Sweet Snacks for an Herbivore

Trying to get healthier, but have a sweet tooth calling your name? The SO Delicious Dark Chocolate Truffle ice cream might try to break you, but there are some other yummy snacks that can satisfy a sweet tooth without the after-affects of bowls on bowls of sugar!

  • Little Secrets: These faux M&M’s just hit my local Kroger’s, and I’m a fan! Dark chocolate, sea salt and peanuts make a combination that’s nearly impossible to beat! And it’s no secret that their ingredients are all natural and ethical, with fair trade chocolate and coatings colored with turmeric and spirulina. Just watch out for the Peanut Butter flavor, as it is the only flavor that has whey. They’re additionally good to quiet cravings, just pop in a few and your sweet tooth is set!

vegancan

  • Larabars: Larabars are snack bars based of nuts and dates, so they can be great to have in the pantry as a sweet and healthy treat on the go. Different flavors include Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Pie, and Lemon Bar.

vegancand

  • Justin’s products: Justin’s has a plethora of sweet products ranging from dark chocolate peanut butter cups (Reese’s has nothing on these!) to chocolatey, nutty spreads. They do have palm oil though!

vegancandy

  • Enjoy Life Chocolate: Chocolate chips and chunks make any bowl of fruit a little more tempting! Especially when scary dairy is the least of your concerns! You can also make homemade trail mix, blend with avocados for a healthy chocolate mousse, or add a few into your PB&J!

vegancandyy

  • Hail Merry Tarts & Macaroons: These raw vegan products have been spotted in health stores such as Whole Foods and Rainbow Blossom. Within the last few weeks, I’ve frequently seen them on sale around town! All products of theirs are certified vegan and use mostly organic, familiar products such as cashews, coconut sugar and coconut oil. I’ve tried the Persian Lime Tart and the Almond Butter Chocolate Cup! Both were delicious and left my sweet tooth satisfied without feeling sluggish!

vegancandyyy

Try these products out next time you’re on the hunt for a healthier, sweet alternative!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

What the Health?!

what the health.jpg

Forks Over Knives and PlantPure Nation just got a new neighbor on the list of health-focused documentaries going viral across the web! What the Health? is a new film produced by the creators of Cowspiracy (another personal fave) exposing a surplus of shocking mysteries within animal agriculture and the human diet. The documentary covers everything from insider government lobbying, to industrialized racism, to cruelty-free protein and athletes, and more! They concluded with a series of eye-opening health success stories from victims of these industries who were able to trash entire shelves of medication after spending only two weeks plant-based! With wide eyes and a bowl of ripe fruit at my side, I was in disbelief at how much money is spent to convince humans that animal products are vital contributors to the human diet, despite the various studies that prove how deeply animal products are linked to an increase in bone fragility, deteriorating mental health, and countless lethal diseases.

After watching, the thought crossed my mind that I have seen hours on hours of health documentaries, and none had said anything beneficial about animal products! I was keen to listen to the opposition, but after a quick google search I realized there are no health documentaries that talk about the importance of animal products in our diets! That’s definitely no mistake. Modern doctors and researchers (who aren’t getting paid by Tyson and Yum! Brands, anyways) can’t deny the blatant evidence that meat, dairy and eggs are taking years off of our lifespans and keeping us sick, and thankfully this documentary uncovers all that lobbying vigorously works to blind us from! Check it out and prepare for your jaw to drop!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

10 New Vegan Products to Get Excited About

There was a rad vegan Expo West in California, and there are oodles of new vegan products coming out worth drooling over! Here are 10 that I’m tryna get in my fridge ASAP.

  • Miniature Corn Dogs: Need I say more?! No lie, within 5 minutes of seeing a picture of these babies, I called up Whole Foods and asked for them to get these in stock! No doubt people have already whipped up some killer vegan recipes for this, but imagine the pure joy of opening up your freezer, popping miniature corndogs in your toaster oven, and eating them with mustard just like your 5 year old self used to love. To say the least, I am about getting these in my life.

IMG_3702

  • Vegan popcorn Chicken: So maybe my love for frozen childhood fingerfoods is showing, but the only thing better than vegan chicken is vegan popcorn chicken. Imagine the possibilities… ranch or BBQ sauce??!

IMG_3690

  • Rocket Cakes: Breakfast food just got easier! Why deal with the mess of recipes when batter can pour right out of a bottle? This batter doubles as a pancake and waffle batter. Yum! Add chocolate chips and we’ve got a match made in veggie heaven!

IMG_3693

  • Sausage Ravioli: Ravioli is a favorite of mine: any food stuffed with other food is something I can get behind!

IMG_3695

  • Liquid Vegan Egg: An omelette without the cruelty! I’ve never tried the vegan egg before, honestly because it seemed like a lot of effort, so this sounds perfect to me! Between Rocket Cakes and the Liquid Vegan Egg, you can basically pour a vegan breakfast feast out of a bottle!

IMG_3697

  • Vegan Ham: I forgot that I actually used to like the taste of ham until the V-Grits Christmas box, but since getting a little taste in December, I can’t wait for more! Pass the vegan ham & cheese, please!

IMG_3691

  • Gardein Breakfast Pockets: Breakfast food is clearly a thing I enjoy, especially over simplified, handheld breakfast food! These pockets are filled with vegan sausage, egg and cheese! Basically a trifecta of things most of us thought we couldn’t eat anymore after going vegan! Yassss.

IMG_3698

  • Cocomel Bites: Satisfy a sweet tooth by biting into a Cocomel chocolate, basically a veganized Rolo filled with ooey-gooey vegan caramel. Probably good to eat one at a time… or one bag at a time. 😉

IMG_3699

  • Milk Chocolate Bunnies: Eat an animal in a way that doesn’t harm animals with this cruelty-free chocolate bunny! The only thing better than chocolate is chocolate formed into unusual shapes.

IMG_3700

  • Pumpkin Spice Cheezecake: Vegan cheesecake of any sort is immediately worth digging into, but pumpkin spice? Heck yeah! I am down to eat a piece of this no matter what the season.

IMG_3689

Huge shout out to VegNews for posting all the delicious products the spotted at Expo West! Hopefully these tempting, cruelty-free treats will grace our veg-friendly city soon!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

NABC Brewhouse

This weekend I headed to NABC (New Albanian Brewing Company) Brewhouse, also known as Bankstreet Brewhouse and formerly known as Earth Friends Cafe. You might not expect it judging by the name, but this female-owned restaurant just across the river in New Albany has a plant-eater friendly menu that any vegan will be daydreaming about days after their first visit. They have everything from loaded nachos with vegan taco meat crumbles, to vegan buffalo chicken quesadillas, to buffalo cauliflower (anything will taste good drenched in buffalo sauce, am I right?), and even vegan desserts! Just make sure your waiter is fully aware that you’re vegan before you place your order. On top of all this mouthwatering vegan food that sounds straight out of a sports bar, they hands down have the best rootbeer I’ve ever had – so much so that I have to resist bringing my growler for them to fill it up with that bubbly, sweet deliciousness any time I eat there.  I’ve also added this spot to my mental list of the top eateries in Louisville I’d take an omnivore to. Any place that uses Gardein or Beyond Meat will have your omnivore friends doing double-takes. So try this place out y’all! It’s worth the Indiana crossover toll. 😉 And while you’re over there, be sure to check out the beautiful Black Art Matters Exhibit at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, literally across the street!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Do Vegans Value Animal Lives as Much as Human Lives?

Do all vegans value animal lives as much as human lives? That probably depends on the vegan. As goes for any activist of any social justice movement, it may come as a surprise that not all vegans have the same train of thought.

From my own personal point view, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I would put the needs of of an animal before the needs of a human.  When it comes to the infamous, inevitable question “if you had to save an animal or a human, and you could only save one, which one would you choose,” I would definitely choose human. But of course, that isn’t to say that in modern day, many people have the choice to save both and still choose to harm an animal unnecessarily. Most times I try to explain the way I feel about animals, I normally compare farmed animals to dogs. I love all animals, so choosing not to eat the body of one animal while I cuddle up with another just because they have different faces is an easy decision! If I don’t need to cause suffering to an innocent, loving, curious cute little baby piggy, why would I?

cutepigs

That’s just my personal view though. After making the vegan switch, I did my research and followed online forums just like any plant-eating nerd would! And honestly, not all vegans even like animals. Of course, this brand of vegan is more rare. Even most omnivores claim to be animal lovers! But despite that some vegans may feel animals are gross or annoying (I know, it stung just typing it! Their words, not mine!), they can still acknowledge that animals have the ability to feel pain, and that it is not our right to take away the life of any being that wants to live.

As Philosopher Jeremy Bentham said, “The question is not can they reason, but can they suffer?”

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

1 Year Later

Nearly every vegan has scoffed at the idea of becoming one of those notorious plant-eaters! You live, you learn and eventually you might even find yourself no longer eating furry animal friends or their secretions. Check out this awesome video PETA put together about discovering veganism as a social justice movement over the period of a year!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

6 Vegan Women Who Kick Butt

It’s International Women’s Day! Every day is worth celebrating womenhood, but particularly today is a day to reflect on the underestimated accomplishments of women and the impact they’ve had on social justice! Here are some women who kick some major booty!

Coretta Scott King: Coretta Scott King was a fearlessly active and outspoken member of the Civil Rights Movement. She was also vegan for the last 10 years of her life, after spending all her life speaking out on behalf of anti-racism, women’s rights, and gay rights! She founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, and was CEO and President while being an avid lecturer and author.

corettascottking.jpg

Angela Davis: Angela Davis was an outspoken leader within the Black Power Movement, and was even sentenced to jail for her unapologetic fight for equality as she highlighted oppression within prison systems, racism and capitalism. She’s also a proud vegan and radical feminist, shown in her lectures when she will correlate all systems of oppression.

angela davis.jpg

Caroline White: Caroline White founded the first animal shelter in the U.S! She worked to create a Pennyslvania branch of the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), but once she realized men were resilient to have women in leadership roles, she created the Women’s Humane Society.

caroline white.jpg

Charlotte Despard: Despard was a defender of women’s rights, animal rights and worker’s rights to the death – literally! She founded the Women’s Peace Crusade, the Women’s Freedom League, the Women’s Prisoners’ Defense League. She went on to serve on multiple social justice councils and was even imprisoned for unphased activism!

charlottedespard.jpg

Margaret Dawson: Margaret Dawson was the organizing secretary of the International Animal Protection Societies, but like many vegans, her activism was apparent for all forms of life. She additionally founded a home for abandoned babies, campaigned against sex trafficking, assisted refugees during World War I, and founded the Women’s Police Volunteers.

Margaret-Damer-Dawson.jpg

Elsie Shrigley: Shrigley co-founded the Vegan Society shortly after breaking off from the Vegetarian Society, which more or less was the official beginning of veganism. She stayed on as President in the beginning, and continued to be an active committee member as long as she lived.

elsia.jpg

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

 

 

How To Spend the Women’s Strike & International Women’s Day

Once again, women are sticking up for themselves and striving for equality! I know, crazy right? The founders of the Women’s March are coming back for Round 2, a strike referred to as “A Day Without a Woman.” The goal of the strike is to show exactly how extensive the value of women and their work are, despite that women are far more likely to experience unequal pay in the exact same role, discrimination, sexual harassment, and more in the work place. Although participating in the strike through choosing to abstain from work would be completely ideal, that may not be a realistic agenda for women of all backgrounds, demographics and jobs. But luckily, there are a plethora of ways you can be an active member of this strike! Here’s how:

daywithoutawoman.jpeg

  • Wear red!: Strikers will paint the country red in representation of “revolutionary love and sacrifice,” according to the organizers of this march. Coming from someone whose closet is about 50% grey and 50% black, I can feel your potential struggle! Bandanas, hats and other accessories can come in handy, and pink is a pretty close match if all else fails!
  • Refrain from shopping: Online, in store, and at your favorite coffee shop! Part of the goal of the strike is to make an enormous economic dent. Use this day to find inventive ways to not spend money instead! Make a crazy good dish (or completely average, because who says women have to be good cooks 😉 ) out of the corners of your pantry, play scrabble instead of going out to see a movie, break out your tub of coffee grounds instead of making the daily morning pitstop, go on a walk through Cherokee Park, make art, read a book etc. International Women’s Day is the day for putting yourself first!
  • Venture to female and/or female minority owned businesses if you do go out: Female owned businesses in town include Time 4 Thai, LOVA Fare, Half Peach, and Bankstreet Brewhouse. You could also purchase a Flora treat from Quills. A night out to the movies can be spent watching Hidden Figures, an amazing movie about three black female engineers who worked for NASA!
  • Thank the women in your life: No matter what the job or what the background, the women you hold with high regard have inevitably made huge sacrifices and have overcome major hurdles just to keep keepin’ on. Thank your mom for always hanging in there with you, thank the cashier who always smiles at you, thank the friend who brightens your day, thank your neighbor for giving you gardening tips. Thank them for the impact they’ve made, the help they offered, the support they’ve given, and the hoops they’ve jumped through (for example, thank you Ellie Shechet for the blog inspiration!). Thank them for every positive aspect of yourself or your life that they’ve contributed to.
  • Round up your gal pals!: Any female protest is better spent with other lady friends! Have a potluck, movie night, Pictionary night, or all of the above! Here is a list of feminist movies to watch (Miss Representation is a personal favorite!) on your celebratory night of womanhood!

daywithout.jpg

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Creator of Glycemic Index Goes Vegan!

Watch out, big pharma! It looks like switching to a vegan diet is becoming the dietary trend of the decade as more and more medical professionals get on the plant-based train! The Glycemic Index was created created by Dr. David Jenkins in 1981, ranking foods in correlation to their increase in blood sugar. His agenda was to develop a better understanding of how carbohydrates affected diabetes.

His work ended up being so extraordinary that he ended up influencing dietary guidelines for the World Health Organization, the U.S National Academy of Sciences, and national diabetes associations in multiple countries across the globe. He’s also a Canada Research Chair in nutrition, metabolism and vascular biology, faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto, and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital. He even became the first Canadian recipient of the Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health. Basically, this guy’s a pretty big deal!

jenkins

Now, rather than focusing on low carb diets, Jenkins says the real health concern should be focusing on eliminating animal products from human diets. He isn’t just plant-based, though! On top of health discoveries, he additionally decided to drop the animal flesh and secretions for ethical and environmental reasons.

“Human health must be linked to planetary health, and how we feed ourselves has a major impact on the planet,” Jenkins explains. We couldn’t agree more!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi