vegansaurus!

06/11/2010

04/08/2010

SFist is extremely tolerant!  »

We’re used to Gothamist being an ass about anything veg-related, so we’re glad to see that SFist has taken a break from posting about ALL THE CRIME THAT HAPPENS IN OUR CRIME-RIDDEN CITY to spew some more veggie hate. Man, it’s like someone over there was violated by a celery stick. 

SFist is the most highly trafficked San Francisco blog, so shouldn’t it reflect the spirit of the city more? If, as they say, having Meatless Monday is like having Buttfuck Tuesday, then maybe SFist should cover veg issues with the same fervor and positivity that they cover gay issues. Or at least pretend to cover them with a modicum of positivity, like, ever.

Or why not cancel Pride Week? Because who in San Francisco doesn’t already know that gay people exist, or that we’re so surrounded by daily reminders of man-on-man handholding and baby adoptions that isn’t a big parade just, oh, a bit tacky and “superfluous”? Or maybe it’s not just about us and our own civic navel-gazing. Maybe these symbolic resolutions and street parties are our way of showing the rest of the country who lives here and what we’re about, and if we’re so “inundated” with vegans and farmers markets, then why are you demanding that we shut up about it like some kind of family shame? Because if SFist were to step outside their bubble of above-it-all for just a second, there’s a whole world out there where people are still hating on each other for what they put in their mouths, whether it’s cock or tofu, and isn’t San Francisco where we live to get away from all that bullshit? And no, a grilled vegetable plate is not an acceptable option.

Or maybe our flagship San Francisco blog should move its beat somewhere it would have some actual relevance. Are SFist trying to align themselves with Republican senators from Michigan who tore apart their governor for daring to declare Michiganders abstain from meat for ONE DAY A YEAR. Seriously, is this the kind of backwards shit we want?? Or linking to the CATTLE NETWORK? A big pro-ag “news” source when plenty of local sources covered it, including us? Or sneering at outdoor ad bans (which our voters approved TWICE)? At least we know there’s hope for Fountainhead Fridays—SFist is already circulating the petition.

Vegans are painted as either wealthy elitist jerks, or perpetually broke, style-phobic hippies who will never know the good things in life, depending which wrong we’ve committed this time. It just sucks when a blog that’s supposed to cover San Francisco—home of wealthy elitist jerks, perpetually broke hippies, and plenty of other economic groups—demonizes part of its population like it is trying to hurt the city, or something. Which is so moronic and small-minded, you’d think SFist were forming its own little anti-veg Tea Party. The SFist Meat Party for the Eradication of Vegans and Their Evil Agenda. What’s next, a Photoshopped Ellen DeGeneres with a Hitler ‘stache?

Of course there’s backlash to this resolution: if jerks are against it, that means we’re doing something right, yes? Yes. And nothing is worth fighting for if it doesn’t piss someone off. Further, this resolution isn’t going anywhere; it passed with 100 percent support, so Meatless Mondays will continue after you babies are done wailing and gnashing your teeth (canines and molars alike). SFist may hate resolutions because they have no actual political power, like every time the Board called for an end to the Iraq War, but they are important: what starts as language can grow into action. San Francisco is the first city to start Meatless Mondays, but we’re sure it won’t be the last. Someplace has to be the instigator; why not here, the birthplace of haute veg cuisine?

Fucking relax, already. Flipping your shit over a resolution that encourages restaurants to offer more vegetarian options ONE DAY A WEEK? Damn. The resolution doesn’t even urge San Franciscans to give up meat on Monday; it just urges business to offer more plant-based options (Hey! SFist, perhaps you’d like to read the damn thing!). Even if it did encourage people not to eat meat on Mondays—WHOA NELLY ONE DAY A WEEK SOMEONE DOESN’T WANT US TO EAT MEAT OMG I’M AMERICAN WHERE ARE MY RIGHTS AND MY GUNS We understand that change is hard; even entirely voluntary, symbolic change that in the short-term may not affect you one tiny bit. Real talk. I’m proud to live in San Francisco; it’s one of the most exciting, progressive, diverse, dynamic cities on Earth. Wouldn’t it be amazing if SFist celebrated that, instead of posting veggie-hate and constant crime stats. Oh and links to posts about graffiti. Just a suggestion—I’m full of ‘em! I’ll be here spit-balling ideas all night! 

This post is brought to you by Meave, Steve, Jonas, and Laura. We had things to say, OK??

04/01/2010

“ 

Hi,

My name is Martha and I’m an employee of the Government of Canada working on the seal file.

While some may not agree with the harvest itself, it is worth noting that the seal population is healthy and abundant. The Northwest Atlantic harp seal population is currently estimated at 6.9 million animals—more than triple the size of the herd in the 1970s—and is not considered a threatened or endangered species.

Fishery officers monitor the harvest closely and infractions are taken seriously.

For you and your readers, there is information about seal populations available here: http://bit.ly/buywqj. As well, the full text of the Marine Mammal Regulations can be found here: http://bit.ly/bbYSXN

Thanks
Martha

 „

Hey Martha! Thanks for stopping by! We love getting the other side around here, especially when it’s full of doublespeak from a government eager to wipe the blood off its public face. So let’s get a few things straight.

1. A “harvest” is when you pick fruit off trees or whatever. It’s not when you bludgeon the heads of newborn seals until they’re good and dead (and before they have a chance to breed because that’s so “sustainable”). I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the meeting where a roomful of government staffers decided which word to use. ”How about ‘cuddle’? Are we liking ‘cuddle’?” “I don’t know, I’m still pushing for ‘happy finish’.” “YOU GUYS. I’VE GOT IT: ‘harvest’.” And the room breaks out in high-fives and fist-bumps.

2. Well shit howdy, the herd size has tripled since the 1970s? I wonder what else happened in the 1970s. Oh yeah, that’s right: The United States of America, your No. 1 trading partner, banned the importation of seal products. You’re kinda making my case for me, Martha.

3. And well done ignoring the point of the post and the Humane Society’s video, which is to show unprecedented melting of Arctic ice. Melting that is only getting worse. Yes, I’m sure your office will say, “based on data from the last five to 10 years, we predict that we can continue to give sustainable happy finish to harvest X number of seals for the next five to 10 years.” Well guess what, the world’s climate is changing, and fast. What happened five years ago is nothing like what’s happening this year. Try reading the news sometime. It’s in that section buried under Sports, Gossip, and Offbeat. No, keep going, you’re at the comics. There it is. It’s called Science.

4. Lastly, did you not notice the name of the site? We don’t care if your seal hunt is sustainable or not. But let’s put it this way. You may think it’s sustainable, but it’s not. Because in a few short years from now, the habitat for those animals will be completely gone, and all of you will be taken by surprise.

Anyway, thanks again for stopping by, Martha, and feel free to stick around. We have some great recipes and movie reviews.

02/08/2010

Is veganism really a battle between good and evil?  »

Presenting an op-ed by Brianna, one of our writers! Her views do not necessarily represent those of Vegansaurus as a whole, but as one of our regular contributors, we’re happy to give her the space to express her opinions.

There are a lot of very outspoken activists in the vegan community. While I admire anyone willing to fight/argue/do anything/etc. for their beliefs, I do feel that certain types of arguments detract from the discussion (read: turn it into a shouting match). This includes: making gagging noises when people eat non-vegan food in your presence, ridiculing or belittling anyone for their lifestyle choices, and adopting an argumentum ad hominem debate strategy. PETA often incorporates a lot of these “shock tactics” in efforts to “raise awareness” and promote veganism; but at best, it completely devalues any real discussion going on about veganism. In my opinion, veganism is a very personal lifestyle choice, not a crusade against evil.

Let’s be real here: we’re all hypocrites. If we have access to a computer and we wear clothing, we are supporting the same capitalist measures that we oppose in other areas. Are some of the clothes I wear made in sweatshops? Yes. But it’s not that I support sweatshops, it’s just that I’m a poor college student with little agency. And I try not to buy clothing that often.

My point is, it is impossible to be 100 percent good, to fully adopt the ideal lifestyle we present to the world. It is impossible to be 100 percent vegan. ANY crop will be harvested at the expense of animals’ well being (think about the destruction of their habitats, or the actual machinery that is used to collect the produce that will inevitably swallow them up as well, or the amount of insects/lizards/birds harmed by transport vehicles in getting your food to you—never mind the myriad environmental effects that ultimately bring many creatures to their demise). The farm industry has permanently damaged entire ecosystems, yet we rely heavily on it for our produce and specialty goods. Further, any medicine you take was probably tested at the animals’ expense—yet it is fundamental to your physical well being.

I think that the black-and-white view of the world (vegan: good; anything else: bad) is what makes a lot of people view veganism as a crock. My switch to veganism some three-plus years ago was one of the most incredible life changes I have ever undertaken. It is a beautiful thing to approach all of my meals with a critical eye, with a concern for what is going into my mouth and how it got on my plate. But I am imperfect, and I implore you to admit the same. We all slip up; we are all at the end of the day human. Veganism is a personal choice, a challenge to the body and the mind that takes great concentration and great care. It isn’t something that you should be bullied or guilted into; it is a decision that you should make with a lot of thought and great personal struggle.

I challenge you to challenge those who have differing views—I aspire to do much of that in my life. I am often asked “why?” and I always take great care to give a logical, unbiased answer. I tell whoever asks me about the great harms of factory farming to both animal welfare and to the environment. If they ask further, I tell them of the health implications of eating antibiotic-riddled meat or PCB- and mercury-laden fish. If someone ridicules me for my lifestyle choice, I smile and nod and I understand that there is nothing I can say to change their mind. But there is something I can DO: I can live as exemplary a lifestyle as possible, and hope that they see the positive aspects of veganism. I implore you in your life and in your discussions with others to refrain from attacking them as people, from removing their humanity and mistaking ignorance (as in, an ignorance of your views and why you have them) with evil.

I don’t believe that there is a single “right” or “wrong” way to live for everyone. There is, however, a “right” way for yourself, and you should do everything in your power to find out what it is. But you must also recognize that what is right for you may not be right for someone else, and respect their choice to live omnivorously, just as you expect them to respect your choice to live herbivorously.

02/02/2010

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