Tandem Treats! will be a tandem-bike towed Vegan food cart in Portland, Oregon.
We want to feed our community with as little environmental impact as possible. All of our ingredients will be locally sourced, organic or GMO-free, and vegan, of course!
Our menu will include hot dogs, chili, nachos, sushi, kombucha, root beer, and buffalo-ranch pizza. We will also have gluten-free buns!
Tandem Treats!, pulled around by Cicada and Rocks, will be in Southeast Portland four days a week and at local events around town, offering vegan options to omnivores and herbivores alike. We are chefs and animal rights activists with a plan to win over the world with delicious vegan food.
With proceeds from this food cart, our goal is to someday open an animal sanctuary.
I love tandem bicycless. What is it about them? I wish I could buy everything from people on a tandem! Like, insurance! And … dignity! JK, that’s overpriced. But insurance, for sure.
Tandem Treats! have nice things you can get when you donate on Kickstarter and they said if we pledge $100 or more, we can get a lil’ pink dino painted on the bike! I want!
Dolphins are people too: Non-human persons and the right to live
Apparently this science conference in Vancouver over the weekend was pretty interesting! They didn’t just talk about test tube burgers, they also talked about non-human persons! Man, what did I do this weekend? The only scientific advancement I made was in regard to my tolerance for rail vodka (but I assure you, we made great strides). Non-human persons are much more interesting. The idea is that there are animals with intelligence and consciousness that should grant them the right to life.
"We’re saying the science has shown that individuality, consciousness and self-awareness are no longer unique human properties. That poses all kinds of challenges," said Tom White, director of the Centre for Ethics and Business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
"Dolphins are non-human persons. A person needs to be an individual. And if individuals count, then the deliberate killing of individuals of this sort is ethically the equivalent of deliberately killing a human being. The captivity of beings of this sort, particularly in conditions that would not allow for a decent life, is ethically unacceptable, and commercial whaling is ethically unacceptable," White said.
How interesting! Was this the idea behind Tilikum v. Seaworld? If the declaration were incorporated into law, Seaworld and the like would not be allowed to keep whales.
The declaration is backed by experts and relies on the massive amounts of research that has been done on cetaceans in the past. Dolphins are said to be able to identify themselves in a mirror, use symbol-based language, use tools, learn skills and pass them on, and have individual personalities. Does that grant them rights? The UN is considering the declaration as part of its convention on migratory species.
You really should read this Guardian piece on the whole thing as it has the most amazing stories about a rascally dolphin named Kelly who learned more and more ways to trick her captors into forking over more treats! Speaking of which, I’m working on my declaration of rights for rascals. Kelly would certainly be protected under the DRR. As would chimps, elephants, and Alan Thicke.
You can sign the declaration of rights for cetaceans here!
Laura really wanted me to make a pit bull puppy photo gallery and I only want to make Laura happy! Plus, I have a new theory that looking at cute baby animal pictures raises your oxytocin levels and that that will boost your mood. I call it “Squee Therapy.” So, here’s the babies!:
Yay pit bull puppies! If you want to adopt a pit bull, basically go to any shelter in the United States. And of course Petfinder works too!
For more cute adoptable pups and a lot of info on the many wonders of the pit bull, go to Badrap.com. Check out their How to Help page for things you can do for this put-upon breed.
PS: I’m reminded by a reader to add that while puppies are the cutest greatest, they are a hassle! JK, that’s not what she said (but it’s true); but seriously, folks, puppies are great but there are plenty of pit bull pups in shelters already so please spay and neuter your dogs! No more homeless pups!
Get your pet fixed for free at the SPCA this month!
That’s right, FREE! But only during February. You may recall we broached this subject earlier this month, as Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Katherine Heigl, Rachael Ray, and Vegansaurus are all advocates of getting your pet FIXED! There are too many unwanted animals that end up in shelters everyday. Listen to PETA Chan.
Jennifer Scarlett, D.V.M. and co-president of the SF SPCA, says, “We hope our efforts will encourage pet guardians across the city to make the responsible choice to have their pet spayed or neutered. If you want San Francisco to be a No-Kill city, the most important thing you can do is spay or neuter your pet.”
You can schedule an appointment at (415) 554.3030, and learn more online. We also got a tip that people cancel their appointments every day. So if you neglect to make one, or all the spaces are filled, you could still get in by calling the SPCA in the morning to see if any appointments have opened up. This means fasting your dog or cat the night before, but it will be worth it if you can get in there!
Adele is going to give vegetarianism a go! And we're here to help!
Oh-so-lovely songstress Adele is making an effort to go vegetarian! She says that for what’s on the agenda in the year ahead, she has to be “really healthy and stuff like that.” Plus, when she eats meat, she thinks of her dog and sees his little dog eyes. This is incredible news, though of course going vegan would be all the more fantastic. It can be a difficult transition to make, I understand. But, Adele, I’m here to help you. Anything you need, any time of day. Then when you visit San Francisco, I’ll give you the drinking vegan tour of the city! Or you can hire me as your personal chef, whatever works.
1. I understand you don’t like the taste of tofu, that you go so far as to describe it as “rank.” Tofu is not chicken, this much is true. However, when seasoned well, tofu is delicious! I’ll let you borrow my Tofu Xpress and we can marinate blocks of protein together! You must also read Sarah’s guide to making the most out of a tofu scramble: It will change your life.
2. Faux meat and cheese are your friends during this transitional time. Every time I blink, new ones hit the market. Try them all out to find your faves. You don’t have to like them all, it’s OK. I stay as far as I can from Tofurky deli slices and cheddar-flavored Follow Your Heart cheese.
4. Check out Happy Cow so you know where to eat in every city on your tour. I really should have checked Happy Cow before I went to Reno (as opposed to the drive home), because I subsisted on a salad, a sandwich, and a Lara Bar for two days—not enough food for me. Learn from my mistakes.
5. Barnivore is your new best friend. Use it, download the app, and then go to your nearest pub.
6. Get yourself some vegan cookbooks! Because Vegan with a Vengeance was my first, I am biased in believing it should be every vegan beginner’s guide!
7. I have heard that it is safe and nutritious for doggie companions to go veg as well as humans! You and your pooch can go on this veg journey together, OMG that would be the cutest.
8. Read Vegansaurus! You’ll love us, we are sassy. Like you!
9. I probably will not lose respect for you if you pose for a PETA ad, but personally, I think it’d be amazing if you did work with Farm Sanctuary or Mercy for Animals. Just don’t pull a Ginnifer Goodwin, in which you yell about your veganism only to turn around and bash it on Jimmy Kimmel Live, OK?
Now it’s time for a video, with everyone’s favorite kale-lover, Anderson Cooper! Just kidding; he openly hates kale because like my sister, he has the palate of a six-year-old!
Adele is just stunning in all these clips. Are you getting chills watching her sing? I am!
Good news: test tube meat burgers will be available this fall! For a zillion dollars!
Picture from Maastricht University of test tube meat!
This weekend, Prof Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands spoke at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Vancouver and broke the super news that a test tube hamburger is on the immediate horizon! Last year, Post was able to grow small strips of muscle tissue from a pig’s stem cells. He told the AAAS yesterday that he has successfully replicated the process using a cow’s stem cells. In light of this, Post thinks he can create the first lab-meat hamburger ready for consumption this fall!: "In October we are going to provide a proof of concept showing out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels and hopefully tastes like meat," Post said.
Of course, the process is so arduous that each burger will cost 250,000 euros (about $329,950.00), but researchers think soon they will be able to produce the stuff on a larger, cheaper scale.
I think most of us at Vegansaurus are pro-lab meat, if it means less suffering for animals. But according to the Telegraph:
Although it is possible to extract a limited number of stem cells from cows without killing them, Prof Post said the most efficient way of taking the process forward would still involve slaughter.
He said: “Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells form there.”
So, that rains on my parade a bit. But I mean, who thought they were going to be able to make hamburgers from stem cells?! Fairly soon, scientist could be like, “dudes, we totes don’t need any cows at all.” Who can say?!
You may remember that last year, PETA said they’d pay a million dollars to the first scientist “to produce and bring to market in vitro meat.” BUT! PETA’s offer is actually for chicken, so Post’s burger doesn’t cut it. Plus, you have to sell a lot of it commercially before you can win anyway and at $329,950.00 a burger, Post has a ways to go. But maybe he doesn’t need PETA’s money because apparently he has some mysterious, extremely rich donor. The donor wishes to remain anonymous to the public but Post says he’s a household name known for "turning everything into gold." When the first hamburger is ready, Post wants British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal to cook it and this mysterious guy gets to try it with whomever* he invites to join him.
This mysterious benefactor is my favorite part of the whole story because you know he’s one of those gagillionaires that hunts humans on his own private island. But, alas, even cannibalism has lost its novelty and so onto the lab meat!
*I don’t know if that should be whoever or whomever but I tried my best!
Top 10 links of the week!: A harlem shuffle through the dance floor of veganism!
Scary rooster Puff has it in for kitty Blacko! This is kind of sad.
Grist’s Protein Angst series is still killing it! My new favorite: Never mind the meat—worry about eating enough plants. This is what I’m always thinking! Like, dude, I get enough protein, do you get enough veggies?! There is so much concern over our nutrients but I’d bet meat-mouths are not hitting all the nutritional points!
Australia is up in arms over recent footage documenting inhumane conditions in a Sydney slaughterhouse. You can see the video on the linked page. It’s pretty rugged. The one good thing though is it seems like Australia actually does stuff when footage like this surfaces. The slaughterhouse in question was immediately closed (I don’t know if it was permanently closed but still, swift action).
From HuffPo, you may have already heard about this but if not: Westminster severed ties with Pedigree because they didn’t want to see images of puppies behind bars during commercial breaks. Stay classy, Westminster!
Jasmine Tea House has reopened! And they have Sesame Meatless Chicken!
We love Jasmine Tea House very much, and when it closed, we were very sad. BUT NOW! We can be happy again because it’s reopened! Apparently it’s under new ownership and the mind-blowing Sesame Meatless Chicken isn’t on the actual menu, BUT the wonderful We Built This City let us know that you can order it off-menu! Do that because when you do shit like that, you look like a total boss. I DON’T NEED A FUCKING MENU, SON.
Also, if you are craving the original Jasmine Tea House tastiness, I BELIEVE the old owners currently operate Big Lantern on 16th Street in the Mission. They have some damn delicious vegan dim sum and all kinds of meatless chickens! Plus, they deliver all over San Francisco and honestly, that’s probably how you want to eat it because when you dine in, it’s just a sad flurry of to-go orders flying out around you.
However, if you want to have pretty much an entire restaurant to yourself when you eat, then head to Big Lantern! Actually, I’ve totally talked myself into going to lunch there, I love dining alone! You can gorge yourself AND you don’t have to look another person in the eye—my two favorite things!
Don’t you wish you could find your friends’ doggie twins on the go?! Now you can! With the Best Friends Animal Society My Dog ID app. Above is my lovely sister Cally and her one-eyed dog twin. Pretty amazing. I tried a few other pictures of Cally and this same dog came up each time! Bwahaha. This app is more fun than I expected. Except I tried to find the dog twin for our pink dino and the app was like, whaa? It did find a dog twin for my dog though, so meta.
This app doesn’t just entertain with its amazing dog twin finding abilities, it also lets you look up adoptable dogs in your area. Additionally, it makes it simple and easy to donate to Best Friends’ Invisible Dog initiative. That is how I like to see animal orgs getting into social media! A free, fun, interactive game that raises awareness for shelter dogs everywhere! Well played, Best Friends.
Do you ever stare at a long, rectangular fish tank, waiting for your one true love to appear on the other side? That one person for whom you’d die a historically tragic death? And also that the fish were swimming in the ocean? Just me, then? Well, this is what comes to mind when I hear “masquerade.” Basically, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes locking eyes for the first time, through the enchanting, refracted light of a fish tank.
Yeah, sounds good! Plus, there’s going to be vegan king cake! I don’t know what that is but I think I heard Laura say she likes it. That’s good enough for me. Plus, I hear they hide stuff in it? I like that because it reminds me of my favorite Amelia Bedelia book where they tell her to make a “date cake” and she makes a cake with calendar clippings in it. That Amelia Bedelia! There’s also a bunch of vegan-sounding food from Verite Catering including Cajun fried seitan and eggplant jambalaya!
Masks are strongly encouraged; But while NYCLASS tells you to “find your feathers,” I’m telling you to leave the feathers on the birds! Let’s not celebrate horses by ripping the feathers off a bunch of birds. Also, I think you should make your own mask! Ever heard of paper mache?! It’s recycled and biodegradable! Here is a DIY tutorial for making a paper mache mask and then this Threadbanger video has great decorating instructions—she uses ribbons instead of feathers! Lovely! I happen to love paper mache and there are few times when it’s a legitimate activity sans kids, so take advantage of this opportunity.
Final suggestion: DON’T SHOW UP IN A HORSE CARRIAGE.
All in all, sounds like a great event! And it’ll be easy for you guys to remember the party date because it’s the day before my birthday.
The “I’M MOOVED" campaign for animals is looking for submissions! Are you "mooved" by animal suffering? Make a statement! Submit your picture and your mooving statement and the Boss Hogg Project may put you on a flyer!
Pet pics are welcome but they are looking for a wide array of animals—so you farm animal shelters, get snapping!
I think this calls for a photo-shoot. I’m going to need 25 rescue piglets, 10 retired hens, and AT LEAST seven goats. And a photographer! But especially the goats. They are essential to my vision!
One part of the study asked participants (all meat eaters) to rate how willing they are to eat different animals. Then they asked them to rate the mental ability of different animals. Guess what? People were more likely to eat the animals they attributed lower mental ability to. OK, not surprised. This could just mean people eat dumber animals.
The next study asked people to picture cows and sheep. People who pictured them living in happy sunny fields rated the mental abilities of the animals higher than those who specifically thought of the cows and sheep being raised as food. Now we are getting somewhere!
Still another study asked these meat eaters to write about the process of raising and killing animals for food. They were all told there would be a food sampling after they finished writing. Half the people were told they’d be served fruit and half the people were told they’d be served beef and lamb. Before they ate, the participants were asked to rate the mental abilities of cows and sheep. Now, get a load of this!: The people that were expecting to eat meat rated the mental abilities of cows and sheep much lower than the people that knew they were going to eat fruit. Say whaaat?!
The abstract summarizes the implications nicely:
Many people like eating meat, but most are reluctant to harm things that have minds. The current three studies show that this dissonance motivates people to deny minds to animals. Study 1 demonstrates that animals considered appropriate for human consumption are ascribed diminished mental capacities. Study 2 shows that meat eaters are motivated to deny minds to food animals when they are reminded of the link between meat and animal suffering. Finally, Study 3 provides direct support for our dissonance hypothesis, showing that expectations regarding the immediate consumption of meat increase mind denial. Moreover, this mind denial in turn reduces negative affect associated with dissonance.
So, how wacky are meat eaters?! They don’t even know they do this! Wacky meat eaters. I wonder if people who don’t eat meat get any mental benefit because they don’t have to reconcile this dissonance. Know what I mean? Like maybe we save mental energy and can focus that energy on additional intellectual endeavors. Hold up, I think we just figured out why I’m such a Super Genius!
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.