vegansaurus!

07/28/2014

Finally, the white chocolate we’ve all been waiting for (and it’s vegan! bonus!)  »

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Vegan white chocolate, like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, has historically (yes, HISTORICALLY) been nothing more than a magical lie. A goddamned beautiful magical LIE! And if you could get your hands on it, it tasted like overly sweet white chalk, or worse. I don’t know what’s worse than overly sweet white chalk but if you’ve eaten most vegan white chocolates, you would know. And actually, non-vegan white chocolate, for that matter. That stuff can be FUNKY, and NOT funky FRESH. It’s a hard dish to crack, but it’s finally been done, and for that we should all get down on our knees and praise Easter Bunny. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Let’s get to the candy.

Of course it was that genius Melodi from Obsessive Confection Disorder who successfully veganized white chocolate into the tasty candy it deserved to be. She sent me some to try and it. is. like. WHOA.

It is just … it’s otherworldly. It’s sweet, but not insanely sweet, and oh so creamy, and it melts on your tongue. It is the best stuff on Earth. Order it all now before I do because not only do I want to eat it solo, I want to add it to baked goods and melt it on top of berries. It is the nectar of the gods and you NEED IT. Also, you probably need everything else Melodi makes because girlfriend is a vegan candy GODDESS. Make way for the REAL Tooth Fairy, because she has arrived and she is Good.

Vegans, come party in the Hamptons on August 9th at PCRM’s Passion for Compassion!  »

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Want to celebrate the animals with the country’s fanciest vegans this summer? Of course you (and your money) do! That’s why you’re attending PCRM’s Passion for Compassion: Creating a Better Future for Animals and People even in the Hamptons on Saturday, August 9!

Get your tickets here! This year there’s a special free shuttle from NYC; it says RSVP by July 15, but there may still be a few spots available, so call/email ASAP to get on there. We are imagining it’ll be an amazing vegan party bus! YAY I ALWAYS WANTED ONE OF THOSE.

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Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart and Joshua Katcher (center) with more fun vegans at last year’s fundraiser.

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Food by the amazing Suite ThreeOhSix, which you know we are crazy about.

If you’ve needed a destination for your vegan eleganza, exquisite beauty, and hardcore animal-rights ethics, Passion for Compassion is the place. We’ll see you on the party bus!

Champs at Rockaway: Eat vegan at the beach!  »

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On Saturday, my fella took me to Rockaway Beach. Last year I didn’t go to any beaches, and I am determined not to waste another summer. We took the A train to the shuttle to the Beach 98th Street station, which has a stained-glass sign that reminds you of a time when this country cared about not just infrastructure, but its aesthetics.

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Once there, we frolicked in the (kind of dirty and weirdly smelly) water (I miss you, California); it rained a little bit in the late morning, but it cleared up by the afternoon, and we went in and out of the water and read in the sun until we were hot and sticky and starving.

We walked a little ways over to the Beach 96th Street concession stand, which is a bunch of restaurants making fast food at counters. I washed up in the (admirably clean) restroom, to emerge to my young man brandishing a Modelo Especial michelada. Thanks to Barnivore, I know Modelos are all vegan, but most micheladas I’ve encountered have come with something hideous like Worchestershire sauce, which point I immediately raised. “No,” he said, “I had them list the ingredients and it is completely vegan.” Whoever is making micheladas at Rockaway Beach this summer, bless you; it was light and spicy and so refreshing. (Ugh, Meave, get to the part about Champs. No, let me brag about my boyfriend being the most considerate, adorable omnivore partner a vegan could ask for.) “Also,” he said, “There’s a Champs inside.”

I almost dropped my drink.

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There it was! Champs! The best vegan diner on the East Coast! Beloved of Vegansaurs far and wide! Check out the menu:

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We ordered burgers, broccoli fritters, and salted watermelon. Pictured: my burger, because I was too hungry to bother with photographs of all the food. I try, you guys, but I am but one woman, and sometimes my appetite overpowers my picture-taking abilities. Trust, though, the fritters were tasty and the salted watermelon awakened a serious craving for more watermelon right now all the time I want it.

OK and the burger:

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Would you look at that thing? It is glorious. The slaw is crisp, the pickles are sour, the sauce is spicy, the patty is of good texture, and the bun doesn’t get in the way. It is exactly what you want at the beach, and I strongly suggest you New York bathers get your butts to Rockaway right now. Look what awaits you! And word is Champs may not last the season, so hurry! We can have flawless vegan diner food on the beach! Truly, the world is our oyster mushroom.

(Note: There’s also a Champs on Bushwick Avenue at Dodworth Street in Bushwick, which is my new Sunday go-to; I can never seem to remember to capture my meals before they’re gone, but it’s all been spectacular. I had a tuno salad and a watermelon slush for dinner tonight, and my boyfriend is in love with the soysage. Review coming as soon as I can put camera to plate.)

07/25/2014

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Packing meat and packing heat!  »

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Well, it’s hard to know where to begin with something as crazy as this, but here you go:

This week Ron Prestage, the president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council—and of Prestage Farms, which HSUS exposed with an undercover investigation—allegedly tried to get inside the US Capitol building with a loaded semiautomatic gun. Who knows what he was planning on doing once inside, but fortunately police arrested him. He spent the night in jail and was arraigned the next day.

One can only speculate about what was—or wasn’t—going through his mind, but perhaps he’s not too pleased about the fact that, according to the Wall Street Journal, meat’s getting more expensive than fruits and veggies.

Or maybe he’s upset that rock legend Steven Tyler of Aerosmith this week slammed gestation crates and urged a ban on them in Massachusetts.

Or maybe he didn’t like Al Sharpton’s MSNBC segment this week with HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle and former HSUS investigator Cody Carlson about how cruel and un-transparent the meat industry is.

Either way, have a good—and safe!—weekend!

P.S. Video of the week: This Doberman really loves this pool slide!

P.P.S. Photo of the week: Pork industry executive Ron Prestage being walked in handcuffs away from the Capitol…

Guest Post: My favorite masculine vegan has a pussy  »

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As of late, conversations about masculinity and meat eating have re-emerged, partially in response to John Joseph’s book, Meat Is for Pussies, and also from a segment on NPR about masculinity and veganism. But this conversation has left a lot to be desired from many vegans, especially feminists.

It’s great to see traditional assumptions about masculinity challenged by veganism, but we can do better. I date a butch lesbian vegan who is training for a marathon, lifts weights, is masculine, and has a pussy. Below are five of the most frustrating aspects of the conversation.

1. Hardcore veganism is feminist
The idea that there is a real man or that one type of man is a “pussy”* and another is more masculine is a) homophobic and b) misogynist. There is nothing hardcore about reclaiming traditional patriarchal language and behavior in the name of an ethical movement. And remember: If you aren’t sure how to do better please ask a vegan feminist. We would love to help!

2. Ethical veganism is not a diet or about controlling your body
All people who are vegan eat a plant-based diet and strive to live a compassionate life towards human and non-human animals alike. This extends to varying degrees into all consumer products, as well as different practices one supports. There’s plenty of debate about how veganism extends beyond the plate.

One thing that is not up for debate, however, is that ethical veganism is not about restricting food as a diet or about controlling your body. With the emphasis on proving vegan diets can also provide for the nutritional needs of those who run ultra marathons and body-build, the conversation seems to have become confused. As the NPR segment argues, men are generally the face of this misconception.

3. Veganism doesn’t need to be saved from feminity
A lot of this conversation about masculinity and veganism is people reacting to being bullied for being too feminine or behaving like a girl (or a “pussy”)  for being a vegan. The basic premise that this is something to tolerate or build a defense against is offensive in its own right.

Eating plants is not an inherently feminine behavior, nor is eating meat an inherently masculine behavior. Anything that encourages either side of this argument is essentialist and tired. This is not to say that being treated as an outcast or ostracized for making an ethical choice many people consider weird is not difficult, just that it’s part of the patriarchy, man. Making ethical vegan choices is something to be proud of for no reason other than the inherent virtue of making the right ethical decision, which has nothing to do with your gender.

4. Veganism shouldn’t need a mainstream male stamp of approval to be taken seriously
If you’re going to get media attention for being male and vegan, please say something feminist and mention some of the inspiring feminist vegans who you know and love!

5. Where are my male feminist allies?
It’s very annoying to see instances of misogynistic language promoting veganism get the seal of approval by prominent male vegans. Those in the position to hold the microphone with the most amplification have a responsibility to say something and push our movement to be less homophobic, and more feminist. And if you aren’t sure how, please pass that microphone on to a #feministvegan who does. 

*Similar to queer, the word pussy has been reclaimed by some feminists, probably most notably the feminist Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Read more about that here. 

Jamie J. Hagen is a Boston-based writer who writes about feminism, feminist security studies, and LGBTQ politics for such publications as Rolling Stone, Autostraddle and RH Reality Check. She tweets @jamiejhagen and you can visit jamiejhagen.com for more of her work.

Photo via The Animal Blog

07/24/2014

Subway is testing a vegan sandwich option at limited locations! Hooray!! Let’s ask them to make this more widely available at WeLoveSubway.com because more vegan options is a win for animals, no matter what they are. Plus, you know you want to eat at Subway sometimes. Don’t front.
SUBWAY! EAT FRESH! (OR CLOSE ENOUGH!)
(Plus White Castle is also testing a veggie burger! What a time to be alive!)
[via Compassion Over Killing’s FB page!]

Subway is testing a vegan sandwich option at limited locations! Hooray!! Let’s ask them to make this more widely available at WeLoveSubway.com because more vegan options is a win for animals, no matter what they are. Plus, you know you want to eat at Subway sometimes. Don’t front.

SUBWAY! EAT FRESH! (OR CLOSE ENOUGH!)

(Plus White Castle is also testing a veggie burger! What a time to be alive!)

[via Compassion Over Killing’s FB page!]

07/23/2014

The Best Tofu I Ever Ate!  »

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You guys! I’m writing about delicious tofu for Nasoya and I’m really enjoying it so far and I want to share the posts because TOFU YUM. Get into it:

I used to be ambivalent, at best, about tofu. I simply saw it as a white, square block of jiggly goo that tasted like nothing. Even after being vegetarian for quite some time, I pretty much avoided (what I thought was) the flavorless block like the plague. However, one dish changed that all.

My friend Hannah loves tofu. She loves it so much. Honestly, I was kinda freaked out by her love for something I considered so “meh”. Well, with one simple, easily remixable kinda-recipe, she showed me the tofu lovin’ light. Hang onto your hats, because you’re about to become a tofu convert.

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is an idea. Feel free to play with the spices, but the premise is oh so easy. You just press your extra firm tofu to get all the excess water out, cut it into cubes, and then cover it in a mixture of soy sauce, nutritional yeast, potato starch, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix it up and create a scrumptious sludge to coat your tofu with Then, you put some coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat and fry those suckers up. What’s next is totally up to you! You can toss the tasty cubes in pasta, throw ‘em on nachos, top a salad, or just snack until you’re full. Which, with all the delicious protein in tofu, won’t take long.

After becoming a convert to tofu and its delicious ways, I became insatiable. I mixed it into puddings, baked it with a cornmeal topping, and fried it up with sauces and spices. What I learned is that tofu is a gorgeous blank palette. It soaks up all the goodness and turns out dishes that are not only tasty, but oh so good for you. I’m now proudly Team Tofu all the way!

Crossroads is now serving brunch!   »

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Is there anything better than vegan chicken & waffles? (Photo courtesy Crossroads)

Tal Ronnen strikes again, and this time he means BRUNCHNESS. Starting this weekend, you can go to Crossroads in Los Angeles on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and indulge in both savory and sweet dishes (guaranteed not to disappoint). Some menu items include Chicken & Waffles (drool on photo above), French Toast (gluten-free options available), Crossroads Benedict, two types of frittatas, and much more. Also, for you boozy brunchers, there will be a “tableside bloody mary cart.” (Can you roll me out of there on said cart when I’m done chowing down?) 

Click here for the full menu, and to make your reservation!

Stop the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium from becoming a death trap for birds!  »

The Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium could kill thousands of birds each year. 

Despite state guidelines requiring bond-funded buildings to protect birds from window collisions, the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority rejected calls last week from Audubon and other groups urging them use safer types of glass.

For less than 0.1% of the entire billion-dollar cost of the facility, the Vikings could incorporate bird-safe glass, which could help prevent birds from fatally colliding with the stadium’s huge glass windows.

And, we know that it will work. The Javits Center, once New York City’s biggest bird killing structure, updated its glass to a bird-safe variety and reduced bird collisions to almost zero. 

According to scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian Institution, up to 988 million birds are killed annually in the United States by collisions with buildings, especially glass windows. The new Vikings stadium will feature nearly 200,000 square feet of glass.

If we have a solution that we know will prevent bird deaths, why not act on it?

You can make a difference and help save birds! Sign our petition and urge the Vikings to use bird-safe glass!

Guest post by Elizabeth Sorrell, the Digital Communications Manager for National Audubon Society and a proud vegan!

07/18/2014

Animal News You Can Use: The meat industry can’t stop whining  »

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The meat industry’s leadership seems to be in a panic over how prevalent the term “factory farming” is these days. My coworker Matt Prescott takes them to task in a new Washington Post commentary, explaining that meat production is in fact far more factory than farm, and that it was the industry itself which helped coined the language used to describe these inhumane places.

They’re also complaining about California’s historic and humane law banning foie gras, even calling for the Supreme Court to nullify that law. One of them got into the ring with me this week on NPR’s Los Angeles affiliate to debate the issue. You can listen to our debate here, and read more about it in the LA Times.

What else do they complain about? The fact that some countries are concerned about American chicken products being soaked in chlorine. I discuss the issue in my new commentary, “Got Chlorine? Your Chicken Might.”

Finally, they love to complain about all the studies showing that eating less meat improves health. Well, the title of an article in Men’s Journal this week won’t make them happy: “Go Vegetarian, Live Longer.”

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. Video of the week: Think we’re the only species that likes to surf? Check out these black swans!

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