vegansaurus!

10/17/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Progress for pigs and quacktastic news for ducks!  »

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Yesterday, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban pig gestation crates, sending it to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk. Moments afterward, Danny “Don’t Veto” DeVito issued a letter to the governor, telling him that signing the bill is a sure way to get him into the pearly gates.

This week also marked a major advance in the fight for farm animals. The  U.S. Supreme Court allowed California’s landmark law banning the sale of foie gras to stand, setting a further precedent that states can block the sale of products based solely on animal cruelty concerns, even if those foods were produced in other states.

While New Jersey and California may be moving in the right direction, some pork producers still defend locking pigs in tiny cages. My rebuttal to one of them is published in the MinnPost this week.

And the fact that some pork producers are still defending the indefensible left my coworker Josh Balk asking in a new opinion piece, is bacon the new veal?

P.S. Video of the week: Pit bull meets baby chicks.

P.P.S. Are you on Twitter? Did you know that for free you can “donate” your account to help occasionally get the word out about important farm animal protection efforts? I’d be grateful if you would—here’s the link!

08/12/2014

Goldie’s: A vegan Asbury Park adventure!  »

I finally made it to Goldie’s! The amazing, mexican-inspired, all-vegan restaurant right in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I went with the Vegan Drinks crew and we rented a van and everything! Really did it up right. You can also take the train from NYC but we were on our road trip steez. Jersey-native Deborah Diamant was with us and she knew all the great stuff to do so we made a day of it! Goldies, boardwalk, pinball, ice cream and more! SO FUN! 

So Goldie’s is SO AMAZING. Above you can see their chocotaco. YES. VEGAN CHOCOTACOS. They were awesome. We were there for brunch but totally got one anyway because we rule. 

imageI started with sangria, yum!

imageThese are the yucca fries with cashew crema. Very salty, VERY YUM. So, so crispy and the crema was delicious. You have to get these when you go. Promise me!

imageThis is the papi chulo—fried maitake tostada with crumbled daiya, pickled onion, salsa verde. AWESOME. I’m not always into mushrooms but how can you not love them when they are perfectly battered and fried? Impossible!

imageAnd, as we were there for the brunch, I had to try the “juan-y cakes”—silver dollar cornmeal cakes with chocolate chunks, chile powder, and maple syrup. Delicious! But I couldn’t finish them. The serving sizes are ample!

imageAnd don’t freak out, there’s plenty of healthy, salad-y things too!

Basically, Goldie’s is so awesome and fun and the decor is like you’re in the Jetsons. And the food is out of sight! Totally worth the trip. 

If you want to go, which I know you do, there are plenty of fun things to do in Asbury Park before or after you hit up Goldies. 

imageOf course there’s the boardwalk! I do love a good boardwalk. 

imageAnd on the boardwalk, you will find A PINBALL MUSEUM!!! You pay like $10 up front and then you can play unlimited pinball for an hour! Skiball too! And the pinball machines are so cool, all vintage and whatnot. There’s a Guns n’ Roses pinball machine!

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Finally, if your vegan sweet tooth is not satiated, you can go to Cookman Creamery! They have like 15 vegan ice cream flavors AND vegan ice cream sandwiches! And vegan ice cream cakes even! I got the peanut butter chunk with peanut butter sauce BECAUSE I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER! And it was delicious. But there were so many vegan flavors, it was hard to choose. 

So there you go! I basically planned your whole next weekend for you! I’m the best. But YOU MUST go to Goldie’s as soon as possible. It’s officially on the vegan can’t-miss list!

04/15/2014

Help Asbury Park, New Jersey get its very own all-vegan chocolate shop!  »

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Cinnamon Chocolate Covered Toasted Macadamia Nut Truffles! Yum!

Kristina Swenson learned to make chocolate as a child in Hawaii, now she wants to bring her skills to New Jersey! A natural progression. But Kristina needs your help to get her chocolate shop, The Chocolate Rabbit, started. 

I haven’t tried these chocolates but they sure look nice! And I am excited to have an all-vegan chocolate shop to force my family to stop at when we drive the NYC-Philly route. 

I know, another day, another vegan kickstarter, but I happen to love that our community can come together to fund the vegan endeavors of our brethren. We are mighty! Plus you KNOW I love kickstarter perks. Imma get some chocolate!

You can learn more and donate here. Good luck, Kristina!

11/25/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

After a massive on-the-ground campaign throughout New Jersey to override Governor Christie’s veto of our gestation crate bill, animal advocates flooded the statehouse this past Monday in anticipation of the state senate’s vote. While Monday was disappointingly not the pigs’ day, the vote will come up again next month, so stay tuned!

We did win an important vote this week on gestation crates, with shareholders of Cracker Barrel overwhelmingly voting to support the company moving away from using gestation crate-derived pork.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the executive director of the prestigious Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production said this week that “They finally got the attention of the industry because everywhere they went up against the industry, the Humane Society won.”

HSUS this week joined with environmental and community groups in announcing plans to sue a breeding pig factory over manure spills in Iowa. And speaking of gestation crates, check out NBC’s national coverage of Mercy For Animals’ new undercover investigation at a Tyson Foods-contracted gestation crate facility.

Finally, worried about how to feed a growing human population? Try eating less meat, says Fox News this week. And the Norwegians seem to be getting the message. The Norwegian army takes on a battle against climate change by implementing Meatless Monday. A military spokesperson states that “It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier.”

Video of the week: This might be one of the most unlikely friendships I’ve ever seen. Remarkable!

10/11/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

After working with HSUS, the Buffalo, New York public school district is the latest to announce that it’s now going entirely meat-free on Mondays! Buffalo joins Los Angeles, Detroit, and several other major school districts in serving its students more plant-based foods. In that vein, Fox News—yes, Fox News—ran a story yesterday entitled, “5 Reasons to Try a Vegetarian Diet.”

The Asbury Park Press became the seventh New Jersey newspaper to editorialize in favor of overriding the veto of our gestation crate ban bill.

Finally, promising news from down under: major Australian grocer Woolworths is ending all sales of eggs from caged hens.

Video of the week: Not a cute animal video this time, but an amazing 1935 Popeye original about preventing cruelty to animals, with an ending that’s a must-see!

Photo of the week: Found these two federally furloughed starving NASA engineers. Gave them food in exchange for coming to New Jersey to help ban gestation crates!

07/01/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

Vegetarian eating is on the rise in China, with their vegetarian population now larger than that in the U.S. And on this side of the world, in the U.S., “meat” may be becoming a four-letter word, so much that Taco Bell is now just referring to it as “protein.” The article about it notes that part of the reasoning is based on the fact that “43 percent of conversations about ‘meat’ over the last six months were negative and often included such words as ‘bad,’ ‘concerns,’ and ‘problem.’”

A big ag trade publication commenting on our campaign this week notes, “The movement against gestation stalls is international, widespread and making major gains.”

Indeed, major gains are being made, and in one state, we’re going to have to fight very hard to ensure that those gains continue. Despite nearly unanimous votes in both chambers of the state legislature and enjoying overwhelming voter support across the political spectrum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation yesterday that would have banned gestation crates. The next chapter of the fight will soon unfold.

P.S. Video of the Week: Cat or dog?

03/15/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s weekly Animal News You Can Use!  »

Want to read a great AP story about the proponents of anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bills getting part of their bodies (I’ll let you be the judge) handed to them at a legislative hearing in Nebraska yesterday? Also, the ag-friendly Bakersfield Californian editorial board slammed the supporters of a similar California bill this week, saying how they’re “amazed by the audacity of the cattle industry.”

Good week in statehouses for farm animals, with a New Jersey ag committee passing a bill to ban gestation crates and a Colorado committee doing the same on a bill to ban dairy cow tail-docking. We’ll continue working hard to further advance these bills.

There’s a fascinating story out today about a meat industry front man who admits he created a fake Facebook profile posing as an animal activist in order to criticize HSUS and encourage other animal activists to do the same.

After extensive dialogue with HSUS, Bob Evans is the latest food giant to announce it wants to phase out gestation crates. And the National Pork Board did a survey with promising results about the changing attitudes of pork producers to the gestation crate issue.

Think you’re the only one who finds promise in plant-based products? These billionaires are with you.

Finally, students! If you want “Skinny Bitch” Rory Freedman, VegNews editorial director Elizabeth Castoria, and HSUS’s Kristie Middleton to read your essay, enter HSUS’s Meatless Monday essay contest now!

Video of the week: Justin Timberlake on SNL singing about vegan eating. Words can’t describe how great it is.

Photo of the week: My cats enjoying their catio!

10/31/2012

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Reminder: Cory Booker is a hero and a national treasure. Impertinently, he is also very handsome.

Stay safe, East Coast Vegansaurs.

04/16/2012

Escaped cow gets sanctuary!  »


Aww, his poor ears! Effed. 

This is Mike Jr. He escaped from a slaughterhouse in New Jersey on April 10. Eventually, he found his way to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary! Here’s the story:

[Mike Jr.] eluded capture for hours and even waded into the Passaic River (yuck!). Police used vehicles to ram into the calf in an effort to bring him under control until a tranquilizer gun could be obtained. The story was picked up by local news and in the piece the slaughterhouse owner said he would release the calf to an unspecified farm.

Suspicious of the kind of farm that he might end up at, uber-volunteer Mike Stura, who lives not too far away, called us early the next morning. We agreed we could help and Mike dropped everything to go get the calf. He has a truck and a recently-acquired trailer for just this purpose. It turns out the calf had already been transported to another slaughterhouse (not the “farm” as promised on the news), but Mike pursued it and was able to convince the owner to release him. We named him “Mike Jr.” after his rescuer. We arranged for human Mike to take bovine Mike to a local vet to clear him to cross state lines and treat the wounds and abrasions. After some blood work, vaccinations, and cleaning the wounds, the Mikes were given the “go” to head upstate to WFAS.

Mike Jr. is enjoying his first days of freedom and roaming the pasture with other rescued cows and steer. Rest assured he will never end up at the end of a fork!

We’ve all heard stories about animals that escape from the clutches of the meat industry and find a home at one sanctuary or another. Does anyone else find this phenomenon as odd as I do? Specifically, the part about how the slaughterhouse owner decides the animal deserves freedom because it somehow escaped.

I’m always glad to see an animal get to sanctuary, but it’s so funny that when people see a runaway animal, they react like, “What will and determination! S/he deserves to be free!” I’m just like, “you know that this cow is just like all the other ones that are about to be slaughtered?” Right? I feel like it’s a weird American Spirit thing. Or that this cow has proved itself smarter or more sentient than the others, so it deserves freedom.

What do you think it is? Any ideas? It’s fascinating!
Mike Jr. and his new BFF Kayli! For more pictures of Mike Jr., check out the WFAS page.

02/15/2012

Good news: the diving horse show is NOT returning!  »

Huzzah! The people have spoken! Atlantic City will not be bringing the diving horse show this summer! Happy day! Sometimes things do work out.

Steel Pier owner Tony Catanoso had this to say: “We just felt that since Atlantic City is moving forward, we should move forward with it…. We should create new memories for visitors instead of recreating old ones.”

Yay! What should the new attraction be instead? I’m thinking giant ball pit! Like GIANT. Like Olympic-size swimming pool. OR, the world’s biggest moon bounce! That you can go on even if you are a grown-up! I love moon bounces, but they never let me in them any more. Sad face. 

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