Where I come from, MFA stands for Master of Fine Arts, but those are just really expensive pieces of paper that don’t do a whole lot. A better use of the acronym is Mercy For Animals because they do awesome things like fight for farmed animals and against the cruelty they are subjected to. Not the other way around. Do you know about this organization? I bet you didn’t know they were this cute.
On Saturday, June 2nd, I was lucky enough to attend a MFA event called Justice For All: A Night For Creatures Big And Small. This was a $500 per VIP ticket cocktail party in the West Hollywood Hills. Pretty swank. Hillary Swank was not there, but other celebrities were, like honoree Emily Deschanel and her Bones co-star Michaela Conlin, Jackass Steve-O and that Skinny Bitch Rory Freedman. The host, Freeway The Dog, and his house were incredible and the bar was not only open, but staffed with swoon-worthy ‘tenders.
The party was catered by super Vegan chef extraordinaire Dave Anderson from Madeleine Bistro, a restaurant that is open on an intermittent basis, and Maddy’s formerly known as The Shoppe, which hasn’t even opened once yet. Culinary highlights included BBQ seitan skewers, cashew cheese stuffed dates wrapped in a smokey mushroom, filet un-fish sandos, and some sort of donut/beignet thing that I am considering starting a competitive Vegan eating team for.
The party was fun, fancy and kind of like going to the airport. You had to take a shuttle van to get there (Heeeeey, to the people on my party bus!), you had to take your shoes off, and you left with a giant bag (of awesome goodies). LAXPH (Los Angeles International Party House).
There was a silent auction of all kinds of great things n’ stuff:
And after a few hours of free swim there was a short program, the three important parts of which were:
Won.) Nathan Runkle, the founder of MFA is appx. 18 years old. Or maybe that’s how old he was when he started it, either way, I have not done enough with my life.
Too.) This video. Don’t you not even try to don’t not be affected.
Three …) people in the room donated $25,000 each. 3! Nathan raised 200K in less than 10 minutes. This was impressive, but it’s not nearly enough, I’m sure. They are fighting billion dollar industries and winning, but with ag-gag bills passing, life is about to get harder for them and Bessy The Cow. Do you have extra dollars? Doesn’t have to be five figures, if you’re so inclined, they would gladly accept whatever you can give. And/Or, you could invest in the highly anticipated Shift all Vegan restaurant & bar in Venice, as they are still in need of a few chunks of money in order to open before I die from a suspense O.D.
My friend Insufferable Vegan, the only person I have ever been responsible for helping, in any part, grow Vegan, who has only been Vegan for a wee 20 months, and is already more Super of a Vegan than I am, took me on a Vegan Field Trip.
At 10:30 am my anonymous friend collected me. He even showed me a sweet shortcut in my own neighborhood I never even knew which was good because there were several detours along the way: We had some french fries with little plastic red forks at a K-mart in Covina that has a Nathan’s in it and hung out with the other people that frequent the Kmart Nathan’s at 11 am on a Thursday. Surprisingly, they didn’t seem to be on a Vegan Adventure.
I bought an actual record album at Rhino Records in Claremont where I also photographed these orange flavored chicken suckers that are not orange chicken flavored.
We randomly spotted Covina Tasty, which claims to be the very first all vegetarian fast food in America, (there might have to be a showdown with Orean’s for the title). Though it was a compelling argument for a lunch break, we kept on keepin’ on.
We did need to eat (again) though, so we sought out The Press Restaurant in hopes that their veggie burger would be a contender in the VegLympics. It was a pretty good full-size specimen of the Garden Patch variety, but not deserving of it’s own full-length post.
Obviously we needed to have dessert so we got ices at Handel’s in Upland. Check out this mountain of Sour Green Apple and Watermelon-ness!
Then we actually finally really made it to our destination: Viva La Vegan Grocery, the Earth’s largest most amazing all-vegan store. This place is so amazing it’s uh-mazing. It has just doubled in size, too, so it’s about to be twice as uh-mazing, making it uhh-maazing!
VLV has everything from fresh produce to frozen fish hams (what is a vegan fish ham?!) and I bought a hundred dollars worth of it.
We shopped so hard for so long, that not only did we not make it out in time to make it to our last stop on the tour, but we got all sorts of insider scoop and samples from the lovely staffers there. I can’t wait till they open one or two more stores closer to me (lookin’ at you Loz Feliz!) so I can get fat and bankrupt! In the meantime, 3,000 more products are about to hit their new shelves, so you might want to clear out your cupboards and go, or ask Mr. Insufferable, who is quite tolerable, to take you.
So listen SuperVegans, I am torn about posting this post, angel on one shoulder, devil on the other style and here’s why:
I want to share this recipe with you because it is so highly delicious, you should be able to enjoy it for yourself! Plus, it’s so super simple to make there’s only three easy steps once you’ve procured your four ingredients.
I should not share this recipe with you because it is so highly delicious and so full of sugary sweetness, that it is basically akin to Vegan Crack. If you like white chocolate and peanut butter you will not be able to stop shoving this crap in your mouth like a baseless animal who has been deprived of sustenance for some time. You’ll steal it from your wife till she leaves you. You might lose your job. And OH, those sugar lows.
MMMmmmm, I just had another bite. See that picture over there in the upper right corner? That is all that remains of my batch, and that’s all my mouth work.
So, fair warning– if you are trying to lose weight, have diabetes, or are otherwise health conscious, DO NOT CLICK THROUGH.
Last year I had the privilege of organizing what turned out to be a pretty amazing event to raise funds for HEART, a humane education organization that teaches kids about human rights, animal protection and environmental ethics. We raised over $700 by holding a large scale charity clothing swap and vegan bake sale. This year, I’m doing it again, and I’m writing this guest post here to invite all you super vegans to come and join in what should be another fantastic event!
How does it work? It’s easy. Go through your closets and grab all the stuff that no longer fits or that you just don’t wear. Bring it to the swap. Give it to the volunteers who will be putting things out on racks and tables (according to size and style), and then go look through all the amazing items others have contributed. You get to take as many items home as you brought to swap. I think our record holder last year was a woman who brought in 67 items and left with 67 items.
My favorite part about having a clothing swap fundraiser is that, while raising funds is important, the event itself helps to better the world. It promotes reusing instead of buying new. It helps bring together a community of caring (and fashion loving) people. Also, all the leftover items go to the local homeless and in-need population. Then, with a vegan bake sale to promote animal-free delicious food, we’ve made an impact for everyone. People, animals and the planet. Just like HEART.
If you buy your ticket in advance, you’ll save a few bucks and pay $12. Show up at the door and pay $15. If you’re a student, you can get in for $10. We wanted to make it affordable so everyone can participate, but also make it a great fundraiser so our impact goes beyond what’s accomplished at the swap.
And to further tempt you, at the vegan bake sale we’ll have thin mints, cookie dough truffles, cupcakes and so much more.
Check out the flier for all the details. We had a great turn out from SV folks last year. I hope to see many of you (and new faces!) again. You know with sponsors like Ecorazzi, Girlie Girl Army and Vaute Couture that it’s going to be a good time. The more people who come, the better it will be.
Did you know that 7-Eleven sells Vegan cookies?! One of these and a slurpee is a breakfast of champions! Yay!
Seed Bistro is closing on Saturday, April 28th. Chef Eric says they are going to re-open in a new location with a wellness/healing center, but don’t wait for that to happen. Go eat there ASAP. The soy blue cheese salad will blow your tongue away.
Have you tried Veggie Grill’s slew of new menu items like the homestyle plates, crab cakes or all things Buffalo? Come late June you can do so at their newest spot in Long Beach! The location will be in the former Pick Up Stix at Long Beach Marketlace at 2nd and Pacific Coast Highway.
Local 1205 on Abbot Kinney says they will be purveyors of Babycakes on Saturdays, if you’re in Venice and need a sweet fix.
Have you had the new seasonal Vegan sando at Mendocino Farms for Spring? It’s a Vegan BBQ Torta and it’s also delicious. I had one yesterday at the Marina Del Rey location. Shaved seitan and pinto beans are slow braised in chipotle citrus BBQ sauce then placed on a toasted ciabatta roll with smashed avocado, vegenaise, pickled red onions, candied jalapenos, tomatoes and shredded romaine. YUM @ $9.50
UPDATE: The only vegan sandwich at Capriotti’s is the Veggie Cheese Steak MInus The Cheese! Capriotti’s, a sandwich shop chain recently opened a Culver City location and guess what? They have Vegan sandos! Check out their Vegetarian menu and be amazed at all the Veggie Turkey options! Review pending.
Atwater Village has the next in a succession of Sausage/Beer/Belges Frites shops with Vegan options! Link N Hops opened last week next to 55 Degree Wine, and is owned by the same Andy Hasroun. And even better, it’s open till midnight!