Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mercy for Animals

After I starting doing more research, once making the decision to go Vegan, I kept seeing the name Mercy for Animals" everywhere.  I knew I wanted to get into some type of animal activism, but I didn't know how to get started if there wasn't a branch of an organization in my city.  I wanted to get involved with a lesser-known organization that didn't have as much of a stigma attached, so I knew PETA was out.  I ended up going to two different "Veg Fests", one in Novi Michigan and one in Cleveland Ohio, and both of them had booths for Mercy for Animals, which I grabbed literature from.  I decided to go onto their website and fill out a volunteer form.  I also "liked" them on facebook.  A friend of mine then got me in contact with someone from the Chicago branch, and one day in July he was looking for volunteers for a demonstration in Lima, Ohio.   It was for the "Walmart Cruelty"

campaign, (trying to get Walmart to buy pork from suppliers that don't use gestation crates for their pigs).  My daughter and I drove down and met up with a couple of women who had been doing a tour all over the US, to bring awareness to the subject.  Jeni and Crystal were such a pleasure to spend the day with, and it was great to meet like-minded people.  We also had a woman, Samantha (also from Ohio) join us as well.  The five of us stood out front of the Lima Walmart with signs that read "Walmart Tortures Pigs" and "Walmart Pork = Animal Abuse", we also had a large inflatable pig in a crate standing next to us.  We got some honks and waves (and some middle fingers), but I felt so good standing up for something I believed in.  We ended up getting interviewed for the Lima News paper (article here) and was also on the local Fox News.  The photo on the top was taken by me, so I'm not in it, but my daughter is on the far left.

I also knew that Mercy for Animals organizes booths at events to expose people to the truth behind modern farming by paying them $1 to watch a 4 minute video.  It is a shortened version of the farm to fridge video (you can view the full version HERE).

Some friends of mine in Indianapolis had put together a booth like this at the Indy Pride Fest in June, and they inspired me to try to get one planned for my city.  My hubby and I did the booth last weekend.  I feel like we did a great thing, exposing people to the truth, even if we didn't have as many participants as anticipated.  We ended up with 45 people watching this video and had great conversations with people about how they could chose a more compassionate lifestyle.  Here are some photos from the event, including people reacting to the video. (and the girl who is with us was a local who volunteered to help out)....she did an awesome job interacting with people, something that I was a little shy doing.

If you are interested in volunteering for Mercy for Animals, please visit the "EVENTS" section of their website, or fill out a volunteer form.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Jen's Stuffed Pepper Soup

I love stuffed peppers, or meatballs with tomato sauce and green peppers, so I decided to use some of my home grown tomatoes and peppers to create a new recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup.  It was so delicious I had to share.


2 - 32 oz. cans tomato sauce
4 c. tomato juice
2 - large green peppers, chopped
32 oz. diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 c. diced onions
1/2 c. red wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. dried majoram
1 c. textured vegetable protein (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. quick-cooking brown rice


Put all ingredients except for rice in large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until green pepper and onion is soft.  Cook rice according to package directions, stir into soup and serve.
Other Method:  Cook sauce ingredients in large slow-cooker on high for 4 hours, transfer to pot, and add cooked rice.  Is great served with crackers or croutons on top.

Serves 12

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Review: EMANI Liquid Foundation

Since make-up lasts FOREVER for me I still have some non-Vegan make-up left.  The first thing I ran out of was liquid foundation.  I was nervous that I would not be able to find all-natural and cruelty-free foundation at the store and would have to blindly buy something off the internet that would end up not matching my skin tone.  Recently I purchased EMANI brand foundation from a local Health Food / Vitamin store.  I was very excited to find it.  While it matches my skin tone, it is very thick and does not go on very easily and does not feel silky or smooth on your skin.  I have resulted in mixing it with moisturizer before applying, but it is still too thick.  I also do not like the way it smells.  If it smelled like nothing it would be fine, but it has a kind of sour, musty smell, and you can smell it on your face.  I am not planning on buying this brand again when it runs out.  I was very happy to discover that I can also buy foundation at "The Body Shop" so I plan on trying their brand when this tube runs out.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jen's Marinara Sauce

I have been making this recipe for a while now, but only occasionally until I went Vegan and decided this recipe was much healthier than sauce with preservatives and other unwanted ingredients from a jar.  My whole family loves it.


2 lbs fresh tomatoes
12 oz. tomato paste
1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 c. chopped onions
1 t. dried parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. fresh oregano leaves
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves
3 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. dry white wine

Run all ingredients (except for wine) through a food processor.  Put in large pot and add white wine.  Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to simmer and then cook on medium-low for at least 1 hour.

Make approx. 2 jars worth of sauce

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sasha Farm Sanctuary

Yesterday we had the pleasure of going to Sasha Farm Sanctuary in Manchester, Michigan.  They are only open to the public a few times a year for fundraising events.  Ever since I went Vegan I have had a very strong desire to love on some farm animals that have been rescued (most likely because I feel the need to "make up" for my meat eating in the past).  It was so lovely there and the volunteers were so nice.  You were able to actual get in the pens and interact with them.  I would have to say that I was very excited to touch a turkey for the first time.  He kept coming over to me and fluffing his feathers.  I used photos from the day to create my new logo blog title, but I will share them with you here.

By the way, my new title, "Four and a half Vegans" can be taken two ways.  Noah is only almost 2 years old, so he is the 1/2, or the fact that Parker (8 year old) is only a Vegan at home and part of the time take it however you will.