Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Cover of "The Female Eunuch"

Cover of The Female Eunuch

Please help me create a rad reading list for fledgling Radigans! I want to create a tab/page with a suggested reading list for people on the verge of a political awakening who stumble across my page. Suggest works that personally challenged you or led you to some sort of new awakening. Fiction and non-fiction, ancient and contemporary – everything’s welcome.

Here are my first suggestions, off the top of my head:

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer
The Better World Handbook by Ellis Jones, Ross Haenfler, and Brett Johnson
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer

I’m sure you have better ones, so submit them in the comments!  Websites, blogs, artists, musicians, festivals, and so forth are also welcome, though I’m keeping the page limited to books for now.

Various fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains; ...

Image via Wikipedia

Dear vegetarians,

You are awesome.  I love how you decided to stop eating meat.  Maybe you think that animals shouldn’t be tortured and eaten by people, or maybe you are trying to keep your cholesterol down.  That is a wonderful choice for you.  I was vegetarian for years, then fell off the wagon for a few more years because I felt like I wasn’t making a difference.  I started eating meat again.  I still thought it was wrong to eat meat, since I had so many other, healthy, animal-friendly options, but I did it anyway.  Oh, I’d buy free-range eggs (right along factory farmed meat), but my values were out of sync with my actions.  I had given up.

This summer, after visiting the feedlot where my brother-in-law works, I started doing some research on how animals are raised and killed here in the United States, and I was sickened by what I learned.  I went vegan this summer, and though I’ve had some slip-ups out of ignorance here and there, I’ve done my best to stick with it.

Sometimes people tell me they could never be vegetarian because they love meat so much.  Or they couldn’t be vegan because they love cheese.  I liked meat and cheese pretty well, but once I knew the reality of their production, I just couldn’t do it.

I feel better.  I lost 7 excess pounds in 2 weeks without even trying, and then my weight stabilized.  My skin cleared up a bit, too.  And I’m not sure if it’s being newly married or veganism, but I have been told that I look “glowing” by people who haven’t seen me in a while.  Best of all, I’ve discovered so many new things.  I’m cooking more and better than I ever did while omnivorous, I’ve made vegetarian and vegan friends, I’ve fallen in love with the whole Post-Punk Kitchen franchise, and I know that my food is relatively germ-free.  Best of all, I feel good about my dietary choices.

I love being vegan.  I couldn’t be happier about my decision, and I’m glad that others are out there making a difference, too.


Rad Gal

PS- Vegans, you rock, too.

I finally made it through this truly horrifying documentary today, taking breaks to cry and regroup periodically.  Earthlings is about the treatment of animals in the pet trade, on factory farms, in rodeos and circuses, in laboratories, in the clothing industry, and on fur farms.  These creatures deserve to have their story told, and we should change our habits to minimize the suffering of other animals in the future.

No creature deserves to suffer and die for food, clothing, entertainment, or science.  I think many of us feel this on some level, even before a vegan awakening.  We swerve to avoid hitting a squirrel in the road.  We are gentle with the pets in our lives.  We need to extend our compassion to other creatures.  We need to put a face to the flesh.

Gloria Steinem once said that, “The truth will set you free.  But first it will piss you off.”  Applied to veganism, first the truth will break your heart.  What you do with that truth, as a consumer and citizen, is what can change our world.  What do you do when you see something like this?  I felt the need to share it with others.  I also feel compelled to make some delicious vegan food.  I recently purchased Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I am going to make vegan sushi and cupcakes, to eat tonight and to bring to work tomorrow, respectively.

Earthlings of the world, unite!

Tofu scramble (vegan)

Image via Wikipedia. What I wish I was serving my customers instead of critters and critter secretions

I’m taking my fiance out for a little vegetarian dinner to celebrate this Meatless Monday.  We’re going to an adorable hippie restaurant that specializes in vegan food.  (They do serve some free-range chicken and fish, which makes me a little sad, but it’s probably a good way to lure in the omnivores.)

I’m looking for a second job right now, and I’d love to work at this uber-granola organic restaurant, but it costs way too little per entree and isn’t busy enough to make good money.  Low check averages mean low tips.  As I was researching the local restaurant market, it seems that I should probably work at a sushi place or a steakhouse if I want to make good money.  I need good money to pay my bills, to take me abroad next semester, and to support my organic and vegan cooking experiments.

It’s sad.  There isn’t an upscale vegan establishment in this town.   We have a veg-friendly but omnivorous place that reminds me of an organic Panera, the aforementioned hippie restaurant, and a tiny, cheap vegan cafe that’s only open from 11 AM to 3 PM.

And, as much as I complain, I love waiting tables.  Every day is payday.  You’re always busy doing something, and you get to meet lots of interesting people (some in a good way, others not so much.)  And it’s quick money.  Not necessarily easy money, but you can make a few hundred bucks cash in a weekend.  Waiting tables has ruined me for retail and any other crap job that I could get while still in school.  I can’t justify taking a major pay cut to fold sweaters at some clothing store in the mall; those places sell leather and sweatshop clothes anyway, so I would still feel like a huge, stinking pile of hypocritical poo.

Where can I get a cruelty-free, decent-paying, school-friendly job?  Is it okay for an ethical vegan to work at a meat-centered restaurant?  Where do you draw the line?  I hate pushing spinach dip and cheesecake on my patrons at The Family Chain where I work now; how will I feel about pushing steak?  Fish?  What if they serve veal?  Can I in good conscience work for a company that sells products with production methods I would picket?

I don’t think it’s possible or good for vegans to isolate ourselves from the omnivorous world.  I still have faith in capitalism, in supply and demand.  I demand vegan food, and others do, and the supply will increase and improve.  I do patronize the local vegan eateries I mentioned earlier, to encourage them to stay open.  I also shop at a non-vegan grocery store (as all grocery stores are, of course) and purchase vegan food.  I eat at non-vegan restaurants and order vegan food.

But can I work for a non-vegan restaurant and encourage the vegan lifestyle?  I already do now, of course, but as I look to the future, is that something that I can continue to do?  Does my vegan lifestyle influence others in a positive way – other servers, etc?  I don’t know.  I do know that I don’t want to profit from another living creature’s pain.

Maybe the cheap hippie restaurant is in my future.  Or perhaps I need to start thinking more creatively.  I wouldn’t work at Sea World.  I wouldn’t work in a slaughterhouse.  I wouldn’t work at a pet store (ever again.)  So why would I work at a place that sells meat?

I have so many questions in this post, and no answers

Vegan Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Lentil Patties with...

Image via Wikipedia

For my inaugural post, I would like to introduce my readers to a cornerstone of my rad gal radical living: veganism.  That’s right.  The “V” word.  We vegans are meat-, egg-, and dairy-eschewing, wheatgrass-drinking killjoys, if you believe David Spade as Shiloh in Grandma’s Boy, a definite guilty pleasure movie of mine. (Fun fact: Kevin Nealon, who plays the hippie-dippie New Age exec in the movie, actually is vegan.)  But I promise, you don’t have to be an ascetic to be vegan.  I’m a food-loving hedonist at heart.  All you do is start eliminating animal products from your diet.  You can start small.

But don’t take my word for it.  (Cue the Reading Rainbow music.)  Read The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Watch Food, Inc. Watch King Corn. Hell, watch Super Size Me again, too, just for kicks.

Most importantly, watch this on youtube.  Right now.  I’ll wait.

Put simply, a vegetarian diet is better for the animals subjected to factory farming, it is much better for the environment, and it is better for your health.

Come, join the Dark Side.  We have vegan brownies.  Or, for a start, observe a Meatless Monday.