Month: November 2014

Holiday traditions (the vegetarian kind)

I became a vegetarian in 1987. That was … 28 years ago, woah! It was my freshman year at Berkeley, and I attended the Berkeley Animal Liberation Front’s “film night” and watched a movie about factory farming. Needless to say, I lost my taste for hamburgers on the spot!

Of course, going vegetarian presents some immediate problems–especially during the holidays. If you’re a vegetarian like me, you know what I mean. For instance, every year on Christmas Eve my family serves salami slices and cooks up traditional German sausage from a special meat market in Fresno, California. Then, the next morning, they fry up eggs in the sausage grease. And consider Thanksgiving: When I first became a vegetarian, while everyone else was gorging on turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and “in-the-bird” stuffing, I was left with plain potatoes and steamed veggies and maybe a soft bread roll. Not exactly my idea of a feast. …

5 ways to give back this Thanksgiving

First, dear friends, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Are you staying close to home this year or traveling? I will be spending a cozy afternoon with my family at my parents’ house. My mom always cooks up an amazing feast.

With Thanksgiving just a day away, I got to thinking about the different ways we can give back and show our thanks this year …

1. Save a turkey. It costs just $30 to sponsor a turkey this Thanksgiving …

On kindness

“Kindness keeps the world afloat.” – Orly Wahba, founder of Life Vest Inside

I find that quote so inspiring. At times, the world feels as if it’s sinking. The news can be so overwhelmingly negative that you forget there are good people out there dedicating their lives to making a difference. Like Orly Wahba, whom I’ve quoted above. And like this newly married couple—they decided to forego a wedding reception and a honeymoon; instead, they are using those funds to travel around all 50 states to do random acts of kindness for animals, children, the homeless and so on. I love it! So inspirational!

Then there is The World Kindness Movement, which is dedicated to spreading kindness on a global scale. It’s such an amazing idea because the thing about kindness is it’s so infectious. Also, it really makes a profound impact in people’s lives.

Even science points to the importance of kindness. …

5 must-read picture books for animal lovers

Kathleen and I were discussing our favorite picture books the other day. You know, the ones that appeal to grownups just as much as kids. The favorites from your childhood; the books you secretly hope your little one asks you to read over and over again. But because it’s Picture Book Month, here are five with animal themes that really stand out to us (and that our children have loved) …

Cutest vegan shoes

I gave up buying leather shoes a few years ago and never looked back. Vegan shoes get a bad rap, so at first I thought there would be slim pickings when it came to stylish, cruelty-free footwear. Boy was I wrong: I’ve found so many wonderful, comfortable (and popular!) options from innovative companies and designers entering the animal-friendly fray. Even celebrities like Anne Hathaway, Alicia Silverstone and Natalie Portman have been known to flaunt their ethical footwear.

I discovered my favorite pair of vegan boots by Madden Girl tucked inside a cute boutique in New York City called MooShoes. I absolutely love wearing them! But if you’re always on the lookout for vegan shoes like me, these other companies are worth a look, too …