vegansaurus!

10/07/2014

It’s Fall! Here Are Some Comfort Food Makeovers!  »

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When I first went vegan, I wasn’t worried about a lot of things. I wasn’t concerned about where I would get my protein, and I didn’t stay up at night wondering if I’d die from lack of B12. I did my research and was fully prepared to eschew meat and cheese and knew I wouldn’t get scurvy from a lack of Vitamin Steak. (A real thing.) (Not.) No, what I worried about was how my family would take it. Would my mom be bummed that I didn’t want to eat her spaghetti and meatballs? Would I have to turn away from my grandmother’s beloved roasts? Would the fact that I didn’t eat Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day drive my dad crazy?

Well, as it turns out, yes and no. At first, my family didn’t love that I couldn’t eat the same foods they held so dear, but after a while, they saw I was serious about this transition, and they got on board. Together, we adapted and developed old family favorites. In fact, it turned into a fun (and delicious!) challenge; each of us trying to figure out whether cashews or coconut milk made the best creamy soup base. Food once again became a bonding experience and I no longer felt left out—and they no longer felt like they were losing their daughter/granddaughter to the dark (read: tofu) side! Even better, we found some new and exciting dishes that we’ve integrated into our rotation as part of our new family traditions. Here are some of the best ones:

Mac and Cheese. Everyone is obsessed with a good mac and cheese. Rich, creamy, and decadent, it’s the perfect food. You know what’s better than traditional Mac and Cheese? This light and delicious version made with silken tofu. So. Freaking. Good.

When it comes to lasagna, I am basically Garfield. Give me a giant pan of the good stuff, and leave me alone for a few days. This version is so tasty that my cheese-loving dad begs me to bring it on holidays. Dig in.

Comfort food to me means something I turn to when I want a hug. Something familiar and guaranteed tasty. My go to dish before I went vegan was Chinese Chicken Salad. Man! I loved it so much! Well, it turns out when you sub in tofu, it’s just as scrumptious! This recipe is the bomb dot com (sorry, not sorry).

This recipe was brought to you by Nasoya!

10/06/2014

Helloooo nurse! Califia Farms has a vegan almond milk pumpkin spice latte! Of course The Spooky has already reviewed it. Anybody else? I gotta get my hands on this! Before maximum pumpkinpacity!

Helloooo nurse! Califia Farms has a vegan almond milk pumpkin spice latte! Of course The Spooky has already reviewed it. Anybody else? I gotta get my hands on this! Before maximum pumpkinpacity!

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.)

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