Monday, March 31, 2008

MeatOut(reach) in Houston

Spring is a time of year when everything gets a fresh start... flowers are in bloom, baby birds are chirping, streets are lined with garage sales galore, and many people are taking a close look a their diet (no doubt some are trying to get their bodies in "beach shape"). This is where Meatout comes in. Every spring, this grassroots campaign asks people to "kick the meat habit" and promotes a plant-based, cruelty-free diet. Events were held throughout the world, and here's a few things that happened in Houston!

First, for my personal activity, I made a batch of cupcakes (also to celebrate a friend's birthday) to bring into work. My colleagues got to enjoy the mucho margarita cupcakes from VCTOTW. I kept them on my desk in my office, and as people came in, they could read my meatout literature and paraphenalia as the scent of tequila-spiked frosting wafted through the air.
On Friday night, I joined other members of Society of PEACE for Food Not Bombs in downtown Houston to serve up free vegan food to the needy as another form of Meatout outreach. There was quite a large turnout, but we were prepared and easily had enough food to feed 100 people! I made baked ziti topped (just free-formed this part) with pine nut cream from V-con. Not the prettiest picture I know, but rest assured that what it lacks in visual appeal was more than compensated by its creamy goodness.
Our final outreach event for Meatout was tabling and leafleting to the downtown Houston lunch crowd just outside of city hall. SOP had a table set up with plenty of veggie literature, including vegan starter kits and information about Houston area events. Five of us took to the sidewalks and handed out leaflets to anyone who would take them (and surprisingly, many people did!). My favorite combination to hand out was a post card saying "Stop global warming one bite at a time" and the Vegan Outreach leaflet entitled "Even If You Like Meat" My opening line? "Would you like some information about the connection between global warming and your diet?" Since global warming is a hot topic right now, I figured this was a good way to draw them in, and hopefully they would see how cruel and unneccessary the animal industry is as well. Many people did a double take and asked how global warming and your diet are connected. Sadly, I think this is a connection that many people still fail to make. At least now a few more Houstonians are aware!
And I couldn't let this opportunity for more baking go by, so for the volunteers, I made whoopie pies with pink frosting (recipe from My Sweet Vegan). I thought these came together nicely, the cakey cookie wasn't too sweet, letting the sugary frosting really shine through! Almost like a vegan dessert hamburger of sorts, or at least that was my thought process in connecting them to meatout!

I will be trying desperately the next few days to catch up with blogs! I was out of town this weekend (in Seattle, more on that trip soon) and came home to almost 300 blog entries to read! I hope everyone is enjoying the start of spring, or if it doesn't quite feel like spring where you are, you at least got to enjoy Meatout 2008!<

26 comments:

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I want to be the kind of person who brings vegan cupcakes to work!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Good for your for participating in the Meatout!!

Also, did you like the Mucho Margarita cupcakes? I keep looking at those, but am just not sure... I don't keep tequila on-hand, so I'm wondering if it's worth it to go buy a small bottle! They look fabulous!

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

You are so awesome for doing all this outreach work. You really exemplify the values you believe in. I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who live their conscience and values everyday. You don't just say it, you live it - you should be proud every morning you get up.

You are making me want to try to figure out how to start some sort of vegan outreach group here in Columbia. There may already be one - I wouldn't know how to find it or start one though!

I seem to have started to follow a few Texas vegan blogs without meaning too. Next time I go visit my family in Houston, I'll know who to ask where the food is!

Hannah said...

What an awesome event, it's really great to see people out there making a difference! And with food that looks so good, I don't know how anyone could resist.

Billy said...

How was your trip to Seattle? Did you enjoy Vegfest?

jenna said...

oh wow! Sounds absolutely amazing without a doubt. I would love one of those chocolate cookie/pink icing concoctions right now! I have that cookbook so I might need to start cranking stuff out now that I can see how great it looks!!! I am so excited to start baking from vegan cupcakes take over the world this week on my spring break! I haven't decided which ones to make first but the boy confessed he loves carrot cake so I might have to give those a try! yum! and your pasta from vcon looks great of course!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

yr awesome for doing all this! i know you made an impact.
yr cupakes are beautiful and i can sooo smell them from here!

Carmen said...

The candies on the cupcake look so pretty! I've never seen transparent ones like those before~

And wow~count me in as one of those who didn't realize the impact my diet has on the environment! Guess you learn something new everyday XD It's such an awesome thing that you're doing though!

vegan addict said...

way to make a difference! you rock. and all the tasty treats too?! wow. you must have more than 24 hours in your day!

Animal-Friendly said...

Wow- congrats on doing such a great job raising awareness for veganism and environmental issues. Of course, all of the food looks delicious as well! I'm sure Houston is not one of the easiest places in the country to educate about cutting out meat, but I bet all of the volunteers really helped!

VeggieGirl said...

What a great event - and what delicious treats!! I love your twist on the whoopie pies :0)

You KNOW how many blogs that I follow too; and I can't keep up!! School-work is so heavy right now, that I seem to ALWAYS be studying!! ahh!! Please know that I still love your blog, Amanda, and that I can't apologize enough for lack of comments!!

bazu said...

Happy April! Maybe it's the influence of your post and all its springyness, but today's the first day we've turned off the heater- yay!

I'm admiring all your activism- what an inspiration!

the little one said...

Go you and your fabulousness! I love those margarita cupcakes, but mine definitely didn't look that good. I'll have to work on that.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Mmmm I want a whoopee pie with pink filling!!! I don't think I've ever had a whoopee pie.

Oh yeah, and my mom found the plastic carrot "eggs" at the dollar store lol.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

I just made my first batch of vegan cupcakes from VCTOTW yesterday, and they came out so good! I can't wait to make (and eat) more!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Wow! So what about Seattle? Tell me about that? Were you there for VegFest?

Cakespy said...

Ah, whoopie pies. I want to change their name to Sweetburgers!

Liz² said...

haha, sweetburgers, that would be awesome! But yeah, the hot pink icing and everything, yum!

I can't believe some people haven't connected global warming with their diet... it's great that you're doing so much to change that.

Binx said...

Wow-- that whoopie pie looks incredible.

Kudos to you for taking part- and it souns like had fun!

meg said...

Everyone you know is so lucky--it seems like you always have amazing snacks to hand out!

Happy Herbivore! said...

you RULE! (& can I have that cupcake?)

textual bulldog said...

Yay for you! Those Mucho Margs are some of my fav cuppers ever, and how cool that you did so much great activism. When I lived in Berkeley we used to have a cookout for Meat Out. So, we'd bring a grill to our table and give away free hotdogs and burgers to students along with our literature. It was awesome, and really effective, I think. Nothing converts like scrummy vegan food!

shellyfish said...

What a great event! I am a firm believer in using delicious vegan treats as propaganda - I often tote cupcakes to friends & work buddies as edible thank yous, and they are often amazed that they are vegan!
And your cupcake is just so beautiful!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Hooray activism! You're awesome & so are all those treats! I love that pine nut cream.

LizzyQ ~ Vegan Mother said...

I was just thinking about making a baked ziti with that pine nut cream on top.. you beat me to it! I hope it's good, I will be trying it soon...