2017: The Year of the Vegan Book

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“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison

The number of vegan book titles available these days is just incredible and this list is expanding at an amazing rate each year. Just over the last few years some of the most anticipated books, by some of the most respected names in veganism (Gene Baur, Jason Wrobel, Mary Mattern, Jackie Sobon, Ruby Roth, and so many more), were released and this upcoming year is going to prove to be one of the most exciting years yet. Everything from ethical veganism to plant-based cuisine to Dave Loves Pigs, there is a wide selection of books for every taste to round out your own personal collection.

Or, better yet, get some of these books into the hands of your friends to spread the word!

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Below is my own list (so far) of titles you can expect to see. If you have any to add, please comment below so I can update the blog post and we can keep this current through the coming months!

From the good people at Vegan Publishers, 2017 is going to prove to be a very exciting year with new titles like:

  • Farm to Fable by Robert Grillo. This book, written by the director of Free From Harm, who formerly worked in the advertising industry, is about the many fictions we are taught about non-human animals.
  • The Skinny on Soy by Marie Oser. This book counters a massive amount of misinformation about soy that has been put out there by those with connections to the meat and dairy industries.
  • Millennial Vegan by Casey Taft. My next book will be a guide for younger vegans that provides support, tips for navigating in a non-vegan world, and tips for advocacy.
  • Dave Loves Pigs by Carlos Patino. This is a follow up to the popular Dave Loves Chickens, and is about a monster from outer space who can’t believe that humans eat these amazing animals we call pigs.
  • Libby Finds Vegan Sanctuary by Julia Feliz. As far as we know, this is the first every vegan-themed board book for young children. It’s about a turkey who is rescued and brought to a vegan sanctuary.

And from BenBella Books, expect:

  • PlantPure Kitchen from the same people who brought us the amazing PlantPure Nation film, cookbook, PlantPure Summit, and so much more.
  • The China Study Family Cookbook from the same people who brought you the China Study film, cookbook, and so much more. Someone should come out with a Campbell’s soup or something.
  • Kushi Institute Cookbook founded in 1978 by Michio and Aveline Kushi, Kushi Institute has offered guidance and support to thousands of individuals, families and organizations. The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company is among those organizations which have engaged Kushi Institute to instruct and guide their chefs in creating healthful macrobiotic menu choices which meet the Institute’s  guidelines.

And from Book Publishing Company, check out these titles:

  • ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS and RECIPES: Using the Power of Plant Foods to Heal and Prevent Arthritis, Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Chronic Pain  by Beverly Lynn Bennett
  • HERBAL ANTIVIRALS: Strengthen Your Immunity Naturally by Sorrel Davis

From Skyhorse Publishing:

  • Mouthwatering Vegan Burgers (Cookbook)
  • The 40-Year-Old Vegan (Cookbook)
  • Vegan Love (Self-help/guide)
  • The Skeptical Vegan (Memoir/Cookbook)

Other upcoming titles include:

  • NYC Vegan by Michael Suchman and Ethan Ciment (VeganMos): NYC Vegan brings New York’s fabulous foods to the plant-based table. The book was written by native New Yorkers as a tribute to the city they love. From the diners and delis of Brooklyn to the traditions of Little Italy and Chinatown, the foods of New York are the foods of the world.
  • The Vegan Air Fryer: Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Comfort Foods by JL Fields
  • 15 Minute Vegan by Kate Beskow

Go Vegan.

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Crowded Specialty Coffee Market? Maybe There’s Not Mushroom.

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Every so often a product comes along that gets your attention and you know you have to give it a try. This product (for obvious reasons) is the Mushroom Coffee Mix from Four Sigmatic:

Four Sigmatic was founded with the goal of cutting through all of the hype and helping people eat more of the world’s most scientifically studied superfoods, like mushrooms. We wanted to make these incredibly powerful foods taste better and be easier to use, so that they can be simply incorporated to upgrade your existing habits. In other words, no more fads, no more pills, and no more capsules.

Our first mission in accomplishing this was to popularize drinking (yes, drinking) mushrooms.

Of course, why didn’t I think of that? Drinking mushrooms? Well, probably because it sounds disgusting. I’ve made my fair share of smoothies with some pretty strange ingredients but I can honestly say that mushrooms was never one of them.

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Which, as Four Sigmatic would tell you, is a shame since mushrooms are so good for you. In fact, the list of health benefits from mushrooms is so extensive, I’m only going to list some of the most incredible ones here:

  • Anti-inflammatory. Which means it aids in controlling or managing asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure, and stroke damage
  • Weight management. Just one cup a day (of mushrooms, not mushroom coffee) can help individuals lose weight and keep the pound off.
  • Vitamin D. Increased throughout your entire diet just by adding mushrooms.
  • Improved immune system function. Will even fight off salmonella poisoning.
  • Cordyceps benefits (which are found in the mushroom coffee) also called caterpillar fungus or Tochukasu, is a favorite of athletes because it increases ATP production, strength and endurance, and has anti-aging effects
  • Happiness. When mushrooms top your vegan pizza you become happy.

Add a 40mg dose of caffeine into all this and you can clearly see the inspiration behind this otherwise strange combination.

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Now, to be completely honest here, when Four Sigma Foods sent me the two sample boxes of two types of Mushroom Coffee (each contain ten 7oz. cups of coffee) and the one box of Reishi (ten 8oz. pouches) to try, they didn’t know I am a certified a coffee snob. Having worked for years for one of the leading Third Wave coffee roasters in the U.S., I’ve acquired pretty refined taste when it comes to coffee.

Does this instant coffee taste as good as an Ethiopian single-source, freshly-ground, Chemex-prepared pour-over being hand-crafted by a tattooed, bearded hipster humming a Two Door Cinema Club song? Of course not. It’s instant coffee. Is this a delicious (and incredibly nutritious) and easy-to-prepare instant coffee made from 100% Arabica beans better than other instant coffees I’ve tried? Totes.

This would be the coffee to bring camping, boating, hiking, to the office, or anywhere you’re on-the-go. Just add hot water, stir, and enjoy!

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In addition to the mushroom coffees I got to sample their mushroom “tea” called Reishi (Superfood Mushroom Drink Mix). With reishi extract, star anise, wild mint, licorice and stevia, this hot drink is a delicious, nutritions and sweet start to your day! You really should buy a box of this! Not only is it delicious but the inside of the box is so informative, this whole experience with these #funguys has made me smarterer.

Ready to shop? Get started and click here. Want to receive a special MeatyVegan.com discount code? Comment below and I will hook you up!

Go vegan.

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Watch for the release of The Skeptical Vegan from Skyhorse Publishing in fall 2017!

Got GlutenFree Vegan Sourdough? Vegan Mario’s Has You Covered.

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Our household is gluten-free and vegan. Jen was diagnosed with celiac over a decade ago, my dad has celiac, and one of our babies has celiac. I am predisposed to have it, too. For obvious reasons, we keep wheat gluten out of our kitchen and create meals that are just as delicious by finding amazing replacements.

Finding amazing replacements for gluten-free, vegan bread is almost impossible.

However, every so often we discover a new product that is both gluten-free and vegan and we immediately have to try it. This was the case with Vegan Mario’s sourdough bread from Vegan Mario’s Gluten Free Shop in Oak View, California. While Vegan Mario’s is no longer open to walk-in customers they have shifted focus to their wholesale orders and online storefront (LOCALS are welcome to come in and pick up anything they see on their site and can use promotional code “CALOCAL” to remove any shipping charges) and I highly recommend placing an order today!

An innovative organic, gluten-free, vegan bakery like Vegan Mario’s is just one more reason to move to California.

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The loaf arrived simply slid into a white paper bag, adding to the authenticity of the bread itself. No plastic liner. Not frozen solid. A loaf of bread the way nature intended. In a white paper bag. It was as if Mario’s was right here in Upstate New York dropping it off to us.

The loaf we tried was their quinoa, brown rice and it was delicious. I can now say was, because we finished it within a couple of days. The hand-written note from the bakery said we could “refresh the bread” by putting it in the oven at 350° for 12 minutes.

Instead, we sliced it and started eating it right away.

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Jen spent many years living in California and is no stranger to the nuanced properties of a great sourdough and this bread from Mario’s did not disappoint. We toasted, grilled, sliced, buttered, baked, sandwiched, and grill cheesed it … just to make sure it could hold up to any culinary challenge.

It did.

A real delicious loaf of organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan sourdough available at any time online? Yes. We’ll be back to Mario’s for more! Visit them at the Ojai Certified Farmers Market, on their website to see their other amazing options, and get to know them better on Facebook today!

Go vegan.

Watch for the release of The Reluctant Vegan from Skyhorse Publishing in fall 2017!

The Return of the Reluctant Vegan

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“The Skeptical Vegan”

I haven’t been blogging all that much lately but with very good reason. I’ve, instead, been pounding away at the manuscript for my upcoming book! An actual book. About becoming vegan. Overnight.

Let me back up a bit.

A month or so ago I was contacted by Skyhorse Publishing in New York City. They stumbled onto my blog (this blog) and asked me if I would consider sending them a proposal for a book about becoming vegan. Skyhorse — with its thirteen imprints (Allworth Press, Arcade Publishing, Carrel Books, Gary Null Publishing, Good Books, Helios Press, Hot Books, Night Shade Books, Not For Tourists, Sky Pony Press, Sports Publishing, Talos Press, Yucca) now boasts a backlist of more than 6,000 titles!Since its founding, Skyhorse has published an eclectic and maverick list that includes books on history, politics, rural living, humor, and more. With its imprints, the Skyhorse program now includes business, art, fiction, regional books, and children’s books.

And soon The Skeptical Vegan (based on The Meaty Vegan based on The Reluctant Vegan)!

I tried to act all laid back but, of course, I said yes. Enthusiastically.

Skyhorse currently has 39 titles on the New York Times bestsellers list and I’m now committed to being #40! The book is a mashup of a memoir of a man who went vegan overnight (reluctantly) to eventually become an ethical vegan. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll wish your copy was signed (don’t worry … just let me know, I’ll sign it).

The 300+ page (?) book is ideal for the person who is considering going vegan and for the person who wants someone to go vegan (you all know who you are). It’s an honest and candid, personal story about the challenges, and triumphs, of being vegan. It will also include over 25 meaty vegan recipes.

The Blurb:

What happens when a 40-something man goes from notorious meat eater to tofu munching vegan overnight? “The Skeptical Vegan” covers everything from late-night cravings and surviving no-oil, no-salt, no-nightshades, no-nuts, gluten-free, plant-based potlucks; to weight loss and erections. This semi-autobiographical book, complete with more than 25 easy-to-prepare meaty vegan recipes, proves that anyone, at any age, can turn their lives around and go vegan for their health, the environment, and the animals.

At this point, I am roughly 55,000 words into a contracted 81,000 words and, so far, all the words are in the right order and spelled right.

According to Skyhorse (of course they haven’t read the manuscript yet), the book will be released August 2017! Their designers will send mockup cover designs next month and their marketing department will officially sign-off on the title of the book (which may or may not be The Skeptical Vegan). I will post updates here as they happen.

I want to thank all the followers of this blog for continuing to tune in, share, and comment on my writing. This all happened because of you.

I am beyond excited to share this vegan journey with the world.

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Go vegan.

UPDATE: 84,000 word count reached and manuscript will be sent on 10/5/16 to Skyhorse!

@RemedyFood Project Hosts #PlantBased Thought Leaders in #Toronto this June!

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REMEDY FOOD PROJECT Brings Whole Food, Plant-Based Thought Leaders to TORONTO JUN. 17-19

The Remedy Live Event is the largest of its kind in Canada

Remedy Food Project will host the Remedy Food Toronto Live Event in downtown Toronto, Ontario June 17-19 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The event brings together internationally recognized leaders from the whole food, plant-based movement including physicians, clinical researchers, celebrity chefs, and athletes, many of which were featured in the well-known documentary, “Forks Over Knives.” The reputable slate of presenters, together with more than 250 registered attendees, will mark the largest gathering of its kind in Canada.
The Atlanta-based nonprofit Alliance to Repair the American Diet (d.b.a Remedy Food project) was founded by Benji Kurtz. Obese his entire adult life, Kurtz watched “Forks Over Knives” in 2013, inspiring him to embark on a whole food, plant-based diet. The WFPB diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and excludes all animal products. Kurtz lost more than 130 lbs. within eighteen months, a journey that has been featured on CNN, HLN, The Daily Mail and other news outlets worldwide. Today, Kurtz is leveraging his entrepreneurial background to raise awareness about the growing body of research linking poor food choices to chronic disease through the Remedy Food Live Events.

“Though few in number, there are studies out there that prove plant-based eating can halt and even reverse coronary artery disease,” says Kurtz. “This conference is the first event of its kind to bring these all-stars of plant-based eating to Canada, some of whom continue to develop research for this cause.”

Attendees will learn how a plant-based diet can positively alter the progression of lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and autoimmune disease. Celebrity chefs and cookbook authors will demonstrate easy, economical plant-based food preparation techniques.

Attendees will enjoy sessions with more than 16 world-class speakers including Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD, author and director of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Reversal Program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute; Drs. T. Colin and Tom Campbell discussing the best-selling The China Study; local Toronto chef, author and entrepreneur Doug McNish; Matt Frazier the “No Meat Athlete”; Lindsay Nixon, “The Happy Herbivore”; Jason Wrobel; Dr. Michael Greger discussing How Not to Die, and many more.

Conference registration is open to the public, and continuing education credit is available to physicians and dietitians. Registration fees include healthy, plant-based meals and “Dinner and a Movie Night.” A complete roster of speakers, registration information and more can be found at www.remedyfood.org.

Celebrate a Vegan Cinco de Mayo with Chef’d and BeyondMeat!

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Cinco de Mayo is in just under two weeks but don’t fret, Chef’d and Beyond Meat have you covered for your dinner party needs. In fact, read on to get your own special DISCOUNT CODE and a UNIQUE LINK to save on your order with delivery by May 5th! You don’t even have to go shopping! Can you think of a better way to celebrate independence?

But wait.

As I was writing this blog post, Jen asked me if I knew what Cinco de Mayo is. My normative whiteness had me thinking forever that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, a day that most celebrate through block parties, sombreros, mojitos, margaritas, tacos, nachos, Corona, and flamenco guitars, where we think we are showing how “multicultural” we are by celebrating a holiday that isn’t ours to begin with and that very few Americans actually know anything about.

I’ve been schooled. Cinco de Mayo is really the commemoration of the Battle of Puebla.

The celebration of Cinco de Mayo by white European Americans marginalizes Mexicans through cultural appropriation. If we took the time to educate ourselves about Mexican cultural holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and Dieciseis de Septiembre (the real Mexican Independence Day and this Wiki entry starts with “Not to be confused with Cinco de Mayo” and is in September), we would recognize these are holidays of great importance to Mexican and Chicano communities, beyond an excuse for Americans to party, eat tacos, and get drunk on tequila.

So if you want to be an ally to Mexican and Chicano communities, you can start with this history lesson. And when you celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your friends and family, remember to be culturally sensitive and aware of the possibility of appropriating what isn’t yours.

At that party you can tell your friends what you know about Cinco de Mayo and that the victory was viewed as a symbol that proved to the world that national sovereignty would not be compromised (I know you Bernie and Trump supporters can relate to this).

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Chef’d has made it easy and fun for vegans to commemorate Cinco de Mayo cruelty-free with their Beyond Meat Feisty Beefy Crumbles meals. An easy-to-make and delicious meal delivered right to your door. When I say this bright orange box comes with everything you need, I’m not kidding. Onions, shallots, garlic cloves (peeled? yes!), Romaine lettuce, oregano, cilantro, limes, spices and more!

And, of course, Beyond Meat Feisty crumbles that are heated and folded into the included tortillas and topped with Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese. Everything you need!

And, as a follower of Meaty Vegan, you can redeem a 15% DISCOUNT on any of these meals when you use discount code TACOS. There are three different Cinco de Mayo bundles for you to choose from and the one featured here is the Beyond Meat Feisty Tacos.

Pre-sale STARTS TODAY (4/22) and ends 5/1 at 11 am PST. Boxes will be delivered 5/3 and 5/4 to ensure you’ll have your meal in hand before 5/5. Just as a reminder, they ship EVERYWHERE in the continental US!

Click this link to PRE-ORDER your Cinco de Mayo Chef’d party!

Go vegan (and don’t vote Trump).

MeatyVeganBookCoverLODid you hear? Meaty Vegan is going to be a book! Release scheduled for August 2017! Stay tuned here, follow on Twitter, or email me for more information!

Swimming Offered at North Carolina Pig Farm

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[WARSAW, NORTH CAROLINA] In a surprise decision by North Carolina officials, the 2016 Summer Tourism Season is starting with an unusual splash. According to a recent press release, many rural areas of the state will now be offering recreational swimming in, what are known as, waste contamination pools associated with the abundant pig farming in these communities.

“We’re looking at budget cuts this year and, since these pools are in every county anyway, we decided to open them to the public,” said Derrick VanderPool, Director of North Carolina’s Parks and Recreations. “The members of these communities are already immune to the adverse health effects associated with waste contamination pools so we decided this was the next logical step.” VanderPool added, “Swimmers also enjoy complimentary fresh bacon and pork rinds with every parking lot validation.”

In a related CivilEats feature, last fall, Ann Edmondson, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Pork Council, told North Carolina Health News that it doesn’t see its operations as endangering the health of nearby residents.

“More than 80 percent of North Carolina’s hog farms are owned and operated by individual farm families, almost all of whom live in close proximity to their swine or in communities where their swine operations are located,” she said, “It strains credibility to believe our hog farmers are risking the health of their own families, along with their neighbors’ health, in order to make a living.”*

North Carolina officials also cited another advantage of swimming in waste pools, “We don’t need lifeguards and that alone is saving the state upwards of $75,000 per season,” VenderPool said.

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#GoVegan

 

* Amazingly, this is true.

BREAKING NEWS: Man Dies; Veganism Blamed

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[BUFFALO CITY, OK] Harper County Police and the Harper County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the death of a Buffalo City man this morning.

A 92-year-old Buffalo City resident was found dead in his modest prairie home earlier this week. Local authorities believe his vegan lifestyle may have contributed to his unexpected death. David Nash, retired postal worker for Buffalo City, was discovered deceased in his reclining chair by a neighbor who felt “something was just not right.”

“I considered David a friend, in spite of the fact he only ever brought hummus and veggie burgers to our community cookouts,” said Daryl Leno, a neighbor of Nash’s. “Considering the bizarre diet he was on, I’m pretty sure that’s what killed him. I mean, come on, what is hummus anyway?”

The County medical examiner confirmed upon closer inspection of Nash’s home, they could only find whole foods, beans, rice, fruits, vegetables, and some form of…

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The Genesis of Bonobo

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Bonobo: The Game.

The story of how BONOBO, the new card game from American Game Author Dave Yearick, and the Kickstarter campaign that launched this week needs to be told. So much went into what is now an amazing game design, and crowdfunding campaign, it’s almost impossible to believe.

The real story started over 20 years ago when I first met Dave. My design firm had postered our services downtown and one of the flyers ended up in Dave’s hands. The timing was perfect as he needed a company to help him redesign Tribond, a game he and two friends invented while at Colgate University; a game that eventually went on to become the number five board game in the country.

Since that time, Dave and I have worked together on a number of board game projects and have remained good friends throughout the years. I have actually worked the floor with him a couple of times at ToyFair (which is happening THIS weekend and Dave is there with his outdoor game, djubi) and we have a mutual respect for each other unlike any relationship I have with anyone.

Flash forward to about a year ago. During one of our “how’ve you been?” phone calls, I mentioned to Dave how crowdfunding (Kickstarter) might be a good way to bring one of his new games to market. I told him if he ever had an idea he thought solid enough to experiment with, I’d love to collaborate with him to see what happens.

Shortly after that, Dave called me with a brilliant idea for a new card game based on the 1980’s Genesis hit song and record: ABACAB.

A unique word with three of one letter (A), two of another (B), and one of the final (C) that is catchy and carries over nicely into a proven game concept Dave had already created. Perhaps playing off the Genesis song and creating a game based on this interesting word would be the hit we needed to see some small percent of the success seen by Exploding Kittens (a runaway Kickstarter success, fetching an amazing $8,000,000).

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Dave and I immediately went into design mode, hiring an illustrator to draw caricatures of the members (Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks) of the band while we worked on typography, an outer box design, and hired a videographer and actor to play a “Genesis roadie” in the Spinal Tap-inspired video.

All of these elements came together brilliantly as I was making the request for music rights for the song from my contact in New York City. It was at this point that I felt we should probably check in with Genesis’ agent, Tony Smith Personal Management, in the U.K.

That week, I got on the phone with Tony’s personal assistant who said that Tony was reviewing my request and would get back to me soon.

Soon was taking too long. Later that same week, I emailed Tony directly asking if he had reviewed the idea and what he thought about the overall game concept, to which he replied, “cease production of the game immediately,” copying his London attorneys.

Not wanting to roll over easily, I emailed back the following day with designs attached and asked again if we could use the song title and the likenesses of the band members in our game.

To which Tony replied, “no.” Is that your final answer?

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Disappointment led to ONE final email attempt directly from Dave (something like, “I understand you’ve been contacted by my associate …”) which received a slightly more polite response “admiring our perseverance” but the answer was still no.

That same day I finally got a call back about the music rights for ABACAB from New York City. They provided me a very reasonable quote to use one minute of the music for our video but would have to still get final approval on usage from, you guessed it, Tony Smith. 

ABACAB was dead. 

Weeks passed as Dave and I tried to come up with other fun words with the same letter combination (PEPPER … BANANA … BANANA PEPPER). And then somewhere along the process, we discovered the word (and the amazing story behind) BONOBO.

Bonobo apes are the closest relatives to humans and are on the endangered species list. Living in the Congo, these highly intelligent and extremely social apes’ lives are at risk of extinction in our lifetime. These facts allowed for Dave’s passion for game design to align with my veganism and personal love for all animals.

BONOBO became the perfect word and perfect message for us to build a new game around … so Dave and I got back to work.

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Weeks later, in addition to striking new, flat-colored graphics and an over-the-top video (produced by Hark Productions) for the campaign, we were fortunate to align ourselves with the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI) in DC and the U.K. (hello again, Tony Smith). Working with BCI, we’re able to provide a portion of proceeds from our successful campaign to BCI to help save the bonobos.

And this is where you come in. Visit the campaign page, watch the video, back the campaign (ANY dollar amount helps) and SHARE the link:

www.GoBONOBO.com

We need to reach goal to bring this fun and challenging new game to market and exceeding the goal means more retail outlets and MORE money to help the bonobos!

Can you spell BONOBO with your cards while linking either identical color or identical abstaining ape? As you craft your own strategy to spell BONOBO, your opponent has their own plans (and they may also have a GRAB card and could swing in to take any of your cards). It’s a fun party game and the incentive rewards on the Kickstarter campaign are … well … just check them out for yourself!

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Shuffle. Deal. Go Ape.

Feel free to cut and paste these snippets below for social media shares or simply share this blog post! We have high expectations and are very excited to bring BONOBO to market. Your pledge will help! Remember, Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” crowdfunding platform so we need to reach our goal in order to secure the funds.

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#BONOBO is live on @Kickstarter! Watch, back, and share this wild campaign and you’ll also be supporting the Bonobo Conservation Initiative! www.GoBONOBO.com. Shuffle. Deal. Go Ape.

For vegan posts:

Just launched a Kickstarter for a wild new card game that: A) was designed by a #vegan design firm; B) is giving back a portion of proceeds to help the endangered bonobo ape!

Check it out at www.GoBONOBO.com!

Go Vegan.

#cr8: Always Hatching Ideas.

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For the past 20 years I have been developing designs and managing marketing for small to mid-sized businesses around the world. Today, ThankTankCreative.com expands on this rich history by offering complete consulting, award-winning graphic design, and marketing support alongside social media management, product and package design, as well as complete marketing plans. Some of our recent clients include:

  • ASI Energy
  • By Any Greens Necessary
  • Campbell Plan
  • Cornell University
  • Center for Nutrition Studies
  • Great Life Cookbook
  • Honeycomb Consulting
  • Miyoko’s Kitchen
  • New Moon Harvest
  • Nuttin’ Ordinary
  • Optimized Partners
  • Plant Based Solutions
  • PlantPure Nation
  • Vegan Business Media
  • VoltageXchange

Want to read what our clients are saying? Click here.

For more information, visit ThankTankCreative.com. Browse the OUR WORK link and use the simple contact form on the bottom of the page to get started.

ThankTank Creative. Ideas in Action.

#Veganism, A Better Way of Living [#vegan #govegan]

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My daughter, who was recently accepted as a freshman to Geneseo, chose veganism as the subject of her senior high school research paper (she got a 97). Let’s just say it’s obvious, between the two of us, who has the brains in the family.

One out of ten of your friends over twenty-four are following the healthiest diet available.  Even more of your younger friends, ranging from sixteen to twenty-four, are following it (Jourdan).  

Their diet consists of only plant-based foods, cutting out all meats, dairy products, and eggs.  Not only are these people healthier than anyone else, they also have a limited chance of getting diabetes, acquiring heart problems, or cancer.  Vegan diets are spreading rapidly to both adults and children.  About five percent of children and infants are on a complete plant-based diet and are vastly healthier than children who are not (Rosen).  Not only does veganism save your life, but it also saves the lives of animals.  

Farm animals are killed in slaughterhouses to be sold in your local grocery store.  Once dairy cows and laying hens reach their reproductive capacity they are murdered, but even before that point they are grossly abused for their milk and eggs.  The way animals are being raised today is “destroying and depleting our arable land, potable water, and clean air.”  The majority of land around the world is used to raise animals for food.  This business is polluting our air and destroying our topsoil due to bacteria, antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides from animal excrement (Fallon).  As we continue to eat more meat, eggs, and dairy; we continue to kill the Earth as well as ourselves.  Living off of a plant-based diet is extremely beneficial to both adults and children, causing them to live longer and have healthier lives.

Fifty-seven million Americans are prediabetic, excluding children, actual diabetics, and people from the other one-hundred-and-five countries around the world.  Now imagine if this number could be erased entirely.  Living off a healthy diet without any meat, dairy, eggs, or any other animal products can not only prevent Type One and Type Two Diabetes but also reverse it completely.  After living on a consistent, low-fat plant-based diet for several months, severe diabetics are able to stop taking their medications and many say that their new-found diet works better than their medication ever could (Jad’on).  Not only can a vegan diet prevent both types of diabetes, but it can also lower high cholesterol levels enough to prevent all heart problems.  Dr. Kim Williams, a well-known and trusted cardiologist in Chicago, learned that his “bad” cholesterol level, also known as LDL, was too high and pursued a plant-based diet.  After only six weeks of his new diet, his cholesterol level went from one-hundred-and-seventy milligrams per deciliter to only ninety.  On average, a healthy LDL level is between seventy to one-hundred-and-thirty mg/dl (Deardorff).  According to the Senior Policy Director for Farm Sanctuary, Bruce Friedrich, meat, eggs, and other dairy products contain very high levels of cholesterol, as well as saturated fats.  These not only slow people down and make them less energized, but also can kill them in the long run.  In August of 1999, the American Journal of Cardiology published an article which stated that patients on a plant-based have become “heart attack proof.”  The evidence to this is that all vegan eaters have a cholesterol level below one-hundred-and-fifty milligrams per deciliter, the “level below which no one has ever been documented as having died of a heart attack” (Fallon).

High cholesterol levels also lead to a slowed metabolism and a less energized personality, which causes extreme weight gain.  People on a low-fat vegan diet feel more energized after only two weeks, however with a regular exercise schedule they are even more fit and active.  In order to keep our bodies in working order, we need complex carbohydrates and fibers, which cannot be found in eggs, meats, and other dairy products.  After a few years on a plant-based diet, the majority of asthma patients are able to stop using their inhaler and patients who have angina, severe heart pains, suffer limited attacks (Fallon).  A vegan diet also benefits those with allergies, eventually eliminating them completely.  People with severe acne or other skin problems, like eczema, will have limited skin imperfections.  Robert Conti was diagnosed with an extreme case of multiple sclerosis, causing his shoulders to lose feeling and almost shutting down his urinary tract and bowels.  After only a few short months on a plant-based diet, lead by McDougall Wellness Center, Conti gained control of his shoulders again and is healthier than he has been his whole life, and he is fifty-six-years-old.  His doctor states that he could no longer detect a plaque build-up on Conti’s spinal cord and Conti says that without his vegan diet he would “be using a wheelchair for mobility and eventually require communication aids” (Templeton).

Gary Fraser conducted a study on thirty-five-thousand vegans, testing illnesses from diabetes and terminal illnesses, and heart diseases.  Fraser found that vegans have little to no risk of heart disease, as well as many cancers (Weintraub).  As for heart disease, it is mainly caused by high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat intake which is found primarily in eggs, dairy, and of course, meat.  The American Heart Association restricted the amount of saturated fat consumption to only six percent of one’s daily calories in order to encourage the utilization of polyunsaturated fats, which prevent heart disease, like omega-three and omega-six (Deardroff).  Heather Moore conducted a plethora of research on veganism and the damages to our health and found that regular consumption of egg yolks is “almost as bad for your heart as smoking.”  This is because smoking and egg yolks both accelerate atherosclerosis, a detrimental disease in the arteries which prevents plaque of fatty material to attach to the body’s inner walls.  Heart disease and cancer are clearly caused by meat and dairy, but can easily be prevented by a plant-based diet.  According to Bruce Friedrich, “people who consume animal products are … four percent more susceptible to cancer.”  The risk of colon cancer is three times as likely in meat eaters than in people who follow a vegan diet (Fallon).  Prostate cancer can be reversed or prevented completely with a vegan diet as well (Weintraub).  An anti-vegan advocate, Thea Jourdan, even states that the risk of bowel cancer is increased by one fifth on a carnivorous diet rather than a vegan one (Jourdan).

Cancer is the number two cause of death in America, but obesity is one of the leading factors that contributes to the other main causes of death. More than sixty percent of people in the United States are either obese or overweight (Templeton), however people who live on plant-based diets have the lowest levels of obesity (Weintraub).  Some of the professions that struggle the most from weight problems are veterans and police officers.  The top cause of military ineligibility is obesity; although, once in combat it is almost impossible to live a healthy lifestyle due to the harmful meals filled with saturated fats and other damaging nutrients.  Almost eighty percent of veterans are overweight or obese after entering the military.  The Pentagon spends over one-billion dollars on illnesses related to obesity and heart diseases, and that number does not take into account other health problems like the common cold.  “Law enforcement is the fattest profession in America” and when all police officers, firefighters, and security guards are combined, almost fifty percent of them are obese.  “Police officers are twenty-five times more likely to die from weight-related disorders such as heart disease than from fighting crime.”  Our nation’s healthcare bill totals over two trillion dollars and seventy-five percent of that treats “heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity” (Atcheson).  Veganism has also been proven to help you live longer, due to promoting a healthier life.  According to David Templeton, “a low protein diet during middle age likely is beneficial to prevention of cancer, overall mortality …”  A study made by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey stated that people who eat protein from plant sources are healthier and live longer than anyone who eats other protein sources, like meat (Moore).

Although living a vegan diet is much better than a carnivorous one, it is important to still eat meals with low-fat content.  Vegans and vegetarian who eat primarily pizza, potato chips, and other junk foods are much less healthy than the average meat-eater.  However, if a plant-based diet consists of low-fat meals, it will be much more beneficial to one’s health than a diet filled with meat, eggs, and dairy (Weintraub).  The main argument on many vegan’s minds is that red meat is extremely dangerous to one’s health.  Thea Jourdan argues that red meats have large amounts of myoglobin, “a protein found in the muscles of mammals.”  Many advocates against a plant-based diet believe it is impossible to get enough protein with a vegan diet; however, a study in Cell Metabolism found that a low protein diet is actually beneficial to all of the same things a vegan diet helps (Templeton).  The only nutrient problem facing vegans is ingesting too many carbohydrates, but it is very uncommon for vegans have to high carbohydrate levels and it is easily avoidable (Deardorff).  Sally Fallon believes that marginal land used for corps as opposed to raising animals is more damaging to the land.  Animal hooves help aerate the soil and urine and manure help to fertilize the soil. Bruce Friedrich counters this argument by mentioning how animal excrement carried harmful bacteria to the land (Fallon).  There are numerous beliefs that a vegan diet for adults is detrimental to the health of adults, but the arguments towards vegan infants and children are much more extreme.

The number of vegan children is progressing just as quickly as vegan adults, both moved from three percent in 2010 to over five percent in 2012.  Youth polls typically follow the same paths as adult one’s, so if the number of vegan grown-ups keeps raising, the number of vegan children will as well (Rosen).  One of the main concerns parents have about switching their child to a plant-based diet is whether or not they will receive enough nutrients.  For the first six months after birth, infants are on a strict diet of only breastmilk.  Breastmilk of vegan or vegetarian mothers’ is just as healthy, if not more, than the breastmilk of a woman who eats meat.  

A study was conducted on four-hundred infants and children, where seventy-five percent of those children were birthed by vegan mothers.  It was found that the infants were low in birth weight, however it was not detrimental to any of the children’s health and the numbers were similar to “well-educated United States white women.”  Nutrients in breastmilk are very important to the growth of children because it is filled with vitamins and minerals.  The content of vitamin A, C, and D are all the same in vegan and carnivorous women.  The only difference between the two types of mothers is the saturated fat, eicosapentaenoic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid contents.  In the breastmilk of vegan women, there are lower levels of saturated fat and eicosapentaenoic acid, but higher levels of linoleic acid and linolenic acid.  High levels of linoleic acid make it more difficult to promote the synthesis of docosahexaenoic acid, which is a n-three fatty acid important for the growth of the brain and retina.  This problem is easily avoidable if the mother intakes more food with high levels of linolenic acid, like flaxseed and flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.  The diet path for vegan and carnivorous children are very similar.  After six months of breastfeeding, infants are moved into solid foods.  Whereas solid foods for meat-eating children consist of a high-protein diet of chicken, turkey, and milk, vegan children get their protein from healthier places, like tofu, dried beans, and other soy-based products.

Vegan infants and children may lack certain nutrients in their diets, but it is easily avoidable and very rare.  Children being raised on a vegan diet may need supplements of B12, zinc, iron, and vitamin D. B12 helps support rapid growth in a child, which can help with infants who were born with a low birth weight.  Zinc and iron supplements are usually not needed, but if infants transitioning into solid foods are not getting enough of either minerals in their diet, a supplement may be needed.  Vitamin D is only recommended for children who do not receive enough sun exposure, but they can be raised just by laying the infant in the sun for a few hours per week.  Aside from needing possible supplements, the only other problem that arises is children who are allergic to soy.  For mothers who are unable or who do not want to breastfeed, the only other option for the first six months is a soy-based formula.  A soy-based formula is just as healthy as breastmilk and regular milk; however, there are no other non-dairy formulas on the market that do not include soy (Mangles).  Only 0.4 percent of children are allergic to soy, so a problem has not arisen where we need another dairy-free formula, but eventually it will be important to let all parents have the choice to raise their children on a plant-based diet.

As of 2012, over five percent of adults and children in the United States are vegan.  Avoiding meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal products has been proven to be healthier for both adolescents and adults (Rosen).  Plant-based diets make problems like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer completely avoidable.  If information spreads about the health benefits of a vegan diet, less people will die of these diseases, and others.  A plant-based diet is not only healthy for yourself, but also for the lives of animals who are suffering in order to keep the meat and dairy operations alive.  Over three-thousand animals are murdered per second; that is fifty-six billion animals per year (“Food”).  Raising animals for food is damaging land and air, but using this same land for crops will eventually make it more aerial and fertilized.  Overall, a vegan diet is more healthy than a carnivorous one to both the human body, of adults and children, and the lives of innocent animals.

Works Cited

Atcheson, Robert. “Why Real Men Don’t Eat Meat.” USA Today 30 July 2015: n. pag. Print.

Deardorff, Julie. “Top Cardiologist Sparks Debate by Recommending Vegan Diet.” Chicago

Tribune [Chicago, Illinois] 17 Aug. 2014: n. pag. Print.

Fallon, Sally, and Bruce Friedrich. “Debate: Is Veganism a Better Way of Life?” The Ecologist

[Bideford, United Kingdom] Oct. 2011: 1-4. Print.

“Food.” Food. Animal Equality – Activation for Animal Rights, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

<http://www.animalequality.net/food&gt;.

Jad’on, Kelly. “U.S.: 2 Million Children (12-19) Are Pre-Diabetic, Vegan Diet Helpful.” Basil &

Spice [Jebsen Beach, USA] 08 Oct. 2009: n. pag. Print.

Jourdan, Thea. “Why Red Meat Can Be Good For Your Health.” Daily Mail [London] 03 Nov.

2015: n. pag. Print.

Mangels, Anne Reed. “Considerations in Planning Vegan Diets: Infants.” American Dietetic

Association (2001): n. pag. ProQuest. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.

Moore, Heather. “A Sin Tax on Meat Could Save Lives.” People for the Ethical Treatment of

Animals [Glenview, Illinois] 10 Apr. 2015: n. pag. Print.

Rosen, Jill. “Feeding Children a Vegan Diet Is Gaining Popularity.” St. Cloud Times [St. Cloud,

Minnesota] 27 Mar. 2013: n. pag. Print.

“Soy Allergy – Food Allergy Research & Education.” Soy Allergy – Food Allergy Research &

Education. Food Allergy Research & Education, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. <http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/soy-allergy&gt;.

Templeton, David. “Not Just Vegetarian, But Vegan.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [Pittsburgh,

Pennsylvania] 1 July 2014: n. pag. Print.

Weintraub, Karen. “Eat Less Meat.” Boston Globe [Boston, Massachusetts] 9 Sept. 2013: n. pag.

ThankTank Creative: Vegan Consulting, Design, and Marketing

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Aside from writing this very popular blog, co-parenting two vegan babies, and supporting Jen as she works full-time while also pursuing a Ph.D., I am the President of ThankTank Creative, one of a handful of ethical-vegan-owned design and marketing firms. 

With over 25 years experience in design, advertising, and marketing (experience that pre-dates desktop publishing and the Internet, if that’s possible), last year I made the decision to combine my skills in graphic design (born a cartoonist) with my passion for compassion and ThankTank Creative was incorporated

It was the best decision of my life. 

We were so fortunate early on to secure Miyoko’s Kitchen and PlantPure Nation (from the writer and producer of Forks Over Knives) as our flagship accounts. We were also fortunate enough to work with both Nelson and Dr. Tom Campbell as well as their father, the distinguished Dr. T. Colin Campell. 

From there the work has been so rewarding and the variety of projects has been just incredible. 

This past week we finally got around to populating our testimonials page; it’s really worth checking out. We have been so fortunate to work with so many amazing vegan, socially-just, and environmentally-conscious companies from around the world. 

If you own a company and need a new logo (packages start at $375) or brand; or perhaps a dynamic package design for that incredible new product you want to bring to market; or, maybe you need a full-fledged marketing plan …

ThankTank Creative can help.  

Know someone who owns a business that could use a brand update or social media campaign? Or perhaps you know someone about to launch a crowdfunding campaign? Referrals are welcome and you’ll actually get a finder’s fee (upon successful completion of the project). 

Browse our online portfolio. Fill out the contact form and click send. NO obligation at all to discuss your project. We want to work with you. We want to show you how much we love what we do and the creative ways we can make your business more profitable. And, of course, we want the world to …

Go vegan. 

Get Chef’d, Go Beyond, and Go #Vegan

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BeastBurger

Through my association with BeyondMeat, I had the opportunity to place an order with the online menu/recipe ordering service Chef’d and … I’ve never been more impressed with a meal delivery service. I mean, who sends TWO leaves of Romaine lettuce across the country? AND two RIPE avocados? I can’t even buy a rip avocados at my local grocer.

Chef’d does.

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… and they do it with style.

I placed an order on a Monday for the two new vegan offerings that featured my favorite Beyond Meat. One was the Beast Burger meal and the other was tacos using the beefy crumbles. After placing the order, I chose the optimum day to receive the package (Thursday), received a confirmation and waited.

Thursday arrived along with this bad boy:

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A GIANT orange (be still my graphic designer heart) box. I rushed home and cracked it open to find two recipe cards for my meals (along with free seed packets from Seeds of Change). Under the shiny insulation were two STUFFED bags full of fresh produce and ingredients to make two complete meals (enough to feed 2-4 very hungry people) and under the bags were the BeyondMeat products (still slightly frozen). Chef’d included everything … and I mean everything you needs to prepare an entire meal.

I had some cooking to do!

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Now, obviously, I’ve got experience making BeyondMeat products but what was so nice about this delivery was that it included everything needed to make a complete meal (including fresh tomatoes … who ships ONE fresh tomato?).

Chef’d does.

Chef’d is perfect for busy professionals, families who don’t have time to meal plan AND shop, and people who may live in a more remote location and can’t get all of what they need locally. Heck … it’s perfect for anyone who wants an amazing meal delivered to their doorstep.

Chef’d does the meal planning, recipe development, shopping, and color-photo instructions for you … you are an instant chef! Trust me … your friends will be impressed.

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Of course, I chose the vegan options (which included this incredibly simple champagne vinegar cucumber red onion dill salad … yes, ALL of those ingredients were included) but there are MANY other options for every diet and lifestyle (including gluten-free). Not shown here is the taco meal I ordered which also turned out incredible!

Finally, many of the recipes are created by famous chefs (many of whom are on the Food Network) and all of the recipes/meals would be PERFECT for your holiday dinners and gatherings!

Go Chef’d and …

Go vegan.

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