Savory, Crunchy, Crispy (Rice Paper) #Bacon Recipe [The Skeptical #Vegan]

Standard

For those of you so kind to have purchased The Skeptical Vegan: 1) thank you!; 2) there is an error in printing for one of the more popular/requested recipes: Rice Paper Bacon. The column with the ingredients for the marinade/sauce somehow got lost between the PDF and the printers but, no worries, you can download the full recipe on The Skeptical Vegan website or watch this short video!

Get fryin’!

In the meantime, please stop over to the official The Skeptical Vegan Facebook page and click the EVENTS link to see where I have scheduled book signings and speaking events! Hope to see you/meet you in person … soon!

#GoVegan

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 10.45.21 PM.png

Instagram: @anotherskepticalvegan

The Wait is Over! “The Skeptical Vegan” has arrived! #GoVegan

Standard

NumberOneSkepticalVegan_003_LOjun26

Just over a year from finishing (draft 1 of) the manuscript for my first book, The Skeptical Vegan, it is finally here … arriving in mailboxes this week! Shipping right now (according to an email I got this morning) from online retailers (and likely to appear in your local bookstore this coming week)!

I have so many people to thank for this (most of whom are listed in the back of the book) and want to thank Skyhorse Publishing for their incredible support and willingness to publish my story: part memoir/part vegan survival guide. 100% cruelty-free!

I really want to thank the many (how many … I have no idea) people who preordered the book and helped it pop to the top of the #1 New Release in the Vegan Diet category on Amazon! THAT was an on-again-off-again thrill!

Also, get it for your Kindle or Nook and read it on your digital device! The price right now for both the Nook version and a hardcover on Barnes & Noble is not to be missed!

If you purchased it and are expecting to receive it this week, please let me know! Post your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (use hashtag #theskepticalvegan) so I can find you and thank you again! Also, there are a number of book signings and appearances happening starting in August! Check out the event link on www.facebook.com/theskepticalvegan for more information! Hope to see you there!

I am truly grateful.

Eric

IMG_8743

#GoVegan

 

Healthier BeyondMeat Meets GlutenFree Vegan Risotto all Day Long

Standard

risotto with spinach

For the new year Jen and I decided to kick up our vegan diet a notch and go full-on, whole-food plant-based (WFPB). Being vegan was just becoming too easy (also, I had to wean myself from french fries somehow and this seemed like a great time). We’re sticking to this every day of the year with the exception of the first of the month and special events (potlucks) and holidays (Groundhog Day, Arbor Day, etc.).

So far, we’ve successfully made it through Day One with the help of this delicious and very simple risotto. This creamy recipe is 100% WFPB (until you add the optional, but totally worth it, BeyondMeat chicken strips at the very end).

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (risotto rice)
  • One 38 oz. container of vegan vegetable stock
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • One 6 oz. package of triple washed organic baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch)
  • One package of BeyondMeat grilled “chicken” strips (defrosted)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large non-stick cooking pan add 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock and bring to a boil (you can also use a tablespoon of EEOV here but that’s not on our diet … damn it). Add the chopped onions, garlic, and mushrooms and sautĂ© until soft (about five minutes, stirring). Stir in the arborio rice and cook for an additional five minutes over medium-high heat, coating the rice (you’ll start to hear popping sounds … since this recipe is poppin’).

Pour in one cup of the vegetable stock and lower the heat to medium. Stir constantly and with purpose. From here on out you’re going to be feeding the rice the vegetable stock and stirring (adding ingredients along the way). It’s an excellent arm workout.

Once the first cup of liquid has been absorbed, add a second cup (see what I mean?). After the third cup, add the chopped basil and the spinach (the spinach is going to look huge in the pan but will cook down as you introduce it to the rice and stock). See what I mean?

spinach

Once the spinach has been completely incorporated, add another cup of vegetable stock. This entire “feed the risotto vegetable stock” process will take approximately 40 minutes (and you will end up using the entire carton of stock). After the final drops of vegetable stock have been added, stir in the nooch until full incorporated (you should have a creamy, cheesy texture at this point). If it seems like it needs more liquid, add a little water or squeeze a half a lemon into it (citrus gives any dish a burst of flavor and freshness).

Test the texture of the rice (perfect, isn’t it?) and finish off by stirring in the whole package of torn BeyondMeat chicken strips into the finished risotto. Heat for an additional five minutes until the BeyondMeat has warmed up. Salt and pepper to taste. If you want … top with some vegan parmesan and a sprig of basil. Your friends are going to be so impressed by you: 1) You made a delicious gluten-free vegan risotto; 2) You topped it with a sprig of basil which is called “garnish” and you’ve never done that before.

They’re all impressed and, after dining on this dish, they’ll all want to #GoVegan.

14370085_10157488552745451_2078957272791608009_n

LOVE this recipe? Want more like it? Pre-order The Skeptical Vegan NOW! Available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble! More than 25 of my favorite meaty dishes … veganized and made simple!

I’ve Joined the FARMily!

Standard

As 2016 comes to a close and I reflect back on my own vegan journey over the past few years (more on this available this Fall in graphic detail in my forthcoming book, The Skeptical Vegan), I’m amazed at how many doors have been opened for me as I dig deeper and deeper into the animal rights movement.

Having gone from unapologetic meat eater, to herbivore, to vegan, to ethical vegan and then evolving my business interests in the same direction, I’m excited to announce that since mid-October, I’ve been on board as full-time Marketing Director for Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM).

Who is FARM? I’ll explain that in a bit but for now, watch this video (it’s well-worth the 7 minutes):

This 40th Anniversary video, that premiered at a New York City event this past October, says more than I could ever say about this amazing organization that was founded by Alex Hershaft. Since 1976 (started as the Vegetarian Information Service), FARM has been committed to saving farm animals through a wide-array of programs: 10 Billion Lives, Vegan Support, Fast Against Slaughter, Seasonal Days of Action, and the Animal Rights National Conference to name just a few.

Started in 1981, the Animal Rights National Conference is the world’s largest and longest-running animal rights event. With 100 speakers and 60 organizations represented, the conference is open to a diverse array of viewpoints on animal liberation. Conferences are held each year, alternating between the East and West coasts and bring together over 1,500 caring people each year to network, share wisdom and learn new skills. It will be held in Alexandria in 2017 and I’m looking forward to finally attending.

This opportunity working with FARM has allowed me to take my over twenty years experience in marketing and communications, and further apply it to my personal mantra: Animals are not food.

As 2016 comes to an end, I would like to encourage you to support FARM moving forward. Each donation this year will be matched by a very generous donor so every dollar you give is given again toward saving more animals. Click here to give.

Finally, someone asked me the other day what I’ve been up to and I replied with two meaningful words: “Saving Animals.”

One vegan at a time.

I am now at the forefront of a world that respects and recognizes animals as sentient beings, a world that fully understands that our own environment is at risk, and a world that understands that nearly every major disease can be controlled, reversed, or cured with a plant-based diet.

Being a part of the FARMily has opened more doors for me to help more animals to be free.

#GoVegan

14370085_10157488552745451_2078957272791608009_n

Watch for the release of The Skeptical Vegan from Skyhorse Publishing in fall 2017! Pre-order The Skeptical Vegan NOW! Available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble! More than 25 of my favorite meaty dishes … veganized and made simple for simple people. And smart people, too … like you!

2017: The Year of the Vegan Book

Standard

V“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!

4612603863

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:

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
  • Now available!MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live–One Meal at a TimeGo Vegan by Kristy Middleton
  • No Meat Athlete Cookbook from Matt Frazier. From the founder of No Meat Athlete: plant-based recipes packed with nutrition to help athletes perform better and recover faster! ORDER here!

#GoVegan

old typewriter (focus on text)

The Return of the Reluctant Vegan

Standard
old typewriter (focus on text)

“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.

14370085_10157488552745451_2078957272791608009_n

Go vegan.

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

JANUARY 2017 UPDATE: PRE-ORDER NOW available!

Swimming Offered at North Carolina Pig Farm

Standard

pool

[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.

16005857314_ea882b615d_k-1024x683

#GoVegan

 

* Amazingly, this is true.

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

Standard

 

vegan

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.

Get Chef’d, Go Beyond, and Go #Vegan

Standard

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.

IMG_3444

… 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:

IMG_3415

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!

IMG_3421

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.

IMG_3434

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.

ThankTankBannerAd

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking: Annie and Dan Shannon Are At It Again

Standard

IMG_2088

You know those friends you always extend an invite to for your vegan potlucks? The ones who never know what to bring? Or, better yet, how about your friends who aren’t vegan and panic at the idea of coming up with a dish that everyone will love.

Get them Master the Art of Vegan Cooking (Grand Central Publishing) by Annie and Dan Shannon (Betty Goes Vegan) and these very same people will RSVP with confidence.

IMG_2090

As a matter of fact, get everyone you know this book. As is the case with the authors’ first successful tome, Betty Goes Vegan, this book masterfully guides the aspiring chef through “standards” that everyone knows and loves. A very personal introduction gives you a sense of the authors’ lives (who now reside in Brooklyn) and this lets you know that every recipe comes from the heart.

And, as it turns out, is good for your heart.

IMG_2096

Dr. Greger (among other whole-foods, plant-based doctors) of NutritionFacts.org has gone so far as to say the #1 killer of Americans, heart disease, is 100% preventable.

100% preventable.

How? Well start with the recipes created by the couple behind the successful blog, “Meet the Shannons.” Stick to these recipes and your heart (and waistline) and taste buds will thank you.

IMG_2098

The first recipe I tried was their Vegan Bacon, White Bean, and Spinach Risotto (page 155). To give you an idea of how easy this recipe is, I made this on my lunchbreak. And it turned out amazing.

IMG_2104

Onions and risotto begin to crack in your pan as you introduce white wine and vegetable stock over the course of thirty or so minutes. Stir in the spinach, beans, nooch, and spices and a simple dish is elevated into something amazing.

IMG_2105

As an aside,  I think these two photos of nutritional yeast should be stolen from my blog and circulated widely. “Nooch,” as it’s known to those who use it nearly every day deserves more glamour shots like these. Meanwhile, back to the recipe.

IMG_2107

The step-by-step instructions and use of the phrase “pinch of celery salt,” makes me love this book more than anything. It should be noted that almost every ingredient was Wegmans brand. Wegmans is considered the #1 grocery store in America and they are about to break ground on a NEW store in Brooklyn (so “The Shannons” will soon know why everyone loves Wegmans). The headline of this linked article, by the way, is: Brooklyn Freaks Out Over Wegmans.

IMG_2110

To finish off the overall “retro” aspect of this dish, I plated the risotto in my vintage Mikasa bowl that belonged to my Nana. The pattern on this set will always remind me of her and we’ve eaten many wonderful dishes from this set.

IMG_2119

One more cool thing about this book is that each recipe let’s you know how much each serving costs (just in case you want to charge your friends at the potluck). This creamy risotto costs $1.87/serving and I bet I could charge $5. Maybe $7 (depending on the friend).

You can buy Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking now at most bookstores around the country and online here.

IMG_2124

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking makes it easier, and tastier, than ever to …

Go vegan.

Banner_Resized

Shoot to Kill: Vegans and Video Games

Standard

r3s1_001iphone

There is a Facebook group called “Veganism” that has over 30,000 members (this original Facebook page no longer exists but you should join Veganism for All. From time to time I like to post comments or questions, share my vegan point of view, or get feedback from fellow vegans.

This past weekend I posted an image of a video game, Big Buck Safari (this link is to the trailer and worth watching before finishing this post), that I saw at our local mall, with the following caption:

… unbelievable. This is an actual arcade game? In addition to the “Big Buck” you can also kill elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, and … ostriches. Really?

I’m worried about the kids who enjoy playing this.

I clicked “post” and expected overwhelming support, encouragement, and understanding about why I was disgusted by this video game featuring elaborate, gorgeous, detailed animations of wild animals frolicking in their virtual habitat — with a target on their back.

What I didn’t expect (in the 150+ comments) was:

It´s just a game! I prefer that people kill animals in a game rather than in real life.

… and …

Eric get a reality check. It’s NOT REAL. Every gamer knows this. Do you think people get possessed by Satan just because they like heavy metal too?

… or, this winner …

Anyone who thinks this way is a fucking idiot. I’m more worried about oppressive fuckstains than about kids playing hunting games. Those games are harmless fun.

Keep in mind, I posted this on a vegan page.

Now I’m all for video games. In fact, I used to spend hours playing Doom over a 9600 baud modem and loved grabbing the BFG (Big Fucking Gun) and blasting away all the bad guys. Or my opponent.

At bad guys or my opponent.

r3s3_001iphone

Not wildlife. Elephants and ostriches. Animals.

As each comment was posted I felt my point drifting further and further away. I started to feel like I discovered the dark underbelly of some people’s idea of veganism. Ahimsa, anyone? Again, I am not ignorant in thinking that this is real life but I am clear in my thinking that these comments are being made by vegans. Vegans who apparently enjoy (and will spend money on) lifting a rifle, pointing it toward a running animal and pulling the trigger. I wonder if this is where Kendall Jones got started?

Want to know what these “vegans” might look like? Click here. Notice how before each round the player is reminded to aim for vital areas: HEAD and HEART.

Really? 

As I continued to try to make my point (as well as fuel the content for this blog post), one other phrase kept coming up by my opposition: you need to separate reality from fantasy.

Fantasy: the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.

One of the last comments on this post pretty much summed up my entire experience and my point about the disconnect between some vegans and video games promoting the killing of animals:

Well, Eric C Lindstrom, it’s too bad you thought this kind of oppressive and classist bullshit was welcome here. Next time you think that you have any business expressing this sort of shit opinion, maybe just shove a handful of rocks in your mouth instead.

Spoken like a true vegan.

Go vegan.

Look for my forthcoming book, The Skeptical Vegan from Skyhorse Publishing coming out August 2017.

Banner_Resized

BeyondMeat Helper Classic Vegan Cheeseburger Glutenfree Macaroni

Standard

11150639_10155570933885451_4129391651279394794_n

I’ll admit it. When I was an omnivore, I used to eat Hamburger Helper. Partly because it was easy to make but also partly because it is so damn delicious. Saute the meat, add the pouch, pour in the water, add the noodles, cover and pace around for 25 minutes while it became a meal as delicious as an angel’s wing.

I don’t eat meat anymore. Nor angels.

But, I am a BeyondMeat fan and, in addition to their chicken strips (and nuggets and The Beast), they make a delicious beefy crumble. Perfect addition to chili, vegan shepard’s pie, and now, my masterpiece: The BeyondMeat Helper Classic Vegan Cheeseburger Glutenfree Macaroni.

The name alone is a mouthful.

To get the party started, finely chop one white onion (think about those onions hidden under the bun of your favorite fast food burger). Saute in a little olive oil until very soft (probably 10 minutes on medium heat). Now put your meat in them. One bag of BeyondMeat beefy crumbles and stir clockwise. Add a little water to keep things moist and at the end add a big squirt of organic ketchup. Stir and set aside.

Bring to boil 4 quarts of salted water to cook your pasta (penne, elbows or spirals). We use only Tinkyada gluten-free brown rice pasta in our house. Cook until done, drain and set aside.

In your 4-quart pot, bring to a simmer a cup of soy (or any non-dairy) milk and stir in one shredded block (or shredded bag) of your favorite vegan cheese (I use VioLife). Stir frequently as this will quickly become a sticky sauce. Just as it looks perfect (add more milk if needed) add salt, pepper and a 1/4 cup of nooch. Keep stirring as your assistant pours in the pasta. Keep stirring. Did I say stop?

Once the pasta is fully coated in cheese, stir in the BeyondMeat mixture and serve immediately (as if you wanted to wait). Tastes just like a cheeseburger … doesn’t it?

You’re welcome.

Go vegan.

ThankTankBannerAd

BONUS for MEATY VEGAN FOLLOWERS! For a LIMITED TIME, you can use this code 25Off2015 at checkout in the BeyondMeat swag shop to get 25% off your order!

Gene Baur on The Daily Show: April 6, 2015

Standard

Untitled-1

Last night’s episode of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show featured this interview with Gene Baur, of The Farm Sanctuary (it also happened to be my birthday). This is one segment you must watch.

The massive audience (2.5 million viewers nightly) that watched this and was able to learn from Gene is the arguably the single most important step toward a vegan future I’ve witnessed since going vegan. Please share widely. Gene’s composure and posture and calming way of answering Jon Stewart’s questions opens so many doors for transitioning vegetarians or curious omnivores.

He is such an asset to our movement.

For more about Gene and his new book Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, read my own review here.

Go vegan.

ThankTankBannerAd