Guest Post: R&B superstar Usher is eating vegan! And he wants Justin Bieber to join him!  »

It’s always a big deal when someone famous comes out of the vegan closet. Us normal, everyday vegans celebrate it, and our omnivorous friends think, “Hey, maybe they aren’t so weird after all.” Maybe that last part isn’t always true but we all know we’re the LESS weird ones. And our count just went up by one, as Usher Raymond IV announced he is maintaining a vegan diet. My first thoughts? “Yeah!” [Ed. note: That’s the jam].

I have a sneaking suspicion that he and his 18-pack abs will still be gyrating under unzipped leather coats for the foreseeable future, but a small victory is a small victory. Usher saying he eats vegan has led to speculation that he’s getting his main man Justin Bieber to also gravitate to a plant-based diet, so he’ll have more energy fighting off 12-year-old girls in international airports. The Biebs going vegan will be huge for P.R. in the pro-vegan community, especially when accounting for the 8-to-14-year-old girl demographic. If I see a flock of Bielibers running toward a chrome Fisker in the parking lot of Native Foods Cafe, you bet your animal-loving ass I’m going to ask for a high five. I just better not have to wait any longer for my reuben.

There is more than handful of famous vegans. It’s tough to say who is in it for moral reasons and who just claims it as they get out of a Prius on the red carpet. Natalie Portman for example, isn’t all vegan all the time. But we beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. If veganism gets a little shine here and there from a celebrity trying to better their lives, who am I to complain? We got Billy Clinton to look as good as ever since his vegan transition. I was contemplating buying women’s underwear Wednesday night just so I could throw some at the TV. Lucky for the rest of us dudes, Usher can’t get any prettier. Right?

Let’s hope that Ursher’s selling skills are as good as his sit-up skills and we can mark down more artists in the famous-V column. He reportedly feels great and “loves” eating out at fancy New York city restaurants. Not the best-ringing endorsement to potential or on-the-fence vegans, since people of all diets can eat out in fancy New York restaurants. But we’ll take it! Hopefully Usher will make a Billboard chart-topping single where he serenades an unsuspecting woman on where he gets his protein. I’ll buy that record.

Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to Rhode Island-based hip-hop website The Echo Chamber Blog under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.


Peta’s at it again: Justin Bieber says, “Adopt!”  »

Color me delighted! The Biebs adopted his dog and wants you to do the same! I’ve loved Bieber ever since his Saturday Night Live appearance but now I like the wacky kid even more. OK, his hair-flipping makes me want to stab myself in the eye but he’s still a pretty entertaining phenomena. Go, pop culture, go!


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

Have you guys been watching this horrible Sarah Palin abortion that is on the television? Several questions: What is wrong with this woman? Also, what is wrong with this woman? And finally, what is wrong with this woman? I have never seen this show because my head would explode in a volcano of rage, but I have read about it and seen delightful pictures of Sarah Palin: with a shotgun! Sarah Palin: with a hunting knife! Sarah Palin: crouched over the remains of a caribou she has just murdered! I don’t know if I asked this before, but what is wrong with this woman? How can you be so clearly against things like abortion and not be against murdering innocent animals? And how could you think that aerial hunting is an acceptable sport? I was going to just say FUCKFUCKFUCK for the next several lines, but my mother told me that my swearing is getting to be a bit too much and that I really need to tone it down; so instead, I ask you again: What is wrong with this woman? And additionally, do you think that seeing herself murdering things on television will make her feel bad about herself? I can hope, but it seems that this woman lacks both shame and insight!

Man, I am about to get even angrier. Perhaps it is because this week is not getting off to a delightful start. It is cold, I am tired, and our heat is out again. Even when we turn it up to about 90, we still have to wear several layers and then cover ourselves with about 5 million different covers. This is what I got out of Russia for! Not to freeze to death in the winter. And of course Allen is no help. I’m all trying to cuddle up and steal some of his precious heat when he groans and kicks me while asleep! Why does his unconscious aggression toward me come out during the coldest nights? It’s times like this that I wish I had some fluffy animal friend to keep me warm. A dog perhaps, or some kind of large rodent (it would be so awesome if someone made like a giant hamster that I could cuddle with. No homo.). I used to chill with a rabbit that lives with my old roommate now. Perhaps I could borrow her for these cold winter nights. Know what I wouldn’t do to a rabbit, though? Crush it under glass while wearing a school uniform!


Exactly. Even after seeing “2 Girls 1 Cup” (OMG!) I was not prepared for the horror that was Chinese animal-crushing porn. Did you know that such a thing even existed? The video, which lasts about four horrifying minutes, is of a young woman dressed in a school uniform picking up a rabbit, stroking it, then mercilessly crushing it by placing it under a piece of glass and sitting on it. Sickening! And not even lucrative! This girl was paid $60 for killing a defenseless fluffball! And then stamping on it! Se claims that she didn’t know about what the job was going to be like because she found it on the internet, but really her innocence ends there. If I were a young woman looking for work and someone was all, “Yeah, you’re hot. Please come shoot this movie,” I would be wary. Perhaps I would go and see what it was about, but the moment the producer says something like, “Let me tell you my vision: You and three of your closest friends are chilling with Mei-Wen’s new rabbit, until you, in a cathartic act that exposes the cruelty of our society, grab the bunny, place it under glass, and slowly crush it with your posterior. Finally, you and the girls stomp the bunny with your stilettos in a meditation on futility as the screen fades to black,” I would be OUT OF THERE. It is just not OK! Actually, I would probably report these people, too and then firebomb their studio. I’ve actually been joking about firebombing a lot lately. I should really stop reading teen novels set in a dystopian future.

Speaking of teens (see what I did there? I am so pleased with myself!) There is a "Justin Bieber of Bullfighting." I didn’t even know that being a “Justin Bieber of” anything was now an accepted thing, but apparently what it stands for is being an annoying tween with an annoying talent. Like singing songs about “baby, baby, baby” or killing bulls because it is “fun.” Unfortunately, unlike Justin Bieber, who is merely ubiquitous, Michelito Lagravere is a horrible little monster who has slaughtered over 300 bulls. I wonder how this kid is going to adjust as he gets older—you can’t kill six bulls at a single time while wearing sequined pants and come out of it unscathed. You don’t just recover from that. I’m really angry at this kid, but I am even angrier at his parents, who not only encourage it, but seems to believe that this kind of behavior is condoned by god. It just doesn’t make any sense. I wonder if I could apply the same question that I applied to Sarah Palin to this kid. But then I’d also have to apply it to his family. And any place that allows something like bullfighting. And then any place that allows cruelty to animals, whether it be for pornography, sport, food, fun, or clothing. What is wrong with people?

Just thinking about this stuff is exhausting. Why don’t we call it a day and meet here again next week, when there might be happier news to report and less of my head exploding in a rage volcano? Send me links for next week, and have a safe Wednesday out there.

[caribou photo by Daniele Colombo; Indian bison photo by Pandiyan]

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