vegansaurus!

10/10/2014

Hello friends! Time to look inside last month’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box!
This month was interesting. One hot item was Suncoat, a sugar-based mascara! My coworker tested this out and I actually noticed a difference, her lashes def looked more luxe than usual. There was also a deodorant from Only Goodness Inside, which I saved for my desk mate who is super afraid of aluminum deodorants. I haven’t heard back on what she thought but she was super excited. Ha. She cracks me up.
Other items were an awesome eyeshadow from Lunatick Cosmetic Labs, a microdermabrasion scrub from Derma E, and a deep moister mask from Clark’s Botanicals. 
I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

Hello friends! Time to look inside last month’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box!

This month was interesting. One hot item was Suncoat, a sugar-based mascara! My coworker tested this out and I actually noticed a difference, her lashes def looked more luxe than usual. There was also a deodorant from Only Goodness Inside, which I saved for my desk mate who is super afraid of aluminum deodorants. I haven’t heard back on what she thought but she was super excited. Ha. She cracks me up.

Other items were an awesome eyeshadow from Lunatick Cosmetic Labs, a microdermabrasion scrub from Derma E, and a deep moister mask from Clark’s Botanicals

I got this for free but if you want to try it, the box subscription is $19.95 a month, shipping included (for US addresses. International is more). 

10/09/2014

Chocolate Inspirations: the vegan toffee-lover’s dream come true!  »

If anything resembling a vegan Butterfinger makes its way into the world, you better believe your friend Megan Rascal will be all over that, like brown on rice! So of course I had to try these “peanut butter pillows” (at about 6 o’clock in the photo) from Chocolate Inspirations. I wrote the company to get a sample, and as you see, they sent me all kinds of goodies! Toffee galore! 

Chocolate Inspirations specializes in English toffee. They aren’t a vegan company, but they have a whole line of delicious vegan creations (with bone-char-free sugar and everything!):

In 2009 after a suggestion from a Vegan who missed English Toffee, Pam developed a Gourmet Vegan English Toffee. The vegan community pronounced the Vegan English Toffee an immediate success and inspired Pam to create an entire line of Gourmet Vegan confections. In 2010, Marcy, a huge advocate for animal adoption, started Chocolate for Charity where a portion of the proceeds from selected chocolate items are donated to animal shelters around the country.

Yay! Letting vegans join in on the toffee party! And yay for chocolate that helps animal shelters. But, you prob want to hear about the chocolate now, yes? Hint: yes!

Well, the chocolate-topped vegan peanut butter pillows are AMAZING. They are sort of like Butterfingers but much much lighter in texture, like…pillows! You know I always share my vegan swag with my work pals but in this case, I could not. I kept all the peanut butter pillows to myself! I’m terrible! But they’re so good! Salty, sweet, and peanut buttery. YUM!

But I did share everything else with my workmates. The chocolate at about 8 o’clock in the picture is very interesting—it’s cinnamon toast toffee! It sounds odd but it’s very good. Really sweet though, so you can’t be sugar-shy with this one. 

imageI don’t have my own pic, this is from their site, but they also sent this super pretty Italian orange chocolate bar! The office manager went cray for this one. It was popular. 

But my favorite thing, AFTER THE YUMMY YUMMY PEANUT BUTTER PILLOWS OF COURSE, was the chocolate-covered cashew brittle (2 o’clock in the top picture). I’ve never been super into brittle, but it turns out, if you cover it in chocolate, I’m all for it! The chocolate is just so good with the buttery brittle. 

imageAND they sent these adorable chocolate cups! Nice and bitter-sweet. We mixed them with warm almond milk and it was great but I like the suggestion to mix the lil’ one in a cup of coffee—mmmm! These are so cute too. I think they’d be a nice treat for kids. Much more fun than dumping a little bag of powder in a mug!

You’ll also be happy to know that Chocolate Inspirations is on the Food Empowerment Project’s recommended list. And their prices are not even cray! Any toffee-lovers out there? Are you so excited?

Coffeebars: healthy, vegan, coffee you can eat!  »

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New Grounds Food is a startup by two college kids with a very important mission: coffee you can eat! Enter the Coffeebar. The bars are made with dates, oats, chia, nuts, and fairtrade espresso! They are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, there’s no honey, no refined sugars, no preservatives, and they’re made with all-natural ingredients. I know you kids love that kind of shiz! 

The creators sent me some free bars to try so I can give you the lowdown. Survey says: yummy! It’s not like a candy bar or anything, mind you. I wouldn’t use it as a treat type of food. It’s like a good, coffee flavored energy bar. It has that moist, dense texture mixed with oats that you should be familiar with if you like energy bars. But it has a great coffee flavor! I’m super in to coffee flavored things. So I approve.

You may wonder why not just drink your coffee—I say do both! If you want a hot cup of coffee, grab one. If you want an energy bar, get one of these! imageThey are now holding a Kickstarter fundraiser! They already reached their Kickstarter goal but they have a stretch goal to get new flavors (well, they already had a stretch goal to source directly from family farms but they already passed that…). 

10/06/2014

Helloooo nurse! Califia Farms has a vegan almond milk pumpkin spice latte! Of course The Spooky has already reviewed it. Anybody else? I gotta get my hands on this! Before maximum pumpkinpacity!

Helloooo nurse! Califia Farms has a vegan almond milk pumpkin spice latte! Of course The Spooky has already reviewed it. Anybody else? I gotta get my hands on this! Before maximum pumpkinpacity!

10/02/2014

Terrible person bashes 920 chickens to death, meat-eaters condemn the massacre before they head to KFC  »

imageLittle Miss Sunshine is more introspective than your average meat-eater.

A few sites reported this awful story yesterday: an unknown sick and/or terrible person broke into a poultry facility and killed 920 chickens with a golf club. This is horrible and disturbing, but the public reaction is a blatant example of the bizarre cognitive dissonance we see with meat-eaters. This is a poultry factory. What the fuck do they think happens at a poultry factory? There are definitely more cruel ways than others to kill chickens, but I can guarantee you the way chickens are killed at a poultry plant is not going to be in a Disney movie. And it’s reported this plant, Foster Farms, houses* 21,000 chickens. What kind of quality of life do people think 21,000 chickens in a factory have?

Foster Farms is miraculously certified humane. Apparently you can be totes humane with 21,000 chickens living in warehouses. From their site:

Foster Farms poultry is neither “caged” nor “free-range.” Our chickens and turkeys are grown in large poultry barns designed to protect the birds from environmental extremes…

Yes, totally protected from environmental extremes…LIKE THE SUN. Here’s a screen grab from their “how we earned it” video about being certified humane:

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Again, there are worse ways to live (for example, the way most hens used for egg production live), but are you kidding me? This is awful enough for me. 

And what’s really telling, the company, which called the killings an “unconscionable act of animal cruelty,” is offering a $5000 reward** for info leading to the arrest of the perpetrator/perpetrators. Guess why they chose that number? Because the estimated loss to the business from the chicken attack is $5000. I know putting a price on the value of a being is sad, but if we have to, that’s so fucking low. 920 chickens are only “worth” $5000? And I’m sure that figure includes property damage, so it’s not even $5000. But also, tell me how this is about animal cruelty? And not profit loss? It’s all so despicable. 

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a terrible thing to have happened. But I also think the poultry industry is a terrible thing to have happened. Yet, meat-eaters condemn this cruelty, while chomping down on a chicken club. It’s just absurd. These people are so confused. Like this SF Gate piece, they call it a “bloodbath” and refer to the assailants as “killers.” Wait, are you trying to say meat is murder?! You crazy animal rights wackos! 

Also, I just learned they’ve made an arrest. I heard the cops are celebrating over chicken parm. 

*The Gawker post says “holds” instead of houses—a nice example of the subtle distancing through language we get when discussing animals used for food. 

**The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $5000 reward, but many news sites said Foster Farms was doing the same. I’m a bit confused, but Foster Farms is offering some kind of reward and I think it’s $5000. Another point of confusion: I definitely think whoever did this should be prosecuted and I think ALDF is great but why are they offering a reward amount that is the same as the monetary loss to the business? Seems to affirm the chickens are just a commodity. 

09/29/2014

October 4th: Join the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos!  »

imageAttention, world! The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is Saturday, October 4th! The situation is dire: ”Africa loses 4 elephants to poachers EVERY HOUR, EVERY DAY of the year. It is estimated that less than 300,000 survive today. Africa loses 3 rhinos to poachers EACH DAY; of the 5 species of rhino, less than 25,000 survive today.” And you know we love eles and rhinos!

To find where your closest march is, check here. If you’re in NYC of SF, I’ve done the work for you!  

NYC, join the FB event page and meet at 42nd Street and 12th Ave at 11am.

SF, join the FB event page and meet St. Mary’s Square (in China Town at 601 California St.) at 10:15 am. 

In conclusion, watch this baby rhino playing with this rock

09/26/2014

Beet pops, vegan pudding pops, instant pops: Popsicle season is never over!  »

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If you follow me on instagram (@meganrascal adoy), you know I recently got a Zoku quick popsicle maker! IT IS THE BEST PURCHASE I MADE IN MY LIFE (not including when I bought the Sweet Sweetback’s Baaddasssss Song soundtrack on vinyl, because clearly). You keep the maker in the freezer, and then when you want a pop, you take it out, pour the juice in, and SEVEN MINUTES LATER YOU HAVE YOUR POP! I am not kidding. Anyway, so I been eating like 6 grape popsicles a day (that’s quota, right?). And life couldn’t be better. 

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One day, I even got it in my head to make a vegan pudding pop!:

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Kinda uggo but tasted yum! I made it with Zen almond milk chocolate pudding. Delicious! But it was kinda harder to make, fyi. 

But then I saw our man Jerry James Stone is ALL ABOUT making cray pops! I don’t think he has an Zoku (amateur) but he makes all kinds of cool pops, like these beet and berry ones:

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He also makes cool boozy pops with like champagne and tequila (not in the same pop, you lush) and all kinds of neato stuff! BUT he didn’t have a red wine pop recipe. CORNY! So I tweeted to ask him about it and he said he’d make one for me! EVIDENCE:

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Yet I STILL have no red wine pop recipe! While I wait eagerly by the Twitter for JJS, here are some other vegan pops I want to make:

Fudge and Pumpkin Pie popsicles from My Recession Kitchen. Pops for pumpkin season, everybody!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coffee pops from Spabettie! HOLY CANNOLI. 

And Coconut Chai pops from Food Doodles! (Has honey but could easily sub a simple syrup for that.)

There you go! Those are my fall plans right there! In conclusion: if you are a true popsicle fan, you need a Zoku. 

09/24/2014

A question for the fashion world: Who do we love, who do we wear?  »

imageThe Brave Gentleman himself!

Meave and I had to pleasure of attending the recent Brave Gentleman Fashion Week pop-up event at the Alexander Gray Associates gallery. To kick off the event, Joshua Katcher gave a talk about fashion and animals. Turns out, not only has Joshua been teaching a course at Parsons, he’s got a book in the works! The book will discuss the role of animals in fashion and the talk was a bit of a preview of what’s to come. 

We’ve all heard the question, “why love one, but eat the other?" But, addressing the world of fashion, Joshua poses a different question: who do we love, who do we wear?

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This is the image that started it all. A woman, adorned in fur, is also covered in kittens. Then Joshua showed us image after image from fashion spreads throughout history with this same trope: women in furs, posed with (usually young and adorable) living animals. I loved the way Joshua phrased it; on the one hand, we have these sweet animals we can all fawn over, and on the other hand there is an animal “who has disappeared in the fashion object.” People don’t even see the animal. It’s just leather, fur, etc. 

Of course this brings us to the cognitive dissonance we come across daily with people and what they choose to eat. But Joshua points out, that same cognitive dissonance shows up in fashion over and over. He even had an old fashion photo of a woman with a pet skunk…wearing a dead skunk fur!

The talk was great and I can’t wait for the book to come out! I might break my strict “ew, books!” policy just for this occasion. After Joshua spoke, we all got to see his latest collection. As always, the garments aren’t just vegan and beautiful, they are environmentally friendly and sweatshop-free. 

imagePhoto by Damani Moyd Photography.

imagePhoto by Damani Moyd Photography. From the left: Tyler James, model; Alexander Gray and David Cabrera, co-founders Alexander Gray Associates Gallery; Joshua Katcher, Brave GentleMan; Andre Watson and Declan Cullen, models, Q Model Management.

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The above jacket was the star of the night! As Alexander Gray Associates are big supporters of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Brave Gentleman created this vegan, one-of-a-kind cow print biker jacket for the gallery to sell and donate the proceeds to WFAS. The jacket is made from super hi-tech recycled ultrasuede and priced at $1000. I’m not certain if it’s still available, but if you’re at all interested, I would contact Brave Gentleman asap.  

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And what would a fancy vegan event be without a fancy vegan spread? NOTHING! Luckily, Brave Gentleman understands. We got to try Miyoko Schinner’s new vegan cheese line AND go to town on some vegan macaron’s by Sweet Maresa’s! The cheese was amazing and the macarons were like awesome brownies with cream in the middle. 

Basically, Meave and I are dead from over vegan stimulation. RIP, us. All I ask now is that you bury me in the latest Brave Gentleman and tell my mother I said, “it was totally worth it!”

09/23/2014

NYC Vegan Drinks is this Thursday! Party for the animals!  »

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Yay NYC Vegan Drinks is here once again! I will be there spinning some dope records as will my main man DJ Grand Format (Ace of Bass fans, this is your night!).

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Freakin’ Vegan, empanada-suppliers of Vegan Shop-Up, will be serving up the yum. They announced on FB that they will have a special-just-for-Vegan-Drinks-limited-edition-get-it-while-you-can buffalo chicken empanada, complete with vegan blue cheese dressing! I’ll see if I have room for one of those but you know I first have to try their vegan cheesesteak empanada as you know I am the vegan cheesesteak expert (you know so much stuff). 

And this month benefits Stewie to the Rescue!:

Stewie to the Rescue has two primary goals: Make sure that no pet is ever relinquished to a NYC kill shelter due to the expense of their medical care, and that no rescue group is ever prevented from saving an animal’s life because of a lack of funds when a foster family or adoptive family is available.

As always, there are awesome raffle prizes including gift certificates from Mooshoes, Cinnamon Snail, The Green Radish, and Mercury Bar! So bring your cash money! Proceeds go to Stewie to the Rescue and you could win awesome shiz! 

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09/22/2014

Vegan zombie fans: Toe Tag Riot is available for preorder!  »

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Remember when we talked about Toe Tag Riot and what the ethical zombie would eat? Well now is your chance to preorder the comic and find out!

This is your preorder coupon! You can print it and bring to your comic shop OR you can preorder online:

imageIn the US, there are a lot of options to preorder, but here’s one at 45% offAnd here’s one offering a 2-cover set (both covers) at a discount. In the UK, you can order from Forbidden Planet.

If you have any questions, you can hit Matt up on Twitter @MattMinerXVX and he’s happy to help! And just so you know, preorders of issue 1 are how shops determine how many they’ll order of the full series. So we got to represent!

ALSO! Critical Hit #1 (the continuation of the Liberator storyline, with a new art team) will be in comic stores October 1st. It’s all about awesome vegan women doing the animal rights vigilante thing!

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