MISSION STATEMENT

There are animal welfare vegans and animal only-fight-against-other-vegans abolitionist vegans. V-EGANISM is neither. Just as there are positive things and negative things about conservatives and liberals, there are positive things and negative things about welfarists and abolitionists. V-EGANISM avoids all 4 "political parties", and remains as an independent in thoughts and actions, only choosing what is right and just for animals, humans, and the environment. V-EGANISM however does have a mission statement which is how the founder of veganism, Donald Watson, originally coined the word's definition. It was a perfect definition then and it still is a perfect definition now! So the following paragraph is V-EGANISM's official Mission Statement--and nothing more, nothing less, we are simply called, "Vegan Activists", with no additives:

"V-EGANISM educates people and helps people and animals regarding the political and social justice cause, Veganism, which is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude--as far as is possible and practical--all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, cosmetics, household products, entertainment, service or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment."

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Friday, April 26, 2013

Violence, Nudity, Profanity, ANIMALS..that is BOLD NATIVE




Here's a bold, thought-provoking animal film to watch over the weekend--or any day.

Synopsis

"Charlie Cranehill, an animal liberator wanted by the United States government for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action as his estranged CEO father tries to find him before the FBI does. The film simultaneously follows a young woman who works for an animal welfare organization fighting within the system to establish more humane treatment of farmed animals. Bringing their critically-acclaimed documentary style to a fiction narrative, Gather Films weaves a timely story about those who risk their freedom for the lives of others."

WARNING: This film contains graphic violence, nudity and profanity.

This "movie film" about animal rights is the most thorough, thought-provoking animal film I have ever seen and I've seen them all in my years of being an animal rights person since 1982. Bold Native covers all different types of activists in all lines of work, interests, with different ways of showing their passion for animals. Character Sonja is my favorite.



The acting is well done, and the cinematography is terrific. You'll laugh, cry, get angry, raise your fists...show all kinds of emotion as you watch Bold Native. Even though it's a "movie" it tells the facts. It's a very moving, thought-provoking film, that needs to be shown in theatres again. I'd love to watch this in a theatre and take in people's reactions.

Bold Native needs to be redistributed to theatres again because the message is still fresh today and needs to be told over again to the general public.
 

I loved the film from beginning to end.

See Bold Native (2010) in its entirety (1 hour, 45 minutes) at the link below:

BOLD NATIVE

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Muslims: Turning Away From a Meat Diet




Muslims can be vegans according to their faith. Islamic scholars such as the late Egyptian scholar Gamal al-Banna agree that Muslims who choose vegetarianism/veganism can do so for a number of reasons including a personal expression of faith or spirituality.

Read more about Muslims being veg*n at the article heading:

Vegetarian Muslim: Turning Away From a Meat-Based Diet

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Animal Chaplain Program



More than 60 percent of households in the U.S. have a companion animal, and many of the people living with those animals attend church services regularly, but only a small percentage of churches serve animals and their caretakers. Ahwatukee Foothills residents Kris and Craig Haley had an idea.

Kris and Craig had spent years working with animal advocate groups. Over the years they both had an awakening to the thought that their animals and all animals they were meeting had a spirit. They became aware that people often have a very spiritual connection with their companion animals but that connection isn’t often officially recognized by churches. So they made a call to Emerson Theological Institute. The director of the school listened to their idea for a course about animals. In the course of studying for their own doctorate, the Haleys developed a Department of Humane Religious Studies for the school. The main department is the Animal Chaplain Program. Kris and Craig are both ordained animal chaplains and since the formation of the program more than 25 students have graduated.

The ministry is more geared toward supporting the people who take care of the animals than the animals. The animals are the teachers but the humans sometimes need support.

The program is a three-module program. The second module is the one Craig focuses on in his own ministry, bereavement. In addition to bereavement the Haleys take prayer requests, offer veterinary hospital and hospice support, conduct memorial, remembrance or life celebration ceremonies, conduct naming and adopting ceremonies, and do animal blessings. As chaplains, the Haleys serve various religious communities and churches and animal adoption events to provide prayer, grief circles, classes and workshops online.

The Haleys oversee the Department of Humane Religious Studies at Emerson Theological Institute. The Animal Chaplain program is completely online. For more information on the church, visit www.onevoiceministry.com.

Creative Living Fellowship Church in Phoenix decided to recognize two animal chaplains as members of the church’s ecclesiastical team. There chaplains are available for members of the church looking for help with issues dealing with their companion animals. For more information on the church, visit creativelivingfellowship.com.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Cats Just Hangin' Out



I took a photo inside our family mini-van of these two cats (so sorry about the window glare). Rarely do you see cats outside like this in Portland, as most are strictly indoor cats.

Here kitties-kitties....

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Smiths' Meat is Murder Live

 
 
Meat is Murder 
(as the lyrics are from the album: Meat is Murder) by The Smiths
 

Heifer whines could be human cries
Closer comes the screaming knife
This beautiful creature must die
This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is murder

And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
It's death for no reason
And death for no reason is murder

And the calf that you carve with a smile
Is murder
And the turkey you festively slice
Is murder
Do you know how animals die?

Kitchen aromas aren't very homely
It's not "comforting", cheery or kind
It's sizzling blood and the unholy stench
Of murder

It's not "natural", "normal" or kind
The flesh you so fancifully fry
The meat in your mouth
As you savour the flavour
Of murder

NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER.
NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
Oh...and who hears when animals cry?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ways to Be an Effective Vegan Activist



In my last blogpost, I mentioned how the vegan community tends to only preach to the converted in discussing veganism. I mentioned a couple ways in how to be a real active vegan in educating people who are non-vegans.

Today, I want to talk about other very effective ways to educate non-vegans, including ways I said yesterday, in no particular order:


Schools

Be it grade schools or colleges, go to the teacher of the class and ask nicely if you can give a vegan presentation. Many places of education would allow you to come in and educate their students about a healthy life. You'll be reaching people (students) mostly under 30 years of age.


Churches

Churches, especially large ones with many programs and other things going on there throughout the week, would welcome someone coming in to talk to the congregation about veganism/healthier way of life. If you are a  member or at least regularly attend worship services at the church, you have an even better chance of being allowed to present veganism there. If you are a member and your church has an area where members do tableing for social justice causes, ask the main organizer of the tables if you can do a vegan table with pamphlets and samples of delicious vegan food. Who mostly attend church? People who are over 30.

So with educating the schools and the churches, you will be informing all the ages and generations of people.


Twitter

Follow everyone who follows you, so as you Tweet, all the non-vegans, which will be most of your followers, will see your vegan tweets. I say follow everyone because if you don't, many (non-vegans) will stop following you. If you want to have a section at Twitter to just see fellow vegan tweets easily, simply make a Twitter List of all your vegans before following everyone else. You can make many Twitter Lists for any category you want.


Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is a marvelous way of spreading the vegan message! After you register there and get the deck, type in the word vegan in the search at the upper right corner. After you click for the search, you'll see only the tweets at that Tweeter column with the word "vegan" in it as mentioned. Go to the bottom of that search and click at Add Column. Now, when you see someone asking about the vegan life, you can tweet them back with information. Believe me, you'll see A LOT of people asking for help. Plus, you'll help many other non-vegans, as you'll have many non-vegan followers because you are following everyone who follows you, so they'll read your informative vegan tweets. This also can work in other social networks.


Outdoors

If you want to spread the vegan message in a more public way, do it openly outdoors! Most non-vegans will not go out their way to hear vegan/animal rights talk. By having vegan gatherings out in the parks, you'll be taking the message to where non-vegans normally are. Make sure it's very accessible to non-vegans and not in such a way where a person has to go through a gate to get there, as I said, non-vegans will not go out their way to hear the message, so have the entrance wide open, like in a public park.


How to Tell if You're Being an Effective Vegan Activist

In your activism, whether it be in public in person, on your podcast, on your blog, your emails, etc. if the majority of people responding to you are praising you and agreeing with pretty much everything you say immediately without questioning you,  then you are not being an effective vegan activist! You are simply just informing other vegans what they already know, and your vegan activism will be nothing but a vegan club for fellow vegans. Non-vegans (who most of your audience should be) will not quickly praise you; they will be asking a million questions, challenging you, debating you, mentioning their fears, being skeptical....at first until you give them more information to their satisfaction as it pertains to them as an individual. Then they may express gratitude and praise toward you for being so informative.

You can certainly do whatever you want in speaking the vegan message, and not take my advice, as you are not hurting me. Who you are hurting are animals in the world by spending most of your time talking to people who already are vegan/animal activists.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"And this movement is idiotic with its preaching-to-the-choir mentality."

 


Animal rights activist and vegan, Gary Yourofsky said the following in an interview last year, titled: In Conversation with Gary Yourofsky: “Educate Educate Educate!” 


"Besides my recent trip to Israel, I no longer do open-to-the-public lectures because I am faced with the problem of attracting an audience. The only people who show up for a vegan presentation are animal rights people. And this movement is idiotic with its preaching-to-the-choir mentality. Telling animal rights folks about veganism is pointless. Education IS the most effective form of activism and I will continue educating NON vegans about veganism."



Gary is absolutely right. Those are the same people who show up at Vegfests; it's great for meeting up with old vegan friends and making new ones, but for helping to educate people about veganism, it's a wasteful joke.

I really wish vegan activists would do as Gary and educate people about veganism in schools, and also in churches--to which I do, but for now just in my own local church. Start with your own school or church. To any vegan who reads my blog, THESE are the places to do tabling, handing out pamphlets, and talking to others about vegansim, not at some veg conference (what the heck is this annual Animal Rights Conference? Just a waste of time, money and resources.), vegfests or other animal rights/veg meet. Plus, I don't understand why many vegans only follow fellow vegans on their Twitter or other social network. Why do you want just fellow vegans hearing your vegan message??

There's A LOT of self-indulgence and strutting around in self-satisfaction, trying to impress other vegans in the vegan community that just wastes time and energy, but most importantly, it hurts the animals in the need of getting the vegan message out quicker to non-vegans. Veganism is NOT a social club, so vegans should stop treating it like it is. The vegan community should stop preaching to choirs of vegans at group meets and start preaching to the choir that's in the churches.

Vegans, you should not strive to be well known in the vegan community. You should strive to be well known in the non-vegan community.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Vegan Blueberry-Banana Bread



Yesterday, I made this Betty Crocker bread but "veganized" it. The bread taste fabulous! Here's what I did:

Ingredients

Olive Oil to grease pan
4 very ripe medium bananas
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegan Smart Balance, softened
2 servings Ener-G egg replacers
1/2 Silk PureAlmond Milk--Vanilla
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen (or you can use fresh, as long as you do not use thawed) blueberries

Recipe

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pan(s) will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and side of pan with olive oil. I used just one large pan, as shown, to make my bread just under 1 1/2 inches in height. Use whatever size pan you want. The Betty Crocker recipe called for 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches. I prefer to make flater breads so it is cooked throughly in the middle.

Peel bananas and place in medium bowl. Mash bananas with a potato masher or fork.

In a large bowl, stir the sugar and vegan Smart Balance "butter" until well mixed. Stir in the Ener-G egg replacers until well mixed. Stir in the bananas, almond milk, and vanilla; mix until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in blueberries.

Divide batter evenly if using two pans, using a spatula to scrape batter from bowl. Smooth top of batter.

Bake about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My bread was ready in 55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan(s) on a cooling rack.

Loosen the sides of the bread from each pan if necessary, using a spatula. I placed the cooling rack on top of the bread (with bread still in the pan), then turned the bread upside down on the rack. Then I used another cooling rack, placing on top of the bread so the bread was now in between the two racks, turning the bread again sandwiched bewteen the racks so now the bread is top-side up on one cooling rack, to cool it faster.

Cool completely, which is about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Today's Many "Past" Blogposts!

After some thought, I have decided to concentrate on one blog, making it better than ever and continuing to improve on it which means I will be discontinuing the sister blog, Vegan Wiccan.

I have taken much information, including some of my favorite older blog posts, favorite blogs and links, from Vegan Wiccan and added it to this site. Another big reason I have decided to go with one blog is because both blogs are fairly similar, so I felt there was no need to have both blogs going.

If you also have read my blogposts from Vegan Wiccan then you are still current in reading the blogs here. If not, then grab your favorite vegan beverage and/or snack, sit back and enjoy reading the many past favorite blogposts of mine from Vegan Wiccan.



Spiral Scouts




Founded in 1999 in Index, Wash., the Spiral Scouts was initially conceived as the youth group for the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC). The ATC is the first Wiccan church to receive full legal status.

But when the Spiral Scouts began a national expansion in 2001, the organization avoided rigid identification with any one particular faith. Though open about its basis in pagan beliefs and practices, Spiral Scouts is described more as a program for girls and boys of minority faiths working, growing and learning together. They are a variety of spiritual people who don’t necessarily identify themselves with a certain group.


The Spiral Scouts organization has now spread to 20 states, Canada and Europe. Currently, 127 different groups have been chartered, ranging in age from preschoolers to teenagers to parents. Groups can be structured in two ways: as a “hearth,” which is composed of a single family, or as a “circle,” which has a wider membership.


Spiral Scouts is very similar to mainstream scouting organizations. Members wear uniforms, attend monthly meetings, camp and learn wilderness skills. They perform community service and earn merit badges in subjects ranging from sculpture to ecology and nutrition. The organizational structure of the group is also comparable to its better-known counterparts, with different levels of membership corresponding to a child’s age. Youngsters aged 3 to 6 are known as Fireflies and those aged 9 to 13 are termed Spiral Scouts. Pathfinders, the highest level of membership, denotes teenagers aged 14 to 18. But where the Boy and Girl Scouts recite a pledge to “do my duty to God and my country,” a Spiral Scout promises, among other things, to “respect living things” and “respect the beauty in all creations.” Also, Spiral Scout merit badges are set up in five categories--earth, air, fire, water and spirit--that correspond to the five points of the Wiccan pentacle. One major difference between the Spiral Scouts and the mainstream scouts is that membership is not gender-specific. Each circle is required to have both a male and female leader, who must first undergo extensive background checks.


The Spiral Scouts is not about not being some other group. They are their own holistic group that exists for the kids and the families.

Vegan Bloggers

I'm not only a blogger but I often comment on other blogs. When I do, my comments are always constructive and honest. Also, as many people do, when you click on to my photo, you arrive at my own blog which lets you know I am indeed not a troll.

I do not post hateful or insulting comments.

Below are the last two blogs where I posted comments but were censored so not shown on their blog:

compassionatecook.com

ieatgrass.com

Both are vegan blogs, which really doesn't surprise me as I have found in my 30+ years in the animal rights movement that most (please note: not all) vegans tend to be pompous egomaniacs which may be the reason why unless you post comments that agrees with those blog sites above, your comments won't be posted--at least mine weren't.

The first one I posted to, at Compassionate Cook, was in response to the blogger saying in her podcast she doesn't allow people to bring any animal food into her home. She went on and on about it....So she said she received an email from a person asking her if she allows people to bring their leather clothing, shoes or wallets into her home also. Interestingly, she did not answer it although she brought it up. She seemed to have felt the need not to answer the person but I thought it was a very legitimate statement.

If you are going to be a vegan, you should address the clothing issue as well--not just what people put in their mouths.

So I replied to her after listening to that podcast with the comment:

"You said you do not allow people to bring in animal food in your home. Do you also not allow people to bring in your home clothing made from animals too?"

Blogger Colleen Patrick Goudreau did not post it as I noticed other comments were posted well after I had posted mine.

Note to blogger Colleen of Compassionate Cook. Instead of refusing to reply to me, you could have responded to me (and to that letter someone sent you) either of these ways:

1. I let people in my home who wear animals because ____________________.
2. You're making me think about this. I should also not allow people to bring animal clothing in my home also, telling them in a nice way, or at least I should have a coat rack by my door and have them leave leather coat, shoes, etc. by door.

In certain places, it is customary to leave coats and shoes by the door--vegan or not.

Colleen is well known in the vegan community as a spokesperson in different ways, have written books, etc. so it's sad that she doesn't know how to reply in a mature, intelligent way to people who, in this case, simply wants clarification in her statement.

The second one I posted to, I Eat Grass, was in response to the blogger who said as his first words, "I love kale." Then he stated a lie saying, "I know every vegan says that!" I replied in a comment saying:

"I don't really like Kale. I think it's overrated and unsatisfying. Kale in chips form or potato chips, I'd rather have the potato chips."

Blogger, Morgan Dudkewitz did not post it as I noticed another comment was posted well after I had posted mine.

Note to Morgan of I Eat Grass. Instead of ignoring my comment, you could have responded to me like this, especially if you are a raw vegan food blog:

Wow, it's too bad you prefer processed, unhealthy potato chips over delicious, wholesome kale. Potato chips may taste good to you but it's definitely not nutritious. Did you know this about potato chips? (His reasons why potato chips are unhealthy).....Maybe by trying some good recipes with kale in it may turn you on to kale, as you're really missing out on something very good for you. (He could post more of his favorite kale recipes too.)

It's too bad that he decided to pooh-pooh my comment. This would have been a great opportunity to discuss healthier eating to me, a vegan who is hooked on processed vegan food. I would have listened and took his words to heart. But instead, I am not interested in going to his blog anymore because of his immature attitude.

Both blogs have lost me due to their blog unprofessionalism.

Interesting, regarding Alex Jamieson's blogpost that I replied to and made a blogpost about here: Reply to Alex Jamieson's "I’m not vegan anymore", Alex has allowed the most vicious comments to her, in reply to what she said, to her blog. I've even heard she allowed a comment where someone called her the "C" word (rhymes with runt). Mind you, her comments are moderated; I know this because that's what a sign came up when I commented on her blog, then a little later, my comment was posted (Thanks Alex).

Whatever needs to be said about Ms. Jamieson, at least she's mature and professional enough to allow comments on her blog from people who disagree with her--and there are many!

All bloggers: I know, it's your blog to do whatever you want with it and moderate as you want. I can see not posting comments made by trolls, but if you do not post comments just because someone doesn't agree with you, or post only comments that praise you means you must be an extremely pompous, arrogant and haughty person. You have self-esteem issues.... Being open to others' opinion is a wise, humble approach. And remember, just because you post it doesn't mean you have to agree with it, and by posting other views/opinions does show that you're an intelligent, mature adult.

China Study Cookbook Coming Soon!


I am looking to lose 30 pounds (or at least 20) to have the perfect weight for my height and frame (oh sweet memories!). Right now, I'm going by a Vegan Food Pyramid to help me to lose weight but I would like to have a guide where the process is discussed more--like preferably in book form.
So after searching online for a couple hours, I found out in May of this year, there will be a cookbook version of the best-selling vegan book, The China Study. I haven't read The China Study, but will take a brief look at it (surprisingly, my partner Jeffrey owns the book and he's far from being vegan). I say, I'll take a brief look at it, because it would be like "preaching to the converted" but I'm sure to find nutritional information I didn't realize. But the book, The China Study Cookbook, is what I really want! I've pre-ordered it now.

The Mindfulness Movie

Mindfulness has evolved within America and is becoming more and more mainstream. Leaders around the country are implementing it in early child development, the military, education, politics, neuroscience, medicine, healthcare, business, prisons, at-risk youth, and psychotherapy. There’s even a new magazine that just launched called Mindful that highlights all the latest people and developments around how this is changing our nation and the world as we know it.

Now a movie is coming out this summer called The Mindfulness Movie, by Paul Harrison, that puts together 35 of the world’s mindfulness leaders into one film looking at its effects in neuroscience, psychiatry, relationships, sports, psychology, and quantum physics. Interest in mindfulness has also fueled scientific interest in compassion and self-compassion.

Here is The Mindfulness Movie trailer:


Oh Please! ENOUGH Complaining about PETA!




I'd like to discuss one of my pet peeves within the vegan/animal rights community.

I have been a vegetarian-then-turned-vegan since 1982. At that time, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals--aka PETA--was about 2 years old. I can't remember when they started to add sex to their animal rights advertising or other controversial methods as their way of getting the message out about animal cruelty but for as long as I can remember, the animal rights community has always been complaining about them.

Of course we all know that any group, business, person, etc. that is number one in popularity in any field tends to get sticks and stones thrown at them most, just by being placed at the #1 spot because of jealousy, but more than that, the animals rights community has been bitching and moaning about PETA for decades as PETA has pretty much ignored them all and still do what PETA has always done.

Other animal rights groups

If you can't stand PETA's actions, wish they would change or wish they weren't so well-known or frankly would just wither away completely, pissing and moaning about them, insulting them, sticking pins in PETA voodoo dolls won't make them stop their actions or make them go away (well, OK maybe using the voodoo dolls will work, but you have to be very, very careful when using poppets--what the dolls are really originally called--as it is a very serious thing..but I digress). PETA will continue to go on being PETA with their ways so get used to it and live with it!

I find it interesting that some of these people who put down PETA that are "leaders" in the animal rights movement (you know who you are, and animal rights people know who they are) are virtually unknown in mainstream society. I know because I have asked people--even animal rights people of many years--if they have heard of these animal rights leaders--NOPE. The ONLY animal rights movement that is a well known name in mainstream society is PETA (I don't think the Humane Society and ASPCA consider themselves an "animal rights" group). And I would say probably almost every animal rights person knows something about PETA.

Instead of using so much time and energy bad-mouthing PETA (as if suffering animals in the world have time for the bickering!), these vegans/animal rights people who write articles, blog, do podcasts and other things should concentrate on becoming more vocal and present in the mainstream world by doing animal rights work in the way they feel is right, thereby educating more people about animal cruelty.

There's a saying in the psychology field that goes:

You can't change another person but you can change yourself.

In this case, you can't change PETA or make them do--or don't do--anything, but you can change your behavior and be more mature about this by being aggressively pro-active and doing high profile things, similar to what PETA does but without the sexual provocativeness. PETA doesn't have to be the only large, well known animal rights group in the world. There are other animal rights activists who are affluent that have the means to get another large, ethical vegan group going.

Don't sit around insulting PETA, pleading them to stop their tactics. Concentrate on your own group and be the best you can be. Form an absolutely phenomenal ethical, animal rights vegan group that will rival PETA because it's done in a way that doesn't offend any sex, and that's done in a serious, mature way if you feel PETA isn't doing this. It's not like PETA can stop people from being as good--or better--in public than they are. Find ways of charming people in an honest way, getting people to see how great your animal rights organization is and the rest will follow.

As Gandhi said:

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Instead of wanting PETA to change, be that change.

Spiritual Signs




My favorite spiritual podcast on iTunes, Psychic Teachers, had a topic on really paying attention to signs in your life as that's one of the many ways the spirit world sends us messages. And to especially notice signs from your hobbies or interests.

While listening to that, I suddenly had an "ah-ha!" moment, regarding how I became vegan.

I can remember it vividly. One weekend morning in 1982, I was watching a TV "movie of the week" called Tell Me My Name. It was a familiar storyline about an adopted teenage girl who went looking for her real mother. She found her mom, and while spending Thanksgiving Day with her mother, her step brothers and her mom's husband, she started acting out in a rebellious way. The teen said, while looking at the dead turkey, how the turkey was slaughtered...giving explicit details. The two brothers were so sickened by it they left the table, "ruining" their Thanksgiving Day. This scene lasted about no longer than a minute, but it really effected me so much that I literally became a vegetarian right then and there, then became vegan in a year. Funny thing was, the teen wasn't even a veg; she just said that (which is the truth about how turkeys are treated) to upset the family.

I often thought that was a pretty weird way of seriously becoming veg for life as most become veg by way of reading animal rights/veg books, or by people telling them about animal cruelty/veganism.

But after listening to Psychic Teachers, it made me realize since the spirit world knows that I love watching films, that was the perfect way for me to become enlightened to becoming veg as I am a huge film buff, watching at least one film daily.

So watch for signs, especially in your hobbies/interests. You never know what the spirit world wants to tell you.

Active Meditation




As I was reorganizing my books, I came across this old little gem of a book, published in 1999 by Globe Mini Mag (are these impulse-buying-at-the-grocery-counter booklets around anymore?). The author, Linda Fine Zeman, defines walking meditation perfectly!
The title of the booklet, Prayer Walking, is a misnomer, as she really only discusses prayer walking meditation on two pages as the rest of the book mentions all kinds of active meditation, with mostly discussion on the type of mediation I love: Simple walking and observing using all senses in the moment. No judging or dwelling on anything seen, heard, having smelled, tasted, or touched. Just observing using all senses. Zeman goes in great detail about how to do it effectively. And when the meditation is over, she explains in detail what you should do afterward, including then you can start to think about what you have experienced during your walking meditation.
It does cover every kind of active meditation that one can think of to do (even anger walking meditation!), plus the author talks about how to dress, meditating with others with you--like your companion animal, child, family, friends, or other groups. Zeman mentions safety too. She also shows you how to get started in your walking mediation (including what to do prior to your walking meditation and of course after) and ways to keep you motivated. For a 66 little page booklet, it sure is very comprehensive! I can't believe I paid only $1.09 for it!
I can't find it anywhere for sale online--even Amazon doesn't have it. Maybe it's been repackaged and is sold under a new title--I don't know. I just am so happy I kept it and will look to it regularly for inspiration in my daily walking meditations.



I believe I have mentioned this book, Living in the Moment, before but it deserves repeating. This book, by Anna Black, also discusses active meditation very well. She doesn't really talk specifically about walking meditation, but all other kinds, like meditating while doing housework, or any kind of activity--even eating and drinking, meditating on your body, paying attention to all your senses, etc., and she has many exercises in the book. After reading the book, you get the idea on how to actively meditate when doing anything, including walking.
Both books are well worth owning, especially if you're interested in a more active meditation than a still meditation.

"Plant-Based" and Veganism



I keep hearing people say they are "plant-based". This term is so ambiguous. It really means nothing. People who eat meat also eat vegetables, and frankly, although I'm a vegan, my partner Jeffrey who eats meat, eats much more veggies than I do, and you can truthfully, correctly say that his diet IS plant-based, as he eats more plant foods than meat.


But from my understanding, these "plant-based" people claim to not eat meat as well--at least that's what they want you to assume, but sorry, they are not making sense. The word "based" means that's your foundation, major source of something; it doesn't meant that's all you eat. A big meat eater can also be called a plant-based person, as long as they mostly eat plants as the foundation of their diet.


I once informed a self titled "plant-based" blogger but I think she remained clueless as to what I said. Whatever, but if a person is going to call themselves something and shout it out proudly in public (even to a degree of sounding holier-than-thou), they shouldn't be surprised if they are corrected in public--because of their ignorance--by telling them the correct definition of "based".


Speaking of terms being defined incorrectly, it seems to me people have forgotten what the word vegan actually means. I was reading a blogger today and she posted:


"I went vegetarian on-and-off until I was 19 years old – I gave up meat for good and became a vegan not long after.As with many vegans, I thought the ethical choice was simple – don’t kill other things to eat them, don’t eat the products of animals cruelly confined and exploited for food. While animal rights are a good starting point, a truly ethical diet must take other factors into consideration. Plant-based diets are touted as being an environmentally-friendly choice..."





I replied this to her:


Veganism IS about being environmentally-friendly–always have been. Also veganism is about wearing cruelty-free clothing, and buying cruelty-free cosmetics, preferably from cruelty-free companies.




Veganism has ALWAYS been about all these things almost since the word vegan came into existence. I really don’t know why it’s been in the last decade or so that people tend to look at veganism as just what you put in your mouth.

I’m old-school; I’ve been a vegan since 1982 and back then, when a person said they are vegan, you automatically KNOW that means they are food/clothing/all products/environmentally cruelty-free. Now, it seems like one has to say they are “Ethical” vegans to define this, as oppose to “dietary” vegans or “environmental” vegans.


If a person ever said to me, "I'm plant-based", I'm going to say, "Oh. But do you still eat meat?" Plant-based is a meaningless name. This is why I love saying I'm vegan. There's no confusion. No bull. It's an original, meaningful name.


I think some people need to dust off their dictionaries and get reacquainted with it.

6 Weird Superstitions Attached to Animals

scared cat



This link came to me in my email box from the Online Psychology Degree Resource Guide:

6 Weird Superstitions Attached to Animals

Thanks for the email! I really appreciate it.

Actually, although this is a good, legitimate link, it was in my spam mail box. I very rarely check my spam box, so good thing I checked this time to see the above link!

The Blessing of the Animals at The Grotto (From: July 16, 2012)




The National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother, popularly known as The Grotto is a beautiful 62-acre Catholic sanctuary on Sandy Boulevard at Northeast 85th Avenue, Portland, Oregon. The sanctuary sets both at the foot of and on top of a cliff. It is a non-profit organization supported solely by the proceeds of its gift shop and by donations. It is administered by the Order of Friars Servants of Mary, USA Province.









A large meditation hall whose main chamber is at clifftop level extends down to the foot of the cliff; a cross on the hall is visible many miles away. In addition to a church, there are several thousand feet of trails, including a trail of the Stations of the Cross, along which the faithful may pass in contemplation.





The Grotto is open daily throughout the year. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas following the celebration of Mass.).





Yesterday, The Grotto had their 29th Annual Blessing of the Animals in the Grotto Plaza, which is always held on the third Sunday of July (rain or shine) and offers individuals with pets an opportunity to reflect upon the positive impact animals have on our emotional and physical well-being. This annual event attracts a wide variety of animals and their human friends. Individuals of all faiths are invited to bring their companion animals, properly restrained, to The Grotto for the Blessing of the Animals. All animals are welcome.


Jeffrey and I brought our Chihuahuas, Tico and Paquita, to be blessed. It was actually Tico's second blessing, as he was blessed last year when he was less than a year old (Paquita will be a year old later this year).

Choosing Secondhand Goods



I love doing my share to help the environment by going to resale and thrift shops, and participating in freecycling--both giving and receiving.


So today, I stopped by the newest thrift shop in my city, which is the one above. Cool name, eh? Way Kool Thrift Store opened a month ago and the owner says they are very busy; I hope it continues that way. I'll be stopping by from time-to-time to see if anything interests me.


It's terrific to see so many thrift shops around. Not only can you save considerable money by buying unique and household items from secondhand stores, it's also good to contribute to the redistribution of products. And if or when you no longer have a need for one or more of your own possessions you always have a place to take them if the item is still in good condition.


Many forms of secondhand exchange have sprung up in recent years. Creative Reuse Centers, bike cooperatives that take donations of used bikes and components, Freecycle networks that connects thrifty locals through its Internet forums, and Car-sharing (in the UK known as car clubs) where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. They are attractive to customers who make only occasional use of a vehicle, as well as others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use day-to-day.

Frida Kahlo and Her Animals

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954. Born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán, and is best known for her self-portraits.

 
 
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.” -- Frida Kahlo
 
 
 
"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best." -- Frida Kahlo
 
 

Companion Animal Documentaries and Cookbooks





I watched two great documentaries on Netflix about dogs called: Dogs Decoded: Nova, and Science of Dogs. I highly recommend people see them, especially dog lovers. Both are terrific documentaries.

My partner Jeffrey is the cook in the family and I am the baker. Today, as Jeffery cooked some food for our Chihuahuas, I decided to try out the doggie treat cookbooks I bought months ago to bake them some treats. So, from the book: The (small dogs) Doggy Bone Cookbook by Michele Bledsoe, I made "Chasing Cheese" (They also make a cookbook for large dogs; I guess you just use more ingredients). And from the book: "MacPherson's K-9 Cookbook: Easy to make Dog Biscuit Recipes" by Mary MacPherson, I made "Sniff N' Bite Biscuits". Both cookbooks come with their own plastic dog bone "cookie" cutters: 1 cutter from the small dog cookbook, but 3 sizes of cutters from the other cookbook.

The results: Both dogs love the treats!!

They (and their relatives) also made kitty cookbook versions: The Kitty Treats Cookbook by Michele Bledsoe, and Easy-to-make Cat Treat Recipes by Dianne and Sarah MacPherson, which I plan to get and make some treats for my Siamese cat.

The Truth About Male and Female Dogs



 
I've read many books on dogs, specifically Chihuahuas since I have two of them. What I have noticed in all the books I've read is although they give good instructions on how to house train, groom, feed, and avoid illnesses regarding your companion animal, not one mentions in depth on the many personality, less noticeable physical, and emotional differences of a male and female dog; I wonder why there is not much information on this in a book?

This is about as much information I could find anywhere:



It's difficult finding information about male and female differences in general, and much less on male and female difference according to specific breeds. Surely there are many differences.

Places where I do find information about the differences between genders, they are in regards to when choosing a companion animal and not pertaining to just scientific research.

Maybe authors feel there isn't much to say about gender differences, but I feel that those who write a half-way informative amount in an article could flesh it out into a book, or even a decent size booklet.

I think possibly the best thing for me to do is not to look for companion animal books for the average person interested in getting a companion animal, but to look for some sort of historical, zoological dog book to find the full truth about male and female dogs, or any kind of companion animal.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vegan Iced Latte

 

I went grocery shopping at Fred Meyer over the weekend and found this new vegan treat by Silk! Fred Meyer had both Silk Iced Latte vanilla and mocha. I chose the vanilla to give it a try. 

The Iced Latte vanilla taste pretty good although I wish the flavor stood out more; the sweet taste is subtle but maybe not, as I have a very sweet tooth...Next time I'll try the mocha and compare the two.

This Silk beverage is great as an alternative to morning plain coffee. Silk makes awesome vegan drinks (I love, love, love their soy nog!!) and I'm glad there's another beverage of theirs to drink!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Portland Mercury's Guide to Domesticated Animal Companionship



The Vegan Capital of the World's local free paper, The Portland Mercury, this week has a special on companion animals. The articles contain a lot of good basic information about you and your precious companion. Check out the full issue articles online at its title below:

Pets: A General Introduction


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vegan Pizza, Part Deux

 
 
I made this vegan pizza before, which I mentioned  in my blogpost titled: Vegan Pizza (where you can also find the recipe). I promised to show you a better looking version, so here it is above, made a week ago. The hummus is below all the toppings; this is how I meant to make it originally, but had forgot to add the hummus after adding the toppings, plus other reason mentioned in blogpost, Vegan Pizza.
 
Next time, I'll add vegan meats to it and maybe some bell peppers as well.