So, I went to the store to buy ingredients for vegan potato salad and came back with a bunch of delicious things (marinated tempeh, almond butter, vegan butter, and a vegan cupcake)…but none of the ingredients. What threw me off was there was more than 1 brand of vegan mayo.
Here I thought that being vegan would equal less choices but no: first I stand in the vegan milk aisles debating between rice, almond, and soy (I went with almond again for the record). Then, I’m debating between Spectrum Mayonaise, Nayonaise, and Earth Balance Vegenaise…which one should I pick? Or do you have other recommendations?
I’ll probably just use it in sandwiches/burger-esque situations & this vegan potato salad that I was planning.
Note: While writing this, I realized it’s more like a diary-entry than a post to engage with people. I acknowledge this, but this is part of what I want Comradia to be about.
Today was my first official vegan day of the pledge I decided to take (it’s for one week). I actually was intentionally vegan the last two days, started early because my latest conceptualization of dairy has led me to be quite off-put by it (I’ve been ovo-lacto vegetarian for over 8 years - so the ethics re: eating of meat are established). My philosophical understanding of dairy right now is fairly personalized and centred on my own body, so I don’t feel comfortable openly sharing it - but essentially I feel I personally cannot in good conscience contribute to the demand fuelling the dairy industry.
I zealously veganized my kitchen yesterday evening. At first, I had intended to go through the materials lying around on my own but I just didn’t feel right doing that. Then, I figured I would distribute goods to my friends. But I realized this would be a logistical-nightmare and require repeatedly explaining to people why I’m going vegan (I get tried of explaining myself for doing something different from majority norms - I need to learn to be more patient or start doing more things that fit into majority expectations…#not). So, I decided to collect it all in two kitchen bags and leave it beside my dumpster. I live in an apartment building and I know the dumpster is frequented by a few different people - I’ve left food on the side before too. When I checked later, it was gone (and I looked in the dumpster too, but wasn’t there). So hopefully the food found a good stomach to live in (temporarily).
So, I knowingly failed my first day. I was attending a lunch-time event today that I knew would provide vegetarian sandwiches but not vegan. I had planned ahead and made my curried chickpeas/peas/tofu last night to pack with me, but I failed to do it properly (I fixed it up this evening) and had no lunch. I arrived late to the event, so everyone had already had lunch, and I ended up (coincidentally) sitting in front of a tray of the last veggie sandwiches. While listening to an actually quite interesting talk on patenting of a business method, I had 30 minutes to debate how I felt about eating sandwiches with cream cheese spread - fun stuff, right? I decided that seeing as the sandwiches were going to be thrown away at this point, my partaking in eating them was an alright thing to do.
I’m starting to realize I may decide to be socially vegetarian while being vegan at home (or possibly a freegan). While I don’t want to consume dairy particularly, I feel like I would have be able to alienate fewer people and feel less isolated if I approach it this way. It’s kind of tough to deal with but presumably it fits with the fluid moral code that I’m aiming for - it’s just so hard to get outside of the tendency to prefer stricter codes. What I’m thinking this will involve is not eating eggs outright or drinking milk outright but instead being okay with both being in things. I’m not really sure how exactly I want this to be, but I feel like this is where I’m heading. I kind of want to do this on a case-by-case basis rather than specific rules…but I feel like that may be too inconsistent for people? I’m not sure…
I decided to have a ‘me’ day. It’s highly unusual for me to avoid socializing with friends, especially when the offer was to go out for food. (I was actually put off by the suggestion of going for gelato - my stomach turned thinking about dairy…I’m going through the initial phase of regret and guilt). I wasn’t feeling so happy as I went home, realized I was feeling quite sad. My bra-less day in PJs was nice.
I bought a magic bullet! So today has been all about smoothies! I’ve had 3 and apparently drank a potentially lethal amount of bananas (something to know: do not do more than 1 banana a day because of risk of arrhythmia). I’m just so happy about this smoothie maker, I’ve gotten a bajillion suggestions from friends on FB about the mix & I drank 1/4 of my almond milk carton today! #calciumWTF
I fixed my curried chickpeas/peas/tofu - and by fixed I mean, got the chickpeas cooked. It’s not that delicious but its edible. I will conquer cooking soon enough! I just regret making so much of this meh stuff. I’ll have to eat it at least for the next few days.
I bought a pair of vegan ethical rain boots! My friend had shown me this website (http://vshoen.myshopify.com/products/retro-flower-rainboot) & its local! I got these Retro Flower ones. I have been hunting for a pair with a frog pattern on it but I realized if I got some now, I could jump in puddles & avoid wet socks.
I was super productive today! I spent most of the day in PJs after I did 2 loads of laundry, took out trash, vacuumed, and made a to-do list. I’m feeling pretty good about my day now, although I still struggle with my philosophies. And it seems that I’m getting a rep for being food-obsessed, one of my acquaintances on FB posted a vegan okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese pancake) recipe on my “Timeline.” It didn’t include a message, so I’m not sure what I’m being told: either a passive aggressive you eat too much or I think you would like this (I’m going to assume the latter)
I discovered the coolest summer research position today & applied! One of the law profs is researching animal law from a feminist & social justice perspective. It seems like the ideal position, but I hate to get too excited, especially because I’m likely to be the most inexperienced applicant (it’s open to all years & grad law students - I’m only 1st year). I’m starting to really embrace the idea of grad school as post-law school plans, I know it fits exactly what I want to do.
Well, that’s all for now. I’m judging high school debates tomorrow - should be fun! In the meantime, I’m going to sleep…
I’m having gulab jamun cravings and while my vegan pledge doesn’t start until Friday, my latest reflections on the subject make my stomach churn when I consider the “confectionization” of cow milk. I won’t bother getting into the details, but essentially I need to find a vegan way of satisfying my gulab jamun cravings.
I’m leaning towards the latter one, mostly because oats in gulab jamuns seems so odd. But, I thought I would canvass to see if people have suggestions/ideas/recommendations/want to make me some gulab jamuns?
Thanks for following back! Your tumblr is so interesting, and I loved your vegan chai recipe!! Helped me so much!! I was trying to do a good vegan chai, but unsuccessfully... But now worked ^^
You’re welcome! And thank you, I’m glad the vegan chai recipe worked out! I was super pumped by how delicious it was and found it infinitely better than cow milk. Look forward to following your posts :)
So, I got my blood test results back from the doctor today. Turns out both my iron and vitamin B12 levels are excellent! I’ve been (ovo-lacto) vegetarian for 8 years and people constantly feel this need to ask about my nutrition. As a result, I get a kick out of telling them my nutrition levels are good! (Take that nosy bastards! I find it ridiculous that people who are only my acquaintances somehow think this is a good conversation topic.)
The two concerns my doctor had are my vitamin D levels are very low (need to supplement on a daily basis) and he wants me to watch my cholesterol. The latter works well in my intentions to start going vegan, eliminating sources of cholesterol from my diet. I have a family history of problems with cholesterol, so this is more of a concern. Also, I’m starting to look into buying a bike so I can get more activity & Victoria is just the ideal city for bike riding.
So, I’ve decided I’m going to try it out for a week. I’m going to start on 24 February 2012 and commit for a full week to start off (so until 2 March 2012). I figure this will be soon enough to capitalize on my motivation, but still give me time to plan ahead. It’s also less daunting of a commitment to start off with a week.
I’ve been vegetarian (ovo-lacto) since I was 13 (8.5 years ago) but never tried going vegan. Although, I have at points given up either eggs or dairy but never both.
I’m going to do this with my fluid moral code in mind, recognizing that I am fallible and will probably make mistakes. I think this will help me stay motivated and not feel so bad when I fail to live up to my own expectations.
I’ve decided to write out my reasons, this is going to be a lengthy personal post. While writing this, it strikes me that I’m writing this more for myself to better articulate my ideas. But I appreciate it if you do read it. :)
It turns out to have been a great exercise in self-empowerment and I’m extremely happy to have done this. The last point has really hit home why I cannot give up on vegetarianism.
First, practically speaking my lactose intolerance is becoming unbearable (currently I’m suffering the combined efforts of yogurt and milky chai - my stomach absolutely hates me right now).
Second, I have been reminded of my ethical reasons for becoming vegetarian in the first place. I use to always tell myself that once I moved out, I could more fully embrace my ethics but now that I am living on my own, I haven’t really made the effort yet. I’m decidedly against the abusive treatment of animals. It’s just absolutely cruel. While more ethical animal produce may be possible, it strikes me that current meat demands would not be met without a factory-like manufacturing of animals. So even if animal produce can be ethically sourced (I haven’t decided whether or not I think it can be), I think people would have to reduce how much meat they consume.
Moreover, the global meat demands and on-going food crises are both inextricably linked. The recession in 2008 led to the media generally ignoring the global food crisis but right before it a big deal was made about the growing international food crises (and it continues to be a serious problem). One of the explanatory factors is the linkage between economic growth in China and India, the resulting increased demand for meat there, and the ramifications on the global food markets. The idea is that as Indian and Chinese citizens have more financial resources, they are demanding more meat, the production of which is generally more resource-heavy than vegetables. This thesis need a bit more work, but essentially it relates to the fact that meat demands globally are too great to be met properly (sustainably and humanely). This leads to both excessively inhumane treatment of animals but also to inaccessibility of food for the globally impoverished. I’ll articulate it better at a later date with more evidence to support my claims. It’s a fairly complicated entanglement of colonialism, economics, and poverty.
Third, I want to make more of an effort to cook and the thought of going vegan both provides ample reason to cook more often & a new creative paradigm.
Fourth, I adore the Tumblogs with vegan #foodporn. I keep having vegan wet dreams as a result of the amazing deliciousness. I was considering giving up vegetarianism earlier this year, which I think largely had to do with a certain degree of boredom and laziness. But I feel inspired to try harder.
Fifth, the thought of eating animal flesh is really off-putting, especially after so long. I have only on 3 distinct occasions had meat cravings: first, when I first became a vegetarian, my brother and dad were eating chicken wings; second, I was hungry at lunchtime and passed someone eating some meat; third, the past few months I’ve been on-again-and-off-again having chicken cravings. I think I just haven’t tried hard enough to make more deliciousness but a recent serving of deep-fried seitan has really shut off the chicken cravings. That and we have a new pet budgie and the thought of eating a bird is so horrible - especially as I love the budgie, even though he doesn’t seem to like my singing very much (tbh, I don’t blame him).
Sixth, I feel like it is a part of my identity. I have spent a good chunk of my life as a vegetarian, particularly all my life that involved making independent-choices. I also remember how many times I have stood up for what I believe in. My father called me a loser when I decided to become vegetarian (yes at 13 he said that to me) and told me I would never become a doctor because I wouldn’t be able to deal with cutting people up (yes, very illogical - and little did he know, I thoroughly enjoying tearing people apart…but with words and am well on my way to doing it as a lawyer). I also was bullied in junior high over it. I remember my classmates in grade 9 saying really stupid shit to me. I recall one of them saying to me “So what do you eat? Tofu? That’s nasty shit” or something equally idiotic. I’ve also repeatedly had to put my foot down to various family members trying to tell me what I should or should not eat (if I say I don’t want to have the sauce from the butter chicken, I think you shouldn’t insist on it).
I have on so many occasions refused to let someone shame or force or convince me into giving up being a vegetarian. It’s almost an element of my feminist beliefs. It’s been an exercise of personal choice and resistance against being told what to do with my body. I don’t think I have ever fully captured this and having reached this realization has made me quite moved (I’m honestly teary-eyed, so apologies for any grammar/spelling errors that I leave here). It also helps me understand why I struggled so hard with the idea of giving up vegetarianism. My identity and sense of self is such an integral part of who I am and the more I think about it, I have worked really hard to define myself and to fight for independence. I cannot even convey in words how empowered I feel right now. It’s incredible how assertive I have been and I don’t think I want to ever lose this part of me, especially now that I have been able to articulate it. I’m really glad I took the time to write this down and have it here to remind me.
Edited: I realized I may not have this clear. Most of the people trying to convince me out of vegetarianism have been men (incidentally even the kids bullying me were of the outward male persuasion). So there are clear gendered hierarchies.
I also don’t mean to entail anything about vegetarianism and feminism as inherently linked. It’s just my personal experience and it has strengthened my convictions on both.
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”—~ Mr. Hector on the instance of alethia (uncovering something ‘truthful’) in the film The History Boys
Hi, I was hoping you'd be able to post the recipe/steps associated with making your own paneer. I would really love to make some myself.
I plan on attempting soy paneer sometime next week, probably around Friday, and will definitely post the detailed steps with pictures.
In the meantime, this is essentially the recipe that my mom followed for her mataar paneer & is basically the same thing I’m going to try except with soy milk instead of cow milk (she didn’t bother with Step 6 & she used store-bought lemon juice):
Some Observations on Being Effective in (Law) School
This is a post more for myself. I’m finding writing (typing) things down quite helpful. It helps me organize my thoughts. But the overall gist of it is what I should be doing differently to be a more effective student. After writing it, I realize that it may be useful to people who want tips to do better in school…but I make no guarantees or promises or anything to that effect (disclaimer). Moreover, it’s written from my perspective.
I don’t know why I haven’t been working more effectively with myself. Generally, I’m more self-aware and work around what is best rather than trying to impose unworkable rigid standards.
I’ve essentially spent both yesterday & today cooped up inside, sitting around with my readings in front of me all day, and feeling frustrated by the end of the day. This is a stupid thing to do.
First of all, it’s not effective for me to spend hours on something. It’s just not the best way to get work done. Moreover, it’s the most frustrating and dissatisfying situation to put yourself in. It’s better to allocate a smaller amount of time, get more done then, and enjoy the rest of your day.
Secondly, I know that I like having smaller tasks to tackle instead of giving myself this general, broad objective. While the objective may be useful, it’s absolutely imperative to have a smaller and more manageable list of things to do. To-do lists are your friends!
Third, I just cannot do all the work in one day. By aiming to do so I tend to get less work done and be more frustrated. It would be better to have allocated what I want done each day. This provides a more attainable goal and a sense of satisfaction when it is achieved. The key though is to only allocate how much can be realistically done in a day. It’s just not possible to do #ALLTHEreadings in one day.
Fourth, I should use the time that I’m most productive instead of following social norms. I find I get the most work done between 11 pm - 2 am. So spending 11 am - 10 pm attempting to do readings is just plain stupid, but that’s what I did today and yesterday. It’s especially bad to do this regularly because you’re brain starts to figure out you are going to torture it regularly and I think it decides to make you feel miserable. (Yes, your brain can be your enemy, but only if you treat it cruelly).
Fifth, I should just do my readings as I go along in the semester. I made a list of the readings needed to be done for the first week back after break and realized if I did this every week, I could just finish them all on Sunday and enjoy all my weekdays (peach cider everyday #alcoholic). It’s the most straightforward thing, but it took me 5 months to realize it!
Sixth, I should make better usage of class time. It’s imperative to not allow my mind to wander too much while in class. The profs give me a good framework of the law & general gist of the cases. Moreover, as they are the ones examining me, it just makes so much sense to pay attention to what they think is important. I often have to turn the wireless off to pay attention but it struck me that I want to be a lawyer and I cannot muster enough self-control to prevent myself from going on the internet while in class. That frame of mind helps me most of the time, but sometimes it’s just too boring or too early. It’s probably better not to go to class then, in my opinion.
Seventh, I have been better at taking notes this semester but I feel I need to reflect on this a bit. The key for me has been to use effective headings & to synthesize rather than merely type everything down. This does mean I occasionally miss a point the prof may be making - but I am also realizing profs are pretty cool about answering questions. Also if I do the readings beforehand, it’s easier to fill in the blanks that I may miss.
Well this has been an enlightening exercise. I feel better having written this down. I know that I intuitively do some of these things but making it more explicit and having reasons behind it will be useful. And now to bed with the dream of using my time more effectively tomorrow.
And I guess I have done this once before, so hopefully I can do it again (it being finish a degree).
Disclaimer: I’m having a shitty day so this a rant to get it out of my system. I recommend that you do not read it.
I’m just super frustrated & irritated right now. I don’t even know where to begin with the problems.
[Deleted rant about two different points].
As I write this, I realize neither of the two things I am complaining about really explain my mood. Both are kind of the norm. I can’t peg why I’m feeling so moody today. I have already menstruated last week, so the usual explanation/excuse is not available.
I think partially I have grown fond of Victoria and being away is annoying. It’s just easier to be there to do readings/homework because I have ways of blowing of steam, which I’m sorely lacking right now.
The weather here is also awful. I feel a painful cringe every time I step out. Winter break wasn’t so bad. And on top of it, Calgary is just bloody ugly.
Overall, I think I’m just being whiny because I have so much work to do. I need to come up with a strategy as to how to tackle this.
But writing this rant was a good idea, it helped me realize what the problem is: me. lol #helpful