vegansaurus!

08/08/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Another ag-gag bill bites the dust!  »

Good news! This week marked the death of North Carolina’s ag-gag bill, which appears to be the final pending ag-gag bill in the country this year. You can also listen to a radio interview of mine this week on ag-gag and other animal protection topics.

It’s not all good news this week, however: alas, a ballot measure in Missouri aimed at protecting puppy mills and factory farms seems to have squeaked by voters with 50.1 percent of the vote (though the razor-thin margin means that a recount is likely). You can read Wayne Pacelle’s thoughts on it here.

In better news though, Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) is promoting Meatless Monday. You can read about it my op-ed in the San Fernando Valley Sun. And the New York Times ran a compelling interview with the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology about his vegan diet.

Finally, in cool news: Did you know that fish remember events from a year ago?

P.S. Video of the week: Ever seen a cat taking care of a clutch of baby chicks?

08/07/2014

Cardiologist chooses vegan diet, lowers his cholesterol and garners mad haters  »

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As reported by the NYT Well blogDr. Kim A. Williams, president-elect of the American College of Cardiology, wrote a post encouraging people to go adopt a plant-based diet for heart health—so of course everyone freaked out. Because why listen to science when someone is trying to deny you your god-given right to eat dead cow! And when I say deny your right, I mean dare to suggest it might not be healthy. 

He was inspired to make the change when he got a cholesterol test and found out his LDL cholesterol level was 170. From his post:

I thought I had a healthy diet — no red meat, no fried foods, little dairy, just chicken breast and fish. But a simple Web search informed me that my chicken-breast meals had more cholesterol content (84 mg/100 g) than pork (62 mg/100 g). So I changed that day to a cholesterol-free diet, using “meat substitutes” commonly available in stores and restaurants for protein. Within 6 weeks my LDL cholesterol level was down to 90.

I don’t totally know what all this LDL stuff means but 170 to 90 in six weeks seems pretty amazing! If you read his post, it’s pretty benign. Not too preachy, just mostly about his personal journey to a plant-based diet and how it’s helped him. But people still got all heated, as per usual when any hint of veganism comes up. This screen cap of the site he wrote the post on can give you an idea of the calamity:

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Yeah, 74 comments. Seems a bit above their average. I skimmed through some, and as expected: VOM. People are so annoying sometimes. Sigh. 

The doctor responds to some of the criticism in the NYT post. I especially like this part:

Some critics suggested that Dr. Williams and the college were “unduly influenced by industry,” which baffled him.

“Who is the industry that promotes vegan dieting?” he asked.

AND HOW. That is always the silliest criticism to me when someone promotes vegan eating! There is no special agenda to make people go vegan because that’s not where the money is! The money is in A. the meat and dairy lobby, and B. the pharma lobby. Those people do not want you do eat vegan. Obvisiously non-vegan food industries don’t but pharma doesn’t either because if no one was sick, how would they make money?! You would hope a doctor, however, would have entirely different motivation, and it seems Dr. Williams does. As he says:

"Wouldn’t it be a laudable goal of the American College of Cardiology to put ourselves out of business within a generation or two?"

Note: Save yourself the trouble, I’ve heard the reasoning against and I’m still going to keep saying “vegan diet.” We all understand what someone means when they say “vegan diet,” it says you adopt the diet of the vegan lifestyle but not the rest of it. Plus I find “plant-based diet” a confusing term. Plant-BASED doesn’t connote to me that you don’t eat some meat or something. 

08/06/2014

NYL cruelty-free skincare: Smells awesome, works even better!  »

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I received some free products from NYL skincare to try a while ago but I haven’t had the chance to write about it until now. What that means is, I’ve been using the heck out of it for a few months now and I officially hella love the stuff! 

First of all, it smells fresh and nice like a spa. You know, not like a specific flower or anything, rather that good, clean spa smell. Second of all, the products are so great and made my skin lovely. Third of all, everything is vegan, organic, and non-toxic. Those are three of you guys’ favorite things! And they use environmentally-friendly containers and packaging. So nice!

My very favorite thing is the Velvet Transformative Serum. It’s light but moisturizing. It absorbs into the skin quickly so it doesn’t make your face too oily. I love it! My other favorite thing is the Chamomile face wash. Again, it’s very light, but it really made my skin feel clean without making it feel too dry. And it has totally kept my blemishes (that’s pretty talk for pimples) at bay! So I’m very impressed with that. I’ve been using it every day. I will have to order more asap! 

I liked the Rosewater face wash too. That one if for dry skin. I kind of have combination skin so both face washes suited me. But I’m more worried about the oily spots I guess so I will keep with the chamomile. Oddly, I also loved the hand soap. I mean it’s not super odd but I don’t usually get very jazzed about hand soap. But this stuff just smells so good!

The only thing I was lukewarm on was the body balm. I just couldn’t really tell if it was moisturizing that much. The whipped lotion is nice though. 

imageMoral of the story: NYL is the jam! If you want to test out some of the stuff to see if you like it, they have a special on the starter kit on VeganCuts right now. That has the serum and either of the face washes, so you get my two favorite things. They also have individual sample sizes on their site. And the sample sizes have lasted me A WHILE. But I’m sure you will be back soon for the full sizes because this stuff rules!

08/01/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Vegan News You Can Use: Major loss for the meat trade groups  »

The meat industry trade groups lost a major battle this week, with a court ruling in favor of mandatory on-package disclosure of where the meat was produced. HSUS was proud to represent the United Farm Workers and others in the case.

A 2014 Consumer Reports exposé revealed that virtually all—97 percent—of chicken breasts in the U.S. harbor potentially harmful fecally-transmitted pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli. And now, well, I’ll let the newGuardian headline speak for itself: “Your chicken is about to get more full of feces.”

A newly published report from Purdue University finds that Americans are more likely to get their news on animal welfare from HSUS than from ag industry groups. It also finds that 14 percent of people report eating less pork because of animal welfare concerns.

Finally, have pets but no kids? You’re not alone. That trend is increasing among Americans, according to a new analysis this week. Have kids but no pets? Might be a good idea to adopt a pet, as a new study reported on by Fox News finds that kids with pets are more likely to avoid eating animals.

P.S. Video of the week: This rescued moon bear loves taking a bath!

P.P.S. Cartoon of the week: Pavlov’s cat…

Sanctuary Bistro opens this weekend in Berkeley!  »

Gluten-free vegans rejoice! Sanctuary Bistro is officially opening this weekend, and it’s sure to be spectacular! (Anyone want to fly me up there from LA to be your date??) Using local, seasonal, organic, gluten-free, vegan ingredients, Barry Horton and Jennifer Jones Horton’s food is flavorFULL. 

I had the great pleasure of attending a wedding this past weekend that was catered by these talented folks, and let me tell you people, I WORKED that buffet (yay for loose fitting dresses!)! 

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From top left: salad made with local peaches, olive tapenade, mushroom-stuffed quiches (I thought they were tamales whilst dishing up) and ZOMG the lasagna!!!  

I found out the day before the wedding that Barry and Jennifer were catering the reception, and are former employees of Ravens’ Restaurant, at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, in Mendocino.

Having been to Ravens’ (which is amazing) I knew I was in for a treat. I thought I was making an exception from my usual gluten-free diet, but found out after I’d had two servings of lasagna that it was indeed GF. (Party on, Wayne!)

Soooooo, the moral of the story is BOOK YOUR RESERVATION ASAP and get your pretty selves to this fine, new establishment! 

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From top left: Chocolate covered strawberries & cherries, truffles, mini chocolate cupcakes and Russian tea cakes (I’ve also heard them called Mexican tea cookies). I will never admit how many I ate of each…

07/31/2014

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.

07/30/2014

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!

07/29/2014

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:

  • Breakfast: French toast or pancakes, with cereal, soy milk, and fruit.
  • Lunch: veggie burgers, burritos, and sloppy Joes.
  • Dinner: pizza, pasta, vegan sushi, and a veggie tofu curry.
  • Dessert: brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and s’mores.

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.

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