Feminism and Veganism Collide

Nearly every activist has a string of causes they stand behind, and that’s typically because practically all social justice issues correlate. The correlation between veganism and feminism is no outlier. Reading a paragraph comparing the two is actually what convinced me to evolve from pescatarian to vegan a couple years back!

All animal products are the result of animal exploitation, but more specifically, they are the result of exploiting female reproductive systems. Even at the most regulated, grass-fed, free-range dairy farms, any female animal will fall into a vicious cycle of being separated from her mother only moments after her birth, and get artificially inseminated through sodomization. She will continue to live only to be repeatedly, forcibly impregnated, sodomized and have her own babies immediately taken away from her just as she was taken away from her mother. Not only will the mother lose complete control over her reproductive system and have her child taken, but she will also start to acclimate a series of diseases due to this system deteriorating her physical health. This cycle of sodomization, forced pregnancy, and child loss will continue until she is worn enough to produce significantly less milk, at which point the dairy farm or factory farm will no longer have a use for her and she will be sold to become cheap meat, leather or dog food while having lived only a fifth of her typical lifespan. Hens used for eggs will be forced into the same cycle, as will pigs and cows in the meat industry.

Without going too deeply into graphic detail (trust me, that was just skimming the surface!), it’s still clear that the practices of these farms and factory farms are unjust. It’s no secret that females having complete control over their reproductive systems and organs is a necessary part of feminism, but prior to going vegan, I never really speculated over animals having choices. I knew they didn’t want to be killed, but it took watching a video of a mother tirelessly struggling to stand between her calf and a farmer for me to understand how aware animals truly are. Any oppression is hard to stomach, but any oppression can also be fought against! Every time we eat is a chance to vote for the world and practices you want to see moving forward. Dairy is scary after all, right? With so many plant-based dairy replicas hitting the shelves, there has never been a better time to make your plate a moral decision and go vegan!

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Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

 

Happy Food Truck Season!

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and is that the smell of… mac and cheese in the air?! That’ right, it’s food truck season and we’ll be back out on the streets in no time!

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We’ve had a winters worth of time to think up new menu items and we can’t wait to share them with you. How about a country fried steak sandwich, with mashed potatoes and gravy? Or a ham and cheese? We’ve got a sweet potato brunch bowl (allergen friendly and taste bud tempting) with fresh veggies. And a favorite from last year, the pizza burger, will make a reappearance!

Here’s where you can catch us in April!

  • Saturday, April 8th
    • 11am – 5pm
    • Flea Off Market
    • 1007 East Jefferson St
  • Saturday, April 15th
    • 10am – 2pm
    • Douglass Loop Farmers Market
    • 2005 Douglass Blvd
  • Friday, April 21st
    • 5pm – 8pm
    • Great Flood Brewing
    • 2120 Bardstown Road

Follow along vgritsfoodtruck.com/events

See you on the streets!

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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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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?!

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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.

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  • 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??!

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  • 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!

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

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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. 😉

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi