Monday, November 4, 2013

Vegan Halloween Party!

This year for Halloween, we held a kid-friendly Halloween party! Rose played with three other kids, and the adults had a lot of fun too!
For the party we made vegan candy corn and veganized "3 Musketeers" bars! Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos, but I do have links to the recipes!

Vegan Candy Corn
(I switched the corn syrup for agave nectar for health reasons!)

Vegan "3 Musketeers"

Both turned out awesome and both were a big hit at the party!

There were great costumes too: a lion, a clown, The Joker, and Mickey Mouse. Rose dressed up as a pirate!

It was a great celebration for Halloween with no animal exploitation involved!

For more information about veganism, please see

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Due to the quiet passage of CISPA in the last week in the US congress, any private information can be shared with government and military. If you wish to protest against the passage of this bill, then consider an internet blackout on 22nd April (USA)

Watch here for an explanation of CISPA

Message from Anonymous:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Train Ride Goes Wrong

We had a pretty memorable experience recently. Some of it was positive, and a lot of it was negative.

On March 20th, we left home to head for the train station. Rose and I were going to be taking a train for little more than a day to go spend 6 weeks with my parents. We were super excited. It was going to be our first time taking the train. We were used to traveling by plane! But then I found out that the train was so much more affordable, especially now that Rose was old enough to need her own ticket to board the plane.

At the train station is where things started to go wrong. The train was over an our late at the station, which was a pretty tiring wait as it was after midnight. While at the station though, Rose met a new friend, a 4-year-old girl named Alexis. They played at the station together until the train finally arrived. Soon we were lead onto the train and to our seats. Alexis and her mom would be sitting right in front of Rose and I. I was impressed by the amount of room in the train car (far better than the buses I used to take before Rose was born!). There was a lot of leg room, which was perfect for traveling a long distance with a small child.

Rose was so thrilled about being on the train that it took her a couple hours before she went to sleep. She only slept for about 5 hours, while I slept a mere 2 (I struggled to sleep in the seats). The next day, Rose and Alexis were visiting each other in and around the seats, sharing toys with each other and having fun.

We eventually reached the town of Unity, Saskatchewan, about a quarter of the way through the route to our destination. Not far past it, the train had come to a stop. Little did we know, this stop was a big deal. A freight train ahead of our train encountered some terrible weather and ended up being derailed in huge snowdrifts! We were now stuck behind this train, where we would wait for a very long time. Over 20 hours in fact! Seriously, 20 hours!

It was a tiring wait. But surprisingly, Rose took it better than I did. She spent most of the time playing with Alexis, or otherwise having fun.

Our second night in the train, we both had better sleep. I made a bed of coats on the floor for her (last time she kept falling off the seats), and I slept on the seats. She slept for over 10 hours, and I slept for 7 (much better!). Things were getting harder to bear as time went on. Babies on the train were running out of milk and diapers. People were getting restless. I was starting to feel a lot of anxiety from feeling trapped. We were running out of all the vegan food we packed, and the train had nothing vegan left besides crackers and drinks.

Finally, after those many hours of waiting, the train started to move. Hurray! Everyone was so relieved. Things were finally looking up! Except for Rose and I...

Shortly after the train started moving down the track, I was using my laptop while Rose and Alexis were playing together. While I wasn't looking, an adult passenger on the train who had been amusing them earlier with magic tricks, had decided to pick Rose up by the wrists to let her climb up his leg! He didn't ask me or anything. See, Rose occasionally has this issue with her left elbow, a common problem in young children, called radial head subluxation, or "nursemaid's elbow". If her arm is pulled in just the right way, her elbow can dislocate. So, as soon as I noticed he was doing this I ran over saying, "You can't do that! Her elbow dislocates easily!" and he put her down, but it was already too late. She was holding her elbow, and soon started to cry. Crap. We were now stuck on a train with her elbow dislocated.

I carried her to the dining car to ask staff if there are any doctors on board, as we would need a doctor to pop it back in. I was told they'd go around on the train cars looking to see if there were any nurses or doctors on board. They found 3 nurses. None could fix her elbow, but they were very helpful nonetheless. Two of the nurses made her a splint using a towel and a stirring spoon from the kitchen. I was told by the train manager that the hospital in the next town was called and that the train would stop when we got there so an ambulance could pick us up and bring us to the hospital. Our train trip was ending before our destination. I was devastated that Rose was going through this and we were going to be delayed from getting there even longer. Rose was crying that she didn't want to get off the train. She didn't want to go to the hospital. She wanted to see her grandma and grandpa. This was awful for her.

It took about a half hour to get to the next town, which was Biggar, Saskatchewan. When we got there, the paramedics helped us off the train and into the ambulance. A passenger that we never met, got off the train and asked about how we were doing. He was very concerned and gave me $100! I started crying, I was so touched by this random act of kindness. All that we've been going through...this beautiful moment meant a lot to me.

We got to the hospital, and as we were waiting in the doctor's office the paramedics said goodbye, and one handed me a piece of paper before they headed out. I opened it to discover that it was a check for $100. There goes the waterworks. I was getting repeated reminders of how many awesome, caring people there are in the world!

Rose soon went for x-rays and then a doctor popped her elbow into it's place. She was back to normal is minutes. What a relief!

A nurse had been on the phone arranging somewhere for us to go after the hospital. She had called child protective services and they were going to pay for a hotel room and food for us. Thank goodness! An RCMP officer came to the hospital to pick us up and brought us to the hotel. We checked in and relaxed! My parents were driving to go get us, and would take hours to get there. We cuddled on the comfy hotel bed watching television, and then we had a good night of rest. It was so good to sleep in a real bed!

Early the next morning, my parents showed up. We checked out of the hotel and got all our stuff loaded into the truck, and then we headed for our destination. Several hours later we were finally there, ending our long, stressful, terrible trip to my parents house. I would spend the next 2 days catching up on sleep, and recovering from the crappy diet we had to deal with during the trip. Rose seemed to bounce back a lot better than I did!

It's been a week now, and we are enjoying our vacation with our family. But I won't be forgetting that horrible experience!

For more information about nursemaid's elbow, please see:

Here's a news article about the stranded train!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What This Vegan Child Does

As a vegan, Rose won't be experiencing enjoyment from looking at animals imprisoned in zoos. She won't get to participate in torturing and killing fish. She won't get to attend a rodeo or watch elephants forced to balance on balls at the circus. As a vegan, Rose won't be getting entertainment out of exploiting others. But there are so many ways to have fun without exploiting animals!

Here are some things Rose does for fun!

She goes to water parks and swimming pools!
Fun at West Edmonton Mall Waterpark

She has fun in the ball pool!
Rose Having Fun!

She goes to the park!
Fun at the Park

She has a blast on the slide!
Slide Fun

She visits the beach!
Rose at the Beach

She loves to swing!
Fun at Polson Park

She also loves walks, coloring, painting, stickers, reading, and exploring the outdoors!

If you would like to learn more about why we are vegan, please check out this online pamphlet, Respecting Animals Means Going Vegan

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vegan Parenting and "Forcing Beliefs"

Occasionally I hear the comment that raising a child vegan is "imposing one's will" or "forcing one's beliefs" on their child. I decided I would write about this as it is quite a common thing to hear.

Isn't part of being a parent teaching your child right from wrong and how to live in the world? Don't most parents teach their children according to their beliefs? If a vegan is "forcing beliefs" on their children when they teach them to respect animals, then isn't a non-vegan "forcing beliefs" on their children when they teach them to exploit animals? It could also be said that we push our beliefs on children when we teach them not to bully other children, or not to hit their siblings. We teach them what WE believe is right and we don't allow children to do what WE believe is wrong. Giving a child "freedom to choose" obviously should not apply to everything. We don't give our children the choice to play in traffic, eat whatever they want (what if your child wanted cake and candy for meals?), or stick objects in electrical outlets. And we don't give our children the choice to steal from the neighbor's yard or throw rocks at passing cars.

It's part of being a parent to raise and guide a child, and harming others is not a personal choice. Choosing to use animal products is not like choosing which colour of shirt to wear or choosing what movie to watch. The choice to use animal products is a choice to cause unnecessary harm to OTHERS. It is a choice to exploit, torture, and kill another sentient being for reasons of pleasure, convenience, and/or tradition.

There is nothing wrong with a parent teaching their child to have respect for other sentient beings. If anyone is "imposing their will" on others it's non-vegans when they force their speciesist beliefs on non-humans by enslaving, exploiting, torturing, and killing them against their will.

To all vegan parents out there: I think it's great that you are teaching your children to respect all sentient beings and refrain from exploiting them! Don't let anyone convince you that you are being "unfair" or "cruel" to your children by raising them as happy, healthy vegans!

To non-vegans reading this, please go vegan! Animals have the right not to be treated as property and exploited for our use. Check out the slideshow Theory of Animal Rights to learn more about the rights of animals.

Rose and Jack

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Encounter with a Speciesist Children's Book

Recently, Rose and I were visiting a couple friends at their house. They have a daughter who is quite a bit younger than Rose. They also had a friend over with an older child (my guess is about 5 or 6 years old). Rose and I were the only vegans in the house.

Rose and her new younger friend were playing on the floor when the older child came up to Rose and started sharing a book of his with her. When I noticed what the book was, I was horrified. It was a book geared to toddlers about fishing. This book, full of graphic photos of fish being yanked from the water with hooks penetrating through their faces, was telling toddlers all about how to kill these sentient beings and how fun it is to do so! The child was trying to show Rose this book while explaining what was happening in the photos. I certainly didn't want Rose to see these horrible images! I am horrified at the thought of ANY toddler being shown these images and told it is good and fun! I had to quickly distract her and was able to do so without having to explain to the child that I didn't want Rose to be taught that.
After this happened, that book was on my mind for quite some time. Especially when the child's mom sat him down on her lap and enthusiastically read him this book about torturing and killing these sentient individuals.

Are people like this cold-hearted, cruel people? Certainly not. I grew up as a speciesist non-vegan myself and as a child I used to go fishing every summer - and yes, I enjoyed it very much. But did I enjoy torturing animals? No, I didn't. I didn't enjoy fishing because I found thrill at any knowledge that a sentient being was suffering. Enjoyment usually came out of the effort, the challenge, the act of obtaining a "reward", and the time spent with my family. When I killed these animals, I hardly thought about how they were feeling. There really was a disconnect of an extreme kind. Whenever the thought ever did come to my mind about what the fish might be feeling, I would get very uncomfortable. But then I would push it to the back of my mind and go right back to what I was doing. After all, as I and most people are taught from a young age in a speciesist society, nonhuman animals are considered inferior and using them for our purposes is the norm. Everyone else is doing it, so it can't possibly be wrong, can it? How wrong I was.

Almost everyone I know who kills fish or other animals themselves (by hunting and fishing) cares for dogs, cats, or other animals. They are not "cold-hearted monsters", they are deeply confused. They show with their attitude towards and treatment of dogs and cats that they recognize that animals are sentient beings and they do have compassion and concern for animals. They can cry and rage about someone who beat a puppy to death, and then an hour later happily go out to the lake and painfully kill a fish! This is what many call moral schizophrenia. Almost everyone agrees that causing unnecessary suffering is wrong, but most people don't think clearly about this and apply it to their everyday lives. Almost everyone, when asked if causing unnecessary suffering to animals is wrong, will say yes, yet all animal use (except for extreme life-or-death circumstances) is just that! We have no need to consume animal products or use animals in any way. In my non-vegan days, when I would see a dog being slapped or someone throwing rocks at birds, I would get very upset with them, because I knew it was wrong to cause unnecessary harm to other sentient beings, but when I sat down to a dinner of animal products or climbed into a boat with my fishing rod it never crossed my mind, "Is this necessary?". I was morally confused. I didn't think my actions through. I didn't enjoy unnecessary suffering, I didn't even SEE unnecessary suffering.

This is why I won't jump to the conclusion that this person who happily read a book about fishing to this small child was a cruel, cold person that wanted to share delight in torturing animals. Rather, I assume that she is, like I was, someone who has compassion and reasoning, but is morally confused, and doesn't even see that what she is showing her child is very violent and unethical. She may simply need someone to talk to her about veganism and the moral issues of animal use, so that she will think more deeply about what she is doing when she uses animals and teaches her child to do the same. There are certainly humans out there who know they cause unnecessary pain and suffering and actually delight in it, but this is unusual.
The best thing we can do is not to angrily tell people they are terrible, cruel people (in my opinion, they're not) but to kindly offer them some education on veganism and the moral problems of using animals. And of course, to teach our own children (those who have children) that all sentient beings should be treated with respect and not used as our property.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beyond Her First Birthday

From her first birthday up until now (she is 19.5 months now), so much has happened! In such a small time, Rose has changed and achieved so much!

In November 2010, Rose started spoon feeding herself! Her top two teeth made their appearance too! She also started walking sideways and forward with walker toys, and said, "Bye bye daddy" for the first time!

In December, she pulled herself to a stand for the first time, and on Christmas Eve day she stood on her own for the first time, for about 10-15 seconds!

Rose Standing on Her Own!

In January, 2011, we went on a trip to New Brunswick to visit with our family there. Rose got to meet a lot of family!

Family Photos

Shortly after we went home, she started standing on her own and took some slow and unsteady steps! She progressed rapidly, and today, May 24th 2011, she can easily walk full speed ahead! She takes off everywhere, and can even go in circles or backwards. She can already climb on and off furniture, climb into and onto objects, and kick a ball! Now she has 12 teeth!



Rose Having Fun!

We now live in Ontario with my parents, and Alex, Rose's daddy, is still in Edmonton temporarily for school. She has a big front and back yard to play in, and with this hot and beautiful weather, she is outside a lot! Her favourite things to do outside are playing in her pool, playing on a blanket in the yard, and picking pinecones off the lawn! Inside her favourite things to do are playing with the cats, exploring and climbing, playing with her toys (her favourites being her blocks, toy train, hammer, and balls), and drawing! Her favourite foods now are bananas and noodles. She now knows over 70 words/phrases, and over 10 words in sign language.

My baby is now a toddler! :)


Spaghetti Time!

For MANY more photos, check out Rose's Album on Flickr!