On Honoring and Liberation: Sweet, Tangy Kale Salad

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” ~ John F. Kennedy

As we spend our Memorial Day weekend reflecting on our past wars and lost servicemen, spending time with our families and friends, enjoying the freedoms that are so hard-fought for us to keep here in America, or perhaps keeping abreast of the latest political games being played in cities, states, and at The Capitol, the last thing I want to do is intentionally make life hard for someone else.

In truth, we should be doing everything we can to help those families who made the ultimate sacrifice, families are left to make do without the loved ones they lost, those who perished at work so that we can relax and enjoy ours without fear.

Actions have consequences, many of which directly affect others whether or not we care to accept that responsibility. Just because ‘we choose to believe’ some atrocity isn’t happening doesn’t somehow magically make it non-existent. Things are as they are, facts are facts; what some call alternative facts are really only differing perspectives surrounding them.

Service members consent to serve their country in whatever capacity the government chooses. They agree to their duties as employees of the government, going into contract fully aware they may have to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country — for us. We take those individual contracts seriously. No service member should be expected to lose his life on the job, and certainly not in a time of peace. We honor these veterans on special days like Memorial Day, so we don’t forget or somehow devalue that service.

It is a reminder to never forget them.

Flags Fly in Frankfort, MI
Slice of Americana

In this same peacetime stability, however, is where we ramp it up for trillions of others. For these beings, there is no consent to contract: their lives and deaths are taken from them — by us — against their will. No animal is hard-wired to give its life willingly, to sacrifice — not even people. As animals, we are all wired to survive.

It’s been made easy for us to take them all for granted; we really shouldn’t.

This weekend, extend your baseline of compassion outward, past the male versus female serviceman, past petty difference in skin tone, ignoring differences in faith or beliefs — even discounting the number of feet that touch the ground.

Consider the facts as they are and reach for alternative solutions: plants are food too. Honor those beings who have never been given choice or consent. Eat something else and let the bovine keep his rib-eye steaks and brisket in tact and on his body where he most assuredly likes it. The pig’s ribs are necessary right where they are — on the live pig. Allow the chicken’s egg to become the poult it’s naturally intended be. And for Pete’s sake, stop stealing the calf’s milk for iced cream. He needs it way more than you do.

None of what we do to these beings is even necessary. Like many of our daily actions, we are just doing it out of habit.

So yes, let’s honor our servicemen, remember their sacrifices. While you’re at it, free those who have never enjoyed our freedoms. Free them from your stomachs and — especially — from the mere seconds of pleasure upon your tongue.

Easy Fresh Kale Salad

  • Servings: 2 (or just me in one sitting!)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This salad is a regular staple ‘bowl meal’ in our home. We pick kale straight from the garden, but we recommend organic bunches from the grocery in absence. Kale is a wonder-leaf and chock full of nutrients, but with it comes bitterness. The sweet-and-sour combo will help.


  • 5-6 medium leaves Fresh Kale, de-stemmed, rough chopped or torn
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar (or sub apple cider)
  • 1 tbsp Tahini (peanut butter works well too!)
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup (or agave nectar)
  • 1 tsp Liquid Aminos (or regular soy sauce)
  • Sesame seed, Craisins® (optional)


  1. Massage kale in a medium bowl with finger tips until the leaves are softened and dark green with all that lovely chlorophyll.
  2. In a small bowl, add the oil, vinegar, seed/nut butter, syrup, and (salty) sauce and whip together with a fork until blended. This is a sweet/sour version of vinaigrette and the seed butter will hold it together into a creamy concoction.
  3. Toss the vinaigrette with the leaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds and/or Craisins® (not required).
  4. Enjoy! No animals were exploited for your pleasure.

Shannon @ DirtNKids Blog

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.
Go vegan!

One thought on “On Honoring and Liberation: Sweet, Tangy Kale Salad

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