contributing property

Cheap Vegan Essentials

Below is a short list of foods which I think should be in the basket of every new vegan when they go on that first vegan shopping trip. Prices will vary according to location, but in the vast majority of places these foods will be some of the cheapest items in any supermarket.  You can find a selection of simple recipes that make use of these items as their main ingredients here.

  • Rice: Rice is an extremely cheap and filling staple. A cup of rice contains roughly 45 grams of carbohydrates and 4-5 grams of protein. In an airtight container it lasts around 6 months. It is even cheaper when bought in bulk. 

  • Beans: Beans are one of the most accessible protein sources and have been a staple around the world for thousands of years. Just one cup of soybeans, for example, contains a massive 28.62 grams of protein, while even standard baked beans contain around 14 grams. They also contain lysine, which is missing from most other plant sources.

  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas can be purchased very cheaply canned, and in large bags in bulk if you’re willing to prep them yourself.  Each cup contains about 15 grams of protein, tonnes of fibre as well as magnesium and folate. 

  • Lentils: Similar to chickpeas, lentils can be bought canned or in large bags as bulk products. A cup of cooked lentils contains a massive 18 grams of protein, they also lower cholesterol, improve heart health and help stabilise blood sugar. 

  • Oats: Oats are very cheap, can be bought in bulk and have great shelf life. They are high in protein, fibre, and B12; they are even thought to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. 

  • Cereals: Most cereals, especially supermarket’s own brand products are very cheap. Whole grain cereals like bran or oat based products are high in fiber, calcium and iron, and most are fortified with B vitamins.

  • Pasta:  Pasta is another great product to always have on hand, it is one of the least expensive items in any supermarket, can be bought in bulk and has a very long shelf life. Depending on the type, pasta can be a good source of fibre and carbohydrates; it is a high energy food and is very filling.

  • Potatoes: Potatoes are one of the cheapest foods available in most supermarkets, at an average of just $0.56 per pound. They are versatile, filling and despite their reputation as unhealthy, they are an excellent source B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid.

  • Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are as versatile as white potatoes, are high in vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium and potassium. They’re also a more balanced source of energy than white potatoes, as their natural sugars release slowly, avoiding blood-sugar spikes.

  • Noodles: Many varieties of noodles are vegan, they are very cheap and last a long time. Noodles are very filling and contain high levels of B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, and calcium.

  • Nut butters: Depending on the type, nut butters can be purchased very cheaply and in large quantities. It has a surprisingly good shelf life, is an excellent source of heart healthy fats and is very high in protein. 

  • Falafel: Falafel is usually cheap to buy pre-made but it is even cheaper when made at home just using chickpeas and spices. It is filling, can be used to make great vegan burgers and is a good source of protein, fat and soluble fibre. 

  • Hummus: Though buying pre-prepared hummus is usually relatively cheap, it is far more cost effective to make your own in larger quantities, depending on the recipe you usually only need chickpeas, tahini and  lemon. 

  • Couscous: Couscous can be great in salad or as its own side dish, it is cheap to buy and is a convenient option since it is so easy to prepare. It is a good source of lean protein, dietary fibre and B vitamins. 

  • Tofu: Tofu has an odd reputation for being expensive, quite probably among people who have never bought it. Tofu has been a Chinese staple for thousands of years, it is now widely available in supermarkets and is far cheaper than comparable animal products, averaging less than $2 per pound. It is filling and is high in both protein and calcium.

  • Tempeh: Tempeh is similar to tofu in price and use, but has a different texture and slightly different nutritional properties. The fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fibre and vitamins compared to tofu, as well as firmer texture and a stronger flavour

  • Seitan: Seitan is made with wheat gluten and is extremely high in protein, as well as being one of the cheapest sources of protein per dollar when made at home and is around the same price as low quality beef in stores. It has a steaky texture and is very filling.

  • Frozen fruit/vegetables: Large bags of mixed frozen vegetables can be bought extremely cheaply almost anywhere. Despite popular opinion to the contrary, frozen vegetables are almost as healthy as fresh produce since they are frozen while fresh and don’t endure the loss of nutrients associated with long travel and extended shelf time. Frozen fruit like mixed berries can be a cheap way to prepare smoothies or dessert.

  • Canned fruit/vegetables: Having a few cans of fruit or vegetables around is always a good idea, things like canned peas or corn can be a side on their own, canned peaches or orange pieces are an instant dessert and canned tomatoes can be used to make sauces. 

  • Bananas: Bananas are one of the cheapest fruits available, especially when bought in bulk and deserve a mention based on their nutritional value and their versatility. They can be used in desserts, as a healthy snack and can be used to make cheap vegan ice cream.

  • Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits like lemon, orange and limes are cheap to buy in bunches, especially when in season and can be eaten as a healthy snack or used as a cheap way to add flavour to existing dishes. 

  • Vegetable stock: Vegetable stock is good to have around for a variety of purposes; it will add flavour to any dish from gravies to soups and roast dinners. It is extremely cheap and relatively healthy if you go for a low sodium option.

  • Olives: Olives are a healthy source of fat, they are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to good health health, as well as being good sources of iron. They can be bought in large jars very cheaply and can be a healthy snack. 

  • Olive Oil: Thought to be the healthiest oil to cook with, it is heart healthy and can be used to add flavour to a variety of dishes like pastas and salad.

  • Spinach: Spinach is often called a super-food in terms of nutritional content, it is is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, calcium, iron and a multitude of vitamins. You can also buy large bags of pre-prepared spinach very cheaply.

  • Kale: Kale has a different flavour and texture to spinach, but has similar uses. It is a great source of dietary fibre and is packed with nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium. Even a 500g bag should only set you back around $2.50. 

  • Bread: Many new vegans assume bread is off limits, but many breads are vegan. Even speciality loafs are very cheap considering the amount of meals they can contribute towards, and they can be a good source of carbohydrates and protein. 

  • Plant Milks: Plant milks have an undeserved reputation for being expensive, this is only in comparison to heavily subsidised dairy milks, though even then the price is comparable, in fact, some supermarket’s own brands are even cheaper. Plant milks are packed with calcium and are usually supplemented with vitamins B6 and B12.

  • Non-Dairy Spreads: Non-dairy spreads can be made form a variety of sources, from soy or olives to coconut oil. They tend to be comparable to dairy butter in terms of calcium, but without the unhealthy fats and cholesterol. They are usually priced similarly or cheaper than their dairy counterparts.

  • Peppers: Peppers tend to be very cheap to pick up in large bags, particularly bell peppers. They can be stretched over several meals, and can add flavour and texture to curries, stir fries and salads.

  • Nutritional Yeast: Seen as something of a speciality health food, nutritional yeast is actually very cheap, lasts a long time and is one of the best sources of vitamin B12. It has a nutty, cheesy taste, so you can use it in place of anything you’d usually sprinkle cheese on. It is also great in soups and when used to make “cheesy”, creamy sauces. 

  • Flax seeds: Each tablespoon of ground flax seed contains about 1.8 grams of  omega-3s. It is included in this list as they make a great egg substitute in baking, can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt or oatmeal. It is cheap to buy, and even a small packet lasts a long time.
  • Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is not only far healthier than milk chocolate, it is usually cheaper to buy in the same quantities and is far more filling. It is versatile for use in baking and desserts and is a healthy snack in small quantities.

  • Selected Produce: Fresh vegetables are not always expensive. Seasonal vegetables are usually cheap in most supermarkets, but some vegetables like carrots, turnips, onions, cabbage and cauliflower are inexpensive all year round, and can often be bought on offer or as “irregular” (but still perfectly edible) for even less.
  • Herbs and Spices: Having a range of spices on hand is always a good idea; things like cumin and garlic can add depth and flavour to simple meals and they last a very long time. Investing in a good spice rack and some curry powder will save you money in the long term.

There’s nothing about markets that require private ownership over the means of production. See mutualism, market socialism, and market anarchism for anti-capitalist market systems.

There’s nothing about “keeping the fruits of your labor” that requires private ownership over the means of production. In fact, workers who are employed under a boss never get to take home the full product of their labor, since the grand majority of it belongs to the boss based on private ownership claims over everything the worker produces. Hell, socialists very often argue “to each according to their contribution”, allotting individuals greater reward the greater their labor contribution to the collective pool, as long as a livable floor is established for all and no one hierarchically owns and manages the workplace.

There’s nothing about “small government” that requires private ownership over the means of production. Worker cooperatives are completely viable. Furthermore, there’s the fundamental idea that collective operations ought to be deliberated on democratically, rather than through an autocratic capitalist or state. Private control over the means of production is not a natural conclusion of “limited government”; if anything, for all intents and purposes, they’re actually opposed to each other.

There’s nothing about organization and management that requires private ownership over the means of production. Workers are perfectly capable of voting on accountable managers and building consensus on organizational aspects of the institution. In theory, we vote on politicians to “help manage” the country, but we in turn don’t expect them to wield power tyrannically or claim sovereignty over the country like a king; the same principle applies to democratic workplaces, in the sense that you can totally separate elected/accountable/immediately recallable management from the hierarchical ownership of the place.

If the idea is that we need to eradicate concentrations of power, then socialism is the way to. If the idea is that we need to maintain individual liberty to the extent that “fists can be swung until they hit another nose”, then socialism is the way to go. If the idea is that we need to build a system where we recognize hard work and labor as the necessary base, then socialism is the way to go.

Things to ask a small press publisher

There’s a ton of information out there about indie/self publishing, and a ton about “traditional publishing” (which I’m defining here as getting an agent and working with a large commercial publishing house). But there’s very little about small press publishing, other than caveats about avoiding scams. 

Since I’m about to embark on my third experience working with a small press, and I was briefly marketing manager for one, I figured I might have something helpful and positive to say about it. 

Small press publishing can be a great experience, or a horrible disappointment. As with any publishing path, the key is doing your homework, and not getting so swept away in the excitement of SOMEONE WANTING TO PUBLISH YOUR BOOK that you overlook potential problems. 

First things first, weeding out the obvious scams: No legitimate press, even a small one, will EVER charge you money to publish your book. Reading fees, etc. are a GIANT RED FLAG. Familiarize yourself with Yog’s Law: money always flows to the writer. Anyone who demands money to put your book into print isn’t a publisher. They’re a printer

Originally posted by mkgaud

For God’s sake, look at your freaking contract:

Most small presses don’t pay advances. Some people will say that’s a red flag, but it’s pretty typical. Small presses run lean, and they’re going to have to spend upfront money in editing, cover design and layout. That’s their investment. But they do offer fair (and sometimes negotiable) terms for splitting royalties. Typically the split is better for eBooks than for print copies. Also, be aware that the royalty split is going to be on net profits. That’s what they earn after paying for printing or paying Amazon’s or another company’s cut on eBooks. 

For the love of God, look at what rights you’re signing over. Make absolutely sure the contract specifies geography (Worldwide, US, US/UK?), format (print? e-book? audiobook?), language (it’s unusual to ask for foreign language rights. If they do, it’s typically something you can push back on). 

Do they expressly leave you rights to Merchandising? Graphic novels? Film rights? Can you do other things with your characters? Do they want first right of refusal on sequels? These are things you want to know going in.  

What’s the term? I’ve had small press contracts for 2 years, 5 years, and 7 years. “Forever” or “in perpetuity” is not an acceptable term. If a small press wants you to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to ever get your rights back, contest that sh!t. And if they won’t back down, walk away. 

It’s fair for them to ask for a term that will ensure they can earn out their investment and profit on your book. It’s not fair for them to lock up your rights in perpetuity. Especially considering how often small presses fold. It’s pretty damn tough to get your rights back from a company that doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve known writers who lost their rights for decades because an editor died. If your term is 5 years, you have a contract stating in five years you get your rights back. No matter what else happens.

Originally posted by oobandsoo

Beyond the contract:

Look at their covers. Some small presses have great covers. (I have a friend whose gorgeous, fully-painted small press covers are amazing.) Some have covers that are nothing short of embarrassing. Most are a mixed bag. 

If you see some that give you pause, ask about it. Maybe it’s from when they were just getting started, and their standards are higher now. Maybe the author pitched a hissy fit and insisted on keeping their (horrible) self-designed cover. But covers sell books. So make sure you get a say, and make sure they have the wherewithal to provide one that doesn’t suck. 

Ask about their distribution. What really separates the pros from the hobbyists in small presses is their ability to get your book into the hands of readers

Your print books being Print on Demand (POD) isn’t a big deal. But having your print copies run through LightningSource or IngramSpark as opposed to Createspace, makes it 1000% easier to get them into a Barnes & Noble. Do they sell at events? Have shelf-space in a few indie bookstores or gift shops? 

If they’re digital-only, what is their marketing plan? Will they do a BookBub, or if not (it’s genuinely tough to get in), a collection of smaller promotional emails like BargainBooksy? Will they buy ads on Amazon or Facebook? Schedule a blog book tour? Make the ARC available on Netgalley or send it out to a list to garner reviews? 

How are they going to earn their part of the royalty, beyond editing, cover design and layout? If those things are all they are bringing to the table, and you’re going to be solely responsible for sales and marketing, you might be better served paying someone to do those things, and going the self/indie publishing route. Just to be clear: any publisher is going to expect you to also help market and sell your book. But you shouldn’t be doing it all

Small press publishing is more than anything else a partnership. And it can be awesome, when you have a team who are truly as excited about your work as you are. That’s a great feeling. You’re contributing your intellectual property and months or years of your work. Just make sure they’re delivering their part.  


Campbell Symington House, 3977 Second Avenue–Detroit MI by pinehurst19475
Via Flickr:
This house was designed by the noted Detroit church architects Donaldson & Meier in 1882 for Campbell Symington, who two years later became a business partner of J. L. Hudson. Mister Symington was born in Scotland in 1848 and came to Detroit at the age of twenty. After working as office manager for Mabley’s Department Store, where he met Mister Hudson, the two purchased a carpet business, which was eventually housed in the Hudson store on Woodward Avenue. Mr. Symington lived in the home until his death in 1928. The house is representative of the upper-middle class homes on Second Avenue (when built it cost $12,000–a considerable sum in that era) and adjoining streets in the late 19th and early 20th century. Symington House has Romanesque accents and is faced in red-vein sandstone. The home is a contributing property to National Register and City of Detroit historic districts. And judging from the exterior, the structure is in admirable shape.


Judge Philip Van Zile House, 650 West Forest Street–Detroit MI by pinehurst19475
Via Flickr:
This substantial Queen Anne house in the Warren-Prentis Historic District was built in 1891 for Judge Philip Van Zile. The architect was the prolific Almon Clother Varney, who designed apartments and single-family homes in the Cass Corridor/Midtown area. In addition to this structure, Van Zile also owned two small apartment buildings on West Forest. The Van Zile School on East Outer Drive was named after Judge Van Zile. The building is a contributing property to the National Register and City of Detroit, Warren-Prentis Historic District.


Thomas G. Craig House: 461 West Alexandrine Street–Detroit MI by pinehurst19475
Via Flickr:
This Queen Anne-style house was built in 1883 for Thomas G. Craig, a grain merchant. It is a contributing property to a local and national historic district.

Snakes And The Wild Pineapple// Freya Flavell

She floats around her garden of Eden, identifying plants in a little leather notepad she fashioned from frogskin and dried bark. She makes love to the gardenfolk by kissing them while wearing lipstick made from blueberry juice. Her favourite plant that she grows is the Red Pineapple, which holds special properties that contribute to a passion for life. She keeps is safe with her at all times, and so is forever passionate!