The milk of human kindness (is non-dairy)

I love my cafe latte. LOVE.

cafe-latte

But whoever said the latte part has to come from cows? Cow’s milk is for baby cows! It is great for calves–rich in fat and perfect for promoting growth OF A COW. Like 500 pounds growth in a year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in a growth formula.

baby-cows

The dairy industry is also unspeakably cruel, separating calves from their mothers immediately after birth. Many die. Males are “dispensable” and often killed or sent to veal crates. The mothers mourn for their babies. So we can drink their milk.

veal-crate
Male calf in a veal crate.

Not so long ago, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to block the use of the word “milk” in the labeling of non-dairy products like soy milk and almond milk. If NMPF wants “truth in labeling” then they can label cows milk as a lacteal secretion. Sounds yummy, yes? No.

Shakespeare is credited with the phrase “the milk of human kindness”, referring to care and compassion for others.

billy
William Shakespeare

 

(Is it just me, or does the above portrait of Shakespeare look a lot like the actor Steve Weber?)

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Steven Weber

From Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 5, (1605):

Lady Macbeth:
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promis’d. Yet do I fear thy nature,
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way.

For ambitious and ruthless Lady Macbeth, the milk of human kindness denoted weakness; she was afraid her husband lacked the wherewithal to muder King Duncan as the quickest way to the throne.

ellen_terry_as_lady_macbeth
John Singer Sargent painting of actress Ellen Terry playing Lady Macbeth (1889).

 

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I, however, fully approve of the milk of human kindness. And I extend it to the cows of the world by using alternate milks in my latte.

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I’ve even started making my own soy milk in my handy dandy Japanese soy milk maker.

machine

Here’s a quick video:

 

There are some continuity issues in the video (I put the top of the machine on backwards and then corrected it).There are dinner dishes in the sink. I couldn’t get Taste Tester Bob to try the soy milk. I will never forget the time at his friend Dave’s house when Dave was trying to get Bob to try soy milk on his bowl of cereal. Dave was basically chasing Bob around the kitchen with a carton of soy milk. Highly entertaining.

Commercially, I like Wildwood Farms soy milk, and any of the plant/nut-based milks from Califia Farms. I prefer the unsweetened and unflavored milks, but there are options if you have a sweet tooth or like a vanilla latte.

(By the way, I freaked out when I Googled “sweet tooth” and the first image was a horrible scary clown. I do not like clowns.)

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Apparently this is Sweet Tooth.

 

Speaking of the milk of human kindness, can we stop with the scary clowns already? Real life is scary enough.

Someday, I will figure out how to make almond milk and rice milk in the soy milk maker. The directions promise that I can! Then there is the okara–the ground up soy beans left at the end of the process. Being from Georgia, I keep thinking the word is okra…

 

Okara can go into veggie burgers; I’ve put it in stews and sauces for a protein boost. The recipe book that came with the soy milk maker includes okara “chicken” strips, okara bread, and, the one that might be my next video–an okara facial mask!

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I don’t think I will look this lovely applying my okara mask, but maybe when I’m done?

Oh, one last thing. Please don’t ask me where I get my protein.

 

Peace and hugs.

We❤️ Van (or, A Weekend in Vancouver, or, I Want to Live in British Columbia)

Last month, Bob and I spent a long weekend in Vancouver. Several times I saw the “We ❤️ Van” motto. It took me a while to figure out that it’s a reminder to recycle. And I hate to admit it took me a while to realize Van refers to Vancouver. Please note that my mother’s second husband’s name was Van and he wasn’t my favorite person on the planet. Every time I saw it I thought of taking a picture and sending it to my siblings with a 🚫 drawn over it. That explains why I was a little slow on the uptake on that one.

We heart Van
It depends which Van you mean.

By the way, can anyone tell me why the Vancouver airport designation is YVA? Just curious.airport

One of the things I love about being in Canada is the positive vibe to everything. Even the street signs and pedestrian crossing lights have a “wow, here’s what you can do” message rather than a “you better not do this” implication.

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Isn’t the green “yes” circle much friendlier than the red “no” circle?

The walkers in Canada clearly have a jauntier air to them than their American counterparts.

jaunty walker
Doesn’t he look like he’s having a good day?

The signage is also clear; it’s a very bicycle friendly city, and to prevent pedestrian/bicycle mishaps, the paths are clearly marked as to who should be on which side of the path. It was very helpful to this pedestrian, who has spent a lot of time at UC Berkeley and UC Davis dodging bicycles.

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Keeping the traffic polite.

Even the post boxes are more fun and colorful than the boring blue boxes in the US.

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I was worried about finding vegan food, but I needn’t have been. The first night, we found a wonderful place, The Acorn, that I wish I could go to every week. Creative and wonderful flavors, like being at Millennium or Sanctuary Bistro in Oakland/Berkeley, but a little quirkier in atmosphere. The beautiful, willowy hostess and wait staff in their flowy black dresses and faint Québécois accents made me feel like I was an American in Paris.

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S’il vous plaît venir.
cheers
First decision–drinks. I always look for fun non-alcholic drinks, and they had them. Mine is called the Little Bitter. I forget what oddball cocktail Bob picked.

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But what to eat? It was hard to choose.

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The special; two kinds of mushrooms so I’m in!

Pleasantly fed, we went back to our hotel and turned in for a good night’s sleep in preparation for our trip to Granville Island the next day.

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To get to Granville Island, we took an aquabus from Hornby Street Dock and headed to face the tourist crowd on a Saturday.

 

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The island has a huge public market, art galleries, boutiques, a marina, and oddly, Ocean Concrete, but even that has been transformed by the Brazilian art duo (and twin brothers) Os Gemeos, into a public art project. Take a look at Ocean Concrete.

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Ocean Concrete silos, Granville Island.

Scenes at the Public Market:

 

After a day of walking the sea wall and maneuvering through the tourist crowd, we headed back to downtown and set out on a trek for dinner to Yaletown, an old industrial area that is a successful example of urban regeneration.

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I  had less luck with the vegan food in Yaletown, although I did find vegan chocolate ice cream, so I was happy.

After so much walking, we decided to stay closer to the hotel on Sunday, making the short walk to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Don’t let the name gallery fool you; it’s a world-class museum and currently is showing a Picasso exhibition that I was excited to see.

 

Bob with signs

The Picasso exhibition is sectioned by the 6 women who served as muses during Picasso’s life: Fernand Olivier, Olga Kohklova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot, and Jacqueline Roque.

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Fernand Olivier:

 

Olga Kohklova:

Picasso 2a
Head of a Woman (Olga), 1917
Picasso 3a
Portrait de Femme (Olga), 1917

 

Marie-Thérèse Walter:

Picasso 6a
Guitar Hung on a Wall with Profile, 1927
Picasso 7a
Marie-Thérèse’s Face

Dora Maar (you can tell from his portraits of her that they had a volatile relationship):

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Picasso with Dora, far right.
Picasso 9a
Woman in a Hat with Flowers, 1944
Picasso 11a
Weeping Woman, 1937

 

Françoise Gilot:

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Picasso and Françoise with their two children, Claude and Paloma.
Picasso 12a
Françoise, 1946
Picasso 13a
Claude et Paloma, 1950
Picasso 14a
Femme assise, 1947

 

Jacqueline Roque:

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Pablo and Jacqueline, 1957

One of my favorite sections of the exhibition was the video loop playing of Picasso painting on glass with filmmaker Paul Haesaerts filming from the other side, made in 1949.

But wait, there’s more! There were also wonderful exhibitions to see of the streetscapes of photographer Harry Callahan, photographer Steve Waddell, text art by Barbara Kruger, an historic look back at Canadian artist Emily Carr, and a moving exhibition by Bharti Kher, a female artist in India whose work was a revelation to me.

Callahan:

Waddell:

Kruger:

Carr and Paalen:

Bharti Kher:

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Tired? Hungry? Let’s visit the cafe! It’s one of the better (and lovelier) museum cafes I’ve been to, and they had vegan options!

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Vegan soup and cookie, thank you!
flower water
Flower petal water.
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The cafe patio.

 

All refreshed, we then headed for a walk to Stanley Park, a gem of the city.

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Lord Stanley himself.

I want to live in the park restaurant.

I had a much needed coffee. Bob happily tried the beer.

Bob

Back to hotel for a rest. Finally, the traditional feet picture!

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A last dinner at the restaurant Notch8 in the Hotel Georgia, a beautiful hotel that if you have to ask how much a room costs, you can’t afford it. We did not stay there but in the Metropolitan next door. I especially liked the Art Deco architecture of the vestible.

 

Sadly, we had to leave this beautiful city and head back to our real lives. But I can dream. Someday I’ll get back there. Look for me under the sign of the diva, or on board the little houseboat of my dreams.

Diva

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