Archive for the ‘MUSINGS’ Category

  • Make Being Vegan Your New Year’s Resolution!

    Date: 2011.12.31 | Category: MUSINGS | Response: 1

    Happy Vegan New Year!

    So we have all made our share our New Year’s resolutions that we thought at the time we could keep but turned out to fizzle over time. Exercise more, stop smoking, volunteer, eat better, watch less tv read more etc. While all are all worthy of our efforts, they mostly benefit us and a handful of people around us.

    What if we could make one change in our life that would not only directly benefit our health (physical, mental and spiritual), but stop the brutal killing of billions of animals in factory farms, help feed millions of starving children around the world, allow us to reconnect with our heart and soul. I can’t think of any other action that could impact millions, even billions of living beings.
    Can you?

    We can all stop the killing fields, the concentration camps, the government subsidized torture chambers, the next pandemic and simply chose to live and let live.
    All prophets regardless of your faith, have told us to live and let live, to love ALL beings as ourselves and to live a compassionate life.

    And in return, you get to join the illustrious ranks of the famous and powerful celebrities that have done just that, switched to a plant-based diet.
    Drum roll please:

    President Bill Clinton, Steve Wynn, Russel Simons…

    In the world of entertainment:
    Ellen Degeneres, Martha Stewart and Oprah are working on it! Alanis Morissette, Anne Hathaway, Tobey Maquire, a.k.a. Spiderman, Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone and many many more.

    In the world of sport: all-star John Salley, Mike Tyson, Venus and Serena Williams and many more.

    So don’t you think that it is time for this New Year (which according to the Maya could be our last one!) to decide the course of our life? Will you follow the path of the Saints by loving and respecting all life and beings on the planet? It is your call but if not now, then when?

    Just do it!
    Set an example for others to follow.
    Save lives so that your life will be saved.
    Live simply so that others wil simply live.
    Because, as we sow, so shall we reap.

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  • Vegan Holidays, Because Eating Turkey is Foul Alright!

    Date: 2011.11.29 | Category: MUSINGS | Response: 0

    Have you ever wondered, what is it with our race and the need to kill something every time we celebrate an event? I probably should say with men, since I somehow can’t imagine women coming up with this strange practice that has become so ingrained in our culture. It would be like saying “Today, we are celebrating life so let’s go kill something (which is actually a someone in this case)!

    I often wonder if this could be what caused the ‘fall’ in the Garden of Eden (let’s say there was such a place for the sake of the argument!)
    One minute everyone is hanging out peacefully, the next ,Adam and Eve are ashamed, they have to cover their body and are expelled from Eden. Sounds to me that they started to look at each other’s differently and who knows maybe someone became someone’s dinner! It could happen!

    Seriously, celebrations have always been important because life was tough in the old days (still is today), so any occasion like the arrival of Spring, new life and all the subsequent religious holidays (which are basically ancient pagan rites renamed after religious events!) are an essential part of every culture. I guess my question is, why spoiling a celebration with shedding blood and causing suffering?

    Women would probably have come up with things like, a potluck, music, dance, storytelling, ceremony to celebrate the special event. Later on, maybe a sleepover with some pampering. You get the picture!

    Really, who came up with this lame idea to go out and sacrifice an innocent animal (a lamb or a goat in Africa, the Middle East, chicken and turkey in America, Western Europe…) I wonder if the reason why men are more inclined to fight and take lives is because they do not have the ability to hold and nurture life inside of them  therefore it is easier to forget how precious, fragile and sacred life is. Or maybe men felt left out and decided to bring something to the par-tay! And all they could come up with is a dead animal! A carcass! Really?

    I think that it is time we evolve as a specie! Don’t you?

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  • Top 10 Reasons for Having a Vegan Thanksgiving

    Date: 2011.11.16 | Category: MUSINGS | Response: 0

    Vegan Thanksgiving Feast


    To kick off the holiday season, I thought it would be fun to mix recipes with musings around these traditions. So for this week’s post, I give you my Top 10 reasons for having a vegan Thanksgiving.

    and now the red enveloppe…
    Drumroll please…

    10. A dead bird on the table is so old paradigm and unappetizing!

    9. Make your home a sanctuary (and you won’t have to dispose any dead body!)

    8. It is better for your health and kinder to the planet (all the flavors but low fat, low cholesterol and high fiber)

    7. Teach compassion for all creatures to our children, because chances are, they are equally loved and valued by the One who made them.

    6. Meat-free is just good karma!

    5. For the respect of all mothers, because they deserve it!

    4. You may be thanksfull but the turkey is not! 

    3. No animal will be harmed in the making of your meal! (40 million turkeys are killed every year around this time)

    2. By sparing the life of an innocent being, our life may be spared too.

    1. Make it a truly holy day!

    What are your reasons for having a vegan Thanksgiving this year?
    Do tell!

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  • Shopping for dinner in France!

    Date: 2011.09.23 | Category: MUSINGS, Vegan humor | Response: 2

    I just read a most unexpected comic strip in a French magazine and had to share it. First, let me provide some context for my amazement. France must be by far one of the country that is most attached to its culinary traditions and all include some form of meat, dairy, fish and other animal parts and by-products. Believe me, I have had my share of them when I grew up!  To give you an idea, one of the most popular dish on restaurant’s menus at lunch time is steak and French fries. So when I came accross this comic strip in a mainstream magazine, I just about fell of my chair. I inserted a translation in blue so that anyone can follow the story. If you can’t read it because it is a bit small, it goes something like this:

    – Good afternoon
    – Hmm! What should I get for dinner?
    – Rosalie
    – Clotilde
    – Gaston
    – Maybe, I will have just a little bit of ivy! 


    Shopping for dinner in France! Courtesy of La petite page de Gloria,


    Interestingly enough, the cartoon points to the difficulty someone may encounter when purchasing meat if it had a name or a face. That would be a show stopper for most of us. Wouldn’t it? We are so removed from the food that we eat that getting closer to it will definitely shatter our reality. There is a reason why slaughterhouses are never in town and are not made of glass.

    So, does this mean that France is moving in a less carnivorous direction? Are women reconsidering food choices for themselves and their families? Is meat losing its status? I hope for a resounding yes on all fronts while knowing that habits are hard to break. But there is one thing for sure, something is in the air in the land of the Freedom fries!

    Thank you Marianne Maury Kaufman for your refreshing look at life! I needed that!


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  • The Many Faces of Kindness

    Date: 2011.09.22 | Category: MUSINGS | Response: 0

    I had a recent conversation with a friend at a dinner about hunger in the world. When I mentioned that the Western world was very much responsible for children, let’s say in Africa, dying daily of starvation, my friend opened her eyes really big and replied “what does this have to do with me and what I eat, here in the US?” After all, since we aren’t being told the truth, let alone the whole truth or even part of it , how could people connect the dots? The truth is that if people knew just the waste of resources (some non-renewable) it takes to raise animals for food, they would be shocked and make drastic changes in their lifestyle.  Very soon, we, as a specie, will have to decide if we feed animals or we feed humans. Both are not possible. +7 billion humans, 50 billion animals raised and killed for food every year on one small planet. You do the math!

    Hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but by the inadequacies of our current food system that is only standing because of a huge reliance on pharmaceuticals, chemicals and machinery. If any of these spokes were to break (and there are signs that it is already happening), the whole thing would crumble down. Hunger is maintained by improper distribution of existing commodities produced. The grain that is not fed to farm animals (20%), is stocked in huge grain silos for rainy days.

    Western meat-based diet is causes starving children in developing nations

    I fundamentally believe in the goodness of people, because in the end, darkness is only absence of light, so it doesn’t exist as such on its own. We have been giving it credence way too long! Aren’t we tired of it by now?
    I believe that when people find out the truth about anything, something inside happens, call it a change of heart, a quantum leap, which leads to a new understanding and experience of our position in the world or universe and a new behavior is adopted as a result. We are about to go through one of these!

    With talks of 2012 and all the various scenarios of  end of times, maybe all we are asked to do (while the old structures are collapsing under the weight of greed and corruption) is to return to kindness, first to self, to others around us, to mother nature and to all of humanity as a whole. There is no us and them! Only us all! The circle of life includes all of creation. No exception!

    Maybe, what we are about to go through is not the end as we know it, but mostly the end of a way of living, competing, exploiting, stealing, killing for one bottom line at the cost of everything else.  We all know that it isn’t right. We haven’t yet understood that what we do onto others will be done onto ourselves.  Call it divine law in action (every religious and spiritual traditions mention it) and since we are living in an accelerated world, instant karma is happening.

    So with a deep breath and gratefulness for being alive in these exciting times, let’s simply wish onto others what we would want for ourselves, as our prayer, our intention and as Gandhi used to say, so that we can be the change we want to see in the world. Who else is going to do it? There is no time for blaming or panicking! Everything else is irrelevant and a distraction at this point. I hope you will join the fast growing movement around the planet and be a beacon of light to those around you. Every light, no matter how small makes a difference and will be counted!
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    Date: 2011.03.08 | Category: MUSINGS | Response: 0

    A dearest friend sent me this short video a few days ago and it has been playing in the back of my mind ever since and has been a source of great joy, comfort and hope. So I thought I would share it with you.

    Even though this isn’t directly related to cooking or food, it certainly qualifies as spiritual food and while we may have plenty of the former, we sure can all use more of the later. Don’t forget to turn up the volume! 

    Now that you have heard the song and read the lyrics, you can watch this one. It was filmed in Thailand and well, let’s just say that it is at a slightly larger scale (try a million children!) By the way, if you wander who is this handsome man standing, he is the song writer. What a gift for him and for all of us! You will see what I mean.

    Can you see all the children, all the nations, living in peace all together?
    A world were all life is cherished, protected and nurtured.
    I can. It is up to each and everyone of us to hold the image and the intention, the rest will follow.
    It is the law of the universe, energy follows thought.
    And we all thought, this was the end times!
    I guess it all depends how you looks at things!
    Start dreaming, holding visions of abundance, Truth, Love and Beauty for all living beings on earth.  

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    Date: 2010.12.13 | Category: MUSINGS, Vegan humor | Response: 0

    Even though I was born and raised in the Western hemisphere, I have always had affinities with the East, whether it is the grace of Thai people, the exquisite Japanese gardens and their minimalist architecture, the ancient and colorful devotional traditions of India, and of course the explosion of flavors I experienced when I first discovered their food. I have to say that once I tasted curries, lemongrass, coconut milk, chili paste, cilantro, tamarind and so much more, there was no going back! And all other foods (yes, even French) tasted pretty bland and uneventful in comparison. For a while, I experienced it as happy food versus boring food!  There was no competition really. Now, I have gone full circle, I appreciate both and enjoy creating blends and fuse the various influences.

    Then I was thinking how sacred cows are in India and how commoditized they are in the so-called ‘developed’ world. After all, they provide precious goods like milk, butter for lamps, and fuel from dried dung in poor countries so why would they kill them? It made me think of a scene for a joke. It goes something like:

    A man was standing at the Pearly gate waiting for his turn to see St Peters. Eventually he got to the beginning of the line. St Peters greeted him and asked him a few questions about where he was from, what he did for a living, the usual screening procedure. The man answered that he was from the Midwest of United States, he was raised on a farm and worked most of his life in a meat packing plant. St Peters looked a little sad.
    – “I see” he said.
    He checked a few boxes on his list, thought for a moment then said:
    – “You have a choice for your next life: you can be born in India or in America. The choice is yours. But you must choose carefully.”The man was perplexed. Afterall, he was from the Midwest and the little that he knew about India didn’t inspire him much. Images of overcrowded streets, poverty and unfamiliar scenes came up in his mind from a documentary he had seen on television. He loved America and just couldn’t picture himself living in India.
    – “I choose America” he said proudly.
    St Peters, added:
    – “Oh, I forgot to mention that you are coming back as a cow next time!”

    The moral of the story is that you never know what’s next so be kind just in case!

    Who said that vegans had no sense of humor?

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  • Uninvited guests at our table!

    Date: 2010.12.06 | Category: MUSINGS | Response: 4

    Here is the interesting thing, while there is a perception out there that vegetarians and especially vegans can’t be healthy because they are cutting out almost everything out of their diet, we don’t realize, that the prevalent animal based food sold in grocery stores, whether it is in cans, frozen packages or served in fast food restaurants contains stuff that most people aren’t aware of and that really shouldn’t be allowed to be sold as food. Should antibiotics, for instance, be eaten with every servings of red meat? Not if you want to be able to take antibiotics and have them work when you need them. How about a little arsenic in your chicken nuggets? How does this favorite murder weapon of the Middle Ages and Renaissance finds its way in chicken feed to kill parasites and make them grow faster? What about a little mercury in your broiled fish? That can’t be too bad for you, right? Well, if pregnant women are told to abstain from eating more than 2 servings of fish during their pregnancy because of it, it is probably not a good thing to ingest, period.  Oceans are polluted and over harvested and we are now paying the price for it. You like milk?  You might want to think twice about ingesting growth hormones and anti-depressants which, in turn, are guaranteed to mess up your hormones, whether you are a man or a woman. Do you ever wonder why we have such an epidemic of breast and prostate cancers, infertility and of depression among our population?  Everything is connected.

    So, the good news is that by eliminating all of these animal products from our diet, We are protecting ourselves and loved ones from all of these harmful chemicals that somehow have found their ways into our kitchens. This is especially vital for children since their bodies are metabolizing everything that they are ingesting. As we get older and are no longer growing, a lot of these chemicals end up stored in our fat cells. Any substance that the body doesn’t know what to do with can result in tumors and cancers, in an attempt to isolate the element and get rid of it. So, why not avoiding them in the first place? Can you image the savings in health costs alone? If you are still not convinced, there is a new movie documentary on this topic called Forks over knives. Hear what doctors and surgeons have to say about it. You can also watch the trailer further down in this blog.

    So on the one hand, you have meat eaters thinking that vegans are missing out on everything and on the other, you have vegans that have researched what really is in our food supply (because now we have to read all the labels and find out where it comes from!) and can chose to eat just what is good for us and leave the rest out. It is a very empowering thing to take control of what we eat because EVERYTHING that we ingest directly impacts our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.  Instead of turning to drugs to alleviate symptoms, how about eating healthy food to build a sound body and mind? This is why I always incorporate the healing virtues of plant food in my cooking classes. The Creator even color coded fruit and vegetables to make it easier for us to know what to eat.

    We are truly blessed to live in such an abundant and marvelous world that awaits our discovering.
    Don’t you agree?

    Check out this great collection of short videos on the subject:

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