vegansaurus!

Aug 25

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Grand jury indictments for slaughterhouse officials!

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A federal grand jury indicted four officials at a California slaughterhouse for allegedly concealing diseased cows by swapping heads of cows with eye cancer with healthy cow heads, cutting off USDA “condemned” insignias, and more. You can see HSUS’s response in this NBC segment.

HSUS won a big victory this week, prevailing in a lawsuit in which we represented rural neighbors of a massive gestation crate confinement facility. Check it out.

This week HSUS also announced our work with South San Francisco to implement a new Meatless Monday policy in the school district.

And in very major news, this week we announced that food giant Nestle is implementing a wide-ranging new animal welfare program aimed at ending the worst factory farming abuses and promoting more meat-free eating. You can read Wayne Pacelle’s comments on it, too.                                    

Finally, the Center for Biological Diversity has a new Labor Day-themed campaign called Extinction-Free BBQ recommending that we leave room on the planet for wild animals by leaving room on our plates for delicious veggie foods.

Video of the week: Need a pick-me-up? Check out Arnold the rescued pig in this new HSUS video!

Beginners Guide to Eating Vegan Around Highland Park in L.A.

Move somewhere new, and then pinpoint the nearest vegan donut. That’s the best practice, right? Luckily for me, I moved to the Eagle Rock-Highland Park border in Los Angeles, where there just happens to be a gooey epic of a donuttery rightfully named Donut Friend.

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Ah, Donut Friend, the glaze-coated BFF you’ve always dreamed of, topped liberally with rainbow sprinkles.

Owned by musician-record producer Mark Trombino, Donut Friend on York at 51st has all kinds of crazy delicious donut combos — or “signature combinations” — named after bands. All the donuts are vegan and most of the fillings and toppings are vegan too (everything is clearly marked).

Recently, I got the Nutellavision, a fluffy sugar donut injected with vegan Nutella and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. WHAT. I would also recommend Rites of Sprinkles, Drive Like Jelly, and Bacon 182, with vegan bacon.

Also on the same strip of York there’s new-ish pizza place, Town. They always have two vegan slice options behind the glass along with regular pizza, and those vegan slices are thin crust heaven. They do one with Daiya vegan cheese and one cheese-less option, with rotating toppings.

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Sandwiched in between Donut Friend and Town, there’s Scoops, which is another branch of the popular LA ice cream shop with inventive flavors including many vegan scoops. Recent non-dairy options include salty chocolate, maple Oreo, and Cinnamon Coconut Burnt Sugar. So yes, three amazingly vegan/vegan-friendly none-to-healthy shops dotting the same small strip of land. It’s all just so decadent.

I promise there are other streets besides York. Highland Park also boasts tempeh-bacon experts/mostly vegan & gluten-free Kitchen Mouse Cafe on Figueroa. The adorable breakfast spot serves the popular Buffalo Bowl with brown rice, black beans, collard greens, yams, and topped with dill cashew and buffalo sauces, along with more perfect brunch dishes like the smoky Tempeh Reuben, served open-face, with caraway sauerkraut, cashew cheese, and chipotle aioli. Not only do they have a way with tempeh bacon, they’ve really mastered sauces here.

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For a tad fancier evening out than say, splitting a jelly donut on the walk home, there are a few vegan options at popular sit-down Italian eatery Maximiliano, including the vegan pizza with pomodoro, spinach, mushroom, kalamata olive, eggplant, and best of all, truffle oil.

You could also try Good Girl Dinette on 56th at Figueroa, a very vegan-friendly Vietnamese diner with vegetarian pho with rice noodles and tofu, mushroom imperial rolls, and rice cakes with crisp scallion tofu.

Around the Highland Park-Eagle Rock border, there’s also pop-up Plant Food for People, which shows up regularly at vegan grocer-deli Organix in Eagle Rock on Colorado, the Eagle Rock Brewery in Glassell Park, and many neighborhood spots. They make the best jackfruit tacos you’ve ever had, hands down.

 And speaking of Organix, stop by this small grocer for your essentials (Earth Balance cheddar squares and Kombucha) but also for that little window of a deli. It’s a porthole to sandwich paradise.

Their sandwiches often come decked out in Beyond Meat and Veganaise, or in the case of the Pulled Pork, shredded jackfruit and cabbage slaw. The seasonal menu also includes gourmet vegan hot dogs, a fried “chicken” sandwich, veggie burgers, and the Poncho (Vegan Carne Asada) burrito. Everything I’ve tried there so far has been worth the wait.

In fact, Organix is the first spot a friend recommended when I mentioned I’d be moving to the area. And what a great suggestion it was.

This leads me to my next point: Surely there are more spots I haven’t yet discovered in the Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glassell Park region — vegan meals that I’ve missed with this tasty breakdown. Let me know in the comments. And hey, let’s split a vegan donut when you’re in the neighborhood. 

4 Super Delicious Labor Day Recipes!

When I was a wee child, I wasn’t that into Labor Day. Not only did I have no appreciation for a holiday that honors people who fought hard to ensure we only have to work 8 hours a day (I was but a kid!), but, more importantly, I knew it meant the end of summer. And the end of summer meant the end of beaches, picnics, and lazy days by the pool. Boo!

However, as I get older and my appreciation for workers rights and also delicious barbecue grows, I have a new-found love for Labor Day. This summer, my friends and I will rent a house on the Pacific and spend our time boogie boarding, playing board games, and eating all of the BBQ we can get our greedy little mitts on. And since eschewing meat doesn’t mean eschewing tasty eats, here’s a few recipes to ensure that’s true:

1. Seven words: Crispy Tofu Tacos with Creamy Lime Drizzle. I don’t think I need to say anything more, but these are the world’s best tacos. Savory and scrumptious, they combine perfectly grilled tortillas, marinated tofu, and a creamy lime drizzle that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Make (and devour!) these immediately. 

2. You don’t think tofu is hearty enough to make the perfect meal? This Go Green Tofu Burger will prove you wrong. Thick, flavorful, and juicy, it’s the ideal recipe to kick off Labor Day with. Or any day, really. 

3. Jamaican Jerk Spiced Tofu Kebabs are out of this world. A spicy, savory, and sizzling addition to your Labor Day festivities! 

4. This is toasted coconut chocolate pie is the ultimate dessert. I mean, come on. What’s better than chocolate, pudding, fudge, and whipped cream (I made mine by whipping up cold full fat coconut milk! Easy)? Nothing. 

Now, get to grilling. And save me some grilled tacos! And also a slice of pie. OK, two slices of pie. (Fine, maybe three slices of pie. And that’s my final offer!)

This post was brought to you by Nasoya!

Aug 22

VEGAN COOL WHIP IS COMING. And it’s not made from nasty chemical death! It’s made from delicious coconut cream! And it looks EFFING AMAZING OH MY GOD GIVE IT TO ME NOW. (That’s the technical term for how it looks, fyi.)
Via VegNews:

 In four weeks, So Delicious Dairy Free will be launching its brand-new CocoWhip—a vegan coconut-based whipped cream. There really is nothing more to say, is there?

No. No there is not.
(p.s. it’s made with organic coconut milk, is GMO-free and carrageenan-free, and the retail price will be $3.99!)

VEGAN COOL WHIP IS COMING. And it’s not made from nasty chemical death! It’s made from delicious coconut cream! And it looks EFFING AMAZING OH MY GOD GIVE IT TO ME NOW. (That’s the technical term for how it looks, fyi.)

Via VegNews:

In four weeks, So Delicious Dairy Free will be launching its brand-new CocoWhip—a vegan coconut-based whipped cream. There really is nothing more to say, is there?

No. No there is not.

(p.s. it’s made with organic coconut milk, is GMO-free and carrageenan-free, and the retail price will be $3.99!)

You guys, there’s a Vegan Drag Karaoke night in NYC. If you are within 3,000 miles, you must go immediately. To explain the fun, here’s what guest blogger and brilliant funny lady Laura Yaz has to say:
Attention all people who enjoy things that are fun! Honey LaBronx, everyone’s favorite vegan drag queen, is now regularly hosting vegan drag karaoke on the last Monday of each month at Baby Grand. What makes this particular karaoke vegan you say? First, did you know that all other karaoke involves animal cruelty? And by animal cruelty I mean innocent humans being forced to listen to drunk straight boys singing Journey. The struggle is real. Second! Baby Grand is totally cool with you bringing in as much food as you want! AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. You could have a potluck meetup or bring in homemade brownies it’s all okay! Or if you’re of the lazier persuasion (insert fist bump of solidarity) you can have food delivered right to your comfy, seated, stunning self at the bar, again, this is all totally cool and allowed. Rock on Baby Grand!This is basically like Vegan Drinks but with karaoke and a drag queen. Yes we have been reading your diary. There is no cover, no drink minimum, and no shame in eating as much as you want! Seriously this night is basically the best thing ever. Oh, and if you are wondering about Honey LaBronx, let me put your mind to ease. That bitch can sing. The next drag karaoke night is August 25th, 830pm, so go on out and bring your friends! And tell Honey I sent you cause that queen is always moaning that I never do anything for her. 
Laura Yaz is a standup comedian who went vegan and now hosts the best podcast ever which you can listen to here: http://bigfatveganradio.com/

You guys, there’s a Vegan Drag Karaoke night in NYC. If you are within 3,000 miles, you must go immediately. To explain the fun, here’s what guest blogger and brilliant funny lady Laura Yaz has to say:

Attention all people who enjoy things that are fun! 

Honey LaBronx, everyone’s favorite vegan drag queen, is now regularly hosting vegan drag karaoke on the last Monday of each month at Baby Grand. 

What makes this particular karaoke vegan you say? First, did you know that all other karaoke involves animal cruelty? And by animal cruelty I mean innocent humans being forced to listen to drunk straight boys singing Journey. The struggle is real. Second! Baby Grand is totally cool with you bringing in as much food as you want! AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. You could have a potluck meetup or bring in homemade brownies it’s all okay! Or if you’re of the lazier persuasion (insert fist bump of solidarity) you can have food delivered right to your comfy, seated, stunning self at the bar, again, this is all totally cool and allowed. Rock on Baby Grand!

This is basically like Vegan Drinks but with karaoke and a drag queen. Yes we have been reading your diary. 

There is no cover, no drink minimum, and no shame in eating as much as you want! Seriously this night is basically the best thing ever. Oh, and if you are wondering about Honey LaBronx, let me put your mind to ease. That bitch can sing. 

The next drag karaoke night is August 25th, 830pm, so go on out and bring your friends! And tell Honey I sent you cause that queen is always moaning that I never do anything for her. 

Laura Yaz is a standup comedian who went vegan and now hosts the best podcast ever which you can listen to here: http://bigfatveganradio.com/

Aug 15

Helloooo nurse! It’s your peek inside July’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box! We had products from Nouveau/Organica, Emani Vegan Cosmetics, Ellovi, Just the Goods, Original Sprout, and Savvy Boheme! 
The Ellovi body butter is smooooth and I love the package design. The Just the Goods lotion is nice as well. Really helped my chapped elbows. VERY fragrant. I haven’t used the Original Sprout cleanser yet but I already love it! It’s for babies OR real humans! You think I could use it on my cat? She needs a bath. Ok I won’t. But Dolores really needs a bath. 
The Emani lipstick is now an office favorite. It’s nice and creamy, lasts a long time and is hyper pigmented! That’s everything you want! So the peeps at work were all over that. 
Moral of the story: another good haul!
I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

Helloooo nurse! It’s your peek inside July’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box! We had products from Nouveau/Organica, Emani Vegan Cosmetics, Ellovi, Just the Goods, Original Sprout, and Savvy Boheme! 

The Ellovi body butter is smooooth and I love the package design. The Just the Goods lotion is nice as well. Really helped my chapped elbows. VERY fragrant. I haven’t used the Original Sprout cleanser yet but I already love it! It’s for babies OR real humans! You think I could use it on my cat? She needs a bath. Ok I won’t. But Dolores really needs a bath. 

The Emani lipstick is now an office favorite. It’s nice and creamy, lasts a long time and is hyper pigmented! That’s everything you want! So the peeps at work were all over that. 

Moral of the story: another good haul!

I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

Aug 14

Why don’t major environmental groups take aim at meat? Cowspiracy.

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Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is coming to NYC next week and I can’t wait to see it! I’m hoping it answers a long-time frustration of mine: why do environmental groups keep skirting the meat issue?!

Now, I don’t want to attack environmental non-profits. I really don’t. But seriously, how many “water conservation days” or Earth Days do we see promoted that barely, if at all, mention meat and dairy? When boycotting those industries is the most impactful thing an individual can do to help the environment? It’s so ridiculous and I’m so tired of it! I thought they kept diet as a side note because people are so reactionary when you threaten their precious meat, but maybe there is more to it, i.e. C.R.E.A.M.

Watch the trailer to get a little more info:

Cowspiracy is on a screening tour and as I said, it’s coming to NYC a week from today, aka August 21st! Unfortunately, the tickets are sold out. But there’s a waitlist

There are a ton of other screenings coming up all over the country, including Sacremento on August 28th and Philly on September 10th. See when there’s one near you—or plan your own screening! (apparently it’s free and easy)—here

Has anyone already seen it? What did you think? Anyone planning to see it?

Aug 13

VEGAN CHEESE SHOP OPENING IN WEST HOLLYWOOD (yes, I am screaming this)!!

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I don’t like to use caps locks excessively, but learning about Vromage opening in WeHo in late September makes me want to TEXT SCREAM ABOUT HOW AWESOME THIS IS! VEGAN CHEEEEEEEEESE SHOP, PEOPLE!!!!

Okay, now the facts: 

I’ll keep ya’ll updated (BECAUSE I’LL BE CAMPING OUTSIDE UNTIL THEY OPEN).

Vromage will be located at: 7980 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046

Preorder for Vaute’s fall collection starts TODAY!

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IN A FEW HOURS THE NEW VAUTE WILL BE ON SALE! When they announce the preorder start (prob on their facebook), you can go to this link and the new shiz will be up! 

As you know, Vaute coats are not cheap. Because they are well-made, sustainably sourced and not assembled by children. BUT as you also should know, preorder is THE time to get your Vaute coat! (and your hat—they have hats now!) Because those babies are hella on sale! And preorder funds the production of the entire line so you help Vaute make more stuff and you get a big ol’ discount. 

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According to Leanne:

Pricing is 50% off outerwear (including our most requested Lincoln coat, which is head to toe insulated, I wore it for miles each day in the vortex last winter!) today at launch time for 24 hours. And Hats will be $120, but $85 for first 24 hours too.

Our new WonderFelt looks like pressed wool felt, but is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, crafted in USA. And we made hats out of it too! Handblocked one at a time in one of NYC’s last hat factories using the original vintage molds, and insulated too so they’re super warm.
Coats this season are made in my hometown Chicago!

Let’s go over the finer points:

-50% off coats
-Vegan wool felt made from recycled bottles
-Hats made at a NYC hat factory from vintage molds

Um, I’m sold! You better get your coat and hat before I buy everything. Because I look SO GOOD in hats, believe that. My whole family does. Some sort of DNA thing. Science. 

Also, look at this new dress Leanne sent a pic of:

imageI die. 

Aug 12

Goldie’s: A vegan Asbury Park adventure!

I finally made it to Goldie’s! The amazing, mexican-inspired, all-vegan restaurant right in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I went with the Vegan Drinks crew and we rented a van and everything! Really did it up right. You can also take the train from NYC but we were on our road trip steez. Jersey-native Deborah Diamant was with us and she knew all the great stuff to do so we made a day of it! Goldies, boardwalk, pinball, ice cream and more! SO FUN! 

So Goldie’s is SO AMAZING. Above you can see their chocotaco. YES. VEGAN CHOCOTACOS. They were awesome. We were there for brunch but totally got one anyway because we rule. 

imageI started with sangria, yum!

imageThese are the yucca fries with cashew crema. Very salty, VERY YUM. So, so crispy and the crema was delicious. You have to get these when you go. Promise me!

imageThis is the papi chulo—fried maitake tostada with crumbled daiya, pickled onion, salsa verde. AWESOME. I’m not always into mushrooms but how can you not love them when they are perfectly battered and fried? Impossible!

imageAnd, as we were there for the brunch, I had to try the “juan-y cakes”—silver dollar cornmeal cakes with chocolate chunks, chile powder, and maple syrup. Delicious! But I couldn’t finish them. The serving sizes are ample!

imageAnd don’t freak out, there’s plenty of healthy, salad-y things too!

Basically, Goldie’s is so awesome and fun and the decor is like you’re in the Jetsons. And the food is out of sight! Totally worth the trip. 

If you want to go, which I know you do, there are plenty of fun things to do in Asbury Park before or after you hit up Goldies. 

imageOf course there’s the boardwalk! I do love a good boardwalk. 

imageAnd on the boardwalk, you will find A PINBALL MUSEUM!!! You pay like $10 up front and then you can play unlimited pinball for an hour! Skiball too! And the pinball machines are so cool, all vintage and whatnot. There’s a Guns n’ Roses pinball machine!

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Finally, if your vegan sweet tooth is not satiated, you can go to Cookman Creamery! They have like 15 vegan ice cream flavors AND vegan ice cream sandwiches! And vegan ice cream cakes even! I got the peanut butter chunk with peanut butter sauce BECAUSE I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER! And it was delicious. But there were so many vegan flavors, it was hard to choose. 

So there you go! I basically planned your whole next weekend for you! I’m the best. But YOU MUST go to Goldie’s as soon as possible. It’s officially on the vegan can’t-miss list!