Earlier this month a story was circulating about an orca whale who gave birth to a calf only to have it die about 30 minutes later. The mother whale carried the baby calf on her nose for weeks while she swam miles and miles along the Pacific Ocean off the northwest coast of Canada in what most animal behaviorists say was a form of grieving. That the calf was the first one born since 2015 (the whales have been tracked because of their dwindling population) makes the loss more heartbreaking for environmentalists who are trying to save the mammals from extinction by repopulating the seas, which have been depleted, with salmon. Read more
The Asheville dining scene for plant-based or vegan eaters has never been better. Years ago, I could write about the vegan options in virtually any town or city in one or two posts but not for Asheville, a city known for tolerance, compassion, and a deep respect for personal choice. It’s not that Ashevillians eat less animal products then the rest of the population (they probably eat just as much, if not more); the vegan-friendly approach has more to do with tolerance, accommodation, and a desire to please the people sitting at a table in their restaurant.
This is the fourth installment of vegan dining options in Asheville and there’s still two to go. Enjoy. Read on and taste what Asheville has to offer in plant-based dining on your next visit. Read more
If you’re the least bit health conscious, then you’re probably a label reader which also means when looking for ready-made sweets, you search for alternative ingredients to refined sugar, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup. So, when you see brown rice syrup listed as an ingredient in energy bars or other treats, you may be somewhat satisfied thinking you’re making a wiser choice. But, you need to think again because brown rice syrup has been called out for having “high” levels of arsenic – a chemical element that is often used in the production of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides (and in the feed for poultry and pigs to prevent disease). Read more
Vanderbilt University is one of the top private universities in the South and in the USA. At nearly $70,000 a year for tuition, room, and board, Vanderbilt’s fees are right in line with other top private colleges and, yet people still wonder why a 4-year education at Vanderbilt costs nearly $300,000?
The answer: tuition dollars are supporting a huge education machine where, in the case of Vanderbilt, nearly half of the total expenses ($640 million out of $1.4 billion in expenses, not including depreciation) are compensation-related costs for the 37,165 employees in 2016 (an average of $17,000 per employee – compare this to $75,000 at Yale, $68,000 at Penn and $64,000 at Princeton) although the prior year, it is interesting to note, $2.3 billion was used to compensate 36,272 individuals, which equates to an average of $64,000 – more in line with the industry averages above. The IRS Form 990 offers no explanation explaining this discrepancy. Read more
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently published an article entitled “Student-Loan Debtors Get Help From Judges” which reported that judges are now using “tools at their disposal” to reduce or cancel student loan debt after years of holding debtors responsible for the money they borrowed and promised to pay back.
One of these tools is asking lawyers who represent borrowers to provide their services for free. Yes, free. Students (legal adults) can borrow money to attend college, promise to pay it back, default on the loans, and the judiciary thinks its ok to ask a third-party (lawyers) to work for free. Is there anything more absurd? Read more
Wake Forest University (Wake Forest) is not a part of the Ivy League (8 private universities in the northeast) but if rank is ever determined by executive compensation, then Wake Forest would be right up there.
In 2016, Wake Forest reported employing 5,838 individuals for the roughly 8,000 students (5,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate) at a total compensation cost of $232 million, which equates to an average compensation of $56,000 (compared to $58,000 at Harvard and $75,000 at Yale). However, 431 individuals received more than $100,000 in compensation, including the 15 most highly compensated individuals listed below: Read more
New York is a culinary destination for everyone including the plant-based devotee whose toughest decision may very well be where to eat (this hasn’t always been the case for vegans). There’s fast food (By Chloe, Beyond Sushi, Plantmade, Peacefood, Cinnamon Snail at the Pennsy, Superiority Burger), fancy food (Dovetail, abcV), pizza (Double Zero), really good food (Candle Cafe, Candle 79, Candle West, Dirt Candy, Blossom, Franchia, Bodhi, The Organic Grill, Nix, Avant Garden, Urban Vegan Kitchen, Arata) and then there is Divya’s Kitchen – an East Village restaurant that is technically vegetarian although most of the selections are deliriously delicious plant-based.
Divya’s Kitchen is well-known for its culinary creations, but there is also the ambiance, and a special something for which there isn’t a word – casual and comfortable but also elegant in a Provence type of way – that makes Divya’s Kitchen my favorite place to eat in New York. Read more
Switching from a Standard American Diet (SAD) and/or a diet high in animal products – where milk, butter, cheese, meat, chicken, poultry, pork, fish, processed drinks and foods high in added fats and sugar are center stage – to a plant-based diet is difficult because if you’re not used to eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, then the food won’t seem satisfying or tasty at first (but within a few weeks, your taste buds adjust). So, the best way to make a successful transition is to make small changes that include the following tips: Read more
I have a love-hate relationship with the Wall Street Journal. One of the most respected newspapers in the world, the Wall Street Journal was my go-to newspaper for decades but since Murdoch bought the paper in 2007, I’ve reluctantly embraced it.
The news and personal lifestyle information is always interesting while the editorials often frustrate me with their conservative, big brother take on politics and culture. But not yesterday when an editorial entitled Food Stamps Shouldn’t Pay for Junk by Moby was printed. Read more
The most I can do for my friend is simply be her friend.
My friend, Denise passed away a few days ago from cancer. I was going to write “after a long battle with cancer” but that wouldn’t tell the full story – words rarely do.
34 years ago, after struggling with fertility issues Denise was pregnant with her daughter, Candice when she found out she had cancer. Against the advice of doctors, Denise decided to wait a few weeks for the baby’s lungs to develop before having a c-section followed by a complete hysterectomy. Years later when I was in the last weeks of pregnancy, Denise told me how lucky I was to carry my daughter to term; she felt she missed out on the whole 40 week pregnancy experience but also came to realize she was very fortunate in other ways. In the early years, Denise didn’t know if she would see her children grow up and then proceeded to tell me how incredibly lucky she was to have raised her kids. In that moment, Denise showed me that life is lived with both losses and wins, fear and joy, grief and gratitude. Read more