We love Cory Booker because he loves the animals!  »

Did you see the post about Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker in the Post the other day? The Humane Society of the United States gave him the Humane Public Servant award last week for his work building Patrick’s Place, a “state-of-the-art animal shelter” named for a pit bull who was found in a Newark trash can, starving to death.

Sometime between then and receiving this HSUS award, Mayor Booker stopped eating meat, because of the animals. Part of his anti-animal-cruelty campaign is to stop eating meat! It seems like the most obvious thing in the world, but they don’t make those Shelter Pet Project commercials just for non-meat-eaters. For most of the country, there’s a huge disconnect between donating some towels to an animal shelter and actually taking preventative measures against animal cruelty. But not for Cory Booker! He gets it.

Growing up a half-New Jerseyan, I heard a looooot of Newark jokes. It’s a pit, they’d say, it’s the worst. Nothing more terrible in Jersey than Newark (the response to that is, Have you seen Trenton?). But since its citizens elected Cory Booker mayor, its fortunes have risen. Risen! I wish our young, go-getting mayor had been half as useful. I mean, sure, marry the gay citizenry, but what about infrastructure? What about jobs? What are you even doing in the Lieutenant Governor’s seat except killing time doing your hair until you can run for governor and smarmily fuck up the state GODDAMN IT.

Laura says if you want to learn more about a younger Cory Booker, watch Street Fight, the Oscar-nominated documentary about his failed campaign for mayor in 2002. It’s on Netflix instant! It’s a trifecta of awesome—a documentary whose handsome star is an idealistic politician—so watching it would probably improve your life. Especially when you remember that later, he wins! And grows into an even better person! Cory Booker, he is pretty great.

[photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons]


Guest cookbook review: Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites  »

If you haven’t already, here are three good reasons to check out the new cookbook Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites by the fabulous collaborative team Joni Marie Newman and Celine Steen:

  1. You’re throwing an “it’s still warm out” last-chance summer BBQ for friends.
  2. You have a friend with a very healthy appetite—also known as you.
  3. Everything this duo creates is awesome and delicious and there’s no reason not to have it on your shelf.

I have made the coleslaw a few times and it has yet to disappoint. The portions are perfect for a dinner with friends, and the dressing is a perfect blend of sweet and tart.

Look at this tantalizing picture of creamy goodness and tell me you don’t want some right now.*

Plus, if you are the hardest sell ever, here’s a bonus reason:
4. I shared a table with Joni at the recent Vida Vegan Con, and she is extremely funny and nice, and her being lovely is a perfectly legitimate reason to buy her cookbook.

*I only allow exceptions if you just ate a humongous tofu scramble or something equally filling.

Geanna lives in Portland, Ore. where she can be found hiking, eating, or writing about food (sometimes she goes to work, too). Find her on Twitter @greenvegnliving or check out her blog, Green Vegan Living.


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]


When it comes to Michael Pollan take-downs, Adam Merberg is truly the champion  »

Sometimes your Vegansaurus feels like the only sane Michael Pollan critic in the world—we try to exercise restraint, but can you blame us? It’s Michael Pollan, one of our sworn enemies! Who can be calm around a sworn enemy?

Happily, we are not alone: our internet-pal Adam Merberg has an entire site dedicated to Michael Pollan’s hypocrisy, inaccuracy, and general bad attitude, particularly toward vegans, as Adam is both clever and vegan—and has extra time on his hands, we’re not entirely sure but the point is Say What, Michael Pollan? fills a niche vegans and vegetarians were dying for.*

Adam’s most recent post addresses Pollan’s most recent piece for the New York Times Magazine, a 4,000-word feature on a 36-hour dinner party with his family and a few of his chef and baker friends ["well, one of my homes”] and their families, and just how amazing and wonderful it is to eat good, local food prepared by talented local food professionals, not to mention the local wine, oh isn’t my life the most? We cooked in an outdoor oven that’s really a hole in the ground, it was such a “primitive…cooking device” just like they use in the Mediterranean, O glorious!

Beg pardon; we cannot, do not, will not help ourselves. Adam, taking a studied and serious approach, draws more interesting conclusions:

"To reconcile Pollan’s published accounts of his own diet with his advocacy for eating ‘mostly plants,’ it is helpful to consider something he said in a CBC interview in June:

For better or worse, we’ve democratized meat-eating. Meat-eating is something that was a special occasion in most households for many years….The poor got very little animal protein. So one of the nice things about industrial meat production is it makes this human desire—because it is a widespread human desire—something that even the poor could satisfy, and if we eat meat more responsibly, you know, it is going to be less democratic.

"Putting everything together, the underlying message seems to be something like this:

We need to move to a system of meat production that I consider acceptable. That’s going to make meat more expensive, so you are going to have to start eating mostly plants. I, on the other hand, have so much money that I don’t need to have even a single animal-free meal.

"Happily, those of us who don’t make as much money as Pollan don’t have to miss out on the carnivory altogether, as Pollan has thoughtfully shared his account of  the dinner party in a prominent publication. Maybe we can’t afford to buy good meat, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have the privilege of reading about two accomplished chefs ‘giving the baron and the saddle a deep-tissue massage…and then wrapping them in a beautiful white lace of caul fat.’"

We strongly suggest—no, we REQUIRE, Vegansaurus requires you to read Adam’s entire post, and then read all the rest of Say What, Michael Pollan?, and subscribe to it in your feed reader so you never miss another soundly reasoned argument against Michael Pollan’s anointment as the Savior of Eating Habits, or whatever.

*or at least this vegan; I really can’t stand that guy.

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