Yuan Fu Vegetarian Restaurant: A Special Treat for Visitors to the D.C. AreaPeople unfamiliar with all-vegetarian restaurants are likely to be happily surprised by Yuan Fu. What Chinese vegetarian restaurants promise, Yuan Fu achieves. Long-time vegetarians will feel at home on the very first visit—which won’t be your last, for Mary is a wonderful host who treats you as part of the family.Yuan Fu’s atmosphere is vibrant, with a photo series of fresh vegetables adorning the back wall, and Chinese art throughout. Long-time regulars will recall that the chef is the same one who graced the original Vegetable Garden, first located in the White Flint mall.A spicy, warm aroma fills the restaurant, which specializes in entirely vegetarian dishes. Soybean protein, tofu skin, or white yams feature in an array of Buddhist-inspired analogues to the regular Chinese fare. The menu has many healthful dishes that manage to be light in taste yet fully satisfying, including a section of steamed dishes. Small soups are available, but the soups-for-two, such as the hot-and-sour bowl, can also work as a satisfying main course for one.Warm starters include the pan-fried or steamed dumplings, spinach and sesame pancakes with mustard sauce, and the highly addictive crispy whole black mushrooms, caramelized morsels in a dark citrus sauce reminiscent of orange rind. A popular cold starter is the luxurious platter of five samplings including vegan tea-smoked goose.Main courses include the veggie duck hotpot with basil and ginger, General Tso or Kung Pao regulars, shiitake mushrooms and a white sauce, jade rolls, or noodles with shredded mushrooms and cabbage. Most dishes come with a choice of brown or white rice, and steamed broccoli decorates many of them.Everything stands out, so be prepared to spend some time just gazing at the menu and its photographs. Vegans have the joy of being able to order anything offered, and are likely to hear their guests making plans to come back and try something they missed.For dessert, there’s the standard Tofutti ice cream, but also choices not found anywhere else in the area: an array of sweetened lotus roots, or the more festive eight-treasure taro pudding.Although it’s compact and casual, most guests—even those connoisseurs who have dined in New York, San Francisco or Hong Kong—rate Yuan Fu with the best of Chinese vegetarian restaurants. The experience is aesthetically pleasing from start to finish, and served in the nicest atmosphere of any restaurant you’ll find.Yuan Fu Vegetarian RestaurantHours:Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to -10.30 p.m.Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.Price Range:Average dish $10 and under; a dinner for two may run $25-30.Cuisine:Chinese, VeganAddress:798 Rockville Pike in Rockville, Maryland, about five miles north of the Washington Beltway off route 355 near I-270. Easy to pass as it’s in a small shopping strip; look for the Wendy’s parking lot and turn in. Conveniently located approximately 0.5 miles southeast from the Rockville Metro Stop.Telephone:301.762.5937Features:Major credit cards accepted; free parking; eat in or carry out. Yuan Fu offers a smoke-free environment; drinks are juices and teas.
These dogs have fancy names. Malt-A-Poos, Puggles, Corkies, Peke-A-Poos, Fo-Chons, Cavapoos, Bullmatians, Lhasaliers, Shiranians, and Labradoodles, to name a few. And they come at fancy prices. While Chiweenies typically sell for under $400, Malt-A-Poos go easily for $1,500. A Morkie advertised on the Internet site Divapup.com recently went for $5,000.
Said to be bred for the best characteristics of both, these dogs come from parents of two established breeds. Breeders say “designer dogs” are free of the health problems commonly plaguing dogs from known breeds, yet with more decorative titles than their fellow mixes found living in shelters.
Breeders of Labrador-Poodle crosses consider themselves the pioneers of the idea. Advertised as friendly Labradors with the hypoallergenic coats of Poodles, Labradoodles were bred in Australia three decades ago as non-shedding guide dogs. Since then, spin-offs have landed in the laps of celebrities and filled the purses of breeders who profit from this glitzy trend of the affluent.
Then there are the satellite industries. Pet owners in the United States spent $8.5 billion on products other than food last year. These items include dog beds, jackets, sweaters, leashes and collars, toys and gourmet treats. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Coach all make dog attire. 
Like all these designers, breeders want a brand name for their puppies. The International Labradoodle Association has lobbied—unsuccessfully so far—for American Kennel Club for classification. No matter; the hybrids are selling. The American Canine Hybrid Club, recently formed as a take-off of the American Kennel Club, is recording 500 new sibling groups each a month—twice as many as in 2004.
As always, new owners who are unwilling or unable to take on financial responsibility for risks may discard animals not meeting their expectations. The abandoned will join millions of other dogs and cats—whether Chonzers, Pug-A-Peis, or Labradingers, or animals with unknown family trees, whether originating from breeders or from generations of dogs to follow—who meet their deaths in decidedly non-glitzy pounds.
Neutering and spaying pets prevents more unwanted animals from entering these shelters or being killed on the streets from starvation, freezing to death, disease contraction or other torturous means. Friends of Animals leads an effort to curb population growth through its low-cost Spay/Neuter program. Pet owners can purchase a discounted certificate online which is used for a routine spay or neuter at any of the organization’s participating veterinary hospitals.
Please visit our Spay/Neuter program to purchase a certificate online or call 1-800-321-PETS (1-800-321-7387) to fill out an application by mail.
1.The Arkansas-based American Canine Hybrid Club lists more than 200 such cross-breeds on its electronic site www.achclub.com.
2. Ellen Gamerman, “High-End Mutts Sit Up and Beg For a Little Respect,” The Wall Street Journal (24 Dec 2005).
3. See Jesse Milligan, “Designer Dogs, Pet Lovers Going Wild for Chorkies and Chiweenies,” The Victoria [Texas] Advocate (26 Feb 2006).
4. “Billions Spent on America’s Pampered Pets,” ABC News KGO/San Francisco (14 Feb. 2006), citing Marketresearch.com
5. Barbara Thornburg, “Shop ’Til They Flop,” The Los Angeles Time Magazine (19 Mar. 2006).
6. The American Kennel Club recognizes puppies from two parents of the same breed. Registration costs about $25.00; in 2005, the Club reported registering 920,804 puppies.
7. “High-End Mutts Sit Up and Beg For a Little Respect,” note 2 above
8. See Gerry Doyle, “Beagle-Pug Cross the Latest Pet,” Knight Ridder Tribune Wire Service (28 Dec. 2005), describing a buyer’s experience of owning an ill “puggle,” or beagle-pug mix.
Liz Lovely Cookies—‘Vegan Decadence…With a Conscience’Nestled in the tiny town of Waitsfield, Vt, in the heart of the Mad River Valley in the lush Green Mountains, is an extraordinary vegan bakery, dedicated to social responsibility, an artisan philosophy, and cookies–with a conscience. It’s Liz Lovely Inc., and its Co-founders Liz Holtz (President) and Dan Holtz (Vice-President) are dedicated to “Baking a Difference in the World,” as the tagline on each package of their cookies states.They came a long way to make their dream a reality. Liz and Dan, formerly entrepreneurs in computer-based commerce, knew they wanted to run their own business, but couldn’t decide what that business should be.Liz admits that she has “always been obsessed with cookies,” and since Liz’s grandmother and her mom are avid bakers, it seemed a natural transition to become a baker. Liz wanted to make vegan cookies that “actually tasted real and that could fool everybody.”Liz spent months perfecting her cookies until, three years ago, she arrived at the perfect recipe.Dan and Liz packed some cookies in boxes and went, hopes high, to a national natural foods market in Maryland. Weeks later, they were thrilled to hear that they had landed a distribution deal.Soon they were placing orders for natural markets and cafes across the country. When the largest natural foods distributor in the United States, United Natural Foods, Inc., agreed to distribute Liz Lovely, they made a whirlwind move to the Waitsfield, bakery, where they have been since 2004. Moving to rural Vermont from their former Pennsylvania home was a big lifestyle change, but one they feel was well worthwhile.Taking “cruelty-free” to a new level, Liz Lovely cookies are certified vegan, using mostly organic, 100% non-GMO ingredients, and chocolate from only 100% Fair Trade sources. True to an artisan philosophy, every handmade cookie is free of chemicals, additives, and preservatives, and made from simple ingredients, such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread, organic peanut butter and Ener-G Egg Replacer, then baked and packaged in the Liz Lovely bakery by a very small staff.The day of my visit was a baking day entirely dedicated to the Peanut Butter Classics cookie, described by Dan as “the closest thing to a vegan Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.” Rich and creamy, moist and chewy, with a coating of dark chocolate on the bottom, the Peanut Butter Classic is truly remarkable, unlike any other cookie you’ve tasted—and heaven for peanut-butter lovers. It’s also beautiful to look at, artfully presented with organic peanut halves sprinkled on top, and drizzled with yet more chocolate. Seven batches were baked on the day of my visit, which equals 100 cases of cookies– a total of 2,400 cookies made from scratch and packaged by only five people. Hand packaging each set of cookies takes about three hours a day to complete, and each package is artfully tied with a piece of colorful twine, and complete with a tag containing the Liz Lovely logo, designed by Dan, with Liz’s signature above the logo.Upon my arrival, the bakers were hard at work, having started at 8am. Dough was being mixed by Eric, a baker who has been with Liz Lovely since it moved to Vermont. Liz makes every batch of dough herself. Formed raw cookies were coming off a small conveyor belt from a machine that was, oddly enough, originally produced to form hamburger patties. The formed dough is then handled by bakers who perfect the shape, place peanut halves on top, and press the cookies with a fork to shape them for baking.After baking, the cookies are coated with chocolate on the back, with more drizzled on top. The dipping process is a sight to behold. They use a machine called the Hilliard coating line, made by an old Boston company. Its 200- pound melting tank drizzles chocolate at 95 degrees; then each cookie spends 7-8 minutes in a cooling tunnel. The machine, tailored to their own specifications, is described by Dan as a “rudimentary chocolate machine” because, from an artisan perspective, it requires keen attention. “You have to really pay attention to the chocolate level, and the temperature, and the temperature of the room. It’s not like it’s doing all the work for you,” explains Dan, while Liz dips drizzles. Before they had the machine, for the first two years of operation, they dipped each cookie by hand with spatulas. The machine brought a 25% increase in production.Expanding on their ethical practices, Dan says that there are too many “junk food vegans and marginal vegans who get by on technicalities because the plant in Topeka, Kan. is a vegan Oreo cookie plant.” To him, “vegan is a whole-food concept; more local food, more organic food, you know, people are animals too, if we’re exploiting people in the process then that’s not very vegan either.”Liz started out “less organic” as she was testing out recipes–because it was cheaper. She found that the taste was inferior, so became dedicated to organic ingredients. Inspired by a brother, Liz dropped flesh foods from her diet at age 13. Ten years ago, upon moving to vegan-friendly Ithaca, NY, and after reading John Robbins’s Diet for a New America, Liz connected environmental issues with animal-rights philosophy and became a vegan. She “just can’t imagine going back.” Fair-trade chocolate is a must, as is part of educating people about veganism is striving to teach people about organic, fair-trade chocolate and the avoidance of genetically modified ingredients, because, as Dan says, “people are very uneducated about the chocolate issue.”ExpandingLiz wants to have more options for cookies, like the one now being invented: the chocolate-dipped Mocha Macadamia. The plan is to release two new cookies a year for the next couple of years. Brownies will likely be next. Keeping their “artisan” quality will be foremost. Although they use machinery in production, they are dedicated to authenticity, so avoiding machines designed for mass-production, the bakery picks small artisan machines that return baking to its traditionsWhile shopping at local Vermont stores, Liz and Dan have been amazed at the diversity of their customers. For example, they’ve seen a 50-something year-old man with a 6-pack of beer and a package of Liz Lovely cookies in his cart, and they’ve seen their cookies in carts alongside of a block of cheese, local bread, and lying on top of a package of ground meat.Vegans are their devout fans; now, they are trying to get to the larger audience. Liz and Dan explain that they might have to make some compromises because they don’t really want to support multinational corporations, but they want people to buy their cookies instead of ‘Chips a Hoy.’ They want to be the ethical alternative. Liz explains that the goal is to change the reputation of vegan products—as their mission statement says, to “build support for vegan foods and the vegan lifestyle by mainstreaming our cruelty-free natural products.”Providing meaningful work is also important. Liz says, “I think success is having an actual sustainable company, we have our own building, where people can come by and buy cookies at the bakery. People can have real jobs here, with real lives, and people want to spend ten years working here.” Liz wants to see the business “really solid, and nationally distributed.”The cookies are distributed frozen; with all natural ingredients, they only have a shelf-life of about two weeks, and must be bought immediately. So try them today, and you’ll understand what the magic is all about. You won’t be disappointed.Cookie VarietiesCurrently there are five Liz Lovely cookies, one to fit every cookielover’s fancy. The moist and chunky Cowboy Cookie is made with rolled oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips, coated on the bottom and decorated on top with rich, dark chocolate.The Peanut Butter Classic is coated on the bottom with dark chocolate, and topped with organic peanut halves; extra chocolate complements the peanut butter’s creaminess.Ginger Snapdragons are filled with organic spices and encrusted with organic raw sugar and hunks of crystallized ginger.Cowgirl Cookies are soft chocolate chip cookies. Moist and lightly laced with dark chocolate on top, they are reminiscent of raw chocolate cookie dough!The Frontier Cookie is the newest invention—the classic Oatmeal Raisin cookie, now filled with cashews and organic spices.Buying Liz LovelyLiz Lovely cookies are distributed semi-nationally in Eastern and Central states through United Natural Foods, the largest U.S. natural foods distributor. Some local retailers are listed below. This is by no means a complete listing, so members in other regions can call theNew York City Friends of Animals office at 212-247-8120 for information on retailers in your area. A complete list is available online at www.lizlovely.com, and you can call Liz Lovely at 802-496-6390.ConnecticutMrs. Green’s Natural Market950 High Ridge Rd.Stamford, CT 06905203-329-1313It’s Only Natural386 Main St.Middletown, CT 06457860-346-1786District of ColumbiaWellness Café325 Pennsylvania Ave SEWashington, DC 20003202-543-2266Yes! Organic Markets:3425 Connecticut Ave. NWWashington, DC 20008202-363-1559658 Pennsylvania Ave. SEWashington, DC 20003202-546-98501825 Columbia Rd. NWWashington, DC 20003202-462-5150New YorkWesterly Natural Foods911 Eighth Ave. (corner of W. 54th St.)New York, NY 10019212-586-5262Millennium Health241 Bedford Ave.Brooklyn, NY 11211718-599-3081Jubilee Marketplace99 John StNew York, NY 10038212-233-0808Green Star Co-Op701 W. Buffalo St.Ithaca, NY 14850607-273-9392PennsylvaniaEast End Food Co-Op7516 Meade St.Pittsburgh, PA 15208412-242-3598All Natural Market30-36 E Lancaster Ave.Ardmore, PA 19003610-896-7717Essene Natural Foods719 S. 4th StPhiladelphia, PA 19147215-922-1146New JerseyBasic Foods204 Washington StHoboken, NJ 07030201-610-1100George Street Co-Op89 Morris St.New Brunswick, NJ 08901732-247-8280MarylandPangea2381 Lewis Ave.Rockville, MD 208511-800-340-1200MassachusettsAnnye’s Whole Foods14 AmeliaNantucket, MA 02544508-228-4554Cambridge Naturals1670 Massachusetts Ave.Cambridge, MA 02138617-497-4521VermontCity Market/Onion River Co-Op82 S Winooski AveBurlington, VT 05401802-863-3659Liz Lovelywww.lizlovely.comLiz Lovely, Inc.PO Box 757167 Mad River Canoe Road #15Waitsfield, VT 05673Telephone: 802-496-6390Fax: 802-329-2043
“Empathy is the most revolutionary emotion,” says Nellie Mckay, a young singer-songwriter with a retro style who brings peace and justice issues to her music. A dedicated animal rights activist and vegan, McKay spoke with me about why she is so devoted to getting her message out to the public.“If you’re just doing art, you can feel a little useless, or a little self-involved,” she said. “You want to incorporate things that relate to other people and to other beings.” About animal rights, McKay says, “It’s still a movement in the early stages, so when people stand up for the animals, it shows that they’re ahead of the game.”McKay admits she’s “not the greatest cook,” but reveals that she was very excited to read the recipe for vegan pesto in her copy of Dining With Friends: The Art of North American Vegan Cuisine. She “loves pesto,” but hasn’t had it for two years, and can’t wait to try out the recipe.McKay’s mother Robin – who is also her manager – became a vegetarian while McKay was a child. Born in London, and raised in Harlem, New York and the Poconos in Pennsylvania, McKay attended the Manhattan School of Music in 2000, but dropped out before graduation, and tried a short-lived career as a stand-up comic. In early 2003, she started performing her music in small New York City venues. Soon, there was a buzz. McKay signed with Columbia Records.Her debut CD, ‘Get Away From Me’, released in 2004 on Columbia records, was a hit with music critics, and led to whisperings that Nellie McKay was destined for superstardom. The unique blend of jazz, pop, blues and rap and McKay’s intelligent, often biting lyrics is a powerful channel for many issues, ranging from sexism and male posturing on “It’s a Pose” to the joys of adopting a dog from the pound on “The Dog Song.”McKay’s second album, “Pretty Little Head,” was to arrive early in 2006; but a split with Columbia records has delayed the release. Included on this album is a song entitled “Columbia is Bleeding” – not about the record label, but Columbia University’s primate laboratory.Showing yet another facet of her talent, McKay is enjoying a Broadway debut as “Polly Peachum” in Wallace Shawn’s new translation of “The Threepenny Opera,” which opened on Broadway in April 2006, co-starring Cyndi Lauper and Alan Cumming. McKay is excited to be part of a play that has “lots of political bite to it.”“I Won’t Perform in Canada!”: Nellie McKay Joins Our Tourism BoycottOn March 15th, McKay attended Friends of Animals’ New York protest against Canada’s seal slaughter in front of the Canadian Consulate, taking time out from rehearsing for The Threepenny Opera. After leading creative chants and handing out flyers to passerby at that high-profile vigil, McKay joined Friends of Animals’ international tourism boycott of Canada in April, stating “I give my full support to the tourism boycott of Canada which has been called by Friends of Animals. I urge people to take part in the boycott until the government ends the seal hunt.. I will not perform in Canada, and I will be encouraging other artists to join me.”It’s clear that Nellie Mckay is devoted to animal rights, and with her star on the rise, that’s good news for the animals.
Cheers…To the Animal Rights Club of DeWitt Clinton High School, in the Bronx, New York, for their petition and letter-writing campaign to advance H.B. 5804, legislation before the Connecticut state legislature which would protect monk parakeets. The group of thirty students also has lobbied to maintain a Connecticut Sunday tradition: no hunting. Their efforts have drawn the attention of another Bronx high school, Bronx Science, which is forming an animal rights club of their own.Contact:Animal Rights Clubc/o Casey Sullivan, Staff SponsorDeWitt Clinton High School100 West Mosholu Parkway SouthBronx, NY 10468…To Andy Rooney, for his March 7 column “A Bird In Hand,” which appeared in newspapers shortly after Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot another hunter during a Texas quail hunt. While most media reports focused on hunting safety protocols, Rooney sympathized with the birds, writing: “The Vice President gets off to a bad start with a lot of people like me who don’t understand why anyone thinks killing little birds with a shotgun is a way to have a good time.”Contact:Andy RooneyTribune Media Services2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114Buffalo, NY 14207To “Travel-MSN.Com,” for steering tourists away from New York City’s horse-drawn carriages in their March 16 online article “Ten New York City Experiences to Avoid.” The travel column advised “The horses look so forlorn, as if it’s the last thing they want to do.”Contact:Email: email@example.com…To “Gables at Columbia,” a community in Columbia, Maryland, for learning to live with vultures. In January, hundreds of turkey vultures took to roosting in this suburb of Washington, DC. Ted Hart, president of the homeowners’ association, told the Washington Post, “We are a community that is going to respect the fact that the birds have a right to be here.”Contact:Ted HartEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgJeers…To former President Bill Clinton, for his appearance at a ceremony to dedicate the new headquarters for Heifer International in New York on March 16. Heifer International is a hunger relief organization that establishes and creates a dependence on animal agriculture in impoverished communities around the globe. (For more on Heifer International, see ActionLine, Fall 2005)Contact:William J. Clinton Foundation55 West 125th St.New York, NY 10027…To the Vegetarian Society of the District of Columbia (VSDC), for rejecting a motion to adopt, publicize and implement a policy that only vegan food would be ordered, prepared, and served at VSDC sponsored events. The motion was introduced at a February 13 board meeting in response to the serving of dishes containing dairy and eggs at VSDC functions.Contact:Saurabh Dalal, PresidentVSDCPO Box 4921Washington DC 20008Email: email@example.com…To Nature Watch, a California-based supplier of tools and materials for nature and science educators, for offering skins from beaver, coyote, deer, bobcats, raccoons and many other animals in their catalog and at their online store.Contact:Nature Watch5312 Derry Avenue, Unit RAgoura Hills, CA 91301E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org…To Marilyn vos Savant, author of the Parade Magazine column “Ask Marilyn,” for her promotion of petting zoos. In a Feb. 26 column, vos Savant advised readers “Petting zoos help educate children and promote a love of animals: They are treated with respect and handled with care.”Contact:Marilyn vos Savant711 3rd AvenueNew York, NY 10017-4014Email: http://parade.com/opencms/do/readerContactUs…To U.S. Olympic Skater Johnny Weir, for wearing animal skin clothing. A Feb. 22 profile in the Washington Post described Weir’s passion for a coat made from the skins of beavers and pythons. The same article described Weir’s fur collars and hand-warmers.Contact:Johnny Weirc/o The Pond Ice Arena101 John F. Campbell Dr.Newark, DE 19711…To Hidden Valley Lake, a community near Cincinnati, Ohio, for hiring Beastmaster Pest Services to trap beavers in response to complaints from homeowners.Contact: Bob WillPresident, Hidden Valley Lake Property Owners Association19325 Schmarr Dr.Lawrenceburg, IN 47025812.537.3091