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Category Archive: Environmentalism

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Environmentalism. XML

  1. When we were invited to a vegan wine tasting at Candle 79, I was all over it! Who wouldn’t want to sample a variety of brand-new vegan wines, eat gourmet vegan food and spend the evening with some of the coolest vegan peeps around? The only question mark was whether I’d get out of work on time, as my day job is at a Very Big Fashion Magazine, and it was Fashion Week. Thankfully, the gastronomic gods smiled upon me and I was released at a decent hour, at which point I got what was probably the only available cab in all of Midtown—another sign that the evening was going to be a good one. So I made my way up to Candle 79, where the Discerning Brute, Joshua Katcher, was already waiting. (Be sure to check out his write-up of the evening.) We were soon joined by my fellow SuperVegans Sam Cohen, Deborah Diamant, Olivia Lane, and Jason Das, plus cooking superhero Terry Hope Romero and her husband, John. This had the makings of a stellar evening.

    Vegan Vine is the first wine to use “vegan” as part of its brand name. The wine is produced by the 150-acre family-owned Clos LaChance Winery and Estate Vineyard from California’s Central Coast. Our host for the evening was Cheryl Murphy Durzy, daughter of the founders. Cheryl was as informative as she was welcoming, and we learned all about what makes wine vegan or not, and the various labeling and regulatory hassles that wine marketers face.

    There are four fining agents used to get the solid remnants out of wine: gelatin, egg whites, dairy, and the most popular, sturgeon swim bladders, a.k.a. isinglass. The main vegan fining agent is bentonite, a type of clay. This is what’s used to fine Vegan Vine’s white wines; the reds are unfined. It’s worth noting that all of Clos LaChance’s wines are vegan, not just the Vegan Vine line, though the Vegan Vines are the only ones certified vegan by Vegan Action.

    Each course illustrated by Deborah Diamant, who makes lovely sketches when you get enough wine in her. This was our appetizer, about which she noted, “The vegetables were a little salty, but the wine was smooth and refreshing and helped rid my palate of saltiness. Also, vegan white wine is harder to find than vegan red, and this is a great wine, especially for the price point.”

    Clos LaChance is certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, and Cheryl mentioned some of the environmental and animal-friendly efforts they’ve made: switching from trucked-in chicken manure fertilizer to fungicultural waste from the mushroom farm next door, pumping the water from the low parts of the vineyard into the wetlands across the road, and causing an uptick in the local tiger salamander population. We also got into how much biodynamic agriculture relies on animal products—biodynamic wine is by definition nonvegan.

    While regulators didn’t object to “vegan” being in the brand name, Clos was prohibited by the Trade and Tax Bureau from mentioning on the label that the product is produced without animal products. They’ve gotten around this somewhat by hanging an information-rich “necker” on each bottle. (As for the bottles themselves, Vegan Vine uses Eco-Glass, which is 25% lighter than the glass in a traditional wine bottle.)

    And then service began. Oh boy! I don’t usually drink white wine, but Vegan Vine’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was surprisingly dry. There was something cool and almost refreshing about it despite the dryness, yet it also had a slightly tart undertone. The wine paired perfectly with the lentil-quinoa amuse bouche and the first course, ravioli with sautéed summer vegetables in white wine sauce and cashew cheese. The combination was seamless, in fact, because the ravioli was as delicious as the wine. The meal, and the tasting, couldn’t have started off more perfectly!
    Continue Reading…

  2. Tree Art by Eva P.

    Tree Art by Eva P.

    PATH (People Protecting Animals and Their Habitats) has organized a powerful yet simple project for Earth Day 2011. The group’s One Kid, One Tree, One World Earth Day project provides children in six countries the opportunity to plant trees and environmental education during the week of Earth Day. Jewish and Arab students will plant trees together in Israel. Students in South Africa will plant fruit trees to provide their community with healthy, fresh food.

    This project empowers and educates kids, heals the planet, and builds community. What’s not to love? Visit their website and donate $2 for a student to plant a tree! If you’ve got extra cash, enter their charity auction by March 30 to win vegan swag donated by Vaute Couture, Rory Freedman, Mary & Peter Max, Olsen Haus, Frey Vineyards, Cri de Coeur, Candle 79 Restaurant, Jivamukti Yoga School, and others.

  3. Mickey Z. speaking at last year's Veggie Pride Parade

    Credit: Michele Zezima

    Author and activist Mickey Z. will be the key-note speaker at this Sunday’s Veggie Pride Parade. The parade begins at 11am in the West Village; he’ll take the stage at 1pm in Union Square, where the parade ends. There will be additional speakers sharing the stage to educate the masses about the benefits of a veg diet but my vote goes to Mickey for being the most bad ass of the lot.

    Mickey’s books include The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet, 50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism, and Self Defense for Radicals: A to Z Guide for Subversive Struggle–and he’s published by some of the edgiest indie publishers around, such as Soft Skull Press, Disinformation Company, and PM Press. Oh, and Newsday called Mickey Z. a “professional iconoclast” and Time Out New York has referred to him as a “political provocateur.”

    SuperVegan: Well hello there Mr. Fancy Pants. How did you end up being the key-note speaker at this year’s parade?

    Mickey Z.: Wow, that’s funny because I’m the furthest thing from fancy pants. I tend to wear my clothes until they fall off me. Anyway, I’ve known parade founder Pamela Rice for many years and she invited me to speak at the 2009 event. I ended up going on very late and reaching a much smaller crowd but Pamela said I still “stole the show.” This year, well… I guess I got bumped all the way to the front of the line. Continue Reading…

  4. This Thursday, at Vegan Drinks, we are going to have a special bake sale to benefit Darwin Animal Doctors (formerly named Amigo Fiel before our US incorporation this month), my project to start the first animal hospital in the Galapagos. This is part of World Vegan Bake Sale Week, and the bake sale will take place at Angels and Kings bar from 7pm to 9pm.

    Our head baker for the event is the amazing Laura Dakin, the vegan chef of Sea Shepherd and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis. There will be everything at this bake sale from cookies to cakes to vegan quiches to vegan pigs in blankets.

    Right now, the animals of the Galapagos suffer from car accidents, invasive germs, and other problems wrought from urbanization. We’ve started paying a full-time vet to save animals in the Galapagos every day, and he’s handling everything from invasive diseases to animal surgery. But he needs veterinary equipment and additional staff, so every penny made at the bake sale will go directly to helping the animals of Galapagos.

    Come and stuff yourself silly with treats in order to help out a lot of animals!

  5. (photo by Sea Shepherd)

    (photo by Sea Shepherd)

    Australian activist Nicola Paris has been cooking vegan food for Sea Shepherd pirates on board the Steve Irwin for three Antarctic whale defense campaigns and much of the last two years. Her posts are written from the ship and transmitted on a delay.

    April 15, 2010:

    What has led to here…

    So I just finished up with my third Antarctic campaign defending the whales aboard Sea Shepherd’s flagship, the Steve Irwin. This year’s Antarctic campaign was pretty successful, and full on, and tiring – and then we stopped in Hobart, Australia for just 10 days. And many of us who had been working nonstop for months, are now still on board and heading up to the Northern Hemisphere.

    I am in the role of head cook for the 6 week transit – stepping in whilst our regular head cook Laura takes a break. So it’s all up to me… On the to do list: make 3 meals a day, plus fresh bread, plus afternoon tea and treats and dessert for 18 people, use all the fresh produce in the right order before it rots, get creative when we run out of fresh produce, don’t cut/grate/burn myself too many times a day on rocking seas, drive everyone insane with whatever cheesy music is coming out of my stereo (gotta dance and cook at the same time), keep some semblance of hygiene and order to the place, rotate the stock, ration out the treats… oh, and make sure the food keeps people happy and avoid a mutiny. What the bloody hell was I thinking?!
    Continue Reading…