Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fundraiser for Farm Sanctuary!!

Hear ye, hear ye, fellow vegans!! It's time to walk the walk and raise some dough for Farm Sanctuary!! If you live on the Central Coast and would like to hang out with other kind-hearted animal-loving friends, come out to the (1st Annual?) Fundraiser for Farm Sanctuary, held in partnership with Yoga Centre.

The evening will include a donation heart-opening yoga practice, a presentation and Q&A with Farm Sanctuary's own Sophia Pospisil, a silent auction featuring local businesses and artists, and of course a delicious spread of SLO's finest vegan yummies!! You don't want to miss it!

The deets:

Saturday, October 8th

Yoga Centre, 1880 Santa Barbara St. Ste.. 110, San Luis Obispo, 93401 *see map*

5pm: Heart-opening yoga practice, led by yours truly

6pm: Presentation and discussion with Sophia

7:30: Silent auction and FOOD :)

*You are welcome to join us for all or part of the event, but we'd love to see your smiling faces there!!*

If you have any questions or would like to donate your goods or time, email me at Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

hot hot summa heat

Dearest veggies, how do you handle the summer heat? I'm currently OBSESSED w good ol' iced mate. And all you haters can buzz off bc I love the fact that it tastes like earth and dirt, like drinking a glass of mud. I might as well be attached to an IV drip.

Oh! We had a really exciting local celeb spotting today--Danna Joy from The Joy Cup Co. was at Sunshine Market, dropping off her lovely goodies. Seeing as I am also obsessed with those tasty little cups, I didn't hesitate to ask if she was the lady behind the magic. We held her hostage for a bit, shooting the vegan shiz, and ended up of course taking a Joy Cup home with us. Thanks to Danna from all of us grateful chocolate-loving vegans, for making a peanut butter cup that kicks ass!


One thing you should know about the VeganSLOdown is that we love to plan and create endless lists, bc we're just that cool. Right now, we're pretty stoked about an event that is in the works for sometime in September. Without giving anything away, let's just say that it will include delish vegan edibles, special guests and some sweet prizes. You will for sure want to be there, celebrating amongst all your classy vegan contemporaries. So stay tuned for deets...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Time for a good old fashioned rant

I tend to stick up for our little town, even if we can't get a whole lot of good vegan food. Or any really. The fact is that I've scoped out the places that have vegan options and am okay with making most of my food at home, but I have to admit that the lack of vegan desserts is a huge bummer. Sure, there's a good cookie here and there, but every once in a while, a girl craves a decadent slice of chocolate cake or cheesecake. And on those rare craving days, I am sadly reminded that SLO is simply not the place for vegan indulgence.

"But there are vegan cake options!", (you're saying as you read), and yes, there are, but no, they're not anything special. In fact, the vegan cakes I have tasted (besides Eclair--see frosting post) are any combination of: dry, dense, DRY, get the idea. Again, I must glorify the dearies at ECLAIR, for making my heart sing upon first taste of their fabulous peanut butter cream frosting. But all those other posers (I won't name names, but I think you know) can eat dirt. Or maybe just try that cake instead.

So perhaps this is a call to arms for all those vegan bakers out there who are up to the challenge of testing the SLOdown's tastebuds--it would be pretty badass to host a bomb bake sale to show people exactly how fierce and sweet vegan life can be! Are you with me?


Monday, April 25, 2011

Farm Sanctuary

In July, 2009, I made a really good decision.  I accepted an internship at Farm Sanctuary, the nation's largest farm animal sanctuary.  There are two sanctuaries--one in Upstate New York, and one in Northern California.  I accepted a position as the Development Intern in New York, packed my bags, and went to the farm.

Although I was only on the farm for a month, this was most definitely a life-changing experience.  Not only did this experience build my advocacy skills, it also allowed me to learn from veteran animal activists who have been crucial members of the Animal Rights Movement from the beginning of the revolution.  With my fellow interns, I also created a social network of young, angry, passionate vegans who I still talk to today.  Being able to bask in the vegan bubble, spend time with beautiful farm animals, binge on yummy vegan food, and become educated on the issues surrounding Animal Rights and factory farming was no-doubt a highlight of my fairly short life.

Farm Sanctuary not only rescues and shelters farm animals, it is extremely active in farm animal rights and vegan outreach.  The farm gives hour-long tours during tour season, takes interns for multiple departments, has an online and on-site store, and holds benefits like the Country Hoedown, Fourth of July Pignic, and Walk For Farm Animals, annually.  Great strides for farm animals and factory farming laws, like Prop. 12 and The No-Downer Act have been started and finished by Farm Sanctuary.

I just registered for the Farm Sanctuary Former Intern Retreat in New York for a weekend in June.  I couldn't be more excited to reconnect with my fellow vegans, hang out in the goat barn for some goat/sheep cuddles, take a tour or two, and rejuvenate my vegan passion.  If you have the chance to visit Farm Sanctuary, PLEASE do.  It will change your life, as it did mine.  Farm Sanctuary is responsible for my veganism, and my advocacy for farm animals.  Also, you get to pet some very sweet cow noses.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Preaching to the Choir

I've been vegan for three years. I am vegan for many reasons, but nothing motivates me as much as feeling that it is the right thing to do. I am a lover of animals, people, the environment, and life. I believe in non-violence. I believe in not causing harm or suffering to any living creature, no matter how small or stupid or populous. I am more passionate about animal rights than anything else--it is my fight and my platform. I am loud and proud. I believe with all of my heart that it is the best choice--for your well-being, the environment, and of course, the economy, and of course, the animals--to go vegan. 

Obviously, most people disagree. Less than 1% of the population is vegan, however, it is a growing movement (in fact, the fastest growing rights movement in history). I am honored to be part of generation that is becoming increasingly conscious and compassionate, and making choices that will benefit future generations. We try to clean up the damage that generations past have caused. It is a positive thing. No one should oppose an attempt to make our planet a more peaceful, less violent, more sustainable place. 

There was a time where I was so upset about the mass suffering of "food" animals. As I became more aware of the horrific conditions of our factory farms, and even our smaller "family farms," I had trouble getting out of bed. It was a cruel that lit a fire under my ass. I channeled this sadness and anger into my animal activism. I took an internship at an animal rights organization and the biggest farm animal sanctuary in the nation in upstate NY. I was educated. I made bonds with like-minded people and amazing animals. There was no turning back. I visited veal stockyards and had newborn calves, bleating with fear, wet umbilical cords, sucking on my finger--destined to a short, but painful life in a veal crate. 

In summary (if you are impatient, let this be the only paragraph you read): Animal rights issues and veganism are not laughing matters to me. Though I face disrespect and "jokes" on a daily basis, and I try to brush it off, there is nothing funny to me about the horror of what I have seen. There is no "lightening up." There is no, "It's just a joke!" It's not a joke to me. You wouldn't make a Holocaust joke to a Jew (I hope), and you wouldn't make a "let's kill animals" joke to a vegan. It's not cool. It's not funny. And it's not fair to make an ignorant statement and then call people "uptight" or "immature" for defending their beliefs. I think we call that...bullying? If you still think that I'm just being uptight or immature, or if you think you should get to make as many "opposable thumbs to hold a steak knife," "look at my canine teeth", "I love animals...ON MY PLATE" jokes as you want...maybe just--don't! Maybe just hold your tongue! I promise there is no corny joke you can make that we haven't heard before; I promise we won't think it's funny. May it be an exercise in self-control and tact. How hard is it to just keep yo mouth shut?

Please be respectful. And pick something you DO believe in to put energy into--not something you DON'T believe in. Make your anger productive.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why I Eat Fake Meat

So, since I became vegan, I'm asked a lot of questions by many people.  If you're vegetarian/vegan, you know what I'm talking about.  "Where do you get your protein?" "Blah blah blah FANGS?!" "But soy destroys FORESTS ZOMG, YOU MONSTER!!!"  Okay, some of those are more of "indignant statements."  Anyway, I'd like to address a question I've been getting for years.  Sometimes, people ask innocently.  Other times, it's more of a "gotcha!" accusation.

"Why do vegans want to eat stuff that tastes and looks like meat?!"

I did not become vegan because I did not like the taste and appearance of meat.  I was quite the little meat-eater.  At fancy restaurants, I ordered filet mignon.  For birthday dinner, I always asked my mom for country fried steak.  I still long for the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich at Carl's Jr.  I was never grossed out by meat or its flavor.  When I went pescatarian, and later, vegan, I did not crave meat.  I wasn't sitting around, wasting away, bruised and anemic, longing for a bloody piece of cow.  In fact, the idea of eating real meat disgusted me.  I had come so far, and never wanted to eat anything that caused death and/or suffering.  THAT was what disgusted me: the idea of eating something dead.  It's not the texture, juices, flavors, fats of meat that disgust me.  I am a vegan for ethical reasons first.

In other words, if I can eat something meaty that isn't dead, I will!  I'm not always in the mood for fake meat.  Some of it is pretty processed, and I try not to eat too much soy anyway, but in moderation, I will tend to a fibrous, chewy, meaty craving.  Should I feel guilty about that?  Like I'm misrepresenting vegans as people who are just desperate to eat like a "normal person?"  Like eating fake meat somehow says, "I am suffering here without meat, and must make do with the fake stuff.  I regret my decision!!!"  I don't think so.  And you shouldn't think so either.

I have also found some snobbery within the vegan community about fake stuff that is too close to the real thing being "disgusting."  Sometimes I agree, but I don't condemn others who love to eat it.  More power to you, peaceful, violence-free meat-lovers!  I do not think we should look down on imitation meat/dairy products, simply to prove a point to the omnivorous world that we "aren't missing out."  Instead, we should show omnivores that vegans can taste everything they can, while not hurting any animals!  It's a win-win!  Come on over to the vegan side, omnivores, and experience all the fake fried chicken, cheesy pepperoni pizzas, and juicy Gardein burgers you can!

Oh yeah, and vegetables?  They are pretty cool, too!