Saturday, May 14, 2016

Our new website is live!!!

I am ecstatic to let you know that our new blog site is live!

Check us out at: The Gay Vegans

It has been a long time coming. I would love your feedback.

The first post is titled "Suga lived", in memory of our sweet Suga who passed away on May 2nd.

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Purely vegan

One of the many things we love about living in Los Angeles is the incredible vegan food scene.

We knew about many of the amazing vegan establishments before moving here, yet I don't think we had a grasp on how far-stretching the food scene was, and how we would just love being right in the middle of it.

We have literally had dozens, if not over 100, vegan meals in a restaurant or at a food truck since moving here last July.

I bring all of this up as recently in LA there has been news that the owners of some of the more popular vegan restaurants here have decided to slaughter animals at their farm and to sell the animal flesh.

I am definitely disappointed.

I have believed for a long time that if a person decides to become vegan for animal rights/animal cruelty issues, they will most likely always be vegan. I personally can never imagine not being vegan.

I don't expect every vegan I know or hear of to always be vegan.

I digress. I call myself vegan. I'm not sure I am purely vegan, or a pure vegan. I suppose these terms mean different things to different people. I have not purposefully consumed animal products in over 20 years.

There is a lot to think about in regards to whether or not I continue to eat at their establishments.  Their chefs, especially those at Gracias Madre, do an impeccable job at showing the world how delicious vegan food is, and that makes a difference to me as someone who fights for the voiceless animals.

What I keep coming back to while paying attention to this news are the vegan places I love that are vegan because of the animals, because of compassion. First on the list are my friends at One Veg World in Pasadena. Compassion hits you like a loving embrace when you walk in, and it continues through their wonderful staff sharing and preparing incredible vegan food. I am grateful for places like One Veg World that add so much to my life.

I was at One Veg World today and will be back soon.

I also have  a few places we have found in LA that are not entirely vegan but do have amazing vegan dishes. I will continue to go dine with them too. As some in the discussion of the recent news have pointed out, and I understand, restaurants like these have never purported to be vegan or having a food vision based on compassion or animal rights.

More to come on this.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Taking action

I have always thought that if something bothers me, I need to take action to change it.
This thought pattern is up front and center every day while I drive around Los Angeles. Yes, I'm paying attention to the political race, the state-sponsored bigotry in states like Mississippi and North Carolina, racism, the hungry and the homeless and the huge amount of kids living in poverty in the US to name a few.

Yet one thing that I come across constantly and feel like I do have the power to change is the vast amount of litter throughout LA. No matter where I drive, I see it.

Not that big of a deal? Maybe not. Some would say there is nothing I can do, that in a county where there are close to 11 million people, there is going to be litter.

To accept this would mean that I would need to think that most people who live here don't give a shit. They don't give a shit about litter that makes an area look terrible and litter that has an affect on the environment and wildlife.

From my favorite beach to hiking trails, entrances to the highway and along the street in whichever part of the city I might be driving in, litter is everywhere.

As I think of this and of everything else there is going on in the world, I think of little victories. What does a little victory around litter look like? Maybe seeing the flowers on the side of the road instead of litter. We are in southern California after all where there is an abundance of natural beauty. Maybe it's watching the dolphins of of Zuma beach knowing that the bag of litter we cleaned up that morning was not going to make it into the ocean. By the way, the Algalita Foundation here in SoCal estimates that 80% of marine debris comes from human activities on land! Maybe it's being at the on ramp cleaning up litter just to show others that, like them, there are people who give a shit about where they live.

I see myself making a trip to Home Depot for garbage bags and gloves. Nothing ever changes if we don't take action.

As I create a plan on what I can do to clean up LA, remember that there is metaphorical litter everywhere. From you state legislature to city hall to those who torture animals and spread hate among humans, there is enough of that type of garbage out there to keep us all busy.

Take action.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

1 in 5 children in LA County live in poverty

This is a series of several blog posts I am writing regarding poverty.

There is no where better to start than right here where we live.

When we moved to Los Angeles in July of 2015 I took my time looking for a job and in August landed the perfect one. My past job in Denver was fundraising for an agency that serves youth experiencing homelessness and this new one is fundraising for an agency that serves neglected and abused children in the LA County foster care system.

I immediately jumped into learning about the children my new agency serves and the numbers are stark. One word that came up right away was the word poverty.

1 in 5 children in LA County live in poverty. This number blows my mind. No matter what type of activism you are involved with, this crazy poverty rate affects you. From hunger to homelessness to violence to liberation and economic inequality, it's even more difficult to find even a small success when poverty, and in many cases extreme poverty, is part of the problem.

Welcome to this journey into exploring poverty. I'd be thrilled if you joined me.  What is the child/poverty rate where you live? What does poverty look like within your activism? How does poverty affect how we engage around veganism, liberation, animal rights and politics?

Thank you for reading. And thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for all living beings.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bigotry is alive and well



North Carolina.

The bigots in power are coming for us. By the way, I'm sure I'm missing some states.

A huge breathe of relief swept the country when the US Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. We celebrated. I cried.

The bigots also took a breathe and got to work creating plans on how they could continue battling us, mainly in the name of religious liberty and safety.

If you offend by religious beliefs, I don't need to do business with you.

Because I am worried about my five year old daughter, a trans woman should not be able to use a restroom labeled for women.

These are the arguments, and bigotry is the reason. Plain, simple bigotry.

In South Dakota the governor actually vetoed the anti-trans bathroom bill. The governor in Georgia has not signed their anti-gay bill yet, and I am happy that dozens of business have criticized the bill and even my beloved The Waling Dead cast will leave Georgia if the bill is signed.

I love the support. But can we get in front of this? Are there enough of us who believe that these bills are ludicrous to ensure they are voted down? If we as communities voted in droves would less bigots come to power, even in states that are filled with bigots like Georgia and North Carolina?

Dan is going back to voting, you're thinking. Yes I am.

We have the power. We have the power to crush bigotry. We have to act.

Please speak out. Please register to vote and vote. Please email your state representative if they are considering voting for a bigoted bill.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Restaurant review: One Veg World in Pasadena

I am ecstatic to write this review!

One Veg World in Pasadena is pretty close to where we live and has become a constant in our lives. The food is perfect for us and the staff bring a level of hospitality and kindness that is rare in the restaurant world these days.

One Veg World in Pasadena is the sister restaurant to One Veg World in West Covina. It opened in July of 2015 and recently began serving breakfast. My review is based mainly on breakfast as it is my favorite meal and there are not a lot of vegan breakfast options around. Or I should say vegan breakfast options on the level of One Veg World.

First, they have donuts! They are delicious. All yeast-raised with either plain glazed, chocolate, cinnamon-sugar or chocolate vanilla. I know from experience that if you love donuts you will love these. I have indulged in many of them!

My next favorite would be the sausage breakfast muffin. They have several types of breakfast muffins and this one is my favorite. You can get it alone or as a combo, which means you can get Vietnamese coffee and garlic kale alongside if you wish. The garlic kale is dreamy. I can't think of another word. If you decide to get the breakfast muffin, it comes with ketchup on it so if you don't like ketchup for breakfast (like me) ask for it without the ketchup.

One Veg World has other options for breakfast, including a delicious tofu scramble.

We have also been for dinner and the cauliflower hot wings are delicious as are the tacos and the zesty serendipity dishes. They also have a lunch buffet Monday through Friday.

As you know, I rate restaurants based on food and service. The staff at One Veg World set the standard for kindness and hospitality. They welcome each customer and bring a refreshing amount of hospitality to the restaurant world. I simply cannot say enough about every single staff member I have encountered.

Go. Dine. Relax. Have a donut. Enjoy a meal. If you live in the area even better. If not, they are located just south of the 210 at the Lake exit. Go south, make a left on Colorado and they will be on the right.

Here is their website for more information: One Veg World

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Expo West and the Natural Foods industry

It has been eight years since I was last at Expo West and my has the world changed. I will write more about this incredible trade show, and wanted to pass along what I experienced just yesterday while walking amongst the hundreds of booths promoting every natural food product one could imagine.

I decided to come to Expo West to learn about the newest amazing vegan food offerings and to start  a long-term process of finding out how companies in this industry, an industry that Mike and I financially support every day, are in welcoming transgender people to work for them. More specifically, I want to see if companies have gender identity and/or gender expression in the non-discrimination policies.

For those of you who are vegan or love vegan food, I can tell you that your food choice world is expanding even more than what I had thought prior to coming to Expo West. Companies like Daiya, Gardein, Tofurky, Miyoko's, Nada Moo, Bull Dog, Follow Your Heart and Vega blew my mind (and taste buds) with new products. Although many of these products won't land until later this summer or fall, I guarantee you you will not be disappointed.

There were several booths where I literally camped out for several minutes while continually "tasting" their new product. The same one I had just tried. They were that good. Of course after five tastes of the new Gardein breakfast pocket I decided that I should really move on. And yes, I will be back today!

From chickpea snacks to vegan caramels to juices and nutritional drinks, I continually walked away from booths with a huge smile on my face.

I also had dozens of conversations with companies about non-discrimination policies and will write more in-depth on those later. I will say that when you gather so many companies there are an equal amount of opinions and human resource-relayed policies. I will also say that wearing a press badge that has "The Gay Vegans" on it helped me many times in remembering that I live in a world that, even in a professional setting like a trade show, anti-gay bigotry and discomfort towards gay people exists.

More to come!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The slaughter of Yellowstone bison

My trips to Yellowstone have been magical.

In 2005 we did our honeymoon there, an incredible back-country trip along the Yellowstone River. That trip, and every other trip we have made, we have always seen bison. No matter how many times I have seen bison, it still always takes my breath away.

Even though I live in Los Angeles now, I try to stay abreast of things that were important to me while living in Colorado, and the work that the Buffalo Field Campaign does in Wyoming and Montana is one of those things.

Please read this press release, from this week. As I write of often in my blog, we have the power to make change when we use our power. In this case, it is speaking out for these majestic creatures who have no voice. It can be a simple email or phone call or even just letting people know about what is happening.

To take action click here.

Thanks for reading. And here is the press release:

After Hundreds Killed in Boundary Hunt, Park Service Captures 150 Wild Bison for Slaughter
For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2016
Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0071 /
Mike Mease, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0071 /

Yellowstone National Park - Park rangers have begun capturing wild bison in the Stephens Creek trap within Yellowstone National Park. Since February 20, approximately 150 of America’s last wild buffalo have been trapped. According to park officials, all are destined for slaughter. "Yellowstone's slaughter of wild bison is as lacking in scientific reason as it is in public support," said Buffalo Field Campaign's Stephany Seay. 

The Park Service claims that they are reducing the wild bison population due to the threat of brucellosis, a livestock disease originally brought to North America by Eurasian cattle. There has never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to livestock. Elk, who also carry brucellosis and have transmitted the disease to livestock numerous times in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, are free to migrate from Yellowstone and are managed by hunting based on sustainable populations in available habitat in Montana.

BFC habitat coordinator Darrell Geist says the state of Montana and Yellowstone National Park refuse to manage wild buffalo like wild elk, an alternative that would put the government out of the buffalo capture for slaughter business. "Montana is blessed with an abundance of public lands but cursed by a statute that stands in the way of managing migratory buffalo as a wildlife species," said Geist. “Few people know that MCA 81-2-120 is almost entirely funded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to back Department of Livestock management of wild buffalo. Without American taxpayer funding, Montana and Yellowstone National Park would have to changes their ways."
Yellowstone and the other Interagency Bison Management Plan partners have stated that they want up to 900 wild bison killed this year. Over four-hundred have already been killed by hunters. The agencies aim to kill hundreds of wild bison every year until they drive the population — now estimated at 4,400 — down to just 3,000 animals. This population target is a result of livestock industry pressure to address unfounded brucellosis fears, and Yellowstone’s false premise that there are “surplus” wild bison. 

BFC executive director Dan Brister questions the faulty science that Yellowstone and IBMP partners are operating under. "There is no such thing as 'surplus' wild bison," said BFC executive director Dan Brister, "Yellowstone's target population cap of 3,000 animals is nothing more than a politically derived number that has nothing to do with carrying capacity." 

Yellowstone's capture for slaughter operations adversely impact the wild population’s natural immunity to introduced diseases, including brucellosis, and increases the risk of more virulent and persistent strains arising in the wild population. Cumulative impacts of management actions pose a significant threat to the viability of wild buffalo remaining in Yellowstone.

Under the voluntarily agreed to Interagency Bison Management Plan, Yellowstone National Park and the other IBMP agencies continue to operate under faulty assumptions and outdated information, in contravention of the agency’s mandate to use the best available science to inform decision makers and the public.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Some of our (LA) favorite things!

Zuma Beach.

Since I created The Gay Vegans blog I have written a post at the end of the year to promote people, places and things that have really turned me on during the past year. It's always been a blast, and this year feels even more fun as it is our first December in southern California.

Remember that as a blogger I promote items that we love and do not accept items to try or to blog about.

Here we go!


This product surprised both of us. We typically try new vegan products but seldom think that we have tried something that we absolutely love. VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart blew our socks off.

Sun Cafe

Our new adventure living in Los Angeles has introduced us to many incredible places that serve tasty vegan food. Sun Cafe was an old favorite from when we would visit LA. Now we have been to their new spot in Studio City and experienced true hospitality with a serving of delish vegan food. We love Sun Cafe.

Zuma Beach

Our favorite beach, hands down. Worth the further drive to Malibu and a staple for our weekends and days off.

Veggie Grill

Vegan fast food. All over southern California including Pasadena, the one we frequent. Will do a restaurant review soon.

Avocado toast

Thanks to the Vegan Mos, this has become a staple in our home. I use vegan butter, avocado, nooch, pepper and paprika. Delish.

Griffith Park

Incredible park just north of downtown LA. Tons of hiking with incredible views, and you can even hike to the Hollywood sign!

Los Angeles

What a city. And an area. Seven months here and we love it. If you are ever going to come for a visit and need recommendations, let us know!

More to come! Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Turning 50

If you don't die, you'll get to age 50.

I'm a few hours away and feel like I have a good chance of making it.

I feel awesome. And grateful. I hoped that I could say that I feel healthier than ever, but I have fallen off the ladder with exercise and I definitely notice it.

Don't get me wrong, I feel really good. I'm eating well and I think that all in all I'm doing great.

They say 50 is the new 30. Not sure about that. What I am sure about is that I will continue to take each day as a gift, continue to spend as much time as possible being a voice for the voiceless and work to make the world a little safer for all living beings. I will get serious about exercise again.

For my 50th birthday I decided to raise money for Urban Peak, a rock-star non-profit in Denver that serves youth experience homelessness, over 2,000 of them a year. Their staff is filled with compassionate and passionate people who give their all in service of others. I was hoping to raise $1,000 and as of today am at $2,465! So awesome.

I'd like to say thank you to all of you who have supported this blog, which has become a highlight of my activism and work towards liberation. Those who read my blog have become an awesome part of my life, and I am grateful.

Together we can do so much for so many.

If you would like to know more about Urban Peak, click here.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for being part of this blog community.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Becoming a better activist

There is a lot of yelling.

There is a lot of anger.

I see it all of the time.

I don't know how to be the most effective activist. I have learned a couple of things that have helped, and I'll share those. The bottom line for me is constantly looking within to make sure I am being a strong voice for the voiceless.

First, it helps if I know what I am talking about and not just jump on a bandwagon. I have gotten better at this especially since I started blogging. It is so important to blog about facts and when engaging in activism, to be factual. It can be easy to get caught up in some piece of "news" on Twitter or Facebook, and I've learned to investigate before sharing.

Next, I have to focus. Yes, I want to make the world a better and safer place for all living beings. I can't be all things to all movements. I try to focus on what I am most passionate about and go from there. This doesn't mean I can't participate in an action alert or a protest. It simply means to stay focused, to keep my eye on the prize.

Honor my primary relationships. So important for me. I am fortunate to have an amazing husband, a man who loves me and who I am in love with completely. I have to remember this when involved in activism. Home life is super important to me and creating and keeping peace and love at home has to always come first.

Donate smartly. In the past several years we have chosen a couple organizations that we make larger donations to. We still donate randomly when we see something that seems urgent but we still try to keep focused on making a couple bigger donations rather than a bunch of smaller ones. Note to those asking for money: remember to thank those who give you their hard-earned money.

Kindness. I write about this a lot. Activism gets crazy. With so much bigotry, white supremacy, racism, animal cruelty and violence in the our communities it's easy to get pissed off. It can be easy to blow off anyone who doesn't agree with me. I have found that this doesn't help, nor am I as strong of a voice for the voiceless that I can be . It doesn't hurt to be kind. An example is a fundraiser I went to in LA. I went to support an activist group. I left feeling like most of those present didn't really want anyone outside of their circle present. Very little interaction or welcoming. At a fundraiser.

Remember that all of these are very personal to me and how I have experienced activism over the past 30 years. I hope one of these helps you to also become a better activist.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Another post about voting

One theme clear in many of my blog posts is to encourage activists of every kind to engage in politics and to vote.

This is just as important as it every has been.

With primaries and caucuses getting close, each one of us has an opportunity to create change in our own way, to voice our opinion and to be the voice of those who do not have a voice.

Please vote.

Please caucus.

Wear one of your favorite activist t-shirts that promote a cause near and dear to you.

Bring a friend.

There is so much going on in our world and I believe that the more of us who actually give a shit participate and vote, we have a good chance of making things better.

Just a pipe dream? I don't think so.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A 20-year vegan

In simple terms, if one becomes vegan and doesn't die, eventually they will be vegan for 20 years.

That's the case in my life. January of 2016 marks 20 years of being vegan. I have honestly never looked back and never considered not being vegan since that first day.

I became vegan because I no longer wanted to be part of animal cruelty. I no longer wanted to think that my taste buds trumped the life of an animal who wanted to live.

A lot has changed. There are more vegans. A ton more vegan products. More people today get that animals are tortured and live in fear just to become someones meal.

Many restaurants at least have a vegan option.

Activism has grown too. I was involved in human rights work when I became vegan and now am happily also part of the animal rights movement.

Like many of us, I have passions in other areas, specifically trans equality, liberation, homelessness and poverty.

Being vegan is easy. Becoming vegan is easy. There is so much I don't know so I have a bunch of web links on the main page of my blog which can be helpful for those wanting to learn more.

Newly vegan? Considering veganism? Go easy on yourself. Learn all about food and what foods bring what nutrients to your body. Be kind to yourself and others. Life, veganism and activism are all paths and we each walk them a little differently.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Gym issues

Leaving the gym recently, I started telling Mike about all of the issues I have with not only our new gym, but with many people who go there.

I should say that I am one of the most positive people I know, and that I have always tried to write positive blog posts. After my most recent gym visit I just had to vent.

I love being back in the gym and working out. I feel better physically and mentally.

But come on!

Please put the weights away. There is no one following you around the gym cleaning up after you. It's just common courtesy.

With limited equipment, if you do not want to share or let someone work in, please purchase your own equipment and stay home.

For goodness sake, don't unload with your "bro" in the sauna about what a bitch your girlfriend, wife or one night stand is. I honestly don't think anyone cares to hear it.

Yes, you are a gym god. You have the best body ever, in the whole world. So what.

Would it kill you to be kind to other folks in the gym?

For all of you who go to the gym, do your thing without disrespecting others or maybe even being nice to someone, thank you.

Not all of us know everything there is to know. Not all of us are there to look good. I want to be as fit as possible, and going to the gym makes that a lot easier for me.

Thanks so much for reading.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Loving Los Angeles

A CicLAvia bike ride in downtown LA.

It has been six months since we left Denver and moved to Los Angeles and we are loving it.

A big move like that isn't easy. If you have ever packed up from one part of the country and moved to another, you get it. We took risks in leaving a wonderful home, a great family of friends and awesome jobs. Yet the southern California life called us. We wanted to be in a warmer climate and wanted to be able to get the beach more than once a year.

And so we have.

I wouldn't say we are fully settled in, but we are close. We still need a maps app to get around sometimes. Home is wonderful and we spend our free time either beaching it or exploring the vastness of LA. The longer we are here the smaller Denver seems as a city. LA is just so, big!

Some of our favorites so far:

Hiking at Griffith Park
Brunch at Sun Cafe
Bike Ride on the San Gabriel bike trail
Surfing at Zuma Beach
Veggie Grill
Beach time at Zuma Beach
Walking around the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena
Listening to a conversation in Chinese on one side and in Spanish on the other while in the sauna at our gym
A CicLAvia ride downtown when streets are closed for thousands to ride around town

We can also confirm that LA is the vegan capital of the world. Yesterday we had lunch at Ramen Hood in downtown, a 100% ramen restaurant in the middle of LA's famous Grand Central Market and then we went to Hollywood and spent an hour tasting vegan cheeses at Vromage.

Yes, all of this costs money. It can get expensive. We have found that we spend about the same amount of money on food as we did in Denver. There is an unending variety of farmer's markets where we can shop. Our favorite so far is the South Pasadena market. With the huge amount of diversity here, staples like beans, rice, fruits and veggies are actually cheaper here.

Yes, there are the naysayers. Many do not like LA. I'm sure you've heard of LA traffic. We've experienced it. Not too bad. It requires planning and yes, patience. One cannot be driving at a fast speed and expect to go that fast for their entire journey. My trip to work is about 30 minutes in the morning and can be just over an hour on my way home.

Our exploring will continue. A new hiking trail, a beach we haven't been to yet. Another gorgeous view. A coffee house filled with folks not speaking English. A fruit we have never heard of before.

I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, if you're going to be in LA keep an eye out for our new "When in LA" page that I am working on for the blog.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Now is not the time

Now is not the time to stay silent.

We are all swamped: family, work, activism and simply doing everything we need to do as part of our lives.

And we must not be silent.

Domestic terrorism, an incredibly negative US Presidential campaign, welfare ranchers taking over bird sanctuaries, crazy poverty levels, demonizing of anyone who is different and a continuing list of people killed by those paid to protect us. These issues don't even include our every day personal issues, mine being immigration and animal rights.

Yes, it can all be overwhelming. Yet silence will not bring us any closer to the world we are working towards. Our silence allows others to take the spotlight and in many cases promote causes we disagree with.

Taking action doesn't take a lot of time. Find an article from a respected news source that is about something important to you and share it on social media. Retweet a fact you see on Twitter that supports what you believe. Support an action alert on an organization's website who work you support. Make a small donation.

Speak out. 

This list could be much longer. You get the idea.

Since creating The Gay Vegans I have been blown away by how many of those who read this blog care so much about so many issues. Together we can totally make change.

Thank you so much for reading!