Saturday, December 31, 2011

You're too nice

Happy Holidays to everyone!

We had a wonderful time over the season with friends, family and lots and lots of food!

Just today, my husband blurted out something that caught me off guard. He said,  “you’re too nice, too nice of a vegan.”  I asked him what he meant.
 He went on to explain how recently, when we were with friends sharing our holiday stories and events we attended, some made a point to direct their consumption of “the best steak”, pot roast, or whatever at me directly.  They seemed to derive great pleasure in telling me this as it was all done in fun.

I admit that I tend to take comments like this in stride even though my wonderful husband believes that I am more sensitive to many of the omnivores than they are towards me in this respect.      
I thought back on the evening in question. At the time, I did feel a bit annoyed, but I played along, not wanting to put a damper on the evening.  Now I have to admit, I do feel some sadness at the seemingly callous attitude many of my fellow believing(Christian) friends have towards animals. (well, farm animals anyway)

My husband thought that maybe I should have responded with the health and cruelty stats of a meat-centered diet.  But like I said, I didn’t want to put a damper on the evening.  He got me thinking though.   Am I too nice a vegan? 

I’ve written a bit about my journey to veganism in a previous post. How I was vegetarian for over 16 years and felt that was enough, not wanting to appear “extreme” or “militant” like those “crazy” vegans.  Now I am one.  And happily so.
But, I’ve also shared my distaste for conflict, even though I know that I have the ability to silence a room on this issue.  I did it once before, almost 20 years ago.

It was Christmas time and we were visiting family. Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins were there. But one granddad was not. He had recently suffered a heart attack.  I withstood teasing and joking about my vegetarianism for a couple of days. Some continued at the dinner table Christmas evening.  I’d had enough. I then lashed out with the stats on cancer, heart disease, etc and their link to the standard American, meat heavy diet.  Then, I went in for the kill and linked it back to how maybe our other grandpa could have been there with us that day if not for different lifestyle choices in terms of food.   Well, everyone shut up pretty quick, looks of guilt on their faces and no one teased me again for the rest of our visit.

Am I proud of how I responded? Yes and no. I have no regrets for standing up for myself and what I believed was important. I’m not proud of the fact that it took a couple of days of teasing before I finally spoke up. 
Should I have spoken up at our recent gathering of friends? Maybe.   But I am responding now.

Honestly, to hear anyone, my loved ones included wax on about the joys of consuming animals is not fun for me.  Ok, I hate it. Especially when it’s done with such “glee and delight” to somehow taunt me.   My reasons for abstaining from meat and now all animal products are for more than the health reasons I had for many years. But also for basic compassion and care for God’s creatures. Yes, the Bible seems to allow for meat eating. It also allows for the consumption of beetles and locusts.
No one I know is giddy about eating those.  

I wonder if I were a kosher observant Jew or Hindu vegetarian, or pork eschewing Muslim, would the omnivores in my life jokingly throw their meat eating adventures my way for sport?  I doubt it.   It often seems that those of us that are vegans or vegetarians by choice without a necessarily religious background attached to it, are fair game to poke fun at.

Have a blessed and happy New Year and here’s to speaking up sooner and more often for what you believe and for those who have no voice!

One final thought.  If you’re vegan or vegetarian, and you receive negative feedback or “good natured” ribbing from your loved ones, how do you respond?  Maybe you’re quicker on your feet with a witty comeback than I am. (like my dear husband is. Lol)  Or do you stew about it for a while then whip it out in a blog post? :-) 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One of the best cake recipes ever

Yes, here I am. I'm sure the one or two of you who actually read this blog were losing sleep these past few months wondering what I've been up to all this time.  No? You say you've had better things to do with your time that waste it stalking this crazy little blog?  

Well, lots has been going on around here. Namely a trip to my hometown of Los Angeles at the beginning of the summer. Perhaps I'll write about that little adventure soon.  I will say this, vegan and vegetarian restaurants abound in the LA area. I was a happy girl for sure!

Today I want to share an amazing cake recipe I came across a few days ago on Chef Chloe's website.  Who's Chef Chloe you say?? Ok, if you're vegan or even vegetarian and you don't know who she is, you seriously need to consider turning in your "Vclub" card.  Just kidding..  But seriously. Chef Chloe' Coscarelli was the first vegan to win a competition on the Food Network last year on Cupcake Wars. Check it out here. Just scroll down the page until you get to the video.
Chloe' was so sweet and adorable even in the face of those catty traditional bakers.  I loved it!

So anyway, fast forward a year later to an amazing cake on Chef Chloe's site. Lemon Olive Oil Cake. Olive oil in a cake you say? Believe me, it was so moist, so decadent.  You don't have to be vegan to appreciate it.
I made a few adjustments for my version, including a mango-papaya syrup in place of the powdered sugar.

I have several friends who don't do regular wheat very well, so I substituted white spelt flour for the all-purpose flour in Chloe's version.  I also used agave' nectar instead of the maple syrup she calls for.  I have another friend who doesn't do other sugars well.   I was feeling a bit sassy, so I added a few pinches of turmeric as well, for more color and a slight(ok, minimal) nutrition boost..

I highly recommend you give it a try and let me know what you think.  It reminded me a lot of the lemon cakes I ate as a kid, only sooo much more sophisticated.  :-)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Long time, no write. And an interview..

So, it's been like five months since I last posted anything.  I'm a bad girl, I know..
Well, I'm working on something now that should be up soon.  In the mean time, here's an interview I did for Sarah of the blog Stuff About Stuff.  She's doing a series on vegan parents and their kids. Very cool.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

I was too young to remember the event. The one that no doubt shattered the hopes of many and inflamed the passion for equality and possibly vengeance in others.
My mother was a young woman of 24 when this tragedy occurred. I wonder what she felt when she first heard the news.  I will have to ask her the next time we talk.

But today we celebrate his life and his seemingly God-given mission and destiny to initially fight for  the equality and freedom of African Americans and then for those from every race, religion, and background.
I have much to thank Dr King and others for their role in the evolution of civil rights in this country.

It is surreal to me to sit and contemplate that within my own lifetime and that of my parents, there existed segregated restrooms and lunch counters, lack of voting rights, and even lynching.   In fact, my husband and I (who is white) would have been charged with a felony in the state of Virginia for the crime of miscegenation.

So I am thankful and  forever indebted to Dr King, and others from that era who stood up to injustice of all kinds  Especially to those who preached a nonviolent but firm resistance to evil.  And I am most thankful to the One who I believe was their inspiration. The One I call Savior..

Related: "Letter from Birmingham Jail"