vegansaurus!

Oct 17

Animal News You Can Use: Progress for pigs and quacktastic news for ducks!

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Yesterday, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban pig gestation crates, sending it to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk. Moments afterward, Danny “Don’t Veto” DeVito issued a letter to the governor, telling him that signing the bill is a sure way to get him into the pearly gates.

This week also marked a major advance in the fight for farm animals. The  U.S. Supreme Court allowed California’s landmark law banning the sale of foie gras to stand, setting a further precedent that states can block the sale of products based solely on animal cruelty concerns, even if those foods were produced in other states.

While New Jersey and California may be moving in the right direction, some pork producers still defend locking pigs in tiny cages. My rebuttal to one of them is published in the MinnPost this week.

And the fact that some pork producers are still defending the indefensible left my coworker Josh Balk asking in a new opinion piece, is bacon the new veal?

P.S. Video of the week: Pit bull meets baby chicks.

P.P.S. Are you on Twitter? Did you know that for free you can “donate” your account to help occasionally get the word out about important farm animal protection efforts? I’d be grateful if you would—here’s the link!

Follow Your Heart’s new slices make the perfect vegan grilled cheese!

imageI am a Follow Your Heart vegan cheese loyalist. It was my first melting vegan cheese, it makes the perfect baked vegan mac ‘n’ cheese (don’t even come to me with that saucy nonsense, mac ‘n’ cheese has to have a crust), and I can’t stomach Daiya. Naturally, I was pretty excited to try FYH’s new vegan slices. FYH sent me two slices each of American, provolone, and garden herb to sample.

What I did, obviously, was make a glorious grilled cheese. Actually, I first tried a garden herb slice alone, fresh out of the fridge, and honestly, it wasn’t so great. It’s plasticky and unyielding to the tooth, and not super flavorful, either. Disappointing. However, the very properties that make it unsuitable for eating raw raise it to glorious heights when melted.

I make an excellent vegan grilled cheese. I know that when using the standard FYH “wet block,” the tricks are to slice it thin, overlap evenly, and broil the sandwich open-faced till the cheese nears melting before slapping it together and grilling the exterior of the sandwich. This is super-annoying, but if you want a flawless grilled cheese sandwich using the vegan cheese that doesn’t nauseate you, these are the steps you must take.

However, with FYH’s new formula, making a vegan grilled cheese is as easy as working with standard torture-cheese. You put it on the bread, you put the bread in the pan, you fry until golden brown. Within the crunchy fried bread, the Follow Your Heart cheeses will be soft and melting. The above pictured sandwich was made with one slice of each of the provolone, American, and garden herb. It tasted of salt and fat and childhood. Do you miss the blandly comforting grilled cheeses d’antan? Here they are, once more within your grasp.

Follow Your Heart’s brand new cheeses come in provolone, American, garden herb, and mozzarella flavors. They come in blocks and slices, and the provolone and American also come in singles. They will be available nationwide in “early 2015,” we’re told. In the meantime, we can dream of the perfect vegan grilled cheese.

Oct 15

Win a year’s supply of mock meat AND learn how to cook it with Beyond Meat!

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

Blame it on my multi-year stint as a raw foodist living and working at a raw vegan retreat center, but in my late twenties, I still don’t really know how to actually cook many vegan things, especially plant-based meat! 

That’s why I’m SO EXCITED that Beyond Meat has created a cooking show specifically to show us how to cook their plant proteins: Caitlin’s Kitchen! Major disclaimer: my favorite (and only!) vegan brother Asher Brown directed this series and shot it at his vegan film studio, Pollution Studios. AMAZING! [Ed. note: dang, the Brown family is a vegan powerhouse!]

Apparently I’m not the only one unsure of how to use plant meat, because Beyond Meat gets SO many questions regarding how to use their products on the reg, so they were like, “hey why not show the world how our own chef prepares our recipes for trade shows, events, etc!” Makes sense to me!

Beyond Meat’s main chef, Caitlin, is going to expand the series beyond just how to prep Beyond Meat, including showcasing her expertise in other areas such as how to cook vegetables, how to make delicious marinades, party planning tips etc. AWESOME!  You can watch the current episodes on Youtube!

Do you want to learn how to cook something specific? Because Beyond Meat reps say we can ask Caitlin questions via Twitter by using the hashtag #AskCaitlin. Beyond Meat will come back with a fun video to answer! (you’ll basically be famous.)

What questions have you been dying to know about cooking faux meat? I know I have a million, like how do I make vegan pigs in a blanket without starting an oven fire? 

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

You can now enter to win a one-year supply of free Beyond Meat during the second-annual CLUCKtober! Just post your favorite Beyond Meat recipes tagged #CLUCKtober, either emailed, Instagrammed, or tweeted. Find details and enter here.

[Ed. note: A year supply? You could be Scrooge McDuck-ing in all that faux chicken!]

Oct 14

YOU GUYS! This princess bullie is named Bitsy and she needs a foster or forever home ASAP! Is that you?!! She is SO DAMN CUTE and GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS and OBVIOUSLY THE BEST AND NOT ‘CAUSE SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE MY DOG HAZEL. Please, someone in the SF Bay Area, help this precious girl!!!!!!
From Blue and Morty:

URGENT **Rescue, Adopter or Foster needed ** Located in Vallejo, California Meet Bitsy. She is a sweet, approximately 1 year old pittie. As you can see, her current living conditions are less than ideal. Bitsy spent much of the first part of her life living in a chicken coop. She is now tied to a tree 23 hours a day. Her only human contact is a wonderful neighbor who has purchased her a dog house, feeds her, walks and plays with her, makes sure she has blankets and plenty of water. She is unable to take Bitsy as she currently has 3 rescues of her own. Bitsy’s neighbor has convinced her owner to give her up. Bitsy is good with children and dogs - no cats. She is currently UTD on all vaccines. Bitsy has a sponsor who is willing to pay for her to be neutered and microchipped. Norcal Bully Rescue will also sponsor all of her food, a crate, toys, bed, etc. Please re-post and share this post with any rescue, foster or responsible adopter you may know. Let’s find this girl a home so that she can live the life that she deserves!!
If you’re interested in helping, contact Jen at jennifer.rund@att.net or Maria Sandoval at Mbs@dodgeandcox.com or 707 334 6948!

YOU GUYS! This princess bullie is named Bitsy and she needs a foster or forever home ASAP! Is that you?!! She is SO DAMN CUTE and GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS and OBVIOUSLY THE BEST AND NOT ‘CAUSE SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE MY DOG HAZEL. Please, someone in the SF Bay Area, help this precious girl!!!!!!

From Blue and Morty:

URGENT **Rescue, Adopter or Foster needed ** Located in Vallejo, California Meet Bitsy. She is a sweet, approximately 1 year old pittie. As you can see, her current living conditions are less than ideal. Bitsy spent much of the first part of her life living in a chicken coop. She is now tied to a tree 23 hours a day. Her only human contact is a wonderful neighbor who has purchased her a dog house, feeds her, walks and plays with her, makes sure she has blankets and plenty of water. She is unable to take Bitsy as she currently has 3 rescues of her own. Bitsy’s neighbor has convinced her owner to give her up. Bitsy is good with children and dogs - no cats. She is currently UTD on all vaccines. Bitsy has a sponsor who is willing to pay for her to be neutered and microchipped. Norcal Bully Rescue will also sponsor all of her food, a crate, toys, bed, etc. Please re-post and share this post with any rescue, foster or responsible adopter you may know. Let’s find this girl a home so that she can live the life that she deserves!!

If you’re interested in helping, contact Jen at jennifer.rund@att.net or Maria Sandoval at Mbs@dodgeandcox.com or 707 334 6948!

GLORY BE: Field Roast introduces NEW VEGAN CHEESE SLICES!

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

Field Roast has introduced a new line of vegan cheese, Chao Slices! We have yet to get our hands on some, but it should be in stores soon. And we’re thrilled that they’re now officially a “vegan meat and cheese” brand! Because YOU KNOW their veg sausages are FANTASMIC. And this cheese looks ooey-gooey-good!:

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COME AT ME, BRO!

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Oct 10

Animal News You Can Use: No one’s a winner on a factory farm

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Newspapers across the country celebrated last week’s massive litigation win for chickens, with the LA Times headlining that “Hens Win” and even Missouri’s Kansas City Star editorializing that the challenge to California’s hen protection law was “foolish.”

Though we can win battles against factory farms, no one’s a winner on the farms themselves—including workers. That’s why I’m proud to have jointly published this article with the United Farm Workers about the connection between farm animal abuse and farm worker abuse.

And speaking of having it bad, you may have seen the national headlines about the tragedy in California where some teens allegedly broke into a factory farm and clubbed hundreds of chickens. Of course, such violence is unconscionable, but it happens every day. Find out what I mean in my Huffington Post article.

With so much outcry over farm animal abuse, it’s no wonder plant-based foods are catching on so much—and if this start-up has anything to do about it, plant-based meats are about to get even better. The Wall Street Journal has the story.

P.S. Video of the week: Think cats are the only animals who like laser pointers? (Seriously, this is amazing.)

#NEWSFAIL: Vegan authors take on the media! Plus, meet Jamie Kilstein & Allison Kilkenny in Brooklyn on Tuesday!

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Remember that time I interviewed comedian Jamie Kilstein and told you all to go see him at UCB in Los Angeles (you seriously missed out if you didn’t go, btw!)?! Well, during said interview Jamie told me that he, and his also awesomely funny and vegan wife, Allison Kilkenny, had written a book that was coming out this fall. And you guessed it, IT’S ALMOST OUT!!! 

Newsfail: Climate Change, Feminism, Gun Control, and Other Fun Stuff We Talk About Because Nobody Else Will addresses all kinds of issues the world faces today but also includes a whole chapter on veganism. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of this piece of (very informative) comedic gold, and let me be the first to tell you, I for reals LOL’d. Jamie and Allison have perfected the balance of presenting cringeworthy facts about eating non-human animals, with poking fun at how people stereotype and hate on vegans. They also shares a recipe for “Jamie’s Vegan Better-Than-Stupid-Pad-Thai Pad Thai.” Basically, it’s a #lifefail if you don’t buy their book!

#NEWSFAIL will officially be released on October 14th, but you can pre-order a copy NOW! Help put an awesome book promoting veganism on “The Charts!” 

But wait, there’s more! People of NYC (and the large suburban outlying areas surrounding it), you have the GLORIOUS opportunity on October 14th to MEET JAMIE & ALLISON (and buy a copy of #NEWSFAIL), at The Powerhouse Arena,in the hip land of Brooklyn. Don’t even ponder it, JUST GO (and RSVP here)!

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Louro in New York is hosting a vegan dinner on October 15!

imageMushroom and nori soup dumpling!

Emily Chapman is a sous chef at Louro, and though she’s not vegan, she’s into vegan food. That’s why she’s written a six-course vegan tasting menu that Louro is hosting on Wednesday, October 15!

"I believe that being a vegan is a completely misunderstood lifestyle," she says, "So with this dinner I’m trying to showcase to everyone, while catering to vegans/vegetarians, that a vegan lifestyle can be delicious and just as good as ‘normal eating.’" Now, of course, to us vegan eating is "normal eating," but when omni chefs are going out of the their way to cater to us, who are we to quibble over semantics?

Emily says everything is made “in-house from scratch, start to finish,” and it sounds amazing. Check out the menu!

Amuse
Falafel, harissa sauce

"Carrots and Celery"
agave ginger roasted carrots, celery kimchi, sesame rice crackers, soy glaze

Mushroom & Nori Soup Dumplings
black vinegar

Turnips
black pepper orecchiette, turnip green pesto, roasted kohlrabi, turnip purée

Roasted Acorn Squash
smoked barley, mustard greens, grilled fennel, apple mustard

"Loaded Potatoes"
oven baked potatoes, charred chilies & onions, black bean purée, “sour cream”

Caramelized Pumpkin
pecan butter, toasted marshmallow fluff, cranberry syrup

Doesn’t that sounds SO GOOD? So perfectly fall! Also: “pecan butter, toasted marshmallow fluff, cranberry syrup” is this heaven?

Emily’s Vegan Is Good dinner begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15 at Louro, 142 West 10th Street (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue) in the West Village. Dinner is $55 per person and is BYOB and single seating. To make reservations, call Louro at  212.206.0606.

Hello friends! Time to look inside last month’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box!
This month was interesting. One hot item was Suncoat, a sugar-based mascara! My coworker tested this out and I actually noticed a difference, her lashes def looked more luxe than usual. There was also a deodorant from Only Goodness Inside, which I saved for my desk mate who is super afraid of aluminum deodorants. I haven’t heard back on what she thought but she was super excited. Ha. She cracks me up.
Other items were an awesome eyeshadow from Lunatick Cosmetic Labs, a microdermabrasion scrub from Derma E, and a deep moister mask from Clark’s Botanicals. 
I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

Hello friends! Time to look inside last month’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box!

This month was interesting. One hot item was Suncoat, a sugar-based mascara! My coworker tested this out and I actually noticed a difference, her lashes def looked more luxe than usual. There was also a deodorant from Only Goodness Inside, which I saved for my desk mate who is super afraid of aluminum deodorants. I haven’t heard back on what she thought but she was super excited. Ha. She cracks me up.

Other items were an awesome eyeshadow from Lunatick Cosmetic Labs, a microdermabrasion scrub from Derma E, and a deep moister mask from Clark’s Botanicals

I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

Oct 09

Three Awesome Upcoming Events in the SF Bay Area! Go to These!

image 1. Second Annual Vegan Mac Down
The Factory Farming Awareness Coalition is hosting its second annual Vegan Mac Down vegan mac & cheese bake-off! 

Sample all of the entries & vote for your favorite. 
Get down to grooves from local DJ’s
Get more eats from local vegan food vendors. 

We’re currently looking for competitors! Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, if you’re interested in competing e-mail info@ffacoalition.org.

The Mac Down will be held on Saturday, November 8th from 11am-3pm at the Omni, 4799 Shattuck Ave. in Oakland. Tickets are $8 online, $10 at the door (though it will likely sell out, so be sure to get your tickets in advance!)

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2. Oakland Premiere of Speciesism: The Movie
Speciesism: The Movie is making its Oakland debut on October 27th at the Piedmont Theater. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the director.

TICKETS: http://SpeciesismOakland.eventbrite.com/ (tickets are limited and ONLY available online)

TRAILER: http://SpeciesismTheMovie.com/

Speciesism: The Movie takes viewers on a sometimes funny, sometimes frightening adventure across the country, to expose the biggest secrets about modern factory farms, and to ask the biggest questions about the belief that our species is more important than the rest. You’ll never look at animals the same way again. Especially humans.
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3. Cowspiracy Catered Screening in San Francisco
Join San Francisco’s soon-to-be newest vegan restaurant Citizen Fox and the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition for a San Francisco screening of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Thursday, November 6th.

Set in the historic Victoria Theater, the screening will feature food from local chefs, a wine bar, and a Q&A session with the filmmakers.

Get your tickets online before they sell out!
Guest post from Katie Cantrell of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition! Thanks, Katie!