Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vegas, Not to my Taste

I'm not going to couch this softly; I don't like Las Vegas. It is essentially the antithesis of everything I stand for and am. I have always thought it was the most artificial and crass city that I have visited. And the more I visit, the more I find that opinion reinforced.

I lived and worked in Orlando for years and some would argue that it is more fake and tacky than Las Vegas. But for me, Vegas is worse because while Disney's artifice has romantic fantasy at it's core, Las Vegas is all about emphasizing negative tendencies.

The city has this glittery overlay to it but just below the glitz it's garbage to the core. I hate the greed, the misogyny and the way people act when they are there... as if this is the place to give into, or even force themselves into, falling prey to their baser instincts. I hate the noise, the gambling and the smoking.

For me, the decadence becomes cloying fast. I am generally a hopeful, joyful vegan but the level of exploitation of animals, living and killed, here is appalling to me. The hotels on the strip are filled with restaurants but I was hard-pressed to find a decent non-animal-based meal. In a town dedicated to tourism you would think you could at lest find one vegetarian friendly restaurant or even a single option on the menu. Heck, I live in the South and typically have no trouble eating out, but it was really difficult here.

There were not even a lot of variety in cuisines. I was surprised in this lack of variety. Most restaurants were "American" or buffets or steakhouses followed by Asian and sushi options. Americanized Italian was a far distant third with very few Mexican or other options.

I pretty much had plain bagel with jam for breakfast and two nights in a row I ate the exact same Chinese stir-fried veggies and white rice. On the third night, wanting a different choice I decided to subject myself to Rainforest Cafe thinking a chain restaurant would cater to a wide variety of dietary needs and that I could probably get a harmless veggie burger there. But sadly their veggie burger contained eggs. In the end I had them make me a salad with the meat and cheese removed and paired that up with a plate of fries. I guess you don't get a lot of veggies in the rainforest... but you do get ribs, shrimp and lots of cheese pizzas and pasta.

You would think an adventurous town like Las Vegas would be a great place for people to try and experience new cuisines and options, but in the end it does nothing but try and appeal to the lowest common denominator. It mirrors back and emphasizes the worst depravities of our excessive lifestyles.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eggs are Easy

We have been vegan for almost a year now. And one of the best things about it is answering questions and talking with people about how and what we eat. There are a lot of things we grow up being told - mostly because our parents or grandparents were told these "facts" by the governments or agencies whose only vested interest was in their own bottom line.

There are also a lot of things we are not told. Things that, once we learn about them, it seems so obvious we can't believe we never put the facts together. Things that, now that we know about them, we can't help but change how we act and how we think. Now that this knowledge has come through to us we can't help but share it because we think "If only we'd known sooner, we could have changed earlier. And surely others would want to know these facts too so they can make a change as well."

Things like this -

In the egg laying industry they throw away, crush and grind up all of the baby male chicks. Millions and millions of one or two day old fuzzy little chicks are piled and run through conveyors and then tossed down a chute alive to be ground to death just because the egg industry sees them as waste.

All so we can have an egg for breakfast.

Yeah, I can't abide that. I can't be a part of that. I can't support a system that thinks that's just a cost of doing business with no remorse or caring.

So for me, eggs are easy. Easy to give up.
And while we know there are people in transition into vegetarianism and veganism. Eggs seem simple and harmless to keep in (like dairy) but, in terms of overall suffering, in many ways the egg and dairy industries are worse than the meat industry. The numbers, the longer term daily suffering and the male chick "by-products" .

Many would say that I don't really have a right to speak against this as we have the option of eating eggs since we have Meg and Gertie. And yes, the hubby, does eat them at times. But I do not. Yes, we know they are cruelty free and our girls would never be harmed or killed if they stopped laying. But we also have friends who have chickens too. And I'm sure they take great care of them. So even if we didn't have our girls we could still get cruelty-free eggs.

But we wouldn't.

There isn't any point because we don't need them. For us it isn't about the fact that we can't get access to eggs but that we don't want them.
It really can be that simple.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nice Rack

My super cooler converted spice rack (formerly a vintage ironing board cabinet) was featured on The Perfect Pantry.

We really love our old (110+ years) house. If you haven't seen the other rooms - take the tour!

Thanks, Perfect Pantry for stopping by!