Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Myself, A Vegan Handling Animal Products October 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — supernovadiva @ 12:50 pm

I’ve been unemployed for a while now and through an aunt I was connected to a leather smith, who I wouldn’t badmouth for the world. As a community artist, he took me, as well as a few others, under his wing to learn the craft so we can create an income for ourselves for free. We deal with leather scraps-some from pulled apart bags, jackets and such- and some just scraps from his work. I was kind of ‘No thank you’ about handling leather, but I wanted to learn figuring, and knowing in some cases, that the people who make the vegan alternatives out there may not originally learned with pleather. The interesting thing I learned is that many products labeled as leather aren’t. This is from high end down. They are made with really good vinyl or paper/cardboard then sprayed to smell like leather. Very smart, but deceptive. First I was like “Cool!” but then remembered what it takes to make pleather. (Both leather and pleather are bad for the environment and living beings.) Well after learning that, I’ve examined my big named items that are known leather makers to find they weren’t leather at all. Smell’s not enough though the scent eventually fades. Unfortunately you have to really know by feel, which can be difficult. Even looking under the lining isn’t guaranteed enough to tell if you don’t know. The manufacturers really copied the rough underside well. This goes for suede too. One way I learned it’s not real leather is by a fused fabric underside. Also there’s a kind of an artificial like feel, but in some cases it requires a learned touch.

I felt bad a bit for what I was doing, but then I’ve learned from other vegan friends that they’ve too had to deal with animal products- from having to cook meat to pass a course, family situation or ordering the food for events at work (I’ve done the latter quite a bit at the last job, even personally donating unclaimed frozen turkey gifts. At one nonprofit job I bought meat.). Some friends take apart items they buy at the thrift store and create from there, to limit the market demand for either pleather or leather, selling their creations at the flea markets to make ends meet.

I guess I’m saying, in my life and others, there’s no way to avoid animal products completely. My personal politics couldn’t pass up this internship- lessons that costs in the 100s for free when I’m financially below the poverty line. This is my vehicle to create a job for myself in my learned field (art and design) when no one’s hiring in any field- hoping to move it forward to other material. Ultimately, I wanted to share what I learned about the ‘leather’ that is out there.


No Worries Filipino Vegan Cuisine OPENING FRI. OCT. 1ST! October 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — xmabaitx @ 1:42 am

Click here for the No Worries Website!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (no offense to anyone who actually lives under a rock) and you’re a vegan you’ve heard the continuous buzz about a VEGAN Filipino restaurant opening up in the East Bay.  Well… HERE IT IS!  Friday, October 1st is soft opening for the restaurant.  The spot will open up around 11:30am.  Come out and get some awesome Filipino vegan grub!

I’m going to be working in the back during dinner, so wave hello at me if you happen to catch a glimpse of me chopping veggies in the kitchen.

Vegan Filipino Cuisine Comes to Downtown Oakland

Food Madeleine Bair —  Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 2:21 PM

There’s a good reason you don’t see vegetarians flock to Filipino joints as they do Indian, Thai, and other ethnic restaurants. If there’s no whole roast pig in the window to scare them away, a menu of sausages, cured beef, pork belly, and crispy pig legs usually does the trick. The cuisine is not only heavy on the meat, but heavy period, contributing to higher rates of obesity and heart disease in the Philippines than in other Asian countries.

Jay-Ar Isagani Pugao was a teenager when he learned this firsthand. His mom had a heart attack and had to eliminate all that red meat and cholesterol from her diet to stay alive. To help her out, “I went vegetarian, so she didn’t have to worry about cooking a healthy meal for herself and another dish for the rest of us.” Together, they experimented with cooking dishes like adobo, lumpia, and apritada without all the unhealthy stuff.

It was the first of many unexpected events in the course of Pugao’s life that have added up to the downtown Oakland restaurant he plans to open next week, No Worries Filipino Vegan Cuisine.

Read the rest of the article from the East Bay Express here.

No Worries Filipino Vegan Cuisine

1442 Franklin Street Oakland, CA 94607

Jay-Ar Isagani Pugao | 510.444.4466 |