Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Things I've Done Since Going Vegan

Today marks the anniversary of my decision to go vegan. I was really nervous about it before I did it. The idea had been percolating in my head since a coworker & her partner talked to me about being vegan, but since I have Crohn's disease & anxiety, changes to my diet usually freak me out.

I had driven home to Milwaukee for my niece's 2nd birthday, and on my drive back to Columbus, I stopped at a gas station to pick up some dinner on the road. I grabbed a pre-made ham sandwich & some Funyuns and took a bite of my sandwich as I pulled back onto the freeway. As I was chewing, I looked at the vehicle in front of me and realized it was a truck full of pigs (a pretty small truck, with a see through fence as the back railing). I started to gag on my sandwich and spit it out & wasn't able to finish it. I guiltily stashed it in the passenger seat until my next stop, where I threw it out at the next stop without looking at it again.

Within two days, I had declared myself vegan.

Of course, this sounds like it was purely an emotional response, and I just like cute little piggies and that's why I gave up meat. Not quite. I am a vegan for ethical reasons, but they aren't just related to animals.

I could go on and on about the reasons why people (atheists, especially) should be vegan, but if you really want to know, I think is a great place to get information. Articles like this are also great (the fact that "A global vegan diet (of conventional crops) would reduce dietary emissions by 87 percent, compared to a token 8 percent for 'sustainable' meat and dairy." really stuck with me).

But this post isn't to give you every reason to go vegan. It's to show you the awesome things I've done since go vegan so you can see that vegans lead really cool lives.

Since I went vegan, I've...

-Volunteered at Camp Quest (complete with vegan s'mores!)


-Went to Las Vegas for TAM (as a Surly Grant Winner), hung out with awesome people, acted like a shark (?), hung out with my Best Sarah Forever (BSF)

-Bowled for Abortion Access (which I'm doing again, and you can support!) and got a mug that says "Ask Me About the Abortion I Paid For" (which is super rad, obviously)

-Went to DC to be in a documentary, hung out at a fountain with some ducks


-Attended Skepticamp Columbus, hung out with @Delyseious and Hemant Mehta, lead the Legion of Sarahs (it's possible that this legion was only made up of two Sarahs)


-Raised $2,000 for the Secular Student Alliance and had to shave my hair into a mohawk on a livestream

-Had an appropriate amount of American Pride

-Attended the largest conference the SSA has ever had! 

-Dressed up as the one and only Freddie Mercury for Halloween


-Had surgery and proposed when I woke up, looking flyyyyyyyy (and was good at texting)


-Designed a badass wedding ring, made of recycled silver and synthetic emeralds and diamonds from Green Karat

-Joined the board of directors of Go Vegan! Go! and went to a fundraiser at Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace for Sunrise Sanctuary. Delicious vegan hot dogs. :)

-Ate burritos and tacos, always and forever

-Ate a lot of cereal & felt like that dog with the birthday cake 

-Bought sweet swag from my friend Sarah's store

-Had my best friend from Wisconsin visit

-Got married & had awesome vegan food & cake (catering provided by Inner Circle, cake by Pattycake Bakery)

There's been quite a bit more, but finding where pictures of stuff is has been difficult, so I'll leave you with that. :) In any case, I'm very happy with my decision to go vegan. I'd encourage everyone to check it out. Even if you can't go fully vegan right now (or ever), I think reducing your consumption of animal products is an admirable goal, especially since it may be the only way to save the planet ("Please eat less meat," asks the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 

Interested? Check out:

Vegan Starter Kit:

Thirty Day Vegan Challenge:

You can watch Vegucated and Forks Over Knives on Netflix Instant or Earthlings online.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"lol reproductive rights"

I imagine that's what most anti-choice legislators would tweet if they could. I have a feeling a lot of them don't quite grasp the concept of Twitter, though. (Too bad they didn't read my handy intro to Twitter, they'd be a lot closer to getting it!)

Anyway, unfortunately for us, there are lots of people who get twitter, and I wish they didn't. Like Jill Stanek, for example. If you aren't familiar with Jill Stanek, she's just an awful anti-choicer. She thinks if you murder a doctor who performs abortions, it's wrong, but not so wrong that you deserve to be sent to PRISON! That's for like, bad people, and stuff! (What you can glean from the last link: 1. The man who murdered Dr. Tiller "[did] not get [his] fair day in court." 2. The death penalty is okay and should be applied to doctors who perform abortions.)

I mention Jill Stanek because one day I was talking on twitter about how expensive my health care is & how it is a very real and constant source of stress and worry for me. A few of my friends replied "Oh, I don't have to worry about that in my country!" Which is really great for them, but made me feel a lot worse (because of course I'm pushing for universal healthcare in the US).

Some of my comments got retweeted, and what do you know, Jill Stanek felt the need to chime in!


How sweet of her! This woman with a national presence and loads of money felt it necessary to make fun of a 23 year old with a severe chronic illness who care barely afford to pay for her bills. How compassionate! That's some True Christian Love (TM) for you. (This is how I feel about it.)

Now that I'm married & on my partner's insurance, my medical bills are more under control (hooray meeting your deductible by February!), but I can't even imagine what it'd be like to be someone who doesn't have insurance, but needs birth control or an abortion (or even to have insurance, but it's not covered). I remember when I was in college, I had to go without birth control for a while because the stuff I needed cost $70/month--even with my parents' insurance.

Our society isn't great at making sure no one falls through the cracks of our societal safety net. I have dozens of friends who are adults and have degrees who can't afford basic healthcare needs. If you can't afford to get your car fixed if it breaks down, you can't really afford a kid. This may shock anti-choicers, but funnily enough, most people know when they can't afford a child! Three-fourths of the people who received abortions gave not being able to afford a child as a reason for needing their abortion. They don't want to be "welfare moochers" or whatever horrible name the right wing has been using lately for people who receive government benefits.

Anyway, the Hyde Amendment bans federal dollars from going toward abortions. So, people who need help covering the cost of an abortion need to look elsewhere. That's where the National Network of Abortion Funds comes in! Every year they do a Bowl-a-thon to get people to raise money to help people who need abortions. You can learn more about why we need abortion funds here.

I participated last year and had a lot of fun. Then again, my team was called "Coup de Twat," so I'm not sure how I could have NOT had fun.

I'm participating again this year, and I hope you can support me. I'm competing against my friend @MissCherryPi this year though! If she raises more money than me, she gets to redecorate my Twitter page for a week, and I have to send her local treats/swag. However, if I raise more money than her, I get to redecorate her Twitter page and she has to send me treats. So, obviously, there are important stakes here (I mean, have you looked at my twitter background? No, seriously, go look at it. It's pretty bad ass.) (If you didn't go look, it's my head on the t-rex from Jurassic Park. I told you, bad ass.)

So, if you want to help support abortion access for all, please consider making a donation to my bowl-a-thon page. (or to Elizabeth's page.) 

Thanks for supporting everyone's right to reproductive control. :)

(I tried to use gender neutral language in this post, because I realize not all people who need abortions or birth control identify as women. If I made any errors, I'm sorry and please let me know in the comments.)