vegansaurus!

10/20/2010

When it comes to Michael Pollan take-downs, Adam Merberg is truly the champion  »

Sometimes your Vegansaurus feels like the only sane Michael Pollan critic in the world—we try to exercise restraint, but can you blame us? It’s Michael Pollan, one of our sworn enemies! Who can be calm around a sworn enemy?

Happily, we are not alone: our internet-pal Adam Merberg has an entire site dedicated to Michael Pollan’s hypocrisy, inaccuracy, and general bad attitude, particularly toward vegans, as Adam is both clever and vegan—and has extra time on his hands, we’re not entirely sure but the point is Say What, Michael Pollan? fills a niche vegans and vegetarians were dying for.*

Adam’s most recent post addresses Pollan’s most recent piece for the New York Times Magazine, a 4,000-word feature on a 36-hour dinner party with his family and a few of his chef and baker friends ["well, one of my homes”] and their families, and just how amazing and wonderful it is to eat good, local food prepared by talented local food professionals, not to mention the local wine, oh isn’t my life the most? We cooked in an outdoor oven that’s really a hole in the ground, it was such a “primitive…cooking device” just like they use in the Mediterranean, O glorious!

Beg pardon; we cannot, do not, will not help ourselves. Adam, taking a studied and serious approach, draws more interesting conclusions:

"To reconcile Pollan’s published accounts of his own diet with his advocacy for eating ‘mostly plants,’ it is helpful to consider something he said in a CBC interview in June:

For better or worse, we’ve democratized meat-eating. Meat-eating is something that was a special occasion in most households for many years….The poor got very little animal protein. So one of the nice things about industrial meat production is it makes this human desire—because it is a widespread human desire—something that even the poor could satisfy, and if we eat meat more responsibly, you know, it is going to be less democratic.

"Putting everything together, the underlying message seems to be something like this:

We need to move to a system of meat production that I consider acceptable. That’s going to make meat more expensive, so you are going to have to start eating mostly plants. I, on the other hand, have so much money that I don’t need to have even a single animal-free meal.

"Happily, those of us who don’t make as much money as Pollan don’t have to miss out on the carnivory altogether, as Pollan has thoughtfully shared his account of  the dinner party in a prominent publication. Maybe we can’t afford to buy good meat, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have the privilege of reading about two accomplished chefs ‘giving the baron and the saddle a deep-tissue massage…and then wrapping them in a beautiful white lace of caul fat.’"

We strongly suggest—no, we REQUIRE, Vegansaurus requires you to read Adam’s entire post, and then read all the rest of Say What, Michael Pollan?, and subscribe to it in your feed reader so you never miss another soundly reasoned argument against Michael Pollan’s anointment as the Savior of Eating Habits, or whatever.

*or at least this vegan; I really can’t stand that guy.

07/22/2010

07/20/2010

Non-weekend summertime super-fun activities!  »

It’s summer! Time to play while it’s still light at 8 p.m.! Or so the kids who live next door and have no school think, as they are up and at ‘em 12 hours a day, running in the sprinkler, riding bikes, playing “let’s wash the car” (not my car, not my game, I am honest with children about work)—they make the most of every second of their summer. And even though statistically (one of us pays attention to these things) you are a boring adult who gets no extra time off for longer days or warmer weather, and maybe are even the person responsible for those giggling children who have to be occupied all those hours they’re not in school, in which case I extend my sympathies to you. But you’re still alive! You can still eat summer produce, and wear summer clothes, and drink summer drinks, oh yes you can.

You can also go to the movies. Specifically, movies about produce, which is almost pertinent, but who cares that is not the point. First, tonight at 7 at Hayes Valley Farm catch a free!! showing of The Botany of Desire, based on Michael Pollan’s eponymous book. This was the pre-food-evangelist Michael Pollan, so there’ll be no rapturous tales of hunting boar in the Berkeley hills or wherever. Rainbow Grocery will provide hot chocolate, Jugtown Pirates will play (if you are into bluegrass you are excited right now.), and there will also be a bake sale and raffle. Right, and they have a $5 suggested donation, so if you are nice you will pay, but if you’re broke, it’s all right not to. Thanks to Haighteration for the info; did you know Haighteration is a good blog? You should read it.

Hey check it out, there’s a free movie on Thursday, too! And this one is a preview AND it’s at the LIBRARY. YOU GUYS. You know your Vegansaurus loves the library like whoa, right? We love the library so much. Particularly the SFPL, it is a really lovely library system. So lovely, in fact, that they’re showing a documentary called Fresh three months before its official San Francisco debut, and because it’s the library it will cost you zero dollars—all you have to do is show up at the Koret Auditorium inside the Main Library, at 100 Larkin St. at Hyde and Market Streets. The movie will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hang on, you’re saying, what is this Fresh about, why should I go anywhere on a damn Thursday when I’m exhausted anyway? Oh man, OK. From what I understand, it is “like Food, Inc. but inspirational, not so depressing”; plus, it costs no money; plus, you’ll just have time to get dinner at Ananda Fuara afterward. Hang on: Here is a review from reader vera! Now, no more arguments!

EXCEPT! you might say, except what about the inaugural Mission Community Market, which is also scheduled for Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m.? Well that is a good point. You might could do both, really; two hours for the market, on Bartlett Street between 21st and 22nd Streets, and then, what, not even 10 minutes on BART to Civic Center and you get your free movie at the library, too! See, your Vegansaurus has your week all set for you already. We haven’t heard—nor can we find—any solid information on the food vendors at the MCM, but they say there will be a farmer’s market, which means more summer produce! Regardless, if you’re in the Mission (which like 30 percent of you are, we know), get over there and support your community. Be a good vegan citizen. Also leave the house, get some vitamin D, talk to humans with your voice, et cetera.

We are helpful because we love you! Go out, vegans; eat hay while the sun shines.

[images courtesy PBS and freshthemovie.com, respectively]

04/16/2010

Shocking tasers, shorted-out circuits, and food porn in today’s SHOCKING (themed) link-o-rama!  »

How about that: a goat in a blue suit! According to Vice, who did the photoshoot, it’s Look 25 from Dunhill’s spring/summer 2010 collection. I’m not sure about that, honestly—I think it just as easily could be Look 27. Thoughts?

By the way, this is Steve filling in for Meave this week, who blames her absence on a shorted out MacBook keyboard following a coffee spill disaster. But between you and me, I’m suspecting cilantro poisoning.

Upcoming vegan events!
Like vegan cupcakes? Feeling judgy? Then sign up to be a judge for the 2nd Annual Vegan Cupcake Bake-off on May 22nd in Oakland. This will probably be the biggest field trip ever, so get those permission slips sorted out in advance.

Here’s an epic battle of the century that you won’t want to miss, organized by VegNews and Earth Island Journal. Cattle rancher-turned-vegan Howard Lyman and Niman Ranch co-founder Nicolette Niman will debate why or why not meat is a sustainable and ethical product. Tickets are $10 and will sell out quickly.

Miscellaneous items of significant social importance!
The Taser company funded a “study” that involved anesthetizing sheep, putting them on a methamphetamine IV drip, and then shocking them with Tasers—in order to test “the effects of Tasers on meth-addled targets.” But don’t worry, it didn’t cause the sheep any immediate heart problems!

Kelly Osborne has discovered the super-grossnosity of the U.S. meat industry, and in response has resolved to eat only “organic” meat.

Speaking of grossnosity, McDonald’s really, really doesn’t want to buy even 5 percent of its eggs for its U.S. stores from cage-free sources.

Mumbai now has an all-organic farmers market, which sells produce, cotton candy (YES PLEASE), “paint, paper, furniture, and cosmetics,” and prepared food like vegan quiche. Because we didn’t need enough reasons to visit India.

SFoodie has created a map to our fine city’s many seasonal farmers markets, where you can probably buy some wild leeks, a.k.a. ramps, which are this year’s fancy decorative green that non-professionals apparently don’t know what to do with. Or something.

The best baguette in Paris can be bought in Montmartre for less than two euro. But if you want to live forever, you had better forswear bread—and 50 percent of your body’s desired caloric intake—for the rest of that forever-life. The near-anorexics will rule us all, if very weakly.

Our local paper of record likes us; they really like us. SFGate started up a new vegan and vegetarian lifestyle section. We’re looking forward to more local coverage of veg issues, but we’re a bit less excited about the witty and insightful comments that we’re bound to get from the white-flight crowd that hangs out over there. Flame suits, on.

The Kitchn is on a vegan kick this week, with 10 Vegan Lunch Ideas. But breakfast is the most important meal of the day (especially if you eat breakfast food for lunch and dinner), so why not click through to their 10 Vegan Breakfast Ideas while you’re at it?

Killer whales kill (duh), unless you’re a dog. Then they’re like, “hop on my back, little friend, and I will take you on a magical tour of my sea kingdom.” But dogs aren’t safe if sharks are around so don’t forget a pair of “I’m With Orca” board shorts for your dog on beach walks.

Oh great. Almost everyone knows about the trash island the size of Texas floating in the Pacific, but did you know there are four others just like it? Check out photos from the North Atlantic Gyre courtesy of The 5 Gyres Project. I really can’t wait for a future of marine life evolved to eat a diet entirely of plastic.

WildCare brings us 15 seconds of how-can-I-exist-in-a-world-with-orphaned-ducklings tears in video form. Spring time means heavy rains and orphaned ducks in storm drains, so go sponsor some baby ducks, or the videos will keep getting sadder and shorter. No pressure.

The Winter Olympics are over, but how about a video of two dogs who may just win the gold in luge in 2014. 

Humans are smarter and better than animals at everything, except for all the things they do exactly the same as us. Researchers in Portugal discovered that rats can understand complex game theory, and successfully cooperate with each other or manipulate other players in the classic Prisoner’s Dilemma game scenario.

Trace residue of hexane in soy burgers may have been the big health scare news story of the week, so of course this USDA report about veterinary drugs, pesticides, and heavy metals in the meat supply will get just as much attention, right? (Right guys? Guys? Anyone?)

Here’s some vegan chocolate food porn from chef and food stylist Claire Thomas, along with some bonus food erotica from The Physiology of Taste, written in 1825, describing how hot chocolate would have been prepared (with water, no milk) at Versaille.

Vegan.com says that Michael Pollan is "dodging the discussion" with Jonathon Safran Foer over criticism in Eating Animals, but saying that “nobody is anti-meat enough for the animal-rights purists” reads more like fighting words than an outright dodge. Sounds to us like it’s time to settle this one in the Octagon.

And because cats are the best, we’ll leave you with a video news clip about the Agee Sanctuary near Sacramento, new home of feral cats recently rescued from a Chinatown housing project. Apparently they have their own Winston, not to be confused with fourfour’s Winston who just joined Twitter this week and has almost as many followers as us. It’s hard out there for a dino.

01/30/2010

American crazies, awesome people in other countries, vegan marshmallows, illegal meats, travels with produce, expensive shoes on sale and more in this week’s link-o-rama!  »

We didn’t have a link-o-rama for a couple of weeks, whoops. Good thing we saved up all those links, so you have tons of good reading for this weekend.

Let’s get some shoes! Vegan shoes, on sale through the end of the month. Ohhhh man, I wear a 7.5 U.S./37.5 EU if anyone wants to buy me a special present for being so great.

Can I kiss, like, everyone in Ghent? Last year, the city decided that Thursday would be Vegetarian Day, meaning city-run cafeterias &c. (they FEED THEIR CIVIC EMPLOYEES? WHAT?) and schools (ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS) would have to serve exclusively vegetarian food every Thursday. According to this week’s episode of the best radio show ever, Inside Europe, this is going really well. The kids love it, the citizens love it, and what the hell Ghent has 91 vegetarian restaurants?!! (note: download the podcast, skip to 49:20 to go directly to the pertinent story.)

Awesome Sharon of Veg Table is moving to Australia! Before she goes, she leaves us a final post on delicious local eating. Not included: her visit to Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles, which she wrote about just for us.

Speaking of linking to our own stuff, have you checked out the posts on John Mackey’s latest jerk-ass anti-fat-people bullshit, and on the travesty that is the new Weird Fish menu? The comments, they are many! We love it when you express your opinions, as long as you are civil/pertinent.

Super-smart Vegansaurus writer Steve contributed to the SF Appeal today, on the subject of non-meat-eaters keeping meat-eating cats. We are pretending not to be jealous that we didn’t ask him to write about this here first. Proud! We are proud, good job, Steve!

Vegetable tourism: in which British people travel the country in search of the birthplaces of famous varieties of produce. It’s quirky! Much like British people! But this seems more worthwhile (and tastier!) than, say, doing Jane Austen novel reenactments at Bath. That is like 10 lorries’ past “quirky” and well into “insanator” territory (READ OTHER BOOKS, GUYS).

Some grumplestiltskin at 7x7 magazine just can’t get over the fact that they don’t serve real actual from-an-animal cheese at Gracias Madre. Just, why call it “cheese” when it’s totally an amalgam of weird stuff, ugh.

Meat-smuggling: not just a single-entendre! Apparently some people do this because in Europe—mostly Italy—they do especially fascinating things with animal parts that are so much more interesting and authentic than the weird and fucked up things people do with animal parts here. GOD, you are SO GROSS, SHUT UP.

But gosh, maybe if the U.S. had laxer meat-import laws, people wouldn’t spend so much time murdering horses and selling their bodies for food. Right? Because meat-eating is like the hardestcore thrill-seeking, LIFE ON THE EDGE!! BEEF!

Oh, Michael Pollan. He doesn’t think it’s possible to make your own Twinkies! I can make you an organic, vegan Twinkie that tastes like French kisses from angels.

PCRM (employer of one of your Vegansaurus editors) made a list of the five best cookbooks of the decade, and guess what, they’re all VEGAN. The actual cookbooks I cannot endorse—one by certain pseudo-nutritionist insanators, another having been published roughly two seconds ago—but the point is that a vegan diet will save your life. Tell your everyone.

Michelle we love you: who wants to veganize the First Lady’s shortbread cookies? Come on, you want to.

Monsanto, the most evil of all agricultural corporations (that we know of), is facing an antitrust hearing from the Justice Department. Considering that “about 93 percent of soybean plantings last year” are connected to Monsanto, I’d say this is pertinent to us vegans. Although considering the DoJ is following up claims made by motherfucking DuPont, this may just end in (more of) our rage tears.

Someone is considering opening an exclusively vegan store in the Bay Area? WHAT YES PLEASE. Be nice and helpful and take this survey and let’s make this happen like yesterday.

Bitches hate Ingrid Newkirk: she is the Anti-Feminist Antichrist and PETA wages endless war on Sensible People’s Precious Sensibilities. Hey ladies!

Kelis “would demand [the chinchillas and minks whose pelts make up her luxurious coats] be put to death" if they weren’t already being raised on farms for the express purpose of being anally fucking electrocuted and made into those "luxurious" coats she loves so damn much. She also demands that the anti-fur brigade turn their attention other causes, like the poor people who pick vegetables, and sufferers of female genital mutilation. Because you know you can’t try to change more than one shitty situation at a time and VEGANS HATE HUMANS, I WOULD MURDER THE REINCARNATION OF EINSTEIN TO SAVE A RABID CAT, DID YOU KNOW?

Big ol’ vegan Erykah Badu released a bonus track from her (maybe) new album today, which is glorious.

Physically bigger vegan Georges Laraque (we’re everywhere!) is the best hockey player in the entire world ever, and raised a ton of money for Haiti recently. You guys I think we should start following the Canadiens.

Thanks, meat-eaters, for wrecking everything for the polar bears. Fucking THANKS A LOT.

Russia, on the cutting edge of being the total embodiment of a heartless fucking bastard, wants to get back on the cutting edge of space travel by sending a monkey to Mars. Don’t worry though, a robot will feed it! I wish this were from The Onion.

Here is an interview with the super-hardcore and super-amazing Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She tolerates no bullshit and makes delicious food, we adore her.

Some employees of HarperCanada, inspired by friend-of-Oprah Tal Ronnen, took a two-weeklong vegan challenge. Apparently in Toronto it is hard to find vegan bread? I don’t know. Regardless: nice effort!

Forbes isn’t exclusively the domain of classist, poors-hating white dudes you want to punch in the face! It’s also the home of a guy who, following Mark Bittman’s advice, eats mostly vegan. He calls the diet “[his] health care plan,” awesome! If only my vegan diet would scrape my teeth and cure my astigmatism, we’d be peas in a healthy fucking pod!

A significantly less offensive magazine: Potluck Mania!, by super-vegan/author Joanna Vaught, which absolutely deserves its exclamation point.

Vegansaurus favorite Sweet & Sara were featured on the Food Network’s Unwrapped series. Hooray!! Also, thanks, now I am dying for a peanut butter s’more. Relatedly, make your own (terrifying) vegan marshmallows!

01/27/2010

Alicia Silverstone on Oprah today!  »

Set your VCRs, DVRs, and Bittorrent TV-stealy programs: Alicia Silverstone will be on Oprah today! She’ll be on with Michael Pollan (who I know most of you hate but I count anyone who goes around persuading Americans to eat more plants and less meat as an ally) with some footage from Food Inc. At this rate, the Oprahnator is going to need an entire show on her new TV network devoted to vegan cooking and food politics. (Hint, hint, and PS hire me to produce it, I’m not remotely qualified but I swear it’ll be good.)

Tune in today; check your local listings for times, or just watch the grainy version later on YouTube.

01/06/2010

Vegansaurus predictions FOR THE DECADE AND BEYOND.  »

Well, not really and beyond but you know, we talk big. And we back that talk up with fists so don’t even play. Now that that’s out of the way.

We’ve compiled a list of things we think will most likely happen in the ten-teens (um, what are these years called exactly? besides depression 2.0?) and now we will share them with you because we’re all generous and good looking and stuff. TA-DA!

WILL MOST LIKELY HAPPEN
King Oprah brings a lot more veggie guests/products/etc. onto her show. He is a benevolent god. We also expect to see many more celebrities “come out” as vegan, as well as lots more veg news from Ellen and Martha. Ladies, we loves you.

Fast food restaurants and national chains are required to offer vegan options on their menu. Let’s say all pizza places are required to have Daiya on hand. A GIRL CAN DREAM I MEAN THIS IS MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN. Actually, we do think it’s likely that the majority of pizza places will be carrying vegan cheese by 2020.

Lab-grown meat replaces all (or most) ground beef and filler meat sold in the USA. (Please see: Chicken McNuggets, hambugers, etc). This will probably happen when it becomes cheaper because all these fuckers care about is money DON’T MATTER THOUGH BECAUSE IT’S A WIN FOR THE ANIMALS!

A standard “vegan” mark appears on food labels, as ubiquitous as the kosher parve mark. We’re already seeing this at Trader Joe’s; luckily it’s turning up on their most delicious products, like Candy Cane Joe Joe’s! Thank you, god!

A public advertising campaign against vegans and vegetarians, like “Got Milk?” but on the “fuck communist grass-grazers” side. It’s OK; this just means we’re really pissing them off. Good.

Cheese Whiz becomes vegan. Not sure if this is a win? Whatevs, we’ll take it!

MIGHT COULD HAPPEN
Oprah comes out as vegetarian! We immediately start going down on her. Actually, the latter is a MOST LIKELY WILL HAPPEN if the former occurs.

We’d love to see KFC go out of business. With it’s focus on fried foods and MSG, this is a serious possibility. We’d love to see colonel effigies burning in the streets across the United States. Or is that too creepy? Whatever.

Factory farms going out of business! Seriously, there is some MAJOR backlash starting and this shit is just gonna keep moving forward. Laws are being passed and people are noticing. This cannot stand. Hasta la pasta, assholes.

Michael Pollan resolves the omnivore’s dilemma by going vegan. This would really help him seem less crazy.

A Rosetta Stone of different animal languages is developed, allowing us to have conversations with dolphins and other species using a special device. OH MAN SO FUCKING AWESOME.

SUPER UNLIKELY BUT IT’S FUN TO DREAM
Oprah comes out as vegan and turns her show into Vegan Oprah and everyone follows suit because we are all sheep for the big O. That is why I am currently wearing jeans that Michael Jordan’s wife made and reading Angela’s Ashes. WHATEVER YOU SAY OH MIGHTY ONE.

Cats and dogs granted status as legal dependents and covered under health insurance. Cat ladies the world over weep, push for legal marriage.

Dr. Dean Ornish is named Surgeon General by President Al Franken in 2017 (or whatever veggie/vegan health person we’re liking this month). Of course, the Kuch has a place in the cabinet; he paved the way after all.

What are your predictions? What did we miss? Are we dead on? Or way crazy? Don’t answer that last one.

[Pizza image from QuarryGirl, KFC image from PETA, and Crazy Cat Lady image from Bebo]

10/30/2009

Vegan Diplomat: Comeback Kids  »

By now you’ve made the decision, come out of the crisper, and are living a full, vegified existence. Whoo! The payback for telling the world your hot little garbanzo-bean secret? It’s like posting something on the internet—every one gets a crack at commenting.

Now, I’m a vegan from the non-Facebook Farmville. You better believe I’ve heard the best of the Guide to Meaty Proclamations. The one that actually makes me chuckle? “SALAD IS WHAT FOOD EATS.” Because ew, and yes—and re-eats, and re-eats, and re-eats, and re-eats. (Four times, four stomachs, though I will have to run that through Dad’s Department of Ruminants fact-checking.)

Last weekend an amazing quote contradicting that notion made the internet rounds. It was Michael Pollan saying, “A vegan in a Hummer has a lighter carbon footprint than a meat-eater in a Prius.”

That’s a hell of a T. Boone Pickens—the ultimate comeback to “just eat a pork chop,” and sure to make a meat-eater test drive that math. Then one did. And decided that by comparing a “heavy meat-eating diet” to a vegan one, the carpool doesn’t add up. But the virality of the original statement vs. the contradiction proves one thing: snappy ain’t just for peas.

Every time a cold cut is thrown, there’s an opportunity to convert. But it’s what you say, as much as how you say it. Are you ready with your killer (METAPHORICALLY) vegan comebacks to these classics?

“When you eat meat, it leaves you satiated,” (courtesy of some of Bravo’s Toppest Chefs.)

Actually, a combination of fiber from vegetables, fats—that also are readily available from vegetable sources like avocados and nuts—plus protein (hello tofu and beans) makes you feel amazingly full. Here, let me make you my famous vegan burrito—if you want seconds, it’s on me.

"But Meat is All-American! ‘Dogs! Burgs’! Doooood steaks! WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA?”

I love America, it allows me to make the best choices I can to live a life that will provide liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all living creatures. I think there was something about being “created equal” and “inalienable rights?” That seemed like such a good idea, I just extrapolated it to all living creatures. Got a light for my sparkler?

"PETA is a bunch of nutjobs. Do you throw paint on people in your spare time?"

You like sports, right? But even being a baseball fan, you pick a team to root for. Well, PETA is just one team in Sport Vegan, and just because we eat tofu, it doesn’t make us all Yankee fans. PETA plays in a pretty Yankee, high-profile way, but there are tons of other teams to root for too, like the Humane Society of the United States or Farm Sanctuary. And whether or not you agree with PETA’s style, they do have some great resources like, “I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan.” (Hey, did you know Glenn Beck respects PETA?)

"Giving kids a chance to see that meat isn’t all that is indoctrination.

This last one is courtesy of the aforementioned Glenn Beck who, well… likes consistency, personal choice, PETA, and making Al Gore eat things, namely, his words. In a response to the UK climate chief’s assertion that meat is wrecking the planet, he got some attention by saying that giving kids a Meatless Monday was indoctrination. It played pretty badly . But, and this goes back to words mattering, if you read his whole original statement, he’s not necessarily against giving up meat [for others]—he’s against giving up choice.

Oof. Well, we might not have that “choice” for much longer, and it’s not great thinking…but it’s a little harder to argue with? Ask Al Gore.

Have you been hit with a particularly un-Tofutti Cutie meat attack? What do you hear most often? What’s your favorite ultimate comeback?

This is an article in a recurring series, The Vegan Diplomat; The Art and Politics of Being Vegan in any Situation Society Throws on Your Plate, brought to us by the lovely Zoë Stagg. Zoë writes about politics, pop culture, and social media. She went cold-tofurkey—total omnivore to vegan on April 26, 2006 and never looked back. Despite her rural upbringing and the fact that her dad may have wanted her to enter the Dairy Princess pageant in high school, she firmly believes in the conservative nature of veganism. Her last non-vegan meal was a Turkey Lean Pocket. Ew.

09/28/2009

“ Animals do not want to die. They can feel pain and fear, and, just like us, will struggle to breathe for even one single more second. If you’re about to run 250 volts through a pig, do not look it in the eyes. It is not going to absolve you. „

Notes from a slaughter class :: The Ethicurean

This is an interesting essay on “a course focused on the slaughtering and processing of meat animals” by a food science grad student. The author was and remains an omnivore.

What do you think, vegans? One of the commenters on The Ethicurean argues that “a short happy life” that ends in “a humane death” is preferable to living in the wild and “dying of starvation or cold in the winter,” or “at the claws and teeth of a [predator].” I would say, That’s a lot of assumptions you make there, commenter “Walter Jeffries,” that 1) we can and do give domesticated animals happier lives and more humane deaths in slaughterhouses than they’d otherwise have; and 2) the only alternatives to slaughterhouse murder are bad-but-natural deaths in the wild. What about sheep and goats kept just for wool? What about horses? There are plenty of farm animals that have long and happy lives that don’t end in terror or pain.

But omnivores—and this is a point that Jake Lahne, the author, makes in his essay—are willfully myopic about such options; their desire to eat meat will trump all other considerations. When hasn’t it? When was the last time your closest animal-eating friends/relations refused to eat meat because the animal was raised on a factory farm? When did they last turn down cheese because it came from dairy cows, producers of veal calves? Anyone?

I thought not.

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