So, You Want to Be a Vegan

Dedicated to B, who asked.

I would love to help you in any way that I can! You rock!

First place to start: http://vegankit.com/ – Great overview of everything!

The resource I am most excited about at the moment is Mercy For Animals Vegetarian Starter Guide (http://www.mercyforanimals.org/VSG.pdf). It’s free online but is also mostly the same as their website: http://www.chooseveg.ca/ (I totally worked on this haha). It has some info about the animals (nothing gory), environmental impacts and positive health benefits. It also has some basic nutrition info (http://www.chooseveg.ca/foodplate).

For nutrition info I also recommend the book “Becoming Vegan” by Brenda Davis. Many people consider it a stable book for this info. Also, I recently got to meet the doctor from http://nutritionfacts.org/, this website posts new content every day and any questions you have they will likely have an article on. Nutrition as a vegan is actually quite easy because a plant-based diet is the optimal diet for disease prevention. The films Forks Over Knives (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ijukNzlUg) and Food Matters (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4DOQ6Xhqss) talk about how a vegan diet has been proven to REVERSE major killers like heart disease, and cancer, and many other illnesses (though it has been a long time since I have watched them and only recommend them as a starting point for further research)

The meat and dairy lobbies pay actors and people to advertise and promote their products (got milk?) because they are industries seeking to make more profits. I was really shocked when I learned that many of the supposed benefits of animals products are just marketing lies. For example, milk can actually CAUSE osteoporosis by leeching Calcium from the bones (http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/09/12/13120.aspx) and even Harvard no longer promote consumption of milk and dairy products (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/). Another big one is the “protein myth”. Meat companies promote their products as having “enough” protein, but no one even mentions how much protein people really need. Many people eat too much protein which can cause problems. All fruits, vegetables, and plants have protein. Even if you wish to eat large amounts of protein (which is generally unnecessary) there are many plant based sources you can use such as Kale, Lentils, Beans, Hemp Seed etc.

Personally, I do 2 things the ensure I am adequately nourished:

  1. I try to have a “Green Smoothie” every day. A green smoothie (greens: I use spinach; + ANY YUMMY FRUITS YOU WANT) is the fastest way to get the most nutrients into your body. Greens are nutrient dense and fruits is tasty and full of vitamins and minerals. I take a big handful of spinach and blend it with lots of fruit, so I don’t taste the spinach, I taste the fruit, and get all the health benefits of the spinach. Yay! Here’s a tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXr8-jru1KE&feature=c4-overview&playnext=1&list=TLqTDsKXLPYiM
  2. I either eat nutritional yeast or take a Vitamin B12 supplement once a week. (http://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-is-the-best-way-to-get-b12/)

There’s tons of resources online. When I want to make a certain dish I usually google “the best vegan” + the recipe I am looking for. This usually brings up the best results. Here are some of my favorite recipe blogs:

http://www.theppk.com/

http://www.choosingraw.com/ (lots of nutrition info, written by a nutritionist)

http://www.chooseveg.ca/breakfast

http://vegweb.com/ (huge database)

There are also lots of all vegan restaurants in the lower mainland: Karmavore in New West, Graze on Fraser, 3G Downtown, Dharma Kitchen near UBC and Vegan Pizza House near Joyce Station are some of my favorites. Lots of common restaurants also have vegan options. I like getting veggie sushi rolls, veggie sandwiches from Subway, and veggie or tofu stir fries when I am in a rush (but I always ask to make sure the sauces and ingredients are vegan).

In terms of becoming vegan, everyone has their own path. I know people that switch overnight cold turkey and others that transition slowly. I myself went vegetarian over night and then slowly eliminated things from my fridge until I was vegan 4 months later. Melanie Joy, a psychologist who did her Ph.D on why we eat animals has a really great site and 2-minute video about why we eat animals which has really helped me to understand the importance of animals rights and ethics (http://www.carnism.org/).

Beyond the nutritional info I think the most important part of being an animal advocate is being well informed. This short video of undercover factory farm investigations helped me to learn about how animals are treated and WHY it is so important to be vegan: http://meatvideo.com/ I found the video very disturbing, but I think it is important to witness the suffering that goes on and be informed about what really happens in the factory farm industry. If you have more time Earthlings is a very comprehensive look at how animals are treated in our society. It is available for free online: http://earthlings.com/?page_id=32. Again, this movie can be quite disturbing, but it is likely that people are going to ask you why you don’t eat animals, and I think it is important to know the facts.

Every time you choose not to eat an animal you are making a huge difference, both for the dead animal on your plate, and for the environment, and the exploited slaughterhouse workers, and to me personally, so for this I thank you. And don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions etc! I want to create a world where no one has to suffer and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make that a reality! Seriously, i’ll bring you cookies haha : P

In gratitude,

Jenni

Note: As with anything, I highly recommend doing your own research, being critical of all sources and coming to your own conclusions after you have done adequate research and learning, especially when it comes to nutrition.

Jenni’s Vindictuve Vegan Rap (It’s Annotated)

Chicken slaughter

Right now I am two weeks away from finishing my main summer course: The Semester in Dialogue, topic: Sustainable Food Systems. I have been very sad and frustrated lately engaging so frequently with what is happening to animals. We have to write a weekly reflection so last week I wrote this vindictive and annotated rap. Enjoy.

With what feeds us

There is no feedback loop

Hundred of boys and girls are raised on slop:

Oliver, J. (2010). Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food [TED Talk]. TED. Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

and stoop down

Five people drowned in poop:

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 177

Pig soup, 100,000 feet wide

or more

and what’s in store?

Not just stool in a pool but stillborns and drool

And blood and hair and piss is in there

But please, don’t mention that to me

I don’t want to know where the body I eat could be from

Or where it goes

Nobody knows

how many million lives are taken

And for what?

Our health is at stake and

Fulkerson, L [dir.]. (2011). Forks Over Knives [Film]. USA: Monica Beach Media.

For steak we make such sacrifice

Workers injured and jarred on the line

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 132

That never stops

As the slaughterers never stop

To think

Or if they do

they keep on buying in

To stories about protein and taurine

Making them strong

So many sing along

With the sad songs of

Charbroiled or tin foiled

Milk is spoiled

Cows are coiled and branded

Castrated after birth

Balls chopped off

Tails ripped, horns merc-i-o-s-ly

Ronald McDonald you can come at me

Please leave the kids alone

They have a right to know

The taste of fresh

A burger is not the best

Way to educate a generation

About food

To teach them

Respect, now don’t be rude

Eat your dinner

Sing a song for the winners

But don’t mourn the deaths of

Animals in the depths

Of the factory that they call a farm

They facility where they shit and are born

Baby chicks ground up at birth

Mercy for animals. (2009). Undercover Investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery [Video Footage]. Retrieved via: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JJ–faib7to

The cost off eggs might bankrupt your purse

If we value life like we value what we like

If it “tastes good” that doesn’t make it right

And I vow to stop it with all my might

These babies being taken on their first night

Michael Ableman, Personal communication, May 11, 2012.

Boys in the grinder

Mercy for animals. (2009). Undercover Investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery [Video Footage]. Retrieved via: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JJ–faib7to

Girls stay behind and lay eggs for a few years

Then we’ll chop of your head and eat you with a beer

After we bleed you out

Boil you down

Pump you with water, salt and

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 131

Ship you round

Wish I knew how it started

Wish I knew why

The whole thing

Makes me cry

I pray at night

For the souls who can’t fight

For those who “don’t know what they do”

Luke 23:34, New American Standard Bible, 1995

In that respect Jesus knew a thing or two

Father give us forgiveness

Mother please don’t grieve for us

Escape! It may be the only way

For us to leave this place

And have our space

To roam free

The animals and me

If we escape through a fence or a rope in a tree

The Peace Abby. (2011). Emily the Sacred Cow. Massachusetts: The Peace Abby. Retrieved from: http://www.peaceabbey.org/tour-guide/emily-the-cow/

We’ll go perhaps to a kinder place

No guarantee but at least we can be

How, and Who we want to

Bees, give us your honey from your hive

It can infect our babies but keeps adults alive

Lewis, N. (2010). Why Honey is Not Vegan. Vegetus. Retrieved from: http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

Right?

Spoonful every night

It’s digested and spit up fifty times

Lewis, N. (2010). Why Honey is Not Vegan. Vegetus. Retrieved from: http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

And to make your home we’ll ship you a pound at a time

Mark Winston, personal communication, June 1, 2012.

Mr.honey bee

Who came from overseas

Lewis, N. (2010). Why Honey is Not Vegan. Vegetus. Retrieved from: http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm

All for that tasty treat for me

So I ask

who are the animals?

The ones we force to be cannibals

Eating ground flesh and bone from other mammals

PETA. (2010). Drowning, Cannibalization, and Other Reasons Not to Dissect

. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved from: http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2010/10/11/drowning-cannibalization-and-other-reasons-not-to-dissect.aspx

born in crates

Sherrow, M. (2011). Pigs suffer while Smithfield takes its time. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved from: http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2011/12/09/pigs-suffer-while-smithfield-takes-its-sweet-time.aspx

beat with a cane

bred together

as we chose

and they lose

their ability to

copulate

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 113

the turkeys I mean

but not the humans consuming

meet your meat

instead choose something sweet

that doesn’t cost a life

with a slip or a knife

or a baby

or give diabetes to some old lady

Fulkerson, L [dir.]. (2011). Forks Over Knives [Film]. USA: Monica Beach Media.

make a choice

use your voice

cause the producers tell me

it’s supply and demand

Mark Robbins, personal communication, May 31, 2012.

but i’m not asking

so I want to know what can

I do

other than refuse

and ask you

to join me to

to stop this war

this holocaust

by beasts

who want something to wear or eat

don’t be one more

make a choice at the store

please don’t tell me

that you’re an omnivore

and that this is the only way

‘cause its sick

with a twist

and if you’d look at the pics

PETA. (2012). Graphic. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved from: http://www.peta.org/tv/videos/graphic/default.aspx

I bet you’d agree

that this policy

is better left in the past

if we want the Earth to last

before it’s filled up with smoke

and greenhouse gas

passed

by cows and pigs by hundred thousands

millions

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 43

each year

multiplied by artificial insemination dear

DeJarnette, M. and Nebel, R. (n.d.) A.I. Technique in Cattle. Select Reproductive Solutions. Retrieved from: http://www.selectsires.com/resources/fertilitydocs/ai_technique_cattle.pdf

if I put my hand up your rear

would you say that nature’s right is here?

and lets be clear

grass fed saves no steer

just open the door

and you think that’s enough for

a life given in exchange

hung upside down on a rack

deranged

kicking and screaming

after a bolt to the brain

Foer, J. (2009). Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company. p. 226

it might miss the skull and leave him in pain

but that’s okay

that’s just the way

we feed the world today

the price we pay

for some bacon and a burger, kay?

it’s easy, hey

fast food

for the mood

of the high school brood

come on dude

you can choose your food

pick your fate

make your name

live in honor and stop the pain.

Woofs of Wisdom

I went to a storytelling event. It was really amazing to hear all of the stories… There was sadness, happiness, and mystery in all of them.

The biggest thing I took away was not from a story though – it was from the dog. When I was younger I was afraid of dogs. It took me a long time to get comfortable with dogs but now I am often the person a dog will spend most of the night getting rubs from. I like to think it’s because I am vegan.

Usually when I am with an animal ( dog, cat… any animal) I try to lure it closer to me, to sit on my lap or next to where I am sitting. I realized that instead of trying to force the dog to sit by me, I could move to accommodate the dog. And I did. I got to sit in a new place and discover something new. By listening I find that I can discover so much : )

Reason to be Vegan: Ducks!

I’ve decided i’m going to start doing a weekly feature on awesome animals and vegetables to promote how wonderful veganism is. This is a step I am taking to “become the change” and create the world I want to live in. These features will highlight awesome nutritional, compassionate, and environmental reasons for my own personal vegan lifestyle. Today, Ducks! Enjoy these cute photos!

... Duck and Carnival  !!! Musk goose!

Duck

Duck Soup!

What amazing creatures! According to Wikipedia

Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water. Ducks are sometimes confused with several types of unrelated water birds with similar forms, such as loons or divers, grebesgallinules, and coots.

Despite widespread misconceptions, only the females of most dabbling ducks “quack”. For example, the scaup – which are diving ducks – make a noise like “scaup” (hence their name), and even among the dabbling ducks, the males never quack. In general, ducks make a wide range of calls, ranging from whistles, cooing, yodels and grunts. Calls may be loud displaying calls or quieter contact calls.

In 2002, psychologist Richard Wiseman and colleagues at the University of HertfordshireUK, finished a year-long LaughLab experiment, concluding that of all animals, ducks attract the most humor and silliness; he said, “If you’re going to tell a joke involving an animal, make it a duck.”[8] The word “duck” may have become an inherently funny word in many languages, possibly because ducks are seen as silly in their looks or behavior. Of the many ducks in fiction, many are cartoon characters, such as Walt Disney‘s Donald Duck, and Warner Bros.‘ Daffy Duck.

Cool!

By being vegan I save over 50 animals each year! (http://www.chooseveg.com/vegetarians-save-lives.asp)

Thoughts on Animal Consciousness: TRANSFORMATION > EVOLUTION

Nature / Animal / Monkey

I think that TRANSFORMATION > EVOLUTION

How can we compare and rank creatures on a scale? Is one creature really any better than another? I think that we are all part of the whole. Just because I as a human can’t see the intelligence and consciousness of another species, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Maybe their consciousness is so far advanced or removed from my own experience that I will never begin to comprehend it.

Some researchers use “self-awareness tests” to determine if animals are consciousness. Many of these tests use mirror to detect if animals can recognize themselves. I think that these tests are highly flawed because of their lack of collective conscious analysis. Maybe our so-called “superior” sense of self is our biggest limitation. Perhaps our separation thinking and singularity is what restricts us from really evolving. Instead of looking at evolution and ranking various species and studying development, I think we should spend more time on transformation. Growing, not changing.

So are plants conscious? I mean, if they can impact human consciousness (by way or DMT or cannabis etc) surely they must have some experience of their own. Hmm…

Props to my COGS 310: Consciousness class for the good thinks : )

OH MAN JUST HAD ANOTHER THOUGHT!

This is a room without a window. People tend to think that sunlight is not coming into the room when there is no window.

– Yoko Ono on Twitter

If plants could be conscious could LIGHT be conscious? or sound? Let’s take light. Maybe it is the highest form of consciousness, pure energy. Wow.

 

 

 

I am an animal.

“I’d rather be a cannibal baby, animals like me don’t talk anyway.”

– Panic! At The Disco, The Calendar

Animals are everywhere. We are all animals.

I had an interesting conversation about how people are, in fact, animals. We have instincts and such a big part of life is learning to control them and exist with one another in a respectful and compassionate way. We are evolving like every other species. We like to think we are separate from the other creates on this earth but we have so much in common, how can you deny it?

I guess that’s part of the reason I am vegan. I have learned to live differently, I do not need to eat my brothers and sisters. We are one family. BE LOVE.

“Here we go again
We’re sick like animals
We play pretend
You’re just a cannibal
And I’m afraid I wont get out alive
No I won’t sleep tonight”

– Neon Trees, Animal

Jenni Bails @ Walk for Farm Animals

On Saturday I went downtown to participate in the Walk for Farm Animals sponsored by Sanctuary BC. It was a really awesome experience and I met a ton of positive vegan people. Yayy! Also, I got to dress up in a cow costume for the walk! I’ve worked as a mascot a few times and usually in the world of professional mascottery you have a “handler” who watches out for your safety and helps you. It can be scary to be in the suit because of limited vision (during my time as Captain Hook last summer I was attacked once… will never forget it). Anyways I didn’t have anyone to help me so when the walk started I was a little unsure. Right as we were leaving the starting location I WALKED INTO A POLE! IT WAS SOOOOO FUNNY! It didn’t hurt because the large cow nose protected me but it was HILARIOUS. I couldn’t stop laughing. What an incredible MOOOment x D

After that this incredible girl named Courtney held my hand and guided me through downtown. It was nice to not have to raise my voice chanting and explore using my body to communicate instead (I like to think I was the groovin’ cow). Some dudes even stopped me for a photo! I hope we raised awareness about what farm animals go through to create a kinder world : )

Oh and I did some volunteering at a youth fest in the afternoon. I got to hear a djembe cover of “Dear Maria” by All Time Low while eating a tofu dog. SO AWESOME : )

And then I went downtown to see Hanson play. Fun Stuff!

Keep on Rockin in the Free World!

Jenni

“And he wouldn’t let me go…”

“He looked in my eyes with such intensity and such love, and it was an incredible experience. And we just sat there together, sort of drunk on each-other. He embraced me like a long-lost friend and it was just beautiful… And he wouldn’t let me go.”

– said the man of the gorilla

That’s the most romantic thing i’ve heard today haha!

– via SuperForest