If Done Correctly…



*This entire post is dripping with sarcasm. Please be advised.*

New article called:

Breast milk in, cow’s milk out: Vegan diet can be healthy for children

Saskatchewan pediatrician says vegan diet not a concern if done correctly.


Before we delve into the article, let’s just look at the words chosen shall we?

“Vegan diet CAN be healthy”… meaning the standard American (Canadian) diet is the most healthy even with all the cancer, heart disease, diabetes, the list goes on and on…but diet isn’t the cause of that…no it’s genetics…

Next: “if done correctly”…isn’t that true for all diets whether they be short-term or a lifestyle? I mean if you’re going to eat only processed junk food that’s obviously not correct. So thanks for that insight.


Now for my comments on the article:

First off, why is this even an article? Choosing to go against the social norm now requires news coverage? Well then my whole life should be reported on! (I kid I kid!) If anything it does get out the word out about vegan diets.

“Millham’s son Xavier, who is now 21 months old, has never drunk cow’s milk nor eaten meat. He hasn’t had a bowl of yogurt or a spoonful of ice cream.”

Oh that poor deprived child! There are vegan replacements for all of these things and in my opinion they are better than the ‘original’ (Shout out to Coconut Bliss ice cream!)

“A pediatrician agrees it can be a healthy way to eat, even for a growing child, as long as parents are able to provide all the child’s nutritional needs.”

Sure because Froot Loops and Pop Tarts provide nutrition for kids…

She [the mom] said she isn’t worried that he doesn’t drink cow’s milk, despite a recent study saying it makes children taller. Last time she took her son to the doctor, Millham said, Xavier was in the 84th percentile for height and weight.

Who funded this study? The failing dairy industry?

“My doctor’s known that I’ve been vegan the whole time I’ve been vegan. She had no concerns,” Millham said. “It’s really common for pregnant women to be anemic. Everyone always assumed that, ‘Well, Alyx will be anemic because she’s vegan,’ but I wasn’t and my doctor was shocked that my numbers were so good.”

I got that too throughout pregnancy from people who were suddenly nutrition experts. “Are you getting enough protein?” was mostly what I got. I don’t understand why a doctor (or anyone) should be shocked because her iron level were so good. There is tons of iron in greens which (hopefully) is a big part of a vegan diet (though we eat tons of other foods #notjustsalad). And besides, cow’s milk has iron and vitamins added back into it which are synthetic and there is some skepticism about if the body absorbs them in the same fashion as naturally occurring vitamins. But I’m sure the doctor already knew that with their advanced nutrition degree. Oh wait….

Plant protein sources aren’t as easily digestible as meat, according to Kurji, so more has to be eaten to reach the required amounts.

What?! Where is the source on this? Oh, it came from a doctor with one semester of nutrition classes, oh yeah. I have never heard this in my life. Meat is one of the hardest things for your body to digest. How else do you explain feeling light after eating a vegan meal versus having to take a nap after meat (see Thanksgiving)?

Those who eat a common Western diet tend to get iron, zinc, calcium, omega 3 and B12 through animal sources, but it is possible to get all nutrients needed through fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts and grains.

No shit Sherlock.

For those who say feeding children a vegan diet is too extreme, Millham said it’s not different than anything else.

“I think everybody forces their way of life on their family. That’s what parents do, they parent,” she said. “As long as a person’s not hurting other people — and vegans clearly are not — you’re OK.”

Why do non-vegans think veganism is extreme for their kids? Seriously. Christians/Jewish/Buddhists who raise their kids in a Christians/Jewish/Buddhists household aren’t seen as extreme. People who love reading who give their kids tons of books aren’t seen as extreme. People who love biking who take their kids along aren’t seen as extreme. So why is it that it’s not extreme to eat animal flesh and secretions? …

Although one day Xavier might choose to get off the vegan bandwagon, Millham said she isn’t too worried. In the future when she sends him off to birthday parties, she said she’ll be ready with vegan options for him to take.

Oh that’s right…because our vegan kids are deprived of good-tasting food. I forgot that all we eat is grass, twigs, and berries.

I’ve been asked this question too: “What happens if BB eats pizza at a friend’s house?” To which I ask you a question: what happens if your kids watch a movie at a friends house that you don’t think is appropriate? At a certain time we have to let our kids make their own decisions and hope we raised them to make good choices. Like any good parent ever. (See my Raising a Vegan Baby post for more details).



hashtaggovegan_animal uses_facebook_vegan

A family member posted the photo shown at the beginning of this blog on Facebook.  Alarm bells went off in my head “THIS IS SO WRONG!!” This is nothing new.  Posts happen all the time without people looking into them and just assuming that they’re true, especially from this person.

I said to myself, Don’t engage…just scroll past…don’t engage...Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to myself.  I engaged.

I was the pushy, sarcastic vegan (I’m naturally sarcastic so that’s nothing I can help). I posted:  “Yeah you’re right. we shouldn’t try to find vegan alternatives to all those things (which exist) or at the very least try to minimize our contribution to animal suffering and do what’s best for our health.”

Then he claimed he was not against veganism in general but that organic farmers still use animal products to fertilize, etc.

My husband then intervened and posted a link to http://veganorganic.net/ which is a website that aims “to research and promote vegan organic (also known as stockfree organic) methods of agriculture and horticulture throughout the world so that green, clean and cruelty-free food becomes widely available.”

Which got no response.  What did get posted were bible verses about how God put animals on this earth for us….I’m not going to try to argue with someone’s religion (and I’m sure they knew that).  And frankly at that point I was done arguing anyway. (I posted a few memes but wasn’t going to get into it more).

The point is, that there are always people who will disagree with you and tell you why you’re wrong, from both sides no matter what you are arguing-politics, health, religion, movies, etc.  Every one of us slips up and wants to tell someone else why they’re wrong. I did this time and EVERYTHING was telling me to ignore it.  Next time I’ll probably ignore it but I do believe that we should stand up for what we believe in but also know when to stop.  Maybe next time I’ll be less snarky (which is pretty hard) and just post a fact about finding vegan alternatives and let others come to their own conclusion.  If someone is not ready for new information there is nothing you can do to change their minds about it.  It’s just going to make them stick their heels in and say “bacon” to everything you say.  We have to be accepting of other’s viewpoints just as we would want them to be accepting of ours. Yes, I totally agree that we shouldn’t be the ones called ‘zealots’ because we want to end animal suffering but that’s where all change started. With a group of zealots wanting to make a difference.

A Chapter Closes

change_qoute_life_go vegan_hashtaggovegan_#govegan

I recently had a big change in my life. Baby Boy (BB) came and changed everything.  I was working for a high-powered company for a few years when I found out I was pregnant. Everything went great with work and maternity leave. I decided I would take the full 12 weeks allowed off and come back full-time.  Well as I’ve heard hundreds of times but didn’t believe, babies change everything.  There was one day around BB’s six-week mark when he was crying in his crib after a nap.  I went to go pick him up and he immediately stopped crying. I looked at his face and it hit me – I didn’t want anyone else to be comforting him when he was upset. I wanted to be the one.  So I made the incredibly difficult decision to leave my job and even more, my friends.  Though I miss my friends terribly, I have not regretted my decision for a second.

After leaving, I got a chance to reflect on my position and I realized that I wasn’t happy with what I was doing; it went against all my morals and the way I live my life. I had ignored all of that, pushed it out of my mind so I could do my job.  My job was to help win work for our company by impressing other companies by showing them our past work.  Most of these companies we were trying to impress were the lowest of the low in my opinion.  Companies that create GMOs; companies that create pesticides that pollute and kill our environment, food, and bodies;  companies that create and distribute completely unnecessary pharmaceuticals and vaccines; and companies that test on animals.  Seriously, we had information (meaning our past work in our portfolio) on companies who had facilities that housed mice, rats, fish, dogs, horses, pigs, cows, chickens, and primates (big and small) for testing whatever the hell they were testing.

I know…it’s horrible.  I did the same thing as people who say they love animals while they eat their steak.  I feel sick about it.  It’s amazing how easy it is for our brains to ignore something that is right in front of you so you can keep doing what you’re doing.

And even so…looking back, I feel like I was meant to have that job.  I feel like I was meant to meet the people I did.  I was meant to go through this dissasociation. Possibly to understand others better.  Possibly to re-inforce my beliefs and remember how I want to live my life.


Gorilla Dies of Heart Disease

A 32-year-old gorilla at the Cleveland zoo has died from heart disease.  He and the other gorilla at the zoo were diagnosed with heart conditions since 2008.

“Veterinarians had said earlier that little information exists on the heart health of the great apes and possible treatments, and the zoo largely relied on human medical information, according to The Plain Dealer, a Cleveland newspaper.”

This seems like just a normal article.  I bet most people will not even give this article a second thought but of course it made me stop in my tracks – shocking, I know but that’s why you’re here! To read my rants!

Gorillas don’t get heart disease.  Gorillas eat only leafy green plants and a bit of fruit. That diet does not produce heart disease.

The zoo said “their health improved after they were both given medication used to treat high blood pressure in humans, placed on high-fiber diets and made to forage for food scattered in their enclosure”.  Shocking (she said sarcastically). When the gorillas were allowed to actually act like and eat like they do in the wild, their health improved. Again, shocking…

How often do we hear of pets dying from cancer or kidney failure? Animals are not supposed to get these human illnesses. You will never find an animal in the wild, eating a wild diet that dies from cancer (and don’t give me the ‘they’ll die from predators first’ argument). They get these human illnesses from eating like humans and eating the food that they’re not meant to.

And of course they had to give extra money to the pharmaceutical company while they were at it. Most zoo animals are already on antidepressants. We take animals out of their natural habitat, away from everything the know, put them in a cement enclosure with painted walls to make it look like the place they left (actually it’s really only for the visitors. The animals are not that stupid), and then place a bucket of food in front of them that they are not meant to eat, well duh they’re going to be depressed.

We’ve got to stop acting as if more research about these diseases and animals is necessary. We know the cause, so stop contributing to it. *Mic Drop*

Link to the original article


Weeds Are Just a Social Construct



Remember as a kid you’d go out and pick the biggest bouquet of dandelions your little hand could hold.  Then you’d run as fast as you can to give them to your mom, so proud of yourself for finding this gift.

Then as you get older you learn that dandelions are considered ‘weeds’ and your heart sinks realizing that the special gift you picked with pride wasn’t as special as you thought.

I remember that.  I felt so stupid when I learned the ‘truth’ about dandelions. My son isn’t quite old enough to do that yet but just thinking about him running up to me with a fist-full of dandelions makes my heart smile, imagining the pride on his face.

I never want that pride to be erased from his face just because of societal ‘norms’.

Weeds are a social construct. It’s even in the definition:


“A plant that is not valued” or “one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants”. Who deems them less desirable? Honestly, if you think about it, they’re yellow flowering plants. How is it different than purple flowering plants (crocuses) or the white flowering plants (daisies)? They’re all flowering plants. They all grow in yards, parks, and brush.

Dandelions are the bees and butterflies first food.  Spraying lawns and parks to get rid of them takes away this necessary food item and they’re already struggling (I Speak For the Bees).  All in the name of a perfectly manicured lawn.

Maybe instead of teaching our kids to see these as weeds, we can teach them to see the beauty in them; teach them to see the usefulness in otherwise ‘useless’ things; teach them that something that may not be important to could be a life-line for another.

I certainly don’t want to be the one to wipe that pride off my son’s face.  I’ll make sure he knows just how important and special those flowers are.


organic cotton field pact organic

Organic Cotton Field (taken from Pact Organic’s Facebook page)

*Update: I couldn’t have planned it any better to have this post be during Earth Week!*

We all know about the benefit of organic food over conventional, both for our health and the environment, but what about where our textiles come from? I know that up until recently I didn’t give much thought to it. If I saw a cute sweater at a national chain store, I’d get it without thinking about anything other than the cost and how it looked.

Since I just had a baby, I needed to get some new clothes, however (I don’t remember specifically, maybe it was while writing I Speak for the Bees) I realized that while I purchase organic food for our family, I didn’t even think about my clothes.

Apparently, “about 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticide goes to cotton crops. In 2003, that amounted to about 55 million pounds of pesticides being sprayed on 12.8 million acres of cotton, according to the Organic Trade Association. Some of these chemicals are considered to be the most toxic chemicals in the world. The health risks of pesticide exposure include birth defects, reproductive disorders and weaker immune systems.

‘In many countries, cotton is still hand-picked; therefore anyone working in those fields is exposed to extreme amounts of toxic chemicals. The chemicals can also affect others in the community once they have seeped into the water supply”. (Why Organic Cotton is Better)

“In addition, the World Bank estimates that around 20% of industrial water pollution in the world comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles.” (wearpact.com/about)

I realized that I have been supporting an industry that I openly despise and talk out about.  I have been a hypocrite and that’s not ok.  For my new post-baby clothes I decided I wanted to be a part of the solution, not the problem.  Vote with my dollar.

Pact Organic is where I decided to get my post-baby clothes for my post-baby body. Their prices are comparable to the large national clothing chains, but they’re better quality, softer, cleaner, greener, and will last longer. I ordered a few shirts and some underwear and SO impressed when they arrived 1. early,  2. they were so soft and the color didn’t run (no presoaking needed!), and 3. FREE SOCKS!.  I plan on making another order once they put up their new baby stuff!  The one issue I have is that they don’t have a whole lot for selection, but I have faith that the more orders they get, the more products they’ll have.

They’re not the only company that’s doing this either. Burt’s Bees has a great line of organic baby clothes which can even be found at Target and Kohl’s.  And Target and Pottery Barn have organic sheets and towels.

There is a gross misconception that organic equals expensive and therefore is only available to they wealthiest among us. I’m here to tell you that that could NOT be farther from the truth. For a set of queen sheets the organic and conventional are both $45.99 regular priced.  The Burt’s Bees stuff is mostly under $20 and many items are multiple packs. A quick search an Amazon shows that there’s a ton of options. It’s not hard to find and there are definitely affordable options out there.


I Speak For The Bees Part II

i speak for the bees_#govegan_#bringbackthebees_GMO_honeybees_organic

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Cheerios bogus attempts to bring back the bees that they’re contributing to killing by their daily business practices. (If you haven’t read it, you can find it here).  I mentioned the use of glyphosate to ‘dry out the crops’ up to two weeks before their original harvest date.

I came across and article on Huffington Post titled Moms Exposed to Monsanto Weed Killer Means Bad Outcomes For Babies.  Intrigued I read the article and guess what weed killer they’re talking about…yep glyphosate.  The article says that 91% of the of the pregnant women studied had glyphosate in their urine.  It also “found that higher glyphosate levels in women correlated with significantly shorter pregnancies and with lower adjusted birth weights.”

“Low birth weights and shortened gestation are seen as risk factors for many health and/or neurodevelopmental problems over the course of an individual’s life. Low birth weight babies are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and to be obese, research shows.”

The article goes on to say that glyphosate “has become the subject of hot debate over the last few years because of research that links the herbicide to types of cancer and other health ailments. Monsanto is being sued by hundreds of people who claim they or their loved ones developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of exposure to glyphosate-based Roundup.”

If you want to shoot down the research because of the study size then you’re not getting it.  There were only 69 women in this study and for studies to actually be taken seriously in main stream science there should be a minimum of 1500 subjects. What this study says is that 63 of the 69 women had glyphosate in their urine. This is an alarming number. This kind of a number means there should be another study with more subjects.

And sure, correlation does not equal causation (something that was drilled into our brains during every psychology class I’ve ever taken). What this really means is MORE RESEARCH. If a study like this came out with a large number of subjects (assuming the don’t sweep it under the rug which is what these companies are good at since it’s all about profit), it could be hugely beneficial to the non-GMO movement.

Hello! There are reasons why other countries are banning this stuff! Wake-up people! (Not you wonderful readers! You already have!) Society needs to wake the FUDGE up!

fudge_christmas story_vegan


I Speak for the Bees


Last week, floating around the internet, Cheerios created a new marketing campaign to help with their public image: #BringBacktheBees.  You enter your information on their website and they send you a pack of 500 wildflower seeds for you to plant to help the honey bee population. Sounds like a great idea right?


According to the Cheerios website, 1 in 3 bites of food we eat is made possible by bees and 70 of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees. That’s a lot of food for a lot of people.

Still sounds great on Cheerios right?

Let’s first take a look at the ingredients of plain old Cheerios:


Whole grain oats, corn starch, sugar, salt, tripotassium phosphate, and vitamin E.

Now, visiting Whatsonmyfood.org lets look at what’s on those first two ingredients (that’s all we’re going to focus on in this post).




Because Cheerios are conventionally grown that means pesticides and herbicides are used during the growing of these ingredients.  Of the pesticides used on oats, three of them are known bee toxins, two high and one moderate. Ten of corn’s pesticides are known bee toxins – four high, three moderate, three low.

That means two ingredients of one product contain a combined 13 known bee toxins.  (I am ignoring the sugar because I don’t know if it’s regular white sugar or sugar beets, which is also listed as sugar).

These charts don’t talk about glyphosate which is a ‘Roundup herbicide’ that farmers spray on ‘crops such as wheat, oats, edible beans and other crops right before harvest’.  This is a probable carcinogen and ‘A growing body of research is documenting health concerns of glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor and that it kills beneficial gut bacteria, damages the DNA in human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells and is linked to birth defects and reproductive problems in laboratory animals.’ (You can read all about glyphosate in this great article: Why Is Glyphosate Sprayed on Crops Right Before Harvest?)

Supposedly, the reason they do this is to dry out the crops up to two weeks before original harvest date because of issues with moisture in certain areas where these crops are grown.

If these are possible side effects for humans, what about bees that, remember, Cheerios said ’70 of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees’.  According to multiple studies sited in the article How Monsanto’s GMOs and glyphosate are killing off honeybees and leading to global ecological collapsehoneybees who have been exposed to glyphosate have a harder time navigating back to their hive, lost their ability to eat, suffered from a decreased ability to learn, sense of smell, and memories. “Disturbingly, the study also found that bees transport glyphosate back to the hive, thereby poisoning even non-foraging bees.”

It’s your practices, and the practices of your competitors and the creators of the pesticides/herbicides/GMOs, that caused this problem in the first place.

So Cheerios, while I thank you for not using genetically modified ingredients (apparently just in the ‘original’ flavor), providing people with 1.5 billion wildflower seeds (most likely GMO) is literally the least you could do to help the bees.

*If you want to do your part to help the bees and countless others, please purchase organic and non-GMO as often as you can. And maybe get your own wildflower seeds*

Please share this post to help get the word out!

S toave

Traveling While Vegan


One of the biggest issues about being vegan/plant-based is what to do while traveling. With the cost of airline tickets now it’s not cost-effective to pack and check a suitcase full of food. Plus what happens if your luggage is lost? Then you have no food for your trip and you’ll starve! My husband and I planned our first big trip flying out of state where we wouldn’t be going for a wedding, or staying with someone we knew, or meeting up with anyone when we got there.  It was just us – our honeymoon years after our wedding.

We usually check a bag, yes even though it costs like $50 one way, so we can bring a few of our food staples with and because what we use for personal hygiene products can’t be found in travel size.

So after those staples like my favorite peanut butter and my husband’s coconut cream, we have to figure out what else to eat.

1. Find a place to stay that has a refrigerator. 

We eat a lot of lettuce so we always need to find a place with a fridge. Sometimes we get lucky and the fridge is a nice dorm sized one but other times the fridge is a small little box which makes it more difficult, but at least we have one!  And we never have to worry about mini bars since we don’t stay in places that fancy.


Research, research, research. It’s not something out of the norm for a vegan so we’re old pros at that already.

2a. Grocery Stores

The first thing we researched was grocery stores in the area and what they carry. Thankfully there are Whole Foods everywhere and we found a few near the places we were staying so we could get all that lettuce to fill our tiny fridge.

2b. Research Eating Establishments

It seems that when going on vacation, the majority of people expect to eat all of their meals, or most, at restaurants. That can be difficult for plant-based eaters because that pretty much means having salads or fruit for all those meals (plant-based/vegan=salad right?). Let’s be honest here, I can have salads and fruit in my hotel room and for way less money that at a restaurant.  Also I would like something more substantial as my dinner especially with all our fun activities!

If you have people who have been where you’re going, ask them for restaurant recommendations. Even if they’re not vegans! That way you’ll know of a good restaurant and can start your search there for vegan options.

If you don’t have any resources just Google ‘vegan restaurants’ and hopefully you’ll have some near you. If it’s a big city you’re traveling to you should have no issues finding at least one.

3. Snacks!

Make sure you get snacks to hold you over until you find an eating establishment (or if you’re only having salads as meals). You’ve got to keep your energy up for more activities!

4. Don’t Let Yourself Get Stressed Out

Remember that vacation plans should be fun so don’t forget to have fun activities lined up! And some people chose to ‘cheat’ while on vacation – only you can make the decision about what is right for you.

I know it seems like our whole world revolves around food, but it doesn’t. Food is great and it’s something to enjoy but you don’t have to have everything revolve around it.
For our vacation we were trying to save as much money as possible (that’s an oxymoron right? Vacation and saving money). We did our research and found one fully vegan restaurant in the city we were staying planned which meals we wanted to eat there and which we wanted to have at our hotel with the groceries we bought. We ended up eating out more times than we planned but hey, it’s a vacation right?!

We also travel to a small town yearly to see family and there are definitely no vegan restaurants or menu options without substitutions/removals (i.e chicken, cheese, and egg on salad), let alone people who really know what ‘vegan’ means.  So we’re very lucky it’s within driving distance so we can bring all of our stuff with and only have to deal with all the comments (‘what’s that?’, ‘how do you make vegan cheese?’, ‘huh interesting’, ‘you know cows have to be milked right?’).

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies

It’s that time of year again…yep…GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!

There was some exciting news announced this year….certain Girl Scout Cookies are vegan!  One of which is their highly popular Thin Mints!  I know this makes a lot of people really excited.

I decided to research one day to see if they had actually made these changes and I found that along with Thin Mints, Thanks-a-Lot, and Lemonades are also vegan!  Unfortunately, may favorite Peanut Butter Patty Tagalongs were not (bummer).

Fast forward a few weeks (meaning now) and there was an order form at work for Girl Scout Cookies and to what did my eyes see?


What’s that?  I can’t quite see…

close up

(Sorry for the poor quality)

I did a double take…Tagalong’s are vegan?  But surely I would have found that on their website.  Something smelled a little fishy to me.  So I ran back to my computer and went directly to http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/meet_the_cookies.asp  and what did I see when I got there?


Taken directly from the GS website

What?! No whey…whey.  Whey is derived from milk.  I decided that I was going to pursue this farther and I reached out to Girl Scouts and politely let them know that Tagalongs were listed as vegan, however there was whey in their ingredients.   Was there some new fangled vegetable form of whey that I was not familiar with? (probably not).

I actually received a response, and fairly quickly I might add.  Here is their response:

Thanks for contacting us. Please be advised that you have wrong information about our Tagalongs cookies being vegan. If you like to have more information about our cookies varieties, please contact your local girl scout council as follows:

Girl Scouts of Wisconsin – Badgerland Council, Inc.
Madison, WI 53713-3267
(608) 276-8500
(800) 236-2710 – Local Toll Free Phone
E-mail: info@gsbadgerland.org
Web Site: http://www.gsbadgerland.org


GSUSA Information & Referral Center


Now I don’t know about you but when I first read this I was a little taken back…” you have wrong information”….yep that part.  I was given wrong information by Girl Scouts themselves.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but they are the ones that make up those order forms, are they not?  They are the ones that put the little green leaf next to the cookies that are vegan, do they not?  The answer is yes, they do.  They make all that stuff.

They are completely misleading people about whether or not their cookies contain certain ingredients.  It is pretty shady work in my opinion.  I understand that it may not be a big deal to people (‘it’s not going to kill you’), but it would be a HUGE deal if it contained peanut oil after specifically saying it’s peanut free (I understand that there are peanuts in this particular cookie).

Obviously the Girl Scouts had enough people complain that they decided to make some of their cookies vegan, which mean that this is obviously important to a lot of their customers so to just dismiss my comment like that is, again, pretty shady.

For those of you who read my blog (I thank you!) please get the word out and let others know that these are not vegan and if it suits you, write to the Girl Scouts and let them know how you feel about it!


(Also, yes I notice there’s a lot of gross ingredients in those cookies but to each their own).