Ever since becoming vegan, I’ve found myself seeking out primarily vegan restaurants. (Something I think is pretty normal when making a transition like mine.) I’ve tried a lot of really great things that I wouldn’t have even known existed and for that I’m thankful. However, something that I’ve noticed about myself is my tendency to seek out a vegan restaurant instead of finding options in places that I used to frequent as an omnivore.
Two chainy-type restaurants have recently come to my attention. Chipolte and Qdoba have a decent amount of veg friendly options and even better- their websites give a detailed description of what’s in what so there’s no second guesses there. Check these two out- it’s a great option if you’re eating out with non-veg friends or need something on the go. So don’t count them out just because they’re not 100% veg- I was happy to re-try these places.
Check out the ingredient listing for Chipolte.
Check out the ingredient listing for Qdoba.
In speaking to one of my girlfriends I had a bit of an epiphany. We were talking about the recent (return to) spike in taxes that are taken out of our paychecks and in that I was saying how people don’t really think of 2% as making too much of a difference but when it comes down to a paycheck it’s huge! Then it hit me. Now where have I heard 2% before recently…? Oh yes…for the approximately 2% of people in the United States that are vegan and the 5% that are vegetarian (see this Gallup poll for a 2012 study for some more information and some specifics on demographics) we tend to feel very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But that’s just it. We’re not. Just like the bumper sticker that I so thoughtfully plastered to the inside of my boyfriend’s lunchbox “Vegetarians Are Sprouting Up Everywhere.” And the idea is to hit those making decisions about our food and the treatment of both animals AND humans for us right where it hurts- square in the pocket. Silly Big Brother- your Trix aren’t for MY kids (when I have them of course).
In that very same conversation I was introduced to a site exposing the horrors of a killer whale named Lolita’s reality. Check it out.
What a lovely birthday weekend complete with food, drink, and friends! I called in for a whole vegan cheesecake from the Loving Hut on Hamilton Street and it truly was sensational! Almost key-lime-esq and I swear the average dairy-consumer would be non-the-wiser. It was also fresh and ready with no more than 30 minutes notice. (Me-Yoong does, however, recommend calling earlier in advance next time but I was still very impressed!) Among the very generous gifts I received this year was a cook book called 101 Best Vegan Foods and we set a goal for 2013 to work our way through the entire thing cooking every meal at least once. (I promise this blog won’t turn into a Julie Julia Project type thing BUT with the help of my brand new Cannon I will be posting the recipes along with pictures of how my creations turned out under the recipe tab so check back for my progress!) I’m actually considering making a whole new tab just for the recipes out of the cookbook… we’ll see how crazy I get! It’s a cookbook you can actually sit down and read since it’s not just jam-packed with recipes but it tells you what foods have which nutrients, why they’re important for a healthy vegan diet, and other helpful suggestions. I’m hooked and ready for this new adventure!
Why should animals have rights? Please check this link out. There’s no excuse for this horrible mistreatment and what’s more- there’s something you can do about it and it only takes 15 seconds.
2013 brings plenty of opportunities for those New Year’s Resolutions we all love to hate. Keeping them is almost as crazy as a vegan food show on the Cooking Channel… or is it? I am very excited to hear of host Jason Weobel’s new show “How To Live To 100” premiering Sunday January 6th, at 8 PM ET. The Cooking Channel describes it:
“Detroit-born chef, Jason Wrobel, dishes up a sublime fusion of food and humor as host of the new Cooking Channel special, How To Live To 100. Known as the “King of Superfoods,” which are powerful ingredients proven to increase your longevity, Jason turns up the heat and whips them up into culinary masterpieces.”
Are you going to tune in? I know I am!
And… do you need a little help figuring out what’s for cruelty-free-dinner in the New Year? Check out this nice little Two-Week Vegan Meal Plan that PETA put together for some ideas!
Having survived Thanksgiving and Christmas unscathed and vegan head-stong, I think now more than ever is a great time to think about what kind of difference I’m really making (if any). Sometimes, the line between what I’m doing and the reasons for it get blurred especially since I took in all of the new veg information at once and have taken a little break from the constant reading and reinforcement. I think its a great time for a little reflection.
It’s easy to forget why we do things sometimes because of perceived indifference. If I don’t think that one little action that I do will have any impact, I may not do it because who cares? If I alone choose to abstain from meat and dairy, factory farms are still going to exist and the animals there are still going to live a short cruel life followed abruptly by a slow cruel death. Even though I elect to have tofurkey on my dinner plate and soy milk in my latte, some chickens will never see the light of day or the starry sky at night and some calves will never taste their mother’s milk because she’s busy being exploited so humans can give it to their children with their mac and cheese TV dinners as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. It becomes all too easy to feel small and helpless in a world that seems far too big for its own good. But I’ll tell you one thing- I can’t and I won’t believe it’s all for nothing.
If one act of kindness won’t stop all of the evil in the world, why be kind to anyone? If one compliment to a friend can’t erase all of the hardships she’s suffered, why say anything? And if you don’t think that one Big Mac with an Extra Large French Fry all washed down with a supersized Coca-Cola is contributing to the systematic exploitation of the animals that are caught in the system or the lower-income families that rely on this garbage for nutrients because fast food chains are conveniently prevalent in ghettos and impoverished neighborhoods, then eat up right?
Wrong. People can make the difference. You can make the difference. Your money is your vote and never forget it. People have died so that we have the freedom to make these choices for ourselves but it’s about time we question what we’ve been told all our lives. Who benefits from misinformation? Who profits from your consumption? And most importantly what are you going to do about it?
In place of blogging over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been pre-occupied with a sick kitty at home. He’s finally out of the woods and with some love, attention, and R&R he should be back to his old frisky self in no time. I’d like to personally thank the Worcester Cat Hospital and Bird Clinic for working a miracle on my little one. Without their second opinion, this post may have been singing a different, much grimmer tune. I’d also like to thank Michael for not giving up hope even when there’s little to hope for and for teaching me that miracles do happen. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
I will be back to blogging now that I have space in my brain to do something other than worry and hope for my Lincoln.
Looking for some holiday gift ideas? Check out the Humane Domain where “every purchase provides support for the Humane Society of the United States’ programs- and the animals.”
It’s time to count blessings and multiply love. This post is a list of things that I am thankful for:
-My boyfriend, Mike and my mother Laura for not only being supportive of my transition into veganism, but for joining me on my path by becoming vegetarians in their own time. Way to go guys- I love you
-My “in laws” for gladly accepting both me and my vegan treats with warm expressions and open minds.
-Support that I receive from friends in the form testing all of the food that I make, going to festivals with me, listening to my new ideas, and for trying all of the funky little restaurants I find online
-My cats, (Lincoln and Mary) for happily trading my meaty leftovers for extra smooches and for loving me no matter what
-That I live in a time and place where fresh, organic produce is readily available and that I am economically able to make these choices
-The Worcester Public Library for housing a great number of books, especially those on vegan diet, lifestyle, and exposure of the cruelties within agri-business
-My health and how far I’ve come in terms of running ability. And for my favorite “personal trainer” for sticking it out with me and taking it slow
on Hamilton Street and the kind owners that work there for always being so friendly and helpful when we go in or take out
-Everyday I get to spend on this Earth. What a wonderful life.