Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"We never turn our backs or even bite our tongues."

- Rise Against, "Behind Closed Doors," on The Sufferer & The Witness .

My intention was never to focus exclusively on food. I love it, I cook a lot, but really, simply getting my daily requirement of calories is not terribly challenging.

Quite some time ago, I ran across a sentiment that struck a chord. I want to say it was over at, but I'm not positive. I hate to skip attributions, but it really changed the way my veganism has been working. The idea was a question: if vegan cookbooks sell well, so why don't animal activism books sell just as well?

A lot of us (meaning, we vegans) love to cook, and even more of us love to eat wonderful vegan meals and treats, but loads of us are in it for the animals. So why don't we do more? There are a lot of reasons. For me, veganism is a way to fight all of those horrible, depressing things that keep me up at night and leave me weeping at unpredictable points in the day. But I don't like thinking about those things.

And other people don't want to think about those things. Friends and strangers get defensive fast when confronted with the facts of the animal ag business, but everyone loves my chocolate chip cookies! So it’s just easier to be that chill vegan with wicked snacks to share. Food can be a significant part of your activism, but I can tell you know one has suddenly dropped all animal products after eating one of my cupcakes.

In that vein, I committed to some action on's August Commitment Tuesday. I chose to buy and read the books suggested and to order pamphlets from Vegan Outreach. I wasn't 100% sure about leafleting. I'm not much for approaching strangers, but I was surprised to be contacted by team members of the organization and now I'm joining a veteran to distribute literature. I am grateful, but also impressed to see them truly reaching out to people. I am super excited to step out into real-world activism.

I haven't been a total slouch when it comes to activism. This blog was supposed to be part of it. I wanted to add one more vegan voice to the blogoshpere. Granted, the dearth of posts recently means that this is not my best example. Better examples would include my conversion rate (I've started asking people point blank to eliminate animal products from their diets and it works!), my jumping on opportunities to talk to people and provide guidance, and my daily Take 5 Minutes. These are all first steps (and honestly, pretty low-level in terms of time and commitment), but I want to do more.

So part of that means going beyond very occasionally posting about what I had for dinner. I'll try to stay mindful of that and seek out stories and opportunities to fight the system.

Now, after the talk of how I plan to blog about issues other than food, I'm announcing that I've signed up for Vegan MoFo 2010 (Month of Vegan Food)! I started cooking regularly at the end of October last year, so I missed it, but this year it's in November and I intend to blog it or die trying.

I do have a feeling I can work some activism into this …

Maybe after that, I’ll try a Vegan Month of Activism. Not as catchy, but maybe a good idea.


  1. Yay for you and your activism explorations! I've actually never leafletted before, but whenever I try something new (I went to my first protest in the spring) I tell myself that even if it's uncomfortable, I'm learning something. I did Vegan MoFo last year and had a blast. I probably can't this year (too busy with work), but I look forward to reading your MoFo posts.

  2. Thank you for the encouragement - on both fronts. I agree completely that discomfort is a part of growth. I've always been shy, and though I've come out of that over the last few years, I still default to that when I get nervous.

    I'm excited!