The Garden is closing! On March 29th, The Garden will close it’s doors at 36 South Colville Street never to re-open…. but there is some great news! On Friday, April 12th, 2013, The Garden Vegan Cafe will open at 230 East Main Street! BIGGER, BETTER, AND more beautiful than ever.

All new menu, all new smoothies, more hot foods, more organic, more local! It’s a win win… there are even 9 dedicated parking spaces in our back lot! We just can’t wait to share this all new program with you.

Oh…. and with the most advanced espresso machine in Walla Walla, not to mention Stumptown Organic Coffee beans, and no extra charge for soy, rice, or almond milk, we think we’re gonna win you over big!

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Animal Rights: The Chick Grinding Industry

In egg laying factory farms, chickens are kept in warehouses in row upon row of small enclosures, referred to as battery cages. According to the article “Factory Egg Production: Access Farm Sanctuary Research Report” hens are usually packed four to a cage in cages just 16 inches wide. The cages are so small that the hens can’t even stretch their wings. This is where they spend their sad, short lives.

These chickens suffer many ailments during their lives. One of these ailments is osteoporosis which results from hens losing too much calcium due to constant egg production. Sometimes to save even more money, hens are forced to molt. According to this same article, the forced molting process involves keeping hens in darkness and denying them food or water, forcing their bodies into another egg laying cycle. After only one year of egg laying, the hens are no longer valuable to the company. Some spent laying hens are used in foods such as pot pies or soups where the meat can be ground up. At one company however, 15,000 spent laying hens were disposed of by being tossed into alive into a wood chipper. Even worse the district attorney took no action against the farmer and called it a “common industry practice” (“Factory Egg Production”). It seems that it has been forgotten that chickens “are much more socially complex and intelligent than we previously believed” (Williams and DeMello 27).

The even darker side of the whole egg laying process, according to this same article is that “for every egg-laying hen confined in a battery cage, there is a male chick that was killed at the hatchery” (“Factory Egg Production”). These male chicks are of no value to the company, because they have not been breed to produce high-quality meat and so they are disposed of immediately. There are several standard methods of disposing of the male chicks:

  • Maceration—using a large high-speed grinder into which the chicks are fed.
  • Gases or gas mixtures—often carbon dioxide is used to induce unconsciousness and then death.
  • Cervical dislocation—manually induced dislocation of the spinal column from the skull.
  • Electrocution—a new method that has been touted as being cheap, reliable, and humane by its developers

This is clearly not a healthy system and it should not be considered acceptable to dispose of thousands of baby birds by chopping them up or simply leaving them to die. This is not an ethical way to raise animals for meat.

So what can you do?

If cutting out eggs completely isn’t an option for you, try to make informed choices when you purchase eggs. Buy from small local family farms or at a farmers’ market. Be wary of eggs labeled “free-range” or “cage-free” that you can find in the grocery store, because the living conditions aren’t much of an improvement for chickens and the disposal of male chicks still occurs.

Sources:

Williams, Erin E. and Margo DeMello. Why Animals Matter: the Case for Animal Protection. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2007. Print.

“Factory Egg Production: Access Farm Sanctuary Research Report, The Welfare of Hens in Battery Cages, Laying Hens.” Farm Sanctuary. Web 3 May 2009.

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Restaurant Review: Bombay Chaat House

Bombay Chaat House is a required Portland stop for Indian food lovers. When you arrive at 804 SW 12th Ave and Yamhill you will see two Indian food carts and like us you may find yourself confused. Apparently Bombay Chaat House was opened by the ex-wife of the owner of India Chaat House (the food card next door) after a not-so-pleasant divorce. The menu is entirely vegetarian and they also provide many vegan options as well. The best part is the $5 special which features naan, rice & four different dishes. Doesn’t get any better than that! The food is all delicious (or at least everything that we’ve tried) and the prices are affordable even for poor college students. So skip the sit-down and do it Portland-style at this awesome food cart!

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Restaurant Review: Sweetpea Baking Company

Sweatpea Baking Company is one of our favorite dairy-free eateries in the Portland area featuring a delicious assortment of baked goods like cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cake and much more. Our favorite item here though is the vegan cheesecake. Yes, we know what you’re thinking, there’s no such thing as a good vegan cheesecake, but Sweetpea baking has definitely mastered it. They also serve sandwiches, bagels and soup and they do specialty order cakes too (vegan wedding cake anyone?)

Sweatpea Baking is located in the Vegan Mall on Stark Street. The Vegan Mall is a wonderful gathering place for vegans. It features a vegan grocer, clothing store, tattoo parlor and another cafe (Red & Black Cafe). This makes for some great people watching. Young Portland vegans are a breed of their own and their style is unmistakeable. If you don’t know what I’m talking about… well, you’ll just have to visit the vegan mall and do some people watching for yourself.

Finally our absolute favorite thing about Sweatpea Baking is the all you can eat brunch on Sunday mornings. Endless helpings of scrambled tofu and biscuits & gravy? Yes please.

 

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