Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Taiji slaughter continues

Have you ever swam with the dolphins? Have you been entertained by the amazing intelligence of a bottlenose dolphin at an aquarium show? These activities support the inhumane killing going on in Taiji, Japan.

Dolphins are chased into a cove by fishermen which is then netted off to prevent the dolphins from fleeing. Fisherman pick out "show quality" dolphins to sell to aquariums at up to $150,000 each. The dolphins that won't sell are herded deeper into the cove out of sight and slaughtered one after another turning the cove waters red with blood. The meat is sold for human consumption.

Ric O'Barry, Campaign Director for Save the Dolphins, has spent the last 38 years rallying agains this slaughter. Mr. O'Barry first recognized in the 1960s for capturing and training the five dolphins that were used in the well-known TV series Flipper. He made a radical transition from training dolphins in captivity to fighting against the captivity industry soon after Kathy, one of the Flipper dolphins, died. According to Mr. O'Barry, she died in his arms in what he believed was a suicide due to depression. Dolphins unlike humans have to consciously breath, she swam onto his arms and just sank, not trying to come up for air.

Mr. O'Barry was also involved in the full length documentary The Cove. This film released in 2009, centers on Taiji in Japan, bringing attention to the hunt of over 2,000 dolphins taking place there every year. Currently it is available for free on Netflix streaming.

Read more about Save the Dolphins and sign the petition. These intelligent marine mammals need your support.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


This was the first year of a truly vegan Thanksgiving. First we adopted a turkey "Daphne" from Farm Sacntuary and then we prepared a feast without any animal products.

Our new traditional meal consisted of:

  • Tofurky Roast
  • Vegan Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing 
  • Brussels Sprouts w/ Caramelized Onions
  • Cranberry Sauce
I must say everything tasted wonderful, even the following days leftover sandwiches.

Recent studies show that for every year a person eats vegan, 58 animals live.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Help save baby Riley

Of all the tiny, shaking piglets in the crowded pen at a recent stockyard auction, Riley
was the smallest, and clearly suffering. This poor baby was too sick to stand upright,
his head awkwardly tilted to the side, and one of his eyes was nearly swollen shut.

As the auction went on, and bystanders did nothing, little Riley was left to die –
stumbling in the corner of the pen. But thankfully, Farm Sanctuary’s Emergency
Rescue Team was there to protect this fragile baby and lift him out of this heartless

Like you, we wanted to reach out and hold him. We couldn’t just stand by and
watch this tiny piglet suffer and die, so we rushed him to safety.

Now Farm Sanctuary is doing everything we can to give Riley the urgent care
he needs to survive. Please help by joining Farm Sanctuary now.

His condition is critical. Severe infection has left his eye badly injured and his
ear filled with fluid, causing him intense pain. Immediate surgery at the Cornell
University Hospital for Animals is necessary to relieve the pressure in his ear and
begin the healing process. And while we remain terribly concerned about his
prognosis, his improved appetite and balance give us reason for hope.

Join now to help baby Riley receive the specialized care he needs to beat the 
odds and heal from this horrendous neglect and sad start in life. Your donation
will also help ensure that Farm Sanctuary can respond to the next emergency, no
matter where or when it occurs.

Tragically, Riley never needed to become so sick. His illness likely began as nothing
more than basic pneumonia. But because those who were supposed to care for him
neglected to help him, his infection worsened. Now he is fighting for his life.

Please join Farm Sanctuary today to help give Riley the love and care he should have 
received from the start.

Although we cannot guarantee Riley’s recovery, with your emergency donation,
we can guarantee that this precious baby will know nothing but loving hands, a soft
bed and gentle care as we work to bring him back to health.

Help us show Riley that humans are not all cruel, that his life matters, and that relief
and comfort can await him. Join now to help Riley and ensure we are ready to 
respond to the next emergency call.

If there was ever an animal who needed your support, it’s Riley.
Please be generous.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kraft mac & what?

Did you know that Kraft Mac & Cheese is made differently for certain parts of the world? Did you know that Americans are getting the unhealthy version?

In 2008 Kraft took out the the artificial coloring (Yellow dye #5) and artificial sweeteners like Aspartame for distribution into Europe and Australia. They have not done the same thing here in the United States. Studies have shown a link in these ingredients to hyperactivity and asthma in children.

I am not advocating eating Kraft Mac & Cheese, but if it wasn't bright orange would that make you stop eating it? Kraft please stop distributing these unnecessary chemicals.

Click the link below if you wish to send a letter to the Kraft CEO requesting these chemicals be removed in the US.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Help to "REALLY" save a turkey this year

Every Thanksgiving, the president of the United States extends a pardon to two turkeys. Since 2005, these turkeys have been sent to live at Walt Disney theme parks, where many have died within one year. Turkeys are intelligent, sensitive animals, not attractions. We can help give this year's pardoned turkeys something they can truly be thankful for. I just signed a petition urging President Obama to send them to Farm Sanctuary, where they can lead a more natural life. I hope you will sign it too. They must submit the petition by November 15 to be heard in time, so please sign today and ask all your friends, family and co-workers to do the same!

To take action on this issue, click on the link below:
If the text above does not appear as a link or it wraps across multiple lines, then copy and paste it into the address area of your browser.

If you no longer wish to receive email messages sent from your friends on behalf of this organization, please follow the link below:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 30 - Mission complete, or is it?

OK so I have reached day 30 eating a vegan diet. Mission complete? Time to move on? No, I don't think so. For starters I have never felt so good, both physically and ethically. Second, through some well chosen books from the library I have found a bunch of great cookbooks. They have brought to the table new and exciting meals I never would have tried before and I am positive there are many more to be found.

I have decided to continue this blog with the focus on eating vegan and spreading the awareness of the plight of the factory farm animal. Two issues that go hand in hand. I know I can't force my beliefs on everyone. My only hope is that people will take the time to research what they eat, where it comes from, and what damage is done by it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day - 26 Farmsanctuary.org

This past weekend my wife and I participated in The Farm Sanctuary Walk for Animals event in Washington DC. Farm Sanctuary is a great organization that is active in protecting farm animals from cruelty and inspires change in the way society views and treats farm animals. Gene Baur is the founder of Farm Sanctuary and he attended the walk in DC. They have a 175 acre farm in New York and a 300 acre farm in California, where these abused animals get to live out the rest of their life in tranquility. Below are a couple of videos from this past Saturday. One is Gene's speech before the walk and one is a snippet of all the caring people who turned out to raise money and to participate. Below you will see posters of Boba the chicken, Fiona the pig and Snickers the cow. Sadly Snickers passed away this year living into his teens.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 23 - Antibiotics

Antibiotics the "Miracle" Drug

Antibiotic resistance is an emerging threat that has accelerated in recent decades. The rise of the so-called "superbug" has struck fear in the heart of anyone who understands the consequences of over prescribed antibiotics.

Physicians, veterinarians, patients and their families all know the danger: 
Overuse antibiotics at the public's peril.

Still, that hasn't stopped the animal agriculture industry from feeding chickens, cattle, and pigs their daily dose of antibiotics. Aimed at promoting growth and preventing disease, the use of antibiotics in farm animals has been the magic formula to animal agriculture. Animals grow bigger and faster keeping them healthy enough to reap the benefits. For a farmer, it’s simple: Animals cost less when we pump them full of antibiotics to prevent diseases.
1. Up to 70% of U.S. antibiotics go to animals raised on industrial farms that aren’t sick, to offset crowding and poor sanitation. The practice promotes the development of deadly strains of drug-resistant bacteria that can spread to humans.
2. Food-borne bacteria are more dangerous because they are harder to treat and may require multiple antibiotic treatments, longer hospital stays and other treatments before finally being eliminated.
3. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cost the U.S. health care system an estimated $4 billion to $5 billion per year.
4. Each year 300,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths are caused by food contaminated by dangerous pathogens and bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, which are increasingly becoming antibiotic resistant.
On the way to eating vegan, I stopped supporting the industrial farms and bought local pastured meat. Animals that were raised with compassion and without antibiotics or growth hormones. Every time you shop, purchase, and put food into your mouth you have a choice and a voice. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 16 - Black Bean Burritos

Day 16 and it just keeps getting easier. I've been finding many local vegan markets and restaurants. This has made finding new food ideas easy. I made the recipe below last night and I can say that I will be definitely be making it again soon.

Many studies have shown that a low-fat diet improves health. You don’t have to put a lot of time and effort into making a nutritious reduced fat meal that tastes great too. Black beans contain cholesterol-lowering fiber and they’re packed with high-quality, fat-free protein.


1 15-oz. can vegetarian refried black bean
4 flour tortillas
2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup salsa


Heat the black beans on the stove or in a microwave.
Warm tortillas, one at a time, in a large dry skillet, flipping to warm both sides until soft.
Spread warm tortilla with approximately 1/2 cup of bean mixture.
Top with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado, and salsa.
Roll tortilla around filling and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 8 - Corn Sugar???

Well it's been one week eating vegan and I can say I feel great. Last night I had whole wheat pasta with fresh made sauce from the garden.

I woke up today and read that the Corn Refiner’s Association said in a press release posted on its website that it has asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, to use the name "corn sugar" instead of high fructose corn syrup. The FDA considers HFCS as natural, even though critics point out that this sweetener consisting of both glucose and fructose is in reality, not found in corn.  This product is made by enzymatically converting some portion of glucose, which is derived from corn starch, into fructose.

It has been directly linked to obesity and Type-2 Diabetes.The good news is that with all the attention by the media and public figures, Americans are consuming less of the sweetener than we have in 20 years. So not surprising with the drop in sales the CRA is looking to change the name.  How sad that they try to trick the American public, if people dont self educate they suffer. 

How can you avoid HFCS? "Corn Sugar"

  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Avoid foods that contain added sugar.
  • Choose fresh fruit 
  • Avoid soda.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 4- The Milk Myth

It's shocking to see when you look at our food system how much is controlled by a handful of large companies. Looking deeper you will see how these companies donate large sums of money to political campaigns and keep a large staff of lobbyist at work. The Dairy Farmers of America are no different. The dairy farm of today is much different than even 50 years ago. 

The Milk Machine
Female calves born are kept for the dairy industry. They are inseminated at 15 months to start their grueling life as a milk machine. The male calves are just by-products of milk production. Many are shot at birth because the cost to raise them for meat is not economical to the dairy farmer.  By the end of the dairy cow's short life, she will be physically exhausted. Happy healthy cows can have a long life of around 25 years, the dairy cow is cut short in just 4 or 5.  They will be sent to slaughter, where many cannot even stand up anymore.

The Question
Now what is all this for? Milk. Let’s think about this in pure basic terms. Humans are the only creature on this earth that drinks another animal’s breast milk. Not only as babies but for a lifetime, most other mammals wean off breast milk  after a few months. We just assume to keep on this path because it’s how we’ve always done it?

The Dangers
Now the dangerous health risks. Studies, such as the famous China Study have proven that the casein protein in milk has a direct relationship to cancer development and growth. Also, milk is liquid fat. All animal fats are converted into cholesterol in the body contributing to heart disease.

The Alternatives
There are plenty alternatives to dairy, my favorite being almond milk. There is also soy milk and many other nut milks. The taste is the same if not better, and they do not contain the harmful ingredients contained in the dairy products.

Here are a couple of links to research further:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

VATT - Vegan At The Table

I am starting this blog as I embark on a new phase in my life. As I type and you read this, I am on day one in my quest to get to 30 days eating vegan. What you say, why would I do this when there are such scrumptious, comfort foods that do not fit into a vegan lifestyle? I have 2 motivating factors. The first is health and the second is awareness for the humane treatment of animals. In later blog posts i will go into each one in greater detail. I have been eating a mostly vegetarian diet for the past 7 months. I can see some small hurdles moving to a vegan diet such as the hot cheesey pizza slice and the incredible butter-cream frosted birthday cakes , but in the end it all boils down to one thing, animal fat. So here it is, a quest for 30 days and this blog to hold me to it. What will I do once i reach 30 days? Well that you will have to stay tuned for, but I know whatever happens will be for the best.