Leah D’Ambrosio (VP of The Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA)), Kelly McDermott (Director of SARA’s East Coast Projects) and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Glasgow, Scotland, where I had the honor of speaking on “Reiki for Dogs” at the Natural Canine Care Convention, alongside other amazing speakers such as Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Isla Fishburn. I learned so much about caring for dogs holistically! What I didn’t realize when I arrived in Glasgow, was that I was about to embark upon a journey of culinary yumminess that rivals any trip I’ve ever taken! It’s sometimes a bit tricky, trying to eat gluten free/vegan while traveling, but not this time 🙂
- Entrance to our sweet apartment in the West End
- My presentation at the Natural Canine Care Convention
- Me with SARA Officers Kelly, Alison and Leah
- Kelly feeding a highland cow
- Me with “Honey”
- Stirling Castle
- View from Stirling Castle
Little did I know that Glaswegians (the term for natives of Glasgow) pride themselves on their vegan food! I even had a few locals tell me that Glasgow is the vegan capital of the UK! After spending a week there and sampling many restaurants (both those solely vegan and those just with vegan options), I must say I agree! I loved the food here even more than my last trip to London.
To top it off, the people here were so polite and friendly. It made me a bit embarrassed to be a “rude” American, LOL. (Well let’s just say that landing in JFK, NYC was a bit of a culture shock after spending 7 days in gracious Glasgow.)
If you’re vegan and/or gluten free and planning a trip to Scotland, make sure to spend a few days in Glasgow so you can sample their amazing food! Here is a short summary of my food experiences in Glasgow.
Can I confess something to you? I am a foodie. No, really: I love great food. Not good food, superb food! As I have transitioned my diet into a “mostly” vegan one (and gluten-free), many of my friends have said to me, “Oh good for you, but I could never do it! I just love ____ too much!” (Fill in the blank with your favorite dairy, meat or wheat-inspired food.)
I want to share with you that, yes, it takes some exploring and learning new ways to cook. And yes, it’s not always easy to find things to eat out at restaurants. But I am so blessed to live near one of the world’s yummiest cities in the world: San Francisco. Just a short drive from where I live, I have found a blissful vegan’s paradise …
I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner! This day truly is one of my favorite holidays, even though I gave up eating meat decades ago. That’s because Thanksgiving really isn’t about a specific menu; the day represents enjoying the company of friends, family and loved ones. But how can we celebrate animals next week when we are surrounded by well-intentioned meat-eaters? Here are a few tips to help you not just survive the day, but even enjoy it (and make it as animal-friendly as possible):
1. Show off your bounty. If you are the one hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, lucky you! Move over, Tofurkey: There are so many wonderful options for a Thanksgiving feast, how does one choose? This article rounds up awesome recipes, such as Squash and Apple Puree (which looks delish!) and Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Chimichurri and Almonds. Oh She Glows, one of my favorite sites, shares a whole host of inspiring dishes, including Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Avocado Garlic Aioli and Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Pudding Cake. And don’t miss One Green Planet’s “25 Soups, Salads and Starters for Your Vegan Thanksgiving.” (The Buffalo Sweet Potato Stuffed Mushrooms look amazing!) Of course, if cooking’s not your thing, consider catering a few courses from Whole Foods or your local vegetarian restaurant. I promise you: No one is even going to miss the meat.
Most of us share our lives with beloved animals—cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, parrots, guinea pigs, rats and the like. Animals are wonderful partners on our journey toward mindfulness. But keeping that powerful connection alive when it comes to mindful eating can be extremely difficult, especially in today’s world, where eating animal products is not just expected, but practically celebrated.
But what if there was a way to bring our mindfulness practice to our next trip to the grocery store? Remember, even small steps will make a difference. Here are a few thoughts to meditate on next time you fill your shopping cart:
I remember the first time I saw a cow factory farming video my freshman year in college. I gave up beef on the spot and have gradually moved toward veganism ever since. My initial desire stemmed from a childhood instinct of loving animals and not wanting to harm them. But all these years later, I now know the issue goes way beyond that. The factory farming industry damages not just the animals, but our world, too. And it seems to be getting worse.
Our society was literally founded upon filling our bellies with meat (Thanksgiving, anyone?), but times have changed; the world is different now. Many scientists argue whether eating meat is even sustainable. Though many of us still aren’t ready to alter our thinking, for those who are, I’m here to tell you there is another way—a healthier, ethical way. Though this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, here are 10 ethical reasons to go vegetarian today: