Your Vegansaurus 2013 Good Gifts Guide! »
Hello! It’s gift guide time of year! I wanted to find some good stuff that would also do some good. First up is the necklace above!
Sunday Frill Necklace
This cute necklace is handmade in Uganda: “Curated by Invisible Children in partnership with 31 Bits: Using fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty.” And it’s adorable!
Terra Cotta Pizza Stone
This beauty is from Ten Thousand Villages. It’s sourced through HEED Handicrafts, a job creation project of HEED Bangladesh. And OMG everyone who has a pizza stone is completely obsessed with them! My brother is head over heels for his. Like whoa. So if you want some DIY type or amateur chef to think you’re awesome, get them this.
Science Club Binoculars & Wildlife Activity Journal
Dude, let’s be honest, kids are nerds. At least until about 12. They like nerdy stuff so I think these binoculars will knock the sox off of your little nephew or what have you. Plus proceeds benefit the Humane Society. Plus plus they can be spies!
Mercy For Animals T-shirts
What vegan doesn’t like a t-shirt? NO VEGAN! I love this Mercy For Animals t-shirt and I love Mercy for Animals so it’s perfect for a vegan in your life! Or any old kind person you know.
Lagusta’s Luscious Big Assortment
Now, if you really want to charm a vegan in your life—or any chocolate-lover for that matter—get them this giant chocolate assortment from Lagusta’s Luscious! The pic speaks for itself. Especially because when I downloaded it, the file name was “new_big_ass.” Hilar!
Vegan Cuts’ New York for the Holidays Care Pack
Is there anyone you want to send a little New York goodness to? Then check out this new care package from Vegan Cuts. It’s filled with all kinds of stuff—including Sandcastle cookies!
Brave Gentleman’s Innovator
If you want to go all out, these Brave Gentleman shoes are AMAZING and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. And they are vegan and ethically made. If you want to go partially out, Brave Gentleman has some nice belts and wallets too.
Lil Bub tote
Do you have a hip friend or family member? Perhaps they are Lil Bub fans? Or they should be? BECAUSE EVERYONE SHOULD BE! Then a Lil Bub tote is a great, inexpensive gift. It’s totes current and it would make a great farmer’s market bag. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to some of Bub’s favorite animal charities. Plus plus, OMG BUB I LOVE YOU.
Found Dog Bed
If you want to go big for your own little (or big) animal friend, I like this bed from Found. This bed is handmade in Brooklyn by this dog rescue-focused brand. And it’s made super sustainably! But built to last.
If you know a kitty who needs a present, I’m into this Happy Carrot from Purrfect Play! It’s made in America with organic materials (mostly cotton) including organic catnip. They also donate 5% of sales to animal shelters. My Mitsy is BOUT IT for catnip!
Miakoda’s Crocheted Fingerless Gloves
Are you shopping for a fashion plate? Then these pretty fingerless gloves would be a super cute present. Great for biking in the fall or playing outdoor music! These are made in the US and they aren’t made with icky wool.
Green Toys Tool Set
OMG how much do I want this tool set?! Well actually I have a grownup pink tool set already so not that much. But when I was ten? All I wanted was a tool set and they never got me one! I would have been over the moon for this. And it’s made with recycled materials with super sustainable methods, etc etc etc.
And that’s your Vegansaurus Good Gift Guide! Happy holidays to you and yours.
DiGiorno cheese comes from tortured cows »
The latest investigation from Mercy for Animals exposes horrific cruelty at a major DiGiorno cheese supplier in Wisconsin. You can watch the video on SliceOfCruelty.com. I watched parts, it’s brutal. I’m not sure lately if I should post these videos on here or not. I want the truth about the horrific conditions in the meat, dairy and egg industries to get as much attention as possible, but then some people criticize me for posting that stuff. Because, truthfully, if you’re vegan, you don’t have to watch this stuff. BUT many of us know cheese eaters who should watch this, so I want to make sure all the vegans at least know about it. What do you think? Should I post these videos? Just share them on FB? Or do a post like this that just links to the vid?
I wish everyone who ate dairy were forced to watch this, Clockwork Orange style! Not really but kind of. But again, if you want to see or find the video to share, go to SliceOfCruelty.com. And if you want to sign the petition, go directly here.
Spreads NY brings vegan flavors to the Park Avenue lunch crowd! »
So I started a new job a few weeks ago. One morning I went to Spreads, a little sandwich place right across the street from my new office (30th and Park), and low and behold! A vegan earl grey donut! I said to myself, “is this real life?” And it was! I bought one of course.
It was tasty! It tasted less like a donut and more like lemony pound cake. Luckily, I love pound cake. It’s also gluten free, which I know some of you will like.
Obvi I had to tell the vegan world about my new discovery and I tweeted a pic on our Twitter account. Next thing I know, Spreads emailed me inviting me to come try all of their vegan goodies! I obliged, because I’m a sweetie.
Above is the coconut bacon and avocado sandwich. It’s a show stopper! It was our favorite item we tried. It’s rich though, I could only eat half. But the salty and sweet coconut bacon goes lovely with the avocado. It also has vegan mayo they make themselves—yum!
This is the split pea soup we tried. Two thumbs up! But I love split pea soup. I feel like it’s finally on the rebound since the Exorcist debacle. This had a hint of dill, which was interesting.
Finally, we got to try one of their juices! I’m not a big juice person but I actually found this refreshing. Strong cucumber flavor. Kind of tasted like gazpacho? Maybe I’m being cray.
We also met the owner—what a dream! SO passionate about food. And I love that the one vegan sandwich on their menu is a wacky coconut bacon sandwich instead of just like a veggie burger or generic veggie wrap like we’re usually offered. No, Spreads went all out! Of course I want everywhere to have a million vegan sandwiches but if you’re only going to have one, it’s really cool when it’s something exciting like this. OMG and did I forget they make the coconut bacon themselves? They smoke it with organic apple wood or something—totes intense!
If you are in the area looking for a yummy lunch, this is the place for you! Matter of fact, call me and we’ll split one! You’ll have to get your own donut though. I need a whole one! I’m no fool.
Here’s a sweet little vid from Animal Place of some former battery caged hens experiencing snow for the first time. They are totally like, “WHAT THE CLUCK?!”
If you want to support Animal Place (and I know you do!), click here!
Mouse decorates Christmas tree, is a genius. »
Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
This is so cute! There are some better tricks but I’m feeling seasonal. I had no idea mice could do tricks like this! And this mouse is totally adorbs.
This little mouse is one of the first agility mice. Their trainer Marina keeps them as pets and teaches them little tricks ONLY through positive reinforcement. I for one think that’s great, animal companions should have plenty of mental stimulation! (btw, have you seen these puzzles for dogs? My Figgy is a fan!)
Marina is pretty much a mouse genius. She wants to show the world mice are smart! Maybe if people will listen, they won’t let them be used in scientific research constantly (sort of kind of eventually worked for chimpanzees)? I love this interview Marina did. Listen to her advice:
I find it important to note that mouse training is not as easy as it may seem in my videos. Unfortunately, some people spontaneously buy a mouse after seeing my videos and then are disappointed. Mice are highly sensitive, so you don’t just need background knowledge about positive animal training, but also much empathy for the feelings of the mice.
Only balanced and happy mice are trainable, and a mouse that has to spend its life alone in a 10 gallon tank will be chronically stressed. So the prerequisite for mouse training is species-appropriate keeping. Mice are highly social and must live in groups and in proper sized cages with enough enrichment. Their sensitivity and their nocturnal nature makes them unsuitable for children. They are demanding pets, not least because of their intelligence.
She also says she never fasts them (“can YOU concentrate better when you’re hungry?!”). Yup, all positive reinforcement.
I’m a little scared of mice—I don’t WANT to be! I just am! But I’m working on it. When you see these little guys, they are so cute, maybe it’ll make me less scared. Do any of you have pet mice? Do they know tricks?!
Note: It freaks me out that she says she feeds mice to her reptiles…I thought they were her friends?! Maybe it’s only after they’ve died? I don’t know.
Jay Z and Beyonce take on vegan diet challenge! »
This pic is too cute
Yesterday, the vegan internet and my Facebook feed was a flutter with some super great news: Jay Z and Beyonce are embarking on a 22 day “plant-based” diet challenge! Jay Z shared the news on his blog:
Psychologists have said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. On the 22nd day, you’ve found the way.
On December 3rd, one day before my 44th birthday I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!! This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a “plant-based breakfast” every day. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought…
Why now? There’s something spiritual to me about it being my 44th birthday and the serendipity behind the number of days in this challenge; 22 (2+2=4) coupled with the fact that the challenge ends on Christmas day…It just feels right!
So you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse. I will post my progress… Any professional vegans out there that have any great food spots please help out! Please ha. I don’t know what happens after Christmas. A semi-vegan, a full plant-based diet? Or just a spiritual and physical challenge? We’ll see…
Best of luck and health!
P.S. B is also joining me.
I will let my friend Marco explain the benefits of a plant based diet here.
How excited am I? SO EXCITED, I’M PHYSICALLY UNCOMFORTABLE! And socially inept, but that’s an every day thing. So, do you think Beyonce is going to show up to Blossom in one of her many fur coats? That might be as awkward as it is cruel. But I think a vegan diet is a great start and cutting out non-vegan food is maybe the biggest barrier for people when they think about what veganism means. Plus this brings a ridiculous amount of exposure to veganism!
People sometimes dismiss our posts about veganism among celebrities but it really does raise awareness tremendously, whether they remain vegan or not. And it normalizes it! Making it less intimidating. I am all for celebrities adopting any part of the vegan lifestyle.
Finally, check out Beyonce’s Instagram of her day 2 meals:
Not bad! But what I especially like are the “maybe I’ll try a vegan diet too!” comments. That, my friends, is what I’m talking about.
Holiday sale on vegan skincare line Blissoma! »
So check it out if you are looking for some nice, natural products and want to support a vegan business!
We heart Nicobella’s delicious vegan chocolates! »
You guys are totes going to love Nicobella! Just read this:
We love animals, therefore do not use any animal ingredients. We donate 5% of our sales to our favorite animal organizations (Mercy for Animals, The Gentle Barn, Noah’s Ark of Locust Grove, GA and The Humane Society of the United States). We also donate any left over chocolates that have not been sold to these organizations to be used in auctions, which helps to raise money for animals in need.
Yay! And not only are the chocolates vegan, they are organic, sustainable and fair trade! I tried the Nicobella truffles above and then the “munch” snacks you see below. I LOVE THE MAPLE NUT MUNCH!!!: “Maple-nut munch is a savory healthy snack made with organic, Fair Trade 75% dark chocolate, maple coated roasted pecans and just a touch of sea salt.” OMG RIGHT? You should know by now that I love chocolate and salt together so this is right up my alley.
I shared the treats with my coworkers because I’m so nice to them. Once again, they weren’t that interested in the fair-tradeness, sustainability or vegan…ity? But they were def interested in the chocolate part. The truffles were very popular. I think the green tea drew a lot of interest and the pumpkin chai. I liked them too but it was the Maple Nut Munch that took the show in my book. The other Munch flavors went like hot cakes as well. They are especially nice because they seem a bit healthy but still so yummy and chocolatey.
In conclusion: Nicobella rules! The I just ordered more Maple Nut Munch today because I’m obsessed.
Legal bit: I got these for free from the company to try!
Advancement in diabetes prevention leads Grist writer to conclude vegans are jerks »
"Adults age 40 and over with diagnosed diabetes who reported receiving four recommended services for diabetes in the calendar year (2+ hemoglobin A1c tests, foot exam, dilated eye exam, and flu shot), by race/ethnicity, 2008-2009" -Agency for Health Research and Qaulity
A European study found that high levels of a certain renal acid can greatly increase risk of type 2 diabetes. The study found that while meat raises the level of this acid, fruits and vegetables lower it.
I just read a post on Grist about it entitled, "Meat-based diets linked with type 2 diabetes; vegans everywhere get smug." I know, it’s baiting, but I would have read it anyway for the former part of the title (though I clicked only to find a study I read about in July). But let me tell you, I haven’t read something so aggressively, preemptively defensive in quite a while. I don’t care if she calls me smug, I’ll be that, but what is really shocking to me is that a study comes out that could help prevent a growing epidemic and this writer’s first response is to feel personally threatened by the boon it may give to the vegan cause.
At no point does the post address the fact that type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects people of color, who are also some of the same populations negatively affected by disparities in health care. Given those factors, preventative medicine would be REALLY helpful in this particular scenario. Of course, there’s the issue of food deserts that complicates the matter. But forget that discussion, let’s dismiss the significance of this information and attack vegans. That seems in line with Grist’s values.
Basically, Richmond does not care about nor see the importance of this new data beyond the question, “how will this affect my witty conversations?” Because I’m sure she has a great bit about vegans and heaven forbid actual data steal her thunder. But hey, Richmond! Do not fret! There has always been a ton of support points for veganism, and you’ve still managed to remain unscathed, living to image search “bacon” another day. So you’ll be OK—just cross your fingers about that pesky diabetes! Goodness knows there’s nothing else to be done about it.
Al Gore has gone vegan?! »
The Washington Post is reporting that Al Gore is vegan! We’re guessing Gore has adopted a “vegan diet” rather than lifestyle but hey, you never know. And you have to start somewhere! Plus I think food might be the biggest hurdle for most people when they think about becoming vegan (maybe because they don’t realize about the other stuff?).
From the Washington Post:
An individual familiar with Gore’s decision, who asked not to be identified because it involved a personal matter, confirmed that Gore opted a couple of months ago to become vegan. Gore’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is unclear why Gore, one of the nation’s most visible climate activists, has given up dairy, poultry and meat products.
That last sentence cracked me up at first because it’s like, “It’s unclear why Mr. Save-the-Environment is taking the biggest personal measure you can take to save the environment,” but then they go on to make the case that it probably is for environmental reasons.
In conclusion, you go Gore! Keep it up! Let’s take over! Rah rah rah!