Your easy activism for International Human Rights Day: Ask Clif Bar where their chocolate comes from »
It’s International Human Rights Day and Food Empowerment Project is honoring this important day by drawing attention to Clif Bar’s lack of transparency when it comes to an important issue such as child slavery in the chocolate industry.
If you haven’t yet, please sign the petition to Clif Bar, asking them to answer the easy question: WHERE IS THEIR CHOCOLATE FROM? It’s a simple question, and should be easy for them to answer. Again, we are only asking Clif Bar for the country of origin, so if they send a LONG response and say anything other than answering that question – they are avoiding it. Please, don’t let them do this.
If you’re feeling extra activist-y — please post questions on their FB page and/or ask them on Twitter. They are a large company with many followers, so we need a lot of people to ask them to make it an issue. Let’s go!!
Remembering the Turlock chickens: Watch a video and sign a petition! »
Remember the Turlock Hens? Silly question, of course you do. How could you forget feeling like your heart was literally being ripped out of your chest after reading the story of the 50,000 chickens left to starve in California’s Central Valley?
Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary has begun an online petition drive through Change.org. The petition is asking for the prosecution of Andy Keung Cheung, by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office, for willfully starving 50,000 hens for two weeks. The goal is 10,000 signatures, and as of publication of this post, there are almost 3,800. Read more about it and sign the petition here.
Harvest Home also made a short video of the hens before they were rescued. It’s sad stuff. The hens are hungry, and some are dead, and it is very upsetting to be part of a species that lets this kind of thing happen.
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
The amazingly effective activists over at Compassion Over Killing are now running ads on Hulu, including the one above. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!? Everyone watches Hulu, even babies and great grandparents and probably even our alien overlords somewhere in the future, ala Lrrr and Single Female Lawyer! Anyway, I’m trying to wrap my mind around how many people this is going to teach about veganism and it makes me very happy that I can’t do the math. Also, it makes me very sad that I can’t do the math. Thanks, American School System!
If you’ve got some extra monies laying around, or even if you don’t, it wouldn’t hurt to send them to COK so they can keep these ads up and running. Let’s do this!
S.F. Bay Area, here’s your chance to help tons of animals! Let’s do this! »
We’re all gonna leaflet for the animals, OK? Leafletting is one of the best forms of activism around. It’s making a lot of people immediately aware of what’s going on with animals, and that knowledge is incredibly powerful. It’s something I definitely want to do more of, and as a means of motivating myself, I am motivating the rest of you to GET UP ON THIS! Because I know a lot of you suffer from the same guilty feeling of not doing as much as we could be doing and I’ve found that leafletting even once a month helps alleviate that. Seriously, it’s powerful stuff! And if you do it once, you’ll do it again. The first time is always the hardest! Where have I heard that before? Ew, sorry. Grab a friend or brave it solo and LET’S DO THIS!
This Friday, Nov. 4, Theo, a major volunteer with Vegan Outreach, is leafleting the AP Tour at the Regency Ballroom (1290 Sutter St., S.F.). He’s flying solo right now, and would love some leafletting buddies. Leafletting at events like this is actually pretty fun; people are usually the nicest cause they’re all happy to be at a show, and you’re with friends, so if anyone says anything stupid, you can make fun of them the whole ride home. Also, after leafletting once, it’s so easy to do it again, because you’re like, “Fuck it, I ain’t scared of you people!” and then you imagine everyone naked and are like, “Whatever, I got this.” Or you know, whatever your process is.
POINT IS, the more people who leaflet, the more people reached. I know lots of folks who are vegan today because they were handed a leaflet; it’s powerful activism for the animals, and it’s only a couple of hours of work! EVEN BETTER, Theo is so rad that he can also help out with rides from the Oakland/Berkeley area, SO NO EXCUSES! You can reach Theo via email or call him at (510) 853.2773. Do it to it!
Brian Grupe, who heads up Vegan Outreach in the SF Bay Area, is looking for folks to join him at colleges. Young minds, ripe for learnin’! About animal exploitation! I mean, how many of you went vegan in college? EXACTLY. If you have an unusual schedule where you’re free during the day sometimes, get at him! Shape America’s youth! Into something other than selfish pieces of shit! JK, we’re all selfish pieces of shit, some of us just try to suck a little less.
Finally, a list of upcoming events that Brian needs help with. If any look right for you, please please please email him. THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU AND GOOD NIGHT!
Monday, Nov. 7
Jack’s Mannequin at the Regency Ballroom, S.F.—out from 10 to 11 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 8
Pierce the Veil and Miss May I at the Regency Ballroom—out from 10 to 11 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 10
Black Veil Brides at the Regency Ballroom—out from 10 to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13
The Green Festival at the S.F. Concourse Exhibition Center (HELLO, we all need to go to this one!)
Monday, Nov. 14
Gym Class Heros and Dirty Heads at the Regency Ballroom—out from 10 to 11 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 16
New Found Glory, Set Goals, etc. at the Regency Ballroom—out from 10 to 11 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 17
Devil Wears Prada at the Regency Ballroom—out from 10 to 11 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 21
Katy Perry at Oracle Arena (KATY PERRY, Y’ALL)
[photo via Vegan Outreach]
You guys! Occupy Oakland needs food! And I bet all the other occupies need food, too! Why not make it vegan food?! Remember how much success Rachel had?? Today is a good day to get started as it’s the general strike, and there will be even more hungry angries to feed than ever!
According to them, occupiers especially need hot food and drinks, like maybe a delicious vegan casserole or tasty seasonal soup?? Or if you’re flush, maybe you want to pick up tons of food from a nearby supportive local business, like Golden Lotus? And maybe even bring some Go Vegan flyers while you’re at it? Or order some free ones for next time you go! Seriously, this is an amazing activist opportunity, and according to the Oakland-based Neighbors Opposed to Backyard Slaughter folks, the backyard slaughter dumb-dumbs are all up in it, and we need to combat their “we kill chickens for a stupid snack and think it’s okay because we are totally qualified to murder in our backyards and are saving the world!”
A rep from NoBS says:
Food Not Bombs has been serving vegan food since the beginning of Occupy Oakland — and many other Occupy locations. While occupying Oscar Grant Plaza a few weeks back, people from all walks of life were really open to talking about a compassionate diet, and living free of animal products. It was liberating to be in a space where people were open to changing the way we live and eat in a way that respects the interests of other animals, as well as people. This movement is bringing so many positive changes — and veganism is one of them.
So get down to your local occupy movement, and be a change agent! One who brings delicious vegan casseroles!
The Trader Joe’s in BERKELEY isn’t stocking vegan items!? Let’s talk at them! »
So, word on the street is employees of the Trader Joe’s at University and Martin Luther King Jr. in Berkeley have told several people that they don’t stock vegan items because they don’t “earn” their shelf space in the store, which is why a lot of our favorites are sadly not there. Come on, how is that freaking possible? I object!
I think all people who shop at that store or might ever shop at that store (East Bay vegans WHAT!) should write to TJ HQ or drop by the store in person to fill out a suggestion card to request they begin re-stocking a greater variety of vegan items. Right?!
You don’t even have to send an email, they have an easy-peasy form where you can just be like, “More vegan items in Berkeley, please and thank you. Pretty pease let me know when I can expect to see these items back in the store. I Also, you are so pretty, Trader Joe’s! Signed, Laura P.S. Love that Fearless Flyer!” This example works for several reasons: You’re politely making yourself heard, asking for what you want, requesting a response, and perhaps most importantly, letting TJ’s know that, hey, you are attracted to them, and that makes a person/corperation feel good! Plus, you complimented their work on the Fearless Flyer,* which I can honestly say is my favorite magazine. DONE AND DONE!
Finally, let’s enjoy the TJ’s video that everyone loved so much in 2009:
*Groupon totally gaffled their lame-ass voice from TJ’s Fearless Flyer. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Steve-O as vegan activist: Exhibit A »
A loud and proud vegan since 2009, Jackass star Steve-O stormed out of a Celebrity Go Kart Tournament benefiting the American Diabetes Association last weekend after discovering the meat-laden catering menu. Steve-O was lined up to compete before he learned about the impending lunch, but left angrily before the race could even begin, asking some of the children in attendance if they wanted to take his driver’s seat for the competition.
In true Steve-O form, not pulling any punches, he voiced his outrage with a woman from the Children’s Hospital on his exit: “I came here because I thought this was about promoting a plant-based diet as diabetes prevention, and they’re serving meat here—so I’m outta here. It’s like serving alcohol at an AA meeting,” said Steve-O, who has publicly battled substance abuse issues in the past, “It’s kind of an outrage to me…it’s stupid.” Not surprisingly, the ADA has shrewdly responded with ‘claims’ and ‘opinions’ suspiciously void of fact: “There’s no rule that you can’t eat meat if you have diabetes—every person is different, and should be on a meal plan that works best for them. Eating animal flesh isn’t necessarily bad for diabetics.” How delightfully unspecific and uneducated of them.
Suffice to say, Steve-O is presumably too busy leading an active, healthy lifestyle to bother with any response. For the record, we are LOVING us some Steve-O as an educated, unlikely, and surprisingly AWESOME spokesperson for veganism.
Represent vegans by dancing your ass off at SF Pride! »
OMG guys, SF Pride weekend is almost here! And by almost I mean more than a month away!
It’s time to start planning because once again this there’s a group of veggie-persons who will be taking advantage of massive crowds of caring happy people to spread the vegan gospel. They’ve got buttons and everything! Last year they passed out over 17,000 vegetarian starter kits—that’s starter kits like whoa.
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
This year, they’re kicking it up a notch with a choreographed dance that they will be performing [I assume] during the parade. They’ve got a handy set of YouTube videos demonstrating the moves. It looks pretty much like an intense aerobics class to me but what better way to burn off some hella vegan calories than by pulling a booty flurry all down Market Street, right?
You don’t have to dance to help out, though dancing is clearly the coolest. You can also just walk or carry a sign or hand out stickers and flyers. To get involved, email and or/join the Facebook group. Here are more pictures from last year:
Endangered, Will Robinson! »
Today is Endangered Species Day!
Endangered Species Day happens annually, and is dedicated to acknowledging the planet’s many endangered species and recognizing the amazing efforts being made globally to save them from extinction. How awesome is that?!
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services even created this super-nifty search engine that allows you to find endangered animals by state, country, and species. For example, there are 18 species in New York state that are either endangered or threatened, including the humpback whale, the Canada Lynx, and FIVE types of sea turtles. Damn, yo!
Here are a few ways to spread the word:
- Send an E-Card!
- Change your Facebook/Twitter/eHarmony profile picture to rep your favorite endangered animal!
- Find an event near you!
- Make a list, and check it twice!
- Plan an event or meetup in your area!
I don’t know if “celebrate” is the most appropriate term, but it’s definitely a good idea to raise awareness on behalf of our non-human friends. Let’s do this!
[Canadian Lynx image via digitalART2 via flickr]
Public radio presents biased perspective on ethical eating »
The discussion thread for Oregon Public Broadcasting’s (OPB) radio program on ”Knowing Your Meat“ quickly spurred lots of rage and debate among the Portland vegan community (thanks to the folks at Herbivore clothing via their twitter @herbivorecc)—and rightly so.
The photo affiliated with the discussion—something previously talked about on Vegansaurus—is unbelievably sickening. I can only imagine holding a dead animal like that if she had been a beloved companion animal, not something I was about to EAT. Naomi Pomeroy, the woman from the photo and the owner of the restaurant Beast, says that the photo is meant to help us acknowledge that the meat we come from was once a living animal. An ex-vegetarian herself, Pomeroy suggests we should only eat meat if we know where the animal’s from. I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly why I won’t eat meat. It seems ludicrous to eat something that was once a living and breathing sentient being.
The ethics of this woman are very strange to me. On the website for Beast she says that “pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans would find it a challenge to enjoy our six-course dinners.” Uh, OK? But honestly, what more could we expect from a woman who turned away from vegetarianism for the benefit of her business? To feel like she was still doing something “good,” Pomeroy decided to start sourcing the meat for Beast from “ethical” and “local” distributors. This was the whole reason for the online discussion and radio broadcast: finding out if it’s worth it to only purchase “ethical” and “local” meats, and if so, where do you draw the line?
I agree with Michelle from Herbivore: She wanted to know why they weren’t going to have any vegans or vegetarians as guests on the radio show. Just because we personally don’t eat meat doesn’t mean we can’t offer some valid points on ethical eating. Instead the whole broadcast was full of ex-vegetarians calling in to explain why they began eating meat (hint: it’s always because they could now get it from ethical sources). My question here is, where were all the vegan callers!? I know there were no shortage of vegans posting on the internet discussion, but not a single one was on the radio. I’m worried that OPB screened the calls, or maybe no vegans actually called in, which either way is a serious shame. According to the Think Out Loud blog there were a few technical difficulties with the calls. I understand that a few off the calls were dropped instead of being put on hold. Instead I listened to someone who had been a vegetarian for over 20 years describe how she started eating meat out of respect for her husband’s avid hunting.
One of the other callers (also an ex-vegetarian) spoke about buying whole animals to have butchered for food for her and her husband. The caller said she wasn’t yet ready raise her own animals for food for fear of growing attached to them. I think this sums up what is wrong with her meat-eating. She’s admitting she has a problem with the death of animals for food, so why try to deny that by continuing to eat them? Also, please see:
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
I’m sad this radio broadcast failed to represent realistic ways for Portlanders (and anyone for that matter) to eat truly ethically. [Ed.: Perhaps we can all email the OPD programming folks and ask for Thinking Out Loud to do a show on ethical eating? LET’S ALL DO IT! It’s your five-minute activism for the day!]
This guest op-ed was brought to you by Chelsea Catchpole, a vegan who hails from the mystical land of Portland, Oregon. She is a barista by day and a blogger, climber, and “chef” by night. You can normally find her wandering the isles of New Seasons or The People’s co-op, spending way too much money on new foods. The rest of her free time is spent cuddling with her two cats, Sushi and Mojo-Jojo. You can read her other musings at Stumpy Vegan.