It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!
A new comprehensive report, “Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” was just released by the World Resources Institute—with support from the UN, the World Bank, and others. One major focus throughout the report is the need to reduce our meat consumption and animal production.
The report notes, “If wealthier countries reduced their meat consumption meaningfully, they could not only improve human health but also greatly reduce the challenge of producing more food with less land conversion, less water consumption, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”
And as readers of this weekly email know, Westerners are finally starting to cut down on our meat consumption. In fact, just this week, Miami is getting plaudits for its embrace of Meatless Monday.
And if you want to help advance this trend for a living, my coworker Dr. Michael Greger is hiring for two awesome jobs!
Finally, want to read my colleague Kristie Middleton’s latest interview on gestation crates? Check it out.
Amazing bunny calendar makes all your wishes come true!
Wondering what to get your friend who loves Wes Andersen movies just a little too much? Look no further than this amazing rabbit calendar, featuring one bunny in twelve movie outfits, all shot against a beautiful paper background that would not be out of place in the opening sequence from that one movie where the creepy camp kids totally did it. Sunrise something. I don’t know. I got it at the red box.
This calendar, starring a rabbit named Benjamin Linus (because this motherfucka is D-I-G-N-I-F-I-E-D!) is the creation of Lauren Gates, the proprietor of The BBunny Shop on Etsy. Lauren may be the brains behind this operation but Benjamin Linus is the face. And what a face it is! Bedecked in costume after glorious costume, Benjamin Linus blazes through each scene! Sometimes on a magic carpet!
I’m most impressed with the fact that Benjamin Linus was so willing. I once tried to take a picture of my rabbit (Miss Cleo) and she just looked at me as she pooped out pellet after pellet in defiance. Very Les Mis. (In next year’s calendar I would like to see Benjamin all us do either prostitute Fantine or dying Fantine.)
You should purchase ten copies of this calendar and give them to all of your friends! All proceeds go to a rabbit rescue shelter in Connecticut.
Wait, how can we get two of these to the Deschanel sisters? Does anyone know them?
This is Mark’s post but he’s not so good at the internet so I had to post it for him. Please direct all anger and accolades to him.
A little while ago I wrote a review on Odacité skin care, an organic, vegan line that I think is just marvelous! I did, however, take issue with their eye cream; it was a little too heavy for my combination skin. As I was trying to wean myself off a former, non-cruelty free line, I found myself in a dilemma of epic proportions: WHAT DO I DO ABOUT MY DELICATE AND NEEDY EYE AREA? Enter the mastermind behind Logical Harmony (and my personal vegan beauty and lifestyle guru), Tashina Combs. I tweeted at her in a panic, and she was like “GIRL, I got you! Try Own Lifting Eye Cream!” So I did. I had my mom buy me a tube for my birthday and I’ve been smitten since. This summer romance is going the distance! (Unlike the one I had involving a human being, but oh well!)
I think Tashina does a great job of reviewing this Own eye cream, so I’ll go ahead and direct you over there, as I agree with everything she says about it! I’ll add that it’s perfect for skin that is a bit on the oily side, as it’s quite light, and it’s perfect for someone who wants their eye cream to absorb quickly. Own is a San Francisco based company — their products are sold all over the place, including Whole Foods, Ulta, Amazon, and as well as little internet marketplaces all over a quick google search. I am also a fan of the fact it won’t cost me an arm and a leg to replace my tube once it runs out (anywhere from $15 - $25, depending on the retailer). I look forward to trying more of their products in the future!
Hey, and while we’re on the subject of Logical Harmony beauty reviews, check out her “October Empties” video. I love this concept — people show off their empty cosmetics, describe them, and tell the viewer whether they’d buy them again or not. So, a vegan doing one? SOLD! (Vitamin E as eye make-up remover? Who knew?)
I’m always on the hunt for new, cruelty-free, beauty products to try, so please, let me know your favorites!
Looking for some food tomorrow? The Organic Grill will be serving a 3 course Santa Brunch prix fix menu on Christmas Eve. They’ll be open from 12pm - 5pm. All vegan prix fix is $25.99. Here’s the menu!
I’ve put absolutely everything concerning Christmas off until the last minute, and I’m fine, I’m fine. It’s going to be okay, I’m sure I can figure out what my entire family wants for Christmas in the next 24 hours, wrap their presents, finish up at work and pack.
If you are like me (Working best under pressure? It’s a gift, not a curse, I swear!) and the food has yet to be figured out for your festivities, I got great news for you! Oakland’s own Hella Vegan Eats is still offering holiday catering, with small bites, tamales and desserts! Today is the last day to order; check it out! They ask for orders of at least $150 — you could be set for a week, or realistically two very indulgent nights, with four of those delectable sounding pies!
You can email or call Tiffany and Sylvee with orders and questions at HellaVegan@gmail.com or 510-282-8233. Be sure to check out their Facebook page so you can “like” everything!
As if there was any doubt in your mind about Hella Vegan Eats at your Holiday event, let’s revisit a photo of their Thanksgiving feast, via my pal George.
Attention Angelenos! Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads has started showcasing both local and national chefs with their Sunday Suppers at Crossroads series. What does this mean, you ask?!? It means there will be even MORE reason to get your tuckus to Crossroads for their amazing food. So far, Scot Jones, their executive chef, kicked things off on December 8th with an Italian inspired menu. CIAO BELLA (the only Italian I can pretend to know, and I still Googled it).
Last week I couldn’t NOT see what Top Chef Masters/Iron Chef America/OPRAH’S PERSONAL CHEF, Chef Art Smith’s “soulful Southern menu” was all about. Seriously? Nailed it! He came around to talk to patrons and casually admitted that he and Tal had cooked a similar menu for HH Dalai Lama. You know, NBD. People, the fried green tomato salad!!! I DIED. (Fried food in a salad? Why didn’t I think of that??). And the Southern fried “chicken” was ON POINT. I’m from the South, so I take my fried faux meats seriously. The breading was off the chain good, ya’ll.
Don’t be too bummed you missed out (okay, maybe be slightly bummed), every Sunday there will be a guest chef and a special menu. Follow them on Twitter for the most up-to-date goings ons.
Also, they’re hosting a special 6-course, New Year’s Eve dinner with a late seating (a less expensive, earlier seating with a 5-course menu is also available, if you want to dine there and party elsewhere). The menu looks amazeballs (no surprise)! EGGNOG ICE CREAM!
Be sure to make a reservation pronto and get ready to spot some vegan celebrities! This place is a WeHo hot spot.
Pics are from Crossroads’ Twitter.
This is a guest post by the wonderful Caroline Netschert. Caroline is an undercover east coaster living in LA, an experimental cook & recipe tester. She swings both ways: cooked & raw. You can see her latest meal or adventure on Instagram, Twitter (both @wakeupcaroline) or her amateur blog: vegansciencelab.com.
Hey friends! As stated, NYC Vegan Drinks is tonight. Yours truly will be there and hopefully Meave too but I’ve been too busy to text and ask (I’m very busy because I’m very important). I will be playing music along with my homeboy BFF Grand Format.
And Bunna Cafe is the food vender this month! Yay! They made a special holiday menu you can see below. Related: Bunna Cafe has a kickstarter to make a real live permanent restaurant! I totes donated so I could get the cooking starter kit. You should too!
10 super adorable rescued farm animals to warm your heart!
Picture time! Here are some cutie-pie farm animals that were lucky enough to find a home at Farm Sanctuary. The animals in this post are all available for “adoption”—i.e. sponsorship—at Farm Sanctuary through their Adopt a Farm Animal Program.
So, without further ado, here are 10 super adorable rescued Farm Sanctuary animals!
Wait, wait, a little more ado: As my dad always says, “It’s not a contest, Megan!” but come on, it kind of is. So let’s all pick our favorite! Who’s the cutest? I think I’m voting Joey…
I think sponsoring animals is a very cute gift if you know someone with too much stuff. Which is a lot of people. Or if you have a little niece or something? That would actually be fun, they get a picture and certificate and all that. Kids like that stuff. Like I always say, kids are nerds! At least until 11 or 12. I also think an animal sponsorship is a great replacement for like a class pet or something—get the whole class a cow! Because class pets are such a terrible idea. And each Farm Sanctuary “adoption” comes with a personal sponsorship certificate, a color photograph, a decal, and a VIP tour to meet your sponsored animal. How awesome would that be for a class?! And the sponsorship provides food, shelter, and care a rescued animal—teaching the kids compassion and all that! So if you want to sponsor one of these babies, head over the Farm Sanctuary’s site.
Guest Post: Anchorman 2 cast and celebrity guests largely veto veganism at U.S. premiere
News anchor Ron Burgundy wasn’t the only legend standing strong at Sunday night’s star-studded step-and-repeat. Also the longstanding “legend,” or, perhaps more accurately, longstanding myth, that we need meat for protein proved alive and well on the comedian-clad red carpet. Pervasive as ever, even the rich, famous and funny are by and large out of touch when it comes to science, sentience and, maybe most compelling to the celebrity set, sexiness.
It’s somewhat disheartening to witness Hollywood so woefully behind the times. With that said, despite persistent prejudices against veganism, a few folks in attendance admitted to having tried a plant-based diet in the past, or offered to give it a go in the future. Others were a little … lost.
Given the global buzz surrounding Jay-Z’s and Beyoncé’s 22-day foray into vegan eating — thanks to nutrition coach Marco Borges — I used this high-profile nutrition news as an excuse to get premiere-goers talking. Some weren’t aware of the power couple’s compassionate challenge, but at least my mentioning it got the gears turning, if only for a moment.
One thing’s for sure, based on star Will Ferrell’s response to one reporter’s query about how he spends time in his trailer, this dude’s nowhere near eschewing meat, dairy and eggs. Said the actor, “You know how those trailers have, like, full kitchens? Little ovens and stuff like that? I’m the only one who uses my oven. I cook fantastic lunches for the cast in my trailer. A lot of chicken pot pies, lasagna. That’s how I relax. I cook in my trailer.”
To this, filmmaker Adam McKay added, “He did a crazy amount of cooking. He had a hotplate in there. He was constantly making tortellini; he was deep-frying calamari. There was constant smoke and smells coming out of his trailer. It was very odd. He put on, easily, 35 pounds during this movie. We had to hospitalize him at one point. It was a major problem.” (I’m going to venture to guess some, if not all, of this is fabricated for entertainment’s sake. Needless to say, both he and Will had all media within earshot laughing.)
Among those in attendance for the film’s debut at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on Sunday night were Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Edward Norton, James Marsden, Jeremy Piven, Brooke Shields, Bobby Moynihan, Billy Magnussen, and more.
Without further ado, responses from a few glittering industry icons to the following question: “As you’ve likely heard, Jay-Z and Beyoncé are right now rocking a plant-based diet, until at least Christmas. Would you ever experiment with veganism? Say for three weeks?”
Judd Apatow I’ve done that! I’ve cut my meat down to a couple times a month. But then, if I don’t eat meat, I just eat a lot of pizza and gain weight. It’s a hard one. I haven’t pulled it off yet.
Lewis Black No. I have no interest. I did it when I was a kid. It was cheap. It’s very affordable. I was eating lentils, rice, vegetables. It got to the point where I got tired of it. It’s like I’m at a buffet and I keep switching. I juice in the morning! That’s enough of that [healthy] stuff all day.
Fred Willard I would love to! Vegan food can be very good. But, when I lived in New York, I’d see the vegans. They looked kind of gray. [I’m vegan!] Are you? Well, you look great. I belong to Actors and Others for Animals, and PETA, and Farm Sanctuary, and I appreciate not eating meat, but I just like it. You know, it’s the circle of nature.
Adam McKay Well, it depends what you mean by “plant.” I think I am on a plant-based diet, if you count cows and chickens that eat plants. No? Then I’m not on a plant-based diet. That seems really extreme. I think I need some protein. [There’s protein in plants!] No, there’s not. [I’m a living vegan. I’m fine.] You have to eat, like, peanuts. I dunno. I wouldn’t do it. Taco Bell has no meat in it; I guess I could still eat that. Yeah. I would consider it.
Meagan Good My husband and I actually started! We haven’t gone all the way plant-based, because I’ll never give up chicken. It just won’t happen. But, we have been leaning a lot more toward that in the last month and a half, and it’s made a big difference: physically how I feel, physically in my stomach, in my skin, in my nails. I just feel a lot better. It’s hard for me with cheese; I’m such a cheese and sauce girl. But, I’ve pretty much given up beef. Turkey’s going. We’re trying to give up dairy. Eggs? Not so hard to give up. Forks Over Knives got us started.
Haley Joel Osment For a role, I would. But, I’m too much of an embarrassing foodie to ever give it up voluntarily. I know it’s possible. There’s lot of options. It’s a lot better now than in the ’90s. My dad was always really into health foods and that was a struggle back then. Now there are actually chefs doing it on a big scale. I will eat vegan food, but also other things.
Hoda Kotb No, I didn’t know! Vegan? Oh, no. No, no, dear. No, no, no. That would never … I did try to have that green juice a couple of times, but I ate, too. I had it with food. And you do feel better, with the ginger and the rest of it, but there’s no way on god’s green earth I could do anything vegan or juice completely, and not eat regular food. Twinkies, juicing? Best thing ever.
David Koechner Oh yeah! Forks Over Knives!
Billy Eichner No! I love meat. I would eat a seal. I don’t care. I’d eat anything. I’d eat Jay-Z and Beyoncé. I’d eat everything. I don’t care. No, I care about animals, but I don’t know if I could do the vegan thing. I’d do a trial run. If Beyoncé agrees to add more hooks to her new album, I’ll agree to do the vegan thing.
Nell Alk is a writer and editor based in New York City. If something vegan is happening in the world, she is on it.
I’m the first to admit that even though PETA saves animals every day, I sometimes falter under the weight of knowing that I can’t end dog chaining, factory farming, and bullfightingright now. But then I hear that a firefighter saved a kitten’s life with a little oxygen—and, let’s face it, a whole lot of sexiness—and my faith that one person can make a difference is restored. Add a school that serves kids vegetarian lunches and a businessperson who leads a group of ducklings safely to a lake, and I feel like I’ve hit the faith-in-humanity jackpot.
Here are five other everyday heroes who made it their business to make a big difference in the lives of animals:
Andi Davis carried an injured 47-pound dog half a mile down a steep mountainside after spotting him during her morning hike. She rushed him to an animal hospital, where he was treated for gunshot-related injuries. Doggie Elijah has recovered nicely and now lives with Davis and her family.
After responding to a fire at a California apartment building, members of the Santa Monica Fire Department found an unconscious dog hidden behind a mattress in one of the units. The firefighters rushed the dog, named Stella, from the burning building and immediately began giving her oxygen using a mask specially designed for dogs and cats. Stella soon regained consciousness and was taken to an animal hospital to recover. I’m sure the firefighters got a few doggie smooches for their efforts!
After Cristina Fernandez spotted a Lobster Zone “game” at a restaurant, she persuaded the owner to get rid of the cruel tank, which allows customers to use a mechanical claw to terrorize and capture the lobsters they want the kitchen to boil alive. Lobster Zone tanks are hideous—the claw can injure lobsters who are already tormented by not being fed while awaiting their deaths. Christina proved that no animal is too small—or antennae-y—to fight for.
Ginger Frey contacted PETA after she spotted ducklings who were trapped in a storm drain in Lombard, Illinois. Although she had managed to get two of the birds out on her own, the others were too far down for her to reach, so PETA contacted the Lombard Fire Department, which came to the rescue. Firefighters were able to reach the remaining two ducklings, and all of them were taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.
TatorTot proves that animals can be everyday heroes, too! Christi Smith had just adopted the pit bull when he started whining and barking and running between her and her 4-year-old son, Peyton. When Smith checked on Peyton, she found that he was barely breathing, so she rushed him to the emergency room, where doctors determined that his blood sugar had dropped to dangerously low levels. Because of dogs’ keen sense of smell, TatorTot had probably detected the presence of ketones, which are associated with low blood sugar. He was rewarded with hugs from his mom and a thank-you goody basket from PETA.
TatorTot isn’t the only one to receive a PETA award! Although the aforementioned human heroes didn’t get dog biscuits, they received special recognition from PETA for donning their capes and helped animals in need.
Santa Monica Compassionate Fire Dept Award Ceremony; Credit: PETA
Check it out, NYC! The New Year's Eve vegan tasting menu from Three Letters!
Three Letters’ vegan mushroom soup (to which you can add baked tofu).
Who says French restaurants can’t do vegan?! Well, my friend Peter, a hardcore French chef, for one… But not Three Letters in Brooklyn! Located in Clinton Hill, Three Letters is not a vegan restaurant but they have pretty awesome-sounding vegan options. Their chef, Pip, emailed us to let us know that in addition to an omni tasting menu this New Year’s Eve, they are having an all-vegan tasting menu! The theme is “French takes on southern American traditions.” It sounds OUT OF SIGHT:
Marinated Oyster mushroom, Leek Mignonette
Golden Turnip Soup, turnip green oil, safron emulsion
Pickled Shiitake collard green, kale chip, sesame and beets salad
Cider-Braised Seitan hazelnut mushroom sausage, apple potato hash, cider jus
Black Eyed Pea Cassoulet hen of the woods and yuba roulade, sweet onion
Chocolate Mouse coconut nougat, rum caramel
OMG, right? So I haven’t been here yet but Meave and I are planning a Three Letters date AT THIS VERY MOMENT! Because this stuff sounds GOOD. Like, reading the menu is making me hyper. Calm down. But this is so perfect because my omni brother loves French food so we can go here together and both be happy!
If you want to spend your NYE at Three Letters, here are the details:
First seating is at 6:30, Last at 10:30, reservations strongly suggested but the bar will be available for walk-ins.
The cost is $60, which includes a glass of bubbly. Additional wine pairing option for $35.
Call the restaurant to make reservations: 718-622-4679
So tell me, has anyone been here already? I want to hear all about it!
Their seitan entree with walnut oil mashed potatoes and flageolet ragout.
Vegan Divas, your favorite health-conscious vegan bakery, has created this decadent bûche de Noël! Or Yule Log, to us local folk. It’s a chocolate sponge cake, layered with chocolate mousse and caramel filling. And if you don’t know, Vegan Divas’ chocolate mousse is their signature dish. It’s so chocolatey and smooth!
The bûche de Noël is $59 and serves 10-12 people. You can pick one up at the store in Manhattan or they are delivering to the NYC metro area. I don’t know how far they’ll delivery otherwise but they do say you can contact them for Connecticut or other areas. I want one! They are so pretty!
Rolling Stone this week published a massive and gripping story about our undercover exposés of factory farms and slaughterplants,observing that the meat industry thinks we’re so effective, it’s “declared jihad on the Humane Society.”
Iowa’s biggest paper, the Des Moines Register, today slammed tea party Rep. Steve King for his anti-animal and anti-states’ rights farm bill amendment, noting that American consumers are increasingly concerned about battery cages and gestation crates.
The Guardian published a compelling story this week discussing the declining rates of meat consumption in the US, asking, “is animal consumption falling out of style in the US?” Maybe that’s one reason TIME named Beyond Meat this week as one of the top 10 most exciting start-ups!
In a similar vein, Temple Grandin reported in the new issue of Meat & Poultry that, “during the last three years, 14 percent of consumers have reduced eating pork due to concern about the gestation crate issue.”
Finally, yes, the rumors are true: I once was young…and I talk about it in this new interview!
Superstar pets of Instagram encourage you to adopt a new best friend!
Megan Rascal here, on the ad beat. This is a few weeks old but so cute. It’s all my favorite internet pet stars doing a spot for Best Friends Animal Society! Of course Lil Bub is on there and a little pal I newly followed on Instagram, Tuna! Here’s Tuna ready for the holidays:
I love when famous animals use their popularity to help other animals! This pro-bono campaign comes to us from TBWA\Chiat\Day in LA. You go, ad peeps!
Hello! It’s gift guide time of year! I wanted to find some good stuff that would also do some good. First up is the necklace above!
Sunday Frill Necklace This cute necklace is handmade in Uganda: “Curated by Invisible Children in partnership with 31 Bits: Using fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty.” And it’s adorable!
Terra Cotta Pizza Stone This beauty is from Ten Thousand Villages. It’s sourced through HEED Handicrafts, a job creation project of HEED Bangladesh. And OMG everyone who has a pizza stone is completely obsessed with them! My brother is head over heels for his. Like whoa. So if you want some DIY type or amateur chef to think you’re awesome, get them this.
Science Club Binoculars & Wildlife Activity Journal Dude, let’s be honest, kids are nerds. At least until about 12. They like nerdy stuff so I think these binoculars will knock the sox off of your little nephew or what have you. Plus proceeds benefit the Humane Society. Plus plus they can be spies!
Mercy For Animals T-shirts What vegan doesn’t like a t-shirt? NO VEGAN! I love this Mercy For Animals t-shirt and I love Mercy for Animals so it’s perfect for a vegan in your life! Or any old kind person you know.
Lagusta’s Luscious Big Assortment Now, if you really want to charm a vegan in your life—or any chocolate-lover for that matter—get them this giant chocolate assortment from Lagusta’s Luscious! The pic speaks for itself. Especially because when I downloaded it, the file name was “new_big_ass.” Hilar!
Lil Bub tote Do you have a hip friend or family member? Perhaps they are Lil Bub fans? Or they should be? BECAUSE EVERYONE SHOULD BE! Then a Lil Bub tote is a great, inexpensive gift. It’s totes current and it would make a great farmer’s market bag. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to some of Bub’s favorite animal charities. Plus plus, OMG BUB I LOVE YOU.
Found Dog Bed If you want to go big for your own little (or big) animal friend, I like this bed from Found. This bed is handmade in Brooklyn by this dog rescue-focused brand. And it’s made super sustainably! But built to last.
Happy Carrot If you know a kitty who needs a present, I’m into this Happy Carrot from Purrfect Play! It’s made in America with organic materials (mostly cotton) including organic catnip. They also donate 5% of sales to animal shelters. My Mitsy is BOUT IT for catnip!
Miakoda’s Crocheted Fingerless Gloves Are you shopping for a fashion plate? Then these pretty fingerless gloves would be a super cute present. Great for biking in the fall or playing outdoor music! These are made in the US and they aren’t made with icky wool.
Green Toys Tool Set OMG how much do I want this tool set?! Well actually I have a grownup pink tool set already so not that much. But when I was ten? All I wanted was a tool set and they never got me one! I would have been over the moon for this. And it’s made with recycled materials with super sustainable methods, etc etc etc.
And that’s your Vegansaurus Good Gift Guide! Happy holidays to you and yours.
"First staff meeting. Can you guess what the restaurant is called?" Nov. 1, 2013, @isachandra via Instagram.
Ed. note: Rachel wrote this a while ago, I didn’t post until now. Forgive me!
Astute stalkers of the queen of vegan cookbooks will already know that Isa Chandra Moskowitz is planning to open Omaha, Nebraska’s first vegan restaurant. Now, in her local paper, she reveals its exact location, and its name. First, take a moment to guess.
No idea? Yeah, that photo didn’t tell me squat. Answer: Modern Love. Not to be mistaken for the New York Times column—that’s an SEO/Google search problem I wouldn’t want to deal with, but unfortunately I was not consulted.
Deets are few, but the paper reveals a couple:
"Moskowitz describes the menu as ‘swanky vegan comfort food,’ and she said the restaurant will serve a revolving menu of made-from-scratch dishes. She’ll make her own cheese, condiments and soda. She said she’s working with local farms, and the food will focus on vegetables. She’ll also serve homemade pie."
You had me at “swanky.”
Oh, and don’t be too jealous, but my home of Boulder, CO, is only 552 miles/7 hours and 45 minutes from this impending hotbed of awesomeness. A road trip is clearly in order once the doors open this spring. Stay tuned!!
The latest investigation from Mercy for Animals exposes horrific cruelty at a major DiGiorno cheese supplier in Wisconsin. You can watch the video on SliceOfCruelty.com. I watched parts, it’s brutal. I’m not sure lately if I should post these videos on here or not. I want the truth about the horrific conditions in the meat, dairy and egg industries to get as much attention as possible, but then some people criticize me for posting that stuff. Because, truthfully, if you’re vegan, you don’t have to watch this stuff. BUT many of us know cheese eaters who should watch this, so I want to make sure all the vegans at least know about it. What do you think? Should I post these videos? Just share them on FB? Or do a post like this that just links to the vid?
I wish everyone who ate dairy were forced to watch this, Clockwork Orange style! Not really but kind of. But again, if you want to see or find the video to share, go to SliceOfCruelty.com. And if you want to sign the petition, go directly here.
Spreads NY brings vegan flavors to the Park Avenue lunch crowd!
So I started a new job a few weeks ago. One morning I went to Spreads, a little sandwich place right across the street from my new office (30th and Park), and low and behold! A vegan earl grey donut! I said to myself, “is this real life?” And it was! I bought one of course.
It was tasty! It tasted less like a donut and more like lemony pound cake. Luckily, I love pound cake. It’s also gluten free, which I know some of you will like.
Obvi I had to tell the vegan world about my new discovery and I tweeted a pic on our Twitter account. Next thing I know, Spreads emailed me inviting me to come try all of their vegan goodies! I obliged, because I’m a sweetie.
Above is the coconut bacon and avocado sandwich. It’s a show stopper! It was our favorite item we tried. It’s rich though, I could only eat half. But the salty and sweet coconut bacon goes lovely with the avocado. It also has vegan mayo they make themselves—yum!
This is the split pea soup we tried. Two thumbs up! But I love split pea soup. I feel like it’s finally on the rebound since the Exorcist debacle. This had a hint of dill, which was interesting.
Finally, we got to try one of their juices! I’m not a big juice person but I actually found this refreshing. Strong cucumber flavor. Kind of tasted like gazpacho? Maybe I’m being cray.
We also met the owner—what a dream! SO passionate about food. And I love that the one vegan sandwich on their menu is a wacky coconut bacon sandwich instead of just like a veggie burger or generic veggie wrap like we’re usually offered. No, Spreads went all out! Of course I want everywhere to have a million vegan sandwiches but if you’re only going to have one, it’s really cool when it’s something exciting like this. OMG and did I forget they make the coconut bacon themselves? They smoke it with organic apple wood or something—totes intense!
If you are in the area looking for a yummy lunch, this is the place for you! Matter of fact, call me and we’ll split one! You’ll have to get your own donut though. I need a whole one! I’m no fool.
I am so excited to present you with the Bay Area’s newest vegan food venture: From The Garden, brought to you by newlyweds and all-around-awesome couple, Kyle and Ashley Knies! Their meal delivery boxes were mentioned in our SF Bay Area Thanksgiving write-up, now let’s get to know them a little bit better. Kyle is a professionally trained and incredibly talented chef while Ashley is a holistic health counselor — talk about a power couple right there! Their Berkeley-based company, From the Garden, is available to the Bay Area for a variety of services including: personal chef needs, cooking classes, catering events, food delivery and beautiful, monthly, greenhouse brunches. Curious? Just take a look at these sample menus.
Be sure to keep an eye out for this up-and-coming vegan powerhouse duo — I know I will be! Follow them on Instagram at @itsfromthegarden, Twitter at @chefkyleknies, and Facebook here, for upcoming events and fabulous food photos. Their blog offers a plethora of delectable looking recipes, while their website is a wealth of information about what they can do for you! You can also email them at email@example.com with any questions, or to reserve their services.
This is so cute! There are some better tricks but I’m feeling seasonal. I had no idea mice could do tricks like this! And this mouse is totally adorbs.
This little mouse is one of the first agility mice. Their trainer Marina keeps them as pets and teaches them little tricks ONLY through positive reinforcement. I for one think that’s great, animal companions should have plenty of mental stimulation! (btw, have you seen these puzzles for dogs? My Figgy is a fan!)
Marina is pretty much a mouse genius. She wants to show the world mice are smart! Maybe if people will listen, they won’t let them be used in scientific research constantly (sort of kind of eventually worked for chimpanzees)? I love this interview Marina did. Listen to her advice:
I find it important to note that mouse training is not as easy as it may seem in my videos. Unfortunately, some people spontaneously buy a mouse after seeing my videos and then are disappointed. Mice are highly sensitive, so you don’t just need background knowledge about positive animal training, but also much empathy for the feelings of the mice.
Only balanced and happy mice are trainable, and a mouse that has to spend its life alone in a 10 gallon tank will be chronically stressed. So the prerequisite for mouse training is species-appropriate keeping. Mice are highly social and must live in groups and in proper sized cages with enough enrichment. Their sensitivity and their nocturnal nature makes them unsuitable for children. They are demanding pets, not least because of their intelligence.
She also says she never fasts them (“can YOU concentrate better when you’re hungry?!”). Yup, all positive reinforcement.
I’m a little scared of mice—I don’t WANT to be! I just am! But I’m working on it. When you see these little guys, they are so cute, maybe it’ll make me less scared. Do any of you have pet mice? Do they know tricks?!
Note: It freaks me out that she says she feeds mice to her reptiles…I thought they were her friends?! Maybe it’s only after they’ve died? I don’t know.
Did you hear? Jay Z and Beyoncé are committing to a vegan diet for a few weeks, earning them a free meal from HSUS. J
A major sow confinement company is getting less love from HSUS, however. It’s trying to build a new factory farm in Minnesota, but not if HSUS and local neighbors prevail in court. Check out coverage of our battle in the heartland.
Finally, I’ll let the title of this new Salon.com article speak for itself: “America’s meat addiction is slaughtering the planet.”
May your weekend be a good one!
P.S. Video of the week: A tear-jerking (in a good way) new video about a puppy mill survivor who wouldn’t give up!
P.P.S. RIP Nelson Mandela, a hero for the ages. His words ring true: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
A Very Late, but Very Delicious Homemade Thanksgiving
The hubby and I celebrated Thanksgiving with my Dad at my sister’s house this Tuesday after a weekend of fighting a flu. This homemade vegan Thanksgiving was the perfect medicine. (L to R) Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potato Mash, Bean and Rice Tamale, Stuffing, and Fresh Corn.
Yesterday, the vegan internet and my Facebook feed was a flutter with some super great news: Jay Z and Beyonce are embarking on a 22 day “plant-based” diet challenge! Jay Z shared the news on his blog:
Psychologists have said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. On the 22nd day, you’ve found the way.
On December 3rd, one day before my 44th birthday I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!! This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a “plant-based breakfast” every day. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought…
Why now? There’s something spiritual to me about it being my 44th birthday and the serendipity behind the number of days in this challenge; 22 (2+2=4) coupled with the fact that the challenge ends on Christmas day…It just feels right!
So you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse. I will post my progress… Any professional vegans out there that have any great food spots please help out! Please ha. I don’t know what happens after Christmas. A semi-vegan, a full plant-based diet? Or just a spiritual and physical challenge? We’ll see…
Best of luck and health!
P.S. B is also joining me.
I will let my friend Marco explain the benefits of a plant based diet here.
How excited am I? SO EXCITED, I’M PHYSICALLY UNCOMFORTABLE! And socially inept, but that’s an every day thing. So, do you think Beyonce is going to show up to Blossom in one of her many fur coats? That might be as awkward as it is cruel. But I think a vegan diet is a great start and cutting out non-vegan food is maybe the biggest barrier for people when they think about what veganism means. Plus this brings a ridiculous amount of exposure to veganism!
People sometimes dismiss our posts about veganism among celebrities but it really does raise awareness tremendously, whether they remain vegan or not. And it normalizes it! Making it less intimidating. I am all for celebrities adopting any part of the vegan lifestyle.
Portland! This is going to be the ultimate vegan holiday shindig!
IF YOU ARE IN PORTLAND, YOU MUST GO TO THIS EVENT ON DECEMBER 7:
The ladies of Vida Vegan Con—Janessa, Jess, and Michele—are throwing a December do! It’s a party with a purpose, a lovely evening of mingling and eating and drinking…and inspiration and education. We’ll help you get ready for your wintery event, cozying up with friends and family and food and fun.
We’ll have vegan sweets and savories, party-worthy punch and cocktails/mocktails, and décor ideas. Demos, hands-on crafting, and a special take-home gift!
…in a particularly galling move, Joe has just put out the December issue of VegNews on his own, without any mention of Colleen. In other words, Joe is acting like there is no lawsuit, no dispute over ownership, and that he’s now in charge, simply by locking Colleen out and pretending she doesn’t exist.
You guys are totes going to love Nicobella! Just read this:
We love animals, therefore do not use any animal ingredients. We donate 5% of our sales to our favorite animal organizations (Mercy for Animals, The Gentle Barn, Noah’s Ark of Locust Grove, GA and The Humane Society of the United States). We also donate any left over chocolates that have not been sold to these organizations to be used in auctions, which helps to raise money for animals in need.
Yay! And not only are the chocolates vegan, they are organic, sustainable and fair trade! I tried the Nicobella truffles above and then the “munch” snacks you see below. I LOVE THE MAPLE NUT MUNCH!!!: “Maple-nut munch is a savory healthy snack made with organic, Fair Trade 75% dark chocolate, maple coated roasted pecans and just a touch of sea salt.” OMG RIGHT? You should know by now that I love chocolate and salt together so this is right up my alley.
I shared the treats with my coworkers because I’m so nice to them. Once again, they weren’t that interested in the fair-tradeness, sustainability or vegan…ity? But they were def interested in the chocolate part. The truffles were very popular. I think the green tea drew a lot of interest and the pumpkin chai. I liked them too but it was the Maple Nut Munch that took the show in my book. The other Munch flavors went like hot cakes as well. They are especially nice because they seem a bit healthy but still so yummy and chocolatey.
In conclusion: Nicobella rules! The I just ordered more Maple Nut Munch today because I’m obsessed.
Legal bit: I got these for free from the company to try!
Advancement in diabetes prevention leads Grist writer to conclude vegans are jerks
"Adults age 40 and over with diagnosed diabetes who reported receiving four recommended services for diabetes in the calendar year (2+ hemoglobin A1c tests, foot exam, dilated eye exam, and flu shot), by race/ethnicity, 2008-2009" -Agency for Health Research and Qaulity
A European study found that high levels of a certain renal acid can greatly increase risk of type 2 diabetes. The study found that while meat raises the level of this acid, fruits and vegetables lower it.
I just read a post on Grist about it entitled, "Meat-based diets linked with type 2 diabetes; vegans everywhere get smug." I know, it’s baiting, but I would have read it anyway for the former part of the title (though I clicked only to find a study I read about in July). But let me tell you, I haven’t read something so aggressively, preemptively defensive in quite a while. I don’t care if she calls me smug, I’ll be that, but what is really shocking to me is that a study comes out that could help prevent a growing epidemic and this writer’s first response is to feel personally threatened by the boon it may give to the vegan cause.
Basically, Richmond does not care about nor see the importance of this new data beyond the question, “how will this affect my witty conversations?” Because I’m sure she has a great bit about vegans and heaven forbid actual data steal her thunder. But hey, Richmond! Do not fret! There has always been a ton of support points for veganism, and you’ve still managed to remain unscathed, living to image search “bacon” another day. So you’ll be OK—just cross your fingers about that pesky diabetes! Goodness knows there’s nothing else to be done about it.