Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Laptop Activism

Been busy. Wolfman the little tuxedo kitten was in a real bad way, demanding middle of the night (9am) trips to the vet hospital, and lots of meds twice a day. Happily he's now a bouncing, biting, jumping, tumbling, Buddha-bellied maniac - thanks to a switch to kibble and Metronidazole.

Like Tom Waits sang "but the work never stops-z, n' I'll be bustin' my chops"...

On recovering from a nightmare "Friday" late into my "Sunday", I wanted to treat my woman to a good meal and a relaxing evening at home. Drive a half hour to Modesto for some more Fresh Choice? No dice, we were both starving. We headed out to tried and true Le Kim's Restaurant, only to find them closing early. Where to find a vegan (or at least vegetarian conscious) eatery, quickly, in Stockton? Happy Cow dot net that's where. What came up in the listings? A natural foods store. Nearby cities had nothing either, except Fresh Choice in Modesto - so we're back to square one.

This got me to thinking as we broke down and looked up the nearest Thai place on - (I thought to myself something to this effect) "if I'm going to tell people how easy it is to go vegan, and we can't even find anywhere to eat out, what kind of man am I anyway?" I had to start getting active for the animals that I think deserve the respect and rights that they do, I had to join forces against the unseen, unquestioned speciesism permeating our minds! So I added the first of hopefully many entries for Stockton on --click here for the entry-- 

I do have to voice my disappointment about some of the "Guidelines for submitting NON-veg "vegetarian-friendly" restaurants" on, like this one:
"An attitude by the restaurant management of respecting vegans and working toward accommodating us as well as showing compassion for animals served as food (i.e. free-range, cage free, no antibiotics and hormones )"
Sorry, but free-range, cage-free, etc. are simply ways to treat other animals as property to breed and kill, to be used as the owner sees fit, they have nothing whatsoever to do with veganism. We've got to start somewhere, and there are no 100% vegan eating establishments in Stockton, such as the first one I listed, but if the word vegan is used, especially in the same sentence as this compassionate welfare nonsense, vegan has to mean something more. Otherwise it's just the same old lacto-ovo, (maybe some white-meat, maybe some seafood, maybe some local humanely-raised and slaughtered beef, pork, poultry) cheese pizza vegetarianism that the average woman on the streets has heard of. Welfare for farmed animals is not vegan. A vegetarian section on a menu is a good starting point for vegans to politely ask for vegan options in my opinion, so I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater over this distinction, but I will keep repeating it and clarifying it - ending animal use good, welfare bad. One more thing, it's vegan not veg, not veg*n, vegan.

--- update ---
Happy Cow has some baggage, to put it mildly, and I got tired of waiting for my post to be approved (which was 24+ hours after I wrote it), so I found and put the first Stockton listing up there (it showed up immediately). I like's ease of use, but I have to object to the Mercy For Animals connection as a partner, because MFA is a welfare org that promotes reducing animal product consumption, eating "humanely" raised and slaughtered animals, bigger cages, etc. - instead of a clear all vegan message. Be that as it may, the easier it is for folks to find great plant-based meals to compliment a serious ethical vegan commitment to other animals, the better.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vegans Of Color

I've known for a while now about the Ital movement among Rastas, which is a strict vegan diet, among other things. There are entire villages in India that are strictly vegetarian, as I learnt from the documentary film Phantom India. The woman that runs the Vietnamese restaurant Le Kims that I frequent is a vegetarian Buddhist (who lovingly accommodates my vegan requests for soy in the Thai Iced-Tea). So why are all vegans I see on every site, every forum, every blog, every outreach event, (even the woman who heads Animals Asia) all mostly European-American people like myself? There's lots to read on the Vegans Of Color blog from many different contributors, so I'm not going to attempt to answer my own question just yet. This is getting at a deep condition of reality that I've only recently focused on in regard to the social attitudes toward other animals, and can now mix with the larger context of the past few hundred years of world history as I understand it.

For White Folks: How To Become An Ally (Part 1) This particular article is rolling around in my mind, and I'm going to meditate on it for a few days, re-read it, and take it from there. I'll try and share my thoughts as I progress.

I am curious and hopeful to see more about farmworkers (that are majority Latino in the USA) on Vegans Of Color. I feel that this has been an overlooked part of veganism, which seems to focus on academic law and philosophical theory, and subculture lifestyle issues.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Easy Vegan Meal

Pretty self-explanatory. If you have a Trader Joe's in your area, these two products and a microwave yield a hot bowl of rice and Punjab Choley in about 5 minutes (including opening the packages and washing a bowl and spoon). Now that's what I call easy.

That V you see near the center on the Indian Fare box, that stands for vegan - a quick way to find what you need.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I'm the vegan Jared of the Subway by my work.
The sandwich artists fold the tofurky up for me, and fix me a man-size, cruelty-free torpedo that fuels my hard-working body throughout my graveyard shift.

Tuxedo #4

Feeding the colony of ferals tonight (day is night to me, so it was actually this morning) at the abandoned old hotel, there was some interesting energy vibes in the way everyone was moving, where they were in relation to their normal spots, and who was there. There was the big tomcat that I cannot trap, who just stood in the whole in the wall where everyone goes in and out, and across the street, a new kitty was caterwauling, or kind of just crying out. The moment I noticed the new cat, I hear a kitten cry, turn around to look, and sure enough, here comes the latest rescue from the streets of Stockton, trotting toward me and crying out. So now there were two crybabies, and for a few minutes I wondered if this was mother and kitten that got separated, but the adult cat was across the street, hanging around some closed roll-down steel security doors.

I scooped little guy up and was holding him, trying to decide what to do. He was trembling so much that I thought there might be something really wrong. I set him down to meet the regulars, and it seems that he truly is a stranger to the area, and the colony. So I brought the little fella home and cleaned him up a little, gave him some canned food, a snuggle safe heating pad, and a little box to do his business in. He's a cute little tuxedo, the fourth one pulled from the streets. What am I going to do with another cat?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Links, Nukes, & Smoking

In the first post I mentioned some vegan friends that opened a shop, well the name of it is Never Felt Better Vegan Shop. They are moving to a new location and are raising funds to assist with an upgrade.

"We thought offering a small coffee bar and local vegan pastries, bagels and gourmet cream cheeses for the mornings, along with more grab-n-go deli foods would be a welcome addition to NFB, and works with our location."
There's lots more at their blog and facebook page

Heard an interesting podcast this morning (what I call "last night").
The nightmare of the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant in Japan, which is still emitting radiation, has led some countries to decide to phase out nuclear power -- and others to continue as planned. Environmental journalist Tina Gerhardt weighs in on whether the predicted renaissance in nuclear power has been scuppered, and explores the centrality of activism in shutting down existing and future plants.
 Here's the link to the show.
Scuppered... leave it to Against The Grain to pepper their work with a pinch of ivory tower. Tina Gerhardt writes for the Nation. on the environment. To try and comment about the fact that according to the UN, rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars seems somehow intimidating. It's easy to point that out to people that never think about it on facebook, but these two women on the show do think about these things in great, complex detail. I wonder where I could attempt to jump into the conversation with a comment, because I think it's a valid point that they both completely overlooked. Need to come up with a good strategy. The comments are apparently blocked for the show page. Ok, got it, facebook

I was very impressed with my co-worker, who I had to ask to refrain from smoking near me while we work throughout the night. He said he liked that I was respectful when I mentioned it and that I would probably cause him to quit (his wife feels the same way about smoking that I do, apparently). The impressive thing was that he came back from the weekend, and didn't have one cigarette the entire night. He said it was just psychological, and all he had to do was decide.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ultimate Salad & Soup Cafe & Pasta Bar Coming Soon

Just a quick note before I crash for work tonight, we made a cosmic discovery today when we were out running errands (i.e. Trader Joe's for Tofurky to put on Subway Veggie Delight sandwiches).
A new day is dawning in Stockton! Fresh Choice is coming soon! They have an incredible salad bar, with locally grown, mostly organic vegetables. The best part is that they label everything by symbols, and yep there is a vegan symbol. No guessing about salad dressing, or a pasta dish, just pile it on your plate. I have enjoyed these restaurants for many years, and now it's even better with their vegan consciousness! We just ate at the one in Modesto last night. Ok, gotta get some sleep, there's a long night ahead.

Fresh Choice Restaurants

Fresh Choice on facebook