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.

Game Night (Preview)

Started: 21.03.25

Finished: 21.04.02

Words: 2,427

Sabriel, Destiel, Crobby

This is fic #2 of the Unlearning Series. (Living In The Shade is #1)


“Ten seconds!”

Dean stepped to the side of his notebook, turning expectant eyes to his love, “Cas, focus. You know what this is.”

Cas was on the edge of the couch, head tilted, brows furrowed, “Is it… an apartment building?”

“No!” Dean stomped his foot, tapping the marker next to his drawing, “C’mon, man! You’ve gotta get at least one!”

“A… School?”

“Time!”

Dean threw the marker down on the table, running a hand through his hair in frustration, “Fuck!” He made his way back over to the couch, collapsing in a huff as he picked up his beer, “I can’t believe you didn’t get any.

Cas let out an exasperated sigh, “Well it’s not like you helped much. You can’t just tap next to your drawing if I don’t get it – you try to draw something else!”

“Whatever.” The blonde took a long pull from his drink, “This is a stupid game.”

“You only think that because you guys are losing.” Gabriel smirked at the hunter from where he was sitting, placing the timer down, “I thought giving you an extra round would at least get you one point.”

Dean shot a look at the angel, “Well maybe the game is rigged?”

“Pfft, please,” Gabriel waved a dismissive hand, “I don’t need to rig a game to beat you.”

“Listen here you candy-loving, brother-crawling-”

“Dean!” Bobby shot the blonde a pointed look, “Maybe it’s time we switch games.”

“Maybe it’s time we switch partners.”

Cas scoffed, “You think this is my fault?” He pointed to the notebook, “Maybe if you didn’t have the artistic skills of a kindergartener we would’ve actually won a round!” Cas turned back to the notebook, eyes squinting as he starred at the drawing, “Seriously, what the hell is that?”

Anyone else here can clearly see what it is!” Dean turned expectant eyes to his brother, “Right, Sam?”


Liking the preview? Check out the full story here!

Reusable Alternatives for Single Use Plastics

If you don’t know by now that single use plastics suck, I’m just gonna go ahead and assume you’re an alien. Because seriously, where have you been if you don’t know that?

Everyone knows single use plastics suck, that’s not news. The news is: we can finally replace them with sustainable alternatives!

Sure, there are some of the obvious/in-your-face replacements that everyone knows, *cough* reusable straws! *cough*, but those aren’t the only single use plastics we need to focus on replacing. And, let’s be honest, most people who jumped on the reusable straw train don’t actually use straws all that often – so their impact isn’t as big, but they still get the ego boost of ‘doing something good’.

For example: I don’t use straws (less than 1 time a year), and the once in a blue moon I do use one, I use the plastic one I have that came with a cup. So for me, buying a reusable metal or silicone straw wouldn’t have that big of an impact. (Though it’s definitely still on my list!)

My biggest waste was the pads I was using for my period. As a woman, that’s something I cannot control, that I have to go through 12 times a year (usually more). For my period, I was using 3 disposable pads per day (2 day time, and 1 night), for about 6 days. This meant I was using at least 18 pads per cycle.

On average, I have 14 periods per year, which means I use about 252 pads in 1 year. 252! That was insane for me to see calculated out like that. I was contributing almost 300 pieces of garbage to the Earth each year – and this was someone who thought they didn’t produce very much trash! So, last year (2020), my goal was to start using reusable pads and to be strictly on reusable pads by the end of the year. (The full reusable period post is coming soon!)

I’m proud to say I’m 100% using reusable pads now, so instead of using 252 pads a year, I now only use 12. Even if I have to replace them every year, that’s still a huge reduction in my garbage impact. And the best part? It didn’t take all that long to get used to the change.

That’s the other great thing about reducing your single use plastics – it doesn’t take that much time to get used to the change, and, often you won’t even notice the change, and will be glad because the alternative is usually so much better!

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As you can see, I included the usual suspects (reusable straws and cutlery), but I also feature some often not talked about alternatives. Why aren’t these single use plastics talked about? Well, I’m no expert, but I think it’s because these companies might actually not give that much of a crap about the planet. I mean, think about it, it’s much easier for a company to say they’re getting rid of plastic straws, than say, all plastic packaging. Also, what sucks is the ones that aren’t talked about often are the ones that will have a bigger impact on the planet.

But, now that I’ve given you this handy collage of great swaps to make, you have 0 excuses to not at least start switching some of your single use plastics to reusables. This collage obviously doesn’t have every plastic swap you could make, but I think these are pretty good alternatives for beginners. This is really just to get the ball rolling and getting you used to seeing what could be changed, more than an exhaustive list of everything.

I also didn’t want to overwhelm fellow newbs. I understand how disheartening it can be when you start diving in to these swap lists and look around and see just how much of your stuff is made of plastic (seriously, I never noticed how much of my own stuff was made from plastic before).

And, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out! I’ve found the zero waste community very welcoming, so please don’t be shy! And remember: the planet needs everyone doing zero waste imperfectly, more than a few people doing it 100% perfect (which is literally impossible, anyway).


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Living In The Shade (Preview)

Requested: 21.02.09

Started: 21.03.15

Finished: 21.03.23

Words: 2,808

Destiel, Sabriel, Crobby

This is fic #1 of the new Unlearning Series. The series is based on Request #23.


“Pfft, come on!” Dean waved a dismissive hand, nearly knocking the Monopoly board over as he stood from the couch, “There’s no way I can pay that!”

Gabriel shrugged, satisfied smile on his face as he leaned back in his chair, “If you don’t pay, I win the game.”

Dean rolled his eyes, before they landed on his brother sitting in the corner of the room, head buried in a book, “Sam, your boy-toy isn’t playing fair.”

He didn’t look up, “Gabe, play fair.”

The angel sputtered a moment before turning around to face his boyfriend, “Well maybe you should tell your brother that buying all the properties that ‘sound cool’ isn’t a good game strategy.”

Sam raised an eyebrow, eyes still not lifting from the page he was on, “I thought Cas was Game Moderator?”

“He is.”

“So you’re asking me because…?”

Dean sat back down with a huff, “Because Cas left around the time Gabriel stole my last hundred.”

“I didn’t steal anything, Winchester.” Gabriel crossed his arms over his chest, “You land on my property, you have to pay.”

“That’s a dumb rule.”

“That’s how you play the game!” Gabriel shook his head before getting up from his chair. He stretched his arms above his head, before making his way over to the giant in the corner, “So, what’s got you so preoccupied that you had to miss Game Night?”

“You mean other then not wanting to get in the middle of you and Dean duking it out over fake money?” A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he finally lifted his eyes from the book and he shrugged, “Just thought I should brush up on some in-”

Cas burst in the room then, eyes frantic as he spotted the men, “Demons!”

Dean stood from the couch, posture immediately switching to Hunter Mode as he took a few steps toward his angel, “What do you mean ‘demons’? Demons are coming? Here?”

“Yes,” Cas took a few steps into the middle of the room, turning so he was facing the kitchen door, angel blade at the ready, “They followed me back.”

Dean rushed to his jacket, grabbing Ruby’s knife before tossing an angel blade at his brother, “I thought this place was warded?”

“It used to be, but after-” The sound of a door banging open cut off the end of the angel’s sentence.

Gabriel rolled his eyes before plopping himself down in Sam’s chair with a huff, “You’d think with Bobby shtupping their leader they’d leave you alone.”

What?” Dean turned to the angel, incredulous look on his face, “You’re kidding, right? Where did you get that idea?”

Gabriel raised an eyebrow at him, “Uhm, because I have eyes. And ears. They’re not exactly quiet about it.”

A demon burst into the room then, evil smile splitting his face as he spotted the boys, “Excellent.” He leaned slightly back into the doorway, “They’re all here!”

Two more demons joined him then, all of them smiling widely. The first one took a step forward, “Where’s Crowley?”

Dean raised an eyebrow, “What makes you think we know?”

“Cut the crap, Winchester.” The first demon took a few more steps toward them, “Whenever the King goes missing, he’s always with you.”

Dean shrugged, holding his hands out to his sides, “Well, unless you think one of us is gonna poop him out…”

“Oh, good,” First Demon’s smile widened, “I was hoping we could do this the hard way.”

He flicked Dean back against a wall with a loud thud, before turning to Cas as he rushed forward. Cas tackled the demon to the ground, while the other two started toward Sam. The giant took a few steps toward them before being flung against the wall, angel blade falling from his grip. He let out a huff as he tried to pry himself off the wall, with no luck.

Dean stood up with a groan, just in time to see Cas plunge Ruby’s knife into the lead demon’s chest. He helped his angel up off the body, before he was flung back against the wall again. He struggled for a moment as he was pinned, sending daggers at the other demons, before noticing Gabriel was still sitting, examining his nails, “You planning on helping or…?”

“Oh, relax,” Gabriel waved a dismissive hand, “They’re not here to fight.”

Dean snorted, “Oh, great.” He raised an eyebrow at the closest demon, “So this is just how you guys get your rocks off?”

“Careful, Winchester.” The demon who had him pinned took a few steps back toward him, “Just because we didn’t come here to kill you doesn’t mean it can’t end like that.”

Cas scoffed and took a step between the demon and his boyfriend, twirling the angel blade in his hand, “I’d like to see you try.”

“What the hell’s going on here?” The voice from behind them made the demon’s jump, effectively dropping the Winchesters to the ground. Crowley took a step into the room, raising an eyebrow at the demons, “Well?”

“U-uh,” One of the demons took a small step toward the Scot, “There was a problem, a-and we needed-”

“A problem?” He shot a look over his shoulder to Bobby, who was leaning against the kitchen door frame, looking just as unimpressed, “And what problem is so terrible you had to violate my Do Not Disturb order?”

The demon swallowed thickly, “W-well, Simon, y’know, the crossroads demon? H-he’s been-”

Crowley held up his hand, “Save it.” He turned to Bobby, apologetic smile on his face, “Can I get a rain check on tonight, Darling?”

Bobby raised an eyebrow at him, purposefully ignoring the questioning look Dean shot his way as the blonde struggled to his feet, “I thought tonight was the rain check?”

Crowley let out an exasperated sigh and took a half-step closer to the eldest, “It’s not my fault they’re idiots.”

Bobby’s eyes flicked up to the two demons, “Yeah, fine. Go save the underworld.” He smirked as he brought his eyes back to their leader, “Not like I needed you for the whole night, anyway.”

The coy smile on the demon’s face made Dean shoot a half-confused, half-surprised look at his brother. Sam shrugged as Crowley turned back to his cronies, letting out a sigh, “Let’s get this over with.”

With a snap of his fingers, all three of the Hell spawn disappeared. Dean immediately took a step toward his father figure, “What the hell was that?

Bobby finally looked at the boys, expression smooth, “What was what?”

Dean took a another step, gesturing vaguely to the space the demons had just occupied, “That! A-are you-”

“Dating Crowley?”

Dean held his hand up as his brother closed the distance, “God, don’t say that out loud!”

Bobby shrugged, “So what if I was?”

Dean sputtered a moment, “I-it…it’s,” he turned to the other men in the room, searching for confirmation, “it’s sick!”

Bobby raised an eyebrow, “Sick?”

“He’s a demon, Bobby! H-how would you even…?” The blonde let his voice trail off, nose crinkling as the mental picture hit him, “No, you know what? Don’t answer that.”

Bobby’s eyes moved off the blonde, “Sam?”

Sam half-shrugged, “I don’t want to think about you like… that, but if you’ve found someone who makes you happy-”

What?” Dean turned to his brother, “Have you completely lost your mind?”

“No, but I just-” he shifted his weight from one foot to the other, eyes darting to the two uncharacteristically silent angels, “We have to be… fair.”

“‘Fair’?” Dean let out a humourless chuckle, “What are you talking about?”

“Well,” Sam shifted his weight again, “We’re both dating angels, so it’s not exactly like we’re in a position to judge.”

“Yeah, but it’s Crowley, Sam!”

“And you’re with Cas.”

Dean rolled his eyes, “Cas was never a bad guy!”

“I did once eviscerate your brother’s mental health in a bid to distract you while I attempted to open a door to Purgatory.”

Dean huffed, turning to his angel, “Y-yeah, but that was different.”

“How?”

His brows pulled together as he thought, “T-that… that was a long time ago. And you didn’t do that because you wanted to.” He turned back to his father figure, “Crowley has screwed us every single chance he’s gotten just because he could. Me and Sam would never date someone who would purposefully-”

Gabriel cleared his throat from his seat, sly smile on his face as Dean shot daggers at him, “Wanna rephrase that?”

“You guys are killing me.” Dean ran a hand through his hair, “We’d never date someone who was actively trying to screw us over.” He turned expectant eyes to the others, “Can we all agree on that?”

Bobby raised an eyebrow at the blonde, “So… what? Are you forbidding me from seeing him?”

“What? No. Don’t turn this into some weird teeny-bopper drama. I just…” his eyes searched the floor as he tried to find the right words, “Are you sure there’s no one else you’d rather, y’know…” his faced scrunched again, “do?”

Bobby snorted as he pushed off the doorway, “That’s not all we do, Dean.”

“Not all you…?,” the blonde reached a hand out behind him as he took a stumbled step backward, “I think I’m gonna be sick.”

Bobby rolled his eyes as he crossed the now angel-less room, “Quit being so melodramatic. It’s not that big a deal.”

“Not that big a deal?” Dean raised an eyebrow and followed him, stopping at the base of the stairs, “Ordering waffles and getting pancakes isn’t that big a deal. You dating the King of Hell? That’s a big deal!”

Bobby huffed, turning on the step he was on, “Well how ‘bout I make it real simple for you then, Dean?” He locked eyes with the blonde, face hard, “I never asked for your opinion, and I damn sure don’t need your permission. Got it?”

Dean swallowed thickly, but nodded, watching in silent surprise as the eldest disappeared up the stairs. He starred after him a minute – just long enough to hear a bedroom door close – before he ran a hand through his hair, making his way back to the couch, “Can you believe that?”

Sam approached cautiously, kneeling on the ground before picking up the empty game box, “That was a little rude, Dean.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“No,” Sam shook his head as he started packing up the board game, “I mean you were rude.”

“What?” The blonde looked up from the fake money he was stacking together, raising an eyebrow, “You’re kidding, right?”

Sam let out a sigh, keeping his eyes on the board he was packing, “I know you’re not that big a fan of demons, but…” he let his voice trail off, brows furrowing as he searched for the right words, “Where did all that intolerance come from?”

Intolerance?” Dean scoffed, “I’m not intolerant. I just don’t like it.”

“You don’t have to like it to be respectful.” Sam flicked his eyes up to his brother, “You basically outlawed Crowley from his own house, after he saved our asses.”

“Sam-”

“No, Dean, look,” he closed the lid to the now-packed-away game box, and stood, “I don’t trust Crowley any more than you do, but don’t you think – that after everything – Bobby deserves to be happy?”

“’Course,” Dean ran a hand through his hair, before resting his arms on his knees, “But why can’t he be happy with someone else? Y’know, like a human. Any human?”

“Well we did kill Fate.” The corner of Sam’s mouth turned up into a smile, “Maybe he was destined to be with someone else.”

“Oh great,” Dean rolled his eyes as he stood, “Now you’re saying this is our fault?”

“No,” he clapped his brother on the shoulder, getting him to look him in the eye, “I’m saying don’t ask a person to choose between you and their significant other. You might not like who they choose.”

Dean opened his mouth to reply, before closing it silently, “Yeah, alright, fine.” He swatted his brother’s hand off his shoulder, making a break for the kitchen, “Can we get back to game night, now?”

Sam shrugged, “If you tell the angels it’s safe to come back.”

Dean rolled his eyes, “Cowards.” He ran a hand through his hair again, “Fine. I’ll send out the Bat Signal while I start the popcorn. You pick the next game.”

“But, Dean, I was in the middle of-”

Dean turned, “Game Night was your angel’s stupid idea.” He shot his brother a cocky smile as he leaned against the door frame, “That means you have to suffer, just like the rest of us.”

 

 

Dean shot up in his bed, frantic eyes looking around the dark bedroom, what the…? He blinked his eyes rapidly, willing them to adjust to the darkness as he scanned the room, jumping out of bed as he saw a silhouette standing in the doorway.

“I wouldn’t bother with that, if I were you.”

Dean stopped, crouched beside the bed, arm halfway to the machete he kept under it. He raised an eyebrow as he placed the accent, “…Crowley?”

“The one and only.”

Dean rolled his eyes before straightening back up, “What the hell are you doing in here?”

“Ssshhh,” Crowley gestured for the hunter to meet him in the doorway, “Are you trying to wake him up?”

Dean turned to the bed, and was mildly surprised to see Cas sleeping, smushed against the wall, since when does he sleep? He made his way out into the hall, pulling the bedroom door closed behind him, keeping his voice low, “Well? What do you want?”

“I always thought angels would be too… hard to cuddle with,” Crowley sighed after a moment at the lack of answer, “Fine, straight to business, then.” He leaned himself against the banister, “It seems we have a problem.”

Dean snorted, crossing his arms over his chest, “We’ve got lots of problems, Crowley. You’re gonna have to be more specific.”

“You have a problem with me and Bobby?”

Dean rolled his eyes, “Not this again. Look, I don’t-”

“Normally, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass what you think about me,” he flicked his eyes toward the bedroom at the end of the hall, sighing, “But apparently your opinion of me matters to Bobby. Which means we need to fix this. So,” he rubbed his hands together, giving the hunter an expectant look, “What exactly are you concerned about, hm?”

Dean scoffed, “You’re kidding, right?” At the lack of answer, he ran a hand through his hair, “Fine. You’re a demon, which means you feed on chaos, and love torturing those around you, just because you can. All you’ve done is lie, manipulate and try to kill both me and Sam,” he took a step forward, face growing serious as he felt the anger begin to bubble up in his chest, “And, perhaps most irritatingly, you’re juuust too useful for us to kill, no matter how much we’ve wanted to. So no, I don’t trust you. And I especially don’t condone your… whatever it is you’re doing with Bobby, because I know you’re incapable of having good intentions. But,” he took in a breath as he backed off a few steps, “for some reason, you seem to be making Bobby happy, so I’m not gonna stand in the way of that.”

Crowley nodded slowly, “Y’know you give pretty good threatening speeches when you’re half-asleep?” At the eye roll, Crowley took a few steps away from the banister, raising an eyebrow, “Are you sure you’ll be able to hide all of,” he gestured vaguely to the hunter, “whatever emotion that is?”

Dean gave him a tight smile, “I did it with Ruby, I can do it with you.”

Crowley snorted, “Yeah, because that ended so well.”

Dean rushed forward again, pinning the demon against the banister, “I got to stab that Hell bitch while Sam pinned her down after she royally fucked up, so yeah, I’d say it ended well. And, just so we’re clear,” he narrowed his eyes, nodding toward Bobby’s bedroom, “If you ever hurt him, I’ll be first in line to roast your bones over a bonfire. Got it?”

“Got it.” The blonde backed off again, and Crowley took a few steps away from the banister again, straightening his suit, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a tied up hunter to attend to.”

“Ugh,” Dean held up his hand, face twisting into disgust at the mental picture, “Just because I’m not gonna stab you in your sleep doesn’t mean I want to hear about your crazy demon sex. I’ve got more than enough life scars, thanks.”

A sly smile pulled at the corner of Crowley’s mouth as he started back down the hall, “Love you too, Darling.”


Like this fic? Check out more FULL stories here!

Have your own request you’d like me to bring to life? E-mail me fanfic@aterimber.com with the subject line ‘Request’, or message me on any of my social media accounts, all @AterImber. (SPN Only)

Vegan Meat Alternatives

This article was written 20.11.12, when COVID was still running rampant/wasn’t under control. (At least in Toronto) Please excuse any reference/joke that’s no longer applicable.


Disclaimer: This article contains links to graphic videos of animal slaughter. If you have issues with watching, I recommend not clicking the video links, but I implore you to ask yourself: if you can’t watch, should you really continue to fund it?


I’m gonna be honest, when I started doing this series, I didn’t really have a plan other than making pretty-ish collages of vegan alternatives. However, after giving it some thought, I realized that I should be taking this time to educate the non-vegan, and new vegans, to show them what options there are, so they don’t have to freak out and go through that ‘wait… what am I gonna eat?’ phase.

Hopefully if you’ve stumbled upon this article on the vegan section of a website, you already know what’s wrong with eating meat, but just in case, here’s a quick refresher:

  1. As you hopefully already know, you have to kill an animal to be able to eat it’s dead body. Sooo, not to be ‘that’ vegan, but yes meat is murder! (There’s a reason why it’s a popular chant!) And, as we (hopefully) all know, murder is wrong.

Slaughterhouses are giant murder factories. Animals go in alive, and come out chopped into pieces wrapped in plastic. As if murdering them wasn’t enough, the animals are also often traumatized, by either being abused, or by hearing their friends and family (yes, animals have friends and family!) being killed in the next room, or both. ‘Oh, Ater’ you say, ‘but animals don’t know what’s happening! They’re not that self-aware.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Meat Alternatives - Scared Pig - pig, scared pig, pig about to die, Vegan Gains, pig slaughter, pig screaming, vegan meat, meat substitutes, Beyond Meat, Gardein, Tofurky, Yves, vegan food, food blogger, what's wrong with meat, meat is murder, vegan blogger

Well, how about you look at this picture, and I mean really look at it. Are you still gonna try to tell me that’s not fear and sadness in that animal’s eyes? Does that expression look like the expression of someone who doesn’t know what’s going on? What if I told you this is a picture from a video that was shot in 2015, and this animal has been dead for 5 years. Now do you care? What if this was a picture of a dog, instead of a pig – would you care then? Why?

If you believe dogs have souls and deserve to live, so should other animals. Not all animals are as smart as dogs, but does that mean they deserve to die? What if we did that with people? Dogs on average are about as smart as 2 year olds, so what if we just killed everyone not as smart as that. Does that sound even remotely like an okay thing to do?

And, while we’re on the subject of intelligence, pigs have actually been shown to be more intelligent than dogs. So… why is it okay to eat one, but not the other? Tell me, truly, what’s the difference?

 

2. Humans as a whole are so overly murdering animals, it’s crazy. Seriously, the shear number of animals that are being killed every minute is insane to think about. In fact, why don’t you check out this site, and watch the numbers go up. That is a lot of lives that are being lost. On average, humans kill 3 billion animals every day. Yes, you read that correctly 3 billion animals die every day!

To put this into perspective, on 9/11, roughly 2,900 people died. That was enough to change basically the world as a whole, and there were many changes enacted to make sure something like that never happened again.

That is only 0.0000966% of 3 billion. But for animals, nobody cares? What if we killed that many people everyday? At the time of writing this article (20.11.12), there are 7.8 billion humans on Earth. If we were to kill humans at the same rate we killed animals, the human race would be extinct in 17 days.

17 days!

And this isn’t even mentioning all the terrible environmental factors that slaughterhouses, and needless breeding of animals has on the planet.

But, in the interest of keeping this short, let’s move on.

So, now you know meat is terrible, and you’ve agreed to stop funding murder – awesome! But, now you may be wondering, what else is there to eat?

Well, thankfully, there have been amazing strides in the vegan movement in the past couple of years, and it’s easier than ever to stop eating meat!

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Starting from the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers
  • Gardein Beefless Strips
  • Gardein Beefless Ground
  • Gardein Chick’N Patties
  • Gardein Chick’N Scallopini
  • Gardein Turk’y Cutlets
  • Gardein Stuffed Turk’y
  • Tofurky Veggie Roast
  • Gardein Porkless Bites
  • Beyond Meat Beyond Sausage
  • Tofurky Italian Sausage
  • Yves Veggie Dogs
  • Yves Veggie Ham
  • Yves Veggie Bologna
  • Gardein Fishless Filets
  • Gardein Crabless Cakes
  • Seitan

This collage show only a small sample of all the different vegan friendly ‘replacement’ meats currently available. Basically any meat you want to eat has a substitute. And, these are just some of the convenience foods available. There’s also tofu, tempeh, or heck, even vegetables, such as mushrooms or jackfruit can be used as a meat substitute. (Depending on the dish, of course)

All it takes is a little know-how to make kick-ass faux meat dishes. Or, instead of trying to replace meat directly with substitutes, you could also try making different dishes. Expand your meals from being meat-centric, to include ones that put veggies in the spotlight.

Instead of trying to replicate steak and potatoes, why don’t you try making stuffed bell peppers? You can replace the ground beef or chicken (or whatever meat you’d usually put in the rice) with lentils, or mushrooms. Add in some of the usual suspects (corn, broccoli, carrot, etc.) and BAM! You’ll have one seriously hearty dish on your hands. I guarantee you that you won’t even notice the lack of meat in the dish.

There are tons of veg-centric meals just waiting for you to try them. So why not give it a whirl? And if you need some help? No worries! There are tons of vegan cookbooks, blogs, Youtube channels and even Instagram accounts out there for you to draw inspiration from. One of my all time favourite Youtube channels is HotforFood. Lauren is a master in the kitchen, and makes all kinds of breaking-vegan-stereotype dishes. She has recipes for burgers, mac n cheese, gravy, and even a vegan ranch dip! In a lot of her videos, she also explains why she uses certain ingredients, instead of keeping you guessing.

When I first went vegan, I watched a lot of her videos, and learned a lot from her videos about combining certain ingredients to get certain flavours. So go ahead and give it a try! There’s never been a better time to test out new recipes. (Not like you’re leaving the house, anyway)


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Sources:

Extinct in 17 Days

Scared Pig Picture (still from video)

3 Billion Animals Killed Per Day

Gardein Original Breakfast Saus’ge Patty Review

I don’t think there has been a product from Gardein I’ve tried that I haven’t liked. I don’t know how, but they keep coming up with awesome new foods to try, and I’m always game!

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So, Gardein actually has 2 kinds of these breakfast sausage patties, they have these plain/original ones, and they have maple ones. They taste exactly the same, but the maple one has maple syrup on it, so this is going to be like a combined 2-in-1 review.

These sausage patties are pretty small, which I like, because they fit perfectly on an English muffin. They have what I believe would be a ‘classic’ sausage taste, and have a good consistency, as well. They aren’t too squishy, and have a good bite to them. Pan frying them with some oil gives them a nice ‘crust’ on the outside, so they get a bit more crunch to them. I don’t know if you’d be able to tell by the consistency if they weren’t meat, but from what I remember, they’re pretty close. (Though I’m at 5 years vegan now, so my memory may be fading)

The only problem with these – as with most vegan products – is the amount that comes in the bag. 1 pack only comes with 5, which leads to disappointment when you open it, because they’re so small, so it makes the bag look even emptier. You could easily fit at least 2 more patties in the bag. Or, if you don’t want to add more patties to the bag, you could use a smaller bag! The bag is the same size as all the other products, and honestly I think that’s just a waste of packaging. Either add more product, or make a smaller bag.

I wish they had these, or the maple ones, as actual breakfast sausages (the round kind), that would be even more perfect. Because while these patties are great, if you don’t have English muffins on hand, they look so sad in a regular bread sandwich, or even on a bagel. If they made ‘real’ sausages, then you could have them on the side, instead of turning them into a sandwich, and that would lend itself well to not feeling like you need to make a sandwich for breakfast. And yes, I know you could have these patties on the side, but I feel like they look weird being ‘on the side’ instead of in a sandwich.

If you’ve been looking for something to elevate your breakfast sandwiches, you definitely have to try these. Either the plain or maple ones. They make great breakfast sandwiches, especially with some black salt and nooch on a toasted English muffin. Which is funny, because that’s one of those things I didn’t realize I missed until I had it again, and then I was like, ‘oh, yeah….’

I don’t often eat breakfast type foods, but these are definitely going on my regular shopping list.


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Protest Line (Preview)

Started: 20.06.06

Finished: 20.12.26

Words: 527

Teen!Chesters, Cross-dressing

Originally written for the SPN Amino’s Pride Bingo 2020, for the Cross-dressing square.


“… Need any help?”

“No, it’s-” he heard another thump before the youngest let out a heavy sigh, “I… actually yeah. But you can’t tell anybody.”

What are you doing in there? Bobby scrubbed a hand down his face in worry and nodded, “Who would I tell?” He waited a moment, hand hovering over the door knob, “… Can I come in now?”

He heard some rustling, before another crash, and suddenly the youngests’ voice was closer to the door, “Promise you won’t tell Dad?”

Why do you sound… scared? Bobby barked out a laugh, “This may surprise you kid, but I don’t tell John everything.”

“O-okay,” he heard the lock on the door turn before it opened a sliver, youngest rushing back away from the door as Bobby entered. He turned as he saw Bobby enter and pointed, eyes wide, “Close the door!”

Bobby closed the door immediately and turned to survey the room. There was a broken lamp, clothes thrown all over and the youngest Winchester standing there in a pair of pantyhose that were sliding down his leg, and an ill-fitting evening gown hanging off his thin frame, looking like a deer in the headlights. Bobby took in a deep breath as his brain caught up to the situation, and he had to resist the urge to smile, “Well… I can see why you don’t want me to tell John.”


Liking the fic? Read the rest here!

 

Outer Glow (PHSH Effect #14)

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday.

I thought I’d start off this years’ round of photoshop tutorials with a simple one, and work our way up to the harder stuff later on.

The Outer Glow effect can be used to create a wide range of different looks for text, in a not-so-complicated way. (Seriously, there’s only 4 steps)

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For this tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to do the first Outer Glow example, but feel free to play around with it yourself.

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Step 1:

To start, I’m just going to add a Black background, and some text. It usually doesn’t matter what colour the text is, depending on the effect you’re trying to create. For simplicity sake, I’m gonna use grey so you can see it. (In Example 1, I made the colour of the text black)

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Step 2.

After this, you’ll want to head over to the Layers Panel, and right click on the text layer, then select Blending Options. Go down your list until you find Outer Glow listed, and check-mark the box.

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Once you do that, you can play around with the Size and Spread levels, to adjust how the Outer Glow will look. Do this until you get your desired effect.

You can also change the colour of the glow by double clicking the coloured square at the top of the dialogue box, and then using the Colour Picker to pick your desired colour.

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If, for some reason, the Outer Glow is not showing up against your coloured (non-white) background, change the Blend Mode at the top of the dialogue box from Screen to Normal.

Step 3.

Once you’re happy with how it looks, click Okay to apply the effect to your text.

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If you need to change it, don’t worry, you can always re-right click on the text layer and go back to the Blending Mode options to play with things until you’re happy with it.

Step 4.

I’m pretty sure I covered this in the Intro, but just in case I didn’t: to save, you’ll usually want to save a PHSH file (with all the layers intact, so you can edit it at a later time without starting over, if needed) and a picture file (the one you’re going to post places).

To save as a PHSH file, go up to File – Save As, and then name the file something that you’ll remember, I usually save it as ‘Whatever Project I’m Working On UNFlattened’ so it’s easy to pick out of a list of files.

To save the picture version, go up to Layers (in the same menu as File), and scroll down to Flatten Image. Doing this will compress the layers into one (1) single layer, and will make the file you’re saving smaller. (Which is very handy if say, you’re uploading the picture anywhere that has a ‘file size cannot exceed x amount’ message)

Once compressing the layers into 1, you can go ahead and save it as a JPEG or PNG file. (Select these from the File Type drop-down menu that comes up under the File Name you want to save as)

And that’s it! Just 4 easy steps to upgrade your text. (I told you most of these were easier than they seemed!)

Next month, I’ll be re-visting an old tutorial and will show you how you can change/add colour to almost anything.

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Settle (Preview)

Written: 20.11.28

Words: 340

Crobby


“Well?” Crowley raised an eyebrow at the hunter, taking a sip from the drink in his hand.

Bobby starred at the new baseball cap he was holding, swallowing thickly, “What is this?”

Crowley pushed off the doorway and came over to the hunters’ desk, “What’s it look like?”

Bobby finally raised his eyes to the demon, unable to contain his shock, “… You do know what today is, right?”

“You think we don’t have calendars in Hell?”

“So then…” Bobby looked back to the hat he was holding, trying to put the pieces together, “You got me a present?”

“God, no!” Crowley waved a dismissive hand as he jumped up to sit on the edge of the desk, “Pfft, who do you think you’re talking to?”

“… So you just decided to give me a new hat?”

“Yep.”

“On Valentine’s Day?”

“Yes.”

“… You do know what the word ‘present’ means, right?”


Find out how it ends here!

I post NEW short stories EVERY 2 weeks!

Ecosia: 1 Year Anniversary

I wanted to make this article to tell you about this amazing search engine called Ecosia, because honestly I love it, and I think more people should start using them. It seems like just yesterday I was watching a Shelbizleee’s video where she talked about them, and I decided to give it a shot. I can’t believe it’s been an entire year!

Ecosia is a search engine, like Google, but unlike Google (or Bing, or whatever search engine you use), Ecosia is well, an eco-search engine. For about every 45 searches, you help to plant 1 tree. Yes, you read that correctly: just by switching your search engine you could be helping to plant trees! How cool is that?

It’s super simple to switch to as well. You don’t even need to download the add-on (though if you want to, you totally can – it’s free!), all you have to do is set it as your home page, or go to ecosia.org every time you need to look something up, and then just use as normal. That’s it!

It’s funny, because before I made the switch, I was actually worried about using it. Yes, I was actually worried about switching my search engine. I don’t even really know why, it’s not like I couldn’t switch back if I didn’t like it. Luckily though, their search results are pretty good, and I haven’t felt the need to switch back, or even really felt like searching was harder at all.

The only ‘problem’ I’ve encountered is even my own fault. Because Ecosia needs to store a cookie (not the edible kind) on your computer to save your searches, if you are like me and use Private Browsing Mode all the time, or have your browser set to automatically delete cookies when it closes, your personal counter gets reset to 0. Like I said though, I know this is 100% my own fault and I could change my settings to allow my browser to keep cookies even after it closes, but for my peace of mind, I like having them dump each time.

That’s fine though, because all I’ve been doing, (that you can do, too if you have similar settings), is keep track of the searches you have before closing your browser. It’s actually really fast/simple to do. I’ve kept a running tally of all my searches on a sticky note on my desktop (along with the dates of when I had to close the browser), and then every few months I add them all up to get my total number of searches/planted trees.

As of Friday (Feb. 12th, 2021), I had a total of 1,638 searches, which is roughly 36 trees planted. Isn’t that crazy? From changing nothing significant about my routine, I’ve helped plant 36 trees!

If you care about the planet/helping the environment, please try out Ecosia, I promise you won’t regret it. It’s the perfect option for those who want to help, but who maybe can’t or don’t want to go out and be active helpers. (Especially now with the pandemic)

You literally cannot be more passive in helping the earth than this!


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Culcherd Herb and Garlic Cheese Review

In keeping with my theme of last year, I decided for this years’ Valentines’ review, that I’d do another cheese. Because even though I’ve yet to try it, fondue just seems very romantic. And you can’t do fondue without cheese, right?

This cheese is by a company called Culcherd, and honestly I’d never heard of them before. Credit to this review goes to my friend Blair, he got his hands on some and was kind enough to share it with me. (This was back before COVID broke the world)

I was slightly hesitant to try it, as I am with most companies I’m unfamiliar with, but I’m glad I did. Also, it came in a hexagon box, so how bad could it have been? I was mildly disappointed that the block wasn’t also a hexagon, but I guess some things are still out of reach.

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Aside from my disappointment that the block wasn’t a hexagon, it was also actually quite small, even for a vegan cheese. The base was just smaller than my palm. (The widest part is just under 3in, or about 7.5cm – and yes, I just measure that for you. You’re welcome) So, it didn’t come with very much cheese.

Up until now, I’ve tried to steer away from reviewing products I didn’t really like, because I don’t want to be shit talking what I’m sure is a great company. However, this cheese just wasn’t my jam. (No pun intended)

I tried it first by itself – as I think you should with any new food – and I have to say, I didn’t really like it. It was quite tangy. Like, over-powering-ly so, and was definitely not the taste I was expecting when I think of ‘cheese’. (Though, to be fair, I mostly ate goat cheese before being vegan, which is quite game-y, so maybe I just don’t know what ‘real’ cheese tastes like?)

It reminded me more of pasta salad sauce than cheese. It had that very tangy/vinegar-y taste. The consistency was soft, making it very spreadable. It was a little firmer than hummus, actually. It’s also one of the very few cashew based cheeses I’ve tried, so I’m not sure if that’s just a thing with turning cashews into cheese, I did notice the other cashew based cheeses I tried had a slight tang to them as well. (Definitely not as strong as this one does, though)

It didn’t go to waste though! I ended up using it as a spread in a wrap, and that made it way better. I used maybe a teaspoons worth, and it was just the right amount for one of those big (12 inch) wraps. My non-vegan brother had some of it on a burger he made, and although he didn’t outright complain about the taste, I could tell it wasn’t his favourite. (Though he’s usually just happy if there’s any cheese he’s ‘allowed’ to eat)

Another thing that surprised me was the price. Even though my block was free, I took the liberty of price comparing it at Good Rebel. (If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should, they’re an awesome vegan grocer here in Toronto) There, the block was $11.99, and on the official Culcherd website, it was about the same ($11.47, but that was marked as the ‘on sale’ price). For reference, on Good Rebel, the Daiya blocks are 6.75, and bigger. So, while I’m glad mine was free, this cheese definitely counts as expensive.

All in all, I don’t think I’ll be buying this cheese again anytime soon, definitely not unless it’s on sale. I do want to try the other blocks and products from this company, because I don’t want to write them off after just trying one product.


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