Lantern is putting together an anthology of international contributors who are Latina and vegan, and wonder if you're interested in writing for the project.
Two years ago we published SISTAH VEGAN, which includes writing from a very diverse group of African-American women about veganism. The volume is interesting because it's not just stories of why or how individuals went vegan, but it is heavily cultured, discussing hair, music, health, body types, tradition(s), religion(s), black politics, and more.
We are hoping to create a similar (and yet completely different!) book by vegan women from Mexican, Brazilian, Peruvian, Guatemalan, Argentinian, Puerto Rican (and more) backgrounds.
Topics written about should be based in personal experience, and avoid references and footnotes if at all possible.
If you are able to write in English and Spanish or Portuguese, we'd love to have your piece in multiple languages. The non-English pieces will not be in the printed book, but we hope to make them available digitally. However, they will not be able to be proofed and corrected by Lantern.
We cannot provide payment, but we are planning to donate proceeds to the Food Empowerment Project. The word count is 2,500-5,000 words. The deadline is December 15th, 2012.
Spread the word!
Email submissions to wendy (at) lanternbooks (dot) com and kara (at) lanternbooks (dot) com.
I grew up in a clean-your-dinner-plate kind of family, with parents whose food limitations during the Great Depression and World War II rationing had taught them to value food highly. That ethic has stayed with me, so I have been shocked over recent months to learn of the gargantuan amounts of food wasted, some of it, especially in restaurants, still perfectly edible.
I'd been idly aware of this topic when it was recently brought again to my attention in a blog post by James McWilliams (I highly recommend following his blog "Eating Plants"). He cites a study finding that consumers throw out an astonishing half the food they buy!
Tesla, one of Vegucated's three featured participants, making friends with a chicken
A Practical Peacemaker Ponders . . .
I'd been hearing great praise for the documentary Vegucated, and this week was able to see it at a vegan potluck/movie event. Three average meat-eating New Yorkers agree to go vegan for six weeks and have their experience filmed. They get lots--and I mean lots--of support and expert advice. It begins with the filmmakers, who show them vegan advocacy films, take them grocery shopping, dining out, and to a farmed animal sanctuary. Their "vegucation" is also provided by such luminaries as Howard Lyman (a contributor to Lantern's book The Way of Compassion), Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Milton Mills, T. Colin Campbell, and other speakers and participants at the Vegetarian Summerfest, which the three attend as part of the experiment. How fortunate they were to get this kind of solid information and encouragement, compared to those of us who went vegan years ago and had to figure it all out for ourselves! Viewers, of course, get all the same encouragement vicariously by watching the film, and can find more at the Get Vegucated website, including the movie trailer; Vegan at Heart, a four-week-long daily email coaching program; tips on making social connections with other local vegans; the DVD available for purchase ($19.99); and info on hosting a screening.
A news story this week reports that a lab-grown or in vitro burger will be available from a science lab in the Netherlands by October. The burger grown from animal stem cells will cost $330,000 to produce, and scientists working on it say that it will be at least 20 years before the process will be efficient enough for large scale and cost effective production. Such meat is not imitation meat or a meat analog, but actual meat grown from animal stem cells.
Dylan is a rescued calf that I met (and fed out of a baby bottle) when he was a few days old. Six years later he's a couple thousand pounds heavier, but with the same lovely personality as that tiny calf.
What does Dylan, a steer, a male, have to do with dairy cows?
Dylan's mother was a dairy cow, and he was discarded so that her milk would not be "wasted" on him. Both milk and egg production have little use for male offspring.
After running around playing tag with sweet Dylan, you can be sure I have no interest in dairy products.
The NYC premiere of Forks Over Knives is tonight at the Sunshine Cinema. The movie features the always inspiring Dr. Ruth Heidrich, who beat breast cancer with a vegan diet and and an exercise regimen. Ruth is the author of Senior Fitness and A Race for Life. As the film warns, "This movie could save your life!"
In Denver, the Vegetarian Society of Colorado holds an annual event on Thanksgiving Day, attended by about 100 people. This year I've been asked to take the stage to give a reading along the lines of a table grace. We make it non-religious, though, in order to accommodate a diverse audience. I post it here, in case anyone reading this might want to use it:
The Summer 2010 issue of Gastronomica reviews Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, and in doing so, gives a nod to all the thinkers that preceded Foer, those that he didn't give mention to in the book himself. Among them is Mark Braunstein. Braunstein's classic book Radical Vegetarianism was updated and re-released by Lantern in 2010, and playfully (with dead seriousness lingering) addresses all the messiness and human-ness and animal-ness that the reviewer thinks animal philosophers have missed.
Vegetarian activists have long known that one of the most effective ways to persuade people toward a plant-based diet is by serving them delicious food. Besides being effective, it's also totally non-confrontational, and you don't need to know the fine points of the issues, like why even well-managed grazing is detrimental to the environment. Just pass the plate.
My neighborhood association gets together with a nearby church for a combined annual picnic on the church lawn in September, which includes a bake-off contest.
It is with sadness that I learned that the farm/C.S.A. I've belonged to for many years, Huguenot Street Farm, is now on the market. And two breaths later that I thought of a zillion fantastic ways that the legacy of these beautiful 76 acres in the Hudson Valley can be continued:
A "teaching" farm for veganic and no-spray farming methods (so much better than organic);
A combination project with one of the neighborhood farm animal sanctuaries, showcasing beautiful alternatives to factory farms;
A community farm "park" owned and operated by the town of New Paltz.
This land has been farmed veganically for 12 years, which means that no manure or other animal products have been used as fertilizer. Farmers Ron and Kate Khosla were the founders of the Certified Naturally Grown certification, which encourages crop diversity and rotation as alternatives to spraying. I learned about both veganic farming and CNG only when I joined the farm, but I can vouch that the food grown at Huguenot Street Farm is the best food I've ever eaten.
Here's hoping someone who feels as strongly as I about the future of this farm is in a position to keep it true to its animal and environment friendly history.
TIME magazine recently proclaimed some heartening news in "Where's the Beet?: How Big-Name Chefs Are Shrinking Their Customers' Carnivore Quota." Six top chefs were interviewed, all saying they are preparing less meat in their restaurants. Two of them, Mario Batali and Jose Andres, say that meat is boring. "After four bites of a big steak, I'm tired of it," says Batali, who plans to open his sixteenth restaurant soon, this one in New York City and entirely vegetarian. Andres, with six restaurants in Los Angeles and Washington, describes a combination of fruits and vegetables as "a rainbow of possibilities. It's more interesting than any meat."
In the current (July/August) issue of Mother Jones, Associate Editor Kiera Butler questions the "greenness" of eating plant foods vs. eating meat in "Get Behind Me, Seitan: Why the vegetarian-equals-green argument isn't so cut-and-dried." Right out of the starting gate, Butler tells us that until recently she had been a lifelong vegetarian. Wow, lifelong--that's unusual and, among longtime committed vegetarians and vegans, enviable. Yet Butler tells us this in the context of being in a restaurant ordering a burger, that is, a dead-flesh type burger. What gives?