Tag Archives: art

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 –

VEGAN MYTH BUSTED!

A popular vegan argument against dairy consumption has been revealed to be false!

The myth often repeated by die-hard vegans including myself is “Man is the only species to consume the milk of another species.”
Wrong.

A careful analysis of YouTube cute animal videos shows that there’s a whole lot of interspecies nursing going on. It’s not just cows nursing people!

If you’re online, you can see cats nursing baby squirrels; dogs nursing kittens; goats nursing foals; cats nursing puppies; dogs nursing fawns; cats nursing, yes, ducklings.

We’re not alone in our love for the milk of a different animal! (And who said YouTube animal videos are a waste of time?)

Not so fast. Several animal advocacy groups have already clarified the statement, pointing out: We’re the only species to consume the milk of another species as adults, on a regular basis.

Those tiny squirrels were in an emergency situation. Their mother, for some reason, wasn’t there. The cat took over, protecting them from starvation and death.

Especially for human grown-ups, milkshakes and Cheezits are not the only remedies protecting us against starvation and death. There ARE other things to eat in America. After all, we’re not baby squirrels, alone in somebody’s backyard, crying for Mommy.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —

LETTUCE-MUNCHING DESPOTS

When it comes to image, Obama’s got the same problem as vegans.

One day, Fox news says he’s a dictator bent on closing down churches, taking everyone’s money and forcing kindergarteners to watch gay porn and the next day, he’s a namby-pamby and the secret owner of a pink sweater.

Same with vegans: one day we’re overbearing assholes trying to take over the world, giving the vote to cows, pigs and chickens and forcing everyone else to eat nothing but tofu and spinach. And the next day, we’re yoga-fied, space-cadets in need of hospitalization due to protein deficiency.

A friend of mine, also an activist, asked me, “Why did you call your blog, Vicious Vegan?”

“Oh, it was because I wanted to try and make veganism seem more cool – less New Age hippie and more punk.” I said, off the top.

Actually, Vicious Vegan is a joke, poking fun at the idea of vegans as cruel sanctimonious fun-killers or as militant threats to people and property. It’s also poking fun at the idea of the 90-pound, aroma-therapy sniffing, lettuce-munching vegan air head.

So the mystery remains: what IS the most ideal “vegan image?” Wow, that is such a Guy Debord kind of question!

Don’t know Guy Debord? I don’t really know either, but from what I understand, the French philosopher argued that our whole society is based on image. Even when you fight the pressure to have an image – you’ve got one: “the person who fights having an image” or “the rebel.”

Hopeless, huh? Oh those depressing French!

Well, the image thing is kind of important, according to Nick Cooney who wrote the super book, “A Change of Heart” where he argues that activists embrace a kind of image flexibility. If you’re talking to a group of stuffy businesspeople, put on a suit or a nice dress, for godssakes! Banish “fuck” and “shit” from your vocab. If you’re, say leafleting at a Warp Tour concert, that cut-up black T-shirt should work fine and you can say “shit” all you want.

Cooney insists that activists best to avoid an “us versus them” scenario, if you possibly can. So far, that tactic hasn’t worked very well for Obama. Maybe vegans will have better luck ducking the negative images society has for us.

Right now, though, I better stop writing. I’m feeling weak from protein deficiency. I think I should lie down and eat some soy nuts before I faint.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —

PROTEINISM

Wherever you go, vegan, you’ll hear the same question:

In Turkey: Nerede sizin protein, alabilirim? Or in Holland: Waar je je eiwitten? Or in Mexico: De donde obtiene su protein? WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN? There are so many smart-ass answers to that question, the mind reels:

From beer.

I chew on my fingernails.

It’s amazing how much protein there is in tree bark.

From drinking my own urine.

Bragg’s Aminos

Hershey’s dark chocolate.

Mostly from TV.

From licking my windshield in the morning.

Perhaps a better response would be to answer a question with a question, Socratic style: How much protein do you think you need?

Of course, practically nobody knows, but most people think they must eat some meat or cheese or fish or eggs with every meal in order to get enough protein. It’s the terror that has swept America: not having enough protein.

It’s been estimated that most Americans get about half of their calories from animal foods and about half come from highly processed foods like chips, cookies, sodas, candy and oil. So if that’s everybody’s diet, what are you, Ms. “plant-based, low-fat, whole foods diet,” eating, for god sakes?

Figuring out what a vegan might eat on a daily basis defies most people’s imagination. So they figure we vegans must be starving.

But wait a minute, we don’t look like we’re starving. Then we must secretly be suffering from an invisible lack of protein possibly coupled with a lack of junk food. Maybe vegans have kwashiorkor, which is the medical term for protein deficiency. (So far, there’s no medical term for ‘lack of junk food.’)

The thing is, the symptoms of kwashiorkor are anything but subtle – the skin and hair turn a reddish orange. People with the ailment also suffer from diarrhea, weakness, apathy, fatigue. When you see pictures of starving children with their stick-like legs and their bulging abdomens, you’re seeing kwashiorkor. The children are suffering from a severe lack of calories first and foremost.

If you’re consuming enough calories it is most likely that you’re consuming enough protein, even if all those calories are coming from plants.

Back to the original question: how much protein do you think you need? The answer kind of depends on who you ask. If you ask the United States government, you will hear 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. If you ask the World Health Organization, you’ll hear 38 grams for men and 29 grams for women.

A generous bowl of cooked oatmeal will give you 12 grams of protein. A piece of whole wheat bread will give you 4 grams. A cup of cooked lentils will give you 16 grams. Two tablespoons of peanut butter will give you 8 grams. There are 8 grams of protein in a cup of cow’s milk and 8 grams of protein in a cup of soy milk. See where I’m going here? It’s not hard to get enough protein eating plants.

Whoa! you say. What was that about plant protein being an incomplete protein?

While both animal foods and plant foods have all the essential amino acids, some plant foods are low in specific essential amino acids. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html The Center for Disease Controls recommends that vegans and vegetarians combine different plant foods, such as rice and beans or peanut butter and bread. Dr. John McDougall explains that combining is fine but it doesn’t have to happen at once in the same meal! Bread on Monday and peanut butter on Friday is fine, he says.

The National Institutes of Health has said that most of us Americans eat more protein than we actually need. The NIH cautions that consuming animal protein means consuming saturated fat and LDL (the bad kind) cholesterol which is a risk factor for heart disease.

They also note for those with kidney disease, a low-protein diet is often recommended.

So there’s really no worry about protein, as long as you gnaw on some tree bark on Tuesday and lick the windshield by Friday.

— A Vicious Vegan blog post —

WHAT ABOUT HONEY?

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 —

THE BACON CLUB

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.

Wow!

“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 —