Monday, January 16, 2012

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King with Vegan Cookies

"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?'
Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?'
Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?'
But Conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?'
And there comes a point when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."

Today we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. An inspirational speaker, philosopher, and foremost a beacon of compassion and reason, his life of nonviolent action and pursuit to end discrimination has become a road map for those who concern themselves with issues of social justice. His life was one of service to others, and if there is something that we should be reminded of today, it is that we should take it upon ourselves to always be moving towards a more just society. We cannot simply wait for change to happen, we must, in the words of Gandhi, one of King's inspirations, "Be the change we want to see in the world."

Live it out. Though the path may not always be clear, and there will be forks and switchbacks and steep hills, there is, without question, a cause that needs you and your willingness to exercise your passion and compassion. So, what is it that you are passionate about? Is it finding a way to provide a safety net for inner city youths? Is it volunteering at a soup kitchen? Is it adopting an abandoned pet? Is it pursuing a career working with victims of domestic abuse? What are your skills? How can you use your skills to improve the world?

Perhaps the answer is obvious, or perhaps it needs a bit of thought. For me it has taken years of thought. And, as things pan out, I have found that the humble impact I hope to have on the world, is to alleviate the suffering caused to animals throughout the world, and especially in the food industry.

It is only by assessing the world with a truly open mind and questioning all the things we do, the things we take as a given, that we can spot the injustices in the world. We should remind ourselves that there were times throughout history where it was accepted that women could not vote and that certain people could be kept as slaves. Truly, it is the people who fought for the perpetuation of such iniquities that have been wiped from the annals of history. It is the people who fought for justice and compassion who we remember as heroes. There is no glory in defending the status quo simply because it is comfortable and familiar.

So ask yourself: is your stance safe, politic, and popular? Or is it your stance because your conscience tells you it is right?

Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, for your passion and love that shed so much light into the world.

And finally, may I just make a quick plug for veganism and vegetarianism as a part of the social justice movement rather than a fanatical and extreme group fighting for some esoteric and isolated cause?  Just for the record, Dr. King's late wife Coretta Scott King and his son Dexter Scott King both adopted veganism. Dexter has said that he considers veganism to be the "logical extension" of his father's philosophy. 

So, what better way to celebrate today than with some vegan cookies? I've decided that to document the variety and versatility evident in the exciting array of vegan cookies, I should try a different cookie recipe every week. I'm going to work my way through Isa Chandra Moscowitz's and Terry Hope Romero's book "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar." I'm starting from the beginning and working my way right to the end. Unfortunately, the first recipe was chocolate chip cookies, and they disappeared before I had a chance to photograph them. It was shocking. They looked like chocolate chip cookies though, so you don't have to stretch your imagination too much! The other unfortunate thing about this is that I'm not going to be posting the recipes. Clearly, posting every recipe from this book may entail negative circumstances if ever the right person found out about it. So, you may have to buy the book.... But, the upside is its not a big investment, just $11.70 on Amazon.

Anyways, recipe numero dos was Carrot Cake Cookies with Lemon Glaze or something to that effect. They're just a tad more original and unique than "Chocolate Chip Cookies" and are made with a host of spices, as well as carrots, walnuts, shredded coconut, and craisins (the recipe called for raisins but I just don't like them). They were really good, but I wouldn't say that they are as satisfying as a chocolate chip cookie. They're just not as indulgent, I suppose you could say. But they are quite good and are disappearing quickly. They go nicely with a cup of rooibos tea and a cold, dark New England day. The carrot cake and coconut confer the slim glimmer of hope that Spring is just around the corner.

Ready to enjoy!!

And... Why are these cookies good for you?

Well in the general "amount of fat and sugar" category? They are not better than any other cookie. 


They don't have any butter so they have a reduced amount of saturated fat compared to cookies made with butter.
They don't have the cholesterol associated with eggs.
Carrots have vitamin A.
Walnuts have vitamin B6, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

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