Re-Blog: Some “Animal Advocates” Never Miss An Opportunity to Exploit Animal Exploitation

Just when I think it can’t get worse, it does.

Humane Society International is an arm of The Humane Society of the United States. Andrew Rowan is the Chief International Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of The HSUS, and President and CEO of Humane Society International.

HSI has a new campaign: rescuing dogs from South Korean farms:

ScreenHunter_744 Jan. 06 13.43
(click to enlarge)

Here is a story about this campaign:

Alexandria (United States) (AFP) – A dozen dogs originally destined for dinner tables in South Korea arrived in the Washington area to be adopted as pets.

They were the first of a total of 23 dogs being imported into the United States this week as part of a campaign to combat the eating of dog meat in East Asia.

Washington-based Humane Society International (HSI) located the dogs at a farm in Ilsan, northwest of Seoul, where they were being bred specifically for human consumption.

The farmer — who acknowledged a personal fondness for dogs — agreed to give up the animals and accept an offer of compensation and grow blueberries instead, HSI director of companion animals Kelly O’Meara told AFP, as the mongrels settled into kennels Monday at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Virginia after a long flight from Seoul.

HSI has been working with local groups in China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to raise public awareness of the dog meat trade.

“But South Korea is unusual because it actually farms dogs to supply demand,” O’Meara said, while other countries target feral dogs as food.

Every year, between 1.2 million and two million dogs are consumed in South Korea, she said, supplied by farms that number “at least in the hundreds.”

O’Meara said it was the first time that dogs from South Korea intended for human consumption had been rescued and brought into the United States, where a brisk demand for adopted dogs and cats is met by a thriving network of animal rescue groups and shelters.

All 23 South Korean dogs — the second batch is due to arrive Tuesday — will undergo veterinarian checks in Alexandria, before being distributed among five other shelters in the Mid-Atlantic states for adoption.

“By helping these 23 dogs, we’ll be helping a lot of other dogs in South Korea” by raising public awareness of the dog meat trade, said Megan Webb, executive director of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, which finds homes for about 1,000 dogs a year.

Okay. So let’s see if I have this right:

HSUS/HSI objects to the eating of dogs. Okay. I understand that. I don’t think anyone should eat dogs either. Surely, it makes no sense to object to eating dogs if you eat other animals.

But HSUS CEO/President Wayne Pacelle sits on the Board of Directors of

Continue Reading:

SOURCE:  Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach


My Conversation with A Hunter (via Email)

[NOTE: The email starts off with my co-worker. He in turn forwarded it to his brother-in-law who is a hunter.]  

From: GirlforAnimalLiberation
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 9:50 AM
To: Co-worker

Subject: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

From: Co-worker

Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 9:54 AM
To: GirlforAnimalLiberation

Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

Horrible, I just forwarded the link to my best friend and brother in law who bowhunts for deer.  


From: GirlforAnimalLiberation
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 10:28 AM
To: Co-worker

Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

Tell him that bow/arrow hunting should be outlawed.  If hunters are going to kill animals, they should make sure it the kill is as swift and as painless as possible.  Hunters should ask themselves, if I had a choice how would I want to die, a long slow painful death or a quick death?  They should keep this in mind when they are out murdering animals for “sport”.

Did you see the cat that was shot with an arrow?  WTF?!?!


From: Co-worker

Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 10:21 AM
To: GirlforAnimalLibereation

Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

The Hunter’s Response :

That website is blocked, for whatever reason, but I read about this.  What a shame.  If I was responsible for something like that, I think I would give up hunting.  Shot placement is so critical, and in my opinion an ethics issue.  I can imagine a scenario in which a shot like this is understandable, the arrow hits a twig and deflects into the head, or something like that, but that’s why it is so critical to practice, know your limits, and air on the side of caution when taking a shot.

From: GirlforAnimalLiberation
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 9:57 AM
To: Co-worker

Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

Please tell him that when they shoot an animal with an arrow, to make sure the animal dies and doesn’t wander around WOUNDED for days/weeks possibly even MONTHS before succumbing to infection, starvation or both!

Did you see this from the same blog:

And this from another blogger:

To: GirlforAnimalLiberation

From: Co-worker
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 11:21 AMTo: Asnes, Susan
Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

The Hunter’s response: 

I think the notion that suffering should be minimized is one that almost all hunters agree with, the rest are whackos.  The first and last sentences I disagree with or don’t understand, the last one being a logical fallacy.  In terms of pain, and assuming a “clean” shot, I am curious why this person thinks dying from a arrow wound (through blood loss after a razor sharp incision from an arrow flying 200ft/sec.) vs. dying from a bullet would (shock, blood loss, frequently including such things as having the bones blown out of the backside of the animal) is any more painful?  I dont know, it’s at least plausible to me that dying from a arrow wound is the least painful way to die.  Some other questions: should eating meat be outlawed all together?  What are the appropriate punishments that should be levied on people who have eaten meat in the past, the same, more severe, or less severe than murdering people?  Is dying from an arrow wound in the wild less or more painful than being raised in a crate and injected with growth hormones, then being electrocuted until you’re near dead, hung from your feet, and your neck cut open?  Is there a perfect correlation between the personal choices this person makes and his view on what should be legal?  Has this person ever seen or touched a bow or arrow?

From: GirlforAnimalLiberation

Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 11:49 AM
To: Co-worker

Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!


I’ll start with the easy question: Yes I have handled a bow & arrow and practiced on non-living target not living, breathing, sentient beings.

I am not a veterinarian, doctor or a scientist so I cannot say for certain if being shot with a bow/arrow is less or more painful than a bullet but it seems to me, the margin for error with bow/arrow is greater than a bullet. I realize the wind can affect the shot of a bullet, just as easily as an arrow but it seems to me, the chances of your shot going off course via an arrow is greater than a bullet. Here again, I am no expert.

As a vegan, I do not believe animals should be exploited – period, whether it be for food, clothing, entertainment, research etc.

Should eating meat be outlawed? If I had that power, then yes, it would be.

Punishment should be “levied” on those who commit egregious acts towards animals, not necessarily those who are blithely unaware of what happens to that cow, before it lands on their plate.  I’m willing to give people the benefit of the doubt that they are clueless as to how their food was raised and murdered before landing in the super market. That being said, however, once a person becomes educated on the exploitation of animals, IMHO it is his/her moral responsibility to stop contributing to the exploitation.

Just sayin’.

People who murder other people are heroes in my book. LOL!  As a general rule, I hate the human race to which I am a part of, sorry to say.

Is dying from an arrow wound in the wild less or more painful than being raised in a crate and injected with growth hormones, then being electrocuted until you’re near dead, hung from your feet, and your neck cut open?  Tell your friend, NO – BOTH ACTS ARE EGREGIOUS.  ANIMALS DESERVE COMPASSION AND KINDESS AND SHOULD NEVER BE EXPLOITED BY LOWLIFE HUMANS!

Is there a perfect correlation between the personal choices this person makes and his view on what should be legal? Nothing in life is perfect. As much as I would love to see hunting abolished because I do not believe it to be a sport or necessary. I will never see eye-to-eye with a hunter on this argument.  And please spare me the “culling for the greater good of the animal” speech because I’ve heard it all before.   IMHO, nature can take care of itself and has for long before humans came along and effed it up.  I long for the day when Mother Earth rids her immune system of the one species that has put this planet and all its inhabitants in a state of crisis.   Humans do not trump animals – we all live in symbiosis. Those humans who believe we rule over everything are the reason this planet is in a state that it is in and why species of animals have gone extinct or are near extinction.  I mean, correct me if I’m wrong but you don’t see non-human animals hunting other animals for “sport” and then mounting the heads of their kill on a f*cking wall.

Animals should be taken out of the equation completely.  If hunters want to hunt something, they should hunt one another.          🙂

From: Co-worker

Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 2:31 PM
To: GirlforAnimalLiberaetion

Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

The Hunter’s response: 

It’s a little hard for me to take this seriously.  I mean, if she’s right then I should disregard her because who would take advice from a “human” like her — a lowlife species for which the only solution is eradication from the planet so that non-human animals can thrive.  If she’s wrong, then she’s wrong.  Either way, I should ignore her.  Plus, most of this is total nonsense.  We should not necessarily punish meat eaters as long as they are ignorant?  I hate the human race?  Come on…

But if I wade through the nonsense and try to get to the underlying theme (apart from the human guilt), I think there is probably a lot we can agree on.  That we should respect living, breathing, sentient beings; be mindful of their suffering and minimize it to the extent we can.  To preserve and take joy in the natural world around us.

I also really do respect people who are vegetarians/vegans, in particular those who do it for ethical reasons (admittedly, I don’t like it when they label me as a murderer and say I should be punished for disagreeing with them).  It’s not the choice I make, but my observation has been that many of these people are upset by factory farming, destructive fishing practices, the needless suffering imposed on animals, and follow their conscience.  I applaud them for that.

Now, there is some stuff that I really object to here.  It seems to be she distinguishes between humans and the nature that surrounds them — that we should wipe out humans for the benefit of “nature.”  I don’t view humans as being distinct from nature, I view us (albeit a unique species) as a part of nature, and with a “rightful” place in it.   For me, part of that experience is hunting animals and eating their meat, just as we evolved to do and have been doing for a million years.  Even if the “natural” role of meat in a human’s diet is debatable, if I am going to eat meat, I think the best way for me to do it is to hunt my own.  I have to live face to face with the consequences of letting that arrow or bullet fly, which brings to the forefront of my consciousness the seriousness of taking an animal’s life — especially big game.  I learn to only kill what I will eat, the elements of fair chase, the ethics of killing quickly and minimizing suffering, the necessity of wild places and the critical role that conservation plays.  All of that is not only a “natural” experience, but one that benefits the animals I am hunting (on the whole) and the ecosystem they live in.

In conclusion I would remind her that I am an animal, a homo sapien and therefore DESERVE COMPASSION AND KINDNESS AND SHOULD NEVER BE EXPLOITED, and further (as an animal) would ask to be, taken out of the equation completely, and allowed to live naturally and unimpeded by evil humans like her.

From: GirlforAnimalLiberation

Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 4:35 PM
To: Co-worker
Subject: RE: Why I hate hunters. Let me count the ways!

Oh brother, here we go, the big bad vegan is taking a whiplashing from a highly educated white male hunter.

As I read through you brother-in-law,  the Hunter’s comments, and I found it interesting that he thinks I am trying to be “right”.  This isn’t about my being right. This is about what is right for the animals and the planet.  I do not believe I am out in left field with my thinking that a good percentage of humans are f*cking plague on this planet — not all humans are deserving of life. They’re just not. Sorry. This is my opinion and my opinion alone.  I don’t think your friend should lump all vegans/vegetarians together. I’m sure there are plenty of vegans who do not share my views.

Does your friend honestly think I want to punish people for eating meat?  What I want is for those who choose to eat animals to educate themselves on how the food they are eating landed on their plate.  I believe, although cannot prove, that a vast majority of people have absolutely no idea; either that or they are willfully ignorant.

Also, I love how your friend insults me by saying, “as I wade through the nonsense”.  Nonsense to him, but then again, his justification is nonsense to me.  So I guess we are even.

As for this statement: “the elements of fair chase, the ethics of killing quickly andminimizing suffering, the necessity of wild places and the critical role that conservation plays.  All of that is not only a “natural” experience, but one that benefits the animals I am hunting (on the whole) and the ecosystem they live in.”  Bullsh*t! Bullsh*t! Bullsh*t!  Tell your friend that this statement is so overused by hunters that he and his fellow hunters should record it and sell it on iTunes.  I am so sick and tired of listening to the Hunter’s diatribe that they are “conserving” wildlife as well as the ecosystem.  Maybe HE believes this, but I guarantee you most of his fellow hunters could give a rat’s ass about conservation and the ecosystem.  Incidentally, what are his feelings on the delisting and hunting of wolves?  Tell me something; those hunters that are assassinating wolves by the hundreds on a daily basis, that’s right daily, are they eating the meat? Are they killing wolves for survival? What benefit is there to the ecosystem by hunting wolves. Wolves were nearly pushed to the brink of extinction, and will again if some hunters have their way.

I don’t care what your friend says, not all hunters hunt for the meat. Some hunt because they like to kill.  It’s that simple. A good percentage of them are nothing more than a pack of camo-clad serial killers thirsting for blood.

In conclusion I would remind her that I am an animal, a homo sapien and therefore DESERVE COMPASSION AND KINDNESS AND SHOULD NEVER BE EXPLOITED, and further (as an animal) would ask to be, taken out of the equation completely, and allowed to live naturally and unimpeded by evil humans like her. My guess is, your friend is probably white and I already know he is a  male so the likelihood of him being “exploited” are slim to none.  As for my being evil. How so? I’m not the one murdering animals for sport or so I can eat. You know, I love it, we vegans speak up for the voiceless and we are labeled as “evil” or “terrorists” and yet your friend murders animals and he’s an upstanding citizen.

Tell your friend to recline back in the comfort of knowing that he has more rights and more latitude as a white male hunter than I could ever hope to have as a white female vegan.

Yours truly,

The vegan misanthrope who is full of nonsense.   


Who says you need animal protein to be strong?

Who says Vegans are weak?  This guy is in better shape than most meat-eaters!  Take that your carnivores!

Video/Article Source: Free From Harm

Vegan bodybuilder Frank Medrano joins a growing number of athletes and bodybuilders whose phenomenal fitness and peak physical performance are powered exclusively by plants. As the general public is increasingly confronted with the inherent cruelty of all animal farming, and armed with the knowledge that we can live healthy lives without exploiting animals for food, more and more people are making the choice to stop consuming meat, milk and eggs. Accordingly, the list of title-winning, record-holding vegan athletes grows exponentially every year, showing it is possible not only to survive, but to thrive on a plant-based diet.

At the same time, government health experts worldwide are finally catching up with the large body of scientific evidence demonstrating that a vegan diet is not only a viable option for people of any age, but that eating plant foods instead of animal-based foods can confer significant health benefits, including reduction in incidence of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, and several types of cancer. In 2009, the American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the U.S.’s oldest, largest and foremost authority on diet and nutrition, recognized that humans have no biological requirement for animals products, stating: “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

When we have access to plant-based foods, and understand that humans have no biological need to consume animal products, then the question of eating animals really comes down to this basic question: when able to freely choose, would you rather help an animal, or hurt one? If you believe it is better to help than hurt others, then veganism is the only consistent expression of your values.

Learn more:

Curious about plant-based protein? Check out one of our most popular features, A Vegan Doctor Addresses The Protein Question. See also: Catching Up With Science: Burying the “Humans Need Meat” Argument.

See tons more inspiring vegan fitness and athlete profiles at:

Vegan Bodybuilding
Great Vegan Athletes
Vegan Strength
Meat-Free Athlete
No Meat Athlete

– See more at:



The Perfect Vegan?

Sometimes when I am heating up my lunch in the office kitchen microwave, my non-vegan co-workers will ask me, “So what did you make for lunch this week, Susan?” Followed by, “What’s in that?” and I will explain.  One day last week, while I was in the kitchen, a woman who works in another department asked me if I was still “vegan”. I said, “Of course! I just celebrated my 2-year anniversary.”  She paused and said, “Wow! That’s amazing. Do you miss it?” [She said this while sliding her Lean Cuisine in the microwave.  My food was already heating up.] Confused, I said, “Miss what?”  She said, “You know, meat, cheese, eggs?” I said, “No, I do not, in fact I’ve completely lost my taste for dairy, I had given up red meat and pork back in 1986 and I was never a huge fan of eggs to begin with, so it would seem my becoming a vegan is a natural fit.”  I then explained that being a vegan isn’t just about food or diet, it’s an ideology.  Those of us, who are vegan, have made the connection – a hamburger is a ground up retired abused dairy cow, and so on.  She then wanted to know how I felt.  I told her I feel fantastic! I have more energy, can sleep less and go hours without eating, which Dr. Fuhrman  calls, “True hunger.”  And I no longer have that facial puffiness that most dairy eaters have.”  What she said next, absolutely floored me. She said, “Yah, I’ve got all sorts of health issues going on, and I know I’m suffering from some severe inflammation but I cannot imagine giving up my meat, eggs or dairy – I just love it too much.” I cocked my head to the side and said, “Well, then I guess you’ll just have to continue living with all those health issues.” 

When the microwave that was heating up my food dinged, I proceeded to open the door (btw, I work for a very large company so we have 3 kitchens with a total of 9 microwaves). As I removed the bowl, my co-worker commented that my food smelled delicious.  Naturally, her next question was, “What is that?” I said, “Nabe with Udon.” She looked at me squarely and said, “Nabe?”    I proceeded to explain what Nabe is.

As I tested the heat of my nabe, I put the dish back into the microwave as it wasn’t quite hot enough to my liking.  This gave my co-worker more time to ask questions.   Naturally, she asked me about my cooking and how do I find the time.  I told her I set aside every Sunday to cook meals for the week – usually I will make one or two meals so as to have variety.  I told her I’m pretty strict about this, which means I will not allow anyone or thing to interfere with my cooking on Sundays – if I do not cook, I do not eat, it’s that simple.  She told me she “Doesn’t have time to cook.” Sha! Right.  If I may use an expression Somer @ VedgedOut used in this post: Bull!  I work five days a week and commute 2 hours round trip. I’m out of the house before7 :00 AM  and I do not arrive home until after 7:00 PM. If I have time to cook 1-2 meals every Sunday, everyone else has time to cook as well.  My co-worker lamented that in order to be a vegan, you have to be perfect, and everything has to be from scratch yaddah…yaddah…yaddah.

I was quick to set her mind at ease that this belief she has about veganism is not true.  Where is it written that you have to be perfect?  Hearing my co-worker assume that Veganism equates with Perfectionism is what motivated me to write this very lengthy post.

For those of you who believe you have to be perfect in order to be a vegan – basically taking an all or nothing stance, I am going to say to you what I said to my co-worker:

[As previously stated] I am out of the house on or before 7:00 a.m. and do not return until after 7:00 p.m.  Do you think I have time to make things like my own vegan butter, almond milk, vegan *cheese*, home-made stock, et-cetera?  Hell no!  I buy Earth Balance if a recipe requires vegan *butter*,.  I buy whatever brand of Almond Milk is on sale.  If I need vegan *cheese* I buy Daiya and as for stock, well I use vegetable soup base that I purchase at the store.  I do not have time to make all of these things from scratch.  Do I honor and admire those vegans who do, yes, absolutely.

Below are additional *Vegan Myths* I Have Heard People Say:

1.)    Every meal has to be cooked from scratch.

As daunting as that may sound (and it really isn’t) it is not always necessary to cook everything from scratch. And btw, no one is going to come to your home and arrest you if you use something out of a can or a box.  My feeling is if 85% of my food is a whole food(s), the rest can be forgiven.

E.g., cooking with vegetable base vs. fresh stock.

2.)    Canned beans are not as good as dry/soaked beans.

Really? Where is this written?  Do you think I always remember to soak beans? Of course not! I use canned beans all the time and I haven’t died yet.

3.)    Frozen vegetables are not as good as fresh.

Really? That’s interesting because I have heard just the opposite.

Full Disclosure:  Sometimes, especially during Q-end, I don’t always have time to go to the market which means I have resorted to using the frozen vegetables in my freezer. If this is bad thing, well then shoot me.

4.)    I am afraid of becoming unhealthy if I follow a vegan diet.

[Ok  first, I need to get up off the floor from laughing]

Please pardon my bluntness but if I had a dollar for every time some narrow-minded idiot told me that vegans are unhealthy or run the risk of becoming unhealthy, I’d be a rich woman.  Your risks of becoming unhealthy following an animal-based diet far outweigh your risks of becoming unhealthy following a vegan diet.  If you do not believe me then watch any of the following:

Or you can read:  Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman


Reversing Diabetes by Dr. Neal Barnard

These are just a sampling of the available information out there.

5.)    I don’t have time to research vegan meals and/or throw together a balanced meal

When I first became a vegan, I was daunted. I had a handful of recipes but most was macrobiotic which made them a bit more challenging.  So what did I do? I began searching for recipes.  I cannot say for certain how it happened (I suppose I could thank my Blog) but I happened upon these two fantastic bloggers who have kept me well stocked [no pun] in vegan recipes.  I don’t always follow their recipes to the letter, but the foundation originated from their recipes:

 Somer @ VedgedOut 

Let me tell you a little bit about Somer. She’s a wife, mother, runner, and I’m convinced a part-time secret super hero. And yet despite all of these responsibilities, Somer has created some amazingly awesome recipes.

Dispatches from the Gypsy Roller

Let me tell you about Gypsy a.k.a Hannah.  Hannah is currently living in a trailer while she remodels her home. She has a baby and yet she manages to put a delicious, healthy vegan meal on the table.

If it wasn’t for Somer and Hannah, I doubt I would have the variety of vegan recipes I have today.

Because of Somer, I am now following An Unrefined Vegan 

Via Unrefined or maybe it was Somer, I am also following In Vegetables We Trust; Post Punk Kitchen ; and In Pursuit of More

And this list goes on and on.   At this point in my vegan life, I have a 3 ring binder FULL of recipes or recipe ideas that I have written that are based off of their recipes. Whenever I hit a cook’s block (you know, sort of like writer’s block) I grab my laptop and start surfing these sites for recipe ideas and 100% of the time, I walk away inspired.

So you see, choosing a vegan lifestyle really isn’t that difficult, nor do you have to be perfect.  Granted there are some vegans out there whose career is blogging about living a full and complete cruelty-free vegan life, but you cannot let those people intimidate you.  What helps me is this:  I do not compare myself to other vegans. When I take into account my work and commuting schedule I am doing the best I can with the resource and time that I have. No one is judging me so rest assured no one will be judging you.


In closing, I could wax on about how you should be choosing cruelty free products in your bath, on your body, in your laundry and home, but that’s another post for another time.  Also, if you’ve been following my blog for some time now then you already know my stance on vintage clothing, especially 1950s vintage – it ROCKS!



Naughty Vegan Polenta and Seitan Parmigiano (or casserole if you prefer)…© 2012 GiRRL_Earth

I like to explore things that interest me, so for those of you who know me personally, you know that I went to culinary school, as well as worked in the field. Granted, my focus was pastry but I still had to train on the savory side.  —And please don’t’ ask me what the best knives are. Knives are like underwear – you have to buy what feels and fits right. There is not one knife brand that trumps all others.  I’ve tried many different knives and I have to say, Global knives work best with my hands.  Global knives are Japanese and there is just something about them.  A friend of mine is a hairstylist and she prefers Japanese scissors.  Like me, she agrees there is just something about the way the Japanese make things. I had German knives in school and I hated them. —

But I digress…

I have been a macrobiotic vegan for almost 2 years now. Prior to that, I was a dairy eating vegetarian. Despite being devoted to macrobiotics, every now and then I get a craving for a non-macro, non-vegan meal from my past — in this case, eggplant parm. Now I know what you’re thinking, **eggplant is a vegetable** and yes, that’s true it is, but it is a nightshade vegetable and not macro which is why I avoid it (I think my Nonna just rolled over in her grave).  In my quest to satisfy the non-vegan/macro in me, I created the above subject dish. I must admit,  generally I do not like to post pictures on this blog but seeing as I posted my recipe on The Kind Life and needed a necessary picture to accompany said creation, I decided to post it here on my blog.

As for the main ingredient: Polenta, well… polenta is is something I learned to make at a very young age – it hails from my mother’s side of the family: Ancona, Italy.  Polenta is tradition accompanied by superstition (Read: Folklore).  I must admit, it was a bit of a challenge trying to veganise the tasty polenta I grew up eating (and making).  So what’s the folklore around polenta you ask? Well, it is believed to be sfortuna (bad luck) to stir polenta in a various directions. It is also sfortuna to stir it with anything other than a wooden spoon (wire whisk you say? Heaven’s no! Not in an Italian home.).  Ahhh those superstitious Italians – gotta love ‘em. 

Once I nailed down a vegan version of polenta, I whipped up a quick sauce, and assembled the ingredients I always have on hand.  I’ll spare you the gory details of the process, unless you want them? So without further adieu, here is what I came up with [see picture].

Naughty Vegan Polenta & Seitan Parmigiano (the Parm is actually Daiya vegan Mozzarella *cheese*) So why didn’t I use eggplant? Again, due to it being a nightshade vegetable, I figured it would be best to avoid it.  Why the Seitan? Well, I thought it couldn’t hurt to add a little wheat protein. In the past, I have added sliced zucchini and summer squash. On other occasions, I have added Portobello mushrooms.   Basically, I work with what I always have on hand: polenta, seitan, canned (ground/peeled) tomatoes, onions, garlic, evoo, veggie stock, almond milk and Daiya Cheese.  And then I will add whatever in-season veg strikes me.  Unfortunately, my zucchini plants are not thriving so I had to opt-out of adding any garden fresh vegetables (aside from the basil which is from my garden). 

It aint Eggplant Parm, but it satisfies my psychological craving for foods from my past.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Naughty Polenta & Seitan Parm

© 2012 GiRRL_Earth

N.B.: note the cheap bottle of wine in the background? That’s my go-to cheapie when I want a glass of red, but cannot bring myself to waste a bottle of something nicer as I rarely can finish a bottle, the teetotaler that I am.

Oh and before anyone gives me a tongue lashing over the background shot of the jar of honey, know this: I owned it before I became a vegan, so in keeping with the vegan philosphy, I will use it until it’s gone and then I will not replace it.

“Animal Rights is now the greatest Social Justice issue since the abolition of slavery.” – Philip Wollen

I am a vegan. Yeah, that’s right, VEGAN. I am also an animal rights activist.  Oh I can hear your comments and see your eyes rolling.  I know what you’re thinking — here we go again, another rebel, another radical, another troublemaker.  People who turn a blind eye and closed ears to animal rights assume those of us who protect and speak for the voiceless are nothing more than a pack of troublemakers.   

Think what you want.  Someone has to be the voice of animals. Someone has to fight against the brutality of slaughterhouses. Someone has to end the suffering of the innocent.  I am not interested in taking up space for the sake of taking up space because I feel I am superior to all other organisms on this planet. I am not going to sit idle, narcotize myself with fake “reality” TV, talk shit about people and spend my hard-earned money in retail stores so as to numb myself to the world. Nope, not me kid. I chose to view the world with a different lens.

I have known for a very long time that my purpose on this planet is to protect animals.  I suspect I inherited this trait from my father. He has tremendous compassion for animals that cannot be measured. He instilled this compassion in me.  Throughout the years, my father and I rarely saw eye-eye on anything, except for one: animal rights — this is our common ground.  This is one arena where we merge into one being, one point of view. Animal cruelty of any kind, including the egregious abuse taking place in factory farms and slaughter houses is wrong and must stop.  

People say they care about the planet and to prove it they “recycle”.  (Big deal!) They purchase million dollar houses in upper class neighborhoods so they can prove how accomplished they are. They call themselves wine connoisseurs (snobs really!) and my particular favorite: “foodies” (barf!).  They think because they buy “organic” “free-range” “grass-fed” they are immune to the injustices to animals.  Know this: “organic, free-range and grass-fed” mean nothing.  NOTHING! These are just words, nothing more.  These are labels the industry uses to fool the American public into thinking the animals they are eating, lived at country club farms until they were gently slaughtered. If you truly believe your eggs are free-range, then visit the factory farm and chickens that produced the eggs.  Check out the confined, stressful conditions they live in order to produce the eggs you want to eat.   Do me and all the animals who cannot speak a favor. OPEN YOUR EYES. Stop believing the labels.   If you don’t believe me, read this:

“I am not giving up my steak, my bacon, my chicken or my milk, sorry. I don’t care how many animals are suffering.”  This is an example of the types of comments I receive when I speak about veganism and animals rights.  I think the phrase: “I don’t care.” sums it up.  Most people do not care. I have met people who say they would never ever eat a doughnut, and yet do not give a second thought as to how their eggs/chicken/pork/beef landed on their tables – the abused life the animal lived before it became food.  In my opinion, if you’re eating all the aforementioned animals with nary a care, then eat the fucking doughnut. What’s the difference? You clearly do not give a shit.  If you saw how most farm animals lived and died, you would be a vegan like me.   

Remember that outbreak of swine flu? Remember how farmers had to kill all of their pigs due to this disease? How exactly do you think they went about killing their livestock? Do you think veterinarians in white coats went around to all the farms, euthanizing each pig? Sadly,  NO! Do you want to know what really happened?  The farmers used a back-ho, dug huge/deep holes and bulldozed all the pigs (Alive!) into this hole and then buried them alive.  Nice, huh?  This reminds me of the Nazi death camps.

A cow is a pig is a human. Soylent Green anyone?  

Still don’t care?  

Dairy anyone?  The next time you tuck into a glass of milk or yogurt, think about this.  When a Dairy cow gives birth, before she even has a chance to bond with her baby, it is taken away from her.  If the baby is female, her fate will be that of her mothers. If the baby is male, then G-d have mercy because one of two things will happen. He will either be killed, or locked in a crate so that in a few months, he can land on your dinner table as veal cutlet.  Mmmmmmmmmm. Not! Recently, I watched a video about egregious activity that was taking place on a dairy farm.  A dairy cow had just given birth (awe!). As she tried to reach down to sniff and nuzzle her newborn baby, an employee of the farm (a barbarian), grabbed the baby by its head, dragged it away from its mother and proceeded to smash its head with a sledgehammer, killing it (because it was a male). He killed the baby, right in front of mother cow with nary a care. The milk she produced for her now dead baby is the milk you are drinking and eating EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Imagine giving birth to your baby, only to have some person come along and rip away from you and kill it right before your eyes. (Drink up everyone!) Hormone fed or not, all dairy cows are treated this way.   Still don’t care? Well know this: every time you tuck into a dairy product, dairy cows are giving birth, to baby after baby.  In order to keep a dairy cow producing milk, the cow must stay pregnant which means, after she gives birth, she will be hooked up to what is known it the industry as the “rape rack” where she will be impregnated so she can go through the whole process, again, and again, and again.  The average life span of a dairy cow is 3 years.  Do you want to know what happens to her after she is “spent”? Do you think she will be sent to some retirement community for dairy cows? Think again. She will be ground up into hamburger meat.  Oh hey, thanks for your 3 years of dairy producing service. How would you like to become a Bubba burger?   Pass the ketchup please…

Still not convinced? Don’t care? Well if you are so heartless that none of this bothers you, then how about this. Watch the movie Earthlings and circle back with me.  If Earthlings doesn’t shake you to your core, perhaps a terrific speech from a great man will.  Below is a speech by a particularly awesome animal rights activist who I admire greatly.  His name is Philip Wollen. He is the former VP of Citibank and is an Australian philanthropist.  I extracted this speech from here:

King Lear, late at night on the cliffs asks the blind Earl of Gloucester “How do you see the world?”

And the blind man Gloucester replies “I see it feelingly”.

Shouldn’t we all?

Animals must be off the menu because tonight they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags of despair.
I heard the screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realized I had heard these screams before.
In the slaughterhouse, eyes stabbed out and tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as a Japanese harpoon explodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf.
Their cries were the cries of my father.
I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals.
And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear. . . . . . is a boy.
Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco.

CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.
90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock.
Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator.
The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs and the arteries of the earth.

Billions of bouncy little chicks are ground up alive simply because they are male.
Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week.
10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species.

We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history.
If any other organism did this a biologist would call it a virus.
It is a crime against humanity of unimaginable proportions.

The world has changed. 
10 years ago Twitter was a bird sound, www was a stuck keyboard, Cloud was in the sky, 4 g was a parking place, Google was a baby burp, Skype was a typo and Al Kider was my plumber.
Victor Hugo said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”.

Animal Rights is now the greatest Social Justice issue since the abolition of slavery.
There are over 600 million vegetarians in the world. That is bigger than the US, England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia combined! If we were one nation we would be bigger than the 27 countries in the European Union!!

Despite this massive footprint, we are still drowned out by the raucous huntin’, shootin’, killin’ cartels who believe that violence is the answer – when it shouldn’t even be a question.
Meat is a killing industry – animals, us and our economies.

Medicare has already bankrupted the US. They will need $8 trillion invested in Treasury bills just to pay the interest. It has precisely zero!!
They could shut every school, army, navy, air force, and Marines, the FBI and CIA – and they still won’t be able to pay for it.

Cornell and Harvard say’s that the optimum amount of meat for a healthy diet is precisely ZERO.

Water is the new oil. Nations will soon be going to war for it. Underground aquifers that took millions of years to fill are running dry. It takes 50,000 litres of water to produce one kilo of beef. 1 billion people today are hungry. 20 million people will die from malnutrition. Cutting meat by only 10% will feed 100 million people. Eliminating meat will end starvation forever.

If everyone ate a Western diet, we would need 2 Planet Earths to feed them. We only have one. And she is dying.

Greenhouse gas from livestock is 50% more than transport . . . . . planes, trains, trucks, cars, and ships.

Poor countries sell their grain to the West while their own children starve in their arms. And we feed it to livestock. So we can eat a steak? Am I the only one who sees this as a crime? Every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear-stained face of a starving child. When I look into her eyes, should I be silent?

The earth can produce enough for everyone’s need. But not enough for everyone’s greed.

We are facing the perfect storm.

If any nation had developed weapons that could wreak such havoc on the planet, we would launch a pre-emptive military strike and bomb it into the Bronze Age.
But it is not a rogue state. It is an industry. The good news is we don’t have to bomb it. We can just stop buying it. George Bush was wrong. The Axis of Evil doesn’t run through Iraq, or Iran or North Korea. It runs through our dining tables. Weapons of Mass Destruction are our knives and forks.

This is the Swiss Army Knife of the future – it solves our environmental, water, health problems and ends cruelty forever.

The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones. This cruel industry will end because we run out of excuses.

Meat is like 1 and 2 cent coins. It costs more to make than it is worth.
And farmers are the ones with the most to gain. Farming won’t end. It would boom. Only the product line would change. Farmers would make so much money they wouldn’t even bother counting it. Governments will love us. New industries would emerge and flourish. Health insurance premiums would plummet. Hospital waiting lists would disappear. Hell “We’d be so healthy; we’d have to shoot someone just to start a cemetery!” So tonight I have 2 Challenges for the opposition:

1.)  Meat causes a wide range of cancers and heart disease. Will they name one disease caused by a vegetarian diet?

2.) I am funding the Earthlings trilogy. If the opposition is so sure of their ground, I challenge them to send the Earthlings DVD to all their colleagues and customers. Go on I DARE YOU.

Animals are not just other species. They are other nations. And we murder them at our peril.

The peace map is drawn on a menu. Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the presence of Justice. Justice must be blind to race, colour, religion or species. If she is not blind, she will be a weapon of terror. And there is unimaginable terror in those ghastly Guantanamos.

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we wouldn’t need this debate.

I believe another world is possible.

On a quiet night, I can hear her breathing.

Let’s get the animals off the menu and out of these torture chambers.
Please vote tonight for those who have no voice.

Thank you.