Saturday, March 30, 2013

Never give up

It's not easy.

Bigotry all over the place. The worst is the hidden type. Folks make you believe they support equality and hide their disgust.

Violence is everywhere. The numbers will drive you crazy. Whether you fight for all animals or fight especially for dolphins in the cove or rhinos in Botswana, cows in a local factory farm or geese in a down operation.

Tens of thousands of refugees around the globe.

Filthy rivers and lakes.

You might be involved in fighting for an end to AIDS or supporting the homeless.

Rape that seems to have become an accepted part of our culture.

In the year, almost two years, of writing this blog we have met people who are fighting the fight, fighting to make the world a better place for all living beings and being a voice for the voiceless. We are privileged to know you and to know that you read our blog and take the time to get to know us.

Sometimes the amount of cruelty we experience or know exists can be too much. I wrote a blog post about self care recently as we as activists must take care of yourselves.

We also must never ever give up.


It may seem impossible. It can definitely be overwhelming.

Don't give up.

Take a breathe. Or take a break. Go for a run or take a vacation. Take care of yourself.

And don't give up.

To all of you who every day speak for the voiceless and work towards a world that is safer for all living beings, thank you.

You rock our world. Wherever you are, whatever you are feeling at this moment, please know that you are a rock star.

Never give up.

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Date night -taking care of ourselves

There is a lot going on in our world. Both Mike and I seem really busy with work, civil unions were just passed, the US Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (rulings on both could affect marriage equality) and the list of emails/letters to write in support of animals is endless.

So what do we do?

Date night.

Mike is at his bi-weekly boot camp and I am cooking dinner. The furries have eaten and when Mike gets home we get to enjoy each others company, talk about our days, love on each other.

One of my firm beliefs is that in order to be a strong voice for the voiceless, in order to be a warrior for equality, I need to take care of myself first. That includes eating well, exercising, prayer and meditation, time with friends and definitely date nights with my husband.

When was the last time you had a date night with your other half?

Sometimes it's dinner out. Or a hike. Lately it also includes a run as we both train for our first half marathon. Regardless, it's time alone, just us.

I love it. I highly recommend it.

On date nights we both reinvigorate personally as well as a couple. It's not that we can't do that every day, it's that with the list of things going on that I wrote of above, it's easier to do when the focus is on date night.

Tonight's dinner is simple: blackened tofu with black beans, kale, butternut squash and corn. I tossed in some cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. It's all just cooking together on a low heat. It smells delish.

Of course date night can also include cooking together. That's a blast. When we do that Mike does most of the cooking and I do most of the talking!

We'd love to hear of your date nights!

Take care of yourselves. Make good decisions, ones that are healthy for you, your relationship, the animals and our world.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, March 25, 2013

All eyes on the Supreme Court

The lobby of History Colorado was jam packed with hundreds of supporters of the civil unions bill that Governor John Hickenlooper was about to sign into law. I became emotional as several state legislators spoke about this historic day, one which many in the lobby had worked on for years. And yet, as the state senate co-sponsor said, this is not the end of our work.

Yes, we have more to do.

I want full marriage equality. Nothing more, nothing less.

If you have read our blog before this is of no surprise to you. Mike and I were married on April 30th of 2005. It was the best day of my life.

In our eyes we are married. On May 1st of this year(midnight of our 8th wedding anniversary) we will walk over to the City and County building in downtown Denver with a bunch of others to get legally recognized as a legal civil union.

The Supreme Court is hearing two cases around equality, including one on marriage equality, this week. As I read in a New York Times  commentary yesterday, victory around marriage equality is not a matter of if, it is  a matter of when.

Full marriage equality is so close, I feel like I can taste it.

The excitement and the emotion is building up. I could definitely feel it in the lobby of History Colorado. The joy expressed could have been heard all of the way to the state capitol, several blocks away.

Is America ready? You better believe America is ready. Do 100% believe in full marriage equality? Of course not. Yet nobody has a right to vote on my marriage and hopefully the Supreme Court will agree.

Simple equality.

Thank you for reading this and thank you for all of your support.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The big world of blogging

I'm enjoying a relaxing morning at home. It is snowing outside, Mike is at his boot camp, and the furries are stretched out all over me.

I have not been able to put as much time into my blog since starting my new job back in February. Crazy busy is an understatement. And this morning, as I read notes from our readers and other bloggers I feel so fortunate to be part of this community.

I am also preparing to go to my first blogger's conference. Back in 2011 I went to a blogger's reception as part of Creating Change, an annual conference presented by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and I was thrilled to chat with national bloggers from all over the place. At that time I was just starting my fundraising blog and really had no clue about blogging. The Gay Vegans blog wouldn't come around for another few months.

By the way, my profession is fundraising. I use my fundraising blog, Adventures in Fundraising, to support other fundraisers and to show folks in activist communities how fun fundraising can be.

Now, The Gay Vegans blog will be two years old in June. Just before that I will be attending this blogger's conference, Vida Vegan Con, in Portland, Oregon. I am beyond super stoked, if you can imagine what that looks like! There will be a ton of other vegan bloggers, from all over the world. There will be sessions on just about every topic imaginable, and most of all there will be other bloggers who I can learn from and who currently are or in their past have been right where I am in wanting to learn more, make my blog (especially the visual part of it) better and see what their ups and downs are in their world of blogging.

It's going to be a blast.

I am also looking forward to going to other blogger conferences, ones that will include different topics and different focuses. I know there are a ton of bloggers out there who blog about the same things I do, like compassion, equality, marriage, activism and politics, and meeting up with those folks with be just as much fun.

What are your favorite blogs? I would love to know.

If you are going to be at Vida Vegan Con, let me know. I will look forward to meeting you. And if you live in the Portland, OR area, I will be there for five days during the conference.

Thanks to all of you who read our blog, who take action when we ask for help, and who each day work towards making this world a better place for all living beings.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Winners of our giveaway!

Whew, who knew a giveaway would take so much work!

I'm sure there are easier ways, and hopefully other bloggers will let us know how they do it.

We ran the contest for almost two weeks and had 98 of our readers enter. The only thing folks had to do to enter was send us the name of their state representative (or the similar person for those who live in Canada!). We checked every entry and let those who gave us a US Congressperson's name know that we wanted their state rep and most people revisited the info and sent us the correct name.

It took a long time to pull up everyone's state rep, and we learned a lot. Many of you were disappointed in who represents you and let us know that. Many of you were looking at their name for the first time. And many of your were excited to be able to find out who is your voice in your state capitol. We loved reading all of the comments as well as any information you provided us regarding your state rep.

We are the voices for the voiceless. State law affects so much of our daily lives, and now those of you who entered know who to voice your opinions to on the state level.

Thank you to all of you who entered.

Enough already! Did I win???

The winner of the Soya Joy soy/nut milk maker, tofu press and 20 pounds of soy beans is...

Peggy Murphy Biddle!

The winners of "The Joy of Vegan Baking" cookbooks are:

Drake Shipway

Jason Thompson

Michelle (we don't have your last name, your state assemblyman is Allan Mansoor in CA)

Andrew Watson

Suburban Snow White

YEEHOO! Winners, please email me your mailing address at and we will send you your books. Peggy, the soy milk maker/tofu press and soybeans will all be shipped from the company directly to you!

Thank you all so much. We are already thinking of our next giveaway!

Thanks for reading!


News from Colorado - gays, guns and pot

If you read the national headlines, news from Colorado in the past week can be summed up in two words: gays and guns.

This past week a civil unions bill, twenty years in the making, passed through our state house 39 - 25 and will be signed by our governor. Civil unions will be legal in Colorado starting May 1st. The anti-gay venom was alive and well in the debates, yet nothing new was said. The message of hate and prejudice never seems to change even if the faces of those expressing the message do. See my past blog post for more information civil unions in Colorado.

NOTE: Mike and I were married in our church on April 30, 2005. As huge of a deal as it was to us it is not recognized by our state or federal government. We will be in line on May 1st to get civil unioned.

Also this week, several gun laws were passed. I have been doing my best to keep up with them but even that effort hasn't been enough to have a good grip on what is going on. Gun rights activists are pissed off as you can see in any comments section for articles or postings about the bills that will most likely now become law. The bills include a 15-round magazine limit, having gun purchasers pay for their background check and one around universal background checks (adding private sales to when a background check is required).

I have read a lot around these. Those supporting the measures believe that they will make Colorado safer while those opposing them believe that the government is infringing on their 2nd Amendment rights and that the bills will do nothing to make the public safer.

As in some other heated topics, people who disagree with each other say unfortunate things. It's pathetic that we as communities cannot debate ideas without personally slamming someone or in some cases even threatening violence.

One thing I really liked from the gun debate (and many probably hated, especially those working in the state capitol) was that on the day that the state senate was debating gun bills, folks opposed to the bills kept a continuous flow of drivers circling the capitol and honking their horns. I thought that was great activism. I wanted to even stand on a corner there and hold a sign that said "honk for gay marriage!".

Also in the headlines here is news about medical marijuana and a new amendment (64) that was passed by voters in November making it legal to be carrying a small amount of marijuana. It's fascinating to watch how this affects people. I read today that our governor has said that while meeting with potential business folks who may consider moving to Colorado their biggest concern is marijuana. I believe him when he says this and I the same time I am thinking "seriously?".

Regarding animals, nothing has really come to the legislature regarding protection, welfare or cruelty. I did see one bill about vet care of ill farmed animals which did not pass (animal groups were opposed to it).

Meanwhile in Colorado spring is here and we have had some beautiful weather. I don't think I can take the sand bags out of the bed of my truck quite yet but winter is definitely coming to an end.

Politics is fascinating. Less than two months left in our state legislative session and I wonder if it is going to get any more exciting. Regardless of people's opinions, I am excited to see so many people get involved politically and make their voices heard.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thank you! One step forward with civil unions

I wanted to jump, scream and shout all at once.

But I couldn't. No one could. To the legislators voting for or against a step towards equality it was business. There was another bill to vote on right after. So the Speaker of the House politely asked everyone in the chamber to be quiet.

All of the emotion hit me as I walked back to work. This is not marriage. It was still a step for us, a pretty big step. And walking out of a building where one year ago I cried as bigotry won out once again, I cried as I thought of the love of my life and the fact that a civil union would do just fine for now. For now.

And bigotry lost today. It lost big time. I don't think for a second that there are not still bigots out there. I just think that the tide is turning.

The purpose of this blog post is to thank all of you who voiced your opinion during this many year process. Thank you for taking the time to speak out for Mike and I and the thousands of other gay and lesbian couples in Colorado. Thanks for the call and thanks for the email. Thanks for proving my point that in the end, love will always prevail over hate.

I have heard a lot of bs over the years in regards to anything around equality for gay people. This year during the debate for civil unions was not different. It's hard to take anyone seriously, let alone religious extremists, who slam a bill for not having religious exemptions when the same bill they slammed last year did have exemptions. Blows my mind. And they have the frickin' nerve to talk about freedom!

If you have read my blog or know anything about me you know that for me this is just a step. I want nothing short of full marriage equality. I'm not going to stop until that day. I hope all of you will continue this journey with Mike and I, as your support means so much.

We are so incredibly grateful for all of you. We totally are.

The Governor will sign this bill later in the week. On May 1st civil unions will begin. The day before that is our 8th wedding anniversary so it looks like that weekend will be busy for us!

Sending love to all of you.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Running for a cause

I'm not a runner.

I haven't run any kind of distance distance since 2000 and that was a 5K, I think.

I love riding my bike and swimming, and working out.

Not running.

So when co-workers of mine began to talk about running all or a portion of the Colfax Marathon coming up in Denver on May 19th, I kept thing "well good for you".

The fundraiser in me thought that this would be a good chance to tell all of my friends about my new agency, new job, and the mission I now fundraise for: youth experiencing homelessness.

I signed up to run the half marathon.

I know! It's crazy!

What we do for our causes: for the animals, for human rights, for those who suffer.

So on May 19th at 7am MST I will begin the longest run of my life. I am doing it because no matter how tough it is for me, it doesn't even come close to what young people have to go through just to get to our agency. Not even close.

Here's me after my first training run explaining a little more. Warning, I'm not looking pretty!

This is a chance for me to raise money, to show what a 47 year old vegan can do physically and to work on a goal with my husband. Yep, Mike is doing it too.

I am super excited and a little scared. I am powered by love from friends and family, by the mission of the agency I am fundraising for (Urban Peak) and by a good amount of vegan friends who have become athletes for a cause.

If you'd like to support my fundraising efforts and youth experiencing homelessness, you can donate here:

As of the writing of this blog I am at 33% of my running goal and 17% of my fundraising goal.

Imagine what we can all do for our causes!!!

Thank you for reading. I will keep you posted!


PS...Mike just reminded me that he is part of this blog too and therefore I should publish his fundraising page! Here it is:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tell them what you think!

Our first ever giveaway is going well, with many of our readers and new readers finding out who represents them in their state legislature/house so they can enter our contest. That's all we have asked to enter: tell us who your state representative is. Or in Canada, who represents you in your providence's capitol.

It is easy to find out who this person. The reality though is that I would say 95% of the population does not know who represents them at the state level.

That number has decreased  a little since our giveaway began thank goodness.

Our state representatives hold  a lot of power. They need to hear from us. Seriously. As we read comments, posts and emails from people entering our giveaway, it is clear that when people find out who their state rep is not all of them are happy. We have gotten a lot of "ughs", "oh no's" and "I don't like this guy/gal".

As I have written many times, we have power. We are the voice for the voiceless. In some way I feel it is our duty to let our state representatives know what we think.

An example of this is the recent civil unions debate here in Colorado. This is not the first time our state house and state senate have debated civil unions. It will hopefully be the last as the votes are there in the state house to pass it this year. During a committee debate, a woman who represents a district just south of us gave the same bs statement that we have heard so many times as to why civil unions should not be passed.

Who elected this woman? Do people who live in her district even have any idea who she is?

The sad answer is no.

We are hoping to change this.

Tell your state representative what you think. It takes a minute or two just to send an email. Or a quick call. "Sir, I believe in felony animal cruelty laws". "Ma'am, I believe in equal rights for gay and lesbian people". 

I will continue writing about this as long as I have a blog. It is that important to me.

Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless. Thank you for supporting our blog. And thank you for entering our giveaway!

PS... If you have not entered the giveaway you can do so until noon MST on March 15th!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Our first giveaway! Make soymilk (nutmilk) and tofu at home!

Back in November I was at the Southern Plains Land Trust annual fundraiser emceeing the event and had time to do some shopping at their silent auction (a little too much shopping some might say). I kept bidding on the Soyajoy G3 Soymilk Maker and by the end of the night it was mine. The folks who make it had generously donated it to SPLT for the auction and I thought it would make a great Christmas gift for Mike.

Score! Mike loves it. And we soon purchased the tofu maker so that we (Mike) can now make fresh soymilk AND fresh tofu at any time. We can also make hemp milk, almond milk, macadamia nut milk, etc. You get the idea. I wanted to bring that up for those of you who do not consume soy. The maker is versatile and has totally changed our lives. Fresh, home made tofu tastes so much better and we keep thinking of all of the packaging from tofu and soymilk containers that we no longer use!

If, like me (Dan) you might be thinking that you would not be able to make your own soymilk or tofu even with this machine, don't worry at all! It is super easy and you will love it!

Because of how much we LOVE this product, and because we have never done a giveaway on our blog, we thought this would be the perfect fit.

The better news is now there is a Soyajoy G4 Soymilk Maker and this is what the winner will receive.  And don't worry, we wouldn't give away a soymilk maker without giving you something to use it with. So we asked our friends at Laura Soy Beans to offer a 20-pound bag of non-GMO soy beans and they immediately said yes! The folks at Laura Soy Beans have been amazingly friendly and kind to us as we began the adventure of making our own soy milk.

The giveaway also includes the added tofu maker, which we love.

No need to go to any website or sign up anywhere. To be included in the drawing all we ask is that you send us the name of your state representative. That is the person who represents you in the state capitol where you live. This will not surprise our regular readers as we write often about engaging these very same people. If you do not know who represents you in your state capitol please click here and you can find out: Depending on where you live, you might need to enter your nine-digit zip code to get the list of who represents you. We ask for the name of this person not so we can contact them but so you will know who they are! NOTE: In Canada it would be your MLA, Member of the Legislative Assembly.

Remember, it's your state representative we're looking for. We will check the names we draw to make sure the person you sent us is correct. And of course if you need help searching we will help.

We are also giving away four copies of the cookbook that changed my feelings on baking and one I use all the time, "The Joy of Vegan Baking" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Are you ready? Please send the name of your state representative via Twitter, our Facebook page, as a comment here or emailed to

We will take entries trough Friday, March 15th at noon Mountain Standard Time.

Thanks for reading!