Ethical Exploits Vol.4: California Dreamin’

October 9, 2009

Day-to-day choices for the ethically handsome man
By Matt Lara

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Where the Wild Photos Are: BABOONS IN PROFILE, AMBOSELI 2007

While everyone was checking out wild fashion at NYC Fashion Week, I was moving out to the wild, wild west known as Los Angeles. My first excursion out of the world of unpacking and back into the world of enjoyment was a visit to the Fahey/Klein Gallery to see A Shadow Falls by photographer Nick Brandt. Little did I know that a fun afternoon trip would turn out to be a private audience with the photographer himself! I was astonished to hear him explain that it was the gorgeous African wildlife that originally drew him in, and that this was the best way for him to honor it. The work is also available as a book. An excerpt from the introduction:

“For me, every creature on this planet has an equal right to live. Whether human being, Serengeti elephant, or factory farm cow. That is why I take these photographs. I hope that maybe you will see these animals, these non-humans, in the way that I do—as not so very different from us.”

App Happy:

According to a friend of mine, I have finally joined the “evil empire” with the purchase of my new iPhone. After figuring out picture-texting and voice activation, I sought out some of the more useful apps for healthy and compassionate ladies and germs:

Vegan Yum Yum has fantastic recipes from their blog, some with photos. I like how you can check off ingredients, which is helpful while in the grocery store.

Dirty Produce from the Environmental Working Group is a quick list of the most highly sprayed crops for when it’s difficult to find all organic produce.

Thanks to Chloe at GirlieGirlArmy for Be Nice To Bunnies which lists companies that test their products on animals. So helpful in those giant drug store aisles.

Whole Foods also has a nice app full of recipes I have been flipping through. They are arranged by category including vegan and gluten-free dishes.

Stir Crazy
Okay, I am still learning how to make astounding dishes a la Joshua Katcher (the DB himself). For now, I am a fan of the “dump-and-stir” recipe. This one looks, feels, and tastes special every time I stir-and-serve it. Therefore, I make it often:

Lemony Chickpea Tofu Stir Fry, and Stay tuned for more crazy stirring…

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A Real Food Day


A few days after my big move I grabbed lunch with the man behind those naughty candles over at A Scent of Scandal, Ari Solomon. We laughed and chewed for quite a while over some wonderful dishes at Real Food Daily in West Hollywood. According to his recommendation, I am to come back and stuff myself with their nachos with melted cashew-cheddar cheese. That is after my next stop, the brand-new Veggie Grill on Sunset Boulevard!

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Now that I’m pretty much all moved, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a good living space and a good day-job. I’ll keep you posted! If anyone out there has any tips, questions, or suggestion about living Ethically Handsome on the West Coast, please leave me a comment below!


Ethical Explolits Vol.3

August 17, 2009

The ups and downs day-to-day ethical living.
By Featured Contributor, Matt Lara

Normally I’m all peace, love, and Veggie Booty, but I’ve been a little stressed out this summer. The money has been tight, and not much has been happening with my projects. So I decided to reinvest in regrouping. To help counteract these trying times I’m going to go Maria Von Trap on you and embrace my inner self-help guru. These are a few of my favorite things:

Sasquatch JournalSasquatch Spotting
Since I’m feeling a little stuck creatively, I decided to reread on of my favorite books: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s a 12-week program aimed at unblocking creativity and it involves quite a bit of writing which is perfect for these Sasquatch notebooks made by CarolinaPad. They are named after the elusive creature leaves only a rare footprint behind, and these products are made with mostly recycled materials. The comp books I’ve been using are made from no less than 100% recycled paper. I’m onto you sasquatch…

The Happy Company Down To Earth Eye PillowLay Down to Earth
Yes, I am a man with an eye pillow. I received this Down To Earth Eye Pillow from The Happy Company. It’s made from 100% Organic Cotton, and comes minimally-packaged in recycled paper printed with soy-based inks. I used to be the last person in the world who would have an eye pillow. Now I can’t wait to cool this baby down in the freezer and lay back with its light and easy aroma of eucalyptus.

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Wanna Walk?
When was the last time you went for a walk? To me, walking for its own sake is de-stressing at its simplest. If you’re already a walker, I recommend a visit to a walking labyrinth found via the World Wide Labyrinth Locator. I’m getting a little hippy-dippy here, but I promise there’s nothing spooky about it. You may even find David Bowie in there. They are meant for meditation without the sitting still. Your concern about where you’re going becomes secondary as you let your mind relax and go with its natural rythms. Definitely something to try.

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Meditate
While we’re at it, the sitting still kind of meditation is wonderful in 10 minute intervals. You would be amazed at how it can turn around a busy day. Try this Meditation 101 from Yoga Journal. Yoga Journal: yoga poses, yoga video, yoga articles, yoga studios and teachers

Since Ethical Explloits explores the triumphs and disappointments of ethical living, I have to acknowledge that it can get very difficult out there. Why do the worlds of fashion, food, and pop culture have such mixed up values? It stupefies me. But fear not! By becoming Discerning Brutes, we can choose to embody poise and style as our weapons rather than stress and anger. We worry enough as it is, and just don’t need the health detriments that anxiety brings. I say invest in de-stressing. Schedule it, do it, hold to it, and be at your optimum.

-Matt Lara

MattLara

Matt is an actor, singer, closet poet, dancer, avid reader, guitar picker, waiter, home cook, nosey coffee shop guy, animal lover…he basically has to know how to do everything. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.


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!
ParisCheese

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.

JoshuaNRory

LePortager3SuggestionLePortager2

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.

ParisBreakfast

HomeCookedDinner

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

JoshJoelleCarlie


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!

JuicyJones


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:

AirFrance1

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

AirFrance2

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


Food Moovie, Veg Apps, & Earth Week Sale

April 20, 2009

These Neto Stripes, Plimadrille Shoes, Black High-tops, and Contrast Plimsoles are great for spring!

H by Hudson Neto Stripe Slip-On Shoes ASOS Plimadrille Shoes

Gram 383g High-Top Trainers ASOS Contrast Binding Plimsolls

FOOD, INC. is a film exposing the food industry’s dirty secrets:

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that’s been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.


earthday_promo.jpgGilt Groupe’s Earthweek sales include Edun, Matt + Nat, Stella McCartney, Loomstate, and Stuart + Brown. Gilt Groupe is a website offering invitation-only sales of coveted and luxury fashion lines at discounts up to 70% off retail.

I am inviting all my readers to join. Simply click HERE.

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Check out the VeganXpress app for your iPod/iPhone. It lets you know what is vegan at popular chain restaurants and fast-food places. If you’re ever stuck in the middle-of-nowhere, this could be quite the life-saver.

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https://i0.wp.com/www.ingridnewkirk.com/photos/photo-IngridWdog1.jpgIf you’ve never heard Ingrid Newkirk speak, this is a must. Listen to Ingrid’s speech at The International Non-violence Conference in Bethlehem in 2005. It is the first time anyone has been invited to speak on a non-human issue.


Car Sick

March 5, 2009

“If a group of aliens came to this planet and said they would bring us all sorts of goodies like jet skis, tomatoes in January, computers, and so on (or at least they would bring them to the richest of us), on the multiple conditions that we offer up to them a yearly sacrifice of a half-million human lives, change our planet’s climate, individually spend increasing amounts of time serving them, and socially devote an ever-increasing amount of land and other resources to their service, we would rebel in a flash. Or at least I hope we would.” – Jan Lundberg, Anti-Road activist making analogy to car culture, Alliance for a Paving Moratorium

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The EPA is considering reversing a Bush Administration decision that has prevented many states from taking action to reduce global warming from cars. You can sign the petition HERE, and then consider the issue even further. Some say that the most destructive aspect of cars is destroying mountains to  access metals to build the car itself. Sorry hybrid lovers – sorry electric idealists – sorry LA! According to WorldCarFree.net, A car causes more pollution before it’s ever driven than in its entire lifetime of driving. The EPA now estimates that mountaintop removal will double over the next decade, destroying forests, river systems, animals, and anything else that may be in the way.

When you combine that with ever-increasing road-building, which requires 250,000 tons of sand and gravel per mile, in addition to millions of annual deaths, and tens of millions of annual injuries caused by car accidents, we can’t help but wonder if arranging your life to do most things locally isn’t the best option? Maybe those locavores are on to something? Anyone else wanna give up their cubicle to work from home?

I could even go into the energy required to build certain bike frames (and how no matter how far you ride it, you could never compensate for the energy used to make the alloys) but I’ll save that for another day. Get out your walking shoes… hmm..wonder what those are made out of and how much the person was paid who glued on the sole and stiched the seams?