Must-See Vegan Lifestyle Magazine

June 30, 2015

If you haven't heard, I've been holed up and sequestered, busy designing the layout for my next book, Help Yourself: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the World (April 2016)—I'm telling people it's also for busy/lazy adults. Join me on Instagram to get a sneak peek from the photoshoot....I can't wait to show you more!

Do you know LAIKA MAGAZINE yet? It's the most beautiful vegan lifestyle read—one that can compete with any other mag on the racks these days!


The founder, Julie Gueraseva, asked me to be involved in their brand new fifth issue and I got to do two amazing things:

 Illustrate a fashion trend spread (see above; this represents the whole other "adult" side to my artwork that came before the children's books. You probably didn't even know! More at Draw Or Die).


 Interview the amaaaaazing hardcore, longtime vegan artist and activist  in an artist-to-artist conversation. Her dedication to her vegan work, especially at the cost of money or acceptance or fame, hit me really hard. I've never known any artist quite like her. 



In this fifth "Strength" issue, LAIKA has really hit a new level of beautiful and smart. I hope you'll subscribe to LAIKA (digital and print copies available) and check out all the amazing visuals and articles on people and happenings you should know about...your subscription helps support a whole network of vegans in different fields, it's an amazing little economy to bolster. 

Happy week!

Ruby

*Vegan shoes you can afford!

 


 

vegan kids books

 

Dealing with Anger and Angry Vegans

May 19, 2014

Aristotle

 

My dear, dear, dear agent of change!

(I was feeling a little fragile and I'm really glad you're here. 

Last week on Facebook, I posted a tidbit about Jennifer Lopez going vegan—it was just a bit of pop sugar water-cooler-chit-chat stuff. Not important.

Well, the post was met with a venom I haven't experienced since the angry media frenzy around my vegan children's books! Except this time, the spew wasn't coming from meat-eaters, but from vegans, furious that J Lo was getting the spotlight when her "veganism" isn't being extended to her clothing or cosmetics line, both of which are apparently full of animals. 

I get it. She profits off the backs of animals in a way that eclipses any positive diet choice she could make. Yet the cussing! The name-calling! The condescension, as if I didn't know the difference between health and ethical veganism. I've seen the worst hateration, and these comments compete.

I've long trained to make peace with online comments, but I felt so repulsed by the harsh negativity, the nastiness toward me, and toward each other, that for a split second I felt like shutting down the whole page of 80,000+ fans and getting out of this "community" if this is who we are. As big as the "angry vegan" reputation is, I'd never seen anything like this—a hateful line drawn by people who live vegan against those who eat vegan, and even against those who celebrate anyone else that begins to eat vegan! 

Reading angry comments, I grew angrier. Not at the outrage at J Lo's other animal product endeavors—which is fair—and not at impatience itself—but at the hateful impatience. It was injudicious, carnivorous behavior, and I expect better of this community. Celebrities are not all-knowing superhumans and most of us do not give up leather or change our careers in our first few days of veganism. And no one is immune to being picked apart if that's what we want to do (even ink can contain animal products—do you own pens?), but I don't think creating over-the-top ugliness amongst ourselves, or toward others is effective activism.  

Bowing to the point, however (because I do appreciate a philosophical argument and semantics, too), I amended the Facebook post language from "vegan" to "plant-based." I didn't know there were so many hardcore vegans on my page. I added a note to them: "Where have you been? I hope you take this much action on the REAL good news I post from now on." No one likes to think of themselves this way, but positive news about animals never gets as much traction as any news about celebrities.

The anger stuck, though, and I stewed in my upset for several hours, like a child. When I grew up later that evening, I laid on the floor to "train" and rid myself of this deeply bad feeling about nasty people, a nasty world. 

Let me state my position on these "angry vegans" for whom small steps are never enough (this is me on the floor, slowing my pulse):

The anger is justified, and I always say so in interviews. There are no bigger zealots than industries who use animals. If the masses truly knew the extent of the destruction and abuse involved in producing animal products, their critique would be directed at the industries, not at "militant" vegans. 

Anger can be effective—not when it is raw, but crafted and molded with care by its speaker. One of my heroes, Gary Yourofsky, gets called an "angry vegan," yet he's one of the most effective activists in the world, converting thousands. His words can be tough, but his answers are always air-tight, logical, and I've seen him, with hands clasped, literally beg a meat-eater for compassion. If that's anger, it's been polished with love.

Of course J Lo isn't vegan with a capital V, and she's no hero for the real cause. But she's just chosen a positive new practice that's the only one likely to ever get her to change her businesses. I wish we could throw a media blitz celebrating everyone who decides to eat vegan. Animal agriculture is a major supporting beam in the architecture of animal product industries. If it were to topple around the world, regardless of the motives, it would take many other atrocities down with it. And J Lo influnces lots of fans around the world. 

Whether with peace or anger, nothing any of us ever do in our lifetimes will be enough for the crimes committed against animals and the earth—I feel urgent and impatient and angry over this at times, too. But I try to deal with my anger internally so that it is released effectively. I remember that everyone is doing their best at the moment until there's a revelation that makes them do better. That revelation is more likely to occur the more the word vegan is normalized. So I am happy for any positive mention in the media, whose machinists generally throw away press releases about animals, let alone ethical veganism. If it weren't for news about health veganism, we'd have almost no coverage at all.   

Flat on my back, I turned my attention toward thoughts opposite of anger. I prayed, to no god in particular, for our effectiveness as humans, for the earth to be spared the poison of everyone's anger, for the heart-health of a sick acquaintance, and for an anti-GMO layman-leader friend who is running for mayor of Kauai, the Hawaiian island increasingly poisoned by the largest biotech corporations in existence. 

The anger dissolved, first into tears, and then a kind of serenity about simply continuing my work.

With some intention paid, we can be transformed by our anger. We can practice managing its presence within us so that we are not the vessel of this poison, but a filter that becomes a remedy for the earth.

I recommend laying on the floor.

With love,

Ruby 

Thoughts? Leave me a comment below:

 

J Lo: (Vegan) Love Don't Cost a Thing

May 14, 2014

Jennifer Lopez Vegan

I know, I know, you don't care about celebs that decide to go vegan on-and-off for health reasons.

But these news hits do catch my eye—and yours, too, because you're here, right?!

Have no shame!

If nothing else, almighty publicity-machine celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyonce, Anne Hathaway, and Joaqun Phonix (obviously our fave because he's a lifer—and the narrator of Earthlings) help get the V-word out into the public mind's eye...and the movement should be grateful for the bump—even if she's "plant-based" and not "vegan." 

The more "vegan" gets out there, to all kinds of demographics, the more normalized it becomes. Eventually people will stop asking, "Not even fish?" because they'll know that, nope, fish is not a vegetable.

I've read before that Jennifer Lopez was a green juice and kombucha drinker—thank you, vegans, for bringing those things to the market for her. She was apparently vegetarian for a stint before and has now ditched all animal products in her diet...yay! I mean, imagine you ran into J Lo and you were like, "Hey, by the way, could you just quickly tell everyone they should go vegan? Oh you will? Cool, thanks."

That's basically what's happening. Think of all her mega-millions of fans that follow her. They're going to hear about it.

She is publicly saying that going vegan has made her "feel better," and that she'd definitely encourage others to cut out meat, eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived ingredients all together. 

WHAT? I don't recall those other celebs giving such a shout-out. So far, she's winning best newly converted celeb. She added: "You do feel better. I do recommend the vegan diet because you wake up and feel great!" 

Damn right! Especially when right after that you brush your teeth with chemical-free, cruelty-free toothpaste and rock a pair of shoes you know no one was skinned alive for. If she sticks with it long enough, she'll start figuring it out. I did. 

"Butter is the one thing I miss!" Lopez did say.

You, too? Just switch it out with Earth Balance spreads (ridiculous) or just use olive oil...I promise, you'll be "livin' it up."

Welcome her to plant-based life and give your non-butter butter suggestions here (for the animals!).

 

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