Episode 4: Stop All This Negative Junk!

By on December 15, 2014


Episode 4: Stop All This Negative Junk!

Hello my vegan friends. This is episode four of “Oh So Very Vegan,” the podcast. I got a great show for you today, getting closer to the holidays. Oh So Very Vegan PodcastIf you’ve been shopping in the malls, you are getting stressed out. If you’re just relaxing and saving for the last minute, which is what I’m doing, the stress hasn’t hit yet.

I want to talk about a couple of things today. Mainly, with the holiday season coming around, we’d just released about a week ago our “2014 Vegan Holiday Buyers Guide.” We thought they’ll be fun just to, “What do you buy at your vegan friends?” A bottle of wine, just a regular shirt, or a gift? Wouldn’t it be cool to get them something that was vegan‑friendly, or something that would cater to vegans?

I just think it’s a fun…There’s a lot of great products out there that are catered to vegans, and I never saw a vegan buyers guide, so we had some fun putting this document together. In there, you’ll find some clothing. We tried to touch on everything. There’s some great cookbooks, some great vegan books, some cooking tools and devices and little gadgets. There are belts, a couple of backpacks and handbags, and T‑shirts.

Everything from $10 up to $150. There’s the Breville Juicer in there, which, gosh, I wish someone would buy me a Breville juicer for Christmas. I oh so want one. It’s a real cool guide. We’re getting some downloads from it, and there’s two great recipes in there from two great vegans, who I reached out to feature their book in there.

Said, “Hey, can we feature one of your recipes?” They were more than happy to do it. One of them is JL Fields, her new book coming out, “Pressure Cooking,” it’s a pressure cooking vegan book, and she submitted a recipe that is in there, you can cook it, make it, and if you like it, hopefully you’ll buy her book.

If you’re a chocaholic, Fran Costigan has a great chocolate vegan book, and she gave us an awesome recipe to publish in there, as well. There’s some good stuff to buy, there’s some sampling of recipes from their books, and it’s just a fun little guide that you can share with your vegan friends, or get some ideas to make some cool purchases for them for the holidays.

On the negative side, what I do is I go to several vegan sites and vegan forums and vegan Facebook groups that I’m a part of, and I like to network in there, and meet other vegans. Just read what people are saying. I’m not going to mention the Facebook group that I’m in, but I did post this on the “Oh So Vegan” Facebook page to get some feedback from our readers.

The feedback that I received was pretty much the way I felt about it.

There was a woman who posted in this group saying that she is new to Vegan‑ism. She’s totally cut out meat, dairy and all animal byproducts from her diet. She wanted to know if she would be considered vegan because at this point, she did it for health reasons. She said her concern wasn’t for the animals because she hasn’t been exposed to that yet.

She still wears leather and she’s still has leather clothing because you’re not going to throw out your stuff right away. Again, she did it for health reasons. She ended it with saying, “Someone told me that horse racing is not considered vegan.” Does anyone know why? Why a vegan was the main question she was asking.

It was unfortunate the way that people responded to her. She got flamed. No one was friendly. Everybody was, “You’re not a vegan. You should leave here and go to the plant based Facebook groups. There are plenty of them. They’re not vegans. You do it for health reasons. You’re selfish. You’re this, you’re that.”

It’s not the way that I think people should have responded to her. That was probably five or six, maybe seven that responded to her. I responded and told her, “You’re vegan. You’re starting out. Everybody starts somewhere. Many of us started for health reasons.” When the time I pressed “submit”, the post was already removed.

The person who runs the forum based when I saw then, didn’t want to have that negativity in the group. I don’t blame her. I don’t like to delete posts and sends her things, but it wasn’t needed. It was pretty sad.

She replied back and said, “Wow, I just thought I was joining this group to share recipes and meet other people who are starting out vegan, and I just thought it’ll be a fun place to talk to people, but it seems that I’m not wanted here and I’m leaving goodbye.”

Then of course, the replies after that were, “See you, good, L‑O‑L, don’t need you here.” Unfortunately, vegans get a bad rap because of people like that. I’ve made posts on our Facebook page that some people have disagreed with, or throw a negative vibe out there. It’s very discouraging.

It’s extremely discouraging because vegans call themselves, we call ourselves compassionate. We’re compassionate towards animals, but how come we’re not compassionate towards humans? How come this person can’t be considered a vegan?

She is just getting started, but now she’ll never be a vegan because there’s no way. She has a bad taste in her mouth about vegans. This person will go on continuing to buy animal byproducts. Some vegans may say, “Who cares?” The reality is if you’re vegan, don’t you want others who are thinking about vegan or wanting to be vegan become vegan so they can save more lives?

Isn’t that what we want to do? That’s not the case here. This lady probably will never be vegan. She may stay on her vegan diet for a while, or she may not. She may falter off. Most people who go on a diets fall off because you’ll never be exposed to the other side of it. There’s a lot of people who turn to the vegan life because of health reasons.

I myself turn to a vegan diet for health reasons when I first started. My cholesterol was too high. My doctor wanted to put me on statin drugs. I didn’t want to do it. A friend turned me on to the movie “Forks over Knives”. I got excited about it. I didn’t do it for the animals. I did it for myself. As I became more involved and started reading books because let’s face it.

That’s what’s going to happen. You’re starting to eat like this. You want to learn more about it and then, you’re going to start being exposed to the animal cruelty, the factor reform issues, the environment issues that all the stuff causes. Then and only then can you go full circle.

It’s the sad thing is that this will never happen for that person because she is turned off by it. I think that happens to a lot of people. They’re turned off by what we call the vegan police, or what one person posted on our face. This is the Facebook. These are the vegan Nazis.

There are a small percentage of people who are unfortunately judgmental and have negative reactions. When I post it like I said it early when I posted this on our Facebook page, there was no negativity, but there was sadness. Everybody was like, “That’s pretty sad. That should never been like that.”

Hopefully, she likes our Facebook page and find some fellow vegans here that are friendly and compassionate towards other humans and not judgmental because we all start somewhere. That’s all I have to say about that. Another post I saw out there was I thought this was a great question.

Now, I know the answer to it, but the reason I thought it was such a great question because I really wanted to see what others thought of it. Again, it was another person in this same group who was a new vegan. This was her question. She just worded it exactly like this, “Thrift, shop leather. OK to buy or not? What are your thoughts?”

Looking to start a conversation, that was a great question. It’s a leather jacket, or article of leather, or silk shirt that is in a thrift shop. It was used already, purchased, and whatever the case, should and could a vegan wear something like that? In the end, my thoughts are on into this.

If you’re vegan, why are you going to wear leather anyway whether it’s purchased brand new or at a thrift shop, or given to you as a gift? You’re a vegan, and everyone knows you’re a vegan. You’re walking around with a leather jacket, and it’s like what’s the deal here? I probably would say, “Yeah, that’s not vegan.”

Some people said, “Why not? You purchased it in a thrift store.” Others said, “No, it’s not vegan. Why would you want to wear dead animals on your body?” I just thought it was a great question, and there were some good answers there. My thought again, not vegan. We made a post that went live on our site yesterday, ohsoveryvegan.com.

It was a post about starting to do a series of these posts basically featuring restaurants. They’re not vegan restaurants, but they have good vegan offerings, or they will alter things for you. Not every city has vegan restaurants. Our family may not be vegan, or friends may not be vegan, and so we go out to dinner with them.

We want of course vegan options. What I find is whenever I’m ready to go out, my wife and I go out with some friends or family and they always come to me when we’re trying to decide on where to eat. They point to me and say, “You make the decision because you’re the hardest one.”

I giggle that because the reality is I can eat at any restaurant anywhere. I can eat at McDonald’s. They have salads there, but I don’t want to be stuck in salads all the time. A lot of places have vegetarian menus. They can be veganized. Some restaurants have great vegan options.

We’re doing a series of these and we’re featuring different restaurants. Our first article was on the cheese cake factory because there’s a cheese for cake factory in every mall across America. Although none of the cheesecake is vegan, they do have some good options there.

They have a great menu, a supplemental menu called the “SkinnyLicious Menu.” It has a ton of vegetarian stuff, and it has some vegan stuff, but anything can be altered to be vegan that’s on it.

A lot of people were surprised by it because they just didn’t realize it, that they had vegan options. But one of the comments that I received was, “Why would you want to support a restaurant that cooks animals?” I started thinking to myself, “Is that really a way to live?”

I don’t have a vegan restaurant in my city, and I want to go out to eat in restaurants. I like going out. I like being with friends. I just don’t think that, just because they cook animal products, I should not eat there. Some may disagree with me and say, “Well, you’re not vegan. You’re supporting animal killing.”

But I think you’ve got to live your life. I think you’ve got to just say, “Hey, I’m doing the best I can. I’m not eating animal products. I’m not eating animal byproducts. But I’m going into a restaurant and I’m selecting a vegan option, and that’s pretty darn good.”

If you’re doing that, hey, that’s what it’s all about. You’re still eating vegan. Just because they cook chicken and shrimp and steak, I can’t see myself living like that, saying, “They cooked animal products. I’m never eating there.” Where are you going to eat? There’s nowhere you could eat then.

Do you have a vegan restaurant in your neighborhood that you’re going to eat at all the time when you want to eat out? Your non‑vegan friends aren’t going to be there. I’m totally in disagreement. I commented back on that. I haven’t seen if she replied or anything.

But it’s like, “Come on, man. Give me a break. Is everything we say going to be judged and pointed at? It wears on you, man. It gets so discouraging.”

On a brighter note, what I do want to do in this podcast is I want to feature a book each week that I’m reading and I think is really good. This week, I want to, I just got this about a week ago from Amazon.com, and it’s called “Vegan Cupcakes,” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, authors of “Vegan Vengeance.”

It’s 75 dairy‑free recipes for cupcakes that rule. It’s a rocking little book. They go into a lot of how to decorate and the tools you’ll need. There are some banging recipes in here. It’s full color. The images are great. There’s some really, really tasty looking stuff.

There’s Vanilla Gluten Freedom cupcakes. There is Chocolate Gluten Freedom cupcakes and Carrot Cake cupcakes. I’m just reading some of the recipes here. Crimson Velveteen cupcakes. Peanut Butter cupcakes. Chocolate Cherry Cream cupcakes. That sounds good. But their pictures are just amazing.

Brooklyn Versus Boston Cream Pie cakes. You’ve got to see the picture of this cupcake. It’s a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting, and inside it has this cream that looks so amazing. Maple cupcakes. Pineapple Right Side Up cupcakes. Chocolate Mint cupcakes. Smores cupcakes.

Banana Split cupcakes. You’ve got to see the picture of this cupcake. It’s just insane. They look so beautiful. I love vegan cupcakes. I was in New York about a month and a half ago. BabyCakes in New York City. Oh, my God. You just walk into this place, and as vegans we know, when you walk into a restaurant and it’s not a Cheesecake Factory, there’s only certain things we can order.

But when you walk into a vegan restaurant or a vegan bakery and you know that you can basically have anything on the menu, it’s like you start to go crazy. What I love about vegan cupcakes, and they’re as heavy as a brick, but they’re so soft and chocolatey and so moist. They’re just delicious. They’re just wonderful.

I’m really excited about this little book, because I’m going to be making a lot of these over the holiday. I’m not a baker in any way, but I think I could make some of these. There is quite a few in here, 75, like I said. The book is 168 pages, full color. It’s a great little book. It would be a great little stocking stuff for one of your vegan friends

I hope you enjoyed the show. I hope I wasn’t too negative. But it really discourages me when I see such hate and negativity coming from these vegan forums and these vegan Facebook pages. The sad thing is that people are seeing it too, and they’re pointing it out and they’re saying, “Why is there so much hate in these vegan sites? These are vegans talking to vegans.”

It’s got to stop, because what we’re doing is we’re alienating people who are thinking about being vegan or who are not vegan. We’re alienating them. We’re making ourselves look like a bunch of crazies, because people will judge all vegans by the actions of just a few.

I hope you enjoyed the show today. If you want the holiday guide, it’s a free guide, about ten or so pages. A lot of great products in there. Links to all of the products so you can check them out. It’s at www.ohsoveryvegan.com.

Right there on the home page, if you look to the right side, you’ll see a photo of it with a green button to download it. Go ahead. Enjoy it. As I always say, I truly appreciate the time you spend with us here on the podcast. I know your time is valuable, and I really appreciate you spending it with us.

Please join us on our Facebook page, facebook.com/ohsoveryvegan. Introduce yourself. It’s not a closed group. Again, we’ll see you next week. Just remember, Oh So Very Vegan, it’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Thanks, guys.

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About Dean Iodice