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cheapveg:

The Perfect Care Package for the Cheap Vegan in Your World

As a vegan on a budget, I know there is nothing better than getting a care package full of things that I really want but are just out of my price range. Here is a guide to making a healthy Cheap Vegan care package that’s sure to satisfy your favorite vegan. 

Granola Bars
A convenient breakfast or in between meal snack that we just hate spending with our own dime. Luna and Clif bars are great because they’re all vegan and the flavors are amazing. Key Lime Pie, Carmel Nut, or White Chocolate Macadamia nut are just a few of the interesting flavors Clif offers that vegans usually can’t try. 

Kale Chips
How did something made entirely of a garnish vegetable get so expensive? A gift of kale to the cheap vegan is a break from slow baking it ourselves.

Heat and Go Dinner
These Indian Dinners from Trader Joe’s are so good and so easy to make. Perfect for the vegan working doubles. Be sure to read the ingredients though, only the Punjab Choley is vegan.

Fancy Nut Butter
Specifically Justin's nut butters. These little single-serving packets are oh-so tempting every time you pass them at whole foods. The variety of flavors (all vegan) can't be beat making them the perfect treat!

That rhyme was totally unintentional…

High Quality Dark Chocolate
Fair trade, organic, dark chocolate can be a little pricier than an average Hershey bar. Nothing says “I love you”, like chocolate.

Granola
Next to tofu, granola is probably the most famous of vegan staples, but it can get pricey compared to regular cereals. It’s light-weight and can actually hold your friend over for a week of breakfast, making it a thoughtful and practical care package accessory.

Dried Soup Mix
Another light weight complete meal that you can send in the mail. Soup is the perfect comfort food sure to warm their tummy and their heart.

A Homemade Pastry
No care package would be complete without something homemade. Use www.vegweb.com to find vegan recipes for any treat! 

A Lil Somthing Extra
At the end of the day, a care package is just another way to show your love. Adding a personal touch like a hand written note, an old picture, or an inside joke will mean more than all the granola and chocolate money can buy.

veganinspo:
Vegan Green Chili Mac n Cheese
What is glycotoxins and how can you avoid it?



For more information: NutritionFacts.org

America Tosses Nearly 20 Percent of All the Fish We Catch

A new report from Oceana shows the staggering amount of seafood U.S. fisheries waste.

The images are heartwrenching: a sweet young sea lion found in Hawaii bearing a gash in its neck after being tangled in fishing line. A graceful sea turtle snarled in a net at risk of drowning. A lifeless dolphin caught in a gill net off California’s coast.  

From sharks, salmon, rockfish, and crabs to lesser-known species such as tilefish, porgies, and lookdowns, bycatch—the unintended capture of non-targeted fish or marine life—happens every day in U.S. waters.

Click [here] to read the article.

10% of Sweden’s population are now vegetarian or vegan


Ten percent of Sweden’s population are now vegetarian or vegan, with demand for meat-free diet options seeing a nationwide surge with young Swedes leading the charge.


There has been a four-percent increase in the number of Swedish vegetarians over the past five years, a survey revealed on Thursday.

Pollsters Demoskop carried out the study commissioned by Animal Rights Sweden (Djurens Rätt), the largest animal rights organization in Scandinavia.

Six percent of the respondents to the survey said they were vegetarians and four percent said they were vegan.

"It’s pleasing that the figures have increased over the last five years, but I would have been surprised if they hadn’t," Gabriela Turneborg at the animal rights organization said in a statement.

She added that the increased demand for vegetarian food was “noticeable everywhere”. Indeed, 37 percent of non-vegetarian respondents said their interest for buying vegetarian food had increased over the past year. 

Turneborg said the findings were unsurprising and that many Swedish restaurants and supermarkets were increasing their supply to meet the demand. The most common age for Swedish vegetarians is the 15-24 age group, with 17 percent of those surveyed falling in the non-meat category.

The survey was carried out in late February and early March with 1,000 respondents interviewed by telephone.

Click [here] for a vegan starter kit.



Factory meat, cruel and bad for us

image
By Jane Velez-Mitchell

Here’s a thought to chew on: America’s most intractable problems all double back to our collective mistreatment of animals. Sounds crazy, right? Well, humor me for a minute.

Our own lives would improve if we started showing some basic decency to the 9 billion cows, calves, pigs, lambs, turkeys and chickens that are slaughtered a year in the United States. More than 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, many unable to even turn around in small cages.

A slew of investigations by Mercy for Animals, PETA and the Humane Society of the United States have uncovered repeated instances of vicious abuse of animals headed for slaughter.

The latest Humane Society undercover investigation of a large veal calf slaughterhouse in New Jersey showed abuse too gruesome to display on television and resulted in the temporary shutdown of the facility by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Animal abuse is the norm in the meat industry," says Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection at the Humane Society. "Many standard practices in animal agribusiness are so cruel that they’re just out of step with mainstream American values about how animals ought to be treated." The society cites piglet tail docking and castration without anesthesia, the confinement of pigs to crates where they cannot turn around and cutting off the beaks of egg-laying hens before they’re confined to tiny cages.

If all of this sounds hideous, it is. And here’s how it hurts us humans.

The obesity crisis: Two thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. The American Medical Association has declared obesity a chronic disease in an attempt to get a grip on what some label the 21st century plague. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that kids who are overweight in kindergarten are often condemned to future obesity.

It also showed obesity is highest in the poorest socioeconomic sectors of society, further hobbling already disadvantaged kids. The rise of obesity has paralleled the rise of fast food, laden with meat and dairy products: burgers and shakes.

Obesity affects every aspect of a people’s lives, from health to relationships. Less fast food would help stop the obesity epidemic and would also mean raising and killing fewer animals. A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded, "a plant-based diet seems to be a sensible approach for the prevention of obesity in children."

The health care crisis: The myriad of serious health risks resulting from poor diet include high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and even sleep apnea. Eating too much meat and dairy products, combined with excessive intake of sugars and starch, plays a big role in these medical issues. Cholesterol does not exist in vegetables. Vegetables do not clog arteries.

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says we could save 100,000 lives and $17 billion in health care costs from heart disease every year if Americans ate more fruits and vegetables.

The report begs Congress to slash farm policies that subsidize Big Ag’s massive production of junk and fast food. Critics say the $956 billion farm bill that just passed is simply a bait and switch that cuts direct subsidies but replaces them with generous crop insurance.

That brings us to money.

The deficit: Skyrocketing health care costs are a key factor in the ballooning deficit. The yearly medical costs of obesity are estimated to be as high as $190 billion a year, according to a study reported in the Journal of Health Economics, with expenditures of almost $1,200 more a year to treat obese Americans compared with those of normal weight.

Natural disasters: Extreme weather phenomena is on the rise leading to more massive, destructive storms as a result of climate change. Hurricane Sandy alone cost $70 billion in damage and lost economic productivity.

Meat production is one of the leading causes of climate change because of the destruction of the rainforest for grazing lands, the massive amounts of methane produced by farm animals and the huge amounts of water, grain and other resources required to feed animals The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization found the production of meat contributes from 14% and 22% of the world’s greenhouse gases.

Hunger: Every five seconds a child dies somewhere in the world of malnutrition or starvation. World hunger could be eliminated if all the produce fed to cows, chickens and pigs raised for human consumption was distributed directly to hungry humans.

Bill Gates, who is championing meat alternatives in his “Future of Food” project, puts it succinctly when he notes: "For every 10 kilograms of grain we feed cattle, we get 1 kilogram of beef in return. The calorie kick-back is just too low to feed a growing world population."

Some of the smartest people in America, from Bill Clinton to Bill Gates, are starting to see the big picture. Clinton, after having quadruple bypass surgery and later stents to open his veins, publicly adopted a plant-based diet.

Bill Gates, in his Future of Food project, sums up the unsustainability of our food system succinctly, noting: "raising meat takes a great deal of land and water and has a substantial environmental impact. Put simply, there’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people." The human population of Earth is expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050.

Now, it’s time for the rest of us to wake up and vote with our shopping carts. American taxpayers and consumers are being exploited right along with the animals.

Click [here] to find out how you can help.

What’s For Dinner?

What’s For Dinner? is a short documentary that provides a unique look into the rapidly growing consumption of meat in China and the increasing industrialization of agriculture. Through interactions with people across Chinese society, the film examines the impacts this big shift in food production and consumption is having on sustainability, public health, food security, climate change, and animal welfare. 

treekisser:
If you aren’t yet following Vegan Sidekick, you’re missing out on some serious comic relief regarding the absurdity of our society.

treekisser:

If you aren’t yet following Vegan Sidekick, you’re missing out on some serious comic relief regarding the absurdity of our society.

So, please tell me all about the easily accessible vegan food pantries you support. And the vegan homeless shelters. Oh, and those vegan options at the American free school lunch program. I'm really interested. And then tell me about how vegan options are easily accessible in poverty-stricken rural areas. Please tell me how it's easier to come across free fruits and veggies than road kill and an over population of deer in the American Mid-West. And then tell me why you want to hate the poor?
Anonymous

vegansmustbestopped:

Alright, I hope nobody minds but I’m going to answer this one straight (no jokes, no satire). I’m just not in the mood to come up with an entire comedy routine for this. Partly because I’m tired, and partly because this inane talking point is the one that pisses me off the most, out of all them.

I’ll give you a little introduction about myself. I was born in the Dominican Republic. I spent the first 7 years of my life there and I went back there every summer until I was a teen. If you don’t know, it’s an extremely poor country. Not as poor as Haiti, but pretty far away economically from the United States (which is where I live now), Canada, Western Europe, and chances are from any country from which people will most likely be reading this from.

I did not grow up poor. My parents were middle class (by Dominican standards). My grandparents owned a chicken farm.

I knew plenty of poor people. No matter where you go in the Dominican Republic, they are everywhere. Looking back on my childhood, whenever I went to a friend’s house (it was much more like a shack with a tin roof, than a “house”) and if I so happened to catch them while they were eating, I have absolutely no recollection of ever seeing meat on the table.

You know the kind of foods that I always saw? I saw things like rice, potatoes, corn, yucca (root vegetable like potatoes), beans, lentils, peas, breads, and fruits on the table.

I would never venture to say that they were 100% vegan, because obviously I doubt they were. But I’ll bet every last cent that that I have that at the very least 85% of the food they ate (and everybody in their socioeconomic status) was plant-based. Do you know why? Because it’s the cheapest.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. From an agricultural standpoint, the lower you eat on the food chain, the less time and resources go towards the finished product, then the less the finished product is going to cost. If you are growing crops to feed animals and then feeding animals to people, then that’s a lot more time and resources going towards the finished “product”. If you are growing crops to feed people directly, then that’s obviously less time and resource intensive (which makes it less costly).

As countries get richer, the more animal products they consume. That’s what’s going on in China right now.

You most likely being born and raised in the United States and most likely never step foot out of the country and seen how poor people (you know the people that you are so concerned about) eat in other nations. I can assure you they are not dining on hamburgers, hot dogs, bacon, chicken mcnuggets, etc…..

You also, most likely being born and raised in the United States, think the real free market price cost of a hamburger is 99 cents. It’s not even close. The massive subsidies that the government gets, through my taxes, artificially lowers the price of meat and dairy to a much more manageable cost to the consumer.

Now for a person, such as yourself who absolutely hates elitism like you claim you do, can you tell me anything more disgustingly elitist than somebody else having to pick up the tab for your taste preference? Please enlighten me why I, and others, have to pay for something that I find disgustingly cruel, but because people like yourself, and millions of others don’t want to pay the full price for a steak? I’m dying to know the answer to this.

If the American public had to pay the REAL free market price cost of meat and dairy, your god-damn head would spin. American culture would be completely different than what you see it today. It would be a more economically honest society.

As far as vegan homeless shelters and vegan food pantries, I doubt there are any. But do you honestly think because there aren’t any (which there might be for all I know), that somehow means plant foods are more elitist than animal based foods?????

The reason why they probably don’t exist is because the people who run these operations, while I’m sure being extremely kind-hearted and philanthropic people, they most likely were born and raised in the United States, and have developed the indoctrinated belief that a “meal” is not a “meal” unless there is a piece of animal flesh on the table. Just because they believe that, it sure as hell doesn’t make it so.

The idea of serving solely plant-based foods will inherently be cheaper for the same reasons I’ve gone over. More than likely, the idea is just simply not in their radar, like most people.

To give you an idea of what’s possible. Here is a prison that went vegetarian solely because of it being cheaper. It had nothing to do with ethics, the environment, etc… Pure dollars and cents. Here is a prison in California where half the inmates were served vegan food. That half had remarkably lower incidences of violence and much better fellowship (which goes to show you that there is more to this issue than just dollars and cents).

Do you want to know what people such as yourself who bring up this absurd talking point should be shouting from the rooftops about? You should DEMAND that every last red cent of the government subsidies that are going to the meat and dairy industry go towards plant-based foods that are already cheap.

So, you would take every cent that goes to meat and dairy, and give it people that produce rice, potatoes, beans, lentils, peas, etc…. You know what that will do? It will massively reduce the price of these already insanely cheap foods. So if you were to go to the store and you’d normally see cans of beans being sold at the current price for about 80-90 cents a can, would know only cost 20-30 cents a can. You can do this with cheap fruits as well. Bananas are a very inexpensive fruit, Slash the already cheap price by at least half with the subsidy, then all of a sudden everybody can eat fruit.

This means practically ANYBODY could afford healthy, vitamin and nutrient dense foods (much more so than meat and dairy) no matter where on the economic ladder you are. This means the food pantries and homeless shelters can stock up on MORE food for less money, which means more people get to eat.

Do you know why this will never happen?

1) People are completely ignorant about the government subsidies that go to the meat and dairy industry, and more than likely have no interest in learning about these things, because out of sight, out of mind.

2) (This is the big reason).  I DON’T WANT TO GIVE UP MY SHIT!!!! I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO PAY $10 FOR A HAMBURGER!!!! WHY IS LIFE IS SO CRUEL!!!!!!! I’M THE VICTIM!!!!

Whenever somebody brings up poverty, when they are asked to “go vegan”. It is the biggest bunch of bullshit I’ve ever heard. Do you know why people say this? Because other people say it. They just simply regurgitate the same things other people say without thinking about what they are saying for more than a half a second before they vomit it out of their mouths.

No thinking about how the agricultural process works, no thinking about the subsidies, no thinking about what the poorest people in the world eat….people just simply talking out of their asses.

It’s just people who are confronted with something that makes them uncomfortable and instead of thinking about why they are getting so defensive about their beliefs, they just flail miserably just hoping to land a punch, so they’ll say anything.

The onslaught of bullshit that comes out of people’s mouths when confronted with this issue is never-ending. You have people who will be using a computer with electricity and internet connection writing about the INUIT TRIBE, as if that has anything to do with them. Just take a look at my blog to see how many people think they’re like lions, or how much people suddenly give a shit about a plant’s life, or any of the mindless things that comes out of people’s mouths when it comes to this issue. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just read it.

How come I never hear this kind of stuff about the poor when you’ve got celebrity chefs who display and present food to the public as a form of entertainment? Here are all these starving people, and we have game shows about food. It’s weird…..I never hear a peep about poor people when this comes up.

How come whenever there is a hot dog eating contest, I never hear about this????? Don’t you think that it’s kind of sadistic to have a contest to see who can be the most wasteful and shove as much shit down their throat as possible when there are people starving? Hmm….crickets…

How come I never hear about anyone commenting on a culture that treats food like nothing more than a test of one’s gluttony or are barbecues a place to pray for those that don’t have any food? It’s been a while since I’ve been to one….Maybe it’s changed since last I’ve gone.

How come I never hear about how wasteful it is to lose countless amounts of food and calories through the crops that are grown only to get a microscopic amount of food and calories back from the animals that society eats for a taste preference all the meanwhile people are starving?

How come I never hear about the poor people in impoverished nations who are starving, meanwhile others in that same nation are growing crops not to feed them, but to feed farm animals that would peacefully not exist in the first place, if it wasn’t for the people’s demand of meat and dairy?

It’s weird….I never hear about these things. But tell somebody to eat solely plants, and then all of a sudden you are hearing about poor people and about people who live in the arctic.

Let’s just for arguments sake say that eating things like beans, lentils, rice, etc,…was more elitist and unaffordable to the poor. I hope I pointed out how much bullshit this is, but let’s just play devil’s advocate here for teensy second.

We live in a world where Anthony Bourdain has over 1.5 million people following him on Twitter. I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say these people don’t eat in soup kitchens. What’s their excuse?

We live in a world where people will spend $30 a pound for fillet mignon. I know this because I actually used to work in a meat department for a supermarket. I did it for four years. I know how much your average person spends on things like meat and dairy, and it’s a HELL of a lot more than what I spend on groceries.

I have to ask……what’s their excuse? Let me guess….they are going to tell me something about poor people existing somewhere in some time in some space in some part of the world.

DEMAND makes the world we live in, not supply. The world’s marketplace is what we demand it to be. No one is asking a person who is eating at a soup kitchen to vote with their dollar, because they don’t have the dollar to vote with. They are living on charity (not that there is anything wrong with that by any means). Instead we are asking for people who can vote with their dollar to change the world.

The more people demand something, the more the paradigm shifts. The more the paradigm shits, the more peaceful of a world we can live in for everybody (just a clue…..the human species is not the only one that exists).

Right now, we have a world that reflects the demand of people to have Burger King, Mcdonalds,Arbys, Hardees, Wendy’s, Popeyes, steakhouses, etc in just about every civilized corner„(the list goes on and on). I know one thing is for certain. This world the people demanded does not exist because starving people demanded it.

And as far as the road-kill being easier to find in the American Mid-west, by all means….have at it. What I wouldn’t give for a meat-eater put his money where his mouth is and act like the carnivore that he claims to be, and eat up a free meal like that. The animal was killed by accident. It wasn’t done on purpose. They are dead anyway. Go ahead and eat them. Just make sure to take a video of you eating the road kill so I can see how many other “genetic” meat-eating humans would be hungry at that site.

And as far as the over-population of deer, did you ever think that maybe humans are overpopulated? Did you ever think that the deer has every right to exist on land that they were previously able to roam freely in but now has become part of the infrastructure of mankind because for some reason they think birth control is the work of the devil, so they keep on popping out kids like a god-damn pez dispenser? 

I don’t think I’ve ever met a single hunter who uses the overpopulation talking point as nothing more than an excuse to get off on killing something. I have yet to see a photo of a hunter with a sad look on their face after they killed an animal because “overpopulation” made them do it, not because they wanted to. Show me a photo of that. I’d love to see it.

At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with poor people, or the inuit tribe, or our ancestors did it, or lions do it, or protein, or any other bullshit that I’ve heard a million times. It’s simply a childishly global epidemic case of I-don’t-want-to-itis.

If anybody ever gets posed this kind of bullshit talking point, feel free to send them to this post or you can send them to my vegan privilege post or the most recent one I did as response to this. You can copy and paste and plagiarize me if you want. I don’t care.