Friday, September 5, 2014

As you can see...

... we've been a bit absent. For a whole bunch of reasons.

Lindsay's acting career has taken front seat in her life at the moment, as has Steve's flourishing Reiki business, and while Lindsay & Steve will remain wonderful friends, we are no longer together as a couple. Which means for you, our kiss-worthy readers - this blog is a bit on hold. BUT - and this is a great, big, beautiful BUT - we will be keeping our beloved blog up on here for as long as we are needed. Whether we add new posts or not, you can forever consider KMIV a constant resource of vegan awareness and the joys of living a vegan lifestyle. 

Thank you for your support. Enjoy the old posts. We love you and are grateful for each and every one of you.

With love & vegan kisses,

Lindsay & Steve 

"If we're destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there's got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that."

- Ellen DeGeneres


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Please Help PlantBuilt Spread the Word of Strength & Health & Compassion through their Indiegogo Campaign!

While I've always been involved in sports throughout my life, I had always been on the skinny, plain, undefined body side of things. 

Fast-forward to now. In the past two years, I've run three beastly mud runs and a half marathon. I've added on a solid 20 lbs. to my thinner frame, mostly muscle, transforming into a new lean and muscular athlete. I've adopted a solid gym regimen, lifting more than I ever have. A consistent yoga practice has also helped me shape my body. Why now? Why have these past two years proved so valuable with my fitness?

1) I adopted my vegan lifestyle, taking a much greater focus on health and nutrition. My new completely plant-based diet introduced me to new foods, cleaner eating, and a renewed love for lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. And beans. And oh so many other foods.
2) I discovered Vega and Vegan Proteins. And with this came my go-to source for clean, plant-based, cruelty-free options to enhance my fitness, muscle building, athletic performance, endurance, and more.

plantbuilt indiegogo
I've had the great opportunity to get to know many plant-based athletes and bodybuilders, through personal friendship or online followship - Robert, Giacomo, Dani, Ed, Chad, Billy, Derek, Mindy. I've looked to these wonderful people for inspiration, motivation, information, and advice and they have all bonded together to create a powerhouse - PlantBuilt.

PlantBuilt is a group you may be familiar with. The team, compiled and led by Giacomo Marchese and Dani Taylor, co-owners of veganproteins.com (whose collaboration with KMIV brought our most successful giveaway ever!), debuted at the 2013 Naturally Fit Super Show, with 15 vegans competing in various classes of bodybuilding amongst over 150 (non-vegan) competitors. Every single athlete placed in the top 5 of their class and 2 pro cards were awarded. Making up only 10% of the competition, they took home 40% of the overall trophies. This year's team is over twice the size and will be represented in the INBF bodybuilding, Crossfit, powerlifting, and transformation competitions at the Naturally Fit Super Show in Austin, TX on July 26th, 2014. Many of last year's team members returned, and the new ones were selected by the honorary members from a large, competitive pool of applicants.

vegan bodybuilding

With such great success last year, I, personally, am SO excited for what they can - and will - accomplish this year. In order for this to happen, for this powerhouse of vegan strength, health, and compassion to show the mainstream that plant-powered is the upcoming movement of our world, PlantBuilt needs our help. And since they've done so much to build veganism in a healthful, strong, positive light, let's come through for them, so they can continue spreading the message.

PlantBuilt is currently hosting an Indiegogo campaign in a effort to raise the needed funds to:

  1. Support their selected farm sanctuary and vegan outreach groups
  2. Go towards the operating costs to compete as a unit and promote a vegan lifestyle through direct activism

Beyond helping the PlantBuilt team, the animals, and spreading positive message of compassion, there are a variety of perks to reward YOU for your help - t-shirts, custom workout music compilations, Vegan Proteins products, honorary PlantBuilt team membership, and more. For optimal value, check out "The Works" package. For $100, you actually receive more than your donation value while offering your generous support to PlantBuilt.

So let's make a difference, okay?! Visit PlantBuilt's Indiegogo Page


and please donate as you can. Each and every dollar means something and adds up to make this campaign a success. Whether you donate or not, please share amongst your friends, family, community, online audience. We have a fantastic group we're supporting here. Let's really make a difference.

plantbuilt indiegogo campaign

Thank you. From Kiss Me, I'm Vegan and from PlantBuilt. And from the animals. 


Many vegan hugs and kisses and flexes to you!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Talking Veganism & Beliefs with Jon Wolf, The You-Time Coach: How to Discover Beliefs You Are Certain About

My brother-in-law and Life Coach/Mentor, Jon Wolf, is doing this awesome series of interviews that I had the privilege of being a part of. We connected about "discovering beliefs you are certain about," even in the midst of growth and change. It was a fun conversation and we delved deep into veganism. Please check it out! Go to www.youtimecoaching.com to find out more about Jon, The You-Time Coach, and dive into his valuable insight and explorations through his blog, www.youtimecoaching.blogspot.com.

_________________________

How to Discover Beliefs You Are Certain About

Everybody has been marginalized in their lifetime in some way. 

Many involve all encompassing things such as religion, sexual orientation, and race, while others for less overt things like the way you dress, whether you like a particular sports team, what car you drive, or what job you work. 

Psychology, Counseling, Mentoring, CoachingWhat about the way you eat? Or even how compassionate you are? 

People around the world have been marginalized for years for the very simple reason of not fitting into the mainstream "in-group". 

This blog interview illuminates and explores how an individual's beliefs can change through their own life experience and how a little resistance from main-stream culture won't stand in their way.

Spartan Race, Running, Vegan, ReikiSteven Todd Smith is a Reiki Master Teacher and owner/creator of Reiki For Creative Minds. Also: a Life Nutrition Coach, Arbonne Independent Consultant, and Community Manager for Forks Over Knives. 

There are a lot of "standard" questions to ask a vegan, "where do you get your protein?, "do you only eat salad?", or "how do you not eat bacon?". What is the oddest question you have been asked?
Because veganism is still not mainstream, even in large cities in 2014, there's a handful of "interesting" questions that get asked here and there, mainly due to lack of information or misinformation. The oddest question I've been asked was "So can you still eat chicken?" A couple others: "Why do you care about animals more than humans?", "But doesn't that carrot you're eating feel pain?"

I know that the number is astronomically growing, but what percentage of people are actually vegan or completely plant based?
vegan, vegeterian
Based on a recent Vegetarian Resource Group-commissioned Harris Interactive study, approximately 5% of the US population (16 million) is vegetarian and about half of that number is vegan. That  ≈7.5-8 million has doubled since 2009. Even cooler is that 33% of Americans identify with eating vegan/vegetarian more often, though they are not vegan or vegetarian, according to the study. That's 100+ million people eating plant-based on a more regular basis! Just thinking about the sweeping positive benefits in global health plus the number of animals being killed dropping brings me much joy PLUS knowing that, even though we've already done a good amount of damage to the planet re: factory farming's deleterious effect on the environment, the steps we're making to correct, to heal the planet will kick in sooner than later. 


Minority, Compassion, Connection
Being such a small group with a majority of people not sharing what you believe in, how do you continuously maintain your beliefs?
How did/has any minority group continue maintaining their beliefs? Sure, there's a struggle, a greater wall of opposition to come up against. The Civil Rights movement, Women's Rights movement, Gay Rights movement all believe(d) in the same thing - equality, compassion, justice, love. Same with veganism. These tenets, these beliefs are larger than life, no matter how small the overall population sharing them is. They guide me forward, giving them the amazing opportunity to share and spread them, to educate and enlighten. Once you connect to unconditional equality, justice, compassion, and love for all beings - human animals and non-human animals (obviously still in the context that non-human animals are not humans, and vice versa) - and truly believe in them, it's impossible to go against that. And, on the surface level, I get to eat delicious food that cruelty-free and have fun with a community, that may be small overall but is locally very large!, that shares the same ideals. 


Do you believe there are broader concepts and 
values that could be shared amongst everybody?
responsibility, awareness, kindness, alignmentYes, and it's definitely worth repeating. Equality, justice, compassion, love. Also, kindness, awareness, sustainability, responsibility, living in alignment. All of these without conditions or bounds. When it comes to religion, faith, spirituality, it all comes back to love, no matter how many different twists and turns each individual one may take. And I'm not necessarily talking what's stereotyped as "hippy-dippy kind of love," (although, what's wrong with that? Nothing.): I'm talking about loving your fellow Earthlings with whom you share this planet. What gives any one of us the right to confine, abuse, torture, or kill another being, whether it's a dog, a cow, a person, a chicken, an elephant, a bear, a fish? I think love is a much stronger guide and force than hatred, than the need/want for power or greed. There are so many broader concepts and values that are already shared amongst a large majority of people in the world; the important transition/awakening happens when we realize we can extend those concepts and values to ALL living beings. Then, we'll find ourselves truly living in alignment.

Many people find safety and security in having a firm set of beliefs. Do you find it easier to simply "live life" when you have a set of beliefs that direct your thoughts and behaviors?
flexibility, receptivity, ideas, beliefs
I subscribe to a "strong-walled amoeba" approach. Having a set of guides/beliefs lead the way and protect me, something I can strongly and confidently connect to, while maintaining an open flexibility/receptivity to new ideas or beliefs that I may pick up and/or adopt along my life journey. I think living life in a black or white, immobile, immovable, steel box of beliefs will only prevent you from living fully, from connecting with other people and ideas on an understanding level of some sort. So, the openness and understanding from others that comes along with a solid faith allows for conversation and self-guidance. There are many benefits one will receive from living life with firm set of beliefs though, as much strength, character, individuality can be derived from them. Floating around with no foundation can be both scary and demoralizing. 

You haven't been vegan/plant-based your entire life. How hard was it to realize that your previous personal beliefs and values were in a sense "not the right ones" and how do you go about changing your beliefs?
Great question. As I've deepened my spiritual connection and practice and studied more what our purpose, as humans, is here on Earth during our lives, I begin to lean more toward the concept that our beliefs - we'll say specifically of equality, compassion, justice, love - are always there; we just aren't fully conscious and awakened to them yet. Sure, knowing what I know now, I wish I had been living vegan my whole life. But then my life wouldn't be mine. The journey is just as important as the outcome, because it lays the foundation for the path you end up taking. The foundation - knowing your "Why?" - needs to be strong, have purpose, or any changed beliefs will easily revert back to old habits, patterns, actions, beliefs.

openness While I had initial resistance because the new beliefs challenged my old ones, I entered with just the slightest openness and understanding, as mentioned above. That gave me the space to explore, learn, and experience. I had/sought support, dove into many different resources, and began to realize that veganism provided me with everything I actually was in alignment with in life. It was less of being wrong and then being right; it became my next powerful platform of growth. The difficulty came in the unknown part of the change: what will I eat?, how will I interact with others?, etc. Just like any change though - even from crawling as babies to learning/deciding to walk (not wrong to right, just the next step in personal growth) - the answers, regardless of the stumbles along the way, eventually came.

Steve, for those people out there now that question their own beliefs, what would you share to help them reach the same level of certainty you have that your beliefs are definitely the right ones for you?

It's as easy as asking yourself: "Is this action I'm taking in

alignment with my greatest/deepest values in life?" For me, I realized contributing to an industry that promotes confinement, abuse, and killing was not in alignment with my values. I do not support confinement, abuse, and killing. Once I learned and realized I could take care of my own health, my own fulfillment, and help other beings on this planet, it became a simple decision. Sure, the journey between the question, the exploration, and the decision may be trickier and take a while (or maybe not...), but the feeling of consciously being in alignment is one of the greatest feelings you'll experience. 

So, truly ask yourself. Explore. Figure out if you're serving both yourself and others with your beliefs; if not yourself, then it's time to change. If not others, then it's time to change. You can achieve both. We all can achieve both. Let go of the past (as the past is already past), tap into your present, your right now, and decide if what you are doing creates a better today AND future all around. You don't have to know all the specifics; there's a very good chance if the decision is in favor of equality, compassion, justice, and love, you're heading in the optimal direction.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Vegan Mainstream Professional Bootcamps! For the V-Entrepreneur in You! (& 2014 Bootcamp Schedule)

In October of last year, I had the privilege of attending Vegan Mainstream's Professional Marketing Bootcamp. I was every excited for the opportunity, as I had followed Stephanie Redcross, the founder of Vegan Mainstream, for a while. Stephanie actually featured Lindsay & KMIV on VM back in 2011, which was a wonderful chance to build an even greater audience. Vegan Mainstream has been helping vegan entrepreneurs develop their brand, marketing strategies, design, PR, SEO, and more since 2009, launching compassionate businesses more into the mainstream. Last year, VM kicked off its inaugural bootcamp schedule, visiting Berkeley, CA, Washington D.C., Chicago, IL, New York City, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Austin, TX, taking the United States by storm and inspiring many V-Entrepreneurs - whether health coaches, restauranteurs, food product creators, teachers, etc. - to move forward with creating or building their businesses in a super saavy, connective way.

To the event! October 12th, 2013, I made my way to Occidental College for the Los Angeles bootcamp. I was the first guest there, and the last one to leave. The bootcamp was a sell out, bringing people from all over to soak in the wonderful information, advice, and resources shared by Stephanie and her VM Bootcamp expert team. The day took us from the creative aspect of building a business to social media strategies to business tax laws, & exemptions, funding, press kits, patents, and so much more. The speaker slate was powerful, featuring:
  • lawyer Sandy Thompson, PhD, Esq.
  • marketing and business development specialist Paul Paez
  • PR powerhouse Annabel Adams (www.maddcappr.com)
  • VM founder, Stephanie Redcross
  • Happy Herbivore founder, Lindsay Nixon




In addition to the wonderful talks and Q&As, we dove into a delicious lunch, a mix & mingle & network session, and a fun Vegan Shark Tank! Some of my favorite takeaways:
  • "Our role is not to convert, rather to spread the word"
  • Key items for consideration in attracting the "Vegan Curious": demographics, competition -> Who/What else can solve that problem and/or provide service?, unique distinction -> Why does your product/service do it better? How?
  • "Understand your value, understand the person with whom you're connecting, add value to those relationships"
  • In crafting your pitch for public relations, figure out "Who Do You Want to Emulate?" Use someone/something that's been successful and develop it into your own
  • Look at your community. Who are your followers? Who are your advocates? Who are your Tribe Members? Where are they?
  • HELP your audience. Don't SELL to your audience.
  • Share your story & reference it often. People come to you (to buy, to join) because of YOU. 



Stephanie knows business; she knows people; she knows marketing, social media, effective & genuine interactions and networking; she knows how important building vegan into the mainstream is for our ultimate well-being in this world. With these Professional Marketing Bootcamps, she's providing an invaluable forum to learn, receiving inspiration, motivation, momentum, and connections that will help you and your growing business thrive in a world where "vegan" is still in the minority. It's a changing world though. And all of our vegan businesses and ideas have a place to settle in and revolutionize the world. Sure, this is very *big* talk, but, if there's so much potential out there in this awakening market, it's up to us to take the initiative to make sure we're not diving in without awareness and knowledge. Vegan Mainstream's Professional Marketing Bootcamps become the perfect vehicle to help you step and leap forward to the greater good of yourself and everyone else.


This year's bootcamps are kicking off Sunday, April 6th! Check out the schedule below and sign up if VM will be in a city near you:


I highly recommend getting yourself to one of 2014's VM Professional Marketing Bootcamps. You can jump on the website to vote for which cities they come to in 2015, in addition to reading up more about it.

Thank you Vegan Mainstream for bringing this amazingly wonderful compassionate awakened conscious lifestyle to the mainstream!

Do you have a vegan business? Are you a compassionate entrepreneur? Go to www.veganmainstream.com for more info and schedule your 30 minute introductory call.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Review of T. Colin Campbell's WHOLE & A Giveaway for YOU!

I had the privilege of reading an excellent book by one of my teachers and an icon in the world of plant-based nutrition. I am excited to share this post with you along with a giveaway for this book and more! Take a read, and then enter in your information at the bottom for your chance to win. Enjoy!

An a cappella singing group comprises of several/many people, several/many different voices, performing different parts of a song. Together, they create a complete soundscape, a recreation of a musical entity: one person presenting the percussion, others the melody, others harmonies, vocals, etc. Now imagine focusing on just one of the members and extracting her from the group because her harmonizing is so angelic, so beautiful. We take her harmony out of the group and just have her perform that harmony on its own as a song, expecting the benefits of what's provided from the complete song. Well, we're not going to get it. It's only one part of many that creates the masterpiece; by itself, it's out of context and, while complete in its own individual sense, incomplete in scope of creating a full song.

Now let's bring this to the context of food & medicine: maybe extracting a specific vitamin from a whole fruit and marketing the benefits the vitamin in supplemental form; or maybe chemically creating a pill to assist in the bolstering or reduction of a certain chemical process in the body. In both cases, just like removing the vocalist from the a cappella group, we fail to receive the full benefits of the complete entity, the full picture. In fact, when it comes to messing with the natural completeness of whole plant foods, we often unconsciously (or even worse, and all too often, consciously) introduce a host of detrimental side effects into the picture, sending the exploration for health down a rabbit hole that's guided by greed and power instead of positive intentions.

In WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Dr. T. Colin Campbell expands beyond his work in The China Study, which brought to light the immense benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet, and presents a reality where profit trumps true health and real solutions are hidden away. Dr. Campbell makes a convincing case that we ("the system") have got it all wrong. We've bypassed the clarity of what the whole picture presents by breaking everything down into tiny little pieces and allowing each and every one to define the entire picture, out of context and with selfish intention. He explains what's going on in the world of nutritional sciences, food marketing, medicine, and government, spotlighting the reductionist paradigm that unnecessarily detours the full landscape described above, and provides us with the actual truth, the WHOLE truth, about how to think critically, understand the system, and achieve true health by living WHOLE lives.


I remember reading Dr. Campbell's The China Study a few years ago - a great but dense read, packed with tons of information, charts, etc. Definitely a valuable read, but potentially not suited for readers who prefer to avoid more of a complex immersion into detailed science. I think WHOLE does a good job of bridging that gap, making for a read that can connect with even more audiences, especially because it describes the pitfalls of the current world we live in and lays out approachable solutions (we want to be in the know, right?!).

The power of this book comes from the presentation of where a non-WHOLE, or anti-WHOLE, world has left us: sicker than before, paying more for health care (which is more accurately described as "disease care"), and more confused than ever before. Yet nothing is being done by those in control to truly solve this crisis. Eating unhealthfully makes us sick. Being sick forces us toward interventions - pills, procedures, etc. Interventions cost money. Eating unhealthfully makes lots of money for the food, pharmaceutical, supplemental, and medical industries. Is this the type of world we want to live in? I can say, with 100% confidence, it is not! The solutions come from changing the policy and sources of information from the top down (which is possible but very difficult) or, more accessibly, accepting responsibility as individuals/consumers, questioning the status quo (that does not serve us), and taking action toward our own health - getting us closer and closer to a tipping point in favor of true health.

Many statistics in the book blow my mind (like "The annual revenue for Big Pharma, $289 billion in 2010, exceeds the total national budgets of at least 80 percent of the countries in the world). Learning about the reductionist paradigm's stranglehold on government and within the scientific community angered me, as it seems all too obvious that the current system is not working and has not been working for a long time now. And the information presented almost became a storyline, a journey from clarity into darkness - ending with a call to action to come back into the light.

I highly recommend WHOLE: for a fulfilling read; as an advisory to you, the consumer; as a vote for truth and for health; and so much more.

"The current system is unsustainable. The only question is, will we free ourselves before it takes us down with it? Or will we continue to pollute our bodies, our minds, and our planet with the slag of that system until it collapses under its own economic weight and biological logic? ... What we eat, individually and collectively, has repercussions far beyond our waistlines and blood pressure readings. No less than our future as a species hangs in the balance...

It's time for us to begin a real revolution - one that begins by challenging our individual beliefs and changing our diets, and ends with a transformation of our society as a whole." 
~ T. Colin Campbell




You can find out more about the book, Dr. Campbell, and plant-based nutrition research, studies, and courses at www.nutritionstudies.org.

To enter the giveaway for WHOLE and The China Study Cookbook, just dive into the Rafflecopter widget below. Have fun and good luck!


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reasons to Smile: The Year 2013

A round-up of KMIV's 2013 Top 25 Reasons to Smile (although there were sooooo many more), by your favorite vegan hubby, Steven Todd Smith.

jason wrobel
JWro dives into one of his delicious recipes.
1. An amazing holistic raw vegan Reiki certification retreat at the Atlantis Rejuvenation Center in Bimini, Bahamas to launch Steve into the new year with the creation of his Reiki business, Reiki for Creative Minds.

2. The birth of the pilot episode of "How to Live to 100" with Jason Wrobel on Cooking Channel AND news of the official debut of this world's 1st vegan cooking show on January 3rd, 2014.

vegan bodybuilding and fitness
Vegan runner. Vegan warrior.
3. My plant-based/vegan fitness apparel from Plant-Based Junkies and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - worn for a Gladiator Rock N' Run, a Spartan Sprint, and my first half marathon (video - watch!).

4. Farm Sanctuary's Animal Acres. Winnie, Thatcher, Li Mu Bai, Turkey Lurkey, Prince, Paolo, Bruno, Safran, Macy, Jumper, and so many more amazing geese, chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, sheep, cows, horses, and pigs. Also, the human animals there: Cameron, Kelly, Robyn, Alex, Dani, and many other super people who care for these animals every day.

5. Stories like these that illustrate the intelligence of animals and the compassion that we, humans, can and should live out fully with all living beings.

6. Veggie Grill is going to become the country's first vegan restaurant chain at some point. I can feel it. I hope soon. 

7. "Bring It Down to Veganville" on SNL brings vegan to the mainstream with a dose of tasteful comedy. 

vegan recipes
Drool. Drool. Eat. Eat. Yum. Yum.
8. New recipes! Our favorites? Wolfsmith Stuffed Peppers and Sweet Potato Stacks.

9. One of the best written articles regarding veganism that I've ever read. By Dr. Will Tuttle.

10. The opening of the Animal Advocacy Museum in Pasadena by the wonderful Patty Shenker and Prabhat Gautam. The creation and organization of my very first large fundraising event with the help of the passionate and talented Ciddy Fonteboa: A Night of Creative Compassion. We raised $2500 for the animals of Farm Sanctuary.

11. Family visiting us in LA! Dad & Stepmom Wolf, Brother Wolf, Sister Wolf, Mom & Dad Smith. All received tasty trips to Cafe Gratitude.

Crossroads Kitchen Los Angeles
Vegan Goes Chic.
12. Crossroads Kitchen opens in West Hollywood! Fancy vegan comes to LA - and we indulge.

13. California Ag-Gag bill ruled dead! A huge win for transparency, justice, and compassion for the animals.

14. Our most precious Rini cat survived from heart failure. The emergency clinic vet gave her a 50/50 shot to make it through the night. She did. Lindsay and I were eternally grateful for the love, support, and help she received.

15. Vegan Beer Fest with The Vedge App's Jessica and Christina (thanks for the Ronald's Donuts!), Vegans in Vegas Radio's Rigel, Veggie Fixation's Christine, and so many more compassionate drinkers. Tried a most delicious coffee beer, one of my favorites ever. Oh, also Vegan Pizza Day. I learned what a Pizza Coma was.

16. Being the Community Manager for Forks Over Knives (for over a year!). Connecting with, assisting, congratulating people all over the world as they go through their plant-based journey. This documentary has created an enormous positive revolution for health and, in doing so, for compassion too.

17. Vegan babies and watching them grow up. Thanks Brian L. & Joanna W. and Jessica & Kenny S. for giving birth to such adorable kiddies and being excellent parents.

gardein powerv
The birth of the Power V(egans).
18. Jumper the cat's nighttime ritual and high-flying theatrics (videos: you want to watch these).

19. The first (of many!) PowerV lunches at the new Gardein Tasting Kitchen in Marina Del Rey. Jason Stefanko is not only a Gardein executive chef; he's the man!

20. Films that have made and will continue to make an impact on the hearts and minds of humans - Blackfish, The Ghosts In Our Machine, Speciesism: The Movie. And looking forward to the upcoming Unity (from Shaun Monson and Nation Earth, who brought us Earthlings).

animal acres
Mary helps us with our vow renewal.
21. Celebrations galore! Our friends' Molly & Dan's (vegan) wedding and our 4-year wedding anniversary (and 10-year "we've been together" anniversary). During our vow renewal at Animal Acres, Mary the sheep popped in to be our officiant.

22. The holidays this past month. So much food, so much family, so much laughter and joy and fun and presents. So much love.



23. Bill de Blasio wins us all over, vowing to ban horse carriages in NYC. Thank you.

bill de blasio
Thank you, Mayor-elect de Blasio.
24. Lindsay's booked commercial representation. Lindsay's role in the thriller, Gone in the Dark. Lindsay's first successful Kickstarter for Lady and the Bum, a short she wrote and will be starring in (coming next year). Lindsay's co-star on Criminal Minds. Lindsay's foray into a fun, potential sitcom pilot. Lindsay's immense achievements this year in acting - so keep an eye out for your KMIV creator in 2014... she's gonna be on screens all over, both TV and film :-)

25. You. Our kissable KMIV family. Thank you for your continuing readership and support. We know we've been more infrequent with posts, but we're still here! We look forward to a 2014 with some fun happenings and always love your participation. Happy New Year!!!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Family, Food, and Fun!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy Holidays!

This is definitely our favorite time of the year. For so many reasons. Some of them include:

  1. It's Lindsay's birthday! This one is extra special, as she's celebrating 30 glorious years. 
  2. Holiday time brings out such wonderful joy, happiness, and togetherness from everyone! This year, Lindsay and I started with a belated Hanukkah and Mom Smith birthday celebration in Pennsylvania with Dad Smith and Sister Smith too, moved to a New Jersey weekend with Dad & Stepmom Wolf, and are currently in a cabin in the Catskills celebrating Christmas with Mom Wolf, Sister Wolf, Brother Wolf, and Grandma! Presents, fires in the fireplace, snow, X-Mas PJs, and more. We'll be finishing off with NYC for New Year's.
  3. FOOD! Lots and lots of it. From a Tofurkey feast to breakfast scrambles to some tasty treats - we make sure to get the whole family involved, in the cooking and with their appetites.
  4. A time to reflect. There's only one more week left in 2013! What an amazing year it's been. Keep an eye out for a special 2013 Reasons to Smile Wrap-Up. We'll be getting nostalgic, talking about special moments and accomplishments, in addition to thinking big for the new year 2014.
  5. Pictures! Enjoy some of what we already have for you below.

What are YOU doing for your 2013 Holiday Celebration? Comment below!

kiss me i'm vegan christmas
Catskills cabin decorations

kiss me i'm vegan games
Playing one of our new favorite games,
Escape: The Curse of the Temple

kiss me i'm vegan kiffles
Kiffles! A Christmas staple and a delicious treat from Mom Wolf.
They're Hungarian!

kiss me i'm vegan tempeh scramble
A "Welcome Home!" tempeh scramble from Mom Smith. I followed up with a Daiya Cheese-y breakfast scramble 5 days later!

vegan chopped liver
Trying out Mock Chopped Liver for the first time. Mom Smith used a recipe from No Cholesterol Passover Recipes by Debra Wasserman and Charles Stahler

vegan chinese food
A Chinese food feast from New Harmony in Philadelphia

vegan meatballs
Vegan Meatballs a-cookin!

vegan christmas
Nothing like a warm fire on a chilly day. Stockings accompany.

vegan christmas
Presents from Santa! It's Christmas!

lindsay wolf steven smith
Your most kissable bloggers enjoying the holidays and expressing
our never-ending gratitude for your love and support


Have a happy compassionate holiday season and enjoy this final week of the year!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

The 4th annual terrific thanksgiving turkey pledge!

At Farm Sanctuary's Animal Acres, 2013.
Hello friends!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with that, the hustle and bustle of finding just the right food to display on the table for everyone to munch on. Stuffing! Mashed Potatoes! Cranberry sauce out of a can! Hey, you can take the girl out of New Jersey, but you can't take the New Jersey out of the girl...



This Thanksgiving, Steve and I will be eating plenty of yummy homemade food with tons of veggie friends at a very fun vegan pot luck here in LA, and I couldn't be happier. 

This year, I am challenging you - YES YOU! - to 

Kiss Me, I'm Vegan's



4th ANNUAL TERRIFIC THANKSGIVING 

TURKEY PLEDGE!!!

We've done this fun tradition since 2010 with fabulous success - reaching between 60-95 pledges on the blog each year. However, 2013 is special. This is the year that you - YES YOU! - help us get OVER 100 PLEDGES of compassion for a cruelty-free Thanksgiving.

Here's how it goes:

In the comment section below, 


please make a firm commitment NOT 



to eat turkeys this Thanksgiving.  

You can say something as simple as "No turkey for me!" or as long as "I would never dream of consuming turkeys because they're too cute to eat, pass the tofurky please!" 

I know we can get an all-time high for the turkeys this year! And don't worry - you can be a vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater-slowly-transitioning-to-kissworthy-vegan and still post a comment below. 

AND PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH JUST ABOUT ANY FRIEND YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON!

Here’s to a delicious, compassionate 
holiday season.

For vegan Thanksgiving recipe ideas, check out 2010's holiday post, Forks Over Knives' holiday menus #1 & #2, and if you haven't yet, give a Tofurky roast a whirl. I was skeptical at first, but oh my goodness are they amazing!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Ghosts In Our Machine: Through the Lens & Straight to Our Hearts

The Ghosts in Our Machine
Image from www.theghostsinourmachine.com
We live in a world where YouTube dog videos can peak above one million views, becoming a must-watch and share for those who consider themselves animal lovers. The same extends to sharing funny cat pictures. Even a Norwegian comedy duo can create a music video inquiring "What Does The Fox Say?" and get viral appeal from the masses. We gravitate toward the fun, funny, light, and positive - which is completely legitimate. However, in doing so, we often directly ignore another world of animals - a world that's very present, a world that's very real, a world that's unfortunate and sad and needs our attention just as much as the lovable world of "I Can Haz Cheezburger?" photos. This world, the expansive, global world involving animal captivity & cruelty, is potently shared with us in the powerful, beautiful, haunting documentary, The Ghosts in Our Machine.

Following on the heels of the widely-released Blackfish and the limited-released Speciesism: The Movie, Ghosts is entering our theaters and our hearts and minds at exactly the right moment - at a time where human awareness, global responsibility, and our connection to compassion are coming into focus. With masterful & sharp cinematic precision, director Liz Marshall continues the necessary march into greater consciousness by documenting and educating us about what is and what can be.

We're immediately immersed into our own journey with video and photos of the eyes of animals. From the start, we're invited to delve into the eyes of animals through our own eyes and begin an adventure of bearing witness. We see beings that are inherently different from us in some ways - with fur, scales, hooves, snouts - yet connect to us in the most important way regarding our existence on Earth: we see, we breathe, we live. And, with the support of groundbreaking research (plus knowing our own personal relationships with companion animals), we feel.

We Animals
Image from Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals
The film is guided by our protagonist, acclaimed photographer Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals), creating a seamless blend of narrative and documentary as she travels from location to location, capturing the realities of animals living "in the machine" of today's world (fur farms, factory farms, breeding farms, laboratories, entertainment corporations, etc.). She reveals the stark truth about our falsely mainstream lovable relationship with animals through her photos of individual animals that represent the billions who are held in captivity and commodified for their fur/skin (for clothing), their flesh/secretions (for food), and their physical presence/bodies/abilities (for entertainment & experimentation).

Through the mixed medium of photography and film, we walk alongside Jo-Anne on the adventure, directly confronting the emotion that can be captured in a still image. We, whether we ever have truly made the connection, see loneliness, despair, fear, terror, depression in the eyes and bodies of these animals trapped in cages & crates, strapped to carts - reminiscent of photos from WWII concentration camps.

captivity mink farming
Image from Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals
To balance out the sad truth we witness, we're also taken to a wonderful place of joy, of hope, of play and freedom and love, continuing to bear witness - only, this time, through the eyes of liberated animals living out their lives at an animal sanctuary. This juxtaposition - from confinement to open pastures, from injured & malnourished to clean, well-fed, and frolicking - provides a cogent testimony of why this world is a better place when we act from unconditional love and care, regardless of species.

We are forced to reexamine the words "compassion" and "sentience," defining whether they apply only to human animals or non-human animals too. Our reexamination also involves the word "dominion," and we must determine if we have strayed from "hold dominion over (as a shepherd, a guide, a watcher)" and moved into "to dominate." Ultimately, I don't think the question starts with "if," rather "how much" - and the still & moving portraits of the monkeys, beagles, pigs, foxes, cows, dolphins in the film show just how much we've let our fellow earthlings down.

Underscored perfectly by music (including one of the most beautiful Radiohead songs to close out the film) and valuable voiceover to match the visual environment, Ghosts is a complete film that brings us an incomplete answer, left up to us to further explore and act upon. Through the questions that arise during the film, though, we can only discover that our answer - to "What will we do with this information/presentation moving forward?" - will spring from our own embodiment of compassion and how strong it is (or if it even exists at all).

animals cages factory farming
Image from www.theghostsinourmachine.com
I'm left with chills, which I already experienced throughout watching, as I wipe the tears from my eyes. We are at a precipice in human existence, a crossroads where we must realize that human rights and animals rights are in partnership with one another - and to ignore or abolish one is to negatively impact the other. As we are exposed to the work and education of heroic journeymen & journeywomen like Jo-Anne McArthur and Liz Marshall, we must know that we have the choice: to contribute to and support the problem or be part of the solution. Like an actively moving museum and story all bundled into one, The Ghosts in Our Machine is an essential experience for everyone, an opportunity to connect or reconnect with our inherent compassion and help save the world.

This film is not just for us. This is for those who cannot speak on their own behalf (beyond the squeals and screams, the howls and bellows). This is for those who are trapped within a tragic, unnatural system (beyond the liberations and occasional escapes and runs to freedom). This is for those whose lives are taken without a second thought, for selfish gain (beyond the few who have a safe, warm home and sit by our side).
for the ghosts
This is For The Ghosts.
__________

"I truly believe that it's innate that we're all compassionate and that if we're given the opportunity to care, we will." ~ Jo-Anne McArthur
__________


The Ghosts in Our Machine is currently running its U.S. Oscar Qualifying Campaign after releasing in Canada. You can see the film this month and in December in New York City (through Nov. 21st), Los Angeles (Nov. 15th-21st), 
San Francisco, Chicago, and Columbus (further cities TBD). For screening dates/times, ticket information, and more about the film, please visit


NOTE: There is nothing graphic about this film, specifically in what is deemed graphic (blood, death, etc.). What could be considered graphic in another way is the sheer neglect, disconnection, and abuse that's present within all animal industries, obviously expressed through the featured animals.