It’s not ‘good,’ but it’s good, you know?

A photo of a pizza hut pizza taken from one side, no regular cheese but deep red sauce, vegan sausage, veggies, & parmesan
A photo of a pizza hut pizza taken from one side, no regular cheese but deep red sauce, vegan sausage, veggies, & parmesan
Photos: Summer Anne Burton

We were a Hut family, meaning that Pizza Hut was the chain pizza chain we preferred and which I treasured as the world’s greatest treat. I dunked on Domino’s and Little Caesar’s lovers and they dunked right back on me. Regardless of family affinity, many of us shared fond memories of the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program that gave you free pizza in exchange for reading books over the summer, a deal my child-self regarded as something akin to getting free diamonds in exchange for taking long baths.

At some point in the last couple decades, though, I’ve noticed that many of my generational peers regard “the Hut” with a uniquely strong disdain. I sometimes keep my chain pizza preferences private, but other times I feel moved to shout, “The pan crust is very good!” …


Sarah Miller’s tribute to her dog is stuck in my head even though it’s a song with no tune

A dog sitting in a large window in a red-brick house, as seen from outside.
A dog sitting in a large window in a red-brick house, as seen from outside.
Photo: Ingmar Larsen via Unsplash

I just feel so warm and happy whenever I read along to this song-poem by the writer Sarah Miller, whose funny, frank, smart personal-plus essays are decade-defining. She writes brilliantly on Winona Ryder’s Forever Sweater, maxi dresses, The Best Abortion Ever, the emptiness of Nancy Meyers kitchens, and now WINDOWBEAR!

Sarah recently starting blogging on Medium, and I’m delighted. These lyrics in tribute to her extremely wonderful dog (I can say that from even though I have never met Sarah or her dog because that’s how “being Twitter mutuals who both have heelers” works) are like if the little songs I sang for my dogs were Actually Enjoyable For Human Brains. They are not! But Sarah’s is.

Windowbear, Windowbear
Now when I come home you’re always there
Standing on the bed, standing on a chair
Looking out the window like a Windowbear


Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Gerrard Gethings, 17 Pictures of Cats and the People Who Look Like Them

👋🏽 folks,

What a strange world we find ourselves in. And yet, every morning, the sun rises as if we are supposed to get up and get on with our days, and most days, I can do at least a little of that. All things considered, I think that’s something to be grateful for.

New to Tenderly since I last wrote…

Everything has sucked lately, so I’ve been keeping track of the things that don’t — like tamale ladies, adoptable cats in libraries, cats who think they are dogs, cats fitting into things, cats…

Image for post
Image for post

And another thing that doesn’t suck: this very important dog photobooth.

Alicia Kennedy’s latest Vintage Veg column covers the influential Madhur Jaffrey’s 1981 vegetarian cookbook, World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking, a book that’s breathtakingly impressive in scope and notably dated in the broad brush with which it paints all “Eastern” food — still, for a Western audience just learning to cook with spices other than salt and pepper, it must have been a revelation. A perfectly era-evocative quote…


Say ‘peanut butter’!

A cute squinting white dog sits near a foot pedal inside a colorful “photo booth” with an open air top and trees behind them
A cute squinting white dog sits near a foot pedal inside a colorful “photo booth” with an open air top and trees behind them
Photo: Simone Giertz via Twitter

Important news of the day: Inventor Simone Giertz built her dog Scraps a backyard photobooth that is operated by a paw pedal. That’s right folks, you heard me, a paw pedal. This is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of cute stuff in my time. It doesn’t hurt that the portrait-snapping pup looks like a children’s stuffed animal.

A few months ago, Simone introduced her YouTube fans to her new family member Scraps, the newly minted dog-tographer, who was adopted from the San Francisco SPCA. …


When there are just so many things that do, we gotta start sharing the un-sucky with each other

A woman with curly hair and glasses leans over a computer, smiling while holding a cat, with a bottle and glass of wine
A woman with curly hair and glasses leans over a computer, smiling while holding a cat, with a bottle and glass of wine
This is how I imagine you, dear reader. Been there, trust. Photo: Matilda Wormwood via Pexels

It’s been easy to get overwhelmed with bad news in recent months, and while it’s important to stay informed and active, it’s also important to give that overstimulated brain a bit of a break. In the interest of sharing with you what helps me, I’ve been collecting examples of things that have happened recently that don’t make the world worse, and might actually bring a smile to your face.

Good luck out there.

1. Someone’s very lucky mam met this nice farmer who gets so nervous when cars pass by that he has to hold his loving dog’s soft paw.

2. We found Chappie.

3. Maru fit into a new container.

4. I saw my new favorite drawing for the first time.

5. An exception was made.

6. In Auburn, Maine, Covid restrictions have led to a collaboration between the local library and the Humane Society. A series of adoptable cats have been housed in the library’s currently unused teen zone, where library visitors are allowed to say hello. Each cat featured so far has found a new forever home, and I’m wondering if libraries everywhere could please adopt this policy ASAP.

7. This kitten who needed a lap found a lap and this person who really needed a kitten found a kitten.

8. Just my cat, Kristofferson, sleeping next to my desk

9. And this sheep who reminded me of him…

10. Pigeon got to put on her chair!!!!!!!

11. These pups got hitched.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Jumpin’ Jac Flash Photography

12. Just… this… 🥰

13. Another cat who thinks they’re a dog emerged (and the dogs were so fancy!!!).

14. Jesse drew this very short, very important story about friendship.

15. This cat found their person…

16. And this dog found theirs…

P.S. Never forget.


No animals need be harmed to make your house a trick-or-treater’s dream

Neatly arranged lines of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple Skittles.
Neatly arranged lines of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple Skittles.
Photo: Hello I'm Nik via Unsplash

Last year, I asked expert Shadow Vegan Jennifer Abbotts for a ranking of plant-based Halloween candy kids actually want, and she delivered. Here’s the ultimate top five best vegan Halloween candies to add to your next delivery order or grocery run before October 31st sneaks up on us.

1. Twizzlers

No Winnies were harmed in the making of this Imgur post

2. Sour Patch Kids

3. Skittles

4. Sweet Tarts

5. Swedish Fish

[Editor’s note: Red only, please!]

Read the full list to find out about the WORST vegan Halloween candies….


Image for post
Image for post

It’s October! Huh? Let’s get into it. Here’s what’s new to Tenderly…

That debate was rough. Here are 20 adorable, smile-inducing pictures to wash your eyes out from the toxicity of politics right now — here for you whenever you need them.

Hossein Raspberry, a new Tenderly contributor, wrote about what it was like to go vegan in Iran as a teenager, and how things have changed there since. Here’s a quote:

At first, my family, especially my little brother, couldn’t understand my desire to only eat vegetables. Today that little brother is 26 and embraces veganism. …


How many times do they have to ask?

Photo of a gray cat with his head resting firmly on the wrist of a hand gripping a computer mouse, his eyes closed peacefully
Photo of a gray cat with his head resting firmly on the wrist of a hand gripping a computer mouse, his eyes closed peacefully
Photo: Summer Anne Burton

I was recently delighted when I came across a series of tweets from @gisel_ysbryd describing her creative new solution to an issue many cat lovers may find relatable: a cat that’s neediest when you’re working hard on your laptop. I knew one such cat — Irwin, pictured above, my truest soulmate — whose obsession with being close to me was pretty constant, but magnified by several times whenever my fingers hit those glowing keys. It was adorable, but incredibly distracting.

According to the tweets, cats may be “all over your laptop when you’re trying to work” because they want to be like you. I absolutely LOVE this explanation, but I think it’s equally likely that your cat friend is just tired of you working so hard, and wants to offer to shoulder some of the household responsibility. …


We all need a break sometimes… consider today’s Tenderly newsletter our break to you.

Six easy steps for turning a bad day into a good day, explained in animal pictures

Step One: Take a long hot shower and sing (or just scream) along to your favorite song. Need musical inspiration? Laura’s Pet Sounds playlists contain multitudes.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Ramesh Letchmanan, from 37 Pictures of Majestic Animals Being Incorrigible Goofs

Step Two: Take a quick look at this cat who thinks he’s a dog (or, as one commenter suggests, all of these dogs who think they are cats) and reflect on how our families and communities shape our selves in beautiful and unpredictable ways.

Image for post
Image for post


Image for post
Image for post
Louis Renard, from These Fantastical 300-Year-Old Marine Life Drawings Will Blow Your Goggles Off

Friends of Tenderly,

As the U.S. and many other countries pass the six month mark of the Coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns and quarantine measures impacting our lives in myriad ways, many of us seem to be hitting a wall. Add to that the tension of living under an increasingly openly fascist leader who is threatening the legitimacy of an election that is now weeks away, and you have a recipe for total meltdown. Pour some “genuine terror about the future of reproductive rights” on that meltdown like lighter fluid and watch yourself burst into flames!

This week’s newsletter is coming at you late 🌚 (hello fellow night owls) and is going to be a quickie, because, well, see above. Seems like many of us are all feeling some kind of way, which is why I’m so glad that yesterday was the 21st of September. …

About

Summer Anne Burton

Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tenderly. Former BuzzFeed exec. Moomin. Texan. Vegan for the animals. 💕

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store