Attention All Burger Lovers—Vegan or Otherwise

By Steve Ann Chambers, President

Range Free Burger Ruben's

I recently tried Hungry Planet’s Range-Free™ burger, which was an unforgettable experience—unforgettably good that is!

For starters, it’s 5.3 ounces of juicy deliciousness with a very meaty texture, yet it’s completely plant-based. It’s a much healthier option, is low in calories, gluten-free, non-GMO, with a hefty 27 grams of protein, and best of all—it doesn’t include any animal suffering.

For anyone who misses—or still eats—animal meat, this will be a very welcome surprise, as it has the most beef-like texture and taste of any vegan or vegetarian burger I’ve ever tasted. In fact, it’s the best burger I’ve ever tasted! I can’t recommend it highly enough!

After having the privilege of speaking with Hungry Planet’s co-founders, Todd and Jody Boyman, I learned a lot about this admirable company and the plans they have in store for the future.

Right now, the Range-Free™ burger is available in about 40 restaurants in the U.S., in red states and blue states, in rural and metropolitan areas. However, the ultimate goal is to get this plant-based, meaty-tasting burger into the hands of as many omnivores as possible, whether that be at a local burger joint or in the neighborhood grocery store. The mission is to reach beyond big metropolitan areas, high-end restaurants, and pricey health food stores.

Hungry Planet stresses the importance of inclusivity. That is, not forgetting about the folks outside of big cities who have just as much interest in consuming foods that are beneficial for the planet, their health, and other beings. The target price is the same, if not lower, than what meat-lovers pay for animal meat—putting an end to the “meat alternatives are expensive” argument.

Range Free Burger

Too good to be true? You may be asking yourself, “What makes this company think they’ll have success outside of extremely profitable restaurants and grocery stores?”

The answer—evidence.

This St. Louis-based company placed their products on the shelves of Dierbergs, a local grocery store chain, where it has become a local favorite. And they’re serving it up at a local St. Louis burger chain called 5 Star Burgers. The feedback from consumers has been nothing but positive. Check it out for yourself.

In fact, randomized phone calls to Dierbergs yielded non-vegan customer service employees excitedly proclaiming Hungry Planet’s premium plant-based meats as their favorite vegan meats.

Please keep your eyes on the Hungry Planet website as the list of restaurants serving the Range-Free™ burger continues to grow! Soon you should be biting into one of the scrumptious, juicy Range-Free™ burgers even if you don’t live in a big city or have access to a fancy health food store.

The Range-Free™ burger will eventually be available in grocery stores across the U.S. And guess what? We’re making it our job to keep you updated as that happens, so stay tuned to the Vegan Outreach blog for those announcements!


Small Town Vegans

By Lauren Sprang, Board of Directors Secretary

VMP_Meme-Mar16

My heart is happy. But this isn’t about me. Or at least, not just me.

It’s also about Kristin Van Epps. I met Kristin through Vegan Outreach’s Vegan Mentor Program. She’s a working mom who owns a house, has pets, and lives with family members who eat meat.

Many people can relate to her situation—you’re interested in going vegan, but you don’t have the time or money to research veganism at Whole Foods.

Vegans often live in cities where options are plentiful and veg friends are common. My husband and I live in rural central Oregon. It’s beautiful, but it’s not the vegan mecca you’ll find 150 miles over the Cascade Mountains in Portland, OR. Touristy Bend, OR has a small, but awesome vegan community, upscale grocery stores, and a couple of vegan restaurants. Kristin lives 25 minutes away in a smaller town with fewer vegan options.

Kristin had been vegetarian on and off, but the transition to vegan was more of a challenge, especially giving up cheese. The vegan cheeses and meats that help many people transition are expensive and hit-or-miss in these smaller towns. And making these kinds of alternatives at home is a skill that can seem daunting, especially if you don’t already cook.

Last spring, Kristin and I exchanged a few emails about recipes and common obstacles to going vegan. I could tell that she had plenty of creativity and persistence to make veganism work for her. When we met up for coffee, I brought some veggie cheeses, meats, and milks so she could try a selection without having to drive around, searching grocery store shelves and making decisions about what to try.

Kristin reported success with some of the items, and started figuring out more satisfying recipes on her own. By the holidays she was ready to make the side dishes vegan, and her family loved them! She says she feels healthier and her family has learned that they can eat delicious food, not just steamed vegetables. No offense to steamed vegetables, but there’s so much more available.

If you’re curious about going veg, I encourage you to sign up for Vegan Outreach’s Vegan Mentor Program. There are lots of mentors out there waiting to help you make the switch!

Vegan Outreach understands that change is hard, but going through changes with supportive people can make all the difference!

“I have been doing so well with my new eating habits, healthy lifestyle, new outlook on life. There are endless possibilities for what I can eat, and even quite a few restaurants that have vegan options! Who knew?! It’s wonderful!” — Kristin Van Epps


Purdue University Research Study — Invitation to Participate

By Dr. Alei Fan, Guest Contributor

Purdue Logo

A team of researchers at Purdue University is conducting a survey about consumer behavior, specifically, people’s “green” (e.g., pro-environment/pro-social) consumption tendencies based on their diet preference (e.g., vegetarian).

You’re invited to participate! If you choose to take the survey, you’ll answer several questions about your diet and consumption preference or pattern.

It’ll take about ten minutes to complete the survey. Your participation in this research is confidential.

Please contact Dr. Alei Fan at fan182@purdue.edu with questions or concerns.


Chili for When You Don’t Feel Like Making Chili

By Lori Stultz, Communications Manager

Chili

When I threw these ingredients together, turned on my crock pot, left for a good chunk of the day, and came home to a meal I didn’t have to do any type of preparation for, it felt like I had cheated at making a delicious meal.

For a feel-good bowl of chili on the days you just don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen, this is it.

Chili for When You Don’t Feel Like Making Chili

Yields 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag beefy crumbles (Beyond Meat, Boca, Gardein, etc.)
  • 1 bag frozen sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 packet vegetarian chili seasoning mix
  • 1-1 ½ cups water (amount depends on how thick you like your chili)

Directions

Crock Pot Method

  1. Set the temperature to high, pour all of the ingredients in, and give it a good stir. You can let the chili heat in the crock pot for up to eight hours. The longer the chili is in the crock pot, the more flavorful it will be.

Stove Top Method

  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a large pan. Turn the heat to medium-high, stir, and heat thoroughly. If you’re not ready to eat it right away, turn the heat to low until you’re ready. The longer the chili sits on low heat, the more flavorful it will be.

Recipe Tips/Variations

  • For a little extra flavor, try adding a dollop of vegan sour cream or guacamole.
  • You can also add a handful of vegan shredded cheddar cheese.

We’re Geared Up for Spring Semester!

By Victor Sjodin, Director of Outreach

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We’ve got big plans to save a lot of animals this semester!

Vegan Outreach’s Outreach Coordinators have their vehicles packed—with thousands of leaflets and plenty of good vegan snacks—and are hitting the road to begin their spring semester leafleting tours.

Trailblazing Jamila Alfred will resume her tour of historically black colleges and universities in the Southeast. Yuri Mitzkewich will also be in the Southeast territory, but he’ll add many Texas schools to his spring tour—a first for him.

Steve Erlsten will be promoting peace on the plate all over California, southern Oregon, and Reno, NV. And rookie-no-more Sean Hennessy, has a big semester planned in Ohio and the surrounding areas.

Kimberly Moffatt will leaflet Virginia, Upstate New York, and Pennsylvania. Lori Stultz is also back in action—she’ll cover Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona.

Rachel Shippee will be making sure that everyone in Michigan hears the vegan message. And Lana Smithson will cover Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and parts of the Boston, MA area.

We’re happy to announce a few new additions who will help leaflet in the remaining areas in the U.S. Longtime volunteer, John Deetjen, will cover the Upper Midwest, and Chris Shapard will be in Eastern Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Montana. The dedicated Cristina Myers Cuadrado will be leafleting in several states, including Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgina, and Florida.

Our stand out volunteers, Victor Flores and Karla Reyes, will visit schools in their home state of New Mexico, as well as Oklahoma and the cities of El Paso and Lubbock, TX. Past volunteer, Alexis Clark, will be in New Jersey, and in New York City and Long Island, NY.

Emmanuel and Katia

Outside of the United States, Emmanuel Márquez will lead another tour all around Mexico—focusing on cities that have not been leafleted much in the past.

Jevranne Martel is starting off in British Columbia and will continue to spread the good word across the continent all the way to Halifax, NS. Jev’s tour will be a special one for Vegan Outreach, as she’ll visit schools in far east Canada that have never been leafleted before.

Sam Tucker will again hit the Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney metropolises in Australia. He’ll also be in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand. Pooja Rathor will be distributing booklets in the Indian states of Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Siddharth Sharma will cover Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states in northern India.

Everyone here at Vegan Outreach is super excited about this spring’s outreach team! We want to give a huge thank you to everyone—donors, hosts, and volunteers—who supports these hard working and dedicated activists. You all play a vital role in our work.

Safe travels everybody!


Jan ’17: The Vegan Way Giveaway

By Lori Stultz, Communications Manager

Vegan_Way_Book_Cover

Here at Vegan Outreach, we believe that providing helpful and informative pro-veg resources is as important as informing people about the animal cruelty that takes place in our food system. When first introduced to these issues, it’s not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed, sad, and asking, “What can I do to help?” or “Where do I begin?”

That’s why we make sure our Outreach Coordinators and volunteers always have several Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets on hand. That way, for anyone who receives a leaflet and is interested in making changes to their diets, our leafleters can easily provide recipe ideas, nutrition information, and store-bought vegan food recommendations by simply handing them the Guide.

We also like to support other vegans who feel that providing veg resources is a vital part of the advocacy equation. One of those individuals is vegan health educator, blogger, and author, Jackie Day.

Jackie is the author of the newly released vegan resource book, The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, and You. This book is an awesome starting point for anyone who’s interested in moving toward a vegan lifestyle. It covers everything from the “why”—animals, the environment, and personal health—to a detailed breakdown of the “how”—food, cosmetics, clothing, travel, household items, entertainment and more.

The book is divided into several parts, 21 to be exact, and it’s laid out in a way that gradually helps veg-curious people move toward a more compassionate lifestyle.

There’s a lot to think about here, but don’t worry, this isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon, with comfy shoes, yummy food, and plenty of time to rest and reflect. Over the next 21 days, you’ll be getting new tips, tricks, and ideas to enable you to make super-easy daily changes that will blossom into wonderful lifelong habits.

Jackie’s sensibility, playfulness, and humor make this comprehensive book a quick and non-intimidating read. Oh, and one of the many great things about this book is that Jackie sprinkles in a few of her wonderfully delicious recipes, which will undoubtedly motivate readers to get up and head toward the kitchen to cook!

And guess what? We’re giving you a little taste of Jackie’s culinary magic. Check out today’s recipe—Sweet Sunday French Crepes.

We’re also giving you the opportunity to get Jackie’s book for free! That’s right—another giveaway for January! This giveaway starts today, January 24, and ends on Wednesday, February 1 at 12:00 am North American MST. We’ll announce the lucky winner on Friday, February 3. Enter by clicking on the giveaway link below!

In the meantime, check out Jackie’s blog My Vegan Journal. And if you want to jump right in and buy Jackie’s book instead of waiting for the giveaway results, you can purchase it here.

Thank you, Jackie, for your ongoing advocacy and for the delicious breakfast recipe!

The Vegan Way Giveaway


Sweet Sunday French Crepes

By Jackie Day, Guest Contributor

The Vegan Way Sweet Sunday Crepes

Oooh, la laaah, these are so good! I created this recipe with the novice crepe maker in mind, so they’re a tiny bit thicker, and slightly smaller than traditional French crepes, making them easier to flip. If making crepes is old hat for you, feel free to add a bit more nut milk to make them thinner. And don’t fret if the first one doesn’t turn out perfect. It’s called the “chef eats first” rule: gobble it up, and move on to the second! Nom, nom, nom.

Be sure to read through the directions before beginning to make these, so you’re not caught off guard by the “wait” time.

Sweet Sunday French Crepes

Yields 4-6 small crepes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ⅛ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon aquafaba
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Oil or vegan butter, for the pan
  • Warm jam or fresh berries, for the filling
  • Melted vegan chocolate chips and powdered sugar, for topping (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large nonreactive bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, almond milk, orange juice, sea salt, aquafaba, and vanilla. Try to get out as many lumps as possible. Now here’s the real hard part: let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes. The reason this is necessary is so that the liquid permeates into any remaining lumps of flour. No one wants lumpy crepes.
  2. Once the batter has “rested” for 15 minutes, give it another mix, and heat up a little bit of oil or vegan butter in a 12″ nonstick pan on medium heat.
  3. Gently add about ⅓ to ½ cup of the batter to the center of the pan, then lift, tilt, and rotate the pan immediately to create a thin, even circle of batter. It’s good to leave about an inch or so of space around the crepe so you’ll be able to get a spatula underneath to flip it.
  4. Once the crepe has a few bubbles, and is lightly golden on the edges, gently move around the crepe with a spatula. Once loose enough around the entire circle, gently flip it over to the opposite side. The second side will likely only need about a minute or less to cook.
  5. Gently lift the crepe out of the pan and place on a plate. (If your plates are cold, I recommend placing them in the oven on “warm” before you begin so your crepes stay warm as you make more. Just make sure they’re oven-safe plates and that the oven is set at the lowest setting).
  6. Continue making crepes in the same manner until you use up the batter.
  7. To serve, spread warm jam on the crepes and then roll up. Or fill each crepe with fresh berries, and fold. Drizzle the crepes with melted vegan chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s has vegan dark chocolate chips) and/or dust with the powdered sugar if desired. Bon vegan appétit!

This is an original recipe from The Vegan Way by Jackie Day that has been published with permission.


Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: Women in Animal Advocacy — Part 1

By Jen Bravo, Guest Contributor

This post is the first in a series on the history of women in the animal protection movement, gender and animal advocacy, and stories of the women striving today to make the world a better place for animals.

Animal advocacy has a long and complex history—a history in which women have played a central and integral role as writers, speakers, organizers, and activists. An intersectional history in which feminism and animal advocacy go hand in hand, along with other progressive social causes.

As the foot soldiers of modern animal advocacy, it’s empowering for women to understand our history and embrace the legacies of the women who came before us. In that spirit, this post shares the stories of just three women who embody courage and dedication, and forged a path for animals in the 1800s and very early 1900s where none existed.

Women and Animal Advocacy in the 1800s

Frances Power Cobbe and Anna Kingsford are two names every animal advocate should know.

Frances Power Cobbe
Frances Power Cobbe (Photo: Life of Frances Power Cobbe, 1894)

Frances Power Cobbe

Frances Power Cobbe was a women’s suffrage and anti-vivisection advocate who founded the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) in 1875 and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1898—two animal protection groups that are still around today (BUAV is now Cruelty Free International). Both organizations were firmly rooted in the early social justice movements of the 1800s, which included women’s suffrage, property rights for women, and opposition to vivisection (that is, the use of living animals in experiments).

Frances began her career as a writer, publishing articles on women’s property rights, domestic abuse against women, and the economic dependency of women on men in Victorian England. In 1863, as a writer for the London Daily News, she witnessed animal experiments and became a staunch opponent of vivisection. Her strident anti-vivisection work led directly to the passage of the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1876, which was intended to regulate vivisection by requiring physiologists to obtain licenses and for the animals used to be anesthetized. Frances and the NAVS claimed the Act was weak, and in fact, the number of vivisections rose following its enactment.

Anna Kingsford
Anna Kingsford (Photo: Wikipedia)

Anna Kingsford

Anna Kingsford met Frances Cobbe in London in 1872 when Frances published an article on anti-vivisection in The Lady’s Own Paper—a weekly magazine that covered social reform issues—which Anna owned and edited. Anna quickly became an anti-vivisection advocate, and decided to study medicine so that she could advocate for animals from a place of expertise.

The study of medicine at this time relied heavily on experiments on animals, mostly dogs and mostly without anesthetic. Anna attended medical school in Paris, completing her degree in just six years, and doing so without experimenting on any animals. Her final thesis for medical school was a paper on the benefits of becoming a vegetarian, which was later published as a book titled The Perfect Way in Diet in 1881. She became an active speaker and advocate for a vegetarian diet and in opposition to all animal experimentation.

Anna exhibited extreme courage in attending medical school at this time, during which she had to witness many experiments conducted on living dogs without anesthetic. She said, “I have found my Hell here in the Faculté de Médecine of Paris.” And she bore the additional burden of being an unwelcome woman in a field dominated by men, experiencing harassment and neglect from her teachers.

Anna persevered, as she knew that her experiences would help her be a better advocate for animals. Unfortunately, Anna developed a serious illness and died at the age of 41, before she could fully realize her life’s work for animals.

The Very Early 1900s

The very early 1900s in Britain and the United States were characterized by a continuation of the anti-vivisection movement—building upon the work of Frances, Anna, and others, as well as the movements for women’s suffrage, peace, and other social reforms. One woman stands out in this period for her courage and tenacity. The British-Swedish powerhouse Lizzy Lind af Hageby.

International Anti Vivisection Congress
International Anti-Vivisection Congress, 1913, Lizzy Lind af Hageby (center) (Photo: Library of Congress)

Lizzy began her career as a writer and lecturer in opposition to child labor and prostitution, in support of women’s liberation, and later in her life in support of animal rights. She was an activist and organizer at a time when women were expected to stay at home. She trained in medicine at the London School of Medicine for Women so she could become a better anti-vivisection advocate.

In 1913, Lizzy represented herself in a libel trial—related to animal advocacy—at a time when women were not allowed to become attorneys. The Nation reported that her representation in the trial was a “brilliant piece of advocacy…though it was entirely conducted by a woman.” Following the trial, a British Colonel spoke about the importance of women in animal advocacy, stating, “The day that women get the vote will be the day on which the death-knell of vivisection will be sounded.” Unfortunately, he turned out to be wrong about that.

The connection between women’s rights and anti-vivisection was particularly strong during this period. The U.S. academic Coral Magnolia Lansbury argued in her book The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England (1985), that the imagery of vivisection—of animals bound and abused—was particularly powerful for women—a symbolic reminder of the treatment of women as objects.

A Legacy of Action

Throughout the 20th century, women continued to be at the forefront in animal advocacy—founding animal rights organizations, exploring the relationships between humans and nonhuman animals, and challenging the status quo that treats living, sentient beings as objects.

In our next piece in this series, we’ll highlight some of the amazing work done by women for animals in the 20th century—a century full of progress—and how that work informs the efforts of the women striving today to change the world for animals.

Editor’s Note: We recognize the women featured in this post are all white. This is due to many factors, including but not limited to who authors history. In our next installment of Women in Animal Advocacy, we will feature some of the many women of color who have been critical to advancing animal rights throughout the years!



Your Mornings Will Never Be the Same!

By Lori Stultz, Communications Manager

Coffee Mate Natural Bliss Plant-Based Creamers

Coffee drinkers—you now have another reason to look forward to your morning cup of coffee! The well-known coffee creamer brand, Coffee-mate Natural Bliss, just announced four new plant-based coffee creamers!

These new creamers are cruelty-free and will add all kinds of deliciousness to your coffee. Even as a die-hard black coffee drinker, I’m percolating with excitement!

In this week’s press release, Coffee-mate Brand Director, Daniel Jhung, stated, “We know the increasing popularity of plant-based, non-dairy creamers is not just a trend, but a consumer preference that is here to stay.”

Heck yes, the preference for plant-based food and drink options is here to stay! So, let’s get out there and show our appreciation and support for Coffee-mate’s vegan friendly products!

The Vanilla Almond Milk, Caramel Almond Milk, and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk creamers are now available nationwide in stores in the refrigerated coffee creamer aisle, being sold in 16 oz bottles. The Hazelnut Almond Milk flavor will only be available in Target stores.

Check out Coffee-mate’s store locator to find which stores near you are carrying the product!

Happy coffee drinking everyone!