Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Whole Foods sells rabbit meat

If you like eating rabbits, this post might be informative to you.

If you do not eat rabbits, and you like living rabbits, I hope you take action after reading this post.

Meet Clover. She is a family member of one of our best friends. Family. Our friend has been educating us about Whole Foods selling rabbit meat in some stores, I think they are testing the market for rabbit meat. She has stopped shopping at Whole Foods because of this and is working to get Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit meat.

I understand where she is coming from. Whenever I see or read about chinchilla fur coats, I think of the chins who are part of our family. It hits hard. The same is for our friend seeing rabbit meat sold.

I didn't think the whole rabbit meat at Whole Foods, a place where many vegans and vegetarians and animal lovers shop, would last. It didn't make sense for them to create controversy amongst loyal customers. It's been several months now and I don't think they are considering stopping the sale of rabbit meat. In fact, they are even trying to be "cute" with the sale of rabbit meat. The picture here is of a sign in a Whole Foods above a picture of rabbits who will become rabbit meat.

This photo is a combination of two photos: top is from a Whole Foods store selling rabbit meat. Bottom is from a rabbit slaughterhouse in Iowa.
"Come hop down the bunny trail"? Seriously?

I have to say that I like Whole Foods a little less now because of this sign. I also will clarify that a rabbit is a cow is a chicken is a fish is a rat to me. I believe in being a voice for all animals. At first I thought Whole Foods was just selling another animal. But for me, rabbits are different as they are family just like chins are my family. Folks who have rabbits as part of their family don't want to see body parts of an animal that is part of their family while they grocery shop just as I don't want to see chinchilla throws while shopping.

I know Whole Foods is getting taken to the carpet by activists around the country for many reasons. Their "humane meat" promotion is ridiculous. And hurtful. Even with all of that plus the selling of rabbit meat, we still shop there. Their selection of vegan items makes shopping easier for us.

But we shop there less. And have talked about not shopping there at all.

I have read all sorts of comments around this national campaign to get Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit meat.  There are definitely a lot of opinions. Now you know mine.

If you think Whole Foods should stop selling rabbit meat, please leave a comment at your local Whole Foods. I have always believed that we have the power to make change, and I certainly believe that Whole Foods can be convinced to stop selling rabbit meat. It takes a community of people, but it can be done.

Protests will be nationwide this coming week. Here is the Facebook event page for the Boulder Whole Foods protest against the selling of rabbit meat:

We love rabbits!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Letting the ugliness go

A few weeks ago some of my friends went to hear Janet Mock speak in southern California. I had never heard of her but instantly became interested as my friends wrote about being changed by meeting her. Janet is a trans woman and I am reading her book "Redefining Realness".

A quote on the cover says "You will be changed by the book".


I am only in the first few pages. As she discusses seeing trans women out and about (before she came out as trans) she writes "They were dismissed and dehumanized, which made an overwhelming majority of them vulnerable to the harshest treatment, exclusion, discrimination, and violence."

She is writing about trans women but those lines hit me hard.

The man I am today is not the man I have always been. While reading this I was jolted back to the days when my life was what Janet was writing about. Not as a trans woman but as a closeted gay man struggling to come out.

Experiencing unkindness and serious hatred from those in my inner circle and even family members. Not knowing how someone would react, especially when thinking that all would be OK because this person or that person loves me so much.

At 21 being in the middle of the ocean on a US Navy ship and being called faggot, with nowhere to go. The idea that people would be violent towards me was one that took me a long time to get used to. I just could not understand it. At first.

Of course the self-imposed hate and shame are the worst. Yet as I struggled through coming out, I kept being in awe about how hateful human beings could be. And at this point of my story it wasn't the hate and unkindness from strangers, but from people who knew me.

As I kept reading the words that Janet so perfectly wrote, my eyes filled with tears remembering the unkindness. Wanting so badly for my family members to just love me, regardless of what they felt about gayness. Wanting friends in the Navy who knew me so well, knew me as a good person and a good sailor, to take back the hateful words.

It took a long time to let the ugliness go.

As a gay, vegan blogger I get to experience the ugliness of hate and unkindness a lot. These days it doesn't bother me. Those who perpetuate hate and violence and unkindness towards anyone are small people, cowards actually. They are most likely dealing with their own demons. And their pathetic use of anti-gay slurs or threatened violence are sad attempts to break out of whatever crap is going on in their own lives. Don't get me wrong, I call anyone on their bullshit bigotry, but them being a bigot has much less affect on me than it did those many years ago as I was struggling.

(Except when they try to legalize their bigotry. That's a different story!)

Still reading "Redefining Realness". And today I say thank you, with a heart filled with love, gratitude, compassion and passion, to all of those who stood by me in those darkest of days and to all of those who have stood by me and loved me and been a part of my incredible journey ever since.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, March 20, 2015

News from the prairie dog slaughter in Castle Rock, CO

I just read this and wanted to share with you. I copied this from Save the Castle Rock Mall Prairie Dogs Facebook page.

More than 1,500 prairie dogs were poisoned, a death that is ugly, painful and can take up to three days.

Yet those fighting for the voiceless prairie dogs did not give up!

Here is what is happening right now:

A court settlement was reached between Wildlands Defense and Alberta Development that paved the way for the remaining prairie dogs at the site to be safely rescued and relocated. The settlement further dictated that Alberta provide mitigation for the burrowing owl through the creation of 21 artificial burrows to provide nesting habitat that was currently destroyed with the prairie dog homes from the use of fumitoxin and the destruction of current burrows.

The relocation is currently underway and 79 prairie dogs have been rescued as of yesterday. The efforts will continue throughout today at the prospective Promenade site. Tomorrow they will be transported to New Mexico. I will keep you informed as to how many we were able to move in tomorrow's email. Translocations are very stressful for these prairie dogs. They are very scared now and are being taken from their decades long home and traumatized from the interaction with people and the destruction of all they have ever known and loved. This is a very hard time for the survivors, but they will be able to have the opportunity to live, and even though the situation is not ideal, some very precious lives have been saved.

We must not forget that last week thousands of these beautiful animals were murdered in the most destructive way known by administering poison all over the land.

Thanks for reading. 

A day without meat

Today is Meatout 2015.

Sponsored by Farm Animal Rights Movement, Meatout is a day for those who consume animal products to give them up for a day.

One day.

No meat, no dairy, no eggs.

Why Meatout? From their website, which I will link at the bottom of this post, "Every year, Meatout raises awareness of the benefits of eating vegan: helping animals, achieving great health, and saving the planet."

That sums it up for me.

As you know, every day is Meatout for us. 19 years for me and 11 years for Mike. What I love about Meatout is that it gives folks who are not vegan a chance to learn about veganism and the many benefits for so many around being vegan.

I know many of our readers are not vegan or are newly vegan. Check out the Meatout website. Consider eating plant-based today. For help, recipes, and tips you can also checkout the links on our blog.

Here is the link: Meatout 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Who represents you on city council?

I write a lot about getting active politically and getting to know those who represent us throughout political levels.

Watching so many people protest in cities around the country for or against issues that are local, I decided to write about being active with one's city council.

Who is the city council member that represents you?

In Lakewood, Colorado, where we live, we have two folks on city council who represent our part of the city. Some cities have one for their area and then some who can be elected city-wide.

The city council has more power than you might think. A lot of politics is local.

I have met with our city council members about issues as diverse as chain laws for dogs kept outside, marijuana stores in town and seeing what can be done to make sure our police officers are trained in a way that they never feel they need to shoot and kill a dog.

Some cities have hundreds of employees. Do they honor same-sex couples? Smaller cities may not even have considered how animals labeled as "pets" are treated. A locally-supported Meatless Monday?

Recently a city council of another suburb of Denver, Castle Rock, were inundated with citizens who wanted them to hold off on slaughtering a colony of prairie dogs so a mall could be built. Those pleading with the council were only asking for time to move the colony. The way some council members treated those speaking for the prairie dogs made me sick.

Find out who represents you on city council. Let them know what issues are important to you. You never know what amazing difference that can make or what voiceless being you could support.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Grocery shopping at Safeway

I have been reading news and posts about where people shop (and where they don't want to shop!) and have always wanted to write about where we shop.


Every week I get emails from folks who are newly vegan. Believe it or not the grocery store is a whole new world when newly vegan, and I often get asked where we shop.

We live in the west suburbs of Denver and have many choices. For the last nine years my main place to shop has been Safeway.

It's a chain, pretty big in Colorado. For those of who shop only at all-vegan markets, you'll want to skip this one.

There are many reasons why I love my local Safeway. There are always items on sale (I love their 10 for $10 specials) and even when items aren't on sale most of what I buy fits into our food budget. They have a great organics section and over the years have progressed into selling more and more vegan items.

They carry national vegan products like Gardein and Daiya and Immaculate Baking. And in some Safeways (not ours yet) the in-store bakeries are making vegan cake. Mmmm.They also have an amazing assortment of breads that don't cost $6.00 a loaf!

I also am often surprised by finding vegan products there that I haven't heard of before.

When I look at all of the places we shop (Safeway, Whole Foods, King Soopers and Vitamin Cottage) I always end up back at Safeway and happy. And so is our budget.

If you have a Safeway in your area check it out. If you live in the Denver area ours is the one at 38th and Wadsworth.

Happy grocery shopping.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I ran a 5K!

Last weekend I ran into a couple of friends of mine who told me about a 5K race they were running the following day.

I got super excited. I am training for my next half marathon and thought this would be perfect. So I decided to join them.

Fantastic decision!

I arrived to the race and it was 17 degrees out! It was 19 degrees when the race began.

I finished with a time of 34:30. I felt amazing.

At 49 I feel like I am healthier than I have ever been.

I decided to write about this race to hopefully inspire those who want to get healthier. It's possible. At any age. Being vegan and living a live that includes exercise, whichever form, is awesome.

And remember, two years ago I wasn't even a runner. Since then I have run two half marathons.

I try to get to our gym twice a week. I also try to go heavy on fruits and veggies and focus on whole foods. Don't get me wrong, we eat our fair share of processed foods. Have you tried the new Gardein meatloaf! But I must say that over the past several years Mike and I have definitely been eating more fruits and veggies.

I physically feel incredible and I think being vegan and exercising have a lot to do with that!

Thanks for reading!