Prop 8 protest

Prop 8 protest
One of my favorite signs seen at a marriage equality protest.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The pain of bigotry

It happened this week.

A same-sex marriage was recognized in Arizona.

In the form of a death certificate.

Of course the state of Arizona needed a little nudging from a federal judge.

I can only imagine what Fred McQuire was feeling as he picked up the accurate death certificate recognizing his marriage to his late husband, George Martinez.

Fred and George had been together 45 years.

What's all the fuss in denying couples marriage? What's the hurry? We should wait and think this through and see what the real harm will be?

The reason this was important, aside from being the right and just thing, was that now Fred can receive Social Security benefits and veteran benefits.

Bigotry continues to inflict pain on couples all over the U.S.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that they will look at some state marriage equality decisions this month.

Meanwhile, many couple, like Mike and I, just wait. Although our marriage is legal in many states, it is not legal where we live.

So we will keep fighting. We will keep demanding equal marriage, and I personally will call attention to those in political power who continually fight against marriage equality.

Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A recipe! Stuffed Peppers

I know. This isn't a food blog. I like to do reviews on vegan food, on restaurants and once in a while on vegan products. I have hardly ever passed along a recipe.

Last week Mike and I weren't sure what we wanted to do for dinner. I had bought green peppers at the farmer's market and thought I would finally try to make stuffed recipes. They came out so good that I just have to share my recipe.

This takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, and then the bake time. And so easy!

This is what you need:

green peppers, cleaned out, as many as you are doing dinner for (I made three)
a little olive oil
tomato paste, one 8oz can
Beyond Meat Chicken strips, cut in pieces (I think you could use the Beyond Meat meat crumbles too)
Daiya cheese shreds, your choice of flavor
Veggies, cut and diced up. You're for the picking. I used broccoli, onions, cabbage, kale and mushrooms
black beans, one bag
quinoa (optional) I thought of this afterwards!
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 350.

In a saute pan or skillet, add all of the ingredients minus the green peppers.  Cook on medium heat and mix well. Add in the salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne powder, to taste.

Remove from heat and add the mixture to all of the green peppers. Place the stuffed green peppers in a big enough piece of aluminum foil so the pepper can be fully wrapped. I add a little water in the wrapped foil so the pepper can steam.

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes. You want them to bake enough so the green pepper can be cut with a fork when eating.

Ready to serve. I served this with an arugula salad. The stuffed peppers were delicious. Play around with the spices, and use whatever veggies you like.

You can make this a completely non-processed dish by not using the Beyond Meat and Daiya cheese.

Please let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Get local! - 3 simple actions

This won't surprise those of you who have read past blogs posts when I write that this post is about getting active politically.

Many people who read this blog want to make the world a better place for all living beings. Although I often write about animal cruelty issues and issues that tend to be national or international, I believe it is hugely important that each of us takes action in our own backyard.

I am going to offer three simple suggestions that you can take to make your voice heard in your own community, actions that will make your community better, or at the least, get your message out there.

The folks I am asking you to connect with are easy to find. A few minutes on Google and you will be done.

I think all three of these are important based on where I live, and what is going on in my own community.

Ready. Set. Go!

Action #1: Find out who represents you on city council and engage with them. In our case we have two folks who represent our area and I am in touch with them frequently (but not too much!). When local issues arise or when I hear about some vote at city council that concerns me, I send an email to these two. Many city ordinances that support those in need, companion animals, etc. were created because of folks like us who gave a shit.

Action #2: Find out who your Chief of Police is and write them a letter asking them to conduct training around how officers deal with companion animals. This one is of great interest to me as I have read too many articles about police who have killed a companion animal, usually a dog. Training helps. Asking your local folks to be aware of this helps too. You never know whose companion animal you will save!

Action #3: Get to know who is on your local school board and find out whether they support your thoughts around education (or other things). In our county, our school board has been taken over by folks who call themselves "reformists" but in my opinion are only spending public money to support their agenda which seems to be to change public education. This is happening all over the country. And here, the school board seems to have little care for students who are not well off. Even if you do not have children in the school district, like us, find out what is going on in your district.

That's it ! Pretty easy, right? All of these actions will make a difference with issues that are important to you. We cannot be a voice for the voiceless if we do not express that voice.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A day in the life of this blogger

You have a what?

A blog.

A blog?

Yes, a blog. It's called The Gay Vegans.

I've had this conversation many times. While many folks subscribe to many blogs, and others read at least a couple every day, there are still those who just don't get it.

I created The Gay Vegans as a way to be more active as a human rights and animal rights activist, as a way to promote building bridges, to promote activism, and to be a voice for the voiceless.

And I love it.

It's not easy. Being present and active in my marriage. Supporting an amazing life for our dogs and two chinchillas. Working as a fundraiser for an agency that serves young people experiencing the brutality of homelessness. Trying to eat well. Trying to stay fit. And trying my best to carve out a little time every week to write blog posts that I hope others will enjoy reading, get inspired by, and even at times take action based on something they learned from the post.

Life flies by. Some days I totally forget to check The Gay Vegans accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sometimes it takes me more than the 24 hours I would like it to take to get back to readers who have asked a question or have asked for support with something. Life is crazy busy without being a blogger. Being a blogger just adds to the craziness, which I apparently enjoy!

Writing doesn't come easy to me. At first I would say that I wasn't a good writer. I do believe there is a difference in being a good writer and being a good blogger. I also believe that in time, and with writing many blog posts and listening to others about how to become a better blogger, my posts have gotten better.

As you might know, there are a bunch of different types of blogs out there. The Gay Vegans is all about bringing communities together and being a voice for all of the voiceless, including animals who are brutalized to become food, folks persecuted around the world for being who they are (female, gay, transgender, ethnic, religious, etc.) and trying to spread the message that we all really have more in common with each other than not. Kindness, compassion, passion, action. All of these I try to include in my posts.

The Gay Vegans has been around for three years. In that time I have been inspired and filled with hope by responses from readers of this blog, and at times totally blown away by actions taken based on a blog post I wrote.

I have been thrilled to attend conferences or shows with press credentials as more and more outlets consider bloggers as such.

I am super excited when I think about The Gay Vegans in the future. So much to write about. So many actions to ask folks to participate in. So much love and kindness to spread.

Thanks for reading. I am grateful. And please keep the stories, feedback and comments coming!