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Have you got a ripe avocado? Are you craving a rich, creamy, chocolate dessert? Do you only have 5 minutes? Well, you’re in luck! You really must try this pudding to believe how satisfying it is. The avocado provides the fattening texture without dominating the chocolate flavor. No guilt, either!
Puree the following:
1 ripe avocado
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 C non dairy milk
3 T agave nectar
Several drops lemon juice
Refrigerate until cold. Makes about 3- 1/2 cup servings.
Oh, Joy! The circus came to town again in Everett, WA. This was my second year protesting at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. There were a total of 7 shows at the Comcast Arena this year:
- 1 on Thursday 8/23
- 1 on Friday 8/24
- 3 on Saturday 8/25
- 2 on Sunday 8/26
Why do I protest the circus?
Because I don’t think animals belong in the circus, period. Animals are not consenting performers. Animals in the circus are captive slaves. Corporate entities have no right to exploit animals for their own profit. Animals do not exist for the purpose of entertaining people.
It’s frustrating to listen to claims that ignorant people make– that circus animals are “all treated with great love and attention.” I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or bash my head against the wall when I hear that!
“Treatment” is not the issue for me. No degree of welfare regulation will ever make it okay to dominate elephants, big cats and other animals for a life of servitude. These animals deserve the right to live their own lives. Just like “humane meat” is an oxymoron, so is the fantasy concept of a humane animal circus.
- Cruel treatment IS a reality and has been well documented. Check out www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com
- Circus training techniques are inherently abusive.
- The tour schedule and travel logistics alone are inherently cruel.
Think about #3, the tour schedule for a circus animal…
“Circus animals” (elephants, big cats, horses, llamas, and goats) are on the road week after week, month after month, and year after year. Each tour city has multiple show dates. Between shows, the animals travel to the next city.
We are all well aware of how stressful tour schedules can be for human performers in music, right? Yet, even human stage performers don’t go on tour year after year, for their whole lives.
Now that the show in Everett is over, the “Gold Tour” will continue traveling on…
Kent, WA…8/31 – 9/03
Nampa, ID…9/07 – 9/09
Portland, OR…9/13 – 9/16
Billings, MT…9/20 – 9/23
Bismarck, ND…9/28 – 9/30
Des Moines, IA…10/04 – 10/07
Peoria, IL…10/12 – 10/14
Champaign, IL…10/19 – 10/21
Bethlehem, PA…10/25 – 10/28
Wilkes Barre, PA…11/01 – 11/04
Meanwhile, 2 other groups of voluntary human performers and involuntary animal performers are traveling in other parts of the U.S. in the “Blue Tour” and “Red Tour.” It looks like these money-making tours will never end.
This nightmare for animals won’t end unless caring people will make a stand en masse. People everywhere need to show up at the circus arenas in protest– refusing to support, refusing to fund, refusing to attend these barbaric shows.
Read how Ringling Bros. performs some moral gymnastics…attempting to bend, twist and stretch blatant animal cruelty into a benign form of “happy” family entertainment. The following quoted excerpts are from the Animal Care FAQ page of the www.ringling.com website. My questions and comments are indicated by the >>>>
“Ringling Bros. exceeds all federal animal welfare standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act.”
>>>> If that is true, then how come Ringling was slapped with the largest penalty in circus history? (Click the link to learn more.)
>>>> View this video of an elephant swaying neurotically. Is this the behavior of a thriving animal? (Footage was taken by a fellow protester at the Everett show.)
“We can’t say it enough: Ringling Bros. loves animals as much as you do!”
>>>> Wrong. Ringling can “say it” all they want, but a lie is still a lie. Actions speak much, much louder than words. Love and exploitation cannot coexist. The only thing that Ringling “loves” is the money that the animals bring.
Only *YOU* can stop the unnecessary exploitation of sentient beings.
Klone Peak – Mountain Biking – July 18, 2009
Klone Peak (6820 ft) is located in the Entiat mountains in Washington. Trail 1425 (Tommy Creek) is open to bikes and the tread is mostly smooth/sandy for the 5.6 mile gradual climb (partly through burned forest).
Klone Peak is on Green Trail Map #146 (Plain). Drive up the Entiat River Road (#51) from Entiat. Just past Silver Falls Campground, turn left (west) on (gravel) Road #5605 and drive to the road’s end (trailhead @ 4400 ft).
(Click on an image to enlarge and view in a photo gallery.)
1/2 C EACH: quinoa flour, millet flour, spelt flour, oat flour
2 T ground flax
1/2 t salt
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 C non-dairy milk
1 mashed banana
scant 1/2 C fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 Valencia orange)
zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1/4 C evaporated cane juice (vegan sugar)
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce (or 3 ice cubes of applesauce, thawed)
1 T olive oil
1 t vanilla extract
1 C raspberries
Combine the dry and wet ingredients separately, and combine. Fold in the raspberries. Bake in muffin liners at 350 degrees for 23 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.
My mom sent me this newspaper article in the mail. “Bringing Home the Bacon” was published in the Bend Bulletin on August 5, 2012. The short article was about Central Oregon youth auctioning off their livestock at the Deschutes County Fair.
The article sharply demonstrates how youth in 4-H are quickly taught that money has a higher value than life.
“The kids go home with a big check, more than $5000 for those who raised the biggest, most prized cattle. Most of the cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits and poultry bought by local residents, businesses and civic groups will go to the slaughterhouse and find their way to the dinner table in the coming days and months.”
“Sonna said it’s a bit difficult to part with Gus after spending nearly a year raising him, but the money she’ll make out of the deal makes it a bit easier to accept.”
“I just picture him as a big check.”
I’m glad the 10 year old feels a little better with money in hand. I’d hate to see a child in pain. But, do you think she learned any lessons about trust in this transaction? Gus endured the ultimate breach of trust, for $3.90 per pound.
A 17 year old in the article said,
“You can’t look at them like a dog, like your pet. From the beginning, that’s their purpose in life — they’re just part of the food chain.”
Isn’t it sad that children are brainwashed into thinking that killing and consuming animals is an absolutely necessary part of human nutrition? I haven’t eaten animals for years. I don’t need to. And neither do you.
Like their parents before them, children grow up not ever questioning whether it’s actually justifiable to bring animals into the world, just to turn around and take their lives away a few short months or years later.
We also witness powerful evidence of speciesism:
“…some kids have a tougher time than others letting go of the animals they’ve spent months raising. Much of it depends on the animal — pigs are affectionate and reasonably easy to grow fond of…but sheep…are less intelligent and much easier to view as meat in the making.”
I must ask:
Should our moral obligation toward other living beings really hedge on arbitrary criteria like form, temperament, and intelligence? Don’t dogs, pigs, and sheep possess equal interest in avoiding harm?
Now let’s switch gears. Let’s go forward in time. Children in 4-H grow up. Listen to the words of one such 64 year-old man…
Fred Lundren is the owner and CEO of KCAA AM 1050 radio in Southern California. He is a former cattle rancher who went vegan earlier this year. His interesting interview with Bob Linden can be heard on the June 17, 2012 episode of “Go Vegan With Bob Linden.”
Fred grew up in the 4-H culture. At about 26 minutes into the podcast, Fred recounts his own childhood indoctrination by the 4-H club:
“Well, it’s supposed to teach us to use animals as a product. It’s just designed to do that, and it’s done quite well. But it had an opposite affect on me.
I was actually president of our 4-H club, and an officer in FFA. And, I got a Lone Star farmer degree in Animal Science. So I’ve been there and done that, and raised animals for a living…”
“In 1965 I raised a champion steer at the Austin Livestock Show. And, when I was leading that steer up the ramp to the trailer where it was gonna go to slaughter, it was hesitant, but I convinced it to do so. I took the halter off of it…it walked up into the trailer, and then when it got inside the trailer it turned around and belIowed at me. And that was the moment that I realized what I was doing.”
At 40 minutes:
“…For all my life, I have ignored that episode from my youth when I actually saw the animal respond to me in a knowing way. And, like most people we just block it out. We eat our BBQ, we eat our hamburgers, we eat our steaks. And, as a matter of fact, I was born and raised in what’s known as the sausage capital of Texas: Elgin. And they have 3 sausage factories there. And you can imagine how much beef I’ve eaten in my life.”
“…I had to slaughter one calf in my life…and I will never do that again.”
“When I became a vegan, something changed, not only in my metabolism, but in my way of thinking. Because about a month ago, my wife and daughter ordered a steak. And of course I ate broccoli and beans and peas and everything vegan for the evening. But, in the middle of the night I thought, “you know, I wonder”..and they had some steaks leftover, and they had it in a plastic bag, and I says, “I wonder how that would taste.” And I went to the refrigerator, I looked in the refrigerator and that steak looked like dead flesh to me. It did not look like a steak. And I thought, “My God, I need to call Bob and tell him.””
I think it’s appropriate to end this post with the core principles from 4-H:
Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four Hs in 4-H, and they are the four values members work on through fun and engaging programs.
Head – Managing, Thinking
Heart – Relating, Caring
Hands – Giving, Working
Health – Being, Living
The 4-H Pledge
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”
(Reference: 4-H website)
In 2010, we were on our way to the Washington coast and we noticed the Blue Angels at Boeing Field during a practice session. We stopped to watch for a while. It was intense to see and hear five jets take off at once!
It’s really unfortunate that Seafair– year after year– seems to be inextricably linked with the Oh Boy! Oberto company. Why?
I discovered on the Miss Madison Unlimited Hydroplane website that:
“The Obertos’ Seattle-based meat products business is the second oldest corporate sponsor in Unlimited racing.”
In case you didn’t know…The Oberto Sausage Company has been in the business of turning sentient animals– cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys– into “jerky,” “pepperoni,” and meat “sticks” since 1918.
Here’s something really interesting (if not at all surprising):
Apparently, the Oberto Sausage Company, in partnership with The National MS Society, Greater Washington Chapter, is also “making outstanding strides towards finding a cure for MS.”
How is a sausage company doing that?
In 2009, they were a corporate sponsor for a 2-day MS Society event “to find a cure for MS.” The company provided Oberto sausages to the 10,000 walkers for lunch.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find it beyond bizarre that anyone would consider it wise to feed anyone interested in any disease’s “cure” SAUSAGES for a fundraiser lunch.
Furthermore, with respect to Multiple Sclerosis specifically, there is ample evidence that a low-fat plant-based diet is an important factor in:
- preventing the onset of MS,
- decreasing symptom severity, and
- slowing the disease’s progression.
I digress. Back to Seafair…
This post was supposed to be about the perpetual “meat pushing” that goes on in mainstream society. Seafair is a case in point: I can’t watch a simple boat race without being literally bombarded by the logo of a company that profits from unnecessarily exploiting and killing animals. (To be clear, they are only in business because people are willing to buy their products.)
Again, it seems beyond bizarre that vegans are the ones constantly being accused of “pushing” a certain kind of diet.
So, there I was watching the “Meatfair” television coverage and I noticed the Twitter feed along the bottom of the television screen. I decided to provide one of the few (if any) anti-meat messages on the television for viewers today:
By the way– here’s that blueberry ice cream, from Lick It! (Contains blueberries, coconut milk, sugar, agave nectar, non-dairy milk and vanilla bean):
Mackenzie Dierks, from Pork Checkoff:
“One of the things you touched on was a lactose source, such as whey, and its importance, and also the challenges it can create as a part of the nursery pig diet. Can you expand on that?”
Joel DeRouchery, from Kansas State University:
“Lactose is a very common nutrient that we look at to formulate into starter pig diets. Lactose is the milk sugar, so pigs really like the taste. It’s highly digestible in that transition period from the sow on into weaning. So it’s very typical we have some sort of lactose source from weaning, up until the pigs are about 25 pounds.”
“One thing that’s happened over this last portion of this year is that the lactose price has greatly increased. In fact, spray-dried whey is priced around 75 cents per pound. And if we go back historical, 4 years ago, it was 24 cents per pound.”
It seems that everyone’s getting dairy products except infant cows.
And, it seems that baby animals of various kinds are denied their own milk from their mothers.
Let’s back up a second and review Biology 101…
Cow + Pregnancy = Baby Cow
Cow Lactation = Food for Baby Cow
Pig + Pregnancy = Baby Pig
Pig Lactation = Food for Baby Pig
Human + Pregnancy = Baby Human
Human Lactation = Food for Baby Human
That’s what nature intended.
Now, a step-by-step sequence describing how humans have screwed with nature:
- Humans want Cow Lactation.
- Humans take the Food for Baby Cow from Baby Cow.
- Humans feed Baby Cow a “milk replacer.”
- Humans calculate the economic usefulness of Baby Cow in order to determine his or her ultimate fate.
- Humans want to consume lots of Pig flesh.
- Lots of Pig flesh requires lots of dead Pigs.
- Humans breed lots of Pigs in order to kill lots of Pigs in order to consume lots of Pigs.
- Humans remove baby Pig from mother Pig as early as possible.
- Humans feed baby Pig “milk replacer” from a Cow.
- Humans like to breed, kill and consume one type of animal in order to breed, kill and consume another type of animal.
- Humans like to take what is not rightly theirs to take.
- Humans have zero requirement for (non-human) animal Lactation.
- Humans learn speciesist behaviors based on societal indoctrination.
- Humans are capable of challenging social norms.
It’s time to stop disrespecting nature.
Live vegan and let’s stop the insanity!
Today was bittersweet. I’m happy…It’s my 4th veganniversary!
It’s also a very sad day, because today I lost my best goat friend, Bubba.
Every animal has inherent worth, but Bubba was extra special to me. He was sweet as pie, but in a regal and so very dignified way. Often, I would stand close to him and just savor his presence. He wouldn’t walk away for several minutes. I cherish those memories.
I felt a unique connection with Bubba. I loved to crouch down in front of him, hold his face in my hands and just stare into his eyes. What can I say…I love him just like I love my kitties…past and present.
I’m happy that, from now on, I’ll associate Bubba with my veganniversaries…
It is because I went vegan 4 years ago that I sought out the opportunity to work and play with the animal residents of New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary. I started volunteering at the farm within the first couple months of going vegan because I wanted to help “farm” animals in a direct and tangible way.
I’m sure that the animals at the sanctuary have helped me a lot more than I’ve helped them. When I’m alone with the animals, I’m grounded. The serenity of the barn and the pasture is immensely therapeutic.
If I hadn’t gone vegan, I wouldn’t have known Bubba or any of the other goats, sheep, dogs, cats, horses and donkeys of the farm. I also gained a wonderful human friend there. Veganism has blessed me in a thousand…a million…a gazillion ways.
I’m very sad that I won’t ever stand beside Bubba in the pasture again, but I’m happy that he was infinitely loved and so well cared for. Too many animals are not so lucky. If you really think about it, there is really no difference between the animals who are consumed and the animals who are rescued.
I’m vegan for all of the animals. Until my last breath I will use my voice to help liberate innocent animals from unjust servitude.