Flip Winter the Bird with Your Very Own Vegan Boots!
Put your sandals away kiddies, winter is here! That means it’s boot season. Don’t let all the Uggs and leather boots get you down, there are plenty of vegan boot options. Where? I’ll tell you where! I’ve searched online and compiled a brief sampling of some of the superfly options available. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Next, we got the Narmada boot on MooShoes. For $165, these riding boots can be yours! And you can pretend you own a horse! A rescue horse you saved from a life of misery in the rodeo! It’ll be great.
Let’s move on to “booties” as they’re uncomfortably called. Vegan Chic has the Narmada boot from Neuaura for $124.99. If you don’t think these are awesome, you are crazy and I feel bad for your whole family.
For my last act, I am leaving you with an amazing pair of boots you cannot afford. Unless you can afford them in which case, let’s get married! I’m an excellent cook and I’m great in bed. These boots, named Finn (the picture is actually of an older model with a different name, but it’s the same), are made by my favorite vegan shoe company of all time, Beyond Skin. They are 100% vegan AND they are supercool about production, like no sweatshops. As it says on their site, “fret not, no humans, animals or small children were harmed in the making of our shoes.” The problem isn’t the shoes, it’s the damn U.S. dollar! It sucks! We can’t compete with the British pound! So the boots are £ 224 and according to google, today that is $368.50. Yowza. Actually, that’s not HORRIBLE. They last a long time. Anyway, buy them for me! Yay! It’ll be great.
I kid! Wouldn’t that be the greatest, though? Really, it’s an article about the increasing popularity of a vegan diet. Yay! The article will also make you want to visit Long Island so kudos to them for that because YEE GADS, those people are on a steady diet of hairspray and antidepressants, and I’m ascurred. Also, if you’re from/currently living anywhere in LI, to you I say, THAT WAS TOTALLY NOT ABOUT YOU.
Vegansaurus had alreadyposted some interesting stuff about the Plant Café location at Pier 3 in The Embarcadero so I had to check it out. Check it out I did! I’ve been there a few times and I give it 11 thumbs up! Here are some pictures from my recent lunch there. Yes those are wine glasses but it was totally 1 p.m., so it’s not like it was the morning. Jeez.
Here’s the Plant Burger (made in house from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews & bulgur wheat. Served on a whole wheat bun)—it looks REALLY crazy but it’s very good.
Then the picture below is a vegan pot de crème that made for an excellent dessert.
Bonus: shih-tzu on the patio! Yes, much to my delight, there was a shih-tzu chillin’ on the patio with us. Dogs are very welcome here. I even took Figaro with me for brunch one time, very nice.
Other bonus: Their kitchen is powered by the solar panels on the roof—très moderne! (that’s just some French talk).
A brief piece in The New York Times Personal Health section from Nov. 23 takes a look at the mystery that is osteoporosis, and poses wacky questions like, “Why, for example, are osteoporotic fractures relatively rare in Asian countries like Japan, where people live as long or longer than Americans and consume almost no calcium-rich dairy products? Why, in Western countries that consume the most dairy foods, are rates of osteoporotic fractures among the highest in the world?”
Because of questions like those, an alternative prevention theory has arisen. It suggests that rather than the calcium-rich diet that’s being pushed like crack here in the US, a low-acid diet may be the key to preventing osteoporosis. There’s a bunch of science stuff that bores me but basically, fruits and vegetables are alkaline while dairy and meat produce acid (this last point is still being debated—oh, science! Get it together!).
The moral of the story is right up my vegan alley:
In their exhaustive review of the scientific literature, Dr. Lanou and Mr. Castleman found that “two-thirds of clinical trials show that milk, dairy foods and calcium supplements do not prevent fractures.” They conclude that the high fracture rate in countries that consume the most milk and dairy products results from the fact that “these affluent Western countries also consume the most meat, poultry and fish.”
One more Black Friday special for all you Vegansaurs: Berkeley-based Petals Purses is offering free domestic shipping through Monday!
Petals is a 1-woman operation — everything is designed and hand-made by Jodie, a dear friend of Vegansaurus. All her products are vegan, with no leather ever, and as much recycled fabrics as possible (a few products do contain recycled, vintage wool — so ask if that matters to you).
Making things even more Vegansaurus appropriate: there are lots of cute critters all over her purses and wallets, and she makes some freakin’ adorable stuffed animals, as well. Most of her bags are reversible, too, giving you more bang for your buck.
This is going to be short and sweet, because there’s not a whole lot of Black Friday love from the vegan shops. The Vegan Collection even went dark and took their site down in observance of Buy Nothing Day. But for the rest of us who love Christmas and America, there were a few bargains to be found, that will keep your money buying vegan and keep your bad self far away from the insanity at the mall.
Chrome, which makes the best messenger bags and backpacks that you will ever own in your life AND they’re based in San Francisco, is having a 20% sale through the weekend. Either use code chrome4day or check out their retail store at 580 4th Street.
Gilt Fuse has Matt & Nat bags and wallets at 60% off, which is climb-over-people-at-the-mall prices if you’re already a Matt & Nat fan. Gilt is members-only but you can sign up through this invite link.
Vegan Essentials is offering 15% off everything until midnight tonight! Just use the code “BF1” at checkout. They’ve got lots of goodies, from fancy pizzas with daiya to vegan shoes and all sorts of other vegan awesomeness! Stocking stuffers, people!
Know of any other vegan Black Friday or Thanksgiving weekend sales? Add them in the comments.
While sharing a Gracias Madre taco at Green Festival with the Pink Dino (a PREVIEW taco, Gracias Madre still hasn’t opened), I was given a prehistoric mission: report on your underground dining experience to the Vegansaurus Massive.
So I ask you, trusty Vegansaurus readers, do you like dinner and a show? Of course you do.
At least one weekend a month, Chef (and shakuhachi musician/instructor) Philip Gelb of In The Mood for Food hosts an underground dining experience in a top secret West Oakland location. His four-course dinners are locally sourced, completely vegan, and every dinner includes a show featuring accomplished musicians handpicked by the chef himself. Gelb makes everything from scratch- all tofu, tempeh, and noodles are made in-house. He has a passion for sustainability, and the food speaks for itself. No shortcuts, just plain delicious. Don’t expect granola fare, you’re getting an often Asian-inspired ecletic blend of fresh cuisine and whimsical (I’ve always wanted to say that) flavor pairings.
The meal started off with a Roasted Acorn Square with Shiso Yuzu Pesto. Umm… let me just say that I want to take a bath in shiso yuzu and rub it all over my face. The soup was sweet and complex, but that salty shiso yuzu dollop completely blew my mind.
Next, we had a Homemade Socca with Caramalized Onions, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Hummus. Socca is a middle-eastern inspired flat bread made with chickpea flour, so the whole things happens to be naturally gluten-free. Sorry guys, the moment I saw this dish I ate it all up without getting a picture.
The entreé soon arrived and I was in heaven. Delicious Basmati Rice Pilaf with HUGE speckled purple lima beans, homemade pomegranate tofu, and broccolini. I ate every little speck off of my plate, and wished I could make something so fantastic at home. Could you post this shit on VegWeb?
Now came the music… it was wonderful. A beautiful way to digest. Dessert comes after the show (music typically lasts 45 minutes). We ate pears poached in oolong tea, and a rosewater-saffron-cardamom ice cream. My iphone picture does the color of this ice cream no justice. It’s a crazy color of yellow- almost like the color of Banana Laffy Taffy (VEGAN). I’ve got two vices in life: Degrassi (shuddup) and white sugar. I like my sugar unhealthy. This dessert was of the healthy variety. It’s naturally sweet, and nothing has added sugar. My boyfriend, who’s not a sugar freak (who ARE you?), was obsessed with this dessert. He even asked for extra ice cream scoops, which were happily delivered.
Criticisms? The starters were way too small. Mama hungray! I could have had three of those soups and my boyfriend’s Socca dish was visibly larger than mine. A little frustrating when the food is so goddamn good and you don’t want it to end. Know that when you come here you WILL have to sit through a performance if you want to eat your dessert. Make sure you enjoy the style of music before booking your dinner. I was really happy with the quality of music at my particular dinner party.
You’re missing out if you don’t come to a Philip Gelb dinner party. The more people you can bring, the more you can make this dinner party your own. Vegans NEED culture! Menus and musicians are always announced in advance and space is quite limited. BYOB bitches. Make sure to book your seat far in advance.
This guest post is from Tessa. She is the awesome shiz and is in grad school right now to save the planet from people like you. And me. We’re all in this together!
(Read that title in the same kind of bellow that Fred Flinstone uses to summon Wilma. Huh? Huh?)
So (sigh!) PETA is at it again. Not content with being the most annoying animal advocacy group on the planet, they’re now turning their attention towards politics (well, sort of). Introducing, Bin Laden Bites! Honestly, I don’t know what to make of these. Are they being funny? Is this supposed to be a “can’t we all just get along” gesture for the holidays - rallying all of humanity against its common enemy? Is it a cash grab (as in, they’re hoping that the Glenn Beck fans who want these won’t pay much attention to who’s selling them)? Is this a supposed to reach out (or around…) to the Real Americans PETA has heretofore been unable to attract? A demonstration of that sense of humor none of us animal-rights types are supposed to have? *shrug*
The real mystery, though, is what possible connection these “savory” (I know - huh? But that’s how they’re described on PETA’s site) treats have with animal advocacy. Yes, they are vegan, which is a good thing, but vegan activism/outreach in the form of boring-ass dark chocolate squares with Osama Bin Laden on them? YAWN! Really, this seems to be just another example of PETA’s “Any Publicity Is Good Publicity” policy in action, and again, YAWN! Boring chocolate + boring scandal = boringness x infinity. Oh, and it’s expensive ass boringness! $15 gets you five (no kidding - five) squares of dark chocolate.
I guess that’s the really crappy thing about this whole deal - it’s just so fucking condescending. Assuming PETA really is concerned about the troops over in Afghanistan, is this really the best thing they can think of? Do the PETA staffers sitting in their offices honestly think that biting into a little square of dark chocolate bearing the image of Osama Bin Laden is going to make the men and women who are sweating it out over there feel any better? Do they really think that plain dark chocolate is a good way to let non-vegans know that, hey, veganism can be fun too? Maybe instead of plain dark chocolate squares with a terrorist figurehead on them, they could try, well, sending the troops vegan chocolate that is actually awesome?! How stoked would most soldiers be to get a frozen crate of Go Max Go bars? I think the satisfaction of biting into chocolate that isn’t described as “savory” (again, huh?) and actually is awesome is way better for both the animals (because then more people get to know that veganism is delicious and fattening not joyless and lame) and the soldiers (because they get real satisfaction and good chocolate instead of just pretending that biting a piece of chocolate with Bin Laden’s image on it is somehow satisfying - “ha ha - take that, you bastard! I’m sure showing you!”).
Given that PETA spends more than $8 million annually on public outreach and education and over $1 million specifically on its cruelty-free merchandise program, I’m pretty disappointed that this is the best they could do on their big support-the-troops/support-animals crossover special. I like the idea of PETA finally connecting animal issues with human issues in a way that makes sense to people (or at least in a way that doesn’t make at least some segment of the population hate PETA, and by extension all animal activists, even more than they already do), but this little tidbit is just confusing and off target. I would love to see PETA introducing some kind of vegan item that people could buy and send to the troops in Afghanistan, the proceeds of which could maybe go toward animal rescue in places affected by conflict (like, say, Afghanistan), but I guess that’s too much to ask this year.
In vitro meat made Time Magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2009, coming in at #36. Which is pretty respectable, though it still means there are 35 other inventors who might cockblock you at a party if they hear you bragging about having the 36th best invention. “Meat farms? Please. I made the Electric Eye. Ladies, line up.”
Like Barack Obama, in vitro meat is one of those rare things that hopes to bring two squabbling sides together to a bimeatisan state of mutual harmony. PETA loves it because it would replace the killing of animals. Meat eaters love it because, well, it’s meat. It’s win-win, chocolate and peanut butter.
Yet there’s something about the idea of growing animal tissue in labs that creeps people the fuck out. Whether it’s because we’re worried about unnatural and potentially unsafe food flooding the market, or because we secretly fear a lab-grown flesh uprising, I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone genuinely enthusiastic about replacing their Tofurkey sausages with a dystopian nightmare.
In the end, the choice will probably be made for us by, what else, economics. As in, poor people get infinitely reproducible lab grown meat in their McAtkins burgers, and rich people get the expensive family farm humanely raised UNTIL WE BLUDGEON IT TO DEATH organic grass fed meat. Since there are more poor people than rich people, on balance this works out for the animals. Classism wins again!
Still, don’t expect the “think of the children” crowd to go down without a fight, not without attack ads raising vague doubts about safety paid for by the cattle ranchers. The thing is, it will be safe, certainly safer than crowded disease-ridden feedlots are today.
Sustainability strikes me as the real thing to watch, because this whole idea will sink or swim on how resource intensive the process is. Will culturing meat use less water and less feedstock than raising animals in factory farms? And will it do it all while decreasing greenhouse emissions? We don’t really know yet because they’re still in the phase of tinkering around in labs, but in theory the answer should be yes. And I really want the scientists behind this to get it right, because if we’re tearing down forests to grow plant protein to feed our lab meat, then the animals aren’t really that much better off. So GET IT RIGHT, scientists!
Which is all just another of saying that I think in vitro meat is awesome and I hope it happens. But is it vegan? Would I eat it? I still haven’t made up my mind. It may be lab grown meat, but it’s still meat. So, I think I come down on the side of “yuck”.
Deep Fried Tofurkey! Aka, vegans can party just as hard as the rest of you bitches!
Though reluctant to admit it, we vegans eat some nasty shit. Buttery grilled “cheese” with hecka fried soy bacon, Ike’s sandwiches with extra dirty sauce, crispy fried seitan served with Vegenaise for dipping.
Sometimes when nobody’s looking, I buy a 12.5 oz bag of Sweet Chili Lime Doritos at Safeway. Its healthy because we’re vegan, right?
In all seriousness, some omnivores think of our holiday meals as some antithetical version of their own, having “[n]o sausage in [our] stuffing, no butter on [our] corn, and no turkey of any kind.” They also think we don’t have gravy. What. The. Fuck.
I want people to know what delicious, superfluous crap we eat. And I want to take this demonstration to the next level. Today, I deep fried a Tofurkey in a pot of peanut oil. Happy thanksgiving.
Tuna Rolls, now synonymous with diarrhea, discharge, and fraud!
If the idea of eating raw fish didn’t turn you off already (seriously? DISGARSTING!), I don’t know if the news that ordering a Tuna Roll could end with both bizarre cases of diarrhea (WTF, mate?) and waxy intestinal discharge is going to do much to change your mind.
For the rest of you: Scientists doing DNA testing at Sushi Restaurants (in order to make identifying species of fish easier and more efficient) have discovered that many of these restaurants are either serving an endangered species of tuna, fish that couldn’t be identified, or fish that could pose a health hazard to the diner (did i mention waxy intestinal discharge?).
Herbivore Boys and Carnivore Girls!? Japan, you so crazy!
The Japanese are famous for always coming up with the hottest and most obscure technology, but now they’ve expanded to re-appropriating terms. Enter the herbivores, or grass-eating boys: the Eastern response to our concept of metrosexuality.[Ed.: Love how the Japanese just take a concept and run with it! Hey America, you like suicide? Guess what, we do it in a group in the middle of a field and it’s a political statement, OKAY?! Or something like that. Also, GOD I love a broad cultural stereotypes, they are THE BEST.]
These are the 20- to 30-something men who are less aggressive, who resist the rigid prescription of a hardline education and the high-pressure business world and who profess a love for things that aren’t considered entirely masculine.
According to an article on NPR today, these self-professed herbivores are also responsible for the country’s lackluster economy and declining birthrate.
In short, young Japanese men are - whether consciously or not - rebelling against the stressful lifestyles set forth by their successful businessmen fathers, and instead prioritizing family and friends over monetary success and romantic conquest.
Now, it’s NPR, so I’m not going to call bullshit, but can we all agree that it might be a bit of a leap to draw this conclusion? Just disregard the fact that the term herbivore associates declining masculine attributes with people who don’t eat meat (remember: eating steak makes you awesome, eating vegetables makes you a pussy). But at the very least, here are a few things to think about:
First, the issue of the economy. Maybe it’s just simple math. The world markets have been in a recession for more than a year, and the natural response is to cut back. Eat out less and cook at home. Cut back on excess expenses. Are the consumer habits of herbivores directly linked to a decline in the country’s money flow? Or is everyone scaling back?
Second, the birthrate. The aging Japanese population and the self-inforced family planning that is demonstrative of the country might be something to worry about, but then again, the Japanese embody a traditional homogenous culture that has thrived for centuries, despite its staunch view toward incorporating outsiders into its borders or its bloodline.
Admittedly, a declining birth rate is something to worry about, but the United States is also showing signs of a declining birth rate. Again, a sign of the times, and an apropos scenario, given the inevitable aging of the Baby Boomers.
Which means you can’t say that herbivores (defined as 60 percent of men in their 20s and 30s) are responsible for less dollars and less babies circulating in Japan. It just feels a bit like attributing a problem to an anomaly in the population.
The article also fails to look at the positive things than can result in more Japanese men adopting the herbivore lifestyle. For example, what about the alarmingly-high suicide rate in Japan, which is often linked to professional men driven to succeed?If ridiculous performance expectations aren’t impressed upon men, the chances of failure decrease, and what you have is a happier, well-balanced individual who derives pleasure from the little things in life and isn’t forced to repress that. Maybe this step toward redefining values and ideas of what constitutes success is actually beneficial for the country. I’m no expert, but it’s something to think about.
Not only that, but I can identify with the converse, the “carnivore girls” - I’m educated, I’m (relatively) successful, and when I’m certain of what I want, I go after it and don’t take no for an answer. It’s gender politics. Maybe this shift in attitude is mixing up the idea of gender roles, but I would like to think that for every herbivore boy out there who decides not to make the first move, there is a carnivore girl out there who is going to put the moves on. Babies will still happen, but maybe the rules of how they happen have been tweaked a bit.
At the very least, I have a cool line for the Thanksgiving dinner table. "Oh I’m a vegan when it comes to my eating habits, but my sexual appetite is voraciously omnivorous."
Natalye just started graduate school studying creative writing, which means that she no longer has a social life, and her drinking has increased exponentially. She has a shiny but relatively useless college degree in journalism and music, and does freelance work, sometimes writing about indie music in Oakland. When she has down time, she’s usually sleeping, but rides her road bike when she can and makes both a killer vegan pizza and the most amazing mixtapes ever. Her updates are private, but you can follow her on Twitter and she’ll probably accept your request if you’re cute enough.
Vegansaurus is getting ready to launch a new site in New York City! Here’s a sneak peek of on one of our fabulous writers, Brianna, who wrote the below piece in honor of a recent signing by vegan goddess Isa Moskowitz on Tuesday night at the MooShoes store. Sadly, none of us New York folk were able to go ( Super Vegan has a nice little write up, though!) but here’s a bit about Brianna’s excitement leading up to the event!
When I made the switch from vegetarianism to veganism about three and a half years ago, I didn’t miss yogurt. I didn’t miss scrambled eggs. I didn’t even miss cheese. My hips definitely didn’t miss any of them. But I did miss baked goods - cupcakes, muffins, cakes, cookies, and all of the yummy toppings that adorned them. When a little cookbook came out called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, I kind of fell in love with Isa Moskowitz. How fucking punk rock is a Pistachio Rosewater Cupcake?? Or a Margarita Cupcake? Or a fucking S’mores Cupcake?!?! I’ll give you a hint: really fucking punk rock. So when I made the move to The Big Apple, I half expected Isa to open her long-rumored restaurant in Brooklyn and I knew that I would frequent said restaurant and eat all of the cupcakes she would hypothetically sell there until my ass would no longer fit into my jeans. But then she moved to Portland. And I cried a little. Ok, maybe I cried a lot.
So I did what any normal creeper would do, I added her as a friend on Facebook. After one fateful status update I found out that she would be less than a mile away in person signing her new book that centers around cookies at my beloved Mooshoes. Even more pressing was the amazing catering that would inevitably be there. And this is the story of my fateful meeting with my idol, Isa Chandra Moskwitz.
My parents are about as aggressively Russian as one can get without actually being Lenin, Putin, or one of those awesome cab drivers that you see so often in large metropolitan areas. This is not to say they don’t try: My mother often preaches to me about how important my Russian heritage is, while my father does his part by wearing several gold chains at once and buying trinkets from the Nubian Prince collection at Ross. (Thankfully he traded in his Fila track suits, and now his bling and voluminous chest hair peek out from above a Ralph Lauren polo from last season.)
But no matter how much I poke fun at them, there’s a lot my parents have had to deal with over the years. First there was the gay thing (“Why we come to San Francisco? Why we not know what Rainbow Flags mean?”), then there was the crazy liberal thing (“You want legalize prostitution, man?” my father asked me on the telephone last year. “Listen, you supposed to be born in seventies, man. I tell you, you a hippie, man. Free Love tralalalalalalala. Stupid, man.”), both of which they eventually came through with great aplomb. But their open-mindedness and newfound political correctness took a nosedive off a cliff when, five years ago, I told them that I had chosen to be a vegetarian.
“Listen,” my mother said, attempting to keep an even tone as her dreams once again came crashing to the ground. "You already blind, gay, and Jewish. Why you need be a vegetarian!?" My father, to his credit, decided not to intervene. Instead, he lifted his gold Star of David out of his shirt, clasped it in his hands and pointed it at the sky, as if he was asking some kind of god to give him the strength to carry on. Then he just walked out of the room.
Things have been tense since then. My mother often sends me emails filled with articles linking vegetarianism to one or another horrible disease. She blames most minor ailments I suffer from on my refusal to eat animal flesh with such a fervor that one might think she was a fully licensed doctor instead of a fully licensed cosmetologist. And she and I often have conversations about why being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice that is not only unhealthy but also socially unacceptable. In fact, my mother has drawn several logical conclusions to prove her point.
1. Vegetarianism hurts people’s feelings: At my 21st birthday party, which was held at a Chinese restaurant (surprise!), I declined a piece of beef that my mother was trying to force onto my plate with all the subtlety of a brick being thrown through a window in broad daylight. “No, thank you.” I said. “Take it! Is important,” my mother hissed at me. “Why?” “Cook made all this food if you not eat the meat he see and get upset. Then he go home and cry because we so insult.” “Then why don’t you eat it?” “Just leave it on plate! You no care about no one! You people mean!”
2. Vegetarians are impolite: “What if you go to someone house and they offer you meats. What you say?” “No, thank you?” “How could you! I cannot believe I raise such embarrassment!”
3. There are no health benefits to being a vegetarian. Nope! None whatsoever! “You know who is vegetarian? Paul McCartney first wife! You know where she is? Die! She die and she a vegetarian. You need to read internet, Mark. Vegetarians lying to you! Vegetarian not healthy!”
4. Beef and lamb are vegetables. I don’t even need to say anything here. You know that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the mom offers the vegetarian a rack of lamb and is surprised when he doesn’t eat it? Yeah, that’s all true.
5. Plants also feel pain so perhaps we should stop eating altogether. “Mom, I don’t think that’s a valid argument. Science—” “Ah, what do science know? Last week Pluto is planet. Today is poof. No more planet! That is science.” “Why is that your argument for everything?” “Because I am right. Americans believe everything they hear. You go look on internet.”
This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. On a weekly basis I may get assaulted with one or more of these gems of wisdom, and often my mother will outdo herself with something so outrageous that it makes my head explode (“You know I read about sex cult where they all vegetarians so you should be careful about what kind of people your friend because you might get STD.”). It still amazes me that even after five years of my not eating meat she can still find so many reasons why being a vegetarian is such a bad thing.
Even if it wasn’t inherently bad to be a vegetarian (and my mother will assure you it is), if asked why people become vegetarians my mother would happily look you in the eye (or the chin, as she is an adorable four feet and eleven inches) and say, with the poise and conviction reserved only for the very confident and the very criminally insane, “To make parents sad and humiliated.” **
*Yes, I did totally steal the title from a TV show starring Heather Graham that only aired for one episode. No, I’ve never seen it. Why do you ask?
**At this point I would like to point out that my mother is not insane, criminally or otherwise. Especially if she reads this. The woman is a goddess, okay? A goddess. I am such a horrible son!
Mark enjoys the Gilmore Girls, hamsters, and long naps in the afternoon. He is the proud owner of a legitimate college degree and looks best in black and white. He is not actually Judge Judy. We think Mark could whip all our asses at Defensive Omnivore BINGO!
First of all, I’m not saying Loving Hut is run by a cult, but I think they might be run by a cult. And a fairly young blond woman seems to be at the helm [Ed.: she’s actually a 10,000 year-old Vietnamese woman who made a pact with the devil so that she might be the best poet, painter, musician, jewelry designer, fashion designer, and self published writer IN THE ENTIRE LAND]. But despite pictures on the walls and pamphlets everywhere, no one really bothers you about their agenda or even explains it and that is just fine with me. And before you say anything, I’m totally into their logo! Well I’d cut out a bunch of the crap but I really like the Lavern and Shirley style L with the pretty hearts! Admit it, you like the hearts.
The service was kind of awful. And I hate complaining about service; like you could pour hot coffee down my back and I’d still tip 20% (totally happened one time with a stripper in Phoenix but it was a vodka tonic and I was in love), but this guy was pretty bad. He forgot our food and then was just never around though we were one of a few tables occupied. But then I heard him talking to a table of young scamps and he told them that, actually, he was volunteering—you know, in the name of veganism! I said, good, because nobody should be paying this dude. Except maybe to be all tall. Tall people, always taunting me.
The whole time we were there, they also had people outside tabling with pretty awesome felt vests on. I was just thinking that maybe the volunteer kid could be out there tabling and they could put more effort into service in the restaurant because people remember that shit. We can put up with it for the sake of vegan food but I doubt a non-vegan would deal with that again.
First we got the potato salad. It was pretty good. It was more like the deviled egg recipe I used to make (back when I was vegetarian and sold Tupperware) because it was very mustardy and had relish in it. It also had pasta shells in it, which was interesting, but as potatoes are vegan, maybe we can just have potatoes in potato salad. I guess I’m more of a traditionalist; the vegan-mayo based recipe floats my boat just fine.
The spring rolls were EXCELLENT. I love spring rolls and it’s hard to find bad ones but these were extra extra crispy, just the way I like. They didn’t come with that orange-colored sauce they usually come with which made me sad. But they were extra extra crispy… just the way I like!
I’m sad to say it but our entrees were not super. I got the pad thai and my pal got the crispy noodle. It was nice to see pad thai without egg in it so that was cool. It was spicy which I’m not used to with pad thai but maybe that’s because I’m a whitey and other restaurants dull it down for me. My dining partner, the beautiful Asli, did NOT like her crispy noodles. She was very excited for the fake shrimp that came on top—some kind of yam paste made to look like real shrimp—but she didn’t like them that much. And there was way too much sauce, it was spilling over the sides of her plate. Kind of gross. Another thing to note: the portions were super giant, like would easily feed 2.
One great thing is that they have lots of dessert options! Mostly cakes. The other day, a friend of mine brought me some chocolate from there in exchange for DRUGS (I told him he couldn’t pay me because then I’d be a drug dealer but I did accept the cake though because I think that’s a grey area). I’m still obsessed with the vegan cupcake movement but a nice slice of chocolate cake is always appreciated. They have carrot cake too, that’s what I’m going to try next! That and some items from the “western” section of the menu—there’s vegan pesto!
All in all, I definitely think it’s worth a try. It’s a nice place; the interior is simple and kind of mod—lots of white. Oh, you also get tea with your meal which is lovely.
This post is about FREE STUFF so who cares if the title is clever?!
Everybody knows that the best part of Craigslist (AFTER finding your friends’ personal ads, I mean!) is the “Free” section. After a long day of responding to jobs ads with such exciting names as “Program Coordinator” (please hire me! L.A. area or telecommute! I have many skills!) it’s really refreshing to score a free hamster track from some kind soul in Pasadena or a "massacred cat tree" (totally not as gruesome as it sounds!) in Belmont Heights. Like a vegan after dinner mint for your soul. (Cause those are free, too — see what I did there?!)
EXCEPT for that you can’t chow down on a cat tree or a hamster labyrinth. And that’s where The Farmer’s Garden comes in handy! Vegansaurus reader and master gardener Maureen Farmer decided to take advantage of her badass last name and the power of the internet to help gardeners connect and, more importantly, share their surplus crops with fellow vegetable fans. In other words: FREE FOOD! Right now, for instance, somebody near San Francisco, is looking to get rid of some nice Fuyu persimmons. Get on that shit!
Besides free vegetables and fruits, the site has listing for barters, “food wanted,” and lots of other things. It’s a really awesome idea, so go check it out! But don’t bother looking for crops that induce states of altered consciousness — I couldn’t find a single listing. There goes my night.
Broccoli and Cauliflower with Lemon-Mustard-Chive Dressing (aka Lisa Jervis' Thanksgiving, part 4!)
Broccoli and Cauliflower with Lemon-Mustard-Chive Dressing
This is another one that’s endlessly expandable. As with the sweet potatoes, make however much you want. I like equal amounts of each veggie, but if you like one more than the other you should weight your dish in the direction of your favorite.
It also works well at any temperature, which is another plus for the holidays.
1 head cauliflower, separated into large-bite-sized florets
1 bunch broccoli, separated into large-bite-sized florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
zest from half a lemon
1 tablespoon minced chives
salt and pepper to taste
Steam your florets by placing them, covered, in a steaming basket over boiling water, or directly in a small amount of boiling water if you don’t have a steaming basket. Pull them off the heat as soon as they are tender all the way through. Unless you are going to serve them immediately don’t try to keep them hot—on the contrary, spread them out and let all the steam escape (or even shock them in cold water, though then you’ll need to dry them off).
In the meantime, thoroughly mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl or a container with a lid that you can shake to combine. Taste for balance and add more oil or mustard as needed. If you want the dressing to be more tart but you feel that the mustard flavor is string enough, add some juice form the lemon that you took the zest from.
Put the veggies in a serving bowl, pour the dressing over them, and stir to combine.
This fabulous & delicious guest post is the fourth (and final!) (here’s the first! and second! and third!) in a series of vegan Thanksgiving recipes from the amazing Lisa Jervis. NOW YOU HAVE A FABULOUS ENTIRE THANKSGIVING FEAST. Since you already know how we feel about her (and her awesome new book, Cook Food), we encourage you to blindly follow us into full Lisa Jervis Worship Land. OR you can read her other work and act like you found out about it all on your own. Which you probably did but whatever, I can’t hear you through this screen LA LA LA.Oh yes and the Cook Food website is awesome, recipes and links and other such greatness, definitely check it out.
When it comes to fresh-baked bread goods, I’m in a bit of a rut. As in, I’m good at making one thing (quick-and-dirty drop biscuits) a few different ways (with or without Daiya cheese). I eat them, I like them, other people eat and like them, so in general it’s a win-win situation. Sometimes there’s gravy, and it’s a party. Now, since it’s the “HOLIDAYS” and everyone is putting their fancy fat pants on, I decided to (attempt to) step up my game and throw down not just biscuits, but motherfuckin’ breadsticks. WATCH OUT, I’m about to go Fazoli’s all over your ass.
Luckily, Girlie Girl Army posted a shitload of recipes, one being the sage breadsticks from Candle Café. No, I haven’t been to either Candle establishment, but I’m vegan/fat enough to know that their food is IT (and better than Fazoli’s duh), and that any possibility of recreating it in my own kitchen is simultaneously ridiculous/necessary.
The Challenge: Candle Cafe’s Sage Breadsticks
Makes 40 breadsticks
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast 1 cup warm water 1 teaspoon salt 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tablespoons minced fresh sage About 2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. Stir in salt, garlic, and sage. Add flour slowly. Turn out onto well-floured board and knead 20 minutes or until smooth and satiny.
2. Spray bowl with vegetable cooking spray and place dough in it. Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch down.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured board, roll dough out to a 12-inch square. Sprinkle dough lightly with additional flour. Divide dough into four equal pieces, and cut each piece into 10 strips. Stretch each strip out to 12 or 15-inches long, and place on greased cookie sheet 1/2-inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
The result: So-so. This was only my second try at yeasted bread (a phrase I do not enjoy), so maybe I’m just fucking up some crucial step. There’s some rule about how warm the water should be when you add the yeast, and magic bubbles or something, but I’ve already forgotten and don’t remember any miraculous happenings when I added mine. Maybe that’s the problem. The dough did rise (after my roommate spent a dedicated 17 minutes kneading the shit out of it), but probably not as much as it should have. The result was maybe only 20 smaller breadsticks—not the 40 promised. The sage and garlic, however, were fantastic additions and made for crazy-aromatic breadsticks (sage smells like rich people’s homes), and they were tasty fresh out of the oven. Full disclosure: I was also a little daytime drunk on mimosas. Also could’ve affected the outcome. Whatever. Whole-wheat flour seems a little dense for indulgent holiday bread, and once cold they weren’t quite as good. However, a quick warm in the oven/microwave/your mouth works wonders, and someone not so inept with baking bread could rock the shit out of these. To be safe, I’m bringing in biscuits as backup and/or getting everyone hammered so the quality of food becomes irrelevant. Am I right, ladies/gentlemen?
Thanks to Abby of It’sFaturday for this hilarious post. She is the absolute best!
Why pardon a turkey when you can adopt one? It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to plunk down your dollars for Farm Sanctuary’s annual Adopt-A-Turkey Project. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:
Adopt-a-Turkey Project seeks to end the misery of commercially raised turkeys by offering a compassionate alternative for Thanksgiving. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has rescued more than 1,000 turkeys, placed hundreds into loving homes through our annual Turkey Express adoption event, educated millions of people about their plight, and provided resources for a cruelty-free holiday. For a one-time $25 donation, anyone can sponsor turkeys residing at Farm Sanctuary.
Besides, you were already going to pay for tree-planting to offset the pollution from your flight out to Wisconsin so you can sit in front of a dead bird with your in-laws, right? So why not “offset” their decomposing feast and buy turkey sponsorships for everyone at the table? (Okay don’t sponsor the living birds as an excuse to eat the dead bird guilt-free, but if you’re reading this blog, you probably aren’t eating dead birds anyway. Remember: adopting a live turkey isn’t going to bring dead turkeys back to life—OR WILL IT???)
Anyway, if that’s not reason enough, LOOK AT HOW CUTE OLIVE IS:
LOOK AT HER GRUMPY BEAK-EXPRESSION AND RUMPLED FEATHERS!
Or if Olive doesn’t charm you, pick another turkey to sponsor and they’ll send you an adoption certificate of your very own.
Since 1995, Jesse Reklaw has been publishing his comic strip Slow Wave online and in syndication. He adapts reader-submitted dreams into the comic strip format, with often bizarre yet familiar results. The Night of Your Life, released last year, is a hardcover collection of these dream comics, and makes a great gift! He has been nominated for the Ignatz award five times, and won it in 2008 for his fantasy-themed minicomic, Bluefuzz the Hero. Jesse has also recently completed a year-long experiment in a daily diary comic, which is available in its entirety on Flickr, and also as a set of minicomics self-reproachingly entitled Ten Thousand Things to Do. Once you read it and understand that Jesse also teaches, paints rad watercolors, participates in art shows, and plays in a band called Fun Yeti, that title begins to make a little bit more sense.
How long have you been vegan? Since 1991… 18 years I guess?!?!! I’m old…
Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination? All those and more. If there’s a vegan gene, I think I have it. Whenever someone asks me why I’m vegan, I just think: “Why aren’t YOU vegan?” But I don’t say anything. It makes so much sense for me, but I don’t know if I can articulate it to others.
Do you ever include a vegan message in your comics? Not directly. I can’t help but include in my comics extensions of my personal philosophy, which does extend to veganism, but that also includes a hefty dose of cynicism. I just don’t have it in me to be an evangelist.
What’s your favorite animal? Humans? I dunno. I regularly have nightmares about being torn apart by bears, so i guess they don’t make the top of my list. Cats (small cats) are pretty great. I like their independence, playfulness, and intense love. Cows seem really sweet too, but I haven’t spent a lot of time with them.
Favorite vegan food to make? Salad! Lettuce, toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and anything else available that looks good. I dress it with the juice of one lime, a few squirts of flax oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant/fave vegan restaurant? Portland has some great southern vegan cooking, which I’d never had before moving here three years ago. The vegan “fish and chips” (battered and fired tofu steak with french fries and dipping sauce) at the Vita Cafe is pretty addictive.
Based on food options alone, which is your favorite comics show to travel to? Staying home in Portland for the Stumptown Comics Fest!
Any eating tips for traveling cartoonists? Bring snacks, especially if you’re going to be in transit, on a road trip, or at an airport for a long time. I usually bring some Luna Bars (or something like that) and a bag of toasted almonds mixed with raisins or dates.
Do you have one drawing tip to share? Draw every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. The next time you sit down to draw, everything will be easier. Drawing is like working out or stretching for an athlete. If you skip a few days (or a week, or a month), it hurts, and it’s hard to get back into the routine.
What’s one thing about making comics that you’re really good at? Being overconfident, screwing up royally, and learning everything backwards.
Do you have a day job, or do you draw comics full-time? If not, why not? I wish i could draw comics full-time, or at least half the time, and spend the rest of the week relaxing my back and hand pains. I guess I draw comics about 10–15 hours a week. I teach a little and do various illustration jobs to make ends meet. (There’s no time left to deal with the pains.)
Do you ever get dreams submissions for Slow Wave that you’re morally opposed to drawing? Like a hunter dreaming about killing Bambi, or someone winning one of those contests where they eat a ten-pound hamburger and it’s free? Sometimes i get some dreams that sort of make fun of vegetarianism, or some other -ism that I’m fond of. But if the dream is really, really funny and makes a good point that challenges my ideas and helps me be more balanced and compassionate, then I enjoy drawing it. (Usually people that disagree with me aren’t funny or smart though. Ha ha! Kidding!)
What inspired Bluefuzz? I’m not totally sure. I think the love of fantasy that i scraped out of my brain-pan around age 18 left a little mold spore that blossomed over the years into a post-modern fantasy world that, despite my justifying it as a parody, is basically a fantasy romp.
Will Bluefuzz have further adventures? I keep writing little 6–8 page stories or writing gags that I either submit to magazines or else save up for a larger story later. I’m not sure exactly what form it will eventually take, but there will be something. Right now I’m trying to focus and finish the other two stories I’ve been working on for the past five years.
Did doing the diary strip changed the way you look at things? Like do you notice the inexorable passage of time more, or something? Or has it made you realize things about yourself that maybe you didn’t notice before? The diary strip was great for working out some concerns I had about representing myself in autobiography. I got to try out various ideas, see what worked, and what didn’t. Otherwise it was kind of a time-sink. It did make me happier to finish something every day though. Or at least have something to do when I was feeling dull and listless. I’m already too old to notice the inexorable passage of time.
Tell us about all your cute pets! It seems like Littles is your favorite. How do you think Smokey feels about that? We have two cats we adopted as adults from the Oregon Humane Society: Smokey (8-year-old, shy male) and Littles (6-year-old, dominant female). Littles doesn’t need to feel like she’s the favorite, she just assumes she is. Smokey needs lots of special attention, and sometimes needs for Littles to be locked in another room so he can get attention without being jealously attacked. I also like to pet all the awesome cats in my neighborhood, but I try to keep that a secret from our cats at home.
What exciting upcoming projects can we look forward to? Because we do look forward to them. I’ve been working on a 180+ page comics memoir called Couch Tag since 2005. I finally found a publisher for it (Fantagraphics books in Seattle), and it should be out in late 2010 or 2011. I’m pretty excited. I have hecka work to do in the next six months though. In the meantime, I might try to sucker someone into publishing my 365-page comics diary, Ten Thousand Things to Do.
Any questions for Vegansaurus? Anything! Why don’t more restaurants in SF/Oakland/Berkeley have a vegan option (or two)?
I wish I knew! Obviously the Bay Area just isn’t awesome like Portland is.
Sorry Jews and other non-Christian minorities, it’s Christmastime once again. You would know this if you’ve been to Union Square lately—the Christmas spirit is all up in that mofo! And while living by Union Square is a foot-traffic bonanza year-round, it just doesn’t bother me as much when there’s ice-skating to be done and roasted chestnuts to be had (which are GOOD. Jerks.). My favorite part of it all…the kittens and puppies!
Every year, the Macy’s windows on the corner of Stockton and O’Farrell here in San Francisco are taken over by the SPCA. They fill them with weird miniature woodland furniture and throw in a few puppies and kittens in each window and let the magic happen (NOOO! I just mean magic like people fall in love with them. Jeez, to neuter is cuter.). If you go by in the evening, you’ll see many “adopted” signs in the windows—most of them get adopted before the end of the day.
I love these damn puppies and kittens with their wacky elfin furniture! I take Figaro down to look at them about everyday until it’s over. He’s an SPCA alumnus so he’s basically the goodwill ambassador for shelter animals. Sometimes a puppy will come up to the window to look at Fig and it’s kind of the cute Olympics. Quite a crowd-pleaser!
But there is one thing that I can’t help but think about: isn’t impulse-shopping a big no-no when it comes to pets? I feel like not only do most animal-welfare organizations warn against getting pets on a whim, a lot of them are like, “Don’t buy pets for birthdays! Or Christmas! Or Easter! Or anytime fun!” So having cute-ass little puppies in the windows of a department store in the center of the shopping Mecca at Christmas seems like…well, a genius idea! But one that could end in buyer’s remorse and a lot of homeless slightly older pups. Fortunately, while adopters can submit applications and lay claim to the bitty pets, they have to wait a day or two before they can bring them home—so anyone being super-impulsive has a chance to abandon ship.
SPCA representatives are on-hand to answer your questions and collect donations. AND GUESS WHAT ELSE! There’s a WEBCAM! It’s totally SFW, btw.
[Ed.: Please welcome a new Vegansaurus regular, the fantastic Megan Rascal! Megan Rascal moved to San Francisco all the way from Philly to study copywriting. She also moonlights as DJ My Lil’ Pony, everyone’s favorite dancing DJ. She loves her adopted dog Figaro, peanut butter, and garage rock. Check out her blogs: You Talk Funny (cultural linguistics) and The Daily Rascal (awesome shit).]
shopping vegan at the 99 Cent Only store (read: being broke AND awesome)
I love the 99¢ Only chain. I mean, it’s dirty, has hella long lines, and may be actively displacing the people of West Oakland, but shit. 99 CENTS ONLY!
If you can look beyond the box of frozen sausage marinara for kids and neon green “less than 2% avocado” guacamole, you’ll find a veganic wonderland of expired goods and opportunity. The West Oakland branch (across the street from BART!) carries those delicious cartons of Imagine Organic No-Chicken Broth (four bucks at health food stores!), half moldy lemons and Smart Balance Light (regular Smart Balance has whey; these fuckers want to keep vegans skinny). They’ve got every necessary condiment aside from Vegenaise, those two Top Ramen flavors that are vegan (though the MSG headache still remains), soymilk (with high fructose corn syrup!), ricemilk (without high fructose corn syrup!), some obscure brand of soy chorizo, and gigantic bags of kettle corn.
Don’t forget the refried beans that taste like nothing (no lard! Yay!), totally ripe avocados, chipotle salsa (they call is “sauce” here but it’s the best!), corn tortillas seemingly made for Daiya quesadillas, almost attractive produce (you only need it for a one night stand!), and the light of my life:
Nacho cheese flavored sunflower seeds!
So rather than speculating as to why this synthetic nacho cheese powder is vegan, or asking yourself whether its ethical to consume metaphorical dairy products, I suggest one personal inquiry: “should I crack open the shell, or just chew ‘em up?”
Additionally, the 99 Cent Only store carries laser pens. This is the best way to play with cats ever. 99 cents!
[Ed.: Bryan May is new to Vegansaurus, and you’re gonna fucking love this guy. He grew up between christian rock and a hard place, but middle school found Crass, and all those forward thinking punx led him to coming out as a vegan to mom in 9th grade. It went well. He lives in the Westest of the Oaklands and is interested in making zines, taking pictures, child development, and trying to keep the company of cats (especially those with disabilities). He bleeds garlic and sweats nutritional yeast.]
It’s hard to imagine somebody doing a better job of discouraging people from becoming vegan…. I can’t begin to imagine how many potential vegans this article has turned off or frightened away.
I’m sympathetic to their point of view, that vegans get in the media so rarely that we have to use these opportunities carefully, we can’t squander them, and what we really need to do is stay on-message and reassure the meat-eating mainstream with soothing words about how it’s actually not that hard, and hey look vegans can eat cupcakes and sundaes too. See? We’re just like everyone else.
And yet we’re not just like everyone else. Because simply ordering tofu in a mixed-dining situation puts every vegan in the position of being a dinnertime novelty. Whether we want it or not, we end up playing ambassador as friends and family members probe us with questions, then turn around and attack us for answering and maybe even sounding a bit smart. Even when we try to STFU and just quietly eat the tofu, it’s not unusual for someone to chime in with “MMM tasty, tasty ANIMALS!” and flash us that knowing look, like we haven’t heard that one a million times already.
There are a LOT of meat eaters who look at our dinner plate as implicit commentary on what they’re eating, even if we’re not saying a word about it. As if the plate is coming to life with a black robe and a curly white wig and gavel, doing a sinister dance while handing down judgments.
When I read Steiner’s piece I couldn’t help but think “RIGHT ON SISTER!”. Will he change any minds about the Thanksgiving centerpiece corpse? Probably not. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he wasn’t even trying to convince anyone to go vegan. He was trying to convince his readers, in an overtly frustrated way, that being a misunderstood and often despised 0.001%(*) of the population isn’t exactly a great position to be in. Especially in a society organized around eating meat, with a hundred-trillion-dollar(*) advertising industry carrying on like eating dead animals is the most normal thing on earth.
The mechanics of being vegan is getting easier all the time, but let’s face it, we still live in a dead-animal-centric society. Many meat eaters forget that they’re soaking in all the normal, and that the “preachy” vegan over there giving them a hard time is actually the one just trying to get the basics of survival to go smoothly.
All I’m saying is, to the three hardcore meat-eaters who follow this blog after getting linked from Sarah Palin’s enemies list, maybe there’s a reason some of us get a bit plucky at the dinner table. Sometimes we want to talk about something other than our diet. Or, you know, quiz away, but don’t be shocked and don’t take it personally when we come back with a well-formed viewpoint. But most of all, getting pissy and playing the victim when you live in a society organized for your convenience isn’t going to score you any debate club points. And it’s definitely NOT going to get you a second slice of the pumpkin pie that “omg didn’t even TASTE vegan”. More pie for the rest of us.
[Ed.: This wonderful post was brought to you by one of our newest contributors, Steve Simitzis! Steve stopped eating dead animals in 1993 and has been described as a crazy cat lady despite not being a lady. Nowadays he follows climate change, vampire stories, and technology, but usually keeps it on Twitter. When not thinking longingly about Twilight bars, he can be found building social websites and acquiring too many useless kitchen gadgets.]
Have you ever wanted a handy dandy sheet of paper that would help you navigate those conversations? You know, the ones you have with “funny” omnivores? The ones where you wished you could hold up a sheet of paper in front of their faces and punch them through it, a la the Three Stooges? Well, friend, your wait is over—that sheet of paper is here. I give you Defensive Omnivore Bingo! The vegan answer to omni “gotcha” journalism!
Brian VanderVeen is the mastermind behind the Defensive Omnivore Bingo Card that’s been sweeping the vegan internet. He also writes, cooks, and photographs for his Veganachronism blog. He got the idea for the bingo card after one too many conversations about the annoying things meat eaters say to us vegans. It’s one of those things that’s so genius I’m actually really mad that I didn’t think it up myself first. I’m looking forward to printing out a billion copies and smugly daubing away and smiling next time some meat eater asks me “what about the poor plants, huh?” Alternately, I’d love to make it into a t-shirt and carry around a blood-red bingo dauber so that I could perform snarky performance art by marking my own chest with each stupid question. Either way, give your props to Brian, and pass the image on! Oh, and somebody make me a t-shirt, would you?
[Ed.: This is the first post from new Vegansaurus contributor, Jordan! She is totally rad and you’ll be seeing more of her (along with a few other awesome people who you’re going to love and want to write poetry for and show them your junk and stuff). So anyway, Hi Jordan!You can read more from Jordan at Too Vegan To Function, and keep an eye on Sugar Beat Sweets, which will open IN THE FLESH verrrrrry soon! Yes, that is right, she is one of the amazing bakers behind the delicious SBS. Obviously, she is incredibly fabulous & you will love her forever.]
Holy Cranberry: Six Reasons to Be Thankful You're a Vegan this Thanksgiving
I think I saw a live Turducken today. I am as good at IDing woodland creatures as a former Ranger Rick reader can be, and that bird quacked like, but was so not a duck…oh, John Madden, what hath thou wrought? Clearly meat-stuffed-meat enthusiasts have figured out a way to grow this…”delicacy.”
Whoa, whoa heeeyyy now! I thought we were all pals here?
"Wacky alternatives"? "Bizarre foods"? Not "all turkey substitutes look particularly appetizing"?
God bless us all and to each our own choices but APPETIZING?!? Hey, you know that plastic baggie of guts that comes in your turkey? That neck that looks like a skinned phallus? Mmmmm can’t wait ‘til the button tops on that goodness. Ew. Maybe those making sauce of boiled innards shouldn’t throw—OMG YOU GUYS THAT NECK THING IS SO SICK.
That said, what’s a few disparaging pics of Tofurky between friends? It’s the spirit of the season to forgive, give thanks, (and make lists), so here it is:
Heck YES I’m Thankful to Be a Vegan on Thanksgiving!
We make awesome dinner guests. Good vegans have learned the fine art of asking what they can bring to alleviate the burden of cooking vegan on a host who might not know how—so we never show up empty handed, and we’ll probably introduce you to something new and more delicious than another green bean casserole. (I am not hating on green beans. Green beans are people too.)
We pardon ALL the turkeys. Gobble. You’re welcome.
No after-dinner tryptophan coma means we can do the dishes, beat you at touch football, and have more room for pie. PIE.
Why are you thankful? Pass the mashed potatoes and Happy Thanksgiving.
PS: Giblets is the cutest word for the grossest thing. Also? Nut loaf rules.
This is an article in a recurring series, The Vegan Diplomat; The Art and Politics of Being Vegan in any Situation Society Throws on Your Plate, brought to us by the lovely Zoë Stagg. Zoë writes about politics, pop culture, and social media. She went cold-tofurkey—total omnivore to vegan on Apr. 26, 2006 and never looked back. Despite her rural upbringing and the fact that her dad may have wanted her to enter the Dairy Princess pageant in high school, she firmly believes in the conservative nature of veganism. Her last non-vegan meal was a Turkey Lean Pocket. Ew.
It is so delicious. Filled with links for recipes, contests, and other deliciousness for Thanksgiving. You need to read it all. And then make me everything on it. And also, adopt me a turkey. Okay, I’m all out of requests. FOR NOW.
Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes (aka Lisa Jervis' vegan Thanksgiving, part 3)
My friend Debbie loves this so much that she convinces me to make it several times a year. It doesn’t take much.
Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
This is even more flexible, quantity-wise, than all the other recipes I’ve posted so far. You can make it any amount, from one potato to ten or more. The key is one part maple syrup to one part olive oil, and you want enough to very generously coat your sweet potatoes and have some liquid in the bottom of the baking pan.
Also, please note: The sweet potatoes I recommend (the orange-fleshed ones) are often mislabeled “yams" in the market. They are not yams. But they are moister and more flavorful than their paler counterparts.
This is a great dish to make the day before. You can get it all ready, stick it in the fridge overnight, and bake it right before serving.
Some orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, cut into cubes approximately 1 inch square (peel them if you want; I don’t)
Some amount of maple syrup (grade B preferred—it’s got more flavor)
Olive oil in equal quantity to the maple syrup
A handful or 2 of fresh cranberries
Zest of anywhere from a quarter to a whole orange
Salt to taste
Boil some salted water in a large pot. Add the sweet potatoes and boil until they are starting to get tender (anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour, depending on how many you have and how big your pot is).
While the sweets are cooking, mix together the maple syrup, olive oil, and orange zest in a small bowl. Add salt to taste (and yes, this means you will taste it; keep in mind that this will be spread out over all your sweets, so it’s should be a little on the salty side tasted plain).
Drain the sweet potatoes and put them in whatever size baking dish comfortably holds them all (I like to use glass, so it looks nice going straight to the table).
Add the cranberries, pour the maple-oil mixture over it all, and mix well. Every last chunk of sweet potato should be well coated (and as notes above regarding quantity, there should be some oil/syrup in the bottom of the pan—if there’s not, just mix up some more).
Bake at 325º, covered with foil, for half an hour (or until the sweets are cooked all the way through), stirring to baste with the syrup every ten minutes or so.
I like to use the juice from the orange in my cranberry sauce, but you could also just eat it as a snack. If you want less tartness you can replace the cranberries with some dried fruit if you like. Apricots would probably be nice, though I have never tried it. If you want more tartness, you could use lemon zest instead of orange.
This fabulous & delicious guest post is the third (here’s the first! and second!) in a series of vegan Thanksgiving recipes from the amazing Lisa Jervis. Since you already know how we feel about her (and her awesome new book, Cook Food), we encourage you to blindly follow us into full Lisa Jervis Worship Land. OR you can read her other work and act like you found out about it all on your own. Which you probably did but whatever, I can’t hear you through this screen LA LA LA.Oh yes and the Cook Food website is awesome, recipes and links and other such greatness, definitely check it out.
Interview: Paul Shapiro of The Humane Society of the United States!
Paul Shapiro is kinda like…the greatest guy on earth. He’s the senior director of HSUS Factory Farming Campaign. He also founded Compassion Over Killing when he was basically 5. Okay, more like 7, but still. He works tirelessly for the animals while remaining the nicest, coolest guy ever. Honestly, if I did what Paul Shapiro does every day, I’d probably just go around setting things on fire and eating babies. I KID, EVERYONE RELAX! But I’d be one grumpy lady. He’s just the raddest best and you should read all about him and then follow him on twitter if you want the latest breaking animal news.
Plus, he’s adorable, right?
How long have you been vegan?
Since 1993. Old school. My recollection is that it may have been before the world was in color.
Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, human rights reasons, or a combination?
I wish I could say it was because in Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, our species’ first communication with non-Earthlings was with a civilization near Vega, but it’s really because it reduces animal cruelty and environmental degradation. [Ed., AHH! Jonas wrote about that too! Dorks unite!]
What is your favorite animal?
My late dog, George. Late as in passed away four years ago; he was generally very punctual. You can watch a seven-minute slide show of his life if you’d like. (Give it a few seconds to start and turn your speakers on.)
Do you have any super cute photos of animals to share with us? I just ask because this is something we’re super into. Elephants, piglets, and pit bulls are a plus.
George was a pit bull-shar pei mix, so I hope that slide show counts. Or you can see my two cats at facebook.com/paulshapiro.
Favorite vegan food to make?
Really anything that can be put inside a tortilla/wrap. It’s a very fast and clean way to eat.
Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant/fave vegan restaurant?
Currently, the vegan “chicken” burrito that’s being tested at a DC Chipotle is rocking my world. Since you’re in SF, I tip my hat to Herbivore’s shawarma, too. (Note that both of these are in a wrap.)
You travel a lot for work. Based on food options alone, which is your favorite city
to travel to?
NYC is pretty hard to beat. That said, I was at Araya’s in Seattle recently and loved it. All-vegan, all-you-can-eat buffet for $8. Respect.
Any eating tips for traveling vegans?
Get the Veg Out app for your iPhone. [Ed.: we’ve got it! it is awesome!]
You started an all-vegan band in high school? Please elaborate.
I didn’t start the band, but I was the singer of the DC hardcore band Crime Against Humanity. We put out a demo tape and played about half a dozen shows in 1994 before breaking up. We were this close to making it big. And by “this close,” I mean not close at all.
We recently met Jonathan Safran Foer (we call him “JSF” around here) who mentioned that he went to high school with you? Were you guys friends? What was he like then? Was he in the band!?
Jonathan is an awesome guy and his success with Eating Animals makes me so happy. I regret to say he was never in Crime Against Humanity. We did go to high school together and knew each other back then, but we didn’t become friends until long after that.
If you weren’t working for HSUS, what would you be doing?
Begging Vegansaurus for a blogging job. [Ed., Great, now we have to get you fired! WHY DID YOU TELL US THAT!?]
Who are the movers and shakers in the animal protection world who people might not know about, who to keep an eye on to do great things?
It always surprises me how few people in the movement are familiar with the late Henry Spira’s work. If you haven’t read his biography, you should. In terms of living activists, I’m always amazed at how groups like Mercy for Animals, Vegan Outreach, and Compassion Over Killing get so much done with so few resources. Of course, I love VegNews too, and think they provide a great resource for the movement. Finally, if you don’t follow Jason Matheny’s work on in vitro meat, check it out; it’s something I think has a lot of promise for animals.
How do you think new technologies, like Facebook and Twitter, are changing the game?
They allow me to share photos of my cats and find out who’s dating who. They also enable folks to reach a lot of people fast, which is helpful for people who want to help animals. BTW, you can follow me at twitter.com/pshapiro (Ed., FOLLOW HIM. Best breaking AR news and also, he’s funny. Bonus points.)
What advice would you give people with a budding interest in animal protection?
The reality of how deplorable the scope and nature of our abuse of animals is can be depressing. Don’t let that sorrow consume you. I’m not the first to say that if you’re upset by a societal problem, don’t agonize—organize!
Animals can’t organize and advocate for their interests, so they’re dependent on us to speak up for them. It’s an immense privilege to be able to work full-time on their behalf, and it’s inspiring to see the progress that’s now being made, especially for farm animals. That said, you don’t need to be an employee of the movement to make a difference. Go at your own pace – pass out leaflets, write letters to the editor, support your favorite animal charities, get your local restaurants to add vegan options to their menus, call your legislators, be a positive example for your friends and family, and so on.
Island Earth Farmers' Market shut down by Board of Health!?
According to friend of Vegansaurus, Kim (Hi Kim!), The Island Earth Farmers’ Market at the Metreon had all their hot food vendors shut down by the Board of Health today. Those mothers don’t play. It’s apparently some kind of permitting/bureaucratic crackdown (and not a health code violation! Phew!).
One of the vendors told Kim that there’s some kind of appeal meeting tomorrow. Trying to find out where it is because I’ve been quite enjoying that market, 3rd World feel and all.
Apparently, Martha had a Vegetarian Thanksgiving special [thanks for the tip, Ed!] on her show today, with guests Jeremy Fox of Ubuntu, Jonathan Safran Foer [ed. some of the Vegansaurs are totally sitting in a tree with JSF—they even call him JSF like we are an issue of Tiger Beat from 1990] and Robert Kenner, the guy who made Food, Inc. We didn’t see the episode (because we can’t watch anything we didn’t illegally download WHO SAID THAT) but we think this is awesome news for veg consciousness penetrating the mainstream especially with regard to holiday traditions, and further, please make us all those recipes they look delicious kthx! Especially this one, the Celery Root, Persimmon, and Swiss Chard “Stuffing”. (The ones that aren’t already are easily veganized, and we think you the vegan food blog reader could probably figure out how.)
Anyway, the holiday foodstravaganza continues on Vegansaurus, and JSF and Food, Inc. are good things for the American consciousness. Also, I’m pretty into Martha. Did you ever hear her on Howard Stern talking about her time in jail? It was kind of amazing. She is badass actually. I love following her on the Twitter too; occasionally you catch her after a couple of Sauvignon Blancs and she kind of sounds like Laura.
Yes, he was on Oprah. Yes, he is awesome. Yes, he is giving out some mad delicious recipes for thanksgiving, including a recipe for his AMAZING cashew cream.*
AND YES, YOU ARE WELCOME.
*That cashew cream is amazing stuff. It makes everything better. I’m telling you, this cashew cream could be the answer to peace in the Middle East. I’d rather eat this cashew cream than see a unicorn doing it with a rainbow. A UNICORN doing it with A RAINBOW. Think about it. That’s approaching peace in the Middle East in terms of feasibility. LAURA, SO PESSIMISTIC. Actually, Megan said that last thing so take it up with her.
Go on with your bad selves, animal documentaries! If you haven’t seen them, they’re both well worth it. We’re especially enamored with The Cove. Must see! And maybe if it wins an Oscar, some more fools will see it. Man, I wish we could vote instead of these special committee motherfuckers. WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THEM, PLEASE TELL ME. Oh yes, money and power. Got it.