Thursday, November 11, 2010

I can't believe it's been a year since my last post!! Well, at least I have a good excuse. A year ago I found out that I would be bringing another vegan into the world. Now that little person is almost 5 months old... time certainly does fly. The news of her arrival was shocking & emotional, so I took a break from blogging, from updating and from pretty much all social contact, just so that I could wrap my head around the idea of becoming a parent.

I hope you'll forgive me. To make up for it, we're going to be having a HUGE shoe sale.
I have a number of pending shoe orders, but I unfortunately cannot make any more orders until I get rid of some of the shoes I already have. One of the more frustrating things about being a very small business is that there is limited space for storage, and also, it's difficult sometimes to make suppliers minimum orders. Therefore, I will share with you now that I'm not sure there will be another shoe order. I had hoped & hoped there would be, but due to Vegetarian Shoes minimum shoe order requirements, I end up having to order much more than I need every time, and unfortunately, these pretty shoes end up getting more shelf time than they deserve. However, this is lucky for you! Because now all of the shoes at will be discounted! There are of course limited sizes in stock. I would really still love to hear if you're interested in a pair of shoes that is not on the website, because I've still got a list, and if I can fill the minimum order requirement put forth by Vegetarian Shoes, then I would be thrilled to place an order. So if you're not in a rush, just let me know what style, size & colour you like!

Monday, October 12, 2009

13 Great Vegetarians From History

Treehugger has a slideshow up on their website representing 13 Great Vegetarians From History. Here's the one on Leonardo Da Vinci:

Not much is known about the personal life of Leonardo Da Vinci. His love of animals, however, is well documented. From letters and writings, historians know that Da Vinci was a vegetarian who would buy caged birds then set them free. He explained this practice, saying "if man wants freedom why keep birds and animals in cages? Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! I have since an early age abjured the use of meat."

Check out more great vegetarians here:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thanksgiving is For the Birds

Today's post is brought to us by Compassionate Cooks & by The Vegan Table. You can find the following article, written by Colleen Patrick Goudreau, in her gorgeous 2nd cookbook, The Vegan Table (also available at LAVA!). Both of Colleen's books; The Joy of Vegan Baking & The Vegan Table are two of my favourite cookbooks - I really don't think a vegan kitchen is complete without these two beautiful books! They are filled with tips, food lore, ideas, stories & beautiful pictures. Please also check out Colleen's podcast "Vegetarian Food For Thought" available on itunes, and her check out all her books, cds & dvds available at Colleen is a huge inspiration to me & I wanted to share her thoughts on Thanksgiving with you this weekend. I wish you all a joyful, compassionate, peaceful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends & delicious food from the Earth!

"The roots of Thanksgiving, a North American holiday, are in autumn harvest festivals, similar to those that take place around the world. In the United States, this holiday meal has become so centered around the consumption of turkey that people have completely lost sight of its original meaning - if they ever knew it at all.

The first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, though it was not called Thanksgiving until many years later. In face, much of what we associate with this holiday was contrived during the past few centuries.

Everything we know about the first Thanksgiving comes from two sources: a letter by Edward Winslow dated December 1621, and a book by William Bradford written twenty years after the actual events took place. His book was stolen during the Revolutionary War and didn't reappear until 1854.

In his letter, Edward Winslow wrote, "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might, after a more special manner, rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors." He writes that the men hunted birds, not because the were starving but so that they might rejoice in the abundance of the fruits and vegetables with which they were blessed.

In his book, William Bradford mentions that the colonists killed wild turkeys during the autumn season; he doesn't say specifically that wild turkeys were killed for the first Thanksgiving. Although his book gives clues as to what was on this first menu, it disappeared until the mid-nineteeth century, so it didn't have any influence on how Thanksgiving was celebrated.

The animals killed for that first Thanksgiving were most likely ducks, geese, and various kinds of fish. If cranberries were served, they would have been used for their tartness or color - not in the sugary form we eat them today. Potatoes were not available, and because it is improbable that the colonists had flour for pie crust or an oven in which to bake it, pumpkin pie was most likely absent. They didn't use forks.

Does this mean we shouldn't serve mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, sweet cranberry sauce, biscuits, or any of the things that were not on the table of the first Thanksgiving? Does that mean we shouldn't use forks? Of course not. I point this out to emphasize the fact that we selectively choose our traditions. Our emotional attachment to tradition is very powerful, so we justify our consumption of turkey at Thanksgiving by attempting to sanctify it in historical accuracy. The fact is that we eat turkeys becaust that's what we were taught and because of a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale.

Hale (1788-1879), the editor of a popular magazine, began, in 1827, a forty-year quest to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote romantic accounts of the first Thanksgiving, taking liberties to appeal to her readership and including recipes for roasted turkeys, stuffing, and pumpkin pies - none of the dishes that would have appeared on the table of the first Thanksgiving.

Although the holiday "traditions" Hale created share few similarities with the original feast, I think most of us would admit that we're not as interested in creating an exact replica of the first Thanksgiving as we are in having customs and traditions we can point to that connect us to something older than ourselves. We shape our traditions our of our ideals and pick and choose which ones we want to celebrate.

Even as the myths started by Hale began to permeate the culture's consciousness, "turkey" was still not widely accepted as the quintessential Thanksgiving dish until the mid-twentieth century. Wild turkeys - dark-feathered and thus dark-skinned - became unappetizing to consumers. To make turkey meat more appealing, the "Beltsville white" was bred in 1947 at the behest of the National Turkey Federation. Turkey consumption increased and has been increasing ever since.

Although Hale did a great disservice to turkeys - curious, playful, social birds - she did have noble ideas about the significance of this holiday. She envisioned that it would be about charity and generosity, writing, "Let us consecrate the day to benevolence of action, by sending good gifts to the poor and doing those deeds of charity that will, for one day, make every American hom the place of plenty and of rejoincing."

As we prepare our feast of seasonal fare, may we recognize that we can celebrate tradition while honoring our own values of kindness and compassion, and may we rejoice in the plenty we have without causing harm to another."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

TVA Food Fair

The 25th Annual Toronto Food Fair hosted by the TVA was an amazing event. Of course, I look forward to this event all year 'round, like most other vegheadz I know in Southern O, but this year was super special for me because it was LAVA's first year at the fair!! We grossly underestimated the amount of people that would be into our booth, here are a couple of photo's I took when I couldn't even fit in my own booth anymore (and that happened a lot, all weekend long.. so awesome)

Check out these cute photos from the TVA Food Fair Pool on Flicker:

We were displaying vegan condoms, tiffins, to-go ware, SSOV gear & a selection of books. We also had a couple of pairs of shoes on display, shout out to Left Feet who closed their doors in Kensington on the Food Fair weekend. The shoes we displayed created more conversation about Left Feet than anything, and I am totally ok with that... we missed Left Feet at the Fair this year.

Jason, from Vegan Porn fame, AngelA & Colleen from the TVA podcast have a great mid-show chat. You can listen to it here:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hi again!

Hey blog readers,

I feel like my head is spinning with all the amazing products I'm ordering.. I just want to share all these beautiful things with you! That's really my goal. Fill the store with wonderful, beautiful, heart-warming, fun-loving, things that make life as a vegan (or vegetarian, or kind & compassionate person) fun & easy. Right now I'm stocking up with tons of cool stuff for the Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair that is happening in 3 WEEKS! Eeek!

Probably my favourite thing to talk about lately is To-Go Ware. Awesome company, everything is made sustainably, fairly, with recycled products & they are so cute!! Check out this fun set of rePEaT utensils. The utensils are made from bamboo & the holder is made from recycled PET plastic bottles.

Who doesn't want to carry their lunch in a beautiful little stainless steel carrier? You can even accessorize with a beautiful bag meant just for your tiffen box, with a little pocket for your bamboo cutlery!

The next new awesome products available at are vegan condoms! They come in 3 different sizes & a bunch of funky flavours including strawberry, vanilla, wildberry, blueberry & licorice. You don't have to be that "i'm vegan, well except for condoms, because vegan condoms are impossible to find" anymore. These condoms are PETA approved cruelty-free, contain no animal ingredients & are not tested on animals. LOVE them!

In other exciting news, LAVA has become THE PLACE to get SSOV gear in Canada. We are the official Canadian carrier, and my mission is to make sure that the most amount of people join the Secret Society of Vegans, without letting anyone know there is a Secret Society. Because there isn't. If you get that, then you need to let others know by proudly showing off your SSOV gear. Like a t-shirt, hat, or maybe an apron!

If you're wanting to read up on what veganism is all about, or maybe watch a dvd to better understand your vegan friend, kid, parent, LAVA can help you out! We have a growing collection of great books & dvds all about living a compassionate lifestyle. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Of course, if you're looking for something in particular, but can't find it, please let us know! Or if you're going to be at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair in September, and you really want to make sure that we bring that special product that you have your eye on, please let us know! We have so much great stuff, we can't possibly have it all at the food fair, so just let us know & we'll make sure we bring it.

love, kelly