Updates including vegan stuff from Puerto Rico!

Hi all!  I've gone from 60mph to zero on the blog here, and I have guilt.  There are reasons that you probably already know about if we're IRL friends.  Otherwise you likely don't want to be bored with the details.

What I hope you won't be bored with is visions of the things I got to eat in Puerto Rico!  I didn't have too much of a chance to eat, but what I did try was pretty fantastic.  As follows:

To begin with: the ultimate beverage.  Fresh coconuts, called coco frio, are available at little stands everywhere.  Roadsides, beaches, festivals - wherever people congregate or pass by regularly.  Hack off the top, stick in a straw.  Delightful!

Lunch at La Familia, the only vegan restaurant on the whole island of PR (I think)!  Malta (the most popular soda), tofu veggie mix, mashed potato casserole, oatmeal cookies, and pigeon peas.  Healthy and delicious!

A quick breakfast on my last day: puff pastry with guayaba (guava) and guanĂ„bana (soursop) juice.  Not sour!  Quite sweet and a little bit citrusey.  I want to try a fresh one - thinking they may have them at Hong Kong Market!

Puerto Rico is very much like the mainland states in many aspects, and food is no exception.  The island sadly proliferates with fast food joints.  But!  I was also able to find vegan products in a normal grocery store in a small town.  You really can be vegan anywhere!

Not pictured:
  • mofongo: a traditional dish found EVERYWHERE, usually made with seafood or chicken, but made with veggies if you ask real nice at the right places (or happen to be friends with the daughter of the restaurant manager!). 
  • grilled plantains (plĂ„tanos) on a stick, slathered in ground fresh garlic at the beach
  • incredible produce stands everywhere
  • mango trees dropping fruit like rain everywhere you turn
Next time I go to PR (and there WILL be a "next time"), I will *not* get strep throat and I *will* eat all the things - and take pictures of them!



The results are in!  From the numerous excellent answers received to the question "a) What do you think is the most effective way to advocate for animals?  and b) How do you think that Morrissey is (or is not) advocating effectively for animals and veganism?", the randomly selected winner is...


Congratulations treeninja: you and a friend are going to Morrissey at The Saenger Theater on Thursday, June 11 2015!  While the winner was not chosen based on quality of answer, treeninja's answer is an great one that I want to share with you now.  And I quote:
a) The best way to advocate for animals is to take actions that will eventually lead to legal changes that protect animals. I have argued with many people in the past, stating my case about how pitiful animal welfare is today, and it's incredibly frustrating to hear people say things like, "Well if it's legal to buy, then it really can't be all that bad." Keep in mind, these are people who will also adamantly refuse to see a short video of where their meat, leather, and animal-tested products come from. I find myself reminding these folks that only 50 years ago, it was also very legal to tell blacks in America that they could not drink from the same water fountains as whites or ride in the same section of the bus. {Meaning, just because it's legal that doesn't make it right.}
Sadly, most people still don't get it, and can't make the connection in their brain. They refuse to accept that animals ought to be treated with similar or the same decency that we are legally required to treat fellow humans. Just because something is currently legal does not make it right, but many people can't wrap their mind around that concept, so I think we really need laws in place that will require all people to have to take the treatment of animals more seriously. Without strict laws, we unfortunately can't count on people or businesses to "do the right thing." In any population, there will always be a large number of individuals that would be willing to do something unethical if it brings themselves pleasure or wealth. That's one of the terrible and most basic flaws of the human race. Even if it’s completely evident to them that it’s wrong, they’ll still go and do it anyway with no qualms!
So laws are what we need so that we can put an end to so much of the misery and suffering that our human race inflicts upon the rest of the beings we share this planet with. All of the “ag-gag” legislation going on state by state over the last few years makes this even more evident. I hope that some day in the future, people will look back on the time we are living in today and view our current injustices towards animals in the same light as how we currently view slavery or the holocaust. Wrong is wrong, even if it isn't illegal (yet). We can and we must do better!

b) Morrissey is advocating effectively for animals because he is very outspoken and public about his views on the matter. I know there are many celebrities and people in the public eye that share Morrissey's views but keep it private, maybe to avoid the possibility of it damaging their career or reputation. Morrissey has the courage and boldness to do what so many others don't-- to use his fame and art as a voice for the voiceless!
Excellent points, treeninja!

Thanks again to all of the wonderful entrants, and to The Saenger Theatre for sponsoring this giveaway!  Don't forget to stop by the PETA table where great folks will be ready and waiting to talk to you about advocacy in action.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Morrissey Ticket Giveaway!

You heard right, friends.  New Orleans in Green is giving away TWO TICKETS to see the one and only MORRISSEY!

(You know, the guy from a little band called The Smiths. Yeah, that one.) 

The show is right here in New Orleans at the recently renovated and stunningly gorgeous Saenger Theatre on June 11, 2015.  ARE YOU EXCITED YET?!  Good!  So get to it!

How to enter: leave a comment on this blog post answering this two-part question: a) What do you think is the most effective way to advocate for animals?  and b) How do you think that Morrissey is (or is not) advocating effectively for animals and veganism?

The contest begins RIGHT NOW, and entries will be accepted until 11:59pm (CST) on Saturday, June 6th.  So don't delay!  A winner will be announced here on the blog on Sunday, June 7th!

PLEASE NOTE: Some folks are having trouble leaving a comment.  I make the following suggestions: 1) in the "comment as" menu, choose anonymous.  2) copy your response before you post.  3) if your post doesn't publish, please paste it in a Facebook message or email to me.  Rest assured that anyone who lets me know they've tried to post will be entered (honor system y'all!).  Apologies for the difficulties!

 The nitty gritty:
  • Your answer can be as short as one sentence or as long as you'd like; as long as it answers the questions posed, you'll be entered to win.
  • You can't win if I can't contact you! Please make sure to put some identifying name in your comment, and that I have at least an email address from you.  You can email me at bastian613 at gmail dot com if you'd prefer not to leave info in the comments (understandable!) or message NOiG on Facebook.  (To be clear, your answer must be left in a comment on this blog post to enter the contest; you'd only be sending your contact information elsewhere.)
  • A winner will be chosen at random from among all qualifying entries; the content of your answer to the question does not affect eligibility.
  • The winner, once chosen on Sunday June 7, will have 12 hours to respond.  If no response has been received by that time, another winner will be chosen.  
  • Tickets for the winning entrant will be retrieved at will-call on the day of the performance (June 11, 2015) - you must be willing to provide me with your legal name (as reflected on an ID) to provide to the Saenger so that you can collect your tickets.
  • This should go without saying: be respectful please and thank you.
  • Obviously there is no purchase necessary.
  • Many thanks to the Saenger Theatre for sponsoring this giveaway!
Best of luck!


About the Book Club: On my health and how it kinda sucks sometimes.

Hi all!  I want to let you know that I'm cutting out the June book club choice, Salt Sugar Fat.  It seems that while my brain wants to keep up with the ambitious schedule I laid out, my body cannot - at least not along with all the travel plans that I made after I set my reading schedule.  Alas.

This month I will complete last month's blog posts for Stuffed and Starved - a really excellent read - and let y'all know what it's like to travel through the countryside of Puerto Rico as a vegan.  And never fear: the book club will pick up again in July!

Thanks for understanding.  And enter to win Morrissey tickets tomorrow!  (Yep, that's happening!)