News flash: Veggies are cheap!  »

My cheapness—ahem, frugality—has been well-documented. I’ve even defended veganism’s monetary cost (read: It can be really cheap to be vegan). Now Forbes, the New York Times, and others agree with me: Veggies are cheaper than a fast-food dinner. In your FACE, people who say they can’t afford to be vegan!

The Forbes article cites data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. Researchers examined 94 vegetables in the study; Turns out, more than half of them cost less than 50 cents per one-cup serving, and none of them cost more than $2.07 per serving.

People who say they can only afford junk food don’t need to switch to “free-range” chicken, artisanal cheeses, and grass-fed beef. They really just need to eat something besides fries, Doritos, and McNuggets, such as kidney beans (protein!), sweet potatoes (vitamins!), and carrots (fiber!).

Yeah, a lone cup of veggies is obviously not as filling or macronutrient-dense as a pr0n-approved cheeseburger. But throw a few convenient foodstuffs together—frozen rice, some of those frozen peas/carrots/corn/green bean concoctions, a can of chickpeas, and a bottled curry sauce, for example—and BAM! Dinner is served quickly, cheaply, and healthfully.

The flip side? You have to actually do some work yourself. Boo-fuckin’-hoo. Did I mention that the article says frozen veggies are often cheaper and more nutritious than even fresh ones? Get a freezer, a microwave, and a copy of The Garden of Vegan, and learn to cook something already! Your wallet and the animals will thank you.

Meat substitutes: Buy ‘em by the mile!  »

A factory says it can make a vegetable-based meat substitute by the mile. BY THE MILE. Do you guys even now how long that is?! It’s 5,280 feet. That’s, like, almost 1,000 Sarahs laid end to end.* It’s really long.

So great news, right? The environment wins, the animals win, our digestive systems win. The downfall, however, is that our taste buds might not win—yet. Those crazy scientists are experimenting with a lot of plants to design just the right combo. The substitute will hit the market in about a year.

Can we get this technology on other shit? Like, tofu by the mile. Or kittens by the mile. Or friendship bracelets by the mile. Vegan shoes by the mile! What else?!

*Ed. note: Sarah has forced me to reference Dorothy Parker: If a thousand Sarahs were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. Ha! She gets laid! -MR


Product reviews: The Vegg, part 1  »

As a onetime lover of fried eggs, I was really excited by the promo photos of The Vegg. It proclaimed itself “the first vegan fried egg!” So, this was the first recipe I wanted to try when I received it this weekend.

Unfortunately, the Vegg is merely a powder for a vegan egg yolk. The recipe for the whites was not on the Vegg’s website, nor was it easily accessible on the Vegg’s Facebook page, nor had anyone else (according to Google) created said fried vegan eggs, nor was it in the materials sent with the Vegg:
I was on my own. This is what I did.

Fried Vegg
Makes 4 fried “eggs”

For the yolk
2 tsp. Vegg powder
1/2 cup water

Blend together. Pour into some container and pop in the freezer for a while, some hours. Maybe do this the night before if you’re gonna be making Veggs for breakfast.

For the white
1 12 oz. package of extra-firm silken tofu
2 tsp. agar powder
1/4 tsp. black salt (aka kala namak)

Blend all this stuff in a food processor. Set aside.

Put it together
Take your yolk out of the freezer. Run the container under hot water to loosen it up a little bit.

Heat your nonstick skillet to medium-high and grease it—I like to use Earth Balance. You could also spray oil. When that’s good and hot, use a spatula to spread 1/4 of the silken tofu mixture onto the skillet. Try to get it so it’s flat. It’ll be tricky, but stick with it.

You’re gonna let that cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Then you’re gonna try to flip it over. This is kind of hard, but it’ll be worth it. Then quick! Scoop out 1/4 of the yolk mixture. Maybe use a spoon to shape it into a yolky shape. Slap it on the white, and put a lid on that skillet for two minutes or so. You want it to be not frozen through, but you don’t want it to melt and fall apart.

Vegg is really yummy. God DAMN, this is so good. It is precisely how I remember egg yolks tasting, and when it’s warm, it’s the perfect consistency, too. It’s also composed of ingredients that I recognize, nothing too weird. But all in all, I’m not nuts about this preparation. It was the best just rubbing my toast all over the Vegg yolk and eating that like the slob that I am.

Stay tuned for more Vegg talk. I think I’ll try a Vegg custard next! But until then I will just be dribbling Vegg mixture all over my naked body, hopefully hitting my open mouth at some point.


Get this Groupon for a sweet vegan bag!  »

Social couponing: It is a real epidemic affecting our children! And also me! But at least it’s cheapish, and when it’s explicitly vegan, all the better — raising awareness and shit.

So PEEP IT: Sacs of Life (teehee, “sacs,” also, hi, I’m five years old) is offering this Groupon deal for a $19 (usually pushing $70!) cross-body bag/tote thing, your choice of four different colors. It’s kind of a weird shape, but I dunno, I like it? I got the olive one and I’m gonna wear it every day on my bike so I quit dirtying up my nice yellow Melie Blanco.

Better yet, this deal is ONLINE, SUCKAS, so there’s no location-based excuse for you not to buy it. And I saved the best for last: IT COMES WITH A GOD-DAMNED TOTE, Y’ALL. Use it for your groceries and shit.

There are only two days and some change left to buy it, so do it to it, bag lovers, before I buy all of them and keep them all to myself and rule the Sacs of Life universe forever and ever, muahahahahaaaa. Do you guys think I have a conquering fetish? JUST WONDERING.


Vote for us for a Treehugger award and support vegans ruling the world!  »

Check us out, we fancy: We’re nominated for a Treehugger Best of Green Readers’ Choice award! Thank you, Treehugger! Even if you spelled our name wrong, we love you because sometimes we spell our names wrong, too! Ain’t no thang. (But really, fix it.)

The category is Best Food Website, and we’re up against omni-geared spots Food52 (let the record show that when I clicked to their website, a huge picture of ribs popped up) and The Kitchn (which has loads of good veg info and fun decorating and storage tips, but also an article on “vat-pasteurized milk”). Both sites are great for often promoting vegan deliciousness but on the reals, you vegans better support the vegan site, lest society crumble and burn to the ground. OR WORSE: Things will continue as they are. Terrifying.

Last year we were voted Best Food Twitter Feed, so don’t let us backslide! Vegan pink dinos forever! Vote for us, and we will do anything* you ask.

*Give you a high five, or a smooch if you’re Michael Fassbender-level attractive, which you all are!

[Thanks to our pals on Facebook and the PPK boards for the support! You are all terrific!]


Ask a Vegansaur: Vol. 06  »

Hello, it’s me, your Vegansaur, offering somewhat solicited opinions that may or may not reflect those of the Vegansaurus writers and editors!

Dian asks: I did the Cancer Research UK “Relay for Life” two years ago, and since then I’ve gone vegan. I’ve just been asked to join a team this year, and I agreed—until I realised, wait a minute. Research. Animal testing. According to their website, they only test on animals when they absolutely have to, as a last resort, and they no longer use monkeys, or dogs, or anything like that. But they do still test on animals. At the same time, they do amazing work. I don’t know what to do! It’s a lose-lose situation, I’ll feel awful if I do it, and money I raise goes towards testing on animals; and I’ll feel awful if I say “No, actually, I can’t help you raise money, because I’m vegan.” I realise there are other cancer research charities that do not test on animals, but CRUK is the main one here. I don’t know what to do.

Oh, Dian, my heart breaks for you. First, good on you for running. That is an exercise I cannot do; I get shin splints immediately. But moving on: I know how it feels to have to weigh one evil against another. You could say that the main point of this column is, “Hey, at least we’re trying,” and I’m going to offer a variation of that here. I did some digging, and while you’re right about CRUK being predominant in your corner of the world, there are a few other options to hit the pavement and raise money benefiting people who have cancer. Many charities do not fund research but rather promote awareness, support, and care for people with cancer, none of which involves animal testing. I know it’s not the same as cancer research, but it seems that you’d be hard pressed to find cancer research that does not test on animals; hell, stateside it’s hard to find cancer charities that don’t hate women and their ladybusiness! That might be a good compromise. This is what I would do if I were in your running shoes. Here is a big fat list. Good luck!

Patty asks: I had a “friend” ask me what I couldn’t help but feel was a really “weird” question. He asked how vegans can really consider themselves vegan since, as he put it, “Vegetables are grown in animal sh*t.” He was totally asking this question in the vein of “catching” me in some way, and it was more of a statement question. I could not answer him. I thought that I could go look up and learn about fertilizers and growing, but then I thought I’d ask you what you think, know, etc., both about the fertilizer aspect, but also, how I maybe could have responded to this.

Yeesh, Patty, this is a rough one, quite the dilemma, yesiree. My research is inconclusive, but I do know that people who feel threatened by our dietary choices try to make themselves feel better by pointing out what they see as inconsistencies. There are “veganic" veggies—those grown without any animal products whatsoever. My response to a question like that, quite frankly, would be, "Go fuck yourself," but in more eloquent terms, it would be something along the lines of, "If you go to that level of commitment and compassion in your diet, then we can talk about where the fertilizer used to grow my vegetables comes from. Sucka.” [Ed. note: I’d also like to add that being vegan is about doing as little harm to animals as possible. It’s not about being perfect!]

Matthew asks (via Twitter, @mattheworbit): Omnis have a prob with us giving non-vegan names to vegan food items. How should we get around this?

As Jenny Bradley put it, “Omnis have another problem with us?” Yes, it’s true, the list of problems people think they have with vegans is never-ending. In this case, we don’t have any sort of burden of proof; we don’t have to get around it. Half the time we put a disclaimer in there anyway, right? “Tofu dog,” “soy yogurt,” etc. If omnis don’t like what we’re calling our food, they can shove off; there are a lot more important issues to worry about than renaming seitan barbecue wings something that omnis are more comfortable with. Because you know our lives and dietary choices are primarily to make others comfortable, right? Christ, I can’t stand this kind of bullshit. Omnis can call their pile of chicken nuggets “kale salad” if they want. I don’t give a fuck, so long as I don’t have to eat it.

Want to Ask a Vegansaur a question? Email me, and try not to be a jerk!

[Photo credit: John Baxter via Flickr]


Yao Ming visits bears! Worlds collide!  »

Dating an NBA fanboy has its perks: I know who Yao Ming is! He’s a 7’6” kid who came from China to America with a simple dream: Make millions playing professional basketball. He did that and more — Yao went to the NBA playoffs four times with the Houston Rockets, among other accomplishments, before he retired last year.

I know what you’re thinking: Why is this relevant, Sarah? Well, our friend Yao, a WildAid ambassador, went to visit some bears rescued from bile farms at the Animals Asia sanctuary in Chengdu, China. He even petted Belton Kleberg (how’s that for a stately bear name?), a three-legged bear who had been illegally trapped in the wild before ending up on a bile farm and undergoing the "free drip" method of bile extraction—he got a little bear manicure from Yao during a health check. Yao  also visited bears at the fence line, and the graveyard (cue all the tears of baby Jesus).

Pretty rad, Yao! Your visit will hopefully make people more aware of the bile bear’s plight and join the bear army. Let’s get this shit trending on Twitter, by the way: #beararmy


We are not alone: vegans are now 2.5 percent of the population!  »

Sometimes I feel so lonely in my veganism that I ruin a perfectly good pot of cooking quinoa by crying into it and end up eating a bottle of wine four bites of an old gross salad for dinner instead. But no more! Apparently, 2.5 percent of adults in the United States are vegan!* Megan said the last number she heard was 0.5 percent [Ed. note: and Megan is always right! -Megan], so this is huge, folks.

But every rose has its thorn: 48 percent of humans eat meat at every meal, according to this poll. Every. Fucking. Meal. With the success bacon has enjoyed, that statistic, sadly, does not surprise me. People, quit putting strips of grease-fried fat on your otherwise diabetic coma-inducing meals. Make this instead, maybe.

*note: for the 2011 survey, they didn’t ask whether or not the people that identify as vegan eat honey

[Amazing looking vegan feast by Emilie Hardman via Flickr]


Sharks can be friends!  »

A lot of times, I picture sharks as I like to picture myself: rugged, badass loners with an unquenchable thirst for human blood who rock out pretty much constantly. But here is news that could change all that (for sharks, I mean). Turns out shark grouping patterns are more than marriages of convenience; they are stable, long-lasting, meaningful social communities! Pretty soon sharks will have Facebook pages, right? Come on into the 21st century, sharks, don’t be shy. I’ll friend you!

[Photo credit: Klaus Steifel via Flickr]


Meet the teeny tiny leaf chameleons!   »

Oh hey there, little guy, what’s up? I noticed you were recently discovered — along with three other species of tiny chameleons—by scientists in Madagascar. Man, I love science.

You know what else I love? How you’re shaped like E.T. How your juveniles are smaller than the width of a human fingernail. You know what I don’t love? That your continued existence is an extremely delicate situation. So let me introduce you to someone who knows how to navigate the big world in a tiny body. You guys can go hang-gliding together, maybe.


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