Occupy Vegan »
That Occupy Everything movement happening right now? You should get involved. Here’s why.
Around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, as Denver’s first big snowstorm of the season began to nose in, a friend and I started wondering about how our city’s little band of protestors were doing with the harsh weather. We hatched a plan to go find out. Then we hatched an even better plan: We’d bring the protestors hot chocolate.
Once we had the idea, everything fell into place. The thermos, paper cups, vegan marshmallows, and sleeves of Oreos I had lying around seemed joined in unified destiny. Good thing I had like four jars of cocoa powder in the cupboard and had just made a fresh batch of soymilk too. I made sure this cocoa was rich and hella good, because I wanted to show the Occupiers some love and also felt like I was proving something about vegan food.
There were only about 10 people hanging out on the sidewalk next to Lincoln Park as light snow fell, but another 40 or so were huddled like giant burritos underneath soggy tarps (Denver police won’t let the protestors set up tents, even in the snow. Fuck, just writing about this and looking at their website I feel guilty that I’m huddled warm inside here. It’s like we can never do enough!).
Obviously people loved the hot chocolate, but they loved it even more than I imagined they would. And they wanted to hear more about it being vegan. Minds were blown that Oreos have no dairy. Vegan marshmallows were declared “Way better than the regular kind.” In about 20 minutes, I had done more truly positive, accidental evangelizing than I could have pulled off in a week’s worth of PETA flyering.
I’m not that good an activist, you know? But I made hot chocolate. It was tiny. But it helped.
Beyond what you think about the wider Occupy Wall Street cause, this is an excellent opportunity to help people think about their food and experience the deliciousness of the vegan world.
Our Hen House has a really smart and well-researched post up about all this, so I’m going to quote liberally from them because I’m
“Those passionate about speaking up for the underdog—even if the underdog constitutes 99 percent of the population—are the perfect audience for the message, “you are what you eat.” In other words, as we stand against injustice, as we embrace the notion of breaking down the walls that marginalize and subjugate many of us, let’s not forget the non-human victims of oppression.
Also, let the cynical-me point out that cold, hungry people really love the food you give them. Context is everything. Not-cynical-me response: They say that hunger is the best sauce, but I’d add that a sense of community is pretty damn tasty also.
More Hen House wisdom:
“This is, famously, a leaderless movement. So start connecting. Go down to your local Occupy protest, talk to people, find out who is providing food, learn and follow the Twitter hashtags (like combining #OWS and #vegan), and get involved with reshaping our world.”
So consider this a nudge. I’m going to try to do more. You could too. We have a place in this thing.
[Ed.: I know a lot of our readers are in the S.F. Bay Area, which means there’s even more reason to get out to Occupy Oakland or Occupy San Francisco tonight. And if you can’t tonight, the next night. And if not the next night, the night after that. Or all the nights! And bring vegan cookies, yo! —Laura]
[Image via david_shankbone]
Vegansaurus loves Our Hen House! Don’t you? Laura and Jasmin Singer of OHH are already BFF, and I met her at Vida Vegan Con and was awed by how ferocious and hilarious she is. A force, you guys, she’s a force. Also her hen-among-the-roses tattoo is beautiful, in an ocean of vegan tattoos it stood out as particularly gorgeous art.
This video is part of OHH’s Art of the Animal series, and it features vegan comedian Myq Kaplan. He is funny! Our Hen House is amazing! Love love love!
Tonight: NYC vegan and animal rights book swap! »
New York, you should get yourselves to Sustainable NYC tonight for the vegan and animal-rights book swap! The more of you go, the more awesome it’ll be. Unless you all only bring, like, the third copy of Vegan with a Vengeance that you got for Christmas/Hanukkah/whatever gift-giving winter holiday you celebrate. Don’t be stingy, share your fancy vegan reading!
Remember, they’re also having a raffle in support of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, with prizes like a gift certificate to Sustainable NYC, an Our Hen House tote bag, and a gift certificate to the indie bookshop Book Thug Nation! All books remaining after the swap will be donated to the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Also, you can buy vegan ice cream from Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in the cafe, and get a 10 percent discount on all items in the shop during the event!
[“Woman Reading by a Paper-Bell Shade” by Henry Robert Morland, via Yale Digital Commons]
Guest post: Come to the NYC vegan and animal rights book swap next Thursday! »
I have too many books, but they are awesome and I want to share them with you. In turn, I would like to read yours. After attending a queer book swap in NYC a few months ago and scoring some solid finds, I was inspired to do the same with my animal rights book collection.
My friend Olivia Lane and I have teamed up to host the first vegan and animal rights book swap at Sustainable NYC this week and you should come because I have a crush on all of you in an I-want-to-read-your-books sort of way. And it’s a fundraiser for Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
The spiel from Olivia:
Calling all veggies and friends of animals with dusty, crowded bookshelves! Please join us for an evening swap of inspiring vegan cookbooks, theory books, how-to dvds, and all other media related to vegetarianism and animal rights. This event is open to all whether you are a hardcore vegan with a dozen books (and tattoos) or a veg-curious passerby.
Bring up to 10 vegan or animal-rights books, magazines, or DVDs and swap for as many items as you bring! Or just bring your items and mingle!
There will be a raffle in support of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Prizes include a gift certificate to Sustainable NYC, an Our Hen House tote bag, and a gift certificate to the indie bookshop Book Thug Nation! All books remaining after the swap will be donated to the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.
As if scoring free books, helping rescued animals, and supporting New Yorkers living with AIDS isn’t enough, we’ll have lots of delicious flavors of Lula’s Sweet Apothecary vegan ice cream for sale in the cafe and a 10 percent discount on all items in the shop during the event!
The book swap will be held at Sustainable NYC, at 139 Avenue A at E. 9th Street, on Thursday, Aug. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. For more info or to contribute a prize to the raffle, contact Olivia.
Jamie Hagen makes money by walking dogs in Manhattan while her blog posts and political science M.A. lounge around reaping the rewards. Some places she currently blogs include the Line Campaign, Autostraddle and Persephone magazine. Twitter tags frequently used by Jamie include include #feminist #vegan and #lesbian.
Guest post: Vegan Cookie Connoisseur Kelly Peloza goes to Mad City Vegan Fest! »
The first-ever Mad City Vegan Fest was held last month in Madison, Wis., and I was lucky enough to be there doing a baking demo and speech. Over 1,300 people attended, and there were so many fantastic, inspiring presenters: Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House spoke about food activism; Terry Romero made chipotle seitan potato tacos; Kenny Torella of Mercy For Animals spoke about everyday compassion; and there was a nutrition talk, yoga session, and raw food demo! There were lines wrapping around the exhibitor room full of people eager to get their hands on lunch from local Midwest vegan food vendors like Dandelion Food Cart (I got a breakfast-y tofu ciabatta sandwich and it was yumz), Ste Martaen Vegan Food Truck, and a whole host of tables offering samples. A smashing success, and everyone was extremely friendly and super awesome.
It gets even better! There were Vegansaurus Happy Veggie Kids at the vegan fest! My friend Marla of Chicago VeganMania was there with Justice. Then I recognized Ayame, who sat in the front row at my demo and volunteered to be one of my cookie-decorators. I clearly need to be best friends with more eight-year-olds because Ayame said she loves cookies and bunnies, and OMG me too! I went vegan when I was 14 and grew up very much involved in the vegan community, and it’s wonderful to see these awesome vegan kids being a part of such a wonderful community at such a young age!
For my demo, I talked about cookbook-writing and the greatness of microplane zesters, then made Shirley Temple Cookies. They are a delicate, shortbread-like citrus cookie topped with cherry grenadine frosting, garnished with a cherry, candy straws, and a cocktail umbrella—just like the drink. Get the recipe here.
Sandi and Ayame and I piped frosting and garnished the cookies with all sorts of fun stuff. The audience also got samples of Chocolate Peppermint Cream Bars (such a summery recipe, I know!) and Hypnosis Cookie Lollipops. Jasmin commented that my dress matched the cookies—when you spend all your time making cookies, at some point desserts become your (subconscious) fashion inspiration. The demo went smoothly and everyone was gobbling up cookies by the end of it!
The after-party was held at High Noon Saloon, with pizza and cupcakes galore (the only food groups you’ll ever need)! My friend Jessica of Compassionate Cake baked a huge selection of GORGEOUS cupcakes, in flavors like Chile Chocolate, Death by Chocolate, and Maple Vegan Bacon, topped with intricate fondant and chocolate sculptures. I had met Jessica a few days prior to the event, after seeing her cupcakes and deciding we needed to be friends immediately. She is just starting her catering business and she’s an amazing lady. Just look at these cupcakes!
I always go home happy and inspired from vegan fests and other events, and Mad City was no exception (well, 8 a.m. class the next day was kind of a drag). I met so many wonderful people, saw some good friends, and made new ones. Go get your vegan fest on in a city near you, or get involved with starting one! Something about putting hundreds of like-minded people with great ideas and enthusiasm all in one place all day makes awesome things happen!
Kelly Peloza is the author of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which is great. Find her at The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and Seitan Beats Your Meat online, or all over the place in real life! Thanks for the post, Kelly!
Top 10 links of the week: a rollercoaster ride through veganism! »
[Deer and Goose are BFF. Your cute animal viral video of the week!]
Ecorazzi had a post today where they quoted yours truly! In Martha Stewart, Honey and the Great Vegan Debate, they discuss the state of honey in the vegan community. Is honey vegan? Do bees count? Go comment and weigh in!
From City’s Best, “10 Meatless Musts in San Francisco.” Vegansaurus is about to drop a similar list so be on the lookout. Ours will of course be not only informative but also the funniest ever.
Recently, Huffpo did a piece about the best sandwiches in the U.S. and none were vegan. Now they’re all vegan! Huzzah! A bunch of vegan bloggers—like, everyone besides us—created vegan versions of each sandwich. Maybe next time we’ll be included, eh? Just kidding! Cooking is for the womenfolk.
Our Hen House (who I hear was at the Martha Stewart episode with me but I didn’t meet them!) has started a cool endeavor, The Gay Animal Series, about the relationship between gay rights and animal rights. Check it out! You will feel so cultured and smart, you can skip the next This America Life! Which works out great for me because when you rehash the episode to me in detail, that’s not actually a conversation.
The Village Voice has an NYC guide to tofu—imagine that! I love me some tofu so I’m all over this one. It’s all the best tofu from various restaurants throughout the city. I haven’t been to any of them. How come you never take me out anymore!
Head over to A Soy Bean for a recap of the NYC Vegetarian Food Fest last weekend. Treehugger has a review too but no pictures! There’s a few videos, but no pictures? We love the pictures! Abby Bean has a ton of pictures. Pictures.
Cheeky Chicago has a nice post on how to make a variety of vegan cheese-substitutes. Walnut Parmesan Sprinkles? YES DEFINITELY GIVE IT HERE.
For a little homespun fun, check out Laura’s The Week in Vegan at SF Weekly. Leave a comment, let her know you care! And let SF Weekly know we vegans are plentiful and emotive.
Babe in Soyland has a great post about veganism and the idea that it means AUTOMATIC weight-loss. Here’s a taste: “People need to know that vegans come in ALL shapes and sizes and that fat vegans (the ones I’ve met are proud to be both fat and vegan) aren’t doing something “wrong” in their vegan diets. There is no “stereotypical vegan”—unless the stereotype is having awesomely low cholesterol.” Read it and tell me what you think.
Finally, from Lovely Bike, a list of vegan bike saddles! That means bike seats. I’m partial to this first one they’ve picked out, it’s the hotness: