Vote YES on Prop 2

Election day is approaching, and while here in Santa Clarita it seems Prop 8 is the only thing getting any press I want to bring your attention to another proposition to be voted on this November; the Prevention of Farm Cruelty Act, also known as Prop 2.

By voting YES on Prop 2 we are making sure that animals are no longer confined to cages and crates barely large enough for their bodies. Simply put, Prop 2 would ensure that certain farm animals have enough room to stand up, lay down, stretch their limbs or wings and be able to completely turn around without being obstructed by the cage or another animal.

By giving the animals more room, we can improve health and food safety because the animals will not have to stand in their own feces and will be less likely to spread illness because they will not be cramped so close together. Prop 2 will also help smaller, family farms that use humane practices compete in business with the large, corner-cutting factory farms by making sure at least some animal welfare and consumer health is put ahead of their profit margin. Also, the environment will benefit by stopping some of the practices that contaminate our water, soil, air and surrounding communities with untreated waste.

I feel Prop 2 is reasonable and a needed reform that shows consumers are concerned with how the animals are treated before they end up on supermarket shelves and the dinner plates Californians. Please, join me and vote Yes on Prop 2.

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Vegan Breakfast With The Gibbons

The Gibbon Conversation Center will be hosting a vegan breakfast fundraiser; Sunday, Oct 19th beginning at 8:30am until noon. Gibbons are small, tree-dwelling apes native to some tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia. 15 different species of Gibbons are known and are generally considered endangered by most every native country. Most impressive is their speed at which they can swing from branch to branch on the tree tops, rivaling flying birds with a speed up to 35mph; also Gibbons like to sing making them multi-talented primates. The Gibbon Conservation Center (GCC) houses perhaps the largest collection of Gibbons anywhere, and amazingly it’s located in the Santa Clarita Valley. Unfortunately, encroaching developments are threatening the Gibbons and so the GCC is raising money to move the facility away from the suburban sprawl.

I attended the last fundraiser about six months ago, it was a fun time and if you want to see the Gibbons before they leave Santa Clarita this is a great event to do it. Besides the assortment of vegan cereals, soy/almond milk, bagels, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit, soy yogurt, etc. the event will include a guided tour of the facility along with a question & answer session with the GCC founder Alan Mootnick.

Pre-Pay prices for admission: ($5 more at gate if not pre-paid)

Adults: $35 (18 and older)
Seniors: $30 (60 and older)
Teens: $15 (ages 13-17)
Children: $10 (ages 3-12)
Children Under 3: FREE

The Gibbon Conservation Center is located at:

19100 Esquerra Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91390
(Off Bouquet Cyn Rd.)
CLICK for pre-pay tickets
(661) 296-2737

No Age Censored by CBS on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson – But Craig is still cool.

No Age with family back stage of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

No Age with family back stage of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Santa Clarita’s favorite local vegan punk band, No Age performed on The Late Late Show With Craig Fergusson on Oct 2nd for a taping to be broadcast Oct 27th. Five minutes before the band was to take the stage, guitarist Randy Randall was told he had to change his tee shirt that displays a picture of Barack Obama, citing the FCC’s Equal Time Rule for all candidates. Taking the request as a form of “extreme censorship”, Randall protested and nearly walked off the set before instead compromising by taking a Sharpie Marker to his tee shirt, turning the shirt inside-out and writing “FREE HEALTH CARE” on the front.

No Age back stage with Tim Meadows on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

No Age back stage with Tim Meadows on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. Dean's dad in the background.

The story has since spread all over the Internet and being talked about so much that I guess CBS decided to air the No Age performance last night, Oct 9th. Host Craig Ferguson discussed the matter and voiced his support of the band before introducing their taped performance of Eraser.

Jam West Caribbean Foods – Canyon Country

I have tasted the flava of the islands and it is vegan! Jam West Caribbean Foods is this amazing place in Canyon Country serving up delicious Jamaican food for the masses. Opening for business about six months ago and located in an industrial strip off Ruether Avenue, Jam West is really a professional kitchen and not a dine-in restaurant. Offering catering  and craft services as their main focus, they also do take-out for us regular, non-event folks just looking for great food.

In addition to their regular menu, Jam West hooks vegans up with a menu of our own! (scroll down). Ital Stew, Vegan Jerk “Chicken” and Vegan Mango “Beef” are just a few examples of the delicious menu items you can have at Jam West. The large vegan menu is prepared by Chef Patrick, a professional vegan chef who works with Jam West and their owner Sarah Ramrattan.

Red Beans and Rice with Cabbage and Plantains, Vegan Jerk Chicken, Brown Stew Tofu, Vegan Curry Chicken, Vegan Stewed Beef, Vegan Mango Beef and in the Center a Patty (Chef Patrick says he makes a few vegan versions).

From the top going clockwise: Red Beans and Rice with Cabbage and Plantains, Vegan Jerk "Chicken", Brown Stew Tofu, Vegan Curry "Chicken", Vegan Stewed "Beef", Vegan Mango "Beef" and in the Center a Patty (Chef Patrick says he makes a few vegan versions).

Chef Patrick also works under the company name “Reggae Flava“, specializing in authentic Jamaican food cooked vegan. All meals come with Red Beans & Rice, Cabbage and Plantains for about $10.

Vegan Jerk Chicken with Red beans & Rice, Cabbage and Plantains.

Vegan Jerk "Chicken" with Red beans & Rice, Cabbage and Plantains. Spicy and seasoned perfectly, lots of food for about $10.

It’s hard for me to put into words just how good the food is at Jam West. If the vegan restaurants in LA are worth the drive from the SCV to have a meal, then Jam West is worth leaving LA for the experience. Honestly, this is hands down some of the most amazing food I have ever tasted in my life; vegan or otherwise. Jam West achieves their authentic and unique flavor by importing many of their ingredients and seasonings directly from Jamaica. There is nothing like this in LA; Santa Clarita Vegans should be excited and everyone else should be jealous!

Vegan Curry Chicken with all the sides.

Vegan Curry "Chicken" with all the sides.

Stewed red kidney beans cooked with coconut milk, medley of vegetables and spinners (small dumplings made from flour and water)

Ital Stew: Stewed red kidney beans cooked with coconut milk, medley of vegetables and spinners (small dumplings made from flour and water)

Stewed soy beef seasoned Caribbean style with added flavor of mango.

Vegan Mango "Beef": Stewed soy "beef" seasoned Caribbean style with added flavor of mango.

Chef Patrick says he makes a few different versions, vegan ones marked with a V. Patties are a pastry-like pie stuffed with seasoned TVP or Spinach.

Patty: Chef Patrick says he makes a few different versions, vegan ones marked with a "V". Patties are a pastry-like pie stuffed with seasoned TVP or Spinach.

As I mentioned earlier, Jam West is for take-out and catering; there are no tables to sit at so grab your food and enjoy it back home or at work. Sarah and Chef Patrick recommend calling ahead to place your order so it will be ready when you get there. Also keep in mind that they may be busy preparing food for a catering job so calling a few hours ahead may not even be a bad idea. It’s worth the extra planning, trust me. Speaking of catering, Jam West will be more than happy to feed your wedding guests, television crew, office party or whatever.

Inside Jam West

Inside Jam West

Jam West is full of discoveries for me. Besides finding a place in Santa Clarita with a large vegan menu, a culinary style previously unknown to me and a cool vegan chef in my own backyard, I also learned a new word; Ital. Rooted from the word Vital, Ital (I-tull, as in the Ital Stew) is essentially the Rasta equivalent to vegan. Only natural foods from the earth, no preservatives, animals or chemicals. My kind of food!

If you’re in Canyon Country or anywhere within a gas tank’s distance, grab some food at Jam West. Also, visit Chef Patrick’s MySpace and send the guy a friend request.

Jam West Caribbean Foods is located at:
26470 Ruether Ave. Ste. 107
Santa Clarita, CA 91350

(661) 250-IRIE (4743)

VOTE FOR NO AGE – 2008 MtvU Left Field Woodie Award

Click image to be taken to voting page.

No Age is up for an MtvU Woodie Award, and there is an on-line vote to select the winner. You can vote as many times as you want, so vote often! Voting ends 11/7/2008. Help the SCV’s favorite Vegan Punk duo bring home the gold wood.