New York state bans shark fin trade!  »


And it wasn’t a giant fucking hassle, either. After a proposal last year, the Legislature passed the bill this May, and Governor Cuomo signed it into law on Friday. Hooray!

“New York will no longer be a haven for the cruel and unsustainable trade in shark fins,” Patrick Kwan, director of grassroots organizing for the Humane Society, said in a statement. “The Empire State has long taken action to protect other threatened and endangered species such as tigers and elephants, now we’re taking action to protect sharks and help end the cruelty of shark finning worldwide.”

[Photo by Phil’s 1stPix via Flickr]


Stogo is Sto-Going Away Forever! NOOO!  »

Pretty much my favorite thing about New York City, Stogo Gourmet Dairy-Free Ice Cream in the East Village, is shutting forever as of Sunday. Goddamn Hurricane Sandy, ruining everything in my life. (Actually, I’m in Colorado where the weather is always perfect, so Sandy didn’t ruin anything in my life. UNTIL NOW.)

"The business had been battling high rent all year. Eight days without income during the post-hurricane blackout, combined with the upcoming wintertime slowdown in sales, led Stogo’s owners to make the call to close." 

Stogo is the best vegan ice cream parlor I ever experienced. If you live near New York, get to the store this weekend and bid them farewell. If not, wish on a Tofurkey that the owners will decide to reopen somewhere. What is there to dream of anymore if not a creamy scoop from Stogo? Nothing. Nothing at all. I’m literally crying into an apple pie as I type. It’s messy. Go try to have a good day.

[via DNA Info]

[Photo by watashiwani via Flickr]


Your Precious Backyard Chicken Eggs Are Lead Bombs  »

Listen up, Alanis: Here’s something actually ironic. Those fancy New Yorkers who keep chickens in their yards because the eggs are so much healthier might be poisoning their unsuspecting children with that scourge-of-paint-and-pipes, lead. BUMM-er.

The New York Times has the full scoop, but I’ll save you the carpal-tunnel of having to click and save myself the effort of having to write by copying and pasting the nut graf right here:

Preliminary results from a New York State Health Department study show that more than half the eggs tested from chickens kept in community gardens in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens had detectable levels of lead, unlike store-bought counterparts.

Now, I don’t wish lead poisoning on anyone, and I am also of the opinion that eating eggs from backyard chickens is about a zillion times more humane and less environmentally devastating than eating factory-farmed eggs. Nevertheless, go ahead and add this to your quiver of arguments as to why it might be just the bestest most best idea to the leave the eggs alone. Drop it! Drop the egg! Now walk away and no one will get poisoned!

[Link via the incomparable Ken Layne. Photo by wooleywonderworks via Flickr]


For the vegan sports fan, PETA’s best veggie food at baseball stadiums  »

I grew up on baseball. My parents took me to my first Baltimore Orioles game when I was two months old. I didn’t realize you couldn’t throw peanut shells on the ground in polite company until I was way too old. And when I became a vegetarian at age 11, one of the few things I missed was ballpark hotdogs (I now shudder at the thought, but kids will be kids).

As a grown-up vegan, baseball games are still fun, but I don’t ever go for the food (though I do love the garlic fries at Giants’ Stadium). I usually bring my own version, scoff at the suckers around me paying $12 for a crappy hamburger.

Now PETA’s gone and messed that up, by pointing out there’s some veggie food at stadiums, and giving them publicity for it, so they maybe have an incentive to add more. Last week, they released a  Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks list.

Surprise! No. 1 is in Philadelphia. Apparently the Phillies offer a vegan chicken-steak sandwich. Sign me up!

Other top contenders, and the things there I really would want to eat, are:

2. Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field: Vegtastic has the run-down of what to eat here. Sushi! Vegan hotdogs!

3. Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park: vegan hot dogs.

4. Oakland Athletics’ Coliseum: Eh. I’ve been here, not impressed. Not much vegan that I know of, though the vegetarian offerings might be OK.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dodger Stadium: vegan sloppy Joe, veggie sushi, and edamame, hurray!

6. New York Mets’ Citi Field: veggie dogs, veggie burgers. Here’s an outdated report!

7. Los Angeles Angels’ Angel Stadium of Anaheim: veggie dogs (I’m noticing a theme here), black-bean burgers, bean burritos, veggie wraps, and California cucumber rolls. Plus gluten-free options!

8. Washington Nationals’ Nationals Park: Hell yeah, I want me a tofu sandwich with Vegenaise, and a falafel! Last time I was here I brought my own Chipotle; that was good too.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park: Vegetarian lo mein and salad with fried green tomatoes sound interesting, but not sure they’re vegan. Sigh.

10. Minnesota Twins’ Target Field: “vegan mousse martinis”?! What is that? Why don’t I have one? Plus veggie kabobs!

Road trip in order? Find out more and get ongoing news at Veggie Happy. And watch some MLB bloopers to get in the mood!


Bust Magazine Craftacular, at the Seed in New York! June! Go there!  »

Aw, remember the early 2000s, when I was a budding feminist at Humboldt State, taking my women’s studies classes and reading Bust magazine? No? I loved Bust's feminist/pop culture flair, and if you've ever been to Arcata, you'd know why it's referred to as “behind the redwood curtain;” things like technology and pop culture do not easily get through. It was like living in the ’70s! It took four days to get a Netflix DVD in the mail! I didn't know how an iPod worked until late 2006! Man, I miss that place.*

I still pick up the odd copy of Bust, usually when I’m in Rainbow, reliving my hippie college days (being in Rainbow IS the Arcata experience, right here in SF). Except now I know how to use an iPod! And I listen to pop music!

Bust is hosting a Vegan Craftacular in New York this summer! They are teaming up with The Seed to bring you a two-day expo of food, art, crafts, demos, and speakers! How fun! Go to it, and then tell me everything!

Bust Magazine Craftacular at the Seed: A vegan experience
82 Mercer St., between Broome and Spring, New York City
Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m to 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Buy your tickets here!

*Sounds a lot like my experience at Davis in the early ’00s, says the editor who did not own an iPod or a cell phone until 2006.


Backyard farming proves to be an epic fail for animals.  »

In news that is not surprising to anyone, people are abandoning the animals in their organic, sustainable, backyard farms. It was so exciting for people in the the beginning, right? When, last year, if you so much as had a backyard, you could have fresh milk and eggs alongside that homegrown chronic arugula! I can’t help but be reminded of when Faye told Don Draper, in the season four finale of Mad Men, “I hope she knows you only like the beginning of things.” I fancied Faye; I am eager (a delusion, I know) to see her in Season five. If you have cable, and saw the season premiere on Sunday, don’t tell me anything! I’m waiting til someone downloads it for me it comes to DVD!

Gosh you guys! Enough about pop culture! This is about the animals!

Though this Mother Nature Network post mostly talks about the plight of animals in New York, I can’t help but feel it is probably true of most who have taken on this whole “WOOO! Livestock in my backyard!” thing. It’s so infuriating. I’m not someone who gardens, or raises livestock (I just like watching TV so much) so you have to bear with me here. It sounds like people go into backyard farms all, “Oh, I’ll get some hens, and they’ll lay eggs, and I’ll have delicious fresh eggs all the time!” But instead they get male chicks! Which grow into roosters! Roosters wake people up before their alarm clocks! So roosters end up in animal sanctuaries, along with goats and all the other farm animals that humans cannot take care of in a kind or responsible manner. To quote the MNW post,

"We get calls all the time from people who don’t want their animals or can’t afford them. We get emails about roosters found in the city or goats being neglected or pigs that are going to be killed if we don’t take them," says Elana Kirshenbaum, programs coordinator at Woodstock.

As the local food movement takes hold and urban homesteading gains popularity, more people are giving backyard farming a try. The prospect of fresh eggs and milk inspires them to bring home adorable chicks and goats — but when chicks grow into roosters or goats begin eating the landscaping, these animals are often given to animal sanctuaries or simply abandoned.
"People have a romantic view of farming, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money to care for animals. Here, we take our chickens to the vet, and when they’re sick, we give them antibiotics. People need to ask themselves if they’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility for the life of the animal," says Kirshenbaum.

Arugula is one thing, livestock is another! Want a hobby? I hear knitting is popular! Baking too! Card games, Mad Men marathons…


Buy delicious chocolate toffee cats to support Teal Cat Project! Do it, you know you want to!  »

So, back when I was a junior mint vegan, discovering the internet’s newly-burgeoning vegan bounty, I got super big into a couple of things, and those things were:

1) Ordering recycled vinyl bags from crafters in Canada. I don’t know, I went insane. If it was plastic and had an animal on it, I had to own (five of) it.

2) Buying vegan cheesecake online from questionable sources (never got the Ebola virus/ate placenta THAT I KNOW OF)

3) Eating mad amounts of truffles from Lagusta’s Luscious. Oh man, I ate me some truffles. AND HOW! I ate all the truffles because her truffles were the best, my friends. I thought my lover Lagusta disappeared along with my Canadian bag dealers and shady cheesecake, but Lagusta remains! Hooray for humanity, awesome fatness, and great stuff!

Lagusta’s Luscious now has an actual storefront and online business in New Paltz, New York (I think she used to be in Brooklyn? And had a meal delivery service? Am I making this up? I operate in a constant state of denial so it makes my memory a little wonky) and girl, her range of delicious chocolate products has EXPANDED! Caramel, chocolate, toffee, she’s got it all! Including special fancy chocolates to raise money for wonderful non-profits! For example, this month she’s selling Tabby Toffees, with a good portion of the proceeds going to our favoritesTeal Cat Project! Woohoo! The description for these delicious beasts are as follows:

A smooth and creamy milk chocolate ganache studded with crunchy toffee pieces, finished with a swirl of butterscotch and encased in a thin dark chocolate shell. 100% vegan, organic, fair-trade, and handmade in our little New Paltz, NY shop. Each box also includes three solid dark chocolate Blue Birds of Happiness, with wings painted with all-natural organic food coloring derived from blueberries. 

Um yeah, we’ll take a million. 

You can order them on Lagusta’s website and while you’re there, buy everything because why the fuck not? You’re rich and skinny, let’s destroy both of those dreams in a sexy chocolate waterfall of sexiness. That sounded wrong but the general idea is to buy all the chocolate and then roll around in it until it gets super melty and then we high five and eat candy off our bodies ARE YOU IN??? Because I’m pretty sure I’m not, and I apologize for that needlessly graphic imagery.


Russell Simmons tells NY to get off the cow teat!  »

Earlier this month, Russell Simmons wrote a letter to New York governor Andrew Cuomo telling him that milk should no longer be the state’s official beverage. In other news, milk is New York State’s official beverage. No but really, did you know that? I didn’t. Wait, does every state have an official beverage? Looks like a lot of them do, and for the vast majority, it’s milk. Grody! However, California’s is wine—go ‘head, Cali! Get your drink on!

I used to be all about almond milk but now I’m all about coconut milk. It RULES. So! I think the oficial state drink should be coconut milk! There, it’s settled. I’m a (super) genius!

One Green Planet has a nice guide to help people dump the cow milk and get down with some plant milk! So if you know anyone looking to make the change, there you go. 


New Groupon Clone is For Us!  »

Even though the whole daily deal thing feels like the housing market circa late 2007 (a bubble well on its way to bursting), I’m still pretty psyched to let you know there’s a new one focusing just on vegetarian and vegan-friendly small businesses!

It’s called TimeToVegOut and it just started like, this week (we’re so on top of shit. It’s because I have a Google Alert on the word “vegan”).

The best thing, for New Yorkers at least: Right now they have a coupon for Stogo, which is my favorite ice cream shop in the entire world. 

TimeToVegOut is launching in a bunch of cities, including SF, Chicago, and DC. For everyone else, you can also sign up for nationwide deals, which essentially means stuff you can buy online.

The site’s still working out some kinks—I had trouble registering but eventually got it to work. Anyway, this could be awesome. In the comments on the “About" page, the founder tells you how to help the site grow and get your favorite places involved. 


Also, can someone mail me some Stogo? Thanks.


Newsflash: Horse-drawn carriages are abusive and tacky  »

There’s been a lot of debate recently in New York City about horse-drawn carriages, since one poor horse, Charlie, collapsed and died in the middle of the street. Now that the results of the necropsy are in, concerns are as high as ever: “The gross necropsy report indicates that Charlie was not a healthy horse and was likely suffering from pain due to pronounced chronic ulceration of the stomach and a fractured tooth,” reports the ASPCA. So this wasn’t just a freak accident—this horse was ill, despite Bloomberg’s insistance that the horses are “well taken care of.”

This is a tragedy but it seems to have brought the absurdity of the horse-drawn carriage industry to light. Horses should not be living in New York City, trotting alongside cars day and night. That’s nuts. That’s not the only issue, however. The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages outlines the many reasons this industry sucks. Like where do these horses sleep at night? Surprise: it’s not Dream Valley. It’s a stuffy, fire-trap of a warehouse.

The attention Charlie has been getting has also brought attention to Intro 86, an initiative that would replace horse carriages with eco-friendly, vintage-replica cars like the model below:

Now I think that is a great idea! And the current carriage drivers would get first dibs on the jobs driving the pretty cars. Come on, this car is so much cuter than a horse-drawn carriage! And it still has all the nostalgia. 

Not everyone supports Intro 86. If you feel like reading something ridiculous and infuriating on the matter, look no further than Treehugger. Jaymi Heimbuch wrote the most absurd piece on the subject for them, saying one dead horse shouldn’t end the industry. Heartwarming. While she claims she’s “always on the side of horses” she also draws the genius conclusion that “it’d be a real bummer if city kids couldn’t see animals like horses while walking in the park.” Yeah, poor city kids. They wouldn’t get to witness horse abuse as a normal part of culture! I don’t even want to think about what that might do to their developing minds. I have what I feel is an even more genius conclusion, though: How about we send a message of compassion to city kids! I know, I’m out of control. 

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