How to STAY vegan: 13 tips!  »


Cleavage shot by yours truly

Anybody can GO vegan. Heck, my dad makes a joke that goes, “I’m vegan… BETWEEN MEALS!” Ha! Got me there, Dad!

The point is, many people decide to go vegan and they’re all about it for a while. Then they get frustrated. Or bored. Or lonely. Or demotivated. Or any number of less-than-optimal states of being. We’ve given you tips on how to GO vegan, now we’d like to tell you how to STAY vegan.

From Jenny and me, 13 tips on staying vegan:

1. Spread the word!
Tell everyone you’re vegan. Reaffirming this fact not only to myself but also to people I meet might make me obnoxious, but it also keeps me feeling like the public is watching my every move. And nobody likes feeling hypocritical. They tell you to do this when you’re going to quit smoking too—it just makes you more accountable. 

2. Get a vegan tattoo!
I’m sort of joking but not really? I got one (pictured above). It’s there to judge me, forever.

3. Remember why you’re vegan!
Re-watch Meet Your MeatEarthlings, or reread Diet for a New America. Listen to podcasts like Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and We Like It Raw. Revisit why you went vegan in the first place when you’re feeling shaky. Ask yourself on the regular, why you are doing this. Animals? Environment? To bring more compassion into your life? It will help remind you why this sometimes challenging way of life is worth it. And it’s fun to see how your commitments, ideas and thoughts about this way of life change over time. As my therapist tells me, check in with yourself on the regular!

4. Stay in the know!
Watch new exposés. Read new studies. Every time the “health community” “learns” something about food, pay attention—you might have forgotten all the pus and antibiotics in that hunk of cheese you’re craving. Have all the information in your grasp. This is particularly easy to do if you have the Internet. God bless the internet!

5. Take it easy on yourself!
Forgive yourself if you do something that’s not vegan. You’ll learn what to watch out for on ingredient lists and which brands of face lotion are tested on animals. You will learn SO MUCH, it’s crazy. You can always choose to do something different next time, and guilt-tripping yourself isn’t going to make you feel motivated to continue in this lifestyle. It’s okay if you’re not perfect, you’re human! Your lifestyle isn’t about being more vegan than anyone else and mistakes happen. This is especially important when beginning or coming back to a vegan way of life!

6. Listen to your body!
If you do slip up, pay attention to your body. If/when you do something that’s not vegan, on purpose or on accident, think about how it makes you feel physically in addition to mentally. You might notice you feel better without those eggs clogging up your arteries!

7. Build your vegan community!
Find vegan friends. You can do this through a meetup, through vegan blogs (ahem), or by complete accident. Talk to them when you’re feeling low about veganism. For every vegan you don’t want to talk to, there are at least five more you do. You have a vegan BFF out there just waiting to be found! It took me five years to find Jenny Bradley. Patience pays off.

8. Throw a party!
If you are a social being and like to have people over, throw a vegan party! I like to have monthly potlucks, in which I invite everyone I know and ask them to bring a dish, if they so desire! Of course it must be vegan! It brings out the creativity in my vegetarian and omnivore friends, and they get really excited when they veganize their dishes! I swear! It’s the cutest. Plus, everyone loves eating! Food at parties gives people something to do and talk about!

9. Experiment in the kitchen!
Try new recipes, like, all the time. Rice, beans, and kale are all healthy, but some deep-fried tofu cubes or a few bites of homemade vegan ice cream shouldn’t kill you (of course, consult your doctor if you’re at all worried about that). If you’re bored with what you’re eating, going back to the omni side could look terribly appealing.

10. Go to vegan venues!
Hit up vegan restaurants. Don’t have any near you? Make a point to take some road trips to the closest ones. There’s a big wide vegan world waiting for you!

11. Be prepared!
Traveling while vegan can be an adventure. Plan accordingly. You can always eat at Subway or Taco Bell on roadtrips, but bring snacks! Everywhere! Weddings, plane rides, whatever circumstance has you not eating for hours at a time. I have found this is especially important when arriving somewhere late or if you have a food allergy! I firmly believe raw, dehydrated foods are the best for these situations because they are healthy and flavorful. Basically, pack nutrient dense foods (bagels, pretzels and bread have a tendency to leave me hungry and unfulfilled as opposed to kale chips, dried fruit, nuts or a superfood Powerbar).

12. Let the vegan haters hate!
Don’t let assholes (I’m including myself here) shame you into quitting. I’ll be like, “Oh, people who support PETA are human lice,” but then I’ll totally forget to look at ingredients on some random granola bar I bought because I was hungry and end up eating something with whey in it and not feeling so high and mighty after all. Plus a few days down the road you’ll probably see me looking up a recipe on PETA’s website. The point is that this is your choice, and people who are jerks to you about it are just that: jerks.

13. Let the omni haters hate!
Pick your battles with omnivores. Haters gonna hate and you’ll wear yourself out when you feel like you are always on the defense to testy omnivores. Sometimes I just laugh jerks off, because in the end, I don’t care what they think of me and I know I gotta do me! Remember, it’s about you! This is your life, your diet and your choices! Everyone will have an opinion (they always do!) but in the end, my goal is to show everyone what a healthy, happy, satisfied, well-adjusted, fun vegan looks like.

There you have it! I hope this list helps you stay vegan and stay strong. It’s a great thing you’re doing, keep up the good work!


After the horrors of earlier today, this little slice of heaven brought to you by the Facebook stream of one Diana Stout. By the time these li’l’ guys grow up, the #beararmy will be in the process of conquering the world. Right, guys?! Don’t worry, bear buddies, we’re always recruiting, at all ages.

Bears are being buried alive! Please help!  »

Oh god, this is horrifying: Bears are being buried alive in Appalachia. I guess what’s happening is as companies further clear-cut, bulldoze, and blast the earth in search of coal, the debris is piling up on top of the entrances to black bears’ dens. Mountaintop removal coal mining is FUCKED UP. It doesn’t just hurt bears, though — flying squirrels, salamanders, mussels, and more are all facing habitat destruction. Here’s what you can do: Save your “bear-ied” puns for another day, and give your hard-earned dollars (if you can spare them) to the National Wildlife Federation. The organization is working with local leaders to stop this insanity. Do it to it, my rich(er) friends.

[Photo credit: NWF]

EDIT: I have been alerted to NWF’s support of “sustainable” hunting. Sorry, guys! Still looking for another organization working on this particular problem. Thanks for your comments!


Save the tiniest (but still kinda big) dolphin from extinction!  »

Tiny animals WHAT! Unfortunately it’s not all fun and games for these Maui dolphins found on the west coast of New Zealand, and they’re not as tiny as I thought they would be.

The 55 Maui dolphins left on the planet, including as little as 20 breeding females, are facing “imminent” extinction, according to a new study, because of commercial fishing. These dolphins grow to about 5.5 feet long, live about 20 years, and have only about three or four calves in their lifetimes.

Commercial fishing is evil, duh, and not just for catching fish for people to eat. Trawling and vast fixed nets held in place by anchors have been blamed for killing the Maui dolphins. Sign the last-ditch effort petition to save the relatively tiny Maui dolphins!

[image via Daily Mail, photographer not identified]


New York has Yoga for Bears! Yes, really!  »

Animals Asia is a prime source of my bear news, so I’m pleased to inform you of an awesome-sounding New York event: Yoga for Bears!

Yeah, I said it. Unfortunately, it’s not what you’re thinking: Yoga for Bears does not feature bears doing yoga, but it’s the next best thing. The event kicks off with a full-length yoga class for all levels, followed by vegan lunch, and a talk and Q&A with Animals Asia. You’ll leave with all sorts of knowledge about how to get involved with Animals Asia and a rad T-shirt. Worth the $50 ticket price? I think so, especially since flexibility is a highly desired trait among soldiers in the bear army.

Yoga for Bears takes place at the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City on Sunday, April 15, from noon to 3:30 p.m. Register here!


News flash: Veggies are cheap!  »

My cheapness—ahem, frugality—has been well-documented. I’ve even defended veganism’s monetary cost (read: It can be really cheap to be vegan). Now Forbes, the New York Times, and others agree with me: Veggies are cheaper than a fast-food dinner. In your FACE, people who say they can’t afford to be vegan!

The Forbes article cites data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. Researchers examined 94 vegetables in the study; Turns out, more than half of them cost less than 50 cents per one-cup serving, and none of them cost more than $2.07 per serving.

People who say they can only afford junk food don’t need to switch to “free-range” chicken, artisanal cheeses, and grass-fed beef. They really just need to eat something besides fries, Doritos, and McNuggets, such as kidney beans (protein!), sweet potatoes (vitamins!), and carrots (fiber!).

Yeah, a lone cup of veggies is obviously not as filling or macronutrient-dense as a pr0n-approved cheeseburger. But throw a few convenient foodstuffs together—frozen rice, some of those frozen peas/carrots/corn/green bean concoctions, a can of chickpeas, and a bottled curry sauce, for example—and BAM! Dinner is served quickly, cheaply, and healthfully.

The flip side? You have to actually do some work yourself. Boo-fuckin’-hoo. Did I mention that the article says frozen veggies are often cheaper and more nutritious than even fresh ones? Get a freezer, a microwave, and a copy of The Garden of Vegan, and learn to cook something already! Your wallet and the animals will thank you.

Meat substitutes: Buy ‘em by the mile!  »

A factory says it can make a vegetable-based meat substitute by the mile. BY THE MILE. Do you guys even now how long that is?! It’s 5,280 feet. That’s, like, almost 1,000 Sarahs laid end to end.* It’s really long.

So great news, right? The environment wins, the animals win, our digestive systems win. The downfall, however, is that our taste buds might not win—yet. Those crazy scientists are experimenting with a lot of plants to design just the right combo. The substitute will hit the market in about a year.

Can we get this technology on other shit? Like, tofu by the mile. Or kittens by the mile. Or friendship bracelets by the mile. Vegan shoes by the mile! What else?!

*Ed. note: Sarah has forced me to reference Dorothy Parker: If a thousand Sarahs were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. Ha! She gets laid! -MR


Product reviews: The Vegg, part 1  »

As a onetime lover of fried eggs, I was really excited by the promo photos of The Vegg. It proclaimed itself “the first vegan fried egg!” So, this was the first recipe I wanted to try when I received it this weekend.

Unfortunately, the Vegg is merely a powder for a vegan egg yolk. The recipe for the whites was not on the Vegg’s website, nor was it easily accessible on the Vegg’s Facebook page, nor had anyone else (according to Google) created said fried vegan eggs, nor was it in the materials sent with the Vegg:
I was on my own. This is what I did.

Fried Vegg
Makes 4 fried “eggs”

For the yolk
2 tsp. Vegg powder
1/2 cup water

Blend together. Pour into some container and pop in the freezer for a while, some hours. Maybe do this the night before if you’re gonna be making Veggs for breakfast.

For the white
1 12 oz. package of extra-firm silken tofu
2 tsp. agar powder
1/4 tsp. black salt (aka kala namak)

Blend all this stuff in a food processor. Set aside.

Put it together
Take your yolk out of the freezer. Run the container under hot water to loosen it up a little bit.

Heat your nonstick skillet to medium-high and grease it—I like to use Earth Balance. You could also spray oil. When that’s good and hot, use a spatula to spread 1/4 of the silken tofu mixture onto the skillet. Try to get it so it’s flat. It’ll be tricky, but stick with it.

You’re gonna let that cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Then you’re gonna try to flip it over. This is kind of hard, but it’ll be worth it. Then quick! Scoop out 1/4 of the yolk mixture. Maybe use a spoon to shape it into a yolky shape. Slap it on the white, and put a lid on that skillet for two minutes or so. You want it to be not frozen through, but you don’t want it to melt and fall apart.

Vegg is really yummy. God DAMN, this is so good. It is precisely how I remember egg yolks tasting, and when it’s warm, it’s the perfect consistency, too. It’s also composed of ingredients that I recognize, nothing too weird. But all in all, I’m not nuts about this preparation. It was the best just rubbing my toast all over the Vegg yolk and eating that like the slob that I am.

Stay tuned for more Vegg talk. I think I’ll try a Vegg custard next! But until then I will just be dribbling Vegg mixture all over my naked body, hopefully hitting my open mouth at some point.


Get this Groupon for a sweet vegan bag!  »

Social couponing: It is a real epidemic affecting our children! And also me! But at least it’s cheapish, and when it’s explicitly vegan, all the better — raising awareness and shit.

So PEEP IT: Sacs of Life (teehee, “sacs,” also, hi, I’m five years old) is offering this Groupon deal for a $19 (usually pushing $70!) cross-body bag/tote thing, your choice of four different colors. It’s kind of a weird shape, but I dunno, I like it? I got the olive one and I’m gonna wear it every day on my bike so I quit dirtying up my nice yellow Melie Blanco.

Better yet, this deal is ONLINE, SUCKAS, so there’s no location-based excuse for you not to buy it. And I saved the best for last: IT COMES WITH A GOD-DAMNED TOTE, Y’ALL. Use it for your groceries and shit.

There are only two days and some change left to buy it, so do it to it, bag lovers, before I buy all of them and keep them all to myself and rule the Sacs of Life universe forever and ever, muahahahahaaaa. Do you guys think I have a conquering fetish? JUST WONDERING.


Vote for us for a Treehugger award and support vegans ruling the world!  »

Check us out, we fancy: We’re nominated for a Treehugger Best of Green Readers’ Choice award! Thank you, Treehugger! Even if you spelled our name wrong, we love you because sometimes we spell our names wrong, too! Ain’t no thang. (But really, fix it.)

The category is Best Food Website, and we’re up against omni-geared spots Food52 (let the record show that when I clicked to their website, a huge picture of ribs popped up) and The Kitchn (which has loads of good veg info and fun decorating and storage tips, but also an article on “vat-pasteurized milk”). Both sites are great for often promoting vegan deliciousness but on the reals, you vegans better support the vegan site, lest society crumble and burn to the ground. OR WORSE: Things will continue as they are. Terrifying.

Last year we were voted Best Food Twitter Feed, so don’t let us backslide! Vegan pink dinos forever! Vote for us, and we will do anything* you ask.

*Give you a high five, or a smooch if you’re Michael Fassbender-level attractive, which you all are!

[Thanks to our pals on Facebook and the PPK boards for the support! You are all terrific!]

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