Celebrate the everyday with Meat Week, the festival for people with too much time on their hands »
Want to hear something that’s just so cool? There’s a group dedicated to creating a “Meat Week” in cities throughout the country! How clever is that?! OMG such a great idea. Wait, can we also have a White History Month and a Straight Pride Parade?! Bros, reality check: American culture has beat you to Meat Week! But we just call it, “this week,” or occasionally, “next week” and sometimes, “last week.” Get it? Every week is Meat Week here in the U.S. of A.
I read their website so you don’t have to—and oh my god do you owe me. Suffering through their writing was like having someone vomit stupidity directly into my brain. For real, don’t read it; it will make you dumber. I will break it down for you instead: Meat Week was started by a Floridian fanboy and -girl who took time off from whatever role-playing game I’ve never heard of to eat BBQ for a week. Somehow I doubt this is really anything new; I’m sure they ate plenty of BBQ before this, they just wanted to add a “festivus” element to make their redundant evening plans a little more exciting. Mission accomplished, pals!
This is like those people who were protesting smoke-free bars. In my youth, I enjoyed an indoor cigarette here and there but to actually spend your energy protesting that? With all the problems and injustice in the world, that is the what really gets you off the couch? For shame, people. Seriously, that’s pathetic. It’s as pathetic as using your resources, energy and skills to organize a “Meat Week” when everyone and his mom is already eating more meat than the world can sustain. Americans eat about twice the global average of meat a day while the meat industry continues to destroy the planet. This is an example of the “FUCK YOU WORLD” attitude that makes everyone hate the United States. For real, everyone thinks Americans are gluttonous, mindless, smug douchebags and things like a Meat Week are exactly why.
I’ve got a great idea: let’s have an Fossil-Fuel Week! We could do it right after Bike-to-Work Week. All we have to do is get millions of people to drive their cars everywhere all the time, spend a ton on industrialized heating and cooling systems, personally use as much electricity and power as possible and let’s cover the country in factory farms. OMG WAIT HOLD THE PHONE! OK, OK, well how about a petroleum slip-n-slide?! Oh, right.
Flexitarians: top marketing trend of 2011 »
Some 47 percent of Americans are trying to reduce meat consumption. That’s the flexitarian (flexible vegetarian) trend that the MorningStar Farms division of Kellogg (K) has latched onto.
In March, it will roll out its first complete soy-based breakfast entrees: Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuits and Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuits… The target: Boomer women, says Cathy Schneck, vice president of marketing at Kellogg Frozen Foods. Some 75 percent of its customers eat some kind of meat—but just want to eat less.
I thought maybe “complete soy-based” meant the new Morning Star products would have vegan cheese, etc. but I checked and the stuff is already out and totally cow. Dang it, Morningstar! They get on my last nerve. But they do seem to have a lot more vegan products than I remember. I want their Chik Patties to be vegan! I used to love those in my teens.
So I didn’t know 47 percent of Americans are trying to eat less meat, that’s a lot! And I didn’t know that meat-eaters bought so much fake meat; didn’t they all used to be terrified of meat substitutes? I have seen this in “boomer women” myself, actually; my mom and her friends definitely rock the meat substitutes. She loves her veggie burgers!
Some recent commenters have declaimed against championing anything short of veganism, but I see things like this as great news. It’s part of the whole vegan-as-mainstream trend—and when I say trend, I don’t mean “fad.” In most of the last century, vegetarians were looked on as total freaks, and now they are totally normal. There’s been a consistent upswing in vegetarianism since the ’90s. That could be us! We are the vegetarians of the 21st century! This is a good trend.
[I was tipped off about this article by Meatless Monday’s twitter feed. You should follow it; they are cutesy, I’m into it.]
The necessity of animal testing: a rebuttal »
When I wrote about the terrible experiments scientists are conducting at the University of Texas, someone reblogged it with a lot to say. Here’s the final paragraph:
“REALLY want to protest animal testing? Walk away from the next antibiotic your doctor prescribes, turn down the next necessary surgery you are recommended, and hope you’re never hospitalized. I can assure you that each and every one of the medications and procedures that you come across has been tested on animals, using the most extreme conditions that could possibly be encountered in real practice.”
Do you know why this is bullshit? Benefiting from things we learned in past experiments that we now consider ethically wrong does not mean we should support ethically wrong experiments or continue them in the future. There are all kinds of experiments that went on in the past that are now considered immoral—experiments on PEOPLE—and we’ve learned a lot from them. Think about the Tuskegee syphilis experiments; they were despicable and I hope we never, ever see anything like that again, but we benefitted from the knowledge we gained from them.
Even in psychology—the Milgram experiment? They teach that in every psych class and it’s pretty messed up. And don’t get me started on the Stanford prison experiment and its lasting effects on participants. That inspired new standards of ethics, and now would be considered officially unethical. We also learned a lot from that study, and it is frequently discussed in classrooms.
Peta is also trying to get the president of U.T. to investigate the experiments because they may be illegally abusive to animals. That’s the greater point to many of these cases Peta takes on: the research labs are performing animal experiments beyond what is allowed. Even if you are pro-animal testing, you still have to follow the rules. For example, after a Peta investigation, University of Utah was investigated by the USDA and cited for nine violations under the federal animal protection laws.
Saying “Medical research mostly deserves to be left alone” is cruelly short-sighted. Animal testing should be illegal, but in the meantime it must be closely monitored to make sure the testers are abiding by the law; clearly they can’t be relied upon to do so on their own. If a lab conducts illegal experiments, it should be shut down. Try to find some legal tests to get behind, if you are going to support animal testing.
We have knowledge from unethical—and now illegal—experiments, and that knowledge is valuable. We can’t pretend certain information doesn’t exist when it does. We also can’t condone these experiments and can’t continue them. If we know an antibiotic can cure an illness because that medicine was initially tested on non-consenting humans, do we pretend we don’t know the antibiotic is effective? No. Can we still condemn these experiments? Yes. Do we fight to make sure they never happen again? Yes. The same can be said if the non-consenting subjects were animals. Benefitting from knowledge derived from morally reprehensible experiments doesn’t mean we have to condone them and it doesn’t mean we should continue to practice them in the future.
Carbon fin print! »
First of all, I DON’T apologize for that title! Second of all, I’ll just say it now, fish tanks depress me. I mean, think about it! Fish could be living in THE OCEAN! Do you know how big the ocean is? Um, like so totally big! Way bigger than anywhere people, dogs or cats can live. But instead, they are stuck in boring old tanks.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a pet-lover. But I only adopt—can you even adopt fish? You must be able to somewhere, but the internet is not forthcoming. Good lord, those fish in tanks at pet stores? NOT A FAN. And it turns out, fish tanks can use a lot of energy to boot.
The Guardian took a look at the environmental impact of fish tanks and some of them can use a lot of energy. It depends on the size of the tank and the type of sea animals, but according to the article, “a large reef tank containing live coral and a wide range of fish species could get through several thousand [kilowatt hours] a year.” But I don’t want people to get even tinier fish tanks! I say we just leave the fish in the ocean. Look at me! Solving problems!
[excellent cartoon by Megan Rascal!]