Dog hero rescues adorable kittens from unfathomable human evil!
Happy! Sad! Kittens! Puppy! This story has it all.
Loving lab Reagan found kittens sealed in a Meow Mix bag in the middle of the road, carried them all the way home, and wouldn’t stop whining until his owner opened the bag. She could hear faint feline mewls, but was unprepared for the bag’s contents. Inside, she discovered two kittens, now named Tipper and Skipper, covered in the carnage of the other two (or three) kittens that were run over by a car.
"The instinct of the dog was to nurture and not kill the kittens. With all the blood some dogs would have responded to the scent. Reagan the dog is a hero," said Linda Blakely from Iowa’s Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary, who fostered the little boos. Reagan is the best! This just goes to show, once again, that animals are cooler than people. Seriously—a dog named after a Republican is like ‘WTF people, DON’T MURDER KITTENS.’
“Whether them being dumped out is an act of cruelty or desperation we will never know,” added Blakely. Uh, really? You mean to tell me there is some uncertainty as to whether sealing kittens in a cat food bag and dumping them into oncoming traffic to be gruesomely slaughtered qualifies as a fucking ACT OF CRUELTY? I mean, seriously, who does that?! Ugh.
Reagan is awesome! Yay Reagan! This is a happy story! And a miracle! Blakely was unsure whether Tipper and Skipper, weak and traumatized from the experience (duh), would live through the first few days—they had to be bottle-fed every two hours. But then they did! And now they are healthy, handsome, well adjusted kitties looking for their forever home. I would say that if you are in Iowa, and maybe lonely you are lonely, you should adopt them now! But since the news video has gone viral [video!], people from all over the world are competing for the lucky cats. So adopt another one of countless rescued kittens, wherever you are! Or foster some, like me.
Aurora Wells is a writer and artist living in San Francisco with persistent dreams and borrowed kittens. She will do pretty much anything for that vegan cookie.
Product review: Rhythm Superfoods' kale chips win; sweet potato chips do OK
I’m a broken record about my love for bears, but did you know that I also enjoy snacks? I’m talking chips, cookies, and crackers, not so much any sort of healthy food, like fruit (blech) repurposed as snack food. Given the choice, I’ll usually choose the trans fats, the high sugar content, the empty calories.
Rhythm Superfoods provides the best of both worlds: filling my crunchy snacky urge and giving me less gas than Frito-Lay products. Rhythm Superfoods produces raw, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO snacks. To me, a person who grew up on Twinkies and Cheeto dust, that’s not exactly promising.
They sent a nice box with a bag each of Zesty Nacho kale chips and Sea Salt sweet potato chips. I popped open the sweet potato chips first. Although the chips were perfectly seasoned, I think the oil-free quality of the chips made them less than crispy. I don’t enjoy a bendy, chewy chip. I need CRUNCH, motherfuckers!
Although the kale chips were rather crumbled from their trip in the box to me, they saved the day. Crunchy with a cheesy flavor from being smothered in nutritional yeast, I ate the entire bag in one sitting (which is only two servings, sadly). Rhythm rekindled my passion for the kale chip, to be honest. And now we are involved in the most sordid of love affairs: snaxploitation.
I got a gratis copy of John Schlimm’s The Tipsy Veganto review for you guys! Rachel has been on a cookbook review roll, as I’m sure you’ve read, but when I saw “tipsy,” I knew this book was for yours truly. However, this is not a book of vegan cocktails like I thought! It’s all about cooking with wine and liquor. But there are a handful of cocktail recipes as well, they kick off each chapter.
To sum up the book in three words: Fun, challenging, sassy! That’s right, sassy. The tone of the book is very jovial and lighthearted, which I appreciate. And you are encouraged to enjoy your booze! As god intended. One thing I will say is that I’m not sure it’s really a book for beginners. It’s for more of a mid-level to experienced cook. There are lots of ingredients, lots of different techniques involved, and lots of recipes requiring things like ice cream makers and food processors (which I do not have because I’ve slimmed down my kitchen accessories. Oh, life in the big city!). A bowl and spoon are not going to get you very far here. On the other end of the spectrum, this is just the thing for the uninspired cook! It’ll give your cooking a kick in the pants! The recipes and ingredients are inventive and interesting. And the book is entertaining. I’m a fan!
I tried two of the recipes: Bruschetta on a Bender and Rockin’ Roasted Potatoes With Racy Rosemary and Mustard. The potatoes, the recipe for which you can get over on NYT, had vodka in them, which I had because my first housewarming gift was a half-empty bottle of Ketel One (#classy). Both recipes called for vermouth, but the potatoes said you could use a dry white wine instead and the bruschetta said a fruity red would work too. As I don’t know what I’d do with a bottle of vermouth and you better believe I know what to do with two bottles of wine, I opted for the wine. But the book said I could!
I don’t know what you call the sauce I made for the potatoes but it was damn good! Like, I was about to lick the bowl, horseradish and all. I had a little sauce left over and I put it in a cup to save in the fridge. I’m thinking Brussels sprouts!
The bruschetta was interesting because it called for thyme instead of your typical basil. My bro and sis-in-law were ‘bout it for the bruschetta! They both had like seven pieces. I liked it too but I did miss the basil. But there’s really no need to buy a cookbook with a basil bruschetta recipe, is there? And red wine on the tomatoes? Genius! Why don’t we do that all the time? We can from now on. Pish, I don’t even remember what life was like before red wine-soaked tomatoes!
Sweet Instagram pic of the bruschetta. Oh, Instagram, how I love you. Follow me: @MeganRascal!!!
Check it, I scored the Bruschetta on a Bender recipe for you! With permission from Da Capo Press, naturally:
Bruschetta on a Bender
Ingredients4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and very coarsely chopped 2 tsp. kosher salt 12 slices crusty French or Italian bread, about 3 inches in diameter 1 garlic clove, peeled and split 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp. dry vermouth or a fruity red wine 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried 1 tsp. dried oregano Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions Toss the tomatoes with the salt and drain for 30 minutes in a large colander set over a bowl.
Under a hot broiler, toast the bread slices on both sides.
Rub the toasted top of each slice with the split garlic clove and lightly brush the top of each slice with the olive oil
Gently press down on the drained tomatoes to extract even more juices. Then transfer them to another bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar, dry vermouth, thyme, and oregano.
Season with the pepper to taste. Spoon the tomato mixture in small mounds on top of the toasts and serve at once.
Yield: 12 bruschettas
Yay! Now you can make the bruschetta just like your pal Megan.
There are a lot of other great-sounding recipes I still want to try, namely the Merlot ice. Basically a Merlot slushy, it requires a food processor. I’m about to get one just to make it. Can you imagine? A Merlot slushy? Be still my heart!
Before I sign off, I’ll add another point: this book doesn’t really feel like a vegan cookbook, it feels like a “regular” cookbook. It’s not really about being vegan and you aren’t making approximations of omni recipes you’ve been missing; you’re making fun and exciting recipes that are also vegan. I think omnis would certainly enjoy this book too and if not for the title, I doubt they’d notice the absence of animals products. It’s definitely a good cookbook if you’re entertaining a mixed-diet crowd! So I say check it out and get a little crazy. A little crunked, even. Go for it.
This is Daniel! He’s a 26-toed cat that nobody wanted—now he’s a hero! The Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center found out their rent was being doubled and had to find a new facility immediately, but they didn’t have the funds! Until Daniel came along! He challenged animal lovers to donate at least $1 for each of his toes. So far, so good!:
They’ve collected enough so far to secure the financing with about $80,000 raised since Oct. 24, but they hope to raise $120,000 by Dec. 23 so they can become even more financially stable. About $50,000 of the money raised has come from $26 donations.
Yay, Daniel! I love you, you big-footed fluffball! Bleh to 18-toed cats. Bleh!
Janet Jackson loses a SUPERFAN over fur line (why Janet, why?)
It’s a sad, sad day in the world of animal lovin’ (not wearin’) Janet Jackson fans. Ms “I can get down with some faux chicken nuggets” Nasty, in collaboration with Blackglama, is launching a mink fur line, set to hit high-end retailers just in time for New Year’s. What what? EX-superfan, Sean Olsterdorf of Michigan, is not pleased and is therefore auctioning off ALL of his 25 years-in-the-making Janet memorabilia collection of vinyls, posters, pictures, and magazines, and donating the proceeds to PETA.
Janet modeling dead animals. Sean says, “I am a long-time Janet Jackson fan—or I should say I used to be. I am disgusted and have decided I want to auction off my entire 25 years-plus of Janet items and donate the proceeds to PETA. I have three rescued chinchillas and find Janet’s decision reprehensible.”
Props, Sean! I know it must be hurting you (even if it’s just a little) to part with that massive collection. Also, where did you keep all this stuff? Was it showcased around your apartment? Did it keep you from getting dates? My sister has been collecting 311 memorabilia for the last 12 years, but lucky for her, she married another superfan, so they can, like, decorate their house with that shit together. (Let’s not talk about my No Doubt memorabilia and the fact that I am so very single.)
We’ve talked about bile farming before. The main bullet point to take away from this presentation: It’s nasty. But apparently one of the owners of this farm, Mr Nguyen Ngoc Tien, realized the error of his ways and surrendered his share of the bears to Animals Asia rather than selling the bears. Now he’s encouraging other bile farmers to do the same. So, high-five to this guy!
Now the bears are hanging at the Animals Asia Moon Bear Rescue Center outside Hanoi. They’re recovering from fractured teeth, infected mouths, skin conditions, abdominal hernias, obesity, and probably internal damage from the bile farming practice. Go, bears, go! You’re needed in the bear army!
Hey NYC: Do you have room in your heart for sweet Johnny "Goggles"?
LOOK AT THAT FACE!!! This is Johnny “Goggles” and he is on death row at the Manhattan Animal Care and Control shelter. Really, he could be euthanized any day now and reader Kim wants to see him get a home instead! She’s been spending time with him and says he’d make the perfect dog for some lucky household. Kim and her boyfriend have already adopted a dog and cannot afford to take Johnny in as well but they think he’s so wonderful, they’ve actually offered to help cover his adoption fees for someone that can give him a great new home.
Johnny is three years old, a pit bull mix with a brindle and white coat. Kim says Johnny appears to have been abused or neglected in his past but is still incredibly sweet and loves affection. OMG I’m crying!
Here’s what some shelter volunteers had to say about Johnny’s personality; the first writes:
I’ve nicknamed Johnny “goggles” because of the brown mask of fur around his eyes. It’s just one of the many sweet, silly qualities this very nice boy has going for him. While some of the other dogs were jumping and barking in their kennels, trying to get my attention, Johnny stayed still, hoping to make eye contact and guilt me into walking him next. It worked, and off we went. Johnny has awesome leash skills, though he does zig-zag a little—a funny trait that makes me think he must be so happy to be outside seeing and sniffing so many fascinating things, he can’t decide where to direct his eyes and nose next. He’s social and friendly with other dogs and minds his manners around people. It helps that he’s so handsome, with a gorgeous white and brindle coat that earned him compliments on the sidewalk. Come meet our Johnny, a dog with so much potential to be a best friend and protector.
Another volunteer writes:
Here’s what Johnny Goggles loves: long walks, feeling the leaves crunch under his paws, sniffing the ground (and finding a couple of French fries left behind in a fast food container, yum!), sitting on a park bench next to his person like a king, and having his back and butt scratched endlessly. Now here’s what Johnny doesn’t love: watching so many other dogs come in the shelter and then get adopted, never knowing if and when he’ll have a loving home of his own. Let’s help Johnny, a medium-size guy with serious BFF potential, find his forever family very soon.
His I.D. number is JOHNNY - ID#A916477.
If you’d like to help Johnny, you can contact the Manhattan Animal Care and Control center—Kim suggests going to the center in person if you can because it’s difficult to connect with the center via phone or email. Kim says you can email her if you need further assistance. She even said she’d be happy to meet with you and accompany you to the shelter to save this dog. So nice! She just really wants to see him saved. So if you’ve been looking to adopt, what are you waiting for? This guy doesn’t have much time.
Do you love amazing sweet treats? Are you obsessed with chocolates, caramels, peanut brittles, toffees, truffles, brownies, and everything delicious? If you did not answer yes to all of that then GET OFF THIS SITE! You should know, above all, that we love to eat, and that vegan sweets genius Allison’s Gourmet understands that need, and excels at execution! If you haven’t indulged in Allison’s treats, you’re really missing out. Not only will they kick the shit out of any omnivore treat in taste and appearance, all of Allison’s treats are fair-trade, vegan, and organic. I MEAN COME ON. Plus, her packaging is pretty enough that you don’t even have to wrap it. You’ll save millions of dollars on wrapping, for real.
Now that you want to eat all of that, you might as well start with some freebies! The lovely Allison has generously offered a $20 Allison’s Gourmet gift certificate to one lucky Vegansaurus reader! For your chance to win, just tell me what your dream Allison’s Gourmet confection would be. Let your imagination run wild, you little vegan piggy. It can be mayonnaise peony, or peanut butter marshmallow sriracha for all we care! Actually, that second one might be pretty good, right? The winner will be chosen randomly next Friday, Dec. 16. Yay Allison’s Gourmet, we love you!!!
If you want to find out about more offers from the delightful Allison’s Gourmet, follow them on Twitter and Facebook DO IT! Now, let’s stare at truffles and caramels and be very happy:
Paul Shapiro on Smithfield, vegetarian stats, and swimming pigs!
It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! Yes! And check out that amazing new graphic from Megan Rascal! Two geniuses, united in genius, saving animals, looking good, and being awesome! Now, onto Mr. Shapiro's news!
Important breaking news today: Smithfield—the nation’s largest pig producer—is recommitting to end its gestation-crate use on company-owned factory farms by 2017. We of course always want more and faster, but considering that no other major U.S. pig producer has any commitment to stop using gestation crates at all, this is certainly welcome news. National AP story on it here.
While Florida has already banned gestation crates, one of its state senators wants to keep the public in the dark about factory farming cruelty, and has reintroduced his infamous “ag-gag” legislation that would make it a crime to photograph these facilities.
Very interesting new poll showing that 16 percent of Americans eat vegetarian more than half the time. Wow.
If you also like eating vegetarian food, and perhaps even listening to a hysterical vegetarian stand-up comedian like Dan Piraro (of Bizarro fame), I hope to be hanging out with you this Saturday night!
I am AS I TYPE riding in the car and listening to NPR (whee, iPad), where I just heard this story about how rats not only work to free their caged buddies, but then are nice and empathic enough to share their chocolate chips with them. An experiment on animals that shows why experiments on animals can be so cruel. Rats have empathy! Duh! Yay!
I have two dominant feelings about this news: 1. SAY WHAT, USFWS? Just because grizzlies got it on sufficiently and maybe got killed less to surpass your recovery goal of 500 bears in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming in the past 30 years doesn’t mean that you can ignore climate change’s affect on the bear population’s health, as conservationists and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (successfully) argued. 2. HOORAY! The three judges of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals took into account the decline in the population of whitebark pines, whose nuts are a major source of food for grizzlies to increase their fat reserves before hibernation. Bears love deez nuts! I bet they make a mean pesto with ‘em!
Guest post: Hosting vegans: tips and etiquette for the holidays
It’s that time of the year, where people start pretending to be social: family get-togethers, work potlucks, dinner parties, and holiday festivities. This can also be a pretty uncomfortable time for vegans, too. Unless you’ve been blessed with a cohort of family and friends who are also vegan, you’re usually the odd one out. So here are a few tips for omnis on how to be the best host when serving a mixed crowd.
1. Avoid conditional invitations I recently endured the most uncomfortable birthday party invite of my life, and I suddenly realized that my vegan diet literally scares some people. Instead of “Hey, my mom is throwing a birthday dinner for me and I’d like you to come,” my friend said, “My mom is having a birthday dinner for me and there won’t be any vegan food.” …OK? My friend tiptoed around my dietary restrictions and ended up uninviting me to his party before I was officially invited! All directly to my face! SO AWKWARD! Don’t do this!
The point of sharing this mildly embarrassing exchange is to remind you that you are inviting your friend to your party, not their dietary restrictions. Vegans are still people, so invite us as you would anyone else!
2. Be a good host This is a direct tip from my mom, the hostess of all hostesses. My mom is a red-blooded Italian woman who loves to host dinners and serve lots of different types of meats to her guests. It broke her heart when I came out to her as vegan, but she eventually stopped trying to sneak cottage cheese into every meal (for “protein”) and supported my decision.
When I told my mom I was writing this article, she said, “Well, it’s not so much about being vegan as it is being a good host. When you invite people into your home to eat, it’s your job to ask if they have any dietary restrictions, allergies or preferences.” With that, she told me that she always asks ahead of time, and does her research. If you don’t understand what vegans eat, find out before planning your menu. Either ask your guest directly, or if you’re too shy, a simple Google search can help you with definitions and such.
Stick with the guidelines, too. Vegans have different levels of gastrointolerance to certain foods (such as dairy or meat), because your body adjusts to the diet it’s actively fed. With that being said, you may think we won’t notice a dab of butter or a splash of chicken stock, but we will. Oh, we will.
3. Look at it as an opportunity, not a challenge You’ve made it through the first step and officially invited a few vegan buddies to your mostly omni party. Good for you! Here’s the next step: planning your menu. In this task, you have to accommodate your guests. Come up with something that everyone can enjoy, and get excited about trying a new recipe or two. This is an opportunity for you to learn a new skill, and to put a proverbial feather in your chef hat for future dinner parties. If you’re really intimidated by the prospect of cooking a vegan-friendly meal, ask your guests to help you. Ask for advice, ask for recipe suggestions, or ask them to bring something, such as an appetizer or dessert (but if you do this, make sure you offer other things for them to eat. As good as eating cake for dinner sounds, we need more than that).
4. Make it easy on yourself and your guests Don’t worry about what you’re going to feed those damn vegans that you invited. Instead, remember that you’re inviting people over to eat, so it’s important to make sure that everyone can eat. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been to a dinner party where I could only eat the bread, because even the salad had cheese on it (seriously, Caesar salad? Why do you need to put cheese on lettuce?). Avoid making a big meaty dinner, because that will alienate your non-meaty guests. If you’re stuck on serving meat, try making a vegan entrée with omni sides. It will be less awkward for your guests, and less work for you in the long run.
If you’re worried that your omni guests will complain about having a vegan entrée, well screw them, it’s your house. Kidding! Avoid that situation altogether by providing a “make it yourself” meal. Try having everyone add their choice of toppings to individual pizzas, or have a pasta bar with different mix-ins. Or tacos! Everyone loves tacos! This eliminates any uncomfortable feelings from both your vegan guests and your omni pals, and minimizes your work as the chef. Win-win-win!
5. Avoid awkward situations Sometimes, people are so intrigued by the vegan lifestyle that they ask endless amounts of questions. That’s totally fine, but it’s not the only thing we want to talk about. It can be alienating, or really intrusive, neither of which you want to experience when at a party. As the host, it’s your job to make sure your vegan guests aren’t the entertainment for the evening.
Set the stage by treating your vegan buddies like all the other guests. We don’t want to be a spectacle, and we don’t want special treatment. Avoid saying things like “Here’s your super-special, one-of-a-kind VEGAN DISH that I made just for you and no one else!” If you do this, I guarantee that someone will comment on how “My cousin used to be vegetarian but gave it up for health reasons” or “I eat vegetarian most of the time, but oh heck, I just love me some cheese!” I’m pretty sure I can speak for most vegans when I say that we hate these conversations. Your guests didn’t come to your party to defend themselves, they came to eat the delicious food you prepared.
If you’re hosting a self-service meal like I suggested previously (yay, take my suggestion!), label everything, but be discreet. Use a universal sign, like a little “v” in the corner of your label. This will prevent embarrassment when you walk your vegan guests past each dish and proclaim loudly “This is VEGAN, oh and this is VEGAN TOO! Oh, that has cheese in it, but you can eat this hummus” (OH THANKS, MOM)!
Whether it’s your first or 50th time hosting a semi-vegan crowd, remember that you’re throwing this party to have fun, and if your guests are anything like me, they will not be fun with an empty stomach.
The Empire State Building Shines Red for The Cove!
I just read on Ecorazzi that tonight the Empire State Building will be lit up in red to honor the poor dolphins and to promote the message of The Cove. The event was planned by racecar driver Leilani Munter. And John Leguizamo will be there along with the director and producer of The Cove. This is super-cool!
I’ll try to get a pic for everyone! Ew, that means I have to leave my house. Well, I’ll try to post a pic from NYT or something.
L.A. Urban Food Crawl: Eat everything, walk forever, you gotta do this!
We love Los Angeles! They’ve got insane amounts of delicious vegan food, a delightful temperate climate, and celebrities! Who doesn’t love celebrities? Pretentious assholes/people who lead more fulfilling lives than we do.
On Nov. 11, our pal Jon participated in the L.A. Urban Food Crawl. He said it was an awesome and intense experience, one that led him on a trek in search of good vegan food all over downtown Los Angeles. Like, all over. Like, they walked a long time. Possibly forever. But he didn’t complain! This is more of a food hike than a food crawl. So if you’re in shape and love to eat, and like to burn off what you eat, this is for you. If your goal is to get so large that the only way you can get around is via Lark mobility scooter, maybe take a pass? Or actually, get that scooter and then hop back on the eating train! Either way, it sounds like it was a marvelous, gluttonous, exercise-filled day. These were his findings:
PREPARATION:Wear comfy walk-around clothes and shoes [Ed.: don’t forget shoes!], bring a light sweater or umbrella (depending on the weather, season), and a camera.
THE DETAILS: The tour starts at Pershing Square downtown, and meanders through downtown L.A.’s Historic Core (cultural epicenter of the city until around WWII); ours ran from around 2 to 7:30 p.m. The best way to get there is to take the Metro Rail Red Line to the Pershing Square stop ($1.50 each way!); otherwise, there are plenty of affordable-ish public parking lots. All eating stops were within a few blocks of Pershing Square.
People say to arrive hungry, because you’ll be eating A LOT of food. Lies. Even when you’re stuffed to the gills and think you can’t eat another bite, you’ll find a way to make room for the next tasty vegan dish, because they’re all so ridiculously delicious. Part food experience, part lesson in L.A. history—walkin’ and learnin’ between food stops is a good opportunity to (re)discover downtown (which is estranged from and totally foreign to many Angelenos), and rebuild your appetite.
You’ll make friends if you go alone, but it’s probably better to go with friends—it’s a super-fun experience with a group of pals.
Bring a few extra bucks for booze/treats/distractions (wine and chocolate at Two Bits; tequila at Más Malo; fare for Angels’ Flight cab ride afterward).
What we ate: Rupee sandwich—white bean puree with artichokes, black olives, squash, and arugula on artisan baguette. What this place is about: East coast-style corner market and deli. Local! Organic! Fresh! Healthy! Awesome produce in general. Be sure to check out their nice selection of wine.
Nickel Diner (524 S. Main St., between Fifth and Sixth streets)
What we ate: Stuffed avocado with quinoa, pinto beans, red peppers, squash, corn, cilantro, onion, and vinaigrette (from the lunch menu). What it’s about: Fifth Street is “the Nickel,” hence, “Nickel Diner,” a little American short-order-style diner. The building began as an opera house, then became a burlesque theatre, then a series of restaurants. The owner bought the space during a “transitional” period of downtown L.A.; while the diner was being renovated, they peeled back the wallpaper and discovered the original menu and poetry on the walls, so they restored them. Small space with limited seating; arrive early to beat the lines, rush.
Más Malo (515 W Seventh St., between Grand Avenue and Olive Street)
What we ate: Vegan menudo (chiles, onion, hominy, tofu, lime, tomato broth), crunchy vegan beef taco. What it’s about: This space was a jewelry store in the 1920s; it has beautiful architecture, including the ceiling and wall adornments; the 400-lb. steel TEQUILA VAULT downstairs has a fancypants tequila tasting room that was the old jewelry store vault. Be sure to inquire about their awesome drink specials—recommended: the Piñata Smash or the Spicy Cucumber margarita)
What we ate: Pumpkin and winter squash pizza (seasonal item!) with Daiya mozzarella, field mushroom pizza with Daiya mozzarella. What it’s about: Wood-fired artisanal pizzas. Yes, good pizza in L.A. We were all VERY FULL by the time we got to this stop, but the pizza was so delicious that we scarfed it all down in like, 12 seconds. Pretty sure they can veganize any pizza on the menu if you ask. Locations on the Westside and in the Valley, also.
Syrup (601 S. Spring St., between Broadway and E. Sixth streets)
What we ate: Pear and champagne sorbet, Boston iced tea with black tea, cranberry juice, fresh fruit. What it’s about: Cozy coffee shop with assorted coffees, teas, desserts, etc. People love the sorbet because it’s not too sweet or filling (the not-too-filling aspect is key, ‘cause we had had plenty to eat). Board games and stuff upstairs, wi-fi.
Babycakes (130 E Sixth St., between Main and S. Los Angeles streets)
What we ate: Frozen blondie (frozen frosting sandwiched between two chocolate chip blonde brownies). What it’s about: All-vegan, gluten-free baked treats, a la NYC Babycakes. New location opening in Larchmont in December. Last stop on the food crawl, so get an extra cookie or three to go. They deliver!
So concludes the food tour. But wait, there’s more! Since you’re already downtown, why not check out this other stuff in the area:
L.A. Central Library
Grand Central Market
Japan Arcade (Little Tokyo)
Devil’s Night Drive-In
Santee Alley/Fashion District
Shows at The Smell
Bars/old speakeasy joints (the Edison, the Varnish, Library Bar, Seven Grand, Perch)
Downtown Artwalk/bajillions of galleries
For those of you not into going downtown, there’s a new tour on the horizon. Organizers Jen and Sheri are starting a Silverlake vegan urban food crawl around the Sunset Junction, which will probably be a little less walk-y than the downtown version.
Oakland! Please take this adorable, affectionate cat off the streets and into your heart!
There’s this amazing homeless cat in Oakland who needs a foster or forever home stat. Please read her story below and if you (or anyone you know! Pass it on!) can help, please email Shani. Thanks!
When I moved to Oakland in August there were about 20 stray and feral cats who are thankfully all fixed now. I began feeding them but one in particular caught my eye. She was so beautiful but fearful of me. She would stay on my porch all day sunbathing. The other cats are not nice to her. Slowly I was able to gain her trust. She would allow quick pets but the “love looks” she would constantly give me showed that she was starving for affection. She had a runny nose that slowly got worse. Two weeks ago I was able to trap her and take her to the vet. She is now in a foster home, recovering, and completely changed since being in an inside environment. She purrs loudly, is INCREDIBLY sweet, loves affection, and even rolls on her back for belly rubs. She is very neat with her litter box and a great eater.
If she is forced back outside in the cold, her runny nose will likely come back. She is between five and eight years old and was clearly abandoned by someone years ago. She’s also spayed. She needs a foster home or more importantly, a forever home.
United for Animals is offering to pay for her first vet visit and a month’s worth of food and litter.
Please, please save her from a miserable life on the streets of Oakland, email Shani today!
Spotted at Trader Joe's: Cookie Butter, vegan dog treats, and organic coconut oil!
Just thought you’d all like to know, because cookie spread is ridiculous, and often really hard to find in the United States. Biscoff was spotted at Cost Plus, but there can always be more cookie spread. Always more. Always. Anyone have any cookie spread cake or cookie recipes? Because I’m finna experiment.
Annnnd organic coconut oil is so great for holiday baking and for high-heat cooking and also, spread that shit on some toast and call it a day. OMG, make grilled cheeses with it. Melt it on popcorn! Use it to grease locks and break into your neighbor’s house to steal the cute dog she never walks/smash in her insanely loud sound system! The sky’s the limit!
And finally, check out these cute-ass vegan holiday dog gingerbread men! Trader Joe’s really works it on the packaging and I appreciate the effort. So does Hazel and Toby! Actually, they don’t give a shit about the packaging but they do like the cookies!
Need a post-Café Gratitude job? Check out the Tree of Life in Arizona
Our pal, Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown, is possibly the nicest person we know. She just wants everyone to be healthy and happy! She rocks the raw vegan lifestyle like a boss, but you know, a totally peaceful and nice boss. To that end, after reading the unhappy news about Café Gratitude closing its eight Northern California locations, she wrote us with the following offer:
The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, a raw vegan retreat center located in Patagonia, Ariz., run by Gabriel Cousens, M.D. is currently hiring for volunteer and paid positions in the 100 percent organic, live vegan cafe, in the natural dispensary, videography and I.T. department, veganic garden, and other areas at our center, and would love to extend an invitation for Café Gratitude employees who will lose their jobs due to the closing of all Northern California locations to apply to join our team.
Working at the Tree of Life includes many benefits, including all organic, raw, vegan meals included, access to yoga classes, an InfraRed sauna, pool, hot tubs, daily meditation and regular qi gong, access to our gorgeous scenic facilities and more. Click this link to find out more about opportunities, and for information on how to apply for open positions.
Thanks so much, Sarah! Please don’t steal all the awesome raw vegans away to Patagonia!
Enter Tofurky's design contest! Win cash, prizes, and donations!
Hello fancy artists, regular artists, and artistic types! Tofurky wants to make a new t-shirt, and they want you to design their new t-shirt. Which is good, because have you seen their current shirts? Not as hot as ours, golly. They need help!
If you win, you’ll get fabulous prizes, including $200 cash, a $100 donation in your name to the animal/environmental nonprofit of your choice, “two merchandise items (style to be determined) featuring your design,” and a total of 42 “VIP coupons” for Tofurky products. Plus fame!
To enter, visit the site, read the rules, fill out the form [pdf], and submit your design by midnight on Dec. 31.
Now get cracking! You’ve only got a little over three weeks to thrill Tofurky with your genius!
Here’s Laura’s stab at it. Double genius!
Hmm… perhaps the Tofurky should be further down? And spelled correctly? Actually, the whole thing is terrible, you can do much better. Fly, little tofurkies, fly!
Recipes: The most amazing, soy-free, gluten-free alfredo sauce!
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m patting myself on the back for this recipe. Now, normally I like to stay humble, but sometimes I have to throw that notion aside and exclaim that I am a GENIUS! Too much? Probably, but I assure you, this alfredo sauce is a crowd-pleaser. Plus, you can feed it to your allergy-ridden self or friends.
Ingredients Heaping 2/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews 1 1/4 cup water Juice of 1 lemon About 2 Tbsp. olive oil, for sauteing 1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1/2 Tbsp. salt 3 scant Tbsp. nutritional yeast (large flakes) 1 tsp. pepper 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 2 tsp. coconut aminos, Braggs, or soy sauce (using soy sauce will no longer make it soy- or gluten-free)
Instructions Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Boil your cashews until they are soft. I boil mine on medium heat, because I like the idea that it’s gentler on the cashews. It takes about 20 minutes. This will give you about 1 cup “soaked” cashews. Make sure you rinse the cashews before using them.
To make the cashew cream, I blend my cashews and 1 1/4 cup water to make 2 cups of cream. I use a Vita-Mix to make my cashew cream, but I understand not everyone owns one, as they are very expensive —but so worth it! Because cashews are a softer nut, you can use a food processor or run-of-the-mill blender. Your sauce may come out a little chunky, but some people like texture, right? A small immersion blender would probably work as well.
While your cashews are boiling, you can start sauteing the other ingredients. On medium heat, saute your chopped onion in olive oil. I like to take mine until caramelized, but you can go until they are transparent (depending on how much time you have). Next, add your chopped garlic and cook a couple of minutes, until fragrant. It’s important you do not let the garlic brown, as it becomes bitter. Add all your spices (salt, pepper, nutmeg, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast) and cook on medium-low heat for about three minutes. I am constantly turning the mixture with a spatula, as I don’t want it to burn, or the garlic to brown.
Onions, garlic, spices, nooch, lemon juice, and coconut aminos.
Now add the lemon juice. Cook until it’s hot, about a minute or two. If you haven’t made the cashew cream, do that. Then add your sauteed mixture to blender or food processor and blend until smooth! Taste. I like the seasoning mix I came up with, but we all have different palates. Do you like a cheesier flavor? More nooch! Not salty enough? Have at it! Adjust to your liking.
Inspired by Eat More Kale man, I decided to make a mushroom-kale mac ‘n’ cheese. I sauteed a red onion, one pound of mushrooms, and two bunches of kale, and added it to my alfredo-drenched penne pasta. I then baked until the top was slightly browned. What are you going to do with yours? Seriously, tell us, we want to know.
Another celeb on the (awesomest) band wagon: Eliza Dushku goes vegan!
Yet another post in the series you love to hate, but can’t keep yourself from reading: Another celeb goes vegan!
Eliza Dushku has taken to Twitter to announce she too, is going vegan after watching Forks Over Knives! I still need to watch this movie, no joke! I’m just so busy lately watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians blogging, working, and being a lady about town.
On December 3rd, she tweeted, “That’s it! We watched #ForksOverKnives & are going for a plant-based diet- that doc is astounding! Animal products no bien, homies #watchdoc.” While perusing her Twitter account I also caught a glimpse of a twitpic of her recent meal at the LA Café Gratitude (you know, the one NOT closing). You go, Eliza. Keep on rockin’ in the vegan world.
Guest post: Second NYC vegan and animal rights book swap happening Saturday! Be there!
The first vegan and animal rights book swap was such a hit, we are gearing up for Bookswap 2.0 on Saturday, Dec. 10! At the first swap, we raised $124 to donate to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, with about 20 swappers donating $62 dollars, which got a matching donation. All books that weren’t swapped were donated to nearby thrift stores. Success!
For the second swap we’re moving to Brooklyn’s community space Launchpad, with raffle prizes from local Mexican restaurant Chavela’s, a $20 gift certificate from the vegan restaurant Terri, and donations from local shops Owl and Thistle General Store and Raganella, which makes handmade body care products.
Once again, the swap is free, and all money raised will be donated to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. What’s more, through the end of the year, all donations made to Woodstock through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000! Your money is going even further! Read an FAQ about the event, find out about volunteer needs, and keep updated on further swaps with our mailing list. Come and swap me your books, won’tcha?
Jamie Hagen makes money by walking dogs in Manhattan while her blog posts and political science M.A. lounge around reaping the rewards. Some places she currently blogs include the Line Campaign, Autostraddle, and Persephone magazine. Twitter tags frequently used by Jamie include include #feminist #vegan and #lesbian.
Zachary's Pizza is offering VEGAN PIZZA! Oh, hell yes!
Just got an email from the AWESOME Leandra at Zachary’s and she says this re: their new vegan pizza (!!!!):
I am following up with our email conversation WAY back in August 2010 to let you know we are now offering a vegan pizza. Our WHEAT stuffed and thin crusts are now vegan, and we offer Daiya mozz-style vegan cheese. The changes are not yet updated on our website, but should soon. I wanted to let you be one of the first to know! Thank you for reaching out to us.
You guys! This is such awesome, huge news! And how cute and great and smart and funny is Leandra!? Zachary’s, I’m coming home.
Eating at Zachary’s is the first experience with Chicago-style deep-dish pizza that pretty much anyone who grew up in the S.F. Bay Area had. Because of that, it’s always held a huge slice (ha!) of my fatty, vegan-pizza-loving heart! And I remember it tasting SO DAMN GOOD. Oh! Once, I even saw Blossom eating there! BLOSSOM! I am telling you, so many memories, so much deliciousness. This is a historic day, indeed!
Let us all take a moment to reflect on the fact that just a few years ago, the only option for vegan pizza in the Bay Area was NO OPTION. Now, we’ve got millions! Or at least five. We’ve come a long way, baby. I hope everyone, not just vegans, give this Zachary’s vegan pizza a shot because it’s sure to be hella tasty and also not filled with cholesterol and milkfat. Seriously, join us on the vegan side! We’ve got pizza! And it won’t kill you!
Let’s all go and support them and then maybe, JUST MAYBE, we’ll have enough vegan pizzas in the Bay Area to have a VEGAN PIZZA TASTE-OFF. WTF, life is awesome. Thank you, Zachary’s!!
Oh, maybe one day they’ll try a Teese-and-Daiya mix on the pizzas? Because that’s my favorite. BUT I’M NOT PICKY! (lie.) Just putting it out there, spit-balling with the universe, seeing what could happen. Until then, I will eat this Daiya-riffic pie with abandon!
Guys, the bestest leafy green, kale (so much bioavailable nutrients!), is under attack from idiots!
1. A guy in Vermont starts making these sweet “Eat More Kale" shirts. Yay!
2. As Laura mentioned the other day, evil bastards Chick-fil-A send him a cease-and-desist letter. Apparently “Eat More Kale” is TOO SIMILAR to Chick-fil-A’s sick and twisted slogan, “Eat Mor Chikn.” You know, where the cows hold the sign and it’s all Animal Farm-esque with the livestock turning against each other?
3. TV personality Anderson Cooper reports on said controversy. Apparently he’s has no idea what kale is? The Internet calls him out on that. So what does he do?
4. He insults kale. And shows a montage of other people insulting kale. Dude, set a good example for the children of this country! Kale is the BEST! You are ignorant!
5. Let’s all order shirts? And never ever watch Anderson Cooper? OK deal.
GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Spencer's will contact winner! Vegansaurus Giveaway: Box of Lara Bars (your flavor choice!) + $20 gift card from Spencer's Market!
There’s a new vegan deals site in town and it’s called Spencer’s Market. It’s completely vegan, and here’s what they have to say for themselves:
We’re a new online eCommerce and Marketing platform focused on connecting our Vegan audience with the best gourmet/artisan Vegan food producers in the country. We are in the business of creating buzz and giving exposure to incredible food for Vegans (as well as gluten-free, low glycemic, etc) who feel limited by the choices they have at their local retail markets.
Right on, we’re in! We can always use more ways to get vegan food into our gullets, and you know that’s right. Plus, it’s all at a discount! For example, one of their pre-launch deals is on tons of Primal Strips for hella cheap! Sometimes the thought of eating a delicious Texas BBQ Primal Strip is the only reason I get out of bed in the morning before I get right back into bed. Spencer’s Market has heard my cry for help and they’ve answered, valiantly/deliciously.
For a chance to win a box of delicious Lara Bars (I think they’re for women but if you’re a guy, don’t worry, you’ll just grow breasts! Sexy!) plus a $20 credit to the market (FREE MONEY$), just do the following things:
Find the real milk? If it's all the same to you, I'll pass
Oh, the food lobby. In its latest move, the California Milk Processor Board is trying to discredit milk alternatives like almond and soy milk with a new website that asks you to “find the real milk.”
Anybody who regularly enjoys milk alternatives knows that non-dairy—a.k.a. non-cruelty—milks don’t look the same as the stuff we take from cows, but my mother always told me not to judge things by how they look. When it comes to what I mix with my Cocoa Camino hot chocolate, I prefer to judge by factors like an absence of cholesterol, the presence of a nice dose of protein or omega-3 fats, and the fact that my favorite dairy-free milks got into my fridge by way of neither the callous removal of male calves from their mothers minutes after birth, nor the non-therapeutic application of hormones and antibiotics to dairy cows.
I’ll give them this: Milk producers have done a bang-up job of convincing the general public that milk is the perfect food, one we must all have in our diets lest we shrivel up and blow away. This totally ignores the millions of people around the world who don’t consume milk after they are no longer breastfed, and who do just fine for it. Many people can’t consume dairy, due to allergies or intolerance, and they are also perfectly healthy without it in their diets. Dairy’s association with weight loss has also been overstated.
The fact is, there are no nutrients found in milk from cows or any other mammal that we can’t get in our diets in another way, and there are plenty of things—especially in milk from factory-farmed animals—in cow’s milk that we’d all be better off without.
So what’s your favorite milk alternative? Mine’s almond milk, for sure. If you want to avoid additives, just do some label-reading—the extras aren’t in all non-dairy milks, contrary to what the Got Milk site implies. And better still, even a culinary fool like me can make homemade almond milk!
Terri Coles lives in Toronto, Ont., where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues.
It sure sucks that Café Gratitude is closing. Lucky for me, I said my goodbyes a few months ago with a slice of raw cheesecake, right after I said goodbye to S.F. Pride and right before I got on a plane and moved to Denver.
Lucky for you, I’ve had time to figure how to live Life without Gratitude. And because I’m the nicest person ever, I’m going to share that hard-won knowledge.
Gather round, grasshoppers. Here’s what you do:
WARNING! REPLACING CAFÉ GRATITUDE IS HARD AND EXPENSIVE AND WILL MAKE PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE WEIRD! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! BUT IT’S HELLA TASTY!!!
Admit that the best thing about the restaurant was dessert. Then buy Sweet Gratitude, the book that will tell you how to make said desserts.
Flip through the book. Cry a little when you realize how hard and complicated they are and how much better it was to just pay for them.
Take a deep breath and COMMIT. It will be worth it!
Buy a VitaMix. Or don’t but you’ll wish you had one. Trust me.
Choose a recipe. Buy the rest of the stuff you’ll need, like almonds and cashews and dates and agave and coconuts, from the grocery store.
Plan ahead. You’ll probably need to soak things for various amounts of time, from one to 24 hours. Maybe make a Gantt chart?
Whip! Blend! Chill!
EAT AMAZING FOOD!
That’s a lot of steps, partly because I’m making fun of it. To be honest, it really is worth it, at least for special occasions. I still haven’t tried making the tiramisu at home. But I will. And you’ll hear about it.
Look what I made! Raw lemon-blueberry cheesecake! It rocked!
Start with some of the simpler recipes. The cheesecakes, for example, don’t need Irish Moss.
Making this food will make you covet a better blender, unless you have a great one already.
Blend longer than you think you need to.
If you’re not a raw food purist, don’t be a raw food purist. Use canned coconut milk. Use the almond milk you always use. Screw raw vanilla, use regular. Yeah of course it’ll taste different but you’ll be more sane.
Thanks, Gratitude. I am grateful you existed, and grateful for the challenges you’ve left us. Though I’d still rather just let you do the work.
Last week I told you what to buy the omnis in your life, today we shift our focus to what to buy vegans! If you want to make gifts at home, this is not the post for you; but if you want to buy kick-ass vegan gifts for the vegans in your life, you’ve come to the right place! And most of them are gifts that give back in their own way so you can feel good about giving and your vegan can feel good about getting. Wait, did I really say kick-ass? It’s how I felt! That’s how excited I get about buying presents. It’s my favorite thing to do! And here are my top gift picks for vegans:
I totally encourage you to make your own vegan gingerbread house but it is kind of a hassle. And really, besides eating the cookie dough, decorating is the best part. So what if the pieces were already made and ready for you to decorate?! And someone sent you vegan candies and frosting to decorate with?! Why, that’d be the best! You aren’t just giving someone yummy vegan food, you’re giving them the gift of wholesome, old-fashion fun! And it always feels good to patronize team VeganEtsy.
This is a great gift for kids, families, holiday-enthusiasts, craft-lovers, or people who love pomp and circumstance but just don’t have a ton of time.
You can’t really have a vegan gift guide without at least one Matt and Nat product. But Matt and Nat for Apple? Be still my heart! The only snag is this bag only fits the 13 inch Macbook. I don’t have the bitty 13 incher! But if you know someone who does, this is the greatest present. The faux suede lining is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and all their packaging is made from recycled materials. They also say they occasionally donate bags to women’s shelters and donate vegetarian meals to homeless people. That’s nice.
Belts are one of the few accessories dudes get to wear, so they should take them very seriously. Some of them do—and this goes doubly for vegan boys. It is difficult to find the perfect vegan belt! But friends, I may have found it. Not only is the Captain cruelty-free, the Vegan Collection takes great pains to ethically source their products. They visit the factories where the belts are made to make sure they’re on the up and up. They also seek to keep their products as eco-friendly as they can. Kudos! It comes in black as well but I’m partial to brown.
There’s not really a better present in the world than a Vaute Couture coat, but unfortunately, buying a coat for someone else is pretty difficult. What’s not difficult is buying super-cute over-sized sweatshirts! I have this sweatshirt and it rules (Meave and Laura actually got it for me because they are the best and they know how to keep me happy!). It’s like Animal Farm meets Flashdance. It’s also just about the softest thing in the world. And it’s printed on an “Alternative Earth sweatshop free sweatshirt made of eco-heather fleece (recycled polyester & organic cotton) with water based ink in the US.” Sounds good to me!
Everybody needs a wallet. But a wallet is hard to pick and a hassle to find! So if you know someone whose current wallet is on its last leg, a new wallet is a good gift. You took all the work out of it for them and they can just transfer their cards and move on down the road!
This wallet is extra cool because it’s, “handmade primarily of newspapers and plastic bags collected off the streets of Delhi, India. The production of this wallet helps reduce waste in Delhi, provides fair-wage employment, and subsidizes health-care and education for each employee’s family.” That’s what I like to hear! Plus, I like the way it looks. That’s always nice.
Oh and keep in mind: PETA is polarizing within the vegan community so make sure your giftee is a fan before you pick up this wallet.
This is our Rachel’s bid for the perfect present for your vegan: a pressure cooker! I don’t really understand them or know what they are but Rachel says they RULE. We don’t know which brand is best but she thinks you’ll be fine with one of these Presto numbers. Rachel says these things make cooking beans a snap! I just use canned beans. I guess that’s bad for the environment? I mean I do recycle the cans. But there’s less waist if you get them in bulk and cook them yourself.
So if you know a big vegan cook and they are without one of these babies, go ahead and change their culinary world!
We all know vegans love to eat and they especially love sweets. And the harder the vegan alternative is to find, the more they are obsessed with it! So procuring some excellent vegan chocolate is always a good gift. When it comes to chocolate, there is one place that holds my heart: Cocoa V in Manhattan. Owned by the co-founder of Blossom, Cocoa V is a chocolate and wine bar—my two favorite things! But to your good fortune, you can order from them online! What to order? Well, anything. They have all sorts of exciting goodies like Earl Grey caramels and chocolate edamame clusters, but I HIGHLY recommend the vegan Butterfinger. It’s out of control delicious. And while getting your pals vegan chocolate is nice, getting it from Cocoa V makes it a bit more special. In addition, Cocoa V chocolate is organic and fair-trade. Holler!
I know, it’s a terrible picture, but you get the idea. Do you have a lovely Jewish vegan in your life? This is the perfect gift! Chocolate dipped marshmallows in Hannukah shapes (I don’t know if that’s how you spell Hannukah but that’s how they spell it so I’m keeping it consistent). And you’ll be happy to know that Sweet and Sara is on the “chocolate we feel comfortable recommending” list over at the Food Empowerment Project. A happy Hannukuh indeed!
This is a nice gift for a cat-owner or if you are looking for a present for your little kitty. Actually, lots of dogs like grass too. It aids in digestion! And pet grass is great if someone is having problems with their cat eating houseplants. They have the natural instinct to eat plants and maybe they will stay away from houseplants (that could be poisonous!) if you give them nice grass to chew on. My cat LOVES this stuff. And it’s so cute to watch them eat it because they cock their little heads and do that funny squinty chew. Hilar.
It’s always nice to get a pet-lover a present for their pets because it lets them know that you care about what matters to them. And this 100 percent organic kitty grass is good for the kitty’s health so that is an extra little bit of consideration! Plus, if you buy the kitty garden through the link above, proceeds go to the Humane Society. Good for you!
This is a nice present for the vegan dog or the vegan dog-owner. I got these for my dog and he loves them. I don’t even know if he likes the way they taste actually; mostly he just carries it around the house with him and then chews it down very slowly. But he sure loves to carry them around! It’s very cute. He’s very proud.
I have to warn you, there’s a small chance that these aren’t vegan. I’m positive they’re vegetarian but nothing is telling me they’re vegan. BUT there’s a British version that appears to be the same company that I KNOW is vegan. I think they are the same but if you don’t want to risk it, you can order from Veggie Pets in the U.K. Shipping will be more expensive but peace of mind isn’t cheap! And veggie chews are hard to find. That’s exactly what makes this a nice gift, there are almost no vegan dog chews and not many people are aware of this brand. And chewing is good for dogs! It relieves stress! So your vegan dog-owner will be pleased you searched the world for the perfect chew for their sweet pup.
Know a tiny vegan? Turn them into a superhero with this 100 percent organic cotton, fair-trade shirt from the super-ethical Autonomie Project! And this shirt is extra special because it raises funds for Farm Sanctuary.
This is nice because it makes a celebration out of being vegan. Superheroes are special and so are vegan kids! So vegan kids are essentially superheroes! Don’t check my math. But you know what I mean, it is special to be a vegan kid but it can be good special or bad special—try to make it good special!
This is a no-brainer. Vegans love food and surprises are the best—so surprise snacks every month are great! And remember, if you are one of the first 50 to use the “VEGANSAURUS20” coupon code when you purchase a gift subscription (note: it only works for the gift subscriptions!), you will get 20 percent off your purchase!
This present works for the new vegan, the bored vegan, the acquaintance vegan, the bff vegan—pretty much all vegans. And maybe they will share with you! Surprise vegan snacks for all.
I wrote about John Bartlett and Tiny Tim previously, and I still love them. And this limited edition Fair Isle sweatshirt is dope! Good for the boy or girl in your life or any pal who likes tripods or rescue dogs. These eco-friendly shirts aren’t just adorable, they raise money for animals saved from high-risk shelters.
I especially like this for dudes because dudes are super cute in sweet animal stuff. It’s like ironic but not at all. If I saw a dude in this sweatshirt? Wham bam! I’d be all over that. And then he could tell me all about the Tiny Tim Fund and I’d be like, “OMG let’s get married as soon as I believe in marriage!”
This makes a useful, fun, inexpensive gift that also happens to be adorbs. What’s better than good-looking people with cute dogs? Not much. Chako has got you covered for the hunk-loving pit bull fan and Pinups for Pit Bulls has the ladies.
A calendar can be kind of not awesome as a present but it is awesome when it’s something cool and benefits a good cause like saving pit bulls. Calendars are corny gifts when you’re just getting someone ANY calendar just to have something to give them. But these are more like collector’s items! And if you know a pit bull-lover, they will like this. And they will like it all the more when you tell them it helps pit bulls too.
Another thing to note is that this is kind of the only time of year you can buy someone a calendar. So you might want to take advantage of that.
I have to confess to you that I love “of the month” clubs. I always did. I just love surprises! And it’s like instead of one gift, you get one every [other] month! So do you have a vegan in your life who’s less of a foodie and more of a wino? How about a vegan wine of the [every other] month club! Every other month (for as long as you have the membership), the Organic Wine Company will send your giftee three organic vegan wines. They can get good and sloshed, organic style!
I don’t know why it’s the Bob Linden wine club but that seems like a good sign. I looked into the fair-trade options and boy, that’s a bag of confusion! It seems that the U.S. isn’t very fair-trade wine savvy. I resorted to looking up the individual wines on the Organic Wine Company’s site but of course there’s no comprehensive fair-trade wine list because they get certifications in different countries, etc. etc. etc. BUT of the ones I looked up and was able to find info on, a lot were fair-trade. For many of them, I couldn’t find any info. However, like I said, several on the Organic Wine Company’s vegan list are certified fair-trade by one source or another. But if you don’t want to risk it! I found this online store from the U.K. that lets you order mixed cases (yee-ha!) of vegan, organic, fair-trade wines. Remember though, those prices are in GBPs. Baller.
Another gift from team VeganEtsy! I just fell in love with this silly pillow as soon as I saw it. It comes in small too but go big or go home, right? So if you know a tofu-enthusiast (or a pirate-enthusiast I guess) this is a super cute present. It could be a good gift for a kid, too. It’s fun, sweet, and comfy. And you can feel good knowing you are supporting a vegan business!
Vegans are some biking motherlovers. Not all of them but I think the percentage of vegan bikers runs higher than your average demographic. They are also a farmers market-loving people, no? Then this vegan grocery pannier is the perfect vegan accessory! And this handsome bag is made from salvaged banner vinyl so it’s very environmentally friendly. Plus, North St. Bags is a member of Trillium Artisans, “an innovative, green, nonprofit community economic development program that empowers artisans and actively connects them to markets.” Holler!
This concludes the Ultimate Vegan Gift Guide! I hope I gave you some good present ideas. Like I said last week, gift-giving should be a pleasure, not a chore! So go forth and make your loved ones happy in the way only materialism can!
Even though the whole daily deal thing feels like the housing market circa late 2007 (a bubble well on its way to bursting), I’m still pretty psyched to let you know there’s a new one focusing just on vegetarian and vegan-friendly small businesses!
It’s called TimeToVegOut and it just started like, this week (we’re so on top of shit. It’s because I have a Google Alert on the word “vegan”).
The best thing, for New Yorkers at least: Right now they have a coupon for Stogo, which is my favorite ice cream shop in the entire world.
TimeToVegOut is launching in a bunch of cities, including SF, Chicago, and DC. For everyone else, you can also sign up for nationwide deals, which essentially means stuff you can buy online.
The site’s still working out some kinks—I had trouble registering but eventually got it to work. Anyway, this could be awesome. In the comments on the “About" page, the founder tells you how to help the site grow and get your favorite places involved.
Sorry to break your hearts but I had to cross-post this. This poor dog was abandoned in Citrus Heights, CA (near Sacramento):
Male Pit Bull left behind in a 10x10 kennel after foreclosure. Not only pent up but on a chain, too! NOT AGGRESSIVE. He’s a bit shy when the kennel is opened for food and water, goes to the back of the kennel but once closed, jumps up and wags his tail. Vetting unknown, not sure if neutered. No Paws will pay $250 to a bona fide rescue that comes forward. Thanks so much.
One of my favorite vegan chefs and friend of Vegansaurus, Mark Tinkleman, has started a food blog!: Semolina and Sauce. Recently, he posted about this Polenta Agnolotti (Wikipedia: “Agnolotti is a kind of ravioli typical of the Piedmont Region, made with small pieces of flattened pasta dough, folded over with a roast beef meat and vegetable stuffing.” Roast beef smost beef! Not this time, buddy!) with porcinis, quince, and frisee.
If the title isn’t enough to attract you, Mark also offers a sort of corn manifesto sure to intrigue! I knew corn was messed up but Mark proclaims, “corn is a weapon of US imperialism.” Damn, son! My only critique for this recipe is MORE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! Now, go make me polenta.
Gestation-crate ban, interspecies love, and Chick-fil-A sues a vegetable: It's Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use!
It’s time for the next installment of Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! This week, it’s the Crazy Edition! Because the whole world is NUTS! Next week, we’ll have a graphic and it’ll BLOW YOUR MIND. For now, take it away, Paul!
In an article about HSUS’s efforts to ban gestation crates and veal crates in Massachusetts, the Farm Bureau made it quite clear where it stands. About veal crates, their president argued, “I don’t know how a calf feels about it. We put kids in car seats and kids scream, but there is a safety factor. Is that inhumane?”
If that’s not crazy enough for you, this one may as well be an Onion article. If only it were. Chik-fil-A is suing a guy in Vermont for hand-stenciling t-shirts that read “Eat More Kale.” Consider me buying kale today.
Another crazy idea: banning photography of factory farms. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune had an important article about “ag-gag” efforts by the agribusiness industry to ban undercover investigations of factory farms.
Finally, do you think it’s crazy to invite a Jew to speak at the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship about faith and farm animal protection? Well, here you go: a video of my speech there last week. If you can stand listening to me for an hour or want to subject any of your family or friends to that, have fun!
Video of the week: Want to see two piglets and a dog playing in a living room? You’d be crazy not to.
Mo' money, mo' problems, except when it comes to polar bears, Canada says!
Some researchers asked Canadians how much money they’d be willing to cough up to save the Arctic Circle’s bad-ass polar bears, and all told, it equalled $6.3 billion. Since there are only 15,000 polar bears left in existence, that equals out to about $450,000 per bear! Each Canadian household would pay an average of $508 toward polar bear conservation.
Apparently we have the bears’ intrinsic cuteness as well as Coca-Cola advertising partially to thank, but who cares what gets people motivated to save the planet—especially the bears? Polar bears are rad! Can we appropriate some of that hypothetical money? This bear army needs cash to get moving!