Important Vegan Discussions: Who should zombies eat? »
Vegansaurus Zombie by Toe Tag Riot artist Sean Von Gorman! AMAZING!
In his new comic series, Matt Miner, a vegan of 11 years, takes a look at ethics from a zombie perspective. Toe Tag Riot centers on an early 2000s streetpunk band that suffers from a serious curse—sometimes they become zombies and have to eat human flesh to stay alive! However, they are “ethical zombies” and decide to only eat racists, misogynists, and homophobes. But…
Finding that the transformation back into regular, filthy, punk rockers is taking longer and longer each time, the band goes on one last cross-country tour, chasing the cure to what ails ‘em and hilariously/brutally slaughtering the worst of humanity along the way to an explosive showdown with The Westboro Baptist Church.
Since Matt Miner is one of Vegansaurus’ favorite vegan comic book creators, I caught up with him to hear more about Toe Tag Riot. The series is still in the works and Matt is currently holding a Kickstarter to produce the comic. You can get a lot of awesome perks from the fundraiser, like an amazing commissioned watercolor by Sean Von Gorman! I just contributed so I can get one of Figaro and I’m drop dead ecstatic.
Toe Tag Riot standard cover by Tristan Jones, colors by Doug Garbark.
I asked Matt a few questions about the project (and other very important things like puppies and food trucks), here’s what he had to say:
Vegansaurus: What’s an “ethical zombie”? Is it the zombie equivalent to an ethical vegan?
Matt Miner: Hey Megan! I’m so glad you asked. Seeing as how I think zombies literally can’t survive on a plant based diet, the only “ethical” choice, once zombified, would be to eat bad guys like misogynists, racists, and homophobes.
Make the world a better place by slaughtering and devouring jerks and hate groups! Why not? Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!
How does your veganism influence your work?
There’s a bit of me in any project I do and a lot of my creator-owned work has a hidden message of compassion or tolerance in it. With my comic series Liberator, the whole premise was about young vigilantes who break the law to protect abused animals. With Toe Tag Riot, I started thinking about “what/who would I eat if I was a zombie? What’s the most-ethical choice of human to consume?” and it kinda snowballed from there.
What’s your favorite vegan/vegan-friendly eatery I’m NYC?
Do food trucks count as eateries? Because the Cinnamon Snail food truck is my favorite vegan food in NYC, possibly the world. Follow them on Twitter at @VeganLunchTruck and ask them to NEVER EVER AGAIN take the 5-spice seitan sandwich off their menu EVER again. :)
Are you fostering any cutie pie animals now? Pictures or I don’t believe you.
Aside from our personal “zoo” of rescues, we are indeed fostering a fantastic 7-year-old tiny little pit bull mix named Reeses! She kinda looks like a Corgi/Pit and she just beat breast cancer like a true champion. All she wants to do is cuddle and play, so NYC area, if you have room in your heart and your home, hit me up for more info on Reeses. Find me on Twitter at mattminerxvx or email MattMinerXVX@gmail.com.
Reeses. Oh em geeee.
Why are you Kickstarting this comic series? Why do you need to raise money to make the book?
We’re making the book to tell a super fun story of punk rock zombies but also to put an inclusive, and LGBT-positive message out into comic shops and into the hands of a fandom that can still be an intolerant, sexist and homophobic place at times.
The Kickstarter pays for the art team’s rates and for all the rewards and shipping—making comics isn’t a cheap undertaking, so that’s why we headed to Kickstarter. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing funding, so if we don’t raise the full amount then we won’t collect any of it and the book will be scrapped.
If we succeed on the funding, though, we’re going to put this amazing story into the hands of people worldwide who might not normally think twice about calling someone a “fag” or a “slut”.
So, please pledge—and share the project on your social networks. We have some incredible rewards for those people awesome enough to throw their support behind this great project.
Thanks, Matt! And thanks, Sean! I can’t wait for my Figgy picture!
BONUS! Another drawing from Sean Von Gorman: Rock and roll Vegansaurus!
Every day in New York this week seems to bring a new Banksy. Reader Erin M. sent us this video link of his most recent production. As you can see, it’s a truck full of squawking stuffed animals, and it drove around the meat packing district.
I’m not sure what to make of it. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure it was trying to make a statement of any sort but when you watch the video it does seem to be an anti-factory farm meat stunt or about the “humane myth,” especially with what’s painted on the door at the beginning. But maybe it’s just supposed to be silly. What do you think?
These kittens have no time for you, are still cute! »
I love this project by NYC-based photographer Arne Svenson! Strays is a series of portraits of lil’ kittens from Animal Kind, but as you see, they aren’t your average portraits. These kittens have no time for you!
If you’re a pet stalker like me, you know the troubles of trying to photograph your pets only to have them turn their heads. Figaro straight up turns his head to the side deliberately whenever I try to take a pic. UNLESS I give him a treat. Jerk.
Read the backstory here. I just think these are so funny, right? It’s like the “I’m not listening!!!!” ear plugging thing. But more of a silent protest. Go ‘head kittens, get your civil disobedience on.
Produce: for growing, eating, and portraiture! Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted these crazy portraits/still lifes/reversible portraits that were simultaneously still lifes in 16th century Italy, including a series of the four seasons. Those four paintings were later turned into massive sculptures by Philip Haas, and they are now on display through October 27 at the New York Botanical Garden. Just look at Summer!
Amazing, right? Apparently some of the vegetables—like the eggplant and the corn, and is that an artichoke?—were brand-new to Europe at the time. Get more details at The Salt blog, and let’s go visit them and appreciate their massive scale for ourselves. When the rain lets up, of course.
[Photo courtesy New York Botanical Garden via NPR]
Come to the Oakland Cat Vid Fest on Saturday and support the East Bay SPCA »
Saturday is FULL of events on both coasts, you guys. And this one sounds like so much fun: the Oakland Cat Vid Fest! How much fun? Let’s see:
The Great Wall of Oakland is collaborating with the Walker Art Center to bring the Internet Cat Video Festival to Oakland! On Saturday, May 11, from 3 to 10 p.m., an estimated 5,000+ cat-lovers and friends will be celebrating felines and exploring the low-art of Internet cat videos together, in real-time, as we transform West Grand between Telegraph and Broadway into a cat-lovers wonderland. Best of all, proceeds benefit the East Bay SPCA!
During the day, cat-lovers and their allies can peruse cat and pet products and arts and crafts from a host of vendors, adopt cats from local rescue centers, learn about kitten fostering, listen to live bands, nom delicious human food from local food trucks, and participate in a plethora of cativities, including art projects.
As the sun sets, festival attendees will gather in front of the Great Wall to view the Bay Area premiere of #catvidfest, [Minneapolis, Minnesota’s] Walker Art Center’s curated collection of Internet cat videos. See your favorites: “Henri,” “Cats Playing Patty Cake,” and “Cat Says NOM NOM NOM.” The Great Wall’s artist in residence group, Bandaloop, will perform a cat-themed aerial duet off the 100-foor wall before the screening.
The Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival is a unique community event celebrating cats, art and technology while educating the public on the importance of cat adoption and kitten fostering.
Ridiculous and delightful, right? Check out this recap of the original CatVidFest that now works as a preview for Saturday’s event!
For more information, visit Oakland Cat Vid Fest online.
Got a tip about an awesome vegan-friendly event? Let us know! We love fun!
These are some of reader Camilla Taylor’s gorgeous insect-based jewelry! None of it is made of actual insects, of course, Ms. Taylor is both talented and a longtime vegan, and cares so much about our invertebrate friends, she is looking to donate some of the proceeds from the sale of her jewelry to an insect-based charity, “preferably specific to arthropods.” How thoughtful! Unfortunately, she can’t find such an organization based in the U.S.
"Vegan" graffiti on a McDonald’s mural: Pro or con? »
On the one hand, McDonald’s is disgusting.
On the other:
The mural was painted in 1987 by Iranian-born artist Saeed Danosian, who worked at the restaurant while developing his art career. Danosian passed away in 2008, and [restaurant manager John] Patterson plans to recreate the mural in the artist’s honor.
And finally, this could be a double-bluff by someone who hates vegans and wants to make us look like a bunch of mural-hating brats.
So, what do you think?
[Photo by McDonald’s via Ecorazzi]
Guest contest: Donate to win a beautiful portrait of a farm sanctuary animal! »
Sharon Lee Hart is the author of the photography collection Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals, and a participant in this year’s Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals, for which she’s asking for your help fundraising. If you help, you could win a 16-by-16-inch photograph of your choice from Sharon’s book. Take a look—they’re beautiful!
Sharon says it’s as easy as 1-2-3:
- Donate $10 or more to support me in the Walk for Farm Animals; 100 percent of the funds raised go to Farm Sanctuary. Make sure you include your email address so I can contact you if you win.
- Wait: I will chose one winner at random from those that donate between today and Sept. 30. I will contact the winner no later than Oct. 5 and ask them to select the photograph they would like from my website.
- I will print your chosen photograph with the finest archival materials, expertly package it up, and ship it off to you in a timely manner.
Want to know more about the book? Sharon can tell you all about it!
This first monograph by Lexington–based photographer Sharon Lee Hart is a book of dignified black-and-white portraits of rescued farm animals, accompanied by handwritten stories by sanctuary workers. A long term vegetarian turned vegan, Hart considers farm animals “some of the most abused, overlooked animals on the planet.”
For this project, she traveled to sanctuaries in Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Michigan and New York State to document “the lucky few who are free to live out their lives in peace.” Not surprisingly, after spending time with the animals she discovered that each had its unique personality. “Some are quirky or funny, while others sensitive, shy, playful, intelligent, mischievous, or inquisitive. And all seemed to have complex emotional lives.”
These characteristics come through in Hart’s poignant photographs. Essays are by Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns; Kathy Stevens, founder of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary; and Gene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary.
Check out all the photos in Sharon’s book! Best of luck to Sharon and all the participants in the Walk for Farm Animals, and everyone who donates to win a portrait.
Lush’s new anti-animal-testing campaign is more powerful, less exploitative than PETA »
Via Ecouterre, we learn of this shocking new ad campaign from Lush, meant to make explicit the horrors of animal testing by using a LIVE (simulated) NUDE GIRL in place of the non-human animal subject. This window display, featuring vegan performance artist Jacqueline Trades, debuted at Lush’s Regent Street store in London on April 25. It coincides with this Fight Animal Testing site and European Union-centered petition.
What does your Vegansaurus think about it? We’re divided!
It’s very PETA, no? I find it significantly less obnoxious than those “Sexxxy ladies in lettuce-leaf bikinis” or whatever outfits for PETA. This is more freak ‘em out than make ‘em want to fuck you, which is appropriate, because animal testing is horrific and should be treated as such. I take issue with the subject of the testing being a nearly naked woman. The female body is 100 percent commodified in Western society, and I don’t think that this campaign recontextualizes it enough to desexualize it, which is to say, as awful as the tests the “scientists” are simulating performing on her, I see “naked lady” before I see “human-as-animal test subject,” and that bothers me.
I wonder how much PETA has ruined the shock value of substituting a human body for an animal’s. PETA uses conventionally attractive (by Occidental standards) female bodies in varying states of undress for essentially every campaign; is it PETA’s fault now I can’t look at this girl without thinking about all the meat-eating, leather-wearing celebrities in the “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” posters, or women wearing only saran wrap? I hate animal testing, but I also hate the exploitation of any body. On the other hand, how many of the products I slap on my face every day exploited animal bodies before they got to my makeup case?* Because you worked with a performance artist, I think you do win this one, Lush. Sign the petition!
This is pretty horrific, but in an avant-garde kind of artsy way. I mean, just looking at these images is grossing me out, but I can’t stop. Oh those activists, always putting themselves on the line for their causes. And hey, look how much attention and signatures it garnered (nearly 200,000 as of Wednesday night)! Yep, here’s the deal — I’m into it. As long as I don’t have to be the one in the store window, yo.
Isn’t it crazy how art will bring out such intense emotion?! Isn’t it great to really FEEL something? So tell us, what do you guys think? How does this make you feel?
*Actually none, I am a careful makeup consumer.
Vegan edible finger paint! Awesome! Good idea? »
Look what I saw on Inhabitots!* Vegan edible finger paint! Say whaaaa? You heard me. This is totally cool but is it a good idea? Obviously it’s safe to eat this paint but then what if they are at school and the finger paints come out and they are like, “sweet! Snack time!”
*Still not preggers
Picture from Inhabitots