in particular because I thought it was commentary on not wearing fur, ’cause I hate fur and I don’t wear fur. We were all laughing in the house about how it looks like a pile of dead Kermits.”

She makes about as much sense as a back pocket on a shirt. Actually I don’t think sense has anything to do with it–it’s called hypocrisy.


VeganMoFo Time!

That is, Vegan Month of Food! Vegan bloggers are encouraged to blog everyday in the month of November about everything vegan. I think I’m up for the challenge! Post Punk Kitchen came up with the idea based on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month–also in November). Since I already have my hands full with a nonfiction writing project, I’ll have to skip NaNoWriMo this year, but I think I can handle VeganMoFo.

And don’t forget, November 1 marks the beginning of Vegan World Month, so host a fabulous vegan feast for your friends and loved ones!

“I eat everything that nature voluntarily gives:  fruits, vegetables, and the products of plants.  But I ask you to spare me what animals are forced to surrender:  meat, milk, and cheese.”

-Author Unknown

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Well, I’m off to a much-needed (and anticipated) writer’s retreat for 3 days at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Three days of quiet writing time, beautiful scenery, and talking shop with my fellow Northern Colorado Writers! I’ll be sure to let you know how a vegan can survive on a dude ranch, so in the meantime, feast on this:

Go Vegan Or Go Home!

I think at some point in every reality show I’ve ever watched, someone has said, “Go big or go home.” That…and “I’m not here to make friends…” (which, I can’t stand, but I won’t get into that). Anyway, Go Vegan or Go Home is my latest chant while I watch The Biggest Loser.

Look at those vegan muscles!

I was so THRILLED to see fellow vegan, Biggest Loser trainer, Bob Harper share some vegan love on this week’s episode (week 4). In fact, I cheered out loud. He brought a few contestants to his home for a vegan meal, which looked mighty tasty. You can even get the recipes from his site, My Trainer Bob.

I have always wondered if Bob pimps the vegan diet to the contestants or not. If he has, I’m guessing it’s on the sly, because he sure likes to talk up the Jennie-O crap on the show. However, I understand that making the contestants go veg wouldn’t exactly go to go over well with people who are addicted to meat and dairy. There would be Biggest Loser pandemonium: dumbbells would be flying and sports bras and jock straps would burn. I doubt even bad-ass Jillian wouldn’t make it out with all her hair.

But I thought about it. As far as I know, there’s never been a contestant going onto the show as a vegan. (What does that tell you)? But has any emerged as one? I would think that if the players really want to win, they’d go vegan. The pounds will melt off. Then again, maybe they’re not allowed to cut out all animal products. . .I’d really like to know what the vegan scoop is behind Bob and the contestants—I think it’d be a great experiment: to see if the vegan contestant loses the most fat and gains the most muscle.

People rely on Bob and his advise on fitness and nutrition. Look at what he’s done throughout 10 seasons of the show—doesn’t that speak volumes? I propose that next season the producers get a brave soul to be the test veg . . .what do you think?

Check out the 75-year-old Vegan!

That’s right. 75 and a vegan. (I’m seeing a trend in my post today. . .) Jim Morris here is a former Mr. America and has been pretty much lifting weights for the last 50 years. I don’t know if he’s been a vegan this whole time, but now,  he eats no meat, no fish and says that cheese is the worst. His diet is made up mostly of nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables. Who said meat and muscles go hand-in-hand? Read more about Jim and his amazing physique HERE.

I might as well continue with Muscle Mania here. . .

. . . I seem to be on a roll. Check out this great article by jason Ferruggia, the chief training adviser for Men’s Fitness magazine, regarding muscle building on a plant-based diet. It’s a huge misconception that you need animal-based protein to build muscle (as we’ve seen above).

“Lentils, beans and peas are loaded with protein. Almonds and pistachios have 7 grams of protein per serving and both pumpkin and hemp seeds have 11 grams per serving. People usually only count protein grams from animal sources but this is a huge mistake.  Vegetables have protein, brown rice has protein and even your morning bowl of oatmeal has 10 grams per cup.”

Professional Vegan Bodybuilder, Kenneth Williams

I’m optimistic that one of these days people will see that you don’t have to be a meat head to have a healthy, muscular physique. And hopefully, I’ll stop getting asked, “You’re a vegan? Where do you get your protein?” and I won’t have to say, “From eating the people who ask me that. . .” (thanks Vegan Family Adventures for that great response)

“A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows.”

-George Bernard Shaw

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High Fashion Meets Veganism

It’s fall and I’m in the market for some boots. Vegan boots. Unfortunately, all I’ve found is . . .”genuine leather.” Yuck. Anything non-leather is cheap and it shows. Not an easy search. However, I did find several choices at Lulus.com and it’s matter of making up my mind. I’m leaning toward these cute numbers for $39.00:

How cute are those?!?

In my search, I came across this article from . . .you guessed it . . .VegNews, regarding the collision of the fashion world and the vegan world. Karolina Babczynska and Adam Wallace are probably the most gorgeous couple ever and are also both represented by Ford Models.

(photo: Gregory Vaughan)

Now, I’m not one to feel sorry to models, but these two, despite their unbelievable looks, are typically not eligible for 95% of modeling gigs. They’re vegans. They refuse to wear leather, wool, fur, or down. So yeah, they can model jersey like it’s nobody’s biz. Lucky for them (in more ways than one) more and more designers are waking up and using animal-free materials. John Bartlett, a renowned, award-winning designer, transitioned to an animal-free lifestyle and his 2012 collection will reflect that. For a list of more animal-friendly designers, check out this list from PETA.

If you’re in the market for some vegan-wear, check out these sites:

Vegan Store

Herbivore Clothing

Vegan Chic


Dan Piraro and His Bizarro World

Dan Piraro is an illustrator, painter and surrealist who is best known for his Bizarro cartoons. In 2002, he became a vegan and his work reflects that philosophy and lifestyle. The award-winning cartoonist is funny and poignant and you can check him out in action in this video of him presenting at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo.

He has a great site where you can learn more about him and view his hilarious work.

“Recognize meat for what it really is:  the antibiotic- and pesticide-laden corpse of a tortured animal.”

Ingrid Newkirk

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It’s October. . .Get Your Halloween On!

I absolutely LOVE Halloween and dressing up. C’mon! You only have a month left! We typically have a little shin-dig at the house with neighbors where we eat, hang out and hand out yummy vegan treats to the kids. I’m still not sure what my costume this year will be, but I always figure it out in time.

<——-Got my dress for about $12 at Goodwill–one of the best places for costumes–all  recycled/ reused. Gotta love that.

This was the first and LAST time The Husband allowed me to talk him into dressing as a woman–but doesn’t be make a gorgeous Marilyn? ——->

So, if you have any ideas for us for this year–please let me know!

You might be surprised at how many candies are vegan. Here’s a handy dandy list from VegNews of vegan-friendly candy to give out by the handful: Airheads Taffy, Azure Chocolat Beauty Bark, BoomChocoBoom! Ricemilk Bar,Brachs Fruit Slices,Charms Blow Pops,Charms Pumpkin Pops,Chick-o-Sticks,Chuao Chocolatier Spicy Maya, Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit, Crows, Cracker Jack, Cry Baby Candy, Dots Endangered Species dark chocolate, Endangered Species Bug Bites Halloween Treats, Go Max Go candy bars, Hubba Bubba bubblegum, Lets Do This Organic Gummy Bears,Mary Janes, regular and peanut butter kisses, Jolly Ranchers hard candy, Now and Later, NuGo Organic Chocolate Bar,Peanut Chews, Original Dark,Pez, Pure Fun Organic Halloween Pops, Saf-T-Pops, Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates, Sour Patch Kids, Starburst Original Jelly Beans, Super Bubble, Swedish Fish, Tree Huggin’ Treats Crispy Cat candy bars, Tropical Source chocolate bars, Twizzlers, VerMints and YummyEarth lollipops.

I will keep you posted on my quest for that perfect costume and what I finally talk The Husband into dressing up as. . . he was one of those kids who hated Halloween; the one  in the photographs as a kid with the scowl on his face, just waiting until he could get the damn costume off. I have made it my mission to change that. (But deep down, I think he really does like Halloween).

Is That A Carrot in Your Pocket, Or. . .

. . .are you just happy to see me? After all, I am talking about former President, Bill Clinton 😉 Joking aside, I’ve always liked Mr. Clinton and now I have another reason: He’s gone vegan. He wanted to lose weight for his daughter’s wedding, but also improve his health. After having a stint placed in an artery, he knew something had to change. So far he’s lost 24 pounds and is feeling better than ever. Check out this brief interview with him and Wolf Blitzer.

So does this mean that Mrs. Rodham Clinton will be following suit? Especially since their daughter, Chelsea, is a vegan, too? What about former Vice President, Al Gore? He acknowledged that going vegan is great for the environment, yet this “environmentalist” admits he still eats meat and dairy. I suppose I’ve always had a “beef” with this issue . . .

I think it’s great when celebs and other public figures share their vegan/vegetarian lifestyle with the rest of the world. They are in a position to bring much needed awareness to this oft-misunderstood way of life. Here’s a list of only a few vegan celebs: Casey Affleck, Drew Barrmore, Emily Deschanel, Tobey Maquire, Olivia Wilde, Chrissie Hynde, Jason Mraz, Mike Tyson, Ellen Degeneres, Carl Lewis, Natalie Portman, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Bob Harper (Biggest Loser trainer). Even Hugh Jackman went veg with the help from Triathlete Brendan Brazie. Have you seen those muscles on Jackman? *swoon*

“Nothing more strongly arouses our disgust than cannibalism, yet we make the same impression on Buddhists and vegetarians, for we feed on babies, though not our own.”

-Robert Louis Stevenson

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How to NEVER Get Cancer

I know I’m not alone when I say that I have seen way too many friends and loved-ones die of cancer. It needs to stop. Can it? The origin of many cancers are unknown. So how do you avoid getting it, or seeing another family member be taken away because of it? According to Prevention and Dr. Thomas Sellers, PhD, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, “As many as 70% of known causes of cancers are avoidable.” Here’s a list of ways to never get cancer–in addition to exercising and avoidance of tobacco products, of course (from the President’s Cancer Panel):

1. Filter Your Tap Water: It’s considered safer than even bottled water. Be sure to store the filtered water in stainless steel or glass containers since BPA can leach from plastic bottles.

2. Stop Topping Your Tank Off: One last squirt from the pump after the nozzle clicks off can spill fuel and foil the pump’s vapor recovery system, designed to keep toxic, cancer-causing chemicals out of the air and your lungs.

3. Marinate Meat Before Grilling: Well, first off, this reiterates why we shouldn’t eat meat. I include this one because not only is it on the list, but to hopefully let my wonderful non-vegan friends and family see my point (because I love them)! Processed, charred, well-done meats can contain cancer-causing heterocyclic amines, which form when meat is seared at a high temperature, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which get into the food when it’s charcoal broiled. “The recommendation to cut down on grilled meat has really solid scientific evidence behind it,” says Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD. If you do grill (boo! hiss!) add rosemary and thyme to the poor dead animal’s marinade for an hour before cooking. Rich in antioxidants, the spices cut the HCAs by as much as 87%. Just remember, that’s not a 100%, nor just red meat. It goes for poultry, pork and other meats.

4. Caffeinate Every Day: Now this one I can really get used to! I do love me an almond milk latte often. People who drank 5+ cups of coffee a day had a 40% decreased risk of brain cancer, compared to people who drank less in a 2010 British study. (Better trade that tea for coffee, Brits)!  It was also found that it reduced risks of cancers of the pharynx and mouth by nearly 50%. Start brewing!

5. Water Down Your Risks: Drink at least 8 cups of water or other liquids to reduce the risk of bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer causing agents in urine.

6. Load up on REALLY Green Greens: I really love this one, too! The greener the veggie, the more magnesium you’ll absorb. It has been shown to lower the risk of colon cancer in women. Munch on 1/2 C of cooked spinach and get 75 mg of magnesium–20% of your daily allowance.

7. Snack on Brazil Nuts: A great source of selenium, an antioxidant that lowers the risk of bladder cancer in women.

8. Burn Off This Breast Cancer Risk Factor: Moderate exercise such as brisk walking 2 hours a week cuts risk of breast cancer 18%. Fat produces its own estrogen (a known contributor to cancer), so fat-burning exercise is vital!

9. Ask Your Doc About Breast Density: Women whose mammograms have revealed breast density reading of 75% or more have a cancer risk 4-5 times higher than women with low density scores. Researchers think that the denser the breast, higher levels of estrogen are present. This also goes back to #8–exercise.

10. Skip the Dry Cleaner: So that favorite silk blouse of yours? Yea, learn to either hand wash it or spot clean it with white vinegar. A solvent known as perchlorpethylene that dry cleaners often use, may cause liver and kidney cancers and leukemia.

11. Head Off Cell Phone Risks: Another good reasons to use your hands-free device. It keeps the radio frequency energy away from your noggin, however, evidence as to whether or not cell phones cause an increase in brain cancer risk is inconclusive. Despite this, a number of review studies suggest there’s a link.

12. Block The Sun With Color: When it comes to avoiding skin cancer, it was found that blue and red fabrics offered significantly better sun protection against the sun’s UV rays than white or yellow ones did. And wear a hat! It has been found that those with melanoma on the scalp or neck die at almost twice the rate of people with the cancer on other areas of the body.

13. Eat Clean Foods: How often have you heard this one? Well, it’s a biggie. Hormones and antibiotics in meat are suspected of causing endocrine problems, including cancer. Make sure you buy organic fruits and veggies as much as possible, too. “At least 40 known carcinogens are found in pesticides and we should absolutely try to reduce exposure,” says Sellers.

Wise Words from a Fellow Vegan

I came across this lovely blog by Dr. Stanley Sapon who has been a vegan since 1976. He put together A Philosophy of Vegan Values that I thought I’d share with all of you.

  • Vegans see life as a phenomenon to be treasured, revered and respected. We do not see animals as either “The Enemy” to be subdued, or the Materials for Food, Fabric or Fun that were put on Earth for human use.
  • Vegans see themselves as a part of the natural world, rather than its owners or its masters.
  • Veganism recognizes no expendable or superfluous species that humans are free to hurt or destroy. Species of life-forms need not justify their existence, nor plead for protection from extinction on the grounds of their potential usefulness as food or medicine for humans. We continue to be burdened and misguided by adages such as “A weed is a plant we have not yet found a use for.”
  • Veganism acknowledges the intrinsic legitimacy of all life. It rejects any hierarchy of acceptable suffering among sentient creatures. It is no more acceptable to torment or kill creatures with “primitive nervous systems” than those with “highly developed nervous systems.” The value of life to its possessor is the same, whether it be the life of a clam, a crayfish, a carp, a cow, a chicken, or a child.

  • Veganism understands that gentleness cannot be a product of violence, harmony cannot be a product of strife, and peace cannot be a product of contention and conflict.
  • Vegan ideals encompass much more than advocacy of a diet free of animal products, or a fervent defense of animal rights. Veganism excludes no sentient being–animal or human– from its commitment to compassionate, gentle benevolence. To show tender regard for the suffering of animals, yet treat humans with callous contempt, is a disheartening contradiction of Vegan principles.
  • John Muir, talking about the natural environment, once observed “Every time I bend down to pick something up, I find it is connected to something else.” There is an equivalent “ecology” to our behavior. Everything we do connects to something else; every action touches on the world around us, either close at hand and noticeable, or far away and unperceived, immediate in its effect or distant in time.
  • If Veganism has a prime value, it is simply that life-respecting compassion overrides individual issues of custom, convenience, comfort or cuisine.
  • If there is a single article of faith, it is that commitment to Vegan values will bring us closer to a world in which the fate and fortune of a planet and all its life forms do not hang on the judgment or the generosity of one species.
  • If there is one single concept that both generates and sustains the meaning and the power of the Vegan world-view, it is found in the word mindfulness. As Vegans, we strive to be thoughtful, aware and concerned about the impact of our choices, our actions and our decisions. The fruit of this awareness is inner peace, the quiet strength of ethical confidence, and an uplifting sense of fulfillment.

“The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.”

-Michael Klaper

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Who’s the Happy Vegan?

Just this year, Nutrition Journal published a report that vegetarian diets are associated with healthy mood states. Huh? That’s right, vegetarians and vegans are apparently happier than omnivores.  Hmmm . . .so that’s why meat-eaters are so groucy. . . 😉 Well, what the researchers found is that vegetarian diets exclude fish, the major dietary source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), critical regulators of brain cell structure and function. Omnivores diets low in EPA and DHA are linked to impaired mood states in observational and experimental studies.

It was thought that meat-eaters would be less prone to depression and low moods because of the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, but veggie-mites scored lower on the tests for depression. So really, they have no idea why. Fascinating. Perhaps its what VegNews theorized in their latest issue: It was the “knowledge that a vegan diet does not contribute to the unnecessary suffering of animals” that contributes to the participants’ good moods. I’ll go with it.

I Love You, Jamie Oliver

I have had quite a crush on British cutie, Jamie Oliver ever since I watched his Food Revolution. I love what he has done to instigate change in school lunches. Even though his meals include animal products, I still have that “bad-boy-I-know-he’s-no-good-for-me” crush on him. He is, after all, the one person who has taken on the daunting challenge of overhauling the atrocious excuses for school lunches.

Well now. . . I have even more reason to drool over him. He’s going to launch a vegetarian/vegan cookbook! Oliver said that 60-65% of his recipes have been vegetarian or vegan but that fans have pushed for a meat-free cookbook.

“Often I get cornered out by vegetarians who are going to knock me out with a cucumber,” said Oliver. “I’m like “dude, look in the back of the book. Open up the index and there’s all these little v’s.” And they’ll go “Oh, right, but we want out own book.” For many years I just felt like, “C’mon, stop being so sensitive.” But actually this year we’re going to bundle all of my vegetarian recipes and vegan recipes into one big massive, mammoth book and give ‘em that book. Because it’s right. You know, in the old days there wasn’t so many vegetarians and now there’s many. Vegetarian as a general concept is a brilliant thing,” Oliver added. “We’ve got to stop eating so much meat. We are eating too much meat.”

I hope he truly feels this way and is not out to just cash in on the growing numbers of vegetarians he’s talking about.  Maybe in the end, it’s all about making a buck. However, in the meantime, I will give my British cutie the benefit of the doubt and be first in line to buy his new cookbook (I know. . .so blinded by my foodie crush).

Check out an interview with Oliver discussing this new and highly anticipated venture at Mother Nature Network.

“We don’t need to eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away if he could.”

-James Cromwell

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Rampant Recalls

There are a plethora of reasons I’m glad my family and I are vegans. One of them is the number of meat and dairy recalls—and we only hear about a few. Obviously, the big one right now is eggs. Half a billion eggs are recalled due to Salmonella.. Half a billion!! How does this happen? I’m so glad that I don’t put my trust into these companies, especially in “Wright Country Eggs” who is owned by Jack DeCoster. 13 years ago, he was fined $2 million for serious workplace violations. Read about this idiot HERE. It’s his business that has distributed the tainted eggs.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspectors Service has issued nearly 40 recalls of eggs, poultry, and other meat. This doesn’t even include milk and milk products. As we know, even vegetables, fruits and other plants are not immune to Salmonella—all because of the meat and dairy industry. Salmonella is a bacteria is normally found in animal’s intestines. It doesn’t stay there. From slate.com:

“Manure, runoff and wild animals— Livestock animals, especially when kept in large numbers in confined spaces, can contract salmonella and carry the bug without showing any symptoms at all. Infected cows, pigs, and chickens shed the bacteria in their waste, which is sometimes used to fertilize nearby fields. The heat generated when manure is composted kills off most, but not all, disease-causing bacteria. Contaminated water supplies can also put salmonella on your tomatoes. Runoff from livestock pastures, or from leaky or overtopped waste lagoons at industrial farming sites, can dirty streams, groundwater, and other bodies of water farmers draw on for irrigation.”

The 2006 outbreak of E. coli in spinach, for example, was traced to a pack of wandering wild boars. The swine had picked up tainted cow manure on their hooves before breaking through the fence of a nearby spinach field to graze.

Zemco Industries of Buffalo, N.Y., has voluntarily recalled nearly half-a-million pounds of deli meat products distributed nationwide to Walmart stores because of possible contamination with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly disease. If we can get our sources of protein, calcium, and vitamins from non-animals sources, why take these risks? Especially considering this:

“In 1999, produce was responsible for 40 separate food poisoning incidents in the United States. In 2004, that number climbed to 86. There have been 13 major outbreaks involving tomatoes alone since 1990.

Why the shift? One factor is a lack of inspections of farms and packing plants by the Food and Drug Administration, which means that more contaminated produce slips into the market undetected. The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects every meatpacking plant in the country each day, keeping close tabs on safety conditions. By contrast, the Food and Drug Administration, which is charged with regulating produce, might inspect a vegetable packing facility once a year, and the number of inspections is shrinking. In 1972, the FDA inspected 50,000 farms and plants. By 2006, that number had dwindled to 10,000. Meanwhile, having increasingly centralized packing plants means that crops from a single contaminated field can mingle with clean produce and be shipped across a wider swath of the country than ever before.”


Vegans are not immune to product recalls and contaminated food—no one is, but at least we have choices of where to get our vegetables and we know where most of them come from, especially if we buy local.

Now, Why Didn’t I Think of This?

So this has nothing to do with food, but it’s so brilliant, I wanted to share it everyone. The Husband sent me a link to The Conscious Mind Network. I was enthralled because it’s just so cool. Scott Brusaw and his wife Julie have this amazing idea to create solar powered roadways. I don’t even know where to begin to explain this idea because well, I was an art major, not an engineer. I am humbled by these brilliant minds. What the Brusaws propose is that solar paneled roadways would not only pay for themselves over time, but create 3 times the energy that the world uses on a daily basis. How cool is that?

Check out this amazing project at Solar Roadways and watch a video explaining the project (in terms that most of us non-engineers can understand) and vote for Brusaw’s vision at GE’s Ecomagination Challenge.

Think of me tonite
For that which you savor
Did it give you something real,
or could you taste the pain of my death in its flavor?

-Wayne K. Tolson, from “Food Forethought”

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Chloe Coscarelli, the (vegan) Cupcake Champ!

Ms. Coscarelli, a vegan chef beat out some very stiff competition on Cupcake Wars, on the Food Network. I am so glad that not only did Chloe prove that vegan food can beat out all others, but that Food Network is starting to recognize vegan food. It’s about time. I am waiting (im)patiently for them to finally get a vegan-based cooking show–I have a feeling it will be soon. In the meantime, check out Coscarelli’s site—there are lots of delicious recipes!

World Vegan Day: November 1st!

Mark your calendars! What a great opportunity to invite your friends, family, and neighbors to your humble abode for a delicious vegan feast! In the process, spread the word that not only is going vegan the best thing to do for your health (and for the animals), but healthy for the environment as well. This annual event began in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then President & Chair of the The Vegan Society, which has been around for nearly 66 years.

Check out World Vegan Day 2010 for more information and lots of great tips, recipes and links!

No Such Thing as a “Late Bloomer” Anymore. . .

. . .thanks to the hormones in milk—at least that’s a theory. For the last  ten years or so, researchers and physicians have been seeing huge jumps in development in girls (not to mention obesity) and speculate that milk could be partly to blame. Every sip of cow’s milk contains 59 different bioactive hormones, according to endocrinologist, Clark Grosvenor in the Journal of Endocrine Reviews. Yuck! What’s more, is that milk also contains traces of the reproductive hormones estradiol, testosterone, and something called IGF-1 which may raise the risk of certain kinds of prostate cancer. Check out preventcancer.com for more on that…

However, we can’t lay ALL the blame on souped up cow’s milk. Soy milk, with it’s natural estrogen is also being investigated as a culprit of early puberty. Still, at least the soybean isn’t tortured, pumped full of hormones and subjected to a life of hell.

There are lots of different theories and lots of different variables, but why take chances? Pass me some almond milk, please.

Comic thanks to Bizarro.com and Dan Piraro

“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.”

-Plutarch, Greek philosopher

Feast On This!

Brings New Meaning to ‘Veggie Dog’


So do you feed your pet a vegan diet? It can be a controversial issue. Dog food itself is full of animal parts and cancerous tissue. There are LOTS of ingredients to avoid when picking out the best food for that sweet, lovable child -with-fur. For a list of those nasty ingredients, check out The Dog Food Project.

Regardless of avoiding these ingredients, pet food still contains other animal products. Is it safe to give your pooch a vegan diet? Will they get all of their vital nutritional needs met? It’s quite a task to pick out food for pets since there are a million choice: active dog, old dog, joint help, shiny coat, etc, etc. . . . Vegetarian Dogs can also answer some questions regarding this decision.

Our Moe is fed a natural dog food that has Glucosamine for his joints. He’s got a tender tummy and can be quite gassy, so I can’t imagine feeding him a veggie-based diet! I’m not crazy about feeding him animal products, but we try to go with the most natural stuff out there. There are actually lots of brands out there that claim to be vegetarian, but I think the best bet is to talk to your vet before making such a radical change to Rover’s diet.

57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan

Well, I won’t list all 57, but you can go to NursingDegree.net for the full list. As the site says, vegans are misunderstood. I couldn’t agree more. People tend to think we’re deficient in every vitamin and mineral, protein and calcium and that we are fanatic about animal rights. It’s certainly a stereo type. And while I am an advocate for animal rights, that isn’t how it started for me—it was for health reasons that I decided to go vegan and through this process, I’ve become more aware of the animal abuse issues. What prompted you to go vegan?

The list includes nutritional benefits such as reduced saturated fat, more fiber, and increased antioxidants.

Disease prevention like cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Physical benefits such as weight loss (woo-hoo)!, healthy skin, and energy.

Reduces unnecessary food products and toxins that are in animal protein and eggs, not to mention mercury

Bonus health benefits such as avoiding E.Coli, Mad cow disease, and hormone consumption

And just plain eating healthy because there are lots of sources of fat-free vegan food, gluten-free, and raw cooking that help anyone on their journey of becoming and staying vegan.

Check out the full list at NursingDegree.net, print it off and show it to everyone who know and love!

The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined.  If beef is your idea of “real food for real people” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.

-Neal Barnard