Shut up, David Chang!  »

God, this fool loves to run his mouth something stupid
. I know it’s part of his schtick (hey! I relate!) but the problem with him is people listen to this garbage and agree. So when Chang is just stringing random words together and making about as much sense as the lady on my corner who thinks I’m her husband (reminder: need to shave!), it genuinely worries me!

Because, for real, the guy makes no sense. In this interview, bitching about the various customers he hates dealing with (turning away customers! What a luxury in these trying times of ours!), one of his complaints is vegetarians! Ugh fine, I get it, they’re my #4 complaint too,* but for real, his logic does not compute!

He says:

I’m not against all vegetarians. But if you’re a vegetarian for ethical reasons, you may be causing more harm. I use this example: I was at a wedding, and at the reception everyone was eating local lobster and clams, but a couple of my friends were like, “No, we want the vegetarian option.” And it’s fucking vegetables from every corner of the fucking planet. Really? They don’t want to pollute the earth, they don’t want to support factory farming, but factory commodity farming is fucking awful.

Drama. Queen. This example is truly crazytown. Like anyone has ANY choice in where the vegetables came from at someone else’s wedding. And where does it say that ethical vegetarians don’t care where their vegetables come from? Most vegans care more about where their food comes from than pretty much anyone else, THAT’S WHY WE’RE VEGAN. We question shit! And when we questioned our current food system, we decided to abstain from A LOT of it. Duh, bitch.

He continues:

And not only that, it’s almost slave labor. That poor fucking person who harvested your asparagus from Peru might have died because you wanted a fucking goddamn asparagus in August. Which doesn’t happen.

Oh, shut the fuck up already. We all read Felicity Lawrence’s piece on asparagus in Peru, you ain’t special. And what’s with the last sentence of “Which doesn’t happen.” That doesn’t even make sense. And I haven’t eaten asparagus since the summer of ‘99 so he can shove it.

If you’re going to be a vegetarian, limit yourself to food from a place you can go to in two hours and just eat that. Do it, or shut the fuck up.

Again, what does this mean? Food grown in a two-hour radius? And then is it by car? Are we going the speed limit? Ooh! Can I take a plane? And how is that recommendation any different than what you meat-mouths should be doing? If I come to your restaurant and ask for a vegetarian dish, why do you suddenly go all WHOA HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF THE ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS? What has changed by taking the meat out? I’d like to “do it and shut the fuck up” (lie) but I don’t know what “it” is? (I’m really hoping he’s talking about the worm, because that’s my party trick!) But really, one of Chang’s biggest problems is not just his allergy to making sense, it’s that he’s just wrong. Read it and weep, nerd.

I get it, Chang is total gold for interviewers and so we’re not gonna stop hearing about him because journalists are like, "YES PLEASE KEEP SWEARING AND TALKING NUTSO! I CAN SEE THE PAGEVIEW$$$$ RISING ALREADY!" (Newsflash, Chang! Your constant press has nothing to do with your cooking! Which even omnis say is WEAK!) but it’s also harmful because of the legions of “celebrity chef”-obsessed fans. Seriously, people worship this little ultra-privileged dweeb. While he’s busy masturbating to a thought bubble of himself, his bullshit ramblings sink into the collective unconscious of a million impressionable Americans. We’re not the smartest people, and when the New York Times tells us he’s the Second Coming, we’re all, “MUUUUST EAT PORK BUNS.” like a really uncool zombie army. Well, the NYT is tired, Chang is just another spoiled kid having a tantrum when things don’t go exactly his way (customers asking for things AHHH!!!) and I just hope he stops getting so much press. GOOD JOB THEN, LAURA. Further, quit fucking swearing all the time, Chang. That’s my fucking thing!

*Right after all things Lohan, everyone putting tomatoes on everything, and the premature cancellation of Party Down.


Natalie Portman, please stop talking about your diet!  »

Because I am an asshole who hates myself, I continue to follow the story of Natalie Portman’s ever-changing veganity. I mean, until today. Today I cry, “uncle!” You win, Portman. I just can’t care anymore. That is, AFTER THIS LITTLE BIT OF RANTY BUSINESS.

My tale of “is she or isn’t she?” woe started a couple years ago, and was finally brought to resolution when she announced on HuffPo that she was FOR SURE 100 percent VEGAN. But all good things must come to an end, and so in January Vogue* Portman was all, “I’m vegan when dining out and vegetarian at home!” (Because that makes sense!) AND THEN, she apparently cooked her fiance a whole dead chicken or something (this was allegedly in People magazine, but I never saw it and can’t find anything on the internet because I don’t really feel like trying today) and NOW THIS.

Her pregnant body spoke to her (it’s a miracle!) and was all, “Eat eggs and helllllllla cookies!” and she was all, “OK, body!” It’s especially obnoxious because there are a million places to get vegan cookies in Los Angeles. Maybe she just needed to holler at quarrygirl? She’d hook her up with a million vegan cookies, and they’d be the best motherflipping cookies ever! I can’t speak to the egg thing because they gross me out, but unless she’s cracking them open and sucking them down raw, there are good vegan subs for pretty much every eggy thing you could desire. From tofu scrambles to custards, vegan chefs got your back! As far as resources for a healthy vegan pregnancy, there are about a billion and you know if ANYONE can access them, it’s Natalie “I HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES” Portman!

Aside from thinking her reasoning is bullshit, I just kinda wish she’d shut the fuck up about it. It’s like, I don’t really give a shit if Natalie Portman eats bloody steaks 24/7, I just don’t want her to broadcast it to the world. Obviously people look up to and emulate her because she’s famous and that’s how our shit culture works, and if the egregious abuse and murder of animals used for food upsets her to the extent she claims it does, why talk about anything but veganism when speaking publicly? Or if that’s not an option: JUST SAY NOTHING.

I get it, she needs some fucking cookies and vegan cookies are slightly harder to find than ones made with eggs, so she’s eating egg cookies. I say, eat all of the egg cookies, Natalie Portman. In fact, I think you’d look amazing as a fellow fatty, BUT PLEASE JUST STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. People look up to you; help educate them about the atrocity of animal agriculture instead of your own fluctuating diet. Use your platform for good. I know you get it and you care, and you have the opportunity to inform millions on how fucked it all is. I know it’s not right and it’s not fair and you didn’t ask for this responsibility, but you have a huge platform and it’s gross to me if you use it for anything but talking about how disgusting and disturbing slaughterhouses and factory farms are and how amazing vegan food is. And if you can’t do that, the least you could do is not talk about it at all.

*OMG, that whole article is soooooo amaaaazing and hilarious. One of her friends basically says that everyone is born with the face they deserve, and that’s why Portman is so beautiful! Um, yes, those kids born with cleft palettes are obviously total assholes. SO AMAZING.


Say WHAT, Novella Carpenter?  »

Oh, dear. This woman, Novella Carpenter, she’s just your average middle-class white American afforded all the opportunities that comes with this status, yet she chooses to play “farmer held down by The Man.” It’s really only privileged white people who “choose” to be poor, isn’t it? Like it’s some powerful social act? But, you know, when they want to travel around the world, they travel around the world, and when they want to go to grad school, they go to grad school, and when they want to feed a hen 8,000 grain-calories to produce just a dozen eggs, they do it and claim it’s all in interest of improving food security. Being poor by choice has its advantages!

I could’ve given two shits about Carpenter until she had to go and make some unfounded claims about “animal people” calling the city of Oakland on her (allegedly) illegal-farm-having ass AND NOW I HAVE TO CARE ABOUT THIS WOMAN, GODDAMMIT. Ugh, all I wanted to do this morning was eat my Wheatabix and watch an episode of Arrested Development in peace and NOW THIS SHIT.

Carpenter gets dimed out for some shady farm shit—selling food when she hasn’t got a permit—and it’s front page news! The Chronicle is on her team. Super, I don’t give a fuck. But then she gets an email from some person saying it was probably animal rights people who turned her in and she posts the letter on her blog and says yes, she assumed it was in fact those meddling animal-lovers! Carpenter, don’t say that bunny lovers are after you because some person who sent you an email BELIEVES that they PROBABLY know who turned you in. What if I sent you an email telling you I BELIEVED that it was PROBABLY Willie Brown who did it? Or that it was a neighbor who secretly hates you? Maybe it’s even someone who hates animals and wants them gone? Who knows! Don’t go spouting bullshit against animal-lovers because you got some email tip from someone who believes they might know something. And then later, she’s like WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!? to the animal people, after she straight called us out on her blog. As Kanye says, that’s a pretty bad way to start a conversation.

Also guys, you know what else is low? When the city of Oakland dude told her she was being taken to task for breaking the law, she responded, “What about City Slicker Farms? Or People’s Grocery? I asked, two urban farming non-profits in Oakland. No one has complained about them.” So uh, she just dragged the legality of City Slicker Farms and People’s Grocery into a talk with a government official? Now who’s the snitch?! Wow, maybe it was another urban farmer who turned her in because they are equally petty? I wonder. Not to mention, those are two places that are WAAAAAY more useful than she’ll ever be.

This is my favorite part: “I’ll have to spend countless hours of my time (making it my 4th low paying/no paying job) so you can have a new law to enforce when one person (with money and power probably) complains about another person’s private activities. I just want to grow food for myself and other people, I don’t want to go to meetings and speak bureaucrat talk.” Um, Carpenter is a person with money and power. She has the extremely lucrative commodity of media coverage at her fingertips. I mean, she’s bitching about chard and it’s front-page news. Here’s some real news: actual oppressed individuals cannot spawn media shitstorms at will. And I’m sure as someone who studied under Michael Pollan at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, she’s got that bureaucrat talk down better than most, so cry me a goddamn river.

And really: Welcome to the world! I don’t want to register my car because it’s expensive and a pain in the ass—alert the media! If I let that registration slide and I get caught and my ass gets handed a ticket, I don’t like it, but I don’t whine “poor me” and I don’t get front-page coverage in the Chron. I also can’t open a retail store in my residentially zoned apartment WOE IS ME. Also, if she wanted to be more generous with this whole thing, at least she could say something like, “Good thing this is happening to me and not someone who really needs the food and actually can’t afford the time and money needed to lobby. I have the ability and power to seek (my version of) justice.”  A bit of fucking perspective is all I ask. You’re not some chard-martyr.

But the worst part is, in a follow up post, Carpenter encourages people to raise (and slaughter?!) their own food under the radar? I’m actually way more comfortable with these activities being overseen; I don’t trust the idiots who order chickens in the mail to take that shit seriously. Carpenter might have the time (remember! She has no real job! She’s just a simple farmer! With a book deal!), skills, and money (yes, it takes a good amount of money to raise chickens, whether it be for eggs or meat), but most people don’t. So yes, I do want laws dictating how and where people in my city can raise and slaughter animals. I’d like more laws surrounding animal agriculture in general, whether it be factory farms or you new American farmers who want to eat your pets. Given the horrific treatment of animals pretty much everywhere, we need more oversight, not less. Self-policing isn’t working.

If you can kill an animal that you raised with kindness and love for no other reason than it tastes good to you, well then you kinda freak me out. So, yeah, I’ll continue to spend the majority of my time railing against factory farms, but just like you, Carpenter, I’ve got extra time, and so heeeeey what’s up, girl! If you want to team up on factory farming issues (and hell, even organic farming issues), holler, I’m all for it. However, don’t drag “rabbit fanatics” into this and force me to read your blog. I was much happier having no clue who you are.

To tie this long-ass rant up, a picture of a cute-ass bunny, Surya, who is up for adoption at SaveABunny (Sorry, Carpenter, she’s not for eating, she’s for snuggling!)
Blog post title gaffled from the always awesome Say what, Michael Pollan?


Editorial in the NY Times on veganism!? Surprise, surprise: it’s controversial!  »

What the heck?? An editorial in The New York Times on veganism?! It’s almost like … we exist! And not just for throwing red paint on some toddler’s ice cream cone or calling fat people whales. isn’t impressed, calling it “vegan advocacy at its worst”:

It’s hard to imagine somebody doing a better job of discouraging people from becoming vegan…. I can’t begin to imagine how many potential vegans this article has turned off or frightened away.

I’m sympathetic to their point of view, that vegans get in the media so rarely that we have to use these opportunities carefully, we can’t squander them, and what we really need to do is stay on-message and reassure the meat-eating mainstream with soothing words about how it’s actually not that hard, and hey look vegans can eat cupcakes and sundaes too. See? We’re just like everyone else.

And yet we’re not just like everyone else. Because simply ordering tofu in a mixed-dining situation puts every vegan in the position of being a dinnertime novelty. Whether we want it or not, we end up playing ambassador as friends and family members probe us with questions, then turn around and attack us for answering and maybe even sounding a bit smart. Even when we try to STFU and just quietly eat the tofu, it’s not unusual for someone to chime in with “MMM tasty, tasty ANIMALS!” and flash us that knowing look, like we haven’t heard that one a million times already.

There are a LOT of meat eaters who look at our dinner plate as implicit commentary on what they’re eating, even if we’re not saying a word about it. As if the plate is coming to life with a black robe and a curly white wig and gavel, doing a sinister dance while handing down judgments.

When I read Steiner’s piece I couldn’t help but think “RIGHT ON SISTER!”. Will he change any minds about the Thanksgiving centerpiece corpse? Probably not. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he wasn’t even trying to convince anyone to go vegan. He was trying to convince his readers, in an overtly frustrated way, that being a misunderstood and often despised 0.001%(*) of the population isn’t exactly a great position to be in. Especially in a society organized around eating meat, with a hundred-trillion-dollar(*) advertising industry carrying on like eating dead animals is the most normal thing on earth.

The mechanics of being vegan is getting easier all the time, but let’s face it, we still live in a dead-animal-centric society. Many meat eaters forget that they’re soaking in all the normal, and that the “preachy” vegan over there giving them a hard time is actually the one just trying to get the basics of survival to go smoothly.

All I’m saying is, to the three hardcore meat-eaters who follow this blog after getting linked from Sarah Palin’s enemies list, maybe there’s a reason some of us get a bit plucky at the dinner table. Sometimes we want to talk about something other than our diet. Or, you know, quiz away, but don’t be shocked and don’t take it personally when we come back with a well-formed viewpoint. But most of all, getting pissy and playing the victim when you live in a society organized for your convenience isn’t going to score you any debate club points. And it’s definitely NOT going to get you a second slice of the pumpkin pie that “omg didn’t even TASTE vegan”. More pie for the rest of us.


[Ed.: This wonderful post was brought to you by one of our newest contributors, Steve Simitzis! Steve stopped eating dead animals in 1993 and has been described as a crazy cat lady despite not being a lady. Nowadays he follows climate change, vampire stories, and technology, but usually keeps it on Twitter. When not thinking longingly about Twilight bars, he can be found building social websites and acquiring too many useless kitchen gadgets.]


Good news: The coveted 2010 AT&T Yellow Pages Rainbow coupons will be good on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Bad news: only in January, March, May, July, and September. Recession hurts us all, I gets it. Thanks to Rainbow for continuing to give us poor people and fake poor people in San Francisco a reason to bitch about long lines while we’re spoon-fed our cheap-ish organic veg eats.

Suggestion: make the coupons available on your website, and pass out copies in low-income areas. I know they do the Yellow Pages because it’s accessible to everyone but let’s be real, the hippies and vegans go around stealing all the coupons in them anyway and THE YELLOW PAGES ARE KILLING THE EARTH.

That is all.

Good news: The coveted 2010 AT&T Yellow Pages Rainbow coupons will be good on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Bad news: only in January, March, May, July, and September. Recession hurts us all, I gets it. Thanks to Rainbow for continuing to give us poor people and fake poor people in San Francisco a reason to bitch about long lines while we’re spoon-fed our cheap-ish organic veg eats.

Suggestion: make the coupons available on your website, and pass out copies in low-income areas. I know they do the Yellow Pages because it’s accessible to everyone but let’s be real, the hippies and vegans go around stealing all the coupons in them anyway and THE YELLOW PAGES ARE KILLING THE EARTH.

That is all.


Ubuntu to serve a-what-u?? Alternately, OH HELL NO UBUNTU.  »

It looks like Ubuntu is gonna start serving up dishes with meat in them on certain Tuesdays as part of some stupid guest-chef series AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE CULT OF DAVID CHANG. You know what would be more interesting, Ubuntu? Challenge your chefs to make “enlightened” vegetarian food, using all of your bounty; I mean, that garden alone should be able to inspire the Colonel into making some tasty veg eats. If you can’t cut it with those resources and have to use meat, you are a terrible chef. It’s like, you know, there is ONE restaurant in all of Napa to go to and not worry about cross-contamination and other funky stuff in your veg food and there are what, a billion that offer tons of meaty dishes and maybe one vegetarian options if you’re lucky? Oh and vegans, fuck off. This is seriously disappointing. I was all psyched when they received a Michelin Star but this takes back a lot of that excitement. I mean, it was already goofy enough that you are a YOGA STUDIO/RESTAURANT but now this? COME ON NOW.

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