Another Timeless Brunch

Timeless_coffee

Yesterday, my daughter and I went to Timeless Coffee for brunch. If you are in the Bay Area on a Sunday morning, this is the place to be – but get there by or before 9:30 when they start serving brunch. We got there about 9:25 and the place was mostly empty. By the time we finished ordering brunch (and one of their yummy vegan cinnamon rolls) the place was packed. Note to self: order a coffee refill when you order brunch so you don’t have to wait in line to order a second cup.

Here was yesterday’s brunch selection

Waffle Bowl

and how it looked on the plate.

Timeless

It was delicious.

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Defensive Omnivore Bingo

Defensive Omnivore BingoAll the greatest hits from your meat-eating friends and family are here. If the comments you get aren’t here, check out Defensive Omnivore Bingo II. This has been on the Internet for some time, but I thought it was worth sharing.

If you are having a hard time reading the image, here is a table version of the Bingo card.

Game On!

DEFENSIVE OMNIVORE BINGO
“If God didn’t want us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?” Begins to wax sentimental over some variety of meat that they could never give up. Asks where you get your protein. Brings up PETA. “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to eat plants.”
Explains how they tried vegetarianism once and it didn’t work out. Argues that humans are different than other animals, and therefore eating them is morally justified. Argues that humans are no different than other animals, and therefore eating them…Lions eat zebras, right? Asks what would happen to the cows if we didn’t eat them. Feigns concern. Expresses concern for plant suffering.
Preaches to you about how preachy vegans are. Wonders how we’d grow enough food to feed us all if everyone went vegetarian overnight. Bingo! Asks why you care more about animals than human beings. Describes some highly unlikely hypothetical scenario in which you’d be forced to eat meat to survive.
Points out that some object you own contains some infinitesimal amount of animal product. “Do you eat fish?” Tells you all about the vegan somewhere who once did something wrong. Concludes all vegans are hypocrites. Mentions canine teeth. “Vegetarian: Indian word for ‘bad hunter’”
Describes the happy farm animal they once saw somewhere. Expresses a completely unrelated concern for starving children somewhere. Something irrelevant about cavemen. Wonders why you don’t make better use of all that time you waste not eating animals. Describes a vegan they once knew who suffered from some random ailment. Concludes it was caused by lack of meat.

 

April is Festival Time!

Berkeley Vegan Earth Day

It looks like April is going to be a busy month for getting out and celebrating with my fellow vegans (and vegan wanna-bees).

I already told you about the Conscious Eating Conference in Berkeley on April 4 – with some fabulous speakers.

Now there are two more dates to add to your calendar.

April 19, the Berkeley Vegan Earth Day will happen from 9:30am to 3:00pm. The speakers are nutritionists, animal activists, doctors and chefs, including Dr. Alan Goldhamer of True North and Keegan Kuhn co-director of Cowspiracy.

Spend the day listening to educational and earth-friendly talks and panel discussions, or wonderful food demos. There will also be vendors selling vegan products and activist groups to connect with.

Not to be outdone by its East Bay neighbor, Oakland is planning a Veg Week!

Oakland Veg WeekSome of the details are still being finalized, but there is something for everyone.

The movie on Tuesday will be Forks Over Knives followed by Q&A with a health coach and vegan athletes. Thursday is a Vegan Bar Crawl and Friday join the Youth Hip Hop Green Dinners for an event. The Veg Fest on Saturday will take place at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater – more details to come, but there will be lots of free food samples. Sunday’s event is a bus ride to Animal Place farm animal sanctuary in Grass Valley.

The Friday and Sunday events are by invitation only. Visit the site for more details.

I love living in the Bay Area and having these great events happening. It’s going to be a great spring. See you at the events.

Conscious Eating Conference 2015

Conscious Eating Conference 2015

The United Poultry Concerns’ Fourth Annual Conscious Eating Conference takes place April 4 in Berkeley, CA from 9:00am-5:00pm. The admission is $15, which includes a vegan lunch.

I went to this conference last year and it was wonderful. Great speakers, excellent food and passionate organizations there to provide information.

This year’s conference features many great speakers, including a former undercover investigator of factory farms; Kim Sturla, the Executive Director of Animal Place sanctuary; Victoria Moran, author of 12 books including Main Street Vegan (I listen to her Main Street Vegan podcasts often); Katie Cantrell, founder of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition; and of course, Karen Davis, the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns.

This conference is a wonderful way to find out about the latest news about veganism and animal activism. See you there.

Also, it’s not too early to mark your calendars for the 2015 Sonoma County Veg Fest, August 15 in Santa Rosa.

Kaiser Embraces the Plant-Based Diet

kaiser-permanente-logoBack in September 2013, the first post on this blog was about Kaiser Permanente advising their doctors to

consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients…encouraging whole, plant-based foods and discouraging meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.

I believe they want their patients to be healthy, but… given that they are a managed care organization, the more of their patients who eat a plant-based diet, the better their bottom line looks.

Plant-based DietAlong with the recommendation, Kaiser produced this 20-page guide with information about the “New Food Groups” their patients will be eating from, tips for getting started, and sample menus and recipes.

Reading this guide, I thought I was reading any number of books by Drs. Esselstyn, Campbell, McDougall, Barnard or Ornish.

This explanation of the benefits of a plant-based diet read like the list of benefits from Dr. Campbell’s book Whole.

  • Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
  • Reversal or prevention of heart disease
  • Longer life
  • Healthier weight
  • Lower risk of cancer and diabetes
  • May slow the progression of certain types of cancer
  • Improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fewer medication
  • Lower food costs
  • Good for the environment

The guide recommends that patients with heart issues stay away from nuts and oils, like Dr. Esselstyn.

What a radical idea – improving health with diet, not pills.

The resources section at the end of the guide points patients to the Forks Over Knives movie and website, and the websites and books of the good doctors listed above. You can download the guide from their website.

Kaiser is my health care provider and the doctor I see there is not necessarily on board with this program. Despite my telling him that I eat a plant-based diet, he suggested I take fish oil to ensure I get enough Omega-3s. He also wanted to make sure that I was getting enough protein. I should have asked him if he ever tells his omnivore patients to eat less.

However, it is great to see the health care establishment embracing plant-based diets for their patients. Whatever the motivation, their patients win.

Circles of Compassion

Circles of Compassion

circles of compassion coverDr. Will Tuttle, author of the World Peace Diet, has edited a new book Circles of Compassion: Essays Connecting Issues of Justice. The foreword is written by author and activist Carole J. Adams.

This book consists of a series of essays by internationally recognized authors and activists, Edited by Dr. Will Tuttle. The essays focus on how the seemingly disparate issues of human, animal, and environmental rights are indeed connected. Authors also provide practical guidance about how to make the individual, systems, and social changes necessary to effectively create a peaceful and just world for all.

It includes essays from over 25 authors including Robert Grillo, Melanie Joy, Richard Oppenlander, lauren Ornelas, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

It is available for 25% off the original price on the publisher’s website as a book or PDF ebook, or from Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Veganism quote

Is Vegan Food the Hottest Food Sector?

Cinnaholic - Gourmet Vegan Cinnamon RollsI found an interesting article on LinkedIn by digital marketer – for, among other things, vegan restos – Shadi Khattab titled The Hottest Food Sector: Vegan Food.

He makes a good case for the growth of vegan food, and especially restaurants, and not just in the usual places.

The Vegan food sector has turned into a steam train and the meat and dairy industry and its legions are slowly seeing their worst nightmares playing out. Well sort of. Huge swaths of people aren’t converting to veganism. Not just yet. But the signs that vegan food is beyond the tipping point and set to be a global contender for the hearts, minds and palette wars are clear and unavoidable.

Native Food CafeHe looks at the success of companies like Cinnaholic and Heidi-Ho Organics on Shark Tank.  Native Foods, a vegan restaurant chain with locations in Southern Cal, Oregon, Chicago, Washington, DC, and more, recently secured $15 million in venture capital funding to keep growing. Hopefully to Northern Cal – their menu looks fabulous!

Real Food DailyAnother restaurant, Real Food Daily has four locations in the Los Angeles area with one in LAX. The LAX location is the first plant-based eatery located in an airport anywhere in the world.

Veggie GrillRecently a Veggie Grill opened in one of the trendy open air malls here in Marin and more are opening soon in the Bay Area. They have locations on the West Coast in Washington, Oregon and California. Whenever we visit – more often than I’d like to admit – the place is hopping.

So, perhaps the answer to the question above is YES!

Khattab is looking at veganism as a marketer, and he likes the commitment vegans make to their lifestyle.

Vegans are a committed bunch who network, rally and force the discussion on animal welfare and environmental health as well as any political organization can.

And he sees trouble ahead for the meat industry

Meat industry has seen a huge downturn in their profits. Besides losing share to veggie oriented diets, the meat industry can’t seem to keep its facilities clean causing recalls of tainted meat into a regular activity. In 2013 alone 13,096,784 pounds of meat and poultry were recalled according to the USDA. As the meat industry loses more money and market share they will as they always have, try to push their plants to process meat at faster clips in order to squeeze more profits to make up for losses. This in turn will cause more mistakes and more outbreaks hence more recalls. The cycle unfortunately for them is self-defeating.

All of this is great news for a committed vegan. Khattab ends with this perspective.

Anyone who is friends with a vegan/ vegetarian on social media is given a daily or weekly dose of reality news feeds and tweets on the plights of farm animals, lab animals and circus animals. Social media doesn’t influence those who are staunch meat eaters and abusers, but it does affect those on the fence, the secondary adopters. As more movies, videos, petitions and information is constantly being presented along with viable alternative solutions, it’s hard to think Veganism will ever go back to some outer rim practice unable to affect the overall world it exists in.

I also wanted to share the illustration he used for his article. It is a beautiful drawing by freelance illustrator Roger Olmos. Enjoy!

Roger Olmos Illustration

Chris Hedges: Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time

Chris HedgesI have been reading Chris Hedges columns at Truthdig for years. He tells it like it is. I was delighted to see his latest column about going vegan.

My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine’s attitude toward becoming celibate—“God grant me abstinence, but not yet.” But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction, and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species. It is one that my wife—who was the engine behind our family’s shift—and I have made.

The column makes the case for why animal agriculture is at the root of many of the world’s problems – climate change, deforestation, water pollution, hunger. It also, as I have written about before, talks about how the animal ag industry has built a wall of restrictive laws around the devastation and agony they create to shield the public from the truth.

The animal agriculture industry has used the excuse of national security, public safety, trade agreements and the need for business secrets to pass what are known as ag-gag laws in about a dozen states and, on the federal level, the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, all enhanced with anti-terrorism laws to criminalize anyone who investigates or challenges the industry. It is illegal under the Patriot Act to issue statements or carry out actions that harm the profits of the animal agriculture industry. Radical change, as with every challenge to the power of our corporate state, will have to be built outside the structures of power, including the leading environmental groups, which have refused to confront the livestock industry.

It includes quotes from Comfortably Unaware author Richard Oppenlander; journalist and author of Green is the New Red, Will Potter; and the co-directors of Cowspiracy, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn.

Kuhn and Anderson laid out the problem.

“So many more people have a connection to animal agriculture, both in society and government, than have a direct connection to the oil industry,” Kuhn said. “The oil industry employs, relatively speaking, a very small percentage of people and is controlled by a very small percentage of people. The agricultural industry, both animal agriculture and commodity grains fed to those animals, involves a much bigger demographic. Politically it is a lot more challenging. Corporations such as Cargill, one the largest commodity food corporations in the world, is able to create U.S. policy. The government says it needs to have affordable food, which means giving massive subsidies to these corporations. The belief is that we have to eat animal products to survive. It is not something that is even questioned. The fossil fuel industry is more easily challenged with the argument that there are alternatives. People do not feel there is an alternative to eating animals.”

Please read the entire column and make the commitment to going vegan – for the health of the planet and your own also.

We have only a few years left, at best, to make radical changes to save ourselves from ecological meltdown. A person who is vegan will save 1,100 gallons of water, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, 30 square feet of forested land, 45 pounds of grain, and one sentient animal’s life every day. We do not, given what lies ahead of us, have any other option.

 

Catching Up – The Voodoo Made Me Do It

Voodoo DoughnutsWow, its been over a month since I did a post and there’s a lot of catching up to do.

About the time I did the last post, I volunteered to be the webmaster for 350Marin and that led to one of their members asking me to create a site for him for his new book.

Then our daughter, who is living with us, adopted two kittens – which did not make our 18-yr-old cat happy. But has added to the daily chores around the house.kittens

Bottom line – its been a busy month. So let’s get caught up.

The last post was about the upcoming Sonoma Veg Fest. It was great. The planners hoped for 300-400 people, they got almost 1,000. There was great energy with fabulous vegan food, cooking demonstrations, speakers and a standing room only showing of Cowspiracy.

The speakers included Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet. He gave a fantastic talk about why caring for animals and the planet will help us care for each other also.

Cowspiracy is an incredible film – it’s a look at why the large environmental groups don’t talk about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. Concerned about the drought in California? Shorter showers aren’t going to make a difference, going vegan will. Here’s a clip from the movie – find a showing near you on their website and go see it.


Sweet Pea BakeryThose of you familiar with Portland, Oregon will recognize the Voodoo Doughnuts sign above. We went there over Labor Day weekend. My wife is convinced that Portland is where vegans go when they die and go to heaven. There are so many vegan restaurants and others that cater to them – including Voodoo Doughnuts.

We visited the “Vegan Mini Mall” on SW Stark Street in Portland, where you can find a food store (Food Fight), clothing store (Herbivore), tattoo parlor (Scapegoat) and a bakery (Sweetpea). Here is a look at some of their pastries. They make a cinnamon roll that was gooey as any non-vegan roll. If you are in Portland, you need to check it out and support vegan businesses.


climate_marchFinally, get out in the street where ever you live for the People’s Climate March tomorrow September 21. If you can’t make it for the main event in New York City, then find an event near you.

Whether it’s ending the proliferation of factory farmed animals, stopping fracking or keeping the dirty coal and oil in the ground – we have to get serious about stopping climate change.

Naomi Klein’s new book – This Changes Everything – makes the case that we all know is true – the politicians will not solve this, the people – US! – have to make our voices heard and our presence seen.

See you in the streets. Watch this video – the entire film is available online – to understand why this is so important.

 

Sonoma County Veg Fest

Sonoma County Veg FestThe Sonoma County Veg Fest is this Saturday, August 16 from 10:00am-5:00pm in Santa Rosa, CA. The cost to attend is $5.00.

There is a great line-up of speakers including Dr. Will Tuttle, author of the best-seller The World Peace Diet and Veg Fest organizer Hope Bohanec, author of the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?.

Along with these great speakers, cooking demonstrations and fabulous vegan food, the movie Cowspiracy will be shown at 3:00pm with a talk afterwards with Keegan Kuhn, co-director of Cowspiracy.

CowspiracyIf you live in the Bay Area or Northern California, come and join me at the Veg Fest. It will be a great time.