Why are you veg*an?

Still out there? I see this community has been quiet for... well, years. But I'm hoping you folks are still around. I know I could probably go find a busy veg*an community somewhere to ask this question, but the three veg*an women in my family, myself included, are each in the 200 - 250 lb range, so I feel like veggies_of_size is my peer group.

I recently returned to vegetarianism after a long absence. (I posted about my reasons here in my journal.) It's been about three weeks now, and while I wouldn't say my commitment is wavering, I keep having to remind myself why I made that commitment. I thought it would help to hear why you did!

So what made you become a vegetarian or vegan? How long has it been for you? How do you feel your life is better for it?

Big Fat Vegan Gladiators!

Someone posted about this in one of the vegan communities here on LJ. I think this is too cool. It debunks two myths they don't even mention in the story. One, that vegans are all willowy and sickly. Two, that fat people can't be strong, healthy athletes. Rock on, fat vegan gladiators! Rock on!

Roman gladiators were fat vegetarians

Robert Koch
Agençe France-Presse
Monday, 5 April 2004

Roman gladiators were overweight vegetarians and not the muscle-bound men protrayed by actors like Russell Crowe, anthropologists say.

Austrian scientists analysed the skeletons of two different types of gladiators, the myrmillos and retiariae, found at the ancient site of Ephesus, near Selsuk in Turkey.

"Tests performed on bits of bone taken from the skeletons of some 70 gladiators buried at Ephesus seem to prove that they ate mainly barley, beans and dried fruit," said Dr Karl Grossschmidt, who took part in the study by the Austrian Archaeological Institute
"This diet, which has been mentioned in the oral history, is rather sad but it gave the gladiators a lot of strength even if it made them fat," said Grossschmidt who is a member of the University of Vienna's Institute of Histology and Embryology.

The Austrian palaeoanthropologists relied on a method known as elementary microanalysis that allows scientists to determine what a human being ate during his or her lifetime.

With the help of a sonar, they could establish the chemical concentrations inside cells in the bone samples taken from the skeletons at Ephesus.

From this, they could deduce how much meat, fish, grains and fruit made up the diet of the Roman fighting machines.

A balanced diet of meat and vegetables leaves equal amounts of zinc and strontium in the cells, while a mainly vegetarian diet would leave high levels of strontium and little zinc, Grossschmidt said.

Fabian Kanz, from the university's department of analytical chemistry, said the gladiators' bone density gave us clues to how they lived.

"The bone density here was higher than usual, as is the case with modern athletes," he said.

This line of testing allowed the scientists to debunk another myth, that gladiators wore strappy Sparticus sandals in the arena.

"The bone density is particularly high in samples taken from the feet, which would suggest that the gladiators fought with their bare feet in sand," Kanz said.

He believed that because some gladiators fought with little more than their bare hands, they could have "cultivated layers of fat to protect their vital organs from the cutting blows of their opponents".

A gladiator's life
In ancient Rome, the classical battle of gladiators usually pitted a myrmillo armed with a sword, a helmet and a round shield, against the lightly armed retiarius who carried only a net and a dagger, or a samnite who wore a visor and a leather sheath protecting his right arm.

They were mostly slaves who volunteered to fight because sometimes the victor would be freed as a reward, or poor Romans who fought for pay.

The Austrian scientists are still carrying out further tests, but if their initial findings are confirmed it would change the glamorous image of the men immortalised in Spartacus, the 1960 movie starring a young Kirk Douglas, and the more recent Gladiator with Crowe in the main role.

"It seems that the gladiators tried to put on some weight before their battles," Kanz said.

"But this does not mean that they did not work hard to lose it again once they stepped out of the ring," he added.

The archeological site of Ephesus is one of the most important in Turkey.

The Greeks founded the city but it was the Romans who made it the capital of their Asian province and turned it into one of the wealthiest cities of their empire.


Cooking is fun again!

Sometimes it takes the purchase of a new cookbook or the discovery of a new web site to spark those creative juices and get one cooking tasty foods again.

In my case, it was the discovery of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her Post Punk Kitchen cable-access TV show and web site:
and her cookbook, Vegan With A Vengeance.

For too many months now I was cooking the same old bland and blah foods - lentil loaves, beans & rice with variations of tomato based sauces. But once I found Isa, cooking is fun again and I have a very stuffed hubby.

I've already made her Mashed Potatoes and Punk Rock Garbanzo Bean Gravy a number of times, made up 3 different batches of vegan cupcakes, each one more delicious than the next (Luckily she also has a cupcake book coming out later this year), and have had baked or fried tofu in more ways than I knew existed. Heck, her seitan recipe alone is worth the price of the book! No more "brainy" or rubbery seitan but delicious, slicable loaves!

NAYY, just a very happy cook with a very happy hubby.

Does anyone else have a vegan cookbook they can report on?
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Generous calf size cruelty-free boots?

Hey round vegans, I just moved to the NW from Texas and winter rapidly approacheth and I need cruelty-free boots.

I have thick calves, though, and I'm worried that I won't be able to find boots that have large calves and are cruelty-free.

Can anyone point me to specific boot and shoe brands that they KNOW are roomy?


(xposted to fat vegan)

nori and tofu soup

i like this chinese recipe. you can add extra sea vegetables like dulse, kombu, shitakes etc. if you like. this a good nutritious soup if your sick. food is always the best medicine.

nori and tofu soup
1 pound of soft tofu, cut into half inch cubes
4 nori sheets,
1 oz szechaun preserved vegetables, minced(optional but tasty)
4 cups of stock
1/2 tsp salt
4 sliced scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in a 1/4 cup stock
1/2 tbs sesame oil

bring the stock, salt and szechaun preserved vegetables to a boil. add most of the scallion, reserving some of the green slices for the end. reduce the soup to a simmer and gently add the tofu cubes. meanwhile cut the nori into 1 inch squares. stir in the starch and stir till thickened. then stir in the nori, extra scallion greens and sesame oil. serve hot.

Davie's Healthy!

Wednesday night was Davie's first vet visit and it has all turned out really well for now. Well, first I guess you should know that Davie was officially dubbed to be a female, and no, we are not changing her name from Davie – even though my boyfriend keeps insisting that we do. The doctor believes she is about a year and half old, and that she may look younger but it's just because she is a 'petite cat'. I mean, she only weighed in at a little less than six pounds.

As far as her tests went, she tested negative for Feline Leukemia and negative for any parasites as well. So we are very relieved about that. The doctor said that that she is in relatively good health, just a little under nourished, but besides that she seems to be fine. As far as the hair loss on her back is concerned, the doctor said that she believes it is just from being malnourished but just to make sure we did a "culture-dermatophyte". As soon as those tests come back we will either cure the hair loss issue (if it is positive) or allow Davie to finally run free in the house with our other cats (if it is negative). It can't be mange or anything of the sort, because she is parasite free, so the doctor is almost sure it is just from being outside and not healthy.

As far as shots and vaccine area concerned, Davie got her FeLV Vaccine and also her FVRCP kitten vaccine this visit. In three weeks we will be taking her back to get her other set of shots (I believe she still needs her booster and something else). So we will make sure to keep you updated as things progress.

Also, here is the invoice of the vet visit, just in case any of you wanted to see it for some reason or another. I know a lot of you are still skeptical about this whole thing, so hopefully that will clear your mind of any disbelief you may still have. The cost for the visit was $168, but they gave me a student discount for going to USF so it got knocked down to $151.20. I still have to go back and get the rest of her shots taken care of, which will probably run me between $60-$80, and then get her sterilized at the Humane Society for $40. So, I'm no where near done spending the cash, but I am just happy that Davie is going to be okay :) My info has been blacked out for safety reasons of course.


And I also have some new pictures of Davie from in my apartment - enjoy.


Thanks to everyone that donated to help save Davie! We appreciate it!!!
<3 Amber
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Help Save Davie!!!

Hey guys! I don't know how many people have read my post before about Davie, but this is a post to beg anyone of you that can help me, to help out.

The Davie StoryCollapse )

Please, please, PLEASE! If anyone can give anything to help me out with this cat I would be forever grateful. My heart really goes out to Davie, it's special. It isn't one of those cats that want to be outside and alone... Davie really wants a home, and I need help so he/she can get one.

I am going to spend my entire refund check from USF (left over money from grants and scholarships) to save this cat, but it isn't going to be enough. I get the check on the 20th of October, so I have about 1 month to come up with as much money as I can to get Davie healthy. If I can get 20 people to give just $5, which cuts the cost for me down to 50% of what the total estimated cost is. Better yet, if I could get 20 people to donate $10 each I could buy it extra things such as cat food and litter, because I do already have 2 cats.

If you can't give, I understand. But, if you can, please give something, anything is better than nothing.

Thanks again guys!
<3 Amber

*I would appreciate it if you guys could spread the word about this. I have posted this in many journals, so I am just praying for everyone to give a little bit, just a little to save Davie...
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Help Staying Veg

I've been trying to go completely vegetarian for over a year. I always end up giving in to chicken when the cravings start. Does anyone have any advice for me?


(x-posted in other veg*n communities)

Help with a meat-eater?

Here's the problem: My father is obese. He has been a meat-and-potatoes man his entire life. He drinks about 2-3 glasses of milk a day, will eat an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting if you let him, and generally doesn't care about what he puts in his body as long as it tastes good.

He went to the doctor today and was given the final "you need to lose weight" warning. He was also put on glucophage because he's now developed diabetes. He has been all but banned from meat and dairy, which are the two things he mainly lives off.

Whenever I cook my vegetarian food, he gripes about it. He hates tofu, he hates rice noodles, he hates soy, he hates fake chicken, he hates...well, everything. He does like vegetables, so I give him credit there, but getting him to eat anything that isn't bathed in rich sauce and fat is next to impossible.

My question is, what foods can I possibly feed him that he'll tolerate? Anything "odd" is out. No tofu, no soy, no miso, no ethnic foods. He wants good, old-fashioned American staples, done veggie-style. They need to be very easy to make, and the ingredients need to be found in your average American pantry.

Help me out. I'm desperate, and I don't know what to do for him anymore. He's finally willing to work with me — he's actually downstairs reading his new food pyramid info from his doctor right now — but I need to make this as easy as possible for him.
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