Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vegan Golf Bags, Vegan Golf Gloves, Other Vegan Golf Equipment

The beautiful grounds of Lake Morey Resort, formerly called Lake Morey Inn.

I've recently been thinking about visiting Lake Morey Resort, which was a vacation spot that my family visited every summer of my childhood for golf and every New Year for skiing, ice skating and fireworks. I've also been watching The Open Championship on TV this weekend. All of this has made me wonder about vegan golf bags, vegan golf gloves, vegan golf cleats, vegan golf clubs and other cruelty-free golf equipment. When I was a kid I had all of the golf supplies, most of which was not vegan. I no longer play golf, but my husband does, and I'm not about to buy him leather golf supplies.

Do any of you know of vegan golf equipment or cruelty-free golf brands? Surprisingly, most of the vegan golf bags on amazon are for women. Is there vegan discrimination against men?

From what I read on the Internet, it's nearly impossible to find vegan golf gloves. Any ideas? And is there really vegan discrimination against men? Your thoughts below.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vegan News Roundup

Would you eat ladybugs?  I didn't think so, which makes me wonder why people eat other insects.  Maybe because there aren't cute nursery rhymes about other beetles?  Photo used with permission.

When I came back from my honeymoon, I ended up in the hospital with severe bronchitis and dehydration. When it rains it truly pours, but after a round of Levaquin and some matcha green tea I'm feeling much better. I try to avoid taking medication when possible because I think it's bad for animals and can have negative effects on people and the environment, but sometimes meds are a necessary evil.  If you want an inside look about the process of FDA lobbying and drug approvals, just watch the documentary Orgasm Inc..  I watched it on Netflix, and although this film doesn't cover vegan issues, it deals with feminism and the whole problem of drug companies selling manufactured disorders.  Very disturbing.  And speaking of disturbing....

I feel a little disconnected from the news because I was heartbroken, sick, away, and sick for so long, but now I'm back and wanted to share some disturbing (and some good) news in veganland:

Pink slime isn't that different from other meat products. As if you needed another reason to go vegan.  The somewhat good news is that three of the four facilities that produce pink slime are closing.

Starbugs.  Surprise, surprise, not too much at Starbuck's is vegan, and some items contain crushed insects.  Vegan or not, this is gross.  Yogurt, Pop-Tarts and other products contain the same ingredient.  Starbucks has the right idea by trying to remove artificial flavors and colors, but the wrong idea by thinking that a strawberry drink should be flavored or colored by anything other than strawberries.  All the credit really goes to for breaking the story.  This is all the more reason that everyone in Miami should be drinking their coffee from Sweat Records!

PETA thinks Coke is vegan.  Nevertheless, cola is not good for you and almost got a cancer warning.  I know, some more real shockers here.  Apparently some Coke products also use crushed insects.  Eww!

I was delighted when I discovered that the latest issue of Self Magazine features vegan recipes.  I get this magazine for free from a deal I found on the Internet, but most of the time I don't feel that I can really relate to Self, even though I'm probably in their main demographic of 30 to 40-something professional women.  I appreciate that this magazine tries not to be Cosmo, even if it more or less still is, but the above article has made me look again.  Let's hope that Self keeps up the great work of moving toward more vegetarian/vegan features.

I joined Foursquare.  Yes, I am very late to the game, but I think it's a neat way to find interesting things in your city or when traveling.  I also think there is a tiny chance that I may meet interesting people with similar interests.  So, if you are a vegan, Buddhist, from Miami, or just an interesting person, feel free to friend me.   Lol.  See you guys out and about.

Posted as part of: Rednesday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thanks for Sticking with Me

I've gotten married! Not only do I have a new last name, but I have a new outlook on life. I've had several very tough months, but I will be back to regular posting after my honeymoon. See my article Buddhist Beliefs over at my other blog for more details.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Things I Hate About Being Vegan

Vegan Fairy Kindness
Sometimes I wish the vegan fairy would just sprinkle kindness everywhere and banish misinformation and extremists.

I love being vegan, eating a healthy plant-based diet, and living a kind and cruelty-free life.  Nevertheless, there are some aspects of being vegan that I dislike.  I don't like complainers, vegan or otherwise, but I'm hoping that people who are more experienced vegans will be kind enough to give me some advice and push me in the right direction through their comments below.  I recently wrote about my concerns about lack of family/friend support and lack of support from the vegan community in my article Is Vegan a Dirty Word?, so I won't revisit my dislike of the vegan police, but I have noticed that there are some aspects of being vegan that are frustrating and difficult, so I'd like to air these frustrations with the hope that others will offer advice.  Stay tuned for my upcoming article about all of the things I love about being vegan.

1.  Unnecessary videos or graphic images of animal cruelty.

I understand that the point is shock value.  Some people may need these videos and photos to truly understand how disturbing animal cruelty is, but I find it repulsive when seemingly harmless links lead to unexpected images of horror.  I am doubtful that the shock value really does much to convert most people to veganism long-term.  If anything, I think the constant images of horror makes veganism seem less approachable and makes vegans seem like extremists.

2.  Determining what's vegan and what's not is difficult.

I mostly eat unprocessed foods now, which is great.  I also am noticing that an increasing number of packaged foods clearly say whether they're vegan or not.  However, the process for determining whether a product is vegan or not seems to be Google, check forums, and contact the manufacturer.  The problem is that Google and online forums don't always seem to have firm proof and often rely on anecdotal evidence.  Contacting companies takes a long time and doesn't always yield clear answers.  Plus, even if you know most of the hidden animal ingredients, it can still be hard to know if an ingredient might not be vegan.  For example, I learned in this vegan forum that vegans need to source D3, and apparently companies don't necessarily know what's in their food.  Prior to reading that forum, I had no idea that the product in question might not be vegan.

3.  Companies are less than eager to answer questions.

I contacted my first company a week ago to try to find out if the sugar used in a particular product is vegan or not.  I never got any acknowledgement from the company at all.  My awesome vegan mentor @xlibrarygeekx suggested that there really isn't a great rule of thumb to determine whether sugar in a product uses bone char, and he suggested that it's better to just avoid a product if you can't figure it out.  This makes me sad because I'm always looking to expand my vegan options and would be able to make an informed decision if these companies would just write back.  I'm thinking either big companies don't know what's in their products, or they don't care because the vegan segment of the population isn't large enough or doesn't have enough power to matter.  The lack of cooperation by manufacturers is also a problem for people with food allergies, but in these cases companies appear to do the bare minimum to comply with the law.

4.  Many vegan resources or health/diet/lifestyle websites make claims without scientific proof.

A vegan blogger suggested that she only uses coconut oil because it's the healthiest.  I started researching that claim because her website didn't explain why this oil was superior compared to other oils.  Ultimately, after I wasted a lot of time, I discovered that it's probably not the best, although there are a lot of people out there spreading propaganda.  Many aspects of veganism or healthy diets are not exact sciences, but it's counterproductive when vegans and others in these industries make unsubstantiated claims that we are just supposed to take at face value.  I feel especially frustrated that some of these unsubstantiated claims could actually be harmful to one's health.

5.  PETA is one of the best vegan resources!? Really?

I understand that we must take every step possible toward cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly, but I find some of PETA's tactics morally and ethically objectionable.  In addition to some of it's politics or strategies involving animals, I find PETA's treatment of people horrendous.  I believe in in non-violence, compassion, and I am against the killing of all beings, animals or people.  As objectionable as many of PETA's practices are, nothing was more offensive to me than the "death by chocolate/bite Osama Bin Laden's head off" campaign.  The people of Afghanistan and the world had suffered so much under Bin Laden's terrorist reign, military members risked their lives to end that reign, military families in the US and elsewhere worried about whether their loved ones would come back alive, all of the suffering of September 11, and Bin Laden's family no doubt suffered after he was killed.  After all of this, PETA treated the whole thing as if it were some type of big joke, reopening the wounds and offending me and many others.  It's pretty hard for me to believe that PETA engaged in the Bid Laden campaign in order to accomplish something for animals.    The whole campaign reflected a total lack of the compassion that PETA supposedly promotes.  PETA's many snafus are more incidents that make vegans look like extremist weirdos.  I didn't support PETA when I was a vegetarian, and I don't support PETA as a vegan.

So I'll step down from my soapbox, but I am hopeful that maybe somebody out there has ideas about how to deal with these frustrations.  I love being a vegan, and given that I was a lactose intolerant vegetarian, I don't have any intention to be anything other than vegan.  Any ideas about effective ways to contact companies?  I hate being on hold forever and I'm tired of getting no response at all.  And what about compassionate charities that aren't walking contradictions or corrupt?  Does such a thing exist?  And is veganism a word?  My spellchecker doesn't recognize it.

Posted as part of: Best Posts of the WeekPink Saturday, Weekend Wander.