Saturday, January 14, 2012

Girl Scout Cookies, Veganism, and Social Justice!

It's that time of year again!  What is it they say?  That's right!  "The cookies are coming!"  Now, you might be asking what brought about my recent fascination with Girl Scouts and Girl Scout Cookies.  Well, it all started with this YouTube video one of my friends posted on Facebook.  I'll include it here below.  If you are able to get all the way through watching it, then you're a trooper.  I think I made it about three minutes in and couldn't stand hearing this bigot say "...and I quote" one more time.  We should make an "And I Quote" drinking game.... but by the end, there'd seriously be people with alcohol poisoning in under ten minutes.  Anyway, here's the video:

The people who posted this video initially have taken it down after a lot of backlash.  Funny enough, they call themselves "HonestGirlScouts" on YouTube.  If you want to go troll them, here's there page:

If you want to see an awesome response video, here it is:

She's my Girl Scout hero!

So this got me into further researching the Girl Scouts of America.  Seeing as I used to be a Boy Scout--and they are FAR less inclusive than Girl Scouts appeared to be--I was interested in seeing if this was true of Girl Scouts.  I know that Boy Scouts of America has been in the news previous for denying homosexual scouts, as well as homosexual scout masters from being a part of the scouts.  So what I found out about Girl Scouts was even better!  Apparently, Girl Scouts has turned into a group that is very conscious about social justice.  I think that is awesome!  The stuff I found can be more easily summed up by a picture that I saw on Facebook this morning, so I thought it'd be perfect to go with this blog post.  Here it is:

(Courtesy of Geneva Conway.)

So basically, despite being vegan, I had every intention of buying as many of those Girl Scout cookies this year as I can get between my grubby little mitts!  What I actually found was quite surprising.  Some Girl Scout cookies actually are vegan!  But I'll warn.... you fellow vegans out there have to be careful.  Girl Scout Cookies are actually made by two different companies.  That is why sometimes they have slightly different names (for example: Shortbreads/Trefoils, Samoas/Carmel deLites, etc.).  Each year, these two companies are actually the ones who choose what variety of cookies will be out that year.  Each company chooses eight cookies, and those are the ones they produce for the Girl Scouts that year.  Those two companies are ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers.

Just so you are aware, NONE of the cookies made by Little Brownie Bakers are vegan!  Not one.  However, there are FIVE varieties that are made by ABC Bakers that are vegan!

Here are some tips to know which bakery your local troupe uses:

  • Obviously--if they're sitting right in front of you--you can check the box.
  • If they're selling Thanks-a-Lots, Shout Outs!, or Lemonades, they're selling from ABC Bakers (as Little Brownie Bakers are not making those varieties this year).
  • If they're selling Savannah Smiles, Dulce de Leche, or Thank U BerryMuch cookies, they're selling from Little Brownie Bakers (as ABC Bakers are not making those varieties this year).
  • Also, if you check the website for your local Girl Scouts troop--which you can typically find via the Girl Scout website when you go to look for cookies--They will likely have a resource for the troop leaders about placing their cookie orders, which will tell you who they are ordering from.
Lucky for me, my local troop uses ABC Bakers!  I know you've been waiting for it, so here are the five varieties that are vegan from ABC Bakers this year:

And I know you've all been waiting for this one..................

(All Courtesy of ABC Bakers.)

For the first time ever, a vegan Thin Mint cookie!  Too awesome for words......

Now, I'm sure there are some stickler vegans out there saying, "Well a few of those aren't vegan!  They're made on equipment that is used to process milk products!" or "I doubt any of those are vegan!  They're cookies!  Come on!  Sugar!  Bone Char!  Come on BFGV!  Get your head out of your ass!"

To this, I say:

1.  I am definitely not a stickler vegan for products with those warning labels, "Allergen Information: This product is manufactured on equipment that processes products containing milk."  I might be more concerned if I were actually allergic to milk, but I am not.  Also, if you know much about these types of large factory settings, you'll know that they are generally very diligent about cleanliness.  If they weren't they'd be shut down in no time.  So I typically trust that they're vegan-friendly.

2.  If you also know enough about these large factory type operations, then you'll know that sugar refined using bone char is more expensive than sugar that is refined through other means--or even unrefined.  Therefore, companies who are making products like this--both in such large quantities and in which you'll never actually see the sugar--rarely will use the more expensive stuff.  So you're looking at a better than average chance that this sugar is completely vegan.

I will note for the masses that I am not advocating for the mass consumption of cookies.  However, moderation never killed anyone.  Nothing drives me more crazy than the snotty vegans who say, "Oh... I'd never eat that stuff."  Also, when you're given an opportunity to help an organization that is as socially aware as the Girl Scouts seem to be, you'll make an exception!

So go buy your cookies!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'M FAIL.... or "Falling Off the Wagon"

I am seriously FAIL.


I fell off the vegan wagon and went back to eating animal products.  For about 6 or 7 months now.  I guess my shame kept me from posting here.  It probably would not have been so bad; however, once you've gone vegan and done your homework, you know the terrible things that happen to animals--and your body when you consume them.  So when you "fall off the wagon," you are aware of the terrible things that have happened before your food made it to your plate.  So, like violence on television, you desensitize yourself to it.  "It won't bother me if I don't think about where it came from."  That is a cheap excuse; I admit it.  I think my "falling off the wagon" started due to a mixture of lacking money and going through a depression over the summer.  Unfortunately, it was a hole that I didn't climb out of, and it kept getting deeper and deeper.  Since the same time last year (June 2010) from my last post, I have gained 90 lbs. and I have begun to feel like total crap ever since quitting being vegan.

Before this story starts sounding too sad, I'd like to say this....  I have finally pulled myself out of this hole, and I have begun a vegan diet once more!  I attribute this solely to a friend that introduced me to the "21-day Vegan Kickstart" (

While I'll admit that I haven't used their meal plan, just the idea of this kickstart helped to provide me with that first step I needed to get back to feeling more like me.  I'm on day 3 right now, and I already feel remarkably better.  I can tell I've lost weight--though it is not about that for me--and I feel like I have so much more energy and drive than I've had in MONTHS!

I hope that--if you're reading this--you haven't lost faith in me.  I feel completely restored, and I have a hard time believing I'll have any more problems again with "falling off the wagon."  I never want to feel that way again.  I feel amazing today and I know that this feeling will just continue to grow from here!