Our Jonas (creator of the pink dino!) made this comic about our trials and tribulations with getting food and other (literal) crap out of Hazel's mouth on walks. It's part of the genius The Comic Book Guide to the Mission, that you all need to buy, because it is awesome and will make you a better person. Purchase it and have your very own Laura (that’s my fancy new website, you like?!) and Jonas and Hazel to keep you company. SO FUN. I have nothing more to say because I woke up hella late today and bitch be scrambling HELP ME.
Bay Area pit bull lovers: NOW is the time to adopt! »
I don’t know if any of you saw this San Francisco Chronicle story about the terrified and emaciated and covered-in-blood-and-bruises pit bulls who were found in the back of an East Oakland home? It’s really fucking sad and upsetting and we should all be heartbroken and pissed. If you’ve ever known and loved a pit bull (and to know a pit bull is to love a pit bull because these mofos are the BEST), this is especially devastating. Bullies thrive on love and really crave human attention and affection and so to be so abused and neglected, UGH FUCK YOU WORLD. However, one of the greatest things about pit bulls is how resilient they are. Not many other breeds (or say, humans) can be abused to the brink of destruction and then bounce back and choose to love again. They are so trusting and loving, these cute-ass little tail-waggers OMG I LOVE PIT BULLS SO MUCH. When I first started volunteering at shelters, I was kinda scared of them without any real basis, except for OMG PIT BULLS. The more I walked and fostered the breed, the more I saw how fucking awesome they are. They are so fucking awesome. I’ve fostered hundreds (literally hundreds) of pit bulls since 2000, and I’ve never had anything but fantastic experiences with all of them. So the next time someone is talking any shit on the breed, send their asses to me and we will tussle. Or I will rationally explain to them why they’re racist. DONE and DONE.
ADOPT A PIT BULL! They make the absolute best dog friends ever and you do your own small form of activism every time you walk down the street with your pal. People can meet and talk to a real life pit bull and see that they aren’t the scary monsters from the 10 o’clock news. Plus, they are excellent at cleaning the floor, and make terrific supplemental heaters in the winter. OH, and they snore SO CUTE. When a human snores, I want to throw them out a window, but when Hazel snores, MY HEART I CAN’T TAKE IT.
So adopt a pit bull today, already! Or a pit mix! You will not regret this decision, trust me. And if adopting seems too scary, contact a rescue group about fostering. All the love without all the commitment! I get it; commitment is scary and dying alone is a more pleasurable option. Anyway, DO IT.
[photos via Oakland Animal Services; Fifi by Sarah Atkins Photography]
The End Dogfighting campaign: the HSUS helps ex-dogfighters with education and looooove »
Stereotypically, your Vegansaurus loves public radio. We also love dogs, DUH, and pit bulls particularly. Today’s Morning Edition returned that love hundredfold, with a story about personal and canine redemption.
The End Dogfighting campaign began in Chicago in 2006, expanded to Atlanta in 2008, and has just begun in Philadelphia. It “recruits former dogfighters and young, at-risk pit bull owners to take weekly training classes with their pets.” And you know what happens when people take their dogs to quality training classes on a regular basis? MAGIC—or, you know, the humans and animals develop mutual respect and love. According to Chicago program leader Tio Hardiman, “there’s a connection between fighting pit bulls and struggling to live in a violent society…. [K]eeping guys out of the world of dogfighting is good for them, their dogs, their families and the rest of the community.”
They also say that Michael Vick’s “testimony” about his former dogfighting exploits is really helpful, as he shares a socioeconomic background with many of the programs’ participants. Look at multimillionaire, making a difference!
What you need to do, though, is go to NPR and listen to Elizabeth Fiedler’s report—like all dogfighting stories, it’s got some horrific elements, but hearing the people talk about their experiences themselves, while the dogs bark all happily in the background, is way more valuable than reading a description.
Dino Bike raised $521 for Hazel’s surgery last Sunday night! NOT BAD. We rocked out(-ish) and gave away delicious mini red velvet cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery that were a hit GODDAMN THOSE LADIES CAN BAKE. Good times were had by all (we hope?)!
Anyway, that’s video of our Top Gun medley. As you can see, it’s totally insane and disturbing. Fun fact: I’m playing the tambourine on the iPad! Another fun fact: Abby and Mark have formed an offshoot band, Harold & Patsy! They combine the sweet stylings of the ukulele & the omnichord to create a magical musical experience. Seriously, they’re amazing. I’m hoping to link their performance of a mash-up of “Kids” by MGMT with several Disney princess songs. JUST OMG.
UPDATE: Here, thanks to the video skills of our Steve (and the copious-time-having of Meave), is the debut performance of Harold & Patsy!
[can’t see this video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]
The Vegansaurus guide to the Eat Real Festival! »
Eat Real Festival starts TODAY in Oakland’s Jack London Square. It goes through Sunday, when I’ll be participating in the Porchlight Storytelling Slam from 3 to 5 p.m.! Should be terrifying and humiliating, stop by!
We’ve compiled a list of all the vegan deliciousness there is to eat. Unfortunately, they’re having all sorts of nasty-ass shit going on like butchering contests and other disgusting “urban homesteading” garbage that all the white people in West Oakland are into*.
Here’s your list of all vegan businesses selling eats:
Fat Bottom Bakery (YES!!) and Raw Daddy! Two vegan vendors at a food fest dedicated to food sustainability! It’s a start; hopefully next year they can do more outreach to veg businesses? A festival like this should be crawling with them!
Here’s a list of places selling all vegetarian food & will have vegan items to sell:
A La Cart; Cranky Boots Cold Confections; Fat Face; Ear-good Corn Roast; La Placita Center/Rising Sun Entrepreneurs; Liba Falafel Truk (been wanting to try this place!!); Saul’s Restaurant and Deli; Sweet (if they have vegan tarts GET THEM—upcoming review planned over their amazingness!); and Tante’s.
Plus, a lot of the ice cream and sorbet vendors will have vegan options (HELLO, SCREAM SORBET!) Also, 90 percent of the non-veg vendors selling will have vegan items—check out the selection! Food-wise, it seems like a solidly tasty weekend time investment. Let’s swarm the vegan businesses and have them sell out first! Further date/times/location info for the festival can be found here.
When you’re done with the festival on Sunday, come check out DINO BIKE, playing at the Hemlock in San Francisco! It’s a fundraiser for my dog, Hazel, who just had $4,000 surgery yesterday. And actually, it didn’t go super- well so she might need more and is on complete bed rest for two months. Like, literally no walking. We have to take her outside in a red Radio Flyer wagon so she can go to the bathroom. Seriously.
*Oh calm down, I’m one of you too! I’m just making my own booze and pickling everything in sight instead of getting chickens in the mail (great idea!) to raise like pets and then slaughter because I NEED MEAT TO SURVIVE.
Decorating dog cones is funny! I can’t believe this hasn’t become an internet meme yet. Wait for it…
Until then, enjoy this photo from local dog walker Lucia Rose’s flickr. Her dog photos are off the hook, including some of my very own little lady, Hazel (LOOK AT THAT FACE). Actually, Hazel is her own woman so please don’t tell her I said that. Hazel, if you read this, YOU’RE THE BOSS. I’ll stop down now.
Terrible humans, pandas and puppies, cat cafés, another SF Vegan Bakesale and MORE in today’s link-o-rama! »
First things first: Upcoming events!
The most important event of the weekend: Your SF Vegan Bakesale! Same time, same place as usual—that’s Saturday, Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of Ike’s, at 3506 16th St. at Sanchez Street. Follow the official Twitter for up-to-the-minute information, and BE THERE.
Veg Dr. Steve Blake is in the Bay Area, right now! On Saturday, Feb. 13 he’ll give a lecture on Choosing Supplements Wisely at the Institute on Aging in SF. There’ll be a veg potluck for $2 at 6:30 p.m., and the free (!) lecture will begin at 8 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 18 he’ll speak on Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease at the Smart Life Forum in Palo Alto; he’ll lecture about Healing Medicine on Saturday, Feb. 20 in Pleasanton; and on Making the Journey to a Healthier Diet on Sunday, Feb. 21 in San Mateo. This final event will also include a veg potluck. Check out Dr. Blake’s schedule for specifics!
Meet the angriest vegan in the world! Ingrid Newkirk will make an in-store appearance at the Westfield Centre Aveda on Monday, Feb. 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. She will read from The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights, which you’ll be able to buy from Aveda right there!
The 2010 sf|noir Wine & Food Event begins Wednesday, Feb. 24 and continues through Sunday, Feb. 28. Participating chefs including Bryant Terry (author of Vegan Soul Kitchen), Michele Wilson of Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles, and Michael Law of the Front Porch. There will be vegan food!
And now, your weekend reading!
Good news: the Humane Society is making vegetarian dog food! Now if your dog has trouble with V-Dog, you have another choice. This food isn’t vegan, because it seems that three micronutrients “may come from animal-based sources,” according to our friends at Pawesome, but it seems like a responsible choice for people for don’t want to feed their dogs murdered, diseased horse. Hazel’s a vegan and she’s the happiest, healthiest dog in the city!
Moby and Miyun Park (of Global Animal Partnership) edited a collection of essays called Gristle! It is about “America’s industrial food system” and it sounds pretty interesting. Granted, contributors include Lauren “I’m a model AND related to those two presidents” Bush, and John “no fat chicks” Mackey, but also Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS, and we love the hell out of him! We’ll have more on the speaking tour for this book as it develops.
Friend of Vegansaurus’ Paul Shapiro wrote a tidy little article about how the most shocking, obscenely fucked-up practices of the dairy industry aren’t unique incidents but total industry standards. Lay off the dairy, you are contributing to so much suffering.
On the Whole Foods beat, Wal-Mart’s organic, local (because of cost, SHUT UP CAPITALISTS) foods beat all of WF’s organic, local foods in a blind taste-test, except for the chicken, milk, and pomegranates. No problem for vegans! Unaddressed in this article: how Wal-Mart remains The Devil because of its sexism, racism, and exploitation of workers both domestically and internationally. Go fuck yourselves, all of you.
Your Vegansaurus Editor Maria is going to be published! Her essay about hooking up with a terrible “vegansexual” dude will be part of a collection of ladies writing about sex, called Coming and Crying. We are so proud of you, MD!
It is really hard to have animal companions in your apartment in Japan, so for the deprived, there are cat cafés! You can have tea and hang out with a bunch of non-fancy-breed, totally awesome cats and feel better about life for as long as you like (approximately $9 US per hour).
Ooh fancy! Emily Gould makes Alicia Silverstone’s vegan cupcakes with Marissa Meltzer. Also they talk about feminism and Riot Grrrl history, which is extra-awesome.
Remember those dudes on the Australian I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here who were sued by the Australian RSPCA after they killed and ate a rat on the show? Well! The Aussie RSPCA dropped the suit against the rat-killers, and instead sued ITV, the show’s producers, who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and paid a fine of $3,000 AU on Monday. See, the rat really suffered before it finally died, and the producers didn’t even know if letting the show’s participants murder it was legal.
Oh, PETA. The organization sent a get-well-soon basket to the premier of Newfoundland (abbreviated “N.L.” in the Canadian press, which is very confusing) after his heart surgery on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Apparently he takes Omega-3 supplements made from SEAL OIL, which officially makes him a disgusting human who doesn’t deserve the fancy vegan caviar PETA sent him.
Dear poachers, you are terrible. A baby gorilla caught in one of your traps died this week, despite having been treated by doctors, on a hillside, in the pouring rain.
Supreme Master is opening another Loving Hut in San Francisco! This one will apparently be in Union Square. You know we have mixed feelings about the particularly wacky branch of the Supreme Master tree that is Loving Hut, but as long as they serve the fried “seafood” plate I’ll be happy.
Actually if you really want to be cheered up, you’ll check out these 15 pictures of pandas frolicking in the snow. Pandas love snow! And frolicking! And being best friends! Huuuugs!!
New Year Resolutions, for vegans! »
In the spirits of ringing in the new year (WOOOO NEW YEAR WHAT WHAT IN THE BUTT) and reflection and improvement, we Vegansaurs are sharing our new year’s resolutions with you, dear readers. It can be easy to forget that there’s more to being vegan than abstaining from animal products, so we’ve looked really, really hard into our routines, habits, and patterns for ways to do better in 2010, and here they are! Time to get preachy! What! YOU LOVE IT!
1. More activism! Broad, I know. So let’s break it up into two kinds. The armchair kind: Call and write to politicians. The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s state rankings are up and there’s room for much legislative improvement for farm animals (besides, uh, not eating them entirely). The active kind: Spend some time volunteering for the animals each month. Leafletting, vegan bake sales, coastal biking fundraisers, petitioning, volunteering at an animal sanctuary, starting a new animal activism Meetup group—it’s all good! Seriously, you guys. The SF Vegan Bakesale has made over 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS for charities last year. That’s insane. You can totally get that going in your town. Yes, YOU!
2. Donate! Let’s say you send just 2 percent of your paycheck to an animal organization you support. That could add up to a lot, especially if you’re rolling in it!
3. Bring lunch to work. Every time I buy a salad, a plastic container sits in a landfill for about 450 years. I’m never buying a salad again. AND THOSE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD FOR ME. God, just eating candy from here on out. Candy that I BRING TO WORK WITH ME IN A REUSABLE CONTAINER! Win-win!
4. Along the same lines, cook more, eat out less. And invite people over to eat more often (especially if they’re not vegan!). Hey, that’s one less chicken who has to die, right? Plus, with websites like VegWeb and a million billion new vegan cookbooks out there, you gotta start testing recipes. Your life will be better when it has homemade cookies in it, trust.
5. Start composting. And while we’re at it, do all the Al Gore stuff. Get rid of the car, swap out light bulbs, etc.
6. Stop using palm oil. Why? Harvesting it clears out the rainforest and leaves elephants homeless.
7. Get more of our meat-eating friends to go vegan, or at least get them to pledge to go meatless a few days a week (for those who need baby steps, you know who they are). Meatless Mondays, anyone? And while you’re at it, for gifts, why not give a copy of Eating Animals, along with some tasty vegan candy? So what if it’s kinda preachy, you’re already their crazy vegan friend and there’s a chance they’ll read it and learn something. If not, it’ll go in a junk pile and someone else will pick it up. Better than than giving lame, generic bath salts or lotion, right? Oooh also, adopting animals from a farm sanctuary is a great gift too! Everyone loves a chicken, even if it’s not dinner! Right? Right!
8. Get the companion animals on a vegan diet. It’s long overdue, guys. Laura feeds V-dog to Hazel and that bitch weighs 70 pounds, you feel me??
9. Buy less stuff. Or, at least, buy less NEW stuff. There are a million secondhand, consignment, and used clothing stores around. You can do without that dress from Delia’s. I don’t care that it cost two dollars. Wait, two dollars? Link plz? THAT WAS A TEST.
10. Ask for more vegan options in restaurants. It’s super simple, and it often works. Hypothetical, best-case scenario: I go into Mozzarelli’s and ask if they have vegan cheese. They say no, but they’d love to know which one to buy to offer their customers. I say Daiya (of course). They put it in their restaurant. It can help to bring in samples of excellent vegan products for them to try, like vegenaise and Dandies. Prove that vegan = delicious and MORE CUSTOMERS: CHA-CHING. Done.
11. This is less a resolution and more a request, but if someone could please crack the following vegan foods in 2010: clotted cream; meringue; angel food cake. KTHX BYE.
Got some of your own? Let us know! Happy new year, y’all!
Rocket Dog fundraiser at Doc’s Clock! »
Are you doing anything important on Saturday? No, certainly nothing can be nearly so important as attending the Doggie Happy Hour at Doc’s Clock, which this month benefits Vegansaurus’ favorite dog rescue organization, Rocket Dog Rescue!
Doc’s Clock hosts a Doggie Happy Hour on the first Saturday of every month, because it is a caring bar full of animal-lovers, all of whom deserve big kisses on the mouth. By the dogs who’ve benefited from these happy hours, obviously, god. Hazel, the greatest dog in the history of RDR, could be convinced to trade smooches for snacks. I bet.
Be there—2575 Mission St., between 21st and 22nd Streets—from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5th with lots of cash in hand, as 50 percent of the bar goes right to RDR, in addition to 100 percent of the proceeds from the silent auction OH YES, THERE WILL BE AMAZING ITEMS FOR THE WINNING. I promise you* will want at least one of the WONDERFUL PRIZES. In addition, Doc’s Clock will take donations for VetSOS, which provides veterinary care for the companion animals of homeless people. Bring collars, leashes, harnesses, animal first aid supplies, unused animal medications—anything a pet might need, a homeless pet probably needs as well.
With all that good you can do with so little effort, how can you not go and spend money. FOR THE DOGS, the poor, sweet, needy dogs. You just get drunk and buy stuff, easy-peasy, and the world is a little bit better. See you on Saturday (or else)!
*OK fine, I promise I will want at least one of these things, but really, they’ll be great.