872. Keeping my fellow human safe.

It doesn’t matter if you love or hate animals, some jobs are just dangerous.  The slaughterhouse, or meat-packing industry, is one of the most dangerous jobs around.

Dangerous to the physical body – nearly one third of employees in the meat-packing industry are injured, or killed.  The industry leaders may tell you injury rates improved lately,  but there are two reasons for that – repetitive use injuries are no longer counted, and injured employees are quite often fired or moved to less-desirable work so they just work through the pain and injury and it goes unreported.

And look at how much food is wasted everyday.  Every piece of hamburger or hot dog that goes straight into the garbage; a cut of steak sitting in the fridge a little too long; questionable chicken salad from the deli – all of it started its journey to the garbage by an underpaid, overworked fellow human being who was literally putting their life at risk. For what?

Dangerous to the mental body –  how many times can you shoot a living being in the head without getting a little disturbed?  How many squeals of pain or fear can you hear? Wouldn’t it seem this kind of job might take it’s toll on you?  It does, on everyone, in one way or another.  You can ponder the possibilities.

And the job just gets more dangerous all the time. Right now they want to increase the chicken conveyor belt more than threefold. Read the article, sign the petition, it’s not only about chickens, its about your fellow man.

http://www.care2.com/causes/more-chickens-may-be-boiled-alive-under-usdas-new-proposed-rule.html

Grateful in helping with others safety.

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873. Living Congruently

Sometimes it happens, someone I know pretty well, or even not very well, has somehow never been enlightened to the fact I’m a vegan. The response is a bit satisfying though – no, not the protein response, something else.

 The conversation might sound like this:

“You’re a vegan?” as if surprised because I don’t fit the antiquated stereotype of a vegan.  But then, almost in the same breath, they say “Of course you are.”

 Yes, of course I am. It’s good for me to know that I live my word in the world. Walk the walk. Practice what I preach etc. People can see by my actions that I do have love, compassion, and respect for animals, for all life, and strive to live that way in all areas of my life.

 Then sometimes I come across a person who exclaims “I love animals too!” and I say “Oh, you’re a vegetarian?!” to which I receive a puzzled “No”.

 So then I must assume they mean they love pets, because why would you put your loved ones through extreme torture and torment just to end up on your plate?

 Congruence.

 Live Your Truth.   It’s that easy.

876. I’m Grateful the animals know they can trust me.

 

My life is taking a turn with a new purpose, to rescue and serve animals and help end their needles suffering.  As I begin my studies of animal communication, I am glad all animals will know they have nothing to fear of me. My hope is they will trust me easier and sooner, so I can begin the healing process for them and for all animals.

I look forward to the unfolding of events brought on by practicing reiki , communicating with them and serving all animal-kind globally as needed.

879. Discovering New Forms of Lasagna

In my previous mind, the first requirement of lasagna was lots of stretchy cheese, 3 layers thick.  When I made the vegan commitment I decided I would never even try to duplicate lasagna, especially after trying many vegan cheeses.

I know, some of those cheeses are supposed to be so wonderful –  tasty and even melty!  But not for me – nope, I don’t think so. I know plenty of people that like them, I just haven’t developed a liking to them.  And so I’ve been happy to not have cheese, for there is a lot of great food to eat without cheese and I really don’t miss it.  But this isn’t about cheese, it’s about lasagna.

A walk into Real Food Daily in West Hollywood changed my lasagnaless mind.  I was hesitant, very hesitant, but it was the special of the month and the server said it was very popular. Why not?

To my delight, great lasagna does NOT require cheese!  Sure, there was some kind of soy “cheese” product they make that was a little like ricotta, but that was the only cheese resemblance.  I found layers of carrots, mushrooms, pasta, and other miscellaneous vegetables spilling onto my plate bite after bite.  It was all delicious and so worth the risk!

And so I thank you, veganism, for again opening my mind to try new, delicious foods and discover not all meals need to come from the same cookie cutter.

Lasagna at Real Food Daily

 

880. Learning to Appreciate Dark Chocolate S'mores

 

Some of these posts might give the impression that I didn’t explore or try much before going vegan, which really isn’t true.  But in some parts of my life  there just wasn’t the inspiration to do anything different.

S’mores was one those “no need to change” areas for me.  I wasn’t a big fan of dark chocolate before, so why change?

Now, however, going camping with my Dandies, non-honey graham crackers and dark chocolate bars yields a mouthwatering treat every night.  The Dandies marshmallow melts  just enough to inject a burst of sweet lovely gooeyness right into the bittersweet chocolate. 

It really is quite good!  And now I know, dark chocolate is good too 🙂

Dark Chocolate S'mores

Dark Chocolate S'mores

881. Discovering Neighborhoods and Hangouts

I know it’s not unique to vegans to explore a city, but it is for me!  In my “before” days I did not venture out to find good food. I travel a lot for business to new cities and would  just eat at the nearest chain, I never ventured far in a new city except to find a tourist attaction.

Since becoming vegan I search out vegan or vegetarian restaurants in every city I’m in.  This sometimes takes time  going from one side of the city to the other during rush hour, but I don’t care. And sometimes, as in south Chicago, I end up in some neighborhoods that are questionable for a single woman but I really enjoy the exposure to all of it!

I love the new neighborhoods I discover all in the name of a vegan dinner!  Last week I travelled to all ends of the Los Angeles area, finding cute little neighborhoods and of course great food.  In fact in Athens Greece I discovered a lot of the city I otherwise would have missed, and talked to people (tried to) to find my way back.

I’m truly glad to go out of my way to discover little gems of a city.

Michael and I at Voodoo donuts in Portland

882. Standing in solidarity with Blake and all dairy victims.

Male calves born to mothers in the dairy industry have little hope for a good life. Very little. They are ripped away from their mothers at birth and taken away amid their mother’s cries for them.  If they receive any food it is simply to get them through until auction at which time they might sell for $2 or $3 to a farmer that will raise them for veal or low-quality beef.

Of course they might just die right there on the farm.

Little Blake is an individual that has every right to live a life without humans causing him pain and suffering.

I know that every day I choose no milk, butter, cheese – because it “tastes good and I love it” – I stand with these precious beings. 

Because they deserve a better life.

883. Meeting Amazing People doing Amazing Things

This weekend is Vida Vegan Con in Portland – a conference for vegan bloggers, and I’m so happy to be among the attendees.  It sold out early so many hopefuls were not able to be here, screw procrastination!

But many are, and the people I’ve met in the short 4 hours since I registered are funny, kind, compassionate, interesting, productive souls. We all look different in every kind of way, yet something within all of us is so very similar.

I like being with nice people like this, it is energizing and motivating, thank you, new friends.

884. Walls of cute shoes and bags!

How great to walk into a store and know that everything in the store is not the result of skinning or plucking an animal!

This was my experience today at Alternative Outfitters in Pasadena.  Their primary business is online but there is a storefront to see, smell and try on the merchandise in person.  Yes, I said smell – no leather smell in that store!

Shoes, belts, bags, wallets are often a problem for vegetarians because bits of leather sneak into everything, even if not the entire product it’s often trim.  Reading labels for a pair of shoes is much more difficult than food – they often say “All man made materials” or “leather upper” or similar but not always.  I have to depend on small and touch, and frankly I can’t always tell.   It is truly shopping in ease at a store like this!

 

885. Eating alone in a restaurant surrounded by friends.

I travel a lot for my job, and aside from my clients I usually don’t know anyone in the town I’m in.

I naturally seek out vegan restaurants so I don’t have to worry about what I’m eating.  But the another benefit of eating in a vegan restaurant is knowing the other diners in there share something in common with me.

Now, maybe “friends” is a little strong, and we might have different reasons for eating vegan, but we do eat that way.  And that small fact ties us together.  It’s always easy to talk to the other diners in a vegan restaurant, and  for them I’m thankful.