Weird Fish is delicious; forget anything else you may have heard!
Recently, you may recall that I said some unflattering things about San Francisco’s Weird Fish. I may have said these things, even though I hadn’t eaten there in over a yearand a half, since it became Dante’s Weird Fish. I may have posed the questions “Is there any reason to go to Weird Fish these days? Are any vegans enjoying themselves there?” I’m back to clear the air: The answers are yes! YES ON BOTH ACCOUNTS.
Last week, my friend Robert was in town, visiting from Chicago. Seeing as how he gets to eat at Native Foods and the Handlebar anytime he wants, I wanted to bring him to what I though might be the S.F. equivalent. And I selfishly wanted to try their fish and chips, and what better excuse to gorge on a basket of fried food than having a visitor in town?
It was awesome. We ordered almost every vegan thing on the menu! And we loved all of it—it was a fried food frenzy! Hey, sometimes you gotta treat yourself (even if on the same night you have your three roommates plus three house-guests with only one bathroom in the apartment, whatevs).
We didn’t actually try the Buffalo Girls, which is what started my snark-fest in the first place, but we did eat EVERYTHING else. I’m officially Team Weird Fish! The seitan fish and sweet potato chips were better than ever! The fried pickles were delectable, juicy spears, and the yam and spinach taco was colorful and tasty! We were so stoked, Robert wanted to go back before he left.
SF Bay Area! Go to this beer drinking event TONIGHT in Oakland!$18 gets you a custom sandblasted, bottomless tasting glass (!!!) to sample over 25 beers. All beers are produced by local homebrewers, spanning a wide range of styles and brewing techniques. It’s not specifically vegan event but these beers are from small brewers so the fuck are they gonna get dried fish bladders?!?! Still, you might want to ask in a non-obnoxious way to raise awareness and make sure you’re not drinking fish butts.
There’s gonna be food for purchase from Spice Money, who looks rad because they’re all about building community via fresh eats, but also kinda stupid, because their vegan options look like they might be pretty weak, but what do I know?* There will also be DJs, do with that information what you will.
If you want to go, you gotta RSVP and you gotta be 21 years old because IT’S THE LAW, SON.
*but you’re in downtown Oakland and so there are mad delicious vegan places to eat! Go on a food crawl before the 8pm start time and then make it your job to get drunk even though you ate hella food already. VALUE, FOOL.
They invited me to the opening, promising free desserts and champagne—do they understand me or what? Hint: they understand me. My absolute favorite thing was the baby chocolate cupcakes pictured above. Aren’t they darling (that’s Upper East Side talk!)? And very good. I actually would say their chocolate stuff is their best stuff. It’s always a nice, rich, semi-sweet chocolate that’s not too sugary. Love it. I also like the funny “sand cookies” that are pictured behind the cupcakes. They are funny and I’m not sure everyone would like them. I love them—they are a bit salty, that’s my favorite: salty+sweet.
These donuts are good as well. But all their donuts are baked, not fried, so we’re not talking Ronald’s. Good though. Of course I recommend the chocolate! It’s not surprising their donuts are the baked kind, the whole place is very health-conscious. For those calorie counters, you’ll be excited to find that all the items on the menu include the calorie count next to them—and everything is pretty low. All the ingredients are natural and everything is kosher too. So everybody can eat this stuff! And the prices aren’t bad in my opinion, especially considering the quality of the ingredients.
They don’t just have dessert, they will also be having quiche. I haven’t sampled it yet but I love quiche so I’m excited! And they have juices—see? Healthy stuff! I didn’t try the juice because I didn’t want it to interfere with my champagne intake, but I’m sure it’s good. If you like juice! And it came in cute little glasses. Baby glasses!
Oh the other thing I tried were the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! They were party favors so I had them at home. I actually had two for breakfast this morning! Yeah, I’m all about health too. The cookies are nice and soft; I don’t like crunchy chocolate chip cookies so that’s perfect for me. They also had oatmeal raisin cookies but I’m allergic to cookies with raisins in them. Ok I’m not exactly allergic but still, raisins better stay away from my cookies.
All in all, a great bakery, especially for the health-conscious set. I’m glad we have another bakery in the city! For you non-NYCers, you can order lots of their products on their site. Bon Appétit! That’s more Upper East Side talk. I’m basically bilingual. Trilingual if you include Philadelphian.
Wholesome Chow sent me a box of their gluten-free, organic, vegan cake mixes to bake and review. Being a professional vegan baker myself, I was so excited to play with their product! Gluten-free baking is not an easy venture.
Jeffery and Veronica sent me their seven-mix variety pack, which includes lavender, chocolate, vanilla, and chai spice cake mixes, an all-purpose baking mix, and a vanilla frosting mix. Being surrounded by baked goods all day at work, I don’t bake too much at home, so I decided to review each one for you as I make them.
I started with the lavender cake mix, because that is the one I was most iffy about. I usually don’t like lavender baked goods; they tend to taste like soap. However, Wholesome Chow has figured out the perfect vanilla-to-lavender taste ratio! The lavender gave the cake a fruitier flavor, as opposed to soap. Of course I had two of my trusty, non-vegan taste-testers with me, Britney and Dan. Neither of them were turned off by the lavender taste either!
Even though I bake for a living, I get really nervous to bake at home sometimes. What if my oven temperature is off? What if I overfill the cupcake tins? WHAT IF I BURN IT, THUS RENDERING MY REVIEW USELESS?! Happily, I can say that Wholesome Chow is Jenny-proof and Jenny-approved. All you have to do is add a non-dairy milk, vinegar, and oil. Then you mix, let sit for a few minutes, and bake!
I was extremely happy with the cupcakes I made. They baked beautifully and tasted amazing! I’m not a gluten-free connoisseur, and I felt as though these passed the non-Celiac sufferer test. I would eat and bake these again, not because they are gluten-free, but because they were easy to make and tasted delicious! I cannot wait to bake with their other products (chocolate cake, you are next).
Now for a little about my process. I turned on the oven, and while it was heating, I mixed my batter. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, I cannot stress the importance of buying one. Home ovens tend to be waaaaay off, and how will you know? Luckily ours is on point, which I would not have know if not for our trusty thermometer! As for the “milk” in my cupcakes, I used straight-up coconut milk. I think it adds a moistness that many vegan baked goods lack. Not the light stuff, either: the full-fat, canned coconut milk. I also used apple cider vinegar.
As for the frosting, I made mine from scratch. Earlier in the day, my social media friend Jen suggested I make blueberry frosting. I had made a blueberry pie the previous day and had filling leftover. PERFECT. Half of the lavender cupcakes got with blueberry frosting, and half got vanilla.
Buttercream frosting Ingredients 1 cups organic vegetable shortening 1/2 Earth Balance buttery spread 3 - 4 very full cups organic powdered sugar (start with 3, mix, taste, add more) 1 very generous splash of vanilla extract (the higher the quality, the better your frosting will taste) 1 pinch of salt
Instructions I mixed mine with a hand mixer no more than 10 minutes, until obtaining desired fluffiness. If you have a stand mixer (I envy you very much), let it go for 20 to 30 minutes (with the paddle attachment) and you will have the lightest, fluffiest frosting than you ever thought possible. Add flavorings as desired. I added some blueberry filling, mixed, tasted, and added more until I got the flavor I wanted.
Wholesome Chow is available at a variety of retailers, and online. Check here to see if it’s at a location near you!
The Awl interviews Vaute Couture's Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, with charming results!
Because Vegansaurus is your repository for pertinent vegan-lifestyle links, we felt obligated to direct you to this interview with talented, beautiful genius and Friend of Vegansaurus Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, founder and HBiC of Vaute Couture, over at The Awl. Sample highlight:
No one had made a warm dress coat that was vegan, and it was always there as an excuse as to why we still had to use animals for some things: “Well, we can’t completely get rid of animal products, we’d freeze without a wool coat.” And thus, this was my mission, to make sure there was no excuse to wear animals ever again.
We love Leanne and Vaute Couture so, so much. This is an interview with a successful vegan business-owner that you should read right now.
Discussion topic: New poll shows vegans and vegetarians are still a national minority
Quality human Cord Jefferson wrote about the results of this Gallup poll for The Nation, conducted from July 9 to 12 of this year, on Americans who self-identify as vegetarians. Of the 1,014 people age 18 and over polled, not very many people self-identified as “vegetarian.”
Some of our assumptions are correct: It’s a liberal, single ladies’ game, the abstention from meat. But beyond that, I’m surprised: More older people than younger; less educated people than more. Weird, right?
And what about the vegans?
That 7 percent gap is a curious thing. Gallup says that those respondents “did not have an opinion” when asked if they were vegan. Are they they Mark Bittman, part-time vegans? Did they not understand the question?
I immediately wanted to know how the vegans responded to the vegetarian question; Gallup explains:
Vegans apparently view themselves as different from, rather than a subset of, vegetarians; most of the small number of respondents in the survey who said “yes” to the vegan question had said “no” to the vegetarian question.
Overall, Gallup’s stats look like this:
But if vegans are not calling themselves vegetarians, can we add the vegans to the vegetarians to get a 7 percent total of American adults who at least don’t eat meat? No; for starters, Gallup didn’t define “vegetarian” or “vegan” for this survey, so this could include, ugh, pescatarians, or other not-actually vegetarian “vegetarians.”
The new thing is to allow yourself to eat meat, but to make sure that it’s meat that is hormone free and hasn’t been factory farmed. I can’t say I agree with that decision, but I do like that it appears we are living in a time in which Americans are thinking more than ever about what they put into their bodies.
What do you think? How would you have responded to the poll? I wouldn’t call myself a vegetarian, but seeing that the total percentage doesn’t include vegans, I might.
U.S. meat consumption is decreasing, even without the help of those pushovers at the USDA, which is wonderful. And yes, it’s great that people are satisfying their appetite for flesh with animals who weren’t raised in environment-destroying torture chambers. I just wish there were more of us. Ex-vegetarians who now eat “only free-range chickens” depress me.
When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.
Congratulations, Steve King; you may be a plain old asshole representative in the House, but you’re the president of the He-Man Animal-Haters Club in our hearts.
Veg Olympians have a fine history of athletic ass-kicking
London 2012 Olympic cycling road race silver medalist and vegetarian Lizzie Armistead (far left)
Are you guys watching the Olympics? This sports unenthusiast loves the Olympics, despite NBC’s U.S. ATHLETES OR GTFO approach to coverage.
My parents have super-cable, which means Olympics-viewing at their house is all-HD, with a heavy emphasis on cycling. Consequently, I saw Briton Lizzie Armistead win silver in the cycling road race on Sunday, which was tremendous. Then I read this Guardian article on veg Olympians, by Adharanand Finn, and found out that Armistead has been a vegetarian since age 10 and she became my total favorite.
The list is pretty great. Did you know that Australian swimmer Murray Rose was called “the Seaweed Streak” because of his diet? Finn says that Rose ate a vegan diet, but the delightful 1961 Sports Illustrated article he links to mentions Rose enjoying unpasteurized milk, but no other animal products.
Athletics and a cruelty-free diet are an excellent match; just check out all the non-Olympic super-people going vegan! They are the mightiest, and we are proud of them. Learn more about veg Olympians through history at the Guardian.
Now, I don’t know what’s on the market these days in terms of vegan ricotta, but it doesn’t matter. I just tried Nutty Cow’s ricotta, and it’s all that exists to me.
I hate to admit this, but I really wasn’t sure what to expect when Carla of Nutty Cow approached us to sample this product. Vegan cheeses are sometimes great, but most of the time, kind of weird. However, I could tell I was going to like their cheese when it arrived in the mail just by the packaging—the logo is so well done!
Being hungry and impatient, I opened one of the three containers immediately and ate it with crackers.
I realized then that this wasn’t just any vegan cheese product. It was special. And though it’s made with nuts, the texture is so soft and creamy! I knew I’d have to hold back on the remaining two packages and make something incredible.
Carla suggested I make lasagna, which is a dish I haven’t made in 10 years! I was like, “all right,” but really I was just going to lazily spread it over Whole Foods spinach Florentine raviolis. Then I got inspired to fill large pasta shells with the cheese and bake it with my winning combo of spinach, mushrooms, garlic and caramelized onions. Fate was on Carla’s side, as I couldn’t find the shells I wanted at the store. Lasagna it was gonna be.
Boy, am I glad I made lasagna.
Nutty Cow Ricotta made this lasagna. I should not have indulged in cheese and crackers earlier in the week so that I could have topped my dinner with the ricotta—or at least added another layer to the lasagna! Oh, well. The ricotta was so creamy and delicious! My roommates and I loved it, one of my roommates being a new vegetarian and the other an omnivore. It’s awesome when my omni friends and family like vegan products as much as I do.
"Where can I get this Nutty Cheese?" you ask? Carla says, "We are so excited to be launching next month (fingers crossed), September at the latest. It will be available at Veganessentials.com [a Vegansaurus supporter!] and several stores in the Midwest (so far). We will be announcing stores as it becomes ‘official’ in the next few weeks on our FB page and have been encouraging everyone to ‘like’ us or at least check in on the page to see where we will be available. Also, we will be at Expo East in September in Baltimore and hope to have wider distribution after the show.” So there you have it!
*I find that the attention to detail in the artwork usually means a superior (albeit sometimes more expensive) product. This is not always true, and graphic designers DO NOT COME CHEAP.
Good news: A judge has rejected the foie gras industry’s attempt to put a hold on California’s new law banning the force-feeding of ducks (and selling products from force-fed ducks).
More good news: North America’s largest foodservice distributor, Sysco, is the latest food giant to come out against gestation crate confinement of pigs.
In response to the gestation crate debate, the National Pork Producers Council’s communications director was seriously quoted in the National Journal this week saying: “So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets…I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.” (No, this isn’t a quote from 30 years ago—it’s July 24, 2012. Seriously. Yes, I know.)
Amazingly, USDA put out a newsletter this week including a mention of the health and environmental benefits of Meatless Monday. This of course drew immediate outrage from the meat industry and its allies in Congress (Rep. Steve King from Iowa tweeted that it was “heresy”), prompting USDA to immediately remove the newsletter and announce that it wasn’t properly vetted. Lots of coverage on this, though the national AP story put it best when it aptly concluded, “The USDA often promotes the beef industry by encouraging Americans to eat meat.” (NPR and NY Times had good coverage, too.)
Protest the terrible circus in the SF Bay Area! Seriously, go, you will not regret speaking up for the elephants!
Join Humanity Through Education to protest the terrible circus! Seriously, the circus blows balls (not really, that would be more entertaining and less disgusting than the actual circus) so we must stand up and say HELL NO, CIRCUS. If you love elephants very much, and I KNOW you love elephants very much, then you’ll make your way to one of these events. And seriously, they’re not scary and you meet some great, passionate people and afterwards you can totally binge eat to reward yourself for being the best person alive.
Your voice is needed to oppose Ringling’s horrible, inhumane practices and their lies regarding these practices. Please join Humanity Through Education to protest the circus and educate patrons about the inherent cruelty of using animals for entertainment.
Oakland Arena (7000 Coliseum Wy., Oakland, off of 880 at the 66th Ave exit). Aug. 8, 9, and 10 at 6 p.m., and Aug. 11 at 12:45 and 5:30 p.m. Please meet in front of the ticket booths.
San Jose Arena (525 West Santa Clara St., San Jose). Aug. 15, 16, 17 at 6 p.m., and Aug. 18 at 12:45 and 5:30 p.m. Please meet on the corner of Santa Clara & Autumn Street.
Stockton Arena (248 West Fremont St., Stockton). Sept. 13 and 14 at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 15 at 12:45 and 5:30 p.m., and Sept. 16 at 2:45 p.m. Please meet in front of the ticket booths.
Signs and leaflets are provided at each leafleting time listed above. For more information call (650) 248.4489 or email email@example.com. Note: 12:45 p.m. leafletting times are between two shows. It is very important to arrive on time for these leaflettings, as we first leaflet people exiting the early show, who come out quickly and en masse. If we are not set up by the time the early show is done, we will miss our opportunity to educate these people. After the early show crowd disperses, we will turn and leaflet the people attending the later show.
You can just imagine how that went down. Like, lower level people at the USDA were all, “sure, Meatless Monday, that’s cool, Americans should eat several fewer pounds of shit-laced meat a day!” and then the beef industry bigwigs saw it and freaked the fuck out because, “OMG AMERICANS EATING FEWER DEAD ANIMALS THAT’S UN-AMERICAN!! AND ALSO, HOW WILL WE GET RICHER AND MAKE EVERYONE ELSE SICK AND POOR???” and then they called the USDA bigwigs who—shocker!—are some of their bff’s/former employees and BAM, Meatless Monday retracted.
Please extend a warm, fuzzy welcome to Pohono the Injured Duckling. Earlier this week, Pohono survived a nearly fatal hit & run incident in the Eastern San Francisco Bay Area. This brave little bird arrived at our rescue and rehabilitation center in Stockton for special care a few hours ago. He is suffering from a serious leg injury and severe road rash. Specialists at the UC Davis Small Animal Hospital will provide emergency treatment for Pohono’s injuries. Please support Pohono’s urgent care by making a donation online.
In honor our Save-a-Life Endurance Trek this weekend in Yosemite, we’ve named our newest rescued duck after the strenuous half marathon path (The Pohono Trail) we will complete. Pohono’s bravery stands as an inspiration for our 13-mile high altitude adventure to raise $15,000 for our rescued animals’ veterinary fund.
Let’s help them raise that MONEY, HONEY! Ducks are fucking rad and Pohono needs our help! Plus, his name kinda sounds like, P HELL NO! Kinda!?
Holy crap this piglet is cute! Look at these other pics by photographer Jo-Anne McArthur. They are amazing. I love the ones in the pet carrier, he looks so tiny! This is Sir Edgar Francios. He fell off a truck in Quebec and somebody saved him and now he lives at Snooters Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ontario. Behind him is Pook, a puppymill rescue. Pook! Is that a belly band? OMG POOK! I can’t believe they put up this pic of you, you must be embarrassed. Don’t be, a lot of great individuals can’t control their bladder.
Professor Paws presents Responsible Dog Ownership!
These children, who live in Guangzhou, China, are learning “how to make friends, with Professor Duoduo.” If I knew better, I would identify Professor Duoduo for you, but I like to imagine s/he is not one of the adult women pictured, but the shaggy dog standing between them. More canine tenure!
Responsible Dog Ownership was put on in June by Guangzhou Public Security Bureau got together with Animals Asia's Professor Paws, which is “a school-based dog education program designed to show that dogs are friends” that started in Hong Kong in 2004 and opened in Guangzhou in 2008. The PSB attended some Professor Paws courses, and suggested that the group put on a community-wide event, to educate adults as well as kids. “Promoting responsible dog care could reduce conflict between dog owners and non-dog owners, especially in Guangzhou where the number of dogs being kept by residents is increasing every year.”
Animals Asia says that the event went really well, though they didn’t provide specific information on attendance. The pictures make it look pretty charming, however.
Kids win Michelle Obama's Healthy Recipe Contest with vegan food!
Back in May, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move organization (initiative?) announced a “Kids’ State Dinner” competition, in which kids from across the country would submit original recipes for consideration by a group of chefs, nutrition writers, the Epicurious editor in chief, and representative of the USDA and the Department of Education.
The contest received over 1,200 entries. Recipes were based on “nutritional value,” “perceived taste,” “creativity and originality,” and “affordability,” as well as undergoing a a preparation and taste-test. Then the judges chose one winner from every state, plus five territories and poor old D.C. The most important thing to us: Nevada’s winner, by nine-year-old Alexea Wagner, was “vegan sloppy joes and kale salad.” Alexea! Congratulations, you wonderful person!
Check out the full list of winners (a number of which are clearly veg, though only one is explicitly vegan), and look for a free, downloadable cookbook with all the recipes after the winners attend a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House on Aug. 20. Happy Veggie Kids are now recipe champions!
[Photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr]
Rob Dunn has a guest blog at Scientific American this week that neatly summarizes the problem with all those Paleo Diet enthusiasts: Our actual, paleolithic ancestors ate very similarly to today’s simians, which is to say, mostly plants.
He says that the diets of living primates “are composed of fruits, nuts, leaves, insects, and sometimes the odd snack of a bird or a lizard,” and that even notoriously bloodthirsty chimpanzees’ diets are maybe 3 percent meat, tops. You know, almost exactly what they ate before some of them took a turn toward humanity millennia ago. The money quote, though, is here:
IF we want to return to our ancestral diets, we might reasonably eat what our ancestors spent the most time eating during the largest periods of the evolution of our guts. If that is the case, we need to be eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables—especially fungus-covered tropical leaves.
All those skinny white guys with old-timey facial hair can run around taking home-butchery classes and eating all of the pig, or whatever, but they can’t pretend it’s more “natural” than eating a plant-based diet. It’s just more violent.
To increase your knowledge and feelings of veg-superiority, go read Rob Dunn’s entire blog post. It’s terrific!
[Photo of a Temminck’s Red Colobus (taken in Gambia! A free monkey!) by Steve Garvia via Flickr]
These are the hotness! They’re the Mulberry from Neuaura and apparently they are exclusive to our friends Compassion Couture. I’m totally in love with black velvet. It’s just the blackest black, right? So much blacker than other materials that pretend to be black. What’s that about? It’s prob some science stuff. That Science, always telling me the secrets of the universe. Yup, Science can’t keep a goddamn secret.
JB's summer vacation: Chicago, cupcakes, beauty, and bags!
Hey everyone! I’ve been on a hiatus, on summer vacay if you will. I went to Chicago, Michigan, and my parent’s house out in the East Bay. All kinds of exciting things happened—I drank rum in the back of a pick-up truck at a wedding in Michigan (a wedding where vegan food was served! The bride loves me), I ate at The Handlebar AND Native Foods (OMG, I so get what the big deal about Native Foods is now!), and back in California, I made cupcakes for my sister’s baby shower! That was a really big deal, as it’s a huge step for my family to have the dessert be completely vegan!
Now that I’m back, I have all sorts of exciting things to share! First, for all you vegan beauty and fashion fiends out there, check out the blog Logical Harmony! I absolutely love this blog, and actually found it because Tashina is a huge fan of Source (where I spend most of my waking hours). She’s always taking the most fantastic pictures (via Instagram, like all the cool kids nerds) of our food there, as well as all things beauty related. Follow her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her lovely and informative blog!
A couple months ago, I bought a bag from Alex Eaves' company, Stay Vocal, and let me tell you, it’s a wonderful, sturdy travel companion! His company is awesome (and he’s vegan!) because all of his apparel and bags are reused. For instance, my bag is an old MXPX tote, turned inside out with a Stay Vocal logo on it! At first I was like, “it’s going to be inside out? I don’t know about this…” but I love it! I highly recommend his stuff—the hippie in me digs his mission, plus it’s great quality. My bag reads “Reuse because you can’t recycle the planet,” and fellow “re-usetarians” are always beaming at me when they read it.
I also finally took the Vegansaurus new food challenge! It happened in July, but that’s me—always late to the party. I worked with jackfruit, making a dish similar to this one. I was inspired by the jackfruit sandwich that Rachel had in Colorado. I can’t wait to play with it some more, so I can post a recipe I’m super proud of. I’m stoked that jackfruit is a meat substitute of sorts (for carnitas or pulled pork) that is actually not processed flour, soy, or some other crazy combination of ingredients that tend to be hard to digest.
That’s it for now—I got a lot of posts to catch up on before the coffee wears off.
Vegan Corner: the ultimate online vegan community!
Say hello to Vegan Corner! It’s “building a nexus between vegans and local business!” It’s basically like a much awesomer Yelp for vegans, so I’m pretty pumped. And guess what! There’s an entry for Vegansaurus! I just looked, and we were already on it! But we have no reviews. Give us reviews! But only good ones because Laura’s a cryer. JK! She’s tough as nails! I’m the cryer. But only in my apartment in the dark with the curtains drawn and the mirrors covered.
They are already up but they are raising funds to be even cooler. I’m into the perks. I want a t-shirt. I need to be less of a rascal and more of a billboard for veganism!
So for recipe contests, do you have to make everything to decide which recipe to vote on? I can’t make all this stuff! It would take forever! A delicious, delicious forever. If you just vote for the prettiest, I may have to vote on these pomegranate pops. They are super sexy, right? You can vote every day until August 13th. Which are you going to vote for?! Tell me!
“"In the last 15 months, the Cape Wildlife Center has admitted 37 animals who were ensnared in fishing line, ranging from the tiny Eastern Screech Owl to gannets, loons, cormorants, geese, and turtles," said Cape Wildlife Center Director Deborah Robbins Millman.”—As if we needed another reason to hate fishing. You can read more about a poor little screech owl who was rescued from a fishing line on the Humane Society’s website.
This, my friends, is amazing. According to reports, some juvenile gorillas on a reserve in Rwanda went around dismantling traps set by hunters:
On Tuesday tracker John Ndayambaje spotted a trap very close to the Kuryama gorilla clan. He moved in to deactivate the snare, but a silverback named Vubu grunted, cautioning Ndayambaje to stay away, Vecellio said.
Suddenly two juveniles—Rwema, a male; and Dukore, a female; both about four years old—ran toward the trap.
As Ndayambaje and a few tourists watched, Rwema jumped on the bent tree branch and broke it, while Dukore freed the noose.
The pair then spied another snare nearby—one the tracker himself had missed—and raced for it. Joined by a third gorilla, a teenager named Tetero, Rwema and Dukore destroyed that trap as well.
How awesome is that? Hint: SO AWESOME. People have seen adult gorillas do this before but this is the first time they’ve seen juveniles do it. Unfortunately, this comes after a trap killed a young gorilla recently. So sad. The traps are set for other animals they say and people don’t even want the gorillas; if they get caught, they are left to die. So effed. I thought “bush meat” was popular though and one of the reasons mountain gorillas are so endangered? I don’t know, it’s so sad. But let’s not be too sad, let’s be happy that gorillas have once again shown how cool and smart they are! Go go, gorillas!
This Sunday July 22 Hornblower Cruises is hosting a fundraiser for the SF SPCA from 11am - 1pm. The annual Dog Day on the Bay event is a champagne brunch cruise around the SF Bay and you can bring your dogs! Dope! We’re assured there will definitely be vegan food options. All the details can be found on their website. Now, let’s look at this hella cute graphic and marvel at how FUCKING ADORABLE cartoon dogs are.
NPR had a recent important look at the vigorous efforts of the pork and beef lobbies to kill federal hen protection legislation. Amusingly, in the piece, the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association calls HSUS “the devil.”
My colleague Matt Prescott’s got some sage advice on the CNN site about how folks can help reduce cruelty to farm animals. Check him out.
Expect a big fight in the Congress over Rep. Steve King's (seriously, click through) crazy amendment that’s been added to the House ag committee version of the farm bill that would undo numerous animal protection laws.
And last but certainly far from least, since last week’s installment, even more major pork buyers have come out saying they’ll rid their supply chains of gestation crates: Sodexo, Kmart, and Heinz. And speaking of the pork industry, as if its leadership couldn’t sink to a new low, it’s now lobbying to keep pigs at greater risk of perishing in factory farm fires. Seriously.
P.S. Video of the week: Speaking of the devil, here’s some death metal for Maru the cat while he enjoys his boxes.
As much as we love to spend hours chopping vegetables and making sauces and pressure-cooking dried beans and rinsing and soaking and rinsing and soaking and rinsing and boiling and fluffing goddamn quinoa, sometimes a vegan gets tired of making 10 million dishes just to eat one meal.
So what do you eat when you want something fast and RIGHTNOWGIVEITTOME? As I mention, I love a Gardein chickn tender, but even that takes too long sometimes. For faster food, I love:
A massive spoonful of peanut butter; Carrots and celery, unpeeled and uncut; Chips and salsa; Basically anything in Papalote salsa; Canned chickpeas mashed up with mustard, plain soy yogurt, capers, and salt and pepper; Still-frozen blueberries (buy ‘em fresh, freeze ’em, eat ‘em year-round); Tofurky Deli Slices, rolled up and dipped in mustard; Dr. McDougall’s instant oatmeal, dry, directly from the packet (Maple Brown Sugar flavor is the best)—real talk: I eat this almost every day at work; Toast with Earth Balance and marmite. (OK fine just marmite too, with a spoon. I love salt.)
What are your favorite, most ridiculous, fastest vegan foods? Share with us, that we might all benefit from each other’s brilliance! Though anyone who says It only takes me 10 minutes to throw together a big healthy salad with fresh veggies and a 30-second vinaigrette is subject to ban. What do you eat when you don’t want to make any effort beyond ripping open some plastic? That’s when truth happens, and that’s what we want to know.
Vegans are people too! And sometimes people are tired and lazy.
The Body Shop has limited-edition, cruelty-free makeup, endorsed by Lily Cole!
Two things I love, you guys: cruelty-free makeup, and Lily Cole! As a wide-faced red-haired person, I’ve always wanted to look less Cabbage Patch Kid and more Lily Cole, but genes work in mysterious ways. (They are also why I’m not a supergenius like Megan Rascal.)
The point is, the Body Shop has put out a line of vegan mostly cruely-free makeup, endorsed by Lily Cole, which includes lip stuff, cheek stuff, and accessories, and it seems reasonably priced. It contains “no bug shells, no fish scales, no animal hair,” which is how all beauty products should be, but aren’t, because people are lazy jerks who don’t want to evolve. Unfortunately some of it contains beeswax and lanolin. Thanks to our commenters for reading better than me.
Affordable, mass-produced, readily available vegan nearly cruelty-free makeup! Just delightful. It looks like Ecouterre has previews of some of the products that aren’t available on the Body Shop’s website yet, so check them out, get to the mall, take a couple laps, and head into the Body Shop to demand they sell you all of the pretty vegan — as in, not the non-vegan stuff — makeup, toute de suite.
You guys, it has been a long couple of weeks. Since I last wrote, I have had two root canals, started summer school, and am about to get two more root canals (I used to have a really bad dentist). I’ve been flossing more, sleeping less, and spent the Fourth of July week (yes, the whole week) in Modesto, which was so incredibly hot and stifling that I did nothing but sit in Allen’s parents’ air-conditioned house and eat burritos. I also set off some fireworks. Allen has an amazing video of me running and screaming from a sparkler, which suggests that perhaps I should stay away from anything that is fire-based in the future.
I wish Allen’s parents had a pool so that I could have escaped the 100 degree wearer, but the only pool owned by that family belongs to Allen’s aunt and uncle who chose not to invite me over for a dip. Because I am a reasonable adult, I did not sneak over there in my American flag speedo. Not like these awesome bears who don’t give a shit about your pool party. Bears, you see, just want to have fun. And cool off. And not have to beg Allen to allow them to turn a fan on.
I bet Allen wishes I were more like this cat and less like those awesome bears. Because this cat is obedient, and will roll over and stand and raise its paws, and those bears will just pee in your pool and then also throw water balloons at your children.
Speaking of water balloons, I went to Allen’s family reunion this weekend and emptied approximately 375,000 water balloons on the children there. Then, when I ran out, I just started filling buckets with water and throwing them at the kids, laughing as they scrambled away, learning a harsh lesson about the world. The harsh lesson being that everyone gets punished when Uncle Mark isn’t invited to swim in the relatives’ pool.
That’s it for this week! I am all tuckered out, and still have to spend the next 15 hours writing PowerPoints. (Pro tip: Don’t take on a new highly theoretical summer class just because you think it will be fun! It won’t be!) Expect a super-sized dose of anger next time!
Send me links for next week and have a Wednesday full of pools parties!
For the vegan sports fan, PETA's best veggie food at baseball stadiums
I grew up on baseball. My parents took me to my first Baltimore Orioles game when I was two months old. I didn’t realize you couldn’t throw peanut shells on the ground in polite company until I was way too old. And when I became a vegetarian at age 11, one of the few things I missed was ballpark hotdogs (I now shudder at the thought, but kids will be kids).
As a grown-up vegan, baseball games are still fun, but I don’t ever go for the food (though I do love the garlic fries at Giants’ Stadium). I usually bring my own version, scoff at the suckers around me paying $12 for a crappy hamburger.
Now PETA’s gone and messed that up, by pointing out there’s some veggie food at stadiums, and giving them publicity for it, so they maybe have an incentive to add more. Last week, they released a Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks list.
Surprise! No. 1 is in Philadelphia. Apparently the Phillies offer a vegan chicken-steak sandwich. Sign me up!
Other top contenders, and the things there I really would want to eat, are:
2. Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field: Vegtastic has the run-down of what to eat here. Sushi! Vegan hotdogs!
3. Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park: vegan hot dogs.
4. Oakland Athletics’ O.co Coliseum: Eh. I’ve been here, not impressed. Not much vegan that I know of, though the vegetarian offerings might be OK.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dodger Stadium: vegan sloppy Joe, veggie sushi, and edamame, hurray!
Kitty reunited with his owner after a three-day, six-mile hike
You heard it! This woman, Oliphant (?!!!) gave her cat Wollie to the shelter when her husband had a stroke. When her husband recovered, Oliphant’s daughter tried to adopt Wollie back, but before she could! Wollie escaped from the shelter and walked the six miles back home! Cray! In three days, no less. I have no idea how you did it, Wollie, but congrats on being reunited with your mama!
“Every time we choose what we’re going to wear, we make a statement about who we are in the world: Progressive values involve taking the side of the weak against the strong, but wearing dead animals does the opposite of that. Leather supports cruelty and the poisoning of workers and communities; progressives shouldn’t be a part of it.”—This is the conclusion Bruce Friedrich of Farm Sanctuary comes to in a recent piece on leather. It’s got some scary stuff about the crazy chemicals used to make leather. Sounds effed! I encourage you to read the whole thing. Go ahead, you can do it. I believe in you jerks!