Braggart celebrity chef and eater Anthony Bourdain volunteered to eat the last blue fin tuna: “If there’s somebody to get the last piece of bluefin toro meat in the world, I guess I’m the best candidate,” he said in a Huffington Post interview.

Yup, if we need an End Times a**hole, Bourdain would do just fine.

I’ve been Googling around trying to find out what does happen when all the fish in the sea are gone. That IS the freeway we’re on. The big fish population is now 90 percent depleted from what it was in the ‘70s and 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are either gone or nearly gone.

It would be nice if we could blame it all on BP, plastic bottles, climate change and Anthony Bourdain. They are certainly contributing their fair share to the loss of sea life. But there’s another culprit and that would be us and our forks, and, in the case of a lot of tuna, our can-openers.

Overfishing. Now, there’s a word you don’t hear too often. We don’t hear it, because we don’t want to hear it. Governments around the world are subsidizing fishing fleets to the tune of $16 to $20 billion a year.

Now that there are less fish, these fleets are having to “modernize.” They’re using radar to pinpoint fishing schools with amazing accuracy. They’re also using huge, huge nets to strip the ocean floors bare. And us taxpayers are actually paying for that stupidity.

In her recent TED talk renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle said that a big predator fish like tuna, for example, is WAY more valuable to us alive than dead.

They call big fish “predator fish,” because, well, they eat the little fish, the ones that consume plankton. If the big fish aren’t eating the little fish and we end up with a whole bunch of little fish eating a whole lot of plankton…

YIKES! WE NEED PLANKTON. We really need plankton, it’s what’s providing half the world’s freaking oxygen. We need swimming tuna, Anthony, even that last one.

Well, why not just eat the little fish too? That’s one idea, but a bad idea. Say we eat all the little fish, what’s left? Jelly fish and bacteria. Oceans full of jelly fish. Blech!

I must admit, I loved salmon, especially teriyaki salmon. It just made me feel healthy to eat it. Even since I’ve gone vegan, I’ve thought well, maybe a fish oil capsule once in a while might be OK, just to be on the safe side. You know, omega 3’s and all.

Oh hell, I eat flax seeds instead.

There’s something about no oxygen and oceans full of jellyfish that scares me.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


I know, I know, veganism is a royal pain. Go vegan and watch your social life disappear, your health disintegrate, your free time evaporate, your status in the world collapse and your food budget shatter. Then there’s the possibility of “Grain Brain” or suddenly turning gay or suddenly turning straight. Oh and having to eat only tofu on brown rice or other disgusting foods like okra, beets and kale. Ask any vegan, they’ll tell you how really awful it is.

But, but, but… You’re worrying about those sweet innocent cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and fish who never did anything to you? About the pollution from animal ag? About climate change? About water shortages? About your cholesterol? About your weight?


And it’s Meatless Monday. It’s only one day out of seven. You don’t have to tell anyone you’re doing it. You don’t have to eat tofu. Instead of that burger just have a veg burger; Instead of chicken noodle soup, have lentil soup or vegetarian chili. Instead of bacon and eggs, have oatmeal, or if you live close to a Whole Foods, have a vegan doughnut and if you live close to a 7-11, have a bag of potato chips.

Oh sure, what is a Meatless Monday going to do? Well, when it comes to climate change, it will do more than driving a Prius all week. And that’s a fact. And if you go meatless for a year’s worth of Mondays, you’ll save 28 land animals and 175 aquatic animals.

One hundred and seventy-five aquatic animals? For every fish you eat, there’s something called “bycatch.” Those are the unwanted fish caught up in the net, which are usually dead or dying by the time they’re thrown back to the sea. The worst of the worst is shrimp fishing, where the bycatch ratio is 1 kilogram of shrimp to 5.7 kilograms of other aquatic life such as dophins and sea turtles. They are lost.

Meatless Monday is a big deal.

It’s true though; one Meatless Monday or even a year of Meatless Mondays won’t lower your cholesterol or make you lose weight. For that I HAVE ANOTHER SOLUTION: A book called “The Starch Solution” by John McDougall. Go vegan; skip the potato chips.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Have you ever looked into your dog’s eyes and realized, that he was not the fool you thought he was? It’s true, dogs think things, feel things (such as love), plan for the future and do things, such as rescuing humans from the different kinds of jams we get ourselves into.

Well, the same can be said for pigs, who, animal behaviorists say, are even smarter than dogs. Cows are smart too, as anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes with them, knows. Even chickens who are commonly believed to be less intelligent than amoebas can recognize specific human faces. And turkeys who are also supposed to be dumb, like to have their heads petted. So be careful if you get a dog, you might start to realize…


The problem is, of course, animals can’t flush. OK, OK, some YouTube animals can, but your average chicken or your average cow cannot, even if you’re raising her in the back yard. The other problem is when an animal plops, it doesn’t just sit there waiting for Mom or Dad to somehow clean it up.

Poop and pee tend to go places – rivers, lakes, oceans and, yes, into our precious groundwater. There is nothing quite like nitrates to mess up an otherwise great cup of free trade coffee.

Oh hell, what’s a few nitrates? A few? No problemo. Thing is, our “food animals” just in the United States produce 89,000 pounds of excrement every second. EVERY SECOND. And that’s according to the UN’s 2008 report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow.”

We’ve got way more crap than can be used as fertilizer.

The EPA has come up with the troubling factoid that fully 1/3 of the underground wells in the South fall below EPA safe standard for drinking water in the South. (Nitrates are very concentrated in chicken manure.)

Glad you don’t live in the South? Well, nitrates from the California dairy industry have fucked up 100,000 miles of ground water, according to the EPA.

The moral to this story is don’t eat meat, eggs, fish or dairy. Not eating fish is becoming easier though. In a 2005 National Geographic article John Roach wrote, “Factory farm runoff causes algal blooms which deprives water of oxygen which create “dead zones” where fish can’t survive.” The writer explained that the largest is where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. That dead zone is now the size of New Jersey. It’s a big freaking dead zone.

Everybody talks about how vegans are thinner, how they don’t have to take statin drugs, how they don’t have heart attacks, how they’re racking up less bad karma, but the truth is, vegans are just a lot less messy.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


For vegans and pre-vegans it’s never too early to start worrying about Thanksgiving. We’ve had about three and half months to recover from the last Thanksgiving, so now it’s time to start anticipating the next one and maybe even preparing for it.

It’s only natural to try and think of great zingers in response to stuff like this:

“Anyone who won’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving is a traitor to this country and this family.”

Then you want to say: If you eat animals and their secretions, you’re a traitor to the planet and a traitor to all future generations

“Your grandmother and I have been cooking since four this morning, the LEAST you could do, is eat turkey.”

Then you want to say: Four in the morning? I know; it takes a long time to cook a turkey corpse to make sure it’s not infected with e coli, campylobacter or salmonella. You don’t want to make anyone sick. Did you know salmonella can actually kill small children?

“I only put a little bit of milk and butter in the mashed potatoes – does that count?”

Then you want to say: Milk and butter OK? That depends on how much pus is in it – you see, most dairy cows have mastitis which is an infection of the udders. Pus oozes out along with the milk. I don’t think it’s a health threat, just unpleasant to think about.

“Did you consult with the doctor before you started doing this?”

Then you want to say: No, I didn’t consult a doctor. Why would I ask a drug dealer about health and nutrition?

“Depriving your unborn child of protein is criminal.”

Then you want to say: Giving animal flesh or secretions to anyone’s unborn or born child is criminal.

“What’s wrong with eggs?”

Then you want to say: How much time do you have?

“You always were a very picky eater.”

Then you want to say: How do you know that?

Where do you get your Omega 3’s?

Then you want to say: Where do you get your fiber?

“Is THIS what they’re teaching you in college?”

Then you want to say: I don’t go to college. I work for PETA.

As you’ve probably guessed, none of these so-called zingers work worth a damn. Well, they do work if you’re aiming to piss people off, embarrass them or cause them to thoroughly dislike both you and every other vegan they might meet. They also don’t work if you’re trying to end the factory farm system and help animals. They don’t work if you’re trying to help save the environment or if you’re trying to convince your loved ones to eat more healthily.

(more on Thanksgiving next week!)

Peas and love,


— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Can a vegan find actual food in a vegan restaurant? You live in Berkeley so it’s not that hard to go find out for yourself. The place looks a little like a Tiki bar, but the menu is beautiful and the raw dishes are marked with a capital R.

You tell your waitress, a young woman with blond dreadlocks and a nose ring, that you want the grilled polenta with the mushroom ragu.

She smiles and says, “You’re Warm-Hearted.” You look at her blankly. After about a minute of you staring at her, she repeats a little louder, “You are Warm-Hearted.” Oh you get it: the mushroom ragu dish is called “I Am Warm-Hearted.” And if that’s what you want to eat, you’re supposed to say to this total stranger, “I am warm-hearted,” even though that strikes you as sappy and New Age, i.e. imposing on your freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Politely, but firmly, you say, “I’d like the grilled polenta, PLEASE!”

The waitress says, “If you can’t say, ‘I am warm-hearted,’ what can you say?


This time no brawny Texas bouncers or soft-spoken managers show up. The girl with the dreads simply turns around and leaves. After about a half hour or so, she comes back with a barbecued tempeh sandwich, announcing, “You are inspired!”

“But I’m not inspired and I didn’t order this!” you say.

“You didn’t order anything – but I felt sorry for you and decided to bring you this,” she says, adding, “I have a question for you – What are you grateful for?”


So, vegans, here are some basic eating in restaurant rules of etiquette:

1) Don’t go into a steak house, certainly not to eat. If you supposedly have to go, just say you can’t.

2) Ask if there’s freaking cheese or eggs in the veggie burger BEFORE you order it.

3) Don’t yell in restaurants even when it’s important vegan information.

4) If you get arrested, remember you have a right to remain silent and you have a right to an attorney even if you can’t afford one.

5) There’s no shame in taking Prozac if you need it.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —