Happy Cow

HappyCow is a site that lists vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants, amongst a great variety of articles about other veg concerns and a good number of recipes. This is a site that is community run and contributed to by anyone who registers an account with them. Registration is a quick and painless process and you get to review restaurants listed, add restaurants or even connect with other users.

I've recently been paying a little more attention to HappyCow because I'm about to go to London and they are still the best place on the internet to see where to eat in foreign countries. This lovely site cuts out a lot of trawling of blogs and sifting of information.

In paying attention, I looked at what was listed for South Africa and the Johannesburg listings were a sad affair. The Cape Town list was a lot more thorough, and someone seems to update it regularly, which is great. I wish to urge my fellow South African vegans and vegetarians to participate on this fantastic site. Please write reviews, please list restaurants you go to regularly. HappyCow has provided me with such great assistance in China, Europe and the United States, that I can only hope we can help them provide this service to South Africans or veggies looking to visit South Africa.


New York Horse and Carriage Ban on the cards

Animal Rights activists have been petitioning to replace the horse drawn carriages in Central Park, New York with electric cars. The horses are subjected to long work hours, traffic, freezing cold weather and other extremities year-long, with a mandatory five week break in between. There is a lot of fuss on the news circuit about Mayor De Blasio's attempt to stop animal cruelty. Read about it in the Wall Street Journal or Google it for more information.

Vegan Mayor in Texas

Ed Smith, the five-term mayor of Marshall, with his wife, Amanda, changed his diet after a cancer diagnosis in 2008. Image from New York Times articles.

Marshall, Texas in the USA has a vegan mayor! It seems like veganism is becoming much more widely followed, but everyone has their own reasons. After being diagnosed with cancer, Ed Smith turned to a plant based, whole food diet, as they like to call it. It's less about being ethical and far more focused on health. Read more on the New York Times site.

Conscious 108

A new vegan restaurant has opened in Johannesburg! Conscious 108 has been open in Greenside for several weeks now and makes delicious meals. This spot has lovely decor and a warm atmosphere. They have quirky and original touches, like the book boxes they bring your bill in or the little floating shelves, or even the fun filament light bulbs hanging from the wooden beams stretched across the ceiling.

They bring the naughty side of vegan food including all sorts of confectionery. They have chocolate brownies and ice cream! I'm very pleased with this place. I would recommend the mexican burrito bean wrap (whatever they call it) and the 'chicken' mayo sandwich. Their ginger seitan with snow peas is also very good. The bunny chow is impressive too, but you should save some room for dessert!

It's great to have a vegan restaurant that's open on week nights. Try the hot chocolate. There is a delightful surprise in the bottom of the drink

Also check out this review by Joburg's Darling, a sworn carnivore that loves Conscious 108 for what it is... Some of the things she says make me cringe, but she raves about the food and that's what I'm trying to show you.

We've been back to Conscious 108 several times now and I think it's really great. Their food is delicious. I would advise against any expectations for off menu treats or even ice cream on a Wednesday, because as they close on Tuesday, they aren't always fully prepared for service at lunch time the following day.