Archive for June, 2009

30 June, 2009

21 Stupid Things People Say To Vegans

A collection of things people say to vegans, because sometimes you just have to laugh.

1. The number 1 stupid thing people say is “Where do you get your protein?” Arggghhh! People are not short on protein. If a healthy person eats enough calories on a range of foods, chances are they will meet their protein requirements. However, meat and dairy and eggs contain NO FIBRE, so the most logical reply to that is “Where do you get your fibre?”

2. But Hitler was a vegetarian. And the response is “How is that even relevant?” In online debates, the first person to mention the Holocaust loses, except when it comes to vegetarians and vegans, then Hitler is proof of … who knows what in the minds of people making this point. (And, by the way, NO, he wasn’t.)

3. If we didn’t eat animals first, they would eat us. Elephants, horses, bulls – some of the strongest animals there are, are also vegetarian. 65 Billion animals are killed for food (not counting those killed for other reasons) a year, there are less than 7 billion people on the planet, that’s a sort of disparity in numbers.

Highland cattle

Image via Wikipedia

4. I like animals too… smothered in gravy, next to the mashed potato. Is there anything more moronic? Is there any response to that, except roll your eyes and walk away.

5. If God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat? Ok, if God didn’t want us to eat people, why did he make them out of meat. Generally it is the same people who never set food in a place of worship who say this.

6. Oh, I could never be vegan, I like meat too much. How about a rapist saying, Oh I could never stop raping, I like it too much. or A drug addict, Oh I could never stop drugs, I like them too much. or, Oh I could never stop driving way too fast, I like it too much. Just because you like something does not mean that it is good for you, or good for others.

7. But vegetables feel pain too. I saw this on a vegan forum once, a response so brilliant, I wish I could take credit… “I tell you what, I will jab you in the eye with this carrot – let’s see who feels more pain, you or the carrot”. If plants could feel pain, they would have evolved a mechanism for avoid it. And meat eaters are still eating plants, it is just processed through the bodies of animals, so if they really cared about plant-rights they would give up meat.

8. But fish/bees/chickens don’t feel pain. They use this to justify eating fish, honey, eggs. Sometimes it is said by the same people who think vegetables feel pain. Any animal with a central nervous system feels pain, that includes bees and fish. I am at a complete loss where this idea that fish don’t feel pain comes from.

Macro Bee

Image by Antonio Machado via Flickr

9. and 10. On telling someone you don’t eat honey, they may say “Bees aren’t animals” or “but honey comes from flowers“. What? What do you mean, bees aren’t animals? Since when? Of course they are animals, and honey is produced from bee-vomit. They swallow the pollen and partially digest it, then regurgitate it. Honey comes from from flowers in much the same way that steak comes from grass and corn.

11. But god told us to eat animals, it’s in the bible. Well, actually, No, apart from the whole -how accurate is the bible?- debate. Page 1 of the bible, God puts all the good stuff right up front, it’s a long book, he knows some people might get bored and skip pages so, page 1 GEN 1:29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

12. Yeah, but god said, we have dominion over animals. GEN 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” That says dominion, it does not say, “you have dominion, and eat them”. For Christians, god was pretty specific about what he meant for food – Every Tree That Has Fruit With Seed In It. It’s hard to believe that 3 lines later, he would forget to add that part about eating animals.

The Bible

Image via Wikipedia

Besides, the bible also says, Ex 20:13 “thou shall not kill” it is one of the 10 commandments. It is actually number 6, why it is not in the top five commandments, is a debate for theologists. For people who believe in the literal translation of the bible (eg, the earth is 6000 years old, stone the homosexuals) seem to twist and turn this very basic commandment to mean whatever they want it to mean.

13. Animals were raised for food, to not eat them is disrespectful. How about all those children in Third World countries, that were sold into slavery or make 20C a day making sports shoes, to not buy them would be disrespectful. Or all those women who are abuses and raped in porn movies, to not watch them would be disrespectful. The animals didn’t raise themselves to be eaten or raped to produce milk, people did that, and they did it for money! It is only disrespectful to large multinational corporations that have their profits as a main concern and not your health, the planet’s health, or the animals welfare in mind.

14. Animals give their life for food, when I eat them I give thanks to their spirit and honour them. Ok, to be perfectly clear, animals don’t GIVE anything, they have their lives STOLEN from them, they have no say, they have no choice. And whether you give thanks or not, they are still just as dead, slaughtered, murdered. I would like to murder your child and cook ’em up in the deep fry, would that be ok, as long as I gave thanks and honoured their spirit? No? Really? What a surprise.

15. A wise native man told me once, that is the circle of life, we eat animals and when we die, our bodies are returned to the earth and animals eat us. Ok, I will give you this one, you are only allowed to eat your body weight worth of worms, bugs, insects, maggots and bacterial slime in the entire course of your life time. Fair trade? But sheep, cows, chickens, pigs being vegetarian animals are off the menu, they would not eat you, so they are not part of your life circle.

CAT combine harvester

Image via Wikipedia

16. What about all those animals killed in the combine harvester, so in fact, vegans cause more deaths than meat eaters. Most grain in this world is feed to animals raised for food. U.S. Could Feed 800 Million People With Grain That Livestock Eat, Cornell Ecologist Advises Animal Scientists. So if someone cares so much about the mice and locusts that get killed during harvesting, they should stop eating meat and animal products as a first step.

16. If we didn’t hunt animals, the world would be over run by all the lambs and chickens and coyotes that we don’t eat. If animals weren’t breed for food, they wouldn’t be breed. Farmers don’t raise animals for fun, they do it for profit, if there is no profit, they won’t do it. And as for animals like deer, kangaroo, foxes, coyotes, these animals only appear to be over-running the suburbs with their increased populations because we are now putting subdivisions and roads in their homes. We are taking their land, there have no where else to go.

17. Fur is green, and leather is warm, by wearing animal skins we are keeping cheap synthetics out of the landfill. Fur is not green, it is the skin of a slaughtered animal, which takes masses amounts of chemicals to process, or it would decompose, like all dead bodies. And if land used to raise natural fibres was not being used to raise animal, there would be no problems.

18. I would be vegan, but I like ice-cream too much. So, give up everything except ice-cream. If ice-cream is the one thing stopping you from being vegan, why are you still eating meat, cheese, cream, honey, eggs?

19. My neighbours, cousins, brother-in-laws, sisters boss was a vegan once, and got very very sick, ate a steak and felt better. Ok that is anecdotal and if you don’t actually know this person, does that count? Most people I know eat animal products, and they get very very sick with cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes.

20. “If I go vegan, I’ll get weak, pale and ill” or “vegans are hard core terrorists“. Well, were you pale to start with? Make up your mind, violent and aggressive or weak and pale.

21. It’s my right to eat animals, wear animals, experiment on animals. Your rights stop where another life is affected, you don’t have the right to kill, abuse, torture, slaughter, any living creature, that is not a right.


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25 June, 2009

Steal This Book! (hippy civil disobedience)

Abbie Hoffman: What we needed was a revolution!

You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists. Abbie Hoffman, Tikkun Magazine (July-August 1989)

Written by Abbie Hoffman in 1970, “Steal This Book!” written in the spirit of overthrowing the system or at least the apathy, has chapters on how to get by with little money, making weapons of self defence, how to get a free buffalo, underground media, guerrilla broadcasting, demonstrations, first aid for street fighters and establlishing an underground identity.

Steal This Book is, in a way, a manual of survival in the prison that is Amerika. It preaches jailbreak. It shows you where exactly how to place the dynamite that will destroy the walls. The first section-SURVIVE!-lays out a potential action program for our new Nation. The chapter headings spell out the demands for a free society. A community where the technology produces goods and services for whoever needs them, come who may. It calls on the Robin Hoods of Santa Barbara Forest to steal from the robber barons who own the castles of capitalism. It implies that the reader already is “ideologically set,” in that he understands corporate feudalism as the only robbery worthy of being called “crime,” for it is committed against the people as a whole. Whether the ways it describes to rip-off shit are legal or illegal is irrelevant. The dictionary of law is written by the bosses of order. Our moral dictionary says no heisting from each other. To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral.
ABBIE HOFFMAN – Steal This Book


For more, the entire book can be found here – http://tenant.net/Community/steal/steal.html – read, learn, improvise, being inspired to over throw the complacency and apathy in Western Society.


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20 June, 2009

Rock cakes (vegan recipe)

Rock cakes
These are very easy to make and cook, can be adjusted on taste, by adding spices and fruit or leaving the spices and fruit out. They are similar to a cake-like version of English-scones.

Being able to cook for yourself is an important skill to have, if you cant, you are at the mercy of large corporations who put profits ahead of healthy food.

And when our children learn to cook, they have an appreciation of food and cooking and can get off the fast-food treadmill. Giving them skills that allows them to break free of being slaves of large corporations.

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cups brown sugar
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

1/2 cup sultanas, raisins, or currants, or any mix of (pre-soak, or cover with boiling water and let stand)
1/2 cup canned pineapple pieces, drained

1/4 cup sunflower oil
5 tablespoons soymilk (or rice milk)

Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 190°C fanforced / 400°F.

Lightly oil a large baking tray.

Sift together flour and baking powder, and spices. Stir in sugar and lemon rind.

Add drained sultanas and pineapple.

Mix the oil and milk and stir into the mixture, to make a dough which just binds together. (less liquid than if making a cake batter).

Spoon onto rocky heaps on the greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.


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15 June, 2009

“Sport”: The slaughter of Canadian Wildlife

Canned-hunts or trophy hunts are where animals are rounded up in an area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill. This is happening to the bears of West Canada for the privilege of the elitist USAmerican and European hunters, perhaps because the weather is so much nicer than in the African canned hunts which they usually take part in.

After slaughtering the large mammals in their own countries, they are moving on, slaughtering as many animals as they can in everyone else’s country.

Hunting is not “sport”, hunting is not about “conservation”, hunting is not about “protecting the environment from over-population”.

And when hunters say they are supported by Animal Rights groups, such as WWF (World Wildlife Fund for nature), they give legitimacy to what they do when they callously and with total disregard slaughter endangered and threatened species.

As WWF, themselves, have been quoted as saying:

WWF is not an animal welfare organization. We support the hunting and consumption of wild animals provided the harvesting does not threaten the long-term survival of wildlife populations. WWF has never opposed a sustainable seal hunt in northern or eastern Canada.

http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/env-mg-wwf.html

Why do governments continue to allow this?


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10 June, 2009

Chickens Revenge (Moby: Disco Lies)

The following Moby essay was taken from the Vegetarian Network Victoria (http://www.vnv.org.au) website. And is in no way intended to usurp Moby’s copyright. Several sites that I looked for this essay were dead links.It is an important essay, that I think deserves to be read widely by as many people as possible.



“Fundamentalism (of any kind) troubles me. The world is too big and too intricate to conform to our ideas of what it should be like. In my experience I’ve found that most fundamentalists aren’t so much attached to their professed ideologies as they are to the way in which these ideologies try to make sense of a confusing world. But the world is confusing, and just because we invent myths and theories to explain away the chaos we’re still going to live in a world that’s older and more complicated than we’ll ever understand. So many religious and political and scientific and social systems fail in that they try to impose a rigid structure onto what is an inherently ambiguous world. I’m not suggesting that we stop trying to understand things. Trying to understand the world can be fun and, at times, helpful. But if we base our belief systems on the humble assumption that the complexities of the world are ontologically beyond our belief systems it will make more sense and end up causing less suffering.”



One way to solve the worlds, hunger, worker, environmental, cruelty, resources situations is to go VEGAN


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5 June, 2009

Capitalist swine flu (via Workers World)

Bill Maher talks about swine flu

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Capitalist swine flu
Published Apr 29, 2009 3:35 PM

EDITORIAL

Every disaster—whether earthquake, flood or epidemic—exposes the fault lines in society.

Such is the case with the possible pandemic—worldwide epidemic—of a virulent flu caused by a newly mutated virus. This human version of swine flu has hit Mexico most severely, with the United States a close second. It has rapidly spread to a dozen other countries.

Politically, the greatest threat is that right-wing demagogues will try to scapegoat Mexicans, especially Mexican immigrants, for the epidemic’s spread. This is a serious political challenge to progressive forces in the U.S. It will require a redoubling of the already necessary effort to build solidarity between immigrant and U.S.-born workers, a solidarity that will be emphasized at May Day events across the country.

The attempt to blame Mexicans is not only despicable, it is way off. Look at these facts.

ABC News reported on April 28 that “Mexico’s first suspected case of the swine flu was detected in the remote farming village of La Gloria” a month ago. Some 800 of the 2,000 people there got sick. “The most likely way that this young boy got the infection was from another person who had been in contact with the pigs,” said Dr. Kathryn Edwards of Vanderbilt Medical Center.

What ABC failed to report was that the pigs were on a nearby industrial farm run by a subsidiary of Smithfield Farms, the anti-union, polluting, factory-farm monopoly based in Virginia and North Carolina. For years, the communities around these farms have been complaining about the unhealthy conditions and stench from thousands of pigs and their waste crowded into small areas.

Historian Mike Davis, a professor at the University of California at Irvine and author of “The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu,” wrote in the Britain-based Guardian newspaper of April 27 that the “fecal mire of an industrial pigsty” was the likely environment in which a new flu virus could develop. Smithfield, wrote Davis, will ferociously resist any efforts to change its dangerous but highly profitable production processes.

An experienced writer on these issues, Davis also mentioned three obstacles to an efficient and effective defense against any pandemic: the weakness of the U.S. public health system, the negative attitude of the U.S. and other wealthy countries toward promoting cutting-edge public health facilities in the poorer countries, and Swiss-based Roche Pharmaceutical’s patent on the flu medicine Tamiflu, which prevents poor countries from developing generic anti-viral medicines.

The first lesson of this is that the U.S. has a disgraceful record regarding health care. The trillions spent on war should be used instead to set up a world-class national health system and bypass the overpriced, profit-guzzling health care industry.

Secondly, don’t blame Mexicans for this outbreak. Investigate Smithfield and take action against the polluters.

Next, pressure from imperialist banks over the last 30 years has forced poor countries to cut their public health outlays. This has not only debilitated health care, it has increased the danger of pandemics. Instead of criminalizing immigrant workers and militarizing the border with Mexico, the U.S. should be supporting Mexico’s efforts to improve its health system—especially since U.S. corporations like Smithfield are making huge profits there, by super-exploiting Mexican workers.

And lastly, the monopoly on new drugs held by a few privately owned pharmaceuticals impedes the development of a worldwide supply of generic medicines. For the health of humanity, medical knowledge must be shared and all countries be free to manufacture their own medicines.

This all points to one conclusion: that the capitalist system as a whole is an obstacle to protecting the life and health of humanity when faced with swine flu or any other possible pandemic.


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