‘On The Verge’ features DB

June 5, 2009

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Since 2002,  Planet Verge has been bringing us some of the the best in music, fashion, and entertainment. Our pal and host, Jordana Reim interviewed me at a Vegan Drinks event, and featured it on an episode of On the Verge! Check it out:

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DBTV Valentine Special: TODD OLDHAM HEARTS YOU

February 9, 2009

Don’t be jealous! Ever since I watched a green-haired Todd Oldham on “House of Style” back in the nineties, I knew that I had to get crafty with him one day. So, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, Todd and I got together at his downtown NYC studio to show you how to make some heart-shaped gifts that come from the heart. We both agree that this holiday is all about affordable, DIY craftiness.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

From his features in ReadyMade & Dwell, to crafting Amy Sedaris’ interactive vaginal diagram on the Chelsea Lately Show, and with a line of vases for FTD,  a classic menswear-inspired carpet collection, and design book series called Place Space, Todd is a royal of the creative world. To top that, he is a photographer, filmmaker, interior designer, fashion designer, and can see through walls …well, maybe not the last part.

Mr. Oldham is no stranger to being ethically handsome, either. A vegetarian and environmentalist, he has worked with Peta on undercover investigations, encouraged the sales of plantable oak trees through FTD, and even raised money for the NRDC. He continues to find innovative ways to use eco-friendly, recyclable, and animal-friendly materials (from soy based inks, to un-coated, recycled cardboard) in his products, and one thing we agree on is that having mainstream skills along with aspirations for environmentalism, animal rights, and social justice, is a recipe for making change from the inside.

Chocolate Heart Cake

Jodi Taylor

Organic, Vegan, Cake by Joshua Katcher & Todd Oldham Photo: Jodi Taylor

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• Two 9″ heart-shaped baking pan
• 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
• 2 cups organic, unrefined sugar
• 1.5 cups organic cocoa
• 2 tsp aluminum-free Baking Powder
• 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
• 1/4 cup organic canola oil
• 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
• 1/2 cup prepared egg-replacer (Energie or Brand)
• 1 Tbs vanilla
• 2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
• 2 cups cold coffee
• 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
Icing
• 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (not melted)
• 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other non-hydrogenated margarine)
• 4 cups organic powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1/4 cup soy creamer
(for pink, add 1/8 cup beet juice or 3 drops of red veg-based food coloring)
Marzipan
• 1 cup marzipan
• Natural veg-based food coloring
• Small cookie cutters

CAKE DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375º, and coat your pan with non-stick cooking spray or canola oil.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: Flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
3. In a separate bowl (or using a mixer) beat the coconut oil, canola oil, shortening, egg replacer, and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Pour the coffee and almond milk onto the dry mix, then add the whipped oil and egg-replacer, and stir in the chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes (or until edges pull away from sides of pan).

FROSTING DIRECTIONS
1. Beat the shortening, coconut oil, and margarine until smooth.
2. slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
3. Finally, add vanilla and soy-creamer and beat for about 5 minutes until fluffy.

*Once cakes have cooled, take out of pan. If storing prior to decoration, line pan with wax-paper, then put cakes back in tins.
SEE VIDEO FOR DECORATING INSTRUCTIONS!

Jodi Taylor!

Alternate decorating idea! photo: Jodi Taylor!


Heart of Flowers

hearcarnation

Heart of Flowers by Todd Oldham & Joshua Katcher

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• 20 carnations
• heart-shaped pan (at least 2″ deep)
• 2 – 4 bricks of floral foam
• water
• scissors

DIRECTIONS
See Video (above)


‘Carnivore’ Pride

October 22, 2008
A man and his meat, from Purple.fr

A man and his meat, from the fashion magazine: http://www.Purple.fr

Popping up all over the web are ‘carnivore pride’ sites whose messages range from unapologetic, caveman cravings, to defensive and arrogant rationalizers’ manifestos. Some even refer to a “call to arms”, as if every aspect of consumer culture isn’t already unrelenting in pushing meat and other animal products onto a terrified and protein-obsessed, infantile and hedonistic consumer culture.

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“The average American consumes 218.3 pounds of meat every year. But in the face of concerns about Mad Cow disease, dubious industrial feedlot practices, and self-righteous vegetarians, the carnivorous lifestyle has become somewhat déclassé. Now, Scott Gold issues a red-blooded call to arms for the meat-adoring masses to rise up, speak out, and reclaim their pride.

“So this…is my rallying cry. A call to arms. I’m certain that there’s a veritable army of carnivores out there just like me, ready and waiting for someone to come forth waving that blood-red banner high, unabashed, in true carnivorous splendor.” – ShamelessCarnivore.com

Do you know why these meat-pride sites have emerged? Not because meat-eating has any intrinsic legitimacy, but because perceived change and a loss of identity on the part of those who consider themselves “carnivorous” is scary and polarizing. What exactly are they rallying against? Simply put, they are resisting the emergence of truth, and like every other social justice movement, once the economics and the very identity of those who will go to the ends of the earth to maintain the status-quo are challenged, an instinct to defend their comfortable positions arise. Something in the tone of these sites tells me that they’re designed specifically with pissing off vegetarians in mind.

One of the most common accusations made by meat-eaters to vegetarians is that we think we’re ‘morally superior’. We are referred to as ‘self-righteous‘. This would mean we have an unfounded certainty that we are right. I can’t tell you how many times I have to point out to people who accuse me being self-righteous that it actually has almost nothing to do with me, per se. Instead, it has everything to do with respecting other individuals, whose will to live, attempts at escape, and inarguable signs of suffering have put me in a position to respect their validity as individuals with intelligence, interests, and complex emotions and social behaviors in consistency with a larger system of ethics.

Dan Piraro, Bizarro author

© Dan Piraro

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© Dan Piraro

Inconsistency (and a defiant defense of those moral inconsistencies within a larger ethical context) is the hallmark of carnivore-pride positions. We say “If you wouldn’t eat the family dog, then why eat a pig?” They say “It’s perfectly fine for me to be morally inconsistent because it’s about me and my desires – not about the pigs’ (or even the dogs’) interests,” or “because it tastes good”.



The term ‘carnivore‘ is reserved for those organisms who consume nothing but raw flesh and organs. Humans are opportunistic scavengers – physiologically designed as omnivores who can typically survive and even be healthy eating whatever is available. For a human to call him or herself a carnivore is to say that they eat almost no vegetation, and that they share the characteristics of other carnivores (short intestinal tract, biological hardware to take down and consume animals’ organs raw). And if there are those out there subsisting almost entirely on flesh and organs and secretions – bless the heart of anyone who has to tolerate the smell of the festering, curdling, rotten mass traveling through an intestinal tract that’s far too long to get rid of the mess before it becomes toxic, and sends a putridness out of every pore, in every drop of sweat (never mind the toll on general health) . The fact is that as omnivores, we can choose what to eat – and that’s where the controversy resides.

Anti-Vegetarian White T-Shirt

This raises the question: why aspire to the title of ‘carnivore‘? It is, in itself, a rejection of the vegetarian identity – and a response to what they perceive as moral superiority and self-righteousness. The pride emerges in meat-eating as if most of these people were part of the hunt, and many of them do hunt, but the majority of meat-eaters in the US do not hunt. Instead they purchase meat from masters of illusions – the supermarkets that hide the killing process within perfect, clean packages, and behind images of animals that want us to eat them.  The closer they get to the carcass, the more they feel they’ve somehow participated in some proud act or tradition. With the context missing, it is of course pornographic – like being stimulated by an image. Devouring the body of a chicken doesn’t make you a hunter any more than devouring porn makes you experienced in sexual intercourse.

Suicide Food Blog

It certainly is more about the identity of being a man than anything else. As I pointed out in my recent letter to the New York Times, the limited, suffocating identity of manhood in this culture is inseparably tied to  attaining and consuming meat. Thus abandoning meat-eating is abandoning manhood and pride itself. For more on this, read Total recall, and Men Like Sports & Men Like Sports II.

What’s happening today is that the process and effects of factory farming and other cruel methods of viewing and treating non-human animals as ‘production units’ and the rest of the non-human world as a stockpile of resources to be exploited and drained, are being exposed and scrutinized. From environmental concerns, to ethical concerns – there are signs of human beings emerging from the state of infantile self-gratification that is causing us to destroy our only home and torture our only known companions in the entire universe.

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While it would be great to have someone else do all of our hard labor for no pay, the process and effects of slavery in America have been exposed and mostly rejected. Don’t be fooled in thinking that the path to equality over the last few hundred years wasn’t met by resistance. There wasn’t some sudden, mass enlightenment. People died fighting for and against it.  Similar cases existed for Women’s Equality, Anti-Semitism, and Child Labor. These social norms weren’t participated in because individuals had less moral character in the past than they do now – they were participated in because they reinforced and maintained a certain status, hierarchy, and economic benefit to those doing the exploiting.

Eat My Fear, by David Lynch, 2000 - rejected from NYC Cow Parade

The emergence of this über meat-pride within the wider context of a dominant meat-pride culture is evidence that the truth and the reality of what happens to many animals exploited for their flesh and functions is being adressed. They are on the defensive, and for good reason: truth is difficult to evade.


Veg News Gets Brutal

August 19, 2008

I recently bared all (of my ‘fridge) for Veg News Magazine‘s “What’s In Your Fridge?“. It was really hard to decide what to showcase because I love food so much! Local Farmers’ Market greens and berries, Field Roast Apple-Sage Sausage, Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Dr Cows Cheese, Artisana Cashew Butter… where to begin? Regardless it gave me a really good reason to go grocery shopping (something I rarely have time to do these days). Veg News Food Issue is on shelves right now and also has a feature article on my pals at Dr Cow’s Tree Nut Cheese.

DB appears in Veg News' Sept Food Issue

DB appears in Veg News