Top 5 Reasons to do Walk for Farm Animals with Gene Baur »
Hi everybody! Gene Baur (!) sent us this handy list about Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals. The SF Walk for Farm Animals is October 13th, who’s going to be there? Gene is! You can be there too, there is still time to sign up. I also want you to know that the cow in the picture above is named Meg. Twinsies!
Top 5 Reasons to Walk for Farm Animals
1. Meet other people who care about animals! The Walk for Farm Animals brings together a compassionate community of individuals who support Farm Sanctuary’s efforts to rescue abused animals and advocate on behalf of millions more.
2. Support Farm Sanctuary—the largest farm animal rescue and protection organization in North America! Every dollar raised directly supports Farm Sanctuary’s life-saving work.
3. Fight factory farming! 96% of Americans oppose cruelty to animals and have no idea that animals are abused on factory farms. The Walk for Farm Animals educates the public about the horrors of industrialized agriculture.
4. Give animals a voice with every step you take! Farm animals can’t speak for themselves—be their voice and advocate on their behalf.
5. Make a difference and have fun! The Walk for Farm Animals features free vegan food, live music, pre-Walk yoga, and much more!
If you can’t make it to the SF one, check the site for when the walk is in your city. It’s in NYC on October 20th! If there isn’t one in your area or you’re a lazy bones, you can participate in the Sleep In for Farm Animals on November 3. That’s my kind of party!
What to Eat: The Environmental Impacts of our Food voiced by Jason Schwartzman. That damn Schwartzman is all kinds of sexy. You heard me! I’d totally tap that. I might even make him tofu scramble in the morning. If I let him sleep over. Men are so clingy!
The video appears to be part of Farm Sanctuary’s Plate to Planet project:
Small decisions we make every day about what we eat can make a huge difference. Going vegan may be a big step, but simply lessening our meat consumption still goes a long way. If we all pledged to eat meat-free meals throughout the week, we’d not only be healthier individuals but our planet would benefit too.
Plus, did you know that 50,000 pigs on a factory farm create as much waste as Salt Lake City! That’s crazy! And so depressing! The site is pretty great and has lots of tips for your average omni to become more veggie friendly. This video is kind of cute, not amazing. If Schwartzman weren’t voicing it, I prob wouldn’t post it. What are your thoughts? I think it’s cool to offer a view of your average American family man and how you can make a change just for one day and it’s not going to ruin your life.
Tomorrow is the NYC premiere of Forks Over Knives! »
Hey New Yorkers! Tomorrow, April 26*, Forks Over Knives will be debuting at Sunshine Cinema! Whole Foods and the Engine 2 Diet are co-hosting the event and there will be a panel following the film that includes Gene Baur from Farm Sanctuary. Sounds like a party!
I haven’t seen the movie yet but according to Laura,** it’s all about how going vegan is totally rad for you. I’ve been saying that for years! Those jerks totally stole my idea. Everybody steals my ideas! Check the site for how to purchase tickets.
*I said May before—THAT WAS TOTALLY WRONG! I can’t do anything right. Except be awesome.
**The only news source I trust these days
***Contest closed! But you can still buy tickets and go AND YOU SHOULD!***
You totally want to meet Jennifer Coolidge, right? Because she’s the baddest beeyatch on earth and her performance in Best in Show is maybe the best thing that’s ever happened to the motion picture industry. Seriously, during the impending End of Days, if I’m charged with grabbing a few items of cultural significance to preserve for future generations, you better watch the fuck out because racist pieces of shit like Breakfast at Tiffany’s will go down in flames. I’ll be on an inflatable dingy, floating in the debris of our trashed civilization, clutching copies of Cabin Boy, Billy Madison, and Best in Show. BELIEVE IT.
Here’s your chance to meet Jennifer Coolidge at a swanky-swank party for Farm Sanctuary! Not only will you meet Coolidge, you’ll rub elbows with Moby (most famous famous vegan),
John Salley (he plays sports!), Bob Harper (will he make you do push-ups to earn a second serving of fruit?), and our hero, Farm Sanctuary Founder and President Gene Baur. I mean, we really love Gene Baur. Like a lot. Not only is he wildly attractive, he’s a superhero to the animals, and is very nice to look at.
The reason you’d be hanging out with famous people is that it’s Farm Sanctuary’s 25th year in operation (SO COOL) and they’re celebrating with two mega galas, one in NYC and one in Los Angeles, and you’ll be attending the launch party to get people all hella excited. Fun, right? Now, you might be saying, “Vegansaurus, you are on drugs (true), how can someone so lowly as myself possibly bump uglies (that means “meet,” right?) with the likes of Jennifer Coolidge and Moby?” Well, here’s how!
Vegansaurus is lucky enough to have two tickets to giveaway to the 25th Anniversary Gala launch party this Saturday, Apr. 23, in Los Angeles (at a private home in the Hollywood Hills. FANCY!). That’s right, the pink dino is moving up in the world and we’re taking you with us! Or we’re sending you in our place because we’re too poor to get to L.A.! To win a ticket for you and a friend (THAT’S TWO TICKETS), let us know which Farm Sanctuary animal you most want to adopt. You can just tell us that you love pigs the most because they’re great or you can play favorites and give us the name of the Farm Sanctuary animal you love the most.
Also, while you’re at it, you should totally actually adopt one! It feels really good to give money to such an awesome organization and you can display their picture on your fridge and in your wallet and when your mom bitches at you, “Why don’t you have kids! You’re so old! And such a disappointment!” you can be like, “WELL, ACTUALLY…”
We’ll randomly pick a winner on Thursday afternoon, so the rest of you will have a chance to buy tickets and go. Seriously, only $100 for an evening of fancy fun, delicious vegan food and drink, and MEETING AND POSSIBLY MARRYING JENNIFER COOLIDGE. All that and the money goes to an amazing cause! You know you were gonna give them $100 anyway, might as well get some booze out of it!
The Martha Stewart vegan episode! Megan Rascal’s recap! »
Here I am post-Martha Stewart show! I’m totally Hollywood now and can barely condescend to talk to you guys anymore. Just kidding! It’s the same old me. But the show was so fun! Bad news: she uses honey in her granola bar recipe with Kathy Freston. Good news: she said she’s giving up beef!
So yeah, the honey thing. It was just like, she was adding ingredients to these granola bars and then, all of a sudden, she added the honey! It happened so fast! I don’t know if Freston even had time to say anything! But my heart SANK. It had been going SO WELL up until then. Biz's segment at the beginning was great and his recipe looked super. Freston was kind of peppy and seemed very focused on the weight-loss angle but she was also a font of information. Then BAM! Martha adds the honey. There was a low gasp in the crowd and I buried my face in my hands. Why, Martha, why!
My official opinion: The honey connection is not obvious to everyone so I think she JUST DIDN’T KNOW. SO this should be viewed as an opportunity to educate, not to attack her. The good Martha did with this episode outweighs the bad; she exposed your everyday American to the realities of factory farming! And considering her other episodes use all kinds of meat, eggs and dairy and that she’s not in fact vegan, this episode was a big step forward. I’m sure there will be varying opinions, but that’s mine.
Now for the beef! In questions after the show, someone asked if we’d be seeing more vegan stuff from Martha in the future and she began to talk about a recent experience with some beef she bought:
I didn’t buy it from my regular butcher; I usually buy three pounds of good ground chuck and I took it home—this was from the supermarket—and I rolled it in my hands and my hands were stained red and I vowed I wouldn’t eat beef again…. No really, it was horrifying…. What the heck do they do to the beef that made my hands red? It shouldn’t do that.
Uh, no, it shouldn’t do that. Hey, imagine how many people will give up beef if Martha does! SO MANY! Hopefully she will replace that beef with veggies and seitan instead of chicken and fish. She also said she doesn’t eat veal and that she’s just been slowly progressing toward a more plant-based diet. OMJESUS WHAT IF MARTHA GOES VEGAN?! That would be like the greatest day of my life. It would be the greatest day of the world’s life!
Other things that happened: I was in the very front row and that was close enough to see the beautiful sparkle in Gene Baur’s eyes. Really. It’s quite a sparkle. His conversation with Martha was really great. Did you know she adopted a sheep from Farm Sanctuary? She did. And Baur was totally well spoken and informative. She asked him if they ate the eggs the chickens lay at Farm Sanctuary and Baur’s answer was, “no, because we want to set an example.” Great answer, no? He said they feed the eggs to some of the other animals and Martha was like, “Like what would happen in nature!” So I liked that chat a lot.
Biz was really good and everyone thought he was hilarious. At one point while they were filming, the stage manager turned to another person on stage like, “this guy is really funny!” So everyone was impressed. Biz made his wife Livia's amazing seitan Bourguignon (I hella just spelled that). And Martha seems totally into twitter. And Laura pointed out that she has a white iPad which is totally baller. Her shoes were pretty too but I can’t speak to whether or not they were vegan. Oh and Martha was totally funny and pretty and great and I LOVE HER.
That’s not all! Check out all the swag I got!:
All in all, I think it was pretty successful. The honey setback was unfortunate but overall, I think what Martha did to shed light on factory farming was awesome. I hope this snowball keeps rolling! More vegan episodes! More vegans! Vegans, vegans, everywhere!
Chow Down and All-Star Veggie Panel! It Was Crazy! »
[Can’t see the video? Watch it at Vegansaurus.com!]
Like I mentioned on Friday, I went to a screening of Chow Down on Saturday. The movie was good; I liked it. It was hokey as fuck with all these cartoons and shenanigans but it was informative and comprehensive despite the scientific subject matter. The film focuses on two men who are faced with surgery for heart disease. Instead of surgery, both men opt to work with Cleveland Clinic doctor Caldwell B. Esselstyn and follow a “plant-based diet.” The results are very impressive; both men hadn’t had a single coronary indecent since changing their lifestyle even though they were told they would die without surgery.
The other aspect of the movie that was very interesting is it really goes into the business of nutrition in America. It has a lot of information about the hold that the milk and dairy lobby has on the USDA and the huge conflict of interest the government organization has when it comes to being a.) responsible for national nutrition recommendations and b.) in charge of promoting American agriculture. The film interviews the woman who created the first food pyramid and even then, the main component of the recommended diet—the bottom of the pyramid—was supposed to be fruits and veggies. The government rejected that and replaced the bottom with good old American grain. Ultimately, the first food pyramid was bagged altogether under pressure from the meat industry. What a tangled web we weave!
Guess what else: it was made by some Philadelphians! I knew the one guy in the movie was Philadelphian as soon as he opened his mouth. Hilarious.
So that’s the movie; it was fine, good even. But THEN! It was time for the Q&A with the all-star panel! This is when things took a turn for the awful. OMG I think I hate vegans! I know, I can’t believe I said that but these people were kooks! And so like cocky and self-promoting! Maybe I’m overreacting; it wasn’t really the panel that got to me, it was more the Q than the A. The panel included Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary; Michael Parrish Dudell of Ecorazzi; Simone Reyes, some chick that’s on Running Russell Simmons (haaa, that was a hilarious inclusion); Victoria Moran, super-author; Alexandra Jamieson, super-author, Top Chef veganizer, and co-star of Super Size Me; and Gary Null, crazy-ass mofo. Also on the panel were Julia Grayer and Gage Johnston, the filmmakers.
I really liked Jamieson and Moran; Dudell was good and I liked him, but he said he would be a strict moderator and ended up being a total nancy. That was the problem: crazy people in the audience kept hijacking the discussion! They would make these barely understandable rants with the only question being like, “What are your thoughts on my rant?” I forgot how much I hate Q&As! I used to go to them for films all the time when my mom worked at the Philly Film Festival. You have these really interesting people there but all you end up hearing all about are the trials and tribulations of various audience members trying to get funding for their own projects. It’s the same with authors: “But how do I get my book published?” Oy! Give me a break.
The crazy audience was only half the problem; the other half? Crazy-ass Gary Null. Oh my god, I did a face-palm whenever he started talking. He’s a complete nut. Like Christopher Walken on crack. He only made sense half the time and he kept talking about getting people to be vegan through spirituality, which just isn’t my bag. The worst was that he was like making sermons with dramatic pauses and bringing in Martin Luther King and crap. And he kept directing his rants at the panel too—who the eff are you to lecture them? If I were the panel, I’d be like, Screw you, bro. And he barely let anyone else talk.
One theme that emerged in the questions was about inclusion and how to unite vegans; THEN at the end, this woman who organized the event came up to speak about this initiative she organized called NYC Goes Vegan. The whole event was supposed to kick off the start of this 21-day challenge. Granted, she was not the most eloquent and she really didn’t promote her initiative very well, BUT! The same people who were talking about uniting vegans and asking what we can do to reach the mainstream started talking straight-up shit on this woman WHILE she was talking! She was a very attractive, model-looking woman and she looked about 26—though she’s actually 38—and made a comment about facing old age and the older women around me like ‘bout had a mutiny! And they were talking trash on her “Valley Girl” speech. Is that how you spell inclusion?! Just petty. I was shocked. I wanted to stop being a vegan just to spite these people! Don’t worry, still vegan (I know you were worried).
Basically, your friend Megan was about to bust heads. It was a shame. I wanted to hear more from the filmmakers, like why they avoided the word “vegan” in the movie, and if the doctors are hesitant to talk about veganism and deliberately stick to “plant-based diet.” I would have also liked to hear a lot more from Moran, she was kind of awesome but didn’t speak much.
The movie was pretty good though and you can actually watch it RIGHT NOW on hulu. It’s only an hour long, you can handle it.
The meat industry is terrifying, and it knows it! »
According to Gene Baur’s blog,* some of the most-read articles of 2010 on MeatingPlace.com are the following:
"Bomb found in employee locker at Hormel plant"
"Man dies after fall at Cargill beef plant"
"Worker killed at Wis. beef plant"
"Worker loses legs in meat grinder accident"
The violence, you guys, the violence! Obviously the meat industry is violence, but the workers are subjected to horrific conditions and are any of them even unionized? Not from what I can tell. Obviously we’re socialist lunatics over here and believe very strongly in the power of unions and The Worker, but for real, if you want safer meat, omnivores, you want the people in charge of the animals you’re eating—as in, from kill to cuts—to be physically able to follow Food Safety and Inspection Services guidelines. But of course, unionized workers have to be paid a decent wage and provided with safe working conditions, both of which items cost money, and how are you gonna get your $5 Meat Lover’s pizza if the people working the sausage grinders aren’t at risk of losing their limbs?
The most infuriating part is that the white-collar workers in the meat industry knows this; they write about these issues themselves and apparently read all about it—but they refuse to do anything about it. Lobbyists fight against safety regulations, corporations refuse to spend any money to care for their workers beyond the bare minimum; we’ve read our generation’s The Jungle and ignored its warnings. Everyone has. And now look what we’ve got: the industry knows it’s corrupt and disgusting, and it apparently doesn’t care.
*We’d link to them, but there’s a ridiculously involved registration process to access hardly anything on Meating Place, and your Vegansaurus neither wanted to invent an elaborate false identity, nor share so many personal details with “an online meat industry site,” so we’re trusting our hero Gene Baur on this.
[photo by Lachlan Hardy]
Gene Baur at the Pacific School of Religion on Thursday! »
Gene Baur, you know, the president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, will give a presentation at the Pacific School of Religion this Thursday, Nov. 18 called “Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food”! The talk will be based on his bestselling book of the same name, so you know what you’re getting. If you don’t, you can buy a copy at the event, and all the proceeds will go to Farm Sanctuary.
Gene’s talk will be held at PSR’s Badè Museum, at 1798 Scenic Ave. in Berkeley. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m., and Gene will speak at 6:30; the event should last until 8. It’s free! thanks to the sponsorship of PSR’s Theological Roundtable on Ecological Ethics and Spirituality and the Farm Animal Protection Project.
Basically, East Bay-ers, if you have the time to get over to this talk on Thursday, you should. Obviously San Franciscans, too, but it is a little early for 9-to-6ers. The point is, it’s Gene Baur! He co-founded Farm Sanctuary in 1986! Before some of you little babies were even born! Here we are stomping around feeling like the Best Vegans Ever, with our Groundbreaking Actions and Special Snowflake Ideas, and Gene Baur was rescuing farm animals before we’d ever seen a cow. Go listen to him talk about his experience; it can help you be a better activist. Remember, activism? The less delicious part of veganism? Learn from a master! It’s one of the privileges of not actually being the groundbreakers.
Oh and! Contact Eileen M. Harrington with any questions.