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sarah-brown-queer-vegan-food-e-book-cover-r4-01What do you get when you mix vegan chefs like Mariano Caino, Allyson Kramer, Lee Khatchadourian-Reese, Christy Morgan, Heather Pace, and Kelly Peloza, sprinkle in a few well-known writers like Carol J. Adams and Rory Freedman, add a healthy dash of bloggers such as Jason Das, Gena Hamshaw, Courtney Pool, and Ali Seiter, and stir them all with a heaping tablespoon of egg replacer? The Queer Vegan Food Cookbook, of course.

The brainchild of Sarah Brown—the mastermind behind QueerVeganFood.com—this e-cookbook is jam-packed with appetizers, comfort foods, desserts, smoothies, and entrees. Best of all, the whole thing benefits animals. Sarah’s goal was to put together, as she puts it, “the weirdest, most unique and delicious recipes from top vegan chefs, bloggers, and authors around the world,” the proceeds from which would be donated to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York. “I’ve always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, and my culinary style has always been playful, fun, and exploratory,” she says. “I thought that creating an assemblage of recipes from chefs who push the boundaries of creativity would be really fun and that people would respond to it.”

Respond they have. Sarah says the cookbook has been a big success, and looking at the recipes and mouth-watering photos, that’s hardly a surprise. “The goal was always to reach as many people as possible to spread awareness about vegan cuisine and raise funds for the sanctuary, so I think we’ve been pretty successful so far in that!”

One of my favorite recipes from the book is for Corn, Black Bean, and Cherry Tomato Cupcakes with Sweet-Sour Guacamole Frosting (contributed by Rory Freedman and Jason Allen).* “I love that recipe, too!” says Sarah, who clearly has an affinity for culinary creativity. “I almost always make a really funky superfood smoothie every morning for breakfast. I toss in everything: chia, maca, stevia, hemp seeds, mesquite, lucuma, cacao, and fruits and sometimes greens. Sometimes it looks strange, but it tastes so good and is quite nutrient-dense!” (I confess I only recognize about three of those ingredients.)

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

So what exactly makes food “queer,” you ask? “It’s food that challenges the norms of cuisine in the United States,” answers Sarah. “In some ways, all plant-based food is queer vegan food, but especially plant-based foods that do not imitate animal products.” Like mock meats, which I do happen to enjoy. “They’re fine if you’re into them. I personally am not a fan anymore. For the first few years of being vegan I ate a bunch of those, and they helped me transition from vegetarian to vegan—I went vegetarian at age 12—and now I don’t really eat them very often or at all. I find that I can enjoy a variety of vegan protein sources, including homemade veggie patties, beans, legumes, greens, and superfoods, without missing fake-meat products, but I think if folks love them, that’s fine for them! Why should there be a one-size-fits-all vegan diet? As long as folks feel good and enjoy what they’re eating and it’s as ethically sourced as possible, I say great!”

In addition to her blogging, Sarah advocates for animals through letter writing, petitions, and social media activism-awareness campaigns. “I also spread veganism through cooking for non-veg friends and family.”

You’ll find more details on The Queer Vegan Food Cookbook, including a complete list of the contributors—and a simple way to purchase the $15 e-book—here.

*For some delicious, traditional Mexican recipes, check out veganmexicanfood.com

Whenever I speak to animal activists about burnout, I always recommend they spend some time at a sanctuary for farmed animals. Heck, even if you’re not worried about getting burned out, spending time with animals is a good thing. Whether you take a tour or volunteer each month, sanctuaries help reconnect you with the very reasons you’re active in the first place. Plus, they are great places to learn and meet like-minded animal advocates.

 

With Thanksgiving coming up in the U.S., a number of sanctuaries will be offering special events in celebration of the animal Ben Franklin suggested as the official bird of the United States.

 

“Turkeys are a misunderstood species,” says Kim Sturla, executive director of Animal Place, which will be hosting its first-annual ThanksLiving event on November 22. “Often thought of as stupid, turkeys are actually quite intelligent and form incredibly strong social bonds with other turkeys, sometimes other species! Animal Place wants the public to celebrate these birds, not eat them.”

 

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, sign up for this great event at Animal Place. Yours truly will be speaking there, along with long-time activist lauren Ornelas.

 

Meanwhile, that same day, in Southern California, Animal Acres will hold its Celebration for Turkeys.

 

If you call Colorado home, you likely already know about Peaceful Prairie. Their Living at Thanksgiving! event will take place on Sunday, November 23.

 

In Maryland, the Poplar Springs sanctuary, home to eight lovable turkeys, will celebrate Thanksgiving with the Turkeys on November 22.

 

I don’t know anyone who has done more to help people appreciate turkeys than Karen Davis. Her organization, United Poultry Concerns, in Virginia, will host its 18th-annual Thanksgiving Feast on November 29.

 

Residents of New York State have two celebrations to choose from. Farm Sanctuary’s Celebration for the Turkeys will take place on November 22, and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary will have its ThanksLiving gala on November 23 (though I understand that event is already sold out).

 

This is just a partial list of the sanctuaries offering special events this Thanksgiving season. Check the Website of your local sanctuary to see if they have something planned. Even if they don’t, do yourself a favor and pay them a visit!


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