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I had the loveliest day a few Fridays ago…. one of my best friends Kimmy visited from California and we just had to hit our favourite restaurants Kindfood and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe in Burlington, Ontario.
Earthgiven Kitchen kindfood kelly's (2)I have tried just about everything on Kindfood’s menu by now and the California Burger remains my absolute favourite.  I just don’t know how they make it so delicious!   Marinated tempeh, avocado, veggie bacon, daiya cheese, tomato and lettuce on grilled maple quinoa bread….. it’s heaven, that’s what it is.
Earthgiven Kitchen kindfood californiaI took home the Zen Burger to enjoy later, my first time trying that burger.  It’s topped with mushrooms, onions, greens, wasabi mayo and miso gravy.  I love mushrooms on my veggie burgers so I like this one a lot and didn’t find the wasabi mayo too spicy.
Earthgiven Kitchen Kindfood September 2013  Zen burgerBy wonderful luck, Farm Sanctuary co-founder, author and animal rights advocate Gene Bauer was there.  I was thrilled to meet him.  He is such a nice man; approachable and warm.  You can read all about Gene’s victories for animals here: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/about-us/leadership/.  What a hero!
We all went to Kelly’s Bakeshop after lunch where they gave out free cupcakes in his honour!
Earthgiven Kitchen free cupcakes Kelly'sI split an ice cream with my son; he chose jellybeans and brownie crumbs for the topping.  We also got to try some new flavours of cupcakes like Bounty Bar and Apple Cinnamon Crumble (photo below on the right).  Anything with chocolate remains my favourites!   Like Kindfood, everything at Kelly’s Bake Shop (run by the same lovely family) is vegan, organic, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and absolutely delicious!Earthgiven Kitchen Kindfood kelly's cupcakesEarthgiven Kitchen Kindfood September 2013 (2)Friends and fellow vegan bloggers Mary (This is Vegan), Kimmy (Rock my Vegan Socks), and I at the bake shoppe.

Since it’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, what better time to consider the lives of farm animals, especially the turkeys.  What life do you wish for them – fresh air, open spaces and a peaceful long life?  Or a life of pain, fear and darkness, cut short only to be someone’s meal?  It’s a choice we all need to make and every choice matters.
Earthgiven Kitchen summer of peace 2013 (10)Here’s a photo of me and a free-roaming pet turkey at Cedar Row farm sanctuary, near Stratford, Ontario.   The only time I had ever been close to a turkey before was during my pre-vegetarian days when one sat on my plate smothered in gravy and I tried not to think of the living creature he or she used to be.   I’m glad those days are long over.

For great collections of delicious, vegan Thanksgiving menus, check these out:

On the highway drive both to and from Kindfood, we passed trucks crammed full of pigs on their way to slaughter.  I noticed that one truck was full of large pigs, the other truck was full of piglets, small enough that they could fit their little pink snouts through the small holes.  They were opening and closing their mouths, like they were trying to get all the fresh air they could.  My son had the camera and snapped these photos:
Earthgiven Kitchen Kindfood September 2013 (7) Earthgiven Kitchen Kindfood September 2013 (6)“I wish we could stop the truck to open those cages and set them free”, he said.

So do I kid, so do I.

Wishing you all a peaceful Thanksgiving!

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