Saturday, November 30, 2013

Doing my small part

Talking to someone while protesting the dog vivisection labs at CU. They were shut down in 2003.

I was once at a fur protest and a passerby asked me why we (the protesters) didn't help children or the poor. I simply told him that he didn't know us at all and he had no idea who we were or what we did when we were not protesting fur. He agreed.

I had quite a busy week. At my day job I am a fundraiser for an agency that serves homeless youth. On Wednesday we served 120+ youth a Thanksgiving dinner. I walked around chatting with many youth that I know, and the room was quiet. I thought of the phrase "Peace on Earth. Good will to everyone" as a large group of people seemed so quiet, so peaceful.

Thanksgiving morning I was at the same place, our drop-in center, and was able to be a loving presence as youth who live on the streets came in for a hot breakfast.

Sometimes I feel I have had a victory at work when I leave a meeting with a donor carrying a nice sized check. Other times it's the smile I see in a youth who has lived a life filled with trauma. Then I get an email from a blog reader who is in their third week of being vegan, reading the wonderful news while one of our rescue dogs is laying stretched out on my lap.

Thanksgiving day we had a house full of friends who we love so much and who are such important parts of our lives. Every one of them makes the world a better place for all living beings, in their own way. Mike and I have a life filled with people who take action against animal torture, human rights abuses and hate.

Some days I feel like I do not do enough. No matter how much each of us does, there is something right behind it. It can and does get overwhelming at times.

This blog has made a huge difference in how I feel I can be effective in making the world a better place. Today is the last day of our dog and cat food drive for Animal Haus and I have been blown away by the amount of food we have had donated. I'll have official numbers later. Over a hundred blog readers and supporters donated food or made an online donation. Incredible.

We all have the power to make the world a better place for all living beings. In our own way. No action is too small. Our compassion and passion can rock it.

To all of our amazing readers, thank you. Thank you for what you do every day to make this world a better place!

And thanks for reading!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our newest family member!

This past Monday we adopted our newest family member, Rose! We are so excited!

Rose was rescued during a raid on a puppy mill. For seven years all she has been used for is to produce puppies. We know her life was terrible because her skin is in bad shape, she is very skiddish (definitely has been hit) and had to have all of her teeth pulled.

Rose is a total love. She is slowly getting used to us and is seeming less fearful every day. Since arriving, she has slept next to my head every night.

We got to meet her last Friday night. It was a surprise for Mike as I told him I wanted to take him somewhere. He had no idea it was to meet a sweet Yorkie at the Denver Dumb Friends League. Within ten minutes of arriving she was on Mike's lap and a few minutes later on mine. We loved her already. Since she hadn't been spayed yet and needed the dental surgery, we had to wait. Perhaps a week.

Monday morning we chatted and were wondering about her. I told Mike I'd call at 11:00am when they opened. They called me at 9:00am and told me to come get her.

Mike was there when they opened.

We were reminded of all of the challenges that puppy mill rescues go through. We already knew all that because of past fosters. No challenge was going to keep Rose from us.

I'm sure you'll hear all about Rose as she settles in. More to come for sure.

Thanks for reading. And if you don't know about puppy mills, please Google them and find out about these horrible places that only exist because people buy puppies at pet stores.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hate comes to The Gay Vegans

When you have a blog called The Gay Vegans you have to expect that not everyone is going to dig you. I get it all of the time. The gay part, the vegan part, the not vegan enough part, the smack from folks in different communities who just don't agree with something I have written about.

I'm used to all of that. And in many cases have had great conversations with people who I disagree with.

This morning I woke up to a nice serving of hate on our Facebook page. This is the stuff I don't like. As you know, we're in the middle of a two week dog and cat food drive for Animal Haus so we (us and our readers) can support those who are having tough financial times and need a little help with food for their companion animal.

I decided to use Facebook ads for the first time and had great success. The Gay Vegans blog was introduced to many people and we got donations from people we had never met.

Apparently our ad ended up on someones page who does not like gay people. He decided to post on our blog's Facebook page: "Keep your fag SHIT to yourself". He wrote more, in  acouple of places on our page, but no need to go into that. I was stunned. I mean we all have to look at Facebook ads that we wish we didn't have to. This dude took it to another level.

I was suddenly facing a reality that I had honestly forgotten about. We have a ton of readers and we get so much love, respect and kindness form them. We also get disagreement. But we don't get a lot of hate. Every once in a while we do, and it takes me aback.

I went to this gentleman's Facebook page and his first post was a photo that said something about hoping to be able to bless someone today.

I hope he's able to do that too.

Hate is a terrible thing. I write about it often. Only we have the power to stop it.

Thank you to all of you who have supported this blog. And more thanks to all of our readers who have donated to the dog and cat food drive!

And remember that you do not need to live in Denver to support the drive. You can make an online donation to Animal Haus at . No donation is too small!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our dog and cat food drive

We are almost finished with our first week of our two week dog and cat food drive in support of Animal Haus, a Denver charity that gives away food to folks who are having financial difficulties so that they have a better chance of keeping their companion animal.

I have been blown away by y'alls response! I am super grateful to all of you who have dropped of food at one of our location or who have made a donation to Animal Haus on their website.

You can still support us as we move into week two.

If you live in Denver, you can drop off dog and cat food at:

Urban Peak, 730 21st Street, Denver Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm.

Planet Pet, 4338 Tennyson Street, Denver Monday - Friday from 10am - 7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am - 4pm.

You can purchase vegan dog and cat food at Nooch Vegan Market, 3360 Larimer Street, any day from 11am - 6pm.

Our Facebook event page is here:

You can make an online donation here:

Remember, any amount of a donation will make a difference in an animals life!

Thank you! Please help us to continue to rock it for those experiencing tougher times and for the companion animals they adore.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Colorado calves Part II: Animal cruelty charges!

My how things change after an undercover investigation video from a calf facility in Colorado goes viral.

This post is a follow up to my last post about the Compassion Over Killing investigation in Kersey, Colorado. There was a press conference by Compassion Over Killing on Wednesday and then yesterday in Weld County another press conference, but not held by the fine folks at COK. Indeed, this one was held by the Weld County Sheriff announcing that three men were facing misdemeanor animal cruelty charges stemming from what was seen on the video.

The facility is owned by Quanah Cattle Company, a California based operation.

The three men have been fired.

I have tried to verify this and haven't yet, but I am pretty sure this is the first time any type of animal cruelty charges have been filed against employees in Colorado of the animal agriculture business.

I asked Compassion Over Killing about calf operations in Colorado and learned something. Here is what they had to say: "We are also not aware of how many calf-production facilities there are in Colorado. We do know that dairy is the 2nd largest agricultural industry in the state, and all dairy cows need to be continually re-impregnated to produce milk, and half of all calves produced will be male – so it's not a stretch to say there's a huge demand for places to take and raise all these "unwanted" calves."

The sweet, gentle calves in the video are a result of the demand for dairy.

Mike and I have been watching all of the news around this and realized that those in charge at Quanah seem to be reacting with shock, when what we saw in the video happens all of the time in the production of livestock. As I have written before, men like those in the video are cowards. They treat animals like that because they can.

The best way to stop animal cruelty like is seen in the video is to not consume dairy. Super easy in this world of soy, hemp, rice, cashew, and coconut milks. Another way to not only work to stop animal cruelty but to shine a bright light on it is to financially support organizations like Compassion Over Killing. Click here if you'd like to make a donation:  

We would like to thank everyone at Compassion Over Killing for the work they do every day that brings a voice to the voiceless.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Compassion Over Killing's Colorado calves investigation

As I write this I remember that there is cruelty to animals happening probably right down the street from us, right now. I know that animals of all kinds are being tortured and are living in fear right at this moment.

And when I read the details of the most recent Compassion Over Killing undercover investigation, I became sickened, saddened and close to enraged. You see, this investigation was done in Weld County, Colorado, an hour from where Mike and I live. The people torturing animals in the video are Coloradans. I suppose deep down I hold our neighbors to a higher standard, as ridiculous as that is.

It involves calves, some just born. Who couldn't be moved by watching calves being tortured.

I met Mario the calf many years ago at Farm Sanctuary in California. My friends John and Randy had surprised me with a visit there. For me, it was love at first sight. Mario was an adorable calf, saved from a dead pile at a local dairy farm. Broken legs, well, you know the deal.

Watching him run and kick up in the air delighted me.

Something every single one of those calves in the current Compassion Over Killing video never had a chance to do.

I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't put videos that record animal cruelty, abuse, torture or killing on this blog. If you would like to see what human beings do to calves as part of the dairy/veal industry, you can click here for the Compassion Over Killing video:

From the COK press release:

Animal handling expert Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University decried the cruelty seen in the video, calling it “severe abuse,” and noting that “If this facility had been a slaughter plant, the USDA would have shut them down.”

The cruelty to calves uncovered in this investigation is so shocking and violent that COK turned our evidence over to local authorities and we are now working with them on this case. We are calling upon law enforcement agents to file criminal charges of cruelty to animals, sending a message that such egregious animal abuse is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Colorado. We’re heartened to report that the Weld County Sheriff’s Office is taking this matter seriously and has already initiated its own independent investigation.

I asked the awesome folks at Compassion Over Killing what we can do. And I mean all of you when I say we.

They said to help spread the word. From their website you can easily connect with all of your social media outlets.

I write a lot about being a voice for the voiceless. We must be the voice for these calves, and the billions of other animals treated in similar fashion just so folks can have veal, bacon or chicken fingers. Please spread the word. If you have the means, support COK financially which you can also do from their website. Investigations like these are vital to be a voice for these beautiful animals.

If you live in Colorado, send the video or the information about the investigation to your state representative and state senator. Let them know that this is unacceptable and ask them to speak out against this abuse/torture.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our first ever dog and cat food drive!

I am ecstatic to let you all know that The Gay Vegans are having our first ever dog and cat food drive! After a  lot of consideration around who we would support with a blog-wide effort and how, we have decided to collect dog and cat food as well as cash for Animal Haus, a local Denver non-profit that gives away dog and cat food to those who would otherwise not be able to fee their companion animals.

The great thing about this effort is that you do not need to live in Denver to support us. We will have collection spots for you and your friends to drop off the food, and those who want to support us who do not live n the Denver area can simply go to this website and make a donation. A little goes a long way.

I know that through the support of our blog readers and supporters that we can make a HUGE difference for those struggling with finances to care for their companions. Imagine what a difference a donation of food makes to a guardian who is experiencing really tough financial times, and in some cases might even be considering bringing their beloved into a shelter!

WE can make the difference.

Please spread the word. I will post all of the current details here. This will be a two-week effort. We can change the lives of families who truly want to keep and care for their companions, they are just having really difficult times.

The Gay Vegans dog and cat food drive
November 16 - 30, 2013

Donations can be dropped off at Urban Peak Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm.

Donations of vegan dog and cat food can be purchased at Nooch Vegan Market at 34th and Larimer and placed in the Animal Haus bin.

In the west metro area? You can drop off at our home in northeast Lakewood. Just email for directions.

More information to come and hopefully more drop off locations. If you know of a Denver area pet food store that would let us hang out one day and ask customers to donate food, please let me know.

Thank you all so much. Stay tuned for updates!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another Meatless Monday post

Recently I read about another restaurant in Denver that has started offering something special for Meatless Monday. I loved reading about it, a three course meal offered at Ace. Ace is not a vegan or veg restaurant, but they do have one of the areas top vegan chefs, Jesse Moore. I'm just excited that the whole Meatless Monday idea is going strong.

I think Meatless Monday is an amazing way to build relationships and to spread the value of offering vegan dishes. I dream of a day when our city of Lakewood embraces the idea and restaurants throughout the city offer vegan and vegetarian specials every Monday. It would be a win for everyone as Monday is typically not a busy night at restaurants and people interested in healthier food choices would have plenty of places to choose from.

Imagine going to your favorite restaurant and asking them to do something for Meatless Monday. You and your friends would promote it and before you know it Monday night could become one of their busier nights.

There are other ways to support Meatless Monday and to engage people into thinking about not consuming meat for a day: 

Bring a breakfast treat into the office.

Invite a group of co-workers out to lunch or plan a vegan potluck for lunch.

Plan a group dinner in your home. We've heard from our blog readers around the world who have hosted Meatless Monday dinners, one even having 25 friends over!

Create a community Meetup for the first Monday of every month. Choose a different restaurant each month and create an online community of people who are interested in joining you. You might be surprised to see a gathering go from five people the first time to 15 a couple of months later.

Meatless Mondays are awesome opportunities to not only show off how delicious and healthy vegan food can be but also a great way to be a voice for the animals.

Thanks for reading and please keep your Meatless Monday stories coming!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gay, vegan and voting

Election night was quite the night in our household. I am a geek when it comes to politics so election night is typically a flurry of going from website to website watching results as I watch local results on the television.

Last night was no different. Although there were no huge headline elections, I was very much interested in the Virginia governor's race, a congressional race in Alabama (go figure), school board elections in the county we live in here in Colorado as well as a tax hike initiative to support public schools in Colorado and a GMO labeling bill in Washington state. Whew.

The celebratory part of last night was that a bigot lost the governor's race in Virgina. Although I was accused last night of being "super nasty" when calling Ken Cuccinelli a bigot, the fact is he is a bigot. Although in the end the voters of Virginia didn't have a fantastic choice, I am relieved that there will be one less anti-gay, religious extremist in power. Wow, maybe I could just call him and people like him that rather than a bigot?

The celebration kind of ended there. As huge supporters of public schools and the funding of public schools, we were both devastated that our local school board now has three "reformist" members. All three candidates we supported lost. There is a lot of talk around what is actually best for students, and I will be the first to admit that I don't know all of the facts, yet in Colorado we have seen "reformist" school board members in Douglas County and from my point of view it isn't good. With a bunch of out-of-state money the "reformists" held on to power in Douglas County and now will be joined by similar thinking school board members in Jefferson County, where we live.

I haven't seen official results from Washington state. The notes I have read show that the GMO bill failed, yet that is not official as of the time I am writing this.

And in Alabama ( I know you are just waiting to read this part!) the less anti-gay guy won. The guy he beat told gay rights supporters in Alabama that they should move to California or Vermont and take their deviant lifestyles with them. OK, he only said the California and Vermont part but he has referred to us in the past as deviants.

All types of activists read this blog. Some because we are vegan, some because we are gay, some because we are also activists and fight for the voiceless. I absolutely believe that each one of us who is fighting for the voiceless and fighting to make this world a better place for all living beings have to get politically active and have to vote. We have to pay attention to what is going on in our own backyards.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The "healtheir" gay vegans

REMINDER: I am not a registered dietitian. When I write about health I am writing about my own personal experiences which include success and non-successes.  For great vegan nutrition information please check out some of the blogs linked on our blog.

Mike and I went for a run yesterday. We are both in training. This year we did our first half marathon, as part of the Colfax Marathon here in Denver. Now we are training again, Mike for his first marathon and me for my second half marathon. My goal is to finish in 2:30, which would be 25 minutes faster than this year. We have until May of next year and are super excited.

Yesterday's run was wonderful for me. I train at Sloan's Lake which is a Denver city park about 1 1/2 miles from our house. It's beautiful. The path around the lake is just over 2.5 miles. Yesterday's run was the fastest pace I have done since I was a teen, at just under a 10 minute mile. Whew, what  a blast!

At 47, I am more and more grateful for the health benefits of being vegan. I became vegan as a way to do the least harm as I could while on this earth, which for me means not partaking in the cruelty that is inherent in eating meat, dairy, eggs, etc. This has been a 17-year journey for me.

Knowing that Pepsi and potato chips are vegan, it is not automatic that being vegan means being healthy. I know all about that. In my recent past I have really tried to pay more attention to what goes in my body and how I take care of myself.

I drink lots of water throughout the day. Most days I start with a smoothie filled with kale, Swiss chard, berries of some sort, coconut water and usually some vegan protein mix. Currently using a hemp protein, and also use the Vega proteins which are delish. I definitely make an effort to get as many serving of fruits and veggies throughout the day as possible.

I smile when I see our shopping cart these days. We still have some processed foods, but the majority of our cart is filled with organic veggies and fruit, both fresh and frozen.

My body definitely feels the difference when I focus on eating as healthy as possible.

With the healthier food choices, I also exercise a lot. The running is wonderful. Not only does it help me health wise and feeling better physically, it also helps with my self-esteem. I also try to get to the gym twice a week for swimming and lifting.

I feel better physically than I ever have. It's wonderful. Many, many thanks to so many of you who inspire me daily.

And thank you for reading!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

(Our) Legal marriage closer to reality

As I write this the state legislature in Hawaii is debating the legalization of gay marriage. Yesterday, the state senate voted yes (there were only 4 no votes).

Meanwhile I have been enjoying posts about Day of the Dead and World Vegan Day.

There is so much to celebrate in our lives.

I remember the days when marriage wasn't even a thought in the future. When there were no vegan blogs, no vegan restaurants. Actually, I remember when there were hardly any vegans in my life!

Today I look at my husband and know that one day we will be legally married. On April 30, 2005 we were married in our church in front of 160 friends and family. It wasn't legal. We called it a loving act of civil disobedience.

Civil disobedience indeed.

A few months ago the US Supreme Court ruled that parts of the Defense of Marriage Act were not constitutional. For us this meant that we can get married in a state where gay marriage is legal and have our marriage federally recognized even though we live in a state where gay marriage is banned in our state constitution.

Since then, New Jersey has become another state where gay marriage is legal.

More states will come. Even though bigotry and hate is alive and well, marriage equality is happening and will one day in the not so distant future be legal in every state.

I have to say that I am ecstatic that one day soon I will be legally married to Mike. He is the love of my life, my best friend.

When we have a date and have a plan as to where we will have our legal ceremony, I will definitely let you know. I realize that I have said this many times, but I have to say once again how grateful we are for all of the love, support and inspiration that we get from our readers.

Thank you!

More to come.

Thanks for reading!