Charlie Brooker has something to say about our attitude toward food and its presentation. As a satirical genius, he uses the porniest, most revolting writing possible to address it. Here he describes the experience of eating the titular item at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which is a sort of “upmarket fast-food chain.”
You’ve got two options: tackle it with a knife and fork (the coward’s way out), or dislocate your jaw in the manner of a boa constrictor swallowing a foal, and heave it into your gullet, driving it home like a Victorian taskmaster pushing a buttered eight-year-old into a narrow chimney flue[.]
Order chips, incidentally, and your burger will be accompanied by a generous helping of deep-fried slabs the size and weight of piano keys. Eat there at lunchtime and you’ll spend the rest of the day feeling as if you’re incubating an immense, spherical beef-baby. And caesarean delivery sadly isn’t an option. Before bedtime, you’ll understand how it might feel to give birth to a banister.
What, he asks, makes eating this, with nearly twice the calories of a Big Mac, more socially acceptable than eating a Big Mac?
It seems the key to nurturing a successful chain of fast-food restaurants in modern Britain is to provide a less reprehensible version of something popular…while still enabling your customers to indulge in potentially ruinous gluttony.
I don’t think that that is exclusively a British solution. Isn’t In-N-Out the respectable person’s “drive-thru” burger? Or places like Fuddruckers, Five Guys, and Steak ‘n Shake? Fundamentally, they are McDonald’s: a place to get a quick, “American” meal. You’re still eating nightmare-food, it just comes in nicer packaging.
Charlie Brooker, however, because he is clever and disgusting, has a genius idea for environmentally friendly breakfast cafes: if you want bacon and sausage, cut the meat off your own body. It’s not nearly as offensive as the original Modest Proposal, as you’d only be eating yourself; it’d be vegan-friendly, for those of us who don’t feel as animal-rightsy as the rest of the group. You might even be able to use the lost blood to make black pudding, he says.
There’s something more to that idea—beyond the self-cannibalization joke: You can have as much meat as you can want, so long as you’re willing to give of your own life to get it. What would that mean if it were true? Right now, eating meat robs the future to reward the present; people in wealthy countries won’t feel the effects of their choices for some time—less the occasional terrifying food recall—but less developed nations have to make immediately felt compromisesto support a meat industry; and some countries, like Tuvalu, could disappear under the ocean because of global warming.
That raises the question again: what price meat? If people continue eating it despite the horrific treatment of animals on massive factory farms; despite the human health risks posed by those farms; despite the destruction of land, including rainforest, not only to raise cows but to grow soybeans and corn to feed those cows—if they still want to indulge in tasty flesh, let them eat their own. Then maybe they’ll see it as valuable, instead of the commonplace junk they take for granted now.
Plus, you’ll be able to tell the vegans by how fat and happy we’ll be.
Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Week one: VEGAN Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce!
Last week Meave wrote about a super-secret project that we’re unleashing on the world, and THIS IS IT: we’re veganizing the winning dessert recipe from each week of Top Chef: Just Desserts. FOR SERIOUS. And not just us—we’re getting famous vegan chefs and bloggers to do it, too! All your favorites, making you brand-spanking-new vegan dessert recipes, inspired by television! If this isn’t the American Dream, I don’t know what is.
So, tune in (ha!) to Vegansaurus each Monday, when we present the veganized version of last week’s winning dessert, with a recipe you can all try at home! SO HOT.
Since week one is for chumps, I did it. I mean, who cares who won or got kicked off in the beginning? Nobody, that’s who. Especially when the Boy Raised Vegan was blowing edible glitter (“disco dust!!!!!!!”) all over his dessert, and one of the judges was basically one of us, except that we know that “It was like a party in my mouth!” is not something you say to people who make food, if you ever want them to take you seriously. Also, we are not 33-year-olds still in our teenage Rockabilly phase, with a website full of pictures of ourselves posing with our sexxxxxy tattoos and our shiny pompadours, all pouty and smouldering. I don’t know what says “genius pastry chef” more than a muscle tee and a wallet chain, really. But even though I’m not a for-real pastry chef, I do my fair share of at home baking shenanigans AND I am the WebMistress for VegWeb.com, so I should (I said SHOULD) know SOMETHING.
The first week’s winning dessert was a Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce. So we’re off to an easy start WHAT NO WE’RE NOT. Bravo published the original recipe online, so thankfully, I have that to start with, unlike winner Heather Hurlbert. But then, look at that recipe. HELLO CONFUSING. Damn, why are people so fancy? Why couldn’t the winning recipe be Oreo Sundae (that is simply a sundae topped with Oreos. BAM!). Oh, well…here goes!
VEGAN Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte with Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce! (the exclamation point means I made it!)
WHAT IT DO: Sable Cookie Base 1 cup vegan margarine 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups all-purpose white flour
Chocolate Shavings Dude, just shave a dark chocolate bar. No need to get crazy.
Dark Chocolate Mousse (adapted from Mori Nu recipe) 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 tablespoons water 1/4 cup amaretto (liquor! yes!) 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 packages Silken Lite Firm Tofu
White Chocolate Mousse (straight stolen from Bitter Sweet) 3 ounces White Chocolate 1 10.14-ounce Container Whippable Soy (or Oat) Cream (divided) 3/4 teaspoon Agar Agar Powder
Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup coconut creamer (or you can use soy! whatevs!) 1 cup chocolate chips Zest of one orange 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
HOW IT DO: 1. Make the shortbread. This is quite easy as you can use your favorite recipe. YOU’RE DONE! If you don’t have a favorite, I’ll start mine. SO: preheat your oven to 350 F, and lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Cream margarine and powdered sugar until combined. Add vanilla and salt, then slowly fold in flour and combine until it’s a big ball of dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then roll out onto your greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, and let cool.
3. Start dark chocolate mousse. This recipe is hella easy. Melt chocolate chips in microwave oven with 2 Tbsp. of water. Thoroughly blend tofu in a blender or a food processor. Add melted chocolate, amaretto, and vanilla to the tofu and blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
5. Make Chocolate Grand Marnier Sauce: Make a dry caramel with the sugar, deglaze with the coconut creamer, pour over chocolate chips, melt that down, add zest, put in the Grand Marnier. DONE! This veganized especially well.
6. PUT THIS BITCH TOGETHER: Cut off a chunk of short bread and plate it. Put some dark chocolate mousse on top of it, then top that with some white chocolate mousse. Pour the Grand Marnier sauce over that and, if you want, shave a chocolate bar on top of that and add some orange slices. INSANITY.
THE VERDICT: This was mighty, mighty tasty. Something that would surely impress any omni-crowd, and make vegans start naming babies and buildings and cities after you. No joke. Because my plating was terrible messiness, I don’t have pictures of my creation and I KNOW that’s a huge no-no, so I will be making it again (the things I do for you people!) and adding photos later on in the week. The dessert actually wasn’t as intimidating as it seemed at first glance; it’s just two types of mousse over a shortbread cookie, with a delightful, boozy sauce. Pretty easy, and pretty impressive. I’ll make it again, at least once, as I need some damn pics. Until then, a Google drawing of my masterpiece:
Now, stay tuned (ha! again!) for next week, when a REAL FAMOUS VEGAN CHEF or BLOGGER takes the stage, ready to take on Project Just Desserts: Veganizing Top Chef! Ow!
Animal Collective is like totally popular, right? The kids these days, they love them, no? I don’t know much about this newfangled music but I did see Animal Collective with Panda Bear like eight years ago during my D.C. days, before they were so popular. I’m obviously the coolest. No but I enjoyed it very much. I’m just too busy listening to Billy Paul to keep up with the kids these days! That’s right: TSOP, motherfuckers!
Pairing up dope vegan sneaks with a nice band is right up my alley! Well done, pals, well done.
See Jonathan Safran Foer read from Eating Animals!
This is short notice, vegans, but famous author and vegetarian Jonathan Safran Foer will be reading from his book, Eating Animals in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 21 and 22. He’s doing two readings each day: on Tuesday, one at San Francisco State at 1 p.m. and at the Commonwealth Club at 7 p.m.; and on Wednesday, one at 826 Valencia at 12:30 p.m. and at 6 p.m., as part of the City Arts and Lectures Series at the Herbst Theater on Sept. 22. Foer is also doing readings in other parts of the USA and one in Toronto, Ontario, so check it!
If you haven’t read Eating Animals, then do look into it. Foer is a truly great writer, so even if you’re already vegan, the book is a joy to read. It’s also a great inspiration for relatable, compassionate vegan advocacy and provides some fantastic conversation points for those times when a person who eats meat wants to talk to you about veganism. All in all, JSF is a stand up guy (see our post on his appearance on The Colbert Report); now who wants to bring him vegan cupcakes?
Move over, San Francisco! Make room, Berkeley! San Jose is a hotbed* of vegan activity. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in downtown San Jose regardless of your reason for coming here, be it a nerd-fest comic convention, a quick pit stop on the way home from scoring weed in Santa Cruz, or that you actually live here (YES, AWESOME VEGANS DO LIVE DOWN HERE**). If you’re into hipsters straight off the SJSU campus, head over to Good Karma for some honey-free baklava—IT’S THE SHIZ. If you’re into some Asian awesomeness with a touch of cult-creepiness, head over to Vegetarian House for some non-dairy FRIED ICE CREAM. If you’re into cute girls in nurse costumes (AND WHO ISN’T?) then head over to Psycho Donuts for some unusually flavored vegan donuts.
Psycho Donuts is the newest vegan-friendly addition to downtown San Jose, and this fat vegan’s new obsession. They offer two vegan donut choices: one constant, and one that changes weekly. The RazVeganPucker, available every week, has a strange combination of freeze-dried berry powder and lime juice over a cake base. The special when I went for reviewing purposes was a cake donut with blueberry frosting and fresh*** blueberries on top. Both donuts were tasty, and clearly marked vegan.
Psycho Donuts’ asylum theme is complete with kitschy Halloween-esque décor, including eyeball lights and traffic cones. If you’re in the mood to release some aggression, ask for some bubble wrap to pop; they always have a stash handy. Their hours are amazing—open before I wake up, and closed after I go to bed. They also offer soymilk with their organic Tony’s coffee and Numi tea. With plenty of seating both indoors and out, you can be sure to find a table. There is no need to worry about parking, if you’re not lucky enough to live within walking distance, as they are located at the base of a parking garage, and offer validation. My only complaint is that they need MORE VEGAN DONUTS, both in options and quantity. I’ve been there three times since they opened a couple of days ago: once they were sold out (TRAGIC!), and the other two times their vegan stock was dangerously low. So if you want to guarantee yourself a feast of donuty goodness, make sure to call ahead and place an order.
*By “hot”, I mean sunny, sweaty, find-me-some-air-conditioning hot! **If, like me, you live in the Valley of Silicon, holler at me! I’m always looking for awesome vegans to hang out with. *** Fresh fruit on a donut; so WRONG, and yet so RIGHT!
Marie Dadap is a fat vegan extraordinaire whose life won’t be complete until someone makes a vegan brie. You can reach her at marie [at] dadap [dot] net. All these awesome photos are by Marie, too!
WHYY did an interview with Jim Gorant last Wednesday, author of Lost Dogs. At the beginning, he addresses the issue of whether it’s good use of resources to rehabilitate Vick’s dogs, considering just how many homeless dogs there are and how much work goes into rehab for dogs abused in dog-fighting. I think he and I agree that these dogs deserve a chance at a good life, and that this particular case did a lot to pit bulls in the public eye. One of the dogs is even a therapy dog in California! So awesome. They interview the “mother” of that dog. They say “mother,” OMG WHYY, you’re so cute!
Some people say that though it’s a terrible thing to happen to these dogs, it’s the best thing to happen to pit bulls in a long time. It brought so much attention to the disgusting world of dog-fighting and it also shed light on just how great pit bulls can be. Another point he raises is that, in this case, each dog is being evaluated individually to judge their temperaments. This is another positive step for pit bulls—it’s like Gorant says, you can’t be a breedist: “You can say some general things about breeds but you really have to go dog-by-dog, and that applies to pit bulls as much as anything else.”
What do you guys think? Any pit bull lovers/haters in the crowd? Anyone else an Eagles fan and Vick-hater like me? E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!
Work at Native Foods! In San Francisco! THAT'S RIGHT NATIVE FOODS IS COMING TO SF!
The amaaaaaazing southern California vegan chain, Native Foods, is coming to SF, and they want to hire you! In your face, Depression 2.0! I mean, at least a little bit, they can’t hire all your funemployed asses.
Man, I love Native Foods so much, and if you don’t already, you will soon love it, too. Could you even read that sentence? Moving on! It’s Herbivore (hey! it’s one of the first ever Vegansaurus reviews! A classic, if you will AND YOU WILL) taken to the next level. Chicken Run Ranch Burger, would you mind if I hollered at you?
*You know, a quality one. JOKE I KNOW I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE HERBIVORE I SHOULD BE THANKFUL.
My friends! I’ve been to vegan fashion Mecca and I can now tell you with all certainty that Allah loves us! The proof is in all the beautiful vegan duds at MooShoes. OMG you KNOW Megan Rascal was dying, as I do love a nice vegan shoe. And the women working there were very nice! Even though I insinuated that their cat was fat within the first five minutes I was in the store. I’m all class! They have two cats actually who are both large and both adorbs, and apparently one will kill your dog.
What can I report? Matt & Nat are doing their thing with the wallets! Like, whoa. Novacas, olsenHaus (sorry, that’s how they write their name) and Neuaura all continue to hold it down with the hotness in the ladies’ shoe department. I bought a sweet pair of Novacas boots and I also picked up these dope Neuaura oxfords:
I know I’m currently unemployed but I have to go on INTERVIEWS, jerks! If I had to interview someone and they were wearing these shoes? I’d be like, “yes sir, I DO believe you’re a rocket scientist! Hired!” See? Easy. “Work experience” is out, dope kicks are in.
They also had shoes from Keep, some cute shirts by Herbivore and lots of stuff by Vegetarian Shoes. There were many plenty of sneakers for my homeboys in the crowd; I like a nice caramel-colored men’s dress shoe, but I didn’t see any. There were some sharp black ones though, and you guys could step up your game a little. JK! I love you! Take your shirts off! Send me pictures!
Disclaimer!: they totally gave me 10 percent off—maybe because I said I was writing about them; maybe because I’m awesome and people just love doing stuff for me all the time. Another possibility: I spent a shit-ton of money.
Bonus!: It’s around the corner from Babycakes! After I got my new interview shoes, I bounced over to Babycakes and got my interview cinnamon doughnut. No, it was just a regular cinnamon doughnut! Got ya! Oh, you.
1) Barker is still alive HE IS SO OLD (but this is good news); 2) SHOOTING RANGE?!!? Wha??? Maybe he was living a double life, Dexter-style, where he had to shoot cans to keep from shooting bunnies! Drama! Intrigue! (related: who is gonna take me to a shooting range? I think I’d be very good at this, what with my lack of depth perception, terrible vision, and unmatched RAGE); 3) I always thought he’d go down doing it with one of his Beauties. What? I’m a romantic!
Update (4:06pm): Seems he was just dehydrated and is going to be A-OK with some rest. OR SO THEY CLAIM. perhaps something more sinister is at play here. Time to call on Jonas & Hazel’s Human/Canine Detective Agency! Solving All Crimes and Eating All Clues Since 2008!
Is that the pungent odor of bitter disgust mixed with maniacal enthusiasm? Why yes, it's this week's link-o-rama!
What ho, young Philip! When Your Vegansaurus leads with a bunny photo, it means there’s an adoption event this weekend, and this one is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at George in Berkeley! Harvest Home Sanctuary and House Rabbit Society buns will be waiting for you in the Fourth Street Shopping Center at 1824 Fourth St.—big buns and little buns, baby buns and grown-up buns, ready for you to meet and befriend and take home to love forever and ever. Wee Philip here, along with his mum and littermates were dumped outside a pet store. Wouldn’t you love to end his nightmare by taking him and a sibling home? Look at his little paws, they are chocolate-dipped!
And what else is happening this weekend, Vegansaurus? How about dinner and a movie tonight? As in, Friday, Sept. 17! OK it’s not original, but the details are: attend a screening of Bicycle Bride by local filmmaker Hassan Zee at Maharani Restaurant, and eat your heart’s (NOT stomach’s; heart’s. stomach lies; heart encourages) content at a massive vegan buffet! Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the film screens at 7:15. Tickets cost $25, which is a good deal for ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGAN FOOD, plus a movie! Maharani is at 1122 Post St., between Van Ness and Polk Streets.
Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday are action days for anti-circus leafleting in Stockton! This is organized by Humanity Through Education, who direct you here for details. Leafleting and protesting will take place at the Stockton Arena, at 248 Fremont St., at 5:30 this evening, 12:45 and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, and 2:45 p.m. on Sunday. Contact Pat Cuviello with questions and/or to RSVP.
If you missed the previous two discussions about “Preparing Yourself and Your Animal Companion for a Disaster,” the SFPL will present one more on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Glen Park Branch, at 2825 Diamond St. The discussion will be held by a panel of experts from the SF Disaster Preparedness Coalition for Animals. Your Vegansaurus is fine with your blasé attitude toward earthquake preparedness, but if you have companion animals, you owe it to them to be ready.
Vegansaurus, I need something to read! Peter Singer reminds pescatarians of the massive cost of catching their dinners, in particular that “is no humane slaughter requirement for wild fish caught and killed at sea.” Of course Rick Moonen, who prides himself in serving “sustainable” fish at his restaurant in Las Vegas, is staunchly against the GMO salmon. On this single, solitary, lone point, Your Vegansaurus and Rick Moonen find agreement—this shit is fucked up. Now stop acting like serving fish is at all sustainable in any environment, Moonen, and work on developing gourment mock-fish. Then you’ll be a real ocean warrior. Oh, and do tell us how you stand on tuna?
People are so good at killing animals these days! Last week, caretakers in Kyoto, Japan, somehow caused the death of Xin Xin the panda during an attempt to collect his sperm, which they were going to use to artificially inseminate his partner Tan Tan. Chinese panda experts are investigating. Poor Xin Xin was on loan (like a vase!) from China, and per the agreement, Japan apparently owes $500,000 for his death. Goodnight, sweet prince; may heaven be a nonstop party. In Honker Bay, Calif., a contractor working for Chevron drained a 700-acre “duck pond,” and whoops, the 1,500 fish living there had no water and DIED. Sorry, fish! Chevron totally had all the right permits and everything! Well, Professional Lab and Research Services, Inc., of North Carolina won’t be torturing or murdering any animals for the foreseeable future, thanks to…Peta. Sometimes old uncle Peta stops embarrassing us and does something awesome, like shut down a horrible, abusive lab that was testing ANIMAL CARE PRODUCTS.
Adorable-drawing break! Check out Tiny Pets, the sweetest little Tumblr you ever saw! The concept is super-simple: the artist draws a little portrait of your pet! This one of Josie is noteworthy first because of her little rescued-on date—everyone loves a rescue cat!—and second because it’s reminiscent of a classic “mom” tattoo. Buy a pet portrait from Tiny Pets, whose own cat came from BARC in Brooklyn! Or at least check out the archives to see every singular pet portrait, they really are wonderful.
Now, back to the unhappiness: LGBT Compassion reports that they have identified the factory farms that supply the birds being sold at Heart of the City Farmers Market, one of which is Gemperle Farms, which used to supply Trader Joe’s with eggs until they were exposed as extreme hen torturers. For more information on this breaking news, please contact LGBT Compassion. For more information on why Colonel Sanders should be as big an icon as George Washington or Jesus or something, please read Josh Ozersky’s ridiculous column. Or not, as it may induce violent rage and you don’t want to hit the first innocent person you see. Read this nice story about poor chickens who were being “hoarded”—like pillows or toenail clippings, but actual LIVING CREATURES—but have since been rescued and now live at our beloved Animal Place.
Happy stories time? How about a video of a three-month-old orphaned otter learning to swim in a bathtub? Right? Little Garaint is being rehabbed at Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Highbridge, Somerset; part of that involves socialization, and instead of meeting lots of people (bad!), Garaint is making friends with Mollie the Labrador retriever puppy, and another baby otter called Snuffles. SNUFFLES THE BABY OTTER. OK, now laugh and cry with this slideshow from Pup My Ride, a program by Best Friends Animal Society that takes dogs from shelters and puppy mills to “local rescue partners with highly successful adoption programs.” More weeping, you say? How about the story of The Old Lady Pigeons’ Retirement Home, which should be adapted into a mystery-solving series ASAPly. It is the sweetest story that may also cause you to cry, because life is so hard and ugly and lovely.
Apparently “The American People” (shittiest expression ever) aren’t eating produce anymore. WELL WHY??? Vegansaurus to the rescue! The recipes below leave you no excuse for not getting your 5-Alive. Do it up, fatties!
Finally, because you’re all a bunch of fucking lushes, you should probably check out The Acadian from Beretta.SFist has the recipe and it’s so easy to just replace the honey with agave and have a par-tay. Haven’t tried absinthe? Well, you’re in for a hallucinogenic treat! Also, get some vegan pizza while you’re there—it’s the shiz!
Also, if you’re eating downtown in the FiDi, our Megan Allison says that the Siam salad (sub avocado for cucumber DO IT UP, FATTY) at Mixt Greens is the only food that does anything for her anymore. She ain’t mad atchu, lemongrass vinaigrette. Also funny that at salad place Mixt Greens, that’s the only salad that’s vegan by default. AMERICA!
[photo by Nick Kindlesperger of The Paupered Chef!]
I generally do not watch Project Runway, especially since they went to that 90-minute format where they try to sell us more HUMAN INTEREST and more of that HORRIBLE WRETCHEN (totally came up with that and have been DYING TO USE IT!), but Allen* was watching it tonight and I was sitting next to him playing “Imagine Artist” on my DS pretending that we were having some semblance of quality time, when one of the designers started talking about how faux-fur looks cheap.
"Yeah, it looks cheap," I told Allen, "Because fur is supposed to be warm and soft and not made of synthetic fibers. BECAUSE ANIMALS USE IT TO KEEP WARM." Allen just ignored me, as he generally does when I start getting righteously indignant about something (eating meat, stigma surrounding mental health services, Danielle Staub of The Real Housewives of New Jersey) and continued watching the show because he had worked a full day and my righteous indignation was the last thing he needed right now, but I was so fired up that I stopped painting my serene digital landscape to glare at the TV to make sure that this Christopher was going to be appropriately chewed out by Tim Gunn for his horrible choices. [Perhaps Bunim-Murray might pop-up a window encouraging viewers to tell the Senate to pass the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, or remind Californians that our governor hasn’t signed similar legislation, A.B. 1656, into law yet.]
Do you know what happened? Nothing! Tim Gunn, who decimates people (in the nicest way possible) for making DKNY knock-offs and letting WRETCHEN be the leader of anything (god, she is horrible) just stared for a second and then started talking about volume, ignoring the giant SHAVED FUR THING that Heidi Klum later called an “old lady rag-rug” (Schwamm einer alten Frau. Thanks, Google Meave!) or something. HE BOUGHT AND SHAVED A FUR, you guys. And it was both cheap-looking and hella ugly. OH, AND UNIVERSALLY HATED AND MOCKED BY ALL OF THE JUDGES. Also: It was for a Jackie Kennedy challenge, and a quick search reveals that Jackie didn’t even wear fur that much because it was too ostentatious and gaudy (translation: cheap-looking). And this guy is just standing there being all “Oh, I haven’t used fur in a long time/ever before. I don’t know. Whatever. I didn’t even want to do it. It’s just that the other materials, they just looked like the wrong thing to use for my verkrustiges Sporttuch. The only way to do this right was to get in there and SHAVE SOME LEATHER. I’m just going to have to stand by it! Kisses!”
Tim Gunn is anti-fur, so why did he keep quiet when all this was happening? In his extended critique of Christopher’s outerwear, he seems to express dismay at Christopher’s choice of ANIMAL FUR, and encourage him to use the ultrasuede he had also bought instead of the fur. However, as Christopher asks for advice on what to with the fur specifically, Tim offers it without further comment on the fur itself. As their mentor, taking the contestants to task for the morality of their choice of materials may not be appropriate. Perhaps he spoke with Christopher or the producers off-camera about the fur—as of this writing, Tim’s behind-the-scenes episode recap hasn’t been posted to his Facebook. As a proud anti-fur advocate, though, his behavior is inexplicable, and really surprising.
I’m surprised everyone ignored the elephant in the room at the judging, too; it was just all “texture this” and “gorgeous that.” Perhaps they thought the fur was fake considering that Project Runway has long had a no-fur stance, evidence of which appears as late as August 2009. When was it overturned? The winner of season six, Irina Shabayeva, used fur in her first post-Runway collection (gross!). Michael Kors has had roughly as many animals as San Francisco has citizens murdered for fur in his collections over the years, so it wouldn’t have been an issue for him.
Here’s a tip, contestants: It’s always more awesome to be cruelty-free.People will like you more and animals will suffer less. And maybe, just maybe, your designs won’t come out looking like a dreckiger Arschwärmer! Auf wiedersehen!
*Allen is my boyfriend. He did not consent to having his name or likeness used for this or any other purpose. I am pretty sure he is going to break up with me and move out when he finds out I’m writing about him, so let me know if you need a roommate!
[Meave Gallagher contributed to the reporting in this post! Images courtesy Lifetime]
Well, we’re not sure how much he actually WANTS to fly to Des Moines and cook for you and your cats? Maybe he does? We all have our freaky fetishes. I personally love to eat lasagna pan crust while listening to old Tim Gunn podcasts. WHAT? Both are delicious!
Anyway, enter here to win a vegan chef cooking up a feast at your place for you and three of your closest friends/lovers/parents.
I was back in SF last weekend and we had a regular old Vegansaurus party at Beats ‘n’ Brunch! Laura reviewed it before but I had never been. IT’S OFF THE HOOK! I got the “Freedom toast” pictured below (9/11 humor!). It was bangin’. I also got the bottomless mimosa and this I MUST RECOMMEND.
Next is some tortilla thing that almost everyone got but me. I hear it was good but I didn’t try it. It had some cutesy hip-hop-related name that I now forget. But rest assured it was cute and hip-hoppy! [Ed.: it’s called “The Durty 30”!]
Steve and I also went to town on the bread pudding of the day. Again, there was a cutesy name involved that I forgot, but the flavor was stone fruit and coconut. Scrumptious! I did my best to keep up the picture-taking though I forgot to take one before we started with the bread pudding, so here’s one midway:
Sorry! It’s still a sweet pic though! You can taste the stone fruit goodness.
Moral of the story: If you haven’t been to Beats ‘n’ Brunch yet, GET TO STEPPIN’! Also, Laura’s description of the ambience is spot-on and I was all, “OMG so SF.” I decided that, per-capita, there are as many good-looking people in San Francisco as there are in New York; they just have funnier, most likely homemade haircuts.
I wish I were kidding! But according to insect-cuisine evangelists, there is nothing tastier than a bug, and guess what, it’s totally vegan! Or at least, these people have no compunction inviting “vegans and vegetarians” to entomophagous dinner parties, where people who describe themselves as “mostly a vegetarian” can try all kinds of nibbles, like waxworms, bamboo worms, Jing Leed crickets, and dung beetles.
More Intelligent Life covered the same entomophagy-evangelist—and I mean that literally—Marc Dennis, and what sounds like a very similar dinner back in October 2009. Author Salma Abdelnour didn’t include any anecdotes about non-omnivores among the guests, nor did she come to any conclusions about the relative “eco-friendliness” of eating insects instead of animal-flesh. For that, I thank her, because guess what, WSJ: vegans and vegetarians who blithely eat insects in front of a reporter—and frankly, anyone who describes herself as a “mostly” anything—isn’t our number-one spokesperson (Not, of course, that we get to pick them).
In this case, I can’t speak for Your Vegansaurus, just myself, and I say: No Eating Insects. Remember, I’m the big baby who gets all cringey about swatting flies and smashing ants. I had to remove a tick from a dog the other day, and after I killed it I had a small crisis of conscience. That utter wimpiness aside, what do you all think about entomophagy? How does it rate compared to honey? Do you think it’ll be the next big thing, or will omnivores stick to baby animals and their organs? Please, tell us what you think!
And after you take that shower, stop pestering your doctors for antibiotics…BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT WORK!
A new super-bug, NDM-1 has popped up in California, Massachusetts, and Illinois. It was first identified in India and can be transmitted hand-to-mouth. That means keep yourself clean y’all!. It may or may not also be turning people into zombies, à la 28 Days Later. Which, by the way, is not what I was expecting when I went to see that movie. I honestly thought it was about Sandra Bullock relapsing in a charming sequel to 28 Days! Color me surprised! My dad was also surprised. He was all up next to me eating the garlic sticks and personal pizza he had snuck into the theater going “MAN, WHAT THIS SHIT? WHERE BULLOCK?” Not amused.
Authorities are worried that the infection is all set to go on a worldwide tour and are concerned about the possibility of it traveling by plane. While all of the people who have gotten the infection have been treated successfully, doctors have had to go positively retro on this thing, using unpopular drugs from the ’50s and ’60s that have been known to cause kidney damage—so basically just crystal meth and downers. And LSD. Lots and lots of LSD. But let’s focus on the other Serious Issue: What will they do with the livestock? Will the FDA’s new guidelines on stuffing animals full of antibiotics be at all effective against a terrifying superbug? How will they keep it out of the meats?! What if this superbug affects only meat-eaters? Should we be shamefully happy, or sincerely concerned?
Perhaps something of this magnitude is what’s going to bring all of us closer here on Vegansaurus, forcing us to put aside our differences, snide comments, and misplaced moral outrage at Lady Gaga jokes to band together and hold hands as we stare into the unblinking eye of this fresh, new horror.
Announcing Vegansaurus' super-secret, super-awesome Top Chef: Just Desserts project!
You guys, it’s going to be great! I wish we could tell you more about it—we are so close to having all our seeds in a row, so to speak—but for now, I can say that Your Vegansaurus has fun surprises in store for you in the coming weeks! Fun surprises directly related to the new Bravo show Top Chef: Just Desserts!
We are unaffiliated with the Bravo network, although our Maria owns and operates Bravo Gossip, which we love!, and as far as we know the only connection Just Desserts has to veganism is contestant Zac Young’s mother and the “tofu and carob pudding” she inflicted on him as a child (if it doesn’t contain dairy you’re not allowed to call it mousse?), but we are Vegansaurus—our coverage will be relevant to your vegan lifestyle, we promise.
Top Chef: Just Desserts airs on Bravo tonight at 11 (Eastern/Pacific), and every Wednesday hereafter at 10. Your enjoyment of this new feature probably won’t depend on watching the show, but it might enhance it—who can say? And of course, if anyone starts paying us to tell you to watch television, we’ll let you know. So, you know, WATCH WHAT HAPPENS tonight on Bravo! Or not! It is your choice! Not subscribing to a cable service is a perfectly legitimate choice, one for which Your Vegansaurus doesn’t judge you. Maybe you want to visit a friend who does, though. Because this is going to be GREAT!
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine* (PCRM) released the above commercial totally and morbidly dissing McDonald’s after a recent study they conducted shows just how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. And McDonald’s is pissed!:
This commercial is outrageous, misleading and unfair to all consumers. McDonald’s trusts our customers to put such outlandish propaganda in perspective, and to make food and lifestyle choices that are right for them.
Outrageous and outlandish? Them’s fightin’ words! But PCRM’s findings are pretty scary. The Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 42 grams of fat, 740 calories, 155 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. HOLY CRAP! Check out that sodium number! Good lord. Even the sweetly permissive USDA only recommends up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and that’s counting foods with naturally occurring sodium (although mostly those are dairy products, ew).
Other people are backing McDonald’s in this time of need, including the Wall Street Journal community. So far, 54 percent of them say the ad is unfair! Wah! BTW, I say we go over and vote. Give them some perspective! Our Meave had a few words to say in response to this:
Of course the WSJ crowd is voting it “unfair”; readers of the WSJ are [stereotypically] super-capitalist, super-individualist Randies who’d be libertarians if they weren’t so into government breaks for big corporations. “We are responsible for our own decisions,” says a commenter, as though anyone can make a good decision without pertinent information. UGH.
Besides, this Question of the Day isn’t asking, “Is McDonald’s responsible for all heart disease, ever?” or “Should the government expand healthcare to cover people who ONLY EAT MCDONALD’S BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID POOR FATTY FAT FATS WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER?” It’s an AD CAMPAIGN. And one might think that WSJ readers, being on the whole very staunchly pro-business, would support the right of an organization to run whatever ad campaign it so chose. I suppose that when that ad campaign comes into conflict with the interests of a major international corporation, WSJ readers would rather see the big, profitable corporation continue to dominate.
Everyone’s favorite, Eater, had a bit to say in McDonald’s defense, calling the ad “a crazy new commercial” by PCRM, adding that
PCRM is known for their somewhat insane vegan agenda—back in May, they wrote a press release advising KFC to follow the same guidelines the FDA sets out for tobacco producers and not advertise near schools and put a warning label on Double Downs. In this this ad, they recommend “Tonight, make it vegetarian.”
Now, if you are a vegan anything like me, you love your vegan cupcakes and vegan fried food. It’s like we always say, vegan doesn’t equal healthy. But we’re not talking about cupcakes; we’re talking about POISON. Remember Super Size Me? This stuff will kill you! And the main difference is that they don’t want to tell you. Vegansaur Jordan was just saying the other day that she will tell you in plain language that her vegan cupcakes are far from vitamin bars. And if PCRM wants you to know about the nutrition information of McDonald’s food and its ramifications on your health, what is so “unfair” about that?
*Disclosure: Our Laura has worked on contract for PCRM in the past.
Interested in doing some immediate good? Participate in tonight’s Peanut Butter Plan sandwich-making party! RSVP at the Facebook event page, and meet at 116 Noe St. (between 14th and Henry Streets) at 7:30 p.m. to make some sandwiches!
Hang on, what is the Peanut Butter Plan? It is simple genius, is what: once a month, people get together to make pb&j sandwiches and distribute them. To whom? Well, to hungry people. PBP Founder Jory John gives a more detailed explanation.
Your Vegansaurus likes it because generally pb&js are animal-free, as well as nutritionally balanced and very good to eat. If you have the time tonight, definitely go and help out. One particularly irritating vegan stereotype is that we value animals over humans, which, OK, sometimes is true, because a lot of humans are big jerks! But starving people? Starving people at least deserve a vegan sandwich, and here’s your chance to help out! Now go! RSVP and go before I’m forced to make a “spread the love” pun and die of shame!
This sweet baby right here is everything you ever wanted from an “all man-made materials” shoe, promising flights of fancy not yet seen in this world like unicorn rides, or my acceptance to grad school. Just leave some 8.5s for me!
What comes to mind when you think of god (or God, depending) showing signs that he exists? Is it a bleeding statue of the virgin Mary somewhere? Is it the face of Jesus in a potato, a pice of toast, or a grain of wood?
Whatever you are thinking, YOU ARE WRONG!
When some higher power decides to prove he (or she. I don’t know!) is the real deal and kicking it up in the sky somewhere he (or, again, she) knows that the way to get our attention is with ADORABLE KITTENS. And the way to do that is by writing CAT in the FUR OF A CAT! How meta is that?!
Polly is a tabby, and apparently all tabbies have an “M” on their foreheads, which has something to do with the virgin Mary and/or the prophet Mohammed. Polly was recently adopted from a local shelter and is now enjoying the high life with a middle-aged British couple.
Just another reason why adopting animals from shelters is awesome. If rescuing an animal who has not has had an awesome life isn’t enough, now you can look forward to messages from god. AND ADORABLENESS!
Farmers markets, consumer warnings and political scandal in your egg-recall update!
The Humane Society wants us to know that eggs from the farmers market can come from hens treated just as terribly as hens that supply eggs for supermarkets. Many of you are probably like, “duh,” but before I became vegan, I was unaware of this sort of thing. I even assumed “organic” automatically meant humane! But it’s just not so. Side note: that was actually why I initially became vegan, because if you don’t go directly to the farm, you just don’t know how the animals are treated. But I can’t be running around on farms everyday just so I can eat omelets! I’ve got work to do and dance moves to perfect!
Last week, the Humane Society sent letters to California’s farmers markets asking them to forbid the sale of eggs from caged hens: “To increase food safety, improve animal welfare, and to meet the expectations of their consumers, we hope California’s farmers markets will stop allowing their well-earned ‘halo effect’ to extend to companies and products that don’t deserve it.” LGBT Compassion regularly protests the live-chicken vendors at Heart of the City Farmers Market—did you know that these hens aren’t protected by California’s poultry slaughter laws?
Of course cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean the hen can go outside or anything silly like that, but they generally* do have enough room to spread their wings and actually move in general. And as the Humane Society points out, “cage-free” also means safer, according to the last 10 studies on the subject.
Does anyone else remember the E. coli outbreak in spinach in 2006? When I went to Whole Foods around then, every single bag of spinach had an E. coli warning—have they done that with the eggs? I don’t know, I don’t buy eggs, but I doubt it. And you know why? Politics!
"What we found is that action is needed to curtail interference in science, both political and that driven by the private sector," said Francesca Grifo, director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "We have two very different agencies giving very identical responses, and this suggests the need for broad reform."
Inspectors responding to the survey reported pressure from their own agencies to make problems disappear and to help offending companies remain open even when there are clear violations. So basically, we’re screwed! Business over safety, that’s the American way.
Speaking of business and corruption, Grist had a good piece yesterday about the crazy egg empire of Jack DeCoster. DeCoster owns Wright County Egg, one of the egg factories subject to the recall, and according to Grist writer Tom Philpott, he’s “one of the most reviled figures in industrial agriculture.” DeCoster views violating food safety laws as no big deal, and paying fines as another part of doing business. OMG this guy rules! Wright County Egg is only the ninth-largest egg producer in the U.S. BUT! DeCoster may very well be numero uno of the egg market! BUT! It’s very confusing! Philpott tries to get to the bottom of it:
[There are] four large egg producers—DeCoster Family Farms (Wright County Egg), Hillandale Farms, Ohio Fresh Eggs, and Quality Eggs of Maine—which [are] controlled by or have extremely intimate links with Jack DeCoster. The Cal-Maine list of the largest U.S. egg producers puts the hen flocks of DeCoster Family Farms, Hillandale, and Ohio Fresh at 9 million, 14 million, and 7.6 million, respectively. It doesn’t list Quality Egg of Maine, but the Boston Globe says it keeps 5 million hens…. [T]hat amounts 35.6 million hens under management by companies owned by or tightly linked with DeCoster—more than 10 percent of the nation’s total flock (340 million).
Philpott is not done yet but I’ll keep you updated. God bless his tireless soul!
I know our vegan readers don’t buy eggs, but many of our friends and loved ones do. One thing we can do is get them hip to the farmers market jive and tell them to always ask egg vendors if the hens are cage-free, and to ask farmers market organizers if they allow eggs from caged hens. I find that even when omnivores don’t care how animals are treated, many of them are über-scared of food-borne illnesses so the increased danger caused by small cages is a good thing to make them aware of. Everybody now: BABY STEPS!
*This is an update. Cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean they can spread their wings or anything superfluous like that. FYI.
Holler at your people in Oakland! Maybe Too $hort will show up and drop his new album on us? Is that correct terminology? Does he even have an album coming out? The correct answers are: YES; and, IF IT’S TOO $HORT THEN YES. That fool drops his last album every two weeks. What can I say? The guy is prolific. We have a lot in common that way. And no other way.
After moving to San Francisco three months ago, I’ve come to refer to my Sunday excursions as “free breakfast.” The many bread-bakers and fruit-sellers at Stonestown Galleria set out platters of samples, and sometimes approach you with tongs and chunks of their goods; the prepared-food vendors seem extremely interested in giving you a taste. And for good reason—they know that you’ll find it hard not to walk away with their product.
If you have ever visited a farmer’s market in San Francisco, you’ve probably encountered the Afghan culinary delight Bolani. These people shove tender, flaky, stuffed breads topped with unctuous and flavorful spreads at you like they think you’re starving. Only one of the spreads contain dairy, the breads are all vegan, and they even have butter-free baklava. A few stands down, Tofu Yu—tasty local soy products—and Sukhi’s—Indian snacks and condiments, with a delectable jalapeno chutney—will also press samples on you. The Hummus Guy is actually “manned” by a woman, whom I used to avoid: She seemed like the cat lady of hummus, hunched protectively over her various tubs veggie-based salads and spreads, surrounded by bags of pita chips; but when I lingered long enough she offered to let me try whatever I wanted, and was quite kind—her roasted red pepper dip is impressive, though everything I tried was great. The Nago Foods booth is also on that aisle, and sells miso salad dressings, with samples drizzled over little cups of greens—only one of their dressings is vegan, but if you’re munching your way down the aisle, you might as well. Across the market, M&CP Farms have apparently been growing olives in Orland, Calif. for the past 50 years; you can find them here every other Sunday. They don’t just grow, brine and sell some remarkably delicious olives of quite a variety, but they put almost all of them out for sampling, as well as a couple other pickled items and a few spreads. One or two contain cheese, but everything else is vegan: spicy olives, dry-cured olives, almond-stuffed olives, lime olives, just to name a few. If you can coordinate your visit, do not miss this stand. The dudes that run it are super-nice, too, always ready with crackers topped with tapenade.
Probably the only vendor this market lacks is a good vegan dessert—the cupcake lady here only does vegan ones on special advance order. But that leads me to the fruit—every type you can imagine. The fruit vendors are too numerous to name, but I enjoy visiting Malik Ranch for this farmer’s dried fruits as well as various almonds available to try. I particularly appreciate this stand as he actually lists his ingredients for his flavored almonds on the bags, in clear view, and practically all of them are vegan.
If you visit this market, I also recommend you try some of the unusual Asian vegetables. They are extremely cheap and I have yet to be disappointed by an exotic leafy green, even when I didn’t know what it was called (though of course it doesn’t hurt to ask the seller for advice on preparation). Heaps of ginger, garlic, lemongrass, okra leaves and Japanese eggplants dominate your view. From shiitake mushrooms to squash to chard to cauliflower, I rarely have trouble finding the veggie I’m looking for.
Now let’s get to the hot food stands, the real jewel in the crown. The omnipresent Kettle Corn guy is here, as well as a couple Southern-food stands (one actually has a vegan gumbo which is mostly okra, and not bad at all), waffles, and the Pie Press, which sells savory pies, apparently with vegan crusts but rarely vegan fillings; perhaps we should lobby her. The standout is definitely Happy Dumpling, which virtually always has a line, even at 9 a.m. Upon seeing the stand for the first time, with its prominent sign that said “Islamic Chinese lamb kabobs,” I had little hope for the place. However, I’m eternally grateful that I asked, because their vegetarian dumplings as well as their green onion pancake are vegan. The first time I had the dumplings, stuffed with minced, deliciously seasoned veggies and clear yam noodles, my mind was pretty much blown. Best of all, they’re incredibly cheap—$2 for three large dumplings. They are on the soft, doughy side, with a crispy fried exterior, and best dunked in the vinegar and soy sauce available at the condiments table. I recently I tried the green onion pancake but was less impressed. It’s basically crispy-fried thin dough with some green onions folded in—a good conveyance for Thai sweet chili sauce, but not too remarkable on its own, though pulling the layers apart better revealed the flavor of the onions. It’s still a great deal at $2, especially if you are craving something greasy.
I think if Happy Dumpling didn’t dominate the hot food market, Indian Gourmet would likely have a huge line also, because based on the samples they set out of chewy, incredibly fresh naan and dishes like chana masala, mixed vegetables and vegan saag, their culinary skills are quite impressive. Even better, their extensive menu—which includes samosas, wraps, platters and subsi/dal to go in a tub for $5—clearly indicates the vegan item.
I have to admit I rarely eat at the hot food vendors, mainly because I tend to go relatively early and fill up on delicious, but one stand I never miss anymore is Gaga Café. Though I would typically balk at paying $3 for an 8 oz cup of coffee, these locally roasted beans are some of the best I’ve ever tasted, and great to sip on while wandering the market. Given that there aren’t many good cafes in West Portal, he is a godsend. The man who runs it is friendly and works fast, despite brewing each cup individually. If you don’t like to walk and drink (or eat), you can have a seat at one of the many round tables arrayed around the little performance area, which always has live music.
Now that San Francisco’s true summer is supposedly on its way and even this generally foggy ’hood is starting to heat up, consider checking out this unique market, to support the various sellers who help make it a wonderland of vegan eating!
Tamara Failor currently lives in West Portal, and will soon relocate temporarily to Mongolia for work. Though Mongolia is quite possibly the least vegan-friendly country on the planet, she feels excited and up to the challenge. Tamara has lived in Portland, South Korea and North Carolina, and while in Portland documented and reviewed the city’s various vegan reubens. This is her first post for Vegansaurus; all photos by Tamara Failor!
Ha ha, just kidding. They’re really closing this time. I’m holding my last ever Vegan Brutus on glorious Dutch crunch from Ike’s Place—last ever, that is, until they inevitably (hopefully?) reopen. In the meantime, put your phone on speaker because even the wait to get past a busy signal is out of control.
And in a way, Ike’s Place really is staying open after all. In our hearts? Well, maybe there too (I’m sentimental like that), but I meant in Stanford. Their new location just opened last week, and according to Ike it’s already exploding, with an hour wait on the first day. So call ahead before your next sandwich road trip.
I’m sure some of you are still scratching your heads wondering why we’ve been getting all worked up and misty-eyed over a sandwich shop that also serves meat. For me, it’s about 32 percent selfish. Ike’s Place was my neighborhood sandwich shop, sometimes acting as my own surrogate kitchen for weeks at a stretch. Ike’s also gives a shit about what vegans want to eat, showing a level of commitment to us and to keeping with the times that almost no other restaurant in San Francisco has shown. Even our city’s “flagship” vegan restaurant (yes, I’m looking at you, Herbivore) keeps the same menu year after year, while Ike keeps buying new products that vegans are genuinely excited about. It was an omnivorous sandwich shop that was simultaneously more vegan than half the vegan restaurants in this city combined.
I love San Francisco, but Ike’s eviction is a symbolic victory for everything broken in this city: unneighborly neighbors who take up space over people who actually contribute to the community; blighted storefronts over a vibrant local economy; bureaucracy over small, independent business. Opening a new eating establishment in San Francisco is already prohibitively difficult; the message you get from City Hall, neighbors, landlords, and large chains is “you’re not wanted here, don’t bother.” And that’s all before adding the extra layer of “vegan” (see also: “weird,” “niche”) into the mix.
Yes, there’s nothing more played out than a “people like X are ruining San Francisco for people like Y” rant piece. But veganism in this city will succeed or fail based on whether or not new restaurants, bakeries, cafes, etc. can get some basic support, instead of being treated like a boil to be squeezed out. I’m not saying, let’s go Ayn Rand and deregulate everything. That’s insane—shit needs to be clean and safe; employees need to get paid a living wage. But come on; San Francisco has more skeezy massage parlors than vegan restaurants. It really shouldn’t be this hard to sell a sandwich.
P.S. What are you doing tonight? Probably nothing, so join Ike and everyone else as they crowd 16th and Sanchez with music and insanity for a farewell street party before closing tonight for real. PEACE OUT, neighbors.
Sadly, it’s reached the end of the line for Ike’s Place; today is the seminal sandwich shop’s last day of business at its Castro location. Hot tipper Mr. Jordan headed there for lunch (before heading there for dinner—not kidding!) and reports insanely long lines, a 75-minute wait (so far) for his sandwich, though he didn’t call in an order, so that’s kind of his own fault, and a “party atmosphere.” Here’s a picture:
If you’re wanting to get some sweet sandwich love on Ike’s last day, be sure to call in your order so that you won’t be one of the poor suckers waiting in line twice!
[Thanks to Vegansaurus special correspondent Mr. Jordan for the photos!]
For $10, you get all-you-can-eat, hand-crafted vegan gelato from vegan chef Barry Schenker. Eating mad vegan gelato (9 flavors!) in a fancy club in Berkeley? WE HAVE ARRIVED. Further details here.
If you’re planning on going, make sure to RSVP by email or call 510 649 0449. Let them know you are a T-1000 of ice cream and to prepare several tubs for your consumption. Also, if someone else eats from your tub, you’ll murder them. Oh, ‘cause you’re a people terminator, too. Make sure to mention that. OOH YOU COULD ALSO carry a picture of vegan gelato and be all, “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BOY?” or something. Also, dress like a cop. Yeah, do all that.
Le Canot Rouge Giveaway! WIN SOME AWESOME SHIT RIGHT NOW!
Le Canot Rouge is the super-fucking-cutest stationery ever, featuring designed and created by a lovely vegan lady named Laura (CAN I GET A WHAT-WHAT FOR HOT VEGANS NAMED LAURA??). It launched at the National Stationery Show in May, where it was really well received, and the store known for everything insanely adorable and adorably insane, Anthropologie, picked it up. Go on vegan stationery company making it happen with the bigwigs!
Laura describes her designs thusly:
The stationery features charming animals of the woods that I’ve anthropomorphized-–not wearing clothes or anything, ‘cause that would just be silly, but doing things like riding a bicycle, carrying an umbrella, or using a rescue ring. The intention is to, in a gentle, quirky way, allow people to realize that animals have their own lives, and should have their freedom, choices and rights without us humans bestowing these upon them at our choosing (or not).
So as not to damage the very ideas I want to support, Le Canot Rouge prints exclusively on process-chlorine-free, Forest Stewardship Council-certified, 100 percent post-consumer recycled-fibre paper because the medium IS the message. The paper manufacturer purchases enough Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates to match 100 percent of the electricity used in its operations.
And the reason for launching Le Canot Rouge? So I can help make a change: 10 percent of Le Canot Rouge’s gross sales (rather than some watered-down ‘net’ business) is donated to animal welfare causes.
So cute and awesome and responsible and wonderful! I want to make out with that other Laura. I’ll tape it and it’ll be like watching Inception but the porn version. BOOM CHICKA WOW WOW (how do you type that?).
ANYWAY, your Vegansaurus and Le Canot Rouge is giving away a complete set of the animals to one lucky winner. VERY AWESOME.
TO WIN, you must do TWO (really really easy) THINGS:
SFist & SF Appeal have up-to-the minute coverage of all the news and things we can do to help with the fire. Like, for instance, blood banks are at capacity but there will be more need in the upcoming days. It’s good to give blood, anyway BE A GOOD PERSON. Plus, free juice!
UPDATE (12:14 pm) The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA) is prepared to offer temporary sheltering, pet food and supplies for any pets belonging to residents displaced from their homes following this evening’s gas explosion in San Bruno. For pets requiring immediate veterinary care, the emergency veterinary clinic closest to San Bruno is located in San Mateo at 227 North Amphlett Blvd. The phone number is 650/348-2575.
Update (1:30 p.m.) Vi Z. reports that San Francisco’s High Tail Hotel is offering shelter to displaced San Bruno dogs as well. The hotel is located at 2275 Revere Ave., and the phone number is 415/913-7101.
Update (1:40 p.m.)
Called Peninsula Humane Society re: donations or help for the pets in the San Bruno fire, and they could use donations of cat and dog food, collars and leashes and treats in sealed bags. These can be dropped off at their facility and they can disburse to the owners or use at their Shelter for the pets that were brought in. Please pass along to anyone that can help!
Update (4:22 p.m.)
SF Appealhas lots more info on how PHS/SPCA is stepping up to help (and can maybe you can help them!)
When you’re tired of shelling out lots of money for a lovely vegan meal and want to just cook yourself, it’s time to go shopping for vegan groceries in Paris. It’s easier than you might think!
You might see Naturalia all over the city; with a tag line like “ingredients for life,” how can you go wrong? They carry tofu, tempeh, and overpriced seitan—no really, how could they possibly charge over 25€ for a fucking package of seitan?! IT’S JUST GLUTEN AND WATER, PEOPLE! Depending on the size of the store you stumble into they also have a small assortment of alimentaires bio, a.k.a. organic food. I would definitely stay away from their almost inedible prepackaged meals; I got a tofu-bulgur dish that was positively vile. That said, Naturalia is a great place to get all of the specialty vegan/gluten-free/healthy items that “normal” groceries don’t carry. A similar bio market you might want to try is Hédonie, located by the Rennes metro.
But if you don’t have time to look for a boutiquey, small market and want to visit some huge-ass shopping center like, say, the Galeries Lafayette, you’re in luck! Boasting a full organic section and an assortment of soy yogurt, I was sold. But maybe it was their loose spices or the vegan cookies in their bakery that made me swoon. Regardless, it would take a lot to get me to elbow through a mound of tourists to get to the checkout counter more than once.
I only go to supermarkets when I need specialty items I can’t get elsewhere. When you’re in Paris, you need to enjoy the wide availability of the freshest, most delicious produce ever. A guide like 20 Little Cities has a comprehensive listing of open-air farmer’s markets throughout Paris. I had the opportunity to go to the Marché de Cours de Vincennes (pictured), which had a huge assortment of the most delicious-looking and -tasting produce I have ever had the pleasure of getting my hands on. The vibrant colors and hustle-and-bustle atmosphere are sure to make any foodie quiver in her panties.
I’ll leave you with a picture of the most delicious strawberries I have ever eaten in my life. Unphotoshopped, I swear, and taken with a point-and-shoot Canon Elph.
Did you know, for example, that, “The cultivated soybean, Glyine max (L.) Merrill, is the only member of the genus having an erect bushy plant with an annual growth habit”? DYING. The Dept. of Ag is full of interesting information. Also some outdated stuff, as this was written in the mid-/late ’40s; it recommends growing soybeans because they’re difficult to find “in canned or frozen form.”
However, it does seem quite useful. Your Vegansaurus asked an experienced horticulturalist about the instructions, and she said they seem very reasonable. So if you’re worried about issues like buying from companies whose soybeans also feed livestock or use GMOs, or you’d like to live more independently in general, growing soybeans may be for you. I especially love Gardening for Food and Fun because it tells you exciting! and new! ways to eat the food you’ve grown, like how to sprout and dry the soybeans; it’s adorable. Soybean sprouts are not on my imaginary 1950s dinnertables, but there are your helpful tips anyway.
Library4Farming seems like a pretty useful resource: they are working to put online every single USDA Yearbook of Agriculture series “which has been published almost every year from 1894 to 1992” and which are full of relevant (and irrelevant) information. So far they have scanned the aforementioned GFF, Insects, and Science in Farming. Maybe there are more thrilling revelations from the USDA waiting for someone (us? you?) to discover! Maybe it is excrutiatingly boring blah blah about how to most effectively slaughter insects! We’ve only read the bit about soybeans so far, but that was neat enough to share, it seemed like there might be more USDA fun!
[image of soy bean plant by kamome; image of soybeans by trapon]
No more Rainbow Coupon Days, y’all. This is the last month. I’ll be spilling out some organic almond milk for my fallen homie. Good write-ups of the pros and cons of coupon day in both UA & ML, so I’ll spare you the eulogy/celebration/tears. I guess I’ll just have to steal extra from the Whole Foods bulk section to make up for the loss. LE SIGH. I only worry for the phonebook. Now that its only purpose is gone, is there any need to make these landfill-overflowing machines anymore?? PLEASE STOP!
Killer news, you guys: a longterm study of nearly 130,000 people found that those participants eating lower-carbohydrate, higher-protein diets in which the protein and fats came from plant sources were overall healthier and lived longer. Moreover, the study “confirmed a ‘direct association’ between animal-based low-carbohydrate food intake in men and increased cancer deaths, particularly from colorectal and lung cancer. That association aligns with previous studies that have confirmed a link between red meat, processed meat, and those two types of cancers.” Whoops! Enjoy that bacon, hope you don’t mind dying at 50.
The National Institutes of Health funded the study, which began following 85,186 women in 1980 and 44,548 men in 1986. The vegetable-protein-eaters ate more whole grains and drank more alcohol—color your Vegansaurus surprised—while the animal-protein-eaters were more likely to smoke. And yes, the study took more “positive” lifestyle factors into account as well, like vitamins and exercise; our people still outlived the death-eaters.
This coincides nicely with what Nation’s Restaurant News reports as one of fall’s big trends: VEGETABLES! Everyone’s crazy about vegetables, and not just because they are so damn delicious! Did you know that “[p]rotein production uses many more resources and generates much more waste than vegetable production”? You guys, they’re learning and mending their ways! “John Fraser, the executive chef at Dovetail in New York City, introduced meatless Mondays earlier this year and has come to enjoy focusing on cooking vegetables so much that he said he is toying with the idea of opening an all-vegetarian restaurant.”
That brings a tear to my eye, it absolutely does. Science keeps supporting our choices, and chefs are backing us up with more cruelty-free dishes. Lucky us; when we do end up living to ridiculously old age, we’ll always be able to eat well.
Right now, you guys! At the Ferry Building! Until 3 p.m.! The Cooking Channel’s Ice Cream Truck is giving away Scream Sorbet, and who cares how cold it is, this stuff is really good and really free and you should get over there and take advantage of the opportunity while you can!
I was very sad yesterday when two commenters said that vegan shoe companies like Keep don’t make sizes big enough for them—this is horrible! All vegans need hot shoes! Then I remembered the tweet I read from Beyond Skin the other day: they announced that they had expanded their shoe sizes to include up to UK size 10! I totally forgot about this because I’m a US 8 so it didn’t really affect me but HOW SELFISH WAS I? I now share the good news with you!
According to Beyond Skin, a UK 10 is a US 13 is a EU 43. Damn, babygirl! Now, the only problem with Beyond Skin is that they are expensive and in British pounds—goddamn GBPs! Really though, I blame the US dollar. But so yeah, they’re on the fancy-fancy side but I own several pairs and they are well made like no joke. I’m kind of accustom to vegan shoes being cheap and falling apart but not with Beyond Skin, they are QUALITY. They aren’t made by child slaves, so that boosts the price up a bit. And they all say, “genuinely not leather” on the bottom, which doesn’t affect the price but I think it’s adorbs.
Not all their shoes come in every size but it didn’t take me long to find a few of the shoes in the larger sizes—just stick to the new collection. Check out the Ricardo boot in grey or the super-hot Maggie pictured below:
When I wrote about the situation of wolves in the Rockies yesterday, commenter Vi Z. asked, “Is any organization stepping forward to counteract this? Can we do anything?” Being such a pro journalist, I probably should have included this information in the initial post, but! I didn’t. So I’ve looked up a few now and I’d like to share them with you.
Defenders of Wildlife is a pretty dope-seeming organization that I hadn’t heard of because I’m so busy watching NCIS that these things fall through the cracks. They are working crazy-hard to help the wolves! They have a number of petitions you can sign:
You can donate to Defenders of Wildlife’s wolf efforts here and you can also adopt a wolf if you like—I’m always encouraging the adoption route if you know any kiddies you can get involved. They also have these “wolf-saving gifts" you can donate that include various ways to protect "livestock" from the wolves like radios and other devices that deter them (but don’t blow their heads off).
In my search for wolf-support organizations, I came across this awesome video by youtube user PhotoAnimationGuy. A rapping pug gives Sarah Palin what-for over her support for aerial wolf-hunting in Alaska. It’s my new jam!
Wolves are on the endangered list in every state but Alaska and Montana, but the government is going to start shooting them from the sky! Another idea is to gas wolf pups. That fucking rules.
From the Huffington Post:
"As the wolf populations increase, the depredations increase and the number of wolf removals will increase. It’s very logical," said Mark Collinge, Idaho director for Wildlife Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture branch that removes problem wolves, typically by shooting them from aircraft. "You just have to accept that part of having wolves is having to kill wolves," he said.
Um, what a dick. We don’t “have” wolves, they live on the damn planet. Maybe part of “having” wolves is accepting that they will eat some of your “livestock” and crash your hunting parties. Really, that’s what some people are worried about: the wolves will be competition for the “big game” hunters.
They could relocate wolves, even sterilize some of them. Or even FENCE IN THE LIVESTOCK so they’re not such easy prey! But seriously, gassing wolf babies? That’s some cold shit. You would gas this adorable wolf pup learning to howl?