Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Veganism in the News

Bigmouth Strikes Again

It looks as if former Smiths front man Morrissey is in the public eye again. This time, it's for having singled out China for its dog and cat trade and for having called the Chinese a "subspecies" of human for their "treatment of animals and animal welfare [standards]". Obviously, the media is ripping into him for what are being deemed racist comments, much as they did a few years ago when Morrissey made anti-immigration comments in an interview with NME. If there end up being more stories about this in the media this week, I do hope that they point out that singling out the Chinese for what they do to dogs and cats is really rather arbitrary considering the torture of all kinds of other animals (e.g. cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, et al.) that happens every single day in North America, Europe and the rest of the word for want of their flesh or secretions. One way or another, Morrissey's ensured that the "vegans hate humans" stereotype is well-perpetuated this month.

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Something Made Him Stupid

Robert St. John, writer for The Clarion-Ledger, has decided to "go vegan" for a whopping 30 days. Why? I'm not exactly sure unless it's just to hop on the foodie/lifestyle trend in mainstream media to scrawl about the torturous self-deprivation inherent in varying degrees of shuffling out this or that animal product from one's diet (see "Without pita, bagels, I'd be toast as a vegan"). He starts the thing off bemoaning the lack of bread in his diet, insisting that it's hard to find bread that doesn't contain dairy or eggs. Maybe this is just a regional thing, because I honestly don't get that gripe at all. I can see how it could be a pain to avoid things like non-vegan sugar, honey or animal-derived enzymes in bread, but milk and dairy? Oh, and soy milk tastes like "chalk", he's found.

It becomes obvious that St. John might consider trading his truck's leather seats in for a cilice when he gives in to the urge to proclaim his love of animal flesh: "Does anything smell better than bacon cooking in the morning? It's intoxicating. Bacon is sexy. Who knew?" And then it becomes even more obvious that his piece is supposed to be some sort of swollen tongue in cheek thing as he insists that a "chicken loses nothing by laying an egg, other than relieving the discomfort of having a hard-shelled orb out of its belly" and that "a cow is probably thankful when milk is emptied from its udders". He asserts that he owns beehives and that it's only polite to "eat the fruits of their labors".

When he sums up his experience stating that his so-called veganism has made him "stupid" and that it's affected his memory, it becomes clear that he's gone from sticking his tongue in his cheek to blowing a raspberry and that rather than being intended as some bad attempt at humour, his piece is just more of the same old anti-vegan hate-mongering that shows up as filler in online newspapers. Shame on
The Clarion-Ledger for lowering the bar.

4 comments:

Abigail S. Bean said...

Shame on any journalist who reports on veganism (or anything else) without doing actual research.

Vanilla Rose said...

Love the pic of Morrissey. Hope the cat sh*t on the prat. Not that I would normally call anyone a prat, but really ... is he unaware that there are veg*ns and animal activists in virtually every country in the whole world? Yes, that includes China, and Japan, and Korea.

I left a Facebook Group that had a name like "Japan, stop the f*888ing whaling" in the light of Morrisey's comments. I know that the founders of the group weren't condoning whaling by Norweigan whalers, but they didn't change the name of the group either.

veganelder said...

Perhaps it is that a vegan diet simply made Mr. St. John more self aware when he described himself as "stupid" after his charade of going vegan....certainly the piece he wrote for the newspaper did nothing to counter such a self description.

ms. veganorama said...

I wish I had heard more vegans condemn Morrissey not just for his recent comment but his past comments as well (thanks for bringing it up). Instead, I got into a useless "debate" with a self-proclaimed welfarist who defended Morrissey's comments...