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Friday, February 4, 2011

The Power of Oprah, the Stupidity of 'Meat Week,' and ― Eww ― Vulva Cake!

Posted By on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 12:03 PM

click to enlarge veganweek.jpg

SFoodie's roundup of tips, news, and rants from the week in animal-free eats.

• So, Oprah's Tuesday episode was dedicated to veganism ― and meat-eating issues in general ― and it's pretty much the only thing vegans could talk about all week. I mean, she IS the big O and so yeah, celebration is in order. She had on rich, beautiful vegan Kathy Freston, who talked about how easy and awesome it is to be vegan and promoted her new book, Veganist. Which, by the by, has been the best-selling book on Amazon since the episode aired. I swear, you could be selling shit-covered shit but if Oprah likes it? EEEEEASY STREEEEET.

click to enlarge "YOU get a vegan diet, and YOU get a vegan diet, and YOU...." - NAYRB7/FLICKR
  • nayrb7/Flickr
  • "YOU get a vegan diet, and YOU get a vegan diet, and YOU...."

• Anyway, Oprah forced her whole staff to go vegan for a week and I'm sure they were like, "Yes, Oprah! Whatever you say, Oprah!" as they huddled in a corner and cried. Despite being forced to do something, many staffers enjoyed the experience and it was generally a success. As for the aftermath, there's some controversy in the vegan world about whether the episode was vegan enough but COME ON GUYS: Veganism was covered in a mostly positive light on OPRAH. I know people who would throw their children off a cliff if Oprah told them to. Actually, I know some people who might do that anyway. Child-rearing is hard! Anyway, if you're not Oprah-ed out, parts of the episode are up on her site, along with a vegan starter kit (SO COOL). Oh, and for the record, you know who took to veganism the best? Steadman. That man is the greatest beard of all time. ALLEGEDLY. Inspired by the episode, the delightful Tamara Palmer posted a terrific breakdown on The Feast of where to indulge meatlessly in the Bay Area.

• Some idiots are gearing up to celebrate "Meat Week." You know, the week where Americans eat a lot of meat. You know, like every week since 1950. But this one is special because ... uh, I'm not sure. Over at Vegansaurus, Megan Rascal has an excellent response to Meat Week and why it makes about as much sense as White History Month or a Straight Pride Parade.

• U.S. Scientists are getting better and better at growing lab meat. Now, this might gross some of you out, but dude, it is a WHOLE lot less gross than where your meat comes from now. Wake up and smell the future, people! Don't worry, it smells a whole lot like bacon so you'll be fine.

click to enlarge Boring, but there are guidelines for veg and vegan diets.
  • Boring, but there are guidelines for veg and vegan diets.

• The USDA released their 2010 Dietary Guidelines and surprise, surprise: It's about a million pages long and super boring so only about three people will read it. Good, that's how the corporations like it. Luckily, Marion Nestle wades through the crap to give us a sensible breakdown. The report features guidelines for vegetarian and vegan diets (woo!) and generally tells people to eat less sodium, sugar, and happiness. Stupid government! Luckily/crappily, their subsidy money isn't at all in line with what they TELL us to eat, so your Fritos, Doritos, Twinkies, milk, and meat (and whatever else that's made from corn) will still be cheap. Holler!

• Mark Bittman, omnivore hero to all vegans, has a new column in the New York Times and his first post is titled "A Food Manifesto for the Future." It's the kind of intensely awesome/slightly crazy thing that I can get behind. Read that and try not to pump your fist in the air and say stuff like, "PREACH IT, SON!" and, "HAVE MY BABIES!" I dare you.

• In San Francisco, if you're feeling like eating a meal cooked out of a dumpster, SF Food Not Bombs is having a fundraising dinner to buy reusable plates and utensils. The meal itself sounds fairly delicious so it might be worth checking out. THAT SAID, I don't know how I feel about Food Not Bombs having reusable dishes. I mean, on the one hand: Yay! Conservation! On the other hand: Uh, who's gonna clean those damn things? Volunteers? Good luck with that!

Pause Wine Bar opened in Hayes Valley and there's a good amount of vegan stuff on their menu, including DESSERTS! You know, finding a vegan dessert at a non-vegan establishment is kinda like finding a needle (made of gold) in a haystack (made of shit), so I say: Let's eat!

• In other new veg restaurant news, some place called Source is slated to open in the Design District in March. it looks like a crazy hippie-dippy place from the 1990s ... kinda like a cross between Cafe Gratitude and Tori Amos's vagina? Anyway, it has the potential to give all us vegetarians a bad name unless the food is off the chain. Since they specialize in everything from dosas to casseroles, I'm gonna guess the chances of the food being AMAZING are fairly slim but you know, DARE TO DREAM! All the whiny bitchery aside: I'm excited for more veg dining in the City so bring on the color therapy, weirdos!

• Finally, it's a vegan vulva cake (link NSFW). There is really nothing left to say here, is there? You've reached the end of the Internet; might as well throw your computer out a window. Actually, it's probably best to do that because it won't ever forgive you for making it look at that.

Laura Beck is a founding editor of Vegansaurus and tweets at @mrpenguino. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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