Vegan Artist Profile: Julie Doiron

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.

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Restaurant review: Tojo’s

December 29, 2006

A common misconception among those unfamiliar with the recreationally vegan aesthetic is that non-vegan foods are forbidden. In actual fact, recreational veganism is defined by the occasional indulgence in non-vegan foods. And where better to indulge than at Tojo’s, Vancouver’s preeminent sushi restaurant?

Upon entering the restaurant you will be greeted by the entire staff in the usual Japanese manner – everyone yelling in unison “welcome” in Japanese. Unless you pay extra for a seat at the sushi bar, you will likely only catch a glimpse of the famous Hidekazu Tojo, inventor of the California Roll. However, if you don’t have a dire need to converse with the chef, request to be seated at a table. You probably won’t be able to convince him to convert to veganism anyway.

The best thing to do is to ask for omakase, which is essentially just a set menu. For $80 you receive a delicious and artfully presented five course meal of raw and cooked fish in various guises. Our meal included spring rolls, cooked fish, sushi, and maki rolls. The amazing buttery quality of the fish, melting in your mouth on contact, must be experienced to be believed. A vegetarian option is also available, and will be reviewed pending a return visit to the restaurant.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the restaurant is the unpretentious atmosphere, considering the quality of the restaurant. The tables look like they have been stolen from Denny’s and many of the customers dress as if they’ve just returned from a late afternoon hike.

Deliciousness: Vegequarium rating Vegequarium rating Vegequarium rating Vegequarium rating Vegequarium rating

VfM: Vegequarium rating

Ambience: Vegequarium rating Vegequarium rating

Tojo’s, #202-777 West Broadway, moving to 1133 West Broadway in January, Vancouver. $55 vegetarian meal, $80+ large vegequarium meal, excluding drinks. Reservations advised.

Of course eating fish comes at a price, and according to this article that price might be higher than you think. In remembrance of the fish who died for this meal and vegequarium meals everywhere, I would like to share the following poem, reprinted here with permission of the poet.

THE FISHSTICK POEM
R.E. Glazov

I.

I jingle of fishsticks,
Entombed in wet cardboard coffins,
Kept in rigor mortis by chloroflourocarbon coils,
And I jingle of schools
their bodies torn and rearranged
Into bricks, with
rough breadcrumbs and not smooth, gentle, scales.

I mourn the fishsticks.
I lay wreaths of parsley and fennel at their coffins.
Safety in numbers
wasn’t safe enough.
Now they’re entombed in a mausoleum
where the metal is cold and clammy
and the metal doesn’t let go.

On moonlit nights, they dance
the Danse Macabre,
the proletarian fish united
with their employers
and their employer’s lawyers.

II.

And they were the best fish of their generation,
…who harpooned their wives in Mexico at a game of William Tell,

who bubbled dissent and wrote Fishermen & Punish: the Birth of the Aquarium,

who contracted syphillis, tuberculosis, VD, and gill-rot from seedy
corners of the ocean,

And who killed these fish?

Which Salome betrayed them,
served their heads on plates?

Was it Herod, was it Holofernes,
Charles de Gaulle,
Ronald Reagan…

Why was the revolution betrayed?

Oh why?

III.

Oh, it follows that they were lambs lead to the slaughter,

Oh, it follows that they were victims of the New Economy,

Oh, it follows that in carcereal society,
hospitals,-workplaces,-schools,-and-even-boxes-of-fish-fingers come to
resemble prisons.

Oh, they were the babies in the bulrushes,

Oh, they were the fishers of men,
Christ multiplied and massacred them,

They fled to Egypt, from the frying pan and into the fire,

L-O-V-E-(thumb) (thumb)-H-A-T-E

…Que fue en Granada el crimen
…!Pobre Granada! – en su Granada…

They were there when Goya was persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition for
painting La Maja Desnuda,

They were on the dinner plate in “Saturno devorando a su hijo”

But what am I thinking about?

They were just fish!

Tuna

Tuna prepared to resemble a maki roll – deep fried on the outside, raw on the inside.


On truth and beauty

December 12, 2006

An avocado –

Slic’d and laid on a burger

in autumn sunshine.

.Tofu burger with avocado