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!
Rejoice! Looking at cute animal photos is good for you! »
Good news, everyone! Time to go find kittens, puppies, and bunnies online!
Wired Science reports on a new study that suggests looking at cute animal pictures can improve your concentration. The research was done in Japan, where cute overload is basically the national condition.
Cute baby animals help you concentrate, but they don’t help you just generally be smarter, though, so probably better to use kitten flashcards while studying but not while at cocktail parties. Though that would make you popular in other ways, so go for it! Bring kitten flashcards!
[Photo via cute overload]
United Airlines Kills Dogs. »
Don’t fly United to San Francisco with your dog. That’s the main lesson I’m taking from two recent, stupid, sad incidents where people’s dogs died on flights to SF with United. Actually, don’t fly United ever: The seats are tiny, the customer service sucks, and they permanently ruined Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for an entire generation or more. Plus they’re dog-killers.
Incident 1: Supermodel Maggie Rizer loses her golden retriever Bea on a flight from NY to SF, due to heat stroke. Poor puppy!
Incident 2: The very next week, citizen Mike Jarboe loses his neapolitan mastiff Bam Bam on a flight from Miami to NY. Cause of death: heart attack. Likely caused by heat stroke. Here’s what Jarboe told his local TV station, WSVN:
During a layover in Houston, he looked out his window and saw Bam Bam in his crate, on a luggage carrier that was not an air conditioned van. “It was right under the wing. We were right there, had a direct shot, he was so hot. His tongue was hanging down,” said Jarboe. “Never, ever, have I ever seen him that hot. What United promised us is an air conditioned cargo facility and an air conditioned cargo van.”
United says it followed its procedures.
This is total BULLSHIT! An airline once broke the wheel to my suitcase, and that pissed me off. Imagine the tragedy of taking a trip with you canine buddy and having him not ever get off the plane! What can we do, vegans? Boycott United? I actually have to fly them next week, I’m pretty upset. Got a plan for me?
Corn is Expensive, So Cows Eat Candy »
You know what sucks about factory farming?* Those poor cows never get dessert. No trick-or-treating, no birthday parties, no office candy dishes. Just corn corn corn, soy soy soy, corn corn corn all year long.
Thankfully for the rights of cows everywhere, the Weather Channel reports** that this summer’s drought has shot corn prices sky high, so farmers are actually finding it cheaper to feed their cows “discarded food products” like ice cream sprinkles, gummy worms, and marshmallows. Finally, some justice! Plus, imagine all the jobs this will create for future cow dentists.
See, the reason this makes so much sense is that it’s obviously a good use of resources to process the food that cows eat as much as possible, so that when we slaughter them and eat their flesh, each bite will have the carbon footprint of driving a Hummer for six years or so. There’s definitely no irony in the fact that the methane from the poor cows contributes to the global warming that’s likely causing this and future droughts. Nothing weird about giving grass-eaters pure sugar with gelatin in it. GELATIN.
Guys, I hope you find this as uplifting as I did. Just doing my part to brighten your day. K, I’m off to go slam my hand in the car door a few times, because I just love that tingle.
**They do news?!
Cow photo by law_kevin/Flickr.com
Igby is the coolest cat and he needs a new home! His owner has to move and can’t take him along. So sad!
Here’s what a friend of mine, who’s Igby’s former roommate, has to say about him:
“Igby fetches (really), he’s an avid chaser of lasers and rubber bands, and when you talk to him, he’ll talk back. This one time he swallowed a whole shoelace and lived to tell the tale. On another occasion he stole a fortune cookie fortune off the dinner table only to trot it out again the next day to brag about it. The fortune said, “Nothing can keep you from reaching your goals. Do it!”
The dude loves the spotlight, and would be thrilled to be the star of someone’s living room. Here’s his slightly NSFW glamor shot. He’s definitely the cutest cat around.”
If you live in the Bay Area and want this guy in your life, or know someone who does, email chrischlyon [at] gmail [dot] com and tell him Vegansaurus sent you. Go kitty go!
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’ O.co 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!
Subway’s New DC Vegan Offerings: The WaPo Has a Review! »
Only people in the DC area are getting to enjoy Subway’s new line of meaty vegan sandwiches. I was wishing I had a teleportation machine a couple weeks ago when I had to pay a dollar extra for some measly squeeze-bag avocado on my salad-on-a-bun at a gas station in Pine Junction, CO. Yes, I’d love some Daiya with that whine.
Lucky for Andrea Sachs, she’s in the area, and she’s got the full low-down on her experience over on the Washington Post’s All We Can Eat blog. My summary: They’re about what you’d expect from Subway. But way better than salad-on-a-bun.
I’ll be in DC in October, so maybe I’ll get to try them myself. Until then, let’s keep lobbying Subway to bring these nationwide! Hot dog!
Check out this awesome bridge just for wildlife! It’s in Banff National Park in Canada, because Canada knows how to do shit right. There’s a whole gallery of rad highway overpasses for animals at The World Geography, from which I yoinked this pic. Imagine if we made a lot of these! No more road kill, ever! Animals could hold parties on them, or stand there and strategically poop on cars! I can’t wait, it’s gonna be AWESOME!
Fruit leather, step aside. You just got your ass kicked by my new favorite flat snack: Veggie-Go’s.
Take the fruit leather you know and give it a classy, vegetable-oriented makeover, and you’ve got the sophisticated dehydrated foodstuff known as a Veggie-Go. I met these Colorado-made cuties at a street fair in Denver a few weeks ago, and after sampling each of the five flavors, I knew I had to pull the Vegansaurus card and convince the guy at the booth to give me a bunch for free. SCORE!
Verdict: The snacks are a bit thinner and more brittle than fruit leather, so you can’t do the thing where you scrape them down with your teeth, but they’ll still make you do a little dance in your chair when you remember you brought one in your lunch. My favorite flavors are Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Pie, but they’re all good.
Right now they’re only for sale at a couple Colorado Whole Foods, but you can order them online from Abe’s Market, which I recommend you do post-haste. Especially if you’re rich, because they are kind of pricey, like all sweet things in life: pedicures, true love, signed first editions of Alice in Wonderland, etc.
Bonus: The owners are at the tail end of a Kickstarter campaign that has a pretty sweet perk: Donate $25 or more, and you’ll not only get to sample each current flavor, you’ll get to help them pick the next flavor, too. And if you’re really feeling bossy, $1,000 will buy you the rights to create your own flavor. Jackfruit lychee jicama lime! Bam! Done! You’re welcome.
I tried a new food: Jackfruit! And I didn’t even have to do any work for it!
My buddy* Amie of Denver’s Vegan Van has jackfruit on her menu pretty often, so I was counting on her to help me expand my horizons. Luckily my husband dragged my in-laws there for lunch the other day, and I got them to bring me a sandwich! It was barbecue jackfruit something or other, for free (to me) and with no effort! WIN! Marriage is worth it, guys!
The barbecue flavor was obviously amazing because everything Amie makes is good, and the jackfruit didn’t have much flavor beyond that, kind of like how tofu works. Overall it reminded me of a cross between artichoke hearts and seitan. It was a little weird to have something with such a meaty treatment be so … vegetable-y in texture.
It doesn’t have the same protein-y oomph as seitan or even tempeh, but if I were looking for a gluten-free, soy-free carrier of delicious sauce, I’d definitely turn to my good friend Jack.
I’m curious to try cooking it myself sometime, but it’s apparently kind of hard to come by around here, Amie uses all sorts of secret voodoo to get it.
Jenny says she’s going to try jackfruit too! Jenny, tell us what you think!
*”Buddy” might be overstating. But she does remember my name sometimes! And I am a huge fan! A girl can pretend.