Boston Veggie

Final blog assignment
December 2, 2009, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Personal

As you may know, I started this blog for my Online Journalism Class. It is hard to believe that it’s already over, but as the semester is coming to an end, so is my blog. As my final assignment, I am going to write about my experience blogging. This one is for you, Professor!

I liked blogging for the most part, but disliked it at times. I am fortunate enough to have a great topic to write about, aka veganism. I’m really passionate about this topic so it was fun for me to try out recipes and do research on it. Also, I liked having an outlet for my personal issues with veganism. The first long posts were almost therapeutic for me being able to write about my personal experience “Coming Out” as a vegan and explaining why I became vegan in the first place. There are only a few people who I was able to tell the whole long story to, so I’m sure my first post probably helped some people understand my decision better than if I had told them verbally myself. I didn’t realize that a few of my family members started reading my blog and talked to me at Thanksgiving, explaining that they never meant to make me feel bad about being vegan (Thanks Meg). Unfortunately my mother was not one of them, but I haven’t decided whether I’d like her to read my blog or not anyway. It’d be a very passive aggressive way to show her how her passive aggressive comments make me feel, but it almost isn’t worth it to start a conflict.

But I didn’t like the “pressure” to blog. We had to try to blog 4-5 times a week, which lessened the quality of my posts significantly. My first few posts were really long, taking hours to write, and full of quality writing (if I do say so myself). But as the pressure to reach a certain number of posts loomed, the quality of my writing deterioriated, and I found myself regurgitating news articles left and right to try to meet my quota. If I wrote a blog for fun, I’d put more thought and personality into them. Maybe I wouldn’t have 5 posts a week, but they would be much more self-fulfilling than what many of my posts were forced to be. But hey, this isn’t a self-fulling blog, it is for a grade, so you do what you have to do!

The recipe posts always worked well, and I wish I had had more time to cook this semester or else there’d be more recipe posts. I didn’t think “soy latte from Starbucks while hunched over papers and exams” would be a valid recipe post. I had so many recipes in my mind to post, but I just never got around to doing it. That was unfortunate. What didn’t really work was my podcast. It is strange to have to record yourself speaking and post it on the internet for all to hear. And in my podcast, I covered four or five topics I could have blogged about (aka 4-5 more posts for the ever present 4-5 post minimum), and I know that almost no one listened to it. People read blogs at work, or in class, but usually not at home in their free time. So I feel like for my blog in particular, the podcast fell on deaf ears. I know most of my “readers” (aka my only reader, Hi Allison!) didn’t listen to the podcast because you can’t listen to a podcast while you’re pretending to do work on co-op. But it was a good learning experience if I ever do want to do a podcast in my future journalistic endeavors.

I will not continue my blog after this course, but mostly because I am going to Prague next semester and will not be able to maintain a vegan lifestyle. Perhaps I’ll throw up a post or two about what it’s like to be vegan abroad, and how accessible or inaccessible it proves to be, but we’ll see. While I’m galavanting around Europe, I’m not sure this blog will be my top priority.

I definitely feel comfortable writing in my own voice, probably most comfortable writing in my own voice. That is one thing I’ve always hated about journalistic writing, how dry and “objective” most of it is, so I have enjoyed the ability to write what and how I want. For example, just being able to use the word I is SO refreshing. I feel like the more journalism progresses the more “I” will be allowed in articles. Even now, I find more articles writing the way I like to, more personable, more friendly, more casual. Not every article needs to sound like the Wall Street Journal, sometimes you just gotta say I or spell out the word gotta or say “ain’t”. Obviously I know proper English grammar, but writing words like “gotta” or “aint” are deliberate writing choices, whether it be to convey sarcasm or for comedy or whatever else.

That’s why I feel like blogging definitely has a valid place in journalism. Even now, you go to or NYT online and many of their columnists have blogs! I read the Mommy blog on and I’m not even close to reproducing, but I just think it’s candid and fun to read. And obviously more people than just me feel that way. The more journalism switches from print to online, the more social media explodes, the more acceptable blogging and casual writing will be. For example, of course there are very journalismy articles about the inauguration of Barack Obama. But I’d rather read a first hand account from a journalist who was there, how they felt, what the mood was like in Washington D.C. Or if a journalist is captured in Iran or Afghanistan and they are released, I look forward to their first hand accounts. How can you delete the word “I” from an article like that? If anything “I” should be the main subject.

Overall, I loved to blog. I loved the ability to write how I felt and how I love to write. I liked writing about veganism so pe0ple who know me and bothered to read my blog would better understand my decision and the food I eat. I loved researching my topic, and I feel more connected to veganism than ever through all the articles I’ve read. In fact, it will be very difficult to eat meat, even while abroad, after knowing all the things I already knew before and all the new things I learned while writing this blog. The only downer was the constant pressure to blog, which even now I don’t know if I’ve met my quota. But let me tell you, I really really tried.


Meatless Mondays
December 2, 2009, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Vegan tips

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has launched a campaign called Meatless Mondays, to “help reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

According to their website, “Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.”

You can argue with me, but you certainly can’t argue with the experts. Try a Meatless Monday yourself, not because I told you to, but because one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country is telling you to. Read all about Mealtess Mondays here.

GMA does segment on what’s in ground beef
December 2, 2009, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Veg News

At the beginning of November, I talked about the E. Coli outbreak that killed a New Hampshire man and left many others sick. In response, Good Morning America probed the meat industry to find out the truth about ground meat. What they found, was not good. Here are a few quotes from the segment:

70,000 people get sick from E. Coli every year

Ground beef is the leading cause of E. Coli poisonings

Consumers don’t realize what goes into a single hamburger. Most people have a fantasy that it still comes from a single cow.

In GMA’s independent study, there were a minimum of four cows per patty and a maximum of eight… it is those multiple sources that can make your food vulnerable to contamination because just one animal could contaminate the rest.

You just can never be too sure what is going into the meat you eat. There are no FDA guidelines that force companies to test their meat after it has been produced, only that the meat must be “safe.” While many companies do opt to test their meat, not all do. To me, it just ain’t worth the risk! Watch the segment here.

A few food network vegan recipes
December 2, 2009, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Recipes

I love the food network. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s like porn when you’re hungry. But if you go to, and search the word vegan, nothing good will come up. There are a few things I’d be willing to try, but obviously there is not the hoards of amazing meals anyone eating anything else can find. Also, none of the recipes come from their big stars like Paula (Ms. 6 sticks o’butta), Giada (extra parmsean please), or Bobby Flay (who is most known for his barbecuing skills).

But, there are PLENTY of vegan recipes on, if you know how to find them. Here are a few of my favorite “can be made vegan” recipes from The Food Network:

Giada’s Greek Caponata

Neeley’s Roasted Broccoli with Cherry Tomatoes

Bobby Flay’s Grilled Japanese Eggplant

Tyler Florence’s Baked Apples

Neeley’s Grilled Pineapple and Onion Salad

Giada’s Spinach Pesto

Mario Batali’s Risotto with Asparagus and Fennel

Not to say that there aren’t more. Searching vegetarian yields more results than vegan, and most of those can be made vegan. These are just recipes that I have tried and enjoyed. The Food Network is actually quite Veggie friendly, whether it likes it or not!

If a vegan comes to dinner
December 2, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Vegan tips

I cannot even imagine or hope to write an article better than the one I read here about omnivores having vegans over for dinner. It is really refreshing to see an omnivore who understands the vegan’s plight in omniverous situations. There are always people making jokes about how we eat (which, if you ever took Manners 101 you know you should never comment on something someone else is eating), frequently a misunderstanding about what we eat (many don’t know what exactly being vegeterian or vegan is and therefore mistakenly include dairy, eggs, or even chicken stock in recipes) and if there is a dish on the table that is vegan, most other diners will not even go near that entree.

The author writes:

“Here’s a clue: the vegans or vegetarians coming to your house for Thanksgiving aren’t expecting much; they’ve been burned too many times before.

This is what awaits them: the carving of a dead bird in their presence; side dishes mistakenly made with chicken broth or dairy products, which they can’t eat; and jokes about their diet.”

She continues:

“If you do serve vegan dishes or use meat substitutes, don’t inform everyone at the table because the meat eaters will likely turn up their noses… Share the information with the vegans or vegetarians but what the rest don’t know won’t hurt them.”

Read more of her suggestions on having a Veggie over for dinner here.

Leona Lewis and Stella McCartney to design a vegan clothing line!
December 2, 2009, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Veg News

Leona Lewis is in talks with Stella McCartney to design a vegan clothing line. Read about it here.