Archive for the ‘Veganism’ Category

Story Time and Book Signing

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
Book Signing poster

Book Signing poster

Nathalie VanBalen, author of kids’ book Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice, will be at Firestorm on Saturday, June 18, 10am for story time and book signing.

Firestorm Cafe & Books is located at 48 Commerce St. Just off of Coxe Ave in downtown Asheville. Also accessible from Patton Ave.

For more info about Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice, please visit and read what others are saying about the book here: Your Vegan MomBonzai AphroditeEat, Drink & Be VeganVegBooksOur Hen House

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Daiya Vegan Cheese: So good, I complained to my waiter

Friday, April 15th, 2011
Daiya vegan cheese

Daiya vegan cheese

Any time I see vegan quesadillas on a menu, I have to order them. They were my breakfast this morning at Rancho’s Mexican & Vegetarian Restaurant in San Diego. I became instantly suspicious when my cheese was not only delicious, but also chewy and stretchy. Everyone knows that vegan cheese does not taste and feel like that. Not possible.

I called the waiter over to ask if they had made a mistake with my order, but he said no – it was Daiya cheese. This may be old news to a lot of people, but I’d never heard of Daiya so I figured it was some “lactose-free” cheese with casein in it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, ate my quesadillas, and hoped that I wouldn’t be puking sick later from eating cow’s milk (which I was not).

It turns out that Rancho’s knows what it’s doing. I stopped off at a little hippie food coop to see if I could find it. There it was, Daiya vegan cheese. Holy crap, it’s good. You must eat it. It’s been a super long time for me, but I’m pretty sure this is just what eating cheese used to be like. Close, at least.

Even better, it’s allergen-free for most people. From their website:

Daiya products do not contain many of the common allergens including; soy, dairy (casein or lactose), gluten, egg, peanuts, and tree nuts (excluding coconut)

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There IS such a thing as cruelty-free eggs

Sunday, April 10th, 2011
sanctuary eggs

sanctuary eggs

If you’re vegan or an ethical vegetarian, you probably know that the “cage-free” or “free range” labels on eggs don’t mean much. They are marginally better than battery cage raised eggs at best, but still involve keeping laying hens in overcrowded conditions where they live in their own feces, rarely (if ever) see the sun, and may still even peck and trample each other to death.

A little better would be a local organic farm (depending on the farm) where the chickens run about a large natural area, living a good chicken life. For vegans, who oppose exploitative practices or who consider killing (even in a “humane” way) to be cruelty in and of itself, this also is not an acceptable source of eggs. Most farms who rely on animals for their profits aren’t going to keep a chicken around who isn’t laying anymore. Chickens can live many years longer than they can lay eggs.

And then even better than the local farm is the neighbor with back yard chickens (depending on the neighbor) who treat their hens as well as they treat their beloved dog or cat. These hens may experience a great environment with human kindness and might even live out their lives as members of the family, even when they can no longer produce eggs. Even in this case, I am not comfortable with this as a source of eggs because in order to get those chickens in the first place, those caring neighbors most likely had to purchase their chicks from a chicken breeder who engages in exploitative practices, raising chicks as a commodity for human use. In most cases, the chicks are shipped in boxes across the country. (If they happened to find a young chicken up for adoption at the humane society, that would be a different story.)

sanctuary chicken

sanctuary chicken

But consider a sanctuary, whose mission is to take in animals in need and give them a safe haven for the rest of their natural lives. That sanctuary may have taken in hens who might otherwise have been killed, who then lay more eggs than can possibly be used at the sanctuary. In this case, what harm is done to any chicken, or other living creature, by eating those eggs?

That is exactly the situation I came across today when I visited a sanctuary outside of Asheville, NC. The caretakers themselves are vegans and are active in the community with other vegan organizations and events. They allow friends of the sanctuary to come and take their spare eggs. I took a dozen and I don’t feel any less vegan for doing so.

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Asheville VegFest this August

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Click to view the flyer

There is no shortage of festivals in Asheville, celebrating music, art, health, the environment, and/or just the wonderfully freaky nature of Asheville. Now, for the first time, we’ll be having our very own VegFest, celebrating all things vegan and animal-friendly.

Putting something this big together takes a lot of work and of course some money. Here’s the email (slightly abridged) that went out through The Asheville Vegetarians about this event:

As you know, The Asheville Vegetarians and Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary are planning the first ever Asheville VegFest (Sunday, August 7th).  WE NEED YOUR HELP!! We’ll be sending out a volunteer form soon but in the meantime, please note that our current estimates indicate that the festival is going to cost us nearly 7K (permits, insurance, porta potties, security, marketing materials, advertising and on and on…..). We are hopeful that rental fees from vendors and donations from sponsors will cover much of this but we do expect a shortfall. To that end we have applied for a  grant and are in contact with other organizations to whom we will apply for grant money. WE do need YOUR donations though! ….

For any donation above $20, you will receive a vegdiscount card which is good for a year of many discounts around town at various restaurants, service providers, retailers et cetera.

Asheville Vegfest  is a great opportunity to “vegucate” and “vegutain” folks near and wide  so please consider participating in any way you can but .. if you have some extra funds, they’ll go a long way in helping us pull this off!

All donations are tax deductible., checks should be written out to Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary and sent to:

Goat Mountain Ranch Sanctuary
1601 Newfound Rd
Leicester 28748

Alternatively, you can donate via paypal via the Goat Mountain website: Please specify that donations are for Vegfest (donors to VegFest will receive a vegdiscount card but not a Tshirt from Goat Mountain– separate donations earmarked for Goat Mountain of $17 or more will  get you one of their cool T-Shirts).

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I Do Not Have A Video

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Recently, several people have contacted me through my website, thanking me for my great video and requesting recipes. You have the wrong Vegan Girl.

I don’t have a video, unless you have seen the one of my cat walking around, or the one of me trying to play Auld Lang Syne on the mandolin.

I’m thrilled that someone out there made such a powerful video about veganism that has inspired so many people to try it. I wish I could take credit for it, but I cannot. I encourage you to look more closely at the video and see if you have the correct URL.

Update: The consensus is that is the site you might be looking for.

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What do Chelsea Clinton and Vegan Girl have in common?

Saturday, July 31st, 2010
Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton

Everyone’s been abuzz about Chelsea Clinton’s $3 million upcoming wedding to a NY investment banker. And I could not have been less interested….until NOW that is.

Turns out that Chelsea Clinton is….VEGAN? Wow. And gluten-free to boot. Her wedding will feature a vegan, gluten-free menu with an option of grass-fed beef for those who just can’t stand to go one day without eating dead animals.

Way to go, Chelsea. Save a piece of cake for me.

Check out the full story on ecorazzi.

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Vegan Republicans, unite! All 2 of us!

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

I’m a vegan who turned Republican. Here’s an article from a Republican who turned vegan. OK, well, almost vegan. He’ll get there.

Read the article: Rise Up, Vegan Republicans!

Yes, I know what you’re thinking – you’re either vegan or you’re not. But he is going vegan the same way I initially went vegetarian. I said I would eat vegetarian unless my dad was making me dinner. It’s called a transition period. So give the guy a break, and the benefit of the doubt, and read the article for the interesting points that he raises.

Here’s an excerpt:

Cultural anecdote two: “You can be a Republican who eats a vegan diet, but you can’t be a vegan and a Republican. Vegans value the sanctity of life, which is in conflict with Republican values.” So said a poster named Bart on Bart was adding to his thread called “vegan ideas and info are a threat to corporations, hence a threat to the GOP, hence Bush allows spying on vegans.”

I hadn’t noticed spy cams at my local Whole Foods in Los Altos, Calif., so I will be sure to glance up next time I’m inspecting the arugula. President Bush’s successor, we know, is both pro-arugula and pro-Patriot act. Surely that conflict is cleaving President Obama’s very soul. Bart could be right; the spy cams might still be up there.

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Common Sense Veganism: Jed Gillen makes vegans seem like regular people

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Jed Gillen and Olivia

Jed Gillen and Olivia

Jed Gillen, author of Obligate Carnivore and more recently co-creator of Liv Films, has never cared much about who he is offending or what idiots think of him. You’ll never catch him dogmatically adhering to a set of values just because “that’s what vegans do”. And if you try to debate him when you haven’t thought everything through, he will mop the floor with you.

These personal qualities allow him to accept interviews with websites such as “Let Them Eat Meat” without fear, and they also allow all such interviews to be fantastic.

I hope vegans everywhere read this article. I know from experience how easy it is to get wrapped up in being so “vegan” all the time that it becomes hard to relate to anyone who isn’t. And if we can’t relate to anyone who isn’t already living in our happy vegan bubble, then the we will forever limit the effects of our own efforts.

Based on just the intro to this article, we learn that it’s possible to earn the respect even of someone who intentionally set out to humiliate and discredit us.

I bought his book for two reasons: to help an entry I was writing about vegans with vegan pets, and to laugh at veganism at its most extreme. A vegan who argues that we should raise our miniature carnivorous felines as herbivores? Obligate Carnivore would surely represent the fringe of the fringe.

But I was wrong. On both counts. Rather than help my entry about vegan pets, it made me rethink it entirely until I decided not to write it at all. And yes, the book did make me laugh, but not by taking veganism to higher heights of absurdity. Obligate Carnivore uses vegan cats merely as a jetée to write hilariously about veganism and life in general; it is legitimately (and intentionally) amusing.

Read the full article entitled Interview With a Vegan: Jed Gillen

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What’s her longevity secret? Peta’s sexiest veg woman over 50

Sunday, October 18th, 2009
Mimi Kirk, 70 years old

Mimi Kirk, 70 years old

Peta’s sexiest vegetarian woman over 50 is actually 70 years old! Mimi Kirk went vegetarian 40 years ago, was vegan for much of that time. About a year and a half ago her blood pressure was up and her doctor wanted to put her on medication. Rather than accept that fate, she turned to a raw vegan diet.

Check out a video of Mimi on a local news station here.

Check out SuperVegan’s interview here

Mimi looks amazing, even for 50. But she’s 70.

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Grinding of live male chicks is finally news; Have we turned a corner on animal cruelty?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
Male Chicks

Male Chicks

Sometime around 1991 or so, I watched a video on factory farming that changed my life drastically and permanently. Among many horrific images of animal cruelty, was the sight of hundreds of unneeded male chicks being dumped into a grinder at a layer hen hatchery. Males have no value to the egg industry so they are disposed of as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Nearly 20 years later, I see this headline in my Yahoo News: Baby chicks ground alive by poultry producer: activists. My first thought, was “Yeah, no kidding. This is news?” And my next thought was, “Wow, this is finally news!”

This practice of grinding up male chicks is surely at least as old as factory farming. The “news” part is that Mercy For Animals recently caught it on tape. Of course, it was caught on tape 20 years ago or more as well. But hey, whatever gets the information out there is fine with me.

It’s really quite amazing that this made national headlines. Usually to get an animal issue even in the local paper, you have to take your clothes off, or set something on fire. What does it say for the animals and for our society that a common practice of factory farming has now made national headlines simply because a concerned person went inside with a camera?

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