Melanie Joy on Carnism

Melanie Joy on Ted Talks and Carnism

Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M. beautifully delves into the psychology of what we eat and why. I remember in college learning about how we have learned to more easily kill our enemy from a distance. This thought has resurfaced time and time again as I think about people who eat meat and dairy, what Melanie Joy calls Carnism “The invisible ideology that disconnects us from our rationality, our feelings and our values. And which enables a massive global injustice.”

Melanie highlights concisely yet thoroughly the pure integrity of being vegan. She furthermore delves rather deep into the inherent violence with carnism and the inescapable cognitive dissonance associated with this invisible ideology. She sets the premise for explaining this “invisible ideology” with saying “We tend to assume that only vegans and vegetarians follow a belief system. When eating animals is not a necessity, which is the case in much of the world today, then it is a choice. And choices always stem from beliefs.”

After becoming ill from eating a burger with Campylobacter bacteria Melanie quit eating meat. She described her diet change as a paradigm shift. When she explains the experience of seeing the world differently I could really relate. Now when Melanie witnesses others eating meat she sees  “people putting the bodies of dead animals in their mouths as if nothing at all were wrong”. So she set off to figure out “how rational caring people, like myself, could just stop thinking and feeling.”

Melanie does an amazing job explaining the belief systems, choices, and ideology of veganism and Carnism, a term she coined. She boldly confronts us with the violence meat and dairy eaters are in denial of which totally conflicts with core values. She follows this up beautifully saying “Our pain is the mirror in which we can see the reflection of our humanity.” Then she delineates various ways in which we pay for our carnism and enable it through denial, justification, and cognitive distortions.

Melanie even explains that the mentality which enables all violent ideologies (racism, sexism, etc…) are the same. She says “It’s the mentality of domination and subjugation, of privilege and oppression. It’s the mentality that causes us to “turn someone into something. To reduce a life to a unit of production. It is the might-makes-right mentality that makes us feel entitled to wield complete control over the lives and deaths of those with less power-just because we can…” “And so if we fail to pick out the common threads that are woven through all violent ideologies, then we will recreate atrocities in new forms.”

Check out the great video of her speech at TEDx Talks to learn more!

“If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.”

As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.
~Leo Tolstoy

Full Circle Farm Sanctuary Fundraiser at Sanctuary Brewing Company

Full-Circle Farm Sanctuary Sanctuary Farm Fundraiser

Last Sunday my family and I volunteered at a fundraiser for Full Circle Farm Sanctuary. Sarah and William managed the table while I videographed the event. The even was held at Sanctuary Brewing Company, which happens to have vegan food and beer!

This event was fantastic. There was an awesome turnout, the chili and beer was super delicious. Carolina Catskins was a special musical treat. Everyone was very nice and we made several new friends. I met Laura Theodore (Jazzy Vegetarian) and her husband, the owner of Sanctuary Brewing Lisa McDonald, and many other amiable vegans.

We’d love for you to Like, Comment, and share the video we made.

Check out other the listing for Full Circle Farm Sanctuary on Vegan By Season for more information and videos.

Visit Full Circle Farm Sanctuary

to learn more about their incredible nonprofit and to make a donation

When in the Asheville/Hendersonville area visit Sanctuary Brewing Company

Learn more about Laura Theodore

The very groovy band was Carolina Catskins

Also in attendance The Gentle Barn

video by neofilm and

National Geographic Superfoods Issue

I was Grocery shopping the other day and stumbled across this issues of National Geographic on Superfoods. It’s subtitled “Eat Your Way to Health and Longevity” accompanied by a collage of fruits, nuts, veggies, etc. on the cover, so I just had to get it!

Right away I could tell this is going to be a great read. The first few pages introduce the reason for a plant based diet. They emphasize how far science has taken our knowledge regarding all the evidenced that a plant based diet is better for not only us but our planet, how nutrient deficient so many Americans are, and how easy it can be to really eat healthy.

Getting to the premise of it “This magazine is filled with up-to-date, evidence-based information on 91 foods-vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, whole grains, and more- to help guide you toward better health”.

Each food item they discuss explains in awesome detail what the food item is, where it comes from, minerals and nutrients in it, a bit of science around it, and more. Information is organized well highlighting things like recipes, ways to prepare and consume raw, pairing items, and how it can benefit you and your planet.

As far as I can tell it’s all vegan. I thought Sarah noticed one small item in a recipe when I first showed it to her. But, looking back I can’t find it. I honestly haven’t had a chance to read it all yet, but so far it’s great! I wanted to get this out there quick because it’s available until April 6, 2016.

It’s so great seeing more and more honest information being put out there. Great job National Geographic!

You may be able to find in where magazines are sold near you easy enough. Here’s a link to the issue in the National Geographic shop: National Geographic Superfoods Issue


Roasted Veggie Kabobs with Tofu

Roasted Veggie Kabobs with Tofu

Welcoming the upcoming warm season and its bounty, outdoor adventures and perhaps a little summer break are these veggie kabobs. Simply seasoned, a colorful blend of vegetables is roasted on kabobs, just like off the grill. To round these off for a meal is protein packed tofu cubes deliciously seasoned to perfection.

DIY Pizza Kit

DIY Vegan Pizza Kit

Prepare yourself (and your grill) to receive two personal size par-baked pizza crusts with all the fixin’s. Toppings include our house marinara sauce , thinly sliced red onion, artichoke hearts, steamed asparagus and roasted red peppers. We also include a healthy portion of our very own dairy-free Alfredo sauce. All you have to do is layer with the marinara and veggies, heat (can be done on grill or in the oven), dress with “cheese” (e.g. cashew queso!), slice and eat. This selection would make for a fine meal for two or a nice appetizer come party-time!

Aloha Edamame

Aloha Edamame

Steamed edamame pods are dressed with the artisan pink salt crystals of the blue Pacific ocean surrounding the Hawaiian Islands; a simple twist that keeps the dish theme-worthy. You know the drill on this one – just peel, eat and repeat

Hawaiian Pizza Pockets

Hawaiian Vegan Calzone

This Hawaiianized classic starts with a handmade pizza crust, smoothed with a barbecue-style sauce. Add to that chunks of golden pineapple, juicy tomatoes, crisp broccoli and sweet onion, wrapped up into an easy “on the go” pocket of goodness. Can’t ya just hear the faint sound of a ukulele rising in the background?

Tropical Black Bean Burgers

Tropical Black Bean Burgers

Tender black beans are at the heart of this scrumptious burger that includes crunchy bits of green bell pepper and pungent red onion. But the very best part is an outrageously delicious sauce of creamy housemade mayo, orange juice, agave nectar, Dijon mustard, soy sauce and flecks of green onion. Topped with slices of freshly grilled pineapple. Mmm! Mmm!