vegansaurus!

09/26/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Climate week, sloths, and Meatless Mondays.  »

Coinciding with Climate Week in New York, HSUS’s president, Wayne Pacelle, published a potent op-ed in New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, noting that “raising and slaughtering tens of billions of animals across the globe for food each year is right up there with coal-fired power plants in pumping heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.”

As well, the fallout from the Texas ag commissioner’s bashing of Meatless Mondays continues. Not only is Todd Staples resigning after a national backlash against his criticism of giving students meat-free meals, but the Dallas Observer pointed out this week that “the take away is that Staples is more interested in protecting big industries than he is protecting the citizens his organization was set up to serve.”

Finally, the Washington Post food editor published a powerful column this week about why he decided to become a vegetarian, noting that “my lifelong love for dogs and cats has made me want to extend that compassion to beings that used to show up on my dinner table.”

Have a good weekend!

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: May your weekend be as relaxing as this sloth’s.

Beet pops, vegan pudding pops, instant pops: Popsicle season is never over!  »

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If you follow me on instagram (@meganrascal adoy), you know I recently got a Zoku quick popsicle maker! IT IS THE BEST PURCHASE I MADE IN MY LIFE (not including when I bought the Sweet Sweetback’s Baaddasssss Song soundtrack on vinyl, because clearly). You keep the maker in the freezer, and then when you want a pop, you take it out, pour the juice in, and SEVEN MINUTES LATER YOU HAVE YOUR POP! I am not kidding. Anyway, so I been eating like 6 grape popsicles a day (that’s quota, right?). And life couldn’t be better. 

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One day, I even got it in my head to make a vegan pudding pop!:

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Kinda uggo but tasted yum! I made it with Zen almond milk chocolate pudding. Delicious! But it was kinda harder to make, fyi. 

But then I saw our man Jerry James Stone is ALL ABOUT making cray pops! I don’t think he has an Zoku (amateur) but he makes all kinds of cool pops, like these beet and berry ones:

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He also makes cool boozy pops with like champagne and tequila (not in the same pop, you lush) and all kinds of neato stuff! BUT he didn’t have a red wine pop recipe. CORNY! So I tweeted to ask him about it and he said he’d make one for me! EVIDENCE:

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Yet I STILL have no red wine pop recipe! While I wait eagerly by the Twitter for JJS, here are some other vegan pops I want to make:

Fudge and Pumpkin Pie popsicles from My Recession Kitchen. Pops for pumpkin season, everybody!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coffee pops from Spabettie! HOLY CANNOLI. 

And Coconut Chai pops from Food Doodles! (Has honey but could easily sub a simple syrup for that.)

There you go! Those are my fall plans right there! In conclusion: if you are a true popsicle fan, you need a Zoku. 

09/24/2014

The Spooky Vegan has an excellent round-up of all the vegan pumpkin shiz at Trader Joe’s right now, including VEGAN PUMPKIN ROLLS BRB EATING EVERYTHING. 
Of course, I’ve already added this to the Trader Joe’s vegan eats Pinterest board, which is the best. 

The Spooky Vegan has an excellent round-up of all the vegan pumpkin shiz at Trader Joe’s right now, including VEGAN PUMPKIN ROLLS BRB EATING EVERYTHING. 

Of course, I’ve already added this to the Trader Joe’s vegan eats Pinterest board, which is the best. 

Los Angeles: Vegan Oktoberfest Is Almost Here! Get Your Tickets! DO IT.  »

You guys. YOU GUYS. Vegan Oktoberfest is coming to Los Angeles and it’s gonna be SO DELICIOUS. There’s gonna be a shitton (technical term) of beer and food for you to indulge in on Saturday, October 4th in Santa Monica! Let’s do this!

CHECK IT FOOD LOVERS:

Vegan Oktoberfest will feature delicious, traditional Bavarian food that just happens to be vegan. We’re talking sausages, pretzels, potato pancakes, chicken, sauerkraut, ice cream, and many more delectable delights including gluten free options! 

BUT WHAT ABOUT BEER DELICIOUS BEER??

Participating breweries include: Ninkasi Brewing, Einstock, The Dudes’, Lammsbrau, Sierra Nevada, Venice Duck Brewery, Four Sons Brewery, Karl Strauss, Eel River, Ace Ciders, Epic Brewing, Modern Times, Bison Organic Beer, Oskar Blues, Drake’s, Coronado Brewing, Angel City, Golden Road, Anderson Valley, Saint Archer, Bravery, Lagunitas, Hangar 24, and more to come!  And don’t worry there will be gluten free beer and cider available.

OK??!?!?!

Get your tickets now and we’ll see you there to EAT AND DRINK ERRYTHING. Prost! (That’s how you cheers in German. I think.) (I’m hella worldly.)

A question for the fashion world: Who do we love, who do we wear?  »

imageThe Brave Gentleman himself!

Meave and I had to pleasure of attending the recent Brave Gentleman Fashion Week pop-up event at the Alexander Gray Associates gallery. To kick off the event, Joshua Katcher gave a talk about fashion and animals. Turns out, not only has Joshua been teaching a course at Parsons, he’s got a book in the works! The book will discuss the role of animals in fashion and the talk was a bit of a preview of what’s to come. 

We’ve all heard the question, “why love one, but eat the other?" But, addressing the world of fashion, Joshua poses a different question: who do we love, who do we wear?

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This is the image that started it all. A woman, adorned in fur, is also covered in kittens. Then Joshua showed us image after image from fashion spreads throughout history with this same trope: women in furs, posed with (usually young and adorable) living animals. I loved the way Joshua phrased it; on the one hand, we have these sweet animals we can all fawn over, and on the other hand there is an animal “who has disappeared in the fashion object.” People don’t even see the animal. It’s just leather, fur, etc. 

Of course this brings us to the cognitive dissonance we come across daily with people and what they choose to eat. But Joshua points out, that same cognitive dissonance shows up in fashion over and over. He even had an old fashion photo of a woman with a pet skunk…wearing a dead skunk fur!

The talk was great and I can’t wait for the book to come out! I might break my strict “ew, books!” policy just for this occasion. After Joshua spoke, we all got to see his latest collection. As always, the garments aren’t just vegan and beautiful, they are environmentally friendly and sweatshop-free. 

imagePhoto by Damani Moyd Photography.

imagePhoto by Damani Moyd Photography. From the left: Tyler James, model; Alexander Gray and David Cabrera, co-founders Alexander Gray Associates Gallery; Joshua Katcher, Brave GentleMan; Andre Watson and Declan Cullen, models, Q Model Management.

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The above jacket was the star of the night! As Alexander Gray Associates are big supporters of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Brave Gentleman created this vegan, one-of-a-kind cow print biker jacket for the gallery to sell and donate the proceeds to WFAS. The jacket is made from super hi-tech recycled ultrasuede and priced at $1000. I’m not certain if it’s still available, but if you’re at all interested, I would contact Brave Gentleman asap.  

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And what would a fancy vegan event be without a fancy vegan spread? NOTHING! Luckily, Brave Gentleman understands. We got to try Miyoko Schinner’s new vegan cheese line AND go to town on some vegan macaron’s by Sweet Maresa’s! The cheese was amazing and the macarons were like awesome brownies with cream in the middle. 

Basically, Meave and I are dead from over vegan stimulation. RIP, us. All I ask now is that you bury me in the latest Brave Gentleman and tell my mother I said, “it was totally worth it!”

09/23/2014

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If you’re in Los Angeles and you’re not attending Mohawk Bend’s “Authors Worth Celebrating" dinner and drinks series, you are seriously missing out. Each month, the restaurant has an author with a new cookbook swing by and prepare a four course dinner (with beer and cocktail pairings! BOOZE!) and then feeds you the entire thing while the author tells you all about it. I’ve been to two—one for the brilliant Tal Ronnen (Crossroads FOR LIFE!) and one for also brilliant Terry Hope Romero (Salad Samurai! Yes!)—and they were both two of the best meals I’ve ever had. AND YOU KNOW I LOVE TO EAT. Plus, it’s so fun to hear the author speak about the process for coming up for each dish, and it’s just all together a really lovely night. Oh! And there are awesome giveaways after the meal, and you have the opportunity to buy the chef’s cookbook. It’s all inclusive, you guys!!!

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The mastermind behind the festivities is Mohawk Bend co-owner Amy Yanow (that’s her interviewing Terry Hope Romero above!), a genius in her own right for devising this delicious idea. We sat down with Amy and asked her a few questions about the series, and here are her terrific answers:

Why did you decide to start doing this series?

We had always visualized using the Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend to facilitate conversations and serve as a community hub for interesting events. We just hadn’t necessarily found a format that worked.

Prior to this year, we did host the occasional book event at Mohawk Bend and Tony’s Darts Away, but under different formats in which the event guests usually comingled with the regular dining service.  To me, the prior formats lacked customer engagement.

Late last year, I found myself so inspired by some of the values-based cookbooks coming that I wanted to actualize that dream of using the Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend to curate interesting conversations that reflect the values of my family and our restaurants. The original idea was to ensure that customers felt that they had direct contact with the featured guests, an opportunity for conversation and an experience that was different than the usual dining experience.

Why have most of the authors been vegan?

We had always intended for the series to have vegan offerings regardless of whether or not the author was vegan.  Naturally, we started off by approaching people we knew and not so coincidentally most of them were vegan. 

However, an early event featured Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt, two women I respect greatly, who included a lot of plant-based options in their book but the book isn’t vegan.  Regardless, I keep finding myself most compelled by the books featuring plant-based recipes, because that is something that I am passionate about and there are so many great cookbooks to celebrate.  Further, there is an interest in the vegan authors we feature, so it’s win-win. 

Ultimately, we’ve just been really blessed with the quality of guests we’ve been able to host and have been rolling with the punches. I would definitely consider having another guest that published a book I believed in so long as we could have a vegan friendly offering as well, but everything in the pipeline at the time continues to be vegan.

It seems like, in addition to the Authors Worth Celebrating series, you always have vegan options at your establishments (Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, Tony’s Dart’s Away in Burbank, and Golden Road Brewing in Glendale!). Why is catering to vegans important to you?

Yes, having an inclusive menu was a decision made on Day 1.  My husband and I couldn’t fathom opening anything that wasn’t hospitable to eaters of all kind, particularly because we prefer vegan offerings. 

 That spirit of bringing vegans, vegetarians and carnivores together in a space that they could all be happy in only supported our goal to serve as a neighborhood gathering space and pub.  

Do you plan to continue the series indefinitely?

So long as we are inspired by what is being published, people are interested and quality conversation continues.

Who do we have to look forward to in the future?

Thug Kitchen (ED.: YES!! We fucking love them!!!) is coming in October and we are thrilled. After our Laurie David event, their publisher approached us to host their LA book release and we couldn’t be more honored that the series gained their attention and that they would like to use our space for such a milestone event.  (Note: I I’m still not actually sure who Thug Kitchen is other than that they are a duo.  I can’t wait to find out!)

What’s been your favorite dish so far and why?

You can’t make me pick one. They’ve all been amazing. What I can tell you is that, I love a good salad and I tend to prefer easy for myself. I have found myself making Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Caesar salad and Terry Hope Romero’s wedge salad.  I have found myself day dreaming about Tal Ronnen’s kale ricotta tortellini with saffron cream sauce.

DID YOU HEAR THAT: THE NEXT ONE IS THUG KITCHEN YALL. You can call me lots of things (fat, sexy, adorable, hilarious, full-of-swears), but don’t call me late to that fucking dinner. xoxox.

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NYC Vegan Drinks is this Thursday! Party for the animals!  »

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Yay NYC Vegan Drinks is here once again! I will be there spinning some dope records as will my main man DJ Grand Format (Ace of Bass fans, this is your night!).

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Freakin’ Vegan, empanada-suppliers of Vegan Shop-Up, will be serving up the yum. They announced on FB that they will have a special-just-for-Vegan-Drinks-limited-edition-get-it-while-you-can buffalo chicken empanada, complete with vegan blue cheese dressing! I’ll see if I have room for one of those but you know I first have to try their vegan cheesesteak empanada as you know I am the vegan cheesesteak expert (you know so much stuff). 

And this month benefits Stewie to the Rescue!:

Stewie to the Rescue has two primary goals: Make sure that no pet is ever relinquished to a NYC kill shelter due to the expense of their medical care, and that no rescue group is ever prevented from saving an animal’s life because of a lack of funds when a foster family or adoptive family is available.

As always, there are awesome raffle prizes including gift certificates from Mooshoes, Cinnamon Snail, The Green Radish, and Mercury Bar! So bring your cash money! Proceeds go to Stewie to the Rescue and you could win awesome shiz! 

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Forget tuna: Delicious Tomato Sushi is the cruelty-free future!  »

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Tomato Sushi being crafted by experts!
I haven’t eaten fish in 15 years, and to be for reals, I don’t miss the taste/texture/cruelty of fish in any way. Still, when I go out to eat at sushi joints other than Shojin, my heart feels a little down that all we vegans usually get is some combination of avocado and cucumber in our maki. 
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That’s why I was sooo excited to try Tomato Sushi, an SF-based vegan tuna created by a world-class chef! Tomato Sushi sent me some samples, and oh my gosh, it really tastes like fish (maybe? It’s been 15 years, after all!) and has a wonderful, chewy texture without using hella chemicals and/or processing! According to the company website, they make it using a special technique to give whole pieces of tomato the texture and flavor of fish.
While I’m no sushi expert (read: I’m terrible at it), I managed to fashion some sushi rice, avocado, and nori sheets, and Tomato Sushi into a roll-like form. The results: epic sushi joy.

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Above: Homemade Tomato Sushi rolls made by yours truly!

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Above: The finished tomato sushi is supposed to look like this, per the Tomato Sushi genius experts. Source: TomatoSushi.com.

Tomato Sushi is launching their Kickstarter campaign to make the product available on a larger scale, so go support them right now to get yours!

09/22/2014

Vegan zombie fans: Toe Tag Riot is available for preorder!  »

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Remember when we talked about Toe Tag Riot and what the ethical zombie would eat? Well now is your chance to preorder the comic and find out!

This is your preorder coupon! You can print it and bring to your comic shop OR you can preorder online:

imageIn the US, there are a lot of options to preorder, but here’s one at 45% offAnd here’s one offering a 2-cover set (both covers) at a discount. In the UK, you can order from Forbidden Planet.

If you have any questions, you can hit Matt up on Twitter @MattMinerXVX and he’s happy to help! And just so you know, preorders of issue 1 are how shops determine how many they’ll order of the full series. So we got to represent!

ALSO! Critical Hit #1 (the continuation of the Liberator storyline, with a new art team) will be in comic stores October 1st. It’s all about awesome vegan women doing the animal rights vigilante thing!

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09/21/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Congressman goes vegan, Mercy For Animals exposes cruel dairy!  »

Remember last week when Texas’ ag commissioner was embarrassing his agency by waging a witch hunt against Meatless Monday? Well, after the national rebuke, he announced his resignation.

Not all elected officials are in the pocket of the meat industry, though. Did you hear the one about the congressman who went vegan? No, for real

Proving that investigative journalism is alive and well, Reuters had a very potent story this week about the poultry industry’s routine drugging of chickens.

A new exposé by Mercy For Animals this week caught major dairy producers on video routinely beating and whipping cows, generating national media attention. Perhaps it’s not a surprise that some in the ag industry want to make it a crime to videotape their treatment of animals. My coworker Matt Dominguez has a new piece on the ag-gag issue this week.

Some good news to end your week: McDonald’s in Australia is dropping eggs from caged hens!

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: Ever seen a chicken giving a dog a back massage?

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