Shopping at Vegan Haven

Seattle is a great place to be vegan. We even have our very own all-vegan grocery store, Vegan Haven. The store is owned by Pigs Peace Sanctuary, and 100% of proceeds go to the pigs. Gotta love that!

vegan haven storefront

Vegan Haven is all volunteer-run, with the exception of its sole employee, manager Demarie, a compassionate vegan who keeps the store stocked and the variety growing. Vegan Haven recently expanded by taking over the empty space next door and the place looks amazing!

expanded store

I love that when I shop at Vegan Haven, I don’t need to read labels religiously. Everything is “safe” to eat. This is where I buy V-Dog, my dog’s kibble, and staples such as Daiya cheese, Upton’s seitan bacon.

Need vegan marshmallows? Vegan Haven’s got ’em. Wine? Check. There’s even a whole section devoted to vegan jerky!

vegan jerky

In addition to food, you’ll find wallets, bags and belts, jewelry, books, and beauty products. It’s a fun place to shop and even when I think I don’t need anything, I always find something to try. This time, Vegan Haven was having a bake sale, so I bought some baked goodies. I also picked up a Daiya frozen pizza, since I haven’t tried them yet. I bought another pack of crab cakes. I wrote about them earlier and they were my favorite of the Sophie’s Kitchen products.

Vegan Haven is at 55th and University Way, in a part of town with lots of vegan options. Pizza Pi is next door, Araya’s vegan Thai is down the street, and Wayward Vegan Café is across the street.

Have you been to Vegan Haven? Is there a vegan grocery near your place?

Pints for Pigs Event

I’m so happy that there’s another animal fundraiser social event in my future. In October I wrote about a vegan wine and cheese tasting I went to. Sadly (or happily) the tickets sold out in less than two days so a lot of people I know couldn’t attend.

pints for pigs

NARN is organizing another fundraiser–this one benefits Pigs Peace Sanctuary. And it’s in a bigger venue! That means that even though tickets are selling fast, there are still tickets available! I say get ’em while you can!

Pints for Pigs Peace is a pig-themed afternoon of fun at Central Cinema. There will be beer, movies, vegan food, brew-themed drawing prizes, and other treats. The cinema will be playing Babe, you know, the sweet, mid-90s movie about a little pig. And they’ll also show a heartwarming documentary about the important work at Pigs Peace Sanctuary.

This will be a fun event for beer lovers, wine lovers, and of course, animal lovers! Unlike the wine tasting, this event is all ages. You’ll be able to buy vegan food too, including Central Cinema’s vegan “pig in a blanket” and vegan pizza.

When: January 11th, 2014 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: Central Cinema (1411 21st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122)
Cost: $20 (Get your tickets here)

Check out Facebook to see the event info (but don’t forget your tickets).

Visiting Pigs Peace Sanctuary

Last Saturday I had the chance to visit Pigs Peace, a sanctuary for abused and neglected animals. A hundred and ninety-one pigs now call the sanctuary home. They, and a few non-pigs, will get to spend the rest of their lives in peace. Old age is something most pigs never see, so living a long life is very special.

Pigs Peace

I went to the sanctuary because Jo Lombardi, a grief counselor, was offering a healing retreat for animal rights activists. Activists are often the people who see the things that others turn away from. We see the damage that others cause, and we know the dire situation that a lot of animals are in. That can be stressful, so having a safe place to talk among like-minded people was refreshing.

Jo is switching the focus of her practice to help animal activists exclusively. What a treat! She led us on guided meditation, a way to de-stress, and gave us materials so we could create an action plan and work toward balance in our lives. We were treated to vegan chili and snacks, and got a chance to share our stories with others.

After the retreat, sanctuary founder Judy Woods took us on a tour of the sanctuary.

A pig poses

We saw a group of pot-belly pigs rescued from a hording situation, we saw pigs who’d escaped slaughter and others who’d been rescued from neglect and abuse. The biggest pigs were 900 pounds! Unfortunately humans have been breeding pigs to be bigger and bigger. In the mid-1800s, a pig on a farm usually grew to 150 pounds.

One thing that struck me is how clean the farm was. It didn’t stink. The barn smelled like fresh hay. Pigs are naturally clean animals and don’t eliminate where they sleep. The barn was a place where the pigs could pile up, nest, cover up with hay, and get cozy. They did their business elsewhere. Of course pigs can’t sweat, so on hot days, you might find them cooling off in water or mud!

three pigs

I was also surprised by how hairy the pigs were. I always pictures “pink pigs” as being hairless. Well the “pink ones” had white hair. Others were brown, black, spotted or two-tone.

Pigs are smart! Smarter than dogs. They’re funny, playful, responsive, inquisitive, and a joy to watch.

We got to throw pumpkins to the pigs. They came running through the fields from all directions when Judy called them. And within a few minutes, two wheelbarrows full of pumpkins were gone!

pumpkins

Next up: Carrots. Judy rang the dinner bell and the pigs ran to the cement feeding area that we were busy littering with carrots. One again, the pigs ate them all–all 100 pounds of carrots!

carrots

One pig, a beautiful gray spotted one, would gather up as many carrots as she could. She walked far away, carrots spilling from her mouth the whole way, and then ate her “stash.” None of the other pigs did that, but she preferred to eat “buffet-style.”

spotted pig

If you ever get a chance to visit Pig Peace, I encourage you to. If you can’t get there, visit their website and look at all the pigs and read their stories. Judging by the amount we fed them, I’m guessing it’s not cheap to run a pig sanctuary. Pigs Peace is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, so consider making a donation.

In case it’s not obvious by now, I want to remind people that pigs are beautiful creatures who don’t belong on a dinner plate. I’m so sick of the cult of bacon. Bacon, pork chops, sausage–they’re all the same. It’s the flesh of a pig. And pigs deserve better than this. They deserve peace too!

And now for your viewing pleasure: pigs!