vegansaurus!

08/08/2012

Guest post: Vegans in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!  »


Last month, we learned that yet another governmental agency turned its back on initiatives encouraging healthy behaviors. This week, NASA’S Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars. We could spend all day talking about how the government has screwed us. Instead, let’s talk about space.

Even though the President’s budget detailed cuts to NASA, there’s still a lot of experimental preparation going on in hopes that missions to Mars will happen—eventually. It’s no secret that NASA’s been lusting to set foot on Mars for decades. We’ve even had some successful robotic missions dating back to the 1960s! NASA scientists are excited about Mars, not only because it would be rad, but also because most of the scientific advancements that have been made in relation to future Mars missions are also relative to us here on Earth.

If we were to successfully gain funding and launch a manned mission to Mars, the journey to get to the “extreme planet,” as some call it, due to its harsh environment, would take approximately six months (compare to the three days it takes to get to the moon). NASA expects the initial manned missions to last a year and a half, not counting the year it would take to get there and back. The duration of such a lengthy mission is a hurdle that overflows into all other aspects of the mission, making its overall sustainability a big concern.

A big hurdle is food. It’s not all dehydrated ice cream and strawberries (or apple slices with cinnamon, if you’re fancy). Earlier this month, some interviews with Maya Cooper, a senior research scientist at Lockheed Martin, leaked some interesting information about the experimental menu planning for longer duration missions in the future. Excitingly enough, most of their menu items lack dairy and meat!


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

Many subsequent articles came out reporting that all the Mars mission food items would be vegan, but the initial interview, which detailed examples of breakfast, lunch and dinner options, included the following items that may not be entirely vegan: pancakes, spiced caramel coffee cake, lemon cake, spinach bread, soup, and peanut butter cookies. Also, Cooper states that scrambled eggs will possibly be a menu option.

Aside from how rad it is that vegan meals are becoming the easiest option to send to space, I’d also like to point out that our NASA base here in California (NASA Ames Research Center) is an incredibly vegetarian- and vegan-friendly place! There’s a café that has at least one vegan option every day. The cafeteria staff have never rolled their eyes at me when I ask if the bread they offer for sandwiches is vegan. They even sell California Suncakes and Heart Thrive cakes in the café!

The next time someone questions the vegan lifestyle or tries to rain on your vegan parade, just say, “When we’re all living in space, you won’t have a choice but to be vegan!” So there!

Elysse Grossi is a scientist at NASA and the owner of Sweet Cups, based in the East Bay. She grosses people out with her other blog, Under the Microscope. Other than that, she’s kinda boring.

[photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr]

02/06/2010

Animals in space, bunches of books, 1 million events, ovine poetry, the Panda Channel, AND MORE in this weekend’s link-o-rama!  »

Welcome to this weekend’s link-o-rama! This time, with images! First we have for you a ton of events, because what are you doing this weekend? Well, a whole lot NOW, right? DUH OF COURSE.

If you missed Mine when it played earlier this year, you can catch it tonight, Saturday Feb. at 7 at Hollywoof, with your dog(s)! What? OK, it’s this crazy fundraiser by Dogopolis, and actually there will be a double-feature with Sniff. If your dog is unhappy all cooped up because of the bad weather, this is how to make it up to him/her. It’s at Dogpile Dogs, 1338 Illinois St., and the doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Too much for you? Take your dog to the Grateful Dogs Rescue happy hour at Doc’s Clock (2575 Mission St. at 22nd Street) from 4 to 8 p.m. today. Proceeds will benefit Chico and Georgie of GDR.

The BAARN Activist Showcase is tonight, at the SF SPCA (243 Alabama St.) from 6 to 9. Admission is free; there will be snacks. Don’t show up too drunk after the GDR happy hour, OK? That is seriously unprofessional.

Hey South-Central Bay! The super-cool kids of the San Lorenzo Valley High School Animal Right Club are having a bakesale for Haiti on Thursday, Feb. 11 at noon on the Senior Lawn! I am being 0 percent sarcastic when I say super-cool kids, I wish we’d had an Animal Rights Club at my high schools. Good luck, SLVARC, you guys are The Best!

Everyone’s favorite CELEBRITY VEGAN CHEF Tal Ronnen will teach a course on plant-based cooking at the California Culinary Academy on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. You can attend! RSVP by Monday (Feb. 8) to Kristin Treat. If you can’t make it, he’ll be at the Whole Foods (ugh) at 1765 California St. on Thursday, Feb. 11 from noon to 2 p.m., giving a demonstration featuring Gardein.

Vegansaurus’ beloved Rocket Dog Rescue is holding a fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Elixir (3200 16th St. at Guerrero Street) from 9 p.m. to last call to benefit a puppy with Parvo and a puppy with a cleft palate. Per usual, there will be a raffle with terrific prizes, plus vegan cupcakes, and local cewebrity bartenders! Be there or be a big selfish jerk!!!

Check out Soul Food For Thought/The Real Roots of Liberation on Friday, Feb. 12 at the Herbst Theater (401 Van Ness Ave. at McAllister Street). It’s sponsored by the SF Vegetarian Society, In Defense of Animals, and Go Vegan Radio, and is a celebration of Black History Month and a benefit for the International Fund for Africa. Get your tickets now; get more information from Bob Linden of Go Vegan Radio.

Don’t forget, the next SF Vegan Bakesale is happening on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ike’s (3506 16th St. at Sanchez Street)!! It’s going to be great and you know it!

And now, your weekend reading
The 2010 Big Eat SF by 7x7 magazines names eight items that are verifiably vegan, in a list of 100. I believe this is better than last year’s list, even though at least two of these items are cocktails.

The President wants to decrease farm subsidies! And increase funding to school lunch programs, using the money the government wouldn’t be subsidizing devil-companies like Monsanto and DuPont! I am dreaming, aren’t I?

The greatest nation in the history of nations, Iran, put a bunch of live animals in a rocket and shot it into space on Wednesday, because Scientific Progress. The animals include one rat, two turtles, and an undisclosed number of worms. There is no word on what will happen to the animals, but Iran is totally talking to GOD, so that’s all right.

The Manolo tells Kanye and his incoherent “defense” of wearing fur to shut it.

Boldtype makes a (non-comprehensive) list of fictional works with animal points of view.

One of Vegansaurus’ founding editors returned to her hippie college for hippies this week! We’re so proud of her! We also hope she gets lots of use out of PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook, which apparently makes copious use of the microwave. One of my worst cooking-related college memories involves tacos and a grease fire; one of my best involves a vegan pineapple upside-down cake. Tell us your college cooking stories, please! If you are not yet in college, Vegansaurus does not advocate your reading so many swears. KIDDING! Swears are the best.

This is not news but we never mentioned it so: Thailand has a Panda Channel, and you can watch it online on Lin Ping’s homepage. You’ll probably need a fix since China repossessed Butterstick on Thursday.

Blue whales have changed their songs. Apparently they’re singing lower, which makes the reporter anthropomorphize them into Barry White-style manly men who are more potent and way more into boning than they used to be. Nice one, LA Times.

Valerie Laws is a poet who has spray-painted the words of a sheep-related poem onto the backs of actual sheep. Then the sheep wander around and inadvertently create new poems. Because sheep don’t have to put up with enough stupid shit from humans.

SFGate launched a Bay Area food carts feature this week, using Google Maps and Twitter. Social media! Obnoxious nouns! Honestly though this seems fairly useful, at least for those of you who don’t already know how to track your favorite food carts online. FYI: we love Bike Basket Pies and Banh Mai.

The Humane Society is currently taking entries for its annual Spay Day contest. Enter your pet and get everyone you’ve ever connected with to vote for it. Each vote costs $1 and all proceeds go to charities chosen by the human companions of the pets you vote for.

Jonathan Kauffman of SFoodie says that unpaid food writers can be excellent critics, too, as long as they hold themselves to the same ethical standards as big-time food writers. Thanks, JKauff; we do try over here.

The European Union is looking to list bluefin tuna on the endangered species Appendix 1, which includes “pandas and some whales;” this would “effectively ban international trade in the fish,” because there are so few of them. Nice job, sushi-lovers. Though should we say, nice job fish-eaters the world over: there is no such thing as sustainable fish at all! Yeah, a total lie.

Aw, has anyone seen Orion Levine’s missing ant, Ant?

Remember that big exposé of the Bushway slaughterhouse by HSUS in November? Three months later, absolutely nothing has happened. Awesome show, great job, USDA!

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