Category Archives: life

Can you be too obsessed with tacos?

Lately I’ve been thinking about tacos so much that it kind of scares me.

True story: last night I couldn’t fall asleep. I was lying in bed trying to get my mind clear. I told myself the sooner I fell asleep the sooner I could wake up and get breakfast tacos. Like what a mom tells her little kid to get them to go to sleep on Christmas eve!

Here are some other signs of too many tacos: I broke my tortilla press.

If you have never seen one of these they are big, heavy, metal contraptions that should only break if the incredible hulk is using one in a full on rage. *Not* just me pumping out tortilla after tortilla.

Another story, the other day Dan asked if there were any tortillas left. I said “no” and then he said, “there are some right here”. I said “those are from yesterday”. He said, “when did you become such a snob that you won’t even eat a day old tortilla.

Dang.

I have four kinds of homemade Mexican vegan cheese in my fridge right now. Yesterday I would have thought this was a good thing but today I’m not so sure. I think I might have to get back on the taco cleanse to sort this out.

Any advice?

 

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VeganMoFo Day 4: Anywhere But Here

In the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Willow, Buffy, and Xander play the game “Anywhere But Here” which is essentially them telling each other their fantasies. Willow dreams she is in Florence at a restaurant eating ziti when she is joined by John Cusack.  That sounds pretty good. Normally I’d pick something like snorkeling in Tahiti with Patrick Stewart. Today, my dreams are a little more attainable. I choose taking a nap with McPuppenstein and then eating ice cream. 

OH wait. Since it’s a fantasy I change ice cream to ice cream cake. Once Kristen just brought me an ice cream cake she had made. It was probably the best day of my life. 

Where would you rather be?

Happy August

I’ve been trying to save money for an upcoming trip so I haven’t been eating anywhere interesting. I haven’t even been buying breakfast tacos!  I’ve been focusing on summer produce from the garden and local farms. My tomatoes are dying from the heat now but they were so beautiful this year.

Once you grow your own there's really no going back. #tomatoes #summertime

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I’ve been making lots of easy tacos

I also made my first ever blueberry cheesecake and I couldn’t believe how good it was. I should make another one this weekend. I wonder if cherries are still around (recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky)

I’ve also been cooking quite a bit from Vegan Eats World. This Mango Avocado Salad is the perfect summer food

And I grew the most beautiful yellow eggplants. Here they are in a stew with okra, tomatoes, and corn. This recipe is from Herbivoracious. I want to try his seared watermelon this weekend.

Eggplant & Okra Stew from #Herbivoracious by @michaelnatkin #summertime #veganfoodshare

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I got to go to the beach in Port Aransas. I sure wish I could spend a week there.

Warmest ocean water ever

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On that same trip we saw the biggest tree in Texas!

State Champion Coastal Live Oak

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I had to take a million trips to Chicago this year but at the last one I got to see some terrific concerts and all was right with the world.

Ready to hop back on tour #pagesiderageside

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Now that it’s August I’m just trying to make it through the dog days. Hopefully with lots of toobin’ trips

Getting ready to tube our troubles away

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And of course, the best way to stay cool.

I'm going to drink all of these…

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I think it might be time to bust out my kiddie pool.

Spring FEVER

I have a serious case of Spring Fever. All I want to do is plant things and lie around on my hammock. My kale looks beautiful and my broccoli is straight up Broccoling.

I can’t believe any second now the Texas Mountain Laurels are going to start filling the town with their intoxicating scent and the Red Bud’s will start blooming. I LOVE this time of year. I promise my SXSW update will be coming up soon…

SXSW eco misses the most important thing we can do to save the world

This year organizers of South By Southwest Eco were nice enough to give me a free pass to attend the conference. Although I’ve been to the interactive, music, and film conferences quite a bit over the last few years this was my first time attending the new-ish eco. I went full throttle into attending as many panels as possible on everything that I am interested in. I loved learning about the potentials of 3D printing, technology that’s helping wildlife, the importance of storytelling in the movement, and how the first refugees and victims of climate change are trying to save their own lives.  The eco conference is supposed to combine scientists with technologists and industry leaders to create solutions to climate based problems. In the past, people have asked me to do a panel on veganism and the environment but I didn’t feel like I was enough of an expert on the topic…until I went to sxsweco.

At first I was surprised by the lack of programming on the topic of veganism, especially since there was a whole theme of food and agriculture. I was even more surprised that the v word hardly came up! Only one panel I went to mentioned eating vegan to help the environment, and that was the panel about in-vitro meat, beyond meat, eating crickets for protein and 3D printing. I guess one of the best parts about the whole experience was learning how naive I am about what people actually know about meat production in our world and that there are so many opportunities for education. At one panel they showed just one image of the pollution caused by one factory farm and the entire room gasped. I wanted to just print out articles, studiesstatistics, and infographics and start handing them to people.  I heard over and over again about urban farming and vertical farming and plans to not over fish the sea, and plans to detox the sea, and that there is so much plastic in the sea, and that throwing out a half of a pound of ground beef is the same as taking a 90 minute shower, and how the tides are rising are displacing so many people, and weather uncertainty, and what can we do to make a difference. And then I heard the chatter from out-of-towners about how much they loved Texas barbecue and which place would they try next. I saw them lining up at the cheap hamburger stand across the street. I expect that at interactive and the rest but I really thought people traveling to a conference on the environment knew about the impact of cheap beef.

I didn’t know it was a secret that the easiest way anyone in the world can make a difference is to give up eating animals, at least most of the time. Livestock production accounts for over 50 percent of greenhouse gases on the planet! People are losing their homes because we can’t give up hamburgers.

I was reminded the population is growing at a staggering rate. We have to make as much food in the next 40 years as we did in the last thousand. Urban farming will never solve this problem, there are too many people and not resources in urban areas. At one panel I went to an engineer said that vertical farming was a pipe dream, an idea that is perpetuated by cool graphics. I learned that the poorest people in the world are farmers and that 50 percent of them go hungry while the urban farm movement here in the US encourages this as the only possible direction. I’m not saying urban farming doesn’t have a place, I love going to the farmer’s market and I grow kale in my backyard but it will never be enough to make a global difference.  Especially when it comes to animal “farming”. Raising animals for food takes infinitely more resources. If people could happily live on subsistence farming those same people wouldn’t be cutting down the rainforrest to make way for cash crops that feed animals. The model of grass fed cows will never work to feed our growing population. As long as people are eating meat at the rate we do there will be factory farms and ag sprawl which is much worse for the environment than urban sprawl.

The only way we have a chance to continue life as we know it is eat a lot less meat. Most people on the planet have to go vegan most of the time. The sooner we stop being so selfish about our traditions and tastes the sooner we will be able actually start saving the planet instead of just deluding ourselves that someone else will come and save us.

The biggest threat to the planet is business as usual.

Texas State Senator Kirk Watson wins Humane State Legislator award

Kirk Watson

I became a committed fan of Kirk Watson watching him fight so hard for Women’s Rights during the recent conservative attacks on Women’s healthcare. Reading the news just now (and obvs seeing the pic) and learning that he was also recognized by the Humane Society for fighting for animal rights warmed my heart. I am so proud to have him for my state senator. Mr. Watson won the award for sponsoring, and then getting bill SB 360 passed. It outlaws horrific gas chambers of carbon monoxide as a way to euthanize shelter animals.

I’m happy for him and all the animals that won’t have to suffer in this way. And I’m even happy for me because reading the news can be so depressing that I just want to ignore it, but then I would miss the good things like this too. And I’m happy that puppies remain adorable and that I get to take my dogs to a birthday party tonight for Sid the Regal Beagle.

Vegansaurus & Lazy Smurf to present at SXSW with your help!

vegansmurfusSouth by Southwest Interactive is one of the most amazing conferences I’ve been to.  Every year I’ve gone I’ve been shocked to become hopeful again about the future after attending. Last year I went to so many panels about sustainability and community that I started to believe a future where we are all peaceful and happy is possible. One thing missing from all the talk about creating a better world was our attitudes towards animals and last year it was the darkest spot for me. I truly believe that if people really understand how animals are treated in our society change is possible. A couple of years ago Laura Beck from Vegansaurus & Jezebel and I did a talk at SXSW about Internet Activism. We had a great conversation with vegans from all over the world and we have learned a ton since then. We are hoping to do a full on presentation this year! I know it’s a pain to vote for things but we would love a thumbs up or a comment on our proposal to make it happen. Our plan is to present original research on what kind of activism campaigns are the most effective and which ones are huge failures. It’s not just about likes! Except for when it is….as in right now…voting for us. So please take a second and DO IT.

Our SXSW reunion won’t be as great as the following story, but it will be pretty damn great.