Tag Archives: veganism

Tales from the Vegan Army: Thanksgiving Plans

This installment of Tales from the Vegan Army is not as “combat-y” as the words “vegan army” imply*. Because it involves my dear ma.  Okay, here’s the deal. I never explicitly told my mom I was “vegan”.  Since English is her second language, I felt explaining to her that I didn’t eat meat, dairy, eggs, etc was just easier.

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She’s been supportive about it since then. If I ever came home from college and she made me Thai food she’d know — no eggs, no fish sauce and add tofu and veggies. We’ve been doing this for more than a decade.

Which is why the following bit from a phone conversation that took place A WEEK AGO befuddled (and tickled) me. And I assure you that all conversations with my ma are this wonderfully strange. Love ya ma!

…..

Mom: Are you coming home for Thanksgiving?

Me: Yup. Are you going to go to *insert my sister’s name here* place?

Mom: Ok. What you want me to make for you? I can bring something.

Me: I dunno. I’m sure whatever you make will be good. You don’t have to make anything if you don’t have time.

Mom: Do you eat eggs?

Me: No ma, I thought you knew that.

Mom: [very seriously] Why not? What happens to you if you eat eggs?

Me: Ma, nothing happens to me, I jus…

Mom: [interrupting] What will happen? If you eat eggs?

Me: Ma! Listen to me. Nothing happens. I just choose not to eat eggs.

Mom: Why not? What will happen to you?

Me: [contemplates going into long ethical explanation but opts for…] I don’t want to eat something that comes from a chicken…or any animal.

Mom: [pauses] Ketty. It’s okay to not eat meat and be a vegetarian….[does not finish sentence].

Me:  Ma, I coulda swore you knew this. Remember? I would go to the restaurant (my ma had a Thai Restaurant for a while) and you would always tell the cooks to make my food — no eggs, no fish sauce? Remember?? [wonders if last 10 years were all a dream]

Mom: [pauses]…………Well, what about if I make something and you can’t taste the egg in it?

Me: [sighs] No ma. I don’t eat eggs even if I can’t taste it.

Mom: What about if I make sticky rice dessert with custard?

Me: What’s in the custard?

[silence]

Mom: [says quietly but very matter of factly]….Eggs.

…..

😐

I love ya ma! Talking to my mom is always a rockin’ fun time. She has that dead-pan-can’t-tell-if-it’s-a-joke-or-not comedic act down. But she totes isn’t joking!  I probably could fill a tome with all the funny things she has said. Like that time she told me that tasting food should be done with none other than……my mouth. Genious!

*Tales from the Vegan Army are not meant to be combative or promote ill will. They’re just a fun way for me to find humor in a non-vegan world.

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Tales from the Vegan Army: Lost in Translation

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Original image was posted to Flickr by Matanya (Creative Commons)

This installment of Tales from the Vegan Army takes place about 10 years ago. I was in Italy for a conference. Ten years ago, I wasn’t confident about my veganism. I didn’t know many vegans and I rarely liked to call attention to it*.  I also had zero experience with veganism and international travel.

Eating outside of the conference wasn’t an option since it was on an isolated beach.  Most meals were buffet style.  I stuck to the salad and the plainest pasta with tomato marinara.

One night, we had a formal sit-down meal in the dining room.  I sat at a large round table with about 10 people.  My two closest table-mates knew I was vegan.  That evening I experienced the meaning of “lost in translation”…

Table-Mate 1, TM 1:  [looks around at the table settings] Man this is fancy!

TM 2: I know. I wonder what we’re having.

ME: [looks around nervously, worried]  Yeah….

TM 2: [gives me a sympathetic look] I’m sure they’ll have stuff you can eat.

At this point, fancy Italian waiters disperse around the room with the first course.

ME: [realizes it’s just a salad and breathes a sigh of relief]

As the meal progresses, more Italian waiters swarm around to take our plates and bring us our second course……plain pasta with tomato marinara. Whew! I’m thinking the meal is done at that point, right? Salad and pasta. Ri-i-ight.

ME[looks down at the MEAT dish the waiter has just put in front of me] Oh, um, I didn’t know there was more. I actually don’t eat meat.

Since I don’t want to even attempt an Italian accent for the waiter, just imagine this guy’s voice for the waiter.

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image from closermag.fr

Trust me…it’ll work. Plus despite what transpires, the real life waiter was just as friendly and animated as Roberto Benigni seems to be. So if this were a movie, he would be playing the part. Um, right. Maybe just go with it.

WAITER: Oh, you don’t like the dish?

ME: [not wanting to offend]  Um well, I don’t eat meat. I’m also really full on the pasta and salad.

WAITER: [takes the food, not offended] Okay, I will bring you something else then? 

ME: [nods and thinks…sure, whatever dude. Just keep it down, people are staring at me]

WAITER[comes out and puts down a new dish]  You like this dish?

ME: [stares down at a whole FRIED FISH] Um, I don’t eat any meat. Or any dairy either.

WAITER: [looks sad] Oh, no fish either eh? Okay, I’ll be right back. [swoops up the fish] 

ME[feels like a pain in the ass and says feebishly to the retreating waiter]  Sorry…really, I’m fine. I don’t need anything else.

TM 1: [wants to dissociate himself from the vegan freak and so says loudly enough for others to hear] That fish looked good! I should have taken it for myself. You know…since I eat meat like normal people.  Did everybody hear me?

The waiter, anxious to please, comes out again and plops an omelette down, certain he’s found a winner. I thought to myself — Shit…I said no dairy but I should have mentioned eggs…aren’t eggs considered dairy?  Back to the kitchen it went.

The fourth time he came out, despite me telling him I needed nothing else, he slapped a big piece of fried cheese down in front of me. The size of this cheese was enough to feed a small army, not something someone would ever eat as a meal.  As if the chef just fried the first non-meat, non-egg item he saw in the kitchen to try and please “the crazy American”!

FINALLY the waiter just brought me out more pasta. Now why didn’t I just think to ask him to do that in the first place?

What’s your “lost in translation” or vegan travel story?

*Today, I wear the vegan-freak flag proudly.  Admittedly, it has gotten a lot easier to do since veganism is more prominent in the mainstream.

Happy Birthday Dough Bakery!

What do you do when you turn one year old? Eat lots of vegan food ’till you have to unbutton your pants and celebrate with a gaggle of nice folks? Sounds like a good plan to me.

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This past Sunday, Holly from Traveling Pink Lips  threw a plant-based potluck to bring ATL vegans together and celebrate Dough Bakery’s first year of awesomeness in Atlanta. For the past year, this vegan bakery along with Gutenfleischers (the vegan deli inside Dough) has been satiating my needs for whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies, soft serve ice cream, ginormous deli sandwiches, queso, pimento cheese, milkshakes and more. The pups even get a fix with their peanut butter treats.

Here’s the event-planner extraordinaire greeting us. She’s about to let us loose on the food.

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Everybody brought a dish + I brought my camera = vegan food porn. Here are a few highlights.

Mac and cheese with coconut bacon. This was Holly’s dish. Check out that rad spatula!

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Peanut butter tofu. Yes.

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100 % organic tabouleh.

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Raw cheese dip (with chia seeds!).

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Dill and sour cream potato bites. Nom.

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“Goat” cheese. I love cashew cheese and I’ve made something very similar before.

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Mini loaded potato bites with tempeh (recipe on Glue and Glitter).

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Candied jalapeno with cream cheese. So creative!

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Squash casserole.

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Quinoa sweet potato balls with Daiya mozzarella!

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My final plates. Yes plates! My eyes were far hungrier than the size of my stomach. I tried to get one of everything but I’m sure I missed some dishes as some arrived later while I was stuffing my face. Everything was delicious! I brought a black bean and corn quinoa salad (recipe here), but forgot to get a pic of it because I was too enamored with everybody else’s dish. It’s on the bottom of the circular plate.dough1yr_mixplate

Holly also surprised everybody with a gift!

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I was so excited to finally get my hands on some coconut bacon. I was also thrilled to get a Crazy Rumors lip balm (that balm is my jam) and a vegan key chain from Jeanette Zeis Ceramics.

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There was a raffle to win the big bag of vegan swag.  All the raffle proceeds went to Animal Action Rescue.

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And boy were there sweets!

Brownie cookies. We split the second to last one.

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Chocolate chip and walnut cookies.

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Vegan gelato from Revolution Gelato. We’ve had this creamy-dreamy vegan gelato before but it’s not for sale yet, so it was a real treat to have some. I tried the new flavor, Hatch Chili Chip. I can not wait until this stuff goes on sale for realsies.  According to Jared the owner/creater this will hopefully happen sometime in the fall.

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And no birthday is complete without cake. Check out these fun decorated cakes made by Dough! Nom nom and nom nom nom!

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I’m so happy that Holly put this event together. She did an incredible job bringing together an awesome and diverse vegan crowd where I got a chance to talk to old friends and make some new ones. And big ups to Dough and Gutenfleischers for hosting and basically being ‘da bomb!

Raspberry Chocolate Sauce

This rich, decadent, vegan raspberry chocolate sauce made an appearance here awhile ago on pancakes. It was so good that I made it again, but this time I actually sorta paid attention to what I was tossing into the magic bullet.

Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 tbs extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3/4 to 1 tbs of cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs of agave
  • 8 raspberries

I dumped all of this in our magic bullet (mini-blender) and blended it until smooth. This makes a single serving amount so it won’t blend well in a big blender. If I were to use a bigger blender I would at least double the ingredients.

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This sauce was the perfect topping for The Vegan Penny Pincher’s vegan chocolate crock pot cake, but is also delicious on pancakes, vegan ice cream or anything really! Because everything is better with chocolate.

Triple A

Athens

Neal had to deliver some screen printed posters to a band in Athens, GA Saturday night, so I went with him and we ate at The Grit– an all vegetarian diner with vegan options.

I got the vegan Bahn Mi with wasabi mayo, pickled veggies and hoisin seared seitan, IMG_0390 _Snapseed IMG_0395 _Snapseed

while Neal got the deluxe grilled sandwich with grilled seitan, and sautéed onions, mushrooms and peppers. And we both got sweet potato fries.IMG_0391 _Snapseed

We were stuffed but we couldn’t leave without dessert. We got the grasshopper cake (chocolate mint) and chocolate cake to go!
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Award

I was so pleased to receive an award from The Vegan Kat this weekend alongside some purty fabulous bloggers! So this is how this award works:

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

  1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and a link back.
  3. Answer 10 questions given.
  4. Nominate up to 12 bloggers for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
  5. Copy and paste the award somewhere on your blog.sisterhood-of-world-blogger-award

10 Questions:
What is your favorite color?   orange
Your favorite animal?   hard to choose…I like all animals
Your favorite non-alcoholic drinks? tea! any kind of tea…I’m addicted!
Facebook or Twitter?  going rogue here, instagram!
Your favorite pattern?   stripes a la Jean Seberg in Breathless
Do you prefer getting or giving presents?  giving
Your favorite number?   44 
Your favorite day of the week?    Any day I don’t have to go to work!
Your favorite flower?    orchids
What is your passion?   creating

My nominees:

  1. ASTIG vegan
  2. The Opinioness of the World
  3. Life of Kylie
  4. Rambling Vegans

Anticipation

This Saturday marks the third Virtual Vegan Potluck! I’ve participated since its inception by the amazing Ann over at An Unrefined Vegan. This year I intend to visit each and every blog which is going to be crazy because the list of participants is growing! In fact, enrollment goes through May 6.

I’m bringing a salad…what are you bringing?

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Good vegan reads part I

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Tell someone you’re vegan for health reasons, and that usually requires no further explanation. But I’m not vegan for health reasons. I’m vegan for ethical reasons. Back when veganism was a relatively new thing and people found out I was an ethical vegan, instead of the “Yo, that’s cool! Mad respect for dat!” response that I felt I should have gotten, I was hit with:

“What’s wrong with eggs and milk? The chickens and cows don’t die.”

“If things weren’t tested on animals, you would be dead.”

“You know you can’t drive on roads because there are animal products in asphalt.”

“So you care more about animals than people? You know there are people that need help too, like the poor, the oppressed,etc. ”

“But meat tastes soooo good. I love bacon.”

I quickly discovered that I didn’t have logical arguments and sound information to back up my veganism other than I cared for animals, which to most people just sounds like “bunnies are cute”. I needed to read. These are some of my favorite books (new and old) related to animal rights/veganism.

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Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?  by Gary Francione

This is THE definitive read on the theory of animal rights for me. Francione, a Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, intelligently provides a clear and logical argument as to why non-human sentient beings should be included in our moral community. This book is worth it for the “Twenty Questions and Answers” appendix alone which basically addresses common issues like the use of animal tested prescription medications and the “tradition” of eating meat. From the forward by Alan Watson, “Although he [Francione] tackles some of the more difficult philosophical problems that inform animal ethics, his presentation is extraordinarily clear and accessible to any reader interested in the topic”. My copy is all written in and I reference this book a lot.

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MAD COWBOY:  Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat  by Howard F. Lyman

I have a signed copy of this book(!) because I had the honor of seeing Howard Lyman speak at the University of Colorado in Boulder back in the early 2000’s. Lyman is the ex-Montana rancher that went on The Oprah Show and influenced her to stop eating beef which caused the livestock industry to get their panties in a bunch and sue Oprah back in 1998.  The case got dismissed. This book chronicles Lyman’s journey from hard-core animal eater and rancher to hard-core vegan. It’s autobiographical while full of factual insider information about the beef industry. The night I got this book was the first time I had vegan nachos and they were really good.

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MAKING A KILLING: The Political Economy of Animal Rights  by Bob Torres.

Bob Torres, along with his wife Jenna Torres used to be big in the vegan community hosting a podcast and publishing another book I like (which I gave to someone), Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World.  They seem to have since fallen off the face of the earth, but Bob Torres’ book is among one of my favorites. Torres provides parallelisms between other forms of oppression in our society and animal exploitation. He explains in a logical manner how animal exploitation is perpetuated in our society because of decades and decades of socialization in a hierarchical capitalist world.

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Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, And Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry by Gail A. Eisnitz.

This one was one I wished I owned, but I checked it out from the library. Shocking, disturbing and difficult to read at times, this really made me realize how horrific the meat industry is for animals and humans alike.  This book chronicles Eisnitz’s altruistic efforts to expose the inhumane treatment in slaughterhouses across the country. Her book covers 3 main aspects of slaughterhouses: (1) the inhumane treatment of animals (2) the terrible working conditions for slaughterhouse workers and (3) the corrupt role of the USDA and how this affects meat as food.

Heavy reading? An astounding YES. But I’d rather know than not know.

Stay tuned for Part II.

There’s a level of connectivity. That’s really what you want in life, you want to feel connected.

~Neil DeGrasse Tyson

This level of connectivity that I have (and feel) with the universe, the earth and all other earthlings is one reason why I choose to be vegan. To tread lightly and live compassionately.

Click play below to hear astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s inspiring response to TIME magazine’s question “What is the most astounding fact that you can share with us about the universe?”.

Amazing video done by Max Schlickenmeyer.