Posts tagged Animal Rights

Y not cease fishing in the Gulf of Mexico?

Ever wonder what vegans eat? Well, we eat A LOT of things 🙂  Here’s just a sample of what my wonderful vegan BF made for dinner last night …

* * * * * *

In other random thoughts, we were talking about the oil spill again last night and about the moratorium on deep water drilling, which can be debated whether that is a good thing or not, but … Why hasn’t anyone suggested a MORATORIUM ON FISHING???!!!  Let the species recover for g-d’s sake.. why has this not occurred to anyone? We don’t dare rob people of their precious seafood dinner, but we’ll gladly rob the life of innocents for our palate. Talk about addiction (as in, addiction to fossil fuels), this one is so deep under wraps that no one dare speak of it. Wake up people. Fish are going to be gone from your waters in a few decades at this rate and then you will HAVE TO give up eating them.


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Vegan Waffle Party!!

I’m officially not blogging anymore.

However, I do want to promote, in case you got here via that I will be hosting a Vegan Waffle Party on May 29. Location TBA in Pontiac MI … if I have enough support it will include a film showing and possibly live music.

Please suggest a vegan-themed film.
Right now I am leaning towards “The Witness”.

leave a comment to RSVP or if you have questions, suggestions. THanks!!

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oh the mayhem

I keep planning on writing and then spending hours surfing Model Mayhem instead … sheesh. It’s weirdly addictive and probably unhealthy …

But anyway. Couple of things. I wanted to say that the day after I posted the item about PCRM protesting U of M’s use of animals for trauma training .. I was driving in my car and heard on NPR that UofM agreed to stop using live animals!!! Yaay! I was so escstatic I think I actually cheered.

On to the more real to life stuff.  I have been feeling up and down, overall rather depressed lately.  Main reason being that my most recent romantic relationship is over. I mean, I ended it, at the end of a perfectly ‘normal’ and even delightful weekend trip. Even I was not quite expecting it, but I just thought “It can’t go on like this.”  “Like this” is my being totally ambivalent and at times quite dissatisfied, but rationalizing why I should stay in. In the end, I really needed to be back with myself. Which is what I wanted in the first place, six months ago … [the sad part is, he didn’t even protest, fight, try to convince me otherwise. Then, we might’ve had a chance. ]

UPDATE 3/11: A few days later, EXbeau called me to finally tell me how he really felt. What a relief to hear the anger, sadness, etc. for real! We had a great conversation and cried with each other, and at the end came out as friends. I feel good about that. I think it was a new experience for him, and we both got to learn something about ourselves …

UPDATE 3/20: EXbeau and I are not talking.

This is nothing new. I’m really trying to pay attention to the patterns here. I’m someone who has hardly been single since practically the 6th grade when I was kissed on the cheek on the monkey bars… Though I would say I generally am a confident person, I have long defined at least part of myself by my partners.  This is the part that is difficult. I really begin to view my propensity to pair up as an addiction cycle.  It’s like, just when I am feeling most alone, sad, whatever, I can usually find someone who will not only listen but take me away, at least temporarily from that pain. I catch myself going there again and again. I have to stop and tell myself that I have a choice, how could I constructively focus that energy on myself and not on another person?

I don’t think that hiding from pain and lonliness is what I should be doing anymore. Besides, I’m so cynical now from all my ‘failed’ relationships, it’s hard for me to rejoice in the midst of a potentially happy, magical, loving one.

Some of the things I’ve been doing to keep myself ‘sober’ – on the relationship fast, if you will – are swimming (I got a gym membership and loving it!); writing; working on my two current creative persuits: modeling and crafting. They jockey for position, right now the modeling is primary, but I think that crafting will get me more in touch with myself again. I’m hoping to try some collage along with some dreamwork that my Best Friend and I have been sharing …

That’s it for now… Thanks for tuning in to my world!!

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Call to action! Stop U of M testing on live dogs!

I won’t be able to be there but I want to spread the word about this:

*Physicians Comittee for Responsible Medicine


Dear PCRM* Supporter,

You can still help end the University of Michigan’s use of live dogs for trauma training. In recent weeks, supporters like you have sent more than 19,000 e-mails to university administrators asking them to end the use of live dogs in the school’s Advanced Trauma Life Support course. However, the decision-makers at the University of Michigan don’t seem to be getting the message that most of these courses are taught with advanced medical simulators-not with live animals.

That’s why PCRM will lead a demonstration at the University of Michigan (U-M) on March 5, just two weeks before the school’s next scheduled Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course. Please join us and bring your dogs!

What: Physician-led peaceful demonstration at U-M
When: Thursday, March 5, 11 a.m.
Location: Southeast corner of S. State St. and N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI
Parking: Please use nearby public parking.

Signs will be provided. Please make sure to dress warmly. No RSVP is required

Please forward this e-mail to your friends and family within driving distance of Ann Arbor and ask them to join you at the demonstration.

Documents obtained by PCRM under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act reveal that U-M is using lost or surrendered pets from Michigan shelters for its ATLS course. At U-M, this course involves cutting open live, anesthetized dogs and practicing emergency medical procedures. After the training session, the animals are killed. All of this happens even though the school owns a validated nonanimal teaching method as part of its state-of-the-art medical simulation center.

While a handful of institutions like U-M continue to use live animals, the American College of Surgeons, the ATLS oversight body, has approved nonanimal models like the TraumaMan System, Synman, and human cadavers for these courses. Across the United States and Canada more than 90 percent of ATLS courses are taught using only human-based simulators.

Please visit to learn more. Thank you so much for your support. If you have any questions, please contact me at

Best regards,

Ryan Merkley
Manager of Humane Education Programs

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste. 400
Washington, DC 20016 Phone: 202-686-2210

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Virtual Battery Hen Cage

I just wanted to put a link to this site.
Check it out! It’s a virtual 3-D representation of what life is like for a battery hen cage. The maker has a few other projects in the works to help people visualize the real impact of factory farming on the lives of animals.
Educate yo’self!

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One vegetarian at a time …

That’s how change happens.

I’m delighted to report that my beau of six months told me last night that he is committing, taking the first step and going to be a pesco-ovo-vegetarian (he’d already scrapped dairy after hearing a lecture by a vegan nutritionist)!  According to him, it’s a very logical decision and he’s approaching it from ‘mind over matter’ perspective. Next on his ‘to-read’ list: Animal Liberation by Peter Singer.

Slowly, one step at a time …

A few weeks ago my supervisor at work [who’s also a yoga teacher], committed to being vegetarian. We went grocery shopping together.

One step at a time.

My housemate/cousin told me yesterday that given the option for a chicken or vegetable dish, she opted for the vegetable dish.  She says how she feels better eating less meat and doesn’t crave it hardly anymore.

One vegetarian meal at a time!

I also met a lovely vegan gal at the art center this weekend. There were only 11 people in this group and 2 of us were vegan!  It’s so great to think what percentage of the population is now taking this easy step to alter their dietary & lifestyle choice for the benefit of their health, the planet, and of course, the non-human animals.

Slowly, it’s happening.  Consciousness is being raised.

Everyday I talk to people who are reducing their intake of animals & animal products, realizing how unecessary, wasteful and cruel it is.  I truly believe this is the way to a more peaceful, happy, healthful future.

I challenge you [readers] to take a 30-day pledge to go meat-free and see if you don’t feel better!  March is national meat-out month.  Just leave a comment and let me know if you’re taking this on …

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Strong Hearts Cafe, Syracuse NY

Reprinting here the text of an article on the newest VEG*N cafe upstate. I went there a few weeks ago after the Syr Veg Fest – great atmosphere, great ‘milkshakes.’  Although, unfortunately, that’s when I discovered that I am *allergic* to soy, after downing a giant chocolate cherry shake.

Read on ———————-

Men Open Vegan Cafe
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
By Michelle Breidenbach
Staff writer

The menu says, “Nobility lies in actions.”

For a long time, noble actions for Joel Capolongo and Nick Ryan meant protesting outside fur shops and chasing whaling ships around the frigid waters near Antarctica.

Now, action means mixing up a batch of muffins before the 8 a.m. crowd arrives at the Strong Hearts Cafe, the new vegan restaurant they opened at 719 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. The two have poured their bleeding hearts into bowls and blenders.

They met through animal-rights activism while Ryan, 24, was studying psychology and music at Syracuse University and Capolongo, 31, was a manager at the OfficeMax in Fairmount.

Together, they protested outside Georgio’s Furs in downtown Syracuse.

They chose to fight fur because they thought it was something people could grasp more easily than food. No one could make an argument that they were wearing a fur coat for sustenance, they said.

The two adhere to the straight-edge philosophy. They don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. They also don’t eat meat or dairy products. They’ve been vegans for almost half their lives.

Late last year, they were eating tofu cream cheese bagels in a Queens restaurant. It was comfortable, well-lit and friendly.

“We looked around and thought, if this place was in Syracuse, it would kill,” Capolongo said.

That planted the seed.

But after that, they did everything else backward.

First, they found a place to rent. Then, they wrote a business plan. With competition for the lease, they did not have time to figure out how to ask the city or state governments for grants. They came up with money from their own savings and from family and friends.

Then, they planned the menu. It would not include pad Thai or burritos or the other options available to Syracuse vegans, usually one at a time at each ethnic restaurant.

It would be all vegan, not just vegetarian.

That means no animal products; no milk, cheese or eggs. They would use mock meats and soy-based products, such as Teese brand cheese.

Nothing would be fried.

They would cook the comfort food they eat at home. The only restaurant work experience between the two of them is the time Capolongo washed dishes at a diner for about two months at age 15 and Ryan worked in an SU dining hall for about a year, filling drinks and washing tables.

The night before they opened the cafe doors to the public, they practiced cooking on their friends.

At first, it seemed easy, heat stuff up and put it on bread.

But they quickly learned, for example, that breakfast burritos take too long to cook for the masses. That lasted only one day on the menu.

A “chicken” salad whipped up on the fly with mock chicken and vegan mayo worked, however, and has become the most popular sandwich. Some of their milkshake flavors — no milk included — were made for the first time and handed to customers without a test taste from the chef.

They serve breakfast all day — pancakes, waffles and French toast. There is a tofu scramble described on the menu like this: “Think scrambled eggs but less gross and more yummy.”

For lunch, there are fake turkey, phony bacon, marinated tofu and roasted veggie sandwiches. There are soups, salads and side dishes such as chipotle potato salad.

Their MySpace page is filled with people craving a milkshake. In the restaurant’s first 11 days, they sold 689 milkshakes. They come in flavors called the “Che Guevara” (coffee), the “Tiananmen Square Guy” (green tea) and “Team Hoyt” (dreamsickle flavor.) It’s named for the father/son marathon team Dick and Rick Hoyt. Dick Hoyt pushes and pulls his quadriplegic son Rick through marathons, triathlons and over mountains.

“It shows that true love is possible and love that deep is possible,” Ryan said.

They incorporated their personal heroes and other symbols of their lives into all parts of the restaurant.

Strong Hearts implies healthy eating and that’s OK with them.

But the name really comes from the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, who is said to have said, “Ho-ka hey! It is a good day to fight! It is a good day to die! Strong hearts, brave hearts, to the front! Weak hearts and cowards to the rear.”

It also has to do with another animal rights activist Capolongo and Ryan consider a hero: Rod Coronado. Coronado spent time in federal prison in the early 1990s for his animal rights activism. He has helped sink Icelandic whaling ships and burned down an animal research lab at Michigan State University. He wrote a publication from jail called “Strong Hearts” that is out of print but still circulates among militant grass-roots animal rights activists and environmentalists.

Capolongo spent 30 days in a Georgia jail after he was convicted of disorderly conduct in a protest at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, on the Emory University campus. He said he has spent many nights in jail in Syracuse for protests and civil disobedience.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s extreme,” he said of the activism that landed him behind bars. “I think it’s my responsibility to take action. Silence is complicity.”

Ryan said he doesn’t have any exciting jail stories. But he grew up feeling isolated in Weedsport farm country, where he objected to the methods farmers used to raise animals for food. At Syracuse University, he said, he found other like-minded people and started organizing speakers and joining protests.

Capolongo and Ryan admire people who try to change the world in big ways.

They also see that as their responsibility.

But they talk in more humble terms about their current work. They describe themselves as “two dudes with a fork and knife.” They like to make food and play no-limit Texas Hold’Em.

And they take pleasure in small moments of change.

They said their concoctions have persuaded three people to go vegan.

“To me, that’s the ultimate reward, when people make that connection that I made a long time ago,” Capolongo said. “As far as activism goes, this is probably one of the most effective things I’ve done.”

– Syracuse Post-Standard

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