Want to End Government Shutdown? Sticky Fingers. Washington DC

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Want to know how to fix the economy, end the healthcare debate and generally have an effective U.S. Government? Treat Congress to Sticky Fingers.

It’s been proven that a vegan diet is better for your health so send Congress vegan sweets and treats from Sticky Fingers and watch their blood pressure and cholesterol levels go down. Sticky Fingers cupcakes should be included in the U.S. RDA diet.

Since we were in DC visiting family and attending DC VegFest, I knew we had to check out Sticky Fingers, a single-location vegan bakery (and lunch stop). Since it was minutes from were we where staying and on our way out of town, this was the perfect opportunity.

Sticky Fingers is located in a newer building in Columbia Heights. The space is open and airy and the cases are filled with beautifully prepared vegan sweets. Since we are both gluten-free, the selection was slightly limited (unlike Babycakes NYC) but we were still able to order cupcakes, cookies and two breakfast burritos to go.

And it was all delicious!

I was able to claim my free cup of Counter Culture coffee while waiting for our order (Yelp) and struck up a conversation with the helpful young man who took our order. I learned about the bakery, the history, and the retro kitchen appliances that decorate the large cafe. I also found out that during DC VegFest, they handed out over 2,500 samples of vegan cake!

I know if President Obama stopped in and purchased a few dozen vegan cupcakes for Congress, they would be much more cooperative and government would run much more smoothly.

So, how does Sticky Fingers also improve the U.S. bottom line? Our to-go order cost $30 … providing quite the boost to the economy!

Go vegan.

DC VegFest 2013: Bumping into Dr. Milton Mills

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As luck would have it, we had already planned a trip to our nation’s capital and it happened to fall on the same weekend as DC VegFest.

After a morning spent getting new glasses at Pentagon City (I accidentally broke my other pair playing on the floor with the baby), we grabbed the Green Line Metro to Navy Yard Station where the festival was taking place at nearby Yards Park.

Rounding the corner we saw roughly 100 small event tents and one large tent hosting the seminar speakers, all outdoor with an open air concept. It may have been a smaller, one day, event but the crowd was huge and some of the lines for the more popular food tents and food trucks were 100+ deep.

Every corner of Yards Park was packed with people and activities. The organizers did an amazing job of creating a sense of community and education in an area of one square city block. There was even a larger kid’s tent to keep the little vegans busy while the bigger vegans could browse.

It was great seeing all the food and clothing brands I’ve heard of as well as seeing representatives from all the vegan and cruelty-free organizations, but it was even greater bumping into Dr. Milton Mills.

After meeting him at Summerfest this past July and watching many of his YouTube videos and reading his papers since then, I feel like I know the man. He, however, didn’t remember me at all.

Even so, he was (as always) incredibly friendly and I got to hand him my MeatyVegan.com business card so hopefully he will start reading my blog (Dr. Mills? Are you there? It’s me, Eric).

I’d love to attend future VegFests in other cities and get to know more faces in our growing vegan community. It is always validating when you are surrounded by like-minded people who share the same values and ethics (and diet) as yourself. We are all on the same mission and when you realize the vast number of people willing to put it all on the line for the animals, it makes it all worthwhile.

Go vegan.

Where to Go for the Best Vegan Lunch … EVER? Scranton!? Pennsylvania!?

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We were driving to Washington DC to visit family and to stop in to DCVegfest and realized this was the perfect opportunity to finally visit Eden — a Vegan Cafe, an all-vegan restaurant we’ve been hearing so much about. Other members of the Vegan Mafia had raved about this small cafe located in a very surprising city and this was our chance to see if they were right.

They were right.

We were the first two customers in the place and asked to see the gluten free menu. When you are vegan, you get excited to find a 100% vegan restaurant and when you are vegan AND gluten-free … well, that little trifold menu is quite a find.

The concept for the restaurant is simple. Place your order at the counter, have a seat, and they call out your number when it’s ready. This is the exact idea that would be a huge money-maker for someone in Ithaca … home to ZERO vegan restaurants! Come on, Ithaca.

The food is nothing spectacular but it’s, at the same time, the best lunch I’ve had in my entire vegan life. My tuna melt and smashed potatoes were perfect. Delicious. And amazing. Jen got a sandwich with hummus, cucumbers, and tofu alongside a small salad with ranch dressing. Keep in mind here that all of this was not only vegan … it was gluten free. I haven’t had a sandwich in almost two years, let alone a melt. We had found Eden.

The staff are incredibly friendly. The menu is vast and anyone, even an omnivore, will find something they will love. We were just about to leave when I noticed the menu board listed Buffalo Chicken Drums. In my past life I was a contender for International Chicken Wing Eating competitions so I had to try them and was delighted to find that they are also on the gluten free menu.

They were everything I’ve dreamed about since dreaming about eating chicken wings — including a love handle.

The thick meat section was juicy and spicy and it was all wrapped around a stick. How I have longed for the day to hold a tasty drummie in my hand and here it was … served with an authentic wing sauce and celery sticks. We had found Eden.

Go vegan. And go to Eden — A Vegan Cafe when you are in Scranton, PA.


As of this writing, the Eden website is down but you can find them on Facebook here.

Happy “Hug a Vegan” Day 2013

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Yes, today’s “Hug a Vegan” Day, according to PETA. Somehow I have overlooked, or was overlooked on this most important day last year. For some reason when I hear the name of this event I think about Ziggy, that overly optimistic, pukey-adorable, Go-loving cartoon character.

According to PETA, “Hug a Vegan” Day is their annual celebration of living cruelty-free and to prove this there is an actual form on their website for you to pledge a hug and, well … populate the PETA database.

Since I am vegan and Jen is vegan, I get to hug a vegan and be the vegan doing the hugging everyday without providing PETA my email address. I suppose the form exists for people who are alone in their veganism, or closet vegans, and cannot hug another vegan in person? I feel sorry for those people. I’d like to hug them.

Apparently there is also a “Hug a Vegetarian” Day but you know my feelings on vegetarians. I think when you do hug a vegetarian, there should be a prerequisite that you also have to whisper in their ear: “why in the hell can’t you give up cheese and eggs?”

There is an official “Hug a Vegan” t-shirt you can purchase to further encourage all this vegan hugging that’s going to take place. It’s on sale for $12.00. Or, two for $24.

Personally, if some random person approaches me today and hugs me because I’m vegan … I’m going to feel pretty uncomfortable. Not a big hugger.

However, if you’re vegan or personally know a vegan — by all means, go ahead and hug. It can’t hurt (unless you hug too hard).

Go vegan. Boycott Barilla.

Vegan Oasis on Queen West in Toronto

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I recently traveled to Toronto on an overnight business trip and decided to ask around for vegan restaurant recommendations beforehand. Was surprised to find out that there aren’t that many 100% vegan restaurants in Toronto. Further investigation revealed Grasslands, on Queen West and now I’m the one who can make a recommendation.

My travel companion was a good sport and agreed to try a 100% vegan dinner. Since he was also paying, this was clearly a win-win for me. I searched Yelp and found Grasslands to be well-reviewed and worth a visit so it was the top choice to see if we could locate it immediately upon our arrival. Driving straight into the city, we parked a few blocks from the address and walked down Queen West until we located Grasslands (the name and interior was recently changed but the owner remains the same), in spite of the fact I’m not even sure if the name was over the door. It is a dimly lit, long restaurant and bar with plenty of seating and a cozy atmosphere. The man behind the bar quickly seated us and soon became our server. Also a vegan, who used to live in NY, we all ended up taking about the lack of vegan restaurants in Toronto and how lucky we are to have NYC within driving distance.

We ordered appetizers and entrees and the food came out quickly, was generously portioned and was … delicious. If all restaurants followed the lead of Grasslands in food quality and presentation, all restaurants would go vegan. There were no flavors or textures lacking in my polenta app with a bed of greens and sauteed mushrooms. My dinner of gluten-free rigatoni was alive with flavor and I wished it never ended. Meanwhile, my travel partner’s sobi noodle and greens appetizer was well-received and the main dish (mustard crusted tempeh with maple mash, Chinese broccoli and seasonal vegetables,Β shown here) was as robust and delicious as any dish in any restaurant. C’mon … it had gravy and potatoes.

Toronto is a five hour drive for us but the energy of the city and another chance to try something new at Grasslands makes me want to return soon. If there were five stars available, I’d give Grasslands five stars.

Go vegan.

PHOTO: Β Caroline AksichΒ from PostCity.com

Nobody can come up with a good argument for eating animals β€”

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“Nobody can come up with a good argument for eating animals β€” nobody can. People as some kind of a joke say, well, β€˜It’s tasty’, but it’s only tasty once you garnish it and you put salt and pepper, and you cook it, and you have to do 300 things to it to disguise its true taste. If you put garnishes on a chair or fabric, it would probably taste quite nice.”

~ Jim Morrissey

Confessions of a Junk Food Vegan

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Everyone knows about junk food vegans. Those posers. Pretending to care about their health while stuffing their faces with Oreos and Pop Tarts. Buying movie theatre popcorn with extra “butter.” Wolfing down half a bag of potato chips on the way to Five Guys to buy fries.

These junk food vegans are trying. Trying to maintain their coveted vegan status while gorging themselves with all the decadent treats that are free of meat, eggs, and dairy that they can get their hands on. I happen to know for a fact that they are trying.

Because I am one of them.

Kettle Chips now come in Bacon Maple flavor. Earth Balance just came out with cheese puffs that would blow your mind. Tater Tots for breakfast. Beyond Meat smothered in wing sauce. Vegan cheeses stirred into hot brown rice pasta. Coconut Bliss ice cream doused in Ahlaska chocolate sauce. The list goes on and on.

Are these foods bad for me? You bet. Do I care? I actually do. I’d love to be ΓΌber healthy with everything I eat but figure since everything I eat is both gluten-free and vegan … I can eat whatever I want.

It has to be better for me than eating meat. Right?

I still can’t figure this out. Is eating this way, combined with healthy, vegetable-laden meals, better for me than my old omnivore’s diet? Let me ponder that as I grab a tortilla shell, fold it over some soy chorizo, smother it in all salsa and guacamole, melt on Follow Your Heart cheddar shreds, sprinkle on lettuce, and Tofutti sour cream and think to myself:

Life short and everyone should …

Go vegan.

A Special Announcement from MeatyVegan.com …

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Since starting this blog I have posted every day and, in some cases, a few times a day. I have written nearly 200 blog posts in less than half as many days. It was a rate that I had no idea how hard it would be to maintain but I am very proud of my work and have stirred up some really great dialogue.

Over the past few days I was also busy with work and obsessed by a vegan recipe contest I entered. That, thankfully, ended yesterday so now I can move on. Still hoping I am in the running to win but we’ll see.

If this is your first time here, welcome, and I encourage you to scroll down and read past posts. Then scroll further down and read more. And more. There is some truly inspired material here that I am hoping the right people find (you know who you are).

If you’ve been here before, thanks for coming back. Please, click the ‘comment’ button or the ‘leave a reply’ link and let me know how you’re doing and what you think of the blog. And, if you have any ideas for posts, please tell me. I’d love to take requests and I want to know you’re out there.

My plan is to continue to write and design blog posts as I get inspired. Probably won’t be once a day but it will be often. I have plenty to say about being vegan and this effort has provided me with the platform to explore new ideas, break new ground, educate, entertain, and generate spirited conversation.

Thank you all for supporting MeatyVegan.com.

Go vegan.

How to Make a Killing Selling Burritos

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How do you make killing thousands of cows, pigs, and chickens seem okay? Be Chipotle.

Chipotle, the national burrito bowl franchise, has developed a clever way to make killing animals seem okay: striking animation set to covers of classic songs sung by brilliant singers.

A few years ago they created an animated short film with a beautiful cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” sung by Willy Nelson. The story unfolded on a factory farm where animals are shown caged, abused, sad, and conveyor-belted into burgers. And, now with “The Scarecrow,” they’ve raised the bar even higher.

More filmic. More grand. More visually decadent than “The Scientist,” “The Scarecrow” is set to a cover of the Willy Wonka (Chipotle has a thing for Willys) song “Paradise” and sung by the very-talented Fiona Apple.

A vegan.

Maybe they convinced her to use the song by showing her the first 2/3 of the film? Because that much they got right.

I encourage you to watch this 3:00 video and comment here or read the article on the NPR website and read those comments. The depiction and clever animation depicting “big farm” animal processing and treatment being witnessed by The Scarecrow is spot-on. It allows us to glimpse into just how horrifying the conditions are that lead up to factory-farmed animals becoming food. It is the perfect medium to tell this story.

If only, as in real life, this story had a different ending …

Go vegan.

4 out of 5 Doctors Prefer an All-expense Paid Vacation – [#Vegan #GoVegan #Pfizer]

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Postcard from Hawaii

[MIDWEST CITY, OK] The Center for Pharmaceutical Statistics in Midwest City, OK, reported this week that four out of five doctors prefer an all-expense paid vacation over prescribing a plant-based diet. The fifth doctor in the survey had no comment, and was busy packing for his annual, all-expense-paid Pfizer trip to Hawaii.

Lured by free pens and golf umbrellas, doctors across the U.S. admit that going on luxurious vacations two or three times a year is very nice and that, quote: “it sure beats not going on vacation two or three times a year.”

“I could never understand why my doctor was smirking when she was filling out my high cholesterol prescription every month,” said one patient in nearby Norman, Oklahoma. “Now I know. I hope she gets sunburned.”

Other patients interviewed were less shocked by the statistic. “I’d love to go on vacation,” said one man after a recent doctor’s visit. “Unfortunately, I can’t since my medications cost me over $385 per month and I have no insurance. But, what choice do I have? Really. I mean, give up bacon cheeseburgers? Are you insane?”

Doctors everywhere are choosing to grab their pads and pens and write prescriptions for many avoidable, and in some cases reversible, serious health issues. High cholesterol, Type 2Β diabetes, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, and others are all manageable by switching to a plant-based diet (combined with regular exercise). However, it seems doctors prefer medicating over educating their patients.

Take two asparagus and call me in the morning, and …

Go vegan.

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Now I can look at you in peace …

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“Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore.”
~ Franz Kafka, While admiring fish in an aquarium

“Thanks, Franz.”
~ The Fish

Vote for My Vegan Alfredo Lasagna Please

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Vote for my #Vegan #Lasagna Please

Follow Your Heart is hosting a contest using their shreds and I made my award-winning lasagna 100% vegan and 100% gluten-free and 100% delicious! Now … I just need your vote. Click the link, scroll to ENTRIES and find mine and vote! The lasagna is filled with vegan tofu ricotta, creamy vegan cashew Alfredo sauce, and mozzarella shreds. It’s SO good, even my 15-year-old daughter loves it!

Thank you! And thank you for supporting my blog!

From MeatyVegan.com

Go vegan.

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Robin Quivers of Howard Stern: A Vegan Diet Helped Recovery from Cancer

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I’ve been a fan of Howard Stern for decades. In fact, I list him in the Top Five People I Admire Most (it’s a strange list that includes Mark Wahlberg and Louis CK). I was listening to the Howard Stern ShowΒ last year as Robin was going through her health issues and broadcasting from home. I didn’t know what was going on but knew it was Sirius. Ironically, it was also at this time that Sam Simon was on the air, talking (sometimes yelling) about the benefits of being vegan. Sadly, Sam is now losing his own battle with cancer. I have all the admiration in the world for that man and his talent bestowed on the entertainment industry and admire him for standing up for the animals.

This past week, Robin talked to the LA Times about her lifelong struggles with food and obesity, and chronic health issues and how going vegan changed all that:

“… when I started eating clean, it all stopped. I couldn’t believe the difference I saw.”

You can read the entire article here. Her book includes wisdom and many recipes that will help you begin a life of healthy living or, in Robin’s case, turn a corner and truly begin living. Way to go, Robin. Good luck with your new book, “The Vegucation of Robin,” (available on pre-order at Amazon and shipping October 1) and tell Howard to call me.

Go vegan.