The Nebraska Soybean Board’s latest commercial wants you to know the truth about meat. Oh, no, that’s not right. They want you to eat meat so they can profit, because, as they say in this commercial, 98 percent of domestic soybean sales are purchases from the US meat industry.
The commercial makes no effort to hide the soybean farmers’ agenda. After an intro segment, it begins: “From across our heartland, soybean, livestock, and poultry farmers are working together to feed the world.”
We get the usual appeals to patriotism (“heartland”), community (“working together”), and an unquestionable common goal (“feed the world”). So, as united Americans, the soybean and meat farmers are going to stamp out hunger. Brilliant!
But let’s back up. Why don’t they tell us how much soy it takes to feed a cow (whose natural diet consists of grass), and then tell us how many humans you could have fed with that? Also, perhaps they could let us know how feeding an animal an unnatural diet of soy (and corn) affects its immune system and actually costs even more because they have to dose it with antibiotics to keep it healthy? Let’s not forget the costs to human health of eating animal meat. And while they’re analyzing the true cost of meat production, why not tell us the costs to other species as the soybean farmers mow down animals’ natural habitats to make space for more soybeans?
“We need to do a better story of telling the benefits” of meat consumption, they say. I didn’t hear about a single benefit of meat consumption in this commercial. I did hear plenty about the industry’s “commitment” to human health and animal welfare (What??), but not a single representation of benefits. Show me proof that eating animals is good for my health or their welfare. C’mon, Soybean Board, show me what’s really going on behind the curtain — the animals as they’re typically raised and slaughtered — and try to tell me that this is humane and healthy.
The Soybean Board is clearly looking where the money is, and right now that’s in the meat industry. But hey, I love edamame, tofu, and tempeh, just to name a few delicious soy-based foods. Let’s remind the Soybean Board of the truth about the costs and “benefits” of meat production and consumption, and let’s let ‘em know that we’re happy to eat soybeans, but not in the form of meat. Write them at email@example.com.
Babeland’s Jaguar Harness is now vegan, according to Shewired. No leather necessary for super good times!
The insanely timely hilarious geniuses at Vegansaurus gave us a recipe for a vegan version of KFC’s heart-clogging, rotting body parts, media darling sandwich, the Double Down. Oh my god, Rudy, get your deep fryer.
As of this week, Mondays are vegetarian days in San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors declared in a resolution Tuesday. Yaaaayyyy! Whatever it means in practice, we like the theory and hope it means more delicious veggies for all.
Since life isn’t all fried seitan and Meatless Mondays, and because you need something to show your friend who doesn’t understand that egg farming causes suffering, we give you the Humane Society of the United States’s latest undercover investigation, released Wednesday. Warning: you might puke.
In restaurant news, Souen on 13th Street will close for several months starting next week to renovate, so if you like your hippie food served in a hippie restaurant, go eat there right now, hippie.
‘sNice Soho will open NEXT WEEK so get in a sandwich-y, coffee-y mood with me!
Oh, and in other ‘sNice news! Two of their employees were stabbed last month (shocking and horrible, i know!), so ‘sNice in the West Village is having a benefit to support them on Sunday, April 11, 6-9 p.m. $10 at the door. There will be vegan pigs in a blanket! And me! I will be there!
A nice-looking wild oyster bed on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Photo by Joe Brent on Flickr). By contrast, many commercial beds are just acre after acre of metal cages.
There’s a lot of noise on the internet today about Christopher Cox’s “Consider the Oyster” which carries the slug/page title “It’s OK for vegans to eat oysters” and the subhead “Why even strict vegans should feel comfortable eating oysters by the boatload.”
Cox’s basic thesis is that oysters don’t feel pain and that commercial oyster production/harvesting is far more ecologically friendly than most other industrial food production. He goes out of his way to say that oysters are sustainable for food use in a way that clams and mussels are not. He gets a qualified endorsement from Peter Singer. One can certainly argue with these things, but he’s basically done his homework. Except for seeming to have no clue what it means to be vegan.
When I became a vegan, I didn’t draw an X through everything marked “Animalia” on the tree of life. And when I pick out my dinner, I don’t ask myself: What do I have to do to remain a vegan? I ask myself: What is the right choice in this situation? Eating ethically is not a purity pissing contest, and the more vegans or vegetarians pretend that it is, the more their diets start to resemble mere fashion—and thus risk being dismissed as such. Emerson wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
The only way for me to read this is that Cox doesn’t know what “vegan” means. He never became a vegan, and needn’t worry himself over remaining a vegan. Because of our very consistency (foolish or not) there’s no gray area for vegans when it comes to eating animals. Cox is trying to be ethical about his consumerism, and that’s great. I just don’t understand how the hell anyone thinks the way he’s going about it can be described as any form of veganism. It isn’t.
Vegans do not knowingly/willingly/actively consume or purchase any part or bodily product of an animal that was taken from a living animal or for which an animal was killed. (I know that’s a lot to pack into a sentence, but there it is. End of story.) You can argue that this isn’t the most constructive approach to ethical consumerism, as Peter Singer does. But Peter Singer does not claim to be vegan, nor does he endorse the point of view that eating oysters can ever be vegan. Continue Reading…
Work that floral blouse! H&M launched a line of organic and recycled clothes called the Garden Collection (sending you to the Swedish site so you can see all the rainbow-colored garments). They’re priced like the non-organic stuff so no excuse not to, unless you only wear gray or something INSANE like that.
The NYC Animal Advocacy meetup is heading to Columbus Circle-area restaurant Telepan Saturday to protest its use of foie gras, and the owner is getting ready by preparing some bullshit spiel about how he’s a beacon of awareness who champions hormone-free milk in schools, serves grass-fed cows, and “won a merit batdge from Animal Welfare Approved.” Congratulations, Bill Telepan, for caring about what affects your bottom-line. That’s capitalism, not compassion. Go to the protest tomorrow, Saturday, March 27, 7-9 p.m.
HEY YOU GUYS OUT IN BAY RIDGE, CAN YOU HEAR ME? The Village Voice tells us there’s this delish vegan sandwich at Casa Calamari in your ‘hood — puffy hero bread overstuffed with loads of sauteed broccoli rabe. Yum!
For the first time in possibly forever, no dogs were killed in the Iditarod this year. Racers chock it up to the cold. I get that many of the racers love their dogs, but somehow not enough to NOT put them in harm’s way? I really just want to see the dogs mushing their humans. MUSH, MUSH, ASSHOLE. Update!: Commenter Lucy reminds us we can write to the Iditarod sponsors and politely ask them to stop using dogs to pull sleds at Helpsleddogs.org.
When Andy Stepanian and Dara Lovitz gave a talk on SHAC7 and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) at NYU Law School on Tuesday, most of the audience came half-expecting to hear a legal seminar (Lovitz is the author of Muzzling a Movement). Almost no one expected to laugh or cry with inspiration before the talk ended, although almost everyone did. (We interviewed Andy before this event.)
This was not a speech or a classroom teaching. Dara spoke so candidly about the absurdities of animal enterprise terrorism laws that even the law students had to start laughing with her. Andy spoke so painfully earnestly to everyone that few had dry eyes by the end of the talk. No one walked away depressed, though, as the duo were determined to show everyone exactly how much potential we all have to effect positive change, despite how much money and effort the animal enterprises dump into making us feel powerless and small.
Dara, the lawyer, spoke first. And the takeaway of her talk wasn’t “the history and overview of AETA,” but rather just how impressively unconstitutional the AETA is, and how it managed to be drafted anyway. She explained very frankly how a series of unconscionably illegal laws culminating in AETA were pulled over everyone’s eyes through passionately written passages. Passages about how animal activists victimize dying people who can only get a cure through animal testing. Passages that literally say that we owe so much of our lives to the selfless people in charge of the factory farm industry. And she put us face to face with how so many of our senators and policymakers are CEO’s and beneficiaries of devastating animal enterprises. Continue Reading…