Russell Simmons is still vegan, still rules  »

I love Russell Simmons but I grew up a hip-hopper so it’s kind of a given. But you better believe I love him even more now that I’m vegan. CNN’s Eatocracy interviewed him all about his vegan diet and it’s great and he’s the best! Here’s an excerpt:

I feel better. My friends say I look better. All that’s true. But I’m a vegan for compassionate reasons.

Like I said, for the planet and for the Karma. It’s to not cause too much harm. The first part of every scripture, in terms of the science that they give for happiness, is to not cause harm. You gain happiness by eliminating or relieving suffering. You want to relieve suffering; you don’t want to be the cause. If all the oil is being used—beside what the army is using—in the manufacturing of food, we’re fighting wars over your diet. It sounds like a big stretch but it’s not when you find out the amount of oil that you use. Then you think about the global warming issue, and you think about the 15 billion animals that are born into suffering.

OMJesus do you love it? You love it.

I don’t believe in much, but what do you guys think about karma? I know we throw the word around and it prob doesn’t mean exactly what we think, but in the way it’s used popularly, what do you think? You think vegans have better karma? I don’t know; I know I do feel better about myself so I’d have to agree with his “gain happiness” statement. It makes me happy that I’m not contributing to suffering (or at least contributing as little as I can) and that I can function beyond the “but cheese is good” mentality.

He also talks about how great Tofutti Cuties are: “You can’t beat a Tofutti Cutie. You frontin’ if you say so.” TRUTH.

[via Vegetarian Star!]


Review: Maggie Mudd!  »

One time when I thought I was giving up sweets for Lent, before I realized that because no one holds me to particular religious beliefs anymore, I don’t have to go through the motions of abiding by the behavioral dictates of a particular time of year (sorry, Jesus; I’m done), my boyfriend took me to Maggie Mudd for one last stomach-filling sugar binge, ostensibly to tide me over until Palm Sunday.

During dinner, I had the aforementioned epiphany, leading my boyfriend to note that this was not getting me out of an enormous ice cream sundae. As if I needed to be talked into it. What’s up, gluttony. We ate at a mediocre Italian place up the street (review to come later, mediocre Italian place with a misleading menu), and then walked down the Cortland Street hill a bit to the teeny little nook that is Maggie Mudd’s storefront.

We walked in, and we stared. We stared and stared and stared. Look, I said, Look at all the sundaes they can make vegan! Look at all the varieties of soy- and coconut-milk ice cream! O the anticipation. Nationally available vegan ice cream is generally, well, off. If it doesn’t have a weird soy aftertaste, it’s grainy, or more icy than creamy, or any other of the myriad problems you can have with food imitation. The best soy-cream product I’d had before our venture to Bernal Heights was Tofutti Cuties, and those things are so full of weird chemicals and saturated fats you might as well be eating Kraft Dinner with a bacon spoon.

Right, so, the flavors, they seemed limitless. The sundaes, decadent. I had the Tarmack, a peanut-butter-chocolate-cookie bits concoction with peanut butter and chocolate syrups. I couldn’t finish it, though heaven knows I wanted to. I let my boyfriend slurp up the last melty bits of it and wished I were as bottomless a pit.

Their lemon-poppyseed coconut-milk-based ice cream is perfection in the realm of non-sorbet frozen citrus desserts. They make the (blessedly) vegan waffle cones in front of you so they are hot when you get them and cool and harden in your hand while the ice cream gently melts.

Minus points for the “non-dairy” whipped topping, which seemed suspect. Of course it could have been the gorging that gave me and my boyfriend both upset stomachs, but you never know with dairy. It’s sneaky and totally out to get you. Plus points for the pints being (nearly) as good as the ice cream in-house. Minus points to every grocery store that doesn’t carry it, though I don’t think that’s Maggie Mudd’s fault. Minus points to their in-store packed pints costing an exorbitant $7—is a pint of a commercially unavailable flavor like fresh blueberry worth that much? A million billion plus points for their cakes, which are endlessly customizable, reasonably priced, and quite lovely.

[photo by Friend of Vegansaurus Melisser, the Urban Housewife!]

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