Thursday, April 19, 2007

I find that "feeling guilty" is a ridiculous reason NOT to eat meat. Its so subjective. The New York Times put out an article this week in the DINING IN section called VEAL TO LOVE, WITHOUT THE GUILT. This guilt angle is so self-absorbed. First, let me share with you the definition of "guilt."
According to my computer dictionary, here is the definition.
guilt |gilt| noun the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime : it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner's guilt. • a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation : he remembered with sudden guilt the letter from his mother that he had not yet read.
If you eat animal products, you do not have the sense that its wrong, or you would not do it. There is no guilt associated with something you do that you do not see as wrong. The veal industry has been tarnished for many years, even though factory farming harms ALL animals that end up on the dinner table. Its not enough to eat steak, chicken or fish, most Americans feel entitled to "gourmet" foods that are completely unnecessary like veal, foie gras or sweetbreads. Let me remind you that each of these are named some fancy word instead of seeing on the menu the following.
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An understanding between humans and their actions needs to happen. With all of the talk on climate change and other environmental warnings, maybe some will realize that they cannot just frivolously have everything they want because its there and available. Guilt does not enter my thoughts when I decide whether or not I should partake in something i know is not right. UNDERSTANDING and ACTING is the process I go through in every inch of my day. Go on, continue living with your head in the clouds. I know I am not living fully unless I am present in my actions as much as I can be. Its as simple as that. Too bad simplicity is totally uncool in most of my fellow humans eyes.

Don't be fooled by so called alleviated guilt when it comes to eating something like veal. Just because the calf gets some grass time and some visits with mom doesn't mean its okay to kill him for food.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Gettin' Old....Who CARES?

I spotted some wrinkles on my forehead and between my eyes last week. I suppose I don't really pay much attention when it comes to detecting "aging" on my face. Immediately my brain shifted into "what cream now!?" mode. The more I thought about it, the more I smelled bullpoop. I am definitely not one to buy into the creams and masks, etc. I don't even like facials so much. They just make me break out and look like crap. I can pick my own zits just as well. This is why I am proud to present this article on cosmetics called A FRESH FACE OR JUST A WASTE, by Tom Glaister.
"You have to think of cosmetics as decorative and hygienic, not as things that are going to change your skin. A $200 cream may have better perfume or packaging, but as far as it moisturizing your skin better than a $10 cream, it probably won't."
That is exactly what I suspected. Tom also covers the sad state of affairs of an unregulated cosmetic industry in the U.S. and the reality of animal testing.

We enjoyed a fully vegan baby shower with our closest friends yesterday. My best friend Michelle manufactured a huge amount of lasagne, garlic bread, salad and appetizers like a professional while my sis and brother in law brought cakes from a bakery in Berkeley called LUST, a vegan bakery. We had a lemon frosted spiced poppy seed cake of sorts that was unbelievably delicious. The other cake was chocolate with peanut butter laced in between each layer. The cakes looked as amazing as they tasted, so vegans and non-vegans, go to Micky to bake your cakes for any occasion.
I feel unbelievably lucky to have such a creative and thoughtful group of friends and family. I notice when the plan is to throw a vegan party, many complement the menu and want to know more about the ingredients and recipes. There is a curiosity that comes along with trying new things, especially delicious food! My friend Melissa is so excited about this blog and about veganism in general. She left our party and bought 5 books on the subject and contacted me with additional questions. I cannot tell you how great this makes me feel. I don't need to do anything extra, its just another day for me, but people notice whether I realize it or not!
I know you have heard enough of this pet food recall already, but I thought I would direct you to a great article on the WHOLE DOG JOURNAL website that tells you how to choose a food for your dog. I just read that another food was recalled, Natural Balance Venison and Rice dry dog food.
Another random tidbit, do you ride motorcycles? Well, check this out! Vegan motorcycle gear!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Vegan "Fashion"

Excuse me for not standing up for my kind, but I can't help but be suspicious of all of this press on vegan fashion. Often you will see the words, "oxymoron" or "crunchy" or "impossible." I suppose I am misinterpreting these articles for advice when they are really just giving soft hints that vegans have absolutely no fashion sense. Let me guess, yeah, she is a chubby tie died chick who wears hemp sandals and her best friend is her dog. WHAT? Okay, I am sure there are a couple vegans who fit this description but I am here to let you know that there is variety in the vegan community.
Lest I remind you that "dressing vegan" is easy. Go to any store, cross leather, wool and fur off yer list. A recent interview I read was with a vegan image consultant. READ: Vegan Bullshit Consultant. Honestly, it just goes against the whole idea of being vegan. I think most of us are aware of what we buy and consume less than the average American. I am not sure people need help in the clothing department when it comes to creating JUST the perfect vegan image.
I must admit, some stores are better than others when it comes to shopping for vegan goods. Where to look is more important that what to look for. I wouldn't recommend shopping on vegan websites for clothing. Catalogs like Delia's or affordable stores like Payless feature some pretty fashionable items! American Apparel has some great items for comfy clothing that is made locally without the guilt of sweatshop action. I love Forever 21, but I am frightened to find out how and where their clothing is manufactured. Ebay is a GREAT resource for vegan shoes and vintage and recycled clothing.
Sorry for being so skeptical of my fellow vegan friends, but its just so American to focus on fashion instead of the bigger issue(s). Factory farming, addiction to cheap food, pollution, etc.

Friday, April 6, 2007

What can I do?

Recently there is a flood of envirospeak by various politicians. Obviously they are responding to reports proving that news around climate change is anything but good by organizations like the UN Climate Panel.
I am having a really hard time with this. Politicians like John Kerry or Al Gore just rub me the wrong way because their job title has the word POLITICIAN in it. Something like the environment (that word is even making me nauseous because of the abuse it is receiving lately) getting mixed up with people who tend to tell whatever they think might sound good to the public for votes or money from their up and coming best seller. Yesterday I almost lost my lunch listening to Teresa Heinz and John Kerry spew the same old shit about a greener world and the subject of environment. I want to share this photo to put more puke in this paragraph.

I apologize for my negative attitude, but when politicians pretend to represent causes near and dear to our hearts, I start to worry. I am sick of hearing the same rhetoric over and over followed by larger than life solutions. Cut carbon emissions, buy a hybrid. How about following a vegan diet? That is something you can take charge of THREE times a day. How about CONSUMING LESS junk? How about NOT taking a bag at the store when you buy one item? How about spending 10 minutes at the coffee shop to relax and drink your latte out of a mug instead of wasting a paper cup, sleeve, and plastic top every day (maybe 2 or 3 times per day!?) How about shopping for recycled clothing, not buying junk on sale just because its on sale? How about a reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones?
Okay, so today I can claim these activities as MY contribution to consuming LESS.
1. Vegan meal for breakfast, lunch (consumed at home, on a plate, no waste)
2. Unplugged items around the house that do not need to be running today (computer, television/cable box, toaster, cell phone/computer chargers, heater off)
3. Donated clothing, side table and pillows to the local thrift store to be reused by someone else.
4. Walked the dogs on a local trail to avoid driving to dog park.
5. Shopping at whole foods for as many LOCAL foods I can for a party tomorrow.
6. Didn't run the water while brushing teeth (this is a bad habit of mine)
What are you doing daily to prove that your choices are of conscious mind?

Give me some EVERYDAY solutions that I can put to use please!!!!