The vegan challenge 2015. It's happening!

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meagan perry
The vegan challenge 2015. It's happening!

The rabble.ca vegan challenge launched today for Earth Day, and it runs until the 29th. Vegan resources, information, and most importantly recipes. If you're in the mood, share your ideas and recipes with us on our facebook page, or check out our vegan challenge blog. Here's the first post of this year's challenge, with more to come.

Will any babblers be taking this up? I'm looking forward to reading the discussion.

 

lagatta

I have greatly cut down on animal products, more by following a traditional Mediterranean diet as much as possible in this frozen waste as by attempting to be vegan. No way am I going to wear plastic shoes, or think a plastic sweater is more sustainable than a woollen one.

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W

I first started using it in baking through the gluten free route, but tapioca-based cakes are actually far superior to flour-based. They stay moist for days, and also eliminate the need for eggs and milk.

 

MegB

I started cooking vegan when my gallbladder was giving me grief. It's more work but I didn't notice any significant increase in our grocery bill and the meals were tasty and satifsying. I still eat meat but less than before - I'm trying to get away from factory farmed food products for ethical and health reasons but it's difficult, especially off-season.

lagatta

There are some vegan solutions i use happily, such as chickpea flour crêpes. I don't find those too hard to digest (I have a hell of a time with a lot of beans). In general, I try to eat a lot of vegetables, but it is more challenging in cold weather, as most of them aren't local or truly fresh. In terms of cost (but NOT local origin) the Southeast Asian superette nearby (Marché Oriental) is a big help. Of course in season Jean-Talon Market is splendid in terms of fresh produce.

I don't think I'd ever become truly vegan; I do love fish, though I know it is becoming more and more unsustainable. I've never been big on red meat, and my mother preferred to serve poultry or fish most times.

I love tempeh (easy to find cheap when I'm in Amsterdam) and wish plain, fresh tempeh was more accessible here. It is the protein of the poor in Indonesia and culturally related Southeast Asian countries, and here is often available only frozen and flavoured, and ridiculously overpriced. Tempeh is a fermented soyafood, and easier to digest and more nutrtious than other soya-based foods.

One thing I absolutely refuse is to wear plastic shoes. My shoulder bag isn't leather, but I have arthritis, and synthetic shoes always hurt my feet.

6079_Smith_W

Tempeh isn't that hard to make. way less complicated than croissants. You do need a sort of incubator (warming tray and thermostat)  to keep it at a steady temperature for three days, and you have to control humidity and keep it clean as you do with beer. But I had success on the first try, despite warnings that  it is the most difficult myco-fermentation process,and any false step would end in a stinking black mess.

That said, I didn't enjoy it as much as I do tofu, and stuff that is more in the same vein I do with lentils and brewers yeast, with tastier results.

But you can do it at home. Gem cultures is the best source, but I expect you can find something local down east.

And it is an amazing process to watch a pile of beans turn into a mat of mushroom.

 

Slumberjack

If unethical and horrific practices are the rationale that motivates veganism, and in that you really can't blame people for swearing off of animal parts, then wearing plastic shoes and clothing contributes to serious issues related to the hydrocarbon industry, with it's unethical practices around the world.  Then there's the problem of how all of the alternative vegan products arrive on our grocery shelves if it isn't the corporate supply chain facilitating it.  Do we have good visibility on the conditions under which all of the nuts and various leafy green products and associated derivitives are produced by workers around the world.  Obviously global corporate agriculture and labour practices have to be suspected.  On the premise that no completely ethical life is possible, it falls to individuals and groups to decide in which direction they will go in responding to the various topical concerns.  So happy vegan challenging to everyone involved.  Me, I'm considering going barefoot instead of wearing plastic shoes, because after this winter with all the ice cold leakages I discovered that I'm not far from that already.

Timebandit

I think promoting a restrictive diet is irresponsible. 

I understand the ethical/moral choice to go vegan, but the fact is that a vegan diet is hard to sustain without supplementation.  It is not a balanced and healthy diet.  There are sustainable alternatives to veganism, perhaps we should promote those instead.

 

meagan perry

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I first started using it in baking through the gluten free route, but tapioca-based cakes are actually far superior to flour-based. They stay moist for days, and also eliminate the need for eggs and milk.

 

 

Do you have recipes to share? I've eaten tapioca flour food before but didn't realize it eliminated the need for dairy and milk. That's great!

6079_Smith_W

I am likely never going to give up fat, meat, eggs and milk either, but I have no problem with an exercise that might teach a new way of doing things.

Actually the more interesting challenge here isn't the meat, since vegetarianism isn't that unfamiliar. But doing without eggs and milk as well makes it interesting.

 

 

Timebandit

I don't have a problem with vegan dishes or new ways of doing things, either.  What I do take issue with is a "challenge" that takes a restrictive, often not entirely healthy, diet choice and lionizes it as superior in any of the realms of health, morality or sustainability.  (I'd also like to note that it's difficult to grow organic veggies without animal shit.  The most sustainable farm is a mixed farm.)

FWIW, I have a number of vegan recipes in my repertoire and we enjoy them.  However, "going vegan" is hyped more than it needs to be and I'm disappointed that rabble.ca is doing it *AGAIN*. 

6079_Smith_W

That's okay. I don't look on it as any different than earth hour, personally. Cutting the power permanently would probably be a disaster. Doing it in the short term to remind us about both the cost and scarcity of certain products, and different ways of doing things? Fine by me.

 

 

Timebandit

It's the whiff of moral superiority that gets up my nose.  Veganism is no more moral or sustainable or inexpensive than well-thought-out omnivorious eating.  So the exercise is rather an empty one, other than it makes vegans feel warm and fuzzy about their delusion.

ETA: Turning off your lights for an hour is unlikely to affect one's health.  Vitamin deficiency from a misbegotten challenge, however, may. 

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
 However, "going vegan" is hyped more than it needs to be and I'm disappointed that rabble.ca is doing it *AGAIN*. 

Well I'm not disappointed.  To feel disappointed I would've had to expect that it wouldn't be done.

Timebandit

Actually, the big problem is that pro-vegan sites downplay the potential pitfalls of a vegan diet and excoriate sources that point them out.  It's extremely difficult to come out of it with a clear picture even after having spent a large amount of time and effort in researching a vegan diet.  The fact is, most people wind up with deficiencies if they attempt to go vegan without supplementation.  Any diet that requires supplements is *not* a balanced or healthful diet. I don't see the virtue in choosing that any more than I see the virtue in eating at McD's every day.

So yeah, it's up to the individual, but what I'm taking issue with is an organization promoting a way of eating that isn't a healthful one in a way that makes it seem morally or ethically superior. 

6079_Smith_W

Is there ANY diet where someone doesn't have to pay attention to what they eat?

I actually agree with you about al things in moderation, and the appropriateness of that diet for our climate, but I hardly think a vegan diet compares with the imbalances in a regular diet. Even the standard recommended diet flies in the face of the fact that as adults we aren't designed to be eating milk, and that a large part of an entire hemisphere does without it just fine.

Thinking some people are snobs about it, or some people don't do their homework really should be put in perspective of how people deal with eating generally, because frankly there are plenty of practices which raise far bigger red flags for me than veganism.

Timebandit

We aren't "designed" at all.  Most humans of northern European descent, however, have a mutation that makes us able to consume dairy easily, bequeathed to us by our opportunistically-eating ancestors.  Recommending dairy is not inappropriate.  We've been incorporating dairy for millenia with good effect - either straight from the cow or in the form of cheeses and yoghurts - all over the world.  The former even outside the population of mutants we northerners are.

There's very little that we humans can't eat.  Humans are opportunistic omnivores.  Health-wise, we thrive on a variety of foods, which is why restrictive diets have pitfalls for us.  Including veganism.  The thing is, if the "usual" diet (which includes a lot of variation) may not actually be any worse than a vegan diet that leaves you with a nutritional deficiency.  It's not that there's ANY diet where one doesn't have to pay attention - it's that a vegan diet requires a great deal MORE attention to avoid nutritional deficiencies, and even then may not be possible for some to achieve.

The fact that I'm typing this while consuming a vegan-approved bowl of ratatouille is not lost on me.  ;)

(OTOH, I doubt that this bowl of veg is any more sustainable or good for the environment than the meatloaf featuring local, sustainably pastured, humanely raised, lean ground beef I will be making for dinner tonight.)

6079_Smith_W

But the fact remains that people can do just fine without dairy, and a huge swath of the planet does.

And there aren't diets much more restrictive than the traditional northern diet, but people manage to survive on it.

I think focusing on the restrictive aspect is a red herring, and not just because if one makes sure the nutrients are covered, it is not an issue. Most of our food imbalances aren't a case of restriction, but rather of overloads of things like salt, sugar and carbs, addition of chemicals and processing, and removal of fibre.

 

 

Timebandit

Which swath would that be?  Find me any traditional vegetarian diet without dairy or eggs.  Go on, I dare you. 

Asia?  Lotsa eggs, some bugs.  India?  Yoghurt all over the place.

Veganism is largely a privileged western idea.

ETA:  I would argue that our obsession with restrictive diets - look at the plethora of fad diets, cleanses, the gluten free kick, "clean" eating - is making us sicker by the year.  Not a red herring at all.

AETA:  Salt, sugar, carbs, chemical additivies and processing are not absent from a vegan diet.

6079_Smith_W

I said dairy, TB.

Privileged western idea? Like vaccination? Come on, what does that mean? I have counter arguments and concerns about some aspects of this too, but sorry, I don't buy the judgmental arguments because frankly there is far more attitude and closed-mindedness in the BBQ and soda lobby. And in the mainstream processed food lobby.

There are risks for those who adopt this kind of diet without paying attention? Well in my mind that might have a bit more to do with the mindset of a person who falls for fads, rather then the inherent risks to an alternative diet.

Sorry, but on the balance I see in veganism a dietary foundation that is far more healthy than what most people eat, even if I wouldn't adopt it strictly myself.

Timebandit

Okay, you said dairy - but vegan means no animal products whatsoever, and that's what I'm talking about.  There is no traditional diet out there that would satisfy the rigour of a committed vegan or actually qualify as vegan at all.  You're right, you don't need dairy.  However, it is very rare for a person to have a sound diet omitting all animal products.

I'm not just talking about people who don't pay attention, either.  As I pointed out above, you can pay lots of attention and do lots of research and reading and still wind up nutritionally deficient after adopting a vegan diet. 

I know it's hyped as being more healthy, but I remain unconvinced that this is the case - especially since the majority of long-term vegans need to take supplements.  This also ignores the idea that vegan/not-vegan is a binary choice.  A Mediterranean style diet is actually pretty smart.  An omnivorous diet that prioritises fresh, unprocessed foods is also a great idea.  It isn't a choice between Big Macs and quinoa salad and no middle ground.

Extremes are unhealthy.

6079_Smith_W

I think we're to have to agree to disagree on some of this.

And Buddhist vegetarian can be vegan or close to. So it is a traditional monastic diet. So what? And sometimes they take supplements. So what? Many of us live in places where we would wind up with goiters if we didn't have additives in our diet.

The argument you make which I accept is the one about some people pushing it as superior, and some people not paying attention and falling for fads. The assumption that some people are going to wind up with deficiencies is  begging the question in my mind, not only because that doesn't happen to everyone, but because most of us have deficiencies anyway. In our part of the world - vitamin D, and folic acid, for instance.

And that a dietary restriction is inherently bad? Sorry, but I don't buy it at all, anymore than I plan to go out and start eating bugs and guts to comply with that way of thinking.

 

lagatta

Well, obviously what "most people eat" is not the soundest foundation for health or pleasure, but that is because corporate interests have a stake in promoting highly transformed processed foods and pushing things like strange sugars and fats. And of course we know about food deserts where there is little fresh, unprocessed food, and how time-poor some people are.

I confess that I too am disappointed that the annual Earth Day rollout on sustainable food that is also tasty and convivial is centred only on this choice, at the expense of other food issues of sustainabilty, ecology and equity. Including those affecting Indigenous communities, even those in the far North.

Mr. Magoo

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And Buddhist vegetarian can be vegan or close to.

There's no "close to" in veganism.  If you try to go vegan and you eat a tiny bit of honey on your bagel, or the twelfth ingredient in your margarine is dried whey powder, YOU FAILED.  YOU ARE NOT A VEGAN.

I guess that's kind of why I think this is much less interesting and much less potentially productive than, say, promoting a sustainable diet, or one that's healthy and complete in and of itself.  Veganism isn't about health or sustainability, it's about a particular -- and rigid -- moral stance on animals.  It's nice to say "it's healthier than a Big Mac diet!" or "it's more sustainable than Chilean Sea Bass", but those benefits, such as they are, are secondary to the purpose of veganism.

I suspect, given that rabble does this same thing year after year, without trying anything else, that there's probably one person on staff -- a vegan -- who volunteers to promote and manage this, and rabble just okays it.

As an aside, I had a co-worker once who was Jain, from Gujarat.  She wasn't as strict as her own parents (who wouldn't eat carrots, potatoes, or other root vegetables since digging up vegetables could harm insects in the soil).  She, her husband and her children  were lifelong strict vegetarians.  But they ate milk and milk products galore!  I think that's about as close as any cultural diet gets to veganism, but she too would fail the vegan purity test (since milk belongs to baby cows!). 

I definitely agree that veganism is a diet for the relatively affluent.  And I really think that the all-or-nothing moralism of veganism is a classic example of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.  It's a "zero tolerance policy" for your diet.

 

Tehanu

Time to recycle this post, I guess! Glad to see the famous pineapple option has been dropped, but I'd still like to remind everyone that there are lots of ways to contribute to sustainable/environmental/ethical agriculture beyond a "vegan challenge."

Oh, and howdy Magoo! Good to see ya.

__

Tehanu wrote:

Lordie. I wondered to myself, self, is that pineapple still an issue? And what do I see but that it is being recycled, and not in a good way. No effort made to promote a more local or sustainable or container-free option:

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For example, buy a cored pineapple, when you get home cut it into strips and then into chunks from that, put it back in the container it came in ...

Sorry to be swooping in to be critical, but that's what triggered me to [url=http://rabble.ca/comment/1233023]post last year[/url] about the very same thing! So let's do a little more recycling, in the spirit of the thing:

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Hi babble! ((waves)). I can't resist a good discussion on food issues. Smile

The vegan challenge combines this statement:

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Going vegan is one of the strongest ways most of us can contribute to Earth Week

... with this one:

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For example, buy a cored pineapple, when you get home cut it into strips and then into chunks from that, put it back in the container it came in ...

... which I'm afraid illustrates the problems inherent in not taking a broader view of food politics and environmental impact. A pineapple would likely be grown in an environmentally destructive fashion; at the very least, it's worth noting that pineapple plantations have been the cause of a great deal of rainforest destruction and displacement of indigenous people ... and then there are pesticide/fertilizer issues, and poor labour practices. Caveat emptor on any tropical fruit, for those reasons. As well as transportation. A pineapple needs to travel thousands of kilometres to reach Canada. Note, too, that the recommended purchase is an already-cored pineapple (requires refrigeration) in a container (almost certainly disposable plastic). The environmental problems pile up.

Food production, including animal-derived food, is certainly an environmental concern. And North Americans consume a highly unsustainable amount of animal products, no question.

But food production is a complex issue with many different facets, as some excellent posts on the previous thread pointed out. This vegan challenge strikes me as the sort of well-meaning initiative like Earth Hour or the plastic bag tax, which ideally encourages environmental behaviour change, but in the absence of education and critical analysis can result in a complacent feeling of "okay, yay, now I've done my bit!"

Item: I loooooove seeing people in grocery stores religiously toting in their canvas bags, only to fill them with processed food that is triply-packaged in plastic, cardboard and plastic wrap. Quite the discontinuity, no? Sort of like the one above.

As an alternative/as well as doing the vegan challenge, people might consider some or all of the following:

- Now that we're in a federal election, asking your candidates if elected what actions they will take to make food production and distribution more sustainable. Raise it as a political issue and it becomes a political issue.

- Lobbying federal and provincial agriculture ministries to support local organic food production, including providing transition funding (the minimum three years of transition prior to organic certification can be a real financial deterrent for farmers).

- Lobbying grocery chains to label foods based on distance travelled - "Product of USA" could be 100 kms or 3000 kms.

- Asking your own grocery stores to source local and organic food. I know someone who did that for eggs, the store got them in, they were always sold out!

- Lobbying food manufacturers and federal regulators to mandate a carbon footprint calculation on processed food labels.

- Lobbying governments to cease and desist from promoting food-derived biofuels. That's just obscene on so many levels.

- Joining a CSA or other local farming support group.

- Learning more about food politics. Someone mentioned Michael Pollan, his books are a good place to start.

- Growing our own food if we can. Eating as locally as we can. Eating as seasonally as we can.

- If you're eating out, supporting restaurants that source local and sustainably produced food. Chefs that have been doing so are trailblazers and generate fabulous publicity.

- If you're buying imported food, including produce, trying to find out if it's sustainably produced using fair labour practices. If it's hard to find out, contact the grocer, importer, and production company, and say so.

- Avoiding processed food as much as you can, no matter what it's made of (organic chocolate chip cookies have almost the same enviro ding as regular ones).

- Eschewing bottled water and other drinks that require bottling/packaging/transportation.

- Educating ourselves and others about other food issues ranging from farming practices to seafood. Supporting initiatives that promote production and labelling of sustainable food.

- Supporting NGOs that are working on these issues.

- And yeah, being moderate in our meat consumption and selective about its source. Sustainably produced meat is more expensive (and harder to find) but budgeting for less meat makes it more affordable.

And so on. There's lots more. Any or all of these can help, but the political work probably gives you more bang for your buck than making an individual eating choice for a week. Spend a week doing some of the above lobbying work and then I think some pats on the back are in order!

Hugs and kisses, T.

6079_Smith_W

Actually Magoo, I was going by their wikipedia page. My only personal experience was from their restaurant food in Vancouver, which was yummy (and loaded with gluten, BTW) and made up to look like duck and fish. Go figure. Some Buddhists are vegetarian, some are near vegan, and some are vegan.

As for all or nothing moralizing, I have known a number of vegetarians who have either stopped, or eaten some meat now and then, and I have never felt the compulsion to say gotcha or told you so, or that they aren't real vegetarians.

I met a serious religious one one time - a monk who had been doing it for years, and who got permission to not eat the ceremonial meat that was part of a service we were in, but went ahead and had some anyway. His reason for breaking his rule - that this was the altar we were in front of, so it was the most important observance to make in the moment.

People set their own rules. Somebody wants to not eat something for whatever reason, whose business is it?

Speaking of food... I got a smoker since our last converation about it - a recycled labratory incubator, actually. I did have a salmon all ready for it, but maybe I'll test it out with some marinated tofu and gluten instead, given the special occasion and all.

 

 

Timebandit

Smith, I've spent time with Buddhist monks.  They are not usually vegan, although some are vegetarian.

There is a level of privilege in the "vegan lifestyle".  You have to have access to information, have the time, facilities and equipment to do the cooking and be able to access the variety of food and afford to shop.  True, some vegan foodstuffs are very inexpensive, but many alternatives are not and certainly any foodstuffs that are shortcuts to the cooking and prep process aren't inexpensive.  Generally speaking, vegans tend to be white, female, young, often well educated, fully employed and have a reasonable level of income. 

Timebandit

I thought rabble was concerned with issues of class and privilege.  I guess only when nobody is questioning veganism?

6079_Smith_W

So is this about diet or about class and attitude?

And as for learning and cost and time, one can live on rice, beans and veggies for a week without having a stroke or getting rickets..

If one doesn't want to do it, don't do it. If one wants to make another observance, make another observance.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Cross posted witth you sorry.

Rice and beans.

And not that I think we shouldn't be concerned about class, nor that this idea isn't above criticism (I did so myself last year) but I do question some of the other things being larded on the plate that don't really have much to do with food. I'm not convinced is what I mean to say.

I don't have to want to do it to think it is an interesting challenge, and if I wanted to spend a week dumpster diving instead as an alternative exercise I don't see the problem.

 

Mr. Magoo

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As for all or nothing moralizing, I have known a number of vegetarians who have either stopped, or eaten some meat now and then, and I have never felt the compulsion to say gotcha or told you so, or that they aren't real vegetarians.

That's good, of course, but you're one individual. 

I would never shame a Catholic for masturbating, so why do you suppose many would feel that shame anyway?

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People set their own rules. Somebody wants to not eat something for whatever reason, whose business is it?

Not mine.  I couldn't care less what people choose to eat or not eat.  Which is basically where vegans and I part ways.

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I did have a salmon all ready for it, but maybe I'll test it out with some marinated tofu and gluten instead, given the special occasion and all.

Keep some of that marinade handy to keep it moist, and (IMHO) don't smoke it for too long.  Moist tofu will suck up more smoke than you probably want.  If you're lost for a good marinade, look up "tofu satay" -- somehow the coconut milk helps it hold its own against the heat and dry.

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Oh, and howdy Magoo! Good to see ya.

Howdy indeed!

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I thought rabble was concerned with issues of class and privilege.  I guess only when nobody is questioning veganism?

I definitely recall discussions about junk food/fast food, food deserts, the affordability of healthy food and so on, in which it's suggested that rice, legumes, flour, onions, root vegetables and other staple ingredients are very, very cheap compared to a Double Down, or a Whopper Combo.  This was typically met with objections that one needs special skills, special equipment, an excess of free time or whatever in order to cook them.  And your kids might not like them the way they'd like the Iron Man 3 Super Fun Meal.

But when it's Vegan Challenge week, it's ALL DIFFERENT!  Why, ANYONE can cook vegan!  It's super EASY!

If people can't reasonably manage a vegan diet because they're on a tight budget, how is it so manageable when it's Earth Week?

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I also remember the conversation we had here when they moved the street people out of downtown by bulldozing the McDonalds. So I take the class card with a grain of salt.

And come on. I have lived for a week on rice and beans and veggies and it ain't rocket science. I am just a bit skeptical of this supposed western privileged dogmatic starvation cult that this is apparently all a front for.

I'll never be able to look at my hippy dippy friends the same again.

 

 

Mr. Magoo

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And come on. I have lived for a week on rice and beans and veggies and it ain't rocket science.

I agree.  For most of them, you need a pot, some water, and the desire to eat what you're cooking.  If the beans are large, you might need to put them in a bowl of water the day before you plan to cook them.  That's pretty much it, and that's always been my position in discussions of Beans Vs. Whopper Combos.

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this supposed western privileged dogmatic starvation cult that this is apparently all a front for.

I think people -- myself included -- are smelling a whiff of a specific moral agenda in rabble's recurring Vegan challenge, and noting that it's not really about sustainability and health so much as it's about animal rights.

So yes, I'm sure we could all eat beans and rice for a week and not die.  But to prove what?  And to whom?  We could have "Sexual Abstinence Week" too, where we all abstain from sexual gratification for a week, but WHY?  Because "it won't kill us"??

 

6079_Smith_W

Specific moral agendas? Here? You must be imagining it.

And thanks for the smoking tip.

 

Slumberjack

If people want go vegan it's really up to them to do the research on the ways and means of achieving a healthy diet.  So if someone says they're vegan but they don't look so good, it's likely because they haven't done that all important research. 

lagatta

They also have a guide: http://rabble.ca/toolkit/guide/going-vegan

Vegans don't limit themselves to food either - they don't use any animal products for fashion either. Down jackets, wool sweaters and silk dresses are all out the picture.

Hmm, in northern climates, down jackets - or fur, historically, and woollen sweaters aren't above all matters of "fashion"... And I do have some silk undergarments. While attractive, not of the "sexy" variety: a long-sleeved top and long johns. Warm and not bulky.

Krystalline Kraus, who is of Saami descent, had some harsh words about these assumptions. Fashion? Sheesh.

Slumberjack

I don't know about floating a 'moral' agenda.  Everyone will take something different away from it I suppose, such as heightened awareness of reasons as diverse as not wanting to eat anything that had a nose and mouth, revulsion over the thought of consuming animal muscle and various other parts, and spot lighting inhumane corporate practices.  For others it represents another plane of existence vis-à-vis how other life forms are treated and how it relates to how we treat one another around the world.  It can represent a progressive outlook in certain ways if the gesture is not beng used to flog people for not falling in line with their plates.  Notwithstanding all that, I have also read that veganism is something that mostly involves urban leftists.

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Specific moral agendas? Here? You must be imagining it. 

If nothing specifically troubles you it doesn't necessarily invalidate the moral agendas of others.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, and if you don't specifically get the joke it doesn't invalidate the fact that I made one.

Speaking of jokes, perhaps they do this every year just to test everyone's political reflexes and see if we jump fast enough.

As for me, green onion cakes with gai lan, veggie hoisin  and satay hot sauce last night. Not only do I feel more like one of the privileged layabouts (perhaps my legs are atrophying) I am also appropriating other peoples' food to build up my status.

 

Slumberjack

A lot of what you say would be laughable were it not for the fact that it's not even funny.

6079_Smith_W

That's why I need a hard working straight sidekick like you.

The other thing is while we are pointing out the supposed privilege of things like veganism, it's not like this crew is a model of the world village anyway. By virtue of the fact we are all literate, have ready access to these computers and the leisure time to type into them we are kind of letting our own silk boxers show.

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo

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So your bike isn't vegan.

I don't even wanna know.

lagatta

Probably it isn't vegan in the Jain sense, as I'm sure it must have crushed some tiny life forms while pedalling. Bike (an old one, a trusty Raleigh Sprite) is mostly steel. Rubber tires. There is a bit of petrochemical crap in the saddle; I don't know of any stray animal content in it anywhere. I wish I did have a non-vegan Brooks leather saddle, but those get stolen so I put up with the foam and plastic one. I guess it becomes very unvegan indeed if I'm taking it to pedal to the market and buy some chicken carcasses to make soup.

Mr. Magoo

A leather saddle or grips did occur to me, but it's not like anyone's bike just accidentally comes with those, any more than your car is just accidentally going to have a leather interior.  You have to want them enough to pay for them.

I think leather saddles start at about $130, which is about what I want to pay for a whole bike.  Smile

lagatta

I always think of Magoo when I use his boiling water trick on poultry.

Mr. Magoo

All credit to Clarissa and Jennifer, the Two Fat Ladies.

meagan perry

Here's another article from our books blog that talks environmentalism on vegan challenge week:

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/bound-not-gagged/2015/04/environmental-a...

Happy reading!

 

lagatta

Yes, interesting. I'd of course be thinking but not so rude as to tell the colleague: "if having kids means you have to join the car and suburbia set, you shouldn't have had them". (In real life I'm a nice person and even a four-star wimp, who helps people park, even if they drive oversized vehicles).

Thanks Meagan!

Claire Morissette of Le Monde à bicyclette was one of the organisers of the CommunAuto carshare scheme precisely because some people, including young parents, really need one of those climate-destroying, cat-killing machines. And I have younger friends with small children who have been able to do without a personal car because they have CommunAuto nearby.

In the Montréal version, Mag Wente would be played by Lysiane Gagnon (I think they crib each other's columns). Gagnon, who like Wente has never had children and lives downtown, was ranting on about how "people need their cars" to go to the Bay or to Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde. The latter is right next to a métro station, the former atop one. As for disabled people, private cars are certainly not the best solution for their mobility in cities.Here in Montréal, though the system is still far from perfect, in addition to dedicated disabled transport vehicles, disabled people with a certificate of disability can take special taxis at the same cost as a bus or métro ticket (normal price for under 65, senior price for over).

Enjoying a baguette topped with gruyère and red onions, vegetarian but not vegan, and half an avocado.

lagatta

At least there is an article about someone failing at veganism: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/vegan-challenge/2015/04/veganism-might-b...

This reminds me of my one and only experience in a "raw foods" restaurant. Now, especially in summertime, I eat many splendid meals called salads composed mostly of raw foods. But this meal, alas when I was interpreting at a conference, left me tummy-sick in the afternoon, while still working intensely. Thank the cat goddess that I didn't have to run to the loo when it was my turn to work. To be fair, I was far sicker after a bad hamburger at a bus stop between Toronto and Ottawa. Long ago. Nowadays there would probably be a slightly healthier and less hazardous choice, such as even chilli from Tim Hortons.