Ethical Exploits Vol.4: California Dreamin'

Day-to-day choices for the ethically handsome man
By Matt Lara

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Where the Wild Photos Are: BABOONS IN PROFILE, AMBOSELI 2007

While everyone was checking out wild fashion at NYC Fashion Week, I was moving out to the wild, wild west known as Los Angeles. My first excursion out of the world of unpacking and back into the world of enjoyment was a visit to the Fahey/Klein Gallery to see A Shadow Falls by photographer Nick Brandt. Little did I know that a fun afternoon trip would turn out to be a private audience with the photographer himself! I was astonished to hear him explain that it was the gorgeous African wildlife that originally drew him in, and that this was the best way for him to honor it. The work is also available as a book. An excerpt from the introduction:

“For me, every creature on this planet has an equal right to live. Whether human being, Serengeti elephant, or factory farm cow. That is why I take these photographs. I hope that maybe you will see these animals, these non-humans, in the way that I do—as not so very different from us.”

App Happy:

According to a friend of mine, I have finally joined the “evil empire” with the purchase of my new iPhone. After figuring out picture-texting and voice activation, I sought out some of the more useful apps for healthy and compassionate ladies and germs:

Vegan Yum Yum has fantastic recipes from their blog, some with photos. I like how you can check off ingredients, which is helpful while in the grocery store.

Dirty Produce from the Environmental Working Group is a quick list of the most highly sprayed crops for when it’s difficult to find all organic produce.

Thanks to Chloe at GirlieGirlArmy for Be Nice To Bunnies which lists companies that test their products on animals. So helpful in those giant drug store aisles.

Whole Foods also has a nice app full of recipes I have been flipping through. They are arranged by category including vegan and gluten-free dishes.

Stir Crazy
Okay, I am still learning how to make astounding dishes a la Joshua Katcher (the DB himself). For now, I am a fan of the “dump-and-stir” recipe. This one looks, feels, and tastes special every time I stir-and-serve it. Therefore, I make it often:

Lemony Chickpea Tofu Stir Fry, and Stay tuned for more crazy stirring…

ChicpeaStirfry

A Real Food Day


A few days after my big move I grabbed lunch with the man behind those naughty candles over at A Scent of Scandal, Ari Solomon. We laughed and chewed for quite a while over some wonderful dishes at Real Food Daily in West Hollywood. According to his recommendation, I am to come back and stuff myself with their nachos with melted cashew-cheddar cheese. That is after my next stop, the brand-new Veggie Grill on Sunset Boulevard!

http://myfavoriteplacestoeat.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/realfoodoutside.jpg

Now that I’m pretty much all moved, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a good living space and a good day-job. I’ll keep you posted! If anyone out there has any tips, questions, or suggestion about living Ethically Handsome on the West Coast, please leave me a comment below!

Fresh Friday Finds

1. Watch Ellen today. Yesterday she confronted John MCcain(who couldn’t even make eye-contact with her)and rumor has it she may reveal something quite excting (watch out Oprah…)! Special guest and friend of DB, Rory Freedman (Skinny Bitch, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch) will be her guest.

Ellen DeGeneres Logo

2. For those that missed it, Oprah is vegan (for at least 3 weeks). All I have to say is wow…

3. Sign this petition to help call for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, and help end whaling!

Stop Whaling - A Better World for Animals and People

3. Don’t Teese Yourself! Ok, fine – Teese yourself. It melts!Teese Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

4. DB reader, MOR is a former employee of Whole Foods. He calls attention to Wholefoods’ not-so-socially-progressive policies. Read Wholefoods Breaks Their Promise.

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5. Fujimori is being tried for Human Rights Violations in Peru. He is the first head of state to be extradited to his home country to stand trial for human rights violations. Praxis Institute for Social Justice invites you to visit their bilingual liveblog and follow current developments in the ongoing human rights trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.

“Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori served from 1990-2000 and is suspected of committing innumerable human rights violations during his decade in office. These allegations have been documented by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in its Final Report, published in 2003, and the trial against the former president marks the fulfillment of one of the TRC’s most important recommendations for preventing future human rights violations by the state.”

For more info:

6. Non-leather belts can be more than a hemp braid – thank god.

City Belt by Vegetarian Shoes - Black

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7. On Tuesday, the USDA made it official, implementing a no-downer policy for cattle in the United States. Read the article HERE. ‘Downers’ are animals too sick or injured to walk or stand, and are typically left to suffer – as veterinary care and euthanasia cost more than most farmers will make on the body of the animal – making it economically undesirable, and ethically disgusting.

http://www.chooseveg.com/LargePhotos/DownedCow.jpg

7. Cruelty-free, vegan colognes (thanks Peta2):

Abercrombie & Fitch and Fierce by Abercrombie & Fitch
Mesmerize Cologne Spray by Avon
California North for Men and O2XYGEN for Men by California North
Number Six by Caswell-Massey
Eau Dynamisante and Eau Tranquility by Clarins
Chemistry by Clinique
360° for Men and Perry Ellis m by Perry Ellis
Tommy for Men by Tommy Hilfiger
Aramis and Lauder Intuition for Men Cologne Spray by Estée Lauder
OP Juice by OP
REGENCY™Cologne by Merle Norman

8. RECIPE!

Joshua’s Vegan Baked Mac & Jeeeeze Casserole

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Block Silken Tofu
  • 1 Block “Follow your Heart” Cheddar style vegan cheese (or Teese!)
  • 2 Tbs “Earth Balance” or other vegan margerine
  • 3 Tbs Nutritional yeast (more to taste if desired)
  • 1 Tbs sugar or other sweetner
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan milk (soy, almond, rice, etc make sure it’s plain and not “vanilla” falvored)
  • 1/2 cup Bread crumbs (make your own by putting crisp toast in a blender)
  • 1 – 2 cups of elbow pasta

Directions:
Boil pasta. Combine all ingredients aside from bread crumbs and pasta in a blender or food processor. Mix the “cheese sauce” with the boiled pasta. place in casserole dish, and top with breadcrumbs. Bake on 350 for 15 – 20 minutes.

Tip - for a cheesier dish, shred additional vegan cheese over the bread crumbs before baking.

FEED 100 & Paradoxes

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1. The newest FEED bag, the FEED 100 bag is available now exclusively at Whole Foods Market nation-wide! Each FEED 100 bag will provide 100 school meals to hungry children in Rwanda through the UN World Food Program (www.wfp.org). Help them reach their goal of provide all the WFP school meals in Rwanda for 2008 and buy your FEED 100 bag!

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2. I’ve often wondered why certain unethical products and practices persist in consumer culture. One theory is that there is a paradox pertaining to accountability. The consumer rationalizes, “If this were unethical, they wouldn’t be selling it“, and at the same time the producer justifies, “if making this were unethical, there wouldn’t be a demand for it. Something as simple as ordering foie gras at a restaurant presents this cultural paradox. The restaurant continues to sell foie gras because people are still demanding it – and people are still choosing foie gras from the menu because the ostensibly virtuous authority of the producer is invoked, and the submissive consumer believes that if it really were that bad, it wouldn’t be on the menu in the first place. The producer makes their money, and the consumer – well, consumes.

One explanation for this phenomenon is that the consumer has been trained to grant authority and power to
retailers and corporations – and with that, many people believe these authorities aim to ‘do the right thing‘. On the other hand, the producer believes that, even up against the amazing influence of advertising, the consumer will make educated purchasing decisions.
Whether this is a relationship of convenience (profit & hedonism) or an oversight of economic ethics, the outcome typically results in the perpetuation of destructive things.
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• I would love to hear your thoughts on this phenomenon – is there an actual term for this?