Guests crossing my threshold will now get a friendly yet firm whack on their backside with my nifty new meat-eater beater if they're not repentant of their carnist ways, snort.
Guests crossing my threshold will now get a friendly yet firm whack on their backside with my nifty new meat-eater beater if they're not repentant of their carnist ways, snort.
One hour. One measly little hour. This one hour translates to 1/24th of your day, 1/168th of your week, and 1/8760th of your year (if my calculations are correct, snort). Earth Hour will be celebrated from 8:30 to 9:30pm on Saturday, March 31, 2012. Please take this time to show a little love for this lovely planet we're allowed to live on, the ultimate mother of us all, in a way. Think about how we treat our hostess, all her other guests, and give thought as to whether our manners could improve. ;)
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. --WILLIAM JAMES
This cartoon amused me greatly as I happened to be finishing my sociology degree a little over a quarter century ago (why does that sound a lot longer than 25 years?), and it has graced more than one refrigerator. At the time I didn't give much thought to the quite literal prison sentences served by sentient beings in zoos, circuses, laboratories (I hadn't even heard of the term factory farms yet) and all other manner of places, although I could relate to questioning the usefulness of this particular degree. And to be fair, I haven't reaped the economic benefits that post-secondary education usually confers, although that was totally through my own doing.
But I like to think that my relatively useless degree HAS contributed greatly to my "I'm in here for life" vegan journey. I initially wanted to major in psychology as I was interested in what made people tick (although to be honest I bet most psych majors, myself included, enter the field trying to figure out what the hell makes them tick, snort), but soon realized that examining why groups of people behave as they do is even more interesting. My education and on-again off-again career in non-profit community research helped me to develop critical thinking skills (I hope), a healthy disdain of academic jargon, life-long impatience with committees and meetings, an awareness that statistics can be manipulated any which way you like, and if nothing else, shaped how I view pretty much every issue, including veganism. In other words, I'm hopelessly sociologically bent. ;)
p.s. Don't forget that my vegan giveaway contest ends tonight. I'm working tomorrow, so plan to draw and post the results late afternoon or early evening. See you then!
p.p.s. In order to make it easier for drawing purposes I did not respond to any comments in the giveaway post, but would like to thank everyone for participating. Good luck to all! :)
Because, after all, A person's a person, no matter how small. -- Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears A Who!
Have to admit I never gave much thought to vegan kid lit until Harry lamented the lack of vegan nursery rhymes in response to my last post. The only children's book I had actually heard of before was Ruby Roth's That's Why We Don't Eat Animals, but luckily, Bea provided a great Vegetarian-friendly Kids Book List. Thanks Bea! And this prompted me to do some rooting around on my own. So here's a few other booklists to peruse in order to help our pint-sized vegan heroes of tomorrow:
If there are any specific books that you would like to recommend (To Market, To Market, for example, looks fabulous!), please let us know in the comments.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss,
p.s. I was actually, and quite tragically, Seuss-deprived as a child (didn't even know any English until I was nearly eight), but I figure it's never too late... ;)
Excellent! I hope many of you do because we sorely need vegan goods and services. And as a consumer wanting to spend my measly dollars in humanitarian sentientarian ways, here's a small sampling of what I personally would like to see more of:
So, step up to the plate all my vegan entrepreneurial friends and let's fill in the gaps! :)
Have a happy, safe and animal-friendly holiday everyone! Hope to be back soon.
* The cartoon above is by the well-known vegan genius Dan Piraro. He's awesome.
You know, a person concerned with the needs of mankind allkind and the alleviation of sentient suffering. Also, one who is devoted to the promotion of sentient welfare (I use the term here in the traditional sense of well-being) and the advancement of social reforms. Although closely related to the (speciest?) term "humanitarian", think of sentientarian as going one step (or a hundred miles) further, snort.
If you haven't already switched over, please do so now. There are no forms to fill out, and no fees will mysteriously show up on your credit card. Thank you, and Welcome!
And no, I don't mean that you'll have fewer years to endure the mind-boggling and nerve-curdling animal cruelty that passes for normal on most parts of the planet. By the way, if all that crap is getting you down big time and sometimes (on darker days) having you think that the predicted demise of our fair earth in 2012 might not be such a bad thing, may I suggest a refreshing dose of CarpeVegan? Even if you don't agree with their viewpoints of purposeful vegan baby breeding or thrift store leather purchases, these dudes can be seriously funny and laughter-induced endorphins are good for everyone's health. Especially vegans. And those who have to live with them. Kidding! About the last part. But you knew that.
Where was I again? Oh yeah, the advantages of being wrinkled. Sure, most of the materials distributed by places like Vegan Outreach are aimed at younger brains and hearts and that certainly makes sense, but let's not forget that there are distinct advantages to going vegan when you're older. First, no one will pat you on the head and inform you that you're going through a "phase" if you announce your vegan intentions at the ripe old/middle age of 46. Had I gone vegan when I was 16 I'm sure my head would have gotten tired of all those patronizing hands. People expect college-age students to try on different philosophies and identities whereas we more seasoned folk have pretty much figured out who we are by now. And we've certainly been around the block enough times to be fairly serious about our goals (and more immune) when we agree to be maligned by the majority of meat-loving cohorts around us.
Another distinct advantage of most older vegans is that they tend to be established in their careers and finances (not myself personally, snort, but MOST), which means they have more money to donate to vegan causes and a wider sphere of influence. Who has more clout? Somebody in a boardroom or a schoolroom? Bill Clinton, or the girl on Glee?
So while I understand the impetus to recruit the young as they'll have more years to save more animals, let's not underestimate the importance of reaching out to the not-so-young. Like the quantity versus quality argument, young isn't always better and doesn't mean they'll influence more folk to go vegan than we older fogies will.
Um, I know there are other advantages too, but I'm gonna go take a wee nap now...
p.s. accuse me of being ageist in this post and I'll make sure your funny bone STAYS missing ;)
p.p.s. I MEANT to link to this informal poll, but forgot. Blame old age if you like. Or not.
Had never heard of him until The Vegan Spyder sent me a Flickr message one day saying, hey, check this out:
Turns out it was pretty funny and John certainly has a unique voice/style to add to the vegan choir. Then on Provoked I saw this brilliant piece and was really impressed:
So thanks to both my pals for introducing me to this cool Canuck (slang for Canadian), and be sure to check out his other works. I know I certainly will! :)
Update: As it turns out, YouTube decided that the work of vegan activist John Sakars was in violation of its Community Guidelines whereas the numerous animal crush videos and other videos celebrating hunting, dogs being barbecued, people tossing live goats to lions in Chinese zoos for entertainment and all other manner of sick crap is, well, perfectly fine. And yes, some may find a few of John's videos too crude for their taste, but really? Actual violence against animals is okay, but speaking out against said violence is not? But that, my friends, is where YouTube stands. So, YouTube terminated John's original account, but he has uploaded 25 videos to his new one (from where I uploaded the Vegan Marriage Counsellor above), and he can always be found on Facebook.
Q: How many vegans does it take to change an omnivore's mind?
A: Only one. But which vegan will it be?
A: None. The omnivore needs to change it themselves.
A: Fewer than the number it takes to change a Francionist's mind, snort.
A: No idea. But what did you do with the lightbulb?
Yes, I can hear you groaning right through my computer screen! So please salvage sad joke by submitting your own line. ;)
Don't care about other animals? Don't understand all the fuss vegans make when there's enough human suffering already? Annoyed that we spend time and money helping critters when you feel people should come first? Wish bleeding-heart vegans would just STFU?
Then go vegan because you love people more.
Go vegan because you want to help end world hunger and feed children instead of cattle. Why should all that grain go to feed animals when it can be used for human consumption? Think of the number of people that could be fed (about 800 million!) if all the crops grown to feed livestock were diverted to them instead. Why should beasts be fed first when people are starving? Kinda crazy if you think about it, no?
Vegan who gives a hoot.
Why did I write the above? Am I not vegan because of ethics? Of course I am, and so are you, but you're not the person who needs to stop eating meat. And while I would prefer that everyone become vegan for what I feel are the right reasons, I think there's a case to be made for having as many compelling reasons as possible for people to go vegan period. Let there be a smorgasbord of reasons so that no one can have an excuse not to! Besides, I'm sure it doesn't matter to the other animals why any of us are vegan, just that we are.
Vegan who gives more than a hoot.
Maybe the last one was too snarky?
But I ran across the one above the other day and was moved by the infectious joy shared between baby and dad. Couldn't help wishing though that babies of ALL species were able to revel in the myriad pleasures of being alive.
Okay, I thought it was funny. Hysterically so, actually. And you know what they say, "Those who can't laugh at themselves, leave the job to others." Amen!
Is this a great print or what? Based on the Keep Calm and Carry On poster phenomenon, this parody made me smile and well, resolve to keep my vegan chin up. Timely too, given the recent Oprah debacle, although I'm starting to think a bit differently about the show too. Oh sure, I'm still annoyed and think the many criticisms raised absolutely valid, but I'm chilling out somewhat. Bea, of Provoked, did a wonderful job of gathering reactions, and reading through the original posts I came across some interesting viewpoints.
Vegan Machine's review was probably the most positive of the bunch, and while I didn't agree with all of her observations, I was glad of the mathematical reminder of how many animals were spared that week. And I found some of the comments in Dreena Burton's post quite fascinating. Consider the following by a nonvegan poster:
For people (like me!), the vegan life seems radical, difficult to sustain and dare I say weird. I would have never considered trying it until watching her episode. I'm not certain it's a lifestyle choice I could make, but it got my wheels turning... You have to remember the audience, I think. Majority of those watching having, like me, don't understand it. The show made it seem more attainable... You have people thinking about who otherwise wouldn't be. That' a success.
It made me wonder what other nonvegans thought of the show, and how many of them were inspired to think of veganism differently. It would also be interesting to know how many vegan starter kits were ordered from Oprah's site, or how many clicks there were on the various information links (like the Going Vegan FAQs answered by Dr. Neal Barnard) and vegan menu plans. And what about this last comment?
Well, as someone who watched the show as a certified meat eater I can happily tell you that I went completely vegan on 2/6 after reading most of Kathy Freston's book. I have attempted the vegetarian/vegan conversion intermittently over the past 15 years, but her approach really won me over... The bottom line is that if this gentler approach can get more people on board with a plant based diet then ultimately everyone wins. You really do not win people over to your point of view when you take an antagonistic, I hate to say it this way, but " I'm more evolved than you " attitude because people automatically leap to defend their position no matter how misguided... Just a few thoughts from someone who was affected enough by the not so pc vegan presentation to change her dietary choices.
Bingo! I call that a good result. Apparently, Kathy Freston's Veganist shot to the top of the Amazon list February 1, and is still the #1 book in the Cooking category. Not bad. Her book will fill in the gaps and present the ethics, health and environmental benefits of veganism as well. And what about the term veganish that I wasn't particularly enamoured of? I like This Vegan Life's take on it, and am thinking that if we really want a vegan world then perhaps having people who are becoming veganer, veganish, and veganist is at least a start. Language both reflects and shapes societal attitudes, and the more terms that contain the word vegan as a positive root, the better.
The Vegan Soapbox also reinforced my "well, maybe it wasn't a complete waste of time" reflection, so maybe we can put this episode behind us (or demand a follow-up show where Oprah acknowledges the error of her outrageous retort), and be glad of the opportunity to have more vegan newbies (and curious bystanders) on board. We can answer their questions without being interrupted by commercials or obnoxious meat-endorsing guests, come up with brilliant rebuttals, and offer suggestions and support.
So next time we hear a celebrity say something incredibly stupid about our cause, let's remember to: a) let them know how they're wrong, and b) keep calm and vegan on! ;)
Ready? Well, in a nutshell, I don't really like cooking.
Now that probably won't come as a huge surprise given that I've already confessed to a certain lack of enthusiasm for baking. But I was thinking more about it the other day when I was trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that I don't like about baking in particular, and realized to my shame that it all came down to it being too much work. In other words, I'm probably the laziest vegan in the world! Specifically what I find most annoying about baking is all the precise measuring you have to do. And that is precisely what I like about soup (the one dish I do enjoy making): you just throw everything into a pot in whatever amount you like or happen to have on hand. No recipe to follow, no persnickety measurements, and not even a required order of ingredients. Nope, you just do what you want, and then let it do what it wants for a while. Which maybe makes me more of a culinary rebel than the laziest vegan ever? Oh, and I don't ever put soup in a blender either. If I want it all smushy, I just let it simmer longer. ;)
So given my distaste for dishes that require more than five ingredients (including spices), and more than fifteen minutes of prep time, why do I torture myself and even look at the gluttony of vegan food blogs available? Blog after blog showing me just how lazy, undisciplined and pathetic I am for not creating my own culinary concoctions day after day. And that's the problem of course, because just as I admire flowers and gardens maintained by someone else, I like looking at food when prepared by someone other than myself. But all this blog ogling makes me wonder how anyone has time to do all of this delicious cooking, not to mention cleanup and shopping. Am I a bad vegan for sometimes wishing that I could just pop a pill to get all of my nutrients? Snort.
Every movement or cause needs and develops its own language over time, so I've decided to explore this vegan vernacular if you will. But before I see what's in Google-land, I'm going to list V words that come to mind (ones that I've seen or am making up, snort):
I really like veganomics and veganology (can you tell I used to be a sociology major?) and I think that as veganism continues to become more mainstream, it would be both useful and interesting to study the social and economic impact of this movement.
I came across and liked the words veganosity, veganniversary and vegangelical, and check out the vegan words on pages 14-15 of this 2003 Spring edition of Vegan Views! I particularly like veganimous and of course, veganoid, LOL.
How about you? Any good V words you'd like to add?
I know; I almost feel like a traitor just for saying it! Snort. And it's not as if I hate them per se, but they just don't do anything for me. They don't make me squeal with delight, don't make me go ooh and aah, and they don't (unlike a certain cookbook would like) take over my world in any way. Now before you go thinking I'm the grumpiest vegan ever, I've never really liked regular-sized cakes either. The icing, especially, is usually too sweet for my taste.
And that, at the risk of you viewing me as ultra grumpy, brings me to the commonly held assumption that a vegan diet is healthier. Well it can be, but not always. All those cupcakes and other admittedly yummy vegan desserts can be high in both sugar and fat. I myself gained weight after turning vegan in part because I felt I deserved more treats. Using a generous amount of olive oil when sautéing onion and garlic didn't help either. In some ways, I find eating healthy even more of a challenge these days because I've never liked vegetables much, am not keen on most faux products, and find that beans will only take you so far!
Now another perfectly reasonable explanation for my cupcake aversion could be that I'm not only grumpy but also lazy, and not having easy access to vegan sweets in a small town means that I would have to bake them myself. And baking is NOT something I'm good at, or enjoy. Or maybe my appetite is so large that those little cakes are too darn small for me?
So, do you like cupcakes? Is it unveganly not to? Should there be a support group for cupcake-challenged vegans like me? ;)
Snort. But I find it funny that people view lactose intolerance as a health problem in need of treatment. Um, maybe the body can't easily digest lactose because we're not meant to be eating dairy in the first place? And ethically speaking, since we shouldn't be stealing milk from animals anyway, shouldn't we ALL be lactose intolerant? Maybe vegans need to reclaim the term! And while we're at it, become egg, honey and meat intolerant as well. ;)
So my favourite slogans from the previous post were:
But I'm trying to come up with more and the tricky (impossible?) part is incorporating all the elements of veganism that are important. Anyway, here are a few that have been percolating in my brain:
Okay, now I'm just going to throw everything out that I can in hopes that something half-decent will emerge from the sludge:
Actually, I've changed my mind, snort. What I'm going to do instead is start a separate page for Vegan Slogans that you can find in the upper right hand corner beside Vegan Quotes. In it, I'll list the good ones from above and keep adding to it and mucking around with it until there are a number of vegan slogans that I like. Contribute your own slogans in the comments section, and if I like 'em, I'll add 'em! :)