Did I mention that Ken and I recently visited Portland, OR? Well, we did! Last weekend was the Let Live Conference, which is a fantastic animal rights event that does a great job providing information for activists at all levels. Inclusion played a big part during Let Live, with heavy-hitting speakers such as Kim McCoy (Sea Shepherd), Will Potter (Green is the New Red), Nathan Runkle (Mercy For Animals), Gene Baur (Farm Sanctuary) and many others making themselves available for conversation with attendees. The final talk of the conference even covered the topic "Moving Beyond Our Differences", where the discussion focused on different factions within the animal advocacy movement, and how we can all work together to meet a shared goal, even while taking different approaches to our activism. We learned a lot, met some cool and inspiring people, and basked in the glow of the most vegan-friendly city in America.
Kim McCoy opened the conference with some great words about community in the movement. And hey! Here's the video!
You can see more videos from the Let Live Conference here.
There was even a karaoke night on Friday, with vegan soft serve. Vegan soft serve! Karaoke is so silly that you pretty much have to enjoy it. Ken and I sang a duet of Jackson (Johnny Cash & June Carter). Luckily, there are no photos or video to prove it. None that I know of, anyway. I did manage to get some hilarious photos of our friend Josh singing karaoke. He sang Gay Bar, which always reminds me of this.
Here's one of Gene Bauer and Jasmin Singer doing a karaoke rendition of What's Going On.
Chad from Food Fight! and Isa from... oh come on. You know who Isa is. Singing Add it Up from Violent Femmes.
Speaking of Isa, while we have some of the same friends, I had not met her before last weekend. I kept seeing her around the conference, and I finally decided to spaz out and introduce myself to her while we both happened to be in a stairwell. I actually stopped on the stairs and introduced myself while she was walking up the stairs. Yes, I'm a total fucking spaz. Why didn't I just follow her to the bathroom and introduce myself while she was mid-pee? It might have been less awkward than the encounter we had. Geez.
Most of our short visit was spent at the conference, but we did manage to get out a few times and enjoy the pretty, climate-controlled vegan bubble that is Portland. And I'm sorry to say that I hardly took any pictures, either. By the looks of my photos, you would think that we only went to Sweetpea Bakery. Well...
All vegan, every single treat in the damn case.
The first night we arrived, Sweetpea was where we shoveled dinner into our mouths. We had deli-sliced seitan sammiches, and a Raspberry Almond Linzer Bar:
Then we went there again the next morning for Biscuits & Gravy, washed down with some yeasted donuts.
The rest of the stores in the vegan mini-mall weren't open that early, so we headed out to the conference for the day. Lunch was catered at the conference by Los Gorditos II, an all vegan Mexican joint. I have not photos to prove it, but trust me, it happened.
On Saturday night we made our way to a place called Chaos Cafe for dinner with friends. This was a vegetarian place with a ton of vegan options. I opted for a version of my favorite food in the whole world, the sammich. This sammich was filled with avocado, tofu, lettuce, tomato, and a zesty tahini sauce. It was pretty much perfect.
Ken ordered some kind of tempeh and kale over quinoa with other stuff I can't remember, and it was delicious as well.
We were beat-down tired from our East Coast to West Coast travel, so we just hung out on Saturday night with our friends and gracious hosts, Josh, Michelle, and Ruby. Here's Michelle and Ruby making some foodstuffs:
Breakfast on Sunday was courtesy of Sip. Sip had a table set up at the conference where they were whipping up fresh smoothies, parfaits and milkshakes. I loved my soy yogurt, fruit and granola parfait. I had a taste of Ken's tropical smoothie, and it was awesome, too.
After the conference was over, we had a chance to hit up the vegan mini mall. The world's first vegan mini mall consists of four all-vegan businesses- Sweetpea Bakery, Herbivore, Food Fight! and Scapegoat Tattoo. It's really exciting to see these businesses coming together to serve the vegan community. Warms the heart, it does. We happily spent our vegan cash in every business except Scapegoat, since neither of us are in the market for more tattoo work at the moment. But maybe on our next trip to Portland, who knows?
Herbivore's window, with a hilarious new tote design:
Our trip was way too short, so we will definitely have to go back soon. If only to try the food cart that sells fried vegan pies. We went for the pies, but the cart was closed on Sundays. Damnit.