55 Bottle Bags, Marshmallow Ghosts & New Laws

October 14, 2009

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Check this gorgeous “Kenner” bag from Matt & Nat, made from 100% recycled materials. Get it now at mattandnat.com for $255

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Sweet & Sara is Perfect for Halloween! The scariest thing about most marshmallows is that they are made of the boiled hooves, cartlige, skin and tendons from animals. Boo!

But guess what? These fluffy spirits from Sweet & Sara are made of their 100% vegan vanilla marshmallow, with chocolate detailing. We can’t wait to see what else they come up with. I heard a rumor about vegan peeps!

Progress Made: Two New Laws to Protect Farm Animals

Thanks to Farm Sanctuary, The Michigan Humane Society, and The Humane Society of the United States Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill which will ban tail docking by the California dairy industry and Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan has just signed legislation to ban cruel battery cages, gestation crates and veal crates in her state. California is the first state to ban the tail docking of dairy cows. Michigan is now the second state to ban battery cages, following the example set by California last year with the passage of Proposition 2. It is also the fifth state to ban veal crates and the seventh to ban gestation crates.


Végétalien à Paris

July 28, 2009

One stop on my European travels was a little city called Paris. Ever heard of it? We found a little health food store that had some amazing vegan cheeses and spreads. Le Sojami is a french company that makes some ridiculously good herb cream cheese and veg pate. PURAL makes one of the best vegan cheddars I’ve tasted. Carlie and I had a picnic under the Eiffel Tower and made warm baguettes with fresh fig and three cheeses! “Get out of town,” you might be saying to yourself… well I did! I went to France and it was great!
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Rory Freedman and I ate at a handsome little veg place called Le Potager Du Marais (mostly vegan) and enjoyed a delicious, traditional French meal with a super-rich chocolate mousse dessert. See the menu below for a descripion of what we ate. We were so thrilled to be eating French food, as oposed to just typical vegan food. One of the many things I loved about Europe is that the sidewalk cafes and bars are all set up to face the street, which makes people-watching so much easier.

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Another spot we hit up was La Victoire Supreme Du Coeur. This was fine dining at its best, and if you go to Paris, this is a must. It is totally vegetarian with many vegan options.

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In addition to eating out, we also cooked a few meals! I dumpster-dove those gorgeous sunflowers, and we bought produce at little markets in the neighbohood to enjoy with a breakfast of multi-grain banana pancakes that I made from scratch. For dinner, Joelle and Carlie made pan-fried brussels sprout-cakes, roasted chickpeas, and herb-polenta with gravy.

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Finally, we went out in search of dancing partners, bars, and booze.

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Juicy Jones, Barcelona

July 22, 2009

One of the places my friends and I returned to several times while traveling in Barcelona this month was Juicy Jones. Located in Ciutat Vella, or ‘The Old City’ – Juicy Jones offers up amazing daily specials – including an Indian-inspired thali plate, and an impressive list of juices, smoothies, soups, salads, and sandwiches. For only €8.50 you can have Soup, the Daily Special, and Dessert. The portions are generous, and the staff is incredibly friendly. When in Barcelona, definitly check this place out!

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Bon Appétit, Air France!

July 21, 2009

I traveled to and from Europe aboard Air France, and I requested vegan meals. As long as you notify them 48 hours in advance, most airlines offering food will accommodate vegetarian and vegan meals.

They were not bad, and one of the perks is that when you order a special meal you get served first, and everyone around you has to hungrily watch and smell and consider as you eat and explain reassuringly “I ordered the vegan meal – that’s why I’m getting treated special.” And then, when they get their gross meat dish, they always say “I wish I had ordered that.

These are the vegan meals they offered me:

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Roasted Portobello, Asparagus, Squash, and Spinach with side salad, and baguette.
For Dessert: Fruit Salad

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Curried Rice with peas and mushrooms and a shredded root salad with black olive tofu.
For dessert: Applesauce, and Chocolate Almond Cake


The Do-Good Dad: Father’s Day Guide

June 16, 2009

Father’s Day is this Sunday. If you haven’t gotten anything for dear old dad yet, in addition to making a donation to your favorite organization in your father’s name, here are some good gift ideas:

Bid on one of a million amazing things at CharityBuzz. Check out the Dads & Grads auction. From hanging out with Patrick Dempsey at Daytona to meeting Bill Clinton, sitting in box seats at the US Open, watching the Yankees play the Red Sox, taking a swimming clinic with Michael Phelps, or a Kenny Chesney autographed Guitar! There is more cool stuff than I can list here. Just don’t bid on the fishing trip. Ugh.

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BREAK THE BANK! If you are loaded, your dad might like a Tesla Roadster (starts at $101,000) or Model S – both electric performance vehicles from Tesla Motors. The Model S is capable of rocketing from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and traveling up to 300 miles on a single 45 minute charge (starts at $49,900 which is not that bad)!

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For the rest of us who can only afford to splurge a little bit…

Organic Dress Shirts form CULTURATA (check for local stockists)

Matt & Nat Mens’ Accessories: Shop HERE.

Or if you’re in NYC, go to this event:

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Make a donation to Mercy For Animals before Father’s Day on June 21st and Rory Freedman, co-author of Skinny Bastard will match your contribution, dollar-for-dollar – totaling up to $5,000! Donate $100 or more and you will receive an autographed copy of Skinny Bastard – a guide for macho men on eating well and getting in shape the healthy and cruelty-free way!

Get dad into shape w/ The Engine 2 Diet, Thrive in 30, and Skinny Bastard!

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Kicks! Check out our favs for dad from Bourgeois Boheme, NOHARM, and NOVACAS:

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A Recycled Billboard “George Dopp Kit

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Organic Grooming from Dr Bronner, and Herban Cowboy!

Organic Grooming - Men's Body Care Gift Set


Eco Tuxedo

April 23, 2009

I recently received a letter from reader Beau:

Hey DB,

I’m definitely in need of some help here in California! Here’s what’s up: I really beauwasn’t planning on going to my prom this year… that is until one of my good friends came out of nowhere and asked if I’d go with her as pals. Anyway, now I’m sort of freaking out about what the hell to wear in terms of a non-wool tux. I think I can handle the bow-tie (thanks for that post) and non-leather shoes. So maybe you could help me out in finding a fashionable, sustainable, vegan tux, or a good company that makes them?

Thank you for all that you do- you’re such an inspiration and The Discerning Brute is such a valuable resource.

Beau Broughton
Hey Beau,

Finding a non-wool, cruelty-free tuxedo or suit for a prom or a wedding is definitely a challenge. And finding an eco-friendly and cruelty free tux is next to impossible. If you’ve got money, I’d suggest having a tux custom tailored from organic cotton, or any other eco-friendly fabric.

There are a few expensive designer options. The first Versace jacket below isn’t a tux, per se, but you can dress it up with a bow tie:

Eco-Vegan Bamboo Sportcoat from Versace. $895 at Nordstrom:

Versace Collection Organic Two Button Sportcoat

This tuxdo is another really pricey option, but it’s green and cruelty free. Eco Vegan Bamboo/Cotton Velvet Tux from Peak Lapel. $1,661.95 at Sierra Trading Post (includes bamboo/cotton pants):

Isaia Velvet Tuxedo - Peak Lapel (For Men)

A more affordable option is Rawganique‘s organic, hemp, fair-trade ‘Wedding Jacket’ with matching slacks. $437 at Rawganique.com

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There are even more affordable options from After Six, with a 100% poly (not as eco-friendly, but cruelty-free) Tux in white, bone, ivory, and black.

The white coat is shown with matching white formal trousers (100NN), Clover Aries vest (637MXO) and tie(637SLNU).

FOR RENT! Men’s Warehouse offers some poly options for rent, including a tailcoat:

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Hope this helps, and have fun at prom!

Don’t forget to check out Jannj for the best silk-free ties, ascots, and bowties!

DB


Earth Day, Shmerth Day!

April 22, 2009

Last year, we highlighted 3 Earth Day Doozies: the Holocene Extinction Event, the Overpopulation, Meat, and Food Crisis problems, and the problem of Greenwashing:

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We all know that recycling and changing light-bulbs is not going to solve the ecological crises we face. So why does every media organization keep feeding us this crap? And why is going vegan not on any list of “10 simple things you can do…blah blah“? If raising livestock is the #1 cause of Global Warming, the most effective thing we can do is go vegan! Duh. Check out these charts from Scientific American.

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In addition to being the leading cause of global warming – according to Farm Sanctuary:

Inevitably, intensive animal agriculture depletes valuable natural resources. Instead of being eaten by people, the vast majority of grain harvested in the U.S. is fed to farm animals. This wasteful and inefficient practice has forced agribusiness to exploit vast stretches of land. Forests, wetlands, and other natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats have been decimated and turned into crop and grazing land. Scarce fossil fuels, groundwater, and topsoil resources which took millenium to develop are now disappearing.

Eating 1 lb. of meat emits the same amount of greenhouse gasses as driving an SUV 40 miles.Meanwhile, the quantity of waste produced by farm animals in the U.S. is more than 130 times greater than that produced by humans. Agricultural runoff has killed millions of fish, and is the main reason why 60% of America’s rivers and streams are “impaired”. In states with concentrated animal agriculture, the waterways have become rife with pfiesteria bacteria. In addition to killing fish, pfiesteria causes open sores, nausea, memory loss, fatigue and disorientation in humans. Even groundwater, which takes thousands of years to restore, is being contaminated. For example, the aquifer under the San Bernadino Dairy Preserve in southern California contains more nitrates and other pollutants than water coming from sewage treatment plants.