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Veganism

Sunday Links Roundup: The Slightly Late Edition

Yesterday afternoon turned into madly busy craziness, so this week’s link roundup is a day late.  All apologies, and apologies also if this post is coloured by the mental effect of my four hours of sleep last night and the physical effect of my assorted sore muscles from this morning’s run.  I’m not good at Sundays.

  • Sarah Palin  has the wit and wisdom of your average fourteen year old boy.  This woman was seven percent of the vote and one heart attack from the United States presidency:

“If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore,” she wrote. “If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”

“I love meat,” she writes. “I eat pork chops, thick bacon burgers, and the seared fatty edges of a medium-well-done steak. But I especially love moose and caribou. I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals — right next to the mashed potatoes.”

  • Professor Gary Steiner wrote an excellent op-ed in the New York Times, discussing veganism.  I don’t entirely agree with some elements – for example, I think he overstates the difficulty of veganism – but am in equal parts saddened and impressed by the furore it caused online.
  • The Fonterra ‘head of milk supply and sustainability’ has a problem with the Business Council for Sustainable Development: They’ve been promoting sustainable development too much, and that’s bad for Fonterra.  Trouble is, Fonterra pays a lot of the Council’s bills, so the Council…hasn’t said a thing about emissions trading since.  Am I alone in thinking there’s something deeply Orwellian about Fonterra having a ‘head of milk supply and sustainability’?  Milk supply is not sustainable.
  • China executed to two of the persons responsible for the tainted milk products this week.  Fonterra, who you may recall, part owned the company responsible said nothing.
  • The animal origins of pharmaceuticals are often overlooked; AnimalBlawg points out that they shouldn’t be.
  • New Scientist: Cutting meat consumption will cut carbon dioxide emissions.  And is healthier.
  • The Animal Welfare Trust is seeking applicants for its 2010 student grant programme.
  • This article on going home for Thanksgiving in the US remind me of Christmas here, a lot.
  • Slow Foods USA; Emory University; etc: ‘Sometimes the best way to save something is to eat it.’  UhWellKindaNo.
  • The Police are hunting a woman who starved her puppy.  No one is hunting Alan Crafar, whose employees starved dozens of cows.  When you starve a pet dog, it’s ‘one of New Zealand’s worst cases of animal neglect’; when you starve calves, it’s a ‘management issue’.  Welfarism is deeply speciesist.
  • Just as racist jokes reinforce latent racial prejudice, jokes about animals reinforce the species barrier (it’s a slideshow).
  • Trespassing hunters get legal protection; land-owners trying to keep them out get…arrested.
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About David Tong

LLM (1st Hons) / BA/LLB (Hons) Vegan Straight Edge

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Sunday Links Roundup: The Slightly Late Edition

  1. If God had not intended for us to eat people, how come He made them out of meat?

    Posted by Edward Miller | 30 November 2009, 9:04 am
  2. Nice roundup. I loved Palin’s comment. Keep talking woman. The more you say, the more it reveals about you. Also liked Steiner’s op-ed, and tend to agree with him more than you do about the cultural – rather than practical – difficulties of going vegan. As always, whether we who have embraced veganism think it’s actually difficult – and it’s not – for those contemplating making the leap (or not), it is a massive conceptual jump. I think Steiner nails the common thought process of those who think about veganism perfectly. Incidentally, I’m here on the Gold Coast in a small town, and aside from one delightful restaurant (The Magic Apple – a must visit), it’s turning out to be a bit tricky to get much that’s decent to eat. God, I miss Melbourne already…. (though I love the beach).

    Posted by Peter Sankoff | 30 November 2009, 9:26 am
  3. I find sentences like ‘You just haven’t lived until you’ve tried to function as a strict vegan in a meat-crazed society.’ problematic, and claims like ‘What were once the most straightforward activities become a constant ordeal.’ absurd. I think he goes beyond recognising the cultural difficulties. Veganism isn’t an ordeal!

    Posted by David Tong | 30 November 2009, 10:37 am
  4. OK, I’ll grant that “ordeal” is a stretch, but the rest isn’t far off. If you are a strict vegan it’s tough – as you pointed out in your “buying a suit” blog – which I enjoyed. Very simple things can become tough, especially if you’re not willing to occasionally just dine out on bread or potato chips. Travelling is especially tricky. I’ve been caught in airports multiple times having forgotten to plan ahead, and trying to decide between packed nuts or potato chips. Most vegans are so used to planning ahead that we forget that it is, occasionally, tough. Social events (require special RSVP, and occasional negotiation), purchases, trying to just go on the fly… all of these things now require foresight and planning. I’m not complaining – but I do remember my early days as a vegan, and my continuing days as a vegan while travelling and raising a baby. It’s hardly impossible, but it is challenging, and at times more than that. Here’s how I think of being a vegan: when I’m at home, in my comfort zone, or hanging with like minded people – easiest thing in the world. Step out of that place, and it becomes challenging. I think we need to acknowledge that challenge in order to combat it.

    Posted by Peter Sankoff | 1 December 2009, 12:24 am
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