vegansaurus!

05/16/2011

This Flavorwire post* on rejected book covers and their chosen counterparts is really interesting! What do you people think of the rejected Eating Animals cover (the one on the left)? Do you like it better or worse than the one they went with? I am not sure! I think I like the one they went with better, if only because it might make the book more appealing to meat-mouths. With a picture of a steak on the cover, it can more easily be dismissed as “animal rights propaganda” or, “THAT STEAK LOOKS TASTY IMMA EAT IT LOLZ.” I feel like our JSF has gotta be careful because lots of people are already geared up to jump on his ass about anything, from his age to his bank account to his bank account at his age, ya know? Can’t give people extra fodder to fuck with him. But maybe I’m way off.
Also, it should be said, that the guy who does JSF’s covers, Jon Gray, is THE MAN. His book covers are ridiculous! I want him to design mine but really, it’s an easy job: An extreme close-up of my face and the words, “DON’T HATE ME BECAUSE I’M SO BEAUTIFUL”** printed under it. Don’t know what the book’s about just yet.
*Inspired by the New York Times piece on rejected book covers which you should read if you haven’t reached your max for the month GODDAMMIT WORDS COSTING MONEY AND SHIT. **I put the “so” in the title so I don’t get sued for using a direct quote. Does that happen? I don’t know, I’m no historian. Also, I’m so beautiful. 

This Flavorwire post* on rejected book covers and their chosen counterparts is really interesting! What do you people think of the rejected Eating Animals cover (the one on the left)? Do you like it better or worse than the one they went with? I am not sure! I think I like the one they went with better, if only because it might make the book more appealing to meat-mouths. With a picture of a steak on the cover, it can more easily be dismissed as “animal rights propaganda” or, “THAT STEAK LOOKS TASTY IMMA EAT IT LOLZ.” I feel like our JSF has gotta be careful because lots of people are already geared up to jump on his ass about anything, from his age to his bank account to his bank account at his age, ya know? Can’t give people extra fodder to fuck with him. But maybe I’m way off.

Also, it should be said, that the guy who does JSF’s covers, Jon Gray, is THE MAN. His book covers are ridiculous! I want him to design mine but really, it’s an easy job: An extreme close-up of my face and the words, “DON’T HATE ME BECAUSE I’M SO BEAUTIFUL”** printed under it. Don’t know what the book’s about just yet.

*Inspired by the New York Times piece on rejected book covers which you should read if you haven’t reached your max for the month GODDAMMIT WORDS COSTING MONEY AND SHIT.
**I put the “so” in the title so I don’t get sued for using a direct quote. Does that happen? I don’t know, I’m no historian. Also, I’m so beautiful. 

02/10/2011

Interview with a vegan: Sonya Cotton!  »

Sonya Cotton is a vegan and musician with a serious animal-rights agenda. She’s close to releasing a six-song EP and raising money for an eco-friendly tour through Kickstarter. Laura interviewed Sonya about her musical projects and vegan lifestyle, and why she dedicated her new album to her animal-rescuing mother.

Vegansaurus: Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal-rights reasons, or a combination?
Sonya Cotton: I’m vegan primarily for animal-rights reasons. The magnitude of animal suffering that goes on inside of the meat/dairy/egg industries is what hits me the hardest, and makes me want to cry/scream/do my part to change the world. The environmental impact of these mega-industries is also horrific, and a very compelling reason (totally independent of animal-rights issues) to go vegan in my opinion. Health doesn’t figure as much into the equation for me, though I know some people really stand behind the health benefits of veganism.

Vegansaurus: How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
Cotton: I was an on-and-off vegetarian for 12 years, starting when I was 15. Then last May when I was on tour with my band on the East Coast, we played a house show for a group called the Montclair Ethical Vegans. The woman who led that group asked me after the show if I was vegan. When I told her I wasn’t (just a vegetarian and an animal-lover) she gently yet passionately told me all the reasons why she choses veganism, and gave me an amazing book to take with me, called Ninety-Five (a reference to the number of animal lives saved in a year from one person going vegan). I remember reading this book, which chronicles individual lives of animals that were destined for the slaughterhouse but somehow found their way to sanctuaries instead. I connected with those stories so deeply, I was really rooting for each one of those creatures, and I remember saying out loud to my boyfriend: “I have to go vegan, I totally believe in this.” Then I read Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, which utterly sealed the deal for me. (To those of you out there who haven’t read Eating Animals, please do!)

Vegansaurus: When did you start writing and performing music?
Cotton: I wrote my first song in high school (an embarrassingly bad love song.)  But I’ve been performing since I was pretty young. I remember singing “By My Side” (from Godspell) in sixth grade at an open-mic at my school. In my head I was singing it to my English teacher who I was in love with at the time, and who was leaving the school: “Where are you going?  Will you take me with you?” Heavy! I also remember my first solo in Girlchoir in fifth grade. I got to sing a line from the song “Vine and Fig Tree” that goes: “And into ploughshares turn their swords, nations shall learn war no more.” Good stuff!  I was hooked at a young age.

Vegansaurus: Do you write about animals or animal issues?
Cotton: Yes, I frequently do. I feel deeply inspired by and connected to animals that I see around me in my daily life, as well as animals that I read about. I’m often taken by their beauty, their nobility, their lack of self-consciousness, their pursuit of what I see as “truth” (i.e. survival/self-preservation and social connection/love as opposed to fame and excessive amounts of money/material goods.)  On my last album, Red River, I sing a lot about the dead deer by the roadside, and all that that sight represents to me. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey so for much of my life that was a very common sight for me. In my more recent songs I am trying to write more clearly and directly about animal welfare issues. I just finished a song about a pig born into a factory farm, and on my upcoming album there is a song where I speak pretty directly to some of the fucked up things people do to animals: hunting falcons solely for their feathers, destroying wolf and deer habitat to build mansions and raise cattle, etc. I also frequently express the flipside of my outrage, in other words, my reverence and my gratefulness for the wild animal life around me.

Vegansaurus: Your album is dedicated to your mom; please tell us more.
Cotton: My mother passed away a year and a half ago;  she had cancer for just 10 months. I’ve struggled a lot with this loss, and writing songs for her/about her/inspired by her has felt like a poignant form of therapy for me as well as a meaningful tribute to her. So many people are struggling with similar feelings that I’m struggling with, either because of a death of a loved one, or some other kind of loss, and I hope this album reaches them, helps them, makes them feel less alone. 

I should also share that my mom was an amazing advocate for animals throughout her life: She took in homeless dogs and cats; fostered shelter animals; worked to stop the deer hunt in my hometown and promote a more humane, nonlethal, form of population control; and worked internationally with a number of incredible organizations over the years, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare, working to stop the harbor seal hunt in Canada, and the farming of moon bears in China for their bile; New York City Audubon to preserve migratory bird populations; and most recently as the bird collisions campaign manager for the American Bird Conservancy.

Vegansaurus: Can we listen to your music anywhere?
Cotton: Yes, here and here.

Vegansaurus: Do you have any companion animals? Tell us all about them!
Cotton: There is an amazing cat named Buddy who lives in my house. His mom’s name is Lea, she’s my housemate. Buddy is a big beautiful guy; he’s often a blissed-out purring machine, so cute. But it kills me on a daily basis that I don’t have a dog in my life. As soon as I figure out how to live in a place that allows me to have a dog—dogs are not allowed in the house where I live—I’m going to foster a shelter dog. And then, once I have figured out how to be a touring musician that is also a responsible dog-owner, I’m going straight to a shelter and finding a dog who needs a permanent home. It’s going to be amazing. Until that day, I will continue walking/hanging out with dogs at Family Dog Rescue, a wonderful shelter in the city.


Vegansaurus: Do you have any super-cute photos of animals to share with us?
Cotton: Here is a picture of my family dog, Lorenzo, who passed away a couple of months ago. He was part of a litter of 10 puppies that my mom fostered when I was in 10th grade. My mom found homes for all of his nine brothers and sisters, but Lorenzo was returned to us twice!  So we decided to keep him. He was such an amazing fellow, so handsome and spirited; I miss him.

Vegansaurus: What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
Cotton: This is an impossible question! If I have to choose, I’m going to say…wolf.

Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan cookbook?
Cotton: There are a bunch of vegan cookbooks floating around my kitchen (there are four vegans in my house), and I like all of them, but I’m not so inspired by any one of them to call it my favorite. I think I need a favorite vegan cookbook in my life, that’d be great!  Any suggestions?

Vegansaurus: What’s your favorite vegan dish to make? What about for a vegan bakesale?
Cotton: I love Brussels sprouts sautéed with onions, garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar. I also love kale and fried tofu over brown rice or whole wheat pasta with a peanut sauce. For a bakesale, the chocolate chip cookies from How It All Vegan! are so delicious!  Yum.

Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
Cotton: I love the fresh imperial rolls at Sunflower (3111 16th St. at Valencia Street) affordable and delicious.

Vegansaurus: Favorite vegan restaurant?
Cotton: Souley Vegan.

Vegansaurus: Tell us about the Kickstarter Project. How can we support you?
Cotton: I launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to fund the making of my next album: a six-song EP dedicated to my mom, as well as a northeast tour in May. The goal was $10,000, which, amazingly, was reached in just 11 days. People have been so generous!  We’ve now exceeded our goal by about $500, and it runs until 7:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 28. Though it sounds crazy, $10,000 was the bare minimum we needed to make this album and tour happen as we envisioned it: recording live in a professional studio, and traveling the East Coast by train, which is more expensive but kinder to the earth and the animals than cars and freeways! We’re so excited, and so thankful to have made it this far. But if we continue to exceed our goal this will allow us to expand the project in some really exciting ways. Depending on how much we get, we’ll be able to book an extra day in the studio, record an extra song, hire an arranger for several songs, and compensate the musicians involved more fairly. 

If you’re interested supporting this project, have a look at my Kickstarter page where you can watch a video explaining the spirit of the project more fully. You can also see the different rewards for donations, (for example, you can pre-order a digital copy of the album for a donation of $10.)  If you want to support me in a way that has nothing to do with money, you can help me spread the word about this project by sending the link to your friends, you can help me book a show on the east coast in May—ideally in a home or a church or a similarly intimate space—or come to my show in San Francisco this Friday, Feb. 11 at Viracocha!

10/04/2010

Clever readers: Use your brains to win prizes from CBC!  »

CBC’s Q program had Jonathan Safran Foer and Anthony “my conjoined twin is my ego” Bourdain on to discuss eating meat; namely, should we humans do it? You can listen to the episode here.

Now they want to know what we think, and they’ve come up with a contest to encourage everyone to be especially smart. The rules are super-simple: Go to the contest page, and post your most persuasive argument for why humans should or should not eat meat, in one sentence or less. That’s it! The winner will receive “some excellent prizes,” notably a copy of Eating Animals, and Q host Jian Ghomeshi will read the winning entry on the air!

The deadline is Thursday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. Eastern (2 p.m. Pacific, you forgetful geniuses), and there isn’t any language about having to live in Canada or North America at all to enter or win or anything, so wherever you are, Vegansaurus readers, you really should give it a go! Just one little sentence! Go be brilliant for us.

09/21/2010

Fast & Furious Giveaway: Tickets to see Jonathan Safran Foer speak at the Herbst!  »

YOU GUYS! We have some free tickets (at least two, maybe more!) to the City Arts & Lectures talk with Jonathan Safran Foer at the Herbst Theater TOMORROW (Wednesday, Sept. 21) NIGHT! Tickets are $20 but we’re giving ‘em away to a few lucky Vegansaurus readers!

For a chance to win, let us know your favorite animal in the comments, or make some sort of mega-plea. Preferential treatment is given to omnivores (who could really benefit from this talk), people who will make him vegan cupcakes, or people who will ask hard! hitting! questions! that make! people! think! (but in a non-asshole way) BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF IS THAT YOU?

We’ll announce winners early tomorrow morning SO DO IT TO IT. Never fear, If you don’t win, there are still tickets available.

09/20/2010

See Jonathan Safran Foer read from Eating Animals!  »

This is short notice, vegans, but famous author and vegetarian Jonathan Safran Foer will be reading from his book, Eating Animals in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 21 and 22. He’s doing two readings each day: on Tuesday, one at San Francisco State at 1 p.m. and at the Commonwealth Club at 7 p.m.; and on Wednesday, one at 826 Valencia at 12:30 p.m. and at 6 p.m., as part of the City Arts and Lectures Series at the Herbst Theater on Sept. 22. Foer is also doing readings in other parts of the USA and one in Toronto, Ontario, so check it!

If you haven’t read Eating Animals, then do look into it. Foer is a truly great writer, so even if you’re already vegan, the book is a joy to read. It’s also a great inspiration for relatable, compassionate vegan advocacy and provides some fantastic conversation points for those times when a person who eats meat wants to talk to you about veganism. All in all, JSF is a stand up guy (see our post on his appearance on The Colbert Report); now who wants to bring him vegan cupcakes?

03/12/2010

Awesome art, crazy-ass email, superlative videos, puppy birthday AND MORE in this week’s link-o-rama!  »

Hey, let’s wish happy birthday to my parents’ dog, Oliver, who turns three big years old today! Oliver (at left, shown here with his older brother, Beauregard) works as a therapy dog, has a charmingly insouciant underbite, and wants to be your bestest friend. Happy birthday, little fellow!

Fun times vegan-style events!
The Out of Place art show at SPACE Gallery (1141 Polk St. at Hemlock Street) tonight, Friday Mar. 12, features your Vegansaur Jonas! It costs $3 and runs from 8 to midnight, and will be catered by Black Orchid Bakery. Is there enough culture in your life? Probably not, you philistine, so get over there and appreciate some damn art.

On Saturday, Mar. 13, you can attend “The Nutrition Prescription” lecture by Donald Forrester, M.D., presented by the San Francisco Vegetarian Society, at the Institute of Aging at 3600 Geary Blvd. (between Arguello Boulevard and Palm Avenue). The lecture begins at 8 p.m. and costs $10, or participate in the veg potluck at 6:30 p.m. and pay just $2. Contact the SFVS for further information.

Late update: The LGBT Army of Compassion will hold a demonstration against animal cruelty on Sunday, Mar. 14 from 8 to 9 a.m. in the northeast corner of the Heart of the City Farmers Market (UN Plaza) in San Francisco. Brochures (such as this pdf) and signs will be provided. For further information, contact the LGBT AC.

Washington, D.C., home of scrumptious vegan baked goods and now Hush Supperclub, a vegetarian Indian “underground restaurant” that sounds amazing.

Items of social and political import!
Phil Bronstein isn’t sure about the ethics of an animal abuse registry when animal abuse is condoned every day in our kitchens and laboratories.

The ethics of zoos come again under scrutiny as the three polar bears who live in San Francisco get older and become more difficult and expensive to “keep.”

Switzerland denies animals dedicated legal counsel. Apparently Swiss animal protection laws are ” among the strictest rules anywhere,” but proponents don’t think they’re enforced enough to matter. Keep trying, Switzerland.

Stop, video time! It’s JSF on Ellen’s Thursday, Mar. 11 show! [note: if you can’t see the video, please visit the link-o-rama at Vegansaurus.com!]

Oh, does someone think s/he invented the Elvis cupcake? Sorry, vegans have been doing it for four years, now.

OK Canada, for most of the items on this list of “10 foods of the future,” you’re cool again. Or at least acceptable (we don’t go in for that “non-traditional fish” or “new fabricated cuts of meat” nonsense).

Probably better that you eat Canadian meat, anyway (if you’re going to eat DEATH and all) as the U.S. is one of the top-five” least safe food producers in the world, along with China, Turkey, Iran, and Spain. I am SO PROUD.

Seriously, Walnuts? “Vote McCain, because BACON!” You nasty.

OK, Bob Barker has always been a total sleazy lecher, but his love for animals is pure and true: he just gave $2.5 million to renovate a building on Sunset Boulevard in L.A. for PETA—it’ll be called the Bob Barker Building, natch.

Beloved blog Sociological Images present maps that illustrate where animals for food and crops for food are grown in the U.S. Fruits, nuts and vegetables and chickens come from California!

That milk that makes you roll your eyes every time you open the fridge because ew is from California, too, right? Maybe not! Make your friends and relations find out where their dairy products originate at where is my milk from (also useful for soy milks).

Read the first article from The Awl’s vegetarian columnist, Jaime Green! It’s about visiting a Manhattan farmers market in the winter.

If little Oliver weren’t too stubborn/dumb(?) to play any version of “fetch” (because “fetch” does NOT mean “I throw the ball and you chase after it and hide it”), I would have definitely gotten him this for his birthday. [link and photo from Pawesome!]

Food & Wine magazine is shocked to find Berliners eating vegetarian food, as opposed to “Wiener Schnitzel and Currywurst.” Being very well traveled vegans, we are not.

Did you know that East Asian people eat CATS and DOGS? How SAVAGE!! The Chinese government is at present “considering legislation” to ban eating these particular animals, which is probably good considering how awful their living conditions are prior to slaughter. It of course does NOTHING for the rest of the animals raised for consumption in China, but as long as our precious puppies and kitties are protected, we can all sleep at night, right?

Holy Mary in a handbag, have you read this insanator email from an anti-The Cove wacko to Rich FourFour? It is the craziest best: “The humans being protecting wolfs(the whales / dolphins)is the devil! Devil! Devil! Devil! Destroy the devil for protect the human fish! The shark is a friend of the fish. The shark eats only the fish that dead / was damaged.”

Despite the horrors of whaling, Slate, however, wants you to know just what dead whale meat tastes like—and did you know that “many schools of Buddhism favor eating whales”? SEE, IT’S OK BECAUSE THOSE HIPPIE WEIRDOS SAY SO.


How about another photo? Party penguin has stripped off his dress whites and is ready to get down! [Photo via Andrew Evans of National Geographic]

Delightful Ruben Studdard went vegetarian 18 months ago, switched to a vegan diet six months ago, and lost 100 pounds! Man, when I went vegan for keeps I lost like zero pounds, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, AMERICA, WHY DO I STILL HAVE FLESH ON MY VEGAN BONES?? Seriously, we’re super-happy for you, Ruben, keep living your wonderful, cruelty-free life.

DYING OF AWESOME: this amazing retort to Abby’s "Vegan Boys Are the Worst" called “Vegan Boys Are the Best,” complete with KAZOO SOLO, by Brownbird Rudy Relic of SuperVegan!

12/11/2009

Ground beef of doom, domestic terrorism, emu chips, vegan cheese debates and more in this week’s link-o-rama!  »

•    Beloved, beautiful vegan fashion company Vaute Couture has two holiday events happening for you lucky Chicago-area shoppers (I fucking hate you, buy me coats). The first is tomorrow!, Saturday Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Shops at North Bridge; the second is Thursday, Dec. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Colori Eco-Paint Boutique, at 2243 W. North Ave. This one is a fancy event with complimentary (vegan, duh) refreshments, and other labels like Mountains of the Moon, Frei Designs, and Mohop Shoes. If Vegansaurus were in Chicago I would totally be your date.
•    What in the what? Mission Street Food’s last event of the year is Thursday, Dec. 17 and it’s all-vegetarian, most likely vegan! Thanks in advance, MSF!!
•    Mission Mission calls our attention to the overflow of chihuahuas at Bay Area shelters.
•    The federal government indicts Scott DeMuth for conspiracy to commit “animal enterprise terrorism”; apparently, because he is an anarchist, he is a domestic terrorist. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
•    Certain Vegansaurs love Bones because of its super-vegan star, Emily Deschanel. Last night’s episode had double the vegan power with Emily’s sister Zooey: watch it on Hulu now now now before it expires!
•    Hey guys, before you get too angry about it, those kangaroo-and-emu-flavo(u)red Smiths Crisps will contain “neither emu nor kangaroo”; actually, they’re vegetarian. What you are shoving into your mouth six at a time is Australian dignity, not animal flavoring. Cool?
•    Vegansaurus loves Wildcare! And not just because sometimes one of us housesits for a Wildcare volunteer, who has had such adorable creatures as baby skunks AND baby squirrels in her safekeeping and OMFG you haven’t lived until you’ve seen baby skunks up close. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t, so please compost and keep them out of your trash bins, OK?
•    Cha-Ya’s new place in the Sunset is already going out of business! What happened, you guys?
•    Beef Packers Inc., which is owned by Cargill Inc. (a.k.a. The Devil) had to recall nearly 23,000 pounds of ground beef last week because it was contaminated “with a drug-resistant strain of salmonella,” called salmonella Newport. The company’s last recall was of over 825,000 pounds of ground beef in August of this year, which was contaminated with the same bacteria strain. Hamburgers are the best!!!
•    A woman from Minnesota is suing Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. for selling ground beef tainted with E. coli, which gave her hemolytic uremic syndrome; that caused kidney failure, which gave her seizures that led to her being put into a medically induced coma for three months. According to the New York Times, the beef from her single hamburger came from four plants in two countries. BEEF, IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER!!!!!
•    An all-too-brief report on the Frank Bruni and JSF discussion at the Manhattan Jewish Community Center makes it sound like a pretty good time. Did any of you in New York go?
•    Something we should all avoid, avoid, avoid: the Sprinklesmobile, which is coming to town on Monday! Why should we avoid it? Because they make zero vegan cupcakes, obvs.
•    Salon has an irritatingly glossy, irony-heavy, pro-colonialist “history” of Vietnamese coffee; however, it does include a recipe so you can make your own at home. Considering how similar MimicCreme is to sweetened condensed milk, I am thinking this would be a snap to veganize.
•    So there’s actually no such thing as local Bay Area fish, eh? What say you, locavores? And you, pescatarians?
•    This week’s commenting storm is happening around Jordan’s Dr. Cow post. Vegans have opinions about cheese substitutes!

11/20/2009

Interview: Paul Shapiro of The Humane Society of the United States!  »

Paul Shapiro is kinda like…the greatest guy on earth. He’s the senior director of HSUS Factory Farming Campaign. He also founded Compassion Over Killing when he was basically 5. Okay, more like 7, but still. He works tirelessly for the animals while remaining the nicest, coolest guy ever. Honestly, if I did what Paul Shapiro does every day, I’d probably just go around setting things on fire and eating babies. I KID, EVERYONE RELAX! But I’d be one grumpy lady. He’s just the raddest best and you should read all about him and then follow him on twitter if you want the latest breaking animal news.

Plus, he’s adorable, right?

How long have you been vegan?

Since 1993. Old school. My recollection is that it may have been before the world was in color.

Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, human rights reasons, or a combination?

I wish I could say it was because in Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, our species’ first communication with non-Earthlings was with a civilization near Vega, but it’s really because it reduces animal cruelty and environmental degradation. [Ed., AHH! Jonas wrote about that too! Dorks unite!]

What is your favorite animal?

My late dog, George. Late as in passed away four years ago; he was generally very punctual. You can watch a seven-minute slide show of his life if you’d like. (Give it a few seconds to start and turn your speakers on.)

Do you have any super cute photos of animals to share with us? I just ask because this is something we’re super into. Elephants, piglets, and pit bulls are a plus.

George was a pit bull-shar pei mix, so I hope that slide show counts. Or you can see my two cats at facebook.com/paulshapiro.

Favorite vegan food to make?

Really anything that can be put inside a tortilla/wrap. It’s a very fast and clean way to eat.

Favorite vegan cook book or website for recipes?

I’m partial to humanesociety.org/recipes

Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant/fave vegan restaurant?

Currently, the vegan “chicken” burrito that’s being tested at a DC Chipotle is rocking my world. Since you’re in SF, I tip my hat to Herbivore’s shawarma, too. (Note that both of these are in a wrap.)

You travel a lot for work. Based on food options alone, which is your favorite city to travel to?

NYC is pretty hard to beat. That said, I was at Araya’s in Seattle recently and loved it. All-vegan, all-you-can-eat buffet for $8. Respect.

Any eating tips for traveling vegans?

Get the Veg Out app for your iPhone. [Ed.: we’ve got it! it is awesome!]

You started an all-vegan band in high school? Please elaborate.

I didn’t start the band, but I was the singer of the DC hardcore band Crime Against Humanity. We put out a demo tape and played about half a dozen shows in 1994 before breaking up. We were this close to making it big. And by “this close,” I mean not close at all.

We recently met Jonathan Safran Foer (we call him “JSF” around here) who mentioned that he went to high school with you? Were you guys friends? What was he like then? Was he in the band!?

Jonathan is an awesome guy and his success with Eating Animals makes me so happy. I regret to say he was never in Crime Against Humanity. We did go to high school together and knew each other back then, but we didn’t become friends until long after that.

If you weren’t working for HSUS, what would you be doing?

Begging Vegansaurus for a blogging job. [Ed., Great, now we have to get you fired! WHY DID YOU TELL US THAT!?]

Who are the movers and shakers in the animal protection world who people might not know about, who to keep an eye on to do great things?

It always surprises me how few people in the movement are familiar with the late Henry Spira’s work. If you haven’t read his biography, you should. In terms of living activists, I’m always amazed at how groups like Mercy for Animals, Vegan Outreach, and Compassion Over Killing get so much done with so few resources. Of course, I love VegNews too, and think they provide a great resource for the movement. Finally, if you don’t follow Jason Matheny’s work on in vitro meat, check it out; it’s something I think has a lot of promise for animals.

How do you think new technologies, like Facebook and Twitter, are changing the game?

They allow me to share photos of my cats and find out who’s dating who. They also enable folks to reach a lot of people fast, which is helpful for people who want to help animals. BTW, you can follow me at twitter.com/pshapiro (Ed., FOLLOW HIM. Best breaking AR news and also, he’s funny. Bonus points.)

What advice would you give people with a budding interest in animal protection?

The reality of how deplorable the scope and nature of our abuse of animals is can be depressing. Don’t let that sorrow consume you. I’m not the first to say that if you’re upset by a societal problem, don’t agonize—organize!

Animals can’t organize and advocate for their interests, so they’re dependent on us to speak up for them. It’s an immense privilege to be able to work full-time on their behalf, and it’s inspiring to see the progress that’s now being made, especially for farm animals. That said, you don’t need to be an employee of the movement to make a difference. Go at your own pace – pass out leaflets, write letters to the editor, support your favorite animal charities, get your local restaurants to add vegan options to their menus, call your legislators, be a positive example for your friends and family, and so on.

Are you a good cook?

Compared to Tal Ronnen? No. Compared to Josh Balk? Yes.

Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?

Any time we’re both in DC, consider the red carpet rolled out. [Ed., BOOKING TICKETS!]

Eating Animals is on sale at Costco (!?) for $14.99. Holiday gifts, people! Your family in West Virginia is gonna love you!

And while you’re there, pick up cheap beer (Sierra Nevada Holiday Ale) & 2-for-1 Sabras “I AM THE BEST HUMMUS AVAILABLE COMMERCIALLY IN THE UNITED STATES” Hummus!

America, fuck yeah!

Eating Animals is on sale at Costco (!?) for $14.99. Holiday gifts, people! Your family in West Virginia is gonna love you!

And while you’re there, pick up cheap beer (Sierra Nevada Holiday Ale) & 2-for-1 Sabras “I AM THE BEST HUMMUS AVAILABLE COMMERCIALLY IN THE UNITED STATES” Hummus!

America, fuck yeah!

page 1 of 2 | next »
Tumblr » powered Sid05 » templated