Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Anti-Animal, -Environment Bill Cloaked As Anti-Terrorism Measure

I just wanted to point you to an important blog post at "Green Is the New Red."

A legislator in Washington State is proposing a measure to target animal-rights and environmental activists. It's disguised as an anti-terrorism bill.

Check Will Potter's post for many more details.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Note to My Readers

I wanted to take a moment to explain why I haven't written many blog posts in the past few months.

Part of that is due to the holidays and my vacation to Arizona, but it's also do to a project I'm working on, which demands a lot of my time and focus.

I value you, my readers, and I hope you'll bear with me for the next several months as I work toward completing this project, which is related to animal rights.

When I get further along, I'll share the details with you. At this point, though, it's too soon to make anything public. (And I don't want to jinx myself.)

Just know that I'm still committed to animal rights and that I'm working to expand my activist platform.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Arizona from a Vegan Perspective

I just returned from a non-Internet two-week vacation in Arizona. To make up for my lack of blog posts during that time, here's a run-down of my vacation from a vegan, animal-rights perspective.

For most of the trip Keith and I stayed with my mom and stepfather at their house an hour south of Scottsdale. But we spent two nights at a bed and breakfast in Sedona.

I prefer to spend the extra money to stay at bed and breakfasts when I'm on vacation. They're quieter, more attractive and have more character than hotels and motels. Plus, my money goes to a local business owner, not a global corporation.

Pauline Staub, who runs (and, with her husband, owns) Adobe Hacienda in Sedona was wonderful. She allowed us to delay our trip for a few days because of flooding (and threats of flooding) in much of Arizona.

Her breakfasts are always vegetarian. I knew she had soy milk, so I expected to eat cereal, but Pauline actually made me two delicious breakfasts. The first day she made a fruit smoothie, followed by potato and zucchini pancakes. The next day I had a fruit bowl and then a yummy tofu scramble -- much better than any I've made.

I've stayed at several bed and breakfasts in such Midwestern tourist destinations as Door County and Lake Geneva, both in Wisconsin, and I've never had breakfasts anywhere near the quality of Pauline's. The choices were usually cereal and perhaps bagels.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find a "down alternative" blanket in the closet. Since I became vegan, I haven't had a reason to shop for a new blanket. But it's nice to know that such blankets, as warm as a down one, exist.

Filled with Southwestern decor, Adobe Hacienda was beautiful. In searching bed and breakfasts on the Internet, I was surprised how many chose other styles of furnishings, such as Northeast and even French. I wanted to stay at a bed and breakfast that reflected the region.

Pauline also features artwork from local artists in the main living and dining rooms. I loved a painting by Sedona artist Jean Capalbo. I couldn't find an image of it on the Internet, but it's similar to the one at the right. But the one I saw only had what I assumed were cows. (Although they may be dogs or coyotes.) The cow's joy over jumping under the moon reminded me of how a cow must feel after being rescued by Farm Sanctuary or Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Finally, I met Licorice, Pauline's senior cocker spaniel. I missed my own dogs, so it was nice to get some dog love.

Indeed Keith and I met several dogs -- and cats -- on our trip. At a Sedona bookstore called The Worm (I love that name!) we were introduced to Sophie, a chow mix who gets to go to work with her person.

In Jerome, a town located in the mountains near Sedona, a sign on one shop door read, "Dogs welcome. Children must be on leash."

While we didn't find any restaurants that cater to dogs, we did eat at an animal-friendly cafe in Sedona. D'lish made me feel like I was among my own. With an entire vegan menu, it was difficult to choose. I ended up getting a burrito, and Keith got a BLT.

The other restaurants at which we ate weren't vegan, but many were veg-friendly. Udupi Cafe in Tempe advertises "100% vegetarian" on its windows. Most of the dishes on the Indian buffet were labeled "vegan."

We found several restaurants that offer hummus, including a brewery in Chandler. The SanTan Brewery also has a vegan burrito, which I ate (I had a lot of Mexican on the trip), and a Boca burger, which Keith ordered.

Of course, we also came across animal-unfriendly sights. On the way to my mom's house in a somewhat rural area, we passed cattle with large horns. They looked fine, but I'm guessing they weren't someone's pets. We also passed a few people selling puppies from their cars on the side of the road.

Overall, though, I was surprised how veg-friendly so many of the establishments were.

(Photo of mountain courtesy of Keith Means.
Image of Adobe Hacienda courtesy of
its Web site.
Image of painting courtesy of
Jean Capalbo.)