About V-EGANISM

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Portland, OR, United States

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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"If you're the smartest one in the room, you're in the wrong room."



The title and photo quote of my blog has been around for awhile.

Surrounding ourselves with people smarter than we are, meaning, people who are better at something than we are, has several advantages:

1. The people are always interesting.

2. We can always learn something from them.

3. We avoid an inflated ego.

4. When we hang out with people who are already where we want to be, we are inspired, encouraged and motivated toward our own goals.

This message really resonated with me today, especially in regards to Animal Rights. When I visit animal rights sites or when I'm hanging out with animal rights people, I find myself being the "teacher", the motivator; it wouldn't be so bad if they felt inspired by me, but I don't think they do. Most of the animal rights people I've met are too complacent, too apathetic to really, truly care about the plight of animals, and it shows in their minimalist actions. Actually, I find such people bringing me down!

I love the part of the intro of an animal rights podcast that says "You know that you can do better than that."

Minimalist animal rights people seem to know this but simply don't care to do better.

We all can do better for the animals and I want to be around people smart enough to not only realize that but do check themselves from time-to-time to make sure they are doing better--I do all the time. I want to be motivated to do more for animals as I motivate others as well.

I don't want to be the smartest person in the room, but I don't care to be the dumbest person in the room either, where no one learns from me. Ideally, I would like to be in a room where there's a partnership of we educate each other, we comfort each other and motivate and inspire each other. A room where we both contribute something to the vegan table.

I will be on the lookout for such "rooms"--online and offline--where we are all on the same page and can learn from each other.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Looking Back, Moving Forward




As I was listening to the podcast ARZone, it brought back memories in my early days of animal activism...This is a very good episode everyone should here. It certainly inspired me!

In this special Looking Back, Moving Forward podcast, ARZone presents the thoughts of 35 long-time advocates and activists from around the world - looking back on 2012 and moving forward into 2013.


Audio Podcast, approx 2 hours 27 minutes.

ARZone Podcast 61: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Saturday, May 25, 2013

4th Annual Vegan Spirituality Retreat


 


If you are a regular reader of my blog (thanks!), you know I am very against the spending of precious time, energy and/or money on "Veg Fests" and "Animal Rights Conferences", but the Fourth Annual Vegan Spirituality Retreat is more than just a place for vegans to gather and "educate" the already educated veg people about veganism that Veg Fests and Animal Rights Conferences do. This retreat does much more! Read on to discover what this super cool retreat is all about:

Vegan Spirituality and Public Eye: Artists for Animals present our 4th Annual Vegan Spirituality Retreat on the East Coast, Exploring Veganism as a Spiritual Practice. We welcome World Peace Diet author Dr. Will Tuttle as our featured speaker. Enjoy group discussions, guided meditations, yoga classes with vegan yogis Derek Goodwin and Ximena Milagros Savitch, a delicious vegan lunch catered by The Nile Café, a nature walk, and an Animal Blessing with percussionist Lonnie Davis. Childcare is provided. Friendly companion animals are welcome at the Retreat and Blessing Ceremony.

Honor your companion animals and animals around the world through drumming and dancing in nature. Bring companion animals, a photo, or your own animal spirit! Everyone is invited to drum and dance in the Ceremony, which offers opportunities to celebrate animal companions, honor those that have died, empathize with animals suffering around the world, and create a vision of harmony between humans and other animals. Please bring leashes or carriers for your animal companions.

You’re welcome to bring a vegan/synthetic drum. The Ceremony is free and open to the public.

Date: Saturday, June 1 (west coast)

 
Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm, Registration begins at 9:30am

3:00pm to 4:00pm, Animal Blessing Ceremony

Location: Wright Ranch Malibu, 24680 Piuma Road, Malibu, CA 


Cost (includes lunch): $70 online registration (5/1-31), $75 at the door (6/1), $50 students/seniors, $40 youth (12-17), $20 children (6-11), free for children under 6. Registration preferred by 5/25.

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2013 (east coast)

Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Animal Blessing Ceremony (free and open to the public)

Location: Saunders Woods, 1020 Waverly Road, Gladwyne, Pennsylvania

Cost (includes lunch): $50 online registration (starting 6/1), $60 at the door (7/20), $40 students/seniors, $30 youth (12-17), $20 children (6-11), free for children under 6. Registration preferred by 7/13.

 

Bring: Yoga mat, water bottle, walking shoes, companion animal photos.

To Register: www.veganspirituality.com or contact Lisa Levinson at veganspirituality@gmail.com, 215-620-2130


For even more information, check out Vegan Spirituality

Friday, May 24, 2013

An Award for Inspiring!

 


I have been nominated for the Sunshine Award. I must admit, I had never heard of the award before, but then again, I don't keep up with knowledge of awards online or offline (unless if it's the Academy Awards). Nevertheless, I appreciate the nom. Thank you, Noelle MacLeod. =)

From what I've read, the Sunshine Award is a blogger-to-blogger award for blogs that inspire and bring sunshine into people’s lives. Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere. (Loves it!)

  Rules for the Sunshine Award:
 
-Post the logo, thank the giver and link to their post.
-Answer the 10 questions below
-Nominate up to 10 other bloggers for the Sunshine award, letting them know in the comments section of their blog, & linking to their blogs.


1. Favorite color?
Burnt orange (all autumn colors)

2. Favorite animal?  
I love them all, but I am currently most closest to my female companion animal chihuahua, Paquita.

3. Favorite number? 
5

4. Non-alcoholic drink?
Soy Nog

5. Alcoholic drink?
Riesling white wine

6. Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter

7. Passions?
God & Goddess. Animals. My family. Wicca. Writing.

8. Giving or receiving?
Must be both because I want to receive more so I can give more.

9. Favorite city?
The City of Roses: Portland (Oregon)

10. Favorite TV show?
Coronation Street (a British soap that's been on TV since 1961 and will surely outlive me--it's fabulous)

I guess I can't nominate someone who has nominated me(?)

I nominate The Crystal Chick. She (Samantha Fey) is truly an inspiration to the universe of majick and all spirituality. The items she sell are awesome and they work!--as long as you have genuine faith and good intentions...She is truly a blessing and a phenomenal spiritual teacher!  I learn a lot from Samantha and have grown a lot spiritually because of her.

I could nominate others that are inspirational to me but they are animal rights blogs that probably wouldn't appreciate the nom--and might even delete my nom comment!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My 2013 New Year's Resolutions Revisited

I have not talked about my 2013 New Year's Resolutions, mainly because I closed down my Body, Mind and Spirit blog and this blog is more about animal rights/veganism. But I have received several emails from readers asking me if I am still active in my Resolutions, so I've decided to bring you up-to-date on it here. But first, for those of you who did not see that post from my previous blog, here it is below. I bring you up-to-date after this original blogpost:


 My 2013 New Year's Resolution

My New Year's Resolution is to be more disciplined in doing these 3 things daily, which are important to me. I'll do them this way: If I'm doing one of these practices below one day, I'll do the others on other days, as long as I'm at least doing all of these on a regular, daily basis:


WALKING MEDITATION





TAI CHI





YOGA

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Now to the Present




I had a rough start with much going on in my life that I stopped the Tai Chi and Yoga about a month into my daily New Year Resolution activities. The walking meditation is by far the easiest and most convenient to do so I have been faithfully doing that from the start. 

But this week--I'm very happy to say--I've started back doing my Yoga and Tai Chi! 

I have changed things a bit though. Now, I do both Yoga and Tai Chi on the same day, back-to-back with Yoga first. Plus, there were some Yoga poses that really didn't uplift me emotionally that I was doing on the DVD that I hated but had felt I was "supposed" to do. I didn't get any joy from those poses at all so now, I only do poses I really love. My Tai Chi poses are awesome! So no changes there--I do the whole Tai Chi DVD. 

Now, I do only two of the posing exercises from the Yoga DVD; one exercise is about 65 minutes long and the other is about 40 minutes long. I alternate the two programs--doing one, 1 day, and the other, the next day. After that, I do the entire Tai Chi program which is about 45 minutes. 

(*Note: There are MANY other Yoga exercises on my DVD specifically designed for problem body areas--like back issues, leg issues, etc. but I'll only go to those if I have a specific issue. I'm just talking about the exercises for the entire body.)

My walking meditation is the same--doing that when it's nice outside and when I have time to go out as well as when running errands.

I really love how I have organized things now! Above, is a photo I took today, showing all my materials I use for both Tai Chi and Yoga. With Tai Chi, I just use the DVD.

Why all the purple? The first thing I bought was the purple pillow (originally used for meditation but I no longer do "still meditation"; I do only active/walking meditation, except in Tai Chi, but I do it standing). After not finding a nice inexpensive round meditation pillow online, I went to Ross Dress for Less to find such pillow. Ross only had the one round pillow--purple; I wasn't looking for purple but shape, so I got it. I love the color purple anyway. 

Then I bought the purple bag that's under the pillow (in the photo) to place my pillow in when storing. The bag is actually a baby laundry bag I got from Amazon. I got the purple one to match my pillow. Then later, when I got into Yoga, I decided to try and keep the same color purple so everything matches, so at Amazon, I was able to find matching purple Yoga mat, Yoga blocks, and Yoga strap!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Loss of a Companion Animal

 

 

I found two great articles that deals with having a loss of a companion animal:

Pet Loss - 10 Tips to Help Soothe Heartbreak

 

This one below is specifically about dogs, but you can use it as a guideline for other companion animals as well.

Helping Your Dog Cope With the Loss of a Canine Companion

 

 

*Note: I'm not sure why the size and color of text came out that way! 

 **Dedicated in memory of Nicklas Hubert Naked (4/25/97-5/18/13)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

People Who Can't Handle Opposing Views

 


As I continue with my animal ministry, I expect to see my share of people closing off when I give my opposing views regarding veganism/animal rights to non-vegans. But what I didn't expect at the start of my ministry (but later, saw examples of) were some people in my own community--animal rights people--closing off to me as well. Everyone will not always agree with others in any group--fine, understandable and even healthy--but to close off opposing views for no apparent good reason is not a wise way of relating to others.

Examples of what I mean by closing off is by blocking someone online (I got blocked yesterday on Twitter as I politely chatted with a person called, The Vegan List), censoring comments online, or by just walking away from someone, ignoring them. If you want to end a conversation, it should be done in a respectful manner, especially when the other person is being polite toward you.

Mind you, it doesn't bother me personally, but psychology is a huge interest of mine, so I find it very interesting as to why some people react in such childish behavior, which is especially sad in the vegan community because we need to listen to other views in order to effectively help animals. I wanted to write out my theories, but found the link below, by author Faceless39 (Kate) that perfectly describes what I am seeing how some people react towards me as well, even with what Faceless39 stated in the beginning of her article echoes my own experience almost perfectly when I commented on other people's blogs recently.

I totally agree with this article 100%. Please read:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vegan Lunch Box Books

Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!  and Vegan Lunch Box Around the World: 125 Easy, International Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love! by Jennifer McCain, are two vegan recipe books designed especially for vegan kids:

 

 

Vegan Lunch Box offers an amazing array of meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free meals and snacks. All the recipes are organized into menus to help parents pack quick, nutritious, and irresistible vegan lunches. Ideal for everyday and special occasions, Vegan Lunch Box features tips for feeding even the most finicky kids. It includes handy allergen-free indexes identifying wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free recipes, and product recommendations. 

 



Vegan Lunch Box Around the World offers a delicious array of meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free lunches that will take you on an adventure across the globe. The book includes balanced international and regional American menus with 100 recipes from Ratatouille to Moroccan Tagine, New England Chowder to a Japanese Bento Box. Fruit and veggie ideas for even the pickiest eaters, and an allergen-free index, Vegan Lunch Box Around the World is essential for every family raising healthy kids—and for anyone who packs a lunch.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Vegan Teen Nutrition




Many teenagers have become vegan. If you are a Vegan teen (or are planning to become one), there are some things to consider. Since adolescents eat lots of meals as snacks and while they are on the go, it’s important to focus on foods that don’t require a lot of preparation. Teenagers can build a pretty healthy diet around veggie burgers and other non-flesh meats, peanut butter, hummus, calcium-fortified soymilk, instant soups, trail mix, protein bars, instant oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereals, fruits, salads and vegetables.
Other basic nutrition rules are teens should make sure they take vitamins and dietary supplements on a regular basis, like taking a regular vitamin B12 supplement and using calcium and vitamin D-fortified foods or taking supplements for these nutrients.  
But it’s possible to get plenty of calcium from foods alone, like drinking one cup of soymilk fortified with vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D each day can go a long way towards giving you the nutrition you need. Drinking two cups of soymilk would be even better. Other good nutritional vegan foods to eat regularly for calcium are rice and almond "milks". You can use soy, almond or rice milks to make smoothies and shakes as well. Tofu and orange juice are also good as well as yellow and dark green leafy vegetables daily make excellent calcium rich vegan foods.
Still, taking supplements, like a good quality multi-vitamin for teens is great insurance during the growing years. 

Teens should get some omega-3s in their daily diet too. A teaspoon of flaxseed oil on some bread is a good way, and walnuts are also a good source.

Legumes are great for protein, zinc, and folate. Other excellent protein sources are tofu, beans and nuts.

Getting enough iron is extremely important too. Iron deficiency is most common in teenage girls and younger women. A vegan diet that includes a good variety and amount of fruits, vegetables and grains should be enough iron. To improve the body's ability to absorb the iron from foods, nutritionists recommend cooking food in cast-iron skillets, adding beans and legumes to the meal.
Some quick and easy menu ideas
Bean burritos with vegan sour cream and soy cheese 
Tacos with a meatless ground beef substitute 
Pasta with marinara sauce
Homemade or bought vegan pizza with lots of vegetables on top and vegan sausage
And for summer menus/picnics, families can put veggie burgers on the grill and make their own potato salad with a vegan mayonnaise for example.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Vegan Shavuot Recipes

Shavuot, to celebrate on May 15, was originally an ancient harvest festival celebrating the grain crop. In Hebrew, Shavuot means "weeks" and the holiday is celebrated seven weeks after Passover begins. But Shavuot is also recognized as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai and most Shavuot celebrations are centered on Torah study and other Jewish learning. On the first night of the holiday many people stay up all night studying Jewish texts.

There is a custom of eating dairy foods--especially cheesecakes and blintzes--on Shavuot. The reason for this tradition is not entirely clear, but one popular explanation is that immediately after the Israelites received the Torah and learned about the laws of keeping kosher, it was too complicated for them to begin butchering and preparing fresh kosher meat. So they stuck with eating dairy.

But upset by the suffering of cows, angry with milk producers who celebrate on their behalf, more and more Israelis do not join the so-called "white products" celebration over the Shavuot (Festival of Weeks) holiday. So instead, you can celebrate Shavuot vegan style:


http://s3-media4.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/6a3i_fC1o8Y3XB4dnVeWAA/l.jpg

Basic Vegan Blintzes

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
mix well.
add 4 tbsp canola oil
2 cups soy milk
1 cup water


Mix well. It should be pourable, but medium thick. Don't worry about over mixing this as there is no baking soda or powder to deflate.

You can a ladle to pour into a cast iron frying pan on medium heat and then the bottom of the ladle to help spread the mix a little thinner. No oil is needed if the pan is well seasoned. A few minutes on the first side until the gloss on top turns dull and bubbles don't pop. A minute on the other side.

Fill with fresh fruit and soy yogurt for sweet. Soy cream cheese or tofu and veggies for savory.

Here is another recipe:
 
Vegan Cheese Blinzes with Blueberry Sauce




 cheesecake


Vegan Lemon Cheesecake

Crust

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
zest of one lemon
6 Tablespoons vegan butter, melted

Filling

1 14-oz package silken tofu
1 8-oz package vegan cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Combine graham cracker crumbs, lemon zest, and margarine and stir to evenly coat the crumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan and refrigerate while making the filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place silken tofu and vegan cream cheese in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add sugar and process until well combined, approximately 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice, vanilla, and ginger. Whisk in cornstarch, then pour mixture into food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into crust and bake for 45 minutes until set (the center will still be slightly wobbly). Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally over night.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

JazzKats Coffee Bar Reopens--YESSSS!!




One of my favorite coffee bars in Portland Oregon, JazzKats, has now reopened for business and it looks to be better than ever!

I stopped by on Thursday and met the new owners Natasha (who is also the owner of the food cart Da-Pressed) and her partner Adam. They are vegans and plan on having only veg*n food, plus their own coffee roast, in the coffee bar.

For all you Portland locals and visitors to the vegan capital of world, JazzKats is located in the Hollywood District of Portland at 1925 N.E. 42nd Ave.

Go check them out.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Recipes



Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexican heritage with a wealth of color, flavor and flair, and there are lots of ways to celebrate May 5 vegan-style! 


 Cinco de Mayo Vegan Recipes

 Vegan Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Sizzling Cinco de Mayo Recipes