“As you can imagine, for anyone who is just learning that they can be feeding a common poison to their families, it can be pretty shocking," said Jorge Aguilar, Food and Water Watch’s Southern Region director. "It leads to questions about food safety and why this arsenic was used in the first place.”—Dudes, they feed chickens arsenic! For real! And then they scatter the poo and it poisons the soil and gets into the water! Madness!
I like tempeh all right. The first time I ever had it, my friend Krystle made TLTs—tempeh, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches with Veganaise. I wasn’t vegan yet, but after eating her sandwich, I decided it was time to seriously try. I have often told Krystle her TLT was what finally made it me go vegan. It was a gateway sandwich!
When I have tackled the TLT on my own, I noticed that the tempeh soaks up so much of the oil and soy sauce I sauté it in to make bacon. I decided one night, last year, to try steaming my tempeh first. I had skimmed many a recipe that suggested steaming, and it was time to try it.
Turns out it’s easy to do. Seriously, once I started steaming my tempeh first, I began enjoying it so much more. I’ve heard steaming takes some of the bitterness out, but I’ve never noticed a bitter bite to begin with. Plus, when steamed, it soaks up less oil when preparing it afterward.
Yes, steaming does add one extra step, but I’m doing it as I write this post! You can steam anything (vegetables, fermented soy), and do other stuff at the same time! Multitasking!
Instructions Cut up your tempeh into sizes that are desirable for you. Place your steam basket into your pot, and fill pot with water just until it reaches the bottom of the steam basket. Bring water to a boil, place tempeh in steam basket.
To boil the water, I set the stove burner to high, but once the tempeh is in the pot, with the lid on, I turn down the temperature to medium high/medium. Then I let it do its thing for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Lift the cover; your tempeh should be tender and ready for however you like to prepare it!
Once you’ve steam your tempeh, you can then sautee it or bake it—whatever you usually do. I still like to make myself TLTs, with homemade mayo, of course! I am steaming tempeh today, because I am getting ready to write a battered tempeh taco recipe for you! With a gluten-free version included, of course.
My desire to play around with tempeh was brought on by a recent dinner at Millennium with my roommate, Crystal. We decided to share the Maple-Black Pepper Smoked Tempeh, as neither of us has been the biggest fans of tempeh. We were like, “If we are ever going to have tempeh at its most delectable, it’s going to be here.” We were not mistaken.
Lime Crime makeup is so pretty! And all their products but the eyelid primer are vegan (the primer contains beeswax)! So nice to have a high-fashion vegan line, right? I love my earthy, crunchy brands too but I can’t help but fawn over a super stylish brand like Lime Crime. The company sent me some gratis products to try and now I will tell you all about them!
First of all: everything smells like cake! Really. OK the first product I tried was their opaque lipstick in Retrofuturist—a nice, bright red. I really like the color—not too dark, not too orange—just red! And it went on nicely. I’m not super skilled with lipstick but it was easy to apply. Then I applied the glitter lip gloss in Cherry on Top over the lipstick. Very fun! I was expecting it to be more glittery (though it is more glittery than it appears in the picture) but I suppose it’s a lot more wearable the way it is. As you can see though, it really makes the color POP! It’s like a lipstick energizer!
Now for the eyeshadow! They sent me the "Chinadoll" palette. What do you think about the name? It seems messed up.* The palette, however, is awesome. Such pretty colors and so rich. I messed around with a few of the colors, you can see below:
Thank you for indulging my attempts at beauty blog pictures! It was hard. As you can see, I put the colors I used in each “look” (beauty talk!) next to the pic. If you need a little help figuring out how to apply the shadow and you want to do it like I did, my sister has a great tutorial video you can use.
The Jade-O-Lade is beautiful. Love it. And the black worked really well as a liner, as you can see over the red. I’m also really into red around the eyes; I used to buy red lipliner and apply it as eyeliner. Everybody was totes into it. I think it brings out my eyes! My eyes love to be brought out.
To sum it up: Lime Crime smells like cake and is super pretty! And very easy to use. And fun and stylish. I’m a fan! Oh also, their logo is a unicorn and I think she should be the MMU’s new girlfriend.
*I’ve been reading more about it. The campaign is seriously wrong. The palette is beautiful but they really need to apologize and change the name. Lime Crime’s founder has made a statement about the controversy, you can read it and decide for yourself what you think about the matter.
The Wild Bird Fund is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charity located at 558 Columbus Ave. (inside the Animal General clinic), New York City. In 2011, the WBF rehabilitated over 1,400 birds and mammals and responded to over 4,000 calls. While the fund usually deals with mostly pigeons (as they seem to be the most common bird brought in), some of the other other types of animals treated are gulls, sparrows, hawks, owls, and squirrels.
The gala will take place at the beautiful and historic “Birdie” Vanderbilt Mansion, and will feature a speech by best-selling author Jonathan Franzen and a performance by Dzul Dance. Wine and vegetarian hors d’oeuvres will be served, and guests will be able to meet a few of the feathered rescues from the previous year.
Hey you sexy San Francisco beasts! It’s time for Vegan Drinks! Silly me, I forgot to post last month, which also means I forgot to go. Easy solution — I’ll just make up for lost time this month! Problem solved; let’s do this! I can’t wait to see all of your fancy rain gear. Maybe you can give me tips on how to dress for rainy weather? I own an umbrella and that is it—no rainboots or slicker—what is wrong with me? I’m just miserable and wet, all the time! Seeing your faces will cheer me right up, and also I need to forget that I am sad about missing Grey’s Anatomy (all the best shows are on Thursday nights!). No one said being a social butterfly was easy.
You know the drill by now, right? When: Thursday, March 29, 6 to 8 p.m. Where: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, 2323 Mission St. at 19th Drinks: $3 bottled beer, $4 well drinks, and $5 vegan white Russians!
Let’s take a look at the menu! Food is so exciting!
Last time I went, I ate the sliders and half of a vegan sampler basket, which caused me to not feel like a sexy beast the rest of the night. So I’ll just delicately nibble off of all of your plates, I hope that is okay.
Back in December, when I posted about making your own nog, I recommended you use Navitas Naturals brand for the lucuma! Well, Navitas saw it, and sent me a very generous box of samples as a thank you—Christmas came early for me! Included was a bag of their blueberry hemp bars, which hadn’t hit the market yet. That makes me feel very special, like a VIV (very important vegan)!
I haven’t been feeling all that great lately. Being everywhere at once and the life of the party is tiresome. To compensate, I’ve been eating much more raw food. It helps keep my energy up, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy! The downside of raw foods is that they can be expensive, especially the prepackaged stuff, and time-consuming to prep at home. So if you have to pick and choose, I definitely recommend these blueberry hemp bars. They are similar to Lara Bars, but a little drier. That’s not a bad thing! The dates in Lara Bars keep them very moist.
These would be great as a snack while traveling, for a healthy breakfast on the go, or a snack to keep you going until dinner. This bag has lasted me since December, because they are so good, I want to make them last! They are dense and filling, so I don’t crave very many at once. That’s what I like about raw foods—they are so flavorful, I eat less, because my tastebuds are satisfied quickly.
Now let’s talk nutrition! This power snacks contain hemp, blueberries, date paste, chia seeds, cashews, plus the superfood powders lucuma, maqui, camu and maca. They are gluten-free, soy-free and contain NO refined sugar. All of these ingredients are very good for you.
These tasty little snacks are now available in stores all over the U.S., including Whole Foods, Wegmans, and HEB, or you can buy them online at NativasNaturals and Amazon!
One morning my roommate Dan made us spinach, almond milk, and banana smoothies. I suggested we add a little Maqui powder for added nutrients, and it was delicious! I honestly believe raw food is the best food!
You guys, spring break is over for another year. I spent all of last week working on things that I didn’t have time for and then recovering for three days because Allen and I chose to go see The Hunger Games at the midnight opening instead of waiting a couple of days to see it at a reasonable hour.
That shit was off the hook (pardon my French!), and I am delighted to tell you that Allen and I loved it! (I know, it wasn’t word-for-word, but I have all the books and can re-read them whenever I want.) Allen was incredibly embarrassed the entire time (as usual) as I insisted on making conversation with the other people in line, and then screaming “Every man for himself!” as I pushed past groups of schoolgirls to get good seats. One young lady got confused, ran into a pole, and rolled into the entrance. In the spirit of the event, I shouted “Stop slowing me down!” as I jumped over her, but was later chastised by Allen for not being nice to children…at a movie about children killing children. However, when I brought this up to him, he just shook his head and went to buy popcorn, leaving me to contemplate my own horridness.
Due to this movie (and all the dystopian fiction I read), I do not have a positive view of the future. I think the fact that the Denver Zoo has come up with a car that runs on poop is an omen that we are only years away from sending our children into an arena to bludgeon each other with bricks. A car that runs on poop, you guys. How does that even happen? More importantly, why am I so upset and worried that it is only a short time before Allen is forcing me into a high-fiber diet so that he can drive me around. Can you imagine the smell? Why does the article not mention the smell? Do you think there might be a smell? Can you imagine hipsters pooping into buckets in order to ride motorized bikes? Why am I so obsessed with poop? Why can’t I stop?
Here’s a question: How do snakes poop? I have never considered this before, but then I read about this dude who had 400 snakes in his house, and I started thinking about whether snakes produce pellets or, uh, goo. Also: Why are snakes so scary? I am sure they do not want to eat me, but I remember my second grade teacher reading us a book about a boa constrictor eating a kid, and I didn’t know English too well and didn’t understand that it was fiction. That was a horrible year for me.
Something that isn’t poop but is super-gross anyway is Alicia Silverstone feeding her baby like a bird and then posting the video online in (I assume) a desperate attempt to stay relevant past the mess that was Excess Baggage. That was her worst movie—until this monstrosity. Listen, do whatever it is that you like with your obviously distressed kid, but do not post it online. That means you too, Jennifer Coburn, and that one mom who starved her seven-year-old and wrote about it for Vogue.
That’s it for this week! Please send me links for next week and have a Wednesday not fraught with thoughts about poop!
We had a post the other day about veggies being cheaper than people acknowledged, and it garnered some responses that called it insensitive to greater structures of food politics. We know the cost of food isn’t the sole determiner in the diet of many people, but the fact remains that many people think veganism is expensive because fruits and veggies are more expensive than non-vegan food.
That post brings to light studies that have shown that veggies are actually not expensive when compared to other foods. It didn’t say that everyone can walk to the corner and buy vegetables. The studies simply show that veggies are actually more affordable then they are made out to be. If we don’t have that information, we can’t move on to discuss what does make vegetables unaffordable or inaccessible.
When someone writes in response to that post that “this is (a big part of) why I am done with vegansaurus and the main(er)stream veg* activism framework,” it troubles us. It makes us think that you’re not reading the site very closely. Which is fair, there are about 10,000 posts a day. However, this isn’t the first post we’ve ever had about food accessibility. We’ve written about food accessibility on Vegansaurus many times, and about healthy school lunches—which affects children with limited options and resources—on multiple occasions. We understand the difference between poverty and college-educated living-on-a-tight-budget.
It bothers us that people consistently use “privilege” as an attack against veganism. Yes, being able to make decisions about your food is a privilege—for this very reason, many people with little options are in fact vegetarian or vegan, by default. But food decisions aren’t the only privilege; caring about and fighting an issue that doesn’t directly affect you is a privilege. Any animal rights activist has the privilege of time and energy to dedicate to helping animals. That, really, is beyond privilege. It’s a responsibility. If you are able to, you should be helping others. If you are able to, you should be vegan.
Honestly, we’ve never had a genuinely poor person say tell us that “being vegan is expensive;” it’s always people in our socio-economic group. We’re not swimming in riches, and maybe even paying rent is hard sometimes, but if you are wealthy enough to live on your own, or even with a few roommates, you are wealthy enough to be vegan. How many times have we heard the argument “WHAT ABOUT KIDS IN AFRICA WHO DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO EAT? ARE YOU GOING TO FORCE THEM TO BE VEGAN?” To which we say A) you totally think Africa is a country, don’t you?; and B) NO, We’re talking about your privileged ass, you cask-ale-drinking jerk.
We recognize that having food choices is privileged; we also realize that having internet access and tumblr accounts and time to write about the things we care about is privileged. Having time to read about the things you care about is a privilege. That’s how we know most people who are reading this post right now have the ability to go vegan—right now.
While you’re at it, you can also work on food sovereignty, and preaching to other liberals who fully understand food deserts about how they’re not liberal enough to understand food deserts in the same complex way that you do. Now get out there and start baking vegan fair-trade organic cupcakes and delivering them on bike to your West Oakland neighbors. We’ll do the same.
This Vegansaurus editorial was brought to you by Meave, Megan and Laura! xoxoxo!
Dan Barber's "return to the land" argument is weak and ridiculous, but not all wrong
Dan Barbercourted some veg-rage back in December 2010 when he asserted that “You have blood on your hands when you eat vegetarian,” and last week Slate interviewed him about it. It’s on video, above, and watching it made me feel the same head-against-the-wall frustration that I do when Michael Pollan opens his yap to opine about how meat-abstainers are wrong, and eating animals is noble. Here are my responses to three of his particularly obnoxious points.
1. He points to the “iconic New England pasture that was built by the dairy industry” as a reason for keeping animals for food. What did the landscape look like before the dairy industry brought their milk-and-death business to the area, Dan? How did it look before the Industrial Revolution? How did it look before the Dutch and English and Spanish came and murdered all the native people? How did it look during Pangea?
2. He condemns a vegetable-based diet as much heavier in “food miles” than his local produce/animal product diet. Man, let’s address food deserts before you insist the nation go full locavore. Of course we should strive to eat more sustainably grown food! But when the choice is between dead cow from a feedlot and mixed vegetables from factory farms, choose the vegetables. They aren’t cutting down the rainforest to grow soybeans for my tofu, they’re doing it to feed the cows that the majority of the U.S. eats. Factory farms are bad for us ecologically, socially, ethically, morally—why go after the vegetarians when there is a much bigger bad to attack? I can’t tell if he’s advocating we all go full backyard chicken, or turn factory farms into small-scale, ecologically friendly farm collectives, or what.
3. The New England landscape “doesn’t want” you to grow vegetables, so that means it does want you to grow animals for killing? And oh no, Michael Pollan is worried about the extinction of farm animals? There is a major difference between “keeping some animals on your farm as farming tools” (eating grass, fertilizing with their waste, pest control) and “keeping animals en masse for slaughter.” You acknowledge that what you want is to “use the resources of animals on a farm in an intelligent way,” which is something I agree with—until you jump from keeping animals to eating them. Why? Isn’t barbarism like killing living creatures for our gustatory pleasure a thing of the past?
You know what? I do agree that vegetarians have blood on their hands. All the male chicks that are killed because they can’t produce eggs? All the male calves born to the perma-pregnant dairy cows, that are sent to veal farms? The treatment of the layer hens and dairy cows themelves? So much blood. That’s one of the reasons I observe a vegan diet: To keep the blood-as-byproduct off my hands.
[Please visit Adam Merberg’s Say what, Michael Pollan? blog for much more extensively documented reasons why this argument is nonsense.]
Cookbook Reviews by Rachel: Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas
Overall Rating: A- Creativity: B Level of Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate Best for: Anyone looking for no-fuss ways to veganize their family celebrations.
You know how they call that time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s “the holiday season”? There are holidays all year round, it turns out. (Flag Day: June 14). What would fill the “seasonal” aisle of the grocery stores otherwise? So while you might think a cookbook called Vegan Holiday Kitchen should get reviewed in like, November (which happens to be when everyone else reviewed it), it’s with an eye to strategy and not simply a result of laziness that I bring you this late March report. This cookbook covers not only Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah, but Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, and Independence Day. Plus brunch, which I guess is its own holiday.
PSA: Passover starts after sundown Friday, April 6. Easter is Sunday, April 8. Holidays approacheth! Do you have a plan?
Nava Atlas had a clear purpose with this photo-heavy offering: honor tradition, add the vegan element, and create special-occasion meals that are fun, not stressful. To that end, her recipes tend to the simple and don’t shy away from shortcuts (canned lentils?!). But the lack of elaborate preparation or unusual ingredients makes this a really awesome resource when you’re looking to cook in someone else’s kitchen (like I did for Thanksgiving), or if you’re short on time, or if you just think complicated recipes are scary.
I’ve made a lot of stuff from this book over the last six months (though it’s not an everyday go-to), but somehow I failed to photograph most of it. Here’s the Red Wine-Roasted Brussel Sprouts everyone loved in November (pre-roasting):
And here’s a sandwich I made on the Vegan Challah, which came out really delicious, if not quite as flaky as the original (secret ingredient: squash!):
While some of the recipes are restricted to particular holidays or seasons (Passover = lots of matzoh, July 4th = grilling), it’s also fun to mix and match. At Christmas, we brought Moroccan-Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives, in theory a Rosh Hashanah offering, to a friends’ house for fancy dinner; it got devoured with compliments.
Atlas is a good communicator: The recipes are written clearly and are easy to follow, and each is labeled at the top if it is or could be soy-, gluten-, or nut-free. I’ve wanted to tweak some of her instructions (less sweetener in the Agave and Mustard-Glazed Green Beans, for example), but haven’t had any disasters or failures, praise be.
My only major complaint is that, especially in the Thanksgiving and Christmas chapters, Atlas shies away from star-of-the-show, protein-heavy, centerpiece dishes that I think are pretty key to a vegan celebration. Stuffings and pilafs abound; hearty stews and tofus do not. Perhaps this is a rebellion against Tofurky, but I want my protein, dammit.
Anyway, this book will be my #1 go-to for figuring out what to cook in my mother’s kitchen to bring to a seder next month. I’d wanted to try the matzoh balls before writing my review, but I’ll just have to post about it later.
Final verdict: Solid, crowd-pleasing recipes designed for simplicity. Especially valuable for the wealth of Jewish recipes, more than I’ve seen collected anywhere else.
Back in the day, when I was an omnivore, I loved egg salad. Actually, I loved anything mixed with mass amounts of mayonnaise because I’m an American gross! So, of course as a vegan, I took it upon myself to come up with an eggless tofu salad! I know there are a million and a half variations upon which to make one’s tofu salad, which is why I’m calling mine ”The Haight-Ashbury” (upper Haighters, represent). I hope that you like it, and please, share your versions in the comments; I would love to know how you make yours! I know dill is quite popular in this kind of dish, but I’m not a big fan. (Except when it’s in here!)
Ingredients 1 batch homemade vegan mayo (or 3/4 - 1.5 cups of store-bought) 1 block of tofu (I used Wildwood super protein, 20 oz.) 1 Tbsp. mild vinegar (red wine, white wine or rice vinegar) 2 tsp. salt (I used black salt) 1 tsp. pepper 1/2 tsp. turmeric 3/4 - 1 tsp. cumin 2 dollops of yellow mustard 3 ribs of celery 2/3 cup chopped red onion 1/3 cup chopped green onion
Instructions In the future I will use the extra-firm tofu, as opposed to extra protein, as I like a softer consistency in my salad. Extra firm has to be drained, for which I use the best, most genius technology known as the Tofu Xpress (but I totally used to do the paper towel technique—you know, wrapping up tofu in paper towels and stacking cans of beans on top to drain the water out!)
Once the tofu is drained, I crumble it into very small pieces, till it’s practically a mush. Next, finely chop celery and red and green onions. Now add all the ingredients and mix!
You can eat immediately, but I like to let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, even overnight. It’s one of those foods that tastes best after it marinates, like potato and pasta salads!
I may have a had a few libations when I “plated” this. However, I can report back from experience, that it makes a great late-night snack!
Animals Asia is a prime source of my bear news, so I’m pleased to inform you of an awesome-sounding New York event: Yoga for Bears!
Yeah, I said it. Unfortunately, it’s not what you’re thinking: Yoga for Bears does not feature bears doing yoga, but it’s the next best thing. The event kicks off with a full-length yoga class for all levels, followed by vegan lunch, and a talk and Q&A with Animals Asia. You’ll leave with all sorts of knowledge about how to get involved with Animals Asia and a rad T-shirt. Worth the $50 ticket price? I think so, especially since flexibility is a highly desired trait among soldiers in the bear army.
Yoga for Bears takes place at the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City on Sunday, April 15, from noon to 3:30 p.m. Register here!
More good news: Wendy’s is joining McDonald’s in requiring pork suppliers to outline their plans to end the use of gestation crates. And on that topic, the Kansas City Star has a good story entitled “Humane Society says Seaboard dishonest about its treatment of hogs.”
Yes, even more good news: Major dairy industry trade publication Hoard’s Dairyman editorialized in favor of ending tail-docking of dairy cows.
And here’s a compelling piece in The Atlantic by a former HSUS undercover investigator about his views on ag-gag laws.
Finally, as both a man and a vegan, I’m apparently qualified to do a live twitter chat about vegan men, hosted by VegNews Magazine, this Wed at 9pm ET (I’m @pshapiro on twitter). Hope to see you there!
Yes, I met Angela from “The Office.” Turns out she really does have a cat (and she’s very nice). And for your video this week: No dancing goat, but rather a trailer for a provocative new film I’m glad to be interviewed in: Speciesism The Movie.
My cheapness—ahem, frugality—has been well-documented. I’ve even defended veganism’s monetary cost (read: It can be really cheap to be vegan). Now Forbes, the New York Times, and others agree with me: Veggies are cheaper than a fast-food dinner. In your FACE, people who say they can’t afford to be vegan!
The Forbes article cites data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. Researchers examined 94 vegetables in the study; Turns out, more than half of them cost less than 50 cents per one-cup serving, and none of them cost more than $2.07 per serving.
People who say they can only afford junk food don’t need to switch to “free-range” chicken, artisanal cheeses, and grass-fed beef. They really just need to eat something besides fries, Doritos, and McNuggets, such as kidney beans (protein!), sweet potatoes (vitamins!), and carrots (fiber!).
Yeah, a lone cup of veggies is obviously not as filling or macronutrient-dense as a pr0n-approved cheeseburger. But throw a few convenient foodstuffs together—frozen rice, some of those frozen peas/carrots/corn/green bean concoctions, a can of chickpeas, and a bottled curry sauce, for example—and BAM! Dinner is served quickly, cheaply, and healthfully.
The flip side? You have to actually do some work yourself. Boo-fuckin’-hoo. Did I mention that the article says frozen veggies are often cheaper and more nutritious than even fresh ones? Get a freezer, a microwave, and a copy of The Garden of Vegan, and learn to cook something already! Your wallet and the animals will thank you.
The New York Times exposes the corrupt and dangerous world of horse racing
An NYT must-read and must-watch:
Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys: The new economics of horse racing are making an always-dangerous game even more so, as lax oversight puts animal and rider at risk.
Shit is fucked!:
On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. Many are inexpensive horses racing with little regulatory protection in pursuit of bigger and bigger prizes. These deaths often go unexamined, the bodies shipped to rendering plants and landfills rather than to pathologists who might have discovered why the horses broke down.
In 2008, after a Kentucky Derby horse, Eight Belles, broke two ankles on national television and was euthanized, Congress extracted promises from the racing industry to make its sport safer. While safety measures like bans on anabolic steroids have been enacted, assessing their impact has been difficult because many tracks do not keep accurate accident figures or will not release them.
But an investigation by The New York Times has found that industry practices continue to put animal and rider at risk. A computer analysis of data from more than 150,000 races, along with injury reports, drug test results and interviews, shows an industry still mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation and a fatal breakdown rate that remains far worse than in most of the world.
"But how do you get your protein—FOR THE BABY?!" Vegansaurus gets pregnant!
When you’re pregnant, everyone has advice for you. They know which doctor or midwife you should use and which hospital you should deliver at, or if you should have the baby at home instead. They know how much weight you should gain and where you should do prenatal yoga—you are doing prenatal yoga, right? And they definitely know what you should eat.
If you’re vegan, this can go to a whole other level.
Emily Deschanel is vegan, and she stayed vegan during her recent pregnancy. Last fall, she was on the cover of FitPregnancy, and in the interview she talked about her veganism. According to Salon and other publications, staying vegan was “controversial,” and Deschanel knew it, saying “As a pregnant woman especially, people will say to me, ‘You must eat meat and dairy.’ You really have to tap into your self-esteem whenever people try to convince you you’re making the wrong choice.”
She’s not alone—a few months earlier, Glamour published a short piece called “Health Controversy: ‘I’m Vegan, and Pregnant’” featuring Crazy Sexy Life contributor Corinne Bowen.
Personally, I’ve found that the best defense in this situation is a good offense. If you’re informed about your nutritional needs during pregnancy, it’s easier to defuse people’s criticisms—or, less cynically, to address the concerns of your partner, family, and friends.
To that end, I’ll be posting about being pregnant and vegan here at Vegansaurus — I’ve got lots to learn myself, and I hope that I can pass along some of that info along the way. In all situations, I like to arm myself with information (side effect of being a journalist, I guess). Here are some of my starting places—and I’d love to hear your suggestions for future posts in the comments!
Terri Coles lives in Toronto, where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues. We edit out all her extra vowels.
A factory says it can make a vegetable-based meat substitute by the mile. BY THE MILE. Do you guys even now how long that is?! It’s 5,280 feet. That’s, like, almost 1,000 Sarahs laid end to end.* It’s really long.
So great news, right? The environment wins, the animals win, our digestive systems win. The downfall, however, is that our taste buds might not win—yet. Those crazy scientists are experimenting with a lot of plants to design just the right combo. The substitute will hit the market in about a year.
Can we get this technology on other shit? Like, tofu by the mile. Or kittens by the mile. Or friendship bracelets by the mile. Vegan shoes by the mile! What else?!
*Ed. note: Sarah has forced me to reference Dorothy Parker: If a thousand Sarahs were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. Ha! She gets laid! -MR
Monday: Flat Iron District Tuesday: Varick or Hudson St Wednesday: Midtown East Thursday: Financial District Friday: Midtown West 50s Saturday: Union Square Area Sunday: Brooklyn
Most days are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All exact locations will be posted when we are parked. We are always open to suggestions for parking spots though.
According to the article, people are saying Flatiron doesn’t have good veg options but I used to work in that hood and Terri was my spot. I got all the boys eating there. Always good to have another option though! So, there you go, boys! You got a special Meatless Monday lined up! Enjoy!
What’s better than a nice, wholesome, sweet-smelling bar of organic vegan soap? A nice bar of soap that’ll help a child in a faraway land not die of cholera or other stupid, preventable diseases, that’s what.
"But how do I give soap to foreign children?" you may ask. "I choose destinations with good sanitation, I avoid sick kids, and I have no room in my fancy duffel bag for extra soap. Heck, I barely carry my own." Rest easy, friend. Jack’s Soap has got you covered.
Here’s the deal: Jack’s will sell YOU fancy vegan soap. Choose citrus, mint, or lavender. The bars are hefty, generous, and smell great. (They sent me a sample of each, and my bathroom is way classier now. My fav is probably the mint, pictured above, but they’re all lovely.)
Meanwhile, for every bar you buy, Jack’s works with nonprofits Children of the Nations and Global Handwashing Day to get a bar to a child in need. My favorite part? Instead of shipping froofy fancy soap from the U.S., Jack’s manufactures the donation soap in the country where it’s gonna be donated, thus avoiding extra shipping and helping the local economy. Right now they’re working in Ethiopia, with Haiti on the horizon.
What if everything you bought magically sent a version of itself to someone in need? It’d be like TOMS meets "The Sorcerers’ Apprentice"! Crazy! I’d totally think harder about what I bought. Example: I want a new blender. Does a child in Haiti need a new blender? Hmm, maybe I should buy lentils instead. Bam! I’m a better person.
I also think this soap would make a stellar Easter present. Hint, hint.
Before I became vegan I knew that the world hated fat people, but I didn’t know that vegans hated us as well. I find that as a chubby vegan who has no desire to be skinny I am an outcast within the vegan community. I am forced to read about how a blogger lost 40 pounds on a vegan diet—yeah, that’s nice, but I don’t really care. Just give me recipe ideas, and keep your skinny preaching to yourself.
I went vegan for the animals, and one reason I will always stay vegan is because it is better for your health. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that equates being slender with being healthy, and I don’t think that is true at all. Sure, I might have a few extra pounds, but I eat a whole-foods-based vegan diet and you are telling me I am less healthy on the inside than a skinny person who eats McDonald’s every day? I beg to differ. According to my doctor, I am in great health with near-perfect blood pressure and cholesterol levels—two major issues in American health. I might be fat on the outside, but my insides are well cared for.
However, it isn’t just about health. Even if those who worship at the altar of skinny were to agree that fat people can be healthy, we are still ugly, or at the very least less attractive than skinny people. Here you can read about how PETA is trying find the sexiest non-celebrity vegetarian. This is what they have to say about sexiness: “On average, vegans and vegetarians are fitter, trimmer, and healthier than their meat- and dairy-eating counterparts, and that makes them sexier too.” Apparently you have to a skinny vegan to be a sexy vegan. Well, I call bullshit on that. Sexiness is not tied to any number—your dress size, or the number of inches on your waist, or your age! Here is how Merriam-Webster describes sexy:
1. sexually suggestive or stimulating
2. generally attractive or interesting
Hmm, I don’t see the words “fit or trim” in there—but they do say “generally attractive or interesting.” I would rather be interesting any day.
Sexiness is a feeling from within; the confidence to parade around your house naked because it just feels good. It is wearing lacy panties to work every day because it makes you feel a little sassy. Sexiness is loving yourself just as you are and thus attracting another sexy person who loves your body as well. And finally, perhaps most importantly, sexiness is exploring and enjoying your sexuality with someone you love (or maybe someone you just met). The point is, none of these things require you to be skinny. Here is a quote from my husband (a skinny man) who married my chubby self: “I can see a woman who might weigh 400 pounds and find her sexy as hell. It is all in how you carry yourself.” If you are confident, vivacious, and happy, that is sexy.
You have until March 26 to enter PETA’s contest. I for one will be sending in a picture of my not-skinny but still sexy as hell vegan self. I hope you will join me—whether you are fat or skinny, we are all sexy. This society needs to learn that skinny does not equal healthy, happy, or sexy. I am all of those things, and haven’t been skinny a day in my life.
Ashley Hermann is a happy, chubby vegan who resides in Milwaukee, Wis., with her husband and three cats. Any free time she can find is dedicated to volunteering with cats, reading classic literature, and scouring the internet for recipe inspiration.
Oakland has long lived in the shadow of San Francisco. Heralded as a gustatory epicenter, Fog City is not only revered for its array of palate pleasing restaurants, but consistently ranked as one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the world to boot. Not to be outshined, Oakland’s culinary culture is getting a lot of attention these days. The New York Times ranked Oakland as number five in its “45 Places to Go in 2012” list up there with Panama, London, Tokyo, and Helsinki (they must think we have a lot of vacation time). In late February, the Boston Globe wrote, “Leave your heart wherever, but eat in Oakland,” and AAA just this month featured Oakland’s restaurant scene in its Via Magazine. The author wrote, “It’s no wonder that when people ask me, as they often do, where they should go out to eat in San Francisco, I often direct them east over the Bay Bridge to Oakland.”
When it comes to vegan eating, Oakland has a lot to offer. There’s Encuentro, an all-vegetarian wine and tapas bar from chef Eric Tucker of SF’s famed Millennium; Souley Vegan which needs no description; Oakland pizza institution, Zachary’s, which now offers deep-dish vegan pizza; Breakroom for some of the most delicious vegan sandwiches and baked goods out there; and much more. To highlight Oaktown’s growing vegan food culture and encourage more people to reduce meat consumption, a group of local volunteers is coordinating Oakland Veg Week.
Scheduled for April 15-21, Oakland Veg Week will consist of a vegan cooking demonstration, talks on vegan nutrition and animal agribusiness by celebrated speakers Jack Norris (co-founder of Vegan Outreach) and Nathan Runkle (founder of Mercy for Animals); a free screening of Vegucated; and a grand finale celebration where attendees can sample some of the most delicious vegan fare available and hear words of encouragement by Oakland’s own vegan guru Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Local restaurants will be taking part too, adding vegan options to their menus, and at some, offering discounts. A quick glimpse of what can be expected: Montclair’s Italian Colors will offer a vegan tasting menu including vegan seasonal specials like spring greens, fava beans, and fiddleheads. Homeroom, the all-mac and cheese all the time restaurant will dish up vegan desserts to go with its decadent vegan mac and cheese. Montclair Bistro will do a vegan eggplant cannelloni. Hungry?
Recognizing the benefits of a vegetarian diet for animals, the environment, and community health, local public officials are behind the effort. Oakland City Council member Nancy Nadel, Alameda County Supervisors Wilma Chan and Keith Carson, and Rep. Barbara Lee are all pledging to be veg for the week, and some of their staff are too. The city and county are both officially proclaiming April 15-21 to be Oakland Veg Week. And Oakland Unified School District will encourage students to try vegetarianism for the week too!
Not onboard the vegan train yet? Join Oakland residents in signing a pledge to be vegetarian for Oakland Veg Week. Pledgees will receive daily tips, recipes and support. And if you’re already there, it’s a good opportunity to ask friends and family to give the birds a break (and cows, pigs, and turkeys). Non-Oaklanders are welcome. Check out our website for more information and to take the pledge. [Ed.: And more importantly, get your omni buddies to do the same!]
Kristie Middleton, a proud Oakland resident, is a coordinator of Oakland Veg Week and works for The Humane Society of the United States’ farm animal protection. She has successfully worked with dozens of corporations, hospitals, and other institutions to improve the plight of farm animals through humane-minded purchasing programs. Her work for animals has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times.
100% Pure is a very vegan-friendly makeup and skincare company! They do no animal testing whatsoever, because they don’t use any crazy ingredients that need to be tested on animals! It’s like all fruit and stuff. They really do use fruit pigment in their makeup! So fun. Most of their products are vegan but some contain beeswax. Those that do are clearly marked “vegetarian” while the rest are marked “vegan.” Easy peasy! 100% Pure gave me some free products to try: I tried the lip glaze in Vixen and the Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream.
I was curious about the lip glaze as I’d never heard of lip “glaze” before. Above you can see my lips without the glaze and then my lips with the glaze. That’s a lot of the glaze, you can use less for a less dramatic result. But it’s kind of halfway between lipstick and colored lipbalm. You can get a lot of color but it doesn’t feel dry and is still somewhat subtle, unlike lipstick. I always feel like lipstick overwhelms my face because my lips are so big; this lip glaze is a happy medium. The Vixen color is supposed to be a coral so I was expecting it to have more of an orange undertone but it’s more pink as you can see. But my sister’s two signature lipsticks are hot pink and orange-red, so I think this color still passes the Cally test. The color also lasted a decent amount of time and never felt dry like lipstick usually does.
The other product I tried, the Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, was kind of awesome. I wanted to try it because Cally says stuff with caffeine in it is super tops for under-eye issues. Whenever I’m tired, my eyes puff up like cray! And I’m just about always tired. So, I’m always on the lookout for the perfect under-eye cream. Because I don’t like when people know my business! Let those chumps think I went to bed early.
Because I am such a scientist, I applied the cream just under one eye so I could compare. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much just because I feel like, even if it’s working, it’s just hard to notice. But to my surprise, there was a clear puffiness reduction! It wasn’t like, “OMG I was just born yesterday!” but the side I had applied the cream to was obviously less puffy. And this is after a single use, I’m sure it gets better when you use it regularly.
I also like this cream because Dr. Oz likes it! I don’t know anything about Dr. Oz but I see his name everywhere so of course I trust him completely. I mean, he’s a doctor.
There you have it friends, add 100% Pure to the growing list of super animal-friendly companies that make great stuff!
Look a sweet Patches!* She is a special-needs kitty who has had a rough go so far. She’s only one but when she was found, she was preggers. Then she tested positive for FeLV and the doctors thought it best to abort the kittens. From Patches’ foster mom Jessica:
She is healing quickly and still loves to cuddle. Because Patches has tested positive for FeLV there are a few special considerations for her new family. Patches needs a home without other cats. She needs to be an indoor cat only. FeLV is a condition that makes Patches immunocompromised. She could be healthy and happy for 10 months, or 10 years and there’s no way to know.
She’s only about a year old, and so far super healthy, so her chances of a long healthy life are good. For many people this may be a deal breaker, but its important to remember, that any pet has the potential to get sick or injured.
So if you, or someone you know, is looking for a very sweet, beautiful kitty please contact us. We would love for you to come by and meet her. We live in Oakland, CA.
I don’t think this is the oldest vegan cake recipe ever, but it’s HELLA old! Just like my grandpa! My grandpa turned 93 last week and so my mom made him his traditional birthday cake: The Depression Cake. This eggless, butter-less, milk-less recipe comes to us all the way from, you guessed it, the depression. And it’s all vegan! It’s funny that my grandpa’s favorite bday cake is vegan because he thinks veganism is for yuppies. But! Butter and eggs were expensive! Still are. Leave them for the yuppies, gramps! Join the vegan team.
Here is my grandpa, back in the day and now:
He really was a rocket scientist. Also an expert gardener and woodcarver! And lover of Depression Cake.
Here is the recipe from my mama, a slight variation on my Great Grandma Helen’s recipe!:
Ingredients: 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup hot water 2 cups raisins (I used raisins, currants, & golden raisins) 1/3 cup shortening (I used earth balance) 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1/4 tsp. salt 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. cloves
Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 litres.
That’s It. sent me some free samples of their fruit bars to try and now I will tell you all about them! If you like dried fruit, you will like these bars. Then again, if you don’t like dried fruit, you may still like these bars because they kind of taste like Fruit Roll-ups! They are like less sugary, thicker, healthier Fruit Roll-ups.
Each That’s It. bar has two servings of fruit—and nothing else. Literally. My very favorite part is it tells you right on the wrapper like, “1 apple + 3 apricots in this bar”—that’s fun! I don’t know why.
These make for a great snack and it feels nice, like you’re actually accomplishing something by getting two fruit servings at once! I don’t know if kids would like them as I have no kids to test them on but I think it is definitely worth a try. Not that people shouldn’t eat fresh fruit too, but this could replace all those various “bars.” Plus, you can throw a bunch in your bag and not worry about squishing them. I like that!
In the last three days I’ve watched both The Tree of Life and The Help — do you know what the common denominator is? Actually there’s two: Both were nominated for Oscars, and both feature Jessica Chastain! Who happens to be a vegan! How do I know this, you ask? I totally internet stalkedwiki-ed her after I watched The Help. It’s my thing!
I found all sorts of cute interviews and articles about her veganism, which I was hoping we could bond over.
Here’s an interview with her and Octavia Spencer, in which Jessica talks about the vegan fried “chicken” she ate in the The Help, as well as the vegan meal she cooked for Octavia.
A list of 25 things about Jessica, including her dream to buy a food truck for her mom, who is a vegan chef! So sweet! Apparently she also get embarrassed when people sing “Happy Birthday” to her. (Me too! But don’t stop — I like the attention.)
She had to gain 15 pounds for her role in The Help, and to do that, she ate tons of soy milk ice cream. Not with a spoon — she microwaved it and drank it. I don’t know how I feel about that, but only because I prefer coconut milk ice cream (and don’t believe in using microwaves cause I’m a hippie).
I hope you enjoyed your vegan celebrity news for the day! Now back to my Us Weekly Mensa flashcards.
Kate’s Joint, vegetarian restaurant and bar, has been a staple in New York City’s East Village since 1996. Solely owned and operated by neighborhood native Kate Halpern, who dreamt to create an affordable restaurant to serve the community she grew up in. Kate’s Joint has grown to become much more than just a business, it is a home for locals and travelers a like, a place to bring family and friends, and to meet new ones.
Unfortunately, with the changing neighborhood and economic recession Kate’s Joint has seen a fall in business and rise in costs. Kate is currently in arrears with the landlord. Eviction notices have been sent, court appearances have been made, and if a substantial amount of money is not raised by April 11, the next court date, the doors will shut permanently at Kate’s Joint. The East Village will lose another neighborhood landmark.
Of Kate’s Joint, Laura has proclaimed: “It’s really good!” Meave dragged an omnivore friend there once and they both loved it. (The friend became a repeat customer!) So if you can, donate! If you can’t, then at least spread the word to your rich friends! Pass this page along!
As any yoga-loving hippie weirdo (HUGS) will tell you, humpback whale songs are the most relaxing way to decompress while you’re posing in svetlana or whatever it’s called. satsuma. saunasauna. The relaxing pose. Anyway, now we know more about what exactly the songs are!
David Rothenberg, a musician and environmental philosopher, writes:
The mainstream scientific view about humpback whale song is that it’s all a kind of pop music evolutionary strategy; that the whales all like the same hit song, but it has to be a continually changing new “hit.” Just like humans listening to Top 40 radio, quickly getting bored with the latest chart topper and always craving the next variant.
They’re creating their own hits! Suck it, Adele, these whales are rolling in the deep, FOR REAL.
[photo, “A female humpback whale and its calf,” by OAR/National Undersea Research Program via NYT]
As a onetime lover of fried eggs, I was really excited by the promo photos of The Vegg. It proclaimed itself “the first vegan fried egg!” So, this was the first recipe I wanted to try when I received it this weekend.
Unfortunately, the Vegg is merely a powder for a vegan egg yolk. The recipe for the whites was not on the Vegg’s website, nor was it easily accessible on the Vegg’s Facebook page, nor had anyone else (according to Google) created said fried vegan eggs, nor was it in the materials sent with the Vegg:
I was on my own. This is what I did.
Fried Vegg Makes 4 fried “eggs”
For the yolk 2 tsp. Vegg powder 1/2 cup water
Instructions Blend together. Pour into some container and pop in the freezer for a while, some hours. Maybe do this the night before if you’re gonna be making Veggs for breakfast.
For the white 1 12 oz. package of extra-firm silken tofu 2 tsp. agar powder 1/4 tsp. black salt (aka kala namak)
Instructions Blend all this stuff in a food processor. Set aside.
Put it together Take your yolk out of the freezer. Run the container under hot water to loosen it up a little bit.
Heat your nonstick skillet to medium-high and grease it—I like to use Earth Balance. You could also spray oil. When that’s good and hot, use a spatula to spread 1/4 of the silken tofu mixture onto the skillet. Try to get it so it’s flat. It’ll be tricky, but stick with it.
You’re gonna let that cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Then you’re gonna try to flip it over. This is kind of hard, but it’ll be worth it. Then quick! Scoop out 1/4 of the yolk mixture. Maybe use a spoon to shape it into a yolky shape. Slap it on the white, and put a lid on that skillet for two minutes or so. You want it to be not frozen through, but you don’t want it to melt and fall apart.
Vegg is really yummy. God DAMN, this is so good. It is precisely how I remember egg yolks tasting, and when it’s warm, it’s the perfect consistency, too. It’s also composed of ingredients that I recognize, nothing too weird. But all in all, I’m not nuts about this preparation. It was the best just rubbing my toast all over the Vegg yolk and eating that like the slob that I am.
Stay tuned for more Vegg talk. I think I’ll try a Vegg custard next! But until then I will just be dribbling Vegg mixture all over my naked body, hopefully hitting my open mouth at some point.