Friday, April 29, 2011

Candy Tree's Gluten-Free/Vegan Licorice

Dear readers,

I have been keeping something from you--my new fav treat!

After my diagnosis with Celiac Disease, I was devastated to learn that my fav candy, licorice, is conventionally made with gluten products.

Hearing my sorrow, my very gluten-free/vegan friendly partner--let's call him my GFVFBF--sent me a box of Candy Tree licorice, which are both gluten-free and vegan.

I love them. I will admit, they do taste "healthy" and therefore, not just anyone will appreciate them (not sure that they would pass the Dylan Test). I, on the the other hand, am happy to turn in Red Vines for these organic, naturally-sweetened, naturally-colored delights. Also, they are a bit chewy, but well worth the extra jaw work.

In fact, they are so delish that, upon hearing I finished a boxful, GFVFBF sent in re-enforcements just in time for finals.

Ingredients: organic corn syrup, organic rice flour, organic rice starch, organic concentrated fruit juice (raspberry and apple), organic raspberry flavor.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"meat reducers"--so hot right now

Cheers to a new wave of meat eaters: meat reducers!

Vegetarian Star and Ecorazzi recently covered Chipotle founder Steve Ell's identification as a meat reducer:
“I used to think of meat in the center of the plate. Today, I am a meat reducer. This means I eat less meat and make sure that the limited meat I do eat is of the highest quality. My plate is comprised of seasonal and local vegetables with meat as an accompaniment. While this is a healthier diet, the main reason I now eat this way is because it tastes better and I feel better.” Read more
Love it.

Perhaps in time, Steve Ell's will join Steve Wynn and Bill Clinton in the "rise of the power vegans."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PETA gets under my skin. again.

Dear PETA,

I thought we were getting along a little better. After all, I haven't been enraged with you since your bout with transphobia in 2009 (although this probably just means I just haven't paying any attention to the media).

But we're back to square one. I saw this ad featuring NBA scout Bonnie-Jil Lafflin on Ecorazzi and nearly hit the roof. I simply cannot stand when veganism or vegetarianism are pitched as weight loss plans.

Being veg is not a magic weight loss pill. And frankly, this ad is just riding the

wave of hate your body/fat phobia/loathe yourself/diet diet diet insanity that creates more insecurity than confidence.

Furthermore, being veg doesn't make a person healthy; there are plenty of unhealthy vegans/vegetarians that do not eat well-balanced meals, do not exercise, or go to town on highly-processed, high-sodium mock meats.

Health is not about weight. If you are healthy, an appropriate weight will follow. This ad is just about weight, and frankly, it undermines the ethical, environmental, and food safety implications underpinning a healthy veg lifestyle.

Hey PETA, stick with throwing paint, hosting demonstrations, and releasing undercover footage. Your posters and commercials are an embarrassment to vegans who support you--myself included.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Journalism" or Transphobia?

"A jury found a transgender individual guilty of killing her roommate with a pickax Thursday...French, a transgender individual who identifies herself as a woman, was found guilty of killing Frank Johnson in 2007." Source.

If a person's gender identification does not bear a relationship to the crime that person committed, why is gender orientation relevant to the media coverage?

It isn't.

Imagine reading an article that said, "Bob Smith, a biological male with a heterosexual orientation, robbed a store." It's absurd.

Where gender identification is unrelated to the crime alleged, the only purpose in repeatedly mentioning that identity is for shock value--manifesting the writer's transphobia and/or playing on the transphobia of readers.

Perhaps the transphobia exhibited in this piece isn't blatant--perhaps it's simply implied. By calling out the "non-conforming" gender identities of trans people where their identities are unrelated to the issue at hand, the speaker reinforces an us-versus-them binary that, while more "courteous" than explicit hate speech, is equally as damaging. Frankly, the ease with which such back-handed transphobia slips into everyday "civil" discourse is much more alarming to me (think Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex).