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Thread: Vegan Albertans

  1. #1

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    Red face Vegan Albertans

    Wondering if any other vegans feel the strain of living in the province that is known for and loves their Alberta Beef!

    But seriously....being vegan in Calgary, Alberta is not as difficult a task as originally thought.

    We have a fantastic vegan restaurant called The Coup where I go when I'm feeling lazy (or craving the Yam Dip). We have fantastic farmer's markets that sell all sorts of fresh, organic fruit and veggies. And, for those essentials that one can't make themselves (like the ever enjoyable Soy Ice cream etc.), even bigger name store like Superstore offer organic, vegan products at more affordable prices!

    So, I would love to know if any Calgarian or Albertan vegans visit this site and what your take on the whole living experience is.

    Looking forward to meeting all of you....
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
    * petunia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hi Jasmine tea.

    I dont live in Alberta, but I do live in BC, and am stoked to see other other Canandians here!

    Welcome.

  3. #3
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hi Jasmine_tea. I'm not in Alberta either, I'm in BC. There's a restaurant here called The Foundation that make an awesome Yam Dip Does your Superstore make fresh sushi on site each day? Ours does, and the Atlantic Superstore I visited on PEI did too. It's really yummy.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hello fellow Canadians!!!
    I'm so glad that the vegan lifestyle is catching on in Western Canada!
    How long have you both been vegans?
    Unfortunately our superstore doesn't really do any fresh vegan foods--for that I usually have to visit the weekend farmer's market in Currie Barraks but I don't mind because I love the atmosphere--it's kinda like Granville Island without the tourists if you're anywhere near Vancouver.

    Roxy, I'm so glad someone else shares my enthusiasm for Yam Dip! I think Canadians are so lucky in that we have better access to maple syrup as it goes wonderfully with Yams! It's funny, I took my mom (who's an absolute carnivore) for lunch and she was absolutely in love with the Yam Dip! I kept telling her that vegan food isn't just steamed vegetables but I guess she had to discover its yumminess for herself.

    So, of all the Canadian cities you guys have visited, which were the easiest to maintain your vegan diets? I've actually never travelled within Canada as a vegan BUT with regards to Australia and New Zealand, vegans have it soooo good there! I'm a bit jealous actually
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

  5. #5
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Quote Jasmine_tea View Post
    Hello fellow Canadians!!!
    I'm so glad that the vegan lifestyle is catching on in Western Canada!
    How long have you both been vegans?
    Unfortunately our superstore doesn't really do any fresh vegan foods--for that I usually have to visit the weekend farmer's market in Currie Barraks but I don't mind because I love the atmosphere--it's kinda like Granville Island without the tourists if you're anywhere near Vancouver.

    Roxy, I'm so glad someone else shares my enthusiasm for Yam Dip! I think Canadians are so lucky in that we have better access to maple syrup as it goes wonderfully with Yams! It's funny, I took my mom (who's an absolute carnivore) for lunch and she was absolutely in love with the Yam Dip! I kept telling her that vegan food isn't just steamed vegetables but I guess she had to discover its yumminess for herself.

    So, of all the Canadian cities you guys have visited, which were the easiest to maintain your vegan diets? I've actually never travelled within Canada as a vegan BUT with regards to Australia and New Zealand, vegans have it soooo good there! I'm a bit jealous actually
    Hi Jasmine Tea I'm in Vancouver yep....Granville Island is lovely on a sunny day but you're right - it is a bit of a tourist trap.

    So you like Maple Syrup? If you're ever over this way again, you gotta go to The Foundation veg restaurant and have their maple chili. It's awesome.

    I haven't travelled much in Canada. Through the BC interior and over to Banff, up to Whislter of course, Vancouver Island and PEI. Vancouver's definately the pick of the bunch for vegan dining. But vegan groceries are available wherever ya go.

    I'm an Aussie actually but have lived here for 6 years. Where in Aus have you travelled to?

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    You're an Aussie? Yay! I wish I could hear your accent as I'm a bit 'homesick' in that I lived in Melbourne for 2 months with my Aussie flatmates and have only just returned back to Canada. So, after Melbourne I did the whole touristy thing and headed up the east coast and hit pretty much every city up to Cairnes. I loved Byron Bay, even though it's all touristy :P, cuz we met some pretty awesome people there. I then went from Cairnes to Darwin travelled thru the red centre down to Adelaide and ended up back in Melbourne to fly out to New Zealand!
    I absolutely loved Australia and New Zealand! You probably love Canada cuz it's similar yet different with regards to culture (and definately different weather!)
    Maple Chilli? I have to check this place out! I'm a true Canadian in that I love maple! Do you like it aswell? My flatmates were suprised cuz I also love vegemite, which is apparently not too common among tourists.
    Its funny, they say that all the Aussies stay in B.C., but the one and only Aussie I met decided to be different and live in Calgary and it was her who completely made me decide to visit AUS--what are the chances?
    Are you ever going to go back to AUS to live? Or are you pretty much Canadian from here on in?
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    I'm originally from saskatchewan, but I currently live in Slave Lake Alberta. We have a decent assortment of tofu/soy products at extra foods here, as well as a few organic veggies and fruits. also i was releived to find organic soy milk containing whole soy beans. I notice they go through quite a bit of these things so there must be more vegans up here

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Yeah, I've noticed with the oil boom that so many new and interesting people now live in Alberta and are helping to change opinions about lifestyle etc and therefore changing what products grocery stores carry.

    Ichiban, I noticed the importance you placed on buying soymilk made from actualy whole soybeans and I'm completely the same way. I can't believe how many people see soymilk and just assume it's healthy but if they read the ingredients they'd see that it varies between brands. I've actually considered making my own almond milk now as all the almond milk I find available in the markets contain carageenan for some odd reason.
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

  9. #9
    songlife
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Quote Jasmine_tea View Post
    Yeah, I've noticed with the oil boom that so many new and interesting people now live in Alberta and are helping to change opinions about lifestyle etc and therefore changing what products grocery stores carry.
    ROFL, you've got to be kidding, right!?? People... who move to Calgary.... for OIL, supporting veganism!? I almost fell off my chair.

    Maybe it's moreso their children rebelling against their conservative oil business parents.

    I'm a vegan who just moved to Montreal FROM Calgary. I was born in Montreal but at the age of 7, my parents decided to ruin my early youth by moving us to Calgary (in no way am I whining, I realise that many other kids have it much worse in the 3rd world but if you've ever been to Montreal then you know why).

    Well I'm a musician so I gave my life savings to move myself back to Montreal to pursue my music! And WOW the vegan cuisine here is amazing, almost as plentiful as Vancouver. There are *several* vegetarian restaurants (even one that's raw vegan!!! with buckwheat granola!!!!) and 3 organic/health food stores within 3 blocks of my place. And they carry several types of rice milk. We even have many different companies that distribute Quebec-made veggie pates and the like, as well as lots of locally grown and decent priced produce! This place absolutely rules. There's even a college-student-ran organic locally grown anti-capitalist food co-op that boasts the best organic produce prices in town!

    Vegans have it made in Montreal. After all these years. I'm so happy to be home again! *cries* and there are musicians everywhere. And people are so receptive to my music. Plus, almost nobody says "what's a vegan?" !!

  10. #10
    songlife
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    and there are sooooooooo many more vegan food products (amazing shitake mushroom cinnamon jerky that you would not BELIEVE, raw anything, and bbq eel flavored stuff, rediculous food, really, it's amazing here) than Calgary. I honestly can't believe I survived there, when looking back.

    Oh well I guess it taught me to use my knogen and learn how to make good food for myself.

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    Red face Re: Vegan Albertans

    No offense, but places are what you make of them. I do not disbeleive that montreal is more receptive to music and veganism, I've heard that for culture Montreal is the capital of Canada. However Calgary isn't that bad, maybe you gotta work harder to find what you want but if you look hard enough its certainly always there.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Montreal sounds amazing culturally....sounds like Melbourne in Australia--have you ever been?

    I actually prefer being a vegan in Calgary for a number of different reasons:
    1. It forced me to learn how to prepare all my own foods from fresh, simple ingredients.
    2. Because I am forced to make most of my food at home (we do have vegan products available but I prefer frsh beans to a pre-made veggie burger anyday) it is always cheaper which suits my student budget!
    3. Because it is deemed more difficult to be a vegan in Calgary I find that people show a greater interest in it. I have also been told that many people respect my choice and see my dedication as amplified.

    Although I love visiting bigger, more progressive cities I also love that I have the ability to educate more people in Calgary. I completely agree with Ichyban that a place is what you make of it.

    Glad you're enjoying Montreal though Songlife, have you released any songs yet? What is your style of music? It would be cool to hear some of your stuff....
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Another cool product that I see now in most grocerie stores is 0 impact laundry detergent/dish soap/dishwasher soap etc. Its a bit expensive but I think it's definately worth it. The more that is bought the more such companies can grow and offer a more diverse array of products that are earth consious.

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hey Ichyban--Do you travel to Edmonton at all? I may be going later this summer and was wondering if you can recommend any vegan restaurants as I'll be staying in a hotel and unable to cook.
    Also--random question--do you know anything about/use hemp hearts??? I love to tell vegans about them cuz they're good with any food and they give you crazy energy/a good sense of well being. Plus the ones I get are from Manitoba/Saskatchewan so they're more local than, say, buying almonds from California to get your healthy fats from.
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

  15. #15
    songlife
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    I lived in Calgary for almost 15 years, I made the best of it that I could, lol Yeah I still make my own food for the most part in Montreal, I'm on a student/musician budget too. It really helps that we have some amazing organic food market action

    I don't think places are only what you personally make of them though, there's also the other people factor and I'd been ostracised in Calgary for many different reasons and for my entire growing-up life, so I feel like I've done what I can there and it's time to move on. Being a musician, and bisexual, and athiest, an artist of many types, a sober raver, an environmentalist and now a vegan... I had my time of exploding my energy into the city and now I'm being good to myself instead and living in an environment that nourishes my way of life a little more. Music is the main thing.

    There are some truly amazing vegans I know who are sticking it out in Cowtown for good and even making their own raw food catering services!! I hope they do really well and make a big impact. They've already made one on me.

    well I have a myspace for my music which should explain everything, music isn't up for download yet but should be in about a month! till then there are firedancing pics and stuff... http://www.myspace.com/intentionalsound

    I'm looking for other vegan musicians and producers to collaborate with if you guys know anyone!

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Quote Jasmine_tea View Post
    Hey Ichyban--Do you travel to Edmonton at all? I may be going later this summer and was wondering if you can recommend any vegan restaurants as I'll be staying in a hotel and unable to cook.
    Also--random question--do you know anything about/use hemp hearts??? I love to tell vegans about them cuz they're good with any food and they give you crazy energy/a good sense of well being. Plus the ones I get are from Manitoba/Saskatchewan so they're more local than, say, buying almonds from California to get your healthy fats from.
    I do travel to edmonton on a semi regular basis, oddly enought though i haven't since going vegan. So far my vegan restaraunt experience has been limited to A&W veggie burger and fries... sad i know. I'm going through edmonton the 18th of July, ill see what I can find. Also there is a veggie/vegan meetup in Edmonton. they look really cool, the last one was a huge potluck lunch at the park.

    oya, Please fill me in on the hemp hearts, never heard of them.

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    I was just reading about that upcoming veggie potluck! I was so disappointed to see that it was all the way in Edmonton and not Calgary! I fully expect a review of many edmonton vegan restaurants within the next month from you--you can rate them on a 5 carrot basis .

    Okay, so the deal with hemp hearts: I know a lot of vegans have trouble getting enough essential fatty acids (like omega 3s and 6s) and also protein. Once my trainer found out that I was a vegan he suggested them to me and I'm so pleased with them that I'm suggesting them to everyone, veggie or non! Heres the info but basically my personal results were that I felt more energetic throughout the whole day I jsut sprinkle 2 heaped tbsp on my morning oatmeal and thats it! (although you can put them on anything) I've been meaning to try them on my stir-frys instead of sesame seeds.... http://www.greathealth.org/hemphearts.pdf
    I buy mine at the Real Cdn Superstore for around $9 which is the cheapest I've found anywhere.
    Try a bag and let me know what you think of them
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Ummm so I notice nobody has posted in here for some time...
    But I got really excited when I saw other vegans located in Cowtown!! Is that still the case? Are there "others" around here? (Heehee).

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    YES! We're still here! I've been meaning to go to veggie meetings (I read about them all the time when I'm shopping @ Community Health) to meet others but I'm too busy with exams of late BUT you should go and meet all the Calgary veggies that have been hiding!
    I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Veggie meetings?? We have veggie meetings in Calgary??
    That's the best news I've heard all day!!! I think a field trip is in order!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hey, everyone. I grew up just outside Edmonton and lived in the city itself for about ten years. I now live in the Yukon. Heh. (If you think being a vegan in Calgary is bad or even Alberta...don't join me here. It's...how shall I say it?...it's...it's...a vegan nightmare.) Anyhoo, good to see some Albertans on this forum.

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    hi there,
    I was a vegetarian in the U.K., then in vancouver, which was very easy, but then I fell in love with an Albertan man, who I married. He couldn't move so I came to St. Albert! When I first came here, it was a veggie wilderness. The supermarkets wouldn't even dispay soy products on the shelves. A staff member had to get whatever I wanted from the "back room". I was totally dismayed. Apparently the dairy board was worried that too many people would start using alternatives to dairy, so they banned it from shelves. This was in 1994 when I came to visit. When i moved here in 1997, things had improved but only a little. Thank goodness for Max's Light Cuisine, one of the best veggie/vegan cafes ever. Unfortunately max retired a few years ago. Also, thank goodness for Terra's Natural Food Market, which now has a different name. I would travel to the south side of Edmonton to get veggie products and also organic products. Thank goodness there has been progress since then, apart from a few things I still can't get in St. Albert.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Quote Hilary View Post
    thank goodness for Terra's Natural Food Market, which now has a different name
    I used to work at the southside location of "Terra" (now known as Planet Organic) It has an ever growing selection of vegan goods My co-workers were actually the first who introduced me to veganism. Although I just moved to Vancouver from Edmonton, I'm glad to read fellow Albertan blogs!
    If to live we have to be numb, I'd rather know the pain

  24. #24

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    Smile Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hi There,
    Thanks for your reply. Isn't Vancouver great for alternative diets? One of my favourite restaurants is The Naam. I am sure it is still just as good. Do give it a try. Best of luck in Vancouver. i arrived in Vancouver in 1988 and it was very trendy at the time to be vegetarian, it was just taking off in a big way and I was very glad. That first weekend I hung out at one of only two veg restaurants at that time. Little did i know that my six month trip would turn into 22 years, but I did fall in love with Vancouver.
    Hilary

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    I live a little while west of Calgary I haven't done much searching around for restaurant, but the grocery stores have an abundance of vegan friendly and organic foods They even had vegan margarine which I had to guess at before moving out here... I don't know what I would put on toast if it wasn't for that

  26. #26
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hello, Western Canadians! I live over in the East; in Nova Scotia, to be precise. I live in a small town, and access to vegan products is pretty good, too: lots of Yves veggie cuisine, Tofurky products, tofu, So Delicious soy ice creams, a delicious Amy's vegan pizza, yum yum... and of course, lots of awesome whole foods! So, yep, no complaints, though I imagine someone who's used to city living, with its access to Asian markets, specialty vegan restaurants (one thing lacking here, boooo ), etc. would miss lots here.

  27. #27
    Back-Space's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Hey easterner What time is it over there? 8 am right now.

  28. #28
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    11:15.

    We're just always a little bit ahead of you (slightly slower?) folks, I guess?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Oh, I see how it is..... Well, you have fun with your dreary rainy weather, sucker

  30. #30
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Quote Back-Space View Post
    Oh, I see how it is..... Well, you have fun with your dreary rainy weather, sucker
    Hahaha, oh, you are right about that. You guys get lots more sunshine than we do... but of course, that's why we're smarter, see: when you guys are busy playing in your pools or in the snow, we're inside listening to the rain and hitting our books. There you have it.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    I did my learning in Ontario, thank you very much Although I think you may be on to something. I had never applied for a job that didn't require at least a highschool diploma... I've been looking for a job out here, and I've come across 6 or 7 that require "Minimum grade 10 education" or "Education not necessary". Are there that many highschool drop outs in the area?

  32. #32
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Quote Back-Space View Post
    Are there that many highschool drop outs in the area?
    Haha, I don't know... I've never seen anything like that before ("Only Grade 10 required", etc.).

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Yeah Even Tim Hortons is looking for people. Back in Ontario you either had to have completed highschool or currently be attending. The website out here...

    Skill Requirements:

    Education: Not required
    Credentials (certificates, licences, memberships, courses, etc.): Not required
    Experience: No experience
    Languages: Speak English, Read English, Write English
    Type of Equipment: Cash register
    Work Setting: Fast food

  34. #34
    Back-Space's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Saying that... I dropped off my car for an oil change at 8am today and they still haven't called me back. They close for the day in 2 hours. I find it pretty pathetic they may not be able to change the oil in my car over the course of the day. I'm going to have to start changing my own oil if it takes this shop the course of several days to complete it themselves Maybe I'm just used to a faster environment

  35. #35
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Isn't changing the oil on a car something easy to do? Keep in mind there's nobody in the whole world who knows less about cars than me, haha. My partner's a mechanic, so maybe I got the idea from him that it was easy. But yeah, definitely, if it takes them that long... do it yourself or find someone else!

  36. #36
    Back-Space's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Yes, I've decided next time to drive it to Calgary and have it done there. It usually took about 45 minutes back in Ontario, it took nearly 8 hours to get it in and changed here It would take me less time to drive all the way to Calgary, have it changed, and drive all the way back

  37. #37
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Quote Back-Space View Post
    Yes, I've decided next time to drive it to Calgary and have it done there. It usually took about 45 minutes back in Ontario, it took nearly 8 hours to get it in and changed here It would take me less time to drive all the way to Calgary, have it changed, and drive all the way back
    Oh, wow, that's terrible!

    As for the people who are completely ignorant about cars like I am, it seems getting an oil change is an easy thing to do yourself but it can be incredibly messy. Sounds like it's worth making a trip to Calgary, haha.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Medicine Hat vegan here!
    I'm laying down my life, giving up control...never looking back, I surrender all. I'm living for Your glory on the earth...

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Deadmonton!

  40. #40

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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    Calgary myself!

    HAHAHAHA a vegan in "cowtown"
    and I'm a mechanic no less.......a "manly man's job" lol

  41. #41
    100% sure I'm going vegan!
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    Default Re: Vegan Albertans

    I am from Ab near Edmonton.
    I had a bad scare last year and I am following Forks over Knives.
    I am very happy following this lifestyle, I only wish is that we had more variety of fruits and veggies

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