EAT LIKE A REAL ENVIRONMENTALIST

Mark your calendars: 2017. That’s the date when, some climate experts are now saying, irreversible climate change is likely to become locked in unless we do something FAST. This means that it would no longer be possible to avert flooding interspersed with droughts, therefore seriously wrecking agriculture. It means 1700 American cities under water. What else, I don’t know.

Climate change is mostly caused by too much carbon in the atmosphere. Since that carbon takes at least 100 years to dissipate, even 1000s of people buying Priuses or putting up solar panels (while wonderful) isn’t going to be enough to turn things around. It isn’t going to be enough to stop the debacle which could come as early as 2017 or as late 2020.

But there is hope.

In case you haven’t heard, livestock is responsible for at least 51 percent of human-induced carbon and other greenhouse gases. That’s according to the respected Worldwatch Institute which published a report in 2009 by environmental specialists Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang of the World Bank Group, a United Nations agency.

That’s cheeseburgers, bacon, eggs and vanilla shakes, folks.

Fifty-one percent.

And those environmental specialists have explained how replacing livestock products with plant-based products will also free up land to plant trees, which can suck up the excess atmospheric carbon. More trees happens to be a very big deal. And the reverse – losing the rain forests – is also a very big deal.

If this sounds like another “go vegan” pitch from me, it’s not. You actually don’t have to go totally vegan or totally vegetarian to help.

The solution is for people around the world to not only plant trees but also to replace close to 50 percent of today’s livestock products with better alternatives, according to the website “Chomping Climate Change.” Better alternatives are everything from grain-based meats to soy milk, nut butters, whole grains, and legumes.

While livestock emit a lot of carbon through carbon dioxide in respiration, livestock also emit a lot of two other highly potent greenhouse gases: methane and nitrous oxide.

The thing that’s handy about methane and nitrous oxide as opposed to CO2 is those chemicals largely dissipate from the atmosphere within 8 years, quick enough so that large-scale replacement of livestock products with plant-based alternatives could allow us to make a real difference and head off the 2017 tipping point.

But Houston we do have a problem, which is some unfortunate news that I recently acquired from an off-the-record yet credible scientific source: Even if the entire United States goes vegan, that’s not going to be enough to head off this environmental catastrophe.

It has to be the whole planet replacing close to 50 percent of animal-based foods with something else, something else like lentils or potatoes or Beyond Meat stir fry or tofu, or, hell, vegan banana bread.

Currently, China is eating one fourth of all the animal foods on Earth. One fourth.

India with its huge population of over a billion people, too, is chowing down animals. While consumption of animal foods has dropped a bit in the US (population 316 million) it’s increasing in India to the tune of 12 percent a year and there’s no sign that it’s letting up!

OH CRAP! OH FUCK! OH SHIT! (sorry for yelling in this post, but I’m upset.)

One of the reasons that we’re not going to be able to have a little climate change free oasis in, say, the Bay Area or the Pacific Northwest is that greenhouse gas is “transboundary.” It means that green house gases don’t respect borders, so if somebody is raising pigs in China or cows in Brazil or chickens in Alabama, there’s still going to be an epic tornado in Oklahoma or an epic hurricane in the Philippines or a flood in San Francisco.

But before we all pack our bags and head for Mumbai and Beijing with our Vegan Outreach leaflets, it’s important to consider this embarrassing statistic: As individuals, we Americans consume more animal products than anyone else in the world. Per capita we consume twice as much as the Chinese.

India really humiliates the United States. Per capita we Americans consume 19 times the chicken and 10 times the pork that they do.

I once had an unpleasant conversation with Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org at a 2012 Bioneers conference. I hassled him for not bringing up the fact that animal food consumption is a big factor in climate change.

He was pissed and so was I. He asked me where did I think the biggest increase in meat consumption was happening and I told him I knew it was in the poorer parts of the world that were staring to develop economically.

“And how are you going to ask people who are just now starting to be able to enjoy eating meat that they can’t eat it?” he said.

When it happened I was a bit discombobulated, but now I would have answered to him that “meat” isn’t just pork chops these days. Check out the dictionary. It defines meat as an essential food that includes alternatives to livestock products (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meat). Again better alternatives to animal foods can be legumes, whole grains, potatoes, Annie’s veggie burgers, tempeh bacon, etc.

I would have also said that the only reason that animal-based foods have become hip in the so-called “developing world,” is they’re taking their cues from the more affluent countries — that would be the US, that would be Europe. Even if the whole U.S. going vegan isn’t going to be enough to turn around climate change, we’ve still got a huge important job to do here now: Make plant-based cool. Make animal foods obsolete.

As friend and fellow activist Bee Uytiepo says, “Eat like a real environmentalist.”

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —

A SIERRA CLUB SHIFT ON MEAT-EATING?

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune talking about the environment.

The poor Sierra Club really took it on the chin in the recent movie “Cowspiracy.” With a deer-in-the-headlights expression on his face, the club’s Deputy Executive Director Bruce Hamilton was filmed as he fumbled, mumbled and, well, choked in response to a question about the huge impact of animal agriculture on the environment.

Some of the facts that emerged from that (enormously important) movie: Animal agriculture (and animal food consumption) causes 18 percent of green house gas according to the United Nation’s 2006 report or, if you like, 51 percent, according to the World Watch Institute in 2009; animal ag uses exponentially more water than fracking at this point; the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed primarily by the meat industry; and there’s not enough land in the United States to feed all Americans free-range/grass-fed meat. It’s the same when you look at the planet as a whole. “The land’s just not there,” said a dairy farmer in the movie.

These are statistics that haven’t normally been broadcast by the Sierra Club, or as the movie pointed out, other well-known environmental groups, such as the Rainforest Action Network.

In 2008, despite pleas from some Sierra Club members for the group to come out against the animal food industry and meat eating, Josh Dorner, a spokesman for the Sierra Club, told Ben Adler of the American Prospect magazine: “The Sierra Club isn’t opposed to eating meat, so that’s sort of the long and short of it. [We are] not opposed to hunting, not opposed to ranching.”

Fast forward to 2014, October 22. It’s hot and unbelievably dry in California. Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s Executive Director, came to speak at a Presbyterian church in San Anselmo, CA. I was excited to go and hear him.

Would Brune talk about “Cowspiracy?” Would he talk about animal ag, the rainforest and climate change? Would he talk about animal agriculture, fish eating and the destruction of the oceans?

And if he didn’t talk about those things, I decided I’d do my own personal follow-up to “Cowspiracy,” which I’ve now concluded is the most important movie of the century, if not ever.

As far as I can tell from my research on the internet, Brune is a stand up guy. When he took over the Sierra Club, he put a stop to the group’s acceptance of “gifts” from a natural gas company ($26 million) and multi-million dollar “gifts” from the Clorox company. And I have to say, over the last three or four years, there have been little mentions here and there in the Sierra Club magazine and on the websites of local Sierra Club groups, suggesting that meat eating isn’t good for the environment.

But there have been no major articles on the environmental horror of animal food production. No major announcements for the public to stop eating meat from the Sierra Club.

Taking the lectern at the church, Brune began his lecture with a couple of jokes about the Giants and the World Series, and then he settled down to the business of sharing the Sierra Club’s recent activities and accomplishments. We found out the Sierra Club has been working with First Nations Peoples of Canada to try and stop the tar sands drilling and the pipeline. We also found out that the director has been talking with oil executives, pointing out that the tars sands oil isn’t worth the money, since the price of regular oil is currently so low.

We also found out that the Sierra Club did an amazing job, during the Bush administration, in preventing the energy industry from building 250 new coal plants. He didn’t mention shutting down any of the 600 or more existing ones and admitted that while the club’s efforts really didn’t do anything to slow down climate change, at least they somewhat prevented it from getting worse!

But then, again, we learned from his lecture, it is kind of worse because China’s going nuts building coal plants. But maybe that’s not so bad because they’re also building a bunch of solar. And, by the way, we Americans should put solar panels on our roofs and stop using coal, so that maybe we can be a good example to China.

Forty-five minutes of Brune talking and there was no “Cowspiracy,” no “animal agriculture and the environment,” no “don’t eat meat,” and no “don’t eat fish.”

WHAT??? Even after “Cowspiracy,” the Sierra Club’s still not coming out with it?

Audience members had been instructed to write their questions for Mr. Brune on index cards.

And just so nobody thinks I’m being viciously vegan and unfair to the Sierra Club, I’ve decided to include, word for word, what he said about animal agriculture. It’s up to you, vegans and other interested parties to decide – Does the following sound like bullshit or not? Use your own bullshit detector.

Michael Brune: So I’m going to read the most controversial question I have. “A recent documentary called ‘Cowspiracy’ focuses on how animal agriculture impacts the environment. It impacts wilderness spots, land degradation, water pollution and shortages. Why doesn’t the Sierra club address this issue? Why don’t you have a Beyond Meat program like your Beyond Oil or Beyond Coal, Beyond Natural Gas initiatives?”

(Brune looked up and addressed the audience.) How many folks have seen the film “Cowspiracy”? A few people? How many folks are familiar with animal agriculture, industrial agriculture and its impact on the environment and how many people are familiar with the impacts of industrial agriculture, meat eating and its impacts on the climate? A large number.

(Brune was still talking.) So this movie, “Cowspiracy,” is a film that, as you might guess, develops a theory that the (environmental) movement organizations working on climate change are shying away from this issue and it attacks the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, I think 350.org, Friends of the Earth, NRDC, and others for not doing it, for not having a large, public big grassroots campaign going after the industry.

And the intimation is that we are afraid to do that, afraid to take on industrial agriculture or hesitant to do it because of donors or the personal lifestyles of leaders in the organizations. We’ve thought about it, because any time you’re attacked for not doing your job right, it causes you to reflect on what you’re doing and to see whether or not you should change your policies. We like to be a responsive organization that is able to accept criticism. And so we – (he stopped for a moment, then continued.)

The Sierra Club has been working on industrial agriculture for decades. Before I came to the Sierra Club, the organization was the leading organization going up against CAFOs, concentrated animal feed lots, taking a lot of these facilities to court (in order) to protect water quality, air quality, all around the country. We have a public policy that encourages our members to eat less meat. It doesn’t encourage them to go fully vegetarian, but it says eating meat has a big impact on the environment and on the climate and as activists, as people who care about the environment we need to eat less meat.

We also have made a strong connection between climate change and industrial agriculture. And we recognize that we could heighten the visibility of this work more; to draw the connections between animal cruelty and cruelty to the planet as a whole. So we’re looking to find other ways to highlight it. We’re not afraid to take on any industry. We’re happy to discuss this issue with anyone. We’re happy to find different ways to communicate about this. But, we’re not all that interested in spending a ton of time with folks who are more interested in criticizing our friends on the issue. We’re always looking for ways to improve.

(Brune took a few other questions, mostly about carbon taxation until he got to my card.)

Vicious Vegan card: I’m a lifelong member of the Sierra Club, yet I have not donated for about four years because the organization doesn’t talk about animal agriculture’s contribution to climate change, water pollution, erosion, etc.

Michael Brune: Well, I’ve got a membership form in my back pocket for whoever wrote that. I’d be happy to talk to whoever wrote that. I would love to have you as a supporter and a member. We are a grassroots-driven and we are member-supported and we care about this issue. I’d be happy to talk to anyone about what the Sierra Club has done and what a lot of groups who are being criticized have done for [sic] animal agriculture.

Vicious Vegan spoke out: Could you read the back of my card?

Michael Brune: There’s a back to this card? It says, don’t forget to read the back of this card. “And why won’t the Sierra Club tell people that animal agriculture is responsible for 18 to 50% of green house gas emissions?” I watched the movie and it’s hard to square that, that’s a big range, 18 to 50%, that’s hard to justify, however the impact is huge. I don’t think it’s 50%, I don’t think it’s 18%, but it’s still huge.

Vicious Vegan tried to speak out again: OK, what about water, the water pollution…(I was shushed by the minister of the Presbyterian Church twice so I finally shut up.)

Michel Brune continued: So while being (unintelligible) to focus on is our dream, it’s a large issue, it’s a significant issue, it’s a challenge our society has to meet. We do need to find a way to protect our forests, of which animal agriculture has a huge impact, particularly in South America.

We do have to find a way to get off of coal and gas. Animal agriculture relates to that, but not directly. We do have to find a way to drive, to transport ourselves, animal agriculture doesn’t (unintelligible) I don’t think we have to compete those challenges against each other. What I think is the room for improvement for the Sierra Club is to elevate food production to a higher level. And I hope that you heard me when I said that we’re looking to do that.

(Applause.)

OK, is it really happening? I checked the current Sierra Club homepage. The only article that seemed to have anything to do with food was “The Four Best Foods to Forage – Who needs the agricultural-industrial food complex when you can gather for free?” The article mentions dandelions, nettles, raspberries, oxalis and enoki. Okaaaay.

The question still hangs I think: Is the Sierra Club full of shit or not? Check out Bruce Hamilton’s October 2, 2014 blog post in response to “Cowspiracy” and decide.

Maybe we should just give the Sierra Club and some of these other groups some time. But how much time do we have?

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —

DUNKIN’ DONUTS: REACHING OUT TO VEGANS…AND FAILING

This week the esteemed junk food restaurant Dunkin’ Donuts rolled out a new offering! Almond milk! It was because of “an increasing number of customer requests” for non-dairy options, said one of the company’s marketing presidents.

OKAAAAY.

Reporting on the new Dunkin’ development, the Boston Globe asserted, “Most of the traditional donuts do not contain milk or eggs, but since they come in contact with such products they can’t be labeled as ‘vegan.’ ’’

Come on down vegans! Have an almond milk latte with a vegan glazed donut that might have, well, accidentally, touched something with milk or eggs in it.

Not so fast.

I went to the Dunkin Donuts website for nutrition and looked up the ingredients for several types of donuts – I clicked on Apple Crumb Donut, contains milk and eggs; I clicked on the Apple Donut, contains milk and eggs; I clicked on the Apple ‘n’ Spice Donut, contains milk and eggs; I clicked on the Caramel Spice Donut, contains milk and eggs; I clicked on the Chocolate Frosted Donut, contains milk and eggs; I clicked on the Glazed Donut, contains milk and eggs; I clicked on the Cinnamon Cake Donut, contains milk and eggs; and I clicked on the Glazed Donut, contains milk and eggs.

Then I got tired of clicking.

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –

ARBY’S MEAT MOUNTAIN

Listening to “Car Talk” a while back I heard one of the brothers sagely remark that some of the worst shit (my word, not his) happens after somebody says, “Hey, watch this!”

Consuming the monstrosity, “Meat Mountain” from Arby’s was a “Hey, watch this!” moment.

David Anthony was challenged by the A.V. Club to consume this moronically huge sandwich, Arby’s latest offering, made from the flesh of several kinds of animals – cow, pig, chicken, turkey, as well as some cow secretions in the form of two kinds of cheese.

Yes, the “Meat Mountain.” It’s 1200 calories, a boatload of fat, and a fistful of salt. It’s also a gimmick to try and sell more pain and suffering to a public which is already in pain and is already suffering, to say nothing of the pain and suffering inflicted on the animals used in the product.

I guess Arby’s is trying to compete with the Heart Attack Grill.

Apparently Anthony will do anything, no matter how stupid, on a dare. He ate the thing. And while he didn’t have a heart attack, his body still tried to send him message, which I will translate, “What the fuck are you doing?”

Anthony wrote:

“… the effects of the sandwich began to hit me (shortly after finishing.) For no real reason I’d get a chill and my body would shake, a startling occurrence that happened every couple minutes. The gas that was filling me continued to be released without my control, which was nothing if not charming for all those in attendance. And, perhaps most notable, when I laughed my left side was met with a tight pain around my ribs. It turned out I wasn’t alone in such agonies, as the three other finishers uttered similar statements, with one of them even claiming he felt “feverish” for the rest of the day.”

And I wonder why was he laughing?

I know, I know, I know, the omnivores out there will repeat the oft heard cliché: “Moderation in all things.” Go ahead, have a bite of the Swiss, a bite of the cheddar, a bite of the turkey, a bite of the chicken, a bite of the cow and a bite of the pig.

And while you’re at it, why not a bite of the dog, a bite of the cat, a bite of your best friend and a bite of some cheese made from your cousin’s breast milk?

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –

CONGRATS BRANGELINA!

Newlyweds Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got an unusual wedding gift from PETA recently. Apparently the couple had failed to register at Pottery Barn or Macy’s, forcing PETA to be creative with their well wishes.

The group opted to name two newly rescued chinchillas, yes, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. While the glittery movie stars are not vegans, they have made the ethical decision to refrain from wearing fur. They’ve also been involved in some animal rescue operations, said PETA.

Brad and Angelina (the chinchillas) were two of 400 animals rescued from the Adams Valley View Chinchilla Ranch where they would have likely suffered electrocution before being turned into coats. The Ranch generally sold chinchillas as pets, but the ones who weren’t considered suitable as pets were killed.

Brad and Angelina (the celebrities) had been together for nine years, before they sneaked off to France recently to tie the knot. They had been asked previously why didn’t they get married. Pitt was quoted saying, “When everybody in America can get married (referring to gay rights) maybe we’ll get married.”

Brad and Angelina (the chinchillas) are vegans. I’m hoping their eating habits will rub off on their namesakes, Brad and Angelina (the movie stars).

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –

BOB BARKER THROWS A PUNCH (SORT OF) AT ANIMAL RIGHTS CRITIC

Bob Barker, the plucky AR activist, who once presided over one of America’s most embarrassing game shows, “The Price is Right,” finally lost it when a lout called “animal lovers,” “animal wackos.” The nerve!

The 90-year-old silver fox reared back and popped the jerk right in the face. POW! POW! POW!

Well, this all happened on the CBS soap opera, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” (I know, I know, “The Bold and the Stupid.”)

Yet, I had to wonder if it hadn’t been fun and games in a TV film studio, one might imagine Barker getting arrested under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. And if Barker had been black — Jesus Christ!

I get a little creeped out when AR activists are portrayed in the mass media as, well, “Vicious Vegans.”

We’re not really vicious. It’s a joke. Don’t us put in jail or do anything to us.

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –

IS ANIMAL AG BUYING OFF ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS?

A new documentary, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” asks just that question. Has the silence from the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, 350.org, the Rainforest Action Network, the National Resources Defense Council, the Surfrider Foundation and Oceana on the environmental impact animal agriculture and animal consumption been bought? Is big animal ag paying hush money to these groups to keep the spotlight off their activities?

As “Cowspiracy” blasts on the screen, animal agriculture (and by extension, animal food consumption) is THE biggest single contributor to green house gas production, water depletion, land degradation, deforestation, species extinction, ocean dead zones and community destabilization.

Yet, where is the outcry from the most powerful environmental groups?

Kip Andersen, co-producer and director of the documentary, tried to find out and made a film about his search. Over and over again his requests for interviews with spokespeople from these groups were rebuffed. As the producer told a recent “Cowspiracy” audience in Oakland, “It’s like there’s this huge cancer on the planet and nobody wants to talk about it.”

Reluctantly, some of the environmental groups relented and agreed to go on camera.

With the appearance of an insecure, scruffy college student, or maybe junior college student, Andersen listened dutifully to the advice from environmental and government spokespeople to turn off the lights when he leaves a room and don’t let the water run while he brushes his teeth.

Finally Andersen confronted them: What about animal agriculture? What about asking people to not eat animal products? Sucking wind, with a deer-in –the- headlights expression, Bruce Hamilton, the Deputy Director of the Sierra Club was eventually able to respond: “What do you want to know?”

Environmental group after environmental group fumbled the question with statements like, “It’s hard to actually target, like, one thing” from Chad Nelson, environmental director of the Surfrider Foundation.

One spokesperson could not contain her amusement, laughing, “Are you talking about cow farts?”

Amazingly, the most honest and clear answers came from the Clover Dairy president and another small dairy farmer who both conceded that milk from pastured dairy cows is not sustainable. There’s just not enough land to produce cow’s milk for everyone, they said. The small dairy farmer even said that probably almond milk and soy milk were going to be the “way to go.”

And perhaps the most telling exchange was between Andersen and the Animal Agriculture Alliance, an industry group. “Do you give donations to environmental groups?” Andersen asked.

The young spokeswoman seemed nervous and said, “I don’t know that I want to comment on that.”

Richard Oppenlander, author of “Comfortably Unaware – What We Choose to Eat is Killing Us and Our Planet,” and Will Anderson, founder of Greenpeace Alaska (but who’s no longer associated with the group) both accused environmental groups of badly failing the public and the ecosystem by not focusing first and foremost on animal agriculture.

Author and omnivore Michael Pollan also said on camera that our survival as a species depends on drastically reducing animal food consumption – to about 2 ounces a week.

But Oppenlander suggested that cutting down is just not going to be enough: “Do you say to somebody who’s got lung cancer, just don’t smoke on Mondays?”

After seeing the screening, I spoke with Kip Andersen and asked if they had been able to absolutely nail down the fact that animal ag is bankrolling these groups and he said so far, no, and that it’s extremely difficult to track it down, because the groups accept donations from individuals, not groups.

“But I can tell you there are some very excellent investigative journalists who are working on that right now,” Andersen said.

Andersen also told me he thought there was probably another reason why these groups have been so quiet on the issue and so reluctant to ask the public to stop eating animals:

“I think they like to eat meat,” he said. “The guy from the Sierra Club told me that he ate grass fed beef and chicken. Grass fed beef? That’s way worse in terms of climate change, than the factory-farmed beef.”

The film suggested yet another reason some groups might be holding back: fear. A spokeswoman for a rainforest group in Brazil very reluctantly said that cattle ranching was the main reason the South American forests (“the lungs of the world”) are being decimated to the tune of an acre per second. She said that some 1100 anti-cattle ranching activists had been killed in Brazil and that now most people “keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to be the next one with a bullet in their head.”

A couple of years ago, I was able to ask 350.org founder Bill McKibbon — since animal agriculture was the biggest contributor to global warming — how come he didn’t talk about it in the lecture he gave in Marin County.

McKibbon got mad and said, “The biggest growth in animal food consumption is coming from the Third World. How can we ask people who are just now getting to enjoy eating meat that they can’t have it?”

I thought that was odd.

Anyway, the “Cowspiracy” message seems to be starting to get through. The Huffington Post reported that following the film’s release in July, the “Rainforest Action Network” has now admitted that “critics were fair to lambaste the organization for not making animal agriculture a priority.”

“Cowspiracy” trailer:

The film will be shown in Oakland on Saturday August. 23 at 3 p.m. at the New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland, California.

Other upcoming screenings:

8/21 – New York City – bit.ly/CowNYC
8/21 – Mount Pleasant, SC – *sold out*
8/21 – Lompoc, CA – bit.ly/LompocCow
8/21 – Talahassee, FL – bit.ly/TalaCow
8/21 – Providence, RI – bit.ly/PTownCow
8/21 – San Antonio, TX – bit.ly/SanACow
8/21 – Chicago – *sold out* (2nd screening added on 9/4)
8/21 – Arcata, CA – bit.ly/ArcaCow
8/21 – Ottawa, Canada – on.fb.me/1vrTsMH
8/25 – Austin, TX – *sold out*
8/25 – Valparaiso, IN – bit.ly/CowTugg
8/27 – Lansing, MI – bit.ly/CowTugg
8/27 – Grand Rapids, MI – bit.ly/CowTugg
8/28 – Wilmington, NC – bit.ly/CowTugg
8/28 – Cleveland Heights, OH – bit.ly/CowTugg
8/28 – San Jose, CA – bit.ly/CowTugg
8/28 – Cotati, CA – bit.ly/CotCow
8/28 – Sacramento, CA – bit.ly/CowTugg
8/28 – Tucson, AZ – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/3 – Boca Raton, FL – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/3 – Springfield, MO – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/3 – Dallas, TX – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Batavia, IL – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Berlin, CT – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Chicago, IL – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Fairfield, CT – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Oklahoma City, OK – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Huntington Beach, CA – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/4 – Reno, NV – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/5 – Toronto, Canada (Veg Food Fest) – www.festival.veg.ca
9/8 – Coralville, IA – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/8 – Waterbury, CT – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/10 – Montreal, Canada – bit.ly/MontyCow
9/10 – Eatontown, NJ – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/10 – Philadelphia, PA – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/10 – Chesterfield, MO – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/10 – Phoenix, AZ – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/11 – Altamonte Springs, FL – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/11 – South Miami, FL – on.fb.me/1A3R5yJ
9/11 – Indianapolis, IN – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/11 – Owings Mills, MD – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/11 – Huntsville, AL – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/11 – North Hollywood, CA – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/12 – Ottawa, Canada – on.fb.me/1vrX55s
9/12 – Toronto, Canada – on.fb.me/1owuO9c
9/16 – Houston, TX – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/17 – Asheville, NC – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/18 – Greenville, SC – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/18 – Colorado Springs, CO – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/18 – Las Vegas, NV – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/18 – Grass Valley, CA – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/18 – Portland, OR – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/18 – Cambridge, MA – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/18 – Kansas City, MO – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/23 – Charleston, SC (free!) – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/23 – Alberta, Canada – on.fb.me/1ucf4ep
9/23 – Washington, DC – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/25 – Gainesville, FL – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/25 – Kingston, NY – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/25 – Plymouth Meeting, PA – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/25 – Charlotte, NC – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/25 – St. Louis Park, MN – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/27 – Charleston, SC (free!) – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/29 – Albany, NY – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/29 – Burlington, VT – bit.ly/CowTugg
9/29 – Agoura Hills, CA – bit.ly/CowTugg
10/1 – Wilder, VT – bit.ly/CowTugg
10/2 – South Portland, ME – bit.ly/CowTugg
10/2 – Birmingham, AL – bit.ly/CowTugg
10/15 – Erie, PA – bit.ly/CowTugg

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –

PORN KING PROMOTES VEGAN!

We have vegan meat, vegan cheese, vegan milk, vegan hot dogs, vegan leather, vegan cruises, vegan rock stars, vegan Republicans, a vegan president of the American College of Cardiology, a vegan ex-president of the United States, vegan dental floss and now, Vicious Vegan is proud to announce – the world’s first VEGAN STRIP CLUB.

The instigator of the club is a 26-year herbivore who calls himself Johnny Diablo and his establishment is Casa Diablo, located in Portland on Stark Street (or Stark Naked Street, take your pick.)

From his Google image, Vegan porn king Diablo appears to be a portly hippie with glinty eyes: no horns, no tail, no pitchfork, yet it’s not hard to imagine him running a nudie place.

What’s hard to imagine is, him being vegan. But apparently he is vegan and committed to his mission: combining fun with veganism.

“I want people to know you can be compassionate to animals and still have fun,” he told Kumail Nanjlani on a YouTube video.

Diablo’s also committed to “Keeping Portland Weird,” which is actually really easy, when you run a vegan strip club.

Mr. Devil, I mean, Mr. Diablo told Mr. Nanjlani that not all of the strippers who work there are vegan, but they have been banned from wearing leather, feathers, fur or any other animal product on stage.

All the food served is vegan and is prepared in a room that appeared (from the video) to be sort of half kitchen, half dressing room. The cook seemed particularly proud of his vegan nachos.

I wondered how many of the patrons had come for the food. OK, it was probably the porn and not the animal product-free nachos.

Still, because Diablo’s doing such a fantastic job of decimating the stereotype of skinny, holier-than-thou, angry, pain-in-the-@$$ vegan, we’ve decided to award him “Vicious Vegan of the Week.”

It’s nice to see someone from Stark Naked Street taking aim at some of the worst pornography in this country – the animal agricultural industry.
The vegan tent is big. No need to be skinny or a model citizen.

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –

TICK POWER!

And you thought PETA was bad-ass! There’s a group of ticks emanating from Texas, who are taking the farm animal rights fight to a whole new level!

Causing red meat allergies in anyone they happen to bite, these ticks aren’t confining their outreach to only the country’s beefiest state, Texas.

Traveling by deer (way to go deer!), the ticks are bringing their super powers to cause instant vegetarianism across the country. A case was diagnosed in Maine!

OK, OK, the symptoms of the tick bite are not much fun. Within 30 days, it’s been reported, you can get a fever, headache or muscle pain, swollen glands and a rash. If you’re a rock solid vegan or even a vegetarian, this is where the story ends. Take some antibiotics and you’re fine.

But if you were bitten and aren’t a veg and eat red meat (the flesh of cows, pigs or deer), look out. You can land your ass in the hospital, with hives, swelling and even problems breathing.

The moral is, according to the lamestream media, avoid brushy areas, cover up and check your body for ticks after you’ve been hiking or whatever.

The Vicious Vegan advice is don’t eat freaking hamburger!

Good job, Lone Star Ticks! We’re granting each and every one of you “The Vicious Vegan Award of the Week!”

– A Vicious Vegan blog post -

A VEGAN IN NOWHERESVILLE

What’s the weirdest place to be a vegan in? (Sorry about the grammar.)

For me it was Clarksdale, Mississippi, where fried chicken, baked ham and barbecued crawdads rule. (We were there for a (great!) blues festival and rightfully worried about getting something to eat that weekend.)

We brought oatmeal, peanut butter, bread, raisins and some apples so we could fix breakfast and lunch at the place we were staying. But dinner? I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of French fries and Coke, or as they say in the deep South, “Coke-cola.”

And then we found the Stone Pony. Yep, the most California-ized, restaurant probably in the entire state. I asked for a pizza with sauce, mushrooms, olives and spinach and NO CHEESE.

“You cain’t do that!” said the pretty blond waitress.

“I cain’t?” I said.

“No, you cain’t,” she said.

“But I can! I can! I know it will work,” I said.

She finally agreed to go ask the chef and when she came back it was the same: “He says, ‘You cain’t – ‘cuz it’ll burn up without the cheese.’”

“No, no, no. Trust me, it’ll work. It won’t burn up,” I said.

She walked back to the kitchen, walking the slowest I’d ever seen a waitress walk. Of course, it did work and we went from pizza to later enjoy fried green tomato sandwiches (without the cheese), fried potatoes, grits, greens and, well, peanut butter sandwiches.

Recently, I read a blog post about a woman, Rebecca Barfoot, who went to a really weird place for vegans – Greenland, where folks chow down a lot of whale meat, seal meat and some fish. Before Barfoot, a 20 year vegan, left Europe, she said, even though she wasn’t at all interested in consuming meat, she was determined to be flexible and if fish was the only thing available, well so be it.

Since the Air Greenland wouldn’t let passengers take more than one bag weighing no more than 44 pounds, a case of canned vegetables was out. She managed to pack some 15 pounds of food – almonds, flax seeds, quinoa, mung beans, which she figured she’d sprout and some dried greens. It wasn’t enough food for her to survive her 40-day art residency there.

Most of Greenland is ice and plants don’t grow tremendously well there. Everything is super expensive there since most food, with the exception of seal and whale meat is imported by boat from Denmark.

Barfoot described her typical grocery run as “rations.” She wrote she’d usually get a can of garbanzos or navy beans, a small loaf of heavy rye bread. Sometimes she’d been able to get maybe a banana or some cabbage if a delivery boat had come in. And if she was really lucky, she would get maybe some jam, sweet pickles or pickled beets.

So how was she doing? As of writing her blog post, she hadn’t had any meat and was “surviving,” noting that she was losing weight, however.

Now, that’s a commitment.

I didn’t lose any weight in Clarksdale – must have been those fried green tomato, (hold the mayo and the cheese) sandwiches.

Note to Clarksdale: I really don’t think your town is “Nowheresville.” Y’all voted for Obama, the only county in Mississippi that did, and put on the most fantastic blues festivals every year, which are also free. Best wishes.

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –

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