vegan v-day miscellany

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

So I know I’m a few days early, but for Valentines Day I made a double batch of Pink Pooch biscuits for my dog loves! Bone- and heart-shaped, natch:

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I mostly followed Molly’s recipe, but subbed in cranberry sauce for beets, since I didn’t have any on hand. (Also: a few added tablespoons of raspberry jam for extra coloring.) It took a bit of kneading before the jellied sauce was fully integrated into the dough, but once it was mixed in, it gave the biscuits a nice pinkish-purplish hue.

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The color faded a bit upon baking, but luckily the dogs don’t seem to mind!

For the heart-shaped biscuits, I just used regular Valentines Day cookie cutters that are available in most box stores this time of the year. The larger hearts are obviously too big for my little guys and gals to handle with ease, so I cut ’em in half, all jagged-like, before baking. I told Kaylee that that’s what she does to my heart every night when she refuses to cuddle with me in bed, but I don’t think she got the hint. Either that, or she’s just acting obtuse. She can be crafty, that one (and especially where food is concerned), so I wouldn’t put it past her. Harumph.

In other v-day news, I temporarily bumped this post – originally published two years ago – up to the front page in honor of the occasion. (I admit it – I love all the photos of gratuitous canine canoodling!) As has been the custom for several years now, I still plan on “tossing Valentines Day to the dogs.” The weather is supposed to warm considerably next week, and I hope to spend all my free time outside, soaking in the sun’s depression-busting rays, out-speed walking the winter blues, BDFs (best dog friends) at my side.

Whatever your plans for v-day, make them as cruelty-free as possible, mkay? If you’re still shopping around for edible goodies, please use the Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate List as a guide. Better yet, give your sweetie some handcrafted sweets, made by you with love (and vegan, fair trade chocolate, of course!). May I suggest peanut butter cups, coconut bonbons, rocky road bark, or chocolate covered pretzels? Or perhaps some chocolate-shaped vulvas for the vegan feminist in your life? (Oooh, me me! Pick me!)

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It’s Vegan Pizza Day, peeps! Did you hear me? VEGAN PIZZA DAY!

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

We’re in the middle of a Caprica marathon, so I can’t stay long, but let me just say:

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VEGAN PIZZA DAY SHOULD BE EVERY FRAKKIN DAY OF THE GORRAM YEAR!

See, I’m so excited that I’m intermixing my scifi slang.

That is all.

(Crossposted from the Perfect Pizza Press blog – which I’ve yet to tell y’all about, and where the recipes for each of these masterpieces will soon be posted.

Stay tuned!…)

Updated to add: The recipe for Shane’s spicy hot pie – our entry in the Fiery Vegan Valentine Cooking Contest at Cook. Vegan. Lover. – is now up at the PPP blog: Shane’s Red Hot, Heart-Shaped Pizza: Eat it on Vegan Pizza Day, Valentine’s Day, or any old damn day!

Update, redux: …and here’s the recipe for my pizza: Kelly’s Loaded Tomato Lover’s Pizza. Just call me the tomato monster, kay?

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 18: My Bloody Valentine

Friday, February 26th, 2010

A neon red-and-white sign declares: “My Bloody Valentine sells out.”
CC image via Penningtron on Flickr.
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Vegansaurus!: What creepy chefs do to get laid

Guest blogger Kristen looks at a Valentine’s Day article which highlights the foods that non-vegan chefs cook for their lovers. Surprise, surprise: many are animal-based, thus transforming the descriptions into an appalling spectacle of sex and death. The original article at Grub Street, for example, is decorated with a disgusting photo of scallops in an orange-and-green sauce/oil slick. Yuck.

Suicide Food: Happy Valentine’s Day: a digression

Just when you thought the butcher’s counter couldn’t get any more grotesque, behold: heart-shaped slabs of “meat”! I shit you not.

The Pursuit of Harpyness: Be A Bitch: To the New York Times Public Editor

In which Roman Polanski’s 13-year-old rape victim is likened to – wait for it – “quarry.” “Quarry” being another word for a hunted “game” animal.

The link above is to a complaint letter (good!) written in response to a piece which ran in The New York Times (bad!); you can read the original piece in its entirety here: Polanski’s Visions of Victimhood by Dennis Lim.

The Discerning Brute: Who Wears The Pants?

Joshua Katcher dissects a trailer for the upcoming documentary “An Emasculating Truth” – brought to you by, ahem, Dockers – which, surprise, is chock full of sexism and speciesism. In particular, the men appearing in the film advocate violence towards animals as an expression of one’s masculinity. Katcher ties this overt encouragement of violence with Levi’s own history of environmental and labor violence towards its employees and their families, many of them poor women of color.

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Libby and Louie (a Valentine’s Day Love Story)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Peaceful Prairie 2010 V-Day Vegan eCard

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Deer Trail, Colorado this Sunday, stop by Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary for a Vegan Valentine’s Day Brunch. In a delightful re-imagining of an otherwise blasé day, filled with tired gender roles and patriarchal mores, the Peaceful Prairie celebration will include a commemoration of animal love – that shared by chickens Libby and Louie – told over a plate of cruelty-free waffles, quiche, tofu scramble, fruit and coffee cake, of course!

A lame, silent hen and a handsome, fire-red rooster, respectively, these rescued birds have sought solace in one another’s presence – and one another’s presence alone – for the past five years and counting. If anything, their story serves as a gentle reminder that human animals do not have a monopoly on love – nor on kindness, compassion, selflessness, sacrifice, devotion, and family.

In Libby and Louie, A Love Story, Joanna Lucas writes of a love so pure and so true, undying and never-ending, such that any human would count herself lucky to be caught in its bonds.

And there they were. Just the two of them in the world. A monogamous couple in a species where monogamy is the exception. Determined to stay together even though their union created more problems than it solved, increased their burdens more than it eased them, and thwarted their instincts more than it fulfilled them.

It would have been easier and more “natural” for Louie to be in charge of a group of hens, like all the other roosters, but he ignored everyone except Libby. He paid no attention to the fluffy gray hen, the fiery blonde hen, the dreamy red hen, the sweet black hen dawdling in her downy pantaloons, or any of the 100 snow-white hens who, to our dim perceptions, looked exactly like Libby. Louie, the most resplendently bedecked and befeathered rooster of the sanctuary, remained devoted only to Libby – scrawny body, scraggly feathers, missing foot, hobbled gait and all. It’s true that, with our dull senses, we couldn’t grasp a fraction of what he saw in her because we can’t see, smell, hear, touch, taste, sense a scintilla of the sights, scents, sounds, textures, and tastes he does. But, even if we could see Libby in all her glory, it would still be clear that it wasn’t her physical attributes that enraptured Louie. If he sought her as his one and only companion, if he protected that union from all intrusions, it wasn’t because of her physique but because of her presence.

It would have been easier for Libby too – so vulnerable in her stunted, lame body – to join an existing chicken family and enjoy the added comfort, cover and protection of a larger group, but she never did. She stayed with Louie, and followed him on his daily treks in the open fields, limping and gimping behind him, exhausting herself only to be near him.

What bonded them was not about practical necessities or instinctual urges – if anything, it thwarted both. Their union was about something else, a rich inner abundance that seemed to flourish in each other’s presence, and that Libby nurtured in her silence and that Louie voiced, sang out loud, celebrated, noted, catalogued, documented, expressed, praised every day of their 1,800 days together.

Should we all – humans and nonhumans alike – be so blessed.

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In which I toss Valentines Day to the dogs.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

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Valentines Day? Meh. I’ve never been very big on the holiday. Through most of high school, I was boyfriend-less, and thus predictably unimpressed with February 14th. The husband and I have celebrated it on and off over the years, but mostly in a half-assed kind of way: vegan chocolates here, a dinner in there. One problem I’ve always had with V-Day is the idea of forced, scheduled romanticism. Why should the Mr. and I only go on dates or surprise one another with gifts on February 14th, eh? And why do so on a day in which the prices are all jacked up and the theaters and restaurants, obscenely crowded?

Additionally, in the few years since my budding feminism has blossomed into a thorny, black, man-hating rose, I’ve actively resisted engaging in a commercialized, wasteful and largely heteronormative holiday. Diamonds? Roses? Tacky Bandit Bears? Bargained sex? IBTP.

So, in keeping with my previous re- evaluation and -imagining of the wintry holidays, I’ve been thinking about celebrating Valentines Day in a different way. While I try to pamper my furkids – i.e., my dogs – on a daily basis, I thought it might be fun to celebrate them this Saturday. After all, there is no doggeh equivalent of “Mother’s Day” or “Grandparent’s Day” – so why not transform a lackluster holiday into it?

There are many ways you can toss Valentines Day to the dogs (or cats, rats, gerbils, pigs…whatever species your kiddos belong to). Dogs Deserve Better, for example, holds an annual Valentines Day card drive for chained dogs. During “Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week,” Valentines – complete with informational brochures, coupons for dog food, etc. – are delivered to the “owners” of chained dogs, with the ultimate goal of freeing these animals and bringing them back into the home. You can donate money to fund the effort, or volunteer by submitting the addresses of homes that have chained dogs, creating or delivering Valentines, and gathering donations of coupons and such. If your heart belongs to a species other than canine, you can donate your time or money to help a local or species-specific organization on or around the 14th.

As for your own furkids, here are four ways you can pamper them this Saturday. Since I’ve got five dogs, these are all canine-specific, but you can adjust accordingly.

Sunday Afternoon (original)

1. Take your dog for a walk or hike. Set some time aside for a leisurely stroll, walk, run or hike – or some combination thereof – and let your dog lead the way. Allow her to walk you, wherever she chooses to go (within reason, of course). If she wants to spend five minutes sniffing and marking that tree at the corner of the street, let her. It’s her day, remember? Just enjoy her company, the beautiful weather, the sights and sounds.

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There’s more to February 14th than Valentine’s Day…

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Don’t forget – in addition to the much-dreaded Valentine’s Day, today also marks the 19th annual National Pet Theft Awareness Day

LCA - National Pet Theft Awareness Day, 2001 (Poster)

…as well as the last day of Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week, sponsored by Dogs Deserve Better.

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Keep reading for heartwarming tales of interspecies bonding from the Fund for Animals…

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DDB: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week, February 7-14, 2007

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

The following press release was posted on the Dogs Deserve Better listserve; you can read a (prettier) pdf version here.

DDB’s needs for this year’s Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week (February 7-14, 2007) include the following:

1. Make Valentines. Teachers, Students, Scout Leaders, Group Leaders, Individuals please make Valentines! To see what others have done, see the link above. The valentines can say anything along the lines of ‘Bring us into the home and family.’ Send them to us by February 7th at P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684.

2. Mail Coupons for Free or Reduced Cost Treats or Dogfood. Last year we did not have enough treat coupons to fill all the Valentines. Can you help us out this year by mailing any and all treat or dogfood coupons you have to us at P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684?

3. Send addresses for Chained or Penned Dogs. This is so needed! To make our goal, we need to mail at least 8000 Valentines. Send address via mail, call 877.636.1408 to report addresses, or e-mail them to info [at] dogsdeservebetter.org. You remain anonymous!

4. Sponsor Valentines. The cost of this campaign is quite high, due to material and mailing fees, but it is well-worth it! You may either sponsor Valentines for addresses you provide, or sponsor Valentines for others who provide us with addresses.

The goal for ’07 is 8,000 valentines – 2,800 more than in 2006! So please consider a donation of time, money, coupons, or cards if possible. Need a gift idea for February 14? Check out the DDB store, or get a Love Is…A Day without Chains print for that special someone.

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