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August-05-2012

Today was Seafair Sunday in Seattle, WA.  The highlights of Seafair are the Navy’s Blue Angels Air Show and the hydroplane races on Lake Washington.

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.”

No wonder.

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:

  1. preventing the onset of MS,
  2. decreasing symptom severity, and
  3. slowing the disease’s progression.

Read this excellent article by Dr. John McDougall for details and references.

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:

Yes…GO VEGAN!

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):

Monday, May 14, 2012

Today I was rollerblading on a paved trail near my house.  The side of the path had been freshly mowed.  There, I saw about 5 dead baby possums who must have been killed by the mower.  There was no blood, and the bodies were intact.  I think they were crushed.

Seeing them made me think about all the animals killed during the production of food crops:  field mice, moles, rabbits and others, who unknowingly get in the way of the farm machinery.

Some people like to use the fact that “animals die in the harvesting of plants” as an argument to discredit a vegan’s decision to leave animals off her plate.  I respond:  Should I go back to eating animals because I can’t help the small mammals who meet their untimely deaths out in the farm fields?

If I can’t help it that a bird got killed by my car while driving, does it mean that I should go back to eating chickens?  No.  I don’t want to kill either bird:  not a sparrow by accident or a chicken on purpose.  I want to cause as little harm as humanly possible.

Animals who are killed for food don’t just magically grow big and plump without eating.  Animals who are intentionally killed are fed plants first.  The two main “animal feed” crops in animal agriculture are corn and soybeans.  A high percentage are genetically modified and heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Animals eat plants and then people eat the animals.  More animal death is caused by eating animals than by simply eating plants directly.  Eat organic, non-GMO plants whenever possible.

What about “grass-fed” animals, you ask?  The fact is, grass-fed livestock are rarely 100% grass-fed.  Pastured livestock are raised on grassy pastures, but their diet is supplemented with grains, especially in colder climates.  Pastured cows, bison, pigs, turkeys and chickens are typically at least partially grain-fed even when they’re called “free-range,” “organic,” “heirloom,” and “heritage.”

In addition, numerous animals– wild horses, badgers, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, wolves, opossum, raccoons, skunks, beavers, nutrias, porcupines, prairie dogs, black birds, cattle egrets, and starlings– are killed for the purpose of “protecting” ranchers’ interests (i.e. their livestock, their livelihood.)

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS) has been tasked to “help people resolve wildlife damage to a wide variety of resources.”  (In this case, “resources” means cattle.  The cattle are physically protected up until the time they are slaughtered.)  Wildlife Services (WS) uses the following methods of “resolution”:  poisoning, trapping, snaring, denning (denning = pouring kerosene into a den, setting fire to it, and burning young animals alive), shooting, and aerial gunning.

Back to my point.

Yes, even in the “best case scenario,” a certain percentage of animals will be killed through not so pain-free methods:  Animals are hit by cars, bugs get squashed, critters are unfortunate victims of combine harvesters and lawnmowers, and animals are routinely consumed by other animals.

I highly doubt that people routinely go into grocery stores thinking– while picking up pork chops– “Well I couldn’t save that possum from being killed by the mower, so I might as well be the reason this pig had to die.”

That’s not how it works.  People typically select animal products because 1) animal products taste good, 2) people are accustomed to buying animal products, and 3) people believe that animal products are essential to a healthy diet.

I think that some people who use the “animals die in the harvesting of plants” line of reasoning are simply looking for an reason to continue consuming animals.

Bottom line:  it all comes down to daily choices.  We can either choose to consume animals that we know for a fact were killed, or we can try our best to avoid unnecessary death.

When shopping for food, we can all choose fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, herbs and spices.  We can strive to choose whole, organic, non-GMO foods.  We can avoid animal products– including, but not limited to– chickens, pigs, cows, fishes, eggs, milk and cheese.

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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