Are Vegans Really Making a Difference?

The quick answer: yes. Vegans are making a HUGE difference. According to this chart by the Humane Society, up until April 2015 there have been 7.4 billion more animals slaughtered for animal agriculture than  1960. Not the most reassuring news, right? However, in just a little over a year from April 2015 to the current date in July 2016, animal slaughter has decreased by 4.6 billion animals. It’s definitely becoming more popular to be aware of how your food was made, and luckily it is definitely making a dent in food production! Vegnews recently came out with an article stating even Tyson recently was challenged as to how they are going to compete with the astronomical growth of the plant-based meat industry! Vegan options are popping up everywhere nowadays due to the increased vegan demand. Every animal or animal product you leave off your plate also makes a difference, since that is one more life you chose to save! Not to mention, every new vegan is one of a new hundred vegans.

Although being vegan is based on ethics, there are definitely side benefits! I have met several vegans who have been able to overcome major health risks, including getting rid of tumors and avoiding open heart surgery. I have met one woman who was told she would die in two weeks, but went vegan and oil-free and has been living for six years. Veganism has also been known as an alternative go-to for reversing diabetes and cancer. I myself have seen minor benefits such as clearer skin and increased energy, with an added benefit of better mental health because of a clear conscience of eating cruelty-free!

Another side benefit of going vegan is knowing that your food in no way participates in harming the earth! United Nations came out with the news that a vegan diet is absolutely vital not only for the earth’s benefit, but also to put a dent in world hunger. According to the UN report, animal agriculture accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Even in areas depleted of resources, the majority of water, land and vegetation is still being used to keep cows alive for animal agriculture. The UN also claimed animal agriculture is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

So are vegans making a difference? Does one person really make an impact? Is animal agriculture a topic worth discussing among other world issues? We hope you were able to figure out! It’s never too late to start leading a cruelty-free lifestyle!

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                               Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

 

Plant-Based Eats in Music City

We came, we ate, we left. Nashville is known for being the music capital of America, but almost as important as the music scene, Nashville has some amazing vegan or vegan by default restaurants! We couldn’t get to them all, but here were some of the options we stumbled across this trip!

  1. Avo: This restaurant takes the cake on creativity! Not only is their entire restaurant vegan, it’s also raw! Raw veganism is becoming more well known for it’s insane health benefits, raw vegan meaning that no food has been cooked or heated over around 100 degrees. But beyond salads, this restaurant has raw pizza, cheesecake, lasagna, a cheese plate, and more! How cool is that?

2. Graze: Breakfast meals are some of the best kind of meals, so our next stop in the morning was a cafe called Graze. Graze had all sorts of delicious typical breakfast fare that would make vegans and omnivores alike go “So you promise this place is vegan?” Some options include breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes and Hollandise Sauce, Mac n Chorizo, and Biscuits and Jam. Not to mention, some amazing juice combinations! This is definitely worth getting up before 10 am on vacation to get!

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3. Wild Cow: What could be better than eating in a restaurant decorated with pictures of cute animals you know weren’t harmed for your food? Happy cows make for happy customers! The cheesy spinach and artichoke dip, Reuben, and “steak (seitan)” topped nachos also made us extremely happy customers! This place was proof that a vegetarian claiming they could never give up cheese totally doesn’t have to!

These were just a few of our favorites we were able to get to this trip, all practically guaranteed not to disappoint! Hopefully on your next trip to Nashville, you’ll love these plant-based eats just as much as we did!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

10 Vegan Snack Foods

What are some vegan snack foods to get you through your busiest days in between meals? Here are ten of our biggest go-to’s!

  1. Chips and dips: Dips can vary anywhere from guacamole to salsa, or better yet, our V-Grits cheddar cheese sauce!

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2. Hummus and fresh veggies: A super fresh, healthy and protein filled snack.

3. Dates: Dates are nature’s caramel, guaranteed to satisfy a sweet tooth!

4. Bananas: Bananas are packed with nutrition benefits, and full of vital healthy carbs and sugars.

5. Kale Chips: There are so many flavors! Buy them at the supermarket or make them at home

6. Vegan Chocolate Chips and Salted Peanuts: A healthier take on all the flavors of a Reese’s cup!

7. Granola: Always a good pantry stuffer when you’re on the go!

8. Avocado Toast:  Avocados make everything better! An avocado and a slice of bread are all that’s needed for this creamy and toasty snack. Sriracha will add a little kick!

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9. Bagels: Throw on some jam and/or peanut butter, if you want a little something extra.

10. Pretzels: Need a snack, but all that’s around is a vending machine? Pretzels are an almost guaranteed vending machine find, and almost always vegan! Watch out for the cheese or honey mustard flavors!

                                          Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

V-Grits Spotlight

       Highlighting our creative and compassionate customers, V-Grits will share a monthly spotlight on some of the cool-cats that have crossed the orange truck’s path! This month’s V-Grits spotlight goes to avid Louisvillian cyclist, Tom Hughes! Here is a little bit about Tom and his adventures!
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Q: How long have you been a V-Grits fan?
A (Tom): I’ve been a V-Grits fan since before it existed! I rode my bike out to Shelbyville a few times to get Kristina’s baked goods earlier on. I saw her Cutthroat Kitchen victory and knew she had a great future ahead. I bought two meals from the Kickstarter page to help her get started and have been hooked ever since.
Q: What’s your favorite V-Grits indulgence?
A: The Where Do You Get Your Protein Burger and the Loaded BBQ Jackfruit Mac and Cheese!
Q: If you could be a new crayon color, what color would you be?
A: The color of rad wine!
Q: How long have you been vegan?
A: I’ve been vegan since the October of 2012. I first started as a way to help my mom control her cholesterol. Then I just fell in love with all the recipes I was making and I felt my health and energy improving a ton right away. I found out about the ethics of animal agriculture and the needless exploitation animals in undergo and wanted no part of it ever again.
Q: What adventures are you up to currently?
A: I’m currently cycling across the country, powered on a purely plant based diet of course!
Q: What are different experiences you’ve faced while cycling?
A: Getting enough calories has been a challenge at times through the Midwest. I need at least 4000-5000 per day! The entirety of Kansas seems to revolve around a menu you might find at a carnival or state fair. I rely a lot on dried fruits and nuts. When I find a restaurant it’s typically French fries and a sweet tea. To get enough good food I have a small steel pot and camp stove so I can cook rice, lentils, chickpeas etc. and whatever veggies I can carry. I also brought a mini cutting board and kitchen knife to prepare meals while camping.
Q: Did I read you also want to teach others that people can travel vegan on a budget while consistently exercising?
A: Yes that’s the plan! When I get home I’m going to collect my recipes and tips for traveling on a budget and getting enough calories and nutrition to power whatever adventures lay ahead with minimal supplies!
Q: How many doughnuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?
A: I’ve never tried but I figure I could eat at least 13! That’s a good challenge, I need to find out!
      You can read and see more of what Tom is up to and what dreams of his he is accomplishing on his blog! You can also come to his West Coast, 3,000 mile point celebration party Wednesday, August 17th at Seidenenfaden’s tomorrow night to celebrate the journey he has made and show him support for his ride back home! Donations will be made to local animal sanctuary Upland’s PEAK, and to help Tom get a headstart on a book he intends to write about traveling vegan on a budget. Check it out!
                                    Signing off for the sentient,
                                                                                    Sammi

Three Must See Documentaries

“What’s a good documentary for me to watch?” is a common question from people interested in going vegan. It’s great to educate yourself on the importance of veganism not only for your health, but also the environment, and most importantly the animals! Here are three eye-openers that are guaranteed to help you find your way to the term every vegan never thought they would call themselves… Vegan!

  1. Earthlings – Ethics: Earthlings is a documentary revealing the truth behind many industries that depend on the use of animals (Food, Science, Clothing, Entertainment and Pets) that we have been shielded from all our lives. This documentary has been known to turn people vegan even immediately after watching, so of course it is our #1 must see!

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2. PlantPure Nation – Health: Immediately after going vegan, you’re going to need some back-up for when others begin to question if the vegan movement is a healthy movement. This movie has some pretty astounding health discoveries, and not only proves how plant-based diets are extremely beneficial to one’s health, but also talks about why vegan eating is so taboo! It is also definitely possible to be an unhealthy vegan, seeing as there is a surprising amount of accidentally vegan junk food out there, so this movie can head you in the right direction when making the switch to a vegan lifestyle!

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3. Cowspiracy – Environment : It is said that there is no such thing as a meat eating environmentalist, and this documentary shows you why! This Leonardo DiCaprio produced movie talks about the effects of animal agriculture on our planet, and what will be the most effective methods of change to reduce our potential negative impact on the beautiful world we’re in. Not to mention, this animal agriculture focused documentary also talks about why we’re not talking about it! This is a must see for any and all of our tree hugging friends!

cowspiracy.jpg    All of these movies have deeply affected omnivores and vegans alike. So grab some cashew milk ice-cream, a non-wool blanket, and get your movie night on!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

 

How Do Vegans Get Enough Protein?

One of the biggest misconceptions about going vegan is that protein will be harder to find than Waldo! Little is it known that protein can be easily found in a variety of plant-based foods. What most people don’t know is that a certain amount of protein is found in almost every food to exist, even broccoli! Pretty much no matter what you eat, if you eat enough of it, you can get all your protein in for the day. A lot of times even without focusing on high protein levels, the proteins in surprising foods such as broccoli or spinach can definitely add up to reach your daily protein requirements. Some foods that have higher protein levels are beans of all sorts, quinoa, peas, nuts, nut butters (they don’t actually have butter in them 😉 ), lentils, hummus, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, seed butters, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and alternative meats and vegan cheeses and milks. Not to mention, there are several vegan protein powders if you’re ever searching for that extra protein boost! Having diversity in your diet is also super important to being a happy and healthy vegan, so it’s a good idea to switch it up. Just a few months ago, news broke that vegan athlete Kendrick Farris broke the American Lifting record, lifting a whopping 209kg during the US Olympic trials!! You can watch the video here. I’d like to see someone tell him he doesn’t get enough protein! If you’re new to being vegan and a little unsure of how to get protein into all your meals, we have the solution! Head to our website to get our weekly balanced and delicious V-Box recipe meal kits and/or recipe V-cards! And make those vegan gains!

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Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

 

 

What is Uplands PEAK?

We had a great time at local farm animal sanctuary, Uplands PEAK this weekend! Uplands PEAK is a non-profit that rescues animals who managed to escape horrific experiences and fates from slaughterhouses. Factory farming conditions often lead to trauma and sickness to the animals, and the sanctuary restores them back to physical and mental health as much as they can, all while surrounding them with the love and resources that have been absent from their lives prior! We do what we can to help those little fellas, and right now they need our support more than ever! The sanctuary is planning on expanding and needs funding to give the animals the safest, healthiest, and happiest lives possible, and right now they are running a COWpaign to do exactly that! This sanctuary is 100% donation and volunteer based, so anything helps! Visiting sanctuaries can be an extremely beneficial experience to realizing the importance of veganism and seeing the gentle, intelligent and loving animals who would be affected otherwise. Unlike zoos, sanctuaries are put in place solely for animal rehabilitation and their comfort is a top priority, rather than focusing on expenses such as tourist attractions and unnecessary landscaping. Here are some pictures we took on our visits to Uplands PEAK and other sanctuaries around the tri-state.

If you haven’t made it out there yet, we definitely recommend checking it out!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi