I’m on the road so much for work that I don’t really take pleasure trips, and yet sometimes travel for work seems like a pleasure trip. This past week in LA was like that. Even though it’s “June gloom” season—cooler and cloudier than the rest of the year—it was beautiful and flower-filled and made me know why my “adopted grandmother” Dede, who moved from there at the age of seven, still thought of southern California as paradise eighty years later.

A high point was being part of a Gotham City Films short, one of a series of docs called “Breaking Bread.” It gathers a dozen supporters of a particular cause to explore why those people support their cause. For this evening, it was Farm Sanctuary, the first sanctuary for horribly abused farm animals and animals found on “dead piles” in slaughterhouses. The photo below of FS supporters is from by Chloe Jo Berman of The GirlieGirlArmy:
farm sanc docu group.jpg
L to r: Persia White, Emily Deschanel, Mickey Madden, Rory Freeman, Mariel Hemingway, Farm Sanctuary cofounder Gene Baur, Chloe Jo Berman, Susie Feldman, Meredith Salenger, Victoria Moran, Marilu Henner, John Joseph, Corey Feldman, and Laban Pheidias 
There was obviously stimulating conversation about our cause, and about being vegan and vegetarian—what we eat (a lot of good stuff) and how we feel (generally, amazing). At one point, Chloe suggested that we each answer the ubiquitous question, “Where do you get your protein?” with our favorite protein source. The answers included dark leafy greens, chickpeas, almonds and sesame seeds, the combination of rice and beans, the fermented soy product tempehand the wheat gluten meat sub, seitan, that, for those who have no problem with gluten, ease the transition to a vegetarian way of eating. Rory Freedman, co-author of the phenomenal best-seller, Skinny Bitch, and the new Skinny Bastard, summed it up by saying that with a well-planned diet of natural, plant-based foods, you don’t need a favorite source of protein since you’re getting all you need from all sorts of yummy foods.
And we were being fed all sorts of yummy foods from Madeline Bistro in Tarzana, California. The meal began with a heavenly green pea and lemongrass soup, then a beautiful salad, a seitan lemon “chicken” over greens, a dessert array with ice “cream” and pastry, followed by luscious vegan chocolates. I love the way that this way of eating doesn’t make people suffer or animals either. It was a good night.

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