26 June, 2007, 344 pm
Filed under: My Experience with Existence

She said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “You.”

Whoa, Kate Nash is impressive. She’s like a more blunt Lily Allen who writes her own material.

Let’s talk music. Yesterday at H&M, I was browsing through tops, and I came across a plain white tee shirt, really long, and on the front, it said in bold black letters, all caps: “IT’S NOT OVER NOT OVER NOT OVER YEAH!” Yes, Klaxons. I kind of wanted it, but I knew my mom probably wouldn’t like it/buy it for me, and I didn’t know what I’d wear it with,anyway. Leggings and black Chucks (hi-tops) would be ideal, I think. Maybe a jean miniskirt frayed on the ends with a stud belt, depending on the actual length of the top. And maybe not.

Let’s talk veganism. Step one for me was downloading the A-Z list of animal products that Deb pointed me towards, and then syncing it with my pod. Step two was searching all the ingredients of Sour Patch Kids using that list (I found out later on the internet that they’re “Accidentally Vegan”). Step three was bookmarking vegan websites left and right, and step four was researching whether or not Ice Breakers Sours are vegan (it’s questionable; I’ll find out, though). Step five was assuring that Chipotle is vegan, assuming you choose the correct ingredients, and I was ASTOUNDED at what I found out!

Okay, so Chipotle uses free-range animals instead of factory farmed animals, they have cheese and sour cream that’s got vegetable-based rennet, and everything’s fresh there. The only non-vegan items there are the meats, cheese, sour cream, some honey salad dressing, and the pinto beans (which have bacon). It’s either one fourth or one twenty-fifth of their black beans are organic, and they’re working on that. Chipotle recycles. Nothing bad, except that, of course, they still have animal products–but free range meat is better than factory farmed meat! Now look at this hot piece of information: up until October 2006, over 90% of Chipotle’s stock was owned by McDonald’s! They were owned by McDonald’s. That’s sick and sad. But not anymore. The other bad news: one burrito, which I sometimes eat in one sitting, is worth over 1000 calories. Now, for your average growing boy, I guess that’s fine if you eat that much because it’s about half of your caloric intake, give or take a few hundred calories, but for your average growing girl, that’s TWO MEALS and snacks in the middle! HOLY SHIT.

I’m done freaking you out. I’m sad that Ice Breakers Sours might not be vegan. Anyhow, let me tell you how my eating has gone thus far at my casual movement into veganism.

Since I’m already a strict vegetarian (no meat, no seafood, no lard, no cochineal, no carmine, no gelatin, no milk), and have been for over a year and a half, I’m already on the right track and generally know what to look for on the food labels. Why don’t I drink milk as a vegetarian? I never liked it as a child, and as a teenager, the idea of milk is just disgusting. Only infants need milk–from their mothers. Therefore, supposing I ever had a child, I’d breastfeed, I guess. But I don’t really plan on having kids, not at this juncture. And you’re not supposed to make your kid vegan until he’s at least two years old. And supposing I have carnivorous or omnivorous pets when I’m grown (which I don’t plan on in the first place), I won’t make them vegan, but I won’t buy them IAMS or anything vile, either.

Back to my food choices. This morning, I ate wheat Chex and some watermelon and it was the highest-calorie breakfast I’ve had this week, but it was also the healthiest and the most filling. Then I ate some Sour Patch Kids. And now, I’m chilling, waiting for myself to be hungry for dinner, which I’m not yet. Keep in mind that I got up and had breakfast at 1100 and it’s now 1545, and I’m nowhere near hungry.

UPDATE AT 22:23 PM::  My mistake.  Free range animals aren’t better off than factory farmed animals.  “Free range” animals are, in most cases, really the same as factory farmed animals; it’s just a title to make people feel good about the meat/dairy they’re consuming, and the only requirement is that animals have access to the outdoors–but that doesn’t mean they get to actually go outside or anything.  They’re still debeaked, and it’s still inhumane (and they’re still killed in the end).  Allegedly, Chipotle is one place that lives up to its word, but I think I’d honestly to have to see it to believe it.  Like, take a tour of the place and decide for myself whether those animals are happy.  Many thanks to Deb for the information in the comment.

Also, supposing I ever have a child of my own, and supposing my husband consents, he or she will be a little vegan baby.


8 Comments so far
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Awesome that the Animal Ingredients list was able to be a help!

A couple things – there are lots of kids raised vegan from the get go! Breastmilk (within the species) is the perfect food for babies, and there are all kinds of resources showing exactly what kids need as they’re growing. Perfectly doable as vegans. In fact, babies that are not being raised vegan wouldn’t be given meat until fairly late (it is the last food recommended to be introduced, iirc), so anyone who talks about babies being harmed by a vegan diet are pretty much full of shit. (and we’re not talking about the crazy people who don’t feed their kids at all, and starve them to death. that’s not raising them vegan, that’s just starving them!)

Also, the free range animals. They’re really not better off. In fact, the “free range” and “cage free” labels are almost pure crap. For chickens, cage free means they are shoved by the thousands into barns where they have no more access to the outdoors, just as short lives, just as little chance to actually be chickens, as their caged counterparts. The labels aren’t controlled, so mostly they let gullable people pay more money to assuage their conscience.

Same with “free range”, whether it is from a cow or a chicken or whatever animal.

Check out for more info on that. Michele has done a lot of work rescuing animals, and she has a section showing the “difference” between the cage free and caged chickens. I’ve met Libby, the “cage free” chicken that was rescued. Libby has only one foot, the other was mangled beyond repair by the horrid conditions of the “cage free” barn.

Here is a documentary on a “cage free” turkey farm in california:

Sorry to bombard you in the comments about this, but it is a myth that needs to be debunked.

And for myself, I always feel like if I say that certain slightly-less-horrible conditions are “better” that I’m saying there is something okay about it. And raise them in golden cages or under a bright blue sky, sing lullabies to them as you slaughter them, I’m still not okay with that. I still think it is wrong. They’re here for them, not for us.

And I hope you don’t feel like I’m picking on you or something! I just figured I’d share yet more information. I went for a really long time not thinking about the issues very much, so it was a bit of a shock later to get the truth and I wished I’d had it all along.

The biggest first step is going vegan, of course, and you’re well on your way. :)

And don’t you love when things are accidently vegan? I’m so glad your sour patch kids are going to remain part of your diet. :D

Comment by Deb

WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT VEGAN BLOGGERS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD?! It’s really nice to have a close, listening resource who’s gone through all this discovery before. Thank you for quelling all these myths I’ve heard about vegan babies not being able to be vegan and about “free range” animals actually being slightly happier. Bleh, that disgusts me that they’d put on a label to trick gullible activists. I agree with you–even if they’re living in five-star conditions, we still shouldn’t kill animals. I’m disgusted at everything from roadkill to zoos to circuses to the petting “farm” that comes to the local mall every Easter.

The turkey “free range” farm website was a real eye-opener, and definitely a disappointment; I guess Chipotle needs quite a lot of work, even if they do offer vegan meals. And it also makes me angry how blind some people are to animal cruelty. And some people know it’s going on and choose not to do anything–how?!

As for the Peaceful Prairie site, gosh, the animal biographies always hit my heart. Someday, I’d love to hit up a bunch of animal sanctuaries all around the country and visit the animals and hear stories about them.

Comment by leindiemeister

Yes, I think that most of us have gone through a period where we believe that these bigger cages are really worth something. I mean, it is so tempting to say “yes, bigger cages ARE better”, but then you have to look and realize bigger cages can only be “better” if things are such crap for the animals to begin with that a measly extra inch of space is a big difference. I don’t want to tell people that’s okay!

Peaceful Prairie is awesome. Someday you’ll get to go to some of the sanctuaries. They’re not really that far away, relatively speaking, since there are some scattered all over the country. Peaceful Prairie is outside Denver, but there is one not far out of DC – in Maryland, sort of near 495 and 270, on the northwestern side of the beltway. That’s Poplar Spring, and that’s where most of my pictures come from. Then there are a bunch in upstate new york and one or two in mass. There was a really good one (from what I’ve heard) in PA, but it closed last year.

Anyway, if you get a chance, definitely see about getting to one of the sanctuaries. And if you ever go to Poplar Spring (, let me know, and maybe I can meet you there! :)

Comment by Deb

Deb beat me to the punch about the hoax that is “free-range” :). It really is just another marketing ploy (thanks deregulation!), and so many are easily convinced that it is something more. Beyond that, even if the conditions were what they are proclaimed to be, animals are still exploited which is never ever acceptable in my eyes.

Yeah, the photos on Peaceful Prairie as well as your site, Deb, are something I would love to experience. I guess I’ll just have to do some googling for any local Australian sanctuaries because it doesn’t look like I’ll be moving to the US anytime soon.

Props, leindiemeister on the moves made towards veganism!

Comment by surplusvalue

good luck with everything. i once visited a website which was basically myspace for vegans. and i once searched vegan porn, with a tee you might like. it said “WHY EAT MEAT WHEN YOU CAN EAT ME?”. it made me chuckle.

but yes, stick to it and i hope it all goes good.

Comment by adam

surplusvalue and adam and deb, thanks for your support.

and adam specifically–WHAT THE FUCK?!?! i find it hilarious that even though you can’t directly relate, you can find a way to chip in to the comments that everyone’s sure to notice. man…but as bad/naughty as that shirt is, that gives me a damn big chuckle, too. much appreciated humour.

Comment by leindiemeister

aw man thats a lotta calories, i usually get a veggie burrito bol and i thought they were healthy!!

best of luck going vegan!!

Comment by divya

burrito bols are less calories than burritos because of the lack of a tortilla. and if you drop the cheese and the sour cream from any chipotle meal, it’ll significantly lower the amount of calories. and if you’re feeling up to it and not eating, you should watch fast food nation soon.

Comment by leindiemeister

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