Get your fill of Sophocles and vegan food at the Flea Theater in New York!
Guess what, everybody! We have a very special guest post today! It’s from MY DAD! My dad is a theater nut. Like, big time. He goes to plays constantly and he was so excited when he heard this weird Sophocles marathon he was going to was going to be serving vegan food. Not because he’s vegan, but because he’s a big Vegansaurus fan! He was happy to share his experience with all of us:
I have a tip on a fun thing to do for your NYC-area Vegansaurus fans. The Flea Theater, an off-off-Broadway venue in the Tribeca neighborhood, is running a marathon theater event entitled THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES. It’s an extremely interesting and exciting adaptation of the seven surviving plays by Sophocles. Each play is cut to about a half hour. All the gory action that takes place off-stage in a classically presented Greek play is put right back in full view. The chorus consists of a group of nurses who spend a lot of time mopping up blood. They do quite a bit of singing, but no long chanted passages. Also, no gods; it’s all intense human interaction. All 38 parts are played by The Flea’s resident acting company, The Bats, who are uniformly wonderful. In fact, wonderful is really the word for the whole evening.
The angle for Vegansaurus followers is that the ticket price includes a vegan, gluten-free dinner prepared by the Macao Trading Co. and served by the cast after the first three plays. The night I went, the main course was a very good eggplant curry served over jasmine rice, accompanied by excellent vegetable spring rolls served with mustard (they were small - I had eight!). They served green tea and water, with wine and beer available for purchase. After two more plays, there was another break for dessert: mini-cupcakes - vegetarian, but not vegan, so true Vegansaurs may want to bring their own dessert. The Bats clearly love interacting with the audience, by the way, chatting us up at every opportunity. Overall, the evening - seven plays, dinner and dessert - clocks it at about five hours - actually a little less the night I went.
These Seven Sicknesses will be running through Sunday, March 4th. Here’s the link for tickets and more information: http://www.theflea.org
Thanks, daddy! This does sound fun! Corny on the cupcakes though. You KNOW vegans make some good cupcakes! Maybe we can hook them up with Babycakes. Then I would definitely go. I should go anyway to see if their ANTIGONE is as good as my 8th grade class production of it. I was Tiresias! See? I’ve always been psychic. But really, who makes 8th graders do ANTIGONE? The unavoidable doom of destiny kind of underminds the need to study algebra.
I live a life filled with questions, PETA. Your ad created several more. Here are some of them:
1. Who created this ad? If they knew anything about making ads, they would know that “BWVAKTBOOM” is not easy for the viewer to memorize over the course of your 30-second spot, and attaching “.com” to the end does not magically make it Google-able. Go back to ADV101.
2. Why does the woman in the ad have a neck brace? I mean, she looks sickly enough already. The whole commercial makes her look like a victim of domestic violence, and that does not seem to be the message PETA purports to spread.
3. Why is the woman in the ad NOT WEARING PANTS? I find this less “effective shock tactic” and more “what the fuck.” The message could have been conveyed with pants on. And this is coming from someone who supports fewer pants for all.
4. When will you give the vegans-are-sexy thing a rest? Everyone but EVERYONE is sick of it. There’s more to veganism than a smaller waist and increased boning. Going vegan certainly didn’t make my tits grow, know what I’m sayin’?
5. Why would anyone go vegan after watching this ad? “Why, I never knew I could HURT MY SIG-OTH like that! Brilliant! I’ll go vegan!” I know it’s SUPPOSED to be funny, but it’s just not.
6. If beating one’s poor partner’s orifices to shit is why someone goes vegan, what is going to make him or her STAY vegan?
Guilty-Ass Cats Photo Gallery: They're guilty as hell and they know it!
Rachel found this AWESOME picture that kicks off our gallery (because Rachel is AWESOME) and it inspired me to make a Guilty-Ass Cats collection! I’m trying to be like Buzzfeed but I don’t know if I can pull it off. Let’s see! Enjoy!
Steel Pier owner Tony Catanoso had this to say: “We just felt that since Atlantic City is moving forward, we should move forward with it…. We should create new memories for visitors instead of recreating old ones.”
Yay! What should the new attraction be instead? I’m thinking giant ball pit! Like GIANT. Like Olympic-size swimming pool. OR, the world’s biggest moon bounce! That you can go on even if you are a grown-up! I love moon bounces, but they never let me in them any more. Sad face.
What many people forget is that 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred. Do you know someone who just HAS to have a pekingese now? Tell them they can adopt one! Look for breed-specific rescues, or just check Petfinder and search for pekes! You’ll find great dogs, like Cody here:
Cody is the hotness.
I don’t think we need to tell someone not to focus on what breed of dog to get. Instead, tell them that whatever breed they are looking for, they can find up for adoption! I mean all dogs are different, but if they have their heart set on a particular breed, just focus on adoption. It’s great if someone wants to rescue the millions of pitbulls that need homes, but if the breed is the deal-breaker, I’d rather they rescue a homeless peke than buy one!
You guys, by the time you read this I will have ruined Valentine’s day. Yes, you read that right, Allen will have suffered on that holy day of love just as much as he suffers living with me every other day of the year. And this time I didn’t even mean to make it horrible! Damn you cold and flu season!
Around Thursday of last week I started suffering from the plague. I don’t know if you guys have ever had plague but it is pretty bad. Pustules and vomit everywhere, sweat upon brows, demonic screaming. And worse than the symptoms is Allen’s reaction. Instead of putting on some crazy plague-doctor outfit and trying to heal me he makes me a glass of lemon juice and tells me to take some Theraflu and stop telling people that I am dying because I will be disappointed when I actually do die and no one believes it. I asked him once how I would know if about that if I were already dead, but he just shook his head and told me to be quiet because the commercial break was over and The Simpsons was on. Real nice, buddy.
Since I am home alone I thought I would cheer you up with some things that will make you go aw and vomit rainbows. Then we could be twins, except I’m not vomiting rainbows, I’m vomiting the Boca Burgers that I ate for breakfast. I was also going to spend this time teaching myself how to play “video games” on my Omnichord but Allen has informed me he does not like that song. Allen ruins everything!
Here’s a kid who doesn’t ruin anything. Sophia is just chilling at the zoo when she sparks a personal connection with a lion. This is one of those “I don’t know if it’s adorable” moments because she is at a zoo, but she also seems to be communicating with the lion on a deep level, understanding his frustration at being behind a glass wall for the amusement of humans. I was almost hoping that this would turn into one of those Harry Potter moments and Sophia would somehow allow the lion out using only her mind and magical powers. I wish I had magical powers. If I had magical powers I wouldn’t be sick and also bored.
Let’s drop Sophia for a second, because I want to whine. You know what the worst part of being sick is? It’s your belief that you’re just going to chill at home and have a good time, but then you’re miserable and bored and nothing good is on TV and you don’t want to do any of your hobbies and you’re all alone an afraid that people think you’re faking. Fuck the flu.
You can’t trust anyone these days, not even animals. I know this video is meant to be a joke, but I fully believe that out companion animals can drive people away. When I was first dating Allen he almost broke up with me because Ms. Cleo hated him. She would be all nice with me, and then when I handed her over to Allen, she would try to eat him (she is like half his size, she is such a big rabbit) and he would curse in Spanish and ask if we could go to a room that was less dangerous. Now that Ms. Cleo lives with us, she and Allen are more friendly toward each other, but I would not put it past her to barrel out of her cage at some point, murder him, forge an intricate suicide note, and hide the body. All because she wants attention, not because she likes me.
Finally, if you’ve always wanted a beautiful piece of taxidermy on your life but could not resolve your interests in animal heads and your cruelty-free tendencies, I give you crochetdermy by artist Shauna Richardson. So cool, right? No animals are harmed and the pieces are beautiful. I feel that it’s kind of like fake meat. We have fake venison and fake squid and fake beef, so what is the innate harm in a fake animal mounted on one’s wall? Perhaps it is even a good anti-hunting conversation piece!
That’s all for this week. Send me links for next week, and have a safe Wednesday out there!
I’m honored to be on CNN Headline News this weekend with the great Jane Velez-Mitchell discussing progress for pigs and HSUS’s latest undercover investigations into gestation crate factory farms. Check it out.
In a new piece about HSUS, the editor of Pork Magazine calls us “well organized, well funded and relentless.” Always nice to be able to agree on something…
NPR did a nice piece on Morning Edition this past Friday about the federal effort to ban barren battery cages and require “eggs from caged hens” labeling on egg cartons. While we’re on the topic of NPR, Marketplace had a great piece by the awesome Mark Bittman about why Americans are eating fewer animals.
Want to read a new interview with Wayne Pacelle about his campus dining hall advocacy when he was in college? Your wish = my command.
But wait, there’s more!
Compassion Over Killing this morning released a new undercover investigation at a gestation crate factory farm in Iowa, a state where big ag interests are currently trying to ban such exposés with an “ag-gag” bill. Check it out and share.
The media coverage on our announcement that McDonald’s is moving to end gestation crate confinement in its US supply chain was significant. There’s too much to include here, but just a few selected excerpts:
CNN Money: “McDonald’s said it will get its pork suppliers to phase out the use of immobilizing cages for pregnant pigs, a move that was applauded by the Humane Society of the United States, but not the pork industry.”
MSNBC: “Earthquake in the pig business: McDonald’s to end use of restraining crates”
NY Times: “The buying power of McDonald’s adds a significant new dimension to the war on the practice.”
Sorry I didn’t get this out earlier! I don’t know what time it’s happening, but here’s the info from Best Friends:
The New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee will be voting on Bill A 5449 on Wednesday, Feb 15. Last year,Best Friends expressed our concerns about this bill, and presented recommended changes to Assemblywoman Paulin that would address serious problems in this legislation. These suggestions were not incorporated into the current version of A 5449. We have resubmitted these recommended changes and need your help to insure that they are included. Without the suggested changes, A 5449 would:
Allow for the euthanizing of a frightened or panicked animal on the basis of “psychological pain,” which is too vague and subjective to be meaningful criteria for euthanasia.
Allow animals to be euthanized for unspecified and undiagnosed “deadly and contagious” diseases.
Not clearly define the requirements for a rescue organization to be maintained on a shelter’s registry of approved rescue organizations, which opens the door for arbitrary requirements subject to change without notice.
Allow shelters to remove rescues from their registry of approved groups if a group is publicly critical of the shelter or staff, regardless of the merit of such criticism.
Remove all protection for an animal that is surrendered to a shelter with an owner request that the animal be euthanized even if the animal is healthy and could be placed in a new adoptive home or with a rescue group.
Not require shelters to include rescue organizations located in adjoining counties in New York state on the shelter’s registry of qualified rescue organizations.
The recommended changes offered by Best Friends to Assemblywoman Paulin would close the holes in the safety net that this bill should be providing. Please urge Committee Chair Magee and fellow members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee to vote NO on Bill A 5449 unless these changes are all incorporated. The welfare of shelter animals in New York depends on your action.
That sounds pretty out of control. My timid Figaro would have definitely not made it to me with those rules in place. You can go to this link to enter your ZIP code and find out who to contact.
Intermix is a fancypants line of boutique that carries fancypants fashions, including clothing with fur. Grody. Jessica Schlueter and Amy Rebecca of Fur Free Los Angeles are coordinating a campaign to get Intermix to stop carrying fur.
These ladies are talented! They’ve already run three successful campaigns to get Planet Blue, Urban Outfitters, and LF Stores to stop selling fur, which is amazing. So far, their petition at Change.org has over 33,000 signatures, but Intermix is still totally ignoring them. Moreover, it’s New York Fashion Week, when buyers decide on the clothing their stores will carry in the coming fall/winter season. Intermix needs to commit to stop selling fur ASAP.
You can help by (duh) signing the petition. If Intermix considers how many customers the company will lose by continuing to sell fur clothing — as opposed to the massive amount of goodwill dropping fur inspires — maybe this fall/winter season at Intermix stores will look a lot more animal-friendly.
So come on already, sign the petition! And nag all your friends and relations and colleagues and acquaintances to sign it, too! Fur really is the goddamn worst.
Guys, your friend Megan is super fancy. Or at least I kind of was on Thursday! I went to a fancy dessert tasting in Manhattan thrown by Vegan Divas (heads up: the homepage has music. But it’s kind of the greatest song ever). They are an upscale vegan dessert company in New York and I got to try a wide array of their offerings.
Vegan Divas is very much focused on health so their desserts are preservative free, their cookies are fortified with fiber and they substitute spelt flour in place of regular flour. However, they do this without sacrificing taste and presentation. Look how pretty:
Fernanda Capobianco, the owner of Vegan Divas and a vegan of fifteen years, was at the party, as was her husband François Payard, renown pastry chef. François made a pretty funny speech with zingers interjected by Fernanda. An interesting thing François said was that he’s learned that you can better taste the flavor of food when it’s made without butter. He said butter coats your mouth and without it, there is no barrier between you and the food. Interesting! Fernanda then said her piece about the many health benefits of a vegan diet. I was like, OK, but do the desserts taste good?! Well let me tell you, they do!
The chocolate cake pictured above was rich and delicious. In fact, everything chocolate was really good. If you like chocolate mousse, you have to try theirs. It’s made with tofu and I think it’s a signature dish. I thought it was great and I’m not even that into mousse! I am into donuts though and I really liked these chocolate-topped baked donuts (get out of my way, coconut donuts!):
Since the donuts are baked and not fried, we are not talking Ronald’s, but they were good. And you can’t tell from the picture but these are mini donuts! Like mini-mini donuts. Very tiny. I love very tiny food!
My very favorite thing was the carrot cake! I haven’t had a good carrot cake in a while and this really hit the spot. Very moist and yummy but not too sweet:
Another highlight were these wacky “sand” cookies:
I love them! They were salty and reminded me of these wheat biscuit/crackers Carr’s used to make.
Now I will introduce you to my favorite party guest, Hanly!:
OMG Hanly rules, he’s a Seeing Eye dog! And a party animal. Plus, he has his own wine label! Well, his owner does. But his picture is on the label! Alex Elman supplied the delicious wine for the party. I got a chance to speak with her and she said her wines are all vegan and organic. And they were sure tasty! I definitely recommend this wine and it seems to be widely available. You can check for it near you.
Back to Vegan Divas, you can buy their products at a number of places in New York. They also do catering! For those outside of New York, they do say they ship to the continental US (sorry my out of country friends! Now you have to visit me!). My official recommendations are the carrot cake and anything chocolate. And if you are gluten-free or have any other allergies, I think this is the company for you. Order Vegan Divas and have your own fancy dessert tasting! You know what would make it even fancier? Invite me! I light up a room.
Large midwestern hog farms have for the last few years been battling a mysterious foam that is forming on top of their barns. In the worst case scenarios, the foam blocks ventilation ducts and the barns explode — yes, explode — killing the thousands of hogs inside.
This is so disgusting and sad. The most recent explosion was last Sept., killing 1,500 pigs and injuring a worker.
This story is as gross as the lighthearted Green Acres scenes are inappropriate. I’m sure you also like how the reporting talks about the monetary loss and makes no mention of the pigs that die in explosions or any workers that are injured (#priorities).
For more info on this story, our boyfriend Tom Philpott has some good coverage over at Mother Jones. He makes the point that these explosions are relatively rare. Except that six crap-foam explosions since 2009 kind of seems like a lot to me, even though there are thousands of facilities that haven’t exploded. But however rare these explosions have been, Philpott says that the foam itself “has become alarmingly common.” So we can probably expect some more explosions in the future.
What does Grist think the solution is?:
The pork industry has been funding research into the foam and how to stop it. But as I see it the answer is simple. Get the pigs out of the barns and onto pasture, and raise them at a less intensified scale without the need for huge manure-storage “facilities.”
While that’s preferable to exploding barns, I’d go a different direction: free the pigs! Maybe a hotdog isn’t worth all this trouble.
Diving horse show returning to Atlantic City? No mother-loving way.
Are you kidding me? The Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey wants to bring back the diving horse show this summer—as in the “show” where a horse dives into a pool from 40 feet in the air. What the actual fuck, AC? Come on. There is nothing right about this. It’s depraved and shameful. This is the kind of news that makes me want to take a two hour shower to try to wash off the contemptibility of humanity.
But don’t worry guys, the Steel Pier has done their research:
In the course of making the decision to include the diving horse, Steel Pier Associates conducted significant research into past practices, including speaking with people who were directly involved in the act that occurred in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Through this research, we determined there was no animal cruelty or abuse that occurred in the past.
So their method of research was to ask the very people that condoned the diving horse show in the past if they condone the diving horse show? Wow, make way for science! Obviously they definitely shouldn’t consult the Humane Society, who is strongly opposed to the show.
People, we can’t let this happen. Let’s call these mofos! The press release says “for more information contact Sharon Franz, Sales and Marketing Director for Steel Pier at 609-345-4893” so let’s call her! And one of the Steel Pier owners, Tony Catanoso, has been super outspoken about how great this will be. Let’s call Tony Catanoso! I found this on the Facebook group opposed to the diving horse show:
HUGE NEWS: Vegan Mission Burger is back TONIGHT for one night only!
You all know how much we loved the Vegan Mission Burger while it was still around and if you don’t, you can read the insane tale of our mutual love here. I don’t think I’ve written so passionately about anything in my life, and I’m a very sensual person.
Well, TONIGHT, it is back for one night only! Along with drinks and Berlin-style Ping Pong, which we have no clue what it is but Allan from Mission Mission FUCKING LOVES IT so it must be alright.
About the Vegan Mission Burger, Allan writes:
ALSO: on this night there will be VEGAN MISSION BURGERS. Which are hella good. Like possibly even better than the meat versions BECAUSE THEY ARE EPICLY AWESOME.
So let’s all get up on it? It’s tonight at the Noise Pop Pop-Up at The Bold Italic HQ. Confused? For all the details, check out the Facebook wall and LET’S EAT.
Sponsor a dear chicken this Valentine's Day! They need love too!
Harvest Home Sanctuary is having a sponsor-a-thon RIGHT NOW until Valentine’s Day! For $15, you can sponsor a sweet rescue chicken for one month! Select recurring payments to sponsor your pal every month! I’m partial to Little Wayne above (nickname: Pretty Ricky!) who was rescued from a hoarder last year. I just donated my $15 for Pretty Ricky and you can too!
From Harvest Home:
Among the 200 animals living at Harvest Home, 100 chickens call the sanctuary home. Our goal for this campaign is to find a sponsor for each chicken by Valentine’s Day.
For just $15 a month, you can sponsor a rescued hen or rooster. Sponsorships make marvelous gifts for your animal-loving family and friends. You can make a meaningful impact in the life of one of our adorable birds this year.
First up, our own Sarah M. Smart was interviewed by Grubwithme! I am late in reporting this because she forgot to tell me about it. I forgive her because she calls me a saint in the interview. My favorite part is the last question where she says she doesn’t want to give too much away about what’s to come—like we are a soap opera! We totally are. Stay tuned!
Rose Pedals, the source for everything vegan and wedding, has a super round-up of vegan Valentine’s Day gift guides, resources, and fun events. Check it out! My favorite part is when they say I’m funny. That part was great.
Have you been following PETA’s lawsuit Tilikum v. SeaWorld? I guess it just wrapped up with the judge deciding that the 13th Amendment does not apply to non-humans. I thought it was a very interesting case. Should the 13th Amendment apply to non-human animals? I don’t know but it’s definitely an interesting idea. Second discussion topic of the week!
Buzzfeed does it again!: The 15 most adorable bunny bathtime photos! [Update: We just learned from our awesome readers that bunnies shouldn’t be bathed! So don’t do that with your bunny, okay? For lots of reasons why, see our comments. OUR APOLOGIES to our readers and the bunnies!]
Oh jeez, I am just not sure which way to go with this article, "The Maximum-Gluten Diet." So I’m gonna try to hit them all, and you’re going to go along with it because I’m doing the work of three people at my day job and I’m in the middle of a move and I’m studying and I sleep four hours a night, “LOL!”
First, the article talks about how much healthier, yummier, and more versatile wheat gluten is than tofu. It’s quick to dismiss the soybean cake, saying it’s only popular because it was “there” when the world needed it and is the reason behind gluten’s slow rise to national consciousness, or whatever.
All right, man, you need to BACK OFF the already much-maligned tofu. I would eat (properly cooked) tofu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never even think twice about the gluten (aka seitan) I was missing. I know I’m not alone — all the tofu ladies, all the tofu ladies, put your hands up! Dudes, too, of course.
Before everyone tells me to chill out, I get it. The author is just trying to spread the seitanic word in a lighthearted way. He gives celiacs a nod. And seitan IS good, don’t get me wrong. But it’s just as easy to have a bad plate o’ seitan as it is to have a mushy tofu blob. Have you ever had spongey gluten? Worse than silken tofu scramble, in my opinion.
But the real sticking point of this article with me is the recipe. He’s like, “Let’s spend 10,000 hours listening to podcasts and washing flour!” And I’m like, “Who even listens to podcasts? Doesn’t homeboy have Spotify?” But then I’m also like, “You don’t need to wash flour.” This is because 1) I have a lazy streak and 2) you can buy wheat gluten (sometimes called vital wheat gluten) AT THE WHOLE FOODS.
If you want to make seitan yourself and you don’t have a copy of Veganomicon, you need to get one, right now, and make its recipe for Simple Seitan. Have you guys figured out that I’m a total Isa fangirl?
Finally, here is a short list of why tofu is superior to seitan (or at least just as good, I don’t like to play favorites):
1. It’s not a problem for celiacs or the scads of folks with a gluten sensitivity. Yes, I know some people are allergic to soy. 2. You can buy it at the Trader Joe’s. 3. It takes less time to make, maybe an hour compared to the 12 you’d spend kneading dough underwater or the hour and a half if you just buy vital wheat gluten at the store. 4. It soaks up flavors, blending into the background or playing a solo, depending on what you do with it. 5. You can use it in desserts — The first vegan cheesecake you ever made (or will make! It’s easier than it seems!) probably featured tofu in a starring role. Can you imagine sweet seitan? NAST! 6. YOU CAN BUY IT AT THE TRADER JOE’S.
Herbivore, everyone’s favorite S.F. Bay Area vegan restaurant (to feel ho-hum about) just released an updated menu (warning: PDF). They added fajitas, pizza, penne with meatballs, and a bunch of other stuff. I’m curious if it’ll all be good like the shawarma or kale salad or bad like EVERYTHING ELSE. I know sometimes I’m hard on Herbivore but that’s because they’re completely complacent and could be bring so much more deliciousness to the table. I’m super thankful there are all vegan restaurants but I want those restaurants to be better than all the other restaurants! So that when people eat at them, they’re like, “G’DAMN! VEGANS KNOW WHAT’S UP!” Not, “This was alright?”
I mean, look at Native Foods! Chef Tanya is ALWAYS BRINGING IT! Testing recipes, updating menus, holiday meals, events, everything! Herbivore seems like they don’t really care about making customers super happy and are fine with being just serviceable.
Anyway, what do you think of the new menu items? Have you tried any? Will you try any? Do you think I’m pretty? Let’s dish.
New vegan stuff at Trader Joe's, in pictures! Because I'm too lazy to write anything!
Sampled the Japanese fried rice and the meatless mandarin orange morsels (pretty sure this is Gardein!) together today and it made me wanna holler, throw up both my hands. The display for the samples even said, “VEGAN!” and I was pushing people outta the way being all, “Ooh girl, it’s my time to shine!” I ate like nine samples while I asked the chef all sorts of questions about her family and what not. She had no clue what I was doing, totally thought I wanted to be her friend. SUCKER.
Ever been to a MAGICAL city? My idea of a magical city would be one that feeds me truly delicious vegan food from the time I drag my ass out of my 10,000 thread count sheet covered bed until I pass out from too much tequila at night. Have you ever experienced such a thing?
Colibri Custom Catered Travel is committed to serving travelers who seek sustainable and organic farm-to-table, gluten free, and/or vegan cuisine. Now that I have your attention, the locale for this fabulous vacation happens to be Travel + Leisure Magazine's #4 pick for top ten world destinations: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
For seven days and nights, your trip includes all custom catered meals, outdoor adventure, town and farm tours, musical performances, tequila tastings, cultural experiences and more. A spacious hacienda in the middle of the historic center of town provides both private rooms and spacious dining areas under one roof. Your hostess and founder of Colibri, Cate Lazen is not only a former San Miguel de Allende resident, she was also diagnosed with celiac disease years ago and she knows how hard it can be to trust a restaurant with our vegan or gluten-free needs. Hence, a business built around the freedom to travel and eat well without worry. Cate is quite magical herself and the cost of the trip pays off in spades just to hang out with her!
Hold on to your sombrero, there is MORE! Colibri’s vegan chef Alicia Rivero has fantastic ideas for stuffing our vegan pie holes. Just to mention a few, how do these sound? Artichoke Dip with Basil Infused Olive Oil, Panzanella Bread Salad with Fresh Herbed-Tomato Sauce, Farm to Table Pizzas, Potato Gnocchi with Truffle-scented, Pesto Sauce Braised Eggplant in “Creamy” Saffron Sauce, Root vegetable Latkes with Red Onion Compote, Breakfast Granola with Nut Milks and Fresh Berries, and French Toast.
The list is lengthy, but these are just a few that sound drool worthy. Colibri supports sustainable farming, non-GMO foods, responsible water use and fair treatment of farm workers. San Miguel de Allende’s organic movement is in high gear, promising fresh, seasonal produce that serves as the foundation for vegan dishes. . Through Colibri you will get your foodie on responsibly. Check out how to get a tan, meet a hot lover, and eat your brains out without Montezuma’s revenge on their Facebook page.
Keri Siry lives in New Jersey with her 2 dogs Sammy and Honey Bee, new cat Hank and her 4 year old daughter Gemma and husband Darryl. Vegan for 8 years, Keri loves to share recipes and meatless know how via her blog at the Politics of Food.
Gabby Wild's 12 in 12 for 12 project: fancy clothes for endangered animals!
Gabby Wild is a young, driven animal activist. This year, to raise awareness of and money for endangered species, she’s wearing exactly one outfit every month, each one designed around a different endangered animal.
January’s animal was the amur leopard, and January’s outfit was this dress, designed by Althea Harper.
February’s animal is the bactrian camel, and February’s outfit is a jacket, top, and pants, designed by Laura Zwanziger and Max Gengos.
You can find out more about Gabby’s 12 in 12 for 12 project at her site, where you can also donate to help save the animals she’s supporting. She’s got some awesome designers participating (love you Jay McCarroll!), and I love the image of a veterinary student (she studies at Cornell) working in a lab in a floor-length gown.
Also this video about why she chose the bactrian camel is pretty charming. [Can’t see it? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
I also appreciate that not all of the animals she’s supporting are cute and cuddly, which can be an issue with “save the animals” causes. Some of the animals she chose are kind of ugly, or terrifying in that way that generally benign animals can totally freak you out (river dolphins give me the ultra-creeps and I don’t know why). But Gabby Wild, being an apparent super-human, cares about animals ugly and adorable, and has a unique way of showing it. What are you doing this year for the world?
Looking for a child or romantic partner, but too busy/tired/misanthropic/low-wage-earning? Room for love in your heart, but no space for another human in your life? You need a pet, my friends! And just in time for Valentine’s Day (and Galentine’s Day, and Palentine’s Day*), the SF SPCA is hosting an Adoptathon! Get the pet you need at the price you can afford! Attend an animal-behavior workshop! Get a tattoo of your pet! Meet an Animal Planet celebrity!
Beginning Friday, Feb. 10, from 4 to 8 p.m., attend a cocktail party at the SF SPCA Adoption Center hosted by Jackson Galaxy of My Cat From Hell. Ken Een of Frisco Tattoo will doing animal-themed tattoos! The next day, Saturday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., you can attend Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Mojo Workshop, and get his help finding the adoptable animal for you.
Throughout the weekend, the SF SPCA will offer reduced adoption fees on all cats and dogs over six months of age: $10 on Friday, $11 on Saturday, and $12 on Sunday. Yay, pets! Go find emotional fulfillment in a mammal that won’t ever lose interest in you, or find you anything but perfect.
PCRM defends their ridiculous cheese thighs campaign
We posted last week about PCRM’s* idiotic cheese campaign and just hoped it would go away, but they’re back this week with even more ridiculousness. Neal Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, wasn’t content with spreading crap on his own site; he wants to infest the rest of the internet with his rationalizations. Barnard’s piece on Crazy Sexy Life is super-disappointing and filled with hateful rhetoric disguised as caring. Moreover, so much of this shit is ludicrous coming from someone who is a PSYCHIATRIST—aren’t you supposed to care about the emotional wellbeing of others? I feel bad for anyone who was under his psychiatric care. BUT MOVING ON.
Here’s the deal with this campaign: If PCRM wanted to tackle the issue of clogged arteries from animal cholesterol, why not show that? Because people of ALL sizes deal with it, and it’s HONEST. Oh, yes, but it’s not as provocative as the big belly.
What REALLY sucks about this campaign is that it sounds reasonable and supportive, but it’s actually the same old crap (“I’m not racist, but…”). The hypocrisy of Barnard’s “of course fat people shouldn’t be shamed because they’re HELPLESS VICTIMS OF THE FOOD INDUSTRY but we should totally SHAME FAT PEOPLE SO THEY STOP BEING HELPLESS VICTIMS OF THE FOOD INDUSTRY” approach — it’s so twisted! I’ll leave you with this bit of business that reader/occasional contributor/great person Rick Kelley left in the comments on our last post. It’s outstanding, and helps to explain exactly what’s so fucked about this tactic:
The “angle” these ads use — namely, “fat bodies are disgusting, so go vegan” — is shared with countless advertising campaigns selling every sort of bullshit imaginable, to all of our detriment. They posit a particular kind of “desirable body” and shame those who fail to attain it. Branding veganism as a weight loss strategy doesn’t do anyone any favors, and it doesn’t make new vegans (unless week-long fad dieters count). These ads have nothing to do with health, not anymore than some soap or deodorant company is committed to health (and a garden-fresh scent). No one is disputing the health benefits of a plant-based diet — Forks Over Knives is routinely embraced, recommended, and celebrated throughout vegan circles, most definitely on this site — but rather rejecting the notion that a “vegan brand” to sell “ethical eating” by way of a “stop being so fucking fat, fatties” campaign is anything but mean-spirited and counter-productive.
Here are a few reasons why, from the practical to the ethical:
(1) More than anything else, this resembles diet ads, and constructs veganism as a diet. Diets are by their nature temporary and end-goal oriented. If someone goes vegan to lose weight and they don’t, it seems unlikely they’d continue. If they do, it seems likely they’ll stop after they’ve attained their goal.
(2) Whether or not someone loses weight, the use and property-status of nonhumans isn’t remotely addressed, because there is no framework or analysis to understand it. You can go through a two-week vegan diet weight loss plan cloaked in fur and leather, occasionally shooting a dog, as easily as not.
(3) It’s alienating and reinforces notions of vegan exclusivity, superiority, and contempt for human animals.
(4) By playing into normative ideals of the human body, it reinforces patriarchal notions of beauty. Despite the inclusion of a male-presenting body in the ad, no one being at all serious would argue that advertising (including this one) primarily targets men. The idea here, as FUCKING EVERYWHERE, is that female-presenting bodies are by definition thin; if not, they are gross and in need of recuperation (i.e. shaming).
(5) By focusing on isolated, individual bodies (and certainly not whole bodies) outside of any world they might inhabit, it erases people’s lived experiences. It erases the fact that different cultures view bodies in different ways; it erases the realities of people’s access to healthy foods, which are enormously pre-determined by class structures; and it erases the most basic fact of all, which is that we live in these bodies we find ourselves in, the social value of which is determined by things often outside of our control (like fucking PCRM ads, apparently).
To end this manifesto/comment, I’d just point out that one thing a “vegan movement” (should it ever arrive) needs to do is to link nonhuman animal oppression with all the other oppressive structures that dominate our lives (like patriarchy, class oppression, racism, rigid systems of normative ideals, capitalist marketing as a means of social change, etc.). Damaging nonsense like this hurts that future effort.
I encourage PCRM (and really everyone ever) to read Health at Every Size, learn about our so-called “Obesity Epidemic,” and read up on the big business of fat hate. I wrote this same shit to PETA last year but you know, since PETA and PCRM are literally in bed together (UGH MY EYES! Seriously, picturing that just sent shivers down my spine), it can’t hurt to remind them. Show compassion for everyone and work on effective campaigns that breed love and respect for all. THE END.
*PCRM has such great campaigns, why are they focusing energy and money on this one? My experience is that Animal Rights groups that focus on too many campaigns just do them all poorly. Why not work on one thing and do it really, really well?
Get it together and stop killing horses, HBO's "Luck"
HBO has a new show called Luck. It’s about horse-racing, a “sport” I understand has been losing popularity for decades and is probably still around because it, like dog-racing, is legal to bet on in states where gambling is only otherwise legal in Indian casinos. Which speaks very highly of it as a “sport,” right? Definitely you want to be in a place people frequent because of the opportunities to gamble while wearing enormous hats presents.
Luck is a show about a dying American pastime made even weirder by the vernacular specific to this pastime that, because it’s dying, very few viewers of the show understand. Have you read the internet during the past six weeks? Everyone who talks about television is all, “Oh Luck, the dialog is impenetrable and the actors are all individually and specifically creepy and threatening, and the last show its creator made was also a thematic mess, but he also did Deadwood and HBO means ‘Serious Television Business,’ so we’re going to pretend to love it! Horses!”
My first point is, you’re probably not watching Luck, and you shouldn’t, because it’s nonsense. If you are, though, you may have noticed that in place of the standard “No animals were harmed” notation in the credits, there’s a line that says “The American Humane Association Monitored the animal action.” That’s because animals were harmed during the filming of this television show, specifically two horses, which actually suffered such serious injuries they had to be euthanized. No, I don’t know why veterinary medicine hasn’t solved fatal horse injuries; it seems awfully 19th century to still be putting horses down when they break their legs, right?
HBO tells the New York Observer that yeah it was totally tragic that we got those horses killed, but after the second one died we “suspended production” to figure out how not to kill any more horses while filming our television show about this shitty sport that fucking wrecks horses specifically bred to be fucking wrecked and that no one except the people involved in their wrecking gives a fuck about—that is, they’ve “adopt[ed] additional protocols specifically for horse racing sequences” and they’re earning that AHA-trademarked “No animals were harmed” line that will appear in future episodes’ credits.
Sorry two horses had to die before you figured your shit out, HBO and the producers of Luck, but you’ve got David Milch and he’s a genius! And horse racing was once upon a time the sport of kings or whatever. So you’ve got that going for you.
[photo of (Brazilian!) horses by Eduardo Amorim via Flickr]
Each zoo holding elephants must hold a minimum of three females (or the space to hold three females), two males or three elephants of mixed gender. If a zoo cannot meet this standard, they must apply for a variance. Before the variance can be issued by the Accreditation Commission the zoo (a) must describe their plan to obtain additional elephants or describe their plan for deacquisitioning their elephants and (b) must describe what will occur if they experience the loss of one elephant. In most cases where an institution has one remaining elephant, the remaining elephant will receive a recommendation for relocation at another AZA institution from the Elephant TAG/SSP. Adult males (6 years and older) may be housed alone, but not in complete isolation. Opportunities for tactile, olfactory, visual, and/or auditory interaction with other elephants must be provided (Rasmussen et al. 1982).
By 1 September 2016, no further variances will be issue
This is because they know elephants are social animals and need friends! The new standard requires three elephants so that if one elephant dies, the other is not left alone. Jeez, a sole elephant in a zoo is so depressing.
This is nice news for the poor elephants stuck in zoos, but do you know why else this is cool? This means a lot of zoos just won’t be able to have any elephants! I’m sure most will be traded to other zoos with enough room for three, but maybe some will be sent to sanctuaries! We can hope. At the very least, the elephants in captivity will have a higher quality of life as socialization is very important to them.
I don’t know much about the AZA; they seem like a confused organization. Of course I don’t support zoos, but if there are going to be zoos, I do support animal care and welfare standards. The AZA proudly claims to have (and seems to have) much higher care standards than the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, and they oppose things like the use of apes in commercials and bullhooks for elephant training. Meanwhile, they accredited Have Trunk Will Travel, a company that trains animal “actors” and also uses bullhooks on its elephants. That doesn’t make much sense. Then again, they are very involved in wildlife conservation and promote the idea that all zoos should be donating to efforts to conserve animals in the wild. Yet they are also super pro-zoo and act like zoos are sanctuaries and education centers instead of animal-exploiting businesses.
I don’t know what to make of the AZA, but I do like this new rule. Let the ellies have pals!
Help out Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary with lingerie and baked goods this week!
We love Harvest Home, vegan baked goods, and fancy underpants. This week, these entities form a triumvirate of awesome, in which purchasing the latter goes to help the former, by which we mean: Buy some underwear and cupcakes for Harvest Home!
First, on Saturday, Feb. 11, Harvest Home is having a fundraising bake sale! Stop by the corner of Grand and MacArthur in Oakland between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for vegan treats (and maybe bunnies? maybe?), and help fund the over $4,000 in vet bills Harvest Home has already incurred in 2012. It’s a rough year for rescues, you guys. If you want to bake for the sale, email them ASAP. Get details on the sale at its Facebook event page.
Second, from Feb. 7 (today!) to 14, Purrfect Pineapples is taking donations for Harvest Home! With every minimum $5US donation, you are entered to win one of three Purrfect Pineapples gift certificates! (Brilliant idea: donate $5 10 times.) You may be familiar with the vegan lingerie company from Megan Rascal’s gift guides. Because she’s based in Toronto, Erika has to do a long-distance donation, and being a wonderful person, she’s making it a weeklong public event that rewards you for participating! Vegans are the nicest people.
Baked goods and pretty underpants: Two great vegan things that are easily fetishized together. Wait, no, try again: Two great vegan things that help home bunnies like Twix up there, doing his infamous slipper impression.
[photo of the eminently adoptable Twix by Harvest Home via Flickr]
Do your in-laws just not understand your veganism? Repair your relationship on TV!
We love this majestic bitch, but we need more vegans on TV!
There’s a new TV show that’s looking for vegans who have difficult relationships with their in-laws, in regard to their veganism. I KNOW this describes some of our readers, so I’m helping to spread the word in hopes that some super normal and cool vegans will want to be on TV, earn some money, and possibly even maybe get some real help with their relationships. OK? Let’s represent!
Here are the details:
We’re currently casting a powerful new series on A&E that’s dedicated to helping couples — married or unmarried — who for one reason or another are struggling to maintain a civil relationship with an in-law. Specifically, we’re reaching out to couples who feel like their in-laws don’t respect their vegan or vegetarian lifestyles. It’s a topic that plenty of couples can relate to. They can offer one-one-one family counseling with a professional (on AND off camera) as well as a generous financial honorarium [Ed.: !!!] for their time and commitment.
If you’re desperate to repair your relationship with an in-law before it’s too late, we want to hear from you! Families who appear on the show will have the opportunity to work with a professional relationship expert who will help them to identify their issues and repair their relationships.
If you’re interested in being on reality TV (the saddest and greatest of all American dreams!), representing as a non-crazy vegan, making a little cash, and maybe even (MAYBE?) getting some actual help with your relationship,* EMAIL ME!
*Although, let’s be real, this is reality television. You probably have as much of a chance of getting actual help as Lindsay Lohan has of making it to her 30th birthday GOD BLESS HER
The Vegansaurus guide is just $1.99 if you feel like owning it. MAYBE YOU DO, MAYBE YOU DON’T—either way, we still love you! Just a little more if you do and a little less if you don’t, because that’s how love works.