vegansaurus!

05/20/2014

The NYC Veggie Prom is almost here! Get your tickets now!  »

The party you’ve been waiting for is imminent! Veggie Prom 2014 is June 8th, do you have your tickets? Get them here

If you know anything, you know it’s only the funnest party of the year. Pretty outfits, yummy vegan food, and cool tunes! Oh, and it benefits Darwin Animal Doctors! Partying to save animals is my favorite kind of partying. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. It’s at Fontana’s, everyone’s favorite Vegan Drinks hangout. You don’t need a date, but I happen to be available. For a limited time only!

There will be all kinds of yummy vegan food (Gone Pie and Regal Vegan are two of the sponsors—I hope that means Gone Pie and Regal Vegan yummies for all!!). There will also be cool prizes and of course, Prom Court!

So get your tickets now! Vegan fun times are waiting!

Giveaway: THREE months of NEW animal-friendly Vaute tops!  »

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Yes! It’s our best giveaway ever! Vaute has a new membership program, [love, Vaute], and to celebrate, we are giving away a three month membership! That means up to six Vaute tops for our lucky winner!

[love, Vaute] was created because, as you may already know, new Vaute stuff sells out so fast! So to reward their best customers, you can now get a membership that gives you a nice discount PLUS first dibs on new shirts before they go public! And there will be brand new designs launched each month, including two dedicated to Vaute’s favorite nonprofits.

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This month’s top, benefiting Born Free!

Let me explain the program. You sign up for one of three options: a monthly subscription (two tanks or tees OR one long-sleeve shirt a month), a year-long subscription of new tops each month, or a 10-pack of tops to choose over a year. Like I said, when new designs come out, you will get first dibs before they go public. You’ll have a week to pick your tops (or they will pick for you if you want!) before they go on sale for everybody. 

After you sign up for one of the three membership plans, you take the membership quiz, this helps inform future designs or what they select for you if you don’t want to choose your own. Then, every month when the new designs come out, Vaute will email you a link to the pre-sale store and you get to pick your monthly designs! FUN TIMES!

imageLeanne designed this top for Earth Day New York and their kids organic garden program: Lettuce Grow a Beautiful World!

Ok down to the giveaway! Vegansaurus is giving away a THREE-month [love, Vaute] membership! That means early access to choose free tops (two tanks or tees OR one long sleeve a month) for three whole months!

To win! Answer one or both of these questions:

1. What sold-out top would you like Vaute to bring back most and why?
2. What specific animal or nonprofit would you like Vaute to create a design for in the next few months, and why?

Leave your answer in the comments on this post and we will pick a winner by 5 p.m. EST next Tuesday, May 27! We will email the winner Tuesday/Wednesday. 

UPDATE: It’s open internationally! Yay!

Guys, this is so exciting. I want to enter! But I won’t. But you guys can! Ok, go!

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05/19/2014

Five vegan dishes to help you celebrate asparagus season!  »

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"You see, Rodya, to my thinking, the great thing for getting on in the world is always to keep to the seasons; if you don’t insist on having asparagus in January, you keep your money in your purse."
-Fyodor Dostoevsky,
Crime and Punishment

Like any normal person, I didn’t like asparagus as a child. But in my old age, I’m a big fan! And not only is it yummy, it’s a good source of calcium, iron, riboflavin, potassium, dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. Yowza! I hear it’s also high in antioxidants. You go, asparagus!

So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I got to the Carroll Gardens Green Market yesterday and saw bunches of asparagus at my favorite farm stand! It’s asparagus season again! Huzzah! I got me a nice little bunch. 

Once I got it home, I boiled it quick-like and dipped it in some Just Mayo and I called it a day. But I want to make something super cool next week! So I looked up some recipes and thought I’d share them with you guys. 

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First up is a delicious looking alfredo pizza with roasted asparagus by Vegan Miam! It uses Victoria Vegan Alfredo sauce so it’d be super easy peasy. And it has beer in the crust or something! BEER!

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Well look at this! SO PRETTY. It’s an asparagus and beetroot tartlet from Flavour Photos! And according to the blog, asparagus season (in the UK) starts on Shakespeare’s bday! How lovely. 

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Helloooo, nurse! I would tear up this asparagus and sundried tomato quiche. From the Sweet Life Online! Gimme!

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Next, for something super hearty, we have a lovely asparagus portobello risotto from our favorite food genius Vegan Yack Attack!

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Here we have kale, asparagus, and chickpea pesto from Munchin with Munchkin. I could eat this maybe every day? I accept that challenge! 

Finally, if you need any tips picking the best asparagus bunch, our omni BFF Jerry James Stone has made this lovely video for you: 

So these are all the recipes I want to try! How about you guys?! Any recommendations for me?

Virtual Reality for factory farm chickens, would they be better off?  »

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Austin Stewart, an assistant professor in Iowa State University’s College of Design, is getting a lot of attention for his recent project Second Livestock. The project proposes fitting factory farmed hens with devices to give them a “virtual free range” experience. Apparently it’s a joke, or rather a “social experiment” as sites like TechCrunch are calling it. Stewart did an interview with the Ames Tribune on the project, stating, “The goal of the project is to raise that question of how do we know what’s best, or what is humane treatment, and also to look at how we treat ourselves. We’re living in these little boxes, just like chickens.”

I can’t tell if he’s trying to sound dumb or if they just aren’t going about quoting him very well. But the Second Lifestock site is very thought-out, so I wonder if he’s not just fucking with his interviewer to keep the whole thing vague. I suspect, or hope, that the project is actually a satire of the lengths people will go to to maintain industrial farming. However, at the moment, Stewart doesn’t shed much light on the realities of factory farming. Maybe that’s to come?

What are your thoughts? 

05/16/2014

5 adorable piglets who are so much more than bacon  »

imageJulia and her piglets! Julia was super abused before she was rescued by Farm Sanctuary, at which point she gave birth to a boatload of adorable piglets!

The pig’s sentience—its status as a non-object capable of suffering—morally trumps my desire to eat a BLT, no matter how much pleasure it gives. No life is worth a sandwich I don’t need. 
-James McWilliams for 
the Atlantic

The mere mention of bacon makes most meat-eaters giggle with glee. It’s basically the pinnacle of American gluttony, decadence, and indifference. It’s not just a food, bacon has become a punchline, yucking it up on Tshirts and memes across the country. Meanwhile, pigs, who are not only smarter than your dog but also emotionally complex, are suffering relentless anguish

According to the National Pork Producers Council, the numbers are reproachful:

Today there are more than 67,000 pork operations compared with nearly 3 million in the 1950s. Farms have grown in size; 53 percent of them now produce 5,000 or more pigs per year. Nearly 21 billion pounds of pork were processed from about 110 million hogs in 2011. A total of 2.3 million metric tons of pork valued at more than $6.3 billion was exported in 2012.

If I can translate that for you: a hundred million pigs are killed a year, and the factory farm industry is booming. That means gestation crates, pollution, disease, and cruelty. 

I know people like the taste of bacon. That’s not a justification for the suffering it causes. Maybe human babies taste great, that’s not a good reason to eat human babies. The “but it tastes good” argument is nothing short of vapid and shallow. You’re choosing sensory pleasure over morals. When is that ever the right way to make decisions?

In conclusion, here are 5 adorable piglets who were rescued from certain death and suffering. These are living beings who deserve more than being someones lunch. Take it away, cutie pies! 

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1. Leon Trotsky

Kicking us off is Leon Trotsky from Edgar’s Mission! Leon was injured at a farm and therefore “useless.” Thankfully, a kind person got Leon to the safety of Edgar’s Mission where he was fitted for his very own training wheels. 

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2. Edgar

This is Edgar! He’s one of those fell-off-the-truck rescue stories. Now he lives at Snooters Farm Sanctuary!

3. Marigold

Here we have Marigold from Animal Place! She’s playing in the straw like a total goofball! Her exact history is unknown, she was found roaming the streets in Sacramento, but they guess she was probably purchased from an auction for backyard slaughter. Not dice!

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4. Stanley

Hello, Stanley! Stanley is all growed up now but this is him getting some belly rubs as a baby. He’s another escapee found running up and down a busy road. Now he lives happily at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary!

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5. Eric

And of course, we close out with wee Eric from Farm Sanctuary! Eric was left to suffer with a leg injury because the medical attention he needed would cost more than the farmer thought he was worth. We think Eric is worth a gagillion dollars and all piglets are worthy of a happy life without pain!

All of these piglets were intended to be meat on someone’s plate, but thanks to random events, they escaped their grim fate. But most pigs—billions of them—are not so lucky. The overwhelming majority of pigs are still suffering in deplorable conditions. What can you do? Click on any of the shelter links above and donate in the name of your favorite piglet. More ideas? Visit Mercy For Animals. But the best and easiest thing you can do is GO VEG.

Share this list with your friends and spread the message: animals matter!

05/15/2014

You can help Animal Place save more animals like comedy genius calf Panda Bob!  »

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This is Panda Bob. He’s a rescued calf that lives at Animal Place. He’s also AWESOME. If you follow us on FB, you may have seen me share Panda Bob’s status updates from Animal Place’s FB. I do so for the simple fact that HE’S ADORBS AND HILAR! Here’s his latest update, to give you a taste:

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Dear World,

It’s me, Panda Bob.

This is me in profile. Around a kajillion dollars have been spent on determining which side is my best side. Science says, left side. SCIENCE.

Next week will be breaking news. I’m preparing you for this now. PREPARE.

You’re going to meet my new neighbors who are not as cute as I am, because I am the cutest. CUTEST. But they’re alright.

In other news, you can see Mortimer’s butt and rear leg in this photo. People keep saying “what about Mortimer?” and I’m all over here in profile going “what about my adorbs left side?” So, there’s that.

In Profile,

Panda Bob

ISN’T HE FANTASTIC AND AMAZING? (Hint: YES) Well now Animal Place and Panda Bob need YOUR help. They want upgrade their rusty old transport trailer to a new, bigger, safer trailer! The trailer will be used to rescue even more awesome animals who need a good home as well as transport animal residents to vet visits. But they need cash money to buy it!

That’s where you come in! Go to this link and donate whatever you can! Besides the satisfaction of knowing you helped save animals, they also have great perks. $10 gets you an exclusive video link of Panda Bob meeting the new trailer once they get it; $500 gets you a meet and greet with Panda Bob in person!!!! There are plenty of other cool perks too. So go donate now! Do it for the animals! Do it for Panda Bob!

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This is how Panda Bob feels about the old trailer. HATES IT. 

Suite ThreeOhSix supper club: Vegan fine dining on another level!  »

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I went to a fundraising dinner at Suite ThreeOhSix last night and I had to share the pictures with you guys because HOLY CANNOLI! 

Meave and I attended an event at Suite ThreeOhSix a while back and since then, I’ve wanted to go to one of their dinners. So when I heard Leanne of Vaute was hosting a dinner to benefit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, I knew it was the perfect time to go! And go I did. 

Because Leanne is only the most adorable, the menu was inspired by her favorite childhood foods; but head chef Daphne Cheng gave these childhood comfort foods a grown up makeover! Here’s the menu:

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This pic is from Suite ThreeOhSix’s instagram.

Is your mind blown?? I believe it’s probably blown. The pop tart is pictured at the top. It was my favorite dish of the night! The date compote filling was amazing. 

The second course was the open face grilled cheese you see below. I loved it!

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My brother was my date because he’s the fanciest person I know. His favorite dish was the corn fritters. This is them, they were topped with greens and some flowery bits:

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Next up was the mac and cheese:

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This was great as well (are you noticing a pattern?). But the dessert! Oh the dessert! Strawberry shortcake, gone all civilized:

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The strawberry ice cream shot was coconut based and very delicious. I don’t normally go in for strawberry ice cream but this was excellent. I also like that the cake was soda biscuit-like instead of sponge cake. That’s the way it should be! Death to sponge cake strawberry shortcakes! 

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Suite Three Oh So Fancy!

If you can’t tell, Suite ThreeOhSix is hella fancy. Unless you are a baller, it will probably be a rare treat. But it’s worth it! And I think the dinners are usually raising funds for good causes like PCRM. And they are always vegan! So make sure you sign up on their email list so you can hear about all the wonderful upcoming events. And I hope you enjoyed these pictures! The lighting was suspiciously good for food photography…

Sweet deaf dog learns to sign and finds her forever home  »

Get the tissues! This sweetie pie dog is deaf and the shelter she was at taught her her own sign language! They say it totally brought her out of her shell. So sweet! I’m not crying!

The happy ending is that she got adopted by a super nice woman who is hard of hearing. How cute is she tucked up in the woman’s arms?! Her adopter says she’s going to teach her people sign language! Watch the video. AND LOOK AT THIS FACE!!!:

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05/14/2014

Jennifer Lopez adopts vegan diet and we think that’s great  »

Say what you want about her music but Get Right is the jam. I couldn’t make it through this video but trust I have the 12 inch. 

Yesterday, my FB feed was aflutter with the news that J. Lo has taken on a vegan diet. I know some people don’t like when I say “vegan diet” but I’m just like, that’s what it is. And you know exactly what I mean when I say it. But maybe I don’t get “plant-based diet” because “plant-based” sounds like you eat mostly plants whereas “vegan diet” sounds like you never eat that non-vegan junk. 

Back to the matter at hand, Jennifer Lopez did a recent radio interview in NYC where she dropped the v-bomb. I didn’t listen to the interview because I feel exhausted just thinking about listening to it but Celebuzz has some choice quotes:

"Being vegan, it’s basically no diary, no meat, everything is plant based and from the ground," she says. "Butter is the one thing I miss!"

She continues about her new diet, “You do feel better. I do recommend the vegan diet because you wake up and feel great!”

There you have it! And I know many of you are not on the celeb-news train but I’ll say what I’ve said before: a celebrity going vegan raises a ton of awareness. And even if it’s only a vegan diet, cutting out non-vegan food seems to be the biggest barrier for people when they think about what veganism means. So that’s a great place to start. And eating less animals means less animal suffering, full stop. I know Lopez has a disgusting history of wearing fur, but it’s not like she’s going to wear more fur because she’s not eating cheese. 

And, on the raising awareness tip, who’s more likely to become vegan? Someone who knows about it because some celebrity tried it or someone who’s never even heard the word before? Plus I think people are more likely to open up to veganism if they have a vegan friend—and guess what! Celebrities are very much like friends to a lot of people! Basically, it normalizes veganism, which is great PR considering so many people regard veganism as “extreme” and realistically impossible. 

In conclusion: Yay J. Lo! Hope it sticks! Let’s go to Blossom together, my treat.

05/13/2014

Male scientists stress out otherwise super-chill lab rats, or Why animal testing is the wackness  »

From Flickr user Feistea.

New findings show that male scientists may cause stress to rats and mice, resulting in different test results than female scientists achieve (warning: I don’t know the full extent of shiz they are doing to these poor animals but they seem to know a lot about their pain threshold): 

In research published online April 28 in Nature Methods, the scientists report that the presence of male experimenters produced a stress response in mice and rats  equivalent to that caused by restraining the rodents for 15 minutes in a tube or forcing them to swim for three minutes. This stress-induced reaction made mice and rats of both sexes less sensitive to pain. Female experimenters produced no such effects.

And it’s not just pain (shudder! Ugh, why do they know so much about what causes them pain!), “the researchers found that other behavioural assays sensitive to stress were affected by male but not female experimenters or T-shirts.”

There’s “good news” though!

The problem is easily solved by simple changes to experimental procedures. For example, since the effect of males’ presence diminishes over time, the male experimenter can stay in the room with the animals before starting testing.  At the very least, published papers should state the gender of the experimenter who performed the behavioral testing.

Hmm. I can think of a better solution. How about we not test on animals at all?! Yay!

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From flickr user Halfabear.

But seriously, animal testing is so flawed. First of all, I doubt these mice and rats aren’t generally stressed. So maybe they are going through these tests with super pain-resilience all the time. But that’s just one of a plethora of issues. Take a look at what one writer for the Guardian had to say:

I analysed in detail 27 systematic reviews examining the contributions of animal experiments to human healthcare. Their outcomes are remarkably consistent. Animal studies rarely contribute to the development of clinical interventions effective in human patients.

It’s not hard to fathom why. Animals have a plethora of genetic, biochemical and physiological differences that alter disease progression, drug uptake, distribution and effect. Stressful environments and experiments are common, and distort outcomes. Additionally, numerous studies have revealed scientific flaws in the design of many animal experiments.

The moral of the story: ANIMALS AREN’T PEOPLE. They respond to treatments and experiments differently! And while some studies may save human lives, check this out: 

Modern drugs are more carefully studied than ever before. After lengthy tests on animals, those considered safe, and potentially effective, enter very limited human trials. About 92% are then weeded out and deemed unsafe or ineffective.

The remaining 8% are some of the most closely scrutinised compounds on the planet. You might be forgiven, therefore, for assuming they are safe. But at least 39 studies over three decades have ranked adverse drug reactions as an important cause of hospital deaths. Only heart disease, cancer and stroke are more reliably lethal.

Slate chimes in too: 

just how often do animal tests predict side effects in humans? Surprisingly, although it is central to the legitimacy of animal testing, only a dozen or so scholars over the past 30 years have explored this question. The results, such as they are, have been somewhat discouraging. One of the scientists, Ralph Heywood, stated in 1989 that “there is no reliable way of predicting what type of toxicity will develop in different species to the same compound.” The concordance between man and animal toxicity tests, he said, assessing three decades of studies on the subject, was somewhere below 25 percent. “Toxicology,” concluded Heywood, “is a science without a scientific underpinning.”

Dude. If the main argument is that animal testing saves human lives, I say we have a problem. I can go on—or rather PCRM can—but the point is, animal testing is not the great life-saving necessary evil it’s painted to be.

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Fun with false dichotomies. 

But whether it saves human lives or not, the bottom line is it’s just not ethical. To be honest, I do care more about people than animals. If I could only save a human baby or a puppy—in some bizarre world where I ever actually have to make this choice—I would pick the baby. I’m not totally sure why but I think I would. BUT just because I value humans more than animals, I don’t think that means we can just do whatever we want to animals. Feel free to correct my reasoning but the way I think about it is like how I, without a doubt, care more about my sister than your sister. If one of them had to die, I would rather it was your sister. Truthbomb. But I don’t think that means we should go doing experiments on your sister because it might save my sister’s life! 

Thinking that another being is lesser and therefore you can do with them what you will is exactly why people did horrible experiments on jewish captives in nazi Germany or people of color in America. It’s just wrong. 

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