New York City Vegan

I just came back from a lovely trip to New York City a couple weeks ago. My sister in law loved Christmas in New York and we all took a big family trip last year. We tried to make it happen again this Winter but unfortunately couldn’t. Our weekends didn’t align but we both went only two weekends a part. My mother went twice with each family!

One thing my wife and I never did before was travel by train. I went on Amtrak once from San Diego to Los Angeles to visit my uncle and loved the experience. The impression hasn’t left me. I convinced my wife we need to try it out. And oh boy it was a wonderful one.

We got there in about 3.5 hours instead of 5. There isn’t a need for a driver and everybody can relax. You easily eat food and drink. You can walk around and stretch your legs. Accessible and clean bathrooms. You have great cell signal, power outlets for laptops, and good Ole USA country side views. A win to the win and win winning combo for me. We used the Red Cap service to make it even better. You get to board the train first and not be in the rush.

Henry was happy to run around and play. My wife and mother could chat about the whole time. And guess what, oh yeah, I ain’t driving!!!!!! Last time shall we say, I drank a little too much. Then driving home for 5 hours ain’t too fun.

Well as soon as we arrived we directly went to Chelsea Market. A fun vibrate place with ton of food options. Last time, I had vegan sushi! But with new and exciting places popping up left and right, I needed to venture. How lucky a place my wife was lookinn up had a vegan option. My surprise surprise… Not. NYC you make me happy. It was Very Fresh Noodles. Right off the bat is a line at 1pm. I ordered the vegan noodle soup and it was full of flavor. I wish I could get this back home. Lots of spices and mix of Chinese cuisine to blend into a perfectly delicious bowl.

What next. Oh yes. My wife had to hit up Ichiran. That was a must of this trip. After we hit that, she could call the trip done. No lines, big location near Time Square. Oh and surprise, the only Ichiran in the world with a vegan option! I wouldn’t say this vegan Ichiran dish was mind blowing. But used a lot of Dashi for flavoring. Soft and tasty noodles and I’m not missing out on any regular tonkatsu ramen.

New York City a place vibrant with life and culture. It’s arguably the #1 city in the world. Tall buildings, tons of people, fashion galore, wealthy and poor, nightlife, latest events, politics, celebrities, and the list is endless. We came across buses with Dunkin Donut advertising their new plant based breakfast sandwhiches. A partnership with Beyond Meat I believe.

Animals were everywhere doe Henry and yeah me. A quick stroll through Central Park would take care of that. Squirrels, birds, mouse, and horses! Henry is on a horse binge. He couldn’t stop staring and yeah he got a high five from the horse driver. Made my day to see him so happy. From toy horses to real ones.

One thing I’ll have to say I need to shut down. Fuck Canada Goose people. Can you not wrap your morality on how those jackets were mad? Geese basically tortured in the process of their feathers, and wild coyotes hunted for fur. There are tons of options to keep you warm and an animal didn’t need to die. You know it, and I know it. So why is ever 10th person I walk pass have this jacket. At least half are probably fake, so thank you Chinese counterfeiters.

Anyways, let’s keep this trip going and focus on the positive. The one place I had on my bucket list before left. The cinnamon snail located at Penn Station. DAMN is The Cinnamon Snail good! Now thags why I call a burger! It was made with the freshest and tastiest ingredients. The Peking Tots were simply amazing. And sorry my wife didn’t like it but I sure did was the Cauliflower soup.

One of few places with a line. People couldn’t stop coming to the snail. I can see why. When other foodie bloggers out calling Cinnamon Snail as top 5 foodie joint, I’m ecstatic to eat all myself. Can you come to Virginia please!? Thanks. It really hits upon the fact, vegan food doesn’t have to be boring. People don’t really care as long as it tastes good. This place met and exceed at that criteria.

Thanks again NYC for a wonderful time. We hope to see you again. My vegan adventures and stories will continue. And I will keep sharing. Animals are our friends, not food.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center

My quick review. It’s a great place to expose children and adults alike to nature and animals. It’s quiet or not so quiet environment depending on how many children are there. A wonderful center to come see real life turtles, frogs, and snakes. It was lots of interesting info and provides a ton of toys and hands on things for children.

For any parents needing a place to bring your children for a day out. This is definitely a place to stop by for fun and education. There is also trails surrounding the center and a nearby playground. My son can’t stop watching all the animals and talking to them.

All the staff we have encountered have been extraordinary friendly. One volunteer told us how one women called the center said she had a Dinosaur and lots of eggs in her yard! The volunteer told us they went to collect and found 34 eggs! You wanna he the crazy part? All 34 hatched successfully and released! Now how’s that for a happy ending.

We take our son here almost once a week these days. Let the kids interact and learn love our animal friends that surround us.

Angkor Kingdom Trees Weep

I read an article quite awhike ago that has a very lingering affect on me. It was a very detailed insider story on the deforestation of Cambodia. All the ins and outs of the people living on the land, the statistics and the people that profit.

As much as I always want to positive and be uplifting about the environment and all life matters. I cant help but share the grim reality. We still live in a world where we know climate change is a true facing danger. That deforestation can have absolutely profound affects on many aspects of a ecosystem. Where people are devestafed just as the animals who called it home.

The sheer size, profit, disregard for nature, and selfishness is on a massive scale. I cant get into all the details and link the article below. But it makes me wonder why kind of fucking world are we becoming. To need to be thag rich, to destroy so much, and all for what? When peoples lands and live hoods are completely removed. Is there no heart?

These trees commanding thousands of dollars for a single one. How can you blame these impoverished Cambodians. You circumvent the laws and morality to attain these logs. All for millionaires home or art piece. Leave some helpless. What can I do? I’m halfway across the world. I cna scream and shout at the top of my lungs and nobdy care.

We are truly living in a golden age. Because these monsters are ripping out our nature’s soul. And if one is stopped, others will replace that one for destruction. Creating an incentive that at least I make the money instead. There will be no end in sight. Such greed wins out.

I remeber being told by. Cambodia family friend acquaintance where they can walk miles on end and hours into the forest. Those days are no more. All cleared for farmlad or illegal logging.

Until it is a barren wasteland with no suitable life will people realize it’s too late. The problem is you can’t turn back the clock. In the end you just hurt yourselfs.

You’re not just shooting yourself in the foot, you’re shorting yourself in the heart.

Game Changers

A main stream Netflix documentary that my cousin told me about was Game Changers. A man set out to find the best diet for health, fighting, athletics, and recovery. To be the best, you need the most optimal lifestyle. His adventure takes him to discuss with sports athletes, doctors, nutritionist, chefs, trainers. All which have lead him on the truth that a plant based and vegan diet is the most optimal.

Ill let you watch for yourself and this is not a review. But I really liked how James Wilks goes through the history, myth, media, and research all to lead to the truth. How did we get to this point where we eat so much meat to destroy ourselves. We sacrifice our own health and the world around us. It’s really exposing the truth in a simple and understanding manner.

He’s not bashing meat eaters or submitting you to endless propoganda. It’s because when you look at everything as a whole, you cnat argue the facts. It’s great exposure to change everybody’s mind through Netflix.

Confidence Builder

I have to say the more and more I talk about my vegan lifestyle I gain ever more confident. It’s like anything in life the more you do and practice.

Ill have to give all those thanks to my cousins. The enjoy talking to me about my lifestyle and how such a positive effect they can see in me. More energy and looking substantially healthier. My one cousin even explaining how my “glow” even is very apparent. (I have a glow!)

Along those discussions, comes the reality of challenges I may face or help then face in their one lives. What to eat, how to eat, facing hunger pains, wanting meat still, etc. But my point to them it’s not black or white at all. It’s most definitely gray in my eyes.

It’s a big change for the better and as long as you are getting better. Thats all that matters. Don’t get mad or disheartened you can’t go complete vegan. It’s on you want to eatit once in awhile. It’s a big shift in our hearts and minds and yes our stomach. As people like me want everyone to switch turn key on the dime. Life and people don’t work that way. We are striving as a whole to get better. Saving a few animals with a few meals is better than none. Keep progressing.

If I feel like a good brand ambassador for the cause. Learn to make good valid points, learn not to get emotional. Learn to help and be positive changing force. Not to be mad. Because what does being mad do, nothing. People don’t respond kindly to anger. None of us vegans would, so how can you expect others too. Get a few drinks in me and yeah it will get very emotional. Learning my own lessons here.

I love who I am and what I’m doing. There is no better cause to get others to join for.

The Magical Zoo

A tough topic. I remember a long time ago at Virginia Tech ethics class. Why should or why we shouldn’t have zoos. It was a rather big debate though I can’t remember the details. Both sides making great points. Is it a jail and death trap? Or is it a place of infinite food and medical care? Are they adored? But do they even know?

I hate to discuss it. A month ago, my family went to the St.Louis Zoo. We were in the city for a friend of my wife’s wedding. We thought it would be a good time to go outdoors and knowing how my son is an animal lover like myself. You love zoo’s and I love zoo’s as a child and growing up. Seeing the hundreds of different animals to gaze upon. You are keeping these animals from being free. Confined for life into a box which they can never get out. They won’t go beyond the box. Its a terrible thing.

But I look to the positives for now. Zoo’s appear to be here to stay. The research and study we can get from having these animals captive can one day the hope to save them. Its a bleak way of looking at it. But its a tough necessity. We wouldn’t be able to get such research and learn from them in the wild when its too late. A few will have to suffer for the benefit of the rest.

I look to my son now and other children who stare at these animals with wonder and amazement. There is such love in their eyes for these animals. The world’s plight for endangered species due to poaching and possible climate change might be solved by the spark lit in one of these children coming to the zoo. Pictures and video simply don’t match the aura and feeling from the animals you get seeing in person. Seeing the gorilla and how human like they are is eerie. Its us. These animals in nature are a part of us and we need to protect them.

For now, lets use it as a tool. Until the world becomes a better and more understanding place with our wildlife, we will get rid of the shackles of zoos then.

Positive News Blast

Every once in awhile you get some news about animals, environment, or green something. Recently, there has been much more news and positive about our animal world and the environment around us. Who knows what triggered it. Maybe its all the climate change talk facing the world. More protests. The daily news reader might pay more interest to these articles. Whether it be. This past month, there is a great amount of it. I’m happy to see it. Lets get started.

  1. This hits home the most for me. Cambodian bans elephant riding in early 2020. Never would I think I see this day. Back in 2011, I visited Cambodia for the first time with my family and seeing the magnificent Angkor temples. I saw up close and personal the elephants lugging up people up and down the mountain. I was against it and wanted to cry inside. I knew it wasn’t right. But 9 years later, we get the best news ever. Elephants aren’t our slaves to use everyday as transportation. They want to be happy and free. A great ending story.

2) Largest Dairy Milk Producer in America Dean Foods Files for Bankruptcy. Why is that big news? Its just milk right. Cows don’t suffer right. It might be worse. The life they live to get impregnanted and their young taken away. Only to reproduce the cycle over and over and then just be slaughtered in the end anyway. I rather die that be tortured on the daily. Whats a life of torture of living in harshest conditions to just produce milk for us to drink. Something we don’t even need. So many other milk alternatives that are just as good tasting and good for you. Cows milk is for cows. Stop drinking that shit. You don’t need it.

3. Koalas being saved by Australian grandmother. Populations ravaged by wildfires. As much as this a feel good story, it is juxtaposed by the greater story. These bush fires have caused great devastation to their populations. I’m happy to hear locals willing to risk harm to save them. With more news exposure, it brings light to the issue of the species. I hope the community and government make more effort to save them! The injured koalas show so much pain and hurt that is so evident by looking at them. How can anybody think animals have no value or pain or emotion. Just take one look and it changes everything.

4. German circus show uses stunning hologram animals to end animal abuse. Around the world, people have heard the call to end the horrific practice of animals in shows. From the famous Barnum and Bailey ending elephants to Sea World no longer having orcas. It takes our choices and money to end it. We do have the power. And one big feel good story I just found right now, Denmark government buys last four animals to send them to retirement. Wow just wow!

Fall for Fairfax And Animal Learning

I always find it funny this little conundrum and hypocrispy that is farm animals and children. Whether it be some festival, event, fair whatever you may call a large gathering of people for social activity. In this particular case Fall for Fairfax Kidsfest in well Fairfax, VA. Dont get me wrong. I think this fair is absolutely spectacular fun and relaxing family event. I have been the past two years and enjoy it thoroughly. It is a much more tame and calming event for myself than the Fairfax Fair for the young and energetic.

But there is the Petting Zoo with about 20 or so animals. It is stocked with chickens, ducks, baby lamb, some reptiles, lamas, goats. People are lined up around the bend for this Petting Zoo. Its probably the only real line except for some food. ITs pretty anticipated. Kids are giddy and can’t wait to pet the animals. I mean hell I love it still.

But it just goes to show the major oxymoron of our society. You come rush to learn to love and adore these furry creatures. But we do not teach or amend this same love and adoration to the animals we eat. A blind eye. A very blind one. I just stare and pause. I sit and think what is going on here and that is a moral fabric cloak that is covering us. And until we realize this systematic code in our brain is there and we dont break ourselves free from it. This cloak is always there. It should be used as a teaching moment for children for how they are, how they think and feel.

Makes me think of the Matrix really. How blind you are to see the truth? in front of your very eyes. On your plate every meal is death and suffering yet you are in this mind numbing state to continue to eat every bite and it tastes good to you. Yet you have the domain and superiority over these animals to go ahead and back hand there souls in the face but petting them. And we teach our children that as well. If only these children knew the truth, I wonder how many in their own will which sit and think. And think I love animals but wander how it is ok to eat them as well. Because no longer can we say it is for health or survival. That there is options out there readily and cheaply for us to become vegetarian and vegan. But yet you still eat them?! I hope that in years time I will be able to talk to my son and let him choose for himself. Whether you are 5 or 50 years old, I think you are able to make a choice based on love whatever it may be.

Animals are friends, not food. All Life Matters.

My Beloved Taiwan

My wife and I always joke about my ever dream plan to retire in Taiwan. Why you ask? Its the people. The land. The culture. The life. But most importantly the people. If I were ever to design a utopia or describe how a society should be. The Taiwanese people are it. I can’t say how much I love that country. Yes I picked taiwan even over Cambodia.

My wife then argues how will friends and family ever visit. I say a plane. What if they can’t travel. I said then they can facetime us. Cheeky. I really feel at home and at peace. The people are so kind, the food is so delicious, there is great culture and scenery all over. How many places in htis world where you can travel not have to worry about your safety, well-being, your food being fresh, someone not looking to steal from you, somebody not looking to undercut you. Where in the society you can trust a random stranger almost as family or close friend. I wouldn’t say that for the most developed or modern places. Even in the USA, competition is fierce, poverty is high, your neighbor can despise you.

And so we visited last March again. This time bringing my son. Oh it was a wonderful 24 hours of plane rides and diaper changing and changing sleep times. Henry’s sleep time was from 1pm – midnight, then his nap time was from 3am-5am. Luckily its a city that ALMOSt near sleeps and plenty of places to eat in wee hours of night.

We were able to visit the Zoo which Henry loved so much. He was able to gaze and listen to the sounds of the animals. Never have I seen zoo animals been so active in my life. They typically look like they have given up on life. He very thankfully enjoyed his time so much there. Ate a ton. And hopefully learned some Mandarin while there.

Our one main stopping point was a EXTREMELY DELICIOUS AND AWESOME Vegetarian buffet while we were there. I hate to say I can’t remember the name or location (will have my wife do some digging). But it was the most delicious food I have ever eaten. We’re not talking a good meal. A delicious meal on every front. They have dumplings and noodle dishes. Stations for everything. All sorts of juices and ciders for health. Fake sushi meat. Deep fried mushrooms. And countless other dishes that I do not know what it was or name. Just know it was a taste bud explosion.

It was hidden under a very big building on some abstract street. But to my great surprise, it was JAM PACKED. It seemed like it was everyones last meal. Buffet style restaurant. Everybody was eating up a storm. It was one of the most exciting things I have ever seen in my vegetarian life. That a vegetarian restaurant could gain so much fan fare. Why? cuz its good! People don’t care if its meat or not. As long as it taste good as I say. And this place is it. If its good people will come. It would just so happen this place is in taipei. It wasn’t some unique or speciality place where you are vegetarian or life some lifestyle that you eat here. No its an every woman and man who wants to eat a good meal and enjoy their day.

I can’t wait to retire in Taiwan. Or just maybe go back every year. 🙂

We’ve Gone Mainstream Global Baby!

I like to talk about exciting times with the the compassionate and eco trends. WELL ITS GETTING EVEN MORE EXCITING.!!!!

I’m literally bombarded with vegan things, animal rights things, environmental things of every sort of news left and right. You can’t stop hearing about it. And its wonderful!

I mean shit. Lets list it all out from one month alone.

  1. Disney Parks Restaurants all going vegan friendly with one dish
  2. Virginia Tech participated in Climate Change discussion and protests
  3. DC Climate Protest
  4. Burger King Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat IPO
  5. Nestle is joining in on the Vegan battles
  6. Subway Is coming out with Vegan Meatball Sub
  7. Taco Bell is Having Vegetarian Section on Menu
  8. UN Climate Talks
  9. Kids TV shows mentioning Veganism and about caring for environment
  10. My contractors that work on my house have gone VEgan
  11. Talking to a coworker about the benefits of going Vegan and younger generation like her son not eating certain foods due to animal treatment.