For one thing, tomorrow is my last day of work for a week. I'm a little overwhelmed with what I need to wrap up before leaving work tomorrow and I feel a tiny bit bad about leaving my boss with all the work, but I am so looking forward to my well-earned vacation.
California, here I come! I can't wait to:
- go to Disneyland and see the Haunted Mansion all decorated for Halloween, Nightmare Before Christmas-style (plus, I've never been to Disneyland - Disney World, at least 5 times, but not for well over a decade anyway)
- see the Pacific Ocean - the furthest into California I've ever been was the west coast of Lake Tahoe
- go shopping West Coast-style. I don't know what that means, but it sounds fun, doesn't it?
- spend some time with my best friend!
- sample the California veg-fare
- see LA with my own eyes
It is a fabulous guide, too. She covers everything I could think of and plenty that I might not. There are a respectable number of lists, providing links to resources to living an ethical life while not sacrificing fashion, hygiene, or taste. She starts out by defining what it means (and doesn't mean) to be Vegan, as well as the top three reasons most people give for making that choice.
Within her guide to vegan and non-vegan foods/ingredients, she provides some tips from her own experiences and plentiful reassurances that refraining from animal-eating will not leave you as deprived as you think it will. I am proud to share with you all that my recipe, Moroccan Mishmash, was one of only three featured recipes in this section.
Mandi talks about dining out and shopping in a way that is ethical not only to animals whose lives may have been sacrificed or at the very least, harmfully interrupted by harvesting of some sort; she covers something that has long held a place in my heart and has escaped the impeccable attention of PETA - choosing fashion that is ethically produced, i.e. not in a sweatshop, in the 11th hour of a 12-year-old's shift. I was so thrilled to see she devoted a full page to that. She provides a far-reaching list of companies you can feel comfortable buying from.
In her beauty and hygiene discussion, she not only provides a list of ingredients that are not vegan as well as companies who test on animals and/or practice unethical manufacturing processes, she also opens the discussion to the chemicals in commercially produced beauty/hygiene products and how they are harmful to You. She shares some of her favored brands and products for maintaining your outward beauty without sacrificing or otherwise harming your inner beauty.
She closes by giving some guidelines for vegan etiquette. Frequently, vegans get a reputation for being severe, austere, or militaristic at worst or "just a pain in the a**" at best. Although it shouldn't be that big of an issue to ask a server in a restaurant what the broth base of a soup is, sometimes people get the wrong impression and sometimes, the way a vegan asks is what gives that impression. There is no need for people to go on the defensive when you say (loud and proud) "I'm vegan," but we have to shine through a smudged history of PETA's unwelcome preaching and offensive tactics. Mandi shows us how to do this: respect everyone. Yes. It really is that easy. In more words, she explains how to, from choosing a restaurant to ordering there with special requests, as well as tasteful ways to state your opposition to things like zoos and circuses that most people don't even realize hurt animals.
The very last thing is common to books with a message: a recommended reading list and a link party.
What are you waiting for? Go download your copy and read away!!