VegOut Loves the Ridgewood Reservoir (and Toad Style) and, uh Ridgewood!

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We love the Ridgewood Reservoir (and you will too!) because it is one of New York City’s newest and most interesting and arresting parks. NYCH2O will be taking us on a guided tour of the reservoir. This is what they have to say:

“The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950’s and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin.”

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The tour will be comprehensive and teach us about the flora and fauna that reside in this beautiful park. We will also learn about how water was pumped up from Long Island (Valley Stream is aptly named) and then how gravity sent the water from the reservoir to Kings County (Brooklyn). This is the second highest elevation in Queens County (The highest is Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens.). We’ll see all the way to Jamaica Bay in one direction and Manhattan in the other.

Following our tour with NYCH2O we’ll head over to Ridgewood’s go to vegan eatery – Toad Style! We enjoyed lunch there recently and this place had the most effortlessly chic folks dining in we’ve seen in a long time. We can take away to nearby Saratoga Park a block and a half away should seating not allow. Then on to two vegan efforts for body and soul.

Our Plan:

Wear comfortable shoes as we are walking a lot. The terrain will be flat.

10:45am – meet at Vermont Place in the parking lot.

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See map image below event description showing exact location of Vermont Place.

Googlemaps and MeetUp send you to Vermont Street. The MeetUp generated photo is incorrect.

11:00am – our tour commences with NYCH2O. The tour is free but you do need to rsvp here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ridgewood-reservoir-2018-community-tours-tickets-43104726397

12:30pm – we walk to Toad Style for lunch. Our walk will be approximately 45 minutes. Bring a snack to have on the tour if you think you’ll need that.

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2:30pm – we’ll end our time together by experiencing two wonderful vegan enterprises nearby. Fanciful Fox is our go to for all things vegan body care. This mother/daughter LGBTQ owned business finally opened a bricks and mortar location and are we ever so grateful.

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We’ll end our Ridgewood journey just over the border in Bushwick at Brooklyn Whiskers cafe, an all vegan eatery. Enjoy sweet or savory.

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All things event related:

NYCH2O: http://www.nych2o.org
Ridgewood Reservoir: https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/highland-park/highlights/19651
Toad Style: http://www.toadstylebk.com
Fanciful Fox: https://fancifulfox.myshopify.com
Brooklyn Whiskers: http://www.brooklynwhiskersbakery.com/#home

So don’t be provincial. Pull out that metrocard and head over to Ridgewood. The Norwood Avenue stop will get you there and the Kosciuszko Street stop will whisk you away.

VegOut Goes Birdwatching Indoors & Out!

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Details

Birds. They’ve always taken second place to mammals as valued sentient beings worthy of living life on their own terms (see end of description). Chicken McNuggets anyone? Did you earn a feather in your cap? Are you a bird brain?

We are at a historic crossroads – a century to be exact as to when respect to migratory birds was officially paid.

We’re talking about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Migratory Bird Act prohibited the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds. It also regulated the nation’s commercial plume trade, which had decimated many American bird species to the point of near extinction.

Let’s let the New-York Historical Society say the rest: “To commemorate the centennial of this landmark legislation, Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife delves into the history of the Act by examining the economic and social circumstances that inspired the early environmentalists and activists who lobbied for the precedent-setting legislation. New York was the center of the US feather trade, and the exhibition investigates how the act impacted the city’s feather importers, hat manufacturers, retailers, and fashion consumers. The spirited campaign is told through clothing and accessories, books, ephemera, photographs, and original watercolor models by John James Audubon for The Birds of America, accompanied by recorded bird songs from The Macaulay Library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.”

A few years back, VegOut ventured to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge – one of the main stopover areas for birds on the Atlantic Flyway. Birds are their own A380 when it comes to world travel. The only baggage you travel with as a bird is the detritus, flotsam and jetsam that humans have left in your path.

Our Plan:
2:00pm – we meet in the New-York Historical Society.
2:15pm – we pay our admission and head to the exhibit. There will also be time to take in the exhibit Collecting the Women’s Marches.
5:00pm – we exit, cross the street to Central Park and take in some birds as dusk starts it’s descent. We’ll walk toward the Adirondacks of the Park. Binoculars will be on hand.
6:00pm – we end our official bird watching. If the spirit moves us, we’ll head to a local vegan eatery for supper. We’ll decide at the time based upon our group size and appetite.
More about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act can be found here: https://www.fws.gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/laws-legislations/migratory-bird-treaty-act.php
All things New-York Historical Society: https://www.nyhistory.org (a true gem in New York City)

More on Collecting the Women’s Marches: https://www.nyhistory.org/exhibitions/collecting-women’s-marches
On Their Own Terms (One of the best animal rights and philosophy books ever written.): https://www.amazon.com/Their-Own-Terms-Liberation-Century/dp/1530341256
The Atlantic Flyway: http://www.audubon.org/atlantic-flyway

Accessibility: The nearest accessible station is 72nd Street for the 1, 2 and 3. Consult mta.info for buses to the NYHS. The NYHS and the restaurant venues in mind are all accessible.

Sign up thru MeetUp here: https://www.meetup.com/vegout-nyc/events/250431629/

Sicilian Stuffed Shells!

Really delicious . . .

Robin states: “In addition to being a terrific make-ahead dish, stuffed shells are great when company’s coming. Everyone loves pasta, and the shells look and feel more special than regular pasta and are much easier to serve than lasagna. The filling in this recipe contains the Sicilian trademark touch of raisins which lend slight sweetness to the dish. (You can leave them out if anyone in your crowd is raisin averse.) Serve with a crisp green salad.”

This recipe is from Robin Robertson’s quick-fix vegan.

A terrific book all around!

Soulful Creatures & Tommy Pico at the Brooklyn Museum!

Details here on MeetUp.

There have been findings of several million (several million!) animal mummies in ancient Egypt to this day. What must those burial sites look like?

The Brooklyn Museum states: “In the ancient burial ground at Saqqara, Egypt, one animal cemetery alone has yielded over four million individual ibis mummies. And the nearby dog cemetery contained over seven million mummies, with countless others found throughout Egypt. This unusual aspect of ancient Egyptian culture and religion—the mummification of animals—has remained largely a mystery. Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt explores the religious purpose of these mummies, how they were made, and why there are so many.

Drawn from our renowned collection, the exhibition features choice examples from among the many millions of mummies of birds, cats, dogs, snakes, and other animals preserved from at least thirty-one different cemeteries throughout Egypt. Animals were central to the ancient Egyptian worldview. Most animals had connections to a particular deity. After death, mummified animals’ souls could carry a message to a god.

Yet not all animal mummies are what they seem. Scientific investigation of the mummies reveals that the corruption in the animal cemeteries that some contemporaneous texts allege was all too real. CT scans displayed in the exhibition uncover the empty wrappings, double mummies, and misleading packaging among some of the mummies that the priests sold to worshippers.”

Watch the excellent video with the curators on the museum exhibit home page: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/soulful_creatures_animal_mummies

After our post-Halloween event, we’ll head up to the fifth floor for the First Saturday Book Club: Tommy Pico.

Poet Tommy Pico reads from his latest collection, Nature Poem, about his experiences as an American Indian (NDN) writer grappling with colonial white stereotypes, manifest destiny, and his own identity as a young, queer, urban-dwelling poet.

Our Plan:

6:30pm we meet just off the lobby as described above.

6:45pm we head up to Soulful Creatures exhibition.

8:30pm we hear Tommy Pico read

There is no better place to people watch (New Yorkers, that is) in NYC than at the First Saturday of each month at the Brooklyn Museum. In between these events we can enjoy a beverage at the bars set up around the museum. Feel free to stay after 10pm to take in some more art or just hang out.

All things weekend subway service can be found here: www.mta.info.

Fall Foliage Day Trip!

Walkway Over the Hudson on October 22!

Do we really care about maple pecan pumpkin autumnal marketing hooha in all it’s many contrivances as brought to you by DuaneReade by Walgreens? No! We care about leaves. Foliage. Fall foliage to be exact. So that’s exactly what we’re focusing on!

We’re going to do this in a very “I’ve only got one day to get this season in” kinda way. In New York City, usually Spring and Autumn happen during the rinse or spin cycles, right? As Joan C would say, “we don’t find the time, we make the time” so that’s what this day is all about.

Our Plan:

We meet at the info booth in the center of Grand Central Terminal at 9:25am. Our MetroNorth train is at 9:43am. Check out mta.info to get your weekend subway/bus stars in alignment so that you can be at GCT at 9:25am. If you’re not, don’t sweat it, you know which train we’re taking so buy a ticket, get on board and message us through the MeetUp app. Round trip is $37.00. Try that with a ZipCar.

Depending upon your appetite, bring breakfast/brunch/or lunch to have on board.

When we disembark, we’ll walk to the Walkway and proceed on a 4.4 mile hike (flat terrain) that will take us across the Hudson on one bridge and back on another bridge. http://walkway.org/visit/walkway-loop-trail/

After our walk/hike, we can have an early supper in Poughkeepsie or get on MetroNorth to return. Let’s see how the rsvps shape up and go from there. We’ll have vegan options up our sleeves should we remain in Poughkeepsie or return to NYC.

There are bathrooms at either end.

Accessibility: MetroNorth is accessible. The Walkway is accessible. There is an elevator to the Walkway but they urge to call to check status. Check that out here:

http://walkway.org/visit/walkway-hours-elevator/

All things Walkway Over the Hudson can be found here: http://walkway.org

Here’s to the change of seasons!

rsvp here: https://www.meetup.com/vegout-nyc/events/244041231/

A Letter to the Guggenheim

Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum

Re: Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I am a long time visitor to the Guggenheim. My first introduction was the Joseph Beuys retrospective in 1979. From that encounter I’ve been hooked on everything that the Guggenheim does. Beuys’ Five Tons of Fat stood in direct contrast to the recent changing hues from James Turrell. Only that eternal space that is the rotunda could pull off both. The excitement never stops at the Guggenheim.

It frustrates me to have to write this letter to you. I am requesting removal of the live animal and filmed live animal pieces from the above referenced upcoming exhibition.

I can only wonder how Peggy Guggenheim would react to the exhibition title’s source – a live animal cruelty act.

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The museum is engaging in animal fighting directly with the title  piece and at arm’s length with the filmed live piece that features eight American Staffordshire terriers.

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You may be interested to know that under New York State Agriculture and Markets Law §351, a person who engages in any of the following conduct is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to four years, or by a fine of up to $25,000, or both: (a) causes any animal to engage in animal fighting for amusement or gain; (b) trains any animal under circumstances evincing intent that such animal engage in animal fighting for amusement or gain; (c) breeds, sells or offers for sale any animal under circumstances evincing intent that such animal engage in animal fighting; (d) permits any of the three previous activities to occur on premises under his control; or (e) owns, possesses or keeps any animal trained for fighting on premises where an exhibition of animal fighting is being conducted under circumstances evincing intent that such animal engage in animal fighting.

In other words, the spirit of Peng Yu and Sun Yuan’s piece goes directly against the intent of this statute.

Also, the filmed piece of the two pigs engaging in sexual intercourse is merely animal exploitation with depravity. Were you aware that the deliberate tattooing or stamping of imagery on the skin of an animal is also a crime under §351? For Mr. Xu to state that “animals are completely uncivilized and Chinese characters are the expression of supreme civilization” demonstrates a complete lack of awareness as to the intelligence and emotional life of pigs.

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Who really is uncivilized here? As far as the museum is concerned, why is the filmed sex act permissible while the live sex act is impermissible? Does the latter go too far while the former is a seen through a lens approach that is deemed curatorially and palatably appropriate?

The Humane Society of the United States is working to stop animal fighting nationwide for good with their End Animal Cruelty and Fighting Campaign. The Animal Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association has taken positions on the types of animal combat that the museum is promoting.

None of the animals used or depicted by these artists gave consent. Surely if these are artists worthy of promotion by the Guggenheim Museum can they not be persuaded to create art that states their message without exploitation and cruelty?

My feeling is that this moment in the Guggenheim’s history will be tied to the moment when the New York Zoological Society exhibited a pygmy at the Bronx Zoo.

My hope is that Alexandra Munroe, Philip Tinari, Hou Hanru, Xiaorui Zhu-Nowell and Kyung An reconsider these particular curatorial choices in favor of pieces that convey artistic intent without depravity.

Sincerely yours,

Animal Rights March 2017!

This post is directly from Facebook. The VegOut page will be updated as more information is gathered so Save the Date!!

Join us on the streets of New York as we march through the city demanding an end to all animal oppression. The animal rights movement is growing at an unprecedented rate and now is the time to join together and unify, let’s make our voices heard and show that the future is vegan.

Last year Surge hosted The Official Animal Rights March in London and gathered together nearly 3,000 activists in what was one of last year’s most iconic days for the animal rights movement. We will be joining London this year by marching on the same day as them, showing our solidarity and unity as an unstoppable movement. Until all are free we will be on the streets fighting for animal liberation.

BE THERE ON SEPTEMBER 2ND!

The meet up address will be posted at a later time so keep checking back for details.

– NEW YORK ANIMAL DEFENDERS

Check out last years powerful march in London.

SHORT FILM (2016):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-GRFu5IOh0

PHOTOSET (2016):  http://bit.ly/2jjfCzC

Facebook event page below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/936538766485922/?fref=ts

Hope to see you all there!