Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Animal Advocacy Tip

Give your local library(ies) a gift subscription to the magazine Veg News. It's a very effective way to get information to a lot of people without much effort, or money.

Library visitors tend to browse the magazine section and are more likely to pick up a brightly colored cover and read a publication that gives information in short, well-designed articles - as opposed to searching the library catalog for a book on animal issues. Until they see the topic in front of them, it's unlikely they'll seek the info.

I also leave old issues in the breakroom at work, or at doctor's offices, but I wouldn't recommend investing in a separate subscription for these locations; the magazines tend to walk.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm Tired of .....Animal Cruelty

Check out this website I'm Tired Of....

For $10 you can purchase a great looking bracelet - made of recycled rubber and metal - and $5 will go to Best Friends Animal Society. The metal is embossed with "I'm Tired Of Animal Cruelty".

If you have a large wrist, definitely get the men's size, as the women's/child size does run small.

I love it! It's much nicer than the rubber "charity" bracelets. And it is proving to be a great conversation starter - people want to read it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wait a second - A VEG Holiday Romance Movie?

So after I wrote my last post, I was flipping through my DVR recordings and came across one last Holiday Lifetime-ish movie I had recorded that I had yet to watch - Will You Merry Me. Yes, that's the title and I STILL watched it.

The basic premise: a Jewish girl and a Christian guy fall in love, get engaged and get together with all the parents over Christmas/Hanukkah to meet each other. It was actually kind of cute, and even had some funny moments. But then, it got even better.

- The girl is staying in the guy's childhood bedroom and he has a hunting rifle hanging on the wall over his door. She's appalled and proclaims she can't believe he can hunt, killing innocent animals, etc.

- They go to the kitchen and his mother is preparing one of the ducks the father had killed. Guy reminds Mom that girl is a vegetarian. Mom says duck is ok because it's not meat. Girl says she doesn't eat anything that smiles. Mom then tries to find something to make for her, settling on quiche, when guy tells Mom she doesn't eat cheese either. Mom replies, "Cheese smiles?" I admit I chuckled - and I know, most animals (except chimps and humans) don't "smile" - but it was an effective scene that displayed the mother's lack of awareness.

- Guy and girl fight (partially about emails sent by a former girlfriend - emails about "animal rights" and stuff, he claims).

The parents fight (mostly about family traditions). But the overall message of the movie appeared to be that it's ok to start new traditions - like the one mentioned in the final scene as follows:

- After reconciling, guy tells girl that they'll have a VEGAN Christmas. She asks him if he'll eat Tofurky. He says he LOVES Tofurky and that he'll eat it whenever she serves it.

So there you go. Just when I thought my stupid movie obsession was shallow and time-wasting, I'm given some validation. And a reminder that things sure have come a long way toward mainstream vegan awareness.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolution - blog more?

Blogging is hard work. Like the presidency was for George W. Bush. I have great admiration for those that do it well, and consistently. It's quite a challenge to present interesting topics and back it up with well written verse, research and facts.

But I want to do it more, and I'm going to make an effort to do just that - even if it means just sharing random thoughts that aren't focused on veganism.

Like for instance, I spent an obscene amount of time this "season" watching corny holiday romances on the Lifetime and Hallmark channels. Apparently if it has snow, Christmas lights and some improbable love story, I'm in. Does anyone else suffer from that malady? I guess it's better than doing crack... or is it?

My husband doesn't understand my interest in romance movies and, ehem, reality TV. I tell him that's the same way I feel about him watching baseball - I don't find that the least bit interesting and a waste of time. So is it predominantly hormone driven? I know there are exceptions - women who enjoy watching sports, and men who enjoy romances - but there does tend to be a legitimate separation between the sexes along these lines.

When I think about it, I find it somewhat disturbing that this is one more example of compulsions - resulting from being a human animal - I have no control over. Intellectually I know these activities are pointless and time wasting, but I can't help myself. So I feed the urges.

But now that the election is over and the holidays are behind us, I'm going try to limit TV watching in the New Year, and focus on some other pursuits - like blogging. But if you don't hear from me for a while, check the TV listings. There's probably a new season of The Bachelor or something on, and that's where I am.

And it's not my fault...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

With Palin in the race, please forget Nader

I think it's pretty clear that the US, the World and the Planet cannot take another 4 years, or more, of Republican rule. I understand the desire to vote outside of the 2-party system, but I am asking everyone to take the time to educate themselves on what a McCain-Palin administration would mean for the animals, and the environment. What will a vote for Nader, or someone else, achieve in real terms? What could it cost us?

Here is a little primer, consisting of excerpted quotes from Sarah Palin, regarding these issues, taken from this site:

Palin On the Environment:

* Opposed protections for salmon from mining contamination. (Aug 2008)
* Sue US government to stop listing polar bear as endangered. (Aug 2008)
* We must encourage timber, mining, drilling, & fishing. (Jan 2008)
* Wolf predator control is important for subsistence hunters. (Sep 2007)
* Feds shouldn't list beluga whales as endangered. (Aug 2007)
* Provide stability in regulations for developers. (Jan 2007)
* Convince the rest of the nation to open ANWR. (Jan 2007)
* Fish platform: "Resource First" philosophy. (Nov 2006)
* Supports "Roads to Resources": subsidized access to mines. (Oct 2006)
* Don't duplicate effort in monitoring cruise ship emissions. (Oct 2006)

Palin on Guns:

* Hunts and fishes, as did her father. (Aug 2008)
* Hunts as much as she can; freezer-full of wild game. (Aug 2008)

Palin On Oil and Energy:

* Produce more of our own oil & gas, for national security. (Sep 2008)
* More pipelines; more nukes; more coal; more alternatives. (Sep 2008)
* Claimed major triumph: $500 million subsidy for gas pipeline. (Aug 2008)
* Global warming affects Alaska, but is not man-made. (Aug 2008)
* Gasline Inducement Act: 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline. (Aug 2008)
* Commercialize Alaska's North Slope natural gas. (Aug 2008)
* Appointed an Alaska oil and gas commissioner. (Aug 2008)
* To win, GOP must push energy independence. (Aug 2008)
* Lift moratorium on offshore drilling. (Jul 2008)
* Convinced McCain to drill offshore; not yet on drilling ANWR. (Jul 2008)
* Unlock ANWR; we're ready, willing and able to contribute. (Jun 2008)
* Bush is right: drill ANWR & develop our own supplies. (Apr 2008)
* Get ANWR open. (Nov 2006)
* Chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. (Nov 2006)

Care about human population control? She's for legislating reproductive choices, opposing anything other than abstinence-only programs and is against abortion rights unless the "life of the woman is in danger".

Her husband is a commericial fisherman, when he's not working in oil field production for BP.

Probably the most horrific things she supports is aerial wolf hunting. You can see a video of what that entails here.

Check out the Palin Family Animal Torture Photo Album at this site, which also offers some more info on her environmental positions.

At this point in the election year, a vote for a 3rd-party candidate is a potential vote against our future. Please consider that when you make your selection this November.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Animal Advocacy Tip:

Ok, I am so totally stealing this tip from Gary at Animal Writings. First of all, always carry animal advocacy literature with you - in your purse, backpack or car. Throw in a variety of them so you can have something for whatever occasion may arise. I pretty much already did that in my car, but Gary introduced me to this tip after watching him do it once while following him out of a parking garage. He offered literature to the parking garage attendant! They must be the most bored individuals at work, so what a perfect captive audience eager for something to read.

This past Sunday we had one of those "How cool was that?" moments when fellow activist Lisa accidentally pulled her car into a guarded lot in DC. Lisa rolled down the window to tell the guard we needed to turn around, and before she could say anything the guard excitedly yelled out "Are you vegans?" It took us a second to realize she was reading Lisa's license plate, and then we offered her Compassion Over Killing's Veg-DC Restaurant Guide, which she enthusiastically accepted. You just never know when you'll have an opportunity for advocacy, so better to be prepared...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Restaurant Review - Lotus Vegetarian, Chantilly, VA

So it's kind of exciting when a new veg restaurant opens up in the suburbs. Now if we had a full-fledged vegan bakery, I'd pretty much be all set!

Lotus Vegetarian is located in Chantilly, near the intersection of Routes 50 and 28, in the same plaza as K-Mart and Lowe's (Sully Place). (13872 Metrotech Drive, Chantilly, VA 20151, 703-378-6888.) It's a small but pleasant space, very casual with plenty of booths. You order at a counter - I believe for eat in or takeout. (I think they might have waitress service if you eat in, but I was doing takeout, so I'm not sure.)

I've read online that the owners worked at Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant (located in Vienna and Seven Corners) and the menu is very similar, although less extensive. It's Asian-inspired, with lots of faux meat dishes, some salads, veggie items, soups, "burgers" and sandwiches, rice and noodles, smoothies and juices. The menu is mostly vegan, with dishes containing egg and dairy clearly marked. Unfortunately their desserts all contain egg.

I wanted to try a few things to get a sense of the quality, so I ordered Summer Rolls, Avocado Roll and Vege-Chicken with Cashews.

The Summer Rolls (rice paper wrapped with vege-ham, basil, jicama, carrots, lettuce and dry spiced tofu) were nice, but a little smaller than I am used to. Usually the summer rolls I've purchased and made are more plump - so I was a little disappointed at their skimpiness. The dipping sauce was soy-sauce based, rather than the peanut sauce common with Vietnamese rolls. I probably wouldn't order them again...but they aren't bad.

The Avocado Roll (avocado, vege-crab meat, cucumber, black and white sesame seeds in nori sheet) were good, but I could have used some more wasabi. The roll itself was a very generous serving, though. They also have a Rainbow Roll (vege-ham, tofu skin, organic carrots, pickled radish, asparagus, cucumber and soy protein strips) which I definitely want to try next time. Overall, a good vegetarian way to satisfy a sushi fix.

The Vege-Chicken with Cashews (diced soy protein sauteed with sugar peas, zucchini, organic carrots, jicama, while mushrooms and cashew nuts in brown sauce) was excellent. I really liked the flavor and the texture of the protein. I would have liked a few more nuts, but I'm just whining. The jicama was a nice, crunchy addition. The brown rice accompanying the dish was cooked right. (My husband went without me and tried the Vege-Beef with Snow Peas [marinated soy beef sauteed with snow peas, organic carrots, jicama and lotus root in brown sauce] and said it was also excellent.)

The take-out packaging needs a little work. Things leaked and got shifted around. Just beware...

Overall I was very pleased and look forward to visiting often and dining in-house. I think it's so important to support local veg establishments, to ensure that more people get to try vegetarian foods and that the public sees establishments thriving.

Upcoming review: Mei's Asian Bistro, Arlington, VA