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Everything posted by brendan

  1. Hey, welcome aboard! That's awesome about your family.
  2. Hey awesome, Will. Exactly my sentiments.
  3. Haha. Moby was the one who wrote it would make the salad more convincing, so I refer you to him for an answer on that one. Dried kelp is more or less like the seaweed wrap you find in sushi. I've found both the strips and dried flakes (a la a salt or pepper shaker) at Whole Foods. If you get the strips, you just have to cut them up yourself, which can be rather taxing. What are you doing! Make the recipe already! It could be the best eating experience of your life.
  4. Good points. The original post in this thread was addressing the efficacy of having non-vegans on animal rights board, you're right, but I think, in an overarching point, it was trying to address how we come off to others, the message we send with a hardline stance toward veganism (hence 'vegan elitism'). I agree that a variety of outreach methods are required to appeal to a very diverse audience. Well said. I was just focusing on the broad message we send to a mass, mainstream audience. As far as a person who still eats chicken, don't get me wrong, that doesn't make me happy or content in any way. But I think it can be effective to make some compromises to get people's foot in the door of animal rights. If you're sitting at animal rights demo table, you don't have a lot of time to make your point and keep your audience engaged. You need to hit the nail on the head, make your point and establish some kind of rapport with the person you're talking with so that you will have a lasting impression. If they say the could never give up chicken, I think it's better to say, "Then give up everything else and still eat chicken. Veganism is a gradual process" than to let them go away feeling it's all or nothing and they can't make the cut.
  5. I'm a firm believer that you have to do what is right to the best of your ability within your current circumstances. It seems like you are doing just that so I applaud you. As far as wasting food that might contain some animal byproducts, there is something called freeganism (free+veganism). It's very hazily defined, but basically says that if something is non-vegan and would otherwise go to waste, you are justified in eating it. I personally don't abide by that as I think it opens a Pandora's box to justifying all sorts of other non-vegan consumption as well as sending a mixed message to potential vegetarians and vegans. As far as vegan bodybuilders who consume a lot of calories, I don't see anything wrong there. As Jonathan pointed out, we have lives to lead, just the same as anyone else; we're simply trying to reduce suffering in a very practicable and reasonable manner. But beyond that, I would say that vegan bodybuilding is a GREAT way to help animals because it challenges the widely held stereotype of the scrawny vegan (like me ). By being big and healthy, we can send a positive message that veganism is healthy and fun, and not at all a self-deprived and tortured existence as others would have you believe. I think that's a very appealing message to send to people. By the way, your English is excellent. Hope that helped.
  6. Agreed. This reminded me of a Web site I stumbled across a few years ago called Pork4Kids. If anyone ever accuses vegetarians of spreading propaganda, they should see what the National Pork Board is doing. I guess that little pig cartoon is smiling cause he can't wait to be turned into a hot dog? Be sure to check out "All About Pigs" to "Visit the Farm." The leap at the end of the hog farm story is so pathetic, it's almost comical. http://www.pork4kids.com/
  7. Hey, that sounds awesome. Thanks for letting us know, Rob! Anyone going?
  8. The Dairy Council's 3-A-Day ad is pretty annoying, citing 50 studies to show that people can lose weight by incorporating more dairy into their diet. What isn't immediately clear is that it's actually the calcium in the dairy (which, isn't that fortified anyway?) that helps regulate body fat and weight. This seems to be having some effect, too, because I've heard a lot of people talking about how they shouldn't be indulging in ice cream ... and then someone else will say, "Actually, they say you can lose weight by eating more dairy." Oy. http://www.3aday.org/
  9. Those are some good points, Jonathan. I think it's important to have dissent within the movement so that no single organization has a monopoly on it; it keeps our advocacy sharp. Although I, too, believe PETA is well-intentioned, I have a problem with how they exploit women to prove that exploiting animals is wrong. There is also a lot of emphasis placed on ephemeral celebrity gossip, you're right; I'm not sure that has a lasting effect on impressionable minds.
  10. Oh, I wasn't trying to mock you, Koll. I was saying that cause I felt like I kept repeating myself. But I'll let Nat doing the talking - she makes the point much better than I ever could.
  11. Another example here. So what about racists that think only their race (ie. whites) are the only ones that matter? Should we take a different course of action then just to appease them? Is there any way to rename this "The Never-ending Thread"? Cause that looks to be the way things are going. If an alternative form of outreach touched the heart of a racist and made her or him see the overarching point more poignantly, I would be in support of it, I suppose. I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, but all I'm saying is we should be gentle with our approach to vegan advocacy. I did like what jonathan said about not coddling anyone and always focusing on the imperativeness of going vegan. But I maintain there is an important difference between the two circumstances you're presenting, and I think we have to recognize, given the huge indifference and intolerance for animal rights, that vegan outreach must be enacted in a much more nuanced manner. As an aside, we shouldn't assume only whites are racists. I realize you probably didn't intend it that way.
  12. So since I set my mind to it at the beginning of the summer, I have gained 16 lbs., starting at a scrawny 134 and climbing to slightly less-scrawny 150 as of a few days ago. I'm sure it probably doesn't sound like a lot to most of you (I know some here STARTED at at least 150 - heh), but it feels awesome to hit that mark and I'm now only 4 lbs. away from my ultimate summer goal. To everyone who's working on their goals, keep on keeping on!
  13. Hey, guys. Check out this editorial written by the president and CEO of the St. Louis Zoo for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about a month ago. There is a lot of gross assumption and oversimplification of animal rights and animal welfare in it. I'm interested to get your thoughts. ----- ANIMALS: PETA isn't as animal-friendly as you think By JEFFREY P. BONNER 06/27/2005 Apart from what you read on their editorial and opinion pages, newspapers report facts. Those facts are conveyed principally through words. Therefore, newspapers have a special obligation to use words with precision. The Post-Dispatch recently ran a story that described People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as an "animal welfare" organization. I think that zoo professionals and, for that matter, representatives of PETA would disagree vehemently with the characterization. PETA is an animal rights organization, not an animal welfare organization. There's a big difference. The philosophy of animal rights says, in essence, that animals have the same rights as humans: For example, we don't keep other humans as slaves, so we shouldn't keep dogs as pets, and zoos should not confine exotic animals that are threatened with extinction. All medical testing on animals should be banned. Because we don't kill and eat human beings or use human byproducts for food, we should ban the consumption of all meat and other animal products, including milk and eggs. We don't use human hides for clothing, so we should not use leather for shoes, fur for coats or even the silk from silk worms for blouses. Animal welfare organizations, including reputable zoos like ours, are deeply concerned with the physiological and psychological health and well-being of animals, but they also are concerned with the welfare of animals in the wild. Animal rights adherents contend, in sharp contrast, that as long as animals are in the wild, their rights are not being violated by humans. The second profound difference between an animal welfare group such as the St. Louis Zoo and an animal rights group such as PETA is that zoos care about the fate of entire species, whereas PETA focuses on individual animals. This allows them to argue that it is better for a species to become extinct than for individual members of that species to be preserved in zoos. For animal welfare groups, extinction is the ultimate cruelty, and it is no small irony that in the majority of cases, animals go extinct because of the direct actions of humans. Animal rights groups, therefore, should be concerned with extinction in the wild. Tragically, they are not. I think that animal rights groups and animal welfare groups both care about animals, but they represent two very different philosophies. If you are a supporter of PETA, you support an animal rights group that does not care about the fate of animals in the wild and does nothing to stop the loss of species worldwide. If you are a supporter of the St. Louis Zoo, you support an animal welfare organization that provides outstanding care for animals in the Zoo and devotes enormous amounts of time, energy, expertise and money to saving wild things in wild places. By the way, unless you are a vegan, don't own a pet, wear only plastic shoes and are willing to forego insulin if you ever become diabetic, you either do not embrace the real animal rights philosophy or you are a hypocrite. I, for one, hope that people never consider PETA an animal welfare organization. It most certainly is not. Jeffrey P. Bonner is president and chief executive of the St. Louis Zoo. ----- My thoughts ... 1) The animal rights movement encompasses some aspects of the animal welfare ideology and to say PETA does not care about the welfare of animals is offbase (Consider PETA's campaigns for improved animal welfare conditions within slaughterhouses used by fast-food companies - McDonalds, Wendy's, KFC - for example. This is not to eradicate meat products sold by the chains but rather, and very realistically, focus on making things a little better for animals.) 2) "The philosophy of animal rights says, in essence, that animals have the same rights as humans." ZOUNDS! Out of control, Mr. Bonner, out of control. Animals should be given the same basic rights as humans, taking into consideration their physical and mental limitations. That is, to wit, the right to life without unnecessary exploitation. But not, say, the right to vote, own a home or drive a car. 3) "We don't use human hides for clothing, so we should not use leather for shoes, fur for coats or even the silk from silk worms for blouses." No. Animal rights are irrespective of human rights. It's not BECAUSE we don't do this to humans, we shouldn't do this to animals. It's because this is wrong and causes suffering, we shouldn't do it to any being capable of feeling. 4) "Animal rights adherents contend, in sharp contrast, that as long as animals are in the wild, their rights are not being violated by humans." Where did this come from? Why do people think animal rights folk are totally against interspecies relation of any kind, ie owning dogs, etc? Bizarre. 5) "By the way, unless you are a vegan, don't own a pet, wear only plastic shoes and are willing to forego insulin if you ever become diabetic, you either do not embrace the real animal rights philosophy or you are a hypocrite." Mr. Bonner fails to recognizes two things here: A) Veganism is not about personal purity; it's about reducing suffering and B) Philosophies are as broad and diverse as the people who adhere to them. To say that anyone who doesn't follow all tenets of the supposed monolithic animal rights movement is a hypocrite is like saying any Republican who supports abortion isn't a 'real' Republican or any Democrat who questions the future of Social Security isn't a 'real' Democrat. "Therefore, newspapers have a special obligation to use words with precision." I suggest you do the same, Mr. Bonner. Hehe.
  14. Totally. I think it's really cool that we can all exchange views in a noncombative way. It's very admirable and a sign of intellectual honesty for all on board. I agree with everyone that suffering is universal, as I stated before, and I think the speciesist argument is a valid one. My point was - as I believe this thread was originally created to address - that as vegans we are tackling a huge societal intolerance for animal rights and must be cautious with how we present our cause to meateaters and the like. It is my belief that a hardline stance in advocacy - not personal belief - does far more to alienate prospective vegetarians and therefore, in the aggregate, does far more harm for the animals and everything else involved. Using the PETA 'Holocaust' campaign as an example, I was drawn in by it initially and thought a decent point was being made. It was only after talking with non-vegetarians that I realized an otherwise legitimate argument was being thrown off-course with the hazy distraction of paralleling animal suffering to human suffering. We, as vegans, can recognize a similarity. But those who are not already on board with us get caught on trying to equate the two rather than seeing the undeniable kernel of truth that underlies any sort of public campaign - that animals can suffer and that there is no excuse to kill them needlessly at our own whims. Similarly, coming off as elitist can be yet another distraction from this very simple point.
  15. That's a good point, and I did have that similar problem in the back of my mind drawing parallels between slavery and eating eggs. But I was just going with the comparison for the sake of argument. What you said reminds me of PETA's "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign a few years ago. Not only are the differences between humans and animals drastic enough to raise an objection, it was also, in my opinion, a public-relations disaster. My friend, whose grandmother is a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, was particularly offended. "They're likening my grandmother to a chicken?" Although the suffering is universal, we should probably avoid making comparisons between animals and humans when trying to convey our point. It's a diversion from an otherwise legitimate argument and only adds fuel to the fire by giving anti-animal rights folks something to use against us.
  16. Fair enough. But it can be difficult to measure that, which is why I think we need to be cautious with how we come off to others. And just because a vegetarian doesn't make the commitment to go vegan today doesn't mean he or she won't eventually come around to that. It seems that pre-emptively kicking them out of the animal rights would be akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water.
  17. I totally see where you're coming from, kollison, chesty and jonathan. There is often a tendency for vegetarians to become comfortable in their lifestyle, which - and there is no denying it - still subsists on the exploitation of animals. But we also can't deny that there is a tendency for vegans to take such a hardline stance in our lifestyle that we are offputting to potential vegetarians and vegans. There has to be a balance in advocacy, taking these two circumstances into consideration. Using the slave example once again, I guess my question to you would be, If a person owns slaves, would you want him or her in your human rights group at all? In this light, if a person doesn't eat meat but still consumes dairy or eggs, would you therefore not want her or him in your animal rights group?
  18. I understand the point you are trying to make - as I often try to cast things in a different light, too, taking them to their logical extreme - but I think the circumstance you presented is different for a few reasons. For one, most people cannot see that drinking milk and eating eggs is akin to eating meat. Therefore, the racial preferance for one slave over another doesn't seem to work by comparison. For another, we shouldn't assume we are living in a perfect world where every aspect of a person's life is controlled and they can make the commitment to always avoiding animal byproducts. We also have to acknowledge that we are combatting a huge societal intolerance for veganism and therefore must look at our advocacy in a much more nuanced light than if we were dealing with human rights, which are much more universally accepted. I also cannot see how a slave owner can be assumed to value human rights by sparing one race while continuing to subjugate (and profit from) another. On the other hand, I can see how a vegetarian might value animal rights while not practicing it to its fullest potential but still advocating for it in other ways. Although I understand where the vegan Meetup group is coming from (as I obviously believe veganism is a more committed step toward animal rights), I fundamentally disagree with the exlusive message it sends to prospective vegans and even vegetarians for that matter.
  19. I've said this in another post, but I think it's worth repeating as it pretty much sums up my entire approach to vegan advocacy. Once again, it's another great insight from Vegan Outreach. Veganism is not about personal purity; it's about reducing suffering. In this light, I find any step toward animal welfare or rights to be very inspiring and believe that we should always focus on the positive side of what a person is doing to further that cause, no matter how small his or her action might be in measure. We shouldn't dwell on what veganism or vegetarianism isn't ("Here's a list of a gillion ingredients YOU MUST NOT EAT!!!") but what veganism or vegetarianism is and can be (enlightening, healthy, fun). Please don't cast stones at me, but I take a very liberal approach to vegan advocacy - that is, if a person comes up to me when I'm sitting at an animal rights demo table and says, "I agree with everything you're saying, but I really don't think I could give up chicken," rather than rattle off a thousand reasons why that's not good enough, I'll say, "Then give up everything else and still eat chicken." I believe this to not only be strategic (it throws them for a loop) and practical (animal cruelty, to a degree, has been mitigated), but to also be compassionate for another person's concerns; it is inclusive rather than exclusive. And, who knows, that might be the first step in the door to a truly cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle. In the aggregate, I believe this approach will have a much farther-reaching effect for the animals. Having said all that, I am a little put off by the Meetup group's policy.
  20. I was reluctant to use protein powder, but my nutritionist advised me to do so. I managed to find this one that blends well in both texture and taste. NutriBiotic Vegan Vanilla Rice Protein. It's low in sodium and has 58 calories and 12 grams of protein in one tablespoon. I chose it cause it cuts out some of the extra crap that other supplements seem to have and is 80 percent protein. Hope that helps.
  21. This recipe is from Moby's new Teany book. Cheap, easy and delicious! Ingredients: 16 ounces of un-chicken broth or vegetable broth 3 cups texturized vegetable protein (TVP) 1 stalk celery, diced very small 1/4 medium onion, diced very small 1 dill pickle spear, diced small 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons Veganaise salt to taste pepper to taste 2 teaspoons dried kelp flakes (not imperative, but it does make this fake chicken salad more convincing) In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, then add the TVP. Bring the temperature to medium and allow to cook until nearly all of the liquid is absorbed. Put the TVP in a container and refrigerate until cold (if you're in a rush, spread the mixture in a shallow pan and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes). Add all other ingredients to the TVP and mix well. Chicken salad is complete! This salad is best when served on toasted whole grain bread that has been slightly spread with vegan margarine. Greens and tomatoes work great with it, too! Serve open-faced if you wanna be fancy. Makes 8 servings.
  22. Yeah, like Robert said - and as you might already know - you don't really need to worry about complete proteins or combining proteins in one meal. If you're eating a varied enough diet, you should be getting all those in one day. I'm not exactly sure if TVP is a complete protein but I found this on some site (heh), which leads me to believe it most likely is (and often a good source of B12!): "TVP can be fortified to have all the essential nutrients that animal protein contains." It's really cheap, too. Go check out the recipes section - I'm posting one for mock chicken salad.
  23. Welcome to the board and congratulations on going vegetarian! I'm sure you'll be inspiried by a lot of the people here who have been able to build massive amounts of muscle with a meat-free diet. I've been a vegan for more than three years and just recently decided to try and build some mass. With the right amount of determination, it really is easy so best of luck!
  24. Welcome! That's an impressive list of physical activities you've undertaken.
  25. Welcome on board, buddy. I think you'll really enjoy everyone here. And congratulations on going vegetarian! That's truly awesome.[/b]
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