All posts tagged: Plant based

Why I’m Vegan

Why are you vegan? I’m asked this question all the time and the full answer is far too complicated for me to answer succinctly. Instead, I tackle the interrogation with a simple answer – “for the environment, animals, and my health” – but the truth is there’s far more to it. Sometimes my response is enough, but more curious folks will press further. How is being vegan better for the environment? But aren’t dairy cows treated well? So where do you get your protein? In such moments, I wish I had a packet I could give them and say “read over this and that’s your answer.” Although realistically I can’t walk around with copies of a document highlighting the facts that informed my decision to go vegan, I can share one digitally. So here’s my web-based Why I’m Vegan fact sheet for those who are curious and for vegans who need a reminder of why they made changes to their lifestyle. Let’s start with one of my favorite facts: “Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 …

My Guide to Vegan Food in Los Angeles

There are so so so so sooooo many vegan and vegan friendly restaurants in Los Angeles that I probably haven’t even been to most of them. Regardless, here are some of my favorite places to eat in LA that vegans and non-vegans alike would enjoy: 100% vegan restaurants: Shojin: This Japanese restaurant is expensive, but worth the price. Not only is the food spectacular (both beautifully plated and delicious), but the dining experience itself is truly one of a kind. (Little Tokyo – Downtown, Culver City) Sage: Sage is one of my favorite restaurants to take non-vegans who are open to trying vegan food, and where I eat most often with vegan friends and family. While they’re open for every meal of the day, Sage is my go-to spot for a healthy, filling brunch. (Echo Park, Culver City) My Vegan Gold: My oh my, do I love My Vegan Gold. This was one of the first 100% vegan restaurants I tried after moving to Los Angeles, and I keep going back again and again. I recommend their yellow curry …

How YouTube & Instagram Are Normalizing the Vegan Lifestyle

  This post is a slightly tweaked version of a paper I presented as part of the Political and Social Subtexts of Food panel at the 2017 National Pop Culture & American Culture Conference in San Diego. ———– Thanks in part to social media, being vegan in America has become more acceptable and even “cool” in some circles. But more importantly, digital vegan activists have made veganism approachable for many of those who may not have access to the movement otherwise. YouTube and Instagram, in particular, seem to be platforms in which vegan content creators can work to normalize the lifestyle, while simultaneously creating a digital social community where vegans can find the support and resources they need to sustain their lifestyle decisions. Based on current food industry trends, the U.S. vegan population appears to be on the rise, though the exact increase is difficult to gauge since recent reliable data isn’t available. But with major ice cream companies such as Ben & Jerry’s and Dreyer’s now offering dairy free flavors, and a wheat, coconut …

Calling All Vegans!

If you’re vegan and use YouTube as a resource for recipes and information, please reach out to me! I’m preparing to present on Veganism & YouTube at the Pop Culture Association and American Culture Association national conference in San Diego this April, and am looking for insight from vegans who include YouTube as part of their online community. If that’s you, please respond to the following questions using the contact form below. Be sure to include your name, age, gender (man, woman, or gender non-conforming), location, and how long you have been vegan. If you were vegetarian before becoming vegan, be sure to include the number of years you were vegetarian before transitioning. Did watching a YouTuber or specific YouTube video influence your decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle? If so, what YouTube channels in particular? How often do you consume vegan material on YouTube? What channels do you watch and why? What sort of content are these YouTubers providing for you (i.e. recipes, lifestyle tips, animal cruelty information)? What other materials do you credit to influencing and …

VEGAN COOKING: My Two Favorite Chefs/Bloggers

If you’ve been following my blog within the past year, you may know that I made the transition from vegetarian to vegan and am loving my new lifestyle. My ability to make this transition is in large part thanks to my sister, who opened my eyes to this compassionate way of living, but I also have the internet to thank. YouTube, in particular, with its surplus of vegan-related content, has played an immeasurable role in the success and sustainability of my transformation. Before becoming vegan, I seriously disliked cooking. I found the process to be somewhat boring and almost a waste of time, especially considering how convenient, affordable, and addictive greasy foods are. But when I began bringing more variety into my diet (because not eating meat and dairy actually means you try more new foods), cooking became fun and challenging in the best kind of way. My newly found enthusiasm for cooking is largely thanks to the blog and YouTube channel, hot for food, along with co-creator Lauren Toyota’s personal channel, Lauren in Real Life. And recently, I discovered another vegan blog and …

5 Essential Food & Agriculture Docs on Netflix

I believe that it is immensely important that we know where our food comes from. Not only is it in our best interest, but it’s our right! These five documentaries listed below, which are all available on Netflix, provide a quality starting point for learning about food production and consumption in the U.S. Check them out and be sure to let me know about some of your favorite food and agriculture documentaries in the comment section below!   GMO OMG (dir. Jeremy Seifert, 2013) In GMO OMG father and filmmaker Jeremy Seifert investigates GMOs: what are they, what do we know about them, and how is our government involved with the protection of huge agricultural businesses such as Monsanto? Even if you know about GMO’s and steer clear of them already, Seifert’s critical examination of GMO’s and “big ag” is interesting and powerful. And his kids are super cute!   Food Inc. (dir. Robert Kenner, 2008) I think of Food Inc. as the ultimate documentary about food in the United States. From plant-agriculture, to factory farming, big ag, fast food, organic farming, politics, animal welfare, health, poverty, …

Happy Earth Day!

I’m no scientist, but this I know: if we continue treating our planet without care or compassion, the repercussions will be insurmountable. This Earth Day, lets not only celebrate our beautiful world, but also acknowledge the threats we pose to our environment and the need to take action! Here are a few web-based resources where you can learn more about what’s threatening our environment today: Non-profit environmental institutions: World Resources Institute, Greenpeace, Air & water pollution: National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, Oceana Climate change: Climate Action Network, The Climate Institute, Endangered animal life: World Wildlife Fund, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Animal agriculture: United Nations Environment Programme, PETA Global warming is real. It is happening today. It is being charted by our satellites. It is being charted by our scientists. It is being charted by those of us in this body, and I think the real key is if we are ready to admit that fact and take the action to make the necessary conversion. – Dianne Feinstein War contributes greatly to global warming, which shouldn’t surprise us. All those bombs going off, all …

Visiting Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is a non-profit that is devoted to protecting farm animals from cruelty, while also working to inspire people to make choices that are more compassionate and sustainable by promoting a vegan lifestyle. Farm Sanctuary is the country’s largest animal rescue and protection organization, with sanctuaries in Watkins Glen, NY, Northern California, and the Los Angeles area. And thanks to Tracey and Jon Stewart, Farm Sanctuary will soon be opening a fourth location in New Jersey. This past weekend I visited the Los Angeles sanctuary (located in Acton, CA) for the second time, and captured photos of some of the gentle creatures that are lucky enough to act as ambassadors for the 9 billion farm animals that die each year in the U.S. alone. If you are in the upstate New York area, or Northern or Southern California, be sure to visit a sanctuary and get to know these unique, kind, and beautiful animals.  

If You Care About Our Environment, Then You Must Watch “Cowspiracy”

As a vegetarian for the past decade or so, I’ve been well aware of the ethical implications of eating meat, but I was never fully educated on the extreme impact animal agriculture has on our environment. About a month ago I decided to become vegan for three reasons: animal welfare (because eating dairy and eggs causes just as much harm to animals as eating meat does), the positive impact a vegan lifestyle has on the environment, and for health reasons. I was inspired by a number of vegans on YouTube (who I will post about in a few weeks), and documentaries available on Netflix, but watching Cowspiracy has cemented my decision more than anything else. The truth of the matter is, if you want to leave a planet for our children and our children’s children to thrive on, then we need to start making changes. There is so much that the general public isn’t aware of when it comes to animal agriculture, pollution, and sustainability, but the information is out there and we do have the power to make a difference. If you think of …