vegansaurus!

10/18/2011

Vegucated screening tickets: We have winners!  »

Thank you so much for participating! And thank you for all the movie recommendations, there were lots of good ideas.

And now for a movie you all want to see: Vegucated! For the Berkeley screenings, congratulations commenters Woog and Caroline Miazgowicz. For SF, commenters Tierny, meowberto, and tofupuppy! Please contact Karine Brighten to collect your tickets!

Everyone can purchase tickets for the Berkeley screening on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at the David Brower Center here, and for the San Francisco screening on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Victoria Theater here.

Karine Brighten is looking for volunteers at both screenings as well! If you volunteer, you get free access to the screening and reception. Awesome! Contact Ms. Brighten to volunteer!

Thanks to everyone who entered, and to Karine for offering the tickets!

10/05/2011

CONTEST CLOSED: Win tickets to a Bay Area screening of Vegucated!  »

Thanks for participating, everyone! And congratulations to the winners!

I keep thinking I have a short attention span, but I love to read, so maybe it’s a problem with audio-visual stimuli: I have a really hard time watching an entire movie. I pause it so often it takes me three days to finish, or I’ll keep it on and do a bunch of educational quizzes on Sporcle (Always Be Self-Improving), or I’ll put it on as background while I cook or clean—I am bad at watching movies.

A movie that did keep my attention for its entire run was Vegucated, the documentary about three omnivores who adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. It’s only about 90 minutes, but it’s well made and totally compelling. Despite not being its target audience—I don’t need like 10 minutes of animal-abuse footage and slaughterhouse stats to convince me my lifestyle choices are morally correct—I watched the entire thing without getting wiggly or checking my phone-clock once.

Vegucated documents an interesting experiment in an entertaining way, the director/editor/writer/narrator, Marisa Miller Wolfson, is smart and funny, and she chose her subjects well. They’re totally sympathetic: You cheer when they succeed; you feel bad when they cry. I absolutely recommend Vegucated. Go see it! With your friends! And family! And everyone you know who isn’t vegan, because duh they should be and Vegucated can help get them there!

Specifically, you in the Bay Area have two chances to see it, on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, and on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco. Buy tickets for the Berkeley screening here, and for the S.F. screening here. Best part: You can win tickets for either event, thanks to our pal and event producer Karine Brighten! Isn’t she great? Thanks, Karine!

We are giving away one pair and two single tickets to the SF event, and two single tickets to the Berkeley event. To win, leave a comment with two pieces of information: 1. Which screening you’d like to attend (“Berkeley” or “San Francisco”); and 2. Recommend me a movie that isn’t totally boring! I will pick winners by Friday, Oct. 14. This should give all you non-winners plenty of time to buy your way in.

You want to see this movie! So come on and enter the contest, already.

[photos by Jessica Mahady for Vegucated]

08/08/2011

I didn’t make it to Veg Speed Dating at Saturn Cafe as I seem resistant to anything not resembling dying alone and being eaten by my cat, surrounded by take-out and delivery boxes in my mess of an apartment. It looks like it was a fun time, as showcased by Eco-gal, who made this snazzy little video of the shenanigans that went down.

My friend Mike (we’re friends, right? Even if we’ve only commented on each others blogs?) attended and does not only have a starring role in the vid (check out the 2:01 mark) he also had very positive (read:not terrifying) things to say:

I thought the event was amazing. There was enough VegENERGY (like that? new word) in the room to turn Emeril vegan! In all seriousness, there were a ton of really wonderful people at the event, and Karen Brighten did a fabulous job setting it up.

Even though there was a wide range of ages, it was fun to have platonic conversations with fellow compassionate humans. Often times, I feel super alone and jaded that I don’t have more vegan friends. It was so nice to have a conversation that didn’t start with, “So, where do you get your protein?” If there is another event in the future, then I will totally be there! Unless, a certain someone snags me off the market!

Ladies?! Who needs speed dating?! I’ll be your personal vegan matchmaker! I’ve watched enough Millionaire Matchmaker to know what I’m doing. Just kidding, Karine, I’m totally at your next event.

04/21/2011

Berkeley Vegan Earth Day is Friday (that’s tomorrow)!  »


Yo, all you vegans! And hippies! And people who enjoy having a great time! All of you will hopefully be served well at tomorrow’s Berkeley Vegan Earth Day! It’s actually not a whole day, it starts at 7 p.m., and I believe it’s a film screening and then a panel discussion? The site is a bit confusing and the about us page is just about the event planners, not about the actual event. I am bad at figuring stuff out, so that’s why I’m a blogger. Wait what? Anyway, it should be fun, and we’ll be on the scene doing some HARD! HITTING! INVESTIGATIVE! JOURNALISM! Or you know, eating cinnamon rolls from Sugar Plum Bakery. See you there!

10/15/2010

Adopting bunnies, eating ramen, pie making contests & more! It’s your weekend activities!  »

We’re here to make your weekend amazing! Do the damn thing(s):

Saturday, Oct. 16
The House Rabbit Society and Harvest Home Sanctuary will have their regular adoption event today! Go see the bunnies from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at George in Berkeley! Harvest Home Sanctuary and House Rabbit Society buns will be waiting for you in the Fourth Street Shopping Center at 1824 Fourth St. Why not look at some of them now?

It’s the Berkeley’s Walk for Farm Animals today! Go! Walk! Be awesome and help animals and walk it out for a good cause!

Help a Brother Out bakesale and street food party fundraiser in the mission. All sorts of delicious baked goods (in the afternoon!) and street food (in the evening!) and GO!

SwapSF is back! I feel like this counts as vegan because when people obtain leather shoes or woolen sweaters through trade, they’re stopping the supply-and-demand cycle that keeps new leather shoes and woolen sweaters in production. y/y? Also it’s good for the environment, and SwapSF always has drink specials because the organizers love drinking in the early afternoon. Buy a $6 presale ticket and bring your tradeable clothes to Mighty at 119 Utah St. (between 15th and Alameda Streets); the swap goes from noon to 3 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 17
It’s the 8th Annual Spice of Life Festival in Berkeley! From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Shattuck Avenue between Rose and Virginia Streets (five blocks!), there will be all kinds of Berkeleyania—an “eco-carnival,” an “interactive nature sculpture project,” a puppet show—but also awesome foodstuffs from places we love: Saturn Cafe, Scream Sorbet, Flacos; plus some places that sound like they should be vegan, like Raw Daddy Foods, Chick ‘o Peas falafel, Skylite Snowballs; and Chairman Bao makes a crispy tofu bun. Best: it’s free. Have fun, East Bay!

Mission Pie’s fourth annual Pie Contest is today! Did you enter? You still have until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15 to do so! Just send an email with your name, type of pie, and contact information, then bring your pie to Mission Pie at 2901 Mission St. at 25th Street between 2 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday!
Did you want to come sample the pies? Show up at the same place around the same time, pie-free. Easy-peasy.

Southern Ramen and Blues from 6 to 10 p.m. at Gravel and Gold—we told you all about it already, remember?

Wednesday, Oct. 20
There will be a protest against the Grand National Rodeo held at the Cow Palace (2600 Geneva Ave. in Daly City) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week. The protests are scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and banners and signs will be provided. This is all the information we have now; we’ll give you more as we get it.

Friday, Oct. 22
Next weekend already? Yes, it’s important: Carol J. Adams is speaking at UC Berkeley! The Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy put this together; aren’t they great? Ms. Adams will speak from 2 to 4 p.m. in 2060 VLSB on campus; “many vegan treats” will be provided, and Ms. Adams’ books The Sexual Politics of Meat and The Pornography of Meat will be available for purchase.

Even later this month!
On Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Saturn Cafe in Berkeley (2175 Allston Way at Fullton Street), Stephanie Redcross of Vegan Mainstream will have answers to your questions about making your vegan blog the best vegan blog it can be! This seminar/Q&A is called Unleashing the Power of Efficient Vegan Marketing, is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m., and is free with registration. Naturally, Karine Brighten Events is hosting.

Don’t forget about the East Bay Vegan Bakesale! It’s happening on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in front of Issues (20 Glen Ave. at Piedmont) in Oakland. All proceeds will benefit Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue and the East Bay Children’s Book Project. Want to volunteer (of course you do!)? Email the organizers!

10/05/2010

Guest post: The first-ever San Francisco vegan fashion show!  »

When I became a vegan, a list of “projects” arose for me. Looking at my life as different projects makes challenges feel more manageable and gives me an excuse to do Cher’s squeal from Clueless—“Ooh, project!”

There was the “Find a Vegan Cheese” project; the “Find a Cruelty-Free Body Product” project and—being obsessed with fashion—the “Create a Vegan Wardrobe” project.

I gotta tell ya, as much as I enjoy researching my favorite labels for the 3 percent of their merchandise that’s vegan, it’s still a daunting task. So when a clothing or footwear line comes along that is ENTIRELY vegan, I am beyond happy. And when a vegan fashion show arises to showcase the efforts of vegan designers and entrepreneurs, you don’t just sit by. These designers not only have the challenge of researching and acquiring legitimately vegan and ethically-produced materials, but also of becoming profitable in an industry that has mostly no regard for animal suffering. So you go to the show. You go, and you support them.

San Francisco’s first-ever vegan fashion show (Canada’s ahead of us on this one)  happened last Saturday, as part of the 11th Annual World Veg Fest. Karine Brighten organized the show pro bono; a planner of eco- and animal-friendly events for places like Farm Sanctuary, Nature’s Express, and Cinnaholic, she’s also vegan. The audience packed the auditorium to see the lovely vegan models walking the show in cruelty-free clothing, accessories, and footwear. Rory Freedman of Skinny Bitch emceed the event.

Six vegan labels showed: Mission Savvy provided pieces from various designers split into five collections that each benefit different animal welfare causes. Five percent of proceeds are donated to related organizations. Cri de Cœur had footwear made with animal-free, eco-friendly materials and without toxic PVC or vinyl. Vaute Couture brought animal-free, classic and trend-conscious outerwear, tees, and sweatshirts made of high-performance, recycled, recyclable, upcycled, closed-loop, zero-waste fabrics and deadstock, and vegetable ivory buttons. Melie Blanco supplied affordable but luxurious faux-leather handbags. Reco Jeans brought their recycled high-end denim. Lion’s Share Industries had eco-friendly T-shirts adorned with vegan-artist-commissioned graphics. Pansy Maiden provided handmade handbags of animal-free, fair-trade, plant-dyed, organic, reclaimed/vintage fabrics and animal-derivative-free glue.

One of the brilliant aspects of the show was splitting the event into sections to highlight each line, including a description. This was a nice way to educate the audience, many of whom may not have known much about these particular designers or the vegan movement in the fashion industry in general.

From a purely design perspective, I had mixed feelings about the pieces—just like how I would feel at any fashion show! Because I’m not a hater, here are the items that I loved and with which I would now like to fill my closet:

 1. The adorable “Upcycled Indigo Windbreaker” from Vaute Couture (made with the remnants of another Vaute coat’s lining), with an elasticized empire waist, oversized gathered collar, and bubble hem. [Ed.: LAURA WANTS ONE VERY BADLY];
2.
The edgy “Stella Cutout Cage Wedge”, which wraps the feet in bars of faux patent leather;
3.
A cropped black blazer with gold trim from Mission Savvy.

As for the venue, I think Veg Fest was a perfect place to have the first show, because it was the most visible way to promote it to the vegan community. For future shows—and according to Rory Freedman, there will be one next year—I’d love to see a more luxe location, one that can house an show focused on style in a way that lives up to the pieces being showcased. A night spot, a gallery, a loft…. The auditorium at the County Fair Building kinda screams “I also did my high school play here.”

Still, that a vegan fashion show even happened, that there is a fashion community that cares enough about animal rights and environmental welfare to put a show like this together speaks volumes about how far veganism has come. Seeing a group of designers and entrepreneurs who have navigated their way to success while sticking to their ethics is beyond inspirational. Here’s hoping that their efforts will not only inspire current designers to rethink their practices, but that they will ignite something in a new set of vegan artists and visionaries who may look at a pair of shoes at Saks and think “if only…”

 Check out more photos, including behind-the-scenes shots, here.

This is Vi Zahajszky’s second post for Vegansaurus (you can see her first here!). Vi left her motherland of Hungary as a child and has spent most of her life in Boston and New York. Two years ago she drove across the country to San Francisco with husband Chris Carlozzi and a rescue pup named The Bandit. Here, among other things, she’s studying fashion design and pattern-making, and has plans to develop a vegan clothing line. Also, she’s enjoying no blizzards. Photo enhancing by Chris Carlozzi.

07/06/2010

Calling vegan designers, models, and photographers: San Francisco’s first vegan fashion show hits the runway this October!  »

I think that about says it all! Well, here’s a bit more info if you’re the curious type. If you think you fit the bill, contact event organizer, Karine Brighten. The event will take place at World Veg Festival in Golden Gate Park on October 2 and is emceed by a Skinny Bitch. Fun! Get on it, folks!

06/08/2010

The Beehive Market!   »

The Beehive Market is a new flea/farmers/food market that’s opening on Saturday, June 12 in the parking lot of the Berkeley Adult School. It’s the ultimate hippie mart (what? you love it, you composting, communal hot-tubbing, vegan psychopath!); it runs every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there looks to be lots of vegan vendors, including some I haven’t heard of (yay! more vegan food! bring it!) and also, Scream Sorbet. I had the pleasure of trying this delicious shiz at the farmers market in Marin (I’m fancy) and it was good times. I’m not normally a big fan of sorbets (I WANT A REAL DESSERT DAMMIT) but this stuff knocked me out. It’s the whole package plus it does its taxes. I enjoyed the cashew caramel flavor—it was creamy and delicious like WHOA. The little dude running the booth was kind of a pill but I can imagine dealing with my fat ass requesting the 11th taste of the same flavor (what! Samples are free! That’s why they’re called free samples!), that even a man with the patience of the Buddha would start to get a little testy. Whaves, their product is quite superior and they’re gonna blow up so HOP ON BOARD THE SCREAM TRAIN OR GET LEFT BEHIND, SKINNY. 

Point is, get your ass to The Beehive Market on Saturday, June 12, and every Saturday after that. 

Ooh: also Sarah Smart from Millennium will be selling her Rocket Ship Ice Cream too so HEY NOW.  

To prove how amazing this chick is, here’s a picture of Shannon and Flori of Cinnaholic's Ice Cream Wedding cake (that's right, I said, ICE CREAM WEDDING CAKE) made by one Rocket Ship Ice Cream:

DAAAAAANG, Son. It tasted even better than it looked. Hate on, haters! Also, the wedding was amazing and they are the best!

LATE BREAKING BIT O’ BAD NEWS: They’re apparently roasting AN ENTIRE PIG at this sustainable, green, event where they encourage you to “leave with a rescued bunny.” Yes! Let’s save one animal and feast on another! Makes so much sense! I’m bummed; I thought it was gonna be an all-veg affair. I mean, if we can’t expect that from the Berkeley hippies, what can we expect? Oh that’s right, body odor and a superiority complex. Oh and jerking it to Alice Waters posing naked with only a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma covering her delicate bits.* I’m sorry, you can’t feel all high and mighty, Slow Food Nation, when you’re saving all of the dead pig for yourself. If these people really gave two shits about sustainability, they would eat vegan 95 percent of the time and donate the few animals that they can raise and murder “responsibly” to food deserts. Right? Isn’t that how we’re gonna feed the the country? Oh but you want all the “ethically” raised and “lovingly” murdered dead animals for yourselves, don’t you? You rich hippie wackadoos. ANYHOO, write the Beehive Market a polite email asking that they not do the pig roast because it’s going to alienate the people who actually give a shit about creating a sustainable future.

*WHAT! SEX SELLS!! 

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