Thursday, July 26, 2007

Just Now Considering the Moos & Oinks In The Food Debate?

I'm thrilled to see an article that features animals & Farm Sanctuary so prominently in the NY Times: Bringing Moos And Oinks Into The Food Debate.
Though why just now bringing the animals into consideration...sigh.

The article is fairly tame, but the fact that this is even in the Times renews this vegan's hope. However,the end part infuriates me, where there a line describing Gary Baur as a man who eats noodles with margarine, soy sauce & brewer's yeast, who's never heard of Chez Panisse. Just ending the article with that statement reinforces omnivorous minds that vegans have nothing to eat and are not at all sophisticated in their palettes. Oh that makes me mad. I live in NY, have traveled all over Europe and I know all the fabulous restaurants in NY, but I too do not know of Chez Panisse because I am not at all familiar with the famous restaurants in California. That was a nasty little dig and completely unnecessary.

Recently, I have been reading more of Gary Francione's blog, which denounces animal welfarists and promotes the abolitionist approach. Of course my heart is with the abolitionists, but I think the victories that the welfarist approach has brought are obviously steps in the right direction. As people become more concerned about what's in their food, they are becoming more educated about food. They become more aware of the fact that their meat, dairy & eggs come at the expense of an animal's suffering instead of just the packaged ham, bacon or burger that makes it easy to not think of the actual animal that has been slaughtered. I have to believe that as people actually give their food more thought & become more educated about livestock animals & the conditions that they live in that they will eventually come to reason that no piece of flesh or glass of milk is worth that torture. Baby steps will have do to for now...

On a related note, as we all know we are the only species that drink another species' milk. Milk meant for little baby cows who never even get to taste that perfect food meant for them as they are dragged off right after birth to be crated for veal and instead their babyfood goes straight to people to have with cookies by the glassful- disgusting. The true price of drinking milk is that every glass of milk has got a chunk of meat in it. Think of it this way: milking always pregnant human mothers, crating & chaining the sickly boy babies for tender "meat" and another animal drinking up your little baby's milk. Outrageous concept isn't it?

There's this Skittles' commercial that apparently disturbs people. I don't find it disturbing at all because if people are going to drink milk, they should drink it from their own kind- it would be more accurate to have a mother hooked up to the milking machine but that would be too confrontational & and actually remind us all that human milk is for human babies and cow milk is for baby cows.


bazu said...

I really agree with you- I see a place for welfare in addition to striving for abolition, because I'm too much of a pessimist pragmatist to think that we can eliminate factory farms in the near future.

That article started out really promisingly, but ended pretty badly. I wrote a letter to the food editor of the NYT, and here's a line from it:

"Since when was it a requirement that animal rights activists must be intimately familiar with elite dining establishments such as Chez Panisse? Is it taken for granted that the New York Times does not value the views of those who do not engage in the upper echelons of dining discourse? Finally, did no one on the staff of the Times know about the difference between nutritional yeast, which is what many vegans eat, and brewer's yeast, which is used to make beer? Perhaps all your vegetarian reporters were on assignment, or perhaps you are more worried about offending the Chez Panisses of this world than exploring an issue in an honest and logical manner."

I mean, brewer's yeast? Seriously?? How dismissive and condescending.

KleoPatra said...

i wish we all could just live compassionately... in every sense. Someday, i do pray, this will be the case. It is hard sometimes to live in this world but we haven't any alternative.

Thank you for being kind in your heart and soul.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Hey there vko... it was nice to see that article in the times, I read it the other day. I agree that the ending still tried to poke a little fun at the "poor derprived vegans", so sick of all of that, why can't the Times ever get it right?
I really enjoy Gary's blog as well, glad to see you mention it. I've learned a lot from his interviews on Vegan Freak Radio as well as starting to read some of his books. THe whole abolitionist vs welfare debate is a tough one. Like you, I am on the abolitionist side, I just struggle with not even trying to support welfare activities. I think that all of us vegans have already taken the most important step though, so that is comforting in itself. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

VeggieGirl said...

I agree with you as well - hopefully SOMEDAY there will be much more compassion in this world. every little bit helps!

and thank you for letting me know about the Stella McCartney store - glad to know that the store isn't completely hidden, haha. I will probably be in NYC sometime later this year, or it might even be as late as early next year... it would be so much fun to meet up while I'm there!! I'll definitely keep you posted :0)

urban vegan said...

I was also happy to see the article...and for the most part, I thought it was very positive. Although that same line that irked you also irritiated me. And the video they included on the web also annoyed me for the food sterotyping. Why do they always have to do this?! Some vegan food is beyong haute cuisine and Chez Panisse...but they do not bother to cover it. I can't beleive that the NY Times still resorts to such sweeping stereotypes.

I hate all the "isms" of veganism. I don't want to be associated with either approach (I'm an independent voter, too. At least I'm consistent.) I think we all need to band together, and strive for positivity, outreach and education. We can't afford to be a house divided. There are so few of us in the general population.

And YES. Let's definitely plan a get togther, either in NYC or Philly. I would love to meet you.


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