Animal Concerns Texas (ACT) Radio Interview: ThankTank Creative

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Last night my interview with Animal Concerns Texas (ACT) Radio aired and I cannot say enough nice things about Greg, Liz and Tom and this NPR program. Everyone from the radio hosts to the producers was great to work with and I am thankful they are doing what they are doing in the great state of Texas.

If you’ve ever wondered what the Meaty Vegan sounds like … here is your chance.

Listen here.

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Does “Humane Meat” Bring People Closer to Veganism?

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Debunking the claim that “humane meat” is a positive step toward veganism, my good friend and fellow vegan, Sherry F. Colb author of Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger, posted this essay on Dorf On Law today and encouraged me to share it. I encourage you to share it as well.

The Fallacy of the Claim That “Research” Shows That “Humane Meat” Brings People Closer to Veganism by Sherry F. Colb

Over the last few months, I have repeatedly heard a peculiar claim articulated by a variety of vegan advocates on different vegan outlets. The claim is this: Even though it might seem that people consuming so-called “humane” animal products poses an obstacle to the movement for veganism, “research” shows that the opposite is true. “Research” shows that when people decide to purchase “humane” animal products, this choice increases the odds that those same people will eventually decide to become vegan. When I first heard this claim, I was intrigued. Could it be that animal farmers encouraging people to purchase their “local, sustainable, and [allegedly] humane” animal products were actually helping the vegan cause?

The answer is that the research on which people have based this conclusion gives us no reason to imagine that “humane” animal products bring people closer to veganism. My own conclusion, based on a combination of logic, experience, and my own anecdotal observations, leads me to believe that in fact, the opposite is true, that encouraging people to consume so-called “humane” animal products poses a major obstacle to the continuing spread of veganism. But quite apart from what I think, the research that supposedly supports the utility of encouraging the consumption of “humane” animal products in moving people closer to veganism does no such thing.

How can I say this? Well, let us consider what the research actually shows and why the conclusions people have drawn from that research do not at all follow from it. Here’s the supposedly revolutionary finding: It turns out that people who purchase animal products labeled “humane” (or “compassionate” or some other equally misleading adjective) may be more likely eventually to become vegetarian or vegan than are people who do not purchase these products. That is, there is a correlation between people buying animal-derived products labeled “humane” at point 1 in time, and people reducing or ending their consumption of animal-derived products at point 2 in time.

As everyone knows, a correlation does not necessarily indicate causation. But the problem with drawing the inference that vegan advocates have been drawing from the above finding goes well beyond the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy. Enter “selection bias.” Selection bias is the reality that people will often self-select to engage in an activity at time 1 and whatever motivated that self-selection can also fully account for the same people’s choice to engage in another activity at time 2.

Consider the following observational study. I observe that one group of people spends a lot more money at the grocery store on luxury items such as truffle oil and saffron than other people do. I decide to keep an eye on these people, because I want to know what the impact of all of this supermarket-spending might be. Eight months later, I observe that this same group of people is embarking on much more exotic and expensive vacations in places much farther away from home than other people who did not spend as much money at the supermarket as this group did. I conclude from these observations that buying expensive food at the supermarket helps enable people to be able to go on exotic and expensive vacations eight months later. Wanting to go on such a vacation myself, I immediately begin to spend a lot more money on groceries.

This hypothetical example helps illustrate selection bias. The act of spending a lot of money at the supermarket did not help to make an expensive vacation possible. If anything, this act would appear to hinder one’s ability to take an expensive vacation, all things being equal, by depleting one’s bank account. However, the people who choose to spend a lot of money at the supermarket are often doing so because they have a lot of money. Their having a lot of money has caused them to feel free to spend a lot on groceries. Then, eight months later, because they started with a lot of money, more than other people have, they also had enough money to pay for an expensive vacation that the rest of the population cannot afford. If I were to take my observations as evidence that spending a lot on groceries enables one to take an expensive vacation, however, then I would probably end up undermining my own goal, and I would be doing so because I ignored selection bias.

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A very similar dynamic seems likely to be in play when we observe that the people who purchase “humane” animal products at Time 1 are more likely than people generally to be purchasing only vegan products at Time 2. Buying supposedly “humane” animal flesh and secretions is something that many people do when they are driven to try to act more mercifully and ethically toward their fellow sentient beings. Years ago, before I became vegan, I tried to buy containers of cows’ milk (or what would more accurately be called the “lacteal secretions produced by a mother for her baby calf”) that said “grass fed” and “organic” on them, because I thought (erroneously, as it turned out) that this meant that the cows from whom the milk was taken (a) did not encounter human violence and cruelty during their lives and/or (b) were allowed to live out their lives in peace, eating grass, never having to be slaughtered. Eventually, I learned that my beliefs were nonsense (nonsense amply cultivated by those who sell animal products), and I made the decision to become vegan. It is hardly the case, however, that consuming (mis)-labeled animal products helped move me closer to veganism; if anything, it slowed me down by falsely assuring me that I was already “doing right by the animals” by avoiding “factory-farmed” products.

If you think about it, it is not at all surprising that people who feel moved to act ethically and mercifully toward animals will make up a disproportionate share of the people buying supposedly “ethical” animal products and a disproportionate share of the people becoming vegan. A third variable — consciousness about one’s obligation to refrain from inflicting unnecessary suffering on other beings — can fully account for people’s desire to do both things. Similarly, if you observe someone buying a vegan frozen pizza, such as Tofurky, at Time 1, you may be more likely than otherwise to observe that same person adopting a dog from a shelter (rather than purchasing a dog from a breeder) at Time 2. Yet no one would claim that eating a slice vegan pizza causes a person to adopt a dog from a shelter.

Ordinarily, it might seem harmless when people assume that performing act 1 causes a person to perform act 2, just because we observe that the same people who perform act 1 later perform act 2. But if the goal of citing this research about “humane” animal products is to alter the way that people conduct their advocacy, then it is anything but harmless. If someone tells me that he buys all of his flesh from a “humane” butcher and all of his lacteal secretions from a “humane” dairy farmer, this tells me that he is the sort of person who cares about animal suffering and wants to do what he can to reduce it. He has, however, been misled into thinking that what he is purchasing is the product of merciful treatment towards animals, when it in fact involves tremendous cruelty and harm to animals, and he is also (from a logical standpoint) less likely to become vegan than he was before, because he has managed to mollify his conscience by purchasing the “humane” product. Indeed, that is presumably why suppliers create the “humane” product in the first place — to keep animal consumers consuming animal products and to distract them from the actual humane alternative, vegan products. The purveyors of “humane” products could hardly be expected to label their products “humane” if they believed that such labeling would lead people closer to veganism.

I know that there are many people who are far more interested in the phenomenon of selection bias than I am and who have much more to say on the subject. I have nonetheless decided to write this post about selection bias, because I have felt an increasing amount of frustration upon hearing this claim about the counter-intuitive results of “research” that should be altering the way animal advocates engage with the public. The research may tell us that the people who consume humane animal products are, all things being equal, more likely to become vegan than the general population. But this plainly does not mean that consuming “humane” animal products moves people closer to veganism. And if you are hoping to take an expensive, exotic vacation, I would strongly recommend against spending large amounts of cash at the supermarket between now and your vacation time. You’re welcome.

Go vegan.

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PAINTINGS: “Human Evolution 1 and 2” by Al Jackson.

 

ThankTank Creative to Launch 6.4.2014

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[ITHACA, NY] ThankTank Creative to launch new agency on June 4, 2014. The firm, headed by Eric C Lindstrom, will provide expert consulting, design, and marketing for the socially just, environmentally-conscious, and vegan communities.

“ThankTank Creative ties together my two passions: creative communication with veganism,” said company President, Eric C Lindstrom. “With my two decades of experience in marketing small and mid-sized businesses around the world, ThankTank helps me target and focus better on what I believe most in: saving animals and helping the environment.”

ThankTank Creative has partnered with an impressive array of socially just, environmentally-conscious, and/or vegan not-for-profit organizations with their GiveBack8 program. 8% of every project they work on is directly donated, in the client’s name, to the organization of your choice from the list of participating organizations.

The company mission?
Provide unparalleled creative services to socially-just, environmentally-conscious, and vegan companies worldwide; give back to like-minded businesses; and promote compassionate living in everything we do.

Working with like-minded businesses, ThankTank Creative takes socially just, environmentally-conscious, vegan businesses to that next level. Some of the services the firm provides are:

Expert small business consulting – Boardroom-level advice that, through branding and positioning, grows your business.

Award-winning design – From corporate identities to package design, to brochure and collateral design, the award-winning design team has done it all.

Sound ROI marketing – Whether you need an online social media campaign or a robust annual marketing plan, ThankTank Creative gets the job done. On time and on budget.

Photography and online videography – Take your message to the next level with professional images and video production.

For more information visit ThankTankCreative.com or “like” them on Facebook.

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SeaWorld Plans Massive Rebranding Campaign: Welcome to “MeWorld”

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[ORLANDO, FL] With record low attendance and revenue lagging, SeaWorld announced on Memorial Day 2014 a massive rebranding campaign for the company and a “strategic rethinking” of how the controversial parks are operated.

“The reaction to the documentary ‘Blackfish‘ and the negative media coverage we have experienced in Q1 has forced us to change entirely SeaWorld,” stated Robert Sanders, Director of Public Relations. “Starting June 1, 2014, all SeaWorld locations will be known as ‘MeWorld‘.”

The release went on to state that instead of the parks featuring orcas, dolphins, and other marine life, park visitors will now get to experience “life like a whale” by spending days at a time swimming in circles in undersized pools and being hand-fed fresh-caught seafood which is being provided by the new Red Lobster.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for park attendees,” Sanders commented. “They will finally feel what it is like being catered to in the lap of luxury. All they have to do for all-you-can-eat shrimp is occasionally wave to audience members, jump through hoops, and splash kids in the front row. Who wouldn’t want this deal?”

MeWorld Orlando tickets will be discounted throughout the entire month of June ($45) and MeWorld San Antonio and San Diego will extend special admission rates through July 4th. Visitors can also purchase a full season VIP ticket ($89) which allows them to have their belly rubbed daily as well as be masturbated by certified MeWorld trainers.

For more information, visit MeWorld.com.

Go vegan.

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Pull (that shirt) Over (your head)! It’s the Vegan Police!

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Recently, I had the chance to interview Heather Doherty of the Etsy Shop “VeganPolice.” Heather started VeganPolice about two years ago after moving from Southern Ontario to a very small town in British Columbia with her family.

She had been screen-printing for about five years mostly working on clothing for other people and moving to BC gave her the time to concentrate on her own artwork and prints and inspired her to start working on her own vegan shirts. Her operation is very “DIY” which, as she says, “is fun but keeps me quite busy.”

Heather has an adorable 3-year-old boy (pictured) and another baby on the way due to arrive in September. The family is very excited to be moving to Victoria BC very soon. Where they live now is “pretty isolated and we are looking forward to living in a city where we can actually go out for vegan food,” she said.

Heather has a website in the works and also more prints coming out this summer.  She has been an artist all of her life and is a passionate vegan. Be sure to shop the VeganPolice and support this small vegan business.

MV:  You are VeganPolice on Etsy? Have you ever had to pull someone over for sneaking half and half?

HD:  I am kept way too busy with major infractions like people saying “You eat fish though right?” and the always and forever popular “Where do you get your protein?” to even pay attention to people sneaking half and half.

MV: Your shirts and tanks and tees are all really great. What inspires you when creating a new design?

HD: It sounds a bit selfish really, but I just think about what I would want to wear. I like simple designs that get the point across. I grew up in Vancouver going to punk and hardcore shows as a teenager and that’s where I found out about veganism. I think that inspires me a lot to this day and you can see that influence in my designs.

MV: You’re located in British Columbia. Do you have a British or French accent?

HD: I have neither a British or French accent. I also have never said the word “Eh” in my life unless I am joking. I remember being in California a long time ago and saying the word “hey” to my friend. The Americans that we were hanging out with lost their minds laughing because they were convinced that I said “Eh.” Sorry to disappoint all of you but not all Canadians talk like Bob and Doug Mckenzie. I will however, be the first to admit that I say sorry way too much. I have traveled a bit around the states and heard my fair share of speech, which Americans seem to forget about when making fun of Canadians. Small town, American mid west gas station attendants, that’s all I have to say. He he he. Okay, I have one more thing to say. I would give my left arm for a Boston accent .

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MV: How long have you been vegan and how many vegans do you know in Sechelt, BC, Canada?

HD: I have been vegan for about 18 years which is kind of hard to believe. It has gone by really fast. When I started out I knew nothing about it and had no cooking experience at all. I had one vegan friend who only ate peanut butter sandwiches and Pepsi so he was my role model. I would pour apple juice on my cereal because they didn’t have soy milk in stores yet and I didn’t know about health food stores. I would eat tomato and lettuce sandwiches and thought that that was how I was going to live the rest of my life.

Luckily, I met more vegans and learned how to cook soon after that. There are about 10 vegans that we have met on the entire Sunshine Coast which is the area where we live on the west coast of BC. That includes three towns and the one we live in (just past Sechelt) is a very small logging/fishing village in the middle of nowhere. It’s pretty intense up here and we don’t really fit in. I have enjoyed being able to wear my pajamas to walk my dog though. That’s a total bonus.

MV: What would we find if we opened your refrigerator right this minute?

HD: Lots of vegetables and fruit, two different kinds of “milk,” leftovers including a burrito that has the entire outer rim eaten off of it (that would be my 3 year old, not me). Organic juice, hummus, blueberry muffins, salsa, Daiya cheese, almond yogurt and vegan chocolate.

MV: All of your products are hand-printed. Take us through that process.

HD: I make my own screens and print my shirts as they are ordered. All my inks are water-based and eco-friendly which is great, because I can work in my studio at home and not worry about washing a bit of ink down the drain.

MV: Where do the majority of your orders come from and what is your most popular design?

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HD: Most of my orders come from the States, specifically California. My most popular design is definitely “I Don’t Eat Pals” but “Ferocious Vegan” is getting up there which is awesome because I really made that print and thought “hmmmm … people are just going to think this is weird.”

But I made it anyway and people are really into it!

MV: You give 10% from every order to animal charities. If animals could talk, do you think they’d negotiate for a higher percentage?

HD: I think they would want me to keep my business going and get my designs out there. If I gave more than 10% at this point, it would be hard for me to afford to keep it up. I think the animals would totally get that. I would love to give more, but to be able to give anything makes me really happy and I feel very lucky to be doing what I am doing and getting so much support from the vegan community.

MV: If an omnivore asked you why you’re vegan, what would you say?

HD: It really depends on who it is and the situation that we are in. A lot of the time, people ask but don’t REALLY want to know the answer. To those people I usually say something really quick and depending on who they are I might say “because I like animals” or “ because I care about the environment,” then they usually say something like “Oh I don’t eat much meat” but I always hope that they might think it over when they have a moment to themselves.

MV: If you were stranded on a deserted island which tank top would you wear?

HD: Probably “I Don’t Eat Pals” so I can make friends with the local wildlife.

So, the lessons in this blog post? Don’t eat pals … buy lot of shirts from the VeganPolice, “like” them on Facebook, and … as always …

Go vegan.

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What Meat is Actually Good For: New Data Revealed

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[New Cordell, OK] Earlier this week the National Meat and Fish Oversight Committee (NMFOC) in New Cordell, Oklahoma announced controlled findings on what “meat” is actually good for. While the study, which was partly funded by the Food and Drug Administration and Tyson Foods, was set out to explore the nutritional and dietary advantages of consuming meat, it instead revealed new, unexpected results.

In a simulated farm setting, milking cows, beef cattle, pigs, goats, ducks, and chickens were carefully observed during a two week timeframe to gain insight into their social and grazing habits, as well as their natural actions, when left to roam freely. This, combined with auxiliary scientific data, led to a new conclusion on “what meat is good for.”

“Our team at the NMFOC has solid evidence and will report out our findings in an official dossier later this year,” announced Bradford Cummings, the Director of NMFOC at a recent press conference. “We have concluded, beyond any other known evidence or fact, that for the health and well-being of our subjects, meat is best left on the animal. Uneaten. The structure of the beasts, in relation to their flesh and skin, seems to benefit from not removing the meat from their skeletal bones. The meat, along with muscle and skin, seems to actually assist in keeping the animal in one piece. Which the animals seem to enjoy.”

This statistic goes against the commonly-held belief that meat is intended for human consumption, requiring the slaughter and butchering of each animal and the subsequent packaging and promotion of their flesh.

Cummings later went on to comment that not only do the animals thrive when their meat is left in tact, but they seem to become less afraid of humans and become more sociable and, as he continued, “… are actually quite adorable when you get to know them.”

Go vegan.

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MeatyVegan Exclusive: Interview with Rob Bigwood from AMC’s “Game Of Arms”

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For the first in my interview series I wanted to chat with someone who I thought would fit the MeatyVegan image and what’s meatier than a professional vegan arm wrestler?

Rob Bigwood currently stars in AMC’s new reality series “Game of Arms” and he took the time this week for an exclusive interview with MeatyVegan. What I really loved about this interview is that, while I knew Rob was vegan, I didn’t know he was an ethical vegan and his answers to so many of these interview questions are right in line with my own beliefs.

I used to be a pretty impressive arm wrestler in my youth but when you see the guns on Rob you really can get a sense of true power and muscle. Proving, once and for all, that plant-power is true power and anyone who wants to argue this point, is welcome to go arm-to-arm against Rob Bigwood.

MV: Rob, you’re a professional arm wrestler and a vegan, doesn’t this mean you’ll never beat a meat eater? Don’t you need meat to be strong?

RB: I beat meat eaters all of the time! There are much healthier and cruelty free sources of protein and eating butchered animals limbs isn’t my thing.

MV: Most vegans are asked “where do you get your protein?” I’d like to ask, where do you get your haircut?

RB: I like this question a lot! I’ve been going to place in downtown Manhattan right off of Broadway for the past two years, but I also have a soft spot for Astor Place Barber.

MV: What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

RB: Fresh Direct was just delivered this morning so this could take a while. Organic broccoli, almond milk, almond and peanut butter, coconut oil, Earth Balance, beans, berries, wheat bread, avocado, spinach, there is too much to list … should I keep going?

MV: Has your role on AMC’s new show “Game of Arms” led to other acting offers? Will we see you in the next Julia Roberts’ romantic comedy?

RB: Ha! I’m a terrible actor and feel extremely awkward in front of the camera. But I wouldn’t mind a scene with Scarlett Johansson, just saying …

MV: How do you train to arm wrestle and is the arm you don’t use to compete with basically weak like an overcooked green bean?

RB: The best way to train is to actually arm wrestle. It hits all of the weird angles and positions that are impossible to duplicate at the gym. I compete with both arms, though I was warned not to after the surgery on my right elbow. My right hand, forearm, and bicep are stronger at the gym then the left but it’s the exact opposite on the arm wrestling table.

MV: What inspired you to become vegan?

RB: Growing up we are conditioned to ignore where our food comes from with clever advertising. I never connected that the hotdog or cheeseburger that I was eating was once an innocent animal that had its life viciously robbed. It was somebody’s mother, father, brother or sister. All animals have the same feelings and share the same fears.

MV: What inspires you to stay vegan?

RB: Because I know in my heart that it is the right thing to do despite what others think or say. Animals need a voice and things (factory farming) need to seriously change.

MV: If you could have one non-vegan food converted to vegan food and taste exactly the same, what would it be?

RB: I haven’t found an amazing vegan Reuben yet. Please tell me where I can find one!

MV: If you weren’t arm wrestling, what would you like to be doing?

RB: I’m actually an Interactive Art Director. I design mobile apps, websites, and anything else interactive. We just launched the new Comedy Central app for Android and Apple devices and it’s a pretty awesome!  I’ve also worked on some other huge brands including Air National Guard, Citi, Emirates, MSG and Pepsi to name a few.

MV: What would you say to the younger readers who want to get stronger about being “powered by plants”?

RB: Do a little research on balancing the right nutrient dense proteins and carbohydrates but most importantly listen to your body. Vegan food can taste amazing and is the complete opposite of boring. There is absolutely no need to contribute in taking the lives of millions of innocent animals each year. Forks Over Knives and Peta’s Vegetarian Starter Kit are a few good places to start.

I couldn’t agree more.

Watch Rob Bigwood prove that plant-power can dominate on AMC’s “Game of Arms.” Upon airing, the premiere of “Game of Arms” was watched by 1 million viewers, with 626,000 of those viewers among adults 18-49. It is AMC’s highest-rated reality series premiere of all time. Check your local listings.

Go vegan.

The One-Day Vegan Challenge: Making it Easy on the Omnivores

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My birthday is this Sunday. I’ve always loved my birthday, pretty much since the day I was born. My Mom always tells a story about me being a little boy growing up and being happy with anything. Didn’t have to be a toy. I just found happiness in anything and everything. I was always grateful. These days I am still that way and I’m feeling happier than ever. In fact, for my birthday this year I really only want one thing:

For you to be vegan for one day.

This Sunday, April 6th, in honor of that historic day in Queens, New York, I want you to go vegan. If you’re already vegan (which many of my followers are), please pass this challenge along to the omnivores in your life. One day. Sunday brunch through Sunday dinner.

This is very different than the popular Meatfree Monday (which I love, by the way and is a perfect follow up to this Vegan Sunday) because being vegan also means not consuming dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) or eggs. Drink your coffee black or splash in delicious vanilla coconut creamer. Make rugged roasted potatoes with thick cut onions and rosemary. Make a tofu scramble or retrofit that scramble into a quiche. Eat fruit. Vegetables. Oatmeal with brown sugar. Or, finally check out that vegan restaurant you’ve been avoiding. Trust me, you won’t go hungry.

This also means for this one day set aside your wool socks and leather belt and dress like a vegan (which is jeans, t-shirt, and canvas shoes, if you’d like). From the moment you wake up on Sunday … be vegan.

Think about what you are eating, wearing, doing, saying, and thinking.

For one day.

If you’ll do this for me, for my birthday, I will be even happier than I already am. Let me know you’re up for the challenge, or you have convinced someone to try it by commenting here on my blog (or, comment on Monday to let me know how it went).

Go vegan (for one day).

If You Stop Selling Cigarettes in Drugstores, Shouldn’t You Stop Selling Meat?

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MarlboroRecently the Tobacco-free campaign where I live has been plastering the buses and the radio with the “duh” messaging about selling cigarettes in drugstores. Why would drugstores still sell cigarettes when they also sell the drugs and medications to both help quit as well as deal with the nasty side effects and diseases of smoking?

Why does my gym give away free pizza and bagels?

They have a captive consumer that completes the “circle of death.” Drug companies (and doctors) rely on sick people to survive. Healthy people contribute nothing to the global economy so let’s keep Americans ill.

CVS drugstores this year made the very smart decision, in spite of the fact they will lose billions in revenue, to stop selling cigarettes. The pressure from the public and the obvious disconnect in this messaging will eventually force other drugstores to follow suit and stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products. This is a very good move forward toward a healthier nation.

But when will the public, and these very same retailers, make the same connection with meat, eggs, and dairy?

The headline for an article that was heavily circulated this week reads: “Diets high in meat, eggs and dairy could be as harmful to health as smoking.” You can read the entire article here but the basic message is in the headline. Meat, eggs, and dairy cause cancer. When you see someone smoking, you imagine their lungs suffering. When you see someone drinking, you think about their liver deteriorating. But, how many people watch someone eating a burger or bacon and think to themselves: “hmm … he’s going to get cancer … probably shouldn’t eat that …”

It’s just not as obvious.

I’ve said it previous posts, I believe in my lifetime there will be warning labels on meat, eggs, and dairy. These foods are actually causing more cancer, and other horrible diseases, than smoking will ever cause, but, alas, you can still buy them at your local drugstore. Of course there is a solution for all of this …

Go vegan.

Speciesism: The Movie

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Last night I attended a special screening of Speciesism: The Movie followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director. Everyone needs to see this film. Vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores … oh, and animals. Let’s not forget the animals.

Which is essentially the point you’ll find at the very core of this 90-minute documentary by young writer, director, and editor, Mark Devries.

Devries leaves nothing to question when it comes to the fundamental question asked in the film: Are humans somehow “above” animals? Half way through a film that, at that point, looked a lot like Vegucated, Devries freezes the audience on the thought of speciesism and, from there, we are led on a journey of discovery about where non-humans fit into the grand scheme of things. And, how “manure lagoons” exist in residential neighborhoods as constant reminders of the cruelty we inflict on animals for the sake of our own diets. When you find out what a manure lagoon is … well … see the film.

Literally every passing minute of the film made me more and more proud to be an ethical vegan.

Throughout the film, Devries interviews  and questions an impressive cast of experts (including my personal friend, Professor Sherry Colb, the author of Mind if I Order the Cheeseburger and Dr. Milton Mills, who I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with). Devries sits with Peter Singer, and holds his own with “one of the most influential philosophers alive.” We also hear from Temple Grandin, Richard Dawkins, among others. All adding to a very convincing argument and tidal wave movement that illustrates how humans and non-humans evolved from the same moment in time and were meant to co-exist on this planet peacefully.

Humans have waged an unfair war against innocent animals for their own selfishness.

A highlight of the film is a personal guided tour of the PETA headquarters and hearing from the director herself that sex sells when it comes to gaining traction with their anti-cruelty message. With this thinking, I feel the porn industry is missing excellent product placement and sponsorship opportunities; especially when you consider Riley Reid is a well-known vegan porn star.

The movie is a series of interviews (some of which became redundant) mixed with glimpses into the world of animal treatment in the U.S. Your emotions range from laughter to tears within a few frames of the film as you’re reminded of the ridiculousness of the treatment of animals as a food and clothing source in an age when this is no longer a necessity.

The film climaxes with a pull back of planet Earth that truly makes the audience stop to consider that we are all in this together. This isn’t our planet, as humans; it’s meant to be shared. With all living beings.

Over rolling credits, Devries fielded many pointed questions during the hour-long discussion following the film and his law degree showed. As an aside, I think it’s important to note that Devries himself transitioned from vegetarian to vegan during the making of this movie.

Anyone who sees Speciesism: The Movie will walk away thinking differently. Perhaps they will feel guilty. Or embarrassed. Or sad. Or mad. One thing I know for sure, they’ll never look at animals the same way again.

Want to own the film? Please visit the official website here and order enough DVDs to share with those you love … especially if they’re animals.

Go vegan.

Hey, Christie Brinkley, What is a “Mostly Vegan” Diet?

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According to People Magazine, Christie Brinkley (who looks incredible at 60) credits her amazing body to a “mostly vegan diet, and swears by pantyhose that give her ‘a sense of security’.”

I understand the sense of security you get with pantyhose but I am still troubled when celebrities (or Mark Bittman, for that matter) think they can use the word “vegan” after the word “mostly.” Or, in the case of Bittman, be vegan before six or any other time of day.

Being vegan is a lifestyle. Subscribing to a vegan diet is a commitment. Saying you’re “mostly vegan” is the same as being a “little bit pregnant.”

I am, however, always happy to see the word “vegan” in mainstream media since it helps draw attention to veganism and helps to also draw a line in the sand separating veganism from being vegetarian, but I take issue with these same people talking about a “mostly vegan” diet. I should note here that Brinkley has been vegetarian since she was 13, and that is pretty impressive!

Mostly plant-based. Perfect.

More vegetables and fruits. Acceptable.

Less meat, dairy, and eggs. Great idea.

Just don’t associate the fact that you’re eating better, like your mom always told you, with being vegan. They are not the same.

“Clunk, clunk.” The sound of me stepping off my soap box.

Go vegan.