Tag: meat

My First Turkey Hug

Lydia was my first turkey hug — and she was proof that you don’t need arms to do so. 

She pressed her body so close against mine, I couldn’t tell where my heartbeat ended and hers began. I had been vegetarian for several years by then but vegan only a couple. I had had my share of kitty snuggles, cow kisses, and goat nuzzles, but I hadn’t been loved by a turkey.

22 years later, Lydia is no longer with us — she died naturally and peacefully, not from the blade of a cold knife — but to me, she will always be the ambassador for all her turkey brethren. 

It was Joseph Stalin who said that we treat one death as a tragedy but one million as a statistic, and of course he would know. And, that’s what we’re facing here.

Over 30 years an animal advocate, and I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we bring into this world and kill almost 10 billion land animals every year in the U.S. for human consumption. We can’t fathom that number, but we CAN connect with one. One ambassador.

One individual whose life has been spared, one individual whose body has healed, one individual who represents not only the violence that countless animals endure every moment but also the hope and healing that’s possible when other individuals intervene: the human individuals. 

If you can connect people with the value of one individual animal, you can connect them with the value of an entire species. And so I give you Lydia: curious, affectionate, playful, vocal, brave, social, protective, and sassy. Like all her turkey friends. The only difference is…you can see her. ⠀

I hope. 

Know Your Numbers (Cholesterol)

In today’s episode of the 15th year of the Food for Thought Podcast, I provide the optimal numbers experts recommend for your total cholesterol, LDL (“bad cholesterol”), HDL (“good cholesterol”), triglycerides, and a little thing called homocysteine. 

As always, you can find lots of resources for living compassionately and healthfully at joyfulvegan.com, you can find my books wherever books are sold, and you can join me in my online cooking classes or in an upcoming vegan trip.

From Excuse-itarian to Vegan

In this episode, I address a few of the typical excuses people have when it comes to becoming vegan — from “I don’t really eat a lot of meat, dairy, and eggs” to “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” See if any of it resonates with you. 

As always, you can find lots of resources for living compassionately and healthfully at joyfulvegan.com, you can find my books wherever books are sold, and you can join me in my online cooking classes.

Scary Movies with an Animal Theme

Don’t worry! I don’t recommend films in which animals are the victims of gruesome violence. So, grab some popcorn, get a pen and paper, and settle into this episode where I share my suggestions for films that are perfect for Halloween — for kids and adult alike. 

Homemade Flour Tortillas (Vegan Recipe)

I’m no “survivalist,” but I do know how to whip up a number of staples from scratch, and for that I am grateful.

Tortillas are something I make from scratch fairly regularly since becoming zero waste, but mostly corn tortillas made from masa flour. However, at my recent visit to the Food Mill for my dried bulk pantry items (beans, grains, flour, sunflower seeds — for the squirrels!), I forgot to get masa.

We make a LOT of beans in our house, and after making a beautiful pressure-cooker pot of chipotle pinto beans, I was jonesing to pair them with tortillas.

No masa? No problem.

It was time to perfect my flour tortilla skills, and I think I nailed it.

RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE FLOUR TORTILLAS

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup HOT water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use olive)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Stir in the water and oil. You might start mixing with a wooden, but it’s oodles easier to just use your hands. Get those hands dirty!
  3. If you find the dough is sticky, sprinkle in some more flour; if it’s too dry and not forming a ball, add a smidge more water. You want a nice smooth ball of dough.
  4. Turn the ball onto a floured surface, and knead about 10 or 12 times. Let  it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 portions. Begin shaping each one into a round disc, then on a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7-inch circle.
  6. Spray a little oil into a nonstick skillet, and cook each tortilla over medium heat until lightly browned, 1 minute on each side. The subsequent tortillas will take less time once the pan is well heated.

Yes, you can freeze these beauties in a sealed package, but I think you’ll find you’ll eat them up before you have a chance!

ENJOY, and let me know what you think! (Also, don’t forget to check out the Quick and Easy Meals recipes for my famous No Queso Quesadillas. Now you can do so with these homemade tortillas!

Coronavirus and the Lethal Gifts of Livestock

With the Coronavirus (or Covid-19) wreaking havoc on our society, we thought it was timely to rebroadcast this episode. Coronavirus is one of many zoonotic diseases — diseases that jump from non-human animals to human animals.  

A “wet market” in Wuhan, China, is most likely where this strain of the coronavirus started. At many “wet markets,” meat, poultry, and seafood are sold alongside live animals for consumption. It is our very consumption of animals and their products that has bestowed upon us what Guns, Germs, and Steel author Jared Diamond calls the “lethal gifts of livestock.” Our abuse of nature comes full-circle and at a heavy price for both the consumer and the consumed.

Being animals ourselves, it makes sense that we share many of the same diseases as our non-human cousins. We aren’t – after all – plants. We aren’t at risk for catching aphids or sooty mold or downy mildew.

In fact, many of the major killer pandemics we’ve been plagued with were acquired from non-human animals. Here are just a few:

we got tuberculosis from cattle, influenza from pigs and birds, whooping cough from pigs and dogs, smallpox from cattle, and of course cowpox from cows. Even HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is believed to have been first transmitted to humans through the butchering and consumption of infected chimpanzees.

How to Be a Joyful Vegan

Millions of people are choosing veganism—or plant-based eating—as a logical and sensible response to their concerns about animals, the environment, and their health. And yet, despite their positive intentions and even the personal benefits they experience, many revert back to consuming meat, dairy, and eggs.

I’m trying to change that. For the animals. For our planet.

For my fellow humans. After decades of gathering stories, drawing on my own observations and experiences, studying the data that’s available, and hearing from thousands of people, I’ve come to learn that people stay vegan or stop being vegan depending on well they navigate the social, cultural, and emotional aspects of living vegan in a non-vegan world:

  • constantly being asked to defend your food choices
  • being outside of the status quo and not having a sense of belonging (where you once did)
  • feeling the pressure (often self-inflicted) to be perfect
  • and experiencing guilt, remorse, and anger

All common experiences that—if not addressed—can lead to giving up entirely. In my latest book, The Joyful Vegan, I provide the tools for navigating and overcoming the most common challenges, arming readers with solutions and strategies for:

  • cultivating healthy relationships (with vegans and non-vegans)
  • communicating effectively
  • sharing enthusiasm without proselytizing
  • finding like-minded community
  • and experiencing peace of mind in a world that wants you to eat meat, dairy, and eggs.

By implementing the tools in this book, I believe that readers will find that they can live ethically, eat healthfully, engage socially, remain a joyful vegan—and help others do the same!

⭐PRE-ORDER TODAY: The Joyful Vegan: How to Stay Vegan in a World That Wants You to Eat Meat, Dairy, and Eggs (pre-ordering available here.)

⭐JOIN ME FOR THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE (and get 20% off the book): Register for the Joyful Vegan Worldwide Conference

Are Vegan Companies Selling Out to Meat Companies?

Some vegans think so.

I talk about the phenomenon that is causing vegan / plant-based companies to flourish and meat/dairy/egg companies to get in on the game.

Cynics may point out that they’re just in it for the money; realists may point out that they’re just in it for the money.

Watch my video about this trend, then read my article about this over at LiveKindly, an online magazine for whom I am a contributor.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

(Psss…do you know The Joyful Vegan is coming out soon? Learn more at JoyfulVegan.com!)

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