When I read that VegNews had compiled a vegan Bucket List, I was eager to read it. (I'm very much a goal-oriented person. My Life's To-Do List is many miles long.) Lucky for me, the list is available online! I was happy to discover that I have already accomplished some of the things on the list and, in true internet meme fashion, I am going to post the list here and bold what I have accomplished thus far. You can enjoy my thoughts in the [brackets].
1. Swim in the greenhouse pool then dine at the Ravens' Restaurant at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino, Calif.
2. Join the cookie/brownie/fudge-of-the-month club at Allison's Gourmet. [My birthday is several months from now, but you know, start planning this now, folks.]
3. Ask your (non-vegan) family or friends to try a vegan meal, day, or week.[My non-veg friends are totally veg-friendly, and that's part of what makes them so awesome.]
4. Hear former cattle rancher-turned-vegan, Howard Lyman, speak.
5. Eat a veggie dog from a street cart in Vancouver, BC. [There are two veggie dog carts in Tampa Bay!]
6. Write a letter to a vegan activist who is in prison.
7. Visit Portland, Ore.’s vegan mini-mall. Leave with a tattoo, cookie, message t-shirt, and a few snacks for the road. [Let me refresh your memory.]
8. Perfect a signature tofu scramble. [I just accomplished this in the last couple of months!]
9. Meet your vegan superhero. Whether it’s Gene Baur, John Salley, Kathy Freston, Wayne Pacelle, or Tal Ronnen, go to one of your favorite star’s public events and thank them for their work. [I've met one so far!]
10. Accept that your veganism is bigger than you and your circumstances. Don’t get bummed about it. [I don't. I'm a joyful vegan overall.]
11. Devour a cowvin cookie at Sticky Fingers Bakery in Washington, DC. [Well, it wasn't a cowvin cookie, but I have enjoyed tasty treats from Sticky Fingers, during my pre-blog days.]
12. Splurge on a beautiful Matt & Nat bag that you can carry with pride for many years to come. [Honestly, this doesn't seem Bucket List-worthy to me. It's a BAG.]
13. Take a VegNews Vacation to India. Or Thailand. Or… [I was SO CLOSE to being very irresponsible and putting myself into debt by singing up for the VegVacation to India last year, but luckily, it sold out before I could go any further. One of these days, though...]
14. Be vegan until 6pm, and then stay vegan until the following day. Repeat. [Been doing this for 7 years now!]
15. Have a pizza bake-off with every vegan cheese to discover your favorite.
16. Design your perfect custom cinnamon roll at Cinnaholic in Berkeley, Calif. [*drooooool*]
17. Rub a pig’s belly at Los Angeles’ Animal Acres or New York’s Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
18. Work with local businesses to add more vegan options to their menus. [Always working on this!]
19. Veganize your grandmother’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Then share with everyone. [It's not cookies, but my mom and I veganized the family pierogi recipe.]
20. Host a cruelty-free Halloween party with caramel apples, spiced (and spiked) apple cider, and pumpkin carving.
21. Dine at Candle 79 in New York and Millennium in San Francisco, not on the same night. Go with people whom you truly adore, and feast on appetizers, salads, entrees, drinks, and desserts (multiples of each). Share everything so you get to taste it all!
22. Become a vegan myth-busting machine—even if you never need to bust vegan myths. [I'm not sure -- am I doing this?]
23. Attempt to work out as hard as Brendan Brazier, Kenneth Williams, Tonya Kay, Robert Cheeke, or Scott Jurek. [HA! No.]
24. Read The Face on Your Plate when you need a little extra information about animals and why they are too amazing to eat.
25. Order a Vegan Treats’ Peanut Butter Bomb cake to celebrate your birthday.
25. Give fun vegan gifts such as cookbooks, baked goods, Vegan Etsy jewelry, and wine every chance you get. [I'm all about the baked goods.]
26. Take a vegan tour of Los Angeles stopping at Eko Zone, Pure Luck, Shojin, Real Food Daily, Native Foods Café, Veggie Grill, to start.
27. Sail the Caribbean, practice morning yoga, and visit exciting ports of call on the all-vegan Holistic Holiday at Sea.
28. Try vegan ethnic food, such as Filipino, Korean, or Sri Lankan.
29. Inspire at least one person to become vegan.
30. Trek to Toronto in September for the annual Vegetarian Food Fair.
31. Devour the Portobello Stack with red potatoes and cauliflower mash at Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale. [I can accomplish this soon!]
32. Purchase 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson and never have to buy another vegan cookbook again. [I'll never NOT purchase cookbooks. I'm addicted to them!]
33. Volunteer for Food Not Bombs. It doesn’t get much better than providing hungry people with free vegan food. [I went to a meeting once. Does that count?]
34. Make the VegNews Mac & Cheese. It changes lives. [That's what I hear!]
35. Hold a Vegan Bake Sale for your favorite animal charity. [SOON!]
36. Grab the ‘D’s BBQ Joint wrap at Seattle’s Hillside Quickie and have a picnic at nearby Volunteer Park.
37. Don’t judge meat-eaters. They’ll just stop listening to you.
38. Eat kale daily. [Every damn day?! That's just crazy-talk!]
39. Join Twitter and Facebook, follow or friend a bunch of your non-vegan acquaintances, and send along great recipes, videos of cute farm animals, and timely vegan news. [This sounds preachy. I mean, I post about vegan stuff pretty frequently, but not to rub it in anyone's face.]
40. Attend the North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegetarian Summerfest conference. [I think this sounds like so much fun. One year, I hope to attend.]
41. Help the environment by opting for a bicycle or running shoes over a car. [I have yet to live in a city that allows me to do this.]
42. Savor the four-course open-to-the-public Friday night dinner at NYC’s Natural Gourmet Institute.
43. Remind your non-vegan loved ones that if it’s good enough for President Clinton, it’s good enough for them. [This sounds cocky. Pun intended?]
44. Cook an entirely vegan holiday dinner for your friends and family.
45. Start a balcony herb garden. [Well, it wasn't a balcony, but I did plant an herb garden in MO. I WISH I had a balcony!]
46. Visit MooShoes in The Big Apple and purchase a truly fabulous pair of vegan footwear, then march in the annual Veggie Pride Parade. [I visited, but didn't buy shoes. I did buy a "cranky vegan asshole" button from there, though.]
47. Order a custom-made birthday cake from San Francisco’s MaggieMudd ice cream shop.
48. Rekindle your childhood love of PB&J.
49. Create something that helps humans feel compassion for animals: a video game, children’s book, ‘zine, novel, movie, or blog will do! [Woo! Go blog!]
50. Vacation at the all-vegan The Lodge in Grenada.
51. Get caught up on your veg-friendly reads by joining the VegNews Book Club.
52. Eat at both Native Bowl and Homegrown Smoker vegan food carts in Portland, Ore.
53. Donate all your non-vegan clothes to charity. [If I had non-vegan clothes, I would do this. I've been veg*n since 1995, though.]
54. Try Chicago Soydairy’s mozzarella sticks. Recover blown mind.
55. Read or re-read John Robbins’ timeless classic, Diet for a New America. [Started it, but never finished it.]
56. Go on a Vegas-style bender at Ronald’s Donuts. Bring on the bear claws, old-fashioned, and chocolate-dipped doughnuts!
57. Adopt a turkey in November, then savor Native Foods Café’s Wellington for Thanksgiving.
58. Host movie nights and show Bold Native, Forks Over Knives, and Babe.
59. Attend a volunteer night at the PETA headquarters in Norfolk, Va.
60. Eat a huge vegan sundae at Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in New York City. [Sounds like a dream come true!]
61. Send a vegan care package.
62. Make your own seitan sausages, in every flavor you can imagine. [This sounds gross.]
63. Become a vegan hostess extraordinaire by throwing holiday parties, brunches, bonfires, barbecues, fondue nights, and so on. [Traveling Dinner Parties! I miss those.]
64. Take a Wanderbird Cruise to Alaska or the Caribbean.
65. Spend an afternoon handing out Vegan Outreach’s “Why Vegan?” brochures. [I feel like I may have done this once, a long, long time ago.]
66. Attend the Texas State Veggie Fair, then head to Spiral Diner for amazing vegan eats, deep in the heart of Texas. [I haven't yet messed with Texas...]
67. Spend a week at The Gentle Gourmet B&B in Paris.
68. Read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
69. Memorize five quick comebacks to the question “Where do you get your protein?”
70. Read Crazy Sexy Diet, and see if you don’t turn into a green-juice drinker. We dare you.
71. Devour soft-serve ice cream from New England’s Like No Udder, the world’s first vegan ice cream truck. [I want to work for these people!]
72. Write a well-thought-out letter to the editor promoting veganism.
73. Have your vitamin D and B12 levels tested.
74. Start a Vegan Drinks meet-up in your hometown and get to know your local vegans, boozily.
75. Demolish the garlic fries at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Brush teeth.
76. Take a cooking class at Spork Foods in West Hollywood.
77. Attend a Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down, then book a few extra nights at the sanctuary’s B&B.
78. Own at least one cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, and Ani Phyo.
79. Visit the Chicago Diner and feast on the tempeh Reuben, mashed potatoes, and cookie dough peanut butter milkshake. [It's a damn good shake.]
80. Find a vegan restaurant in every city you visit, no matter how remote! [I consider this a hobby of mine!]
81. Study the history of the women’s, civil rights’, gay rights’, or any other social-justice movement that has bettered the lives of beings who were once treated as property. Learn from them!
82. Watch Earthlings at least once. Then, if you feel yourself getting burned out or losing your drive for veganism, watch it again.
83. Eat beignets and the chocolate soufflé at Madeline Bistro in Los Angeles.
84. Write to Food Network and request more vegan content. [Do Facebook comments count? I say yes.]
85. Make soup in five minutes flat using a Vita-Mix blender. [It was actually a Blendtec.]
86. Rescue a companion animal.
87. Keep warm in a winter coat from Vaute Couture.
88. Donate money to your favorite animal charities.
89. Try Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Then try not to put it on every single thing you eat. [I've read about this stuff, and it sounds dangerous!]
89. Volunteer to muck out stalls at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary or Animal Place.
90. Attend (or, even better yet, have!) a vegan wedding. [Kara & Brad's wedding was vegan! And maybe someday I'll have one, too!]
91. Read every issue of VegNews ever published.
92. Attend the Genesis Awards. It’s swanky, fun, and you can actually see a difference being made—not to mention rub elbows with fancy Hollywood types.
93. Admire the work of your favorite vegan artist. (Don’t have one yet? Check out Gretchen Ryan, Peter Max, or Sunaura Taylor.)
94. Study T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study as if your life depended on it.
95. Make your own dim sum! It’s stupendously satisfying, not to mention delicious. [Does this count?]
96. Pen your own vegan manifesto. Keep it in a place that’s easy to see, just in case you need at reminder. [This blog is my manifesto!]
99. Stay at the Vegetarian Country House Hotel in England’s Lake District.