Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: The meat industry just despises Meatless Mondays »
After working with HSUS, a school district outside of Austin, Texas, was one of many to implement Meatless Mondays this fall. While parents and students seemed pretty psyched about it, Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples — whose political campaign was bankrolled by the meat industry — didn’t exactly share their enthusiasm. He even penned a rant against the school district in the Austin American-Statesman this week. Today, the paper’s editorial board published an editorial of its own simply crushing that rant, noting that, “the near-comic rhetoric of Staples’ commentary stood as a refutation of its own argument.” You’ve really got to read the whole thing.
The San Francisco Chronicle also wrote this week about more California schools that HSUS helped implement Meatless Mondays programs.
The industry isn’t just lashing out in the school districts; it’s also doing so in the legislatures. I was glad to be on America Tonight this week discussing the meat producers’ attempt to silence whistleblowers with ag-gag bills.
And the good news is that nearly all ag-gag bills introduced in the last couple years have been killed, while more and more food companies require animal welfare improvements in their supply chains, as described in a new piece by my coworker Matt Prescott. As well, just this week, another major pork producer announced it’s abandoning gestation crates throughout its entire supply chain.
Video of the week: These pigs aren’t ready for summer to be over—they love their swimming pools!
Rabbit Food Grocery is a rad vegan mobile/online grocery store in Texas that wants to open a brick and mortar shop and we should help them! Because they are amazing people spreading the word of veganism all over the Texas capital! Plus, the Kickstarter rewards are kickass. You want them. You want all of it!
Yay vegan grocery stores!!!
PIZZA CUPCAKES TURTLE POWER!
People who live in Austin are so lucky, in general, because it has amazing food and the nicest fucking vegans I’ve ever met — including the absolutely lovely dynamo Kristen Davenport of Austin’s Capital City Bakery. According to reliable and lazy sources, Capital City Bakery has some DAMN TASTY sweet treats; it’s almost enough to get me on a plane out there to eat everything.
Oh well, add it to the list of reasons Austin is the greatest and we should all move there immediately as soon as they get a giant air conditioner to cool the city year-round. With global warming, that might be sooner than we think!
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday with Mark! »
Please don’t feed the raccoons.
You guys, the cruising life is not for me. I spent the last week on one of Carnival’s horrific floating frat houses, and between the exciting dinners with my family (not a dry eye or unflipped piece of furniture in the place), the delicious cafeteria food, and the loud people (not to mention children; children everywhere!!!) I feel about as relaxed as if I’d only worked an 80-hour week instead of my usual 60.
I am really glad to be back on dry land. Now that the shaking and rolling that is charmingly referred to as “sea legs” is behind me, and Allen is once again talking to me after being forced to spend a week on the high seas together, things are good again. I was even excited to get back to work and see my coworkers! It doesn’t hurt that there’s a potluck on the first day back and I just ate my body weight in delicious potato and cauliflower curry.
Let’s see what’s going on the internet these days. That’s something else I was excited about, getting back to my websites and catching up on everything Lindsay Lohan did this week (nothing).
Sloths are really in right now, did you know that? After Kristen Bell freaked the fuck out over being near one, people are going crazy for these adorable animals! (Quick question: Are sloths dangerous?) Even Animal Planet is getting in on the act, and running either a web series or a real series (I am not in the habit of watching animal shows, only ladies fighting in pretty houses) on sloths and how awesome they are. They’re even getting them at their most intimate and running clips of baby sloths getting potty-trained, which is awesome because baby animals peeing and pooping is adorable and I love it and they smile an make noises and when I do that I just have to spend a night in jail.
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Raccoons are also adorable but I have a feeling i’m the only one that thinks so. And I bet I would also freak out if raccoons were coming into my neighborhood and eating all my Doritos. Although, I’ve never really liked Doritos. When we first came to the U.S. my mom tried some and declared that they tasted like rat droppings (how she knows this I have no idea. She also claims root beer tastes like bee poison. Life in Russia was hard.). I’ve been off of them ever since. Also, when I was a kid, a raccoon climbed into my aunt’s window and killed her or something (that’s what my aunt tells me, but she is also still alive, so…), and it had little human hands (again, just repeating what I’m told), and I’ve been scared shitless of them since. But they’re cute from afar, right?
Here are some dogs chilling with fans and being all cute. Just the idea of laying on the floor with a fan makes me want to take a nap. Did I mention that everywhere we went in the cruise was super hot? I am surprised I do not get heat stroke. Or maybe I did, and that’s why I’m so excited to be at work. YOU DECIDE!
That’s it for this week! Please send me links for next week and have a Dorito-free Wednesday!
[Photo by Brad Woodard / KHOU 11 News]
I spy with my little eye: PIG BLOOD DRAINING INTO A RIVER! »
Do you know what this is? It’s PIG BLOOD in the Trinity River in Dallas, Texas. Pig blood from a slaughterhouse/meatpacking plant that is draining INTO the RIVER! Do your eyes and heart feel assaulted? I know mine do!
According to Consumerist, “an amateur drone pilot in Texas was flying a simple rig with a point and shoot camera attached for fun” when he noticed something amiss in a creek. FUN OVER. He notified the county, and a Department of Human Services investigation concluded that the discoloration WAS RAW PIG BLOOD! From an illegally placed pipe leading into the RIVER! Oh humanity, you get me every time! The government will not comment on what kind of legal action is in store for the perpetrator.
Actually my faith in humanity was somewhat restored after I read the comments from this article. Usually when it comes to these kinds of stories, the comments section makes me want to throw myself out a window.
[Picture via Consumerist. I definitely did not photoshop it, as I have no idea how to do that!]
Guest Post: Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in Austin! »
What comes to mind when you hear about Texas? Greedy republicans, oil industries, and humidity infused gigantic hair, probably. But my town is a bit different. Ahh, Austin. It’s a quirky wonderland of twenty-something hipsters with something (and nothing) to prove, baby boomer hippies who could recall Woodstock as if it were yesterday (and are happy to do so up request), and vegan hotspots that send you into a deep state of food coma-dom (speaking from past experience).
I’ve picked out the top 10 best vegan restaurants and cafes in the city. Big on flavor and even bigger in heart; these are “musts” for any visiting or resident vegan.
10. Vegan Yacht: How appropriate to start off with a food truck! Nestled in a food trailer park on the uber hip Eastside, Vegan Yacht is a great choice for vegans and omnivores alike. What to try: ‘Freeto’ burrito! Omg so good.
9. Sugar Tooth Bakery: Because even vegans have sugar cravings. What to try: Russian Caravan (almond cake).
8. The Parlor: Admittedly, on of the hardest parts about going vegan was giving up most all pizza. But the Parlor has brought my once favorite dish back to me! What to try: Build your own vegan pizza!
7. Wheatsville Food Coop: Okay, so this is actually a grocery store. But, I feel it absolutely must be on the list for it’s super awesome and relaxed community feel, and it’s top-notch deli in the back with really great vegan options. What to try: Vegan Saffron Pasta salad, Popcorn tofu. [Ed.: Speaking of THE AMAZING popcorn tofu, did you know that you don’t have to go all the way to Texas to get it?? That’s right, the recipe is available in this great vegan recipe zine that I just bought and that you can buy, too. Aren’t we all so lucky!? I wrote a little about it in my SF Weekly Week in Vegan column and now I will cut and paste that here because I’m the laziest. Since the entire state of Texas is on fire, that means the animals residents of Sunny Day Farms animal sanctuary in Le Coste, Texas are suffering. In response, awesome blogger Lazy Vegan Smurf and friends put together a great zine of delicious vegan recipes, with all proceeds going to Sunny Day Farms. I’ve been eating almost exclusively out of it for the past week and have gotten three compliments on my sweater today. Coincidence? Don’t answer that? Buy it so I don’t have to place a curse on your first-born.]
6. Beets Café: Self proclaimed “upscale raw-food dining experience”, without the pretension. What to try: ELT (eggplant, lettuce and tomato) sandwich
5. Gueros: Rumor has it that this taco bar is where Quentin Tarantino likes to dine when he’s in Austin, so obvi it needs to be on the list. And I suppose another reason is that they have a totally kick ass vegan menu. What to try: Soy Chorizo on a Corn Tortilla Chiquita.
4. Mr. Natural’s: A restaurant, bakery, juice bar and health food store all rolled into one. Here’s to efficiency! What to try: Tofu and Sunflower Seed Tamales
3. Mother’s Café & Garden: Just as the name suggests, the Mother’s experience basically feels like a gigantic hug from beginning to end. Comfort vegan food. Never leave hungry. Mmmm. What to try: Bueno Burger
2. G’Raj Mahal: A truly enchanting trailer park dining experience (yes, it IS possible), G’Rah Mahal is a charming Indian cuisine trailer that offers outstanding vegan options. What to try: Coconut Curry, Baingam Bartha. PS: It’s also BYOB if you’re feeling frisky.
1. Counter Culture: Yep, another food trailer. But it’d be unwise to underestimate the beauty in simplistic dining. This place is small but mighty, and bonus points for their creative vegan offerings. What to try: Philly Seitan Sandwich
Stephanie Nahas lives in Austin, TX (obviously), works in the social media industry by day, and writes for her blog/sews for her etsy biz by night! She also spends her time fighting for animal rights, vegan/vegetarian education, and googling REALLY important, high brow things like “were dinosaurs bored during the day?” She blogs at Veggie Stephie and tweets as @veggiestephie. This is her first post for Vegansaurus. Thanks, Stephanie! Popcorn tofu po’ boy photo from Yelp.
Guest post: University of North Texas turns cafeteria vegan! »
An all-vegan campus cafeteria? Yep! Responding to the demand for more vegan food choices on campus, the University of North Texas has just set the bar higher. Taking students’ requests to heart, they have created a full-service vegan cafeteria, Mean Greens Dining Hall, believed to be the first in the nation! UNT’s dining services special projects director Ken Botts sees this as a trend that will eventually be catching on around the country. As Botts told Pegasus News:
“…[E]verybody at some point in their day eats vegetables and a lot of them. What we also know is that not everybody everyday only eats meat.”
Bambi-hunting, craw-daddy-loving Texas has the first vegan campus cafeteria! No meat, no dairy, no kidding! Mean Greens is serving up things like roasted veggies, vegan sushi, asparagus soup, bananas foster, pancakes, fresh baked focaccia, paninis, a ridiculously awesome salad bar, vegan pizza, ice cream and more. It seems like a super nice place to be. I’m ready to go back to school. As Cher says, “If I could turn back time…”
Poor kitty, awful people »
This is poor Tinkerbell who was set on fire and severely burned. The Houston Herald has the full story. They think some jerky kids probably did it but no one will come forward so the shelter caring for Tinkerbell is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whatever terrible person did this. WTF is wrong with people? Why would you do that? I hope they get them. Whatever horrible person did this, they need some serious help. People make me so angry sometimes!
You can donate to the shelter here. Beyond that, raise your kids right, so they don’t do stuff like this.
[photo by The Animal Shelter of Texas County via the Houston Herald]
As a child growing up in a suburban town on California’s beautiful Central Coast, I spent many a late-summer afternoon playing in the sprinkler and drinking from the hose. We didn’t have a fancy pool, but we didn’t need it—we had water from the lawn! We even had friends with Slip ‘n Slides, which are really fun so long as you slip on the slide instead of, say, the brick walkway.
You know who else loves cold hosewater on a hot day? This baby nine-banded armadillo in Texas! Look at it drink! Do you think it would play in the sprinklers with some tiny human children? Imagine a little armadillo and some little kids frolicking together! Man I love pragmatic animals (like pigeons).
[video via Ugly Overload]