5 New Year’s Resolutions for 2011

independence-day-2009-fireworks-in-dallas It’s nearing the end of the year, which can only mean one thing – time for year-end lists! It’s sorta like “Black Friday” for most media outlets – all those weeks where your prized Where are they now: The cast of “Small Wonder” series went unnoticed will be wiped away with the millions of readers for your single, solitary, ultimate list to end all lists. And what better way to make the year than to combine said ultimate list with the second most popular year-end, reader-froth-inducing topic – New Year’s Resolutions?

But here at Dallas Vegan, our list (of course) is an altruistic task not taken on lightly. As such, we’ve enlisted the finest of vegan minds in the DFW area to help you with resolution ideas for the New Year…

Savanna Batten, President
Animal Connection of Texas (ACT)

Interested in activism? This New Year I suggest that you resolve to be more active against an area of animal abuse that you find to be important to you. If you find farm animals to be your area of expertise for example, or laboratory animals, circus animals, puppy mill dogs (ETC), resolve to join your local activists to be a voice for them when the opportunity presents itself. Educating the public by protesting or even leafleting with your friends can save the lives of so many animals.

ACT helps to stage many events during the year including Fur Free Friday and Ringling Bros protests. Visit their website for more information on how you can become active.

Susan O’Brien, Founder
Hail Merry Snacks

Hail Merry snacks are made with the core philosophy to bring awareness to the powerful benefits of healthy oils, which we must obtain from our diets. Their snacks are available all over the Metroplex, as well as nationwide. Susan explains:

Stop eating heated/oxidized oils that might come in the form of baked goods or salad dressings. Heated polyunsaturated oils like soybean, corn or sunflower oxidize when exposed to heat and light and act as free radicals in our bodies. Instead choose dietary oils in their raw whole foods state – like raw nuts, avocados, and cold pressed coconut oil. Be wise about your oil & fat consumption. When eating baked goods, be mindful of what you’re eating. Just because it is a “vegan” brownie doesn’t mean it is good for you. I see vegans make very bad food choices all the time. Be careful of the carb load. Is the food you’re eating a proper balance of raw dietary fats vs carbs in order to keep the glycemic load balanced?

Eddie Garza, Texas Campaign Coordinator
Mercy For Animals (MFA)

Eddie is the originator of the Dallas Vegan blog. He’s since moved on to an important role as the Campaign Coordinator for MFA’s newest office in Texas. His ideas center around how you can help spread your passion for animal compassion:

Leaflet with MFA – Over 99% of all animal abuse in the United States occurs at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries, where over nine billion farmed animals are confined, mutilated and slaughtered each year for human consumption. Distributing literature detailing the plight of farmed animals is one of the most effective forms of animal advocacy. By leafleting at colleges, public transit platforms, concerts and high foot-traffic areas, just one person can hand out hundreds of brochures in less than an hour, encouraging readers to ditch cruelty by adopting a vegan diet. Mercy For Animals hosts a number of leafleting events each week throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In 2010 Mercy For Animals’ Texas chapter leafleted over 30,000 Texans, spreading our message of compassionate living to the heart of cattle country! Resolve to leaflet with Texas MFA at least bi-monthly to help make 2011 an even better year for farmed animals.

Jennie Olsen, Owner
Tough Cookie Bakery

DFW’s saviors to vegan sweets and treats, Chris and Jennie Olsen of Tough Cookie know a thing or two (or ten, or twenty) about baking. She thinks you can help educate the masses about how wonderfully tasty vegan food can be:

Share your compassion and feed others! The more others see how easy it is to make delicious vegan food, the more accessible it becomes. Have friends over for dinner and ask them to bring a friend. Bring leftover baked goods to work, and when people come tell you how amazing they are, drop the tofu bomb on them! Invite coworkers to join you at a vegan restaurant for lunch. Offer to bring dessert wherever you go. Make the time to make your food. Just as you learned to cook and bake traditionally, you can learn to cook and bake vegan. If you can put together IKEA furniture, you can make a vegan cheesecake or seitan. Every meal makes a difference. It is your vote to promote a compassionate lifestyle.

James Scott, Co-Founder
DallasVegan.com

Of course I couldn’t let the greatest list of 2010 go by without my own feedback. My suggestion is this: Be more Vegan. Yes, I’m aware this is a cryptic statement depending on your current affiliation. My point is, if you’re not vegan or even vegetarian at the moment, become familiar with all of the reasons one might become vegan. Health, environment, compassion – these are but a few of the important issues vegans devote themselves to when choosing this lifestyle. Resolve to find out more about being vegan – contrary to stereotypical beliefs, most vegans are eager and willing to engage in dialog to discuss these issues – and are able to do so without laying on the ethical guilt-trip. With the various groups such as Dallas Vegan Drinks, Vegan 101, and Dallas Vegetarians, there are many resources available to help branch out and learn more about the growing Dallas population of vegans.

Happy New Year!