Paul's back with all the animal news and you and your crewz* can use!
You may be interested in this article about a high school working with HSUS to implement a Meatless Monday program. And here’s a new piece of mine about why anyone concerned about climate change should be concerned about reducing meat consumption.
A meat industry consulting firm just released a short video showing that their polling demonstrates 62% of Americans are concerned about gestation crates (compared to 41% concerned about use of antibiotics in farm animals). Not too bad.
On that note, Williams Sausage Co. is the latest pork user to announce it will end its use of pork from gestation crates, making the writing on the wall to the pork industry clearer than ever: gestation crates will go extinct.
Interested in protecting whales? Turns out that their biggest threat isn’t whaling, but fishing.
Video of the week! Woody Harrelson’s new, entertaining—yes, entertaining—video about fur.
Finally, if you missed this SF Chronicle profile on the farm animal shelter Animal Place, it’s worth checking out!
In its medical training courses, the United States military uses (read: kills) over 7,500 animals every year. This is unnecessary and pretty gross. Of course, the military industrial complex is terrifying (hi, FISA extension!), the official and covert wars conducted in our name are horrific (hey Afghanistan! what’s up, CIA drones?), and the way we treat our veterans is shameful (sorry, dogs; at least there’s IAVA?). But at least we won’t be paying for people to torture pigs and goats, right? Per PCRM:
The massive National Defense Authorization Act, approved last month by the Senate and House of Representatives, contains a provision that calls on the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress by March 1, 2013, on a strategy, including a detailed timeline, for replacing the use of animals with human-based methods. Last night, the president signed the bill into law.
So they’re not going to immediately stop so much as make a plan for stopping, eventually. Still, better than letting it go on indefinitely, funded by our tax dollars. Isn’t it nice when the government helps ease the burden of complex, tacit social hypocrisy involved in trying live a cruelty-free life?
First, a customer service rep at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center was fired in 2010 for refusing to have an mandatory flu shot, because flu shots are “derived from eggs” (ugh) and she’s vegan. CCHMC didn’t want this lady, Sakile Chenzira, getting sick and passing on that illness to the patients. Ms. Chenzira sued, asserting that her veganism was essentially her religion, and it is illegal to fire people for their religious beliefs. CCHMC filed a motion to dismiss the suit, because veganism is a lifestyle, not a religion.
The court finds that in the context of a motion to dismiss, it merely needs to determine whether plaintiff has alleged a plausible claim. … The court finds it plausible that Plaintiff could subscribe to veganism with a sincerity equating that of traditional religious views.
Of course this doesn’t address the whole “we didn’t want her getting the flu and germing up the hospital” issue, but we are less concerned with that as with the idea of veganism as a sort of religion (obviously). Does this mean that when the office has a pizza party and doesn’t even get a meatless pizza, let alone like one half of one pizza without cheese, I can make a discrimination complaint to HR? Not that I would (scared of HR) (have a small martyr complex), but who knows what ramifications Sakile S. Chenzira v. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will have!
For more information, read Senior District Court Judge Arthur Spiegel’s opinion [pdf]. The trial date is set for July 9.
Mojave Desert Animal Rescue robbed twice over the weekend, because people are terrible
Mojave Desert Animal Rescue is a wonderful and necessary nonprofit that helps out homeless people with pets. They register people’s animals (collecting spay/neuter and vaccination information), and provide food for them. They also provide emergency supplies for homeless people who can’t stay at shelters because they have pets. And over the weekend, some horrible, heartless jerks robbed MDAR’s warehouse twice.
The thieves took almost everything in the warehouse, including “canned food, both for human consumption and for pets, veterinary supplies, jackets, coats, socks,” and they tried to take a backhoe. MDAR founder and Director Annie Lancaster told the San Bernadino Sun
You can tell they just threw things across the room and just completely trashed the place. … I mean who does that? We had signs in there that clearly said we were a charity and there were pictures of the homeless people we’ve helped and their pets and they still had the heart to do something like this? I just don’t understand.
It’s winter in the high desert. People are the WORST.
Glorious Day: Center City Soft Pretzel Co. makes vegan Philly pretzels!
Yesterday I proclaimed my love for Philly pretzels and lamented the fact they aren’t vegan. Guess what! I was wrong! For the first time in history! Lovely reader Flocka Veli emailed me to let me know that Center City Soft Pretzel Co. does make entirely vegan pretzels—in fact the whole bakery is dairy-free! I swear to goodness like a million years ago when I was vegan and living in Philly I looked up every pretzel supplier and found nothing. Silly me! I wrote to the company to confirm and they said the only ingredients are flour, yeast and water—and salt of course if you get salted (you really should get salted). Can you believe it? I don’t think you understand how excited I am. I’m more excited than pretzel day in fourth grade! Not kidding.
Not only are Center City Soft Pretzel Co.’s pretzels great—they are THE place to go to get pretzels. The bakery opens at something like 4am I think? To supply all the vendors in the city. And you can roll up and buy a zillion FRESH BAKED pretzels for like a buck. It’s amazing. And while I always love Philly pretzels, right out of the oven is a whole other level of goodness. Yes, me and my sister spent many an early morning buying way more pretzels than would ever seem necessary (they were all necessary) while my dad played designated driver. Thanks dad!
Best news: It looks like you can order them online! BUT! I can’t tell if PretzelsDirect exclusively sends Center City Soft Pretzel Co. pretzels or if maybe they sell pretzels from multiple companies. If someone wants to call and ask and let me know, I would love you forever. I hate calling people. I hate anything you have to do in real life.
UPDATE!!! I emailed! They only send Center City Soft Pretzel Co. pretzels so we can totally order them and have them shipped! Yay!
Get some vegan snacks from Green Line Cafe in W. Philly!
Now you know your friend Megan is a Philly girl. So of course I had to grace that town with my presence over the holidays. One thing I’m always sad about though is Philly pretzels. They ain’t vegan (UPDATE: or are they?!). I’m totally obsessed with Philly pretzels and pretty much ate one every day for lunch in high school. And don’t even get me started on late night pretzel-fests with my sis at the Pretzel factory on Washington. If you’ve never had a Philly pretzel, I feel bad for you. But like I said, I can’t eat them nowadays. But then I just thought I’d give it one more shot and googled “Philly pretzel vegan” and low and behold! Green Line Cafe appears!
Before we go any further, I have to break the news that while the yummy pretzels at Green Line are vegan, they aren’t Philly pretzels. They are like regular German pretzels or whatever. But what I was even more excited to find was that Green Line is full of vegan options! There were scones and cupcakes and sandwiches (pictured) and…I think that was it but that’s a good amount!
There are three Green Lines in West Philly but the OG on Baltimore ave. has the most vegan options. And it’s a really lovely place with the nicest people! If you get a chance to stop at the Powelton Village location, definitely do because that’s totally the neighborhood I grew up in! My fam still lives there. You can see where this little Rascal got her head start.
Hipster Dust is a real thing and you're supposed to eat it.
I spotted this on Gothamist and I’m not really sure what to think. It’s a spice mixture from Williamsburg called Hipster Dust and it says it’s vegan. From their site:
Hipster Dust is a vegan spice mixture that took flight in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is used in the kitchen to flavor vegetables, soups, noodles and everything else. Hipster Dust’s cult following has expanded far beyond its birthplace. Hipster Dust lovers have carried their enthusiasm for this invigorating seasoning from Brooklyn across the country, making fans of its distinct flavor along the way.
I would proudly eat something called Hipster Dust because that’s hilarious, and I mostly eat for the laughs, but I’m a little confused. Are there are lot of spice mixes that aren’t vegan? And one of the four recipes on their site is for ahi tuna.* So I’m not getting the impression they have any sort of vegan allegiance. I’m thinking it’s a marketing thing, eh? Because, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but all the cool kids are vegan.**
I’m not saying I need a product to be dedicated to veganism (Oreos, amirite?), but, like, you don’t need to bullshit us. All the same, I’d try this. I’ll let you know how it goes.
*I’m not an expert but my friend Google tells me ahi tuna is not very sustainable. Kind of a weird recipe choice for a biz that says it’s an “eco-aware company.”
** You got me, Joaquin Phoenix, Alan Cumming…checkmate, omnis.
New year, new Vegan Happy Hour! See you this Friday, January 11th, at the Hemlock Tavern from 6 to 9. Bring a vegan dish to share—homemade or store bought—and join new hosts Erin Rea and Josh Heiskell for food and spirits!
DJ Devin Peralta will be providing the musical ambience while Nikki Sloate serves up the cocktails. Drink specials until 8pm.
I used to love Hemlock. I mean, I’m sure I still would, it’s just a bit of a commute from NY. I think Figgy got to go there too? He’s such a lush!
Grubwithus kicks off their Veg Month next week! All kinds of fancy vegans will be hosting veggie meals around the country. I’ve already got my ticket to dine with Leanne of Vaute Couture here in NYC. There’s only a few tickets left, so if you want to hang with me (spoiler alert: you totally do), get your ticket now!
Cooks Illustrated crowns the best supermarket hummus!
It’s a good thing Thomas Jefferson didn’t include hummus in the Declaration of Independence, because all hummus sure as hell isn’t created equal.
Cooks Illustrated, a magazine for OCD people (to which I would 100 percent subscribe if it had a vegetarian edition), recently did us the favor of running a taste test on supermarket hummus. Let the results be service to vegans everywhere.
The winner happens to be my favorite: Sabra. Back in the day, my now-husband used to fly sackfuls of this creamy manna from his Jew-heavy hometown in South Florida to our hummus-bare northern Utah residence. It’s that good. Luckily you can even buy it at some Costcos now, in tubs big enough to drown your sorrows in.
The two other brands Cooks Illustrated deems edible:
Product Review: Sproutein, Epic Protein, and Sprout mixes turn smoothies into nutrition explosions!
Confession: I think everything Alex Malinsky touches turns to gold. Known in the raw food world as the “raw guru,” Alex got into raw foods super young and has emerged and maintained his status as an A-list raw goods preparer and purveyor. Although Alex hobnobs with celebrities, he still takes time to let me know about his new products, and sends me free samples now and then. I’ve tried a bunch of his stuff over the years—Rawmio is sooo good—but I have to say that I think his new protein powders are the most delicious products of his I’ve ever tried!
I drink raw vegan smoothies almost every morning and I’m always on the lookout for newer and better protein powders and superfood add-ins. I’m not satisfied with enjoying the same smoothies every day, and I think variety is what keeps me coming back to the blender on the reg. Alex and his brother Mark’s Sprout Living's new line of Sproutein and Epic protein powders and sprout mixes are really, really high quality stuff. They come in a variety of really mild-tasting yet nutritionally dense flavor varieties, including Vanilla Lucuma, Chocolate Maca, Original, and Sproutein.
Anything Alex puts his energy into has to be organic, raw, vegan, bioavailable (read: has usable protein and nutrients), fiber, ethically sourced, low glycemic, sprouted, etc. but these really go above and beyond. The Sproutein contains high quality sprouts that are easier to digest than full-grown greens and high in minerals and chlorophyl. Ingredients include such dreamy ingredients as: Freshly Freeze Dried Sprout Powders (sunflower, amaranth, millet, kale, quinoa, mung bean, alfalfa, chia, and golden pea), Hempseed Protein Powder, Goji Berry Powder, Maca Root Powder, Yacon Root Powder).
All of the powders contain healthful ingredients, but If you’re particularly interested in bombing yourself with hearty protein, the Sproutein blends have nine grams of protein per serving, and the Epic Protein blends (my favorite is the Vanilla Lucuma, with Chocolate Maca in close second!) contain 19 grams (!!) per serving.
My verdict is that these powers are very low glycemic and blend so nicely with my typical berry-banana smoothie combos that they’re a no-brainer addition to my breakfast—and maybe yours? I also tried and loved the Sprout Living Broccoli and Kale Sprouts Powder Mix in the smoothie too, because superfood smoothies can have all kinds of rad ingredients!
I’ve included a recipe for an absolutely delicious smoothie I made this morning, topped with millet puffs and some Rawmio Raw Chocolate Truffle Cake shavings. I added in Vanilla Lucuma Epic Protein and Broccoli and Kale mix. Amazing!!! And my colon is so happy. Enjoy!
Strawberry Banana Epic Protein-Sprout Mix Smoothie Ingredients 2 cups frozen strawberries 1 1/2 frozen bananas 1 cup almond milk 1/2 cup water 2 heaping scoops Vanilla Lucuma Epic Protein 3/4 tsp. Broccoli and Kale sprout mix 5 small ice cubes 6-8 drops stevia (to taste)
Instructions Blend and enjoy with your favorite ingredient toppings.
Get Sproutein, Epic Protein, Sprout Mixes and all other Alex Malinsky-approved products online and in select health food stores nationwide.
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
Hear the one about the chicken in the burning house? No, seriously. This hero chicken saved her family from a burning house. Check it out.
A Purdue University survey reported on this week by National Hog Farmer has some very interesting findings about Americans. Two include: HSUS is the #1 most frequented source of information for Americans about animal welfare; and 14% of consumers say they’ve reduced pork consumption (by an average of 56%) over the past three years due to animal welfare concerns they’ve heard about.
Mark Bittman had an important column in the NYT this week arguing that Americans need to treat farm animals better and eat fewer of them. Here’s a recent DC NPR (WAMU) on-air commentary from me on the topic.
Finally, pig giant Smithfield announced this week that it’s continuing its US conversion away from gestation crates, has already converted all of its European operations, and will begin converting its Mexican operations, too.
P.S. Video of the week! Need some belated new year’s resolutions? These cats have some ideas for you!
The wonderful people at Animal Place have found a new way for you to support their work: The SHARES Card. SHARES stands for Supporting Humanities, Arts, Recreation, Education and Sports. They raise millions a year for various charities and now Animal Place is on board!
Get a card for FREE and every time you swipe it at Save Mart, S-Mart, FoodMaxx, or Lucky Supermarkets, a portion of your purchase goes to Animal Place. It’s available in California and northern Nevada (that’s where the stores are located). You can get a card by signing up here: http://animalplace.org/shares-card
Here are links to the stores in the Bay Area: Lucky FoodMaxx (you’ll have to type in your zip, but there’s one in Oakland.) Save Mart
In other news, meet Stanley! A recent Animal Place rescue and my new crush. Look, he’s trying to make an angry face! I know you ain’t angry, Stanley! Silly baby.
Do you love gritty anti-heroes like Dexter or Batman? Check out Liberator, featuring a new type of superhero who avenges the torture of animals. For anybody who ever thought comics could be punk and subversive and maybe even glorify some good old fashioned direct action, this is something unique and worth supporting.
Matt is a big vegan and has done tons of work directly rescuing animals (sometimes he tweets pics of his fosters! Those are great times). He even plans on using proceeds from the comic to help with his pit bull rescue efforts. He also just hopes the comic book will bring new people into the animal rights fold. And while I’m not a huge comic book person, I totes went to NYC ComicCon this year so I’m basically an expert. And in my expert opinion, this comic looks dope! There even seems to be a strong female lead? That’s what I like to see.
Product review: Rawmio raw chocolate truffle cake!
When I first got into raw foods in college, I was shocked by the amount of raw desserts that are mostly made of nuts and oil. I’ve got nothing against nuts and oil, especially when they’re high quality—it’s just a very different food experience than, say, fluffy vegan cake or a flaky crusted pie. I think a lot of folks experimenting with raw foodism get excited about raw desserts but end up not loving them due to their overwhelming density.
When Alex Malinsky, mastermind of Rawmio, told me he was coming out with a raw chocolate truffle cake, I was skeptical. Would it be way too dense? Would it go bad after only a few days? Would it have that funky aftertaste so many raw desserts have due to bad flavor combining? Most importantly, how could a raw cake be safely transported through the mail?
Turns out all my worries were completely unfounded—Rawmio Chocolate Truffle Cake is downright epic. It succeeds where so many other raw desserts, especially cakes, fail, because it doesn’t try to defy its nature. It doesn’t pretend to be a cooked vegan cake—it goes straight for the truffle-lover jugular. It is rich and fudgy, and uses only certified organic, vegan, raw, and gluten-free ingredients including stone-ground cacao, coconut flakes, cashews, and low-glycemic coconut crystals. It is rich in antioxidants and nutrients while being completely unprocessed, and—best of all—it lasts six months, even unrefrigerated! Talk about convenient!
You can buy a Rawmio cake and serve it on many occasions, or just eat it by yourself! I plan to share, but I could see a raw food lover or couple savoring this for a looong time. That makes it a superb deal, and would satisfy any raw chocolate cravings, for sure.
How does it taste? The crust (coconut flakes, almonds, currants, cacao) is like a Crunch Bar, super crispy and sweet. The topping, or “filling” (coconut flakes, coconut sugar, cashews, cacao, sea salt) is essentially a raw chocolate bar, and I have started using some of the shavings atop smoothies. I really love this cake, and I think those who love raw chocolate or want to give raw desserts another shot should definitely consider giving this a go! Order online at Raw Guru.
Aw, Chips: "Too nice" bobcat kitten doesn't fear humans enough to live in the wild
Remember little Chips, the bobcat kitten who was rescued after a fire in the Sierras in August? She was taken to Sierra Wildlife Resuce by firefighters whom she was following around, rubbing against their giant boots. Poor little orphan! Look at how tiny she was!
Now she’s a bigger girl, but she’s also entirely too desensitized to humans to live successfully in the wild. She has to learn how to feed and care for herself, and fear humans, because humans are collectively terrible jerks who will not be kind to a friendly bobcat.
She’s being desensitized with the help of two other rescued bobcats, Tuffy, who was hit by a car, and Sierra, who was abandoned by his mother. The Sacramento Bee reports the trio will be released in the spring. In the meantime, good luck turning into a proper wild animal, Chips! Get mean, you adorable, beautiful fluffball!
Last week, with everyone on vacation and news slow, NPR’s Morning Edition deigned to do a two-part series about veganism. Coverage is coverage!
In part one, Renee Montagne interviewed “wellness expert” Kathy Freston, who explained the reasons to be vegan in a smart, succinct, non-threatening way. Nice work, Kathy!
In part two, chef, cookbook author, food justice advocate, and Oakland resident Bryant Terry represented with recipes. Hollah!
"It isn’t all brown rice and steamed vegetables," says Renee Montagne. I’m just going to assume she’s pretending to be ignorant for the benefit of her ignorant listeners.
Best part of the interview: two recipes from Bryant’s most recent book, The Inspired Vegan! His black-eyed peas in garlic-ginger-braised mustard greens, and molasses, miso, and maple candied sweet potatoes sound perfect for chilly winter nights. Check them out on the NPR website, or maybe just buy his book, because you know it’s full of good food, and suggestions for excellent literature and music accompaniments.
[photo by Jennifer Martiné/Da Capo Lifelong Books via NPR]
Sea otters now free to traverse the entire California coast!
Did you know that since 1987, sea otters were federally banned from going past Point Conception in Santa Barbara County? That’s right, every time you saw a sea otter in the wilds of Southern California (except off San Nicolas Island), it was breaking the law! Are you imagining them in little raccoon-style eye masks now, because I totally am.
It gets more ridiculous: Between 1987 and 2001, authorities actually relocated—as in, physically moved—otters that strayed past the completely arbitrary boundary. And the ones that defied the law by daring to live south of that imaginary border weren’t even granted federal protection as an endangered species, despite being the same species as the otters living in the “acceptable” area!
As of Dec. 18, 2012, though, our otter pals are officially allowed to roam the California coast at will, and the U.S. government extends endangered species protection to every tricksy sea weasel swimming with us.
Happy Almost New Year: it's the Vegansaurus best meals of 2012!
You didn’t think we’d let 2013 come at us without a best of list, did you? OF COURSE NOT. So for your reading pleasure, we came up with our very favorite meals of 2012. Let’s do this!
Jenny (that’s me!): My new favorite restaurant of all time is Pura Vida in Las Vegas. I ate so many wonderful meals this year, but Pura Vida topped them all. Chef Mayra is a culinary mastermind—her dishes are vibrantly colorful and packed with so much flavor! Almost every day I think about the breakfast burrito I had about eight months ago, and I cannot wait to to get back to Vegas to hit her up again! I’ve actually planned my entire wedding in Vegas (sans groom) (for now) solely based on Chef Mayra catering the elegant debauchery that will no doubt ensue.
Latin’tude breakfast burrito, I love you!
Megan: ”For me, it was the year of chickpea flour—and more specifically, the Tuscan chickpea frittata. Oh boy did we have some good times this year! I made them every which way from Sunday. So easy and so yummy! And totes versatile. It’s the best!”
Man, that was a lot of fun, when Megan was making all those frittatas! I can’t believe I never tried one myself, but I suppose that will have to be what 2013 is for!
Vegan, gluten-free frittata; so many delicious combinations!
Laura: ”The VegNews all-cheese holiday party, catered by Miyoko Schinner was, in a word, mind blowing! Cheese, cheese, and more cheese!! Giant cheese-stuffed ravioli was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life (SORRY ABOUT THE PHOTO, I’m too pretty to be good at anything!) and fried croquettes on amazing salad, and so much more. Vegan meringue, too! Holy mother!
"Vegan cheese, you’ve come a long way since your days of gross inedibility! Buy Miyoko’s book IMMEDIATELY!”
Hot dang, that VegNews staff knows how to get down!
Vegan cheese, you HAVE come a long way!
Meave: Of course, sometimes it is impossible to pick just one, so our Meave gives the lowdown on her top five! First, comes Isa’s Maple Pecan Pie, because what holiday is complete without this delectable dessert? (Follow Meave on Instagram to see how her beautiful pie turned out—I was blown away at its loveliness!)
Maple pecan pie, before meeting the oven!
Next up we have a filling and colorful veg bowl, to which Meave explains, “Angela Liddon, salad genius, made so many of my lunches better with her legume and veg bowls, but my favorite was her Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl. Meave is quite the salad dressing connoisseur (“I’m picky”), so if this made the list, you know it’s got to be good! Of course we can’t leave out the brunch at Donut Farm, which includes Meave’s personal faves — the winter hash, double-dipped donuts, banana fritters and potato works!
Sarah: Keeping up with her title, Sarah dishes out some raw opinions, telling us her favorite dish of 2012 was “Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Whole bowl. Always”. I bet she’s missing that over on the East Coast! Hope you got your fill on your recent L.A. adventure, Sarah!
Andrew: “I’m going to have to go with our recent Mexican vegan Christmas dinner menu—homemade refried beans, Spanish rice, homemade mole with tofu, three kinds of homemade tamales (soyrizo, mushroom and mole, and green chile and cheese); margarita pizza with soyrizo (definitely NOT homemade); and horchata made from scratch, which was used for Mexican White Russians. This fed seven of us at dinner and then everyone got some to take home. And we’ve had leftovers for one meal a day since.” I did manage to get myself invited to this magnificent dinner, but alas, Long Beach was just too far away!
Check out this magnificent plate, made complete with a Tecate, of course!
That’s enough about us and our favorites—now it’s your turn to rave about your absolute faves from 2012, so the rest of us can enjoy them in 2013! Happy New Year everybody!
It’s the last Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! of 2012, PLEASE ENJOY! And we'll see you next year xoxoxoxo!
Remember HSUS’s groundbreaking undercover investigation at a Wyoming pig factory earlier in the year? This past week, a small amount of justice for pigs was delivered when authorities announced they’re charging nine people we caught on tape there, including two managers, with criminal animal cruelty charges based on our investigation.
I have a commentary that aired twice today on the DC NPR affiliate (WAMU) about why listeners should make cutting back on meat consumption their New Year’s resolution. Speaking of NPR, yesterday and today, NPR’s Morning Edition had two (here andhere) major stories on vegan eating.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune—the biggest paper in the third biggest pork production state—editorialized this past week against gestation crates. The paper notes, “The extreme confinement shows such a shocking disregard for animal welfare that they’re banned in nine U.S. states and soon will be in the European Union.” And by soon, they mean really soon. The EU ban takes effect next week!
Video of the week: My friend Adam Frank uploaded this just yesterday—the lion and lamb not really laying together, but more like playing together!
“Now, Brussels sprouts are generally very good for you. They have omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of different vitamins. But one of those vitamins is vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting, which, in case your brain is slow from eating a lot for the last few days, is the opposite of blood thinning. So, if you are taking a blood thinner, as many people with heart problems are, too much vitamin K is not a good thing. Eat a lot of vitamin K while on blood thinner and fully expect that the vitamin K will tell your medication to go fuck itself. (Stinky cheese, coffee, and kale all have the same problem.)”—
It appears a man was hospitalized last year for eating too many Brussels sprouts! They are out to get you! But this doesn’t pertain to me as I’m not taking blood thinners, right? I think I’m cool on Brussels sprouts but I have been known to eat so much pineapple that my throat feels like I swallowed shards of glass.
Vegan suit-enthusiasts, perk up! I don’t know how people have been buying suits but it seems hella difficult. Wool wool wool! Well if you want a super-fine suit that’s all vegan, Brave GentleMan is here to outfit you. They are quite expensive but it’s my understanding that well-made suits have always been expensive. And sometimes you pay for quality and the sense of wellbeing you get knowing children didn’t make your clothes.*
As has been pointed out previously, you don’t need to be a “gentleman” to wear these, chicks can wear them too, as can gender neutral peeps and really, anyone with two Gs.
This is my favorite (besides the tux, obvi), the Convert:
So dope. Nothing like a fancy vegan in a suit, that’s what I always say.
*Brave GentleMan isn’t just vegan, the company is committed to fair-labor and sustainability as well.
Buyer’s Best Friend has been open for a little while now. I think they may have had their grand opening party over the summer. Every time I go in they have new and interesting products, and because they buy straight from the companies, they are able to sample out all their artisan food products! This is incredible news because most of their specialty food items are vegan, even raw! Buyer’s Best Friend also carries housewares, bath and beauty supplies, and cold-pressed Stumptown coffee!
Of course I took some pictures — let’s check it out!
All kinds of interesting, locally made, and beautifully crafted soaps, with creative names to boot!
The sales representatives were most excited to have me try this VEGAN bacon-flavored hot sauce. It was delicious, and completely cruelty-free!
Their shelves are stocked with all kinds of artisan oils, sauces, mustards, and glazes!
VEGAN CARAMEL SAUCE!
Pickled vegetables galore via Emmy’s!
Get yo’ hipster cold-pressed coffee ON.
Or you can get some beans to brew at home.
Raw vegan delights by Just Pure Foods!
Truffle oils and flour!
Before Buyer’s Best Friend opened, I had never had Cocomel’s coconut-milk based caramels. These caramels are definitely one of my most favorite things, ever!
Most of these chocolate delectables are vegan! Some are even raw!
Buyer’s Best Friend is located at 1740 Haight St. in San Francisco, between Cole and Shrader in the Upper Haight!
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
You may be interested in HSUS’s new fully wrapped bus ads rolling around DC and Des Moines with a message that gestation crate defenders are sure not to like, and while you’re at it, here’s the Des Moines Register’s coverage of it.
National Hog Farmer this week lamented the progress we made in 2012 against gestation crates, noting our early successes getting large food companies on “the anti-stall bandwagon [set] in motion for others to hop on, much to the glee of the pork industry’s nemesis — the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)….Even more disturbing is it has empowered HSUS and their ilk to target other common pig management procedures.” (Note: Einstein Bagels and Arby’s this week became the latest companies to announce plans to phase out gestation crates…)
Meat industry analysts (and owner of the Dow Jones Index) CME Group report this week that demand for meat in the US fell again this year, and conclude: “But it is obvious that there have been no banner years for at least the three largest species since 2004.” Perhaps more people are seeing pieces like this one from this week about the benefits of Meatless Monday.
P.S. Video of the week: Want to be inspired by some cool things that happened for animals this past year? Check this one out. (Bonus blog of the week: Some cool things specifically for farm animals that happened.)
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, but without being overly meaty, as I know some of you aren’t a fan of faux-meats that are exactly like the real thing. The addition of the wakame powder lends a fishy taste that I would also say is not over the top. It tastes like it’s from the sea, in a natural and light-hearted kind of way!
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 couldn’t have been happier!
The crab cakes are somewhat small, so I thought I could eat all four, no problem. In reality, I could only get through two, because they are deliciously 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!