Check out The Vegetarian Kitchen's vegan tuna salad sandwich! It tastes just like tuna without the tuna.
The fact that the taste of conventional dishes can be recreated in vegan versions just goes to show that the flavors of the plant-based world are vast and rich. Imagine if you ate meat or fish without sauces or spices or herbs. Probably won't taste that great right? Whereas sauces and spices and herbs are used to drown out the stench of meat (it is carcass after all), sauces and spices and herbs only serve to enhance the natural freshness and subtlety of plant flavors.
Check out The Vegetarian Kitchen's vegan tuna salad sandwich! It tastes just like tuna without the tuna.
Veganism shows us that we can make compassionate choices and still enjoy our food. Give it a try. Check out vegan recipes. Go to a restaurant and order vegan food. Do something. Why not start today?
I initially wanted to just get one flavor of vegan ice cream, but ended up getting two. I've had the black sesame flavor before and I love its unique twist. The mango and cream is a pleasant surprise. Sorbets are everywhere so when I got to taste this mango and cream flavor, it brought back memories of childhood. I haven't tasted this in quite a few years.
Both are from Kitchen Revolution. These flavors are served by Corner Tree Cafe in Jupiter Street Makati.
Why go for vice cream (vegan ice cream) over conventional dairy-based ice cream? One could make the health argument, but veganism ultimately is about nonviolence. Being vegan means I embrace values of kindness and I choose not to exploit anyone, certainly not the female cows who have to be raped to produce dairy.
Peace starts with your plate, even your dessert plate. Please choose to be kind. Please choose to be vegan.
Not everyone wants to see this. Alas, violence is a bitter pill nobody wants to swallow. But if you participate in it, you owe it to animals to know.
Being a vegan advocate opened me up to a lot of heartbreak. There is no denying that. I thought when I first became vegan that the intensity of my emotions would mellow down after a while, but three years into my veganism and I feel just as strongly- or maybe even more so- about the plight of nonhuman animals.
Andrew, a fellow vegan, told me that when I was a new vegan, I seemed a lot more joyful. My responses were full of compassion and understanding, always refering to how others' disconnection was not so different from my own in the not-so-distant past. But lately, I have been feeling a lot of anger, maybe even hopelessness. Why don't people get it? Why don't they care? What is wrong with them? I fantasized about how when they shove the next piece of meat into their face, they will become aware of the pain of the animal they just ate, the pain that THEY caused. I felt constantly disappointed, sad, and angry at people whom I felt should know better. I am also disappointed at myself for becoming so judgmental.
My friend Marie lent me a copy of The Lucky Ones by Jenny Brown. It was the story of how the author came to put up the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. The pages were filled with much information vegans already know and a story of awakening which is very similar to my own. The familiarity was comforting, because it reminded me that I am not the only one fighting this fight. The book also told stories of individual rescue animals, of which I have met none in real life.
Even when I travel to the countryside of the Philippines and get to meet animals who truly were free range, even as I play with them and rub their bellies, I know they exist in the world with a death sentence hanging over their heads. They were born only for the sole purpose of being exploited, and the sad day of their slaughter will come. They will feel betrayed by those whom they might have considered their caretakers, even family, when they are plump enough for their "meat". They will struggle through the slaughter as all sentient beings unwilling to die would. And the only thing I could do was bid them goodbye and wish for them to have a happy life before that happens.
But the animals at the sanctuary are truly lucky. Many of them were left to die, but they were lucky enough to have ended up at a place where they can bask in the sun, walk, run, hop, play, form friendships, bicker with other animals if they're in the mood (or not in the mood), and basically just be themselves. I cried tears of joy reading about who they are, what their individual quirks are, and I cried tears of sadness reading about their medical conditions, as animals raised to be exploited are genetically mutated so many of them become too heavy for their legs to support. I was moved by the visitors of the sanctuary who got to know the animals and eventually became vegan.
The pages filled me with hope. It reminded me that there are heroes amongst us, like Jenny Brown, who use their lives to alleviate the suffering of others. Organizations like the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary need donors to finance the expenses, yes, but it is us vegan advocates who need them more. When patience starts to run low and feelings of hopelessness high, we can look to them and see the difference they are making in the individual lives of rescued animals. When we feel the need to lash out in anger for the injustice of the world, we can choose instead to help our common cause. We can choose inspiration over desperation, hope over disappoinment, love over anger when we keep the stories of the lucky ones and the brave ones and the kind ones close to our hearts.
These are my chocolate essentials, things that I always have on my cupboard: The Superfood Grocer's coco sugar coated raw cacao nibs (great to munch on or as toppings for ice cream), chocolate tablea (for breakfast drinks), and Crumpy hazelnut spread (as a spread or great on its own).
100% vegan. Chocolate without cruelty!
Maria Cristina Falls
The thing that broke the raw vegan challenge: kiping.
The animals I met.
Yoga asana practice during sunrise
Starfish or duck footprints?
"Beauty and seduction are nature's tools for survival, because we will protect what we fall in love with. Their relationship is a love story that feeds the Earth." - Louis Schwartzberg.
The European Union has not only banned animal testing for cosmetics, it has also banned the import and sale of such products. This is good news for vegans, and even better news for the animals typically used for cosmetic testing. To know more about vivisection and animal testing, please read this article The Truth About Cats and Dogs and Vivisection I previously wrote for another site.
While the Philippines still does not have the same regulations, it does not mean that our home, bath and cleaning products cannot be cruelty-free.
Here is a peak into some of the cruelty-free products that I use. All are not tested on animals and vegan. The brands may have non-vegan variants, but the ones shown in pictures below are most certainly vegan.
From left to right: elf concealer, Urban Decay bronzer, Urban Decay body powder, Lush tea tree toner water, Lush sugar lip scrub, Lush deodorant powder, Lush facial moisturizer, The Body Shop makeup brushes, Ecotools makeup brushes.
From left to right: Nature's Gate toothpaste, Nature's Gate liquid soap (sold in Healthy Options).
Inside the bathroom cabinet, left to right: Nature's Gate mouthwash, Jason hand and body lotion, Crystal Essence mineral deodorant and body spray, Desert Essence tea tree dental floss, neti salt. (Most are sold in Healthy Options).
Left to right: Ritual shampoo, Ritual liquid soap.
Messy Bessy hand and body wash.
Some products that I use are not shown because for aesthetic reasons, I transfer them into uniform Muji containers. Products that I use and not shown are Desert Essence facial wash, Nature's Gate conditioner, Human Heart Nature shaving oil, Going Green pet shampoo (Scrappy uses this, not me), and Avalon Organics lotion. For cleaning products, I use Messy Bessy and Ritual. Both are local companies that do not test on animals, the variants that I use are vegan, and both companies accept empty containers of their products.
This list is by no means comprehensive. You can search online for a more complete list or download the Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free app. Remember to check two things: animal testing and animal ingredients/ products and by-products.
It takes only a few minutes of our time, but for the animals it means that their happiness, freedom, and lives are at stake.
Veganism is non-violence. Please choose non-violence. Why not start with your bathroom?
People (omnivores specifically) seem to think that eating 100% plant-based is challenging, that we (vegans) are often asked, "What if you're stuck on an island?" I think this question is meant to test the depth of our commitment. It is synonymous to "What if you're really really starving? Won't you eat meat/dairy/eggs?"
It is true that it is easier to find vegan options in some places (like New York where you can devour all the vegan donuts you want) and less so in others (like Cagayan de Oro where I have just been). Since the Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands, every time I travel locally, the question of being on an island becomes quite real, though it is a choice and I am far from stuck on it.
In Cagayan de Oro, there is one vegetarian restaurant called Green Haven. These are what I had to eat: vegan versions of liempo and mongolian lamb. It's so-so, and a bit expensive for the portion and quality, but one cannot say there is NOTHING to eat. Just check out the menu.
Often, resorts would also have a vegetable section in their restaurant menu where dishes like vegetable curry, chopsuey, pansit bihon etc. can be easily veganized. Of course, there are always generous selections of fruit shakes you can drink without cow's milk. I got vegetable curry and watermelon shake from Paras Resort in Camiguin.
There are local specialties you can try. Kiping is completely vegan. It is made of cassava and the syrup is latik which is made of coconut. One kiping costs P10. The picture shows Ali having her fifth kiping. (Ok, that is not true. How many she had will remain a secret).
On the road, at bus or ferry stations, you can get mongo hopia or pilipit. Just read the ingredients lists. It takes only a few minutes of your life. I got this coconut biscuit which I think is vegan based on the ingredients list and 0 cholesterol label. Although the name of the biscuit is butter coconut, there does not seem to have any cow-made butter in it. Dairy is usually clearly labelled for allergy purposes or for those who are lactose-intolerant. I'm not 100% sure though. If it isn't, let me know and I won't ever have it again.
Lastly, there will always be good, old, reliable fruits.
If you have internet access and you can read this blog, then I can guarantee that you will not starve if you turn vegan.
And if you still want to ask me what I would do if I were truly stuck on a desert island, just check out this podcast episode by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Please go vegan and spare 100 lives a year from senseless slaughter.
Peace and love to you!
When people say they are addicted to cheese, they are not exaggerating. Dairy-based cheeses contain trace amounts of morphine. Many lacto-vegetarians even say they could not go vegan because of...well...cheese.
Ahhh my weekly visit to The Vegetarian Kitchen proves that you can have your cheese and be vegan too! I ordered the vegan cream cheese enchilada and it was amazing!
Give it a try and rethink dairy! The Vegetarian Kitchen is located at 62B Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City. The most significant landmark is that it's across St. Mary's College. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays 11am to 9pm.
Looking for other cheese options? You can also visit the Ministry of Mushroom booth at the Legazpi Sunday market and give the breakfast burger with vegan feta cheese a shot! I get it with the extra feta cheese!
Feel like making your own? Here's a recipe from Veganomicon by Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero.
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces (approximately 4 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves fresh or roasted garlic
1 pound firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
In a food processor, blend together the cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic until a thick creamy paste forms. Add the crumbled tofu to the food processor, working in two or more batches if necessary, until the mixture is thick and well blended. Blend in the basil and salt.
Enjoy your cheese the vegan/morphine-free/cruelty-free way!
This is the truth about what we may unknowingly support when we consume dairy products like cheese.
Tutti Frutti's plain soy yogurt is vegan! Check it out. The branch that I go to is in Glorietta 4, but Mega Mall and SM Manila branches also serve this soy variant.
They have other soy flavors on their website, but it's possible the other soy flavors have casein (milk protein) which will make them non-vegan. Check to be sure!