A week, recapped


Downtime, part 2

The server the Veg Blog is hosted on hit some rough patches over the last few days. There was the 36 hour outage to start the weekend and then a disk failure to start this week. Fortunately, data was moved safely (with no loss, as far as I can tell) and things seem relatively stable now. Remind me to make a backup of things just in case, OK?

My presentation

Thanks to everyone who asked how my presentation at UMW went. While the crowd wasn’t enormous, about ten people, it was a decent enough size for me to start getting more comfortable talking about veganism and animal rights in front of a group. About half of the attendees were vegetarian or vegan and the other half were meat eaters, with one or two of them falling under the “considering vegetarianism” heading. I think the presentation itself went relatively well… I was a little nervous, probably went overboard with “um”s, and could stand to make more eye contact, but overall I think I hit a decent enough balance of information and humor.

Afterwards, there was a discussion amongst the veg*ns in the group about challenges faced with family, at school (like the cafeteria staff using “vegetarian” and “vegan” interchangeably when labeling food), and even a little talk about the welfare vs. abolition argument that was the fancy trend in 2007 and may rear its head again now that the AR and TAFA conferences are in sight. It took a little prodding to get an omni to talk, but eventually one did speak up and say while she respected vegans a lot, she “liked meat too much” (slide 3!) and wouldn’t ever give it up. While I didn’t get to delve into that any more deeply, she did say she thought that vegans needed to be more active than just being vegan. This sparked some good responses. Morgan, who organized the talk and heads up the AR group at UMW, said she thought that being vegan was the most active thing one could do because it’s taking a belief and living it every moment of your life. Another recently converted vegan spoke up and said she thought it was hypocritical for people that protested for animal rights to not be vegan.

All in all, it was a good talk and I hope everyone there enjoyed it. Thanks to the UMW crew for having me out. Let’s do it again.

I’d hoped to record my talk, but completely forgot until about 1/4 of the way through. Here are the slides if you want to take a look.

Lunch with Bazu

Today I had lunch at the always-excellent A Taste of Burma (their site is down as of this posting) with Bazu of Where’s the Revolution. Bazu’s been a long-time commenter on the Veg Blog, so I was happy she was able to take some time out of her visit with family to meet up for lunch. She’ll be posting pictures of our food over on her blog when she gets home.

A few minutes before she arrived, I had a chance to talk with the owner of A Taste of Burma, who’s possibly one of the nicest guys on the planet. I asked him a question that had been burning on my mind for the last couple of months. You may remember I wrote a while back about the amazing fermented tea leaf salad that they make using really hard-to-get leaves from Burma. I’d gotten addicted to it and eventually looked up the recipe only to be shocked to see that every recipe called for fish sauce and dried shrimp powder. I feared the worst, but was pleasantly surprised when he told me that while that’s the traditional way of making Lephet Thote, A Taste of Burma doesn’t use fish sauce or the dried shrimp. Phew. Crisis averted.

Guess what I ordered for lunch today.