In the past few years I’ve tried to be a better ally to LGBTQIA and People of Color. In this way the vegan community has been frustrating. Aside from the local chapter of Food Not Bombs that feeds food to everyone who shows up, there doesn’t seem to be much to help people go and stay vegan. I had a conversation with someone from the Sacramento Vegetarian Society who didn’t have anything meaningful to say, they seem more interested in “Fat vs. Carbs” than in getting healthy food to people in need. People also seemed more concerned about a gorilla than they were about a toddler and his family who were villified in the media earlier this year. Instead of arguing that zoos are inherently dangerous for both animals and people, a lot of people were calling for the death of the boys mother. Do you think any people of color are going to read those kinds of horrible comments and jump at the chance to eat vegan?
There’s also the fact that “Thug Kitchen” a “ghetto” vegan book written by white people is significantly more well known than By Any Greens Necessary or Vegan Soul Kitchen both much better books written by people of color that I personally recommend.
This needs to change if we want to people to go vegan, because we are asking a lot of people to become a second, third or fourth kind of minority. That means we have to make veganism relavent to them. I try to be respectful by not refering to animal cruelty as “murder” or “slavery” because I don’t consider it murder or slavery. I consider it animal cruelty. So I no longer have “Earthlings” listed on my resources page, partly because of the slavery references, partly because a lot of people have seen it and I don’t think there’s a shortage of graphic video on the internet.
Below are links to other peoples’s sites and channels. If anyone has additional info others might find helpful please comment.
Dr. Breeze Harper http://www.sistahvegan.com
A Privileged Vegan http://www.youtube.com/user/Highonfuit1
Earlier on Facebook I saw a post from The Sacramento Chapter of The Weston A. Price Foundations sharing an article praising the organization. The website naturally had the Paid Endorsement Disclosure at the very end of the “article” waxing poetic about the group. I scanned the article and found assertions like “vitamins A, D and K, nutrients available only in certain seafoods, organ meats, egg yolks and the fats of animals raised in the sunlight eating green pasture“. I keep hearing and reading stuff from fans of Weston A. Price or Paleo diets say that you can’t get enough healthy fats or fat soluble vitamins from plant-based diets without eating what they consider an extreme amount of vegetables.
So I put what I had for breakfast, snacks and lunch, plus what I plan for dinner into cronometer.com to see how I did on these vitamins and other things you supposedly can’t get from plants.
Breakfast: toast with peanut butter, one orange, coconut yogurt with chia seeds.
Lunch: tomato, spinach and avocado sandwich and a glass of almond milk.
Dinner: Kung Pao tofu with lots of vegetables and a little brown rice.
Key nutrients based on standard Daily Value percentages:
Vitamin A 1,283%
Vitamin D 110%
Vitamin E 212%
Vitamin K 1,421%
Right now I’m at Broadway Coffee which I’ve been meaning to check out since I saw it on the other local vegan blog. It’s a nice place with a little free library by the entrance and they didn’t charge extra to use soy milk in my drink. I ordered a soy chai and a vegan banana nut muffin. The vegan fair wasn’t extensive but they had a lot more than Old Soul down the street.
Breakfast today was oatmeal with almond milk, chia seeds and a bit of sugar. lunch was homemade bean burritos. Snack is the chai and muffin and dinner will likely be pasta of some kind.
Anyone reading I encourage you to check out Broadway Coffee, 3200 Broadway across from Immaculate Conception Church.
I have had quite a few people in my social circle saying how unbalanced veganism is lately, all without me saying anything. So I decided to use my Cronometer account. A few of the vegan youtubers I’m subscribed to use it to calculate their nutrition intake so I signed up for it.
Above is a picture of my breakfast of toast with peanut butter, sliced peaches, soymilk and tea.
For lunch I had a big salad made with romaine lettuce, bell peppers, cucumber, a tomato, and homemade vinaigrette dressing.
For dinner I plan to have lentil stew and rice and have added it to my cronometer count.
Sample of my nutrition intake for the day:
Calories 1422, 12% Protein, 37% Fat, 51% carbohydrates
Daily Value of vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin A 386%
Vitamin D 104%
There’s quite a bit more useful information I got from tracking my food with this site and so far I recommend it. I’m a little low in a few things but overall doing pretty well nutritionally and I probably underestimated my calorie intake a bit and I think I need to up my fruit/veggie intake even though I got the “5 a day” . And even though I got well below 2000 calories so far I feel like I’ve had a lot of food. So I certainly don’t feel like I’m deprived or that how I eat is unbalanced. In fact aside from junk food I’m not actively avoiding fat or carbs so much as trying to up my veggie and fiber intake.
My sister and I went to Ikea today where I bought a chocolate bar among other things. When I got home and looked at the label I was surprised at the daily value of iron on the nutrition level. So I thought I’d look at all the vegan stuff in my house and jot down the iron levels.
Foods and Daily values of Iron Per Serving:
Choklad Mork bar from Ikea 70 % per serving, 140 % per bar
Dry Lentils 20%
Rolled Oats 10%
Seeds of Change Madras Curry Sauce 10%
Reynaldo’s Soy Chorizo 15%
Milton’s Multigrain Bread 15% per serving, 30% for 2 slices
Trader Joe’s Vegan Tikka Masala 20%
Canned Blackbeans 10%
Canned Lentil Soup 15%
For comparison, the Swedish meatballs at Ikea only contain 6% daily value per serving.
As for vegan vs nonvegans levels of iron deficiency I have a bit of personal experience to share. As a child, doctor’s told my mom I was anemic despite my high levels of beef consumption. She tried to get me to take iron pills but it did not go well. Since going vegan I’ve been donating blood regularly and in the past decade there have only been two incidents where my iron levels were slightly too low to donate, but were not low enough for me to be considered anemic.
More info on iron and veganism:
Thanksgiving was spent with my sister who is roommates with the woman who runs the Sacramento chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation. So I ended up eating a tofurkey sausage my sister heated up along with salad and roasted potatoes and listening to a woman talk about being “raised vegetarian” going vegan for a “couple of months” and how the Westen A Price diet completely changed her life.
We ate dinner next to a display of multilevel marketed supplements and “nutrition” pamplets. I thought it was interesting that someone who firmly believed soy was dangerous had no qualms about feeding her children my soy filled pumpkin pie and topping it with her “natural” whipped cream containing wholesome ingredients like carrageenan and polysorbate 80.
Christmas will probably be pretty low key for me. I’m going to a gathering at my dance studio and may try some recipes from the copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar I got for my birthday.
I’m between paychecks right now so most of my meals lately have consisted of legumes and pulses. Last night I started soaking split peas and right now I’m making curry split pea soup from memory because my copy of Vegan With a Vengeance is in storage. Not sure if it will taste as good as last time but it smells great.