News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association

Veg Out 474: We’re Turning 75 (Part 2)

We’re keeping the celebrations going! In Part 2 of our special 75th Anniversary episode, hosts Sweta and Steve dive into some of the early days of the TVA with guest Michele Brennan, who has been with the organization for many glorious years. The TVA may have an official office and Resource Centre now, but, true to its community ethos, its first and long-time office was actually in the home of the first president, Barbara Jackson. Listen on for more blasts-from-the-past, including how much the vegan and vegetarian restaurant scene here in the GTA has evolved over the past decades. We round out key moments in the organization’s history with updates about Bill 156 (which would essentially criminalize the act of investigating animal cruelty practices) and a new ice cream from Perfect Day (they make cow milk from bacteria – talk about innovative!), and of course, restaurant updates. https://veg.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/VegOut20200613.mp3 Links: Send an email to your MPP using Animal Justice’s letter as a template. The TVA Online Gala is happening on June 19: Silent Auction, a Video Collage and more! Get all the details. We’d love your help celebrating! Send us your birthday wishes… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Resource Centre Toronto Vegetarian Podcast

Veg Out 473: We’re Turning 75 (Part 1)

Did you know that the TVA is turning 75 in on June 19? Tune in for a special Anniversary edition of Veg Out, where we chat with John Graber, a long-time volunteer with the TVA, about the history of the resource centre and the creation of the podcast as a slice of TVA’s history. Toronto’s veg*n landscape has changed dramatically over the past 10-15 years and it’s always fun to take a look back at how things used to be (i.e., needing to go to Seattle to find a good vegan donut). Plus: who, or what, is Gonga? And what is one staple you’ll (almost) always find at the Resource Centre? Listen to discover more fun facts about the TVA’s history. https://veg.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Veg-Out-May-30.mp3 Links: The TVA Online Gala is happening on June 19: Vegan Rock, Silent Auction, a Video Collage and more! Get all the details. We’d love your help celebrating! Send us your birthday wishes in a ~20sec video in landscape format to torontovegvideo@gmail.com and we’ll include it in our montage during the celebrations. Virtual Vegan Rock is an annual musical fundraiser for the TVA and it’s coming to a… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Resource Centre Toronto Vegetarian Podcast

Veg Out 472: Plantify

This week we’re talking PLANTIFY: a short documentary available on CBC Gem that explores how one dynamo couple introduced plant power on Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. Here in the GTA we’re lucky to have access to a plethora of resources to support plant-based diets, but that’s not always the case in urban, suburban, and rural locations across Canada. So how did a small community on ‘The Rock’ develop shifts to support culturally appropriate plant-based eating? Hear Sweta, Steve, and Sarah’s thoughts on the community-building power of food – because being plant-based is just as much about emotional well-being and social connection as it is about physical health. Plus: updates on the outbreak of COVID-19 cases in several Canadian slaughterhouses and the troubling issue of workers being directed to return to work – even when they feel unsafe. Listen Now to Veg Out 472 Links Plantify Documentary (available to stream for free on CBC Gem) Meat is not essential. Why are we killing for it? These are the meat plants in Canada affected by the coronavirus outbreak How Cargill became the site of Canada’s largest single outbreak of COVID-19… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Resource Centre Toronto Vegetarian Podcast

Veg Out 471: Lockdown Talk

We’ve made it through seven weeks of COVID-19 lockdown here in Toronto and we wanted to check in and talk about how we’re coping. On this episode of Veg Out, Betsy, Sweta, and Sarah talk about finding ways to get some fresh air (and maybe even get a whiff of blooming magnolias), stay connected to our communities, appreciate our urban surroundings (7:30PM healthcare worker choruses FTW!), and of course – cook! Plus, the devastating effects of slaughterhouses are being amplified during this crisis, and we discuss the myriad problems with worker conditions on both human and animal health. Will COVID-19 lead to more awareness of the environmental and social impacts of meat consumption? Only time will tell, but for now, we’ll keep sharing ways for both veg*ns and the veg-curious to shift some of their food choices given the limitations of accessing fresh food (hint: dried legumes are the powerhouse ingredients that just keep giving). Listen Now to Veg Out 471 Links Mic the Vegan on Slaughterhouses and COVID-19 National Post Article on Canadian Farms… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Resource Centre Toronto Vegetarian Podcast

Plant Seeds and So Shall We Grow

As we extend into week six of this period of physical distancing, here is an update on how the Toronto Vegetarian Association is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and information about the new online programming we are offering to the veg community. First of all, everyone at the TVA is doing well. We hope that you and your family members are also doing well and practicing safe distancing. This pandemic was caused by a coronavirus of animal origin, which shifted to a human host and has spread rapidly, as there is no natural human immunity. In this context, we know that the TVA’s work has never been so important. We have been thrilled to meet many members of the community during our weekly virtual lunch club and the Instant Pot cooking demo that was held on Facebook Live. Our virtual TVA Facebook cookbook club has over 50 members who are eagerly sharing recipes and photos of the amazing dishes they have prepared. Our Instagram stories showcase food stories and news about open restaurants. At the beginning of April, we moved the Veg Spring Market online, showcasing online offerings from 13 veg businesses and non-profits, and broadcasting five free online workshops including… Read More


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Discount Profile: Sweets from the Earth

Sweets from the Earth is one of the longest standing vegan bakeries in the GTA and is famous for its delicious, well, sweets of course! Since social distancing became the norm in the GTA, they’ve added some savoury and bread items to their online store, and I couldn’t wait to take advantage of the opportunity to try them out! If the incredibly delicious quality of their caramel pecan bars or apple pie squares, that I’ve become accustomed to, was a sign of what to expect from their breads, I knew I was in for a treat. I ordered a sandwich loaf, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, and mini bagels, all of them in whole wheat. The sandwich loaf was surprisingly large, more slices than a typical loaf you’d buy in the grocery store. It had a nice slightly crunchy crust, but the bread itself was very light, soft, and fluffy. The mini bagels were nice and dense and chewy, just like you want a bagel to be. Next time I might give the apple cinnamon version a try! The hamburger buns were also very fresh and soft. In addition to using them as a hamburger bun, I absolutely loved simply toasting… Read More


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Veg Out 470: Red Meat Republic: Indigenous Land Grabs and Working Conditions

On this episode of Veg Out, Sweta, Sarah, and Steve discuss Red Meat Republic, a hard-hitting and informative book that illuminates the troubling practices of America’s cattle ranching industry. From the complexities of land ownership to the blunt power of the assembly line to workers’ rights, there is so much to consider when it comes to ‘big meat’. A lot of the issues we see with modern industrial agriculture have entrenched histories, and it’s important to understand these histories as we continue to advocate for healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and more just food systems. Plus: get essential updates on some of our fave vegan businesses and find out how you can support them over the coming weeks. Listen Now to Veg Out 470 Links Red Meat Republic the book Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America, Joshua Specht Article, Excerpt of Red Meat Republic Chickens: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) Worker Trauma in the Slaughterhouse Additional Resources Seven Fallen Feathers… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Resource Centre Toronto Vegetarian Podcast

Veg Out 469: Animal Liberation Kitchen

On this episode of Veg Out Sarah, Steve and Sweta speak with Tanya from the restaurant Animal Liberation Kitchen. We get into how it all started and how they’re dealing with the struggles of maintaining a restaurant in these times. Listen Now to Veg Out 469 Links Animal Liberation Kitchen Find out updates about the Animal Liberation Kitchen on their Instagram or Twitter page. Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Resource Centre Toronto Vegetarian Podcast

Vegan Meal Ideas for People Who Can’t (or just don’t want to) Cook

A lot of people have been talking about how the extra time at home in social isolation due to the Coronavirus has given them an opportunity to cook and bake. There has been no shortage of exchanges of recipes or online cooking classes going on. But what if you truly don’t know how to cook, or you just plain hate it, and suddenly you are cut off from the world of vegan restaurants and coffee shops you usually frequent? We’re here to help with some ideas for meals you can throw together right now without having to learn any new skills. Breakfast cereal with soy, almond, or oat milk toast with peanut butter (or your favourite other nut or seed butter), topped with some sliced bananas and hemp seeds for extra nutrition giant fruit salad: slice up oranges and apples and sprinkle with some nuts and/or seeds, and cinnamon already flavoured instant oats can be bought so that all you need to do is add boiling water or, if you don’t even know how to use your kettle, there are usually instructions for microwaving too! Thaw some frozen berries and mix those in for added nutrition, and/or add in some peanut or… Read More


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Veg Out 468: Taste Tests with Samita Sarkar

On this episode of Veg Out, Barbi and Sweta speak with Samita Sarkar about the science of baking. Samita is the daughter of two chemistry PhDs and is quite knowledgeable about science herself. She shares her expertise and offers advice about how to make good desserts. At the end of the podcast, Barbi shares some online events that TVA has for all of us staying at home. Listen Now to Veg Out 468! Links: Purchase Taste Tests: The Science of Simple Healthier desserts. Samita Sarkar’s Website… Read More


Filed under: News News from the Toronto Vegetarian Association Resource Centre Toronto Vegetarian Podcast