It’s Paul Shapiro’s weekly Animal News You Can Use! »
Want to read a great AP story about the proponents of anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bills getting part of their bodies (I’ll let you be the judge) handed to them at a legislative hearing in Nebraska yesterday? Also, the ag-friendly Bakersfield Californian editorial board slammed the supporters of a similar California bill this week, saying how they’re “amazed by the audacity of the cattle industry.”
Good week in statehouses for farm animals, with a New Jersey ag committee passing a bill to ban gestation crates and a Colorado committee doing the same on a bill to ban dairy cow tail-docking. We’ll continue working hard to further advance these bills.
There’s a fascinating story out today about a meat industry front man who admits he created a fake Facebook profile posing as an animal activist in order to criticize HSUS and encourage other animal activists to do the same.
After extensive dialogue with HSUS, Bob Evans is the latest food giant to announce it wants to phase out gestation crates. And the National Pork Board did a survey with promising results about the changing attitudes of pork producers to the gestation crate issue.
Think you’re the only one who finds promise in plant-based products? These billionaires are with you.
Finally, students! If you want “Skinny Bitch” Rory Freedman, VegNews editorial director Elizabeth Castoria, and HSUS’s Kristie Middleton to read your essay, enter HSUS’s Meatless Monday essay contest now!
Video of the week: Justin Timberlake on SNL singing about vegan eating. Words can’t describe how great it is.
Photo of the week: My cats enjoying their catio!
In Boulder, Colo., on Sunday night, a hundreds of people held a candlelight vigil for a bull elk killed by a police officer and a sheriff’s deputy on Jan. 1. Mourners were angered and saddened, telling the Boulder Daily Camera that “It was a beautiful, beautiful elk” who they felt was a “guardian” and “ part of the neighborhood,” who had returned to the Mapleton Hill area for two years.
Get the full story at the Daily Camera, where you can learn such fun facts as the police officer suspected of killing the elk owns a taxidermy website, and see the photos the men took of their kill. People in Boulder are rightfully very angry about their harmless neighborhood elk being killed just for being their harmless neighborhood elk.
Edit: The video is down! But it’s very sweet; go watch it at the Daily Camera.
Fruit leather, step aside. You just got your ass kicked by my new favorite flat snack: Veggie-Go’s.
Take the fruit leather you know and give it a classy, vegetable-oriented makeover, and you’ve got the sophisticated dehydrated foodstuff known as a Veggie-Go. I met these Colorado-made cuties at a street fair in Denver a few weeks ago, and after sampling each of the five flavors, I knew I had to pull the Vegansaurus card and convince the guy at the booth to give me a bunch for free. SCORE!
Verdict: The snacks are a bit thinner and more brittle than fruit leather, so you can’t do the thing where you scrape them down with your teeth, but they’ll still make you do a little dance in your chair when you remember you brought one in your lunch. My favorite flavors are Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Pie, but they’re all good.
Right now they’re only for sale at a couple Colorado Whole Foods, but you can order them online from Abe’s Market, which I recommend you do post-haste. Especially if you’re rich, because they are kind of pricey, like all sweet things in life: pedicures, true love, signed first editions of Alice in Wonderland, etc.
Bonus: The owners are at the tail end of a Kickstarter campaign that has a pretty sweet perk: Donate $25 or more, and you’ll not only get to sample each current flavor, you’ll get to help them pick the next flavor, too. And if you’re really feeling bossy, $1,000 will buy you the rights to create your own flavor. Jackfruit lychee jicama lime! Bam! Done! You’re welcome.
Guys, I found the best unexpectedly awesome restaurant this week! It’s in Colorado, so I know most of don’t give a shit, but I want everyone in Colorado to come here and make sure it stays open forever. Plus, it’s in a strip mall in the suburbs, so we can have a universal discussion about that.
The place is called Krishna Kafe, and it’s in possibly the most run-down shopping center I’ve been to (the pothole-to-pavement ratio in the driveway to the parking lot is off the charts), about 15 minutes outside of Boulder in a hit-and-run town called Lafayette. According to my friend who just moved there, it’s where all the people who can’t afford to live in Boulder live, so it kind of makes sense that there’s a big immigrant community, and that some of those immigrants might open restaurants, and that those restaurants might be orgasmically good.
The place serves chaat-style street food, and in my opinion is approximately 7.5 times better than Vik’s Chaat Corner in Berkeley. My vegan husband and I showed up with our gluten-free friend, and the owner had his wife come out to talk to us and help us order. She was really knowledgeable and accommodating, and suggested dishes we all could eat.
I’m usually really opinionated about my food, but I honestly couldn’t choose which of the three I liked more—they were are richly spiced without being mouth-burning, had an interesting blend of textures, and just SO GOOD. The Indian grocery next door is just an extra perk, too. And it’s cheap!
If you live on the Front Range, make a trip here. For reals. If you ever come to Colorado for skiing and hiking and stuff, and want cheap food and don’t mind wandering out of your way, also come here.
What are you favorite amazing restaurants in random run-down strip malls?
Denver’s getting it’s own full-time vegan store! Take that, Bay Area!
I already told you about our monthly pop-up, Neat Market, where I got my hands on my first-ever bag of soy curls. They’re so good I risk marital disquiet by picking them out of the stew whenever we cook with them.
Well now Joshua LaBure, Denver’s resident over-achieving vegan (he started Neat Market and Chomp! and I should probably interview him soon), has inked a deal on a storefront and hopes to open the place by July. He’s planning a Kickstarter campaign, so look for an update on that, and read more if you want on Westword's blog.
Meanwhile, in other Colorado vegan news: Reliable sources tell me Native Foods is opening in Boulder on May 29; Trader Joe’s is coming to Denver and Boulder within the next year; the Boulder farmers markets are in full swing and the Denver ones start this week; and on Friday, May 18, the Vegan Van will be parked in front of Sweet Action Ice Cream, serving something amazing and top-secret that may involve waffles and me fainting.
I love Colorado.
Kickstart Pressed Juice in Colorado! »
Orange-carrot-pineapple amazingness. Fund the Kickstarter so I can have more!
Back in February, Jenny told us about how much she swooned over the raw, pressed juice at Pressed Juicery in Los Angeles. But who says only California should get all the good new-age cleansing stuff? Behold: To Colorado’s up-and-coming vegan scene, two Denver vegans are trying to add the magic of fancy, orgasmic juice. I say, Rejoice and drink juice! Also fund their Kickstarter campaign; this stuff doesn’t fall from trees!
Source Juice is the brainchild of Jaclyn and Chris Webb, a vegan couple who basically got obsessed with juicing, wanting to take it to the next level, and realized they couldn’t buy cold-pressed juice anywhere in the state. So they bought a fancy juicer and plan to bottle and sell the stuff at Denver’s monthly pop-up vegan market, yoga studios, farmer’s markets, etc.—all the places people willing to pay for uber-delicious organic juice might flock. Plus home delivery for the lazy bums.
Jaclyn gave me a little bottle of this stuff, and it’s GOOD. To quote my husband Danny: “I want to drink this juice until it comes out my eyeballs.” My other favorite thing about the project is how boot-strappy it is. The vegan scene out here in Denver is so gosh-darn scrappy and full of initiative! People don’t wait for venture capital funding or whatever, they just make things happen in a small way. And so even though we don’t have the vast selection of restaurants available in SF, LA, or NY, it makes me feel like I’m part of a movement or something.
So even if you don’t live in Colorado, consider pitching in a few bucks (the campaign ends on Friday, April 13). And if you know anyone in the area, pass this along to make it happen. JUICE!!!
Good Things Coming to Colorado! »
Native Foods Veggie Soy Burger photo by KayOne73 on flickr.com
I love Colorado! But I’ve got a bunch of new reasons to love it more! I thought I’d share just to be a bitch and make you jealous. Or maybe to convince everyone on the coasts that the center of this country has something to offer other than Tea Parties and rodeos.
- VegNews reports that Native Foods Cafe plans to open 15 new locations this year. They were supposed to come to SF and never did, so I’m dubious, but one of those alleged new spots is Boulder AKA Berkeley of the Mountains, home of my office. Chicken Run Ranch Burgers for me EVERY DAY! Don’t fail me, NFC, or there WILL be trouble. Like an angry email, maybe?
- This Sunday, Denver’s getting a pop-up vegan market! Boom, town is instantly cooler! Plants And Animals (host of Chomp) is teaming up with Portland’s Food Fight grocery to bring rad things to my city without me even needing to use the internet! I’m so psyched, everyone who’s anyone is gonna be there, including Beet Box vegan bakery and the Denver Seitan Company!
- The Vegan Van! Check this: D-town has its very own brand-new fully-vegan food truck! I got to hang out next to its founder, Amie, at the Avocado Takedown a while ago and her food was TO DIE FOR. I actually might have to kill myself to get a chance to try this stuff, that’s how literally I intend that idiom. Or maybe I’ll just go find her on Sunday at the Neat Market and send you photos! Maybe that!
- Google Offers has 50% off right now at Watercourse Foods, my current favorite restaurant. Three words: Seitan Hot Wings. I done bought 4 coupons, everyone’s invited!
Oh so you want to come visit now? Fine, fine, I might even let you stay at my house. Maybe. Only if you bring the whole Berkeley Bowl with you.
Chomp is Denver’s coolest public dinner party »
A mountain-west dispatch
If you ever are planning a trip to Denver, make sure you’re here on the first Wednesday of the month because that’s Chomp day, otherwise known as the tasty vegan hipster gathering that helps me not miss CA so much (though nothing will diminish the pain of losing Berkeley Bowl).
Chomp is a themed public dinner party, where some talented and shockingly unselfish vegans cook up enormous batches of THE BEST food ever and you donate some money and then you eat it. This month the theme was French, so the yums included cream puffs and basil pastry shells and seitan bourguignon from Julia Child herself (OH SNAP, I just had the best idea, what if someone does the whole Julie & Julia thing but vegan? Get it on, guys).
The event usually goes down at Green Spaces, a warehousey-chic co-working space. 120 people showed up to chow down this month and as usual the cooks ran out of food (this is the only bad part of Chomp: You can’t gorge yourself like I do at any normal meal).
Bonus awesomeness this month:
The Speakeasy, which is a “donation-based” snobby cocktail bar, run by the uber-sexy Randa in her bartender dress, with her amazing cocktail menu for super cheap.
I had a thing with strawberry and basil and lemon and lime and fancy gin and it was SO GOOD will you marry me Randa?
I think that smile means yes?
Denver Seitan Company, our new local seitan-makers, had samples of their DELISH logs. They’re gonna start a seitan CSA thing, I can’t wait!
Live music! By a sweet little acoustic duo called Poet’s Row.
It’s clearly the cool place to be on first Wednesdays, so I just wanted to make sure you weren’t out of the loop. If you ever come to town let me know and we can sit together, it’ll be great! I won’t steal your dessert, I swear! (I’m lying).
This very lucky kitten was reunited with her owner after being possibly abducted and then definitely tossed from a car. Yay happy endings! Boo stupid people! There’s really not much more to the story than that, except for this awesome quote from the police chief involved in the investigation:
He said that cats are ‘free spirits,’ and there is no clear evidence of how the kitten got into the car. But police are operating under the assumption that someone stole it, he added.
Free spirits, ahoy!
[via the Boulder Daily Camera]
Super great artist Christo may make sheep sad! »
I love Christo,* like love love love. Like want to wrap him up in a fake silk tarp and keep him on my mantle.** He’s the mother-loving man. BUT I do NOT like art projects that bother animals! There is a big debate over Christo’s latest project, "Over the River," as it may displace/disrupt/harm the bighorn sheep in Colorado. In typical Christo style, they want to “suspend 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado.”*** But apparently, bighorn sheep have delicate constitutions and people fear the disruption to the environment will totally freak them out; According to a former president of the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society,**** “sheep are a stress-sensitive species and are susceptible to large die-offs when conditions are not favorable.” Bad!
But Christo thinks the bighorns will be fine! And he’s “offered to provide ‘substantial funds’ for bighorn sheep habitat enhancement projects.” When Christo says substantial funds, he means SUBSTANTIAL funds. Homeboy is paid. That’s actually one thing I really like about him—he gets no government subsidizing for his projects, even though they are a huge boom to tourism (not to mention totally awesome). Funds for Over the River, which is expected to cost $50 million,***** will be raised in the same way he gets all his money: “through the sale of the preparatory studies, early works from the ’50s and ’60s and original lithographs on other subjects.” Damn, son. That’s a lot of [daiya] cheddar for some sketches and random shit wrapped in burlap.
As for supporters of the project, some people are like, um, the hanging fabric will be nice for them! It will provide shade! And other people are like, um, we put a damn highway and railroad there and the sheep are still chilling. And still more are like, um, we totally hunt bighorn sheep every year, why are you suddenly worried about them when you routinely sanction their murder? Of course while I see the validity of that last point, my solution is to outlaw hunting! Yay! Dishes are done. Got any other problems for me to solve? Oh right, there’s this art thing. I don’t know, I’m kind of like, maybe he shouldn’t do it because I think animals trump art. Or maybe they can test a little area and see how the sheep react? Because that’s the thing, no one actually knows how the sheep will react. Maybe bighorn sheep are super into conceptual art. Who can say. Thoughts?
BONUS! Christo’s Wrapped Islands:
*Did you know Jeanne-Claude, Christo’s partner, died in ‘09? I didn’t and I feel like a big jerk. So sad.
**Yeah I have a mantle, I fucking rule.
***I’m no cartographer but those numbers seem a little off, no?
****How can I get down with THAT party?