If you like me believe that eating local is an important part of being vegan, hopefully you’ve been buying Cayuga Pure Organics‘ locally-produced grains and beans. (We get them at Greenstar Cooperative Market, because we like to support coops whenever possible.)
Well, they had a fire, and now they need help rebuilding. If you believe in a resilient, vegan future for our region, please consider making a donation to their IndieGogo fundraising campaign! It ends on Friday, July 26th.
Happy birthday to the late, great César Chávez: a labor rights and environmental justice activist, and a vegan. He said,
I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.
This morning I started to read Bee Deaths From Colony Collapse Disorder On The Rise As Researchers Point To Pesticides on Huffington Post, and then I realized I’d rather find out how I can help, instead of just feeling bad about the problem. Here are some suggestions I found on the interwebs.
- Stop buying GMO, non-organic food, and support organic agriculture instead. Buy used and/or organic clothing.
- Learn about where your food and clothing comes from and how much pesticide went into its production.
- Stop using pesticides in your own lawn and garden.
- Sign petitions banning pesticides, and support the use of organic alternatives.
- Encourage your local government to do more to help bees.
- Attract bees by planting clover, flowering trees, and herbs that bees like. Provide a water source so they can take a drink when they visit.
- Let your veggies go to seed after harvest, to help fatten up your bee neighbors for the long winter.
- Educate yourself about bees so you can be more sure of how you relate to them and what you might like to do to help them.
- Pass on your knowledge about bees. Your voice is powerful, and the bees can’t speak for themselves! Make sure that kids understand that bees are an important part of their ecosystem.
- Provide bee habitat, but make sure you’re keeping bees and humans safe from hurting each other by marking bees’ homes.
The only one I saw folks mention elsewhere that I didn’t put here was “become a beekeeper / support your local beekeeper.” I don’t feel that it would be my place to confine and manipulate others and take things they make, or to encourage others to do that. It takes the average worker bee her entire life to produce just one twelfth of one teaspoon of honey. They make it for their colony, not for us.
If you do choose to use bee products, please make sure they’re locally produced and that you feel good about the way the bees are living, from birth to death. Since your decision impacts the lives of other beings, you may want to educate yourself about some of the ethical problems with beekeeping, honey, and beeswax. Thank you!
Well, not entirely! Read my bio for contradictions aplenty. But veganism does allow you to avoid a lot of, shall we say, moral discomfort. I remember worrying a lot more about the impacts of my actions before I went vegan – it was a source of stress for me to think I might be causing suffering (as indeed I was). Once I took the plunge and went vegan, I felt very free. That’s why I think of veganism as a liberatory process.
For instance, I used to say “I love pigs.” And yet if Facebook had existed when I was a carnist, I may have posted photos of a cute piglet on a farm without thinking very much about how he was about to be separated from his mother and would one day face a trip to the slaughterhouse, or about how this farm I’m seeing in this image isn’t at all like the horrific, factory-like farms on which the vast majority of piglets are raised. I may have posted recipes that included “free-range” pork sausage. Back then, I would not have seen the contradiction, but I know I often felt oddly “not right” about my decisions. And I felt really bad when I heard people mention the slaughterhouse, because no matter how much the small farmers we were supporting said what they were doing was humane, I had a hard time imagining what that might look like.
Today, I have a different perspective. I say, “I love pigs,” but I think it’s more important that now I know I should say, even more importantly, “I respect pigs,” because they are not objects for me to desire or want or eat or use or confine or buy or sell. They are individual persons, just like me, who desire autonomy and freedom.
So today on Facebook, the new me posted a recipe for vegan traditional pork pies, and a photo of a rescued pig at a Spanish sanctuary. No guilt.
I know that’s good for me personally. But even better, I think it’s really good for the animals I used to exploit, before I realized there was a way to opt out of the violence I was causing.
Really looking forward to this film. I’m very grateful to be living in this time, when so many others are so conscious, and creating such beautiful media to help this cause.
THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE – THEATRICAL TRAILER
COMING SOON: http://www.theghostsinourmachine.com
Warning: This video contains cartoonish but nonetheless gruesome depictions of violence.
MAN from Steve Cutts on Vimeo. Music: In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg.
facebook.com/SteveCuttsArt – twitter.com/Steve_Cutts
Copyright 2012 http://www.stevecutts.com
Cross-posted at Inner Whale (Tumblr)
A turkey helped me stay vegan when I was doubting my decision.
I grew up eating animals and loved the flavors and textures. It was a big part of my life – my dad’s southern cooking, my mom’s midwestern deliciousness: Pork chops, BBQ ribs, scrambled eggs, cheesy casseroles, I loved all of it.
So going vegan at 18 was really hard. It was a phase at first, an experiment, and at a certain point I was feeling like I had to decide if I was going to keep going or if I was going to give it up.
I went to Farm Sanctuary to check in with the animals, since that was who I was doing it all for anyway. There was this rescued turkey there, who ran up to me and let me pet him. He closed his eyes and purred, pushing his head up into my hand, like a cat. After that moment, I never doubted my decision to go vegan, ever again.
Thank you, dear turkey. Here’s to a future where Thanksgiving is about gratitude for a good harvest, not about hurting sweet little people like you and all the other animals we humans tend to forget love peace and good food just as much as we do.
Click here for Gentle Thanksgiving recipes.
Meet the turkeys at Farm Sanctuary, in New York or California, at this year’s Celebration for the Turkeys! Or, click here to “adopt” (sponsor) a rescued turkey.
Photo: Rhonda, a rescued turkey