"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Recap of the Last Week

It'd be silly of me to try to find a common theme for everything that's occurred in the last week. So here it is: a miscellaneous post!

* On Tuesday, I attended a City Council meeting regarding an ordinance that will ban the chaining of dogs for more than three consecutive hours. (The old law, which was difficult to enforce, said that dogs couldn't be chained for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.) I was one of more than 20 people signed up to speak in favor of the ordinance, but the mayor made it clear that all of us didn't need to speak. The ordinance passed unanimously.
* On Wednesday, I went to a Cirque du Soleil performance for the first time. I've been protesting the Ringling and Shrine circuses for more than five years, and I've always used the line "Go to a circus that doesn't use animals, like Cirque du Soleil." The wait was worth it! From stilt-walking to amazing dance numbers to an amazing hula-hoop routine, it was an impressive human spectacle that certainly didn't need to abuse tigers and elephants to dazzle the crowd. So go check out a circus that doesn't use animals, like Cirque du Soleil or any of the others listed here!
* On Thursday, my parents (who were in town for the week) and I attended a massive vegan Thanksgiving potluck. We had stuffing, Tofurky, many potato and vegetable dishes, and lots of desserts--a fantastic feast with everything but a bird's carcass!
* On Friday, my mom and I participated in a Fur-Free Friday demo. This year's event was meant to highlight the abuse of animals not only for fur but for leather and wool as well. The demo was very well received by passing cars, many of which gave us supportive honks. We reached quite a few people because it took place outside a mall on the busiest shopping day of the year.
* This evening, I purchased a nice variety of nuts in their shells for Tu B'Shvat. True, Tu B'shvat is still more than two months away. But I had trouble finding nuts in their shells last year, and I wanted to buy them now, when they're out in the supermarkets, before it's too late. I'm greatly looking forward to Hanukkah (and I have some terrific posts in mind for next month), but Tu B'Shvat is my favorite holiday and it's already on my mind.


Veg Thanksgiving: Really, Why Not?

For years, products like Tofurky and Unturkey have been on the market with varying levels of appeal. This year, there's a brand-new product: Garden Protein (which makes the mock meat used in Morningstar Farms' Meal Starters Chik'n and Steak strips) has come up with an out-of-this-world Veggie Turkey Breast With Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing. It's hands-down the best vegetarian turkey product on the market, and it's one of the best mock meats I've ever had in terms of both taste and texture. Make sure you check it out, for Thanksgiving and beyond.

Not only is it easier than ever to celebrate a vegetarian Thanksgiving, it's also more important than ever before. Earlier this year, PETA conducted its first-ever investigation of a turkey slaughterhouse. The appalling abuses documented at a Butterball slaughterhouse that slaughters 50,000 birds each day beg us to leave turkeys off our tables this holiday. Slaughterhouse workers were seen stomping on and punching live birds and slamming them against walls. One worker stepped on a turkey's head until her skull exploded, one caused a turkey's spine to pop out by slamming her against a metal handrail, and another inserted his finger into a bird's vagina. These sickening abuses were not isolated incidents: They're par for the course in poultry slaughterhouses, as previous PETA undercover investigations have shown. For more information, please visit ButterballCruelty.com.

When we're giving thanks this holiday, it seems a lot more appropriate to do so without the guilt of supporting the horrible abuses of the turkey industry--especially when easy and tasty alternatives to turkey flesh are readily available.


heebnvegan's Very First Guest Post

Time after time, I have talked about how easy it is to be vegan. (And I stand by that!) I'll have another post about that topic tomorrow. However, not everything is one-sided. There are complications here and there, and heebnvegan's very first guest post talks about that side of things. Below, in his own words, my friend David talks about the trials and tribulations of being a vegan Jew. He poignantly captures the essence of what is occasionally a struggle. For me, the most moving part is when his grandma's friend's granddaughter becomes appalled and clearly isn't interested in him.

Any other ideas for guest posts? Send 'em my way! Note: Guest posts do not reflect the opinion of this blog or its blogger.

A few years ago I was visiting my grandma back home and I went with her to this "Christmas" party that friends of hers threw every year. Everyone was Jewish but it was held on Christmas when the kids were home from college and the adults who’d scattered around the country could go “home” for the holidays and all of that. In any case, the party was catered by some Jewish caterer down there and my grandma had said that they would have some pasta or salad whatever for me. To be safe, I ate before we left. So what did they have for me? Not even a salad—just some plain carrot and celery sticks. Apparently, I'm a rabbit.

Now, these friends of my grandma’s had a granddaughter a year or two younger than I was (am)…I think my grandma had wanted to set us up or something like that at some point before then. In any case, when dinner was served I went into the kitchen to see what was being served to the ‘regular’ people to see if there was anything for me to eat in there. (There didn’t seem to be, and anything that might have looked like it was probably would have had butter or God knows what else in it.) Then I went looking for this salad or whatever. The granddaughter saw me and I think maybe pointed at this plate of celery and carrot sticks and—with such a look of utter disgust that anyone would be satisfied with such drek—said something like, “I think that’s for you.” I answered something like how yeah, that’s what I’d figured. I had absolutely no interest in eating any of it, but snacked a bit on a couple of carrot sticks, so as not to be rude. But I did assure people that, no, it’s not typically what I eat but it’s all right, I ate some before the party! (Again…not wanting to be rude in case I’d be overheard or the hosts would hear what I’d said, so…I tried to make the point without saying how ridiculously disappointing it was!)

I was pretty newly vegan…like about 5 months into it though I’d been “on the way” for a while before I went vegan 100%. I felt like everyone was aware of my odd diet and the fact that I worked for an animal rights organization in association with it. I felt the stares! And then the granddaughter’s look of disgust in association with all of that. Good times. I totally remember thinking as I was sitting there, “What am I, a friggin’ RABBIT???”

I know, it’s not like you should expect people to go out of their way from you, but…that’s all they could come up with?? These people had money, too. The thing was catered, complete with staff. No one could put something more interesting together?

Oh, the life of a vegan…