February 2010


I have mentioned the Vegetarian Food for Thought Podcast a few times before and there is a good reason for it. First of all, if you haven’t heard of podcasts before, they are kind of like a radio shows which are not really aired on the radio, so you can listen to them any time of the day using your mp3 player. The easiest way to download them is to use iTunes, if you have iPod or will listed to them on your computer. If you have another mp3 player then it will make sense to download the mp3 files directly from the podcast producer. Oh yeah, and they are all FREE.

I have accidentally discovered the podcasts on iTunes, without ever hearing about them before last October. When looking through the Health and Lifestyle I saw a Vegan Freak Radio as being one of the top 10 podcasts in this category. So that was the first Vegan podcast I started listening to. For a new vegan, this kind of information media is really important and helpful, as you are not feeling alone or as an outsider anymore because you are listening to people who have the same beliefs as you do. Now, I love Vegan Freak Radio as well but I was really disappointed after I became a subscriber for their show, sent them an e-mail, and in the period of about 4/5 months they have not produced a single podcast, not updated their home page, and have never replied me back. And once again I love them and all…but this is just rude to your subscribers.

A little bit later, as I was searching for more podcasts with a veg theme, I found the Vegetarian Food for Thought made by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau who is the founder of Compassionate Cooks. I was a little skeptic at first, as I thought that the podcast is all vegetarian and will probably look at food and stuff, but I listened anyway. After a few shows, I was a changed person. Colleen speaks to her listeners in a very inspiring, compassionate, and caring voice discussing various topics such as Being a joyful Vegan, Calcium, Cheese and Dairy, Leather, Eggs, Wool, and anything that a vegetarian, vegan, or anyone considering evolving into this kind of lifestyle might be interested in hearing. She also reads short stories, or excerpts from famous and not-so-famous books on animals and human relationships with animals and one-another. In the beginning of every podcast you will hear a motivational story of one of the podcast supporters writing about their lifestyle change and you will find yourself relating to almost every one of the cases.

So, how has it changed me, or how did I become a better person, you will ask. Colleen has taught me to stay calm, educated, and caring no matter what I am going through and no matter what is happening around me. She has taught me to answer questions about veganism in such a way as not to push people away and inspire them to find out more about what is going on in the animal and human rights world. She has inspired me to act on behalf of all animals, and since I have started a Vegetarian Association at YorkU, volunteered for Toronto Vegetarian Association, as well as applied for internships at various Animal Sanctuaries and Refuges.

I thank her with all my heart and recommend everyone to let Colleen inspire you to make this world better for all animals, both human and non-human!

P.S. You may click on the picture to the left of this post to go to the Vegetarian Food for thought Podcast web-page.

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This Saturday I went to see a documentary by Malcolm Rogge called Under Rich Earth.   It has been filmed in the remote region of Ecuador which apparently sits on some copper reserves:

I highly recommend you to see the movie, which they may be showing in your local small movie theater.   It just underscores how huge is the divide between the management of the big companies and the areas where the company operates/does business and how greatly decisions made by the guys in black suits affect people who try to live a simple life such as people in Ecuador. 

The local people opposing the mining by Canadian companies live really rich and healthy lives – surrounded by beautiful lush tropical forests, enjoying food grown by themselves,  and having a strong sense of community and partnership.  The mining company tries to buy the people off by giving them really unnecesary things to make them support their mining efforts, and when this doesn’t work they use guns, bombs, and pepper sprays.

Believe it or not, this happens every day in many countries around the world, and the only way we can help is through education and promoting awareness just as Malcolm Rogge has done.  You may check out the movie website and buy the DVDs here.

Ok, let us talk about something cheerful, something beautiful, smooth and healthy – the infamous Green Smoothie.

In my opinion, it is one of the healthiest, fastest, nutritious things you can deliver to your body any time of the day.  Personally, I like my green smoothies in the morning, but they are goood for you any time of the day.  Ever since I have discovered this magical food my health has turned around – last month I have gone for some blood work in my local medical clinic and guess what? All my essential vitamin, mineral, and bio-molecule levels are perfect!  An amazing support for my green smoothie being the best thing for you hypothesis 🙂

If you’re interested in getting on board with me it is really simple: all you need is:  FRUITS, GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES, WATER.  Blending them all together, especially in a really good blender like Vita Mix, will result in something green, smooth, healthy, and delicious – Green Smoothie!

My edited and taste-proof recipe is:

1 banana
1 orange
1 apple
a couple of leafs from kale/collard greens/spinach/swiss chard/dandelions/anything else that is green
half cup of water
Optionally: frozen pineapple, ice, frozen berries, fresh ginger root

Trust me – breakfast doesn’t get easier than this!

Green Smoothie Revolution: The Radical Leap Toward Natural HealthP.S. If you’d like more guidelines/ information on green smoothies I recommend the book by Victoria Boutenko The Green Smoothie Revolution

Image by Steve Thompson from sdsnake.com/coyote.htm

Now for those of you who don’t live in Canada,  here I refer to the Canadian company who manufactures winter jackets.  If you live in Toronto,  you would know what I mean by saying – these are everywhere!  And I don’t have a big problem with people keeping themselves warm but I have a huuuuge problem by seeing people wear coyote furs in their collars just for the heck of it.  First please look how intelligent, beautiful, and innocent this animal is:      

 And now tell me you would kill this guy just so he/she can hang out on your winter coat as your fur collar…I don’t think so.

But at the same time, every day I encounter countless young adults (in their 20s, mostly guys) wearing them.  And I am sure they have no idea that their fur is real and if they did they wouldn’t care. 

This has been driving me mad lately, so I’ve printed out some PETA anti-fur cards and have been giving these out to people who are wearing fur. 

And here is the biggest problem I encounter.  One girl told me that she feels bad that it is fur but it’s the only fur thing she has (oh’ so innocent) and if she didn’t buy somebody else would.   SAY WHAT??? 

The girl’s got no idea how much she influences the demand and that every fur jacket bought will make the company make a new one (thus killing one more coyote) for the person who she didn’t leave the jacket for.  So as you see, here is one of the biggest mistakes people make these days – they think that they are so little that their actions don’t count and they cannot make even a slightest change for the better in this world. saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

So, when you check out the company’s website, they say that the fur is used only-only when necessary and they decided to use real fur instead of equally warm synthetic because of “ecological” reasons.  SAY WHAT???

First of all, unless you live or do something in the North Pole which their jackets were originally made for, you really don’t need a fur collar or a “parka” how I think they call it, I haven’t seen even one of the guys with the Canada Goose jackets actually wearing the hood.  Second, I think when you are deciding between killing thousands of intelligent beautiful animals or not killing them at all (which is just such a hard choice for those people in big fat offices who have not ever encountered a coyote or another wild animal and have no idea that a coyote is a dog-relative), I think for anyone having at least some kindness and humanity left in their hearts this would be a very simple decision. 

Please make compassionate choices and tell anyone you see wearing fur what the animals had to endure in order to become that pointless decoration that they are wearing.

Thank you,

Oleksandra

I am not that same happy green vegan that started this blog about a year ago. 

As my knowledge, experience, and interactions expand,  I am more and more angered and depressed by the way Homo sapiens treats other animals-both human and non-human.   Every day I am bombarded by the news from PETA, IFAW, and other animal rights associations such as Compassion over Killing, and guess what – only a small percentage of those news are good.  The rest is a small window into the world of animal abuse and neglect.   Dogs on the streets of China being culled to clean up the city, Cats and Dogs are being farmed for fur which is being imported into highly industrialized countries with strong animal rights like Canada, seals are being clubbed just for the fun of it, tigers are being farmed for the body parts being used in traditional medicine in China, baby cows are being taken from their mothers a few minutes after birth every day, and don’t start me on factory farming that is the saddest and most uncompassionate thing done to animals out there.

(A picture I got from I don’t get it Blog)

Translation: Have no Fear – He is Vegetarian

And the things I’ve listed above is just a proportion of the horror going on out there.  Now tell me to go and be happy-go-lucky and I will say “No Way!”.  I am saddened by ignorance, and unwillingness to know and do something by the people I encounter every day who think that their problems are so important and huge that there is not time or resources to do anything to help out others.

I really hope you are not one of those people, and if you are not, trust me one person can indeed make a big difference.  Just as Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who I love very much for her podcast Vegetarian Food for Thought, says:

“Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something!”  (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau)

 

Yesterday I went out with my husband and my friend in fitness.  We went to the local place called Bistro on Dufferin, and as soon as we walk into the place there is this huge poster of an old man holding a rooster, kissing him.  So at first I think, oh this is nice, but then you notice that the guy is holding the rooster on top of the fried chicken wings….!!!WTH!!! I compared it in my head to chaining someone to a mountain made of fried human bodies…this is like monstrous the most inhumane thing to do,  even my non-vegan friends agreed with me.

So if you want to talk about kindness and humanity of the people…and if you go to eat some chicken wings from the bar owned by such an evil guy after seeing that poster, I don’t know if it’s worth all the struggle people trying to make a difference endure.