Vegan Mattresses

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A few months ago, Huyen and I decided that we needed to look into getting a new mattress.  Our cheap old one that we bought right out of college was nearly nine years old and sagging in the middle.  Plus, we wanted to move from a full to a queen because the dog takes up a lot of room.

I spent an absurd amount of time reading about mattresses and the disgusting things that go into themPBDE‘s are a controversial flame-retardant found in all sorts of furniture (including mattresses, although hopefully not for much longer).  I decided I’d rather avoid any nasty chemicals used in the production of the mattress since, after all, we spend 1/3rd of our lives on that mattress.  It should be something that’s not so… chemical.

And if the decision to get a more “natural” mattress wasn’t already made, it was sealed with two words: mattress mites:

Menchavez said he recommends that people with allergies or asthma get their mattresses cleaned every three to four months; while those concerned with their health but with no asthma problems, should get it done twice a year.

Twice a year?  I don’t know anyone who’s ever had their mattress cleaned!  *shudder*

As I started looking into so-called “natural mattresses,” I saw that almost all of them have a layer of wool.  This is because wool is a natural flame retardant (warning: do not set a sheep on fire to test this theory) and is used in place of the chemical-based retardants in standard mattresses.  Apparently, the lanolin in wool also helps repel dust mites and bed bugs.

Of course, I don’t want to sleep on anything with wool in it.  So I went looking for vegan mattresses and sure enough, they exist (hit CTRL-F and search for “vegan”).  It’s a bit expensive, but it’s got lots of nice, organic cotton and will last twice as long as a regular mattress.  Interestingly, California has stringent flame retardancy laws, which means that some stores won’t even sell natural vegan mattresses in the state and those that do require a doctor’s note.

We also decided to buy a platform bed with wooden slats, which eliminates the need for a box spring and helps air circulate which I think I read somewhere helps keep dust, mites, and bed bugs from settling in (can’t find a reference for that now, though, so don’t hold me to that).

I never thought I’d spend so much time researching something like a mattress, but I’m really looking forward to donating the old one and trying out the new one.  It should be very nice (“6 inches of natural rubber covered with our organic cotton ticking”… mmmm… ticking…).

Unexpected transition

I upgraded Movable Type today and unfortunately, it totally borked everything. It may be due to some plug-ins I have sitting around, but in any case, I didn’t feel like trying to troubleshoot it. I’ve been planning a migration to WordPress anyway, so this just means it had to happen sooner rather than later.

So, here it is. Everything should be relatively functional, though you may find some weirdness as you browse the site (like, no recipes section). Rest assured that I’m working on getting things back up to speed quickly.

There will also be design tweaks over the coming weeks. Right now, I’m using a WordPress theme that is pretty similar to the old site, but will be making changes to it to make it a little less “template”-feeling.

I’m actually kind of glad I was forced to do this… now I can start doing some of the things I’ve been meaning to do.

My dad: funny guy

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My parents are coming to visit soon as are some long-time friends of the family. My dad’s always a good sport about eating vegan when they visit, but he decided to have a little fun by creating a mock menu for this weekend to scare the family friends a little bit. Here’s my dad’s vision of a vegan menu. What a funny guy. :)

Appetizer

A delicately seasoned leek soup served with a lemon grass gently dusting its surface.

Main Course

A vegetable bouillon flavored soy emulsion lightly seared in a non-dairy substitute and then boiled to perfection in a lite vegetable stock.

In addition, a mouth watering turnip, okra, brussel sprout medley seasoned and marinated in a clear vegetable broth partners with the above entree to form a light but satisfying repast.

Dessert

Just when you think things couldn’t get any better, the meal is topped off with a dessert that will be long remembered:

A delicate watercress souffle topped with a drizzling of non-dairy pan drippings.

Bon Appetite!

I particularly like the idea of using watercress for dessert.

Invisible Voices

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I’ve been meaning to plug the Invisible Voices blog for a while now.  It’s run by Deb, who I met for the first time this past weekend at Poplar Spring.  Deb does all sorts of activism, from leafleting to writing letters to writing some really well thought-out entries on her blog.  And, oh yeah, she’s an amazing photographer as well (check out a lot of her Poplar Spring and Peaceful Prairie photos on her blog).

It’s really amazing how many great vegan blogs (and blogs by vegans) have popped up over the last few years.  When I started the Veg Blog, there were no others that I could find.  Now there’s so much amazing stuff out there to read, no matter what stage of your vegetarian/vegan journey you’re at.

Rock on, Deb, and keep up the great work.