Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Final Kick in the Ass for 2011

My beloved Boo died suddenly tonight, having lived with Cinnamon and me only since 6 November this year.
I am beyond devastated and utterly angry at yet one more loss in my life I have to endure, just in time for New Years Eve. Why, why, why? Who did I piss off in the universe to warrant this incessant sorrow? I am beyond grief. I am just worn out. My heart hurts so much...

Friday, December 30, 2011


I should warn my reader that as I write this I am having white wine and various hor doevres so forgive me if I get a little maudlin. It is that time of year when we look back on our lives and try to figure out just where the hell we are going. This time last year I wrote in this blog how thrilled I was to kiss 2010 goodbye. I am sorry to say I must say the same for 2011. How sad and bitterly ironic that the Year of the Rabbit should have such a terrible year for me. I lost my beloved rabbit Woodstock, and moved out of my husband's life into a condo, apparently much to his great joy (you would never know I lived in that lovely townhouse if you visited it today.) I sit here relieved this year is all but done but i also fear for the future. My beloved Boo has already had surgery for bladder stones and may have molar issues ahead. My Cinnamon is starting to exhibit signs of what I call old timers' disease. She will sit, staring into space for minutes at a time rocking her body ever so slightly back and forth. They are my family here now, and just the mere hint off a health issue with them scares the dickens out of me.

So where will I be this time next year? How will I be feeling? I certainly hope better than I do now. I don't like fear and uncertainty and I feel both of these in spades. I know I must take charge of my life--the question is, how? In what direction? The only dreams I ever had died with my marriage and there is such a void, it is difficult to imagine how I can possibly fill it. Being vegan doesn't even console me as it once did. I don't have much energy or will to cook like I once did, for all the marvelous vegan cookbooks I have. I eat convenient vegan food--and that is not good. Yet to do more, to make a lot of work for myself in concocting fancy vegan meals just for me, seems to be a great waste of time and resources.

In sum, I don't know what the hell I want. I only know I love my rabbits and want to be there for them always. They are why I still get up every morning. Hard to say right now what I would do without them. I need them so. Boo and Cinnamon will get me through 2012, just as they pulled me through the last month. Maybe--just maybe--2012 will be the year my heart starts to heel from losing Woodstock. Now and for always he will thrive in my lonely heart, my dear sweet bun.

Raise a glass--welcome 2012. Please be better than 2011.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Welcome Christmas

For personal reasons, this year I am more inclined to relate more to the Grinch or to Ebenezeer Scrooge BEFORE his transformation than cheery Christmas well-wishers. It is hard to be merry when your whole life has turned upside down, you feel alone, and even though months have passed since the relationship was semi-officially declared over, you feel betrayed and rejected by the one person you thought would love you till death you did part, per the sacred wedding vows (well, sacred to me--apparently to many people, they are perceived to be mere suggestions.) That one person used to be my best friend too, which only deepens the pain. I lost two people in a way, two in one body. Both out of my life this Christmas. Bah!

Still, somehow, I managed to welcome Christmas today, just as the Grinch eventually did when he heard the singing from Whoville. My bunny Boo is the Who, as it were, who has managed to keep me smiling through my all-too-frequent tears. He is a rabbit I suspect was destined to help me through this holiday (though the surgery for his bladder stones and sudden illness did not do my high stress levels any good, let me tell you.) He is so warm and patient (albeit a bit stubborn when it comes to taking his Cisapride!) and eager to please. His blue eyes melt my heart when I look at him. With his--and his mate Cinnamon's--company, I can get through this day. Not that I don't miss people, I do--but my rabbits and I will make this as special a day as we can. It is after all Boo's first Christmas with me, so it must not be a day soaked with tears. Bring on the bunny hugs--but this vegan will pass on the roast beast.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My favorite Things 2011

It's that time of year again to list those items or places that have been added to my favorites list.

(1) Busy Bunny's Cardboard Christmas Tree (see picture). I have little doubt Busy Bunny is sold out of these gems. About a foot tall, this tree is the easiest you will ever set up and your rabbits will love nibbling on the "branches". (visit this site at

(2)The Dyson's Digital Slim vacuum is compact, fits anywhere and has incredible power. Perfect for apartment/condo living and if you have pets. It's bagless and can be used on carpet and hardwood floor. This is no cheap vacuum (ca $300) but is considerably less expensive than other Dyson models.I love the fact I can keep it charging and hang it on a wall. It is truly slim, takes up little space--a BIG plus for me.

(3)There are veggie burgers and then there is Gardein's Beefless Burger. Outstanding! As good as many brands may be, you know when you are eating a veggie burger that you are a eating a veggie burger. But Gardein's beefless burger does seem to have the beef! By far this is THE best burger substitute. Get a bun, spread on some ketchup, plop on a slab of red onion and some lettuce, add the Gardein burger and you will believe someone is trying to sabotage your vegan diet. Really. They are THAT good.

(4) Sophie's Kitchen vegan calamari. I plan to have this on Christmas Eve, served with my homemade marinara sauce. Yummy! And I will add in Sophie's Kitchen shrimp too. Night of the Two Vegan Fishes. Ho, ho, ho!

(5) I know I have placed this on my list in the past, but I must add again Pangea, the Vegan Store. They were a blessing to have as I worked on building up my vegan larder in my new condo. They saved the day just recently when I needed vegan Worcestershire sauce. Their delivery and service are prompt and first rate.

(6)Sweet Chocolate Dream chocolate bars, conveniently found at my local Safeway. Gluten and dairy free, the creamy sweet flavor takes like milk chocolate but it isn't. What it is is very very yummy, a nice indulgence to have all year round.

(7) 1-800-FLOWERS Happy Hour Collection. There is nothing like receiving flowers in the form of a cocktail. For Christmas, the Peppermint Martini is outstanding (comes with two candy canes!) but you can also order the Apple Martini Bouquet, the Lemon Drop, and the Margarita Bouquet. Treat yourself. If nothing else, they add a nice decorative touch to your rooms.

(8) Mom's Organic Market. When I recently learned this supermarket opened a store in the town next to mine, I wanted to dance a jig! Cheaper than Whole Foods, Mom's Organic Market also has the most extensive choices of products for vegans and vegetarians. So many choices indeed that I find it hard to go in there and just come out with a few items.

Well, that is all I have for this year. Hope you all have a merry merry, and get what you want for Christmas. Most importantly, stay healthy and be kind to one another.

The Hoppy Vegan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Christmas Spirit

If I am grateful for anything in this emotionally tumultuous year, it is for this little white Holland lop, Boo. He truly is my Christmas spirit. On my lowest days, he always makes me smile. He is funny and sweet and affectionate as any sentient being can be. This evening, as I lay on the floor with him and Cinnamon, he pranced over and licked my cheek. Whenever I come home, he rushes over to the gate of his area to greet me. And even more importantly, he makes my Cinnamon one happy gal. She adores him and HATES sharing him with me. So when Boo and I are having cuddles, she stays discreetly away, sitting in bunny slipper mode, but always watching, waiting for her turn. And as it had been when she was with Woodstock, I am no longer allowed to stroke her ears. That is a privilige allowed only to Boo. As it should be, I know. But I can't keep myself from stealing him from her for at least a few minutes. He is the light in my life at this dark time in my life. If anyone will get me through this blue Christmas, it will be this little white rabbit named Boo.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Boo and Cinnamon - Update

I think the photo says it all.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Christmas Wish List

I'm not asking for too much this year, am I? Read my list, let me know what you think.

What I Want For Christmas

1. For every rabbit to find a good home
2. For omnivores to really think about how their diet affects the animals and the earth and to take a step or two toward adopting the vegan life
3. For those who abuse animals to pay a heavier price
4. For my bunnies Boo and Cinnamon to share a long happy life together (they both deserve it.)
5. For Whole Foods or Mom's Organic Market to offer home delivery (I can dream, can't I?)
6. For more financial support of RabbitWise, Inc.
7. For good health so I can be a good dependable bunny mom
8. For Michael Buble to sing a song just to me (I said I can dream!!! :). )
9. That no more species get added to the extinction list
10. For my family and friends to stay healthy and be happy
11. The strength to write my book or story about my Bridge rabbit Woodstock without breaking down every ten seconds
12. For patience and strength to move on with my life, leaving my broken heart behind.
13. For animal shelters to go out of business for lack of occupants
14. For Michael Vick to get his -- no, I won't go there.
15. For peace on earth, good will toward every living sentient being.

And one more thing...I want more Christmas cards! Snail mail beats the electronic stuff every time.

The Hoppy Vegan

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Observation on Tolerance

I recently had a fundamental disagreement about animals and those who hunt them with a family member (member by marriage only into my mom's family) and just discovered this person has unfriended me on Facebook. I am amused. How is it that vegans such as myself are always accused of being self-righteous and intolerant and yet we are unfriended by those very accusers who apparently live with a double standards-- oh we can be friends just as long as you agree 100% with my views?Apparently agreeing to disagree is no longer an option today. And we wonder why the political and cultural atmosphere are nowadays so hostile!

I'm sorry that my cousin apparently finds my views so abhorrent to her way of thinking that she felt the need to end our relationship. I feel bad because now I won't know how her son is doing (he was recently in a bad car accident). Yet I doubt she has ever given a thought to how her views appear to me or frankly ever cared. The difference is, I can tolerate views different from my own. If we can't participate in civil discourse within our own families, there is little hope for the mood to change across America. In the meantime, I soldier on--I have no time or patience with close-minded people. Life is too short to keep beating my head against the wall on lost causes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Rabbit Salad and Grill

Friends, do not worry! Rabbit is not a dish at Rabbit Salad and Grill. What you will find here is a refreshing and delicious take on what is often derided as rabbit food. This is not to say this is a vegan or vegetarian restaurant (you will find fish, pig, cow and chicken amongst some of the dishes, much to my sadness), but Rabbit Salad and Grill is certainly very veg friendly. If you don't want goat cheese in your beet salad, no problem--ask for tofu. You know you're in a veggie friendly place when the menu states "add protein for $4.00" instead of the usual "add chicken, beef, or shrimp." Protein is not just defined as animal flesh--this includes tofu too. Bravo, Rabbit, for recognizing that.

I sampled the beet salad on this visit--on a huge heap of arugula sat thinly shaved red beets, pickled beet stems, orange slices, and sauteed pine nuts all dressed in a citrus vinaigrette. Instead of the goat cheese, I had two slabs of tofu deliciously seasoned in soy sauce and sesame seeds--very tasty. To wash it down, I tried the "rabbit juice", a concoction consisting of carrot and apple juices. Even those who don't like carrot juice will love this very refreshing drink. Of course, I had to have a cupcake--the owner of Red Velvet Cupcakery opened this restaurant, which opened in July this year--and happily vegan is an option. The frosting was very sweet but the cake was moist and made for a lovely end to this meal.

You don't have to have a salad here at Rabbit, but those they offer are very large and filling. There is "the rabbit" which consists of mixed greens, roasted carrots, shaved carrots, diced carrots,blanched snow peas, sweet peas, shredded mint, carrot top pesto in a citrus vinaigrette. The caprese and watermelon salad sounds intriguing--though not acceptable for vegan lifestyles--consisting of seasonal tomatoes, arugula mozzarella, sundried tomato, shredded basil leaves, watermelon, all in a basalmic vinagrette

Rabbit also offers sandwich plates, hot plates and grilled sandwiches. For vegetarians you may want to try Frank the Bunny--a grilled cheese sandwich with roasted red peppers. The Jessica Rabbit peaked my curiousity--this is a hot peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (Grilled PB&J? Really?) The hot plates offer a veggie option--the grilled vegetables & crusted tofu. Hot plates are served with smashed potatoes and an herb salad.

Incidentally you can get wine and beer if you'd rather pass on the rabbit juice. Mondays through Fridays, Rabbit offers a "Hoppy Hour" starting at 4. And the restaurant is very easy to get to, only steps away from the Clarendon Metro station. Be sure to check out their website to learn more about the chefs, the philosophy behind the food here, etc. The owner, Allen Gordon,a D.C. native is pictured on the website holding a rabbit. That alone impressed me, as did the food. One last note: Rabbit Salad and Grill is casual. You order at the counter, pay, and you pick up your food when it is ready. But this is by no means fast or casual food. The ingredients are fresh and the preparation clearly was precise and careful, as in any formal dining establishment. Rabbit can hold about 50 guests. Look for some outdoor seating in the spring and summer. If you have vegan friends or you're vegan and have omnivore friends and need a place where everyone can be satisfied, Rabbit Salad and Grill is it. Check it out and tell them the Hoppy Vegan sent you. : )

Address: 3035 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, VA. Telephone: 703-243-5660. Rabbit now delivers in the area for lunch from 11 to 3 Monday through Friday. See website for more details.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Me and You and a Bun Named Boo

Say hello to the newest member of my little family. Boo was brought home on 6 November 2011 as a new companion to my widowed mini-rex, Cinnamon. It was love at first sight for both of us.

Who can explain it, who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons, wise men never try...

Some Enchanted Evening, by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Meeting of the Buns

As of today, I am happy to announce that I am in the beginning stages of bonding my widow bunny Cinnamon to Boo, a beautiul white Holland mini-lop, we adopted through BunnyLu Adoptions. Besides being quite the handsome bun (snow white fur, bright blue eyes), Boo has a rather sad background. His original human companion passed away, and sadly her surviving family members (husband, daughter) were not interested in caring for him. He was being fed but that was about it. He has been starving for affection and when you meet him, you can see how sweet he is. But he has also never been with another rabbit before, so when Cinnamon, my mini-Rex with the princess attitude, came along, needless to say, he was, shall we say, EAGER? To my amazement, Cinnamon did not seem to mind the mounting at all, though I am very nervous he will hurt her.

Tonight when I brought them home, I put them in small square pens side by side, with the intention of putting them together each night for 15 minute sessions, increasing each session as their relationship strengthens. Tonight Boo kept mounting Cinnamon again and again, then he would sit quietly, and she would kiss his neck. At the fifteen minute mark, he got startled somehow--it happened too fast for me to see if she had nipped at him--and when he lunged at her, I broke it up. Now I have them in the carry cage next to me, trying to keep them together in one small space as frequently as I can. But I wonder now, am I progressing too slow? Are they already advanced in love, as a friend has just suggested, that I can give them the same small space? I certainly can't allow that when I am at work all day.

I hope I don't do this wrong! I want more than anything for both these rabbits to be happy. They need each other, they have both been so lonely but they are rabbits after all, and dominance issues and the territorial issues must be worked out first. I will be blogging often about their progress so I can keep a written history of a bonding, with the hope of learning better techniques and learning from mistakes (which I hope I don't make!) I certainly hope I don't bore you! Also, I welcome any and all suggestions as I go along documenting the love story of Cinnamon and Boo. Feel free to chime in at any time. (Photos to come soon.)

The Hoppy Vegan

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Living (truly) in a Meat-Free Zone

I have been in my condo now a little less than a month, and among all the other emotional rides I have been experiencing the last few weeks with this situation, it struck me the other day as I was staring at my Meat-Free Zone magnet on my fridge that I am now truly living in a meat-free zone.

I have had that meat-free magnet for years on the fridge at the townhouse that my soon-to-be-ex husband now owns. I had stuck it on the freezer door even though it really wasn't a meat-free zone at the time. So many times I had to reach over cellophane-wrapped fish corpses to get to my Gardein chicken scallopini. Or worse, freezer-bagged sausages a.k.a. pig body parts, set aside for my husband's favorite dishes. I shudder just to recall those moments.

Perhaps I am just desparately seeking a bright side to this dark, painful process of marital separation and divorce, but it does give me some pleasure to see in my freezer only veggies, Gardein beefless tips, Candle Cafe entrees, leftover veggie chili...not a single animal part or entrail to be found. I wish that fleeting pleasure was enough to lift me from the sadness that permeates my soul every day as I look around and see how alone I am. The constant ache of aloneness can hardly be eradicated by the vegan inventory of my fridge (and my cabinets for that matter.) But it is something, I suppose, and the rebuilding of a life, and the search for happiness must start somewhere, even with trivial matters such as the contents of my pantry.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

So Glad I'm Not an Oscar Mayer Weiner

"This year I'm going trick or treating as a VEGGIE dog."

Hoppy Halloween everyone!

The Hoppy Vegan

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cinnamon Vs. Tarantula

I think this would be a great idea for a 21st century B-movie. Knowing my princess bun Cinnamon, I believe she would kick the spider's a$$.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rabbits in a Broken Home

We all know how traumatized young children can be when their parents get divorced. But what happens when your kids are rabbits?

This week I moved into my condo, though husband and I have legally been separated since June. I brought with me my widow bunny Cinnamon. Woodstock, who we had to euthanize this summer, had been her long time mate. It was very hard leaving my beloved Ruby, Cocoa, Ghirardelli and Willow, but space concerns--and consideration for Willow and Ghiri's ultimate happiness--precluded me from taking any of the others with me. But I worry that my Cinnamon is unhappy, even more so than when she watched her beloved boy slip away.

She is, thank God, eating and pooping just fine, so my initial fears of her going into G.I. stasis were alleviated. But she seems much more nervous, and though she has never been an overtly affectionate rabbit, she has been very stingy with her nose honks of late. I feel guilty that thanks to the chaos of moving and restarting my life, I haven't been able to work toward finding her a new partner, which I think will help her considerably--assuming she wants one, naturally. I am also well aware that sensitive creatures that rabbits are, she is picking up on my deep sadness and heartache. I am trying to keep a stiff upper lip for her, but it is hard when you're lonely and feel utterly rejected by people who used to be your family. To be alone after twenty years of marriage is hard--very hard--to adjust to. And dealing with my own feelings is hard enough--worrying about Cinnamon has only intensified my feelings of sorrow. How can I help her when I feel so vulnerable and empty myself? Any and all suggestions welcome.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dunkin Donuts Just Doesn't Get It

Why won't the folks at Dunkin Donuts listen? Today they issued a tweet claiming they can make our coffee over 15,000 ways and asked if anyone had any new ways to add to this list. I couldn't resist responding with a comment that said, in effect, instead of that waste of time, why don't you work on creating a vegan doughnut so that you can attract the countless souls who love your coffee but can't enjoy it because you offer nothing for them to eat??And I mean, nothing! They sell cappuccino, breakfast sandwiches, muffins, etc. but not ONE SINGLE ITEM is vegan. They don't even offer soymilk. Get with it, people! I miss my Dunkins coffee. I grew up in Massachusetts, where you can't spit without hitting a Dunkin Donuts. Way back then, I drank my coffee "regular" , meaning milk and two sugars and usually had a cruller or sugar-glazed donut. Yummmmmmmy! I miss that experience but now I must have the coffee black. Not that I go to Dunkins much. I'm a Starbucks gal now. They're progressive and they recognize a vegan clientele. If only Dunkins Donuts would do the same.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Meeting A Hero at the D.C. VegFest

What a absolute delight it was to meet one of my favorite chefs, vegan or otherwise, at this year's Veg Fest in D.C. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of The Joy of Vegan Baking, Color Me Vegan, and most recently The 30 Day Vegan Challenge, was a speaker at this year's event. The night before I had dropped her a quick note via Facebook, asking her to drop by our booth (RabbitWise), never imagining she would have the time to come by or even if she would see the note. She must get TONS of Facebook messages, after all. Well, I was just thrilled when she did come by later that afternoon, and she was sweet enough to pose for a picture with me. It is so rare that we get the chance to meet those we admire; I really "trained" to cook and bake better with her books; I cannot recommend her enough to all who are just starting out on their vegan journey.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy International Rabbit Day!

This is the weekend every year in which we pay homage to our lovely lagomorph friends. I am and will be forever grateful to have these lovely creatures in my life and hope I can continue to do so, even when I am old and gray and decrepit. Some days my rabbits are all that keep me going.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


"I think the humans got us some Asian pears for a treat."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Product Review: Sophie's Kitchen Vegan Calamari

In June I talked about vegan calamari which I discovered first through an ad in Veg News magazine and then at Pangea, the Vegan Store online. I finally got around to trying it this evening. Highly skeptical the whole time, I lay out the breaded rings on a baking sheet, opting to bake rather than deep-frying them. A pot of boiling water was ready for half a package of thin spaghetti. If the calamari turned out to be lousy, at least I had plenty of pasta to fall back on. And most importantly, I reheated some leftover homemade marinara sauce. I figured as with real calamari, the sauce is the key. No bottled pasta sauce for this meal.

It only took ten minutes to heat the rings at 400 degrees Fahreinheit. In fact, I might have overdone it a bit because the breaded part was a bit too crunchy and hard for my taste. But when I took my first bite, I was startled at, texture wise, just how similar this was to actual calamari. I took several bites in fact in total disbelief. I truly didn't expect such similarity and pleasure (again, the sauce or dip matters! Don't skimp on that. A good sauce makes this "calamari" an even bigger treat.) This and my spaghetti made for a very pleasant meal.

The key ingredient to the vegan calamari is konjac powder, which is derived from a plant called konnyaku, or elephant yam, native only to Japan, China, Korea, and Indonesia. This powder is used as a vegan substitute for gelatin in East Asia. The best part? This plant is very low in calories and very high in fiber. The Hoppy Vegan was very pleased with this product--two enthusiastic bunny ears up for Sophie's Kitchen. Can't wait to try her faux shrimp.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Veganize This!

Some would say I need another vegan cookbook like I need a hole in the head (a family expression--rather grim one, I've always thought.) Truth be told, they would be right, but a couple of weeks ago, at a Borders liquidation sale, I picked up yet another one, this one entitled VEGANIZE THIS by Jenn Shagrin. What compelled me to buy it was a recipe that caught my eye as I flipped through the pages--vegan braciole! WHAT, I remember thinking in the store. How is it possible to veganize cheese-filled steak (which is basically what braciole is, as most Americans of Italian descent know). Without another thought, I bought the book. When I actually started browsing it more intently and examined the recipes, I realized I might have been too impulsive in making this purchase, the braciole recipe notwithstanding.

The thing is, at this period in my life, I am severely time-challenged. Free time is something I rarely have and as I studied the recipes in this book, I soon realized that there are ingredients within the recipes that have to be premade first! Recipes within recipes--what the hell??? Vegan ricotta is required for the braciole as well as the "meat" itself--the book contains several homemade seitan recipes, depending on the meal you want to make. While some recipes can use tofu as a substitute, I do NOT recommend this book to you if you are even slightly gluten intolerant, as many of these dishes will require that "wheat meat." These meals are not for those like me who work long hours and don't want to spend what few hours they have each night before bedtime slaving over a hot stove.

Still, the dishes sound dreamy (you have to love a cookbook with a chapter titled "Recipes Guarunteed to Get You Laid"). I want so much to one day make the pan-seared white pepper tofu scallops with basil cream sauce served over linguine, or the pumpkin tartare over chickpea-black cumin crepe crisps with vegan sage and white ale browned butter sauce. I must confess, I am intrigued with the recipes for vegan prosciutto (!!) and vegan Cool Whip. There are even recipes for vegan twinkees and Doritos! A cookbook that provides recipes for both fancy dinner parties and an all-night gorge fest in front of the TV can't be all bad.

Still, you will need time--lots of it--and you will in some cases have to restock your pantry (if you get this book, stock up on Mimiccreme.) Sadly for me VEGANIZE THIS will come in handy only on long boring weekends when I have more time to make the ingredients and then the main dish. But I vow I will use it, if for nothing else, than to try the vegan braciole. The Italian blood in my veins won't settle for less.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Remembering Woodstock

We brought our beloved boy home today in his cherrywood urn, his picture in the photo slot the very one I used in my last blog. It is still too difficult right now to tell his story (I will, I promise!) but for now I will include some photos to pay this sweet rabbit the tribute he deserves.

This one was taken at Cinnamon's first vet visit after she came into his life and made him one happy boy. She was two months old at the time, he was 2 years old!

Woodstock from day one always loved his greens. He would rip through them like a woodchipper. In his first "home", he had only been fed pellets, and only once a day, if he was lucky.

This was how Woody came to us, with his ears shaved due to the treatment for the severe ear mites he suffered from gross neglect in his first home. He was so thin you could feel every vertebrae in his spine.

Woodstock as you can see grew to become quite the handsome boy. All who knew him said he was the sweetest rabbit, the most good natured rabbit, they had ever known. I have literally hundreds of photos I could post, and I will post more over time, but I hope these few snaps give you an idea of where he came from, and how happy a guy he was. I was so blessed, blessed beyond measure, to have him in my life these last eight years.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rest in peace, my beautiful rescue bun

2002 - 19 July 2011

Thank you for rescuing ME, eight years ago 18 July. You will live in my heart until the end of my days. - The Hoppy Vegan

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A little moment

Tonight as I sat outside at Open City restaurant on Calvert Street I had one of those little moments in life that are all too rare--mainly because we don't pay attention--a moment I'd like to share in this blog.

As I sat with my Sam Adams lager, I was morose and fighting to hide tears as I thought about my 9 year old rabbit Woodstock, crippled with spondylosis and now dying from cancer. Eight years ago tomorrow this beloved animal came into my life and has blessed it ever since. I know goodbye is near and it's hard not to dwell on it. But since I didn't think bursting into tears at an outdoor cafe in D.C would be either appropriate or attractive, I turned my attention elsewhere.
That's when I noticed the sparrows.

As I ate my veggie quinoa, I watched as these tiny birds flitted about the shelves containing the basins of dirty dishes, many carrying the unfinished remains of human suppers. Much to their luck, three french fries dropped from a plate carried by a hustling busboy. One sparrow wasted no tine, swooping in and grabbing a French fry twice the length of his body and dashed away. Inwardly I cheered (is it really humane to cheer on a bird about to consume so much saturated fat?) Then a second bird aimed for one of the remaining fries; instead of snatching it and flying away, he pecked at it several times, much to my chagrin. Not a good strategy for this little guy--a waiter burst out of the restaurant frightening this bird and his feathered friends back to their original perch on the planters on the next door restaurant's patio. Minutes passed, but this hungry bird had no chance to get back. Busboys and waiters walked in and out, and, as I feared, several rubber-soled feet flattened the fries into the brick.

I was well into my blueberry pie slice when the sparrows ventured back. Much to my amusement, one of them figured out there was more food on the plates stashed in the basins and proceeded to hop onto a plate. He snatched a large fry and got out of there. Meantime another feathered friend-- or was it the same bird who tried this before--made an attempt to peck at the flattened fry on the bricks. Once, twice, several more times he was thwarted by pounding feet. One more time, he hopped over--peck,peck,peck. Under my breath, I whispered, "come on pal, just grab it and get outta here!" I don't know if he heard me--I hope the other restaurant patrons didn't!--but at last he got a firm hold on this long, sneaker-crushed fry and he soared into the summer breeze, fluttering across Calvert Street with his hard-earned meal dangling from his beak. I wanted to cheer "Yes!" with the sheer joy for this little bird's triumph, but social decorum--and the strong desire not to spend the night in a looney bin--kept me in check.

What's the point, you ask? In sum, my sparrow friends reminded me to seek out the simple joys in nature even as we are immersed in sadness at the mortality in it. They stirred me from my gloom tonight and they will never know how they made me smile and brought me a brief sheer moment of happiness even as I try to prepare for the mourning period coming my way. Thank you, my fine feathered friends. I will never forget this.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Seasons 52 - A Restaurant for Everyone

Imagine the joy this vegan felt when a new restaurant at a local mall boasted "alternative menus" on their website. That had to mean one thing--VEGAN CHOICES!! WOOHOO!!! And not JUST vegan - they list menus for lactose free, low sodium, gluten free, vegetarian, garlic-free--HUH? (As an American of partly Italian descent, I balked at this one--garlic is one of the four basic food groups, I don't care what ANYONE says!)

I dined here yesterday for lunch and you can tell when a restaurant has only been open five days. Everyone from the manager to the hostess to the waitress kisses your behind from the minute you walk in the door till the time you waddle out. I must confess, I LOVED that--too bad most restaurants lose that zeal several months in. But I digress. The service, though exceptional, was not my main reason to celebrate. The food was very fresh and very satisfying. I ordered the farmer's market vegetable plate, which consisted of golden beets, thin asparagus, baby carrots, baby bella mushrooms, cranberry-almond tabbouleh, and grilled ponzu-glazed tofu. For dessert (most of which are not vegan but are served mini-style as mini-indulgences), I had a mini-fresh fruit cup which was just enough to fill me. And it had EVERYTHING squeezed into this little glass--raspberry, diced mango and papaya, strawberry slices, blueberries, pineapple. Yummy! The wines recommended to me were first rate as well, in particular a sweet riesling I had to accompany my dessert. I am not much into dessert wines but this one was outstanding.

Other vegan options here include vegetable penne pasta served with a garlic-herb sauce, the grilled ponzu-glazed tofu served with a choice of two side dishes (broccoli, roasted asparagus, penne pasta, red potatoes, cremini mushrooms, etc.) They have some lovely salads as well. To start, I had an arugula salad with cranberries and golden beets (minus the goat cheese). The menu also boasts a tomato and hass avocado salad that looks tempting.

All in all, I really enjoyed my lunch. The best part is, Seasons 52 has something for everyone--the perfect restaurant for a group of people of mixed dietary needs. Check it out sometime. Visit them online at to find a location near you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Life is just a bowl of (vegan) calamari!

It's official. I have heard it all now. VEGAN calamari. Even more perplexing is the fact that I just purchased it from Pangea, the Vegan Store. This is a gal who grew up hating the real thing. My grandmother made calamari (fried with marinara sauce to dip it in) but the chewiness of it made me gag. Sadly the fact that this was once a sea animal who was minding his/her own business having a happy life of his/her own in the ocean never dawned on me as a child. I only knew one thing--yuk! And yet here is the FAUX version waiting for me in my freezer. How did it get there?

Well, truth be told, I learned to like calamari later in life. Hubby and I were vacationing in Phuket, Thailand and at a buffet we dined at, a whole bowl of these strange looking "rings" intrigued me. Fast forward to life back in Virginia, when we discovered Maggiano's, a family style Italian restaurant whose fried calamari could rival my grandmother's. It is in fond memory of THAT dish that compelled me to buy this faux squid. I will try it some day...really...but only after I make my own homemade marinara sauce to accompany it. You know, in case it...well...blows (no offense, Sophie's Kitchen, but I have sampled many a faux meat that have not lived up to their promise!) Imitation calamari? REALLY?? Amazing. In any case, I will be sure to post here after I summon the nerve to try this interesting creation. I do hope in a way it resembles the real thing, as much as that idea may repulse many vegans. I heartily endorse any product that can satisfy the tastes of people who might otherwise not go vegetarian because they believe--erroneously, of course--that they must forever leave behind their favorite foods. I am sure that many vegan Italian-Americans like myself are thrilled at the prospect of vegan calamari. Let's hope Sophie's version lives up to our hopes. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hay Hay Hay

We want our hay and we want it NOW!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

One person's pet, another person's pest

This weekend I spent time with old friends who at the moment are not enamored of rabbits. Their garden is presently being raided by wild rabbits who are apparently extra fond of the parsley my friends are trying to grow. I joked that they have to stop planting what rabbits love to eat. My friend responded quite seriously that she would prefer to kill them all.

I understand as someone who also gardens that having your plants devoured by animals is frustrating, to say the least. I have had more seeds plucked away by birds than I care to see, but my first thought for a resolution isn't killing. And what saddens me is my friends know about but clearly don't comprehend my love and devotion to rabbits. When I told them how my disabled rabbit Woodstock was faring and how I have to bathe him everyday, my friends, clearly thinking I was wacky to insist on keeping alive a rabbit who still eats and loves his mate, kept insisting emphatically, "put him down, put him down." Hurt and perplexed by this, I changed the subject because I did not want to turn a very pleasant day into a downer. But this conversation lingers in my mind.

I don't understand how, even if they have hostile feelings toward animals they see as pests, people can be so insensitive to another person's devotion to a PET. Woodstock is family, as are all my rabbits, but clearly my friends don't see him this way at all. He is a burden, an inconvenience I would best rid myself of--I assume that is how they see him. I will never understand people who do not love animals, I freely admit that, but I don't see how it should be so mystifying that you don't just put down those you love because of inconvenience. Taking care of elderly parents can be felt as inconvenient, but I know my friends would never put their parents down for such a callous reason--why should a beloved pet not be given the same consideration? Oh, yes, I forgot. It's the old " just a rabbit " scenario. Well, Woodstock will never be just a rabbit to me, and I feel very sorry for those who can't understand this. No one, no being should EVER be thought of as "just" anything. We are all deserving of a free and happy life devoid of pain and suffering, even those creatures some ignorant humans believe to be worthless pests.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Rabbit’s Song Outside the Tavern

We, who play under the pines,
We, who dance in the snow
That shines blue in the light of the moon,
Sometimes halt as we go-
Stand with our ears erect,
Our noses testing the air,
To gaze at the golden world
Behind the windows there.

Suns they have in a cave,
Stars, each on a tall white stem,
And the thought of a fox or an owl
Seems never to trouble them.
They laugh and eat and are warm,
Their food is ready at hand,
While hungry out in the cold
We little rabbits stand.

But they never dance as we dance!
They haven't the speed nor the grace.
We scorn both the dog and the cat
Who lie by their fireplace.
We scorn them licking their paws
Their eyes on an upraised spoon-
We who dance hungry and wild
Under a winter's moon.

a poem by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Bun and A Slipper

"Okay, somehow this does not feel the same. Where is my Ruby?" - Cocoa

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Greetings and Miscellaneous Observations

Happy Easter, readers and lovers of bunnies all! Whether you celebrate the religious or the secular side of this day, I hope it is a special day for you. As always, I pray that more parents are giving their children stuffed or chocolate rabbits this year. The real thing is NOT right for a child. And speaking of chocolate bunnies, am I the only one whose mother used to eat the ears off the bunny? Honestly, I don't recall ever getting to eat the ears growing up. What is up with that?

One totally unrelated observation: Vegan Essentials online store is now selling vegan calamari. Really?? I shudder with skepticism. I am all for veganizing everything we can to help new vegans not feel deprived, but how can one possibly replicate the chewiness of calamari? I grew up in an Italian-American home so I feel almost compelled to try it. Will let you know if I do.

Also saw recently a product called faux gras. Honestly, why would you want to make vegan a product that in itself is a morally despicable item? I suspect--and admit I could be wrong in thinking this--that people who relish the real thing aren't going vegan any time soon. So to whom is faux gras targeted? Just wondering...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just a couple of observations

First: for a faux meat item, nothing beats Field Roast "meat" loaf. Splash on some ketchup or BBQ sauce, heat in a 350 oven for a half hour, serve with steamed green beans and rosemary potatoes and you have one hearty meal! It is late in the evening as I write this, and I am craving another slice.

Second: why is it that every time I make a conscientious effort to return to a life of yoga and exercise my right knee goes on strike? Tendonitis stinks, that's all there is to that. But I will persevere, especially with the yoga. My rabbits Ruby and Cocoa love to participate.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Remembering Polly

Three years ago 4 April, I lost my beloved rabbit Polly after a sudden and brief illness. (She is the mocha-colored bun in the photo above.) Yes, I blogged about her this time last year; please indulge me in taking more blog space to remember her sweet tough personality and her face, nicked from fights with siblings in the home she was rescued from. Her nose was scarred: one ear had a small chunk taken out of it. These marks only made her more endearing and distinctive. Even after three years, I still miss her attitude. I called her my Jersey Girl for good reason. She never hesitated to head butt you when she tired of you being in her face. I will never forget the day my rabbit Ruby had the audacity to approach Polly's territory. Polly was having none of it. Like a bull, she tucked her head down and charged the cross pen. Bang! I watched Ruby hop up and backwards before running downstairs. That was the last time Ruby ever attempted a visit to Polly.

Polly was as sweet as she was tough. She loved to sleep in our bed with us, at least for part of the night ( the rest of the time she snuggled with her mate Ghirardelli). She did this even the night before she died, sick as she was. Three years ago. Time has flown but not the grief. I will miss my Sweetpea to my dying day. Godspeed, my Jersey Girl. You left us too soon but I am deeply grateful we had you the few short years that we did.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Green Lemonade

I don't want to make this a recipe blog but I must share a smoothie recipe that is out of this world. Rev up your Vitamix'ers for this one. It's called Green Lemonade. All you need is the following:

4 leaves of kale
5 or 6 romaine lettuce leaves (NOT hearts)
2 Fuji apples
juice of 1 lemon
thumb-size peeled piece of fresh ginger

You may want to add an ice cube or two if you want it cooler. The lemon and ginger give this smoothie a refreshing kick. Delicious and healthy--how can you go wrong?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In the Raw

I confess I have been very skeptical when I hear about going all raw when it comes to food. I am not convinced that eating raw all the time is necessarily great for the digestive system. A few years ago I tried a wonderful recipe my mom gave me--it is basically broccoli, raw, marinated with lots of garlic and olive oil, that sits in a marinade for hours before you eat it. Delicious, yes, but not without some odiforous consequences and a little digestive discomfort (yes I know broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and lends itself to such effects, but certainly not as many as when I eat it cooked.)

Then two things happened. One, while in Boston I discovered a place called The Other Side Cafe and fell in love with their mock chicken salad plate, which I learned was totally raw (made from ground pecans, cashews & sunflower seeds mixed with cucumbers, celery and tart green apples--no soy or tempeh here!) I was amazed at how tasty it was, very satisfying with the hint of cashew lingering on the taste buds. For dessert I had the fresh fruit/chocolate mousse (made from raw cacao)which was a yummy meal in itself (I prefer to call it cold fondue on a plate! Such wonderful fruit--strawberries, grapes, bananas, apples. The mousse had a texture similar to chocolate sorbet, very smooth and rich). The Other Side offers a multtude of vegan choices though it is not exclusively a vegan cafe, and many of the dishes are raw. For example, for an appetizer, you can get the Raw Food Chips & Dip - slices of beet and carrot with a dip of blended macadamia & cashew w/garlic, lemon and Bragg’s. (FYI--for non-raw fans, they offer vegan chili, vegan BLTs, veggie burritos--I mean, a vegan has real choices at this place! Go there if you go to Boston--and if you don't mind loud music playing. It is located in the Back Bay. For more info, go to

The second item which gave me pause to consider incorporating raw food into my life is Kris Carr's book CRAZY SEXY DIET. You have to take seriously a woman who has kept a deadly cancer at bay for seven years with her diet. I am currently reading it--so much info to absorb, but it is so well written, I do recommend it to anyone looking to change what and how they eat. The recipes she includes in the back seem simple enough, and how hard can to be to eat raw at least once a day or so? My rabbits are natural raw vegans-seems to work for them. As I have said before, will say it ad nauseum--we can learn so much from our animal companions, if we just pay attention.

So dear readers of my blog, I would love some feedback from anyone out there who really endorses this way of eating and from others who have tried it and may be aren't keen on it. As I said, I could eat this way some of the time, but 100%--not so sure. It was hard enough in many ways to go vegan, going raw seems daunting. Of course, if someone had told me ten years ago that at this point in my life I would be vegan I would have laughed in his/her face. I look forward to getting some feedback/advice/raw cookbook recommendations, etc. Thanks in advance for your input!

The Hoppy Vegan

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box

Well, I'm back from my trip to Boston. I will be posting on various places I sampled for my article on being vegan while visiting the Back Bay later on, but for today, I just want to muse about that old phrase "thinking outside the box." Whenever I go home, it is inevitable someone asks me when they learn I'm vegan, "what do you EAT?" It seems beyond comprehension to so many that a meal can be had without an animal involved. "You don't eat fish?" "No eggs?" My God, you can almost hear them think, how do you SURVIVE? (You can also hear them thinking, what a pain in the ass, but that is an issue for another day.)

Here is where the thinking outside the box comes in. You HAVE to do this when you go vegetarian and/or vegan because, face it, if you have been omnivore most of your life, chances are you were raised in believing a meal had to have (1)meat (2)potato and (3)vegetable, the one element that most kids seem to think equates to torture. Going vegetarian isn't simply removing the meat and just having a dinner composed of side dishes (though there is nothing wrong with that, especially if you come up with memorable, savory ways to prepare them.) It means thinking PROTEIN instead of meat. Beans and tofu, and even grains like quinoa, contain oodles of protein. It is so simple to prepare meals around them. With the right seasonings and ingredients, as the hundreds of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks out there suggest, you can whip up some pretty yummy meals. I make a curried potato stew that is very hearty and filling in the colder months. Or one of my uber favorite dishes-- broccoli rabe with grape tomatoes and cannellini beans and TONS of garlic and red pepper flakes. Yummy! I just had that dish on St. Patrick's Day (thank you, Mom, for making it). The eating of the green! Who says it just has to be cabbage?

Here's the bottom line. We need to correct the thinking of people who believe going veg means opening three cans of vegetables and baking a potato to make a meal. Cook a meal for those around you who are cynical. Crack those cookbooks and come up with the tastiest dishes you can. Remember, eating vegan or vegetarian is not just about the veggies. It is about celebrating ALL life at the dinner table and there are thousands upon thousands of recipes that can enhance the celebration. Bon appetit!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Hoppy Vegan is on the road

I am reveling in being back in Boston's Back Bay twenty years after working and commuting here. Way back then, I wasn't even vegetarian, let alone vegan, so this time I am scoping out vegan-friendly places to write about at a later date. I am staying at a very nice hotel whose sole purpose seems to be to kiss your butt the whole time you are here. (I can get used to this!) They are very environmentally conscious (one reason I chose it) and their bath amenities are all Aveda products! How sweet is that! For once I didn't have to bring my own (honestly? This is the OTHER reason I chose it.) Every room has a recycling bin for paper, plastic, etc. So here is my question--why don't they offer vegan options at their restaurants (other than the room service power breakfast consisting of yummy oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice and coffee)?

Don't worry, friends, the Hoppy Vegan will point out this oversight when it is time to comment. A follow-up letter full of praise and gentle vegan prodding will also be sent. And of course I will share my insights on this trip after I get home. Until then, I will carry on seeking out cafes and restaurants friendly to vegans while I am here in
Boston's Back Bay. A dirty job but someone has to do it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday is here!

I don't know how vegans eat in New Orleans. The one and only time I visited there I was not even vegetarian so the town was literally my oyster, so to speak. But I can point y'all to a vegan cookbook which has some great recipes if you're planning your own Mardi Gras bash. Alicia Simpson's "Vegan Celebrations" has a great chapter on New Orleans dishes, to include a fabulous recipe she calls "nawfish etoufee" (nawfish as opposed to crawfish).

I made the nawfish dish last night and it was delicious but labor intensive in that like many N'Awlins dishes, you need to make a roux which always requires some serious stirring and standing time. The other problem may be finding and affording the key ingredient--lobster mushrooms. They are not cheap and they are hard to come by in stores. I have never found them fresh and only discovered the dried ones in a My Organic Market (MOM). A .05 ounce cost $5.99 (you read that right, a point oh five ounce! On line you can order lobster mushrooms from gourmet websites (Amazon sells them at $32.00 for half a pound.) Why use these froufrou 'shrooms? For one thing, they are lobster-red, chewy like lobster meat. The more critical characteristic is its seafood-like flavor. Don't worry--it's a very subtle flavor, no overwhelmingly fishy taste. This dish I assure you is worth the work and expense--but I would definitely reserve it for special occasions like Mardi Gras.

So come on, vegans! Do your homework, grab some beads and as they say in Louisiana, "laissez les bon temps rouler!"

The Hoppy Vegan

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Annual Girl Scout Cookie Shakedown

It is March and therefore inevitable. Walking out of my local Giant supermarket, I saw them. The green boxes of mint cookies. The orange ones brimming with Do-Si-Dos. The yellow stack, signifying the lemon cremes. From behind the table on which these boxes lay, innocent young faces gazed pleadingly at each shopper trudging out of the store.

It is time for the annual Girl Scout cookie shakedown.

In a hurry, yet without a shred of willpower, I stopped nonetheless to buy Do-Si-Dos, his favorite, for my husband. Then I pondered, aren't there some Girl Scout cookies which are vegan? I recalled seeing a list somewhere- I think from PETA. As usual, I didn't remember the names. I picked up the cranberry-colored boxes and scanned all too quickly and carelessly the ingredients. Ok, vegan, I thought, digging out the cash to pay. I grabbed the cookies and ran.

Then I got home, and actually read the ingredients of the cranberry filled cookies more carefully. Dry milk powder?

Why does ANY cookie have to have dry milk powder in it? And why, why, why don't the Scouts sell their entire line at their tables? All right, fine, maybe I should have actually taken the time to read the ingredients but when you are leaving a supermarket with groceries in tow, you usually just want to go home.

I suppose I could cheat and eat the cookies. After all, I did do something positive in supporting the Girl Scouts, so doesn't that make it ok? Well, in a word, no. I am tempted, make no mistake about that, but I will not touch those cookies. It's the principle of the thing, damn it!

Besides, if I were to fall off the vegan wagon, it would be sweeter to do it with Thin Mints.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vegan, Vegan Everywhere

Have you checked out the mother load of vegan books that are out these days (or about to come out?) From Kathy Freston's "Veganist" to "The Happy Herbivore" to "Sexy Crazy Diet", bookstores now have displays full of titles that they can use to promote the vegan way of life. I of course must have them all, despite the fact my shelves are full, I'm already vegan, and I barely have time to read or cook these days.

What a joy it is to see so many great choices out there. Even Good Housekeeping, that magazine that has existed for generations, is putting out a cookbook, "Simply Vegan." You never stop learning as a vegan so I see no reason why I should stop collecting these books now. How can I possibly live, for example, without Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's latest work, "Vegan's Daily Companion"? (Answer: I can't so I bought it through last week). And what about "Vegan Celebrations"? The recipe do for a vegan po' boy alone was worth the price of that one.

One thing is for certain--no one can claim there are no resources from which to learn about the vegan way of life. Happy book shopping, everyone!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Twinkee is Still a Twinkee

Vegan Myth: Being vegan means being healthy!

Hey, Hoppy, what's with that, you shout! How can you say that is a myth? Well, in general, that statement is true--a vegan lifestyle is healthy but--there is always a but--you have to do it right. One thing that drives me crazy about all these pro-vegan authors and gurus is they tend to leave the impression that all you have to do is go vegan and your body will be right as rain.

HA! I am living proof that THAT, dear friends, is not true.

I am vegan, yes, but I am also overweight and still deal with chronic issues such as asthma and tendonitis and some GI problems. Much of this is my own doing and people who right now are being bombarded with all these wonderful books about going vegan need to get this straight up front: you have to do more than just go vegan. You have to change your relationship with food altogether. The fact is, if you eat for the wrong reasons, for consolation, out of anger or frustration, or just because you are just addicted to food, then just going vegan isn't going to cut it. There are lots of vegan processed and junk foods out there that provide just as much comfort and pleasure as those items made from animal carcasses and byproducts. And if you mostly consume those food items, then guess what? You're not going to be 100% healthy and you are certainly not going to lose weight. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. For me, going vegan was the easy part. The hard part is doing it right because the truth is, I eat when I feel sorry for myself, which has been very frequently these days.

Botton line is this: irregardless of what you eat, if you consume more than you burn off, you will gain weight. It doesn't matter if that Twinkee is vegan. It is still a Twinkee and it will end up on your hips. Instead, we need to move our hips more and reject the processed crap, comsume whole foods, and eat to live, NOT live to eat. When we do that, then truly we can say that being vegan means being healthy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Everybunny Loves Somebunny Sometime

Woodstock and Cinnamon

Though this was taken well before Woody's spondylosis disabled him, his love for his beloved Cinnamon has not diminished, not has hers for him. This is a true bunny love story. These two rabbits have never--NEVER--had a spat. Truly a match made in rabbit heaven.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

You're No Bunny Till Some Bunny Loves You

Willow and Ghirardelli wish all the rabbits out there a very happy Valentine's Day weekend! They would wish for carrots in bed for that day, but they get breakfast in bed every day, the spoiled little bunny buns!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ronald Reagan and Ruby

Question, folks: what do Ronald Reagan and Ruby, my diva white rex rabbit, have in common? They share a birthday! Today Reagan would have been 100. Ruby is 9 years old, but acts not a day over 2.

To be fair, we don't really know if Ruby was born on this day. We know she was born in February, per the breeder from whom my husband purchased her (first rabbit, we didn't know better, yadda yadda, this is a story for another time, if I haven't already told it somewhere in my blogosphere.) We just decided to select this date to celebrate her birthday, both for purposes of better memory retention and for honoring Mr. Reagan. The hubby and I are both fans, much to all my liberal friends' horror, no doubt. : )

Anyway, here's to you, my pretty diva bunny, who not only changed my life but enabled me to save other lives, both lagomorph and others, thanks to my vegan lifestyle. It is safe to say I never would have become a vegan if this rabbit had not come into my life. I and thousands of animals who would have been eaten otherwise owe her everything.

All great change in America begins at the dinner table.
Ronald Reagan

The Hoppy Vegan

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Give a Bun A Reason to Bink

February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month. Please consider taking a rabbit into your home. To see if you are the right person for a bun, please visit to learn all you can about these wonderful animals.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit?

February 3 is the Chinese New Year, and 2011 happens to be the Year of the Rabbit. It remains to be seen if indeed this will be a good year for bunnies. Given that in Shanghai, people are mailing rabbits to people, resulting (surprise, surprise) in the deaths of many of these animals, I am not very optimistic.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Healing Power of Bunny

My rabbits made me laugh tonight. Not canned laughter, the kind you produce almost on reflex while watching mindless sitcoms. This was the kind of laughter that explodes spontaneously from your gut, without warning, totally unexpected and infused with sheer joy. Rabbits do that to you. I thank God for that, especially right now, when personal problems in my life threaten to overwhelm me. I cling these days to whatever bright moments I can find. My rabbits are almost always the source for these all-too-brief flashes of happiness and appreciation.

Take tonight, for instance. I happened to look at the right moment at my oldest bunnies (nine years old) Ruby and Cocoa. Cocoa found a paper sack which had contained his favorite treats, tiny mini-toasts. He picked up the sack and hit Ruby on the head, sending a spray of crumbs all over Ruby and the carpet. I laughed and delighted in watching him lick the crumbs off Ruby's head even as she gobbled up the ones on the rug. Being in that moment, caught up in their mischief, I was able to forget my problems in the joy of this playfulness on the part of my rabbits. Each moment like this acts like a salve on my sadness. I truly can't recall the last time any human being did that for me. I am not even sure any two-legged could make me feel as happy as my rabbits do. Is it their cuteness (face it, there is no such thing as an ugly rabbit)? Is it the innocence of their nature? I don't know. I do know there have been many studies proving that pets provide incredible stress relief. Rabbits provide an added bonus--comic relief. These days I am profoundly grateful for it. Never underestimate the healing power of bunny.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Dignity of One's Being

Each night after I give my disabled rabbit Woodstock a bath, I admire how as he dries off on the sheepskin mat, he manages to struggle to his feet. I help him balance, but otherwise, he is keeping himself up on his own strength. For the first time in weeks, thanks to acupuncture and chiropractic care, he is now able to groom himself. As I watched him do this last night, I thought how happy he must be, how it must feel to be able to do rabbit things again. I mused, everyone has the right to the dignity of his or her being. That means animals too.

Of course, animals have no concept of abstract concepts like dignity, even as they exude it in their natural behaviors. Even when Woodstock couldn't move and he would lie all day in the same position, he never outwardly displayed signs of misery--he simply adapted. Yet watching him intently lick his back paws, I felt certain that he was one very relieved and happy rabbit to be able to exhibit the behaviour his kind always engages in (rabbits are very clean animals, obsessively so.) We should all be so fortunate when we find ourselves near the end of our days, perhaps disabled, or physically challenged in such a way, that others will let us keep our dignity by helping us help ourselves. If we see ourselves as normal and we feel good about that, we will fight on. Just as my rabbit Woodstock fights so hard every day. He feels good enough, he feels rabbit enough to do so. When we are stripped of our dignity, when we no longer feel human, what truly is left of ourselves?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Year of the Rabbit Means Presents, Right?

And I expect gifts like this to be brought to me EVERY month this year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 - Year of the Rabbit

I am thrilled that this is the Year of the Rabbit. Really. It provides rabbit rescues and rabbit advocacy groups lots of opportunities to promote the joys of living with lagomorphs. But this also carries a darker side, yin to the yang, as it were.

Think about it. Rabbits as status symbol--this will attract so many people to the idea of possessing a rabbit since this is the "year" for it. You can already see it in the media. In Japan people are dressing their rabbits in kimonos for photo shoots. The SPCA in Singapore is publicly pleading people to deeply consider what adopting a rabbit entails. In 1999, the last year of the rabbit, 625 rabbits were abandoned in Singapore, a 116% increase from the year before.

So yes, I am always happy when rabbits get the attention they deserve--how often they get forgotten when competing with dogs and cats! But the attention must not be counterproductive to their overall welfare. It is up to us involved in rescuing and advocating for rabbits to get out there and educate those tempted to impulsively buy a bunny. For every family who would be perfectly suited for a high maintenance pet such as a rabbit, there are sadly many more that are not.