The holidays are over! Now it’s time to start dreading Valentine’s Day! Just kidding. I love watching people walk around with cutesy gifts, listening to them make fancy dinner reservations, seeing them proclaim their love for each other all over the fucking place. It’s the best! It definitely doesn’t make me wish for immediate death!
Where was I? Oh yes! The holidays are over! As much fun as it’s been gorging my face off since Thanksgiving, I’m feeling low on energy from all the heavy holiday foods. The shopping, the family time, the traveling, the working — man, I’m burned out! You too? I thought so. That’s why I present you with a recipe for an easy yet extremely tasty (side) dish. It’s light, it’s flavorful and it takes little to no energy to make! Roasted fennel — let’s do this!
Fennel bulbs (They can be expensive, so I usually just get two.)
Salt and pepper
Vegan cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Cut your fennel bulb into 1/3 of an inch strips. Put strips into a bowl and lightly coat with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss! Make sure each piece is coated with spice, oil and vinegar mixture.
Place your fennel into a baking dish. Bake until the fennel is fork tender, which is about 45 minutes. If you simply must add vegan cheese, sprinkle it on about 5 minutes before you declare your fennel done. Or if it melts easily (Daiya!), you can probably sprinkle it on after you take the fennel out of the oven. I don’t put cheese on mine, but I imagine it’d be tasty.
The very first WWVBS shirt, designed by Herbivore, sold out ages ago (because they’re so so cute), and the organizers want to print a new one. Of course they do, shirts are the best.
This time, they’re holding a contest for the new design, and you should enter! We know you’re all right-brained, left-handed creative geniuses, so put those brains to work! The contest ends on Feb. 19, giving you a little over five weeks to come up with a brilliant shirt encompassing the ideals of the WWVBS and veganism and also being super-adorable and wearable and you know what, get the details on the site. They have specific guidelines, including the design needing to look good on the organic cotton tees, which look like this:
Good luck, geniuses! I am 100 percent positive you can do better than this!
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Hostess is filing for Chapter 22, which means “restructuring” and also “we’re totally gonna fuck the unions and everyone in our pension plan on this one, investors! Promise!”
As vegans, we’re primarily concerned with our source of inspiration for classic vegan junk food. Thank goodness for Source and our supremely talented Jenny Bradley! For those of you without Source (or Jenny!): What Hostess products are you gonna veganize in 2012?
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I made a list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days. So much can happen to send a year off track, but I figure 1,001 days — about three years — is plenty of time to get my ass in gear. One of my goals is to drink a chia fresca before bed each night every day for a month — if you don’t know about chia, read on to find out why I think that’s a good idea.
From the New York Times article on Vegan Body Builders to the news that Venus and Serena Williams are going to start a raw diet, I’m feeling like I should hit the gym in solidarity with these athletes! Not in a New Years Resolution kind of way, just in a “man, doing a crunch or two probably wouldn’t kill me” kind of way. And when I say “hit the gym”, I mean popping in a 10 minute Pilates video. What?! I’m extremely busy and also terrified of the thought of sweaty hippies in a very hot and confined space called a yoga studio. Or sweaty bros
on the prowl in a gym. Actually, I’m just so very anxiety ridden about people seeing me work out.*
[The Laura dubbed ‘Super Smash Brothers’ being all cute and sisterly. As well as extremely buff. Not gonna lie, I’m jealous of that muscle tone!]
Alas, it is time to move onto people more famous than myself. I don’t know if you have heard of these sisters, supposedly they are really good at tennis — Serena and Venus Williams? I kid, I kid. Now, don’t get all mad like you usually do when I tell you that another celeb is going to try out a vegan diet. Apparently Venus is making this lifestyle change partially due to a New Year’s Resolution but also because she suffers from an incurable, immune disorder called Sjogren’s Syndrome. Yikes! She is hoping that the benefits of a raw diet will help alleviate some of her symptoms, like the inflammation of her joints. I sure hope that it does and also that she hires the right personal chef (ME!! Venus, I’m available! I have a Vita-Mix and a plethora of recipes!)
‘Where does Serena fit into all this?’ you ask. Well, she’s acting as her sister’s moral support by also adapting a vegan and raw lifestyle! Aww. Isn’t it the sweetest when sister’s are besties? My sister just gave me an Envirosax for Christmas! She totally supports my cause of trying to be less wasteful! Hurrah for sisters!
*Again, I kid. I was quite the tennis player myself at 12! (White kid in the suburbs, of course I played tennis!) I worked in a gym and was a swimmer in high school, but now? The complete lack of muscle tone and coordination is frightening.
Laura’s pal Minty, the talented cartoonist and Vegansaurus interviewee, requested we do a vegan baby shoe round-up and I was like, “OMG that’s so funny! I was JUST looking at some vegan baby shoes!” And then Laura was like, “OMG Megan Rascal! You have a bun in the oven!” I was like, “No way, you need to have sex to get preggers!” So everything was sorted out. Except that conversation never happened. Well, it did, it was just all in my head. It’s like non-stop NPR up in there!
Moral of the story: baby shoe round-up!
These are from Silly Souls. They have a bunch of baby shoes! These are my favorite because hello they are pink high-tops!. They also have vegan baby Uggs which I think is hilarious and we should totally get these for our babies.* Minty says the most important thing with baby shoes is that they have 1. a flexible sole, and 2. traction so babies can get to steppin. I haven’t seen these in real life but the site says, “TPR outsole offers both traction and grip for bouncing and first steps for indoor or outdoor use. All Silly Souls shoes are designed with simple athletic construction and fit to offer your baby comfort, and cushioning for first bounces and steps.” So it seems like they have these concerns in mind.
As my sister would say, these IsaBooties are “so precious.” IsaBooties are really cute AND eco-friendly. Plus, their site says they are pediatrician recommended and the outsole has great traction because it’s made from the same stuff rescue dogs wear! I would get them just for that reason. The dogs part, not the doctor part. That’s just how I roll.
I don’t know much about these Native shoes but they are cute! Zappos says they are flexible for walking, etc.
These SoftStar numbers are cute and customizable! Boy, I do like to customize. My baby’s going to have customized everything!* Plus, the site says “Sof-TouchTM feather-light soles mold to your child’s foot while providing the protection of a sturdy, non-slip shoe.” Sounds good!
These Me-In-Mind shoes are adorbs because I know so many grown dudes with shoes like this. Baby and daddy can match! In a hilarious way! It says they are non-slip but doesn’t have much more info. But they are so cute!
And finally, OlsenHaus has baby shoes! I don’t know if they meet any of our requirements BUT THEY ARE OLSENHAUS! Huzzah!
*I’m really not preggers
Remember this rescue? Pretty rad, right?
Here’s something else rad to build on that radness (rad-squared?): One of the rescued bears, named Dream, is making great progress at Animals Asia’s Moon Bear Rescue Center in Vietnam. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Dream had emergency surgery to fix her awesome bear mouth. Despite missing her left front paw and the right one being deformed and practically unusable, now she’s all about eating, especially dried fruit and flavored water.
Bears! They’re just like us! Sending you all our get-well wishes (they’re better than other wishes because they are vegan), Dream and the rest of the bears! I’ll make sure the bear army has a bear infirmary, just in case.
[Photo credit: Animals Asia]
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!
I’m on CNN Headline News tonight with the wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell talking about agribusiness efforts to ban undercover investigations at factory farms. You can watch the segment here. Please forward it to friends!
The NY Times had an interesting story about the rise of vegan bodybuilders. (For some reason they failed to interview me… :- )
Here’s a very touching story about the last hen to be confined in a barren battery cage in the UK. (The EU law banning barren battery cages took effect Jan. 1. The US will soon have a similar bill introduced in the Congress that much of the animal movement is rallying behind and much of the agribusiness industry is trying to kill—stay tuned!
Finally, you know something’s messed up when the chicken industry is trying to fight the EPA’s upcoming dioxin limits by saying they would essentially render its product “unfit for consumption.”
Video of the week: Top picks of the cutest farm animal videos of the year!
The hardworking folks over at the PPK have come up with The Vegan 100! Well, mainly it was Isa with a little help from her friends and it’s FUCKING AWESOME. Isa writes, “From the cookbooks and blogs that got us into the kitchen, to the gadgets that made it fun to be there — here are 100 ingredients, recipes, chefs, restaurant, tips, cookbooks, tools and websites that made us swoon all year.”
Yes! It’s the best vegan food things of all stripes, and it’s intense and delicious. Of course, it includes vegan cadbury eggs because Isa’s no idiot! Hurry over to see if all your favorite vegan shiz made the list and if not, complain in the comments. This is the internet, after all.
Laura wanted me to tell you guys all about this fun S.F. activity because she said that last time all the classes completely sold out! So get in there quick! Plus she said the Laura who runs the classes is super nice (everybody loves a Laura!). Which always helps me learn! No, really. I can’t focus when a jerk is teaching. Why do people even teach if they are going to be jerks about it?
I don’t know exactly what’s going on in the picture below but I’m into it. If this is what the classes promise, I’m gonna fly out to S.F. just for them! The point is: raw vegan desserts! Yum!
Vegan cheddar crackers! I’ve been looking for you my whole vegan life! Eco-Planet Cheddar Crackers are not the same as Goldfish but they sure do hit the spot! And they are great, the shapes are so funny! There’s a sun, an earth, a wind energy pinwheel and an electric car! Hilar! Plus, the designs on the crackers catch bits of salt in them, that’s my favorite part.
Now, keep an open mind, but my favorite thing back in the non-vegan days was Cheddar Goldfish and Peanut M&Ms. I swear to you they taste super good together! I am not even kidding! No one believes me until I make them try it and they are like, “Megan, you are queen of snacks!”* So once I find the vegan Peanut M&Ms, look out little eco-crackers because IT’S ON.
I got these from VeganStore.com (among other things!!!) but I’ve also seen them at the Fairway market in Redhook.
*And I’m like, “I’m already the queen of so many things, I don’t know if I can sustain another kingdom!” But then I accept the title because I’m a benevolent ruler.
Now that I’m back to work I am much calmer. What Allen and his family would put up with because they still have some warm feelings left towards me will not fly with people at the office. I’m still knitting like I’m about to drop a litter of little Marks but at least I’ve stopped waiting for Allen in the dark, only to dramatically switch on the light and shake the ice in my glass as he enters, effectively giving him heart palpitations. I didn’t want to, but Allen said that it was either him or my imitation of Glenn Close on Damages (not especially close: I don’t own any crisp ladies’ suits, so I sit around in an African-print muumuu), and I want to keep this relationship going because Allen knows how to cook.
If I started questioning anyone again, however, I would start with a dog that likes guitar so much that he stops smiling when the guitar is not being played. Clearly the dog is on something, I would say intimidatingly, as I leaned over a desk to show off my middle-aged lady cleavage, and I am going to find out what it is is. And then, I would say slowly but impeccably enunciated, I am going to destroy you. I will take everything away from you. Everything.
My next case involves an assault. “Where’s the victim?” you might ask me, “it just looks like a confused bird.” That is my case. Why was my client being videotaped? Why was he being harrassed? More importantly, what kind of sick and twisted individual would get a bird drunk and then stick a decoy in front of him? Who would leak this to the press? (Amazing twist: I did it. The guitar-loving dog’s supplier had this video of one of my clients and was going to release it if I didn’t drop my suit, so I beat her to the punch and released it myself, making my client appear sympathetic).
Here’s one I don’t even have to make up dramatic plot twists for: A Chinese man was poisoned to death while eating cat stew. I can’t even say anything, you guys. Apparently people are eating cat stew now? And apparently other people are poisoning the stew for some kind of weird government thing? But also, rich people are eating cat stew? The guy who did the poisoning has been caught and I wonder what jail is like for poisoners. Are there levels? Do you get treated better or worse depending on the medium you used for your poison? Where does cat stew fall? I kind of hope that there is an animal-rights activist in jail with him. And that they meet. And that there is a reality show filmed about their encounters and also that the poisoner learns that it is wrong to both poison soup in order to kill a rival but also just as wrong to turn a cat into soup.
That’s it for this week. Please send me links for next week and have a court-free week. However, if you have to appear in court this week, please do so; my sentiment should not be taken as an instruction. Pay your debt to society and leave my name out of it.
Final note: for some reason your emails were going through a time hole and appearing in my AOL inbox, which I checked regularly in high school but no longer use. I have no idea how this happened but I am not ignoring you (I swear) and will use links everyone sent me this year (the ones AOL hasn’t deleted) next week. Promise.