Homosexual animals are not gay, OK!  »

The biologists profiled in this week’s New York Times big Sunday Magazine article, "Can Animals Be Gay?" would like you, general public, to please stop associating the terms “gay” and “lesbian” with non-human animals. This is extrapolation that they, the disinterested scientists, do NOT do, and that we the general public should not do, as it muddles the very important distinction these scientists draw between non-human animals and human animals, and they do not want our anthropomorphism and judgmentalism and morality getting in the way of their scientific conclusions.

Fair enough, to an extent. I do not want horrible eugenicist bigots demanding that we isolate the so-called and still-debated “gay gene” and allowing for some kind of “gaythanasia” escape clause in their no-abortions-ever laws, and that is a possibility—touched on by one of the scientists interviewed—if we allow for the blurring of that line.

However, as a vegan, I believe that the more similarities we find between “natural” human behavior and “natural” animal behavior, the harder that will make for the general public to accept abuses such as animal testing (let alone eating animals—come on, son). Because we’re people, and, “As the biologist Marlene Zuk explains, we are hard-wired to read all animal behavior as ‘some version of the way people do things’ and animals as ‘blurred, imperfect copies of humans.’”

Now, as many “it thinks it’s people” jokes I may make, I do not believe that animals are “imperfect copies of humans” and find it, oh yes, offensive that others might. It’s cute when a non-human animal’s behavior reminds me of a human’s behavior, but that doesn’t mean that the dog is actually “trying to be” a person. It does have agency, however; it does have its own biological makeup, just as we have our own that allows us to feel and behave compassionately. So if you feel like maybe animals can be gay, like maybe that is an argument for the “naturalness” of homosexuality, maybe that should inform your behavior toward animals in other areas. If animals of all kinds share so many similar traits, how humane is it to make such clear distinctions between “us” and “them,” really?

[photo of rabbits by Jeff Koons for the NY Times]


SF Green Festival, meatball awards, the miracle of birth, delicious local tofu, Czech dumplings, urban gardening and more in this week’s link-o-rama!GE  »

Green Fest is in San Francisco this weekend; let Vegansaurus guide you through it.

Win a copy of 500 Vegan Recipes! Hurry up and do it by Tuesday, Nov. 17!

The clever fuckers at the California Milk Advisory Board will be filming their latest “Happy Cows come from California” commercials in New Zealand. Torture the local cows, but don’t let the state benefit from production fees: such lovely people they are.

Local chefs discover that tofu is not an abomination against haute cuisine. Color us shocked. And hungry for samples!

Another poor review of Eating Animals, from another Gawker associate. Shut up, Joshua David Stein, you are much too pleased with yourself and your criticism.

For the strong-stomached, the birth of an elephant. Miracles: kinda gross! This goes for every human who records the births of their own young as well.

And in New Zealand, a shark gave birth to four live sharklets, thanks to the intervention of another shark? Freaky, gross, amazing.

Oh delicious: a recipe for Czech fruit dumplings! Yes PLEASE.

Filling closets with clothes for yourself is acceptable human behavior; filling a closet with matching clothes for your cat is NOT. I recognize we’re all guilty of anthropomorphism to some degree, but this not OK.

Watch out, sickies: you can pass on the swine flu to your companion animals.

Remember Nicolette Hahn Niman’s ridiculous op-ed renouncing her ranch’s responsibility for carbon emissions? Peter Singer gives her brief, precise what-for.

King of Jerkoffs A. Bourdain says humans are allowed to eat animals because they are “smaller and stupider” than us. Ari Solomon says, intelligence is as intelligence does, bright boy. (Although we should note, Mr. Solomon, that “stupider” is an inflected comparative and most certainly a word.) (Grammarsaurus!)

More meat and more dairy makes Jack an angrier, more hostile and depressed boy; more carbs and less meat and dairy makes him happier and peaceful.

Friend-of-Vegansaurus Graciela has a new blog in which she explores urban gardening in L.A. We are so envious of all her lovely greens!

Check it out, another E. coli outbreak in ground beef!

Kind of pretty, kind of disgusting: your internal organs rendered in produce.

Genetically engineered apples that stay crispy without refrigeration!

Congratulations Ike’s, winner of Peta’s best vegetarian meatballs! Enjoy them in a (vegan) Meatless Mike or a Not-So-Sloppy Ike.

An interview with our hero Deborah Madison, vegetarian chef and cookbook author extraordinaire!

Last year’s fascinating story "Morality bites," by the Chicago Tribune's Monica Eng, is included in Best Food Writing 2009.

Publisher’s Weekly selects this year’s best food books; titles include the bizarro Almost Meatless (“almost”? come the hell on), the revolting Lobel’s Meat Bible, and two books Vegansaurus wouldn’t mind unwrapping this holiday season: Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, and Salt to Taste: The Key to Confident, Delicious Cooking. Neither is vegan, but both seem extremely useful.

Revolting, slightly terrifying tale of a food writer’s giving in to a murderous impulse and shooting a baboon, and the global fallout.

Ours friends at Veg-Table are looking for writers for their city guides. GET ON IT, YOU WRITERLY PERSON.

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