Archive for the ‘Animals’ category

Ringling Brothers Circus in Nashville

January 22nd, 2010

Will you be attending the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus this weekend in Nashville?

elephant-chain

elephant

baby-elephant

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Revisiting PETA

January 5th, 2010

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If you’re a vegetarian or vegan then you have heard of PETA. In fact, there are probably few people in the US who have not. If the circus is in town then you will likely find caged scantily-clad women somewhere in the vicinity touting the virtues of a meat-free, furless, petless life. Today PETA protesters were reported to be showing up at Buena Vista Elementary School in Nashville wearing bloody elephant costumes to protest the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Of course, the mere mention of this event in the local newspaper drew vile comments.

I’m not a supporter of PETA for reasons I won’t discuss here though I will say they’re not of the typical anti-PETA reasoning. It isn’t easy to find a PETA supporter in the vegan ranks. They are out there, many of them celebrities who lend their voice to the cause and can be found plastered on billboards or on pages of vegetarian magazines but the usual day-to-day vegan doesn’t always support PETA and many are as vocal in the distrust of the organization as the are the love they have for tempeh or tofu.

Many people point to PETA’s euthanization practices as a disconnection point. Many others claim their tactics are far too in-your-face to be worthwhile. You can find all of the information you desire agaist PETA simply by searching for “anti peta” and I won’t list what can easily be found elsewhere. There’s equally the same amount of information in support of PETA. That’s not what this is about. This is about my curiosity. I simply want to know why people are so set off by the mention of PETA. The local story I mentioned earlier has a list of comments from people blasting PETA.

Do you agree or disagree with PETA? If you disagree and want to blast them feel free to do so in the comments but back your remarks up, don’t just post hearsay and rumors without the facts. Yes, those anti-PETA, non-veg, pro-meat people are free to post but remember, we all know what junior high, imbecilic minds think PETA stands for.

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Activism The Wrong Way

June 4th, 2008

English Chef Jamie Oliver has shows on Food Network and has written many cookbooks.  He demonstrates hundreds of ways to serve lamb and is in no way vegan.  However, it seems he wants to show the cruelty in slaughterhouses and factory farms.  To do this he goes as far as suffocating chickens and slaughtering a lamb on his TV show in front of a live audience.

If this is all done in the name of activism I don’t see the value, other than that of shock.

Graphic video:

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Cut (Out) The Cheese

May 15th, 2008

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One of the hardest things to give up when I became vegan was cheese.  I think that goes for most vegans I have talked with and most vegetarians name cheese as the one thing keeping them from being vegan.    Begin a “strict-vegetarian” and eating cheese must be met with reading labels and investigating for cheeses that do not contain animal rennet.  Most brands now use vegetable rennet as a coagulant but some smaller companies still employ the calf-intestine enzyme to set their cheeses.  You’ll find it in almost every hard cheese such as parmesan.

What is rennet and how is it produced?

From Wikipedia:

Traditional method

Dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into small pieces and then put into saltwater or whey, together with some vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the solution. After some time (overnight or several days), the solution is filtered. The crude rennet that remains in the filtered solution can then be used to coagulate milk. About 1 gram of this solution can normally coagulate 2000 to 4000 grams of milk.

Modern method

Deep-frozen stomachs are milled and put into an enzyme-extracting solution. The crude rennet extract is then activated by adding acid; the enzymes in the stomach are produced in an inactive preform and are activated by the stomach acid. After neutralization of the acid, the rennet extract is filtered in several stages and concentrated until reaching the required potency: about 1:15000 (1 kg of rennet would have the ability to coagulate 15000 litres of milk).

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Calf stomachs used for rennet production

So, you may be enjoying a bit of calf-stomach scrapings with that hunk of cheddar.   Considering that and the fact you’re just eating dried, moldy bovine-secretions why keep on eating it?  There are some good soy and rice cheeses on the market.  True, some are just like eating waxed paper but a few stand out.  Follow Your Heart makes excellent Cheddar and Mozzarella, both melt great and the Cheddar can make a mean mac and cheese.   Galaxy makes a good rice Parmesan and individual slice, but be sure to read the label as some of their products contain casein, a milk protein aids in melting.   Follow Your Heart cheese do not contain casein and melt just fine.

Also, don’t think all of those dairy cows live a great life just being milked daily.   They are kept pregnant and live short lives, average being 4 years.   Are you contributing to the cruel farming of animals by just eating dairy cheese?  Yes.

All of this leads up to a news story I saw today.   Sweetwater Valley Farm, a local Tennesssee cheese maker, has issued a statement saying one type of it’s cheese should not be eaten as it may contain Listeria.   Seems like a worthy risk to eat that nice cheesy sandwich or casserole topped with stringy goodness, doesn’t it?    Listeria can cause death in the young or elderly.    Healthy adults may be inconvenienced by headaches, cramping,  vomiting and diarrhea.  No big deal.  Teh story also mentions that if you have some of this cheese you may return it for a replacement.   Something doesn’t sound right about that.  “Here’s my chunk of Listeria, may I have another that has less bacteria?”

While were on the subject of cheese, don’t forget about Cazu Marzu!

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Earthlings at MTSU

April 7th, 2008

Earthlings at MTSU

I have been contacted about a screening of Earthlings that will be hosted at MTSU on April 14th.  It will begin at 7pm and will be held in the KUC Theater.   Free vegan desserts and drinks will be served and admission is free as well.  There will also be a Q&A session after the screening.

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