Saturday, November 15, 2014

Your first vegan Thanksgiving

Me and Suga at one of our Thanksgiving meals (we have dinner outside when the weather is nice).

In the past few months I have connected with many folks who are newly vegan and who are entering into their first holiday season as vegan. I remember my first holidays being vegan and thought I would write some words of support.

Many folks don't like Thanksgiving. I totally LOVE Thanksgiving. I do not celebrate the day in the same way that culture has passed on to me. I celebrate it as a chance to enjoy a day off watching my husband delight in creating a feast for people we love, and celebrating friends of ours who are family.

For Thanksgiving, there are vegetarian and vegan groups all of the country that host some type of meal, whether it's a vegan potluck or a full-on vegan buffet that you pay for. Whether you are going to someones home for a meal or not, I think at least swinging by one of these events and getting to know people is great. You would get to eat amongst your own and may even meet folks who you want to be in community with.

Most folks serve turkey at Thanksgiving. As disgusting as that might seem to you, it is still very normal for many people. If you end up at a dinner where turkey is being served, don't rip your clothes off and scream "I'd rather go naked than partake in a meal that includes a tortured being!". Simply pass on the turkey and go for the vegan items. If there are no vegan items re-read the preceding paragraph.

Keeping this thought in mind, many family and friends will make sure there are vegan options for you when inviting you to the meal. I have always had plenty to eat at Thanksgiving dinner, even when my husband wasn't cooking it. If your host asks you to bring a vegan dish, go all out and bring something that will blow the minds of all of the other guests.

You can also plan to host Thanksgiving dinner at your home. Mike and I have been doing that for many years and we love it. And I am pretty sure our guests do too.

If you decided to become vegan for the animals, remember that you are their voice. Many of you will be at a Thanksgiving dinner where other guests have no clue what being vegan is, or means. This is your chance to be a loving, compassionate voice for those who have no voice.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

What an election!

I have always believed that all politics is local.

As I watched the returns on election night from the Jefferson County Dems party, I was once again reminded that the work I do to support local candidates pays off, while at the same time I have little control over whether or not a bigot is elected in Iowa.

To be fair, bigots were also elected in Colorado.

Election night was good locally as both my state rep and my state senator, two men I really like, were re-elected. My state senator was only ahead by some 400 votes, a count that went higher as votes were counted.

My former state senator, whose district we are no longer in due to boundary changes, won by 190 votes.

Talk about close. And about how each vote is vital. There were actually a bunch of close elections in Colorado.

The best part of election day is that we got the vote out in Jefferson County. Our favorite for State Board of Education, who represents our Congressional district, won 89,000+ votes. She was running against a "reformist", tea party candidate, like the three county school board members we have that won election last year. What this election showed me is that people voted. With all of the crap coming from our school board, people have gotten pissed off and have started voting. This is huge as our two amazing county school board members are up for re-election next year.

The point here is to vote. To get active in a local campaign. Get to know the candidates and choose one. If there isn't a good candidate, one that you can support, consider running yourself. I'm not talking about for US Senate. I am totally talking about city council, state rep, county positions and local school board.

If you are dismayed about what happened election night, do something.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy World Vegan Day

I had no idea today was World Vegan Day!

I started the day by making brunch for friends, including my favorite French toast recipe and sausage. Then later today Mike is making his famous enchiladas as we have a couple of friends coming over for dinner.

My favorite things about being vegan are that I contribute less to suffering on this earth and that I get to eat incredibly delicious food.

There's a lot to celebrate. And the more I read about World Vegan Day the more I learn. Like, this is even World Vegan Month!

So spread the word. Have a potluck. Or a small dinner party. Let friends and family know why you're vegan. Bring a vegan delight to the office.

We are becoming a huge, diverse community. Let's embrace it. And let's celebrate.

I wish you a very happy World Vegan Day!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Today I got pissed off

I have been vegan for 18 years. I have been out of the closet (openly gay) since 1990for 24 years.

So I am used to dealing with folks who are openly and verbally judgmental towards vegans/veganism and gays/sexual minorities.

Being used to it, many times I just shrug it off. Sometimes I engage in a kind way, especially when it comes to legal marriage or what the Bible says about married gay men living in the 21st century who want to have sex. Or when someone asks "do they really hurt the animals?"

And seldom does this negativity get to me.

Until the other day.

When talking about leaving some vegan food aside for a future day, someone I do not know said "well you definitely don't need to worry about me touching it!" They just said it, not directed to me, but as a public announcement.

Inside I became enraged. Like, WTF. Like, was that really necessary?

The rage stayed inside me for hours. It was tough to let go.

I did, finally.

I do not want to be angry, or carry anger. I don't understand why people judge or shame or ridicule. I don't like it. So the easiest thing for me is to not become those people.

After all, I can't change people. I can only control me.

I like being kind and loving. And I like being vegan and gay.

Thanks for reading.