Archive for Reviews

What I’ve been reading

I thought I might take a bit of a break from the recipes today to share with you some of the sites and info I’ve been reading in the last week or so. Over the last few weeks I’ve started to realise that it’s not enough simply to not participate in the culture of cruelty, sometimes it’s just as important to provide people with information so that they can make an informed choice about their eating habits, SO, in that spirit I thought I would do a weekly or fortnightly post with some interesting links, blogs etc.

The Hidden Lives of Cows

Some Thoughts on Vegan Education

This video was the “light-bulb moment” for my husband, who has always been a very avid meat eater, he always picked on me for my tendency to anthropomorphize animals, but then he saw this video and he hasn’t eaten meat since.

The very fabulous Jonathan Safran Foer on Ellen

A children’s book about veganism and factory farming: Why We Don’t Eat Animals

Abolitionist Approach FAQs

Of course there is the documentary “Earthlings” which I highly recommend, even though I’m still having nightmares after forcing myself to watch it. I know it’s hard to watch, but as I said to a friend of mine the other day who said she just couldn’t watch it, closing my eyes doesn’t make the cruelty any less true. If you aren’t able to watch it, imagine how it must be to live it.

Here is a Thanksgiving Ad by Peta, in light of the fact that it is Thanksgiving. I have a lot of issues with Peta and a lot of their approaches to vegan education – in particular the way they exploit women – but I do quite like the simplicity and sincerity of this advertisement so I thought I would include it.

And you all know by now that I think everyone (in the world!) should read Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, even if you have no interest in veganism, it is still such an important read, please read it!

Okay that’s it for this week. I’ll come back next week with anything interesting I find between now and then!

PS: Just a note, I will not link anything graphic without a warning either before or directly after the link, I am VERY sensitive about that kind of thing so I wouldn’t ambush anyone that way, however, some of the sites I’m linking to may have graphic pictures in their headers or sidebars, linking to various things around their sites, so tread carefully if you are likely to be easily offended.

**NOTE: This post was supposed to be posted yesterday, but due to technical difficulties didn’t go through until today, which explains the Thanksgiving theme 🙂

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Eating Animals – Jonathan Safran Foer

This blog is now hosted at http://veganchickie.com

If you know me in real life you will probably have already heard me talk about Jonathan Safran Foer. He is my favourite author and has been since I read the first chapter of his first book all those years ago (thanks Adam), I have bought his books over and over and over again, because I keep giving my copies away to people who I think will enjoy them. After reading “Everything’s Illuminated” I wanted to name my first-born daughter Brod – Luke, wasn’t too keen on that one though – and halfway through “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” I went back to page one and started the book over again because it was so beautiful that I just didn’t want it to end. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that I love his most recent book, in fact if he had written a book in support of factory farming I probably still would have bought it, that is the depth of love I have for this man. As it turns out Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book “Eating Animals” is quite the opposite, thank goodness for that! Before I heard about the book, I didn’t really think that I could be MORE in love with JSF, I thought the love fest had reached it’s peak, imagine my surprise when I find myself swooning for him all over again.

JSF

I  pre-ordered the book on Amazon, literally within minutes of finding out about its existence, and waited – impatiently – for weeks for it to arrive. The day I discovered it in my postbox, I couldn’t even wait to get home before I read it, so I walked the whole way back to my house with my nose stuck in the book, I tripped once or twice on the treacherous terrain and twisted my ankle a little, but it was still worth it.

I haven’t finished it yet, it’s in my nature to devour books, sometimes I can read 5 in a week, and I always feel sad once they are over, so I’m trying desperately to savour it. Having said that, even though I’m only 111 pages in, I can confidently say that this book has changed my life. By page ten I had already laughed out loud, and had to mop my tears off one the pages. It’s the first non-fiction book to make it into my ‘top ten favourite books’ list, and in fact, it has even surpassed both of Foer’s other novels and found itself in first place. When Foer wrote about the first time he made the connection between meat and animals, I almost wept with my personal recollection of that moment from my own childhood.

“My brother and I looked at each other, our mouths full of hurt chickens, and had simultaneous how-in-the-world-could-I-have-never-thought-of-that-before-and-why-on-earth-didn’t-someone-tell-me? moments”.

Everything about this book is thoughtful and compassionate. Every description so moving and so heartfelt, JSF brings so much grace to this argument, which is usually filled with aggression and anger, he is truly a breath of fresh air. His book is really unlike any other on the subject, and I’m already trying to think of ways to work into my weekly budget enough money to buy multiple copies of the book just so I can send them to everyone I know. Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately for all the meat eaters in my life – I just don’t have the money to do that at the moment.

Anyway, I am not a book reviewer, and generally I’m not the kind of person who speaks so openly about vegan issues, preferring to keep a low profile and avoid the aggression from others that comes with voicing your opinion about such things – although that is changing! – so I won’t go on, the whole point of this post is to simply say:

Buy it! Read it! You won’t be disappointed!

I’ll leave you with this passage from the book which I think speaks volumes:

“Silently the animal catches our glance. The animal looks at us, and whether we look away (from the animal, our plate, our concern, ourselves) or not, we are exposed. Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something”.

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Green Gourmet : Vegan Yum Cha

Okay Okay, so it’s been a while since we have updated this modest little blog. Life just seems to have gotten a little out of control with wedding plans and working and Christmas preparations. Seems like there has been barely time to speak to one another let alone cook delicious vegan meals or blog about them. We leave tomorrow for 6 weeks of sun and fun (and a wedding too) so there won’t be much cooking going on for the next little while. I will do my best to keep up with some restaurant reviews while we are gone though, and in that spirit:

Green Gourmet – Newtown

We are big fans of the Green Gourmet weekend yum cha. There was a stage a while ago where we visited this lovely little place in Newtown every weekend. This was our first visit in a while and it was just as good as I remember. Unfortunately I didn’t remember my camera so I didn’t get any photos but when we come back from our honeymoon we will be sure to go again so that I can get some nice pics.

This place is really lovely, the decor is basic and nothing to write home about but the service is fast and there are always a bunch of people here. Yum cha is served from 12 – 3 on weekends and it’s our preferred way to enjoy the Green Gourmet, we are yet to try something we haven’t liked but our favourites are: Mushroom Steak – meaty enough to fool even the most devoted meat fan, Not Pork Buns – better than the real thing and Seafood Rolls wrapped in bean curd. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

They serve tea all through the meal – you just pay once, refills are free – but if you’re not a tea fan they have a variety of organic soft drinks available in the fridge as well. Meals are bought out as fast as you can eat them and you can either load up the table for a vegan feast (as we tend to do) or just try a dish or two for a budget lunch.

We have taken many omnivorous friends here over our time, all of them entering with trepidation, and all of them loving it. We struggle to spend more than $25 per person, even after we eat so much we are practically rolling out the door.

Best of all, they even have the vegan choice grocery next door so you take home your favourite dishes and put them in the freezer.

We love this place (did I mention that?)

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Naked in Newtown – Breakfast the vegan way.

This morning darling chef and I headed out to try a newly discovered vegan cafe in Newtown. I heard about it on the Happy Cow website (link to the right) which is where I get most of my vegetarian/vegan restaurant suggestions from. Anyway, we are pretty familiar with the Newtown area so we didn’t have a problem finding the place, although the signage left a little to be desired. The biggest sign out front was for ‘Basil’ which is a pizza place. From what I can tell, the cafe is a coffee place combined with a vegan breakfast cafe in the mornings and early afternoons and then a pizza place at night. Seeing the meat-lovers pizza advertised in the same shop where we were eating from an all vegan menu was a little odd but I guess it works for them!

Frontshop

Vegan Signage

It’s only a small place and there was only 1 other table taken in the place, but it was almost at the 1pm cutoff for breakfast so that could explain the lull. We were seated and given a paper menu with 6 vegan dishes listed, including a ‘morning after fry up’ with vegan sausages and bacon & ‘organic pancakes’ – buckwheat pancakes with fruit and maple syrup. The waitress came by and asked what we would like to drink, Chef ordered a latte – no problem – and I ordered a peppermint tea. It wasn’t on the menu (I didn’t think to look) but instead of asking me to choose something else, the waitress told me she would organise it before running out the front door of the cafe and going upstairs to her flat where she raided her own personal stash of organic peppermint tea! How about that for fabulous service!

Meals ranged from $7 – $16. We both ordered the “Big Aussie Vegan Feast” which came with fried, smoked tofu, hash browns, tomato, organic baked beans, mushrooms, spinach and organic sourdough toast. The meal came out quickly and everything was fabulous, a pet hate of mine is soggy hash browns but these were lovely and crispy! The sourdough was fabulous and seedy – and served with nuttlex – the beans were delicious and the tofu was wonderfully smoky. We will definitely be back to this great little place! Next time I’ll be ordering the scrambled tofu!

Aussie Vegan Feast

And, best of all it is even right across the road from the Vegan’s Choice grocery so we were able to dash in on our way home and stock up on vegan chocolate for our baking day tomorrow!

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