Speciesism-Denying Humans

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

is the name of a new vegan meme / tumblr blog by @VeganMudblood, which you should totes check out. Also: like (favorite? friend? I’m not down with the tumblr speak.*), share, add to, etc., etc., etc.

Here’s my submission. The first of many, no doubt. (Expect a slew to appear the next time I’m feeling particularly lazy, aimless, or in need of a good procrastinating.)

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To be fair, the speciesism-denying human pictured above never actually proffered this defense on her own behalf – though at least one commenter on her popular feminist blog did. (No, really!) And yes, it is in point o’ facts a square in the upcoming Speciesist Feminist Bingo II.

* Speaking of which, I tried to create a tumblr account so I could follow Speciesism-Denying Humans, but my both of my blog names are already taken! Looks like I’m gonna have to think on this for a bit. URLs are a weighty decision, you know.

Updated to add: I blame the kyriarchy. IBTK, for short.

Shiny Happy Site Updates for a Shiny Happy New Year

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

happy new year

2010 was, for reasons I’d rather not go into, a rather crappy year all around. But with the flip of a calendar page comes a new year filled with hope and change and puppies and unicorns. (Nobama though, I don’t much care for that dude. So much so that I’m now repeating Republican slogans in spite of myself. Yuck.)

Also: site updates and goals! I know this sounds like it’s gonna be a boring admin-type post, but it’s not. Okay so maybe it is, but do me a shiny and read it anyway, mkay.

  • Tags!: There’s now a teeny-tiny tag cloud, located in the sidebar (just below the post categories and above the purple Petfinder widget), where there was none before! While updating my “greatest hits” page last month, I realized that I needed a better way of organizing post series (e.g., Consuming Women, Sexy Meat) and linking posts which focused on the same narrow, oft-discussed topics (PETA, abortion). Thus, I finally decided to add a few select tags after 4 1/2 years of making do without them.

    As these are really just meant to supplement the already-bloated post category system, I’m keeping the tags simple and focused. Currently, they include:

    Consuming Women
    Sexy Meat
    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs
    Disaster Hub
    PETA
    “fur hag”; and
    abortion

    Maybe it’s just because I’m hungry, but I’m also thinking about adding a tag for ICE CREAM! (Caps cuz WE ALL SCREAM!, amirite folks?)

  • Consuming Women & Sexy Meat!: Speaking of post series, it became painfully obvious to me whilst tagging the aforementioned posts that I haven’t paid the Consuming Women and Sexy Meat series the attention that they so very much deserve! I hereby resolve to correct this oversight in 2011.

    Furthermore, this is me admitting that I can be, at times, terribly wordy (channeling: Jon Stewart’s John Kerry impression), and that such verbosity negatively impacts the number (and sometimes quality) of posts that I’m able to complete. So less talky, more looky, particularly when it comes to images of women carved up into cuts of meat. Or pictures of cows dressed to look like sex workers. Because really, how many different ways can one say that these images exploit women and nonhuman animals alike, turning their bodies into objects available for public consumption? (Not so many, it turns out!)

  • Bingo Cards!: Since my bingo cards are starting to see some link love, I decided to give them their own page! Don’t they look pretty, without all my extraneous, babbling commentary to distract from the snark? Also, I’ve totally slacked in my goal to link each square to a rebuttal and/or refutation of the silliness contained within. I promise to remedy this in 2011 (Look! I’ve already begun!), though it might take some time: the Speciesist Feminist and Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo cards are so “special interest” (hate that term!) that I may have to write some of the counter-arguments myself. At least I’ll have some inspiration in 2011, yes?
  • POP! goes The Vegan.: Also planned for 2011 is an overhaul of POP! goes The Vegan., another awesome and unique (if I do say so myself, and I do!) project that I neglected during the Great Malaise of 2010. The “Vegan (Re)views” database will be relocated to the front page where it belongs, and the blog will get its own space. Contact forms will make it easier for users to submit movies, tv shows, reviews and the like, and on the back end, the database will receive a good spit and shine so that I can more finely organize and sort the entries. Birds will sing, my dogs will shit gold, and vegan ice cream the world over will cease to have any of the fat, and yet magically retain all of the taste. Life is/will be good.

    Until then, I’ve resumed blogging at POP! after a three-month absence. Stop by and give me a read; recent topics include Guillermo Del Toro’s vampire novel The Strain; George A. Romero’s zombie flick Survival of the Dead; and an excerpt from Karen Davis’s Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs.

    Guest posts are sorely needed, as even I – as much of a couch potato as I am – cannot consume and regurgitate all of the pop culture on the airwaves and intertubes myself. Hit me up at easyvegan [at] gmail.com, mkay? Or just send me a link to a piece you published elsewhere. I’m flexible, yo.

  • Animal-Friendly Women’s and Homeless Shelters: HALP! I’m trying to compile a list of animal-friendly women’s (i.e., domestic violence) shelters and programs. This might include shelters that house humans and nonhumans in the same facilities, or human-only shelters that partner with local animal rescue groups to temporarily place nonhuman victims in a network of foster homes. In my research, I keep finding references to AHA’s list – but the page has since moved, and I can’t for the life of me find it. The resources I have found are listed in the blogroll, under Animal-Friendly DV Shelters.

    I also hope to make a similar list of homeless shelters; see Animal-Friendly Homeless Shelters in the blogroll.

    Send me your links at easyvegan [at] gmail.com or, better yet, leave ’em in the comments!

  • Survey: What is it like to be vegan?: Not mine, but you should totes participate anyhow. It’ll only take you a few minutes, and it’s important stuff. You’re doing god’s work, people! And by “god” I mean “science.”

    Have I convinced you yet? Oh, good! Survey sez ->

  • FYI: HAPPY FUCKING NEW YEAR cake (vegan! with a vengeance !) & beer photo via Flickr user gregvanbrug.
  • Your reward for sticking with me ’til the end (or at least until the end of this post):

    (More below the fold…)

  • domestic terraist doggehs selebrate crifsmas wit toefoo nog (like duh!)

    Saturday, December 18th, 2010

    2010-12-05 - Mean Girls - 0003

    domestic terraist bear is one of teh kewl girls.
    Left to right: Kaylee, Jayne, O-Ren and the pirate-polar-vegan-terrorist criFSMas bear.
    ——————————

    Initially, I’d planned on doing a sort of “domestic terrorist” theme for this year’s holiday (read: criFSMas) cards, using the “domestic terrorist” apron from Green is the New Red as the centerpiece. (Product description: “‘Domestic.’ Terrorist. Get it? There’s nothing funny about the FBI labeling environmental and animal advocates the ‘number one domestic terrorism threat.’ But with the Feds attempting to infiltrate vegan potlucks, why not accessorize? […] Happy ‘terrorizing’! But be careful in the kitchen. Did you know tofu makes you gay?” Vegan chefs are scary, yo! Also: my dog-kids consume a fair amount of tofu. Additionally, they are super-psyched about today’s repeal of DADT. Draw your own conclusions, mkay.)

    While my idea was solid, its execution was not: the apron proved way too large for the dogs (which was to be expected, even though it looks super-tiny – not to mention satiny – on the model), so at first I tried putting it on our pirate polar bear.

    I think you’ll agree that she looks super-snazzy in it

    2010-12-04 - O criFSMas Tree - 0011

    but she’s also, well, kind of a big girl. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you; she’s vegan and totes in shape. But it proved next to impossible to fit both her and a dog in the camera frame. And so I re-staged the set, hanging the apron from the tree and surrounding it with fake fruits and veggies and a vase filled with pasta-related kitchen utensils.

    2010-12-04 - Domestic Terrorist Celebrates - 0012

    (Ignore the white fur on the black apron. Living with four white dogs and a mostly-white cat, it cannot be helped.)

    Better, but once I went back and examined the photos on my computer monitor, I realized that the paddles looked really odd and stupid. Tremendously so. Plus, there was still a lot of floor and wall showing. Dislike.

    So on day #2 of shooting, I ditched the setup and instead opted for a sea of book piles, coupled with a vase filled with angel hair pasta, and complemented with a sparkly “peace” ornament and baby flying spaghetti monster. The new theme? Peace and pasta.

    2010-12-05 - Tree Backdrop - 0008

    2010-12-05 - Tree Backdrop - 0018

    2010-12-05 - Tree Backdrop - 0005

    That taste? Perfection!

    Not wanting the domestic terrorist photos to go to waste, I decided to make a series of (VEGAN!) lol dogs out of them. And so I give you: domestic terraist doggehs! (And one kitteh, who barely sat still long enough for me to take three pictures of him. His caption is most fitting.)

    lol ozzy - is a terror allrite

    title: lol ozzy – is a terror allright
    caption: “domestic terraist kitteh” is a redundancy
    ——————————

    lol ralphie - thot u said petdown

    title: lol ralphie – thot u said petdown
    caption: domestic terraist doggeh will take that patdown now, mkay
    ——————————

    lol peedee - go boom

    title: lol peedee – go boom
    caption: domestic terraist doggeh be a walkin’ thyme bomb
    (idea shameless borrowed from a blog of the same name)
    ——————————

    lol rennie - be happy 2 show u her mitts

    title: lol rennie – be happy 2 show u her mitts
    caption: domestic terraist doggeh be hostin a v-gun potluck next week
    (u bring teh loaded taters kay?)
    ——————————

    lol kaylee - kills wit spiceness

    title: lol kaylee – kills wit spiceness
    caption: domestic terraist doggeh is about 2 es’splode ur taste budz
    ——————————

    lol jayne - is be busted

    title: lol jayne – is be busted
    caption: domestic terraist doggeh pleads deh lish
    (hint: if you don’t get it, sound it out loud!)
    ——————————

    In many ways, I think I like this series better than the “real” card I ended up with (and the outtakes I made for each dog; yes, I’ve been a busy bee). But hey, there’s always next year. Well, not really. I’ve already got plans for 2011, and they involve Kaylee, Jayne and Joss Fucking Whedon. (One hint: SPACE PIRATES!) 2012, perhaps. I’m sure the theme will still be relevant then, unfortunately.

    The Season of the Vegan: VeganMoFo, Halloweegan & Birthday Kisses

    Saturday, October 9th, 2010
  • If you’re vegan and on the internets, then probably you already know all about the awesomeness that is VeganMoFo. But a reminder never hurts now, does it?

    Vegan MoFo IV logo banner

    VeganMoFo is a month-long celebration of all things vegan food-related, in intertubes carnival form. Throughout the month of November, vegan bloggers the world over pledge to post about the joys of vegan food once a day, with the goal of generating at least 20 posts for the month (weekends are optional!). Topics run the gamut, from original recipes to theme days and photo essays to contests and giveaways. Last year, over 500 bloggers participated, yours truly included. (You can browse an archive of my VeganMoFo contributions here.)

    If you’re interested in being a MoFoer – in blog or in spirit – check out VeganMoFo Headquarters International, where a team of MoFoers will be recapping all the hot, sticky, NOMy vegan action in real time. You can also follow them on Twitter (@veganmofo), where you should totally share your own #veganmofo links – tagged according, natch. For the Flickerites among us, there’s even a VeganMoFo group; join and share, mkay?

    The sign-up deadline to be included in the RSS feed / “official” list of participants is 11/2, but you can jump in at any time! (Sign-up sheet here.)

    Last year, there was a push to garner media coverage for the event; I don’t know whether something similar is planned for 2010, but you should definitely keep an eye on the PPK forums for more. If necessary, last year’s sample press release can easily be reworked for VeganMoFo IV.

  • lol ozzy - cannibalizin

  • Not being a PPK regular, I initially thought that, as in years past, VeganMoFo IV was scheduled for October. But, not so much. Luckily, October is home to its own brand of awesomeness: Halloween!

    Wing-It Vegan is leading the Halloween festivities with a month of Halloweegan treats. (Halloween + vegan = Halloweegan, silly!) Spider Cupcakes, Vampire Cookies and Veggieloaf Coffins, oh my! You can browse an index of her Halloween-themed recipes here; she’s helpfully included links to other vegan creations ’round the interwebs, too. And if you’re on Flickr, join her newly-birthed Halloweegan group so you can get in on the fun.

  • Similarly, the good folks at VegWeb.com have assembled a dedicated Halloween page. Hit ’em up for Halloween-themed recipes, costume and party ideas, leads on yummy vegan Halloween candy and more.
  • Last Thursday was Kaylee and Jayne’s adoption day (four years) and observed birthdays (twelve and six years, respectively). I meant to at least mention it on the 30th, but happily we were too busy celebrating! At nine days past due, you’d think I’d just accept that the moment has passed, and maybe it’s silly, but…I feel a little remiss if I don’t at least give the kids an on-blog shout-out. Guilty, even. I know, I know, I’m such a mom.

    Anyhow, Shane and I drove the girls to nearby Smithville Lake, where we took a leisurely stroll along the water (2.11 miles in 53 minutes!). Kaylee is a naturally slow walker (she doesn’t walk so much as meander); whereas Jayne, possibly owing to abandonment issues, won’t walk more than five feet in front of you without stopping and/or retreating back, presumably to confirm that you haven’t ditched her while she wasn’t looking. It’s rather sad, actually. But it was a beautiful, shiny day and I think we all were happy to get out of the house.

    2010-09-30 - Walking Kaylee & Jayne - 0009

    2010-09-30 - Walking Kaylee & Jayne - 0011

    (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…)

    Ask not "Are Animal Lovers Sexist?," but "Can Animal Lovers Be Sexist?" (Answer: duh.)

    Sunday, March 21st, 2010

    lol kaylee - just needs a hammer

    Don’t fear, Ms. Kaylee is here! lol dog sez, “wonder beyatch – be hear 2 smash ur kyriarchy, mkay?” She brought her Wonder Woman undies, but she’ll need to borrow a hammer. You got a problem with that, human?
    ——————————

    Last November, I penned a brief letter to the editors of VegNews, in which I questioned Rory Freedman’s casual use of the term “fur hag” – “hag” being a sexist, ageist and lookist slur. (VegNews subscribers can read the exact quote in context in Freedman’s column, “Prison or Bust,” which appeared in the December 2009 issue.) Fast-forward several months; my letter was published, albeit with several edits, in the March+April 2010 issue.

    Not surprisingly – given the popularity of the term, as well as PETA’s “fur hag” campaigns – some readers disagreed with my comments, including Annie Hartnett of change.org’s newly-rebranded Animals blog. (Many thanks to Marji of Animal Place for bringing the post to my attention!) In Are Animal Lovers Sexist?, Hartnett argues that, ahem, attacking women for their femaleness is not sexist because most fur-wearers are women.

    While I have previously deconstructed the term “fur hag” – as well as the campaigns’ associated imagery – what follows is a line-by-line response to Hartnett’s piece. Rather than rehash points that I’ve made elsewhere, however, I’ll use this as an opportunity to build upon my previous argument. If you haven’t already, please go read last January’s On “fur hags” and “fucking bitches.” before continuing on; doubly so if you’re surfing on over here from change.org. (Also related, and referenced in passing below: ARA PSAs: Women, Men and Fur and ARA PSAs: Attack of the Killer Cosmetics.) (1)

    Before we begin, though, I’d like to reprint my letter, as Hartnett did not/would not do so, even upon request.

    Here is the original letter, in its entirety:

    As a vegan feminist, I’m increasingly disturbed by the number of animal advocates who are willing to engage in sexism (and other “isms”) in the course of their advocacy – “for the animals,” of course (as if women are not sentient beings as well). Take, for example, Rory Freedman’s use of the term “fur hag” to describe those who wear fur (“Prison or Bust,” December 2009 issue). “Hag” – a gendered slur that is synonymous with “witch” – literally means “an ugly old woman.” While fur-wearers may indeed be ugly on the inside, a person’s gender, age and physical appearance say nothing of her character. If Ms. Freedman – or any other animal advocate – feels the need to resort to insults, please keep them “ism”-free. “Jerk,” “loser,” “asshat”: all convey a point – without further marginalizing already-marginalized groups of animals, human or non.

    Kelly Garbato
    Kearney, MO 64060

    kelly.garbato [at] gmail.com
    http://www.easyvegan.info

    By the way, I wrote a lengthy piece on the term “fur hag” last year, wherein I expound upon the sexist, ageist and sizeist nature of the phrase in much greater detail than is possible in 250 words or less. Additionally, I employ PETA’s associated “fur hag” campaign imagery to further illustrate my point. You can read the post in its entirety at http://bit.ly/vl8sB

    Seriously, tho’, enough with the misogyny!

    (More below the fold…)

    Wishing you a delicious (vegan!) holiday season.

    Thursday, December 24th, 2009

    Since I’m a grumpy, grinchy atheist, the husband (also an atheist, though not as grumpy and grinchy as yours truly) and I celebrate as different kind of winter holiday. Based on the teachings of her Noodleleyness, FSMas is all about pasta and pirates. Which goes a long way towards explaining the cards below.

    We’ve been sending out custom holiday cards 2002. For the first few years, we included every animal companion in the photo; easy when you’ve one cat and one dog, right? Once we added Peedee to the family, Ozzy got bumped from the card; and, with the adoption of Kaylee and Jayne, group shots became an impossibility. So we’ve been rotating ever since. (So sad!)

    While every dog-kid got his or her due in 2009, Ralphie & Rennie took center stage: they were our cover-doggies, complete with a fierce “Booty & The Beast” theme. I’ll let y’all figure out who is supposed to be “Booty” and who is “The Beast.”

    FSMas 2009 - O-Ren & Ralphie are Booty & The Beast

    Ignore the glaring age disparity, mkay? Normally I don’t like pairing a young little lassie with a much older gent – seeing as how it’s a reflection of our sexist societal norms – but there’s, like, zero chemistry between the two oldest dogs, Kaylee and Ralphie. Seriously, I could not get the two to sit next to one another for more than 30 seconds at a time. And yes, I might have bucked the hetero trend with a same-sex pairing, but I thought that might have come off as homophobic and/or mockingly emasculating, given the theme. (Yes, holidays are political for me; what of it?)

    (More below the fold…)

    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?

    VeganMoFo, Day 1: Birthday Muffins for Kaylee & Jayne (& Ralphie & Peedee & Rennie!)

    Thursday, October 1st, 2009

    Kaylee & Jayne Birthday/Adoption Day Mashup 01

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    Yesterday we celebrated Kaylee (11) and Jayne’s (5) birthdays, as well as the three-year anniversary of their adoption. Whereas Ralphie and Peedee were owner surrenders with known DOBs, all of the girls are ex-strays, so we’ve really no idea how old they are. Instead of pulling birthdays out of thin air, we celebrate Kaylee, Jayne and O-Ren’s birthdays on the days of their adoption. This means the girls are cheated out of a second “special day” every year – which is why I try to make their celebrations extra-special!

    I really, really wanted to make Kaylee and Jayne a birthday cake – ganache, anyone? – but alas, I haven’t been able to find vegan carob chips or carob powder locally, so no luck there. My backup plan worked out beautifully though: I made a batch of mini-muffins using Molly’s Apple Cinnamon Muffin recipe, and topped them off with a “frosting” of blended silken tofu and peanut butter.

    Here are the muffins, sans frosting:

    2009-09-30 - Frosted Birthday Muffins - 0008

    and frosted:

    2009-09-30 - Frosted Birthday Muffins - 0028

    The ridiculously cute embroidered placemats in the background, by the way, were a gift from my aunt (last x-mas, perhaps? I forget.). She made one for each of our six nonhuman animal kids; the front of each features a species-appropriate pattern, and the animal’s name is on the back. Naturally, the dogs’ mats are shaped like bones, whereas Ozzy gets the sole fish. I think she thinks I didn’t like the gift because I don’t actually use them as placemats for the animals’ food – but I love them so much that there’s no freaking way I’d risk staining them! (So if you’re reading, Aunt Cindy, there ya go!)

    Anyway, back to those muffins. Mostly I followed Molly’s lead, with the following modifications:

    – I substituted vanilla soy milk for the water; and

    – I didn’t have any flax or hemp seeds, so I used a flax/nut/seed combo from Matilda’s Kitchen Flax & Company.

    My initial impulse was to frost the muffins with peanut butter, but I decided to blend the pb with a brick of silken tofu in order to water down the fat content a bit. The recipe is pretty simple:

    (More below the fold…)

    In celebration of my "special" fireflies.

    Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

    2006-12-03 - XMasPics-K-n-J-0026

    Kaylee & Jayne, x-mas 2006

    So. When last we talked of my furkids, I told you how my husband and I came to adopt Ralphie, Peedee and O-Ren – none of whom were considered “less adoptable,” or at least not at the time of their adoption. In fact, I doubt that each dog’s respective rescue group would have had much trouble placing them, had Shane and I not come along. We both recognized this, and felt rather guilty about it. So when we decided to adopt dog number four (and possibly five!), we resolved to find a “special” dog – a senior, someone with medical or behavioral issues, maybe even a bonded pair of dogs.

    Our first choice was a pair of teeny lil’ rat terrier sisters, Bella and…I forget the other dog’s name. They were older adults with behavior issues, namely, anxious temperaments and a fear of men. They also needed to be adopted together – strike three. Ultimately, the adoption didn’t pan out; we were never able to meet the girls, in fact, because their fear of men was so great that their foster mom had more or less decided to adopt them herself. When we inquired about them, they’d already spent a few years in their foster home and were still fearful in the foster dad’s presence. I can see why mom gave up any hope of rehoming them, dog bless her heart.

    So we hit Petfinder again, specifically in search of a pair of dog-friends who had to be adopted together. Unfortunately, Petfinder’s search parameters don’t easily allow for such a search (or even easy browsing), so when looking for a pair, you really just have to hope that they share a single listing. (Or else be prepared to pour over every single profile!) There really weren’t many bonded pairs of dogs listed at the time; besides Bella and her sister, Kaylee and Jayne were the only smallish dog-friends up for adoption. So, three years ago this September, we went out to Lexington, MO – about an hour’s drive from where we lived – to visit them.

    2006-09-01 - GracieOnPetfinder-0003

    From Kaylee’s Petfinder listing

    Kaylee and Jayne originally came to Friends of the Friendless with a third dog, Paige, roughly six months before we met them. The three had been abandoned in a home when the tenants moved out; the landlord found them, several weeks later, starving and in rough shape. Jayne had heartworm, while Kaylee suffered from some serious dental problems, the result of both bad genes and a lifetime’s worth of neglect.

    Curiously, Jayne had already been spayed by her previous owners, while Kaylee had not. From the looks of her sagging belly and, shall we say “well used” nipples, Kaylee had obviously birthed a few litters during her eight years. Jayne, in contrast, doesn’t appear to have ever had pups – odd because Jayne is a classically handsome terrier, while Kaylee is…not. (I joke that she’s so ugly, she’s back to being cute, much like a rhinoceros or ground mole. I totally mean that in a nice way, though.)

    2006-09-01 - PenelopeOnPetfinder-0001

    From Jayne’s Petfinder listing

    Paige had since been adopted, while Kaylee and Jayne languished in the shelter/rescue. Supposedly, an older women had committed to adopting them, but died while on a cruise she’d already booked and had to take before she could bring them home. (Shane is convinced that this is the most elaborate cop-out, ever.) So I can only imagine what their foster mom, Gina, thought when we committed to adopting them, but said we’d be unable to bring them home until after we got back from an already-scheduled trip to New York! Unlike their would-be fairy dogmother, Shane and I kept our word; we welcomed Kaylee and Jayne into our home several weeks later, on September 30, 2006.

    (More below the fold…)

    Intersectionality ‘Round the Interwebs, No. 2

    Thursday, June 11th, 2009

    lol jayne - speciesism 101, pot 1

    Kelly Garbato (that’s me!) @ Animal Rights at Change.org: Intersectionality 101: Sexism, Racism, Speciesism, and More and Intersectionality and Animal Advocacy

    Stephanie at Change.org kindly invited me to guest post at the Animal Rights blog; Intersectionality 101 and Intersectionality and Animal Advocacy are my first contributions. This is a two-part post in which I introduce the concept of intersectionality, explain how intersectionality can help us better understand (and dismantle) our exploitation of animals, and argue for the inclusion of other anti-“ism” activism in the animal advocacy movement. Please stop by and share your thoughts!

    Also worth checking out: the new(ly visible) “oppression connections” post category on Animal Rights.

    Briar Levit @ Bitch Blogs: Nicole Georges pays tribute to the Queer Animal Kingdom

    Last week, I noted how media such as Green Porno, by celebrating non-human animals in all their sexual diversity, has the potential to liberate and uplift animals of all species.

    In this vein, Briar Levit introduces us to Nicole Georges, “a zinester, illustrator, and pet portrait artist” (and also a contributor to Bitch magazine), whose latest project is “an exploration of the Queer Animal Kingdom” – as explained in this documentary:

    Nicole Georges 5/1/09 from cat on Vimeo.

    As far as feminist media goes, Bitch seems to be the most animal-friendly magazine out there (with a very vocal – albeit minority – vegan/vegetarian readership!), so if you’re so inclined, you can check ’em out here.

    Igualdad Animal / Animal Equality: Press release about ‘The Running of the Nudes’ and PETA

    Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality) describes itself as “an international non-profit organisation dedicating to gaining equal consideration and respect for animals. Founded in Madrid (Spain) in January 2006 by Sharon Nunez, Javier Moreno and Jose Valle, it is currently active in Spain, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia.”

    In this press release, Igualdad Animal offers its thoughts on PETA’s upcoming annual anti-bullfighting demonstration, “The Running of the Nudes.” Not surprisingly, the group is unimpressed, both with PETA’s animal welfare efforts, as well as their poor record vis-à-vis marginalized groups of humans, including women.

    (More below the fold…)

    VeganMoFo, Day 10: Happy Birthday to Ralphie, with YumsYums -n- Love!

    Friday, October 10th, 2008

    As you can most likely infer from the post title, today is the Ralphster’s birthday. My little man, my first-born and -adopted, turns a gray old 11 today. He’s like the Wilford Brimley of the doggeh world, minus the dia-beddies.

    I have plenty of Ralphie pix after the jump, of course, but first a recipe for Peanut Butter ‘Nilla Biscuits from Yummy for Dogs. If you like what you see, check out the website and/or order a copy of webmistress Veronica Noechel’s Yummy for Dogs: A Cook Book for Canines. Hey, it’s on my wishlist. I mean, Ralphie’s wishlist. Yeah, Ralphie. (Hint, hint, wink, wink!)

    2008-10-10 - Ralphie's B-Day Biscuits - 0026

    Peanut Butter ‘Nilla Biscuits

    These smell incredible!

    1 1/2 cups water
    1/2 cup oil
    3 tablespoons peanut butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup cornmeal
    1/2 cup oats

    * In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and oats.

    * Stir in oil, peanut butter, vanilla, and water.

    * Knead till smooth, adding more flour or water as needed.

    * Roll out on a lightly floured surface.

    * Cut with cookie cutters.

    * Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

    I stuck to the directions, but added some extra flour and rolled oats, as the dough was initially a little oily. I think I also used more like 5 tablespoons of peanut butter, since my “tablespoons” were heaped to overflowing. The dogs love the pb, though!

    I have this cute little bone-shaped cookie cutter that the doggies’ grandmother bought for them/me, so I used that to cut the dough. I rolled the leftover scraps into a faux long rawhide bone with the cute little tied ends (for the birthday boy, natch!), as you can see in the photo. All in all, the recipe produced 53 cookies (40 long bones, 12 short bones and one “rawhide”), which fit on two sheets, no problem.

    The dogs loved the treats, but don’t place too much trust in their critique; four out of the five of them eat their own poo! (And the fifth eats the cat’s poo – Rennie, I’m looking at you.) I did try the dough before rolling it into cookies, and it was on a little the bland side (for humans), but edible; and yet, definitely yummy for dogs!

    (More below the fold…)

    "Candied" Chai Pears

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    Last week, I shared a recipe for Herbal Tofu with Apples and Pears, a yummy dish for dogs and people. This week, I decided to try out a slightly different version, sans tofu and with loads of caffeine-laden tea. The result? “Candied” Chai Pears. (“Candied” in scare quotes because they’re candy-esque, not really “candied.”)

    “Candied” Chai Pears

    2008-09-18 - Candied Chai Pears - 0014

    (More below the fold…)

    Happy Blogiversary, Me!

    Monday, June 2nd, 2008

    Funny Pictures

    Today marks two years of blogging at easyVegan.info! Veg*n champagne, anyone?

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    Not-So-Random Friday Activist Music: DOG loves “appeasers”

    Friday, May 23rd, 2008

    Since Memorial Day is this weekend, for this week’s lineup, I’m posting a few classic anti-war songs: I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag by Country Joe McDonald; War by Edwin Starr; and Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols (Is this the m.p.l.a / Or is this the u.d.a / Or is this the i.r.a / I thought it was the u.k or just / Another country).

    While you’re out there soaking up the sun and Boca Burgers, remember:

    On Memorial Day we’ll hear about men who gave their lives for their country, but many lives were not given, they were taken, and taken stupidly and carelessly. And there has been great public piety about those men and their “sacrifice” on the part of politicians who blithely sacrificed them.

    Enjoy your three-day weekend.

    Wur n Piece lolz after teh jump:

    (More below the fold…)

    Not-So-Random Friday Activist Music: Meat & Murder

    Friday, May 16th, 2008

    I have two not-so-random songs for your listening pleasure tonight: Morrissey’s Meat is Murder and Me and a Gun by Tori Amos. The first video has some fairly graphic images of animal abuse, and the comments thread for the second is riddled with misogynist trolls. So watch and/or browse with caution.

    And since these are both somewhat depressing choices, some loldogz after the jump. Smile, it be Friday, yo!

    (More below the fold…)

    On a lighter note…

    Friday, April 18th, 2008

    lol ralphie - dis yerd b patrolled

    Not that such a sign would have prevented NOPD from murdering Jax, but I do recommend that all animal guardians post something similar on their premises. The ASPCA offers free “in case of emergency, rescue my pet” stickers, and they’re readily available elsewhere for a small fee. (It’s probably a good idea to post one at every entrance to your home.) And if you leave your animals outdoors in a fenced area, a “beware of dog” or “do not open gate” sign is a good idea, too. We got ours from http://signswithanattitude.com, and have one posted on each set of gate doors.

    Not that these babies will fuck anyone up…more likely they’ll make a mad dash for freedom and chase a bird right down the street. The hawks are circling for Rennie, methinks.

    (Crossposted from.)

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    i can has soya ice creem now?

    Monday, March 31st, 2008

    So I’m back, mostly at least. The surgery went well; the laughing gas and sedatives knocked me on my arse more than anything else. The whole first day I couldn’t keep much of anything down, not even liquids and Vicodin, and so I spent all of Thursday alternating between napping and puking. (A stomach empty save for Dr. Pepper makes for surprisingly interesting vomit. No, for reals.) By Friday my back was seized up from laying around, but I was too dazed to do much of anything else. Same for Saturday. Yesterday I was restless enough that I dragged my but into the office and slogged through my email. Not fun, but at least I got to sit upright for a bit. Yoga felt soooo goood this morning, I almost did it twice.

    All in all, the whole experience was not as fun as I’d hoped. I’d had grandiose visions of spending a weekend catching up on Netflix movies, reading a book or two, and just generally milking the sympathy. Not so much. And the caffeine withdrawal (there was a 36 hour stretch where I couldn’t eat *at all*) sure didn’t help matters.

    Aside from the four gaping holes in my mouth, I’m good. Good enough to make some lolz, anyways. Here’s a Kaylee series, after she had six teeth removed last March. Her old “owners” sucked ass, but the only thing we can do about that now is love on her and laugh about it as best we can. And edumakate others. So, take your animals to the vet, people, otherwise this is what happens.

    lol kaylee - mai teef!

    lol kaylee - finders keepers

    lol kaylee - post-ops

    Such a sweet face, even with those crazy teefs!

    (Crossposted from.)

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    dental xtractshons, not sew funnah wen it be hapen 2 u.

    Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

    loldogs, cute puppy pictures, dentist, I Has a Hotdog

    After 15 years (15 years! that’s, like, half my life!) of pissing and moaning, I’m finally getting my wisdom teeth yanked out tomorrow. I have no idea how long I’ll be out of commission, but Monday sounds about right. Of course, I’m probably just being a big whiny tittybaby.

    Either way, I’ll see ya when I see ya.

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