I wish everyone had an Ashley Schnepf in their life. One time she sent me a package full of trinkets and things, and she included about ten tiny cards in tiny envelopes that explained each item. One item was a cassette player! And yes, there was also a cassette! Another time, Ashley and I agreed to be digital pen pals, and she wrote me a letter – a real letter – and then took a digital photo of it and Facebook messaged it to me. It was utter brilliance. Not to be confused with udder brilliance, which in my opinion means you leave the cow’s udders alone and let her calf have the milk instead of stealing it and making her baby into veal. You monsters.
The “eyes closed” part of the title is a metaphor. The “doors open” part is not. I’ll let her explain.
Meet Ashley Schnepf.
Most of the interviews at Weird! Why Aren’t You Vegan? are with people who are unique and different (read: not vegan). This has the normal people (read: vegans) feeling a little left out. So, to appease the masses, we now – once a month – feature a regular old, nothin’ special, run-of-the-mill vegan. This month, we meet Leah Patriarco.
I met Leah at a vegan meetup in Saint Louis. Yawn. We ate vegan food and talked about being vegan. Totally ordinary. It was at an Ethiopian restaurant called Meskerem. I’m dying from boredom… Okay, nope. I can’t even pretend that Ethiopian food is anything but amazing and exciting and delicious. Go get some and bring it back to your house. I’ll wait.
Okay, back to the introduction. Through no fault of her own, Leah sometimes makes people uncomfortable. I’ve felt it. Maybe you’ve felt it. She’s perfectly friendly and, aside from having a congenital condition known as “Daria Face,” Leah is really approachable and easy to talk to. The problem some people seem to have – myself included at times – is that Leah walks the talk. She cares about the world’s issues, she talks about them, and (here’s where we slackers start feeling judged) she does something about them. She is vegan. She rides her bike most places. She speaks up (and writes up) about race issues. She gives talks about street harassment. She attends anti-war and anti-violence protests. She hosts potlucks and makes weirdo non-vegans feel welcome. The list goes on. Leah is an incredibly inspiring and active person, and the only reason you (we) ever feel judged is because by being so active, she serves as a metaphorical mirror to show us all the things we aren’t doing for the world. To summarize, shame on you for not being Leah. But seriously, the vegan thing is totally uninteresting. Like, who isn’t vegan these days?
Meet Leah Patriarco.
Disgusting vegan candy. Photo courtesy of Dave Mosick.
It’s a well-known fact that vegans are supposed to ruin Thanksgiving, but did you also know that, if you want to be a good vegan, you should be ruining Halloween too?
Vegan food is gross, so it must follow that vegan candy is gross. Sure, all the kids seem okay with your Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, AirHeads, BottleCaps, DumDums, Fireballs, FunDip, Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, Pixy Stix, Runts, Nerds, Starburst Minis, SweetTarts and Twizzlers, but they’re not. Because their parents know who you are and what you’re up to. And you’re not going to get away with it.
Or are you?
“How to Be Vegan” Tip 43: Ruin Every Holiday Continue reading
Nancy says, “Vote yes on 2D or else.”
Okay, maybe that is a lie that I just made up. But hey, maybe I just gave Nancy an idea. An idea that will shore up support for pit bulls in Aurora. If she loves pit bulls (and public safety), I think Nancy would do everything possible to make sure this ban on pit bulls gets repealed. Everything possible. Nancy. Do it.
I’ll let you know if it works. Anyway, what you should know right now, is that Nancy Tranzow is an incredible person. She has fought and continues to fight against all kinds of -isms. She works hard every day on behalf of the people and the dogs who need advocates the most. Also, she’s dang funny.
Meet Nancy Tranzow.
A lot of vegans share their homes with dogs and cats they rescued from animal shelters. While cats are carnivores and need taurine (an acid found in animals’ bile) to be healthy,* dogs are opportunistic omnivores and can eat pretty much anything but celery.**
The problem, though, is that some dogs have a complete lack of morals and just want to eat other animals all day long. They salivate over the smell of chickens being baked and cows being roasted. Heck, they’d probably even drool at the scent of seared human flesh. Ga-ross. Bad dog.
If you want to be a good vegan and keep a vegan household, you can’t share it with a scumbag dog like that.
“How to Be Vegan” Tip 42: Adopt A Dog Who Has Some Morals Continue reading
I met today’s interviewee in high school in good ole’ southern Illinois. To answer your first question, yes, we did drink alcohol while parked on dirt roads named after our friends’ great grandparents. To answer your second question, yes, we did use the restroom in fields surrounded by corn crops. And to answer your question, mom, yes, I am quite proud of myself.
Anyway, Eric is known for his unique and intimidating sense of humor and his complete inability to say “no” to dares. But he should also be known for being incredibly smart, kind, helpful and open. If you can see past sarcasm, those traits should be clear to you.
Also, Eric sometimes goes by Chris now, but I chose to ignore that. You’ll learn more in the interview, so read it now!
Meet Eric Pueblo.
Posted as part of VeganMoFo (The Vegan Month of Food) 2014 When vegans are around, things get a little tricky – for all of us. Sometimes non-vegans get defensive or hostile because they think vegans are telling them their food choices are unethical. Sometimes vegans are! And that comes across as self-righteous and snobby.
So, I’m using the Vegan Month of Food – a month during which vegan blogs are celebrated and aggregated in one place – to provide some easy tips for non-vegans and vegans to use, so we can all get along a little better. As the old saying goes, “If you can’t say anything vegan, don’t say anything at all.”
“OOH, A POTLUCK! I’LL BRING FRUIT!”
Vegans and non-vegans who attend vegan potlucks, please stop saying (and doing) this. Continue reading