Happy Thanksgiving from JL Goes Vegan! She and her husband had dinner at Candle 79, and this was an appetizer, mushroom ravioli! Doesn’t that look tasty?
Candle Cafe vegan meals are here! I spotted two kinds at Whole Foods in Berkeley, the mac ‘n’ cheese and ravioli! I bought both, of course, but what I really want is that freaking seitan picatta GIVE IT TO ME. What is with our Northern California Whole Foods buyer? GET BETTER AT PLEASING YOUR CUSTOMERS PLEASE!
Also, Candle Cafe/79, PLEASE release my seitan chimichurri on the West Coast PLEASE. I need that stuff like the baby needs the teet, ya dig? GIVE IT TO ME. PLEASE
Has anyone tried any? Let me know! PLEASE.
Candle Cafe is releasing a line of frozen entrees?! And they’re gonna be in Whole Foods in June?? SAAAAY WHAAAAAT! Oh man, now I’m realllllly hoping there isn’t an apocalypse in three days! VEGAN LEAN CUISINE FOR EVERYONE!
Interview with a Vegan: Joshua Katcher! »
Vegansaurus: Do you go by Josh or exclusively Joshua?
Joshua Katcher: I prefer Joshua, but I won’t have a complete meltdown if someone calls me Josh. I may cry for a few minutes and punch a hole in the wall, but then I’ll be totally fine. I’m pretty emotionally stable.
Why are you vegan?
Because it’s delicious, and because I think animals are individuals who deserve validation and consideration where their lives and bodies are at stake. But also because I hate freedom and I was hoping to be frail and ill—but that backfired and I’m really healthy and athletic now.
How long have you been vegan?
There was no exact date—it was a transition—but about 12 or 13 years, I think.
I am completely FASCINATED by parasitic intelligence. But as far as animals that I want to hang with, and cuddle. Dogs and goats. And cows. And pigs. Turkeys are like cats! Oy vey, this is impossible to answer.
Got any companion animals? Pictures!
Enzo is a rescued chihuahua. His nicknames are: Enzo Benzo, Enzo Roni, Reno Roni, Monster, Burrito, Little Man. There are more, but my sanity would be called into question. He didn’t bark or play or have any interest in other dogs for almost two years, but he is finally coming out of his shell, and recovering from the three years of abuse/neglect he experienced. He was rescued by Amy from sugarmutts.org.
[OMJesus this picture!]
Dr. Cow’s hemp-nut cashew cheese.
Favorite vegan restaurant?
I still swoon over Candle 79’s seitan, but the bacon cheeseburger at Blossom Cafe is habit-forming, and the beet tartar at Madeline’s Bistro is worth flying to L.A. to have. I am such a foodie, it’s hard to choose favorites. Sometimes a bowl of steamed kale is the best thing in the world, and other times a Vegan Treats chocolate-covered strawberry shortcake hits the spot.
Vegan celebrity you want to bang?
All of them. At once.
Yes. Sorry, haters.
Do you remember when we met at Lula’s? Was it as awesome for you as it was for me?
I have been recovering ever since.
What’s your favorite thing to get at Lula’s?
I keep it simple at Lula’s: I really like a scoop of strawberry ice cream on a sugar cone. When feeling adventurous, I am obsessed with the malt powder or a malted milkshake—and the coconut whipped cream is better than I remember whipped cow-tit secretions being. I have a gym membership for a reason.
What do you like about fashion? How do you know all about it?
I like fashion because I am gay and I love being a stereotype. Ha ha. In all honesty, fashion is an incredibly powerful form of visual communication. It is the premiere means by which the majority of people in our current culture express their personal identity. We all participate in that discourse, whether we like it or not. Even if we reject the notion of fashion all-together, our culture is dominated by this visual language. There is a lot of power to be had or lost in dress, and if you know how to communicate that power properly, it have have amazing effects—especially if you are someone who wants to change the world. Additionally, if you know how to decode what others are wearing—a fur coat for example, it makes understanding the issues surrounding everything from animal cruelty in fashion to sweatshops and ecological issues, less overwhelming.
Favorite vegan designer?
I am really inspired by the strides John Bartlett is making, announcing “I want to be a 100-percent-vegan designer.” He is a personal friend, and a powerhouse in the fashion arena.
Favorite vegan accessory/possession?
There are a few. I got a recycled poly suit from CPas, a vegan biker “Decontrol” jacket from April77, black “milo” boots from NOVACAS, the gray “Vintage Boot” from Vegetarian Shoes, and an awesome men’s peacoat from Vaute Couture.
Why’d you start The Discerning Brute?
I started the Discerning Brute several years ago because no one was really providing a lifestyle resource specifically for “ethically handsome men.” From the beginning, my aim was to slowly compile a catalog of brands, companies, resources, and people that would form a community, and to eventually open a store, launch a suit line, and write a book. These are all underway.
Who does the illustrative design-y stuff for your site? I’m into it.
Thanks! I did the layout and graphic design myself, and the actual art I used in the design is from an 18th century illustrator.
[Katcher and Anna Wintour look-alike outside the Conde Nast building for the Pinnacle launch!]
What’s Pinnacle all about?
JK: PINNACLE: Reinvent The Icon is an image-driven initiative consisting of fashion industry professionals from all areas of fashion culture who are clarifying the changed meaning of fur within the context of our current culture.
Pinnacle produces editorial stories, and works with informed designers, models, and other professionals to create accessories and various forms of visual art consistent with an interest in:
- Providing critical commentary about animal fur
- Exposing aspects of fur production and marketing which are intentionally hidden or obscured
- Shifting the outdated, whitewashed and greenwashed attitude toward, and meaning of fur garments
- Calling for personal and corporate accountability concerning the cruelty inherent in all fur production
What’s next for Pinnacle?
I have been touring a bit with my “Fashion & Animals” talk, and I plan on speaking at Parsons, FIT, and San Francisco, soon. I was also asked to teach a module at the American University of Paris next spring on the topic, which is exciting. Getting more designers, models, photographers, etc. involved and producing more and more fashion content. Also, a huge priority for us is expanding to China because that is the fur capital of the world, and there are no regulations to protect animals. There is more animal cruelty in China than the rest of the world combined, and they are the largest exporter of fur—and that includes cat and dog fur. Because China is a communist country, if you can convince the government to stop something, it will be done overnight, more or less. We need to reach the Chinese government with a message of being heroes for animals in an appealing way. The Compassion For Animals Foundation is doing amazing work in China.
Is it true you’re trying to take over the world?
Well, the short answer is yes. But, since I have a bone to pick (hey vegan police, is it vegan to say that?) with hierarchical power structures, that poses a dilemma. I plan to change the world, but a take over seems so…egotistical.
First of all, the Guardian rules. Second of all, how do you feel about being “the new sexy vegan?”
I was so honored, and shocked. Growing up, I was always a totally shy, unpopular, comic-book-reading geek who got picked on pretty bad. So it’s quite strange to be considered “sexy” by someone. I’m learning to embrace it though, and use it to help animals.
Do you have any amazing nicknames I should know about?
My nickname in junior high was “fag” so you can try that. Or you can call me Yahoshua Ruvin. That’s my super-cool Hebrew name. Don’t be jealous.
Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
I’m not sure I have room for a dinosaur in my apartment, but I’d be happy to come to one of your places and cook together! That would be fun. We can make sawdust and gravel and grass clippings, since that’s what vegans eat.
Any questions for Vegansaurus? Anything!
What would the Vegansauraus dudes like to see happen on the DB, and what would you like to see for sale at my forthcoming store, BraveGentleMan.com? Do any readers have men’s lifestyle questions for me?
Vegansaurus men, let’s hear it! Just what does the Vegansaurus Man of today want?
Meet your new ruling class overlords: The Power Vegans »
Businessweek informs us of an important new trend among CEOs in our ruling class elite: they’re going vegan. Already bored of private jets and trophy wives, these wealthy and powerful men (yes, just men) are looking to veganism to remind the rest of us down here exactly how wealthy and powerful they are. Veganism, you see, is the new status symbol, available only to those who can afford such luxuries with such exotic names like “tofurkey” or “rice and beans.”
Or so Businessweek says. The truth is probably much more mundane than that. If 1 percent of America is vegan, well statistically speaking, that should include 1 percent of CEOs. OK, so Steve Wynn, John Mackey and Biz Stone are vegan, but of that group, Mackey and Stone were vegan before finding their success. So where’s the trend?
If anything, the wealthy business community is going the opposite direction, by riding the Ayn Rand wave that’s been sweeping the (wealthy/white) nation since Day 1 of Obama’s presidency. Fantasizing over “going Galt” is just the gateway drug to social Darwinism, and by extension, dietary Darwinism: the conceit that we must dominate and eat captive animals to prove that humans are always and forever “the fittest.”
I suppose we should be thankful for any positive mainstream media coverage on veganism, but really, it would be great to knock it off with the “men who choose veganism do so for manly masculine reasons, such as power! and strength! and display of riches to attract a suitable mate to bear our male heirs!” message. Whether it’s “hegans” or “power vegans,” all these attempts to rebrand veganism for men (for manly masculine men) just come off as defensive.
Or like we’re over-compensating. Because everyone knows that cooking food and other maternal things, like fussing over cute little animals, is and should always remain the province of women and their ovaries. Never mind that the choice to go vegan is nearly always one of both reason and emotion: “we just don’t have enough land and water to keep eating like this”/”torturing animals in factories is depressing and horrific”— thoughts that are equally available in the healthy brains of both genders.
It’s hard to say what this made-up-the-night-before-deadline trend piece is for, other than to annoy vegan bloggers, delight Ingrid Newkirk, and get Joel Stein paid. No one reads Businessweek after all, unless they’re stuck waiting in a dentist’s office for more than 20 minutes. But if idolizing rich and powerful men is what it takes to peel away a handful of new vegans, then I guess we’ll take it. I’m especially looking forward to my review copy of the Power Vegan Cookbook. It’s amazing what you can whip up if you keep your kitchen pantry stocked with personal chefs and an American Express Centurion Card.
Spotted at Whole Foods in Mill Valley: tarts from Candle 79! HELLO GORGEOUS! They apparently JUST got them and carry three flavors: chocolate mousse, chocolate peanut butter, and raspberry Linzer!
Now, if only we could get some of that seitan chimichurri, I’d never have to leave the Bay Area again.
Oh snap, they also sell burritos made with gardein here, too! What is this, L.A.??? Man, rich fools of Mill Valley prolly have no clue how good they have it! All feasting on tarts and Chick’n burritos and poo-pooing the rest of us because we are poor and we suck. That’s fair, make me mow your lawn tomorrow and carry your kids to school on my back BUT TONIGHT? Tonight, I feast on your food, wine, and women! Tonight, I live!!!’
UPDATE: Apparently these delightful east coast treats are at all SF Bay Area Whole Foods! If you don’t see them at yours, ASK FOR THEM!
Interview: Livia Stone! »
Livia Stone is THE BEST for tons of reasons. I’ll name a few because that’s what this whole “Interview a Veg*n*” thing is about and if I’m anything, it’s somewhat competent at my non-paying blogging job. Livia is a vegan who works in animal welfare and thus, spreading the veg love in a community that loves animals but doesn’t always know that the best way to love them is not to eat them. She is the hospital manager at WildCare Bay Area, the only place to take injured and/or sick wild animals for good quality care in the SF Bay Area (they even take pigeons and mice and skunks!!). Seriously, if you ever find a wild animal in need of help, CALL THEM! She’s also just an awesome friend and the all-around bomb. We love her and you will too or else you are an idiot and shouldn’t be on this site anyway, idiot. Oh also, if she’ll be at the Farm Sanctuary California Hoe Down this Saturday so if you see her, HOLLA!
Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
Initially I went veg because I realized I didn’t need to kill or exploit animals to live, but as I learned more—especially about the environmental impact of animal agriculture—I can’t believe anyone who is interested in going “green” doesn’t give up or at least reduce the amount of animal products they consume.
How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
I’ve been vegan for 10 years. I had been vegetarian already for several years, but that impulse was based entirely on compassion. When I started learning about the issues, I knew I needed to do more.
You work in the hospital at Wildcare (one of the beneficiaries of the May 8 SF Vegan Bakesale!) with wounded and sick wildlife; got any amazing/crazy/inspiring stories?
Definitely some crazy stories, usually on a daily basis. Rescuing an animal is often a transformative experience for people—and that’s very inspiring. I see a lot of cruelty and apathy, and so whenever people do the right thing for animals it gives me a little more energy to continue on. I remember one case where a man found an opossum in his garage. He reached into a box without looking, and promptly got bitten by a startled opossum who had found himself a nice place to sleep. The bite wasn’t serious, but the health department is very strict about mammal bites because of the risk of rabies, which is fatal in humans without treatment. Usually, we are forced to euthanize the animal to test for rabies, which drives us nuts because rabies is actually very rare in most species around here. But, of course it’s understandable that the health department wants to keep tabs because we could have an outbreak at any time. This opossum was clearly healthy and acting in normally, so we offered to quarantine as an alternative (which we always do) but since a human was bitten we didn’t have much hope. Going that route means you have to get rabies shots, because you don’t know if you’ve been exposed or not. But the man who was bitten called everyone he could and said he would do whatever it took—he didn’t want the opossum killed for his mistake! We’ve never had anyone do that before. So the opossum got free room and board for a month and was released because he never showed any signs of illness. [Ed.: That’s one of the best stories we’ve ever heard about humans. Usually we are THE WORST! Side note: Was this man cute? Single??]
Any tips on what we should do if we find wounded or sick wildlife?
In the Bay Area, you can always call WildCare and we can help you determine if it is indeed an emergency and who the nearest rehabilitator is: 415-456-SAVE (7283). Many times babies are “kidnapped” by well-meaning people! We can also determine if a reunite is possible in the case of babies.
Often the first impulse is to take an injured animal to a veterinarian, but there’s usually a charge and more importantly, most have no special training for wildlife. At WildCare, we have technicians and wildlife veterinarians who care for our wild patients.
If you find an animal that is obviously injured and you can capture them safely, keep them in a secure box or kennel with air holes. The things to remember are to keep the animal WARM, DARK, and QUIET. Babies especially can get chilled easily; put a heating pad under half of the box. Don’t try to feed or give water—sometimes that can do more harm than good and many species have very specific needs.
Can just anyone foster wild animals? How do we go about doing that?
No. Rehabilitators have lots of permits and conditions that need to be met. It is illegal for members of the public to keep wildlife (you can rescue, though!). If you volunteer at a local wildlife center, you will be able to care for the animals under the center’s permit. Many centers offer training classes to prepare you for foster care.
Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
Yes! Roshi the Russian tortoise came into WildCare and needed a forever home, since he’s not from these parts. My cat Brewster is from a shelter in Los Angeles, and Pippie the cat was rescued by my veterinarian after being hit by a car. Pedro and Maggie are Rocket Dogs!
Do you have any super cute photos of animals to share with us?
You can check out WildCare’s website for videos and photos!
What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
Every day I have a new favorite animal! But, I especially adore crows.
Favorite vegan cookbook?
I rarely cook from cookbooks, but one that I have made a ton from is Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!
I know you’ve been doing a lot of baking and cooking lately! What’s your favorite vegan dish to make? What about for a vegan bakesale?
Since I’ve discovered Daiya cheese I’ve been making a mean mac ‘n cheese casserole but generally I’m big on making soups from scratch, especially heirloom tomato soup. For bakesales, just about anything from my cupcake cookbook. The carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting recipe is amazing!
Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
Cornmeal crusted oyster mushrooms at Millennium!
Favorite vegan restaurant?
You’re going to the Farm Sanctuary California Hoe Down THIS SATURDAY (EVERYONE GO!!!!), who are you most excited to pet/hang out with??
PIGS!!! Love me some pigs. Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web made me vegetarian.
Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
Our gift to Livia: A damned cute pig named Edgar from Pig Peace Sanctuary. Enjoy the cuteness!
*there are more awesome interviews on the site but our search is for shit and hopefully we can fix that soon but who knows, I’m only so good at my “job.”
NYC Vegan Bakesales for Haiti, Jan. 28 and 31! »
Ladies and gentlevegans!! There will be two (2!) NYC vegan bake sales to support animals in Haiti next week. The first is at Vegan Drinks at Angels & Kings on Thursday, Jan. 28, 7 to 9 p.m., organized by SuperVegan. More than 20 generous vegans will be baking all sorts of scrumptious confections—cupcakes, cookies, cinnamon buns, even doggy treats—the proceeds of which are going to the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti and SODOPRECA. Per usual, DJ Lil Ray will be rockin’ the beats. And don’t forget the booze: 2-for-1 during Vegan Drinks!
Because VEGAN BAKESALES SAVE LIVES, Mooshoes will host another on Sunday, Jan. 31, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those profits go to Doctors Without Borders. But this is not just a bake sale; it’s also a raffle with gift certificates from MooShoes, Candle 79, Foodswings, Sweet Avenue Bakery, Lula’s, Tiengarden, and a bunch more! Oh my gosh, I want to win one of those! And also help people!
If you’re looking for ways to help animals in Haiti but you can’t tell your ass from the mixing bowl, attend one of these fiiiine events and buy all your Valentine’s Day presents, or donate money directly ARCH or SODOPRECA. Do it!
Friday vegan blog link-o-rama! »
1. A whole blog dedicated to vegan cookies. Cookies are delicious and so this blog is BRILLIANT!
2. Vegan Soapbox asks an always interesting question for the omnivores in the house (i.e., me!). “If I care about animals, but still eat animal products, isn’t it better to buy “humane” animal products?”
3. Ezra Klein talks about tofu. We love Ezra Klein.
4. Farmer in Chief, by Michael Pollan. As usual, Pollan merely flirts with the idea of vegetarianism, even though—frustratingly—all of his arguments seem to point to it as an obvious solution. He does advocate for the idea of the White House observing “one meatless day a week,” which has been customary for many administrations now. How about a meat-free weekend?? Or meat just on the weekends? Or how about…a VEGAN WHITE HOUSE? What’s up, Dennis Kucinich!
5. And a response to Pollan’s piece from Erik Marcus of Vegan.Com
6. Frank Bruni of the New York Times visits New York vegan restaurant Candle 79. It’s impressive that he ate there multiple times, but come on: vegan cooks have to choose from a “small larder,” and the cuisine wouldn’t be so attractive to “more hedonistic cooks.” Tut, tut. Candle 79 isn’t the best vegan resto in the world, but veganism is the diet of plenty!
7. Kerry Trueman’s excellent recap of Oprah’s Tuesday episode all about Prop. 2! If you didn’t see it, try and find someone who recorded it because it’s well worth it. Factory farms (even massively cleaned up for TV ones) on MOTHERTRUCKING Oprah?! It’s a damn good day. However, quick note to the fabulous Wayne Pacelle of HSUS: lay off the self-tanner, dude! Er, also lay off taking pictures like this. But other than that, you are kinda the best.
8. We’re not total downers this week, here are some vegan Halloween candy links and resources! Hello, Halloween deliciousness! Also, what’s your costume idea? And please don’t say anything involving the words, “sexy” or “Sarah Palin,” ESPECIALLY not combined. Dry-heaving over here.
And…a very cute animal picture! More here.