December 2012 VegNewsletter
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Marvelous Merriment
Let's celebrate all month long!
It's time for tinsel, family, friends, and twinkling lights. Whatever holiday you celebrate, there is a magical quality about December as 2012 comes to a close. Parties are abundant and limited-edition holiday treats, appear such as VN-editors' peppermint obsessions, Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's, So Delicious Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk, and Obsessive Compulsive Dessert's Candy Cane Bark. For family gatherings or holiday cookie exchanges, may we suggest potato latkes, soy nog whoopie pies, or Dijon roasted Brussels sprouts? And if the idea of holiday shopping stresses you out, we have a vegan gift guide for everyone on your list. Happy holidays!
V in the News
Go Vegan for Better Sex
Men's Health magazine is helping its online readers improve their performance—and we’re not talking athletics. In a recent online article, the health and fitness tome recommends a vegan diet for better sex. Pointing to unhealthy and “junky” diets, which often result in heart disease, the mag explains how heart disease can affect blood flow to all areas of the body, and suggests that men add plant-based “sex-savvy foods” to their diet. Recommended foods include oatmeal and whole grains, which are high in L-arginine, an amino acid that reduces the stiffness of blood vessels; magnesium-packed spinach and leafy greens, which help dilate blood vessels; and vitamin C-rich fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, and peaches to improve sperm quality.
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Ann Taylor Ditches Exotic Skins
ANN INC., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT clothing and accessories, will no longer be using exotic animal skins in its product lines. In its revised animal-welfare policy, the company clearly asserts its new stance on skins, declaring, “Our private label brands do not use real animal fur and do not knowingly sell products with skins considered to be exotic, including but not limited to alligator, crocodile, and ostrich.” An anti-skin stance is growing amongst retailers worldwide with athletic company developing non-leather alternatives; Australian department stores banning fur nationwide; and fashion guru Tim Gunn sending an anti-fur message in his latest book. According to Gunn, “fur belongs in the dustbin of history.”
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Animal Farmers Suffer from Nerve Damage
Analysis from the Agricultural Health Study, which consisted of 16,340 participants, reveals that beef and dairy farmers are more prone to numbness and weakness. These symptoms are characteristics of peripheral neuropathy, wherein the nerves responsible for transmitting information to and from the brain, as well as sending signals to the spinal cord and rest of the body, fail to work properly. Farmers who are exposed to intestinal bacteria regularly are likely to develop an increased risk of symptoms linked to Guillian-Barré Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder. The study’s authors report that dairy farmers were also more likely to suffer from blurred vision compared to non-animal farmers.
What's Hot on
You know what's hip? The internet. Here are our top five picks for hot stories you should check out right this minute.
1. 2012 VegNews Holiday Cookie Contest Bake the best dang holiday cookies in town? Enter your recipe to prove it and you could win a brand new Vitamix, among other prizes.
2. Vegan Baking Substitution Guide Need to stock up your pantry for the next batch of vegan deliciousness? Make smart swaps with this handy baking guide.
3. White Slime: the Newest Consumer Health Concern Forget pink. “White slime” is the newest consumer health worry as researchers equate chicken juice to “raw fecal soup.”
4. Veggie Awards 2012 Our 11th annual list of the very best of all things vegan is finally here!
5. Help for Hurricane Sandy Victims What better time for peace and charity than the holiday season? Help Sandy victims this holiday (and maybe run into vegetarian Mayor Booker).
What's Up at VegNews
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VegNews Holiday Cookie Contest
Deadline to Enter: December 8 @ 5pm PT/8pm ET

VegNews is thrilled to announce our second-annual Holiday Cookie Contest! Do you have a perfected vegan cookie recipe that puts the Sugar Plum fairies to shame? Whether it's your great-grandmother's gingerbread or a recipe inspired by whatever ingredients happen to be in your kitchen right this second, we're looking for the best holiday cookies on the planet. Bust out your best apron, biggest tub of vegan margarine, and favorite egg replacer, and show us how your holiday cookie crumbles. Dazzle VN editors with your sweet treats, and you might just win one of our three incredible prizes: a Vitamix blender, a dessert package from Sticky Fingers Bakery, or artisan chocolates from Allison's Gourmet! Submit as many recipes as you want by Saturday, December 8 at 5pm PT to Happy baking!
Event Showcase
Farm Sanctuary Reception
On December 9 Farm Sanctuary’s Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives Bruce Friedrich will be unveiling the rescue organization’s new program, Someone, Not Something. The first of its kind, Someone is a groundbreaking new program which aims to change the perception that people have of farm animals. The fundraiser evening will take place at San Francisco a.Muse Gallery from 2 to 5pm and will feature wine and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets to the event are still available.
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COK Annual Holiday Party
Compassion Over Killing is hosting its annual holiday party December 15 at the Silver Spring Regional Center in Silver Spring, MD. The annual fundraiser helps celebrate the power of compassion and will feature special guests including Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin, COK founder Paul Shapiro, and Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats owner Doron Petersan. The evening will include a silent auction, gift bags, and an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet. Advance donations made before December 14 will also receive two free drink tickets.
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To the Rescue New York Gala
The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team works with law enforcement to expose animal cruelty in puppy mills and animal fights, as well as help rescue neglected and abused animals. The dedicated team handles, cares, shelters, and places rescued animals in forever homes, and is ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Postponed due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the organization’s To the Rescue! New York gala and fundraiser is now scheduled to take place December 18 at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Get Cookin'
Vegan Cinnamon and Walnut Rugelach
Holiday cookies are abundant this time of year and what better way to impress people with the veg lifestyle than delicious pastries! In 2011, VN reader Lisa Peterson won second place in VegNews Holiday Cookie Contest with her scrumptious vegan version of rugelach, a traditional Jewish cookie where the dough is rolled out and then topped with cinnamon, sugar, plump raisins, and walnuts. If you need help veganizing your grandmother's stellar cookie recipe, VN's vegan baking substitution guide has you covered.
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Makes 48 cookies
What You Need:
For the dough:
1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese
1 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup spreadable apricot preserves
Sugar for sprinkling

What You Do:
1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and margarine until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla, mix well, and stir in flour until just combined. Onto a well-floured surface, place dough and form it into a ball. Cut the ball into 4 equal parts. Slightly flatten each ball and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.

2. To make the filling, in a food processor, pulse sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts until well combined. 

3. On a well-floured surface, place one ball of dough and roll it into a 9-inch circle. Spread about 2 tablespoons of apricot preserves onto dough. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of nut mixture on top of preserves and lightly press into dough. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut circle into 4 quarters and then cut each quarter into 3 equal pieces. 

4. Starting with outer edge, roll each piece toward center. On a baking sheet lined with a Silpat liner or parchment paper, place cookies, pointed edge down, and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Repeat this process with remaining 3 pieces of dough.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove prepared cookies from refrigerator and glaze each one with a small amount of apricot preserves and a sprinkling of sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned before letting cool completely on a wire rack.

Want even more holiday cookie recipes? Try a few of our favorites:
Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Candy Cane Frosting
11 Perfect Vegan Cookies
Perfect Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Product Review
VegNews Holiday Gift Guide
VN editors share their favorite gifts to give this holiday season.
Around the holidays, the VNHQ is overflowing with seasonally fun gifts to sample (don't hate us!) so when people ask us what we would give to our friends and family, we always have a few suggestions. On our list this year for delicious treats that are just right for stocking stuffers are Obsessive Compulsive Dessert's peppermint bark, chocolate orange fudge from Allison's Gourmet, and Feed Your Face's bevy of homemade caramels. Spoil your friends with My Antho cruelty-free facial care products that will keep them glowing all winter long. If you're attending a party, bring a bottle of vegan wine from Vegan Sommelier and some Nutty Cow ricotta cheese. For even more gifts galore, check out the 2012 VegNews Holiday Shopping Guide!
VegNews Store
VegNews Holiday Store
We have all the perfect holiday gifts from stocking stuffers to gift certificates.
Inevitably, you need a gift for someone—perhaps a co-worker, your mail carrier, your dog walker—and what says thank you more than a sweet smelling peppermint soy candle or a bar of dark chocolate-covered marzipan? If you're searching for a cute of holiday cards, pick up a 10-pack of the exclusive VegNews Holiday Cards, complete with a recipe for warming soy nog. For the new vegan in your life, our VN Holiday Cookbook and Holiday Cookie Collection are editor-approved recipes that will wow just about anyone you want to impress with amazing veg cooking. And if you need the perfect stocking stuffers, Crazy Rumors Lip Balm or Go Max Go Peanut Butter Cups are editor favorites. Happy holidays!

Parfait photo by Hannah Kaminsky
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spacer 6December ‘12
The VegNewsletter arrives in your inbox once a month and clues you in on vegan news, dining, recipes, products, events, reviews, culture, giveaways, and all the other good things in life.
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In This Issue
V in the News
What's Hot on
What's Up at VegNews
Event Showcase
Recipe: Rugelach
Holiday Gift Guide
VegNews Holiday Store
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The 2012 Veggie Awards Issue
We wrap up another amazing year in veganism with VN's annual, much-anticipated Veggie Awards. Find out why 2012 is the year of the vegan athlete and which city —Los Angeles or New York— is the winner of our ultimate Vegan City Showdown. Plus, chow down on three holiday menus that are sure to please any palate!
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