No honey for me

People often ask me why ethical vegans don’t eat honey, since the assumption is that bees are not killed in the production of honey.  The image below provides a good explanation for why I don’t eat honey:

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Animals as surrogates

I have never considered my animal companions to be my children, and nor do I call myself, or allow myself to be called, my animal companions’ mother.  I think that there is an inherent danger in anthropomorphizing animals, in that we fail to respect animals for the true beings they are and try to convert them to mini humans. This post, which discusses the growing trend in Taiwan for people to choose to have animal companions, rather than children, is a good illustration of anthropomorphism taken to extremes, wherein animal companions seem to function more as fashionable accessories.  We’ve all seen the Paris Hilton phenomenon of the pocket-sized dog who is carried as an accessory.  When I was last in Yorkville, a very exclusive neighbourhood in Toronto, I lost count of the number of tiny dogs I saw, wearing ridiculously expensive collars and clothing, and tucked into designer handbags.  I couldn’t help but wonder whether these poor dogs actually set paws to the ground. I do not doubt that these dogs are loved by their human companions, but I do wish that people would respect the nature and dignity of animal companions and not try to humanize them.  Animals deserve to be loved and respected for who and what they are, not for what we wish them to be.  Maybe I’m being grumpy, but when I look at the picture below, I don’t think “aren’t they cute,” but “how humiliating. They are not live dolls.”

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VeganWall: New social website for vegans

VeganWall, a new social website for vegans, will launch in September 2014.

VeganWALL is a web project that will be released in September 2014. Our goal is to create the biggest vegan community and to connect all the vegans with the purpose of creating something new and useful that could help the most of us.
It rose up from the idea of creating a website concerning vegan topics, where vegans will be able to share information, opinions or even develop ideas. You can all contribute to build up a leading vegan community and whenever you find something vegan related (a vegan recipe, a restaurant, vegan friendly shop…) you should share it with other vegans and inform the community on what you found. VeganWALL will be a place, where this kind of things will happen daily.

I have subscribed to the beta version and look forward to seeing the full launch next month.

 

10 Creative Ways to Use Nut Butters

From VegNews:

1. In spreads & dips

Instead of the familiar tahini-based hummus, try something different like garbanzo beans blended with almond butter and a splash of Sriracha sauce. Use walnut butter to make spinach-walnut crostinis as an appetizer, or combine cashew butter with artichokes for a luscious artichoke-cashew dip.

2. In soups
Just a small amount of nut butter can add a creamy richness to soups such as a pumpkin-pecan soup with pecan butter croutons or artichoke-walnut butter bisque.

3. In sauces
Nut butters can be used in a wide variety of sauces to top vegetables, pasta, or your favorite plant-based protein. Try grilled vegetables with an almond Romesco sauce, baked tofu with a tahini sauce, penne with an avocado-cashew cream, or slather some pecan butter sauce over a baked sweet potato.

4. In salad dressings
Nut butters can turn simple salads from so-so to sensational. How about a cashew goddess dressing to top a hearty Niçoise salad or a macadamia-rum dressing to drizzle over a tropical fruit salad?

5. In smoothies
A spoonful of nut butter adds protein and flavor to your morning smoothie. Create refreshing and creamy treats such as a cashew-pineapple smoothie or maybe an almond butter-banana shake.

6. In main dishes
The sky’s the limit when it comes to using nut butters in your main dish meals, from a vegetable-cashew korma or tropical chickpea-Brazil nut stew to a satisfying chestnut vegetable pot pie.

7. At breakfast
Start the day with a little help from your nut butter friends: swirl some almond butter or walnut butter into your morning oatmeal or add nut butter to a batch of muffins. On the weekend, treat yourself to some maple-pecan butter waffles with pecan maple syrup or a stack of apple-almond butter pancakes.

8. In desserts
Sure, we all know about peanut butter cookies and peanut butter pie, but other nut butters can also do dessert deliciously. Make a simple pecan butter topping for ice cream or a dazzling chocolate-almond butter cheesecake. Or whip up a batch of chocolate-cashew mousse, make an apple-walnut butter crumble, or swirl your favorite nut butter into a batch of brownie batter for added decadence.

9. In dairy alternatives
Cashew butter, with its mild flavor, is perhaps the most versatile of all the nut butters. Use it to make vegan cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise.

10. And, of course, in sandwiches
Move beyond the classic PB&J with winning sandwich options such as roasted eggplant pita with garlicky lemon-walnut sauce, peach-almond butter quesadillas, or Thai tofu-vegetable wraps with a hazelnut drizzle.