vegansaurus!

02/08/2011

Interview with a vegan: Kate Dollarhyde!  »

You know who’s great? Kate Dollarhyde! She brews vegan beer, helps run Craft Bar—remember the upcycling plastic class?—and has excellent taste in shoes. No wonder Laura wanted to interview her!

Vegansaurus: Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
Kate Dollarhyde: When I first decided to go vegan it was absolutely for animal rights reasons. How could I see the evidence of animal abuses and torment and not act, especially when the act, for me, would be so easy? I was lucky to go vegan where I did—right in the center of San Francisco: a block from a forward-thinking Safeway, a quick jaunt from Rainbow Grocery, mere feet from the Castro farmers’ market. It was like magic, the convenience of it.

As I matured in my veganity, I read over and over about how destructive animal farming is to our ecosystems, our soils, and that’s what really sealed the deal. And health? I was never concerned with health! Do you guys know how many cupcakes I eat? I’m at like at least 1,000 per day. I might have a problem.

Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
Dollarhyde: I’ve been vegan for four-ish years. I’m not completely sure, but I know my veganniversary is in April sometime. I was a vegetarian for two years before that, though that was much more difficult than the veganism is because my family was less willing to accommodate me, especially during holiday meals. But my dad is vegan now, so it’s all good.

Vegansaurus: What do you do to make monies? Tell us all about it.
Dollarhyde: I do very thrilling desk work for a biotech start up in Berkeley; you know, research, coffee brewing, presentation compiling, dish-doing, all the exciting stuff. I was wary of taking the job because (in the interest of full disclosure) the company I work for contracts with labs that do animal testing. I didn’t have a lot of options when I graduated from college with a useless BA in a field that requires a doctorate, so when I was offered a job that would pay me a living wage with health and dental insurance included, I couldn’t turn it down.

The device they’re developing could save millions of human lives a year, but I still find it difficult to square with my vegan beliefs. Of course I’m against animal testing, but if one of my family members contracted the disease they’re trying to cure would I be glad the device existed? Heck yes I would be.

Vegansaurus: I know you volunteer with various organizations—what’s up? How can we get involved with some of them?
Dollarhyde: I volunteer at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art every Saturday, down in the museum district near the SFMOMA and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. It’s a fantastic space and the people I work with are phenomenal. The museum works hard to engage the community for education and fun times, so every first Thursday we host a crafting event in partnership with Etsy called Craft Bar. It’s always hugely crowded and rowdy because of the cheap beer and is always the highlight of my month.

 The best way to get involved with the museum (and other small, under-funded museums like them!) is to ring them up and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Small museums are chronically understaffed and could always use a helping hand at the front desk or during events. And unlike at the large museums with competitive volunteer waitlists, small museums will usually give you the opportunity to do a variety of work. I was asked to help with aspects our recent exhibit installation and it was too dang fun.

Vegansaurus: Do you have any companion animals? Tell us all about them!
Dollarhyde: I have two cats! Boris, a giant bruiser of cat, and Rhubarb, a feisty little spitfire my partner and I adopted from the SFSPCA. Some complete jerk abandoned her in a cardboard box in the parking lot outside of the shelter at night, in the winter. Boris is a total weirdo, really vocal, and needy in a completely adorable way. He likes to wake my partner up in the morning by standing on his chest and licking his hair. Rhuby is a much more normal cat; she’ll roll on her back and lure you in with the promise of sweet, sweet belly rubs, and then just bite your shit like it ain’t no thing. She likes to sleep under the covers with us so she’ll usually stand by my head at 2 a.m. and meow until I lift of the covers so she can come in for a snuggle. It’s too cute to be annoying.

Vegansaurus: Do you have any super-cute photos of animals to share with us? 
Dollarhyde: Have you seen this video of someone’s pet fox licking a window? Because it’s amazing.

Vegansaurus: What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
Dollarhyde: I’m boring—I’ve always been a panda person. And my family was really weird about it! Every holiday someone would give me a panda stuffed animal until suddenly I was 18 and there were like 30 stuffed pandas in my room and people would come over and be like, Kate, wtf?

Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan cookbook?
Dollarhyde: That is an impossible question, Laura. You know that is like the meanest question ever. But, well, fine. It has to be Vegan with a Vengeance. When I first went vegan I, like most newly hatched vegans, had no idea what or how to cook. Isa showed me the way, and now I cook every damn day and I’m actually not too bad at it. The book is the stuff of dreams.

My other favorite cookbook is Strong Waters but it’s not exactly vegan, just full of exciting recipes for exciting alcoholic beverages. I like to brew when I have the free time and Strong Waters covers all the esoteric weirdness I love to make the most.

Vegansaurus: What’s your favorite vegan dish to make? What about for a vegan bakesale?
Dollarhyde: Call me Garfield, baby, because I love lasagna. For a bakesale? Carrot cake! Always! Carrot cake is my second favorite food; it should be a food group all on its own. And it should have the biggest part of the food pyramid.

Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
Dollarhyde: How could you do this to me? How could you make me choose? Southern fried tofu and collards at Souley Vegan, or curry soba soup at Cha-Ya? Is there even a God?

Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan restaurant?
Dollarhyde: Ugh, it’s impossible. Souley Vegan.

Vegansaurus: Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
Dollarhyde: Yes, absolutely! Party at my house! You bring the booze, I’ll make the tacos!

Vegansaurus: Any questions for Vegansaurus? Anything!
Dollarhyde: Is there a secret clubhouse I can visit? [Ed.: We wish! Someone finance the rent on a secret clubhouse/large cardboard box we can use as a mobile office!]

Are you a great vegan? Are you doing great vegan things? We want to to know more about you! Email Laura for more information on The Vegansaurus Interview!

01/06/2011

Did you know January is a total DEATH MONTH? For real, we’re all GOING TO DIE!  »


Or at least we will if we live in Arkansas or Florida, or Kentucky or Louisiana or Maryland or Texas, or Australia or Brazil or England or New Zealandit’s flooding poisonous snakes and crocodiles in Australia, and everywhere else animals are falling from the sky or washing ashore dead as doornails. There’s a “hilarious” Taiwanese animation about it, but by “hilarious” I mean “kind of horrifying,” so please click the above link to watch it, should you feel any desire to. I don’t!

I’m not saying it’s “end times”—Vegansaurus is saving that joke for 2012, obviously. It may however be a DEATH MONTH, in which loads of air and sea creatures die and other animals attempt to kill us people, for reasons we can’t fathom, because we are not smart enough. Also we’re too scared, which is on the other hand totally easy to understand, as this is terrifying! Maybe it’s nature’s judgment for our having been awful monsters for so long, although that doesn’t explain why a bunch of innocent animals have to die for us to learn not to be such jerks.

Probably all these horrors are directly related to our ruining our environment. You know, I bet it’s plastics’ fault. We need to reduce our plastics consumption, you guys! Hey, maybe start by attending that Etsy event at Craft Bar tonight! Since plastic is utterly unavoidable, though, let’s try investing in bioplastic! The planet is obviously trying to expunge us, for crimes against existence; let’s try to do a little to mitigate our horrible selfishness, before the 100 tons of dead fish washing ashore become 100 tons of LIVING fish washing ashore, ones that have mutated into flesh-eating, air-breathing monsters who use their fins to fly out of the waves to kill us all in as painful a manner as possible.

Fish and birds are kinda scary, right? But better the air and the water full of scary potential people-destroyers than totally empty except for our own toxic waste. HA HA we’re all going to die!

[blackbird by Sergey Yeliseev; snapper by tkw954. Inspiration from Richard L.]

01/05/2011

Learn the true meaning of “upcycling” with Etsy at Craft Bar!  »

The Museum of Craft and Folk Art (MCFA) in San Francisco has a Craft Bar! And at Craft Bar on Thursday, Jan. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., Etsy Labs will teach you how to turn disposable plastic shopping bags into useful items like aprons, or perhaps sturdier plastic bags suitable for multiple uses! Katherine Coleman from KJC Designs will demonstrate how to make a “felt bib necklace,” Kelly Ball from Realia will make “coil-wrapped wire rings,” and “local artist Nicole Royer will be teaching a workshop on how to upcycle old jeans into beautiful necklaces.”

Also, beer! There will be beer “kindly provided” by Trumer Pils, which isn’t listed on Barnivore but is served at multiple vegan restaurants, so we guess it’s cruelty-free. Does “kindly provided” mean “free”—we’re not sure! But we are finding out for you, and will update once we know! Sweets la Petite will provide snacks—cupcakes—and they don’t have vegan flavors, so you’ll want that beer for a nice pre-dinner snack. Or dinner, you know we don’t judge.

It costs $5 to get into the museum, at which point Craft Bar is free, including all materials for crafting. The MCFA is at 51 Yerba Buena Lane, between Mission and Market and Third and Fourth Streets in SOMA. You should go! Plastic refuse is choking our seas and poisoning every living creature on Earth—make something useful from some of your plastic trash, already! Live by the three R’s, die by the three R’s.

Update: Katy tells us that the beer will be free—though donations to the museum are always deeply appreciated!—and chips and salsa may make an appearance as well. Thanks, Katy!

[photos of plastic bag projects, from top: bag by stitchlily; bag by lemurdillo; basket by sarahratcha, which you can buy at her etsy store! Thanks to Flavorpill SF for the tip!]

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