Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary is having its annual year-end celebration fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 22, and you’re invited! Buy your $25 ticket now (or pay $30 at the door) and support a really wonderful rescue group at Saturn Cafe in Berkeley.
Enjoy cruelty-free appetizers (Grilled veggies, sliders, sweet potato fries and taquitos) at the Bay Area’s popular Saturn Cafe in Berkeley.
The sanctuary’s event will feature a mini-silent auction to benefit the lifesaving work of the sanctuary. At Saturn’s Space Lounge, our no-host bar will include organic beer from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, organic wine from Orleans Hill, and delicious holiday cocktails.
With your ticket purchase, you will sponsor a rescued animal of Harvest Home Sanctuary for the month of December. At the event, you will receive a colorful card featuring a photograph your sponsoree.
The festivities start at 6 p.m. on Saturday and last till midnight at Saturn Cafe, 2175 Allston Way in Berkeley.
Product review: Raw chocolate-covered mulberries kick Raisinets's ass!
I’m always on the lookout for weird and crazy raw food, so when the Raw Chocolate Co. posted a glorious picture of chocolate covered Brussels sprouts on their Facebook, I was like OH DANG, this is my perfect food!
Sadly, it was a hoax, used to promote what they actually offer: raw cacao-coated mulberries.
After corresponding with an employee about why Brussels sprouts really should be doused in chocolate, she sent me their raw chocolate mulberries and they are seriously no joke. While they’re not candy derived from a brassica, which was my momentary life’s wish come true (and maybe still is a little bit), they are completely delicious and unique.
Here’s why: Think of your first experience with chocolate-covered dried fruit. If you didn’t grow up in Berkeley under the roof of hippie parents who raised you on public demonstrations and farmers’ market samples, your first experience with this dual-natured candy was likely in the form of Raisinets scarfed alongside your friends in the back of a movie theater. Raisinets are shitty and unethical and not at all vegan, but most of us learned to expect that chocolate-coated dried fruit would be chock-full of fillers and sickly sweet; the hard chocolate shell had tons of sugar, the raisins were sweet by themselves.
Now that you’re a grown-up and frequently dip into the bulk bins of organic chocolate-covered raisins at the Valencia Whole Foods or Rainbow, you’ve come to expect less child slavery and animal cruelty in the same hard shell/dried fruit format—it’s just how these things go.
Maybe it’s because Raw Chocolate and Co. is a British company, or maybe they’re true revolutionaries on all fronts—whatever the reason, their chocolate-covered mulberries defy any chocolate-covered fruit industry standards of which I’m aware. The mulberries are sprinkled with the cacao coating in a way that manages to preserve the integrity of the shape and texture of the mulberries, rather than masking their identity with uniform hard chocolate shells. The mulberries’ cacao coating is just the right amount of sweet (using really delicious unrefined sweetener coco palm sugar!) and isn’t a hard shell that takes a second to dissolve into its components but rather a melt-in-your mouth delicate glaze that gently gives way to the superior quality dried mulberries within.
The package also includes all kinds of helpful math about what’s in them: 44 percent mulberries, 56 percent chocolate. 74 percent cacao overall, raw cacao solids, cacao mass, coco palm sugar, cacao butter, cacao powder, and all fair trade—yay!
I highly recommend trying these raw vegan chocolate-covered mulberries. They come in the most adorable tin ever and would make perfect gifts for that special raw foodie or candy gourmand in your life. And stay tuned for my in-development recipe for raw chocolate covered-Brussels sprouts!
Guest Post: Timeless Coffee is Oakland's newest, all-vegan coffee shop!
Carrot cake and cappuccino, so effing delicious
Timeless Coffee, the brand-spankin’-new coffee shop on Piedmont Avenue, is a perfect blend of quality coffee, delicious food and excellent service. It’s hard to expand past a general review of “Yaaaaaaay!” but I’ll do my best. The airy coffee shop has counters full of house-baked pastries and candies and boasts a delightful variety of different coffee roasts, available as a pour-over or quick Fetco-brewed option. My first sip of the Sightglass pour-over called to mind every Dale Cooper quote on the “damn fine” quality of a superb cup of coffee. I drank it black as midnight, and boy was I happy.
As a coffee-loving, Oakland-based vegan, I hadn’t realized what I was missing until I walked into Timeless. Up until this point in my veganism I’d accepted that if I wanted good coffee, the only accompaniments available to me were bagels, Pepple’s donuts, or an elusive Fat Bottom Bakery cookie or scone. No longer. There is something so wonderful about a wide variety of delicious vegan treats right alongside your cup of joe. Violett at Timeless makes a killer selection of biscotti, Hostess-inspired baked goods, cookies, muffins, chocolates, and weekend cinnamon rolls. Having tried the house-made “Twinkie”, the Chocodile, and the carrot cake, I can guarantee that even the mightiest sweet tooth will be satiated. Pre-wrapped to-go items are also available. It took every bit of self-restraint to not stock up my cupboards with peanut butter cups and almond biscotti.
The “Chocodile.” Holy diabetes, this thing was good
Timeless is 100 percent vegan, right down to the barista-quality almond and soy milk used for espresso drinks. But if you show up and don’t see anything listed as “vegan,” don’t fret, it was a purposeful decision to keep the v-word off of the menu. By not branding themselves as a vegan café, Timeless is able to appeal to all walks of life. In regards to opening up the shop in his own neighborhood, RJ said, “I’ve always thought that Piedmont Avenue lacked in the vegan department. … Living here for eight years, it’s very limited, but I love this neighborhood so much. I knew the neighborhood would be open to it.”
His assessment seems to be correct, as he says the vast majority of patrons have been delighted about the vegan menu, even if they didn’t realize their peppermint fudge brownie and espresso combo was cruelty-free until after the fact. “People have been really excited that they’ve had it, and found out later. Their minds kinda changed. That was Violett’s and my approach to it, that it’d be a positive thing.”
A little on the pricier side, but you definitely get what you pay for
Despite only having opened on Dec. 10, Timeless was bustling with patrons when I went this week. Several people already knew RJ by name and seemed to have established Timeless as their regular spot. RJ, along with part-owners Violett and Sam, hopes to expand the menu soon, offering savory accompaniments like bacon-cheddar scones. Ultimately, they’d like to offer a weekend brunch and bi-weekly late dinner service with a fixed menu. RJ, a veteran roaster who helped establish Sightglass, even wants to start roasting beans in-house. This unobtrusive and beautiful coffee shop has already hit all the right notes with me and I’m excited to see what new creations they unveil in the coming months.
Timeless Coffee is located at 4252 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland.
Courtney Flynn lives in Oakland and spends way too much time inventing vegan recipes, reading science fiction, and crocheting hats for her dog, Blender. She sometimes remembers to update her blog, where she likes to write about food, restaurants and products that don’t suck.
I’ve been waiting for a good anti-down video to come out and PETA has just released one (warning: it’s a bit graphic). I feel like omnis never think about down when it’s actually totally awful. I didn’t even know about the foie gras connection. And down is totally unnecessary in these modern times! There are super-alternatives!
LA's Pressed Juicery to open SF location in Noe Valley!
Two weeks ago, on a recent trip in a paradise I like to call LA, I hit up one of my fave spots — Pressed Juicery in West Hollywood! While purchasing a mass amount of juice and trying to make small talk with the register dude, I was told two incredible things: that it was their one year anniversary, so I’d be getting 10% off my order and that they were planning on opening up an SF location. I was very excited upon hearing this, but while walking away I couldn’t help but think of the lip service and broken promises we in the Bay Area have been given about getting our own Babycakes and Native Foods, and so I promptly let it go.
However, it looks as though we actually are getting a Pressed Juicery and soon too! Eater SF says it’s going to be in Noe Vally; that the space is already available! I’m not going to hold my breath or anything, but I’m pretty stoked about this — I think my heart even skipped a beat. I’ll be here waiting for you, Pressed Juicery. I love you so!
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I miss seafood. Thankfully, many a talented chef and vegan company have heard my incredibly influential sobs, and risen to the challenge of putting this kind of delectable food item on the market! Today, we talk about Sophie’s Kitchen — specifically the crab cakes.
I got these bad boys at Whole Foods, a market I did not previously notice them at until recently. Here’s what I have to say — if you see them, grab them up. Honestly, I could not be more stoked with this product.
I am not a fan of frying my food my food at home, which some of you might find surprising since I eat so much of it when going out. Whatever, let’s move on. I baked them, at 350, for about 15 minutes, or golden brown on the edges. I immediately ate one of them plain, because waiting for both the oven to pre-heat and then the cakes to bake was excruciating. Delicious! I don’t know how Sophie’s Kitchen does it! The best part is that these are gluten and soy-free! The texture is spot on, without being too much, if you aren’t a fan of faux-meats that are exactly like the real thing. The taste itself is also pretty spot-on, without being overly “fishy”, thanks to the wakame powder.
Baked to perfection and demolished in 30 seconds.
Being a San Francisco Bay Area native, hot crab sandwiches were a part of my childhood. They bring back family lunches out, in Marin County while visiting my grandparents, and then my mom replicating those same sandwiches in our kitchen at home. Sometimes the hardest part of being vegan is not being able to eat the food that is linked to my family and our memories. Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Crab Cakes are delightful to me, not only because they are scrumptious, but also because for the first time in over a decade I got to eat a hot ‘crab’ sandwich!
My crab sandwich was nothing too spectacular, as I made it at my grandma’s house with only the crab cake, some french bread and Veganaise on hand. You can bet when I make them at home, I’ll be going all out with an english muffin, green onion, Veganaise and melted vegan cheese. I can’t wait. However plain this one may seem, I was happy none-the-less!
The crab cakes are somewhat small, so I thought I could eat all four that come in a box, no problem. I actually could only get through two, because they are quite decadent!
Last but not least — the ingredients! I know a bunch of you are into analyzing this part of processed and packaged food items, so have at it!
Fake meat future: Hack//Meat takes on the science of legit meat substitutions
Last weekend, New York hosted the Hack//Meat conference, where experts gathered to “brainstorm the issue of meat.” Per Businessweek:
One of the more interesting proposals to come out of Hack//Meat is from Foodpairing, a food industry research company and app developer. Foodpairing has broken down flavor to its molecular components and has compiled databases that can match the flavor of those ingredients against other completely different ingredients. By compiling “foodpairing trees” its technology can identify vegetable or seafood ingredients that reinforce the flavor of different meats, or in some cases, can act as a substitute for a meat entirely.
Yes, “molecular gastronomy” gives you a case of the eyerolls, but past the “sciencing your food all up” part, this sounds like an interesting way of making meat substitutes that meat-eaters will accept and maybe even embrace. Let’s go science!
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
To all my Arizona peeps out there who worked so hard on Prop 204 six years ago (the ballot measure banning veal and gestation crates), the historic law you helped enact takes effect in a couple weeks. The state’s largest paper editorialized this week telling you how awesome you are for ushering in this important law—check it out.
The Wall Street Journal had a large feature this week about the fact that US milk consumption has declined nearly 30% since 1975, and how the industry is responding.
My nightmare is coming true: European catfish leap from the water to catch birds
Look at them! Lurking just under the water! I have said forever that fish are entirely untrustworthy, that if they had any sense at all they’d all go full piranha and start devouring us air-breathing, water-defiling jerks. And now, they’ve begun.
Per Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science, European catfish in the River Tarn are hunting pigeons on a gravel island in the city of Albi. The pigeons innocently step into the water to bathe, and the catfish leap out of the water to catch a bird, drag it under, and swallow it whole. WELCOME TO NIGHTMARE TOWN:
See? Terrifying. And the speculation just makes it worse:
The European catfish is an alien, introduced into the Tarn in 1983, and currently flourishing there. Is it possible that these invaders have eaten too many local fish and are forced to seek sustenance elsewhere? Does this explain why it seems to be the smaller catfish that go after pigeons? Or is it that the smaller individuals are less likely to be permanently stranded on shore, or expend less energy in wiggling back into the water? Why, essentially, is a bird in the mouth worth being a fish out of water?
You realize what’s going to happen, right? Humans are going to empty the seas of all but the least edible fishes, which, denied every other form of sustenance, will have to turn to eating bathing animals of all species to survive. WE ARE THE CREATORS OF OUR OWN DESTRUCTION.
Victory Burger, the burger joint that Kickstarter built, is open! And it is damn good. DAMN GOOD. Since it’s steps from my front door, I’ve eaten there about 50 times and confirm that everything is extremely legit. Also, I CAN’T FIT INTO MY PANTS DONT LOOK AT ME. As soon as I’m done writing this, it’s off to the Y to exercise (for health! and also because I can’t afford to buy new clothes right now!) but first, let’s drool.
Here’s the menu; you can see the incredible amount of tasty vegan food up on it. Two different types of vegan sandwiches (a curried burger YUM or an arepa filled with marinated tofu, plantains, avocado, and an addictive slaw!), coconut ice cream milkshakes (with add-ins! I’ve had peanut butter-chocolate, chocolate-banana, and strawberry-balsamic!), and tasty-ass deep-fried pickled veggies and fries with AVOCADO MAYO. It’s seriously the best place for your vegan burger and fries fix in town. It’s a classy-ass diner and I’m in love.
Now, some pictures:
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Victory Burger is on Alcatraz at San Pablo, right next to Actual Cafe, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hopefully their hours will expand but they’re a brand-new baby restaurant so give these fools some time, OK?
Make Dr. Blossom's vegan sufganiyot for your Hanukkah celebrations!
Mayim Bialik shared her vegan sufganiyot recipe with PETA, because they’re pals, and it sounds delicious because when do jelly donuts not sound delicious? When you’re dead, I imagine. Unfortunately, PETA didn’t include a photo of these little treats, so we found a couple of other vegan sufganiyot recipes with gorgeous photos, because what’s a recipe without a picture?
The above is of Season of Karen's baked vegan sufganiyot, a variation on a recipe from Vegan Yum Yum. Below, Inhabitat's vegan and gluten-free version, adapted from a Babycakes recipe.
Which are you making? All three, right? Happy Hanukkah, let’s eat fried dough and potatoes until we pop!
Have you been wanting to burst out of your comfortable vegan shell and upgrade to an ultra-genius-hottie vegan? Laika magazine is here to help you out!
I went to the launch of Laika a few nights ago and what a party. With eco-friendly mojitos and delicious food from Cinnamon Snail, you know I was happy. And my favorite NYC vegan fashion plate, Leanne of Vaute Couture, was there, as was the ever-talented Joshua Katcher. Both made contributions to this inaugural issue. And of course, Laika creator Julie Gueraseva was there too. I spoke to her briefly, she’s plain lovely. Basically: I’m drinking the Laika Kool-Aid.
The spread at the launch. Hubba hubba!
The only thing I regret about the party—and I know you’re going to kill me for this—there was an elaborate cheese spread from new vegan cheese company Treeline Cheese and I didn’t try any. I know! I’m sorry! But people were buzzing around the cheese plates like cray and I actually had to run back to work because I’m hella important so I didn’t have time to muscle my way in. But I swear to the Vegansaur gods, I will try the cheese and tell you how it is.
So Laika covers vegan fashion but also food and travel. Plus this issue profiles several young vegan activists. There’s something for everyone. If you’ve been wondering where the title comes from, that’s my favorite part:
LAIKA Magazine is named after the stray dog who died within hours of being launched into outer space inside Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. About sending Laika into space, scientist Oleg Gozanko, part of the original mission, said “We shouldn’t have done it … We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog.”
This is a super-hard contest, but I though the overachievers among us ought to know about it (the rest of us can just profit from the results): Earth Balance wants you to make delicious baked goods with their products. Duh, easy. Does anyone NOT use Earth Balance in baking?
Except here’s the catch: You have to invent the recipe yourself. That usually doesn’t go so well in my house; we’re still rehashing the Chutney Pie Debacle of 2006. But if you fancy yourself an up-and-coming Isa or Colleen, then by all means, invent away. That’s not the hardest part!
After slaving away over 17 drafts of the perfect Peanut Butter Banana Chia Açai Spice Drops, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A PRETTY PICTURE OF IT! I shall never be a professional chef in the internet age. My food photos are all grainy and dark and show how messy my house is.
After all that, you could win a sweet trip to Vegas, which you will need to recover from the stress of entering this contest. Oh, and there are categories. We already missed pies and cake.
Cupcakes: Dec. 10 to 16
Cookies and Bars: Dec. 17 to 23
Go Vegansaurs! Bake and invent! Then share your recipes with us! Those of you who aren’t sneaking in moments to write posts at work can go browse the recipe collection and tell us about the gems.
Tom Ford did a vegan version of his spring 2013 boots for Anne Hathaway to wear at the New York premiere of Les Misérables, because she is a famous vegan movie star, and why wouldn’t Tom Ford make you, famous vegan movie star, fabulous a vegan version of his elaborate bondage-sandal boots for the premiere of your latest, biggest movie in New York City?
I’m not in love with the actual boots, but I am in love with the idea of designers accommodating their vegan movie star fans with ethically appropriate fashion pieces. Dear Anne Hathaway, please wear these to the grocery store.
That’s right, my friends! Read the flyer! It’s time for the Vegan Holiday Shop-Up x3. It’s at the lovely Pine Box Rock Shop, which if you haven’t been to, you’re a giant goober. They’ve got bloody marys for days!
Saturdays, Dec. 15 and 22! Noon to 5 p.m. Pine Box Rock Shop 12 Grattan St. Bushwick, Bk FREE!
Ethical Vegan Makeup To Make Your Girlfriend Look Even More Gorgeous
UPDATE! It appears the mascara reviewed is NOT vegan. The eyeshadow is. Purely Posh has a good marking system, we just got confused! Forgive us.
Are you looking for ethical, organic, eco-friendly, gluten-free, completely vegan makeup? I know Urban Decay says they’ll stay ethical (I am glad to hear it and really hope that’s true!) but if you’re looking for a huge variety of vegan makeup products that fit the above description, Purely Posh offers lots and lots of options at really affordable prices!
According to founder and owner Jen Gamez, Purely Posh was created to bring awareness to the dangers of chemicals in beauty care products. Our skin is a fast-track to toxic exposure as it absorbs pretty much everything. According to their website, “On average each woman applies 12 different products to her skin each day, totaling about 500 different chemicals.” Wow. Jen says she just wants her customers to feel at peace that they are applying safe and ethically sourced products to their bodies. That sounds and looks pretty radical to me! Get Purely Posh online.
If you haven’t yet, please sign the petition to Clif Bar, asking them to answer the easy question: WHERE IS THEIR CHOCOLATE FROM? It’s a simple question, and should be easy for them to answer. Again, we are only asking Clif Bar for the country of origin, so if they send a LONG response and say anything other than answering that question – they are avoiding it. Please, don’t let them do this.
If you’re feeling extra activist-y — please post questions on their FB page and/or ask them on Twitter. They are a large company with many followers, so we need a lot of people to ask them to make it an issue. Let’s go!!
YOU GUYS THIS IS VERY EXCITING. It’s a dispatch from my sister! Something you should know about my sister — she is a world-traveler extraordinaire/jet-setting juggernaut. She recently lived in Istanbul for awhile and explored many of the tasty vegan eats there with her awesome fiancee and my niece WHO IS THE CUTEST AND SMARTEST AND BEST CHILD ALIVE. I currently have it in the works to baby-nap her but let’s just keep that between us. Moving on!
One of my sister’s favorite places to eat in Istanbul was Loving Hut! The Supreme Master’s cult chain of delicious-ass eats is perfect for when you need a dose of yummy vegan meat in a foreign (to you!) land. Here’s what my sister had to say:
I’m not sure what all the Loving Hut restaurants have in common other than their names and veganism because LH Istanbul bears no resemblance to any of the other ones I’ve been to. That doesn’t matter though, because LH Istanbul is DElicioius! It’s a teeny-tiny little place with maybe five outside tables and a chalkboard menu. It’s known for its burgers and they didn’t disappoint. The burger patty was moist and flavorful and it came with a yummy vegan mayo plus pickles, lettuce and tomato. My VERY non-veg boyfriend even enjoyed it. I had a pasta topped with veggies and seitan sausage. It was delicious, although, I have to say, my American stomach was not happy with the tiny portion. Veggie baby Jane enjoyed both the burger and pasta immensely.
All in all, we had a great experience. On a side note, Turkish vegans are all about respecting animals and healthy living…except when it comes to smoking, ‘cause they were all lighting up! Oh, and absolutely NO signs of Supreme Master. No Supreme Master TV, no pictures of her or of veggie celebrities, no sort-of-Vietnamese food — nothing!
There are only a handful of veggie places in Istanbul and this one is consistently rated the best on HappyCow.com. So, if you’re in Istanbul, head to the Besiktas neighborhood (which is a really fun neighborhood to hang out in) for a meal and some shopping and sight-seeing.
Update: I just asked about SMTV and lo and behold, there’s a teeny-tiny TV screen tucked away inside playing it!
Yellowstone National Park’s best-known wolf, beloved by many tourists and valued by scientists who tracked its movements, was shot and killed on Thursday outside the park’s boundaries, Wyoming wildlife officials reported.
The wolf, known as 832F to researchers, was the alpha female of the park’s highly visible Lamar Canyon pack and had become so well known that some wildlife watchers referred to her as a “rock star.” The animal had been a tourist favorite for most of the past six years.
The wolf was fitted with a $4,000 collar with GPS tracking technology, which is being returned, said Daniel Stahler, a project director for Yellowstone’s wolf program. Based on data from the wolf’s collar, researchers knew that her pack rarely ventured outside the park, and then only for brief periods, Dr. Stahler said.
This year’s hunting season in the northern Rockies has been especially controversial because of the high numbers of popular wolves and wolves fitted with research collars that have been killed just outside Yellowstone in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
Also with her and killed was her bff, a wolf known as 754. Heartbreaking news, life is the worst. Also, total bullshit! Our national wolf populations can’t handle these state-sanctioned killings, and this just brings that sad fact into the light even more.
The first wolf hunts in decades were authorized in Wyoming this fall. 832F was the eighth collared by researchers that was shot this year after leaving the park’s boundary. Seriously, fuck everyone. We reintroduced wolves in the 90s and now hunting is OK because they’re fucking with the business of factory farmers and hunters?
Our human relationship with other animals is so sick, it makes me wish an asteroid would just hit us. Or some sort of plague comes unto humans and future reign is handed off to the gorillas — naturally vegan, fairly peaceful, and content to munch leaves all days and think wise thoughts. Take it away, gorillas!
San Jose now has a Veggie Grill and an all vegan pizza joint!
The South Bay is popping off, my friends! Let’s all move to San Jose! JKJKJKJK. But on the real, let’s visit.
First up, THE WORLD FAMOUS VEGGIE GRILL! Opened in San Jose a couple weeks ago, it’s the tasty bomb. Veggie Grill is a hit down in the Los Angeles area and recently made a move to Portland, too. This is our SF Bay Area first outpost of this relatively healthy and extremely delicious mini-chain! It’s on Santana Row which means nothing to me, but there you have it. I CANNOT WAIT TO EAT THERE. Until then, let’s stare at a picture of a Chicken Caesar Wrap from my last visit down South:
And there’s also a FULLY VEGAN PIZZA JOINT in San Jose! Plant Based Pizza looks to be the most delicious, and I want to eat everything on their menu. Calzones, stromboli, hamburgers, hot dogs, a million kinds of pizza! It sounds like paradise!
It’s in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, which, again, means nothing to me, but might mean everything to you. People on Yelp are all about the Hawaiian and Indian pizzas, and while this pic from their site looks like they’re not using Daiya, the Yelp photos tell a different story. Maybe they’re still ironing out who they’re going to be?! Either way, let’s check this shit out and support a vegan pizza joint, OK!?
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
Roll Call, a leading Capitol Hill newspaper, begins an article today chronicling HSUS’ successes for farm animals: “The Humane Society of the United States is almost single-handedly changing the way farmers feed America’s appetite for bacon.” And itscompanion article discusses HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle’s recent trip to India, noting, “But having Pacelle on the other side of the world — about as far away from Capitol Hill as possible — still gives the U.S. farm lobby reason for heartburn.” Both articles are really worth checking out.
You know the agribusiness lobby hates HSUS, but they think highly of their own advisors, like Dr. Temple Grandin. Well, in aspeech this week to the Iowa Farm Bureau, Dr. Grandin called their ag-gag law “dumb” and said they should instead focus on phasing out gestation crates.
Want more writing on the wall? In Australia, the two biggest grocery chains have both agreed to stop selling eggs from caged hens and pork from gestation crate systems.
Finally, a few new videos from our friends came out this week:
Farm Sanctuary’s new video about the meat industry narrated by Steve-O
The rainy season is upon us, and combined with much shorter, winter days, I’m longing for the fun and daylight of summertime! So in an effort to cheer myself up, I thought we could look at all of the places I ate this summer, when I went to Chicago. That’s fun, right?
Of course my party had margaritas! My love of the margarita was born in the city of Chicago. They’re so delectable there.
For dinner I had this beast of a quesadilla. Not too shabby, eh? Their menu vegan menu changes periodically, but I’m pretty sure these were filled with seitan, Daiya, pico de gallo, and sauteed onions and bell peppers. They were delicious and very filling!
The next two days were a little scattered and uninteresting as far as food goes. My friend and I hightailed to mid-Michigan for a friend’s wedding, and it was slim pickings. My wedding meal looked like this:
Actually, the bride was very considerate of my diet, and a long-time vegetarian herself. Not pictured is some beautiful white squash with basil and oh so much wine.
Back in the city, I went to The Handlebar, as it’s one of my all-time favorite places to be! Now, usually when I’m there, I get the samosas for an appetizer and the buffalo “chicken” ranch wrap as my entree. For this visit, I decided to go a little crazy and mix things up!
I know you won’t believe this, but pictured above was my first foray in to the world of fried pickle spears. I fell fast, I fell hard, and now I order them anytime they’re available on a menu. I would also like to say, loudly and proudly, that I am Team Pickle Spear, but who am I kidding; I’ll gobble up deep-fried pickle chips like nobody’s business.
Then, there were fried avocado tacos. Deep-fried avocados—please, it was a no-brainer. As much as I may have liked them, I’m still head over heels for my buffalo-chicken wrap. It’s good to try new things, as sometimes it validates your love for the tried and true, right?
And then, the next night, IT HAPPENED—I tried Native Foods Cafe for the first time! I will now long for the Oaklahoma bacon cheeseburger every day until we are reunited again. Oh man, the cheddar sauce alone … Why must you live so far from San Francisco, Native Foods?
Native Foods Cafe in Wicker Park!
My friend Stephanie ordered the sweet potato fries.
My girl Nora got a massive plate of nachos!
Buffalo chicken strips are MY JAM, so of course I ordered them!
Last but certainly not least — the Oaklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, in all its glory!
The next day, I tried to go to Quesadilla: La Reyna del Sur and it was closed! How dare you get in the way of my vegan gorging, Fourth of July? Instead, I went to my old late-night post-bars standby, Lazo’s tacos. It was all right. It’s much better at 3 a.m., but I appreciated the flood of memories I had walking in.
Decent, but is much tastier as an after-hours-everything-else-is-closed meal.
That concludes my Chicago trip! I know there are a lot of places I didn’t go, as time and also room in my stomach didn’t allow for it. I know you guys get super-excited about reccommending the Chicago Diner as well, but believe me, I know about it! I ate there almost every day when I worked there as a baker in 2006-‘07.
After Prop. 37: What does its defeat mean for the food movement?
Apparently I’m on the post-Prop. 37 beat. I don’t even know how I feel about food labeling, you guys! And yet. If it weren’t for food labels, how would we vegans eat? How would anyone with a food allergy get by? It’d be all produce, all the time, and we’d be full of vegetables and miserable (I don’t want to live in a world without Field Roast Italian sausages). Plus, food justice (or whatever) is a vegan issue. Everyone should have access to enough nutritious, delicious food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
The Friedman Sprout, “the student newspaper of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, has a neat article by M.E. Malone on the repercussions of its defeat, and the future of the “food movement” (so uncomfortable with that label).
“I am not sure the strict line between the definitions of GMO technology and non-GMO technology is really the right way to distinguish bad technologies from good technologies,” [Parke Wilde, associate professor at the Friedman School] said. Wilde added that there are legitimate concerns about GMO technologies, including “the control of seed varieties by a single corporation and the flawed [Food and Drug Administration] review of proposed GMO salmon,” that are unrelated to the gene manipulation process.
(Ha ha fuck off, GMO salmon. As if farmed salmon weren’t trouble enough.)
TL;DR: Of course we have a right to know what’s in our food. On the other hand, if we don’t sufficiently understand the technologies used in producing both GMO and non-GMO foods, how can we regulate them? At least we can agree on our hatred of monocultures, right?
The short, miserable lives of zoo elephants: A Seattle Times exposé
Here’s a shocker: Elephants in U.S. zoos have been and continue to be subjected to awful living conditions, and reckless breeding programs, and suffer early, painful deaths.
[T]he decades-long effort by zoos to preserve and protect elephants is failing, exacerbated by substandard conditions and denial of mounting scientific evidence that most elephants do not thrive in captivity.
The Times did a first-of-its-kind analysis of 390 elephant fatalities at accredited U.S. zoos for the past 50 years. It found that most of the elephants died from injury or disease linked to conditions of their captivity, from chronic foot problems caused by standing on hard surfaces to musculoskeletal disorders from inactivity caused by being penned or chained for days and weeks at a time.
By 2003, the weight of scientific evidence that elephants failed to thrive in zoos, combined with pressure from animal-welfare groups worldwide, prompted U.S. agencies to dramatically slow the importation of wild elephants. An easy supply of elephants masked the premature deaths and decline of captive elephants in U.S. zoos. With their supply line nearly closed, zoos stepped up captive breeding to replenish the dying ranks.
[The Association of Zoos and Aquariums along with representatives from dozens of zoos that housed elephants] agreed to “speak and act with a unified voice” in claiming that elephants were thriving in zoos. Together, they hired a crisis-management firm and agreed to dub critics of elephant captivity as “extremists.” They also committed in writing to aggressively breed elephants, following a “species survival plan.”
That’s all from part one. Part two addresses zoos’ sneaky methods of importing wild elephants, and their efforts to keep their old, abused elephants out of sanctuaries like (Vegansaurus favorite) PAWS.
A consortium of zoos is also building its own sanctuary where zoos can send unwanted males. Officials broke ground in April on a 225-acre sanctuary called the National Elephant Center in Fellsmore, Fla. The first phase includes a 13,000-square-foot barn and enough pasture for nine elephants. The $15 million project will eventually house up to 36 elephants.
Accredited zoos also plan to use the center for breeding, one way to revitalize the nation’s elephant population.
Gift idea this year: Adopt a PAWS elephant. Zoos really are the grossest. If you want to show tiny children the magic of wild animals, take them to a sanctuary and let a nice staff person explain why putting animals on display is horrible in tiny-child-friendly terms. Or, you know, just watch nature videos on a big TV and recognize you can’t have everything.
The nascent trend for eschewing meat is part of Mongolia’s broader shift towards a more urbanised, international society. Last month the UB Post, a Mongolian newspaper, estimated there were 2,500 vegans in the country. Vegetarians may number above 30,000, according to other reports.
Good news, everyone: Urban Decay says it will remain cruelty-free
Thanks, peta2, for contacting Urban Decay and demanding answers following last week’s announcement that L’Oréal had bought the beloved cruelty-free cosmetics company. Peta2 reports that Urban Decay has “assured PETA in writing that its animal testing policy will not change.”
Are you relieved? I am really relieved. Also super-happy to have an excuse to post a photo of happy bunnies. Cosmetic animal testing is for the jerkiest jerks.
Thanks, "This American Life": Break your heart with stories of WWII soldier dogs
This American Life's most recent show is called “Animal Sacrifice,” and its first act features Susan Orlean reporting on World War II soldier dogs, expanded from her book Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. The U.S. military had a program where they recruited citizens’ pet dogs to serve. Like, one day your dog is performing Houdini-style escapes from every confinement you try to impose on her; the next, she’s flushing enemy soldiers out of caves in the Solomon Islands.
Here’s a training video, starring the cutest little terrier you ever saw.
In light of the army’s latest findings on canine PTSD, this story is especially heartbreaking. Many of the dogs who weren’t killed in action had such bad PTSD they couldn’t be returned to their civilian families after the war, and so were euthanized. The use of dogs in service continues today, but at least now there are options beyond killing a dog we forced to undergo personality-altering trauma. Still, if we’re going to have robots in war, can we make some to replace the canines? It’s appalling, the sacrifices we ask of dogs, things we have no right to demand of them.
So Necessary: 55K Crocodile skin backpack from the Olsen Twins. Yes.
This edition of So Necessary is brought to you by the Olsen twins. This backpack the two young women just unveiled is priced at $55,000 and made from the skin of Nile crocodiles. How rude indeed.
It may surprise you to hear that animals bred specifically to be skinned for accessories aren’t generally treated very humanely. Shocker, I know. But need a reminder? I have one for you (warning: this gets the coveted graphic as fuck rating):
For those not watching the movie—and I don’t blame you—it’s the usual stuff: torture, animals being skinned alive, blatant cruelty and inhumanity. But obvi this bag is totes worth it. And I didn’t even address the prescription meds decorating it. How completely out-of-the-box! No really, it’s truly, truly outrageous. Good job Olsens, I dub thee scumbags.
“So, how did the vegan craze hit Israel’s shores? By most accounts, it all started in April of last year, when Daniel Erlich and Hovav Amir, two animal-rights activists who run the online TV show Animal Log, added Hebrew subtitles to an American lecture about veganism and posted it on YouTube under the title “the best speech you’ll ever hear.” The lecturer is a Jewish American animal-rights activist named Gary Yourofsky, who usually speaks to high-school and college students in the United States. He is considered a criminal or even a terrorist by many, is banned from entering Canada and the U.K., and has a long history of arrests.”—This is a great article the a lovely reader named Michael sent us. It’s all about the rise of veganism in Israel. It’s a good read. I love the part about how these vegans got the main tofu supplier in the country to put a QR code on their packaging leading to the Yourofsky guy’s site. I’m not anti-QR code, they just usually lead somewhere completely useless. This is the proper use of a QR code.
Last day to order your holiday care package from VeganCuts!
I just realized today is your last day to buy VeganCuts holiday care package! OMG! It’s full of all kinds of marshmallows and chocolate and cookies! I’m like hella into this. I love care packages. They are the ultimate nice thing you can do for someone. I love getting care packages almost as much as I like sending them!