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.

886. Turning globs of brown goo into yummy "Chinese BBQ Pork"!

There are a few foods I’ve been looking for since my decision to leave animals out of my diet, and chinese bbq pork is one.  I”m sure it’s out there somewhere but I haven’t found it yet.

But that’s okay, because I really love to experiment in the kitchen now! I’ve never cooked so much and loved it. It’s very gratifiying to make delicious meals out of foods I would never have tried on my old “diet”, and I think that’s a shame because I know many people get stuck in their diets just like I did.

While I have a ways to go, I shop much more comfortably and easily in the asian stores now, in the natural foods departments, and even in produce it’s not just lettuce and bananas.

And when I can make my craving – all is right with the world 🙂

BBQ Prk and Hot Mustard!

887. Eating Miang Kum at Thai Pen

What a treat!  A food I had never tried before this week.

Open spinach leaves served to fill as I desired.  Ingredient options included toasted coconut, red onion, ginger, lime, peanut, chili, something that tasted like lemon grass but wasn’t,  and a house sauce of some kind.  Put a little on the spinach leaf, wrap and eaat – a true flavor explosion just as they promised!

It’s so great to look for the new and healthy options at restaurants when I go out.  I try not to get stuck on the same item over and over because really, almost no vegan food is bad!  I’ll be back for these as well as creating a home recipe for them!

Yummy!

Reason 888. I can sleep at night knowing no animals were harmed in the making of me.

888.  I can sleep at night knowing no animals were harmed in the making of me.

I became a vegetarian because I didn’t want the blood of any living being on my hands when I die. I then became vegan when I discovered that thousands of precious baby cows are left to die or bred for veal as a result of eating dairy.  It’s a very

I have no right to take anothers life if it’s unnecessary, and in this day and age it’s so not necessary.  In fact it’s healthier and better for everyone, including Mother Earth, to not raise animals for the sole purpose of then being tortured and put to death so a selfish human can eat it.  Just because a human CAN do something does not mean they should.