I don't want to brag. But seriously. How great does that table look?
I had so much fun planning this thing! Planning, inviting....but mostly cooking. My idea of a perfect day is playing loud music, wearing pajamas and cooking, which is exactly how I got to spend the day of my soiree. I got up at 6am to go to the markets (only the finest, organic ingredients for my nearest and dearest!) I wandered the delightful Northey Street Organic markets near my house, chatted to some lovely people, grabbed a delicous bag of raw dates to munch on as I shopped, found lovely vegetables, fresh bread and other goodies; then went home and got to it.
I made Banana Bread, cupcakes, cookies, burgers and massive sharing plates! Not a bad effort. The most important thing for this day was that I wanted it to not be focused on being "Vegan", but instead just having lots of delicious food, that poeple wouldn't even necissarily think of as being vegan, just as being yummy. I have to say I think that was a success. I had lots of "is this really vegan?". Yay!
Why have a soiree? Well....I am going overseas. It's true. In a mere twelve days, I am leaving Australia indefinitely to go on massive world adventure to discover myself and pursue my dream career in the creative field.
Pretty exciting stuff.
I leave Australia for Auckland (New Zealand), then to Vancouver for one month, then Los Angeles, then New York (for three months), then Iceland and finally: the UK. The UK being my end destination where I will end my travels and start a new life. I cannot explain how excited I am for this trip. I am basically grabbing life by the balls and doing something I've always dreamed of, but put off because it just didn't seem possible. Well it is. I have spent the last 6 months working three jobs to save up enough money to travel comfortably, I've booked the tickets, packed my case and now all I have to do is actually go.
I'm excited about travelling Vegan. I have a feeling I'll quickly discover that Australia is one of the hardest countries to be a vegan in. Vancouver, LA and New York I know will have a lot of vegan-friendly areas and resturants. I mean for gods sake: half the celebrities in LA are going Vegan these days, Ellen even has her own restaurant opening up, so I'm sure in LA I won't feel like such an outcast. Iceland and New Zealand will be interesting! However I remember I was slightly nervous about going to Fiji and i never struggled to find delicious food. Yay.
At my soiree I had a few interesting Vegan discussions: including one with this lovely friend of mine who is a very eager-to-please kind of girl that I haven't seen in a while. She is absolutely delightful and was asking me all sorts of questions about being Vegan: if it was easy, what I have for dinners etc. I am so happy to chat about this with everyone and anyone, but I also have learnt to spot the warning signs. For example: not once did we get into animals. She didn't ask about the actual reasons WHY I went vegan, just about the vegan lifestyle. Why is this a warning sign? Because if she starts thinking: "oh yeah, sounds cool...yeah I could totally be a vegan" but doesn't have a real, clear resolve about the cause is she is fighting for: IT WILL NOT LAST. I promise. The moment she walks into an supermarket and buys a block of chocolate because it's "chocolate" and not "evil dairy", she is supporting the dairy industry and not even thinking about it. I am happy with anyone wanting to make changes and being curious about the lifestyle, but please just insure you are doing it for the right reasons, otherwise any and all dairy will tempt you. An easy life will tempt you. You won't read ingredients lists. But worst of all: if you talk about Veganism with people and you are not a serious vegan....you make us all look bad. Don't make vegans look uneducated or wishy-washy. That won't help this very, very serious movement in any way at all. The vegan movement is: a movement. It is a powerful idea and philosophy whose time has come in this fucked up world: and all our comrades need to be shining examples of why it IS important. We need to be taken seriously. It's too easy to laugh at Vegans as being anaemic, hippies who cry over ants being trodden on. No. We are serious, humane and logical THINKERS, who are taking action for the world of tomorrow and aware of the severity of this hole humanity has to get out of. When people go Vegan they should be aware of this......in my opinion.
I hope with my soiree I achieved showing a bunch of happy, lovely, intelligent meat-eaters, that being Vegan is easy and delicious. You can eat yummy food, feel full and not be deprieved of anything. I got a lot of people asking me for recipes! Success. And if you find yourself talking to someone about going vegan: be approachable, light and fun, but I think there is no harm in making sure that they are doing it for the right reasons. We don't need any more people out there trying and failing. When people fail at going Vegetarian or Vegan, it is a small travasty. That's one more person out there who can be telling others that it's "wrong" or "hard" or "unhealthy" to eat this way, which is simply not true. See my amazing pictures! None of this food was hard to make! Be lovely, be friendly, be serious and be delicious! We are all in this together :)
Very exciting article I read this morning on the website: Peaceful Planet. Most Vegans have heard of Gary Yourovsky, for a very good reason, and this new project of his is something to be so excited about:
A campaign in Israel to circulate Gary Yourofsky’s inspiring YouTube veganism lecture amongst the Israeli public, resulted in Israel’s most watched TV network featuring Gary in a 10-minute extensive news item about veganism on Israel’s prime-time TV Channel 2 News.
The campaign was a joint project of the three prominent Israeli Animal Rights and vegan lifestyle organizations Anonymous for Animal Rights, Shevi – Animal Liberation Israel and Yoman Hayati (Animal Log). The ‘alliance’ have set up a website dedicted to Gary Yourofsky’s lecture, www.gary-tv.com, and the campaign has been a huge success in Israel.
Quite possibly the best vegan educator on the planet, Gary states “Israel media is reporting that my speech is now the most viewed EVER in the history of Israel. Out of 8 million people, there are nearly 400,000 YouTube hits for the Hebrew version of the speech. I am closing in on 3 million YouTube hits overall! I’m going make Israel the most vegan-friendly nation on this planet. Just wait and see.”
Gary has been invited to speak in more than 20 countries, but this is the first time that he’s agreed to travel abroad and will be visiting Israel first in September of this year for several lectures at high schools, colleges and public venues and then on to Italy and Slovenia in October.
You can view the original English version of Gary Yourofsky’s lecture here:
Best Speech You Will Ever Hear
Sometimes I do still get scared. Not of scary monsters or what's hiding under my bed. Not of terrorists or mass-murderers. I get scared of people. Just every-day people ..... who happen to challenge my beliefs. There I said it. It sounds childish and insecure; but it's true. When someone comes along and challenges what I believe to be true, it scares me. Not because I worry that I'm wrong, or worry that maybe I will drop dead of a protein deficiency one day (pffft) but I get scared because they are going around the planet, within their own life and saying things that I do not believe is accurate or honest.
When someone is on the cusp of making a big change (going Vegan is a biggie) it's natural to have reservations and be concerned about changing your entire diet. Mainly because we live in a world that is dominated by fraud, money and scams. Can anyone say: THE DAIRY INDUSTRY. A multi-billion dollar industry, supported and propped up on a LIE. The lie being: it's normal and healthy to drink the pus of a cow. Ridiculous. Anyway: I digress....because we live in this world of MONEY MONEY MONEY, it's easy to be surrounded by people who will not understand Veganism. In fact it is odd to meet someone who doesn't challenge you in some way. So, when someone says: "I tried to be a vegetarian and got really sick", that is enough to make some people be concerned about the health "risks" and think it may not be a great idea after all. They may then do some googling and find some of the hundreds of people out there who are making money off "proving" that Vegetarianism is a myth that doens't work.
Last night I came across one of these videos. I won't link to it because I don't want them to have any more views than what is necissary. But ultimately: it was an interview with a woman who was Vegan for 8 years, seemed very passionate about the cause and eventually began suffering all sorts of bazaar symptoms (I'm sorry to say I did laugh out loud a few times.....shame face). These symptoms included: never feeling satisfied after eating, loosing heaps of weight, waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweats and....wait for it....YELLOW HANDS! Oh god yellow hands! The interviewer says "haha, too much carrot juice?" and she laughs and then AGREES THAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE PROBLEM. God. Anyway, this was all very awful for her until she decided, oh so reluctantly, to re-introduce meat into her diet and then POOF! She was miraculously cured of all her ailments and now is healthy and happy and thriving. Thank god for that.
Now: let me do a good ol' disclaimer right away and say I do not for a moment get on my soap box and say that I guarantee Veganism will work for every single human being on the planet, of course not! See: Can Vegan Work for Anyone? I do however take HUGE issue with people who will knowingly spread these stories on the internet, knowing that they have POWER to CHANGE peoples minds about doing something wholly good and positive. This woman probably did have all these problems blah blah, I ain't no dietitian and I don't know what she was doing wrong. My first instinct would be that she probably just wasn't eating ENOUGH. It's sad, but females especially seem to be afraid of eating a lot of food. They feel greedy or something, I don't know. Luckily I do not suffer from this problem and manage to eat enough to fill a house. I also think I manage to keep an okay figure. Probably because I"m not eating shit. All my Vegan/Vegetarian friends are very healthy and happy.
I don't know what the secret is: I don't know why some people thrive on this diet and others fail, but I know that what is IMPERATIVE is just general happiness and not over-thinking things too much. Back when I was a poor uni student, I lived on sausages, white bread and barbecue sauce. No exaggeration. That was my diet. Now, knowing what I do about food; I cannot imagine what kind of epic battles were happening inside my body. I don't know how I got B12 or Vitamin A, C, D or anything else for that matter! I would have been deficient in a lot of things. But you know what? I wasn't sitting around all day analysing my food and diet like a lot of these "health professionals" on YouTube seem to. I was just living my life, focusing on my degree, going out with my friends...and you know what? I was happy! I felt fine. I was a bit chubby and sluggish, but totally fine. I didn't over-think my diet at all.
I went Vegan purely because I couldn't handle the ethics of eating animals. Simple. "Humane slaughter" made me laugh. Organic made me nervous. Free range made me angry. So, ultimately: let's just not eat it. Easy.
My diet now (accidentally) has become one that a few years ago I would have scoffed at and told you to feed a rabbit with. Actually, to be honest I probably would have been in awe of myself. Har har.
So, my positive diet changes were not for health, they were for necissity. And now, of course I feel all the amazing benefits of more energy, larger smug cloud...etc....but I think the key to my success is that I don't over analyse anything. If I ever feel sick, tired or lathargic I go straight to: How much water have I drunk today? Then if the answer is "plenty" I move to: "how much sleep did I get last night?" then if that answer is good, I'll go to: well I did have a coffee and bite of toast for breakfast this morning....that's probably why I feel a bit sluggish. I then eat a banana, drink a glass of water and a few hours later I feel peppy and brilliant again.
It's not rocket science.
I think making it rocket science is the reason why people fail at this. If I could reach everyone in the world: all i would want to say is this: don't be scared. Don't worry about your diet. Don't worry about your protein. Worrying about them is exactly what will be your downfall. Use your brain, use your logic, eat your fruits and veggies and you will not have a problem! If you think eating a massive Portabello mushroom burger on wholemeal bread with gigantic salads and sweet potato chips will make you sick: you're a moron. It's funny how people don't get worried about where they're getting their nutrients until they remove meat and dairy. Probably the biggest problems in most diets. It's hilarious. Like I said before: I have no idea where my nutrition was before! Nowhere! But the moment I decided to cut out meat, all of a sudden I panicked about Iron and Protein. Luckily...research helped me. I'm afraid it may hinder others.
Emphasise foods that make you feel good. Eat when you feel hungry. Stop when you're full. Don't be afraid of QUANTITY. But....do be afraid of these people on the internet and around you who will tell you lies. I don't want to sugarcoat this because it's very serious. People out there will lie. They wlll say things to make themselves feel better and make their own failure become a "success survival story" or some crap. And you know what? I get it. I totally do. I never like failing. I'll do anything to avoid failure or admitting defeat.
As DurianRider would say (a great YouTube personality, very passionate about cutting through the lies and myths of meat eating) follow the money! Follow the money, the people making money and who have something to gain from their stories. You know who makes the most money? The meat and dairy industries.....and they make that money having people buying meat and dairy.
The other thing to remember is that there is a difference between loosing weight, trying to be thin and lean and just being a vibrant, healthy person. My gut instinct tells me that the girl in this video probably wanted to be a slim girl and was afraid of eating too much fruit and starchy vegetables. Just my instict. I can't be sure. Anyone who is afraid of potato, has other problems.
When someone tells you that they got sick being a vegetarian: link them to this study:
If you want good "cut through the shit talk" here's Durian. Watch his videos! They're fun. He is a Raw Fruitarian, which I find super interesting anyway. Not sure if I'll ever take it on, but he has given me food for thought. And an addiction to fresh dates!
You know the truth! Do what works for you and BE HAPPY!
Oh...and be vegan...;)
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