Shut up, David Chang! »
God, this fool loves to run his mouth something stupid. I know it’s part of his schtick (hey! I relate!) but the problem with him is people listen to this garbage and agree. So when Chang is just stringing random words together and making about as much sense as the lady on my corner who thinks I’m her husband (reminder: need to shave!), it genuinely worries me!
Because, for real, the guy makes no sense. In this interview, bitching about the various customers he hates dealing with (turning away customers! What a luxury in these trying times of ours!), one of his complaints is vegetarians! Ugh fine, I get it, they’re my #4 complaint too,* but for real, his logic does not compute!
I’m not against all vegetarians. But if you’re a vegetarian for ethical reasons, you may be causing more harm. I use this example: I was at a wedding, and at the reception everyone was eating local lobster and clams, but a couple of my friends were like, “No, we want the vegetarian option.” And it’s fucking vegetables from every corner of the fucking planet. Really? They don’t want to pollute the earth, they don’t want to support factory farming, but factory commodity farming is fucking awful.
Drama. Queen. This example is truly crazytown. Like anyone has ANY choice in where the vegetables came from at someone else’s wedding. And where does it say that ethical vegetarians don’t care where their vegetables come from? Most vegans care more about where their food comes from than pretty much anyone else, THAT’S WHY WE’RE VEGAN. We question shit! And when we questioned our current food system, we decided to abstain from A LOT of it. Duh, bitch.
And not only that, it’s almost slave labor. That poor fucking person who harvested your asparagus from Peru might have died because you wanted a fucking goddamn asparagus in August. Which doesn’t happen.
Oh, shut the fuck up already. We all read Felicity Lawrence’s piece on asparagus in Peru, you ain’t special. And what’s with the last sentence of “Which doesn’t happen.” That doesn’t even make sense. And I haven’t eaten asparagus since the summer of ‘99 so he can shove it.
If you’re going to be a vegetarian, limit yourself to food from a place you can go to in two hours and just eat that. Do it, or shut the fuck up.
Again, what does this mean? Food grown in a two-hour radius? And then is it by car? Are we going the speed limit? Ooh! Can I take a plane? And how is that recommendation any different than what you meat-mouths should be doing? If I come to your restaurant and ask for a vegetarian dish, why do you suddenly go all WHOA HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF THE ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS? What has changed by taking the meat out? I’d like to “do it and shut the fuck up” (lie) but I don’t know what “it” is? (I’m really hoping he’s talking about the worm, because that’s my party trick!) But really, one of Chang’s biggest problems is not just his allergy to making sense, it’s that he’s just wrong. Read it and weep, nerd.
I get it, Chang is total gold for interviewers and so we’re not gonna stop hearing about him because journalists are like, "YES PLEASE KEEP SWEARING AND TALKING NUTSO! I CAN SEE THE PAGEVIEW$$$$ RISING ALREADY!" (Newsflash, Chang! Your constant press has nothing to do with your cooking! Which even omnis say is WEAK!) but it’s also harmful because of the legions of “celebrity chef”-obsessed fans. Seriously, people worship this little ultra-privileged dweeb. While he’s busy masturbating to a thought bubble of himself, his bullshit ramblings sink into the collective unconscious of a million impressionable Americans. We’re not the smartest people, and when the New York Times tells us he’s the Second Coming, we’re all, “MUUUUST EAT PORK BUNS.” like a really uncool zombie army. Well, the NYT is tired, Chang is just another spoiled kid having a tantrum when things don’t go exactly his way (customers asking for things AHHH!!!) and I just hope he stops getting so much press. GOOD JOB THEN, LAURA. Further, quit fucking swearing all the time, Chang. That’s my fucking thing!
*Right after all things Lohan, everyone putting tomatoes on everything, and the premature cancellation of Party Down.
ME ME ME ME ME »
Have you ever thought, “Geez, I’d like to get to know that Laura better! No, you haven’t! Well, here’s your chance! I’ve got a interview up over at SF Weekly! In it, I am very funny and clever, my turn of phrase and witty parlance (is this the correct way to use that word?) will shock and amuse the nation. HAVE I SOLD IT OR WHAT?!? Enjoy!
Dear YOU GUYS!,
You gotta bid on me! For real, I mean it this time. I am showering dozens of PINK DINO COOKIES into the open mouth of my winning bidder in The Tomato Tart’s online one day only vegan bakesale for Japan.
Seriously, I have this terrible feeling that nobody has bid on my cookies (hot) and if that happens, I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL SHUT DOWN THIS FUCKING BLOG. Unless you’d like that! And then fuck it, I’ll never shut up/keep things business as usual! So, please! Bid on the cutest pink dino cookies you ever saw! And perhaps a pair of my old underwear WHO SAID THAT?
And there’s lots of other vegan stuff to bid on too, if you’re a total traitor.
Oh and if you bid $250, then we totally win because the auction will be all, BAM! You bought it NOW! Both you and Vegansaurus are THE BEST. Let’s all make out!
P.S. To give you an idea of how awesome these cookies will be, that is a psychedelic cupcake I once made. Now, imagine that cupcake was a million times fresher. THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE GETTING.
Seven best Bay Area veggie burgers & Mission Burger’s vegan burger recipe! BURGERS! »
Obviously I’m trying to optimize SEO for anyone searching for “burger” and when I do things, I go big or go home! So usually I just go home but today: GOOGLE BETTER WATCH ITS BACK.
Anyway! I wrote some stuff up for SFoodie, first being (WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE) the seven best veggie burgers in the Bay Area. Next: a cobbled-together recipe for the dearly departed Mission Vegan Burger. I got the recipe from the nice dudes at Mission Street Food, and then tried to scale it down because that shit was originally for 70 patties and lord knows I can EAT but 70? Touché, Mission Street Food dudes. Touché. Oooh, perhaps we sell them at the next SF Vegan Bakesale?? We just need an industrial deep fryer. You got one? Wanna be my boyfriend?* Please note: if you have one and bring it to the sale, I WILL steal it. OMG, I’ll be deep-frying errrthang in site. You’ll be like, “Laura, where did you go?” and I’ll be all, “Oh sorry, I was just deep-frying my face!” Except I’ll probably be deep-frying a candy bar because ew, health code violation!
*Sorry, Jonas! I’m sure you understand, you’d do the same to me. It’s either leave or be left, baby!
Top 10 links of the week! »
RIP Knut. Knut the polar bear died this week and it’s very sad. But don’t worry! He’s going to be stuffed and mounted! Vegetarian Star has the details.
New York is crazy for veggie burgers! The New York Times is totally in love with veggie burgers this week. I’m like, way to be late to the party! But welcome all the same.
Laura busts heads. If you didn’t read our Laura’s response to that lame Ecosalon piece, read Luara’s response to that lame Ecosalon piece.
Laura plays nice. AOL City’s Best interviewed our own Laura! She’s blowing up. I’m not the least bit jealous—her coattails suit me just fine! You go, girl.
Tsunami dolphin saved. There have been some bittersweet animals stories coming out of Japan, not the least of which is the rescue of a little baby dolphin in a rice field. There is a picture on the other end of this link, boy is there a picture.
Breast milk from cows. Um, in China, they are totally creating cows that produce human milk. I’m sure they are treating the cows really great too. People seem grossed out but how is it any grosser than drinking regular cow milk? I ask you. Both come out of cow nipples.
Saber-toothed vegetarian? Everyone is so excited about this new discovery: a saber-toothed vegetarian monster! (Monster is the scientific term).
More oil, more problems. Nightingale island, home to half the world’s population of northern rockhopper penguins, is covered in oil. People are working to save the cute, funny-haired penguins but there is a lack of supplies and help on the remote island. This is a bummer. I don’t think I’m getting a joke out of this.
Get ready for kitten season! Kitten season is just around the corner and Paw Nation has ten really great tips on caring for your new bundle of indifference.
New York City murders geese. New York is set to kill more Canada geese, see what you can do to help stop them!
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.
Twig & Leaf Botanicals is offering us a discount! »
The fabulous homemade, all-organic, woman-owned Twig & Leaf Botanicals is not only one of our fabulous SXSW sponsors, she’s also offering a very special discount code for Vegansaurus readers!
Head on over to her etsy shop, make your selections, and enter in “vegansaurus” as the coupon code for 20 percent off your entire purchase.
[Did you know Laura will be a panelist at this year’s SXSW Interactive? If you’ll be at SXSW, come to the panel and say hi!]
Goodbye to all that »
This is Petunia, Farm Sanctuary’s “newest valentine.” Are you dying yet? She was donated to a veterinary teaching hospital because, as the runt of her litter, she was too small and needy, AND needed an operation, and from there she was rescued by Farm Sanctuary, given her operation, and is living as happy a life as a tiny piglet could live. CHARMING.
Now onto some less-adorable news: I’m leaving you guys. I’ve accepted a position as an assistant English-language teacher in (the Republic of) Georgia, and I leave this weekend. Vegansaurus will carry on normally—I know you will all miss my grumpy posts about contaminated-food recalls and stupid Peta ads very, very much—and once I’ve established a routine, I’ll be back!
Vegansaurus feels like my baby, and being away from it might actually be harder than being away from the whole country. I will miss you! I will also miss the beautiful and amazing Bay Area and its myriad options for vegans, but I’m sure there are vegan secrets of the Caucasus to discover and share.
Look, here’s another photo of Petunia to cheer you up.
She’s all cuddled up with her stuffed raccoon! Cutest ever! Now dry those tears, and know I’ll be back to posting as soon as I possibly can. And of course, if you have any Georgia-related advice or recommendations, send them on over!
I love you guys. Don’t get into too much trouble while I’m gone.
Vegansaurus is speaking at SXSW! Are you an awesome vegan company who wants to sponsor us? »
Guess what? Vegansaurus is going to SXSW! I’ll be representing in a conversation about vegans online and online veganism with the lovely Stephanie of the delightful Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life. I will also be eating all of the vegan food in Austin proper. You better lock up your chicken fried seitan and hide your tempeh reubens because I’m comin’ to getcha, TEXAS-STYLE.
Since this site is a labor of love, we are looking for awesome companies to sponsor our trip to Austin. In exchange we are willing to offer sponsored posts, hosted giveaways, and otherwise represent your company while at SXSW Interactive, one of the country’s largest tech conferences. This could mean hosting a meetup, giving away goodies at the conference, wearing t-shirts, etc. I love wearing logo t-shirts. Seriously, it’s a passion of mine.
This might be a pipe dream but I’m here to tell you, I will represent the crap out of you. I will be your official ambassador all night long. And all day. You know, the entire duration of the conference. Email Laura TODAY!
Interview with a vegan: Sonya Cotton! »
Sonya Cotton is a vegan and musician with a serious animal-rights agenda. She’s close to releasing a six-song EP and raising money for an eco-friendly tour through Kickstarter. Laura interviewed Sonya about her musical projects and vegan lifestyle, and why she dedicated her new album to her animal-rescuing mother.
Vegansaurus: Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal-rights reasons, or a combination?
Sonya Cotton: I’m vegan primarily for animal-rights reasons. The magnitude of animal suffering that goes on inside of the meat/dairy/egg industries is what hits me the hardest, and makes me want to cry/scream/do my part to change the world. The environmental impact of these mega-industries is also horrific, and a very compelling reason (totally independent of animal-rights issues) to go vegan in my opinion. Health doesn’t figure as much into the equation for me, though I know some people really stand behind the health benefits of veganism.
Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
Cotton: I was an on-and-off vegetarian for 12 years, starting when I was 15. Then last May when I was on tour with my band on the East Coast, we played a house show for a group called the Montclair Ethical Vegans. The woman who led that group asked me after the show if I was vegan. When I told her I wasn’t (just a vegetarian and an animal-lover) she gently yet passionately told me all the reasons why she choses veganism, and gave me an amazing book to take with me, called Ninety-Five (a reference to the number of animal lives saved in a year from one person going vegan). I remember reading this book, which chronicles individual lives of animals that were destined for the slaughterhouse but somehow found their way to sanctuaries instead. I connected with those stories so deeply, I was really rooting for each one of those creatures, and I remember saying out loud to my boyfriend: “I have to go vegan, I totally believe in this.” Then I read Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, which utterly sealed the deal for me. (To those of you out there who haven’t read Eating Animals, please do!)
Vegansaurus: When did you start writing and performing music?
Cotton: I wrote my first song in high school (an embarrassingly bad love song.) But I’ve been performing since I was pretty young. I remember singing “By My Side” (from Godspell) in sixth grade at an open-mic at my school. In my head I was singing it to my English teacher who I was in love with at the time, and who was leaving the school: “Where are you going? Will you take me with you?” Heavy! I also remember my first solo in Girlchoir in fifth grade. I got to sing a line from the song “Vine and Fig Tree” that goes: “And into ploughshares turn their swords, nations shall learn war no more.” Good stuff! I was hooked at a young age.
Vegansaurus: Do you write about animals or animal issues?
Cotton: Yes, I frequently do. I feel deeply inspired by and connected to animals that I see around me in my daily life, as well as animals that I read about. I’m often taken by their beauty, their nobility, their lack of self-consciousness, their pursuit of what I see as “truth” (i.e. survival/self-preservation and social connection/love as opposed to fame and excessive amounts of money/material goods.) On my last album, Red River, I sing a lot about the dead deer by the roadside, and all that that sight represents to me. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey so for much of my life that was a very common sight for me. In my more recent songs I am trying to write more clearly and directly about animal welfare issues. I just finished a song about a pig born into a factory farm, and on my upcoming album there is a song where I speak pretty directly to some of the fucked up things people do to animals: hunting falcons solely for their feathers, destroying wolf and deer habitat to build mansions and raise cattle, etc. I also frequently express the flipside of my outrage, in other words, my reverence and my gratefulness for the wild animal life around me.
Vegansaurus: Your album is dedicated to your mom; please tell us more.
Cotton: My mother passed away a year and a half ago; she had cancer for just 10 months. I’ve struggled a lot with this loss, and writing songs for her/about her/inspired by her has felt like a poignant form of therapy for me as well as a meaningful tribute to her. So many people are struggling with similar feelings that I’m struggling with, either because of a death of a loved one, or some other kind of loss, and I hope this album reaches them, helps them, makes them feel less alone.
I should also share that my mom was an amazing advocate for animals throughout her life: She took in homeless dogs and cats; fostered shelter animals; worked to stop the deer hunt in my hometown and promote a more humane, nonlethal, form of population control; and worked internationally with a number of incredible organizations over the years, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare, working to stop the harbor seal hunt in Canada, and the farming of moon bears in China for their bile; New York City Audubon to preserve migratory bird populations; and most recently as the bird collisions campaign manager for the American Bird Conservancy.
Vegansaurus: Do you have any companion animals? Tell us all about them!
Cotton: There is an amazing cat named Buddy who lives in my house. His mom’s name is Lea, she’s my housemate. Buddy is a big beautiful guy; he’s often a blissed-out purring machine, so cute. But it kills me on a daily basis that I don’t have a dog in my life. As soon as I figure out how to live in a place that allows me to have a dog—dogs are not allowed in the house where I live—I’m going to foster a shelter dog. And then, once I have figured out how to be a touring musician that is also a responsible dog-owner, I’m going straight to a shelter and finding a dog who needs a permanent home. It’s going to be amazing. Until that day, I will continue walking/hanging out with dogs at Family Dog Rescue, a wonderful shelter in the city.
Vegansaurus: Do you have any super-cute photos of animals to share with us?
Cotton: Here is a picture of my family dog, Lorenzo, who passed away a couple of months ago. He was part of a litter of 10 puppies that my mom fostered when I was in 10th grade. My mom found homes for all of his nine brothers and sisters, but Lorenzo was returned to us twice! So we decided to keep him. He was such an amazing fellow, so handsome and spirited; I miss him.
Vegansaurus: What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
Cotton: This is an impossible question! If I have to choose, I’m going to say…wolf.
Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan cookbook?
Cotton: There are a bunch of vegan cookbooks floating around my kitchen (there are four vegans in my house), and I like all of them, but I’m not so inspired by any one of them to call it my favorite. I think I need a favorite vegan cookbook in my life, that’d be great! Any suggestions?
Vegansaurus: What’s your favorite vegan dish to make? What about for a vegan bakesale?
Cotton: I love Brussels sprouts sautéed with onions, garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar. I also love kale and fried tofu over brown rice or whole wheat pasta with a peanut sauce. For a bakesale, the chocolate chip cookies from How It All Vegan! are so delicious! Yum.
Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
Cotton: I love the fresh imperial rolls at Sunflower (3111 16th St. at Valencia Street) affordable and delicious.
Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan restaurant?
Cotton: Souley Vegan.
Vegansaurus: Tell us about the Kickstarter Project. How can we support you?
Cotton: I launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to fund the making of my next album: a six-song EP dedicated to my mom, as well as a northeast tour in May. The goal was $10,000, which, amazingly, was reached in just 11 days. People have been so generous! We’ve now exceeded our goal by about $500, and it runs until 7:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 28. Though it sounds crazy, $10,000 was the bare minimum we needed to make this album and tour happen as we envisioned it: recording live in a professional studio, and traveling the East Coast by train, which is more expensive but kinder to the earth and the animals than cars and freeways! We’re so excited, and so thankful to have made it this far. But if we continue to exceed our goal this will allow us to expand the project in some really exciting ways. Depending on how much we get, we’ll be able to book an extra day in the studio, record an extra song, hire an arranger for several songs, and compensate the musicians involved more fairly.
If you’re interested supporting this project, have a look at my Kickstarter page where you can watch a video explaining the spirit of the project more fully. You can also see the different rewards for donations, (for example, you can pre-order a digital copy of the album for a donation of $10.) If you want to support me in a way that has nothing to do with money, you can help me spread the word about this project by sending the link to your friends, you can help me book a show on the east coast in May—ideally in a home or a church or a similarly intimate space—or come to my show in San Francisco this Friday, Feb. 11 at Viracocha!