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Mi Patio Cafe: Serving Animal Products to Unaware Vegan Families Isn’t Ethical

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I’m quite upset to learn that food truck vendor Mi Patio Cafe & Grill sold animal flesh and animal dairy byproducts on nearly every food option on their menu at Vegandale Food & Drink Festival, where all food and beverages were intended to be fully vegan. Customers were livid and felt betrayed (by a local business nonetheless).

Hearing this news brought up a memory from my own experience at Vegandale. I helped at a New York City-based vendor table called Monk’s Meats for a few hours, assisting in sandwich prep. One customer glanced at the sandwich handed to him, then looked back at its server. “Is this meat?” he asked suspiciously. “Ah, no…” he received in reply. Overhearing this exchange, I thought to myself, Wow, how ridiculous! Let’s not be *that* kinda vegan… I mean, this is a vegan festival! Looks like this man had the right idea to question after all. (For the record, Monk’s Meats is a 100% plant-based business).

 

Vegandale was promoted as ‘100% vegan… Where you don’t have to worry about ingredients,’ and this reassurance was given in the website FAQ as well. We paid $10-$20 per ticket to enjoy a fully vegan community event with promise to uphold a certain standard of ethics.

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What Vegans Said About Circumcision

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I know some of you roll your eyes when I say “Circumcision isn’t vegan.” But hear me out.

On a recent weekend, I represented Intact Vegan Network at Texas Vegan MayFest, a spring festival hosted by Rowdy Girl Sanctuary. If you haven’t heard of it already, it’s a vegan-owned and operated farm animal sanctuary in the heart of Texas cattle country. In fact, one of the owners used to be a cattle rancher himself before turning vegan.

“Intact Vegan Network is here to talk about… why it isn’t a good thing to cut off your baby’s foreskin,” announced Rowdy Girl Sanctuary founder Renee King-Sonnen during vendor introductions.

Cue me in the back behind my table, waving.

If bodybuilding, skincare, and musical artists can have a presence at vegan events, and we accept that it just makes sense, it can make sense for a circumcision education table to be there too.

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Changing Diapers & Changing Minds (About Circumcision)

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Cuteness overload “Born Perfect” cloth diaper found here.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change happened this weekend and I spent it educating about circumcision, a surgery that many American baby boys undergo in their early diapering days. I represented Intact Houston at Wellspring Midwifery Care & Birth Center‘s GCDC event, at which attendees attempted to set a new record for the number of babies changed into a cloth diaper simultaneously across the globe.

First, if you’ve ever wondered about how to cloth diaper a baby after circumcision, please read this.

Now I’d like to share some of the interactions we had throughout the day.

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Conversations & More: Genital Integrity Awareness Week

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I just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. for Genital Integrity Awareness Week, which was March 28th-April 3rd. A week full of seed-planting, countless conversations with principled conclusions, minds changed, futures salvaged… This is my kind of activism!

The mission as stated on the web site is to raise public awareness of:

  1. the basic human right to genital autonomy for all individuals, regardless of sex
  2. the damage inflicted by forced genital cutting, of boys, girls and intersex persons
  3. foreskin restoration options for those impacted by forced genital cutting
  4. research based information on intact subjects to a large body of individuals in Washington D.C. – students, educators, tourists, lawmakers, politicians – who take this information home with them to their own circles of influence
  5. the need for congress and lawmakers to grant boys and intersex minors equal rights under law with protection from forced genital cutting

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Limited Time: Crunchy Wear Discount!

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So I’ve had this blog running since fall of 2014. My oldest child had just turned two, and I really wanted to share our experiences and what we’d learned about breastfeeding and this parenting thing (so far!).

If you’re a regular reader you may have noticed my blog posting frequency has slowed down in recent months. There are a few reasons for this.

First, life has gotten terrifically busy with the addition of another child and two rescued companion animals.

Second, I hope to work on other projects soon to get me closer to my goal of publishing a novel.

Third, I am still undecided about whether to continue blogging (and maintaining associated social media feeds) in the midst of the aforementioned First and Second. I’ve never been paid to blog. I’ve shared my writing entirely for free and, in fact, have been PAYING to do so because I’m so passionate about it. However, I’ve come to a point where I can no longer afford to keep renewing my domain and paying to maintain this site.

So, here’s the thing. If you have enjoyed my posts thus far and want to see more fresh content, OR even just to ensure the site remains accessible as is, please consider helping out.

It costs $208 per year to keep this site as you see it. As I mentioned, I’ve never made money from ads, affiliates, or fundraising to cover this annual expense.

Now I’m finally asking for a little help to meet that goal! And you get something rad in your mailbox, too.

Here’s what you do:

CrunchyWear is giving a discount for the launch of their awesome crunchy themed gear! Mama’s Milk, No Chaser followers can use the discount code for 10% off orders over $30, AND 10% of profit will be given toward MMNC to help cover costs to keep the site running.

It’s EASY and you get some cool new advocacy threads!

  1. Visit CrunchyWear.com!
  2. Shop your style! ~ Breastfeeding ~ Genital Autonomy ~ Positivi-Tees ~ Veganism ~ Vaccine Awareness ~ Woke Wear ~
  3. Use discount code MMNC10 at checkout!

BOOM done! Offer ends 3/31 so don’t dilly dally if you see something you like!

THANK YOU for your support. ❤ It has been quite an exciting and moving journey over the past 3.5 years and I hope we can keep it up!

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Breastfeeding Concerns During a Natural Disaster: Babies Still Need To Eat

 

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Via Associated Press

As I write this*, I’m taking note of the tornado warnings that have made my phone beep seemingly every hour for the past few days. The sound of rain pelting the windows. Bayous and reservoirs cresting over. I’m watching friends’ and neighbors’ homes flood in real time. Reading about pleas for rescue as families seek refuge from rising water in their attics and on their roofs. You could say things are out of control.

Amid all of this, babies still need to eat. Newborn babies who took their first breath at a Houston area birth center after tropical storm Harvey made landfall. Older babies who nurse around the clock or drink expressed or powdered milk or formula supplements.

The stores are closed and roads are crumbling or underwater. Formula is now largely inaccessible. But babies still need to eat.

Pumping moms need to continue pumping to avoid mastitis, supply issues, and maintain production. What about when the power goes out? Or when the house floods and the circuit board must be shut off? Hopefully they have a manual pump or have been taught how to hand express… because babies still need to eat.

New mothers, welcomed into motherhood with all the terrific drama Mother Nature herself could muster: I hope you have a (relatively) easy time getting started. The well-trained eye of a lactation consultant in your home, personally assessing latch and other tricky spots, cannot compare to scouring the internet for emergency breastfeeding help in the early days. But no one is risking travel across town for ‘work’ in a deluge. A lucky mother has her phone fully charged and ready to go with breastfeeding apps right now because, of course, babies still need to eat.

*(Flood waters have since receded from my neighborhood and we’re doing fine now. However, eleven million people in the southeast counties of Texas are still trying to get a grip on the continued consequences of this historic flooding). Continue reading

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Don’t Wait To Take a Stand For Genital Autonomy

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A white truck slowed as it rolled by. The same driver swung back around three more times, honking with each pass. This was no coincidence or deja vu.

One of us carried an oversized white posterboard with the words “Honk if you ❤ foreskin” drawn across both sides.

The other eight of us fulfilled some task related to our cause — hoisting other signs, hauling info cards and materials to distribute, capturing the proceedings on camera, or merely accompanying for purpose of solidarity or, in the case of one individual, by chance meeting. Continue reading