Marin Vegetarian Education Group
February is a short month, but this is a long newsletter. I am
sending it early because I will be traveling to visit family at the
end of January.
Along with the surprising news that Millennium Restaurant is
closing, and the heartbreaking news that foie gras is legal again in
California, there is good news here regarding vegan cookies, cooking
classes, a delightful tea house, cheese, and a new novel about a
vegan politician. You will also learn about a horrific farmed
animal breeding lab in Nebraska and disharmony between two animal
advocacy groups. And to
end with uplifting reading, see the interview with John Robbins with
his wise perspective on vegan living.
In the same week, I celebrated and then was surprised and sad
when I read news about Millennium Restaurant:
Congratulations to Millennium Restaurant, #1 In the World
After they looked at reviews, customer comments, menu
offerings, creativity, variety and longevity, San Francisco's
Millennium Restaurant beat out veg dining establishments in New
York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Lisbon, Jordan, Mumbai and Argentina
to be named the #1 Vegetarian Restaurant in the World, according
to The Daily Meal, All Things Food and Drink. Congratulations to
owners Larry and Ann Wheat, chef Eric Tucker, and everyone who
works to make Millennium the go-to restaurant for outstanding,
gourmet, vegan food. Read about this distinguished honor at: http://www.examiner.com/article/millennium-restaurant-san-francisco-named-1-vegetarian-restaurant-the-wor
Having just finished writing the above, I learned that Millennium
is closing. Gasp!
I wish Eric Tucker and Allison Bagby success in their new venture.
Of course, you will hear about it here as I learn more in the
Millennium Restaurant Closing at end of April
On January 21 I received the following email from Millennium
restaurant. I am reprinting it in full, as it arrived in my inbox.
than 20 years in business, and with the end of our lease, we
will serve our last meal as Millennium at 580 Geary St on
2015. We are so grateful to our co-workers, family, farmers
who have made the experience of running this restaurant
The Hotel California was recently sold to Pineapple
Seattle company. They will be doing an extensive renovation
and we have
been notified that they do not wish to continue to have a
part of their hotel.
After 20+ years Larry and Ann Wheat, the principal owners of
have decided to retire from the restaurant business after
closes on or about May 1, 2015. They have made a significant
contribution to the success of Millennium and consider it
contribution to the vegetarian movement. They have said that
miss the staff and customers they have met over the years.
Eric Tucker, Millennium's executive chef since inception and
Millennium, will be opening a restaurant with Millennium's
Manager Alison Bagby. They have worked together for the past
and will continue to serve organic plant based cuisine. In
"we want to keep this thing going". They are currently
potential locations and looking for investors. While the
closing is a sad one, they both see this as an opportunity
upon Millennium's dining room and location.
The cost of running a restaurant in San Francisco, using the
best ingredients possible
and making the entire menu from scratch daily,
combined with our shared affinity for
East Bay have us
leaning in that direction but we are also actively
in San Francisco.
To everyone who has become part of the Millennium family--we
have done what we did for so long without you---THANK YOU.
Please visit us in the next 3 months and stay tuned for
Kickstarter campaign. If you are interested in investing,
please contact us HERE
The Millennium Family
(The link above for investing will not work here. If you are
interested in investing in Eric Tucker's new venture, write to
Worth a Trip to Sebastopol
Sometimes a highly anticipated new restaurant is disappointing. Not
this one! Muir's Tea Room (330 South Main Street, Sebastopol) is
superb. From the beautiful, simple decor, to the mouth watering menu
(soups, salads, finger sandwiches, pastries, petit fours, tea, full
espresso bar), everything seems to have been thoughtfully planned
and perfectly delivered. And everything on the menu is 100% vegan.Â
It took 55 minutes from Fairfax and was well worth the trip. Muir's
is closed on Mondays, but any other day it is a delightful
destination.Â Check out their web site for possible special events:
MuirsTeaRoom.comÂ And consider calling for a reservation so you
won't be disappointed; people tend to linger,Â as you will want to,
over endless pots of tea and scrumptious food. 707-634-6143
(Sebastopol also has a Copperfield's Bookstore, so if you do have to
wait, you can grab something to read just down the street.)
Favorite Girl Scout Cookie Now Vegan
Oh happy day! According to the Miami New Times, the thin mint Girl
Scout Cookie is now vegan for the first time! It seems that there
was a high demand among vegans for this popular cookie, and the Girl
Scouts listened. I have not yet seen the ingredients list, and I
suspect there will be plenty of ingredients that I generally avoid.
Still, I want to taste this childhood treat again. My sister and I
used to fight over these, as there were never enough to satisfy us
both. If any of you knows a girl scout who is selling these, please
let me know how to reach her! Read more about the cookies here:
New Book Recommendation
A new novel, Off The Reservation by Glen Merzer is the story of an
ethical politician, a vegan, whose values start winning him votes.
It's a far fetched plot, given today's climate in Washington, but so
well written and so much fun that I found myself laughing and
wishing it were true as I read it. The characters are well drawn
and believable; I would have liked the book even if I didn't know
the author!Â Glen Merzer has written many successful vegan books of
nonfiction (Mad Cowboy with Howard Lyman, for example), and his
fiction debut is both engaging and good for you. How so?Â Every
time the congressman has a meal, it happens to be a whole foods,
healthy vegan meal. And the author kindly includes recipes for each
meal mentioned in the story.
Congratulations to Miyoko Schinner
In January, the San Francisco Chronicle featured a story about
local, vegan cheeses, and Miyoko's cheeses got terrific coverage. If
you missed the article, which tells Miyoko's story and raves about
her artisan vegan cheeses (available at natural food stores
everywhere in the Bay Area and West Coast), you can read it at http://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Artisanal-vegan-cheese-comes-into-its-own-6005937.php#/0
Congratulations to Miyoko for the well deserved press coverage!
Note: If someone you know lives too far from a store that sells
these cheeses, tell him that you can now mix and match and order as
few as three at a time at MiyokosKitchen.com. You no longer need to
order a large assortment.
Vegan Cooking Class with Syndee Collison
February 22 in San Rafael
Syndee Collison is offering a vegan basics and beyond cooking class
in San Rafael on Sunday, February 22 with a money back guarantee.
The cost is on a sliding scale from $40 to $80 for a three and a
half hour class which includes, cooking tips, recipes, food, and
nutrition information. After the class there will be a screening of
the movie Cowspiracy (optional). For more information, contact
Syndee at 415-215-9802 Space is limited, so sign up today if you're
Vegan Cooking Intensive in Mendocino
February 9 - 13
If you can afford the time and money, you may want to visit the
charming coastal town of Mendocino this month. Stanford Inn by the
Sea, a breathtaking eco-resort, is offering a vegan cooking
intensive. The classes will include hands-on, plant based cooking
instructions for sauces, soups, entrees, baking, dressings and
desserts. And there will also be a basic gardening class and
healthy lifestyle and nutrition instruction. The cost of the
intensive includes a four night stay at the Inn, breakfasts,
dinners, all classes and a mountain bike rental, too! $1150 double
occupancy, $1745 single occupancy. Get more information and sign up
by calling the Inn toll free at 1-800-331-8884 The intensive will
be repeated in April, May, and August, so if those months might be
better for you, hold the dates (4/20-24; 5/18-22; 8/17-21).
Foie Gras Legal Again in California
Sign Petition ASAP
California's ban on foie gras was lifted by U. S. District Judge
Stephen V. Wilson in January. He said that the ban, a state law,
which went into effect in 2012, is superseded by federal law that
regulates poultry products. Among the many cruelties in animal
agriculture, the forced feeding of birds for human consumption of
their fatty livers is very close to the top of the list. The
deadline is February 2 for California District Attorney Kamala
Harris to appeal the ban. Sign it today and share it with others.
The petition was started by gourmet chefs who agree that foie gras
has no place at the table.
Tax-Payer Program Creates Animal Suffering in Quest for
The New York Times published a very good, long, investigative
article about a program in Nebraska that is trying to breed more
lucrative farmed animals, but is creating whole, new levels of
animal cruelty and neglect. I cried while reading this piece and
wrote to the Times. They did not publish my letter, but they did
publish five letters similar to mine. I thought that as a vegan, I
would not feel guilty of these travesties, but as a tax-payer I am
complicit and I cringe.
Whole Foods Market and HSUS
Many vegans are thrilled to have a Whole Foods Market in their
community. And people all over the world applaud the work of the
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Yet both have been
criticized recently - by me and others - for not living up to their
stated missions. I have mixed feelings. In my heart I want everyone
to become a vegan today. I am impatient with half way measures and
incensed when animals are hurt for profit, when advertising is
misleading, and when someone believes people "are not ready" to hear
a vegan message. At the same time, I see the value of undercover
videos at animal facilities and appreciate any organization that
helps to produce them. And I know that for many people Whole Foods
Markets is the only place to find healthy foods. I also think that
sometimes baby steps must come before giant leaps. Additionally,
most of the time when I think that an issue is black and white,
there is often a huge gray territory lurking. I am learning to
present my case for veganism with more humility as I continue my
advocacy for animals. It's a worthwhile challenge, even when I fall
I encourage you to read these varying points of view, watch what
videos you can bear to , and come to your own conclusion. For me,
veganism in any form - raw, whole foods, junk food, sugar free,
paleo - is the appropriate response to any impulse to not harm
animals. I do not believe that there is such a thing as ethical
animal agriculture, and I will continue to work toward and eat for a
more compassionate world through veganism. Here is what was brewing
in recent weeks:
An organization called Direct Action Everywhere has been organizing
in-store demonstrations at Whole Foods Markets. They answer
questions about why they are targeting Whole Foods in a very good,
succinct article: http://directactioneverywhere.com/theliberationist/2014/12/2/why-whole-foods.
Within the article is a link to a film showing undercover footage of
animals being raised for sale as food at Whole Foods stores. The
film is hard to watch, but you can ignore the link and scroll down
to the article which is well worth reading.
Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns (UPC) published a piece that
is critical of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for
the way it presents its undercover video of animals being raised for
slaughter. Read her essay here: http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-stopping-short.html
I shared Karen's essay with Paul Shapiro of the HSUS, asking him why
the HSUS does not do more to promote egg-free cuisine. He responded
for your message, Patti. I'm very glad there are groups like
UPC, and I'm also glad there are groups that conduct
undercover investigations like HSUS. The groups may not play the
same role in our movement, but both are important.
I am not convinced that it helps animals for one animal group to
publicly condemn other animal groups, I respect Karen and UPC
very much and always have. Any antagonism she may have toward us
is certainly not reciprocated in any way. I wish only the most
success for UPC.
regard to Karen's condemnation in this case, I am always open
to the possibility that we can be doing things better. In this
case, I do think it's hard to imagine that an average viewer
would watch the horror show we uncovered and think, as she
wrote, that "the experts" are telling you to relax, it's okay.
That's the exact opposite message any reasonable viewer would
receive, and based on the hundreds of viewers who contacted us
about this latest investigation, it's not what people took
away. As well, the condemnation inaccurately asserts that our
narrator blandly suggests eating less meat from factory farms.
Yet that's not what it says. The narrator urges people to eat
less meat, not any one type of meat.
far as including an additional ask regarding eggs: I agree
that's very important and perhaps would have made a strong
video even stronger. It's tricky to ask people to do several
things since that can lead to decision paralysis, and we were
already asking people to do two things: eat less meat, and urge
USDA for improvements. The video discusses the egg industry a
lot, but it acknowledges that these birds are being slaughtered
for their meat to be eaten by humans. That's why we focused more
on meat than eggs. Maybe it was the right call; maybe not. If
other groups can do a better job than us with investigations and
videos, I very much hope they will and I'd tout their good work
what it's worth, HSUS has a lot of egg-free resources (see
here, for example), of course Josh Balk at HSUS
helped create the egg-free company Hampton Creek Foods, and
we've worked with a number of major food companies to reduce
their use of eggs. We're a big investor in many egg-free
(vegan) food companies like Beyond Meat, Veggie Grill, and
Miyoko's Kitchen. We put out lots of resources like the HSUS Guide to
Meat-Free Meals, our Meatless
Monday video, our free vegan recipe
of the week, our vegan recipe library,
and more. As well, every issue of our member magazine has a
feature on vegan cooking.
we could and should be doing more, but compared to other animal
groups of our size, it's hard to tell who else is doing
anything remotely like this. Of course, all groups, certainly
HSUS included, can always improve, and I very much want to help
HSUS do just that.
Wonderful Interview with John Robbins
The Eugene Veg Society published an exclusive interview with John
Robbins. I have admired him for decades, every since I read Diet
for a New America in 1986 I still look up to him, and read
whatever he writes. You can read what advice this wise and kind
man offers to new vegans, and what he wishes he could change about
himself and more here:
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