vegansaurus!

02/27/2013

Why aren’t you eating horse, omnivores?  »

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If Americans are being honest with themselves—if anyone who eats meat is being honest—there is absolutely no reason killing horses and eating the yielded meat is intrinsically worse than the thousands of other animal killings that happen in slaughterhouses around the country every day. If you’re alarmed that the wrong meat was slipped into your frozen lasagna, that’s reasonable. (Vegetarians, of all people, can appreciate the perils.) But if the very thought of killing horses disgusts you in a way that killing cows or pigs does not, you are entertaining an odd delusion that eating a big steak cut from a cow is elegant while eating similar meat cut from a horse is low-class and vile.

Dreamy meat-avoider Cord Jefferson has some words for outraged, snobbish omnivores regarding Europe’s ever-expanding horse meat scandal.

As vegans, we obviously want all meat-eating to stop, but until then (FIGHT FOREVER, PLANT-BASED SOLDIERS) we can at least point out the blatant hypocrisy involved in turning your nose up at horse meat and then gleefully eating cow organs. You shouldn’t be deceived by food labels; nor should you think that eating any one animal’s flesh is morally superior to another.

What do you think? Are you horrified and a tiny bit smug but totally keeping it to yourself because no one wants to hear from the smug vegan?

[Photo by Eduardo Amorim via Flickr]

01/25/2012

Fox fur and feathers are the new vajazzling! Quick, to the waxer!  »



Some winter-appropriate underwear. Such a bargain!

Hey “ladies”! Cancel your body-modification plans; we know exactly what you should be doing with your physical self. Get this: What you 100 percent want to do with your body is remove its hair, exposing your genitals to the winter cold, and partially re-cover your nudity with either neon-dyed fox fur or feathers. Enticing, right?

Yes! It is what you want to do! Cindy Barshop, the lady who claims to have invented vajazzling, says so, and she is the world’s foremost expert on sexual decoration.”All the colored furs are in now,” Barshop tells Fashionista, “and Carnivale’s coming with the feathers” so obviously you need to put these items on your naked skin that would otherwise be covered with underpants. Peta, in a moment of sanity, is quoted as calling the furkin (tm Maureen O’Connor) “outright sleazy, and it’s downright cruel to kill an animal to decorate your privates.”

It’s nice when vegans of all stripes can agree on such a nasty little pimple of an issue. You are the worst, Cindy Barshop. Please knock it off.

[image by genibee via Flickr]

09/22/2010

Simple answers to simple questions: Bill Clinton and Gawker edition  »

Gawker headline: “Bill Clinton Is a Vegan?”

Answer: No.

Here’s the Big Dog in his own words on Wolf Blitzer: “I did all this research, and I saw that 82 percent of the people since 1986 who have gone on a plant-base, no dairy, no meat of any kind, no chicken, no turkey—I eat very little fish, once in a while I’ll have a little fish—If you can do it, 82 percent of people have begun to heal themselves.”

Bill Clinton eats fish. Fish is meat. Vegans don’t eat meat. And I know the flowchart is starting to get CAH-razy over here, but follow me to the end, we’re almost there—ready for it? Here it comes: Therefore: Bill Clinton is not a vegan! See what I did there? Just call me Professor Logic.

Yes, the vegan hive-mind is walking on sunshine and lighting bottle rockets to celebrate yet another member of the Clinton dynasty going loud and proud about the benefits of a plant-centric diet. No complaints there. And if he wants to keep a bit of fish in his diet, that’s his personal choice. Not the choice I would make, but less meat is still less meat.

But say it with me, because for some reason this still confuses the hell out of people: Vegans don’t eat meat! If you eat meat, you’re not a vegan! Clinton isn’t even calling himself a vegan, so what’s up, Gawker? Next time you get confused about a word’s definition, here’s a tip from one blogger to another. See that box in the upper right hand corner of your browser? That’s called “search.” All you do is type in the confusing word, hit return, and WOW AMAZING you’ll get back the word’s definition, like magic! See, I am so helpful.

08/11/2010

Does this article make me look like an asshole?  »

Even though Chelsea Clinton’s wedding wasn’t as vegan as it was made out to be, it was vegan enough to prompt the New York Times to tackle the pressing social issue of vegetarian weddings; specifically, whether or not a vegan or vegetarian bride should serve meat at her wedding. Not to miss an opportunity to add their reasoned opinions to this important discourse, both Gawker (The Vegan Wedding Article the NYT Doesn’t Want You to Read) and Jezebel (Is It Selfish to Throw a Vegan Wedding) followed suit. Oh goody—I can smell the bullshit from here.

First up, The Times. In what is the most reasonable article, The Times actually doesn’t say much beyond giving a few examples of vegan/vegetarian (or half-vegan/-vegetarian) couples who have either had or not had meat at their weddings, and then thoughtfully relating the story of one poor soul forced to endure a vegetarian wedding back in 1999 (which he is still talking about—can we say first-world problems?). Thankfully, this mensch was able to sneak out and find a chicken parmesan sandwich mid-reception, so he didn’t wither away and die. What a trooper! Unfortunately, the experience scarred him so much that he’s still sore about it 11 years later. Isn’t that just like vegans—forcing you to eat their stupid vegetables and then refusing to foot the bill when you have to spend the next decade dealing with your PTSD in therapy!

Next up, Gawker. Oh, Gawker. First they say vegans are a good lay because we’re, um, “sinewy”? And then they say that the food “dilemmas” that inevitably occur when vegans get married are boring (and then write an article about them). A couple things come to mind: 1) Those dilemmas pretty much ONLY come from butt-hurt meat-eaters who can’t handle eating a single veggie meal; 2) “Sinewy”? Yeah, I guess I don’t expect much better from Gawker on the topic of veganism, but still. Couldn’t they at least be snarky in a way that makes some sense? I’m the one who’s supposed to have the B-12-deficient brain fog, amirite?

Finally, Jezebel. Jezebel thoughtfully posits whether or not having a vegan wedding is selfish. Hmmm. What a good question! Let me riddle you this, Jez: is it selfish to have a feminist wedding? I mean, why would you impose your kooky beliefs on your wedding guests who spent ALL this time showing up for the free food and booze? HOW INCONSIDERATE THAT YOU EXPECT THAT THE GUESTS AT THE WEDDING YOU’RE PAYING FOR TO RESPECT ONE OF YOUR DEEPEST-HELD BELIEFS! Jesus fucking Christ! So it’s okay to ask/demand that folks refrain from imposing their gender-role fuckery on your wedding, but it’s totally selfish and unrealistic to serve vegan food. Ooooo-kay.

Maybe I’m not the best person to be writing about this, as while I am married, I have little tolerance for weddings (mine was 10 minutes long at city hall; the bride wore Levi’s). I don’t really see why it’s so hard for the vegans getting married to lay down the fucking law and tell people what’s what in the same way all couples tell people what the dress code is or where to sit, and I don’t see why it is apparently such an offense to ask a meat-eater to eat a single vegan meal. Are all meat-eaters such huge whiny babies, or just the ones who write/comment on the The Times, Gawker, and Jezebel? Do their moms still cut the crusts off their bread for them? What do they do when the vending machine is out of their favorite beef jerky? How the fuck do they survive when they are only able to function when every single thing in the universe is perfectly tailored to their preferences?

In the end, I know these kinds of articles are cheap comment/page-view grabs by blogs/publications that should be able to do better but usually don’t bother to. I know that responding to these kind of cheap blood-pressure-raisers doesn’t really do much except probably garner me a few more uptight comments (hi, commenters!), but whatever. Vegans, go forth and have vegan weddings. Fuck the haters, and make ‘em eat broccoli. The New York Times will see them in 11 years for their story.

04/21/2010

I don’t even know what to do with this but now I have the freaking Golden Girls theme song in my head. AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET A THEME SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD. And if you don’t know, now you know. Finally, yes that’s my gorgeous voice and I am available for birthdays and weddings CALL ME!
Also, I am still processing that whole poster. I mean, on one hand, Dang! Disrespectful! On the other hand, Dang! Bea Arthur was HELLZA crazy and might have been into it! I mean, she was “get super-drunk and try to break into a neighbor’s house just so she could eat some watermelon from their fridge and sleep in the cat bed” CARAZAY. Man, I hope I grow up to be just like her.
I guess what it comes down to is, I’m always game to see that beautiful mug. Also, BUY ME THIS:

I don’t even know what to do with this but now I have the freaking Golden Girls theme song in my head. AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET A THEME SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD. And if you don’t know, now you know. Finally, yes that’s my gorgeous voice and I am available for birthdays and weddings CALL ME!

Also, I am still processing that whole poster. I mean, on one hand, Dang! Disrespectful! On the other hand, Dang! Bea Arthur was HELLZA crazy and might have been into it! I mean, she was “get super-drunk and try to break into a neighbor’s house just so she could eat some watermelon from their fridge and sleep in the cat bed” CARAZAY. Man, I hope I grow up to be just like her.

I guess what it comes down to is, I’m always game to see that beautiful mug. Also, BUY ME THIS:

01/29/2010

Yoga, Veganism, and Complaining: I Love Them All So Much  »

I’m a yogi, in the American sense: a couple times a week, I go to a class to practice Hatha yoga, mostly for strength and flexibility. I try to meditate at the appropriate time, but it’s hardly the focus of my practice. There’s a big difference between what I do and what real yogis do: they are trying to reach a pinnacle of meditative ecstasy and therefore achieve “liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death.” I am trying to look good with my shirt off.

When I read the New York Times article about food and yoga, I thought “now I know how new vegetarians feel when they listen to grumpy old vegans talking about honey.”  People really criticize each other about this stuff? Don’t they have anything better to do? What happened to the worldly suffering? But if you think about it, that’s intimately related. The first proscription of yogic teaching is ahimsa, the principle of nonviolence towards living things. How can one be liberated from suffering if one does not embrace nonviolence?

Good question! Let’s ask Sadie Nardini, who apparently started this whole shitshow by writing a somewhat schizophrenic piece about her yoga-practicing, meat-eating ways in the Huffington Post. The Times piece is about the rift in the yoga community between those who eat anything they please, and those who think yoga compels practitioners to (at least) vegetarianism. But below the surface, it’s just as much about the culture of judgment some find in the community.

Nardini’s piece is all about that judgment. Making a fairly offensive Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell comparison, she argues that meat-eaters need to “stay in the closet” to reach the good graces of top-tier yoga instructors.  It’s easy to imagine that she wrote the piece to drum up publicity: “I’m risking a lot doing this, as I am moving to a larger arena in my own teaching, and could turn off the very people who are taking me there” [emphasis mine].  But motivation regardless, do yogis need to be vegan? If they’re not, do they need to hide their diet? Can yogis judge each other for this stuff?

Here’s the thing: the rules are pretty clear. Even Nardini, in her rejection of vegetarianism, makes an argument from ahimsa. It’s a spurious one: she brings up all the canards we’ve heard a thousand times before, about plants feeling pain and insects being killed with the harvest of grain and really it’s fine if you just honor the animal you’re eating and first and foremost, some people just need to eat meat or else they feel yucky and self-harm is the worst of all. Of course, we know the answers to all of these ridiculous objections. If you clear them out of the way, ahimsa is pretty straightforward: avoid doing violence.

Yoga, the real kind, is like any other discipline. There are rules you have to follow. It’s certainly not desirable for yogis to pass judgment on each other for failing to adhere to the rules; ideally, that would be an internal drive. But the thing is, if you’re not following the principles of yoga, you’re doing it wrong. No judgment need be attached to that; it’s just an evaluation of the rules. Much as with “vegetarians” who eat chicken, or “vegans” who eat eggs, it doesn’t matter if your reasons are good.  And it doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person.* It just means you’re not living up to the title you claim.

You can’t make the argument from ahimsa that it’s ok to eat meat; it doesn’t hold water. Eat whatever you want, but don’t pretend that you’re living up to the ideals of a yogi. Start your own thing, be a flexiyogini or whatever, but don’t dilute a meaningful term just because you want the benefits without living up to the responsibilities. We see enough of that already.

*OK yes it does, but because you’re killing chickens, not because you’re breaking rules.

This guest-post has been brought to you by Joel, of Joel and Nibbler.

11/09/2009

07/09/2009

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