Archive for ‘Vegan Lifestyle’

5 April, 2011

I Am Vegan – there is power in a word

So, you have decided you want to be an Animal Rights Activist… then say it loud, say it proud, shout it from the mountain tops — I Am Vegan.

Assuming that you are Vegan, saying “I am Vegan” is a powerful statement.

I Am Vegan, it is more than what you do, its more than how you see yourself, it is you saying you want to stand with every other vegan out there with a shared desired for justice for animals in this world.

It is more than a label – it is a statement of who “I AM”.

Whether you meet any other vegans, it doesn’t matter, you are someone who identifies with what a vegan is. And when you say I Am Vegan, other vegans will know exactly what you mean:

The word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
– Elsie Shrigley and Donald Watson (1944)

For a more indepth unpacking of what this definition mean to me, see Vegan.

Deep within human mythology and history, naming something gives a person power over that which is named. In the Abrahamic religion, in fairy tales, in popular culture (the power of the name in The Usual Suspects, for example; or The Doctor in Doctor Who: “I named her. The power of a name. That’s old magic“).

In choosing to label – or name – yourself a Vegan, you are taking the power contained within that concept and bringing it into your own life.

This can be especially important at a time when Animal Rights Activists are being cowered with anti-terrorist laws, such as the draconian AETA in the United States.

AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act) makes virtually every form of protest against animal cruelty a terrorist act – Including the advocating of veganism (diet and lifestyle) and taking photos on a farm and taking animals across state lines for the purpose of avoid vivisection.

The criminalising of compassion, the use informants and collaborators, wire taps, email hacks, sock puppets, and the hyper-surveillance by vegans against other vegans creates a culture of fear. This can leave some people reluctant to say what they really think.

Vegans might begin talking about being “strict vegetarian”, “plant based diets”, “compassionate / green lifestyle” – or just avoid the word completely, after all, we don’t want to scare the meat eaters.

Are You Afraid of the Word “Vegan”? some are, and it’s time more people opened the door to the “vegan closet” they’ve been hiding in, and dare to step out into the light.

Maybe, then less people might hide in there, finding comfort in the dark, with all the others too reluctant to acknowledge the “way of being that dare not speak its name”.

Being Vegan is not scary, or weird, or dangerous or “extreme and not sustainable” but when vegans don’t use the word, it gives the impression that there is something wrong with people who are vegan.

And when we stop using the right words, what is left? Neutral, bland, average, non controversial, inaccurate, tergiversate (evasions or ambiguities) words, spoken by people unwilling to act for fear of making a mistake.

If vegans are too unwilling and reluctant to describe themselves as Vegan, then how will they ever find the courage to act on animals behalf.

It’s time to scream it from the roof tops, I Am Vegan, it doesn’t mean you are a terrorist, it means you are a compassionate human being.

By reclaiming the word “Vegan”, we can unite as vegans with a common goal – the elimination of the use of all animals – we can begin to undo some of erroneous assumptions created when people such as “Veggie Girl” start to divide vegans into militant=bad and non militant=good. By dividing vegans this way, she is in effect saying there are some that are not like her, when they stand up against milk and humane meat they are being “militant” and not all vegans are like that. That is “those” vegans over these, “those” militant ones, when that is exactly what Vegan is.

Splitting off vegans into groups according the vegans we like and those we don’t reduces the power of the word. Vegan is what it is, why are we trying to redefine it.

When certain celebrities continue to eat dairy and eggs and call themselves “vegan” and no one stands up, we are losing the power of the word vegan.

Think of how many times you have heard about fish-eating vegetarians, or bacon-eating vegetarians, or chicken-eating vegetarians. If vegetarians eat fish, bacon and chicken then the word has lost all its meaning.

Are we going to allow VEGAN to get devalued the same way, by people who says that a cheese eating vegan is about “being flexible that way makes more people comfortable“?

The word vegan cannot be taken-over and watered-down by cheese-eating, fur-wearing celebrities, or criminalised by governments trying to win elections by whipping up fear by deliberating confusing animal rights with terrorism.

We must protect the meaning of the word Vegan, so that when someone says “I am Vegan” there is no confusion. No longer hiding our belief in concepts of justice, animal rights, animal liberation or veganism opens it up to others to ask us questions.

Being vegan is a journey not a destination.

Living a vegan life is a step towards the reduction and suffering of animals.

Speaking for myself, I cannot separate vegan from animal rights, for me, being vegan means support AR (Animal Rights), and supporting AR means being vegan. I try, but I cannot see how someone can call themselves an “animal rights activist” unless they are a vegan.

If you fight for animal rights, you fight for the rights of all animals, there are no exceptions for those you think taste good or those who aren’t cute. A concept I explore in more depth here: If you start a debate with “I fight for animal rights, but I’m no vegan” don’t expect applause

(While I think someone can be vegan without fighting for animal rights, I don’t think it is possible to call yourself an animal rights activist if you consume the products of animals bodies, particular dairy, eggs, honey which require the deaths of those animals to produce the “by”-products.)

I cannot separate animal rights and veganism.

To me it is simple, the most basic right is to not be killed and eaten by someone more powerful, exploited for any purpose.
As the Abolitionist Vegan Lee Hall says:
Veganism is Direct Action (Lee Hall’s Vegan Means)
Vegan Baking as Direct Action … (Lee Hall’s Friends of Animals)
Veganism as Direct Action (Abolitionist Online, where Lee Hall writes “Above all, the key change is diet, for it is absurd to discuss the rights of animals as we eat them. The vegetarian movement employs the most direct action of all”.)

I would disagree with Lee Hall here, only in as much as, the vegetarian movement inflicts intolerable cruelty on animals, especially those that are eaten, the dairy, egg and honey industries necessitate unspeakable cruelty and slavery, and to me, that is not RIGHTS.

And second, I would suggest going beyond Diet, and living a vegan life.

Other than those two minor quibbles, I would agree wholeheartedly with Hall, we can’t speak of animal rights while we eat or use them or the products of their bodies.
Make the move, go vegan, be vegan, be a proud vegan, and you are already involved in Direct Action.

From the I Am Vegan archives

Next post in this series: Civilian’s Guide To Direct Action

*Sock puppets: an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community, either multiple identities for the one person or a governments use of false online personalities to spread US government “information” and security

Post 2011 ‘Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance’. Copying and distribution of this entire article, text and / or graphic, is permitted in any medium, but please include the credit:
Written by RedGlitter of VALA
or at least a link to this page, that would be nice

27 February, 2011

Vegan bite size pieces, for feeding Vegan trolls

drink milk as often as you can

When vegans talk about Not Exploiting Animals! the necrovores (“death eaters”) of the world start screaming PETA PROPAGANDA! Vegan Propaganda! TOFU propaganda! Communist Propaganda!

But what happens when schools start telling people “drink milk as often as you can”? And that message is brought directly to the students via a Dairy Lobby Group and a Government Department.
How can this be anything but propaganda for AA (Animal Agriculture)?

One woman (at The Tasty Vegan | A hotbed of veganic activity in British Columbia and beyond.) takes a look at this disturbing issue of dairy-indoctrination

LINK > More Dubious Advice on School Foods by Dairy Industry

And if anyone still has doubts about the evilness of Dairy – a Land O Lakes subsidiary has poured millions of dollars into Monsanto, “that shady agro-giant, that food-world Voldemort” (Elizabeth Farrelly), owning the world – one gene at a time.

Got milk? Got mutant genes!

And in other milk news, a store in London started selling human breast milk ice cream full story here: (“London cooing over breast milk ice-cream”) – and the social networks were buzzing – URGH! was the common reaction.

But all milk comes from breasts – cow breasts, sheep breasts, goat breasts, yak breasts. Urgh!

THE SIMPSONS (FOX) look at milk
Milk from some animals is more acceptable than milk from others.

Video of the week

Ask Your Doctor About Meat™
A brilliant, humorous look at propaganda of meat eating coming from “experts” who know nothing about nutrition (doctors receive very little training in nutrition).
“Meat… It’s dead and it’s made from animals”

Vegany Sweet Goodness

This recipe for Vegan chocolate bars inspired by Mars® Bars
because – not only are Mars® Bars filled with cruelty ingredients, but Mars tests on animals .
A Mars France spokesperson has “admitted that the business division Symbioscience does test on animals while developing “pharmaceutical and therapeutic food ingredients”, including flavanols.”

A chocolate bar and melted chocolate. Chocolat...

Image via Wikipedia

Vegan Mars Bars from Veganarchy Foods
*nuttelex in the recipe is vegan margarine

Be kind to cows… and be kind to your body. Vegan junk food!

So, if you’ve been missing out on that nougat-chocolate treat since going vegan, click on the link > VEGAN MARS BARS” and enjoy the cooking!





Blog post that says so much

The Vegan Swagg blog is up and running: First post: “An Open Letter from a Militant Vegan” a look at animal rights / veganism and social networking.

What I do love about this, it completely tears down the false “I’m one of you” vegan platitudes of a pseudo vegan and …

the best part is I don’t have to deal with the negative feedback from the trolls who seem to think militant vegans are the enemy (yes ALF, I’m looking at you).

This is an issue I looked at here The New Enemy: The Militant Vegan (say what?), so another perspective on any issue is always good.

tweet of the week

@VeganMudblood: Sexism, transphobia, homophobia, racism, classism, sizeism, ageism, etc., have NO place in the #animalrights movement. #vegan

… all I can add to that is, cruelty, torture, exploitation, abuse, slavery and murder have no place in animal rights either.

TROLL of the week

For sickening, disgusting, hate speech against women and transgender people.

This is a person who rants at, trolls and spams other users, especially those who she/he does not follow – is all about arguing and not about social networking.

He/She is a person who seems to think feminism is all about hating on women, progressives, vegans, non whites, and transgender.

And to me, that is NOT feminism.

For example – @sarrabee
“I’m not actually responding to that person at all. I’m simply reposting his/her tweets. It’s important.” Thursday, 24 February 2011 12:53:23 PM

which was either aimed at me, or a woman called Cindy.

Why the faux gender unknown act?

Which may not seem like anything until followers realise, (and this is what I find amusingly ironic) this same person, he/she was calling out progressives for labeling Ann Coulter a “he/she”. And this @sarrabee person thought that was transphobic. And yet, turns around and uses transphobic terms as an insult against others.

If you don’t know someone’s gender, and it is important to you, as it seems to be for this @sarrabee transgender hater person, then use someone’s name. Or, gender neutral “them”, “their”, “they”, which is becoming increasingly acceptable to use for singular other.

Although, I’m not sure why someone’s gender should be important to anyone other than that persons loved ones and doctor.

In the above tweet, she/he could have said “I’m reposting THEIR tweets” – but his/her insistence on use a gender descriptor for the person he/she was reposting, seems to me that she/he (@sarrabee) cares a lot about gender and calling out progressives and doesn’t really care about transgender people at all.

This person comes across as a twitter troll – follow at your own risk.

from the Feeding Trolls archives

completely selfish fkn moron of the week

from the Im a selfish, self centre, heartless loser files

This comment (You can be both an animal rights activist and an omnivore. Some people don’t have the need to eat meat but some do.) was found at the Facebook group Fight For Animal Rights.

Let’s go over this one more time for the braindead idiots – one of the most basic rights any living thing has, is LIFE. When you eat meat, or consume any animal product, you are depriving that being of LIFE.

Eating animals is not ANIMAL RIGHTS.

You absolutely CANNOT be an animal rights activist who consumes the corpses of animals.

But thanks Shanghai GoGo Discotheque for playing. And losing.

And showing the whole how selfish and greedy you are.

7 December, 2010

Alien Life On Earth has been found!


Finally, after years of indepth study, I found evidence of alien life on earth!

For millennia, this has been speculation, from religious and political leaders, to scientists and students. And now the evidence is irrefutable.

The principal stars of the constellation Lyra,...

Image via Wikipedia

My years of pouring over books and journal articles about quantum physics, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, theology and thealogy. I believe I have made a break through.

Alien life, from the star Vega, is here, these Vega-beings walk among us!
(Vega is a star in the Lyra constellation, and only 25 light-years from Earth, in a North direction)

These beings come in peace. Although, they have been known to display warlike characteristics, but apparently, only when dealing with others like them. They have been known to exhibit fierce tendencies with other Vega-life forms, but rarely, almost never to non-Vega-beings.

Once it would have been rare for most people to know a Vega-being, unless they lived in small isolated communities, that had a tolerance for anyone who was different. But now, it seems that almost everyone knows one, even if they aren’t aware they are from Vega.

These Vega-extra-terrestrials have been coming here in small numbers for centuries, but their numbers are increasing.

The Vega-beings walk among us, and although they look like us, completely indistinguishable in almost every respect, except they have an extraordinary level of energy, and a little sparkle in their eyes.

They have been known to use secret symbols so that others of their kind can recognise them. One such symbol is a “Ⓥ”.

These alien life forms also show a higher level of awareness, respect for life, compassion and kindness. And for this reason, there are many humans that feel threatened by the existence of these aliens.

Being more highly evolved, and coming from a different part of the universe, they still have much to learn about our Earthling ways. They have no desire to harm humans, but extend that compassion to all life on this planet. They see that a cow, dolphin, dog, frog or human child, are all worthy of life.

The implications of this discovery may be huge. As the world renown astronomer, astrophysicist and cosmologist, Carl Sagan has said “Religious leaders worried that Vegan values, however alien, would find ready adherents, especially among the uninstructed young” (Contact).

These VEGANS are increasingly spreading out across the surface of the Earth, in their quest to find other Vegans and Earthlings willing to adopt Vegan values and a Vegan way of life.

These Vegans have said they will show the world that it is not necessary to eat other Earthlings, to hunt, wear their skins, or torture them in numerous other ways.

And when the cruelty to other Earthlings has faded into history, the human race may extend that compassion to other members of the human race.

28 November, 2010

Tasha and her “meatgasms” – Vegan-No-More

Annoying the vegan abolitionists and the direct action vegans since March 2009.

Over-hyped Saga of the week:
Tasha (the blogger formerly known as “Voracious Vegan”) and her “meatgasms”

When Sally Met Harry: I'll Have What She's Having

After last weeks 15 minute outrage regarding Alicia Silverstone Is She / Isn’t She Vegan (see post: what do you call a cheese-eating vegan?… a celebrity) comes this little blog post that had the twitterverse a-tweeting.

Vegan No More

The former “Voracious Vegan” is now just “Voracious” (which according to Webster’s dictionary, is a synonym for “greedy, rapacious”.

After 3/1/2 years on a vegan diet, Tasha eats meat and is “moaning with pleasure and joy” (hence the title of my post).

The only appropriate response to this publicity fuelled confession, from Tasha, is ignore it until it goes away. But the online vegan community is small, we like to laugh at the ridiculousness.

My first bite of meat after 3.5 years of veganism was both the hardest and easiest thing I’ve ever done. Tears ran down my face as saliva pooled in my mouth. The world receded to a blank nothingness and I just ate, and ate, and ate. I cried in grief and anger, while moaning with pleasure and joy.

She eats one steak, and instantly her health is miraculously returned (quote: I had only eaten a small piece of cow flesh, and yet I felt totally full, but light and refreshed all at once) Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! Praise Buddha! Praise Allah! Praise Deity Of Your Choice…. Let’s get real

Oh my, tears are running down my face right now, from laughing so hard. I am almost literally rolling on the floor laughing. People in the cafe I am writing this from are looking at me, I haven’t laughed like this for a long time. Is this Tasha woman serious?

What kind of nutritional deficiencies are cured in an instant? Does this sound accurate to anyone?

Here is another, less funny, extract:

I delicately broached the topic of my ill-health with several vegan friends. I even made comments on other blogs and on twitter highlighting my struggles. The response was nothing short of shocking. In the span of just a few days I received an outpouring of emails from fellow ‘vegan’ bloggers, who told me in confidence that they weren’t really vegan ‘behind the scenes’. They ate eggs, or the occasional fish, or piece of meat, all to keep themselves healthy, but were too scared to admit to it on their blogs. I even received emails from two very prominent and well respected members of the vegan AR community. One a published and much loved vegan cook book author, the other a noted animal rights blogger, their emails detailed their health struggles and eventual unpublicized return to eating meat.
Vegan No More

She makes a few delicate comments and true celebrities vegans are pouring their inner most secrets out in an email? Does this sound logical to anyone?

People who make their living based on their vegan reputation would risk it all by confessing in an email to someone who is now clearly anti vegan (her quote: “I can no longer think it is wrong to eat animals” shows where her beliefs are).

And if this is true (IF!) name them. Go on, name names. Do not go around making baseless accusations, by throwing around these allegations, everyone is under suspicion.

Maybe that is what she wants. It’s a cheap shot, and I prefer to not believe her.

I do not want to go around suspecting everyone I read to be a pseudo-vegan. That is a Stalinist tactic that does nothing to foster cohesion and a sense of community, in what is otherwise a fragmented and fractious group.

Tasha has now giving up veganism, whatever that meant to her (it sounds like it was purely about diet), and has turned into a “feminist”…….. (Oh feminists – may the goddesses have mercy on your souls that this woman is speaking for you, how long before she decides she is really a patriarch and move on to the next cause de jour)

But on this, the abolitionists, the liberationists and the unaligned, all agree – hahaha, (hint: Tasha, we are laughing at you, not with you).

Vegan No More is great for a laugh, so is the responses, the blog posts, the gossip, the comments. I haven’t seen the vegan community so united in, well – ever!

The whole thing is a gift to the vegan community online, for once we could put aside our petty differences over which we fight so viciously, and get a great laugh at this nonsense, this completely laughably ludicrous self-serving, rambling, incoherent piece of anti-vegan propaganda.

And, while there are so many other things I would say, but I won’t, because I’m not a mean person. Instead, I’ll leave the talking to others. All these articles are well-worth following the links, and reading the original articles, and comments:

* From the dietitian
Do Ex-Vegans’ Stories Make the Case Against Vegan Diets? by Ginny Messina
“…….. In her more than 7,000 word post, she’s rather vague about these details, as is Lierre Keith in her book. I do know that a lot of vegans think they are eating healthfully when they really aren’t. And I believe that a lot of vegans get sick and return to eating meat when all they needed was more sound information about vegan diets and less misinformation from the pseudo-scientific anti-vegan world ………”

* Satire perspective
Omnivore: Fail by Vegan Feminist Agitator
“…….. The path from which I began straying from omnivorism was painful, difficult, heart-wrenching even. People might try to tell me that I did something wrong, that I just didn’t try hard enough, but they are mistaken: I tried with all my being to live as an omnivore……”

* the activist
A worthy reply to “Vegan No More”
“……….. I see incredible potential and use for websites, blogs, chats, forums as sources of information, connection points for activists, and means of fast communication. But when things degenerate into repetitive arguments, shit-slinging, defamation and egotistic posturing … well, time to turn off, both figuratively and literally. So that’s all the time I’m giving to this odd internet chapter which will be known as “Vegan No More” (after the ex-vegan’s blog post of the same title)……….”

* the fair and balanced response
A vegan controversy
“……….. My problem stems from her reasoning. My problem stems from her complete reversal to proselytizing that vegans are the ones who are wrong. … My problem stems from her rejection of science in favor of finding a new moral high horse to ride. She no longer believes veganism isn’t right for her or the planet, so you shouldn’t either………”

* the vegan community weighs in
Your Daily Vegan: Vegan Defenders talk back
“…………..Oh, that vegan defector? Defector- is she implying that veganism is as horrible as life in North Korea? The movement she was once such a zealous member of was really just the same as living in a communist dictatorship? She’s a fraud. She’s a once-self-described vegangelist. What cause will she attach herself to next? Apparently the meat-eating cause. ……………”

[Side bar: Tasha claims to have received “death threats”, my response to that is
honey, if you are receiving death threats, that is an issue for the FBI, or since you are living in an artificial oasis in the Saudi Arabian desert (which probably has a much bigger impact on the environment than a few grains, which you complain extensively about), try interpol. If you seriously believe vegans want to kill you, blogging about it doesn’t really convey that seriousness.]

Feedback welcome.

15 November, 2010

what do you call a cheese-eating vegan?… a celebrity (the Alicia Silverstone saga)

I get a lot of flak when I point out that many of the people the vegan community holds up as heroes aren’t actually vegan.

I am told that they do more for veganism that I ever will (yeah, maybe, but at least I don’t eat animals!)

I am told that nobody is perfect, and then my critics trawl through my life trying to find somewhere that I’m not perfect either (yeah, maybe, but at least I still don’t eat animals).

Cover of "The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide t...

Cover via Amazon

Here is Ms Not So Perfect Vegan Alicia Silverstone advocating CHEESE – again.

Alicia Silverstone Confesses: I Cheat on Vegan Diet!

Even a proud vegan like Alicia Silverestone gives in to temptation once in a while.

The actress and author of The Kind Diet confessed that sometimes she slips up — and dairy is her downfall.

“If I was at a party and there was a tray of cheese sitting there and I had had drinks, then I might have a bite,” Silverstone confessed to at an EcoTools event in NYC on Wednesday.

Silverstone doesn’t let her momentary lapse get to her, though. “It’s human,” she said. “It’s a really good reminder that sometimes you need to have what you remember is this good thing. Because then you have it, and you’re like, ‘Actually that wasn’t better than the recipes in my book,'” Silverstone told Us.

“Being flexible that way makes more people comfortable,” she said. “If I’m rigid about it and I’m perfect, then no one is going to be able to be like me because I’ll be this icey, rigid thing.”

Silverstone credits the vegan diet with better health. “I haven’t been to a doctor in 13 years,” she told Us. “I don’t have to worry about calories, I don’t have to worry about how I look because I know that what I do makes me look my best.”

For a start, I’m not sure there is such a concept as “cheating on a vegan diet” that would make it… um – not vegan!!

Like a virgin who cheats on virginity, gets pregnant and says, but I’m still a virgin, I only cheated a little!

Once we start having the concept of cheese-eating vegans, its a slippery slope til the word “vegan” means anything that people want it to mean.

There already is a perfectly valid word for someone who avoids meat but eats cheese….. VEGETARIAN!

Ever tried to define vegetarian?
A coworker told me once there are two types of vegetarian, those who eat meat and those who don’t, no matter how much I tried to tell her that a vegetarian who eats meat is not a vegetarian in any sense of the word, she would not be swayed…
there is the fish-eating-vegetarians, the fur-wearing-vegetarians, the chicken-and-bacon-eating-vegetarians, the vegetarian-3-days-a-week-and-steak-on-the-rest… the word “vegetarian” has become pretty much useless.

I was out to lunch with friends recently, one who is a vegetarian told the wait staff “I’m a vegetarian, no meat in the stir fry vegetables” it came loaded with prawns. She sent it back.

One of the reasons that the word / concept “vegan” was invented in World War 2 was that vegetarians on got rations for cheese and eggs as replacements for meat, and so began a campaign to be recognised as not consuming animals products. There are many other reasons too, but this was one of the earliest fights for recognition, that a vegan was something separate to vegetarian.

No one stands up when people assume that meat=cow/lamb but not meat=fish/chicken/pig.

The amount of vegetarians who eat fish or chicken or pork/ham/bacon is so strange. And people just accept that it is a sub-set of vegetarian.

So, when people praise Alicia Silverstone for her veganism, do we accept it, and think, but she does so much for her diet book, oops I mean veganism – or do we go, “yes, she might do a lot for animals but she really isn’t vegan herself”.

If it is okay for celebrities to cheat – how big of a celebrity does one have to be? Movies? Magazine covers? Is there like, a slide scale of celebrity A-list and B-list can eat cheese, maybe C-list – but once we hit the D-list celebrities they can’t get away with calling themselves “vegan who eats cheese”? When was vegan redefined as – something you do only when you are a commoner?

And as for Alicia’s comment that she eats cheese when she has a drink… Really, when was vegan redefined as – something you do only when sober?

Then there are instances of people who identify as “vegan” (such as this brainless moronic post: Alicia Silverstone cheats on vegan diet with dairy as her downfall which says sometimes a little egg and dairy are good, because it shows others we are flexible, and that the author herself “I end up having bit of dairy or a baked good with some egg in it” – hun, you ain’t vegan!!) complaining about those who forgo all cheese as being “militant”, I beg your pardon – not eating cheese is not being “militant”, it’s actually just plain Vegan.

I respect what Alicia has done for animals, and if people go vegan because they read her book, good for her, but people also go vegan when they visit PETA websites too, and many, many vegans don’t like PETA, and compare that to the hatred directed at Sea Shepherd for not being vegan, and people change because of SS too, so why the double standards? I really hope it isn’t because she is young, blond, white and famous.

How many vegans out there don’t eat cheese, or any other dairy, and find ways to get alternatives.

In this post Alicia Silverstone goes Vegetarian, Alicia describes her eating of BK Veggie Burger, its “yummie”, that Burger King burger also contains egg and milk.
That original twitter comment is found here

Why do people go through all sorts of contortions to redefine vegan. It is simple – not animal products. Not just sometimes, all the times. If you accidently eat something, then you move on, but for Alicia, it doesn’t seem to be an accident, it seems to be a pattern.

Take a look at her answer here:

What do you do when you crave non-vegan foods?

Alicia Silverstone.: Well, I never crave non-vegan foods, because vegan foods are so delicious. When I’m out and there are no vegetarian foods available, then I just make the best choices I can. Sometimes, it’s to eat nothing at all, or I’ll have the least offensive thing. Maybe there’s a salad with goat cheese, or potato salad with a little mayo. That’s what it’s about — making the best choices under all circumstances.
Alicia Silverstone Quit Counting Calories – With Her “Kind Diet”

Actually… NO, veganism isn’t defined as “making the best choices” – it is In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.: Vegan

But, at what point do we stop watering down what “vegan” actually means, people call Bill Clinton vegan in the exact same interview he discusses eating fish (He actually seems to be making a lot of changes to his dies, it is “almost vegan”) – vegan has a meaning, do some people want that label so badly that they will ignore its meaning? I could call myself anything I want, doesn’t make it true, calling yourself “vegan” when you clearly aren’t doesn’t make veganism flexible, it totally strips all value and meaning from a word that has a specific definition.

… how would ordinary (by that I mean, Non celebrity) vegans who don’t “cheat” (which I find a silly word, its not “cheating” its eating cheese) feel going to a vegan restaurant being served cheese, honey, eggs, once that happens, the people who actually are vegan might have to explore a new word.

Meanwhile comments such as:
Brent Phillips (on facebook): Someone call the vegan police! Revoke her vegan powers

People who make comments like that, are they vegan themselves? I know how hard it is for me and vegans I know to live a vegan life, someone who doesn’t encounter difficulties occasionally, maybe there is a reason.

And as for “revoke her vegan powers”…. um, do you consider cheese and egg to be vegan? If you think there is something wrong with pointing out that Alicia Silverstone is a vegetarian, not a vegan, then there is definitely something wrong with your definition of vegan.

Portia De Rossi (DeGeneres)

Image by Pulicciano via Flickr

Portia de Rossi’s Aha! Moment

I had no appetite for meat sauce. Giving up beef wasn’t just some fleeting idea. Over the next year, I stopped eating all animals and animal products. I always thought going vegan would be difficult, but I genuinely don’t crave meat or cheese. And I feel happier, like I’m contributing to making the world a less violent place. Before that morning on the farm, I ranked an animal’s value based on how “human” it was. Now I don’t judge other beings that way—every animal has its own intelligence and sensitivities. They’re all lovely, worthwhile, and deserving of our respect.

Comparing the words used by both Alicia and Portia, and how they see veganism:
Alicia uses words like: “recipes”, “calories”, “look my best” and the words “Losing Weight” are in the title of her diet book
………. compare that to Portia de Rossi : “intelligence”, “sensitivities”, “respect”, “deserving”, “worthwhile”, “contributing to… the world”

And yet, Alicia is seen as a true champion of kindness and veganism, and Portia is just a bimbo lesbian.
Portia de Rossi, probably doesn’t get enough respect for her awareness.

For more on this topic – whether it is a good thing for vegans to expand the definition to include cheese and eggs like Alicia Silverstone does
What Lines Do You Cross on an ETHICAL Vegan Diet?


Articles copyright 2010 ‘Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance’. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Written by RedGlitter of VALA

Feedback welcome.

11 November, 2010

Why B12 can be important for Vegans (my story)

This does not apply to all vegans, but is my personal story of what happens why B12 levels become critical.

I assume that I am no different to most vegans, in that I read about nutrition and food widely. I think vegans probably read more books about food than most other people.

So I knew that B12 (cobalamin) of all the vitamins and minerals was the most important one, being sourced via animal products.

My vegan breakfast from the Mirage buffet

Image via Wikipedia: vegan breakfast

It is produced by bacteria – so if it is found in plant food, it is in foods such as mushrooms which may have come in contact with dirt, or if it is found in animal products it is still the result of bacteria production.

Which is why, unless vegans pay attention, it can be overlooked.

There is a common idea on vegan websites and books, that there is enough B12 in the body to last five years or so, so when someone first goes vegan there is enough still in their system to last.

Last year, several things happened to me all at once, I got a really bad case of flu, and was not eating, this came after several weeks of dental treatment, where I hadn’t eaten, which came after a personal thing, in which I’d lost my enjoyment of food.

As a result, my weight had dropped by almost 10 kilos. My diet was shocking, I knew there was chance I would be low in some nutrients.

But I had begun to get strange symptoms.

My feet had started to get permanent pins-and-needles, then my hands. And then what was really scary, my memory was being affected.

Several instances stand out:
I was with a group of friends discussion how long we had known each other. I looked at one of my closet friends who I met in 2000 and the word that formed in my mind was 1990, when I spoke it, it came out as “1900”. No, that’s wrong, I mean 1990. My friend wasn’t born til 1991, so I wrote on a piece of paper 2000, which my hand wrote as 1880.

Another, I was with the same friends, trying to find something on a map, I pointed to the red section, the word that formed in my brain was “orange” even though I knew it was red, I told myself “it’s red” but again the word “orange” took the place of red. And as I spoke, the words that came out of my mouth were “I think it’s that purple section”
… So not only did I know that it was red as a colour, yet the letters in my mind were “orange”, my mouth said purple.

I was losing my nouns. I couldn’t remember the names of things, even though I could describe them.

I couldn’t remember the world “Cucumber”, and I was trying to describe it to my dining companion, “it’s long, and round, and hard…” (no, I am not flirting with you) “it’s cold, you eat it in salad, it had a dark green skin…”

It was time for action, this wasn’t a hold over of my flu or dental work.

I have occasional blood tests as part of my job, so during one routine blood test, I asked for my Iron and B12 to be also checked. We discussed my dental work, the flu I’d had and my lose of appetite, so I expected some of my readings to be a little low.

When the results came back, my doctor said my B12 was fine, but my iron was low.

I’d read in several places that low iron can mask a B12 deficiency, so while I expected my iron to be low, but Not out of range, I really thought my B12 would be low too.

Priceline vitamin isle

pills and medications

I knew these results had to be wrong.

I occasionally take a vitamin supplement that has a B12 component, and I read the instructions: Take 2 every day with food.

I probably would have been taking not even 2 a week. But I made sure I took the recommended dosage.

And within a week and half, or so, the numbness in my hands and feet went, my memory returned. I don’t know that it was B12 deficiency, but I really, sincerely believe that it was. I don’t believe the blood tests told the wole story.

There are four foods I consume regularly that are fortified with B12, and I try to eat them often. And I try to get motivated to take vitamin supplements.

And if anyone wants to say, “but that just shows the inadequacies of being vegan”, take a look around your kitchen/bathroom, at how many pills and medications you take. I only take B12 occasionally, and that is it, that is all.

A serving suggestion representing a common ser...

mmmm toast

What happened to me was not just because I am vegan, it happened because there were 3 things in my life at the same time, that occurred one after the other, which meant I was barely eating…

and even having barely eaten in the 6 weeks or so before the medical tests, I still had an Iron level that was in the normal range (allbeit, the low end of normal)… and of all the people I know who have ever been prescribed iron tablets, they have been meat eaters, so I got a smile out of that result.

This is not medical advice, this is my personal story, I don’t blame it on being vegan, I chalk it down to being a young woman, who sometimes has changing life circumstances.

Being vegan is not hard, being a person is.

Edited to add:
Recommended Supplements for Vegans: by Ginny Messina RD
29 November 2010

28 October, 2010

Ok, so you’re vegan – but do you eat people?

Food additives can refer to a lot of things – flavours, colours, emulsifiers, preservatives… these can be known by their chemical name or their E-number.

For example – E120 is cochineal, E901 is beeswax, E621 is MSG (for a full list, and vegans get into the habit of scanning food labels to find those additives that are animal derived.

However, there is one additive that is derived from humans, E920 (L-Cysteine) which is produced from human hair.

E920 is an amino acid and is used as an improving agent in flour-based products.

It is used as a ‘dough improver’ or ‘bread improver’. The L-Cysteine is added to the ingredients during the mixing process prior to baking. During mixing, it reacts with a protein in wheat. As the original L-Cysteine amino acid is not present in the final product, by law there is no requirement to list it as an ingredient.
Vegetarian Network Victoria

It is also used in the manufacture of cigarettes, as well as the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries (one of its names is Keratin)

Traditionally L-Cysteine has been sourced from feathers, pig bristles, but one of the richest sources is Human Hair.

And China, has an entire industry devoted to producing L-Cysteine from human hair.

The amino acid is extracted from the hair and feathers using a fermentation process involving a mutant strain of Escherichia coli (E.coli).

So while VEGANs are very conscious about avoid animal products, the manufacturing industries continue to find new ways to put animal derived ingredients in products, and now, there are human-byproducts to be aware of.

Food for vegans: fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains.... and HUMAN HAIR? ...

Food for vegans: fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains.... and HUMAN HAIR?

26 September, 2010

Animal Liberation group using animal products

Negotiation Is Over is a self-style global animal rights collective, yet, they are using images of an animal product to promote themselves.

In the post Negotiation is Over: Guide To Direct Action, (hover over link for preview) a picture of a burning match is used to illustrate that post.

The image of the match is also used in more than one place on this blog.

Presumably based on an image taken from the cover of this book:

For all their talk of revolutions, Gandhi is quoted in this book, just like he is in so many other books about social change. Which, in itself is far from revolutionary.

Much criticism has been leveled at PETA, and other large animal welfare groups for supporting initiatives such as cage-free eggs and anti-fur. How is this any different? The use of a match as a symbol perpetuates the idea that it is acceptable to use animal products.

And joining the chorus of detractors, against a blog that does a lot of work to bring attention to issues of animal welfare, does this actually achieve anything for the animals.

After all, it is just an image on the computer screen, it is a cover of book, it isn’t an actual match. But it does raise thoughts of what a “perfect vegan” is, and more importantly, does a perfect vegan in reality exist.

Or, is it only in theory, that someone can be a “perfect vegan”? Once you move beyond the abstract, the theoretical, all someone can do is reduce the suffering they cause.

Matches are products that are made from animal products,

Safety matches: all matches contain animal based adhesives on the head of the stick and on the striking strip on the box. In the monsoon this is substituted with casein derived from milk using acid. Wimco Home lights use casein throughout the year.
LINK: here

The vegan blogger “Vegansaurus” also details the animal products used in the production of matches:

gelatin is a part of the chemical cocktail on match heads, and …“animal protein” as an ingredient promoting oxidization… “animal glue” as both a combustor and adhesive, and isinglass as a “conditioner”
LINK: here

Although, what undermines their message is their use of animal products to sell that message.

To be fair, this book is an environmental wake-up call and not an animal liberation book. Although, one of the editors, Dr Steven Best, is one of the leaders of the animal rights movement and one of the editors on the Negotiation Is Over blog.

This is in no way intended to sound like Vegan Big Brother, carrying out hyper-surveillance on other animal advocates, this is just intended to highlight how ubiquitous the use of animals in every day life is.

It also highlights the absurdity of some vegans to push a concept of a perfect vegan. If you live in any society, and interact with other people you will come into contact with animal products, and there are some that are unavoidable.

There are many lists, in books and online that list just some of the ways animals are used and abused to make consumer products, such as this one LINK: here.

It brings into question the entire concept of being a “perfect vegan”, perhaps, people should just strive to be a better vegan than they were the day before, and stop worrying about what other vegans are or are not doing.

So when vegans gang up on other vegans and vegetarians and carnivores and call them out for not being perfect, maybe they should take a long look at their own lives and see how perfect they are.

Does it matter what image they use? Matches for Direct Action animal liberationists, or naked women for anti-fur PeTA campaigns, does the ends justify the means?

Any opinions welcome

8 September, 2010

Vegan Disaster Planning (plus food ideas)

Heavy rain and high tide causing flooding of R...

Image via Wikipedia

There have been some disasters and emergency situations in the media recently, between the earthquakes in New Zealand and floods in Victoria, Australia, as well as around the world, bushfires in Russia and floods in Pakistan, that have inundated much of that country, and before that earthquake in Haiti, storms in the Gulf coast of America… I thought I would look at the Disaster planning, especially in terms of being vegan.

Having been evacuated twice in recent years during bushfires, this is every day reality, and not build-a-bunker, form-a-militia survivalism, just things to consider during emergencies. Also useful information for road-trips, camping, and electricity black-outs.

And, one more useful (non-vegan) tip, if you are evacuated – take the door keys so you can get back in.

Standard Emergency Planning /  Disaster Kits

* USA Government FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) (204page booklet)

* Red Cross Disaster Supplies Kit (has a good section on pets, page4)

* Emergency Management NSW: Pets and Livestock

* Emergency Management NSW: Emergency kit

While much of the information covered by the standard “disaster kits” can apply equally to vegans or omnivores, there are some things to consider for vegans, apart from all the information listed in the official guides

work gloves: especially if for work outside the house, such as clearing fallen trees, or home repairs, suggestions are often for “leather gloves”

first aid kits: may contain OTC (over the counter) medications and treatments that have been tested on animals or from companies that test on animals

blankets: may be woolen blankets, prepare with non-wool alternatives

fishing kits: often a staple of disaster kits are useless in a vegan emergency

candles and matches: some candles are made out of tallow and matches are made from animal products

personal care and hygiene products: may contain animal products, be tested on animals, or come from companies that test on animals

animals: food, water, medication, all animals need a carrier, shelters may not take animals (when moving animals in a vehicle the key points to remember are keep them warm, dark and quiet)

flash drive, computer back-up: vegans that own blogs or social network sites, be prepared to hand over to someone else, and store your graphics and files that may have taken many years to collect. Include copies of log ins that might be saved on a computer or have auto-log in. Store in a water-proof container.

food should also last without refrigeration, be prepared with minimal or no cooking and be portable

* Disaster Planning for Vegetarians, by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

* Vegetarian Survival Kit

* Carnivores Attack Vegans in Response To Vegetarian Survival Kit Article

– include any B12 supplementation

  • Canned fruit in juice, that can be eaten in one meal, there might not be options for storing left overs, and juice provides extra fluid
  • Canned beans
  • Grain/dried fruit bars (such as muesli or power bars) are now available with vegan selections
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • plained Rolled oats or Muesli mix, made with fruit and nuts; does not require cooking, add long-life soy milk
  • Crackers, Corn chips or crisps chips, extra salt may make require extra water
  • Canned corn, Canned baby potatoes or other Vegetables
  • Canned spaghetti, check for ingredients
  • UHT (ultra heat treated, long life) soy milk, plain or flavoured
  • Peanut butter, nut butter
  • Fruit jam, in small jars (short shelf life if unrefrigerated)
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Biscuits, Cookies
  • Seasonings, (jar or tin) powdered stock, pepper, chilli, soy sauce
  • Single serves mustard, chilli sauce, tomato sauce, peanut-butter (eg, find a friend in catering or hospitality industry)
  • Cocoa (pre mix with dry sweetener), Tea, Herbal Tea, Coffee
  • plus, Water

This is not advice, not meant to replace official information, just things for vegans to consider.

Feedback welcome.

4 September, 2010

Meat Kills

Meat Kills: Consolidated

Warning: Slight Graphic Imagery.

A spoken-word track by Consolidated, called MEAT KILLS from their Friendly Fa$cism (1991) album, is nearly 20 years old, but still as important today.

Consolidated: Adam Sherburne, Mark Pistel, Philip Steir

This is what is being said. Reprinted here, is in no way meant to impinge on their copyright, or suggest that they endorse this blog, its authors, or its themes. They are here, only to make clear the words being spoken on the video clip over the sounds of the slaughter house.

Meat Kills

The driving force behind the destruction of the tropical rain forests is the American meat habit. The rain forests are cleared then planted with grass for grazing livestock to create hamburger for fast food restaurants.

More than half of all the water used in the United States is used for raising animals for food. 25 gallons of water is needed to produce a pound of wheat. 2500 gallons of water is needed to produce a pound of meat.

Dependence on foreign oil is one of the principle reasons for US intervention in the Persian Gulf. The length of time the world’s oil reserves would last if all human beings ate a meat-based diet would be approximately 13 years. The length of time the world’s oil reserves would last if all human beings ate a plant based diet would be approximately 260 years.

Feedlots and slaughterhouses are both major polluters of rivers and streams. Filling them with poisonous residues and animal wastes. 250,000 pounds of animal excrement is produced every second in the US and there are no sewage systems to treat the wastes.

In 1989, over 40% of the world’s grain harvest was fed to animals going to slaughter. If the same grain was fed directly to human beings, there would be more than enough grain to feed the entire world. Over 20 million people will die as a result of malnutrition this year.

In third third world private and government money has gone to developing cash crops for export while food production for the poor majority is neglected. 80% of the corn grown in the US is fed to animals raised for food rather than going to hungry people.

On a purely vegetarian diet the world can support a population many times its present size. On a meat based diet the current world population could not be sustained.

Cattle ranching has always competed with wildlife. Coyotes and wolves would not be shot and poisoned by ranchers if people did not eat steaks and lamb chops. Destroying the rain forests to raise cattle is causing millions of birds, monkeys, snakes and other species to lose their homes and lives.

In the US this year alone thirty seven and a half million cattle, eighty five and a half million
pigs, five and a half million sheep, two hundred forty two million turkeys, four billion one hundred forty seven million chickens will be murdered for the taste of their flesh.

Pain, frustration, stress, fear, abuse, neglect, and deprivation are realities of the raising of animals in today’s factory farms. Animals are artificially inseminated, fed growth hormones, overcrowded, chained and caged.

Raising livestock for profit is a competitive business and being humane means costs will go up. These animals are kicked, prodded, electro-shocked, dragged, and finally transported to their deaths.

A vegetarian diet promotes superior health, endurance, and longevity.

Animal products have 3 nutritional disadvantages. They contain too much protein, too much fat, and no fibre.

Do not believe the protein myth. It was based on a study done by the meat and dairy industries to rats, animals who need 1000 times more protein in their diet than humans.

Feedback welcome.