more randomness: food, needs, food needs, dairy/rape, dennis kucinich & dogs

Sunday, August 15th, 2010
  • After a nearly six month hiatus, I have a new post up at Animal Rights & AntiOppression! In an interview with humane educator Zoe Weil, we look at the connections between our treatment of nonhuman animals, the earth, and one another, and explore humane education as the bridge between seemingly disparate social justice movements – and the solution to our many (many!) human-made ills.

    Check it: “The World Becomes What You Teach”: An Interview With Humane Educator Zoe Weil

  • Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (psych101 students, represent!), Ellyn Satter developed a corresponding hierarchy of food needs, arguing that one cannot “choose” to consume healthy products unless one’s more basic needs – such as having enough food to eat, having acceptable food, and having reliable, ongoing access to food – are already met.

    Satter's Hierarchy of Food Needs

    Satter’s Hierarchy of Food Needs:
    Bottom to top, the six needs are as follows: Enough food; Acceptable food; Reliable, ongoing access to food; Good-tasting food; Novel food; and Instrumental food.

    The choice to consume vegan food (vs. the necessity of consuming vegan food) seems to rest at the apex of Satter’s hierarchy, and as such, can only be made “when all underlying needs are consistently satisfied”: “The person functioning at the apex of Satter’s Hierarchy of Food Needs reliably gets enough to eat of rewarding food and has food acceptance skills that are good enough to allow him or her to eat a variety of food. That person is thus in a position to consider choosing food for instrumental reasons: to achieve a desired physical, cognitive, or spiritual outcome. This description is analogous to Maslow’s concept of self actualization.”
    ——————————

    While this hierarchy is primarily being discussed in relation to our consumption (or lack thereof) of nutritious, healthy food, i.e.:

    The graphic suggests that getting enough food to eat is the most important thing to people. Having food be acceptable (e.g., not rotten, something you are not allergic to) comes second. Once those two things are in place, people hope for reliable access to food and only then do they begin to worry about taste. If people have enough, acceptable, reliable, good-tasting food, then they seek out novel food experiences and begin to make choices as to what to eat for instrumental purposes (e.g., number of calories, nutritional balance).

    As Michelle at The Fat Nutritionist writes, sometimes when a person chooses to eat nutritionally deficient or fattening foods, it is not because they are “stupid, ignorant, lazy, or just a bad, bad person who loves bad, bad food.” Sometimes, it’s “because other needs come first.” (Source: Sociological Images)

    it’s equally applicable to veganism and vegan foods: obstacles such as hunger, poverty, food insecurity, lack of access to food, etc., severely constrict people’s ability to choose a vegan diet, on multiple levels (e.g., individual, community, population). As long as we’re serious about creating a vegan world, we must address these human inequities as well. (That, and it’s the right thing to do.)

    Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more.

  • (More below the fold…)

    randomness: dicks, donuts, girls, books, ice creams, pigs and pizzas!

    Thursday, August 5th, 2010

    Fan Junk Shots - Ralphie 01

  • www.schlongs4seals.com is now open and ready for business!

    Currently, only the blog – where I’ve already logged more posts in August than I managed to write for this here blog in the entire month of July – is fully functional. I’m still working on the promised interactive photo gallery and discussion features, but hope to have these done soon. (To this end, WP-compatible software recommendations would be most appreciated!)

    That said, the template and static/informational pages are all finished and look, if I might say so myself, kickass. I found a template that mimics Facebook almost to a M (for misogyny, natch), so it’s almost like we never left. (And by “left” I mean “were kicked off.”)

    Additionally, I created a temporary set of photo pages to house all the “man meat” I’ve “processed” thus far: VAPETA PSAs, promotional materials, junk shots, celebrity cock shots, South Park avatars, brother campaigns, etc. Browse, bookmark and check back often, because there’s more in the pipes.

    If you’re still out there and, um, excited to participate (excited! get it!?), send me your package at schlongs4seals [at] gmail.com and I’ll be equally excited (tee hee) to feature it on the appropriate page.

    Also, if you visit the front page, you’ll see a little Facebook “like” button in the left-hand sidebar (right under the hot white torso wearing the hot red boxer briefs). Click it, won’t you? We need friends! And sharing! On Facebook!

    Fan Junk Shots - Baby Kelly 02

    I’ve been a connoisseur of men’s briefs since early childhood.
    Behold the rapturous glee on my chubby chipmunk cheeks!
    ——————————

    SeaL Shepherd may have succeeded in removing our page from Facebook, but he can hardly prevent us from sharing content in the form of links.

    Can’t stop the schlong, yo.

    (A note for the newbies and occasional readers: if all this cock talk has you flummoxed, go here for some background.)

  • Tofurky Pizza with Daiya Cheese has finally made its way to Kansas City!:

    2010-08-05 - Tofurky Pizza - 0003

    The Whole Foods in Overland Park, to be more specific. And now it’s in my freezer. Nom nom nom.

  • As if this isn’t already more awesomeness than the KC metro area can handle, Kansas City is now home to a brand-spanking-new vegan bakery. Gluten-free, to boot. And, if you live in the KC area, they deliver!

    Shane ordered a box of Golden Girls – the vegan feminist version of “real” Twinkies, if you will – for delivery to his office Monday.

    2010-08-02 - Golden Girls - 0010

    They are super-yummy – a little denser than Twinkies (according to Shane; I’ve never partaken), with a sponge- or angel food cake-like consistency. The creamy filling is the bestest, though methinks the cakes could use more. I say the same of Ronald’s Donuts and Newman’s O’s, so grain of salt.

    Egads. In all my excitement, I almost forgot to name drop. Brody’s Bakery is the name of the biz – hit ’em up on Facebook, and if you’re ever in the KC area, shop team vegan, mkay? Jasmin of Our Hen House also did a nice writeup on Brody’s this week; see Brody’s Bakery Bakes Up Compassion. (Color me jealous, btw.)

  • (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 23: lolz the douche away

    Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

    lol batman - get that dood-elle

    lol batman – get that dood-elle!” – Running through the streets of Gotham, a cheesy, live-action, retro ’60s Batman and Robin try desperately to apprehend a certain sexist blogger before he can unleash any further douchebaggery upon the women of Blogville. “HOLY FUCKING PATRONIZING SEXISM,” goes the refrain of this lol batman.
    TV still via the internets; quote via Stephanie; and photoshopping via moi.
    ——————————

    Though I haven’t been posting much ’round these parts lately

    [and have all but abandoned ship over at AR&AO, for which I apologize to Stephanie & Co. profusely, and pledge to do better once things calm down here at Casa del Garbato-Brady, otherwise known as the Garden of Vegan, a title which I swear I will one day have posted at our driveway’s front gate, threats of TP and eggs be damned]

    rest assured that I’ve been busy, busy, busy, namely: working on several projects – including developing a website for my fledgling business

    [Remember my – by which I mean Shane’s – pizza press idea of last October? We are totally doing it! Slowly but surely, anyway. Our website isn’t quite ready yet, so if you’d like to follow our progress, like us on Facebook, mkay?];

    revamping another

    [POP! goes The Vegan., whose database of vegan reviews should really be on the front page, with the blog in an ancillary position, seeing as the database is the main f’in attraction. What I was thinking by reversing their positions, I know not.];

    and launching yet another brand-spankin’ new website

    [Schlong4Seals! OMG, just reflecting on all the man-sausages and dick jokes waiting in the wings is enough to bring a smile to my normally frowny face. (I almost always look annoyed, even when I’m not; it’s must be the humorless feminist in me, I guess.) I was a little incensed when the Fraternal Order of Facebook killed my SCHLONGS4SEALS group, but in retrospect, I think they did me a solid. A solid I shall return by plastering FB with links to all my super-awesome crotch shots and “seven ways to save the seals using only your cock” posts! Oh, I cannot wait. *Channeling the spirit of Will Ferrell*]

    – the height of insanity, since clearly I already have more blogs than I can keep track of. Silly, silly rabbit.

    Oh, and the zazzle store! A few designs for which I still need to create. Yeah, let’s save that for later, shall we?

    Anyhow, on to issue #23 of “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs.” On accounta me being in a mad hurry tonight, I’ve forgone most of my normal commentary in lieu of excerpts. That’s okay, though; I’ve got a great batch of links to share with y’all, so best to let the individual bloggers speak for themselves.

    Browse, share, enjoy – and then blame and smash. Go!

    lol-psycat - narcissus

    lol-psycat – narcissus” – Apropos of the dood-elle mentioned above, “narcissistic cat is his own screensavr.” (For those who can’t view the image, a black cat lounges atop a computer monitor, which currently displays a photo of…a black cat!) Not super-relevant to the rest of the post, but I felt like I needed a break between my semi-coherent ramblings above and the über-awesome link roundup below. Anal, who me?
    ——————————

    INCITE! Blog: Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements

    To save our movements, we need to come to terms with the connections between gender violence, male privilege, and the strategies that informants (and people who just act like them) use to destabilize radical movements. Time and again heterosexual men in radical movements have been allowed to assert their privilege and subordinate others. Despite all that we say to the contrary, the fact is that radical social movements and organizations in the United States have refused to seriously address gender violence as a threat to the survival of our struggles. We’ve treated misogyny, homophobia, and heterosexism as lesser evils—secondary issues—that will eventually take care of themselves or fade into the background once the “real” issues—racism, the police, class inequality, U.S. wars of aggression—are resolved.

    (Hat tip, Jenna at L.O.V.E.)

    Vegan Feminist Agitator: Exploitation + Objectification = Conklin Farms. (In other words, business as usual.)

    The process through which we make peace with the inherent injustice of how we treat non-humans occurs because of objectification, the largely unconscious fragmentation system through which sentient beings are turned into objects. It is easier for the mind to integrate the misuse of objects than the abuse of living beings. Through this process, individuation collapses: all cows, all hens become a single entity to be turned into product. Those who are in power have their interests interpreted as a natural right rather a personal desire. When our interests require the subjugation of another, objectification makes the acquiring of what we want that much easier.

    Digging Through the Dirt: Promotion of Veal on Columbus Day Adds to Insult

    Because we think of ourselves as exceptional, we view “the other” as inferior. Descendents of native peoples and of African slaves are still regarded as inferior in this country, in general. And animals are treated as such, too. They exist for our purposes; they have no value except that which we bestow upon them, usually in the form of dollars. It’s all about what we can get from them — their flesh, their milk, their eggs — just as it was for Columbus. What could he get from the native peoples?

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 22: Shegans, unite!

    Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

    Raising her sword to Grayskull, LOL She-Ra demands, “I Can Haz Equal Rights?” & as long as we’re taking requests, the lady would like a NOMy vegan meal, too. (She’s a Shegan, yo!)
    CC image via Brett L. on Flickr.
    ——————————

    The Boston Globe: Men leave their own mark on veganism and

    vegansaurus!: He-gan woman-haters club!

    Men + vegans = hegans. (Get it!?) Specifically, hegans are “men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death.” (Or, alternately, hegans are the latest faux-trend created by the newspaper industry in order to 1) hawk their wares and/or 2) avoid reporting on actual news. Be your own decider person.)

    Though I prefer the term “hegan” to its predecessor, “femivore” (which, as a word, makes zero sense), it’s still kind of bullshit: in describing this ‘new breed’ of manly vegan men, Pierce is setting up a false dichotomy that portrays ‘regular’ vegan dudes (and women, too) as effeminate, weak and sentimental (‘pussies, queers and commies,’ as hegans might say). Also: paint with a broad brush much? Veganism is a diverse movement, and any attempt to pigeonhole such a large segment of the population is misguided at best. (See above, re: creating news where there is none.)

    That said, I have a counter-proposal: shegan. More complex an equation than “women + vegans = shegans,” shegans as I envision them are feminist vegans of all sexes and genders (and/or feminist-allied vegan men, if you prefer) who reject sexism and misogyny as vehemently as they do speciesism. Dog knows we could use a little more sheganism, particularly since this is quickly shaping up to be the summer of the hegan douchebag.

    Vegan Feminist Agitator: The PETA Effect

    A lovely essay from Marla in which she manages to deconstruct the bulk of PETA’s campaigns in one fell swoop. To wit:

    The PETA Effect has come into existence because they have cynically decided to not only accept the terms dictated by the worst aspects of the mainstream world, but to be a part of it. Instead of questioning misogyny, they wallow in it. Instead of thoughtful, insightful analysis, they have women citing statistics while stripping on camera. Instead of rejecting the notion that we all need to be young, slim, and, more often than not, surgically enhanced to be attractive, they embrace it fully, and they also tell us that objectification for the “cause” is a worthy endeavor. They tell a nation already deeply battered by this message that if you are not young, slim and conventionally attractive, you are worthless and disgusting. What does this have to do with compassion to animals? How does this improve a battery chicken’s life? How does this make the skeptical public more receptive to questioning their values? It doesn’t.

    Seriously, go read the whole piece. I can wait.

    (More below the fold…)

    Overheard at IBTP:

    Sunday, May 16th, 2010

    Do the people who admire this kind of thing ever wonder why there’s no Men’s Auxiliary Assless Chaps For Peace March?

    No, of course not.

    (Commenter Occasional lurker, in reference to last month’s “Boobquake.” CC image via frankfarm on Flickr.)

    Of course, this criticism is equally applicable to other pseudo-progressive causes, including roughly 84.9% of PETA’s campaigns.

    See, e.g., I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur; I’d Rather Show My Buns Than Wear Fur; I’d Rather Go Topless Than Wear Fur (!); Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin; Ink, Not Mink; and Turn Over a New Leaf.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 21: Campaign WIN/FAIL edition

    Saturday, May 15th, 2010

    MTV's Retro Hit Girl Poster

    “MTV’s Retro Hit Girl Poster”: In a reimagining of J. Howard Miller’s iconic “We Can Do It!” poster, a purple-wigged Hit Girl flexes her bicep, gun in hand. The purple bubble emanating
    from her head reads, “We Can Kick Ass!” Message brought to you by the Women’s Ass-Kicking Committee. (This photo has absolutely zilch to do with today’s post; rather, it just makes me smile. The warm and fuzzies, I sure needed ’em after wading through not one, but two PETA campaigns. Maybe you will too?)
    ——————————

    Okay, so there’s much, much more FAIL than WIN in this edition of Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, but seeing as I’m all about the power of positive thinking, half-full beer steins, and all that fluffy fun stuff (sike!), I had to lead with WIN. In the title, anyhow. Had you fooled, didn’t I?

    The Discerning Brute: Rape of Africa in “A Bid to Save the Earth.”

    So this is…interesting. In honor of Earth Day, Christie’s hosted an auction to benefit several environmental organizations. One of the art pieces – David LaChapelle’s “Rape of Africa” – is unsettling, to say the least. Click on over to the Discerning Brute to view the image (which is totally NSFW as it depicts, among other things, Naomi Campbell’s bare breast). Joshua Katcher’s interpretation of the photograph is worth a read as well, particularly as he links the exploitation of farmed animals to that of human women, to wit:

    [S]itting beside Naomi Campbell are farm animals, which suggest the failure of programs like Oxfam and Heifer International as well as making the statement that, like domesticated farm animals, Naomi is a chattel.

    WIN or FAIL? Well, I dig the piece, though it’s not exactly something I’d hang over the fireplace, if you know what I mean.

    Catholic Vote - Earth Day 2010

    Her Authority: Women’s Bodies Are… Pieces of Land?

    In this Earth Day-themed ad, the anti-choice group CatholicVote.org links women (particularly mothers, o givers of life!) with the natural world by superimposing an image of the earth over the womb of a heavily pregnant woman. A cute (read: white, blond-haired, appropriately feminine, etc.) little girl rests her head against her mother’s belly; index finger pressed to her lips, she seems to be saying, “Shhh! My little sister is trying to sleep in there!”

    With this imagery, CatholicVote.org is romanticizing two “homes,” if you will: that of the developing fetus (baby!), i.e., a womb which belongs to an adult human female; and planet earth, i.e., home to all of humanity (and a trillion other creatures, as well). Women are not individual beings with their own thoughts and desires, but rather pieces of land. And what do we humans do with land, the earth, and the natural world, class? That’s right – we conquer and dominate them! Nice.

    Which makes the romanticization of each – women/mothers and the earth/nature – all that much more distasteful and disingenuous. Throw me on the bottom of the shitpile and tell me that I live on a pedestal, why don’t you?

    (More below the fold…)

    BP Oil "Spill": Animal Rescue, Disaster Relief, Action Alerts & Vegan Views

    Thursday, May 13th, 2010

    Last updated 4/20/11 @ 11:00 AM CDT.


     
     
    As with the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, I’ve decided to create a single blog post which will act as a sort of “hub” where I’ll post information, action alerts, newsletters, etc. related to the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Given that President Obama intends to push forward with previously announced plans to expand offshore drilling, there’s a special emphasis on action alerts that address fossil fuels and/or their place in proposed climate change legislation. Where appropriate, I’ve also included information on what you can do to help meet immediate disaster relief needs in the Gulf Coast region.
     
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    Bitches, Zines & Lending Libraries – and Women, Food & Consumption (Oh my!)

    Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

    2007-01-27 - Books! (and stuff) - 0013

    Kaylee can’t decide between Jane Goodall’s The Chimpanzees of Gombe and Owen & Chiras’s Natural Resource Conservation, sixth ed. What’s a gal to do!? CC image via ME on Flickr.
    ——————————

    Vegans, feminists and (especially) vegan feminists, listen up! Via Bitch Media and MP: An Online Feminist Journal come two shiny opportunities to contribute to feminist projects – and advocate for your nonhuman sisters at the same time!

    First up: Bitch Media, which recently established a Community Lending Library in Portland. Currently boasting over 1,000 books, the project welcomes donations of feminist titles. Seeing as animal advocacy oftentimes dovetails with feminism, the Lending Library is a great way to get animal rights books into the hands of non-veg feminists. So if you’ve got a spare copy of The Sexual Politics of Meat or Sistah Vegan gathering dust on your bookshelf, why not donate it to this totally rad community project? (Those with BookMooch or similar accounts can also swap books to donate directly to the library…by which I mean “ship to,” as Bitch isn’t currently listed as a member/charity on BookMooch.)

    But wait! There’s more! In its latest newsletter, Bitch announced that it would also like to build up its zine collection. Woman, feminist and/or vegan zinesters, read on for details on how to get a copy of your own zines (or your favorite zines) onto the shelves of Bitch. (Peace to All Creatures, anyone?)

    Biblio-Bitches Rejoice! Zinesters Unite!

    The Bitch Community Lending Library is open and ready for new and returning card holders to drop by. Open from 5-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Monday-Friday by appointment, you will have a chance to browse more than 1,000 titles of feminist literature, research and writing (and maybe even take a few home?). You can also take the time to meet Bitch’s library coordinator, Ashley McAllister, who has been hard at work adding new titles, filling the shelves and familiarizing herself with the subtleties of issuing cards.

    One of the first things that Ashley wants to do in the library is start a collection of reader-donated zines. Bitch started its life as a zine and will always have a soft spot for the format, so we’re excited to honor self-publishing by creating a dedicated space for zines in our lending library. We’re adding a zine library to the 1,000-plus books already in our collection, and excited to share the breadth of self-published materials with our members.

    If you’re either a zinemaker yourself or have a zine collection that you’re looking to either pare down or donate entirely, let us know! We’re looking for zines made by and for feminist thinkers, activists, and fans, though they don’t have to be “grrrl zines” per se. Whether your zines were Xeroxed back in 1992 or just last month, we’d love to have them. If you’ve got a large collection that you want to ship to us, please contact Ashley McAllister at ashley [at] b-word.org. Otherwise, just write “zine donation” on your envelope. And look for upcoming blog posts featuring zines that show up in our mailbox!

    (More below the fold…)

    Tweeting Mother’s Day

    Monday, May 10th, 2010

    “Western Union — Happy Mother’s Day – 1942”; CC image via Beyond the Trail [Gary] on Flickr. Please click through to read the photo description!
    ——————————

    In between hour-long calls home to Mom, vegan pizzas topped with Daiya AND Follow Your Heart cheese, gratuitous dog piles, and Boston Cream Pie-induced sugar comas, I spent a good part of yesterday tweeting Mother’s Day. Inspired by last August’s for-the-pigs #oink tweetfest, I compiled a list of facts, photos, blog posts and links that address animal exploitation (with an emphasis on femaleness, family and motherhood), which I shared on Twitter at intervals throughout the day yesterday. While I didn’t manage to use up all my pre-made tweets (I overslept and got a rather late start), I did log 84 tweets, almost all of them Mother’s Day-related. Better yet, because I wrote most of the tweets earlier in the week, I didn’t have to spent too much of the holiday online.

    This was a somewhat impromptu action on my part; initially, I considered trying to recruit a few fellow animal advocates to help me out, but I quickly nixed the idea, thinking that most people would be otherwise occupied. Happily, I was not alone in my armchair activism yesterday; on both Twitter and Facebook (and not a few blogs), I saw a steady stream of tweets and status updates emphasizing the plight of nonhuman mothers. Here in the U.S., Father’s Day isn’t nearly as popular as its feminine counterpart, to be sure (a topic for a whole ‘nother feminist-minded post), but I think I’ll try something similar on June 20th. Should you, you know, care to join me. (*smiles*)

    After the jump you’ll find all my Mother’s Day tweets. Together, they make an awfully compelling (but by no means exhaustive) argument in favor of a more inclusive vision of motherhood – and, by extension, sisterhood.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 20: Forgotten Mothers, Disappeared Daughters

    Thursday, May 6th, 2010

    It has been many a week since last I posted a link roundup, ’tis true; and, while I’ve managed to hoard a literal ton of ’em (okay, not really), rather than dump them all on you at once, all haphazard-like, today I present a short-and-sweet, family-themed mini-link roundup in honor of Mother’s Day.

    Liberation BC - Cow Ribbon Campaign eCard

    One of several Mother’s Day eCards from Liberation BC. Grab your own here.
    ——————————

    Liberation BC: The Cow Ribbon Campaign and

    Striking at the Roots: Campaign Raises Awareness About Forgotten Mothers

    As with many mainstream holidays (Thanksgiving, Easter, Earth Day – I’m looking at you!), Mother’s Day can be rather bittersweet for animal advocates. While it’s nice to set a day aside for loving and pampering and honoring your mom (which is something that most of us should be doing 365 days of the year, I might add), the holiday celebrations and rhetoric are predictably anthropocentric, ignoring and erasing the experiences of the billions of nonhuman mothers across the globe – many of whom are enslaved, exploited, raped and killed for the very fact of their “miraculous” ability to give life to the next generation. Some miracle, right?

    Enter Glenn Gaetz and Joanne Chang of the Vancouver-based animal advocacy organization Liberation BC. This April, the group launched The Cow Ribbon Campaign. Modeled after similar awareness ribbon campaigns, the Cow Ribbon Campaign uses black and white spotted ribbons to draw awareness to the estimated nine million “dairy” cows imprisoned in North American dairy operations in 2010 alone – and, by extension, the billions of additional female farmed animals whose reproductive systems are hijacked for human wants and convenience.

    Normally, I’m not a huge fan of awareness ribbons – who on earth can possibly remember what all those colors mean!? “awareness,” meh – what a meaningless term.; etc. – but the Cow Ribbons are rather distinct and unique, and make for a great conversation starter. Plus, their meaning is immediately obvious: what Westerner doesn’t associate black and white spots with cows – and cows with animal agriculture?

    The ribbons are available for a minimum donation of $5 – and, while it’s a little late in the game to order them for Mother’s Day delivery, another great thing about the Cow Ribbons is that you can wear them any day, or every day; the ribbon retains its significance throughout the year. In the meantime, though, Lib BC has plenty of geeky goodness that you can use to spread the word: avatars for Twitter and FB, eCards for Mom, fliers for your friendly neighborhood billboards.

    This Sunday, encourage others to remember mothers of all species.

    (More below the fold…)

    The Animal Experience (On the Peaceful Prairie Signature Billboard Campaign)

    Saturday, April 17th, 2010

    Peaceful Prairie - Signature Billboards

    Eight of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary’s sixty-two Signature Billboards, all from the “We Know Our Victims Well” series. Clockwise from the top left:
    They long to live as much as we do.
    (A single white duck gazes into the camera.)
    They long to be loved as much as we do.
    (Hen and rooster Libbie and Louie find refuge in one another’s touch.)
    They face life together like we do.
    (A pair of ducks wander through the snow.)
    They love their children as much as we do.
    (An adult llama and his child smile together.)
    They need their mothers as much as we do.
    (A cow nuzzles his mother.)
    They protect their children as fiercely as we do.
    (A cow and her calf stare defiantly ahead.)
    They raise families like we do.
    (A duck family – complete with five youngsters – strolls along in harmony.)
    They fall in love like we do.
    (One cow licks another with obvious affection.)
    ——————————

    A few weeks ago, the always-awesome Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary unveiled a new campaign to aid activists in combating speciesism – and all the oppressions it sanctions – specifically that directed towards “food” animals. With its Signature Billboards, Peaceful Prairie gives faces, individualities, life stories, and emotions to the many animals we call “food” – cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep, lambs, goats and fishes:

    They speak for themselves…

    We don’t always have the opportunity to raise awareness of the animals’ plight during daily email correspondence but now, with Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary’s latest campaign, we’ve made it easy and effective for anyone to learn how their actions can save the lives of other animals, lives that matter to them as much our lives matter to us.

    The graphics – each of which pictures one or more nonhuman animals, as well as a brief but powerful statement about her life experiences, relationships with/to other nonhumans, and/or personhood – are organized around four main themes:

    • We Know Our Victims Well;
    • 55 Billion Reasons to Live Vegan;
    • Humane Farming, An Oxymoron; and
    • Subjects of a Life

    Designed for use as email signatures, you can also display these graphics on your blog or website, or share them on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 19: Brain Food (Vegan, Natch!)

    Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

    Vegan Brain Food

    “Vegan Brain Food”: A mashup of book covers related to this latest edition of “Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs.” Clockwise from the upper-left: Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak by A. Breeze Harper, ed. (2010); Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals by Anthony J. Nocella II and Steven Best, eds. (2004); Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women’s Anthology for a New Millennium by Robin Morgan, ed. (2003); The Pornography of Meat by Carol Adams (2004); The Year of the Flood: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (2009); Penelope by Marilyn Kaye (2007); Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy (2009); and VegNews, March+April 2010.
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    Sistah Vegan Book: Win a Free Copy!

    Editor Breeze Harper is giving away a free, signed copy of her upcoming anthology, Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health & Society. The catch? You have to answer a short essay question, which will (hopefully) get you thinking about issues of food, race, gender, and/or nonhuman animals in new (and fruitful!) way. The deadline is April 1st, so don’t delay!

    Let Live Foundation: Food Justice w/ lauren Ornelas (3/21)

    I’m so terribly jealous of all you vegan folks living on the east and west coasts; y’all always throw the coolest conferences and lectures! (There’s a reason I titled this link roundup “Brain Food,” yo!) This Sunday, March 21st, Let Live Foundation will be hosting speaker lauren Ornelas of the Food Empowerment Project. On the menu?: Food justice, veganism, and the intersections of human and animal exploitation. If you happen to find yourself in Portland this weekend, attend, take notes, and report back, mkay? (Pretty please? With an organic, raw, fair trade cherry on top?)

    The Washington Times: Food For Life Global Is Coming Through Big In Haiti

    Who says animal advocates only care about nonhumans, hmmm? Check out this nice writeup Food For Life Global received in The Washington Times, and then hop on over to Disaster Relief in Haiti: Animal Rescue & Vegan/Animal-Friendly Resources to see how else you can help with disaster relief efforts in Haiti (and Chile).

    The Voracious Vegan: International Women’s Day: Why Feminism? and “Until We Are All Free”: International Women’s Day (@ Choosing Raw)

    In honor of International Women’s Day (which took place on March 8th), the Voracious Vegan penned not one, but two posts. The first includes a short film that, in Tasha’s words explains why “women’s rights and feminism are still relevant and necessary in this day and age.” Additionally, in a guest post at Choosing Raw, Tasha discusses the intersections of feminism and veganism, including the shared ideologies and social systems which allow human, animal and environmental exploitation to thrive. It’s a lengthy piece but well worth it – she touches upon a number of salient points, including the objectification of women’s and animals’s bodies; the state’s (and businesses’) attempts to control the reproductive systems of females, human and nonhuman alike; food and environmental justice; and public safety and human health concerns.

    (More below the fold…)

    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.

    (More below the fold…)

    Breeze Harper Introduces The Sistah Vegan Project

    Thursday, February 25th, 2010

    I know, I know; long time no see. I’ve been a bit neglectful lately, and for that I apologize. I’ve spent all my free time working on POP! goes the Vegan., you see, either writing posts about CSI and The Colbert Report (which makes for a wonderful escape from talking about the horrors of animal exploitation or following the latest ARA-on-ARA internet wars, let me tell you what!) or working on a super-secret project (well, not so secret…more like tedious and slow going). So it’s not as though I’ve been sipping piña coladas in the sunshine, is what I’m saying.

    Sistah Vegan, edited by Breeze Harper (2010, Lantern Books)

    Anyhow, today I’d like to share a few videos from Breeze Harper, of The Sistah Vegan Project blog and the soon-to-be-released Sistah Vegan anthology. Sistah Vegan is set to drop in March, and in anticipation of its publication, Harper has created a number of videos related to the book: she explains her background and the project’s genesis; delves into the topics raised within Sistah Vegan‘s pages; and shares some additional resources (and recipes!).

    It’s an excellent series – indeed, I listened to all but the most recent video blog the other night while doing some data entry for that aforementioned, no-longer-secret POP! project – but rather than overwhelm you with videos (thus reducing the likelihood that you’ll actually view them), here is a two-part introduction to Breeze Harper’s background, education and interest in “critical race studies, black feminisms, and critical food geographies.” (If you’ve got time to watch the others, they’re all available at http://sistahvegan.wordpress.com.)

    I received an advanced review copy of Sistah Vegan (courtesy of Lantern Books) several weeks ago and am greatly enjoying it. Definitely put this one on your reading list!

    Also, if you’d like to help promote the book and project, see this post from johanna at Vegans of Color for ideas and networking possibilities.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 17: F-O-O-D.*

    Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

    “assortment of vegan chocolates”: A dozen+ gorgeous vegan chocolates sit atop a white porcelain cake stand. Nom! CC image via quintanaroo (the chocolate-maker herself) on Flickr.
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    Regretfully, I spent most of the long weekend either tossing and turning in bed, or retching and heaving over the toilet (read: vomiting; either way, what a mental image, yeah?), and thus was unable to get much of anything done. The perfect time for a link roundup! The commentary is rather sparse, but seeing as I feel like I’ve been through the ringer and back, I hope you’ll forgive me.

    johanna @ Vegans of Color: Vegan cookbooks: helping folks eat the Other

    The Vegan Ideal: A Western Vegetarian ‘Foray’ into Non-Western Culture

    johanna and Ida provide several examples of the “exotification” of non-Western foods (“African,” “Asian,” Hawaiian and Cambodian, respectively), with an eye on vegetarian/vegan contexts (cookbooks and a veg gathering at veg-friendly restaurant).

    Stephanie @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: Domination and Rape in Avatar: This Is “Respect” for Animals?

    While I’ve seen many a discussion of Avatar‘s problematic racial politics, anti-speciesist reviews appear to be few and far between. This piece from Stephanie is a must-read; the title says it all, really. (Mary also discussed the film back in December.)

    Marji @ Animal Rights & AntiOppression: Sarah’s Diary: Remembering

    Marji imagines what rescue hen Sarah’s diary might look like. It is predictably heart-breaking. I’ll be honest; I have not yet been able to read the entire piece.

    Of course, I feel rather silly when considering Marji’s description of the “mock-diary”:

    This is Sarah. She turns seven this February 14th. She is one of 2,000 hens we were legally permitted to pull from a small, 160,000 egg-laying hen operation. I know this diary is horribly anthropomorphic. I pulled Sarah out of that cage. For hours, I breathed what they breathed, saw and smelled their world. It was horrifying. I have tried, for years, to fathom what it must have been like for them from birth to grisly death. I can’t.

    If there were a goddess, surely you’d find her volunteering at an animal sanctuary.

    (More below the fold…)

    Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, "Wake up, bacon breath!"

    Thursday, February 11th, 2010

    (I’m paraphrasing, of course!)

    It’s been a few months since last I wrote about Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s series of short videos addressing the issues of veganism and intersectionality. (Dear Mozilla: It’s 2010, and yet you still do not recognize the word “veganism.” For reals!? Get with it, mkay?!) In the interim, she’s released three additional segments.

    Thus far, she has covered a number of topics, including:
    gender-based exploitation;
    the universality of the maternal instinct;
    violence in the animal agriculture industry;
    raising compassionate children;
    the agricultural revolution and animal ownership;
    forming connections with nonhumans; and
    the impact of slaughterhouse work on the human spirit. (Wheh!)

    (As an aside, does the cute green top she sports throughout the series make you terribly nostalgic for summer or what?)

    In “Growing Food for People,” Patrick-Goudreau touches upon the intersection of “meat” consumption, hunger and poverty, noting that we have the resources (land, water, technology) to feed the world’s population – if only we stop using so much of our existing food supply to fatten up the “farmed” animals birthed, raised and destined for slaughter. “Meat,” dairy and egg production are terribly inefficient – and increasingly inadequate, given our burgeoning population.

    In “Becoming Empowered and Making a Difference,” she notes that each of our actions represents a choice made, whether consciously or not. Continuing on one’s present path of “meat” consumption is as much of a decision as is the adoption of a vegetarian or vegan diet. Because our society is centered around animal exploitation, however, only the latter is recognized as a belief system, while the former remains unnamed and invisible – a given. (For more on this, see Carnism: Meat, Deconstructed.)

    (More below the fold…)

    Because the world needs more vegan superheroes,

    Friday, February 5th, 2010

    I have birthed (mutated? summoned forth? kidnapped and trained?) my very own super-shiny-awesome vegan pop culture blog.

    Behold: POP! goes The Vegan.

    POP! goes The Vegan.

    I know, I know, I need another blog like I need more cow flesh in my chili, but I just couldn’t help it. For reals! After a few months of contemplation, and a few more spent trolling the internets, I realized that POP! might actually fill a (gasp!) void. As if such a thing exists, you scoff. But wait, stay with me here.

    Aside from a few green/vegetarian celebrity gossip sites (will. not. link.), I have yet to find a single blog or website that dissects pop culture – film, television, music, literature, theater, advertisements, you name it – from a strictly vegan perspective. Not a few vegan bloggers feature the occasional movie review and the like (myself included), but I don’t know of anyone who focuses solely on popular culture criticism. And so POP! goes The Vegan. was born. (My quirky comical punctuation, you will assimilate it.)

    Though the archives consist solely of posts previously published in these here pages, I began adding some original content this week. Probably I’ll continue to crosspost those pieces of which I’m particularly proud – but pleasepleaseplease bookmark POP! so that you don’t miss anything. (Hmmm, that sounded more like begging than I’d intended for it to.)

    So far this week, I’ve blogged about Bones, Lost (no Season Six spoilers, please! lalalalala I can’t hear you!), the Temple Grandin biopic premiering on HBO this weekend, and the Anthony Weiner interview on last night’s The Daily Show. (See? You are totes missing out!)

    If you’d like to contribute the odd guest post or two, check out the submissions page. I can only watch so many television shows at once, so a few kickass vegan sidekicks are sorely needed.

    In the future, I also hope to add a database of links to film, television, music, literature and theater reviews (written from an animal rights point of view, natch), so keep an eye out for that as well. (Just waiting for the Mr. to finish up on the back end. Errr, wait, you know what I mean.)

    Ka-pow!, for now.

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 16: Breast is Best (and Vegan!)

    Sunday, January 31st, 2010

    “IMG_1805”: Snout covered in milk, pink tongue flicking from her mouth, a young cow suckles her mother’s teat. CC image from destinyuk on Flickr.
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    Julie Urbanik @ Humanimalia: “Hooters for Neuters”: Sexist or Transgressive Animal Advocacy Campaign?

    In the inaugural issue of Humanimalia, Julie Urbanik explores animal advocacy campaigns that trade in gender-based stereotypes in order to promote compassion. These include “Hooters for Neuters” events held by, among others, Best Friends Animal Society (et tu, Best Friends!?); LA-based Friends for Animals’s “Pimp Your Pit”; NYC’s Rescue Ink; and, of course PETA. (PETA, PETA, PETA!) While I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s conclusions, it’s a thought-provoking analysis nonetheless.

    Mylène @ My Face Is On Fire: Fur and

    Gary Francione @ The Abolitionist Approach: The State of the Movement

    In a much lengthier post about single-issue campaigns (namely, anti-fur campaigns), Mylène refers to Professor Francione’s recent critique of PETA’s racist/sexist State of the Union Undress video. Both posts are worth a read, so rather than quoting gratuitously, I’ll just copy the point to which I responded in Mylène’s piece:

    But is the fur industry really any more worthy of such ire? As one advocate recently pointed out Twitter, for instance, ‘fur’ is skin and hair while ‘leather’ is skin. To obsess over people’s wearing of fur while turning a blind eye to others’ wearing of leather (which is much more common and involves so much more loss of life) seems odd and illogical. Furthermore, as Prof. Francione often points out when discussing anti-fur campaigns, considering that a large percentage of those who wear fur are women, fur becomes a convenient and sexist target. After all, when’s the last time you saw PeTA demonstrators bombard a leather-clad biker with paint-balls?

    Pause and savor that image for a moment, if you will, before we move on to less savory stuff.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 15: BEEF!, Bitches & "Bruised Feelings"

    Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

    BEEF! For Men With Taste

    vegansaurus!: BEEF!: nicht für Frauen–unless your Mann gives it to you

    In which “beef” has its own magazine (and it’s a gentleman’s magazine, natch!): BEEF! for Men with Taste. Luckily, vegansaurus is all over that shit.

    Ida @ L.O.V.E.: Political Correctness, Political Expediency, and Veganism and

    Royce @ Vegans of Color: notes on “Veganism Overly Defined”

    Ida (taking a break from The Vegan Ideal to guest post at L.O.V.E.) and Royce respond to a guest post at Vegan Soapbox (Veganism Overly Defined) in which the author dismisses an intersectional approach to veganism and animal advocacy as “attach[ing] favorite causes” and “baggage” to “Veganism.” Likewise, vegans who object to human-based “isms” “get so involved in the bruised feelings of some humans that the plight of voiceless animals becomes a marginalized issue.” Emphasis on “bruised feelings.”

    Carol J. Adams: Remembering Mary Daly and

    jenna @ L.O.V.E.: Feminism and Animals: What You Won’t Find in the 101

    Mary Daly, a self-proclaimed “radical lesbian feminist,” recently passed away at the age of 81. While much has been written of Daly’s radfem theology, I didn’t realize that she was also an animal rights advocate and vegetarian until I read a memorial written for Daly by Carol Adams. Herself a former student of Daly’s, Adams’s obit is rather charming and provides a glimpse of what it must have been like to be a young adult attending college in the ’70s.

    Unfortunately, Daly was also something of a transphobe, perhaps most famously referring to trans people as “Frankensteinian.” On this point, jenna’s post at L.O.V.E is well worth a read; in it, she illustrates why, as advocates for justice, compassion and respect, it is ill-advised and hypocritical for vegans to leave any marginalized group, human or non, behind. (Also click through the many links jenna provides to The Vegan Ideal, where the intersection of ecofeminism and transphobia is discussed in much greater detail. That is, if you haven’t yet; I’ve included many of these posts in past link roundups.)

    (More below the fold…)

    Blog for Choice Day: On being a pro-choice vegan.

    Friday, January 22nd, 2010

    null

    Blog for Choice Day 2010:
    Trusting Women, Honoring Dr. Tiller

    I wrote the bulk of this post last June, in the days and weeks following the murder of Dr. George Tiller. Initially – and still – intended as part of a series called “Killing in the Name of,” this piece attempts to reconcile my pro-choice and vegan beliefs, which as it turns out, isn’t a difficult task at all. Harder still is defending some of the “terrorist” tactics employed by the animal rights movement while condemning similar tactics when used in service a “pro-life” agenda. It’s an emotional and confusing endeavor, and one I’m still working on. If ever I do figure it all out, I’ll post Part 2 of this series.

    In the meantime, I’d like to share my thoughts “On being a pro-choice vegan” as part of today’s Blog for Choice Day (5th annual, bitches!). It doesn’t exactly fit with this year’s theme, but seeing as “Trusting Women” was chosen in honor of Dr. Tiller, I think it’s appropriate anyhow. If you disagree, hop on over to Animal Rights & Anti-Oppression; my post there follows the assignment to a “t” (“v”?).

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    “Killing in the Name of”: Introduction

    My apologies for the brief blogular absence. I’ve got a ton of posts lined up in the queue, but my attention has turned elsewhere – from animal rights to reproductive rights (which aren’t completely unrelated) – since the murder of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday.

    News of Dr. Tiller’s death came like a kick in the gut. The last time an abortion doctor was murdered was in 1998; I was only 20 at the time, and somewhat apolitical. Even though Dr. Barnett Slepian’s murder occurred not far from my hometown, I really can’t recall what I felt – if anything – at the news. But now – now I know better. Dr. Tiller’s murder, far from an isolated crime committed against a single individual, was intended to terrorize abortion providers and reproductive health clinics all over the United States. Doctors and clinics that provide vital health care, primarily to women. Scared women, marginalized women, women in need, women with nowhere else to go. To this end, it was an atrocity perpetrated against women everywhere, women who want nothing more than control over their own lives – and bodies. Women who simply want to be regarded and treated as fully human.

    Dr. Tiller was one of a handful of doctors who perform abortions in the later term of pregnancy (whereas “late term” defies definition, and may mean anything from 3 to 6 months on). He saved countless women’s lives, even in the face of unrelenting threats and danger, including an assassination attempt and the bombing of his clinic. Dr. Tiller was a hero – a hero who became a martyr. It’s difficult to describe, but Dr. Tiller’s murder – and all the anti-choice rhetoric that’s littered the media since – well, it’s hit me. Hard. It feels like women are under siege, our very bodily sovereignty up for grabs.* We’re so, so much worse off without him.

    Of course, our collective loss pales in comparison to the loss suffered by his family, which includes his wife, 4 children and 10 grandchildren. My heart bleeds for them.

    Naturally, many on the left have labeled this an act of domestic terrorism, and criticized the media and government for not doing so. They also point to the extreme right wing rhetoric that inflamed passions against abortion providers, implicating it in the murder. Scott Roeder may have pulled the trigger, the reasoning goes, but pundits and anti-abortion crusaders put the gun in his hand.

    All of which has brought to the fore related issues with which I’ve been grappling for quite some time, particularly those involving parallels between the animal rights and anti-choice movements. For example, while animal rights “terrorists” have never killed a human, they do engage in campaigns of harassment and intimidation against individuals involved in animal exploitation – campaigns that are uncomfortably similar to the forms of “protest” carried out by “pro-lifers” against abortion providers. While animal rights activists are deemed the #1 domestic terrorist threat, anti-abortion groups (not-so-)curiously slip under the radar. And yet, is the answer to label them “terrorists” – or to rethink the very definition of “terrorism”?

    (More below the fold…)