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Vegan Dogs (and homemade dog food!)

Anytime someone meets my dogs (and they’re aware I’m vegan) they ask if my dogs are vegan too. I would have thought the answer would be an obvious “yes” but most often, people seem surprised when I tell them, “yup, the whole family is veg!”

I get the question via email too, so I thought I’d put it out there that yes, my dogs are vegan and they are thriving.

If you’re wondering if dogs can be vegan, the answer is yes. Dogs, like humans, don’t need meat to survive. The pugs’ vets in Boston, Los Angeles and New York City have all been supportive of their vegan diet and one even said she would recommend a vegan diet over an omnivorous one if she thought more dog owners would be open to the idea.

Although there are several brands of vegan kibble on the market (Nature’s Balance, V-dog, Wenaewe, Pet Guard, Avo Derm, Natural Life, Evolution Diet and Wysong) I prefer to make vegan dog food myself.

It all started a month ago when we ran out of vegan kibble at home, and to make matters worse, the store was sold out, too. Obviously the pugs couldn’t go hungry so I made them a plate of rice and beans. The next morning I made them a plate of peas and apples and that night, peas and beans. It continued on for days and by the time the store had called to say they had our kibble, I didn’t bother to go buy it.

Of course, Scott was skeptical. He wondered how long I’d last at making fresh meals for our dogs every day, twice a day — but a month later I’m still doing it!

I’ve noticed a dramatic shift in the pugs since we started on home cooked meals. Although they liked their vegan kibble, they were never excited about meal time. Really, they could take it or leave it. Now they bark and do circles — they couldn’t be more thrilled to eat their supper.

I’ve also noticed a change in their…bodily functions. The pugs were never constipated or anything, but we always had to walk them around the block a few times before they were ready to do their business. Now, they poop much quicker and with more ease. I’m convinced it’s all the added fiber. There is little to no fiber in kibble, so it’s not surprising they’re going much more easily now.

I’ve also noticed a change in their urine. Quaid and LilyBean used to have deep yellow pee, which always made me worry they could be dehydrated. Now their urine is much, much lighter in color. I’m convinced its because they’re getting water from their food now. Water is in the rice they eat and the beans I cook for them– vs. kibble which is dehydrated.

By now you’re probably thinking “This sounds great, but I don’t have the time to cook two meals for myself, let alone my dog!” But I promise, you do — and it will save you money! I’m spending a fraction of what I used to on kibble!

Here’s how I do it: I cook an entire bag of brown rice once a week, storing leftovers in my fridge. I do the same with a bag of beans and I’ll steam or bake sweet potatoes while I’m add it. Every day I’ll put brown rice, beans and either a sweet potato or thawed frozen peas into their bowl. It takes seconds.

I’ve also recently started added chopped fresh apples and zucchini from my garden. I also keep a bag of puffed brown rice on hand, and a few cans of beans, just in case I run out.

When I started making my own dog food, I was skeptical I’d have the time or energy to keep up with it — but it hasn’t been a problem at all and now it’s a habit. I’ll put rice and beans on the stove when I’m watching a movie, cleaning the apartment or doing something else. An hour later I have all their food done for the week and I’ve been known to swipe some for myself, too.

I’ve also realized that I can thaw frozen peas under hot water in less than 20 seconds when I’m really desperate. (They really love peas!)

I can’t recommend making homemade vegan dog food enough. The pugs seem to like every bean, vegetable and fruit I throw at them, but they’re particularly fond of: corn, peas, sweet potatoes, black beans, kidney beans, black soy beans, tempeh, apples, bananas, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, asparagus, brown rice (they actually won’t eat white rice), collard greens, kale, spinach, whole grain cereal and oatmeal.

Just be sure to avoid giving your dogs raisins, grapes, garlic, onions or mushrooms.

Perhaps my pugs are the luckiest dogs in the world, at least in terms of their food (they’re still envious of dogs with big backyards!) but hopefully with this post I’ll convince a few more dog owners to nurture their pets with natural, plant-based foods!

Update: we now live abroad where I have no choice but to feed the dogs home cooked meals. I start with a protein base — beans or lentils, and then mix in leftover raw vegetables (chopped well), pumpkin (for Lily Bean’s eyes) and any leftovers or leftover grains I have, like brown rice. We joke that the dogs are our compost bin. I always make sure to give them a mix and variety — right now their food is a base of lentils, with bell pepper, cucumber, yellow squash, cabbage, lettuce and cauliflower, plus some leftover rice.

Supplemant: I use veg-e-dog supplement as a proactive measure. The company sends great dog food recipes with their vitamins which I love!

Article excerpted from


Eating out: a vegetarian’s dilemma

Vegetable wontons ... is Asian the only reliable choice for meat-free eating out. Photo: Gary Schafer

How easy is to find vegetarian food on restaurant menus? That depends on where you are and what kind of vegetarian you are – and it helps to be in love with quiche, risotto or pasta with tomato sauce, the standard veggie options in many places. If you eat eggs and dairy products, the choices are wider, but for vegans who avoids both, along with meat, poultry and fish, it’s trickier – unless you’re in a big US city. On a trip to Chicago, Ondine Sherman, managing director of the animal protection organisation Voiceless, found so many vegan friendly restaurants she was spoilt for choice.

But while Australian restaurants increasingly offer a vegetarian option and are happy to ‘vegetarianise’  dishes by removing ingredients like prosciutto, many meatless offerings rely heavily on cheese, she says – and the term ‘vegan’ can leave the wait staff scratching their heads.

“I often have to explain what it means, but hopefully this will change as more people ask for meals free from animal products,” says Sherman whose menu wish list includes more dishes based on legumes rather than cheese.

Still, ordering an all-plant brekkie in Sydney is getting easier – along with the usual eggy breakfasts, more menus now include toast with avocado, mushrooms and spinach.

Japanese food also has good options for vegetarians, including vegans, says Sherman whose favourites include agedashi tofu, glazed eggplant with miso sauce – called nasu dengaku – as well as edamame (green soy beans) and miso soup.

“Thai restaurants can be difficult for vegans because of fish sauce but they do offer many great tofu dishes. Indian food is ideal for vegetarians and very healthy with a variety of protein-rich lentils and beans,” she says.

Not that Voiceless is prescriptive when it comes to what people should or shouldn’t eat, stresses Sherman who believes that a ‘purist’ approach to eating isn’t helpful to the animal protection movement.

“Although most Australians might want to eat ethically, they’re not prepared to become 100 per cent vegan all the time – but significantly reducing animal products and eating only free-range will make an enormous difference to animal suffering,” she says.

But while she thinks Australia has a great food culture and has become friendlier to the idea of ethical eating over the last five years, we’re not ahead of the pack when it comes to vegetarian or vegan food – at least not compared to the US and UK.

“I think that MasterChef and other cooking shows that set food fashion really need to step up to the plate – excuse the pun – and help educate the public,” she says.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, things have improved since animal advocate Glenys Oogjes, gave up eating animal foods more than 30 years ago. Back then, eating out and being vegan often meant one option: a veggie stack.

“It’s getting much better. With South East Asian and Indian food, vegetarian dishes are just a normal part of the cuisine – the preponderance of meat on some restaurant menus is often more a concession to western tastes,” says Oogjes, executive director of Animals Australia, the organisation which revealed mistreatment of animals in Indonesian abattoirs.

“I can also be reasonably confident that if I go to a Middle Eastern or a Mexican restaurant, there’ll be something I can eat –although I’d be less confident in a French restaurant. There are more vegetarian or vegan restaurants around too and they’re not just catering to vegetarians either – it’s becoming more the case that not everyone wants to eat meat all the time.”

Looking for menus that embrace more plant based dishes? The Animals Australia website has a guide to eating out with tips for finding veggie options, as well as listings of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in cities around Australia.

Incidentally, for vegetarians who eat cheese, Parmesan can be a pitfall as  most Parmesan cheeses are made with rennet derived from enzymes from an animal’s stomach – generally from . milk fed calves. However Chew on This has tracked down one brand, Pantaluca, which is made from non-animal rennet.  If you prefer cheese made without animal rennet, check the label or see this  guide from the Victorian Vegetarian Network.

Do you look for vegetarian options on restaurant menus?

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World’s First Loving Hut Vegan Hotel

World’s First Loving Hut Inn

Loving Hut Inn is the first vegan inn in world with the unique concept of the vegan Loving Hut chain of restaurants. Loving Hut Inn is a completely vegan, non-smoking inn located in the heart of Carinthia, Austria on Lake Klopein. Situated on Lake Klopein, 1.8 kilometer long and 800 meters in width, with a depth of 48 meters and temperature of 28°C, one of Europe’s warmest lakes for swimming. The region’s beautiful scenery makes it one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.

100% vegan, not just food and beverage, but also lifestyle. Loving Hut Inn has been lovingly and attentively arranged and is as an example of the practical application of the environmental vegan lifestyle in areas extending beyond nutrition. So, Loving Hut Inn have been careful in decor, to use no products or components of animal origin. In addition, all items such as soap, shampoos, and cleaning products are free of components and, of course, animal experimentation and are chosen preferably from natural and environmentally friendly ingredients.

Food & Beverages

In this restaurant you will find a large menu with many local and international dishes. All the food is prepared fresh, guaranteed 100 % vegan and from ingredients that are not genetically modified as they have checked all ingredients and contents. When possible, vegetables and fruits are obtained from organic farmers in the region. In addition, mainly use organic, fair-trade products. Loving Hut offers non-alcoholic, organic wine and beer, organic sodas, organic soy milk shakes, fruit juices as well as a variety of teas and coffee beverages.

The inn also has a small vegan store with a library in which, in addition to alternative food items, you can find vegan cosmetics, clothing and accessories as well as cookbooks and informational books on vegan nutrition and lifestyle. There is also a wide range of free information, recipes, and tips for the vegan lifestyle.

A vegan breakfast buffet rounds out our service so their guests, in good conscious, can enjoy their vacation in a relaxing and healthy environment. They want to give an example of an alternative that is advantageous to health, animals and the environment while greatly increasing quality of life through small lifestyle changes. All of the dishes in restaurant are purely plant-based (vegan), lovingly prepared, and served in a beautiful, friendly and tranquil atmosphere. Loving Hut do not serve alcohol but offer many non-alcoholic beverages.

Loving Hut is leading the way in promoting an alternative, sustainable lifestyle on our planet. Loving Hut stands for love, peace, compassion, ecology and healthy eating every day of our lives!

Next time, when you travel to Austria, this would be the best place to relax and spend a few days there. Below, I will show you a few tourist attractions.


New Update!
Vegan Ice cream!!!
Lactose and cholersterol free!
Vanilla, Choco, Strawberry, Hazelnut, Blueberry, Yoghurt-mango, Raffaello-coconut!
Made from soy & Made in Austria!

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Baking up vegan delights

Doron Petersan, owner of Sticky Fingers Bakery in Washington, D.C

Driven by a love of animals, Doron Petersan went vegan more than a decade ago.

But memories of her favorite treats haunted her. But this vegan wasn’t about to let a lack of butter or eggs stop her.

“There was a real lack of decadent and tasty vegan baked goods at the time,” Petersan said. “I realized a lot of the things we were missing could be made vegan, so I started experimenting.”

Friends started asking her to bake for them, too, and a bakery was born. In 2002, she opened Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, the first vegan bakery in Washington, D.C.

Building on 10 years of recipes, she’s been taking on traditional ingredients and showing up the competition on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” which airs at 7 p.m. Sundays. Pitting her vegan recipes – no eggs, butter, dairy or animal products of any kind – against traditional favorites, her vegan cupcakes won top honors. Twice.

Now she shares recipes for vegan favorites including sticky buns, cheesecakes, tiramisu and her bakery’s popular Little Devils (inspired by Devil Dogs).

From which flours work best to egg replacers and dairy-free ingredients, Petersan offers solid baking advice in her first cookbook, “Sticky Fingers’ Sweets: 100 Super-Secret Vegan Recipes” ($27.50, Avery) available in stores Thursday.

Petersan, 39, lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and 7-month-old son. When she’s not baking, she competes in bike races with Team Sticky Fingers.

Want to try her cupcakes? Baked goods ordered from her site,”>, are shipped around the country every Tuesday.

Q.You not only took on traditional cupcakes, but won two challenges on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”?

A. “Cupcake Wars” influenced how people perceive us. People who thought, “Eww, vegan baking,” they’re inspired to try us.

We won twice against traditional bakers. We’re not just scooting by because we’re the only game in town. Every single bakery and Whole Foods offer vegan bakery, and that’s competition. We enjoy that. Bring it on.

Q. You studied dietetics at the University of Maryland. Why not culinary school?

A. I’d always worked in restaurants growing up. That’s how I made rent money. I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. I was volunteering at shelters as a vet tech. That’s how I became vegetarian, working with all these animals. Then I started learning about what it took to be vegetarian and vegan.

I took a class for dietetics that was mandatory. I was fascinated. Some stuff is more difficult than others, but it’s all about the science. There’s no magic to the egg and dairy.

Q. Any non-vegan options you miss?

A. I’m not going to lie. Of course, there are flavors I crave or want. I wouldn’t say I don’t miss anything. You grow up with certain flavors you love. I re-create it. . . .

I do want my mother’s meatballs or lasagna just the way I remember it. That’s what I did with the bakery. I found a recipe for chocolate cake and found a way to tweak it. . . .

We don’t allow any carob in the bakery. We’re not going to win over non-vegans with just really good carob-covered cookies. You need really rich and delicious flavors to capture the memories.

Q. Anything you haven’t been able to re-create?

A. There are certain recipes that are extremely difficult. For instance, cannoli is absolutely one of the things I grew up eating and love. I have a very specific flavor in mind. My grandmother used to make it, very distinct flavors. It’s difficult to get those flavors up front before you taste soy or cornstarch.

We’ve got the shells or the sauce down, but the filling we haven’t. I’ve tasted a million and one cannoli, vegan and non-vegan, but I still haven’t gotten it.

Q. Your baked goods have playful names like Gilbert Ganachefried and Banana Chimp Bread. How does what you call something play into whether people will try it?

A. So much. We discovered people’s perceptions of how it tastes is going to affect the outcome of what they like. If you call it a “soy-based treat with seitan,” that sounds disgusting. People want caramel gooey stuff and things they relate to delicious.

Q. You’ve spent a decade creating vegan treats. What do you want people to know about this cookbook?

A. These recipes are not some magically different baking recipes. These are recipes that any baker can do. It’s about food science and chemistry. . . . It’s not just for people with food allergies. First and foremost these recipes are delicious. Second, they’re vegan.

Q. Have you seen a change in availability of vegan ingredients?

A. Nonhydrogenated margarines and shortenings are much easier to get now. When we started, you could only get Crisco. We’re able to do more in terms of healthier options.

Q. Most popular item in the bakery?

A. In our store specifically, hands down our most popular flavor is chocolate. No matter what we do or come up with, chocolate is the main flavor.

With “Cupcake Wars,” we’ve been on (Food Network) three times, won twice. We always bring the flavors back to the store and see what sells best. We just had Johnny Cashew, a chocolate cupcake with cashew candies on top. We couldn’t keep them on the shelf. Just for a little extra chocolate, people were going nuts.

Q. Why are cupcakes still so popular?

A. I think the popularity of cupcakes in our store and “Cupcake Wars” helps keep the momentum. But it started long before “Cupcake Wars” was a twinkle in someone’s eyes. Hand-held desserts are always popular. You wouldn’t know there was an economic crisis going on by the amount of cupcakes we sell.

Q. You’ve got a bit of a Bettie Page look going on for the book cover, with the addition of a few tattoos. Any tattoos featuring baked goods or for the new book?

A. As far as tattoos, I can’t help it. I’ve always been fascinated. My grandfather was in the Navy. I do have one from “Cupcake Wars,” a cupcake inside a television. What I’ve found as I’ve gotten older, the tattoos hurt more and more. That, and now I have a baby. I don’t have the disposable income I used to.

Article excerpted from

11 More Must-Have Vegan iPhone Apps

These helpful new apps keep vegan recipes, info, and tools only a click, tap, and swipe away.

Take a look around a subway car or a waiting room, and you’ll probably see many faces gazing into a handheld touch-screen display. Smartphones are here to stay, and their unparalleled level of convenience is largely aided by the advent of hundreds of thousands of apps, which make everything from ordering a pizza to scanning a barcode doable in seconds. Even better, veg-friendly apps are on the rise, with new ones popping up seemingly every day. Here are a few of our recent favorites, and don’t miss our first list of 10 Vegan Smartphone Apps to Make Life Easier.

Animal-Free (Free)
This free, award-winning app is a pocket dictionary for animal ingredients, from the obvious to the covert. Its built-in barcode scanner allows users to check products for undesirables, and those without a camera can check using product names or specific components.

Gardein Recipes (Free)
Faux-meat master Gardein launched a new app this July featuring its tasty, cruelty-free products in tons of innovative recipes, such as Korean Soft Tacos, Five-Spice Chik’n Noodle Salad, and Summer Grilled Scallopini. Users can also see where to buy Gardein products in the app’s locator feature.

Go Vegan! ($6.99)
Author of the cookbook How It All Vegan Sarah Kramer authored this aptly titled app, with features 50 of her recipes for breakfast, entrées, salads, soups, desserts, and more. The app also has video cooking tips from the cook herself and a customizable shopping list.

All Things Tofu (Free)
Veggie Award-winning tofu brand Nasoya created this mobile app, which helps users compile tofu-based recipes through its handy Dish Whiz tool, according to meal, ingredient, and dietary preference. Nasoya will also be updating the app with video tips, and encourages consumers to take the Tofu U healthy living pledge in order to win rewards.

HappyCow ($2.99)
The popular vegan travel website has gone handheld with this on-the-go guide to plant-based dining. An interactive map allows users to filter local businesses for veg-friendliness or find nearby health food stores, while the category browser makes finding veg sushi a breeze.

21-Day Vegan Kickstart (Free)
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine makes going vegan wildly easy with this awesome resource that helps participants plan healthy, delicious plant-based meals for every day of their program. Stay motivated with words of encouragement and chow down on Couscous Confetti Salad, Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal and more, and it’s simple enough for your tech-challenged mom to use.

VeganXpress ($1.99)
Finding your road-trip style cramped by dismal vegan options at fast-food eateries? Look no further than Vegan Xpress, a convenient database of the vegan options at many popular fast-food and chain restaurants around the country. Puzzled at Papa John’s? Get the breadsticks. Desperate at Denny’s? Try a baked potato with sautéed mushrooms and pico de gallo. Better yet,  the catalog is constantly expanding with new places and menu items.

Roaming Hunger (Free)
If you live in virtually any metropolitan area in the US, it’s likely that a veg-friendly food truck is somewhere in your midst. The question is, how will you scout out this roaming vehicle of deliciousness? The answer: Roaming Hunger, an app that offers real-time locations for more than 800 different trucks nationwide.

Vegan Cupcakes by Isa Moskowitz (Free)
If you are one of the many, many fans of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s amazing vegan cupcakes, you’ll be pretty pleased by this complimentary, cupcake-centric app that offers 75 different flavors and frostings to try in your own kitchen. S’mores, Mucho Margarita, and Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip are just a few of the flavor concoctions that are offered.

BNB ($2.99)
This app’s moniker stands for Be Nice to Bunnies, a fitting name for an app that helps users find cruelty-free products that are not tested on animals. Search by company, category, or product to ensure that your shampoo, detergent, or nail polish is vegan friendly.

Do Eat Raw ($0.99)
Get access to more than 300 raw vegan recipes with this nifty archive of entrées, salads, breads, crackers, desserts, smoothies, and more. Better yet, users can add photos of their own creations, use a built-in timer for keeping track of dehydrating foods, and save the favorites that have them coming back for seconds.

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Vegan & Vegetarian Differentiated

Animals are abused in slaughterhouses. There is only one way to stop that, go vegetarian. This is a video I made about vegetarianism and veganism and animals. The pictures belong to either Peta, Peta2, or Google. The song is Everything by Lifehouse. Add me on Facebook: Nellyanne Elizabeth Nash 😀 and join my group MaybeGreenLuvvIt & if you want, like my animal rights page: Animal Rights MaybeGreenLuvvIt. I made all of the names my username here on YouTube so you could remember them easily. Save the Planet, go vegetarian 🙂



Facts & information on being Vegan and Vegetarian. Very well differentiated for your general knowledge. Lets learn something today!


Video courtesy of MaybeGreenLuvvit from YouTube



Simple & Not Too Sweet: Perfecting Winter With Vegan Chai

The Indian spicy sweet tea and milk beverage called chai is more than just a cupful of yummy. The spices are actually tonic herbs that soothe digestion, boost mood and reduce inflammation—which of course can all be thrown out of whack by drinking dairy milk. But you can still enjoy the flavorful brew, without the dairy, and with all the benefits using this simple vegan chai recipe.

One of the greatest elements of making chai from scratch is that it fills your home with an aroma that you simply won’t get from steeping a teabag. And by using fresh ingredients, you pull more of the medicinal benefits, too.


1 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
¼ of a nutmeg, grated
2 tablespoons of cardamom pods
1 half teaspoon of black peppercorns
A big 1 inch chunk of gresh ginger, grated
1 large vanilla bean sliced
1 dried red chili pepper
2 tablesoons maple syrup, agave nectar (honey is used traditionally, but not vegan) — add more if you want it sweeter, but the nondairy milk will give it an extra sweetness and you might find you like the spicy heat better than the sweet!
1-2 tablespoons loose leaf tea: traditionally black tea is used, like a good ceylon or darjeeling, but you can substitute with oolong, green, white or an herbal base like rooibos or even chamomile. Steer clear of mint, citrus or any flavored teas, though.
2 cups water
2 cups nondairy milk (almond is amazing!)


Mix water and herbs in medium saucepan and bring to low simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes. Then add the tea and let simmer for another five minutes. Strain out the solids and return liquid to the pot. Add in milk and sweetener and heat low heat until warm. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or nondairy foam.

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