These are some of reader Camilla Taylor’s gorgeous insect-based jewelry! None of it is made of actual insects, of course, Ms. Taylor is both talented and a longtime vegan, and cares so much about our invertebrate friends, she is looking to donate some of the proceeds from the sale of her jewelry to an insect-based charity, “preferably specific to arthropods.” How thoughtful! Unfortunately, she can’t find such an organization based in the U.S.
Freshen your soul with vegan soap that gives back »
What’s better than a nice, wholesome, sweet-smelling bar of organic vegan soap? A nice bar of soap that’ll help a child in a faraway land not die of cholera or other stupid, preventable diseases, that’s what.
"But how do I give soap to foreign children?" you may ask. "I choose destinations with good sanitation, I avoid sick kids, and I have no room in my fancy duffel bag for extra soap. Heck, I barely carry my own." Rest easy, friend. Jack’s Soap has got you covered.
Here’s the deal: Jack’s will sell YOU fancy vegan soap. Choose citrus, mint, or lavender. The bars are hefty, generous, and smell great. (They sent me a sample of each, and my bathroom is way classier now. My fav is probably the mint, pictured above, but they’re all lovely.)
Meanwhile, for every bar you buy, Jack’s works with nonprofits Children of the Nations and Global Handwashing Day to get a bar to a child in need. My favorite part? Instead of shipping froofy fancy soap from the U.S., Jack’s manufactures the donation soap in the country where it’s gonna be donated, thus avoiding extra shipping and helping the local economy. Right now they’re working in Ethiopia, with Haiti on the horizon.
What if everything you bought magically sent a version of itself to someone in need? It’d be like TOMS meets "The Sorcerers’ Apprentice"! Crazy! I’d totally think harder about what I bought. Example: I want a new blender. Does a child in Haiti need a new blender? Hmm, maybe I should buy lentils instead. Bam! I’m a better person.
I also think this soap would make a stellar Easter present. Hint, hint.
How cute is this SF Vegan Bakesale flyer!? The correct answer is HOLY SHIT!!
They’re still desperately in need of bakers and I know you love elephants very much* and are total hot shit in the kitchen, so please email them!
Eat at delicious Millennium, help relief efforts in Japan! »
From Thursday, Mar. 24 (that’s tomorrow!) through Saturday, Mar. 26, Millennium is serving a menu that honors Japanese Cuisine and supports those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Very nice. It’s a four-course prix fixe menu (served in addition to their regular menu) and it’s $58, plus an additional $25 if you want to booze it up with a wine pairing. You charitable lush, you. $10 from the menu will be donated to relief efforts in Japan.
The menu appears to be off the hook, as well. It’ll include red-miso-glazed silken tofu, sweet potato and lotus root crisp dumpling, seared shiitake mushroom and yuba cake, and a sweet surprise with green tea ice cream! I wonder what the sweet surprise is? I have some guesses but they’re all too sexual to list here.
Reservations are available, so call 415.345.3900, ext. 10, and let them know you’re calling for the Japan dinner, because you’re a good person, and deserve a parade.
Coconut crusted tofu curry photo from Yelp! What? It’s hard to take good savory food shots in a restaurant! Trust that this tasted DELICIOUS.
Online bakesale for Japan! Bid on dino cookies from Vegansaurus! »
You guys! I am participating in a blogger bakesale for Japan! You read right. This means I will be shipping many cookies to one lucky winner. The Tomato Tart (we love her!) is hosting the sale, and all bidding will take place on that site on Wednesday, Mar. 30. So, uh, you all gotta bid on my cookies. Actual cookies, not my boobs… is that slang for boobs? or maybe it’s vagina? Either way, you’re not winning those UNLESS THE PRICE IS RIGHT EMAIL ME.
What I’m auctioning off is a couple dozen vegan cookies of various flavors that will all be shaped like dinosaurs. They may be pink, if I can figure out science by then. Either way, they will look like Hell Yeah It’s Vegan’s dino pizza, just smaller and made with cookies:
Yum! See you tramps there!
Gifts that give back! For vegans and beyond! »
That’s right errrybody, a Vegansaurus Gifts That Give Back list! Because there is nothing like secretly imposing your values on others! I think I’ve got something for everyone on here. I’m kind of known for being the best gift-giver in the world so you’re pretty lucky I’m here. Now, it’s not as easy to recommend stuff for strangers but I found some good presents. Let’s do this!
First up, this is a present for your fashionable dog-lover. What? Why, yes, I guess that does describe me very well! And I can assure you I would love to get this:
This is the “found my animal” set and it’s available at Uncommongoods.com and on the manufacturer’s site. It celebrates all the adopted pups out there! Totally leather-free, each leash has a little brass tag with a number on it, counting your dog among the league of the proud rescue dogs. They have super-cute harnesses on their site too, all totally cotton. The best part, 25 percent of their profits go to the Louis Animal Foundation. Awesome!
Now for the “foodie” (“foodie” is like more stigmatized than “hipster” in my mind) or tea-lover, Douglas Fir tea! You can purchase the tea from my favorite vegan sneaker company, Keep! Made by the Juniper Ridge, 10 percent of sales go toward “protecting the western wilderness.” Ha! You thought I was only going to do animal charities, didn’t you! Well, guess what: lots of animals live in the wilderness so it’s important to protect our environment, too! Plus, I know lots of people that care about the environment and don’t care about animals so they will like the extra benefit from the gift and not know that you are secretly supporting the vegan agenda. Ha! Ha-ha!
Above we have a nice gift set from Aveda. Toiletry gift sets rule. I said it. Plus with this set, you get a little tagua nut accessory, sustainably made by women in Colombia: “Aveda’s alliance with indigenous people and women artisans in Colombia helps support BETTER FUTURES FOR 400 FAMILIES, and helps PRESERVE 400 RAINFOREST ACRES.” Dope!
For the bambino in your life, here’s a super great gorilla from miYim:
A portion of the proceeds go to everyone’s favorite ape-woman, the Jane Goodall Institute. I’m really into the description of the stuffed animal: "…this thoughtful and realistic looking Gorilla…" Does he look thoughtful? Or realistic? Doesn’t realistic mean we’d see his frank and beans?
Here’s another good gift for kids or a family:
The Mission: China board game, available at Amazon, is all about endangered animals! Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to Conservation International. I will admit that I totally enjoy playing board games with my family on holidays. Don’t tell anyone!
Now this next thing, I’m totally into:
A wildlife habitat kit! Awesome! Perfect for the gardener or just I guess anyone with a house or backyard. It’s available from the National Wildlife Federation. So cool! Shut up, it is cool.
For my next trick, candles that give back!:
With Jimmy’s candles, five dollars from every candle goes toward charity. You get to pick the charity from a list that includes Paws SF and the ASPCA, so that rules. I know candles aren’t the most exciting thing ever but you can kind of give them to anyone and they are actually useful, unlike 90 percent of presents. Oh! And all the candles are soy. Shweet.
OK, OK, this list is getting long! I will leave you with one final idea:
OK that’s two but they are from the same place! This is the Treahouse crossbody and the Mend messenger from the Mend collection and they benefit Invisible Children. See, I don’t only care about animals! I care about kids too. But that’s where I draw the line! Kids and animals. They are innocent and we should take care of them. Plus, these bags are FLY! Come on, you know I’m right.
There you have it! A nice list if I do say so myself. Happy holidays!
Invest in a vegan future! »
You’ve heard about Mission Street Food’s intention to become a full-time charitable restaurant, of course, and the organizers’ need for financial backers—they quote a figure of 100 people investing $500 each. Did that incline any of you toward the pecuniary?
We received an email from a Vegansaurus reader, who said she contacted Anthony Myint (you know, MSF head chef) and offered to invest $500 if MSF would keep vegan options on the menu. She said that “it appears Anthony is considering it.”
Any other vegans with money to spare may want to make a similar offer. We’re not assuring its success—that’s something that would be worked out between the Mission Street Food partners—but we certainly endorse the idea! It’d be a great way to truly invest in a delicious vegan future, and act on your beliefs. Regardless of our (many, many) disagreements with MSF regarding the cuisine, we’ve always admired its support of so many charities.
And you know, if we had a spare $500, we’d make a vegan-money offer. Not that theoretical money means anything coming from us, but it’s sincere.
Updated on Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. to add this comment from Mission Street Food
"We do not encourage vegan investment.
"Someone did email me asking if we would have vegan options and I said we "might." Whether or not we have some vegan options will depend on a lot of factors, and one thing we are trying to avoid is upsetting anyone who would have invested with unrealistic expectations. While we may have vegan options, we cannot firmly commit to that right now. Furthermore, since we have no real stake in veganism, it would be a really misguided investment if that were a factor in the decision.
So there you go—another good idea in theory that doesn’t actually work in practice. Thanks so much to Anthony for his forthrightness. Now, back to the really vegan trenches, everyone.
The East Bay Vegan Bakesale is this Saturday, January 9th! It’s not too late to bake, just email them! And it’s not too late to eat, just show up! Let’s raise a shit ton of money for some awesome dogs and kids. You can’t deny a puppy, can you? HAVE A HEART.
Sell your crap, help animals! »
I know you, you are full of crap! So’s your house! Junk everywhere! Junk you don’t need! Genius idea: sell it on ebay! But do it through Out to Pasture’s eBay store. When you do, 10 percent of the sale goes to the Out to Pasture Sanctuary, an animal refuge for abused and neglected farm animals in Oregon. You get rid of shit you don’t need and the piggies get food and shelter—everybody wins!