December '08
The VegNewsletter arrives in your e-mailbox just once a month and clues you in on vegetarian news, dining, recipes, products, activist alerts, reviews, culture, giveaways, and all the other good things in life.

In This Issue
Tools for Yules
V in the News
Event Showcase
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Truly Organic Coat
VNL Book Bonanza
Great Gift Ideas
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 Tools for Yules

We're right in the thick of the holidays, and whether that means you're a Giddy Gideon about the eight days of loot coming your way, or you're more of a Morose Melvin about attending mandatory Midnight Mass (or any other alliterative religious rites), there's no escaping the season. Want some good news that has absolutely nothing to do with a house of worship? has everything you need to handle these yuletide trials. Here's a wholly secular list of the top three wonders that await you on our shiny new website. Check it out, and then check it twice!

1. The Food Of course, one shining silver lining in the holiday season is that it's a great excuse to bust out your very best recipes, your fanciest cookie cutters, and your frilliest aprons. We've got hundreds of recipes ready for your perusal, not to mention What's Cooking?, where we keep the inspiration updated weekly.

2. The News Since you're likely going to be coming into contact with at least a few family members, and can't really stomach the idea of discussing the finer points of Little Cousin Timmy's accordion recital one more time, why not show off your up-to-the-minute knowledge of all the goings on in the veg world? From the political arena, to the college-campus buzz, to best new television shows—ahem, Whale Wars—we've got all the conversation starters you'll ever need.

3. The Featurettes For those moments when you just want to squirrel yourself away from the holiday hubbub and hoopla, take respite in one of our many featurettes. Whether you're wondering if your wine might contain fish guts, looking to plan a speedy getaway to Paris, or trying to keep a list of all the non-vegan food additives straight in your head, these quick reads are sure to give you the boost you need.

 V in the News

Activism at Sea
Vegan actorvist Darryl Hannah will join Captain Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd crew to battle illegal Japanese whaling fleets. On December 1, the ship Steve Irwin departed from its Australian port for another season of extreme activism at sea. Animal Planet’s production crew will be on board with Hannah and 40 other passionate volunteers, documenting the expedition for a second season of Whale Wars. The hit show chronicles the adventures of the crew, known for their innovative tactics in preventing the slaughter of whales. Last season, their efforts put a $70 million dent in the industry, a promising figure for the brave group and the lives they save.

Cruel Intentions
A newly released two-month PETA investigation reveals horrific cruelty at Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., a self-proclaimed leader in poultry breeding. The undercover footage shows appalling treatment of turkeys in a string of company-owned West Virginia factory farms. According to investigative reports, workers tortured and maliciously killed turkeys—disturbing behavior that was caught on video. After an investigator reported the conduct to supervisors, new regulations were put in place. Sadly, these measures failed to stop the cruelty, and the issue was dropped. Along with leaving turkey off your plate this holiday season, PETA urges the public to write the National Turkey Federation.

Liar, Liar
A recent HSUS undercover investigation exposes Petland, one of the nation’s largest pet store chains, as the biggest retail supporter of puppy mills. Despite adamant claims of working with only the highest-caliber breeders, investigators found overwhelming links between dirty, cruel puppy mills and thousands of dogs sold each year at Petland. In an attempt to distract concerned customers, Petland claims it also has Adopt-A-Pet programs in place. However, their idea of adoption seems to be a discount on dogs that aren’t selling fast enough. Out of 133 stores, not one operates a regular adoption program.

 Event Showcase

Winter Wonderland
Farm Sanctuary is putting on the ritz, with a fancy new fund-raising event. If you're in the city that never sleeps on December 4, join a gaggle of veg celebs—including Corey Feldman, Rory Freedman, and Daniela Sea—as you nibble on New York City's best vegan eats, bid on stellar silent-auction items, and connect with like-minded farmed-animal advocates.

Celebrating Compassion Gala
Mercy for Animals is throwing not one, but two phenomenal galas to celebrate another year of working relentlessly for the animals. In Chicago on Decemeber 5 and Columbus, Ohio, on December 6, attendees will the toast the 2008 activist-award recipients, dine on exquisite vegan fare from local restaurants, and bid-battle it out at the silent auction.

Dinner for the Doggies
So, do you like eating? Even better, do you like eating and helping animals all at once? And live in Portland?! If all these qualifications apply to you, get yourself over to Sweetpea Baking Company on December 12 for the second installment of benefit dinners put on by Apron Activists—aka chef extraordinaire Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Michelle Schwegmann (co-owner of Herbivore Clothing Co.), and a cadre of dedicated buddies. This month's dinner benefits Family Dogs New Life Shelter, a non-profit shelter that claims to be no-kill, despite the murderously cute dog photos on its website.

Looking for more must-attend veg events? Don't forget to check out for all your social-calendar updates!


Mexican Wedding Cookies
Whether you live in an area inundated by snow, or powdered sugar is as close to the slopes as you're likely to get, these adorable, melt-in-your-mouth cookies make a perfectly snowy scene served alongside hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies. For variations, replace the pecans with almonds, hazelnuts, or your other favorite nut.

Makes 36 cookies

What You Need:
2 sticks non-hydrogenated margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
2 cups raw pecans, finely chopped
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or use a nonstick baking sheet.
2. With an electric hand mixer or by hand, cream the non-hydrogenated margarine, granulated sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour, mixing until thoroughly combined. Add the pecans, mixing until well blended, about 30 seconds.
3. Measure out generously rounded teaspoonfuls of dough and form into balls. Place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake until they just begin to turn golden, about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, remove one cookie from the sheet and cut in half. There should be no doughy strip in the center.
4. Roll cookies in powdered sugar while they are still hot. Cool on baking sheets before serving.

 Product Review

Truly Organic Coat

As per the classic holiday tune, the weather outside is definitely getting frightful, making the winterization of your wardrobe a top priority.

Staying cruelty-free and cozy has never been easier, and with Truly Organic Apparel’s debut winter collection, you can add “eco-friendly” and “fashionable” to the list. The Rainier Hooded Jacket is a stylish, full-length coat designed for cold-weather defense, while making a minimal impact on the environment. Organic, fair-trade cotton sherpa offers surprising protection from the elements, and the classic colors are courtesy of Mother Nature—no chemical dyes whatsoever. Interested in scoring your own? We have one jacket to give away, and need your help. Just let us know:
What’s your favorite veg-related holiday tradition? Do you host a festive neighborhood vegan potluck, or volunteer at your local animal shelter? However you spread the veg holiday cheer, let us know in 50 words or fewer by December 31!

 VNL Book Bonanza

This year, there's no shortage of amazing literature to keep your stockings stuffed, while keeping your conscience clear, all at the same time. Each of these volumes promises to inform, amuse, and inspire, and we're pretty sure that they'll look fabulous wrapped up and ready for all the giftees on your listees.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking
Written by VN columnist Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano, this hefty tome packs in just about everything you'd ever want to know about cooking great vegan food, as the name implies. Careful when gifting this to meat-eaters; the title might have them questioning how you really feel about them.

Lickin' the Beaters
Siue Moffat's adorable, pocket-sized guide to low-fat vegan desserts pretty much couldn't be cuter. Oh, did we mention that it's totally packed with inventive, mouth-watering recipes? Get yourself a copy of this one, and then make gifts out of all the phenomenal cookies, bars, and breads you'll be baking.

Local Bounty
Spring, summer, fall, and winter finally have corresponding recipes for seasonal produce all collated in a handy guide to eating locally, seasonally, and, of course, vegan. Devra Gartenstein takes simple, whole-food ingredients and creates irresistible feasts for any time of year. While her ingredients may be local, her cuisine takes inspiration from across the globe, bringing the best tastes of the world right to your stove.

Raw Food Celebrations
So, everyone knows now that raw food isn't just for those on the fringes anymore, right? For authors Nomi Shannon and Sheryl Duruz, the art of the raw-food-party menu is serious business. With recipes for brunch dishes, cocktail hours, buffets, and desserts, this book is sure to drum up some raw-food fun. The beautiful photography might make your mouth water, be forewarned.

Sweet Gratitude
Café Gratitude has long been known for its you'd-never-know-they're-raw dessert assortment. With the release of Sweet Gratitude, all the cakes, pies, truffles, and other ingenious sweets can be made right at home.

 Holiday Gift Ideas from VegNews

This holiday season, all things VegNews make the perfect holiday gift. Your recipient will appreciate receiving a fresh hot-off-the-press copu of the magazine everyone's talking about every two months. We'll also send an attractive gift note announcing the subscription. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

VegNews Holiday Gift Subs just $20. For just $20, we'll send your recipient a year of VegNews plus an attractive gift note. At this price, you can afford to send them to all of your friends, family, local library, doctor, chiropractor, masseuse, or whomever!

VegNews Gift Packages just $55. Also available are wonderful gift packages filled with our signature oversized tote bag, an organic cotton t-shirt, a one-year subscription to the magazine, plus the current issue, an attractive gift note, and six jumbo vegan cookies from Alternative Baking Company. The box of goodies will be delivered to your recipient just in time for the holidays and is only $55 (includes FREE shipping). Oh, and we won't tell if you send the gift to yourself.

 Preview: January VegNewsletter

Satisfy your between-issues cravings with this complimentary supplement, featuring exclusive product reviews, musician, artist and event spotlights, slammin’ recipes, giveaways, plus the lowdown on how vegetarianism is bettering the world—one delicious bite at a time.

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