vegansaurus!

09/21/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Congressman goes vegan, Mercy For Animals exposes cruel dairy!  »

Remember last week when Texas’ ag commissioner was embarrassing his agency by waging a witch hunt against Meatless Monday? Well, after the national rebuke, he announced his resignation.

Not all elected officials are in the pocket of the meat industry, though. Did you hear the one about the congressman who went vegan? No, for real

Proving that investigative journalism is alive and well, Reuters had a very potent story this week about the poultry industry’s routine drugging of chickens.

A new exposé by Mercy For Animals this week caught major dairy producers on video routinely beating and whipping cows, generating national media attention. Perhaps it’s not a surprise that some in the ag industry want to make it a crime to videotape their treatment of animals. My coworker Matt Dominguez has a new piece on the ag-gag issue this week.

Some good news to end your week: McDonald’s in Australia is dropping eggs from caged hens!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro  

P.S. Video of the week: Ever seen a chicken giving a dog a back massage?

09/15/2014

Here it is, your peek inside the August Vegan Cuts Beauty Box!
This box had Pacifica BB cream, Emani Vegan Cosmetics mineral hybrid cream, Enfusia bath soak, Balanced Guru energy mist, and Zabana Essentials green clay facial cleansing bar. 
I totally heart the Pacifica BB cream. Very, very light. The Emani cream was like a multipurpose pressed powder. It’s fun, but you don’t get a lot of control, you’re just kinda mixing the colors. Still fun. I haven’t tried the energy mist yet…TOO TIRED! HA! Dad jokes. 
I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

Here it is, your peek inside the August Vegan Cuts Beauty Box!

This box had Pacifica BB creamEmani Vegan Cosmetics mineral hybrid creamEnfusia bath soakBalanced Guru energy mist, and Zabana Essentials green clay facial cleansing bar

I totally heart the Pacifica BB cream. Very, very light. The Emani cream was like a multipurpose pressed powder. It’s fun, but you don’t get a lot of control, you’re just kinda mixing the colors. Still fun. I haven’t tried the energy mist yet…TOO TIRED! HA! Dad jokes. 

I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

NYC: Come out for boozy vegan fun this weekend! Get your discount code here!  »

imageHey friends! You KNOW I love the drank, so I’m very excited about the Better Booze Fest this coming Saturday! The run down:

The 1st annual Better Booze Festival comes to New York City on September 20, 2014 at Center548 located at 548 W. 22nd St. Attendees will enjoy two floors of tastings from a variety of brewery, winery, and liquor company brands, a selection of delectable food vendors, as well as speakers, classes, activities and entertainment throughout each session. What makes it better? All beer, wine, and liquor at the event is 100% vegetarian and vegan!

Sounds nice? Sounds nice! You can see a list of the vendors here but our favorite, Champs, will be there serving food along with Great Performances. I don’t know them but I love trying new vegan caterers! Foster Dogs NYC is on the vendors list too so I’m hoping I get to pet some cute pups! Booze and cute pups are my two favorite things!

Tickets WILL NOT be available at the door so you have to buy them here. And just because we love you guys, enter this code to get $45 admission: DrinkBetter

Ok, hope to see you there!

Coupon alert! Buy one, get one free from Beyond Meat!  »

imageJust sign a pledge not to eat chickens (EASY) and Compassion Over Killing is gonna hook you up with a buy one, get one free coupon for Beyond Meat! There is NOTHING not good about this situation. Except first you need to get off your ass and go to a store (HARD). But otherwise, WIN!

We know you guys don’t eat chickens but you can still get a coupon AND you should share this with your chicken-eating friends! You can share it with this NYT piece: Fake Meats, Finally, Taste Like Chicken. DARE them to try it. 

Cowspiracy: the environmental documentary with a new message the world needs to hear  »

imagePicture from the premier, from Splice Photography’s FB

Last month, I went to the Cowspiracy NYC premier. I was not prepared to be so moved! I went into the theater like, “OMG I’m tired and work is annoying and now I have to see a documentary and learn shiz” and I left like, “OMG I’M SO GLAD I’M VEGAN HOW CAN WE MAKE THE WORLD VEGAN?!”

The movie starts as a first-person journey to sustainability for Kip Andersen. He’s a self-proclaimed environmentalist, but it’s not until some serious digging that Kip discovers the devastating impact of the meat and dairy industries on the environment. As someone who turns to organizations like Greenpeace and Surfrider for info and guidance, Kip wonders why they have almost no information on the number one cause of environmental destruction (i.e. meat and dairy). He goes to speak to these organizations and films interviews (sometimes secretly). The interviews are nothing short of hilarisad (my own word, you can use it). By the middle of the movie, we have what shapes up to be a very real conspiracy. I know, sounds melodramatic, but watch the movie. There is no more appropriate word than conspiracy. The groups that are supposed to be helping the environment are spitting out more crap than a factory farm. Really, it’s bonkers. 

imageThis guy was my fave. 

At the beginning of the movie, I was a little put off by the numbers the filmmakers cite, as I know they are all hotly contended. But then it occurred to me, no matter who’s numbers you pick, meat and dairy is still the number one threat to the environment! We can debate the specific numbers all day but no matter where you net out, it’s bad. Here’s a great example from a Beef Magazine article: Why Ranchers Should Care About The Documentary “Cowspiracy”

Of course, Cowspiracy just appears to be regurgitating the common myths the beef industry has worked hard to correct over the years. For example, the Cowspiracy website claims it takes 660 gals. of water to make one hamburger, or the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers.

However, according to Facts About Beef, “In reality, it takes 441 gals. of water to produce 1 lb. of boneless beef…” 

Well! A mere 441 gallons. So there’s my point: no matter who’s numbers you use, it’s bad. 

Oh one thing I should warn you about, while the movie is not very gruesome, there is one slaughter scene. But you know it’s about to happen so you can close your eyes, as I did. Because the main focus is environment and not animal welfare, the disturbing images are of effed up forests and whatnot, not abused animals. So if you close your eyes for the one part, you should mostly be ok. EXCEPT you may be SO ANGRY that this shiz is going down!

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One of the filmmakers, Kip Andersen, at the after party with Noah Gittell and Dania DePas of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Photo by Splice Photography

I also attended the after party, organized by vegan media maven Nell Alk. Suite ThreeOhSix was kind enough to host and eats were supplied by Dr. Cow, juicers PitangaThe Vegan VineDun-Well Doughnuts, and Pipsnacks.

And here is my goodie bag in all its splendor! 

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Featuring: candles from Produce Candles, body lotion from Bulldog Skincare, honey sticks from Bee Free Honee, chocolate bars from Brooklyn Dark, white chocolate medallions from Obsessive Confection Disorder, soap bars and bath bombs from LUSH, protein bars from 22 Days Nutrition, lip balm from Hurraw, and coupons for free products from Beyond Meat and Gardein

Plus everything came in eco totes from Minnesota-based brand Relan. They make their bags with recycled billboards! How cool will I look at the farmers market this weekend?! Spoiler: SO COOL!

Basically, the party was the perfect chaser to the movie. Back to the film: I encourage everyone to see it and organize a viewing in your area if you can! 

Here’s how you can see the film yourself:

-For DVD and digital download pre-sale options, visit the Cowspiracy site.
-For information on how to organize—or attend—a screening in your own community, visit the Tugg site.
-Watch for Cowspiracy on Netflix and iTunes this fall.

And follow them on FB for updates and great graphics like this one (my new favorite image):

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09/12/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: The meat industry just despises Meatless Mondays  »

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After working with HSUS, a school district outside of Austin, Texas, was one of many to implement Meatless Mondays this fall. While parents and students seemed pretty psyched about it, Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples — whose political campaign was bankrolled by the meat industry — didn’t exactly share their enthusiasm. He even penned a rant against the school district in the Austin American-Statesman this week. Today, the paper’s editorial board published an editorial of its own simply crushing that rant, noting that, “the near-comic rhetoric of Staples’ commentary stood as a refutation of its own argument.” You’ve really got to read the whole thing.

The San Francisco Chronicle also wrote this week about more California schools that HSUS helped implement Meatless Mondays programs.

The industry isn’t just lashing out in the school districts; it’s also doing so in the legislatures. I was glad to be on America Tonight this week discussing the meat producers’ attempt to silence whistleblowers with ag-gag bills.

And the good news is that nearly all ag-gag bills introduced in the last couple years have been killed, while more and more food companies require animal welfare improvements in their supply chains, as described in a new piece by my coworker Matt Prescott. As well, just this week, another major pork producer announced it’s abandoning gestation crates throughout its entire supply chain.

Video of the week: These pigs aren’t ready for summer to be over—they love their swimming pools!

Share the new anti-dairy BART ads, you could win awesome vegan prizes!  »

imageAs you may have heard, the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition won free ad space on BART for the third year in a row! Congrats, you guys! In part thanks to many of our readers voting I’m sure. Well, the ads have launched! And they are already getting some nice coverage

This year, I actually helped with the ad concepting and copy a bit. FFAC wanted to target dairy, including an ad taking aim at the role of dairy in the CA drought. They were inspired by this Mother Jones post showing just how much water goes into various dairy products. The shower idea came because, like us vegans continue to lament, it’s ridiculous how the water conservation agenda focuses so much attention on things like turning the water off when you brush your teeth or watering your lawn at dawn but they neglect to inform people about the impact of meat and dairy on the water supply. Meanwhile, avoiding those products would make a HUGE impact in water conservation. Not that the other suggestions aren’t good, but they are so minor compared to resource-suck that is animal agriculture.

imageHere’s the other ad, a gentle alert to the fact that dairy cows have to have babies to produce milk—and those babies aren’t hanging out with mom if people are drinking the milk. It doesn’t go all the way to the veal industry relationship but just connecting the dots for people about mammals…milk…babies…is important. I have conversations all the time with non-vegans who are completely unaware that dairy cows don’t just constantly produce milk without being impregnated. Actually, if we’re being honest, I didn’t really know that before I started looking into veganism. I mean if you think about it, it’s like duh, but we are just so distanced from food sources that people don’t even think about the logistics of it all. 

However! It’s not all doom and gloom in this post! FFAC wanted me to inform you that they are holding a little Instagram contest for the ads and the prizes are SO EXCITING! There’s a contest for each ad. It doesn’t appear that you need to post an actual photo of the ad in the station, but just the ad itself. You do HAVE to follow @ffacoalition's IG account though. More details:

Drought Ad: From now until September 19th, post the Drought ad on your Instagram account, tag @ffacoalition and hashtag it with #ffaconbart, and you could win a three-month subscription to either the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box OR the Vegan Cuts Snack Box! Winner’s choice!

Calf Ad: Starting September 21st and ending October 5th, post a pic of the calf ad on your IG account, again tagging @ffacoalition and hashtagging #ffaconbart. For this one, you could win a $50.00 gift certificate to Vegan Essentials! That’s ONLY my FAVORITE store EVER. 

The super official rules are here but that’s the basic need-to-know. Nice prizes, right?!

Has anyone seen the ads irl? TAKE A PICTURE FOR ME! I want to see it “in situ” as us ad folk say. I’ll be your best friend!

Have a big vegan Saturday in Brooklyn!  »

First, the September Vegan Shop-Up runs from noon to 6 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop at 12 Grattan Street (right off the Morgan L) in Bushwick. Check out the list of vendors and get supplied for fall!
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Second, Vaute Couture is hosting an adoption event for Foster Dogs NYC! Get over to 234 Grand Street, Vaute’s flagship store in Williamsburg, to party with puppies from 1 to 5 p.m.!
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North Brooklyn is the No. 1 place to be for vegans, animal-lovers, and really anyone with good taste. Will we see you there? You know I can’t resist vegan eats and treats AND adoptable animals!

09/10/2014

Berkeley! On September 28, there’s a Vegan Sandwich (FINE, Sammich) throwdown and you should go there to eat all the sandwiches and vote on them and then eat some more. MAKE IT HAPPEN, SF BAY AREA! You eat those sammiches!!!
Get your tickets here. (Oh! And $3 from every ticket goes to Factory Farming Awareness Coalition! Excellent!)
(Also, the same folks are putting on a vegan iron chef event in February and they want home chefs to compete! You should totally apply here!)

Berkeley! On September 28, there’s a Vegan Sandwich (FINE, Sammich) throwdown and you should go there to eat all the sandwiches and vote on them and then eat some more. MAKE IT HAPPEN, SF BAY AREA! You eat those sammiches!!!

Get your tickets here. (Oh! And $3 from every ticket goes to Factory Farming Awareness Coalition! Excellent!)

(Also, the same folks are putting on a vegan iron chef event in February and they want home chefs to compete! You should totally apply here!)

Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour!
If you are in NYC, Nashville, Chicago, or Napa, you NEED TO GO. Here are the details from the (talented, brilliant, lovely) maniac herself:

I’m going on tour! NYC, Nashville, Chicago and Napa. I’ll be preparing a 4-course dinner on stage at City Winery, while telling the story of each dish. You’ll be eating a 4-course dinner with wine pairings. Part dinner theater, part pyrotechnic arena rock, part Borscht-belt comedy. The menu is “to be announced” but you can bet it will be amazing and since you are about to ask, there will be gluten-free options. And brussel sprouts. And cheesecake. And a few super swanky things. From my early years in Brooklyn just learning how to make my own curries, to my life in Omaha, opening a restaurant and trying to perfect a tofu cheesecake, these recipes will tell the story of my vegan life. How I went from a little girl who loved cats to a woman who has sold a million cookbooks (something like that, who’s counting?) But you’ll also learn about the intriguing properties of coconut oil, the secrets to achieving perfect grill-marks, how to make eggs out of anything and the fastest, easiest way to mince a lot of garlic. And don’t worry, no matter where you are sitting you won’t miss a thing, because there will be video screens showing the action on my cutting board. There are more details at the ticket links below. These are advanced VIP tickets, at a reduced rate, with the best seats, so snag ‘em now with the top secret ticket code “VEGANARY.”Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, and I can’t wait to feed you!PS There won’t actually be any pyrotechnics, I’m sorry!LINKS:Use ticket code: VEGANARYNYC - February 1st 2015http://www.citywinery.com/newyork/isalive020115.htmlNashville - February 4th 2015http://www.citywinery.com/nashville/isalive020415.htmlChicago - February 6th 2015http://www.citywinery.com/chicago/tickets/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-2-6.htmlNapa - February 8th 2015http://www.citywinery.com/napa/catalog/product/view/id/702999/s/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-a-live-cooking-tour-featuring-vegan-culinary-star-isa-moskowitz-2-8/

Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour!

If you are in NYC, Nashville, Chicago, or Napa, you NEED TO GO. Here are the details from the (talented, brilliant, lovely) maniac herself:

I’m going on tour! NYC, Nashville, Chicago and Napa. I’ll be preparing a 4-course dinner on stage at City Winery, while telling the story of each dish. You’ll be eating a 4-course dinner with wine pairings. Part dinner theater, part pyrotechnic arena rock, part Borscht-belt comedy. The menu is “to be announced” but you can bet it will be amazing and since you are about to ask, there will be gluten-free options. And brussel sprouts. And cheesecake. And a few super swanky things. 

From my early years in Brooklyn just learning how to make my own curries, to my life in Omaha, opening a restaurant and trying to perfect a tofu cheesecake, these recipes will tell the story of my vegan life. How I went from a little girl who loved cats to a woman who has sold a million cookbooks (something like that, who’s counting?) But you’ll also learn about the intriguing properties of coconut oil, the secrets to achieving perfect grill-marks, how to make eggs out of anything and the fastest, easiest way to mince a lot of garlic. And don’t worry, no matter where you are sitting you won’t miss a thing, because there will be video screens showing the action on my cutting board. 

There are more details at the ticket links below. These are advanced VIP tickets, at a reduced rate, with the best seats, so snag ‘em now with the top secret ticket code “VEGANARY.”

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, and I can’t wait to feed you!

PS There won’t actually be any pyrotechnics, I’m sorry!

LINKS:
Use ticket code: VEGANARY

NYC - February 1st 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/newyork/isalive020115.html

Nashville - February 4th 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/nashville/isalive020415.html

Chicago - February 6th 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/chicago/tickets/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-2-6.html

Napa - February 8th 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/napa/catalog/product/view/id/702999/s/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-a-live-cooking-tour-featuring-vegan-culinary-star-isa-moskowitz-2-8/

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