You know what sucks about factory farming?* Those poor cows never get dessert. No trick-or-treating, no birthday parties, no office candy dishes. Just corn corn corn, soy soy soy, corn corn corn all year long.
Thankfully for the rights of cows everywhere, the Weather Channel reports** that this summer’s drought has shot corn prices sky high, so farmers are actually finding it cheaper to feed their cows “discarded food products” like ice cream sprinkles, gummy worms, and marshmallows. Finally, some justice! Plus, imagine all the jobs this will create for future cow dentists.
See, the reason this makes so much sense is that it’s obviously a good use of resources to process the food that cows eat as much as possible, so that when we slaughter them and eat their flesh, each bite will have the carbon footprint of driving a Hummer for six years or so. There’s definitely no irony in the fact that the methane from the poor cows contributes to the global warming that’s likely causing this and future droughts. Nothing weird about giving grass-eaters pure sugar with gelatin in it. GELATIN.
Guys, I hope you find this as uplifting as I did. Just doing my part to brighten your day. K, I’m off to go slam my hand in the car door a few times, because I just love that tingle.
I read this story this morning and ‘bout died. It’s so awesome! Over in the U.K., Toby and his 81-year-old owner Derek, pictured above, were on a walk in the woods when Derek slipped on some crazy bridge over a creek and fell into a bunch of mud. He managed to cling to the bridge railing but as he said, “you can’t hold your grip for long at my age.” Scary!
They were walking with his other dog Bruno who apparently just wandered off when Derek fell. It’s OK, Bruno! We all have different stress responses. But Toby knew his owner needed help and he sprang into action!:
He ran a quarter-of-a-mile past bushes and apartments to reach the security office which was manned. Toby barked anxiously and staff knew there was a problem and followed Toby back to the incident scene. The dog led the way and kept stopping for helpers to catch up.
Go Toby! What a hero! To reward him, Derek and his wife are going to take him on holiday (that means vacation in English). You deserve it, little guy. I wonder if Figaro would save me? He’s got a lot of anxiety and I feel like sometimes people with a lot of anxiety are great in emergency situations because, like, they’ve been preparing for it their whole lives while everyone else was busy being normal. Maybe it’s true for dogs as well! I’ll try to slip on a bridge and see.
Does anybody have a story like this about their dog (or other pet?) I’d love to hear it!
I ❤ My Rescue is a new site from Brooklyn Animal Action that is all about rescued pets. Here’s one such pet above! This little girl is Hypatia and she was rescued from a dumpster at six weeks old. As you can see, she’s doing great.
Here’s a description of the site’s mission:
I Heart My Rescue is dedicated to rescued animals and the people who love them. Submit the story and photo of your rescued pal and we’ll post it. Our mission is to spread the word about the many joys rescue animals bring, encouraging folks to adopt a rescue and support their local animal rescue organization.
I’ve been vegan for the better part of a decade now, and one of the best things about being vegan in the days before plant-based cheeses took over the world (remember? Those were sad, sad times) was monster-sized Alternative Baking Company cookies. Available almost exclusively at health food stores, these cookies reinforced that going vegan didn’t have to mean forgoing baked goods the size of your face.
These days, in the American-sized vegan cookie arena, there are tons of amazing contenders. ABC, who first stole our large, ethical cookie-loving hearts, recently released a line of gluten-free cookies that taste pretty good, but now lots of other big vegan (and xgfx) cookie options include (but are not limited to!): Liz Lovely, The Inspired Cookie, Nana’s, Fabe’s, Sun Flower Baking Company, and, of course, Sarah Brown cookies made by Eat Me!
Fabe’s recently sent me some samples of their various vegan cookie varieties. The chocolate chip (containing gluten) and the macaroon (gluten-free) were pretty solid, but the gluten-free dark chocolate was so delicious! Sweetened with only non-GMO beet juice syrup and palm sweetener, these tasted fudgy yet were still cake-like, far superior to textures I’ve experienced in other gluten-free vegan “cookies,” which were more like chocolate-coated oily Passover buiscuits. Fabe’s aren’t quite as large as some of the other large vegan cookies on the market, but they’ve achieved one of the finest gluten-free vegan textures and mouthfeels I’ve experienced so far in my plant-based-cookie-tasting journey! Definitely worth a try if naturally sweetened gluten-free cookies are your thing.
Picnic Bakery! S.F. storefront coming, but you can try their tasty treats already!
A couple weeks ago we told you about new San Francisco vegan business Picnic Bakery, and we’re back with word on the deliciousness of their delicious treats! And they ARE delicious. Owner Emily was kind enough to drop off a variety for us to try and we were alllllll over it. And by we, I mean me and Meave because seriously, screw everyone else IT’S CAKE. JK jK, you’re all great, but really: CAKE. Also, cupcakes. And pies. And something called PEPPERMINT PANDAS, which are basically as cute and delicious as real-life pandas.
Since I took terrible pictures of everything, I just went ahead and stole some photos from Picnic Bakery’s blog. So, first things first, let’s run down the goodies that we tried, and I’ll go ahead and encourage you to order some stuff ASAP to try for yourself because there was a point at which I was singing “Satellite of Love” to the peanut butter pies. Shine your light on me, you gorgeous chocolate orbs.
First up, the aforementioned PEANUT BUTTER PIE!
What we tried is one of the smaller ones in the background. These things were OFF THE CHAIN. For those of you who are currently in a romantic relationship with the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate (those of you with beating hearts and taste buds), these things are ridic. Meave says, “Super creamy and fluffy, it was really rich, but also remarkably delicate. Like black tie peanut butter.” BLACK TIE PEANUT BUTTER Y’ALL.
Next! Peppermint Pandas!
They’re basically little chocolate cakes stuffed with peppermint cream and covered in chocolate ganache HOLY JESUS. Meave muses, “The peppermint cream was not too creamy, not too dry, not too minty, not too chocolaty, but clearly and satisfyingly minty-chocolaty.” I love these so much, so so much.
They were IT. If you love chocolate or coconut or happiness, these will rock your socks off. Or get your rocks off. Whichever one of those sayings is sexual, that’s what these will do. Meave liked them (specifically that the cupcake cake was chocolaty, moist, and tender) but she’s not one for coconut so they were not IT for her. More for Laura, come to mama!
Gingerbread tiny cakes!
I didn’t try these because I was on my way out the door to LONDON (that’s right, I was on vacation, sue me!) but Meave polished them off (FRESH!) [Meave note: On the advice of Mama Beck! Who loved them probably as much as she loves Laura!] and said, “a little bite of the best gingerbread you ever had, plus lemony cream cheese frosting HELLO YES. Ginger isn’t my No. 1 jam but these were really good. I think they work particularly well as minis, they’re so flavorful you don’t want to eat a million of them.” And I can say that they were really cute and pretty and the candied orange peel look divine!
Basically, everything was winner winner fuck dinner we’re eating CAKE. If you know anything about anything, you know that I all I want to do is pile into a big bubbly bathtub (a hot tub?) with all of you naked and eat these cakes until we have to get out and take showers and all of a sudden, 18 years later, I’m like, “Remember that night in the big bubbly bathtub with all that cake? Well, here’s your son!” I don’t know what I’m saying but basically, these cakes were so freaking good. They were totally pure junk food, but decadent and very well done. I’m super excited for the store to open in Upper Haight, and until then, I suggest we all hire Picnic Bakery to cater everything forever.
It’s Animal News You Can Use from Paul Shapiro! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
We started last week’s email with a good court ruling about California’s Prop 2, and now this week, a federal judge told foie gras producers what time it is in ruling that California’s ban on force-feeding ducks for foie gras will remain intact. In response to the ruling, the LA Times had a nice smack-down of the chefs fighting for force-feeding.
Speaking of smack-downs, the Wall Street Journal had a pro/con debate in the paper this week entitled, “Would We Be Healthier With a Vegan Diet?“ T. Colin Campbell represented the “yes” side.
In case you’ve not yet read your latest issue of Meat & Poultry…there’s a good article about the success of HSUS’s gestation crate campaign. The conclusion: “This is no longer a debate about the viability of gestation crates in hog production, but rather a discussion about how producers will respond to meet expectations.” (And check out this op-ed on the topic in Pennsylvania’s second largest paper.)
Have a nice weekend. If you live near me, I hope to see you at the DC VegFest tomorrow!
P.S. Video of the week: Pig saves goat!.
(Bonus video: HSUS works with Project Empower in teaching kids about Meatless Monday.)
Heads up! Vegansaurus sponsor Vegan Cuts is doing a monthly vegan snack box subscription thing and I’m pretty excited. I loved this idea when Lollihop did it but I understand they folded? I’m pretty confident Vegan Cuts can pull through though—they seem to be super successful (no, I’m totes not jealous they have twice as many FB fans as us!). Septembers box is sold out but you can apparently pre-order for October like I did.
There’s also a super-healthy vegan and gluten-free (soy-free too!) snack box subscription, Healthy Surprise. I believe we will have a review of that soon but you can read the site to get an idea about what kind of snacks come in the box.
I love snacks and I love getting things in the mail—it’s perfect! Really though, what’s better than snacks and getting stuff in the mail? Nothing!
"Yarrow has anti inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties to sooth blemishes and remove excess oil. Yarrow contains high levels of azuline which gives its strong anti-inflammatory effect.
Rosemary contains naturally powerful antioxidants which inhibit the activities of free radicals and slow the effects of aging. In addition, it possesses excellent astringent and antiseptic properties that make it especially suitable for oily and acne prone skin.”
This stuff is lovely. It absorbs nicely, and kept my oily skin moisturized without making it greasy. That’s a difficult combo to find! I’m a fan.
But wait, super-fun news! We are holding a giveaway so you can win your own NBW product!
To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me which of their products you totally want.
John Bartlett's vegan menswear is so hot right now
BlackBook's Nell Alk has a feature on John Bartlett's spring 2013 line, which he showed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, you guys are you in love yet? OK, how about this: The clothes are all linen, vegan, sustainable, and totally gorgeous. Love!
As he told BlackBook, “Everything I’ve learned—about how we use animals for clothing, entertainment, food—I would like not to do.” And what about the rest of his animal-product-using industry? “Being in the fashion industry, [avoiding animal-derived materials is] never a big consideration. I think it’s going to change. It’s changing.”
Here’s hoping. Get over to BlackBook to read the article and see photos of Bartlett’s entire SS13 line, which is pretty delightful. That pink suit! The shorts! The ties! Men’s vegan clothing is catching up to women’s and I couldn’t be happier. You guys in like five years we are all going to look so good.
A new poll of 1,158 residents of Oakland’s Districts 1 and 3 (where urban animal agriculture is most prevalent) strongly indicates that animals should be left out of the plan.
Sizeable majorities in both districts oppose it: 52 percent opposed to 28 percent supportive in District 1, and 55 percent opposed to 20 percent supportive in District 3, with the remainder undecided in both cases. These are the sort of numbers you want to see if you’re mounting a ballot initiative campaign; for a response to a proposed regulatory change, they’re basically a community mandate.
Here’s hoping that city officials, from the Planning Commission to the City Council itself, take note. Given that it’s an election year, there’s a good chance they might … but to be sure, if you live in Oakland, consider sending the link to the poll to your elected officials.
"Urban agriculture" shouldn’t and doesn’t have to mean “urban animal farms foisted on communities that don’t want them.”
Rick Kelley spends his days at an Oakland workers’ rights nonprofit and his evenings probably playing moderately accurate renditions of Propagandhi songs with his awesome partner and their rescued pups, Bandit and Emma. He’s currently active in organizing for an Oakland urban agriculture proposal that does not include animal exploitation, and both writes and serves on the advisory board for the Food Empowerment Project. He used to blog, and might do so again someday.
You heard right!: we are giving away a Thundershirt! This is an amazing invention that helps dogs with anxiety problems. It can help hyper dogs, dogs who are fearful of traveling, dogs scared of fireworks, lots of stuff! This is Figaro modeling his own Thundershirt. He’s much happier than he looks, he was just hella tired. Prob because he was wearing his shirt! I swear, he falls right asleep like a lump when we put it on him.
Figaro is a pretty high-strung dog. He came to the SPCA as a starving stray and when I first adopted him, he was pretty much scared of everything. He’s a lot better now but he is still on edge a lot. We got the Thundershirt for Fig on the recommendation of a trainer, she said it can help with anxiety. Turns out, it’s totally awesome! He always wears it when he’s scared during thunderstorms and he just totally falls asleep once it’s on. It’s hilarious. He straight passes out.
I hear the Thundershirt has been great for shelters, helping to modify behavioral issues that would keep a dog from getting adopted. The company actually does a lot of work with rescues—they donated 5,000 shirts to rescues in 2011! So cool! If more people got one, maybe a lot of dogs wouldn’t end up in the shelter in the first place! That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
With its patent-pending design, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80 pecent of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt. Thundershirt is already helping tens of thousands of dogs around the world, and is recommended by thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers.
As for WHY Thundershirt’s gentle pressure works to calm a dog, experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system. Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years.
So it’s just like a pressure thing, no crazy pills or supplements! And now, it looks like they have a Thundershirt for cats too, so cat owners can get in on this! Oooh, I should get one for Mitsy. She’s so sweet but she FLIPS OUT at the vet. It takes two people to like restrain her so they can give her a shot or whatever. And they have to wear those giant (shearling, bleh!) protective gloves that go up to the shoulder. I’m like, I swear she’s a sweetie!
To win, leave a comment on this post answering this question: Why does your pet need a Thundershirt? I’ll pick a winner next Thursday! Go!
Debating the scientific merits of a vegan diet with the Wall Street Journal
When even Rupert Murdoch’s favorite news producer wants an excuse to be vegan, you know we’ve arrived. The Wall Street Journal invites two professors of nutritional science, the delightful T. Colin Campbell and Nancy Rodriguez, to argue for and against a vegan diet.
The dairy industry has long promoted the myth that milk and milk products promote increased bone health—but the opposite is true. The evidence is now abundantly convincing that higher consumption of dairy is associated with higher rates of bone fracture and osteoporosis.
It’s also worth noting that the government recommendations for certain population groups to increase their protein and iron consumption come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an agency long known to be subservient to the meat and dairy industries.
I’ve always been a welfare vegan, but it’s nice to have science on our side, for the humanists.
Celine Steen and Tami Noyes have a new, gorgeous cookbook out called Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!, and because vegan blogging tends to be a mutual admiration society (you’re all so great!), they sent me a copy for review.
It has long been established that the sandwich, in all its many, glorious forms, is the perfect food. But if a good sandwich is as easy as taking your favorite main course and slapping it inside some carbohydrate casing, why would you need a cookbook? I advise thinking of this book as more of an inspiration guide, like reading two inventive ladies’ food-dream journal.
The photos are nearly obscene, they’re so beautiful, and the recipes aren’t terribly daunting. I made four, for research purposes.
Green monster rolls (pp. 178): Easy and delicious! Super garlicky, which I love, plus the boiling step makes a satisfying, chewy crust. I froze a few of my first, less photogenic batch, and plan to defrost them for panade once cold weather returns.
Asian eggplant (pp. 130) on a green monster roll: Girl, this eggplant was to die. TO DIE. Spicy and savory, the sauce was a great foil for my little rosa bianca eggplant. I then used the leftover slaw on my tomato sandwiches for the rest of the week.
Bierocks (pp. 88): The older I get, the more I love cabbage. And sauerkraut. Pickled foods forever! Here, I substituted Soy Curls for the tempeh called for in the recipe, and it turned out smashingly. These we ate with spicy brown mustard, as advised, and oh, they were tremendous. German pierogi!
And for dessert, open-face Bananas Foster cake sandwiches (pp. 168): We used Double Rainbow vanilla soy cream. These were lovely, though I feel like the banana cake was better cut thick, toasted, and spread with vegan butter, probably because I’m not an ice cream superfan.
You can find these recipes, plus 100 more, inside Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!, available at all fine booksellers. You can also find the recipes I followed by searching inside the book on Amazon. For even more food porn, check out Tami’s VSStD photo set on Flickr.
[photos by me; let’s be Instagram pals: @meaverly!]
FakeMeats.com, the meat substitute mega-mall and more, is offering this crazy prize pack for one lucky Vegansaur! We gave away a similar FakeMeats prize pack a little while back and I think it was our most popular giveaway ever. What do you expect? We’re talking Soy Curls!
This package includes one of each of these products. Not everything in their store is vegan, but everything in this prize pack is!:
Primal Strip: Teriyaki Primal Strip: Texas BBQ Primal Strips are, juicy, meaty, vegan jerky made of seitan, soy, and shiitake mushrooms.
Lumen Stonewall’s Jerquee: Original Mild Lumen Stonewall’s Jerquee: Peppy Pepperoni Lumen Soy Foods Stonewall’s Jerquee is all natural, vegan, and available in a variety of flavors. Most of the flavors are vegan, except BBQ “Beef,” which contains honey.
Vegan Dream: Hickory Pepper Vegetarian Jerky Vegan Dream: Teriyaki Vegetarian Jerky Vegan Dream jerky is all-vegan and comes in a variety of flavors. This brand has a tough jerky texture and a unique blend of spices! Non-GMO soy, preservative-free, and high in protein.
Cactus Jerky: Hot and Spicy Cactus Jerky is the leaf of the prickly pear cactus, dehydrated and flavored with organic tamari (a type of soy sauce) and a delicious combination of flavors and spices with a kick!
Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth Seasoning Mix Seitenbacher Garden Herb Sauce Mix Finally a quick, easy, and delicious vegan/vegetarian sauce mix! These powdered sauce mixes have no eggs, no dairy, no gelatin, no cholesterol, and no MSG. Just add water and heat.
Seitenbacher Sesame Veggie Burger Mix Quick, easy, and delicious whole-grain veggie burger mix! Just add water to this vegan, powdered mix, form patties, and pan-fry to perfection. Each packet makes four small patties or two regular-size patties.
Butler Soy Curls Butler Soy Curls are a vegan, all-natural, whole-soy alternative to meat! Made from non-GMO, whole soy beans. Just soak in water, drain, sauté, and add to any recipe!
FakeMeats.com Reusable Grocery Bag Declare your love for Fake Meats by using the FakeMeats.com reusable grocery bag with the message “Nothin’ but FakeMeats in here!”
How to enter: Same deal as usual! Leave a comment on this post answering this question: What’s the best response to those meat eaters who talk trash on fake meat? I will pick a winner next Wednesday. Also note: this is for US residents only! Sorry!
Also, I recommend liking FakeMeats’ FB page. They post nice recipes and you can keep up-to-date on the newest veggie products. The owner tells me they will be introducing some brand new stuff soon! I think that’s one of the fun things about being vegan, all the novel products that come out. It’s exciting to see what they’ll come up with next!
Boo: Starbucks is dropping free soy for Gold Card members!
I got two separate emails about this from irritated readers, and it appears to be true—you can see they casually add it at the bottom: “We’re saying so long to the free soy…” uh, thanks for the unapologetic heads up.
This isn’t the end of the world but as you know, I HATE being charged extra for soy. And I understand that many people signed up for this rewards program specifically because of the free soy, so yeah, they can be irritated. It’s bullshit.
Oh and the last time we talked about this, someone pointed out that the coffee shops they’ve worked at charge extra for soy because it takes more labor to make soy drinks. They have to clean out the milk pitcher so there’s no dairy milk residue or whatnot and that takes extra work. Can’t they just have a designated pitcher for soy? And I’m sure there’s a lot of things they make that vary in labor demand but they don’t change the cost based on that. People wouldn’t like that. But for soy, it’s just an accepted practice to charge more and we can’t just order something different. Bullshit!
S.F. Bay Area (and nearby-ish!) events, starting tomorrow! Go do things!
Events! We got ‘em! No time to dilly dally, let’s dive into the fray and get this party started and mix more metaphors and be grammatically insane forever!
Wednesday, Sept. 19 (that’s tomorrow! It might be too late for this one but you should try to get in anyway and then find out if they’ll be having more upcoming events and then email me about them and do my job for me thanks!)
A mind-blowing all-vegan three-course dinner prepared by the lovely and talented Ashley of Barefoot and in the Kitchen (the AWESOME new vegan cookbook!) and Fat Bottom Bakery fame. The meal will come from recipes in the cookbook so you can taste for yourself how delicious it is. And then buy several copies and give them as holiday gifts to me and others you care about less than me. It’s 6 to 8 p.m. at University Press Books (2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley) and costs $25. It’s RSVP-only, seating is limited. For students and starving artists, there’s a discounted rate. Awww. For reservations and questions, email them!
A fundraiser for Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals at Saturn Cafe in Berkeley! Starts at 6pm, info and tickets here. Apparently a vegan feast is involved so if you can’t get into Ashley’s event, this could be a great second choice. Or a first choice. Do what you want, it’s your life!!
Saturday, Sept. 22
Music in the Meadow at Animal Place in Grass Valley! It’s a drive but it’s also beauuuutiful! And there will be pigs to play with! And OCD Sweets to consume! And John Robbins to harass! You can always stay in this awesome Airbnb house and enjoy not using your asthma inhaler because the air is too damn clean and gorge yourself on caramels and cuddle pigs until you just can’t take it anymore and you have to head home to the dirty, caramel-less, pig-less, terrible Bay Area. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., pre-order your tickets and get a goody bag filled with treats! Goody bags are where it’s at.
B12: Bomb Vegan Brunch. We went last time, it was hella good, definitely go eat everything. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bissap Baobab (3372 19th St. between Capp and Mission, S.F.) Also on Sunday!
Sunday, Sept. 23 Millennium is having a nightshades and bloody mary cooking class! Girrrrrl, that sounds TASTY. If there are two things I love, it’s mushrooms and alcohol. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with an option to join Eric Tucker at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 to 11 a.m.). Normally $150 but it’s $125 if you say you’re with Vegansaurus! The pink dino’s got the HOOK UP, Y’ALL. (Sometimes, mainly he just needs to borrow some cash.) (can I borrow some cash?) Call the lovely Alison at (415) 345-3900, ext. 13 to book. Learn how to cook from a true master and eat an amazing meal and drink bloody marys on Sunday, which was what god intended when he/she/it/them created the universe and everything in it. Also, I am probably going to this so come just to hang out with me because I’m a LAUGH A MINUTE (read: I will glare at you from a darkened corner) (sexily).
Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Communities campaign is leafletting and needs your help! The day starts with a light lunch (FREE FOOD!) and workshop on effective animal advocacy (very educational! We should all go to this and become better at doing what we do so the animal army doesn’t eventually rise up and eat us!) (We’ll have deserved it) before hitting the streets to leaflet at Market and Powell. Meet at 1 p.m. at 371 10th St. (the S.F. office of Beyond Eggs/Hampton Creek Foods).
B12: Bomb Vegan Brunch. We went last time, it was hella good, definitely go eat everything. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bissap Baobab (3372 19th St. between Capp and Mission, S.F.) Also on Saturday!
Monday, Sept. 24 More Farm Sanctuary veg leafletting, this time at U.C. Berkeley. Meet at Sather Gate (enter campus from Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Street; walk north through campus along Sather Road, which is a pedestrian walkway, about one block until you reach Sather Gate) from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
And you can leaflet on Market Street (meet on the walkway between the corner of Market and Steuart street and the entrance to the Ferry Building Marketplace) from 4 to 6 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (484) 904-6004 if you have questions about any of the Farm Sanctuary events.
I think that’s it on the events front for this week—or maybe I’m missing something!? What am I missing?? Underwear! That’s it! You’re welcome!
This Saturday: D.C. VegFest (including a CUPCAKE EATING COMPETITION)
This Sat, Sep 22, thousands of people will gather at Yards Park from 11am-6pm to celebrate compassionate and delicious living at the D.C. VegFest! It’s free, it’s dog friendly, there are awesome speakers (Jane Velez Mitchell! Rich Roll! Terry Hope Romero!), tasty cooking demos (BEYOND MEAT!), fun stuff for kids to do so they’ll leave you alone with the FREE FOOD, a BEER AND WINE GARDEN (my favorite words together ever, with the exception of “pan gravy” and “FREE FOOD”), and perhaps most importantly, A CUPCAKE EATING COMPETITION. If a Vegansaurus reader doesn’t win that, I don’t want to know this site ever again. And I mean that. This site better not even fucking LOOK at me if one of us doesn’t win that damn thing.
Compassion Over Killing and the Vegetarian Society of D.C., it looks to be hella fun, and the only reason to be anywhere near our nation’s capital ever. Seriously, D.C. is SO WEIRD! Everyone there dresses in business suits and talks about politics like they can actually do something good. The last time I was there, I saw people carrying BRIEF CASES. It was like, WHERE AM I? The opening scene of Joe Vs. the Volcano?? Someone give me a case of brain cloud and take me away from this misery! JK JK but seriously folks, there’s some very good food there, and a few non-profits (like COK!) who are fighting the good fight, and um… weather? There’s that. Oh, and the Spy Museum, that place is dope. Alan Turing 4 eva.
Think Pretty is a lovely vegan line of “beauty elixirs,” which are antioxidant, nutrient-rich facial serums. They make seven different elixirs; I tried You Make Me Feel So Young. The ingredients are definitely exciting!: Olive Squalane, Olive Leaf Extract, Red and White Tea Extract, Açai Berry Extract, Blackerry Seed Oil, Coenzyme Q-10, Immortelle Oil, Orchid Extract. Oh my! That sounds hella healthy!
After trying this, my official word is that I very much like the stuff! The results weren’t super-drastic, but the elixir went on nicely, absorbed well, and my skin was soft and dewy. I love dewy skin!
So, my little friends, just for you guys we are holding a giveaway, AND I’ve got a discount code for you!
Giveaway: To enter to win your own bottle of Think Pretty beauty elixir, leave a comment on this post telling me why natural skincare products are the bomb. I will pick a winner next Tuesday!
Discount: To get 25 percent off all Think Pretty products, enter “AutumnPretty25” (not case specific) when purchasing. This code is active now until Oct. 31!
Support Walk for Farm Animals and get some cakeballs!
One of our favorite commenters, Mandy Brown, is participating in Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals! But that’s not all: Anyone who donates $10 or more on Mandy’s page will get a dozen homemade vegan cakeballs. That’s right! I’m so happy that cakeballs are a thing now, right?
Above are last week’s chocolate-banana cakeballs. What’s this week’s flavor, you ask? Well, the first person to donate this week will get to pick the flavor! The first person of the week to donate $10 or more gets to decide the cakeball flavor for everyone. FUN!
Bonus: the sugar will be organic and vegan, the chocolate will be fair-trade, and Mandy’s kitchen is gluten-free, so they’re celiac safe. Yay!
To donate, check out Mandy’s page. There’s a pic of a cute baby pig!
CLOSED--Giveaway: Win FREE tickets to vegan pop-up restaurant Wildflower in L.A. this weekend!
It’s the first giveaway from Vegansaurus Giveaway Week! This one is just for women-type people who will be in the L.A. area this weekend. But we’ll have plenty more prizes this week for everybody!
Hey ladies! Remember when Chef Ayinde Howell’s vegan pop-up Wildflower was in S.F.? Now it’s coming to L.A.! This Saturday, Sept. 22, Chef Ayinde will be cooking a five-course meal, JUST for ladies. And Vegansaurus is giving away two free tickets! To enter to win, leave a comment on this post explaining why L.A. is a vegan food wonderland.
Wildflower, the one-of-a-kind crowd-funded vegan pop-up phenomenon that debuted last year to sold-out crowds of New York foodies, will be bringing its artisanal plant-based creations to Los Angeles on Saturday, Sept. 22. Chef Ayinde Howell will be curating the first of the brand’s “Good Living” sessions—a festive dinner party, with cocktails and a chef demo. This is a ladies-only event, and guests will receive special gift bags filled with goodies.
Why woman-only? Women are the last minority in America to rise, and their power years are just in their infancy. Managing stress, work, success, family and a healthy diet can be hard to balance. Chef Ayinde is here to show you how it can be done.
Wildfllower Good Living will be a night of good food, fun and education. Just like the short-lived beauty of blossoming annuals in the field, Wildflower is here today and gone tomorrow. But this experience is designed to keep on giving. Complementing the ever-growing trend of food trucks and pop-up restaurants, Wildflower is a culinary experience with a purpose. Tickets can be purchased here.
Menu: Amuse: Scalloped Mushrooms with Sea-Sciutto Mac & Yease Cesar Howell Salad Ayinde’s Jambalaya Gran Marnier Bananas Foster
Who’s ready? Ladies, let me hear you say “yeah!” I’m SO jealous. I went to the pop-up in NYC and it was SO good. SO SO SO good. For all you L.A. people, now’s your chance! I will pick a winner on Thursday morning—leave your comment before then!
You can also skip the contest and buy tickets online. Up to you! Or buy tickets online and then win two more and then have a big party! It’s ladies’ night! The feeling’s right!
Here ye, here ye! Every day this week, we will host a different giveaway for an awesome prize! Rules are the same as usual, just leave a comment on the giveaway post answering whatever genius question we’ve presented.* We will read the comments, pick winners and then email them when the giveaway closes. You could be a winner! Well, you’re all winners to us. But now you could be a winner with some dope free shit!
Spoiler alert: prizes include yummy fake meats, lovely vegan skincare products, and we’ve lined up something extra special for the rescue pooch in your life! So make sure you come back and enter every day. I’ll be posting today’s giveaway shortly. I’m so excited! Happy Giveaway Week!
*Update: sorry if this is unclear, this post is not giving anything away, it’s announcing there will be giveaways all week! When a giveaway post goes up, it will detail how to enter. But they will all be the same as usual—leave a comment answering the question in that specific post.
It’s Animal News You Can Use from Paul Shapiro! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
Huge news this week: Big agribusiness lost another round in its continued assault on Prop 2, the ballot measure we waged four years ago in California to ban various factory farming practices. A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled in HSUS’s favor and threw out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.
Also big news is that meat consumption is in significant decline in the US. Here’s a new piece from me looking at the trend and the reasons behind it. And here’s a nice segment from the ABC San Francisco TV affiliate about HSUS helping a local school district implement Meatless Monday.
Speaking of big, my friend Big Bruce Friedrich has a good new essay about how the pork industry’s leadership is both anti-science and anti-animal.
To do this weekend: SF SPCA Homecoming Adoptathon!
We love the SF SPCA and we love adopted animals,* which makes this weekend’s Homecoming Adoptathon an ideal even for those of us—you, me, everyone else—without a companion animal to find one, already, and fill that hole our hearts we are currently stuffing artisan vegan cheese into with a furry creature who really will love us back. Fuck a human friend, what you want is an animal. Dogs don’t think you drink too much! Cats maybe are a little concerned with your “professional” wardrobe but they would never say so. And bunnies are never too tired to greet after another endless workday with a full minute of I-love-you hops.
The SF SPCA is ready to help you remedy that forever alone situation this weekend, with two days of adoptathon fun. On Friday, Sept. 14, get down with free booze and free adoptions, plus food from Voodoo Van, which appears to have one vegan option (though you’ll be in the Mission, legit snacks won’t be far off); adoptions are on from 1 to 8 p.m., reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Then on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., continue wooing the animal companion of your dreams with free adoptions, plus a foster care bake sale, and Q&A with a trainer. You know you have to train your dog if you adopt one, right? An untrained dog is an unhappy dog! Plus you can’t take it to the park to play with the other dogs if s/he never learned to socialize. The adoptathon continues on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with more free adoptions and more bake sale.
Are you ready for a furry best friend of your very own? Maybe a dog small enough to put in a large bag, who loves to catch (soft!) frisbees and curl up behind your knees for an afternoon nap? Or someone with big paws and jaws to wrestle with? Someone to call your “four-legged child” because you and your partner aren’t into human kids? The SF SPCA wants to make those dreams come true this weekend. So get over there and make yourself and a lonely animal happy.
The New York Times' International Herald Tribune did a little feature on Unstitched Utilities, a vegan shoe company that uses Tyvek to make sustainable, theoretically recyclable shoes. And they are kinda hot, you guys.
What I particularly love is that not only are Unstitched Utilities shoes totally vegan and eco-friendly, they are waterproof. This means you can pop out of the house in your cheery yellow slip-ons, get caught in a freak rainstorm, and still have happy, dry feet! Because as much as I love a rainboot, I don’t always want to commit to full-on wellingtons. These are casual and charming and just weird-looking enough. And the men’s shoes are absolutely great, vegan dudes.
Read more about Unstitched Utilities at their site. Wearing stylish, eco-friendly vegan shoes increases your sexual attractiveness by 20 percent, guaranteed.
East Bay vegans! Come out to the Berkeley Dish Crawl!
East Bay Ethiopian 5EVER. Will this be on the menu? Buy a ticket to find out, we have no idea.
Dishcrawl, the eating event for people who mean Serious Business about their food intake, is doing an all-vegan event in Berkeley next week! They’re keeping the restaurants secret, but tickets are $39, there are eight left, and do you have a better way to spend a weeknight than with a bunch of hungry East Bay vegans? Don’t even act like you’re popular; what you want to do is attend this Dishcrawl and make some friends on your side of the bay!
This Berkeley vegan Dishcrawl starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Contact the organizer, Sarah, with questions, and get ready to get down. Will it be all Ethiopian and Flacos and spicy legumes? Or maybe it’ll be a pizza-and-cinnamon-roll extravaganza! You know we love Berkeley and its many vegan options; the only question is how you will get home after devouring the neighborhood. Is there a special taxi for vegans too full of food to walk? Probably there should be.
Spoon-billed sandpiper, Russia, Bangladesh and Myanmar: 100 breeding pairs left
I had this conversation the other day about how, as a disgruntled, in-it-for-the-ethics vegan, it’s hard not to wonder if the world would be better off if whatever apocalyptic event happens and wipes out humanity; you know, end humanity, end humanity’s nonstop abuse of animals (among a million other things). Counterpoint: Hoping for the apocalypse is just another way of expressing depression; it’s our responsibility to not be jerks—not contributing to the exploitation of people/animals/the environment, being kind to other people, living well and appreciating how good we have it, and trying to help everyone have it better. Read all the books about the post-societal gangs of rapist cannibal murderers, while striving for utopia.
Coral tree, Namatimbili-Ngarama Forest, Tanzania: 50 individuals left
These 100 species are considered the most endangered not only because there are so terribly few of them left, but because “they have no obvious benefits for humans.” So cool! What do we even do about this? What does it matter if we cause the death of the greater bamboo lemur, or the Amsterdam albatross? They’re not curing our cancer or assembling our shoes or inventing personal electronic devices; fuck ‘em. We won the evolutionary race, we get to decide who lives and dies from now on. Right?
[photos, from top: ZSL/IUCN; Baz Scampion/ZSL/IUCN; ZSL/IUCN all via the Guardian]
Vegan success! Animal- and environment-friendly organizations win free ads on BART!
Look for this ad on your BART car!
Remember back in April when we asked you to vote for some worthy causes to win ad space on BART, via BART Blue Sky? Duh of course you do, you hang on our every word. Well, if you voted for our pals at the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (formerly the Coalition to Fight Factory Farming), get ready to pat yourself on the back for a couple of clicks well-placed, because they won second place! And good old Earthjustice came in third! Hooray!
Our pal, FFAC President and founder Katie Cantrell, sent us previews of their onboard and station ads. They’re pretty friendly, right? Just, hey, it sucks to be an animal on a factory farm; ensure fewer of them suffer by observing Meatless Monday. Money quote from the FFAC press release:
We know BART riders are concerned about the environment, yet many people don’t realize that animal agribusiness is responsible for 18 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transportation sector. … If we really want to spare the air, we should all eat more plant-based meals. We can start by participating in Meatless Monday.
See this ad in BART stations!
These ads will run throughout September, so maybe look up from reading that thoroughly engrossing novel/Dlisted on your phone (I SEE YOU) (me) and check out the ads you voted for! Your eyeballs deserve to look at something besides that dour girl in a severe haircut and native California plants.
My next book will be a plant-based (vegan!) family cookbook. Yay! It’s meant for vegan and non-vegan alike! I intend to include all of the Jewish recipes I’ve veganized as well as all of our family’s standard beloved recipes.
I’m into this! I like Jewish food and Blossom was my jam. Remember her boyfriend? What was his name, Vinny? He was the hotness. And Six was so great in those Lifetime movies later in her career.
Here’s a sweet story. This couple, Melanie and Eddie, had their dream wedding all set to go when they found out their adopted pit bull Koda was sick. He had a liver shunt and needed expensive surgery to save his life. The couple, having been turned down by their pet insurance and with no other money draw from, spent their wedding fund to save Koda’s life. Here’s the best part:
Upon hearing what Melanie and Eddie did for Koda, the Halifax Humane Society felt they had to help. They approached local vendors and soon had a catering company provide food and a lovely receiption facility for the couple and their guests. Other vendors soon joined in to help, arranging for flowers, music and all of the other necessary arrangements to throw the couple their dream wedding on Saturday, September 8, 2012.
OMG don’t cry! How great is that? There’s got to be a screenplay in here, right? Or at least a series finale. Also: hello, nurses! I wonder if this couple is into threesomes. And how adorable is Koda? Ridic.
It’s Animal News You Can Use from Paul Shapiro! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
The Wall Street Journal had an important article about the progress we’re making against the inhumane practice of tail-docking in the dairy industry. And as far as progress is concerned, hot dog giant Wienerschnitzel and Jack in the Box are the latest major pork buyers to announce its plans to phase out gestation crates.
The Toledo Blade had a piece entitled “More black Americans are giving up meat and dairy,” and the San Jose Mercury News ran a good story about HSUS’s work with the Pleasanton school district to implement Meatless Mondays.
Get crazy with smoothies for Nativas Natural's "Smoothment!" Plus: smoothie recipes!
On Saturday (that’s tomorrow!), Nativas Naturals is launching the Back-to-Basics Smoothment—a smoothie movement! From what I gather on social media, a bunch of you hippies are into this kind of “healthy milkshake” thing. You’re in luck—Nativas has got your back. Just head on over to the website, and sign on up! It’s all free of charge, and you’ll gain access to instructional videos, receive free recipes and even get discounts on featured raw, organic products. Just the incentive you needed to plug in that blender, isn’t it?
When it comes to smoothies, I like to think of my friend Caroline as the professional between the two of us. I prefer my blended drinks at a tiki bar, but Caroline actually drinks smoothies for breakfast. I thought that’s what coffee was for? Silly me, I have so much to learn! For all of our sakes (mine especially), I recruited Caroline as Vegansaurus’ own Miss Smoothment! Armed with products and a blessing sent to us from Navitas, Caroline agreed to share a couple of her own recipes with us, to kick off the occasion. Take it away, girlfriend!
“Anyone who follows me on Instagram is well aware that I’ve been obsessed with smoothies lately (I mean, why eat your food, when you can drink it?), so I wasn’t totally surprised when Jenny asked me to help review some of the Navitas superfood products.
You may have seen the colorful Navitas packaging in your local health food stores—I’ve definitely used some of them before (namely the chia seeds and cacao powder—great for raw desserts). Needless to say, I was STOKED when I had a whole box of their goodies to play with.
I usually start my day with a protein smoothie of some sort (using a vegan protein mix and my kitchen staple, the immersion blender), so I did what any excessive American girl would do — I mixed all the powders together for the mother of all breakfast smoothies. I wanted to see how this stood up to my “rigorous” morning workout (hello, I’ve got to be at my best when working out beside the retirees in the San Francisco Presidio Y). I also wanted to see how it compared to the more “performance”-oriented mixtures that I’ve been using. The verdict? I felt totally energized (as much as I can at 8 a.m.), and wasn’t hungry afterward. Not to mention, it was super delicious! (Bonus that all their products are organic—I’m not a fan of drinking chemicals and pesticides in my smoothies—raw, and gluten-free.)
Lately I’ve been having a smoothie for lunch—again, why go through the hassle of chewing your food? Below is the recipe for one of my favorite combinations. I added a few of the Navitas superfoods to the mix, and felt extra pumped. (My boss has a Vitamix, which I try to put to use as much as possible.)
Lunchtime smoothie, serves 2: 3 Tbsp raw Hemp Protein Powder 2 tsp raw Maca Powder 12 oz almond milk Handful of baby spinach (kale is good, too) 1/2 of an avocado Handful of raspberries Handful of strawberries 3 Tbsp organic peanut butter Handful of ice
I shared this with a friend of my boss and she said it was the best thing she had ever tasted. Not bad for a testimonial, eh? I totally agree—why else would I drink this almost every day?
Since I’m already armed with so many of Nativas amazing products, I have no choice but to participate in their Smoothment. I also can’t stand not joining things (only child syndrome). Perhaps you’ll give it a whirl, too (Get it? Bad smoothie puns!).”
As usual, please share your personal recipes with us! Don’t forget to follow my girl Caroline on Twitter and Instagram (@wakeupcaroline)—I can’t wait to see all the smoothie talk that will ensue, while wondering if rum is also a suitable ingredient in your icy beverages.
Guest Post: R&B superstar Usher is eating vegan! And he wants Justin Bieber to join him!
It’s always a big deal when someone famous comes out of the vegan closet. Us normal, everyday vegans celebrate it, and our omnivorous friends think, “Hey, maybe they aren’t so weird after all.” Maybe that last part isn’t always true but we all know we’re the LESS weird ones. And our count just went up by one, as Usher Raymond IV announced he is maintaining a vegan diet. My first thoughts? “Yeah!” [Ed. note: That’s the jam].
I have a sneaking suspicion that he and his 18-pack abs will still be gyrating under unzipped leather coats for the foreseeable future, but a small victory is a small victory. Usher saying he eats vegan has led to speculation that he’s getting his main man Justin Bieber to also gravitate to a plant-based diet, so he’ll have more energy fighting off 12-year-old girls in international airports. The Biebs going vegan will be huge for P.R. in the pro-vegan community, especially when accounting for the 8-to-14-year-old girl demographic. If I see a flock of Bielibers running toward a chrome Fisker in the parking lot of Native Foods Cafe, you bet your animal-loving ass I’m going to ask for a high five. I just better not have to wait any longer for my reuben.
There is more than handful of famous vegans. It’s tough to say who is in it for moral reasons and who just claims it as they get out of a Prius on the red carpet. Natalie Portman for example, isn’t all vegan all the time. But we beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. If veganism gets a little shine here and there from a celebrity trying to better their lives, who am I to complain? We got Billy Clinton to look as good as ever since his vegan transition. I was contemplating buying women’s underwear Wednesday night just so I could throw some at the TV. Lucky for the rest of us dudes, Usher can’t get any prettier. Right?
Let’s hope that Ursher’s selling skills are as good as his sit-up skills and we can mark down more artists in the famous-V column. He reportedly feels great and “loves” eating out at fancy New York city restaurants. Not the best-ringing endorsement to potential or on-the-fence vegans, since people of all diets can eat out in fancy New York restaurants. But we’ll take it! Hopefully Usher will make a Billboard chart-topping single where he serenades an unsuspecting woman on where he gets his protein. I’ll buy that record.
Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to Rhode Island-based hip-hop website The Echo Chamber Blog under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.
Guest post: My top 10 vegan reasons to be in love with New York City, part two!
As I said yesterday, I just moved to California from New York City. It happened very suddenly, and as I’ve gotten more settled, I’ve found a much greater appreciation for how easy and wonderful it is to be a vegan in New York. I miss it, and I wanted to tell you all how much I love it. However, in an effort to spare you all from the longest post in the free world, I have managed to narrow it down to a top 10 list. Yesterday, Nos. 10-6. Today, the thrilling conclusion!
No. 5: Quintessence When I first got excited about raw food, I had a number of negative experiences with raw food restaurants. I was convinced that it was disgusting and I might never like it. Quintessence changed all that. By far one of my favorite vegan restaurants in the city, Quintessence makes incredibly yummy, indulgent, and healthful raw dishes that put all that other raw food to shame. A pearl in alphabet city’s clamshell, I fantasize about their Caesar salad on the regular. Oh Quintessence, I miss your tiny tables and huge salads.
No. 4: The Vegan Bodega Eric Hopf and his family are in the process of opening an all-vegan store in downtown Manhattan. Although it’s not open yet, I’m already in love with the products they’re providing and their dedication to the cause. They currently operate as a pop-up until their storefront becomes a reality. If you can, support these awesome people and their endeavors because this store is going to rock.
No. 3: Honey LaBronx Yes, it’s a bit ego-stroking to put my own podcast co-host on this list. Still, she is one bad bitch. This crazy activist is constantly spotted marching through crowds with a bullhorn, and waving her homemade protest signs in Christine Quinn’s face, and occasionally getting arrested. This queen fights for the animals, she’s exciting, and if it wasn’t for her, I never would’ve ended up in front of a microphone answering questions to new vegans. Check out her cooking show, our podcast, and go see her hot ass live. She is a freaking inspiration, and she looks good doing it. She’s also an okay friend, too, I guess.
No. 2: Soy and Sake Another of my favorite restaurants in NYC. Soy and Sake saved this sushi-lover from a life of fishless moping. They have most delicious vegan sushi rolls, as well as a plethora of dishes to die for (bourbon chicken! rock shrimp!). It is without question the one restaurant I will always visit in New York. It’s also killer for large parties, and I’ve seen countless omnivores be blown away by their food there. Go! Take friends! EAT SUSHI!
No. 1: Sweet & Sara Sweet & Sara is basically my favorite vegan company. Their origin story is beyond inspirational, founder Sara Sohn is one of the nicest people you could ever meet, and their products are amazing. AMAZING. The s’mores were one of the first treats I had that made me stop and say, “You know what? I should be vegan. This is awesome!” and I’ve continued to love them with a passion ever since. The last year I lived in NYC I was working in Queens off the 7 train, and I rode by the S&S factory every day, and every day I was reminded that being vegan is fun, delicious, and exactly what I want to be. I love that Sara and her little bunny, Skipper, too. I have half a mind to get a S&S tattoo. Too much? I’m doing it anyway.
Laura Yasinitsky is a writer, comic, waitress, and animal-lover based in California. 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.
[photos: Empire State Pigeon by ZeroOne via Flickr; Quintessence raw pizza by Robyn Lee via Flick; vegan sushi from Soy and Sake; Sweet & Sara peanut butter s’more by Veganbaking.net via Flickr]
This week on Fresh Air, Terri Gross interviewed Thor Hanson, a conservation biologist and author of the newly published Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle. As part of his research, he plucked a dead wren to count its feathers. It had 1,500. A tiny wren, like the Australian white-winged fairy wren in the photo!
In the interview, which you can listen to on NPR, Hanson discusses the biological makeup of feathers, why he thinks birds evolved feathers, and how they adapted them to flight. The first feathered animals might’ve used them primarily for insulation, and now, every single individual flight feather is an airfoil, while being part of the airfoil that is the bird’s wing. Double-airfoil action for maximum flight!
Animals are amazing! So is science!
[white-winged fairy wren photo by David Cook Wildlife Photography, via Flickr]
New Vaute Couture coats are on sale! Order yours ASAP!
Our BFF Vaute Couture is going on fall tour! PLUS pre-order just started on new coats and they are 50 percent off for a few more hours! OMG THE EXCITEMENT! I got one last year and everyone says it’s smashing. [Ed. note: Everyone loves mine, too! —Meave]
The details are contained below:
Shop online now, or shop in person later! You can’t get fancier, better-made vegan fashions than Vaute Couture’s!
Guest post: My top 10 vegan reasons to be in love with New York City, part one!
For those of you who haven’t heard—and honestly, I don’t know how you couldn’t have, I have been tweeting about it like crazy—I have moved to California!
It happened very suddenly and I’ve been a whirlwind of a hot mess the last month. As I’ve gotten more settled I feel I have grown a true appreciation for how easy and wonderful it is to be a vegan in New York City. I miss it, and I wanted to tell you all how much I love it. However, in an effort to spare you all from the longest post in the free world, I have managed to narrow it down to a top 10 list. Please enjoy Nos. 10-6 today!
Cue the Letterman drumroll!
No. 10: Westerly Market I doubt I’ve ever left this place having spent less than $200 and I have never regretted it. Westerly Market is a magical place filled with all the hard to find vegan goodies as well as an incredible selection of organic produce, bulk dry goods, and frozen meatless wonders—what we all secretly wish Whole Foods actually were. Even while living in Brooklyn I would pack a backpack with Westerly groceries and haul it all the way home. The staff is also incredibly nice and they will order almost any product you are interested in them carrying. I love you, Westerly Market.
No. 9: The Cinnamon Snail This food truck tops the list of awesome things NYC has stolen from New Jersey. Incredibly yummy food, addicting baked goods, and the nicest crew ever, I found myself hunting down the Snail every chance I could and I downright stalked them in my final week as a New Yorker. Cinnamon Snail, I could not love you more. If you don’t follow these dudes on Twitter already, you best get to it. Life is empty without you, Cinnamon Snail!
No. 8: May Wah Thank dog May Wah ships nationwide (I would be inconsolable without access to its vegan pork buns), but there’s nothing quite as fun as shopping in this Chinatown gem and stocking up your freezer with the best of the best meatless meats. It’s cheap, the food is great, and on request the employees will quickly steer you away from any non-vegan products (although there are only a few). I love you, May Wah! I wish I could go buy some dried noodles and frozen faux shrimps right now! [Ed. note: 99 Ranch, Laura!]
No. 7: Vegan Shop-Up The Vegan Shop-Up rules. It’s an awesome pop-up market with only 100 percent vegan goods, from soap to brownies. This bi-monthly event is beyond fun, and a great way to stock up on hard-to-finds. It’s also how I discovered some of my favorite vendors, like Rescue Chocolate, Gone Pie, the Vegan Bodega, and Cake Bites. If you’re in NYC and you haven’t been to this yet, you are MISSING OUT! Get your butt there ASAP.
No. 6: The Vegan Guide to New York City This book does exactly what its title promises, and awesomely, its authors release an updated version every year. There is an iPhone app as well, but it’s from 2011 and they’ve yet to update it, so I’m on the fence about recommending the download. Might be better toget this year’s book. It’s still the flipping handiest thing in the world. Meeting someone in Midtown and you’re pretty sure there are no vegan restaurants in the area? Consult the guide! PROBLEM SOLVED.
Come back tomorrow for Laura’s top five vegan reasons to be in love with New York City!
Laura Yasinitsky is a writer, comic, waitress, and animal-lover based in California. 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.
[photos: Empire State Pigeon by ZeroOne via Flickr; Cinnamon Snail by Megan Rascal for Vegansaurus; May Wah vegan meats by Shira Golding via Flickr]