December 2008

NORTHWEST VEG

We educate and empower people to make vegetarian choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.

(503) 224-7380
info@nwveg.org

www.nwveg.org

Contents

  1. Compassionate Vegan Thanksgiving Feast - A Hit!
  2. Northwest VEG: Yes We Can, and Do, Nurture a Compassionate & Healthy World
  3. Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities with Northwest VEG
  4. Restaurant Roundup - Some Doors Open, Others Close
  5. December Dine-out to Descend on Vege Thai
  6. Don't Miss the Last Potlucks of 2008!
  7. Changing Lives - One Pet at a Time
  8. A Challenge to Portland Restaurants - Vegan Waffles
  9. Soup Delivery Service Is Off to a Sustainable Start
  10. Vegan Activist Elected to Connecticut General Assembly
  11. Thanking the Monkey - A Book with a Veg Message for All Your Friends

E-Bits, edited by Charley Korns, may be viewed on the web at www.nwveg.org/E-bits_1208.htm. If you are interested in writing for future E-Bits editions, please email charko@hevanet.com. The next deadline is January 22, 2009.

1. Compassionate Vegan Thanksgiving Feast - A Hit!

A sellout crowd of nearly 200 people attended Northwest VEG's Compassionate Vegan Thanksgiving potluck on November 23 - our largest potluck yet! The food was plentiful and delicious - wonderful plant-based fare such as orange cranberry bread, quinoa pilaf, wild rice stuffed acorn squash, carrot wakame salad, and lentil butternut squash stew (just to name a few).

After the feast, potluck attendees vied for a winning card in our very own game of "Vegan Bingo" led by special guest comedian “Vegan Violet from Virginia” (aka Northwest VEG volunteer Donna Benjamin). While the “big kids” were busy playing bingo, more than 20 kids and their families were entertained in an activity room downstairs.

This potluck celebrated its fifth year, and its first at a new site in Beaverton that was able to accommodate 50% more attendees than last year. But with a sold out crowd this year, some people were excitedly asking: “Where will we have it next year?”

A special thank you to all the volunteers involved in making this a wonderful occasion - for our community, our health, the animals, and the planet. And thanks to Proper Eats for providing a sampling of entrées, Sweetpea Baking Company for the amazing dessert, and to Theo Chocolate for the complimentary bars of fair trade vegan chocolate!


2. Northwest VEG: Yes We Can, and Do, Nurture a Compassionate & Healthy World

This holiday season, as we reflect on both the troubles and blessings in the world around us, the potential for constructive change seems stronger than at any other time in recent memory. Northwest VEG, with our hundreds of members, volunteers and financial supporters, is a vital instrument for change, yet only one out of four of you on our email list is a card-carrying member. If you're one of the recipients of this free e-newsletter, yet appreciate the broad scope of our effective outreach, educational and social programs, and have been thinking about becoming a member of Northwest VEG, your contribution now would be well timed and well used. Or if you're already a member, please consider gifts of membership to family or friends, with complimentary subscriptions to VegNews Magazine at the $35 level or above.

We're glad to have you as part of our community, whether you're a member or not. But if you'd like to join, membership forms may be downloaded, or you can join via PayPal, via our website: www.nwveg.org/Membership.html. Memberships are available from $20 on up; plus, members receive discounts at participating restaurants and other businesses. If you want to give gift memberships, please include a notation to that effect (and contact membership coordinator Jill@nwveg.org); we'll send out a special gift card to each recipient.

Also, this year we are not having a formal Annual Giving Campaign, but would still appreciate your extra, tax-deductible donations. You can give through the website via PayPal from the membership link, or mail donations directly to our Treasurer: Northwest VEG c/o Linda Sant'Angelo, 24305 NE Elkhorn Road, Brush Prairie, WA 98606. Many thanks!


3. Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities with Northwest VEG

Tablers are needed for the upcoming Fix-It Fairs, which are packed with resources for helping you to create a healthy home, including “how-to” classes on various home and garden topics, money-saving, cost effective tips, and free giveaways. Come table for a while and check out the fairs this coming winter!

January 10, 2009, Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver St. Shifts: 8-11am; 11am-2pm

February 7, 2009, George Middle School, 10000 N Burr Ave. Shifts: 8-11am; 11am-2pm

Are you interested in tabling but need more experience? Well, you are just in time! Northwest VEG has rescheduled its "tabling training" for January. All experience levels are encouraged to attend!

If you are interested in volunteering or attending the training, please contact Wendy Gabbe Day at volunteer@nwveg.org.


4. Restaurant Roundup: Some Doors Open, Others Close

Portland's first vegan Italian restaurant opens this month. Portobello Vegan Trattoria will offer vegan versions of classics like “Spaghetti & Meatball,” “Luh-zag-nuh,” and Tiramisu. Chef Aaron Adams initially will open for dinner on Saturday, December 6, then Saturday December 13. Regular hours will follow: Wednesday through Saturday, 5:30 pm to 10 pm. The location is in the same space as Cellar Door Coffee, 2001 SE 11th Ave., Portland.

A vegan taco truck, Taqueria Los Gorditos, opened recently at SE 8th Ave. & Ankeny in Portland. Check out the tasty menu that includes the plant-based version of chorizo. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm. The original location at SE 50th & Division continues to operate, though it is not vegetarian.

Red & Black Café, formerly vegetarian, is now vegan. Stop by to express your gratitude for their decision and of course to eat something yummy. The location is 400 SE 12th Ave. in Portland. Hours are 8 am to 11 pm every day.

Recent restaurant closures include Kalga Kafé and Nutshell, both vegetarian. The veg-friendly Kinta Restaurant at 3450 SE Belmont will be closing later this year. The vegetarian Blue Moose Café at 4936 NE Fremont is under new ownership a few years after Sheila Gilronan started it. While the menu is largely the same, the new owner dropped the Northwest VEG discount.


5. December Dine-out to Descend on Vege Thai

Time for Thai, Vege Thai, that is! We had some fun and flavorful food here back in February (ah, the alliteration, breathe it in!). So let's have some more good food and spin a few tales of holiday cheer. Join Northwest VEG and friends on Saturday, December 6, at 1:30 pm at 3272 SE Hawthorne. The first 20 veg peeps get a spot. Take a look at the menu at www.vegethai.com. We're going to give the good folks at Vege Thai a heads up of what we'd like for eats, so include what looks good to you with your email. Contact Cat at monroycathy@hotmail.com by Thursday, Dec. 4, to secure your spot and don't forget to mention a choice you're interested in. And if you can't make it, please call me at (503) 778-0223. Peace and good health, peeps!


6. Don't Miss the Last Potlucks of 2008!

Join Northwest VEG for a special-post-Thanksgiving Vancouver Potluck on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 pm. The potluck is just over the I-5 Bridge north of Portland at the Clark Public Utilities Service Center, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663 [see map]. Exit I-5 at the East Mill Plain Blvd Exit (1C), head east 0.1 miles, and it is just south on Fort Vancouver Way. Please bring a vegan or vegetarian main dish, salad or dessert, a card listing its ingredients, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events. For more information call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org. Whether you can make the potluck or not, you're welcome to join us at 7:30 for Quick and Healthy Holiday Appetizers - a cooking demo immediately following it. There's no need to spend a fortune at the deli or slave in the kitchen all day. You can serve incredibly tasty food to your family and guests with just minutes of prep time. Northwest VEG's Jill Schatz will prepare and share some favorite recipes, along with tips on savory vegan ingredients. Samples will be served.

On Sunday, Dec. 21, at 5 pm, you can join Northwest VEG for our monthly Portland Potluck at the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Road, in Portland. Please bring a vegan or vegetarian main dish, salad or dessert, a card listing its ingredients and your name, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6 generously; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events and we start eating about 5:15. For more information call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org. If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact volunteer@nwveg.org or call (503) 224-7380. A donation of $2-5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of the room rental. Immediately following the meal, at about 6:30 pm, join us for a holiday go-around. This is a time of year for us to get to know each other better, sharing our hopes and stories with each other.


7. Changing Lives: One Pet at a Time,
By B.C. McInnis

What do you do if you are homeless, or in transition, and your dog develops a strange rash, or your cat gets an abscess, or your ferret gets sick and you have no idea what is wrong? If you seek out the Portland Animal Welfare (PAW) Team, you get help-free of charge.

Several times a year, the PAW Team runs veterinary clinics to provide basic exams, vaccinations and provisions, all at no cost. Since its founding in 2003 by Barbara DeManincor and doctors Sal Jepson, Heather Dillon, Wendy Kohn and Larry Sams, the PAW Team has seen over 1,000 patients. DeManincor says that each clinic provides services for on average 62 companion animals "with the numbers only going up." Think of your average visit to the vet - now imagine arriving to find 20, 40 or even 60 other patients waiting to be seen. All the staff volunteer their time, all the supplies are donated, and their sole focus is to help you help your companion. This begins to illustrate what the PAW Team provides for our community.

PAW Team's mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of the companion animals to people experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty. Since shelters do not allow pets, many of these animals spend 24 hours a day on the streets of Portland. Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Johnson says, "By volunteering with PAW Team I've had a chance to get to know many of the repeat clients. I've learned that many times their pets are their closest friends and the only family they have. One client told me that his main motivation to stay sober was so he could care for his dogs because they needed him. At every clinic we get tearful 'thank yous' from people who are grateful to be able to take better care of their pets. It is heartwarming to know that we have eased their burden a little bit."

In the current economic climate, more and more people are feeling that burden. At a recent clinic, one PAW Team volunteer who answers the group's hotline noted an increased number in calls for basic supplies, like cat litter. As the PAW Team strives to meet the growing need for their service, another need has arisen for more volunteers. "Over the next five years, if we are able to find the right people to join the core group, I can see this organization growing into a more sustainable group, with some paid staff members so that there is continuity and forward momentum to grow to meet the need that is out there," says PAW Team's Executive Director Wendy Kohn. At the moment, the PAW Team has had to limit advertising of their clinics as they are at capacity in both space and volunteers. But Kohn sees plenty of ways the PAW Team can expand their services by working with other groups.

The number of homeless pets in Portland can be expected to rise with an increasing number of foreclosures and the persistent economic downturn. Share your strengths to help the PAW Team succeed in their mission. Contact them at www.portlandanimalwelfareteam.org. As Kohn puts it, “If you had an afternoon where you could change a life, would you do it?”

8. A Challenge to Portland Restaurants: Vegan Waffles
By Charley Korns, Editor

In November a friend and I visited Flagstaff, Arizona, which is hard to avoid if you start in Phoenix and end up at the Grand Canyon. We dined at two veg restaurants in this college town, the most memorable being Macy's European Coffeehouse, Bakery & Vegetarian Restaurant. This joint roasts its own coffee and opens every day at 6 am to serve customers who line up throughout the day to eat vegan versions of barbeque, biscuits & gravy, and plenty of sweet treats, including superb coffee cake. In six days of travel, my best breakfast was easily Macy's vegan waffles served with three kinds of fresh fruit and real maple syrup - for five bucks. A bit crunchy on the outside, fluffy in the middle, just like waffles should be.

One thing I really liked about Macy's was seeing the place packed most of the time with all ages of people, which is a rare sight in Portland's veg restaurants, which tend to draw young clientele. Another rare Portland sight, actually nonexistent, is the vegan waffle. I challenge Portland restaurants to add this item to their daily menu. Any restaurant that contacts me with this good news will receive a generous plug in the next edition of E-Bits, though merely offering the toasted frozen variety (i.e., Nature's Path) won't cut it. If tiny Flagstaff can do it, why not the “Veg City Taking Over the World” (Portland's status, according to VegNews)? Please send your waffle update to charko@hevanet.com.

Have you experienced a vegan treat, sweet or savory, in another city and wish it were offered in Portland? Send me your story and we will help you to issue the challenge!


9. Soup Delivery Service Is Off to a Sustainable Start
By Daniella Dennenberg, Northwest Earth Institute

One of his legacies would come in the form of something unexpected – organic, plant-based soup delivered on a bike! Our intern, Jonney, at the NW Earth Institute announced SoupCycle with a glimmer in his eye and I could hardly contain the glee myself!

Weekly soups would transform our Voluntary Simplicity discussion circle from special to extraordinary. The buzz of the kitchen at noon was brilliant - red lentil coconut soup one week...kale and potato the next...fresh greens and a brilliant nutritional yeast-based dressing...the aroma of toasting artisan bread. Our first delivery was generously complimentary as Jed, one of the founders, is a huge fan of NWEI's work.

SoupCycle was co-created by Shauna Lambert and Jed Lazar, who met at Bainbridge Graduate Institute while getting their MBAs in Sustainable Business. Shauna's passion for the local farming movement was a natural fit with Jed's experience as a bicycle mechanic and pedicab driver. They started in July 2008 with seven customers and now have over 100 weekly deliveries. Since the summer, they have cooked and delivered more than 700 tasty soups, saved 500 car-miles, and directed nearly $1,500 to local farmers.

Lazar has been a vegetarian for the past 10 years and says vegetarian and vegan customers are some of their most supportive "Soupetarians." Visit http://www.soupcycle.com to set up a home or office delivery today and help support sustainable businesses and add to the number of vegetarian and vegan customers!


10. Vegan Activist Elected to Connecticut General Assembly

Annie Hornish, a vegan activist and Democrat, was recently elected to the Connecticut General Assembly. Among other things, she is President of the Compassionate Living Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Connecticut whose mission is to expand an ethic of care for animals, the environment, and people. CLP achieves its mission primarily through presentations in schools, and through a local cable television program, "Animal Matters," which airs in a number of states. Learn more at www.compassionatelivingproject.org.

Prior to running for the General Assembly seat, Ms. Hornish was active, among other things, in anti-circus initiatives, which introduced her to the legislative process. Ms. Hornish is the sister of Betsy Wosko, a Northwest VEG member, vegan activist, and Portland attorney.

Vegans should always consider participating in public service, whether it be through elected positions, a homeowners or neighborhood association, volunteer work within the community or within one's profession or trade, or city council meetings. The idea is to get out there and get input into decision-making on matters relevant to minimizing suffering of others, and minimizing consumption.


11. Thanking the Monkey: A Book with a Veg Message for All Your Friends
By Charley Korns, Editor

Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals, whose key themes are animal protection and vegan diet, is reaching tens of thousands - and not just in the animal protection arena.

Dan Zak of The Washington Post writes, “Thanking the Monkey is a glossy, nearly 400-page, eminently readable book that's not just about forgoing meat; it's about fur and animal testing and the merits of hunting and fishing and the badness of pet stores, circuses and the Navy sonar systems that make the ears of gray whales bleed. It celebrates the progress of the animal rights movement. It provides sensible rationales for treating animals with near-absolute equality.”

Zak notes that author Karen Dawn argues for a vegetarian world. "She's not militant about this point. She's logical. She's levelheaded. She's funny. That's why her message is so . . . darn . . . persuasive."

Packed with quotes and photos of celebrities, Thanking the Monkey is the best book I have seen to reach the mainstream about these essential issues; it conveys poignant insights while being entertaining at the same time (i.e., Bizarro cartoons). Consider reading the book and giving copies to your friends and family. To see a humorous video promotion of the book (with celebrity endorsements) and learn more, visit www.thankingthemonkey.com.

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