Little pigs, big problems

Pigs have always been my absolute favorite animal since I was a little kid. To prove my loyalty to them at a young age, I gave up eating pigs a long time before I went vegetarian. While that’s definitely speciest of me to not eat one animal but eat the other, I was young and couldn’t imagine loving an animal and eating them too.

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When I first heard about the trend of mini pigs, it definitely caught my attention early on. I remember mentioning them at my college’s Animal Rights Organization, and my friend describing them almost as you would describe a unicorn or Bigfoot. “Mini pigs don’t exist.” And just like that, I was a hater of the mini pig.

Okay, maybe not “just like that.” It took some explaining to get me to turn against this new and upcoming “trend.” My friend explained to me that these pigs are not naturally this small, and they are very unhealthy, and very sad. They are the result of a a runt bred with a runt, then their baby bred with another runt and so on, then starved to stunt their growth.

I had no clue that these seemingly harmless little tiny pigs had such a screwed up background! I think it’s repulsive to make money off of animals (hence why I’m vegan) but also to bring a life into this world knowing it’s is going to suffer and be extremely unhealthy is SO selfish to me.

Because teacup pigs are the result of inbreeding many different runts, they have sooooo many health problems and have really short life expectancies. Most potbellied pigs (which is the breed that most micro pig are) have a life expectancy of 20+ years. Most mini pigs don’t live past 5. Since these pigs are underfed, they “suffer from weak immune systems, sensitive skin, and hoof problems.”

The smallest size that a potbelly pig can weigh in order to be healthy is 60 pounds, which is waaay heavier than any mini pig. A lot of breeders inbreed their pigs in order for the babies to be even smaller, and this too is clearly very unhealthy. Their life expectancy and health problems should be sign enough that breeding teacup pigs is just plain wrong. pigs_web-520x390.jpg

Micro pigs are a bizarre concept. Pigs are naturally large animals. Breeding mini pigs is the same to me as breeding babies and feeding them some weird diet to keep them babies forever. It’s just naturally NOT normal.

When you buy a mini pig from a breeder, they give you strict instructions on what to feed your new pet. This “diet” consists of very small portions of food each day, and actually starves the pig instead of nourishes them. A lot of breeders suggest you only feed your micro pig a very small portion of guinea pig food, which to any intelligent human being should be a MAJOR red flag. (Not that people who own these pigs aren’t intelligent, but come on people! This pig situation is clearly very messed up!)

I love pigs and want one as a pet more than anything, but I don’t think I could provide a good life for a pig. They love to be surrounded by other pigs, and have a natural urge to dig and play in the mud and when they are denied these natural instincts, they become depressed and destructive. I would never want to mentally damage my pet, hence I would never own a pig unless I lived on a farm-like property and had plenty of other pig friends for them to play with!

A favorite “micro pig” of mine is Esther the Wonder Pig. She was sold to a couple as a mini pig, and it didn’t take long for them to realize that she was anything but mini. She grew to be a 530-pound full sized pig, and instead of abandoning her or having her put down like most in this situation do, they decided to teach the world about the injustices of the micro pig breeding industry, and even went vegan in the process!

 

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Yes mini pigs are adorable, but like babies, they can’t stay small forever. And in my opinion, there is nothing cute to me about a sick, starved pig. I tend to be a pretty peaceful person, but if I ever met the idiot who “invented” the idea of a micro pig, I would have a hard time not strangling them. I just can’t imagine creating a living being, knowing that they are going to have a miserable and unhealthy life, just to make profit for myself.

But to stay positive, the best thing we all can do is educate people about why mini pigs are, in reality, not a real thing. And if you really want your daily dose of pigs, volunteer at a sanctuary and get your pig fill there!

Gonna spend the next few hours googling “cute huge pigs” now. Seeya!

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Joaquin Phoenix is a vegan superhero

As someone who LOVES getting really into movies and TV shows, I have a concrete list of my favorite actors of all time. If you were to ask me who my favorite male actor is, (besides Danny DeVito) I would hands down have to say Joaquin Phoenix. Not only did he star in my absolute favorite movie (Walk the Line!!!) but he also is an animal rights activist. Can he get any better?!

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Joaquin went vegan when he was just 3 years old. Can you imagine being 3 and making that type of decision? He sounds like a literal miracle child to me.

He decided to go vegan when he was on a fishing trip with his siblings, and saw the fish getting smashed against the side of the boat in order to kill them. “It was undeniable that it was brutal, barbaric and horrible.” When he told his mom that he was never going to eat meat again, he asked her “Why didn’t you tell us that’s where meat came from?” which is a question I’m sure many of us have asked our parents at a young age. I remember one of the first things I ever Google-searched was “where does meat come from” and after reading what I found, I too decided that I would never eat meat again.

It’s so amazing how compassionate children are compared to adults! Most little kids don’t want to eat an animal that had a horrible life and a disgustingly disgraceful death, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Back to Joaquin though…

So who saw the “short film” titled “Joaquin Pheonix Is Drowning“? As it probably already sounds, it is is harddd to watch. During the clip, Joaquin is seen drowning and suffocating as he narrates and talks about how fish die slow and painful deaths, and why we should go vegan.

First off, his acting skills really shine through in this project of his. Watching him “drown” practically made my lungs hurt! He brings up an interesting point that I have never thought about though. Just as I am terrified of drowning, fish are terrified of suffocating on land. What an awful way to die! If I already didn’t eat fish, watching “Joaquin Phoenix is Drowning” would definitely convince me to ditch fish for good.

Another brave and inspirational act of Joaquin’s was his petition with Mercy for Animals against Walmart for the treatment of their mother pigs. They got a crazy amount of supporters and even got Walmart to announce a new animal welfare policy, which is a HUGE victory!

My favorite thing that Joaquin says on his petition page is that “if Walmart executives did this to even one dog or cat instead of millions of pigs, they would be thrown in jail,” when mentioning the gestation crates that the mother pigs are forced to live in. I love it when people boldly state that society is speciest and we favor some animals over others!

Another endeavor that Joaquin has embarked on that made MAJOR change is his involvement with the documentary Earthlings. Have you guys seen Earthlings? I watched it once and it definitely made an impact on me. Earthlings covers the atrocities of puppy mills and the pet industry, animal agriculture, fashion involving animal skin, and animal entertainment. It uses a lot of undercover footage which was extremely hard to watch, but one thing I believe is that if we can’t stand to watch it happen, then we shouldn’t be putting up with it!

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Joaquin narrated the whole documentary, and he was the perfect pick because he has THE voice for narration in my opinion. Pretty mono-tone, so you don’t feel like you’re being subconsciously persuaded by the emotions in his voice. His voice just tells the facts and is also super easy to listen to (which is no surprise to me, have you guys heard him sing?! Voice of an angel.)

I am slightly embarrassed to say that I don’t particularly love watching animal advocacy documentaries. The graphic images stay with me for MONTHS (as I’m sure they do with all of us!) and I just prefer to read my information as opposed to watch it. Hey, maybe that’s a flaw of mine but what are ya gonna do!

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Another admirable trait about Joaquin is that he requires all of his movie costumes to be vegan friendly. All of his “leather” costumes in Gladiator and Walk the Line were in fact all pleather, which I think is SO AWESOME. He even once went barefoot during a Prada photoshoot because the shoes were made out of leather. What a guy!

Whether it be for his superb acting skills, his angelic voice, or his animal rights activism, vegans and movie lovers alike love Joaquin, and I am nooooo exception! What are some other reasons why you guys love Joaquin?

Have a good Wednesday everyone!

 

Chickpeas make the world go round

Hello all you lovely people!

How’s it going? Today seems like a day for sharing treasured recipes, so I’m going to share with you all one of my favorite dishes that I loveeee to make for lunch. Introducing…

Chickpea “tuna salad”!

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It’s a super simple and easy dish to whip up, yet is really satisfying and from my experience, a crowd pleaser. What’s not to love about a delicious, easy, crowd pleasing recipe?!

Ingredients
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1/3 C vegan mayo (I love Just Mayo!)
2 celery ribs
1 T mustard
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 sheet of nori
Pepper to taste

Like I said before, this recipe is simple, so toss all of the ingredients into a food processor and you’re good to go!  I don’t even bother to chop the celery before I throw it in, I just break it up with my fingers. Same with the nori as well. And just at tip, be careful not to over blend in the food processor. You don’t want a blob of mush, you want more of a chunky kinda consistency.

I love to eat this chickpea salad cold on bread as a deliciously refreshing sandwich, or on toasted bread with cheese as a “tuna melt”! To make a “tuna melt” with this chickpea salad, I like to spread a bunch on a piece of Italian bread, top it off with some Chao Cheese (THE BEST!) and toast it in the oven for 10 minutes or so until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted. SO DELICIOUS. The first time I made a “tuna melt” with this chickpea salad I could NOT get over how scrumptious it was in every single way.

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I love the cayenne in this recipe because it adds just the right kind of kick to it. Who else LOVES cayenne pepper?! I like to toss it in just about anything. It has such a nice heat to it but doesn’t over power the other flavors. My current favorite use for cayenne is using around 1/2 tsp in a detox drink that I (try to) drink every morning.

This chickpea salad gets its “tuna-y-ness” from nori. Am I the only one who could eat sheet after sheet of nori because that stuff is SO good to me! It has such a deep taste and kind of melts on your tongue, plus it’s just seaweed so it’s both delicious and nutritious!

There’s something great about a dish that tastes “fishy” but doesn’t actually have any fish in it. I 1) find the thought of eating fish gross, and 2) can’t get down with the fishing industry! We’re overfishing our oceans like crazy and sometimes it feels like not enough people care about how detrimental the situation is. Most fishing trawlers are the size of a football field and “scoop up everything in their path.” Think that’s not that big? These trawlers can “take in 800,000 pounds of fish in just one netting.” Needless to say, they catch a LOT of fish that they don’t need (some being protected species.) These fish are tossed back into the ocean, most dying or, the more probable, already dead.

As for what vegan mayo I used, I prefer to use Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, it’s so versatile! I use it in my tofu egg salad, as a spiced up dipping sauce, and even as a base for salad dressing.

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(Wondering who made the lovely bowl that my chickpea salad is in? My man Jon made it in a ceramics course we took together last year! His forte is printmaking, but when it comes to ceramics he is clearlyyy gifted in that area as well. Check out his artist portfolio!  P.S. If you search hard enough, you just may get to see a few photos of my butt circa 2 years ago 😉 !)

Another great thing about this recipe is that the ingredients are pretty cheap (except for the nori, but once you buy a pack of that you’re golden for probably a year!) Honestly, I can’t seem to find one down side to this chickpea salad other than once you make a batch, you’ll eat it ASAP and wish you had more ingredients to make another!

I’m not someone who strives to make everything taste like meat or dairy because I find the concept of those things pretty gross, but this tastes a lot like (what I remember) tuna salad tastes like in a really savory plant-based way. Have you guys made chickpea “tuna salad” before? Lemme know if there’s any ingredients you think that my recipe is missing!

Have a great night you guys and talk to you all soon!

Face oils are a gal’s best friend

Hey guys! How’s it going today?? Today I want to share with you all a facial moisturizer that I recently tried that is absolutely changing the moisturizing game.

A couple of months ago I got a facial with my friend Alexandra (the purple-harried goddess from my “Vegan Paradise” day!) I had never gotten a facial before, and figured that I was in for a relaxing hour of mud masks and peels. What I did not know was that I would also get some of the best skincare advice of my life.

When I met the esthetician, she took one glance at my face and told me that my skin looked too dry in some areas, and too oily in others. She predicted that I was using too harsh of a cleanser that dried out some of my skin, which in return forced my skin to produce more oils, making me look greasy. She also predicted that my facial moisturizer wasn’t quite doing the trick.

She was SPOT ON. I couldn’t believe that someone could take one look at my face and predict what kind of cleanser and moisturizer I was using.

After this facial, I decided to mix up my skincare routine. I switched from my old harsh cleanser to a gentle facial wash, and it made all the difference in my skin. I also decided that I wanted to try out a different facial moisturizer as well. The one I was using at the time kind of got the job done, but wasn’t the absolute best as moisturizing and still made me look super greasy.

I decided to try Meow Meow Tweet’s Face Oil, and I like to think of that as the moment that my skin finally got what it wanted and what it deserved.

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After the first time I used this oil, I already knew that I was going to be hooked. for. life. (As someone who has tried a large amount of face creams, I don’t say statements like this lightly!)

The bottle comes with a dropper that is super easy to use and drops out just the right amount of oil. I like to put a drop on my forehead, a drop on each cheek, a drop on my chin, and then lightly rub it in with my fingers until my whole face feels moisturized.

It just feels RIGHT putting this on my skin. I don’t look super greasy after using it, which is funny because it’s a literal oil. You would think that out of all the moisturizers I have used in my life, this one would make me look the greasiest, but it’s the total opposite! I don’t know how this works but I love it.

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So what is in this miracle oil, you ask? Cannabis sativa (hempseed) oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, sesamum indicum (sesame) oil, juniperus communis (juniper) essential oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) essential oil, vetiveria zizanoides (vetiver) essential oil, and daucus carota (carrot seed) essential oil. All certified organic which is a necessity for me when it comes to skincare.

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So why use a face oil? Face oils are “lipophilic (fat loving), so they absorb into the skin’s lipid barrier easier and they keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.” Have you ever used a face moisturizer that felt so water based that it was drying out your skin instead of moisturizing it? Well you do not have to worry about that with this oil, because it does one thing, and one thing only, and that thing is MOISTURIZE!

Another thing I loveeeee about this oil is the smell. It smells so deliciously deep and earthy in the best kind of way. I once had a face cream that smelled exactly like the vitamin gumballs I used to eat as a kid (who remembers Vitaballs?!) Maybe this sounds appealing to you, but you know that really gross smell that wafts out of your multi-vitamin bottle when you open it? Yuck. Needless to say, I really wasn’t down with having my face smell like a vitamin.

One last reason why this oil is my go-to is that it is cruelty free and vegan. A product doesn’t stand a chance with me if it was tested on animals, because who wants to use a cosmetic that came at a very cruel and inhumane price? (Plus, animal testing is unreliable so it’s just safer for your skin all around to shop cruelty free!)

Maybe some of you have already tried this oil/face oils in general and I’m just preaching to the choir. If that’s the case, let me know what oils you use because I’m really feelin incorporating oils into my beauty routine as much as possible.

Have a lovely day everyone!

 

 

Hungry hippos+soft serve+TLTs=vegan paradise

Hellooooooo folks! How’s everyone’s day going today?

Today is one of my days off, so my coworker/more importantly vegan-partner-in-crime Alexandra and I decided to venture out in search of a some delish vegan soft serve ice cream. (Wondering where Alexandra and I work? We’re both chocolatiers at Lagusta’s Luscious!)

We heard that Kingston Candy Bar had vegan soft serve, so we clearly had to head to Kingston ASAP. When we got into town, we realized that dessert as the first meal of the day was probably not the best idea (or is it???) so we decided to stop at Outdated Cafe, a vegetarian cafe that our coworkers rave about.

The place is adorable inside and has a super comfy-homey feel to it (aka the best kind of feel in a cafe). We decided to split 2 dishes, a ginger peanut stir fry and a tempeh, lettuce, and tomato sandwich (TLT!)

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The ginger peanut stir fry was DELIGHTFUL. It had a bunch of seasonal veggies (as you can see in the picture above!) and was so wonderfully flavorful. My favorite part of the dish was the slices of sweet potato, YUM.

And don’t even get me started on the TLT. It had just the right amount of mayo and the tempeh was so deliciously smoky. The waitress even told us that she made sure the chef toasted the bread in olive oil instead of butter. How accommodating!

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Also, they had strawberry lemon water, how cute!

After our lil lunch feast, it was soft serve time. The soft serve flavor of the day? MOCHA! I’m more of a vanilla-based flavor kinda gal, but if it’s going to be chocolatey ice cream it might as well be mocha flavor!

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We sat outside at a table that had Hungry Hippos set up, and enjoyed the beautifully sunny day and our ice cream!

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(Did I mention that Alexandra has fabulously purple hair?? )

As per usual with us, we vented about family members who claim they can’t live without “their meat” and other vegan rantings. Isn’t it great to vent about old stuffy family members who don’t know what’s up when it comes to animal agriculture? Some people suck but days filled with good friends and ice cream don’t 🙂

Another thing we talked about was the whole misconception of needing dairy for the calcium. Dairy products actually tend to leach calcium from the bones, while plant protein does not. How do you like me now Got Milk commercials? (BURN!)

Anywho, If you live in the Hudson Valley area of New York, you gotta check out both Outdated and Kingston Candy Bar! Especially on a gorgeous day like today, Kingston’s downtown is so cute and cozy that you’ll probably end up spending the whole day (is that really a bad thing though?)

Have a delightful day everyone!!

 

 

Why Red 4 is your new worst enemy (HINT: it’s made of bugs!)

I recently found out some crazy, awful, horrible news and I need to share it with you guys to get this feeling of grossness off of my chest! (Lucky you, right?)

So, I was reading about vegan and non-vegan candies, and on the list of non-vegan candy were Nerds. I had no clue what was in Nerds that made them non-vegan, so I looked further into the situation and found that they are not vegan because they contain “Red 4”

Not knowing what Red 4 was or why it wasn’t vegan, I looked it up, and to my horror found out that Red 4 is basically squished up beetles!! I have never been a huge bug fan, and the idea of eating them grosses me out more than I can say. I don’t hate them, but I’m not exactly “vegan for the bugs.”

As someone who wants to devote her life to veganism, I have NO clue how I did not know about Red 4 before!

Carmine is defined as a red dye derived from the cochineal beetle,” which includes  “crushed shells, wings, and eggs of the Cochineal Beetle.” Yummy.

Not only is carmine in some foods, but it’s also widely used in lipsticks and other red-tinted cosmetics. This is another thing that I apparently was clueless on! Luckily for me, I tend to only buy cosmetics that are labeled vegan because I like supporting vegan companies, but this is a scary thing to find out if you’re someone who likes to just buy any old lipstick from CVS.

Here’s a picture of one of the big guys himself:

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I may not be a bug fan, but I’m prettyyyyy sure these guys don’t want to be crushed up for the sake of your lipstick looking on point.

So why do companies use carmine? Apparently, carmine is used because it is cheaper than other red dyes, like beets and strawberries, (which happen to be better dyes than carmine!)

If you want to avoid wearing or eating beetle guts, def do your research to make sure that you don’t cross paths with this unnecessarily gross dye.

On that note, hope I didn’t ruin your weekend with all of this crushed up beetle talk!

Why Ron Swanson says all the right things about meat on Parks and Rec

Hey guys! So who here watches Parks and Recreation?

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I think it’s one of the funniest shows I have ever seen, and it def lands a spot on my top 5 favorite TV shows of all time. It’s just straight up hilarious, and every episode somehow magically gets better and better. Even though I’m a huge Amy Poehler fan, I have to say that my favorite character by far is Ron Swanson.

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His character is hilarious and never fails to make me laugh. A lot.

So the other night I was watching an episode where the parks department goes to a BBQ hosted by Ron. If any of you watch the show, you know that Ron loves meat. Usually this slightly annoys me if “loving meat” is a defining characteristic of someone, but the things he says about animal agriculture are so spot on. It almost makes me wonder if the show has an ulterior motive to spread veganism (that, or I’m just reading into things WAYYY too much and think that the world revolves around veganism. Come to think of it, I definitely could create a compelling argument to prove that the world does in fact revolve around veganism! Heh 😉 )

In one scene, Ron gets out of his car with a (very adorable!) pig named Tom. Everyone thinks the pig is so cute and adorable, until they quickly realize that Ron intends to kill this pig for their BBQ today, and they all have looks of horror on their faces. A clip of the scene is posted below:

If you didn’t watch the clip, here is a line that Ron says: “Well in my opinion, not enough people have looked their dinner in the eyes and considered the circle of life.” While I’m sure we all have a million reasons why the whole “circle of life” argument is so extremely irrelevant because we are no longer cavemen, he makes an excellent point in the beginning of his statement. People think it’s so cruel and inhumane when they see a live animal who is about to be killed for their dinner, yet the random meat that just shows up on their dinner plate is some how completely different? A perfect example of this is Chris, the guy in the striped shirt in the beginning.

Chris goes up to the pig and says how cute is he, and then realizes that the pig is what they’ll be eating and clearly looks disapproving. When the others realize this as well, they also look upset and uncomfortable. Yet! (Spoiler alert) they all eat Tom the pig at the end of the episode anyway. I know, I know, this is just a TV show and none of this is real, but I have seen this in so many people in real life before.

I guess we could take the positive from this and rejoice at the fact that most people have compassion towards animals. People don’t want to make the connection that the hamburger they are eating was once a cow who had babies and feelings. They don’t want to realize that the pork they’re eating was once a pig who was smarter than any dog and as smart as a 3 year old child. I guess that’s one of the next steps us animal rights activists have to take, we have to show people that the meat they are eating was once the same as their beloved pet, an animal with feelings and emotions and the desire to not be killed for a meal.

A second thing that Ron says that I absolutely LOVE is him pretty much poking fun at the fact that we eat pigs, yet we don’t eat dogs. “Tom is very smart and incredibly loyal. He’s basically a dog. A dog we are going to cook, chew, and swallow.”

Maybe I’m the only one who loves making weirdly dark arguments like this, but they reallyyy prove a point. What differentiates the incredibly intelligent and loving pig that will be tonight’s dinner from the family dog that will sit beside you as you eat. In my opinion, being speciest is on the same radar as being racist or sexist. I don’t discriminate by race or sex, so why would I by species? 

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Yeah, that pig is absolutely adorable, but there is no difference between Tom the pig and the pigs that are slaughtered for people’s dinners. This scene really proves that there is SUCH a huge disconnect between the animals that we see and love, and the meat on our dinner plates.

One last tid bit from the scene that I can’t get enough of is when Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) says, “Dude there’s kids around here!” proving the ever-so-irking point that we sugar coat the horrors of animal agriculture so that children will be “protected” from the truth. If I ever have kids, I already know for a fact that I will never lie to them about where meat comes from. It’s so telling that if we feel the need to hide something from children that involves them (if they eat animal products, it involves them!) then maybe we shouldn’t be condoning it in the first place.

(Don’t know how to tell your kids about how incredibly awful the meat industry is but not destroy their youth and sense of innocence? Vegan Is Love is an amazing children’s book that “introduces young readers to veganism as a lifestyle of compassion and action,” and it does it in a way that keeps a smile on everyone’s face!)

I do hate the fact that Ron Swanson portrays eating meat as masculine, when in fact it’s the absolute opposite. Tell me what’s so macho about a full grown man still drinking breast milk, and breast milk from someone who is not only not their mom may I add, but also from someone who is a different species as them. While I do hate this aspect of Ron’s character, I like that he tells it like it is. He realizes that what we are eating was a sentient being who had feelings and emotions and parents and siblings and maybe even babies of their own, and lived a horrible, miserable life, and died feeling fear that I hope none of us ever experience.

All in all, this scene just seems to throw punch after punch at society for loving their pets but eating other species of animals, and freaking out when they see the actual death of an animal but eating its corpse later with no problem. I’m not sure if Parks and Rec meant to do this, but I think it’s awesome.

For anyone who is reading this thinking “what, so am I just not supposed to eat animals now?” Yes that’s totally the point, and I mean this in a really exciting and positive way. Going vegan is SO EASY and SO FUN. I feel like I can’t say that enough. Not only is it so easy, it’s so great to no longer feel guilty about what you are eating, because who wants to feel guilty every time they eat? I live for food, and I would absolutely hate it if I felt guilty every time I was enjoying the most cherished part of my day!

I will leave you all with this PRECIOUS picture I came across when I was googling “pigs and dogs” (something that I do pretty much 24/7, cause who doesn’t love pigs and dogs?!)

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Have a great Wednesday guys and talk to y’all soon!!

 

 

Cold spicy peanut noodles aka my go to dish when I’m feeling lazy

Hey guys! How’s everyone’s Monday going??

So today I was home at my parents house and decided to whip up a quick batch of cold spicy peanut noodles. I realized that this is a super easy (and super delicious!) recipe that I have been making for years and hence, I am going to share it with you all today!

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(Pardon the wrinkles in the tablecloth, it was crazy windy out today and I couldn’t get the tablecloth to lie still no matter how many stones I put on it!!)

Anyway, I have never actually used a recipe for this dish before, so having to measure it all out was new to me. I am very much someone who doesn’t love to follow recipes, because it’s just so much more fun to do it all by taste in my opinion! (Can you tell that I’m not a professional chef??)

For this recipe, I use Ramen Noodles (minus the spice pack) as the noodle base. I just realized that in all my life, I have only ever had Ramen without the spice pack, like in recipes like this. I guess it’s because I’m not down with all that sodium!

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The recipe I wrote out uses 4 packages of Ramen because I was making this for my parents and myself. If you wanted to make half or 1/4 of this amount, just divide up the recipe!

So without further ado..

Cold Spicy Peanut Noodles

4 packages Ramen Noodles
1 C chunky organic peanut butter
3 T lemon juice
2 T soy sauce
1 T white wine vinegar
2 t garlic powder
1/2 t sesame oil
1/4-1/2 t cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it!)
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives for garnish
Sesame seeds for garnish

(TIP about organic PB: I like to store my organic peanut butter upside down so that when I’m ready to use it and open it for the first time, all of the oil has dissipated throughout the jar as opposed to sitting at the top waiting to make a mess the second you stick a spoon in it!)

Boil a pot of water and cook your noodles like you usually would, I think Ramen cooks for like 3 minutes and then it’s done? Again, I never use an exact time, I just test it and take it off the stove when it tastes done.

While the water is boiling and noodles are cooking, mix together all of the ingredients except for your chives and sesame seeds, which are garnishes. After all of the ingredients are mixed together, I like to add some water to the sauce until it’s nice and smooth, and not super sticky and peanut butter-y. I usually can tell that I’ve added enough water when the sauce is a light tan, so pretty much it’s a totally different color that the PB that I started with.

When the noodles are done cooking, I run them under COLDDD water so that they cool down and are nice and chilly. Add the sauce to the noodles, stir well, garnish, and you’re good to go!

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While I was taking these pictures outside on the patio, my pup Astro was reallyyyyy interested in getting some noodles for himself! Its obvious he was trying to look extra cute so he would get what he wanted.

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After not-so-patiently waiting, Astro finally got his peanut noodles.

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Let me know if you think this recipe could use any other ingredients, I’m always down to spice things up! 😉

Have a great night everyone!!

The only time I use Twitter is to send angry tweets at…

No one other than…

SeaWorld!

Yes, I know sending angry messages is not the way to persuade anyone (if there is one thing that I believe, it is that being rude, angry, and pushy is NOT the way to get someone to change their mind!), but something just feels SO good about telling them that I hope they shut down because of how catastrophically awful of a company they are.

I’m never one to voice a negative opinion at someone. I don’t believe in being all attack-y when trying to get your way, but come on SeaWorld, what are you doing?!

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Let’s bring it back to 2013, when Blackfish first premiered. Plenty of people were against SeaWorld before Blackfish, but after it premiered, I can’t think of a single person who was in favor of them. The documentary spit out fact after fact, and used ex-trainers who knew the secret ins and outs of working there. They definitely had a compassion angle of persuasion, but mostly used the facts and laid it all out in the open.

The main concept that I got from Blackfish was that orcas are meant to live in the wild, and not in captivity. Orcas, in their natural habitat, swim on average 100 miles a day. When you are stuck in a pool that is proportionally the size of a human in a bathtub, how can you possibly feel fulfilled? It is in their nature to swim long distances every day, and yet they are denied this vital instinctual need, which results in psychosis. I feel like I go a little crazy when I don’t leave my house for a day. Imagine not only not being able to leave your house ever, but also not even having the choice to leave, or not knowing why you’re stuck there in the first place. Crazy town!

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Ever since Blackfish premiered, SeaWorld has been scrambling to get back on their feet. They referred to Blackfish as “propaganda” (HA!) and started a campaign to tell us that they in fact do care about their animals, and that the documentary was “simply wrong.” I think it’s safe to say that NO ONE was buying was SeaWorld was dishing out.

They recently put out a new commercial that made me want to puke out of disgust, it was that pitiful. The commercial tries to take the humane approach and claims that they love their orcas and bla bla bla. It also informs us that they will no longer be breeding orcas (thank GOD) but will continue to keep their current orcas in captivity pretty much until they die (way before they would die in the wild I might add! Their life expectancy in captivity is WAY lower than it is in their natural habitat!)

Yeah, I know that they’re not going to breed any more orcas, but please tell me how this helps the orcas currently in captivity?

Moving on, who here likes Steve-O? I for one LOVED him when I was younger. He’s such a cool dude! Did you know that he went to jail for 30 days because of a protest that he staged against SeaWorld? During his protest (which was on SeaWorld grounds), he climbed a 100ft crane and held out an inflatable orca that said “SeaWorld sucks” and lit fireworks. The protest resulted in chaos, and hence, he was jailed for 30 days.

He took his jail time like a champ, and even posted this awesome photo to his Instagram as a final “screw you” to SeaWorld.

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P.S. Steve-O is also vegan, so he’s pretty much the bombbbbb.

One part of Blackfish that I enjoyed SO MUCH was when they told us all the lies that SeaWorld tells their audience. Currently, all of their captive male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins. Blackfish shows undercover footage of tour guides claiming that it is a common and naturally occurring problem. In reality, only 1% of orcas in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, and when they do, it is because they are sick or injured. Yeah… totally “natural,” SeaWorld…

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Another lie that was caught on an undercover cam was that orcas live longer in captivity than they do in the wild. You do NOT have to be a marine biologist to know that this is COMPLETE bogus. Orcas typically live to be 90 years old in the wild, yet the average age of orcas in captivity is 13. Looks like SeaWorld doesn’t understand how basic numbers work?

On top of lying to the public, SeaWorld also drugs their orcas to “calm them”, aka drug them up enough so that their signs of psychosis don’t show. That should be a HUGE sign if you have to constantly medicate your animals because of how crazy they are going from being in captivity.

Alright, one last point that I HAVE to bring up before I wrap up this lil SeaWorld rant is that the ever-so-wonderful Harry Styles spoke up against SeaWorld at one of One Direction’s concerts, and created SERIOUS damage. Footage of the monumental moment can be seen here. In between songs at his show, Harry asks the audience “does anybody like dolphins?” and then replies with “don’t go to SeaWorld.” Those 4 words created mayhem for SeaWorld.

Negative online mentions of SeaWorld went through the roof, and profits plummeted 84%. All from Mr. Styles saying 4 simple words, “don’t go to SeaWorld.” If I wasn’t a One Directioner before, I sure am now. (Just kidding, I pretty much worship 1D even though I’m 23 years old. Too soon to share this embarrassing information? SUE ME)

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Welp, I could go on for days talking about Harry Styles, and more importantly, why SeaWorld blows, but I’m not too sure if I would hold your attention. Seriously though, there are a thousand more reasons not to support SeaWorld. It’s actually baffling to me that a company who has screwed up this much still continues to pretend that they’re not in the wrong.

Don’t go to SeaWorld, and equally as important, educate your friends and fam why they shouldn’t too!

For those of us who don’t want sheep skin oil on our lips

When leaving my house, I always make sure I have 3 things on me: 1) my phone 2) my wallet, and 3) my Smith’s Rosebud Salve. I am full on dependent this stuff, and I don’t care one bit about kicking the addiction. I apply this smooth-goodness to my lips probably 50 times a day, and other chapsticks just don’t work for me anymore, that’s how reliant I am on this one.

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Besides it being the best chapstick I have ever used in my life, I love it for two other reasons. 1) It is cruelty free, a necessity for me when it comes to shopping for cosmetics, and 2) it does not contain lanolin. Don’t know what lanolin is?

Lanolin is a “wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals” and “wax and the remains of dead fat-producing cells.” Basically, it’s the grease that comes from the wool of sheep. You know how your hair feels kind of gross when you haven’t washed it in a while and it’s all greasy and flat? Well that grease is basically our form of lanolin.

Not only is this something that I NEVER want to have on my lips, but it also contributes to the inhumane wool industry (which is way more barbaric and merciless than most people think it to be!)

Anywho, back to the goods…

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I use this stuff for everything. I apply it to my eyelashes at night to strengthen them. I put it on my cuticles when they’re not looking too hot. I use it on my nose when it’s chapped from blowing my nose too much. I even use it for razor burn!

What is this miracle concoction made of, you ask? It has three ingredients: petrolatum, cotton seed oil, and their trade secret perfume premix. On top of that, the Smith’s website has certified that the Rosebud Salve is vegan friendly.

Earlier this week though, I had a BIG scare that it wasn’t.

I was reading the ingredients in Rosebud Salve and wondering what “trade secret perfume premix is.” I googled it, and to my horror, some pages that I found were saying that lanolin was included in this mix! After doing 45 minutes of googling “Rosebud Salve Vegan” and frowning at my computer, I decided to settle the debate once and for all and e-mail the company (something I probably just should have done in the first place? Ah well!)

They e-mailed me back and said that lanolin is not in their Rosebud Salve, THANK THE LORD.

I am so relieved, because for years I have been using this chapstick assuming that lanolin was not included in the mix. I would have been nothing short of devastated if I realized that my beloved chapstick had sheep skin oil in it!

I buy my Rosebud Salve at Sephora, but most health food stores carry it as well. A disclaimer before you buy your first tin of it though: once you start using it, you WILL NOT be able to stop. Enjoy! 😉