NYC: Come out for boozy vegan fun this weekend! Get your discount code here!
Hey friends! You KNOW I love the drank, so I’m very excited about the Better Booze Fest this coming Saturday! The run down:
The 1st annual Better Booze Festival comes to New York City on September 20, 2014 at Center548 located at 548 W. 22nd St. Attendees will enjoy two floors of tastings from a variety of brewery, winery, and liquor company brands, a selection of delectable food vendors, as well as speakers, classes, activities and entertainment throughout each session. What makes it better? All beer, wine, and liquor at the event is 100% vegetarian and vegan!
Sounds nice? Sounds nice! You can see a list of the vendors here but our favorite, Champs, will be there serving food along with Great Performances. I don’t know them but I love trying new vegan caterers! Foster Dogs NYC is on the vendors list too so I’m hoping I get to pet some cute pups! Booze and cute pups are my two favorite things!
Tickets WILL NOT be available at the door so you have to buy them here. And just because we love you guys, enter this code to get $45 admission: DrinkBetter
Coupon alert! Buy one, get one free from Beyond Meat!
Just sign a pledge not to eat chickens (EASY) and Compassion Over Killing is gonna hook you up with a buy one, get one free coupon for Beyond Meat! There is NOTHING not good about this situation. Except first you need to get off your ass and go to a store (HARD). But otherwise, WIN!
We know you guys don’t eat chickens but you can still get a coupon AND you should share this with your chicken-eating friends! You can share it with this NYT piece: Fake Meats, Finally, Taste Like Chicken. DARE them to try it.
Last month, I went to the Cowspiracy NYC premier. I was not prepared to be so moved! I went into the theater like, “OMG I’m tired and work is annoying and now I have to see a documentary and learn shiz” and I left like, “OMG I’M SO GLAD I’M VEGAN HOW CAN WE MAKE THE WORLD VEGAN?!”
The movie starts as a first-person journey to sustainability for Kip Andersen. He’s a self-proclaimed environmentalist, but it’s not until some serious digging that Kip discovers the devastating impact of the meat and dairy industries on the environment. As someone who turns to organizations like Greenpeace and Surfrider for info and guidance, Kip wonders why they have almost no information on the number one cause of environmental destruction (i.e. meat and dairy). He goes to speak to these organizations and films interviews (sometimes secretly). The interviews are nothing short of hilarisad (my own word, you can use it). By the middle of the movie, we have what shapes up to be a very real conspiracy. I know, sounds melodramatic, but watch the movie. There is no more appropriate word than conspiracy. The groups that are supposed to be helping the environment are spitting out more crap than a factory farm. Really, it’s bonkers.
This guy was my fave.
At the beginning of the movie, I was a little put off by the numbers the filmmakers cite, as I know they are all hotly contended. But then it occurred to me, no matter who’s numbers you pick, meat and dairy is still the number one threat to the environment! We can debate the specific numbers all day but no matter where you net out, it’s bad. Here’s a great example from a Beef Magazine article: Why Ranchers Should Care About The Documentary “Cowspiracy”:
Of course, Cowspiracy just appears to be regurgitating the common myths the beef industry has worked hard to correct over the years. For example, the Cowspiracy website claims it takes 660 gals. of water to make one hamburger, or the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers.
However, according to Facts About Beef, “In reality, it takes 441 gals. of water to produce 1 lb. of boneless beef…”
Well! A mere 441 gallons. So there’s my point: no matter who’s numbers you use, it’s bad.
Oh one thing I should warn you about, while the movie is not very gruesome, there is one slaughter scene. But you know it’s about to happen so you can close your eyes, as I did. Because the main focus is environment and not animal welfare, the disturbing images are of effed up forests and whatnot, not abused animals. So if you close your eyes for the one part, you should mostly be ok. EXCEPT you may be SO ANGRY that this shiz is going down!
Plus everything came in eco totes from Minnesota-based brand Relan. They make their bags with recycled billboards! How cool will I look at the farmers market this weekend?! Spoiler: SO COOL!
Basically, the party was the perfect chaser to the movie. Back to the film: I encourage everyone to see it and organize a viewing in your area if you can!
Here’s how you can see the film yourself:
-For DVD and digital download pre-sale options, visit the Cowspiracy site. -For information on how to organize—or attend—a screening in your own community, visit the Tugg site. -Watch for Cowspiracy on Netflix and iTunes this fall.
And follow them on FB for updates and great graphics like this one (my new favorite image):
Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use: The meat industry just despises Meatless Mondays
After working with HSUS, a school district outside of Austin, Texas, was one of many to implement Meatless Mondays this fall. While parents and students seemed pretty psyched about it, Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples — whose political campaign was bankrolled by the meat industry — didn’t exactly share their enthusiasm. He even penned a rant against the school district in the Austin American-Statesman this week. Today, the paper’s editorial board published an editorial of its own simply crushing that rant, noting that, “the near-comic rhetoric of Staples’ commentary stood as a refutation of its own argument.” You’ve really got to read the whole thing.
The industry isn’t just lashing out in the school districts; it’s also doing so in the legislatures. I was glad to be on America Tonight this week discussing the meat producers’ attempt to silence whistleblowers with ag-gag bills.
And the good news is that nearly all ag-gag bills introduced in the last couple years have been killed, while more and more food companies require animal welfare improvements in their supply chains, as described in a new piece by my coworker Matt Prescott. As well, just this week, another major pork producer announced it’s abandoning gestation crates throughout its entire supply chain.
Video of the week: These pigs aren’t ready for summer to be over—they love their swimming pools!
Share the new anti-dairy BART ads, you could win awesome vegan prizes!
As you may have heard, the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition won free ad space on BART for the third year in a row! Congrats, you guys! In part thanks to many of our readers voting I’m sure. Well, the ads have launched! And they are already getting some nicecoverage.
This year, I actually helped with the ad concepting and copy a bit. FFAC wanted to target dairy, including an ad taking aim at the role of dairy in the CA drought. They were inspired by this Mother Jones post showing just how much water goes into various dairy products. The shower idea came because, like us vegans continue to lament, it’s ridiculous how the water conservation agenda focuses so much attention on things like turning the water off when you brush your teeth or watering your lawn at dawn but they neglect to inform people about the impact of meat and dairy on the water supply. Meanwhile, avoiding those products would make a HUGE impact in water conservation. Not that the other suggestions aren’t good, but they are so minor compared to resource-suck that is animal agriculture.
Here’s the other ad, a gentle alert to the fact that dairy cows have to have babies to produce milk—and those babies aren’t hanging out with mom if people are drinking the milk. It doesn’t go all the way to the veal industry relationship but just connecting the dots for people about mammals…milk…babies…is important. I have conversations all the time with non-vegans who are completely unaware that dairy cows don’t just constantly produce milk without being impregnated. Actually, if we’re being honest, I didn’t really know that before I started looking into veganism. I mean if you think about it, it’s like duh, but we are just so distanced from food sources that people don’t even think about the logistics of it all.
However! It’s not all doom and gloom in this post! FFAC wanted me to inform you that they are holding a little Instagram contest for the ads and the prizes are SO EXCITING! There’s a contest for each ad. It doesn’t appear that you need to post an actual photo of the ad in the station, but just the ad itself. You do HAVE to follow @ffacoalition's IG account though. More details:
Drought Ad: From now until September 19th, post the Drought ad on your Instagram account, tag @ffacoalition and hashtag it with #ffaconbart, and you could win a three-month subscription to either the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box OR the Vegan Cuts Snack Box! Winner’s choice!
Calf Ad: Starting September 21st and ending October 5th, post a pic of the calf ad on your IG account, again tagging @ffacoalition and hashtagging #ffaconbart. For this one, you could win a $50.00 gift certificate to Vegan Essentials! That’s ONLY my FAVORITE store EVER.
The super official rules are here but that’s the basic need-to-know. Nice prizes, right?!
Has anyone seen the ads irl? TAKE A PICTURE FOR ME! I want to see it “in situ” as us ad folk say. I’ll be your best friend!
Help NYC's GustOrganics make its menu 100 percent vegan!
Ever heard of GustOrganics, on Sixth Avenue between 14th and 15th streets in Manhattan? Yeah, neither had we. But besides being a certified organic and eco-friendly restaurant, the West Village spot is on the verge of going completely vegan!
Though it’s always been vegan-friendly, GustOrganics’ proprietors are all about putting their menu where their ethics are. In other words, earning their sustainable label. Say goodbye to steak and fish and dairy and eggs: Tofu and tempeh and a whole bunch of other delicious plant-based offerings are taking over.
However, they can’t make the big switch without help, which is where we supportive vegans come in. Check out the crowdfunding campaign! GustOrganics wants to bring in renowned Brazilian chef Diego Castro to curate the new menu. The campaign expires in nine days and is still far from the proprietors’ $10,000 goal, so if you’re going to donate, you’d better get on it.
The rewards for donation are pretty sweet, but at the $75 level things get really good: a ticket to the relaunch party on November 3, when GustOrganics will celebrate its new, vegan menu. If this succeeds, it could make the restaurant a vanguard of new, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly eating. Vegan is the diet of the future, and helping GustOrganics succeed could send a big message to restaurants in New York and across the world.
California’s landmark Prop 2 is coming into effect in just a few months. Some egg producers are going cage-free while others aren’t. Civil Eats has the story on what’s happening so far. And more info from HSUS at our site on the topic.
And speaking of California and eggs, San Francisco-based Hampton Creek made headlines this week by picking up a big name in the technology investing world. Read more about it in the NY Times.
Finally, in one of the more entertaining meat industry attacks on HSUS, this week one industry writer penned a column comparing us to the dreaded General Grievous of Star Wars infamy. :-)
P.S. Video of the week: Summer’s almost over! Don’t you wish you were doing what this dog is?
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!
Mistress Ginger, the self-identified “vegan showgirl supreme,” has created a new cookbook that’s aimed at “burly truckers” and “pink-haired divas,” and everyone in between.
With recipes like “French-Kissed Toast,” “Drizzle Me Dressing,” “Miso Sexy Soup,” and “Flaming Stir-Fry with Hot Mess Dressing,” this is definitely not your average cookbook.
In between lasciviously described culinary creations (each recipe sets the scene for a different scandal, like having a male suitor up for chai, or preparing “love juice” for your boyfriend), Mistress Ginger includes lots of fun photos of brawny men bedecking her, sometimes in suggestive poses. Let’s just say it’s really clear what she means by “Pound-Me Cake” (a real recipe!). In addition to the clearly fabulous stories and sass interspersed, I also love that Mistress Ginger brings an intersectional perspective on LGBTQ rights and animal rights:
I hope that we can recognize how all movements for liberation have striking parallels, how no one is free when others are oppressed, and how our daily choices can support freedom for everyone on all fronts.
I couldn’t agree more! Here’s one of my favorite recipes from Mistress Ginger Cooks: Kickass Guacamole!
Kickass Guacamole posted with permission from Mistress Ginger Cooks!
Here are Mother Nature’s instructions for making gorgeous guac. I am just the messenger. She said, and I quote, “Mash the avocados in a medium bowl with a fork. Stir in the onion, tomato, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and chile. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.” Mother Nature cuts to the chase, doesn’t she? Use within 2 days, as if that will be an issue.
Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use: having a pool pawty this weekend?
Have you ever wondered why there’s so much feces on chicken meat? Well, wonder no longer, as I discuss the issue in a Modesto Bee op-ed this week.
Speaking of California chickens, the long-awaited implementation of California’s landmark Prop 2 is just a few months away. You can watch a good news segment this week profiling one egg producer who is eliminating cage confinement from his operation to comply with the law.
The Worldwatch Institute put out a new report this week basically saying the planet’s cooked if we don’t cut meat consumption. And at least in Cleveland, Ohio, city officials are getting the message. They passed an HSUS-supported resolution this week urging residents to eat less meat and more plants.
And related to such an effort, today’s New York Times published a letter from HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle about the trend away from the most abusive factory farming practices and toward plant-based eating.
The only ingredient in their moringa is….moringa! (Holy crap, I just love saying that word!)
I’ve been drinking Organic India’s teas for years now, so I was excited to try their Organic Moringa Leaf Powder. I had NO clue what the heck it was, but they were lovely enough to send me some to try, along with some cool factoids about it! Taken from leaves of trees that grow in India, it has 46 antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatory compounds, seven times the vitamin C in an orange and four times the vitamin B12 in one steak serving. (#PLANT POWER!) I’ve been putting it in my morning smoothies and feeling totally energized! It smells a bit like matcha green tea powder. You can make all kinds of tasty things with it, like their “Power Snacks.” (How easy & delicious does this recipe look?!)
Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use: Grand jury indictments for slaughterhouse officials!
A federal grand jury indicted four officials at a California slaughterhouse for allegedly concealing diseased cows by swapping heads of cows with eye cancer with healthy cow heads, cutting off USDA “condemned” insignias, and more. You can see HSUS’s response in this NBC segment.
HSUS won a big victory this week, prevailing in a lawsuit in which we represented rural neighbors of a massive gestation crate confinement facility. Check it out.
And in very major news, this week we announced that food giant Nestle is implementing a wide-ranging new animal welfare program aimed at ending the worst factory farming abuses and promoting more meat-free eating. You can read Wayne Pacelle’s comments on it, too.
Finally, the Center for Biological Diversity has a new Labor Day-themed campaign called Extinction-Free BBQ recommending that we leave room on the planet for wild animals by leaving room on our plates for delicious veggie foods.
Video of the week: Need a pick-me-up? Check out Arnold the rescued pig in this new HSUS video!
Beginners Guide to Eating Vegan Around Highland Park in L.A.
Move somewhere new, and then pinpoint the nearest vegan donut. That’s the best practice, right? Luckily for me, I moved to the Eagle Rock-Highland Park border in Los Angeles, where there just happens to be a gooey epic of a donuttery rightfully named Donut Friend.
Ah, Donut Friend, the glaze-coated BFF you’ve always dreamed of, topped liberally with rainbow sprinkles.
Owned by musician-record producer Mark Trombino, Donut Friend on York at 51st has all kinds of crazy delicious donut combos — or “signature combinations” — named after bands. All the donuts are vegan and most of the fillings and toppings are vegan too (everything is clearly marked).
Recently, I got the Nutellavision, a fluffy sugar donut injected with vegan Nutella and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. WHAT. I would also recommend Rites of Sprinkles, Drive Like Jelly, and Bacon 182, with vegan bacon.
Also on the same strip of York there’s new-ish pizza place, Town. They always have two vegan slice options behind the glass along with regular pizza, and those vegan slices are thin crust heaven. They do one with Daiya vegan cheese and one cheese-less option, with rotating toppings.
Sandwiched in between Donut Friend and Town, there’s Scoops, which is another branch of the popular LA ice cream shop with inventive flavors including many vegan scoops. Recent non-dairy options include salty chocolate, maple Oreo, and Cinnamon Coconut Burnt Sugar. So yes, three amazingly vegan/vegan-friendly none-to-healthy shops dotting the same small strip of land. It’s all just so decadent.
I promise there are other streets besides York. Highland Park also boasts tempeh-bacon experts/mostly vegan & gluten-free Kitchen Mouse Cafe on Figueroa. The adorable breakfast spot serves the popular Buffalo Bowl with brown rice, black beans, collard greens, yams, and topped with dill cashew and buﬀalo sauces, along with more perfect brunch dishes like the smoky Tempeh Reuben, served open-face, with caraway sauerkraut, cashew cheese, and chipotle aioli. Not only do they have a way with tempeh bacon, they’ve really mastered sauces here.
For a tad fancier evening out than say, splitting a jelly donut on the walk home, there are a few vegan options at popular sit-down Italian eatery Maximiliano, including the vegan pizza with pomodoro, spinach, mushroom, kalamata olive, eggplant, and best of all, truffle oil.
You could also try Good Girl Dinette on 56th at Figueroa, a very vegan-friendly Vietnamese diner with vegetarian pho with rice noodles and tofu, mushroom imperial rolls, and rice cakes with crisp scallion tofu.
Around the Highland Park-Eagle Rock border, there’s also pop-up Plant Food for People, which shows up regularly at vegan grocer-deli Organix in Eagle Rock on Colorado, the Eagle Rock Brewery in Glassell Park, and many neighborhood spots. They make the best jackfruit tacos you’ve ever had, hands down.
And speaking of Organix, stop by this small grocer for your essentials (Earth Balance cheddar squares and Kombucha) but also for that little window of a deli. It’s a porthole to sandwich paradise.
Their sandwiches often come decked out in Beyond Meat and Veganaise, or in the case of the Pulled Pork, shredded jackfruit and cabbage slaw. The seasonal menu also includes gourmet vegan hot dogs, a fried “chicken” sandwich, veggie burgers, and the Poncho (Vegan Carne Asada) burrito. Everything I’ve tried there so far has been worth the wait.
In fact, Organix is the first spot a friend recommended when I mentioned I’d be moving to the area. And what a great suggestion it was.
This leads me to my next point: Surely there are more spots I haven’t yet discovered in the Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glassell Park region — vegan meals that I’ve missed with this tasty breakdown. Let me know in the comments. And hey, let’s split a vegan donut when you’re in the neighborhood.
When I was a wee child, I wasn’t that into Labor Day. Not only did I have no appreciation for a holiday that honors people who fought hard to ensure we only have to work 8 hours a day (I was but a kid!), but, more importantly, I knew it meant the end of summer. And the end of summer meant the end of beaches, picnics, and lazy days by the pool. Boo!
However, as I get older and my appreciation for workers rights and also delicious barbecue grows, I have a new-found love for Labor Day. This summer, my friends and I will rent a house on the Pacific and spend our time boogie boarding, playing board games, and eating all of the BBQ we can get our greedy little mitts on. And since eschewing meat doesn’t mean eschewing tasty eats, here’s a few recipes to ensure that’s true:
1. Seven words: Crispy Tofu Tacos with Creamy Lime Drizzle. I don’t think I need to say anything more, but these are the world’s best tacos. Savory and scrumptious, they combine perfectly grilled tortillas, marinated tofu, and a creamy lime drizzle that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Make (and devour!) these immediately.
2. You don’t think tofu is hearty enough to make the perfect meal? This Go Green Tofu Burger will prove you wrong. Thick, flavorful, and juicy, it’s the ideal recipe to kick off Labor Day with. Or any day, really.
4. This is toasted coconut chocolate pie is the ultimate dessert. I mean, come on. What’s better than chocolate, pudding, fudge, and whipped cream (I made mine by whipping up cold full fat coconut milk! Easy)? Nothing.
Now, get to grilling. And save me some grilled tacos! And also a slice of pie. OK, two slices of pie. (Fine, maybe three slices of pie. And that’s my final offer!)
Why don't major environmental groups take aim at meat? Cowspiracy.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is coming to NYC next week and I can’t wait to see it! I’m hoping it answers a long-time frustration of mine: why do environmental groups keep skirting the meat issue?!
Now, I don’t want to attack environmental non-profits. I really don’t. But seriously, how many “water conservation days” or Earth Days do we see promoted that barely, if at all, mention meat and dairy? When boycotting those industries is the most impactful thing an individual can do to help the environment? It’s so ridiculous and I’m so tired of it! I thought they kept diet as a side note because people are so reactionary when you threaten their precious meat, but maybe there is more to it, i.e. C.R.E.A.M.
Watch the trailer to get a little more info:
Cowspiracy is on a screening tour and as I said, it’s coming to NYC a week from today, aka August 21st! Unfortunately, the tickets are sold out. But there’s a waitlist!
There are a ton of other screenings coming up all over the country, including Sacremento on August 28th and Philly on September 10th. See when there’s one near you—or plan your own screening! (apparently it’s free and easy)—here.
Has anyone already seen it? What did you think? Anyone planning to see it?
Preorder for Vaute's fall collection starts TODAY!
IN A FEW HOURS THE NEW VAUTE WILL BE ON SALE! When they announce the preorder start (prob on their facebook), you can go to this link and the new shiz will be up!
As you know, Vaute coats are not cheap. Because they are well-made, sustainably sourced and not assembled by children. BUT as you also should know, preorder is THE time to get your Vaute coat! (and your hat—they have hats now!) Because those babies are hella on sale! And preorder funds the production of the entire line so you help Vaute make more stuff and you get a big ol’ discount.
According to Leanne:
Pricing is 50% off outerwear (including our most requested Lincoln coat, which is head to toe insulated, I wore it for miles each day in the vortex last winter!) today at launch time for 24 hours. And Hats will be $120, but $85 for first 24 hours too.
Our new WonderFelt looks like pressed wool felt, but is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, crafted in USA. And we made hats out of it too! Handblocked one at a time in one of NYC’s last hat factories using the original vintage molds, and insulated too so they’re super warm. Coats this season are made in my hometown Chicago!
Let’s go over the finer points:
-50% off coats -Vegan wool felt made from recycled bottles -Hats made at a NYC hat factory from vintage molds
Um, I’m sold! You better get your coat and hat before I buy everything. Because I look SO GOOD in hats, believe that. My whole family does. Some sort of DNA thing. Science.
Also, look at this new dress Leanne sent a pic of:
I finally made it to Goldie’s! The amazing, mexican-inspired, all-vegan restaurant right in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I went with the Vegan Drinks crew and we rented a van and everything! Really did it up right. You can also take the train from NYC but we were on our road trip steez. Jersey-native Deborah Diamant was with us and she knew all the great stuff to do so we made a day of it! Goldies, boardwalk, pinball, ice cream and more! SO FUN!
So Goldie’s is SO AMAZING. Above you can see their chocotaco. YES. VEGAN CHOCOTACOS. They were awesome. We were there for brunch but totally got one anyway because we rule.
I started with sangria, yum!
These are the yucca fries with cashew crema. Very salty, VERY YUM. So, so crispy and the crema was delicious. You have to get these when you go. Promise me!
This is the papi chulo—fried maitake tostada with crumbled daiya, pickled onion, salsa verde. AWESOME. I’m not always into mushrooms but how can you not love them when they are perfectly battered and fried? Impossible!
And, as we were there for the brunch, I had to try the “juan-y cakes”—silver dollar cornmeal cakes with chocolate chunks, chile powder, and maple syrup. Delicious! But I couldn’t finish them. The serving sizes are ample!
And don’t freak out, there’s plenty of healthy, salad-y things too!
Basically, Goldie’s is so awesome and fun and the decor is like you’re in the Jetsons. And the food is out of sight! Totally worth the trip.
If you want to go, which I know you do, there are plenty of fun things to do in Asbury Park before or after you hit up Goldies.
Of course there’s the boardwalk! I do love a good boardwalk.
And on the boardwalk, you will find A PINBALL MUSEUM!!! You pay like $10 up front and then you can play unlimited pinball for an hour! Skiball too! And the pinball machines are so cool, all vintage and whatnot. There’s a Guns n’ Roses pinball machine!
Finally, if your vegan sweet tooth is not satiated, you can go to Cookman Creamery! They have like 15 vegan ice cream flavors AND vegan ice cream sandwiches! And vegan ice cream cakes even! I got the peanut butter chunk with peanut butter sauce BECAUSE I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER! And it was delicious. But there were so many vegan flavors, it was hard to choose.
So there you go! I basically planned your whole next weekend for you! I’m the best. But YOU MUST go to Goldie’s as soon as possible. It’s officially on the vegan can’t-miss list!
It’s not all good news this week, however: alas, a ballot measure in Missouri aimed at protecting puppy mills and factory farms seems to have squeaked by voters with 50.1 percent of the vote (though the razor-thin margin means that a recount is likely). You can read Wayne Pacelle’s thoughts on it here.
In better news though, Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) is promoting Meatless Monday. You can read about it my op-ed in the San Fernando Valley Sun. And the New York Times ran a compelling interview with the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology about his vegan diet.
Finally, in cool news: Did you know that fish remember events from a year ago?
He was inspired to make the change when he got a cholesterol test and found out his LDL cholesterol level was 170. From his post:
I thought I had a healthy diet — no red meat, no fried foods, little dairy, just chicken breast and fish. But a simple Web search informed me that my chicken-breast meals had more cholesterol content (84 mg/100 g) than pork (62 mg/100 g). So I changed that day to a cholesterol-free diet, using “meat substitutes” commonly available in stores and restaurants for protein. Within 6 weeks my LDL cholesterol level was down to 90.
I don’t totally know what all this LDL stuff means but 170 to 90 in six weeks seems pretty amazing! If you read his post, it’s pretty benign. Not too preachy, just mostly about his personal journey to a plant-based diet and how it’s helped him. But people still got all heated, as per usual when any hint of veganism comes up. This screen cap of the site he wrote the post on can give you an idea of the calamity:
Yeah, 74 comments. Seems a bit above their average. I skimmed through some, and as expected: VOM. People are so annoying sometimes. Sigh.
The doctor responds to some of the criticism in the NYT post. I especially like this part:
Some critics suggested that Dr. Williams and the college were “unduly influenced by industry,” which baffled him.
“Who is the industry that promotes vegan dieting?” he asked.
AND HOW. That is always the silliest criticism to me when someone promotes vegan eating! There is no special agenda to make people go vegan because that’s not where the money is! The money is in A. the meat and dairy lobby, and B. the pharma lobby. Those people do not want you do eat vegan. Obvisiously non-vegan food industries don’t but pharma doesn’t either because if no one was sick, how would they make money?! You would hope a doctor, however, would have entirely different motivation, and it seems Dr. Williams does. As he says:
"Wouldn’t it be a laudable goal of the American College of Cardiology to put ourselves out of business within a generation or two?"
Note: Save yourself the trouble, I’ve heard the reasoning against and I’m still going to keep saying “vegan diet.” We all understand what someone means when they say “vegan diet,” it says you adopt the diet of the vegan lifestyle but not the rest of it. Plus I find “plant-based diet” a confusing term. Plant-BASED doesn’t connote to me that you don’t eat some meat or something.
NYL cruelty-free skincare: Smells awesome, works even better!
I received some free products from NYL skincare to try a while ago but I haven’t had the chance to write about it until now. What that means is, I’ve been using the heck out of it for a few months now and I officially hella love the stuff!
First of all, it smells fresh and nice like a spa. You know, not like a specific flower or anything, rather that good, clean spa smell. Second of all, the products are so great and made my skin lovely. Third of all, everything is vegan, organic, and non-toxic. Those are three of you guys’ favorite things! And they use environmentally-friendly containers and packaging. So nice!
My very favorite thing is the Velvet Transformative Serum. It’s light but moisturizing. It absorbs into the skin quickly so it doesn’t make your face too oily. I love it! My other favorite thing is the Chamomile face wash. Again, it’s very light, but it really made my skin feel clean without making it feel too dry. And it has totally kept my blemishes (that’s pretty talk for pimples) at bay! So I’m very impressed with that. I’ve been using it every day. I will have to order more asap!
I liked the Rosewater face wash too. That one if for dry skin. I kind of have combination skin so both face washes suited me. But I’m more worried about the oily spots I guess so I will keep with the chamomile. Oddly, I also loved the hand soap. I mean it’s not super odd but I don’t usually get very jazzed about hand soap. But this stuff just smells so good!
The only thing I was lukewarm on was the body balm. I just couldn’t really tell if it was moisturizing that much. The whipped lotion is nice though.
Moral of the story: NYL is the jam! If you want to test out some of the stuff to see if you like it, they have a special on the starter kit on VeganCuts right now. That has the serum and either of the face washes, so you get my two favorite things. They also have individual sample sizes on their site. And the sample sizes have lasted me A WHILE. But I’m sure you will be back soon for the full sizes because this stuff rules!
Paul Shapiro's Vegan News You Can Use: Major loss for the meat trade groups
The meat industry trade groups lost a major battle this week, with a court ruling in favor of mandatory on-package disclosure of where the meat was produced. HSUS was proud to represent the United Farm Workers and others in the case.
A 2014 Consumer Reports exposé revealed that virtually all—97 percent—of chicken breasts in the U.S. harbor potentially harmful fecally-transmitted pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli. And now, well, I’ll let the newGuardian headline speak for itself: “Your chicken is about to get more full of feces.”
A newly published report from Purdue University finds that Americans are more likely to get their news on animal welfare from HSUS than from ag industry groups. It also finds that 14 percent of people report eating less pork because of animal welfare concerns.
Finally, have pets but no kids? You’re not alone. That trend is increasing among Americans, according to a new analysis this week. Have kids but no pets? Might be a good idea to adopt a pet, as a new study reported on by Fox News finds that kids with pets are more likely to avoid eating animals.
Gluten-free vegans rejoice! Sanctuary Bistro is officially opening this weekend, and it’s sure to be spectacular! (Anyone want to fly me up there from LA to be your date??) Using local, seasonal, organic, gluten-free, vegan ingredients, Barry Horton and Jennifer Jones Horton’s food is flavorFULL.
I had the great pleasure of attending a wedding this past weekend that was catered by these talented folks, and let me tell you people, I WORKED that buffet (yay for loose fitting dresses!)!
From top left: salad made with local peaches, olive tapenade, mushroom-stuffed quiches (I thought they were tamales whilst dishing up) and ZOMG the lasagna!!!
Having been to Ravens’ (which is amazing) I knew I was in for a treat. I thought I was making an exception from my usual gluten-free diet, but found out after I’d had two servings of lasagna that it was indeed GF. (Party on, Wayne!)
From top left: Chocolate covered strawberries & cherries, truffles, mini chocolate cupcakes and Russian tea cakes (I’ve also heard them called Mexican tea cookies). I will never admit how many I ate of each…
Here’s Dolores, my new kitty, giving her super roar to save tigers. Like our favorite kitty star Lil Bub, Dolores and me are so sad that there are only a few thousand wild tigers left. It’s terrible! That’s why Greenpeace has started this initiative with the help of all the cool internet cats like Bub, Cats Save Tigers.
And your cat can be a part of it too! Go to CatsSaveTigers.org and you can make your own kitty meme and even donate.
Vegan Drinks is tomorrow night! Imma be there, will you?! You’d better!
Also, this month benefits Empty Cages Collective and, besides funds, they need towels, blankets, and sheets for the cute animals! So you are encouraged to bring or drop off any of these items to Fontana’s tomorrow night.
Youth Empowered Action vegan summer camp? Sign me up!
… said my inner 13-year-old. When I first heard about Youth Empowered Action (YEA) camp, I started mentally packing my bags. All of the food is vegan, though the campers, kids ages 12 to 17, range from vegan to vegetarian to omnivorous and everywhere in between.
I got the skinny on YEA from founder and executive director Nora Kramer, and man, does she make me wish I could relive my teenage years. This is not your run-of-the-mill soggy-sandwich, papier-mâché-crafts, learn-to-swim camp. This camp is something incredibly special. Campers who attend YEA are on a mission to make effective change in one area of their choosing — factory farming, vegetarianism, the environment, gay rights, bullying, education. Talk about covering the spread! I don’t remember being half as passionate about anything more than how many inches of exposed leg I could get away with at that age.
At YEA, campers build skills to address the issues most vital to them. YEA covers four core areas of activism: knowledge, skills, confidence, and community. By the end of the weeklong stay, campers will have created an action plan to hopefully implement in the real world. YEA alumni have done some incredible things! Some campers have successfully petitioned for veg options at their schools; others started animal rights clubs, organized fundraisers for charities, created online stores for cruelty-free crafts, and gotten rid of dissection in their classrooms. It’s no wonder YEA camps are fostering the next generation of game-changers, law-makers, activists, environmentalists, and vegans. These kids are set up to succeed through confident and effective activism.
YEA camp is structured to allow every camper to tell their story and share their cause with their peers. By the end of camp, everyone has learned something new about the issues of their peers, and some even take steps to live a cruelty-free life once they leave camp. That, in addition to the vegan camp food, really makes YEA not only the perfect place for budding philanthropists, but for helping shape the future generations of our compassionate world.
A typical day of food at YEA camp looks like this:
Breakfast: French toast or pancakes, with cereal, soy milk, and fruit.
Lunch: veggie burgers, burritos, and sloppy Joes.
Dinner: pizza, pasta, vegan sushi, and a veggie tofu curry.
Dessert: brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and s’mores.
ALL VEGAN. You know I had to leave you with the goods.
These kids not only learn how to better care for the world and solve its problems, but, most importantly, they develop sense of community with their peers who are doing the same. And Nora, if you ever decide to start an adult YEA camp, sign me up!
You can find more info about YEA and their ongoing summer camps online. This year, there are sessions in Oregon, California, and Massachusetts; the California session began on Sunday, and Massachusetts’s begins August 9. If you have a young activist on your hands, check this place out, and help them become the leader they were born to be.
Jessica Schoech is the founder of The Vedge App, an up-and-coming app that will revolutionize the way we find veg food worldwide. She is a self-professed crunchy vegan mom (cloth diapers, anyone?), wife, and foodie, who finds the most joy in welcoming people of all backgrounds to the green side, especially vegan parents and children. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and at Power to the Veg! on Facebook.
Finally, the white chocolate we've all been waiting for (and it's vegan! bonus!)
Vegan white chocolate, like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, has historically (yes, HISTORICALLY) been nothing more than a magical lie. A goddamned beautiful magical LIE! And if you could get your hands on it, it tasted like overly sweet white chalk, or worse. I don’t know what’s worse than overly sweet white chalk but if you’ve eaten most vegan white chocolates, you would know. And actually, non-vegan white chocolate, for that matter. That stuff can be FUNKY, and NOT funky FRESH. It’s a hard dish to crack, but it’s finally been done, and for that we should all get down on our knees and praise Easter Bunny. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Let’s get to the candy.
It is just … it’s otherworldly. It’s sweet, but not insanely sweet, and oh so creamy, and it melts on your tongue. It is the best stuff on Earth. Order it all now before I do because not only do I want to eat it solo, I want to add it to baked goods and melt it on top of berries. It is the nectar of the gods and you NEED IT. Also, you probably need everything else Melodi makes because girlfriend is a vegan candy GODDESS. Make way for the REAL Tooth Fairy, because she has arrived and she is Good.
Vegans, come party in the Hamptons on August 9th at PCRM's Passion for Compassion!
Want to celebrate the animals with the country’s fanciest vegans this summer? Of course you (and your money) do! That’s why you’re attending PCRM’s Passion for Compassion: Creating a Better Future for Animals and People even in the Hamptons on Saturday, August 9!
Get your tickets here! This year there’s a special free shuttle from NYC; it says RSVP by July 15, but there may still be a few spots available, so call/email ASAP to get on there. We are imagining it’ll be an amazing vegan party bus! YAY I ALWAYS WANTED ONE OF THOSE.
On Saturday, my fella took me to Rockaway Beach. Last year I didn’t go to any beaches, and I am determined not to waste another summer. We took the A train to the shuttle to the Beach 98th Street station, which has a stained-glass sign that reminds you of a time when this country cared about not just infrastructure, but its aesthetics.
Once there, we frolicked in the (kind of dirty and weirdly smelly) water (I miss you, California); it rained a little bit in the late morning, but it cleared up by the afternoon, and we went in and out of the water and read in the sun until we were hot and sticky and starving.
We walked a little ways over to the Beach 96th Street concession stand, which is a bunch of restaurants making fast food at counters. I washed up in the (admirably clean) restroom, to emerge to my young man brandishing a Modelo Especial michelada. Thanks to Barnivore, I know Modelos are all vegan, but most micheladas I’ve encountered have come with something hideous like Worchestershire sauce, which point I immediately raised. “No,” he said, “I had them list the ingredients and it is completely vegan.” Whoever is making micheladas at Rockaway Beach this summer, bless you; it was light and spicy and so refreshing. (Ugh, Meave, get to the part about Champs. No, let me brag about my boyfriend being the most considerate, adorable omnivore partner a vegan could ask for.) “Also,” he said, “There’s a Champs inside.”
I almost dropped my drink.
There it was! Champs! The best vegan diner on the East Coast! Beloved of Vegansaurs far and wide! Check out the menu:
We ordered burgers, broccoli fritters, and salted watermelon. Pictured: my burger, because I was too hungry to bother with photographs of all the food. I try, you guys, but I am but one woman, and sometimes my appetite overpowers my picture-taking abilities. Trust, though, the fritters were tasty and the salted watermelon awakened a serious craving for more watermelon right now all the time I want it.
OK and the burger:
Would you look at that thing? It is glorious. The slaw is crisp, the pickles are sour, the sauce is spicy, the patty is of good texture, and the bun doesn’t get in the way. It is exactly what you want at the beach, and I strongly suggest you New York bathers get your butts to Rockaway right now. Look what awaits you! And word is Champs may not last the season, so hurry! We can have flawless vegan diner food on the beach! Truly, the world is our oyster mushroom.
(Note: There’s also a Champs on Bushwick Avenue at Dodworth Street in Bushwick, which is my new Sunday go-to; I can never seem to remember to capture my meals before they’re gone, but it’s all been spectacular. I had a tuno salad and a watermelon slush for dinner tonight, and my boyfriend is in love with the soysage. Review coming as soon as I can put camera to plate.)
It's Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use: Packing meat and packing heat!
Well, it’s hard to know where to begin with something as crazy as this, but here you go:
This week Ron Prestage, the president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council—and of Prestage Farms, which HSUS exposed with an undercover investigation—allegedly tried to get inside the US Capitol building with a loaded semiautomatic gun. Who knows what he was planning on doing once inside, but fortunately police arrested him. He spent the night in jail and was arraigned the next day.
One can only speculate about what was—or wasn’t—going through his mind, but perhaps he’s not too pleased about the fact that, according to the Wall Street Journal, meat’s getting more expensive than fruits and veggies.
Or maybe he’s upset that rock legend Steven Tyler of Aerosmith this week slammed gestation crates and urged a ban on them in Massachusetts.
Or maybe he didn’t like Al Sharpton’s MSNBC segment this week with HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle and former HSUS investigator Cody Carlson about how cruel and un-transparent the meat industry is.
Guest Post: My favorite masculine vegan has a pussy
As of late, conversations about masculinity and meat eating have re-emerged, partially in response to John Joseph’s book, Meat Is for Pussies, and also from a segment on NPR about masculinity and veganism. But this conversation has left a lot to be desired from many vegans, especially feminists.
It’s great to see traditional assumptions about masculinity challenged by veganism, but we can do better. I date a butch lesbian vegan who is training for a marathon, lifts weights, is masculine, and has a pussy. Below are five of the most frustrating aspects of the conversation.
1. Hardcore veganism is feminist The idea that there is a real man or that one type of man is a “pussy”* and another is more masculine is a) homophobic and b) misogynist. There is nothing hardcore about reclaiming traditional patriarchal language and behavior in the name of an ethical movement. And remember: If you aren’t sure how to do better please ask a vegan feminist. We would love to help!
2. Ethical veganism is not a diet or about controlling your body All people who are vegan eat a plant-based diet and strive to live a compassionate life towards human and non-human animals alike. This extends to varying degrees into all consumer products, as well as different practices one supports. There’s plenty of debate about how veganism extends beyond the plate.
One thing that is not up for debate, however, is that ethical veganism is not about restricting food as a diet or about controlling your body. With the emphasis on proving vegan diets can also provide for the nutritional needs of those who run ultra marathons and body-build, the conversation seems to have become confused. As the NPR segment argues, men are generally the face of this misconception.
3. Veganism doesn’t need to be saved from feminity A lot of this conversation about masculinity and veganism is people reacting to being bullied for being too feminine or behaving like a girl (or a “pussy”) for being a vegan. The basic premise that this is something to tolerate or build a defense against is offensive in its own right.
Eating plants is not an inherently feminine behavior, nor is eating meat an inherently masculine behavior. Anything that encourages either side of this argument is essentialist and tired. This is not to say that being treated as an outcast or ostracized for making an ethical choice many people consider weird is not difficult, just that it’s part of the patriarchy, man. Making ethical vegan choices is something to be proud of for no reason other than the inherent virtue of making the right ethical decision, which has nothing to do with your gender.
4. Veganism shouldn’t need a mainstream male stamp of approval to be taken seriously If you’re going to get media attention for being male and vegan, please say something feminist and mention some of the inspiring feminist vegans who you know and love!
5. Where are my male feminist allies? It’s very annoying to see instances of misogynistic language promoting veganism get the seal of approval by prominent male vegans. Those in the position to hold the microphone with the most amplification have a responsibility to say something and push our movement to be less homophobic, and more feminist. And if you aren’t sure how, please pass that microphone on to a #feministvegan who does.
*Similar to queer, the word pussy has been reclaimed by some feminists, probably most notably the feminist Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Read more about that here.
Jamie J. Hagen is a Boston-based writer who writes about feminism, feminist security studies, and LGBTQ politics for such publications as Rolling Stone, Autostraddle and RH Reality Check. She tweets @jamiejhagen and you can visit jamiejhagen.com for more of her work.
You guys! I’m writing about delicious tofu for Nasoya and I’m really enjoying it so far and I want to share the posts because TOFU YUM. Get into it:
I used to be ambivalent, at best, about tofu. I simply saw it as a white, square block of jiggly goo that tasted like nothing. Even after being vegetarian for quite some time, I pretty much avoided (what I thought was) the flavorless block like the plague. However, one dish changed that all.
My friend Hannah loves tofu. She loves it so much. Honestly, I was kinda freaked out by her love for something I considered so “meh”. Well, with one simple, easily remixable kinda-recipe, she showed me the tofu lovin’ light. Hang onto your hats, because you’re about to become a tofu convert.
This isn’t so much a recipe as it is an idea. Feel free to play with the spices, but the premise is oh so easy. You just press your extra firm tofu to get all the excess water out, cut it into cubes, and then cover it in a mixture of soy sauce, nutritional yeast, potato starch, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix it up and create a scrumptious sludge to coat your tofu with Then, you put some coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat and fry those suckers up. What’s next is totally up to you! You can toss the tasty cubes in pasta, throw ‘em on nachos, top a salad, or just snack until you’re full. Which, with all the delicious protein in tofu, won’t take long.
After becoming a convert to tofu and its delicious ways, I became insatiable. I mixed it into puddings, baked it with a cornmeal topping, and fried it up with sauces and spices. What I learned is that tofu is a gorgeous blank palette. It soaks up all the goodness and turns out dishes that are not only tasty, but oh so good for you. I’m now proudly Team Tofu all the way!
Is there anything better than vegan chicken & waffles? (Photo courtesy Crossroads)
Tal Ronnen strikes again, and this time he means BRUNCHNESS. Starting this weekend, you can go to Crossroads in Los Angeles on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and indulge in both savory and sweet dishes (guaranteed not to disappoint). Some menu items include Chicken & Waffles (drool on photo above), French Toast (gluten-free options available), Crossroads Benedict, two types of frittatas, and much more. Also, for you boozy brunchers, there will be a “tableside bloody mary cart.” (Can you roll me out of there on said cart when I’m done chowing down?)
Click here for the full menu, and to make your reservation!
Stop the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium from becoming a death trap for birds!
The Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium could kill thousands of birds each year.
Despite state guidelines requiring bond-funded buildings to protect birds from window collisions, the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority rejected calls last week from Audubon and other groups urging them use safer types of glass.
For less than 0.1% of the entire billion-dollar cost of the facility, the Vikings could incorporate bird-safe glass, which could help prevent birds from fatally colliding with the stadium’s huge glass windows.
And, we know that it will work. The Javits Center, once New York City’s biggest bird killing structure, updated its glass to a bird-safe variety and reduced bird collisions to almost zero.
According to scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian Institution, up to 988 million birds are killed annually in the United States by collisions with buildings, especially glass windows. The new Vikings stadium will feature nearly 200,000 square feet of glass.
If we have a solution that we know will prevent bird deaths, why not act on it?
Animal News You Can Use: The meat industry can't stop whining
The meat industry’s leadership seems to be in a panic over how prevalent the term “factory farming” is these days. My coworker Matt Prescott takes them to task in a new Washington Post commentary, explaining that meat production is in fact far more factory than farm, and that it was the industry itself which helped coined the language used to describe these inhumane places.
They’re also complaining about California’s historic and humane law banning foie gras, even calling for the Supreme Court to nullify that law. One of them got into the ring with me this week on NPR’s Los Angeles affiliate to debate the issue. You can listen to our debate here, and read more about it in the LA Times.
What else do they complain about? The fact that some countries are concerned about American chicken products being soaked in chlorine. I discuss the issue in my new commentary, “Got Chlorine? Your Chicken Might.”
Finally, they love to complain about all the studies showing that eating less meat improves health. Well, the title of an article in Men’s Journal this week won’t make them happy: “Go Vegetarian, Live Longer.”
Have a wonderful weekend!
P.S. Video of the week: Think we’re the only species that likes to surf? Check out these black swans!