Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
In a conversation with someone about my veganism, I’ve been known to say something very peaceful and non-confrontational, along the lines of “It’s really a personal choice. I don’t care what other people do.” Usually, this puts me in a safe place where I don’t appear to be pushy and the other person can walk away without thinking too much about what I’ve said.
It’s a crutch I fall back on all the time, because I’m a non-confrontational person. I don’t really like having an argument or discussion about animal rights all the time, so I cop out sometimes.
I used to think that there wasn’t anything wrong with this statement. And maybe there isn’t, but for me lately, I’ve been rethinking my position on this common statement of mine.
When a person supports factory farms (or small farms), they are making a choice. That much is true. The statement itself is not incorrect. It technically is a choice that people in society make. But when I say “it’s a personal choice,” I give an impression. I’m indicating eating animals is something that can be done casually.
In reality, the way animals are treated on factory farms is horrific. By saying “it’s a personal choice,” I downgrade what is truly at stake here - the life of living, breathing beings – to a casual choice. I present the body of an animal as something a human can carelessly choose to destroy or not to destroy. It is not a casual thing. It is desperate, painful, and charged with feeling. By reducing it to a simple “choice,” I rob the situation of the truth, while reinforcing the status-quo.
By not taking a moment to feel uncomfortable and really talk about what I truly believe, I let a chance slip by where I can really make people rethink their stance.
I don’t have to be crazy, confrontational, or angry. I could just be up front and honest. Instead of lying and saying, “I don’t care what other people do,” (I do care) I can say simply, “I refuse to support or participate in the suffering and death of animals.” That statement is simple, powerful, and true.
As much as I hate someone thinking of me as “that angry vegan,” I think I’d rather speak my truth, be a little uncomfortable, and take a stance for those ever-suffering farm animals.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
When I watched Chef Chloe sweep the Cupcake Wars episode she competed on, I knew I had to make one of her cupcakes. Luckily, she generously posted up the recipe for her winning cupcakes. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to try what ended up being the best cupcakes (vegan or otherwise) I have had to date.
She has two of her other winning cupcake recipes up and around the Internets – Chocolate Orange and Raspberry Tiramisu. These look a smidgen more difficult than the Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes.
I decided to do the easiest one first and if it was good, then I’d try the rest. I tend to trust only a few vegan bakers, namely Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and if it’s not her recipe, I look at it with suspicion.
After baking these delicious pretties, Chloe makes my short list of vegan bakers I trust. I’m definitely making the rest of her cupcakes!
I made the frosting with coconut oil, which was a first for me. It turned out well, with a sweet, slightly coconut taste. I had to omit the espresso, because I couldn’t find it and I wasn’t in the mood to go on a search. I don’t believe I missed it at all.
The only word of warning I’d like to give about these cupcakes is that the strawberry slices tend to get watery after they sit around for a day or two, causing the frosting to melt and the cupcake to get a little soggy. I’d either leave the strawberry off until serving time or eat them all in one sitting.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The crappy frozen pizza you loved to scarf down as a child is now vegan… and awesome.
The Husband and I tried two different kinds: Pepperoni and the Italian Sausage with Fire-roasted Veggies. We didn't try the last variation, Cheese Pizza.
On both pizzas the crust is very thin and crispy, so it yields to the strong flavors of the Tofurky “meats” and the Daiya cheese.
The Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Pizza had a respectable amount of thinly chopped veggies (mostly peppers), which held their own in the flavor department. The sausage was crumbled in small pieces and had a wonderful flavor. I’m not normally a fan of Tofurky sausages. (I don’t think they taste the best. I’m a Field Roast fan.) Yet, somehow, they really worked in combination with the other flavors present. The Daiya cheese was the perfect backdrop to the rest of the pizza. It tasted just like it should – perfectly cheesy.
The Pepperoni Pizza tasted like… pepperoni pizza. It was pretty amazing actually. It tasted like what you remember frozen pepperoni pizza tasting like. The Daiya and the pepperoni worked together fantastically in this pizza.
Overall, I’d say Tofurky’s new pizzas fill a much needed gap in the vegan junk food department. The Husband always says that, for whatever reason, he misses junky, frozen pizza most of all from his pre-vegan days. I suspect many others feel the same. I wasn’t ever a huge fan of frozen pizza, but I am a huge fan of Tofurky’s new pizzas. They are a perfect, light easy dinner alongside a crispy salad.
These aren’t in many stores yet. We found them at our favorite health food store in Maryland when we were up there visiting for the 4rth of July. We put them in a container with ice for the road trip home. If you don’t see them in your local health food freezer, make sure to put in a request for them to carry the new Tofurky Pizzas.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I'm definitely not a scientist, but it makes me wonder if our brains adapted to all the movement we had to do, creating more brain cells, making us smarter and helping us survive and procreate.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Our backyard was completely and sadly unkempt when we first moved in, so we decided to fix it up and grow some food. This summer is our test garden. We didn't plant a lot, being totally gardening newbies. We slaved away in the ridiculous NC humidity to clean out the backyard and force it into some semblance of order. We bought organic soil (yay for Whole Foods and their $3.99 soil) and organic veggies (once again, thanks to Whole Foods), then planted them with lots of tredipation and hope. We planted: