vegansaurus!

10/15/2010

More magical fish, cockfighting in California, boring old French food, surprise! cats: it’s this week’s link-o-rama!  »


These are portraits of donkeys at Donegal Donkey Sanctuary by artist Julia Feliz, a member of Etsy for Animals. Read about her work at the sanctuary and her efforts to raise funds and encourage others to volunteer at their local sanctuaries—she’s great.

There’s a new magic fish in town! Not a SuperSalmon, no; this one is the barramundi, a near-vegetarian (har) that produces loads of Omega-3, poops fertilizer, and smiles before it’s killed. That last one is a lie. The other ones are real, though: ask Barry Estabrook, who wrote a whole article about it in the Atlantic food section! It’s probably totally credible: his primary source was Australis Aquaculture, the biggest (only?) barramundi farming operation in the world! That is not a lie, and it’s gross. Cockfighting is also super-gross, but especially here in California, where a first offense is a fine rather than the misdemeanor it is in other states. According to the Humane Society, California hosts more cockfights than dogfights because of this little fine business. Tenderblog picked up the story of LGBT Compassion’s longtime protest of the super-gross, super-illegal, bizarrely overlooked sale of live, “spent” chickens from factory egg farms, so that’s good. Whether a person agrees with selling live chickens in farmers’ markets is moot; this operation is illegal and the city is ignoring it. Gross.

Reader Alanna sent us this lovely photo of the black turtle beans she grew in her garden this summer! Thanks, Alanna, these look wonderful. It has been a banner week for beans!
[Do you have awesome pictures? Gossip? News? Events? Do please let us know!]

We know animals sleep differently than people, and that they dream, but might they be capable of spirituality as well? We’ve seen chimpanzees, you know, “confront” death; do animals have near-death experiences? Sloane Crosley would like to clear up rumors about “cat people,” i.e. “crazy” needn’t be their constant adjective; cats are perfectly fine, perhaps spiritual creatures themselves. In San Francisco, planners are now considering how to adjust buildings to prevent accidental bird deaths. Virgin America—also in San Francisco!—will from now on use eggs from cage-free hens in all their eggy in-flight meals.

Hey, a new fight about consumer information/OBESITY OH NO!: The Institute of Medicine would like to see food packages with a label on the front, listing “the nutrients most responsible for obesity and chronic diseases: calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium”; the FDA also wants to start labeling packages on the front, but so far “standardizing nutrition labeling” is still “a proposal”; and of course “food” producers aren’t very pleased about it and, of course, have “been in discussions with the F.D.A. as it develops its recommendations.” Whatever, vegetables are for cool kids, exxxtreme baby carrotz!! The U.S. isn’t the only country with food problems, though; apparently France is no longer the destination for la cuisine la plus haute du monde. Our traveling Vegansaurs have enjoyed their culinary adventures: maybe more adventures in vegan cooking with French techniques is the answer, messieurs et mesdames les chefs. Certainly you oughtn’t cook up anymore de la dinde—what we must do is listen to our pal Ellen and adopt a turkey from Farm Sanctuary! If you’re in the right mood (read: maudlin as a great-aunt on her third tumbler), looking at those turkeys can make a person tear up.


Jordan tries to act all normal, but clearly cats (at least!) are different in Canada.
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]

Finally: “How about that Rainbow Grocery? It sure is full of hippies!” —Jay Leno.

10/07/2010

Chickens don’t belong in bags: Protest THIS SUNDAY!  »

If you shop at the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market at all, you may be familiar with the subject matter of today’s post: live chicken sales. Yes, somewhere beyond those dry-farmed tomatoes and kettle corn, there is a booth that sells live chickens in paper bags to anyone who can cough up the $6. It’s horrible for the chickens, and gives vegan shoppers like me unpleasantly mixed feelings about one of the cheapest and most accessible farmer’s markets in the city.
Thankfully, LGBT Compassion stepped up; they’ve been campaigning to stop live chicken sales at the market for over a year, and they’re still gaining momentum. What started as a few volunteers wearing sandwich boards and handing out information to market-goers has grown into 50-plus people showing up and speaking up for the chickens. They’ve planned their biggest protest yet for this Sunday, Oct. 10 at 9 a.m., and they want YOU to show up.

Aside from the obvious fucked-upedness of selling living chickens in paper bags, the sales violate California Health Code 114371(d), which prohibits bringing live, non-service animals within 20 feet of food for sale; the terms of the operating permit of the market, which requires that vendors comply with applicable laws; USDA Food Stamp programs; and, unsurprisingly, animal cruelty laws. According to LGBT Compassion, the live chicken vendors have been cited for a whopping 700 violations of various anti-cruelty laws, but the District Attorney has elected not to prosecute (so, in addition to showing up to the protest on Sunday, consider writing a letter to San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris telling her you’re not pleased that she has ignored 700 documented violations). In addition, live chicken sales create scores of problems outside the market, including people bringing the chickens onto BART and Muni, where they may pass on pathogens to people with compromised immune systems; homeless people adopting them as pets—cute as the image of the lovable hobo adopting a chicken friend is, chickens don’t do well on the mean streets of San Francisco; and would-be do-gooders buying the chickens in order to “set them free,” which doesn’t help the chickens all that much if they aren’t “set free” to somewhere like Animal Place or Harvest Home Sanctuary.

Vegans, this is your rallying cry! Get out there Sunday and protest your hearts out! Let’s reclaim the Civic Center market and make it a happy place for chickens and for vegans. See you there!

10/01/2010

From the place past depressed we believe is called “giving up,” it’s your weekend events, and some links that aren’t too upsetting!  »


[Adélie penguins at Half Moon Bay, Antarctica, via Google Street View]

Events and activities for you
Obviously you’ll be at VegFest XI sometime this weekend, but we’ve got a separate preview for that. Have you read it? Go read it.

Meanwhile on Saturday, MickaCoo Pigeon and Dove Rescue will hold a Feather Their Nests! fundraiser from noon to 4 p.m., which includes a silent auction, vegan snacks, and wine! Suggested donation is $20; see the invitation for location, directions, and details.

LGBT Compassion will protest the sale of live chickens and eggs at Heart of the City Farmers Market on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 9 to 11 a.m. The group will meet, as always, near the poultry vendor (who has a big trailer covered with blue tarps) in the northeast corner of the market, near the water fountains. More information available online.

A new SwapSF returns on Saturday, Oct. 16, which seems like forever away, but considering how popular and fun this event is, you should consider buying a $6 ticket now. What is SwapSF? What are you, new?

You might also want to register now for one of Animal Place’s chicken care classes. The next one will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Sacramento SPCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will cost $10 per person, which includes lunch.

A little light reading
How about some recipes! This one, for pickled green tomatoes, is already vegan. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but the spicy pickled crunch has a singular appeal. This is an easily veganizable recipe for panade from Tartine Bread, a book which I would most definitely like to own, oh yes. And these recipes from Project Just Desserts guest chef Janet Hudson for pumpkin moonshine and pumpkin moonshine cupcakes, are out of control. If the heat hasn’t put our hopes of pumpkins off until November, we are buying one this weekend and making our own bathtub pumpkgin (y/n?).

A pair of Australian scientists postulate that, based on historical record, up to one third of mammals considered extinct may still be living, and if we look hard enough, we’ll find them again. You guys I am holding out SO HARD for the ridiculous, peaceful flightless birds (despite their not being mammals, whatever) of New Zealand, you have no idea how sweet and innocent they were. Speaking of animal-crazy people, four of good ol’ Butterstick’s biggest fans recently spent a week volunteering at his new home at the Conservation Center in Sichuan Province. These ladies went to China exclusively to clean panda cages and feed pandas, which allowed them to touch ol’ Butterstick for the first time. It’s nuts, but it’s an adorable nuts, right?

Today in self-promotion, our raw food reporter Sarah E. Brown writes about spiritually motivated vegans; VegNews discusses vegan zines, like our pals Soyfucker and Susie Cagle, and naturally our own Laura and Jonas; and Laura tells the story of Dino Bike in The Bold Italic. And if you have the Cute Overload 2010 calendar, you may note that the photo for today, Friday Oct. 1, is of this dog with whom Meave presently lives. She calls him Bosie (as in Lord Alfred Douglas) and finds him incorrigible.

08/27/2010

Thanks to our sponsors, two sad dogs and cake in a jar, it’s this week’s link-o-rama!  »


A long-tailed macaque living in Bali adopted a lost kitten! He just found the kitten wandering around his home in Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Bali, and brought the kitten back to his troop (“a troop of macaques”), and now they are pals. Please excuse your Vegansaurus, whose eyes have begun leaking. [photo by Anne Young]

Events! Events events events!
We already told you about Dusker tonight at Hayes Valley Farm—really, why aren’t you there now, hippie? And tomorrow is Sábado Gigante!, a.k.a. the start of Oakland’s Eat Real Festival. Now here are even more ways to spend your time!

Vegans in the Washington, D.C. metro area should head out to the annual Columbia Heights Day, which happens tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Harriet Tubman Elementary Field at 11th and Kenyon Sts. NW. Why? Because at 3:30 there’s a Sticky Fingers cupcake-eating contest on the second stage!! Live out one of your Vegansaurus’ dreams! Or at least take a photo for us DEAR LORD.

VERY IMPORTANT: Dino Bike at the Hemlock on Sunday, Aug. 29 at 9 p.m. Pay $5 and see our Laura, Jonas and possibly Jordan—plus other guaranteed-cramazing humans—do things on stage that you could not possibly imagine. There will be vegan cupcakes for free and booze for sale and all the money raised goes to pay for sweet, sweet Hazel’s nauseatingly expensive surgery. BE THERE!

On Monday, Aug. 30, the Green Arcade bookstore in San Francisco will host a free discussion with Chris Palmer, author of Shooting in the Wild: An Insider’s Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom. It sounds like Chris Palmer does our favorite thing: “pulls back the curtain on the dark side of wildlife filmmaking, revealing an industry driven by money, sensationalism, extreme risk-taking, misrepresentation, staging, fabrication, and even abuse and harassment of animals,” actually naming names! Of course he also offers solutions and praises the people who are not total dicks (hint: Bear Grylls is not on the “good” list). The discussion begins at 7 p.m. at the Green Arcade, 1680 Market St. at Gough Street.

On Sunday, Aug. 29, LGBT Compassion will hold a peaceful demonstration against animal cruelty—specifically, the live-chicken vendor—from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Northeast corner of the Heart of the City Farmers Market at U.N. Plaza. For further information, visit their website, and please RSVP if you plan to attend!

West Contra Costa Adult Education will offer a series on vegan cuisine this fall, beginning on Sept. 14 with “Italian style.” Each class meets once for four hours at the Richmond campus and costs $45. Enrollment is limited to 16 students, so you might think about registering sooner than later. Chef Panos Ly of Symphonie Vegan Restaurant in Point Richmond will lead the class.

News! Articles and essays and news!
A woman was caught attempting to smuggle a tiger cub from Thailand to Iran. The three-month-old cub had been drugged and stuffed in her suitcase—along with some stuffed toy tigers, for camouflage? He’s now recovering at a wildlife conservation center in Bangkok, and DNA testing should reveal more precisely where he came from. Residents of Taiji, a.k.a. “the place from The Cove where they murder all the dolphins,” are totally nonchalant about the documentary and its effects. “They’re not going to stop the hunts,” says a councilman, basically because it’s tradition and also dolphin is tasty. Neat! “You race camels, why not milk them?” Excellent question, Occident-man! And what was Orient-man’s response? He didn’t have one, so the western dudes went out and began camel-exploitation for themselves. Now they are milked in metal stalls by automated pumps, just like number-one most delicious American cows! It can’t come to the U.S. fast enough. What we won’t get, because the FDA are total Puritan prudes, are eating-cows fed with wine to make their flesh taste even better when we devour it. I mean, pigs get to drink beer, why can’t cows have some red wine with their all-natural COWFEED 3000?

What’s been going on with the Great Egg Recall of aught-10? This week we learned that the FDA rejected a vaccine for hens that British egg producers have been using for over a decade and that would have cost “less than a penny per a dozen eggs.” Ha ha whoops! Your Vegansaurus loves the cheap choices: “We have a problem with Salmonella infecting these eggs!” “How can we solve it?” “We could stop feeding chickens bone meal, maybe.” “But that’s like recycling! And it makes them grow SO FAST!” “What about making the cages we force the hens into a little larger, or not smashing so many of them into those tiny cages at once?” “And lose production space? No way!” “What about pasteurizing the fuck out of the poisonous death-eggs, then putting them in ice cream and mayonnaise?” “BRILLIANT! We won’t even have to disclose that on the food labels! The company is saved!” A deli meat company recalled nearly 400,000 pounds of its products due to contamination with Listeria, but that was really hard to pay attention to this week.

Hey L.A., have you been to Millions of Milkshakes: Our Brianna writes: “IT IS SO FUCKING YUMMY I WANTED TO CAMP OUT THERE. I went two times in the span of four days. Yeah, it’s really tacky, but I think it pretty adequately encompasses LA culture. I got a peanut butter-oreo shake the first time, and a peanut butter-banana shake the second time. Best milkshakes I’ve ever had.” Ooh, celebrity vegan shakes! Ooh again: a totally polite and helpful thread on Serious Eats about cooking for vegans and omnivores in the same kitchen—they even discuss sharing pans! How heartwarming. Hey Las Vegans (har har), your life just got better thanks to Steve Wynn, who’s expanded (read: brought into existance) the vegan dishes on all his hotels’ menus. Finally, an interview with Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach by (the infamous) Rhys Southan. Naturally your Vegansaurus recommends ignoring the comments, one of which implies that nectarines are certain squirrels’ only food source and that to eat said nectarines is tantamount to murdering said squirrels.

One of Scott “model-senator” Brown’s staffers found a cat on the street in Washington, D.C., and she has since been named Lucky and become the office kitty. Look, there are photos! This is arguably the most selfless act performed by any member of the Senate in several years, and Scott Brown didn’t actually rescue the cat himself. Even suffering the pressures of political life, Lucky is considerably better off than nearly half the pets in Coachella Valley: 44 percent of the 40,000 animals who have been left at shelters in Riverside County were euthanized this year, and Save-a-Pet of Desert Hot Springs, a no-kill shelter, has no room for animals. Thanks, Depression 2.0!

So which would you rather eat: Magical salmon genetically engineered by AquaBounty Corp. to grow twice as quickly as evolutionarily engineered salmon by natural selection; or willingly donated human meat? Whatever, our “agricultural empire” is DOOMED, DOOMED anyway, let’s just eat (easily veganized and very tasty) jar cake to keep the end-of-the-world panic attacks down for another day.

01/12/2010

AWESOME ANNOUNCEMENT: We’re co-hosting SF Vegan Drinks with VegNews! Ow!  »

SO YOU GUYS. We’re very extremely excited to be co-hosting SF Vegan Drinks with the awesome people at VegNews. THIS LITTLE DINO IS MOVIN ON UP! To a place with more alcohol! Dreams do come true!

This month’s installment of SF Vegan Drinks is Thursday, Jan. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Martuni’s (YES! LOVE THAT PLACE AND YOU KNOW YOU DO TOO, YOU OLD QUEEN!)! In addition to drink specials and schmoozing with other sexy vegans, we’ll be holding a raffle to win a dozen cinnamon rolls from Cinnaholic (um, their shit is OFF THE HOOK) and all of the proceeds will go to LGBT Compassion. Oh also, there is a drink special and it’s a VEGAN PINA COLADA! These are a rare breed and VERY delicious. We’ll be in the corner downing a few dozen.

I’m gonna break it down for you. This event involves alcohol, a piano bar, cinnamon rolls, and being awesome. There might even be a stripper. Ask me about this when I’m like eight drinks in. Code phrase? “It’s cookie time.” BA NUH NUH NUH NUH! Also, I might just leave to buy cookies! It’s a most delicious game of Russian roulette!

07/09/2009

LGBT Compassion!  »

New(-ish?) Animal Rights group, LGBT Compassion, has set up (an awesome) shop in San Francisco! YES! Another AR group in town! But really, I’m not surprised; when you’re gay (and gay-friendly) and love animals, where the fuck else you gonna go? God I love this city so much.

From their site:
We are a coalition of San Francisco Bay Area gay animal advocates (and some non-gay friends)  working to promote awareness of animal welfare, health, environmental, and civil rights issues within our community — along with any other important social issues that we feel strongly about.

We feel that the LGBT community, having experienced discrimination, oppression and suffering ourselves, having special health issues, and often having unique bonds with companion animals, should be open to learning and helping others who may not be able to speak up for themselves — whether human or non-human.

The movements seem like natural allies to me, so I’m in! Where do I sign up!? My only issue is the name. To me it seems obvious to call the group, “I’m hella gay for animals!” How great is that!? Or what about, “We’re all rainbows and puppy dogs over here, wtf you got!?” OR simply, “Rainbows & Puppies.” Oh, I really like that. I mean, “LGBT Compassion” is all professional-sounding and shit but we need to SELL THIS. ABC, gentlemen! They need some tough lesbian Anne Kronenberg-style action up in the group. Call me, boys!

There is also an excellent interview with adorably awesome founder Andrew Zollman over at Striking at the Roots.

Finally: Yes, I am available for hire as a Master of Photoshop. I start at $400/hour plus vegan donuts. I also need my own driver and a driver for my dog. Hit me up!

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