In the Land of Soy Milk and Agave Nectar

Sunny San Diego proved to be a goldmine for vegan eating. Not that I was surprised because Californians are stereotypically big fans of tofu and sprouts, so it was perfect for me. The first night we ate at Baja Fresh, which is a great little fast food Mexican place that puts Taco Bell to shame. They were so great to me there. I got my beans and rice with some guacamole. (I had to assume that the guac didn’t have any sour cream in it…that is a standard assumption I will be making unless otherwise noted). It was delicious and fresh and wonderful!

We also went to a great place called Pei Wei. (Pay Way) This is like a stir fry with rice or noodles place and it was awesome. First of all they had brown rice, which made me super happy, but in lieu of meat you could choose the tofu and veggies. It was so delicious that we went there twice. So so so so good.

I did have my sushi. I actually felt really guilty about it, so I’m not sure if I will just let go of the guilt or let go of my precious raw fish.

The best part of the week, other than seeing my friends David, George and Janie, was Jimbos. The best way to describe Jimbos is “Heaven on Earth”. Jimbos is a full service grocery store that caters to those who wish to eat organically. NOTHING in their store has refined white sugar and the majority of their items are vegetarian or vegan. This place was amazing. I felt like a kid in a guilt-free candy store because almost everything I picked up was appropriate for me. If I ever move to San Diego, as I’ve dreamed about for years, I have to be within short drive or walking distance from Jimbos. Best place ever. And the best thing ever is their deli. They make made-to-order sandwiches and I had the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Vegan or non vegan. It was called the Lone Star sandwich and it was marinated tofu (marinated to be a sweet/spicy flavor) with avacado, sprouts, Bac-un, tomato and pickle. FANFREAKINGTASTIC! My friend Linda was with me and she ordered a turkey sandwich and said it was the best turkey she’d ever had. We both went there to pick up a sandwich to take on the plane the next day, and we also won over another guy that was at our meeting.

Lastly, I want to mention that I watched the documentary I AM ANIMAL. It is the story of Ingrid Newkirk, the cofounder of Peta. It was very well done and showed several sides to the woman as well as the cause, and I liked that it wasn’t skewed to indicate that she was a perfect woman. Once again, there were scenes of the treatment in meat packing facilities and it was unbelieveable. I was sobbing and it was only like a 2 minute montage clip. Stupid people molesting a chicken with their finger because it is funny. A cow that hadn’t been killed by a machine literally had its skin taken off while it was still alive. Here’s the thing: I don’t think that Peta is saying “don’t eat meat”. They’re saying “stop torturing defenseless animals for food-there is a humane way to kill” and there is. It was just terrible and I encourage people to learn about and read about (not from some crazy peta movie or anything else) about the treatment of animals in these facilities. The answer isn’t to stop eating meat-the answer is to campaign and write to Congressmen, the facilities, etc., and explain that you don’t appreicate this treatment of the animal and will not be purchasing their brand unless they raise their standards. It is heartbreaking though because as much as we joke about Chinese food sometimes, we’d never think of eating a cat…so why does turkey, beef, and pork pop into our minds as appropriate food? Enough preaching, I’m sorry. I’m still a raw fish eater so I can’t talk, but I just find it so terrible the way they are treated and something needs to change. Yeah, they’ll feel pain but they need not be treated like “pieces of meat” when they deserve respect too.

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