The whole cast comes onstage. “Let’s take each other’s/Take each other’s hand,” they sing. Audience members had been given star-shaped light up wands to wave, too, though quite a few had stopped working properly by this point in the show.
If you want to enjoy the spectacle, as we desperately do, that is too bad—it was a one-night-only show, and we are all out of luck. Bring back Loving Silent Tears! We want a national tour featuring all the cities with Ching Hai joints!
Whole Foods debuts their own brand of vegan meats!
And we’ve been eating them up and they’re TASTY. Chicken patties, burgers, meatballs, nuggets, THE WORKS.
I believe they’re at all Whole Foods but Whole Foods doesn’t tell us shit so you might want to call a store near you and get the 411 on meatless meatballs and chickenless nuggets and WHAAAT. This stuff is GOOD. $4/package. I think that’s everything
[thanks to wonderful megan and miles for the tip <3 ]
Pig factory farms are really bad for the mostly poor, non-white people who live near them
Some really depressing news from EHP about how pig factory farms are and how they impacting the lives of the people who live near them. SPOILER ALERT: it’s not giving them magic powers or helping them live really long happy lives!
… in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, which finds an association between air pollution and odor in the near vicinity of swine farms, and hikes in blood pressure in local residents. When you put the pieces together — most hog confinement operations are in poor, non-white areas; cardiovascular disease is endemic in African Americans; North Carolina lies within the worst US area for cardiovascular disease, known as the “Stroke Belt” — you can see that anything that makes blood pressure chronically worse is bad news for public health.
That study, though, is just the latest in a long string of publications that Wing and team, and the community they have been studying, have brought forward over the past decade. During the meeting, Wing gave a comprehensive overview of the major problems with confinement agriculture, setting it within a context of environmental injustice and worsening public health.
Ugh, this shit is so bad for everyone, especially poor, non-white people, the folks who are shit on by society the most are now being literally shit on.
I get it, bacon tastes great, I’m not denying that, but the fact is, there are lots of fatty, salty, smoky foods that taste just as good (or almost as good, if you’re truly a crazy person for bacon) and the price that we pay for this obsession is ruining lives. Just fucking give it up, please, it’s better for your health, and the health of everyone else.
Check out this super-weird, super-cute video about a little echidna puggle who was recently rescued at just a few days old. Dudes, I totally want my own echidna puggle now. Wait—maybe I should be one of these for Halloween?!
Paul Shapiro is back for his weekly dose of all the animal news that’s fit to print! Take it away, Paul!
You already know that US meat consumption is declining significantly, but did you know about the positive global trends on this front? See what this meat industry site has to say about it. That’s of course not to suggest that all is well by any means, since some countries, like China, continue to eat more and more meat. But is does offer some optimism.
Speaking of optimism, Target is the latest major pork buyer to announce that it will eliminate its purchase of pork from gestation crate systems.
Some cool new animated videos about factory farming came out this week, including one for adults and one for kids. This one is particularly poignant.
I’m sure the overlap between readers of this weekly post and Wu-Tang fans is vast, so I may as well keep you in the loop on the critical news: You can go to bed tonight resting in the knowledge that GZA (who was a CA Prop 2 backer in 2008!) has now convinced Redman and Method Man to go vegetarian…
LA Weekly just posted their top 10 vegan celebrities, which got me wondering why they should have all the fun. As many of you pointed out, a few of those celebs aren’t even vegan anymore (Alec and Olivia, I’m looking at you.) So … drum roll, please … we at Vegansaurus have put together our own top 10 list, only it contains 15 of our favorite vegan celebs! What do you think? Does this make you love us more? Hate us? Feel nothing? Ha! I bet you can’t stop reading anyway!
In no particular order (I’m very sensitive myself and do not want these beautiful specimens of veganism to feel jilted), I present you with…THE VEGANSAURUS TOP 15 VEGAN CELEBRITIES!
The first two are the winners of a little poll we conducted around the first of year, asking you about your favorite vegan musicians. You guys went totally bonkers for
2. Ted Leo! Now, don’t get upset, but I don’t know much about this guy. That doesn’t matter, however, because you, our lovely readers, LOVE this guy. You couldn’t hold back your devotion in our poll! Please, feel free to school me about Ted Leo in the comments, I will not mind. According to this interview, he loves Millennium (holla!). Maybe us S.F.-dwellers will run into him there. Jealous?
4. Fiona Apple! Angst sounds so sweet mixed with a vegan diet. My Tumblr and Twitter feeds are still filled with people going nuts about her new album, and that dropped like four months ago! Has anyone seen one of her epic onstage meltdowns? I’m not hating—I have epic meltdowns every day of my life, as witnessed by my friends, family, roommates and co-workers.
7. Tony Kanal, the bassist for No Doubt! This one’s for me and my girl Tashina, the biggest No Doubt fans you may ever meet. Don’t hate, celebrate! Gwen Stefani was just photographed leaving a vegan restaurant in L.A.; maybe that was Tony’s influence? (Though I hear Gavin’s a longtime vegetarian.)
9. Emily Deschanel! She’s so beautiful and articulate, and her penetrating stare scares the shit out of me! She weathered a vegan pregnancy AND LIVED TO TALK ABOUT IT! Take that, everyone who says it’s not possible! Ha!
10. Scott Jurek, because vegan athletes/authors are superstars! Read all about Rachel’s love for Scott here! To quote the post, “Scott Jurek could basically kick your ass any day of the week, including days where he hasn’t slept the night before, has a broken ankle, and already ran 75 miles.” Dang.
12. Erykah Badu! She’s every vegan jazz musician’s No. 1 crush, or maybe that’s just my old roommate Jeremy. Remember when she busted onto the scene with “On and On" then sent everyone into a flurry with her video for "Window Seat”? This “Queen of Neo-Soul” is truly an inspiration when it comes to forward thinking politics and raising her vegan family!
14. Russell Simmons! Man, do you follow this guy on Twitter? He’s like a guru for people who don’t believe in gurus (me)! And seriously, wasn’t the best part of Kimora Lee Simmons’ show when he came on and moderated the crazy? Our Megan is always covering Russell’s vegan moves here on Vegansaurus, so I’ll just direct you to one of my favorite posts of hers, also featuring Martha Stewart! Keep giving us your vegan recipes, Russell! Keep giving us your wisdom!
15. Thom Yorke! OBVIOUSLY, right?! Most everyone’s favorite band has been Radiohead at some point, hasn’t it? He ate at Café Gratitude once, when I was working in the Central Kitchen of Scandal. Everyone went nuts, as to be expected. I’m never around when the celebs come to the restaurants I work at and it’s not fair, because I just love them so much! Actually, scratch that—M.C. Hammer came into Source recently (and I didn’t recognize him without his signature pants).
Brad Pitt! I was shocked to find out he’s vegan. On second thought, it made sense. He would just quietly be vegan, helping to rebuild New Orleans, raising a family, and avoiding Jennifer Aniston’s rabid fan base of haters.
Label me delicious: Bites of Bliss superfood treats rule!
As a high raw queer vegan, I think about labels a lot, how they’re helpful and also kind of complicated. Labeling a product vegan is a bold visibility move, and I like that. I’ve seen entire Facebook photo albums devoted to highlighting explicitly vegan products. It’s actually really validating, like, WE BUILT THAT, but less offensive because we’re talking about the vegan movement and not political tomfoolery. I do worry that overtly vegan labels might scare people away from trying vegan things for the first time. If all apples had huge VEGAN stickers on them, do you think everyone would still buy them? No, they’d protest until McDonald’s finally took the stickers off, uniformly chopped the apples, coated them in chemicals, and made them into a “pie” or something.
As the Vegansaurus raw correspondent, I get the privilege of seeing a lot of products’ labeling, and that has me thinking—doth the label maketh the product? The short answer is no, but when it comes to labeling raw vegan products, I’m convinced certain labels really do help make the sale, aka trip to my tummy. Alerting consumers that your product is raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, agave-free, dairy-free, and contains no GMOs is pretty much required if you want to party with the elite raw vegan foods crowd.
If the above description sounds absolutely incredible to you, then you’re in luck: I just tried Bites of Bliss, and they’re really delicious! I tried the goji berry, carob almond butter (you know there’s a chocolate-free label they wanted to slap on but were too scared of the raw chocoholics seeking vengeance. Best to downplay that particular feature!), and my absolute favorite, pineapple coconut with chia seeds. I haven’t had a piña colada since the early ’00s, but holy tropical fruit, this is truly delicious! It tastes creamy and it’s just the right ratio of pineapple to coconut.
The ingredients are delightfully simple: raw dates, raw walnuts, raw pineapple, unsweetened coconut, coconut nectar (yeah, EFF agave, that higher-glycemic sweetener!), raw chia seeds, and coconut oil—all organic, of course, and the taste is HELLA TROPICAL! I can almost feel the ocean tide and hear someone offering me bathing-suit-optional snorkel lessons. This product is a winner! Get it online and in select Bay Area health food stores.
Do you care about what’s on the label of your raw/vegan products? For research purposes it’d be rad hear about it in the comments!
Pumpkin carving contest! Winner gets a free FakeMeats.com 8-Item Snack Pack with a mix of vegan/vegetarian jerky and desserts!
To Enter the Contest: 1) Carve a pumpkin 2) Share a photo of your carved pumpkin on the FakeMeats Facebook wall for 1 entry 3) Share this post on your wall for 10 MORE ENTRIES!
You have until Saturday, Oct. 27, to enter your pumpkin in the contest. The winner will be selected randomly and announced the following Monday.
It says vegan/vegetarian, but I’m sure you can just get vegan stuff if you win. Because vegetarian stuff is ew!
Turns out we are having a pumpkin-carving contest at work and I didn’t even have to plan it. I’m pretty excited. Not sure what I’ll do. They are going to partner us creatives up with the account dweebs in the office so they have a fair shot at making something cool.
Whichever account dweeb I get better not spoil my vision! Do you think they will mind if I make us carve a Vegansaurus jack-o-lantern?
Recipe: Pumpkin butter is so easy, why aren't you making it already?
It’s the simplest thing in the world; you barely need a recipe. Let me walk you through it.
Take a sugar pie pumpkin. Halve it, gut it. Line a baking dish (NOT A COOKIE SHEET) with parchment paper and put your twin pumpkin halves in it.
Bake at 350 for an hour or so, until your pumpkin looks like this:
I poked mine with a knife a few times to check for doneness. It’s like baking any squash; you want it to be soft but not mushy, lest it melt.
Allow to cool a bit, then scrape all the pumpkiny flesh from the skin and deposit it in a food processor (not a blender, unless you have a VitaMix or similar super-machine). You can add something like lemon juice as a contrast/preservative, or do what I did, which was add some homemade apple butter, which isn’t nearly as sour as lemon juice and may contribute to the depth of flavor. Blend some more.
Now add your sugar. I used a brown sugar, about 1/2 cup to 4 lbs. of pumpkin, but it’s really to taste. This is your pumpkin butter! I also added a whole bunch of garam masala (more interesting that “pumpkin pie mix” plus cheaper because you can buy it in a bag in the “international foods” section near all the dried chiles), some vanilla, a little salt. Blend until smooth, adjusting the ingredients for taste. If it won’t blend, add water until it does. Don’t worry.
Move your pumpkin butter from the food processor to a pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the fire down low, cover it with a nice mesh splatter screen, and let it cook down. Depending on how much liquid you had to add, and how thick you want it, the mixture can take from 30 minutes to many hours to cook down. Again, don’t worry.
Once it’s achieved optimal thickness, take it off the stove and let it cool. Put in in jars, and take vanity pictures for the internet.
Congratulations, you have homemade pumpkin butter! Which you made by mostly applying heat!
Finally, a tip if, like me, you add too much lemon juice/sugar/whatever and fuck it all up: Just bake a new pumpkin, blend it up, and add it to the weird stuff in a bigger pot. Apply heat, adjust for taste. Eventually, instead of a single batch of not-right pumpkin butter, you will have a double batch of delicious pumpkin butter. Foist it on your friends and family if you’re afraid you won’t eat it all (you will). Look, you are a genius at fall foods!
We do not claim that our whale was a good mimic compared to such well-known mimics as parrots or mynah birds. However, the sonic behavior we observed is an example of vocal learning by the white whale. It seems likely that NOC’s close association with humans played a role in how often he employed his human voice, as well as in its quality.
You really must listen to this recording of NOC talking [mp3], it is the weirdest thing you will hear all week.
Green Mountain College to make oxen burgers out of campus animal pals
This is what happens when “working animals” retire: they get slaughtered. Lou and Bill have worked the fields of Green Mountain College’s “sustainable” farm for ten years. Now, at eleven, the college wants to get rid of Lou and Bill. Apparently, at Green Mountain College, that means slaughtering them and eating them in hamburger form.
Needless to say, many are not happy. But, on the other hand, the college people in charge of this sort of thing make a good point: if these students opposed to killing Lou and Bill eat meat, then why the hell shouldn’t they eat these guys too? And once again, we are back to cognitive dissonance. This is well-worn territory when we discuss omnivore “animal lovers.” In fact, it’s threadbare. Therefore I’m not going to go into it but I will go into how much I resent the way “working animals” are disposed of.
Look at this video:
That doesn’t look super fun. They’ve done this for ten years. And after they’ve served the school for a decade, the thanks they get is to be made into a month’s worth of artery-clogging lunch. It’s just like dairy cows and racehorses and all the “working animals,” they serve these people and make them money and then they are thrown out like trash. I’m sorry, I can’t even say “working animals” without quotation marks because the idea is so ridiculous. It implies they a. volunteered for this “job” and b. were fairly compensated. Sorry bros: “working animals” don’t have resumes and they don’t get 401Ks. They get worked to the brink of death and then slaughtered for hamburger meat.
Weather Puppy is a new app that tells you the weather…with cute puppies! It’s basically a picture of a puppy that more or less matches the weather BUT it has all the vital weather forecast info you need. Above was NY’s weather as of this morning (yes, I woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Now I’m at work. Shoot me in the face). Below is SF’s weather, you can see the details that drop down when you click the day or temperature.
The best part: they partner with all these rescues! That’s why I initially noticed the app. Here’s what they had to say when I asked about that:
We’re helping the non-profits’ causes with free promotion and have structured a way of letting them fundraise via the app by selling their own themes within it(sort of how they typically sell annual calendars). In addition, once in a position to do so (we’re a tiny startup at the moment) we hope to donate to our partners as well!
The first group they partnered with was Paws4You Animal Rescue in Miami and they’ve since added the Pennsylvania SPCA (where my Figgy and Mitsy are from!), San Diego Humane Society (CA), Austin Humane Society (TX), Tampa SPCA (FL), Broward Humane Society (FL), Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (DC), Animal Humane New Mexico, Animal Haven Shelter (NY) and Mohawk Humane Society (NY).
It’s currently free with two themes included. You pay like .99 for other themes, including one you can customize with your own dog. So, do you need this app? Maybe not. But if you check the weather on your phone, as many of us do, this is an upgrade for sure! And at free, the price is right.
I love raw vegan smoothies so much! I tend to drink them at least once a day, for breakfast and/or after my weight lifting class (I’m trying to get super jacked on plants! Wish me luck!) Since I tend to drink the same few smoothie ingredient combinations on the reg, it’s important for me to stop—hold up—and try new flavors and ingredients.
Live Superfoods sent me samples of their organic raw maca powder, organic raw cacao powder, and organic raw coconut palm sugar to try. Though I’m used to adding maca and cacao powder in raw vegan drinks and desserts, Live Superfoods’ versions of these were truly spectacular. I feel like I’ve been adding boxed wine to my smoothies all my life and suddenly someone reached out of the sky and handed me a bottle of Chteau Haut Brion Pessac-Lognan 1982. I’m not sure that high class wine would taste great with chia seeds, but you get the point—these are very classy ingredients!
I’d never used low-glycemic coconut palm sugar before in a smoothie, and I am happy to report that it’s a wonderful add-in! Coconut palm sugar has a different maple-y flavor than stevia, my usual go-to sweetener, and nicely complements berries and other frozen fruits. The Live Superfoods cacao powder was bold and slightly fruity, and the maca was rich and malty. I have to say, this mint-infused smoothie combination is my new favorite, and is destined to be my new go-to in the morning!
Coconut Chocolate Maca Mint Smoothie (serves 1-2)
1 tsp Live Superfoods Organic raw coconut palm sugar 2 tsp raw cacao powder 1 tsp maca powder 1 cup strawberries 1/2 tbs chia seeds 1/2 banana 1-2 tsp fresh mint leaves
A very sickly baby Moses was discovered by a river in Malawi. When his mama couldn’t be found (possibly killed by poachers), he was taken in by Jenny Webb of the Jumbo Foundation. Webb is acting as the little guy’s mother until he’s old enough to head out for life on the reserve with his kin.
Moses gets along great with his current rag tag clan of animals—including Webb’s human baby. Moses is sure to supervise her baths.
So how much do you want a baby elephant now? Like, so much, right? I guess we have to hang out by rivers in Malawi? I have some vacation days I have to use up. But I think elephants stay with their mothers for like 10 years or so. That’s a commitment. A gazillion pound commitment. In college, I wanted to take guitar lessons but I totally took flute lessons instead because it was the easiest instrument to carry around campus. An elephant is a lot more cumbersome than a guitar. Sigh. I fear I may never mother an ele.
Hella Vegan Eats is having a Halloween pop-up on Monday!
BOO! It’s a VERY SPOOKY Halloween Pop-up tomorrow (Mon., Oct 22) from Hella Vegan Eats at Dear Mom in San Francisco! What’s gonna be spooky is the amount of chow we are going to grub at this event, okay!? All the details on the flyers, let’s eat!
It’s time for Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! With the ever charming, brilliant, and hard-working Mr. Paul Shapiro! Take it away, Paul…
A nice article this week points out that in the US, sales of meat-free meals are increasing as sales of meat continue declining.
In less nice news, a report this week paints a harrowing picture: The headline says it all: “China Now Eats Twice As Much Meat As The U.S.” While American and European meat consumption is falling, Chinese meat consumption is skyrocketing—quadrupling in the last 30 years. Yet in a sign of just how much meat Americans eat, even with this huge growth in Chinese consumption, on a per person basis, they still eat only half the meat we do in the U.S.
Want to know what’s it’s like to live in a gestation crate? Check out the new potent resource, the Virtual Gestation Crate. Fortunately, the Cheesecake Factory is the latest company to announce it will phase out gestation crates from its pork supply chain.
Check out Sōw, a new pop-up juice bar in San Francisco!
Hey everyone! What are you doing on Monday? Let’s hit up Sōw together for some delicious, healthy juice!
I went a couple weeks ago and HOT DANG, was I super pleased with everything! The juice is awesome and so are the juicers themselves, Luisa and Derek. Luisa told me they met as baristas at Blue Bottle, and look how their friendship has grown—now they’re business owners. So cute, and so inspirational! Portland can have their food trucks; I’m really proud of San Francisco and our phenomenal pop-ups!
I went on a Monday at almost 2 p.m., and most the juices were out. Which is a good thing! They did still have green juice, which is another good thing, as that was the juice I wanted. YUM! Also, Derek and Luisa were so nice to my last-call-style booty.
Treat yourself to some juice! Check out Sōw at Pause Wine Bar from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Saturdays. Don’t hesitate to follow them on Twitter and Facebook as well! I hear that every so often, there’s some sangria to be had!
This is how it looks from the outside. Don’t get lost like I did, even though the directions were in my phone! Pause Wine bar is at 1666 Market St. near Gough and Haight: Type it in.
Here I am, back with more vegan skincare news! I recently became aware of this skincare company Belmondo:
This natural skin care line uses organic ingredients, sourced fair trade whenever possible, that are brimming with the earth-grown goodness your body recognizes and uses to heal and beautify itself.
The line is based all around organic olive oil. They never test on animals and most products are vegan (some contain beeswax). They’re also super environmentally friendly. Belmondo sent me a gratis jar of their Earth pore cleansing clay mask to try out and now I will tell you all about it!
The first thing I noticed is that unlike so many masks, this doesn’t feel all tight and awful while it’s drying! I like that. After I washed the mask off, my skin looked fresh and I’m pretty sure my pores were smaller (big pores are the worst!). I was concerned about the olive oil element seeing as I have oily skin but there wasn’t a trace of oil or residue after I used the mask. Huzzah! Another note: I think the design is very cute. Plus, all the bottles and jars are glass so you can easily recycle them! Bonus!
I can’t speak to the long term effects of the mask but if you want a nice vegan clay mask that doesn’t irritate your skin, this one is definitely worth a try.
Vegan MoFo: Caponata, for all your eggplant-devouring needs
Vegan hero Kittee posted her family’s caponata recipe last month and I have been dying to make it since. Unfortunately it’s been too hot for serious cooking since June, and only in the last couple weeks has it cooled down enough at night to even open the windows. And this week? Another heat wave.
Last weekend, though, I had plenty of time and cooler evenings to do some serious stove work, and I whipped up a big cast-iron pot full of Kittee’s caponata. I have eaten it for lunch every day since Saturday and every day it tastes amazing; you will love it. Thanks, Sicily, for inventing possibly the best way to eat vegetables of questionable textures.
Fresh 'N Lean: Yummy organic vegan meals delivered to your door! Plus, 20 percent off for Vegansaurs!
First, a big whopping disclaimer: I am affiliated with Fresh ‘N Lean. It didn’t start out that way—I was just an unsuspecting lover of their maple-sweet homemade granola, gluten-free vegan lasagna, hearty chickpea Asian salads and savory lentil soup.
Then they asked me to write for their blog in exchange for an ongoing weekly supply of their incredibly delicious plant-source only food—how could I say no to that offer, right? [Ed. note: how can I be down?!]
Months later, I’m still one of Fresh ‘N Lean’s biggest fans. And since it’s vegan and delicious, I thought the Vegansaurus audience would be interested. The concept behind Fresh ‘N Lean meals is that lots of people who want to eat healthfully are just too damn busy. Blame it on the Capitalist Man, or maybe your crazy travel schedule as a hydroponic saleswoman, but most of us really can benefit from someone else doing the cooking, at least once in a while. Though the Bay Area is super great in terms of options for the vegan on the go, it can get expensive. Fresh ‘N Lean is priced to be cheaper than healthful vegan takeout, so it’s pretty cost-effective to sign up to get a few meals a week from them (or a whole week, if that’s your thing!).
Fresh ‘N Lean is totally vegan. The food tastes good, but doesn’t have tons of added salt, sugar, or anything like that„ so it works really well for people with preventable diet-related lifestyle diseases. I worked at a raw vegan retreat center where many guests were into the idea of eating vegan food, but once they got home were like, “What the what do I eat?” This is a cool option because while it’s not all raw, it is all fresh and good for our heart-attack-recovery celebrity friends (Hi, Rosie!) and neighbors.
Besides being yummy, Fresh ‘N Lean meals are gluten-free, corn-free, non-GMO, organic, and, like I said, vegan. My favorite dishes include the chia porridge breakfast, signature green bean salad, gluten-free vegan mac’n cheese, and all of the quinoa vegetable medleys. If you’re trying to get friends and family members into healthy vegan food, this might be a great gift. My brother, already vegan, owns a film studio, and I gifted him a weekly plan to help him feed himself when he’s so busy on set.
Fresh ‘N Lean is based in L.A. and ships nationwide.
SPECIAL DEAL for Vegansaurus readers: Use the code “vegansaurus” to get 20 percent off your order!
Right now might be the only time ever that folks with peanut allergies are looking at the rest of us thinking, “Haha, suckers!” If you haven’t heard, there’s a massive peanut recall afoot, and it affects a lot of fancy vegan peanut products.
A whole bunch of products made in by Sunland, Inc between March 2010 and Sept. 24, 2012, might be infected with salmonella! So far 35 people in 19 states have gotten sick, and the FDA and CDC are all over it. TWO YEARS worth of products? WTF, Sunland?!
The full list of recalled products is on the FDA’s website, but here are some that vegans are likely to have bought! If you’ve got these in your cupboard, either just chuck them or go to the FDA site for more details if that seems wasteful! The good news is unless you’re a tiny child (nice work reading the blog!) or real old or have a compromised immune system, salmonella isn’t too serious.
Gary Francione on Philosophy Bites: Animal abolitionism is the only way
Gary Francione means business.
Humane treatment is a fantasy, it’s on an epistemological par with Santa Claus, bunny rabbits, Easter rabbits and things of that nature—silly. Humane treatment is impossible.
Philosophy Bites is a podcast series of short discussions of philosophical topics (duh). On Saturday, they had Gary Francione come discuss animal abilitionism.
If we take seriously the notion that we ought not to inflict unnecessary suffering on animals, the first thing we ought to do is all go vegan. … There’s something peculiar about discussing the moral status of animals when we’re killing and eating them for no reason whatsoever.
I strongly recommend you listen to the entire podcast—it is just under 17 minutes and it is pretty invigorating. They touch on the delightful (read: obnoxious) mollusk question, how disgusting Francione finds the concept of “happy meat,” and the effectiveness of abolitionism versus humane treatment.
So, let’s get into it: Where do you align yourself? Are you more of an abolitionist, or a welfarist?
One more quote to stoke the fire:
The most humanely treated animals are subjected to treatment which would be torture, which we would call literally torture if humans were involved.
There’s much more! Go listen, and let’s argue about the philosophy behind our vegan lifestyles.
Vegan MoFo: It's fall, drink yourself some Hefeweizen!
Yes, Oktoberfest is a September celebration, but here in Northern California we’re still getting warm days with our rapidly cooling nights. This, I feel, is the perfect time to drink beer. Something bright and crisp, like the fall air, but with enough body (ugh) to make you feel full. Friends, Hefeweizen is that beer. It’s German! It’s fruity! It’s unfiltered and beautiful!
My top vegan German picks are:
Because these beers are all made in the traditional German method, they are totally vegan. The only problem I found, thanks to Barnivore, is that Paulaner uses casein in the glue on its bottle labels, which, what? Solution: Buy it in cans, or drink it on tap.
If you want something local in the Hefeweizen style, I highly recommend Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweis. It’s so light and delicately citrusy!
The funny glasses are designed specifically for Hefeweizen beers, and I love them. You can’t really use them for anything else, so having them is like really committing to having a beer. Plus I love the fizzy head; you get a big whiff of yeast (“Hefe” means “yeast” in German) and spice and fruit, and then you have to wait a little bit to drink it.
Hefeweizen! It’s the beer for autumnal vegan drinking.
Sacha Vida sacha inchi oil, made from sacha inchi seeds grown in peru and bottled in the Napa Valley, tastes like a cross between hemp, flax, and peanut oil. Like hemp and flax, this oil cannot withstand heat and therefore must be used exclusively in raw dishes. Obviously that’s fine with me, because I just love raw food!
The health benefits linked to sacha inchi seeds are impressive: ideal ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, cardiovascular health, improved skin health. Apparently the oil causes less gas than some others, and has way more omega-3s than soy, olive, sunflower, or flax oils. It is the most unsaturated vegetable oil on the planet, according to the Sacha Vida website. It contains natural antioxidants. As oils go, this one has a pretty ideal nutrition profile for vegans of all stripes!
Sacha Vida Sacha Inchi oil is obviously super-healthy, but how does it taste? To find out, I used a free sample of sacha inchi oil sent to me by Sacha Vida, and employed it in this recipe I created:
Kale Pomegranate Sacha Inchi Salad Serves 1 to 2
Ingredients Salad 1 bunch kale 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 1/2 cup chopped beets 1/4 cup raisins or goji berries (optional)
Dressing 1 Tbsp. Sacha Vida oil 1 pinch black pepper 1 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tsp. miso (I used chickpea miso) 1 tsp. coconut aminos, tamari, or Braggs 1 pinch kelp flakes (optional)
Instructions Mix all dressing ingredients and massage into salad ingredients. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes or more before serving in order to give it time to marinate!
The oil tastes delicious. The peanuty flavor is heightened by earthen notes that satisfy the palate. Mixed with greens, it feels silky on the tongue, and has a slight lingering mouth-feel that is sweet and savory at the same time. I feel like I just drank golden nectar, something the Greeks would have loved to have imported from Peru to consume after the cheaper oil was all used up for wrestling.
2012 election: What's up with California's Proposition 37?
Vegansaurus loves voting. It is our right to have it, and our privilege to exercise it. Voting is tops!
That said, actually voting can be terribly confusing, especially here in California, land of the endless ballot propositions! There are always so many, and they are not all as straightforward as 2008’s beloved Prop. 2. This year we’ve got 11, some directly contradicting others ON THE SAME BALLOT, WHY.
KQED’s Calfornia Report recently reported on Prop. 37, “Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling Initiative Statute,” as part of its series on all 11 of California’s 2012 ballot initiatives. Here’s the latest report, by science reporter Amy Standen:
On the other hand, Adam of the wonderful Say What, Michael Pollan? blog has a well researched, reasonable, and scathing critique of Prop. 37. He concludes that
… Proposition 37 is bad politics. Dragging ill-informed and uninterested consumers into a dirty political fight and expecting them to make “conscientious” consumer decisions is not the way to spur social progress. And spreading misinformation isn’t going to help that. If Proposition 37 is how the food movement will prove itself, count me out.
For more information on Prop. 37, check out the California Secretary of State’s official guide, and KQED’s ongoing coverage. How do you think you’ll vote? I still have no idea.
The nonprofit Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) (see what they did there?) has a new website that’s chock-full of design elements circa 2006 but useful info that’s so 2012 on the whole vegan thing.
There are sections on getting started, what to eat, why to go vegan, how to stay healthy, and perhaps best of all: handling social situations. We’re all total misfits, just admit it, and we could use a sweet website to tell us how not to make our family think we’re assholes and how to deal with being that one vegan at work. True story: my boss once brought cookies I couldn’t eat to a celebration of my promotion. Sigh.
Anyway, check it out, send your newbie friends there, and scrawl livevegan.org on bathroom walls nationwide. Let the revolution begin!
[Photo by Leslie Jones via the Boston Public Library on Flickr]
Interview: Meet Nicole Marquis, owner of HipCityVeg in Philadelphia!
Healthful vegan fast food maven Nicole Marquis dreamed of serving fast food to Philadelphians and visitors to the City of Brotherly/Sisterly/Gender-is-a-construct Love. And when she built HipCityVeg, we did come, in arugula taco salad-chomping droves. Now it’s silly to even think of eating anywhere else in Rittenhouse Square! I mean, I guess you could think about it, but it’d be better to save your precious brain space for finding the best spot in Rittenhouse Square to sit with your gourmet vegan take-out deliciousness from HipCityVeg!
Nicole brought me into her adorable restaurant to have me try the groothie, an organic green smoothie made of a rotating blend of fresh local greens and fruit (amazing!) and one of the most popular dishes, the Crispy HipCity Ranch. This overflowing faux chicken burger was battered fried amazingness. I rarely go for that stuff but wow, am I glad I tried it! So ridic!
I love the decor of the place: the whole pieces of organic fruit spilling onto the counter (in an artistic way), hardwood floors, and pretty potted plants. So lovely!
Nicole e-mailed me responses to my questions about how she envisioned and created HipCityVeg, her role in supporting the fast-growing vegan scene in Philly, and her life’s mission to spread the delicious veggie love.
Vegansaurus: Are you native to the Philly area? Where did you grow up?
Nicole Marquis: I’ve lived in the Philly area all my life except for a period living in L.A. during college. I grew up in Lower Gwynedd, but have been living in Rittenhouse Square for a few years.
V: When did you become interested in vegan food?
NM: I first became interested in nutrition by reading Andrew Weil. Then I read Mad Cowboy and realized what animal cultivation was doing to the earth. After reading Eat to Live and The China Study, I realized that a plant-based diet is essential to my health. I became vegan a few years ago after being vegetarian for several years, but the change in conciousness was actually developing for a while before that.
V: How did you get involved with now-closed Philly vegan fine-dining restaurant Horizons?
NM: I worked in the restaurant industry for years, mostly as a server before managing a local night club. While working on another project I met Rich Landau and he recruited me to help run Horizons.
V: What made you decide to open HipCityVeg?
NM: I felt a mission to popularize plant-based food. When something has great importance to you personally you want to see it grow and flourish. I also wanted a world where I didn’t have to peice together a couple of sides every time I ate in a restaurant.
V: What has most surprised you about operating a vegan restaurant in Philly?
NM: I was surprised by the pent-up demand. People said they were waiting for this for a long time. Who knew?
V: How many customers do you get on average per day? More during certain hours of the day?
NM: We serve about as many people as can fit in the restaurant (and onto the sidewalk), really. Our busiest time in this location is around lunch.
V: What is your most popular dish?
NM: Our best-selling sandwich is the Crispy Hip City Ranch, which is delicious. But our overall best-seller is our signature drink, the Groothie. It’s a smoothie made of bananas, apples, organic greens, and a seasonal fruit. There really is nothing better for your body.
V: How do you envision the growing veg scene in Philly? Do you think it’s greater now for any particular reason?
NM: Philly is becoming a great vegan city. It really is a hip city. People here love to challenge their tastes, to embrace the fringe. But they crave real, clean, fresh food. I love my hometown.
V: What are your hobbies, activities besides running the restaurant?
I love yoga. I love the arts. I love eating in great restaurants. I love my family and friends.
V: Anything else you’d like to add?
NM: I want everyone to feel at home in my restaurant. I hope we share the vibe of love. We’re all family!
Product review: Yummi Bears vitamins are perfect for kids, and the kid in you!
UPDATE!!!: Turns out, these are NOT vegan. They contain lanolin. However the company says that Yummi Bears Organics Immunity and Yummi Bears Organics Brain Health are both vegan.
When you’re a queer vegan like me, you learn to improvise in situations where inequality is at play. No same-sex marriage in your state? Road trip with your pleather biker fiancé to Northhampton! No vegan gummy vitamins on the market? Squash one of your regular vegan multivitamins and one of those wacky German vegan gummy animals together and chew it down before you taste anything horrible (like the part that isn’t gummy bear)!
The thing is though, times are changing. Rainbow marriage is on the horizon (you heard it here first, folks!) and finally, vegans have an awesome gummy multivitamin to call our very own. Hurray! Yummi Bears Organics Multi-Vitamin is completely vegan, as well as free from allergens, gluten, casein, gelatin, and GMOs, and all natural and organic. Yummi Bears make four varieties of vegan organic vitamins: a multivitamin with 16 essential vitamins and minerals; a Brain Health vitamin with DHA and B-complex; an Immunity Health with rose hips and astragalus (I LOVE ASTRAGALUS); and a Bone Health vitamin to give kids healthy bones, teeth, and gums (you know, when they’re not messing up their dental work with gummy bears).
The company sent me free samples of the Multi-Vitamin and Bone Health. How do they taste? AMAZING. They really taste like candy. Because, you know, they are candy. I felt insta-fortified after trying three of each (that’s the serving size according to the package, don’t hate!) and I know you/your kids would, too.
I really love taking vitamins, and I’m passionate about vitamin accessibility in the vegan community. I once considered living in a co-op near Lake Merritt but decided not to because it didn’t sit right with me that they had a communal condom drawer but didn’t share vitamins. I mean, I get that, but c’mon. Choosing safer household sex over safer household B-12 blood levels? They didn’t have their priorities straight. That’s why I moved to Philadelphia, where people share cigarettes and horror stories about traffic to the Jersey Shore. And now I have these amazing gummy vitamins to share—so far I’ve brought some to a young queer Jews of Philadelphia National Coming Out Day party, and I can confirm that I made exactly 3.5 friends while passing out gummy bears over by the hummus (that’s always where you’ll find me!). A great victory for supplementation proliferation and my heeb social life. Yay!
Get Yummi Bears Organics at Rainbow, Whole Foods, and other health food stores, or online.
Chef Miyoko Schinner, the madwoman behind the genius new Artisan Vegan Cheesecook book, is throwing a delicious party to celebrate her own awesomeness! If I were her, I’d be doing the same damn thing because SHE IS AWESOME. She’s revolutionized vegan cheese, teaching us how to make mozzarella and a million other ridiculously tasty vegan cheeses. OH HOLY MOTHER! We’re all about vegan cheese, we’re all about Miyoko Schinner, and so, uh, yeah, we are gonna be at this party EATING ERRYTHING. ALL OF IT.
So uh, fight you for it? Like, with knives. Cheese knives, but still. Seriously, dairy cheese can suck my dong, this is where it is AT.
You’ll enjoy a speech from Miyoko, sample her gourmet cheeses (sexy?), and sip on tasty organic wines. GIRL. It’s a vegan wine and cheese party! Let’s get at it and get into it and put our stuff all up in its stuff, it’s gonna be HOT.