1. Print the front page (.PDF)
2. Print the back page (.PDF) on the back!
3. Trim excess white space
4. Fold page in 8ths, when folded like "hamburger" cut along dotted line
5. Fold into "hot dog," pull middle out so that page is in the shape of an "x"
6. Identify front cover and fold appropriately
7. Explore vegan Grand Rapids
Here at G-RAD, we are passionate about bringing Grand Rapidians together around
the best possibilities for living and working together in productive, positive,
transformative community. G-RAD blogs reflect a broad spectrum of personal and
public interests from enlivening civic engagement to reinvigorating the local
arts scene; with such a wide variety of passions explored on G-RAD it was
difficult to select a single passion from among the many promising
We elected to focus on the themes of veganism and compassionate living for a
number of reasons. First, ExtraVEGANza is the most active blog on G-RAD.
Second, it has consistently generated more interest and prompted more action
among a wide spectrum of G-RADders (vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike)
than any other blog on the site. Third, and most importantly, though veganism
may appear at first glance to be a single, "special interest" issue, the fact
of the matter is that, as you'll see below, compassionate living encompasses
many of the other passions that animate G-RAD blogs: the connection between
food and fellowship, the challenge of building more ecologically sustainable
communities, and the importance of social activism.
Indeed, regardless of our individual eating preferences (which vary widely),
the general themes of veganism and compassionate living have rallied G-RAD
bloggers around common interests, while at the same time reinforcing our own
individual passions, including social justice, the arts, fashion, DIY projects,
cooking, and, of course, our shared love for Grand Rapids. The local vegan
movement has also inspired vegan trials among committed omnivores (including a
few Team G-RAD members!), prompted experimentation with recipes, and led to a
number of community events like potlucks and cook-offs.
We decided to share our collective passion for the task of building
flourishing community in Grand Rapids by creating Grand Rapids Vegan (GRV)*a
website (surprisingly) about being vegan in Grand Rapids. The site highlights
reasons to consider a vegan lifestyle, and then lists steps anyone can take to
establish a vegan kitchen, household, and community. GRV * a work in progress
* also features a printable pocket guide and links to various resources. We
are so excited about this website that we have decided to maintain it as a
community resource after Ultimate Blogger 3!
SEVEN REASONS TO GO VEGAN
1. Compassion For Animals
Animals used for food, clothing, and commercial research feel pain and
experience psychological trauma. The conditions under which they are raised
subject them to merciless suffering and untimely, painful deaths.
2. Responsible Stewardship of the Environment
Meat production yields more greenhouse gases than transportation, and animal
and chemical waste runoff causes air and water pollution.
3. Solidarity With the Disenfranchised
Factory farms and slaughterhouses are dangerous and degrading places to work:
they are filthy, foul smelling, and horrifically violent. These operations
often prey on illegal aliens and other disenfranchised persons who have limited
4. Solidarity With the Global Poor
International companies exploit land and deplete precious natural resources in
developing countries in order to grow grain to feed animals that only the
world's affluent, urban populations can afford to eat.
5. Solidarity With Our Rural Neighbors
Industrial agriculture puts small family farmers out of business or into
servitude to large corporations. Land that could support the growth of hundreds
of species of fertility-enriching plants is now used to grow just two species
of fertility-depleting GMO corn and soybeans to feed factory farmed animals.
Factory farms pollute the air, water, and soil of rural communities.
6. Better Personal Health
Evidence suggests that eating animal products is a direct cause of “diseases of affluence”— heart disease, diabetes, obesity, breast and intestinal cancers, Alzheimer’s. Studies also show that a whole foods, plant based diet not only reduces one’s risk of getting these illnesses, but can mitigate and even reverse them when they’ve already taken hold.
7. More Responsible Stewardship of Public Resources
Personal health crises lead to public health crises. In the United States, we
spend billions of dollars a year on medication and invasive surgical procedures
to treat diseases that more responsible eating habits could prevent.
Making the decision to switch to a vegan diet is not easy. It can be a difficult transition, and we know that certain animal-based products are VERY hard to give up. It's a really good idea to just take things one at time. For example, try removing milk from your diet and trying that out for a while. Once you think you are OK with that, try removing cheese, and then gelatin, and so on and so on. It's a huge undertaking, so set your own case and make it comfortable for you! Try making all your favorite foods, but make them vegan!
Don't feel bad about breaking your veganism (if you do)! People slip up. It happens. But, at least you tried, and the time that you spent not eating animals and their byproducts means more than not trying at all! Besides, you can always try, try again.
It's important to keep in mind the role of eating local when making any eating decisions. Many argue that this is in fact more important than outright veganism, and ofen they can make a pretty good case. Supporting local, family-owned farms not only helps support your local neighborhood economies it also saves you from succombing to the moral ogorism of large corporate structures. The Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council has published a 2006–2007 Local Food Guide to help you out!
One of the biggest challenges of adopting a more compassionate lifestyle is
that readjusting our consumer attitudes so that instead of just rushing for the
cheapest, most convenient products in the store, we stop and ask ourselves:
*what are the hidden costs of this product for human beings, animals and
the environment?* A tightly-knit community of like-minded people is
absolutely essential to this transition, since it is impossible to reboot our
common sense without the support of comrades in arms who are committed to
keeping us on task. One of the best ways to cultivate community and bring new
people into an awareness of the cause is to host dinners and potlucks at which
friends and newcomers can taste how delicious compassionate cuisine can be. The
idea that vegetarians and vegans eat nothing but steamed cauliflower is one of
the biggest hurdles to the widespread popularity of compassionate eating, so we
need to band together and deconstruct this stereotype by exposing friends and
family to mind-blowing food that is delicious, nutritious, and cost effective. Here in Grand Rapids we hold regular Bar-V-Ques, vegan pancake brunches and chili cookoffs at our community studio NEST.
For tips on how to make fantastic, compassionate, affordable,
community-building cuisine, check out chooseveg.com, visit extraVEGANza!, or
peruse some of the cookbooks and websites listed on the FAQ sheet.
Dollar General (NECA)
Next to the Family Fare at Leonard and Fuller!
Fulton Street Farmer's Market (Midtown)
NW Corner of Fulton and Fuller!
The essential source for locally grown produce, baked goods, and beauty supplies. Held Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from May to December. 8am - 4pm
This Indian-American owned and operated dollar store features Indian Spices and currys, vegan nan and samosas, and organic produce. Proprieters are also known to impart key cooking tips to favorite customers
Though it may be all the way out on 28th street, it's worth the trip to check out a family-owned Mexican restaurant with some great, and very cheap
vegetarian and vegan options. Not to mention the classic free chips and salsa! Order up a side of rice and beans (both of which are vegan: no
broth, no lard), a side of tomato and lettuce, and 6 corn tortillas and as many vegan tacos as you can manage!
Be sure to call ahead and let Chef Pat know that you are coming in so that he can whip you up a special off-menu vegan item. This is a very fancy downtown restaurant, perfect for the prom a finally asking your potential life partner to permenently cohabitate. Molto buon!
Order with impunity! All vegan here! This place will make you a believer in Haillie Sellaisse. If you've never had Ethiopian food before, there's no good way to describe it. Just be ready do get your hands messy and your stomach full.
Good luck getting a table. The entire city has a crush on this place-and with good reason! Lots of local and sustainable fair, vegan items are clearly marked on the menu. All sandwiches can be made with tofu, plenty of vegan soups, Mediterranean treats, and killer salads and things, deli counter-style. Go for breakfast, vegan stuffed french toast with peanut butter and bananas? Yes, please. Not to mention the killer vegan deserts and tuesday night vegan specials. Closed Sundays.
This bakery has a wide variety of vegan and non-vegan treats, but is most notable for its gourmet specialty pizza! WARNING: all of the pizza sauces at this joint incude parmesan... BUT, try out this sauceless hit at your next pizza party:
olive oil, spinach, garlic, basil, artichoke hearts, and pine nuts!
You know you're in a real-deal Mediterranean pita place when there's a mini-mart that sells gallon jugs of olive oil and phone cards boasting low rates for
calls to Yemen. Make no mistake, there are giant spits of meat
slow-cooking in the back, but there are still some great vegan options.
Go for the felafel sandwich with hummous, fatoosh salad, lentil soup, and french fries, yum!
Soc Trang (Division/44th - in the Golden Bridge Plaza)
No doubt the best vegetarian vermicelli in town! And at $7.00 a bowl for an absolutely gigantic bowl of Vietnamese noodles, an affordable vegan delight!
Wealthy Bakery (Madison Area)
610 Wealthy SE 49503br>
All breads at this wonderful neighborhood bakery are vegan, and as an added bonus the tuesday and thursday specials include delicious vegan cookies! Also, check out the veggie hummous sandwich, it's KILLER!
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Extraveganza contributors, particularly Splinters, The Vegucator, Noodles and Moles. Also Karen H, Matt Poole, PJB, Karis, the whole G-RAD community and all of the establisments and institutions listed above.