March 29, 2007
The Indian restaurant Annapurna has the distinction of being the oldest vegetarian eatery in Toronto. It is also by far the kookiest.1 The restaurant is run by a cult which worships the Indian mystic Sri Chinmoy. Judging by the naive slogans stamped on sugar packets and the plethora of propaganda magazines which are sometimes forced upon patrons dining alone, the cult’s primary goal seems to be world domination through mind control, happy thoughts, and vegetarian cuisine.
The food is plentiful and cheap. The Indian Assortment provides an obscenely large dinner for $17. Unfortunately, price is an indicator of quality in this case and the food is only a few notches above cafeteria level. But for strong-willed individuals with sufficiently robust tinfoil hats, huge appetites, and a limited budget, this restaurant is highly recommended.
Rankings (out of 5 avocados):
Fruit in meal: No
Ambience: (for a pleasant tackiness)
Words of Wisdom from Sri Chinmoy: A moment’s love can and shall make the world perfect.
Annapurna, 1085 Bathurst, ovo-lacto vegetarian and vegan dishes. Average main less than $10.
1 In fact, the restaurant is more or less uncontested in both fields following the closure of Hey Good Cooking.
March 21, 2007
For immediate release
Toronto- therecreationalvegan is saddened by the fact the Canadian government has ignored calls to diversify the country’s fruit juice manufacturing sector. The government failed to support the move in the 2007 budget. Resolution 2007-01 was forwarded to Prime Minister Harper in an effort to put the public spotlight on the lack of variety on our nation’s juice shelves.
“Today is a dark day for juice” said vegetable95. “I thought today was going to be a turning point for our country – a day that would reverse year after year of the regular medley of orange, grapefruit and cranberry juice. No such luck.”
therecreationalvegan is also concerned about Canada losing out in the international juice market. “Azerbaijan, South Korea, and Australia are pushing ahead with juice variety”, said vegetable95, noting that Azerbaijan’s Bling Bling 100% Pomegranate Juice has hit Canadian stores with widespread approval. “We hope members of the House amend the budget to ensure juice remains a national priority”.
March 20, 2007
In a continuation of our campaign against speciesism, and as a daring protest against inequality/injustice, last week the authors of the Recreational Vegan decided to eat chocolate covered insects. We received a wide range of responses from our colleagues at the office, ranging from cries of outrage over seemingly abandonded vegan principles, to outright disgust, to girlish screams from otherwise manly men. Unfortunately, the point of the exercise – that all animals should be treated equally – seemed lost on the audience.
The novelty candy, which was received as an anti-Valentine’s Day gift, was not without its non-vegan charm. However, the larva and crickets which comprised the filling had been dried, resulting in an overly grainy texture. In my opinion, candy should be juicy, and this was definitely not the case here.
To find out more about the candy, the Recreational Vegan conducted a phone interview with the candy’s manufacturer, Hotlix Candy. Sadly, Hotlix staff refused to speak about the production process. Although they insisted that their crickets are treated humanely, this is impossible to independently verify. As a result, we cannot strongly recommend this product for ethical reasons. Also, the chocolate has milk in it.
March 16, 2007
New Brunswick-based bilingual singer songwriter Julie Doiron has recently released her newest album, “woke myself up”. She plays with a band (Eric’s Trip) on this album, as opposed to the one woman show, which allows for the critical little bit of angry rock out. But, for those Rush fans, this is still a folk album. Overall, I’m a huge fan of Doiron. Her lyrics continue to be cute, clever and honest: “Don’t wanna be loved by you/and I never wanna be in your bed/and I never wanna be in your books/but I might play music for you.”
I saw her perform twice on recent appearances in Toronto, and I’m sorry to say I was disappointed. She tended to get nervous (even though she’s been playing 15+ years) and ended up chatting a lot, which prevented a longer set of music. That said, I won’t stop buying her CDs. Her previous disc “Goonight Nobody” is a must-have, and great introduction to Doiron. For those interested in listening to one of her French albums, “Desmorais” is perfect for a quiet and relaxing evening.
I learned at the last show that she is a vegan. On one of her moments of endless chatter, she spoke about the veganness of beer, a subject I’ll let the reader explore.
Julie Doiron’s albums are available at Soundscapes (for about $15) or wherever good music is sold. You can listen to some Doiron songs by searching her name on CBC Radio 3.
March 14, 2007
Did you know that in 2003 155 billion bees were exploited in the United States alone?1 Not only is the honey which bees need for their own purposes appropriated for human use, but countless bees are maimed in the process. The Recreational Vegan‘s bee expert (read daughter of hobby bee keeper) declined our request for an interview to discuss this interpretation of honey production. We interpret this as an indication of agreement by aquiescence.
More recently, hundreds of millions of bees have been disappearing from their hives across 24 states. This is entirely unlike anything that has been seen before in that dead bees are not found in the hives – the bees just disappear. Scientists have put forth a variety explanations for this unprecedented colony collapse such as viruses, fungi, and even poor nutrition. However, none of these explanations addresses the impact on bee behaviour of abysmal working conditions, or why dead bees are not found in the hives. Much more likely is that the bees have finally organized and are taking collective action against their employers until working conditions improve.
The Recreation Vegan would like to take this opportunity to express its solidarity for worker bees. We urge bee keepers everywhere to improve working conditions for the honey producing masses. This exploitation of bees must end.
1 Source: Vegan propoganda website. WARNING: This website depicts scenes of violence against honey bees and may offend readers with developed moral sensibilities.
March 5, 2007
Have you eaten a pomegranate today? If not, you are lucky to be alive. A quick internet search reveals that consuming pomegranate products fights prostate and breast cancer, reduces hardening of the arteries, inhibits skin tumorigenesis, decreases the incidence of stroke or heart attack, inhibits cartilage degradation from osteoarthritis and is not toxic.
Given these findings and the recent decline in pomegranate juice prices in Toronto, QSB (Quantative Strategies Branch) is predicting a sharp decrease in hospital occupancy rates over the coming months. Just thank Azerbaijan and their exports of 100% organic “Bling Bling” pomegranate juice.
Next in this series: Animal Friendly Animals
March 5, 2007
Located at Yonge and Eglinton, Happy Buddha provides a good mid-town alternative to the 1.7 million sushi restaurants and Starbucks in the area. The restaurant is small, simple, but is visually appealing. The food is of the North Americanized Chinese variety, but delicious nonetheless. I was advised by the server that 2 main dishes plus one large soup to share was appropriate for the 3 of us. We ordered the hot and sour soup, “shrimp” with cashews and vegetables, and spicy eggplant. The soup was thick, not too spicy, and full of juicy tofu. The “shrimp” dish was excellent, probably because of the cashews – one of the world’s greatest nuts. Regarding the eggplant, regular readers will note the hypocritical nature of the order. I must say that the eggplant dish was superb, and was joined by green beans and tofu bits.
Overall, we agreed that the food could be described as “rich”. Dishes were in large portions, and averaged around $10, which led to a decent VfM showing.
Fruit in meal: No
Happy Buddha is located at 2366 Yonge Street, just north of Eglinton. Dinner for 3, tax and tip, $45. Alcohol is not available.