Bill the Bull, Another Reason to be Vegan

Today I was on the road with my sister and her young daughter, when we saw a rather disturbing thing.

Bill the Bull

This is what is left of Bill the Bull.

The folks attempting to sell Bill’s head mentioned that he made great steaks. Then they told the story of how he was a pet, then his head hung in their house, and for several years he was in storage. They decided that they did not want him anymore.

My 9 year old niece thought it was horrible that they cut off his head, and that they made steaks out of him. So I asked, “What is the difference between the steaks made from Bill and the hamburger that you had last night?” A good discussion occurred regarding the use of animals for food.

The following is a list of my current favorite vegan books, websites, and blogs.

I was a vegetarian for years before I found Dr. McDougall’s books.

Books authored by Dr. McDougall and Mary McDougall–

The McDougall Plan

The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Low-Fat Recipes You Can Prepare in Fifteen Minutes or Less

Dr. McDougall’s Website

I was in a bookstore looking through the vegan section one day and found Tanya and Sarah’s first book, How It All Vegan . I must admit the title cracked me up. When I travel I always carry my copy of Vegan a Go-Go with a few additional favorite recipes.

Books authored by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer–

How It All Vegan!

The Garden of Vegan

I gave a copy of La Dolce Vegan to several family members and friends.

Books authored by Sarah Kramer–

La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin’ Made Easy

Vegan a Go-Go!: A Cookbook & Survival Manual for Vegans on the Road

Sarah Kramer’s Website

I ran across Jennifer’s blog, liked her recipes so much that I ordered a copy of Vegan Lunch Box for my sister who has kids, and a copy for myself. Everyone loves Jennifer’s Triple Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

Jennifer McCann’s first book–

Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!

Jennifer McCann’s Blog

But is it art?

Holey Tree

This is a tree in the backyard of where I am staying in South Carolina. When I first saw the tree I thought the depth and regularity of the holes were made by a person. And if they were made by a person, does that make it art?

Holey Tree Detail

The holes were made by a woodpecker.

I think the surface is beautiful. It brought to mind images of coins inserted into the bark of wishing trees and the story of pigs teeth inserted in a tree in the film Howards End.

The Stress of Travel

I dislike travel. I like to visit people and see sites different from where I live. It is the getting there that I dislike, especially when the getting there requires flying commercial.

I hate strangers touching my personal stuff. It totally creeps me out. They wear gloves, but where have those gloved hands been??? And why is it that every single time my checked bag is searched?

One TSA fellow told me that the books that filled my bag looked dense and similar to explosives. I stopped buying and packing books in my bag. Nothing changed, my bag was still searched.

When I travelled through Columbus, Ohio last year I had my first experience with x-ray. And of course to remove my shoes and to take my laptop out of my bag.

Here’s the thing–shortly out of grad school I taught art sessions at Atascadero State Hospital, a maximum security facility. We were put through safety training and at the end a board of confiscated weapons was brought out for a look. The idea was to show us that a patient could make a weapon out of nearly nothing.

Do I feel safe because everyone is required to take off their shoes when I know a pencil or a toothbrush in the wrong hands can cause great damage?