vegansaurus!

05/17/2012

Paul Shapiro presents: Is pork the new veal?  »


It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay!

Denny’s became the latest national food retailer to send shockwaves through the pork sector by jointly announcing with HSUS that it’s going to phase out pork from gestation crate confinement operations. Amazingly, the pork industry’s leaders still defend this archaic practice, leading to the question: Is pork becoming the new veal?

The latest HSUS gestation crate undercover investigation made headlines across the nation. While there are too many pieces to enumerate here, this Forbes story on it was particularly interesting. (And about a quarter million people have watched the video online in the first week since release.)

The NY Times' Mark Bittman has a potent piece asserting that if you care about climate change, you really ought to be eating fewer animals. Check it out.

Video of the week: I’ve never wanted an iPad as much as now.

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]

Bonus article of interest: Did you know cockroaches “form closely bonded, egalitarian societies, based on social structures and rules”? I didn’t either.

02/01/2012

Vegan cooking: There’s an app for that (and a bonus pumpkin pie recipe)!  »


Scroll down for the recipe for this pumpkin pie!

Sarah Kramer wrote the first vegan cookbook I ever owned, and now she’s responsible for the first vegan cooking app anyone’s ever asked me to review. She’s like a pioneer! Let’s send her a bonnet!

Now, I’ve mentioned before how I feel about apps vs cookbooks: books all the way. And the harsh truth is I’ve never been impressed with the recipes in How It All Vegan. So I can guarantee if I hadn’t gotten this app for free, I’d never have downloaded it.

On the one hand, I’ve had it for a couple months now and I’ve yet to get inspired to make any of the recipes. How’s that for radical honesty? I’m the worst reviewer ever! But no not really, because I think that says a lot about the fact that this app doesn’t really fit into my life.

On the other hand, I’m impressed with what Kramer’s done, and I think for some people, it could be a really great tool. The app includes 60 recipes, 10 of them brand new. You can access them by meal, or by other categories like “gluten-free” or “with video”

The videos are well-done and fun to watch; my favorite is about people who say they don’t like tofu (Kramer says that’s as dumb as saying you don’t like cake flour; of course you don’t like plain tofu! Also then she stuffs her face with cake flour. Classic).

Within the recipes, you can do all sorts of iPad-y interactive stuff, like add ingredients to a shopping list or email an invitation to come eat food to a friend.

You can’t see the list of ingredients and the list of steps at the same time, which I imagine would be a pain while actually in the kitchen, except the steps themselves are really detailed and take that into account. The photos, as you can see, are hella pretty.

Anyway, at $6.99, this is a cheap alternative to an actual cookbook, and you can have it with you even at your grandma’s house or on vacation or whatever. May this be the beginning of a flood of wonderful authors truly taking advantage of the digital format! I’ll probably just late-adopt on this trend though.

OK, here’s the recipe I promised! Sarah’s people were cool enough to let us use it! Let us know how you like it if you make it!

Pumpkin Pie from the GoVegan! w/Sarah Kramer App
App available at www.goveganapp.com

I’m thankful for pumpkins, for sugar, and for this pie. Don’t worry that it won’t look ready when you first take it out of the oven—it sets as it cools.

Topping
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
1/4 cup (25 g) flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. vegan margarine
1/4 cup (30 g) walnuts or pecans, finely chopped

Filling
1 14-oz (398-ml) can unsweetened pumpkin purée
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegan “milk”
1/4 cup (40 g) cornstarch
1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 9” (23 cm) pie crust

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, 1/4 cup (25 g) flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. vegan margarine, and 1/4 cup (30 g) finely chopped walnuts. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend together 14-oz (398-mL) can unsweetened pumpkin, 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegan “milk”, 1/4 cup (40 g) cornstarch, 1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. allspice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract until smooth.

Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie crus. Sprinkle topping evenly over top and bake for 40–45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve at room temperature. Makes 1 pie.

12/16/2011

iPad App Lets Humans Play With Real Pigs  »

[Playing with Pigs: Pig Chase from Utrecht School of the Arts on Vimeo. Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]

Designers in the Netherlands have created an iPad app called Pig Chase that lets humans and pigs play a game together in a weird form of interspecies bliss. It’s kind of like how the Oregon Humane Society lets you play with real cats online via their robotic cat playroom (um, sorry readers, how did we fail to cover that?  [or editors, find me the link! i tried!]). Except the pigs are still gonna get slaughtered and eaten later. 

TreeHugger has a good story that explains how the game came about (partly due to the E.U.’s laws that pigs have to be entertained) and how it works (turns out pigs are really into chasing light). 

I’m having a hard time deciding how I feel about this news! That must mean it’s deep, right? I mean, on the one hand, users get to play with cute pigs, the pigs get to have fun, and everyone bonds. I definitely think a game like this could help a lot more people realize how smart and awesome pigs are and push them away from eating the little buggers.

But on the other hand, what about the people who play this game and then go eat some bacon? That requires such a deep level of denial it can’t be good for our species. Plus is this just justifying keeping pigs in captivity? I mean, flashes-of-light games are better than the horrible factory farm conditions U.S. pigs live in, but would a happy, outdoor farm life be best? What do you think, readers?

The app isn’t available yet, but they are planning to ”actually realize this system” next, whatever the heck that means.

08/01/2011

So Necessary: Rabbit-fur iPad case!  »

Score one for humanity! This rabbit-fur iPad cover from Jagger Edge is uggo times a thousand. It’s from their V.I.P. collection, as in “Very Important Purchase.” VIP? More like V-O-M! Am I right? And over at shopbop, you can purchase your very own for $198!

They also have amazing rabbit-fur iPhone cases that are equally as uggo but smaller. The description for the iPhone cases is great: “Handmade in California U.S.A. 100% fine fur as a result each has it’s own unique character + EDGE! These made to order, high luxury iPhone covers are for the style maven a cut above the rest.” EDGE, you say? Well then! Skin the bunnies!

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE: it comes in pink. Cuddle up with that.

05/04/2011

Product review: Mark Bittman Vegetarian Cooking app!  »

I got to test out a gratis copy of the new Mark Bittman How to Cook Everything Vegetarian iPhone application! Since my last mention of the app was less than informative, here is a thorough review, because I love you!

My official recommendation: it’s awesome! If you want to spend the $4.99, it’s worth your money and a lot cheaper than purchasing the actual cookbook. The recipe selection looks pretty amazing. I haven’t made anything yet but there are really a lot of things I already want to make! Or get someone else to make for me! You can make me food and I’ll give you fashion tips—fair trade!

I am told there are 950 vegan recipes and variations out of about 2,000 vegetarian recipes in total. The breakdown is 397 recipes and 553 variations to non-vegan recipes. There’s also a “top 100 vegan recipes” list under “Bittman’s picks” and several little “references” that like suggest vegan breakfasts for you, cheese substitutions, and one I’m really interested it: how to make any bread vegan. I love bread!

I don’t see any way to isolate the vegan options for the entire app but when you search for something, it’s super-easy to bring out the vegan options because of the vegan filter. You can search for key words if you want or you can use the filters they already have like “style.” So you can do a search by selecting “sweet” as the style and select just vegan options and it will pull up anything sweet and vegan (you saw where that was going). You could also search “cauliflower” or whatever word you want and select just vegan options. Oh and one of the style options is “raw” and there are 26 recipes and variations with that search. That’s for my raw friends! You know I’m always thinking of you.

When you are just browsing the recipes, the vegan ones are clearly marked but you can’t immediately see if a non-vegan recipe has a vegan variation. But when you use the search function, it lists all vegan recipes and all vegan variations for that search so that is prob the best way for us to look at variations. But just browsing for recipes is easy. There are no pictures so if you only like cookbooks with food pictures, this is not the app for you. I often like pictures but the names of these recipes are enticing enough that I don’t think I would miss them that much.

One thing to note: Reader Ryan K. says that some non-vegan recipes are marked vegan and vice versa. I haven’t run into this yet. I can send the creator a note about this and hopefully they can fix it in a future update.

Here are some screen grabs! First, a recipe; as you can see, it has the overview, ingredients, steps and variations:

Here’s a progression of how you can browse without the search. First you pick a general category and a more specific category:

Then you pick a recipe. You can easily see which recipes are vegan but if you select a non-vegan one, like the first veggie burger, it might have a vegan variation:

This is also cool: when you look at a recipe, you have all these options for what to do with it:

Another function is that you can generate shopping lists—kinda nice and useful. And as long as you have your phone, you will always have your grocery list.

Here’s my favorite part:

Under the style search option, you can search for hippie! It pulls up what you’d expect, tofu and whatnot.

Here’s my second favorite part! For some of the basic recipes and techniques, there are these illustrated guides:


Love it! You KNOW I like pictures over actually reading instructions. And as you can see, these aren’t crazy Ikea-style stick figure pictures that I can never understand.

All in all, I’d say it’s worth at least $4.99. Even though all the recipes aren’t vegan, I’m still very pleased with it. If you are vegetarian, it’s DEFINITELY worth the money. It has more recipes than the Vegan with a Vengeance app and that one costs $9.99 (say what?). The recipes are a little lacking for vegan dessert options but I actually think the first thing I want to make is the vegan banana chocolate-chunk bread pudding. Banana and chocolate are my favorite and I love bread pudding! I’m going to eat the hell out of that.

05/03/2011

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian app seems all right  »

Mark Bittman, everyone’s favorite omnivore, has released an app for the iPhone and iPad that shows you How to Cook Vegetarian. It seems fairly vegan-friendly but I don’t want to pay the $4.99 to find out—$4.99 buys a lotta grapes! But as you can see from the sample screen here, there’s a “vegan” search button.

So did anyone buy this? Laura is telling me it has some kind of countdown timer for how long the recipe should take. Like you can race to beat the clock! But Laura straight makes shit up like 90 percent of the time so that could be totally false. Like when she told me I couldn’t get pregnant in a hot tub. Thanks a lot, Laura! And your child support is late again!

04/21/2011

What do you think of this interactive iPad ad against fur? I saw it on the Pinnacle blog and I say it’s kind of neat. On one hand, I’m like, it’s kind of annoying; but then again, it looks like it goes fast enough so that it wouldn’t be that disruptive. And I like how it looks like any fur ad in a magazine and then BLAMMO! it’s not! It’s BLOODY! I think it would be effective in keeping “fur = blood” on the brain. Fur Equals Blood on the Brain should be the name of our band! Cut! Print! Dishes are done!

07/09/2010

YOU GUYS. This is the biggest news of all biggest news! VegWeb.com (the world’s largest and greatest veg recipe site!) JUST launched a new iPhone (and iPod Touch*!) app, The Vegan Recipe Finder. It’s freaking amazing, putting over 13,000 (!!!!) vegan recipes at your fingertips! It’s kinda like having the world’s largest cookbook in your pocket. SO FREAKING RAD. What’s more awesome? Vegansaur Jonas designed it, and often-contributor Joel developed it. Oh and I worked on it too! FULL DISCLOSURE! What’s rad about that is that the whole thing was developed and designed by VEGANS!! It’s ONLY $2.99 and every penny goes back to vegans and making the world a better place for animals. Not to get all deep on you, but that’s fucking awesome. Plus, it runs great, constantly updates with new recipes, and will keep you busy in the kitchen for days. That’s where you should be anyway, right? Now make me some pancakes!
*Actually, word on the street is that it looks pretty great on the iPad too, and as we know, the iPad is the world’s best kitchen gadget. That’s right, throw out the Kitchenaid and the Cuisinart (give ‘em to me!), and just get an iPad! Next week I’ll talk about how the iPad can replace everything in your bedroom too. Rowr! Also, gross!

YOU GUYS. This is the biggest news of all biggest news! VegWeb.com (the world’s largest and greatest veg recipe site!) JUST launched a new iPhone (and iPod Touch*!) app, The Vegan Recipe Finder. It’s freaking amazing, putting over 13,000 (!!!!) vegan recipes at your fingertips! It’s kinda like having the world’s largest cookbook in your pocket. SO FREAKING RAD. What’s more awesome? Vegansaur Jonas designed it, and often-contributor Joel developed it. Oh and I worked on it too! FULL DISCLOSURE! What’s rad about that is that the whole thing was developed and designed by VEGANS!! It’s ONLY $2.99 and every penny goes back to vegans and making the world a better place for animals. Not to get all deep on you, but that’s fucking awesome. Plus, it runs great, constantly updates with new recipes, and will keep you busy in the kitchen for days. That’s where you should be anyway, right? Now make me some pancakes!

*Actually, word on the street is that it looks pretty great on the iPad too, and as we know, the iPad is the world’s best kitchen gadget. That’s right, throw out the Kitchenaid and the Cuisinart (give ‘em to me!), and just get an iPad! Next week I’ll talk about how the iPad can replace everything in your bedroom too. Rowr! Also, gross!

07/06/2010

Frog dissection? There’s, yes, an app for that  »

Of all the psyche-scarring high school experiences, from Saturday detention to prom, perhaps the only one that John Hughes failed to prepare me for was the yearly rite of animal dissection. Not to say that I opted out on some principled moral ground; I did, in fact, cut my frog (and earthworm, and rat) [Ed.: and fetal pig] open, with help from a typically unwilling lab partner.

What was the purpose of it all? I had no interest in biology, or medicine, and no Beavis and Butthead inclinations toward all things dead. Had I known then what I know now, I would have skipped the whole exercise.

But science is still important, even the parts we don’t like, so here’s a better option than sitting it out: the first animal dissection simulator for the iPad.

I’d like to see more 3D and better use of multitouch to really make simulated dissection as realistic as possible. But as schools replace textbooks with tablet computers, maybe they’ll go the rest of the way, and replace formaldehyde-soaked animals with software.

[via Gizmodo]

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