Why make an exception for honey?

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Totally not trying to judge or call anyone out with this one. But this topic has been coming up lately and I’m genuinely confused.

So here it is:

Why do some people, who are otherwise vegan, eat honey and use products made with bee’s wax?

According to Wikipedia : Veganism /ˈvɡənɪzəm/ is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.

Bees are part of the kingdom Animalia and phylum Arthropoda, along with spiders, scorpions, lobsters and centipedes (among many more). We don’t make exceptions for them, so why would we for bees?

Some people say that bees aren’t hurt when their honey is taken, and while there are many debates on this, that’s not really the point. Sheep can technically be shorn without being hurt, but we don’t wear wool.

Is it that there’s honey in so much food? I’m with you there. It kills me when I’m reading ingredients on something that I really want to buy and I’m all ‘looks good so far… this might be vegan! … UGH HONEY! WHY?!?

Is it that you can’t find chapstick made with other waxes in your town?

Like I said, I’m not trying to call anyone out or start a fight. I just really don’t understand and I’m hoping for some insight.

 

Look at me! I’m practicing!

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Writing.

I procrastinate because I’m not a natural-born writer. I want to do it more so I can be better at it, but I always end up putting it off. What’s up with that?!

Blogging is good practice. Look at me! I’m practicing! 🙂

Ok, enough silly.

Big news: I recently registered for Kristin Lajeunesse’s FREEDOM + MASTERY online course and I’m so beyond excited for it to start. It’s a 12-week, 3-part course focusing on gaining clarity, getting known and making money, all by following your passions. That’s the path I’m on lately and Kristin’s so awesome at it herself that I just know this is going to be a life-changing thing for me. I’m pouring every free moment into thinking about and working on Vegan Outdoor Adventures and this course it going to take things up a few levels for me. So excited! (P.S. If you’ve got a business, or a passion project that you want to get off the ground, I highly recommend checking Kristin out. Even her free stuff, like her 31-part marketing series videos, is amazing.)

Until next time ❤

I won’t let technology beat me this time

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Technology is hard.

For me, anyway. I’ve been working on a new website/project for a couple of weeks and have gotten minimal amounts done because my level of patience is close to zero.

I have a funny story that pretty much sums up technology and me. When I started working at my current job about four and a half years ago, the other server at the time told me I could pick some music to listen to for the shift. On her iPod. I had never used one. I stared at it. Where were the buttons? I kept staring.

“I don’t know how to use this,” I finally confessed.

I laugh about it now, but it seems like I’m always waaaaayyyyy behind the curve when it comes to technology. I guess it’s a good thing I like learning.

Today I’m making progress on my website. I’ve finally gotten the domain/hosting/things under control. Who knew there were two different WordPresses?!? Not me!

I’m going to keep things under wraps for the most part until I get the layout looking the way I want and get some good content up, but I can’t wait to share it with you!

And then there was the time I ate ALL the sweets.

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Andrew informed me a few days before our week off that he had planned a surprise road trip for me. How excited do you think I was about that?!

The thing with my brain is that it never stops working. Never stops trying to figure things out. So when the only clue he gave me was that the destination was a four hour drive, I started working out a four hour radius around Glens Falls (something that takes minimal effort due to my years of endless road trips while following Hanson on tour. Yes, that Hanson.)

So I’m thinking NYC, Boston… Philly is five hours, Montreal and Burlington are both less than four hours. And then I’ve got it: Watkins Glen is almost exactly four hours away. Andrew is taking me to Farm Sanctuary!

Well, that ended up being wrong. But I’m not at all disappointed because the actual destination was equally as awesome.

I was in charge of navigating and while the ultimate destination wasn’t printed on the page I could see that we were headed to Pennsylvania. We were supposed to get off the Stroudsburg exit and I start talking to myself, “Is Vegan Treats in Stroudsburg? No, Vegan Treats is in Bethlehem.” We get off the exit and are driving through town and then the signs start saying Bethlehem. “Are we going to Vegan Treats?!?”

We were going to Vegan Treats!!!

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It was beautiful inside. So many delicious and fancy looking goodies. We ended up getting a Cream Cheese Danish (my first since going vegan almost five years ago, and a favorite from my pre-vegan days), a Peanut Butter Bomb, a mini Canoli cake, a Whoopie Pie, a Peanut Butter Tandy Cake and a doughnut with rainbow sprinkles. Amazing.

I was SO EXCITED to try the Danish and it was everything I remembered and more! Yum yum yum yum YUM! (I also ate the whole whoopie pie last night before bed. I couldn’t help myself!)

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For dinner we went to Horns. Great veg options according to their website, and I also found this story about the owner of Vegan Treats asking the owner of Horns to remove the taxidermy from the restaurant. I loved the replacements, vegan taxidermy at its finest. I was upset that the vegan burger was out of stock. It sounded awesome with lentils, edamame, mushrooms, couscous… So instead I got the seitan cheesesteak and the veggie bean chili with tofu and quinoa. Both were really good.

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Then came breakfast. I don’t think I’ve had a real breakfast option (not including my very first brunch at X’s to O’s a couple of weekends ago!) It’s always a bagel or toast with hummus, or a fruit cup. This was the real deal! I had the tofu scramble, potatoes and toast with house made peach and blueberry jam. Delightful!

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After breakfast, we obviously had to go back to Vegan Treats. Obviously.

I had the vegan soft serve ice cream this time (chocolate-malt swirl) and we bought a piece of Chocolate Chip Cheesecake on a popsicle stick, covered with chocolate cookie crumbs, chocolate chips and chocolate shavings. Wow. Wow. Wowowowowowowowowowow!

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Seriously, if you’re ever anywhere near Bethlehem, PA, whether you’re vegan or not, check out Vegan Treats. If you like sweets, you absolutely will not be disappointed.

And how fluffing lucky did I get with Andrew?!? Driving me four hours away and surprising me with one of my favorite things in the world: Food!

Going vegan in Glens Falls!

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It’s getting easier by the day. Going vegan, I mean. In Glens Falls, the little city I call home.

Vegan restaurant options were the one thing to trip me up when folks showing interest in switching to a plant-based diet asked where in town I eat. “Uh, Raul’s mostly. Or Siam Thai,” I’d reply, knowing that the limited meal choices for their nights (or afternoons) out were going to be a super turnoff.

While my commitment to veganism is my strongest conviction, and few to no dining out options would never make me go back on my decision, I know that’s not the case for others. Eating out is fun. A way to treat yourself, and socialize. Get out of the house when you’re feeling cooped up, or when you’re just too tired to cook.

Glens Falls just wasn’t a promising place for fledgling vegans.

I was approached by fellow Glens Fallsian (err…?), Kate from Advokate, around the end of last summer and asked to take part in a project. The idea was to collect all of the vegan options at the restaurants in town on a website to make it easier for people to find someplace to eat. Glens Falls Vegan was born!

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I’m so happy to be a part of this. My boyfriend and I were busy moving into a new apartment when Kate first shared her idea, so it took a while to get myself into work mode. But now I’m full steam ahead, and working diligently (and happily) with Kate and another friend, Kevin. I may not be getting paid for this work, but it’s something that I’m so passionate about and it’s so fulfilling seeing people respond to it.

As we get word out and familiarize people with veganism I’m confident the number of vegan options in town will grow. It’s going to be great!

My Evolving Veganism

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My attention span is pretty close to zero most of the time. I have trouble sitting down and thinking about any one thing when new and sparkly things keep popping up around me and distracting me. That’s why this blog is simply called ‘Blog’ for now. An idea will strike me at some point. Until then, I’m not pushing it.

Now, what was I planning on writing about?

Oh yes. The evolution of my veganism.

I plan on sharing the whole story at some point, but until then, here’s the shortened version:
I went vegetarian in 2003, when I was 20. There was an incident with lobsters at the seafood restaurant I worked at that left me unable to eat meat from that point on. In 2009 I went vegan for the animals. I was in no way concerned about the health aspects. It was animal rights all the way.

I still consider animal rights the core of my veganism. I saw a meme posted on Facebook by The Vegan Review the other day that perfectly explains why I live my life the way I do. It said, “The difference between those who state veganism is easy, and those who state veganism is hard, is those who say it’s easy are focused on the victims, while those who say it’s hard are focused on themselves.” That’s me in a nutshell, and it’s why I could confidently tell people that, yes I would be vegan for the rest of my life, when they questioned my decision to get the word “vegan” tattooed on my body. I’ve made a commitment to the animals that I will do everything in my power not to harm them and I’m going to stick to it. Forever.

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Since the new year I’ve been on a personal health kick. For the first time I’m actively seeking out information about health, both physical and mental. I’m currently reading The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. The China Study explains the links between the standard American diet, high in animal products, and heart disease, cancer and diabetes among others and Crazy Sexy Diet goes further to emphasize the importance of eating a more alkaline diet to be the healthiest you can be. Kris also includes a 21 day cleanse at the end of the book that I’m planning on starting in a few weeks. If you want to be cleanse buddies let me know! We can support each other and talk about how much we really just want some wheat and sugar!

Green smoothies are still a daily occurrence in our household as well. I can honestly say I’m addicted! I can’t believe I waited so long to jump on the bandwagon! We’ve mostly been using recipes from Simple Green Smoothies, but sometimes we wing it and create our own.

Loving yourself is so important. Make sure you take time out every day to take care of yourself. And being happy and healthy means you’ll have more inspiration and energy to look out for those who have no voice to speak up for themselves.

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Hello.

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A few weeks ago, I posted this on Facebook.

So much on my mind lately. I’m in my 30s. I have a good job that I adore, but doesn’t fit my morals. I zone out every single day and dream of opening a farm sanctuary so I can rescue and provide homes (and snuggles) for animals and share their stories with all of you. I’ve gone from the angry (and unpopular) vegan to the silent (and popular) vegan who keeps her mouth shut instead of speaking her truth (thank you, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I’m going to work on that!) Thinking about starting a blog (again) because it’s hard for me to focus with so much chaos on my brain. And it just might be the solution to the lengthy conversations I have with myself in my head, which are very nice, but not a good use of my time.

It feels like I’m going through an awakening. This has happened a few times, most notably ten years ago when I stopped eating meat, and then almost five years ago when I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle. My way of thinking had changed, causing a shift in the choices I make and the way I live my life.

This awakening feels even deeper. I’ve found my love. I’m deciding, as I like to say, what I want to be when I grow up. I’m learning about nutrition and striving to be healthier. (You know you can be vegan and still live on junk food like french fries, potato chips and Oreos, right?) I’m learning more about my own well being; mind, body and soul.

I’m putting it all together. I love that I’ve done my best to eliminate suffering from my diet and the purchases I make. Now I want to go further and take care of myself. Love myself. Dare I say, pamper myself.

I’ve been really inspired lately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (as I stated in that Facebook post) and Kris Carr. I’ve just discovered Danielle LaPorte, whose book The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul is in my Amazon cart as I type.

It feels good.

No, it feels great! Green smoothies every morning to get me energized, yoga a few times a week to keep me chill, creating time to relax with my love, project plans in my notebook. I’m working toward goals for the first time in a while. And it feels great.

And I’d like this to be my place for putting it all out there. Getting stuff off my mind. Keeping myself accountable for those goals. Posting pictures of my adorably furry family. Thinking. Sharing. Encouraging.

A dear friend sent me a message on Facebook the other day telling me that my “posts and demeanor have been so happy and inspiring lately”. This means it’s working. I’m on a journey to align my life with my morals and my passions. I’ve spent enough time thinking about it, now I’m just going to do it. And I hope you’ll share the journey with me.