Archive for July, 2012

From Top: Savory raw vegan breakfast crepe and raw vegan scallion creme cheese rolls at Quintessence, sea veggie salad, moon pies, and dessert case from One Lucky Duck, coffee with almond mylk and green juice at Whole Foods in Union Square.

From the rugged streets of Williamsburg (my grandmother, who grew up in pre-hipster Williamsburg, is incredulous that any of us “young folks” would ever want to spend time there!) to the fantastic raw eats in Manhattan to the brilliant and timeless art at the Met to a “songs-inspired-by-the book” concert in Bushwick to performance/mixed media art exhibit in Greenwood, Brooklyn, my dearling Courtney and I had quite a lovely and whirlwind time in NYC!

Vegan lovelies Ivory and Courtney!

The rad vegan singer-songwriter Jonathan Mann!

Hosted by dear vegan friends Jonathan and Ivory in a posh spot in Williamsburg, we were delighted by the experience and hope to return soon.

P.S. Yes, we drank coffee and green juice. At the same time. May dogma never rear its ugly head at the dining table!

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I recently had the honor of speaking on the topics covered in Queer Vegan Food during a taping of Animal Voices radio show in Vancouver!

How is this struggle for sexual freedom related to the struggle for animal liberation? Similarly, how is the queer body connected to the nonhuman body that queer vegans choose not to consume, wear, or use? The host and I chatted about what it means to be a queer vegan and how veganism and queerness relate. A great discussion!

Click here to read about the topics covered in the radio show, and
click here to listen:

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I don’t believe in promoting veganism as a diet for weight loss. The benefits of a healthful plant-source only nutrition plan may lead to weight loss for some, but there is an inherent risk in promoting veganism primarily as a diet for improving how one looks on the outside, because once vegan dieters’ goal weights or other goals (like no acne) are achieved (or if they aren’t achieved at all), the majority of folks may jettison veganism.

While I’m against promoting veganism as a diet for short-term weight-related benefits, I think that promoting veganism as something to experiment with, no strings attached, leaving open the potential for only short-term commitment, is wonderful.

How could I be against short-term veganism as a crash diet and suggest such a thing as intentional trial-period veganism?

I became a vegetarian at age 12 because prior to then I didn’t understand the implications of eating dairy derived from exploited cows who need their milk for their offspring sprung from them at tender ages to be slaughtered for veal. I didn’t realize that consuming eggs taken from battery-cage laying hens made me complicit in a system that sends male chicks to die, alive, in horrific grinding machines, and was just as wrong as eating meat. When I finally became aware of these sad realities in June 2005, it took me a few months and many glasses of soymilk to finally complete my transition to veganism in August that same year. That was seven years ago, and I’ve been completely vegan ever since.

When I decided to become vegan, I did it almost unconsciously–I was dabbling in not eating dairy or egg products, not labeling myself, and giving myself permission to experiment without really acknowledging what I was doing. I was still vegetarian by label, but my diet was mostly vegan. Finally, I realized that calling myself vegan felt like who I really was–so that’s what I decided to do, and I worked up the courage to live my life openly as a fully out vegan.

I came out as gay and vegan in the same year. I see no coincidence in this; as I extended compassion towards myself, it naturally extended to animals, and vice versa. I discovered that my personal dietary and lifestyle changes promoted compassion for all beings, and that to love myself was to love animals, to respect myself was to respect animals.

Before I came out I not only went through periods of experimentation with veganism, but also with my sexual orientation. Like with my veganism, I spent several years without labeling myself in regards to my sexual orientation, allowing myself a period of time to explore my attractions to women before coming out officially. When I started dating and being romantically involved with women, I never looked to the end result: “oh, this could mean I’m gay” and all the implications of that. I just let myself be present with whomever I was attracted to and saw each relationship as an adventure, not a means towards an end of taking on an identity. Eventually, taking on the gay label did feel in alignment for me, but not until I gave myself the freedom to see how it felt to explore my attractions and feelings for women without forcing a long-term label.

As Courtney Pool and I wrote in our post in Gena Hamshaw’s Green Recovery series, “coming out” as a non-heterosexual and “coming out” as a vegan are not same thing. It would be incorrect to imply that we choose our sexual orientation like we choose to be vegan. However, it is interesting and significant to observe the similarities inherent to breaking free of oppressive societal frameworks on all levels and in all circumstances, regardless of the identity category in question.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of The 30 Day Vegan Challenge, advocates the trial approach to transitioning into veganism. The Lean by Kathy Freston similarly advocates the gentle approach to adopting a vegan lifestyle. Regardless of whether you think you’re queer, or could ever live as a vegan, I think it’s important to try what you’re drawn to, without forcing yourself to take on a label or a long-term commitment unless you feel ready. Listen to how your body feels when you explore any new lifestyle experience. If you give yourself the space and time to explore, if you are compassionate with your process, what is right will stick.


Image Credit

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Delectable bbq zucchini chips, fresh from the dehydrator.

When my generous and amazing older brother gifted us a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, I had no idea how much I would grow to love each weekly dose of random veggies. The element of surprise is a great motivator to try new recipes! This season, our CSA has been blessed with a great zucchini harvest. Although July 4th has passed, barbeque season is still in full swing–enjoy these zucchini barbeque chips and savor the flavor of summer–healthfully!

Oh, and by the way: if you do grill, watch out for bristle brush residue! This NYT article says that some grill-cleaning bristle brushes have been getting stuck in grills and are ending up in food, causing medical issues for BBQ lovers around the country.

Stay safe, and enjoy this grill-free recipe!

Zucchini chips in the dehydrator.

Raw Vegan BBQ Zucchini Chips

(Serves 1-3)


Zucchini (1-2 large zucchinis, or 3 small)

Barbeque sauce (Confession: I used a store-brought kind! check out these links for ideas: here, here and here)


Thinly slice zucchinis. Use a special slicer gadget (mandolin, etc.) if you have one on hand. Lightly coat the zucchini in BBQ sauce, and place evenly on dehydrator trays or sheets. Dehydrate for 5 hours. Enjoy!

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