Friday, July 5, 2013

Vegan BBQ??

Hey guys! I think I'm a little late posting on this topic, considering yesterday was Independence Day, aka, America's #1 barbecue day, LOL. But I noticed posts by lots of vegan people I follow who were kind of down or nervous about going to a bbq without the intention to eat any of the burgers, hot dogs, cheese, or mayonnaise-based salads that are so popular. What else is there to eat, really? Well, I have tips!! :D

My #1 tip would be to definitely throw your own bbq if you can. That way you can invite all of your friends who you know will not make a huge fuss over there being no animal products and who actually might enjoy a more healthful variety of DELICIOUS food! You can grill things like portabello mushrooms to use in place of burger patties, or just cook up some good old Boca or other vegan burger patties. Smart dogs and tofu pups are my favorite kinds of vegan hot dogs, but if you're tired of the same old dogs, spice them up with the awesome vegan sausages from Tofurkey or Field Roast brands. They're really tasty!! :) Veggie kebabs are a great option too as both a side or an entree and they are completely customizable for each person. 

If you're wanting some great sides, cook up some roasted corn on the grill and make sure to have lots of fresh, juicy watermelon available for everyone. I mean, what's 4th of July without watermelon?! SO GOOD! You can also make potato salad or macaroni salad easily by replacing regular mayonnaise with veganaise, usually found in the health food sections of several grocery stores, plus Whole Foods and Trader Joes, of course. Simple!

Okay, tip #2 is for those who are attending a bbq someone else is holding. Don't panic! Just go, be social, and know that some people may ask why there's no hamburger or hot dog on your plate, but it doesn't have to start world war three. First, if you can find watermelon slices or any other fruits, veggies, and/or a nice green salad to load on your plate, go for it! Tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole are usually served, plus corn on the cob is a classic bbq food, so just get it without butter and you've got yourself a nice looking plate! If there's only meat products being served, it's best to plan ahead and pack a little vegan meal in some tupperware to take with you just in case. Or, if the hosts are good friends of yours, kindly ask them before the bbq if you can bring some vegan patties or links to grill separately so you can just have your own without making it a big deal. There's lots of options! :)

The hardest part, I think, is not choosing what food to eat, it's the fear of dealing with some difficult questions people may throw at you for eating differently than they do. Just be your friendly self, answer respectfully, and as hard as it sounds, don't go into any deep discussions on animal cruelty or saving the planet. If the person is asking you about those things, tell them "Oh well that's actually a really great topic, but it's too much to explain right now. But I will definitely tell you another time soon. We'll talk!" Or something along those lines. It is important to get the word out about compassion, but in the mean time, eat your yummy vegan meal, and when people ask why just say "I'm just a healthy eater and I really like this food." If they persist, you can definitely tell them you're a vegan or on a plant-based diet. If they ask why about that, just say "I like to eat healthfully." Honestly, it's hard to argue against pursuit of good health. :)

Have a great time at your future bbqs and let me know your thoughts on this. Have you ever had experiences like this as a vegan? What did you do?

Love you guys, click back soon! <3


Hey there, Lunatics! I've been thinking a lot about my favorite movies lately and realized that a good handful of them seem to revolve around some vegan/vegetarian theme. Gee, wonder why that could be? LOL. Truly, I'd never noticed this before now, but I thought I would share some with you in case you're a veg-head like me, or just if you would like to check out some awesome movies! LOL

The first one, hands down, is "Year of the Dog." This movie made me bawl my eyes out, which I usually hate, but the message of this movie was a touching one, and a very important one at that. The main character goes vegan in the movie... and goes a little crazy too... Well just watch it, you'll see. LOL.

The next movie is, of course, "Babe." I've loved this since I was a kid and I think it's a huge influence on why later in life I decided to stop eating animals. In my book, this is the best movie about animals ever made. :)

Another great "barnyard exposure" type of movie is "Charlotte's Web." I actually grew up watching the 1973 musical cartoon version, not the live action movie. My version is SO much better! Especially for kids. It's a true celebration of all forms of life, be it people or animals alike. :)

Just as there are stories telling the trials and tribulations of pigs, there is one about chickens too. "Chicken Run!" I love the message of this movie, along with all the cheesiness too. Not to mention, the claymation is amazing!!

"Soylent Green" is a very thought-provoking film that I definitely have to include in this list. Yes, there is a scene where they eat beef, but once you see the end of the movie, you will see more of the "big picture," and how it can tie in to abstaining from meat. Several parts of this movie are a bit boring, but the most important parts REALLY stand out and are memorable without a doubt. Worth watching for sure. 

"Sweeney Todd" is one of the creepiest, BEST films I've ever seen! It is classified both as a musical and a horror flick. Veggie eaters like me especially find it scary that the movie revolves around the setting of a *gasp!* meat pie shop!! Not only that, but not all the meat in the pies comes from animals... if you get my drift... ;) While this seems very disturbing, it actually really made me reconsider what I ate after I first watched it (which was way back before my deciding to go vegetarian and later vegan.) I had a hard time looking at meat the same. Also, fun fact: the little boy in the film who plays Toby said in an interview that he's "not a big fan of meat," so when he had to bite into "meat" pies in the film, the pies were actually meatless and instead made of corn, mushrooms, and gray coloring... uh... yum?? :P LOL But so cool that he doesn't eat meat! Kind of just confirms how I feel about this movie, haha. It does have a lot of fake blood in it, but if you can handle watching those documentaries exposing the cruelty of factory farms, you can definitely handle this. No sweat. :)

And now, for one of my FAVORITE movies of ALL TIME; "Lagaan!" Now keep in mind, the theme of this movie doesn't really have much to do with veganism or animal welfare. Even so, the entire story starts with a ruler in India who is challenged by an English jerk to either let them double his people's taxes or eat some meat in front of him. The man refuses, saying he is a vegetarian and will not go against his morals. Also, there's a part in the movie where it looks like the main character Buvan is hunting a deer, but he's really trying to scare it away so the English hunters don't shoot it. LOVE it!! :D Plus, you should just watch this movie for its amazing music, choreography, touching love story, and pure AWESOMENESS. :)

Keep in mind, "Sweeney Todd" and "Soylent Green" are NOT appropriate for children because of violence and heavy topics. "Year of the Dog" is also much too dramatic and tear-jerking for kids, so I would avoid that too. But "Babe," "Charlotte's Web," and "Chicken Run" are PERFECT to watch with the whole family! "Lagaan" is completely family-appropriate too, but you need to be old enough to read the English subtitles as it is a Bollywood movie. :) So go ahead! Pop some vegan popcorn and start your next movie night! :D