vegansaurus!

02/21/2012

Hey Portland! Tandem Treats wants to bike vegan nachos to your face!  »


Check it out, Kickstarter-watchers, Tandem Treats! is a-comin’!:

Tandem Treats! will be a tandem-bike towed Vegan food cart in Portland, Oregon.

We want to feed our community with as little environmental impact as possible. All of our ingredients will be locally sourced, organic or GMO-free, and vegan, of course!

Our menu will include hot dogs, chili, nachos, sushi, kombucha, root beer, and buffalo-ranch pizza. We will also have gluten-free buns!

Tandem Treats!, pulled around by Cicada and Rocks, will be in Southeast Portland four days a week and at local events around town, offering vegan options to omnivores and herbivores alike. We are chefs and animal rights activists with a plan to win over the world with delicious vegan food.

With proceeds from this food cart, our goal is to someday open an animal sanctuary.

I love tandem bicycless. What is it about them? I wish I could buy everything from people on a tandem! Like, insurance! And … dignity! JK, that’s overpriced. But insurance, for sure. 

Tandem Treats! have nice things you can get when you donate on Kickstarter and they said if we pledge $100 or more, we can get a lil’ pink dino painted on the bike! I want!

10/10/2011

Book review: Out of Breath, by Blair Richmond  »

I love books! Lucky me, Ashland Creek Press recently sent me Out of Breath, which is a novel by “Blair Richmond” about runners, vegans, and vampires living in the Pacific Northwest.

This is the second first-of-a-series novel about vegans and vampires that we’ve come across; recall Merlene Alicia Vassal’s The Vampire and the Vegan, which Jenny reviewed back in May. I think Out of Breath is the superior work; there’s no grody “love-making” and the characters are all clearly drawn.

I love a teen novel almost as much as I love a teen television dramedy, which is to say, passionately, but Out of Breath had difficulty balancing its message with its plot, so I feel like a lot of the hilarity was unintentional. Maybe I’m not the ideal audience, who I think is actually a teen-novel reader who is vegetarian and/or hasn’t considered a vegan lifestyle before. The “why veganism is really the only choice” arguments are compelling, but not very deftly incorporated into the plot. The action would be zipping along—I read the 263 pages in about an hour—and then our hero, Kat, would drop a big old paragraph of “Meat Is Murder” on us, like, way to ruin the mood, lady.

The plot is rather formulaic, but although Richmond telegraphs the twist before it comes, you won’t guess its scope until the author drops it on you, and it’s pretty good. I laughed with disbelief and appreciation for the shocking ridiculousness of it. Don’t take that the wrong away: It’s AMAZING; it’s silly and it’s weightless and soap operatic and wonderful. I mean: It’s set in a town called Lithia, and everyone’s supposed to be happy because THERE’S NATURALLY OCCURRING LITHIUM IN THE WATER. So much wtfuckery! You will probably love it.

Despite its heavy-handed deployment, the vegan message is refreshing to read. Better “Don’t eat animal products” than “alcohol/drugs/premarital sex KILLS,” by a million; at least the information is truthful and useful, and might positively influence the young readers of Out of Breath. Presumably. I wouldn’t argue that any one YA novel would have measurable impact on even the most impressionable readers, but as part of a series of pro-vegan novels, it could make a positive difference. I realize this is the same sort of thing that evangelists of all beliefs say about their niche literature, but unlike the Left Behind people, vegans are actually right, and I know that begs the question but shut up it’s true and you know it.

If you want to read the book—and believe me, you do—the Kindle version of Out of Breath is on sale for $2.99 throughout the month of October. That is cheap! Ashland Press will also hold an online book-release party on Oct. 31, which will involve an author Q&A, giveaways, and tips and tricks for vegan trick-or-treating. Because “Blair Richmond” is a pseudonym, the author won’t make any physical appearances to promote the book, so this internet party will be your sole chance to interact with this person. I recommend you drop the three bucks, read Out of Breath, and visit the Halloween party to ask the questions you will doubtless have about it afterward. Actually, read it while eating some vegan Halloween candy. It’s like a vegan marshmallow in literary form, anyway: you love it while you’ve got it, though the enjoyment is fleeting, but it’s better for you (and the animals!) than the standard fare.

Thanks so much to Ashland Press for sending me a review copy of Out of Breath. I really enjoyed it!

08/12/2011

Make the world’s greatest food: Yumm Sauce!  »

You most likely have no clue what Yumm Sauce is because you’ve been living under a motherfucking rock. It’s this savory, tangy, creamy dressing/dip/sauce of amazement, available almost exclusively* from Cafe Yumm, a chain of restaurants in Eugene, Ore. At this magical Cafe Yumm, they serve the sauce on pretty much everything, but most especially their bowls.

It’s totally next-level hippie shit, so damn good. You’ll feel so nourished by comforting, healthful, real foods that you end up typing sentences as embarrassing as this one. Damn, that shit will make you go cross-eyed it’s so good, and the bitch of it is you can only get it in certain parts of the Pacific Northwest. Ugh, awful. You’re probably like, “Laura, why the hell are you telling us about this magical magicallity when I can’t ever eat it? Although you’re pretty and smart, YOU SUCK!”

To that I say: 1) You think I’m pretty? Aww, thanks! And 2) GIRLFRIEND, I GOT YOUR BACK. I found a recipe online and it’s the real deal. Well, it’s not exactly the real deal, but it’s very similar, not much work at all, and HELLA TASTY. Make it immediately, put it on everything, win the respect of family and friends.** Plus, it’s wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and low in sodium, if you care about that shit. There’s a ton of oil in it but that’s good fat, right?

This picture is what your sauce should look like, except not in a jar with a label. If it looks like that, it’s because you wimped out and just bought some. Not cool, dawg.

*I say “almost exclusively” because Jonas brought me some back from Food Fight Grocery in Portland once. That was the day we got along the best in the history of our relationship.

**Good luck with THAT.

UPDATE: substitute nutritional yeast for the brewers yeast! LISTEN TO COMMENTER ADRIENNE, SHE IS VERY RIGHT. 

UPDATE 2: Peas and Thank You, a really, really great blog, has a recipe that looks actually more right on then the one above, so MAKE THIS ONE. Thanks, Steph! 

07/01/2011

The Kitchn tours Bob’s Red Mill!  »


Bob’s Red Mill is the best: they process and/or make all kinds of delicious flours and mixes, and last year they transitioned to an entirely employee-owned company! I love these guys!

The Kitchn recently took a tour of the eponymous Red Mill, and interviewed the eponymous Bob (Moore); turns out, it’s amazing and he’s great. Listen: “For a beginning cook, I would recommend starting simple with whole wheat pastry flour. This product can be used in place of conventional white flour for cookies, muffins and quick breads. Its whole grain goodness will make baked goods only slightly denser than when using white flour, and they will be much healthier. If the baker wants a lighter touch, I recommend using half whole wheat flour and half white flour.”

It’s true! Whole wheat pastry flour is delicious and super-useful. Let’s all move to Portland, Ore. and work at the Red Mill!

[photo by Leela Cyd Ross via The Kitchn]

05/19/2011

Public radio presents biased perspective on ethical eating  »

The discussion thread for Oregon Public Broadcasting's (OPB) radio program on ”Knowing Your Meat" quickly spurred lots of rage and debate among the Portland vegan community (thanks to the folks at Herbivore clothing via their twitter @herbivorecc)—and rightly so.

The photo affiliated with the discussion—something previously talked about on Vegansaurus—is unbelievably sickening. I can only imagine holding a dead animal like that if she had been a beloved companion animal, not something I was about to EAT. Naomi Pomeroy, the woman from the photo and the owner of the restaurant Beast, says that the photo is meant to help us acknowledge that the meat we come from was once a living animal. An ex-vegetarian herself, Pomeroy suggests we should only eat meat if we know where the animal’s from. I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly why I won’t eat meat. It seems ludicrous to eat something that was once a living and breathing sentient being.

The ethics of this woman are very strange to me. On the website for Beast she says that “pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans would find it a challenge to enjoy our six-course dinners.” Uh, OK? But honestly, what more could we expect from a woman who turned away from vegetarianism for the benefit of her business? To feel like she was still doing something “good,” Pomeroy decided to start sourcing the meat for Beast from “ethical” and “local” distributors. This was the whole reason for the online discussion and radio broadcast: finding out if it’s worth it to only purchase “ethical” and “local” meats, and if so, where do you draw the line?

I agree with Michelle from Herbivore: She wanted to know why they weren’t going to have any vegans or vegetarians as guests on the radio show. Just because we personally don’t eat meat doesn’t mean we can’t offer some valid points on ethical eating. Instead the whole broadcast was full of ex-vegetarians calling in to explain why they began eating meat (hint: it’s always because they could now get it from ethical sources). My question here is, where were all the vegan callers!? I know there were no shortage of vegans posting on the internet discussion, but not a single one was on the radio. I’m worried that OPB screened the calls, or maybe no vegans actually called in, which either way is a serious shame. According to the Think Out Loud  blog there were a few technical difficulties with the calls. I understand that a few off the calls were dropped instead of being put on hold. Instead I listened to someone who had been a vegetarian for over 20 years describe how she started eating meat out of respect for her husband’s avid hunting.

One of the other callers (also an ex-vegetarian) spoke about buying whole animals to have butchered for food for her and her husband. The caller said she wasn’t yet ready raise her own animals for food for fear of growing attached to them. I think this sums up what is wrong with her meat-eating. She’s admitting she has a problem with the death of animals for food, so why try to deny that by continuing to eat them? Also, please see:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]

I’m sad this radio broadcast failed to represent realistic ways for Portlanders (and anyone for that matter) to eat truly ethically. [Ed.: Perhaps we can all email the OPD programming folks and ask for Thinking Out Loud to do a show on ethical eating? LET’S ALL DO IT! It’s your five-minute activism for the day!]

This guest op-ed was brought to you by Chelsea Catchpole, a vegan who hails from the mystical land of Portland, Oregon. She is a barista by day and a blogger, climber, and “chef” by night. You can normally find her wandering the isles of New Seasons or The People’s co-op, spending way too much money on new foods. The rest of her free time is spent cuddling with her two cats, Sushi and Mojo-Jojo. You can read her other musings at Stumpy Vegan.

11/18/2010

Eat, pray, vom: a d-bag’s guide to Portland  »

Josh Ozersky, bro-extraordinaire, gives us a super-rad guide on how to kill animals and clog your arteries in Portland, Ore. First I’d like to comment on Ozersky’s writing style: VOMIT. Like, oy, come back to Earth. Here’s a sample: “Unlike New York City, where the winds of reputation stoke the fires of resentment, Portland is supremely communal and laid-back.” The winds of reputation stoke the fires of resentment? Bleh, pass me a bucket! He also seems to have recently coined his own term, "lardcore," which he now likes to use. Self-referencing. Awesome.

On to the food, Ozersky brags that he was “writhing in pain” after a long day of eating various nasty meats. Dudes, writhing in pain is not how you should ideally end the day. He literally ate himself sick. DISGUSTING. Ultimately, all his pork-worshiping leads him to declare Portland, “America’s new food Eden.” Guess what, bro: vegans declared Portland food Eden decades ago! What’s more, YOU CAN’T HAVE IT, MEAT-EATERS! It’s ours, deal with it.

Let’s be clear: there is a vegan STRIP CLUB in Portland, OK? My debilitating moral code doesn’t allow for strip clubs nowadays but if they are going to exist, a vegan strip club is where it’s at. Besides that, you can get a vegan HAIRCUT in Portland. For serious! In fact, my sister got a cut there and came out looking even more adorable than she already is. It was a stellar cut, side-swept bangs and all. The Parlour St. Johns, where you can get said haircut, is part of the vegan STRIP MALL in Portland. There is a vegan strip mall! Talk about Eden [Ed. The Parlour St. Johns is not in the mini-mall. Thanks to our Portland-knowledgeable readers for correcting our geographical error]. This is where the famous Food Fight vegan grocery is. That place rules and the people are super-nice. But my favorite part of this strip is Sweet Pea Baking Co.—an all-vegan bakery. Sweet Pea has the most amazing scones I’ve ever had! And believe me, I’ve had scones. It’s the food of my people. So trust me when I say you’ve got to get the cinnamon scone. It’s off the chain.

Moral of the story: suck it, Ozersky. Portland is ours. Take your lardcore and shove it.

[map of vegan and vegan-friendly eateries in Portland from Happycow.com]

11/03/2010

Vegans vote 2010: November election results!  »

A mixed bag, you guys. We are really, really happy that Arizonans failed Prop. 109 and that Missourians passed Prop. B; it is pretty depressing that the three other constitutional amendments to guarantee the RIGHT to KILL STUFF passed, and with such high margins; it’s much more depressing that you can still shoot animals in a damn pen in North Dakota. What kind of a jerk are you, you won’t even make an effort to kill an animal like an adult? You are the kind of person who absolutely should not have a hunting license, if you won’t even put yourself in any discomfort or risk missing. Disgusting.

Wag of the finger to your Vegansaurus’ state, whose voters failed Prop. 21 because they hate protected wilderness or something. Extra high-fives to Montana voters for finally getting this initiative passed 20 years after the first attempt. We’re really sad about Nancy Pelosi, you guys. That weepy orange puppet of the tobacco companies is just The Worst and we can’t imagine having to stomach even more of his gross face for the next two years. Happy elections, everyone.

Arizona: Prop. 109 - Failed!
Prop. 110 - Failed.
Prop. 301 - Failed!
With 37 of 39 precincts reporting, Prop. 110 failed by 5,000 votes. Not much! Still, Prop. 109 was much more important, and you clobbered it. Excellent work!

Arkansas: Issue 1 - Passed.
Boo, Arkansas. “Better safe than sorry,” my foot.

California: Prop. 21 - Failed.
It wouldn’t even have affected residents! Dang it, you guys.

Iowa: Measure 1 - Passed!
Good job, Iowans! With a solid percentage, too.

Missouri: Prop. B  - Passed!
This was super-tight, you guys! Fewer than 60,000 votes between passing and failing. You should be so proud of yourselves. How long until it goes into effect?

Montana: I-161 - Passed!
Hey all right. Kill those elk, get that money, Montana.

North Dakota: Measure 2 - Failed.
Back to the shootin’ pen with you, North Dakotan wildlife, so the rich spoiled people can feel good about what skilled “hunters” they are. Cass, Grand Forks, and Sioux Counties: you’re still cool.

Oregon: Measure 76 - Passed!
Nice work. Not sure who would vote against such a gimme, but still, nice work, citizens.

South Carolina: Amendment 1 - Passed.
Oh South Carolina. Passed with nearly 89 percent of the vote. At least North Dakota had the grace to fail the “no more shooting at caged animals” measure at 43.5 percent to 56.5 percent. You all just swept this “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of squirrels with my .22” amendment on through.

Tennessee: Constitutional Amendment - Passed.
You’re the worst, 90 percent of Tennessee voters. Nearly 1.3 million of you all thought, My goodness, you know what we need? The right to bear arms AND use them to shoot bears, in Tennessee, forever. Seriously, was this Basil Marceaux dot com’s scheme? That man does seem to like a gun.

11/02/2010

Your Vegansaurus November 2010 ballot measure voting guide!  »

Have you voted yet today? If not, your Vegansaurus has compiled a list of the animal-rights-related legislation on the ballots this election, with advice on how we would vote on each question along with a brief explanation. The pink dinosaur is a helpful dinosaur.

The pink dinosaur is a politically active dinosaur, too! You had better vote today, friends—your two valid excuses are that you have already voted by absentee ballot, or are prohibited for legal reasons (underage, felon, are actually a very clever non-human animal, etc.). We used Ballotpedia to get the basic information for all the measures; you can also look at your local secretary of state’s site, or google a bit for more comprehensive voting guides. Now: read this, get out, and vote.

Arizona: Prop. 109 - NO!
Why: The Humane Society calls it a “power grab to grab to block future wildlife protection ballot initiatives.” Also we think amending any state’s constitution to add “the right to hunt stuff” sort of cheapens the idea of a constitution (not to mention, hunting is gross).
Prop. 110 - YES!
Why: Would you rather have state trust land secretly sold at massive discounts, or have its use put to a vote, as it belongs to you, the citizens of Arizona?
Prop. 301 - NO!
Why: You don’t want the “leftover” money in your state’s land conservation fund thrown into your general fund, do you? Unless you don’t like public land.

Arkansas: Issue 1 - NO!
Why: This is another proposed state constitutional amendment guaranteeing citizens—of Arkansas this time, duh—the right to hunt. Yuck. Better, the National Rifle Association says that the amendment would give Arkansans the “strongest right to hunt and fish in the United States.” Shut it down.

California: Prop. 21 - YES!
Why: It creates a source of funding for our state parks that doesn’t rely on state funds, which do tend to fluctuate. All the wildlife and nature preservation organizations are for it.

Iowa: Measure 1 - YES!
Why: First, permanent revenue for your state parks, soil and water restoration, and the other lovely projects is good, and it’s supported by nature and wildlife preservation organizations. Second, it’s sort of vaguely opposed by the Iowa Farm Bureau and no one else.

Missouri: Prop. B  - YES!
Why: We’ve mentioned Prop. B a bit; HSUS talks about it much more often; here’s a little article in the NY Times, too. If you don’t vote for the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, then you hate puppies, and what kind of person hates puppies?

Montana: I-161 - YES!
Why: Yes it’s odd that your Vegansaurus is advising a “yes” vote on a hunting initiative, but this one is different: It increases the costs of licenses for out-of-state hunters, allows for future adjustment of these costs for inflation, and some of the new income would go to preserving and restoring habitat. If your state allows hunting, why not get something positive out of it?

North Dakota: Measure 2 - YES!
Why: What kind of soulless jerk “hunts” by shooting “big-game” animals in a pen? Sometimes they’re even TAME? Oh right, people like this killer. Anyway, Measure 2 makes it illegal to set it up, profit from it, or do the shooting—what kind of “thrill of the chase” hunting bullshit is it if you aren’t even chasing? Jesus. Please vote “yes.”

Oregon: Measure 76 - YES!
Why: It extends the “15 percent of state lottery profits fund natural resources” plan. No one in Oregon has registered any official arguments against it. So.

South Carolina: Amendment 1 - NO!
Why: This is the third—alphabetically speaking—state constitutional amendment that would make it a right of every South Carolina citizen to hunt and fish. Obviously as vegans we find that disgusting, but as U.S. citizens we find “hunting and fishing” to be significantly less important than, say, “universal suffrage.”

Tennessee: Constitutional Amendment: NO!
Why: How insecure are you in the existing laws that you feel it necessary to amend your state constitution to guarantee your rights to hunt and fish forever and ever? Someday, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee, you’ll look at these amendments with the same chagrin as the nation does the 18th Amendment. Maybe you want to avoid that by not doing any amending in the first place.

12/22/2009

Sell your crap, help animals!  »

I know you, you are full of crap! So’s your house! Junk everywhere! Junk you don’t need! Genius idea: sell it on ebay! But do it through Out to Pasture’s eBay store. When you do, 10 percent of the sale goes to the Out to Pasture Sanctuary, an animal refuge for abused and neglected farm animals in Oregon. You get rid of shit you don’t need and the piggies get food and shelter—everybody wins!

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