I know this is exciting news for nobody but me because our readers all have twee creative-class jobs like “writer” and “pop culture strategist” and work in airy Dogpatch lofts (or at home in their sweatpants and own filth), but for everyone who slogs to their depressing-ass desk job in the bizarro world that is the Financial District, PLANT CAFE IS NOW OPEN AT 101 CALIFORNIA! I reported on this previously and promised to follow up as soon as they opened, so here’s your follow-up. I owe back taxes and I’m living in piles of unpacked moving detritus, but I am bringing this information to you efficient-style, because it is clearly Very Important.
Some things to note about this location, vs. the Pier 3 location which was previously the closest to my office (though still too far to walk over, wait 45 minutes for food, and walk back in under an hour):
There’s a bit more of a focus on prepared to-go foods, which is probably the right call, since the prevailing culture down here in bizarro world is picking up your depressing processed foods wrapped in plastic and eating them alone at your desk. Except now, you can be enjoying delicious salads out of compostable plastic containers with this amazing creamy dressing (vegan! made out of macadamia nuts!), “sprouted” bagels with almond butter for breakfast, and the famous Wasabi Burger (GET IN MAH BELLY.) It looks a little more like an airport, maybe because of the to-go focus and the fridge cases, or maybe because the menu is projected on flat screens like departure times.
Yes, they do have the amazing Plant Burger on the menu at this location. I’ve only been once (this morning, for breakfast, where I ate the sprouted bagel and the salad), so I can’t comment on the lunch scene but I will definitely be back. Maybe not every day, because I’m trying to save money in 2K10 and DANG THIS PLACE IS HELLA EXPENSIVE.
But the value of good, whole, delicious foods and fresh juices in this location is priceless, so the portion of my budget that does go to prepared lunches will now be going only to this Plant Cafe.
Vegansaurus NYC: Brooklyn's Red Bamboo turns to the dark side
The major downgrade of the week goes to Brooklyn’s Red Bamboo. It was reported on Friday that the vegetarian soul restaurant will close at the end of the month and re-open as “Poppa’s Place” with a menu chock-full of meat. (I’m already gagging). David Bukszpan, the restaurant’s publicist, claims they will still be serving their most successful vegetarian dishes such as the soy Cubano sandwich and soul “chicken,” and blames the “skyrocketing” price of soy for the change. Chef Brian Ahearn, called a “fake-meat sorcerer” is reportedly staying with the restaurant through the transition.
Although it’s not the best vegetarian restaurant in New York, I’ve taken a many carnivores to this place and the vegan tacos alone helped change their meat-loving ways. Apparently, Red Bamboo will also be having a New Year’s Eve/goodbye vegetarian bash on December 31, so stay tuned.
The comment section of my vegan hightop review has become a lot of talk about Philly and of course, Philly vegan cheesesteaks. Then tonight! I went to Waziema for a going-away party, felt awkward and decided to go outside so I could feel awkward outside. But then! I found myself standing outside Jay’s Cheesesteak on Divisadero. So I says to myself, “Self, let’s get a vegan cheesesteak!” So that’s what I did.
I didn’t really understand what the many choices of seitan meant so I got the mushroom seitan, thinking that meant it would have fried mushrooms in it. It was more like lots of slivers of shitaki-like mushrooms. I kind of hate shitaki mushrooms so it was not exactly what I wanted but I can still give you a rundown of Jay’s authenticity as a cheesesteak resource.
Survey says: pretty legit! The roll especially is on-point. Cheesesteaks come on these specific rolls but a cheesesteak from anywhere outside of Philly generally comes on some kaiser-type roll and it’s really different. This roll was exactly right! One major thing about Jay’s, all the cheesesteaks automatically come with tomato, lettuce and mustard (non-vegan has mayonnaise too), this is not normal. It’s not unheard of, it’s just that we call that a cheesesteak hoagie because those are the things you get in a hoagie. And I’ve never heard of getting mustard on a cheesesteak but I’m sure someone somewhere likes it that way.
All in all, pretty authentic, though it’s actually a cheesesteak hoagie. And that’s my word!
Ground beef of doom, domestic terrorism, emu chips, vegan cheese debates and more in this week's link-o-rama!
• Beloved, beautiful vegan fashion company Vaute Couture has two holiday events happening for you lucky Chicago-area shoppers (I fucking hate you, buy me coats). The first is tomorrow!, Saturday Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Shops at North Bridge; the second is Thursday, Dec. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Colori Eco-Paint Boutique, at 2243 W. North Ave. This one is a fancy event with complimentary (vegan, duh) refreshments, and other labels like Mountains of the Moon, Frei Designs, and Mohop Shoes. If Vegansaurus were in Chicago I would totally be your date. • What in the what? Mission Street Food’s last event of the year is Thursday, Dec. 17 and it’s all-vegetarian, most likely vegan! Thanks in advance, MSF!! • Mission Mission calls our attention to the overflow of chihuahuas at Bay Area shelters. • The federal government indicts Scott DeMuth for conspiracy to commit “animal enterprise terrorism”; apparently, because he is an anarchist, he is a domestic terrorist. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! • Certain Vegansaurs love Bones because of its super-vegan star, Emily Deschanel. Last night’s episode had double the vegan power with Emily’s sister Zooey: watch it on Hulu now now now before it expires! • Hey guys, before you get too angry about it, those kangaroo-and-emu-flavo(u)red Smiths Crisps will contain “neither emu nor kangaroo”; actually, they’re vegetarian. What you are shoving into your mouth six at a time is Australian dignity, not animal flavoring. Cool? • Vegansaurus loves Wildcare! And not just because sometimes one of us housesits for a Wildcare volunteer, who has had such adorable creatures as baby skunks AND baby squirrels in her safekeeping and OMFG you haven’t lived until you’ve seen baby skunks up close. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t, so please compost and keep them out of your trash bins, OK? • Cha-Ya’s new place in the Sunset is already going out of business! What happened, you guys? • Beef Packers Inc., which is owned by Cargill Inc. (a.k.a. The Devil) had to recall nearly 23,000 pounds of ground beef last week because it was contaminated “with a drug-resistant strain of salmonella,” called salmonella Newport. The company’s last recall was of over 825,000 pounds of ground beef in August of this year, which was contaminated with the same bacteria strain. Hamburgers are the best!!! • A woman from Minnesota is suing Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. for selling ground beef tainted with E. coli, which gave her hemolytic uremic syndrome; that caused kidney failure, which gave her seizures that led to her being put into a medically induced coma for three months. According to the New York Times, the beef from her single hamburger came from four plants in two countries. BEEF, IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER!!!!! • An all-too-brief report on the Frank Bruni and JSF discussion at the Manhattan Jewish Community Center makes it sound like a pretty good time. Did any of you in New York go? • Something we should all avoid, avoid, avoid: the Sprinklesmobile, which is coming to town on Monday! Why should we avoid it? Because they make zero vegan cupcakes, obvs. • Salon has an irritatingly glossy, irony-heavy, pro-colonialist “history” of Vietnamese coffee; however, it does include a recipe so you can make your own at home. Considering how similar MimicCreme is to sweetened condensed milk, I am thinking this would be a snap to veganize. • So there’s actually no such thing as local Bay Area fish, eh? What say you, locavores? And you, pescatarians? • This week’s commenting storm is happening around Jordan’s Dr. Cow post. Vegans have opinions about cheese substitutes!
In honor of my superfantastic new purple hightops from Keep (a Vegansaurus favorite), a vegan hightop round up! Yay! If you are looking for sneakers to “exercise” with, this is not for you. These are fashion sneaks all the way! And I guess I should warn you, for some reason, I seem to prefer my hightops in wackyass colors. I don’t know, they’re hightops! They’re already wacky! Might as well go all the way. To ease you into the hotness, I’m going to start off slow and work my way up to the, shall we say, louder sneaks.
These are my beautiful new hightops, the Elias from Keep. If you are questioning their dopeness, some teenagers walked by me on the street and proclaimed, “damn, her kicks is killin’ it.” OMG they are teenager approved! That’s all the proof I need. Also note, they got these for boys and girls alike. These are $85.
Next up, on the conservative-yet-awesome side of this list, Mahtva from adidas by Stella McCartney. Looking good, ma, looking good. They are $150.
Here we have the “honest to blog” hightops from Modcloth. Ignore the title and the shoes are pretty cool. These are $42.99.
These bad boys are the hooligan sneaker from Alloy for $49.90. They’ve got a nice mixture of sleek and goofy, am I right? I’m always right!
Ok let’s throw in some color! That means colour for you British folk. These checkered Rocket Dog hightops from streetmoda.com are a lean $19.99.
Ok, ok, let’s get crazy! Diesel has got these super-nutty sequin hightops for $140.90 (again with the 90 cents?) at whatapair.com.
I will not back down! Here are some rose-and-skull hightops for $47.50 from babygirlboutique.com. They are all into the pinup fashions and I guess these are their answer to casual pinup wear. I say, kudos! Imagine these with some dark blue jeans. Superfantastic.
To end things on a crazy note, HOT TOPIC HAS VEGAN SHOES! Yes, the Hot Topic you know and love from your teenage days at the mall. These are kind of fugly…but I think they go far enough to where they’re kind of great! Come on, don’t be scared! You can do it!
If you want a little tip on wearing crazy sneakers—and Philly girls know about crazy sneakers—my thing is to wear them with skinny jeans and a simple top. Like a white t-shirt or just a simple navy sweater (navy is my bff).
156th Anniversary of New York Vegetarian Festival: Apparently It Was Unimpressive
So something that is absolutely wonderful, if you are a dork like me, is old newspapers. Who WOULDN’T want to read ads for bustles and “horse rub” and grisly bits about people getting killed with clubs, and what the fine was?*
Seriously, it’s kind of a beautiful thing to discover that wit and sarcasm, as we know them, were alive and sneering in the 1800’s. And this review—of a 1853 New York “Vegetarian Festival,” only one year after there was even a Vegetarian Society—makes the hairs on my neck stand on end, such is the proto-snark.
"The assemblage—the company is perhaps the better term, although as everything was odd, there is no good reason why the appellations should not be made uniform…"
Dude(tte)s, this article is LONG. Still, come! Read! It may infuriate you, especially things like “strong-minded women helped weak-limbed men to manage heavy tureens of soup,” but it is uniformly hilarious and roundly fascinating. “Vegetarian” meant vegan back then, as far as I can tell. Hey, they were even making coconut custard!
AND they kept the bantery bits where meat-eaters started heckling and cat-calling. And? It’s a scanned image of the old newspaper itself. Only thing is, you have to download a PDF. But what else are you doing at work, anyway?
Hie thee hence! And rejoice at how far our fare has come since then.
Today's easy, five-second activism for factory-farmed pigs
I’m pissed off. Earlier this week, I contracted swine flu (yes, H1N1) which really sucks and you don’t want it, not even a little for recreational purposes. I had been dwelling on how I went vegan to get away from this kind of shit, and it finally dawned on me when Maria sent along word of Farm Sanctuary’s No Downers Campaign.
Dragged, beaten, pushed with forklifts and shocked with electric prods — these are the routine methods used by workers to get pigs and other farm animals too sick, injured or weak to walk on their own onto slaughterhouse kill floors, and the reason Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, is petitioning President Barak Obama to put an end to this abuse by issuing regulations to prevent these animals—called “downers”—from entering the food supply.
Swine flu is the pigs’ revenge. And like any biblical revenge scenario, retribution is arbitrary, capricious, and swift. Bacon is so ironic and awesome right now that even vegan bacon flavoring is muddying the waters as the Pig God fails to properly distinguish friend from foe.
Factory farms still suck, people, and they’re not going away. They beat the shit out of pigs, electrocute them and are constantly coming up with new and inventive means of torture. They crowd pigs together in brutal, filthy conditions until disease spreads and jumps over to humans and even cats. And if my cat gets swine flu, then we will meet in the Octagon, factory farmers, and I will end you. It’s fucking ON.
In the meantime, call it Stockholm Syndrome if you want, but I’m siding with the pigs. This is their revenge, and I can’t blame them for one second. So sign Farm Sanctuary’s petition to end the abuse of pigs. Then send it around to everyone you know and make them sign it. Their goal is 20,000 signatures to remind President Obama of his campaign pledge to give a shit about animal cruelty.
If you haven’t checked out Cook Food, but consider microwaving dinner in a plastic container “cooking,” then you need to read it. This easy guide makes preparing tasty, wholesome meals simple and accessible.
Forget the iPhone, iCal, iWhatever fancy technology you use to keep track of your
wasted days and increasingly depressing age. There’s a quiet greatness in the art of the wall calendar, and Men and Cats nails it.
This calendar is the perfect holiday treat for my hetero days in 2010. What’s better than adorable men posing with their adorable, sassy cats? Nothing. Except maybe if they were also eating sandwiches, but that’s just because I have a thing for everyone’s* favorite food. (If you want to woo me, it’s called Ike’s Place, and I’ll take a Womanizer, in bed—which is my favorite place to eat. That is not a veiled sexual reference in any way.) The sheer disinterest of March gets me, but April is too effing much to handle.
Any person who loves cats is a catch, making these men dreamy in that I’ve-never-talked-to-you-so-you-can’t-ruin-this-fantasy way. Don’t get me wrong—dogs are cute as hell, and I can’t wait to adopt one (my biological dog clock is out of control), but cats require a special patience. They don’t necessarily give two shits what you do, but can also be the most loving creatures ever. Sound like your love life? No? Just me? Whatever, jerks. Point being, any man who’s willing to deal with the moodiness and selfishness of a feline (read: me) and still show unconditional love has major appeal.** Hey, Men with your Cats, I’m in like with you.
Buy yours here, and support PUPP, which is a rad nonprofit that provides in-home care to animals whose guardians need assistance. People get to chill with their four-legged lovelies, and the adorable little beasts stay out of shelters.
*Everyone = Joey Tribbiani = very telling, dated pop culture reference. **This is bullshit, I’m DELIGHTFUL.
Thanks to Abby of It’sFaturday for another hilarious post. We love her and encourage one of you assholes to buy her this calendar. DO IT.
Vegan Chile Rellenos. That’s right, I said VEGAN CHILE RELLENOS.
I am talking, of course, about the new book from Terry Romero (co-author of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and the Veganomicon and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar), Viva Vegan! Turns out it’s now available for pre-order
(and it’s cheap! Under $13! Recession-friendly!)!
I have it on good authority that the recipes are the bomb-diggity-ass-shizz and are going to revolutionize kitchens across the world. Being Canadian, I can’t cook Latin-style food for beans (har!), but I sure can eat it! I can’t think of a better person than Terry to help the masses break free from the bondage of taquerias and crappy boxed taco kits, so pre-order away, and free yourselves!
The only down side is that the book won’t be actually released until Apr. 27, 2010; in the meantime, keep your eye on Terry’s new website and hope for sample recipes!
As I was trudging to my morning ritual of soy-latte-and-seasame-bagel-with-tofu-cream-cheese at Think Coffee, I was splashed on by an oncoming car speeding through a puddle. We’re talking big puddle. Pond, even. Never mind the fact that I was already soaked due to this incredible downpour we have goin’ on in the Village on this not-so-fine morning :( After yelling (a bunch of obscenities) after the culprit, I took stock of my appearance. My feet were surprisingly dry, thanks to a recent purchase at Mooshoes.
For the conscientious vegan, here’s a rain boot roundup!
Ah, the fateful boots that saved me from being drenched by some (asshole) driver. These 100% waterproof boots are lined with a faux-fleece-type material, adding some extra warmth on those oh-so-cold winter days. I bought my Elite Yellows in-store at MooShoes, but they are available for online purchase as well in yellow, cherry, and black.
This pair of Jennifer boots, also available at MooShoes, is designed in Canada to be super-warm (hence the company name “ToeWarmer”). They also are 100 percent waterproof, with the added be
nefit of having a super-comfy and warm lining.
If you live near a Marc Jacobs store, you might be able to score a pair of $28 black rainboots with either pink, green, yellow, blue, or orange detailing.
The classic Hunter boot is free of animal products (read: completely made out of rubber). If you’re smart, you can order them on Amazon for half the price as Hunter’s online store.
In a related note, if you’ve been dying to get a pair of Uggs (read: for their warmth, not for their ugliness), you may be in luck. There’s a pair of faux-fleece warm fuzzies on Amazon. Be forewarned, they are not at all waterproof. BUT they make for perfect in-house slippers on those freezing cold winter days.
Okay, first of all, you’re probably thinking, “why the HELL are you reviewing a FROZEN yogurt place in December? Haven’t you been outside lately? I’m already frozen enough.” But some of us are crazy. For some of us, a frozen treat on a freezing night is homeopathic, fighting the cold by embracing the cold. Or maybe it’s that a smooth dessert with infinite toppings is always nice no matter what the season.
What I do know is that walking into Fraîche is like walking into a hug. The heat is blasting (and I mean seriously blasting, they must crank it up to 80), the doors stay shut, and the counter people are immediately friendly. And it’s not just me. On weekends, this place is PACKED, even on the coldest winter night you can imagine. It’s like an oasis of summer, where for just a few moments, you can discard your winter coats and mingle with/silently scorn the Blairs and Serenas of Pacific Heights.
When I set out to review Fraîche, I hadn’t read our previous review of the Palo Alto location. Either the power of Vegansaurus swayed the owners to shape up, or the San Francisco location is run by completely different and far superior people. Because the situation for vegans is vastly improved.
Let’s get some basics out of the way. Yes, the soy frozen yogurt is vegan. Yes, there are vegan toppings. Yes, the staff knows which are which. Yes, the granola contains honey. Yes, the shaved chocolate, pictured here, is vegan. Unlike our Palo Alto experience, if you ask if something is vegan, they will answer confidently or find out.
If you already like frozen yogurt or remember it from the last froyo craze in the ’80s, go here. Everything you remember about it is still good, and this time it’s vegan. And don’t miss the Wall of Health Claims, a laminated poster devoted to various unlikely facts about frozen yogurt, including my favorite about how you’ll lose weight if you eat it every day. You can basically ignore everything the Wall of Health Claims has to say. I’m sure a tiny cup of frozen yogurt topped with fruit is better for you than eating a pallet of Twinkies until you collapse into a diabetic haze, but when you get down to it, you’re really just eating soft serve ice cream with a probiotic twist. There’s nothing magical about it. If you like the idea of soft serve with delicious toppings, Fraîche will scratch that itch. But you probably won’t lose weight. Also who cares, it’s dessert!
Frâiche is open until 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends, which makes them my new best friend. Find them at 1910 Fillmore St. in SF. In addition to the Palo Alto location, they’re also right on the Stanford University campus.
It’s cold as a witch’s tit here in the Bay Area these days. So cold, in fact, that this
hardened Canadian is wearing leg warmers OVER HER PANTS. That’s right; it’s chilly. I know it can be hard to drag one’s ass out of bed in the morning when it’s still dark and all you have to look forward to is a cold and maybe rainy slog to work (or whatever you do with your time), so I thought I’d share a little recipe that’s been making my mornings just a little more awesome. It’s called baked oatmeal, and you are WELCOME, friends.
In addition to being Canadian, I’m also a Scot, so I know from oatmeal, and this is the best I’ve ever had. PLUS, it’s dirt-ass cheap, and it’s quick, so you can throw it in your oven while you’re showering, and it’ll be just about done by the time you’re ready to eat it!
1/3 cup dried fruit (I like chopped dried apricots, but you could use anything—you could even use fresh or frozen fruit, just reduce the amount of liquid a little bit)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinches as desired of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and allspice
2 Tbsp brown sugar (you could also sub maple syrup or agave)
1 cup soy/almond/rice/hazelnut/whateverkindofveganmilkyoulike
2/3 to 3/4 cups juice or water (I used a bit of OJ mixed with some water, but apple would probably be a good bet)
You can also add some shredded coconut or ground flax if you feel like it.
Pour that mixture into a casserole dish and bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes. If you have some nuts handy, throw them in a baking dish and put them in the oven for the last 5 minutes of the oatmeal’s cooking time.
After the oatmeal is baked, pull it out of the oven and serve right away. Top with more non-dairy milk, sweetener, the nuts you roasted (chop ‘em first) or whatever your little heart desires! Personally, I like this with a bit of that coconutmilk creamer and about 80 cups of coffee. Enjoy!
Ladies and gentlemen, Portland vegan grocery Food Fight is offering a special online coupon: XXXMAS09 Enter that code at checkout through December 25th (Jesus’ Bday!) and you’ll receive 5 percent off your order of $30 or more.
I have a special place in my heart for Food Fight. I ordered a ton of shit from there when I was just a fledgling vegan. Yes, I had them ship stuff all the way to Philadelphia. I didn’t know what else to eat! That’s why I liked Food Fight; I didn’t have to do any “reading” or “thinking” about whether or not what I was buying was vegan because everything they sell is vegan. And they were so super-nice in their order correspondence!
The first time I went to Babycakes a couple years ago, I was all “EW HEALTH FOOD CUPCAKE DEVIL.” Recently, though, I cut back on sugar and wheat, and one or both of these things has happened: my palate is more sensitive, OR Babycakes has gotten WAY WAY better.
Seriously, though, Babycakes is not for the junky-junk food lovers; it’s more for those (enviably restrained) people who claim they “actually don’t really like sweets” and the rest of us who would rather have some sugar with our cupcakes than some cupcakes with our sugar.
THAT SAID, Babycakes’s holiday menu is up on their blog for all to drool over. It includes things like candy cane cake, apple crumb cake, and frosted pumpkin loaves. AND I went today and they have cookie sandwiches strewn about the display cases. They are TOPS. Eat them with me now.
I’m going to try and say this nicely, because I know some of the Vegansaurs may fall into this camp, but people who don’t like Dr. Cow vegan nut cheeses are batshit crazy! Yeah, it’s been around for a while, but having read some of the disparaging comments some of the more senior Vegansaurs have written, I felt like someone needed to step in and give a Fair and Balanced (TM) account of the vegan world’s most expensive cheese.
Dr. Cow is a small, Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based company that got its start making, of all things, granola. According to their website, these crazy fools came had some kind of epiphany about eating whole, living, vegan foods, and so, bless their hearts, they began experimenting with vegan-cheese-making. Unlike a lot of other vegan cheeses, which tend to be made by some combination of any of throwing a bunch of stuff in an industrial-sized blender, cooking, and cooling, Dr. Cow uses probiotic bacteria in their process and also ages their cheeses. The results are little lumps of vaguely funky (in a good way!) joy.
Here in the Bay Area, we have four types of Dr. Cow available (from Rainbow Grocery): Aged Cashew, Aged Cashew and Hemp, Aged Cashew with Blue Green Algae, and Aged Macadamia (prices range from $6.99 to $12.49 per lump). Now, these are different than the wheels of Cheesly or Scheese or the blocks of Follow Your Heart—Dr. Cow cheeses are SMALL. They’re, uh, urinal-puck-sized (gross visual, I know, but it’s the only thing I can think of that size!), and they’re hard and dense. You don’t want to make grilled cheese with these babies - savour them on crackers or on a fancy-ass salad.
After having tried three of the available varieties, I finally took the plunge and bought a package of the Aged Cashew and Blue Green Algae cheese this week. I am a massive seaweed-hater, so I was worried that the algae might make the whole thing taste like kelp, but my fears were unfounded! Apparently, it enhanced my immune system and increased my energy, stamina, attention, focus, and mental clarity, and all without that fishy, slimy taste, so…score! In addition, this variety is REALLY blue-green colored (way more than in this photo), which I thought was neat. Like all Dr. Cow, this stuff had a stronger, more complicated flavor than other vegan cheeses I’ve had, and while I don’t generally like vegan cheese on its own, this stuff I could eat a whole lump by myself with no accompaniment whatsoever.
Yeah, it’s expensive, and I know as well as anyone how tight things are for many people right now, but next time you find a mystery $20 in your pocket or win the lottery, I highly recommend hightailing it over to Rainbow and grabbing yourself a little piece of vegan-cheese-lover’s heaven!
Not in the Bay Area? Never fear, you can see what all the fuss is about for yourself. Check out where you can buy Dr. Cow on their website.
About 10 minutes into The Future of Food I decided I would never eat food ever again. Never. Ever. Seriously, starving to death actually seemed like a better idea! At least if I starved, I wouldn’t grow a third arm or leg or ass cheek as a result of eating pesticide-covered food!
All right, so I’ve been vegan for right at a year now. Seriously, best decision I’ve ever made. Being a movie obsessive, I watched The Future of Food on Hulu* because, well, it was about food, and I’m fascinated by food and our food policies. I also heard that The Future of Food mines a lot of the same material as the more recently released Food, Inc., but without the head-scratchingly ridiculous hypocrisy inherent in the latter movie’s stance on animals. Sorry dude, ripping on the food industry’s treatment of cows and chickens only to lionize a farmer who “ethically” slits open a chicken’s throat onscreen doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot sense to me. Wisely, The Future of Food sticks to vegetable production.
Director Mrs. Jerry Garcia (no, really, she’s Garcia’s widow) spends the bulk of the movie shedding light on the use of pesticides in crop production; seed patenting and the resulting lawsuits; the disturbing, God-like science behind GMO foods; the need for labeling GMO foods; the messed up U.S. policy and regulation surrounding GMO foods and resulting global fall out from those policies; the plight of American farmers; and the food industry’s dominance of allegedly independent academic research.
Whew. Solid. No doubt. I’m guessing many of you are equally concered with some if not all of the issues raised in this movie.
The problem is that—aside from the fact that Garcia presents everything with all the subtlety of an 1880s fire-and-brimstone preacher delivering his sermon to the choir—The Future of Food's breadth was also its undoing for me. Watching this movie is kinda like going to a protest action. It's always the same thing—a wide coalition of progressives who, no doubt with their hearts in the right place, can't seem to focus. Legalize marijuana. Ecological policy reform. Free Mumia Abu-Jubal and Leonard Peltier. Down with capitalism. In theory, I agree with each of these concepts, but, dude, I thought I was attending an antiwar protest. It may seem harmless, and we should of course laud diversity and inclusiveness of opinions. But the problem is that any single message is diluted under the weight of all of them. In the aggregate, the messages become a lot of static in the background of the life of the average person and easy for the haters to marginalize the message: “Just those crazy progressives at it again.”
Focus, people! I can just hear my high school English teacher telling me to pick a theme and go with it. It takes Garcia about 80 of the movie’s 88 minutes to come upon what I think is her message: we should all eat organic food grown and raised locally. While I don’t really understand how this message is a solution to some of the concerns she lays out, particularly the issue of Monsanto patenting all of the available seeds, hey, it’s hard to disagree with her—if, in fact, organic farms are commercially viable and sustainable, a fact presented as a given in this film. Of course, I’m still too scared to eat anything ever again, so none of this particularly matters.
And dammit, don’t get me started on the treacly final line of this movie. “It’s up to you”? What? Shut the hell up, hippie lady. Pssst… the next generation is fairly jaded when it comes to overblown melodrama like this. How is it that you’ve made me, someone who ostensibly agrees with your entire message, hate your movie with one line? Ugh. Seriously, I can’t be the only one who winces at schmaltz like this, right?
Oh well. I know it’s not what Garcia was going for, but I’m still waiting for someone with a sense of humor to make the truly great pro-vegan documentary. Is I’m Vegan going to cut it, or do we need more firepower? What’s next on your plate, Michael Moore? Hey Jonathan Safran Foer, you busy? Wanna go to film school?
*I loved that my viewing of this film was brought to me with limited commercial interruption by Dole.
Zach Cincotta is a vegan movie obsessive who, along with his vegan brother, discusses his thoughts on every movie he watches at Le Souvenir d’un avenir. When he’s not slowly burning out his projector bulb, Zach is an entertainment and business attorney representing awesome bands, record labels and other small businesses. You can contact him here, and follow him on Twitter here.
Megan Rascal’s Super-Fast, Super-Easy Lentils and Couscous
Here ye, here ye! A delicious meal you can make in under 20 minutes! Under 10 if you practice. Yes! It is true! I eat this about once a week and I love it. You will too.
First I want to give mad props to couscous—I love you, man! I know people aren’t supposed to say stuff like this but I’m an excellent cook. I just am. Deal with it. But something is wrong with me! I am incapable of cooking rice. It’s actually pretty impressive, I fuck it up without fail. Not only do I consistently burn the rice on the bottom of the pan, it always boils over and gets weird rice goo all over the stove.
Like I said, impressive. But guess what? I do not care anymore! Why? Because couscous is here to save the day! That shit cooks in FIVE MINUTES. Even whole-grain couscous! Screw brown rice with its 40-minute simmer time! Whole-grain couscous is high in fiber and still takes just five minutes to cook (you know, after you boil the water).
2 cans beans (whatever kind you like, I use kidney ‘cause that’s my fav)
Garlic and/or onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil your water and cook the couscous as described on the box. It’s easy.
Now, chop the garlic (and/or onion) and sauté it in a pan over medium heat with a splash of olive oil. After the garlic has cooked a little, add the can of lentil soup. Let some of the liquid simmer off a bit. Then rinse your beans and add them to the mixture. Add some pepper and let it simmer for a bit. After a few minutes, add some salt and ta da! It’s done! Like I said: super-fast, super-easy! Just like me! Yay! Enjoy.
That, my friends, is it! There are other things you can add, it’s basically whatever you happen to have in your kitchen. Fresh basil is always a good idea. Try adding corn—trust me, it’s good. Zucchini and tomatoes are also pretty good! But it’s damn good with the few ingredients I listed above.
FUCK WOOL! No seriously, fuck wool. Winter means keeping warm and dry, and wool means people doing unnatural things to sheep. I’m looking at you, Australia. Lucky for you (and the sheep) I’ve done your homework for you. Every coat or winter jacket here is free of wool and secret leather, and stylish as hell. (BTW DESIGNERS! Enough with the secret leather already! Just because you love your logo doesn’t mean we need it embossed on a leather zipper pull tab! Sheesh!)
As usual I’m keeping it local to San Francisco whenever I can, and if I’ve noted that you can buy something at a local store, it means I went down there and personally tried it on to make sure it was warm enough for winter. All because I love you, man. So let’s get this party started, shall we?
John Robblee from Alley Collection is a new upstart designer in San Francisco, pictured here modeling his own Jeffrey coat. This heavy coat with interesting details is made with canvas and denim, and should satisfy the vegan peacoat craving in all of us. Robblee is an ex-firefighter so his designs tend to favor bigger and taller men. Get it from Rolo at 2351 Market St. in the Castro and feel all special and elite because it’s not sold online. OH AND CHECK THIS OUT! A portion of the proceeds from Alley Collection are donated to Rocket Dog Rescue! Fookin’ aye!
The Montana Jacket comes from Loomstate, a New York company focused on socially and environmentally responsible methods of production. The Montana Jacket is made from nylon and organic cotton, lined with heavy twill. And it comes with elbow patches. Elbow patches! Perfect for extreme sports or lookin’ for love at the library. No one in SF carries their jackets so get it on sale directly from Loomstate.
Trench coats? Hell yes! This one comes from Nice Collective, a San Francisco-based designer brand. They’re local as hell and keeping it interesting for the men season after season. The interior vest is built into the coat, with a belt for easy dark alley flashing. Buy it at Azalea at 411 Hayes St. at Gough Street in Hayes Valley or elsewhere online.
Next up, we have the San Diego Jacket from Wellensteyn. The outside of this military inspired jacket is shiny black polyester with a seriously warm zip-up hoodie interior. Wellensteyn is from Hamburg, Germany, another city like San Francisco that gets soaked in fog and rain, so expect to stay warm and dry all winter. I can’t figure out why it’s named after San Diego, but get it anyway, either direct or at Rolo on Market in SF.
Nau is another one of those sustainable eco fashion clothing companies, and I’ll tell you what, these guys and gals are the real deal. They’re even based in Portland, Ore., where greenwashing gets you pelted to death with fixies. Their Shroud of Purrin Hoody is fully water and wind resistant, with a warm, fleecy interior made from recycled polyester. The whole jacket is even recyclable once it reaches the end of its life. But this is the kind of all-weather jacket you’ll buy once and wear forever. It also comes in grey and black if rocking the acid yellow isn’t your thing. Buy direct from Nau or locally in SF from, where else? Rolo on Market, bitches.
And finally, we’ll end with the high end: Jil Sander’s Nottingham Show Jacket. At £1,209 (somewhere around $2,500) this ultra-fance black overcoat is made of cotton and various synthetic fibers, is fully lined with luxurious cupro, and is totally fucking posh. If it doesn’t keep you warm enough, throw a tantrum on the steps of the opera and burn a pile of Benjamins. PS to Jil Sander: I’m going to need one for a more thorough review, so send it along, c/o Vegansaurus. Vegansaurus cannot guarantee return of items submitted for review. kthx
Vegansaurus NYC: 'Bovine Portraits' art opening with Farm Sanctuary!
Edie Nadelhaft's Bovine Portraits in Hexadecimal Hue, a collection of oil paintings of our grass-loving friends, is in town (New York, that is—sorry SF readers!) December 16 through 20.
KUMUKUMU on the Lower East Side is hosting the show. Best part: reception on Thursday, Dec. 17! That means booze and a silent auction of a few signed prints of two darling Sanctuary residents, with 30 percent of proceeds going to Farm Sanctuary.
So get your RSVP on and email Edie by Monday, Dec. 14 with “bovine friends” and the number of attendees in the subject line. See art, support Farm Sanctuary, IT IS THAT SIMPLE.
East Bay vegan drinks, Keep's sample sale, foie gras vs. puppies, 'anus-grade pork,' SF vegan bakesale and more in this week's link-o-rama!
Tonight, Friday Dec. 4 at 7 in Palo Alto: A screening of Food, Inc. at World Centric, 2121 Staunton Ct. Following the film is a speaker, Stanford student and eco-documentary filmmaker Matt Harnack, who will also show his own 20-minute film, Fossil Fuel Free Film. This event is free, though donations are requested to cover the cost of film and speakers. Seating capacity is about 70 people; arrive early to ensure that you will get a seat. Please feel free to bring food/drinks to share and a cushion as there are a few metal chairs.
Tomorrow, Saturday Dec. 5: the SF Vegan Bakesale, take three! Get over to Ike’s (3506 16th St. at Sanchez Street) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. with a lot of cash, there’ll be tons and tons of baked goods, AND bunnies! BUNNIES.
Hey LA vegans: Keep is having a sample sale this weekend! From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday Dec. 4 and 5 at Keep headquarters, 418a Bamboo Lane in Los Angeles. Up to 60 percent off select styles, I AM SO JEALOUS, Keep makes amazing shoes.
A ramen truck in Hayes Valley? Opening this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., on the corner of Laguna and Hayes Streets? That appears to offer a vegan option (unconfirmed at press time)? Get out of my dreams and into my mouth. That joke is not funny, but I remain entirely serious.
Sunday, Dec. 6 at the Fort Mason Center, Building C: an Animal People Party, consisting of a white elephant sale and vegan potluck, to benefit Animal Switchboard! Not a lot of details here, except that it runs from 1 to 4 p.m. in room 260. Probably contacting Animal Switchboard would be the best way to get further information.
Miss Vegan Drinks? Of course you do! Thank goodness for the East Bay, who’ve been doing their thing on Tuesdays and want to see you at their next meeting! Mix and mingle on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kona Club, at 4401 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley Avenue in Oakland! Details here.
Win a pound of Allison’s Gourmet vegan fudge! Enter before midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 8, on VegWeb (run by Vegansaurus’ Laura!)
According to Salon, the Humane Society of the United States has to make a choice: either it works to shut down foie gras farms, or it protects puppies from abuse. Can’t do both!
So tell us, Mr. Henry, “why can’t people live in harmony with animals without resorting to the barbarism of slaughter?” Answer: it takes too long to cook vegetables. No, really.
OMG RAGE: Fast food makes you fat so everyone should eat like Alice Waters, DUH! Lord save us from these simplistic dichotomies. The world is not black and white!
In Indiana and Minnesota, 24 slaughterhouse workers were sickened with “a variety of neurological and physical illnesses” from inhaling a mist of pig brains. Very, seriously sickened. Bacon is so awesome!!
MORE RAGE: this program proposed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture called “Meat the Need,” which would give people extra food stamps specifically for purchasing meat and dairy products. Why? Because people are buying less meat and dairy. So obviously THERE IS A HUGE PROBLEM!! And the most logical solution is to FORCE POOR PEOPLE TO BUY MORE ANIMAL PRODUCTS!!!
And speaking of angry fucking vegans, PETA and the Animal Defense League are now “domestic special interest terrorists,” according to the USDA. No, really. Really for really for real.
Hey have you checked out the discussion going on in Laura’s post about Mission Street Food’s dead-pig-ful Food Not Bombs benefit?
SF Food Wars gets a little feature in the New York Times! And friends-of-Vegansaurus Fat Bottom Bakery’s award-winning! vegan mac-n-cheese gets a mention in the very second sentence. World domination is coming, I can taste it.
So Charles Phan “is in talks with San Francisco city officials about turning empty lots into street-food hubs similar to the popular Singapore hawker centers,” is he? Um YES PLEASE, I will never leave. Because I will have eaten all the vegan food available and become TOO FAT TO MOVE.
So that lab-grown pig meat that tastes “soggy”? Jon Stewart reminds us that it’s still five years away from being “anus-grade pork.” Ugh times a million, and also, groooossssssss.
Recipe review: Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles!
[Ed.: This is a recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s and Terri Hope Romero’s new cookbook, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Isa posted the recipe on the PPK blog in September.]
Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles Ingredients Topping 1/3 cup sugar 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Cookies 1/2 cup canola oil 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 3 Tbs. almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon chocolate extract (or more vanilla extract if you have no chocolate) 1 2/3 cups flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. cayenne
Cocktail 1 part Firefly sweet tea vodka 1 part sweet tea [for sipping over ice while preparing cookie dough and carrying 20-lb. baby strapped to your boobies]
Directions Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix the topping ingredients together on a flat plate. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix in extracts. Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added, mix until you’ve got pliable dough. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly two-inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least two inches apart (they do spread). This should be easy. The bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be a bit spread and crackly on top. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
I always lay out all
the ingredients beforehand because I am notoriously forgetful. If I can look at each one and see it’s been touched, I know it’s in there somewhere.
I forgot to set out the non-dairy milk for the group photo. It was in the fridge sleeping with the enemy.
The dough should never look pureed. Stop mixing when ingredients are simply folded into each other.
I was slightly disturbed by the uneven number. I tried to ignore it. Don’t judge me.
Looks nothing like the pictures in the book, but seriously, when does that ever happen?
Ehren, eight months. He seemed to like
them, but he also eats paper, cardboard and Chapstick.
Jordan, 14, liked them, even with the unusual cayenne pepper, but she is not my pickiest consumer. She tends to eat what is placed before her without complaint.
However, she did pack the leftovers to share with her English class.
Jon Alex, eight, my semi-foodie who considers the Breakfast Jack the zenith of gourmet living. He did not like the cayenne pepper and voted nay when the cookies were presented for an up or down vote.
There was no need to announce these were vegan cookies or to explain what a vegan is; I introduce new foods to the kids without much fanfare, which lessens their suspicions. I didn’t find these cookies super-rich or creamy, but I think that’s more the fault of the unsweetened chocolate powder and missing, unfriended butter than the non-dairy milk.
Verdict: we probably won’t make these again, but Jordan likes the almond milk, so she’ll drink it over the next few days. I’ll also need to find another use for the pure maple syrup that cost me six bucks for that little bottle, like the Maple Family doesn’t care we’re in a recession or anything. Mr. Maple can be a dick.
This guest post has been brought to you by Erica Mullenix (and her unbearably adorable children) from Houston, Texas. While not vegan, she and her family are transitioning to more healthful food choices (like vegan cookies!). Erica blogs at Free Fringes and tweets as @hmx5.
Did anyone watch Top Chef this week? They were sorta-local to San Francisco; in Napa Valley, being judged by Michael Chiarello of Bottega, and he shockingly did not throw a hissy fit at any of the chefs. He must haveve gotten some anger management classes in between filming this episode and Top Chef Masters.
The entire episode was a commercial for Napa, filled with tons of scripted “confessionals” about how OMG AMAZING Napa is and I have to say: good for them for really milking that Top Chef placement. Vegas kind of wasted that potential.
Anyway, I come back to you for this episode because the elimination challenge specifically demanded making one vegetarian dish and one “protein” dish (notice how they did not say MEAT, they just said “protein”), which made it a far more veg-friendly episode than most. Which is to say, it was still covered in foie gras foam but.. at least the herbivore guests were not doomed to eating the garnishes.
Ignoring that the puree looks like chewed up baby vomit and the cheese looks totally superflous it still looks pretty good. I remember the first time I had a beet that wasn’t out of a can. It was glorious.
Jen Carroll (our eliminated cheftestant) (Sorry if you haven’t seen it yet, I know I just ruined your life forever)
UGH MORE PUREED FOOD IT’S LIKE THEY’RE TRYING TO KILL ME. The honey mushrooms are not what you think they are. I know the judges liked it because of the basil, but this dish is why I think Jen was eliminated. What is it exactly? It feels like she just put this random assortment of ingredients together. The radishes would be a nice amuse bouche.
For some reason, Bravo TV did not put up recipes for Michael and Bryan’s vegetarian recipes, so I have to use my memory, which having gone to a liberal arts college, I have to say, is not that great. Michael made poached eggs and veggie pistou (Padma did not like her poached eggs) and Bryan made a goat cheese ravioli, which everyone seemed to love. If Jen had been a bit more careful with her veg-dish, he would’ve gone home.
So, the big question: who do we think will win? It’s anyone’s guess, but I’m hoping it’s Kevin.
Local (as in Napa) places featured on this week’s episode:
Vegansaurus NYC: Holiday Season at Lula's Sweet Apothecary
So if you know anything about New York City vegan food, you know about Lula’s Sweet Apothecary a.k.a. the most delicious ye-olde-fashioned-ice-cream-shoppe of the vegan persuasion that boasts an extensive menu (pdf). And hell, in my opinion it beats out even Vegansaurus San Francisco favorite Maggie Mudd.
I made a trip to my favorite ice-creamery last night to find that Lula’s has this amazing holiday special. Called “Apple Pie Sundae,” this delectable treat is composed of cake batter and apple-cider soft-serve swirl, with a layer of maple syrup (I subbed Lula’s homemade caramel sauce), crushed graham crackers, a dollop of coconut whipped cream, and finished off with a sprinkling of crumbled pecans. If you can believe it, it tasted better than it looks. For a mere $6.25, it was a bargain. As my hips can attest, this dessert (hell… this dinner, who’m I kidding?!?!) was totally tasty and worth every penny and calorie. Get it while it lasts!
It’s nestled in the East Village at 516 E. 6th Street between Avenues A & B. Cash only, so don’t forget to hit up an ATM beforehand!!
For San Francisco readers: have you been to Lula’s? Who would win in a fight, Miss Maggie or Miss Lula?
In San Francisco, street food seems to be all up in the hizzy! Even for vegans! It’s gonna be the next Austin, Texas (where vegan Philly cheesesteaks and chocolate-dipped bananarchists come from carts) or some shit, but cold all the time.
Sadly, the East Bay seems to be lacking in novel food carts. Our street food is almost exclusively taco trucks, and I so much wish lard was vegan.
So Thank Dog for Liba Falafel Truck! These fantastic people park twice a week right in front of the Pixar studio (who keeps pumping out fucking adorable movies like animal-friendly Up and monster-friendly Monsters, Inc) in Emeryville.
The well dressed woman who took my money told me everything but feta cheese and some yogurt sauce were vegan. She said she wanted to make it easy for us! how nice! They’ve got tons of options, but I kept it simple. Your falafel sandwich comes with the essentials, chimichurri herb paste, a GODDAMN pickle, hot sauce or no hot sauce, and three of six crazy add-ons. I chose roasted eggplant, red cabbage with black sesa
me seeds, and hummus. There are also some over-the-top complimentary condiments, but LET ME GET TO THE POINT!:
It was delicious. One of my top 2 falafels ever! Would eat again!
Check it out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mondays at 64th & Hollis Streets in Emeryville, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Park Avenue and Hollis Street in E’ville, and Wednesdays and Fridays at 155 De Haro St. at Alameda Street in San Francisco.
From the ?!!@$#$#!%$! File: Milking GE Bunnies for Pharmaceuticals
Abusing cute fuzzy bunnies for medicine is bad enough. But genetically modifying rabbits and milking them to extract proteins for the pharmaceutical industry is fucking disgusting. Pharming, a Netherlands-based biotech firm, is doing just that.
Their goal is to treat people suffering from hereditary angioedema, by extracting a protein called C1 inhibitor—also known by its stage name, C1-INH—by fusing a human gene onto the rabbits and extracting the protein from the milk. National Geographic assures us that “like dairy cows, the rabbits stay relaxed and appear to suffer no discomfort during milking” which means it’s all okay because dairy cows have it easy.
Humans are animals too, and hereditary angioedema sounds awful. But why trade a life for a life, when medical technology is perfectly capable of developing alternatives? In this case, the non-animal “alternatives” are already out there, which makes this all seem a bit gratuitous.
I’m no medical expert but I’m going to drop some science anyway. The problem with producing C1-INH is that it’s too complex a protein to synthesize. It needs a biological process, and a modified bacteria like E. coli won’t do. Still with me?
Well, the yeast Pichia pastoris will do the job for us. In case you’re keeping score at home, yeast isn’t an animal. Nor is it fuzzy, or cute. Then there’s the drug Ecallantide (it’s a different protein made with the same yeast process) and it was just approved by the FDA yesterday. Yesterday! Apparently, Ecallantide isn’t perfect, but neither is the rabbit milk method, which has a short half-life and the possibility of triggering allergies. Not what you want in a drug to treat an allergic reaction. On the bright side, a different part of your windpipe might swell up instead.
And if all else fails, C1-INH from donated human blood treats angioedema attacks, in all cases, with no side effects. Think about that for a minute. Next time someone trots out the excuse that people will die if we don’t torture animals, ask them if they’ve donated blood recently. Because if they haven’t, then maybe they don’t care about people as much as they think they do. THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT.
Need some Thursday heartbreak? How about a video of rescued fighting dogs
Thanks, Time magazine, I wanted to cry my eyes out before lunch. This video features dogs, primarily pit bulls, of course, who were rescued on July 8 in “the largest raid in history against the underground dogfighting racket” (there’s also identical text and photos).
This makes Malcolm Gladwell and his “football is as bad as dogfighting” article in the Oct. 19 New Yorker seem especially ridiculous; as if a football coach would ever put human players in immediate mortal danger on a regular basis. As if football required the players to fight each other to the death. As if fighting dogs got the chance of a life, or were compensated for their efforts. COME ON.
"If these muscular terriers have a flaw, their defenders maintain, it is an excess of devotion. ‘Their love for humans is why this breed is in trouble,’ says [Tiffany] McBee. ‘They will take the abuse.’ Placed with the right companion, their devotion becomes a virture—as Helen Keller knew. One of her pets was a pit bull."
Vegans, draw near. This is how to get through winter.
Okay, so. HERE’S THE THING.
You know when you’re at home? And you can’t move? Because it’s utterly disgusting outside, and yea, darkness DID descend upon the earth at four fucking pm, like unto the apocalypse? And your brain is all, Give Me Things That Are Tasty, and you are all, I Am Sorry But I Must Lie On The Couch For Nine Hours?
I am going to reveal one of the secrets of the universe to you. Because I am a GOOD PERSON. Yes.
You can make this without sharp knives, or recipes, or patience, or a trip to the store, or basically any of the gumption that people (especially vegans) must muster up to cook for themselves in winter. This is the thing you do when you come home and drink tea and it’s Not Enough, and you still have that Need To Drink Tea feeling. When your soul requires uber-comforting.
You take a banana.
You cut into it with a butter knife to make a pocket.
You stuff the pocket with chocolate chips.
You could wrap it in tinfoil, or not. Whatever. I don’t.
You shove it on a tray and in a hot oven. 350-ish.
After a while, pull it out. It should be hot all the way through and kind of bubbly.
You have NO IDEA how this tastes. It does not taste like chocolate + banana. It does not even taste like food. It is like biting into a strange alien fruit made of lava and kindness. Or like a really expensive dessert. In any case, it will deliver a vital shock to your neural centers.
For some people, the whole wool thing can be the most difficult concept of veganism* to grasp. Some people find it ridiculous. I find those people ridiculous! A brief internet investigation quickly reveals the super horrible abomination that is the wool industry. I can’t even talk about it anymore because it’s making me too sad!
The main point I’m making is DON’T BUY WOOL. In the summer, this isn’t so difficult. But when it gets to be wintertime, and all the omnivores trot out their winterwear with no regard for who or what it’s made of, clothing choices get more difficult. One such difficulty: the peacoat! Oh, the timeless peacoat, that woolen bastard! It is not easy to find good vegan alternatives. Not easy…for normal humans, that is! For Megan Rascal, it’s another story! That’s right, brothers and sisters, I’m here with a message of peace and non-wool peacoats for this winter season. Let’s get into it!
I’m just going to jump in with my top pick, this BB Dakota number from Alternative Outfitters. Look at this mofo. It’s THE HOTNESS! It’s $72 and hasn’t got a lick of wool. Booyah!
Next, we have a lovely fleece peacoat from Alloy. Remember Alloy? No? Well keep an eye out because they have lots of stuff that just happens to be vegan at very decent prices. This coat is on sale for $49.90. Not bad at all.
Now let’s get into some plaid! Wee! Target offers us this shweet plaid number for a mere $69.99. I’m into it.
More plaid, this time from Modcloth for $74.99. This one is pretty dope, admit it.
Now this next one I’m specifically including because Zappos saw fit to put this as the beginning of the description: “Show off your smokin’ hot bod in the O’Neill™ Blazin Jacket.” Smokin’ hot bod. All for $68.84. I think I made the right decision.
For the last coat, I’m bringing it upscale again to Theory. Yes, Theory has a non-wool coat for us! It’s $395! Yay! But for real, it’s Theory. That’s for ballers. I like this coat but the first one is still my favorite.
And that’s my vegan peacoat roundup! I thank you and the sheep thank you! Yee-ha!
*Screw you spell check! Veganism is totally a word!
So you really like Indian food, but you don’t want to give your money to places that also serve flesh. And those places that serve flesh aren’t all that good anyways because they use way too much grease and you hate having to specify no raita. And you really like street food, but there’s never really any vegan food.
So, what do do? Lucky for you: there is dedicated vegan Indian food AND it’s in a cart. So you can get some authentic New York City street food without the guilt because, well, N.Y. Dosas is honestly the best fucking food I have ever had in my entire life. The guy running it is a dedicated vegan out by the park six days a week, rain or shine, to provide everyone with some sweet-ass vegan dosas. He also has some lentil-based crepe for all of our gluten-free brethren and sistren. Plus, check out that awesome ‘stache! Clearly all of the hipsters just stole his facial hair aesthetic.
N.Y. Dosas has no website (it’s STREET, remember?!), but here are the details, should you find yourself in New York:
W. 4th Street at Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10014 Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday.
So says Treehugger. Looks like the future isn’t that far off after all, assuming they can work out the remaining texture problems. No one has actually tasted the meat yet, but it’s been described as “wasted muscle tissue” and “soggy pork” which are five of the most appetizing words in the English language.
The scientists on the project say they’re working on ways to exercise and stretch out the cloned muscles to make the end product more like actual meat, because pigs and veal calves are totally taking yoga classes every morning. Crate pose!
Somehow, pescatarians always seemed innocuous to me. Someone telling me “Oh, I’m a vegetarian, but I eat fish,” didn’t really bother me. I had this false sense that our terrestrial friends always got the worst of it, and then I saw this video.
Fishy Business is an amazing (and short, only 15 minutes) documentary on the horrible practice of drift-netting that, although banned internationally, is still practiced by at least 500 boats in the Mediterranean area. The one case that struck me especially was a drift net that caught a family of five endangered whales (something like 100 in existence??). Luckily they were saved, but seeing as 90 percent of all of the catch produced by the net is unwanted, a whole lot of dead marine life get tossed back into the ocean just so places like Delmonico’s can stay in business. No thanks.
Is it me, or is Vaute Couture just too damn expensive? I wonder if they accept Visa, MasterCard, or my right kidney.
[Ed.: I will say that they use hella high-quality materials and they do cost less than say, Stella McCartney, and they are super-cute, so vegans with money, BUY THEM FOR THOSE OF US WHO CAN’T. But yeah, I’d love to see some more affordable vegan winter coats…anyone up for a round-up!?]
Home is a pretty amazing documentary: gorgeous visuals (including lots of aerial shots of our planet), an urgent message about how we gotta stop fucking around and start caring about the environment (including a great section showing how meat consumption fits into our overall pattern of environmental destruction), and a few of the most ridiculous attempts at poetics in documentary narration ever released to the public. In short: you will learn stuff (about the interconnectedness of life and how we have like two years to fix the planet or else we all die), you will laugh (at unintentionally funny stuff), and you will cry (pussy).
The film was nonprofit to begin with, but a patron stepped in to allow the distributor to release Home on YouTube for all to see. Watch it FOR FREE right here.
Check it: Herbivore Clothing Company is having a sale! All t-shirts are only $20 for all of today and tomorrow, so GET SOME. Herbivore is an awesome all-vegan company that donates a shit-ton of money to animal charities and is owned/run by some super duper cool people. Today is definitely the day to get that Fur Is Fucked shirt you’ve been eyeing, and what’s more, the crazy folks at Herbivore will even throw in a bunch of extra goodies like greeting cards and stickers! They’re like the Billy Mayeses of veganism, and you cannot say no!
From the makers of bacon salt (some of them are vegan, some are just vegetarian…I BELIEVE the hickory flavor is vegan?), comes vegan bacon pop! It’s bacon-and-butter-flavored popcorn. I don’t know, I don’t totally get the obsession with all things bacon, I feel like it was birthed out of some “hipster” “foodie’s” infested womb and spread through the land like so much wildfire but you know, I’ll probably try this because novely eating is my middle name.
Thanks to Katherine for letting us know about this glorious beast!