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The Vegan Week That Was: organic clothes, vegan hero, foie gras protest, Iditarod, food banks for dogs and cats, and more!

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.

Food banks for companion animals! Thanks, Petco Foundation! Next step: make ‘em vegan!

Hey, it’s Alicia Silverstone at Candle 79, talking up veganism!

Go Dairy Free rounds up 20 new dairy-free (mostly vegan) foods from Natural Products Expo West 2010. Nut butters! (Stop cringing, boys.) Gluten-free breads, Tofurkey frozen pizza, new Gardein stuff! Check it!

Finally, don’t forget to turn off the lights during Earth Hour Saturday, 8:30 p.m. local time!

6 Comments

  1. Comment by

    Stunner

    on #

    “the owner is getting ready by preparing some bullshit spiel about how he champions hormone-free milk in schools”

    “Congratulations, Bill Telepan, for caring about what affects your bottom-line. That’s capitalism, not compassion.”

    And congratulations Samantha Cohen for dismissing the years of hard work and undeniably good things that Bill Telepan has done for this (your) community as “bullshit” – and then branding him a selfish capitalist pig whose sole motivation is money.

    If you didn’t have tunnel vision, you would undoubtedly recognize and support the motivations behind Bill Telepan’s efforts to reform NYC school food. I know; I teach in a public school. But it’s far easier to demonize him personally than it is to actually convince even your already-brainwashed readership of the issues solely on their merits, isn’t it?

    News flash: it’s actually possible to protest an issue without calling your opponent the devil. There may actually be some respect-worthy people in your midst who see the world differently than your ever-so-enlightened view.

    For the record, your language encourages people to feel hatred toward a good, decent person, just because you disagree with him on one issue. Can you think of any historical figures who used the same demonization tactics you’re now using to rev people up? Think hard. You really don’t want to be in their company.

    You certainly have every right to spew your ignorant bile. But make no mistakes. You didn’t just prove you’re morally superior than Mr. Telepan. You proved that you have absolutely no class whatsoever.

  2. Comment by

    Lucy Shelton

    on #

    I’ve been following and researching the Iditarod sled dog race for a few years. Although no dogs died during the race this year, the average number of dog deaths a year is nearly 4, and the total known deaths is 142. Six dogs died last year. The Iditarod?s 37 out of 38 races routinely killed young, healthy dogs and it has to stop.

    These dogs are among the best-conditioned dogs in the world due to their training year-round, yet, of the 1136 dogs who started, 586 dogs did not finish (330 belonging to the mushers who finished, and 256 from the 16 mushers who scratched). Only one musher finished with all 16 of his dogs. Seven mushers finished with only half (8) of their dogs, four mushers with only 7, and one musher with only 6 dogs. During the last 8 years less than half of the dogs made it to the finish line.

    So many dropped dogs, due to exhaustion, injuries, illnesses, and just not wanting to go, should indicate to sensible people that this race is too hard on the dogs and they?re pushed beyond their limits.

    Sure, the dogs love to run, but not for 1100+ miles. The distance is too long and the conditions and terrain too grueling for the dogs. The dogs run over mountain ranges, ice, snow, rivers and creeks in harsh conditions (sub-freezing, breaking through ice, extreme wind chill, etc. Unfortunately for the dogs they are so loyal that they will run to exhaustion.

    When they are not racing or training the dogs are kept tethered to their own small dog house, which is inhumane.

    I cannot believe that the mushers truly love their dogs, because racing them subjects the dogs to the possibility of exhaustion, injuries, illnesses, and death.

    Please help to stop this horrible race by contacting the sponsors and politely asking them to stop supporting it. Sponsors and more information can be found at the Sled Dog Action Coalition’s website: helpsleddogs.org

    The dogs need you. Please help.

  3. Comment by

    Sam C

    on #

    Lucy — Thanks for the link! I added it to the post so people know how to help.

    Stunner — I would never call Bill Telepan a “capitalist pig”; that would be unfair to pigs. In fact, I didn’t call names or judge Telepan. (Did you find the word “demon” or a single instance of name-calling directed at Telepan in my post anywhere?) Rather, I am judging his actions. Regardless of what else he’s done in his life, serving the livers of force-fed ducks and geese is wrong and demonstrates complete disregard for those animals’ welfare. Trying to justify or obfuscate that by delivering a laundry list of more culturally acceptable — and in the minds of many, commendable — behavior like serving the carcasses of cows who ate grass before being inhumanely slaughtered is a bullshit attempt to direct attention away from the issue at hand.

    Who is brainwashed and ignorant? SuperVegan’s readers and me, who have looked behind the scenes at foie gras farms, and other means of animal exploitation, and decided for ourselves that it’s not something we want to contribute to? No. If anyone is brainwashed and ignorant, it is the person who does not look outside his culture’s norms and his society’s accepted practices. A person who acts like Bill Telepan, knowing what cruelty he supports and choosing to continue supporting it in exchange for financial gain, is far more detestable than the brainwashed ignoramus. If people read this post and don’t like Bill, it’s because of his actions, not my non-existent hate speech.

    As far as I can tell, there is no advantage to serving foie gras except that our society is willing to pay an assload per ounce. Foie gras unhealthy for humans, atrocious for ducks, and a mess for the environment. Do you think Telepan is acting from a place of goodness and decency or greed when he serves foie gras? Reconsider.

  4. Comment by

    Lucy Shelton

    on #

    Thank you, Sam, for posting how people can help to end the horribly cruel Iditarod sled dog race.

  5. Comment by

    vegan_matt

    on #

    Stunner,

    I hope you would mark your students down for employing such specious, contradictory, and, frankly, cowardly language as you have here.

    You don’t even attempt to argue the specific issue of fois gras consumption, relying instead on murky, fact-deprived wholesale dismissals (no actual arguments to be found) of veganism. The obvious reality is that Mr. Telepan’s record of behavior in other arenas — which, again, you fail to specify — doesn’t change the fact that he’s supporting tremendous and indefensible cruelty by serving fois gras.

    You then go on to accuse the blog author of engaging in demonization while in the same breath urging her to compare herself to history’s greatest villains. This is not only ridiculous (she’s advocating compassion) and cowardly (you like to imply snarkily rather than state specifically and actually risk going out on a limb), but highly self-unaware.

    As Sam noted in her response, to call vegans brainwashed or “tunnel-visioned” is quite rich, seeing as we’re a small minority challenging widespread and immensely destructive cultural practices that have been blindly assented to by the vast majority of people in this country. Please do some research and de-brainwash yourself before lobbing any more convenient but false characterizations our way.

    All of this strongly suggests that you are insecure in arguing candidly on these issues. I can see why: it’s hard to argue with facts and reason for unnecessary cruelty. When you don’t have the benefit of either, it’s much easier to resort to puerile snark, straw man arguments, and gutless name-calling.

  6. Comment by

    simonanker

    on #

    Bill Telepan is a chef. Apart from the obvious aim of making money, he is trying to serve superb food to New York.

    Foie gras tastes good. Tastes extremely good in the eyes of many, hence the price tag. I, for one, love the taste. Morally it doesn’t sit too well, but I’ve been lucky to find a supplier in Spain who uses absolutely no force feeding. It doesn’t taste quite as good, but I can happily sacrifice that 5% difference for the greatly increased welfare of an animal.

    Bill Telepan thinks about his actions, makes decisions based on what he sees as being right and is clearly supported by many. Protesting a celebrity chef seems like a fairly lame way of seeking publicity.

    Face the facts guys; plenty of people make the decision to eat foie gras based on all the available facts and will continue to do so. The protesters are but a small nuisance along the way.

    Animal rights is such an important issue, but please focus your time and attention on the areas that could actually have implications for the future of our planet!

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