What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.
It was a co-worker’s birthday and I confess that I had a little “revenge” in mind for those who keep making fun of me for being vegan.
I got a vegan chocolate cake – the actual one in the picture above – at an organic grocery store. After lunch, we all gathered around the birthday girl, sang, wishes were made, and slices of The Cake passed around. Everybody was asking me if the cake was vegan and I answered with a face as straight as possible and a little bit of laughter: “No way! I would never do that to you guys!” They all loved the cake and I heard several: “OMG it’s so rich!” “This is delicious,” “Where did you get this cake?” “I need to go to this store to get this cake!”
Once all plates were empty, I asked: “So, how did you like the cake?” Everybody said they loved it! That’s when I told them that it was a vegan cake. Their facial expressions of disbelief were great. We all laughed a lot and it ended up being a fun and positive experience.
Of course, I don’t expect anybody to become vegan because of a slice of cake. But just opening a little door for the possibility of trying something new is already a victory.
My friends will remember the rich taste and texture of the soft mousse chocolate cake dissolving on their tongues, filling them with sweet oral sensations – an exceptional positive sensory experience.
On the other side of the spectrum, some vegans share images of suffering cows and chickens. Most people who watch animal cruelty videos, feel the negative impact of the shocking images on a deep level. They will try to block these images and remember a negative experience for a long time. I’m not saying these images should never be shared.
I agree: animal-cruelty must be denounced!
I just wonder how effective those images are when we are talking about embracing a vegan lifestyle.
Which experience will encourage more people to try vegan dishes?
Since I’m not into cooking, I look for vegan treats I can bring to parties or office potlucks. The same organic market where I got the cake, also offers vegan ice cream, vegan doughnut holes, as well as cute vegan cupcakes for all occasions.
Do you have any vegan dishes you enjoy sharing with your friends?
Chimpanzees are people too, you know. Ok, not exactly. But lawyer Steven Wise has spent the last 30 years working to change these animals’ status from “things” to “persons.” It’s not a matter of legal semantics; as he describes in this fascinating talk, recognizing that animals like chimps have extraordinary cognitive capabilities and rethinking the way we treat them — legally — is no less than a moral duty.
Bees are dying in droves. Why? Leading apiarist Dennis vanEngelsdorp looks at the gentle, misunderstood creature’s important place in nature and the mystery behind its alarming disappearance.
Michael Pollan, author and professor, U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
If you’re a vegan, everyone has likely quizzed you about where you get your nutrients. Plant-based foods provide all of your nutritional needs.