Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the host of The Post Punk Kitchen and author of multiple vegan cookbooks, including her most recent, "Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes For Every Day Of The Week." And yes, there are recipes if you scroll down.
Chances are you have a vegan in your life - a real dyed-in-the-natural-fiber-cruelty-free-wool vegan for whom all animal products are off limits. And perhaps that vegan is threatening a visit to your Thanksgiving table this year.
Thanksgiving is stressful. Everyone knows that; the very history of it is stress. The original celebration was not what people had to eat, but that they had anything to eat at all. Maybe things aren’t as bad as all that today, but it can still be stressful when someone needs a special menu.
But one of the great things about vegan meals is that everyone can enjoy them. (Provided they don’t have a nut allergy, or a wheat allergy, or...well maybe we oughta just go out for Chinese food.)
If your first thought was an eye roll, or something along the lines of, “That’s their choice - I don’t have to cook for them,” or if you think they can get by on salad and cranberry sauce, well, honestly, don’t even invite them. Somewhere there’s a welcoming table where the lentils overfloweth, and they will take your vegan in.
But if you actually like them, maybe even love them, or if your loved one loves them, or if you want them in any way, shape, or form to have a great time as your guest, then read on.
Rock star Joan Jett was removed from a parade float representing South Dakota in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade after ranchers protested her appearance, saying she's a vegetarian and a critic of their livestock production.
Jett is a supporter of People for the Ethic Treatment of Animals, the world's largest animal rights group that promotes a vegetarian diet and condemns factory farms and ranches.
"I've decided to switch from South Dakota to another float because people's political agendas were getting in the way of what should be a purely entertainment driven event," Jett said in a statement Saturday. "I will remain focused on entertaining the millions of people watching, who will be celebrating a great American tradition."
When Americans hand out Halloween candy this week they may inadvertently be contributing to the destruction of orangutan habitat thousands of miles away.
But don't feel guilty. Instead, do something about it.
Many types of Halloween candy - and lots of other packaged foods in the United States - contain palm oil, much of which is farmed in Malaysia and Indonesia, where orangutans live. Wild forests that support the endangered orangutan are being chopped down and burned to grow geometric rows of trees that ultimately produce oil.
Like in a scene from an apocalyptic parable, dark carcasses of cows and steers lie motionless in silent clusters across swaths of South Dakota.
An early blizzard caught ranchers off guard this week in the state, killing as many as 20,000 head of cattle, a state official says.
But ranchers say they are the real victims.
Thousands of hens were rescued from certain death and flown across the country in a private plane to start a new life of freedom. A California group called Animal Place rescued 3,000 egg-laying hens about to be killed at a commercial egg farm. Rescuers say these hens are what the egg industry calls "spent hens" and are routinely killed when they’re only two years old.
Today, a federal appeals court decided to uphold California's statewide ban on the production and sale of foie gras, the French delicacy of fattened duck or goose liver. The ban went into effect on July 1, 2012.
The plaintiffs - the Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec (a Canadian association of duck and geese farmers), California-based Hot's Restaurant Group and New York's Hudson Valley Foie Gras - asserted the ban interfered with interstate commerce and was too vaguely worded.
Judge Harry Pregerson wrote the opinion for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying: "Plaintiffs give us no reason to doubt that the State believed that the sales ban in California may discourage the consumption of products produced by force feeding birds and prevent complicity in a practice that it deemed cruel to animals."
Ryan Goodman has been involved in agriculture all of his life, working on ranches across the country, as well as studying cattle nutrition and reproduction at the college levels. He works daily with farmers and ranchers, helping their voices become part of the national dialogues on food and agriculture topics. You can reach him on Twitter @AgProudRyan, as well as his personal blog, AgricultureProud.com.
Transparency in food and agriculture can have different meanings to different groups of people. As Illinois farmer, Katie Pratt, recently discussed on Eatocracy, transparency includes having an open mind for education on both sides of the plate. The issue of animal slaughter is a topic that brings much heated discussion. Recent efforts to improve the transparency in this area continue to be met with much resistance.
The New York Times ran an opinion article titled “Open the Slaughterhouses” that opened debate on the "ag gag" bills and our ability to report cases of animal cruelty. As the author suggests, increasing visibility in slaughterhouses would be a good thing, but there is a problem with that. Americans are so far removed from the reality and graphic nature of the process of death, that images of animal slaughter can stir quite the negative response.
Editor's note: Isha Datar is the director of New Harvest, a nonprofit group founded in 2004 to promote the development of cultured meat.
On Monday, three lucky diners nibbled a $325,000 burger - not in the name of luxury but in the name of science, animal rights and sustainability. The meat was grown in a lab.
This in-vitro hamburger is "cultured" in many different ways: It's the product of human ingenuity, it's considerate of humans, animals and the planet, and it's produced through growing cells.