links for 2008-02-27

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Exercising Censorship

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This site, like any site that takes a decidedly anti-mainstream view on a topic, receives its fair share of nut job commenters. Over the years, I’ve taken different approaches toward the drive-by stupidity:

  1. Try to counter their every comment. At first, I opted to pick apart every bit of their always weak arguments. Since they tended to post with lots of anger and with little in the way of actual facts, this was pretty easy. But before too long, I realized I was countering the same unsubstantiated, regurgitated “plants have feelings” and “we were meant to eat meat” tirades over and over again. So, then I took to a different tactic…
  2. Let them make themselves look stupid. I’d say that 95% of the anti-veg comments that come into the site were borderline incomprehensible. For a while, I decided that perhaps it was best to let these people expose themselves for what they were: dummies simply out for a fight.

Then, a couple of days ago I got an e-mail from a reader:

Ryan, I just wanted to ask why you allow posts on your site from closed-minded, non-veg people? Allowing them a space to post about matters which they ‘really’ know nothing about, clearly evident with the same uneducated ramblings and arguments, is disgraceful. Give veganism the respect is deserves and monitor your postings! Just a polite plea from another veggie pal.

I thought about the note for the rest of the day and then noticed a comment that had recently come in:

Any of u Vegetarians and Vegans who think people are not ment to eat meat need to pull your heads out of your asses! I’m not going to get into evolution vs creation or hundreds of other factual data that indicate a need for humans to consume meat. I will simply leave you “enlightened Vegetarians/Vegans” with this…. if we were not ment to eat meat, then why in the hell do you think humans have “K9” teeth? You think they are used to masticate berries and lettuce? (GET A CLUE CHRISTY TAYLOR, 11 Nov. 2004)

I hovered over the keyboard for a moment, almost reverting back to approach #1 and asking the person to let me know the next time they tore into the raw flesh of an animal they killed with their bare hands. Then I backed away and considered leaving the comment in place, taking approach #2. A moment later, I took a deep breath and hit “delete.”

So, it’s time to add a third approach, one which I’ll be following from here on out:

  1. Delete stupid, antagonistic comments. This is not to say that I’m not going to allow comments that I may not agree with, but anyone that comes on and posts something similar to the nonsense above is going to get canned.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the future of this site and the direction I want to take (hence a lot of silence recently), and one thing is for sure: I’m done wasting time on the blowhards. They’re not the people I want coming back. You, the people nodding and thinking, “Jeez, it’s about time!”… you’re my people. You’re the ones I want to stick around.

Vegan Express

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Vegan Express One of my favorite cookbook authors and long-time friend of the Veg Blog, Nava Atlas has just released her newest collection of recipes titled Vegan Express. While I admit to being a little skeptical of another “quick vegan meals”-type book, I knew that Nava has experience in that realm with The 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet. Plus, her Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons is still one of my favorite cookbooks.

I’ve only had the book for a week, and I’ve gotta say, Vegan Express may unseat Vegetarian Soups… as my favorite Nava cookbook. We’ve made a few recipes with good luck, including Broccoli Salad with Yellow Peppers, Pine Nuts, and Cranberries (see below) with a simple homemade Sesame-Ginger dressing and just tonight we had a hearty pink bean, quinoa, and spinach soup. I’m looking forward to trying the Berry-Apple Skillet Crumble and the Very Green Veggie Pesto Pizza.

Another thing I enjoy about this cookbook: Nava has put together a list of her favorite recipes, two from each chapter. That helps those have trouble deciding where to start when getting a new cookbook.

Nava has given permission to share a recipe from the book, so here’s one we had a week or so ago that I really enjoyed:

Broccoli Salad with Yellow Peppers, Pine Nuts, and Cranberries

Ingredients

  • 2 large broccoli crowns, cut into bite-size florets (about 4 heaping cups)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing (elsewhere in the book) or equivalent store-bought dressing

Instructions

  1. Steam the broccoli florets just until bright green. Drain and rinse under cool water until room temperature or slightly warm.
  2. Combine the broccoli and the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl, toss well, and serve.

Nutritional Breakdown:

Calories: 170, total fat: 11g, protein: 5g, carbohydrates: 15g, fiber: 4g, sodium: 55g.

I’ll be doing a more thorough review once we’ve tried a few more recipes, but for now, go make that salad!

Vegan Sour Cream and Onion Chips

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(Hmm — for some reason, daily links don’t seem to be showing up here. I’ll have to look into that.)

I was thinking today about how vegan marshmallows for the longest time were the “holy grail” of unavailable vegan goods. Then, Sweet & Sara came along.

So, with that problem solved, I think we need to move onto another question: why are there no vegan Sour Cream and Onion potato chips? They’ve always been one of my favorite junky snack foods and remain one of the only things from my dark omni past that I still have a hankering for. Would some kind vegan junk food purveyor please get to work on this? Or maybe Isa can make a homemade version?