It’s Toby time! Revisiting my favorite maltipoo  »

I thought there was no room in my heart for dogs. Cats, I understand them; they are moody, picky, sassy, make no qualms about wanting to scratch your eyes out if you mess with them and when they love you, it’s like being initiated into a super-secret club in which you two are the only members.

My cold, dark heart began to melt last summer when I met my sister’s dogs, Jake and Billy. They loved me the instant they met me (I do always appreciate having the upper hand) and followed me around as if I was the leader of their playful, slobbery doggie pack.

Billy and Jake. Jake suffers from red eye, much like myself.

Now, it’s official: Toby has stolen my heart and is running with it. I read this little guy’s updates everyday, and just bought the homemade vegan dog biscuits for Jake and Billy. Hopefully my sister will be able to give me a review by the end of the week!image
Toby is having a slew of medical problems, yet his parents, John and Veronica, can see the fight in his eyes and are doing everything they can to get him healthy again.

John explained to me, “Toby is family. By choice we don’t have kids; our dogs are our kids. Toby has a shot at a normal (or closely monitored normal-ish) life but he needs time to get regulated. The idea to sell the biscuits was inspired by the Apron Campaign, which I got Veronica for her birthday last year. We looked for ideas of what we could do to help raise money for Toby so we could afford to keep his treatment going.”image
Toby and his “sis,” Meg

I’m rooting for you Toby! If we lose you, I’ll never find it in my heart love dogs again! Okay, not true. You’ve actually opened my eyes to the adorable world of dogs, and perhaps one day, when I have the living space, I will have a pooch companion.image
Toby, I love you so!

[Photos of Toby by John and Veronica]


Meet Toby! Help save his maltipoo life!  »

This cutie pie maltipoo needs our help, stat. You see, Toby has been diagnosed with both diabetes and a disease called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). He needs only insulin for his diabetes, but a cocktail of other medications for the IMHA, including prednisone, cyclosporen, doxycyclin and leflunemide. The meds for IMHA actually make Toby’s diabetes worse, and therefore he has been hospitalized. We all know how quickly vet bills can add up!

The family caring for Toby has created Time For Toby, a blog explaining his condition and how he came to be a part of their household. It also serves as an avenue to buy vegan dog biscuits, vegan biscotti or simply donate some cash to help support Toby. They need money to buy more time, to find a perfect balance of meds to regulate this little guy. You know you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror if you don’t help out, so DO IT!


Fundraiser for Japan! Tonight’s the night! It’s gonna be all right! ‘Cause I love you girl! Etc.!  »

The hour is upon us, my friends! DJ Megan Rascal is warming up the ones and twos! We are going to 1) raise money for Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support and Americares, and 2) TURN THIS MOTHER OUT. In no particular order.

To recap:

Tuesday, May 10, from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at Southpaw, 125 5th Ave. in Brooklyn.

It’s $15 and 18 and over. Yay, kids! You can hang! The event has a Facebook page and you can buy advance tickets on Southpaw’s website. Southpaw kind of rules so this should be fun! It’s only a few blocks from my place, so you might see me wheeling my records over. Say hi!

If you want a preview of my skillz, you can check out and download (for free!) a few of my mixes on

Come on down! Make SURE you say hi to me if you come because I don’t know anyone else who’s going. You don’t even have to say “hi,” you can get straight to the point.


Help house the hens of Harvest Home!  »

Harvest Home Sanctuary has 50 rescued hens
whose enclosure needs big repairs before the seasonal cold arrives. They estimate these repairs will cost $1,000, and in order to raise those funds they’ve initiated a campaign on Facebook.

Five days in, and they’ve raised just over $400—not enough, you guys! Harvest Home is great: they care for 175 animals on two acres, including the buns rescued by the House Rabbit Society, and they do it all with donations and volunteers. Can you give a few dollars to keep their hens warm and safe this winter? Chickens may look eerily similar to dinosaurs, but they’re much more delicate, and need a house for snuggling. So come on already and help them get their house!


Awesome people doing awesome things for animals: Sacramento’s Brooke Byrd!  »

Vegansaurus loves food! And yelling about injustice! And telling you how you can help fight injustice, especially through food! We also love—no to the DUH—animals, and the people who love to help them! That’s why today we’re bringing you an interview with one such volunteer, Brooke Byrd!

Vegansaurus: What are the Apawstrophes?
Brooke Byrd: The Apawstrophes is my team for the Sacramento SPCA’s annual Doggie Dash fundraiser. The team name is a play on my love for both grammar and animals, and my constant desire to mix the two (The Catastrophes was a close second, and would also be my roller derby name). So far the team is just me and a few close friends (plus some other random animal-lover I’ve never met). We’re raising money and pet supplies!

How did you get involved in this?
In November I started volunteering for the Sacramento SPCA, and I know first-hand the high volume of animals that come through. As a nonprofit, the SPCA relies entirely on donations through events like the Doggie Dash to take care of all the critters it houses.

How can other people get involved?
Find your local SPCA or animal shelter (donating directly to the local facility will put funds where they’re needed on the ground) and donate supplies, money or time. Most shelters are always in need of blankets and towels, and toys, treats, office supplies, etc. are always appreciated. Most shelters have volunteer programs as well—be prepared to dedicate some time to training.

How long have you been volunteering for animals? Do you do any other volunteer work, or are you exclusively animal-oriented?
I’ve only been at the [Sacramento] SPCA since November, but in college volunteered at the California Raptor Center in Davis. I’m also dedicated to the cause of marriage equality, and spend time at Equality California headquarters nearly every week-–if you’re in Sacramento and signed a petition at some time, I’ve probably called you. I also spend time as an escort at Planned Parenthood when needed.

You love animals—tell us about your current menagerie.
Currently I have three cats, one of which has developed a recent habit of enthusiastically vomiting on my carpet; two snakes named when I was first reading Harry Potter (Sly & Gryff); and a Tokay gecko named Spike who barks & hisses. Spike’s a girl, btw. I’ve also had a hedgehog named Puck and leopard geckos, and my parents currently house our family horses and dog.

What’s the deal with Sacramento—is it really terrible, or are there hidden treasures? Are there secrets animal lovers should know about it?
Sacramento, especially the midtown area, is changing pretty rapidly—for the better. We’ve got some pretty awesome little stores (Sugar Shack!) and restaurants, and the whole town is thoroughly saturated in Gold Rush-era history. It may not be your thing, but it’s still pretty cool to know about. And, it’s always amusing to watch tourists in knee socks and sandals taking a carriage ride through Old Sacramento. There’s also almost always something to do—concerts in the park and farmer’s markets everywhere, plus they even celebrated the first-ever Sacramento Beer Week in February. The Amgen Tour of California just happened in mid-May. Sac is also pretty perfectly placed-–less than two hours to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, wine country & Northern California.
And, while I’m not a big fan of veggies, Sac surprisingly has quite a few vegan/vegetarian options—there’s a food cart in downtown that has awesome eggplant, and Sugar Plum Vegan Café is also popular (the bakery looks awesome) [Ed: it is!].

As an employee of a California tourism organization, what about the state is especially awesome for animals? Animal-lovers?

Sacramento has tons of dog parks—my friend is obsessive mommy to a puggle and I swear she visits a different one every weekend. There are also tons of cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating, where pets are welcome.
For animal lovers, there are some amazing local spots to check out wildlife—rafting down the American River or hiking the Yolo Basin. We’re also close to Davis and the Raptor Center, which rehabilitates hawks, eagles and owls, but also has some resident creatures. And, if you don’t mind zoos, the Sacramento Zoo recently opened a majorly renovated giraffe exhibit with a huge raised deck.

What else should I have asked you that I didn’t?
How I handle sitting at work all day without any animals. The answer: Cute Overload, and my Cute Overload daily calendar, with which I have wallpapered my cubicle [Ed: check out Oct. 1!].

Thanks, Brooke! Good luck next week!

Hey pals! Are you doing something great for animals that Vegansaurus readers should know about? Get it touch! Maybe you’re cleaning birds on the Gulf Coast; maybe you foster rabbits for SaveABunny; maybe you draft legislation to keep people from shooting at animals from helicopters with automatic weapons—you’re great, and we want to hear from you.


Debating organics, praising McDonald’s (?!!??), drinking mezcal and MORE in today’s link-o-rama!  »

 This chinchilla is wearing a boy! This boy is wearing a chinchilla! Who’s the boss? With animals who have not been domesticated for very long, like chinchillas, you never can say. Just stay very still and marvel at how light they are compared to how dense they look. [photo credit: I have no idea, sorry. Let us know!]

Exciting vegan-style events!
Hey L.A.! This weekend Keep is having a sample sale, where you can save up to 60 percent on all kinds of super-hot sneakers. Be at the Keep offices at 418a Bamboo Lane today and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday May 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., for shoes shoes shoes.

Tomorrow, Saturday May 15, BAARN will participate in an international day of awareness for marine mammals in captivity, and protest in favor of the retirement of Lolita, the oldest orca in captivity (and also possibly the loneliest—her companion of 10 years basically committed suicide in 1980 and she’s been on her own since). There will be two events from noon to 2 p.m.: one at the entrance of Pier 39, near the Embarcadero and Stockton Street in San Francisco; and one at the Berkeley Marina, at the first parking lot on the left in the south sailing basin. BAARN asks that you email here for further information.

Next Thursday, May 20, Rocket Dog Rescue is having a fashion show fundraiser, with vegan snacks and drinks and clothes and all kinds of good times! Be at Mayes at 1233 Polk St. at Fern Street (hey Polk Gulch!) at 8 p.m.—RSVP here first and it’s $10, without an RSVP it’ll cost you $15. But who cares, the money goes to Rocket Dog! For more information about the designers and sponsors, visit the Avant-Gardist.

Items of varying degrees of interest!
So how did the foie gras protests at Thomas Keller’s restaurants go last weekend? According to Eater, “rowdy,” “timid,” and “calm,” depending on location. CNN seems to have just cottoned on to the notion that some people find foie gras reprehensible.

Edible Geography explores the community gardens of New York City, which have never been studied before? The maps and photos are great!

Lebanon made an obscene amount of hummus and falafel, beating Israel’s obscene record of hummus and falafel, and uncomfortably get all nationalistic for reasons we don’t understand. Still: hummus and falafel, yum yum yum.

The Chronicle's Cellarist blog thinks that mezcal will be the big new liquor. I say, YES PLEASE. I had the most amazing cocktail in Mexico City made with mezcal; it was smoky and a little fruity and a little sweet, wicked strong and so delicious, and I’ve never been able to find a recipe online that makes sense. And no, vegans, mezcal does not need to contain a drowned worm to be authentic.

Mark Bittman is agog because distance runner Scott Jurek somehow manages to eat “5,000 to 8,000 calories a day”—as a vegan! What what what?!??!! Isn’t vegan food all super-low-calorie and super-healthy? Doesn’t everyone eating a vegan diet lose 50 pounds, like, one week after starting it? Aren’t all vegans super-skinny, struggling to get enough calories as regular, non-athletes? HOW IS SCOTT JUREK MEDICALLY POSSIBLE?!??!!!

"Environmentalism must become an economic vision." "Theses on Sustainability" by Eric Zencey in Orion Magazine.

Meanwhile, the Independent tries to convince us that McDonald’s “has been a positive force for change.” Still “killing lots of mass-produced animals”? I’m not convinced. Get your blood pressure down with an interview with Grist's Tom Philpott on the role of class in “the food debate.”

An SPCA-run animal shelter in Ontario, Canada will euthanize over 350 of its animals due to an outbreak of an especially virulent case of ringworm that has spread to staff members.

Back in April, the National Research Council released a report stating that genetically modified crops weren’t all bad—mostly right now what’s bad is the way they’re being used, and monopolized, and how we the public have no trust in them. I will agree that I don’t trust them, and Monsanto is the devil, but that’s about it.

Sorry about being totally tardy to the party here, but a couple weeks ago there was an awesome fight in Foreign Policy that you guys will totally love. First, Robert Paarlberg gets all snotty about how “the organic movement” is a big waste of time, only for rich jerks, and if we really want to feed the world, we have to follow the rules of industrial agriculture. Second, Anna Lappé totally smacks him down with a perfect deconstruction of his silly arguments, explaining how truly organic farming could feed the whole world much more efficiently and sustainably. It’s so good.


Animals in space, bunches of books, 1 million events, ovine poetry, the Panda Channel, AND MORE in this weekend’s link-o-rama!  »

Welcome to this weekend’s link-o-rama! This time, with images! First we have for you a ton of events, because what are you doing this weekend? Well, a whole lot NOW, right? DUH OF COURSE.

If you missed Mine when it played earlier this year, you can catch it tonight, Saturday Feb. at 7 at Hollywoof, with your dog(s)! What? OK, it’s this crazy fundraiser by Dogopolis, and actually there will be a double-feature with Sniff. If your dog is unhappy all cooped up because of the bad weather, this is how to make it up to him/her. It’s at Dogpile Dogs, 1338 Illinois St., and the doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Too much for you? Take your dog to the Grateful Dogs Rescue happy hour at Doc’s Clock (2575 Mission St. at 22nd Street) from 4 to 8 p.m. today. Proceeds will benefit Chico and Georgie of GDR.

The BAARN Activist Showcase is tonight, at the SF SPCA (243 Alabama St.) from 6 to 9. Admission is free; there will be snacks. Don’t show up too drunk after the GDR happy hour, OK? That is seriously unprofessional.

Hey South-Central Bay! The super-cool kids of the San Lorenzo Valley High School Animal Right Club are having a bakesale for Haiti on Thursday, Feb. 11 at noon on the Senior Lawn! I am being 0 percent sarcastic when I say super-cool kids, I wish we’d had an Animal Rights Club at my high schools. Good luck, SLVARC, you guys are The Best!

Everyone’s favorite CELEBRITY VEGAN CHEF Tal Ronnen will teach a course on plant-based cooking at the California Culinary Academy on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. You can attend! RSVP by Monday (Feb. 8) to Kristin Treat. If you can’t make it, he’ll be at the Whole Foods (ugh) at 1765 California St. on Thursday, Feb. 11 from noon to 2 p.m., giving a demonstration featuring Gardein.

Vegansaurus’ beloved Rocket Dog Rescue is holding a fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Elixir (3200 16th St. at Guerrero Street) from 9 p.m. to last call to benefit a puppy with Parvo and a puppy with a cleft palate. Per usual, there will be a raffle with terrific prizes, plus vegan cupcakes, and local cewebrity bartenders! Be there or be a big selfish jerk!!!

Check out Soul Food For Thought/The Real Roots of Liberation on Friday, Feb. 12 at the Herbst Theater (401 Van Ness Ave. at McAllister Street). It’s sponsored by the SF Vegetarian Society, In Defense of Animals, and Go Vegan Radio, and is a celebration of Black History Month and a benefit for the International Fund for Africa. Get your tickets now; get more information from Bob Linden of Go Vegan Radio.

Don’t forget, the next SF Vegan Bakesale is happening on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ike’s (3506 16th St. at Sanchez Street)!! It’s going to be great and you know it!

And now, your weekend reading
The 2010 Big Eat SF by 7x7 magazines names eight items that are verifiably vegan, in a list of 100. I believe this is better than last year’s list, even though at least two of these items are cocktails.

The President wants to decrease farm subsidies! And increase funding to school lunch programs, using the money the government wouldn’t be subsidizing devil-companies like Monsanto and DuPont! I am dreaming, aren’t I?

The greatest nation in the history of nations, Iran, put a bunch of live animals in a rocket and shot it into space on Wednesday, because Scientific Progress. The animals include one rat, two turtles, and an undisclosed number of worms. There is no word on what will happen to the animals, but Iran is totally talking to GOD, so that’s all right.

The Manolo tells Kanye and his incoherent “defense” of wearing fur to shut it.

Boldtype makes a (non-comprehensive) list of fictional works with animal points of view.

One of Vegansaurus’ founding editors returned to her hippie college for hippies this week! We’re so proud of her! We also hope she gets lots of use out of PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook, which apparently makes copious use of the microwave. One of my worst cooking-related college memories involves tacos and a grease fire; one of my best involves a vegan pineapple upside-down cake. Tell us your college cooking stories, please! If you are not yet in college, Vegansaurus does not advocate your reading so many swears. KIDDING! Swears are the best.

This is not news but we never mentioned it so: Thailand has a Panda Channel, and you can watch it online on Lin Ping’s homepage. You’ll probably need a fix since China repossessed Butterstick on Thursday.

Blue whales have changed their songs. Apparently they’re singing lower, which makes the reporter anthropomorphize them into Barry White-style manly men who are more potent and way more into boning than they used to be. Nice one, LA Times.

Valerie Laws is a poet who has spray-painted the words of a sheep-related poem onto the backs of actual sheep. Then the sheep wander around and inadvertently create new poems. Because sheep don’t have to put up with enough stupid shit from humans.

SFGate launched a Bay Area food carts feature this week, using Google Maps and Twitter. Social media! Obnoxious nouns! Honestly though this seems fairly useful, at least for those of you who don’t already know how to track your favorite food carts online. FYI: we love Bike Basket Pies and Banh Mai.

The Humane Society is currently taking entries for its annual Spay Day contest. Enter your pet and get everyone you’ve ever connected with to vote for it. Each vote costs $1 and all proceeds go to charities chosen by the human companions of the pets you vote for.

Jonathan Kauffman of SFoodie says that unpaid food writers can be excellent critics, too, as long as they hold themselves to the same ethical standards as big-time food writers. Thanks, JKauff; we do try over here.

The European Union is looking to list bluefin tuna on the endangered species Appendix 1, which includes “pandas and some whales;” this would “effectively ban international trade in the fish,” because there are so few of them. Nice job, sushi-lovers. Though should we say, nice job fish-eaters the world over: there is no such thing as sustainable fish at all! Yeah, a total lie.

Aw, has anyone seen Orion Levine’s missing ant, Ant?

Remember that big exposé of the Bushway slaughterhouse by HSUS in November? Three months later, absolutely nothing has happened. Awesome show, great job, USDA!


Vegan bakesale for Haiti a great success!  »

Guess who went to the vegan bakesale this weekend: STALIN! Just kidding! It was me. A few pals and I headed over there Saturday afternoon. Let me tell you all about it!

Because of the rain, Mercury Cafe hosted the bakesale, and damn, was it poppin’! There were tons of people and tons of baked goods. We ended up buying kind of A LOT of stuff. The omnivores were OBSESSED with the purple sweet potato bars. They were definitely good, but my heart was taken by a delicious slice of “monkey bread.” If you are like me, this is the first you’ve ever heard of monkey bread. It is not made of monkeys, nor is it for monkeys. Monkey bread is a delightful collection of balls of dough with cinnamon sugar baked in between. Holy hell, it was ooey-gooey awesomeness! Of course I also had some yummy mini chocolate cupcakes courtesy of Sugar Beat Sweets and ever-lovely Vegansaur Jordan. I love the peanut butter frosting! It’s salty-sweet. And why do things taste so good when they are mini?! Except mini-corn; it’s not as good as regular corn. That’s right, I said it! Mini cupcakes, though, off the hizzle!

Let’s see, what else did I try—kind of everything! I’m so serious; I’m having horrible sugar withdrawal as I write. I’m half-sugar, half-human! There were super-excellent pumpkin muffins, yummy maple oat scones (the food of my people!), crazy peanut butter oat cookie things, pineapple muffins and chocolate cookies galore! There were even these Swedish cardamom buns that my Swedish friend tried; she said they tasted like childhood! Really, everybody was beyond pleased. I for one was ecstatic. I spent a lot of money, ate my feelings, and $3,375 was raised for Haiti! Yay!

The PPK has the details on other vegan bakesales for Haiti across the country.

Beautiful collage photographed and assembled by my friend Emmet (the Swedish cardamom bun taste tester!). Thanks Emmet!


Fundraiser for animals in Haiti! Humans welcome!  »

First thing really super fast. If you’re in San Francisco tomorrow (Sat Jan 23), stop by the SF Vegan Bakesale for Haiti and eat lots of deliciousness for two charities that need the money VERY BADLY RIGHT NOW! Moving on!

If you do not use twitter, you might not know that there are about a zillion “anipals” on there. These are twitter accounts people make for their pets (though don’t forget about @common_squirrel). One of the most famous anipals is of course @sockington, who has over 1.5 million followers. But there are some anipals you may recognize—like Junior Vegansaur Figaro! (I just made up Junior Vegansaur! Hazel, you want in on this?!) My dog Figaro has over 1,000 followers, which is 3 times as many as I have. Yes.

Now, the anipals are a pretty tight-knit community. One thing they do is have a monthly “pawpawty.” On, they have a pretty clear explanation for what exactly a pawpawty is (yes,—I’m telling you, they are organized!):

A PawPawty is a virtual “party” held once a month on Twitter where anipals have fun and raise money for animal charities. It is like having a real “party” but everything takes place in the twitterverse. There are lots of new pals to meet, fun pawty food and drinks as well as music to listen to. We share photos, sing, dance and have contests where you can win great prizes.

While there’s music and prizes (mind you these prizes are real, not virtual), the fundraising takes center stage. If this all sounds crazy to you, what isn’t crazy is that they raise between $1,000 and $1,500 a month for animal charities. Yowza! That’s no joke. Usually the charity is selected by vote, but there was an overwhelming consensus this month that the money go to the animal welfare organizations helping in Haiti. If that isn’t enticing enough, DJFiggyFig will be spinning tunes via at noon SF time tomorrow! Since the theme this month is Viva Wag Vegas in honor of Elvis’ 75th birthday, DJFiggyFig will take a break from his gangster rap diet and play all Elvis songs!

The pawpawty starts at 11 a.m. PST Saturday, Jan. 23rd, and ends Sunday at 11 a.m. There are anipals all over the world so the parties go pretty strong for the entire 24 hours. If you can’t make it to the party but still want to donate, you can do that here. But if you DO make it to the party, be sure holler at your boy @FigaroRascal! He will take requests from all Vegansaur friends! And if you need to hear that UB40 Elvis cover, I think he can make that happen.


This Saturday (Jan. 23) is the SF Vegan Bakesale for Haiti! All proceeds from the sale go to Partners in Health in Haiti and Food for Life. Please come and buy everything and donate more if you can because obviously, the whole situation in Haiti is beyond belief and we must do something. Vegansaurus PSA BREAK!
Oh wait, there’s more. If you’re on Yelp, please say that you’re attending the event so that it gets popular!!
If you want a copy of the flyer to post somewhere it’s not fucking raining (good luck with that!), email me!
Mad thanks to Jen from Sugar Beat Sweets for doing a major chunk of the work and makin it happen, cap’n. You’re a superstar!
Oh and if you’re not in SF, there are currently bakesales happening all over the country, check ‘em out!

This Saturday (Jan. 23) is the SF Vegan Bakesale for Haiti! All proceeds from the sale go to Partners in Health in Haiti and Food for Life. Please come and buy everything and donate more if you can because obviously, the whole situation in Haiti is beyond belief and we must do something. Vegansaurus PSA BREAK!

Oh wait, there’s more. If you’re on Yelp, please say that you’re attending the event so that it gets popular!!

If you want a copy of the flyer to post somewhere it’s not fucking raining (good luck with that!), email me!

Mad thanks to Jen from Sugar Beat Sweets for doing a major chunk of the work and makin it happen, cap’n. You’re a superstar!

Oh and if you’re not in SF, there are currently bakesales happening all over the country, check ‘em out!

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