The end of another month — and another year — that must mean that it’s time for This and Thats.
Yesterday I highlighted the top 12 posts of 2012, according to you! Check it out here.
This year we went the non-traditional route for Christmas dinner with a Latin theme (to Erik’s initial dismay — while my family always changes things up, Erik’s family always had a very traditional dinner). I was thrilled because it gave me an excuse to make my favorite food, tamales. I broke out my trusty copy of Viva Vegan! and settled on the Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tamales, Costa Rican Refried Rice and Beans and a Tomato Salad with Sweet Crisp Onions (along with, of course, some homemade chips and pico de gallo). I’ve made these tamales several times before, but the other two dishes were new to me and, as usual, Viva Vegan! did not disappoint. It was an amazing meal and we both happily ate the leftovers for days afterward. (Sorry, this Instagram picture is the best I have.)
The day after Christmas I made a traditional meal for Erik that included mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and cranberry and walnut sauce. We also tried Gardein’s new Savory Stuffed Turk’y for the first time. It was surprisingly good, especially when served with a little gravy (we didn’t use the gravy that came with it). The turk’y has a thin, crispy coating, and I think that is what sets it apart.
I’m sad to report that the Yes to brand of skin and hair care products (Yes to Carrots, Yes to Tomatoes, etc.) may no longer be cruelty free. They’ve long held the stance of no animal testing, period, and the majority of their products were vegan. However, Logical Harmony reported earlier this month that Yes to has revised that stance to say that they do not test on animals “except where required by law.”
I tweeted my disappointment and Yes to responded with a canned response that they sent to numerous other people. You can click here to view the twitter conversation.
I see their response as PR spin that they hope will placate the masses. (1) As you can see, they skirted around the animal testing issue by simply stating that they do not [currently] sell in China. (2) As China is the only country that requires animal testing, I suspect that Yes to has plans to enter the Chinese market soon. I asked about future plans, but didn’t receive a response; I take that as a yes.
Yes to was one of my favorite brands, it was high quality, affordable and widely available at stores like Target or even Walmart. I supported them in the past on this site, but unless they reverse this new policy and decide not to test on animals (which would mean not to sell in China), I will not be purchasing their products going forward. If you feel the same way, I urge you to contact Yes to to express your disappointment in this move.
When I posted some of my favorite odds and ends, I mentioned that the documentary Vegucated was on my wishlist. A few days later, I discovered it was finally available for streaming on Netflix, so we settled in for a late night viewing.
I loved the documentary! “Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks.” Vegucated has a lot of heart, plenty of comedy, and it’s just real. I enjoyed following each of their journeys as they navigated the new lifestyle and learned more about the animal ag industries and where food comes from.
Our own Kansas City Star published an in-depth, scathing investigative report called, “Beef’s Raw Edges.” Most months I list a few articles, but this one has plenty of reading to keep you busy. You can read it for yourself, but to sum it up, they find that “beef is plentiful and affordable…but a bonanza with hidden dangers.” You can bet that the beef industry was none too happy about this, but I applaud the KC Star for such a high quality report.
I’ve always loved this quote, but it seems particularly timely as the new year approaches and everyone is busy making resolutions to (hopefully) better themselves and the world around them.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Anne Frank
Happy New Year everyone!