Restaurant review: Nick's Tacos at Underdog, plus your weekend plans!
Underdog is a sports bar that serves Nick’s Tacos, located in an area of San Francisco I like to refer to as the Mid Sunset. Not quite Outer, not quite Inner. Technically, what is 19th and Irving? I have no clue.
Nick believes in slow food, fast, which I guess I love. I don’t respect the Slow Food movement so much, as it tends to be super meat-heavy/hypocritical. Unless we are talking about cooking dinner in my apartment! My old roommate Vanessa said I am a great cook, but she can’t wait two hours to eat. What?! I like the flavors to meld—and I cook on low so I can check Facebook every two seconds.
I went to Underdog’s on a whim last year with two friends, as one of them knew the bartender and we NEEDED to make it for beer-and-taco happy hour. Taco happy hour, by the way, is only for ‘street-style’ meat tacos, but Nick’s is so inexpensive, you won’t stay too mad about that. Perhaps they will make the street tacos sans meat, I’ve never asked.
Drinking and tacos are two of my FAVORITE THINGS! I could tell I was gonna like the food as soon as our chips and salsa came. SO COLORFUL AND FRESH! I mean, really? In a bar? I was not expecting this.
The second time I visited UnderNick’s, I had the taco salad. SO AMAZING. The best part is that it is a vegan entree, so I didn’t have to waste time asking for no cheese or sour cream and then stress out it’s going to come with those condiments anyway. Cilantro-lime vinaigrette? Done. Fresh tomatoes and delicious guacamole? Done. The best part, other than how it tastes, is that it doesn’t come in a heavy, fried tortilla shell, the part of the salad I always try to abstain from and then demolish in 30 seconds flat. Instead they decoratively top the salad with tortilla curls!
The first time I went to Underdog’s, my friend informed me of second Underdog up the street (different place of business completely). So after gorging on chips, salsa and tacos, I found room in my stomach for a vegan sausage dog with sauerkraut. And then went home and made seitan (while checking Facebook constantly).
Here’s your itinerary for this weekend (whenever your weekend is. Mine is Mondays and Tuesdays, holla!). Go to Ocean Beach, try to stay warm and work up an nice appetite/beer buzz on the sand, and as you are heading back to the city stop at Nick’s. Scarf down your food so that before your stomach can register it’s full, you can demolish a vegan sausage dog down the street. Sounds like a perfect day to me!
Underdog Sports Bar and Grill is located at 1824 Irving between 19th and 20th Avenues in the Sunset. It can get pretty bro-y on game days, so I’d avoid it at all costs then. Here’s the menu [.pdf]. [Ed.: I’ve heard that on Fridays during happy hour, they have $1 margaritas. Girrrrrrrl…]
That’s right! We got a three-for-one! Three times the fun! From Victoria, BC, Canada, we have eight-year-old Ash, four-year-old Valley, and two-year-old Sloane! Yay! Super cute vegan family!
What is your favorite food? Ash: Waffles with cashew-almond whipped cream and raspberry coulis [Mom note: He’s a fancy lad] Valley: Veggie dogs with ketchup on them and a bun. Sloane: Food [Mom note: she eats EVERYTHING, but mostly stuff from My Whole Deal. Even the Sriracha laced-stuff.]
What is your favorite kind of birthday cake? Ash: Sloane’s cake. [Mom note: Lemon cake with vanilla frosting] Val: A cake with chocolate and [cashew-almond] whipped cream on top. Sloane: Princess Birthday cake. [Mom note: see Ash. It was a gooder]
Why are you vegan? Ash: Because eating animals is mean and we are animals too. Val: Because eating dead animals is gross and if you eat one you’ll get get sick because that’s what happens when you eat dead animals. Sloane: [Mom note: I asked her if she wanted to eat animals] Eat animals? Nooooo! [followed by hysterical giggles and animal noises. Mostly “bahs”]
Do you like being vegan? Why? Ash: I like being vegan because it doesn’t hurt anybody and the food tastes good. Val: Yep. Yep. Because eating dead animals is gross and stinky. Sloane: I eat animals? Nooo!
Is it ever hard to be vegan? Ash: Not really, except for getting used to some foods like vegan cheese and hot sauce. Val: Nope. I don’t like animals when they go killed. I’m sad when sometimes animals go killed. Sloane: [More “bahs” and some “moos”]
What do your friends think about you being vegan? Ash: Some just wonder why, but I just tell them I think it is mean to eat animals and they say, “Oh, so that’s why.” Pretty much all of them don’t care. Val: They don’t eat animals too. Sloane: Mooo! [Mom note: Sloane’s friends are very non-judgmental. Probably because most of them still crap in their pants]
What is your favorite animal? Why? Ash: Jellyfish because I think they’re cool and I think it is neat how they attack and swim. Val: A dinosaur. Because that one is cool. Sloane: Birdies. [cawing noises]
Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it! Ash: Yes. Is that actually a question? Val: Yep. Yep. I can draw a raptor. It is fast and it will get you. Sloane: Yeah. OK Mommy. I do draw pink dinosaur. Not yet! I just draw it for my birthday [Mom note: I think she’s still thinking about the cake question.]
OMG we got some good drawings here! Jeez is that not THE very likeness of the Vegansaur? And look at that raptor! Straight thug! Scary!
One such advocate group is the Oakland Food Policy Council. In its recent “Statement on Urban Agriculture" the OFPC indicates strong support for "the integration of animals into urban food production systems because they provide products that can improve the diets of Oakland’s residents (e.g. fresh milk, honey, eggs, and meat)." "Integration of animals into urban food production systems"? Can I get a translator please?
"Integration" means we allow animals to be crammed into backyards throughout Oakland. Some of these animals will be named, stroked, and cuddled before they are killed, while others will suffer a more factory-farm-style life of abuse and neglect—just in a different zip code and (hopefully) without thousands of their cousins alongside them. They all meet the same fate, though, because these Oakland animals have now become part of the "urban food production system".
"So what’s wrong with that?" they say. "I’m hungry and I need to eat meat." Well, a few things are wrong with that, particularly in a dense urban environment like Oakland:
People don’t need to eat meat, certainly not people living in the Bay Area. Eating animals here is a choice.
My grandparents had a farm. It was roughly 250 acres. They had cows, sheep, and chickens. Each animal group had its own section, the cows with the most room to roam about. Which brings up one of the big problems with urban livestock: Is there a 250-acre backyard in Oakland? If your Oakland backyard is like mine, there is room for a couple of tomato plants and a crappy commuter bike. Where do we fit the chickens, sheep, goats, cows, rabbits, ducks, geese, quail, etc.? It is cruel to force animals into small cages for their entire existence—we don’t allow people to treat dogs or cats this way.
There are undoubtedly many farmers who legitimately care about their animals. But having seen some of the heinous things people do to the animals we call pets in Oakland, I cannot fathom the level of abuse against so-called livestock animals in Oakland by the folks who really don’t care. Even if the livestock animals are not abused in the same way as the pets (seems unlikely but let’s assume it’s true), the simple designation “livestock” results in a whole new category of violent and disturbing treatment. For example, why is it OK to breed chickens and goats in your backyard and throw away the male offspring, when the same practice applied to dogs and cats would be considered outrageous? And even if there were tight restrictions, who would be there to enforce them? Animal control is already overburdened with the existing cases of abuse, neglect, and abandonment of pets. How could they possibly have time to peek into every backyard to make sure the chickens can still walk or the goats have enough room to turn around?
It’s not just about you when you live in an urban environment; our neighbors have needs as well. One of those needs is to be free from disease and pandemic. Animals packed into backyards will attract other unwanted animals, like rats, that can quickly infest an entire neighborhood. Another urban neighbor’s desire is to live in an environment without offensive odors or sounds. I don’t mind the sound and smell of a pig, goat, or chicken, but some people do, and I have to imagine pretty much everyone would have a big problem with the terrified screams or squawks of a animal being killed next door. Forget about escaped or abandoned animals cruising Telegraph Ave.—what about feral chicken colonies?
f you really want to “improve the diets of Oakland’s residents” encourage a plant-based diet. There is ample and compelling evidence that meat isn’t good for you. No need to rehash it here; watch the movie Forks Over Knives, you’ll get the point.
So yeah, I have a problem with the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals as backyard livestock, the possibility of disease and nuisances like feral chicken colonies, the awful cries of an animal in fear of its life reverberating through my neighborhood, and the inability of any authority to stop it. I’ll have to act in opposition to the “integration of animals into urban food production systems” in Oakland. Please join me in signing and sharing the petition to "Prevent the Proliferation of Backyard Livestock and Animal Slaughter in Oakland." We need to let the good people who run Oakland know that we’re all for a sustainable and healthy food system here, but the extreme suffering and killing of animals cannot possibly be sustainable or healthy.
Tim Anderson is a proud citizen of Oakland where he lives with his partner, their three dogs, tomato plants, and an herb garden. He is a regular volunteer photographer with Oakland Animal Services. If you want to get involved with all this nonsense, you can email him!
Who doesn’t get off on chocolate with raspberry? Aliens? Orcs? Total jerks? No matter, because you’re going to love this sweet, tart variation on Isa Chandra Moskowitz's classic chocolate cupcake:
This photo is designed to show the filling. It’s so much yummier than it looks, promise.
Chocolate raspberry cupcakes Ingredients Cupcakes 1 cup “milk” 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 3/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder 3/4 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt
Filling Jar of raspberry jam, 8 ounces or so
The Icing 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature 1/4 cup Earth Balance, room temperature 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract 2 Tbsp. “milk” Whatever raspberry jam is left over after filling the cupcakes
Instructions Crank that oven to 350 degrees, and prep your muffin pan with liners (don’t simply grease the pan; those liners will help hold your shit together later).
For the cupcakes, combine the milk and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir (or sift if you’re fancy) the dry ingredients together until well mixed. Add to the wet mixture the rest of the cupcake ingredients. Dump the dry mixture into the wet in at least two batches, and beat.
Pour batter into the liners. Bake 18 to 20 minutes; do the toothpick test to make sure they’re done.
Once they’re cool, you’re gonna hollow out the cupcakes so you can fill ‘em. There are two ways to do this: 1. Stick your finger into the cupcake through the top. Push down, and press your fingertips against the walls of each cupcake without making the hole on top bigger. This one is my favorite.
2. Use a knife to cut an inverted cone out of the cupcake. Cut the point off the cone, and put it in your mouth. Set the rounded part aside. You’ll pop it back on top after filling.
To fill the cupcakes, pour the jar of raspberry jam into a sandwich bag. Cut the corner of the bag to make a little spout. Squirt as much jam as you can into each cupcake.
To make the icing, use an electric mixer to cream the shortening and margarine together until fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat for three to five more minutes. Put the milk, vanilla, and jam in, and beat for about five more minutes.
Spread the icing on top of the cupcakes. Impress your friends, or eat all of them yourself. Feel oh-so-satisfied.
[Our series on cleanses continues, with a look into the rest of our three-day BluePrint Cleanse!]
If you’re wondering if I broke the cleanse early, you’re right! I totally did. But, it was pretty late in the game, with two juices left on Friday night, I declared enough and ordered some vegetable sushi for delivery. My stomach did not revolt, a BluePrint Cleanse fairy did not appear to punish me, and I went on to (sadly) drink my last bit of cashew milk.
Overall, I enjoyed cleansing, in a kind of sick way. Today, my first day officially back, I found myself kinda craving the green juice, with the celery-ish aftertaste. And cashew milk? Imma find you again. We will meet again, perhaps with vodka to make a “BPC Lebowski.”
I’m not cut out for full-on cleansing. It’s just not me. The headaches were brutal, and the raw food “detox” symptoms were pretty interesting, like non-stop itching on the first day, and all kinds of weird smells.
Positives? Sleeping like a motherfucking baby, especially on day two and three. In fact, I did not need additional sleep aids, and I almost always need a little help. There was mental clarity, which is another thing that is rare in my brain. I didn’t get the energy boost that I was promised, though that could be due to other reasons.
I’m definitely doing another cleanse again (like I said there is a bit of perverse joy out of it), but I’ll stick to one or two days, or BluePrint Cleanse’s Juice Till Dinner.
And yes, I did indeed lose those three pounds. Much better than Cal Teen bars.
BluePrint Clease provided me with a three-day cleanse free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. You can order your own cleanse (available via pick-up in select US cities or via FedEx) at their website.
Millennium's Southern Comfort Dinner is coming! Reserve your seats now or y'all be screwed, ya hear!
This is a reblog of what I wrote for SFist yesterday because I’m on deadline for a project that actually pays me, unlike you ungrateful jerks friends of mine!
On Wednesday, May 25, Millennium goes country! Well, as country as a vegan restaurant in San Francisco can go. Which means, it’s country cliches left and right! Previous years feasts have included buckets o’ beer, mint juleps, deep-fried everything, wedge salads, a carving station (f’real), and a sundae bar. Not sure what’s so southern about that but we love sundaes so we’ll let it slide. It’s really one of the best nights dining anywhere and by the end of the night, you’ll be too fat to walk, and that’s definitely a southern thing. Or an awesome thing. It’s both things.
Millennium’s SoCo Dinner is a five-course prix fixe menu that costs $39.99 per person. Reservations are available between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m., call (415) 345.3900 to make ‘em.
Oh, and Meave reviewed a previous Southern Comfort Dinner and it was pretty fucking epic. Here’s some unsane po’ boy from that feast:
Dylan is 11 and vegan. He has a vegan sister named Kayla. As you can see, Dylan has a way with cows. Go Giants!
Vegansaurus: What is your favorite food? Dylan: Everything my mom cooks. My favorite is baked tofu.
What is your favorite kind of birthday cake? I’m gonna have to go with red velvet (from Sprinkles).
Why are you vegan? Because when we became vegan my mom told me about how the animals were tortured and didn’t have a good life and it was painful for them. So it made me sad and want to go vegan.
Do you like being vegan? Why? Yes, because 1. It helps animals and 2. I personally think it is the right thing to do and I get a really guilty conscious even if I accidentally eat diary.
Is it ever hard to be vegan? Definitely, because I feel kinda annoyed that I can’t have what everyone is having, so I remind myself of how it is helping the animals. [Ed. note: Me too! I get cranky]
What do your friends think about you being vegan? That depends on the friend. Most of my friends don’t care, and when I go to their houses their parents are great about it. But there is one friend, well, not exactly a friend, but a kid that is very mean and always trying to get me to eat meat and we get into huge debates (but I always end up winning).
What is your favorite animal? Why? Probably cows and chickens because cows are really nice and fun to be around and chickens because I have an adopted Rooster named Elton.
Do you like pink dinosaurs? Not pink. Actually, well, no.
Can you draw one for us? We would love it! Dylan: Ummmm… maybe. I’ll have to practice in my sketch book.
Thanks Dylan! Stay cool! I hope we see a dino picture soon. I believe in you!
Saturday: Berkeley Vegan Bakesale for Animal Place Sanctuary!
Here are the details on Facebook, where you can also RSVP. If you’re not on Facebook, I get it, you’re better than me, but it’s in front of Nature’s Express in Berkeley (1823 Solano Avenue—get the Reuben and the vegan soft serve!) from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. All the proceeds will go to help Animal Place continue to be amazing and also, get even more amazing. So go! You know you want to! And you’ll be all happy and content like this little dude here:
Hey, I’m not going all holier-than-thou on you. Think how fat I was for years. I knew the solution, I was weak and lazy. Over 12 years I was eventually able to lose about 70 pounds with a proper diet, but my current weight and superb physical condition can be attributed to my illness. I am unable to eat or drink anything, and my (therefore) perfect diet of canned nutrition has given me an ideal weight and incredibly good blood numbers.
Fat people aren’t “weak and lazy,” they’re JUST FAT. That’s all. Lots of fat people are quite healthy, just how lots of skinny people are quite healthy, and lots of “average-sized” people are quite healthy. Losing weight isn’t a health panacea that suddenly means you’ll live forever and be a better person and win the lottery, it’s just LOSING WEIGHT. That’s GONNA COME BACK ANYWAY. Sometimes the weight loss helps with certain health things, sometimes it doesn’t. Same with gaining weight! The deal is, your body will reset itself to the weight it wants to be eventually. I mean, how many people do you know who have tried to lose a large amount of weight (I’m talking more than 20 to 30 pounds) were able to keep it off for five years or longer? I bet that number is VERY small, if you can even think of anyone. Ebert is in the unique position of not being able to eat food—that sucks and is the worst and I completely feel for him, and it also makes it pretty easy to stay at goal weight, knowwhatimsayin?? Many of can eat anytime we’re hungry—that’s why there are fat vegans and skinny vegans and fat meat-eaters and skinny meat-eaters. If we have access to the amount of calories our bodies want, we’ll get as fat as our bodies wants to get. In fact, fat people are fairly awesome because if there’s ever a food shortage, our shit is gonna live way longer than the skinnies. Fat apocalyptic dance party, y’all!
Anyway, I’m off track, but the importance of a film like Forks Over Knives is that eating a plant-heavy vegan diet is healthier than eating the garbage that passes as “food” today. It’s a much more complicated issue than EAT AN APPLE, FATTY. Our entire food system—including food availability—is set up to fail our health, the health of the planet, and certainly the health of animals. Every step a person can take towards eating a diet less filled with animal products and more filled with fruits, veggies, and grains, the better. Let’s leave it at that, and quit making it a weight thing. I know GET SKINNY FAT-ASS is what motivates people to consume consume consume and cash is king and blah blah blah but I’ll still get upset every time I see shit like this and I hope you do, too. ALSO, I’m bummed to hear this from Roger Ebert, who I thought was a friend to fatties. Well, I guess I knew he was a self-loathing fatty when he gave fucking Shallow Hal a good review, but then I thought he came around! He’s got an ADORABLE chubbers wife and he’s always defending Gabourey Sidibe. I don’t quite understand his whole thing. Someone help me. Ludditerobot, you got anything?
Anyway, the rest of the review is right on, and he’s even switching to a liquid vegetable and fruit diet now, and that’s awesome. Roger Ebert is vegan, y’all. Maybe he’ll even write an all vegan version of his AWESOME rice cooker cookbook?? That would be neat.
This cutie pie maltipoo needs our help, stat. You see, Toby has been diagnosed with both diabetes and a disease called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). He needs only insulin for his diabetes, but a cocktail of other medications for the IMHA, including prednisone, cyclosporen, doxycyclin and leflunemide. The meds for IMHA actually make Toby’s diabetes worse, and therefore he has been hospitalized. We all know how quickly vet bills can add up!
The family caring for Toby has created Time For Toby, a blog explaining his condition and how he came to be a part of their household. It also serves as an avenue to buy vegan dog biscuits, vegan biscotti or simply donate some cash to help support Toby. They need money to buy more time, to find a perfect balance of meds to regulate this little guy. You know you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror if you don’t help out, so DO IT!
VEGAN BREAKFAST ALERT! One of the hardest things for vegans in this city to find is a suitable breakfast or brunch option. Well, there’s a new sheriff in town and they put a motherfucking bird on it! Little Bird Coffeehouse is a fairly new place in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood that serves up all kinds of vegan breakfast and brunch options, including damn good gluten-free blue corn waffles (covered in fresh fruit, maple syrup, and Earth Balance!), damn good vegan breakfast sandwiches (made with Soyrizo, tofu scramble, vegan cheese and magic), and lots of other damn good vegan stuff like donuts and muffins and other fantastic shiz. Also, various types of non-dairy milk for your coffee and tea beverages! It’s no-frills, with a counter for ordering and some rickety tables and chairs to enjoy your goodies. This place is a little interesting because it’s like stepping through a tear in the fabric of the universe and ending up in the Mission. When I’ve eaten there, its been infested with miner bros* ordering espresso and reading David Foster Wallace. Not a bad scene, just FYI.
I’d bring your friends, wife, LOVAS, kids. And I’d hide your parents unless they’re OK with no table service and enjoy listening to Ani Difranco whine about the 1990s. It’s really nice to have some more options in this area of town and I’d like to see them be the little bird that could so get on down there and eat some some breakfast panini.
Soyrizo breakfast sandwich
Little Bird Coffeehouse is at 835 Geary St. (at Larkin), (415) 440-2165, open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CASH-ONLY, Y’ALL.
*TM Kate Losse. It refers to a specific type of dude who wears plaid shirts and scruffy beards, à la gold miners. I will demonstrate:
[This post marks the first of what will be a series on cleanses! Several of your Vegansaurus writers will be taking one for the team and trying out a few juice cleanses. First up, New York City’s infamous BluePrint Cleanse!]
I spent most of my day completely miserable. My head ached, and I’m fantasizing about pancakes.
Why? I’m on a cleanse. I said I’d never be on a cleanse. I MAKE FUN OF PEOPLE ON CLEANSES. Well, make fun of me now, because I’m in this.
The reasons were pretty simple: I feel like utter shit all the time, Also? I really want to lose three pounds.
I’m already very familiar with BluePrint Cleanse thanks to the exploits of one Julia Allison, so I went with that. Also, I’m lazy, and didn’t want to spend any time preparing anything myself. BluePrint is so dummy-proof they actually label the juices for you in the order you have to drink them—I appreciate that. Otherwise, I’d be mixing them all up into one giant juice (has anyone tried this?).
You’re supposed to prepare by slowly weaning yourself off sugar, coffee and carbs in the days before, but I didn’t do that. Oops! To be fair, the day before I ate pretty lightly and had a salad for dinner. That’s a lot of healthy eating for this girl!
Today, I had coffee and a banana for breakfast, and started the cleanse at 1 p.m., right before a conference call. Perfect timing, right!? I didn’t want to think about it anymore, I dove right into that fucker. I did start my day with a water with lemon like I was supposed to, so I DID read your prep email, BluePrint Cleanse.
The first juice is a green juice, made from lots of good stuff like kale, celery, and other green things. People seem to either love it or hate it, and I loved it. Despite my ultra-unhealthy leanings, I love green juices. And I felt pretty awesome after the first one. Healthy. Like Gwyneth Paltrow must feel every time she sends off her GOOP newsletter. However, five minutes later, I was starving. The “cheat sheet” to BluePrint allows you a few little snack foods in case you get crazy, including veggie broth, celery, and avocado. So of course, it was time for a snack of broth!
Let me tell you—veggie broth has NEVER tasted so good. That broth was *almost* like the romesco sauce from Ubuntu. In my mind, they were basically the same. About an hour later, was the PAM juice, pineapple, apple, and mint. This juice was really amazing, and could easily be mixed with a little vodka or rum (See? I’m still up to my old tricks! BPC *does* have a cocktail menu, though).
At this point, it was only 4 p.m. Four fucking o’clock. How was I going to make it with no food and FOUR MORE JUICES? A bit later, I chewed on some celery stalks and downed juice number 3, another green juice. This is the same recipe from the first juice, but the batch was not as celery-esque as juice number one.
Despite headaches and the food cravings, I actually feel okay. All I miss is sugar. Bread. Dear, sweet, sugar. Delicious, wonderful carbs. But what I’m finding now that I don’t have all this food to eat is…I’m bored. I spend so much time and energy thinking about food and eating food that now I don’t have to think about it, I don’t know what to do.
At the end of the night, I’m about halfway through juice number 6, a cashew milk, agave and cinnamon drink, and it is like a little milkshake. It’s a relief: finally some sweetness after all the tart fruit and veggie juices. Number 5, a beet/apple/ginger concoction, was surprisingly much better than I thought it would be. Number 4, the spicy lemonade, was another blend that I felt would be improved with some tequila.
Now, it’s confession time. Because this isn’t going to be one of those cleanse diaries where the author magically floats her way through it, living on smiles. I DID have a handful of baby carrots after eating my permitted “cheat” of ¼ of an avocado. And I broke in another way: I had a bunch of crackers when I freaked out about my salt intake. I have reasons for this that are pretty sound, so I don’t really care that I “cheated.” As far as I’m concerned, I MADE IT.
Other than that, I’m uh, not that hungry. Really. Honestly. Physically, that is. Mentally, I could eat a pizza wrapped in a burrito deep-fried in phyllo dough. Actually, maybe not. But, really, I’m not that hungry at all. I suspect this will only get easier.
Come back for day 2 of my party with BluePrint Cleanse. Tell us, what are your experiences with cleanses, both home-made and commercial?
Disclaimer: BluePrint Cleanse provided me with a three-day cleanse free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. Pancake photo by Moirabot, via Creative Commons.
Guest post: Five freaky and fantastic vegan Japanese foods you must eat now!
Japanese food is awesome. It’s light and healthy and after eating it, you usually feel pleasantly satiated rather than weighed down (unless it’s tempura, or okonomiyaki, or—let’s just move on, shall we?). But did you know that Japan is home to some seriously freaky shizzle? If your palate is begging for variety and you need your culinary world to be rocked, we invite you to check out some of these funky Japanese foods. You will not be disappointed.
1. Devil’s got your tongue? Check out crazy konyaku! Sometimes translated as “devil’s tongue,” konyaku is a gelatinous paste made from yams. You can sometimes find it in big gray blocks with black flecks in them (which just may be one of the most unappetizing forms a food can take), and occasionally in little ribbon shapes that are tied into a bow. If you’re feeling brave enough to try the block, you can rinse it off, and then do whatever you like to do with weird gelatinous substances. You could throw some into a stir-fry or soup to make things more interesting, or even bread and deep-fry it for a batch of “down-home country-fried devil’s tongue.” It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
2. Can’t get enough of that jelly-like weirdness? Kick it with kanten! Kanten is another freaky-deaky Japanese substance. Sometimes called agar, sometimes agar-agar (isn’t that the best?), this algae-derived white powder can be cooked up to solidify stuff and make some very interestingly textured jellies, custards, puddings, and aspics. This is also super-popular as a diet food in Japan because of its high-fiber, low-calorie content. So you can eat as much as you want! Just as long as you don’t mind, uh, going to the bathroom later.
3. It looks like a booger, but it’s snot. Yamaimo, y’all! Maybe it’s not polite to talk about boogers at the dinner table, but it’s really hard not to talk about snot when we’re talking yamaimo, or “mountain yam.” On the outside, it appears to be a long, thin, shaggy potato (picture Shaggy from Scooby Doo in potato form). However, once you start grating it, it turns into a white, gooey, mucous-like substance, which you can use to bind various things together, or you can just take it as is and throw it on top of a bowl of soba noodles for a dish called “tororo.” Which is probably more fun to say than it is to eat. Just sayin’.
4. Yes, it smells like feet, but it’s GOOD for you. Nasty natto! Can you tell I’m not the biggest fan of the fermented soybeans known as natto? However, I’m adult enough to recognize that some
people can actually get past the funky smell (like feet!), and texture (slimy, sticky, AND stringy!) and enjoy this stuff. Renowned for its probiotic properties, natto is said to help build a healthy digestive tract, and is even sometimes used to clean out bacteria-infested water. Well, like the old saying goes, “Good enough for bacteria-infested water, good enough for me!” If that describes your culinary philosophy, wrap some up with sushi rice in sheets of nori for nattomaki, or mix it with kimchee and rice (some people swear by this pungent combination).
5. Rockin’ renkon (a.k.a. lotus root)!
Compared to the other foods on this list, lotus root is rather mild. It doesn’t have a super-strange taste or texture, but just take a look at this and tell me it’s not freaky. Sure, the outside looks like a potato, but slice through it and you get a crazy cross-section that’s as beautiful as it is bizarre. Plus, lotus root is almost as versatile as its cousin, the potato (My apologies to any biologists who are shaking their heads in anger as they read this). You can deep-fry lotus roots for some kick-ass “potato-cousin” chips, toss them in the rice cooker along with whatever grain you’re cooking to add some variation to the mix, or chop them up into tiny pieces and put them in your rice for a crunchy and fun take on inari. Do you have any favorite recipes for these freaky foods? Feel free to share them here!
Melissa Feineman is a Japonophile writer and editor who is looking for work. You should totes hire her. Or just check out her shizzle on her rad website. You must especially read her AWESOME Japanese dating advice column, Let’s Dating!
Flats, bitch! Alternative title: Vegan shoes, flats edition
I can’t recall who, but some reader was like, “Damn, Megan Rascal! Why you always trying to make me wear high heels?! You KNOW my feet are delicate!” So here, dear reader, a flats round-up! These are totally Cally-approved. I swear to your mom.
They are sweet and pretty, right? Sorry dudes, couldn’t get a bigger picture. I think these are elegant and super summery.
Next, these nice dress shoes from Madden Girl. Cally says, “Pretty cute I don’t love the color.” What she lacks in brevity, she makes up for in punctuation. FYI, they also come in tan, they just don’t picture them on Mooshoes.
Cally likes these a lot: “Cute!!” That’s TWO exclamation points. I can’t stress the importance of that enough. I’m pretty into these too, I might buy them so leave a size 7.5 for your homegirl.
Now some Beyond Skin jawns. The sizes available are limited on this one. Cally’s reaction: “Pretty I like the low vamp.” I say, “Hey Cally, what’s the vamp?” “The vamp is how far the shoe comes up, so a normal loafer has a higher vamp than the grey ones. A really low vamp is like a shoe that shows lots of toe cleavage.” The more you know, the more you grow!
Cally approved these but she don’t love them. I think they are SHARP! Cally’s official opinion: “pretty OK.” But really, that is a high rating! There’s, “OMG I love it!” Then, “pretty OK.” Then several levels of, “uggo” that I don’t subject you to.
Half-price vegan truffles! Find all the great deals with @VeganDeals!
Quick post guys, because why waste time reading when you could be buying vegan truffles? Check out this online deal from GatherGreen for a $6, 6-piece box of organic yum from Nicobella, shipping included. I haven’t tried these but the flavors sound awesome! Presents galore!
The only reason I know about this fabulous opportunity is because of my new favoritest Twitter feed, @vegandeals. I was going to take the time and like, interview this person who is gathering all the vegan deals around the country from sites like Groupon and tweeting them to you. But I can’t wait long enough for that. Get a Twitter, go sign up, and perhaps later we’ll have an interview with this hero of ethical consumerism.
This is my current amateur opinion on the state of Ubuntu: You just gotta go balls-out, throw caution (read: your wallet) to the wind and order at least the prix fixe menu, preferably the chef’s tasting menu, which can be done vegan in a way that doesn’t sacrifice the dishes at all. You can’t go to Ubuntu hoping to piece a meal together from the a la carte menu, you gotta GO BIG OR GO HOME (hungry). Being in the SF Bay Area, we’re super lucky to live so close to a restaurant where vegans can really do it up, and eat a meal that rivals those available in the best restaurants in the world.* Anyway, if you don’t have a sugar daddy or a trust fund, you best get one and fast. Also, if you are either a sugar daddy or a trust fund, let’s get it on! I am willing to completely bankrupt myself in every way for another taste of that sweet sweet Ubuntu lovin’.
ARTICHOKE PASTA FROM HEAVEN:
*I mean, I guess, I don’t even know if the food in those restaurants is that great. I’ve eaten in some of them as an omnivore and enjoyed the meals less than I did an order of veggie chow fun from Golden Era or the tamales at Gracias Madre but I’m no foodieasshole expert.
Vegans on Kickstarter, kick-starting some kick-ass projectss!
Who wants a new vegan-friendly, employee-owned, veggie restaurant in Grand Rapids, Mich.? How about L.A.’s first vegan dessert truck? Or a vegan food truck in Rhode Island? Duh, you do. Why do bloggers even ask dumb rhetorical questions?
The power is in your hands, grasshopper.
On Kickstarter, people with creative ideas can get other people with dollars to help make the creative ideas happen. The cool thing about it is that the people with dollars don’t have to have very many dollars to help out. Like, one is probably enough.
Here’s how it works: The creative person sets a funding goal and then they have up to 90 days to convince as many (suckers) heroes as possible to donate. It’s like a zillion NPR fund drives are going on simultaneously up in that joint, with thank-you gifts for different contributor levels. Though usually on Kickstarter the thank-you gifts are more relevant to the project at hand than a tote-bag is to public radio. (Am I supposed to use the bag to carry my radio around so that I never miss a second of NPR? Is that what you’re trying to tell me, Terry Gross?)
And the best part is, here are VEGAN projects on Kickstarter. Right this second! Waiting for your vegan dollars and wanting to give you vegan tote-bag-equivalents and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with making something cool happen (and also with lying in a roomful of kittens). (Wait, can someone do a Kickstarter project to start a business that lets you lie in a roomful of kittens? Because I’d totally fund that.)
Here are a few of the projects currently looking for funding:
Eat new flavors of Coconut Bliss; gain 10,000 pounds!
Coconut Bliss has four new flavors. I already had a mega-ladyboner for the existing ones, so I flipped at the chance to try them. (Dear Luna & Larry: I would flip at the chance to re-try all the old ones, like, a million times each as well, thanks.) You asked for my thoughts? Oh, you didn’t? Well, TOO BAD:
Lunaberry Swirl: This is your typical crystalline berry-flavored swirl in vanilla base. It’s got blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries without that weird texture that makes berries gross (I hate fruit). The flavor is pretty mild, and the whole experience reminded me of those single-serving ice cream cups with the wooden spoons they’d give you at ice cream socials. Help me out, guys: What were those called? It’s driving me bananas! Fruit joke!
Mocha Maca Crunch: It’s crunchy, all right; my jaw is like the Hulk now. It contains maca (revered by Aztecs or somebody for its energy- and libido-boosting properties), mesquite, coffee, and cocoa nibs. Lucky for me, the coffee flavor was not too strong (I hate coffee; related: I’m an alien). The texture was pleasant, but it could have used a soft swirl (fudge maybe?) to balance out the crunchiness.
Chocolate Walnut Brownie: This has real brownie bits! I’m in heaven! They are gluten-free and soft and chewy! My dream has been realized! Also, I don’t always love chocolate-flavored stuff or even chocolate itself (I know! What is wrong with me?!), so I was pleased that I enjoyed the chocolate base. It’s probably the best chocolate ice cream in the biz, yo.
Ginger Cookie Caramel: This one was the winner. You didn’t know it was a contest? Surprise! Soft, molasses-y, gluten-free cookies pair up with an uber-yummy caramel swirl. The ginger flavor is really strong, so if you don’t like ginger, you are dead to me you won’t like this. This ice cream brings back memories of that one time I made gingerbread cookies except less disastrous.
Go to your local Coconut Bliss-carrying store and stockpile that shit, along with my all-time favorite flavor, Cherry Amaretto (hooray, alcohol!). Stuff into your face, and be happy.
While the vegan community continues to grow and thrive, it turns out that statistically, Americans in general are still making astonishingly poor food choices.
Though the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines actually features a dash of helpful information and a pinch of worthy advice—such as suggestions to avoid sodium and refined grains—it also includes some pretty scary statistics.
In a chart on page 12 called Top 25 Sources of Calories Among Americans Ages 2 Years and Older, we learn what Americans are really made of. And it’s not looking good.
And if that’s not alarming enough, the top 10 for ages two through 18 are:
Chicken and chicken mixed dishes
Pasta and pasta dishes
You read right: The American population is currently made up of glazed donuts, fried chicken, and Red Bull. What’s worse, fruits and vegetables don’t even make the top 25, unless you count “fried white potatoes,” and you’d better not count that.
I don’t know about y’all… but I’m pretty sure it’s about time to stage a Nationwide Kale Intervention!
Look at handsome Connor! In pink, Vegansaurus’ favorite color. Connor is eight years old and has been a vegetarian for three years. He lives in Dublin, Calif. No one else in his family is a veggie but Connor doesn’t care! He’s committed. Go Connor!
Vegansaurus: What is your favorite food? Connor: Ummm, I’d have to say mac ‘n’ cheese.
What is your favorite kind of birthday cake? Ummm, chocolate. I haven’t really had a lot of varieties of birthday cakes.
Why are you vegetarian? Because I love animals and I didn’t want to eat them anymore.
Do you like being vegetarian? Why? Yes. I think that the fake food is really good and I don’t always have to eat some yucky things like steak, meatloaf…[Mom note: he means meat alternatives when he says “fake food”]
Is it ever hard to be vegetarian? Sometimes when you don’t know if something is vegetarian or not vegetarian. [Ed. note: TRUTH]
What do your friends think about you being vegetarian? Sometimes this boy at school says that his dad says that vegetarians are afraid meat is gonna hurt them or something. I say that’s wrong but he says, “I believe my dad.”
What is your favorite animal? Why? A lion. I think a lion is cool and it can cross-breed with a tiger to make a tigon or a liger. I think the mane and how it fights is really cool. Especially in slow motion.
Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it! I guess…
Guest recipe: A professional chef's perfect spring meal
I never used to like salad until I worked at Parc. They paid way more attention to their salads than any vegan place I’ve worked at and you can tell—the dozens of hours I spent learning to cut herbs and shallots cleanly and efficiently, and then the seasoning conferences over a five-gallon bucket of sherry-shallot vinaigrette. Often a sous chef would taste each individual salad for seasoning before sending it out. There are salads on a level beyond that, too.
The crazy thing is that the difference between a sweet/greasy/goopy bowl of lettuce for two people and a great meal in salad form can be some chump change and maybe 10 to 15 minutes’ worth of work. While it is currently green almond season, I haven’t found them growing around Philadelphia, so here is a recipe for a cold spring soup and salad both using last year‘s almond crop and some of this years best baby vegetables:
Ingredients Soup 1 clove garlic ½ lb. blanched almonds (you can either get these pre-blanched or you can do it yourself by putting raw almonds in a pot of boiling water for about two minutes, then putting them in an ice bath and rubbing the skins off.) 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar ½ cup plus one Tbsp. olive oil 1 oz. of rustic bread
Vinaigrette ½ oz. slivered almonds 2 oz. olives 1/4 oz. shallots 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or just use more lemon juice)
Salad 1 bulb baby fennel 2 small radishes 2 baby carrots 1 big crimini mushroom 1 baby beet 1 cup small flavorful greens—arugula, pea shoots, purslane, etc. 8 leaves parsley ½ bunch chives
Instructions We start with the soup. A lot of people are familiar with tomato gazpacho, a cold soup of Spanish origin. Tomatoes have only been in Europe since the 1500s, but Spain is home to another great soup served cold that predates that by a long-shot, sometimes called white gazpacho. This is an almond-based soup, creating creaminess from the delicious fats and proteins found in almonds, as well as from stale bread and olive oil which is added in. While non-dairy milks and creams are common now, they (and their close relatives like this soup) are also common throughout history, all over the world—from Chinese soy milk to Spanish almond cream, and hickory nut milk of the Creek Native Americans. One thing common to all of them is the fresher they are, the better. I’ve taken the basic soup recipe from Jose Andres’ Made in Spain where he makes it with figs and marcona almonds instead of the salad.
One day before making this soup, cover your almonds with 3 cups of water and let them soak overnight. Starting things a day in advance is something I really like—it’s so un-american. Because I don’t like America [.pdf].
The next day, bring a small pot of water to a boil and toss in your garlic. Boil for about a minute, then drain and let the garlic cool.
Put the almonds with their soaking water in a blender with the garlic, sherry vinegar, olive oil and your bread. Puree until smooth, at least two minutes. I find a lot of people think that like 15 seconds in a blender is enough—maybe for your low-fat triple banana goji berry smoothie, but not for most things. Salt to taste—this recipe will take a good deal of salt so start with 2 tsp.
Pour this through a fine mesh sieve. At first, not much will come through. If you have a chinois you can push the liquid through. If not, instead of pushing (which will push the grainy stuff through as well) tap the side of your strainer with a spatula. The liquid will dribble through. This is the only annoying part of this recipe as it can take a good five minutes of tapping. The result will be worth it.
The vinaigrette (you can make this up to 3 days ahead): Unlike the soup, you will want this vinaigrette to be chunky, so either use a food processor or mince these things with a knife.
Spread your slivered almonds on a sheet tray and toast them in the oven at 325 for about six minutes, till golden (you can do this another day in advance, too). Let them cool. Pulse them through a food processor or just crumble them in your hands. Put them in a bowl.
Drain (and pit if necessary) your olives and put them in the food processor until they are pretty evenly minced, scraping down the sides with a spatula if need be.
Mince your shallot and juice your lemon.
Mix the almonds, olives, lemon juice, vinegar (if using), oil and shallots in a bowl. Whisk together. Season with salt and pepper and adjust your oil and lemon juice/vinegar as necessary.
Using a mandolin, a sharp knife, or a vegetable peeler, shave your fennel, mushroom, radish, and carrot as thin as possible while maintaining evenness.
Then shave your beet, keeping it separate.
Pick your parsley leaves. Mix your non-beet vegetable shavings with your parsley and greens and dress with the green olive vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste as you mix.
To finish: Ball up one portion of salad (1 medium handful) to place in the center of each bowl try to get some height. Pour ¾ cup of soup into each bowl, around the salad. Place 3 or 4 beet shavings on top of each portion. Mince your chives. Drizzle your soup with olive oil and sprinkle it with chives and coarse sea salt. Serve with toast or, preferably, fresh grilled bread.
Mark Tinkleman is committed to a radically better future for all of humanity. He is a cook by profession, was trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute, and has worked at award-winning vegan and omni restaurants in New York and Philadelphia. He lives with his beautiful partner and their cat in Philadelphia. Go Philly!
Tuesday, May 10, from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at Southpaw, 125 5th Ave. in Brooklyn.
It’s $15 and 18 and over. Yay, kids! You can hang! The event has a Facebook page and you can buy advance tickets on Southpaw’s website. Southpaw kind of rules so this should be fun! It’s only a few blocks from my place, so you might see me wheeling my records over. Say hi!
If you want a preview of my skillz, you can check out and download (for free!) a few of my mixes on Last.fm.
Come on down! Make SURE you say hi to me if you come because I don’t know anyone else who’s going. You don’t even have to say “hi,” you can get straight to the point.
Hey guys, turns out those fish oil capsules everyone and their damn brother have been taking aren’t so beneficial after all.
In a new study by the American Journal of Epidemiology involving 3,461 male participants, results showed that men with the most DHA (the omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil) in their bloodstreams were two-and-a-half-times more likely to have a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer. Similar studies in Europe discovered the very same results. In case that doesn’t scare your cojones back up into your body, further studies from bigwigs like Harvard and the American Medical Association reveal that fish oil is linked to type-2 diabetes and may actually increase risk of cardiac arrhythmias in some patients.
I’m sure the capsule-fanatics are thinking to themselves, “But what about my heart and brain function? Surely all those marketing claims about reducing the risk of heart failure and aiding Alzheimer’s patients must be true?!”
Sorry, y’all, researchers have found that elderly adults showed absolutely NO benefit at all in tests for reaction time, spatial memory, and processing speed measurements. Reports showed that the supplements did not slow mental decline in these patients, and nor did they benefit babies’ cognitive development in vitro when taken by pregnant mothers. What’s more, the British Medical Journal reported way back in 2006 (and again in 2009) that omega-3 fatty acids have ZERO heart-health benefit. The New England Journal of Medicine had the same results in 2010.
Looks like we have even more reasons to leave our fine-finned friends at home in the water.
DIY: a vegan food festival for your city, Veggielicious-style
The city of Toronto has a great food culture, with a summer full of delicious festivals and restaurants covering a world’s worth of food cultures. But the noshing scene in the city got a whole lot more awesome with the introduction of Veggielicious, billed as the largest festival of its kind in North America. The all-vegan festival ended on Apr. 24, but planning for Veggielicious 2012 is already underway. In the meantime, I got Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp of the Toronto Vegetarian Association to talk about how the festival sprouted, what the TVA learned and how other cities can do something like it (Do something like it, other cities! It was great).
Vegansaurus: What sparked the idea for Veggielicious? Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp: Toronto has two annual restaurant events (Summerlicious and Winterlicious) which allow restaurant patrons to get good deals on prix fixe meals at restaurants for a two-week period. It generates a lot of excitement in the city, and I always feel a bit frustrated by it, as very few of the selections are vegetarian, let alone vegan, and as far as I know, no 100 percent vegetarian restaurant has ever even participated. I, like all of my vegan friends, LOVE food and am enthusiastic about going out and trying new restaurants and dishes, so it seemed only right that there should be an animal friendly restaurant festival.
How much time was there in between the decision to have the Veggielicious event and the event itself? We started talking about putting on the event in Fall of last year, but because of other scheduled Toronto Vegetarian Association events and dismal winter weather, we decided to hold it in spring, coinciding with Earth Day.
Can you give me an overview of the work involved in putting together the Veggielicious event, from conception to execution? Among the things we did to put on the event were:
Decided whether to invite only restaurants that serve 100 percent vegetarian food to participate or to open it up to all restaurants, as long as they know and respect what vegan means. We decided to include restaurants that also serve meat items because it opens up a lot of possibilities, makes the event less exclusive, encourages omnivores to venture into vegan territory when they might not otherwise have done so, and it shows “standard” restaurants that there’s a great demand for animal-free food.
Created a spreadsheet listing the restaurants we liked and hoped would participate in the event [and their contact information].
Contacted restaurants by phone, email, and hard copy letter to invite them to participate, and followed up many times when necessary.
Based on their feedback and the participation fees we asked each restaurant to contribute (all contributions went towards event publicity in the form of printed materials), received quotes from vendors for postcards, posters, and poster distribution.
Designed a poster and postcard for the event (I’m an illustrator, so the labor in this respect was mine and therefore free). Distributed the printed materials to all participating restaurants.
Set up a website listing the main event information, participating restaurants and specials, Google maps showing where the events would be held and what would be offered. We also included downloadable versions of the poster so that people could print out letter-sized versions and put them up to help advertise.
Asked for and received a prize package from Gardein, and set up a contest in which we encouraged people to tweet, blog, and post on Facebook about the event for a chance to win.
Sent out a press release about the Veggielicious and got it into local event listings, did TV and radio interviews about it when approached by local media (we were mentioned or interviewed on three different radio shows and two big local networks, CTV and Global).
Worked with volunteers in suburbs to coordinate restaurant participating and materials distribution outside of the city (this only happened shortly before the start of the event).
What kind of response did you get from restaurants when you approached them about Veggielicious? Generally, people were enthusiastic about the event. Others were hesitant because this was the first year and they were understandably unsure about what the public response would be. Also, when we first approached restaurants we didn’t yet have the graphics designed or the website up, so the event seemed less concrete. Some restaurants expressed interest in participating next year if this first year went well.
Now that Veggielicious is complete, how do you think it went? Was the response what you expected, or larger/smaller? I think it went well! There was a lot of enthusiasm about the event, and I hope that next year it will continue to grow. It’s hard to gauge how large it actually was, but I’m planning to email the participating restaurants this week to see how things went for them and [get their] feedback.
What surprised you most about the planning process for Veggielicious? I guess just the amount of time it ended up taking. I think that the first year of any event is probably much more time-intensive than subsequent years, since you learn from experience and can work from past spreadsheets, notes, etc.
What are the plans for future Veggielicious events? We’re hoping to make it an annual event, probably held in spring.
Are there any plans in the works to share information from your experience with Veggielicious with other vegetarian- and vegan-focused groups? I would really love to see events like this pop up all over the world! I think they would work well both in vegan-dense areas like Manhattan as well as smaller cities less known for their veg-friendliness, as long as restaurants are interested in getting creative. Within the next month, I’m planning to put together a guide sharing my experiences and planning documents to help others organize similar events. Having the support of the Toronto Vegetarian Association made organizing Veggielicious much easier than it would have been if I tried to do it all by myself, so I’d encourage people to work with local veg organizations or to work in groups rather than go it alone, if possible.
If you could change one thing about Veggielicious, after completing your first edition of it, what would it be? I’d encourage more of the restaurants to offer specials that aren’t normally on their menus, or to create some kind of prix fixe menu. We opened it up and asked restaurants to offer specials of their choosing, but the prix fixe and more unusual options seemed to generate more excitement among diners. Also, I’d love to branch out more into the suburbs and smaller surrounding cities. We did it a bit toward the end of the planning season, but it would have been great to start earlier.
Are there events similar to Veggielicious in your city? Are you now raring to get one going yourself? Watch out for more info from Lisa on how to plan one!
Terri lives in Toronto, Ontario, 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.
Logan is seven (almost eight!) and he lives in Fresno, CA. He just celebrated his one year vegetarian anniversary! Go, Logan! A note from his mom: “He is vegan several days a week, but he tells me he is not ready to give up cheese all the way (as you can see from his favorite food).”
What is your favorite food? Logan: Cheese tortellini.
What is your favorite kind of birthday cake? Logan: Carrot cake.
Why are you vegetarian? Logan: Because I saw the video with the chickens and they cut their heads off and I don’t want to be a part of the team that kills animals.
Do you like being vegetarian? Why? Logan: Yes. Because there is good food.
Is it ever hard to be vegetarian? Logan: Yes. Sometimes at Mimi’s [grandma] house they eat steak and I remember that I really liked it cause it tasted good. And I miss chicken nuggets. [Ed. note: Logan! You’ve got to try the Gardein crispy tenders!]
What do your friends think about you being vegetarian? Logan: One boy at school tries to force me to eat meat and tells me they let the animals live a long happy life. But I say that’s not true.
What is your favorite animal? Why? Logan: Dogs and cats. I have a dog and a cat and I really like them. [Ed. note: Ditto!]
Do you like pink dinosaurs? Can you draw one for us? We would love it! Logan: If there was such a thing I would have to say yes. [Ed. note: I’ve seen them! On the internets!]
Another Happy Veggie Kid! Thanks, Logan! Happy anniversary!
Apparently a dog helped take out bin Laden and this is my discussion topic of the week. Did you see Sarah’s post about parachuting dogs? I just think it’s crazy! I know they form bonds with their trainers or whatever but jumping out of planes? Seems effed! Some actually get PTSD! What do you think? Is what they do so important that it’s worth the risk? I don’t know, they can’t give consent. Seems effed.
Your weekly WTF from Defenders of Wildlife: “The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the first in a series of three bills that mandates the acceleration of the offshore drilling permitting process and opens up new areas to oil and gas drilling.”
Rodeos are bad enough, but this is downright stupid. I mean, the ex-bullfighter who runs it goes by “Wild Thang,” so that should give you a clue. But really, Tim Lepard? Monkeys and dogs don’t go together. You strap white-throated Capuchin monkeys to dogs, call them the “Ghost Riders,” and make them herd a group of sheep onto a Dodge.* THIS IS NOT GRABBING LIFE BY THE HORNS.
In extra-super-disturbing news, many of these E. coli variations aren’t even looked for in labs, so there’s a chance that even the most stringently tested dead cow (that’s like 1 percent anyway) is gonna be teaming with all sorts of delicious E. coli that nobody ever even looked for. Hide your kids, hide your wife. Or you know, stop eating that (literal) shit because it ain’t safe.
Both Sarah and Megan submitted posts for this insanely sweet new PSA so I thought I’d post both because it’s Friiiiday and I’m feeling CRAZY! It’s a post-off!! post. off. POST. OFF. POST! OFF!!!
First, Megan: What cats want, from the Animal Humane Society. I’m sorry but I love talking animals. Talking babies too. OK, I lied, I’m not sorry! Because thug means never having to say you’re sorry.
I wonder how many Vegansaurus readers have cats? Like is it a normal distribution similar to that of general society or is it like EVERYONE because we are vegans?
Now, Sarah: CUTE OVERLOAD, Y’ALL. The new Animal Humane Society PSA, “I Want…,” is promoting kitty-cat adoption with adorable talking cats! Watch this 1 million times, and then go adopt every cat everywhere ever.*
*Just kidding—then there’d be no kitties left for me! I need all of the kitties because I am a kitty hoarder.** **Kidding again! I swear!
Okay, both posts are equally awesome! POST-OFF TIE DECLARED! Kittens for everyone!
Benefit for bunnies at BOTH Saturn Cafes on May 11!
Because Jesus’ resurrection is all about the bunny rabbits, ridiculous people are like “Hey it’s Easter, I know, let’s get a pet I don’t really want because that will be hilarious!” And then oh, say, two-and-a-half weeks later they’re like, “Screw this, I didn’t realize bunnies made poop” and they give up the adorable little guy. Then the rabbit rescue people are like, “OMG I love bunnies there are so many of them now! What do we do?”
Well, if the rabbit rescue people are from either the House Rabbit Society in Richmond or The Rabbit Haven near Santa Cruz, they convince the bunny-allies at Saturn Cafe to host a fundraiser for them. Because nothing says “let’s rescue rabbits” like a giant plate of vegan nachos and a tofu breakfast burrito.* Hooray!
All you have to do to help is EAT! Bring a copy of the flyer (Berkeley | Santa Cruz) to either Saturn location anytime on Wednesday, May 11, and 10 percent of “all qualifying purchases” will go to helping the bunnies. Berkeley is open from 11 a.m. to midnight, and you can get your eat on in Santa Cruz from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Not only that, if you play your cards right, you may get to talk to real live bunny-rescuers. From their keyboards to your eyeballs:
Meet representatives from the House Rabbit Society. Rub elbows with the Rabbit Center staff, founders of HRS, supervisors, educators, and other bunny enthusiasts. We’ll be there to meet and greet from 6 to 9 p.m. Sign up for our reserved tables and dine other bunny people. Or just drop in. Bring in a copy of our flyer. For more details visit, www.rabbit.org/rabbit-center or call (510) 970.7575.
This will be an OUT OF THIS WORLD event for our bunnies! Rabbit Haven volunteers will orbit in and out during the day to say Hi and thank you! Bring family and friends and make this a great fundraiser for the Rabbits of Santa Cruz County! Bring in a copy of our flyer. For more details, visit, www.therabbithaven.org or call (831) 600. 7479.
Mark your calendar! Eat food! Don’t forget the flyer! Because you read this far, more cute pictures (props to C. Parshall who took the photos of HRS bunnies from a rescue in Sacramento)!
*Those are my own personal favorite menu items, since you were wondering.
Did you know it is currently Puppymill Action Week? Neither did I. Now we both do, and knowledge is straight up mother-loving power.
As Mother’s Day approaches, the Humane Society wants you to think of all the mothers of those cute pet store puppies. They are stuck in wire cages their whole lives, outside, getting peed on, with sores on their feet and not a single bit of love. I never understand how these people who buy dogs and love these dogs never think of their dogs’ moms? If you love your dog, you should care about the mom too, no? Your dog probably loved his mom a lot.
The Humane Society got Colbie Caillat to speak out against puppymills: