SF Bay Area: there’s a new vegan ice cream!  »

Reader Katie (of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition!) reports about new ice cream (and ice cream sandwiches!) that are sweeping the vegan scene by storm. I can’t vouch for them but I totally trust Katie because girl knows what’s up so let’s see what she thinks:

At the Montclair Village farmers’ market this past Sunday, I was perusing the stalls when I came across an aesthetically-adorable ice cream booth, Green Girl BakeShop. I stopped to admire their ice cream sandwiches, steeling myself for the disappointment of not being able to eat any, when I saw the “no dairy” sign! It turns out all of their ice creams and ice cream cookie sandwiches are vegan! The ice creams are cashew and coconut based. I sampled the toasted pecan, and the balsamic fig. To me, toasted pecan ice cream is just like donuts; I was never that crazy about them before I was vegan, but as soon as I couldn’t have them anymore I craved them. The toasted pecans were so delicious and slightly carmelized tasting. The ice cream itself definitely has a cashew-y flavor, which I enjoyed. I couldn’t really taste the balsamic fig very well because my mouth was still full of toasted pecan. Unfortunately, since it was 10 in the morning I couldn’t justify buying a full ice cream sandwich, so I didn’t get to taste the cookie. Anyway, their products are adorable.

They’re at the Montclair and Lafayette farmers’ markets, so have at it everyone and come back and tell us what you think immediately!


New Poll: Oakland residents not terribly excited about neighbors raising and killing backyard animals  »

For over a year, controversy has surrounded Oakland’s plan to draft a new urban agriculture policy, and specifically whether or not it will encourage raising and slaughtering backyard animals like chickens, rabbits, pigs, and others.

A new poll of 1,158 residents of Oakland’s Districts 1 and 3 (where urban animal agriculture is most prevalent) strongly indicates that animals should be left out of the plan.

Sizeable majorities in both districts oppose it: 52 percent opposed to 28 percent supportive in District 1, and 55 percent opposed to 20 percent supportive in District 3, with the remainder undecided in both cases. These are the sort of numbers you want to see if you’re mounting a ballot initiative campaign; for a response to a proposed regulatory change, they’re basically a community mandate.

Here’s hoping that city officials, from the Planning Commission to the City Council itself, take note. Given that it’s an election year, there’s a good chance they might … but to be sure, if you live in Oakland, consider sending the link to the poll to your elected officials.

"Urban agriculture" shouldn’t and doesn’t have to mean “urban animal farms foisted on communities that don’t want them.”

Rick Kelley spends his days at an Oakland workers’ rights nonprofit and his evenings probably playing moderately accurate renditions of Propagandhi songs with his awesome partner and their rescued pups, Bandit and Emma. He’s currently active in organizing for an Oakland urban agriculture proposal that does not include animal exploitation, and both writes and serves on the advisory board for the Food Empowerment ProjectHe used to blog, and might do so again someday.


Oakland’s Beer Revolution opening a veg eatery next door?!  »

SUCH VERY EXCITING NEWS. We love Beer Revolution because we love beer and sitting outside in the sun and drinking beer while sitting outside in the sun, and so we were VERY EXCITED when we heard that they’re opening an all-veg eatery next door.

All the info we could gather from our thorough investigation (phone call) is that It’s going to be called Old Depot Public House, they’ll serve “European food,” and it’ll open sometime in the early fall. Obviously, you can now enjoy Beer Revolution with a side of next-door’s tasty Souley Vegan, but now you can enjoy appetizers at Souley Vegan and then move to Old Depot Public House< for main course and then back to Souley Vegan for dessert and then back to Old Depot Public House for second dessert. If this sounds like too much eating to you then you’re not a real vegan and need to rethink your priorities in ALL of your life, and maybe just jump off the Bay Bridge jk jk be cool.

Man, Oakland, you are really, truly the BEST lately—you know that, right? Yeah, you do. Come here, Oakland. (I’m making out with Oakland, you can go now.)


Drink all the tasty beer in Oakland TONIGHT!   »

SF Bay Area! Go to this beer drinking event TONIGHT in Oakland!$18 gets you a custom sandblasted, bottomless tasting glass (!!!) to sample over 25 beers. All beers are produced by local homebrewers, spanning a wide range of styles and brewing techniques. It’s not specifically vegan event but these beers are from small brewers so the fuck are they gonna get dried fish bladders?!?! Still, you might want to ask in a non-obnoxious way to raise awareness and make sure you’re not drinking fish butts.

There’s gonna be food for purchase from Spice Money, who looks rad because they’re all about building community via fresh eats, but also kinda stupid, because their vegan options look like they might be pretty weak, but what do I know?* There will also be DJs, do with that information what you will.

If you want to go, you gotta RSVP and you gotta be 21 years old because IT’S THE LAW, SON.

*but you’re in downtown Oakland and so there are mad delicious vegan places to eat! Go on a food crawl before the 8pm start time and then make it your job to get drunk even though you ate hella food already. VALUE, FOOL.


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!


Organic Soul Live: vegan soul food (permanent?) (pop-up?) in Oakland’s Chinatown!  »

You guys! There’s some really exciting news from the East Bay Express about new vegan soul food place in Oakland’s Chinatown, Organic Soul Live! And it’s omnivore restaurant reviewer approved!

From the write-up:

Vegan readers, feel free to call me out on this cliché, but if Joy had told me the dish was made from real cheese — not a mix of commercial soy- and rice-based “cheeses,” plus a cream sauce he makes out of nutritional yeast — I wouldn’t have blinked. He had me fooled.

Sounds damn good! Here’s a photo from EBX!

Should we call him out? It IS a total cliché but it’s pretty great that he called out his own shit. I hate that the ultimate compliment for vegan food is that it, “you wouldn’t know it’s vegan!” You KNOW when plenty of stuff you eat is vegan, and it’s STILL hella good. No disclaimers or comparisons needed! Still, hard for me to get all up in arms about this shiz because I do it all the time FUCK IT I’M ONLY HUMAN. Just a vegan trying to hustle in an omnivore world!

Anyway, he loved the shiitake bacon and massaged collards and the whole thing sounds prettttty delicious. Let’s all go! It’s open every day from 12-9pm and is located inside the Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt shop at 388 9th Street in Oakland. Which means that you can eat VEGAN FRO-YO with your soul food. Seriously, life is getting pretty damn fancy for vegans in the East Bay. Something bad has to happen, right? It’s going too well! Oh wait, there’s the total collapse of the economy, looming environmental destruction and the fact that I STILL don’t have a network sitcom based on the double shenanigans of me and my dog.  


Two new vegan restaurants in Oakland! Woohoo!  »

This is all basically second hand information and I’m no journalist (FOOLED YOU!) so I’m leave it up to you fine people to check it out and let us know what’s up! Deal? Deal!

Okay, lez go:

1) Nature Vegetarian Restaurant, 1116 Franklin (between 11th and 12th), (510) 238-9688. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It opened sometime in last few weeks and it’s possibly all vegan. Looks like some real competition for Golden Lotus! I wonder if it’s cult-owned? It looks like maybe not. It’s Chinese-gluten style. Tasty!

2) Banana Soy Vegan Restaurant, 416 15th (between Broadway and Franklin), (510) 272-4700. Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. It’s all vegan (!!!) Vietnamese food (YES!) and isn’t Ching Hai-related (YES!). The menu looks delicious and imma be all up in it later this week. And look, it says vegan on the banner! We have to support them!

Both restaurants are super close to the 12 Street BART station in Oakland, so no excuses! Let’s eat!

Man, this area of Oakland is just pregnant with vegan food, isn’t it? I’m so sorry for that sentence that’s half-disgusting and half-delicious. But really, PREGNANT WITH IT. 


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…


Guest post: We Hella Heart Oakland Veg Week  »

Oakland has long lived in the shadow of San Francisco. Heralded as a gustatory epicenter, Fog City is not only revered for its array of palate pleasing restaurants, but consistently ranked as one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the world to boot. Not to be outshined, Oakland’s culinary culture is getting a lot of attention these days. The New York Times ranked Oakland as number five in its “45 Places to Go in 2012” list up there with Panama, London, Tokyo, and Helsinki (they must think we have a lot of vacation time). In late February, the Boston Globe wrote, “Leave your heart wherever, but eat in Oakland,” and AAA just this month featured Oakland’s restaurant scene in its Via Magazine. The author wrote, “It’s no wonder that when people ask me, as they often do, where they should go out to eat in San Francisco, I often direct them east over the Bay Bridge to Oakland.”

When it comes to vegan eating, Oakland has a lot to offer. There’s Encuentro, an all-vegetarian wine and tapas bar from chef Eric Tucker of SF’s famed Millennium; Souley Vegan which needs no description; Oakland pizza institution, Zachary’s, which now offers deep-dish vegan pizza; Breakroom for some of the most delicious vegan sandwiches and baked goods out there; and much more. To highlight Oaktown’s growing vegan food culture and encourage more people to reduce meat consumption, a group of local volunteers is coordinating Oakland Veg Week.

Scheduled for April 15-21, Oakland Veg Week will consist of a vegan cooking demonstration, talks on vegan nutrition and animal agribusiness by celebrated speakers Jack Norris (co-founder of Vegan Outreach) and Nathan Runkle (founder of Mercy for Animals); a free screening of Vegucated; and a grand finale celebration where attendees can sample some of the most delicious vegan fare available and hear words of encouragement by Oakland’s own vegan guru Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Local restaurants will be taking part too, adding vegan options to their menus, and at some, offering discounts. A quick glimpse of what can be expected: Montclair’s Italian Colors will offer a vegan tasting menu including vegan seasonal specials like spring greens, fava beans, and fiddleheads. Homeroom, the all-mac and cheese all the time restaurant will dish up vegan desserts to go with its decadent vegan mac and cheese. Montclair Bistro will do a vegan eggplant cannelloni. Hungry?

Recognizing the benefits of a vegetarian diet for animals, the environment, and community health, local public officials are behind the effort. Oakland City Council member Nancy Nadel, Alameda County Supervisors Wilma Chan and Keith Carson, and Rep. Barbara Lee are all pledging to be veg for the week, and some of their staff are too. The city and county are both officially proclaiming April 15-21 to be Oakland Veg Week. And Oakland Unified School District will encourage students to try vegetarianism for the week too!

Not onboard the vegan train yet? Join Oakland residents in signing a pledge to be vegetarian for Oakland Veg Week. Pledgees will receive daily tips, recipes and support. And if you’re already there, it’s a good opportunity to ask friends and family to give the birds a break (and cows, pigs, and turkeys). Non-Oaklanders are welcome. Check out our website for more information and to take the pledge. [Ed.: And more importantly, get your omni buddies to do the same!]

Kristie Middleton, a proud Oakland resident, is a coordinator of Oakland Veg Week and works for The Humane Society of the United States’ farm animal protection. She has successfully worked with dozens of corporations, hospitals, and other institutions to improve the plight of farm animals through humane-minded purchasing programs. Her work for animals has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times.


Hey Bay Area! Lil’ Patches needs a home!  »

Look a sweet Patches!* She is a special-needs kitty who has had a rough go so far. She’s only one but when she was found, she was preggers. Then she tested positive for FeLV and the doctors thought it best to abort the kittens. From Patches’ foster mom Jessica:

She is healing quickly and still loves to cuddle. Because Patches has tested positive for FeLV there are a few special considerations for her new family. Patches needs a home without other cats. She needs to be an indoor cat only. FeLV is a condition that makes Patches immunocompromised. She could be healthy and happy for 10 months, or 10 years and there’s no way to know. 

She’s only about a year old, and so far super healthy, so her chances of a long healthy life are good. For many people this may be a deal breaker, but its important to remember, that any pet has the potential to get sick or injured. 

So if you, or someone you know, is looking for a very sweet, beautiful kitty please contact us. We would love for you to come by and meet her. We live in Oakland, CA. 

To meet Patches or if you have any questions, email Jessica at

*Who knows that song Patches? It’s the best!

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