vegansaurus!

10/06/2014

Check out these cute vegan ankle boots from Blowfish Alms Shoes!  »

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In celebration of their new vegan store, the kind folks at Planet Shoes sent me over a pair of adorbs faux-leather ankle boots from vegan brand Blowfish to wear around and report on for y’all. You know I’m a professional shoe reviewer, right?

After about a month of extensive scientific testing, I now deliver the following insights:

1. Everyone should have a pair of cute brown ankle boots with buckles. These go with literally everything I own, including my pajamas and wedding dress. Can we create a program to issue a pair every couple years to everyone ever?

2. If you plan to walk in these a lot and are old and broken like me, get some nice insoles, because the arch support is only meh.

3. The buckles are decorative. REPEAT: You do NOT need to unbuckle the buckles to use these shoes. As a lazy person, this pleases me.

4. Apparently faux leather is kind of delicate? This is my main gripe with the Alms. A month in, I’ve already managed to scratch up the heels and toes like a college student who’s never getting her security deposit back because you can’t actually drag your desk across hardwood floors like that, who knew?

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Will these tragic scars keep me from wearing the boots? Obviously not. But would I be kind of upset about them if I’d paid the $69 the boots cost? Obviously. 

The Blowfish blog has some tips on caring for their boots that advise using leather conditioner, so maybe I’ll try that next. Anyone else have tips on dealing with such issues, other than just yelling at my feet to toughen up until my shoes start crying?

10/03/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Major breaking news for chickens!  »

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Six years after California passed Prop 2 to ban battery cages, our opponents are still suing over it and the subsequent law banning sales of shell eggs from hens locked in battery cages. Last night, a judge threw out a key challenge, bringing a major victory to chickens. Huge props to the awesome attorneys working on the case, including many of my coworkers.

Are you one of the unfortunate souls living in a state in which Chipotle hasn’t yet rolled out Sofritas? Good news! Your suffering will soon be over.

Did you hear the one about Butterball turkey getting a “humane” certification? No, for real. Mother Jones has the story, asking whether this a marketing stunt just in time for Thanksgiving.

Pigs won a big vote yesterday in New Jersey, with a key committee approving a bill to ban gestation crates there. More to come!

And finally, no, this isn’t from The Onion. Hundreds of people were recently poisoned at food safety conference from eating chicken there.

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro  

P.S. Video of the week: If you’ve ever wondered what your party would be like with a cat DJing it, wonder no more.

Planet Shoes Launches New Vegan Online Shop  »

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Today, Rachel pens a letter to Planet Shoes in appreciation of the vegan-only section they’ve added to their store. 

Dear Planet Shoes

Thank you for taking the time to gather all the vegan shoes into one subsection of your website! I especially appreciate your mix of fully vegan brands, like Blowfish, with the vegan options from brands I might not think of, like Patagonia or Sanuk or Merrell.

Your browse function is well-designed and easy to use, which a lazy person like me truly appreciates. One sad: you currently have no metallic or silver options, which is going to put a damper on my metallic shoe collection. Can you get all the metallic shoes please? 

Your reviews are a bit thin right now, but luckily The Rest of The Internet can help me overcome that, until such time as the world discovers your vegan shoe shop and leaves oodles and oodles of reviews.

I will tell all my friends at Vegansaurus that you have launched your new shop, I bet they’ll want to check it out.

-Rachel

PS: Also, thank you for letting me pick out a pair of free shoes! (check back for the shoe review next week!)

10/02/2014

First-Ever “Sonoma County Chicken Save” Event to Be Held Today!
Food Empowerment Project announces the first-ever Sonoma County Chicken Save event on Thursday, October 2, from 11:30am to 6:30pm. Sonoma County Chicken Save will have a peaceful vigil to remind the public of the suffering that takes hidden from view.
It will be held outside of Petaluma Poultry Processors at 2700 Lakeville Highway in Petaluma, California. Animal advocates from throughout the Bay Area will be gathered in front of the plant, using signs and literature to interact with passersby and educate them about the plight of chickens raised for “meat.”
“Today is World Day for Farmed Animals, and it seems like the perfect day to start our awareness effort to remind people that animals are being killed behind these walls every day,” said Lauren Ornelas, executive director of Food Empowerment Project. “No matter how the chickens are raised, they all suffer an inhumane death at slaughterhouses.”
“Save” movements are spreading around the world to help remind the public of the suffering that farmed animals endure inside slaughterhouses. Individual Save events may focus on an individual species, such as pigs or chickens, or on all farmed animals. The first of its kind in Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Chicken Save seeks to remind the public of the horrific abuses and suffering that chickens raised and killed for “meat” endure.
“The slaughter of animals for food occurs behind closed doors, so almost no one sees it,” Ornelas said. “It is important for us all to recognize what is happening here, and we’re proud to be speaking out on the chickens’ behalf.”
Begun in 1983, World Day for Farmed Animals is a day of global demonstrations and observations on behalf of animals raised for their flesh. Activists around the world gather on or about October 2 (the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi) in solidarity and remembrance of their suffering.

For more information on Sonoma County Chicken Save, please visit: http://www.foodispower.org/sonoma-county-chicken-save/
Guest post by Rick Kelley! Thanks, Rick!

First-Ever “Sonoma County Chicken Save” Event to Be Held Today!

Food Empowerment Project announces the first-ever Sonoma County Chicken Save event on Thursday, October 2, from 11:30am to 6:30pm. Sonoma County Chicken Save will have a peaceful vigil to remind the public of the suffering that takes hidden from view.

It will be held outside of Petaluma Poultry Processors at 2700 Lakeville Highway in Petaluma, California. Animal advocates from throughout the Bay Area will be gathered in front of the plant, using signs and literature to interact with passersby and educate them about the plight of chickens raised for “meat.”

“Today is World Day for Farmed Animals, and it seems like the perfect day to start our awareness effort to remind people that animals are being killed behind these walls every day,” said Lauren Ornelas, executive director of Food Empowerment Project. “No matter how the chickens are raised, they all suffer an inhumane death at slaughterhouses.”

Save” movements are spreading around the world to help remind the public of the suffering that farmed animals endure inside slaughterhouses. Individual Save events may focus on an individual species, such as pigs or chickens, or on all farmed animals. The first of its kind in Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Chicken Save seeks to remind the public of the horrific abuses and suffering that chickens raised and killed for “meat” endure.

“The slaughter of animals for food occurs behind closed doors, so almost no one sees it,” Ornelas said. “It is important for us all to recognize what is happening here, and we’re proud to be speaking out on the chickens’ behalf.”

Begun in 1983, World Day for Farmed Animals is a day of global demonstrations and observations on behalf of animals raised for their flesh. Activists around the world gather on or about October 2 (the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi) in solidarity and remembrance of their suffering.

For more information on Sonoma County Chicken Save, please visit: http://www.foodispower.org/sonoma-county-chicken-save/

Guest post by Rick Kelley! Thanks, Rick!

Terrible person bashes 920 chickens to death, meat-eaters condemn the massacre before they head to KFC  »

imageLittle Miss Sunshine is more introspective than your average meat-eater.

A few sites reported this awful story yesterday: an unknown sick and/or terrible person broke into a poultry facility and killed 920 chickens with a golf club. This is horrible and disturbing, but the public reaction is a blatant example of the bizarre cognitive dissonance we see with meat-eaters. This is a poultry factory. What the fuck do they think happens at a poultry factory? There are definitely more cruel ways than others to kill chickens, but I can guarantee you the way chickens are killed at a poultry plant is not going to be in a Disney movie. And it’s reported this plant, Foster Farms, houses* 21,000 chickens. What kind of quality of life do people think 21,000 chickens in a factory have?

Foster Farms is miraculously certified humane. Apparently you can be totes humane with 21,000 chickens living in warehouses. From their site:

Foster Farms poultry is neither “caged” nor “free-range.” Our chickens and turkeys are grown in large poultry barns designed to protect the birds from environmental extremes…

Yes, totally protected from environmental extremes…LIKE THE SUN. Here’s a screen grab from their “how we earned it” video about being certified humane:

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Again, there are worse ways to live (for example, the way most hens used for egg production live), but are you kidding me? This is awful enough for me. 

And what’s really telling, the company, which called the killings an “unconscionable act of animal cruelty,” is offering a $5000 reward** for info leading to the arrest of the perpetrator/perpetrators. Guess why they chose that number? Because the estimated loss to the business from the chicken attack is $5000. I know putting a price on the value of a being is sad, but if we have to, that’s so fucking low. 920 chickens are only “worth” $5000? And I’m sure that figure includes property damage, so it’s not even $5000. But also, tell me how this is about animal cruelty? And not profit loss? It’s all so despicable. 

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a terrible thing to have happened. But I also think the poultry industry is a terrible thing to have happened. Yet, meat-eaters condemn this cruelty, while chomping down on a chicken club. It’s just absurd. These people are so confused. Like this SF Gate piece, they call it a “bloodbath” and refer to the assailants as “killers.” Wait, are you trying to say meat is murder?! You crazy animal rights wackos! 

Also, I just learned they’ve made an arrest. I heard the cops are celebrating over chicken parm. 

*The Gawker post says “holds” instead of houses—a nice example of the subtle distancing through language we get when discussing animals used for food. 

**The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $5000 reward, but many news sites said Foster Farms was doing the same. I’m a bit confused, but Foster Farms is offering some kind of reward and I think it’s $5000. Another point of confusion: I definitely think whoever did this should be prosecuted and I think ALDF is great but why are they offering a reward amount that is the same as the monetary loss to the business? Seems to affirm the chickens are just a commodity. 

10/01/2014

The SF Vegan Beer & Food Festival is coming! And you’d be a food (a damn fool!) to miss it!
Here’s the skinny from the wonderful folks at Hella Vegan Eats (WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH):

We are SO EXCITED to announce the first ever SF Vegan Beer & Food Festival happening on Saturday, October 18th (hope you can make it) at SoMa StrEat Food Park!!

In addition to local craft beers, 20+ vegan vendors, sweet tunes, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and the SF SPCA! Oh, glorious day! 
We would love any and all help getting the word out there! <3 

So be there or be square! And being square is NOT HIP, no matter how many times Huey Lewis insists that it is.

The SF Vegan Beer & Food Festival is coming! And you’d be a food (a damn fool!) to miss it!

Here’s the skinny from the wonderful folks at Hella Vegan Eats (WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH):

We are SO EXCITED to announce the first ever SF Vegan Beer & Food Festival happening on Saturday, October 18th (hope you can make it) at SoMa StrEat Food Park!!

In addition to local craft beers, 20+ vegan vendors, sweet tunes, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and the SF SPCA! Oh, glorious day! 

We would love any and all help getting the word out there! <3 

So be there or be square! And being square is NOT HIP, no matter how many times Huey Lewis insists that it is.

09/30/2014

Great American Beer Fest is Coming! What should we try?  »

Great American Beer Festival is coming to Denver this weekend, which means the whole town is pretty much gonna be just like this for four days straight:

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And for the first time ever, Vegansaurus is sending a correspondent INSIDE the madhouse, to report back on all the latest and most important breaking beer news.

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There’s a bear trying to break in to your convention!! Photo © Brewers Association

If any of y’all fabulous readers are going to be there, holla at me and we can trade bites of pretzel necklace.

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Mine will not look this fabulous.

Otherwise, you have three responsibilities:

  1. Tune in here and to the Vegansaurus social media for updates on the bestest, most award-winning vegan beers and other shenanigans (or go straight to the source: @razpacker).
  2. Tell us what YOUR favorite vegan beer is in the comment section, so we can make sure to try it!
  3. Get sloshed on beer this weekend, in solidarity. Responsibly, of course.

[Not sure if your fave beer is vegan? It’s ok, we’ve all been there. Step 1: Check barnivore.com. Not on there? Become a detective and email the company! You will be doing a service to all of humanity, in the name of beer.]

Thank you for joining us on this magical, fizzy, hoppy journey! Cheers!

09/29/2014

Pizza Cake has taken over and now it’s time for us all to make the vegan version. Thanks to the geniuses at Maximum Salad, we have a way. God is good. Let us do this. (If we are dead tomorrow via Vegan Pizza Cake, let people know it was worth it.)

October 4th: Join the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos!  »

imageAttention, world! The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is Saturday, October 4th! The situation is dire: ”Africa loses 4 elephants to poachers EVERY HOUR, EVERY DAY of the year. It is estimated that less than 300,000 survive today. Africa loses 3 rhinos to poachers EACH DAY; of the 5 species of rhino, less than 25,000 survive today.” And you know we love eles and rhinos!

To find where your closest march is, check here. If you’re in NYC of SF, I’ve done the work for you!  

NYC, join the FB event page and meet at 42nd Street and 12th Ave at 11am.

SF, join the FB event page and meet St. Mary’s Square (in China Town at 601 California St.) at 10:15 am. 

In conclusion, watch this baby rhino playing with this rock

09/26/2014

Oats & Apples: a Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS! Tomorrow night!  »

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Pulling carriages in Central Park is no job for a horse. But the mean and nasty “tradition” is so entrenched, it’s going to take even more hard work to rid our fair city of the practice. Why not come to a fundraiser on Saturday night to help!

Oats & Apples: A Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS takes place tomorrow night at the Players Theatre Loft on MacDougal Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. For just $25 you can sit back, relax and laugh at the comedic stylings of funny folks like Subhah Agarwal (New York Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival), Steve Walsh (Laughing Buddha), Lynn Bixenspan (Relationshit, UCB), Katherine Williams (New York Fringe Festival, New York Underground Comedy Festival), Phil Gable (Comedy Central) and Jake Vevera (Idiots on Parade).

Presented by Cynical Bastard Productions and hosted by Caitlin McKee, festivities get going at 7 p.m. and run until around 8:30 p.m. Short and sweet and hilarious, just the way you like it. And afterward, walk over to Sacred Chow or Blossom on Carmine to complete your animal-friendly evening..

One hundred percent of ticket sales go toward NYCLASS, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization committed to ending the inhumane NYC carriage horse industry by retiring the carriage horses to sanctuaries and replacing the carriage horse industry with the 21st Century Horseless Carriage.

Tickets here.

Oats & Apples: A Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS | Players Theatre Loft | 115 MacDougal Street | NYC 10012 | 7 PM – 8:30 PM | Saturday September 27, 2014

Nell Alk is a writer and editor based in New York City. If something #vegan is happening in the world, she is on it. Twitter with her hereInstagram with her here

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