vegansaurus!

10/27/2011

Mercy for Animals is launching this series of commercials on MTV and other cable networks. They are totally macabre, but pretty tame. They show people buying meat that then turns bloody. Then, all these factory farm images go through the people’s heads.

The images they show though are definitely on the light side, upsetting but far from the worst of what’s out there. Maybe they don’t want to scare people off, right? If it’s too upsetting, a lot of people just shut down. These images aren’t super-disturbing, they are mostly really sad.

My only criticism is that they use mostly the same factory farm images in each commercial. They should show a breadth! To be like, yeah, it’s rampant. Because it is. 

10/26/2011

Vegansaurus NYC: Veg-O-Ween vegan Halloween party!  »


The people who brought you the Veggie Prom, at which I hear I had a lot of fun, are gearing up for another party: Veg-O-Ween
Proceeds benefit Mercy for Animals!

Veg friendly foodies: put on your Halloween best! Veg-O-Ween, New York’s vegan Halloween dance party, returns for a second year on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Crema, an upscale Mexican restaurant happily taking on the vegan challenge for the event. Adding hand-passed gourmet tapas and a happy hour to the delicious mix, this year’s party promises to be bigger, better, and a bit fancier than the last.

The party will be emceed by vegan comedienne Kate Wolff and DJed by vegan DJ Lil Ray. Guests are encouraged enter both the costume contest and raffle to compete for prizes from local and national vegan vendors.  Happy Hour is from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. (early arrival is a must!). Tasty vegan desserts will be provided by the amazing Vèritè Catering.

Where: Crema, 111 West 17th St. (between 6th and 7th avenues)
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door (21 and over). Advance tickets are on sale now.

I don’t have a Halloween costume yet! OMG. Usually I am a super-scary zombie-something—zombie-flapper, zombie-housewife, etc. As it turns out, I’m totally great at zombie makeup! Who knew. Like, I scare chicks at parties because my wounds look so icky. But the makeup gets all over my stuff! So I’m thinking of switching it up and being a mod-vampire. Or a something-vampire. I’ll still look scary but I think there’s less chance I’ll get fake blood and spirit glue on my shit. What is everyone else being?

09/14/2011

Vegansaurus NYC: Vegan fashion event for Mercy for Animals this Thursday!  »


Amid all the fur and leather comes a breath of fresh air for the vegans during New York City Fashion Week! Perfectly placed at Greenhouse, the eco-friendly event venue located in Tribeca, Have Mercy! will feature some of the industry’s top vegan-friendly designers, including Fraley Le, Yane Mode, Sew Moe Designs and Pretty Birdie Stephanie Teague.

Enjoy hors d’oeurves catered by Verite, desserts by Bolaji Cuisine, and delectable vegan chocolate by Rescue Chocolate while you’re entertained by James Koroni’s Forced Arch Dance Troupe and Vegansaurus’ beloved vegan drag queen Honey LaBronx! The U.S. Veg Corps is hosting.

The best part? Funds will benefit Mercy For Animals. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door. The event will run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Greenhouse, located at 150 Varick St. For further information call (917) 767.7283 or visit the Facebook page.

08/02/2011

Guest post: Mercy For Animals calls out those jerks at the Milk Board  »

About a week ago, I was working in my lab when one of my fellow scientists started asking me about the articles I’ve been writing about the sexist milk debacle. This scientist is originally from India and is vegetarian. We started discussing the differences in milk products in India versus those found in the United States, and how the milk itself is collected.

I was floored by his comments. It’s well known that cows are considered holy in India, and that they are respected creatures. But my colleague told me that they collect milk from their cows “respectfully” and that the local communities came together and created almost a “milk co-op.” No competition, no harmful conditions, and pretty expensive milk.

I felt stupid explaining the methods widely used in the United States after hearing that. I was embarrassed to explain the concept of veal. I felt rude talking about “rape racks.” I felt mortified explaining all the reasons milk is so cheap in this country.

After hearing all that, my colleague decided that he would not consume dairy any longer. The next day, I saw him sipping a little container of soymilk. Six days later, he told me he was still sticking with it, and asked about non-dairy ice cream options. My favorite part about this story is that it just took the truth. He listened, he understood, and that was it.

Mercy for Animals (MFA) decided to create a vegan spin on the sexist milk ads that we’ve been vomiting over for the last few weeks. The MFA ads show ladies holding blood-splattered milk cartons (which instantly reminded me of this ad for Dexter), stating “PMS? No, I’m livid with milk industry for abusing and killing cows.”

The ads are meant to “set the record straight about the milk industry’s true relationship with the female reproductive system,” according to an MFA blog post. The ads will run in Ms. magazine, the feminist magazine that headed up the change.org campaign that helped get the original milk ads removed.

A few weeks ago, the Milk Board responded to the criticism of their idiotic ad campaign by taking down their website everythingidoiswrong.org and replacing it with gotdiscussion.org, which displays carefully selected comments from their supporters and critics. Despite the unrelenting voice of many animal rights organizations, as well as individuals that commented on the Milk Board’s Facebook debate, the new website lacks representation of such comments. So, it should be interesting to see how the Milk Board responds to the new Mercy for Animals campaign. We can only hope they won’t take legal action like they did when PETA did essentially the same exact thing.

Elysse Grossi is a scientist, a health educator, a vegan food fanatic and a co-owner of Sweet Cups, based in the East Bay. She’ll gross you out with her other blog, Under the Microscope. Laugh at her boring life on Twitter.

07/05/2011

Guest post: Vegan Cookie Connoisseur Kelly Peloza goes to Mad City Vegan Fest!  »

The first-ever Mad City Vegan Fest was held last month in Madison, Wis., and I was lucky enough to be there doing a baking demo and speech. Over 1,300 people attended, and there were so many fantastic, inspiring presenters: Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House spoke about food activism; Terry Romero made chipotle seitan potato tacos; Kenny Torella of Mercy For Animals spoke about everyday compassion; and there was a nutrition talk, yoga session, and raw food demo! There were lines wrapping around the exhibitor room full of people eager to get their hands on lunch from local Midwest vegan food vendors like Dandelion Food Cart (I got a breakfast-y tofu ciabatta sandwich and it was yumz), Ste Martaen Vegan Food Truck, and a whole host of tables offering samples. A smashing success, and everyone was extremely friendly and super awesome.

It gets even better! There were Vegansaurus Happy Veggie Kids at the vegan fest! My friend Marla of Chicago VeganMania was there with Justice. Then I recognized Ayame, who sat in the front row at my demo and volunteered to be one of my cookie-decorators. I clearly need to be best friends with more eight-year-olds because Ayame said she loves cookies and bunnies, and OMG me too! I went vegan when I was 14 and grew up very much involved in the vegan community, and it’s wonderful to see these awesome vegan kids being a part of such a wonderful community at such a young age!

For my demo, I talked about cookbook-writing and the greatness of microplane zesters, then made Shirley Temple Cookies. They are a delicate, shortbread-like citrus cookie topped with cherry grenadine frosting, garnished with a cherry, candy straws, and a cocktail umbrella—just like the drink. Get the recipe here.

Sandi and Ayame and I piped frosting and garnished the cookies with all sorts of fun stuff. The audience also got samples of Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars (such a summery recipe, I know!) and Hypnosis Cookie Lollipops. Jasmin commented that my dress matched the cookies—when you spend all your time making cookies, at some point desserts become your (subconscious) fashion inspiration. The demo went smoothly and everyone was gobbling up cookies by the end of it!

The after-party was held at High Noon Saloon, with pizza and cupcakes galore (the only food groups you’ll ever need)! My friend Jessica of Compassionate Cake baked a huge selection of GORGEOUS cupcakes, in flavors like Chile Chocolate, Death by Chocolate, and Maple Vegan Bacon, topped with intricate fondant and chocolate sculptures. I had met Jessica a few days prior to the event, after seeing her cupcakes and deciding we needed to be friends immediately. She is just starting her catering business and she’s an amazing lady. Just look at these cupcakes!



I always go home happy and inspired from vegan fests and other events, and Mad City was no exception (well, 8 a.m. class the next day was kind of a drag). I met so many wonderful people, saw some good friends, and made new ones. Go get your vegan fest on in a city near you, or get involved with starting one! Something about putting hundreds of like-minded people with great ideas and enthusiasm all in one place all day makes awesome things happen!

Kelly Peloza is the author of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which is great. Find her at The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and Seitan Beats Your Meat online, or all over the place in real life! Thanks for the post, Kelly!

06/29/2011

WARNING: GRAPHIC AS FUCK. This is a new undercover video from Mercy for Animals. The footage was taken at Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa. Sometimes people who don’t want to watch a scary video ask me to list what’s in the video; this is from the Mercy for Animals site:

Between April and June of 2011, an MFA investigator documented:

  • Mother sows confined to barren metal crates barely larger than their own bodies—unable to turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives
  • Workers ripping out the testicles of conscious piglets without the use of painkillers
  • Piglets suffering with herniated intestines, due to botched castration
  • Conscious piglets having their tails painfully sliced into and yanked off with dull clippers
  • Large, open, pus-filled wounds and pressure sores
  • Sick and injured pigs left to languish and slowly die without proper veterinary care
  • Mother pigs—physically taxed from constant birthing—suffering from distended, inflamed, bleeding, and usually fatal uterine prolapses
  • Management training workers to throw piglets across the room—comparing it to a “roller coaster ride”

So sad. Man, I love pigs. Even though these guys are being tortured, you can still see how cute the little piglets are. How anyone can do this kind of thing, I’ll never know. And all this happens JUST so people can eat meat JUST because they “like the taste.” Fucking pathetic.

There’s a few things Mercy for Animals says you can do about this so check that out.

06/08/2011

El Nuevo Mexicano has vegan food! Chicago, I’m coming back!   »

Not to live, just a visit. I simply refuse to attempt to survive another winter in the Midwest. I don’t care how delicious the vegan food is, I cannot take it!
On a side note, Virgin America has just announced flights to Chicago! I can fly on the cheap and cush to go visit my old stomping grounds! On my most recent trip outta town, I discovered Plant Cafe at Virgin America’s new Terminal 2 at SFO. Vegan cupcakes at an airport? Who says airports are no fun?

There are so many reasons to visit Chitown—Old Style, friends, amazing falafel sandwiches, and now,  El Nuevo Mexicano in Lakeview has announced new vegan options! I’ll take a pitcher of margaritas and the entire vegan menu, thanks!

Feast your eyes on a few of the selections, then buy your plane ticket. September is a really tolerable beautiful month for Chicago.image

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The peeps at El Nuevo Mexicano credit Mercy for Animals as the inspiration behind their new vegan options! Mad props, MFA!

El Nuevo Mexicano is located at 2914 N. Clark St. in Lakeview, Chicago.

[photos courtesy El Nuevo Mexicano’s Facebook page]

05/27/2011

Patxi’s Chicago Pizza is opening in the Inner Sunset!  »

So many incredible and amazing things come out of Chicago. Top 5: The Handlebar, Sultan’s Market, Mercy for Animals, me (I’m actually from the Bay Area, but I lived there for three years) and CHICAGO-STYLE PIZZA! I had it a few times before I went vegan, and man, is it decadent (by which I mean super, amazingly delicious)! Now that I live in San Francisco, I no longer have to go without, because everything is veganized here!

Although I haven’t eaten at Patxi’s Chicago Pizza yet, that my friends, is about to change. They are opening up a new location in the Inner Sunset! That’s almost right by my apartment! I can get some exercise walking over there before I gorge on a 5,000-calorie pizza (junk food is junk food—actually I’m TOTALLY in denial about that. The onion rings I just devoured were HELLA HEALTHY. My body is a temple and it is just thriving!).

Patxi’s is opening its fourth location late this summer/possibly fall, at Ninth Avenue and Irving Street. My apartment JUST SO happens to be conveniently located between Escape From New York and the future Patxi’s. I can get my daily serving of fruits and vegetables from pizza alone, can’t I? Yes? Goodbye outside world, I’m only leaving the house to eat pizza. Or pay the delivery guy. Or go to work to pay for said pizza. Actually, this is beginning to sound like the life I currently lead.

While trying to find vegan Chicago-style pizza IN Chicago, I stumbled upon this recipe from Quarrygirl. FUCK YES.

Patxi’s will be located at 822 Irving St. and its first East Bay location will open June 15 in Lafayette, at 3577 Mt. Diablo Blvd.! Lafayette?
OMG, how could I forget about OLD STYLE??? I wonder if Patxi’s can get a hold of this delicious beverage for the complete Chicago experience?

Bob Barker honored with prestigious Veg Award! You get a recipe!  »

My friend Lena Fay is the UnOfficial president of the Bob Barker Fan Club. I interviewed her earlier today about her adoration of all things Bob Barker, and for a better understanding in general, via text message.

Vegansaurus: Can you explain in two or three sentences your love for Bob Barker and why you are the president of his fan club?
Lena Fay: Bob Barker made me understand the unparalleled charisma of dirty old men.

Is he a dirty old man?
Kind of. He hooked up with the Barker Beauties.

Who are the Barker Beauties?
The girls who run The Price is Right games who are always in swimsuits.

So there you have it! As it happens, Lena Fay isn’t the only fan of Bob Barker; so are vegan animal-rights advocates Mercy for Animals! MFA, along with Barker, are throwing a huge, fancy bash on June 4 in the Hollywood Hills! They will honor the “hidden heroes”—undercover investigators who risk their lives and safety to expose the horrific cruelty animals endure at factory farms, hatcheries and slaughterhouses—and Barker himself will receive an award! Bob Barker has spend the last 30-plus years as a crusader for animal rights, yo. He can put his Compassionate Leadership Award next to his 19 Emmys from The Price Is Right!

Lena Fay often uses her Facebook status to announce her obsession surrounding Bob Barker and The Price Is Right. One of those nights, not too long ago, I decided to to a little investigative, undercover work myself. And I stumbled across this recipe! A vegan enchilada bake that calls for a crushed Fritos topping, and side of vegan sour cream? I too, found myself loving Bob Barker.

(I totally would have posted the picture, but then I realized it’s probably a stock photo! With dairy cheese and meat! And we know what kind of shenanigans that leads to…)

[Photo via Hidden Heroes Party]

05/16/2011

I love Mercy for Animals. I volunteered to table for them once while I was living in Chicago. Man, it’s great having bros get in your face about WHY and HOW could you possibly be vegan?! Not to mention being told you “aren’t getting enough protein.” To which I would reply, “Do I LOOK sickly? Do I LOOK malnourished?” The answers were always “no.” Though you cannot see me right now, let me tell you, I am neither of those things.

But this post is about something else entirely! I know with all the videos about the mistreatment of pigs, elephants, cows and monkey-dog rodeos as of late, your weepy eyes and broken hearts CANNOT TAKE MUCH MORE! So I am presenting to you, on behalf of Mercy for Animals, a video about rescued calves! These calves apparently cost only $10 each, as they were of no economic value to E6 Cattle Company in Hart, Texas. We can all buy calves to rescue!**

These four survivors, now known as Roy, Ari, Mercy and Bob, are in recovery, loved and cared for at The Gentle Barn Sanctuary in Santa Clarita, Calif.

*It’s also great tabling for a non-profit vegan company you love, standing up for animals and showing the world what a healthy, happy vegan looks like!
**Totally illegal unless you have a farm, right? ‘Cause I do I a very nice backyard.

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