Mercy For Animals Investigates Factory Duck Farm

photo2Mercy for Animals just released footage from an undercover investigation at Riechardt Duck Farm in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The investigator turned over footage to the Sonoma County Sheriffs Department which resulted in a raid on the factory farm that holds close to 300,000 animals.

Factory farm footage like this seems even more compounded and cruel when you think of the absence of anything close to what a ducks habitat would resemble. Though not surprising, the “industry” definition of animal cruelty takes none of this into account. Maybe thats more damning?  This isn’t really a case of factory farm out of control or perpetrating  unusual cruelty. This is by the book abuse. It’s just a stronger case that eating animals is fucked up.

For more info, check out the Mercy for Animals and exclusive video on the ABC 7 site.

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Emerica Herman G6 Vulc

Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesEmerica’s Herman G6 Vulc comes in a Vegan colorway for Fall 2014 in a strictly canvas upper! The vulcanized sole version of the G6 strips down some of the technical (and pricier) aspects of Hermans last pro shoe, for a more relaxed fit that retains great protection and board feel.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe G6 Vulc is refined in both color and simplicity and maintains the functional skate element due to a solid, one-piece toe cap.  With the double-stitched lines set up and back from heavy wear areas the shoe didn’t face any premature blow-outs. (though it didn’t really get a chance and we’ll get into that in a moment)Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe grayish khaki with the minty green liner and red accents are a nice refresh from the usual black canvas. Those trade mark stitches let the initiated know that this is B. Herm’s shoe! Thinner tongues make the shoe much more maneuverable around the ankle. The padded collar isn’t too restrictive and gives a little protection from flying boards too. The shoe is true to the vulcanized form factor but more solid then others in a similar catagory. So what makes the G6 Vulc a G6 anyhow?   After all, a vulcanized sole for better board feel isn’t anything new.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe red insoles are what does it. Where the first G6 models have built the foam into the cupsole itself, the Emerica Vulc line has a removable insert that has a thicker molded cupped heel, thicker arch area, and thinner toe.

So now to the wear and the (early) tear…Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesAfter two days of solid skating, (about 6 hours worth), the ollie area is showing significant wear.  This would have been a perfect moment to slap some Shoe-Goo in those holes and really prolong the life. Canvas shoes are going to rip, but this is a little earlier then previous reviews.  Even the ultra-thin Laced in waxed-canvas lasted longer.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesAnother few down and dirty skate sessions (another 10 hours) the ollie hole was all eaten through. Not more then a few scratches on the black foxing tape and the G6 Vulc are already to the point where every pair of socks will get sacrificed to the grip tape gods.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe vulcanized soles before and after.  Almost no wear and they still feel incredibly protective in the ball and heel area. A testament to the overall durability of the shoe outside of the canvas upper.

So here is the verdict….Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesI love these shoes. Out of the box the Emerica G6 Vulc fits perfectly and needs no break in time. They’re solid in every other area except for the one area of the upper that counts most. I’d love to keep skating in them and luckily have another pair that will certainly get Shoe-Goo’d the moment an ollie hole develops.

At one time Emerica  employed a fair amount of synthetic-leather in their shoes. Most recently Ed Templeton’s Heritic featured a highly durable toe cap which took months to destroy. Further more, other skate brands like Servent and Fallen have started using super durable synthetic-suede that is being used not for ethical reasons, but sheerly for the purpose of skate-life and breathability.

Emerica is a company owned and operated by skateboarders. The people who design and produce these skate shoes really know what we want as skateboarders.  The label below is proof positive that Emerica hears the vegan skate community and have been receptive.  We just may need to speak a little louder.Emerica Herman G6 Vulc Vegan skateboarding shoesThe Herman G6 is still gets a solid Buy from us, but if you plan to skate much other then transition, be sure to also get a tube of Shoe-Goo.

Emerica $64.99 size 6.5-14

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Upton’s Break Room

Upton's BreakroomLast year I interviewed Dan Stackmman and Nicole Sopko at Upton’s Breakroom in Chicago. They recently celebrated their first year at 2054 West Grand, a building that is home to their 100% Vegan restaurant and so much more.   -Mr. Fakie

MF: Tell me about the building and why Upton’s who primarily manufactures seitan is getting into the restaurant business.

Dan: This is feeling very formal now that the tape recorder is on.

MF: (less serious interview voice) Why did you open up a restaurant?

Nicole: We built this whole building as an opportunity to have some aspect of our business be open to our customers. Before everything was behind the scenes. Now this is our front door. This is our living room.

MF: How about the menu, The Employee Meal, whats that?

Nicole: That was our idea of have something that rotated regularly to keep it interesting for the employees who are eating here everyday.  We wanted to make something thats reasonably affordable, but still filling and has fresh ingredients that people can eat everyday.

MF: Everything you have here is affordable too, There is nothing over 8 dollars.

Nicole: Nope, we wanted to keep our menu reasonable, so you know people in the neighborhood would be willing to check us out. So you know you could eat here with out breaking the bank.

Upton's BreakroomMF: You guys have a soft serve machine with our friends, Chicago Vegan Foods, Temptation. Thats exciting!

Nicole: Why are’t you talking during your interview? (to Dan)

Dan: You’re doing a much better job.

Nicole: Yeah Dan doesn’t like to talk.

Dan: Are you going to get some soft serve on your mac and cheese

MF: Possibly. When I was a kid I put A1 Steak Sauce on vanilla ice cream.  Sounds weird right?

Dan: That sounds kind of good.

MF: Raisins are a big flavor in A1 sauce, and it’s Vegan!

Dan: Is it ?

MF: Yeah, but Kraft makes it, so there is also an Amy’s version and then that company that makes the vegan worcestershire sauce with the wizard on it.

MF: This is an amazing breakfast sandwich! It’s available all day and you use the seitan bacon!

Nicole: Yeah its a good sandwich, I like it.

MF: A portion of the sales of the seitan bacon are going to Farm Sanctuary. Tell me about how you decided to work with them?

Nicole: When we were launching the seitan bacon we wanted to try something different. I felt like that was something we could partner with Farm Sanctuary on, like that it might be a really difficult process, but they were like, “Yeah sure lets get it started.”  It’s been so easy.  So yeah we donate 5% of every package sold to Farm Sanctuary.

MF: And there is that adorable pig, Julia.

Nicole: Oh on the package, I don’t think that pig has a name but we’ve been making ads with Farm Sanctuary and a pig named Julia.  Upton’s pig on the back doesn’t have a name. Maybe we should have a contest?

MF: You should have a contest!

MF: I don’t know if you read the blog (VSB) everyday, but there is a company in Portland called Bacon Skateboards, and they have a vegan rider Chris Klich.  So his deck has “Vegan” spelled out in Bacon.

Nicole: Oh yeah, I’ve seen that!

MF: You guys should do a combo pack, Vegan Skateboard board with Vegan Bacon!  You guys are down with the skateboard community right?

Dan: No.

MF:NO?

Nicole: I don’t skateboard. I tried in high school and I’m not very coordinated.

MF: But you do yoga!   Your’e a yoga instructor. I also hear you’re going to have yoga at Uptons.

Nicole: We have a space upstairs that we are calling Maha Dharma Center.   We’ll be teaching yoga by donation. I hope that will be open in the next month or so.

MF: Are you going to do required employee work-outs, like calisthenics. You know to enhance their mellow?

Nicole: Dan says yes, I say No.

MF: Do you think it will make a better work environments?

Nicole: Forces calisthenics, I don’t think so.

MF: So how long have you guys been Vegan?

Dan: 21 Years

Nicole: 18 years

MF: YEAH, 96!

MF: Dan What made you go vegan 21 years ago?

Dan: Everything.

MF: Everything? What is Everything to you?

Dan: There really weren’t any reasons I didn’t agree with. Obvious; Animal rights, Health, Environment.  The basic 3.

MF: How did you find out about the basic 3?

Dan:  I guess partially through music and just stumbling upon things.

Nicole: It was just Shelter

MF: Nicole tell me about going vegan. In 1996 it was hard, back then you had Tofuttie ice cream if you were lucky.

Nicole: I lived in suburban Detroit too.  I was listening to Hardcore music and going to shows. I had become straight edge the year before and so it was for the same reasons. It was about your ability to (not have) control of the bigger systems around you. But you can control what you spend your money on and who you support, and every dollar is a vote and thats what your power is as a consumer and a human being.  I didn’t want to support animal agriculture.

MF: Is there a specific show you remember? I remember seeing Earth Crisis, One King Down, and Vision of Disorder. I was already into straight edge and I went to that show and that was sort of it.

Nicole:  You know what, I went to some shows and I picked up a zine or something and I didn’t know anyone else who was vegan and I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t eat. I tried a lot of things that just didn’t work, but eventually I figured it out.

MF: Obviously this is a 100% Vegan Restaurant, so brand new, awesome griddle for making breakfast sandwiches and everything else.  What are your favorite things on the menu?

I know it’s hard to choose, it’s like choosing your favorite child right?

Dan: I think the Italian is good. Then there is the secret menu item, “The Dirty Tony”  named after one of our team members that took the Italian and added gravy to it. Its double dipped in the broth and then theres a bunch of gravy poured all over it.

MF: It’s not because he is dirty, you don’t have any dirty workers in your facility, they are all clean.

Nicole: It’s really messy.

Dan: You have to ask for it by name, it’s not on the menu.

Nicole: I eat the employee meal a lot because it changes. Lately its been a lot of organic kale and brown rice and I really like that.  Everything is so good I couldn’t chose.

MF: And you can always have soft serve afterwards right?

Nicole: Yep. Yesterday I had our triple chocolate cookie monsoon.

MF: Holy Crap. Oh and you also have baked goods, and I hear you have a super star baker!

Nicole: Kelly Poloza, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur! Author, photographer, there is nothing she doesn’t do. She’s developed all these recipes specifically for Upton’s Breakroom.

Nicole: Did you see the back of the building? Skateboarding and Street Art, those go together right?

MF: Oh there is street art?

Upton's Breakroom Gabriel SpectorNicole: We had Gabriel Spector do the back of the building.  Dan And I learned about his work a few years ago when we saw his work at a gallery show here in Chicago.  When we thought about what we wanted for the back of the building, Gabriel was the first person who came to mind. We contacted him, he’s based in Brooklyn but travels to do work all the time. We contacted him and he was totally on board with the project. He’s a big fan of seitan, so it worked out really well.  He worked back there for about a week.

MF: Did you pay him in seitan?

Nicole:  No.

MF: Thats not a recognized currency yet.

Nicole: There are some jobs you can pay in seitan, but working for a week, 16 hours a day isn’t one of them.

MF: You got to get some spinach for that too.

Posted in Skate Snacks | 1 Comment

My Rules: Glen E. Friedman and Ian Mackaye

Glen E. Friedman, photographer of some of the most infamous early skateboarding (including many of the late Jay Adam) rock and hip-hop photos of the last three decades has a new book out; My Rules.  The book is a collection of never before seen photos and some alternatives of some iconic shots.

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Marble City


Marble City is a short documentary about the Korean skateboard scene. In just two minutes we get a good idea of some of the amazing architecture in Seoul. The relative obscurity of skateboarding in Korea makes much of the smooth surface in the Capital city very skate-able.

VSB contributor Sean Conley aka Sleepinghouse directed this piece for a contest hosted by the British Film Institute, Prime and Fire Selects, and Talenthouse in collaboration with Sidewalk Magazine.   If you like what you see and want to see more, vote for Sean’s trailer  here. talenthouse.com/i/132/submission/127655/8a1e7052

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Fallen The Vibe

Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperFallen’s “The Vibe” is Tommy Sandoval’s new pro skate shoe! The signature colorway is Vegan and comes in a black synthetic-suede!  We received a pair towards the end of the season, but were happy to get a chance to skate such a rad shoe! The slim cupsole features some excellent support, especially in the heel, but offers a really grippy and flexible toe which makes it out of the box skateable!  Toss in a little Rasta flair and you’ll agree, you’ve been in Babylon for too long.Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperThe Vibe is an evolution of Tommy Sandoval’s last shoe The Kingston which also featured a synthetic toe cap and hemp canvas backing. On the vibe there is even more synthetic-suede which is balanced by a hemp-canvas tongue and heel backs.Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperThe shoe looks super clean with solid toe caps and minimal stitch lines around the tongue and lace cage. The branding is subtle. vegan skateboard shoes rasta laces fallen synthetic If you really want to rock some rasta flair tricolor laces are in the box!synthetic vegan skateboard shoes FallenThe synthetic-suede toe cap is decidedly pointed and snug and really puts you in touch with the board for some excellent flick. The ollie area is cleared away from stitch lines. Even then the lines are layered with the canvas tongue.  Wide feet beware; You may want to go up a half size.02tcollarThe collar features an almost neoprene-soft padded collar with a high scoop around the heel and ankle. The shoe goes where ever your foot does with barely any wiggle or lift. The Vibe really has a connected feel.05healscollarBlack hemp-canvas on the stiff heel caps on top of a sculpted cupsole heel and those excellent cupping collars. Jah!Fallen The Vibe Lion of Juda insole Vegan skateboard shoesFallen always seems to keep the insole game strong. Lions of Juda printed on the arched and padded insoles.  The heel padding in the Vibe is excellent and the toe slims down to a thinness that makes your feet and board feel excellent together.Fallen the vibe FLX soles slim cupsole vegan skateboard shoeBased on Fallen’s slim “FLX” cupsole has a real snuggly designed fit. Lots of bend around the balls of the foot. The cut lines and suction cups make for an interesting break in the herringbone pattern. Add onto that, the primo protection on the arches and solid rubber on the toes and heels give some extra life on these kicks.15 hours of skate wear vegan skate shoe testThe Vibe after several weeks of skateboarding has been really fun! The shoe was a bit snug for the first few sessions, but only in the toe. It took some skating and walking around to get things loosened up however they are instantly skateable.  Those with wider feet really should try on a pair before buying. Though this is a fun shoe to skate its just not for everyone.0815hourstoeThe synthetic-suede upper help up considerably well and took a better part of two weeks of skating to even develop a wear pattern.  A second spot is still working its way just to the left of the first ollie hole.The Vibe Fallen skateboard shoes vegan A closer look at the ollie hole reveals a white rubber liner. This piece is woven into the toe caps to give a few days more or wear time once you get through the synthetic-suede layer.Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upper soles FLXThe soles have plenty of traction, even if the little suckers are worn away. The soles feel super consistent in traction and still have good impact protection, especially in the heel. The white looks a bit filthy. Chalk it up to skating on freshly paved roads we’ve been skating. Fallen the vibe vegan skateboard shoe synthetic upperVegan Skate Blog received our Fallen shoes a little late in the spring season, so the available sizes may be a bit low.  We’ve tracked down two spots that are still carrying this colorway in a number of sizes.  Most of the online retailers are listing the shoes as “genuine suede” however we’ve confirmed with Fallen that this colorway is synthetic.  Another note, we rarely link to places like Amazon, but due to the limited availability of the shoe, VSB is making an exception. Please check your local shop first.  On last check DLX in SF has several sizes in this colorway.

Skate Warehouse

Sizes 7-14 $49.00

Amazon (ONLY BLACK/BLACK is confirmed Vegan)

Sizes 5-14  $54.00-$59

 

Posted in Shoes | 2 Comments

Food Fight Skateboard!!!

Food Fight Vegan Grocery SkateboardFood Fight, (The first all Vegan Grocery)  has an amazing new skateboard deck. The board has a modern feel with an “old-school” shape. Featuring art by Giancarlo Demarchi, The Vegetables take their revenge on some gruesome villains of the fast-food set. If you’ve every marveled at the walls of Food Fight Grocery, now you can take a piece home! vegan grocery food fightFunctional for ripping it up at the skatepark, pool, or tossing on some softie wheels for a  grocery-getter.  (Or stock up on vegan goodies, hang this deck in your kitchen and pretend you’re at Food Fight!)  Limited number of decks are available so don’t sleep on this one.

Food Fight $50.00 8.75×32  15″ wheelbase. (SHIPPING INCLUDED!!!)

 

 

 

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Etnies Marana: Review

Etnies Marana Vegan skateboard shoe canvas veg vegan xvxThe Etnies Marana now comes in three vegan colorways!  It has been about a year since the release of Ryan Sheckler’s pro model; the flagship of Etnies skateboard shoes.  The Marana features a number of technologies for a better performing, longer lasting skate shoe and still manages to catch a few notes of style from the early days of Etnies.

Vegan Skate Blog received a pair for a first look skate review and we eagerly started to shred. Here is what we found…Vegan Skateboard shoes Etnies MaranaThe canvas and mesh upper of the Marana does not equal your typical canvas shoe. The stiff rubberized toecap is what most distinguishes the shoe most from other models. Though its a trend, we’re seeing more and more of this for good reason.   Subtle stitch lines and panelling protect against blowouts. The mesh tongue and collar keep the shoe breathing. To sum it up to one word, the Marana is solid. …but lets extrapolate.Marana vegan skateboard shoe solid toe cap rubber toe capThe rubber toecap is nothing new to skateboard shoes; think Chucks or Vision. The Marana toe caps are more reminiscent to that extra piece of material you’d find on just about every cupsole on the block from the late 90’s. While that was the spot a rip would turn into a blowout, thats not the case here.  The rubber is bonded in the toe cap and imbedded into the sole with no top stitching. Your toes have plenty of room to move around, they’re protected from moderate impact, and the board flick is smooth.All vegan skateboard shoe animal friendly vegan etniesThe inner-sidewall reveals the otherwise hidden seem of the toecap. Far from the heavy wear of the ollie area this is more protection against blowouts.  Thats not the exciting thing on this side though. From the seem line all the way to the mesh of the collar is a stiff stabilizing panel. The panel not only keeps the shoes holding its shape, but it protects the inner sole.  Think of all those times a board caught you by surprise, right in that most tenderist of spots. Not with the Marana.puffy tongue vegan skateboard shoesLet’s hear it for mesh tongues! What once was a staple of skateboard shoes seems to have gone the way of the dodo. The Marana tongue is all mesh and even has a lace stabilizer. Your feet stay cool and the tongue stays in place. The waxed laces are also surprisingly durable!The Marana Ryan Sheckler skateboard shoe vegan skate shoeThe insoles of the Marana are incredibly cushy and cupping. Just what you need for jumping ten to twelve foot drops into flat-bottom . After all this is Sheck’s shoe and if you have ever seen some of the stunts Ryan is known for, it all makes sense the moment you give the insole a squeeze.  A nod to our noble legacy; Remember kids, scooters evolved from skateboards. Don’t devo.Etnies non-slip grip skateboard shoesEtniesNon-Slip Grip! Those little heal logos bring tears to my 30-something eyes. No joke though, the gun soles don’t slip. The big Etnies “E” in the center of the shoe is all foam too, “sti Evolution Foam” to be exact. This lines the footbed and provides that cushy ride.skate wear on the soles of Etnies MaranaDespite the cushiness, the flex and board feel leave you wanting a bit more. Even with the fancy cuts and patterns and a decent amount of break in, the Marana can be stiff. After 20 hours of skating, it still maintains the solidness that really typifies this shoe. The non-slip grip is still not slipping even as the patterns disappear into the grip tape.skateboard ollie holes skateboard shoes vegan canvas skateboard shoesOllie holes are still a real thing despite toecaps. But you have to consider the important balance of form and function. If the rubber came up any higher the shoe would certainly have a considerably different feel. While the process is delayed, nothing keeps any shoe from certain death. At the point pictured above, lets say the shoe is wounded at worst. The real win is for flip tricks. The flick area at the tip of the toe is going to withstand much more stress thanks to the toe cap.close look at Etnies technology vegan skateboard shoesA closer look at the ollie hole shows off something interesting. Four layers, count’em! Canvas on canvas on liner on foam. Kinda cool to look at, but further more it gives an idea of the thought and design to the Marana.Vegan Etnies MaranaEtnies is creating skateboard shoes for the future while giving a nod to their legacy of amazing footwear. (Shoes like the original Lo Cut and Sal 23 come to mind.) The Marana has only been around about a year and only in the last couple months available in a vegan colorway.

At $74.99 its on the high side for a pair of skate shoes. You get what you pay for though and the Marana is a good value. Arguably with a dab of shoe-goo here and there you could easily get six months or more of regular skating out of the Marana.

VSB is backing the Marana. If you like a solid cupsole, Etnies has got you covered.

Etnies

Grey/White size 6-14 $74.99

Green/White  size 7-14  $74.99

Burgundy size 6-14 $74.99

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Vegetable Shredder – Jade Ryan

Jade Ryan Vegan Skateboarder Vegetable ShredderNAME: Jade Ryan

LOCATION: Sydney, Australia

OCCUPATION: Skater

Where do you like skating? Any street spot that looks unskateable or a challenge.

Why did you go Veg? I have always believed in the ethical treatment of all living things and don’t want anything to suffer at my expense.

What is your favorite thing to skate and why? Any set of stairs, they make me conquer my fears.

Jade Ryan Vegetable Shredder Vegan SkateboarderWhat shoe are you skating in now? Kustom canvas.

Or just say whatever you want about skating Veg… There is a common misconception that being veg will somehow make you weaker which is perpetuated by the meat industry so they can keep earning their dollars.
I have never felt better both mentally and physically since becoming veg over 8 years ago. I am not into judging people that aren’t veg but would like people to at least respect the life of ALL creatures and treat them with the dignity that they deserve.

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We were very excited to find this Vegetable Shredder in our inbox! Jade has a rare and exciting style. Reminiscent to Mike V. (maybe thats why Jade is on the Elephant Army) with some bad ass bonelesses and plant variations we haven’t seen anywhere else!

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Osiris Caswell VLC

Osiris Vegan Skateboard shoes canvas Osiris Caswell VLC

Caswell Berry’s Pro Vulc skate shoe comes in a teal canvas colorway, perfect for your late Spring vegan attire.  A solid piece toe cap with the stitching clear of ollie area gives a nice smooth surface so you’ll avoid messy stitching and blowouts. The shoe-goo may need to come out to give a little extra life though. The collar has a medium amount of padding, and the tongue is pretty light.

Blacked out canvas with white foxing tape are available if you want to tone it down. They even have a navy denim colorway if your feeling a little “born in the USA vibe.  NOT all colorways are vegan.   The following are; Black/White/Dye, Blue/Red/White (pictured), Black/White, Navy/White/Yellow.

Osiris

Blue(Teal)/Red/White  sizes 5.5-14  $55.00

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