Posts Tagged ‘stereotypes’

more on “The Vegetarian Myth”

October 27th, 2010 No comments

Another critique of Lierre Keith’s book from a new blog, Philosophical Overview … definitely worth a full read.  Here’s a bit that caught my attention …

Keith implies that her “animist ethic” is the same as the worldview of “indigenous cultures”. At one point she identifies it with the worldview of the ancient Mayans (5), which is strange as the Mayans are mainly famous for having founded a civilized, agricultural society in the New World. I doubt that her animism has much to do with the religious ideas and practices of Native American cultures, though. The sense of relatedness to plants and animals described in accounts of many indigenous American cultures has more to do with the totemism of tribal systems than an ethic of leaving a light ecological footprint. Some have theorized that the extinction of New World megafauna at the end of the last ice age was a result of the hunting practices of the newly arrived Clovis humans (although this theory remains controversial). Somewhat less controversial is evidence of hunting practices at buffalo jumps, which appears to upset the view that Native Americans only killed as many animals as they could use. Whatever the case may be, these archaeological observations would not imply any moral condemnation of Native Americans, who like all other people developed methods for surviving in their environments as best they could. It is absurd to consider such observations racist, as some have done, and one is not doing Native Americans any favours by romanticizing them to serve one’s own ends.

This angle of romanticizing The Native Americans™ is one that I’ve personally encountered.  The most thorough response to and analysis of this move is covered in one of my favorite Compassionate Cooks episodes – Honoring the Animals We Eat – Just Like the Native Americans – which is now added to the new Podcasts and Papers page here.  Make sure you listen all the way to the end where Colleen reads a short essay by a Native American woman about this very topic.  It’s beautifully written and gives much needed perspective on how we use Native Americans™ as punctuation in our own narratives rather than listening to them tell their own.

Like the Mayans … I’m pretty sure we don’t want to be doing things like the Mayans per se.

H/T  PaleoVeganology

“Changes Along Your Journey”

July 19th, 2010 No comments

One of the most unbelievable (as in how can you say that) things that comes up in discussions about vegetarianism, animal rights, etc. is that those are only concerns of urban elites (whatever that’s supposed to actually mean) who “don’t know anything about” animal agriculture and farming etc.   I have animal agriculture on both sides of my family – my father was a ‘hog man’ and my husband comes from a family based around  his grandfather’s small dairy operation.  They can’t run the actual dairy anymore but his grandfather still trucks cattle to slaughter.  My brother and sister in-law have worked in slaughter houses.   I don’t talk about any of that here.

I’m happy, however, point to other people who “know some things” and who are talking about it.  I just found this full documentary about Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowbow: The Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Wont Eat Meat.  I’ve pointed to him before and have to highly recommend this film – it’s in 6 parts here on youtube.  Check it out.  Here’s part one, click though to see all 6.

“How else are you gonna do it?”  That’s from the end of part 4.

One answer is, of course, is that we don’t actually have to do it in the first place.  You can get the farming, the dignity of producing food, the closeness to nature without being involved in the hideousness (that is the totality if not just the end game) of most types of animal agriculture.  We can get the good without the bad.   But we have to want it to be that way.  And we have to act, vote, shop, and eat like we give a damn.

Seeing the Interconnections, Racism-Sexism-Speciesism

April 25th, 2010 No comments

Real Men and Diet

April 1st, 2010 No comments

Based on a sexist stereotype, I know.  I had a hard time not putting quotes around the phrase in the title.  But still, the stereotype of manhood somehow being based on or qualified by flesh eating is a live one with a long history in stockbreeding cultures.  That’s a book in itself.  But for now, some glimpses into the world of men who are not part of the the man=meat equation.   Yes I know this is dumb but it is, sadly, necessary.

the vegetarian athlete

Well, now I’m 6′ 6″ tall and weigh 200 pounds – all while maintaining my vegetarian diet and playing ball in college.  I was  also one of the strongest guys on my team. Basically, I’m livng proof that you can be athletic and build muscle – without eating animals.

trend piece on men and veganism

To stay competitive during rugby games, athlete and writer Jay Atkinson of Methuen substituted soy cheese for the real deal last summer and cut out turkey sandwiches. “I needed to extend my career by staying lean,’’ says Atkinson, 52. He was already eating well before he turned to veganism. Commuting to Boston to teach magazine writing at Boston University or slapping on skates to whiz across a frozen pond, he needs as much fuel as he can get. The vegan diet delivers.

Austin firefighters and the Engine 2 diet …

Professional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn is used to responding to emergencies. So, when he learned that some of his fellow Engine 2 firefighters in Austin, TX, were in dire physical condition-several had dangerously high cholesterol levels (the highest was 344!)- he sprang into action and created a life-saving plan for the firehouse.

professional hockey player

…  I also continue my free public viewings of the movie Earthlings and want to thank everyone who has purchased the documentary through my website. Buy it and pass it along, it will make a difference. I also want to thank all the people who came to the Anti Seal Hunt Protest on March 13. There were more than a hundred people. That was awesome ‘cause people are seeing a change. The movement is growing and that’s how you make a difference; that’s how you force the government to make changes because, at the end of the day, they need us. They need our votes and the more people that can unite against animal cruelty, the more of a change we will see. At the end of the day, all activists just want to achieve three goals, in a peaceful matter: we want to spread compassion towards all animals; improve your own health and our environment!!!

vegan bodybuilders

Vegan Bodybuilding is one of the best things you can do for your body, your mind, and the environment.

aggressive strength and extreme fighting

For the record, I cut dairy completely out of my diet in 1999 (over 5 years before I ever committed to a full-Vegan diet)… This was due to an allergy that I developed in my adolescent years to dairy that effected my sinuses and everything connecting to them. For a good part of my teenage years, I suffered from severe ear infections and chronic Vertigo (which is completely miserable). It took me a few years of to finally realize that the antibiotics were only temporarily subduing a much bigger problem. I did my research and finally found the source. A lot of people don’t realize how hard milk, whey, and other dairy products are on the sinuses and respiratory system, and the dairy industry would like you to believe that you need milk to get calcium. That notion is as oxymoronic as you can get.

I have to include Howard Lyman here.  “Plain truth from the cattle rancher who won’t eat meat.” …

The question we must ask ourselves as a culture is whether we want to embrace the change that must come, or resist it. Are we so attached to the dietary fallacies with which we were raised, so afraid to counter the arbitrary laws of eating taught to us in childhood by our misinformed parents, that we cannot alter the course they set us on, even if it leads to our own ruin? Does the prospect of standing apart or encountering ridicule scare us even from saving ourselves?

As a bit of a post-script … a vegan dietitian suggests vegan nutrition websites.

I’ve been writing in my examiner column about some things to watch for when evaluating vegan nutrition resources. Today I listed my favorite websites for finding reliable information on vegan diet and, for those who don’t read the Seattle Vegan Examiner, I want to reprint them here.

Hockey Just Got Hotter

September 23rd, 2009 No comments

This guy knows what it means to pick on somebody your own size.

Everything changed, Laraque said, after he saw Earthlings, a 2006 documentary that is widely celebrated in animal-rights circles.

“It’s unconscionable what’s happening to animals in this country and the way we treat animals we eat. … I realized I had to make some big changes,” Laraque said.

Men who are man enough to call out cruelty … that’s hot.

* The link above is dead, it was a link to an article about George Laraque.  Here’s a new link to Laraque’s personal page.

Haven’t seen Earthlings yet?

What Then Will We Eat?

August 13th, 2009 No comments

Love this.  Granted there was a time when I myself was freaked out by the thought of not having a big hunk of flesh in the middle of my plate.  Gasp!  But really ya’ll … it’s just a habit.  Plates of food can look different, can be conceived of differently.   People can quit smoking, stop shooting heroine, stop drinking alcohol, stop gambling all their money away, and yes, people can also get beyond their meat addictions.  Here’s a fun video answering the age old question … “but if I don’t eat meat, what will I eat?”  If this isn’t enough, be sure to browse through my cookbook suggestions link in the sidebar.

via: VeggieDietitian

How would Jesus tip?

August 11th, 2009 No comments

I’m on vacation and admittedly not at all in the mood for actually writing about the things I have on the list to write about.  So today I’m mooching off of my other favorite blog (besides Suicide Food).  Richard Beck, in a post generally about Christian witness,  just posted a little blurb about the experience of waiting tables on Sunday afternoons, i.e., for the Church crowd.

The single most damaging phenomenon to the witness of Christianity in America today is the collective behavior of the Sunday morning lunch crowd.  Never has a more well-dressed, entitled, dismissive, haughty or cheap collection of Christians been seen on the face of the earth.

I exaggerate of course. But I hope you see my point.

Having spent a few good years as a waitress I can say this is an axiom of restaurant life.  Much like having nightmares about the table you forgot to get the ketchup to, I thought the dread of having to work the Sunday lunch shift was relegated to the secrets only servers know about the human condition, but, alas, there you have it.  He must have spent some time in the front of the house or knows a lot of people who have. When I’m President, I think I’ll make it a rule that nobody gets to vote until they’ve had to clean public bathrooms for a week and spent time as a server in a restaurant.

Creatures, flesh, and my faith

August 4th, 2009 No comments

As someone who holds a position underneath the radar of most conservative Christian thought, I find myself often struggling with the seeming futility of the things I care about.  Why would I hope for a time when we will gaze out into the world and see animals as fellow creatures of God when we can barely look at other people and see fellow children of God.  More days than not I wish I could just forget about what I know, what I’ve seen, what I continue to see about what we are in relation to the creatures at our mercy.  If it were possible to say this literally I’d say that it literally makes my soul throw up.

One of this week’s readings in a little book called “A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People” is from a book called Living Simply, and it’s about how living differently in relation to the world around us can be properly meaningful.  People ask me why I don’t eat meat and there are so many reasons that sometimes it’s hard to give the short quippy sound-bite answer most people are looking for.  I’d like to use the points from this week’s devotional to break it down.  I get the feeling that most people think I’m constantly struggling to fight back my meat cravings, that I’m involved in some sort of ascetic battle against my own mind and body.  That’s just so not true.  I saw the truth, it didn’t line up with my values, I changed my behavior.  Period.  In other words, I’ve reoriented … Read more…

Mimesis and Stepford Theology

July 26th, 2009 No comments

“Real Men” vs. Jesus?  an examination in 3 acts.

Act 1.  Gender construction via beef jerky.

Act 2.  Metaphor therapy and confusing gender roles with “issues of agentic psychology”.

Act 3.  This last one will cost you an hour and a half, but it’s worth it.  Granted, at a few points I find myself rolling my eyes, as if there isn’t already a “new” standard bearer for what healthy ‘real manhood’ looks like. (His name is Jesus, do you know him?  (HT: hp :->)  Strength of character first, all the rest is just window dressing.   My favorite part begins at 10:15, he shows examples of the hiddenness of dominant power structures. Second favorite section begins around 15:00-20:08, cultural representations of gendered bodies and guns.

Is masculinity something that can only be constructed over and against the feminine? Where does the idea of mutual exclusivity come from?   Jesus embodied both male and female characteristics.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matt 23:37 NRSVS)
“As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!” (Luke 19:41-42 NRSVS)

What Does Evangelical Mean?

May 2nd, 2009 No comments

“Evangelicals” have some particularly interesting perceptual correlates … blindness to violence towards animals and people.  And we’re the ones taking the good news to the rest of the world.  I love it.  But seriously, how is that Good News?  In response to a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Andrew Sullivan comments …

So Christian devotion correlates with approval for absolute evil in America. And people wonder why atheism is gaining in this country. Notice the poll does not even use a euphemism like “coercive interrogation” – forcing Allahpundit to substitute it. (Even HotAir, it seems, finds it difficult to write the sentence: “Evangelicals are more likely to be conservative and conservatives are more likely to support torture.”) But it remains a fact that white evangelicals are the most pro-torture of any grouping.  ~ via The Daily Dish

Imago Dei or Imago Diabolus?   If Evangelical means wanting to get more people to know the love of Jesus, the light of the world, then I’m Evangelical.  If it means knowingly and openly supporting, condoning, and ignoring violence when there are other options then, not so much.