Caryn reflects on her 2012 interview with Tom Regan, who died this week. She talks about fun foods to make using Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas, or your favorite tortilla.
Caryn: And that was my interview with Tom Regan from back in 2012 and in hindsight I wish I had spoken to him a lot longer on that day, or had him back for another interview. But, we do have all of his books and his great writings to refer to. They are timeless and I think we who know about his work should do all that we can to spread his writing and some of his critical thoughts including the term he created, subject of a life. Now many of us know that, or are aware of all of the billions of animals that are raised in factory farms and are treated horribly and go on to become food on many people’s plates, and how devastating to the environment factory farming is. There have been numerous books and articles written on this subject. We’ve talked about factory farming on this program. I used to make in an annual resolution to hope that factory farming would be gone in the next year or at least in my lifetime and it’s a very frustrating thing that’s going on and how we treat non-human animals in this world and we also treat human animals as poorly in many cases.
Then there are some that have a solution and their solution is to raise animals for food “humanely” and I always put that in quotes, “humanely.” I was having a discussion recently with someone about it who raises pigs in what they consider a humane way and I’m fascinated about how people can believe that what they’re doing is really a good thing. They talk about how happy these animals are on the farm, they’re treated so wonderfully and they love being there and they imply and sometimes even say, that the pigs would choose to be there. Then I naturally ask the question, “Do you really think they’re happy? Giving their lives, being slaughtered, being murdered, so that they can end up on your plate. Is that what they lived for? Do you think that they’re really happy doing that?” Then the response is some sort of vague, non-answer, because the answer is obvious. These subjects of a life as Tom Reagan has called non-human animals who are exploited for food and other human purposes. They don’t want to be slaughtered, they don’t want to be murdered. No life does. No mammal life at least, as we know it. These non-human animals, the ones that are raised on factory farms, even as they are going to slaughter from a horrifically terrible life in a factory farm- they resist being slaughtered! They don’t want to die to become food on someone’s plate! For those who say that animal rights activists care about non-human animals and not human animals, I think if we are able to treat non-human animals in this vile way, especially on factory farms- confining them to these dense conditions, these filthy conditions where they can’t do what they’re meant to do naturally, spend time with their family and their friends and roll around and enjoy the sun and the dirt and the water and nature and the food that they like to eat.
We also confine our fellow human beings! Right now in the United States we have the highest number of people in prisons then ever before. Many of them on charges that are relatively insignificant, or some of them who are actually in prison wrongly! Wrongly accused. Of course we have so much corruption going on today in our government and in corporations. Where people that are in high-level positions of power and influence and affluence are killing other people, in so many different ways. Either by approving regulation that allows for toxins to leak into out environment in one way or another, or for hiding information that shows that pollutants and toxins are released one way or another into our environment, creating products that are not healthy for us, using marketing to encourage people to consume foods, “foods” that are not healthy for us that lead to deadly chronic diseases. All these people get away with it!! There’s a tremendous imbalance in this society and like Tom Reagan said before, I’m going to repeat it again because it really moved me, “Our first obligation to the animals and to the Earth is to stay in the movement, to keep making contribution in our several ways and our separate ways.” I encourage you to do that in any way that you possibly can because it is so important. We need all of us together making a difference.
I’m really excited about all the protests that are going on today, the rallies around the country, people going to town hall meetings, sending post cards, writing letters, making phone calls, all of this really matters and if you’re keeping on top of the news you see that people are listening and it is making a difference. We need to keep the heat up continually. I’m actually looking forward to a particular parade or rally or protest or whatever you want to call it, but coming up in a little over a month, I think it’s on April 2nd in Manhattan- The Veggie Pride Parade. It will be the 10th annual Veggie Pride Parade and I’m hoping that this will be the biggest one in Manhattan ever because more people are coming out then ever. The last 10 years, people have been marching in the streets of Manhattan with signs about veggie pride and being a vegetarian and the importance of eating vegetables and not eating animals. After the parade, many people give talks. 07:37 was a frequent speaker and the year that he died his partner was there giving away many of his books especially the Vegan Guide to New York City which is a wonderful little book that 07:56 put together and continually updated on an annual basis of all of the eateries in Manhattan and in the other boroughs in New York City that serve vegan food. That was a challenging project! It’s a small guide but New York City is a dynamic place with a lot of wonderful restaurants and the guide continually changed. Unfortunately some eateries would drop off because they didn’t make it, but I think more and more were being added. New York’s a great place for food and for eating vegan food and we’ve been in California now for about 6 or 7 weeks and I have to tell you, I’m missing New York. I mean, we’re doing fine here with the very fresh produce that we buy here in California, and the few eateries that we like to go to, but you know what? There’s no place like home. We will be at The Veggie Pride Parade on April 2nd in Manhattan. You can find out more at veggieprideparade.org/.
We just have a few minutes left and I want to talk about delicious food! We’re staying in a pool house in Northern California. It’s raining a lot, I’m sure you’ve been hearing about that on the news. If you’re not in the California area, it’s very wet here! There are mudslides and trees falling, roads closing, it’s all very exciting. We’re staying cozy in a little pool house here and I’m trying to make more meals here because I like homemade cooking rather than going out to eat all the time. One thing we’re having a lot of fun with, and I have to give Gary a lot of credit for this, is using the Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas. We’re putting everything in them. You might want to try it! We started with a snack, which was to take one tortilla, and they’re kind of large, I don’t know maybe 8 inches wide? Spreading it with some peanut butter, sliced or mashed bananas, and topping it with another tortilla. You can add a little agave if you want to sweeten it up a little bit. Then warming it up for a few minutes and it’s like a gooey, creamy, quesadilla. What do people like about quesadillas? They like that they’re fatty and gooey and runny and warm and so we’re doing a variation on it being here, so at first it was with peanut butter and bananas. Then, Gary made a savory one! I had cooked up a big batch of red lentils. I’m a big fan of red lentils and especially if you cook them long enough, and they don’t take long to cook, but they get soft and then if you cook them a little longer they get, they just melt really and become this soft and creamy, luscious tasting food that you can blend up if you want or just mash up and make into sauces and all kinds of things. Red lentils are just spectacular. Well, Gary took some of them and spread them on a tortilla, added some nutritional yeast, some arugula, a little mustard I think, and covered with another tortilla and warmed that up, sliced it up in some triangles and there was another variation on a quesadilla. A pizza quesadilla? I don’t know, you can call it whatever you want but it was absolutely spectacular. Then we thought we would try another one. I bought some dark chocolate chips, vegan chocolate chips, and melted a little bit of them to make a creamy paste that I spread on a tortilla, then I sliced some bananas and kind of mashed them into the chocolate- doesn’t this sound good? Yeah. Then I took a little peanut butter, maybe a tablespoon and added a little water to it and beat it up, like I do when I make tahini dressing- you add the water in to make the peanut butter creamier like a sauce. Then I poured that on top of the bananas, covered that with a tortilla and warmed that up for a few minutes and then sliced that and this was a spectacular dessert. So simple! So easy! That’s what I’m going to leave you with. All kinds of great ideas to use quesadillas, vegan quesadillas, using Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas. What do you think of that? Wait! Here’s one more thing you can do with those Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas! You can use any tortilla you like, we just happen to like the Ezekiel ones. If you have a gluten intolerance or need to eat gluten free, I’m sure those brown rice tortillas will work just as well for any of these. But, I learned a trick recently using those brown rice tortillas; you really need to follow the instructions, which we weren’t doing for a long time. It helps to put a little water on them before you heat them up and that keeps them from cracking. Little tip that I learned by reading instructions on the package. Very important!
One more thing- we occasionally buy some prepared food in the stores and we like the Field Roast brand and we bought their Field Roast Deli Slices, the smoked tomato variety. It’s really a fun product. Gary made some wonderful wraps using the deli slice, the smoked tomato deli slice and some lettuce, mustard, and rolled them up and cut them into smaller pieces and it was a great thing to bring along, put it in a little container. We’ve been doing a production of Fiddler on the Roof. We’ve been in rehearsals and the performances are coming up the first weekend in March. We’re at rehearsals for hours! Sometimes like 6 hours and we need to bring food along. This was a great lunch to bring along. Great wrap with the Field Roast Deli Slices. So, there’s another thing you can do with tortillas that’s kind of fun.
Thank you for being a part of the It’s All About Food audience. Thank you for caring about food. Thank you for caring about the Earth and animals. I’m so glad you’re out there! Now go out and do more activism because we need a big, strong, loud voice out there more than ever. I’m Caryn Hartglass, thanks for listening to It’s All About Food. Remember you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our work at responsibleeatingandliving.com. Have a delicious week!
Transcribed by Adella Finnan, 2/24/2017