vegansaurus!

03/14/2012

Working at a slaughterhouse is 100 percent horrific  »

Hey, I want to depress you, so let’s learn about slaughterhouses. Avi Solomon at BoingBoing has a big, interesting interview with professor Timothy Pachirat, who worked undercover at a Nebraska slaughterhouse for five months, and published a book about his experiences in November. Surprise, it’s a nightmare! But it’s a nightmare that illustrations lots of modern horrors:

Avi: Why did you choose to go undercover in a slaughterhouse?

Timothy: I wanted to understand how massive processes of violence become normalized in modern society, and I wanted to do so from the perspective of those who work in the slaughterhouse. My hunch was that close attention to how the work of industrialized killing is performed might illuminate not only how the realities of industrialized animal slaughter are made tolerable, but also the way distance and concealment operate in analogous social processes: war executed by volunteer armies; the subcontracting of organized terror to mercenaries; and the violence underlying the manufacturing of thousands of items and components we make contact with in our everyday lives.

Go read the entire thing, it’s intense, and fascinating. Modern life is rubbish.

03/13/2012

Today in obvious news: Red meat is totally going to kill you  »


Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health say: eating red meat increases your chances of dying! A study, “Red Meat Consumption and Mortality,” published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that even one serving of red meat a day makes you 13 percent likelier to die sooner than those of us eating less meat. Moreover, eating one daily serving of processed meat increases that number to 20 percent. Meat’s gonna kill you!


Neither research fellow and study author An Pan, nor professor of nutrition and epidemiology and fellow author Frank Hu, advocate a 100 percent meatless diet. Pan tells CNN that “It’s better to go with plants and unprocessed foods,” while Hu tells NPR that though “the results are staggering … we’re not talking about a vegetarian diet.” Maybe you should! It’s not hard, it’s really not. And it’s obviously so much better for you.


My theory: Eating too much meat makes you stupid. Check out what Betsey Booren, director of scientific affairs for the American Meats Institute Foundation (too many nouns, friends), said to NPR to illustrate why the AMI “disputes” the findings that processed meat products are terrible: “They’re made from meat, which is needed in the body.” Oh, Betsey. Thank you for your brilliant insight.

[Photos of delicious meat alternatives: Seitan with chimichurri sauce by La.blasco; seitan roulade by Belinda; seitan tornedos by juanelos]

01/25/2011

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]

09/03/2010

Lax food safety standards make veganism a safer choice  »

"Food safety" is totally conceptual, right? Like "equal rights for all humans," everyone’s all for it in theory, but in practice it just…isn’t.

The forced labor camps in Iowa where all the Salmonella-eggs came from had “pits beneath laying houses where chicken manure was piled four to eight feet high” and “hens that had escaped from laying cages [were] tracking through the manure.” Not to mention the “meat and bone meal” chicken feed tested positive for Salmonella AND was kept in bins full of holes! Want to feel worse? Read all the stories on Chow’s list of the terrible history of the DeCoster farms.

Or, OK, leave off the half-million recalled eggs; maybe they were some kind of huge outlier. An FDA inspector hadn’t seen the inside of one of those chicken-prisons in at least six years, anyway. How’s the meat industry doing? Very poorly, is the answer! They’ve fought every change to every regulation, claiming that they follow all the rules and new ones are unnecessary. Now a super-rare strain of E. coli has appeared in ground beef from Cargill, but the American Meat Institute says that they’re so busy working on preventative measures, which would be blown all to pieces if the Dept. of Agriculture dared to list this new scary E. coli as an illegal substance in ground beef. Even though it has already make people sick, and forced a recall of 8,500 pounds of Cargill ground beef—no no, it’s not THAT bad! Shut up and listen to the nice executives, FDA.

And if you don’t eat meat: how about some honey from China? It’s full of delicious antibiotics! Not that China has time to worry about one company’s scam; it discovered that 402 tons of imported dairy products—99.8 percent of total dairy imports!—were full of Enterobacter sakazakii, plus “excessive amount of nitrites, zinc and total bacterial count.” Wait, E. sakazakii has “historically high case fatality in infants,” up to 80 percent, and the aforementioned “dairy products” were POWDERED MILK FORMULA? That people FEED THEIR INFANTS? Way to go, every country involved in this disgusting scandal, which include Australia, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, the U.S., and of course China: you are all reprehensible. [news links via Tom Scocca]

Of course it’s safer—and more humane, but duh—not to eat animal products, but for how much longer? If we don’t change our methods of food production, the world is fucked. The animal-borne bacteria will get into our produce because giant farms aren’t careful with their runoff, and we’ll all perish of some kind of horrible E. coli/Salmonella hybrid. Good luck out there, everyone.

06/25/2010

What ho! it’s this week’s charming, informative link-o-rama!  »


Fulvio Bonavia, “Untitled”, A Matter of Taste, 2008
Eggplant shoes! This is from Beautiful/Decay magazine’s three-part series on food art. Not all of it’s vegan, of course, but a lot of it is pretty amazing. I especially like Han Bing’s “Walking the Cabbage” photos. More useless footwear are Mini Melissa, a new line of Vivienne Westwood for Melissa vegan shoes for babies. I am filling out adoption papers RIGHT NOW to acquire the babies to fill these fucking adorable shoes, $100-per-pair price be damned.

Vegan-type events!
Oh my gosh, it’s here! The third East Bay Vegan Bakesale is here! Tomorrow, Saturday June 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Issues—20 Glen Ave. at Piedmont Avenue—in Oakland! Selling vegan deliciousness from Cinnaholic, Fat Bottom Bakery, Pepples Donuts, Sugar Beat Sweets, Violet Sweet Shoppe, Wholesome Bakery, and lots of non-professional volunteers!

After hitting up the EBVBS, head over to Harvest Home Sanctuary for the summer open house! There’ll be guided tours, a presentation by author Mark Hawthorne, and vegan snacks. HHS asks that you please register for the event, whereupon you’ll receive driving directions.

PETA and the San Francisco Vegetarian Society have combined forces to leaflet in front of the KFC at 4150 Geary Blvd. at 6th Avenue. Be there on Sunday, June 27 from noon to 1 p.m.; materials provided by PETA; lunch at Golden Buddha to follow.

On Monday, June 28, attend “Perspectives on Liberation and Oppression,” with former prisoner (SHAC 7!) and animal-rights activist Andy Stepanian. The event will be held at Station 40, at 3030B 16th St. at Mission Street in San Francisco, and begins at 7 p.m.

Articles and such for vegan reading!
Let’s look at this week’s restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! Well well well, Michael Bauer enjoyed his meals at Gracias Madre! Possibly more than your Vegansaurus has (thus far). Can you imagine!


Check this out: tacos de vegetales from Taco Station in Los Angeles. Did you know that there are many delicious AND traditional (YES, TRADITIONAL) Mexican recipes that are vegetarian and/or vegan? LA Weekly does. [photo by Dommy Gonzalez, LA Weekly]

Hey here’s some news: eating meat will kill you! Possibly sooner than you think—the South Gate Meat Co. recalled almost 40,000 pounds of ground beef this week because of E. coli contamination! It also apparently makes you fucking stupid, as evidenced by the National Pork Board’s lawsuit against the TOTALLY FAKE Radiant Farms’ canned unicorn slogan: “the new white meat.”

It’s fun to make fun of animals, right? Check out these lemurs who live in Whipsnade Zoo in England: they’re totally playing soccer, just like the World Cup! Look, they even have red cards! HA HA ANIMALS SO FUNNY!

Let’s take the edge off with the best fucking story of the week: Mel, one of the “bait dogs” rescued from Michael Vick’s compound of death, has been adopted; he now has a loving family, a new best dog friend, and a stuffed monkey he uses as a “security blanket.” You’re crying right now, aren’t you? Well, read the article and then try to hold back the tears. OK, how about this story about Oscar the cat, who got “bionic” back legs after someone (the article doesn’t say!) hit poor Oscar with a combine harvester.

The New York Times Magazine's big feature is called “Tuna’s End” and probably of interest to those of us who give a fuck about not ruining the world’s oceans. I can’t give you any further sardonic commentary because I haven’t had time to read it yet.

06/04/2010

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.

04/22/2010

01/04/2010

70 percent of Hamburgers are possibly unsafe, definitely disgusting  »

There’s a saying that you should always release bad news on Friday, when no one is paying attention. And when you have REALLY bad news, save it until the end of the year. And when your news is that 70 percent of the nation’s hamburgers, served by McDonald’s and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), are unsafe and possibly filled with E. coli, even after getting pumped full of ammonia? Then you save that sheeze till the last day of the decade.

A New York Times report, politely titled "Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned" (translation from journo-speak: WTF BEEF IS SO FUCKED), reveals that the ammonia process used by Beef Products, Inc. is not only letting E. coli slip through, but that the U.S. Department of Agriculture believes that the process is safe enough to exempt Beef Products, Inc. from inspections. So it’s not only unsafe but the government is taking their word for it because they triple pinky swear promise that it’s OK and corporations never lie, especially not in their own self-published reports.

The idea behind the process is to scoop up fatty slaughterhouse floor leftovers (you know, the kind they usually throw away or dump in dog food), separate the protein from the fat in a centrifuge, squeeze it through tubes, spray it with ammonia, then flash-freeze and compress the final goop. If everything worked, the company believes that the end product will be fully sanitized and free of contaminants like E. coli and salmonella. Normally, slaughterhouse scraps are especially prone to contaminants, but the resulting filler meat is so cheap and “safe” that it’s good enough for McDonald’s and the NSLP.

Forget for a minute if the process works or not. Even if it was 100 percent perfect, YOU’RE EATING MEAT SOAKED IN AMMONIA. Seriously, who cares if it works or not. Nothing I eat needs to be soaked in ammonia to kill it even more after it’s already dead.

And after watching the clip above of the Beef Products, Inc. factory tour, I’m no longer worried about whether or not the American public will accept lab-grown meat as hamburger filler. They will. Squeeze it through tubes into flash-frozen pink slabs and no one will bat an eyelash.

12/11/2009

Ground beef of doom, domestic terrorism, emu chips, vegan cheese debates and more in this week’s link-o-rama!  »

•    Beloved, beautiful vegan fashion company Vaute Couture has two holiday events happening for you lucky Chicago-area shoppers (I fucking hate you, buy me coats). The first is tomorrow!, Saturday Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Shops at North Bridge; the second is Thursday, Dec. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Colori Eco-Paint Boutique, at 2243 W. North Ave. This one is a fancy event with complimentary (vegan, duh) refreshments, and other labels like Mountains of the Moon, Frei Designs, and Mohop Shoes. If Vegansaurus were in Chicago I would totally be your date.
•    What in the what? Mission Street Food’s last event of the year is Thursday, Dec. 17 and it’s all-vegetarian, most likely vegan! Thanks in advance, MSF!!
•    Mission Mission calls our attention to the overflow of chihuahuas at Bay Area shelters.
•    The federal government indicts Scott DeMuth for conspiracy to commit “animal enterprise terrorism”; apparently, because he is an anarchist, he is a domestic terrorist. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
•    Certain Vegansaurs love Bones because of its super-vegan star, Emily Deschanel. Last night’s episode had double the vegan power with Emily’s sister Zooey: watch it on Hulu now now now before it expires!
•    Hey guys, before you get too angry about it, those kangaroo-and-emu-flavo(u)red Smiths Crisps will contain “neither emu nor kangaroo”; actually, they’re vegetarian. What you are shoving into your mouth six at a time is Australian dignity, not animal flavoring. Cool?
•    Vegansaurus loves Wildcare! And not just because sometimes one of us housesits for a Wildcare volunteer, who has had such adorable creatures as baby skunks AND baby squirrels in her safekeeping and OMFG you haven’t lived until you’ve seen baby skunks up close. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t, so please compost and keep them out of your trash bins, OK?
•    Cha-Ya’s new place in the Sunset is already going out of business! What happened, you guys?
•    Beef Packers Inc., which is owned by Cargill Inc. (a.k.a. The Devil) had to recall nearly 23,000 pounds of ground beef last week because it was contaminated “with a drug-resistant strain of salmonella,” called salmonella Newport. The company’s last recall was of over 825,000 pounds of ground beef in August of this year, which was contaminated with the same bacteria strain. Hamburgers are the best!!!
•    A woman from Minnesota is suing Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. for selling ground beef tainted with E. coli, which gave her hemolytic uremic syndrome; that caused kidney failure, which gave her seizures that led to her being put into a medically induced coma for three months. According to the New York Times, the beef from her single hamburger came from four plants in two countries. BEEF, IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER!!!!!
•    An all-too-brief report on the Frank Bruni and JSF discussion at the Manhattan Jewish Community Center makes it sound like a pretty good time. Did any of you in New York go?
•    Something we should all avoid, avoid, avoid: the Sprinklesmobile, which is coming to town on Monday! Why should we avoid it? Because they make zero vegan cupcakes, obvs.
•    Salon has an irritatingly glossy, irony-heavy, pro-colonialist “history” of Vietnamese coffee; however, it does include a recipe so you can make your own at home. Considering how similar MimicCreme is to sweetened condensed milk, I am thinking this would be a snap to veganize.
•    So there’s actually no such thing as local Bay Area fish, eh? What say you, locavores? And you, pescatarians?
•    This week’s commenting storm is happening around Jordan’s Dr. Cow post. Vegans have opinions about cheese substitutes!

11/13/2009

SF Green Festival, meatball awards, the miracle of birth, delicious local tofu, Czech dumplings, urban gardening and more in this week’s link-o-rama!GE  »

Green Fest is in San Francisco this weekend; let Vegansaurus guide you through it.

Win a copy of 500 Vegan Recipes! Hurry up and do it by Tuesday, Nov. 17!

The clever fuckers at the California Milk Advisory Board will be filming their latest “Happy Cows come from California” commercials in New Zealand. Torture the local cows, but don’t let the state benefit from production fees: such lovely people they are.

Local chefs discover that tofu is not an abomination against haute cuisine. Color us shocked. And hungry for samples!

Another poor review of Eating Animals, from another Gawker associate. Shut up, Joshua David Stein, you are much too pleased with yourself and your criticism.

For the strong-stomached, the birth of an elephant. Miracles: kinda gross! This goes for every human who records the births of their own young as well.

And in New Zealand, a shark gave birth to four live sharklets, thanks to the intervention of another shark? Freaky, gross, amazing.

Oh delicious: a recipe for Czech fruit dumplings! Yes PLEASE.

Filling closets with clothes for yourself is acceptable human behavior; filling a closet with matching clothes for your cat is NOT. I recognize we’re all guilty of anthropomorphism to some degree, but this not OK.

Watch out, sickies: you can pass on the swine flu to your companion animals.

Remember Nicolette Hahn Niman’s ridiculous op-ed renouncing her ranch’s responsibility for carbon emissions? Peter Singer gives her brief, precise what-for.

King of Jerkoffs A. Bourdain says humans are allowed to eat animals because they are “smaller and stupider” than us. Ari Solomon says, intelligence is as intelligence does, bright boy. (Although we should note, Mr. Solomon, that “stupider” is an inflected comparative and most certainly a word.) (Grammarsaurus!)

More meat and more dairy makes Jack an angrier, more hostile and depressed boy; more carbs and less meat and dairy makes him happier and peaceful.

Friend-of-Vegansaurus Graciela has a new blog in which she explores urban gardening in L.A. We are so envious of all her lovely greens!

Check it out, another E. coli outbreak in ground beef!

Kind of pretty, kind of disgusting: your internal organs rendered in produce.

Genetically engineered apples that stay crispy without refrigeration!

Congratulations Ike’s, winner of Peta’s best vegetarian meatballs! Enjoy them in a (vegan) Meatless Mike or a Not-So-Sloppy Ike.

An interview with our hero Deborah Madison, vegetarian chef and cookbook author extraordinaire!

Last year’s fascinating story "Morality bites," by the Chicago Tribune's Monica Eng, is included in Best Food Writing 2009.

Publisher’s Weekly selects this year’s best food books; titles include the bizarro Almost Meatless (“almost”? come the hell on), the revolting Lobel’s Meat Bible, and two books Vegansaurus wouldn’t mind unwrapping this holiday season: Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, and Salt to Taste: The Key to Confident, Delicious Cooking. Neither is vegan, but both seem extremely useful.

Revolting, slightly terrifying tale of a food writer’s giving in to a murderous impulse and shooting a baboon, and the global fallout.

Ours friends at Veg-Table are looking for writers for their city guides. GET ON IT, YOU WRITERLY PERSON.

page 1 of 2 | next »
Tumblr » powered Sid05 » templated