October 4th: Join the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos!
Attention, world! The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is Saturday, October 4th! The situation is dire: ”Africa loses 4 elephants to poachers EVERY HOUR, EVERY DAY of the year. It is estimated that less than 300,000 survive today. Africa loses 3 rhinos to poachers EACH DAY; of the 5 species of rhino, less than 25,000 survive today.” And you know we love eles and rhinos!
To find where your closest march is, check here. If you’re in NYC of SF, I’ve done the work for you!
NYC, join the FB event page and meet at 42nd Street and 12th Ave at 11am.
SF, join the FB event page and meet St. Mary’s Square (in China Town at 601 California St.) at 10:15 am.
Oats & Apples: a Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS! Tomorrow night!
Pulling carriages in Central Park is no job for a horse. But the mean and nasty “tradition” is so entrenched, it’s going to take even more hard work to rid our fair city of the practice. Why not come to a fundraiser on Saturday night to help!
Oats & Apples: A Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS takes place tomorrow night at the Players Theatre Loft on MacDougal Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. For just $25 you can sit back, relax and laugh at the comedic stylings of funny folks like Subhah Agarwal (New York Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival), Steve Walsh (Laughing Buddha), Lynn Bixenspan (Relationshit, UCB), Katherine Williams (New York Fringe Festival, New York Underground Comedy Festival), Phil Gable (Comedy Central) and Jake Vevera (Idiots on Parade).
Presented by Cynical Bastard Productions and hosted by Caitlin McKee, festivities get going at 7 p.m. and run until around 8:30 p.m. Short and sweet and hilarious, just the way you like it. And afterward, walk over to Sacred Chow or Blossom on Carmine to complete your animal-friendly evening..
One hundred percent of ticket sales go toward NYCLASS, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization committed to ending the inhumane NYC carriage horse industry by retiring the carriage horses to sanctuaries and replacing the carriage horse industry with the 21st Century Horseless Carriage.
Animal News You Can Use: Climate week, sloths, and Meatless Mondays.
Coinciding with Climate Week in New York, HSUS’s president, Wayne Pacelle, published a potent op-ed in New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, noting that “raising and slaughtering tens of billions of animals across the globe for food each year is right up there with coal-fired power plants in pumping heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.”
As well, the fallout from the Texas ag commissioner’s bashing of Meatless Mondays continues. Not only is Todd Staples resigning after a national backlash against his criticism of giving students meat-free meals, but the Dallas Observerpointed out this week that “the take away is that Staples is more interested in protecting big industries than he is protecting the citizens his organization was set up to serve.”
Finally, the Washington Post food editor published a powerful column this week about why he decided to become a vegetarian, noting that “my lifelong love for dogs and cats has made me want to extend that compassion to beings that used to show up on my dinner table.”
Beet pops, vegan pudding pops, instant pops: Popsicle season is never over!
If you follow me on instagram (@meganrascal adoy), you know I recently got a Zoku quick popsicle maker! IT IS THE BEST PURCHASE I MADE IN MY LIFE (not including when I bought the Sweet Sweetback’s Baaddasssss Song soundtrack on vinyl, because clearly). You keep the maker in the freezer, and then when you want a pop, you take it out, pour the juice in, and SEVEN MINUTES LATER YOU HAVE YOUR POP! I am not kidding. Anyway, so I been eating like 6 grape popsicles a day (that’s quota, right?). And life couldn’t be better.
One day, I even got it in my head to make a vegan pudding pop!:
But then I saw our man Jerry James Stone is ALL ABOUT making cray pops! I don’t think he has an Zoku (amateur) but he makes all kinds of cool pops, like these beet and berry ones:
He also makes cool boozy pops with like champagne and tequila (not in the same pop, you lush) and all kinds of neato stuff! BUT he didn’t have a red wine pop recipe. CORNY! So I tweeted to ask him about it and he said he’d make one for me! EVIDENCE:
Yet I STILL have no red wine pop recipe! While I wait eagerly by the Twitter for JJS, here are some other vegan pops I want to make:
Los Angeles: Vegan Oktoberfest Is Almost Here! Get Your Tickets! DO IT.
You guys. YOU GUYS. Vegan Oktoberfest is coming to Los Angeles and it’s gonna be SO DELICIOUS. There’s gonna be a shitton (technical term) of beer and food for you to indulge in on Saturday, October 4th in Santa Monica! Let’s do this!
CHECK IT FOOD LOVERS:
Vegan Oktoberfest will feature delicious, traditional Bavarian food that just happens to be vegan. We’re talking sausages, pretzels, potato pancakes, chicken, sauerkraut, ice cream, and many more delectable delights including gluten free options!
BUT WHAT ABOUT BEER DELICIOUS BEER??
Participating breweries include: Ninkasi Brewing, Einstock, The Dudes’, Lammsbrau, Sierra Nevada, Venice Duck Brewery, Four Sons Brewery, Karl Strauss, Eel River, Ace Ciders, Epic Brewing, Modern Times, Bison Organic Beer, Oskar Blues, Drake’s, Coronado Brewing, Angel City, Golden Road, Anderson Valley, Saint Archer, Bravery, Lagunitas, Hangar 24, and more to come! And don’t worry there will be gluten free beer and cider available.
Get your tickets now and we’ll see you there to EAT AND DRINK ERRYTHING. Prost! (That’s how you cheers in German. I think.) (I’m hella worldly.)
A question for the fashion world: Who do we love, who do we wear?
The Brave Gentleman himself!
Meave and I had to pleasure of attending the recent Brave Gentleman Fashion Week pop-up event at the Alexander Gray Associates gallery. To kick off the event, Joshua Katcher gave a talk about fashion and animals. Turns out, not only has Joshua been teaching a course at Parsons, he’s got a book in the works! The book will discuss the role of animals in fashion and the talk was a bit of a preview of what’s to come.
We’ve all heard the question, “why love one, but eat the other?" But, addressing the world of fashion, Joshua poses a different question: who do we love, who do we wear?
This is the image that started it all. A woman, adorned in fur, is also covered in kittens. Then Joshua showed us image after image from fashion spreads throughout history with this same trope: women in furs, posed with (usually young and adorable) living animals. I loved the way Joshua phrased it; on the one hand, we have these sweet animals we can all fawn over, and on the other hand there is an animal “who has disappeared in the fashion object.” People don’t even see the animal. It’s just leather, fur, etc.
Of course this brings us to the cognitive dissonance we come across daily with people and what they choose to eat. But Joshua points out, that same cognitive dissonance shows up in fashion over and over. He even had an old fashion photo of a woman with a pet skunk…wearing a dead skunk fur!
The talk was great and I can’t wait for the book to come out! I might break my strict “ew, books!” policy just for this occasion. After Joshua spoke, we all got to see his latest collection. As always, the garments aren’t just vegan and beautiful, they are environmentally friendly and sweatshop-free.
Photo by Damani Moyd Photography. From the left: Tyler James, model; Alexander Gray and David Cabrera, co-founders Alexander Gray Associates Gallery; Joshua Katcher, Brave GentleMan; Andre Watson and Declan Cullen, models, Q Model Management.
The above jacket was the star of the night! As Alexander Gray Associates are big supporters of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Brave Gentleman created this vegan, one-of-a-kind cow print biker jacket for the gallery to sell and donate the proceeds to WFAS. The jacket is made from super hi-tech recycled ultrasuede and priced at $1000. I’m not certain if it’s still available, but if you’re at all interested, I would contact Brave Gentleman asap.
And what would a fancy vegan event be without a fancy vegan spread? NOTHING! Luckily, Brave Gentleman understands. We got to try Miyoko Schinner’s new vegan cheese line AND go to town on some vegan macaron’s by Sweet Maresa’s! The cheese was amazing and the macarons were like awesome brownies with cream in the middle.
Basically, Meave and I are dead from over vegan stimulation. RIP, us. All I ask now is that you bury me in the latest Brave Gentleman and tell my mother I said, “it was totally worth it!”
If you’re in Los Angeles and you’re not attending Mohawk Bend’s “Authors Worth Celebrating" dinner and drinks series, you are seriously missing out. Each month, the restaurant has an author with a new cookbook swing by and prepare a four course dinner (with beer and cocktail pairings! BOOZE!) and then feeds you the entire thing while the author tells you all about it. I’ve been to two—one for the brilliant Tal Ronnen (Crossroads FOR LIFE!) and one for also brilliant Terry Hope Romero (Salad Samurai! Yes!)—and they were both two of the best meals I’ve ever had. AND YOU KNOW I LOVE TO EAT. Plus, it’s so fun to hear the author speak about the process for coming up for each dish, and it’s just all together a really lovely night. Oh! And there are awesome giveaways after the meal, and you have the opportunity to buy the chef’s cookbook. It’s all inclusive, you guys!!!
The mastermind behind the festivities is Mohawk Bend co-owner Amy Yanow (that’s her interviewing Terry Hope Romero above!), a genius in her own right for devising this delicious idea. We sat down with Amy and asked her a few questions about the series, and here are her terrific answers:
Why did you decide to start doing this series?
We had always visualized using the Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend to facilitate conversations and serve as a community hub for interesting events. We just hadn’t necessarily found a format that worked.
Prior to this year, we did host the occasional book event at Mohawk Bend and Tony’s Darts Away, but under different formats in which the event guests usually comingled with the regular dining service. To me, the prior formats lacked customer engagement.
Late last year, I found myself so inspired by some of the values-based cookbooks coming that I wanted to actualize that dream of using the Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend to curate interesting conversations that reflect the values of my family and our restaurants. The original idea was to ensure that customers felt that they had direct contact with the featured guests, an opportunity for conversation and an experience that was different than the usual dining experience.
Why have most of the authors been vegan?
We had always intended for the series to have vegan offerings regardless of whether or not the author was vegan. Naturally, we started off by approaching people we knew and not so coincidentally most of them were vegan.
However, an early event featured Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt, two women I respect greatly, who included a lot of plant-based options in their book but the book isn’t vegan. Regardless, I keep finding myself most compelled by the books featuring plant-based recipes, because that is something that I am passionate about and there are so many great cookbooks to celebrate. Further, there is an interest in the vegan authors we feature, so it’s win-win.
Ultimately, we’ve just been really blessed with the quality of guests we’ve been able to host and have been rolling with the punches. I would definitely consider having another guest that published a book I believed in so long as we could have a vegan friendly offering as well, but everything in the pipeline at the time continues to be vegan.
It seems like, in addition to the Authors Worth Celebrating series, you always have vegan options at your establishments (Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, Tony’s Dart’s Away in Burbank, and Golden Road Brewing in Glendale!). Why is catering to vegans important to you?
Yes, having an inclusive menu was a decision made on Day 1. My husband and I couldn’t fathom opening anything that wasn’t hospitable to eaters of all kind, particularly because we prefer vegan offerings.
That spirit of bringing vegans, vegetarians and carnivores together in a space that they could all be happy in only supported our goal to serve as a neighborhood gathering space and pub.
Do you plan to continue the series indefinitely?
So long as we are inspired by what is being published, people are interested and quality conversation continues.
Who do we have to look forward to in the future?
Thug Kitchen (ED.: YES!! We fucking love them!!!) is coming in October and we are thrilled. After our Laurie David event, their publisher approached us to host their LA book release and we couldn’t be more honored that the series gained their attention and that they would like to use our space for such a milestone event. (Note: I I’m still not actually sure who Thug Kitchen is other than that they are a duo. I can’t wait to find out!)
What’s been your favorite dish so far and why?
You can’t make me pick one. They’ve all been amazing. What I can tell you is that, I love a good salad and I tend to prefer easy for myself. I have found myself making Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Caesar salad and Terry Hope Romero’s wedge salad. I have found myself day dreaming about Tal Ronnen’s kale ricotta tortellini with saffron cream sauce.
DID YOU HEAR THAT: THE NEXT ONE IS THUG KITCHEN YALL. You can call me lots of things (fat, sexy, adorable, hilarious, full-of-swears), but don’t call me late to that fucking dinner. xoxox.
Freakin’ Vegan, empanada-suppliers of Vegan Shop-Up, will be serving up the yum. They announced on FB that they will have a special-just-for-Vegan-Drinks-limited-edition-get-it-while-you-can buffalo chicken empanada, complete with vegan blue cheese dressing! I’ll see if I have room for one of those but you know I first have to try their vegan cheesesteak empanada as you know I am the vegan cheesesteak expert (you know so much stuff).
Stewie to the Rescue has two primary goals: Make sure that no pet is ever relinquished to a NYC kill shelter due to the expense of their medical care, and that no rescue group is ever prevented from saving an animal’s life because of a lack of funds when a foster family or adoptive family is available.
As always, there are awesome raffle prizes including gift certificates from Mooshoes, Cinnamon Snail, The Green Radish, and Mercury Bar! So bring your cash money! Proceeds go to Stewie to the Rescue and you could win awesome shiz!
Forget tuna: Delicious Tomato Sushi is the cruelty-free future!
Tomato Sushi being crafted by experts!
I haven’t eaten fish in 15 years, and to be for reals, I don’t miss the taste/texture/cruelty of fish in any way. Still, when I go out to eat at sushi joints other than Shojin, my heart feels a little down that all we vegans usually get is some combination of avocado and cucumber in our maki.
That’s why I was sooo excited to try Tomato Sushi, an SF-based vegan tuna created by a world-class chef! Tomato Sushi sent me some samples, and oh my gosh, it really tastes like fish (maybe? It’s been 15 years, after all!) and has a wonderful, chewy texture without using hella chemicals and/or processing! According to the company website, they make it using a special technique to give whole pieces of tomato the texture and flavor of fish.
While I’m no sushi expert (read: I’m terrible at it), I managed to fashion some sushi rice, avocado, and nori sheets, and Tomato Sushi into a roll-like form. The results: epic sushi joy.
Above: Homemade Tomato Sushi rolls made by yours truly!
Above: The finished tomato sushi is supposed to look like this, per the Tomato Sushi genius experts. Source: TomatoSushi.com.
If you have any questions, you can hit Matt up on Twitter @MattMinerXVX and he’s happy to help! And just so you know, preorders of issue 1 are how shops determine how many they’ll order of the full series. So we got to represent!
ALSO! Critical Hit #1 (the continuation of the Liberator storyline, with a new art team) will be in comic stores October 1st. It’s all about awesome vegan women doing the animal rights vigilante thing!
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!
NYC: Come out for boozy vegan fun this weekend! Get your discount code here!
Hey 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
Coupon alert! Buy one, get one free from Beyond Meat!
Just 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.
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.
This 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!
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):
Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use: The meat industry just despises Meatless Mondays
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 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!
As 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 nicecoverage.
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.
Here’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!
Help NYC's GustOrganics make its menu 100 percent vegan!
Ever heard of GustOrganics, on Sixth Avenue between 14th and 15th streets in Manhattan? Yeah, neither had we. But besides being a certified organic and eco-friendly restaurant, the West Village spot is on the verge of going completely vegan!
Though it’s always been vegan-friendly, GustOrganics’ proprietors are all about putting their menu where their ethics are. In other words, earning their sustainable label. Say goodbye to steak and fish and dairy and eggs: Tofu and tempeh and a whole bunch of other delicious plant-based offerings are taking over.
However, they can’t make the big switch without help, which is where we supportive vegans come in. Check out the crowdfunding campaign! GustOrganics wants to bring in renowned Brazilian chef Diego Castro to curate the new menu. The campaign expires in nine days and is still far from the proprietors’ $10,000 goal, so if you’re going to donate, you’d better get on it.
The rewards for donation are pretty sweet, but at the $75 level things get really good: a ticket to the relaunch party on November 3, when GustOrganics will celebrate its new, vegan menu. If this succeeds, it could make the restaurant a vanguard of new, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly eating. Vegan is the diet of the future, and helping GustOrganics succeed could send a big message to restaurants in New York and across the world.
California’s landmark Prop 2 is coming into effect in just a few months. Some egg producers are going cage-free while others aren’t. Civil Eats has the story on what’s happening so far. And more info from HSUS at our site on the topic.
And speaking of California and eggs, San Francisco-based Hampton Creek made headlines this week by picking up a big name in the technology investing world. Read more about it in the NY Times.
Finally, in one of the more entertaining meat industry attacks on HSUS, this week one industry writer penned a column comparing us to the dreaded General Grievous of Star Wars infamy. :-)
P.S. Video of the week: Summer’s almost over! Don’t you wish you were doing what this dog is?
P.P.S. Are you on Twitter? Did you know that for free you can “donate” your account to help occasionally get the word out about important farm animal protection efforts? I’d be grateful if you would—here’s the link!
Mistress Ginger, the self-identified “vegan showgirl supreme,” has created a new cookbook that’s aimed at “burly truckers” and “pink-haired divas,” and everyone in between.
With recipes like “French-Kissed Toast,” “Drizzle Me Dressing,” “Miso Sexy Soup,” and “Flaming Stir-Fry with Hot Mess Dressing,” this is definitely not your average cookbook.
In between lasciviously described culinary creations (each recipe sets the scene for a different scandal, like having a male suitor up for chai, or preparing “love juice” for your boyfriend), Mistress Ginger includes lots of fun photos of brawny men bedecking her, sometimes in suggestive poses. Let’s just say it’s really clear what she means by “Pound-Me Cake” (a real recipe!). In addition to the clearly fabulous stories and sass interspersed, I also love that Mistress Ginger brings an intersectional perspective on LGBTQ rights and animal rights:
I hope that we can recognize how all movements for liberation have striking parallels, how no one is free when others are oppressed, and how our daily choices can support freedom for everyone on all fronts.
I couldn’t agree more! Here’s one of my favorite recipes from Mistress Ginger Cooks: Kickass Guacamole!
Kickass Guacamole posted with permission from Mistress Ginger Cooks!
Here are Mother Nature’s instructions for making gorgeous guac. I am just the messenger. She said, and I quote, “Mash the avocados in a medium bowl with a fork. Stir in the onion, tomato, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and chile. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.” Mother Nature cuts to the chase, doesn’t she? Use within 2 days, as if that will be an issue.
Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use: having a pool pawty this weekend?
Have you ever wondered why there’s so much feces on chicken meat? Well, wonder no longer, as I discuss the issue in a Modesto Bee op-ed this week.
Speaking of California chickens, the long-awaited implementation of California’s landmark Prop 2 is just a few months away. You can watch a good news segment this week profiling one egg producer who is eliminating cage confinement from his operation to comply with the law.
The Worldwatch Institute put out a new report this week basically saying the planet’s cooked if we don’t cut meat consumption. And at least in Cleveland, Ohio, city officials are getting the message. They passed an HSUS-supported resolution this week urging residents to eat less meat and more plants.
And related to such an effort, today’s New York Times published a letter from HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle about the trend away from the most abusive factory farming practices and toward plant-based eating.
The only ingredient in their moringa is….moringa! (Holy crap, I just love saying that word!)
I’ve been drinking Organic India’s teas for years now, so I was excited to try their Organic Moringa Leaf Powder. I had NO clue what the heck it was, but they were lovely enough to send me some to try, along with some cool factoids about it! Taken from leaves of trees that grow in India, it has 46 antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatory compounds, seven times the vitamin C in an orange and four times the vitamin B12 in one steak serving. (#PLANT POWER!) I’ve been putting it in my morning smoothies and feeling totally energized! It smells a bit like matcha green tea powder. You can make all kinds of tasty things with it, like their “Power Snacks.” (How easy & delicious does this recipe look?!)
Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use: Grand jury indictments for slaughterhouse officials!
A federal grand jury indicted four officials at a California slaughterhouse for allegedly concealing diseased cows by swapping heads of cows with eye cancer with healthy cow heads, cutting off USDA “condemned” insignias, and more. You can see HSUS’s response in this NBC segment.
HSUS won a big victory this week, prevailing in a lawsuit in which we represented rural neighbors of a massive gestation crate confinement facility. Check it out.
And in very major news, this week we announced that food giant Nestle is implementing a wide-ranging new animal welfare program aimed at ending the worst factory farming abuses and promoting more meat-free eating. You can read Wayne Pacelle’s comments on it, too.
Finally, the Center for Biological Diversity has a new Labor Day-themed campaign called Extinction-Free BBQ recommending that we leave room on the planet for wild animals by leaving room on our plates for delicious veggie foods.
Video of the week: Need a pick-me-up? Check out Arnold the rescued pig in this new HSUS video!
Beginners Guide to Eating Vegan Around Highland Park in L.A.
Move somewhere new, and then pinpoint the nearest vegan donut. That’s the best practice, right? Luckily for me, I moved to the Eagle Rock-Highland Park border in Los Angeles, where there just happens to be a gooey epic of a donuttery rightfully named Donut Friend.
Ah, Donut Friend, the glaze-coated BFF you’ve always dreamed of, topped liberally with rainbow sprinkles.
Owned by musician-record producer Mark Trombino, Donut Friend on York at 51st has all kinds of crazy delicious donut combos — or “signature combinations” — named after bands. All the donuts are vegan and most of the fillings and toppings are vegan too (everything is clearly marked).
Recently, I got the Nutellavision, a fluffy sugar donut injected with vegan Nutella and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. WHAT. I would also recommend Rites of Sprinkles, Drive Like Jelly, and Bacon 182, with vegan bacon.
Also on the same strip of York there’s new-ish pizza place, Town. They always have two vegan slice options behind the glass along with regular pizza, and those vegan slices are thin crust heaven. They do one with Daiya vegan cheese and one cheese-less option, with rotating toppings.
Sandwiched in between Donut Friend and Town, there’s Scoops, which is another branch of the popular LA ice cream shop with inventive flavors including many vegan scoops. Recent non-dairy options include salty chocolate, maple Oreo, and Cinnamon Coconut Burnt Sugar. So yes, three amazingly vegan/vegan-friendly none-to-healthy shops dotting the same small strip of land. It’s all just so decadent.
I promise there are other streets besides York. Highland Park also boasts tempeh-bacon experts/mostly vegan & gluten-free Kitchen Mouse Cafe on Figueroa. The adorable breakfast spot serves the popular Buffalo Bowl with brown rice, black beans, collard greens, yams, and topped with dill cashew and buﬀalo sauces, along with more perfect brunch dishes like the smoky Tempeh Reuben, served open-face, with caraway sauerkraut, cashew cheese, and chipotle aioli. Not only do they have a way with tempeh bacon, they’ve really mastered sauces here.
For a tad fancier evening out than say, splitting a jelly donut on the walk home, there are a few vegan options at popular sit-down Italian eatery Maximiliano, including the vegan pizza with pomodoro, spinach, mushroom, kalamata olive, eggplant, and best of all, truffle oil.
You could also try Good Girl Dinette on 56th at Figueroa, a very vegan-friendly Vietnamese diner with vegetarian pho with rice noodles and tofu, mushroom imperial rolls, and rice cakes with crisp scallion tofu.
Around the Highland Park-Eagle Rock border, there’s also pop-up Plant Food for People, which shows up regularly at vegan grocer-deli Organix in Eagle Rock on Colorado, the Eagle Rock Brewery in Glassell Park, and many neighborhood spots. They make the best jackfruit tacos you’ve ever had, hands down.
And speaking of Organix, stop by this small grocer for your essentials (Earth Balance cheddar squares and Kombucha) but also for that little window of a deli. It’s a porthole to sandwich paradise.
Their sandwiches often come decked out in Beyond Meat and Veganaise, or in the case of the Pulled Pork, shredded jackfruit and cabbage slaw. The seasonal menu also includes gourmet vegan hot dogs, a fried “chicken” sandwich, veggie burgers, and the Poncho (Vegan Carne Asada) burrito. Everything I’ve tried there so far has been worth the wait.
In fact, Organix is the first spot a friend recommended when I mentioned I’d be moving to the area. And what a great suggestion it was.
This leads me to my next point: Surely there are more spots I haven’t yet discovered in the Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glassell Park region — vegan meals that I’ve missed with this tasty breakdown. Let me know in the comments. And hey, let’s split a vegan donut when you’re in the neighborhood.
When I was a wee child, I wasn’t that into Labor Day. Not only did I have no appreciation for a holiday that honors people who fought hard to ensure we only have to work 8 hours a day (I was but a kid!), but, more importantly, I knew it meant the end of summer. And the end of summer meant the end of beaches, picnics, and lazy days by the pool. Boo!
However, as I get older and my appreciation for workers rights and also delicious barbecue grows, I have a new-found love for Labor Day. This summer, my friends and I will rent a house on the Pacific and spend our time boogie boarding, playing board games, and eating all of the BBQ we can get our greedy little mitts on. And since eschewing meat doesn’t mean eschewing tasty eats, here’s a few recipes to ensure that’s true:
1. Seven words: Crispy Tofu Tacos with Creamy Lime Drizzle. I don’t think I need to say anything more, but these are the world’s best tacos. Savory and scrumptious, they combine perfectly grilled tortillas, marinated tofu, and a creamy lime drizzle that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Make (and devour!) these immediately.
2. You don’t think tofu is hearty enough to make the perfect meal? This Go Green Tofu Burger will prove you wrong. Thick, flavorful, and juicy, it’s the ideal recipe to kick off Labor Day with. Or any day, really.
4. This is toasted coconut chocolate pie is the ultimate dessert. I mean, come on. What’s better than chocolate, pudding, fudge, and whipped cream (I made mine by whipping up cold full fat coconut milk! Easy)? Nothing.
Now, get to grilling. And save me some grilled tacos! And also a slice of pie. OK, two slices of pie. (Fine, maybe three slices of pie. And that’s my final offer!)
Why don't major environmental groups take aim at meat? Cowspiracy.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is coming to NYC next week and I can’t wait to see it! I’m hoping it answers a long-time frustration of mine: why do environmental groups keep skirting the meat issue?!
Now, I don’t want to attack environmental non-profits. I really don’t. But seriously, how many “water conservation days” or Earth Days do we see promoted that barely, if at all, mention meat and dairy? When boycotting those industries is the most impactful thing an individual can do to help the environment? It’s so ridiculous and I’m so tired of it! I thought they kept diet as a side note because people are so reactionary when you threaten their precious meat, but maybe there is more to it, i.e. C.R.E.A.M.
Watch the trailer to get a little more info:
Cowspiracy is on a screening tour and as I said, it’s coming to NYC a week from today, aka August 21st! Unfortunately, the tickets are sold out. But there’s a waitlist!
There are a ton of other screenings coming up all over the country, including Sacremento on August 28th and Philly on September 10th. See when there’s one near you—or plan your own screening! (apparently it’s free and easy)—here.
Has anyone already seen it? What did you think? Anyone planning to see it?
Preorder for Vaute's fall collection starts TODAY!
IN A FEW HOURS THE NEW VAUTE WILL BE ON SALE! When they announce the preorder start (prob on their facebook), you can go to this link and the new shiz will be up!
As you know, Vaute coats are not cheap. Because they are well-made, sustainably sourced and not assembled by children. BUT as you also should know, preorder is THE time to get your Vaute coat! (and your hat—they have hats now!) Because those babies are hella on sale! And preorder funds the production of the entire line so you help Vaute make more stuff and you get a big ol’ discount.
According to Leanne:
Pricing is 50% off outerwear (including our most requested Lincoln coat, which is head to toe insulated, I wore it for miles each day in the vortex last winter!) today at launch time for 24 hours. And Hats will be $120, but $85 for first 24 hours too.
Our new WonderFelt looks like pressed wool felt, but is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, crafted in USA. And we made hats out of it too! Handblocked one at a time in one of NYC’s last hat factories using the original vintage molds, and insulated too so they’re super warm. Coats this season are made in my hometown Chicago!
Let’s go over the finer points:
-50% off coats -Vegan wool felt made from recycled bottles -Hats made at a NYC hat factory from vintage molds
Um, I’m sold! You better get your coat and hat before I buy everything. Because I look SO GOOD in hats, believe that. My whole family does. Some sort of DNA thing. Science.
Also, look at this new dress Leanne sent a pic of:
I finally made it to Goldie’s! The amazing, mexican-inspired, all-vegan restaurant right in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I went with the Vegan Drinks crew and we rented a van and everything! Really did it up right. You can also take the train from NYC but we were on our road trip steez. Jersey-native Deborah Diamant was with us and she knew all the great stuff to do so we made a day of it! Goldies, boardwalk, pinball, ice cream and more! SO FUN!
So Goldie’s is SO AMAZING. Above you can see their chocotaco. YES. VEGAN CHOCOTACOS. They were awesome. We were there for brunch but totally got one anyway because we rule.
I started with sangria, yum!
These are the yucca fries with cashew crema. Very salty, VERY YUM. So, so crispy and the crema was delicious. You have to get these when you go. Promise me!
This is the papi chulo—fried maitake tostada with crumbled daiya, pickled onion, salsa verde. AWESOME. I’m not always into mushrooms but how can you not love them when they are perfectly battered and fried? Impossible!
And, as we were there for the brunch, I had to try the “juan-y cakes”—silver dollar cornmeal cakes with chocolate chunks, chile powder, and maple syrup. Delicious! But I couldn’t finish them. The serving sizes are ample!
And don’t freak out, there’s plenty of healthy, salad-y things too!
Basically, Goldie’s is so awesome and fun and the decor is like you’re in the Jetsons. And the food is out of sight! Totally worth the trip.
If you want to go, which I know you do, there are plenty of fun things to do in Asbury Park before or after you hit up Goldies.
Of course there’s the boardwalk! I do love a good boardwalk.
And on the boardwalk, you will find A PINBALL MUSEUM!!! You pay like $10 up front and then you can play unlimited pinball for an hour! Skiball too! And the pinball machines are so cool, all vintage and whatnot. There’s a Guns n’ Roses pinball machine!
Finally, if your vegan sweet tooth is not satiated, you can go to Cookman Creamery! They have like 15 vegan ice cream flavors AND vegan ice cream sandwiches! And vegan ice cream cakes even! I got the peanut butter chunk with peanut butter sauce BECAUSE I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER! And it was delicious. But there were so many vegan flavors, it was hard to choose.
So there you go! I basically planned your whole next weekend for you! I’m the best. But YOU MUST go to Goldie’s as soon as possible. It’s officially on the vegan can’t-miss list!
It’s not all good news this week, however: alas, a ballot measure in Missouri aimed at protecting puppy mills and factory farms seems to have squeaked by voters with 50.1 percent of the vote (though the razor-thin margin means that a recount is likely). You can read Wayne Pacelle’s thoughts on it here.
In better news though, Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) is promoting Meatless Monday. You can read about it my op-ed in the San Fernando Valley Sun. And the New York Times ran a compelling interview with the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology about his vegan diet.
Finally, in cool news: Did you know that fish remember events from a year ago?
He was inspired to make the change when he got a cholesterol test and found out his LDL cholesterol level was 170. From his post:
I thought I had a healthy diet — no red meat, no fried foods, little dairy, just chicken breast and fish. But a simple Web search informed me that my chicken-breast meals had more cholesterol content (84 mg/100 g) than pork (62 mg/100 g). So I changed that day to a cholesterol-free diet, using “meat substitutes” commonly available in stores and restaurants for protein. Within 6 weeks my LDL cholesterol level was down to 90.
I don’t totally know what all this LDL stuff means but 170 to 90 in six weeks seems pretty amazing! If you read his post, it’s pretty benign. Not too preachy, just mostly about his personal journey to a plant-based diet and how it’s helped him. But people still got all heated, as per usual when any hint of veganism comes up. This screen cap of the site he wrote the post on can give you an idea of the calamity:
Yeah, 74 comments. Seems a bit above their average. I skimmed through some, and as expected: VOM. People are so annoying sometimes. Sigh.
The doctor responds to some of the criticism in the NYT post. I especially like this part:
Some critics suggested that Dr. Williams and the college were “unduly influenced by industry,” which baffled him.
“Who is the industry that promotes vegan dieting?” he asked.
AND HOW. That is always the silliest criticism to me when someone promotes vegan eating! There is no special agenda to make people go vegan because that’s not where the money is! The money is in A. the meat and dairy lobby, and B. the pharma lobby. Those people do not want you do eat vegan. Obvisiously non-vegan food industries don’t but pharma doesn’t either because if no one was sick, how would they make money?! You would hope a doctor, however, would have entirely different motivation, and it seems Dr. Williams does. As he says:
"Wouldn’t it be a laudable goal of the American College of Cardiology to put ourselves out of business within a generation or two?"
Note: Save yourself the trouble, I’ve heard the reasoning against and I’m still going to keep saying “vegan diet.” We all understand what someone means when they say “vegan diet,” it says you adopt the diet of the vegan lifestyle but not the rest of it. Plus I find “plant-based diet” a confusing term. Plant-BASED doesn’t connote to me that you don’t eat some meat or something.
NYL cruelty-free skincare: Smells awesome, works even better!
I received some free products from NYL skincare to try a while ago but I haven’t had the chance to write about it until now. What that means is, I’ve been using the heck out of it for a few months now and I officially hella love the stuff!
First of all, it smells fresh and nice like a spa. You know, not like a specific flower or anything, rather that good, clean spa smell. Second of all, the products are so great and made my skin lovely. Third of all, everything is vegan, organic, and non-toxic. Those are three of you guys’ favorite things! And they use environmentally-friendly containers and packaging. So nice!
My very favorite thing is the Velvet Transformative Serum. It’s light but moisturizing. It absorbs into the skin quickly so it doesn’t make your face too oily. I love it! My other favorite thing is the Chamomile face wash. Again, it’s very light, but it really made my skin feel clean without making it feel too dry. And it has totally kept my blemishes (that’s pretty talk for pimples) at bay! So I’m very impressed with that. I’ve been using it every day. I will have to order more asap!
I liked the Rosewater face wash too. That one if for dry skin. I kind of have combination skin so both face washes suited me. But I’m more worried about the oily spots I guess so I will keep with the chamomile. Oddly, I also loved the hand soap. I mean it’s not super odd but I don’t usually get very jazzed about hand soap. But this stuff just smells so good!
The only thing I was lukewarm on was the body balm. I just couldn’t really tell if it was moisturizing that much. The whipped lotion is nice though.
Moral of the story: NYL is the jam! If you want to test out some of the stuff to see if you like it, they have a special on the starter kit on VeganCuts right now. That has the serum and either of the face washes, so you get my two favorite things. They also have individual sample sizes on their site. And the sample sizes have lasted me A WHILE. But I’m sure you will be back soon for the full sizes because this stuff rules!
Paul Shapiro's Vegan News You Can Use: Major loss for the meat trade groups
The meat industry trade groups lost a major battle this week, with a court ruling in favor of mandatory on-package disclosure of where the meat was produced. HSUS was proud to represent the United Farm Workers and others in the case.
A 2014 Consumer Reports exposé revealed that virtually all—97 percent—of chicken breasts in the U.S. harbor potentially harmful fecally-transmitted pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli. And now, well, I’ll let the newGuardian headline speak for itself: “Your chicken is about to get more full of feces.”
A newly published report from Purdue University finds that Americans are more likely to get their news on animal welfare from HSUS than from ag industry groups. It also finds that 14 percent of people report eating less pork because of animal welfare concerns.
Finally, have pets but no kids? You’re not alone. That trend is increasing among Americans, according to a new analysis this week. Have kids but no pets? Might be a good idea to adopt a pet, as a new study reported on by Fox News finds that kids with pets are more likely to avoid eating animals.
Gluten-free vegans rejoice! Sanctuary Bistro is officially opening this weekend, and it’s sure to be spectacular! (Anyone want to fly me up there from LA to be your date??) Using local, seasonal, organic, gluten-free, vegan ingredients, Barry Horton and Jennifer Jones Horton’s food is flavorFULL.
I had the great pleasure of attending a wedding this past weekend that was catered by these talented folks, and let me tell you people, I WORKED that buffet (yay for loose fitting dresses!)!
From top left: salad made with local peaches, olive tapenade, mushroom-stuffed quiches (I thought they were tamales whilst dishing up) and ZOMG the lasagna!!!
Having been to Ravens’ (which is amazing) I knew I was in for a treat. I thought I was making an exception from my usual gluten-free diet, but found out after I’d had two servings of lasagna that it was indeed GF. (Party on, Wayne!)
From top left: Chocolate covered strawberries & cherries, truffles, mini chocolate cupcakes and Russian tea cakes (I’ve also heard them called Mexican tea cookies). I will never admit how many I ate of each…
Here’s Dolores, my new kitty, giving her super roar to save tigers. Like our favorite kitty star Lil Bub, Dolores and me are so sad that there are only a few thousand wild tigers left. It’s terrible! That’s why Greenpeace has started this initiative with the help of all the cool internet cats like Bub, Cats Save Tigers.
And your cat can be a part of it too! Go to CatsSaveTigers.org and you can make your own kitty meme and even donate.