The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has opened up a forum that the agency hopes will create an open conservation with the public about how to protect 60 species of imperiled animals.
The FWC invites the general public to visit their site to review their new draft action plans and to comment on them.
"We hope the public and stakeholders will comment on the draft species action plans and share their ideas on common themes or actions among plans," said Claire Sunquist Blunden, the stakeholder coordination for imperiled species management planning for the FWC.
Learn more about the 61 species targeted by Florida for new protection, and read and comment on the state’s plans at the FFWCC site.
[Eastern Chipmunk photo by Vicki DeLoach via Flickr]
Pittsburgh is a pierogi town. Pittsburghers seriously love sports, and not only are pierogies for sale at all sporting events, but at home Pirates games, people dressed as pierogies race each other around PNC Park. One might wonder whether pirates weren’t an exciting enough mascot; well, sure, but it’s Pittsburgh, dammit, and the people of Pittsburgh are proud of their Eastern European foodstuffs! Plus, the sandwich-with-french-fries-and-coleslaw-on-it costume is pretty confusing, and an Andy Warhol race just didn’t have the same mass appeal.
Sadly, though, most places stuff their pierogies full of non-vegan ingredients. We’re talking cheese, meat, lots of butter. Some places even put eggs in the dough. But hope is not lost for the vegan who wants to eat an enormous amount of authentic dough pockets stuffed with (preferably) greasy goodies like any real Pittsburgher!
Tomasz Skowronski has been holding Vegan Pierogie Night for over two years, using mostly word of mouth to spread the joy of vegan pierogies to Pittsburgh’s herbivores and omnivores alike. “People think that the pierogie recipe is some sacred thing, but that’s the biggest misstep,” he says. “A pierogie is just supposed to be chewy and simple. You don’t need sour cream or fake things. The less artificial stuff you put into it, the better.”
Tomasz preps and serves.
This more-or-less monthly event has been a true labor of love for him. “At first, we pressed all the pierogies by hand. That’s possible to do, but eventually your hands just wither and you do a lot of crying, so now we use hand presses.” As the event grew in popularity, his partner Kate Lasky signed on to split the enormous amount of cooking and prep, while helpful friends volunteer the day of, frying and flipping and running around. “I think they just appreciate what we’ve got going on and they want to be involved in it,” says Kate. “And they don’t mind us bossing them around for three hours.”
Kate works in the kitchen while Tomasz serves in front.
With fillings like potato and red bell pepper coulis with sauerkraut and mushroom, or spicy carrot with stewed cabbage and cooked Jonathan apples, it’s no surprise that the line for food goes out the door, but Tomasz and Kate are committed to keeping it all-you-can-eat. Vegan Pierogie Night is a social event, where you get some food, sit and eat and talk, then go get some more food and do it again, rather than a pop-up kitchen or food truck. And pierogies are not the only thing served; there is always a second, unrelated food. Past pierogie nights have paired the Pittsburgh classic with such unlikely plate-mates as tacos, falafel, Korean barbecue, pizza, sushi, and banh mi.
Pierogies, dipping sauces, and tacos from the Pierogies vs. Tacos night held in December 2012.
Although Tomasz and Kate love to eat at many ethnic restaurants in Pittsburgh, they do feel the lack of strictly vegan places. “It’s so easy to buy vegan food for yourself at the grocery stores in the states now, so we’re kind of done with the whole ‘one vegan option’ thing,” says Tomasz. He and Kate have plans in the (slow) works to open up what sounds like would instantly be Pittsburgh’s most rad place if it ever came to be, which it totally should. “It’d be like, a Pan-Eastern European place that always plays Depeche Mode and has a late-night drunk menu. And a bar! With disco and darkwave.”
The next event happens on Saturday, March 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s at the Stephen Foster Community Center, 286 Main St., in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. This time around, it’s Pierogies vs. Sushi, and entry costs $10. Details on Facebook!
Melissa Balick is a blogger originally from Pennsylvania who now lives in San Francisco. She writes about vegan cooking, type 1 diabetes, and preserving marine biodiversity on her blog, Food and Loathing. You can also follow her on Twitter if you have a short attention span.
WANTED: bakers and eaters for Marin County's Vegan Bake Sale!
There’s info directly from the source below, so all you need to do is pick up one of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale’s cute new shirts (actually, that’s optional — but they’re REALLY CUTE!), and we’ll see you at the bake sale to do all of the eating!
Where: Outside of Pet Food Express, Terra Linda, 280 Northgate One, San Rafael, CA 94903
When: April 27, 10a-2p
How: Bake and Eat! Eat or Bake!
Make sure to check out our host, Pet Food Express, too — we’ll be right outside and they are totally big-hearted and awesome.
Marin Friends of Feralsis a non-profit, tax exempt 501 (C)(3) volunteer organization dedicated to the humane care and management of feral and homeless cats. They are located in Marin County, California – north of San Francisco.
Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity (AHO) is a501 (c) (3) organization designed for youth, by youth, for the future of youth who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Since its inception in January 2005, AHO has been leading the way in addressing the growing trend of youth homelessness in Marin County, Greater Bay Area and Sacramento, CA.
NPR investigates, but fails to find out why 18,000 pigs died during January and February in the Zhejiang village of Zhulin, or why nearly 3,000 dead pigs were found in the Huangpu River last week. The Huangpu supplies Shanghai with drinking water.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post quoted Zhejiang villagers saying farmers dumped pigs in the river because there were too many for government disposal areas. In addition, villagers said some farmers may have dumped pigs because of a crackdown on selling diseased pigs for human consumption.
Pork is the most popular meat in China. Half the world’s pigs live there, as The Salt has previously reported. China’s state media reported this week that 46 people have been jailed in Zhejiang for selling diseased pigs. Last year, police in the province confiscated about 11 tons of meat from sick pigs, according to the state-run China Daily.
The only things we know for sure is that those pigs lived terrible lives, and that they didn’t deserve whatever awful death came to them. Better check the sources of all your pork products, omnivores.
It's Paul Shapiro's weekly Animal News You Can Use!
Want to read a great AP story about the proponents of anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bills getting part of their bodies (I’ll let you be the judge) handed to them at a legislative hearing in Nebraska yesterday? Also, the ag-friendly Bakersfield Californian editorial board slammed the supporters of a similar California bill this week, saying how they’re “amazed by the audacity of the cattle industry.”
Good week in statehouses for farm animals, with a New Jersey ag committee passing a bill to ban gestation crates and a Colorado committee doing the same on a bill to ban dairy cow tail-docking. We’ll continue working hard to further advance these bills.
There’s a fascinating story out today about a meat industry front man who admits he created a fake Facebook profile posing as an animal activist in order to criticize HSUS and encourage other animal activists to do the same.
After extensive dialogue with HSUS, Bob Evans is the latest food giant to announce it wants to phase out gestation crates. And the National Pork Board did a survey with promising results about the changing attitudes of pork producers to the gestation crate issue.
Think you’re the only one who finds promise in plant-based products? These billionaires are with you.
Finally, students! If you want “Skinny Bitch” Rory Freedman, VegNews editorial director Elizabeth Castoria, and HSUS’s Kristie Middleton to read your essay, enter HSUS’s Meatless Monday essay contest now!
Video of the week: Justin Timberlake on SNL singing about vegan eating. Words can’t describe how great it is.
Chambers Lane pâté review! (amazing new vegan cheese alert!)
Since Laura and I moved to the East Bay, we’ve been unable to get to Rainbow Grocery as often as we used to. Last time we were there, we um, went a little overboard. We came away with four new cheeses and cheese spreads that we had never seen before. Of these, the Chambers Lane Truffled Cashew pâté was far and away the favorite, even above the much pricier Punk Rawk Labs cheese.
So when the people of Chambers Lane contacted us to see if we were interested in trying their other flavors, of course we said yes.
All together, there are three flavors. The first we had tried was Truffled Cashew. They also have Fig Balsamic Walnut Cashew and Rosemary Thyme Almond. These are also quite good.
The Fig Balsamic is sweet, tart, and rich-tasting, with hints of spice, it definitely has a wonderful complex flavor.
The Rosemary Thyme, on the other hand, is savory, but with a milder herbed taste. It’s almond-based, so it’s not quite as creamy as the other two, but is still pleasantly nutty.
But the first one we had tried probably still remains the favorite. With its rich, decadent truffle oil and creamy cashew texture, it really is something special. We started out by eating it on crackers like fancy folks, but then polite affectations went out the window, and we finished by sticking our fingers directly into the jar to get every last bit.
In addition to being available at Rainbow Grocery, you can also find Chambers Lane pâtés at Country Cheese Coffee Market and Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, Woodlands Market in Kentfield, and Draeger’s in Menlo Park, Danville, and San Mateo.
Let’s hope they get into even more stores soon, because this stuff is the GREATEST. Insanely delicious vegan cheese for all!
Olde Depot Public House is open/awesome in Oakland!
As Laura informed us way back in August of last year, one of the owners of Oakland’s venerable Beer Revolution (aka “the place where all the beer lives”) planned to open a new place directly next store called Olde Depot Public House, with yet more beer and what Laura charmingly called “a veg eatery.” Slated to open in early fall 2012, many of us waited and waited and, upon inquiring, were invariably told that it would probably be open “next Saturday” … a day that, sadly, never seemed to arrive.
I’m pleased to report that next Saturday is officially here.
I don’t know when Rebecca and the Beer Revolution crew formally opened the doors of Olde Depot Public House, but I noticed as I walked by during lunch and popped my head in. Obviously, I returned after work to grab a beer and see what’s up with veganism’s slow, steady takeover of 3rd Street. Here’s what I learned.
First off, Olde Depot has lots of beer and another sweet, dog-friendly patio, which is positive news for fans of beer and dogs.
The menu, which will be expanding, includes salted traditional pretzels that come with mustard and are delicious. (They seemed the go-to order out on the patio. Also, they brought me an extra one by accident, so that was a bonus.) There’s perogi filled with caramelized onion and potato in a mushroom sauce. I didn’t get this the first time I stopped by, because I am an idiot, apparently, but I split an order with a friend today and they were pretty stellar. Given that they were fairly crisp, they actually seemed more in the samosa/empanada arm of the Bread Filled Savory Stuff family, but really good all the same.
The focus is on the sausages, which are all made in-house and come with two of the different toppings, from grilled onions to fennel and dill kraut: options are Apple Sage Onion, Cherry Rosemary Herbed, “Currywurst (with curry Catsup),” and Rauch sausage. I went for the Cherry Rosemary Herbed Sausage with grilled onions and sweet peppers, and tried both the Rauch and Currywurst. All were delicious, though I think I liked the curry one the best, because it’s a sausage with curry on it.
There’s also pommes frites with a bunch of dipping options and what is described as a “daily European potato salad (rotating countries).” Today’s was Ukranian! Plus a tuna salad sandwich as a special.
It is all very exciting. I’m told you can also text your order from the Beer Rev patio and they’ll bring it to you, where presumably you already were drinking an Imperial Stout in the sun, because you are awesome.
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.
“Some liquors have animal products — not just dairy-based drinks, like Baileys Irish Cream, but also liquors that contain honey, like Bärenjäger. The owners Heather Rush and her husband, Jeff, vow to serve nothing but plant-based ingredients, which include their own house-made Irish Cream (made with thick soy milk, vanilla vodka, Frangelico and Kahlúa) and store-bought meatless Worcestershire for their Bloody Marys.”—
And what it says in the profile is true, it doesn’t only appeal to vegans. A friend of mine from work was telling me about his weekend and he totally ended up there. He had no idea it was a vegan bar until I told him. But they aren’t hiding that it’s vegan. As you should know, they have the NYC Vegan Shop-Ups there! It’s just a cool place everybody wants to be.
Too bad, polar bears, but a bunch of us humans don’t want to stop selling your pelts on the open market, so you can expect to be hunted to extinction.
This issue is tied up with politics surrounding Canada’s First Nations, specifically the Inuit:
There are about 25,000 polar bears left in the world with an estimated 16,000 living in the Canadian Arctic. Canada is the only country that permits the export of polar bear parts.
Each year around 600 polar bears are killed there, mainly by native hunters. According to Inuit representatives, the pelts from around 300 bears are sold for rugs. Other parts including fangs and paws are also exported.
The Inuit say they get an average of $4,850 per pelt. They argue that this is a critical economic resource for a people that do not have much else.
The trouble with that argument is that in conjunction with global warming destroying their ecosystem, the bears won’t be around to hunt much longer. Say goodbye to polar bears, everyone; the next generations won’t even know what they are.
[Story via Ken Layne’s Animal Beat. Photo by Valerie via Flickr]
World to cool it on shark-finning, at least for five species
Annually about 2 million scalloped hammerheads are killed for their fins.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) voted this week to restrict permits on exporting the fins of five species of sharks, to end trade in all freshwater sawfish, and restrict exports of manta rays’ gill plates.
Previous Cites meetings had seen similar protection proposals for sharks rejected, but new support from Latin American and west African countries, and the promise of cash from the European Union to help change fishing practices, won the day. The decisions could be reopened for debate at the final plenary session of the summit and potentially overturned. If, not all the measures will be implemented after an 18-month period in which enforcement measures can be set up.
A little less needless human destruction of the oceans! Keep up the totally necessary and hopefully not-too-late work, Cites.
Just wait till all those “I’d go vegan, but I love cheese too much” whiny-pants vegetarians hear about this. No excuses left, you big babies! Vegan up and eat your fancy cheeses or accept your weaknesses, donate extra money to a farm-animal rescue group, and hush.
Polluted English waterways are shrinking otters' penis bones
All the harmless-to-us chemicals we humans are flushing down our sinks and toilets have effects on the creatures living in our waterways. In England, otters, which made a valiant comeback after being nearly wiped out by chemical pollution, are now turning up with smaller penis bones, which scientists believe is linked to modern contaminants.
Dr Chadwick said: “With many of these contaminants, there can be all sorts of different sources… so it might be things like drugs that we’re taking and they flush through our sewerage systems and end up in the rivers.”
She added that dust from industrial production travelling into the atmosphere could also carry contaminants that end up in rivers as rainfall, even travelling long distances between countries.
Sorry, otters. All those lovely Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals that help us thrive are slowly murdering you.
"People are very quick to say: otters are in our rivers. That must mean rivers are perfect, they’re so clean, everything’s fine again… but it’s not really that simple," said [Countryfile director Anna ] Jones.
Parrot is rescued from near death, wears handmade sweaters.
This is Charlie, in his “jumper,” as the British press calls it. Charlie was neglected by his previous caretakers and almost starved to death. During his neglect, he plucked out nearly all of his feathers (some sites say he was attempting to eat them in desperation). Thankfully, he was rescued and taken in by Safehaven Parrot Refuge. A vet recommended euthanasia but the rescue coordinator Rebecca Blagg took Charlie in herself and spoon-fed him back to health.
Besides being weak and hungry, the poor naked boy was shivering from the cold. So Blagg knit him some custom-fit sweaters! And now Charlie wouldn’t be caught without one: "If we take them off him for good, he gets very cross. He stomps about, he shouts, he gets very agitated. So we just stopped trying." How cute! I want a parrot! I also just realized I don’t say “cross” enough. Or “stomps about.” Today’s agenda is now set.
Apparently, it’s not uncommon for parrots to find themselves in need of refuge. The lifespan of an eclectus parrot like Charlie is 65-85 years, so it’s very possible for them to outlive their owners. If you want to help Safehaven, here are some ways to do so.
Remember I told you an online vegan marketplace was on the horizon? Well forAnima is finally here! So far, I like these chocolate skulls and the top at the bottom of the post. But give me more time and I’m sure I could rake up a few hundred dollars! I’m smart like that.
I asked for a little more info on forAnima and it sounds really cool:
ForAnima.com is an innovative platform that includes several interactive features such as “Be the Buyer” where users upload styles and items they would like to see created in an animal-friendly way, as well as “Create Collections” where users get to have fun with fashion and create collections of items they like. The site also features a recipe section with vegan meal suggestions, a collection of blogs, a community page where members can discuss everything from animal legislation to vegan fashion, and lots of resources.
ForAnima.com is aimed at people and businesses that care about the well-being of the environment and animals, including domesticated and farm animals. The mission of forAnima is three-fold: bring the welfare of animals into the “eco/organic/green” equation; provide a fun shopping experience that will appeal to vegan shoppers and animal-lovers alike; and to support, recognize, and empower businesses and individuals who personify the “be the change that you want to see in the world” motto.
I like it! I like Etsy too but, yeah, I’d rather everything was vegan. And I like that this makes it super-easy to support businesses with similar values as me. Sometimes it just feels exhausting to be conscientious, so anything that makes it easier gets an A+ from Professor Rascal. And I’m excited about the “be the buyer” thing! Because I’ve got ideas! Seriously, I’ve got ideas out the wazoo. It’s a blessing and a curse. Much like my god-given beauty.
Remember that palindrome you learned in fifth grade, “Go hang a salami. I’m a lasagna hog”? Besides being fucked up and unethical, this sentence is also hiding a not-so-secret truth about salami: it’s a major people killer. According to a new international study of 500,000 Europeans, you can pretty much consider yourself dead if you eat processed meat.
"Go hang yourself if you ate a salami because you helped kill a hog," doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but I believe kids should know the truth! Gosh. Per NPR, this study says eating processed meat ups your chances for cancer and heart disease by, like, a bijillion. Apparently the toxic combo of salt, smoke, and nitrate used to preserve these processed dead animal carcasses masquerading as food is the WORST. Need another reason not to eat salami? I conducted an independent study by myself and found that 100 percent of the time it contributes to non-human animal deaths.
Product review: Earth Balance White Cheddar Flavor Puffs
If you haven’t heard of the Earth Balance Aged White Cheddar Puffs yet, you must live under a rock! Don’t be embarrassed, everybody has to live somewhere. So I finally tried these bad boys and they are good! They are not as amazing as the beloved Jax of my childhood—any Jax fans out there?!—but they hit the spot. Way better than Tings. They aren’t super cheesy but they do have a nice subtle cheddar flavor. And they are super puffy! The puffiness is my favorite part.
I got mine from Vegan Essentials but I’m hoping to see them in stores near me soon.
It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!
I’m psyched to let you know that HSUS worked with L.A.’s school system to implement a Meatless Monday program for all L.A. public schools (K-12). Every Monday, all 650,000 meals they serve are now all-vegetarian. It’s my honor to be on CNN HLN tonight discussing this news with the always-wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell. You can watch the segment here—please share it!
Colorado’s legislature held a hearing this week on a bill to ban the cruel tail-docking of dairy cows. Despite the practice being opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dairy farmers still shamefully defended the practice at the hearing.
NPR’s “On the Media” had a very worthwhile interview about the meat industry’s efforts to silence whistleblowers by passing laws to ban undercover investigations by HSUS and fellow great animal protection groups. Check it out.
Finally, you may be interested in this op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the horsemeat scandal.
Clementine Bakery brings fresh-baked vegan yums to Brooklyn
This weekend I finally made it to Brooklyn’s Clementine Bakery! I went with my pals James (a.k.a. DJ Grand Format) and Jess (a.k.a. Cutie McSweetums). J&J have been telling me about this organic vegan bakery in “Clinton Hill-Stuy” for weeks now so I finally had to check it out for some brunch. Above is one of their cinnamon rolls. It was delicious! Not super-cinnamon-y but it had this great sticky honey flavor. Must be agave? I don’t know, but it was good. And just about the size of my face!
Their tagline is “your neighborhood cake dealer,” which is hilarious, and as you can see, the place is thoroughly adorbs. On top of that, the people were so very nice.
You can see there is an abundance of sweets but they also have a variety of “savory biscuits.” If you don’t know, now you know: I LOVE BISCUITS. They come in wacky flavors and on Sundays, you can get them with gravy! If you don’t know, now you know: I LOVE BISCUITS AND GRAVY. So I got the artichoke-kale biscuit with gravy (pictured below). It came with a lot of gravy. I didn’t need that much but it was tasty. I liked the biscuit but I think I would have preferred a plain biscuit. The flavors are fun if you are just eating the biscuit on its own but with the gravy, the flavors get a bit convoluted. Still super yummy though!
Behind the B+G is my almond milk latte. I absolutely love when you have a choice of non-dairy milks. Soy is just not my favorite but you know that’s usually your only option. Here they have soy, rice, and almond (I think they also had cow milk as an option but maybe I’m imagining things?? But it’s not like I don’t frequent a million other establishments that serve cow milk). Oh, and some of you will be pleased to know that they have a good selection of gluten-free stuff and soy-free stuff. Yay for you guys!
Clementine also has a nice sandwich menu. I didn’t get one (what do you want from me, I had biscuits and gravy AND the giant cinnamon roll, I’m just one rascal!) but James and Jess both got the Schmancy as it is their fave. The Schmancy is composed of seasoned and baked tofu, spinach, tomato, avocado, pesto, and Hollandaise sauce, served on a rosemary roll. Schmancy indeed! James also got this cute heart-shaped cake-sandwich thing to take home.
I should have gotten one too! I was so stuffed, I wasn’t thinking straight. Next time I will be more on my game. I also want to get a danish! They totally had some sort of sweet potato danish that clearly needs to find a home—in my tummy!
So this is definitely a lovely place I can highly recommend. Plus, you never know who you might see! It is apparently where the who’s who of the NYC vegan community meet. We saw none other than Deborah Diamant of SuperVegan and Vegan Drinks fame! And then if Instagram is to be trusted, it looks like Joshua Katcher made it there shortly after I left. And then of course I was there, so that’s obvi a big deal.
Second anniversary party at Source in SF on Saturday!
Hey San Franciscans—Source restaurant is throwing a second anniversary party and you’re invited! We’ll be serving our tremendously popular and incredibly delicious brisket platter, which includes smothered moo brisket, creamed spinach, candied yams, cranberry relish, and my favorite—macaroni salad! I don’t know what we’re going to do for dessert yet, but there will definitely be a large assortment of gluten-free goodies, including Twinkees and chocolate Heaven Dogs.
I can’t wait till Saturday!
In addition to the festivities (read: feeding frenzy), we’ll be giving away Source buttons as a thank-you to our customers for keeping us inspired, motivated, and excited about what we’ve been doing at the restaurant for the last two years! We ordered quite a few of them, but when they run out, they run out. If you get your hands on one, make sure to wear it on future visits for FREEBIES! (If I see you wearing one, you’re getting dessert on me!)
These stylish adornments were made by our friend the lovely Jen at Never Felt Better!
Source’s second anniversary is tomorrow, Saturday, March 8. We’ll serve brunch and our full menu from 11am until 2:30pm; after that we’ll serve our full menu and the brisket platter until we close at 10pm! If you weren’t aware, Source is BYOB—and stay tuned, as we should be getting our wine and beer license in the next couple of weeks!
See you tomorrow! MENTION THIS POST, VEGANSAURUS READERS (or just mention Vegansaurus, whatever you like), FOR 10 PERCENT OUR ENTIRE MENU ALL DAY SATURDAY! Thanks for supporting us for the last two years!
Source is located at 11 Division St. in San Francisco. Call us for more details or inquires about reservations and take-out orders at 864-9000.
NYC: Spring break Vegan Shop-Up is tomorrow! Get your parents' permission!
JK, no permission slips required. Because we are grown-ass vegans. Details:
It’s definitely not getting warmer. That’s why it’s time for a vacay! SPRING BREAK TWOTHOUSANDTHIRTEEEEEENNNN!! Wild times, drink specials, snacks, babes, and unrated fun are all waiting for you at the fast approaching Vegan Spring Break Shop-Up on Saturday, March 9, from Noon to 5 p.m. at Pine Box Rock Shop! Vegan Shop-Up is NYC’s only all vegan pop-up market featuring the best small businesses around.
You’ll find: raw cookies + gluten-free cakes + peanut butter cups + eco clothing + Ethiopian brunch + kombucha + cinnamon rolls + jewelry + skin care + ice cream + cashew cheese + fresh juice + your favorite food truck, and so much more. WAYYYY better than a sandy bathing suit and 5 day hangover!
Pack your shades, zinc oxide, and finest cut-offs for our rowdiest Shop-Up yet!
It’s always happy hour during the Vegan Shop-Ups, so come thirsty, COME HUNGRY, and get excited. You know how it works.
Cosmetic animal testing banned in the European Union!
That’s right! As of March 11, “the marketing, import, and sale of animal-tested cosmetics and their ingredients will no longer be legal in the EU.” Congratulations to PCRM, who did a lot of work lobbying for the ban, and here’s to passing a similar ban in the U.S. Cosmetics don’t need to be tested on animals any longer. Science has moved beyond it; here’s hoping we can move society beyond it, too.
Welcome to protection under California's Endangered Species Act, great white shark!
Great whites are the scariest sharks ever, thanks to movies and television and their natural aura of gruesome death, but of course also despite the protections we already had in place for them, commercial fishing is reckless and whoops, we’re accidentally killing them so fish-eaters can eat fish.
Great whites have been off-limits to commercial and sport fishing under California law since 1994, Reuters noted. However, the fish, particularly young ones, still wind up as “bycatch” in gill-nets intended for halibut, swordfish and white sea bass off of California and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Such bycatch, also known as “incidental taking,” has been unrestricted.
But now (for a month already!), thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, great whites are now protected under the state Endangered Species Act. They’re not on the Endangered Species list, but this news is progress toward that end. Save the great white! Don’t let the Pacific (completely) go to hell because a bunch of jerks are hungry for fish steaks.
Two fun studies show that bees are having more troubles thriving in the age of modern agriculture than we thought.
First, honeybees aren’t the best crop pollinators; per a study published in Science, they get a lot of help from bumblebees and carpenter bees.
Second, wild bees hate monocultures, and don’t like to pollinate in single-crop areas.
Claire Kremen, a conservation biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who’s a co-author of the first study in Science, says one of the biggest problems for wild bees is the agricultural specialization that has produced huge fields of just one crop.
The almond groves of California, for example, are a sea of blossoms in February. It’s a feast, as far as the eye can see, for honeybees that come here from all over the country.
"But for the rest of the year, there’s nothing blooming," she says.
That means there are no bees. “In fact, in places where we have very large monocultures of almond, we don’t find any native bees anymore,” Kremen says.
So what does that mean for us? Will the fact that large-scale monoculture is bad for bees force us to change the way we farm? Is smaller-scale, more diverse farming financially feasible for modern farmers?
Home gardeners, at least, could learn to plant a variety of flowers and food plants together. As for commercial agriculture, we’ll see.
Buy a t-shirt, help animals! They're dope and available this week only!
I totally heart these sweatshirts and tees. It’s the intersection of my love for type, clothes, and animals. The concept behind the shirts is interesting too. This site Sevenly.org runs a fundraiser each week where they sell limited edition (I think) shirts and donate $7 of each sale to the chosen charity of the week. Their goal is to raise money for the charity but also, by making things related to the charity that people can buy and wear, they raise awareness for the cause. And this week, the cause is the Humane Society! So for every shirt sold, seven bucks goes to HSUS. More importantly: you get a cool shirt! I kid, I kid. But looks like you only have until Sunday to buy so you best get on that.
My dad was on NPR yesterday, selling Kai Ryssdal on plant-based fast casual food. Woo, go dad!
Vegansaurus pal and all-around wonderful human being Kate Dollarhyde brought to our attention to this interview with her dad, Greg Dollarhyde,* who is CEO of the Veggie Grill! Which everyone should love, as it is terrific. Look at that salad!
Click through to find out what cities can look forward to their own Veggie Grills in the near future (hint: outside of California!).
Per national food-issues watchdog Parke Wilde at U.S. Food Policy blog, little dairy-consumers could be ingesting fun new chemicals in their federally purchased school-lunch milks!
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have petitioned FDA to modify the standard of identity for milk, permitting companies to add a non-calorie sweetener without additional labeling.
The petition proposes to allow dairy companies to add the non-nutritive sweetener aspartame to milk, without being required to label the milk as “low-calorie” or “low-sugar.” Currently, aspartame is allowed in milk (just as in diet soda), but such milk must be labeled to let the consumer know.
It appears the dairy industry is especially interested in marketing low-calorie flavored milk through child nutrition programs.
Oh boy! What lucky boys and girls, drinking delicious, artificially flavored milk, full of even more artificial sweeteners! And the dairy industry wouldn’t even have to tell them about it! Gosh, you’d think if milk-sellers were so proud of their newest clever way of tricking children into consuming their hell-beverage, they’d announce it in a super-cool ad, not petition the FDA to hide their action. Why, it’s almost as if the dairy industry doesn’t want adults to know what’s inside the new-and-improved, lower-sugar, “better”-for-kids milk products.
The dairy industry lie (by omission) to us? Perish the thought.
Domestic Drama Sends Owners of Vegan Magazine to Court
VegNews is an influential, award-winning vegan lifestyle magazine. It just won its 10th Maggie Award for Best Niche Lifestyle Magazine, and the New York Timesrefers to it as “a glossy magazine that is a mix of People and Real Simple for the meatless set.” It was founded in July 2000 by Joe Connelly and Colleen Holland, a vegan couple aiming to launch veganism into the mainstream.
Unfortunately, there’s trouble in vegan paradise.
According to documents filed in August of 2012 in San Francisco superior court by Joe, he claims to be the sole founder and owner VegNews, asserting that Colleen is just an employee. A cross-complaint filed by Colleen on Feb 7, 2013, alleges this isn’t true, and that she and Joe are now — and have always been — equal partners in the business. In fact, she says the first time she ever heard Joe’s claim to sole ownership was when she reviewed the complaint that he filed against her. Something stinks, and for once, it’s not home-brewed kombucha.
In documents and declarations obtained through the Superior Court of California, several close friends, consultants, and advisors who have been present since the inception of VegNews, say they believe Colleen is telling the truth.
Al Whaley remembers in his declaration, “Joe introduced me to Colleen Holland. He introduced her as the co-founder and partner of VegNews which is the organization that Colleen and Joe were representing at the convention.”
Davy Davidson states, “Not long after we became friends in 1999 Colleen told me she had met a wonderful guy in the east and that he was moving to San Francisco and they were going to start a business together. Later I met Joe Connelly after he arrived in San Francisco when Colleen and he did indeed start that business, which became VegNews.”
In 2004, Joe filled out forms for an organization known as PIPS, and lists both Colleen and himself as owners of VegNews. In a 2005 interview with Quark Technology Partnership, Joe states, “Prior to moving to magazine we were two-person operation. Aside from our network of writers all of the work was done by two founders.”
Finally, I’d be more than remiss if didn’t recognize Colleen Holland, my partner with VegNews since the planning stages long before the publication of issue 1. She deserves at least as much credit for VegNews’ success as I do.
In both Joe and Colleen’s documents, they estimate their romantic relationship began deteriorating in 2005-2006, but they were able to still successfully run the magazine together, as partners.
According to a declaration from longtime friend and advisor Rey Ortega, Colleen and Joe approached him in 2008 to mediate whether or not Colleen should be considered a co-founder of VegNews. Joe claimed she shouldn’t, and Colleen claimed she should. Ortega agreed with Colleen, stating she should be known as co-founder. He adds:
I was never asked to judge who owns VegNews because they both acknowledged they were co-owners of VegNews and the issue of foundership only pertained to recognition.
According to evidence submitted with Colleen’s declaration, Joe acknowledged her as a co-founder in marketing documents as recently as 2006. As recently as 2011, Joe and Colleen were listed as owners of VegNews in a proposal to Eric Brent, the owner of HappyCow, a website they were considering purchasing.
However, in 2012, according to Joe’s amended complaint and Colleen’s declaration, relations between the two decidedly took a turn for the worse. The couple sought mediation for their problems, but it was seemingly unsuccessful, and according to Colleen’s declaration, ended with Joe saying “I will spend the rest of my life making sure you do not get what you want,” and “I hope we both get cancer and die.”
According to Colleen’s declaration, in mid-2012, Joe began changing the signature lines on his email to “founder and publisher”. Since the litigation began, he has added the title of “owner”.
On December 21 2012, Colleen states that Joe cancelled her two VegNews credit cards, leaving her unable to charge “critical VegNews business expenses.” She also writes:
On the other hand, Joe has taken several personal trips including to Canada, Pittsburgh, Colorado, and New York (where his family and girlfriend lives), using VegNews resources, and he refuses to account to me for expenses he incurred which are being charged to VegNews.
According to Colleen’s declaration, Joe either removed her access and/or changed the passwords on VegNews’ on-line banking system, the back-end server, and their internal financial system. She also alleges he changed the locks to the location of the company’s business records. Further, she claims he removed her name from VegNews’ first bank account, which they opened together in 2000.
In August 2000, Joe and I opened VegNews’ first bank account at Santa Cruz Community Credit Union. The account was opened in both of our names. Joe and I have always had equal access to it and have used it for VegNews business. I verified the checking account balance on December 27 2012 which was $59,204. On January 31 2013, I was informed by a representative of Santa Cruz Community Credit Union that on January 25 2013, Joe had my name removed from our account. I also verified that he had emptied the funds of the account so that the balance in the checking account on January 31 was only $31.49.
Colleen’s declaration continues:
Joe has now had my name removed from our VegNews bank account and my access to all credit cards withdrawn. I’m unaware of what Joe has done with VegNews money but don’t believe that it was used to pay legitimate business expenses given my knowledge of what outstanding expenses we had when Joe drained the bank account. These funds are needed to pay VegNews’ operating expenses.
Although Colleen is the sole lease holder on the VegNews office, Joe’s lawyers sent a letter to the managing owner of the building on January 14, 2013, saying they needed to terminate the current lease with Colleen and issue a new one to Joe.
On January 22, 2013, Joe informed Colleen that he had instructed the office cleaning people to not clean her office until she starts separating her trash from her recyclables. The letter ends with “If and when you decide to become a team player, they will gladly resume cleaning your office.”
Joe is asking for full ownership of VegNews, and $4.5 million dollars for breach of contract and fraud, while Colleen is asking for injunctive relief and for “an independent third party to take control of the accounts payable, receivables, payroll, draws, and all other financial and operational decisions that Joe and I cannot agree upon.”
To me, this is a cautionary tale — we in the vegan community need to behave ethically to fellow humans.
VegNews has been crucial to my journey as a vegan. When I first became vegan in 2004, I remember reading each issue cover to cover, and savoring every word. I looked up to both Colleen Holland and Joe Connelly, the people I understood to be the founders and owners, and cheered their success. When, in 2010, I began working as a VegNews columnist, and the magazine’s Editor-at-Large, I was absolutely thrilled. I now consider both Joe and Colleen to be bosses, and friends.
To say hearing about this lawsuit was upsetting is an understatement, and I’m heartbroken to learn what’s transpired. Right now, I’m personally grieving for a relationship that was once so strong, and has turned toxic. I believe that the talented and dedicated VegNews staff can right the ship, and I can only hope they’re given that chance.
CoraLlei vegan handbags are coming to Compassion Couture!
You know I’m in love with Irish vegan handbag company CoraLlei so I was very excited to hear that 1. their new line is out, and 2. Compassion Couture will now be selling them stateside!
I contacted Jill from Compassion Couture for the details and she told me they will be selling three styles from the current collection: The Sofia in grey (above), the Cici in tan and the Sienna in grey. And the bags should be up by mid to late March [Update: they’ve landed!].
More about the bags:
-The material used to make the bags is Italian Vegan Leather.
- They are produced in Milan, Italy.
-The bags are water resistant and don’t absorb marks or stains and are therefore easier to clean.
-All linings for each bag are made from end of roll recycled materials from the Italian Design Houses in Venice.
I still don’t think I can afford one…but I bet the quality is amazing. So maybe I will consider it an “investment” or something? A quality bag that lasts for 10 years is certainly preferable to 10 crappy pleather environment-killing bags that dissolve in one year. Sigh. We’ll see.
Cookbook Preview! Vedge: 100 Plates Large And Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking
Homemade Brussels sprouts. Recipe adapted from Vedge: 100 Plates Large And Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking. They turned out SO well!
Vedge Restaurant is hands-down the best thing that has ever happened to my hometown of Philadelphia, period. A newcomer on the Philly vegan/fine-dining scene, Vedge has recently made pretty much every top vegan restaurant and “awesome place to eat, ever” list I know of. Even the blokes at GQ love it! Vedge, who recently partnered with Williams Sonoma to make sauces I’ve tried and super loved and you should try too, have somehow catapulted vegetable eating into an art form even fit for, gasp, non-vegans! Seriously though, bring non-vegans to Vedge and they won’t sheket about how wonderful it is. Kind of miraculous when you consider that all dishes center around vegetables and the fine dining crowd in Philly is usually on their suit and tie shit (tie shit).
I’ve eaten at Vedge a handful of times and have to say it really is the best ever! The only qualm I have with it is that the plates are admittedly pretty small. Patrons are encouraged to order a few of them “tapas style,” which is code-speak for “buy $100 worth per person,” which you have to do if you want a full meal.
To cut to the chase, owners Kate Jacoby and Rich Landau are soon releasing a new cookbook that highlights the fantastic dishes at their restaurant, tailored to aspiring at-home veggie chefs.
I am indeed glad that Vedge charges what other frou-frou fine-dining places charge, and especially that it doesn’t spend a dime of it on animal exploitation. Totally worth it! Still, I am quite thrilled that my all-time favorite Vedge dish, the Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce, is now available for at-home chefs like myself. Vedge offered a preview to Vegansaurus, and I have had the privilege of making my fave dish at home! Here’s the recipe, reprinted with permission.
Brussels sprouts served at Vedge Restaurant. Image.
Vedge’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Whole-Grain Mustard Sauce* Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Serves: 2 to 3
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard ½ cup vegan mayo 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 pound Brussels sprouts 2 to 3 layers of outer leaves removed and bottom core cut off 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1. Begin by making the sauce, whisking together the mustard,vegan mayo, and water with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon on the pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Run Brussels sprouts through the slicer blade of a food processor or carefully shave on a mandoline.
3. Heat a large sauté pan on high. Add the olive oil. Just as the oil starts to ripple, add the garlic, then immediately add the shaved Brussels sprouts. Sear for 30 seconds, then stir to prevent the garlic from burning.
4. Add the remaining salt and remaining pepper, then allow the Brussels sprouts to sear for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so they brown evenly. Transfer to serving dish.
5. Drizzle sauce directly on top of the Brussels sprouts.
Enjoy! [Note: I used an oven instead of following the recipes because I served these to a dinner party for nine and ran out of stove space. That worked really well too!]