Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-28-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Howdy, folks! Hope you’re enjoying the first round of holidays in the winter season. I do urge you, though, to recognize the genocidal origins of Thanksgiving, which I expound upon in a recent post entitled “A Vegan Thanksgiving is Still Violent.”

In terms of today’s Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews), we’ve got two vibrant and creative interpretations of familiar autumnal ingredients, a round-up of stories and a podcast that highlight the systematized white supremacy behind Ferguson, and a book that will call into question everything you thought you knew about Gandhi.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Sorghum Pilaf with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries, & Grapes
via Golubka Kitchen

Photo via Anya Kassoff.

Photo via Anya Kassoff.

The combination of chewy whole grains, candy-sweet dried fruit, and crunchy, earthy nuts will never fail to astound me. The equally phenomenal smoky flavor of roasted brussels sprouts takes that no-fail grain-fruit-nut combo to the next level.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Squash with Cardamom & Nigella Seeds
via Yotam Ottolenghi in “Plenty More

Photo within photo via Plenty More.

Photo within photo via Plenty More.

A succulent dish of slow-roasted squash with warming, sweet spices studded with crunchy pumpkin seeds, this recipes comes from my latest cookbook obsessionPlenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi. Though not a vegan cookbook by any means, Plenty More serves as a continuation of Ottolenghi’s celebration of the world of plant-food first documented in his book Plenty. With a little veganizing know-how and creativity, figuring out how to create animal-free versions of Ottolenghi’s masterfully crafted dishes serves as an entertaining (and scrumptious) endeavor.

Must-Read News Story

Photo via the LA Times.

Photo via the LA Times.

It feels wrong to me to highlight any stories this week unrelated to the systemic violence (psychological and physical) committed in the United States against Black bodies on a daily basis. The murder of Mike Brown serves as perhaps the most visible instances of this violence in the current moment. As such, today I want to spread around a number of articles that emphasize the structural failures integral to Ferguson, rather than miss the point by focusing on police brutality. I turn to a quote from Catalyst Project to highlight this distinction:

“What’s happening in Ferguson is not just about police brutality or the increased militarization of police departments. It is about a system of policing that uses daily violence on Black, Brown, and poor communities in order to protect the property, politics and profits of the rich. It is about a system of control and terror that teaches white people we should be afraid of Black people, then uses that fear to justify state violence.”

Here are the stories:

Being Black: The Real Indictment in Ferguson and the USA
by William C. Anderson at Truthout

A Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions
by john a. powell at CommonDreams

Ferguson Isn’t About Black Rage Against Cops. It’s White Rage Against Progress.
by Carol Anderson at CommonDreams

Free Marissa and All Black People
by Mariame Kaba at Prison Culture

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Mychal Denzel Smith on Lack of Indictment in Ferguson
via Radio Dispatch

Photo via Popular Resistance.

Photo via Popular Resistance.

…continuing the Ferguson (and beyond) discussion. Features a detailed look into the problems behind the grand jury decision deliberations (and behind the criminal legal system, in general).

Book Recommendation

The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptation of Violence
by Faisal Devji

Photo via Harvard University Press.

Photo via Harvard University Press.

A fascinating look into the aspects of Gandhi’s politics that mainstream rhetoric surrounding him as a figure tend to obscure (did Gandhi really advocate unconditional nonviolence? What were his views on the caste system?). Also a formative resource for thinking about the potential for social change beyond the framework of the neoliberal state.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-21-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Hello, all, and welcome to the 25th anniversary of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)On this chilly Friday, I’ve got three recipes that breathe new life into classic comfort and warm-weather food favorites. Then, we’ll take a look at two instances of insidious white supremacy functioning in very different venues, and a newly launched intersectional vegan zine that I want to distribute on every sidewalk corner on my college campus. Onward!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

“I’m-On-Cloud-9” Dreamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes
via Blissful Basil

Photo via Ashley DeMillo.

Photo via Ashley DeMillo.

Pairing potatoes with cashews and cauliflower, Ashley at Blissful Basil has created what appears as the most luscious iteration of mashed potatoes at which my mouth has ever watered. Plus, see if you can guess the secret ingredient…

Sweet

How to Make Coconut Oil Pie Crust
via Oh, Ladycakes

Photo via Ashlae at Oh, Ladycakes.

Photo via Ashlae at Oh, Ladycakes.

Pie crust recipes generally tend to intimidate me a bit, but Ashlae’s accessible, clearly laid out directions for flaky pastry dough based in the most richly aromatic oil in all of Oil Land makes me want to jump right into the kitchen.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Tempeh Chili
adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen

Photo via Jugalbandi.

Photo via Jugalbandi.

This past week served as the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC)‘s big ol’ campus event week themed around government repression of animal rights and environmental activists (titled “The Terrorization of Dissent” after the recently released anthology by Lantern Books). For our first lecture of the week’s three-part series, editor of the anthology Jason Del Gandio gave an engaging and dynamic talk while the audience gobbled up spoonfuls of this, perhaps the most flavorful, heartiest, most pleasantly textured chili I’ve ever made. With vegan cookbook genius Isa Chandra Moskowitz behind the recipe, how could I have expected anything less?

Must-Read News Story

The Minstrelsy of Marketing
via William C. Anderson at Truthout

Photo via Denny's Twitter account.

Photo via Denny’s Twitter account.

An illuminating look into a pervasive intersection of capitalism and racism, this article by freelance writer William C. Anderson clearly demonstrates the default mode of U.S. society to commodify Blackness and Black bodies – a mode that certainly didn’t die out with the abolition of slavery.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

The FBI vs. Martin Luther King: Inside J. Edgar Hoover’s ‘Suicide Letter’ to Civil Rights Leader
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

On the topic of state repression of activists, the newly released full text of this horrifying letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Martin Luther King Jr. – in which the former assumes the identity of a Black activist urging Dr. King to kill himself – highlights the long history of the U.S. government to target social justice activists who pose threats to existing hierarchies of domination.

Book Recommendation

Project Intersect, Issue One: Clarion Call
edited by Jacqueline Morr

Photo via Project Intersect

Photo via Project Intersect

Encouraging “radical intersectional analyses of oppression that are sorely needed both in activist circles and in general public discourse,” the newly launched Project Intersect zine embodies exactly the direction toward which I hope with all my heart the future of the animal liberation movement points. I enthusiastically urge you to order your copy. Like, immediately.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-14-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Welcome to another weekly installment of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)Today’s post will get you salivating over sandwiches and mac & cheese, inspired to think beyond the embeddedness of the prison system in U.S. society, seeking to combat the perpetual erasure of women of color in mainstream media, and profoundly moved by the courage and strength of the history of Black struggle in the U.S. Let’s get to it!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Walnut-Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Sandwich
via Healthy. Happy. Life.

Photo via Kathy Patalsky.

Photo via Kathy Patalsky.

This past year of my life has featured an intense love affair with vegan “tuna” salad and eggless “egg” salad sandwiches. Creamy, crunchy, tangy, rich, and inclusive of the holy grail of vegan condiments (helloooo, vegan mayonnaise), these salads never fail to provide me with a profound feeling of comfort. Kathy’s version here makes use of walnuts and chickpeas for a proteinous and textural salad, ideal for spreading generously between two slices of bread.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Sundried Tomato Garlic Mac & Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower & Mushrooms
adapted from Miyoko’s Kitchen

Photo via Miyoko's Kitchen.

Photo via Miyoko’s Kitchen.

In preparation for an upcoming review on the Our Hen House podcast, the folks at artisan vegan cheese mastermind Miyoko Schinner’s newly launched cashew cheese online retail store generously provided me with eight wheels of their impressive products (such an understatement, but you’ll have to wait until the podcast review to hear more details!). Seeking to utilize the cheeses in more creative manners than simply spreading on crackers (though also tremendously tasty), I checked the Miyoko’s Kitchen website for recipe ideas and stumbled upon her gorgeously sophisticated take on mac & cheese. Instead of employing the Sharp Farmhouse Cheddar Miyoko specifies, I made use of her Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic, omitting the truffle oil and pairing the pasta with roasted cauliflower and mushrooms rather than brussels sprouts. Yuppie comfort food at its finest.

Must-Read News Story

Prison Destroys Families and Communities at Society’s Expense” and “Prisons Are Destroying Communities and Making Us All Less Safe
by Maya Schenwar at Truthout and The Nation

Photo via Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Photo via Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Maya Schenwar – editor-in-chief at Truthout, one of my absolute favorite progressive news outlets – recently published an in-depth investigation into the profound harms the prison system effects on families and communities. Based in her experiences of her sister’s incarceration, Maya’s book not only offers a personalized account of how the prison system destroys rather than rehabilitates its victims, but also suggests viable alternatives to incarceration with the potential to work toward collective liberation for all.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Get it together white women
via Radio Dispatch

Photo via The Washington Post.

Photo via The Washington Post.

On this episode of Radio Dispatch, brother-and-sister hosting team John and Molly discuss the erasure of women of color from post-election discussions of Wendy Davis’ losing gubernatorial campaign. Claiming that all women failed to turn out at vote for Wendy Davis – a staunch advocate for reproductive rights – mainstream news outlets completely discount the fact that the vast majority of women of color did indeed vote for Davis. Basing the episode in an article by Andrea Grimes on RH Reality Check, John and Molly bring up the important point that white women are far less likely to feel the harsh impacts that limitations to reproductive rights than are women of color (or any person of color with the ability to carry a baby). A profound example of white supremacy’s continued prevalence in U.S. society.

Book Recommendation

The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
edited by Göran Olsson

Photo via Amazon.com.

Photo via Amazon.com.

Based on a documentary film by Swedish filmmaker Göran Olsson, The Black Power Mixtape provides a vivid portrait of the U.S. Black freedom struggle, featuring exclusive interviews with some of the movement’s most groundbreaking participants as well as with contemporary Black activists. I think it’s so important that white people take the time to learn about the history of liberatory Black organizing, so that we may better understand and reflect on our exploitative structural impact upon Black bodies, as well as develop our capacity to act in solidarity with the contemporary Black community.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {11-7-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Happy Friday, and happy Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)! Midterm elections this week left me pretty bummed in terms of my home state after anti-unionist/abominable man Scott Walker beat out challenger/bike enthusiast Mary Burke by a mere six percentage points (On Wisconsin, amirite?). So, in the spirit of denial, today’s stories include no mention of the recent voting hubbub (though check out these couple of articles for potentially exciting measures that did find success this week). Instead, I’d like to share with you all my favorite roasting vegetable blanketed in a deeply flavored sauce, a silky and seasonal pie, crispy fritters of brussels sprout goodness, exciting intersectional projects and people advocating for animal liberation, evidence for why we shouldn’t deify large-scale human rights organizations, and a book that advocates for shaping our interactions with the world in a very different light. Onward!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Roasted Cauliflower in Mole-Inspired Sauce
via In Vegetables We Trust

Photo via Alexander Harvey.

Photo via Alexander Harvey.

Based in Mexican cuisine, mole sauce comes in innumerable variations depending on where you find yourself in Mexico; I’m told that every Mexican cook has their own unique recipe for the sauce. We in the U.S. typically encounter mole poblano – a many-ingredient mixture based in chilis and chocolate – and it seems that Alexander of In Vegetables We Trust has based his version of the dish on this particular variety of the sauce. Drawing from my recent musings on bloggers’ use of “ethnic” recipe titles, I appreciate Alexander’s decision to name his recipe “mole-inspired,” which to me indicates a humility that doesn’t assume responsibility for conceptualizing/perfecting/fully understanding the cultural complexities behind the dish…which I wish were happening in my kitchen right now.

Sweet

Pumpkin Creme Pie
via Cupcakes and Kale

Photo via Jess at Cupcakes and Kale.

Photo via Jess at Cupcakes and Kale.

The time of year for a barrage of pumpkin recipes has come, and I tend to pass over many of them out of a quickly induced boredom with the seemingly constant excitement over this poor, hyped-up squash. However, this pie from Jess at Cupcakes and Kale caught my eye due to its lighter, almost mousse-like variation on the standard pumpkin pie. To substitute unrefined sugar for the powdered sugar called for in the recipe, simply grind any unrefined granulated sugar (like coconut or date) in a food processor or blender along with a sprinkling of arrowroot powder or cornstarch.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Brussels Sprout Latkes
adapted from What’s Cooking Good Looking

Photo via Jodi at What's Cooking Good Looking.

Photo via Jodi at What’s Cooking Good Looking.

Two instances of sheer perfection: roasted brussels sprouts and crispy potatoes. What happens when these two manifestations of ideal phenomena merge? I can’t quite put it into words…so you’ll have to put it in your mouth.

To make these latkes vegan, I substituted the two eggs called for in the recipe with 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp water. Though I didn’t make the accompanying maple-mustard yogurt, you can easily veganize that by using non-dairy yogurt or blended silken tofu.

Must-Read News Story

‘Those Things We Cannot Unsee’: Interview with Jacqueline Morr of Project Intersect
via Justin Van Kleeck at Striving with Systems

Photo via Jacqueline Morr.

Photo via Jacqueline Morr.

People like Jacqueline Morr give me hope for the animal liberation movement, and for societal change more broadly. In this interview with fellow intersectional activist Justin Van Kleeck, Morr shares profound stories of her journey to veganism and anti-oppression work, uniting them in a manner that speaks of true transformative potential. If you’re enamored with Morr after reading this interview (and how could you not be?), be sure to email projectintersectzine@gmail.com to request your copy of Morr’s latest project: a newly launched intersectional vegan zine known as Project Intersect.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

‘The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster’: Charity Prioritized PR over People After Superstorm Sandy
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!

Since taking a Geography course last semester on the Political Geography of Human Rights, my readiness to accept the rhetoric of large-scale human rights organizations has steadily declined. The nitty gritty details of that class provide much too much fodder to discuss in this abbreviated format, but this supreme fuck-up – as revealed by ProPublica and reported on by Democracy Now! – by the American Red Cross speaks to the need to look upon mainstream human rights discourse with a critical eye.

Book Recommendation

Transformation Now!: Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change
by AnaLouise Keating

Photo via University of Illinois Press.

Photo via University of Illinois Press.

In her book Transformation Now!, AnaLouise Keating deconstructs the oppositional framework in which society at large operates, and which conditions us to view the world in either/or, “my-idea-is-better-than-yours” terms, thus preventing us from finding common ground with the world around us; and without common ground, how can we hope to unite for transformative change? Keating advocates a practice of “intellectual humility,” in which we stray from boxing ourselves and others into our pre-existing notions of available identities for us to occupy, and instead allow ourselves to see others in a more flexible manner, independent of our assumptions about them. I know that these ideas can seem a bit abstract, and I’m certainly not doing the book a huge amount of justice here, but I’d highly recommend this book to introduce you to a new (and I believe necessary) manner of shaping one’s interactions with other beings.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-31-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Helloooo and welcome to yet another edition of your weekly dose of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews)First off, though, I want to thank you all for your thoughtful input on my most recent post on “ethnic” recipe titles as cultural appropriation (a relevant topic considering the holiday on which this post falls). In this case, I’d highly encourage you to read the comments — good stuff going on there! Anywho, today’s featured recipes include a vibrant salad of beautifully contrasting textures and two of my most beloved pieces of fall produce, as well as some of the most flavorful chickpeas I’ve ever cooked up. As for stories, I’m excited to highlight critiques of the oh-so problematic “Thug Kitchen” blog and cookbook, an episode of Citizen Radio that features three of my favorite progressive female podcasters, and a book that highlights the threats made by NGOs to feminist organizing in the Global South (India, in this specific case). Happy Halloween! Here’s a guide to vegan candy and how not to be culturally appropriative with your costume.

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Arugula, Fig, & Fried White Sweet Potato Salad
via A House in the Hills

Photo via Sarah Yates.

Photo via Sarah Yates.

Spicy arugula, succulent figs, crispy sweet potatoes…need I say more besides “get ready for a bounty of deceptively simple flavors”?

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Cool Ranch Roasted Chickpeas
via Vegan Yack Attack

Photo via Jackie Sobon.

Photo via Jackie Sobon.

Ya’ll, I cooked up a big ol’ batch of these for my nighttime seminar on Geography & Social Movements this Monday, and the entire class could not keep their hands off of them. Who knew that a little nooch and powdered garlic and onion could so enchant non-vegans and veg folks alike?

Must-Read News Story

Critiques of “Thug Kitchen” by Liz Ross, Ayinde Howell, A. Breeze Harper, and Bryant Terry

Photo via Thug Kitchen.

Photo via Thug Kitchen.

Thug Kitchen provides a striking example of the racism perpetuated by the visible mainstream vegan movement today, and I’m thrilled that folks within the movement have spoken out against it.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

U.S. media freaks out on behalf of Canadians, Shep Smith has a moment of clarity, and Mike Brown’s autopsy
via Citizen Radio

Photo via Citizen Radio.

Photo via Citizen Radio.

Allison Kilkenny of Citizen Radio, Molly Knefel of Radio Dispatch, and Katharine Heller of Tell the Bartender unite for a podcast of laughter and provoking political discussion. My three favorite female podcasters in one place? Too good to be true.

Book Recommendation

Playing with Fire: Feminist Thought and Activism through Seven Lives in India
by the Sangtin Writers Collective

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Questioning the legitimization of “expert” knowledge production versus that of local feminist activists in the Uttar Pradash province of India, the Sangtin writers collective employ deeply personal diary entries to investigate larger themes of sexism, casteism, communalism, and NGO-ization. An utterly important feminist-of-color text indicative of the building of transformative social movements.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-24-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich, white, or human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

On this pre-Halloween edition of Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) that makes no further mention of the spooky holiday (sorry, Halloween fans), we’ve got a vibrant and substantial salad that makes use of the last of late summer produce and an oh-so comforting, veggie-packed bowl of chowda. To nourish your mind along with your belly, this week’s stories include an analysis of the pitfalls of neoliberal feminism, the most entertaining form of counterprotest I’ve ever seen, Laura Poitras’ new documentary on Edward Snowden, and a pivotal work in antiracist organizing by activist, yogi, and vegan extraordinaire Becky Thompson. Happy Friday!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Farmers’ Market Potato & Kale Salad with “Glory Bowl” Dressing
via In Pursuit of More

Photo via Shira of IPOM.

Photo via Shira of IPOM.

As we enter the autumn season, the last of the summer veggies – zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes – make their final appearances at the market. Shira’s recipe for this colorful and substantial salad celebrates this dwindling summer produce, pairing sweet peppers and silky smooth zucchini with crispy roasted potatoes and the master of the leafy green world (aka, kale). With added tanginess from artichoke hearts, olives, and a noochy dressing, this salad provides a lovely culinary bridge from summer to fall.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Smoky Vegetable Chowder
adapted from Maple Spice

Photo via Debbie of Maple Spice.

Photo via Debbie of Maple Spice.

With a lovely depth of flavor from caramelized onions, smoked paprika, and vegetable bouillon, this creamy, chunky soup serves as an ideal dinner to help you warm up after a chilly day. For additional layers of flavor, I roasted the veggies before adding them to the sauteed onions and simmering them in the almond milk-based broth, and also drizzled in a bit of liquid smoke (because, let’s face it, what dish doesn’t benefit from a dash of liquid smoke?). I also switched up the vegetables to accommodate the contents of my refrigerator, so my chowder featured carrots, green beans, cauliflower, and plenty of shredded kale. A comforting and nourishing soup if I’ve ever seen one, especially when served alongside a square of fluffy cornbread.

Must-Read News Story

Neoliberal Feminists Don’t Want Women to Organize
via Sarah Jaffe at Political Research Associates

National Domestic Workers Alliance members protest. Photo via Political Research Associates.

National Domestic Workers Alliance members protest. Photo via Political Research Associates.

From one of my favorite independent journalists, this article by Sarah Jaffe of Dissent Magazine’s Belabored podcast offers a clear analysis of how a neoliberal rhetoric has influenced mainstream feminism to position sexism as an entity defeatable through individual success stories. Jaffe effectively counters this insidious pseudo-logic by reminding us of the oppression women (particularly women of color) still experience in the workplace, and the “white savior” complex that “enlightened” Western pro-globalization feminism harbors in relation to the non-Western world (specifically, sex workers in the global South). An ever-important call to employ a lens of class, race, and other social issues when looking at sexist power relations.

‘Weird hobby!’ Couple gain hordes of fans after picketing pro-life abortion clinic protests with witty inappropriate signs
via The Daily Mail

Photo via Saturday Chores.

Photo via Saturday Chores.

As a bonus news story on today’s # NewsandChews, this photo-filled article highlights an absolutely hilarious form of counterprotest against anti-abortion activists. Get ready to smile until your cheeks hurt.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras
via Democracy Now!

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Photo via Democracy Now!.

Award-winning journalist Laura Poitras, one of the first individuals whom NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden contacted to expose corruption in U.S. government surveillance, just recently released her third documentary film in a trilogy about America post-9/11. The film, entitled Citizenfour after the code name Snowden used to contact Poitras and fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald, features highlights from over 20 hours of footage that Poitras filmed while Snowden revealed heaps of information about the National Security Agency’s Orwellian practices. On this episode of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh interview Poitras about Citizenfour, which opened today in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Book Recommendation

A Promise and a Way of Life: White Antiracist Activism
by Becky Thompson

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Photo via University of Minnesota Press.

Ever since learning of Becky Thompson‘s important activist work through a blog interview I conducted regarding her latest book Survivors on the Mat: Healing from Trauma Through Yoga, I’ve eagerly sought to get my hands on her writings on social and racial justice. A couple weeks ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to meet Becky in person when she spoke at my college campus on her multiracial yoga practice, and inadvertently reminded me that her work in white antiracist organizing could provide an ideal resource in a project I’m working on for my Geography and Social Movements course. In her book A Promise and a Way of Life, Becky features the narratives of thirty-nine white activists who have placed antiracist activism at the center of their lives, highlighting the strengths and limitations of white antiractist organizing along the way. An incredibly valuable read for any white activist looking to get involved in antiracist organizing.

In solidarity, Ali.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News {10-17-14}

Farmers Market Vegan’s “Vegan Chews & Progressive News” series strives to promote artful vegan food and progressive discussion of social issues—both of which prove necessary in fostering a society that prioritizes the well-being of all creatures (not just the rich or the human) over the continuous striving for profit/resource accumulation.

Vegan Chews & Progressive News (# NewsandChews) turns 20!!! (And only a month after my own 20th birthday.) Today’s roundup – as a testament to my beloved mother and the variety of soups she crafts on an almost daily basis during the winter – features two velvety, steaming purees of colorful root vegetables, along with another spoonable recipe of fruity succulence. For stories, an interview and a book provide meaningful models of transformative activism, while a podcast offers an eye-opening take on three otherwise familiar social issues. So, welcome!

Favorite Newly Published Recipe

Savory

Beet & Horseradish Soup with Thyme & Caraway Croutons
via The Circus Gardener

Photo via Steve Dent.

Photo via Steve Dent.

The first of two fall-centric soups of today’s roundup, this vibrant puree marries the sweet earthiness of beets with the clean sharpness of fresh horseradish. Lately I’ve found myself more enamored than usual of beets – chopping them raw into my daily lunch salads and baking them whole wrapped in aluminum foil – but have hesitated to implement them in a soupy application. This velvety looking recipe has convinced me, and I intend to throw some caraway seeds directly into the soup along with the thyme, rather than allowing the croutons to get all the caraway glory.

Sweet

Ginger Pear Butter
via Connoisseurus Veg

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

Photo via Alissa Saenz.

No soup, but still a smooth puree of yumminess. Quality ripe pears harbor a buttery quality all on their own, but I’m sure not going to argue with a recipe that capitalizes on this rich texture while adding a spicy zing of ginger. For an unrefined version of this delightfully copper-toned fruit spread, use a less processed type of sugar (such as date or coconut sugar) instead of the brown sugar.

Best Recipe I Made This Week

Kabocha Squash, Fennel, & Ginger Soup with Spicy Coconut Cream
via Dolly and Oatmeal

Photo via Lindsey S. Love.

Photo via Lindsey S. Love.

While I don’t have a photo of my own to share with you, I do have deeply fond memories from earlier in the week of savoring spoonfuls of this succulent, complexly flavored soup (the second of the day!). Ya’ll. This soup stopped me in my hungry tracks, necessitating after my first bite that I pause to fully appreciate its silky texture and multilayered flavor profile. Providing an example of expert flavor-building, this recipe forms a base of delicate sweetness with caramelized leeks before adding fennel’s notes of mild licorice and finally the most decadent of squashes – kabocha – roasted to tender perfection. I already miss this soup, and I finished the final batch of leftovers two nights ago…back to the kitchen!

Must-Read News Story

Turning Fear into Power: An Interview with Unarmed Peacekeeper Linda Sartor
by Stephanie Van Hook at Waging Nonviolence

Linda Sartor standing on a Soviet tank outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (WNV / Peggy Gish)

Linda Sartor standing on a Soviet tank outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (WNV / Peggy Gish)

I find that looking to more experienced, thriving activists can provide an inspiring model for burgeoning changemakers (like myself, I hope!), especially in demonstrating how to maintain our work in the long-term. Though I hadn’t heard of Linda Sartor before this article from Waging Nonviolence landed in my inbox, I think she offers a great deal of insight into how to sustain oneself as an activist, even while engaging in serious forms of civil disobedience. Linda’s practice of asking “Where is that violence in me?” when she witnesses violence manifested in the world particularly sticks with me, as I see it as a reminder that transformative change begins in ourselves; how can we build a just world if we reenact oppressive structures in our daily lives? All of our activism must incorporate a reconceptualization of the self, an idea that I touched upon in my most recent blog post.

Favorite Podcast Episode or Video

On Privacy and Privilege
via Radio Dispatch

Logo via Radio Dispatch.

Logo via Radio Dispatch.

While the daily Radio Dispatch episodes never fail to bring contemplation and laughter to my morning, Thursday’s edition of the show framed three issues with which I’m fairly familiar in a completely new light. Discussing the privileges inherent in being able to say that you’re not personally fearful of government surveillance, the paralyzing effect of telling young Black men that they have a set of predetermined life outcomes from which to choose, and the positioning of the white supremacist criminal systems as public health epidemics, hosts John and Molly provided me with a more nuanced manner of understanding these pressing issues.

Book Recommendation

Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism
by Leela Fernandes

Photo via Aunt Lute Books.

Photo via Aunt Lute Books.

In her realistically hopeful book Transforming Feminist Practice, political scientist Leela Fernandes argues that we – people living in contemporary times – have learned to define ourselves against external entities, and that our doing so has limited us from imagining new worldly realities. Fernandes contends that our inability to see ourselves beyond the possibilities of pre-existing identities prevents us from rejecting the ego inherent in all forms of identity, and instead fostering in ourselves a “radical humility required to really manifest social justice in this world” (44). To cast off these static identities through which we currently constitute ourselves, Fernandes calls for an understanding of the self in “radical interconnection” with the world in its entirety (36). In this task, Fernandes does not mean for us to cease taking responsibility for the very real effects of our identity-based privileges, but rather encourages us to envision ourselves as comprised of so much more than these fixed identities, and asserts that this re-envisioning constitutes a necessary aspect of fostering a world in which the social structures that determine our privileges do not exist. Fernandes encapsulates this re-envisioning well in the following passage:

“A strategy for white students dealing with racial privilege would be to recognize and address the social and economic forms of power and privilege associated with whiteness in contemporary society in the United States while realizing that their own conceptions of their self do not need to rest on such hegemonic conceptions of ‘whiteness'” (33).

I love this book. I think I shall sleep with it underneath my pillow.

In solidarity, Ali.