dinner story

We sat down at the table, assuming our usual places.

Dave (the redneck of the group) took a seat at the end, and looked thru the menu. Mary ordered a chef’s salad. John asked about the specials; he always liked the “freshest” dish, and claimed that the chef would promote “freshest” rather than “stock he’s trying to get rid of”.

We’d filed in past a group of protesting Humanitarians coming in.

“Self-righteous pricks. What gives them any right to tell me what to eat anyway? It’s my body.” mumbled Dave, with an over-emphasis on common sense.

“They always kinda give me the creeps” said Mary. “Can’t they just go protest somewhere else?”

“Hey now, they’re just speaking their conscience,” I chided. “I actually agree with their ideas, just not their methods.”

Dave made noises like a crying child loudly, that mutated into a loud snore. Then he stopped and deftly proclaimed “I’m just kidding you, GT. We all respect your opinion.”

Mary relayed a story to me, an explanation that all of the feeder-babies would never have had good homes. That they got better treatment on the farm, perhaps even more attention. That they couldn’t survive in the wild because they’d been raised in captivity. That they were all slaughtered humanely. That Green Babies were available for anyone really concerned about farm conditions and not just gathering followers and donations. I had answers to these questions that ae well-known and obvious to most humanitarians, but I didn’t bother presenting them. This wasn’t a debate, however much it pretended to be one. It was about the carnivores feeling good about their actions despite having a humanitarian in their ranks. I was a prop, not a participant.

Dave mumbled about how it wasn’t right to avoid eating babies. “They’ve got all the good nutrients. It’s natural to eat them.” also “Besides, GT, we ate at that humanitarian restaurant last Friday, so it’s all good. We’re just taking turns and it’s only fair that you come here more. There’s more of us”. Dave was very proud of this logic and became angry when it was questioned. Then he made gagging motions and complained about the taste of tofu.

So I ordered a salad, no cheese, no dressing. I fully expected the waiter to simply move the smokey-toe flavored bbq sauce to the side, not realizing that it was made with smoked toes. I don’t even eat toes; I’m just that hardcore.

Jane gave an exasperated sigh. “I don’t see how you live without cheese. I mean, I understand how theoretically it’s not nice to the mother to take the breast milk, but it’s not like she needs it anymore.” she added “I just don’t buy that it supports the babiest industry”. Jane dabbled in lacto-ovo Humanitarianism but never really was a radical who went all the way. “But I’m not like Dave; he’s just gross”. She helpfully finished off her point with “Besides, I can’t live without cheese”. I avoided pointing out that most mammals weaned long before puberty with little harm. Best to avoid disturbing anyone while they eat; they just get mad and ignore any logical points.

Meanwhile, Dave ordered a newborn riblet with a side of fried brains and some sticky fingers w/ dipping sauce as an app. He calmly asked me for the 406th time how I’m Humanitarian but still pro-choice. It was a total contradiction in his world that most humanitarians in this country are pro-choice.

As we continued on with lunch, I eventually steered the conversation away from discussion of humanitarianism.

Thursday ~ March 10, 2011 by b

Posted in advocacy,dining,humor,veg | Comments Off on dinner story | blog@goodtofu.org

whining & dining

I have a passive-aggressive rant. It’s just a response to being told I’m picky without cause, something every vegan occasionally hears. It’s not the end of the world, and I should know better than shooting from the hip in response. But it’s still annoying as hell.

To start off being fair, vegans have a reputation for being picky eaters. When I am told this, I point out that I’ll eat almost anything I consider edible food. “Almost” due to broccoli, seitan, and nearly all faux meat.

Here’s the deal about being (really) vegetarian… it’s not “won’t eat anything with parents” or even “won’t eat anything that can look back. It’s about not calling a dead rotting corpse “food”. Yes, rotting. That’s how steak becomes “tender”, it’s beginning to resemble something on the side of the road attracting flies. It’s about not violating the prime directive of human ethics: don’t kill unnecessarily.

Show me a meat-eater who has concerns which are that strong against eating an apple or a potato, who has legitimate ethics (i.e. can discuss them without sounding like a froot loop with conjectures like “animals aren’t conscious”), who’s body will entirely reject vegetables… and you’ll have someone who simply is not human. We all eat vegetables or we’d die young of scurvy (assuming we lived long enough). Vegetarians don’t include meat in our diet, anymore than bullets or something that came from my cat’s litter box.

Thursday ~ September 2, 2010 by b

Posted in veg | Comments Off on whining & dining | blog@goodtofu.org

whining & dining

To start off being fair, vegans have a reputation for being picky eaters. When I am told this, I point out that I’ll eat almost anything I consider edible food. “Almost” due to broccoli, seitan, faux non-vegan food.

Here’s the deal about being (really) vegetarian… it’s not “won’t eat anything with parents” or even “won’t eat anything that can look back. It’s about not calling a dead rotting corpse “food”. Yes, rotting. That’s how steak becomes “tender”, it’s beginning to resemble something on the side of the road attracting flies. It’s about not violating the prime directive of human ethics: don’t kill unnecessarily.

Show me a meat-eater who has concerns which are that strong against eating an apple or a potato, who has legitimate ethics (i.e. can discuss them without sounding like a froot loop with conjectures like “animals aren’t conscious”), who’s body will entirely reject vegetables… and you’ll have someone who simply is not human. We all eat vegetables or we’d die young of scurvy (assuming we lived long enough). Vegetarians don’t include meat in our diet, anymore than bullets or something that came from my cat’s litter box.

However, I do hear a slow trickle of complaints that one cannot be vegetarian. Bullshit, and you know it.

Monday ~ June 7, 2010 by b

Posted in veg | Comments Off on whining & dining | blog@goodtofu.org

Vegans eat oytsers

There’s an article that a vegan. ahem. alleged “vegan” (with scare quotes) claiming that oysters are perfectly vegan.

No. Oysters are not vegan.

Oysters belong to the animal kingdom. That means that they, any entertainment they provide, or anything they produce (including pearls) is not vegan. There is no question about this within the vegan community. The standard is never “is a central nervous system consciously receiving pain”. That standard is manufactured by people who are not vegetarians, as a stereotype that is humorous to them.

Many people draw lines on the dinner plate that they will not cross. Some will not eat flesh from mammals. Some will not eat chickens, but eat fish. Or pig but not cow. Or cow but not deer. Or cow, if it watched tv or whatever is supposed to make them comfortable in captivityThere are many, many such lines.

The point of being vegan is to avoid drawing fuzzy arbitrary lines at all. The vegan movement, actually founded just after ww2 came about precisely because a group of vegetarians were fed up with other vegetarians drawing arbitrary lines and then claiming to have exactly the same motivation and ethical standards. Quite literally, the original point was that vegans do not draw lines about whether or not oysters are ok. Their cells are from the animal kingdom. Full stop. No questions of sentience, intelligence, conciousness, or pain are considered.

A line in the sand like “oysters but not fish” is completely arbitrary. There’s not really science proving which animals achieve conscious self-awareness, and anyone claiming that they’ve found such a line is merely inserting their own, mostly emotional, opinion in the place of science, and then saying the questions have been answered to thei

Saturday ~ April 10, 2010 by b

Posted in nature,veg | Comments Off on Vegans eat oytsers | blog@goodtofu.org

Animals in Idaho

There are a couple of issues brewing in Idaho over animal rights. Cockfighting and derailing the opposition.

First, Idaho has finally joined 40 other states in declaring cockfighting a felony. Yes, seriously, it was a misdemeanor and still is in some states. Idaho is not exactly on the forefront of animal rights legislation. OK, yay and go Idaho for passing important legislation, nonetheless.

Second, a state Senator is proposing a bill to maneuver around potential backlash to bring chicken farms into the state. HSUS was specifically declared as the primary “radical animal rights group” for its opposition. An advisory board on animal welfare has been formed. The board was not formed as a compromise or with the support of HSUS, and they do not consider it to represent their interests. I can’t say I blame them. Even though HSUS helped draft another part of the bill, they will not be welcome. In fact, many of the “animal welfare” groups listed are effectively unions and PACs for cattle farmers. No other groups have advocated in favor of animal welfare on a scale as large as HSUS in Idaho.

The board is usually presented by Idaho lawmakers as a step to preempt animal welfare groups by “proving” that Idaho is handling any animal cruelty, and appease anyone who might otherwise listen to them. Such boards are now commonly fought in other states as the existing opposition to animal welfare, and are generally considered a backward step among animal advocates. When one accuses a group of a crime, the alleged criminals do not belong on the jury.

HSUS is the organization that runs advertisements telling people not to abuse their animals, in the most common definition of abuse. They won acclaim among animal advocates for sending volunteers into NOLA after Katrina to rescue pets caught in the storm’s aftermath. Not exactly a revolutionary group trying to overthrow The Man. Labeling them as such without any clarification or any further description is simply trying to stir up prejudice.

Tuesday ~ March 2, 2010 by b

Posted in cat,dining,poli,veg | Comments Off on Animals in Idaho | blog@goodtofu.org

b12 isn’t a vegan problem

I’ve often noticed a trend that some people still claim being vegan is unhealthy. I’m not sure why; we live longer and get sick less than most people. Seventh-day Adventists have been proving that for quite some time. Being vegan is one of a short list of factors which actually improves all-cause mortality. The same list as exercise and not smoking. I’ve heard people say those aren’t true as well… but I’ve also heard people say the Earth is flat.

I don’t usually focus on the health benefits, as I’d rather change minds about the social issues that led me to become vegan. But they are real, and providing information about them might provide relief to some who are concerned about the health of a vegan they know. It’s reasonable and normal to be concerned about a loved one who makes a lifestyle change in a way we hadn’t previously considered. That concern does provide some safety. But the concern must also be tempered by reality and evidence, to be reasonable.

So, generally, explaining the science behind vegan nutrition is like explaining the big bang to a wary religious fundamentalist. Curiosity does not indicate acceptance. It’s going over the scientific evidence, explaining that the nutrition isn’t about ethics, and that the people on the scientific side are skeptical and weren’t the first to say “ok, it’s safe”, nor are they even vegans in most cases. But nonetheless all sources of claims about the facts and methodologies and results are bandied about in opposition, few of which have anything to do with the way science works. It reminds many vegans (especially the ones I’ve met who are also scientists) of trying to convince someone who advocates Intelligent Design that the big bang and evolution are real. Intelligent design is not a scientific theory, regardless of whether it accurately describes anything. It’s not simply about “my evidence is better” so much as “you haven’t presented any evidence for me to disagree with”. Many of us are precisely the people who argue against ID even when it’s unpopular to do so. We’re not the quacks in the discussion. Quite often (as I’ve seen firsthand) we’re vets and chemists and biologists who make our living thinking logically at a fairly deep level. The ethics are important of course, but they’re the “why” and not the “how”. Vegans seem to often draw a distinction when it’s time to get down to business, far more than the outdated image that we’re effete new age hippies who simply consider animals sacred and tack anything possible onto our religious argument. Of course some of us are, just like in any social group, and I actually have no problem with them. The initial minority in a social movement always includes quite a few eccentric people. To be blunt, vegans tend to be smart, so it should be expected. Our time on the soapbox (the real one, not the one populated with strippers and snuff) is simply too rare to squander.

Often when a panic-stricken parent or cattle rancher comes across a vegan with less than complete acceptance (i.e. someone influential in their industry or whom they might prepare food for), they mention allegations that being vegan is not healthy. Vitamin B12 deficiency is often one of the problems mentioned.

However, there are no documented cases of B12 deficiency in vegans who get enough calories in your diet. Eating a variety of foods is more than enough precaution in the minds of any doctor I’ve heard of who’s familiar with the subject. So, regardless of any nay-saying hypotheses that being vegan itself is unhealthy, the empirical evidence is fairly clear that it’s not. It’s an issue of “why” it’s not rather than “if” it’s not.

There’s considerable anecdotal evidence from doctors that B12 deficiency might be a non-issue for vegans, even if we didn’t get the RDA. B12 stays in one’s system a long time. Frankly, by the time most people go vegan, they’ve already stored up enough for their lifetime. That’s not just my personal hypothesis; that’s the conclusion reached by examining how quickly B12 levels drop when people go vegan. Here’s a hint: they don’t, even if a vegan gets less B12. It’s just not leeched out of our blood, for whatever reason.

Vegans, for those who haven’t noticed, are often health nuts who pour over health research. Junk food vegans excepted, but most ate like crap before being vegan. Many exceptional professional athletes, cancer survivors, and people with digestive system disorders are vegans because of advice from healthcare professionals. Many people occasionally go vegan for short periods because they feel much better. I believe I’ve heard the claim that as a group we’re self-righteous about our health more than once. Not that such a claim is bad, in America.

There’s also the claim that B12 can only be sourced from animals. Or that the B12 we do get is a non-useful analog (a minority opinion, to be fair). That’s simply not true. I get B12 from a vitamin I take every day. I get many times what nearly all of my omnivorous friends get, well above the RDA. It’s both synthetically created and produced in cyanobacteria (in different forms), but in great supply in any vegan (yes, really) vitamins. That’s mostly the same B12 most people get, as it’s the form used to nutritionally fortify foods. Think milk is healthy because it’s got B12 added? Then you might think a vegan vitamin makes one immortal.

I’ve asked knowledgable (omnivorous, actually) physicians what nutritional problems I should actively try to prevent. I’ve been asked exactly twice if I get enough protein. When I explain what I eat – and that I eat more protein because mine comes without the nutritionally questionable and filling fats – it wasn’t hard at all to be completely convincing. The people who worry don’t tend to know vegans while they shoot from the hip, and they aren’t the people who’ve studied the dietary habits of actual vegans. Science: it works.

And if you’re not getting enough calories as a non-vegan, you’ve got bigger problems.

Wednesday ~ January 13, 2010 by b

Posted in veg | Comments Off on b12 isn’t a vegan problem | blog@goodtofu.org

exotic pets

I’m the caretaker of 2 housecats, and I’ve been known to wander around pet stores in the past. Not so much recently; they’re just too depressing. Animals kept in conditions that might merit ASCPA and local gov’t intervention, if they happened at someone’s house. I’d prefer not to reward the humans responsible, as a vegan.

But I do cast a skeptical (perhaps stronger) eye in the direction of keeping exotic animals as pets. For the sake of argument, I’m going to call any undomesticated animal taken directly from the wild to be “exotic”. Of course it’s a sliding scale. Nearly everything in biology is on a sliding scale.

First, exotic pets are shocked by the change in environment more than most conventional pets (cats and dogs) because they’ve been taken from one type of environment and placed in a radically different new environment.

Second, cats and dogs have actually evolved to live peaceably within an urban human culture. Even their negative behavior is suited for human civilization. Run into a stray dog or cat, and it’s entirely likely that the animal will follow you into your own home eagerly. Try getting a snake or tarantula to follow you into your home. Yes, that’s why it’s (relatively) uncommon. Animals are not blind to their environment; they think about it in ways that are arguably similar to human thought in terms of awareness and emotions – those aren’t higher functions unique to humans. That’s how animals survive in the wild. They solve problems. They don’t have relationships with another species to bring them food and tell them where to take a crap.

Third, humans recognize the warning signs that pets give. If a dog barks or a cat hisses at a human, odds are very high that the human will slowly back away in the least threatening way possible. We don’t recognize the same warnings in exotic pets quite so easily, very often. We have to consult field guides or experts, or do extensive research on the internet to understand any of their basic communication. Nevermind the specifics of their language, the difference between “let me out to pee right now” and “my food bowl is empty”.

Fourth, they just aren’t as healthy. Cats live twice as long when they’re confined indoors, and they’re far healthier during that lifespan, than compared to any cat (even a pet) living outdoors. Many exotic species won’t even mate and show signs of depression when confined indoors.

Fifth, they may actually be dangerous. My cat nips at my chin or hand when excited. She’s becoming very adept as doing it as softly as possible. Imagine if a snake, or a shark, or a poisonous spider, or a parrot did the same? Doesn’t seem quite as safe, does it. Domesticated animals know how to use their “weapons” in the least aggressive way possible when threatened, and do so very long after warning with the posture.

Sixth, medical care for an exotic pet is difficult at best. I’m a firm believer that when someone adopts a pet, they are responsible for giving the animal the same level of medical care they would provide anyone else. The pet cannot easily provide itself safety, and is living in a potentially new and hostile environment. If we’re going to subject an animal to that stress, we’re responsible for fixing resulting problems. Your cat may live longer as a pet, but he wouldn’t have digestive problems and a UTI in the wild. A vet may treat hundreds of dogs/cats in a week, and still basically patches up the rough edges and points things in the right direction. They know what diseases to expect, and how to treat them. A vet might not know any specific exotic species nearly as well. The first thing my vet asks when she sees me is how my cats are behaving, what’s new and unusual for them, and about any misbehavior. Those are the most critical components in initial diagnosis or detection of medical issues. At the very least, humans sympathize and understand conventional pets because they’re mammals, and not so different from ourselves. Roughly the same drugs, procedures, and tests. My vet regularly compares my cat’s health problems with the human equivalent, noting the exceptions.

Seventh, it radically disrupts any sense of territory and how to relate to it, essentially destroying and recreating an animal’s social environment. Many wild animals confined to a cage as pets have ranges extending for miles in any direction. Defended by force. A human has effectively just used force to seize that territory. Not a good start to the relationship. My once-feral cat still jumps and hides at the sound of banging metal, desperately scrambling away from even me, ever since being captured in a cage. That was more than 6 years ago, half his full lifespan.

Sixth, the food an exotic pet receives lacks variety. This causes some relatively rare health problems. Male housecats get UTIs and kidney stones from additives in pet food.

Eighth, it prevents a good number of instinctual behaviors. It entirely prevents mating behavior, often considered one of the strongest drives in a species (when it’s active). It prevents building a nest – something I’ve seen cats and dogs dog with ease by comparison. It stops the exercise an animal received from patroling his/her range.

Ninth, it exposes an animal to unusual substances, without any benefit of socialization from others of its species about avoidance. My cats navigate my house with a greater eye on safety, that’s more accurately assessed, than any human toddler I’ve ever seen. My cats don’t stick claws in electrical sockets, reach for pots on the stove, avoid any spills, and generally can investigate substances cautiously and honestly as safely as I would.

Tenth, the bad treatment of the animals begin before they’re received. Exotic animal providers seem to care about the animals in roughly the same was as puppy mills – dollar first, then whatever essential care can be cheaply provided. Animals die in transport. Animals die (or are killed) and are injured while being caught. Social structures – essentially families – are entirely destroyed without attempt to keep the affected animals together as a group. Absolutely zero care is ever shown about the emotional health of the animals – which is practically consider abuse legally in much of the country.

Emotions are some of the simplest, most basic forms of thought. They are not unique to humans; in fact, they’re so ubiquitous in the animal kingdom that drugs for emotional problems are regularly tested on dogs. They have the same mental health issues as humans, acquired predictably in similar ways. The success record at finding the ones that work is pretty horrible for those drugs, but that’s another post.

Lastly, exotic pets are typically not rescue animals. Actually rescued animals are generally found by professionals, and are rehabilitated into returning to the wild whenever possible. Cats? Dogs? There’s an over-abundance of potential rescues from them.

Friday ~ January 8, 2010 by b

Posted in cat,environment,veg | Comments Off on exotic pets | blog@goodtofu.org


I’ve been a vegetarian for more than a decade, and vegan several years. In that time, I’ve seen significant changes to how vegetarianism is perceived. They’ve mostly been good changes. Vegans and vegetarians have much to be thankful for.

The reality of modern animal agriculture is sobering, if not disturbing. That reality is not going away, and very few veggies expect it end to anytime soon. But progress is important, regardless of scale.

I now have a decent chance of getting an acceptable entree, possibly even highlighted on the menu, at any restaurant without looks as if I’m from Mars. I buy processed food that is semi-reliably labeled “vegan” or “lacto-ovo veg”. I rarely need to explain the basics of veganism, yet new acquaintances are likely to be thoughtfully accommodating. I actually know vegetarians in the flesh, and not by only the cold facts and trolling and hysteria of the interwebs. Years ago, random people occasionally said been wanting to meet a vegan in the flesh, including myself. All of those things have made it far easier to be a vegetarian or vegan, as well as help get rid of the notion that we’re fighting battles in solitude. We’re no longer merely tolerated and tossed in the pile of do-gooders who obviously (yeah, right) have more fortitude or some other mystical force. We have respect, and people listen to us as intelligent peers with a real point that merits consideration. That makes it much easier to be a vegan human, and easy to be thankful that there’s an entire social movement backing us up.

A common goal, and mine as well, is just “reduce suffering”. No one’s planning a revolution; we’re just planning lunch. Preventing even one animal from suffering is worthwhile, because they exist and think and feel as individuals, like humans. It’s the same concept that might keep some doctors in hospitals, despite knowing they’ll never finish the job. So we’re aiming for steady change and building solid momentum.

If our numbers are growing and continue to grow, we’re doing the job right. We’ve been growing. That success is based on the success carved out by the veggies who preceded us. It is a privilege to contribute, and an honor to have contributed, to a movement that’s making a real, positive change in the world.

To everyone who’s been a vegetarian or vegan… thank you.

Friday ~ November 27, 2009 by b

Posted in grain,veg | Comments Off on progress | blog@goodtofu.org

On free ranges

As the popularity of vegetarianism (in all forms) is increasing, consumers are also choosing animal products which they consider more ethical. The general idea is to remove the harm of animal agriculture by raising animals in a way generally considered “humane”.

I’m not sure how this really is supposed to work. Even if the treatment were more humane (it’s only that way on very rare occasion), the end result of a painful death for an animal exploited for human fashion or taste hasn’t changed. Also, I tend to view the problems of animal agriculture as systemic, rather than caused by a few malicious or careless people. Zoos, restaurants, and experimentation are all facets of the same treatment, the same anti-animal attitude and perspective. We are fortunate enough to live in a society in which influencing systemic change is possible.

Before assuming that “free-range” animals are treated significantly better while they are alive, we should look at the actual conditions. For an animal to be considered “free-range” it must have access to the outside during warm times of the year. There’s no minimal limit on how much time, space, or ease in ability to go outside is required. So most free-range chickens spend their lives in a barn with a very small door to a miniscule scrap of completely unsheltered dirt. Not surprisingly, most spend most of their entire lives in conditions identical to non-free-range animals. The machinery, overcrowding, genetic manipulation, and the cocktails of antibiotics and hormones aren’t any different. There’s no meaningful criteria for the label “organic”, either.

There’s also no meaningful measurement demonstrating that any free-range animals are treated better than their conventionally-raised siblings. No studies (of which I’m aware) show lower rates of stress-related illness. No studies show beneficial effects on human health, either, by the way. No studies demonstrate that free-range animals have a better quality of life in any significant respect. There are absolutely no promises that the siblings and offspring of free-range animals are treated in any way but the most brutal manner, that every part of the process before and after the barn is identical to any other factory farm. Free-range cows product veal calves, male chicks of free-range hens are still ground alive at the processing plant, the slaughterhouse itself doesn’t distinguish, and the pigs still suffer severe injuries during processing. The very idea of “free-range” is an experiment in stop-gap measures, usually marketed at a hefty markup by companies who also sell non-free-range animals. It was a worthy experiment, and like many worthy experiments it ruled out a way that people thought the world might work. Good scientific experiments break a paradigm and demonstrate facts that prior theories cannot account for, long before they support a new hypothesis. Once more, the idea with “free-range” is to exploit and derive a profit from the harm and subsequent sale of animals, just the same as any other manufactured product.

The ultimate problem with animal agriculture is that animals are reduced to a commodity, from whom it is acceptable to competitively derive a profit. Animals don’t have the right to any sort of fair, decent treatment while they are property. Mainly because something is property when someone’s dominion of it is basically complete, and is to the exclusion of outside authority. We usually refer to property as neuter (“it” referring to an animal), to remove consideration that an animal is a living individual with a personality and a gender, and we do so to protect ourselves. Generally you can’t sue your neighbor for destroying, mismanaging, or neglecting his own property until doing so has harmed you directly. That’s the very heart of arguments presented by the animal agriculture industry in supporting their practices, the claim that they have a right to exist. They have property rights, and it’s only American to respect those property rights unquestionably. It’s the ethical reason that slavery was made illegal – people shouldn’t be the property of other people, as they will inevitably be brutally exploited and derived of their own fundamental rights to being treated humanely. Why should we expect any less when dealing with other species, for whom the average citizen holds far less sympathy? Should it really matter that a single farmer acts “responsibly”, when the basic systemic problem is that doing so is not an obligation?

That is the core of the rationale behind vegan opposition to using animals outside of merely food. It’s the realization that treating animals as *ours* really screws things up the same way, every time. Even when we say we’re not going to screw up, that the animals are taken care of, that we’re using them to help humans. Even SeaWorld has ridiculously small tanks.

The basic idea of animal rights is that we have the obligation to treat animals in certain ways. That animals have fundamental rights, much like humans, which have nothing to do with political action or religion – we have rights to not be abused as children, to follow the religion we choose, to not be targeted (as civilians) by armies, to not be slaves. Animal rights argues simply that animals (should) have a similar set of rights – the specifics vary a little as to which, but no one argues that your dog should be allowed to vote. Rejecting the idea of animal rights is rejecting the very idea of an obligation to treat animals in any way whatsoever. That rejection means, almost solely, that animal mistreatment cannot exist simply because any sort of brutal treatment is explicitly allowable. In such a regime, it is naive to assume that someone marketing animals will use the words “ethical treatment” in a meaningful way. Those words mean nothing without the concept of an animal having at least some rights.

To some, this is at least part of the reason to choose to be vegan rather than another form of vegetarianism.

Wednesday ~ November 25, 2009 by b

Posted in advocacy,veg | Comments Off on On free ranges | blog@goodtofu.org

peta’s beauty paegent

Peta periodically runs an event to decide who is the sexiest vegetarian alive. Actually two, male and female. It’s a pool of celebrities; there’s another event for the “sexiest vegetarian next door” for the common folk. My money would be on Siouxsie Sioux and Rob Zombie.

So… is the contest a good idea to recruit new vegetarians, or is it likely to cause teenagers to go vegetarian for a week and then give it up permanently as “too hard” because they lost interest? Obviously it’s not going to brainwash anyone very easily. Saying a celebrity is hot because they’re vegetarian is not quite the same as saying they’re hot because they’re 94 pounds at 6’2″.

Tuesday ~ June 9, 2009 by b

Posted in veg | Comments Off on peta’s beauty paegent | blog@goodtofu.org

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