vegansaurus!

Jul 31

Hold onto your Beer Steins, LA: Vegan Oktoberfest is Coming!


You heard that right. On October 4th, one of the most non-vegan events in a beer lover’s life is going vegan, complete with traditional German eats and bevvys. Who’s donning their best lederhosen and getting their vegan drink and eat on? Prost!
Jessica Schoech is the founder of The Vedge App, an up-and-coming app that will revolutionize the way we find veg food worldwide. She is a self-professed crunchy vegan mom (cloth diapers, anyone?), wife, and foodie, who finds the most joy in welcoming people of all backgrounds to the green side, especially vegan parents and children. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and at Power to the Veg! on Facebook.

Hold onto your Beer Steins, LA: Vegan Oktoberfest is Coming!



You heard that right. On October 4th, one of the most non-vegan events in a beer lover’s life is going vegan, complete with traditional German eats and bevvys. Who’s donning their best lederhosen and getting their vegan drink and eat on? Prost!

Jessica Schoech is the founder of The Vedge App, an up-and-coming app that will revolutionize the way we find veg food worldwide. She is a self-professed crunchy vegan mom (cloth diapers, anyone?), wife, and foodie, who finds the most joy in welcoming people of all backgrounds to the green side, especially vegan parents and children. You can find her on InstagramFacebookTwitter and at Power to the Veg! on Facebook.

Your Kitty Can Help Save Tigers!

Here’s Dolores, my new kitty, giving her super roar to save tigers. Like our favorite kitty star Lil Bub, Dolores and me are so sad that there are only a few thousand wild tigers left. It’s terrible! That’s why Greenpeace has started this initiative with the help of all the cool internet cats like Bub, Cats Save Tigers.

And your cat can be a part of it too! Go to CatsSaveTigers.org and you can make your own kitty meme and even donate. 

Learn more from Lil Bub herself:

Now go to the site and see how you can help!

Finally picked up my kickstarter reward from Cinnamon Snail! Creme brûlée donuts!!! My coworkers are so lucky I’m gonna share with them. I’m so nice.

Finally picked up my kickstarter reward from Cinnamon Snail! Creme brûlée donuts!!! My coworkers are so lucky I’m gonna share with them. I’m so nice.

Jul 30

NYC: Vegan Drinks is tomorrow!!!

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Vegan Drinks is tomorrow night! Imma be there, will you?! You’d better!

Also, this month benefits Empty Cages Collective and, besides funds, they need towels, blankets, and sheets for the cute animals! So you are encouraged to bring or drop off any of these items to Fontana’s tomorrow night. 

K let’s party!

Jul 29

Youth Empowered Action vegan summer camp? Sign me up!

… said my inner 13-year-old. When I first heard about Youth Empowered Action (YEA) camp, I started mentally packing my bags. All of the food is vegan, though the campers, kids ages 12 to 17, range from vegan to vegetarian to omnivorous and everywhere in between.

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I got the skinny on YEA from founder and executive director Nora Kramer, and man, does she make me wish I could relive my teenage years. This is not your run-of-the-mill soggy-sandwich, papier-mâché-crafts, learn-to-swim camp. This camp is something incredibly special. Campers who attend YEA are on a mission to make effective change in one area of their choosing — factory farming, vegetarianism, the environment, gay rights, bullying, education. Talk about covering the spread! I don’t remember being half as passionate about anything more than how many inches of exposed leg I could get away with at that age.

At YEA, campers build skills to address the issues most vital to them. YEA covers four core areas of activism: knowledge, skills, confidence, and community. By the end of the weeklong stay, campers will have created an action plan to hopefully implement in the real world. YEA alumni have done some incredible things! Some campers have successfully petitioned for veg options at their schools; others started animal rights clubs, organized fundraisers for charities, created online stores for cruelty-free crafts, and gotten rid of dissection in their classrooms. It’s no wonder YEA camps are fostering the next generation of game-changers, law-makers, activists, environmentalists, and vegans. These kids are set up to succeed through confident and effective activism.

YEA camp is structured to allow every camper to tell their story and share their cause with their peers. By the end of camp, everyone has learned something new about the issues of their peers, and some even take steps to live a cruelty-free life once they leave camp. That, in addition to the vegan camp food, really makes YEA not only the perfect place for budding philanthropists, but for helping shape the future generations of our compassionate world.

A typical day of food at YEA camp looks like this:

ALL VEGAN. You know I had to leave you with the goods.

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These kids not only learn how to better care for the world and solve its problems, but, most importantly, they develop sense of community with their peers who are doing the same. And Nora, if you ever decide to start an adult YEA camp, sign me up!

You can find more info about YEA and their ongoing summer camps online. This year, there are sessions in Oregon, California, and Massachusetts; the California session began on Sunday, and Massachusetts’s begins August 9. If you have a young activist on your hands, check this place out, and help them become the leader they were born to be.

Jessica Schoech is the founder of The Vedge App, an up-and-coming app that will revolutionize the way we find veg food worldwide. She is a self-professed crunchy vegan mom (cloth diapers, anyone?), wife, and foodie, who finds the most joy in welcoming people of all backgrounds to the green side, especially vegan parents and children. You can find her on InstagramFacebookTwitter and at Power to the Veg! on Facebook.

Jul 28

Finally, the white chocolate we’ve all been waiting for (and it’s vegan! bonus!)

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Vegan white chocolate, like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, has historically (yes, HISTORICALLY) been nothing more than a magical lie. A goddamned beautiful magical LIE! And if you could get your hands on it, it tasted like overly sweet white chalk, or worse. I don’t know what’s worse than overly sweet white chalk but if you’ve eaten most vegan white chocolates, you would know. And actually, non-vegan white chocolate, for that matter. That stuff can be FUNKY, and NOT funky FRESH. It’s a hard dish to crack, but it’s finally been done, and for that we should all get down on our knees and praise Easter Bunny. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Let’s get to the candy.

Of course it was that genius Melodi from Obsessive Confection Disorder who successfully veganized white chocolate into the tasty candy it deserved to be. She sent me some to try and it. is. like. WHOA.

It is just … it’s otherworldly. It’s sweet, but not insanely sweet, and oh so creamy, and it melts on your tongue. It is the best stuff on Earth. Order it all now before I do because not only do I want to eat it solo, I want to add it to baked goods and melt it on top of berries. It is the nectar of the gods and you NEED IT. Also, you probably need everything else Melodi makes because girlfriend is a vegan candy GODDESS. Make way for the REAL Tooth Fairy, because she has arrived and she is Good.

Vegans, come party in the Hamptons on August 9th at PCRM’s Passion for Compassion!

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Want to celebrate the animals with the country’s fanciest vegans this summer? Of course you (and your money) do! That’s why you’re attending PCRM’s Passion for Compassion: Creating a Better Future for Animals and People even in the Hamptons on Saturday, August 9!

Get your tickets here! This year there’s a special free shuttle from NYC; it says RSVP by July 15, but there may still be a few spots available, so call/email ASAP to get on there. We are imagining it’ll be an amazing vegan party bus! YAY I ALWAYS WANTED ONE OF THOSE.

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Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart and Joshua Katcher (center) with more fun vegans at last year’s fundraiser.

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Food by the amazing Suite ThreeOhSix, which you know we are crazy about.

If you’ve needed a destination for your vegan eleganza, exquisite beauty, and hardcore animal-rights ethics, Passion for Compassion is the place. We’ll see you on the party bus!

Champs at Rockaway: Eat vegan at the beach!

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On Saturday, my fella took me to Rockaway Beach. Last year I didn’t go to any beaches, and I am determined not to waste another summer. We took the A train to the shuttle to the Beach 98th Street station, which has a stained-glass sign that reminds you of a time when this country cared about not just infrastructure, but its aesthetics.

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Once there, we frolicked in the (kind of dirty and weirdly smelly) water (I miss you, California); it rained a little bit in the late morning, but it cleared up by the afternoon, and we went in and out of the water and read in the sun until we were hot and sticky and starving.

We walked a little ways over to the Beach 96th Street concession stand, which is a bunch of restaurants making fast food at counters. I washed up in the (admirably clean) restroom, to emerge to my young man brandishing a Modelo Especial michelada. Thanks to Barnivore, I know Modelos are all vegan, but most micheladas I’ve encountered have come with something hideous like Worchestershire sauce, which point I immediately raised. “No,” he said, “I had them list the ingredients and it is completely vegan.” Whoever is making micheladas at Rockaway Beach this summer, bless you; it was light and spicy and so refreshing. (Ugh, Meave, get to the part about Champs. No, let me brag about my boyfriend being the most considerate, adorable omnivore partner a vegan could ask for.) “Also,” he said, “There’s a Champs inside.”

I almost dropped my drink.

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There it was! Champs! The best vegan diner on the East Coast! Beloved of Vegansaurs far and wide! Check out the menu:

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We ordered burgers, broccoli fritters, and salted watermelon. Pictured: my burger, because I was too hungry to bother with photographs of all the food. I try, you guys, but I am but one woman, and sometimes my appetite overpowers my picture-taking abilities. Trust, though, the fritters were tasty and the salted watermelon awakened a serious craving for more watermelon right now all the time I want it.

OK and the burger:

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Would you look at that thing? It is glorious. The slaw is crisp, the pickles are sour, the sauce is spicy, the patty is of good texture, and the bun doesn’t get in the way. It is exactly what you want at the beach, and I strongly suggest you New York bathers get your butts to Rockaway right now. Look what awaits you! And word is Champs may not last the season, so hurry! We can have flawless vegan diner food on the beach! Truly, the world is our oyster mushroom.

(Note: There’s also a Champs on Bushwick Avenue at Dodworth Street in Bushwick, which is my new Sunday go-to; I can never seem to remember to capture my meals before they’re gone, but it’s all been spectacular. I had a tuno salad and a watermelon slush for dinner tonight, and my boyfriend is in love with the soysage. Review coming as soon as I can put camera to plate.)

Jul 25

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Packing meat and packing heat!

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Well, it’s hard to know where to begin with something as crazy as this, but here you go:

This week Ron Prestage, the president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council—and of Prestage Farms, which HSUS exposed with an undercover investigation—allegedly tried to get inside the US Capitol building with a loaded semiautomatic gun. Who knows what he was planning on doing once inside, but fortunately police arrested him. He spent the night in jail and was arraigned the next day.

One can only speculate about what was—or wasn’t—going through his mind, but perhaps he’s not too pleased about the fact that, according to the Wall Street Journal, meat’s getting more expensive than fruits and veggies.

Or maybe he’s upset that rock legend Steven Tyler of Aerosmith this week slammed gestation crates and urged a ban on them in Massachusetts.

Or maybe he didn’t like Al Sharpton’s MSNBC segment this week with HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle and former HSUS investigator Cody Carlson about how cruel and un-transparent the meat industry is.

Either way, have a good—and safe!—weekend!

P.S. Video of the week: This Doberman really loves this pool slide!

P.P.S. Photo of the week: Pork industry executive Ron Prestage being walked in handcuffs away from the Capitol…

Guest Post: My favorite masculine vegan has a pussy

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As of late, conversations about masculinity and meat eating have re-emerged, partially in response to John Joseph’s book, Meat Is for Pussies, and also from a segment on NPR about masculinity and veganism. But this conversation has left a lot to be desired from many vegans, especially feminists.

It’s great to see traditional assumptions about masculinity challenged by veganism, but we can do better. I date a butch lesbian vegan who is training for a marathon, lifts weights, is masculine, and has a pussy. Below are five of the most frustrating aspects of the conversation.

1. Hardcore veganism is feminist
The idea that there is a real man or that one type of man is a “pussy”* and another is more masculine is a) homophobic and b) misogynist. There is nothing hardcore about reclaiming traditional patriarchal language and behavior in the name of an ethical movement. And remember: If you aren’t sure how to do better please ask a vegan feminist. We would love to help!

2. Ethical veganism is not a diet or about controlling your body
All people who are vegan eat a plant-based diet and strive to live a compassionate life towards human and non-human animals alike. This extends to varying degrees into all consumer products, as well as different practices one supports. There’s plenty of debate about how veganism extends beyond the plate.

One thing that is not up for debate, however, is that ethical veganism is not about restricting food as a diet or about controlling your body. With the emphasis on proving vegan diets can also provide for the nutritional needs of those who run ultra marathons and body-build, the conversation seems to have become confused. As the NPR segment argues, men are generally the face of this misconception.

3. Veganism doesn’t need to be saved from feminity
A lot of this conversation about masculinity and veganism is people reacting to being bullied for being too feminine or behaving like a girl (or a “pussy”)  for being a vegan. The basic premise that this is something to tolerate or build a defense against is offensive in its own right.

Eating plants is not an inherently feminine behavior, nor is eating meat an inherently masculine behavior. Anything that encourages either side of this argument is essentialist and tired. This is not to say that being treated as an outcast or ostracized for making an ethical choice many people consider weird is not difficult, just that it’s part of the patriarchy, man. Making ethical vegan choices is something to be proud of for no reason other than the inherent virtue of making the right ethical decision, which has nothing to do with your gender.

4. Veganism shouldn’t need a mainstream male stamp of approval to be taken seriously
If you’re going to get media attention for being male and vegan, please say something feminist and mention some of the inspiring feminist vegans who you know and love!

5. Where are my male feminist allies?
It’s very annoying to see instances of misogynistic language promoting veganism get the seal of approval by prominent male vegans. Those in the position to hold the microphone with the most amplification have a responsibility to say something and push our movement to be less homophobic, and more feminist. And if you aren’t sure how, please pass that microphone on to a #feministvegan who does. 

*Similar to queer, the word pussy has been reclaimed by some feminists, probably most notably the feminist Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Read more about that here. 

Jamie J. Hagen is a Boston-based writer who writes about feminism, feminist security studies, and LGBTQ politics for such publications as Rolling Stone, Autostraddle and RH Reality Check. She tweets @jamiejhagen and you can visit jamiejhagen.com for more of her work.

Photo via The Animal Blog