Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 18: My Bloody Valentine

Friday, February 26th, 2010

A neon red-and-white sign declares: “My Bloody Valentine sells out.”
CC image via Penningtron on Flickr.
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Vegansaurus!: What creepy chefs do to get laid

Guest blogger Kristen looks at a Valentine’s Day article which highlights the foods that non-vegan chefs cook for their lovers. Surprise, surprise: many are animal-based, thus transforming the descriptions into an appalling spectacle of sex and death. The original article at Grub Street, for example, is decorated with a disgusting photo of scallops in an orange-and-green sauce/oil slick. Yuck.

Suicide Food: Happy Valentine’s Day: a digression

Just when you thought the butcher’s counter couldn’t get any more grotesque, behold: heart-shaped slabs of “meat”! I shit you not.

The Pursuit of Harpyness: Be A Bitch: To the New York Times Public Editor

In which Roman Polanski’s 13-year-old rape victim is likened to – wait for it – “quarry.” “Quarry” being another word for a hunted “game” animal.

The link above is to a complaint letter (good!) written in response to a piece which ran in The New York Times (bad!); you can read the original piece in its entirety here: Polanski’s Visions of Victimhood by Dennis Lim.

The Discerning Brute: Who Wears The Pants?

Joshua Katcher dissects a trailer for the upcoming documentary “An Emasculating Truth” – brought to you by, ahem, Dockers – which, surprise, is chock full of sexism and speciesism. In particular, the men appearing in the film advocate violence towards animals as an expression of one’s masculinity. Katcher ties this overt encouragement of violence with Levi’s own history of environmental and labor violence towards its employees and their families, many of them poor women of color.

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"I have always loved Harry’s ribs!"

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

CSI smiley logo

Caution: Spoilers ahead.

The second-to-last episode of CSI in 2009 featured a particularly animal-friendly plot line. I say “particularly” rather than “surprisingly” because CSI has a longstanding track record of treating animals and animal advocacy issues with a modicum of respect – a practice which stands in sharp contrast to similar crime shows like Law & Order. (See, for example, Veg*nism & Pop Culture: But does Costa Rica have an extradition treaty? and Veg*nism & Pop Culture: Sara Sidle: From CSI to Terra-ist.)

Season 10, Episode 9 (Appendicitement) saw the CSI team investigating not one, but two separate murders, both of which occurred on the premises of a BBQ joint. Since IMDB has a decent writeup of the episode, I’ll let them take it away:

There are two twisty tales in Vegas tonight. Strike that, one in Vegas and one outside.

The first tale concerns lab tech Henry. Greg, Nick, and Hodges literally kidnap Henry on his birthday to take him to this great barbecue place up the road apiece called Harry’s Hog Hideout.* On the way there a crazy lady runs them off the road and the car rolls. Fortunately, none of them is seriously injured but Nick’s car is out of commission. With no cell service, they decide to walk the last little bit to Harry’s but, unfortunately, when they arrive they discover it’s been closed for seven months due to a Hepatitis outbreak. They decide to poke around and see if there’s a working phone inside.

Instead they find a dead body, a man with a raccoon attached to his face.

While Henry, disgruntled about his crummy birthday, hangs with the dead guy Hodges and Greg poke around outside. They figure out that the guy lured the raccoon to a nearby barrel and tried to kill him by filling the barrel with ethylene gas and blowing him up. The explosion threw the raccoon and the guy through the window of Harry’s. So it was an accident.

Meanwhile, Nick looks for a phone and it’s not working. He returns to the scene just as another guy shows up and pulls a gun on Henry. They make it clear that they’re cops and the guy, Slick explains that the dead guy was Gomez the cook at Harry’s, who was generally a good guy.

(Emphasis and asterisks mine, of course.)

Initially – and in breaking with the show’s usual treatment of such cases – the CSI investigators exhibit disappointingly little concern for the dead raccoon. Personally, I am lacking in sympathy for people who inadvertently blow themselves up while trying to lure a sentient being into a trap, only to torch him alive. Killing “nuisance” animals – especially when there are humane, catch-and-release options available – is bad enough; plotting to light them on fire while still alive and fully conscious is downright sadistic. Unfortunately, the CSI team doesn’t voice any of these thoughts – that is, until much later in the show.

Once the plot unfolds and the bodies are transported back to the lab, coroner David Phillips expresses grief at the raccoon’s demise. I can’t recall what exactly was said (nor did I think to save the episode on my DVR so that I might type up a transcript – doh!), but I believe that David muttered something about the human getting what he deserved and referred to the raccoon as an innocent bystander.

In other words, all is well in the Las Vegas crime lab!

Alas, we still have one body to account for…

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Veg*nism & Pop Culture: But does Costa Rica have an extradition treaty?

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

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Very minor spoilers ahead.

I’m a few months late on this – for some inexplicable reason, my DVR “forgot” to record this Very Special episode of CSI, and for an even more inexplicable reason, it took the Mr. and I months to notice – but in the interest of closure, I just have to mention it anyway.

Early on in Season 9 of CSI, vegetarian and animal advocate Jorja Fox left the show; a few weeks after her departure, the writers dropped a subtle hint that her character, Sarah Sidle, had joined up with Paul Watson and his band of sometimes-merry eco-terrorist pirates at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (if you’re not a regular visitor to Sea Shepherd’s website, you probably would have missed the URL).

Fast-forward a few months, to the Season 9 episode “One to Go” (9×10). Sarah’s on-again, off-again, is-he-her-fiance-or-isn’t-he? love interest, Gil Grissom (William Petersen) is quitting CSI as well. Most of the episode focuses on Grissom’s last case with Las Vegas CSI, and also serves to introduce Gil’s replacement, Dr. Langston (Laurence Fishburne!?).

However, in the last few minutes, we see Grissom

walk the halls smiling to himself as he looks in each room at the lab and sees Brass, Hodges and Wendy, other CSIs, Robbins and Riley, Stokes and Greg. He catches Catherine’s eye in one room and she winks at him. He smiles broadly and turns and walks away. The screen blurs, fades to white and cuts to Grissom wandering a jungle, dressed in a hat and sweaty gear examining a GPS marked Costa Rica. His eyes light on a bug for a moment. He walks into a clearing where a woman, whose back is to the camera, is taking a picture of a monkey in a tree. The woman turns and it’s Sara (Jorja Fox). They take each other in for a moment and then embrace and kiss, passionately.

As Cindy pointed out in the comments to a previous post, Sarah mentioned in an earlier episode that she planned to travel to the Galapagos; and indeed, Sea Shepherd’s activities include an effort to save the Galapagos, so that’s probably where she was (or was heading) when we saw her email Grissom. So why on earth are the two now in Costa Rica, hmmmm?

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Veg*nism & Pop Culture: Sara Sidle: From CSI to Terra-ist

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Update, 11/22/08: Looks like Daryl Hannah is joining the crew, too!

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On yesterday’s episode of CSI (“Leave Out All the Rest“), recently departed CSI Sara Sidle sends Gil Grissom a .mov file -slash- Dear John “letter” over the internets. Look closely, and you can briefly see her email address flash across the screen: info@seashepherd.org. ZOMG! Sara is sailing with the crew of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society!

Of her adventure with Captain Paul Watson and his band of anti-whaling pirates, Sara says,

Hello from below the equator, in Puerto Ayora. We’ve been at sea for over a month now. Man, you wouldn’t believe the crew – students, activists, scientists – the dinner conversations alone are mindblowing. And there’s even this marine biologist that reminds me a little bit of you. I wish that we could talk in person but this is the best that I can do. I want to apologize for being out of touch. I’ve been thinking about us a lot, though, all the moments. I thought we could survive anything. This trip has given me a lot of clarity. That last year in Vegas, I could barely breathe, let alone think but now, for the first time in a really long time, I’m happy.

When actress Jorja Fox – the vegetarian and PETA supporter who plays Sara Sidle – left CSI last season, I was afraid it would be the end of CSI’s animal-friendly plotlines. In the past, they’ve dealt with canned hunting involving discarded zoo animals, dog fighting, factory farming and chicken slaughter, and Sara’s vegetarianism, of course. The show has been honored by the HSUS’s Genesis Awards for its compassionate storylines; in a multi-episode plotline, Danny Bonaduce played an aging rock star/animal welfare crusader, who targeted said slaughterhouse in a PETA-like PSA.

Given that Jorja Fox is the high-profile veg*n on CSI’s set, I assumed that she was the driving force behind these stories. I wonder whether she managed to convert any of her co-workers, or if one/some of the writers also just happen to be interested in animal advocacy on their own?

Either way, I think it’s totally awesome that Sara Sidle has defected – from Crime Scene Investigator to international, sea-faring, anti-whaling, activist-pirate-terrorist. Welcome to the dark green side, Sara. Just be careful who you extend your vegan potluck invites to.

Keep up with Sara and the crew through Whale Wars, now airing on Animal Planet (Fridays at 9PM).

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Tagged:

DawnWatch tip: CSI Thursday looks at chicken slaughter – please watch and comment — 12/7/06

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Dec 6, 2006 12:46 PM
Subject: DawnWatch tip: CSI Thursday looks at chicken slaughter – please watch and comment — 12/7/06

CBS’s hit television drama, CSI, has been honored in the past by the Genesis Awards for its animal friendly story lines, including one exposing the horror of canned hunts involving retired zoo animals. (See http://tinyurl.com/yctkrv to learn about the Genesis Awards.) The show has submitted the episode due to air this Thursday, December 7, at 9pm ET/PT, for Genesis Award consideration.

The storyline includes the murder of a chicken slaughterhouse employee and of a rock star who targeted the chicken company’s inhumane practices in a PSA. Footage taken at chicken slaughterhouses is set to be aired.

The producers tells us the show highlights not only the way chickens are killed but also how they are treated while alive. It has the potential to educated millions of viewers who tune in to CSI every week.

Watch it if you can. And assuming, as promised, it shines a spotlight on the dark chicken industry, please, after it has aired, show your appreciation with a quick comment to the station. The show is going out on a limb, and public support, positive feedback, matters.

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