vegansaurus!

10/03/2013

These 150 happy young chickens were rescued by Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary from a Brooklyn market after an estimated 2000 died in crates from heat and starvation. The chickens were intended to be a part of Kaporos rituals. I don’t know much about Kaporos but it seems pretty bad for the chickens obvi. 

More info on Kaporos:

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos seeks to replace chickens in kaporos rituals for 3 principal reasons:

-The use of chickens as kaporos is cruel. The birds suffer when being held with their wings pinned backward, swung over the heads of practitioners, and in being packed in crates, often for days without food or water leading up to the ritual. All these actions violate tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, the mandate prohibiting cruelty to animals.

-The use of chickens is not required by Jewish law. It is not a mitzvah but a custom that originated in the middle ages.

-There is an acceptable substitute that not only avoids cruelty but can help reduce hunger and show compassion. Money can be used as a non-animal alternative, and funds raised can be given directly to charities that provide food for the poor and hungry throughout the year, including 13,000 Jewish families living at or below the poverty line in New York City.

To sponsor one of these youngins, donate here.

04/11/2012

Vegan Pregnancy: Let’s talk about fiber!  »


One of the biggest head trips about pregnancy is the fact that all of a sudden, your body is largely out of your control. I’m used to a state of affairs where I know the cause-effect relationship behind the changes in my physique. Looking fine in them jeans? Why yes, I have been working out! Sporting a new muffin top? Damn you, delicious Oreos!

But once you’re up the duff, things will happen to your body—sometimes overnight—and you will not really understand why. You will also not necessarily be warned about them. I knew that my stomach would get bigger, of course. I expected my boobs to do the same, though not quite as remarkably or quickly as they did. (Ow.) But were you aware that when you’re pregnant, your nipples get darker? I was not! It’s nice to be warned about these things!

There are actually biological reasons for these changes, though—those darker, saucer-sized nipples help your blurry-eyed newborn easily find them to nurse, for example. That’s a good trick, evolution! Here’s another: When you’re pregnant your digestion slows down, giving your body more time to get nutrients from your food to your fetus. Pretty cool. However, this change comes with an unfortunate side effect: constipation.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m vegan, I couldn’t possibly get constipated! I eat all the legumes! And that may be true, but I know you nodded when I mentioned Oreos. The thing is, even if you’re pretty good about your fiber intake, normal rules no longer apply. Your baby wants to steal all your vitamins and minerals, and your digestive tract is complying, so you’ve got to bring out the big guns or else risk getting hemorrhoids. Apparently that’s a common feature of pregnancy too!

I don’t want hemorrhoids. I have gone my entire adult life (thus far) without them, and I hope to continue that streak. And I know you don’t want them either. That’s why we’re going to talk about all the roughage you need to get into your body in between bouts of nausea and all that napping.

There are actually two kinds of dietary fiber that you need to pay attention to: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber binds with fatty acids and slows down the time it takes for food to exit your stomach and get into your intestines, which in turn means that sugars are released and absorbed more slowly. This kind of fiber helps to lower your total cholesterol and your LDL cholesterol, which is the kind you particularly don’t want to have. It also helps to keep your blood sugar regulated, which is important if you are diabetic, or have gestational diabetes. Oats, dried peas and beans, nuts, barley, flax seed, fruits, and vegetables all provide soluble fiber.

The other kind of fiber, insoluble, helps to keep the bulk of food waste moving along through your intestines, preventing constipation and keeping your guts at a healthy pH level. This keeps you pooping on the regular, which means you’re getting waste out of your body efficiently, and is tied to colon cancer prevention. You get this kind of fiber when you eat vegetables like green beans and leafy greens, fruit and root vegetable skins, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.

The average ratio of fiber is 75 percent insoluble to 25 percent soluble, but don’t get hung up on that; lots of foods provide both types. Just focus on eating lots of high-fiber foods in general, and the ratio will likely even out.

How much is “lots,” exactly? The American Pregnancy Association recommends getting 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily when you’re pregnant. It’s also important to drink lots of fluids. You need a good amount when you’re pregnant anyway, and the liquid helps keep things chugging through your digestive tract. Exercise can also literally help keep things moving, along with just being good for you in general. Talk with your medical pro about what’s right for you when you’re knocked up.

As an added bonus, a lot of the foods that are high in fiber—particularly legumes and whole grains—are also good sources of iron and zinc, important minerals for baby-growing. And because iron supplements can be constipating, it’s great to get as much iron from food sources as you can. Finally, getting enough fiber could also help prevent preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous vascular condition that can affect pregnant women. Now go eat some roughage!

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.

[photo by Jessica via Flickr]

03/28/2012

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]

03/26/2012

"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!

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.

12/23/2011

Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! (on Friday!)  »


[Ed. note: Mark sent this to us on Wednesday this week, but some people fell down on the job and failed to post it until today! Blame us, not Mark!]

You guys, I’m better now, but last week was a low point in my holiday season. I generally love all the holidays and try to stay pretty chipper throughout, but it was pretty difficult last week. I was rolling through life with a sinus infection, and there was not much that could lift my spirits. When such things happen, there is generally one thing that can keep me up even during the toughest times. I am talking, of course, about the winning combination of small children and animals!

Here is a video of a baby human and a baby Yorkie having the best time ever. You know what is awesome about this video? What is awesome is that even though the dog is much smaller than the human, it happily knocks the baby down and proves its dominance. In like the cutest way imaginable. I mean, if a dog like this knocked your baby down, you wouldn’t even be able to say anything but “awww.” Even if the dog then happily made a snack of the baby you would be forced to find it adorable. Luckily, the Yorkie doesn’t snack on babies, it just locks them half to death.

If your baby is inconsolable, however, just get a cat to calm it the fuck down. I especially love the look on the cat’s face. It’s not like it’s all, “I care about you, tiny noise machine,” but more like, “I’ve got this. I’ve read Go the Fuck to Sleep. And by god you are going to close your fucking eyes and not bother anyone again until tomorrow.” This is also Allen’s approach, by the way. Every time he thinks I am making too much noise he puts his hand on my head and hopes that I will shut up. If I am making too much noise at night he gently calms me down by putting a pillow over my face. The last sentence was a cry for help.

If babies don’t cheer you up as much as they cheer me up, however, here’s a music video about breaking kneecaps. Breaking knee caps is also a cheerful holiday activity!

That’s it for this week! Send me links for next week and have an awesome holiday weekend. If you don’t celebrate this particular holiday, I still hope uou get Monday off!

[Christmas hamster photo by LuLu Witch via Flickr]

12/22/2011

Hip-hop royalty went vegan. My heart exploded.  »


They are the cutest! The CUTEST!

Were you aware that Lady B has gone vegan* during her pregnancy?! I was not. What kind of vegan celebrity correspondent am I? I will never forgive myself for letting us all down this way.

For the last few months of her pregnancy, Jay-Z has also adopted a vegan eating style! This is fantastic news! Sympathy eating FTW! I’m hoping they keep up with this new lifestyle, after the baby is born.

Yo, Beyoncé! I will help you come out with a line of healthy vegan baby food! Or be your personal chef—whatever you want!

*UPDATE: We are reading that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have only gone “partially vegan!” So please take note. I think it’s still pretty great though because she’s basically telling the world she thinks going vegan is better for babies, when everyone else is like, “it will kill the fetus!” AND maybe her and Jay-Z will feel so super that they will want to go fully vegan! Maybe if we are all positive about it, it will help! Negative nancies. Laura adds this note for Beyoncé: "while you’re at it, ditch the fur, goddammit! We want you to be our vegan goddess!" Agreed. -Megan Rascal

03/29/2011

Crazy parents kill baby, happen to be vegan  »

This is just a horrendously sad story and to make it even worse, these motherfuckers are vegan. Great. And, of course, when the news covers it, every headline screams VEGANS KILL BABY. I can’t wait for the shitstorm of crap press that’s gonna come veganism’s way from this horrific tragedy. Here’s the thing: These parents didn’t kill their baby because they’re vegan, they killed their baby because they’re VERY VERY CRAZY.

These people also didn’t bathe their baby and treated the baby’s bronchitis with poultices of cabbage, mustard oil and camphor. NOTHING to do with veganism, everything to do with crazy. I just don’t have any faith that the public will see anything but VEGANS KILL BABY, and we’ll keep hearing about it for years and years whenever the topic of whether or not you can have a healthy vegan baby. Answer: you can. Perhaps this should be a cry for help for increased availability of mental health programs?
Now, here is a ridiculously cute kid in an Herbivore Clothing shirt. Tell me that kid isn’t the picture of health/about to be kidnapped by me. EITHER WAY: You’d be wrong! Speaking of adorable vegan kids, BABY LEGWARMERS Y’ALL.

11/04/2010

So necessary: Stella McCartney’s cashmere jumper for baby  »

Stella McCartney gets on my last goddamn nerve with her vegetarian BS. I’m glad she doesn’t use leather but can she cool it with the wool already? For fuck’s sake! I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was to see this cashmere number in her new children’s clothing collection. I know, the tiny model is hella cute, but let’s get real: an $88 US cashmere onesie? OBNOXIOUS. It’s like, “How to raise a d-bag, 101.” Can I get a witness?!

For good measure, here’s a little cashmere crash-course:

Cashmere is made from the coats of cashmere goats. When you buy a ‘beautiful’ cashmere garment, know that you have supported the killing of several goats that weren’t quite beautiful enough. Cashmere goats are harshly judged and those with ‘defects’ in their coats are typically killed before reaching two years of age. Industry experts estimate that farmers kill 50 to 80 per cent of the young goats whose coats do not meet standards.—Global Action Network

Cashmere goats are raised in crowded filthy stalls [and] sheared when they need their wool coats the most, in the winter. Exposed to the cold, these goats are more susceptible to illnesses. Ear-notched, de-horned and castrated without anesthesia, they are sold for meat after their first fiber harvest. With the depressed global economy, there is a glut of cashmere wool on the market so now many herds are simply butchered rather than used for their wool.—Animal Protection League of New Jersey

Adorably, if you buy the Stella for Kids “Leo sweatshirt” for a mere $36 US, the company will donate a whole £1 GB to Meat Free Monday, Ltd. That’s $1.61 US, or 4.5 percent! Less than sales tax, even. But don’t worry, Leo is made from organic cotton. Better than cashmere, amirite? Hey, at least no one purposely slaughtered a goat for your kid’s sweater!

08/13/2010

Scandals, stupidity, and some really clever sheep in this week’s link-o-rama!  »


Pilot whales in the Straits of Gibraltar! This was the only calf in the small pod, don’t you want to give it a hug? YES OF COURSE YOU CAN’T HUG A WHALE. But in my Lisa-Frank-colored childhood dreams, this whale and I would be pals and it would love hugs, so there. [picture by Rory Moore via the Telegraph]

Things for a vegan to do!
Tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 14, Harvest Home Sanctuary is having a work party! Go put together “Harvest Home Hay Boxes” and “Barndog Beds” from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., eat veggie dogs, and feel virtuous. Email to RSVP and get directions.

On Thursday, Aug. 19 the Asian Art Museum is celebrating the drunken dishes of Shanghai cuisine with chefs Nei Chia Ji and Martin Yan. They will be making vegetarian goose with been curd and rice wine; pickled cucumber in Huang Chiew wine; and some chicken thing no one cares about because duh. It’s the AAM’s bimonthly MATCHA event, so there’ll be a cash bar, music, and you can make your own art, too—but your Vegansaurus is mainly excited about the food, obviously. It costs $10 and runs from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St. in San Francisco.

Things for a vegan to read!
Let’s look at horrible food news! Valley Meat Co. of Modesto, Calif. (our neighbor to the east!) recalled 1 million pounds of frozen ground beef this week! It had been produced in late 2009 and early 2010 and has already made seven people sick with E.coli poisoning! NPR did some math and figures about 2,300 cows/steers were killed to make 1 million pounds of ground beef—wonder where they all came from? We’ll probably never know! Still, according to a CDC report, 17 percent of “food-borne illness outbreaks reported to the government” are caused by dead birds in your kitchen, compared to the 16 percent caused by dead cow and 14 percent by “leafy vegetables.” Although of course leafy vegetables carry no deadly bacteria or viruses inside of themselves, unlike say chickens or cows. Your tiny baby children are sick because they’ve been eating salmonella-ful dry pet food! Maybe these statistics will decrease a bit, as Ohio farmers have agreed to give some of their food-animals (“livestock,” if you will) a little breathing room.

Ben and Jerry’s, so full of lies. You really can’t trust anyone who uses that font. Shockingly, their “all-natural” label includes ingredients like dextrose, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils, none of which are officially “natural.” The New York Times, another bastion of truth, notes a trend in farmers seeking organic certification, motivated primarily by the money. Motivated by being awesome, a former Mad Man is working to make Meatless Mondays a national habit. Even this crazy “barbecue whisperer” who calls himself Meathead Goldwyn has decided to eat vegetarian for a month, and Mario Batali plans to write a vegetarian cookbook, inspired by the “beautiful people!” [sic] of Italy. Maybe they’d enjoy this easy-peasy recipe for carrot bacon!


New Zealand really is as full of sheep as you’ve heard. Sheep, however, are much smarter than is generally assumed. It shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that sheep living in Matamata, NZ, have moved into the Lord of the Rings hobbit homes set. [image by Tara Hunt, via Laughing Squid]

We’re eating very well in the Bay Area these days. There’s the fancy-pants, super-delicious tofu of Oakland’s Hodo Soy Beanery (take a tour!); the second Garden Fresh—vegan Chinese!—in Palo Alto got a good review in the Chronicle; and Sutton Cellars in San Francisco makes only vegan wines and vermouth that SFoodie really enjoyed.

The SF SPCA won its lawsuit to claim $500,000 for its hearing dog program, despite its sort of not having one—it’s all very strange, as SF Weekly explains. The Humane Society’s lawsuit against Olivera Egg Ranch, originally filed in 2008, will go ahead! Olivera Egg Ranch is a massive polluter (not to mention chicken-torturer on a grand scale) and was fined $143,057 in 2009 for “destroying evidence related to air pollution on its property.” On Thursday, defendants in the Bushway Packing trial entered not-guilty pleas to misdemeanor and felony counts of animal cruelty. Even Canada’s not perfect: No Country For Animals is a new documentary about the country’s “deplorable record on animal welfare,” and you can watch it online.

Despite its best intentions, the Times hosted a decent discussion of the ethics of catch-and-release fly-fishing, including a biologist who said, straight-up, that it’s shitty because fish feel pain. Some other biologist contradicted that “theory,” but Wikipedia contradicts him, and Vegansaurus says, just because you CAN do a thing doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it, cowboy. Discover magazine wonders how many orangutan there would be in the world if the Victorians hadn’t been so keen on shooting everything with a heartbeat. To wit: the Galapagos giant tortoises didn’t get a Latin name until 300 years after their “discovery” by Charles Darwin because they were so delicious and easy to kill. Hey Michigan! Your private stock of non-native, feral shootin’ hogs—upward of 5,000!—have broken free from your game ranches and are rampaging wild across the lands, eating fawns and carrying pseudorabies. Michiganders with hunting licenses are encouraged to shoot them. Way to go, guys!

02/16/2010

JUST JESUS CHRIST.
[via itsallinmyhead via kiwinz]

JUST JESUS CHRIST.

[via itsallinmyhead via kiwinz]

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