vegansaurus!

05/03/2011

Veggie kids! Where you at? I want to hear from you!  »

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

I saw this wonderfully adorable video about this little vegetarian boy Quíron and now I want to hear from more veggie kids! Do you guys have kids? Are they vegetarian/vegan? I want to interview them! It will be so fun! Email me and I’ll just send you a few questions. Let’s show the world what cute and healthy little veg kids look like!

04/01/2011

Vegan creme egg TASTE-OFF!  »

Yo! So I found two VEGAN creme eggs* that you can buy commercially. Or, kinda commercially, meaning that you can order them wherever you are (in the United States?). Is that what commercially means? Probably not. ANYWAY. First off, there’s VeganSweets vanilla creme eggs and secondly, there are these ones in Queenbalch’s Etsy shop!

Okay so first, the VeganSweets ones. Here is what they look like in package:

Adorable! There are 12 in a package. And here’s what they look like when you cut into them:


Creamy goodness! And the taste is OUTRAGEOUS. I loved them because they weren’t too sweet and the chocolate was rich and delicious. A vegetarian who tasted one said that they are very reminiscent of the real deal, they just taste like a high-class version. They’re also about half the size of the Cadbury creme egg so, hey, you can eat more! Or just have one as a snack and not go all Tom Cruise on Oprah. Or I guess we’re saying Charlie Sheen now? Anyway, you’ll be the opposite of those psychos. Anyway, they’re $9.99 plus whatever shipping to your house from Maryland. Speaking of, you could double up your shipping with them and get all sorts of other delicious Easter candy, including VEGAN PEEPS.

Next up! The Etsy one! Here’s the pic from the listing:

Cute! When they arrive, they’re actually wrapped in deliciously shiny silver foil, and your mouth starts to water, imagining the Willy Wonka experience it’s about to have. You get six eggs (they’re roughly the same size as an actual cadbury creme egg) for $9.99, plus $4.50 shipping. BUT CHECK OUT WHAT THESE FOOLS LOOK LIKE INSIDE:
HOT DAMN THAT LOOKS LIKE YOLK, SON! These are very sweet, almost buttery. They were a little TOO sweet for me (lie, I’m still hella eating them), but Jonas liked them better than the VeganSweets ones for that reason. Plus, cracking them open and having that freaky creme that looks like yolk ooze out will give you the same gross thrill that you get from the actual Cadbury egg. It’s SO GROSS, yet SO SATISFYING!

Okay so, they’re both awesome. If you’re into super-sweet realistic replications, go with Etsy’s Queenbalch. If you want a classier, more delicate egg that’s still authentic-tasting, go with VeganSweets! If you have the money, get both and do your own taste-test! Or if you have kids and you celebrate Easter, it would be fun to mix them up as basket treats, as the different colored foils look cute and festive together.

Oh, and if you don’t want to buy, you can always make your own! Kids might have fun doing that too or they might just hate you forever for making them work for their candy. It’s a toss-up!

Now please excuse me while I go eat both of those beauties DON’T HATE.

03/29/2011

Crazy parents kill baby, happen to be vegan  »

This is just a horrendously sad story and to make it even worse, these motherfuckers are vegan. Great. And, of course, when the news covers it, every headline screams VEGANS KILL BABY. I can’t wait for the shitstorm of crap press that’s gonna come veganism’s way from this horrific tragedy. Here’s the thing: These parents didn’t kill their baby because they’re vegan, they killed their baby because they’re VERY VERY CRAZY.

These people also didn’t bathe their baby and treated the baby’s bronchitis with poultices of cabbage, mustard oil and camphor. NOTHING to do with veganism, everything to do with crazy. I just don’t have any faith that the public will see anything but VEGANS KILL BABY, and we’ll keep hearing about it for years and years whenever the topic of whether or not you can have a healthy vegan baby. Answer: you can. Perhaps this should be a cry for help for increased availability of mental health programs?
Now, here is a ridiculously cute kid in an Herbivore Clothing shirt. Tell me that kid isn’t the picture of health/about to be kidnapped by me. EITHER WAY: You’d be wrong! Speaking of adorable vegan kids, BABY LEGWARMERS Y’ALL.

01/24/2011

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.

[photo of official Vegansaurus mascot and best beloved pit bull Hazel by Laura!]

10/14/2010

No Trick Treats, for a happy vegan Halloween!  »

This has got me pretty excited! I love the holidays and especially the ones when people give me stuff and especially when that stuff is CANDY. What am I talking about? Halloween, adoy! But what about the vegan kiddies? How do they celebrate Halloween when all those dang houses give away non-vegan candy? Enter NoTrickTreats.com! It’s a site dedicated to listing houses giving away candy that meets special dietary needs, including veganism! It can create a map of your area that shows only the houses giving away vegan candy. Huzzah!

However, at the moment it’s kind of sparse. Like, super-sparse. As in, no houses in San Francisco. That’s spooky! And that’s why you gotta list your house! Are you giving away vegan goodies? Goody! Tell the world! Get your friends on board! You can also print flyers from the site to spread the word and post them on telephone poles and at Rainbow or Whole Foods or wherever (side note: if you’re feeling creative, the flyers need some design help).

Did you all get your vegan candy to give away yet? OMG GET YOURSELF TOGETHER! Luckily for you, VegNews has a handy list of vegan candy for you. Did you know Airheads are vegan? And PEZ! Pez are vegan! Pez are still the best ticket in town, if you ask me.

There’s also The Natural Candy Store if you want to do your vegan candy shopping online. They’ve got some sweet Halloween candy (like the jack-o-lantern lolli at the top!). They also sell Go Max Go bars and you can’t forget those, otherwise it’s basically child abuse.

Let’s take a moment to get into the real nitty gritty: what are your thoughts on vegan trick-or-treating? Some of Vegansaurus think you should let your kid go to whichever house and make their own decision about whether or not to keep it vegan. I mean not the little ones, but the older kids who go off with their friends. Another faction suggested letting the kids go out with their friends and make up their own minds about the candy, hoping she had “armed them with enough knowledge and Go Max Go bars to make the right choice!” See, Go Max Go bars are crucial.

What about you all? If you don’t give them free choice, will your kids be all resentful and dump the vegan lifestyle as soon as they can buy their own food (hey there, Zac Young of TC:JD)? Of course if your kids have a bunch of other vegan kiddie friends, maybe you don’t have to worry about this. Thoughts?

06/11/2010

Everything’s happening this weekend and we have proof in your link-o-rama!  »


It’s summer, let’s go camping! HA HA HA KIDDING. What I meant was, It’s summer, let’s spend time outside, and let’s bring our portable, pop-up bunny tents so our best pals can hang out with us! [photo via VagaValley]

Activities for vegans!
Vegan Happy Hour is tonight, Friday, June 11 from 6 to 9 at the Hemlock Tavern. It’s run by Vegansaur Jordan’s husband Mike (some of us are grownups, did you know?) and promises to be a good time. Remember, it’s also a potluck, so bring some tasty vegan food (maybe a recipe from Vegan Happy Hour blog?)!

This weekend—Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13—is Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon at 41 animal shelters in the Bay Area! Megan Rascal already gave you a preview, but there are so many more animals than MARSHMALLOW and his GIANT CHEEKS waiting for you to adopt them FOR FREE! That’s right, for the Adoptathon, the adoption fees will be waived at participating shelters! So go on, find your new best friend.

How about that East Bay? On Saturday, check out 23 HAM’s artist reception—from 6 to 11 p.m. at 903 Camelia St. in Berkeley—celebrating East Bay Open Studios! Black Orchid will sell vegan baked goods, there’ll be live performances, and it’s free. Come on, you love art.

Love dogs? Have $20? You’re going to Bikers for Barkers tomorrow, then, right? There’ll be prizes and snacks and drinks—everything vegan!!!—so you have no excuse for skipping it. Be at Dainese D-Store at 131 S. Van Ness Ave. at 12th Street from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. They say no one will be turned away for lack of funds!

On Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. the LGBT Army of Compassion will protest animal cruelty at the Heart of the City Farmers Market at U.N. Plaza in San Francisco. They’ll be in the northeast corner near the live-chicken vendors. Click here for more information.

Pajama-action items!
PETA asks you to (please) demand the end of mulesing in the Australian wool industry. The Humane Society would like you to tell President Obama that the U.S. does not support any nation slaughtering whales, at all, ever.


Photographs of some of the ingredients in your standard Twinkie, by Dwight Eschliman, from his book 37 or so Ingredients. Guess what this one is! Hint: it’s not naturally powdered. [photo via Good]

Multimedia for your persual!
Who’s saying the dumbest-ever shit about the Gulf oil spill? Presently, it’s Slow Food USA, which recommends helping “your food friends of the Gulf” by eating seafood from the Gulf. Alternatively, you could listen to Vegansaur Steve, whose response posts on euthanizing oiled birds this week provoked some debate on Treehugger.

In further bird-related news, last year’s Mercy For Animals investigation into a Maine egg farm resulted in a settlement requiring the violators to pay over $130,000, the “largest penalty in a farm animals abuse case in this country.” Farm Sanctuary reports that the birds rescued from the Cal-Cruz Hatchery in California last year are happy and healthy, so at least there’s that.

OK let’s get the depressing stuff out of the way in one go. First, Bullfighting: A Troubled History by Elisabeth Hardouin-Fougier was just released in English. Second, Spain, land of bullfighting, is also home to a meat vending machine. Third, pet stores are alive and well in San Francisco, but the city’s Animal Commission will hold a hearing on a ban-type proposal on Thursday, July 8. You should attend, if you have an opinion on institutions like puppy mills. You could also get this lovely "support low-cost spaying and neutering" license plate, if you lived in California and owned a vehicle.. Fourth, this article on "The Animal-Cruelty Syndrome" in the New York Times: have you cried from rage yet today?

Video: Greenpeace vs. French tuna fishermen. Greenpeace mean serious business on the open sea, you guys, way more than those Deadliest Catch jerks.

Adorable photos of kid helping with the White House garden harvest. More adorable photos of rescued kids at Farm Sanctuary.

Whole Foods markets in San Francisco are interested in selling foods from local street vendors. Have you got vegan edibles you’d like to see at WF? Email Harvinder Singh with your ideas. Though of course mind the story of Pepples Donuts.

People are wetting their pants over this new tastes-just-like-chicken vegan foodstuff, in joy and terror; what do you think about it?

03/02/2010

Appalled Jamie Oliver is appalled because these students at a West Virginia public school don’t know a tomato from a potato (literally). Thank god for his new TV program, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, in which he’ll teach us lardy American barbarians about beets and greens and not stuffing our faces with frenchy fries 24/7.

Of course Vegansaurs have been on top of this for ages—remember the Healthy School Lunches program?—but as none of us has a proto-mullet, a foreign accent, or an array of best-selling cookbooks, ABC has yet to offer us a “Vegansaurus in Your Kitchen” (or whatever) show.

I promise it’d be better than fully 50 percent of the “original” programming on TV today, plus EDUCATIONAL! But whatever, ABC, go with Jamie Oliver, child-humiliator. Your choice.

(thanks, Grub Street San Francisco!)

12/21/2009

Recipe: Veggie fries!  »

Recipe review spoiler alert: these were a huge hit for dinner last night. Both Jordan,14, and Jon Alex, eight, gave the veggie fries two thumbs up and the okay sign while chewing with their mouths full. (They are presented here as tofu crisps, but no way in hell would they have tried anything called “tofu crisps”) Eight-month-old Ehren, full from his lunch of macaroni and applesauce, did not participate this time.

Ingredients
•    16 ounces extra-firm tofu or super-firm tofu
•    1 Tbsp curry powder
•    1 to 2 tsps coarse sea salt
•    1 tsp dried basil
•    1 Tbsp agave nectar
•    2 Tbsps peanut oil

Directions
My grocery store did not carry extra-firm or super-firm tofu, and my travels to Hong Kong Market didn’t begin until after a two-hour search for seaweed for an upcoming Vegansaurus recipe, and by the time I made it to Hong Kong Market, I was looking only for seaweed and lotus root and was totally like fuck the super-firm tofu, it’s cold and rainy, and as soon as I started slicing the hard tofu, I knew I should have looked for the super-firm. You’ll need super-firm tofu for this recipe, even in icy-cold weather.

Slice tofu as you would cut potatoes for French fries. Lightly grease baking sheet with spray oil. Mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl. If you decide to double the marinade amount, double all ingredients but the sea salt.

The marinade got a “smells good” from eight-year-old Jon Alex as I was shielding his view of the tofu with my body. I wasn’t sure if I’d made enough to cover 16 oz, so I made more after covering half the slices on the baking sheet. If I’d had the super firm, I would have dipped each slice into the marinade bowl. The hard tofu was too mushy to handle with my fingers more than once. So it stayed on the baking sheet as I spread the marinade with my fingers.

Dip each slice into marinade, covering both sides. Or, you can try pouring the marinade onto the slices and spreading it with your fingers.

Broil in oven about 15 to 20 minutes, turning over slices about halfway through. This is when you’ll especially appreciate the super firm tofu.

With the raw baby carrots and chilled lotus root slices, this was our dinner. We—one adult, a teenage girl and a growing boy—were all full and even had a few leftover tofu slices. Of course, the veggie fries can always be served with soup or veggie burgers. Once I’m released from the hospital after what I’m sure is double pneumonia, we’ll make these for dinner or afternoon snacks. Great recipe.

This is another guest post from Erica Mullenix from Houston, Texas. While not vegan, she and her family are transitioning to more healthful food choices (like vegan cookies!). Erica blogs at Free Fringes and tweets as @hmx5.

12/04/2009

Recipe review: Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles!  »

[Ed.: This is a recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s and Terri Hope Romero’s new cookbook, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Isa posted the recipe on the PPK blog in September.]

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles
Ingredients
Topping
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cookies
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbs. almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (or more vanilla extract if you have no chocolate)
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne

Cocktail
1 part Firefly sweet tea vodka
1 part sweet tea
[for sipping over ice while preparing cookie dough and carrying 20-lb. baby strapped to your boobies]

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the topping ingredients together on a flat plate. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix in extracts.
Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added, mix until you’ve got pliable dough.
Roll dough into walnut-sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly two-inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least two inches apart (they do spread). This should be easy. The bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They should be a bit spread and crackly on top.
Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

I always lay out all the ingredients beforehand because I am notoriously forgetful. If I can look at each one and see it’s been touched, I know it’s in there somewhere.

I forgot to set out the non-dairy milk for the group photo. It was in the fridge sleeping with the enemy.

The dough should never look pureed. Stop mixing when ingredients are simply folded into each other.

I was slightly disturbed by the uneven number. I tried to ignore it. Don’t judge me.

Looks nothing like the pictures in the book, but seriously, when does that ever happen?

Ehren, eight months. He seemed to like them, but he also eats paper, cardboard and Chapstick.

Jordan, 14, liked them, even with the unusual cayenne pepper, but she is not my pickiest consumer. She tends to eat what is placed before her without complaint.However, she did pack the leftovers to share with her English class.

Jon Alex, eight, my semi-foodie who considers the Breakfast Jack the zenith of gourmet living. He did not like the cayenne pepper and voted nay when the cookies were presented for an up or down vote.

There was no need to announce these were vegan cookies or to explain what a vegan is; I introduce new foods to the kids without much fanfare, which lessens their suspicions. I didn’t find these cookies super-rich or creamy, but I think that’s more the fault of the unsweetened chocolate powder and missing, unfriended butter than the non-dairy milk.

Verdict: we probably won’t make these again, but Jordan likes the almond milk, so she’ll drink it over the next few days. I’ll also need to find another use for the pure maple syrup that cost me six bucks for that little bottle, like the Maple Family doesn’t care we’re in a recession or anything. Mr. Maple can be a dick.

This guest post has been brought to you by Erica Mullenix (and her unbearably adorable children) from Houston, Texas. While not vegan, she and her family are transitioning to more healthful food choices (like vegan cookies!). Erica blogs at Free Fringes and tweets as @hmx5.

10/16/2009

Parents Raising Free-Range Vegans: You’ll Eat That Nugget, and Like It?   »

Parents rule. Literally, they’re supposed to be the rule makers, the head of the household, the buck stops before somebody gets grounded. But sometimes, like last night’s parental usurping by BalloonBoy Falcon Heene (“we did this for a show”), kids know best.

Highly publicized accounts of vegan parenting gone tragically wrong muddle the ongoing debate: should parents raise their children vegan? My favorite vegan parenting philosophy, told to me by the parent of a two-year-old being raised animal-free, “Right now, I’m in charge of what goes in her mouth. If she wanted to eat dog poop, I’d stop her. That’s my job while she can’t decide.” Disclosure: Despite the number of adorable sprites populating my friends’ Facebook feeds, I have no kids. I have also eaten dog poop, but I WAS two at the time, and the memory only exists in legend. It underscores the notion though: tiny kids just don’t know better.

What happens when kids are a little older and do know better? Blame it on the information age if you want to use the pejorative—but kids have access to more knowledge and are making corresponding life realizations earlier. Whether it’s more middle schoolers coming out of the closet, or more kids raised on chicken nuggets deciding, while still sitting at their parents’ table, anything in nugget format isn’t food—how should parents react?

This week, Huffington Post blogger, Donna Fish, wrote a post entitled, “Help! My Daughter’s a Vegan.” She launched in right away, “Am I supposed to be happy about this?” continuing to say that thinking about food too much seems “dogmatic and obsessive.” A mom who loves her T-bones she acknowledges she’s playing dietary roulette, citing the ground-beef paralyzed dancer, but meh—cheeseburgers are good! The conflict of an omnivorous parent of a veg child is summed up, “I have had to go against the fact that I hate that she is doing this, and support her.”

And then the kick-cringer: “Maybe it will just be a stage.” This isn’t a unique reaction. Longtime vegetarian Mike tells of a similar parental response: “My mom told me ‘it won’t last.’ That was 13 years ago. Does that make me veg out of spite?”

When a child makes a decision in opposition of a parent’s beliefs, to what extent are parents required to support it? On the scale from allowing it to happen, to making sure there are veg options on the grocery list and soy milk in the fridge, it strikes me that hoping it’s a stage is on the patronizing side. If a child is old enough to articulate that they don’t want to eat animals and provide an age-appropriate reason, to undermine that assertion of self, logic, and compassion is to prove that they’re not willing to support other expressions, be they “I’m gay” or “you made all of Colorado look for me while you made me hide in the garage.” Not cool. But, it takes a village (I hear.) Even if we don’t have kids ourselves, we can still be solid vegan role models for kids who might not have them at home—and a resource of info for parents who might be facing parenting a turned-veg kid. Maybe buttons? “I’m a Vegan, (Let Your Kid) Ask Me How.”

How supportive were your parents (or friends or significant others) when you vegged out? Is support important? There’s plenty o’ room for your coming out stories below…

P.S. If you’re a parent whose kid has seen the veg and you’re figuring out how to support their decision—whoooo! Here’s a treat for the trick or: the Top 10 Vegan Halloween Treats. If your kid wants to dress as a chicken instead of eat one, filling up their pumpkin it’s as easy as those good ol’ ABC123s.

This is the latest article in a recurring series, The Vegan Diplomat; The Art and Politics of Being Vegan in any Situation Society Throws on Your Plate, brought to us by the lovely Zoë Stagg. Zoë writes about politics, pop culture, and social media. She went cold-tofurkey—total omnivore to vegan on April 26, 2006 and never looked back. Despite her rural upbringing and the fact that her dad may have wanted her to enter the Dairy Princess pageant in high school, she firmly believes in the conservative nature of veganism. Her last non-vegan meal was a Turkey Lean Pocket. Ew.

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