Presidio Habitats opened last week and they look so neat! You should go check them out multiple times during the year they’re up—maybe you’ll see actual animals using them! The wild parrots of Telegraph Hill, on the other hand, need lots of help—there are more of them than ever, and Mickaboo Bird Rescue is totally overwhelmed.
Wildcare would like the California state Assembly to make laws that protect our oceans from a BP-in-the-Gulf-style disaster—here is a petition to get that message across.
Mixed messages from the media aren’t surprising, right? The Chronicle says a vegan diet is acceptable (this week), despite totally ignoring us in its restaurants-and-food-news repository, Inside Scoop (no link because BOO); SFWeeklylikes Pepple’s Donuts more than Whole Foods’ “Posh” knock-offs; and Martha Stewart had a recipe for strawberry gazpacho that sounded really amazing and is totally vegan though of course no one said anything because that word is only for theme days.
West Hollywood banned “sales of dogs and cats in retail stores.” South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M., also prohibit sales of companion animals. Pretty great, right? Because ANIMALS AREN’T INANIMATE OBJECTS! FOR FUCK’S SAKE. This year, the American Kennel Club will acccept mixed-breed dogs in the Agility, Rally, and Obedience competitions, for the first time in the club’s existence. And one day, dog-breeding for “beauty” or whatever-the-fuck will be seen as base, vile, and speciesist, and people will giggle at our earnestly angry essays about how fucking gross the whole idea of dog breeds was. Sorry guys I’m in a weird mood today.
Neal Harden used to be the chef of Pure Food and Wine! But now he is setting up a restaurant in Bali! I recommend subscribing to his quite interesting blog through a reader, as the font on the layout is fucking impossible to read.
This is the way I feel Lost should have ended: vegan feasts. Because, duh.
Check out these photos from one of our beloved chef’s “vegetable dinners” at Animal in Los Angeles last week. Look good, yeah?
Better news: we won’t have to ogle such feasts from afar for long, as Jeremy Fox is returning to the Bay Area! He’ll be working at Plum, Daniel Patterson’s new “casual” restaurant in Oakland, which is set to open in July. You guys, that is basically one month away. One month until more amazing vegetable creations, significantly closer to Vegansaurus HQ than Napa! This means two wonderful things: One, we’ll be able to take bart instead of drive, thus helping the planet; and two, the money we’ll save on gas we can spend on more food. The environment wants you to gorge yourself on vegetable haute cuisine, this is clearly a sign.
Steamed about missing Millennium’s Southern Comfort Dinner tonight? Well eff that noise anyway, because (a) you’re probably broke and (b) this month’s Vegan Drinks will be featuring vegan Root Beer Floats (alcoholic, obviously (and also: !!!!!)) and a reprise of hangover-preventing Turtle Island vegan hot dogs (I say again: !!!!!). Vegansaurus is an official sponsor of SF Vegan Drinks, and we’ll be eating/drinking our weight in the aforementioned delights. More details from the SF Vegan Drinks HQ compound mothership:
Just a heads up that the May installment of Vegan Drinks is Thursday, May 27 at Martuni’s (Valencia @ Market). Come on out to mingle with other interesting vegans while enjoying drink specials (This Month: $5 vegan Root Beer Floats) and a host of non-alcoholic beverage options!
We didn’t want to pass on a good thing, so this month, we’ll be cooking up some more vegan hot dogs donated by Turtle Island. For only 98 cents a piece, you can satisfy your after-work hunger. You may just want to have two!
Everyone is invited, even Ike’s neighbors! We’ll settle our differences over a round of vegan hot dogs/spin-the-bottle while we fondly remember a simpler time when the biggest neighborhood problem was the pounding rave beneath your floorboards. In all seriousness, if you hate my guts for siding with the groovy sandwich dude who’s been making your life a living hell, stop on by. I’ll buy you a drink, and we can get all “I LOVE YOU MAN” before I realize you keyed my car on the way in. Just don’t pull anything; my Krav Maga skills are unparalleled.
Did I mention it was from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.? No? Well now I did. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.!
The internet found itself in a tizzy today over China eating the animals at the zoo in Beijing:
[T]he zoo’s restaurant serves things like the webbed toes of hippopotamus, dishes made with crocodiles, scorpions, kangaroo tail, deer penis, ant soup, shark fin soup, peacock, etc. Until recently, signs on the animals’ cages even contained information about which parts were tastiest and which parts could be used to make traditional medicine (aka placebos, for the most part).
Of course, we’ll take any omnivorous outrage over eating animals we can get. We’re just pointing out the obvious: eating the animals at the zoo is incredibly creepy no matter which culture is doing it.
Awesome people doing awesome things for animals: Sacramento's Brooke Byrd!
Vegansaurus loves food! And yelling about injustice! And telling you how you can help fight injustice, especially through food! We also love—no to the DUH—animals, and the people who love to help them! That’s why today we’re bringing you an interview with one such volunteer, Brooke Byrd!
Vegansaurus: What are the Apawstrophes?
Brooke Byrd:The Apawstrophes is my team for the Sacramento SPCA’s annual Doggie Dash fundraiser. The team name is a play on my love for both grammar and animals, and my constant desire to mix the two (The Catastrophes was a close second, and would also be my roller derby name). So far the team is just me and a few close friends (plus some other random animal-lover I’ve never met). We’re raising money and pet supplies!
How did you get involved in this? In November I started volunteering for the Sacramento SPCA, and I know first-hand the high volume of animals that come through. As a nonprofit, the SPCA relies entirely on donations through events like the Doggie Dash to take care of all the critters it houses.
How can other people get involved? Find your local SPCA or animal shelter (donating directly to the local facility will put funds where they’re needed on the ground) and donate supplies, money or time. Most shelters are always in need of blankets and towels, and toys, treats, office supplies, etc. are always appreciated. Most shelters have volunteer programs as well—be prepared to dedicate some time to training.
How long have you been volunteering for animals? Do you do any other volunteer work, or are you exclusively animal-oriented? I’ve only been at the [Sacramento] SPCA since November, but in college volunteered at the California Raptor Center in Davis. I’m also dedicated to the cause of marriage equality, and spend time at Equality California headquarters nearly every week-–if you’re in Sacramento and signed a petition at some time, I’ve probably called you. I also spend time as an escort at Planned Parenthood when needed.
You love animals—tell us about your current menagerie. Currently I have three cats, one of which has developed a recent habit of enthusiastically vomiting on my carpet; two snakes named when I was first reading Harry Potter (Sly & Gryff); and a Tokay gecko named Spike who barks & hisses. Spike’s a girl, btw. I’ve also had a hedgehog named Puck and leopard geckos, and my parents currently house our family horses and dog.
What’s the deal with Sacramento—is it really terrible, or are there hidden treasures? Are there secrets animal lovers should know about it? Sacramento, especially the midtown area, is changing pretty rapidly—for the better. We’ve got some pretty awesome little stores (Sugar Shack!) and restaurants, and the whole town is thoroughly saturated in Gold Rush-era history. It may not be your thing, but it’s still pretty cool to know about. And, it’s always amusing to watch tourists in knee socks and sandals taking a carriage ride through Old Sacramento. There’s also almost always something to do—concerts in the park and farmer’s markets everywhere, plus they even celebrated the first-ever Sacramento Beer Week in February. The Amgen Tour of California just happened in mid-May. Sac is also pretty perfectly placed-–less than two hours to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, wine country & Northern California. And, while I’m not a big fan of veggies, Sac surprisingly has quite a few vegan/vegetarian options—there’s a food cart in downtown that has awesome eggplant, and Sugar Plum Vegan Café is also popular (the bakery looks awesome) [Ed: it is!].
As an employee of a California tourism organization, what about the state is especially awesome for animals? Animal-lovers? Sacramento has tons of dog parks—my friend is obsessive mommy to a puggle and I swear she visits a different one every weekend. There are also tons of cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating, where pets are welcome. For animal lovers, there are some amazing local spots to check out wildlife—rafting down the American River or hiking the Yolo Basin. We’re also close to Davis and the Raptor Center, which rehabilitates hawks, eagles and owls, but also has some resident creatures. And, if you don’t mind zoos, the Sacramento Zoo recently opened a majorly renovated giraffe exhibit with a huge raised deck.
What else should I have asked you that I didn’t? How I handle sitting at work all day without any animals. The answer: Cute Overload, and my Cute Overload daily calendar, with which I have wallpapered my cubicle [Ed: check out Oct. 1!].
Thanks, Brooke! Good luck next week!
Hey pals! Are you doing something great for animals that Vegansaurus readers should know about? Get it touch! Maybe you’re cleaning birds on the Gulf Coast; maybe you foster rabbits for SaveABunny; maybe you draft legislation to keep people from shooting at animals from helicopters with automatic weapons—you’re great, and we want to hear from you.
Just call me Christopher Columbus because I’ve made an amazing discovery! Just kidding, really I “discovered” America even though a bunch of people already “lived there.” I’m just kidding go back to the first sentence because I made an amazing discovery!: Finnish ryes by Northern Rye!
On Sunday, I went to the Park Slope farmers market on Third Street and Fifth Avenue and my sister-in-law pointed out that this one stand had “some vegan dipping thing.” I went to check it out and I find these funny tart-looking things. The nice women working the table told me they are called “ryes” and gave me an informative card. To quote said card, “hand-made right here in New York City, our artisanal* Finnish ryes are based on a traditional rye pasty recipe from Karelia, a region in Eastern Finland and Western Russia.” On the internets, they are called Karelian pasties (I know, pasties!!! Haaaaaa! Pervs.) [Ed.: that’s a short “a” sound, as in “rat.” Perv.] To liven things up, they make the ryes with cool non-traditional fillings, including a vegan sweet potato edition! Of course I had to buy one because they looked kind of interesting and I always like to let the omnis know they have a vegan audience.
When I say they looked “interesting,” what I really mean is that they looked “weird,” but I wouldn’t let that deter me! And boy am I glad because I ate it and it was superfantastique! There were caramelized onions and rosemary mixed in with the sweet potato and oh my lord, what a happy marriage of flavors! It looked like the crust part would be crispy and like fiber-y or something but it was not at all; it was soft and yummy.
What I would love to see is vegan versions of their spinach ryes and beet (and feta, bleh) ryes. My only problem with them is that, as far as I can tell, they don’t have a website. Is that even possible? I mean, every biz should have a website—I have like eight websites and I do absolutely nothing. But at least I know when and where to get them so I guess that’s all I really need!
For those who can’t make it to the Park Slope farmers market, I found a vegan pasty recipe! Turns out there exists a lovely all-vegan Finnish cooking blog and they have a recipe for a turnip-filled version. Root vegetables—how exciting! If any of you wonderful people make this recipe, please give us a review!
*I hate this word because I have no idea how to pronounce it. I was hoping it wasn’t a real word but apparently it is.
When you’re a poor college student and it’s your mom’s birthday, offer to cater her a vegan meal for her and her friends. But remember it may take all day. And remember to tackle those recipes you’ve been eyeing for all that time. These are some of the things I cooked for my mom’s birthday; and it was fucking nice to make her something worthwhile.
Tart trio: cherry tart, apple spiced tart, and wild blueberry tart (with accompanying (not pictured) crèmes anglaises: lavender, cinnamon-vanilla, and lemon) [Tart dough and crème anglaise base from cooking class at Madeleine Bistro]
I’m kinda thinking there needs to be a VEGANfoodporndaily.com, am I right ladies [and gents]?!
It’s summertime bitches! Well, almost. It’s time to get some vegan sandals! Lucky for you, Megan Rascal is here to give you some superfly sandal choices after exhaustive internet research (that’s what I call shopping: “research”). Sorry there are no men’s sandals included, but that’s just because men shouldn’t wear sandals. Now, in the words of suburban Philadelphia’s own P!nk, let’s get this party started!
Here we have the Belong brown t-strap wedge sandal. This post was totally inspired by these sandals. I got them from Alternative Outfitters and for real I keep getting compliments on them. To be honest, I wasn’t that into them originally; I just wanted a pair of sandals that make me super-tall. Then I wear them and everybody is like, OMG! Even dudes—two guys I know were both like, “I like those sandals.” That is a big compliment, if you get dudes talking about your sandals. In short: you have my permission to cop my style and be awesome like me. They are even on sale for $33.11!
Next we have the espadrille sandal from Marais. Ladies! Espadrille is not a bad word! And these look very retro-cute style. You can find them at Mooshoes $96 (jeez louise, even I’ll admit that’s pricey for these—and I’m allergic to admitting things).
I know everyone is all down on crocs all the time but for real, stop fronting, these are dope! No really, I think they’re cute and I’m sure they’re super-comfortable. I been waiting to get them but I waited too long and now I can’t find them in navy in my size. Poor Megan! Life is the worst! They are called the Hanalei and they go for $54.99 over at crocs.com.
OK OK I scored big over at Endless! They have a ton of Olsen Haus and Beyond Skin shoes, and I am obsessed with both of those designers. As usual, Olsen Haus does not disappoint. This is the women’s spirit wedge and it’s the hotness! I love them. I need them. They are $219.95, so maybe I will have to live without them. I also like their women’s destiny flat, although they are $189.95 at Endless. Yowza! But check them out, I like them.
Like I said, Endless also had a nice selection of Beyond Skin shoes. They didn’t have a ton of sandals but these are pretty cute. These are the women’s marina slingback sandal. I’m not super-obsessed with these but I can imagine them looking super-cute on someone. Imagine! With a sweet 1950s dress! Lovely. These are on sale for $137.47.
For my final act, Endless also had these cute Wanted fringe sandals. I wasn’t sure at first but then I realized these are SUPER cool. I’ve kind of always been drawn to fringe, is that weird? God forbid I be weird! And these are only a lean $28.10—not too shabby!
Ok that is the vegan sandal round-up! Thanks for coming out!
French farmers turned the Champs-Elysées in Paris into a patchwork of tiny farms! It’s a protest by the CNJA, a 50,000-strong union of farmers under 35 (founded in 1949!), who are highly concerned about “falling prices for agricultural produce.”
Of course some of these farmers raise animals, but this expo-protest on the actual Champs-Elysées—which they covered with their own soils and plants!—doesn’t have any animals there, from what I understand.
Imagine if U.S. farmers protested Monsanto by staging a grow-in on the National Mall. Imagine if vegans had a way to unionize. I know it’s a hi-larious joke, the French and their protesting, and some people are just disgusted by union practices, but without unions we’d all be working in the sweatshops where all our nice cheap clothes and bedding and electronics are made in Central America and Asia.
If we value something, we need to show that we value it. If you believe in organic food, buy organic; if you believe in California-grown, buy California-grown. Obviously we compromise our principles to live in reality, but we can strive not to. The vegan “agenda” is idealistic, but it’s certainly worth pursuing. We all have to try to adjust the version of the world we want with the way the world is; that shouldn’t stop us from trying to make improvements.
Ike's neighbors want $1 million from him to stay in business
You read that right. According to the New York Times' Bay Area blog, Ike's neighbors have laid out their demands, and they're ridiculous, bordering on extortion. Doubting that any demands could be that ridiculous, I went down to Ike's Place and talked to him in more detail. So here are the facts, according to Ike.
Ike’s neighbor dispute is between Ike and the two couples living in the two apartments above him. The two couples are renters, sharing a landlord with Ike. The neighbors on either side are either supportive or neutral, and many are his regular customers.
There are three separate legal actions taking place: the eviction, a small claims case with one couple, and the settlement demands discussed in the Times blog post. We’ll call the two couples A (small claims case couple) and B (million-dollar-demand couple).
In the small claims case, Ike had engaged in settlement discussions, but A stopped responding. The court date is July 1, and damages in small claims are limited to $7,500. If Ike were to lose the case, A could still open another case outside of small claims for additional damages.
The “$1 million” demand is one of four possible settlement options presented to Ike by couple B:
Ike must “drastically” adjust hours and business practices, as defined by couple B. Ike must sign over to B the backyard and garage that he leases from the landlord. In addition, Ike must pay $250,000 to couple B.
Ike stays, changes nothing, and pays $800,000 to couple B.
Ike stays and pays nothing, and couple B sues Ike in court.
Ike leaves and pays $200,000 to couple B.
Remember, these aren’t the landlord’s demands. If the landlord successfully evicts Ike, Ike would still have to either pay $200,000 or face a lawsuit, in addition to his legal fees from the eviction—a tall order for a business that only broke even in December.
Ike plans to fight the eviction in court (no court date has been set at this time) realizing that the alternative would mean immediately laying off his staff. The grounds for the eviction? “Nuisance.” But according to Ike, he’s been inspected and visited by various city departments over 40 times, including the health department, the building department, and the San Francisco Police Department. He has never received a single citation—not even on the air quality inspections.
The permit complaint is about air quality. As a remedy, Ike installed a ventilation hood over his kitchen area in January, which was fully permitted by the city. However, the neighbor complained to the landlord before the final inspection, and the landlord ordered Ike to halt all construction on the hood. As we spoke, the hood was installed and turned off.
In other words, the legal grounds for the eviction are nothing more than a pretense for evicting Ike. If they really cared about the air quality and permit issue, they wouldn’t have stopped Ike from finishing construction on the hood.
An interesting twist to the story? Who-Wants-to-Be-a-Millionaire couple B moved into their apartment 19 years ago, at which time Ike’s was a noisy bar, where loud music would rattle through the house, sometimes as late as 3 a.m. The noisy bar is why their rent is so cheap, and probably explains why they’re so reluctant to give up 19 years of rent control. But I don’t know what explains the $800,000 demand. Leverage? Greed? Who knows. All I know is that $800k would get you a pretty nice place in quiet Walnut Creek. City living isn’t for everyone, after all.
Looks like Weird Fish was missing the vegan love, and decided to court us back. Their new menu brings back the old favorites: deep fried dill pickles, tacos with mango salsa and classic fish & chips (sub seitan for both), their internet-famous buffalo girls, and more. Brunch is still gone, for vegans and meat eaters alike.
Anyone been by lately? Let us know how their new/old vegan options stand up.
Meat fights, meat deaths, milk pants, murder and MORE in today's link-o-rama!
It’s funny when gross people things affect animals! Especially when the animals behave in a manner that reminds people of themselves! HA HA HA. [Image from the Daily Telegraph]
Fun-times vegan-related events! Anyone going to the Maker Faire this weekend? It runs Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Mateo County Event Center, and it looks intense. Tickets cost $25 per day but probably it’s worth it for the food events alone—classes on kimchi, spicy pickles, tofu, hooch, and “growing sprouts and baby greens with and without soil.” Skip the bacon, butchery and butter classes and make it a super-productive vegan weekend.
Ultra-veg/etari/an(?) spokesdude Paul McCartney will play at AT&T Park on July 10, tickets for which will go on sale on Monday, May 24. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
News items of varying degrees of interest! "Famous" "person" Bethenny of The Real Housewives of New York, official naked lady for PETA, has an entire "vegetarian" recipes section on her website. I don’t believe she eats, personally, but it’s fun to pretend she cares about anything besides her “personal brand,” right?
Breaking news! The government is moving Plum Island to Kansas! “Why would a highly secure (?) facility that studies livestock diseases on a remote isle move to the absolute center of the American livestock industry, where one loose spore of Manufactured Anthrax-AIDS-Cancer-Foot & Mouth disease could wipe out the nation’s entire stock of cow anus parts used to make Fast Food Hamburgers?… It’s a great idea, if you want to kill off about 95 percent of Americans by poisoning their Extra Value Meals with weapons-grade Human Brucellosis-HIV.” That’s your agriculture, motherfuckers.
See, it’s the repeated murder of animals as a job that can turn a person criminally violent. Sorry, workers on slaughterhouse kill floors! Your job is ruining you. Science also says that eating bacon on the regular will in fact kill the hell out of you, a lot quicker than, say, bacon on the never. Excuse me, I have to take an extra-strength vitamin DUH.
Now what about Trader Joe’s—is it really an “eco-friendly” company? The Utne Readerfeels conflicted on the issues (read: negative). Our other favorite grocery chain is now expanding its vegan options! But this stuff won’t be labeled “vegan” because that word’s for terrorists, so look for "Health Starts Here" signs on the new products instead. Also they’re endorsing that “Engine 2 Diet,” which according to your Vegansaur Steve is “Skinny Bitch for the hegan set,” so hooray! but also UGH. No, nothing is ever good enough, ever.
Especially not MILK SHORTS, meant to be worn while you sleep to decrease the visibility of your cellulite, you fat fuck. Abbie is disgusted and SO ARE WE. If you have insanator links that we should feature here, send them in, please.
Wonkabout features “healthy” restaurants in D.C., meaning “places that serve lots of tofu and vegetables.” Generalizations aside, they all sound pretty good.
More locally, law enforcement officials have trained a “marine mammal team”—comprising two sea lions and a dolphin—to both spot “suspicious divers” and apprehend them using a leg cuff. What is this I don’t even.
In non-manipulative awesome-nature news, coral larvae bodily listen (as in, with more than just ear-style parts) for places to colonize, and choose where to go based on positive sounds, like whatever the sounds of a solid, secure reef are. Of course, people fucking around in the oceans are ruining all this for them. Less depressingly, red-eyed tree frogs conduct bum-vibration duels in the nighttime. The aggression of tiny, adorable animals is so hard to take seriously.
Do you love science, ecological disasters, and rubbernecking at car crashes? Well do I have a special treat for you. BP had been refusing to release video footage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill/leak/-ocalypse, making it nearly impossible for scientists to evaluate the extent of the ongoing damage. So Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said, “This is a whole heap of bullshit,”* and demanded a live video feed of the gushing oil be made available online to everyone, immediately.
Less than four hours later, BP responded, and promised to make the webcam available within 24 hours. The result is now live on house.gov and Ustream.
The spill cam is for independent scientists and the general public to hold BP accountable. We already know that BP undercounted the rate of oil flow by 20 times from their original estimate, thanks to the limited video footage that they reluctantly released. With the current estimate at 4 million gallons each day, that’s an Exxon-Valdez-size spill every three days still pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.
I know! Shocking! Who would have thought that the guy who recently bought himself a burial pyramid would also have wacky ideas about food?
Anyway, so Nicholas Cage (my absolute favorite Hollywood actor right now. Have you SEEN Knowing? The Wicker Man remake? GENIUS) has apparently announced that he only eats animals that have “dignified sex.” Which animals are the most dignified lovers? According to Cage, birds and fish.
Was that title lame? That title was totally lame wasn’t it. Or does it sound like gay porn? Shut up don’t tell me I hate you. What I’m trying to get at: Homemade Twinkie Challenge!
Instructables.com, the superfantastic SF-based how-to site, set out to discover which was the best homemade Twinkie recipe. They tried a straight-up copycat, an organic version, a gluten-free recipe, and a vegan version. I do not want to spoil the results for you! But they sure are surprising if you are stupid and don’t know what this blog is about!
So I presume this was held in San Francisco—were any of you there? Color me curious.
Check out my righteous (literally!) new bag! My friend Hillary picked this up for me at Cary Lane in Hayes Valley. Cary Lane has lots of designer sample sales and recently had an Obey trunk show. OMG I can’t believe I missed it! But Hillz went and when she saw this, she knew I needed it. What a sweetheart! JK, she’s trying to get in my pants. Sigh, that’s just the burden of being me. Or maybe she’s trying to minimize my long, long adoption speech I give to every unsuspecting person who asks to pet my dog. Now I can walk in all, “ADOPT, bitches!” Because Shepard Fairey says so.
Fairey teamed up with adoptapet.com to make this nice “ADOPT” design. I’m a fan. Especially since everybody has been all Banksy-obsessed lately, it’s nice to get back to Obey. Or maybe Banksy will get inspired and do something with an animal-friendly message! Who can say.
I don’t know if you can still find these at Cary Lane but they do have them on the Obey shop site. They also have shirts and even dog collars, and all the profits from the adopt-a-pet design are donated to the cause!
On hypocrites: Graham Hill of Treehugger talks about why he's a "weekday vegetarian"
As a vegan, there are few things more nails-on-chalkboard grating than hearing yet another word or phrase invented by green-minded omnivores to feel better about themselves for eating meat. If you call yourself a “pescatarian” or “flexitarian,” unless you can point me to the pesctable and flexifruit aisles of the produce section (and no, Monsanto gene-splicing doesn’t count), you’re really just a meat-eater appropriating vegetarianism to latch onto some kind of perceived moral credibility.
So I braced myself for Graham Hill’s TED talk on “weekday vegetarianism,” half-expecting to get a new neologism-from-hell (weekdaytarian? weekdgan?) out of the deal. I had always known that Graham Hill wasn’t, in fact, a vegetarian, and has spoken about it quite candidly on Treehugger. He knows it’s a contradiction, and, as an environmentalist who should know better, he still can’t bring himself to never eat meat ever again.
In a way, it fits. Treehugger is very much in the “What do we want? Incremental progress! When do we want it? In the second quarter of next year!" vein. They celebrate bikes and bike lanes, but they also really want you to read every fuel-efficient-car press release.
Graham Hill is a hypocrite, and he knows it. He goes one further: he embraces his hypocrisy to (he hopes) commit a mainstream audience towards making better choices. Because given two binary choices—don’t eat meat/drive/pollute vs. live the McMansion/SUV/Walmart dream—most people will pick a side, and it’s not the one we’d like.
Consistency has achieved the status of our highest national virtue. It’s better to let the world drown in oil and choke on cow exhaust than be a “hypocrite” explaining away the daily contradictions of living in the world; when you’re explaining, you’re losing, they tell us. But maybe the world needs more hypocrites, individuals who are at least committing to something better, and nudging others who would normally leave their heads buried deeply in the sand.
We still need vegans and vegetarians more than ever. It keeps the Overton Window wide open, and makes room for this idea of “well I could never do that, but I could do it half/most of the time.” Graham Hill’s punchline? ”If all of us ate half as much meat, it would be like half of us were vegetarians.” I would take that in a heartbeat.
It’s art! It’s adorable! It’s my dream come true! Aussie artist Bennett Miller created Dachshund U.N. for Melbourne’s 2010 Next Wave Festival. There’s some sort of symbolism in this performance piece but really, OMG dachshunds pretending to be the U.N.! Adorbs.
This is from the Next Wave site:
Dachshund U.N. is both a joyful and chaotic experiment, and a meditation on the utopian aspirations of the Commission on Human Rights, and our capacity as humans to imagine and achieve a universal system of justice. Audiences are invited to these exclusive live viewings of the operations of the Dachshund U.N., where 47 specially recruited dachshunds will engage in rigorous debate.
AWESOME. I don’t really get why they’re dachshunds. But I like it! For more pictures, check out this slideshow from Life. I also found this cute behind-the-scenes look into the project, OMG!:
Some actual good news! Greenpeace is announcing today that Nestle will end the use of everything in its supply chain linked to rainforest destruction. Nice!! And yes, that includes palm oil, which unfortunately is an ingredient in Earth Balance. (Though they claim their palm oil is “sustainably harvested" so let’s hope they either find a replacement, or open up their supplier records to prove it, because it would be awfully lame if Earth Balance were more evil than Nestle. HINT, you guys.) The Gulf of Mexico is still drowning in oil, so we’re not quite ready to declare the world as unfucked, but at least for the orangutans, they’re already planning their celebratory forest rave. See you at the map point!
State legislation that would make it illegal for landlords in California to require animal declawing or devocalization as a condition of tenancy passed in the Assembly on a 63-7 vote Thursday…
AB 2743 also would forbid landlords from giving preferential treatment to tenants with declawed or devocalized animals and from advertising in a way designed to discourage applicants whose animals have not been declawed or devocalized.
Yay! Go kitties, shred the carpet, shred the carpet, go kitties! And puppies, your vocal cords will soon be safe!
This seems like maybe it’ll be hard to enforce but still, a very positive step! I HATE the idea of devocalizing dogs. It’s completely crazy. Someone actually suggested I do this to my dog Figaro. I’m serious! I mean, the boy does seem to be 75 percent lung power—he’s loud as all getup. But I’m always like, he talks way less than I do! And everybody LOVES me. But can you imagine? If you couldn’t talk? Barking is just how a dog expresses her or himself; if they can’t bark, how are they supposed to tell you when Mitsy is breaking into your brand-new bag of pita? I ask you!
And declawing—don’t get me started! Did you know declawing is pretty rare outside of North America? BECAUSE IT’S INHUMANE AND CRAZY! It’s illegal in many countries and I swear it’s the same countries where capital punishment is illegal. I’m not saying causation but I think there’s totally a correlation. Countries advanced enough to recognize the death penalty as cruel and inhumane are also advanced enough to recognize the need to protect those who can’t protect themselves—like poor lil’ kitties. It’s like that Gandhi quote, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” DUH EVERYBODY.
In other animal cruelty news, here’s Figaro in his latest photo shoot!:
(It’s cruelty because I’m making him read Nathanial West. But I’m like, put down the Cosmo and get some damn culture, Figaro!)
Start with two pounds of cherries that were fresh last week. Realize you have to do something with them, and look up recipes until you find the right one for you. Realize you don’t have enough cherries, and add fresh strawberries until ideal weight is achieved. Wash, stem, and pit cherries. This will take longer than you think, but it won’t be nearly as irritating as you expect, I swear.
Adjust your recipe according to your ingredients and tastes. “But it’s a pie! I’m afraid!” Don’t be; the filling is super-easy and you have leftover crust from your last pie in the freezer, so now all the hard work is over.
I adapted the above-linked recipe and this is roughly what constituted the filling: 2 pounds fresh cherries, and 1/2 pound fresh strawberries 1/2 cup sugar (could’ve been less, really, the cherries were very sweet) 2 Tbsp. water 1/4 cup lime juice 1 tsp. vanilla extract (there wasn’t any almond) a dash of whiskey Stir, cover, and let sit for a few hours. Now you can defrost your pie crust, and clean up your mess. Fun!
Now instead of making one giant pie, maybe you want to make two smaller pies. I did! Unfortunately after rolling out two pie crusts and heaping the tins full of filling—no pre-baking the crust this time—I didn’t have any crust left over for a top. What to do? Make a crisp topping, obviously! 1 cup oats
3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup non-dairy butter cinnamon, to taste Combine in a bowl until everything is all pebbly. Then sprinkle across the tops of your pies, like so. Very nice!
While you’ve been mixing and sprinkling, your oven has been preheating to 400 F. When it’s ready, pop the pies in, with foil over the tops, but make sure they’re on some kind of tray, because they will probably erupt a bit and you don’t want cherry-strawberry mess all over your oven. I had to bake mine individually because of this. Pro tip: If you re-use a tray that’s already covered in semi-carbonized pie overflow, it’ll bake on so hard it may never come off. Best not to.
After 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F and remove the foil from the pie. Bake for another 30 to 45 minutes (mine needed 30), then take out of the oven—mind the spillage on those trays!—and place on a wire rack to cool. See how much overflow there was? Thank goodness I used a tray!
Now, allow to cool for a good long time before devouring. Why? First, because the pie filling is like sweet, delicious lava that will blister ever part of you that it touches. Second, because, like a pudding, it’s still setting. You don’t want to cut it open and have all the filling spill out like some ridiculous fruit-waterfall, right? Of course not. So, wait. Give it a good hour at least.
Finally, slice and eat. Although to be honest, this pie is best served at room temperature at least 12 hours after baking. The flavors need more time to develop, I guess, to get comfortable with each other, so try not to eat it all up that night. Allow their relationship time to grow!
Still, definitely eat a piece when it’s done. You pitted cherries for this!
In San Diego there is this phenomenon known as the “Potato Rolled Taco” [Ed. Generally, a “rolled taco” is a taquito if it’s made from a corn tortilla, and a flauta if it’s made from a wheat tortilla]. Jonas is from SD and practically never shuts up about the magicallity of the PRT at Pokez. Having never been to Pokez I can neither confirm nor deny that they are magical but I can say that my boyfriend knows what’s up when it comes to food. He is skinny but he is fierce. In a related note, god bless a skinny person who can throw down when it comes to food. I am bigoted to assume that skinnies can’t bring it when it comes to the dinner table but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few in my day. In fact, I know a girl in NYC who is built like a brick house but regularly eats five sandwiches for first dinner. FIRST DINNER. I don’t even want to tell you about second dinner because that shit is not fit for prime time. Needless to say, I curtsy to you, madam.
ANYWAY, the point is, if Jonas said the PRT is the bomb, it probably is. AND I WANT IT. But also, when the hell am I in San Diego? I’m not Republican, I don’t surf, and I can get all the (LEGAL PRESCRIPTION) drugs I need without hopping over the border so really, there is no need. That’s where Los Jarritos comes in. Los Jarritos is a family-owned sit down Mexican food joint at South Van Ness Avenue and 20th Street in the Mission. You walk in, sit down at a table with menus, order potato flautas and a Jamaica and eat chips and salsa for five minutes until your meal arrives. SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD NOTE:
1) The agua frescas are the size of toddlers. Delicious hibiscus-flavored toddlers. LOOK AT IT NEXT TO THAT CHIP, it’s 50 times its size! Amazing!
2) POTATO ROLLED TACOS ARE THE POTATO ROLLED BOMB. Eat them always. Also, the lovely waitress knew what vegan meant and that just put me at ease. Jonas got the sopes and I can report that they were also the bomb. The veg ones are made with nopales (that’s cactus, gringo) and they are deeeelicious!
3) This place is EL CHEAPO. All you can eat chips, a giant agua fresca, and two HUGE meals set us back 20 bucks! Cha-ching!
Over all, 50 million stars, will be back for more, more, more, more, more I LOVE YOU, LOS JARRITOS.
Los Angeles Road Trip: NiceCream's dreamy vegan ice cream!
Sorry my northern compadres, but NiceCream is based in LA. While not totally 100 percent vegan (some of their ice cream has honey in it, but these flavors are clearly marked, and they wrote about their use of honey on their website; decide for yourself), this raw ice creamerie is one of the only (or the only?) dedicated nondairy ice creameries in Los Angeles. Located conveniently off of the 101 at Cahuenga Boulevard (and only a few doors away from SunPower Natural), NiceCream has an assortment of rotating raw flavors (notable: maple pecan, banana chocolate swirl, ginger-basil); toppings include Newman O’s, granola (à la Café Gratitude), raw caramel (made up of some sort of desert plant or something pulsed with macadamia nuts and vanilla), raw chocolate sauce, Dagoba chocolate chips, raw cacao nibs, and chopped fruit.
Pictured is a scoop of ginger, beet, and something-else-I’m-a-bad-foodie-I-forgot-sorry next to the mammoth of ice cream porn: raw chocolate soft-serve (first of its kind?!!?) mixed with fresh cut bananas, doused in raw caramel. SO FUCKING CREAMY AND AMAZING AND YUM OMG. The two together were like $10. Steep? Yeah, no kidding. It’s $3.99 for a scoop of ice cream and the soft-serve can range from $3.99 to $7.99 depending on the size you get. Toppings are $0.99/each. Yeah, that’s pretty fucking pricey. But I guess it goes along with being raw, maybe? Well anyways, it would be nice to see a price drop, but it’s great to finally see a vegan ice cream place open up shop in LA. Oh, and did I mention this place also doing smoothies, juices, and milkshakes?!?! DAAAANNGGGG. Gotta go back to try GoGreen the Sequel: cucumber, kale, celery, lemon, and spinach blended with avocado, Himalayan crystal salt, and chile.
Debating organics, praising McDonald's (?!!??), drinking mezcal and MORE in today's link-o-rama!
This chinchilla is wearing a boy! This boy is wearing a chinchilla! Who’s the boss? With animals who have not been domesticated for very long, like chinchillas, you never can say. Just stay very still and marvel at how light they are compared to how dense they look. [photo credit: I have no idea, sorry. Let us know!]
Exciting vegan-style events! Hey L.A.! This weekend Keep is having a sample sale, where you can save up to 60 percent on all kinds of super-hot sneakers. Be at the Keep offices at 418a Bamboo Lane today and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday May 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for shoes shoes shoes.
Tomorrow, Saturday May 15, BAARN will participate in an international day of awareness for marine mammals in captivity, and protest in favor of the retirement of Lolita, the oldest orca in captivity (and also possibly the loneliest—her companion of 10 years basically committed suicide in 1980 and she’s been on her own since). There will be two events from noon to 2 p.m.: one at the entrance of Pier 39, near the Embarcadero and Stockton Street in San Francisco; and one at the Berkeley Marina, at the first parking lot on the left in the south sailing basin. BAARN asks that you email here for further information.
Items of varying degrees of interest! So how did the foie gras protests at Thomas Keller’s restaurants go last weekend? According to Eater, “rowdy,” “timid,” and “calm,” depending on location. CNN seems to have just cottoned on to the notion that some people find foie gras reprehensible.
Lebanon made an obscene amount of hummus and falafel, beating Israel’s obscene record of hummus and falafel, and uncomfortably get all nationalistic for reasons we don’t understand. Still: hummus and falafel, yum yum yum.
The Chronicle's Cellarist blog thinks that mezcal will be the big new liquor. I say, YES PLEASE. I had the most amazing cocktail in Mexico City made with mezcal; it was smoky and a little fruity and a little sweet, wicked strong and so delicious, and I’ve never been able to find a recipe online that makes sense. And no, vegans, mezcal does not need to contain a drowned worm to be authentic.
Mark Bittman is agog because distance runner Scott Jurek somehow manages to eat “5,000 to 8,000 calories a day”—as a vegan! What what what?!??!! Isn’t vegan food all super-low-calorie and super-healthy? Doesn’t everyone eating a vegan diet lose 50 pounds, like, one week after starting it? Aren’t all vegans super-skinny, struggling to get enough calories as regular, non-athletes? HOW IS SCOTT JUREK MEDICALLY POSSIBLE?!??!!!
Meanwhile, the Independenttries to convince us that McDonald’s “has been a positive force for change.” Still “killing lots of mass-produced animals”? I’m not convinced. Get your blood pressure down with an interview with Grist's Tom Philpott on the role of class in “the food debate.”
Back in April, the National Research Council released a report stating that genetically modified crops weren’t all bad—mostly right now what’s bad is the way they’re being used, and monopolized, and how we the public have no trust in them. I will agree that I don’t trust them, and Monsanto is the devil, but that’s about it.
Sorry about being totally tardy to the party here, but a couple weeks ago there was an awesome fight in Foreign Policy that you guys will totally love. First, Robert Paarlberg gets all snotty about how “the organic movement” is a big waste of time, only for rich jerks, and if we really want to feed the world, we have to follow the rules of industrial agriculture. Second, Anna Lappé totally smacks him down with a perfect deconstruction of his silly arguments, explaining how truly organic farming could feed the whole world much more efficiently and sustainably. It’s so good.
And of course you’re like, I DON’T FUCKING EAT MEAT so it’s all,
And you’re like, JEEZ LOUISE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH FOR SHOWING ME THIS SITE, MEGAN RASCAL!
Mon pleasure, pals! More deets: It appears that all the main page recipes come from epicurious.com and the veg recipes link to recipe.com. It also appears the recipes are not infinite. When you choose “I DON’T FUCKING LIKE THAT” it takes you to another recipe but eventually they start to repeat. But trust me, there’s plenty to work with!
I’m sure you noted that it says “vegetarian” and not “vegan;” I checked it out exhaustively and it’s pretty even vegan recipes to vegetarian recipes. Many of the vegetarian ones can be easily veganized. Oh—BONUS!: an occasional vegan recipe appears on the main page too! Yee-ha! They’re assimilating us! Nice. [Ed.: BUT IT’S NO VEGWEB.COM, THE BEST RECIPE WEBSITE IN THE WORLD!]
This news hit me deep in the gut. I’d been hearing some rumblings that Ike was having trouble with one of the neighbors, but I didn’t know it was this bad. How bad is it? Real effing bad.
On Monday, [Ike] Shehadeh went to court to see if he could the eviction from landlord Denman Drobisch thrown out. The plea was denied. Shehadeh has a few more days to answer the complaint, which, unless Shehadeh decides to shut down Ike’s, will almost surely mean going to trial. The problem with that scenario, Shehadeh says, is that he doesn’t have the cash to pay the legal fees. “There’s not much more than a handful of dollars,” he says.
Here’s the problem. As any business owner will tell you, “why not move?”, well, it’s not that easy. Moving to a new location means getting the money together to start up what would essentially be a brand new business. And without his popular Castro location, there’s not enough money coming in to make it happen.
Ike’s Place in the Castro employs 40 people. Is the middle of the worst recession since ancient Rome really the time to be harassing Ike’s Place out of business? Do we really need to lose the only sandwich shop in SF that caters to vegans and vegetarians, barely a month after this city passed a Meatless Mondays resolution? If Gavin Newsom can personally intervene to keep Medjool open, maybe one of those “visionaries” on our board of supervisors can pay attention to this shit. Because this would be such an unbelievable blow to meatless dining in San Francisco that I don’t even know where to begin. If our city is serious about promoting vegan and vegetarian food options, then working out a compromise between Ike and his NIMBY neighbors would be a great place to start (Any vegan lawyers willing to get paid in sandwiches?).
P.S. to Ike’s NIMBY neighbors: If you don’t like living above a popular business, then don’t live in a commercial district. Go move to the ‘burbs (home prices are low!) and enjoy your cone of silence, just keep your g-d hands off my sandwich.
There’s been a good debate this week over whether people who don’t believe in any god lose anything by not believing; in particular, “How do you feel about death with no prospect of an afterlife?” For me and Kevin Drum of Mother Jones (linked), we believe nothing happens: you fade to black, that’s the end, and yes, it can be an unpleasant thought. The Christians and spiritualists on the other side of the debate contend that atheists lose something by giving up the comfort of an afterlife. The exchange is less about “does an afterlife exist?” and more about “is it better to live as if an afterlife exists does exist, even if it doesn’t?” I find the whole thing interesting.
Until I get to this:
But either way, does this really reveal something essential about what it means to be human? In one sense, yes: a knowledge that someday we’ll die is unique to humans (though fear of death plainly isn’t), and our response to that knowledge has been a defining feature of human cultures for millennia.
Is it? Is the understanding of death uniquely human? Like funerals or game theory or cities or tools or self-awareness or grief? Because the more we learn about how animals think, the more we realize how similar we are. What if empathy and self-awareness and fear of death are all pieces of the same puzzle? If the entire purpose of life is to survive, then why wouldn’t some base understanding of what it means to not survive be encoded in the DNA of every living thing?
"Only humans do this" is just another way of declaring our dominion over all life on earth. If only our kind and no one else is capable of considering death on any level, then killing animals for our own use requires no justification. Wouldn’t that be so much easier?
Urban farming gets WACKY with Triumph's rice-growing bra
I think we’re all supposed to say “oh those WACKY JAPANESE” because nothing says “I’m not actually racist” better than writing about an entire population as a singular entity perpetually obsessed with family honor and tentacle/schoolgirl fantasies. But really, what else will CRAZY JAPAN think up next? Triumph’s rice-growing bra is the perfect gift for the femivore on your list who’s too busy at the club to tend to her backyard rice patties.
No word on if the bra is lined (or removable) because that shit’s going to get nasty at some point during your rice’s 110-day growing cycle. But don’t worry, if you lose patience with your miracle of edible life, rice-patty bra can double as an iPad stand for your/my instant Netflix addiction. Which reminds me, it’s probably time to queue up Idiocracy again, because if we’ve found a way to sexualize urban homesteading, “Adult Tax Returns” and “Extra Big-Ass Fries” can’t be too far off.
I know lots of people like to get all fancy with their daiya creations but I like to kick it after-school-snack-style! Whole-wheat English muffin + tomato sauce + Daiya mozzarella = Childhood, veganized!
I suggest you make yourself little English muffin pizzas right now. Then grab your chocolate soymilk and enjoy this very special anti-drug episode of Punky Brewster: