Friday, November 30, 2007

Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more.

~Franz Kafka, while admiring fish in an aquarium

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spirulina Popcorn, oh, my!

We had popcorn tonight with spirulina and nutritional yeast sprinkled on it. It was a tip from friends. Thank you, Kris and Karen. In case you are not aware of this, "Spirulina is a blue-green algae. It is a simple, one-celled form of algae that thrives in warm, alkaline fresh-water bodies. The name "spirulina" is derived from the Latin word for "helix" or "spiral"; denoting the physical configuration of the organism when it forms swirling, microscopic strands." We used it as a dry powder, and it is green. Very green.

Nutritional Yeast: "Yellow in color and with a nutty cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite amongst many vegans because of its unique flavor and similarity to cheese when added to foods. " Alrighty then, two foods that I am positive that I would never, ever, ever have put on popcorn. Ever. But it was delicious. And the popcorn was slightly green. Did I mention that it was delicious? That is all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Beaver butt juice : - (

Here we are, Cyber Monday as it is known now in our spanking, new cyber world. Thanksgiving dinner is done, it was traditional as promised to the family, and I did have a few bites of turkey though I really didn’t want to and I felt bad for the little one….10 lb’er….light weight. Next year, we’ll experience some tofurky which doesn’t sound so absurd to me anymore.

Back to today, this is the designated drop dead *no pun intended* day for finishing/donating or tossing the rest of our animal/animal by-product edibles. On all the other animal stuff, like cleaners, leather, wool, etc, we’ve decided to use until gone or worn out. The decision to continue using certain items, such as the leather furniture that was bought last summer, has a lot to do with the fact that the damage is already done and it isn’t practical to flush these items without having a few thousand extra dollars to replace them immediately. Frankly, we are ok with this decision. I swear to all that matter that I will never ever buy these items again!

On the food front, boy oh boy have we been schooling ourselves on what all this lifestyle change encompasses and how we can fit it into our lives. Honestly, I feel like a need a class or two for certification! Perhaps even an Associates of Applied Science degree would be sufficient to induct one into the world of veganism. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled about the change, I am just a bit overwhelmed by the scope of product used in every-flippin-thing! Good lord! Who came up with this shit to begin with? Beaver butt juice makes a gives a lovely pungent bouquet for food??? WTF??? Who the hell figured that one out? ACK! Ok, I’ll settle down now.

Today I look forward to leaving my meaty and dairy delights behind….as I learn more and more about where they come from…the weight of it all makes them not so delightful after all.


The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.

- Alice Walker, African-American writer & storyteller

Friday, November 16, 2007

Confused, at best.

Veganism (also strict or pure vegetarianism) is a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.[1][2] Vegans do not use or consume animal products of any kind.[3] The most popular reasons for becoming a vegan are ethical commitment or moral convictions concerning animal rights, the environment, or human health, and spiritual or religious concerns.[4][5][2] Of particular concern are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, and the intensive use of land and other resources required for animal farming.

Here is the definition of vegan on Wikipedia. It pretty much supports any other definition I have seen. I feel like I am, in a way, trying to be one of the "cool kids", if I can fit into the definition of a vegan, and that is confusing, and annoying, as well. I am trying to figure out if I can ever become a true vegan. Elli and I have leather furniture. It makes me sad that we bought it, but it has yet to even be paid off. I own leather shoes. I own wool sweaters. Other things of that nature. A few silk scarves. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. And I smoke. I saw one site that stated that you can not be a vegan and smoke, as you can not eat and/or use anything that is tested on animals. Well, someday I would like to quit smoking, but giving up all that I am, and readjusting to it all seems like enough to me at this juncture. Can I just smoke Natural American Spirit cigarettes? I am positive that they do not test on animals. I think that might be adhere to the definition anyway. If a vegan can not use anything that was tested on animals, we might have a problem with much of anything.

And now I get to the bones of all of this......Do I really need to worry about if I can define myself as a Vegan or not? Or if someone else can? If I was so worried about keeping up with the Joneses (?) would I even be doing this? I am doing this because I am so repulsed by factory farming. And animal testing. Pretty much anything wherein animals are treated as something less than a creature that feels pain, joy, loss, fear, happiness, etc. Anyone that has ever had a pet knows that animals feel all of these things, and more. And anyone that really looks at what is going on with factory farming would be a liar if they were to tell me that they would not have a problem with their pet being treated in this way, that they are "just animals". So, I do not care if I am one of the "cool kids", I will still smoke, but I will also not eat anything with any animal product in it, to include certain beers, which I now understand to be filtered through BONE CHAR! Holy moly. I will not purchase anything with any animal product in it. I will keep what I have. I will use it til it is gone. Or until it is shabby, in the case of the furniture. I will no longer support the industry that is riding on the backs of animals. But to reiterate ad nauseum, I am keeping what I have. I have not come far enough yet, or am not ready to, or do not have the extra resources to do away with what I have. So be it. I am doing this for animals. Not for others to call me out on not acting or doing as a true vegan. I will have to just label myself as an animal lover.

Also, I have gone to different grocery stores and assorted other places to scope out what food options are open. I have never before spent so much time reading so many labels. And have never realized how much of everything contains animal products. Good Gawd. I will find an item that I love to eat, and I will scroll down the ingredients and I think that I am safe, I can eat this.....YES! And then, at the bottom of the list is something like "whey". Something I would not even have noticed before.....And did I mention the vegetarian cheese made of soy that I thought was safe until I read the ingredients? It is non-dairy cheese but has one little ingredient in it made from milk. Sonofabitchthatmadememad! So, out of the 10 varieties of cheese not made mainly from milk, there are two or three that are actually vegan.

Okay. Here ends the diatribe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dinner 12NOV2007

The nightly problem often is..."What's for dinner"

Planning and pre-prep is ideal. Figuring it out at the last minute when you are tired from a days work and HUNGRY is reality sometimes. Last night was one of those nights :-)

What's in the fridge??? Tortillas, onion, tomato, salami needing to go....whip up pizza sauce from tomato paste and tastee spices...grate up some soy cheese....bake on 450 d for 5 minutes....mmmm

This meal was really good and quick! Yay!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Why are we here? Too.

How in the hell do I think it is even within the realm of possibility that I can go vegan? I have absolutely no self control when it comes to food. That could very well be the reason that I am fat. That is the reason I am fat. Damnit. Here is why I am attempting to become a fine, upstanding vegan:

This is my motivation. This is what makes me sick to my stomach. I will watch this over and over if need be. I have thought a lot about this. This is a HUGE life change. It doesn't just affect what I eat, but how I will have to live. We are going to take this slow. Eat up whatever animal product we have in the house, then wean ourselves a bit, allowing "organic" dairy products, until we cut all of those out as well. I find it hard to trust labels, and that is why it is necessary to cut out all animal products. Just because a cheese is organic, that might mean that the cows were not fed hormones, but were they allowed to roam freely, or where they still penned up?

We had an interesting dinner tonight. Pizzas made with whole wheat tortillas, tomato sauce, onions, tomatoes, soy cheese and........regular, old came-from-a-cow salami. But it was a bit of a breakthrough for me. That is one thing that we can make (albeit without the "real" salami) that is fast and easy and still seems like a treat. Eating vegan takes a lot more work, more chopping, more assembling, more cooking. Eating out will be tough. And when you are hungry you just want to eat something now. Instant gratification. Another reason I am fat. So, along with the time and labor intensive food we will be making, we really need to find some fast, easy and tasty meals.

That being said, though we are doing this mainly for animals, I do hope that along with it all, I lose some weight and feel better. I am positive that this will happen if I can stick with it. Less fatty food, less empty calories. Less crap.

And before I get any guff for it, I am making a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and I am going to eat some of it. And hopefully it will be my last. On that note, there are a few food items I am going to have one more time. That is probably dragging it out and not a good idea, but I think it will help me in the long run. I can't excuse myself by thinking that I did not get to enjoy something before it was gone forever. I know how my mind works. Wish us luck. -Schmegan

Why are we here?

We make no claims to innovation or brilliance. We just are taking the journey of becoming vegans. We like food. We love to eat. We even like meat though it doesn't have to be on the plate. We don't like the thought of how animals are cruelly treated from the womb to death in the industry. We don't like the testing. We don't want to give anymore of our dough to to an industry who treats these creatures so poorly. It is really really really disturbing. Also, we don't actually need meat in our diets to survive....though the meat industry pays loads of money to make us believe so. So we've decided to go vegan understanding that it is going to be a difficult learning experience. I mean, there is more to being vegan than meat. I personally LOVE ice cream. Bye-bye ice cream as I've known it. We are journaling it here just cuz...doesn't everybody blog all the random aspects of their lives nowadays? hee hee. There are two of us doing this. Its gonna be good :-) For simplicity and anonymity (sorry stalkers) we are going by the names vegan and schmegan. As I, vegan, have blahblahblah's enough already, I'll turn this post over to schmegan to record her fascinating thoughts now...