July 31 Bacon Flu Numbers

The latest bacon flu numbers are out. The virus has now left 5514 Americans hospitalized and killed 353. Remember who’s to blame for these deaths the next time you read about FBI crackdowns on animal rights “terrorists.” Link.

Vegan Bacon Cheese

Sure, the bacon fad may at long last be dying out, but Quarrygirl.com reports on a new vegan bacon cheese that has hit the market. She’s posted some great photos, and I think this would make for a sensational grilled cheese sandwich.

How exciting to get fake meat and fake cheese in every bite. Link.

Quote of the Month July

Roseanne Barr:

Vegans are all coke-sniffing, cigarette-smoking faux socialists who listen to music that has no melody at all, so fu*# them.

Yeah, well at least some vegans are funny. Link.

Update: Like Jon, who writes on the Vegan.com fan page: “How come nobody told me about the cocaine?”

Vegan Pot Pie


Originally uploaded by AsstroGirl

Here’s a vegan food idea you rarely see. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a restaurant offer vegan pot pie. I know I’d order one.

Bolivia Bans Animal Use in Circuses

This is pretty amazing: Bolivia has banned animals from being featured in circuses. Little by little, the status of animals is going up worldwide. (Via Robin.) Link.

Hawthorne on Agribusiness’ Defense Tactics

Mark Hawthorne’s always excellent “Striking at the Roots” blog has a must-read piece on agribusiness’ efforts to derail the work of animal protection activists.

This industry observation is especially worth emphasizing: “Activists have learned to use the Internet better than industry has.”

That’s undoubtably true, but it’s also true that we haven’t reached 10 percent of our potential when it comes to Internet activism. And once we do, agribusiness will be hosed.

Switching effortlessly into nag mode, may I ask: do you have a Facebook profile and Twitter account set up yet? I would personally telephone every last one of my readers, if that’s what it took to get everyone signed up with Facebook and Twitter. It’s that important. Link.

House Approves Food Safety Bill

The US House of Representatives just passed an important food safety bill, which the Washington Post calls: “…the first major changes to food safety laws in 70 years…”

Agribusiness has been fighting the bill, and won a big concession for ranchers. Next up, the Senate will debate its version of the bill after the August recess.

So, expect some good analysis in the next couple months about the extent to which food safety standards are being ramped up. For now, despite a big win over agribusiness interests today, it’s still too early to tell. Link.

Pollan’s Yawnfest

Even though Michael Pollan is sometimes infuriatingly out of touch when he writes about the ethics of eating, I’m always excited when I see one of his lengthy food articles appear in the Times Magazine. They consistently feature juicy information and fresh ideas, and are never boring.

So I don’t know what the hell happened this time around, but his new piece is almost unreadable. Starting with Julia Child, it ruminates on the decline of American cooking skills, and the rise of food television as entertainment.

Five paragraphs in I was bored, and by the end of the piece I was pissed for having wasted my time reading this thing. I’m thinking that perhaps Pollan has said everything he has to say about food, and is now pigeonholed in a niche he’s lost interest in. I don’t know how else to explain this sudden drop off in quality, other than to say this could be the moment when Michael Pollan’s food writing has jumped the shark. Link.

Agribusiness Staves Off Food Reform Bill — For Now

An important bill that would toughen America’s food safety system was shot down in the House of Representatives today. It’ll go back up for another vote tomorrow, and it seems certain to pass, but not before getting watered down by various meat industry amendments. Link.

Carrot Cake

Originally uploaded by Yvonne Smith

Can I get something off my chest? I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time but have been afraid of what people would think. But I can’t keep my feelings hidden any longer: cake is overrated. Way overrated. People gather round for the birthday or whatever, and the cake always sucks.

Except this cake. This was some carrot cake sent over by the fine people at Veggie Grill for the Animal Rights 2009 conference. I had a few pieces and it was just outstanding.

I don’t know what bizarre universe I’ve incarnated in where cake is consistently a letdown except for, of all things, this carrot cake, but that’s how it is. This carrot cake, by the way, is always on the menu at Veggie Grill.

One day there will be a Veggie Grill in every major city, which means there will be delicious vegan carrot cake in every major city. And, when that day comes, the last bit of darkness will have been eradicated from the universe.