Vegan Action #68

    Three years ago I left Richmond, Virginia to surround myself in activism, new faces, and the amazing weather in Northern California.  I had been working on animal rights issues for many years and began volunteering for Vegan Action.  Regularly tabling at Gilman was incredible and I met some amazing people there.   I always looked forward to going but would find myself getting disenchanted from time to time, wondering if I was being effective or making any kind of difference in the vegan movement.  Sometimes I was convinced that either people were already aware of the issues or were completely uninterested in them at that time in their lives.  Sometimes, just when my spirits started in a downward spiral, someone would come up to me and say, ‘you know that pamphlet you gave me last month, well I haven’t eaten any animals since then, thank you.’ And that made it all worth while - change happens one person at a time.  Sometimes I forget that and it reminds me why I focus on promoting veganism of all of the animal related issues, because it is positive change.  It is something we can do and know it makes a difference; literally saving animal lives and reducing the amount of suffering in the world.  We all need to see progress in the work we do and in the choices we make.  It is empowering to have this kind of control over our lives and not support the industries we vehemently oppose.  It’s something we can do, not something we can’t.  By switching to a vegan diet each person makes an impact.  It is tangible and something we can encourage in other people as well.  Approximately 99% of the animals killed in the world are for the food industry.  So, diet choices really do affect demand therefore decreasing supply (the number of animals bred for the food industry).  We can feel completely confident in our choices and help other people along the way. The past seven years of my life have found me spending most of my time working for some kind of change in this world we live in.  It’s a huge concept and I lose sight of it from time to time and get overwhelmed frequently.  Working towards something I know to be better for the animals, the environment, and the health of all of us keeps me going, keeps me reminded of who I am, and makes me proud to be doing what I’m doing. Most importantly, it reminds me of why I’m still plugging along with hope in my heart and confidence on my mind.  My determination has paid off.  I eventually became the head of Vegan Action and recently moved back to Richmond bringing the organization with me.  It was hard to leave the Bay Area, with all of the buzzing activists and great friends I had met.  There are places, co-ops, and organizations that we can only dream about in Richmond.  Nonetheless, I felt it was time to come home and there is much work to be done here.  I am glad to be back and there is something about these summers in Richmond that get me motivated; this heat and humidity agitate me in just the right way to stay active. Last summer I was thriving in the Bay Area; it’s great to look back on those times and still feel good about having left to come back home and bring my energy to Virginia.  

xoxo Krissi   email:

1/2 C. smooth peanut butter
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. brown rice vinegar or other mild vinegar of your choice
1 T. sugar
1 T. miso paste (optional)
2 cloves garlic pressed
1/2 t. ground ginger
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 T. dark sesame oil
2/3 to 1 C. vegetable broth or water, as needed
pasta of your choice
1 C. chopped broccoli steamed
1 or 2 scallions chopped
1/2 C. peanuts
sesame seeds
1. Mix all the sauce ingredients until very smooth and creamy, using just
enough water or broth to create a fairly thick sauce.
2. Pour sauce over cooked pasta and stir.  Stir in half of the peanuts.  If it's too
dry add more water or broth.
3. Top with steamed broccoli, chopped scallions, peanuts, and toasted sesame
seeds.  Drizzle another tablespoon of sesame oil on top. 
4. Store in airtight container and chill.

helpful hints:
to toast sesame seeds, cook in a dry saucepan a couple minutes, shaking
constantly.  If leftovers get too dry then add a little more broth or water.

1/2 C. lime juice
2 1/2 C. soy milk
1 C. sugar
5 T. cornstarch
green food coloring (optional)

Whip all the ingredients together in a saucepan, and heat over moderate heat,
stirring constantly until thick and creamy.  After the filling has cooked (bubbled),
pour it into a baked pie crust or ready made vegan graham cracker crust,
chill until firm.

Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups crushed cookies (nilla wafers, ginger snaps, or hyfrox)
1/4 cup melted margarine or oil
1 T sugar

Mix crumbs, sugar and oil and press into the bottom and sides of a 9" pie
plate.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 325 degrees.