Vegan-style events for you! Remember, the Women Entrepreneurs Showcase happens on Sunday in Berkeley, with a vegan catered lunch for only $4! Be at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.—lunch begins at noon.
Aw you guys! CNN has the sweetest article about last weekend’s Worldwide Vegan Bakesale, with lots of photos of food you want to eat and people—and animals—you want to hug. San Francisco’s will happen next weekend, because of schedules, and whatever, you’ll get your desserts.
We’ve got all kinds of non-dairy milks made of all kinds of items, but we don’t have chickpea milk—yet. Israel does, though, and yes please we would like to try it.
The dairy industry, torturers of cows for profit (and fun?), would like the entire world to stop calling all non-animal milk “milk” and start calling it “imitation milk,” toute de suite. According to the National Milk Producers Federation, “soy milk” is a “bastardization of dairy terms.” Alternatively: "soy jism." Yes, someone outside of a creepy Western romance novel full of rape and cattle-roping still uses that word.
OK, deep, cleansing breath: perhaps a visit to one of our fine city’s many cult-ish religion-run veg restaurants would help. Jackson West seemed to have a lovely time at all of them (I have been craving Golden Era for weeks, incidentally).
You can’t get Pizza Hut on military bases anymore, but you can get it in some prisons. Thanks, Aramark!
The down in your lovely soft comforter was most likely plucked from a living goose, which “constitutes torture.” Because you can only pluck a dead goose once, but you can pluck a living goose up to four times before you have to kill it! HA HA HA.
You know what other animals are amazing? Elephants, duh! This week, an elephant in the Houston zoo made friends with a pit bull, which is apparently the only way a pit bull can be adopted in Houston, Texas. An elephant and dog in Tennessee are best friends, too, though that’s on an elephant sanctuary rather than a gross-out zoo. We also learned this week that elephants have a specific word meaning “let’s get out of here, there are bees around,” leading me to believe elephant language is rather like German.
Financial District foraging: Stone Korean Kitchen!
You’ve probably seen it on the Yelp or the Groupon, but Stone is a semi-new Korean place in Four Embarcadero (right on Justin Herman Plaza by the fountain, and with outside seating, too) with a young-ish, hip-ish vibe. At least as compared with the gross-ish Japanese place that used to occupy the space.
Anyway, I dig it. They have a great happy hour (two for one giant bottles of Korean beer!) and some delectable snacks. Including these, the Duk Kochi (crispy rice cakes with spicy sauce and sesame seeds): they are like little savory fried rice marshmallows with hot sauce on them. Leave your depressing-ass office RIGHT NOW!
[photo by Megan Allison. Ed. note: check the flat, metal chopsticks—authentic Korean!]
Livia Stone is THE BEST for tons of reasons. I’ll name a few because that’s what this whole “InterviewaVeg*n*” thing is about and if I’m anything, it’s somewhat competent at my non-paying blogging job. Livia is a vegan who works in animal welfare and thus, spreading the veg love in a community that loves animals but doesn’t always know that the best way to love them is not to eat them. She is the hospital manager at WildCare Bay Area, the only place to take injured and/or sick wild animals for good quality care in the SF Bay Area (they even take pigeons and mice and skunks!!). Seriously, if you ever find a wild animal in need of help, CALL THEM! She’s also just an awesome friend and the all-around bomb. We love her and you will too or else you are an idiot and shouldn’t be on this site anyway, idiot. Oh also, if she’ll be at the Farm Sanctuary California Hoe Down this Saturday so if you see her, HOLLA!
Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination? Initially I went veg because I realized I didn’t need to kill or exploit animals to live, but as I learned more—especially about the environmental impact of animal agriculture—I can’t believe anyone who is interested in going “green” doesn’t give up or at least reduce the amount of animal products they consume.
How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan? I’ve been vegan for 10 years. I had been vegetarian already for several years, but that impulse was based entirely on compassion. When I started learning about the issues, I knew I needed to do more.
You work in the hospital at Wildcare (one of the beneficiaries of the May 8 SF Vegan Bakesale!) with wounded and sick wildlife; got any amazing/crazy/inspiring stories? Definitely some crazy stories, usually on a daily basis. Rescuing an animal is often a transformative experience for people—and that’s very inspiring. I see a lot of cruelty and apathy, and so whenever people do the right thing for animals it gives me a little more energy to continue on. I remember one case where a man found an opossum in his garage. He reached into a box without looking, and promptly got bitten by a startled opossum who had found himself a nice place to sleep. The bite wasn’t serious, but the health department is very strict about mammal bites because of the risk of rabies, which is fatal in humans without treatment. Usually, we are forced to euthanize the animal to test for rabies, which drives us nuts because rabies is actually very rare in most species around here. But, of course it’s understandable that the health department wants to keep tabs because we could have an outbreak at any time. This opossum was clearly healthy and acting in normally, so we offered to quarantine as an alternative (which we always do) but since a human was bitten we didn’t have much hope. Going that route means you have to get rabies shots, because you don’t know if you’ve been exposed or not. But the man who was bitten called everyone he could and said he would do whatever it took—he didn’t want the opossum killed for his mistake! We’ve never had anyone do that before. So the opossum got free room and board for a month and was released because he never showed any signs of illness. [Ed.: That’s one of the best stories we’ve ever heard about humans. Usually we are THE WORST! Side note: Was this man cute? Single??]
Any tips on what we should do if we find wounded or sick wildlife? In the Bay Area, you can always call WildCare and we can help you determine if it is indeed an emergency and who the nearest rehabilitator is: 415-456-SAVE (7283). Many times babies are “kidnapped” by well-meaning people! We can also determine if a reunite is possible in the case of babies. Often the first impulse is to take an injured animal to a veterinarian, but there’s usually a charge and more importantly, most have no special training for wildlife. At WildCare, we have technicians and wildlife veterinarians who care for our wild patients. If you find an animal that is obviously injured and you can capture them safely, keep them in a secure box or kennel with air holes. The things to remember are to keep the
animal WARM, DARK, and QUIET. Babies especially can get chilled easily; put a heating pad under half of the box. Don’t try to feed or give water—sometimes that can do more harm than good and many species have very specific needs.
Can just anyone foster wild animals? How do we go about doing that? No. Rehabilitators have lots of permits and conditions that need to be met. It is illegal for members of the public to keep wildlife (you can rescue, though!). If you volunteer at a local wildlife center, you will be able to care for the animals under the center’s permit. Many centers offer training classes to prepare you for foster care.
Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
Yes! Roshi the Russian tortoise came into WildCare and needed a forever home, since he’s not from these parts. My cat Brewster is from a shelter in Los Angeles, and Pippie the cat was rescued by my veterinarian after being hit by a car. Pedro and Maggie are Rocket Dogs!
Do you have any super cute photos of animals to share with us? You can check out WildCare’s website for videos and photos!
What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH. Every day I have a new favorite animal! But, I especially adore crows.
I know you’ve been doing a lot of baking and cooking lately! What’s your favorite vegan dish to make? What about for a vegan bakesale? Since I’ve discovered Daiya cheese I’ve been making a mean mac ‘n cheese casserole but generally I’m big on making soups from scratch, especially heirloom tomato soup. For bakesales, just about anything from my cupcake cookbook. The carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe is amazing!
Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant? Cornmeal crusted oyster mushrooms at Millennium!
Favorite vegan restaurant?
I love Native Foods in Southern California, Candle 79 in New York City, and in the Bay Area, Millennium. I think Candle 79 trumps them all, though. SEITAN PICCATA—fuggedaboutit!
You’re going to the Farm Sanctuary California Hoe Down THIS SATURDAY (EVERYONE GO!!!!), who are you most excited to pet/hang out with?? PIGS!!! Love me some pigs. Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web made me vegetarian.
Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day? ANYTIME.
Just your weekly reminder that offshore drilling fucking sucks, and the people who demand it the loudest are fucking assholes who deserve a kick in the face. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not only an economic disaster for fisheries, but it’s a hell-on-earth for the birds and marine life who live in the Gulf and on the coast of Louisiana.
Courtesy of the New York Times comes this shocking infographic showing which species are now in peril from the spill. Want a sneak preview? “The Gulf of Mexico is the only spawning ground for the Western Atlantic population of the bluefish tuna, which is at the peak of spawning season.” America, FUCK YEAH!
The antidote to this shit is clean energy, like the offshore wind farm off Cape Cod that was approved this past week by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Unfortunately, groups are already suing to block its construction because they say the wind farm will block the views from their mansions endanger marine life and commerce. Because birds and fish are just choking in wind-slick from leaky wind turbines. Quick, someone call in the emergency windbreaker and visor crew! These feathers aren’t going to comb themselves back into place.
Over 85 tons of cheese from the Lacteos Factory in Miami, Fla., which was imported from Nicaragua, turned out to be 1. worth $322,000; and 2. totally tainted with Staphylococcus aureus, a.k.a “golden staph,” a totally gross bacterium and the most common cause of staph infections. Whoops!
As it happens, the cheese was inspected and discovered to be full of staph, but instead of discarding it, Lacteos “developed an elaborate scheme to conceal the tainted cheese.” They sent back boxes labeled cheese refused by Customs; instead, upon inspection, Customs and Border Patrol “discovered that while the top layer of cartons on each pallet contained small bricks of cheese, as labeled, the bulk of the cargo in the lower tiers of boxes consisted only of buckets of wastewater.” Whoops, again!
Finally, it turns out this staph-full cheese had already been sold to over 30 customers in California, New York, and Texas. Triple-whoops!
Good news, everyone! Ubuntu is still open, and still making food without meat. Dairy, yes, but featuring vegetables, just like produce hero Jeremy Fox. No word on its quality as compared to the previous kitchen’s work, but chef Aaron London and pastry chef Carl Swanson trained under Jeremy and Deanie Fox, so the food should be in the same style. It sounds like the Napa Valley Register ate pretty well, anyway.
Your Vegansaurus was at Ubuntu on Saturday, though failed to take pictures because WHAT THE HELL, STEVE, and reports that although there were no chickpea fries (oh the humanity), “the food was excellent. Yes, some dairy, but most of the menu was vegan or can-be-vegan.” If any wonderful readers want to send us a report/photos/juicy gossip, please feel free!
SF Vegan Drinks is tomorrow night! Leave the house, lazies!
Tear yourself away from Veronica Mars reruns on iTunes tomorrow night (and by “tear yourself away” I mean “Steve. FFS. Tear yourself away from Veronica Mars reruns for JUST ONE NIGHT what the hell is your problem.” And while we’re on the subject, why no Veronica Mars on Instant Netflix? And why no Buffy seasons 3 through 7 on iTunes? What’s up, internet?) because Vegan Drinks is getting us ready for summer: $2 Tofurkey hot dogs, $5 poached pear martinis, and drinking way too much and stumbling home without a jacket because you left it at Martuni’s. Also warm-weather themed? Cutting and pasting press releases:
Just a heads-up that the April installment of Vegan Drinks is this Thursday at Martuni’s (Valencia @ Market Streets). Not only is this a fantastic chance to mingle with other interesting vegans while enjoying drink specials (this month: $5 Poached Pear Martinis) and a host of non-alcoholic beverage options, you can eat your share of vegan hot dogs!
This month, we’ll be cooking up some Tofurky hot dogs in honor of the warming weather! Hot dogs will cost $2, and buns, ketchup, and mustard will be included. Can’t wait to see you there!
Vegansaurus is an official sponsor of SF Vegan Drinks, so get down there early to line up for autograph-signing with your favorite Vegansaur/buying us Tofurkey dogs! It’s from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow! Tip your server! Don’t drink and drive! Etc.!
One day we could all shit Clorox courtesy of SCIENCE!
If you couldn’t tell by my disco PSA, I love the pigeons. They usually pretend to be aloof but I can tell they love me too. This is why I keep up on the pigeon news—always looking out for my pals! And let me tell you, there is some pigeon news! It’s kind of freaky news—frews, if you will. Not only do pigeons have to eat your trash, now people want them to poop bleach! Go team science!
Well it’s not actually bleach, that’s just some decorative language I added because I’m an artist and my new medium is lying. They want to make pigeons shit “biological soap” through the magic of synthetic biology. I looked up synthetic biology and in this case it means, “the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes.” And since animals exist to make our lives easier, let’s biologically synthesize some damn pigeons already! Or as Tuur van Balen, the brains behind this, puts it, “add new functionality to what is by many seen as flying rats” (oh daaamn, are you rat-lovers going to take that?). This is awesome because while I already love pigeons, functional pigeons sound so much better! GOD I already can’t STAND all these dysfunctional pigeons I have to deal with everyday! With their drinking problems and abusive relationships—I’m over it!
So what’s the plan?! Well, they are going to feed pigeons a special bacteria with their food. Van Balen claims this bacteria is—get ready for this!—“as harmless to them as eating yoghurt is to us.” UM EARTH TO VAN BALEN! Dairy is the devil! DUH. But the bacteria will somehow change their metabolism and ta dah! Soap poop.
The article goes on to discuss the other implications this kind of thing could have. He’s working on synthetic immune systems where it’s totally tailored to your body. And guess what! The example he gives is for vegetarians! The synthetic immune system could monitor your B12 levels and produce some more if they are low. Hold up, that’s kind of BADASS. But the pigeon stuff, I don’t know. I don’t think we should go around fucking with animals just because we can. And when you add new things to the environment, there’s always potential for disaster. Like the salt we use to melt snow, now it’s all in the rivers and what not, screwing things up.
My final vote: Leave the damn pigeons alone. Freaks.
Anyway, Erika, friend of Vegansaur Jordan, is doing a cool thing and putting together a vegan comics zine. The goal is to get as many vegans as possible to contribute, and the deadline for submissions for the first issue is coming up! No need for mad comics skillz or fancy equipment—Soy Fucker is a labor of fun, so vegans of any and all skill levels are encouraged to submit.
The only real rule is that comics artists and/or writers must be vegan. Other than that, pretty much anything goes. Comics don’t have to be about vegans or veganism. More details (including the format and size, etc.) can be found at soyfucker.tumblr.com.
Thanks to Bernal Heights food blog Married…with Dinner for the info, because apparently we are too lazy to walk uphill anymore. In the same little shopping area, there’s a little deli called Paulie’s Pickling that, yes, specializes in pickled items—right now they have amazing-sounding green beans, asparagus, and artichoke hearts, though we are hoping later this year for tomatoes—and El Porteno Empanadas that appears to have at least one vegan item (word is out on the empanadita de manzana).
Congratulations on the new Marketplace (331 Cortland Ave. at Wool Street), Bernal! And extra congratulations on the VEGAN FUCKING BAKERY! Now we all have more reasons to walk up the hill.
The Perfect Saturday in San Francisco! YES, TODAY.
Hi All. It has come to my attention that today could seriously be an amazing day in San Francisco and it’s not too late for you to enjoy it. So if don’t wanna sit around in your underwear watching instant netflix on your wii (I’m not hating because that shit is fresh), here is another alternative:
You get to Buffalo Exchange on Valencia Street (or any in the city if you just want the awesome deals but if you’re doing my perfect day then you’re gonna hit the one a block from my house OK) and buy tons of shit for ONE DOLLAR and the money goes to the Humane Society of the United States to help protect wild life. Fresh. You need some cute new clothes and you’re broke so do it to it. It opens at 11 a.m. so get there early for the good stuff.
Next, head down the street to Beats n Brunch by Homemade Hustle at Bollyhood Cafe. This thing has a million names and we’re not exactly sure what it is but apparently the food is hella good and includes a large vegan brunch menu with shit like French toast and vegan buttermilk pancakes and huge scrambles and all sorts of deliciousness. Plus, it’s like a block from Weird Fish so you can flip them the bird while you eat your epic vegan feast. It goes from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. but head over right after Buffalo Exchange so the unorganized hippies (WHO SAID THAT) don’t run out of shit.
AND THEN. You go to the vegan bakesale in Dolores Park and lay in the sun, eating cupcakes. It goes from 1 to 4 p.m. so it should work into your day perfectly.
HAS ANYONE EVER GIVEN YOU SUCH A GIFT AS THIS DAY OF PLEASURE, ROMANCE, INTRIGUE, AND FUN??? You can send your panties to me now. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING AND NOT SENDING ME YOUR PANTIES? Jesus Christ, I have to do everything around here!!
Do you have cable? If so, you should watch the Humane Society’s Genesis Awards this weekend! They’ll air on Animal Planet twice: tomorrow, Saturday Apr. 24 at noon, and on Sunday Apr. 25 at 1 p.m. (PDT).
Harvest Home Sanctuary will host its very first Poultry Boot Camp to teach you all about “poultry health, nutrition, and rescue opportunities.” The event happens at the Sanctuary on Saturday, May 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. and costs $25, which includes materials, snacks, and a tour. RSVP by May 1.
Miscellaneous items of varying importance! Everyone’s going nuts for Social Kitchen and Brewery—Eater SF has a tour and a menu preview, and Beer & Nosh has an interview with Brewmaster Rich Higgins. As you know, the menu should be composed of 1/3 vegan and 1/3 vegetarian items, and our Sunset correspondent Megan Allison will be on the scene as frequently as possible with the report.
Don’t like beer? Drink some tequila! Now you can get super-fantastic, super-fancy, super-local tequila, WOO and another WOO because tequila on a gorgeous spring day in the Bay Area are two of my favorite things possibly ever. And no I am not going to flash you, jerk.
Instead let’s serve a delicious vegan supper, with these recipes from the Kitchn! I swear they are doing these articles just to get on our good side. Whatever their nefarious plan is, it’s working, because here is another link, hello.
Let’s go to the farmers market instead! Apparently there are super-awesome ones not only in our beloved San Francisco, but in Madison, Wisc.; Little Rock, Ark.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Des Moines, Iowa. Who knew—outside of the residents of those cities, obviously?
The always-genius Bay Area Bites presents a totally relevant, not-at-all obvious list of ways to “green” our kitchens.
Guys, guys, get this: the civet is a smallish mammal who lives in Indonesia, eats coffee berries, and poops out the beans that have been fermented through its digestive system and will make reportedly the tastiest—or at least, the priciest—coffee, like, ever. So instead of following civets around and picking up their droppings to find the beans, people are—you’ll never guess—catching them, caging them, and feeding them beans! God, isn’t capitalism the fucking best?
Homeless dogs in Moscow keep warm by sleeping on the subway, just like homeless people. Please pass the tissues, I am going to cry my damn eyes out. And no I don’t know why English Russia tagged this article as “Funny.” [photo from English Russia]
And while we’re sobbing, maybe it’s time to look at this World Press Photo 2010 Award-winning photo series by Tommaso Ausili called “The Slaughterhouse,” which for the sensitive among us (read: me) could be too much to actually really look at. But you are brave and bold, do please check them out.
Hilariously, a beef-industry-funded survey “of American beef eaters” found that cattle ranchers and farmers have “the third greenest profession” in the U.S.! Of course they’re environmentalists—they commute to work on horses! Har har har.
Significantly less disgusting, and in fact quite wonderful: Healthy Happy Life’s slideshow of amazing vegan desserts in New York City.
The geniuses at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have decided that migratory pelicans are ruining everything—i.e., eating all the native and artificially stocked trout that people want to fish—and because the Feds won’t allow them to shoot the birds, they are going to release non-native badgers and skunks into the area to deal with the problem “naturally.” Not everyone agrees that it’s the pelicans causing the decline in the trout population, and letting non-native species out into the wild hasn’t always (ever?) gone well in the past, but fuck it, people want to fish for their motherfucking trout.
Whoops, pescatarians! Watch out for that ahi tuna from Hawaii, it’s full of salmonella! Better stick to a delicious lion and antelope burger from Sacramento. God knows what kind of “lion” it is or how the proprietors can say it’s from the U.S., but hey, this “article” is 50 percent cut-and-pasted quotes from Facebook, so who knows anything? And anyway exotic is the new cute-n-cuddly, right?
Because we’re Vegansaurus, we’re obviously not down with congressional hopeful Sue “crazypants” Lowden’s idea to barter chickens for healthcare. If we weren’t capitalists—do note the subjunctive case there—we might be into the idea of trading vegetables, or vegan suppers, for something like ophthalmologic care (someone needs a new pair of glasses) (hint: me!) or a motherboard for a MacBook. Steve Jobs, the Apple cafeteria cannot serve all your gustatory needs, I know it. Regardless, we do like the disco remix of Crazypants Lowden’s proposal, mostly because of the happy (?) dancing chicken. [if you can’t see the video, click through to vegansaurus.com!]
The kid in the "Is Veganism Safe for Kids?" Scare? He's a PESCATARIAN. OMG, SHUT UP, MEDIA. Oh also, same article says vegan diets are TOTALLY SAFE FOR KIDS. OMG SHUT UP AGAIN, MEDIA. (I apologize for this title! I am out of control! Love, Laura)
The Guardian posted a somewhat interesting article (nothing fully interests me anymore, le sigh) called “Is Veganism Safe for Kids?" It’s pretty mild and basically she’s like, give the kids supplements and vegan kids are probs healthier than non-vegan kids (I almost wrote "regular kids," but then I was like, what the eff are you trying to say about vegans, Megan Rascal?). I thought it was pretty positive overall, but I’m like the mayor of being wrong so who knows. It sounds good to me, though:
Amanda Baker at the Vegan Society says the real issue isn’t whether a child’s diet is vegan or not, or restricted or not-–the important thing is whether it’s healthy. “There are plenty of children who are eating a bad diet, and they’re not vegan,” she says. “Vegan parents have to plan their child’s food carefully. Of course there are pitfalls, but there are pitfalls for all parents and for any diet.
"The reality is that vegan parents are more likely to cook at home, and are likely to be very knowledgeable about nutrition because they have had to make a lot of effort to follow the diet they do. Many of them follow a wholefood diet, and avoid trans-fats and too much salt. It’s actually much easier for vegans and their children to meet the five-a-day guidelines than for other people."
The article was sparked by a recent case where social workers totally tried to take this kid from his parents because they thought his dairy-free diet gave him rickets. What the hell are rickets? I mean I know I can look it up but I’ve got the tireds so forgive me. But for real, rickets sounds like something you’d get in medieval times.
One important note: the kid isn’t even vegan, he’s pescatarian (sorry I said the P word! I just want everybody to make fun of pescatarians because it’s hilarious).
In cuter vegan kid topics, this seems like a good time to mention my favorite website everrr, veganlunchbox.com. It’s the best! Just lots and lots of cute-ass bento boxes filled with vegan goodies. There’s even a book! I have no kids and I have no bento boxes but I love this site.
I really don’t see the point of this bill, or how it could possibly do anything to fix climate change. The Senate is about to release its own version of the climate bill (remember, the House of Representatives already passed a not-great-but-not-terrible climate bill last year), and just in time for Earth Day, Senator John Kerry has released some key details about the bill. And it’s a horror movie. It’s like the Senate read up on everyone’s worst fears and decided to twist the knife a bit deeper.
No gas tax. No more EPA authority to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act. No more state authority, like what we have in California, to set tighter rules. More natural gas. More “clean coal.” And the ultimate middle finger? Agriculture, which I’m assuming will include factory farms, would be entirely exempt.
Listen, I get it. John Kerry is trying to put together a bill that can pass, and that means compromises. Get it done and fix it later. And Kerry’s bill is said to meet the same targets as the House bill’s 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050.
But here’s the problem. Meeting those targets, and really meeting them, is going to require fundamental changes in how we use energy, how we grow food, and how and where we live. Any plan that entrenches the status quo will only ever work on paper. For the same reason you can’t give children free rein over the school lunch menu (and those of us with man-crushes on Jamie Oliver know how well that goes), leaving grown-up choices to polluting industry does not and will never work. It should be “you’ll eat your veggies and LIKE IT” time for them, not all-you-can-eat Tater Tots and pizza bites.
Calorie count cage match: KFC Double Down vs. Vegan Double Down
Everyone and their dog knows that the KFC Double Down is cardiac arrest in sandwich form, and our vegan version isn’t doing much better. But we at least would never lie to you. Kill you, quite possibly, but never lie.
Unlike KFC, who would do both. Their marketing materials had clocked their version in at a lean-and-mean 540 calories and 32 grams of fat (practically diet by fast food standards), and now CityRag is calling bullshit. By their math, using published nutritional data, the KFC Double Down’s real calorie count? 1190 calories and 86 grams of fat—over twice as much as advertised.
So, not that you should care, I thought I’d run the numbers for one serving of our version to see how it stacks up.
Grand total: 785 calories, 69g fat. I think that means, we win! Or, we lose! Also, let’s be realistic. Neither of these counts include the vat of fryer oil we’re using. So add another 300 to 500 calories to both those numbers.
Moral of the story? There is none. Life isn’t Beatrix Potter, and sometimes we eat stuff that might kill us. The end. As long as it’s only killing ourselves without dragging any animals along for the death ride, I don’t see the problem. You know what, I think there is a moral after all. Mentos!
Yesterday, we covered the ethics of “too cute to eat" regarding meat-eaters who shy away from eating rabbits but will happily dig into a dead cow or lamb. The arbitrary line between animals-we-pet and animals-we-eat is a common refrain among vegans, and when we can’t rely on cuteness to predict who will end up on the menu, we at least have the law. But thanks to the help of Tennessee and Missouri, foodies may soon have a new cute animal to plunder all over again. Yep, horse slaughter is coming back:
On Apr. 8, a subcommittee in the Tennessee House approved a horse slaughter bill 7-6. A week earlier, the Missouri House approved 91-61 bill HR1741. The bill hasn’t yet been scheduled for the Senate calendar.
Awesome. I really can’t wait to hear all about how horse is the new, more sustainable cow. Thanks, elected jerks in other states!
At the rate we’re going, we’re long overdue for a cute animal dead pool. Any predictions on which animal is next to earn the coveted ”delicacy” title? Deer are the obvious choice, but squirrels and raccoons both have that some-say-cute, others-say-pest appeal. Obviously it’s all about eating your way through the entire zoo, but you have to hand to the foodies for taking a methodical approach instead of jumping straight to common Occidental house pets.
Some innocent intern at the Environmental Protection Agency wrote a little post on the Agency’s Greenversations blog on Tuesday about abstaining from meat because of “the negative environmental effects of meat production,” and the American Farm Bureau Federation lost its shit.
"The EPA should control its blog space," said AFBF President (and massive bully) Bob Stallman. How dare an intern actually say "the easiest way to lessen the environmental impacts [of meat production] is to become a vegetarian or vegan"—what is the EPA for, telling citizens the fucking truth? What the HELL is going on here?
The Greenversations comments section quickly filled with horrible comments that made everyone with a soul want to curl up and die, because of hatefulness. What’s next, telling us that leather production isn’t environmentally friendly, either? Oh how the world comes crashing down.
Over at Gilt, they’re having one of their famous ridiculous sales, and this time it’s on stuff you might actually want instead of their usual assortment of leather and luxury hotels. It’s Earth Day, and what better way to say “Thanks, Earth!” than to undo a year of trashing the place with a bit of green consumerism. Wait, this is a bad pitch, isn’t it. What I meant to say was, BUY STUFF! Think of it like you’re buying the Earth a birthday present.
On sale right now are Matt & Nat bags, Loomstate, Dr. Hauschka, and actually this eco-spa in Costa Rica looks really good, along with Edun, Stuart + Brown, and more. Gilt is members-only, so sign up and give me credits so we can get started early on our annual Vegansaurus HQ corporate retreat in Costa Rica. Also, everything on Gilt tends to run out really quickly so HURRY UP AND BUY NOW! HAPPY EARTH DAY!
The author here does make one good point, which is: why are some animals “too cute to eat,” while others aren’t? To us, that point is moot, but maybe the rest of the world, which eats meat, might want to consider it?
You know your Vegansaurus cares a whole fucking lot about not eating rabbits, not least because one of our (ir)regular columnists has a bunny sidekick. Also, not just because they’re “cute.” We care about all animals, however aesthetically pleasing we may find them. The point is, obviously, they’re animals, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not fucking eaten.
Apparently author Michael Procopio wasn’t prepared for readers to share our outrage, because in response to the upset comments his article garnered, he linked to this little gem from HuffPo by Craig Goldwyn, which demands that whenever we “strident” veg bastards see a link to an article about meat, we ignore it, because our “meat is murder” opinions are not welcome. In fact, by “preaching…proselytizing…[and] moralizing” in the comments section, we are “only undermining [our] own cause" [italics his]. You know, FYI. Just keep out of their clubhouse, OK; they don’t want our kind there.
You know what? They’re right. We are basically “yell[ing] ‘Jesus Saves!’…in a Jewish Synagogue,” and expecting everyone in there to immediately convert, and it has to stop. From now on, whenever anyone has anything positive to say about eating meat, or farming animals, or wearing fur, or breeding animals and selling them as pets, I will not read the story. I will turn down the radio, I will change the channel on the TV, I will close the tab in my browser. Ignoring something I—and many, many others—view as a massive, multi-level, global problem will make it go away, right? Just like wishing really hard attained women’s suffrage in the U.S.! And complaining to each other at dinner established the Department of Veterans Affairs. When serious business gets you down, handwrite it in your diary, put it under your bed, and don’t talk about it, because making a fuss never changed anything ever.
I know, you are up in arms about Monsanto and school lunches and my computer, and the weather is gloomy and nothing will ever be good again. I KNOW. It sounds like you could use some cheering up, my babies. So how about we look at some pretty, pretty shoes that are on super-duper sale?
Cri de Cœur is an all-vegan, eco-friendly company that makes pretty, pretty shoes, and Billion Dollar Babes is having a massive sale on some of their styles for the next 24 hours. Billion Dollar Babes is one of those members-only “HUGE DEALS ON DESIGNER STYLES” sites, but you don’t even need a recommendation from a current member to join; just put in your name and email and you’re in. If you’re interested in Cri de Cœur shoes I would recommend joining, as they seem to be significantly cheaper than usual.
Of course we’d all prefer to buy from a local retailer, but according to the Cri
de Cœur website, the only two places you can buy them in California are in Santa Monica or Laguna Beach, to which we in Northern California say, Boo, we may eat like hippies but we dress like grown-ups, dang it. I mean they sell them in Brighton, which as I understand it is the English equivalent of San Francisco, so let’s get on it, people. I don’t see why a pretty pretty dress store like Ambiance couldn’t carry a few styles. They have enough Michael Stars “one size fits most” shirt/dress/whatever garments to clothe a little army, anyway.
This seriously takes 3 minutes and can make the difference between kids getting veg options at school, or dying at the hands of the lunch lady. Btw, the lunch lady these days is just a giant microwave. So comforting. Remember how when we were kids, we had no veg options and had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to simply get to a veggie dog? Don’t do that to our veg children. Be a pal, call congress and ask for healthy veg school lunches so students today don’t have to resort to eating ketchup with a side of ketchup doused in ketchup. DO IT.
Take the Veg Pledge 2010! (Or vegans, tell your friends!)
Students for Animal Rights (StAR) is organizing their first annual Veg Pledge for 2010. Their goal is to get 25,000 people to cut down on meat, dairy and eggs for the month of May, and they need your help.
As a university student, I am a leader for my generation and an example for society. I am concerned about the suffering of farm animals and the impact of animal agriculture on global warming, the environment, and my health. By signing my name, I pledge to cut down on meat, dairy, and egg products for the month of May, 2010 and commit to exploring a more humane and sustainable diet.
If they get to 25,000 pledges, StAR estimates that 250,000 animals will be saved, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 2.5 million pounds, and 5 million pounds of livestock manure will never get…manured. Not too shabby.
You can pledge at one of four levels: Platinum (all-vegan for all of May), Gold (vegan for five days a week), Silver (vegan for one meal a day), or Bronze (vegan for one day a week).
Taking the Veg Pledge is a great excuse to try something new, and to show people how easy it is to go vegan, or to at least cut back on the meat. So if you or your green-minded friends have been looking for an excuse to rethink your diet, May is your month. We won’t even make you grow a mustache.
Speaking of the Supreme Court, here’s a case we’ve already lost. Justice Clarence Thomas is refusing to recuse himself in Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, which will hit the Court next month. Thomas, one of the reliable right-wingers on our already conservative-leaning Court, was an employee of Satan Monsanto from 1976 to 1979. It’s an obvious conflict of interest.
The worst part of it? Justice Steven Breyer, a reliable liberal vote on the Court, is recusing himself from ruling on the case, because his brother, Charles Breyer, ruled in the original 2007 case. At issue is (what else?) genetically modified crops:
The court will hear Monsanto’s third appeal in the Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms case, which called for the halt of planting GM alfalfa seeds until an Environmental Impact Statement was completed.
The lawsuit was filed by organizations like the Center for Food Safety, the National Family Farm Coalition, Sierra Club, Dakota Resources Council and other farming groups and environmental associations.
One of the plaintiffs, alfalfa farmer Pat Trask said Monsanto’s biotech alfalfa would ruin his alfalfa seed business because his 9,000 acres would be contaminated by the genetically modified crops.
Remember, this is the same Monsanto that sues farmers when the company’s patented seeds (a concept that, on its own, should make anyone want to throw things) blow from their customers’ land onto those other farmers’ land and take root. This lawsuit would turn the tables, and treat Monsanto’s “intellectual property” like the contaminant it is. Too bad it’s already lost.
The decision in United States v. Stevens was 8-1 against the law banning “the interstate sale of depictions of torture and killing of animals” based on its violation of First Amendment rights, and get this—that one vote keeping the ban in place was Samuel goddamn Alito.
Shocking tasers, shorted-out circuits, and food porn in today's SHOCKING (themed) link-o-rama!
How about that: a goat in a blue suit! According to Vice, who did the photoshoot, it’s Look 25 from Dunhill’s spring/summer 2010 collection. I’m not sure about that, honestly—I think it just as easily could be Look 27. Thoughts?
By the way, this is Steve filling in for Meave this week, who blames her absence on a shorted out MacBook keyboard following a coffee spill disaster. But between you and me, I’m suspecting cilantro poisoning.
Upcoming vegan events! Like vegan cupcakes? Feeling judgy? Then sign up to be a judge for the 2nd Annual Vegan Cupcake Bake-off on May 22nd in Oakland. This will probably be the biggest field trip ever, so get those permission slips sorted out in advance.
Here’s an epic battle of the century that you won’t want to miss, organized by VegNews and Earth Island Journal. Cattle rancher-turned-vegan Howard Lyman and Niman Ranch co-founder Nicolette Niman will debate why or why not meat is a sustainable and ethical product. Tickets are $10 and will sell out quickly.
Miscellaneous items of significant social importance! The Taser company funded a “study” that involved anesthetizing sheep, putting them on a methamphetamine IV drip, and then shocking them with Tasers—in order to test “the effects of Tasers on meth-addled targets.” But don’t worry, it didn’t cause the sheep any immediate heart problems!
Speaking of grossnosity, McDonald’s really, really doesn’t want to buy even 5 percent of its eggs for its U.S. stores from cage-free sources.
Mumbai now has an all-organic farmers market, which sells produce, cotton candy (YES PLEASE), “paint, paper, furniture, and cosmetics,” and prepared food like vegan quiche. Because we didn’t need enough reasons to visit India.
Our local paper of record likes us; they really like us. SFGate started up a new vegan and vegetarian lifestyle section. We’re looking forward to more local coverage of veg issues, but we’re a bit less excited about the witty and insightful comments that we’re bound to get from the white-flight crowd that hangs out over there. Flame suits, on.
The Kitchn is on a vegan kick this week, with 10 Vegan Lunch Ideas. But breakfast is the most important meal of the day (especially if you eat breakfast food for lunch and dinner), so why not click through to their 10 Vegan Breakfast Ideas while you’re at it?
Killer whales kill (duh), unless you’re a dog. Then they’re like, “hop on my back, little friend, and I will take you on a magical tour of my sea kingdom.” But dogs aren’t safe if sharks are around so don’t forget a pair of “I’m With Orca” board shorts for your dog on beach walks.
Oh great. Almost everyone knows about the trash island the size of Texas floating in the Pacific, but did you know there are four others just like it? Check out photos from the North Atlantic Gyre courtesy of The 5 Gyres Project. I really can’t wait for a future of marine life evolved to eat a diet entirely of plastic.
WildCare brings us 15 seconds of how-can-I-exist-in-a-world-with-orphaned-ducklings tears in video form. Spring time means heavy rains and orphaned ducks in storm drains, so go sponsor some baby ducks, or the videos will keep getting sadder and shorter. No pressure.
The Winter Olympics are over, but how about a video of two dogs who may just win the gold in luge in 2014.
Humans are smarter and better than animals at everything, except for all the things they do exactly the same as us. Researchers in Portugal discovered that rats can understand complex game theory, and successfully cooperate with each other or manipulate other players in the classic Prisoner’s Dilemma game scenario.
Here’s some vegan chocolate food porn from chef and food stylist Claire Thomas, along with some bonus food erotica from The Physiology of Taste, written in 1825, describing how hot chocolate would have been prepared (with water, no milk) at Versaille.
Vegan.com says that Michael Pollan is "dodging the discussion" with Jonathon Safran Foer over criticism in Eating Animals, but saying that “nobody is anti-meat enough for the animal-rights purists” reads more like fighting words than an outright dodge. Sounds to us like it’s time to settle this one in the Octagon.
And because cats are the best, we’ll leave you with a video news clip about the Agee Sanctuary near Sacramento, new home of feral cats recently rescued from a Chinatown housing project. Apparently they have their own Winston, not to be confused with fourfour’s Winston who just joined Twitter this week and has almost as many followers as us. It’s hard out there for a dino.
Vegansaurus was offered Être the Cow for review from publishers Health Communications, and being a now-famous book critic, I elected to do the work. Also because I’m in this for the free stuff.
Être the Cow was written by Sean Kenniff, whose name might be familiar to you, as he was a contestant on the first season of Survivor. According to his back-of-book bio, he is also a physician. Apparently he had some time post-layoff, which he spent “liv[ing] with the cows,” though this experience did not stop him from eating them.
The novella is odd. It’s narrated by Être, a bull, who is the only cow in the story who has a “real” name, which he apparently gave himself; he is the only cow who tries to communicate with other cows—and people—in English, though unsuccessfully, as no one can understand him. Also, sometimes there is singing, in French.
The whole thing is a tragedy, I guess, what with all the dying, but it’s written so oddly that it’s difficult to connect with any of the characters. Maybe it’s unfair to criticize Kenniff’s motivations for writing the book, but when it’s so painfully clearly a Book with a Message, then I feel like the author’s motivations are fair to explore. So: why did Kenniff write this book, if he still believes that eating meat is a fair and fine thing to do? If it is a parable, what lessons should the reader take from it? All I understood was, basically, “Special cows can sometimes have feelings too, but only special ones, and really those feelings are useless because they only lead to tragedy, so better to live your life like a regular, non-talking cow who doesn’t wish to be a human—sorry, a ‘Man’—and then you won’t know what you might have missed if you were anything other than a cow.”
Or, you know, something like that. Maybe this book wasn’t for me because I don’t go in for too much anthropomorphizing; maybe because I’m more educated about animal-cruelty issues that the readers the author is trying to reach. Maybe because it’s just not an especially well written book, and whatever message it is trying to send is totally garbled because Kenniff doesn’t seem to mean it. I don’t know. If you are interested, go for it. I have certainly read worse, in my life; but I have most definitely read better.
The New York Times tackles the cilantro divide, and why it inflames passions on either side. As a certified cilantro hater, comparing the flavor to soap doesn’t quite cover how it tastes to me. More like engine degreaser. But restaurants love garnishing food with handfuls of the stuff, even though, as it turns out, many of us from entirely European ancestry have a genetic aversion to the taste.
The Oxford Companion to Food notes that the word “coriander” (cilantro’s alias for when it’s trying to sneak out of the country on another passport) comes from the Greek word for “bedbug” based on how its smell reminded them of bedbug-infested clothing. I have no idea what that might smell like, but it sounds totally delicious.
Bottom line, if you’re cooking for other people or if you own a restaurant, please, for the love of Morrissey, make the cilantro garnish optional or leave it out. It’s fine and necessary as a spice used sparingly in Indian food. But picking out individual leaves of unwanted garnish isn’t my idea of a good meal. My brain registers it as poison, and now I have the New York Times to back me up. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Anyway, let’s take a poll. Where are you on the cilantro divide? Love it, hate it, or don’t understand what people like me are on about?