Monday, October 31, 2011

Doccupy Wall Street

Darwin Animal Doctors brings the animals of Occupy Wall Street their creature comforts.

Yesterday, volunteers from the Galapagos-based veterinary clinic Darwin Animal Doctors came to Occupy Wall Street with food, medications, beds and hugs for the animals living in Zuccotti Park. Since the occupation started on September 17, the population (human and non) has increased dramatically. The Kitchen, Medical and Comfort working groups mostly cater to the needs of the two-legged occupiers, so DAD president and co-founder Tod Emko rallied the troops to make sure our furry friends were taken care of as well.

Veterinarian Jodi Kuntz and vet techs Lucy Chou and Adrien Zap spent the morning consulting with dogs and a pet rat, provided food, information on local low-cost vet options and making care suggestions (most dogs occupying Wall Street could do with some booties).

Darwin Animal Doctors hopes to return soon to check up on more of our animal occupiers soon.

If you would like to donate animal care products to Occupy Wall Street, bring them downtown whenever you can, or comment here or email me and we'll work something out.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Best Laid PLans

Often go awry.

So there we were, all ready to cook our way through Appetite for Reduction, when Terry started testing for her upcoming international cookbook: Vegan Eats World (working title). So I told my mother I'd like to incorporate some of Terry's new recipes into our plan and if she was disappointed by the idea of supplementing her diet of Low Fat Healthy Vegan Food with dishes from the person who brought her Sancocho and Quinoa Roasted Pumpkin Risotto, she hid it well.

At this point, we'd already had the AFR Sanctuary Dressing (kind of like ranch, but better), Spinach Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta (delicious, but my mother thought the dressing was too thymey), and the Quinoa, White Bean and Kale Stew (perfect for a chilly fall night). The Ginger Bok Choy Soba was up next, so we topped it with Terry's Pressed Baked Tofu.

Terry suggests pressing the tofu after slicing, which is way faster than doing it before. 35 minutes was more than enough for perfect firm, chewy tofu. The marinade was delicious, too. It was a bit too spicy for me to eat the tofu alone (I'm a huge baby), but it was perfect over noodles and on toast with a bit of Veganaise (so perfect that I wanted to make another sandwich today, but didn't want to hog all the tofu because my mother really liked it).

In other news, my tester copy of Vegan Pie in the Sky arrived this weekend. It's beautiful. Lowfatcookingwhat?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back to Food

I'm no sure if I've mentioned this in the past, but both of my parents are extremely overweight. As a bonus, my father is diabetic and has heart disease. My mother is hypertensive with high cholesterol and degenerative disk disease in her back. I can't remember the last time she stood up without exclaiming "Oy!" I hope to change that.

Starting this Thursday, we're eating our way through Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Appetite for Reduction. We won't be eating from there exclusively, but I'm trying to encourage them to keep it vegan in the house, and save the animal products for restaurants. Make eating out a real "occasion".

With some work, I hope to bring down my father's blood sugar and my mother's cholesterol and blood pressure. I'd also like to see her get some weight off of her back and joints. I don't know if it will actually happen, but it's worth a try.

This is one of those times where most "real" bloggers would start breaking out the menu planners, scales and measuring tape in order to document everyone's progress for the whole Internet to see. (Un?)Fortunately, I don't have that kind of time, but I'll try to post occasional updates, even if it's just a heads up of which dishes people like best. And if my mother starts doing cartwheels down the hallway, I'll be sure to post video.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street 2.0

Just a quick drive-by post to suggest that if you don't want to listen to me, at least listen to Will Potter. Or Josh Harper. Or the Vegan Police.

Then point your Internet at this and join in.

I'll be at Zuccotti Park this evening and probably tomorrow night too, if anyone wants to talk about issues surrounding animals with two, four or twenty-four legs, economics, politics, vegan recipes, comic books, knitting or what it's all about, really, when you get down to it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ethical Dilemma

Last week, I attended a couple of protests against the Jewish ritual of Kapparot. Kapparot is an attempt to "kaper" (atone) for one's sins by transferring them to a live chicken or money, then giving it to charity. When chickens are used, they are picked up either by the feet or wings and waved over or swung around the head of the person performing the ritual three times while they recite a prayer. The chicken is then slaughtered and her flesh goes to feed poor people. There is some variation in how that happens, but that's the gist.

I'm going to skip over the experience of the protests themselves and how I feel about the whole thing in favor of one point: the chickens are transported in boxes too low for them to stand in and given no food or water from the time they're packed up until the time they're killed. The boxes are also stacked so if a chicken in the top box relieves herself, everyone below her gets a surprise.

Almost everyone I pointed this out to said it was wrong (there are specific laws in the Jewish bible to protect animals from "unnecessary" suffering) and something should be done to change it. They also felt there was nothing they could do about it. One even asked me to open a humane, organic Kapparot chicken company, saying that almost everyone would go to me, even if it would cost more, to keep the chickens from suffering.

One person said he had contacted the people who order the chickens, trying to get them more humane conditions, but it didn't work. He said he also contacted PETA, to see if they could help, but they did nothing. He then asked if I would be able to get a few people together next year to supervise the chicken transport, see that they're in comfortable crates, feed the chickens during the day, and do everything else necessary to make their last day on earth easier on them. I gave him my phone number, but I'm 99% sure he won't call.

But what if he does? I hate the words "abolitionist" and "welfarist" and generally think they're used by people who spend too much time philosophizing and not enough time acting, but that's really what this comes down to.

I don't want to help these people kill more chickens. I want the practice to end completely. I think we may be able to end it in our lifetimes, but I know it won't end next year. So why not help the chickens spend their last hours comfortably, with love and attention? I think this is different from the "happy meat" issue, since more chickens will not be used just because people feel better about how they're treated. The people who perform this ritual will do it, and those who don't won't, regardless of the chickens' well being.

In addition to caring for the chickens, I think developing a decent relationship with the People In Charge, may encourage them to give us more chickens to take to a sanctuary (they gave us a few this year). Also, most of these people have probably never seen chickens treated as anything more than an object. If we are able to stay with the chickens while people are performing the ritual and let them see us caring for them the way they care for their dogs, or their children (maybe even wearing t-shirts with a message about using money instead, maybe printed in English, Hebrew and Yiddish) it may drive the point home, especially for the young people.

So. What do you think? Would this be enabling people to murder chickens or would it be an act of mercy? What would you do?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

We're in week three of Occupy Wall Street and I still don't know exactly what I want to say about it here. No wonder the General Assembly has had so much trouble coming up with a specific demand or manifesto. I guess I should start with the basic info:

On September 17, people took to the streets of lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and started to occupy Wall Street until the changes they want are made or they're removed by force. Inspired by the movements in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, the plan is to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation and nonviolence to restore democracy in America.

"Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. The original call for this occupation was published by Adbusters in July; since then, many individuals across the country have stepped up to organize this event, such as the people of the NYC General Assembly and US Day of Rage. There'll also be similar occupations in the near future such as October2011 in Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What are you going to do about it?

By now, everyone on the Internet has oohed and aahed and laughed and cried over the video of the lab chimps seeing sunlight for the first time. In case you missed it:

Most people watched that video and thought "Oh, how sad. I wish we could free all the chimps, but there's nothing I can do about it." Fortunately, that's not true. There's a really easy way to help free the chimps: stop using products tested on animals.

I don't mean your cancer medication or your antibiotics. I mean your shampoo and your bathroom cleaner. Your dental floss. Your disposable razors. Your chocolate (yes, chocolate).

Oh, Hello!

Are you still here? Sorry about that. I've got two important things to talk about today.

Thing the first: PIE. Yes, pie. Vegan Pie in the Sky is due out next month and it's amazing. If you have tastebuds, you should go preorder it. Go on. I'll wait.

Got it? Good. You're welcome. All the recipes are delicious, most of them are easy and some of them are fast enough to make after work (maybe with a bit of advance prep work). Here's a small sampling of the ones I tested. Do not judge them by my photos, because if there's anything I'm worse at than baking pretty things, it's photography.

Blueberry cheesecake

Monday, May 9, 2011

No Brooklyn? No Problem!

Can't make it to tomorrow's benefit but want to support Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support and AmeriCares anyway? We can help!

Tuesday, May 10, 8 PM to midnight (Eastern), we'll be live streaming the show! Featuring performances by Gretchen Witt, Yukari Roja and Terry Hope Romero! You can watch it below, or if the embedding doesn't work, click here.

To lend a hand, you can donate directly on JEARS and AmeriCares' websites, or PayPal

Hope to see you tomorrow, but if I can't, at least you can see us!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Benefit for Japan

Is it just me, or is the shit hitting the fan more and more frequently lately? The latest fan was firmly situated over Japan and once we stopped freaking out about whether or not the island would just fall into the ocean, a bunch of people got together to try to help out. This is what we came up with:

Flier by Theresa Sarzynski of for the Animals sanctuary 

Loads of people are getting together to raise money for AmeriCares and Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support. Seriously, people's generosity has been overwhelming. From graphic designers working on the fliers and buttons to restaurants and caterers donating food, not to mention local musicians and DJs playing the show and so many businesses contributing raffle prizes, people's dedication to helping the human and non-human animals impacted by the disaster is just amazing.

Tuesday, May 10 at Southpaw, doors at 7 PM, show starts at 8

Upstairs, Dj3dg of the Ulster County SPCA will be spinning between sets by Gretchen Witt and Yukari Roja.
Downstairs, DJ Megan Rascal will set the mood for a screening of Oscar-nominated Japanese film Kwaidan.
There will also be a webcast by Terry Hope Romero and some special guests.

We'll be serving food from The V-Spot, Terri Organic Vegetarian, Vérité Catering, I Eat Grass, Gone Pie Vegan Bakery, and Rescue Chocolate.

And check out these fabulous raffle prizes!
Gift cards from Sustainable NYC, Lula's Sweet Apothecary, Red Bamboo, Curly's Vegetarian Lunch, Loving Hut,, MOMBUCHA and Caravan of Dreams!
Signed copies of Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World and Viva Vegan!
Gift sets from Pretty Monsters NYC and meow meow tweet!
Photos by Max Ocampo!
Hand made totes by Panda With Cookie!

You really don't want to miss this. Get your tickets here! ($15, 18+ w/ID)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale 3.0

I swear I cook for more than just bake sales. For example, last week, I tried my hand at Vegan Dad's Puff Pastry recipes and ended up with a delightful batch of pain au chocolat (bonus points for added raspberries). I'm also testing for Isa and Terry's upcoming pie book (raspberry pie! chocolate pudding pie!). And I'm working on my friends' birthday cake. So it's not that I've stopped doing kitchen things, I've just stopped making real food. Oops.

Anyway, this is a thing that's happening:

If you're going to be in the NYC area that day, RSVP to the Facebook event here.
And if you'd like to bake, table or get into any other kind of wacky volunteer hijinx with us, please sign up on the spreadsheet here.

And watch this space for news about an upcoming benefit for Japan. I promise it won't be a bake sale.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Bake Sale!

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make Sea Shepherd NYC's vegan bake sale a fabulous success (especially MooShoes, Babycakes, Lifethyme and Terri). We raised almost $4,000 for Operation No Compromise! I'll post a wrap up of that one soon, but first, in case you couldn't make it, or it whet your appetite for another one, Darwin Animal Doctors is holding a Valentine's Day bake sale at MooShoes on Saturday, February 12! I won't be there, but my famous pepperoni pizza pretzels will be, so get there early.

Darwin Animal Doctors provides comprehensive veterinary care for the animals of the Galapagos Islands. We're committed to saving animals, and the Galapagos. Our veterinary clinics span the islands of the Galapagos, and we are strategically located on the most populated island, the largest island, and the capital city island. On San Cristobel Island, the capital city island of Galapagos, we sit as a board member on the office of invasive species control.

Also, they're kind of awesome. So stop by next Saturday and get some sweets for your sweetie (and yourself...Friends...Family...Coworkers...Enemies...).

Thursday, January 20, 2011


(click to embiggen)

See all you sexy, sexy people Sunday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I suck at this, sorry. I have all sorts of posts half written, but I have something far more important to post about right now:


Sea Shepherd NYC will be at MooShoes this coming Sunday, January 23, raising money for Operation No Compromise, Sea Shepherd's 7th Antarctic whale defense campaign. We'll have vegan baked goods galore, merch, and the answers to all the questions you may have about Sea Shepherd. Stop by and find out how YOU can help Neptune's Navy defend our oceans.

All the tiny details are over on the Facebook event page, and if you'd like to bake, just add yourself to this Google Doc.

See you Sunday!