Vegan Adventure: Tori’s Bakeshop, Toronto

I am writing this from the lovely Tori’s Bakeshop in Toronto. It is adorable, fully vegan and I am in love (not just because soft French music plays in the background on this Sunday morning)

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I had a delightful cinnamon bun and an Australian drink called a flat white. And a lovely overheard conversation about living in the coolest cities in the world. Smiles.

SOCIAL justice

Sustainability is very important to me but I wonder if it comes at a cost.

I listened to this awesome lecture by Charlotte Gerson, the healthy 88 year old with no doctor and no problems, thanks to her vegan diet. I totally agree with everything she talked about but it really made me wonder about a few things. Really, the only thing that goes against my beliefs are social outings. By that I mean, generally, I don’t eat out, except when with friends. I don’t use disposable cutlery/cups except at parties. I don’t go to malls, except with people. In her lecture, Charlotte says she NEVER goes out to restaurants. She NEVER does anything harmful to her body (putting bad processed substances in) and I can’t help but wonder if it is becasue she is old and doesn’t have to follow social conduct as much.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with people, I just wonder if we could all be happy and healthy together without harming the planet. Can we fight for social justice and be sociable?

Simple Shoes

I’m so sad that one of my idol companies Simple Shoes has gone out of business! I was planning to wait until my old sneakers got holes in them to buy some but I wanted to make sure I got some before they became unavailable. I ordered these from Moo Shoes and they came quite quickly.

PS: I feel like i’m walking on air… must be the recycle tire sole hehe.

PSS: I think the next best thing would be adbusters shoes. Check em out!

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FoodSafe: A Vegan Adventure

Vegan Food - It's What Should Be For Dinner! mosaic~

I became FoodSafe Level 1 Certified! Yay! Here were some interesting things I got out of the course:
  • “Don’t come to work intoxicated.”
  • “Don’t throw knives.”
  •  I wonder how much the people in the Foodsafe video got paid. Are they actors or “real” people? Hmmmm.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Pigs and Fish are full of parasites like tapeworms and someone needs to remove them before people eat pigs or fish : (
  • (of bacteria on us) ”we are dirty, vile, creatures”
  • “cats are contaminated.”
  • “if in doubt, throw it out”
  • Anything from an animal is assumed to be contaminated.
  • I will never forget the image of cow flesh dripping blood on lettuce in a cooler : (
  • We had a bit of discussion about why would people want raw milk? (why would people want animals milk at all?)
  • I want an Ice Wand! Cool! Ice Wand! Yay!
  • Raw veggies cannot get bacteria! Cool! Just wash ’em (they are not listed as a potentially hazardous food).

Some of my questions were not answered…

Q. If all chickens are assumed to have Salmonella, do other birds have Salmonella? What about crows?

After some googling… I think not. But this book says that crows and seagulls (much like fish) have mercury in them http://books.google.ca/books?id=nCV8elrPxk0C&pg=PA164&lpg=PA164&dq=crows+salmonella&source=bl&ots=eIc0j06UFL&sig=KDEPNvWDNLMEN6cgrfJMG6lmkmk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qNkjT-fnNuGeiQL5j9HMBw&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

Q: How does food turn from an acid to alkaline in digestion (like lemons)?

“As I mentioned above, alkaline diet foods have an alkalizing effect on the body because they are rich in alkaline minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All of these minerals are very important, but potassium has the biggest effect on your internal pH.” via http://www.alkalinediet.org/

Other sources with info: http://www.brightsmilebeautifulyou.com/blog/lemon_water/index.html#.TyPXHWNWqFg

http://www.goutpal.com/gout-food-to-avoid.html

At first I was thinking, wow most of this doesn’t affect me. But then I realized that is does. Even if I make the choice not to eat animals and animal products many other people still do – and they could contaminate me! Or the people I love (everyone)! Or themselves! Wow! I did realize how much simpler cooking vegan is in terms of preventing disease. Yay. I think haha. We are all so connected, I see it more and more deeply each day.

I also noticed that the course was not very inclusive in some ways. I didn’t like the way we referred to my friends the chickens as “food”. Much of the footage in the videos also featured dead animals flesh being prepared which I found very disturbing.

There were many of my questions that were answered though!

I learned about why people eat cow meat that is cooked on the outside but not the inside (medium rare) but not other animals prepared in a similar manner (ie: chicken). Apparently all chicken is assumed to have Salmonella. Cow is different. Larger risks of contamination mainly come from ground beef because when they cut the meat there is a chance they can accidentally cut the intestines and release feces (poop) into the meat. So ground beef and chicken must be cooked all the way through to at least 74 degrees Celsius for at least 15 seconds to kill any dangerous microbes.

I passed with 92%. Score!

Let me know if you need me to be your FoodSafe person!

OH and I also had another idea. The purpose of FoodSafe is to keep the public safe and healthy…. So what about another course called “EnviroSafe” meant to keep the environment safe and healthy? They could have standards and certifications for waste management and green living! I also thought of “SelfSafe” a program for keeping our minds and thoughts safe and healthy. Imagine that!

Poem/Song: Won’t you be my friend?

Won’t you be my friend?

I met so many cool people at a potluck party last night! They inspired me! Life inspires me! I started singing this in my kitchen and then wrote and recorded it all in the span of about half an hour! Wham bam – boy am I fast today!

CAPO 3

C G

I just think that you’re so cool

Em G

but I don’t even know you

C G

I just like things you’re into

Em G

and you care the way I do

 

Em

you’re so sweet

G

and you’re so kind

Em

I would love

G

to see you all the time

 

Em

its clear you care

G

your love is there

Em

for every creature

G

 

Em

it’s there in the

G

clothes you wear

 

Em

and the things you

G

give your time to

 

Em G

may this song remind you

 

(repeat C G Em G)

I just think that you’re so cool

but I don’t even know you

I just like things you’re into

and you care the way I do

won’t you be my friend?

Letter Writing Works!

Recently I attended a lovely Liberation BC letter-writing volunteer night. We wrote letters to politicians and media outlets in response to animal rights issues.

There was a room full of awesome vegans and I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.

They introduced me to this guy and his vegan music videos:

SO FUNNY! I can’t find it now but my favorite one included him singing

I’m vegan ’cause animals are my friends and I want people to stop murdering my friends!

I was also reminded how lucky I am to have a vegan penpal!

The best part was right at the end of the night. I found all of these awesome animal hats that some little kids must have made in the recycling bin. I wore one all the way home. Tiger Jenni. Rawr. This week I got a letter back from city council saying they received my letter about banning Shark Fins and they are passing it around to all of the councilors and the mayor! Cool!

I’ve decided that it isn’t enough to value something and reflect that in the choices I make and how I live, if I want to create change I need to communicate with the world and share my knowledge, to be a voice for the voiceless : )

UPDATE: It looks like local politician Fin Donnelly, is advocating for sharks and recommending a nation wide Shark Fin ban! Awesome! Check it out here: http://www.findonnelly.ca/node/388

Cafe Gratitude is closing?

This post comes as a response to the recent announcement of the sale/closing of all Northern California Cafe Gratitude locations.

I’m gonna be honest, I have not worked at Cafe Gratitude. I have not seen any actual evidence of how they deal with compensation or tips, and I haven’t done Landmark so I can’t comment on that… however, I have had my life changed by their incredible philosophy. I learned how to love better, how to listen, and how all of that was within me to begin with.

I had the pleasure of recently doing a workshop with Matthew and Terces recently where they mentioned there was a legal battle beginning and I think Terces especially was very upset about the whole thing. It was very hard for me to watch her struggle with that. I don’t know anything for sure, but I am making up they have made good in the world. Actually, that’s not true. I know one thing for sure. Cafe Gratitude inspires me every day to live better and love more.The last time I walked into a Cafe Gratitude one of my friends in the kitchen said “Hey, this girl came all the way from Canada to eat at our restaurant.” and he was right. And I am so grateful for that.

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)

roughly 1200+ animals die per second in Canada from the meat industry

According to chooseveg.ca over 650 million animals are slaughtered for food each year in Canada…

According to my calculations that’s…

1 780 821.92 per day.

74 200.9133 per hour.

1 236.68189 per second.

And 95% of these are from Factory Farms. Now it’s very late and my math might be totally off on this, but wow. That makes me very sad.

Go vegan please and thank you.
Holiday Baking - All Vegan!

And eat yummy things like this!

What if those were cats dying, would people stop eating cats? What about dogs? Why do we not bottle human milk and sell it? All questions this crazy system has left me with no answer to *sigh*