vegansaurus!

06/06/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: quit meat, save dough!  »

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Did you know that the last time meat prices were this high, Reagan was in office? That’s one reason I write in a New York Daily News op-ed that if you want to save money, giving farm animals a bit of a break will also give our wallets a break, too. Amusingly, the paper named the op-ed, “Quit Meat, Save Dough.”

Speaking of money, a major battery egg producer was fined $6.8 million this week after admitting to bribing USDA officials to approve potentially rotten eggs.

And egg-laying chickens are on the political map in Massachusetts, where we’re waging a major campaign to ban battery cages, veal crates, and gestation crates. Here’s the latest coverage.

Want to learn more about these kinds of animal protection campaigns while networking with tons of other like-minded animal advocates and eating off-the-hook vegan food? Come to the Taking Action for Animals conference in DC June 27-30!!!

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: Just a cat playing with a pig. No big deal.

NorCal: Party with Animal Place at Music in the Meadow TOMORROW!  »

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Sorry for the last minute notice but Animal Place’s annual Music in the Meadow is tomorrow! GUESS WHO IS GOING TO BE THERE. Ok I’ll tell you! Not only my idol Panda Bob, but the newly famous Mr. G and Jellybean! Oh, also, in terms of people, vegan NFL football player, David Carter, Jr. of the Oakland Raiders! 

Plus, vegan food will abound! And the barns and pastures will all be open. And let’s be real, all we care about is cute rescue animals and vegan food. Of course there will be music too! That’s titular! 

Get your tickets now! And tell me if Panda Bob is all cool in real life!

06/05/2014

Seattle Cookie Counter: the vegan ice cream sandwich truck!  »

imageHello, vegan ice cream sandwich lovers! This Kickstarter is for YOU! Two Seattle folks, Chelsea and Chris, have taken it upon themselves to bring Seattle its very own vegan ice cream sandwich truck! Did I say truck? Because I meant to say VW BUS! Or “grandfather punch-buggy” as my brother would say, right before slugging me in the forearm. 

Seattle Cookie Counter plans to have 30 flavor combinations and they sound AWESOME. Like check out my friend here at 6 o’clockish:

imageCoffee Chip? COME AT ME, BRO. Gimme that on a chocolate cookie sandwich and let’s call it a life. 

There are lots of fun pledge rewards, including a kids’ ice cream party and even a special ice cream sandwich-laden marriage proposal package! So if you live in the area or plan to ever visit, (which you should, I hear it’s nice), then pledge and get your rewards so we can take over another town with our yummy vegan innovations!

East Coasters: Philly VegFest is almost here!  »

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Here ye, here ye! June 14th, the Philly VegFest this way comes! Heads up: This is a don’t-miss event!

You should know by now that your pal Megan Rascal is a native Philadelphian and I always try to share the Philly vegan goodness with yous guys. And boy, does the VegFest promise goodness! First of all, the event is FREE. Those are my four favorite letters in the perfect order (I’m sort of whatever about “reef”). Sponsored by the Humane League, there’s going to be all sorts of fun stuff like vegan food, cooking demos, and awesome vendors. Por ejemplo, the creators of the amazing vegan restaurant Vedge will be there with news of their forthcoming vegan bar! HOT DAMN. That’s so funny because “vegan” and “bar” are my two favorite words (in no particular order). 

Other exciting things to look out for: Miss Rachel herself from Miss Rachel’s Vegan Pantry will be there cooking (and being awesome, but that’s a given), animal-rights juggernauts Mercy For Animals will be tabling, and Blackbird Pizzeria and HipCityVeg are just two of the super-dope food vendors lined up. 

To keep up with all the announcements of more fun stuff they keep adding, follow Philly VegFest on FB. This sounds like it’ll be an amazing vegan day! Who wants to hop the Bolt bus with me on the 14th? I can make my dad pick us up at the train station and take us to Pine! He loves when I let him do stuff for me!

06/04/2014

Strongest Hearts: vegan athletes do exist and they are amazing!  »

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I don’t know about you, but as someone who likes to pretend to be an athlete (AKA slow and gasping for air, but keeps on trudging), I’m insanely inspired by super-active vegans! Sooo, I want to see more of them in awesome videos!! Plus, how tired are you of the myth that vegans can’t be physically powerful if they want to be? Let’s show the world that it is just that: a myth! Enter Strongest Hearts, a web series that focuses on vegan athletes. Strongest Hearts films these awesome athletes doing some pretty darn impressive stuff with their bodies… powered by the power of Greyskull! Okay, kidding, powered by plants (duh)!! 

Hosted by Registered Dietitian (and bike-obsessed) Matt Ruscigno, R.D. and shot by Whale Wars (amongst many other things) filmmaker (and hockey fanatic), Sasha PerryStrongest Hearts has a few awesome episodes under their belt but they want to make more—because there are so many more stories to tell! Just watch the damn video they made, people, it’s so much better than any words I could stick together. Then donate what you can so us vegans can be super-inspired/inspiring, and maybe get some omni-athletes to see they could be vegan and still do what they love. DO IT TO IT! 

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!

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