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Diagram of a fruit fly will-finding contraption

Diagram of a fruit fly will-finding contraption

  • It’s the 15th National Vegetarian Week in the UK. This year’s focus is on the environmental benefits of vegetarianism.
  • Scientists at Free University Berlin have deemed that fruit flies have free will. While I can’t endorse the research used to prove such a thing, this will help convince people that animals aren’t just reactive machines.
  • A litter of two-legged chihuahuas serves as a disturbing (but still darn cute) reminder of why dog breeding is maybe not such a good thing. (via Poop City)
  • A Long Island man was arrested for stealing copper pipes from an abandoned house to pay the vet bill for his cat who was injured in that same house. Do your animal-dependents have health insurance? (also via Poop City)
  • Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was recently a guest on animal activist Bill Maher’s talk show (video, transcript). Towards the end of the segment there’s an odd, circuitous discussion of Kucinich’s veganism, mostly as it relates to health. It seems like Kucinich is going out of his way to not explicitly identify as a vegan. Hmm.

6 Comments

  1. Comment by

    babaganoush

    on #

    Isn’t it a bit overly defensive to assume that rather than not explicitly identifying himself as a vegan, he’d rather be seen as Dennis Kucinich, Democrat, not Dennis Kucinich, Vegan? I mean, as much as it saddens me, wearing his veganism on his sleeve will just further “discredit” him against opponants that have no regard for his platform.

    Just like environmentalist Al Gore, I don’t hold it against these guys for not waving their flags too high. Politics is a game and the reality is that you have to learn how to play it. It doesn’t mean that you are compromising your beliefs, it just means you actually want to get somewhere and be taken seriously. I’d rather have that, then have these people be viewed as “crackpots” or “hippies” and never have their voices heard.

  2. Comment by

    vegansrock

    on #

    Um, are we talking about the same Dennis Kucinich? That guy missed the “being taken seriously” boat a while ago, and they’re not letting him back on anytime soon.

    Although, actually, maybe it’s good that the mainstream isn’t making an issue of his veganism. It’d probably just make us look weirder.

  3. Comment by

    Edita

    on #

    There is a definite difference between portraying himself as “Dennis Kucinich, Vegan,” and being very coy when directly asked if he’s a vegan. In reading the transcript, it seemed as if he was embarrassed to admit he’s a vegan.
    Isn’t it interesting that we worry about candidates being viewed as “crackpots” if they would identify with progressive stances, but it’s par for the course for someone like John Kerry to go out and shoot birds out of the sky to be “taken more seriously.”

  4. Comment by

    greentangle

    on #

    I’m pretty much in agreement with Kucinich and have no problem with the mainstream considering me a weird hippie crackpot. That’s a much higher opinion of me than I have of the mainstream.

    But it seems to me the issue is that he was on the show because he’s running for President, not because he’s a vegan, and he was trying to stay focused on that. He clearly acknowledges being a vegan.

  5. Comment by

    runsbrooklyn

    on #

    I had the chance to chat with Kucinich for a while in Davenport, Iowa, when he was there on a July, 2004 campaign stop. (I was living in Iowa City at the time, and I had caucused for him that January.) He seemed nice enough for the first few minutes, but as soon as I asked (in a very friendly manner, btw) about his rationale for being vegan, he seemed instantly uncomfortable (even a bit cold), and mumbled a few things about how important it is to eat healthy before trying to steer the conversation in a different direction.

    I’m sure he’s very sensitive about his diet being used against him in the media. But seriously, although I still support his candicacy (and will no doubt vote for him in the primary next year if he’s still in the race), most of mainstream America (not to mention many of his fellow candidates) already regard him as something of a nutjob. I can’t imagine that him standing up and taking pride in his veganism would make things any worse in that department.

  6. Comment by

    greentangle

    on #

    It also may be a more personal matter to him because his newish wife still eats dairy according to what I’ve read.

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