I think this is an excellent challenge, because for real, tell me. However, I just can’t imagine a solid answer. Of course if I could, I probably wouldn’t be vegan.
Let’s pretend they don’t call everyone “carnivores” throughout the article, because I think they did that to appeal to the many omnivores who don’t understand what that word means. I cannot however ignore that they called vegans “[vegetarians’] hard-core inner circle.” Vegetarians are more like the soft shell of hard-core omnivores. If we were picking teams, I’d go with all the lactose-intolerant people first; you still have the death, but there’s a little less torture. But again, I guess they are trying to appeal to “carnivores” who only know vegans as The Other.
The panel of judges is my favorite part because it’s like, “let’s round up every white male who writes about why you should go vegan without actually going vegan!” Ta da: Peter Singer, Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, Jonathan Safran Foer and Andrew Light. I think the white male part says more about society than food writing in particular but they could have found at least one vegan judge. Shouldn’t a solid argument be able to sway the opposition? The group we have here is pretty much dudes who are looking for a good reason to eat meat—that seems a little skewed.
I also love the rules:
Rules: This is a very specific contest. Don’t tell us why you like meat, why organic trumps local or why your food is yours to choose. Just tell us why it’s ethical to eat meat.
Because you know they are still going to get a million and one essays about the American right to eat hamburgers and why bacon tastes good. Happy reading, bros!
I for one am really curious to see the winning essay. I’m going to be so disappointed if it’s the same-old bullshit! I would really like to see a proposed reason to eat meat other than “it tastes good” so I can respect my omnivorous peers a little more. What would really be funny though is if no one comes up with a winning essay. I mean, these dudes haven’t found the ethical reason to eat meat, and they’ve been working on that for a while! It would be really funny if the whole thing just dies because they couldn’t get a good enough entry.
What I’m really hoping is that after reading a million awful attempts to justify eating meat, these judges just get totally embarrassed that they aren’t vegan yet and finally walk the walk!
In honor of today’s Meatout, NPR’s The Salt blog got all excited over the rise in vegan meat analogues. According to the Global New Products Database, “110 new meat substitute products were introduced in 2010 and 2011,” and in 2011, sales of frozen meat substitutes hit $267 million.
I know not everyone loves the fake meats, but they’re so tasty. Do you know how many omnivores I’ve turned into Golden Era superfans? SO MANY, is the answer. So many superfans.
What are your favorite supermarket fake meats? I love Gardein’s chipotle lime crispy fingers, and basically every “mock” animal they sell at Asian groceries. (Also Soy Curls, but those don’t count here.) And I don’t think you can beat a sandwich with peppered Tofurky, spicy mustard, pickles, and lettuce. Though Janet Hudson’s Oklahoma sandwich does look insanely good.
Happy Meatless Monday! HSUS’s MM video is nominated for a Do Gooder Award (in the “Large Organization” category), so please vote for it!
Want more evidence of how important it is for animal advocates to be politically active? Check out the Des Moines Register’s article on the very large donations from agribusiness that Iowa’s ag-gag proponents received.
I was glad to be on CNN Headline News with the wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell and my similarly awesome coworker Dr. Michael Greger to discuss factory farming and antibiotic use. As well, I had a good time doing an hour-long conversation about farm animal protection on Pennsylvania Cable Network (kind of like C-Span for PA) with the head of an industry group called Penn Ag.
I was at the NYCVFF, perusing the tables, when one of the vendors very kindly offered me a free bottle of Bagel Spice. I wasn’t particularly interested in said Bagel Spice—I was just standing in its vicinity, eyeballing the Bee Free Honee.
I have a pretty extensive spice rack so my attitude was sort of, “Who needs you, Bagel Spice?” Plus it seemed sort of confusing. The website describes it like this:
Bagel Spice is a scrumptious blend of premium spices inspired by the “Everything Bagel.” It’s a delicious accompaniment to a variety of savory dishes.
Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what to put it on. But the company seemed awful charming, and the ingredient list is totally au natural—all very real and whole foods go into this product—so I figured I should give it a whirl.
Initially I went for the obvious and put it on a delicious toasted bagel with some tofutti cream cheese. I have to say that it was very very good. Like surprisingly good. I want it on all of my bagels now.
It’s quite yummy mixed in with hummus as well. That’s how they were serving samples of it up at the NYCVFF, and it was totally good. The original Bagel Spice has no salt, but they make another blend with sea salt, as well as a spicy one, so you have options. What I like about the hummus concept is that I usually like to buy plain hummus, but then sometimes I wish I had a flavored one. Bagel Spice to the rescue! It’s a nice addition to some hummus, and you don’t have to commit to a whole container of the flavored stuff.
The third thing I did with the Bagel Spice was use it as a dry seasoning to make seitan nuggets. (I used the nugget recipe from Jenny’s nugget post—it’s great!) This is what ultimately made me a big Bagel Spice fan. These nuggets turned out awesome, and the Bagel Spice was an essential addition of zest. I used the no-sodium original, so it wasn’t too salty or overly spicy; it just added a ton of gusto. There’s some nice chunkiness with the dried onions and poppy seeds too, which added a great crispy texture on the outside.
It is definitely an awesome addition to any breading you’re making that requires a dry spice. I will probably use it in this capacity most. I’m also gonna suggest that it would be fabulous on a tofu scramble, garlic bread, salads, etc. You could even make some wicked fast pasta by tossing it in a little olive oil then sprinkling on some Bagel Spice. The possibilities are endless!
Bottom line, I am super impressed with Bagel Spice. They totally converted me from an uninterested skeptic to someone who will definitely keep this on hand. It’s tasty and versatile, and dang it, I like it.
You can order Bagel Spice via its website** and it’s also available in a few stores. If you try it and like it, ask your favorite stores to carry it. I’m all about pestering stores to carry things I like. I’m pretty sure my friend Michael is solely responsible for Fresh Direct carrying Daiya. The squeaky wheel, people: It gets the grease.
**This is totally not a vegan company, and there are pictures of eggs and chicken wings on their website. Their whole recipe section is disappointing. However, they do seem to exclusively produce Bagel Spice, and they’re certified kosher, so I’m assuming their facility is meat- and dairy-free.
Laura Yasinitsky is a writer, comic, waitress, and animal-lover based in New York City. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s Open-Mic Fight, and writes for US Weekly’s Fashion Police. You can follow her silliness on Twitter @LaraYaz, and read about her animal-friendly adventures here.
Guys, I’m in love! I don’t do a lot of vegan ice cream reviews because I don’t actually like ice cream that much—except, I LOVE coffee ice cream! I don’t know, I’m a particular person. It’s part of my immense charm. But I had read about Steve’s Ice Cream and their vegan flavors so when I saw some buckets of Steve’s at Union Market, I took a look. WHAM BAM! They had a cinnamon coffee flavor! Cinnamon? I wasn’t sure. But I love coffee ice cream so much that I thought I’d take a chance.
Holy cannoli! Gamble well spent! This stuff is incredible! Like, super-amazing-fantastic. And cinnamon with coffee is pure genius. I had no idea. Seriously, I can’t say enough amazing things about this ice cream! It’s like rainbows and kittens and vacations and moon bounces and recess and waterslides all in one tub!
Vitamix: The Über Kitchen Tool Every Vegan Should Own!
I have wanted a super-fancy blender for a while now, and read a bunch of comparisons of Blentec and Vitamix models. But you know, while these blenders are very high quality, come with extended warranties, and can perform miracles in the kitchen, they are also quite expensive. So, I made inferior smoothies with my existing blender and dreamed of better, more smoothly mixed times.
The Vitamix really is a handy machine, one that replaces your blender and food processor in pretty quick order. You can blend. You can chop. You can even heat up stuff to make soup! If you get the dry-goods attachment, you can mill your own flours. You can make homemade milks like almond and cashew. You can make smoothies so velvety and perfectly blended you’ll swear they were from your favorite shop. And you can make delicious salsas, chunky or otherwise. You can even make baby food!
The Vitamix comes with a recipe book, but it’s pretty hit or misss. It’s a good way to get ideas but I wouldn’t stop there. There are no shortage of recipes online—check out the wide variety at Healthy Blender Recipes to start off. You can filter them by several options, including vegan, raw, and gluten-free. Oh She Glows also has a ton of great smoothie recipes, all vegan and many gluten-free. For books, I’d check out Green Smoothie Revolution and Liquid Raw, though there is no shortage of publications with great ideas for juices, smoothies, desserts, sauces, and soups.
As you can tell, I really like my Vitamix. If it weren’t so pointy, I’d sleep with it at night. If you’ve been thinking about getting one, add this testimonial to your considerations! I’ve always been a shopping enabler.
Terri Coles lives in Toronto, where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues. We edit out all her extra vowels.
Product Review: Rox Chox fair-trade and sugar-free vegan chocolates!
Rox Chox sent me a sample of their vegan chocolate to try and I declare, YUM YUM! My favorite part is the bits of salt, I love salty chocolate. There are also bits of coconut that I normally wouldn’t like, but it’s just the right amount, so you can kind of chew on them but the whole thing doesn’t taste particularly coconut-y.
Rox Chox is also cool because their chocolate is fair trade, organic and mostly raw (do our raw friends like mostly raw stuff?). Another cool thing is that it’s sugar-free, which they say makes it suitable for diabetics! That is nice to hear. It’s also gluten-free, and soy- and nut-free. I know some of you guys don’t get down with soy! Rox Chox kind of seems great for everybody.
The chocolate isn’t like super-sweet, smooth, “sinful” chocolate, it’s more like a tasty treat. I could see snacking on it a lot. We’re not talking a granola bar here though, it still hits the chocolatey spot. Really though, the salt is what rocked my world. The combo is perfect, and it’s just the right ratio of salty to sweet.
You can order Rox Chox online, but their site says it’s available at the Valencia Whole Foods in SF too. It’s also available at a bunch of places throughout Oregon.
The vegan Sarah Brown Cookie! Celebrating the Sarah Browns in the world!
There’s a good chance you know at least three individuals named Sarah Brown. From the character in Guys and Dolls, to that woman who writes for Vogue, and the Sarah Brown at your work, home, school, gym, or friendly neighborhood juice/lesbian bar, it’s clear: We’re everywhere!
Despite knowing this, I am still, somehow, always surprised to discover another Sarah Brown in the world. We pop out in the least expected places! Prior to shopping at Erewhon yesterday, I didn’t know that there is a Sarah Brown who played Carly on ABC’s General Hospital. This Sarah Brown, who has celiac disease, was so beloved that she provided the inspiration for these gluten-free VEGAN boobie cookies made by Eat Me Cookies. Can you believe it?!
They tasted delicious, as any Sarah Brown gluten-free vegan cookie should. So far, they’re available in stores throughout Los Angeles, and online. Get yours now, and maybe share them with the Sarah Brown(s) in your life!
Look, everyone! It’s Jessica Simpson eating vegan onion rings on the Ellen show! And she’s about to burst! Were you on the edge of your seat wondering if she’d give birth on this segment? I was.
If you aren’t able to stomach the idea of watching this video in its entirety, you can skip to the 1:44 mark. Ellen unveils a bunch of vegan snacks for Jessica and then they discuss Gardein. Oh, Ellen! When are you and Portia opening your vegan restaurant in LA?
Here are a few things I took from this interview:
Jessica Simpson knows what a vegan is. That surprised me.
Ellen, if Jessica isn’t interested in your Gardein products, I am! I will enjoy them to the fullest (and probably all at once).
What is a snoogle?! This is the first I’ve seen and I’m intrigued!
Ugh, being so pregnant looks uncomfortable. Not interested! My sister will look like that in September and I shall ridicule her if she cannot pull off eight-inch heels (No I won’t! Neither of us could pull them off EVER, let alone when she’s 8.5 months pregnant!). I bought her some Food For Lovers queso, but she said the morning sickness makes Mexican food sound horrendous. No, sis: I know the baby wants it. Like all the vegan treats I will impose on him/her in the future! Being an aunt will be spectacular!
I just don’t feel like making snarky comments about Jessica Simpson. Maybe the idea of making fun of a massively pregnant woman seems too harsh. Plus, I think she’s kind of adorable and charming pregnant. Don’t worry! I kind of hate myself too.
That’s right! The Shop-Up is making its Soho debut on March 24!:
Please join us in big bad Manhattan for this mini version of Vegan Shop-Up! Exciting! You’ll find us behind the beautiful tea shop In Pursuit of Tea, so stock up on artisan treats and enjoy a nice hot cup on your way out. As always we’ve got a long list of drool-worthy goods to bring you so get ready for the best selection of chocolate coated cake truffles, raw sweets, gluten-free baked treats, kale chips, sauerkrauts and chutneys, sandwiches, fresh juices, teas, and more!
We’re still holding our regular Shop-Ups at& Pine Box Rock Shop in Brooklyn, so don’t worry.
On July 1, the production and sale of foie gras will be illegal in the state of California.
There is only one foie gras farm in California, Sonoma Foie Gras. This place is a factory farm and a total nightmare for the animals that are tortured there. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
In 2011, I was one of the Animal Protection and Rescue League’s (APRL) undercover investigators inside Sonoma Foie Gras. We documented horrific conditions. The ducks were absolutely TERRIFIED of humans. There were ducks that could not get up, and ducks that had difficulty standing walking and breathing. All of the ducks were panting, which is a sign of extreme stress. They were covered in their own waste, blood, and regurgitated feed. There were dead ducks inside the pens and ducks that were on the verge of death. We saw trashcans that were filled with dead ducks, thrown away like garbage. You can watch footage of our undercover investigation here.
Most people don’t support this cruel treatment of animals anymore. In the state of California, only about 300 restaurants are continuing to serve foie gras (less than 1 percent of all restaurants). Foie gras production is supported by only a handful of chefs who lack the creative vision to create delicacies that aren’t produced by extreme animal cruelty. Not only are these chefs continuing to serve foie gras, in spite of the impending ban, a small (but vocal) minority are holding foie gras benefit dinners and raising funds to try to overturn the foie gras ban. A couple of these chefs have even been so bold as to say that they’ll defy it. They’re acting like little children throwing a temper tantrum.
Opponents of the ban have given a lot of false information to the media lately. A few chefs have stated that they’ve been to foie gras farms and have seen ducks running up to be fed! Are you kidding me? The ducks at Sonoma Foie Gras were TERRIFED at the very sight of humans!
Foie gras supporters have also stated that ducks would naturally gorge themselves. However, the particular breed of duck—a hybrid of Muscovy and Peking—used for foie gras production is not a migrating species, and these ducks would not gorge themselves. Moreover, even migratory ducks certainly wouldn’t gorge themselves to the point of organ failure, as is done in foie gras production. If ducks gorge themselves naturally, there shouldn’t be a need to force feed them, and there shouldn’t be a problem with a law against force-feeding.
Ban opponents claim to be working on a “humane” way of producing foie gras, but they’ve had eight years to come up with an alternative to force-feeding and they’ve come up with nada.
The San Francisco City Council, along with eight other city councils, including L.A. and San Diego, have passed resolutions calling on restaurants to stop serving foie gras. In that vein, I’ve started a campaign, United For Animals’ Foie Gras Fight, along with my fellow undercover investigators, to get foie gras cruelty out of the Bay Area! We’ve been organizing protests at Bay Area restaurants (mainly in San Francisco) that are serving foie gras and holding these ridiculous benefit dinners.
We have two recent victories under our belt: BayWolf Restaurant in Oakland (which removed foie gras from the menu four days after we protested there), and Taj Campton Place (which removed foie gras from the menu a few days before our scheduled protest). We need to keep the pressure on the restaurants that are continuing to serve foie gras.
The media have taken an interest in our cause, and have been sending crews to report on our protests, in which we seek to educate the public about the cruelty involved in foie gras production. We’ve recently done interviews with KTVU-2, NBC-3, CBS-5, and ABC-7.
If you would like to become involved in our campaign, and take a stand for the ducks that are tortured for this cruel delicacy, please check out our Facebook page, where you can find our upcoming events and links to our media coverage. You can also email me. We provide all of the signs, banners and leaflets. All you have to do is show up! It’s super easy and effective.
Dana Portnoy spends most of her “spare” time volunteering at Animal Place and Harvest Home Sanctuaries, baking treats for vegan bake sales, running half-marathons (to raise money for animals) and attending and organizing protests. She lives in the Bay Area with three rescued cats, who pretty much rule her life.
That’s how many perished during the filming of the first two seasons of Luck, a Nick Nolte/Dustin Hoffman HBO show. The show just premiered in January, but they’re working way ahead because TV is weird and crazy. The latest horse died on Tuesday, and to HBO’s credit, they decided enough was enough.
HBO says they were taking extra-good care of the horses but “accidents unfortunately happen.” PETA says “old, unfit and drugged horses were forced to race for this series.” The organization “is glad that HBO has finally decided to cancel the show.”
I pretty much adore HBO (Six Feet Under?True Blood? Heck yeah), so I’m glad they finally made a respectable choice here and I don’t have to be all conflicted inside. Fake death I’m all for. The real stuff? No good.
Social couponing: It is a real epidemic affecting our children! And also me! But at least it’s cheapish, and when it’s explicitly vegan, all the better — raising awareness and shit.
So PEEP IT: Sacs of Life (teehee, “sacs,” also, hi, I’m five years old) is offering this Groupon deal for a $19 (usually pushing $70!) cross-body bag/tote thing, your choice of four different colors. It’s kind of a weird shape, but I dunno, I like it? I got the olive one and I’m gonna wear it every day on my bike so I quit dirtying up my nice yellow Melie Blanco.
Better yet, this deal is ONLINE, SUCKAS, so there’s no location-based excuse for you not to buy it. And I saved the best for last: IT COMES WITH A GOD-DAMNED TOTE, Y’ALL. Use it for your groceries and shit.
There are only two days and some change left to buy it, so do it to it, bag lovers, before I buy all of them and keep them all to myself and rule the Sacs of Life universe forever and ever, muahahahahaaaa. Do you guys think I have a conquering fetish? JUST WONDERING.
Guest post: The greatest vegan waffle recipe in the world!
Waffles! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh they’re awesome. Seriously, the smell of waffles in the morning is the best alarm clock in the world. No one wants an extra 30 minutes when you can sneak an extra waffle or five instead.
This is the best vegan waffle recipe in the world. These waffles are so good, you should serve them with a gold crown with full-on royal fanfare. They’re easy to make, too; you could just stare at the ingredients and after a while you’d have made this recipe—it’s that easy.
What do we need? 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 ½ cups soy milk 2 Tbsp. canola oil ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt
So you don’t suffer from Baker’s Enthusiasm, before doing anything plug your waffle maker in and start preheating. Now you can make waffles as soon as your batter is ready.
There’s two ways to do this: quick but reckless, or perfectionist. The quick but reckless way is simple. Just mix all the dry ingredients together, then add in all the wet ingredients, and BOOM you’ve got waffle mix.
If you want to stroll down Perfectionist Avenue, get your flour and sieve it into a large bowl, then add your sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then get your soy milk and canola oil, mix it all up until consistent.
When mixing all the ingredients, be gentle, as if you were stroking a tiny kitten’s head. This way you get a smooth and consistent batter. If you beat or whisk your batter like an angry bionic robot, then you’ll get a bowl of froth.
Once you’re happy with your batter, pour it in your waffle maker evenly and slowly. Be careful; overspill is both a waste of the world’s greatest waffle batter and also a pain in the ass to clean up.
It should take around five minutes to cook, give or take a minute. Plate up, add your toppings, and put them in your mouth hole. Enjoy!
Matt is a vegan from the U.K. After spending most of his life eating non-vegan food, he was converted by an ex-girlfriend and has never looked back. He writes waffle maker reviews at WaffleMakers.net. Check out his Waring Pro WMK600 review.
You guys, I am getting old. I went to the doctor yesterday and he told me that my body is no longer able to process wheat in a way that will not give me the worst cramps in the history of cramps. (Can dudes take Midol for cramps? Please advise.) So today, instead of eating a delicious seitan sandwich, I am chugging potato-leek soup out of a carton and crying into my grapes (of which I have two varieties. I find that the added salt really gives them a kick!) while the people I often have lunch with look at me pityingly. Perhaps one day I will learn to enjoy a gluten-free low-sodium diet, but until then I am going to milk it for all it’s worth. Especially with Allen, who might buy me video games to cheer me up. (Note to Allen: Buy me video games!!)
Maybe not eating wheat will make me more pleasant to be around (according to my brother, King of Celiac Information), but I doubt it. I don’t even know how I will process that kind of change as being grumpy is part of my overall gestalt and is what makes me incredibly charming and fun to be around. However, there are cracks in my foundation already, as I found this video of penguins rolling around in first class adorable, as opposed to unsanitary or annoying to passengers who have popped a benzo before takeoff. Also, I didn’t even wonder whether penguins bite or scratch (side note: Allen and I were trying to clean Ms. Cleo’s cage this weekend and I was holding her so that we could chill. She was OK until she suddenly went into attack-rabbit mode and scratched my arms up in a way that looked like I had been cutting myself. I’ve had to wear long sleeves all week.)
Oh, here’s something adorable and more my speed: wild swine terrorizing plants and people. Watch out, upstate New York! I think this is partly delightful. I know that people’s crops are getting ruined and such (which sucks, especially now that I am only eating vegetables covered in my tears), but it seems a fair turnabout considering how many people eat pigs. Pigs are taking it back! (Wasn’t there a show about evil gangster street pigs in Saturday mornings in the ’90s? I really enjoyed that!)
Finally, I bring you the latest in a long string of reasons to hate the entire Trump family. If it’s not them being mean to Joan Rivers, it’s them hunting and then posing in front of their kill with douchey smiles. Awesome! Why doesn’t everyone travel to a foreign country to kill giant animals? Also, why is the defense of “the animal wasn’t even endangered” ever accepted by anyone? The Trumps aren’t endangered animals, but no one is shooting them! Also also: why does the young Trump on TV use so much product in his hair? Isn’t there a shortage of that?
That’s it for this week. Send me links for next time, and have a douchebag-free Wednesday!
I’m happy to report that ag-gag bills to ban our investigations are now dead in Illinois, Indiana, and Florida. (Other states still pending; latest press release here.)
We worked with Compass Group—the world’s largest food service provider, with 10,000 cafeterias in the US alone—to announce a policy to go 100 percent gestation crate-free. (Sample coverage here.)
In case your subscription of Pork Magazine hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, you can check out its latest editorial about HSUS’s work, “You are the Next Target.”
By now you know that the beef and pork industries are desperately trying to kill our federal bill to help laying hens. You may have also heard that some animal advocates have expressed concern about the bill. My response to one such essay is here.
Vote for us for a Treehugger award and support vegans ruling the world!
Check us out, we fancy: We’re nominated for a Treehugger Best of Green Readers’ Choice award! Thank you, Treehugger! Even if you spelled our name wrong, we love you because sometimes we spell our names wrong, too! Ain’t no thang. (But really, fix it.)
The category is Best Food Website, and we’re up against omni-geared spots Food52 (let the record show that when I clicked to their website, a huge picture of ribs popped up) and The Kitchn (which has loads of good veg info and fun decorating and storage tips, but also an article on “vat-pasteurized milk”). Both sites are great for often promoting vegan deliciousness but on the reals, you vegans better support the vegan site, lest society crumble and burn to the ground. OR WORSE: Things will continue as they are. Terrifying.
Last year we were voted Best Food Twitter Feed, so don’t let us backslide! Vegan pink dinos forever! Vote for us, and we will do anything* you ask.
*Give you a high five, or a smooch if you’re Michael Fassbender-level attractive, which you all are!
Screw McDonald's: Ten vegan Shamrock Shake recipes!
I’ve never had a Shamrock Shake and I don’t really want one. I don’t like milkshakes anyway but this thing looks extra cray. But according to my friend Nell, Shamrock Shakes are all the rage! She was like, there’s got to be a better vegan version without all the icky chemicals. Well, here are some recipes that have popped up on the internets recently! I collected them all for you because I am so nice.
Working at a slaughterhouse is 100 percent horrific
Hey, I want to depress you, so let’s learn about slaughterhouses. Avi Solomon at BoingBoing has a big, interesting interview with professor Timothy Pachirat, who worked undercover at a Nebraska slaughterhouse for five months, and published a book about his experiences in November. Surprise, it’s a nightmare! But it’s a nightmare that illustrations lots of modern horrors:
Avi: Why did you choose to go undercover in a slaughterhouse?
Timothy: I wanted to understand how massive processes of violence become normalized in modern society, and I wanted to do so from the perspective of those who work in the slaughterhouse. My hunch was that close attention to how the work of industrialized killing is performed might illuminate not only how the realities of industrialized animal slaughter are made tolerable, but also the way distance and concealment operate in analogous social processes: war executed by volunteer armies; the subcontracting of organized terror to mercenaries; and the violence underlying the manufacturing of thousands of items and components we make contact with in our everyday lives.
Leave it to two actors to let a movie change their lives. This documentary, which investigates the relationship between animal-based and processed foods and degenerative diseases, was the catalyst for turning Kristen (a vegetarian since age 11) and Dax (a carnivore) into vegans this past January. “It’s more about the health benefits than the ethics,” she concedes. “But it’s compounded by the fact that I love animals and feel better not eating them.”
Well, maybe she will get a little more educated and take a more ethical stand. But I’ll tell you: I’m still so excited! Dudes, sorry to geek-out on you, but I love Kristen Bell like whoa! Because Veronica Mars is my favorite thing ever. Shut up, it’s the best.
And her man Dax is going vegan too! I’m not afraid to admit that I like him as well. He’s endearing. And I’ll venture to guess he wasn’t actually a “carnivore,” as Women’s Health claims. I’m super glad a “health” magazine doesn’t know the difference between carnivore and omnivore! Now, tell me all about your Easy Abs Diet!
I leave you with this quote of particular relevance to us Vegansaurs: "I have a potty mouth. I’m not afraid to drop an F-bomb. I can love organic tomatoes and swearing—the two aren’t mutually exclusive." Truer words, Bell, truer words.
L’Oréal already tests with “reconstructed human tissues, automated platforms, and molecular modeling,” using a ToxCast program would make the process faster and even safer. Someday we will live in a world where everything you apply to your face and hair and skin and nails is 100 percent cruelty-free, you guys! We can beat our faces without benefiting from bunny torture! And we’ll all look as perfect as Rachel Weisz!
These two fabulous California vegan recipe geniuses talked vegan cooking with Michael Krasny just an hour ago on the radio, and KQED already has the audio up and archived! Perfect listening for your late lunch, commute home, or dinnertime preparations.
[photo of Chloe’s strawberry shortcake cupcakes by Klara Kim via Flickr]
Today in obvious news: Red meat is totally going to kill you
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health say: eating red meat increases your chances of dying! A study, “Red Meat Consumption and Mortality,” published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that even one serving of red meat a day makes you 13 percent likelier to die sooner than those of us eating less meat. Moreover, eating one daily serving of processed meat increases that number to 20 percent. Meat’s gonna kill you!
Neither research fellow and study author An Pan, nor professor of nutrition and epidemiology and fellow author Frank Hu, advocate a 100 percent meatless diet. Pan tells CNN that “It’s better to go with plants and unprocessed foods,” while Hu tells NPR that though “the results are staggering … we’re not talking about a vegetarian diet.” Maybe you should! It’s not hard, it’s really not. And it’s obviously so much better for you.
My theory: Eating too much meat makes you stupid. Check out what Betsey Booren, director of scientific affairs for the American Meats Institute Foundation (too many nouns, friends), said to NPR to illustrate why the AMI “disputes” the findings that processed meat products are terrible: “They’re made from meat, which is needed in the body.” Oh, Betsey. Thank you for your brilliant insight.
[Photos of delicious meat alternatives: Seitan with chimichurri sauce by La.blasco; seitan roulade by Belinda; seitan tornedos by juanelos]
A lot of vegans are like, “what’s the big deal about honey?” I’ll tell you: IT’S SO GODDAMN GOOD. I love that stuff! Like, so much. And I don’t like agave at all, so I just gave up on the things I like to eat with honey.
Then I saw this Bee Free Honee! How excited was I?! So very excited. I got a free bottle to try and now I will tell you all about it.
I was skeptical but then when I opened the bottle, I was like, holy cannoli! It smells like honey! Plus, it looks like honey! I tried a little just on my finger and… it tastes like honey!
It doesn’t taste exactly like honey; It has a tartness that most honey doesn’t really have. But if you are a honey expert like me, you know that there are many different honeys that vary in taste depending on the flower source. This kind of tastes like one of the more exotic honey flavors.
As I said, when I tried it straight, it tasted a lot like honey. Then I tried it on Shredded Wheat with warm coconut milk; it melted pretty quickly and the tartness came out more; I didn’t love it. Then I tried it on graham crackers with peanut butter, and it was great!
There are many other great things about Bee Free Honee. It’s made entirely of apples, beet sugar, and lemon juice. It’s safe for babies and people with honey allergies. Katie Sanchez, the creator of Bee Free Honee, also takes great pains to make her carbon footprint as small as possible: She sources local apples, and one day hopes to have production facilities powered by wind and solar energy. Plus, I’ve heard some weird stuff about agave, so Bee Free Honee would be a great alternative. You know what? This would be perfect in your Charoset at Passover!
I was listening to NPR while getting ready for work on Friday morning, as I do, when this story from Planet Money came on, and ugh, you guys. In “Meet Claudia, the High-Tech Cow,” Adam Davidson tells us all about how today’s dairy cows are more machine than animal, their every action carefully monitored, controlled, and adjusted for optimum milk-producing capability.
It’s so gross, you guys! Dairy is absolutely disgusting. As are the extremes of capitalism: ”The free market forced that to happen,” he says. “Because either you were going to make a lot of milk … quickly and efficiently … or you wouldn’t be in business.” Money makes the world go round! And turns cows into literal milk machines! Fuck a living creature, we need cheap milk from perfectly replicated robots. Of course the story says nothing about the cows’ living conditions or quality of life, what with them having none to speak of. To wit: “Claudia,” the cow “Ferrari,” gets a name, while the cows that aren’t as genetically perfect are just numbers.
Technology is great and I am happy if modern science is solving our problems. But when technological advances detract from the value of other creatures’ lives, how valuable is it?
Santa Cruz: Foggy Redwoods, beautiful beaches and lots of hippies! You know what that means? Lots of organic and vegan-Friendly dining options in this funky little city nestled along the Monterey Bay. You can pretty much go anywhere here and you’re bound to find some decent veg options; even better, you won’t get a confused look if you tell the server that you’re vegan. While SC has a few popular veggie restaurants, I want to focus on two lesser known establishments of theAsian persuasion: Charlie Hong Kong and Pearl of the Ocean.
Charlie Hong Kong
Santa Cruz is a pricy place. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on delicious AND nutritious grub. Charlie Hong Kong is a local hotspot that provides quick, cheap ‘Organic Asian Street Cuisine’ to busy (and lazy) Santa Cruzans. Known for their rice and noodle bowls, they also have Vietnamese sandwiches and other small dishes like salad rolls and soups. All of their bowls are vegan, with local and organic veggies, with the option of adding on ‘toppings’ if you so choose. Toppings range from sweet tofu, marinated mushrooms, as well as a couple to satisfy the omnis which will remain nameless. But whether you’re craving curry, peanuty, spicy or sweet, you have plenty of options at CHK. For about five bucks, you can get a fast, warm, DELICIOUS meal filled with veggies, and we’re not just talking a few pieces of crummy lettuce. We’re talking broccoli, chard, mushrooms, cabbage, and usually a nice helping of peanuts! If you’re like me and go for the peanut sauce, you won’t be disappointed, TRUST. Their Pad Thai (pictured) is a local favorite, with a delicious sauce that really packs a punch. The icing on the cake? They sell BEER and VEGAN COOKIES!! I mean, what else do you need?
Pearl of the Ocean
If you have a little more cash on hand, do yourself a favor and check out this amazing little restaurant, Pearl of the Ocean—arguably Santa Cruz’s best kept secret. If you’ve never experienced Sri Lankan food before, you’re missing out! Imagine if Indian food and Thai food had a delicious food baby. That’s the best way I can describe the amazingness that is Sri Lankan cuisine. The most flavorful, sweet and spicy curries, elaborate salads, fancy soups, as well as a great wine selection, makes this place a treasure trove of exciting vegan dishes. Pearl is owned by a sweet and motivated Sri Lankan woman, dedicated to serving healthy and organic meals to locals and visitors alike. As newbies can be a little thrown off by the Sri Lankan style of ordering, which typically includes multiple small dishes, the employees are always willing to help and provide suggestions. With the exception of a few unfortunate items, the menu is almost entirely vegan. I can NOT get enough of the Spicy Mango Curry and Kale Mallam, while my husband could eat their Garbanzo Curry for every meal, of every day. Each dish comes with ginger or brown rice and a mild yellow dhal, the perfect compliment for mellowing out your taste buds in between those spicy bites. Top it off with a creamy Soy Mango Lassi, or if you’re feeling fancy, a Kiss of the Island Princess cocktail. I’ve always said this would be my ‘Last Supper,’ you know, if I’m ever on death row or Top Chef. Until then, I will be shamelessly and unsuccessfully trying to recreate these meals at home. Next time you’re in the SC area, be a little adventurous and check them out! Your belly will thank you.
Alicia Guzman Sadler lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and two crazy cats. She spends her days writing, gardening and cooking, and her evenings plotting to take over the world. Keep up with her culinary adventures at Vegantopchef.posterous.com