Confessions of a Vegan... a.k.a. Vegans are People too!

I read a post about Vegan Confessions over on The Girly Girl Army blog and simply have to share it with you.

It's a very honest look at the guilt many people associate with a vegan lifestyle, and it's true that there are moments where we stray and that's perfectly acceptable. If your definition of vegan is limited to a 100% full-time, life-long commitment without the ability to forgive and move-on from a minor lapse in judgement, I'd say your in for a bad time. Instead, accept that mistakes will be made but that it's not the end of the world.

One small setback isn't going to keep me from fighting the good fight!

Some of the confessions I relate with:
“I still wear my wool sweaters. If someone asks, I say they are vegan.  Nobody knows the difference, and I still buy anything new entirely vegan.  Isn’t that greener anyway?” (reuse! reuse!)
“I cheated while I was pregnant.  All I wanted was an egg.  So I ate one.  Then I ate another. It was anti-climactic.  But I listened to my body.  Not planning on doing it again.” (I'm okay with eating eggs from chickens I can meet and greet)
“While in Italy with my Partner, I ate pizza and loved every minute of it.  I felt guilty, but I sat in the moment with it and enjoyed it.” (er...yea, traveling is tough)
“I have no intention of donating or selling my old leather shoes.  I’ll wear them til they have no more wear in them.” (all two pairs of them!)
“I bought sardines for my cat, and found myself eating the whole tin.” (in my case it would be anchovies...)


Fear of a Vegetarian Diet!

GOD forbid we teach children to eat healthy meat-free food once in a while!


I am not at all shocked that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association stood up against this blasphemy! Ha. Having children eat vegetables, whole grains, etc........that is PURE madness!

They must be living under a rock to not at least relate to or comment on how even slightly reducing people's consumption of meat (or even just animal products) can significantly affect their health in a positive direction.

I have an M.B.A. and I understand business, profits, gross margin, etc. But it seems highly negligent of the NCBA to turn a blind eye to research that is now out there. It reminds me of the "Tobacco Trials" and how the heads of Phillip Morris, etc all stood up on trial and took a vow that they were #1 telling the truth and #2 that there is no connection between cigarettes and cancer.

Shameful, I say.


Four Emergency Rescues

From my email box to all of yours....

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Four emergency rescues. 18 desperate animals...

Your support is needed now to provide urgent care for 18 recently rescued animals.

• An all-white baby calf – just days old! – was found abandoned and left to die.

Donate Now• Fifteen broiler chickens were seized from an urgent cruelty
case at a small farm.

• An elderly 21-year-old cow was lying alone and suffering
for days with leg and hip injuries.

• A wounded chicken was dumped by the side of the road.

Farm Sanctuary’s Emergency Rescue Team moved in without hesitation, because when farm animals are suffering, every minute counts. But with four urgent rescues in such a short time, we are in need of donations right now for our Emergency Rescue Fund. We need the resources in place to care for these 18 new animals, along with other abused farm animals we have recently rescued.

Please help these and other needy farm animals by donating to the Emergency Rescue Fund now.

Elliot, a young calf less than one week old, was found alone and suffering in the woods after being abandoned or possibly falling from a transport truck. No matter how Elliot arrived there, this baby was motherless, scared and in urgent need of rescue.

Donate now to help Elliot receive the care and love all newborns need.

Your emergency support will also help Martha, who was used by a farm for breeding for 21 years. Martha arrived with overgrown hooves and injuries sustained from falling in a creek bed, where she suffered for days before rescue. Martha’s age, ailments and injuries will require her to receive special care to ensure she is able to live out the rest of her life in comfort and peace.

Please support our 2010 Emergency Rescue Fund to help care for Martha – and ensure we are ready to respond to the next emergency call.

Emergency Rescue TeamRecently, our phone rang with a desperate plea to save 15 young chickens who were neglected and suffering with no shelter at all. As “broilers,” these babies, already extremely large for their age, were slated to be slaughtered when full grown at about 42 days old, which is the industry standard. Now, with your help, these abused youngsters can live out their lives and receive treatment for parasites, leg conditions, broken bones, and more.

Please donate to Farm Sanctuary today to help ensure their full recovery.

We also need your urgent donation to help another special chicken, Viva, who was left for dead on the side of the road. When we found her, she was listless, covered with feces, and had a plum-sized wound under her wing. It will take more than a month of treatment for her painful injury to heal. But with your caring help, we know she can recover.

These animals will be given a second chance at life with your support. Your gift to the Emergency Rescue Fund at this very critical time will aid these and other very special individuals, who are counting on us for their survival.

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Farm Sanctuary, PO Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Farm Sanctuary’s financial report and state registration information.

Veggie Pride Parade!!!

Veggie Pride Parade - LA Saturday, October 30th
11 am to 4 pm Santa Monica, CA

Get your veg on and demonstrate your veggie pride by participating in this year's VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE - LA! First, we'll gather for a VEG RALLY from 11 am to 2 pm with special guests and presentations, dozens of vendor booths featuring LA's top veg restaurants, cruelty-free shopping, and nonprofit organizations to learn more about what you can do to help save the planet, the animals, and yourself! Then, we'll parade through the streets of Santa Monica and Venice on a highly visible parade route. Bring a veg sign and don your veg costume to draw heads and hearts to our cause! The VPP event is sponsored by Animal Acres - for more information, please visit: www.animalacres.org.


Pumpkin Smoothie

I got this one from my gym newsletter..........yummy!

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (I used roasted fresh pumpkin!)
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (I used almond milk + a splash of vanilla)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tbsp honey (or agave)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!


Quote from Henry David Thoreau

"I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized.”

- Henry David Thoreau


Man and Beast

I listened to an amazing story this week via The Moth and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Go here, the story I'm referring to is almost halfway down the page:

Alan Rabinowitz

Man and Beast
Director of the Science and Exploration Division, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx Zoo, wildlife.

It's a really touching narrative and you may hold back a tear or two, but I promise it's inspiring and puts forth a great message about animals and our relationship to them. 

all the best,


Lets go to Nicaragua!!

Hola Virtually Vegan Sister community. I was reading Budget Travel this past weekend and came across an incredible hotel in Nicaragua that I MUST visit. Here is the snippet:

It's one thing to stay in the heart of a Spanish colonial city-and quite another to stay in a Spanish-colonial mansion. Located smack in the middle of Granada's historic district, the sprawling 19th century Hotel Spa Granada has five garden courtyards, a lagoon-like swimming pool in the center and 15 expansive guest rooms (some with ceilings as high as 18 feet) that are decorated with handicrafts from a local artisan. A free spa treatment is included with every night of your stay, but the rates are so shockingly affordable-a 60-minute massage is $20, an aloe facial is $10-that a full day of pampering hardly qualifies as a splurge.


I have this romantic notion that I could go there for like a month and go on a meditative journey......or write a book.......or take an extended pleasure vacation with Virtually Vegan Boyfriend;)

Bon voyage................


Meatless Monday Dessert: Date Rolls by May

Image link
Your choice of nuts: Brazilian nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, etc.
Almond Butter
Coco Shreds

Instructions: You can make as much as you want for this recipe
1. Put all ingredients in separate bowls in front of you like an assembly line.
2. Break apart the dates and take the seeds out
3. Place one nut inside one date and cover the nut on all sides so that it's completely inside the date.
4. Take your date and nut and dip it in the almond butter bowl to evenly cover it.
5. Now dip it in the coco shred bowl and repeat.


Do YOU love Ira Glass?

'cuz I know I do.
Which is why I made cards about it, and I know that makes me a total geek but I'm entirely okay with that.

I also made kitteh and puppeh cards for all eco-animal lovers out there :)

Check my shop to see more pics and info.


Vegetarian Pets?

This is something that has always interested me.......can my dog (Zoe) and my cat (Ziggy) be vegetarians?

With some help from the Planet Green website, here is what I learned:

In regards to dogs, they are omnivores (an animal that eats either plants or animals). They are able to maintain a healthy, balanced diet from either source or from just one of the sources. So it IS possible for a dog to be completely healthy by eating a totally vegetarian (even vegan) diet. I consulted numerous other websites, and this seems to be the consensus.

If your dog goes vegetarian, he can contribute to "greening" the planet in these ways:
-Prevent soil erosion and pollution
-Reduce carbon emissions from meat production
-Cut back on cruelty from factory farms
-Help redistribute grains and soybeans that go to livestock
-Reduce waste from farms (i.e. methane gas)

When you change your dogs diet, it's best to do it gradually so that his tummy and his taste buds adjust to the new food. Vegetarian dog food can be found at specialty pet stores, natural foods stores, as well as online. Also, be sure to consult with your veterinarian to be sure that your dog is well-suited for a vegetarian diet and does not have any health problems that would interfere with a change in diet.

In regards to cats I first referred to the Vegetarian Society website. They state that cats are regarded as obligate carnivores, this means that in the wild they could not survive without eating meat to obtain all the nutrients they require. However, for the domestic cats there are commercial vegetarian foods available that contain synthetic versions of essential nutrients (i.e. taurine and other amino acids). Overall though, it is a bit tricky to switch your cat to a vegetarian diet because they require so many different nutrients in their diet. In fact, most websites I perused strongly discouraged people from putting cats on a vegetarian diet.

So it seems that for cats, there is more of a debate as to if they can live a healthy life on a vegetarian/vegan diet. Like any major decision for your feline/canine companion, be sure to do your due diligence and consult multiple sources for opinions.

In case you're wondering what we feed Zoe and Ziggy, they both get a Holistic (but not vegetarian) food from Trader Joes. They both gobble it up and seem to love the taste. And I feel good that I'm giving them a more natural/holistic diet than people who feed their pets more commercial pet foods that is full of so much crap. So, no vegetarian diet for my pets at this time!


Aldana Mica Wraps, Not the edible kind....

These are some of my latest designs, made from various pieces of fabrics, neck ties, lace, beads and more.....


Meatless Monday: Fall Snacks

Can a treat be at once healthy and delicious? Yes, definitely, as proven by the two options below.

1) Date Rolls: take the pit out of a date, stuff it with a walnut, almond, etc. Fill the rest of the crevice with peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter and then roll the entire thing in shredded coconut. Mmm! These are completely decadent and surprisingly rich so a couple go a long way... although, you should make some to share as well!

2) Baked Apples (from Organic Authority): Core large apples and place in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water on the bottom. Fill apples with: chopped walnuts, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (to taste). Bake at 350℉ until apples are tender (approximately 30 minutes).

And don't forget to enter to win my giveaway over at Opal Never Shouts! They will be choosing a winner soon


Giveaway & Compassionate Cuisine Highlights

First thing's first: This week I have a giveaway going on over at Opal Never Shouts. The winner will receive a $20 credit to my shop, Merry Blues Art, so be sure to stop by and enter to win!

Last friday we went to Compassionate Cuisine hosted by Animal Acres at the Japanese Gardens in CSULB. The event was close to home and promised delicious vegan faire so you can imagine that it wasn't something I was willing to miss!  The setting was beautiful; the food, adventurous; the company, warm; the inspiration, running wild!
I was so excited to finally meet the wonderful Chef Tanya Petrovna of Native Foods Cafe. She has been a hero of mine ever since I found out about her restaurants and tasted her food.

What's so great about her is that she makes vegan food without labeling it that, and therefore allows her food to be enjoyed by all foodies, vegan and non-vegan alike. She makes most of her ingredients from scratch--even her tempeh and seitan! Flippin' AWESOME

She's a successful woman entrepreneur, representing outstanding food and immeasurable passion. I highly encourage you to visit one of her locations if you find yourself in Southern California. You don't want to miss it!


Italy memories

Today I decided to post some wonderful pictures from my Italy trip:

First, the Tuscan countryside. Then you have an incredible view from our hike of the Cinque Terre. Then some lovely cocktails and grilled vegetable at an incredible bar in Venice named, Rosa Rossa. And lastly you have Virtually Vegan Boyfriend and myself at the Colosseum.

It doesn't get any better than that. I love exploring the world to get a feel for other cultures, other people, and other FOOD. God I love to eat!


A bit of October Astral Ammo...

Focus on Harmony

Astral Weather Report Oct. '10

October brings the energy of Libra –calling for peace, justice and grace. With Sun in Libra at the start of the month, and Mercury joining on October 3, the focus for the first three weeks is harmony and balance. Find ways to reset the balance. Maybe you are overcommitted in your work or you are too emotionally invested in a relationship and need to turn more attention toward your own needs. The New Moon on October 7 is your monthly portal of opportunity to set something new into motion. Be conscious of what you need to let go of, what you want to manifest and what you want to transform.

Relationships are a good thing to focus on this month, as Libra is the sign of marriage and partnerships. However, Venus, the planet of love and beauty herself, turns retrograde on October 8 and doesn’t return to forward motion until November 18. During this sensitive time, reflect and review past relationships. Instead of looking for new love, turn your attention inward, concentrate on self-love, and prepare to start afresh after November 18.

The emotional meter turns up during the weekend of October 22 thanks to the Full Moon in Aries on Friday night. Passion is in the air and everyone will feel more feisty than usual. A quarrelsome me-first attitude dominates the scene, but disaster can be thwarted if you breathe deeply and schedule time for some rigorous physical activity around this time.

The Sun moves into Scorpio on October 23 – starting a four-week adventure through this intense water sign. Use this time to delve deeply into your most intimate passions. It’s an all or nothing time, so get clear about what is most important to you. If something isn’t working, let it go. If something IS working, go all the way!

Japa Kaur
Astrology, Tarot, Intuitive Healing



Meatless Monday Recipe: Middle Eastern Crespeou

Today's recipe comes from a vegan friend of mine, Miss Alison Rood!

Alison is newly vegan (within the last year, I believe)
and came up with this incredible looking dish.
It is a vegan take on a "crespeou" which is a sort of a cake made out of
layers of omelets and traditionally including cheese as well.
It originally hails from the Provence region of France.

What you will need:
1 package whole wheat lavash (the rectangular ones cut into halves; pack of 6 yields 12 "slices)"
2 avocados
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 can tomato paste
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 container hummus (I like to use eggplant hummus)
1 jar of olive tapenade (or just olives chopped, whichever you prefer)
1/2 cup zatar, approx (recipe below)

What to do:
First, prepare your zatar. Zatar is a Middle Eastern herb mixture.
1/4 cup sumac (can be found at a Middle Eastern market)
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons marjoram
2 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 1/2 tbsp EVOO

Combine spices in a bowl and add EVOO 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you get a
spread. I used about 2 1/2 tbsp total

Set your zatar aside.

Mash up both avocadoes in a bowl. Set aside.

Roughly chop the fresh spinach leaves. Set aside.

Roughly chop the artichoke hearts (I do 3 hearts for one layer). Squeeze
out excess water (very important!) and set artichokes aside.

Heat up the tomato paste in a sauce pan until hot.

Quickly broil each side (10 seconds each) of your lavash slices. Only
do two at a time with the layer you are working on. I find they set
better if they are broiled right before they are stacked.

Here are the layers I like to do, but you can play around with the
order. I use a spatula to spread the sauces on.

start with a slice of lavash on the bottom
spread tomato paste and add fresh chopped spinach leaves
place a slice of lavash on top
spread on the olive tapenade
place a slice of lavash on top
slice of lavash
slice of lavash
slice of lavash
repeat until you run out of a topping or lavash. Save the last bit of
zatar for topping on the final slice of lavash.

Voila! It's nice served warm, but is also delicious served cold. To
serve warm, serve it immediately, or put it in the oven at a low temp
(200 or so) until it is the desired temperature.

To serve, carefully slice into sqaures with a sharp knife (or slice
like a cake if you're using circular lavash). It might be a little
tough to get through depending on how many layers you're working with.


Finger Crocheted Rug on Univision

So as Crafty Vegan as I am, one of the things I really like to do is finger crochet. Thanks to The Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse, one of the items I made was shown on Univision last Thursday 23rd!! It's a yellow rug with a mocha border made from left over t-shirt fabrics....so exciting!! Check out the video link below and also a link to the LB Depot's Site....