ThankTank Creative to Launch 6.4.2014



[ITHACA, NY] ThankTank Creative to launch new agency on June 4, 2014. The firm, headed by Eric C Lindstrom, will provide expert consulting, design, and marketing for the socially just, environmentally-conscious, and vegan communities.

“ThankTank Creative ties together my two passions: creative communication with veganism,” said company President, Eric C Lindstrom. “With my two decades of experience in marketing small and mid-sized businesses around the world, ThankTank helps me target and focus better on what I believe most in: saving animals and helping the environment.”

ThankTank Creative has partnered with an impressive array of socially just, environmentally-conscious, and/or vegan not-for-profit organizations with their GiveBack8 program. 8% of every project they work on is directly donated, in the client’s name, to the organization of your choice from the list of participating organizations.

The company mission?
Provide unparalleled creative services to socially-just, environmentally-conscious, and vegan companies worldwide; give back to like-minded businesses; and promote compassionate living in everything we do.

Working with like-minded businesses, ThankTank Creative takes socially just, environmentally-conscious, vegan businesses to that next level. Some of the services the firm provides are:

Expert small business consulting – Boardroom-level advice that, through branding and positioning, grows your business.

Award-winning design – From corporate identities to package design, to brochure and collateral design, the award-winning design team has done it all.

Sound ROI marketing – Whether you need an online social media campaign or a robust annual marketing plan, ThankTank Creative gets the job done. On time and on budget.

Photography and online videography – Take your message to the next level with professional images and video production.

For more information visit or “like” them on Facebook.


SeaWorld Plans Massive Rebranding Campaign: Welcome to “MeWorld”



[ORLANDO, FL] With record low attendance and revenue lagging, SeaWorld announced on Memorial Day 2014 a massive rebranding campaign for the company and a “strategic rethinking” of how the controversial parks are operated.

“The reaction to the documentary ‘Blackfish‘ and the negative media coverage we have experienced in Q1 has forced us to change entirely SeaWorld,” stated Robert Sanders, Director of Public Relations. “Starting June 1, 2014, all SeaWorld locations will be known as ‘MeWorld‘.”

The release went on to state that instead of the parks featuring orcas, dolphins, and other marine life, park visitors will now get to experience “life like a whale” by spending days at a time swimming in circles in undersized pools and being hand-fed fresh-caught seafood which is being provided by the new Red Lobster.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for park attendees,” Sanders commented. “They will finally feel what it is like being catered to in the lap of luxury. All they have to do for all-you-can-eat shrimp is occasionally wave to audience members, jump through hoops, and splash kids in the front row. Who wouldn’t want this deal?”

MeWorld Orlando tickets will be discounted throughout the entire month of June ($45) and MeWorld San Antonio and San Diego will extend special admission rates through July 4th. Visitors can also purchase a full season VIP ticket ($89) which allows them to have their belly rubbed daily as well as be masturbated by certified MeWorld trainers.

For more information, visit

Go vegan.



Piglets: It’s Where Food Comes From



A person I met recently through a professional network this week posted an album of his kids visiting a nearby pig farm. This is one of those “pasture-raised” farms where the pigs can lounge about happily and interact with visitors. The photos showed his daughter snuggling with some piglets and a family of pigs relaxing in the early summer sun. I wrote a blog post not too long ago that parodied this very notion, you can read it here. Come to find out, that blog posted wasn’t satire at all.

The caption that accompanied the photos read something like: “Took the kids to the The Piggery to ‘show them where food comes from.'”

Where food comes from?* Pigs aren’t food. They are animals. Sentient beings. Wait, am I missing something here? So, I visited the Piggery’s website and found this explanation of this pig paradise located on a 70-acre farm in Trumansburg, just outside of Ithaca, NY:

Here at The Piggery, we’re a different kind of farm. We’re doing everything we can to create pork that is good for the people, good for the land and good for the pigs, with a focus on minimizing our carbon footprint. We raise heirloom breeds of pigs on pasture, supplemented with locally raised GMO-free small grains (barley, wheat, triticale, peas).

Good for the pigs? Now I know I am missing something here. You can actually bring your kids to the farm to play with the piglets who will, most likely the next day, be murdered for their meat? What part of this is “good for the pigs”?

The site then goes on to mention that they breed “handsome Mulefoot & Glouchestshire Old Spot boars with Yorkshire, Durcoc, Hampshire and Tamworth ladies to make some darn cute piglets.” Darn cute piglets? What’s the point of how cute they are if they are going to eventually be slaughtered? Does cuteness get you out of your death sentence?

Rest assured, these well-bred, cute piglets are being “humanely slaughtered.” According to the site, “We have witnessed the slaughtering procedure and are comfortable that the slaughterhouse does a good, humane job.” They should change their tagline to “We Put Laughter Back into Slaughter.”

See what I did there?

There is no such thing as “humanely slaughtered” anything. And educating your kids about their food source being animals they can play with, isn’t an education at all. All of this aside, if you’re looking for a fun field trip in the Finger Lakes and you want to show your kids “where food comes from,” I recommend Indian Creek Farm or Cornell Orchards or Little Tree Orchards in Newfield. I also recommend you …

Go vegan.

Banner_Resized* I should mention that the next day I mentioned this to one of my omnivore friends and she immediately agreed. Food comes from animals. This is such an incredibly foreign concept to me since I made the connection.


Jay Astafa: Celebrity Vegan Chef, Caterer, and Vegan Iron Chef Winner


jay astafa

Every so often someone breaks out of the mold and shows up on the vegan scene that is built to last. At the tender age of 21, Jay Astafa is one of those people. Inspired, talented, handsome, humble, and (fuhgeddaboudit) from Long Island … he is the complete package.

In addition to working the family restaurant, being crowned Vegan Iron Chef, and catering nationally with his own company, he not only finds the time to compete on FoodNetwork’s “ReWrapped,” but he found time for an interview with me.

If you searched “Jay Astafa” in Google and clicked “images,” two things are abundantly clear: Jay knows how to cook and, Jay has fantastic hair. Ironically, two topics we cover in this interview. Without further delay, I present the exclusive Meaty Vegan interview with vegan chef extraordinaire, Jay Astafa.

MV: You ARE the Vegan Iron Chef. Do you think this event will ever be broadcast nationally? 

JA: Vegan Iron Chef was a great experience. It was really fun going to San Francisco. In the future I definitely think there will be more nationally broadcasted television events geared towards plant-based cuisine. One of my dreams is to be on Food Network’s Iron Chef!

MV: You were also recently on the FoodNetwork show “Rewrapped.” Is there any stopping you now?

JA: I am so happy to have gotten the opportunity to be on national TV to educate America about vegan cooking. It was an absolutely amazing experience. This is just the beginning! I have so many things planned for the near future. I already have a boutique vegan catering company called jay astafa catering, which is going great. I’m starting to work on the beginning stages of writing a cookbook. I also have plans to start a cheese company. And if that isn’t enough, I want to open a tasting menu centric restaurant in NYC.

MV: Joey Fatone hosts “Rewrapped,” have you ever listened to anything by N’Sync, considering you were two years old when they were popular? What’s on your iPod right now?

JA: I probably have, but I vaguely remember their music. I haven’t updated my iPod in so long, so there’s nothing good on there anymore I usually listen to music on the radio, Pandora, or YouTube. I consider myself a fan of all types of music.

MV: You’ve been vegan for now seven years, are there any foods you miss from when you were a teenager? Are there any foods you have converted into vegan foods from your past?

JA: I don’t really miss anything. I can pretty much make anything I want vegan. The one thing that used to be my favorite is a mozzarella in carrozza, which my mom always made for me. It’s a grilled cheese with fresh mozzarella. It’s made using bread that is breaded with breadcrumbs. A few months ago I finally made this vegan, using my signature fresh cashew milk mozzarella. It’s so amazing! Ravioli has always been one of my favorite things, but I figured out how to make amazing vegan ravioli.

MV: As someone who is based in NYC, you must love all the vegan options in the Big Apple. Two of my favorites are Hangawi and Babycakes, what are some of yours?

JA: Yes, NYC is so amazing! I haven’t tried Hangawi, but I heard great things about them. I always stop by Babycakes for cupcakes, when I’m shopping at Moo Shoes for vegan shoes. I’ve eaten at almost all the vegan restaurants in the city. Some of my favorite restaurants are Candle 79, Pure Food and Wine, and Dirt Candy. Pure Food and Wine has the best vegan desserts in NYC. Oh and also Cinnamon Snail, one of my favorite things from them is the Korean BBQ Seitan and all of their desserts are amazing.

MV: Who are your vegan mentors or other vegans you admire?

JA: The first vegan cookbook I ever got was Vegan with a Vengeance by the amazing cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz. A few months later I got Veganomicon which is written by both Isa and Terry Hope Romero. Their books really taught me about vegan cooking, when I was just starting out. I also really love what Miyoko Schinner has done for the world of vegan cheese. I’m looking forward to her cheeses that are coming out this year. Another awesome vegan innovator is Joshua Katcher, founder of Brave Gentleman and The Discerning Brute. He makes amazing vegan future leather shoes. For mentors, NYC based vegan writer Nell Alk has been an awesome mentor for the past year of my culinary career. The vegan community is so great, and it’s full of inspiring people.

MV: You have fantastic hair. Do you think this is a result of a plant-based diet?

JA: Thank you! Well, all vegans have cool hair, right?

MV: If we opened your refrigerator right now, what would we find?

JA: Let’s see. Currently I have some leftovers from a dinner party I catered earlier in the week. Things like my vegan ricotta, cultured Parmesan, cashew milk mozzarella, homemade butter, and cashew cream. There’s also some leftover carrots that I cooked sous-vide. Oh and I also have some orange juice, almond milk, and soy milk. I have this product called Magic Vegan Bacon Grease, that everyone’s talking about. I still haven’t used it yet. I usually have kale in the fridge, but I’m all out today.

MV: I’ve heard you have plans to one day open a vegan restaurant. If you could have it anywhere in the world, where would you open it and why?

JA: Yes I do plan to sometime in the near future. I’m planning to open it in NYC, because it’s the culinary capital of the world! I just love the creativity and energy of NYC. It’s been my dream for so long to have a NYC vegan restaurant, hopefully that will happen soon. For now people can eat my food at my family’s restaurant 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe on Long Island, where I’m the vegan Executive Chef. We have a whole vegan Italian comfort food menu! And with my catering company I am able to travel to most major cities to cater events.

MV: If I were coming over for dinner tomorrow, what would you make?

JA: I would make an amazing multi course tasting menu for you! I would start the dinner with some hors d’oeuvres like my buttermilk fried cauliflower with purple potato salad, mini bbq pulled jackfruit tacos, and arancini. Then I would serve some crostini with ramps & cherve. I would also serve my caprese with my signature fresh cashew milk mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and aged balsamic. I love making fresh pasta dishes, so I would serve you two pasta courses. First one would be a ricotta gnudi with English pea puree and eggplant bacon. I would also serve my asparagus and ricotta ravioli with homemade butter and cultured cashew Parmesan. People always go crazy over that ravioli! I’m a big fan of making vegetables center stage. One of my dishes that celebrates that is my steak spiced grilled carrot with parsnip puree, creamed kale, tempura onion rings, and horseradish creme fraiche. After all these courses, we would move on to a cheese plate with rosemary cherve, cheddar, aged cashew cheese, and blue cheese. I would end the tasting menu with a perfect spring panna cotta with strawberry-rhubarb compote.

I hope I didn’t get you too hungry!

Jay, you know you did … and I am right now getting in the car and heading to Long Island!

Check out Jay’s vegan pizzas and award-winning cuisine, watch for his upcoming book and NYC restaurant, recruit his incredible catering talent for your next vegan event, and, admire his hair. Oh, that hair.

Go vegan.


Pull (that shirt) Over (your head)! It’s the Vegan Police!


Our two shirts arrived in the post today and they are SO incredibly cool! Perfect timing for summer. Thank you so much, Heather!


Recently, I had the chance to interview Heather Doherty of the Etsy Shop “VeganPolice.” Heather started VeganPolice about two years ago after moving from Southern Ontario to a very small town in British Columbia with her family.

She had been screen-printing for about five years mostly working on clothing for other people and moving to BC gave her the time to concentrate on her own artwork and prints and inspired her to start working on her own vegan shirts. Her operation is very “DIY” which, as she says, “is fun but keeps me quite busy.”

Heather has an adorable 3-year-old boy (pictured) and another baby on the way due to arrive in September. The family is very excited to be moving to Victoria BC very soon. Where they live now is “pretty isolated and we are looking forward to living in a city where we can actually go out for vegan food,”…

View original post 1,040 more words

Vegan Cuts Snack Box: Think Inside the Box



You know that excitement when you sit down at a restaurant and the top of the menu reads: “Everything is Vegan.” Or you discover that unique gift shop just down the road and find out that the owners are vegan (this happened to me today at Heron Creek Cards and Gifts in Ithaca). Well, Vegan Cuts, a website entirely dedicated to finding and selling the very best vegan products, feels the same way.

It’s your home base for everything vegan.

Whether you’re looking for beauty supplies or books; or trying to buy purses or Parmesan cheese … Vegan Cuts probably carries it. Entering their website is like entering your favorite vegan restaurant, diner, snack shop, bookstore, clothing store, or jewelry store all in one. It’s the General Store for Vegans.

In addition to buying single items, Vegan Cuts offers a Beauty Box jammed with vegan beauty products and toiletries and their popular Snack Box that I was lucky enough to receive this week. An unassuming small box that spills out with a potpourri of delicious and nutritious vegan foods and more.

This particular month (May) included items like Baked Lentil Chips, Vegan Protein Blend, Superfood Instant Breakfast, teas, chocolates, Nuttzo To Go, and even a glass straw.

And, what’s so great about these boxes (and similar offerings by the amazing, which I will be reviewing this week) is that it gives you an opportunity to try vegan (and in this case, gluten-free) items you otherwise wouldn’t try. To get this wide array of vegan food and products, you’d have to go to 4-5 different stores and, in most cases, you might not ever find most of it.

As they say on the Vegan Cuts website, the Snack Box offers products:

From chips to cookies and sodas to teas, each month we’ll send 7-10 vegan goodies straight to your door.

And all for just $19.95 per month with FREE shipping. You can check out the Snack Box page of their site here, but you will also want to check out the rest of their products. Where else would you find Vegan Caviar? Or, nyl Whipped Hand and Body Lotion? I don’t even know what that is but I suddenly want it all over me.

Vegan Cuts has done all the shopping for you, all you have to do is browse, click, choose and order which items you want. makes it easier than ever to …

Go vegan.


Some People are Born Sexy. Those People Are Called Brian Patton



Brian Patton is a Renaissance man. A husband, a father, a celebrated author, radio host, and a vegan caterer. But more than any of these distinguished designations, Brian Patton is sexy.

“The Sexy Vegan” soared to fame through a series of vegan YouTube videos and then soared even higher with his two cookbooks and continued to soar as the caterer to the stars. How much higher can this man soar is limited only by his ability to breathe thin outer-space air. One thing I do know without question, Brian Patton is sexy.

And I know sexy, because I am meaty.

I was very excited when he agreed to this sexy interview.

MV: Do ukulele players get groupies?

SV: Yes, but they’re unusually small.

MV: You are The Sexy Vegan. Does this title sometimes get you in trouble?

SV:  I’ve had many wedding Facebook marriage proposals. So far I haven’t accepted any of them … if I do, that’s when the trouble will begin, since I’m already kind of married.

MV: Were you born sexy?

SV: I’d like to say something nice and positive like, “Eric, we’re ALL born sexy,” but we’re not. I was. Most aren’t. Sorry. Life isn’t fair.

MV: You’ve published two cookbooks and shared hundreds of recipes. What is your signature dish?

SV: Hands down, the Lasagna Fauxlognese from my first book. Layered with cashew ricotta, tofu sausage crumble, vegan mozzarella, and my Tomato Killer sauce, it’s the dish that has the carnivores scraping the edges of the casserole every time.

MV: You’re the Executive Chef at Vegin’ Out in LA. Have you prepared food for any celebrities we might have heard of?

SV: Hmm…I don’t think I can answer that question. Alicia Silverstone and Andy Dick have given us quotes to put on our website, so I guess mentioning them is cool. There are about 10 other celeb clients that I can think of just off the top of my head, but for one time in my life, I think I’m going to be professional here, and not spill the beans. How boring, I know.

MV: Who are your vegan mentors or other vegans you admire?

SV: I woudn’t say I have any mentors, but there are a bunch of peeps out there doing some awesome stuff with food that are truly inspiring..and by “inspiring” I mean “making me feel bad about myself that I’m not better than I am.” You want to check out Hiram Camillo at @hiramcamillo, Ted Lai at @wokwildside, and the Sarno brothers at @wickedhealthy on instagram for some jaw-dropping food magic. Also @chefkajsa (Kajsa Alger), chef and co-owner (with Susan Feniger) of what used to be Street  and is now Mudhen Tavern. It’s not a vegan establishment, but they put great care into developing their vegan dishes, and she posts mostly (if-not all) vegan stuff. Her food is extraordinary.

MV: What is your favorite kitchen appliance? Bedroom appliance?

SV: Even though I own a Vitamix, which I love, AND an Omega Juicer, which I also love, I’d have to say that my little $30 Kitchenaid mini-chopper is my workhorse, and is probably my favorite kitchen appliance. I’m only cooking for 2 1/4 people, so it’s all I need on a regular basis. Oh and I’m also a fan of my refrigerator, because it keeps my beer cold and makes ice for my cocktails. Favorite bedroom appliance? Well, this is kind of personal, but what the Hell: The Wife and I have been really into the Levana Baby Monitor. Because there’s nothing like watching live video of your sleeping child to get things steamy in the sack. I think I read about that in Cosmo.

MV: If we opened your refrigerator right now, what would we find?

SV: Let me go look… Ok…I’ve got kale, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, 1/2 block of tofu, beets, fava beans, baby spinach, cauliflower, Trader Joe’s soy creamer, half a lemon, a bell pepper, a thing of jicama, a piece of ginger, fresh parsley, chervil, thyme and rosemary, red curry paste, half an avocado, some veggie purees I made for the kid, peaches, nectarines, apricots, a lemongrass stalk, 1/4 jar of vegenaise, 1/2 of a small seedless watermelon, 1/2 a red onion, a jar of green olives, unsweetened almond milk, sesame oil, sesame seeds, hoisin sauce, sunflower seed butter that I stole from my wife’s friend (long story), peanut butter, an array of mustards, ketchup, tomato paste, veggie bullion cubes, BBQ sauce, leftover Thai food, a quart of minestrone that I took home from work last night, a couple bottles of breast milk, a bottle of Lagunitas IPA, a bottle of Corona Light, three St. Pauli Girl non-alcoholic beers, vegan Worcestershire sauce, vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream, some sort of fig butter, a tub of Earth Balance vegan margarine, and about 6 quarts of lemonade that I made from the shitload of lemons that fell into my yard from the neighbor’s tree since it was so windy last week. Did you want the freezer too? It’s mostly breast milk and homemade tempeh bacon…not quite as diverse.

MV: Do you sometimes think you are too sexy for your shirt and where do you shop for your ingredients?

SV: Well, I’m definitely too sexy for my hat, but I’d say that I’m just sexy enough for my shirt, so it stays on, protecting the world from my underwhelming physique. I’m very fortunate to live about 5 minutes away from the Calabasas farmers’ market, so I’m there every Saturday getting my produce. I get my Indian ingredients like curry powders, chutneys, jackfruit, etc. from Samosa House West, near Culver City, and I get my specialty vegan items from Follow Your Heart. Yes, the same Follow Your Heart that makes Vegenaise and Gourmet Cheese Shreds was originally a little health food store and cafe, and they’re right down the street from me. Also, my other odds and ends I get at Trader Joe’s, and sometimes Whole Foods.

MV: If I were coming over for lunch tomorrow, what would you make me?

SV: Since we’ve just covered the contents of my fridge, this will be easy. To me, lunch is a sandwich for sure. I’ve been delving into homemade breads lately, so your sandwich would be on some freshly baked whole wheat bread. I’d toast it, and slather it with that Vegenaise I’ve got in fridge. I’d fry up some of that tempeh bacon from the freezer, slap it on there, hot off the griddle, and top it with lettuce, avocado and tomato. “But, Brian, you didn’t say you had any tomato in the fridge …” that’s right, because you shouldn’t store tomatoes in the fridge, that kills their flavor and alters their texture. Mine live on the countertop, smart ass. Next to your sandwich, I’d serve up some grilled fava bean pods. It’s a recipe I’m working on for the blog. To finish it off, I’d pour you a tall refreshing glass of breast milk … I, I mean lemonade!

Thank you, you Sexy Vegan. For being sexy but mostly for listing every single, and I mean …every … single … item in your refrigerator — with the noted exception of tomatoes.

And, if you’re sexy enough, find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Go sexy and go vegan.


Pumpkin Hill Bistro: 30 Minutes from Ithaca but a Million Miles Away



Drive up Route 34 to Route 90 toward Aurora, NY, and you’ll pass two exceptional wineries as you come up on a bistro unlike anything you can experience anywhere else. Pumpkin Hill Bistro and Vineyard, a 30-minute drive from Cornell Campus is situated on a grassy hill and vineyard overlooking Cayuga Lake. The old farmhouse is welcoming with its outdoor, indoor, upstairs and downstairs seating.


Jen decided to take us there for the first time for a very special occasion … it was Sunday and we were hungry and wanted to try something new. She called ahead and found out that the Executive Chef, Cookie, would accommodate our gluten-free and vegan diet. And she did. She really did.


Our meal was comprised of a starter of hummus and olive tapenade with homemade fresh out of the oven gluten-free vegan toasted bread triangles. This was one of those moments when I asked the server 5-6 times if they knew what gluten-free vegan meant … because this bread was that good.


I ordered a black cup of coffee that was also delicious and our main course consisted of black bean burgers stacked high with vegetables on Cookie’s homemade gluten-free vegan buns that were so good … I had to ask the server 5-6 times again if she knew what “gluten-free vegan” meant. She did.


The entire meal was fantastic. Truly beyond anything we could ever get in Ithaca (which is known for its amazing restaurants for omnivores). Besides the ambiance, the flavors, the company, and the location … what made this trip so special and this meal so memorable was, Cookie.


She takes such pride in what she is preparing. She later mentioned to us that she believes everyone should enjoy what they are eating and not be limited by what they can/not eat. She is what every chef should be … passionate about her food and focused on the patrons.


The entire day was so great, we vowed to return and return we did. Calling the morning before we left lets Cookie know to pre-make the gluten-free vegan rolls and to let the servers know we’re coming. We asked her to make extra rolls this time so we could bring a half dozen home. This time I ordered the grilled portobello burger and a side of rosemary-infused gluten-free pasta and Jen got the black bean burger again with homemade kettle chips. All of it was so good. I also love that these vegan burgers are served with a steak knife and homemade vegan mayo.  Every item offered on the menu is made from scratch.


The meal was just as delicious on our second visit and the waitstaff just as attentive. There are very few restaurants we have visited that are this accommodating and generous with their time. While Ithaca may boast an incredible diversity of dining options for omnivores, we were hard-pressed to think of one place that would put this much effort into two (and a half) gluten-free vegan patrons. I cannot recommend Pumpkin Hill Bistro and Vineyard enough.

One other important thing to note: the owner is vegan. Boom.


We’ll go back.

Go vegan.

Pull (that shirt) Over (your head)! It’s the Vegan Police!



Recently, I had the chance to interview Heather Doherty of the Etsy Shop “VeganPolice.” Heather started VeganPolice about two years ago after moving from Southern Ontario to a very small town in British Columbia with her family.

She had been screen-printing for about five years mostly working on clothing for other people and moving to BC gave her the time to concentrate on her own artwork and prints and inspired her to start working on her own vegan shirts. Her operation is very “DIY” which, as she says, “is fun but keeps me quite busy.”

Heather has an adorable 3-year-old boy (pictured) and another baby on the way due to arrive in September. The family is very excited to be moving to Victoria BC very soon. Where they live now is “pretty isolated and we are looking forward to living in a city where we can actually go out for vegan food,” she said.

Heather has a website in the works and also more prints coming out this summer.  She has been an artist all of her life and is a passionate vegan. Be sure to shop the VeganPolice and support this small vegan business.

MV:  You are VeganPolice on Etsy? Have you ever had to pull someone over for sneaking half and half?

HD:  I am kept way too busy with major infractions like people saying “You eat fish though right?” and the always and forever popular “Where do you get your protein?” to even pay attention to people sneaking half and half.

MV: Your shirts and tanks and tees are all really great. What inspires you when creating a new design?

HD: It sounds a bit selfish really, but I just think about what I would want to wear. I like simple designs that get the point across. I grew up in Vancouver going to punk and hardcore shows as a teenager and that’s where I found out about veganism. I think that inspires me a lot to this day and you can see that influence in my designs.

MV: You’re located in British Columbia. Do you have a British or French accent?

HD: I have neither a British or French accent. I also have never said the word “Eh” in my life unless I am joking. I remember being in California a long time ago and saying the word “hey” to my friend. The Americans that we were hanging out with lost their minds laughing because they were convinced that I said “Eh.” Sorry to disappoint all of you but not all Canadians talk like Bob and Doug Mckenzie. I will however, be the first to admit that I say sorry way too much. I have traveled a bit around the states and heard my fair share of speech, which Americans seem to forget about when making fun of Canadians. Small town, American mid west gas station attendants, that’s all I have to say. He he he. Okay, I have one more thing to say. I would give my left arm for a Boston accent .


MV: How long have you been vegan and how many vegans do you know in Sechelt, BC, Canada?

HD: I have been vegan for about 18 years which is kind of hard to believe. It has gone by really fast. When I started out I knew nothing about it and had no cooking experience at all. I had one vegan friend who only ate peanut butter sandwiches and Pepsi so he was my role model. I would pour apple juice on my cereal because they didn’t have soy milk in stores yet and I didn’t know about health food stores. I would eat tomato and lettuce sandwiches and thought that that was how I was going to live the rest of my life.

Luckily, I met more vegans and learned how to cook soon after that. There are about 10 vegans that we have met on the entire Sunshine Coast which is the area where we live on the west coast of BC. That includes three towns and the one we live in (just past Sechelt) is a very small logging/fishing village in the middle of nowhere. It’s pretty intense up here and we don’t really fit in. I have enjoyed being able to wear my pajamas to walk my dog though. That’s a total bonus.

MV: What would we find if we opened your refrigerator right this minute?

HD: Lots of vegetables and fruit, two different kinds of “milk,” leftovers including a burrito that has the entire outer rim eaten off of it (that would be my 3 year old, not me). Organic juice, hummus, blueberry muffins, salsa, Daiya cheese, almond yogurt and vegan chocolate.

MV: All of your products are hand-printed. Take us through that process.

HD: I make my own screens and print my shirts as they are ordered. All my inks are water-based and eco-friendly which is great, because I can work in my studio at home and not worry about washing a bit of ink down the drain.

MV: Where do the majority of your orders come from and what is your most popular design?


HD: Most of my orders come from the States, specifically California. My most popular design is definitely “I Don’t Eat Pals” but “Ferocious Vegan” is getting up there which is awesome because I really made that print and thought “hmmmm … people are just going to think this is weird.”

But I made it anyway and people are really into it!

MV: You give 10% from every order to animal charities. If animals could talk, do you think they’d negotiate for a higher percentage?

HD: I think they would want me to keep my business going and get my designs out there. If I gave more than 10% at this point, it would be hard for me to afford to keep it up. I think the animals would totally get that. I would love to give more, but to be able to give anything makes me really happy and I feel very lucky to be doing what I am doing and getting so much support from the vegan community.

MV: If an omnivore asked you why you’re vegan, what would you say?

HD: It really depends on who it is and the situation that we are in. A lot of the time, people ask but don’t REALLY want to know the answer. To those people I usually say something really quick and depending on who they are I might say “because I like animals” or “ because I care about the environment,” then they usually say something like “Oh I don’t eat much meat” but I always hope that they might think it over when they have a moment to themselves.

MV: If you were stranded on a deserted island which tank top would you wear?

HD: Probably “I Don’t Eat Pals” so I can make friends with the local wildlife.

So, the lessons in this blog post? Don’t eat pals … buy lot of shirts from the VeganPolice, “like” them on Facebook, and … as always …

Go vegan.


The Wildwood VioLife LeGardenBakery FollowYourHeart Tomato Burger Patty Melt: Part 1



As luck would have it, I had on-hand some of my favorite ingredients and decided to whip up a diner classic burger melt with sweet potato fries. Of course this one had to be gluten-free and vegan.


I heated my skillet and melted 2T vegan butter and added the two slices of Le Garden Bakery grainless Italian bread. This is a local Ithaca baker that has an innovative line of grainless products. They are not only gluten-free but they are also grain-free. Made from bean flour, potato starch and fairy dust, their baked goods are delicious and nutritious. However, at this point, all I cared about was getting it to soak up the butter.

Once it started to lightly brown, I added my heated Wildwood shiitake mushroom burger on one side and covered that with two slices of VioLife cheddar cheese and put a lid on it.

Under low heat, the cheese can start to melt without the bread burning.

Meanwhile, I had my sweet potato fries cooking in the oven as I was preparing my tomato, organic ketchup, and chipotle Vegenaise.

Seeing the cheese starting to melt, I uncovered the sandwich and added the last three ingredients and assembled the sandwich right in the cooling skillet.


I then plated the cut sandwich with the fries and a side of chipotle Vegenaisse for dipping! Proving, yet again, that vegans can eat well … very well.

Go vegan.



DFMavens. Why Does Everything Amazing Come from Queens, NY?


DF Maven Ice Cream

Earlier this year there was some buzz on Cornell campus by the Cornell Vegan Society about this “new” vegan ice cream’s availability at a few locations around the university. I shrugged it off thinking this would be “just another dairy-free dessert” and didn’t really make it a priority to try it. The dairy-free frozen dessert I’m referring to is DF Mavens and it’s probably a good thing I didn’t discover it months ago since that would be been another 5-10 quarts I would have consumed since then.

It’s pretty amazing.

We were lucky enough to buy a variety of flavors at the Ivy Room and sample each and eventually devour them. From their Madagascar Vanilla Bean to their New Orleans Salted Praline to my personal favorite, the Mint Almond Cookie. We took home 5-6 quarts and some minis and have been getting fatter by the minute. You can browse all their offerings on their beautiful website.

And, with the variety of varieties they offer ranging from soy to coconut, to no sugar and almond, they also cover all the common allergens so that everyone on the planet can enjoy their desserts. This is very important to the future of our planet, after all.

Something else amazing about this company? They give back. A portion of their proceeds goes to Mercy for Animals, so you know this company backs up what they believe in.

But what’s most exciting about DF Mavens? It’s comes from New York. As in, New York City. As in, the borough of Queens. Which, as it turns out … is also where I come from.

A little meaty vegan to be in Queens, NY (1969)

This is me in 1969 in Queens Village at my second birthday with my Nana, my mom, and my big sister who also blogs about being vegan. Our little sister is inside my mom and would make an appearance in August of that year.

If only DF Mavens were around back then, it would have gone great with that cake!

Go vegan.

The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: Or, How I Became the Meaty Vegan


If you’ve been following my blog (which more than 2,500 have since July, resulting in over 35,000 views), you may recall that the reason I started this journey was because of Colleen Patrick-Goodreau’s book, “The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.”

I would refer to this volume each of the 30 days, checking in with Colleen’s guidance, recipes, and ideas and relating them to my own experience as I shed my life of meat, dairy, and eggs. It was rough going at first and I’m not sure I would have made it without this book. The first edition of her landmark book is no longer available so Colleen just launched this IndieGoGo campaign to bring it back!

The first edition sold almost 20,000 copies before going out of print and now you can help Colleen bring back a new (improved) edition so it can resume changing and saving lives.

And it can create new meaty vegans around the world.

Go vegan.