inspiring companies

The Ghosts in Our Machine

film director Liz Marshall and Norman from The Ghosts in Our Machine


Tonight while obsessively “browsing” tumblr, I came across this blog post which was reblogging someone saying “No excuses. Go VEGAN!”. The person who reblogged it had added a huge list of sarcastic reasons why veganism sucks. It had been reblogged like 5000 times.

So many of the reasons were just really missing the point. I hear these kind of reasons for why PETA is evil all the time. Yeah, PETA is not politically correct. They relate the treatment of animals to the Holocaust and Slavery. Yeah, they annoy and offend people in the streets. Yeah, veganism doesn’t respect some cultures’ traditions of  lamb eating or what have you.

What I don’t get is, isn’t it more evil to torture and murder living beings than to offend someone on their way to work?

PETA does good things. So do vegans and vegetarians.

PETA does good things…in bikinis nonetheless

It reminds me of that Kurt Vonnegut letter I posted a while back where he talked about his respect for life.

The respect for LIFE itself is the most important thing.

People understand this when it comes to humans, but not to animals. Throughout the history of western civ, all the philosophers and thinkers have spent so much time thinking about what elevates us from our “animal nature”, how we are unlike animals.

But let’s face it. We ARE like animals. We ARE animals. Every person who has ever loved their pet knows this. I guess more people need to spend more time with animals or something to understand what is so obvious to some…. bacon isn’t “bacon”, you know?? It’s a highly intelligent being.

Amazing documentary


I guess I’m thinking about all this as an introduction to something that I think is going to change a few people’s minds about things.

I’m so excited for it.

It is a film, by director Liz Marshall, called The Ghosts in Our Machine, which follows the amazing animal rights photographer Jo-Anne McArthur as she goes undercover documenting all the ways animals are used and abused by our society.

Isn’t the name Ghosts in Our Machine so powerful. It’s called that after the idea that when our society became more industrialized with big factory farming operations, animals suddenly became invisible in our society, hidden away in these huge factories, with literal killing machines *shudder*, living these lives where nobody really can see what’s going on inside.

Amazing name. Amazing point.

I had been keeping up with this film on their facebook page, but I guess I hadn’t gotten around to seeing their trailer. Or maybe I had seen it, but only after reading all these books about animal issues spurred on by this blog and the amazing commenters on this blog, did it really hit me over the head when I saw it again recently.

The trailer is SO good. The cinematography is beautiful, the music, everything, is like REALLY good.

Also following photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, whose work is so powerful–it’s the perfect angle–as Liz says in the interview, a true David and Goliath story, one woman against the machine, one woman trying to change the world through her art.

Jo-Anne McArthur

Ok so I said it.

I had the HONOR of talking to the director of the film Liz Marshall and asking her a few questions about the film.

I will be posting the interview hopefully by tomorrow for you to listen to. YIKES! I am no Oprah, Ellen or Tyra, but I hope you enjoy it. It was a thrill to talk to the creator of someone doing something so big and important in the extremely important world of animal rights.

I will be keeping you updated on this film, because I can’t wait to see it!!!

In the meantime, watch the trailers… You won’t be disappointed.

Readers, I hope you enjoy, and check out Ghosts in Our Machines website, (they have a lot of cool stuff on their website such as vegan coaching by the way) and their facebook page.

And also HI to all the new readers. I think someone posted my blog to reddit–amazing!!

Whoever did that, thank you. Feel free to like my facebook page where I have been sharing some cool vegan articles, vids, photos and stuff like that from other cool animal-ish orgs.

Ok happy weekend guys!!!


The Best Vegan Gift Guide You Will Read This Year– Happy Holidays!

Come gather ye readers round the yuletide log, and open your presents I wrapped for you in leaves and twine.

In other words, it is time for the Holiday Gift Guide!

Now you have all been very naughty. Since none of my lovely readers suggested any vegan gifts via my fascinating facebook page, I guess this gift guide is going to be all about ME.

As a recent vegan, (I used to be just vegetarian) these are the items I truly WOULD want for X-Mas. I know I have probably written about most of them before, but sometimes I get a “collect them all” mentality. I fixate on the same things…and the longer you want something, the more you know you want it, right?

My list, if you please….


These awesome Jcrew-esque vegan mens boots. I have them in black. I splurged, but they are so great I want them in tan. Be warned, these are very UNfunctional boots sadly. They have literally NO traction and if you wear them in the snow you are truly living dangerously, but they look so cool…..HA. Available at Mooshoes.

Worker Boot in tan from Brave Gentleman X Novacas $250


I do not yet own a shoe from the inimitable GOOD GUYS. After doing my Interview with them, I feel like I just want a piece of the company. I now know so much that went into the company, how nice and cool the people behind it are, and the adorable vision for the brand. I like these red desert boots the best. They are so cute.

ayita red desert boots from The Good Guys


I have written about these before as well, but I still want them.  Once I saw this girl wearing a mini dress with over the knee boots, probably not an uncommon occurrence, but I thought it looked amazing. These are from vegan company Cri de Coeur.

Olivia Tall Boot $180


Ok, Allison’s vegan gourmet chocolates look really good. This is a necessity since I’m dying for chocolate. Every time I’m in the store, I look at labels of chocolate hoping to find vegan chocolates–haven’t found any yet! I want the toffee from here.

Vegan Toffee from Allison’s Gourmet.   I can’t look at this anymore… looks too good!


A weekend getaway at the Bed and Breakfast Guesthouse at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. So…I read The Lucky Ones, the creator of the Farm Sanctuary’s Book. I found parts of it quite hilarious, and although the farm is closed to visitors for the winter, if you stay at their cabin, you can spend time with all the animals. I’d love to see for myself what it is like to spend time with rescued farm animals. I’ve always wondered what farm animals are like…never having been lucky enough to get to know one.

A place where you can count sheep to go to sleep? VERY dreamy.


Well, this pink bag is still on my wishlist… I wish I knew the exact shade of pink as screens can be deceiving.

Vegan Pink Bag from Modcloth $54


The last time I went to mooshoes in NYC I was really impressed with the look and quality of this bag from vegan company Matt and Nat. It was beautiful! Better in person.

Matt and Nat Malone bag $135


You can never go wrong with anything from Lush. After reading the incredibl, thrilling and eye opening book Free The Animals by Ingrid Newkirk this year, I realized that it is just as important not to support testing on animals, as it is to not buy leather or wool etc. Animal testing, especially and without a doubt for things like cosmetics, is horrific. Lush is amazing in that they do not even work with any suppliers who support animal testing. So much of their stuff is vegan, and I feel like they were one of the first companies to bring veganism into the mainstream with things like their bestselling VEGANESE conditioner. They also do animal rights demonstrations. They are a really unique cool company. Ok, how about some bath bombs. You can’t go wrong.

Lush Bath bombs. $ 4-10


Ok guys, this one is for the edgier among you. I forget if I posted this on this blog, or my other one, but I think Harnesses are a really cool look to add to your outfits!! Yes, I am talking about wearing these out in public over t-shirts and evening wear… They are very edgy. 1 time I wore one out over a grey worn t-shirt and not only did I feel like the coolest person in the room, and everyone asked me about it…I was the coolest person in the room because of my AUDACITY to wear one of these babies in day. These became pretty mainstream a while ago. Topshop was selling them…but of course in LEATHER. I searched for non leather options….buying mine from the pole dancing wear shop Body Binds. I love mine! However I found these on etsy today–Vegan Harnesses!

Sorry for the nudity in this photo! I think these are mannequins anyway. I recommend wearing over clothes for a XENA warrior princess/Anjelina Jolie in Tomb raider kind of look.

Miss Malwia’s Etsy Store

Also check out Body Binds (made from elastic so definitely vegan).


For the 10th day of Christmas….I would like a print of a photograph by the amazing Jo-Anne McArthur. Her photographs are so beautiful, moving and meaningful. They express so much that can only be felt. She is going to be the subject of a film, The Ghost in Our Machine, that I think is going to possibly change the world.

I will soon be talking more about this as I have an exclusive tell-all interview with the DIRECTOR of the film….hehehehe. You will love it.

Anyway, this is the print I would choose.

This says EVERYTHING about our relationship to animals. “an animal” and a “human” gently touching hands. It is like they understand in this instant how similar they are, and yet their lives are so different–two different fates. One can help the other. Both can help the other. I think animals are one of the most beautiful and mysterious things on earth. It is a gift we get to know them and spend time with them.

That’s what all this gifting and being vegan is about anyway…trying to do what we can for animals. They do so much for us by inspiring wildness and magic in us.

True art.

Jo-Anne McArthur’s prints start at $125 dollars and can be purchased here.

Merry HoLIDAYS, HAppy Chanukah, Festive Solstice to you….

And please, any other gift ideas I have missed…comment below!