Monday, May 26, 2008

What is a vegetarian?

As a vegan, I know that labels can be very confusing. It seems some people want to define themselves by labels, JUST to "have" the label, and that's a bad thing.
At other times, however, it's a good thing. A label on something can clarify what it is, what it does. (What's in this filing cabinet? What's in this jar? Is this Kosher? Does it have wheat?)

So, today, we will have a little clarification.

There has been a lot of confusion, much of it perpetuated by people who claim they are vegetarian.
Many people seem to think that "vegetarian" means you don't eat cows. Well, this is true, but it means a lot of other things as well.

Vegetarians do not eat any animals, whether they are fish, chickens/turkeys/other birds, pigs, cats, dogs, monkeys, jungle cougars, elephants, lobsters, crabs, shrimp, cows, clams, or any other creature.

When people say they are vegetarian, but then eat animals, it sets a bad example for a few reasons:

1. The person who is not claiming to be a vegetarian is now confused as to what IS or IS NOT acceptable for a vegetarian to eat. The next time they encounter someone who is vegetarian, they may offer them something with meat in it, thinking it's okay. This is especially true at restaurants.

2. People who know what a vegetarian is will now not take that person seriously, and it hurts the movement, if the person is in animal activism.

3. It is simply not a true statement. Red is not blue, and vegetarians do not eat ANY animals, even for "health" reasons.

This clarification is not to bash people on their way to vegetarianism, or even full omnivores who sometimes skip meat for a meal. It's not because I care so much about the label of "vegetarian" as much as the misuse of it.

Every meatless meal counts. Every step to lessen or eliminate animal suffering and the toll meat takes on this planet is effective, and should be recognized.
I know it's not realistic for every person on this planet to be vegetarian or vegan. If everyone just lessened their meat intake, it would have a big effect!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie for Mother's Day

This day is for you, mamas! Thank you for being there for us!
Birth moms, adoptive moms, step-moms, moms-in-law, moms-to-be. You are all lovely.

This is a very rich chocolate and peanut butter dessert. (It is also very easy!)
Since my mother would inject chocolate if she could, I made it for her. I think she is to blame for my sweet *teeth*!
The caramel recipe is from Isa Moskowitz over at the PPK

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie with Peanut Butter Caramel

1 package silken tofu (like Mori-Nu, in the non-refrigerated pack)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
3-4 Tbsp peanut butter (any kind you like)
1- 12oz bag chocolate chips (check for milk ingredients)
1 pre-made or home-made crumb pie crust (like Oreo, Shortbread, or Graham Cracker)

For the caramel:
1/3 c peanut butter
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp brown rice syrup

To prepare the pie:
Blend tofu, syrup, and peanut butter in a blender until completely smooth.
Melt chocolate chips over a double broiler and add to blender and blend entire mixture again, scraping the sides of the blender if necessary. Pour into prepared crust.

Chill until completely firm then make the caramel:

Stir all the caramel ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Gently heat everything over low heat, stirring constantly with a fork, just until smooth and heated through. It should fall from your fork in ribbons. If it seems stiff, turn the heat off immediately and add a little extra brown rice syrup, until it's fluid again.

Spread caramel over the pie and chill again. Makes a decent amount of serving because it is very rich. If you or your mom like chocolate/peanut butter as a combo, try this sometime!

Brina Update

Hello all.

Thanks for bearing with us.

Brina has completely changed from that ill, sad kitty!
She had her feeding tube removed 3 days ago and has been eating on her own with no tube help for a week and a half, and eating with tube help before that.

She is friendly, the coarse fur on her back has become soft, she's very vocal and happy.

We recently moved and she enjoys hanging out on the stairs, and going on the balcony with her doggy brother.

I will still be accepting donations until her bills are paid off, but I am so happy to announce the news that she appears to be recovered. Thank you for all your love and support. It means a lot to our family.