vegansaurus!

06/03/2014

First ever Oakland Vegan Beer & Food Festival is THIS WEEKEND  »

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Bay Area: Did you also watch the drool-worthy photos from the second annual La Vegan Beer & Food Festival roll in on Instagram and Twitter with stomach-rumbling envy a few weeks back? Just me? Well surprise, surprise, we’ve got our very own (granted, relatively more intimate but just as fun-sounding) vegan beer and food fest going down this weekend! Envy-drool no more.

The first ever Oakland Vegan Beer & Food Festival takes place this Saturday, June 7, 11am-5pm, in the beer garden/art gallery space Classic Cars West, 411 26th St., Oakland. It’s free entry but like all food pop-ups, you’ll pay for your eats as you go.

The awesome ladies behind popular vegan pop-up Hella Vegan Eats will be serving up their signature blend of out-of-this-world colorful dishes:  Lusty Lover mac & cheese tacos, mini potsticker burritos (yep), “chicken” and waffle bites, and smoked seitan reubens.

And Black Spring Coffee, Curbside Creamery, Timeless Coffee Roastery and Bakery, S+M Vegan, Rhizocali Tempeh, and more will join Hella Vegan Eats in the gallery.

I recently got on the S+M Vegan tip when I discovered their cashew cream cheese in specialty flavors, which you can pick up at Berkeley’s newish vegan store, Republic of V. The plant-based couple behind S+M is also know for pop-ups and cooking classes. Their Saturday menu is still being fine-tuned but they say it will be a selection of their favorite foods from different countries, inspired by their travels. That will likely include a Drunken Chicago Dip sandwich featuring savory beer-infused seitan served au jus with crunchy giardinera and sweet peppers in a Dutch crunch roll, a Drunken Croque Monsieur sandwich with thin slices of hickory smoked tofu, secret cheesy sauce, pickles and mustard au vin rouge, a take on Okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancake) stuffed with Tater Tots and veggies brushed with sweet soy glaze and a Kartoffelsalat (German potato salad).

On the sweet side, Black Spring Coffee, which opened its doors last year, is known for yummy vegan pastries, as is fellow Oakland coffee shop, Timeless, which has warm house-baked treats. Black Spring will have pastries and iced coffee; Timeless is bringing pour over coffee, chocolates, and even more pastries. Oh and Curbside Creamery will have vegan ice cream sandwiches!

CommonWealth Café & Pub is bringing a variety of beers and ciders.

Plus, there’ll be DJ sets by Alexa Pantalone and Melissr Elliot. Even cooler? It’s for a good cause: 20% of food sales benefit Rocket Dog Rescue.

Better start warning your friends of an onslaught of incoming vegan food photos. Come to think of it, is there an official Oakland Vegan Beer & Food Festival hashtag yet? I’ll keep a look out.

The goal is make this a biannual event, with one in the spring and one in the fall, and smaller nighttime versions taking place once a month. 

Reneu Shoes: Vegan footwear that’s cool kid approved!  »

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In my day job for Backpacker Magazine, I get to try a lot of shoes as a gear tester. Most of them aren’t vegan (go ahead, roast me in the comments), and they definitely don’t ever earn me any style points.* That’s why when the folks at PlanetShoes.com offered to send us shoes from all-vegan line Reneu, I threw elbows to make sure these babies came to me—I’m a serious remedial case. 

In addition to being vegan, Reneu is eco-minded and incorporates earth-friendly materials into their shoes. Exhibit A: The first shoes I tried, the Temba ballet flat ($74), have all-hemp uppers. 

imageMy actual feet, looking much prettier than they normally do.

First thing I noticed: You probably shouldn’t try to go hiking in these. But if you (hypothetically) find yourself wandering around trails on a friend’s pot farm or something, then the Temba hemp ballet flat will not only be a fitting fabric for the occasion, but will do you good and hold up to the unreasonable demands you are making of it. The memory-foam insole isn’t enough to protect you from actual rocks and sticks and stuff, but it can totally handle a full 9 hours at a standing desk, plus the walk to happy hour afterwards. And they’re small enough to fit in a purse or a pack if you need to bring out the big guns hiker shoes on your commute (2.5 miles of flooded paths! I had to go WADING yesterday! Yes I am that lady who commutes in sneakers approach shoes then changes!). 

And guys: In these shoes, the adorbs 22-year-old designer across the hall from me actually took the time to stop in and tell me she liked my outfit. That has not ever happened before. 

I also tested out the Nia strappy faux-leather sandals ($79), but did not love them as much. It’s a tough fit when only the back strap is adjustable, and I found myself tripping on them even though they’re actually a half-size smaller than I’d normally wear. Luckily PlanetShoes.com has free returns, though, so if that fit issue happened to you, it’d be all good.

In summary: CUTE!! 

*Actual quote from a friend: “You’re like a disco hiker or something. You have these normal outfits on, then you’re still wearing shoes like you’re about to run up a mountain.”

06/02/2014

Los Angeles!! You know you want to meet Mayim Bialik and we have JUST the opportunity, so there’s no good reason for getting all depressed. In my opinionation, you should go eat food from her cookbook (we love it!) at Mohawk Bend. DO IT.
Details:


Mayim Bialik
Author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours”
June 16 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Join Mayim Bialik, Emmy-nominated actress and author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table,” for an intimate four course meal featuring recipes from her newly released cookbook. Currently starring on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Mayim is passionate about creating a balanced lifestyle though delicious and fuss-free vegan fare. 

$30/person.
Ask about our beer and cocktail pairing options!
Reserve a tableauthors@mohawk.la

Mayim will walk us through four courses from her latest book and engage in a Q&A.


See you there! I’ll be the nerd in the giant flower BLOSSOM hat. Get it. Sorry.

Los Angeles!! You know you want to meet Mayim Bialik and we have JUST the opportunity, so there’s no good reason for getting all depressed. In my opinionation, you should go eat food from her cookbook (we love it!) at Mohawk Bend. DO IT.

Details:
Mayim Bialik
Author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours”
June 16 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Join Mayim Bialik, Emmy-nominated actress and author of “Mayim’s Vegan Table,” for an intimate four course meal featuring recipes from her newly released cookbook. Currently starring on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Mayim is passionate about creating a balanced lifestyle though delicious and fuss-free vegan fare. 
$30/person.
Ask about our beer and cocktail pairing options!
Reserve a tableauthors@mohawk.la
Mayim will walk us through four courses from her latest book and engage in a Q&A.
See you there! I’ll be the nerd in the giant flower BLOSSOM hat. Get it. Sorry.

LA: Come to The Lusty Vegan pop-up this Thursday in Venice!   »

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Remember when we told you that Chef Ayinde Howell was trying to open a food truck here in our great city? Well, now’s your chance to eat some of his scrumptious food!! AND, his co-author of The Lusty Vegan cookbook and relationship manifesto (out October 14th), Zoe Eisenberg, will be there as well! Let me assure you that the food at this event will knock your wool-free socks off. I was one of the recipe testers for this cookbook and was incredibly impressed with everything I tested. I have also been to an event catered by Chef Ayinde and the man is a culinary sorcerer! Plus, look at the menu: 

Balsamic & Truffle Mac & Yease
Citrus & Salt Pickled Fennel Salad
Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cake with Garlic Dill Aioli
Fillet De Soy with Blood Orange and Napa Cabbage Slaw
Fresh Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Ice Cream

I.can’t.even. 

Buy your tickets! Then, RSVP (very limited seating) on Facebook. And enjoy stuffing your face with delicious foods!! 

Important Vegan Discussions: Who should zombies eat?  »

imageVegansaurus Zombie by Toe Tag Riot artist Sean Von Gorman! AMAZING!

In his new comic series, Matt Miner, a vegan of 11 years, takes a look at ethics from a zombie perspective. Toe Tag Riot centers on an early 2000s streetpunk band that suffers from a serious curse—sometimes they become zombies and have to eat human flesh to stay alive! However, they are “ethical zombies” and decide to only eat racists, misogynists, and homophobes. But…

Finding that the transformation back into regular, filthy, punk rockers is taking longer and longer each time, the band goes on one last cross-country tour, chasing the cure to what ails ‘em and hilariously/brutally slaughtering the worst of humanity along the way to an explosive showdown with The Westboro Baptist Church.

Since Matt Miner is one of Vegansaurus’ favorite vegan comic book creators, I caught up with him to hear more about Toe Tag Riot. The series is still in the works and Matt is currently holding a Kickstarter to produce the comic. You can get a lot of awesome perks from the fundraiser, like an amazing commissioned watercolor by Sean Von Gorman! I just contributed so I can get one of Figaro and I’m drop dead ecstatic. 

imageToe Tag Riot standard cover by Tristan Jones, colors by Doug Garbark.

I asked Matt a few questions about the project (and other very important things like puppies and food trucks), here’s what he had to say:

Vegansaurus: What’s an “ethical zombie”? Is it the zombie equivalent to an ethical vegan?
Matt Miner: Hey Megan! I’m so glad you asked. Seeing as how I think zombies literally can’t survive on a plant based diet, the only “ethical” choice, once zombified, would be to eat bad guys like misogynists, racists, and homophobes.  

Make the world a better place by slaughtering and devouring jerks and hate groups!  Why not?  Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

How does your veganism influence your work?
There’s a bit of me in any project I do and a lot of my creator-owned work has a hidden message of compassion or tolerance in it. With my comic series Liberator, the whole premise was about young vigilantes who break the law to protect abused animals. With Toe Tag Riot, I started thinking about “what/who would I eat if I was a zombie? What’s the most-ethical choice of human to consume?” and it kinda snowballed from there.

What’s your favorite vegan/vegan-friendly eatery I’m NYC?
Do food trucks count as eateries? Because the Cinnamon Snail food truck is my favorite vegan food in NYC, possibly the world. Follow them on Twitter at @VeganLunchTruck and ask them to NEVER EVER AGAIN take the 5-spice seitan sandwich off their menu EVER again.  :)

Are you fostering any cutie pie animals now? Pictures or I don’t believe you. 
Aside from our personal “zoo” of rescues, we are indeed fostering a fantastic 7-year-old tiny little pit bull mix named Reeses! She kinda looks like a Corgi/Pit and she just beat breast cancer like a true champion. All she wants to do is cuddle and play, so NYC area, if you have room in your heart and your home, hit me up for more info on Reeses. Find me on Twitter at mattminerxvx or email MattMinerXVX@gmail.com.

imageReeses. Oh em geeee. 

Why are you Kickstarting this comic series? Why do you need to raise money to make the book?
We’re making the book to tell a super fun story of punk rock zombies but also to put an inclusive, and LGBT-positive message out into comic shops and into the hands of a fandom that can still be an intolerant, sexist and homophobic place at times.  

The Kickstarter pays for the art team’s rates and for all the rewards and shipping—making comics isn’t a cheap undertaking, so that’s why we headed to Kickstarter. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing funding, so if we don’t raise the full amount then we won’t collect any of it and the book will be scrapped.

If we succeed on the funding, though, we’re going to put this amazing story into the hands of people worldwide who might not normally think twice about calling someone a “fag” or a “slut”.  

So, please pledge—and share the project on your social networks. We have some incredible rewards for those people awesome enough to throw their support behind this great project.

Thanks, Matt! And thanks, Sean! I can’t wait for my Figgy picture!

imageBONUS! Another drawing from Sean Von Gorman: Rock and roll Vegansaurus!

05/30/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: how many orthodox rabbis does it take…?  »

imageHow many orthodox rabbis does it take to expose how cruel kosher slaughter is? Just one, and he’s got a very compelling op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today.

And when it comes to non-kosher slaughter, if you think the USDA takes its slaughter oversight responsibilities seriously, Bruce Friedrich’s latest op-ed may clarify your thinking.

The meat industry doesn’t like all this attention on its abusive track record, so one of its groups that was formed to combat HSUS has now formed its own Super PAC…

Finally, you may have missed HSUS’s Animal Care Expo (the largest conference for animal sheltering professionals in the nation) this past week, but here’s some good coverage of the off-the-hook food served there.

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: I didn’t believe it when I heard about it, but this cat really plays Jenga.

P.P.S. Do you love Esther the Wonder Pig? Then come see the dudes who live with her give a speech at Taking Action for Animals in DC at the end of June… Register now!

Hey, Bay Area! What are you doing tomorrow? Going to the House Rabbit Society adoption event and vegan bake sale, is what!
Get yourself to the Rabbit Center at 148 Broadway in Richmond from 1 to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 31, to meet some delightful buns, buy vegan baked goods, and celebrate the family Leporidae.
This event not only benefits a truly wonderful rabbit welfare organization, but it’s part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. So get out to Richmond and buy some sticky buns for the bunnies!

Hey, Bay Area! What are you doing tomorrow? Going to the House Rabbit Society adoption event and vegan bake sale, is what!

Get yourself to the Rabbit Center at 148 Broadway in Richmond from 1 to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 31, to meet some delightful buns, buy vegan baked goods, and celebrate the family Leporidae.

This event not only benefits a truly wonderful rabbit welfare organization, but it’s part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. So get out to Richmond and buy some sticky buns for the bunnies!

05/29/2014

Animal testing doesn’t work, here’s a friendly cartoon to explain why  »

imageBesides being unconscionable, animal testing is not reliable. And now, thanks to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, we have this handy video to explain why animal testing is not the answer. The only animals you will see abused in this video are cartoon animals, so this does not get a graphic warning at all (though I was sad when they took the mousy away from his friend). 

Ok it’s your turn to help! Come on now, this will be SO easy:

1. Sign this petition!

2. SHARE THIS VIDEO WITH EVERYONE! And you can tell them it’s not graphic. People are scared of graphic stuff. 

NYC: Come to Vegan Drinks TONIGHT!  »

Heyo! It’s that time of the month again! And I don’t mean the lady-time! I mean Vegan Drinks! YAY!!!

TONIGHT at FONTANA’S we will be rippin’ and stompin’. Yours truly will be spinning records along with some other peeps and there will be AWESOME raffles! AND VEGAN FOOD from Heirloom Vegan Eatery! Plus, the whole night benefits Darwin Animal Doctors. But when did you ever need an excuse to get boozy?! 

And remember, say hi to me! I’ll be the incredibly attractive one. 

05/28/2014

Scooter the Neutered Cat promotes a gonad-free lifestyle to save kitties  »

imageMegan Rascal here, on the Ad Beat again. Here’s a super silly commercial for GiveThemTen.org, a campaign to combat kitty overpopulation and euthanasia in shelters:I love Scooter! He will definitely catch some attention and that’s got to be good for spreading the message. I know from past posts that many of us disagree on cats in clothes, but I’m fine with it if the cat isn’t protesting. And Scooter seems super chill.

You can see some behind the scenes shots in this video below. Apparently, Scooter comes from a shelter himself. The shelter said he was unadoptable because he had a serious ‘tude. Look at the boy now!: 

Totally chill. And he has a great message because hella cats are killed in shelters all the time. Besides simply raising awareness on the importance of spaying and neuturing, Scooter provides a lot of info about where to get low-cost spay/neuter surgery and will even give your cat a ride to get snipped! There’s also info on TNR and links to kitties up for adoption. So, lots of good stuff on the site. 

You know who they need to do a campaign like this for? Bros with male dogs. Because, I swear, I have encountered way too many dudes who won’t neuter their male dogs because of some sort of testicle worship. Bonkers. Are people like that about male cats too? Or is it just a dog thing? 

imageOf course it is to be noted that GiveThemTen.org specifies it wants a no-kill world for cats. And as we’ve recently discussed, most people feed their cats other animals. So, I guess those other animals don’t get a no-kill world. BUT less cats having babies means less cats around to eat other animals. We still win! Yay!   

Note: Is “Give Them Ten” a play on 9 lives?? That’s what I’m thinking but not sure. I invite your insight.

Another note, this time for my ad nerds in the crowd: The campaign is by Northlich Cincinnati. Good job, pals!

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