Sunday, January 25, 2015

A blogger in jail - Raif Badawi

I spend  a lot of time writing about and for journalists and bloggers who are persecuted for simply writing. Hundreds are in jail. Many have been killed.

As a blogger I get occasional hate mail from folks who do not like gay people, do night like vegans or do not like the idea of animals not being anything other than a product, but I have never felt that I could not write or that I would be imprisoned or killed for writing.

Today I ask you to take a moment to spread the word about Raif Badawi. A Saudi blogger, father of three, husband. He was sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashings for his blog writings. 

At this time the next series of lashings have been postponed due to his physical health being so poor from the previous lashings.

I have tried to get as much information about his sentencing and "crime". Rather than write paragraphs and paragraphs I am adding two paragraphs from a Washington Post editorial that for me sums it up nicely:

"Mr. Badawi acted in the spirit of freedom of the modern age. A blogger, he called for open debate about interpretations of Islam. His blog posts were sometimes satirical and sometimes irreverent. They also infuriated the kingdom’s hidebound religious clerics. On Friday in Jiddah, he was given a punishment from a bygone century: 50 lashes, the first of 20 floggings, once a week, to a total of 1,000 lashes for his outspokenness. The word barbaric hardly captures the depth of this depravity.

As we described it last year, Mr. Badawi was arrested in 2008 and questioned about his Web site but released. Then he was charged with setting up a Web site that insults Islam, and he left the country. He returned when prosecutors apparently decided to drop the charges, but in 2009 he was barred from leaving. In 2011 prosecutors alleged that his Web site “infringes on religious values,” and he was arrested in 2012, when a well-known cleric issued a religious ruling that Mr. Badawi was an apostate who must be tried. His Web site was shut down, and his family left Saudi Arabia. A judge threw out the charge of apostasy, which carries the death penalty, after Mr. Badawi assured the court that he is a Muslim. In a subsequent trial he was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, 10 years in prison and a fine equivalent to $266,000."

Ever since reading of this and learning more and more about Raif, I think of him all of the time. 

Would you please help me spread the word? We have the power to shine a light on Raif and to support him.

Amnesty International is working hard to get Raif released. Here is a link to their site: help Raif
On their site you can send a note to the Saudi's and then promote that on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you. And thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is your place of faith anti gay?

So many churches and other places of faith express that they "welcome all". Many have cool pastors or clergy or whoever leads them. They are friendly, loving and seem like awesome places to worship.

But many of them are anti gay. To be specific, they believe that gay people are going to hell. To be a little more specific, they believe that gay people who have sex are going to hell.

They might not talk about it. They might try to convince you that no matter what you believe, no matter how many gay friends and/or family members you have, that being in a sexual gay relationship means hell.

They say things like "we're not against something we are just for Jesus" and "it's really between the person and God". Yet invariably something negative will be said about gay people. My favorite is when these same people refer to our marriage as "so called gay marriage".

I acknowledge that this is a difficult topic for many, and that biblically speaking it is a topic with a lot of feelings and emotions.

I also believe that it is well past time for equality-loving folks to stop supporting anti-equality places of faith.

One of the most difficult things for me to experience in my life is watching people I love, and who I know love me, support places of faith that teach that I am going to hell.

I see this often. I am reminded by it all of the time by posts I see on Facebook. It's heartbreaking.

It's heartbreaking because I know these folks love me, and Mike. I know they support us 100%.

Financially supporting places of faith that denigrate gay people, in any way, is taking action against gay people, against equality.

Our church does not believe that we are going to hell. There is absolute love for us as a married couple. Those who preach at our church believe fundamentally that our love, our marriage, is not "sin".

This is a tough topic for both of us. We both have experienced hate and persecution from religious people.

Please don't support them. As with many things, we can vote with our dollars.

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The 19-year vegan

19 years!

Holy cow!

This month, 19 years ago, I decided to go vegan.

My decision was based on the animals. I had the information and it was time to take action.

In no way does my veganism stop cruelty completely. My being vegan is a way to do the least harm possible to all living beings while I am on this earth.

I realized that my passion and compassion could go beyond my taste buds.

I realized that my passion and compassion could extend from human suffering and take a look at my dinner plate.

I love animals. If I have any control in it, I don't want them to be harmed. I certainly don't want to be  a part of paying others to kill and torture animals so I can eat.

Now 48 (49 next month), I am super grateful that I am vegan. It is definitely the way for me.

It's not enough. But that is for another post!

If you have any interest in veganism, we have links to websites that we feel are helpful.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mario the cow

I think it was 2004.

I was in San Francisco for work and added a few days to spend with my dear friends John and Randy.

They surprised me with a trip to Farm Sanctuary. We spent a night at one of the cabins there, got the tour and met many lovely animals.

And we met Mario.

Mario had recently just gotten back from surgery for his broken leg. He was a calf, saved from a dead pile at a dairy farm. A trucker at the farm saw he was still alive and brought him to Farm Sanctuary.

Mario could walk pretty well when I met him. He totally loved being loved. Several times I watched him run and jump in the air, something I had never seen. I fell in love with Mario. He was honestly the cutest most precious being, and I thoroughly loved every minute I got to spend with him.

I think of him from time to time. He is one of the lucky ones. After being found on the dead pile he never had to know the life that almost every other farmed animal has to go through. And he didn't become veal.

Look at Mario now! I found these gorgeous photos from Cadry's Kitchen blog, from her visit to Farm Sanctuary.

Big love to Mario. And to all those who fight to stop animal cruelty.

Here's a link to Farm Sanctuary:

Here's a link to Cadry's post:

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why are The Gay Vegans following me?

I wanted to title this post "Why on earth are The Gay Vegans following me?" but that was a bit long of a title, especially for twitter.

I love building community. And I do a lot of that online. Our blog has accounts on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. I use each one for different purposes, and I never blindly connect them all so the same post goes to all of them. I do use them to spread my blog posts, but I also use them to meet folks I'd like to know and to build community with folks who might not normally be in community with gay vegans.

Being 48 and wanting to be as healthy as possible, I like connecting with others who work out and are into fitness. When I see someone who says that they are vegan are into fitness too, I like to connect with them.

That doesn't always go over well. So I want to clear the air if you will.

If I connect with you through social media it is because that something you are doing either inspires me, I want more of it in my life, or it's something I want to learn more about.

It doesn't mean I am hitting on you for goodness sake! Or that I want to offend you in any way!

There are a bunch of folks out there who inspire me. They may be totally out about being a follower of Christ, or vegan, or raw, and I make the attempt to connect.

They are not always thrilled. Recently on twitter, a vegan guy wrote how he couldn't believe The Gay Vegans would connect with him. After all, he's Christian, and far right. We exchanged some tweets and after I saw other tweets where he wrote to others saying that he was just going to have fun with us I disconnected.


He is a vegan athlete, including being a runner, and of course I would want to be connected with him.
But I get it. There are just always going to be folks who for whatever reason do not want to be connected with gays and/or vegans.

Another guy, on Instagram, deleted my comment on a photo of his saying that he was inspiring me.


If The Gay Vegans connect with you on any of the social media listed above and you do not want to be connected with us, please just tell me. I will disconnect and all will be well in the world. I honestly only wanted to build relationship and let you know that something you are doing inspires me or teaches me.

I hope this clears the air.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Meet Panti Bliss: She is fed up!

I have shared this video throughout my social media and decided it was one of those videos that I just had to share on my blog.

Panti  Bliss is fed up. I watched this video emotionally, at times with tears.

Because I am fed up too.

It is 19 minutes long, and I enjoyed every second.

Panti shares her personal story and thoughts, and those are what so many are feeling or have felt.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Long live bloggers

I haven't been able to stop thinking about the murders in Paris this week.

A staff of journalists and cartoonists gathered for their weekly meeting. So many didn't leave the room.

And last year amazing, inspiring journalists murdered by the cowards of the Islamic State.

As I watched vigils across France and Europe, I was fascinated that so many people held up pens and pencils in honor of those killed.

As a blogger, I have always felt that we have the power to change the world. To report, to give opinions, to bring thought to conversations, to open eyes and hearts and minds.

I created The Gay Vegans blog to try to build bridges amongst communities and people, to try to be a voice for the voiceless, and to spread my thought that we all have more in common than not.

Blogs I read teach me amazing vegan recipes, about what is going on with equality or animal and human rights issues I am concerned with, about fitness and exercise, and the list goes on.

Around the world bloggers speak out against in justices, against human rights violations, against torture, against animal cruelty and pretty much any issue that affects them or that they are concerned with.

And some are sitting in jail.

Not all bloggers have it made like I do. Yes, I get the occasional hate mail from religious extremists and I write about that extremism often. But I do not have the fear that one day hooded folks will show up at my house and cart me off because I wrote something that offended them.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bloggers and journalists - killings in France

Just a quick post.

My heart breaks for those killed in Paris today.

So many journalists have been killed recently, or are in prison somewhere.

I have always considered bloggers as part of the journalist family.

Sending big love to all of you. Whatever you blog about, keep doing it. I blog to try to make the world a better place for all living beings, to be a voice for the voiceless and to try to build bridges amongst communities that disagree.

There is SO much to blog about. SO many stories to tell. SO much injustice to consider.

Thank for reading and for supporting our blog.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Forgiveness rocks

As we are fortunate to have readers from all over, we get to hear about what is going on in activist, especially animal rights activist, communities around the country and around the world.

Unfortunately the news isn't always good. We often here of communities that are fractured because one person doesn't get along with another, then terrible things are said, and done, people take sides and before the community knows it they have one big mess. She said that. He did that. I can't believe that they are like that. Those others are truly crazy and this is why.


It's a shame for sure. The focus is more on fighting each other rather than on fighting those who do disgusting things to animals. Billions are suffering. The fight against that suffering is how many of us met. For the animals.

I wish this could stop.

I have issues with folks too. Recently I forgave a person who approached me and apologized for some things she had said about my sexuality several years ago. I accepted her apology. I won't be hanging out with her, but I forgive her.

I haven't ever slammed someone or been critical of them because of their sexuality (well, I might have been just a tad harsh once with a friend in the Navy who just wasn't gay, no matter how much I wanted him to be!) but I for sure have said things that I later regret.

Forgiveness is powerful stuff.

I know a lot of these issues that people have with each other are not necessarily simple to resolve. Yet they have to be resolved.

In the late '80's and early '90's 40+ thousand people were dying every year of HIV/AIDS. It was a battle to not only stop the disease but to care for our friends and family and community. I remember those days well. Not everyone always agreed or got along. That's an understatement. People were dying every day. Some days all we could do was try to make them comfortable. And there were all the attacks coming from outside of our community by the right wingers. My goodness.

If what was going on now in some animal rights communities was allowed to happen then, I know the epidemic would have been much worse. More suffering. More death. Total disruption of community.

It doesn't have to be like that.

We can reach our hands out in peace. We can gather as a community to fight animal cruelty. We can apologize. And we can forgive.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Have you heard of this?

Awesome idea. The gist of it is to ask people who are not vegan to try going vegan for the month of January. It is sponsored by a who's who of animal rights and vegan groups. This post is going live on the 3rd so if this is the first you've heard of it and you want to try it's not too late.

As I write many times, I became vegan for the animals. I wanted to do as least harm as possible. This was almost 19 years ago. During that time I have learned that my veganism supports the environment and also makes me a physically healthier person (as long as I exercise and eat the right foods!).

Want to know more? Here is the official Veganuary website:

This site has a TON of information. Even if you are already vegan I suggest taking a look. Also, you can spread the word to your non-vegan friends.

Veganism rocks. And personally, being vegan is the perfect fit for me and really anyone who cares about animals, the environment or their health.

Welcome to Veganuary!

Thanks for reading!