Their slimy, pickle-colored, wart-ridden skin, enormous noses and jutting chins, web-like, matted hair and sickly demeanor led folks to know instantly what they were — witches!
Dang, isn’t that the truth? This statement comes from the most enlightening sermon by Harry Hardwick (porn name) on the Landover Baptist Church website that’s like The Onion but for religion, which has to be way easier to write because hella religious people are super nuts. If you told me that an Evangelical preacher said that God was stuck in a pickle jar somewhere and so we had to stop eating pickles and also, send him all our money so he could buy up all the pickles and save God, I’d be all, “That sounds about right.” Point is, I’m excused for not getting it at first, and don’t act like you haven’t thought fake shit was real and vice versa before. I won’t have my childlike innocence crushed!
Anyway, Hardwick’s totally vexed that witches aren’t as easy to spot nowadays as when they were pickle-colored. Luckily, they now identify themselves as “vegans!” Oh, and real men eat meat and cheese, “while fruits and vegetables are what housewives and sissies on Weight Watchers eat.” And vegan men are “homos.” And this:
Just as God created woman solely to be the servant of man, meaning women are to obey their husbands at all times, keep their mouths shut in church and never teach (1 Timothy 2:11-15; Ephesians 5:22-24), so, too, God created animals so we would have something to fill our stomachs with after a hard day’s work.
And he tells everyone to kill us!
If you spot one of these demons, detain it and, when you’re through roasting that side of beef you’re having for dinner, replace that meat on the skewer with the heathen, and help restore a long-missed moral tradition.
So basically, I’m in love, and very much wish he was real! Talk that sweet talk, you sexy man of god!
Reader Christi R. emailed this to me and I will forever be grateful. Even if this site is a total joke, I wish it was real because I hella love The Craft and Teen Witch. Top That!
Well, not that exactly. What had happened was, when it first arrived, I greedily ripped open the packaging, cut off an enormous chunk, and stuffed it straight in my maw. Then, I spit it out because it was DAMN POTENT. I then read the accompanying information and saw that it was supposed to be eaten like CHEESE. My bad!
Finally I came correct with some crackers and it blew my mind one more time. Creamy, pungent, expensive-tasting, “real” cheese. Like, you could serve this to omni guests and they would eagerly wish to learn more about it, and you would be like, “NOT UNTIL YOU GO VEGAN, OK?” and then they would go vegan and BAM! Look at you and your activism, all saving the world and shit via delicious vegan cheese.
Since I know you are buying one of these for me, I prefer the koozie[Ed. note: I thought it was “cozy,” because, like, now your queso will be cozy! Which is it?! Is this an east coast/west coast thing?]. How else will my queso keep warm in the chilly city of San Francisco? If you want one of these precious “Don’t Mess With Texas" handcrafted gifts, you have to act fast. They are only available for two more days! For $20 (shipping included) you get a jar of queso, a piece of handmade artistry and a card with a personalized message for the recipient (no one has to know it’s you, buying and receiving said gift. Hey! You gotta do you).
Fat Bottom Bakery, based out of Oakland, is also offering a special holiday gift for you! Fifteen dollars will get you an assortment of a dozen delicious cookies! How do they do it? So many flavors: sweet snickerdoodles, festive spiced molasses, ginger-glazed cranberry, AND shortbread swirls with chocolate ganche. Send them to me. I will enjoy them thoroughly. Or get them for the office party! Or the family thing, then don’t tell anyone they’re vegan and watch everyone chow down! (Or eat them alone while watching netflix, whatever!)
So many cookies! This is truly a winter wonderland!
Again, $15 a dozen, which you can pick up at their bakery; or for $20, they will deliver these delectable items to you! Within Berkeley or Oakland, of course. What do you think this day and age is? A time in which we can teleport ourselves over the Bay Bridge? (I hope that time is soon)
Compassion Couture is having a super-sale! Get on it!
Heads up!: Compassion Couture is having their biggest sale ever! Twenty-five percent off everything with the coupon code “HolidayShopping.” But it’s just until Dec. 18th! So hurry up. Check out them blue booties (haaa, booty) in the middle! I want those so hard. And when did they start carrying Beyond Skin? You know that’s my jam!
Other things I want: this Matt and Nat wristlet! You know it’d look good on me. And I do love a wristlet. I also have my eye on (both eyes even!) these mod flats from Hearts of Darkness. My cheap mod flats totally fell apart. I need some nice ones!
Dr. Dennis Gross' products are cruelty-free and my favorite!
I love Dr. Gross! I used to use the above Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel years ago before I was vegan and they are the best. So how happy was I to learn this peel is vegan?! Hint: SO HAPPY. These things make your skin so pretty. My sister and I also love the Alpha Beta Glow Pads. They give you a little tan but it’s just light and gradual. It’s great!
The site says they are “cruelty-free” and PETA approved. Not ALL of their products are vegan, but the vast majority are. Including this new Active Vitamin D Serum Oil! It’s supposed to deliver vitamin D to your skin without sun exposure—do you think it could benefit vegans in terms of vitamin D? But it would just be for your skin, right? I don’t know, I’m not a mathematician! But I’m excited to try this. Maybe I can email them about it and see how exactly the vitamin D works. And I’ll let you know when I can get my hands on some of this stuff. Have any of you tried it?
The only downside to their products is that they are hella expensive! Ouch! Maybe you can ask for some Dr. Dennis Gross products for your presents. I mean you know if you don’t ask for stuff, it’s vegan cookbook town. Which is great, but after a few years, my book shelves are getting a little heavy.
Oakland's Hella Vegan Eats is hella delicious and you need to hella be eating it right now!
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the absolute pleasure of eating as much food from the Oakland-based Hella Vegan Eats as humanly possible. Seriously, I’ve been surviving almost exclusively on their bounty of deliciousness. I’ve buried myself in mountains of tamales and eaten myself out in mere minutes! Please forget that you ever read that sentence! On to the food!
Let me give you a list of all the OUTSTANDINGLY AMAZING food I’ve been eating.
Nothing has been short of the best g-d thing I’ve ever eaten and here’s the list: Navajo Fry Bread topped with deliciousness like quinoa, sweet potatoes, and other such yum; Orzo with Butternut Squash “Cheddar;” Cranberries and Shaved Brussels Sprouts; Spiced Apple Fritters (HOLY FUCK), and Vanilla-Chai Horchata. And then there are the tamales. OH THE TAMALES! Oy, they are so magical! Perfect masa stuffed with fillings like Spicy Black Bean, Al Pastor, Thai Peanut, or Green Mole. Seriously, so many fresh veggies—including things like purple cauliflower! so pretty!—and tender homemade seitan. I can’t even tell you HOW FUCKING GOOD THIS FOOD IS. Sorry, I am excited, and also very sad that I have none of it left and am forced to eat a stupid-ass massaged kale salad for dinner and be sad. [Ed note: Those tamales are the m-fing best, Laura does not lie! —Meave]
Right now, you can only get Hella Vegan Eats at events, or have them cater your parties (DO THIS), but they are currently in La Cocina’s incubator program and are working toward a food truck, and then world domination. I’m in! I will fight in whatever crazy vegan army they need me to, and you totally want me on your side, because not only am I certifiably nuts with nothing to lose, I can stuff tamales even faster than I eat them. For every tamale I eat, I will stuff two. We can’t lose!
Katy Perry donates $175,000 from California Dreams tour to charities, including the Humane Society!
I’m done hating on Katy Perry. I must have been unhappy with some aspect of myself (not being an adorable pop star married to Russell Brand, perhaps). I’m going to use this forum to come out and say it: I’m a Katy Perry fan. (Don’t worry, I kind of hate myself too). I have bought more of her songs than I care to admit on itunes, which I play when I invite people over for some elegant debauchery. Ask Sarah, we’ve jumped around and sang TGIF countless times on my porch (#tweens)! Oh, and she does a fab rendition of "California Gurls" at karaoke, let me tell you. I clapped my hands with glee the entire time.
Katy and her cat, Kitty Purry
Now that I’ve come clean, let’s proceed! Katy Perry is donating $175,000 of her ticket sales from the California Dreams tour to over 50 charities, including the Humane Society, Generosity Water and the Children’s Health Fund. Each organization is rumored to receive around $40,000 each! Haters gonna hate, but I’m not one of them anymore!
You guys, I honestly don’t like being super-negative, especially about things that mean well, like fiction written by and about animal activists. Laura likes to sell my positive reviews as big deals because I “hate everything,” but I don’t, I swear. I just have high standards! For everything! Including myself, which translates to “trying to be better than a big jerk about things that don’t meet my expectations.” Besides, that’s what Goodreads is for.
Ashland Creek Press sent me a copy of John Yunker’s The Tourist Trail, and honestly, I didn’t much care for it. The premise is interesting enough: a lonely scientist studying penguins in South America meets-cute with an eco-terrorist captain of a Sea Shepherd-style anti-whaling vessel. Meanwhile, an FBI agent—with a past!—and his partner hunt the eco-terrorist, and a programmer follows his vegan activist crush onto a Sea Shepherd-style anti-whaling vessel. Connections!
The vegan twist is that there are vegans and they are heroic, and The Man is the enemy. Also, animals are awesome and humans shouldn’t be such dicks about using up all the earth’s resources, lest we unintentionally murder all the animals we aren’t intentionally murdering. Like I said, an interesting premise with a decent twist.
My main problem with The Tourist Trail is the actual writing. It’s clunky, and stilted, and the plot machinations are so painfully obvious—the plot twists send up flares and wave flags from miles away. It’s disappointing, I think, to read a novel that’s excellent thematically but really poorly executed.
You know what, though? It’s very Dan Brown. It’s Dan Brown writes a pro-vegan eco-thriller. If that sounds good to you, then read The Tourist Trail. If not, there are plenty more books in the world out there. Like The Murder of the Century, that was pretty great.
Seriously, I love this world so much sometimes. It’s nice to know that there’s a celebrity out there doing her thing that’s about as batshit crazy awesome as I am. If I had the means, don’t think you all wouldn’t already be eating my vegan dog food at every meal.
Ellen is the vegan Martha Stewart-meets-Oprah-meets-Ghandi-meets-Justin Timberlake of our time, and I FUCKING LOVE HER! Seriously, before the day is done, she’ll probably have produced several award-winning documentaries on humanitarian crises, bottled several barrels of her own vintage, given Portia a backrub, freaked Usher, and brought running water to Mississipi. God bless.
This cookbook changed my life. Well, at least my cooking. The recipes in Anna Thomas’* 2009 Love Soup not only make dishes so good you’d sell your babies to eat more of them, but they demonstrate techniques and strategies that can make all your cooking better. It’s been one of my main go-to cookbooks for nearly three years. Even if you think you’re not into soup, this book will change your mind.
Case in point: the Roasted Turnip and Winter Squash soup I made the other night (those are roasted pine nuts floating in there; Thomas is big on garnishes). As usual, the recipe calls for roasting the key veggies before pureeing them into liquid ecstasy. Stellar trick! Everything tastes better roasted! This soup is divine!
This photo sucks because I took it with my iPad while eating leftovers in my cubicle. These soups don’t stick around long enough for pro-looking photography, pshaw.
Another trick she often recommends is to slowly brown onions until they’re caramelized and savory. This is so reliably delicious that I pretty much sneer now at any recipe with onions that doesn’t have you do this. Translucent, schmanslucent.
Roasting veggies, browning onions, and otherwise coddling your top-quality ingredients does take a while though, which why this is neither a weeknight nor a beginner book. But it’ll take your cooking to a new level without requiring you to go all kitchen-wench, either. Usually her extra steps (and the extra dishes to clean) are totally worth the effort and well explained. She might even convince you it’s worth making your own stock (it is).
All the Love soups are vegetarian. The majority are vegan and labeled as such; many more of them are a snap to adapt (leave out a garnish, or replace milk or butter).
Thomas organizes the recipes by season and relies mainly on what you should be able to get at the farmer’s market that time of year. That strategy makes the book especially useful to, say, someone with a CSA share in Berkeley. So often I’d get a veggie box and wonder, “What can I do with celery root, turnips, and leeks?” or whatever, and Thomas would have the perfect recipe using that exact combo of seasonal ingredients.
This book is best if you own an immersion blender. It’ll probably make you want to buy one. And a stock pot. And a CSA share. And you’ll want to move to California, though my mother in D.C. loves this book even more than I do, so that’s not actually a requirement.
Some family favorites: Caramelized Cabbage Soup (my mom has served this at Christmas dinner), French Lentil Stew with Roasted Carrot and Mint (to die for), and the cohort of Green Soups that involve pureeing things like kale, spinach, and chard (my husband is obsessed).
The non-soup recipes are less spectacular; I’ve made some of her breads, but that’s not her strong suit.
Final Verdict: A fantastic staple for the kitchen library. Overall Rating: A Creativity: A Level of difficulty: Intermediate Best for: Any home cook willing to put a couple hours into making something bomber, especially those who like cooking seasonally.
*For those of you following along at home, why yes indeed, that is the same Anna Thomas who wrote The Vegetarian Epicureback in the olden days. Ten bonus points for you!
Harvest Home's Farewell to Foie Gras Party in Oakland on Saturday!
Who wants to go to a vegan dessert party to celebrate the impending ban of foie gras production and sale in California? You do! Even better, the proceeds from the soiree will benefit the wonderful Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary. Delicious and delightful! The details are below, let’s all stuff our faces with magical vegan treats whilst saving animals. Today, the world is a slightly less shitty place, and isn’t that the point of it all? I think? Let’s all go!
Don’t miss this special holiday event! Enjoy seasonal vegan appetizers and desserts, including soy nog, specialty beer, and spiced apple cider. Plus, goodie bags LOADED with vegan treats from Obsessive Confection Disorder, NewTree Chocolates, Lulu’s Raw Chocolate Alchemy, Go Max Go Foods, Desiderio Chocolates, Let’s Do Organic Vegan Gummi Bears, 100% Pure Cosmetics, and more! [Ed.: THAT IS ONE HELL-OF A GOODIE BAG!]
View original photography of the sanctuary’s rescued ducks, vegetarian food drive benefitting the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin (individuals who donate to the vegetarian food drive will be entered into a raffle to win cool prizes), and a Toast to the End of Foie Gras Sale and Production in California!
Awesome! The party happens on Saturday, Dec, 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., at a private home in Oakland. The address will be provided to registered attendees prior to the event. A single ticket costs $15; a single ticket and a one-month rescued duck sponsorship costs $30. Space is limited, so register online today!
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.