Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vegan iPhone App

Now ain't this rad. Any of you iphone, itouch, ipad users out there can now us this handy dandy app to check out protein content in your food.

Protein App for Vegans

Don't that just make life a bit easier.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vegans Fire Back!


Marla Rose has posted this biting and well written post in response to this weeks very hot topic: Ex-Vegans

Sure Its a a tad over the top, but hey, she is keeping in style with Tasha's post.


If I can trace my falling out with omnivorism, the path would lead back to our family dog. His being helped to usher in the first inkling that something was wrong. I could observe that he had emotions, that he had preferences and the same reasons anyone else would have for not wanting to be exploited, abused, killed. Then, somehow, this view expanded outward, try as I might to contain it, and it grew like a thing out of control to encompass the birds, pigs, cows. Before I knew it, it no longer felt justifiable or rational to eat some but not others.

When I threw away the cheese, tossed the chicken in the garbage, it just felt so profoundly right: even more, when I piled the pizza high with gorgeous roasted vegetables, a cornucopia from our local farms, it just felt so correct, deep inside, and I felt the ancient echo of uncomplicated contentment I had been missing from my life for so long as an omnivore. I don't know if I had ever been so hungry or had that innate hunger so completely satisified. Yes, my starving soul nearly screamed with each voluptuous bite of silky roasted vegetables and chewy crust, yes.

Read it in all its glory here: Vegan Feminist Agitator: Omnivore: Fail

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FREE Vegan Resources

On the heels of my rant on ex-vegans, I have found this interesting link that requires sharing.

Virginia Messina of the Vegan Examiner gathered together a great list of FREE vegan online resources.

The opening paragraph of her article also made me laugh:

There’s just no excuse for a star like Angelina Jolie to abandon her vegan diet. After all, the rich and famous can hire personal nutritionists and private chefs. Eating a healthful plant-based menu should be a breeze for them.

A must read for ALL VEGANS new and old.

Be Educated, Be Smart

Five must-have resources for new vegans (and they’re free!) - National vegan |

This one is my recommended reading.

She also had some funny words for my massive girl crush: Angelina Jolie.

Can't everyone just listen to Jack Norris when he says: “Something as simple as not eating enough calories might be a problem for an uninformed person who decides to give the vegan diet a try for a few days. They might only be aware of low-calorie vegan foods (e.g., salads, vegetables, fruits), and eating only these foods for a day might leave them feeling hungry and weak.”


It's always amazing when I get emails, comments and notes sent to me, good or bad, about the things I write and post. I shocks me to realize that people actually read my blog. I really though I had like 2 friends and a few family members popping in just to be nice.

I was sent this note after I posted a comment on a YouTube video and it warmed my heart so I wanted to share the love:

MinaInSA hat dir eine Nachricht gesendet:
Congrats to your first anniversary!!! Just celebrated my first anniversary of being vegan, too (on the 1st of October) and read your comment at the video -maketheconnection-.
I feel the same you do, never felt better and cannot imagine to ever go back again for I've learned so much about life and educate myself every single day.
No regrets, eyh?! Only one thing makes me sad, the fact that it took me so long to find the right way.
Keep well and keep up your spirit. :-)
Vegan hugs and love from South Africa, Cxx

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ex-Vegans - A Rant

Over the last few weeks, a few articles and posts have popped up online about or written by ex-vegans, discussing how they came to toss their vegan lives out the window and each article seems to have the same effect on me.

They make me mad. Very mad. Angry even.

Not mad because "We" have lost one to the "Other" Team, but angry because they were so fast to flip and seeming so easily swayed back to meat and dairy.

Where was the conviction of choice? Where was the passion? Was it ever there to being with? Were these people every really on board or were they just tagging along for a ride?

When I made the CHOICE to become vegan I knew that I was going to have to be diligent and educated in order to keep healthy, fit and strong. I knew I would have to supplement my diet where needed (B12, iron, etc.) and that just removing animal products from my diet and not taking the time or care to learn how to replace them was just stupid and irresponsible.

Don't all people who make massive life changes realize that they will actually have to do some work to make it an effective change?

After reading these posts I feel that these cases of ex-vegans are isolated and relate only to those that are mis or under educated, lazy and basically stupid. And I really don't care how that sounds. Harsh, fine, mean, fine. I really don't care.

People like these make it hard for the rest of us to be taken seriously and to be respected. They make it seem like its all crap, when in fact it's just them; they were the ones that didn't do the work to being with and are now suffering.


Wanna read the articles that got me all riled up? Here they are:

Do Ex-Vegans’ Stories Make the Case Against Vegan Diets? | The Vegan RD

And that was a nice little Monday rant ... now back to work ....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Veganism in a Nutshell

Classic. After I wrote the title for the post this popped into my head. Good funnies ....

ANYWAY ....... I was flipping through my cookbooks this morning, as I do every Sunday, trying to figure out what I was going to take on for my weekly cooking extravaganza this afternoon and I was stopped when I read the first few pages of the conscious cook by Chef Tal Ronnen.

I’m not big on preaching my life choices to others (though if you open the door, I will come charging in!), but this struck me and I feel that I should share. I always feel like I need to explain why I became vegan and validate my choice to others and its annoying. I come up with something different to say each time depending on who I am talking too (shocking I know, but I really have no desire to get into heated conversations or debates with all my friends, thanks). But this may be the answer. I think I may just get this on a t-shirt and wear it 24/7 so I no longer have to answer the question.

Tal nailed it on the head with his succinct and elegant definition of veganism. And he did it “without being preachy”.

Reproduced from the conscious cook

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Piglet Bank = WTF

Where do I even start ... this is just so disturbing on so many levels I can't event think where to focus my disgust, sadness and anger ...

PIGLET BANK « The Cheeky

Designed for anyone who has far too much money and loose change, this is the piggy bank of all piggy banks. Its a real piglet that has been taxidermied and inserted with what all piglets probably dream of as babies, a coin storage unit and a cork plug.
Make your plush overpriced apartment complete with this little guy.

The piglet bank will take up to 12 months to produce from the time of order. We expect half the money up front and half when the piglet had been completed. Just so you know that we don’t actually kill the Piglets, they die of natural causes and these are the ones that we use.

Price $4000 (not including postage and packing)

But at least I am not alone in my outrage. Piggy banks made from real piglets spark outrage

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Animal Abuse at an Egg Farm? SHOCKER!

Could you sense my sarcasm in the post title? No, well I was being VERY SARCASTIC!

Cal-Maine is the single largest egg producer in America with approximately $1 billion in annual sales and has nearly 30 million laying hens.

The Humane Society has released footage and an investigative report exposing the rampant abuse and food safety problems at a factory farm owned by Cal-Maine.

Watch the video HERE: Investigation Exposes Rampant Abuse

Read the full report HERE: Cal-Main Investigation Report

Sunday, November 14, 2010

World Diabetes Day ... and other rants

Today, November 14th, is World Diabetes Day.

My Dad has been struggling with Type II Diabetes for over a decade now. My Nana had Type I.

My Nana is no longer with us. Not because of her diabetes, but due to heart related issues (which could have stemmed from her diabetes, but we will never know). But my Dad still is with us and I want him here for as long as possible.

I try to help my Dad by giving encouragement and offering advice on his diet and ideas as to manage his illness. He listens to me and nods and is polite. And then he continues along in the same way that he always has and nothing changes. He is old school. He is stubborn. He is very much like me.

I am hoping that one day I can get through to him and show him that his diet is the KEY to his health and well being. I am hoping that he will watch these videos and listen and take them to heart. (I have emailed him the links so we'll see ...)

As far as I am concern that is all he needs to address in order to make massive changes in his life and health. And this is the case with most people who are suffering from various diseases and health issues

I think Morgan hits it on the head with his comments on fear, on people being scared about making the change and taking on the "Machine". I think we should be more scared of dying young, suffering from ridiculously preventable heath issues and disease and being dependent on pharmaceuticals.

And sorry, but WTF is with removing Phys Ed from schools? That is probably the most ridiculous thing I have EVER heard. I don't even come close to understanding that. Its not like parents are taking over this responsibility. Kids are fatter and lazier and more unhealthy now than ever. I don't see parks and fields over run with kids anymore. When I was a kid it took all of my Mom's strength to reel us in for a day outside playing with our friends, riding our bikes, exploring the local parks and making forts. All I see now are sad and empty parks, fields and streets.

Where they hell are all the kids? Oh right, they are inside getting fatter and fatter, lazier and lazier, dumber and dumber while eating crappy over processed and preserved foods while parked in front of a TV or computer. Awesome. A "Nation of Fat Readers" is in the making ....

One day, dammit ONE DAY! kids will pitch a fit for an apple over an Oreo... One day, one day ..... A girl can dream can't she?

PLEASE WATCH THESE and do yourself and your family a world of good: The Simply Raw VIDEO SERIES

Friday, November 12, 2010


Last week while replenishing my beauty and cleansing products after my crazy summer of backpacking and washing my face with mini bars of no-name soap and daily use of pore clogging sun screen, I reached for my long used and trusted AVEENO® Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser. I tossed it in my basket and carried on.

Only after I got home and was unpacking my purchases did it dawn on me that I had no idea what was in this bottle other than stuff that made my acne, sensitive and red skin less of a stress for me. Was this vegan? Oh man ... it never crossed my mind. I had stupidly assumed that because it was a "creamy cleanser with moisture-rich Soy extracts gently exfoliates to help improve skin's tone and texture while salicylic acid, a proven blemish-fighting ingredient, works to clear up break-outs without over-drying, leaving skin soft, smooth and even-looking. This mild, oil-free, hypoallergenic formula won't clog pores and is gentle enough for everyday use", that I was in the clear.

I jumped on good old Google and started searching away. Shockingly I could not find one site or post that could advise me if these products were in fact vegan.

What the deuce?! All I got was reviews and comments. I was tweeked by the one post that I did see that had any vegan tone to it, and that was that the parent company of Aveeno was in fact Johnson & Johnson, a well know UNvegan company.

My heart sank right there and I decided to contact the company directly.

Through their website I submitted a simple questions asking if the following products contained any animal products and if they were vegan:

  • AVEENO® Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser
  • AVEENO® Clear Complexion Moisturizer

That was Tuesday. Today I got a response back:

Thank you for contacting the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. Information Center. It is always important to hear from our consumers, and we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us.
With regards to your recent inquiry, the AVEENO® Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser does contain animal by products. The ingredient Cetyl Alcohol is derived from animal. AVEENO® Clear Complexion Moisturizer does not contain any animal by products.
We hope this information has been helpful to you.
Again, thank you for your interest in our company. Should you have any comments or questions in the future, please contact us via our website or by calling our toll-free number, 1-877-298-2525. Our specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m. EST and will be happy to assist you.
Should you require further information, I invite you to e-mail us again or call the Information Centre at 1-800-361-8068.
The Information Centre

Well would ya look at that? A proper answer. 

So now I have to return my cleanser, which is fine because while I waited for my answer from J&J took a trip to my local LUSH shop (my most favorite store ever!) where I picked up a bar of the AMAZING FRESH FARMACY. It is "the soothing, cleansing bar to reach for whenever you see a spot starting rear its ugly head. It makes a tiny bit of froth to clean your face gently. And because it's made with masses of calamine and chamomile, it's one of the most extraordinarily calming cleansers known to humankind."

One word: UNREAL. In just 2 days my redness is going down and stress acne is drying up and heading out!

I also grabbed a few pots of their uber yummy vegan NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX LIP BALM 

And a jar of the winter must have, BON BON LIP SCRUB. Its tastes like lemon pie and scrubs all that dry skin off your pout and makes them lip balm or gloss ready.

Have I professed my love for LUSH yet ….

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Say What Michael Pollen?

A FANTASTIC review of "The Omnivores Dilemma" by Michael Pollen, and a FANTASTIC site.

I was once a fan of Mr Pollen (I quite enjoyed In Defense of Food at first read). Now I tend to take him with a massive grain of salt and then turn my head and find someone who isn't talking out of both sides of his face to listen to.

The Vegan RD | Thoughts On Being Vegan: A Dietitian's Viewpoint

NOW this is a resourse page!

If you are at the start of, or just begining to think of adopting a vegan lifestyle then go no further than HERE:
The Vegan RD | Thoughts On Being Vegan: A Dietitian's Viewpoint

This amazing site has it all covered: Health, Eating Guides, Nutrition, Recipes and loads more.

And its very accessible, easy to read and not at all intimidating.

So give a whirl, do you homework and then MAKE THE CHANGE!

Milk: Its Grosser than You Think

Where Does My Milk Come From from Animal Aid on Vimeo.

Mmmm, Animal Bones in My Glass

I have been aware of animal products being being used in alcohol, spirit and beer refining & filtering for a while now.

It is both unnecessary and gross. There are other ways to do this.

Just look at Amstel, Alexander Keith's, Becks, Creemore Springs (A personal fave of mine since I grew up spending my summers in this small, quaint Ontario town) and Corona to name just a few brewery that are FULLY VEGAN.

This post reminded me to be diligent when at the booze barn.

I’ll take a shot of animal bones on the rocks please

And this handy-dandy website makes it very easy and impossible to claim it too hard to do.

You have no excuse. Unless you like fish bladders, eggs and horse joints in your beer and vino ....

Making the Connection: Chapter 6 Environment

What we eat, how we eat and how it effects the environment.

Please watch!

Making the Connection: Chapter 5 Farming

Making the Connection: Chapter 4 Global Food Security

Making the Connection: Chapter 3 Nutrition

A wonderful video discussing the health questions/benefits of a vegan lifestyle, as well as the support for vegan pregnancy and parenting.

Making the Connection: Chapter 2 Fitness

Making the Connection: Chapter 1 Food

A fantastic video series on the benefits, myths and realities of adopting a vegan lifestyle and how you can make the change NOW!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy World Vegan Day!

World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated on 1 November, by vegans around the world. The Day was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then President & Chair of The Vegan Society UK. 2010 marks the 66th anniversary of the term 'vegan' (and thus the verbally clarified concept of 'veganism' and of the Vegan Society). (Thanks Wikipedia)
One year ago today I made the choice to remove animal products from my life. I don't eat, wear or otherwise consume animal products or by-products.

Most people expressed love and support for my decision, others however shouted out concern and outright contempt for my choice. I was accused of being radical and uneducated in my decision. I was going to get sick, ruin my health and revert back to my omnivore ways before the month was over.

Well, here I am, 12 months later and still VEGAN and PROUD. I am in the best health of my life, my skin is glowing and my lifelong acne issues are a thing of the past. My weight is healthy and easily maintained. My sleep patterns are solid and I now wake up feeling refreshed and energized. My heart is warm and content and my mind is at peace with my choice. For me, this is now the only way I will live.

I am not a fool. I take care of myself and do not live on lettuce, peanut butter and water. I eat like a champ, never am I hungry and I have rediscovered my LOVE of cooking and creating in the kitchen. I visit my Naturopath for monthly check ups and vitamin booster shots in addition to taking daily vegan friendly vitamins (Multi vitamin, B12, B16 and Folic Acid)

To honor today I thought I would share my favorite website, blogs, movies, books and articles in hopes that after reading them you will be inspired to think about and evaluate your current lifestyle and realize that by adopting a animal & cruelty free lifestyle you will not only be helping yourself, but you will be helping you friends, family, children (both here and now and in the future), as well as your environment and your planet.

Before exploring these links, watch the following video and get a good understanding of what becoming and being a vegan really means:

A Life Connected: VEGAN from on Vimeo.



You'll notice I didn't post a PETA link. Why? Because I feel that they are a group of radical, hypocritical freaks who do nothing but harm to the vegetarian/vegan community by creating hate and fear. That is not what I am about and therefore I do not support them.