Category Archives: Vegan News

Joaquin Phoenix drowns in provocative new ad

Joaquin Phoenix rarely makes a public appearance, but when he does – it’s generally to make a statement. According to the New York Daily News, the Oscar-nominated actor has collaborated with PETA to film a short ad promoting veganism. In the uncomfortable commercial spot, Phoenix reenacts “the terror fish experience in the last moment of their lives,” as explained by PETA.

“In water, humans drown just as fish suffocate on land,” Phoenix says as the narrator. “It’s slow and painful and frightening. … Put yourself in their place. Try to relate. Go vegan.”
The video was shot by famed Hollywood photographer Michael Muller. According to a PETA release, the organization wanted to air the ad during the Academy Awards – since Phoenix is nominated this year for his role in “The Master” – but they were rejected by ABC for being “too political and controversial.”

Phoenix, a vegan, described his reason for participating in the campaign.
“I was 3 years old. To this day it is a vivid memory,” Phoenix said. “My family and I were on a boat, catching fish… The animal went from a living, vibrant creature fighting for life to a violent death. I recognized it, as did my brothers and sisters.”

What do you think about this ad?

John Corbett narrates Farm Sanctuary’s new video

In “The Doctor,” Corbett’s famous voice brings us the story of a life-loving pig who earned his name for his endearing assistance to medical caregivers at an emergency rescue site. “I love The Doctor!,” says Corbett. “Many people don’t realize that pigs and other farm animals form strong social bonds and want to help get each other through tough times, just like we do. When you hear about the intense devotion The Doctor showed to his sick and injured pig friends following the Iowa floods of 2008, it changes the way you think about pigs. We should all be so lucky to have a friend like The Doctor.”

Farm Sanctuary’s “Animal Tales” project launched in October with Allison Janney’s story of a shy chicken named Symphony and continues to tap some of Hollywood’s most recognizable voices to share the magic of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters and the farm animals who call them home. Farm Sanctuary residents are ambassadors for all farm animals on factory farms, and each one has a story to tell.

Check out John Corbett’s new video “The Doctor” and learn more about farm animals at

Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for almost 1,000 rescued farm animals. These animals — including The Doctor — are ambassadors for the billions on factory farms who have no voice, and their stories help raise awareness about the harsh realities of factory farming.

Are cage-free eggs vegan?

Yesterday, the vegan world was buzzing with the news that Ellen Degeneres admitted to eating eggs on her television show. I was hoping that when she said, “we get our eggs from the neighbors” she meant that she occasionally needs eggs for house guests that demand a frittata when staying over. Who knows? But eggs are decidedly NOT vegan. Even if you can ignore their negative health effects, you can’t ignore the fact that eggs are a reproductive product of an animal. Please watch this informative slide show from

Please Save Bill & Lou

I first found out about Bill & Lou while reading James McWilliam’s thought provoking blog Eating Plants. I learned that these oxen, who performed heavy labor for Green Mountain College, plowed the fields until one was injured and couldn’t plow any more. I was astounded at the apparent stubborness that the college’s provost, William Throop, has shown. It is almost unbelievable to me that a human being would be offered a way to save an animal’s life and would then turn a cold shoulder to these offers. Why not let them go live out their lives at the sanctuary? Why not accept money from the many people who offered to buy them? Why not admit that you don’t have the same degree of compassion for animals as other people but that you are willing to appease the pleas of those who do?

Here is an excerpt from Eating Plants. When you are finished reading, please do what you can for Bill & Lou.

“In a way I’m pleased to even say that it’s possible to have an update on Bill and Lou, the oxen who have come to represent the fate of livestock worldwide.  The fact that Green Mountain College has yet to kill them (to the best of my knowledge) suggests that the civil push back by animal rights advocates is, to say the least, working. So, you know, keep it up, because the minute it ceases is the minute the oxen go to slaughter. But the continued existence of Bill and Lou also suggests that—and you’ll have allow me to indulge in a bit of optimism here–Green Mountain College is gradually coming to realize that the outpouring of gratitude and warmth for what would be a courageous change of mind would be overwhelming. Let’s keep that possibility front and center alongside our relentlessly stated conviction that it is ethically wrong to slaughter Bill and Lou.  In other words, lots of heat mixed with lots of compassion is our best recipe for success.

Here’s what I know of late about Bill and Lou (and thank you to everyone who, perhaps knowing I’m not on FB, have been sending me all kinds of updates and tidbits):

UPDATE (1:08): Steve Wise, the attorney who has put together a settlement package of sorts for Bill and Lou, posted the following on GMC’s Facebook wall:

On Monday I faxed, emailed, and overnighted a letter to President Fonteyn and Provost Throop that contained several serious offers to resolve the ongoing controversy concerning Bill and Lou in a manner that harmonizes with the values of Green Mountain College and Vermont. I have received no response. Whatever you believe about the fates of Bill and Lou, I urge you to ask these gentlemen to respond at their earliest convenience, as a matter of courtesy.

1) PETA came out with a press release

Excerpt from a letter sent to GMC administrators:

We urge you with great urgency to make the compassionate decision to spare the lives of Bill and Lou. But if you move forward with the slaughter, you should, as educators, at the very least use this injustice as a learning opportunity. Everyone who knows Bill and Lou knows that they are individuals with personalities and desires of their own. Anyone who eats meat should be allowed to witness the terror in Bill’s and Lou’s eyes right before a bolt is shot into their foreheads and they are hung upside down and bled to death.

2) A new petition is floating around.

3) Great piece by Spencer Lo at Animal Blawg


One stated justification, put forth by William Throop, a professor who teaches environmental ethics at GMC, is that their choice is “either to eat the animals that we know have been cared for and lived good lives or serve the bodies of nameless animals we do not know.” But no explanation is given for why the obvious third choice—not to eat animals at all—isn’t viable. Or a more modest proposal: don’t eat animals for the next two months, which roughly corresponds to how long the meat from the bodies of Bill and Lou would last.

4)  I have an opportunity to write an e-book about the Bill and Lou saga and I think I’m going to take it. This choice would require suspending daily blogging for about a month so I could work full time in order to make the book available in a timely manner. It would also mean that my reliance on readers to keep sending me any and all relevant information will only increase.  I’m grateful, as always, for your support.” -jm







James McWilliams is a professor at Texas State University and the author of four books on food and agriculture, including Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We can Truly Eat Responsibly. His work appears regularly in Slate, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Washington Post, and  the He blogs at his Eating Plants Blog and lives in Austin.










Horse Tartar at the MoMA?

A guest blog by James McWilliams

The chef of the M. Wells Dinette, Hugue Dufour, who opened at MoMA PS 1 last week in New York City, is the brainchild behind a new culinary creation (one that he says he might put on his menu): horse tartar. The stunt isn’t new. Last May, the chef served a horse-meat bologna and foie gras grilled cheese sandwich at a food festival in the city. Adventure eating foodies got a perverse thrill out of it, posting pictures of the heart-stopper all over the foodie blogospere.  The story has been covered by Vickery Eckhoff, who knows more about the politics of horse slaughter than anyone else. (Her stories on the topic–written for Forbes–are fantastic).

The sale of horse meat is illegal in the United States. The Dinette evidently intends to source it from Canada (where the sale and slaughter is legal), but the meat is not USDA approved, so it would still be illegal to serve it at MoMA PS1. The restaurant evidently isn’t answering phone calls nor is Mr. Dufour returning e-mails. Horse advocates–a rare breed of activist–are incensed. The restaurant’s owner declared “There is no story.” Weirdly, the media has kind of agreed (thankfully, not Eckhoff).

WHY is horse meat illegal in the US? The answer is pretty simple–-turns out horse meat poses unique health hazards to humans as a result of the the numerous drugs horses are routinely given throughout their lifetime–mostly painkillers–many of them explicitly banned by the FDA. Given what a horse destined for a slaughterhouse is dosed with throughout the course of his life, eating horse meat makes pink slime look like a healthy snack.

The irony here is that adventure-eating foodies who would never deign to eat a piece of conventionally produced steak because of all the growth hormones etc etc are, by eating horse meat, exposing themselves to a much more complex chemical cocktail of snake venom, steroids, Clenbuterol, Banamine, Ivermectin, and a host of other drugs when they sit down to Dufour’s table. These drugs make horse meat far more contaminated than beef, pork, or any other meat sold legally in the US. When horse meat is raw, the risk of exposure is especially acute.

Not to mention the ethics of this raw mess of a meal, one that I hope never makes it to Dufour’s sinister menu.







James McWilliams is a professor at Texas State University and the author of four books on food and agriculture, including Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We can Truly Eat Responsibly. His work appears regularly in Slate, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Washington Post, and  the He blogs at his Eating Plants Blog and lives in Austin.

Milk Wars Transcript with Dr. Neal Barnard

Here is the transcript from the ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL episode featuring Dr. Neal Barnard that aired April 15, 2011 for those (like myself) who missed it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Up next, a controversy over school lunches erupts. The battle of milk is next — yes, milk. Every parent has to hear this.


JOHN SALLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: It`s funny, they put vegetarian food in front of them when they were hungry. Some of them booed, some of them ahh-ed But at the end of it, they all was fed well.




ROBIN QUIVERS, HOWARD STERN SHOW: The food industry has done a great job of confusing us as to what food is and what good food is compared to bad food.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, chocolate milk stirs up a controversy around the country. The debate is raging over whether schools should be passing out that sugary beverage to our kids. Some people argue chocolate, strawberry, any flavored milk is not the only way to get calcium and the added sugar in all that flavored milk is out of control, contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic that America is in the throes of right now.

But the National Dairy Council says in the school cafeteria “milk, whether white or flavored, plays a vital role in helping children meet needs for essential nutrients,” end quote. Reports claim about three- quarters of the milk in school cafeterias is flavored, chocolate milk.

Chef and TV star of the ABC show “Jamie Oliver`s Food Revolution”, he was in L.A. to try and take on childhood obesity. Check this out.


JAMIE OLIVER, CHEF: What I`m going to do right now is I`m going to pump this bus, this icon of trust full of one week`s added sugar just for flavored milk in the LAUSD. This is 100 percent real. This happens every day. This is only a week`s worth and this is actually classic to the whole of America. Guys, you think we`re done? We are done. We are done now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That`s going into our kids` bodies, all that sugar. Jamie says 57 tons of sugar in one week pumped into kids, not just in the L.A. school district but this is happening all over the country. And that is just the sugar they are getting from flavored milk alone.

Straight out to the renegade lunch lady, Ann Cooper, glad to see you there in your starched whites. Why are you so upset about schools serving chocolate milk?

ANN COOPER, RENEGADE LUNCH LADY: I mean, we just shouldn`t serve our kids that much sugar. Most chocolate milk has twice as much sugar as the same fat content as regular milk. There`s no reason with this obesity crisis to be force feeding our children sugar.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in Dr. Neal Barnard, the national best-selling author of fantastic book “21-Day Weight Loss Kick Start”. You`re an expert in combating obesity. Now, in your opinion, doctor, is this just about the sugar or the high fructose corn syrup in flavored milk? What about the milk itself? Is the milk itself helping or hurting our children?

DR. NEAL BARNARD, CLINICAL RESEARCHER AND HEALTH ADVOCATE: It`s hurting our kids. And the problems are that kids today are in the worst shape of any generation we`ve ever had. The risk of diabetes, the risk of obesity, the risk of high cholesterol and the heart disease it leads to, they are higher than it has ever been. And a big part of the reason is that schools, sometimes they are forced to — they are feeding junk to kids. It`s as simple as that.

And it`s not just the sugar that`s in the milk. It`s the milk itself, the main nutrient in skim milk, believe it or not, even before you add anything to it, is sugar, lactose sugar. There is fat in it as well. The proteins, a lot of kids don`t react to it. Kids just don`t need it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what about that calcium argument? And the dairy council talks about that. We got a statement from the dairy council that essentially says that the nutrients that are of public health concern, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium are these essential nutrients found in milk.

BARNARD: Sure, there is a certain amount of calcium in milk but asphalt has calcium in it. There is calcium in so many food; that doesn`t mean you should be eating it. Green leafy vegetables have calcium, beans have calcium; you just don`t need calcium from milk. The vehicle for delivering that little bit of calcium has enough fat, enough calories, enough sugar, enough junk to really put kids at risk. There`s no reason for it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my take. Ok. I want to do full disclosure to my viewers. I`m a vegan. I do not drink cow`s milk and I have not in at least 15 years.

Now, I want you to meet my great niece, Nicole, she`s 13 1/2 and this young lady has never tasted cow`s milk in her entire life. She is as well a vegan, we have a lot of them in my family. And she`s very tall, very healthy, and doing very well in school. I think she`s living proof that this whole idea that a child, a human child, must have cow`s milk could be a selling tool that we critically need to question.

Now, the National Dairy Council says it`s difficult and expensive to replace the nutrients lost from decreased milk intake in school meals. We just talked about the calcium. But you just heard, Ann Cooper, Dr. Neal Barnard said there`s calcium in plenty of other things that we can get and we`re not suffering from some massive calcium deficiency nationally. So why push it in the milk all the time?

COOPER: Well, I absolutely agree. There is not a calcium crisis in America. There`s an obesity crisis in America. The reason we serve milk in school is because of the National Dairy Council. I mean it`s a lobbying effort.

As a lunch lady, I have to serve milk at every meal. I have to offer it to every kid. You know, and milk can be, I actually think that milk could be part of a healthy diet. But the idea that in schools we would be serving it to kids one, two, sometimes three times a day is –


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang on. We`re on the other side. We`re getting started.



SALLEY: It`s funny, they put vegetarian food in front of them when they were hungry. Some of them booed, some of them ahh-ed, but at the end of it, they all was fed well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That`s my vegan buddy, NBA great John Salley, we`re back talking about the childhood obesity epidemic and this whole controversy over flavored milk, some kind of chocolate milk, strawberry milk, milk that they serve in schools that critics are saying hey, it`s contributed to the obesity conversation. And we`re actually expanding the conversation to — what about milk in general?

Dr. Neal, here`s my thought and somebody told me this, I didn`t think this up myself. Cow`s milk was meant for cows. We`re the only species, we human beings that steal the mother`s milk from another species and drink it for ourselves. So what does cow`s milk do in terms of how it works on calves and how does that relate to human being?

BARNARD: Yes, well, I think that`s so important. The purpose of milk, if I can put it that way, is not for dunking cookies in it. The purpose of milk is to make a calf grow and so it contains not just calcium and protein at that but it contains hormones. It contains growth factors and it stimulates the production of more hormones and more growth factors in your body.

And you don`t need that, particularly in adulthood where there`s a lot of evidence that men who are drinking milk two or three times a day have more risk of prostate cancer. That`s because the growth in their body is of cancer cells. Now, that`s pretty frightening.

But if you`re looking at kids, kids are drinking milk. They get no advantage for their bones. Back in 2005 pediatrics, an — article in pediatrics showed that kids who never drank milk have just as healthy bones as kids who do. But what they are getting is a lot of fat, a lot of sugar and a lot of health problems.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue. We have an obesity plague in this country. Obesity is not just an epidemic anymore, it`s a plague. The amount of overweight children in this country is growing at an alarming rate. “Kids` Health” says one out of every three kids in America is overweight or obese.

So, I have to ask you, Ann Cooper, we`re talking about the sugar and now we`re hearing from Dr. Neal and other people say it, even though oh, it`s against that whole mantra about milk does a body good. I think it`s time to question and not just march in lock step and say why this constant drum beat that everybody has to drink milk when nature didn`t design it for human beings, it was designed for calves.

COOPER: Well, you know what; I don`t want to debate whether we should serve milk in schools or not because the U.S. –


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why not? If it`s contributing to kids getting overweight maybe we need start thinking outside the box here.

BARNARD: If you serve chocolate milk it has 150, 200, 220 calories depending on the type. This is a big part of the obesity problem.

COOPER: I absolutely agree with that. I absolutely agree with that. We have to get the flavored milks out of school. If a child chooses flavored milk every day for the 180 days they are in school they will gain 2 1/2 or three pounds just from the added sugar in that chocolate. It`s crazy. We have to stop this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people say well, what`s the alternative? And obviously we all know there`s soy milk and there`s rice milk and there`s almond milk. But let`s also question the idea that we all have to be drinking this milky substance. Where did that come from? That`s a cultural invention.

I can wake up and have a green tea in the morning. I don`t necessarily have to have something with milk in it. I can have a piece of fruit. I don`t necessarily have to have something with a dairy product in it. So a lot of what we`re told we have to do is really cultural conditioning.

Final word in a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Change one thing about our school system starting with Ann Cooper, renegade lunch lady.

COOPER: The one thing I would change in our schools is getting ready of the processed food and, oh by the way, chocolate milk, soda and (INAUDIBLE) get it out of schools.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Neal Barnard.

BARNARD: I would base the meals on the healthy foods, the grains, the beans, the vegetables and the fruits. The meats, the dairy products, that`s part of the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. That`s what I would do if I were in charge of the schools. I would make sure there would be a fruit plate in every single classroom when the kids get the munchies they could reach for a banana or an apple and eat some of this healthy food. You know, some of these kids in the inner-city particularly don`t even know that these vegetables exist because they have choice of fast food or no food at all. Let`s get the healthy food, the greens into the school system.

This is a wake-up call, America. We need to change.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Remember folks, Jane is the voice of veganism for cable news. Be sure that you let CNN know that she is appreciated so that they keep her on the air. You can do so by using the comment box at

Remembering Shirley – Making Food into Poetry

The world lost a bright shining star this past weekend. My words aren’t enough to pay sufficient tribute to Shirley Wilkes-Johnson but she is the reason that I sprinkle pomegranate seeds on birthday cakes and she is the reason that we attended the Lone Star Vegetarian Chili cook-off many times, eventually entering ourselves and taking home the winning trophy in 2006 (for the now defunct Vegetarian Society of Houston). She inspired and delighted multitudes both through Go Vegan Texas (and later Vegan World) Radio and through personal encounters. She was a great thinker and a great cook. She was kind, passionate and driven.

Here is my favorite memory of Shirley…

She taught a cooking class at the Fiesta cooking school in Houston several years ago. This was after 9/11 and the theme was “A Romantic Middle Eastern Dinner”. We were fighting in the Middle East then, as now, and the idea of combining romance and the Middle East might not have made sense to many people, but when she concluded the class it all came together beautifully. She dusted the dessert with pomegranate seeds and talked about how they were considered an aphrodisiac. The pomegranate was a fruit of love, she said, and one of the ways that we learn to love and appreciate other cultures is through their food. Then she did an amazing thing. In the most poetic of ways, she extrapolated that into her dream for world peace, and made each of us there that night believe that we could all be a part of that vision simply by living a compassionate life. She made us believe that love could be spread as readily as hate and that kindness was contagious, and compassion the answer. I never left a cooking class filled with such emotion. Not before then or after. She had a way of turning a simple cooking class into a magical journey into the human heart.

Here are some remembrances of Shirley from others in the last few days…

Carol J. Adams:

Rhea on The “V” word:

You can be sure that there will be many more to follow.



We have a WINNER!

Our Vegan Food Photo Contest was a smashing success!

We received over 32 entries but the final decision by our judges was unanimous. The winner was Danica, who co-publishes the blog Soundly Vegan. She received a $100 Amazon gift card as a prize and we will be redesigning our food page using her images. Here is some of her photography, so that you can see for yourself why our judges were so thoroughly impressed.


We highly recommend that you visit the Soundly Vegan blog, as it is one of the most beautiful vegan food blogs out there.  A sincere thank you from us to all of our contestants for taking the time to enter. We would also like to give special honorable mentions out to Noelle Kelly (An Opera Singer in the Kitchen), Natala Constantine (Vegan Hope), and David Goldstein (My Vegan Gut) for the outstanding artistry of the images that they submitted.

Is History Repeating?

In preparing to attend the PCRM 25th Anniversary Gala this coming weekend in LA, I can’t help wondering: Does or can history really repeat itself?

Just think back to a few years ago, when we saw cigarette smoking displayed in advertisements from magazines and newspapers, to sexy television commercials. All extolled the virtues of cigarette smoking, which if true, smoking only one would have satisfied you for a lifetime. Remember the TV ad with the “doctor” in the white exam coat telling us that more doctors preferred a particular brand of filtered cigarettes over other brands?

What happened? Forty to fifty years ago the public became aware of the health hazards associated with smoking i.e. heart disease, cancer, emphysema, increased health costs, etc. Slowly but surely, an informed populace began to demand accountability from our elected officials, and the tide began to turn. Remember how the tobacco industry fought disclosure of the health risks and withheld information? Now, anyone today who chooses to smoke cigarettes certainly does not do so out of ignorance, but out of indifference to their personal health and cost to society. At least in the U. S. and developed countries.

Is another similar shift stirring in the wind? Could it be that for the past five to ten years we have been witnessing the beginning of a new awakening, and an enlightened populace? More and more we are seeing vegetarian and vegan options on menus, and even restaurants that are totally dedicated to exclusive vegan/vegetarian menus. More and more, doctors across the country are embracing what some would call a nutritarian plant based diet to arrest and reverse heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. All supported by documented, peer reviewed, published studies in prestigious journals. Many such studies conducted by recognized and renowned research organizations and individuals.  In the face of skyrocketing health costs, childhood obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer rates, the public, along with doctors, and the media are slowly becoming educated. They are beginning to demand disclosure, accountability and responsibility from our government and from corporate America for the health consequences of promoting an irresponsible and unhealthy diet on an uninformed public.

Take PCRM for example. PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) is a multi faceted organization. One facet has been taking on the big commercial agricultural, processed food interests and the fast food industry to hold them accountable for truth in advertising. In California, they have recently filed suit to require the fast food industry to comply with existing laws requiring posted disclosure of carcinogens in the foods they are serving. Is this an early sign of a new era? Is the day coming when the food industry counterparts to the tobacco industry will be held financially accountable in our civil courts, for the health consequences that have been knowingly foisted upon an unsuspecting public? Is there a day of reckoning coming for the processed food, beef, poultry and dairy industries? I believe so. The dike has sprung a leak. Can the finger of the processed food, meat and dairy industries plug the hole and stem the coming deluge? I think not.

And the Oscar goes too…

Last night’s vegan Oscar party was a success. The four and a half vegans present managed to sufficiently wow the ten omnivores with our food and charm. Hopefully they agree. I know they liked the food at least. It was also exciting seeing two famous vegetarians  (Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin) hosting the Academy Awards and vegan Woody Harrelson as a nominee. Maybe I pointed that out a little too fervently every time Woody appeared on screen but I couldn’t help myself. 

Parties like this are a great way to get together with friends and promote vegan cuisine in a very positive fun way. No preaching required. Just serve great food and answer any related questions that come up. Someone will always ask. The men talked about health quite a bit and the women discussed issues related to best documentary winner, The Cove, such as the rampant mislabeling of dolphin flesh as fish to fool consumers. Pretty egregious, mislabeling a mammal as a fish – not just a different species but different biological class entirely. Several of us also expressed our enthusiam for Food, Inc., The Cove’s very worthy contender. It was a hard call between the two. I was glad to see one of them win, and happy that they both got some well deserved exposure as a result of their nominations.

Several of our guests were kind enough to contribute to the menu, which consisted of Paula’s delectable hummus, Betsy’s amazing baked tofu – served with peanut sauce, and her mockamole (made with edamame) which is so good I could eat it every single day, Gary brought Quesadilla’s that were a big hit and an apple pie that I was very impressed with. He said the recipe was from The Conscious Cook. What a great book. Every recipe I’ve tried from it has been a winner.

We served back eyed pea and corn salad, spring rolls with spicy cherry sauce, potato skins with salsa, sour cream, and corn relish and a variety of crackers, crudités and other dips. Our son, Benjamin even made his first catering contribution ever. “Benjamin’s Delight” was celery stuffed with vegan cream cheese and olives. Perfect as a passed appetizer, with Benjamin doing the passing. He also helped me roll the truffles (aka Mignardises) in a variety of coatings – raspberry sugar, toasted coconut, and ground walnut with cinnamon. Benjamin later volunteered serving them to the guests, naturally taking a few for himself along the way. Judging by the number of seconds requested they went over well. That recipe will now be a staple. It is found in both The Best of Vegan Cooking and Great Chefs Cook Vegan. So easy, that I will never use another truffle recipe again. I also served the Happy Herbivore’s black bean brownies but we added peanut butter icing for a little extra drama.

At the end of the evening we tallied the ballots and gave out prizes for the most accurate predictions. The winners received AMC, Regal Cinema, and Blockbuster gift cards, as well as copies of The Future of Food.
I can’t resist an opportunity for activism. Even if it comes in a gift bag.