The best vegan fun-in-the-sun products! It’s sunsational!  »

Here in Portland people tend to get really excited when we have sun, and as a result get sunburned very easily. So I put together a fancy list of a few vegan sunscreens to keep your skin as healthy as your insides! Bam!

This sunless tanner from Nature’s Gate is the perfect way to add a little glow to your skin during the winter if tanning beds aren’t your thing. I’m a huge fan of their unscented lotion, making this lotion great to use whenever I’m not nursing a new tattoo. Just remember to wash your hands after application! They will turn orange, and no one likes that.

As a rock climber this Aqua block, also from Nature’s Gate, is exactly what I need in the summer. When climbing at places like Smith rock, it’s necessary to wear the strongest protection you can find so you don’t burn to a crisp. The water-resistance is a big plus for anyone who does summer sports or spends a lot of time in the water, nothing worse than sweating off that spendy sun block.

Food Fight grocery
 carries this sport sunscreen by Alba Botanica. Other local stores that carry vegan sunscreens are New Seasons and Whole Foods.

It’s always important to take care of your skin after being in the sun as well, because everyone forgets sunscreen sometimes! Aloe vera is always a good option or you could try an after-sun lotion like After Sun Face & Body Moisturizer by Aubrey Organics

For those of us who like indoor tanning, I am sad to report that I haven’t been able to find an indoor tanning lotion suitable for vegans. If anyone knows of such a thing please contact me! I miss my tanning salon. Even though I have been known to use indoor tanning, I don’t promote indoor tanning because I know that it can cause cancer. And that’s just not right!

This guest post was brought to you by Chelsea Catchpole, a vegan who hails from the mystical land of Portland, Oregon. She is a barista by day and a blogger, climber, and “chef” by night. You can normally find her wandering the isles of New Seasons or The People’s co-op, spending way too much money on new foods. The rest of her free time is spent cuddling with her two cats, Sushi and Mojo-Jojo. You can read her other musings at Stumpy Vegan.


Public radio presents biased perspective on ethical eating  »

The discussion thread for Oregon Public Broadcasting's (OPB) radio program on ”Knowing Your Meat" quickly spurred lots of rage and debate among the Portland vegan community (thanks to the folks at Herbivore clothing via their twitter @herbivorecc)—and rightly so.

The photo affiliated with the discussion—something previously talked about on Vegansaurus—is unbelievably sickening. I can only imagine holding a dead animal like that if she had been a beloved companion animal, not something I was about to EAT. Naomi Pomeroy, the woman from the photo and the owner of the restaurant Beast, says that the photo is meant to help us acknowledge that the meat we come from was once a living animal. An ex-vegetarian herself, Pomeroy suggests we should only eat meat if we know where the animal’s from. I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly why I won’t eat meat. It seems ludicrous to eat something that was once a living and breathing sentient being.

The ethics of this woman are very strange to me. On the website for Beast she says that “pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans would find it a challenge to enjoy our six-course dinners.” Uh, OK? But honestly, what more could we expect from a woman who turned away from vegetarianism for the benefit of her business? To feel like she was still doing something “good,” Pomeroy decided to start sourcing the meat for Beast from “ethical” and “local” distributors. This was the whole reason for the online discussion and radio broadcast: finding out if it’s worth it to only purchase “ethical” and “local” meats, and if so, where do you draw the line?

I agree with Michelle from Herbivore: She wanted to know why they weren’t going to have any vegans or vegetarians as guests on the radio show. Just because we personally don’t eat meat doesn’t mean we can’t offer some valid points on ethical eating. Instead the whole broadcast was full of ex-vegetarians calling in to explain why they began eating meat (hint: it’s always because they could now get it from ethical sources). My question here is, where were all the vegan callers!? I know there were no shortage of vegans posting on the internet discussion, but not a single one was on the radio. I’m worried that OPB screened the calls, or maybe no vegans actually called in, which either way is a serious shame. According to the Think Out Loud  blog there were a few technical difficulties with the calls. I understand that a few off the calls were dropped instead of being put on hold. Instead I listened to someone who had been a vegetarian for over 20 years describe how she started eating meat out of respect for her husband’s avid hunting.

One of the other callers (also an ex-vegetarian) spoke about buying whole animals to have butchered for food for her and her husband. The caller said she wasn’t yet ready raise her own animals for food for fear of growing attached to them. I think this sums up what is wrong with her meat-eating. She’s admitting she has a problem with the death of animals for food, so why try to deny that by continuing to eat them? Also, please see:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on!]

I’m sad this radio broadcast failed to represent realistic ways for Portlanders (and anyone for that matter) to eat truly ethically. [Ed.: Perhaps we can all email the OPD programming folks and ask for Thinking Out Loud to do a show on ethical eating? LET’S ALL DO IT! It’s your five-minute activism for the day!]

This guest op-ed was brought to you by Chelsea Catchpole, a vegan who hails from the mystical land of Portland, Oregon. She is a barista by day and a blogger, climber, and “chef” by night. You can normally find her wandering the isles of New Seasons or The People’s co-op, spending way too much money on new foods. The rest of her free time is spent cuddling with her two cats, Sushi and Mojo-Jojo. You can read her other musings at Stumpy Vegan.


Vegan-friendly rock climbing! Work it out!  »

I wasn’t vegan when I started rock climbing a few years ago, but I was lucky enough to already own a pair of synthetic climbing shoes when I decided to become a vegan. For all of you climbers who weren’t so lucky or if you’re a vegan and new to climbing I did some research on some of the top synthetic climbing shoes to share with you all.

Defy’s are my original climbing shoe love. They are great for beginners or any level for that matter! They even come in purple (for the ladies?). If you are looking for something a little bit more aggressive you might like the Five Ten Blackwings. These shoes provide stability and comfort while giving you the edge to tackle the more advanced climbs. And these are just hella cute! For you mini-climbers you can check out the Venga’s by Evolv. Nothing better than a day at the local crag with the kidlins.

In general Evolv will be your go-to company for climbing shoes; they offer the most vegan-friendly climbing shoes out of any climbing company. Vegan win! When you go to purchase climbing shoes I definitely recommend going into an actual store and having someone fit you. Buying climbing shoes is nothing like buying your trendy Toms. You want them to fit very tight (but not painful) and have to know what you’ll be wearing them for. It would be a huge waste of money to buy some advanced shoes if you are just a beginner.

If you already know how to fit yourself and don’t mind waiting for a package to come in the mail then feel free to try ordering a pair online. If you live in the Portland area I think you should check ClimbMax. They don’t have the biggest selection of vegan climbing shoes but everyone who works there is very knowledgeable and will do their best to answer your questions. ClimbMax also carries ropes, quick draws, cams, guide books and just about anything you could think about needing for your climbing adventures.

For all things outdoors make sure to take a trip out to Next Adventure. Always start in their bargain basement for gently used products such as tents, sleeping bags, and hiking shoes! If you prefer shiny gear, stay on the main level and don’t forget to head upstairs for camp cooking utensils and gear.

Next to having the right gear, I’m all about planning what to eat when I go climbing! Don’t make the mistake my friend made on one unfortunate climbing trip: He decided to leave the house with only a Costco-size box of danishes. FOR A WHOLE WEEK! Lucky for him I showed up with a car full of food. When planning what to eat you have to take into consideration your surroundings. Will you be in a traditional camp site? Are you staying in someone’s house or a hotel? Or are you just going out for a day?

No matter what the case, always remember that you are classier than PB&J and veggie dogs (gag). For ease, prepare what you can at home. Plan on having stir fry? Portion out your rice or grain of choice and have your vegetables pre-sliced. For climbing trips some of my favorite foods to cook include curries, stir fries, soups, pita pizzas (super easy to make if you have a Dutch oven), and really just about anything you can think of! I love being the envy of the cooking site when I go out on climbing trips.

For breakfast try to keep it simple, oatmeal with some fruit mixed in is a perfect, hearty meal to start your day. It’s fast and clean up is fairly easy. The goal is to get the job done and beat the other climbers to the best climbs, or, you know, to try to catch up to the other climbers because your alarm didn’t go off. Lunch is always best kept in snack form. I always keep an assortment of Cliff bars, mixed nuts, and dried fruits in my pack (and sometimes a PB&J). But most important of the food rules is DO NOT FORGET YOUR WATER! I know from experience that it can get above 100 degrees very fast at Smith Rock State Park in the summer and you would be a dead climber walking without your water bottle.On a side note: Vitamin Water and Crystal Light do not count as water! Only plain-jane water will do.

When you’re out there climbing just remember to have fun, be good and learn something new (like how to apply your vegan ethics to the basic ethics of climbing)! So vegan brothers and sisters, there are no more excuses. Get some shoes, get out to Smith Rock or whatever, and do your thing!

Chelsea Catchpole is a vegan who hails from the mystical land of Portland, Ore. She is a barista by day and a blogger, climber, and “chef” by night. You can normally find her wandering the isles of New Seasons or The People’s co-op. The rest of her free time is spent cuddling with her two cats, Sushi and Mojo-Jojo. You can read her other musings here.

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