The Vegan Club

A private club for vegans to meet and relax in a (finally) cruelty free safe zone. Recipes, life stories, ideas... enter in the Club to find out!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Vegan = Icon? Maybe yes!

Ok, I should premise that, while not entirely British, there is quite a deal of Saxon blood going through my veins and the UK have indeed seen me growing up, at least for some time. No wonder I am vegan today with this heritage! Or not? Someone is actually out to find out. And polls are open!

The Icons - A Portrait of England website is not a style-file or fashion police kind of deal: no attempt in defining what's cool over what's not. In fact many of the entries listed, alongside us vegans, are historical monuments, works of art, natural beauties (quite nice to be listed alongside the Victoria Memorial, no?). And since it is England we are talking about, a bunch of oddities as well (think of three-wheeler cars, coin operated gas meters, roundabouts (on the behalf of the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society), plimsolls and what not). seems just to be wanting to hold a poll to discover what the currently best recognized British icons are. Rumors are that the result of this massive poll will in the future be used by the British Tourism Board to market better the British Island but so far, it is the respectable and super partes Culture Online to be running the thing.

Well, it turns out that Vegans are entry 26: there are nearly 700 recent entries!
But why are we there at all? Because veganism is a British product: the idea and the concept were both born and developed there, together with the idea of vegetarianism (as non related to religious practices) as well. They definitely have the copyright over veganism and it is rightful to wonder if our small little tribe is indeed a new British Icon. In a way is any vegan a child of Britain and owes something to it?

The current debate is whether vegans are an icon for the British islands. Are we? Or are we not? The submission for "British Icon" is presented in these terms (see the entry here):

The vegan movement was started by Donald Watson, who was born in South Yorkshire in 1910. He founded the Vegan Society in 1944, and lived to see veganism spread worldwide. Who would have thought that a movement based on compassion and healthy eating could have originated in the land of lard?

I voted and found out for you.

Suspance.... drum rolls...... and here is the result:

-VEGANS = Icons 21%, Not Icons 79%

What? Oh come on! We definitely are icons! British or not! We want our crown, our red carpet and our stamp!

As you may tell, I was pretty annoyed with the result. So.... since anybody can vote.... what about bumping up out numbers and become a bit more "iconic" than what we currently are? Maybe that way more canteens, schools and hospitals would take the decision to cater for us....

Maybe this number is justifued giving the spreading of vegans around the world, but the one and only vegan society, the only body giving guidance over what this word means has always been located in Britain! I actually have the impression there is either an evil meat-eaters complot behind this OR that people envious of our highly moral status are not willing to recognize the truth, that we are the coolest and most iconic of poeple (OR, but I am not into considering this as an option, I am totally crazy).

I must admit we are in good company there: the famous Rolling Stones tongue logo is considered an icon only for 42% of the people who voted. Yet it is one of the most recognizable logos on the planet! Britpop, still one of the most used definitions for music, is considered an icon only for 34% of voters and Abbey Road studious, of Beatles fame, are a 50-50 tie.

And if this is not cheering you up, the fact that Marmite (how could our friend be missing from this list? and they give a nice, historical description for it as well) has also been rated should, since these are the results:

-Marmite - ICON 80% NOT 20%

Exactly like Cambridge University, very close to British Eccentricity and doing much better than the very British instutional B&B (Bed & Breakfast)...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A quick note to let you know about... Sistah Vegan Project!

I am afraid to be pretty ignorant upon this issue, but I am pretty sure over at Sistah Vegan Porject you can learn more about it: veganism seems to be a commendable practice in the "black identified females/females of the African diaspora (I assume it's the diaspora towards North America).... This particular demographic is solely invited to share their voices because my research largely focuses on Black female developmental wellness. This research passion encompasses a holistic approach to physical, spiritual, emotional and mental well-being through non-traditional methods such as narrative research, expressive therapies, Ethical Eating Philosophy, research in perceptions of White Privilege, American Privilege Studies, research in Speciesism, and theories of alternative holistic health practices".

This study, which was inspired by the PeTA compaign juxtaposing human slavery with animal suffering, wants to investigate if "women of color who are marginalized within their community sympathize with ethical eating more frequently then those minorities who are not marginalized and (...) more broadly, what prohibits a majority of historically oppressed ethnic minorities in America from embracing the connections that unethical treatment of non-human animals has to their own struggles with human social injustices (i.e.: racism, poverty, homophobia, sexism, environmental racism, etc)?
Ethical eating is the manifestation of one's belief of moral justice through a dietary practice that causes the least amount of ecological and social suffering. For example, purchasing equal exchange coffee instead of regular coffee because it directly supports anti-poverty among Third World coffee growers is a form of ethical eating. Organic and fair-trade food consumption as well as veganism are types of "ethical eating."

I find this research super interesting! Therefore, anybody who belong to the group that is being investigated is strongly encouraged to present a submission to the Sistah Vegan Project! The submission guidelines can be found on the Sistah Vegan Projet website: you have time until September 8th!

Spread the word!

You only have until August 31st to submit a tart to Urban Vegan's tART contest! Up for grabs there is a 10 $ coupon for PeTA online store, plus glory, plus showing to everyone how interesting and telented us vegans are!
Don't be shy! Cook a pie!
No forget that. It must be a tart actually!
And what about welcoming another member? Cheers and hugs to a lovely mom feeding her 4 kids with amazing veggie treats and located in charming Alaska! Have a look at Made In Alaska's blog!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Product Review: enter in the world of Marmite!

If you have been following closely the wonderful Vegan Lunchbox chronicle, on Aussie day (or something of the like), you should have read about Jennifer's Vegemite sandwich and how Mrs Shmoo herself had a few doubts about serving this typical Aussie spread to a kid.

Instead that reviewing the Australian spin-off, for the love we feel for all vegans out there, we got ourself to review the first and original yeast spread: the proudly English-produced all-mighty Marmite.

If you have never heard of this, Marmite is a thick, dark, brown spread, which looks very much like Nutella, but which has a totally opposite taste and smell. As the really lovely website states (for the more delicate of you, keep away from their viral films), the payoff of Marmite is indeed "Love it or Hate it" since there seems to be no middle ground for this exceedingly strong flavoured spread. And "TO BE USED VERY SPARINGLY" should be written on the packaging.

Those Brits who love Marmite like it on warm toast. The one who hates do not even want to open the lid ever. Since the taste is well... really particular. To say the least.
Marmite, which is incidentally totally vegan (or 100% vegetarian as the packaging states clearly) is very meaty in taste and in your mouth will make you think of strong meat stocking or some kind of super thick (possibly rotting) meat sauce. It is slightly bitterish as well and so dense and flavourfull in taste it is, well, hard for me to swallow it up on toast. Right out impossible to lick what's left on the spreading knife! It's not only the meatish flavour (totally natutal by the way: it comes fromt he yeast, no artificial ingredients added), but the foul smell and sticky texture as well...

However, do not think this is a bad review: on the contrary! Marmite is a very old, typically British product, which has always been vegan (the historical value of this vegan food is in iteself worth a story: it was packed with soldiers rations in WW2 given its nutritional values) and it is definitely worth for you to hunt it down whenever you may live: even if it may be disliked by half of the vegan population on bread due to the taste, it is pretty extraordinary in cooking. Diluted properly, it's excellent for marinading, roasted seitan, tofu cutlets, even as a savoury glue to hold together your veggie burgers (and indeed, I believe a very similar ingredients is what makes some fake meats so meaty in taste)!

So is that all? No, there is more that should definitely convince you to try Marmite out: the vitaminic content is so great it is hard to believe! Each 4 grams (told you it can only be used sparingly!) serving has:
  • 9 kcal
  • 1.5 grams of proteins (!)
  • 16.6% RDA Thiamin
  • 17.5% RDA Riboflavin
  • 35.6% RDA Niacin
  • 50% RDA Folic Acid (!!)
  • 60% RDA B12 (!!!!!!!)

That's right! In 4 grams there is 50% of your needed daily intake of Folic Acid and no less than 60% of your recommendad daily intake of B12!!! Amazing! B12 supplements, goodbye!

Now, go get it, experiment with recipes, post them back to us and let's all join the Marmite lovers club! This lovely British tradition definitely deserve all our love!

Ladies and Gents, all your attention please: we did not get another person in the club. We got a super lovely family all contributing to these two lovely blogs, posted to you directly from Quebec, Canada! Pay a visit to Gaia and her super family at Live It Up Vegan! (in English) and Vivez Végé for the French speaking of you (I am so excited! French vegan bloggers are soooo creative!): you won;t be disappointed!

And to Gaia + Family, a great and warm welcome to The Vegan Club family!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Weekly Vegan Tee 4

Pretty explicative right? This is in case someone around you still need explanations...

From Veganstore, for an honest 20$.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Vegan Recipt installation project needs your help!

What's going on in veganet? Something really interesting it seems!

One of our newest members, Veronica of A gang of bunnies stole my idea, already has a great project running and she need all our help! This is Veronica's message:

Thought those bits of paper called "receipts" you get from the supermarkets were useless? Not any more!
Collect them, ask your family and friends to give you theirs, pick them up from the floor not caring if people stare at you ... anything goes... they are a real treasure to me! I need them badly cos' I want to cover a whole room with them.
I'm asking people to please get receipts from supermarkets and other food stores and send them to me by postal mail. I already have hundreds but I need thousands!
The walls of a room will be completely covered with thousands of receipts so the viewers will find themselves surrounded. The food products that contain animal derived ingredients will be underlined. Shopping receipts are the proof (real, symbolic and legal) of what we consume, an activity that has a underestimated effect on non-human animals.
more info here:
Thanks for your time!
all the best

Great idea! And a strong message will be delivered with this installation: it's about animal rights being denied by aniam products, so us vegans need to make our voice be heard on this topic!

I am collecting my recipes already: make sure to do the same! For me works out much better than crumpling up in balls to recycle! So start keeping them and delight your receipts: they will turn from garbage to art! I am sure they will be glad of the change!

By the way, do not forget to enter the tART contest that Urban Vegan is running: you have time untl August 31st!

Group hug please! To our newest member that is! Welcome in Candi, of A Vegan Photo Blog. There are lots of very interesting vegan information on her site, plus beautiful pictures! Candi is a photographer and photojournalist! Pay a visit to her site!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weekly Veggie Tee 3

Another attention catcher: gone vegan from vegetarian after years of struggling?
This one is for you! (no offense meant to our vegetarian friends!)

Sold (? Let's say maybe! I don't really understand from this site: this image is labeled as "wiki") over at the German site

Oh, and if you are looking for REALLY cheap veggie tees for your or friends, have a look at Vegecentric site: they are closing down and they are selling their tees for as low as less than 6 US$. The "Vegetarianism won't cost the Earth" is a really cool tee! Catch them before they are gone!

We are growing fast, fast fast! Another welcome to another member!

-Have a look at Jackie's blog over at The Vegan Diet: she is broadcasting from nowhere but South Africa and delivering some wonderful recipe and information! Very much a vegan, South African diamond mine! Welcome Jackie!

-And what about Valentina? Italian living in the Netherlands, she is doing research work at the Dutch Institute Of Ecology! How amazing! Visit Valentina at Along The Sea!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Have your say on what VEGAN means!

As vegans, we all know the meaning of the word, which according to a pretty accepted definition runs like this:

"a vegan is a person who rejects to use any animal derived products in their diet: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and often honey. A vegan also rejects animal byproducts, such as whey, casein, gelatin and they do not wear or buy any clothes or furniture item made with fur, leather, silk, wool".

However, it is the general impression not all vegans are the same. Some of us may care just for Meat+Fish+Poultry+Eggs+Dairy. For many others the list may run way longer. And I even met vegans who would wear not only leather but fur as well and they were just avoiding cancer inducing ingredients! (ok, I almost killed her...I confess!)

Some time back, investigating about vegan travelling, I found out about SelectWisely, a company selling multi-language cards with dietary prescriptions to be shown in restaurants in foreign countries when travelling. Many food allergies card are available as well and all cards have images specifying which foods are off limits, for extra clarity.

Since they sell a vegetarian card, but do not have a vegan card in production, I emailed them and suggested one should be created. The reply was a positive one, but they are unsure what to write in it. This is SelectWisely reply email:

Thank you for your interesting and informative email. I have thought about creating a vegan card and have discussed this with other people via email and such. The challenge is one of standardization. In the world of food allergies, people have very specific requirements...'can't eat nuts' for instance. In the world of vegan, the choices are not so standardized. There are so many different variations it's hard to come up with one set of foods that satisfies the majority.

If you were to list the foods that 80% of vegans want to avoid, what would that be?

Best regards,


Ok, this is our chance and our challenge: these cards, given their small size, do have limits to the amount of to-be-avoided foods they can list. But we do have limitations ourselves about what we eat when travelling, checking about foods we eat in tiny details. So have you say about what VEGAN foods exactly should be on your list: the three-five items which are absolute no go and whatever else it is important to you but not to capital (think of food colourants which may be animal based for example).

The results will be shown back to people at SelectWisely and hopefully a vegan card is soon to be created!
Please welcome our two newest members:

-VeganCore, of well established and very active and delicious vegan food blog
A Gang of Bunnies Stole My Idea, a just started personal diary by Spanish artist Veronica (posted in English)

Have a look for what's new and interesting on veganet!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Breaking News by CNN (?really????)

Copied over here without (err... ) permission from

This news was released first just a few days ago, on July 28th 2006 and was read by millions of people. What about celebrating ourselves a little?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- People who ate a low-fat vegan diet, cutting out all meat and dairy, lowered their blood sugar more and lost more weight than people on a standard American Diabetes Association diet, researchers said this week.

They lowered their cholesterol more and ended up with better kidney function, according to the report published in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association.

Participants said the vegan diet was easier to follow than most because they did not measure portions or count calories. Three of the vegan dieters dropped out of the study, compared with eight on the standard diet.

"I hope this study will rekindle interest in using diet changes first, rather than prescription drugs," Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, which helped conduct the study, told a news conference Thursday.

An estimated 18 million Americans have type-2 diabetes, which results from a combination of genetics and poor eating and exercise habits. They run a high risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and limb loss.

Barnard's team and colleagues at George Washington University, the University of Toronto and the University of North Carolina tested 99 people with type-2 diabetes, assigning them randomly to either a low-fat, low-sugar vegan diet or the standard American Diabetes Association diet.

After 22 weeks on the diet, 43 percent of those on the vegan diet and 26 percent of those on the standard diet were either able to stop taking some of their drugs such as insulin or glucose-control medications, or lowered the doses.

The vegan dieters lost 14 pounds on average while the diabetes association dieters lost 6.8 pounds.

An important level of glucose control called a1c fell by 1.23 points in the vegan group and by 0.38 in the group on the standard diet.

Dropping drugs

A1c gives a measure of how well-controlled blood sugar has been over the preceding three months.

In the dieters who did not change whatever cholesterol drugs they were on during the study, LDL or "bad" cholesterol fell by 21 percent in the vegan group and 10 percent in the standard diet group.

The vegan diet removed all animal products, including meat, fish and dairy. It was also low in added fat and in sugar.

The American Diabetes Association diet is more tailored, taking into account the patient's weight and cholesterol. Most patients on this diet cut calories significantly and were told to eat sugary and starchy foods in moderation.

All 99 participants met weekly with advisers who advised them on recipes, gave them tips for sticking to their respective diets and offered encouragement.

"We have got a combination here that works successfully," said Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto, who worked on the study. "The message that we so often get with diet is that it is no good because nobody follows it for very long."

Dr. Joshua Cohen, George Washington University associate professor of medicine, said everyone found to have diabetes is told to start eating more carefully.

"That may be among the hardest things that any of us can do," Cohen told the news conference.
The vegan diet "is at least as good, if not better than, traditional approaches," Cohen said.
Vance Warren, a 36-year-old retired police officer living in Washington, said he lowered his a1c from 10.4, considered uncontrolled diabetes, to 5.1, considered a healthy level, over 18 months. "My life is much better being 74 pounds lighter," Warren told the news conference.

Oh! and if you are from Colorado, what about participating into this other vegan study, put on by the Vegan Society Of Colorado! I am not totally sure they are still running this: I have emailed them but got no reply. Anyhow, I thought it was worth posting. Track all your food for one week, help understand the advantages of a vegan diet and get your food evaluation by mail: pretty grand no?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekly Veggie Tee 2

Did we not promise you some more aggressive vegan tees some time ago? We did: we are not all kind girlies in the end (right Ferocious Killer Kat?)! And there is a WAR we are all fighting out there!

Here goes one, especially for Killer Kat!

You are definitely taking a clear stance here! Sold for only 16 $ and shipped internationally from .

P.S. Are you getting this tee? Please send us a picture! We will put it up here (without your face of course!): we are trying to build a gallery!

Vegan tART Contest!

Who likes tarts? Who likes art? Who likes both? I bet most of you have your hand raised!

So make some tART yourself and join the most creative (and veganly delicious!) contest ever, created and run by our dear Urban Vegan of the omonimous blog! Up for grabs there is a 10$ gift certificat from PETA!

This is how the idea came about and what the rules are:

"A few weeks ago, our good friend [and renowned sculptor] Leonard Streckfus paid us a visit. His gift of wild raspberries inspired me to make a tart. Back in Baltimore, Leonard had an overabundance of berries and decided to try my tart recipe for himself. But as you can see from this photo he sent, his ravenous friends gobbled it all up and left him tARTless. To help replenish Leonard's cupboard, I decided to hold a tART Gallery Exhibition and Contest.

To enter, send me your tART works--photos of your vegan fruit tARTs--by August 31, 2006. Here are the details:

• Submit your most creative vegan tART photos. [jpegs].
• All tarts must be
--no animal products including dairy, eggs and honey.
• Recipes not required [but greatly appreciated]. It's all about the tART.
• My email:

Judging Criteria
• Originality and presentation of the photo.
• Quality of the photo.
• Visual presentation of the tart.
• Accompanying photo caption. [Please keep it short].

Grand Prize
• A $10 gift certificate to the PETA catalog. A portion of the certificate benefits PETA and animals in need.
• All contestants' photos will be published in Urban Vegan's tART Gallery.

• Please send your entries to the
by midnight EST August 31, 2006.

Meet the Judges:
• Leonard Streckfus, sculptor extraordinaire. Leonard designed the famous dolphin sculpture which adorns the entrance of the Baltimore National Aquarium and has exhibited internationally.
• Omniman, an artist with an MFA in printmaking who teaches at a metropolitan Philadelphia museum. He has been interviewed, among other places, in The New Yorker and has appeared on American, Japanese, and French TV.
• Urban Vegan, a writer by trade [MA in English] who has an undergraduate degree in visual arts, and in another lifetime, worked as a graphic designer.

Is this not the coolest initiative around? Find here the link to Urban original post and superb berry tart recipe, so that you can get inspired.
And let me remind you: Urban does not require you send her the tART, which you get to keep and eat at your leasure... another excellent reason to participate!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Vegan Health Study

You may have noticed we have put up a link to Vegan Health, a website meant to provide invaluable information for all vegans about our health and special needs.

We have also discovered there is an undergoing study targeting us, the vegan population. The Vegan Health Study questionnaire is a comprehensive survey designed to collect a wide variety of information on a vegan nutritional profile.

It is a pretty long test (not a quick fix!), taking at least 40 minutes to complete and comes with a number of advices about vegan nutriotion. Personally I would like to warn you about these advices: the medical terminology makes it sound liks us vegans are all at risk!

But for the rest, this is a truly appreciable effort to investigate segment of the population that is hardly ever taken into due consideration. The clinical summary for 2005 is already available and it a VERY interesting read (we are not about to die in the end!), not to mention the lifestyle guideline: wonderful in my opinion!

So, do your part! And take part!

P.S. and please come back to say what you thought about it!

Come with us to a Vegan Pic Nic in sun kissed France!

Imagine: golden fields, a river nearbye, the birds singings, a colourful tablecloth laid gently on a patch of gren grass under a big tree casting shadow on you and no cheese. You are in the most charming part of France, yet no dairy, or meat or fish or anything non vegan is laid in front of you on the plates...
Even the ants are super happy of this beautiful, creative, original vegan picnic, so watch out!

With this recipe we want to contribute to Virginie's fantastic idea: a vegan picnic over at her space Absolutely Green. Go over to her blog to discover which other recipes are laying on the green green grass! In the meanwhile, we hope you like this recipe!

Zucchini Lasagna

The oginilar idea was taken from a recipe we saw over at the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen: the talented Susan made up there a lasagna using eggplant slices instead than pasta. Since our garden is overproducing zucchini, we took her idea and reworked it into this recipe, easy to carry around and tasty for vegans and not alike.

INGREDIENTS (yields about 4 servings)
-Zucchini, 600 grams
-Tomato Sauce, 2 cup
-Carrots, raw, 1 medium
-Onions, raw, 1 medium (2-1/2" dia)
- TVP, 0.5 cup
-Sun Dried Tomatoes, 10 pieces
-Nutritional Yeast, 4 Tbspn

With a potato peeler slice lenghtwise in long strips the zucchini.Using a food processor, cut up the carrot, onion and sund dried tomato.
Boil one full cup of water, adding in any spices you like and hydrate the dry TVP in it. Mix the hydrated TVP with the chopped veggies with the tomato sauce and any spices you like. I suggest adding some vegan powdered buillon as well for extra flavour.
Cover with the zucchini strips the bottom of a square or rectangular pan: the zucchini, if cut thinly, should cover the pan with two layers or else the Lasagna will not cut up well. Place some of the sauce on the zucchini and then add another two layers of zucchini before placing on another layer of the sauce. Continue until you have finished both the zucchini and the sauce. Top layer should be the sauce!
Sprinkle on top some nutritional yeast.You can either bake or microwave this lasagna! Microwave at about 750 W for about 13 minutes or bake a 220 degrees celcius for about 30. Eat warm!

P.S. You can easily add some flax meal in the tomato and veggie sauce. It does not add any srange flavour and add a lot of great nutrients! Enjoy!






Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. Anatole France