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On Vegans in Minnesota and Pigs in Florida

It's currently 19 degrees Fahrenheit but "feels like 10" in Minneapolis, MN according to My brother- and sister-in-law and my adorable niece Gracie Pants live nearby, as does Colleen and the rest of the wonderful people at the Animal Rights Coalition.

"I heard there's rumors on the Internets" that last week brought the premiere of Meagan Holtgrewe's new cooking show "Rhymes With Vegan" for us all to enjoy from the warmth and comfort of our own homes. The first episode brings seitan and tofu kabobs with chipotle barbeque sauce, mashed potatoes with chives and edamame with toasted sesame oil. I like the production because it's fun and varied and has funky music and editing. Meagan talks about veganism, explains ingredients, and makes it seem easy and not at all exotic to be a vegan in your backyard cooking on a grill.

The website is filled with recipes and also recipe cards, which I'm going to vote for more of because their easily printable. I'm thinking about Grandpa Earl's Stuffing for Thanksgiving if I go back to a more traditional menu (nothing like planning a whole 48 hours in advance!).

Check out Rhymes With Vegan, and stay tuned for more . . .

Entirely unrelated, except that the message came from vegan Michele at PPS, is that Pig Tales Sanctuary in North Florida (about four hours from me), which I didn't know existed until yesterday, is in dire need of help. Here's all you need to know about founder Lory Yazurlo:

Lory Yazurlo, paralyzed since her truck accident in 1991, took it upon herself to create a Farm Sanctuary devoted to saving pigs from eventual abuse and slaughter. At present she houses nearly 500 pigs, including PotBellies, on her 20 acres of land. Yazurlo, with the help of family members and friends, turned a flat, weed laden piece of land into a protective area where pigs can live out the rest of their lives in natural surroundings. “I consider this land holy ground”, said Lory. “Nothing gets killed or sold for slaughter”. One would wonder why someone would accept financial difficulties when all they need to do is sell a few pigs to a slaughterhouse for thousands of dollars in return. Lory Yazurlo’s answer is simple: “I’m a vegetarian because I don’t believe in killing, even for food”. Lory refuses to partake in any foods that come from animals, including eggs, milk or animal oils.

From the e-mail I received, I think there are currently fewer than 500 pigs (I was told "a few hundred"), but one's enough for me.

The situation is that Lory doesn't have enough help or money, some of the pigs are indeed suffering, and the local "Humane" Society is about to round up all the pigs and haul them all off to slaughter (you know, the "euthanasia" kind). Michele writes: "The solution to this problem is really not that difficult or insurmountable if enough people – even just 5 or 10 to start with – pitch in and help out.  Since the sanctuary already exists, the hardest part,  finding a place for the pigs to live out their lives, is already done."

Here's the need: volunteers to save the pigs and reorganize the sanctuary so it isn't closed and the animals aren't killed or displaced, and donations. Note that other sanctuaries are filled to capacity, so displacement isn't as likely as death for the pigs. The How You Can Help page has contact information on it. If you know anyone in North Florida who might be able to volunteer for any amount of time (but I'm sure regularly is desperately needed), please contact them. Pigs are probably the creatures most vilified by humans, and if this sanctuary were filled with horses or dogs I'm sure that help would be more plentiful.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks for the shout out, Mary!!! I am hopeful that the show will really take off, as Meagan's main goal is to make veganism much more accessible and less scary to people. She's really trying to debunk the myth that vegans are these "extreme" people who dine on twigs and berries, and that eating a vegan diet is somehow a depravity (like Oprah's "cleanse," for example). Meagan went to film school, so she has edited all of the episodes and put together all of the music. It's actually a really cool, grassroots type of show. 🙂
    Again, your interest is greatly appreciated!!! And keep up the great work here on your website.

    November 25, 2008
  2. I used to live in North Florida and my one traffic-light town of Crawfordville had an annual pig celebration – complete with parade! There are more pig farms up there than any other place in Fl so I'm sure Pig Tales Sanctuary has no problem finding pigs to rescue.

    I'm amazed though – that this woman confined to a wheelchair has still so much to give to help animals… There's a woman on my block who is also in a wheelchair and she rescues pit-bulls (and other dogs). I wonder – if there's a connect – handicapped people and their sympathy for animals?

    And I've got you beat on the 48 hour menu planning… I've less than 24 hours and just deciding what's on the menu or where we're going – In any case – have a Happy 🙂

    November 26, 2008

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