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).
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!
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 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.”
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
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.
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!”
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.