Hey sexy people, Stylist.com gave a shout out to San Francisco’s “beauty trends!” Let the excitement begin! I’ll summarize for you because you are lazy and I’m a genius summarizer: 1. Smokey eyes are so totally in. 2. You’re crunchy bastards.
They say vegan makeup is all the rage and that Pin Up Cosmetics is totally the way to go. I had never heard of this Pin Up Cosmetics but they’re vegan and based in San Francisco! Has anyone tried their products before?
They also gave some love to Rainbow Grocery among other places:
With the news of Jessica Simpson becoming vegan [Ed.: lolz!], I want to remind all the vegans out there why we still win in this crazy competition called life.
To begin: Cesar mother-fucking Chavez. BOOYAH! It makes a million dollars worth of sense to me that Chavez, activist for immigrant labor rights, was vegan, as the meat industry is notorious for abusing immigrant labor.
Chavez strikes a blow to that tired old bullsheezy that veganism is for rich white people. Every time I hear this, I’m like STFU because the first vegans I ever met were Black Panthers. Again I say, BOOYAH.
Next, Ellen Degeneres! If you don’t like Ellen, you’re totally crazy and most definitely have a heart made of cold hard steel. Ellen is the greatest. Remember when they told her her career would end if she came out? SHUT UP stupid jerks! Ellen came out and she’s taking over the world. If Oprah is the queen, Ellen is the princess and she’s gunning for that throne. Plus, her wifey is hot as all get out.
Are you ready for my next entry? Leonardo da Vinci! I KNOW, RIGHT? OK, oK, scholars are only sure he was vegetarian but I’m inferring that he didn’t eat milk or eggs because of this:
da Vinci even entertained the notion that taking milk from cows amounts to stealing. Under the heading, “Of the beasts from whom cheese is made,” he answers, “the milk will be taken from the tiny children.”
Now maybe I’m wrong but if history is any indication, I’M ALWAYS RIGHT. And you can’t get better than da Vinci; we could totally beat the non-vegans with him alone! He’s THE MAN.
On to a modern-day superstar: Russell Simmons! Besides pioneering rap, the most popular music everrrr, did you watch him on the Rev. Run show? He’s SO COOL! Always giving kids good advice and stuff. Plus, another blow to the white vegan stereotype. I would totally marry him if he weren’t so into meditation. Meditation makes me want to stab my eyes out with a broach. Which is to say, it’s kind of boring.
This one totally seals the deal, like no question we’re DOMINATING: Prince! I knowwww, we rule! Prince. PRINCE! I can’t take it. And don’t hate, “Diamonds and Pearls” is my fucking jam.
Now for the king of all things indie: Jason Schwartzman! I’ve been somewhat obsessed with him since Rushmore. He’s so great! Remember that part, “O R they” bwahahaha! Seriously, I love this guy. One day we’ll meet and he’ll immediately see that we’re perfect for each other. I WOULDN’T MAKE UP A THING LIKE THAT!
Next: Daryl Hannah! Star of Splash, the best movie ever made! She’s also in 8 mile. Case closed! [Update! Daryl Hannah was not in 8 mile, it was Kim Basinger. Sorry I’m on crack all the time! Just kidding, I’m not sorry. Thanks for the correction Ready4uu78!]
Last but most hot, Joaquin damn-I’d-tap-that Phoenix! Jeez louise he’s the HOTNESS. I don’t even care about his insane “rap” “career,” I’d bang him, beard and all. I hear he’s also an actor—kudos!
That is all for today, but that’s more than enough to prove we’re winning. I’m totally expecting there to be lots of “she/he’s not vegan!” comments and that’s OK, because the more you know, the more you grow.
Does everyone remember that superfantasticamazing sloth video we posted? Well guess what: there’s more to come! Lucy Cooke, a frog-activist and filmmaker, has gone back to the sloth orphanage in Costa Rica to supply us with more sloth “cute-crack” as she calls it (as “cute imagery really does work like crack by stimulating the reward centre of the brain”). She plans to make more videos but for now, there are some HOLY-CRAP-CUTE pictures! OMG I NEED A SLOTH TO KEEP IN MY POCKET!
What are you doing tomorrow morning at 9:30? You’re joining me and everyone else who supports Ike’s Place at the Superior Court of California at 400 McAllister St., Room 301, that’s what. Let’s pack out this courtroom and whisper in hushed outrage while the judge bellows “overruled!” and “restrain the witness!”
On Tuesday, June 29, the court will hear a motion for summary judgment against Ike. If Ike loses, he’ll have no opportunity to go to trial and have his side heard, and he would have to close immediately. To “win” tomorrow, Ike will have to show that the facts are in dispute, and that the case deserves to continue on to trial.
If any of you legal eagles want to follow along, read the docket of every action and filing, or read the original complaint as filed with the court because we love you and the Smoking Gun doesn’t.
Also: You asked how you can help, so here’s something easy and quick you can do right now. From Ike’s mailing list, Ike is asking that you email him with answers to the following questions:
What are the top three ways that you feel Ike’s Place has improved the neighborhood?
Would you be open to making a statement or writing a letter to help save Ike’s Place?
Is it okay if we contact you?
It’s going to take you five seconds to write that out, so what are you waiting for? Free Ike! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! Etc.
I’m sorry, more ridiculous news. I can’t help it, it’s really good today. I love when people die and leave all their money to their animals because that’s some crazy shit I would do. Also, hasn’t the son ever seen Beverly Hills Chihuahua? Those dogs flourish in the lap of luxury!
OMG, I have a movie idea. So the chihuahua (played by Strummer? Or Hazel in a chihuahua costume! Or maybe even Chris Kattan? Whatevs!) is all rich and shit and wins out over the evil son (played by Edward Norton?* Give that kid a break, he needs a j-o-b!), starts down the evil path of overindulgence and is like snorting coke off of stripper’s tits and wearing the finest fur of chinchilla and terrible shit like that until one day, I’m not sure why, he sees where the fur comes from and he is appalled because that’s like, his brothers and sisters (kinda), and so he starts a faux-fur fashion line that takes the world by storm! Cameos from Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, and David Spade (as the chihuahua’s best friend from Norway)! OMG PLEASE SOMEONE MAKE THIS.
*click on Edward Norton’s name for an amazing experience you will never forget DO IT.
[Thanks for posting this in google reader, Eve Batey!]
“Siebert deftly explores the connection between violence against animals and other forms of violence, but he avoids the implications. The article mentions that children who witness violence toward their family pet “suppress their own feelings of kindness and tenderness toward a pet because they can’t bear the pain caused by their own empathy for the abused animal.” That would appear to be exactly what people do whenever they sit down to eat. No matter how hard people pretend not to, we all know what happens to the animals who end up on our plates. What does our willing ignorance of this violence toward billions of animals do to us as a culture?”—
From Mariann Sullivan’s (she’s the deputy chief court attorney at the New York State Appellate Division and former chair of the animal law committee of the New York City Bar Association and the current love of my life HANDS OFF PEOPLE) excellent letter to the editor in response to the New York Times Magazine article, “The Animal-Cruelty Syndrome”.
It just sums everything up perfectly. I hope every snob who reads that paper (WHO READS THE PAPER, LAURA!??! You have a point, Dear Reader.), sits down to their steak dinners with maybe a small thought of how screwed up their plates are and how we’re ALL part of the huge, fucked-beyond-words problem. What is this doing to us as a culture? I have a few guesses and that Tolstoy quote, “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” keeps coming to mind.
What ho! it's this week's charming, informative link-o-rama!
Fulvio Bonavia, “Untitled”, A Matter of Taste, 2008 Eggplant shoes! This is from Beautiful/Decay magazine’s three-partseries on food art. Not all of it’s vegan, of course, but a lot of it is pretty amazing. I especially like Han Bing’s “Walking the Cabbage” photos. More useless footwear are Mini Melissa, a new line of Vivienne Westwood for Melissa vegan shoes for babies. I am filling out adoption papers RIGHT NOW to acquire the babies to fill these fucking adorable shoes, $100-per-pair price be damned.
After hitting up the EBVBS, head over to Harvest Home Sanctuary for the summer open house! There’ll be guided tours, a presentation by author Mark Hawthorne, and vegan snacks. HHS asks that you please register for the event, whereupon you’ll receive driving directions.
PETA and the San Francisco Vegetarian Society have combined forces to leaflet in front of the KFC at 4150 Geary Blvd. at 6th Avenue. Be there on Sunday, June 27 from noon to 1 p.m.; materials provided by PETA; lunch at Golden Buddha to follow.
On Monday, June 28, attend “Perspectives on Liberation and Oppression,” with former prisoner (SHAC 7!) and animal-rights activist Andy Stepanian. The event will be held at Station 40, at 3030B 16th St. at Mission Street in San Francisco, and begins at 7 p.m.
Articles and such for vegan reading! Let’s look at this week’s restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! Well well well, Michael Bauer enjoyed his meals at Gracias Madre! Possibly more than your Vegansaurus has (thus far). Can you imagine!
Check this out: tacos de vegetales from Taco Station in Los Angeles. Did you know that there are many delicious AND traditional (YES, TRADITIONAL) Mexican recipes that are vegetarian and/or vegan? LA Weekly does. [photo by Dommy Gonzalez, LA Weekly]
It’s fun to make fun of animals, right? Check out these lemurs who live in Whipsnade Zoo in England: they’re totally playing soccer, just like the World Cup! Look, they even have red cards! HA HA ANIMALS SO FUNNY!
Let’s take the edge off with the best fucking story of the week: Mel, one of the “bait dogs” rescued from Michael Vick’s compound of death, has been adopted; he now has a loving family, a new best dog friend, and a stuffed monkey he uses as a “security blanket.” You’re crying right now, aren’t you? Well, read the article and then try to hold back the tears. OK, how about this story about Oscar the cat, who got “bionic” back legs after someone (the article doesn’t say!) hit poor Oscar with a combine harvester.
The New York Times Magazine's big feature is called “Tuna’s End” and probably of interest to those of us who give a fuck about not ruining the world’s oceans. I can’t give you any further sardonic commentary because I haven’t had time to read it yet.
I think that’s what’s happening, anyway. A vegan show on network television (is Oprah’s new station considered network television!? I do not know!). That’s pretty rad so GO VOTE. You don’t even have to register, you just have to click a button. And you can do it as many times as you want so if you’re unemployed, MAKE IT HAPN, CAPN.
In crappier news, Justin made a pretty great video about veganizing classic grill recipes and it was rejected because he had his friends in it? Although it doesn’t say in the rules that you shouldn’t have friends? What gives, Ope? Maybe she hates people with friends because it’s hard to maintain REAL and TRUE friendships when you’re unsure if people love you or your billions and billions of dollars (it’s the billions and billions of dollars TRUST NO ONE, OPE!!). I cannot imagine the Oprah that I know and love (who I am sure is going through each video herself because SHE CARES ABOUT US) rejecting something for such a ridiculous reason. Anyway, go watch and tell us what you think!
Lion burgers, or Why I am never reading the news again
You’ll have to forgive me if this post is a little rough around the edges; it’s really hard to type while you’re holding the pieces of your recently exploded head together. Anyway, the outrage this time is none other than lion burgers.
Some genius in Mesa, Ariz. (thanks again, Arizona!) got the bright and not-at-all crazy idea to serve up burgers made from locally raised, free-range LION at his Italian-ish looking restaurant, Il Vinaio as a kind of tribute to the World Cup happening right now in South Africa/whorish publicity stunt. Never mind that South African cuisine traditionally skews away from hamburgers, lion or not—to me, this reads like just another episode of “Adventurous Eating for Assholes.”
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised; this is the next logical step in the whole “meat is the new black” offal slide into culinary hipsterdom. As offal-eating websites and articles descend on the internet like a pack of intestine-filled locusts, culinary hipsters are apparently ever striving to find new and horrible ways to indulge their palates. It appears that lion burgers are the next step, and all I can really say is UGH.
What makes this perhaps even more sad and pathetic is that the restaurateur who’s so interested in pushing the envelope that he secures LION MEAT for his menu apparently can’t do better than a fucking burger. A BURGER. That’s right—the exact type of food that was INVENTED to disguise the taste of inferior meat is now being used as a showcase for the meat of an ENDANGERED FUCKING SPECIES? In what kind of fucked-up universe does that make sense? I guess it at least puts the lie to the old saw the whole-pig-and-offal set like to trot out, about how “limiting” it would be to cook without meat. Sorry guys, looks like the bar for culinary crutch just got set a couple notches higher.
[Thanks to Rosie for the heads-up & investigation!]
We got an update on the from the Oakland Animal Services about the success of their recent adoption event. Guess what! Simone that sassy kitty with her tongue sticking out got adopted! But guest what else: Marshmallow the bunny did not (sad face).
Marshmallow’s picture here made quite a splash with the Vegansaurs, as he’s the cutest bunny ever! But it turns out the adoption event was just for cats and dogs—no bunnies included! So there are still plenty o’ bunnies available for adoption at OAS. I’m sure most readers are totally aware that you can adopt bunnies, gerbils, rats, et al. from shelters, but I think the general public doesn’t really know that. Everyone knows you can adopt cats and dogs, but pet stores have the little furries readily available, and I think that’s the first place many people think to look. Of course if pet stores didn’t sell these animals, that would change everything. There are plenty of pet stores that promise not to sell cats and dogs but some of these same stores still sell tiny pets. Why the discrepancy? We need to organize some kind of awareness campaign! So that everyone knows there are homeless pets of all sizes! Get on that!
Now, my pals, let me introduce some of the bunnies available because there’s always room for cute bunny pictures in your day!
That’s right! Our pals in Berkeley need to staff their soon-to-be-open storefront! So have you applied yet? Why not? You can’t do better than a vegan cinnamon roll bakery in Berkeley—especially not in this economy. So get a-clicking and a-pplying, already!
It’s almost the end of June, and you know that means: new iPhone release day! Which means (a) you’re going to need a stiff drink (or 10) after standing in line for seven hours to get your very own shiny love-brick from The Future; or (b) you’re going to need a stiff drink (or 10) to wash away the memory of stabbing/dumping the body of your coworker who wouldn’t STFU about a friggin’ phone that they stood in line like a fool for seven hours to get. What I’m saying is, you live in San Francisco, the world capital of unhealthy technology addiction, and it’s practically guaranteed that you will be one of these two people by tomorrow night. Either way the solution is the same: drink the pain away. Hence, SF Vegan Drinks, sponsored as always by your Vegansaurus. Take it away, Lyndsay’s press release:
Just a heads up that the June installment of Vegan Drinks is Thursday, June 24 at Martuni’s (Valencia @ Market). Come on out to mingle with other interesting vegans while enjoying drink specials (This Month: $5 Strawberry and Summer Citrus Martinis) 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. For only 98 cents a piece, you can satisfy your after-work hunger. You may just want to have two!
Only two? At 98 cents, start training now for the hot dog competitive eating contest, because this month, it’s happening for reals even if I’m the only contestant. As always, Vegan Drinks goes from 6 to 8 p.m., plenty of time to drink too many $5 Strawberry and Summer Citrus Martinis and make confessional video calls to your exes. The future is already so bright.
Straight out of Brooklyn: Mast Brothers Chocolate!!!
Peoples, you’ve GOT to try this stuff! It’s called chocolate, ever heard of it? But this chocolate is insanely good—like, crazier-than-my-mom good! Mast Brothers Chocolate is made in a tiny lil’ factory in Brooklyn by the adorable Mast brothers. I saw these chocolate bars and had to check them out; for one, they have superfantastic packaging. It’s all old-wallpaper-looking wrapping—so pretty! Then it totally says, “2.5 oz. Vegan Product” on the back! I love an explicit vegan shoutout. It also has the “date of birth” on the back, which warmed my icy heart (You can’t hurt steel!). I decided to buy the dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt because I’m a big fan of the chocolate-and-salt combo. I used to love chocolate-covered pretzels for that reason. This salt content is way beyond some silly chocolate-covered pretzel! It’s perfect.
You can buy the chocolate at various places, in New York mostly but you can also order the bars online so do not fret San Franciscans! Actually, someone in SF should totally get in on this action! For real, you could sell the crack out of it (I just invented that turn of phrase, feel free to use it). They are super into the whole artisan shtick, they might even know a femivore or two. They have a nice blog that collects articles written about them (there’s about 80 million!) as well as other points of interest in the general craft/artisan community. It looks like you can even visit their operation on Saturdays! Maybe I can stop by! Maybe I can meet the Mast brothers! Are the breasts still the appropriate place to get autographed? I’m just playing! I would like to get the lowdown on the vegan-ness of the place, though. I’m a big factory-tour enthusiast (whatever, you probably like “books” and other lame stuff, leave me alone!) and the only chocolate factory I’ve been to is Hershey’s as a wee lass, and that’s far from vegan.
I eat the kind of diet that makes people’s jaws drop open in disbelief, right before they say, “But what can you eat?” I can’t eat wheat/gluten and I don’t eat animal products. As long as I’m cooking for myself there’s a whole universe of food for me, but heaven forbid I should want to sit in a cafe for more than a few hours, because if hunger strikes when I am out in the world and I don’t want to spend a ton of money, I’m basically screwed.
Friday, June 4 I’m on this huge breakfast burrito kick, which is basically saving my life because for a while I just could not figure out vegan, gluten-free (GF) breakfast. I use La Tortilla Factory GF teff wraps, and I brown them in a cast-iron pan so they’re all crispy outside like Cancun burritos. Today my burrito had refried beans, a scoop of leftover rice bowl made with black rice and dandelion greens, salsa, half an avocado, and a little Daiya cheddar, which I’m not sure yet if I like or not.
For dinner tonight I had leftover sweet potato and black bean enchiladas with roasted green chile sauce, recipe courtesy of one of the most fantastic GF, mostly vegan blogs ever, Gluten-Free Goddess. I make them with a little stripe of soy cream cheese down the center of each enchilada, and they are incredible.
Saturday, June 5 Breakfast was soft polenta made in the rice cooker, my favorite no-stress, lazy-ass way to make polenta. I added half a mashed avocado, salt, pepper, and a big squeeze of lemon juice. I’ve been eating a ton of avocados lately. I think I’m going to cry when avocado season ends.
Leftovers for lunch. In an attempt to streamline my cooking process, which can
sometimes take hours for a single multi-course weeknight meal, I’ve been trying out a new cookbook from the library this week, Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. So lunch was her aloo ghobi with cauliflower and Klamath Pearl potatoes, both from my CSA, and creamy chickpea curry (the creamy is from coconut milk) from another blog I like, Beyond Rice and Tofu. There wasn’t much left of the leftovers, so I also noshed on a chai Bumble Bar to fill in the gaps.
Sunday, June 6 Dinner was another Vegan Express recipe, pasta carbonara with tempeh bacon and baby broccoli from my CSA box. I used Tinkyada brown rice pasta, which is so delicious I actually like it better than wheat pasta. And I made salad, red leaf CSA lettuce with toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Monday, June 7 Leftover pasta carbonara for breakfast. I love leftovers for breakfast. Unfortunately these leftovers put me into a carb coma (I don’t eat pasta very often), so I had to take a nap. A nap! After breakfast!
Amy’s Rice Bowl (brown rice, broccoli, and black-eyed peas) for dinner, topped with a ton of homemade kimchee. I love Amy’s; vegan, gluten-free, under $5 (way under, with a Rainbow coupon), and healthy-tasting. Awesome! The only drawback is I don’t have a microwave so it takes nearly an hour in the toaster oven.
Tuesday, June 8
I tried another new Vegan Express recipe for lunch, with many modifications. I ended up with a delicious concoction of quinoa, bok choy from my CSA, edamame, toasted cashews, and mandarin oranges.
Won the lottery for rush tickets to Wicked tonight! We tried to go to Golden Era for dinner, but of course they’re closed on Tuesday. (I actually knew that, I just didn’t know today was Tuesday. Go, me!) So we went to Pakwan instead and split saag aloo and baingan bharta. Rice for me, naan for the boy.
Thursday, June 10 I had a hectic morning so I threw an Amy’s in the toaster oven, this time Mattar Tofu with peas and dal and rice and stuff. I always sprinkle a bunch of mustard seeds on top of the Indian Amy’s because I’m total a mustard seed-addict.
Tuesday’s quinoa-and-bok-choy concoction is like one of those neverending cornucopias in fairy tales, constantly refilling itself with a new supply. I attempted to make a dent by having a hearty portion for dinner along with more of my beet greens and tofu from earlier. I also made more fudge brownies, but did my best to give them all away because I’m not really eating sugar right now. I do love to bake, though, so I try to surround myself with people who love sweets and then stuff them full of homemade treats for my own pleasure. It makes me feel a little like the witch in “Hansel and Gretel,” but I prefer to think I’m spreading joy. Who doesn’t love brownies?
Would you like to be featured on Vegansaurus? Of course you would! So submit your Vegansaurus Diet already!
If ingesting copious amounts of soy is bad for me, someone call 911 because I am likely to need an ambulance tonight. Milling around the produce section of the Whole Foods in Noe Valley, a tiny juicy bin tucked in between some lettuce and melons caught my eye. A tag sat modestly on top of the bin filled with the best tofu ever made: Hodo Soy Beanery tofu!
Yes, we are lucky enough to have this firm, white block of heaven at our fingertips hidden away for all vegan and vegetarian hogs alike. Hodo Soy Beanery uses 100 percent organic, non-GMO, hand-selected soybeans and painstakingly prepares them early in the a.m. so we can have the finished product within 12 hours of preparation! More than most of us can say, damn!
Many blocks of tofu came home with me destined to be made into crispy golden nuggets. A recipe for Spicy Banh Mi from Vegetarian Times BLEW me away last week. Imagine a crusty sweet roll, slathered with Vegenaise, sweet-and-sour marinated daikon shreds with a hint of cilantro. Then add the best part: fried tofu!
I tried making the sandwich with two different brands of tofu, and I must say the Hodo comes out WAY ahead because it is firm and filling. I challenge you to attempt to leave the fried tofu untouched before assembling the sandwich…good luck!
[Thanks to Keri Siry for this guest post and photo! Would you like to contribute to Vegansaurus? Let usknow!]
This week certainly has been trying; thank goodness it's time for the link-o-rama!
This is Wilson, a bunny from Harvest Home Sanctuary. He could be your best new bunny pal, if you are in Berkeley tomorrow! HE HAS HIS OWN BUNNY TO CUDDLE!! Wilson is a meta-bunny! Read about where and when to find him below.
Event-y things! Your Vegansaurus loves bunnies; what about you? This week, the SFPD confiscated 23 bunnies from a pet store—it’s illegal to sell them in the city—and you can adopt them from Animal Care and Control starting tomorrow, Saturday June 19, at noon. Harvest Home Sanctuary is also holding a rabbit-adoption event in the East Bay, in conjunction with the House Rabbit Society, on Saturday! You can meet rabbits at Berkeley’s 4th Street Shopping District, at 1824 4th St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
News-ish items! What the FUCK: Miami is building a new stadium for the Florida Marlins, which will include two saltwater aquariums as part of the walls around home plate. “To safeguard it from impact, Lexan—the material used for bulletproof windows—will be installed in front and in back of the acrylic panels.” I’m sure that the animals living in those aquariums will totally appreciate the thickness of the material, seeing as how it has to be designed to withstand fucking BASEBALLS BEING THROWN AT IT.
Egg production is supremely fucked up; for one, “egg production” is a tidy euphemism for “forcing hens to lay eggs.” Even “free-range” is a lie: the Humane Society filed a complaint against Rose Acre Farms this week because the conditions the company’s chickens live in are fucking horrific, certainly not the “humane and happy environment” full of “happy” chickens Rose Acre is selling people.
Terrible system of the week: wildlife photography. It is mainly a lie; the animals are bred in captivity, rented out for pictures, and often sold on the exotic-animal black market. The feature in Audubon magazine on these horrific, depressing, disgusting practices is shocking. And gross. You absolutely must read it.
Like so many vegan versions of non-vegan foods which I haven’t eaten in X amount of years, it becomes hard to say anymore what tastes “authentic” and what is only hitting just the right notes of nostalgia in order to pass muster. The authenticity of vegan products is, like that of ethnic cuisine and Star Wars prequels, continually up for debate.
Jerky is a simple food. The checklist any jerky product needs to fulfill is as follows: Tough/chewy? Check. Salty/savory/umami flavor? Check. That’s about it. Accomplish those things and you have a jerky. In my estimation, even the pickiest meat eaters should find their jerky hard-on effectively satisfied by the soy-and-seitan cousins.
Vegan jerky products seem to exist along a spectrum: on one side we have the tough leathery nuggets of Stonewall’s Jerquee; then we have Tofurky Jurky: hard pepperoni-like wheels but with some juice to them; and then there are Primal Strips, which are, for the most part, far more juicy and tender than one would expect from a jerky. This is not to say that Primal Strips aren’t as delicious as can be. Quite the opposite in fact. But if you are prone to quibbling about whether something does or does not taste like the “real thing,” then this may be a point of contention for you. Additionally, Primal Strips are packaged as a “stick” rather than as nuggets, which adds to the bonafide-ity of the experience for me.
The only “real” jerky I can remember eating was circa 10 years old on a summer camping trip during which I hit up every gas station along the way for three-foot-long sticks of what I can now presume was horse testicle. I loved it at the time but for some reason never ate it again as far as I know.
Recently I’ve had to admit that I may have been somewhat stranger of a child than I always thought—I can’t be entirely certain anymore exactly what is a real memory and what I imagined and then subsequently recalled as fact. (For instance, I have fond memories of playing a video game which may not have in fact existed.) But what I remember of the stick of “real” gas station jerky is this: it was sort of tough and leathery on the outside, and juicy-stringy on the inside. In other words, sort of right in the middle of the jerky spectrum, straddling the line as it were.
I typically like it all, wherever it falls on the previously mentioned jerky spectrum. I am generally only somewhat choosy when it comes to snacktime and if the choice is between a sore jaw or jerky juice dribbling down my chin (SEX SELLS! LAURA ADDED THIS!), I will probably accept both as done deals, one right after the other, subject only to availability.
Primal Strips are available in six different flavors, three of which are seitan-based, two are soy-based, and one is shiitake-mushroom-based. Surprisingly, the shiitake variety (“Hot and Spicy”) comes the closest to what I remember the horse-genitalia-based (“real”) kind of jerky. Be warned, however, the spiciness implied on the label is entirely appropriate. The soy- or seitan-based flavors veer further towards the juicy/tender side of the spectrum. I also enjoyed the “Mesquite Lime" flavor. I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the mesquite flavor (tastes like wood?) but the lime flavor is exactly right: citrusy and tart.
Final Word: Primal Strips are and have been my preferred jerky product of choice for some time now. It comes out ahead in both the value for money and the flavor.
Full disclosure: This review was based upon a free sample provided by Primal Spirit Foods. You can get Primal Strips for yourself at, like, practically any decent grocery.
Go. It’s about the terrible fur industry and it’s supposed to be amazing. Also, I hear there is sex in it. KIDDING but I gotta do something to get you pervs interested! Oh and there’s an after party at Dalva’s with their delicious $3 sangria. GET ON IT.
Treehugger reports that Farm Sanctuary in N.Y. is still looking for homes for the six calves rescued from a farm in Pottsville, Penn. (home of the Yuengling brewery! The tour is dope. This is an aside, back to the calves!). As you can see in the video, the calves were starving and ill when they found them—now they are bouncy toddlers! I never realized how damn cute baby cows are, they are almost as cute as baby pigs! If you have room in your heart/farm, somebody, please adopt these adorable calves!
We have a rare human interest story on Vegansaurus today: my husband’s van was stolen! This is a vegan issue because my husband is a vegan, and this van was scheduled to take a whole pack of vegans to see Iron Maiden this Sunday! CLEARLY, THIS AFFECTS US ALL!
Anyway, it sucks, and we really, really hope to get it back, so I’m putting out a Vegan All Points Bulletin for Blue Sunshine—a blue 1983 G20 Chevy Diesel van. She’s got a rigged-up roof rack that’s pretty noticeable, and the license plate number is 4NX L707. If you see this van, please call the non-emergency police line and tell them you’ve spotted a stolen vehicle.
Thanks, vegans, and thanks, Laura, for letting me put this up. If you’re the one to spot this monster and report it, let me know, and I’ll buy you a $6 beer at the Kozy Kar.
Hello young world! Who likes chocolate? EVERYBODY! So today I present to you the three vegan chocolate spreads that are near and dear to my stomach. Warning: they are all kind of expensive. Sorry.
Let’s kick things off with I.M. Healthy chocolate soy nut butter. This is not as chocolaty delicious as the next two but for some reason I feel healthier eating this one. Maybe it’s because of the janky graphic design? It makes it feel like old-school health food. Or maybe it’s because it states “I.M. Healthy” on the label—who can say? I generally just spread this on a toasted Van’s waffle. I was actually introduced to this spread by these kids I used to babysit. They were hilarious little rich kids and they went to some fancy school where you weren’t allowed to bring any peanut butter in your lunchbox. How cruel! JK, it’s probably nice for those peanut-allergy kids, then they don’t have to worry. I can’t imagine being allergic to peanut butter! It sounds scary. Well, with this stuff, you don’t have to worry because it’s made in a peanut-free (and dairy-free and egg-free!) facility.
This chocolate peanut butter is AMAZING in a grilled banana sandwich. You just get two slices of vegan oat bread (the softer, the better), spread the chocolate peanut butter on the bread (I spread it on each piece of bread so the sandwich really sticks together), add some sliced banana and put it in a frying pan with some Earth Balance. It’s the best sandwich EVERRR. Seriously, I would eat this as my last meal on death row (btw, abolish the death penalty!).
Last but super-delicious, we have Dark Chocodream from Natural Nectar (there’s two chocolate varieties but only the dark chocolate is vegan). This stuff is like straight-up chocolate, no nuts to get in your way (that’s what she said?). It’s also the most expensive, but it’s got fair-trade ingredients (social justice isn’t cheap!). I’ve never tried it in the grilled banana sandwich but it’d probably be awesome. I just eat it on waffles and it’s great. A delightful way to start your day!
And that, my friends, is the vegan chocolate spread round-up! Let the chocolate spreading begin! In bed!
Everything's happening this weekend and we have proof in your link-o-rama!
It’s summer, let’s go camping! HA HA HA KIDDING. What I meant was, It’s summer, let’s spend time outside, and let’s bring our portable, pop-up bunny tents so our best pals can hang out with us! [photo via VagaValley]
This weekend—Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13—is Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon at 41 animal shelters in the Bay Area! Megan Rascal already gave you a preview, but there are so many more animals than MARSHMALLOW and his GIANT CHEEKS waiting for you to adopt them FOR FREE! That’s right, for the Adoptathon, the adoption fees will be waived at participating shelters! So go on, find your new best friend.
Love dogs? Have $20? You’re going to Bikers for Barkers tomorrow, then, right? There’ll be prizes and snacks and drinks—everything vegan!!!—so you have no excuse for skipping it. Be at Dainese D-Store at 131 S. Van Ness Ave. at 12th Street from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. They say no one will be turned away for lack of funds!
Looks like we ruffled some feathers (ha!) over at Treehugger, and they’ve posted a response. To be clear, I’m glad that both sides of this debate are focused on helping birds and easing their suffering, but let’s unpack this a bit:
I was assuming that everyone was aware of the opposing view: The conventional wisdom that cleaning birds is a good and worthy practice.
In fact, the opposing view I was hoping to see was a response from IBRRC to Silvia Gaus’s specific claims, not a rehash of how everyone feels about helping animals. We reported on IBRRC’s debunking in our follow-up, pointing out that “Gaus’s statistics are related to past North Sea oil spills, where birds are more prone to freezing”.
I’m sorry if this discussion makes some people uncomfortable, but it’s a discussion worth having.
I enjoy uncomfortable discussions (what vegan doesn’t?) but ultimately, Brian Merchant and I are two amateur observers trying to sort out the facts. Neither of us are doing the work of rescuing birds in the Gulf and observing how well they survive. (Disclosure: I volunteered for the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and cleaned birds following the COSCO Busan oil spill in the San Francisco Bay.)
Novel ideas tend to excite more than the conventional wisdom, but is it truly a discussion worth having? IBRRC spends considerable resources to answer the exact question Mr. Merchant is posing. In science, it’s not the “scrappy bloggers” asking the tough questions; it’s the researchers themselves.
IBRRC doesn’t oppose euthanasia when necessary (and neither do I — not for animals, not for humans). But “kill-not-clean” is quickly becoming the new conventional wisdom, thanks to the media’s approach to science reporting. If Gaus’s claims are reported unchallenged, then the general public will be less willing to support organizations like the IBRRC. Why bother, after all, if they’re spending resources on an entirely futile task?
We should not only be trying to rescue as many animals as we can; we should be trying to understand what happens to them after we do, so we can keep getting better at it. IBRRC has been doing exactly that. Why not ask them about their research?
Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss in Cappuccino! PLUS FREE ICE CREAM!
Over at veganbackpacker.com, they are hosting a Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss giveaway! One lucky vegan can win five coupons for free pints of Coconut Bliss. OMG! This is great timing since I was JUST about to write about my new favorite thing: the cappuccino Coconut Bliss. It’s the sheezy! Well, it’s not as amazing as the coffee-flavored ice cream I had in Italy in my pre-vegan days, but it’s the first vegan coffee-related flavor I’ve found and it hits the spot! I like my coffee ice cream to be like straight-up black coffee flavored and this is a little weak. But it’s very creamy; it has a great consistency, much better than other vegan ice creams I’ve had. Sometimes they are more icy and crunchy than creamy, but not Coconut Bliss. There is definitely a bit of coconut flavor and I’m not a superfan of coconuts, but it doesn’t bother me so don’t let the coconut turn you off. Another bonus: it’s got all fair-trade ingredients, including the coffee for the cappuccino one. Yay!
So, fatties (OK, skinnies too) go enter! And if you win, there’s no reason why you can’t share one of your FIVE free pints with, I don’t know, MEGAN RASCAL! HOLLER AT YOUR GIRL!
Vegan victory: no more pig-roasting at Beehive Market!
Remember how we lifted your spirits with the post about the brand new Beehive Market, opening this Saturday, June 12? And then remember how we crushed your dreams by telling you that there was going to be a whole pig roasted at the event? Well, let your spirit eagle soar, because there will be no whole pig roast at the Beehive Market!
Yes, vegans, you have made your voices heard! The (awesome) organizers of the (we expect it to be awesome) event have said that they aren’t interested in alienating any vegans who want to attend, so they asked the whole pig people to give the pig a break. YES! SUCCESS! IN YOUR FACE, PIG-ROASTERS! WOOO!
OK, whew! Kidding! Rubbing things in people’s faces isn’t vegan, but still: it’s awesome to see an organization taking vegans’ concerns seriously and not writing us off like we’re a bunch of kooks/spoiled children for not wanting to spend our formative weekend hours, the highly important hours that determine how awesome a weekend is going to be, breathing in pig carcass and being sad.
Oakland Animal Services Adoptathon! It's a free fur all!
Oh fur puns, I love it! Guess what else I love: adoptable animals! Oakland Animal Services is having a "Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon" this weekend (June 12 and 13), sponsored by Maddie’s Fund, an adorable charitable organization based in Alameda. Maddie’s Fund is going to pay all adoption fees for dogs and cats this weekend PLUS they will donate $500 for every successful OAS adoption at the adoptathon. $500?! That’s a lotta bones!
As a favor to you, I have previewed all the adoptable animals and OMG the cuteness! Here is Marshmallow, the most adorable bunny ever! Where’re your eyes, Marshmallow?! WHERE ARE YOUR EYES?!
Below we have Simone, a sassy senior cat! Nice tongue action, Miss Sassypuss! To her right is Dusty, who is OMG ADORABLE KILL ME! Guys, I would totally adopt every animal in the world if I had the space/competency. They are so cute and need homes! So if you are in the market, get to this event. And send me pictures of who you adopt because I can live vicariously through you! Party!
Well surprise, surprise. The news media and the blogs—including a few that should know better (*cough* Treehugger)—have been bursting at the seams with euthanasia bloodlust for oil-soaked birds. But IBRRC, the actual experts doing the work of bird rescue and research, is pushing back. Silvia Gaus, the German biologist who everyone is quoting, is basing her opinion on bad and outdated science.
Mark Russell, a project manager at the IBRRC, took strong issue with Gaus’ claim that cleaning is ineffective: He told me that the studies on which she based her conclusions suffered from some gaps in procedure. (For example, what were the rehabilitation practices? Did the monitoring equipment that was strapped onto the released birds contribute to their demise? If you can no longer locate a bird with a transmitter, should you always assume that the bird died?)
Other studies indicate that the survival rate for cleaned-up birds can be quite high, from 78 to 100 percent. And as bad as those oily pelicans may look in the pictures from Louisiana, Russell said it’s often the oiliest birds that have the highest survival rate. That’s because they tend to be picked up earlier, before dehydration, hypothermia and other ills have set in.
Russell said there was once a long-running debate over whether the stress of rehabilitation does the birds more harm than good. (Research shows that it doesn’t.)
Each oil spill is different, however, and survival rates often depend on factors such as climate and species, according to Nils Warnock, a wildlife specialist with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.
No one knows what the survival rate will be for the Gulf species affected by the oil spill. But, Warnock said, “I don’t believe that all these birds that are being rehabilitated for the Deepwater Horizon spill will end up dying.”
He added that Gaus’s statistics are related to past North Sea oil spills, where birds are more prone to freezing after oil has compromised their natural waterproofing.
So there you have it. Clean, rescue, and care for oil-soaked birds. Don’t kill them.
“I don’t know if it’s true,” says Bourdain. “But there’s a story that when customers started annoying [David Chang] by complaining about the lack of vegetarian options at [Momofuku] Noodle Bar, he changed the menu and put, like, pork in every dish.” (When asked for comment, Momofoku did not deny this claim.)
On the menu at Chang’s popular sister restaurant Momofuku Ssam Bar, there are sections dedicated to “Country Hams,” “Offal” and “Fish & Shellfish.” There are also notes that read “Please let us know if you have any food allergies,” “No substitutions or special requests” and “We do not serve vegetarian-friendly items.”
Right. On the other hand:
Not long ago, Le Pescadeux’s Perley recalls, his SoHo restaurant served turtle. No, they weren’t cooking turtle. Perley says a man brought his pet turtle—one of his few possessions left after a divorce—into the restaurant and asked the kitchen to prepare a raw hamburger patty for his shelled dining companion, “Sammy,” and a seafood entree for himself. The kitchen obliged.
What? What’s the problem? NO VEGETARIAN FOOD FOR YOU ASSHOLES, but cooking for some dude’s PET TURTLE? Sure, as long as it’s made of dead animal! That makes all the sense. After all, turtles won’t complain no matter what you put in front of them, but vegans are whiny babies who make requests, and we can’t have that!
You know, you all may be the rulers of your kitchens, but those are very tiny kingdoms, and frankly they sound incredibly unpleasant. So thanks, I guess; if you’re going to make me and my veg pals totally unwelcome, it’s terribly considerate of you to dispel any desire we might have of patronizing your restaurants, too. Seriously. I hope all your patrons are as lovely as you are.