The LA vegan mac truck fundraising campaign has moved internet locations! »
Recently we posted on Chef Ayinde Howell’s efforts to raise money to open a vegan and gluten-free MAC’N CHEESE TRUCK in LA. Well, the campaign has moved from Kickstarter over to Indiegogo, and I want to help get the word out because I am incredibly selfless. I also want it available for my consumption upon arriving in LA; it looks scrumptious! Anyway, you know how Kickstarter works; if you don’t make all the money you tried to raise, you don’t see any of it! That’s bananas, right? Or not, whatever, but it seems nutty to me. If you were thinking about, or did contribute to the original fundraiser, go ahead, take a look at the new internet location. Let’s not only help make Chef Ayinde’s dream a reality, but also my dream of eating a plate of Mac and Yease a few times a week!
Can’t see the videos? Check them out at Vegansaurus.com!
Say it with me now: Don’t buy down! »
Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
I’ve been waiting for a good anti-down video to come out and PETA has just released one (warning: it’s a bit graphic). I feel like omnis never think about down when it’s actually totally awful. I didn’t even know about the foie gras connection. And down is totally unnecessary in these modern times! There are super-alternatives!
So spread the word: don’t buy down!
The Vegansaurus Top 15 vegan celebrities! »
LA Weekly just posted their top 10 vegan celebrities, which got me wondering why they should have all the fun. As many of you pointed out, a few of those celebs aren’t even vegan anymore (Alec and Olivia, I’m looking at you.) So … drum roll, please … we at Vegansaurus have put together our own top 10 list, only it contains 15 of our favorite vegan celebs! What do you think? Does this make you love us more? Hate us? Feel nothing? Ha! I bet you can’t stop reading anyway!
In no particular order (I’m very sensitive myself and do not want these beautiful specimens of veganism to feel jilted), I present you with…THE VEGANSAURUS TOP 15 VEGAN CELEBRITIES!
The first two are the winners of a little poll we conducted around the first of year, asking you about your favorite vegan musicians. You guys went totally bonkers for
1. Moby! This guy has been vegan for what feels like forever, which roughly translates to about 18 years. He’s co-owned a vegan cafe and co-written a book, all the while working as a recording artist, hot dang! I went to a BBQ he hosted at SXSW last year, which was pretty fantastic, and maybe one of my favorite meals from 2011. Keep doing you, Moby; keep doing you.
2. Ted Leo! Now, don’t get upset, but I don’t know much about this guy. That doesn’t matter, however, because you, our lovely readers, LOVE this guy. You couldn’t hold back your devotion in our poll! Please, feel free to school me about Ted Leo in the comments, I will not mind. According to this interview, he loves Millennium (holla!). Maybe us S.F.-dwellers will run into him there. Jealous?
And now for our picks:
4. Fiona Apple! Angst sounds so sweet mixed with a vegan diet. My Tumblr and Twitter feeds are still filled with people going nuts about her new album, and that dropped like four months ago! Has anyone seen one of her epic onstage meltdowns? I’m not hating—I have epic meltdowns every day of my life, as witnessed by my friends, family, roommates and co-workers.
5. Alicia Silverstone. She videotaped herself feeding her kid like a goddamn bird, which grossed out pretty much everyone who saw it. I still shudder, thinking about it. In other news, she loves Food For Lovers queso, wrote a pretty awesome vegan lifestyle book, and STARRED IN CLUELESS (not to mention those Aerosmith videos).
6. Woody Harrelson. Raw vegans tend to be pretty sexy (hey Sarah E. Brown, I’m winking at YOU), and he especially did not disappoint while kicking undead ass in the movie Zombieland! Looks like he even got his hands on some vegan Twinkies for a scene in said movie. HEY WOODY, I MAKE THOSE FOR A LIVING!
7. Tony Kanal, the bassist for No Doubt! This one’s for me and my girl Tashina, the biggest No Doubt fans you may ever meet. Don’t hate, celebrate! Gwen Stefani was just photographed leaving a vegan restaurant in L.A.; maybe that was Tony’s influence? (Though I hear Gavin’s a longtime vegetarian.)
9. Emily Deschanel! She’s so beautiful and articulate, and her penetrating stare scares the shit out of me! She weathered a vegan pregnancy AND LIVED TO TALK ABOUT IT! Take that, everyone who says it’s not possible! Ha!
10. Scott Jurek, because vegan athletes/authors are superstars! Read all about Rachel’s love for Scott here! To quote the post, “Scott Jurek could basically kick your ass any day of the week, including days where he hasn’t slept the night before, has a broken ankle, and already ran 75 miles.” Dang.
11. Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres! They are so great about making veganism look fun and accessible. There is so much to love about this superstar couple and the work they do for animals. Too bad about the restaurant deal falling through, but yay for vegan dog food!
12. Erykah Badu! She’s every vegan jazz musician’s No. 1 crush, or maybe that’s just my old roommate Jeremy. Remember when she busted onto the scene with “On and On" then sent everyone into a flurry with her video for "Window Seat”? This “Queen of Neo-Soul” is truly an inspiration when it comes to forward thinking politics and raising her vegan family!
13. Alanis Morisette! I had a co-worker at the Chicago Diner who thought the lyrics to You Oughta Know were “… and the cross-eyed bear that you gave to me”. HA! Now you’ll always sing that, instead of the right words, JUST LIKE ME! It’s a curse I bestow on you. Also, Alanis is quite lovely, and wasn’t she great on Weeds? Oh yes, and of course You Can’t Do That on Television!
14. Russell Simmons! Man, do you follow this guy on Twitter? He’s like a guru for people who don’t believe in gurus (me)! And seriously, wasn’t the best part of Kimora Lee Simmons’ show when he came on and moderated the crazy? Our Megan is always covering Russell’s vegan moves here on Vegansaurus, so I’ll just direct you to one of my favorite posts of hers, also featuring Martha Stewart! Keep giving us your vegan recipes, Russell! Keep giving us your wisdom!
15. Thom Yorke! OBVIOUSLY, right?! Most everyone’s favorite band has been Radiohead at some point, hasn’t it? He ate at Café Gratitude once, when I was working in the Central Kitchen of Scandal. Everyone went nuts, as to be expected. I’m never around when the celebs come to the restaurants I work at and it’s not fair, because I just love them so much! Actually, scratch that—M.C. Hammer came into Source recently (and I didn’t recognize him without his signature pants).
Brad Pitt! I was shocked to find out he’s vegan. On second thought, it made sense. He would just quietly be vegan, helping to rebuild New Orleans, raising a family, and avoiding Jennifer Aniston’s rabid fan base of haters.
You love Alicia Silverstone! You love Farm Sanctuary! You love videos that look like they were filmed in the foyer of your friend’s parents’ house in San Diego and edited by that friend’s 12-year-old sibling! That’s why you love this video!
No shade, the Compassionate Communities Campaign does seem great. Who wants to leaflet at the La Jolla Whole Foods this weekend?
DIY! Natural, homemade household cleaners! »
Ever since Mark mentioned the Alicia Silverstone video in which she feeds her baby chewed-up food from her own mouth, I have been unable to contain my curiosity over it! I thought that today was the day I could finally muster up the courage to watch it.; BUT NO! I turned it off before I could get to the feeding. I just can’t. By the way, I would be so pissed if
my name were Bear I found out my mom did this (my mom licking a finger or napkin to wipe my face as a kid was bad enough)!
Now the feeding is forever on the internet for Bear to be plagued with; why wasn’t Alicia thinking about the 12-plus years of schooling he’ll have to endure?! Maybe he’ll be home-schooled? OH NO, WHAT IS LUNCH GOING TO LOOK LIKE?
Can you make it through? I just cannot. Can’t see the clip? View it on Vegansaurus.com!
Anyway, I get Alicia’s Kind Life blog updates in my inbox, ever since I became a member when she named Food For Lover’s queso an awesome vegan snack! Over the weekend I got an update I though you crafty,
hippies beautiful people would love: how to make your own laundry detergent! It’s kind of a process (though it doesn’t look difficult) so click here to see how to do it! All you need is washing soda, borax, three gallons of water, a bar of soap, a large bucket, and time! And because I know you like a second opinion on matters concerning your clothing, here’s another detergent recipe from Bonzai Aphrodiate.
The only time I’ve made my own household cleaner is when I used baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain. It works! Maybe this will be my new thing — making all my cleaners, along with my dinners, from scratch. Then I’ll start sewing all my own clothes, sell all my possessions and move to a hippie commune! I did need some new life goals.
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
You guys, spring break is over for another year. I spent all of last week working on things that I didn’t have time for and then recovering for three days because Allen and I chose to go see The Hunger Games at the midnight opening instead of waiting a couple of days to see it at a reasonable hour.
That shit was off the hook (pardon my French!), and I am delighted to tell you that Allen and I loved it! (I know, it wasn’t word-for-word, but I have all the books and can re-read them whenever I want.) Allen was incredibly embarrassed the entire time (as usual) as I insisted on making conversation with the other people in line, and then screaming “Every man for himself!” as I pushed past groups of schoolgirls to get good seats. One young lady got confused, ran into a pole, and rolled into the entrance. In the spirit of the event, I shouted “Stop slowing me down!” as I jumped over her, but was later chastised by Allen for not being nice to children…at a movie about children killing children. However, when I brought this up to him, he just shook his head and went to buy popcorn, leaving me to contemplate my own horridness.
Due to this movie (and all the dystopian fiction I read), I do not have a positive view of the future. I think the fact that the Denver Zoo has come up with a car that runs on poop is an omen that we are only years away from sending our children into an arena to bludgeon each other with bricks. A car that runs on poop, you guys. How does that even happen? More importantly, why am I so upset and worried that it is only a short time before Allen is forcing me into a high-fiber diet so that he can drive me around. Can you imagine the smell? Why does the article not mention the smell? Do you think there might be a smell? Can you imagine hipsters pooping into buckets in order to ride motorized bikes? Why am I so obsessed with poop? Why can’t I stop?
Here’s a question: How do snakes poop? I have never considered this before, but then I read about this dude who had 400 snakes in his house, and I started thinking about whether snakes produce pellets or, uh, goo. Also: Why are snakes so scary? I am sure they do not want to eat me, but I remember my second grade teacher reading us a book about a boa constrictor eating a kid, and I didn’t know English too well and didn’t understand that it was fiction. That was a horrible year for me.
Something that isn’t poop but is super-gross anyway is Alicia Silverstone feeding her baby like a bird and then posting the video online in (I assume) a desperate attempt to stay relevant past the mess that was Excess Baggage. That was her worst movie—until this monstrosity. Listen, do whatever it is that you like with your obviously distressed kid, but do not post it online. That means you too, Jennifer Coburn, and that one mom who starved her seven-year-old and wrote about it for Vogue.
That’s it for this week! Please send me links for next week and have a Wednesday not fraught with thoughts about poop!
[photo by Eric Bégin via Flickr]
"But how do you get your protein—FOR THE BABY?!" Vegansaurus gets pregnant! »
When you’re pregnant, everyone has advice for you. They know which doctor or midwife you should use and which hospital you should deliver at, or if you should have the baby at home instead. They know how much weight you should gain and where you should do prenatal yoga—you are doing prenatal yoga, right? And they definitely know what you should eat.
If you’re vegan, this can go to a whole other level.
Emily Deschanel is vegan, and she stayed vegan during her recent pregnancy. Last fall, she was on the cover of FitPregnancy, and in the interview she talked about her veganism. According to Salon and other publications, staying vegan was “controversial,” and Deschanel knew it, saying “As a pregnant woman especially, people will say to me, ‘You must eat meat and dairy.’ You really have to tap into your self-esteem whenever people try to convince you you’re making the wrong choice.”
She’s not alone—a few months earlier, Glamour published a short piece called “Health Controversy: ‘I’m Vegan, and Pregnant’” featuring Crazy Sexy Life contributor Corinne Bowen.
Personally, I’ve found that the best defense in this situation is a good offense. If you’re informed about your nutritional needs during pregnancy, it’s easier to defuse people’s criticisms—or, less cynically, to address the concerns of your partner, family, and friends.
To that end, I’ll be posting about being pregnant and vegan here at Vegansaurus — I’ve got lots to learn myself, and I hope that I can pass along some of that info along the way. In all situations, I like to arm myself with information (side effect of being a journalist, I guess). Here are some of my starting places—and I’d love to hear your suggestions for future posts in the comments!
- Pregnancy posts at The Kind Life: Alicia Silverstone was also vegan during her pregnancy
- Your Vegetarian Pregnancy, by Holly Roberts: not strictly vegan but a great resource
- The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, by Reed Mangels
- The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy, by Allison Tannis: Most of these foods are vegan, and the book is a great way to get ideas for broadening your diet
Terri Coles lives in Toronto, where she enjoys barbecuing, feeding feral cats, going to local music shows and getting really mad about hockey games. She blogs about her adventures in plant-based eating at The Vegina Monologues. We edit out all her extra vowels.
Alicia Silverstone on Oprah today! »
Set your VCRs, DVRs, and Bittorrent TV-stealy programs: Alicia Silverstone will be on Oprah today! She’ll be on with Michael Pollan (who I know most of you hate but I count anyone who goes around persuading Americans to eat more plants and less meat as an ally) with some footage from Food Inc. At this rate, the Oprahnator is going to need an entire show on her new TV network devoted to vegan cooking and food politics. (Hint, hint, and PS hire me to produce it, I’m not remotely qualified but I swear it’ll be good.)
Tune in today; check your local listings for times, or just watch the grainy version later on YouTube.
I Love the Noughties: A Vegan Decade in Review »
If you had to pick a single word for vegan in the ’00s, it would be “mainstream,” as we watched veganism get wrestled away from the Birkenstocks-and-hemp set. Celebrity vegans and vegan fashion changed the public face of a movement that had been left for dead, and the food came along for the ride, with cupcakes and melty cheese pizza replacing granola. We even went political, passed some laws, lost some rights, and ran for president. Our fad diets beat their fad diets, and now here we are, 10 years later. Older? Wiser? Better dressed and topped with frosting? Let’s see how it all went down.
2000: Alicia Silverstone goes vegan and ushers in the Celebrity Vegan Decade. Yes, there were vegans before 2000, like Ian Mackaye, but it was still a fringe thing, for college activists and crusty old punks. In the ’00s, going vegan equals getting press, with celebrities coming out of the pantry left and right. It was the decade that gave us PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Alive award, and high profile announcements from Natalie Portman, Ellen Degeneres, Jonathan Safran Foer, Kristin Bell, and other stars like supermodel Petra Němcová and MMA cage fighter Mac Danzig. Love or hate celebrity culture, it’s here to stay, and now it’s going vegan.
2001: Stella McCartney leaves Chloe to start her own designer label, starting the first high fashion vegan shoe line. While most of what she does is out of the price range of mere mortals, in a very real way, this was a good thing for the perception of vegan fashion. “But if I went vegan, I would have to shop at Payless” would no longer be an excuse, and the false dilemma between ethics and looking good was finally gone.
2002: Atkins Diet goes mainstream and gets cred. Dr. Atkins’ book had been out since 1972, but it wasn’t until the early ’00s that people gave it a real try. In 2002, a Duke University study appeared to confirm the worst fears of vegans, that Atkins dieters lost weight and lowered their cholesterol. Of course we all know what happened in the end. Like any fad diet, the guru died and the company went bankrupt, leading to its fiery demise. Why was the Atkins diet such a big deal for vegans? It was the first fad diet to attack the “eating less meat is healthy” argument at the jugular. In the end, we were still right, but not without spending a few years in the low carb wilderness. Dark times.
2003: Dennis Kucinich announces that he will run as the first vegan for president of the U.S. of A., then wins the election with 76 percent of the vote, dissolves the Senate, and ends factory farming by executive decree. Okay I made up like half of that. But admit it, you decided to vote for this guy, sight unseen, the second you heard he was vegan, and his flappy ears or anti-abortion stance didn’t scare you away. Hell, I did. He also helped heal the left after the Green Party split in 2000 that gave us George W. Bush, by giving all of us lefties some hope that the Democratic party doesn’t have to completely suck. After all, any political party with a high-profile vegan politician couldn’t be that bad, could it? Okay don’t answer that. Anyway, give it up for the D-Kuch for making vegan history! Dennis, I present you with this gold plated dino-statue as Vegansaurus’s highest honor. As soon as I have a sec to ‘shop that up.
2004: Wayne Pacelle becomes the first vegan president of the Humane Society of the United States, making that one for two in the “first” and “vegan president” category. For the first time, a vegan is president of the largest animal protection group in the world. He completely broadened/shifted its focus on to farm animals. It makes sense because the vast majority of animals suffering in this world are the ones we eat.
2005: Vegan cheese that melts hits the stores, with the first known appearance of Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet. “It melts!” the label proudly trumpeted, reminding us of past disappointments, fraught with casein and other milk-based substances that were needlessly present in the so-called cheese replacements of the day. True vegan pizza was finally possible, and so was GRILLED CHEESE (and the great pre-Vegansaurus Mac and Cheese Bake-Off). And with that, we kicked off a revolution in the greatest vegan technology advancement of all. Teese, Dr. Cow, Follow Your Heart, Daiya—before the ’00s, such things were only found at the Whole Foods on Fantasy Island.
2006: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World takes over the world. Seriously, where would we be without this book? It combined every element of vegan baking into a single handbook, a canonical scripture to be read aloud during holy days of rest. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World appeared at exactly the right time, just as the global cupcake phenomenon was reaching a fever pitch, and convinced a skeptical omnivorous world that vegan baking is not only passable, but preferable.
2006: The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act passes, expanding the War on Terror to tofu. Last I checked, violence was already illegal, and politically motivated violence was already doubleplus illegal, but apparently we needed a special law to target animal rights activists. I’ll be the first to admit that our cause, just like every other cause, has its extremists that could use a chill pill. However, the new law did nothing to provide exemptions for whistle-blowing and other undercover investigations, and codified the right of animal enterprises to uninterrupted profits at the expense of free speech. The ACLU, unfortunately, allowed this abomination to pass. Thanks, jerks!
2007: Spotted: Victoria Beckham carrying a copy of Skinny Bitch while shopping in Los Angeles. Skinny Bitch had been out since 2005, but it took Posh Spice to get it on the bestseller lists. While the idea of going vegan to lose weight is hardly new, this was the first successful attempt to bring animal rights philosophy and PCRM’s nutritional science to the diet frenzy mainstream, by weaving our beliefs in with the ideals of Americans who desire “skinny” over “healthy” (these ladies are NOT actual nutritionists, you guys). Those of us on the vegan-lifer side of the fence know that being vegan is anything but a fad diet (and come on, we have pizza and cupcakes now, we’re enjoying life as much as anyone else) but as a subversive social experiment, Skinny Bitch was the first of its kind.
2008: Oprah goes vegan for 21 days. You don’t mess with the Oprahnator. Oprah speaks, everyone listens, and in 2008, she spoke about going vegan. “How can you say you’re trying to spiritually evolve, without even a thought about what happens to the animals whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony?” she wrote at the time. Which is a nice thought, but do we stop thinking about what happens to the animals after 21 days? I didn’t really get it. Anyway, Oprah has a way of sprinkling her magic credibility fairy dust on everything she touts, which means “You’re what?” is no longer the Jeopardy answer to “I’m vegan.”
2008: Proposition 2 wins in California! Although not the first animal protection law to win by popular referendum (voters in Florida and Arizona passed laws of their own in 2004 and 2006) we won a truly epic battle that will protect calves, hens, and pigs from horrible confinement. Prop. 2 won with 63 percent of the vote in the U.S.’s most populous state, and as they say, as California goes, so goes the nation. Put that in your gestation crate and smoke it.
2009: Martha Stewart has a vegetarian Thanksgiving, Obama adopts a breeder dog instead of a shelter dog, and Jonathan Safran Foer proposes that we all eat our pets or give up meat. It was a freaky-ass year.
Erika, Maria, Laura, Megan Rascal, and Meave also contributed to this post. We are fam-i-ly! I got all my sisters with me! OK I’ll stop now.
Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet »
It kind of excites me that the following video of Alicia Silverstone is so amateurishly produced, especially because it’s by The Wall Street Journal. You’d think they’d do a better job than a profile shot from way far away, but that’s what they get for not calling me, Vegansaurus videographer.
Anywayz, if you didn’t already know, Alicia has a new book on veganism out called The Kind Diet. It includes 75 vegan recipes and, naturally, a diet program. Because you can’t write a book about food unless it either involves losing weight or the word “bacon” in the title. Clip below.