Archive for July, 2005

Caity McCardell

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

McCardell Family

In earlier profiles, we met local folks active in promoting vegetarianism. This month, meet Caity McCardell, who is creating new vegetarians in her own special way.

Name: Caity McCardell

Profession: Mommy to a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old
City: Martinez (East Bay, near Walnut Creek)
Age: 36
Family: Husband Stefan; daughter Gianna; son Colin; dog Caine; cats Zen and Del

Are you vegetarian or vegan, and for how long?
I’m vegan — since early 2001

What motivated you to make this change?
My original motivations were purely for vanity’s sake. After 10 years of dealing with adult acne, I knew it was time to get serious about my problem. I had tried every product in the book (except major drugs) and I remembered my grandmother telling me that when she stopped drinking milk her skin problems diminished. So I tried it, too.

Two weeks later, my skin cleared up considerably. A month later, my 10-year acne problem was gone. Coincidentally, I attended a raw foods workshop that same month and it all clicked. I didn’t need to eat meat, dairy and eggs.

I read The Food Revolution and realized that I cared about animals — all animals. It was more important than my skin – I felt I was reading the truth under the façade of corporate messages. I also encouraged my husband, Stefan, to go vegan (he likes to say he was vegan by page 100 of The Food Revolution). So we were off on the same journey together.

What are you working on?
I’m on the Board of East Bay Animal Advocates, but truth be told I haven’t been participating in their work since I got pregnant with Colin (my second baby). I’m very focused on family, home, life right now since Colin is only 3 months old. We’ll be attending rallies and handing out Why Vegan’s as soon as I get used to juggling two children! Being involved means a lot to me.

How do your values of veg*nism play a role in being a parent?
Veganism touches my parenting style on a regular basis. I try to instill in my children a sense of connection with nature and empathy with animals, which is sometimes challenging when the children around us are being taught that animals are ours to be exploited.

Before Gianna was born, our belief in the rights of animals encouraged us to look at our feelings about children’s rights. We wouldn’t let our cats cry in a room alone, so why would we let our children do that (as popular parenting books teach modern parents)? I would stay out of the way of a calf and cow so they could nurse as long as nature intended — and the same applies to my nursing relationship with my children. There are plenty of other examples of how our empathetic parenting style was impacted by our feelings about nature and animal rights.

I used animals as a guide in my birth experiences. I asked myself, “what would an animal do for a more comfortable birth?” So I look to cats and giraffes and deer and how their birthing is seemingly pain free. They’re inside themselves, comfortable, focused — without machines around them and other animals nervously chattering. What does a deer do in the woods when she’s laboring and senses danger? Her labor stops. That teaches me something about what kind of environment I want to birth in. And, boy, did I have two amazingly pain-free births!

The more I produce milk for my babies, the more it is strange to me that people consume cow’s milk. People think I should wean my children at a young age from nursing — but then they question why we don’t drink milk. That is just bizarre to me.

Who/what inspires you to keep going?
Animals inspire me — the need to do something, anything, for the suffering animals on this planet. My husband helps me keep my focus. He is an incredibly firm stand for animals. He’s outspoken and unwavering — and so compassionate.

What resources were useful to you in preparing for being a vegan parent?

Erin Pavlina’s book Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World: A Complete Guide for Parents helped me a lot — mostly reminding me that there are others like me out there. (Maybe not in my neighborhood or town, but there are vegan children out there!) It also gave me information (ammunition) about nutrition for kids and general advice about the day-to-day experience of being a vegan parent.

What prepared me the most for vegan parenting was simple: Trusting my instincts. I was determined to not put junk into my children’s bodies. I knew that they didn’t need animal products to be healthy. It was just a matter of demonstrating that to my friends and family, which is easy if I don’t let their concerns bother me.

What advice would you give to an aspiring vegan parent?
Tell the world you’re a vegan parent! Don’t hide!

Also, relax as much as possible about food. It seems that whenever I get nervous about Gianna not eating enough or not eating the right food, she turns around and asks for a ton of bean salad and a box full of fruit. Providing our children (veg*n or not) a variety of tasty, healthy foods as close to their natural state as possible will give them the opportunity to eat well.

Favorite veggie parenting websites: and

Favorite shopping website:

Favorite dessert: Cold cereal with agave nectar, soy beverage, raw almonds and raisins

Favorite restaurant: Café Gratitude in San Francisco. Also, a tofu burger at Ananda Fuara. I miss it, since it’s hard to drive to The City from the suburbs now with two children!

Favorite recipe:
I love 3 Bean Salad because it’s so colorful and super tasty — a hearty salad that has lots of good nutrients in it. When I make it, I don’t use a recipe — I just throw it all together and it always comes out yummy. Just leave out or minimize the onions if they don’t agree with you.

3 Bean Salad

Garbanzo beans
Kidney beans
Green beans (cooked and cut up into 2-inch segments)
Red onion (cut up into small pieces)
Rice vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

McLibel returns to SF

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

Just a heads-up that the McLibel film is returning to SF to play at the Red Vic Theatre in the Haight on 8/28-8/30. For those who missed it last month, it’s an inspiring true-life story of two activists who told the truth, and forced McDonald’s to tell the truth.

MCLIBEL is not just about hamburgers. It is about the importance of Freedom of Speech now that multinational corporations are more powerful than countries.

So, if you missed this film the first time it played on the big screen, or just want to see it again, think about inviting a few friends along from work, your neighbors, or your veggie friends here at BAVeg.

Last time I did just that, and about 17 or 18 of us met for an early 5 pm (!) dinner before the screening. If anyone is interested in organizing something similar, an easy restaurant choice would be Herbivore on Divisadero, which is less than a mile from the theatre.

Check out showtimes, etc. on the RedVic Theatre website

Ultimate Guide Reviews / Update

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

Just a quick FYI, there’s been upgrades to the BAV webserver that hosts the Ultimate Guide, which may have prevented recent reviews from being properly recorded.

If you have submitted something in the last few weeks, then please check and resubmit your review if neccessary.

Latest reviews can be found here.

Watch our next newsletter for some exciting new additions to the Ultimate Guide – the most comprehensive and current list of Veg Restaurants and Businesses in the Bay Area.


Bay Area Vegetarians

BAVeg Newsletter – July 2005

Saturday, July 2nd, 2005

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lauren Ornelas

Friday, July 1st, 2005

lauren Ornelas

If animals could speak English, they’d tell you about their wonderful friend and ting-crunching defender lauren Ornelas. Read the full story for yourself!

Name: lauren Ornelas

Profession: US Campaigns Director Viva!USA
City: Davis
Age: 35

Are you vegetarian or vegan, and for how long?

When i first stopped eating meat i was around 5 but was too young to stick with it. Friends remember me being veggie in 5th grade, but I think I finally stuck with it when I was 16. Then i went vegan in 1988 when I was in high school.

What motivated you to make this change?
I cared about animals. i didn’t know much about factory farming but i did know that animals had to die in order for me to eat them and that was enough for me. It was pretty simple.

What are you working on?
We are currently working to update our “Vegan Basics” guide as well as “Planet on a Plate,” a guide that deals with the environmental impacts of animal consumption on our planet.

We are also finishing up some investigations and working to keep pressure on Albertsons for selling factory-farmed duck meat and on Pier 1 Imports for selling duck feathers from factory farms.

We are still working to convince Ben & Jerry’s to carry a vegan ice cream as well.

How can others get involved?
Activists can contact Albertsons and Pier 1 Imports directly and ask them to stop supporting this cruel industry. They can get contact information for these companies on our website at:

We also encourage activists to contact us for free leaflets and posters, which they can use either as general outreach to friends and family or, better yet, to leaflet in front of the stores.

For the Ben & Jerry’s campaign, we ask people to contact Ben & Jerry’s (their information is also on our website).

For both of these campaigns, activists can also go directly to the stores and speak out as consumers.

We feel that every individual has the power to vote every day with his or her dollars–either in support of animal cruelty or against it.

Who/what inspires you to keep going?
The animals and young activists.

The animals are the big motivation, of course. Any type of injustice moves me to want to act and change things. Humans have victimized animals for a long time, but capitalism has pushed factory farming to extreme forms of cruelty that i am sure people from even 50 years ago couldn’t have even imagined.

Young activists give me hope because they care about animals and aren’t afraid to admit it–and they have the potential to change so many hearts and minds as they grow older.

What advice would you give to an aspiring vegan?
First of all, I would want them to remember to be proud for being compassionate. Being a vegan is about compassion and about using your lifestyle choices—what you buy and what you eat—to fight one of the worst forms of oppression.

Also, try Tings! Really, they are vegan Cheetos. What could be better? Aside from the amazing vegan junk food (okay and some of the healthy stuff), it is amazing to wake up every morning and know that with every meal you eat each day you are choosing not to participate in a factory-farming system that inflicts suffering and death on billions of animals. People think of veganism as losing option and I am always amazed at all that you gain.

Try new things. I am an incredibly picky eater, but over time i have eaten foods that i couldn’t have imagined i would ever try.

What advice would you give to an aspiring activist?
I would encourage them to continue the fight and not get discouraged. It’s important to work with other groups and activists and try not to get caught up in any personal drama. That’s hard to avoid sometimes, I know, but we have to keep our eyes on the prize of animal liberation.

With every action we take, we should be thinking about what we want the reaction to be.

Most of all, stay active! Every single thing we do, from requesting more vegan items at a restaurant (or thanking a restaurant for carrying some) to speaking out when stores sell products from cruel farms, makes a big difference.

Favorite saying: Hasta la victoria, siempre.

Favorite dessert: Popcorn or french fries

Favorite restaurant or recipe: Haha. Recipe? Haha. So funny! I don’t cook much, I’m afraid. My favorite food that someone else can make me? Pie with nutritional yeast gravy, broccoli & potatoes :)

Favorite website:

Anything else you want our readers to know:
It is very important that everyone use their voices to speak out against oppression–whether it’s on behalf of the hen who can barely open a wing in a battery cage or the farm workers who collapse from heat exhaustion picking our fruits and vegetables. We must remember that we need to speak out for those who have a voice but perhaps do not have the money or influence to make themselves heard. Every dollar we spend represents what we value.

How Much is Too Much?

Friday, July 1st, 2005

When it comes to email, it all depends! Check out this summary of how to best use BAVeg’s online resources to stay in touch and informed with BAVeg events & activities and the broader Bay Area vegetarian and animal rights community. With 5 different email lists, forum, and our website, pick and choose the style that works for you.

They are basically listed in order of volume of messages, starting with highest volume going to lowest volume.

“SFBAVEG” is our biggest and primary email list; it is a discussion list (members can post). It includes general Veg/Animal Rights Discussion, Reviews, Local News & Events, with an approximate volume of 200-350 messages/month.

“SFBAVEG-EVENTS” is an announcement only email list; the events from SFBAVEG are re-posted to this list, with an approximate volume of approx. 50 messages a month.

“COASTVEG” is a small email list for San Mateo coastside veggies. (Editor’s Note: We love it when there’s a Vegan Food Party that’s only minutes away! It’s not a coincidence that we picked Montara State Beach for the annual 4th of July picnic, or that camping trips happen on the coast.)

“BAV-NEWS” is the email list for our Monthly BAVeg Newsletter.

The above are all Yahoo Groups list, which offer individual emails (the default selection when you subscribe), daily digest (a single compilation of messages for a daily period) or, if you have a Yahoo ID, no-mail (read the messages in the web archive online).

The BAVeg newsletter is currently posted to each of the mailing lists.

BAVeg Forum

This is our discussion board where you can pick which topics you’d like to read or discuss. It’s easy to follow since discussions are threaded by topic. Additionally, you can select to receive email notifications of replies or new posts for specific topics you’re interested in.

McLibel Thanks from Cinema Libre Studio

Friday, July 1st, 2005

Because we believe in what Helen and Dave did (aka the “McLibel 2”) , when Rich Castro at the film distribution company, Cinema Libre Studio, asked us to work with them to get the word out about the McLibel film, we did. Bay Area Vegetarians organized a dinner, a McDonald’s demo, and anchored the opening nite Q&A session with author Erik Marcus.

Guess Rich really liked what we did – see the warm thank you note that he sent.

Here’s a few photos

And, of course, this is only possible due to your support and help, so thank you — we appreciate everyone’s support for these 3 events, and special thanks & acknowledgment to our clowns, Nora, Val, and Chris, for helping us make the demo successful.

McLibel Reviews:

Press Release for McDonald’s Protest

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