A UK chef has admitted to "Spiking" a group of vegans. This one made the news - but trust me when I say this happens
EVERY ... SINGLE ... DAY...
About a year ago, Veganizer initiated a conversation to the public regarding "Veganizer Certifications" in all omnivore kitchens attempting to create a vegan menu or vegan options. Unfortunately, it didn't move very far. Some even said that it would discourage restaurants from attempting to do so. I could not disagree more. As a vegan, I've been in far more omnivore kitchens than vegan kitchens strangely. I've also had way more conversations with omnivore chefs and restaurateurs than the average vegan.
This is no longer the 90s or early 2000s. Chefs have no choice but to offer vegan food. The demand is too high at this point. Perhaps the "beggar can't be a chooser" was the correct method 10 years ago - but not anymore. We can and should raise our standards because even if a chef accidentally uses animal products via sauces and such, they're STILL using animal products. Letting them remain in their ignorant bliss is no longer an option.
What people don't realize is, after working behind the scenes in so many omnivore kitchens, I know just how deep the ignorance of chefs and cooks goes. Even trained chefs that mean well, feed vegans animal products simply because they've never researched the hidden animal ingredients to sauces, spices and processed foods - the way in which vegans do. This chef is bluffing about being innocent. I'm 100% sure she gave the group dairy, butter or gelatin. Not a doubt in my mind.
You see, chefs are artist. They have egos, pride and artistic temperaments - and as vegans, we basically say "we don't like your art"...
To them it is a personal attack on an artistry in which they've committed their lives. They simply don't understand how to incorporate ethics into eating. For the classical (especially European or Latino) Chefs - the only factor that mattered for the last infinity years was flavor. This is not the first time a chef has admitted to feeding vegans animals and I assure you it will not be the last. Perhaps it's time Veganizer started the conversation again.
OR BETTER YET.
Do you know of an omnivore restaurant that is attempting to jump on the vegan bandwagon? If so, ask them if they'd be willing to go through a training with Veganizer. If they're so certain their foods are vegan, what's the harm - right? If they refuse (which many have) you should probably think twice before gobbling down their apparently vegan food.
In November of 2016, Victoria Plourde, returned to Las Vegas after working in retail in China for five years. A friend of hers owned a Vietnamese fast-casual stall in in a local food court. While out to lunch with that friend, the two decided that Victoria would take over the food stall - despite the fact that she'd never owned a restaurant and was not a chef.
Victory called her daughter, Elaine, a long time vegetarian to ask her what she thought and Elaine said these words, "Don't even think about it unless it's vegetarian." and to Elaine's surprise, Victoria responded with, "Ok, then. We'll be vegetarian"...There was one problem. The food court had signed a contracted the stall owner to be a Vietnamese concept. In less than a month, mom and daughter duo created a vegetarian version of the menu - despite the fact that neither one knew about Vietnamese food. Today the concept still stands and provides a vegetarian alternative to an area that sorely lacks vegan or vegetarian cuisine.
Fast forward to May 2017, Victoria moves to Henderson with her husband. One night, they were discussing dinner plans when Victoria got a hankering for traditional Chinese takeout. Low and behold, there was a Traditional Chinese restaurant just minutes from their home. She'd passed it a dozen times and never noticed. She walked into the restaurant and had the immediate feeling that she needed to be doing something in that space. She looked around and saw a stressed out couple trying to manage the 2,200 Square Foot restaurant on their own. They were understaffed and needing help - badly. In that moment, Victoria introduced herself and offered to buy their company and in that same moment, they agreed.
In July of 2017, they opened the doors to VeggieEat Xpress Henderson, a vegetarian Asian Fusion restaurant that still had some dairy on the menu. The vegetarian concept was working well at the first location, but the pair noticed that this location was different. People wanted vegan food and the dairy wasn't doing them any good. In addition, Elaine began thinking about transitioning into the vegan lifestyle as well. These two details led to their decision to eliminate all dairy and become a bonafide 100% vegan restaurant.
Veganizer has inspected every single ingredient on their menu and can definitely state, that VeggiEat Xpress has been #OfficiallyVeganized
On December 14th, all Las Vegas vegans, vegetarians, and food lovers in general are invited to try their newly #veganized menu! Click here to RSVP!
Photo by Beth Teutschmann on Unsplash
I can't believe it, but it's almost Halloween again. I love this time of year with the Halloween decorations, scary movies and a great excuse to indulge my sweet tooth with some candy. Halloween is a great time to dress up, go out with your friends or go trick or treating with your kids. Even if you are just giving out candy on Halloween, you might feel conflicted about what to hand out. Luckily, there are plenty of vegan candy options so no one has to be left out or leave your house empty handed. Here are some great vegan Halloween candy options:
If you are planning to go out on Halloween, you can use the Barnivore website to check which of your favorite drinks are vegan. (Absolut Vodka, Captain Morgan and Jack Daniel's are all vegan.)
It's also a great time of year for pumpkin-spice-flavored any kind of food you could imagine. Sometimes these foods aren't vegan, but there are still some great options. For example, Peet's has a vegan pumpkin spice latte with coconut milk and coconut whipped cream and Daiya sells a Pumpkin Spice Cheezecake.
Halloween is also a great time to think about your wardrobe and your costume. There are plenty clothing options that do not contribute to animal suffering. If you are dressing as a greaser, you don't have to wear real leather. Or if you are dressing as an aristocrat, you don't have to wear a real fur coat with a pearl necklace. You can still be stylish and have fun wearing clothes that didn't require harming animals.
Whether you are trick or treating, going out or staying in, a vegan Halloween is possible and you don't have to miss out on anything. What's your favorite vegan Halloween treat?
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
The most common question vegans get is "Where do you get your protein?" I can only assume that vegan athletes get this question more than other vegans combined. The good news is that protein is found in plant foods, so you don't need to worry about being protein deficient. Research even explains that it is possible to get the nutrients you need to sustain an active lifestyle. A major concern for vegan athletes is getting enough calories, which is important since plant foods are nutrient dense, rather than calorie dense. You do need to eat more calories on a vegan diet, but like any other diet, it needs to balanced with nutrients needed to be healthy and active.
This article describes 5 professional wrestlers whose performances improved once they excluded animal products from their diet. Wrestler Pete Dunne explains: “There are assumptions made by people that if you are a vegan you won’t get the right nutrition. In actual fact it’s ideal … What we do requires high energy so being a vegan is perfect for that. It doesn’t matter what type of diet that you are on, you can always hit the right macro nutrients.”
NBA player Wilson Chandler states: "Eating a vegan diet has changed my everyday living. I sleep better, I wake up in a better mood, I recover faster, I’m not so inflamed, not so achey...I feel better overall, in everything that I do. I can take in more information easier. My mind is just open." Other basketball players that made the swtich to a vegan diet include Jahlil Okafor and Damian Lillard.
Even ballerinas are changing their diets to improve their form and stamina. Keenan McLaren Hartman of the Nashville ballet states: "I'm able to sustain my technique without feeling like I'm going to crash."
All different kinds of people go vegan for all different reasons and it's possible to be vegan in any lifestyle. These athletes prove that you can accomplish anything on a vegan diet and be strong while doing it. If you are an athlete, professional, recreational, or anything in between, please know that you can improve endurance, recovery time and be healthy by eating a vegan diet. It won't diminish your performance or hinder your ability to reach goals. Check out this article to get information and tips to succeed on a vegan diet as an athlete.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Sometimes sticking to veganism can be discouraging especially when you are eating out. If you eat with family or friends you might only be able to eat a small salad, while everyone around you eats full plates of non-vegan food. It can feel like we as vegans are making no progress in what restaurants are serving and what food companies are offering, which couldn't be further from the truth.
Here's a list of exciting vegan options that are on the horizon:
While day to day it can seem like veganism isn't catching fire, it's important to stop and reflect on all the progress we've made. Veganism is growing because of people spreading the message, leading by example and sharing the benefits and companies are reflecting that. When there is more demand for something, companies will offer it. With more and more people turning to veganism to improve their health, save lives and improve the well-being of the planet, companies and restaurants have started to offer more vegan options. They want to be profitable and be inclusive so anyone can eat what they serve. And with more options on menus, people who aren't vegan might try some vegan food to see what it's like.
If you are vegan and want to contribute to this growing inclusion of vegan food, sign this petition to get Starbucks to offer a vegan food menu. And remember, you are making a difference! If you aren't vegan, try some vegan food to see if you like it. You might be surprised. What other places do you think should have more vegan options?