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Things you should know before we start: Amber McDonald is a DC Vegan who became so about a year and a half ago after working with the Humane Society and reading about the similarities in emotions between dogs and cows. Viewing dairy farms equivalent to puppy mills, she started gradually cutting animal products out of her diet, beginning with dairy and beef, then pork, chicken, and finishing off with fish as the last one to go. Amber has recently drafted the legislation for a resolution to declare DC Meatless Mondays, working on getting restaurants and eventually the DC public school system to eliminate meat consumption on Mondays. She also participates in the animal-friendly groups Vegan Mainstream and PETA Prime. I stopped by Amber’s downtown DC apartment which she shares with her amazingly inspiring and non-vegan dog Meanie the day after her CSA shipments came in to catch her fridge packed with as many fresh fruit and vegetables as possible. She is a member of not one, but two CSA’s, the popular and picky-eater friendly Washington’s Green Grocer and the more upscale Arganica.


In freezer: bag of scallops expired in 2009, frozen vegetables (broccoli, peas, corn, spinach, mixed veg), naan, Morning Star grillers, hotdog buns, Boca burgers, orange sorbet, garden chicken, vodka, artichoke burger & vegetarian harvest roast (both produced by the Vegan Society based in the UK), spinach pancakes, Amy’s enchilada meal, Kashi black bean mango meal, and raw beef marrow bones for Meanie

Freezer door: Acai smoothie pack, wheatgrass, more vodka, frozen fruits (pineapple, peaches, mango, mixed berries, cherries, strawberries, and bananas), fruit popsicles

Fridge door: Earth Balance vegan butter, hemp oil, vegan parmesan (made out of organic walnuts, etc), pumpkin butter, marmalade, capers (don’t think we’re gonna find a fridge without these), horseradish, relish, mustard, “Chinese supplies” (a bag of the little packets of soy, duck, mustard sauce, etc that you get with your delivery or takeout), salad dressing, lots more mustard, pesto, lemon and lime juices, Tabasco, ginger syrup, maple syrup, pickled ginger, jelly, pickles, tahini, more lemon juice, ketchup, more maple syrup, peanut sauce, soy whip (whip cream without dairy), wine, rice vinegar, miso soybean paste, Nasoya (a vegan Miracle Whip), coconut oil, plum sauce

Top shelf of fridge: club soda, Pellegrino, champagne, homemade ramp & asparagus risotto w/ ramp & Swiss chard pesto (amazing looking, I wanted a taste! going to have to get the recipe), lentil dal burgers, vegan Pillsbury pizza crust, flour tortillas, corn, apple butter, vegan ricemellow cream, macadamia butter, coconut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter

Middle shelf of fridge: packed with fresh veggies…celery, lettuce, rhubarb, kale, cherry tomatoes dried dates, mushrooms, and apple cider vinegar

Bottom shelf of fridge: Brita pitcher, homemade almond milk, tequila, kombucha, vegetable stock, coconut water, peppers, bananas, strawberries, green beans, sprouts, Yacon syrup (all-natural sweetener), morel mushrooms (from Arganica)

Crisper drawer on left: oranges, papayas, pears, apples, kiwi, avacados, pineapple (all fairtrade from Washington’s Green Grocer)

Crisper drawer on right: yams, carrots, beets, red and white onions, red and white potatoes, ginger, turnips, carrots

Meat drawer: vegetable pate (wild mushroom), silken tofu (she likes to use it in a sauce for white pizza), regular tofu, tofuti (vegan cream cheese), organic tempeh

Outside of fridge: all kinds of magnets with quotes, pet info, pro-vegan groups, a great collection of fortunes (of the cookie kind), the list of food she received from Washington’s Green Grocer this week

Turning vegan is a continual learning process which involved the help of a lot of different books Amber is still collecting. She is currently reading The Vegetarian Myth, an anti-vegan book, to get an idea of the opposition’s view.

The box the produce comes in, with ice in the plastic containers.

And that is what is in Amber McDonald’s fridge: Being a vegan wouldn’t be so bad after all, I could definitely survive off those foods. Although I would miss cheese a lot.