All posts by Ater Imber

Ater Imber became interested in writing fan fiction in 2013 after being talked into giving the Deviant Art website a chance. Ater began posting to the delight of Supernatural fans and continues to write new fan and non-fan fiction stories with regularity for an eager personal following. Ater also currently has four novellas available for purchase. 'First Try' is Aters’ debut, non-fan fiction novella, and is the newest released. It’s a collection of short stories Ater wrote during school after getting serious about becoming a writer, book-ended by the two ‘long’ first stories Ater ever wrote, published November, 2018. Ater’s third fan fiction novella, 'Holiday Treats', is about the holidays, forbidden love, and what can go wrong when the two collide, published in December 2016. Ater’s debut fan fiction novella, 'Don’t Get Caught', is a collection of short stories centered around a love theme, published in February 2016. Last, but certainly not least, Ater’s second fanfiction novella, 'Melting Hearts, Sunburns and Tanlines' is a collection of short stories with a main theme surrounding going on vacation and love, published in August, 2016. All three of Ater's fanfiction novellas are based on the T.V. series Supernatural. If you’d like to check out Ater’s books, you can do so here: http://aterimber.com/writing/books/ Ater Imber lives in Toronto, Canada.

Daiya Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza Review





Ah, Daiya. I don’t understand why so many people hate this company. I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences with them. The only ‘issue’ I’ve ever had was one time I bought a block of their cheese from a store and it was mold-y. But, I sent them pictures, and they sent me coupons for compensation. How nice is that?

That said, this isn’t my favourite pizza from them. My favourite is the Supreme pizza, and I have a suspicion I would like their Meatless Lovers’ too, but I’ve yet to find it. Every store I’ve been to that sells their pizzas are either sold out of the Meatless Lovers’, or they just don’t carry that kind. I have no idea why, but it’s actually getting a little annoying. (Same as the Monterey Jack Blocks are getting harder and harder to find – they’re my favourite ones! I had to start buying them in 4’s!)

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Review - Daiya Mushroom and Roasted Garlic - product reviews, vegan, vegan food, pizza, frozen pizza

Most of the Daiya frozen pizzas taste the same, which makes sense because it’s the same company. It’s the same crust, sauce and cheese, they just change the toppings. The garlic bits on the pizza are a little much for my taste. I don’t really understand why they put bits of real garlic on the pizza, so you actually bite into hunks of garlic. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find that part appetizing.

The rest of the pizza is not really overwhelming. It’s watery mushrooms on top of a frozen pizza crust. Not really something to write home about, but I have also had worse. It hits the spot, and isn’t as hard to find as the other kinds, but it’s also not their best.

As said before, there’s no real ‘wow!’ factor to it, it’s just… good. Will do in a pinch, and gets the job done of satisfying your hunger.

I know that’s not really an exciting review, especially after the in depth one of the Vegan Food and Drink Festival from last month, but there’s just not really too much to say about this pizza.

It’s good, but it’s not their best. If you haven’t tried any of them, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one, but if there is nothing else, it’ll get the job done.


Like this review? Check out more here!

Where Do Vegans Get Their Iron?





I do apologize that this article was a day late. As we all know, life got in the way and prevented me from finishing on top (also why there is no Throw Away Fic this week).

Better late than never though, right? Especially when it comes to learning about nutrition. This is the third installment of my Vegan Nutrient Collage series.

It’s not as common to get questions about iron, but it’s still good to bust myths. Most people know iron is in blood, so I understand the logic of ‘animals have blood, I should eat them to get iron’, but luckily for us, iron isn’t only found in blood. It’s in all kinds of plants, too!

Take a look for yourself:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Nutrient Collage Series - Where Do Vegans Get Their Iron?

Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Lentils 6.6mg
  • Soy Beans (29.2mg)
  • Chickpeas (12.5mg)
  • Red Kidney Beans (15.1mg)
  • Oatmeal 29.9mg
  • Fortified Cereal 18mg
  • Quinoa 6.3mg
  • Brown Rice  .8mg
  • Spinach 6.5mg
  • Swiss Chard 4mg
  • Kale 1mg
  • Swiss Chard .2mg
  • Sesame Seeds 21mg
  • Sunflower 7.4mg
  • Cashews 6.7mg
  • Peanuts 6.7mg
  • Pistachio 4.8mg
  • Pumpkin Seeds 2.1mg
  • Tofu 13.2mg

With only needing 16-18mg (a bit more if you’re a menstruating woman) it’s really not that hard to get all the iron you need. As long as you eat a balanced diet, you shouldn’t have trouble getting any of the essential nutrients you need to survive.

This will be the last entry of the Nutrient Collage series for this year – but don’t worry, I’ll continue the lesson into the new year!

Next month is Halloween – the spookiest time of the year! Not to worry vegans – there’s plenty of Halloween treats we can still enjoy! Next month I’ll give you Surprising Vegan Chips so you can get your snack on. Until then, check out my Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy collage and start stocking up!


Like this article? Check out more Vegan Tips!

Removing a Foreground Object (PHSH Effect #6)





Last month, I showed you how to make a transparent background, this month, I’ll show you how to remove a foreground object.

You’ll learn how to turn this:

To that.

Don’t worry, like most of the effects I’ve shown you so far, it’s very simple to do, and is an amazing time saver.




Step 1. To keep things simple, I’ll just use the same beach picture.

Step 2. Choose the Lasso tool, and draw a circle around the object you want to remove. Be sure to get a bit of the background into the selection.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Lasso Tool

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Lasso Selection

Step 3. Go up to Edit – Fill, and choose Content Aware from the drop-down.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Edit - Fill

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Content Aware Box

Click ‘Okay’ and the object should have disappeared, and now should be replaced with the background. Click back to the Lasso tool and Deselect, and you can now save your new foreground object removed picture.

And that’s it! Told you it was easy.

It does get a little trickier if there’s different parts to the background. For example, if you’re trying to remove multiple objects from a more complicated image, it may get ‘confused’ and remove an object in the sky by replacing it with ground, and an object on the ground with sky. This is slightly annoying, but you can always undo and redo this effect as many times as needed until you get the object out. I actually had this problem while I was working on my newest book (The Haunted Corpse) cover.

This was the original image:

The Haunted Corpse Original Picture

And this is my cover:

The Haunted Corpse Cover

I got the moon and birds out without much issue, but the lady standing to the very right of the castle was a different story. Because I’d replaced objects in the sky, every time I tried to replace her, it kept replacing her with clouds, instead of with trees. It took a while, but I finally got it. If that happens to you, I recommend removing the objects one at a time. So, remove an object from the image, save, re-open, remove the second object, save, etc. It takes longer, but it will keep photoshop from getting confused. (Hopefully)

Next month, I’ll show you the opposite, how to remove backgrounds from the image.


Like this tutorial? Check out more here!

Vac-Ache-tion




Started: 19.08.21

Finished: 19.08.22

Words: 496

Samifer (implied), Gen., Fluff


“Why are you being such a baby about this?” Sam raised a questioning eyebrow, “Just come with us.”

“Why won’t you take no for answer?” Lucifer grit his teeth, hands balling into fists before he disappeared into thin air.

Whoa, The hunter sat on the edge of the couch, running a hand through his hair, what the hell was that about?

 

 

Hey.

Sam sat up in bed, looking around the dark room, hey.

Relax, I’m not there.

Oh, he settled back against the pillows, going back to his laptop, are you ready to tell me what the hell that was all about?

He heard a sigh, and could picture the fallen angel scrubbing a hand down his face, I shouldn’t of got that worked up.

No shit.

But you should’ve stopped pushing it, too.

I wasn’t trying to push you. Sams’ stopped on the line he was reading, not actually taking in the information anyway, I just thought you’d have fun. And I’d really like it if you came with us.

I know… I just… I can’t…

Can’t what?

 I can’t swim! There are you happy now?

Sam blinked, you can’t swim?

No.

Sam closed the laptop, doing his best to keep his laughter at bay, that’s it?

… What do you mean ‘that’s it’?

That doesn’t mean you can’t come with us! The giant took some deep breaths, unable to keep from chuckling, we don’t have to go swimming you know.

No?

No! We could go fishing, on a boat ride, sun tan… there’s tons of other things we could do.

“They won’t make fun of me?”

The brunette turned, soft smile on his face as the angel appeared in the doorway, “No. They won’t even have to know.”

The angel bit his lip, nervous look on his face, “It does sound like fun.”

“Yeah…” Sam slipped off the bed, padding over to his boyfriend, “So you’ll come?”

“I guess.” Lucifer gave a small smile, “As long as you’re sure.”

“I’m one hundred percent certain.”

“Okay…”

Sam couldn’t help but smile, “Is that a yes?”

Lucifer nodded, smile widening, “It’s a yes. Who knows? I might be great at cottage life.”

“Well I wouldn’t go that far,” Sam wrapped him up in a hug, “but I do think you’d enjoy it a lot.” He pecked his cheek, stifling a yawn, “Does that mean we can go to bed now?”

Soft smile on his face, the fallen angel nodded. He backed out of the hug, pulling the hunter by the hand back to the bed, turning just in front of it, brows furrowed in confusion, “What makes you so sure they won’t make fun of me?”

“Trust me,” Sam flopped down on the bed, stretching slightly as he yawned again, “they won’t be able to say shit.”

Lucifer raised an eyebrow at the hunters’ confidence, “Why?”

The hunter flashed him a thousand-watt smile, before pulling him down onto of him, “Dean can’t swim either.”


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Vegandale Festival Review 2019




AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Vegan Power Sign

That’s right! Three years, baby! This is my third year in a row going to the Vegandale Festival in Toronto and I am still pumped about it! I don’t think the novelty will ever wear off of getting to go to a place where I can try whatever I want, and not have to ask about ingredients, or read the label before putting it in my mouth. (Save for cinnamon)

I was recently talking to one of my friends, and they made a joke about since this is my third year going, I could ‘take a break’ from going next year. Uhmm… what?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Vegan Sign 1

That’s when it hit me: other people can walk into any place and order whatever they want, without looking at the ingredients list, or worrying about what’s in a product. They can walk in, order what looks good and leave. So, it makes sense that people with that ability don’t even really think about how exciting that can be. They have no idea, that’s their ‘normal’, so they don’t understand the hype.

How boring are other people’s lives? They can just… do stuff without thinking about it? That’s such a foreign concept to me! But I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way. I love getting to be excited about things others aren’t. It’s like I’m a child discovering how awesome the world is all over again. Who wouldn’t want that?

But enough about me – time to get to what you came here for: the food!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review -Art Installation 2

This year, I was fortunate enough to get to try 20 things (instead of last years’ 17). There’s always over a hundred vendors, and while I feel like I get a pretty good mix of things, I’d love to eventually get to try half of them.

As always, these reviews will be written in the order that I tried the food. (And not in terms of what I liked best)

Okay, let’s get started!

These Wingz – Half N Half Wings with Mac N Cheese

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - These Wingz Half N Half w/ Mac N Cheese - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

First up, is These Wingz wings and mac n cheese. I got the special, 6 wings (half BBQ, half buffalo) with the mac n cheese. The wings were massive. Not just in size, but they were thick. As. Fuck. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but they were definitely the thickest thing I got at the festival. They were also the most expensive ($16).

The wings were good, they tasted kinda seitan-y, though I’m not sure if that’s what they were made out of. They had a good, chewy texture, but the breading on them (and their size) made them hard to bite through. And, trying to rip pieces off with the small plastic fork I got (no knives were available) didn’t work that well, either. I’m pretty sure I accidentally flung sauce in my hair from trying to rip a piece off.

The mac n cheese wasn’t that good. The noodles were over-cooked, and just tasted like the wing sauce. It didn’t taste like there was any cheese on them at all.

 

Parka Food Co. – Broccoli Burger Mac

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Parka Food Co. Broccoli Burger Mac - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

I know, I know, a little ridiculous I got another mac n cheese after literally just buying one, but I was intrigued by the name: Broccoli Burger Mac.

This one was way better than the first. For starters, this one actually tasted cheesy, and it had battered broccoli pieces on top. Gave the mac n cheese a good crunchy aspect. The cheese sauce actually kinda tasted like pasta salad to me – it had that subtle vinegar after-taste that pasta salad gets. This was a great dish to try for $11. I’m still not entirely sure what an aioli is, but the pink one that was drizzled on top of this dish was good. The sign said it was just their Parka Aioli, so I’m not entirely sure what’s in it (or why it’s pink), but it was good.

The only thing I didn’t like about this dish, is that the top of it was dowsed in parsley. There was way too much sprinkled on top of the broccoli and mac n cheese. The entire top was almost completely green!

 

Peas and Thank-You – Chick’N Parm

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Peas and Thank-You Chick'n Parm - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

A chick’n parm. I’ve never in my life had a chicken parm. I’ve seen them in movies/heard about them – it’s a chicken cutlet with tomato sauce and parm – but I was really hyped when I saw this on the menu at Peas and Thank-You. It was only $10, so I figured why not? And boy am I glad I did. This was probably the best thing I tried at the festival in terms of the actual ‘meal’ things. Although, it didn’t have actual parm on it. It had some kind of sauce (I’m assuming [hoping] it was cheese sauce) but I thought the ‘parm’ on the sandwich would’ve been… y’know, actual parm flakes. The sauce actually tasted closer to Veganaise then cheese, but maybe that’s just what parm tastes like?

The chick’n patty itself was great – though it was a little too hard to bite through. I think maybe it was fried too long? But once you got passed the initial bite, it had a great flavour and wasn’t as hard to chew and get down. And the bun? Oh, man! I think it was a ciabatta bun? I don’t know, but I loved the bun. They didn’t do anything special to it – I believe it was just toasted – but it added such a great depth to the sandwich. They do pop-ups at different events, and I really, really hope that they come back next year! (Or do another pop-up in Toronto)

 

Not Your Mother – Rocky Road Ice Cream

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Not Your Mother Rocky Road Ice Cream - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

This was the favourite dessert I tried, hands down. Rocky Road ice cream? Do you guys know about Rocky Road ice-cream? It’s chocolate ice cream with brownie pieces and marshmallows. Marshmallows!

I cannot believe I’ve never tried Rocky Road ice cream before. It’s my new favourite ice cream flavour. Even though it was hot and I had to drink most of it, it was still my favourite dessert. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about chocolate and marshmallows that holds a very special place in my heart.

When will vegan Rocky Road ice cream be available for purchase in pints from a store?

Seriously, if you make vegan ice-cream, get on it. Please.

 

Globally Local – Hot Buffalo Chick’Un Burger

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Globally Local Buffalo ChickUn Burger and Fries - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

Ah, Globally Local. They’ve been my favourite thing the past two years, and I feel a little bad about giving that title away, but my reason for giving the title away is two-fold:

  1. This burger is pretty much the same thing I tried last year, just with buffalo sauce coating the patty.
  2. The chicken parm was way more exciting and tasted better.

Don’t get mad, Globally, I still love you guys and cannot wait until you open your location here next month! But, I do wish that you had added something else on the festival menu to try.

The fries were great, too. Thick cut and fried fries I think are my weakness. These ones, and A&W fries are the best fries I’ve ever had. (… So far.)

 

Main Vegan Deli – Lobstar Roll

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Main Vegan Deli Lobstar Roll - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

Main Vegan Deli… what can I say? They were at the festival both previous years, and the first year I went I actually got to try a sample of their cashew cheese. I was hoping I’d get to do that again this year (or that I’d maybe actually get a ball/block to take home), but alas, they changed their menu.

This year, they had a ‘lobstar’ roll and a no-kobe sammy. Now, I’ve never really been that much of a fan of seafood. Before going vegan, I’d never eat it. It was gross to me. So, naturally, since going vegan, I haven’t tried any seafood faux products. Why would I if I didn’t like the real thing, right?

So, keeping that in mind, I didn’t really like this. It was mushrooms and their ‘seafood sauce’, so I figured it shouldn’t be too bad. I like mushrooms, after all – I don’t know what it was, it wasn’t exactly bad, but this was definitely not my favourite thing. I think it might’ve been the texture that the mushrooms were. They were slightly rubber-y, but also slightly slimy. Not chewy rubber-y, just… rubber-y.

I got my (non vegan) mom to eat it, (I couldn’t finish it!) and she said it ‘tasted like the kind of lobster you get from a can’. Take from that what you will.

I was actually really disappointed that I didn’t like this – I had loved their cashew cheese, and was hoping they might’ve been like Globally Local, in that I would just like everything.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not writing them off. Next year, if they bring their cashew cheese, or have some other type of sandwich (that’s not seafood) I’ll try it.

Bring it on!

 

Meltwich – Poutine

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Meltwich Poutine - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

I love poutine! This one was a little lack-luster though. The fries were pretty basic, seemed like they were just regular frozen french fries, and the cheese shreds didn’t melt! At all. I took the picture, mixed it up, and then nothing. They tasted good, but they didn’t melt. I don’t know what happened, but that definitely made the dish not as good as it could have been.

That said, the gravy more for made up for the lack of melted cheese. It was a nice, rich, brown gravy and oh man, if they were just selling jars of that, I definitely would’ve bought one.

All in all, this poutine wasn’t anything spectacular (it was called the Classic Poutine) but regular poutine is still good poutine in my book. It doesn’t need to have chick’n or bacon bits or anything fancy for it to be good.

 

Vegtago – Nacho Cheese

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Vegtago Nacho Cheese - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

This was the first free sample I got at the festival. This cheese, while it’s great that it’s dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free, it tasted a little too sweet to me. If you gave this to me, and asked me to guess what it was, I would not guess ‘nacho cheese’. It tastes closer to pureed vegetable.

I’m not entirely sure if it’s made out of carrots, (the picture on the sign was a carrot), but it reminds me of my failed attempt at making cheese out of carrots and potatoes.

That’s not to say that it taste bad – I would definitely eat it in a different setting – but for something that’s supposed to be a nacho cheese, it misses the mark.

 

Magnum – Classic Bar

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Magnum Non-Dairy Classic Bar - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

This was the second free sample I got at the festival, and I have to say I was not disappointed. When I went, the lady at the counter said they were ‘down to Classics’. I was just excited I was getting a full sized ice-cream bar for free!

At this point in the festival, I was starting to feel a bit sick, so I do regret to say that I didn’t finish the whole bar. It’s the only thing from the festival I didn’t finish that I wasn’t able to take home.

With that said, it was pretty good. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but the chocolate coating on the outside of the bar had an odd ‘heavy’ feel to it. As soon as I bit it, that’s what I felt. I don’t know if that’s the right word for it, but it’s happened with other chocolate before, and that’s the only way I know to describe it. After that initial heavy/weighty feel, it was pretty sticky, too. Like, dry-out-your-mouth sticky. Similar to when you eat a spoon of peanut butter and immediately feel like you need to drink some water.

I don’t know if that’s just something that happens depending on the cocoa content or whatever, but it’s definitely something I don’t like in my chocolate. It shouldn’t make you thirsty.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Magnum Non-Dairy Classic Bar - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

The ice-cream was good, too. It was just basic vanilla ice-cream. Nothing too fancy, as this was the Classic Bar, but it was still good.

I’d definitely buy this if I wanted an ice-cream bar, but don’t go in with too high expectations. It’s pretty basic, and don’t forget to drink water with it.

 

Papabubble – Cherry Candy

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Papabubble's Cherry Candy - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

First, I’d like to point out: these are hard candies. They only had a few squishy ones (that I didn’t try) on display, and this wasn’t it. I thought that it was a squishy candy, so I tossed it in my mouth and got a rude awakening when I chomped down on it.

That’s my bad, I will admit. Other than that surprise, the candy was pretty good! It had a very good cherry flavour, and while it did stick to my teeth a bit, what candy doesn’t?

I also tried one called ‘lychee’ which is a type of tropical fruit. That one was good too, it did taste fruity, but I definitely liked the cherry one better.

I had actually been debating about buying a whole pack of their candy, but since they’re in Toronto, I decided I could always do a more in-depth analysis of their offerings later.

I don’t think they beat out Squish candy, since Squishs’ candy is well, squishy, but they are definitely a close second.




Julie’s Joyful Kitchen-  Chocolate Caramel Almond Bar

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Julie's Joyful Kitchen Chocolate Caramel Almond Bar - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

This is my second year reviewing Julie’, and I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. Last year, I got their chocolate cookie, which was good – pretty hard to mess up a cookie – this year, they were offering other types of cookies, or, this chocolate almond bar. I thought I’d be a bit adventurous and go for the bar. I’ve seen similar bars before but have always stayed away from trying them.

I should’ve done that this time, too.

For starters, I couldn’t even pick the thing up. The bottom layer crumbled into a million pieces the second I tried to. So I had to eat it with one finger swiping through the middle ‘caramel’ part. And to be honest, the caramel wasn’t very good. It just kinda tasted like almond butter, there wasn’t very much ‘caramel’ flavour in it. The chocolate on the top was good – it is chocolate, after all – but it was the same kind of dry-out-your-mouth as the Magnum bar.

This definitely didn’t make my favourites list, not by a long shot. If they come back again next year, I’d definitely want to try something else, but if that doesn’t go well, I’m afraid I’m gonna have to write them off. Which sucks, because they ladies running the booth were very sweet.

But yeah, I’m thinking that maybe Julie’s just isn’t for me.

 

Sweet Nutritionista –  Beet Brownie

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Sweet Nutritionista's Beet Brownie - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

For a dessert that’s made out of beets this was pretty good. I absolutely hate beets, so believe me when I tell say you could not taste the beets in this brownie at all. You could’ve told me it wasn’t made out of beets and I’d believe you.

This was a wee bit dense though. Maybe if they had cut them a bit thinner it would’ve been more enjoyable. It was a biiit too much to bite off and chew at one time.

I would definitely love to try something else they have to offer at the next festival, or if I’m ever in Oakville, I’d definitely stop by.

 

Yves – Sweet Potato Meatball

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Yves Sweet Potato Meatball - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

I’m not gonna lie, this tastes very sweet potato-y. I unfortunately don’t like sweet potatoes, so I didn’t like it. It had a hint of a weird spice I don’t like, that reminded me a bit of cumin. (Although I’m not 100% on if cumin is actually in them)

If you like falafel, you’ll definitely like these.

They had nuggets available as a free sample to try as well, but I unfortunately was 5 seconds too late, as the lady in front of me had snagged the last nugget.

Fortunately though, they were also giving out coupons, and I was lucky enough to get one of those, instead.

 

Glory Hole Doughnuts – Cookies N Crème Doughnut

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Glory Hole Cookies N Creme Doughnut - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

Glory Hole was back with a way better doughnut than last years’!

Maybe it’s because it wasn’t as hot, so it didn’t immediately melt into a goopy mess all over my hand, but I definitely enjoyed this one better than the peanut butter and chocolate I got last year.

While it still had the classic ‘this is a doughnut!’ sweetness, it was also very light. The icing I think was just regular vanilla, and the cookie bits were pretty similar in taste to Oreo cookies (no matter what the sign said).

The only thing I didn’t like is when I bit down, the entire doughnut flattened and didn’t bounce back. It was like I let all the air out of the tire.

That happened to the one I got last year as well, so I’m not sure if it’s just a doughnut thing, or if I’m somehow not biting them correctly but yeah. If they could find a way to make them not do that, that would be great.

And since these guys are in Toronto as well, I’m looking forward to trying more of their offerings.

 

BZZSFREE – Apple Honey

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - BZZSFREE Apple Honey - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

Honey is definitely one of the things I miss the most since going vegan. I used to absolutely love it – not only for it’s taste, but also because it’s a great natural alternative to conventional medicine – so as soon as I saw this vegan honey company listed, I knew I just had to try it!

I was a little unsure of which flavour to get, as the sign said they had apple, pineapple and PMP (guava and something else I don’t remember). I just wanted to taste something that was closest to the real deal.

After speaking to the lady (who is beyond nice!) for a bit, she told me that the apple flavour is the closest to the real thing, so I decided to try that one. And boy am I glad I did!

It tasted so close to what I remember honey tasting like, I was blown away! It didn’t taste like apples at all! It was just as sweet, and even had the same sticky consistency!

I regret not buying a whole jar, but the lady said they were available to purchase online, and that they deliver to Toronto, so I’m definitely going to get my hands on some!

If you didn’t get a chance to check them out, or was a bit hesitant because of the flavours listed, you definitely need to try their apple flavour! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I’m so glad they decided to come to the festival this year, and hope they come back!

 

Crazy D’s – Prebiotic Rockin’ Rolla Cherry Cola

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Crazy D's Prebiotic Rockin' Rolla Cherry Cola - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

This was my least favourite thing from the entire festival. It tasted absolutely nothing like cherries. The ingredients say that there was actual cherry juice in it, but I couldn’t taste it at all.

This drink was spicy. It tasted like when you run out of bouillon cubes, so you try to make your own. So you get some water and throw ten different spices in it and then try it. That’s what it tasted like.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Vegan Sign 2

This drink was an absolute no-go in my book. Which sucks because I was really looking forward to trying a cherry flavoured drink.

Their sign said it was supposed to have a bunch of health benefits and promote good digestion and stuff – I hate that they proved the old saying true. (Everything that’s good for you tastes bad)

I couldn’t even finish it, I had to dump it out when I got home. I felt bad for wasting it, but I couldn’t drink it. It was that bad. And tasted nothing like cherries!

Their other options were Ginga Kick and a citrus something. I went with cherry because I thought it’d be their best tasting one. Boy was I wrong!

 

If you like spicy drinks, you may like this, but if you want something that tastes like cherries? This isn’t it.

 

Tropic Love – Maple Luv Mini Pancakes

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Tropic Luv's Maple Luv Mini Pancakes - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

Pancakes, whether big or small, there’s just something enjoyable about them.

These were light and fluffy, and so cute! They came ten per order, and were perfect with the right amount of maple syrup drizzled on top.

They weren’t really special, except that they were tiny. But I mean, a pancake is a pancake. I would’ve been really surprised if I didn’t like them.

 

WVRST – Soft Pretzel

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - WVRST Soft Pretzel - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

I have a soft spot for soft pretzels. I only tried them this year, actually. My first ever was from Through Being Cool (which unfortunately no longer exists!) and I instantly loved them!

They’re a bit salty to eat on their own (you’re apparently supposed to dip them in mustard? No thanks!), but have an amazing doughy consistency. It’s like eating just the thick crust from a pizza. I love soft, doughy breads, and these pretzels are no exception.

These guys also make sausages, (and are also in Toronto!) but I would recommend going there for the pretzels alone.

I’ll probably get around to trying their sausages, but the pretzels are an absolute must.

 

GTS – Watermelon Kombucha

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - GTS Watermelon Kombucha - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

This was better tasting than the cherry cola, but still not my thing. I’ve tried kombucha before, and I didn’t really like it. I think it’s the carbonation I don’t like. Same reason I don’t enjoy pop – the carbonation isn’t a good time for me.

The flavour was good, though I don’t know I would call it watermelon. It had that fresh, fruity taste like a watermelon does, but it didn’t exactly scream ‘watermelon’ flavour.

I would definitely get it over an actual pop, like Coke. But my first go-to would still probably be just water.

 

Sausage Party – The Big Mock

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Sausage Party The Big Mock - vegan food, food reviewer, vegan festival

This not-dog was pretty good. They said it was a ‘hand crafted vegan sausage’, so I’m not entirely sure if it’s seitan, or something else, but it tasted similar to the flax dog I had gotten the first year. Very wheat-y. It was good, except I forgot to tell them no mustard, and they put a bunch of onions on it.

Why is that a thing people do? Smother the dog in a million cubes of onions? Onions are not that good of a topping, I’m sorry. I’d rather it of just been straight lettuce with the sesame seeds and cheese.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2019 Review - Vegan Pyramid

I was a little disappointed that weren’t nearly as many dessert vendors as there were last year. I would’ve liked to get a cupcake or some other desserts.

On the vendors list on the Vegandale website, Kelly’s Bakeshop was listed, but the site map I got that had the list of the vendors, they weren’t anywhere. I don’t know if they were going to come, and had to fall out, or what, but I was disappointed that I didn’t get to try their Salted Caramel Pretzel cupcake again.

Also, I thought I saw Bald Baker, but he wasn’t a vendor. He was pushing a stroller around, but looked a lot like him. I didn’t have the courage to go up to him and ask, so if you’re reading this: sorry for starring!

I’m so happy I got to go again, and I’m hoping I get to try even more foods next year!


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I’ll Wreck This If I Have To




Started: 16.11.11

Finished: 19.07.18

Words: 4,273

Gen., Wee!Chester, Destiel (implied)


“Rachel smells bad.”

“Dean,” Cas craned his neck to see the page, “that’s not what it says.”

“No, it is, I swear!” Dean held the book up out of view with a chuckle.

“But who’s Rachel?”

Dean blinked and jumped back off the bed, after realizing he was snuggled against the angel. What the hell?

Cas’ brow furrowed in concern, “Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, baby, everything’s fine,” the blonde took a step back toward the bed, expression softening.

Whoa, he stopped mid-stride and shook his head, baby? Since when do I call him baby?

Cas wrapped the blanket tighter around himself, trying to swallow down his fear, “Dean?”

“Yeah?” He turned his gaze back to the man on the bed, wait… “Cas, why are we in bed?”

“… Because we always sleep like that?” Cas got off the bed, coming around to stand in front of his boyfriend.

The blonde rubbed at his temples, and looked around the room, this place is pretty nice,  “… Why aren’t we in a motel?”

“Motel?”

Dean moved toward the bedroom door, “Where the hell’s Sam?”

“Sam’s across the street, with Gabriel, where they always are…,” Cas stared at him, tilting his head to one side, “Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”

Damn he’s cute when he does that. “Hey!” Dean spun around, eyes darting around the room, “I didn’t think that!”

Cas took a nervous step back, “Didn’t think what?”

“I do not think you’re cute.”

The hurt expression on the angel’s face made him feel a stab of guilt, “Damn, Cas, no, that’s not what I meant. Come here,” the blonde outstretched his arms and took a step toward the raven-haired man.

“Dean…,” Cas took another step backward and avoided his eyes, “are you… have you started drinking again?”

Dean blinked at the accusation and shook his head, “Cas-”

“Don’t lie to me,” the shorter man sniffed and turned away from his boyfriend, hiding his tears.

Dean closed his eyes and took a deep breath, it’s not right to keep this from him… He opened his eyes and looked around widely, what the fuck?

“Cas, what’s going on?”

“I knew it,” Cas wiped at his eyes before he slid the comforter off the bed and threw it at the stunned man.

“Cas? What’re you doing?”

“Maybe a night on the couch will jog your memory,” he strode over and opened the bedroom door, pointing out into the hall, face hard.

“Cas-”

“Go.”

“Cas, please, help me out. I don’t know what’s going on.”

“De-an!” A sing-song voice called from behind the pair.

Dean turned around to see Cas standing a few feet away from him, wearing an unbuttoned shirt and shorts, standing just in front of an ocean. What the fuck? Dean turned back to where the first Cas was, and was surprised to see it was no longer a bedroom, but instead a beach. How the hell…? He walked forward a few steps, eyes scanning the surrounding area, half hoping he’d see the bedroom somewhere.

“Dean?”

He turned back to the smaller man, fighting over which question he should ask first, “Cas, where are we?”

“We’re on vacation silly,” Cas wrapped his arms around his neck and pecked him on the lips.

The blonde wrapped his arms around the shorter man’s waist and pulled his body closer.

Whoa! Dean jumped backward, eyes wide with shock, how is this happening?

“Who’s doing that?”

Cas tilted his head to one side, confused, “Are you alright?”

“What happened to the bedroom?”

“Bedroom?” The raven-haired man gave him a once over, “you could at least buy me dinner first.”

“No,” Dean shook his head, what is happening to me? “I mean, how’d we get here?”

“Ah,” he chuckled before looping his arm around the blonde’s, pulling him closer to the water, “well… I just needed a pie shell, but I ended up taking you home instead.”

“Took me…what?”

“Oh c’mon,” he laughed and rested his head against the taller man’s arm, “I know you don’t remember the details, but you have to remember that part.”

“Of course I remember, I just like the way you tell it,” the blonde smiled and pressed a kiss to the top of his head.

What the hell am I doing? Dean straightened and scanned the beach again, unsure of what he was looking for, what is going on?

“Dean, are you alright?”

“Don’t you remember the conversation we were just having?”

Cas’ brows furrowed in confusion, “we were talking about signing up for a surf class.”

“No, we were…” his protest died on his lips, not sure what he’d accomplish by arguing. How does he not remember? He took a few steps away, maybe this isn’t Cas… “You needed a pie shell?”

“Yeah… for Home Ec., one of the assignments was to make a pie.”

“Home Ec?” Dean backed up further, instinctively reaching to his hip for his gun, “Since when do angels go to high school?”

“Angel?”

“Yeah,” he silently cursed as he felt he was wearing swim shorts, “I mean, I knew you guys had to go through training, but I didn’t think cooking would be a priority.”

Cas took a small step toward him, “Training? What are you talking about?”

Definitely not Cas, shit, “What? Did they scrub your brain again? Or have you been here so long you actually forgot about headquarters?”

“I think you’ve got too much sun,” Cas was beside him, guiding him back toward the resort in a matter of seconds, “how about we go lie down for a while?”

“No,” he wretched himself out of the shorter man’s grip and backed up a few feet, “so you’re not an angel?”

Cas ran a hand through his hair and looked around the beach, “Of course not, angels aren’t real.”

“What the hell do you mean angels aren’t real?”

“Will you keep your voice down?” he felt a hand slap over his mouth, “Do you want to give the whole nest our location?”

He blinked and saw Cas – or someone who looked a hell of a lot like the Cas he knew – inches away from his face, furious.

“C’s?”

He took his hand off the Winchesters’ mouth but continued to glare at him, “The Alpha should be upstairs in one of the back bedrooms. That is, if you didn’t just give away our ambush plan.”

What the…? Feeling his hunter instincts kick in – although he was still confused – he followed the man up the stairs, “Cas,” he kept his voice low as they approached one of the doors, “What are we doing?”

The raven-haired man rolled his eyes at the hunter, “Going after the Alpha Vamp.” At the blank stare, he blinked at the hunter, moving closer, “Maybe you did hit your head harder then I thought.” He touched two fingers to the blondes’ forehead before shaking his head, “You should be fine,” he stared into the hunters’ eyes, face serious, “You do remember how to hunt, right?”

“Of course I know how to hunt.” Dean huffed, how can I explain without sounding crazy? “Something… weird is going on, Cas. I- shit, I don’t even know how to explain it.”

Cas nodded before slowly reaching for the doorknob, “I’ll examine you in more depth after we kill the Alpha.”

Maybe it’s some sort of curse… he pulled the machete out of his jacket, hand white-knuckling around the handle, or African Dream Root. That would explain all the… scene changes.

“De?”

The blonde sighed and turned to his left, surprised to see a five-year-old, who looked oddly like Sam did when he was younger. He looked around, not that surprised to see the scene had changed yet again, and he was now in a dingy motel room, at least this is familiar.

He strode over to the bed the child was on, “Where’re your parents, Bud?”

The brunette tilted his head to one side, bangs falling into his eyes, “… Dad’s working.”

Shoulda seen that coming, he sat on the edge of the bed, doing his best to keep calm, “Okay… what’s your name?”

This caused the 5-year-old to squeal with laughter, flopping backwards against the pillows, “It’s me, De! Told you you wouldn’t rec’nize me!”

Definitely gotta be Dream Root, “… Sammy?”

The kid nodded, smiling a big, toothy grin at the blonde, and he noted the missing front tooth. Sammy reached under his pillow and pulled the tooth out, holding it out for the blonde to inspect.

This is too weird. I don’t think I’ve dreamt about Sam this young since… ever. Dean took the tooth and blew out a whistle, “This came out of you? No way.”

Sammy giggled again, snatching the tooth back from his brother, satisfied smile on his face, “Told you it was loose!”

“Okay, smarty-pants,” Dean chuckled, rubbing his hand at the back of his neck, how am I gonna wake up? “Whaddya say we get you to sleep now?”

Sam poked out his bottom lip, shaking his head, “But I’m not tired!”

Oh!  I know. Don’t really want him to see it though. “If you don’t go to sleep, the Tooth Fairy can’t get your tooth,” The blonde got up off the bed, making his way over to the bathroom.

Sammys’ eyes went wide before he dove under the covers, “I didn’t know you had to be asleep!”

“Yep, just like Santa.” Dean stopped in the doorway, turning back to the bed, “So you’ll sleep?”

The five-year-old nodded his head so violently his bangs shook wildly around, before he all but head-butted the pillow, squeezing his eyes shut. Dean smiled at him before closing the bathroom door, locking it.

He plucked his fathers’ razor off the side of the sink, digging out one of the blades, stopping as he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Whoa, I didn’t think I’d be younger, he shook his head at his younger reflection, turning his attention back to the razor blade, bringing it to his left wrist, time to wake up.




 

Dean groaned, stretching his arms out over his head, bed sheets. That’s either good or… He sat up slowly, looking around before shaking his head, damn it. He was back in the fancy bedroom. If I wasn’t dreaming, then what the hell-

Wait a minute, Dean slid out of bed and crouched on the floor, peering down at the trim on the bottom of the wall, what is this? He jumped back as he saw the thing move, is it a bug? Whoa! Definitely not a bug, he crept a bit closer as he watched the thing jump in front of him. Carefully, he stretched one hand toward it, picking the end of it up off the floor, it looks like… words? His brows’ furrowed as he turned it around in his hand, silently lip-reading. “Rachel smells bad.”

“Dean,” Cas craned his neck to see the page, “that’s not what it says.”

“No, it is, I swear!” Dean held the book up out-

What the hell? This is… me? Whoa! He nearly dropped it as it as it leapt forward in his hand again, it gets bigger every time I think something? Where the hell did this come from? He looked around the rest of the room, and saw that the string went all the way around the base of the wall, and snaked its way under the door, guess I’m going on an adventure.

Dean began wrapping the string around his hand, doing his best to tie it up so he could move, this has got to be some kind of curse or something. He sighed as the string expanded again and fell from his hand. How am I supposed to carry this if it gets bigger every time I- He stood, eyes catching on the pillows on the bed, worth a shot. He strode over, shaking the closest pillow out of it’s case before scooping up as much of the string as he could, before slinging the sack over his shoulder and heading for the door, this ends now.

 

 

She rubbed at her tired eyes before reaching for her coffee cup, glancing at the time on the laptop, alright, just finish this paragraph and then you can go to bed. She sighed before cracking her knuckles, stifling a yawn, alright, come on, girl. Crunch time. She poised her hands over the keyboard starring at the word document that was sitting open in front of her, cursor blinking unapologetically. Like it’s mocking me.

She sighed again before deflating, shoulders slumping forward, what is wrong with me? It’s just a fic. It shouldn’t be this hard. She lowered her head to the table in front of her, groaning, why can’t I figure out how to end this stupid thing?

A rustling noise from outside made her bring her head back up, she paused the music she was listening to, holding her breath as she listened. There was what sounded like a bang, as if someone hit the side of her house. What the hell? Who would be here at, she glanced at the clock on her laptop, two in the morning? Damn. She got up slowly from her desk and made her way out into the hall, leaning over the railing as the banging noise continued, maybe it’s a burglar. She crept down the stairs, careful to avoid the creaky spots as to not alert whoever was outside, or a murderer.

Okay, no, stop it. Why do you always go there? She shook her head before making her way over to the front door, peering out the peephole, cursing to herself as she saw a man standing on the porch. I can’t believe I was right. She watched him for a minute, brows furrowing in confusion, what is he…? The man checked behind him before kneeling down, inserting what looked like a pin into her deadbolt.

Oh my God! She took a few steps back, heart beginning to pound in her chest, shit, what do I do? What do I do? She watched in mild fascination as the deadbolt turned, unlocking. Shit, shit, shit, she raced back up the stairs, closing the door to her office, before all but jumping back into her desk chair, I can’t believe this is actually happening. Nothing exciting ever happens to me. Okay, not the time for that, she shook her head, c’mon, you’ve written a B&E a million times, what are you supposed to do? Frantic eyes searched the top of her desk, before she spotted her phone. She snatched it just as she heard the front door open, shit. She slid under her desk, thanking her past self that she ended up going with the bigger desk.

She took a deep breath, failing to calm her racing heart as she unlocked her phone, starring at the keypad, oh my God, how do you forget the emergency number? She raked her brain, tensing her body as she thought, c’mon! Now’s not the time to be scared! Her eyes burned as she starred at the phone screen, before it faded out, and locked. She listened as the man walked around below her, maybe he’ll just steal something and leave.

She heard the bottom step creak, and she held her breath, shit, shit, shit. She unlocked the phone again, and felt a bolt of lightening hit her brain, 9-1-1, she punched in the numbers and shook her head, I’m such an idiot. She held the phone up to her ear and held her breath, wait… what do I even say?

I’m sorry. All our operators are currently busy. Please stay on the line and we’ll get to your call as soon as we can.

What the hell? Since when does 9-1-1 have a hold feature? Her knuckles began to turn white around the edge of the phone as she heard footsteps approach the door, please don’t come in, please don’t come in…

Of course, she heard the door swing open, and what sounded like clicks on the hardwood floor, hey, that sounds like- She cut herself off as her dog came around the back of the desk, licking her face. She pet the dogs head and did her best to get it off of her, I thought you were supposed to be a guard dog?

“Hello?”

She closed her eyes and stopped petting the dog, maybe if I don’t move he’ll leave.

“I know you’re under there.”

Guess the jig’s up, she took a deep breath, and crawled out from under the desk, peaking over the top to see the blonde standing on the other side of the desk, he looks angry. She got up, leaning her one arm on her desk and hoped her face didn’t show how scared shitless she was, “H-hi.”

“So it’s you,” the man dropped the pillow case he’d been holding on the floor and took a step forward.

“Please, don’t kill me!” She involuntarily took a step back, holding her hands up in front of her, real smooth, girl.

The blonde blinked in surprise, “Kill you? I don’t want to kill you.”

“Oh,” she cautiously took a step forward, easing herself down into her desk chair, “Then… what do you want? You can steal anything, just please, don’t take my laptop.”

“I don’t want to steal-” He cut himself off as his eyes shot to the laptop that was sitting open on the desk. He came around the front of the desk, squinting at the word document that was sitting open. His eyes widened in realization before turning back to the girl, “What is this?”

“Uhm,” she swallowed thickly, rolling her chair backward as he came closer, “A-a story.”

“Why’re you writing about me?”

She blinked in surprise, “What? No, I’m writing about-” She rolled closer, looking between the screen and the man standing in front of her, eyes going wide as she saw his features light up in the faint glow of the screen, “Oh my God. You’re Dean?”

“Duh.” He pointed to the screen, eyes narrowing, “What the hell are you doing? Who gave you the right to write what I say and do, huh?”

“I, uhm, well…” her mind was racing, “Y-you’re not supposed to be real.”

“Yeah, cause I have a choice.” He gave her a pointed look, “Seriously, what the hell? How long have you been doing this?”

She lowered her eyes to the ground, “W-well, uhm… it’s been a few years.”

Years?”

She nodded meekly, “Y-yeah. People really like it, too. But, wait,” she turned her eyes back to him, “How did you get out of the story?”

“…What?”

“The story,” she pointed toward the computer screen, rolling herself closer, “Look, I left you in your and Cas’ bedroom,” she glanced at him and sighed at the confused look on his face, “You were in a fictional place. The bedroom? It doesn’t exist – I made it up. So how did you get from Imaginary Land to the real world?”

He let out a breath as he straightened up, running a hand through his hair, “Shit if I know.”

“This is weird,” she opened her internet browser, starring at the empty search bar, “I don’t even know where to begin to figure this out.”

“Can’t you just…” He sat on the edge of the desk, letting out a heavy sigh, “I don’t know, stop writing about me?”

“Pfft, no,” she chuckled, “The fandom would riot.”

“Well,” he chewed his lip, eyes on the pillow case, “Wait, you aren’t writing this part?”

“Am I– what? Oh, no,” She turned to him, “Do you see me typing?”

“Where did you leave off?” He got back up, walking over to the laptop, “Maybe that’s the clue.”

“Uuuhm,” she minimized the browser, before re-reading the story, “I left you… in the bedroom, you were just getting kicked out by Cas.”

“Damn, guess that’s not it,” he sulked back over to the corner of the desk.

“Wait, why not?”

“I was… scene jumping? After that. I was on a beach, and then I was with Sam, but he was little, then I was hun-” he cut himself off as he noticed the look on her face, “What?”

“Well,” she swallowed thickly, “I… I was having trouble thinking of what kind of fic to make, so I started and scraped a few ideas. One was you hunting, one was a Wee!Chesters fic – that would’ve been you with Sam when he was little – and one of you on vacation with Cas.”

He got up, brows furrowed in confusion as he made his way to the pillow case. He brought it over, handing it to me, “Explain this, then.”

Intrigued and no longer scared, she opened the bag, peering inside, “It’s empty.”

“Exactly. Wait, what?” He snatched it back, turning it upside down, shaking it out, “How is it empty?”

“Uhm…” She rolled over to it, picking it up off the floor, “What was in it?”

He hung his head, pointing to the computer screen, “That.”

“… My story was in this bag?”

“Yes!” He took it out of her hands, turning it over, shaking his head, “I followed a string of words, from the bedroom all the way here.” At my disbelieving look, he shrugged, gesturing to my laptop, “Maybe it’s leaking words?”

“Leaking words?”

“I don’t know!” He ran a hand through his hair again, blowing out a breath in frustration, “Weirder things have happened to me.”

“True, but you’re fictional. Or, were fictional.” She tapped her nails on her desk as she thought, starring at the computer, “Maybe… maybe it’s some sort of curse?”

“That’s what I said!” He threw his hands up in exasperation, “Is that even a thing here?”

“What? Magic?” At his nod she shrugged, “Some people be-”

“No, no, no.” He held up one hand, “Don’t give me that crap. This is a yes or no question. Does magic exist here?”

“Yes. But, before you get too excited, it doesn’t exist in the same ways as you’re used to.” At his confused expression she sighed, “Okay, to be honest, there’s no real concrete proof one way or the other. Like, we could throw a bunch of shit in a bowl and say a chant, but it’s not likely to-”

“Great,” he clapped his hands, making her jump, “Let’s do it.”

“I’m sorry, do what?”

“Un-curse me! Or send me back or whatever.” He gestured to the laptop again, “C’mon, get me the ingredients.”

Her jaw dropped, he can’t be serious, she rolled back toward the laptop, typing into the search bar. “Okay, I’ll try,” She shook her head, “but don’t be too disappointed if we-” she cut herself off as the search results came up, “Huh.”

Dean came around to look at the screen, before lightly hitting her arm, “Told you.”

“I honestly didn’t think that would work.” She clicked open one article and began skimming it, guess the internet really does have everything.

“See?” He shook his head at her, “Most people have no idea what’s really out there.”

“I should have all this stuff. Seems straight-forward enough.” She rolled back, getting up out of the chair, walking out of the room, before returning a moment later with an arm full of candles, pack of chalk, a bowl and a lighter, “Kinda reminds me of a reverse Tulpa.”

He glanced up at her from the laptop, “How do you know-”

“Dude,” She held up a hand as she deposited the contents of her arms onto her desk, before she began placing the candles down in a circle on the floor, “I’ve watched every season of your TV show, I know pretty much as much about the supernatural as you do.”

“TV show?” He shook his head, walking over to stand inside the forming circle, “I’m going to kill Chuck.”

“Actually, here,” she grabbed his arm, dragging him a bit so he was centered, “A guy named Eric Kripke invented you.”

“Great.” He sighed, eyes on the girl as she moved around, lighting all the candles, “You sure this is gonna work?”

“Well,” she took the chalk out of the pack and began drawing, “The spell on the website says it’s to summon a fictional character here.”

“So?”

“So,” she grunted as she almost tripped over one of the candles, “If you’re already here, and we do this summoning, it might send you back, or it might do nothing.”

“Oh.”

She looked up as she completed the circle, wiping her hands on her pants, “Don’t worry,” she gave him a cheeky grin, “If this doesn’t work, there were 1.8 billion other results.”

He chuckled before scratching the back of his neck, lowering his eyes to the floor, biting his lip.

“Hey,” her voice got him to look back at her, “Don’t be nervous. You’ve got the easy part.”

His brows creased, “How do you-” He shook his head, “Never mind.”

She turned the laptop so she could see it from the other side of the desk, before pulling out one of his hairs.

“Ow!”

“Oh, please,” she dropped the hair into the bowl on the floor, “I’ve seen you get tossed around by pretty much every supernatural creature out there.” She gave him a pointed look, “You expect me to believe that hurt?”

“Yeah!” He rubbed the spot for a moment.

She rolled her eyes before grabbing the pack of matches, lighting one, “Ready?”

He took in a deep breath before nodding.

“Alright,” she turned to look at the computer screen before letting it fall from her hand, “Let’s get you home.”


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Making a Transparent Background (PHSH Effect #5)





Alright, now that we’ve tackled some practical effects for pictures, it’s time to switch gears and show you how to edit the picture as a whole.

For this months’ tutorial, I’m going to show you how to change the background of a picture from the default white (or any other colour) to transparent. This is handy for, say, if you want to change the colour of the background, or if you’re making merch, and want the design to be available on an array of different coloured backgrounds.

This also comes in handy if you ever need to add a picture that has a background to your existing design. Instead of erasing around the foreground object, you can make the background transparent and then just place it. This can save you a lot of time. (Trust me)

Let’s get started.

First things first, you’re gonna need an image with a background you want to make transparent. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll just be using this:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Tutorial Pic

Simple, yes, but the steps are the same no matter how complicated an image is.

Step 1. Make a new Colour Layer. It can be whatever colour you want.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Colour Layer

Step 2. Switch back to the image, and select the Magic Eraser. Click on the white spaces of the image, and the white should disappear.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Magic Eraser Selection

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Clicked White Space

Step 3. Continue using the magic eraser on the image until all the white is gone.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Done White Space

Step 4. Now that the white is gone, all we have to do is delete the Colour Layer. Do this by clicking and dragging it down to the trash can on the bottom right side in the Layers Panel.

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Once you delete the Colour Layer, you’ll see the background of the image change to grey and white checkers, this now means the background is transparent. You can now save this layer as is and use it for whatever backgrounds you want. Whether it be solid colours, or actual pictures, your transparent pic is now ready to use.

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Trans Lavender

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That wasn’t so hard, was it? Check out next months’ tutorial, where I’ll show you how to do this magic:


Like this tutorial? Check out more here!

How Wild It Was (To Let It Be)




Special thanks to Cheryl Strayed, for letting me use the quote from her book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (check it out here) for the title of this fic.

Started: 15.11.17

Worked On/Finished: 17.08.15, 19.07.17

Words: 1,955

Crown (CrowleyxDean), Hallucifer


“Hello boys.”

Shit, Sam turned as the Scot. popped into the room, stepping in front of his brother so he could continue picking the lock.

“What are you doing here?”

“I assume you know what I want?”

Sam scoffed and reached inside his jacket for the angel blade, “The only way we’d ever give you the tablet, is if we were dead.”

The shorter man peered around the brunette to the man kneeling on the floor, unamused, “Squirrel, I know your brother is big, but I can still see you.”

Sam held the blade out in front of him and took a step forward, “Leave.”

Crowley huffed and rolled his eyes, “May I speak with the competent one please?”

“The only reason we kept you alive,” the giant took another step closer and straightened to his full height, “was because you were useful. I’d suggest, shutting up before you wear out your welcome.”

“Moose, why don’t you let the grown-ups talk for a while, yeah?”

Sam flinched at the snap of his fingers, but upon not hearing anything snap, he smirked and went to continue. His eyes bulged as no sound came out, he tried again but still nothing. The brunette opted for crossing his arms and glaring at the Scot.

Dean finally turned around, and got up off the floor, taking in his brothers’ bitchface before turning to the demon, “Really? You’re stealing voices now? Who are you, Ursula?”

“Give me, what I want,” the shorter man closed the gap between them, eyes locked on the blonde, “or you won’t get a chance to regret it.”

With that, he disappeared.

“Dick,” Dean shook his head and turned to his brother, “you okay?”

Sam nodded, “Let’s head back to the motel,” he shouldered their duffle bags before heading toward the exit.

“We’re just gonna abandon this?” Dean gestured to the door he’d been working on.

“We can deal with that later,” he threw one of the duffle bags at him, “I need a shower.”

 

 

“Finally,” Sam ran straight to the bathroom, tossing his duffle onto one of the beds.

“Don’t take forever in there, Samantha. Some of us actually got dirty,” Dean shut the door behind them and headed to the fridge.

Sam flipped him off before locking the door behind him. A second later, Dean heard the water turn on. He padded over to the table and plopped himself down in the chair before twisting the cap off and taking a swig of beer. He sighed and closed his eyes, finally. He relaxed for all of five seconds before he heard the water turn back off and the bathroom door open.

Sam popped his head out the door, “What was up with that?”

Dean sighed and put his beer down, “What was up with what, Sammy?”

“Crowley,” he heard his brother take a few steps out into the room.

“How should I know?”

“I don’t think he was talking about the tablet.”

“Okay, and?”

And doesn’t that seem suspicious to you? That means he’s not after the tablet.”

Just once, can he let something go? The blonde ran a hand down his face, “I repeat; and?”

“Well, don’t you think that if there is something else he’s after we should, I don’t know, be looking for it?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you think it could be?”

“I don’t know, Sammy,” Dean opened his eyes and turned to his brother, “It could be a lot of things. It could be nothing. We can’t sit around all day and wonder ‘what if we missed something’ every time someone accuses us of having something we don’t.”

Sam looked taken aback and raised his hands in mock surrender, “Okay, okay, jeez. I just thought it was something worth mentioning. What crawled up your ass?”

The eldest sighed and ran a hand through his hair, “Nothing… I’m just covered in sweat and cobwebs and dirt from the grave we dug earlier and I’d rather not have this conversation right now.”

“I just think-”

“Sam, it’s Crowley. He likes screwing with us, remember?”

The brunette gave his brother a skeptical look but kept his mouth shut. He walked the few steps back to the bathroom and closed the door behind him.

 

 

“Where’s your brother?”

“He’s out on a food run,” Dean got up from the table and threw his empty beer in the trash.

Crowley looked around the room and took a few steps closer to the hunter, “You know why I’m here?”

“Yeah, I know why,” Dean walked forward, meeting the demon halfway, no more than a few inches away from him.

“Good,” he smiled, “then you’ll give me what I want?”

The blonde grabbed the front of his suit and swung him around into the wall, slamming him hard into it before getting close enough to smell the whisky on his breath. The demon let out a startled cry and struggled uselessly against his grip.

“You think, that just because you showed up, I’d give you what you wanted?”

Crowley blinked in surprise and stammered mutely for a minute.

“Because if you did,” he leaned impossibly closer, “you’d be right.”

In the next instant, the demon felt the Winchesters’ lips on his own. The hunter pressed his body against him, squishing him harder into the wall, pulling a deep moan from the demon.

The blonde stepped back, letting him fall to the ground, panting and smirked down at him.

“Wh-what was that?”

Dean didn’t respond, instead opting to take him by the collar again and drag him back to his feet, turning him around before letting him stumble out of reach.

“Wh-what are you doing?” Crowley’s shocked look only made the hunter’s smile grow wider, as he closed the distance again, “Won’t Moose be back soon?”

“We’ve got time,” Dean pushed the demon backward and he felt his back hit the bed.

Crowley gaped at him, “I don’t think-”

“Shut up.”

Crowley eased himself up the bed, trying to put distance between himself and the hunter, but didn’t respond. Dean smiled before crawling onto the bed after him.

“Squirrel-”

“This,” he cut the demon off, before getting onto his knees, undoing his belt, “is for what you did to Sammy.”




“Sam, go get me pie.”

“I don’t want to get you pie.”

“Damn it Sam! I need pie!”

“Well, maybe I don’t want to go out in this freezing-ass weather for pie!” he slammed his fist down on the dashboard as he pulled into the parking lot.

Stupid Dean, he got out of the car and headed for the store.

“C’mon Sam, he just wanted some pie.”

“Jesus!” the hunter jumped at the sudden voice.

He noticed a few customers jump at his outburst, rolling his eyes before walking faster.

“Why’re you so jumpy? It’s just me,” the fallen angel smirked as he followed him in.

“Well excuse me for not being used to you yet,” he grumbled as he picked up a basket.

He raised an eyebrow at the frown on the angels’ face.

“We’re not getting a cart?”

“We don’t need one, I’m only getting one thing.”

“But,” the blonde turned his gaze to the floor, poking out his bottom lip, “I want to ride in it.

“Get one yourself then,” he began walking away.

“I can’t be in it and push it around!”

“Guess you’re not getting one then,” he called over his shoulder.

“Please, Sam?”

Sam stopped dead and turned around, eyes wide, did he really just…?

“Please?”

He nodded and watched as the fallen angels’ face lit up before he bounced over to the nearest cart, plopping himself inside, ear-splitting grin on his face. Sam made his way over, putting the basket back down before grabbing the cart. Sam gave his happy expression a once over and chuckled.

Lucifer turned himself around so he was facing the hunter, “What?”

“Nothing, you just look pretty happy in a cage,” he started toward the bakery.

Luce looked at the cart on either side of himself before winking at the hunter, “I am.”

 

 

“A-are you sure,” Crowley panted, turning to face Dean, “that that was because I took away your brothers’ voice?”

“Okay, you caught me,” the blonde smirked and stretched himself out with a yawn, “not all of that was payback for Sam. But the handcuffs and chilli pepper was.”

Crowley shook his head and chuckled, “I had a feeling.”

“What? I can be creative.”

“Not that creative, darling. That was more… pain than pleasure.”

“You still seemed to enjoy it.”

“Of course I enjoyed it,” he shot the hunter a sly smile before slipping out of bed, “I am a demon, after all.”

Dean propped himself up on one elbow, eyes roaming over the bruises and scrapes that littered his back. He chewed his lip for a minute, turning over the question in his head before finally nodding to himself, “This is what you were asking for, right?”

Crowley stopped, pants halfway up his legs and turned, raising an eyebrow at the hunter, “Did we not just establish some of that was new territory?”

“No,” the hunter sat up, “I mean, when you popped in on me and Sam at the house… You said you wanted us to give you something. I was assuming you meant this, but if there’s another tablet or relic out there we need to-”

“Uh-uh,” Crowley picked up his suit jacket, flicking it out before slipping it on, “Nothing you need to concern yourself with, darling.”

“Crowley,” Dean got up off the bed, “Did you find something else?”

“Don’t worry your pretty little head,” the demon turned, straightening the lapels of his suit with a smile, “You boys are going after exactly what you should be.”

The hunter eyed him for a moment, trying to get a read on him – which after being at odds with each other for literal years and sleeping together the passed few months – was still next to impossible, when he heard the Impala pull into the driveway.

His eyes shot to the window, watching the headlights stream in through the closed blinds, “You should-” he cut himself off as he turned back and found himself in an empty room.

Sam came in the door, dopey smile wiped off his face and he covered his nose with his free hand, “Jeez, dude!” He made his way over to the small table in the corner, nodding toward the elders’ bed, “Guess now I know why you were so desperate to get rid of me.”

“You were only gone fifteen minutes,” Dean ran a hand through his hair as he approached his brother, snatching the bag of food from him, “What kind of a chump do you think I am?”

Sam gave his brother a pointed look, “Just… put a sock or something on the door next time.”

“Hey!” Dean pouted as his burger was ripped from his hands, “What the hell?”

The youngest pulled his t-shirt over his nose, “Dude, seriously.”

Dean rolled his eyes before getting up from the table, making his way over to the bathroom. Once inside, he sniffed himself, nearly gagging, okay, maybe he was right. He turned the water on and began to strip, guess that’s what happens when you use food.

“Not quite.”

The voice made the hunter jump and spin around, surprised to see the demon perched on the toilet seat, “Are you crazy? Sam is right outside!”

Crowley smirked, getting up to pat his face, “Oh Squirrel, still so much to learn.”

“Will you keep your voice down?”

“That sweet, sulphuric stench,” he continued, taking a few steps forward, forcing the hunter toward the shower, “Is what happens when you fuck a demon.”


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What Non-Vegan Ingredients Are Lurking In Non-Foods?





Warning: This article includes pictures that may be considered graphic/disturbing. If you find any of the below images hard to look at, perhaps you should ask yourself if you’re really okay with continuing to fund the cruel practices that result in the below images.

Yep, it’s true – we humans put animal pieces/bits/by-products in all kinds of things that have nothing to do with food!

If you’re shocked, well don’t feel too bad – it’s not exactly like companies put ‘insect exoskeleton’ or ‘sheep fat’ on the label. They disguise these animal by-products by giving them a different name, so that they can sneak them under the radar.

This is why veganism is so much more than a diet, it truly is a lifestyle change. If you’re committed to reducing your harm to animals, then read through the list below to discover some of the most common animal by-products that are hiding in non-food items.

Unfortunately, the way society is, it’s literally impossible to be 100% animal product free, that’s why there’s no such thing as a truly 100% vegan – it’s just impossible in today’s world. While it can get overwhelming to see just how many everyday things have animal products in them, I don’t want you to freak out – take things slowly. It can be overwhelming, but don’t fret if you’re unable to cut out using all of the things listed below, it’s not feasible for everyone, and that’s okay. As long as you’re aware, and are consciously trying to reduce your harm, you’re doing enough. So try not beat yourself up too bad.

Alright, let’s start with the most obvious:

 

Leather

If you didn’t know, leather is cow skin. (Or snake, alligator, buffalo, sheep and more) Yep, you read that right, leather products are literally skinned animal. Do you really want to walk around like Michael Myers? (Why do you think his nickname is Leatherface?)

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Suede

Pretty much the same as leather, (made out of animal skin), but suede is ‘fuzzy’. Either way, you’re wearing dead animal.

Fur

Fur can be in many things, including: coats, boots, blankets, etc. If it’s not faux, the fur once belonged to an animal, usually mink, foxes, and raccoon dogs. These poor animals are often de-furred alive, often without the use of anaesthetic, or pain pills. Is it really worth torturing an animal and taking its’ only defence against the cold, when we as humans have so many other options?

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This animal was still alive at the time this picture was taken. If you can’t even look at the above image, or find it disturbing, you shouldn’t be wearing fur. Help prevent the above from happening by shopping for faux, or find other alternatives.

 

Wool

Where do we get wool from? Sheep. We shear the wool off the sheep to use for sweaters, blankets, socks, etc. What’s wrong with wool? Well:

  1. Shearing: Let’s start with the practice everyone knows about. Farmers shear sheep to get their wool. But, often shearing is painful for sheep, and is much more than just a haircut. But wait, don’t sheep need to be sheared? Well, no, not at all. Undomesticated sheep only produce the amount of wool they need to survive, which truthfully isn’t that much. Same as we have genetically bred chickens to be too fat for their legs, humans have genetically modified sheep to overproduce wool that now requires the support of the shearing industry. Their bodies have a hard time supporting the weight, and some risk suffocation because they can’t breathe.

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(Those marks are scars from old cuts, not ribs/bone)

Why are they bred to produce so much wool? Because most shearers are paid per sheep, not an hourly wage. Meaning they need to get the most amount of wool possible from a sheep in a quicker time frame. This also results in carelessness by shearers, and sheep often get injured from the quick paced shearing. Anything from nicks, to amputation of their udders, ears and other body parts can happen.

  1. In Australia (where about half the world’s wool comes from) farmers often practice ‘mulesing’ which is a terribly cruel procedure in which farmers use tools resembling garden shears and carve chunks of skin/flesh from lambs’ backsides in an attempt to prevent a parasitic disease called ‘flystrike’. This practice is commonly performed without painkillers. And why does this happen? Because we’ve bred them to produce as much wool as possible, a sheep’s’ skin has wrinkled, and this wrinkled skin accrues excess moisture, which attracts flies. These flies lay eggs in the folds of the skin, resulting in maggots consuming the sheep’s’ skin.

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  1. What happens once the sheep begin to produce less wool? They get shipped off to a slaughterhouse and sold for meat, just like cows, pigs and other animals. Many are killed by having their throats’ slit while still conscious.

 

Silk

Silk comes from worms. (Or spiders) Yes, they count as animals. (If bees count, so do worms)

You may be wondering: Why does it matter if we take their silk?

Silk is the fiber that silkworms make to make their cocoons. (Similar to a caterpillar) For humans to get the silk, manufacturers’/collectors boil the worms alive while they’re in the cocoon. This prevents the worms from transforming to the next stage of their life cycle (the pupal phase), where they make a hole in the cocoon by releasing enzymes, which often cause the silk fibers of the cocoon to break down, and thus make them unviable for harvesting. Boiling the cocoon not only kills the worm by boiling it alive, but also makes the cocoons easier to unravel. Often times, after being boiled, the worms themselves are eaten as well.

Roughly 10 billion cocoons are required to produce the 70 million pounds of raw silk that are needed yearly.

 

Down

Down is the under-feathers from geese, ducks and other birds. Down is used most often for pillows, winter coats, and comforters. The feathers used for down are often taken via live-plucking. (I.e., the bird isn’t dead when the feathers are taken) You know the feeling of needing to tweeze/accidentally getting an arm hair ripped out? Imagine that pain ten fold, all over your body.

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Beeswax

For those who don’t know, beeswax is a natural wax that honey bees produce. It’s formed by the bees into ‘scales’ by eight wax-producing glands in their abdomen. They then ‘discard’ the wax in or at the hive.

To put it in laymen’s terms, beeswax is essentially bee poop.

It would probably be faster to list products that don’t have beeswax, so to save time, I’ll just list a few examples:

  • Natural food wraps
  • Candles
  • Shoe/furniture polish
  • Surfboard Wax
  • Cutler’s Resin (a glue used in the handles of cutlery knives)
  • Tambourines (often used by percussionists on the surface for ‘thumb rolls’)
  • Oil/Body Paint
  • Soaps
  • Lip balm/gloss
  • Egg decoration (such as Easter egg crayons, dye, etc.)
  • Cream/lotion/moisturizers
  • Make-up (eye shadow, blush, eye-liner, etc.)
  • Moustache wax/hair pomades

It is even an ingredient in surgical bone wax, which is used during surgery to control bleeding from bone surfaces.

As you can see, beeswax is in many different products, and isn’t specific to one group of them. This isn’t saying that all of the variations of these products contain beeswax, just that it’s most likely an ingredient. Always read the label on every product to ensure you know what’s in that particular item.




Now, onto the less obvious animal by-product names:

Carmine

Carmine or Red #40 (or Allura Red AC) is the fancy name they decided to give red food colouring/red dye, perhaps because if they called it what it actually is, crushed cochineal beetles, nobody would buy the products.

Speaking of food dyes:

  • Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue FCF)
  • Blue #2 (Idigotine)
  • Green #3 (Fast Green FCF)
  • Red #3 (Erythrosine)
  • Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)
  • Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow FCF)

All 6 of the dyes listed above are tested on animals. These food dyes are not only used in foods, however – since they’re food-grade safe, they’re often also used in soaps, bath bombs, creams/lotions, and more. Pretty much if a non-food item is dyed a certain colour (and the label doesn’t specifically say it’s vegan), chances are good you’ll find one of the above listed in the ingredients.

If you can’t tell or aren’t sure? Call or e-mail the company to get your answer. In my experience, if a company doesn’t use one of the above, you’ll get a speedy, in-depth reply explaining what they use instead. If they do use one of the above (or other animal ingredients) chances are good they’ll take a while to reply, if at all. If you can’t find the info for the ingredients used on the website, chances are good they’re using an animal-derivative.

My rule since going vegan: if they’re hiding it, they probably shouldn’t be doing it. If I ask a company, and they don’t get back to me, I assume it’s not safe and try to find an alternative.

 

Bone Char

Exactly what it sounds like, the charred/ash remains of animal bones. This stuff is used mainly in the processing of sugar. This is why Oreos (and many other things) aren’t technically vegan in the US, because the sugar used is made with bone char. In Canada, our sugar isn’t processed this way, so Oreos, and other products are vegan. (Check the processing for your own country, as it can vary)

Bone char can also be found in plastic bags.

 

Tallow

Tallow is a rendered for of animal fat, usually from cattle. Tallow and its’ derivatives can be found in all kinds of non-food items, such as: fabric softener, eye makeup, lipsticks, foundations, shampoos, moisturizers, and other skin care products.

 

Castoreum

Does your perfume like vanilla? Then it might contain castoreum, which comes from a beavers’ castor sac – which is a gland between its’ pelvis and the base of it’s tail.

Yep, your sweet, vanilla scented perfumes, lotions and/or candles have the aroma from a beavers’ ass.

 

Polymers

Not all polymers are non-vegan. The polymers used specifically in plastic bags as a ‘slip agent’ (used to reduce friction) is made from animal fats. Companies like Tyson Foods are reportedly experimenting with keratin protein (found in chicken feathers) to be used in new plastic bags, adhesives and non-woven materials.

As if using the remains of animals isn’t bad enough, using plastic bags is also contributing to the destruction of the ocean. Birds and sea turtles often mistake shredded bags for food, and by ingesting these products their stomachs are filled with toxic debris.

It’s also estimated that only about 1% of plastic bags are recycled. This means that for an average family, only 1 in 15 bags are recycled. Couple this with the fact the average amount of plastic bags used a year in Canada is 3 billion (100 billion in the US), and the fact it takes roughly 400 years for plastic bags to break down, you can hopefully start to see the problem.

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Also, while we’re on the subject, just a quick note: most of the pollution found in the ocean is from the fishing industry, specifically, fishing nets.

 

Stearic Acid

Again, not all stearic acid is made from animals. Animal-derived stearic acid is made out of animal fats. This non-vegan stearic acid can be found in many things, but the biggest/most common seems to be tires for bikes, cars, etc. In tires, it’s used to help the rubber hold the shape under friction.

Another uncommon thing animal-derived stearic acid is found in? Fireworks! (This genuinely surprised me.)

It’s used to coat metal powder and is used to prevent oxidation, which allows the fireworks to be stored for longer periods of time.

 

Glycerin

Just like with polymers and stearic acid, glycerine can come from either animal or vegetable fats.

Glycerin is found in many different products, including:

  • Soaps
  • Shampoo and conditioners
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Ointments
  • Cough syrups
  • Perfumes
  • Lotions
  • Shaving cream
  • Inks
  • Glues
  • Anti-freeze and brake fluid

Unless the label on a product specifically lists ‘vegetable glycerin’, it’s best to ask the company, or stay away all together (if that’s an option) if you can’t get a clear idea of the type.

 

Chitin

As explained in my Vegan Sunscreen post, chitin comes from the exoskeletons of crustaceans, insects and arachnids. Protecting yourself from the sun by rubbing a dead spider on you? No thank-you!

 

Elastin

Elastin is a type of protein, found in the artery walls, intestines, lungs and skin of animals. Elastin is most often found in anti-aging products and sunscreens.

 

Animal Glue

Used most often in shoes, handbags and is even sometimes used for fixing wood instruments, ‘animal glue’ is made by boiling animals’ connective tissue or bones.

It’s apparently the ‘best’ for fixing musical instruments made out of wood, like violins or pianos. It’s also one of the most readily available and widely used glue.

I unfortunately could keep going with this list, but in the interest of not making this article too long, I’ll be ending it here. As you can see, there are many different animal-derived ingredients that can be found in non-food items. This is unfortunate for people who are trying their best to avoid exploiting/using animals, but as said at the beginning of this article, it’s impossible in society today to be 100% vegan.

Another thing to keep in mind, is this list is only talking about non-food products that contain animal ingredients – this isn’t even counting the massive amounts of products that are tested on animals, such as: shampoos, lotions/creams, sunscreens, makeup and more.

And, (just to make things more confusing) cruelty-free does not mean a product is vegan. The difference is, cruelty free means the product just isn’t tested on animals – it says absolutely nothing about the ingredients. There can be products out there that are cruelty-free but not vegan. But, on the flip-side, if a product is vegan, that means it’s cruelty free.

Cruelty-free \= vegan (Cruelty Free does not equal vegan)

Vegan = cruelty-free (Vegan always equals cruelty free)

This is why it’s important to read the ingredients and the label of each product. I always do my best to creep the company’s website to see if I can dig up the answers to my questions, (fortunately many companies are now making things like ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’ selling points for products) but if you can’t find the information you need on the website, always, always be sure to e-mail or call the company. If you ask them directly, they’ll most likely give you an answer (or might give you a generic ‘check out our FAQ page!’).

If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, I usually will end up not buying the product, or looking for a vegan company substitute instead. Another thing I’ve recently started doing is to make my own products if I can’t find an alternative.

While the above is nowhere near an exhaustive list, I hope this article has helped you realize that there are animal products in many different non-food items. I also hope that the information in this article will help you be more mindful of what’s in the products you’re buying, and will hopefully allow you to make a more informed, kind choice with the products you buy.


Sources:

Food Colouring Article: http://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/10/warning-what-you-dont-know-about-food-colors/

Raccoon Dog Picture taken from: peta2TV Youtube channel, ‘Olivia Munn Exposes Fur Farms!’ video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab7L8NRRYho

Sheep Facts: https://gentleworld.org/whats-wrong-with-wool/

Tyson Foods plastic bags experiment:

https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/9-everyday-products-you-didnt-know-had-animal-ingredients.html

Stearic Acid Tires: same article as plastic bags (9 everyday products)

Plastic Bags used in Canada/400 years to break down: http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/678924/Environmental+Law/Will+2018+be+the+Year+of+the+SingleUse+Plastics+Ban

Leather/Cow Being Skinned Photo: https://www.all-creatures.org/aip/nl-20130526-leather.html

Live/Plucked Photo: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/373/242/428/tell-outdoor-gear-companies-to-end-down-plucking-torture-of-live-geese/

Mulesing Photo: https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/wool-industry/mulesing/

Shearing Injury 1: https://www.petaindia.com/features/another-patagonia-approved-wool-producer-exposed-help-sheep-now/

Sea Turtle Eating Plastic Bag Photo: https://www.mcsuk.org/news/turtle-eats-plastic-bag

Silk Info: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombyx_mori

Glycerin info: https://gentleworld.org/hidden-animal-fats/

Gardein Chick’n Patty Review




Chick’N burgers… is there anything greater?

If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that even before going vegan, I was never much of a beef/pork/red meat fan. Chicken was more my jam. I don’t know why, other meats just didn’t taste good to me. (Especially beef)

One of my absolute favourite things ever was having a breaded chicken burger, with some Miracle Whip and lettuce. There’s something just very… I don’t know, satisfying about it. It hits the spot every time.

When I saw these, I was obviously excited to try them.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Gardein Chick'n Patties Review - vegan food, food review, vegan burgers, chicken burgers, breaded chicken burgers, food reviewer

I had tried one other chick’n burger brand that was pretty good (I thiiink it might’ve been Yves), but the patty wasn’t breaded. Which, was fine, but I really wanted to find a breaded chick’n burger, so I didn’t have to cross them off my list of favourites. And, I’m so thankful that the vegan movement has come such a long way, and that there are so many different options on the market to choose from, because these looked and tasted just like I remember! (They might even be a bit bigger, too)

Like some of their other products, Gardein only puts 4 in a pack, and I just want to ask: why is the majority of vegan food packaged so small? Are they assuming not whole families are vegan, or that no one will bring their products to get togethers’ for others to try? How do you expect people to share their vegan food with other people (and possibly convince others to go vegan) if you don’t make the food optimal sharing size? You could easily fit at least two more patties in that bag. Honestly the amount in one bag is usually the only thing I don’t like about their products. If they upped their product to bag ratio, they’d be golden.

The inside/chick’n part tastes just like the rest of their other faux chick’n products (I’m pretty sure it’s just tofu), and the breading appears to be just plain old breadcrumbs. Nothing that fancy to write home about for these guys, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not great! Sometimes, all you need/crave is something simple. I understand why vegan companies keep trying to outdo themselves, and go bigger and more flavourful, but sometimes the simplest ingredients/flavours are all you need.

Another great thing about these burgers, is what I’m dubbing The Vegan Advantage: they take virtually no time to cook. 10 minutes on medium heat in a frying pan, or you could throw them in the oven to bake and in almost no time, they’re ready to go.

Put these babies on a whole wheat bun, topped with Hellmann’s’ Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread (vegan Miracle Whip), add some lettuce, and bam! You’ve got yourself a no fuss, filling and flavourful dinner.

Seriously, there’s not even that much more I can say to describe them. If you haven’t tried them already, go out and do it, and watch how fast they become a favourite/summer staple.


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