Archive: November 2009

I bark, you bark, we all bark for Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise!

Monday, November 30th, 2009

2006-12-02 - PeedeeFestivus-0045

As you can see, I’m in a silly mood this morning. A weekend of FSMas decorating will do that to you!

Anyhow, here’s another recipe from The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book. This one’s a main dish, quick and easy to make – perfect for a chilly December evening when you’ve a dozen gifts to wrap (or is that adoption packets to print up?) and a Peace Corps worth of Vegan Gingerbread People baking in the oven. You can even prepare the barley and lentils in one pot to save on dishes!

Barking Barley and Wheat Surprise

Reprinted from The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book (page 53) with permission.

For everyday feeding or just a quick meal on a busy day, this is a staple you can always count on. The finished product looks a lot like standard dog food. If you like, add any dog-friendly vegetables you have on hand. It’s a great way to clear out the fridge!

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Ingredients

1 cup cooked barley
1 cup firm cooked lentils
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup salt-free vegetable broth

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Sexy Meat, No. 3: Thanksgiving Edition

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Suntanned Turkey

Because Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a side of misogyny to go with all that speciesism! Complementary flavors and all that jazz.

The photo, in case you can’t view it, is of a turkey corpse – excuse me, a “roast” – de-feathered, beheaded, cleaned and cooked. The skin is dark brown in color – save for two sections of “white” skin in the shape of a string bikini. The bird’s wings have been stretched back, grotesquely far, and pinned to “rest” behind her neck. Or her neck stump, rather. She’s not dead, just chillaxing, lounging, catching some rays, working on her tan. (A task which can prove difficult in the dead of November; would that we all had a cozy lil’ oven for a sun lamp!) After all, a lady wants to look good on her big day!

I keep using the pronoun “she” because these feminine trappings clearly convey the message that this turkey is a she, not a he. [Hey now, your manly man of a husband would never eat a dude(ly turkey), am I right now? That’s just gay. (And I use the slur with more than an ounce of sarcasm, just so we’re clear.)] Women, after all, are the consumable objects, the sex class, the pieces of property. Men are the consumers, the johns, the property owners. In a kyriarchy/patriarchy, could it be any other way?

The photo, by the by, is via delish.com,* which considers the “Suntanned Turkey” one of nine “Over-the-Top Thanksgiving Turkeys.” (Incidentally, #4 is a “Lifelike Vegetarian Turkey” from Whole Foods. The cruelty-free feast comes after the “Turducken” and before the “Barbecue Whole Turkey.” Those crazy, tree-hugging, animal-loving, health nut pacifists/terrorists, what will they think of next?!)

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As I’m neither a fan of Thanksgiving nor of President Obama, you can imagine how I feel about this shit.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

“You know, there are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office,” President Obama declared while standing outside the White House on Wednesday morning. “And then there are moments like this — where I pardon a turkey and send it to Disneyland.”

At this year’s official Turkey Pardon, President Obama mixed jokes in with a serious message about giving thanks for our blessings. With Sasha and Malia at his side, he noted how delicious the turkey looked (at 40-plus pounds, the North Carolina-raised bird named Courage did look pretty juicy). Obama claimed he wanted to eat the turkey, but Sasha and Malia prevailed upon him to pardon it, sparing it “a terrible and delicious fate.” Courage will now head to Disneyland for their Thanksgiving Day parade.

(The entire transcript is available at the Huffington Post.)

Aside from all the God-talk and flippant remarks about the mouth-watering handsomeness of a living being, what most annoys me about Obama’s speech – and this is by no means unique to Obama; all presidents, at least in recent memory, engage in some variation of this speciesist bullshit – is how frivolous and trivial this routine appears to be to him. As if he’s simply above it all.

But to Courage, this idiotic ritual is anything but frivolous and trivial; rather, it is literally a matter of life and death. The annual Presidential Turkey Pardoning is all that stands between him and torture, slaughter, dismemberment and consumption. While Obama mocks a turkey for his captor’s frivolity, 45 million of his kin are being “dressed” for Thanksgiving celebrations. Most, if not all, of Courage’s family – his mother, father, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles – are no doubt already dead.

And yet, President Obama has the audacity to say that,

[W]e are, as ever, a people of endless compassion, boundless ingenuity, limitless strength.

Endless compassion? Bah. Try that line on tomorrow’s corpse. Tell it to Courage, for whom there’s no escape. (We inflicted our cruelty – excuse me, our “compassion” – onto him at a genetic level, so that his body will be crippled under its own weight in just a few short months. President Obama, your quip about “performance enhancing drugs”? Not funny.)

Happy fucking Thanksgiving.

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Parks & Recreation: Because no camel is complete without an attractive lady with a hamburger for a head.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Caution: Minor spoilers after the jump!

As y’all have probably surmised, I watch no small amount of television. (More than I should, one might argue.) In particular, I’m always on the lookout for shows with progressive, pro-animal, pro-woman, pro-GLBTQ (etc.) themes – and Parks and Recreation is fast becoming one of my all-time favorites.

Like Bitch’s Kelsey Wallace, I’m tickled (not-pink!) by the feminist turn the show’s taken in Season 2. Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope is looking less and less like a womanly Michael Scott (read: a racist, sexist douchebag with a dwindling pool of redeeming qualities) and more like a goofy, less intellectually endowed version of Hillary Clinton. The walls of Ms. Knope’s office are decorated with framed snapshots of woman politicians (Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Madeline Albright – hey, what are political parties against the bond of sisterhood?); when judging a beauty pageant, she weighted the contestant’s brains above all else; and her accidental marriage of two male penguins at the Pawnee Zoo (I know, zoos, ugh!) scored her a gig as a guest DJ at the local gay club (though the penguins were sadly split up at episode’s end).

Season 2′s episode 9, “The Camel” – which aired the Thursday before last – was especially awesome. I’ve embedded the entire episode above, but the most awesomest of the awesomeness is all of 30 seconds long. Since the video will only be available on Hulu for a limited time, I’ve also taken screenshots so you latecomers can follow along.

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The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book Presents: Snickerpoodles!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book by Michelle Rivera (2009)

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the Book Publishing Company was kind enough to send me a copy of Michelle Rivera’s The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book: Cruelty-Free Recipes for Canines for review. Over the weekend, I tried out two recipes, including this sweet treat called Snickerpoodles. (A canine play on Snickerdoodles, which I’ve [ducking] never tried!)

I hope your dog-kids enjoy these as much as mine do!

Snickerpoodles

(Reprinted with permission.)

2009-11-20 - Snickerpoodles - 0014

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup molasses
1 overripe banana, mashed
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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Revenge of the Furred

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

When first I spotted this series of ads from Fur Free Alliance on Ads of the World, my mind immediately perceived the naked, brutalized human form as “female.” (Because, hey, isn’t it always?) “Ah, great, another hot, sexy, naked dead ‘chick’ getting all hot and sexy and naked and dead ‘for the animals.’ Just what we need!” So you can imagine my surprise, upon closer inspection, at finding a naked dude showing some abused skin for a pro-animal cause. A reversal of gender roles – hot damn!

Fur Free - Angry fox, 1

In case you can’t view the images, here we have a series of three ads, each of which shows a naked, white male being hunted and tormented by a gleeful fox – who is obviously another human, most likely also male, decked out in a fox outfit, all mascot-like.

In the first ad, the human victim appears in the background; he’s sprawled unconscious on the ground, most likely dead, his naughty bits obscured by a strategically placed tree trunk. The fox stands off to the human’s left and in the foreground, legs spread shoulder-width apart, arms raised triumphantly. In his (her?) right hand/paw, the fox holds a gun. Most likely Mr./Ms. Fox went hunting, and “bagged” a human. (It’s worth noting that this slang – “bagged” – can be applied to sexual “conquests” as well bloodsports. Sex and violence, sex and death.) The caption reads, “Fox like this doesn’t exist.” (Fur Free Alliance is an international anti-fur organization; its website, which is in English, is “operated on behalf of the Fur Free Alliance by the Humane Society of the United States.” So while the caption appears to be broken English, I can’t tell whether this is intentional or not.)

Fur Free - Angry fox, 2

The next ad in the series shows the fox, still toting a gun in his right hand, dragging the now-conscious man through the underbrush. Again, the man is stark naked, this time with a pile of leaves (or is that a bush?) covering his groin. With his left hand, the man is trying to grab onto a tree; with his left, he reaches toward the fox, as if imploring him for mercy. “How does it feel?” the caption demands.

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Boring management crap.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

lol-psycat - sad

So I’ve decided to scrap the easyVegan Weekend Activist – or, at the very least, shelve it for awhile. Gradually it started to suck up more and more of my time, to the point where I was spending at least as much time compiling links as I was writing actual content each week. Plus, I never really was sure how many readers made use of it. When I look back at which posts receive the most traffic, the longer essays and/or pieces on intersectionality almost always come out on top – and, since it’s more enjoyable for me, I think I’d rather concentrate my efforts on these topics for now.

Perhaps I’ll revisit and revise the link roundup in 2010 – cull my email subscriptions so that the only newsletters that make their way to my inbox are from genuinely pro-animal organizations, as opposed to much of the welfare crap I was posting (with caveats!) previously. I’m feeling rather burned out on the triage work, and extremely frustrated with a majority of animal and environmental advocacy groups. (Talk about stating the obvious, huh?) Or maybe I’ll draw up a link roundup using bitly, so I can see how many readers actually utilize the action alerts. Until then, feel free to sign up to receive email alerts from any of these human/animal/enviro advocacy groups.

As for the frequency of posting, I hope to pick up the pace in coming weeks. Normally an already-anxious/depressive personality type, the change in time and season has hit me especially hard this year. Even with my trusty sun lamp, I can feel the rain clouds sucking the energy out of me. Come 5PM sunset, I’m ready for dinner and bed. (Lethargy, I has it!) But I’m all caught up on the year-long backlog of paperwork I had to tackle for work, so I should be able to squeeze in some more blogging. I’m also hard at work on another project, which I’ll be ready to unveil in a few weeks. (Until then, if you’d like a hint….)

So anyway, that’s where I’m at. And you?

You know what?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

On Notice - ASPCA, PETA & HSUS

Fuck PETA, and fuck the ASPCA.

And yes, I’m a little late on this one, but that’s what happens when you step away from the internets for 20 minutes to shave and shower.

While we’re at it, let me apologize to y’all for ever – on any planet, in any and every universe galaxy* in the cosmos – defending PETA, even when the defense was just. Because this shit? Holy Christ. PETA’s jumped into the pornography business, full tit. (Full tilt, I mean. Wait, what did I say?)

Misogynists, speciesists, pimps and animal killers – who needs ‘em?

* Updated 11/19/09: Yes, I’m a dolt.**

** Also: I left a comment on the aforementioned PETA blog post, politely chastising the author for failing to mention Pets Alive’s eagerness to take Oreo off the ASPCA’s hands. That was last night. Twelve hours later, and my comment has yet to be approved. I’m not holding my breath.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau on human/animal exploitation.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

In this video series, author, activist and vegan cooking instructor Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (of Compassionate Cooks) discusses the impact of animal exploitation in the “meat” and “dairy” industries on animals, human and nonhuman alike. In particular, intersectionality is a thread that binds each brief video in the series to the others.

Take, for example, the segment titled “Female Exploitation,” in which Patrick-Goudreau explains the gendered nature of animal exploitation on farms – including smaller, “traditional,” “family” farms as well as large-scale, industrialized factory farms. While all farmed animals suffer under this system, the females of the exploited species – pigs, cows, chickens, etc. – experience especially torturous and prolonged abuse. To their owners, sows, heifers, laying hens and the like are nothing but walking wombs, baby machines, good only for perpetuating the farmers’ product line. Their reproductive systems are hijacked and turned against them; what should be a natural, joyful process for these mothers is instead perverted into a never-ending cycle of rape, forced pregnancy, birth, and kidnapping – until the mothers, spent, suffer the same fate as their offspring: slaughter, dismemberment, consumption. Precious few females find sanctuary, mother their children, grow old and predecease the generations that follow them; the generations they gave life to.

This is the female’s fate.

In “Maternal Instincts,” Patrick-Goudreau identifies the maternal instinct as a primal urge, one shared by all living beings; an instinct that cannot be stifled or bred away. She also touches upon the similar ways in which human and nonhuman animals have been – continue to be – devalued, possessed, mechanized. Treated as property. Units of production.

First comes dehumanization, then objectification. Only by doing away with each – by taking a hammer to every last rung on the hierarchy – can we foster respect and compassion for all beings. No one is free while others are oppressed.

(More below the fold…)

Green Books Campaign: Glossary of Terms for Anti-Oppressive Policy and Practice

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

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It’s Time for a Green Book: 1 Day, 100 Bloggers, 100 Green Books, 100 Reviews

Today at 1:00 PM ET, 100 bloggers will simultaneously review 100 different books as part of the Green Books Campaign. Organized by Eco-Libris, the project aims to promote “green” books (i.e., those printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper) – many of which discuss “green” topics as well: environmentalism, climate change, wildlife protection, activism, “green” frugalism and food (including vegan cooking!) – are all represented in today’s carnival. You can view a complete list of participating bloggers and their books here, with campaign updates here. As participant #94, I’ll be reviewing Glossary of Terms for Anti-Oppressive Policy and Practice from CommonAct Press. (Stay with me here!)

I found out about the project rather late in the game, so there was only a handful of unclaimed books from which to choose. Normally I would have picked a title more directly related to veganism – in particular, The Simple Little Vegan Dog Book caught my eye, and although it was already taken, the publisher was kind enough to send me a review copy anyhow; keep an eye out for a post or two in the coming weeks! – but given time and other limitations, I chose Glossary of Terms for Anti-Oppressive Policy and Practice. The monograph introduces students to anti-/oppressive terms and concepts – a useful exercise for anyone interested in social work and/or justice.

As I’ve argued here and elsewhere, animal liberation is closely tied to other, human social justice movements – if not traditionally thought of as a social justice movement per se. As advocates, it’s our responsibility to develop a working knowledge of prejudice and oppression in all their forms, and to avoid further marginalizing one group of already-marginalized animals on behalf of another. Practically speaking, this strategy can help us to build bridges (rather than burn them) and attract potential allies (rather than alienate others). More importantly, fighting for/alongside oppressed peoples – human and non – is also the right, the moral, the vegan thing to do. For these reasons, methinks A Glossary of AOP Terms is right at home here.

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Review: Glossary of Terms for Anti-Oppressive Policy and Practice, edited by Bill Lee, Sheila Sammon & Gary C. Dumbrill (2007)

Though compact, Glossary of Terms for Anti-Oppressive Policy and Practice packs quite the anti-oppressive punch into its 37 pages. Editors Bill Lee, Sheila Sammon and Gary C. Dumbrill (who are themselves social work educators) touch upon a number of terms and concepts that students will encounter in both theory and practice.

Through my own college studies (primarily women’s studies courses), as well as several years spent pouring over progressive blogs in lieu of the Democrat & Chronicle, I was previously familiar with many of these phrases: sexism, patriarchy, institutional racism, other(ing), relativism, dominant ideology. Even so, a few terms (service users’ knowledge, internalized oppression) were new to me.

Glossary of Terms for Anti-Oppressive Policy and Practice seems most appropriate for students taking advanced sociology or social work courses. (Indeed, a Google search for the book’s title reveals a number of course syllabuses in which the glossary is included.) However, these are terms with which all adults – particularly those taking up the mantle of “progressivism” – should be acquainted.

While the book’s breadth of coverage is generally good, there are a few areas of concern.*

(More below the fold…)

Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 11: Battered, Bruised & Consumed

Monday, November 9th, 2009

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Natalie Portman @ The Huffington Post: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals Turned Me Vegan and

Carol J. Adams: A vegan-feminist lament

Natalie Portman – a newbie vegetarian-to-vegan convert, thanks to Jonathan Safran Foer’s welfarist Eating Animals (zuh?) – recently caused a stir when she compared the consumption of “meat” to the consumption of women, i.e., in the form of rape:

He posits that consideration, as promoted by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which has more to do with being polite to your tablemates than sticking to your own ideals, would be absurd if applied to any other belief (e.g., I don’t believe in rape, but if it’s what it takes to please my dinner hosts, then so be it).

Naturally, Portman’s remark(s) unleashed a torrent of speciesism – to which Carol Adams responds with a vegan-feminist lament.

(This is the point at which I’d normally swoon over Ms. Portman – but I’m still somewhat heartbroken over her Jane Hancock on the “free Polanski” petition.)

Striking at the Roots: Carol J. Adams on Activism, Veganism and Models for Change

In what’s shaping up to be a series (see also: Mark’s conversation with Andrew Zollman of LGBT Compassion), author/activist Mark Hawthorne interviews vegetarian (vegan?) / feminist Carol Adams. The two touch upon sexism within the animal rights movement, masculine vs. feminist models of change, the gendered nature of animal exploitation, and guerrilla activism. Keep it coming, Mark!

Stephanie @ Animal Rights: Are American Rodeos More Acceptable Than Spanish Bullfighting?

Stephanie details an alarming trend: as Spanish animal advocacy groups work to bring an end to bullfighting, promoters of American rodeos are promoting the “sport” as a “humane” alternative. Clearly, the question she poses – Are American Rodeos More Acceptable Than Spanish Bullfighting? – is a rhetorical one, and the answer is a resounding hell no! Here, colonialism meets speciesism, and everyone loses. Save for the colonizers, of course.

(More below the fold…)

The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 28

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

1Sky: Step Up on Climate, Obama!

350: Sign the call to save a mountain and choose a new future.

ASPCA: USA: Limit Use of Non-Therapeutic Antibiotics in Food Animals

Animal Welfare Institute (AWI): Letters needed in support of the Pet Safety and Protection Act and the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act

AVAAZ: G20: CLIMATE FINANCE NOW

Defenders of Wildlife: Prairie Dogs at Risk: Tell the EPA to Do its Job!

Defenders of Wildlife: Protect Polar Bears and the Places They Live

Farm Sanctuary: “Pardoned” Turkeys Deserve Real Refuge

HSUS: USDA: Protect Veal Calves from Abuse

In Defense of Animals (IDA): Free Billy

(More below the fold…)

TONIGHT: Hit Fox Show Bones to Spotlight Farm Sanctuary Footage

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I just spotted this notice from Farm Sanctuary in my inbox and thought I’d share. Tune in to Fox tonight at 8PM Eastern time, where the “darkly comic procedural drama”* Bones will feature undercover factory farm footage secured by Farm Sanctuary and specially requested by the show’s star – fellow vegan Emily Deschanel.

Alas, I won’t be watching. Though I adore Bones, I’m somewhat of a newbie fan, and am only halfway through Season 4 on DVD. Tonight’s episode will languish on my DVR until the Mr. and I catch up. So no spoilers, mkay?

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 4:04 PM
Subject: TONIGHT: Hit Fox Show “Bones” to Spotlight Farm Sanctuary Factory Farming Footage

Kelly,

Very exciting news! Tonight’s episode (8pm/7 Central) of the hit FOX show “Bones” will be spotlighting Farm Sanctuary footage of cruel factory farming practices. Please see below for full details. Make sure to tune in and please spread the word!

All the best,

Meredith

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Farm Sanctuary Footage of Cruel Factory Farming Practices Spotlighted on Hit FOX TV Show “Bones”

NEW YORK, NY – November 5, 2009 – Tonight’s episode of the hit FOX television show “Bones” (airing at 8pm/7 Central), starring vegan actress and Farm Sanctuary supporter Emily Deschanel, will prominently feature factory farming footage secured by Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, as part of a plot-line surrounding a murder that takes place at a chicken farm.

The footage, which was requested by Deschanel, will educate thousands of mainstream viewers about the cruel conditions animals are forced to endure on factory farms. The episode also features a character who rescues a pig and asks her coworkers for donations so that she can sponsor her at a sanctuary.

To further raise awareness of the horrors of factory farming, FOX is featuring a special message from Deschanel on their website (http://fox.com/bones/) urging people to support Farm Sanctuary by sponsoring an animal in need.

To learn more about “adopting” one of Farm Sanctuary’s rescued animals, please visit farmsanctuary.org.

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Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 10: Feminist Dilemmas, Light Switches & Veg/an Vampires

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

I know y’all hear this entirely too often, but it’s been a long time since I last posted an intersectionality link roundup. Too long! What can I say? VeganMoFo monopolized my October. (But seriously, we have to stop intersecting like this.)

Alas, many of these links are a little older, but still worth a look.

Jennie @ That Vegan Girl: Vegans and vampires and

Breeze Harper @ Vegans of Color: Twilight and Vegetarian Vampires? New Philosophy book…

Though I’ve shied away from the Twilight series due to its not-so-subtle misogyny, I may have to reconsider, given the books’ allusions to vegetarianism. Nor is vegetarianism an uncommon theme in vampire fiction. In the first link, Jennie explores vegetarianism and veganism in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, as well as the HBO TV series True Blood (which is based on another series of books, Charlaine Harris’s The Southern Vampire Mysteries). In the second, Breeze Harper of VOC points to a new anthology on the subject, Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality, which has since been added to my wishlist.

Ari Solomon @ The Huffington Post: The Feminist’s Dilemma

Vegan entrepreneur and dudely feminist (or pro-feminist/ally, if you prefer) Ari Soloman argues that the plight of nonhuman animals is indeed a feminist issue. Using the lives and deaths of “dairy” cows as an example, he posits that the human exploitation of nonhuman animals is oftentimes gendered, with the females of the species suffering especially brutal and prolonged abuses – all because they’re capable of perpetuating the species/industry. Naturally, I agree.

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Odds & Ends: Flu Factories, Shelter "Pets" & JVM

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Here are a few links I’ve been sitting on for awhile. So much to discuss, so little time. Oh, the life of a B-list blogger!

In no particular order:

1. Flu Factories: Tracing the Origins of the Swine Flu Pandemic

Dr. Greger, whose Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching I reviewed several years back, was kind enough to send me a copy of his latest project, Flu Factories: Tracing the Origins of the Swine Flu Pandemic. Flu Factories is a one-hour presentation by Dr. Greger on the H1N1 influenza pandemic; it’s available for purchase on DVD, or for free viewing (in 40 parts!) on the HSUS’s website.

While I haven’t yet had a chance to view the entire video, if it’s anything like Bird Flu (and, judging from the chapter titles, there looks to be much crossover, particularly in the areas of biology and history), it’s bound to be both illuminating and terrifying. Although Dr. Greger doesn’t take an explicitly animal rights/vegan position in Bird Flu (nor do I know anything about his personal politics, his position at the HSUS notwithstanding), he does emphasize the role that factory farming – and, to a lesser extent, animal agriculture in general – plays in zoonotic diseases, including the influenza (avian and swine). If you can ignore the speciesism (e.g., in the quoted resources), it’s well worth a watch.

Embedded above is a clip from the presentation: Chapter 2, the 1918 Flu Pandemic.

(More below the fold…)

One year buried, but never without.

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

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It was a year ago today that Shadow, my adopted canine sister and sweet pit bull friend, passed away. I cried for her – for me – often in those first weeks, and even now, it’s hard to type (delete, retype, rinse, repeat) through the tears. The pain has eased considerably with the passage of time, but will never completely disappear. Rather, Shadow has taken her place besides Bucky and Cap, Shannon and Shana, Pokey, Woody, Henry, Hooks I-III, Moe, Larry and Curly, and all the other nonhuman animals I befriended – and whose losses I grieved – during my youth. You may be one year buried, dear Shadow, but I will always carry you in my heart.

One day you’ll be joined by your friend Ralphie, as well as all your other canine cousins: those who you’ve met, and those you’ve yet to meet. When that day comes – and whenever it comes, it will be much, much too soon – please greet him with lots of sloppy kisses. Because as difficult as your passing has been, I’m afraid it’s only been a practice run; the real pain is yet to come. When Ralphie leaves me, he’s going rip my heart in two. Whatever pieces he leaves behind, will be Peedee’s, O-Ren’s, Kaylee’s and (yes, even) Jayne’s to consume. And yet, my heart will forever be a dog’s – some dog’s – to tear.

I miss you something awful, girl. Stay sweet.

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"I’m #vegan because…": Tweeting World Vegan Day

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

In honor of World Vegan Day, a small (?) group of vegans spent much of yesterday tweeting their thoughts on veganism. Many of the tweets coalesced into the theme of vegan stories: that is, the many paths that led to and continue to reinforce participants’ veganism.

Similar to August’s oink, oink fracas, part of the goal was to launch #vegan into Twitter’s trending topics. Unfortunately, I don’t think #vegan ever did make it into the top 10, but we put on a good show nevertheless.

I wasn’t able to join the party until much later in the day, but I did do a fair share of tweeting in the evening. I’ve come to enjoy these Twitter hijacking parties; I don’t know many vegans in the “real” world, and banding together (however briefly), in pursuit a tangible, common goal (however humble) creates a much-needed sense of community.

It’s also interesting to observe different patterns in each person’s tweets – for example, which aspects of veganism and animal exploitation an individual always returns to. Consciously or not, many of my tweets focus on intersectionality – a topic I didn’t give much thought to until the past few years. Now, it seems to be the cornerstone of my activism. And I’ve veganism to thank for that.

Anyhow, here are all my tweets from yesterday. I didn’t do many retweets, but there were a number of dedicated vegans hitting the twitters in full force: see, for example, VeganMudblood, vegansNVRsayDIE, veganmcveganson, kveggiegrl and BeaElliott, for starters.

(More below the fold…)

The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 27

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

In lieu of my vegan story (it’s World Vegan Day, peoples!), I bring you a week’s worth of vegan links. The day was a gorgeous one, and probably the last of the season, so I spent most of it outside. Please forgive me! I swear, I’ll share my vegetarian/vegan conversion story…I want to say “tomorrow,” but “someday” is a safer bet.

2007-01-06 - Dogs and Cows - 0043

But. If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, this photo more or less sums it up.

Now about those links…

Action Alerts: Animal & Environmental Advocacy

ASPCA: USA: Support the Pet Safety and Protection Act! [Please consider contacting your representative and senators directly, without using the ASPCA’s feedback form. The sample letter provided by the ASPCA is horribly speciesist, and they do not allow users to edit it on their website.]

Best Friends: Sign up for a free Jinni account, and Jinni will donate 10 cents (up to $10,000) to Best Friends

Center for Biological Diversity: Help Save Walrus From Massive Stampede Deaths

Dawnwatch: “Eating Animals” — CNN, Wall Street Journal, NPR with Jonathan Safran Foer — 10/30 — 11/1/09

DawnWatch: Sunday papers on home slaughtering and meat tax 10/25/09

Defenders of Wildlife: Stop the Invasion of the Exotic Wildlife!

Earthjustice: Help Protect Children From Toxic Pesticides

easyvegan: Scientists, Poets, Changemakers and Heroes (Volunteer Opportunities & Action Alerts)

Ecological Internet: Madagascar’s Protected Rainforest Hardwoods Continue to be Selectively Logged

Environment New Mexico: Protect the Grand Canyon!

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