Hey ladies, the Milk Board thinks you’re a bitch!  »

Yesterday was a rare occasion: I ventured away from my home in the East Bay to take a leisurely stroll through San Francisco with my partner. The sun was out; no one had mindlessly shoved past me on the sidewalk. I naively thought that nothing could ruin this perfect day.

Then the dairy industry swooped in and took a giant, sexist shit on my day with their new ad campaign that is plastered all over the city.

As if “Got Milk” ads and posters weren’t disgusting enough with their trademark milk mustache, the Milk Board has decided to also explain that women are horrible, moody and unreasonable because of our menstrual cycles. To broadcast their views, they’ve created the Everything I Do is Wrong campaign, claiming that milk can ease symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), based on a “recent” (1998) study. This isn’t the first time they’ve cited such studies and used depictions of panicked, fearful and powerless men frantically purchasing milk for their untamable female partners.

[can’t see the video? watch it on]

Let’s look at all the things that are obviously wrong with this campaign:

  1. The Milk Board doesn’t say how much milk ladies would have to consume to have an effect on their PMS symptoms. According to the 1998 study, women would have to drink at least four glasses of milk per day, every day, to show some ease of PMS symptoms (fatigue and insomnia were not affected). On top of that, noticeable changes wouldn’t even begin until after three months of your daily milky medicine.
  2. According to the World Health Organization, the amount of calcium absorbed into your system decreases the more of it you consume.
  3. Milk and dairy products aren’t the only available sources of calcium, but are the unhealthiest! Leafy greens, soy, grains, beans and some fruits are incredibly high in calcium. In order to meet the daily recommendation, you’d only need to consume one cup of tofu, or two cups of cooked spinach, or a feast of figs! And don’t even get me started on quinoa and kale.
  4. Oh, Milk Board? None of the above foods have cholesterol or the saturated fats that are associated with milk! Actually, while I’m at it, let’s also mention that consuming excess fats is actually bad for your menstrual cycle, too. Speaking of excess crap, the “Got Milk?” website claims that drinking milk will make you prettier and “less frumpy.”
  5. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Milk Board Executive Director Steve James says that they went into the ad campaign with “a little trepidation” because PMS is a “sensitive subject.” Other members of the Milk Board claim that the ads are “tasteful,” “fun,” and “effective.” Sure, effective in pissing us off and insulting our intelligence! Hey dudes, maybe it’s a sensitive subject because the media continues to play on blatantly sexist stereotypes that all women are blood-hungry bitches during their periods?

James’ interview ends on a high note: “We did it in the past, but the women just didn’t drink enough milk. If they’d only drink enough, we wouldn’t come back.” Instead of encouraging women to exercise regularly, drink enough water, and eat a balanced diet, the Milk Board wants ladies to consume 1,460 glasses of cholesterol-loaded and cruelty-derived milk a year with the weak promise that it might help you not be a huge bitch all the time, and that it will save your heterosexual relationship from the mighty curse of monthly menstruation.

Elysse Grossi is a scientist, a health educator, a vegan food fanatic and a co-owner of Sweet Cups, based in the East Bay. She grosses people out with her other blog, Under the Microscope. Laugh at her boring life on Twitter.


Big June: Dairy Month AND Adopt a Shelter Cat Month! Guess which one we’re not celebrating  »

Yes, it’s Dairy Month. Eff that noise, dairy-eating jerks! It’s also Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. Yay! I have a shelter cat who is the most perfect little cat you’ve ever met. Oh, little Mits! You’re the cutest! Please stop scratching up the furniture!

Above is Lilac, who is at a shelter here in Brooklyn. You should adopt her! Look at those eyes! Hey, if any of you know of a nice shelter kitty looking for a home, send me a pic during June and I’ll post it! Let’s get some cats adopted!

Here’s some kitty stats for you from the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy:

Data from shelters participating in the survey done by the NCPPSP for four years, 24.9 percent of the dogs and 23.4 percent of the cats were adopted into new homes. The percentage of dogs euthanized averaged 56.5 percent. The cats did not fair so well as an average of 71.1 percent were destroyed. It is not possible to use these statistics to estimate the numbers of animals adopted or euthanized on an annual basis. The reporting shelters may not represent a random sampling of U.S. shelters.

Dang, 71 percent? That sucks. It’s probably higher now; that study was done in the ’90s, pre-mortgage-meltdown. I hear a lot more pets are being surrendered these days because people are forced to move. The site was also saying that the majority of people get cats from other people they know and not from a shelter—you know what that means? Everybody knows some jerks who can’t spay or neuter their cats or think it’s cute to have a litter. It’s not fucking cute. Get your cat fixed!

I remember when I got Mitsy spayed, she didn’t even care. But she’s a total thug. The day I brought her home after surgery, they told me she might hide for a bit but she didn’t hide or act any different or anything; she was just like, “nbd, just got my kitten-machine clipped.” They shaved a little bit of her hair and put a pain-killer patch on her—kind of cool! I didn’t know they had patches for that. I was supposed to leave the patch on her for four days, but like 10 minutes after she got home, she ripped that thing off! I tried to stick the corners back down but then she was just like, “blammo!” and ripped it off, pulling out fur and whatnot. She didn’t even care! She’s like, “I don’t feel no stinking pain! Pain is for suckers!”  See what I’m saying? THUG. has a nice list of things to consider before adopting a cat, check it out! One such thing: adopt two! Then they can keep each other company, so you won’t feel guilty when you’re working late, leaving poor Lilac* home alone all night. Read the list and then go out and get your cat!

One last thing: I’d love to hear some adoption stories in the comments! Happy adoption stories are the best!

*Or the cat of your choice!


We’re all doomed, but at least we can eat vegan food. Hey, it’s the link-o-rama!  »

You haven’t forgotten about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, have you? Neither have we! Because it’s still wreaking fucking havoc and ruining everything and will you look at this poor pelican? Look at this pelican and tell me there’s good left in the world. But “at least we’ve got the oil spill to take our mind off the economy, right?” [photo by Charlie Riedel/AP; from "Caught in the Oil" in the Boston Globe]

Events! Or more precisely, event!
What are you doing this weekend? Maybe catch a baseball game at PETA’s “second-best veg-friendly major ballpark,” yes, home of y/our San Francisco Giants. Or you could check out the third annual Indie Mart at Thee Parkside? It’s on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., entry is a mere $3, and Wonder Dog Rescue will be there! THEY HAVE PUPPIES!!

Serious news means serious business
Who hates horses and indigenous people? Australia hates horses and indigenous people! Seriously, the Australian government, instead of helping with humane population control efforts or doing anything sensible or kind or caring at all, is going to round up all the horses, kill them, and butcher them for tasty snacks. Not even kidding. Sign the petition against this insanity, please.

It’s about damn time: the Vermont attorney general finally issued animal-cruelty charges against two men in the Bushway Packing horror show. Remember that? From November? Too bad the penalties are so fucking tiny. UGH THE LAW IS SO FUCKED.

Pike Place Fish Market is quickly moving toward stocking exclusively sustainable dead fish. I know, but it’s not going anywhere, so it might as well be less ruinous of the planet. Hawaii has outlawed shark-finning, and if the article is accurate (read: not racist), shark fin soup was fairly popular in the state, so this might be a bigger deal than, say, California making it illegal. Dolphins, being demonstrable geniuses with whom we are all dying to communicate on a deeper level, are getting an iPad dolphin-to-human interface.

Moby’s New York Diet is, duh, vegan, and sounds pretty good. Seitan and grilled pineapple tacos, YES PLEASE. How about you delightful Vegansaurus readers? What would your Vegansaurus Diet look like? Record a week’s worth of meals, plus some interesting notes, and YOU COULD BE PUBLISHED ON VEGANSAURUS! All your dreams come true! Because eating interesting food is a weird competition/attention thing anyway, which we want to foster! Plus “our” Grub Street did, like, two San Francisco Diets and quit, and that is boring. BORING. So are you in? Come play!

Everyone gotten their no-duh inoculations? OK then: Paul Reidinger of SFoodie got such a shock at Golden Era this week: it’s really pretty inside, and the food is super-delicious. Good job recognizing the obvious, Paul! Oh and the new chefs at Ubuntu have actually not ruined everything—nope, still making tasty food (fava bean tempura WHAT?) out of fruit and vegetables, people are still paying too much attention to the fucking cheese—sounds like Ubuntu to us.

Want to see some baby eagles? Check out the EagleCam from Duke Farms in Hillsborough, N.J.! Seriously I am watching two 10-week-old eaglets stretch their wings right now and it is pretty amazing.

What would I rather do than go anywhere near this "steak smell"-emitting billboard? I suggest everyone in its immediate vicinity take up the niqab. Bonus: you’d anger a lot of crazy Christians, and Christopher Hitchens!

Did you know that your Vegansaurus also hates fat-hate? Everyone is great, everyone’s body is great, and we believe that the most important diet choices are made empathetically, meaning: NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS. So this study that found that “between the ages of 25 and 70 there is little different in the health of normal compared with overweight people”—we love this study. Oh, what’s that, study? You “also examined the relationship between body mass index and illness and found those defined as obese, with a BMI of 30 or above, had no more health problems than those who were a ‘healthy’ weight if they were under 40”? We should shut the fuck up about THIS GENERATION OF CHILDREN WILL DIE BEFORE THEIR PARENTS BECAUSE FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT and focus more on THIS GENERATION OF CHILDREN WON’T HAVE ANY EARTH TO INHERIT BECAUSE ANIMAL AGRICULTURE, maybe? The vegans are in.

Omnivores are selfish bastards  »

Raising all those animals for you to eat is unsustainable and absolutely ruinous to the planet. Don’t hate me for saying it—the U.N. did! And of course the comments, even in the good old smarty-trousers Guardian, quickly devolve into meat-eaters demanding that people leave them alone because it’s not their fault the Earth is going to burn up in a toxic flameball by the end of the century; blame those (foreign) people having all those kids! It’s overpopulation of humans, plain and simple!

Never mind that meat and dairy agriculture uses 70 percent of worldwide fresh water and 38 percent of all the land, ever. It’s all those people having all those kids!

Man is it so hard to change your diet? Maybe instead of being subtly racist, overtly selfish dicks, you could stop eating all those animal products. Just a suggestion! Because I’m vegan and I plan on contributing to the human population someday, and I would appreciate it if you fuckers would try a little bit harder than “usually putting the plastic water bottle in the recycling bin instead of the trash” because THAT ISN’T GONNA CUT IT ANYMORE. And my future vegan children deserve oceans that are less than 50 percent trash-island/petroleum products/fish carcasses. Also: breathable air. Are you going to deny my babies BREATHABLE AIR, you FUCKING MONSTERS?

You could at least try Meatless goddamn Mondays without pitching a fit.



So, So Dense.  »

A brief piece in The New York Times Personal Health section from Nov. 23 takes a look at the mystery that is osteoporosis, and poses wacky questions like, “Why, for example, are osteoporotic fractures relatively rare in Asian countries like Japan, where people live as long or longer than Americans and consume almost no calcium-rich dairy products? Why, in Western countries that consume the most dairy foods, are rates of osteoporotic fractures among the highest in the world?”

Because of questions like those, an alternative prevention theory has arisen. It suggests that rather than the calcium-rich diet that’s being pushed like crack here in the US, a low-acid diet may be the key to preventing osteoporosis. There’s a bunch of science stuff that bores me but basically, fruits and vegetables are alkaline while dairy and meat produce acid (this last point is still being debated—oh, science! Get it together!).

The moral of the story is right up my vegan alley:

In their exhaustive review of the scientific literature, Dr. Lanou and Mr. Castleman found that “two-thirds of clinical trials show that milk, dairy foods and calcium supplements do not prevent fractures.” They conclude that the high fracture rate in countries that consume the most milk and dairy products results from the fact that “these affluent Western countries also consume the most meat, poultry and fish.”

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