Category Archives: art


Spotting my “Go Vegan” T-shirt, the mushroom guy at the farmers’ market fixed his stare on me and said, “What about honey?”

Having been vegan for a while, I knew that question was a ruse. The REAL question is, “How crazy are you?” and/or “Anyone who’s whacked out enough to befriend insects must be a TOTAL loser.”

In the good old days I used to like to answer the honey inquiry with a casual, “Oh, I don’t worry about honey too much” as proof of my sanity. No problem here – just move along, folks.

But unfortunately now I do worry about honey, or more, specifically, about the bees. As anyone who has not been living under a rock knows, the bees are having a rough time. And as anyone who studied fourth grade science knows, we need the freaking bees.

So this time, with the mushroom guy, I decided to be honest: “Actually, I’m kind of worried about the bee population.” He understood that and suddenly seemed interested. “Did you know that Einstein said we only had four years left after the bees are gone?” I continued.

Then he seemed upset, which made me feel kind of guilty, so I tried: “Look we’ve got mushrooms! They don’t need pollinators.”

My attempt at making the guy feel better didn’t really work: “Yeah we can all live underground eating mushrooms,” he said.

When I got home, I looked it up and found out the Einstein quote is an urban myth. Einstein probably didn’t say it. And if all the bees keel over, we WILL be in deep doo doo, but probably not all dead in four years. Bee pollination is responsible for about one third of our food I learned.

So does honey production actually hurt bees? Is it why we’re seeing so much colony collapse?

I can’t say I know the answer to that question. Obviously, mono-cropping hurts bees and probably the widespread use of herbicides such as Round-Up and neonicotinoid insecticides hurts bees, but what about raising bees for honey?

The first thing humans might want to know is that bees make honey for themselves not for us, just like dairy cows make milk for their calves, not for us. The bees gather the nectar from blossoming flowers and make honey so they’ll have something to eat during the winter.

But once the honey’s made, some bee keepers harvest the honey in fall and spring, substituting sugar water for the honey. (It’s similar for calves – they get high fructose corn syrup instead of mother’s milk.) Maybe bees do fine on sugar water, but backyard bee keeper Chris Combs doubts it:

“I don’t bring anything into the hives that the bees wouldn’t bring in there themselves,” he said.

Combs calls the sugar water the “bee equivalent of McDonald’s.” He only harvests honey in the spring when it’s clear the bees themselves will have enough honey to eat: “This is not about harvesting honey but about what keeps bees healthy,” he told ECO – RI News.

There’s speculation that the urban farm movement is helping to keep bees alive. Normally, I’m not a cheerleader for the urban farm movement, especially when it involves chickens and goats, but if they’re helping the bees to survive, that’s a good thing.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


A lot of carnivores got pretty upset when they found out they’d unknowingly been eating so-called “pink slime,” (scraps from the slaughterhouse floor “sterilized” with ammonia). Some even wanted to go vegan after that…but, alas, they found slime in vegan food too!


Whoa, whoa, whoa, you don’t have to eat slime to be vegan. Just avoid these foods:

1) TOFU. Yes, tofu, that white gelatinous stuff that sort of wobbles on its own has probably turned off more people to veganism than anything else. Once my dad was happily scarfing down tofu lasagna made by my sister-in-law. “Wow! This is great,” he said. “You like it?” she said. “I made it with tofu.” My dad swallowed seemingly with great difficulty and set his fork down.

Nobody has to eat tofu to be a vegan. Really, it’s not in the vegan rule book.

If slimy tofu turns you off, you’ll really want to avoid so-called “Silken tofu.” They should just call it “extra slimy tofu,” because that stuff will slide across a counter on its belly to the floor if you’re not careful.

I’ve used Silken tofu to make chocolate mousse. But if you don’t like sweet, chocolaty, light as a feather dessert that could compete with anything you’d get in France, have an apple.

Speaking of fruit. The slimiest of the slimy has to be the MANGO. Rich golden orange and as sweet as cotton candy, mango practically does the hula. But again, you don’t have to eat it. Have some watermelon.

Moving on to vegetables: don’t eat the OKRA. I don’t care if it’s fried, it’s still gotta an extremely high slime content.

2) Some would argue that ALL vegetables are slimy. No they’re not! Just eat the damn vegetables. Vegans, like everybody else, need them. (We also need whole grains, potatoes and beans.)

3) CHIA SEED DRINKS. Yup, they’re extremely slimy. Unfortunately, when chia seeds get wet they get slimy just like flax seeds do. First of all there’s no need to get them wet and make a slimy “drink” out of them or a slimy breakfast Jello out of them. You can eat them dry and maybe you should eat them dry: great source of omega-3’s.

4) NATTO. Fermented soybeans. You can not find vegan food more slimy than this, yet it’s a favorite in Japan. Definitely not a hit in America. Some American food writers charitably call it “an acquired taste.” Yet, Anthony Bourdain, a food writer not known for his graciousness or his charity, spat it out: “an unbelievably foul, rank, slimy, glutenous and stringly goop…if the taste wasn’t bad enough, there’s the texture. There’s just no way to eat the stuff.” There you have it. Americans who don’t like slime: Enjoy a great bowl of lentil chili instead.

5) COOKED MUSHROOMS. Nothing like chia seed drinks or Natto, but somewhat slimy.
Only a die-hard slime-a-phobe, would worry about them.

Yes, we vegans and vegetarians have our share of slimy foods, but at least ours aren’t made from the body parts of suffering cows, hosed down with ammonia and hidden in other foods. Gotta give us that.

Go veg!

– A Vicious Vegan blog post –


With so many vegans and vegetarians running around these days, a lot of meat eaters are feeling really isolated and alone. So Smithfield Farmland, a pork producer, has come up with an idea to benefit one of the most beleaguered but growing segments of the population: bacon eaters.

“Bacon has seen its status in pop culture continue to rise,” said marketer Erin Turley to the New York Times recently. “Yet, up to this point there has not been a community to gather and share the love.”

But now we have the “Farmland Bacon Club!”

Smithfield Farmland, the creator of the club, is one of several pig killing companies owned by Smithfield. Yeah, yeah, that was the company that was recently bought up by the Chinese.

Anybody can join the club for free; just go to the website, Farmland Bacon Club. But brace yourself for a whole lotta fun. Not only are there all sorts of bacon ads to look at, but bacon games to play, bacon T-shirts to buy, bacon contests to enter, bacon slogans to chuckle over and, the best, bacon videos to watch.

One bacon video was of the world’s first “bacon wedding,” where a slightly debauched looking bride carried a bouquet of bacon. Wearing a bacon tie, the groom looked to be her perfect match. The background music? Heavy metal, of course.


“We definitely see this as a long-term way to add value to our customers’ lives in a really fun way,” said another one of the Smithfield corporate types quoted in the article.

I wonder how eating bacon and sucking up bacon advertising would “add value” to anyone’s life. Studies show that eating processed meat like bacon actually shortens people’s lives. Maybe the knowledge that you’re not going to live that long makes you enjoy more what you’ve got left. Or maybe the exuberant eating of bacon makes you forget the animal abuse and the pollution caused by the industry.

Or maybe… eating bacon and laughing at those whimpy vegan types, makes one feel more like a man. “The bacon-lover demographic traditionally skews male,” said another pork marketer who was yacking to the New York Times, adding that the Bacon Club website also “aimed at women.”
Nice words: “aimed at.”

It’s a big bacon tent, folks. Smithfield not only invites women to join the club and spend money on bacon they even welcome vegetarians’ spending power! One such vegetarian, “Marla H.” was dubbed the June member of the month and crowned with the title of “vegbaconterian.” It was explained that Marla “revealed (on the website) that she’s a vegetarian who makes an exception for bacon. If that’s not love for bacon, we don’t know what is!”

Ok, I used to like to eat bacon, especially if it was kind of burnt. In a way, bacon is the perfect junk food: sweet, salty and greasy. It’s the kind of food that people get sort of addicted to, so addicted they start putting it in everything: chocolate, ice cream, peanut butter cookies. Or they start wrapping all sorts of food with bacon. County fairs sometimes sell bacon on a stick.

Maybe you’re thinking the Farmland Bacon Club is sort of like AA. That would definitely be a stretch.

“The Farmland brand is to pork what Tyson is to chicken,” said yet another suit talking to the Times. “We’re about every single piece of the pig.”

Except “the piece” that cries.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Who are the animal friends and animal enemies in Congress? Well, I’ve smoked them out; gotten them out of their big-ass, extremely comfortable offices in D.C. into the daylight of the Internet.

And here’s a surprise: The Democratic Party is friendlier to farm animals than the Republican Party, according to a Humane Society-United States 2013 survey. OK, not much of a surprise.

HSUS gave each elected official in Congress a score ranging from 100 (the best as far as animals go) to 0 (the pits as far as animals go.) Some 19 Democratic senators and one Republican senator (Susan Collins of Maine) received scores of 100. And 36 Republicans and three Democrats in the Senate received scores of 0.

If you check out the HSUS scorecard, you’ll see lots senators trying to have it both ways — animal frenemies. (You can download it from here.)

I know, I know, over all, Congress has been quite busy fucking over animals and animal activists in the last couple of years, but there have been some important successes. The Draconian “King Amendment” in the House was defeated in January of this year, for example. That thing would have nullified the few farm animal protections laws that have managed to pass in some states, including California’s Proposition 2.

Now, there are elections coming up. Mid-terms in November. I wanted to find out which Animal Hundred Pointers and which Vomitus Zeros were up for reelection. (I’m pretty proud to say that in my state of California, both our senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein got 100 points each, but neither of them is up for reelection this year.)

The Hundred Pointers facing challengers for their Senate seats are:

Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois.
Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana.
Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts.
Susan Collins, Republican of Maine.
Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon.
Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii.

The Vomitus Zeros facing challenges are:

Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama.
Jim Risch, Republican of Idaho.
Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina.
Jim Inofe, Republican of Oklahoma.
Mike Enzi, Republican of Wyoming.

Most of these people have their elections already fairly locked up. But there are some vulnerable ones.

Among the weaker Hundred Pointers are Mary Landrieu and possibly Brian Schatz – Landrieu, because she’s fairly progressive in the bright red state of Louisiana; Schatz because, although he can take some comfort in the fact that he’s a Democrat in a blue state, he’s not that popular.

The only vulnerable Vomitus Zero is North Carolina senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat. If she’s defeated by a Republican, chances are, little will change with regards to animals. But a lot might change with regards to other issues.

I KNOW some people are so disgusted with politics and disappointed that Obama hasn’t been able to put a dent in the corporate hegemony, they don’t want to vote at all. The whole “hope thing” makes my stomach hurt too. You feel like a fool for voting or trying to vote. (Hegemony, in case you don’t know, means “power.” I usually like to spell it “hegemoney.”)

But anyway, if I can make the tiniest molecule of a difference I’m willing to play the fool and vote whenever I can. It’s part of being a vegan.

A footnote on Barbara Boxer: Yes, she opposed the King Amendment and HSUS gave her 100 points for 2013. In 2007 she co-sponsored bills that outlawed horse slaughter, that strengthened existing laws against animal fighting and that called for better treatment of downer cows, but these days we noticed that she’s also billing herself as a “strong voice for California’s dairy industry” and helped convince the USDA to include a $60 million cheese purchase for its feeding program. Might send her a note reminding her of dairy cow rights and dairy industry nitrates in California water.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Don’t you just love the 4th of July patriotism? America: great. Europe: lame. Not so fast cowboy. When it comes to stupidly and unnecessarily torturing small animals for the noble cause of cosmetics manufacturing, it’s America that’s lame.

The European Union, Norway, India and Israel have all banned the use of animals for testing beauty products, meaning that rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs won’t have to die for mascara anymore in those countries.

And even China, which is becoming more sensitive to animal rights has repealed a law that insisted all cosmetics in that country be inflicted on animals.

And the U.S.? Well, we’re trying.

Two house representatives, one Democrat and one Republican have introduced legislation to ban the use of animals for testing beauty products sold or manufactured in this country. They’re calling it the Humane Cosmetics Act.

So if you’d like to add your name to a petition supporting it, you can do that here.

Meanwhile please buy cruelty-free beauty products. The battle is not over.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Food activists, if you feel your positivity slipping a bit, here’s some books you don’t want to read:

1) “Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much” by David Robinson Simon.

2) “Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow’s Milk and Your Health” by Joseph Keon.

3) “Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry” by Gail Eisnitz

4) “Green is the New Red: The Inside Account of a Social Movement Under Siege” by Will Potter

5) “Comfortably Unaware: What We Choose To Eat Is Killing the Planet and Us” by Richard Oppenlander.

Each of these books in their own ways can scare and depress almost anybody in the veg world, or, for that matter, in the “real world.”

Let’s start with “Meatonomics,” which is not so much scary or disgusting as it is infuriating and frustrating. This jaw-grinder shows how the animal foods industry is totally ripping us off. You think the oil industry has it good with the feds giving them $10 billion in subsidies every year? Well, the animal food industry gets $38 billion in annual federal subsidies and that price tag doesn’t include all the environmental damage they cause.

Part of those tax-payer dollars go (of course) into corporate coffers. But another part of those tax dollars go to keeping the cost of animal foods relatively low. And those cheap prices for meat, dairy and eggs and relatively high prices for fruits and vegetables help keep the whole meat-eating thing in America going strong.

If you read that book (which I don’t advise) you will realize, “We have met the enemy and the enemy is the $1 hamburger.”

Another book which should be strictly avoided is the dreaded “Whitewash,” which is about the horror we euphemistically call the “dairy industry,” and how drinking milk, eating cheese and the rest can impact human health. A definite “don’t read,” unless you’re still eating cheese.

Next is “Slaughterhouse.” That book has been sitting on my shelf in the living room unopened for about two years. The reason I’m scared to look at it is that the very worst, most disgusting animal abuse described in “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer came from Gail Einitz’s “Slaughterhouse.”

“Green is the New Red” is another book that should be blacklisted by depressed vegans. In this book you’ll find out how animal rights activists who have engaged in nothing more than protesting, making speeches and property destruction have been tried and convicted in federal court as “eco-terrorists,” and are, as I write this, serving sentences in prison – some as long as 20 years!

“Comfortably Unaware” is a devastating book if you worry about the habitability of the planet. If you (stupidly) read this book the way I did you’ll acquire such handy information as “During every one second of time in just the United States alone, 89,000 pounds of excrement is produced by the chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, goats and cows raised and killed for us to eat.” You’ll learn how a big portion of global warming is caused by the livestock industry (more than the transportation sector.) You’ll also get the troubling realization that there’s actually no such thing as “sustainable livestock production” and that grass-fed cows produce twice as much methane as factory-farmed cows.

Ok, so maybe you’ve already read these books and you’re depressed as hell. What to do? As a person who is now Uncomfortably Aware, you’d be perfect to leaflet for Vegan Outreach! If you happen to live in a big city, it’s quite possible that they have a group of VO pamphleteers in your area. If not maybe you can start a group.

The great thing about leafleting is you’re actually doing something. Once you’re out there handing out leaflets you’ll quickly learn that the most successful leafleters are happy and if they’re not happy, they act happy. Acting happy can often lead to the real thing and it can lead to spreading the vegan word.

Another thing you might try is drawing vegan cartoons and posting them on Facebook. It can put you in a good mood. Well, it can also put you in a bad mood if nobody likes them. OK, don’t draw vegan cartoons.

I think the best joy-generator (besides large checks for money arriving in the mail) is exercise. I love, love, love that. Of course, there’s always vegan chocolate cake (Thank you Colleen Patrick Goudreau), vegan pizza, avocado sushi roll, lentil enchiladas, tofu lasagna and on and on and on.

Go vegan!

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


If you’ve ever tried to talk a relative into going vegan you know how bad family arguments can get. Sometimes even just preparing and serving vegan food to a relative can devolve into an unpleasantry: “I’m leaving!” “That’s fine.” “Fuck you.” Slam. Screeching tires.

Out of desperation I once offered my brother $50 to watch “Forks Over Knives.” I might as well have asked him to jump over the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle. Actually, I think he’d rather try to jump over the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle than watch “Forks Over Knives.”

Then there was my friend who picked up a Vegan Outreach (VO) pamphlet from a pile of them I’d left strategically in our bathroom. No, ultimately that didn’t work either.

I even tried to convert a whole classroom of fellow students to go vegan. Well, I’ve tried that with a few classes. Basically that didn’t work as far as I could tell, although I think I heard some mumbling about trying to go vegan from a couple of people.

Still, it is possible that I was a catalyst for someone going vegan. I’ve handed out hundreds of VO leaflets and the organization says that out of a 100 leaflets you probably convince two or three to go vegan. There’s an important difference, says Vegan Outreach, between proselytizing strangers and proselytizing friends. Strangers are strangers and can often be way more open to other strangers.

But friends and family members are generally animal rights sermon-resistant. Vegan Outreach says they’re a waste of your vegan activism time.

There is one way, however, that you might get through to a family member or a friend. It’s called “Silence.” That means you NEVER mention anything vegan. You don’t talk about the animals, you don’t talk about the environment and you definitely don’t talk about health or weight loss. I repeat: you definitely don’t talk about health or losing weight.

What if they ask? Psychologist and co-author of “The Pleasure Trap,” Doug Lisle suggests really low-keying it, saying something like, “Oh, this is just something I’m trying for a while – seeing how it goes.”

A vegan friend, David, has a niece who has recently gone vegan after seeing his quiet example. The teenager had heard about veganism and was curious. She figured it must be OK, since her respected uncle was doing it.

Yes, I know it’s frustrating to simply shut up and just be a vegan, but as author Will Potter details in his book, “Green is the New Red,” industry and some government officials see that lifestyle choice as indeed quite powerful.”

Animal experimenter and advocate for the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (a federal law that has been able to reclassify some non-violent animal rights activism as “terrorism,”) Edward J. Walsh has argued that “simple acts such as choosing not to wear fur, eat meat or attend rodeos ‘quietly, but effectively, promote the dissolution of our culture.’”

Whoa! Who knew that?

I don’t think we vegans are trying to promote the “dissolution of our culture,” unless “our culture” means animal cruelty, barbecues, fast food places, “Turkey Day,” Easter egg hunts, circuses and cheese fondue.”

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Since the invention of drones, it was inevitable that someone would come up with a good use for them. That someone turns out to be independent journalist Will Potter who is this week’s Vicious Vegan.

Congratulations Will!

Potter may be doing the impossible – getting around the so-called “ag-gag” laws by taking aerial pictures of factory farms using unmanned drones. Cool huh?

The journalist who’s a Ted fellow and the author of “Green is the New Red,” recently did a $30,000 Kickstart plea for his drone project he’s calling “Drone on the Farm.” He was funded in just five days.

The ag-gag laws which have been passed in some eight states make it illegal to go undercover in factory farms and slaughterhouses and take pictures or make films. It seems, for now, at least, taking photos from the air might be OK.

The “Drone on the Farm” idea hasn’t been warmly received by the animal food industry with some farmers vowing to shoot the things down if they see them. An industry publication called the gizmos “The Death Star(s)” from the movie “Star Wars.”

Potter said he got the idea for DOF from an artist photographer Mishka Henner. Using already-shot publicly-available satellite photos, Henner created a powerful photo exhibt, “Feedlots.” The artist has said he enhanced the color somewhat but the details of the pictures are untouched. The result is beautifully abstract but horrifically troubling of views of giant waste lagoons caused by these facilities.

This week’s Vicious Vegan has said he doesn’t know exactly what the “Drone on the Farm” drones will see, but he allows it might not be pretty.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


The Wadham College food committee is this week’s winner of the Vicious Vegan Award for forcing everybody at the School to go vegan for five days a week!

How great is that?

Wadham is part of the University of Oxford. Yes, the same country that gave us the Beatles, has now given us the Wadham College Food Committee!

At first the group pondered the (somewhat wimpy) suggestion from fourth-year engineering student, James Kenna that the school go vegetarian for four days out of the week. But second-year history student Ben Szreter came to the rescue! He said that to really make a change they should go vegan five days a week!

A motion was made because, the students said, “Reducing the consumption of meat is one of the many steps needed to reduce the effects of climate change…Excessive meat consumption is harmful to the environment and it could also lead to an increased risk of certain illnesses like bowel cancer.”


OK it’s not totally a done deal. Ben told the school paper that he was feeling a little bit of heat: “Five days of vegan food may sound intimidating to students across the country, and many Wadham students I’ve spoken to have said that they would have applied to another college if this policy was in place when they were applying.”

Uh oh. The motion is going to be revisited at the next Wadham Food Committee meeting. Watch this space.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —


Who can forget their first biology class in dissection? Numb as I was to the suffering of animals, I peeled off the rat’s skin with barely a thought. Some of us even got the idea there was something funny about messing around with the dead bodies, naming our rats and/or making them dance.

Isn’t there an ad on TV where some old man entertains the grandkids by turning chickens from the freezer into marionettes?


Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. ha…

Now you, too, (if you live in England) can play with dead animals and even make art with them.

As reported in the New York Times on Monday, classes, which are described as a combination arts and crafts and taxidermy are now offered across the pond. A four-hour lesson allows participants bring little dead mice “back to life,” by skinning them, stuffing the skins and dressing them up like dolls.

Oh yes, it’s controversial notes Times writer Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura: “For some people, the course is eccentric or downright macabre. To others, it is an opportunity to pursue a very British hobby.”

Oh those crazy Brits! (Hey, I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of Americans who wouldn’t dig something like this – a lot of Americans.)

According to the article, stuffing dead animals and dressing them up in tiny clothes was an idea of fun dating back to 19th century England — concocted by this guy, Walter Potter, the “pioneer of anthropomorphic taxidermy.” He ended up with a whole museum of dioramas: rabbits in little outfits going to school, mice in ruffles having tea parties, etc.

At the bottom of it all, of course, is the idea that animals are ours to use any way we want – either for food, entertainment, research or for art projects. It’s the old “Man is the Master of the Universe” crap and everybody else is born to serve.

One of the English “arts and crafts” students described what she was doing as a kind of a gift to the killed mice. “(It) gives them a second opportunity to be enjoyed and to be present in your life.”

Arts and crafts taxidermy teacher Margot Magpie also offers an “advanced class,” in making hats out of bird wings. And the taxidermist crafter sells hair clips and headbands festooned with preserved mice bodies. Yeah, I know, very punk or if you like, very Goth. Ghouls rock!

The dead animal art thing has been hot for quite a while now, with the used-to- be Young British Artist Damien Hirst who’s probably the most famous and definitely the most rich, selling his formaldehyde-embalmed sharks, cows and sheep for as much as $12 million each. I haven’t seen any of Hirst’s corpses.

Then you also hear about art students pulling such stunts as killing chickens in front of audiences. Maybe that’s where artist Laura Ginn got her idea of a multi-course rat dinner which she served in a white-walled New York City art gallery. Messing around with dead animals is a way to get attention. She managed to get a large article in the New York Times about the event.

Seems to me there’s a way to do art with dead animals and a way perhaps not to do it. For me, a way to do it would be the amazing guerrilla theater performance held in many cities for National Animal Rights Day which included silent black-T-shirted protesters tenderly and sometimes tearfully holding the dead bodies of chickens, birds, rats, mice, piglets, squirrels, to order to raise awareness.

Another way to do it would be Joseph Beuys’ stunning performance piece in the ‘70s, “How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare,” where he walked around a gallery cradling a dead hare. As he went from picture to picture he would whisper to the animal. Yes, the work is thought to be about the impossibility of explaining anything especially art, but I think it’s also about our bond to animals.

“Even a dead animal preserves more powers of intuition than some human beings with their stubborn rationalism,” said Beuys.

There’s art (and craft) that has the potential to deaden us and art that has the potential wake us up. “To be or not to be that is the question.”

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —