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

When he’s not reading or writing for The Brute, Troy helps run raven + crow studio, a small, Brooklyn-based design firm he co-owns with his wife, Katie. For over ten years, the two have dedicated themselves to making the world a prettier place, through good, quality design and by choosing to work with clients whose causes and ways of doing business create a kinder environment for everyone, human and animal alike.

Troy first became vegan in 1996, when things were a little tougher for anyone who felt the need to reach past the box of Fantastic Foods falafel mix. Living in a small, southern college town, Troy had to resort to learning to cook himself. This involved a few minor disasters, namely the Infamous Peanut Butter Lasagna Incident of ’98, but all in all, it was an age of discovery for the college vegan. Since then, he’s been refining his cooking, having found a distinct pleasure in hammering out new recipes and cooking for friends.

With over 15 years of experience playing music and an ever-present interest in the independent music scene, Troy loves discovering new sounds as much as he does new vegan foods.

With ‘Whistle While You Work,’ we hope to bring you innovations in both vegan cooking and music, posting a new recipe and complimentary music review once every two weeks. Sometimes the music will inspire the food, sometimes the food will inspire the music, but, with every entry, we’ll give you new finds for your ears and your taste buds.

In the times between posting on The Discerning Brute and writing bios in the third person, Troy can be found on blog he and Katie have,, and at And probably somewhere in real space too. Maybe.


Chef Matteo Silverman, 33, originally from San Jose/San Francisco, has  lived in New York City for 8 years.  A long time-vegetarian and vegan
for over 15 years, Matteo strives to elevate plant-based cuisine to the respect it deserves. He seeks fresh, seasonal ingredients that are  sourced locally and organically or bio-dynamically grown. Wetting his feet in the San Francisco restaurant scene, he worked at the infamous  Green’s, Millennium, and Paul K. before moving to NYC in March 2001. He graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary  Arts that July. Upon graduation he worked at various bakeries and  restaurants honing his skills and learning the trade.  Along the way he has worked privately for families and high-profile clients in entertainment and finance, most notably Montel Williams.In January 2003, Matteo launched 4 Course Vegan, a weekly supper club in Williamsburg, born out of pure passion for food, people, and wine.  January 2009 marked the 6th anniversary of 4 Course Vegan.



Nik Tyler was born and raised in NYC.  A lifelong vegetarian, he made the connection to go vegan when he was 18 and has been an animal rights activist ever since.  Nik matriculated at Rudolf Steiner School, where his artistic sensibilities were nurtured, leading him on to The High School of the Performing Arts (“Fame”) and then on to NYU: Tisch School of the Arts (Film & TV).  Now residing in the City Of Angels, Nik works as an actor in film and tv.  He believes that every day is an opportunity to evolve, to learn something new, to expand his consciousness – and that is what his blog will reflect – a truth-seeking journey into the ethical issues we face every day in LA, NYC and the wide world beyond.


Philip created the Raw Food Rockstar Community after saving his own life. He’s happy to report that he’s found the secret to healthy weight loss and vibrant living after trying every fad diet out there but having no luck (actually progressing to a morbidly obese weight of 400lbs).  He tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, Blood Type, South Beach, gym memberships, personal trainers, diet pills, water fasting, vegan, vegetarianism, hypnotism, guided imagery, nutritionists, martial arts, exercise videos, while buying every gadget, tool, book and magazine he could find.  None of it worked and at rock bottom he stumbled upon the key that literally saved his life: RAW LIVING FOODS!


EMAIL me if you find a link, product, tip or recipe you want to share with other Discerning Brutes, or if you’d like to be considered as a featured contributor.

28 Responses to Contributors

  1. Adbusters has a paradigm shifting shoe that is specifically aimed at “unswooshing” Nike. While that may be a high hurdle, the shoe seems to be right up your alley.

  2. Thanks Stephen, I’ll be sure to include that! 🙂

  3. I didn’t notice that you have this section, so I will post this link again. I think you may be interested in this press release just out

  4. Pao says:

    check this out:
    I have been following them for a while and I think their design is pretty cool too.

  5. Jordan says:

    does CB i hate perfume use squalene oil? if so, is it the shark or plant derived version?

  6. Jordan says:

    this is something that Christoper Brosius(CB) left on a perfume blog…


    sorry about the film on skin problem. oil-based absolutes are definitely far longer lasting than alcohol but they take some getting used to.

    I’ve actually narrowed down the bases I choose to use in the absolutes to three: isopropyl myristate (derived from corn oil) jojoba oil (actually a wax) and squalane (from olive oil NOT shark)

    each of these is not only stable but are as close as nature can provide to matching the oil of the human skin – especially Squalane which is the most compatible but annoyingly the most expensive as well. they all bond the fragrance to your skin and allow the scent to properly interact with your own chemistry.

    the best way to apply the absolutes is to dab lightly on the pulse points and then smooth into the skin – if you still find the myristate base a bit too heavy let me know – I can do custom versions in squalane. there’s a bit of an extra charge for that but not outrageous (generally it’s an additional 10 bucks)



  7. Robyn says:

    Hi there,

    check out! They have the most adorable website and the best stylish vegan shoes!


  8. Message for Joshua: John Patrick suggested I forward you information about a trial monitoring project of the human rights trial of Alberto Fujimori which includes a bilingual blog. We are trying to raise international awareness becuase the political situation suggests that even if convincted (evidence points towards that) then he might be pardonned (his daughter is running for president). Below is our launch notice…and please let me know if you would like additional information. Thanks!

    Deputy Director
    Praxis Institute for Social Justice
    Member, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton

    LiveBlog follows Alberto Fujimori’s Human Rights Trial.

    Praxis Institute for Social Justice invites you to visit our bilingual liveblog and follow current developments in the ongoing human rights trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori served from 1990-2000, and is suspected of committing innumerable human rights violations during his decade in office. These allegations have been documented by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in its Final Report, published in 2003, and the trial against the former president marks the fulfillment of one of the TRC’s most important recommendations for preventing future human rights violations by the state.

    This precedent-setting trial began on Human Rights Day (December 10, 2007) soon after Fujimori’s extradition from Chile, making him the first head of state to be extradited to his home country to stand trial for human rights violations. The trial holds great importance for the development of both human rights and international criminal law. The liveblog seeks to expand coverage of these proceedings and see that Fujimori receives a fair trial, while also ensuring that he is held accountable for any crimes he committed.

    The blog is one component of our Trial Monitoring Project funded by the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) and in collaboration with the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP). It includes frequent posts by our national and international observers, news summaries, links to relevant documents, and observations and analyses by experts, students and victims of human rights violations in Peru. It is intended to be a resource for journalists, students, academics, human rights victims and the general public.

    We invite English and Spanish speakers to join our dialogue and share their ideas and perspectives. Please share the blog with others!

  9. Mathieu says:


    Can you elaborate on ethical clothing : are there international standards to monitor this, so that not anyone could say he is selling ethical products? Where can I find information on ethical labels and standards for clothing?

    Thanks a lot, my e-mail is mathieulamolle@yahoofr

    All the best to you, and thanks for all what you do, it’s great work!


  10. BobbyWilde says:

    HEY! has some really great shoes and boots without the oversized sole issue, you can even have them make shoes to order. Make sure to convert aus to usd much more palatable that way.

  11. Jordan says:

    Here’s a little thought I’ve been tossing around my head lately.

    Say a carbon tax is implemented. The carbon tax will increase the price of meat disproportionately to the price of other food (It’s a lot greener to produce a pound of greens than it is to produce a pound of red meat).

    Even if the current percentage of farm subsidies is maintained for meat and dairy (about 3/4 of all farm subsidies), the more it costs to produce carbon, the more it would cost to produce a big mac.

    If someone ‘just likes the taste of chicken’ ask them how much they’d like it if it cost 30 bucks a pound. I think white truffles are fantastic, but I don’t get them too often.

    Hamburgers and SUVs are going to have more in common than the type of people who like them.


  12. Benjamin Lithgow says:

    one of my favorite artists Yellena James contributed a few designs to and i noticed that they used leather insoles. so after sending them a letter i am very happy to see that they offer vegan friendly shoes now.

  13. g says:

    i’ll have to second that adbusters unswoosher comment.

    got a pair just over a year ago. they’re incredibly well made, & they look snazzy to boot.

    I’ve gotten tons of compliments every time i’ve worn them. vegan, eco-friendly, and handmade by union workers in portugal – what’s not to like?!?

  14. jessica says:

    hey joshua!
    i met you at vanessa’s holiday party and i’m sad it took me so long to find your site. i’m all about it- really great content! so i wanted to share with you some stuffs that you might also enjoy….
    -my boy makes this and its crazy good:
    -we just found this place and loved it:
    so glad to find this…

  15. Matt says:

    just found your site and love it…chk out this company from Honolulu Hawaii:

    organic cotton, organic bamboo, eco-friendlly inks, kewl designs, great story, awesome & humble people behind it… enjoy!

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