vegansaurus!

02/06/2014

Breaking news: animal testing may soon be required by law in the US!  »

Last night, Tashina Combs posted a devastating piece on Logical Harmony about the possible state of animal testing on beauty products in the United States. The thought of more unnecessary animal testing, of it being required by law on all personal care products, is heartbreaking. The eloquent breakdown of the difficult-to-decipher wording that Logical Harmony provides of The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act is extraordinary; again, please check out the blog post here. Tashina also provides tips for what we can do to make our voices heard on this very important issue. She points out that not only will animals be harmed, but also the small vegan businesses that strive so hard to bring us cruelty-free beauty and body products! 

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No animal testing or ingredients on this counter! Wait, is Tom’s of Maine iffy? Do we use Tom’s of Maine? 

Please, please, please check out Logical Harmony’s post on the subject. There is no way I could do her article justice by trying to summarize it, so I’m not going to. However, let’s read it, share it, and make ourselves heard! NO to increasing animal testing in the United States! No no no! 

01/27/2014

From the Garden Greenhouse Brunches in Berkeley!  »

The first Sunday of January, I had the honor of being invited to and attending a Greenhouse Brunch in Berkeley, hosted by Kyle and Ashley Knies of From the Garden. It was incredible! The food was divine, the atmosphere was lovely, the company was fun, and the presentation of everything, from the table settings to the food to the greenhouse itself was just spectacular. Believe me when I say I could go on and on and on, so let’s just cut to the chase and get to the visual part of the presentation. Thank goodness for the phenomenal natural lighting (photography is not my forte); everything tasted even more delectable than it looks! 

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The brunches take place in Ashley and Kyle’s beautiful greenhouse in Berkeley. Every detail is catered to—just look at this gorgeous table setting! Coffee and tea are available before the courses are served, as well as throughout the meal. 

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Greenhouse Mary with sake and a breakfast biscuit sandwich! Non-alcoholic cocktails are available upon pre-arranged request. 

The very first course was a Greenhouse Mary, made with sake, fresh celery juice, parsley, black pepper and sage. Ashley explained that the intent (besides being super tasty) of serving it first was to wake up our palates! I DO NOT LIKE Bloody Mary’s, and before you tell me I just haven’t had the right one, please rest assured that I’ve had them all. I’m team Mimosa over here and I couldn’t be happier about it. However, there’s a new brunch drink in town, so thank you Ashely and Kyle, my Sunday breakfast beverage preference isn’t quite so cut and dry anymore. 

The next course was a biscuit breakfast sandwich, featuring a flaky roasted garlic biscuit (best I’ve ever had), yuba “bacon”, grilled onions and fuerte avocado. Brunch was off to a fantastic start! 

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Grilled jerk tofu over a variety of greens, baby carrots and  beets and a blood orange mimosa. 

Next up we had a bergamot-lavender soda, which I unfortunately did not take a get a picture of. It was nice to have refreshment course between meal courses, to talk and digest a little bit. Truth be told, I did scurry off to Santa Cruz on a whim the night before, and then walked about a trillion steps before 11:30 am, so I mostly just listened and digested. We were then served a flavorful second course salad with radicchio baby roots, carrots, beets and spicy grilled jerk tofu. The spiciness of the tofu paired excellently with the bitterness radicchio and sweetness of the baby carrots and beets. Kyle and Ashley brought out an additional habanero sauce, but I did not find myself needing to take part in that kind of additional spice. The third refreshment course consisted of a blood orange and tangerine mimosa! I’ve already told you how I feel about mimosas, and this one was no exception (PHENOMENAL) so without further ado, let’s move on to the main course and dessert! 

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This is everything.  

The final savory course consisted of mac’n cheez, steamed purple kale and smokey, black-eyed peas topped with celery root. I love to scarf down my food as quickly as possible (a very attractive trait), but I ate painstakingly slow as to savor every single bite. Somehow I still managed to finished before everyone else. I overheard Ashely telling a brunch companion that the mac’n cheese recipe could be found on their blog, so I pulled that baby up as soon as I got home. After the brunch, Kyle told me that he made black-eyed peas for this occasion to bring good luck to the new year, which was another detail of the meal I very much admired!  

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The final frontier.

By the time dessert came out, I was stuffed. However, there’s always room for dessert, isn’t there? We were served a peanut butter pie with banana ice cream, peanut butter brittle and chocolate ganache. Kyle and Ashley are flavor and texture geniuses. There are no words, my mind was blown. 

Now that we’ve gone over the January 5th brunch, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can get in on this action. Kyle and Ashley present their Greenhouse Brunch (I heard in summer they have dinners!) once a month, and you have to RSVP by email for a space and payment information (they ask for a $40 donation). You can follow their blog, Facebook, and Twitter for up-to-date information about these gatherings, and also know that they are available for catering and personal chef needs within the San Francisco Bay Area! Kyle and Ashley are so talented, and such incredible people, I just cannot wait to see where From the Garden takes them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: keep your eye on this powerhouse couple!

12/10/2013

Meet Kyle and Ashley Knies of From the Garden!   »

I am so excited to present you with the Bay Area’s newest vegan food venture: From The Garden, brought to you by newlyweds and all-around-awesome couple, Kyle and Ashley Knies! Their meal delivery boxes were mentioned in our SF Bay Area Thanksgiving write-up, now let’s get to know them a little bit better. Kyle is a professionally trained and incredibly talented chef while Ashley is a holistic health counselor — talk about a power couple right there! Their Berkeley-based company, From the Garden, is available to the Bay Area for a variety of services including: personal chef needs, cooking classes, catering events, food delivery and beautiful, monthly, greenhouse brunches. Curious? Just take a look at these sample menus

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Be sure to keep an eye out for this up-and-coming vegan powerhouse duo — I know I will be! Follow them on Instagram at @itsfromthegarden, Twitter at @chefkyleknies, and Facebook here, for upcoming events and fabulous food photos. Their blog offers a plethora of delectable looking recipes, while their website is a wealth of information about what they can do for you! You can also email them at chefkyleknies@gmail.com with any questions, or to reserve their services.

{Wedding photo via Kyle Knies} 

08/30/2013

Vote for Us to be at SxSW! Pretty please! With vegan sprinkles on top!  »

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Your Vegansaurus is teaming up once again with Vegan Lazy Smurf to SHOWER SXSW WITH VEGAN GOODNESS! If you want to see us school everyone in the awesome ways of The Vegan, please upvote us to have a panel here! It takes about two minute total but it’ll be totally worth it when we’re up there repping for the animals! Vote today (by clicking on the thumbs-up sign!) and leave a comment pretty please and good karma will come your way hopefully via some delicious vegan cookies hitting you in the head or something? 

THANK YOU FRIENDS. xoxoxo.

06/24/2013

Help FFAC get better ads on BART!  »

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FFAC needs our help again! Now they’ve won another $50,000 of free advertising on BART, they need fresh new ads! They’ve got an Indiegogo campaign up now to raise money to pay for professional graphic design. They’re looking to raise $2,000.

Per FFAC:

High-quality design will give our ads maximum visual punch and allow us to relay our message clearly and effectively.

Any additional money raised will go towards our educational outreach program, to train more presenters and reach out to new audiences.

Want to see super-slick pro-animal rights ads on BART? Throw a few bucks FFAC’s way. The Indiegogo campaign is open through July 15, and they aren’t quite halfway yet.

ugh is this quid pro quo? http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/factory-farming-ads

05/06/2013

It’s time once again to veganize BART!  »

Last year your votes helped place some great ads from the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition on BART. Now you can help FFAC get a new round of free BART advertising this year by voting again via the BART Blue Sky program Facebook poll.

Voting closes on Sunday, May 12, and the top three finishers will receive $50,000 worth of BART ads in stations and onboard trains. All voters can also enter to win a $500 Clipper card.

If you want to see more ads like this during your commute, get clicking! Help out FFAC and promote cruelty-free living.

[BART photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr]

06/01/2012

Hot tip: Escape From New York Pizza in the Mission has vegan slices!  »

Pizza party, all the time! Well, at least on Sundays in the Mission. We got a tip from an Escape From New York Pizza employee that their Mission location serves vegan slices from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Get on it, their pizza is yum!

I live next to the Escape From New York in the Upper Haight and I would love to see this happen there, because when I want their Daiya cheese pie, I have to order a WHOLE ONE. The vegan slices at Whole Foods across the street always look kind of nasty, so I end up making a vegan pizza myself, or breaking down and ordering one from EFNY. Then I eat the entire thing because will power is not something I apply to in my life!

When I say “I live next to,” I mean “when I open my bedroom window, the breeze is pizza-scented.” This must be what heaven smells like.

Jo from EFNY in the Mission tells us that she is vegan, so she makes sure the vegan slices are made separately! Thanks for looking out Jo! You just made my life a little brighter. Let’s go get some slices! And beer! See you in Dolores park, hipsters.

Remember, it’s only on Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Mission Escape From New York at 3242 22nd St. (between Mission and Valencia).

03/06/2012

Our NYC Correspondent Laura Yasinitsky took her adorable self out to the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival last weekend, and made a video for us! It’s so great! We love you, Laura Yaz! Now tell us some highlights.

The 2nd annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival was a slamming success! Seriously, I am bad with numbers but I would estimate that there were at least 1,000 people there over the course of the weekend.

I ate an enormous amount of food and documented it all for your viewing pleasure. Please enjoy, but be warned, it was raining and my hair looks terrible. You can also check out my photo album from the event on my Facebook.

The ONLY thing the video does not contain is information about Sarah Gross’ amazing company, Rescue Chocolate, and I want to give them a shout-out here since she is so awesome and I LOVE Rescue Chocolate, both their products and their activism. I’m actually wearing my new Rescue Chocolate t-shirt right now and I should mention that I look fabulous.

Thanks, Laura! She’ll be back soon with product reviews of some of the awesome swag she picked up at the festival. Can’t wait!

Laura Yasinitsky is a writer, comic, waitress, and animal-lover based in New York City. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s Open-Mic Fight, and writes for US Weekly’s Fashion Police. You can follow her silliness on Twitter @LaraYaz, and read about her animal-friendly adventures here.

12/22/2011

Pawesome’s dollar for dollar campaign! Donate!  »

The awesome website Pawesome, ye of the fantastic pet news and also cutest animal shirts ever,  has a dollar for dollar campaign going on with Berkeley East Bay Humane. So, donate! And have your dollars matched! And save dogs and cats! And then eat some cake, you deserve it, you’re such a good person. Attractive, too. You’ve really got it all.

From Pawesome’s donation page:

When Pawesome was nominated for a Petties award, while we were stoked to be recognized for our pawesomeness, we were more excited about the prospect of donating our $1,000 prize to the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. In May 2010 the organization suffered from a fire that gutted their facility and they’ve been struggling to raise funds to rebuild. While it’s a bummer we didn’t win a Petties, Pawesome has decided to give back to the Berkeley Humane Society anyway and we would love your help.

Pawesome will match your donation to the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society, in a dollar for dollar campaign. We can give a maximum of $500, so with help from you guys, we can all chip in $1,000 to this wonderful organization.

To participate, simply select the Shelter Fire Relief Fund button on the BEBHS donation page, make your donation, and then forward your donation receipt to pawesomehelps [at] pawesome [dot] net.

11/03/2011

S.F. Bay Area, here’s your chance to help tons of animals! Let’s do this!  »

We’re all gonna leaflet for the animals, OK? Leafletting is one of the best forms of activism around. It’s making a lot of people immediately aware of what’s going on with animals, and that knowledge is incredibly powerful. It’s something I definitely want to do more of, and as a means of motivating myself, I am motivating the rest of you to GET UP ON THIS! Because I know a lot of you suffer from the same guilty feeling of not doing as much as we could be doing and I’ve found that leafletting even once a month helps alleviate that. Seriously, it’s powerful stuff! And if you do it once, you’ll do it again. The first time is always the hardest! Where have I heard that before? Ew, sorry. Grab a friend or brave it solo and LET’S DO THIS!

This Friday, Nov. 4, Theo, a major volunteer with Vegan Outreach, is leafleting the AP Tour at the Regency Ballroom (1290 Sutter St., S.F.). He’s flying solo right now, and would love some leafletting buddies. Leafletting at events like this is actually pretty fun; people are usually the nicest cause they’re all happy to be at a show, and you’re with friends, so if anyone says anything stupid, you can make fun of them the whole ride home. Also, after leafletting once, it’s so easy to do it again, because you’re like, “Fuck it, I ain’t scared of you people!” and then you imagine everyone naked and are like, “Whatever, I got this.” Or you know, whatever your process is.

POINT IS, the more people who leaflet, the more people reached. I know lots of folks who are vegan today because they were handed a leaflet; it’s powerful activism for the animals, and it’s only a couple of hours of work! EVEN BETTER, Theo is so rad that he can also help out with rides from the Oakland/Berkeley area, SO NO EXCUSES! You can reach Theo via email or call him at (510) 853.2773. Do it to it!

Brian Grupe, who heads up Vegan Outreach in the SF Bay Area, is looking for folks to join him at colleges. Young minds, ripe for learnin’! About animal exploitation! I mean, how many of you went vegan in college? EXACTLY. If you have an unusual schedule where you’re free during the day sometimes, get at him! Shape America’s youth! Into something other than selfish pieces of shit! JK, we’re all selfish pieces of shit, some of us just try to suck a little less

Finally, a list of upcoming events that Brian needs help with. If any look right for you, please please please email him. THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU AND GOOD NIGHT! 

Monday, Nov. 7
Jack’s Mannequin at the Regency Ballroom, S.F.—o
ut from 10 to 11 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8
Pierce the Veil and Miss May I at the Regency Ballroom—o
ut from 10 to 11 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 10
Black Veil Brides at the Regency Ballroom—
out from 10 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13
The Green Festival at the S.F. Concourse Exhibition Center (HELLO, we all need to go to this one!)

Monday, Nov. 14
Gym Class Heros and Dirty Heads at the Regency Ballroom
—out from 10 to 11 p.m. 

Wednesday, Nov. 16
New Found Glory, Set Goals, etc.
at the Regency Ballroom—out from 10 to 11 p.m.  

Thursday, Nov. 17
Devil Wears Prada
at the Regency Ballroom—out from 10 to 11 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 21
Katy Perry at Oracle Arena (KATY PERRY, Y’ALL)

[photo via Vegan Outreach]

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