All posts tagged: Vegan

Watch “Earthlings”

After years of avoidance, I finally watched Earthlings.  If you haven’t heard of it, Earthlings (dir. Shaun Monson, 2005) is an animal rights documentary that’s inspired countless viewers to re-think their relationship with animals, capitalism, and the world at large. The film, which is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, is broken into five parts covering the use of animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and test subjects. Even as someone who’s knowledgeable about animal abuse, I was utterly shocked by what I saw happening to the animals in this film. It’s certainly not easy to watch, but it’s necessary viewing for those who don’t wish to blindly engage in the exploitation of people and animals. I’d like to note that this film does compare the horrors of human slavery and genocide to our treatment of animals, which I don’t personally support. The oppression of humans and other animals is certainly connected, but I think it’s only appropriate to let the victims and ancestors of those atrocities draw such conclusions. Please watch Earthlings with an open mind and a willingness to acknowledge that our …

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 …

Tommy Wiseau, Vegan Pizza, & Gifs

I really enjoyed putting together this casual newsletter-style post back in June, so I thought I’d do another! Here’s what I’ve been watching, listening to, reading, thinking about, doing, eating, and fawning over. What have you been into lately? WATCHING Not to be dramatic, but I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to watch much TV or go to the movies. As far as television goes I’m currently watching Stranger Things, Transparent, Golden Girls, X-Files, Master of None, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m basically part-way through all of these shows but haven’t been watching consistently. But I did binge the past 10 episodes of I Love You America with Sarah Silverman on Hulu the other night and I LOVE IT — YOU SHOULD WATCH! This past week I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi and attended the 30th anniversary screening of Die Hard. The movies I plan on FINALLY watching this week include Lady Bird, The Florida Project, and The Disaster Artist, and I’m hoping to see Call Me By Your Name, Lemon, and Lucky soon. Oh can we talk about The Disaster Artist trailer for a …

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 …

Business & Leisure in San Diego

This past weekend my sister accompanied me to San Diego, CA, where I presented a paper at the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association’s national conference. My paper, titled “How YouTube and Instagram are Normalizing Veganism,” analyzes the ways in which vegan cooking and lifestyle content creators appropriate mainstream YouTube aesthetics, and examines the importance of a strong digital community for vegans. While the purpose of my trip was to present at the conference, I spent the majority of my time hanging out with my sister in and around San Diego. On our way down from Los Angeles we stopped in San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar, La Jolla, and Coronado Island, and in San Diego we spent time at Balboa Park and around Old Town. We also drank great coffee from Heartwork Coffee Bar and Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, and stuffed ourselves with food from Kindred and Barra Barra. Presenting at PCA/ACA not only gave me the chance to work on my public speaking skills (I’m doing better but there’s so much room for improvement), but it also provided me with some much-needed time for …

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 …

Keep Portland Weird!

During a recent trip to Portland, OR, I spotted the “Keep Portland Weird” mural I recognized from Portlandia, and I was pretty excited (though not excited enough to get a picture, oops!). But is it even possible for Portland not to be weird? Weirdness is in the air, the water, the food, the sounds, the streets, the businesses, the citizens. Weirdness is an intrinsic part of the city’s identity. Portland is weird and weird is Portland. Let me take a moment to say that my concept of “weird” is essentially “cool.” Portland isn’t weird in an uncomfortable, eerie way – Portland is weird in an uncompromisingly humble, kind, welcoming, and unapologetically unique type-of-way. I had briefly been to Portland once before, but for some reason, I wasn’t hit as hard with the weird-cool vibes as I was on this most recent trip. Oh, and Portlanders are unbelievably nice too! Below are a few pictures that I snapped during my trip, most of which are from Washington Park’s International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. Not pictured is all the great vegan food I ate (besides …