Feb 18 2008

Bacon, I bid you farewell

Back in the pre-blog Age of Darkness, when I was a callow young feminist in a vacuum who did not enjoy the instantaneous policing of my views by thousands of invisible critics, numerous facets of my worldview were as yet embryonic. If a facet can be said to be embryonic, which I think it probably can’t. But let’s move on.

What I’m gettin’ at is that subjecting the Twisty weltanshauung to broad public scrutiny has totally refined my ass. It’s obliged me to hone my views to an increasingly ever-sharper edge. Experts are baffled by scans that show my obstreperal lobe to have tripled in size since 2005, but I know that it’s a result of this blog.

Generally the process has been loads of laughs, such as when blamers take me to school with their horizon-broadening perspectives on such topics as white middle class privilege, human rights abuses in distant lands, or Mr T vs Andrea Dworkin. Sometimes it’s goopy and heartwarming, such as when young blamers write in to say that patriarchy-blaming has changed their lives. Sometimes it’s a little weird, like this morning, when I got a what-about-the-men communique — in which every Noun was capitalized — from a self-described MRA called Khankrumtheburglar. Khankrumtheburglar apparently felt moved to reveal that he “completely agree[s] with [me] and gasp Amanda Marcotte” on Subjects ranging from the crapulence of Valentine’s Day to the support of Gay Marriage (for the record, I myself do not “support” gay marriage, or any other kind of marriage. See this post for details.).

But life as an Internet Feminist is not always a plate of Cool Whip tacos. Often I suffer the tortures of the damned. I’m not talkin’ about the death threats or the DOS attacks or the pottymouthed teen jackasses who clog up my moderation queue. No, the deep emotional scars to which I allude obtain because sometimes the commenters are right and I am wrong. Sadly, I am still not sophisticated enough to embrace with a glad cry the public admission of Twistational ignorance, particularly when it comes after a smirky smackdown by total strangers. And dang it, it burns like hot pokers on my boob scars whenever it dawns on me that the struggle to perfect my state of spinster aunthood will require me to jettison another of my most comfortable and satisfying habits/and or assumptions. To wit:

A couple of years ago I got called on the carpet by a vegetarian blamer who was deeply grossed out by blogular photographs of my meaty lunches. At the time I demurred, not having fully worked out the connection between women’s oppression and the global megameatyocracy. But today I lounge before you in my lime green recliner and declare that there is no legitimate argument on behalf of consuming corporate meat. Convenience is not a legitimate argument. Price is not a legitimate argument. The delicious flavor of applewood smoked bacon is not a legitimate argument. Tradition is not a legitimate argument. Culture is not a legitimate argument.

Culture, as a matter of fact, is never a legitimate argument for anything. Fuck culture.

I am prompted to state the obvious by the reports of ground beef recalls and animal cruelty circulating around the media today. An undocumented immigrant meat industry worker has been arraigned for “illegal movement of a non-ambulatory animal,” which is a sanitized way of saying that he savaged sick cows with electric prods and forced them to their feet with fork lifts, among other things.

Despite the protestations of the corporate spokesperson, this slaughterhouse sadism cannot and must not be considered an anomaly. It is a documented fact that whenever human beings are given authority over lower-status beings — whether the lower status beings are cattle or women or slaves or prisoners of war — those in authority are unable to contain their vicious impulses and quickly morph into sadistic amoral assholes. This is a cornerstone of patriarchy. As is the rationalization, parroted, unsurprisingly, by the meat worker: “I was only following orders.”

Thus we can but conclude that hamburgers and radical feminism are mutually exclusive.


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  1. BadKitty

    I’m in the middle of reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal Vegetable Miracle”, squirming as I read about the whole food production system. The cruelty. The impact of our environment. The impact on our health. The impact on small farmers and migrant workers. It’s been getting harder and harder to ignore what I’m eating.

  2. WisforTungsten

    Thank you for this post. I didn’t make it more than halfway through the NYT article, but still dither about how to stop eating meat. It’s ridiculous because I know much of exactly why it is ethically indefensible from multiple perspectives.

  3. pisaquari

    “hamburgers and radical feminism are mutually exclusive.”

    Hurrah to that.

    However, and as you may know, the overall taste and appearance of hamburger is not mutually exclusive to radfeminism (yaaay substitutes!)

    Welcome aboard plant-hugger.

  4. Eileen

    Wait wait, what about raising our own meat? I’m a radical feminist who knows how to slaughter her own chickens. (I was trying to figure out some arty way to say that, like “knows how to eviscerate without rupturing the nasty gallbladder!”, but as you can see, that just sounds gross.)

    Thus far I have only done poultry, but I’m planning on pigs and goats in the near future. I own a smoker, and I’m not afraid to use it. Ya’ll can come on over to my house for pasture-raised happy-pig homemade bacon. Maybe there can be a RadFem Meat-and-Dairy-and-Eggs Coop.

  5. Charlotte

    You know, I finally got up the nerve to watch the HSUS video and cried the rest of the day. No more red meat in this here household. Also, I hate to point out the obvious, but isn’t bacon made from pork–which only means that there’s another story here (http://www.truthandprogress.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=712) to help support your point.

    Yes, feminism and hamburgers are mutually exclusive.

  6. Hippolyta

    I know that this was most likely a difficult decision, not least because you seem to be a die hard foodie. Congratulations on your move to vegetarianism. To assuage your inner foodie, may I suggest the five course meal with paired wines at Zoot, they do a “harvest” vegetarian version that is some of the most innovative non-meat cuisine I’ve eaten. Good luck and get a cab home!

  7. B

    This is very, very true.

    Unfortunately I still eat meat. I try to assauge my guilt by buying only Swedish meat, comforting myself with the fact that we have some of the strictest laws for animal protection there is. It doesn’t really help.

    Eating elk or deer is ok since they live free and you need to be able to kill cleanly and are not allowed to kill mother’s with kids. They probably don’t even realise that they’ve been shot before they die.

    Lamb and sheep are more problematic. Most of them live pretty decent lives and are often slaughtered on the farm or pretty nearby without long transports. Still, who knows what goes on in those slaughterhouses? The smell of blood and fear must be pretty distinct and I bet most of the staff are rather desensitised.

    My parents, living near the countryside, buy local organic meat but still that uncertainty is there.

    I’d liken my meateating habits with those guys wathing “amateur” porn – one hopes it was produced without suffering but knows that it isn’t realistic to believe that, at least not of everything one consumes.

    *Eating more vegetarian every day*

  8. Twisty

    I’m not new to the world of vegetarianism. For five or six years, in my 20’s, I was even sort of radical about it. I can’t remember how or when or why I backslid. I’ve been back on the wagon for many months now, though, and have been meaning to write a diatribe about corporate “farms,” This most recent debacle provided just the impetus I needed.

    As for killing your own food, I see what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I can get behind that, either. Though admittedly somewhat less cruel on a day-to-day basis, confining animals for the largely unnecessary purpose of killing and eating’em is still a form of oppression. Given a choice, I’m guessing that most chickens and sheep and goats and whatnot would probably prefer not to have their throats cut, particularly when there is ready access to rice and beans.

  9. Karen Davies

    Never again shall the megameatyocracy be permitted to stuff its nasty meat down your spinsterly throat.

    Hurrah for good karma and a happier, healthier globe.

  10. Virginia Ray

    Hello – how wonderful for you – I am tempted to smother you with info but I will just say this – tofu – you gotta have it – every day. Protein does not stay in the body and it is protein which kills any kind of craving.

    Tofu is pure protein. Get yourself a pound of tofu FIRM – squeeze out the water – heat a frying pan full of olive oil – well not full – you know – as if you were frying cow flesh — then slice the tofu brick horizontally four times and vertically four or five times. Now you have many squares of tofu – throw them into the hot olive oil and fry them slowly (fast frying makes protein rubbery).

    They will get golden crispy – little golden squares of golden tofu nuggets. When you take them out sprinkle a little garlic and/or onion powder on them – a little tamari and best, some good tasting nutritional yeast from the whole food store (this is a special kind of good tasting B vitamin packed yeast). You will want to find a whole foods store but tofu can be bought more cheaply by the case from most supermarket. By the case you get a discount and since you eat one a day, they go fast.

    Also go to Wonder Laboratories on the web and order sublingual Vitamin B-12 with Folic Acid. Suck on 2 or 3 a day or you will feel tired – if you do feel tired anyway, find a Wellness Center and get a Meyer’s Cocktail shot once a month.

    And do google vegetarian and vegan recipes – there is a great site I will find and come back with the address.

    You are about to be so happy with yourself and really – the uglyness you are leaving behind is more than your worst nightmare. That film was the tip of a deep mean iceberg. I blame the patriarchy.

  11. Linda Atkins

    Michael Pollan, in _The Omnivore’s Dilemma_, discusses the difference between factory farming and little-bitty farms where the animals live according to their own natures, for the most part, and are treated well (until they are indeed killed, as swiftly and humanely as possible). I found it interesting.

    (My favorite thing in the whole book, which is very well written, is about his buying his own factory farm steer, so he could try to track what happens to a steer in this type of system, and how when he went to find his steer at the feedlot, he wore the same orange sweater he wore the day he bought it, in hopes it might recognize him.)

  12. Virginia Ray

    Here it is — I am dizzy with happiness – go see the heart shaped cookies:


  13. norbizness

    At least tell me you saved the bacon grease, as all members of my extended East Texas family did: it has 1001* uses!

    *more like three.

  14. Twisty

    Norbiz said: “At least tell me you saved the bacon grease, as all members of my extended East Texas family did: it has 1001* uses!

    *more like three.”

    When I was a child equestrienne, my best friend’s mom (also from East Texas) used to give us jars of bacon grease, which we used as ointment for scars on our horses. I think all it did was make the horses more attractive to the coyotes.

  15. meave

    I’m sending this post to all my vegan friends. I’m crazy about your blog; it’s really helped reaffirm and sharpen my radical feminist agenda (and make me feel less alone). Animal rights activists get a lot of criticism for “not caring about people,” but the critics don’t want to listen to the connection between abuse of non-human animals and the abuse of women and people of color and so on.

    Thank you so much for pointing out that connection on your blog. Eating flesh is an act of violence, and I find it’s easier to be an advocate for causes like human and non-human animal rights when I know that I’m perpetuating as little violence as possible.

    (Did you know you can have healthy, happy vegan dogs, too? It’s true! The best diet for them is one with no soy products, supplemented with L-carnitine or taurine, and added nutritional yeast and garlic for shiny coats.)

  16. norbizness

    Twisty: Or maybe it just messed with the coyotes’ minds. “Holy shit, this isn’t a pig! What the fuck is… I gotta lay down for a minute.”

  17. Panic

    I just want to add to Virginia Ray’s comment; I don’t use olive oil. The smoking point is far too low for doing a good fry up. I use canola or peanut, a lot less of it, at a higher heat (med-high) and my tofu is lovely. To each their own though!

  18. Virginia Ray

    AND when you want a little tofu variety there is a product made by FANTASTIC, http://www.fantasticfoods.com
    called “Tofu Scrambler”.

    Tastes like scrambled eggs without the cruelty, and you get your daily protein for the day. You just open the package and mix it up with your tub of tofu and throw it in the frying pan. It is delicious – try it.

  19. Mary Ann

    Now I worship you with more fervor and admiration than ever before. I didn’t know it was possible to hold you any higher than in the Highest Regard. I now know that, like the Universe itself, you are unfettered by boundaries and limits. You are Supreme. Boundless. Perfection.

  20. BadKitty

    Not to pick nits or stray off topic but Twisty is a breast cancer survivor, as am I. The jury still seems to be out on whether or not soy products are safe for women who’ve had estrogen positive tumors. The phytoestrogens can feed those tumors. My onc recommended I reduce my soy intake as much as possible.

    sorry. back to topic.

  21. Roov

    I’m not as on the ball as some commenters here, but have to say I’m with you. I too enjoy meat—it tastes really good!—but I’ve been edging into vegetarianism lately. I can’t justify those farming practices by saying that I like the taste; it’s just not a good enough reason.

  22. Twisty

    Yeah, soy is pretty much out, at least until more information shows up. She said while munching on roasted edamame.

  23. Fiona

    Fantastic post. “Global megameatyocracy” made me laugh out loud, but that’s exactly what it is. I stopped eating meat a little more than four years ago, and while I’d never try to persuade someone not to eat meat at all, I often try to persuade people not to eat, as you say, corporate meat. I’m not talking about full-on attacks on patrons of fine-dining establishments, but when people ask about my decision not to eat animal flesh, they get an earful from me about industrial farming practices and why I choose not to participate in the gruesome cycle.

    There was a recent discussion on celebrity chef-author Michael Ruhlman’s blog about the horrifying footage of typical industrial meat production methods presented from “the cow’s point of view” by the Humane Society. An aptly-named dude called Brutus commented, “Best to let the poor starve, lest another cow get hurt.” I responded thusly: “Brutus, do you honestly think that the giant industrial producers of meat are trying to keep beef costs low (resulting in the inhumane treatment of cows) in order to FEED THE POOR? Lower costs, higher profitability, Wall Street happy, end of story. The people who run these companies or otherwise have a financial stake in them couldn’t care less if you starve.”

    Of course, this is only in regards to standard operating procedures; it doesn’t even begin to address the animal-torture-as-fun for meat workers you refer to, which is an even deeper, sicker level of cruelty. There’s a special place in Satan’s slop closet for those pricks.

    Additionally, even the title of this post speaks to me. I truly don’t miss meat with one exception. Bacon. If I’m out and about and get a whiff of the stuff, baser instincts kick in, the mouth begins to water, and all I can think about is buying every package of bacon in sight, frying it all up at once, and commencing a 24-hour bacon orgy. The urge passes.

    I wouldn’t be too hard on myself if I were you for not making the connection between patriarchal domination and the treatment of animals as slaves sooner. I’ve only recently made the connection between patriarchal domination and the treatment of WOMEN as slaves, due in no small part to this blog.

  24. B

    Actually cows need several times as much land to produce the same amount of nurition as vegetables would. If everyone ate as much meat as we do in the west even more poor people would starve.

  25. BadKitty

    I don’t believe that all meat eating is cruelty. I know there are a lot of people who feel differently and I respect their feelings and their choices. We are, based on our anatomy, naturally omnivores and being a healthy human does require some animal flesh. There are supplements that can assist with the nutrients we miss out on when we live a strictly vegie diet, but I’m not convinced we can effectively subsitute meat. My opinion, no offense to those who feel differently.

    I believe that the oppression and cruelty comes in when we do not respect the animals we eat and we treat them like inanimate objects. I’m horrifed by the way we, as a nation, treat the animals we eat. We do not have the right to treat any living beings with such cruelty or abuse. As B said above, I don’t see much difference in the way animals are treated in our culture and the way women are treated in porn.

    I think there is a definite relationship between the patriarchy and our mistreatment of animals. I just don’t believe that being a feminist and being an ominvore are completely incompatible. I more in the buy-local-grow-your-own-or-don’t-eat-it camp.

  26. Uccellina

    Khankrumthebulgar has shown up on my blog once or twice too, to warn of the coming “Harper’s Ferry Moment” when “Men” will show up to “The Gender Wars” with “all out Gun Battles.”

    That Khankrum. Whatta guy.

  27. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has a lot of science-based info on vegan/vegetarian eating and refutes and debunks the Meat Lobby’s pseudo-scientific rationalizations of meat-eating for health.

    Also Torchwood had a really great episode recently, called “Meat.”

  28. Kristen

    Yay! Now I love you and your blog even more since it will only feature photos of living horses vs. misc. dead creatures. The plethora of derisive language that refers to women in “meat” terms makes the feminist vegetarian imperative pretty clear in my mind. I think I made a half-assed attempt at admonishing you about fois gras last year, but maybe I imagined that–did you really ever post a reference to fois gras? Do you think you’ll have to leave TX now that you’ve renounced eating non-human animals?

  29. Laura

    Hear, hear! Veg*nism rules, in my completely-unbiased opinion.

  30. goblinbee

    I’m a pretty healthy 50-year-old who’s been vegetarian for 32 years, so I’m dubious about BadKitty’s “required animal flesh.” Also, I eat very little soy, but love a diet based on grains and beans (and a little fried tofu now and again–it is so incredibly yummy).
    I don’t eat milk products, and thought I was going to have to give up eggs as well (can you really trust the “cage-free” labels?). Instead, I live symbiotically with four happy chickens who have the run of the backyard. I get their lovely brown eggs, and the chickens get a pesticide-free, bugs o’ plenty life.
    Ahhh…to see a chicken reveling in her dustbath or preening her glorious feathers (I have even witnessed one of my hens preening a sister)–the heart triples in size.

  31. Jessant

    How do you feel about fish? I can’t give up my tuna onigiri but I’m never eating beef again that’s for sure and after watching some films about the chicken meat factories…let’s just say I flinch whenever I see a KFC.

  32. ate

    You can live in a perfectly healthy manner and have a perfectly healthy diet without meat. Sooo many of my previously vego/vegan friends have been convinced by uneducated/miseducated/lazy (and often male) doctors into returning to a meat diet when it’s totally unnecessary, usually it’s: you are iron deficient, eat read meat. Because red meat solves the problems of the world or summink. All it takes is a little bit of effort… thinking about your diet and researching the food you are about to eat or should be eating rather than simply agreeing to eat all that easily available meat, meat, meat. Not being lazy about what goes into your body?! Crazy talk!

    P.S. Here is a wrap up of studies done on vegan and vegetarian health & healthiniess. http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/research

  33. BadKitty

    ate – i don’t appreciate your hostile and over-the-top reaction to my statement. there are vitamins – specifically B vitamins – that are tough to get enough of without some meat. taurine is also available only through animal products (sorry, meave – taurin supplements are made from animal products).

  34. yankeetransferred

    Mary Ann said, “Now I worship you with more fervor and admiration than ever before. I didn’t know it was possible to hold you any higher than in the Highest Regard. I now know that, like the Universe itself, you are unfettered by boundaries and limits. You are Supreme. Boundless. Perfection.”

    I wish I had said that. I’ll just say, “Yeah, right. That.”

  35. kcb


    Culture, as a matter of fact, is never a legitimate argument for anything. Fuck culture.

    is be my new mantra.

    Happy vegging.

  36. alphabitch

    This is probably the wrong place to admit that I once cooked tofu in bacon grease, just to make some kind of point, but also to see whether the universe would explode or the planet would stop spinning. It was actually pretty good, and the feared matter-antimatter collision either didn’t happen or had no measurable local effects.

    I was a vegetarian for most of about 20 years, vegan for some of those. I backslid for a variety of reasons, some of them more or less defensible, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to sustain this omnivore lifestyle, even though I generally only buy the righteous organic happy meat. I completely agree with you, Twisty, that hamburgers and radical feminism are mutually exclusive. And that the humanely-raised animals slaughtered nicely at home approach, while it’s got its merits, will not entirely address the issues.

    I’m kind of conflicted about capitalism generally. And smoking.

    The water thing is making me kind of nervous as well.

  37. the little one

    I don’t comment often because your fellow blamers do such a good job of making all the points I’m thinking of, but I just can’t let this one go. WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO! Can’t tell you how happy I get every time another caring person turns her back on the capitalist enviro-anima-spirit killing dark side. My feminism is inseparable from my veganism, peace agenda, and general belief that our society needs to radically change in so many ways. Thank you for no longer engaging in the torture and consumption of peaceable beings. [Uh, oh, peaceable beings might just sound too much like a wingnut. Alas.]

  38. kzos

    Thus we can but conclude that hamburgers and radical feminism are mutually exclusive.

    Thank you. I knew this day would come.
    I can suggest excellent veggie cookbooks, if needed.

  39. Gender Blank

    Kudos, Twisty! Seven years ago I gave up red meat with the intention of giving up something else each year until I was fully vegetarian (heard it was easier that way). Well, I never got past the red meat part. My hat’s off to you for going back cold turkey – er, soy – er, beans.

  40. whatsername

    Unless of course the hamburger is not made from corporate meat. Which is increasingly possible in this day and age of the CSA and Co-Op Grocery.

  41. learnlotsbetty

    Ditto on all the kudos and woooo hoooos! Not only is it helpful to read about the megameatyocracy from one of my favorite feminists, it’s pretty damn excellent to see how many other vegheads there are reading this blog.

    I have to qualify my vegheadedness, though: While I avoid meat almost completely for social, political, and ecological reasons, I’m a foodie and generally refuse to miss out on a new food experience for the sake of my ideology. So every couple of months, I’ll find something like pigeon or antelope on a plate in front of my dinner companion, and I’ll have to try a bite–just a bite.

    Quinoa will be your friend, if it isn’t already. It’s fun to eat, nutty yummy, and a complete protein.

  42. ivieee

    There are some basic facts of ecology, biology, and thermodynamics to consider with your breakfast.
    A cow needs to eat about 10 pounds of grains and soy (grasses if she’s lucky and doesn’t live in a feedlot) to produce a pound of beef. Same for the pig to produce bacon.
    This means it take roughly 10 times the amount of arable land to support the animal based diet that so many Americans are dying from than a vegetable based diet.
    Multiply this times the 6.5 billion humans aspiring to this beefaholic diet and you get one totally chewed-to-pieces planet.
    It’s not good for women, men, cows, or Amazonian rainforests, to name a few.
    It’s really good to hear from you, Twisty.

  43. Suzz

    Holy unslaughtered cow.

    Twisty, I have been reading your blog for only a year or two now, but I cannot tell you how long I have been waiting for this post (well… a year or two, I guess).

    Much like the little one states above, I must say that my feminism and veganism come from the same well – that they are, in fact, mutually encompassing*. I’m sure you’ve probably read her stuff, but Carol J. Adams has put out some good books on being a feminist-vegan and ties the two together quite beautifully. Actually, rather than tying them together, I would say that she reveals the inherent natural bonds between the two. You may also like some more hardcore theorizing by numerous ’90s blamer-brains in Ecofeminism, edited by Greta Gaard.

    I don’t know how pride goes among bloggers, but if you are willing to set figurative foot into the domicile of another awesomely patriarchy-hating veg (who also happens to run a sanctuary for chickens, roosters, cats, dogs…), you should visit the home of my friend Pattrice at http://www.pattricejones.info/blog/

    And as a vegetarian for 11 years and a vegan for a bit over one (yes, yes, it was a long transitional period), I can sympathize with the bacon thing. It gets so much easier once you hit around the 7-year mark, if that helps. And cheese! Cheese gets easier after just a month or two. You only need to get the dairy out of your system. A good thing, too, since, as a cancer survivor, you may want to steer (pun intended) clear of carcinogenic foods such as… almost anything that is comes from animals. Oh yes, thank you, T. Colin Campbell.**

    My last bit here goes out to the ate/BadKitty bit going on above:

    I can’t speak for ate and say that she didn’t have personally hostile intentions, but I can say that veg*ns, being human and all, sometimes face frustration when people who don’t want to give up their gustatory pleasure self-assuredly and sometimes scoffingly come at them, or seemingly at them, with what veg people generally regard as outdated, misinformed, and unjustified reasons for eating meat. I am not saying that you, BK, are necessarily a scoffer, but in the blurry realm that is written webby interaction, the distinction can be tough to make.

    And, believe me, BK, I understand the idea of humans historically being naturally omnivorous. What I would like to suggest, though, is that “nature,” which is a word already dubious in itself, is not necessarily to be trusted or followed. Yes, I love green, unsullied-by-human-industry-and-exploitation lands, but one of the things that makes humans human is the ability to not only be aware of these beautiful snippets of the world, but to judge them by a standard that is beyond morality (our own ethics, which, at their peak, extend far beyond their impacts on simply ourselves or our species). The darker side of that is that we are also able to exploit them effectively to our own ends. In any case, I think it’s important that we take a moment to examine some positive human departures from “nature.”

    Example: In nature, a large quantity of mammalian impregnation is a result of rape. This occurs in varying species, ranging from many feline and canine species to some ape species to even some non-mammalian avian types.
    Example 2: It is totally natural, and the way of the world, to conquer and pillage neighbors. The non-human equivalent could be seen in, say, an alpha wolf aggressing and taking the prime meat off of some fresh carcass from another wolf.

    I think most people would agree that it is no bad thing for humans to avoid such behavior. And if you are to say that that is “animal nature,” and not “human nature,” that is to claim that there is some elusive but fundamental “human nature,” is to be a bit essentialist… and kind of patriarchal (hey, patriarchy likes to pretend that there is no variance within each of the many designated classes). Anyway, humans have been raping, pillaging and murdering for aeons.

    I guess my thesis here is that, since we have the reasoning brains to do it, we ought to pursue compassionate and ethical interactions with the world around us, instead of treating it like it exists only for our purposes. We can move beyond “animal” behavior. We have the knowledge and resources to do it responsibly (It is totally possible to live meat-free and healthy; the same exact B-vitamins that are available from meat are easily attainable from cultivated non-sentient bacteria, and taurine can also be produced in an easily-digestible, non-animal form. And it’s cats that can’t produce taurine, not people. Protein is easy to get when combining whole grains and legumes/nuts, and iron is readily absorbed from leafy greens, beans, molasses, and other foods, especially when enhanced by vitamin c. Finally, it is relevant to note that calcium is indeed not best absorbed from dairy, but rather assimilates to the body more easily from dark veggies. A veg*n diet is not about replacing animal product intake, but is rather a way of nourishing the self that simply does not include animal products).

    *It is worthy to note that from their source also springs my socialist tendencies, my anti-militarist, anti-capitalist beliefs, and many of my deeper and more rigorous critiques of patriarchy as a racist, classist, fanatical, ability-discriminating, homophobic, invisible, violent, exploitative, oppressive, greedy, sinister, virally pervasive, base, unjustifiably disgusting motherfucking unfair social structure.

    **The China Study

  44. Suzz

    Aw, shoot. A typo. In my exceedingly (sorry) long discussion above, I said “…to judge them by a standard that is beyond morality (our own ethics…” when I really meant to say “…to judge them by a standard that is beyond survival-based pragmatism. (that is, our own ethics, which…” Laaame type. Sorry, peeps.

  45. Eileen

    Though admittedly somewhat less cruel on a day-to-day basis, confining animals for the largely unnecessary purpose of killing and eating’em is still a form of oppression. Given a choice, I’m guessing that most chickens and sheep and goats and whatnot would probably prefer not to have their throats cut, particularly when there is ready access to rice and beans.

    Same argument goes for shearing/milking/collecting eggs from, right? But aren’t pets ‘largely unnecessary’? I’m sure dogs don’t want to get vaccinations or wear collars, and horses certainly don’t want to be ridden. Can we live with animals in our lives without oppressing them?

  46. ChapstickAddict

    I’m with Eileen on this issue about animal oppression. I have been struggling lately with reconciling my radical feminism with eating meat and I too have concluded that on the occasions when I eat meat, I will only buy from actual local farms that treat their animals ethically. I have been trying to eat more vegetarian dishes with mixed success.

    My problem with ethical vegetarianism is this: what about milk, eggs, and other animal byproducts? I try to get as much from local farms as I can, because I really don’t trust the “cage-free” label of some brands, but commercial milk and eggs are just as cruel as commercial meat. The chickens are confined to cages smaller than the width of their wingspan because their only job is to produce eggs (I know there’s a metaphor in there but I’m too tired to produce it).

    And if you wanted to take the issue further, what about animal testing? (Full disclosure: I am a lab technician and I have performed tests on animals.) Are you going to give up products that have been tested on animals (even though the majority of testing is ethical and strictly regulated)? I know the industry is coming up with ways to test products without using animals, and I fully support that, but animal testing as of now is an inevitability, and even if it’s phased out there will still be medicines that have used animal subjects in the past.

    I’m not saying that vegetarians/vegans have to be perfect, nor am I trying to place blame on them for animal oppression, because that is ridiculous, but it is hard to profess to not eat meat out of ethics, but still eat eggs or milk and still use medicines that have benefited from the servitude of animals. Again, this is an issue I am struggling with myself, so I am also asking myself these same questions every day. I am interested to see how the rest of you reconcile your feelings on this.

  47. Celeste


    French lentil soup with tarragon and thyme, vegan as all get-out. Made it Saturday; found the French lentils at Whole Foods. Pretty good but next time I’ll use tomato paste rather than fresh tomatoes, and more carrots.

  48. Fiona

    ChapstickAddict said: “Again, this is an issue I am struggling with myself, so I am also asking myself these same questions every day. I am interested to see how the rest of you reconcile your feelings on this.”

    I’ll take a stab at this, but I can only speak for myself. I don’t use products or ingredients of products that were tested on animals, but this is easier to do as cruelty-free products and information about animal testing are increasingly available. This isn’t as easy when it comes to food. I’m not a vegan, but I’m fortunate to live in an area where there are plentiful farmers’ markets and locally-owned grocery stores not of the gigantic-chain variety and am therefore able to buy eggs and dairy that come from humanely treated hens and cows. I find this is harder to do with beef, pork, etc., but lots of credit goes to meat-eating people who are willing to do the sourcing work, such as talking to grocers, butchers and restaurant owners or buying their meat directly from farms. This takes time, energy and expense. In my case, I don’t eat meat for health reasons in addition to the ethical ones. Contrary to the opinion that meat is necessary for health, and it is an opinion, there’s no question that I’m stronger and healthier since giving up meat. This is simply an observation of my physical health and not a measurement of virtue. Meaning, I haven’t been sick in years (including allergies, colds and flu, sans flu shot) and have more energy than at any other time in my life, but I’m not running around town thinking I’m somehow morally or spiritually “pure” as vegetarians and vegans are accused of at times.

    Hypocrisy is in no short supply when it comes to animal rights, certainly. But where do you draw the line? You mention that “there will still be medicines that have used animal subjects in the past.” Am I a hypocrite if I take such a medicine, and do fewer animals suffer if I don’t? Am I a hypocrite if I shop at a grocery store for organic fruit and vegetables that also sells corporate meat, eggs and milk? Am I a hypocrite if I don’t buy products that were tested on animals, but I use the cheap liquid soap in a public restroom that likely was? Am I a hypocrite if I go to my friend’s house and sit on her leather couch? The point is that this isn’t an all-or-nothing issue; we do the best we can with the information we have. If we think and speak about this in absolutes, people will throw up their hands and say, “What’s the point? If I can’t do all of it, why should I do any of it?” while more animals suffer as a result of this black and white thinking.

    The purpose of not eating meat from an ethical standpoint is to help end the willfully ignorant abuse and torture of animals, something that isn’t comparable to loving and caring for Fido. The hard-core Peta folks believe that having pets is using animals for human purposes. Can’t argue with that. The difference to me, though, is that it isn’t ABUSING animals for human purposes. I’m also not saying that food production is the only place animals can be abused for human purposes. I’d never ride around Manhattan in a Hansom cab. I’d never gamble on horses or greyhounds. I’d never hunt an animal for sport. But I’d also never insist that people shouldn’t have pets if they obtain them responsibly (not patronizing filthy pet shops or puppy mills, for instance) and care for them well.

    I’m not trying to stir it up here. People’s feelings on these things run the gamut, and I have neither the energy nor the smarts to assert that my position is the right one. If this discussion turns into a Mandos-like battle of exceptions, technicalities and logical fallacies (I’m new here, but I’ve read many, many posts in the archives), I will politely withdraw. I’ll defend my views on points of fact, learn from others’ views, and no more. You asked how the commenters here reconcile their feelings. This is how I reconcile mine at this moment, and there are probably thousands of other points of view that I haven’t considered. As I learn more, my feelings could change; the vegan life is a distinct possibility for me, but I’m not there yet. In the meantime, can I or even vegetarians and vegans as a group put an end to all animal suffering in the world? No. Are fewer animals suffering as a result of the way I live my life? Absolutely.

  49. lagusta

    Hooray! As a fellow blamer and vegan for 15 years, I have been waiting for this post for a long time. I was going to point you to the works of Carol Adams, but Suzz above already has, so instead I will just note that breast cancer survivors might benefit from fermented soy products, as opposed to the typical crap refined soy that way too many vegans eat.

    Twisty, if you send me your mailing address, I will send you a copy of a feminist vegetarian cookbook set that friends of mine (who run Bloodroot, a feminist vegetarian restaurant in Bridgeport, CT) put out, in celebration of your new path. And make sure to check out Carol Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat – amazing stuff.

    And finally, I feel sheepish plugging my own work, but new veggies would be wise to check out a little essay I wrote for vegetarians called “How To Eat” – http://www.lagustasluscious.com/nutrition.html

    Hooray hooray!

  50. Virginia Ray

    Chapstick Addict – have you been involved in experiments that are cruel – do your animals live in caged cruel conditions? Because then you have to get to PETA and video tape them – other than that just cut down as far as you can and keep learning along with the rest of us – just because you can’t save the world doesn’t mean you can ignore the screaming next door.

    Suzz – thanks for the great links and books

    Twisty – bummer bummer bummer that you cannot do soy. But do get the sublingual B-12 and the Meyer’s Cocktail because it is going to be harder for you to get protein and everything your body needs. Without protein the cravings can’t be squelched as well. What are you eating now? Good thing you like to cook.

    BLAMERS – what do you eat to get protein if you can’t do soy?

  51. Crys T

    Does this mean you can’t get any decent veggie bacon in Texas?

    To all veg*n feminists, I recommend checking out recipes and other misc. ideas from Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Post Punk Kitchen) and Sarah Kramer (GoVegan.net).

  52. Virginia Ray


    I forgot to thank you for the oil advice. That is a big help to me – I want to use less and lighter oil. I am going to try peanut – i don’t know if canola is too fattening though. Can’t wait to experiment.

  53. The Lazy Ethicist

    Might I recommend to all you non-meat eaters The Post Punk Kitchen?


    It’s full of radical vegan awesomeness and a great message board.

  54. Level Best

    Virginia Ray, I’m a vegetarian who can eat soy (and do), but vegetarians who cannot eat soy products can get protein by eating a combination of beans and grain. Beans and rice or a bean burrito have been called the “perfect protein” by some folks, in fact. Since she’s in Texas, Twisty has the perfect opportunity to enjoy the gustatory delights of vegetarian Tex Mex dishes; even the cheapest of Mexican restaurants in my area across the continent from Texas presents a decent variety of meatless, delicious dishes, so I would imagine in Texas there will be a goldmine of such.

    Twisty’s reappearance has made many, many women very happy, and I think, especially in view of this latest wrinkle in her ostreperal lobe, we can all unite in saying that she’s back and better than ever!

  55. AM

    At the risk of becoming really unpopular, I have to add my two cents as a feminist meateater: go for organically, humanely raised, grass fed animals, especially from New Zealand, and don’t eat a whole lot.

  56. The Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    I keep seeing this Animals Rape meme and it’s going to make me lose my crackpotty mind!

    So I’d like to drive an even bigger wedge into the division between human and animal: for animals, it’s called forced copulation; for humans, it’s called rape. Animals don’t rape.

  57. marie

    The answer is *seitan*. It is wheat gluten, it is full of protein, you can make it yourself or buy it made, and it has an awesome name. Some people say “say-tahn,” but I just like to call it “satan.” Also, it’s delicious.

  58. Marija Princip

    Yes! So glad you’re back & blogging. I don’t eat the dead animal either.

    But sometimes I look at soy and go “You don’t GROW on the same continent I did. You came in plastikwrap from fuck knows where. You’re so preprocessed and oily I might as well lick syrup chips.” And then I look at my milk and go “YOU were sucked from the udder a mooing cow living its life in a slaughterhouse pit” and then I look at my apples and wonder where did they come from because I can tell you where they didn’t come from – this hemisphere, not during winter they didn’t – and so to sum it up I think I could try eating grass and snow until spring comes back.

  59. Narya

    Twisty, O Twisty, how I love your scintillations, and how glad I am to have you back disturbing the blogworldviewunschaung.

    However, I have to disagree with another of your observations, to wit:

    “Thus we can but conclude that hamburgers and radical feminism are mutually exclusive.”

    You may well have reached that conclusion, but I have not. I do think that one must (when one can) make the effort to eat responsibly, ethically, , etc., but I do not think that that necessarily means not eating meat. I think it may well mean avoiding factory-farmed meat–for those of us who can afford to make the choice–but, again, I hesitate to do more than reach conclusions for myself (which conclusions may change over time).

    As an aside, the meat I’ve eaten in the past week includes no beef, but does include venison, rabbit, alligator, catfish, and buffalo. I know the person(s) who killed the venison and rabbit, the buffalo was organic, and I can’t speak to the provenance of the alligator and catfish. Frankly, I’m more disturbed by the frozen vegetables I consumed, given their origins in China. but that’s me.

  60. stekatz

    I don’t know why this makes me so sad. I guess it’s because I already feel a bit marginalized in the forum, being the priviledged, white hausfrau I am. Now as a meateating, priviledged white hausfrau, my excitement over the return of Twisty Faster has taken a bit of a dip.

    I’m happy for you Twisty that you’ve been able to come to this conclusion and it sits well with where you’re at in life. I’m just a little nervous that all of a sudden, there’s a new criteria for who gets to be the real feminist. I don’t eat meat because I’m secretly an MRA; I eat meat because it just works for me where I’m at in my life.

    I also get tired of vegans and vegetarians casting a judgemental eye towards my food choices. I do the best I can (every fucking day in fact!). Moreover, no vegetarian or vegan has ever received any judgement from me. I don’t ever try to convince them of the err in their ways or argue the virtues of meat. And I go out of my way to accomodate the food requirements of vegans and vegetarians when they come to my house. Not a single one of them ever left my house hungry.

    So, I will not be presenting my meat eaters resume (“I only eat free range chicken! I only buy grass fed, humane farmed beef!”). I do my best, but realistically, as a parent sometimes you just find yourself in the McDonald’s drivethrough. Some days are just like that.

    I totally get the benefits of a vegetarian diet. What I don’t get is when those benefits turn into a moral mandate. I’m sorry, but when it’s five o’clock and I’m dog tired and my kitchen’s a hot mess and family members are eagerly awaiting dinner, in my house, hamburger and feminism are not at all mutually exclusive.

  61. ChapstickAddict

    “have you been involved in experiments that are cruel – do your animals live in caged cruel conditions?”

    Just to address this question, laboratory experiments involving animals are very strictly regulated, in my experience, and the animals feel no pain in MOST cases. Also if I had been involved in anything unethical, I would have reported it. Our lab rats were very anesthetized and promptly euthanized before they woke up from their procedures.

    And again, I do try to cut down on eating meat and I do try to be as animal friendly as I can, which doesn’t mean that I am cruelty free. I don’t expect anyone to be held up to that standard. I recognize that in our modern culture, it is hard for people to take on that responsibility all the time and avoid meat and not support businesses that support animal cruelty. Like stekatz said, sometimes it’s easier to just go to McDonalds at the end of the day.

    But also, is it so horrible to eat the meat of an animal that was raised on a farm and had a decent life? Is it similarly horrible to take the unfertilized eggs from a chicken or to keep a cow’s teats stimulated to take the milk if the animals are treated well?

  62. Bruce F

    Mark Bittman has a new cookbook that makes the transition from meat to meatless tasty. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good place to start.


  63. Flores

    Wonderful post. As a longtime vegan, I support everything you wrote. Killing feeling beings for food can only be considered oppression. Perhaps because of this, eating meat has long be associated with dudeliness and violence. Real men, the narrative goes, eat flesh. Meat makes you strong and thus able to kick butt.

    That said, I don’t think the carnivores should be too offended. As Twisty often says, we all invariably do things that support the patriarchy. I wouldn’t want to harass anyone about that steak, but you should know where it comes from and what it means.

    In the near future, this won’t matter so much. Technology will enable us to produce food directly from the elements. Virtual reality will allow for endless and calorie-free consumption of beef tacos. And so on.

  64. Sandi

    Hey, kids! Here’s a fun book to read: The Sexual Politics of Meat…by Carol J. Adams…published in 1990 by The Continuum Publishing Company…ISBN 0-8264-0455-3…

  65. Hattie

    Do you still have the meat shower curtain I sent you so long ago, or have you disposed of it as part of your crusade?
    I, alas, do eat meat, but not as much as I once did. More fish and only grass-fed beef. But I am not a very fine person, I have decided, but something of a crude customer.

  66. Twisty

    Hattie, the shower curtain is still in place and I think of you every time I hose down the Twisty physique.

  67. Sara

    Glad to have you in the veg*n fold. A quick word on the slaughterhouse worker–he probably actually WAS “just following orders.” To me, that particular situation underscores every atrocity inherent to the animal-products industry; it’s an institution built on powerless animals being abused by powerless people (often, as in this case, illegal immigrants with no legal recourse) under the orders of the priviledged, white, male few.

    Now, go buy or check out Veganomicon and make some chickpea cutlets.

  68. josquin

    Oh my goodness, you’re back! I haven’t been here for ages, thinking you were on extended horse-leave. And now here you are, almost declaring vegetarianism! I could happily blow off the whole morning responding to this post.
    Bacon is the hardest to give up, I think. I consider bacon the Food of the (devilishly seductive) Gods. And I’d better get a fine place in heaven for going without it for so long.

  69. Hattie

    What about meat eating pets? A friend of mine got her dogs to go vegetarian, but the cats were hopeless.

  70. Ron Sullivan

    Just because I’m feeling nitpicky after three days of proofreading: Marija Princip, I don’t know what continent you’re on, but apples are available all winter because they store well, and there are lots of soybean fields in North (and IIRC South) America. A lot of the commonly-available soy sauce here is made at a factory (Kikkoman? LaChoy? Sorry, my nouns are still thawing.) in Wisconsin.

    It is indicative of a deeply weird system that food gets shipped halfway ’round the world and is cheaper at its destination than more-locally grown stuff.

  71. kelly g.

    Oh, yays! Twisty, you’ve made me so happy, I’m afraid I’m going to be walking around with a (faux) shit-eating grin for the rest of the week!

    I hope this means you’ll soon be posting photos of yummy, meat-free gourmet meals and a viewing of the Public (Vegetarian) Cans of Austin?

  72. ivieee

    To those of you who asked how a vegetarian or vegan can get enough protein, the answer is that it is easy and you don’t even have to try.

    The Protein Problem is 100% myth promulgated by – who could have guessed? – the corporate meat and dairy industries.

    Vegetables alone contain much more protein than a human needs to be very healthy indeed.


    The theory of protein combining was introduced as fact by Frances Moore Lappe, but she has since admitted that it was a mistake.

    Kwashiorkor, or protein starvation, is virtually unknown in the absence of calorie starvation.

    As a matter of fact, too much protein is bad for you, because when you body get enough protein, it uses amino acids as simple carbohydrates. In order to do that you lop off the amine group from the carbon chain of the amino acid, which leaves you with excess amines and ammonia in your bloodstream, very hard on kidneys in particular. I didn’t learn this from vegan propaganda. I learned it in college biochemistry.

    Soy, especially the way it is grown on large corporate farms, is very ecologically expensive, requiring lots of petroleum-based fertilizer and pesticide inputs, not to mention the unknowns of genetically modified organisms. So I hate to see vegetarians and vegans steering towards soy products when potatoes and green beans and even just lettuce are so easy to grow sustainably in small gardens.

  73. Twisty

    “What about meat eating pets? A friend of mine got her dogs to go vegetarian, but the cats were hopeless.”

    One of the things that appeals to me about horses is that they just eat grass. That’s it. Grass.

  74. Fiona

    stekatz said: “I’m just a little nervous that all of a sudden, there’s a new criteria for who gets to be the real feminist.”

    I don’t think Twisty is setting meatlessness as a criterion for feminism. If I understand correctly, she’s in her mid to late-40s. Would giving up meat now render what was presumably decades of radical feminism invalid? I think not. IBTP isn’t a cult. As far as I can tell, it’s a group of people whose interaction is contingent upon a set of shared views. Radical feminist views in this case. Sharing the views isn’t the same as living them 100%, without exception, 24/7. All-or-nothing rarely works in life. Which is why, for example, I admire and respect PETA and its cause but can’t get on board at this point.

    Share the views? Join the discussion. Don’t share the views? Don’t join the discussion, or join it and challenge the views.

    I think you’re being preemptively defensive. I empathize. As a vegetarian, I automatically, though often incorrectly, assume that the vegans think I’m weak, and the meat eaters think I’m stupid. I was expecting to be reamed by either or both in this discussion. Instead, it’s been interesting, respectful and pretty nonjudgmental.

    Hey, I do stuff that’s patriarchy-perpetuating: I shave my legs, I color my prematurely-graying hair, I wear makeup to work. Fuck high heels, though. I can’t remember who it was, but somebody around here said the message sent by a woman’s willingness to totter around on pointy-toed stilts is “I do what I’m told.” I quote that all the time. Anyway, I’m not proud of these things, but I do them despite my strong and increasing adherence to radical feminist views.

    Even if you disagree, can we please, please not make it about Twisty individually? I need the stuff that comes out of this broad’s head to keep me sane. And laughing. Megameatyocracy is internet gold.

  75. Flores

    You put it well, Fiona. I wouldn’t want radical feminism to become a cult with a laundry list of requirements. While certain points of view, such as support for pornography, seem too opposed to feminist ideals to possibly mix, you have to be careful. And by any standard, eating meat isn’t close to that level.

  76. BadKitty

    What about meat eating pets? A friend of mine got her dogs to go vegetarian, but the cats were hopeless.

    (shaking head) Poor, poor kitties. Please, I beg you. Not the cats. Cats are hunters and carnivores. I’m hearing that there are synthetic supplements out there to cover the nutritional shortcomings but their teeth, their digestive tracts…. no, no. Leave the kitties alone to eat what they are meant to eat.

    If you object to buying corporate produced cat food because of the farming methods, cool. Talk to your vet and learn how to make your own cat food out of free-range, organic ingredients.

    If it really bothers you to live with a meat-eating animal, don’t. I hear that horses are great companions!

  77. Virginia Ray


    I have heard your line since i became a veg and i consider it bogus and the source of many people going back to meat eating. I went through a hideous weight gain from carb loading and had constant cravings for more and more food until I learned about the protein train as a way to stay feeling full and without cravings. Organic soybeans are not harmful to the environment and in fact enrich the soil they are grown in.

    Maybe if you have had good habits all your life and a small stomach you are not trapped in this. Most of us have hideous eating habits from a childhood of the worst kind of eating. I do not get the protein I need to satisfy me from eating non soy products nor do many people so be careful with that old hippy talk about the protein myths.

    Everyone IS different with different body needs but protein will eliminate the meat cravings as well as stop the craving for more and more food that carbs and cheese set off for many people. That is why you use protein every day and plenty of it. Soy is the best direct source of pure protein for this purpose if you do not use meat.

    I was interested in the fermented soy comment but did not understand it at all- what products was s/he talking about? The link with that post was to the most delicious sounding food I have ever seen on the web.

    I was interested in the seitian post because I have had that delicious product. I will have it again to see if it works as well as soy protein to keep my weight down.

  78. Erica

    “One of the things that appeals to me about horses is that they just eat grass. That’s it. Grass.”

    I think this is why I am drawn to bunnies now. I have had rescue bunnies for a few years, and I love that I can be eating a bowl of fruit and hand a few bites down to the rabbits. The cats may pretend they are interested, but they really want kibble. From what I have read, cats would die on a vegetarian diet anyway. My aunt has greatly improved the health of her cat by cooking the food herself, and it saddens me that I cannot provide that same level of quality food for my cats because I can’t stand to even bring meat into the house, let alone cook it.

    I have been a vegetarian for a few years now, but I hardly noticed when it happened. I was diagnosed with celiac disease so I started cooking my own meals and just never wanted to cook meat. I never really liked meat because I couldn’t disconnect the object from its original animal state. I grew up near dairy farms in Ohio and loved those cows. When I read The Sexual Politics of Meat, I was sold on vegetarianism.

    I am so happy that you are re-joining the veg ranks, Twisty.

  79. Level Best

    My take as a vegetarian who loves cats (and emphathizes with folks who love their dogs just as much) is that some mammals are constructed so that they must have meat, no choice about it. Dogs and cats will kill other animals and eat them, but they don’t run meat-producing industries that make these other animals suffer all or most of their lives before being eaten. I happen to be a mammal who does have a choice about whether or not to eat meat and whose species DOES run meat-producing industries that makes other mammals suffer. I can abstain from eating meat without getting sick, so I do; that doesn’t mean I expect my kitty to join me in eating a veggie pot pie, though. In fact, she tried to bury a piece I dropped once, so that tells me how that kind of effort would go over!

  80. BadKitty

    My cats could not be converted to vegetarians even if I tried (which I wouldn’t). They supplement their kibble by eating every spider, moth or bug that gets into the house. Given the opportunity (which they are not) they would be hunting and killing every bird, mouse or bunny in the neighborhood. Any mice that get into the house are fair game, though. It’s the best solution I’ve found to a mouse infestation since I will not poison or trap them. The cats get some much needed exercise and I don’t have mouse shit all over my kitchen.

    Cats gotta be cats.

  81. Eliza

    This is a great thread with lots of interesting links. But I wonder about the class perspective regarding food. The more politically conscious the source, the higher the price and the harder the access. Where’s the (grain-fed organic) beef in the grocery store in poor neighborhoods? Those stores often have no meat substitutes, certainly not delicious ones. I don’t see any quinoa at the Piggly Wiggly.

    And there’s a family perspective too: while I reared my kids largely without recourse to MacDonalds-like food, I have sympathy with the mother at wit’s end and out of energy at 5 or 6 after a long day of work that began way before the actual shift. Especially when she knows the fridge is empty and she’s playing a game of “chicken” with her pantry.

  82. Virginia Ray

    Organic Tofu (White Wave)is $1.69 to $1.89 a pound. – How much is hamburger or bacon? How much is steak or ribs? I have to buy my mother meat (she is 89 and won’t change) and it is 4x as expensive as my tofu. Class is not an issue for protein which is the meat substitute.

    It takes no more energy to cook tofu or vegetarian food than it does to cook other food. I am not a cook. The only recipes I Ever make outside of my tofu are done by Joanne Stepaniak (Vegan Vittles) because they are simple. But even at the most simple level I don’t cook very much except for the tofu I described above. But tomatoes and mangoes and bananas and orange juice, I eat as is. How hard is it to put a cup of rice in a rice cooker with a bullion cube? Or bake potatoes? If you don’t have energy, you don’t have to slave making any big elaborate stuff just because you went vegetarian. I would be dead if cooking was a big deal.

    It is harder for organic veggies and fruit which IS more expensive but even that can be grown and canned or frozen in the summer. Quinola is a grain – how expensive can that be?

    I think the real problem is the agri businesses and their PR machines who make honest information so expensive and hidden from the poor. Who keep the whole foods out of poor neighborhoods and fill the convenience stores that are there with very expensive toxic food. The problem is with our government who will not help the whole food stores set up in inner cities. Blame the school lunch program and schools with vending machines for any class issues related to vegetarianism.

  83. Kristina

    From personal experience I can tell you that rice and beans can’t be beat when you’re on the “dollar a day” diet (you know – the one where you can’t afford to eat anything that costs more than $1 a day?). A five-pound bag of rice for $1 3 pound bag of dried beans for $1 = meals for a week. One of the best ways that I found to cut corners on the grocery bill was to cut out the meat. Meat is outrageously expensive in comparison to a vegetarian diet, and so is cheese.
    If you want to avoid soy, textured vegetable protein isn’t half-bad.
    Lard bless you, Twisty, I’ve missed you.

  84. goblinbee

    Virginia Ray, the fermented soy products that I’m familiar with are tempeh (the beans are fermented and then pressed into a cake), miso (a paste that can be used as a base for soup), and shoyu (authentic soy sauce). The miso makes a nice, brothy soup that is great with soba (buckwheat noodles), fresh ginger, green onions, etc. Oishii!

  85. Kristina

    My bad: there’s supposed to be a “plus” sign between the $1 and the “3 pound bag.” Must have gotten lost in the html translation.

  86. ivieee

    Virginia Ray – you callin’ me an old hippy? (ivieee loads her Super Soaker with patchouli oil and funky old bong water.)

    “Hippy” is a cultural pejorative term we might expect from rude college lads, not from feminists in a forum like this, no more than we would expect the “n” pejorative. For that matter, “old” in this context is just as -ism-ist. What if I told you I was 78?

    Sorry about the cravings, I have my own. CHEESE. Enchiladas, sigh. Usually, if I eat a mess of greens it resolves any of those weird cravings. Unfortunately it does nothing for the margarita cravings.

  87. liberality

    yes! down with all forms of oppression! I loved this blog before but now I love it even more!

  88. marie

    The greatest thing about seitan is that it’s so easy to cook. It doesn’t stick to the side of the pan (like tofu can) if you’re making a stirfry. Seitan bourguignon is so mega-ultra-good! http://www.geocities.com/kathyflake/MushroomBourguignon.txt

  89. Lauredhel

    “Kwashiorkor, or protein starvation, is virtually unknown in the absence of calorie starvation.”

    Where “virtually” to mean “very uncommon, especially amongst adults”? There is a series of case reports of kwashiorkor in young children in affluent environemnts, as a result of parents who feed them inappropriate diets like rice milk instead of breastmilk or a breastmilk substitute, or as a result of major unmanaged food aversions or very restricted cult diets.

    This isn’t veganism causing kwashiorkor, of course (though the media might have you think otherwise); it’s bugfuck-ignorant-abusive-parents causing kwashiorkor. So I’m not writing to rebut, but more to say that it can happen, if zero attention is paid to balancing a diet (whether omnivorous or veg*n). It’s reasonable for people embarking on a completely new way of eating to pay some attention to balancing it sensibly, if not obsessively.

    Doctors thought scurvy didn’t happen anymore in wealthy countries, too, until someone noticed that some poor, alcoholic, depressed, or psyhotic people were living on nothing but ramen or cheese pizza. There’s one case in Pubmed of a toddler with scurvy thanks to a Scientology-recommended diet of nothing but milk, barley, and corn syrup.

  90. Lily Underwood

    Twisty, you’ve made my week and quite possibly my year by posting this. And, if you haven’t already heard of it, pick up a copy of Marjorie Spiegel’s The Dreaded Comparison: Animal and Human Slavery. It’s the most cogent argument I’ve ever read about animal rights – and I’ve read a lot about this topic. Thank you.

  91. Debbie

    Hurray! I AM sorry that your withdrawal pangs for meaty tacos shall be quite horrific, but I applaud you even moreso for it.

    As a sideline, I would like to say how I missed you, Twisty–I was for several months unable to perouse your site at my workplace due to dictator-like controls on my time-usage (how dare they ask that I work during worktime! -says the sloth). I have moved elsewhere, and am thrilled to be back visiting you.

  92. Dykonoclast

    Adding my voice to the choir:

    This post dramatically improved the quality of my meat-free life.

  93. Virginia Ray

    You people are great!

    Goblin bee; Thank you, Thank You, Thank You – I forgot about tempeh which I do like if I get the right kind – one kind tempeh taste great, but another kind taste bad and I can never remember which is which and always end up buying the odd tasting one. (is it becoming clear why I am not such a great cook?) I have been searching for a substitute for high salt Koors Vegetable Bullion cubes and will try Miso. I use Tamari – never heard of that other soy sauce you mention – will compare salt content.

    iviee – you set me off laughing — I actually AM an old hippy – the patchouli and bong water reference is so funny but seriously, I still like patchouli and will put some on right after I write this. Yeah, I heard all that “don’t need much protein” stuff from my hippy friends and gained so much weight until I found out protein kills cravings. It takes more energy to digest protein then the calories it contains so it is a win -win for me.

    Listen iviee – it took me 15 years to get off cheese. Do you know cheese is addictive? We always used to hear vaguely, oh there is some addictive chemical in the rennet in the cows stomach but it had some big long name and how bad could it be, really. I just recently found out what that chemical really is – MORPHINE.

    You actually go through like a nicotine withdrawal when you try to get off cheese (and pizza makers know it). Takes about 6 months of cold turkey to get free and it means you are not so nice during that time.

    But they make cheese by taking the babies from the mothers and putting them across the road in veal crates. Then the babies and mothers call to each other for 6 weeks until the babies go to the slaughter houses often still making that sucking motion with their mouths because they want to nurse. Here are the cites:





    “1981, Eli Hazum and his colleagues at Wellcome Research Laboratories in Research Triangle Park, N.C., reported a remarkable discovery. Analyzing samples of cow’s milk, they found traces of a chemical that looked very much like morphine. They put it to one chemical test after another. And, finally, they arrived at the conclusion that, in fact, it is morphine. There is not a lot of it, and not every sample had detectable levels. But there is indeed some morphine in both cow’s milk and human milk.

    Morphine, of course, is an opiate and is highly addictive. So how did it get into milk? At first, the researchers theorized that it must have come from the cows’ diets. After all, morphine used in hospitals comes from poppies and is also produced naturally by a few other plants that the cows might have been eating. But it turns out that cows actually produce it within their bodies, just as poppies do. Traces of morphine, along with codeine and other opiates, are apparently produced in cows’ livers and can end up in their milk.”

  94. smmo

    “Culture, as a matter of fact, is never a legitimate argument for anything. Fuck culture.”

    Yeah! Especially Yeah! in the context of the Vegifesto.

    There are a few advantages to being raised by hippies, one of which is never having eaten meat. It really isn’t very hard, especially now. Would you like to hear the sad tale of the little Girl Guide who was shunned for her veggie hot dogs in 1973? Yet I survived.

  95. Susan

    Welcome back with a vengeance, Twisty! I’m not a vegetarian, but suspect I will be one someday and know I’ll be a better person for it.

  96. Sasha

    Nope. I’m not agreeing with this one. I am willing to totally agree that radical feminism and factory farming are mutually exclusive.

    I am, however, blessed (and not in the Jeebus sense) to be able to purchase all of my applewood smoked bacon from an Amish family farm wherein they raise the pig (organically), slaughter the pig, smoke the bacon, and sell the bacon. Same for chicken and cow. If only they raised lambs I would be fully actualized.

    No, I’m not going to decide here and know whether the Amish are sufficiently sexist to shun their farms.

  97. chandelle

    i just wanted to mention, to the “where to draw the line” question, that you must accept from the outset that there is no perfection. we all do the best we can and avoid oppression when we are aware of it and can make a change. my family of four with two dogs and a cat is low-income, but we still eat 100% organic, as much local as we can get, and we don’t eat animal products or processed food. when we do buy clothing we buy it used or fair trade. i understand the arguments about an ethical life being for the affluent, but we make it work while making an income just a smidge above the poverty line. we do so by making “sacrifices” like forgoing a television and using public transportation. and perhaps the most important thing is that we don’t buy very much of anything, except food. when you buy less crap in general, you have more money for things of value, like t-shirts made from hemp or organic cotton sewn by fairly-paid women in co-ops. :) ok, i got kind of side-tracked because MY POINT IS that there is no perfection and you’d drive yourself batshit crazy trying to be absolutely perfectly right in everything. sometimes you need a medication that was tested on animals – most of them were, and hormone treatments and some forms of hormonal birth control come from animals (HRT is especially horrible, to horses). driving a car, living in a house with insulation and planting a garden with manure guarantees that somewhere along the way you’ve oppressed or destroyed a sentient life. we all have to do what we can to sleep at night and look at ourselves in the mirror. but we can’t do everything. i think it’s important to deal with that reality from the outset. and i think the most important thing, above all, is that we don’t shy away from information that makes us cringe with shame. even if we can’t change on a dime, we must continue to perpetuate awareness of choices that subjugate or destroy life. knowledge is power and nothing changes without deliberate self-awareness.

  98. slythwolf

    I don’t think I’m ready to make the decision to be a vegetarian yet, but for the past several weeks I have been, just while following the demands of my palate, eating less and less meat. I used to think I would have an extremely hard time getting enough protein to assuage my hypoglycemia without eating meat (living as I do in a rural Michigan town where the non-meat options, both at restaurants and in the grocery store, are neither particularly numerous nor particularly nutritious), but it begins to seem as though what my hypoglycemia really wants is a bunch of cheese, a bunch of vegetables and a bunch of whole grains. And berries. Always, always berries. In fact, recently the times I have eaten meat it has been when I looked at a menu and couldn’t see anything else I could even remotely stomach. I have not found myself craving meat in quite some time.

    I think I am making the transition slowly. I think this is a good thing; five or six years ago I tried to go vegan as a new year’s resolution and that didn’t work out so well. Heard somewhere that those of us who are omnivores are addicted to the lactic acid in the flesh of traumatically slaughtered animals; anyone know how true this is? I certainly had some kind of withdrawal symptoms–after about a week I was verbally abusing people at the slightest provocation and then bursting into tears. Although of course it may also have been that I wasn’t getting enough protein, because that’s also how I get when I’ve had too much sugar or haven’t eaten within the past three hours.

  99. Frumious B.

    “The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has a lot of science-based info on vegan/vegetarian eating and refutes and debunks the Meat Lobby’s pseudo-scientific rationalizations of meat-eating for health.”

    No, they don’t. PCRM is the evil, parthenogenic offspring of PETA.

  100. ma'am

    I am so happy for you Twisty! I promise you will NOT be sorry — the quality of my vegetarian diet is far superior than was ever possible when I ate meat. I ahve never even posted here before but I am so psyched with this discussion I can’t help myself.

    I have been doing this mostly-vegetarian thing for over a decade now. The beginning was sort of accidental and at that time I was more concerned about the environmental issues of meat production. I think in retrospect this was because I couldn’t properly comprehend or acknowledge my role in promoting animal cruelty. Now I am so relieved that I am not involved in (this form of) animal cruelty and environmental destruction, nor do I have to worry about meat contamination scares or excessive intake of antibiotics or hormones — so long as I make wise choices on eggs and dairy. Whew.

    Having said that, if everyone in the rich, developed world were to simply CUT DOWN on meat intake, this would make a big difference. We don’t all have to be veganazis. The conversion factor is huge and at least 10:1 if not more (i.e., 10 pounds of grains/veg to yield 1 pound of meat) as pointed out above. If you consider water pollution due to animal manure, the numbers get even better.

    You will discover that food that is not meat is actually so much more enjoyable, flavorful and satisfying. I am a serious foodie. Veggies and grains can be made so wonderfully flavorful, and I would encourage you to try Indian food — these folks know how to cook veggies! And that you can eat so much MORE if it is grains and veggies. I do occasionally eat fish, (or deer or wild turkey if in my redneck homeland), but tiny amounts of fish fill me up really quickly. So I can do this occasionally and relatively guilt-free. But I can eat my weight in grains and veggies. And I have NEVER had any issues with protein or any other deficiencies. I think this entire concept is bunk. Eat what looks good, sounds good, and your body will let you know if it has needs. Mine has never had a need for meat….although a grilled burger dripping with mustard, lettuce, and tomato is my unquenched desire.

  101. BadKitty

    Frumious B is correct.

    Virginia Rae’s source in the links she posted above is Dr. Neal Barnard, the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has donated more than $1.3m to PCRM. PETA is based in Norfolk, Va., and PCRM in Washington, D.C. There is a third organization called Foundation to Support Animal Protection housed out of the same address as PETA. This organization’s board consists in part of PCRM founder and president Neal Barnard and PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. The IRS form 990s filed for FSAP confirm that from 1999 through 2000 PCRM was a supported organization. Since 2000, FSAP has declined to itemize its supported organizations.

    The ties between PCRM, PETA, and FSAP have been criticized by the American Council on Science and Health and The American Physiological Society.

  102. k.a.

    Did someone actually try to equate the term “hippy” with “nigger”? Like that’s really equivalent? Does anyone ever listen to WoC feminists when they explain what’s wrong with feminism?

  103. chandelle

    slythwolf – it’s not uncommon to experience withdrawal symptoms when coming off of meat or dairy. it can take some time to adjust. in my experience, typical detox effects such as nausea, diarrhea, headaches, depression, lethargy and the type of moodiness you described last for most people from 2-6 weeks. indeed, eating meat and dairy does become quite a bit of an addiction and should be treated as such. cheese, for example, is often listed by hopeful veg/etari/ans as the one thing they just can’t imagine giving up or that prevented them from eradicating dairy altogether. this can be attributed at least in part to casomorphin, an opiate in milk that is concentrated in cheese and does indeed create a physiological addiction. my suggestion to those transitioning is to take it slowly and be gentle with yourself. such a dramatic change should be sustainable and that means not throwing yourself into it and burning out or feeling unhealthy because you haven’t adjusted your diet appropriately to your individual biochemical needs. (i’m in graduate school for holistic nutrition, on my way to becoming a naturopathic doctor, and this is a pet issue of mine.)

  104. Lauredhel

    Soymorphin, gluteomorphin, rubiscolin – there are opioid-like peptides in both plant and animal derived foods. Their clinical significant is very unclear at this stage, but any claim that food opioids are limited to animal derived foods is not based in fact. We also make a lot of our own endorphins, in response to activities like exercise and sex.

    There are much better arguments for avoiding meate, arguments that don’t draw on “omg war on drugs!” panic, with a hefty side serve of “Foods that make you feel good are bad for you” – something women have been beaten over the head with for a long, long time.

  105. Lucija

    Virginia Ray,

    just out of curiosity: where should a hypothyroid vegetarian get their protein from? For a hypothyroid person (and there’s a lot of us), soy is a vile, vile, life-sucking poison.

  106. Langsuyar

    Twisty, I have always loved you but for Christ’s sake, its about fucking time. I don’t even remember what bacon tastes like and am perfectly happy with the morningstar farms or tempeh kind.

  107. slythwolf

    I worry a bit about soy myself because I heard somewhere* that it can release estrogen-like things into the body if eaten in too-large amounts, and I’m already on Ortho-Evra which apparently gives me way more estrogen than birth control pills and for that reason poses a higher risk of things like blood clots and breast cancer.

    *It does begin to seem like most of my information is gathered in this way. I think it’s the ADD; I can’t remember where I hear things, only vaguely what they are.

  108. Vicki

    Cheese. I can’t stop eating it, HELP!
    Although I went 2 days without eating it, I swear it’s harder than giving up cigarettes. I’ve read somewhere that cheese has an addictive ingredient or something. How’d you guys ditch the cheese for good?

  109. Suzz

    Lucija, try checking out Quinoa. It may or may not be available at your everyday grocery store, but if you try a bit and check out other places, like other groceries and possibly health food stores or lovely crunchy co-ops. Quinoa is a grain (originally from the Andes) that contains all of the essential amino acids (meaning complete protein) in addition to loads of other nutrients. It’s pretty cheap, too, and versatile, and tasty. If you have a dearth of quinoa in your area for some reason, do the rice&beans thang. It doesn’t actually have to be rice&beans, though… it can be (insert whole grain of choice here) & (insert “pulse” food here). Pulse foods include beans, nuts, and other legumes (like peanuts, which are not actually nuts). So a pb sandwich on whole-wheat bread? Complete protein!

  110. Anne X


    I was recently reading old posts on IBTP and found your comments to be very interesting. I was rather sad that you did not have a blog.

  111. Tracy

    I just wanted to mention that cows are not the only animals who have “downers,” nor are they the only ones who are abused. There are undercover videos of slaughterhouse workers shoving their hands in the vaginas of chickens and turkeys to retrieve their eggs before killing them. (As well as beating them, etc.)

    I also wanted to point out that the cow in the HSUS video was a dairy cow. (Another good reason to stop drinking animals’ milk.)

    The only compassionate diet is a vegan one.

  112. Lucija

    Suzz, thanks for the info. Can I just ask how come people who eat both meat and whole grains and pulse foods don’t get too much protein? Is there even such a thing as too much protein? I seem to recall reading somewhere that there was.
    Sorry if it’s a silly question, but science’s never really been my thing.

  113. J.Brenner

    “Thus we can but conclude that hamburgers and radical feminism are mutually exclusive.”

    And here I though my huge medium rare burgers with cheddar, slowly sautéed Vidalia onions and bacon couldn’t get any more delicious! Thank you, I Blame the Patriarchy!

  114. North

    Lucija, most people’s bodies are not super-sensitive: there’s a basic amount of protein you need, and unless you’re eating a ridiculous amount of protein you’re probably fine. There’s some evidence that, because protein is metabolized using calcium, a super-high-protein diet over the long term can damage your bones. Also, if you’re eating meat, you generally eat a smaller quantity of vegetable protein, just because you’re not hungry for all of it.

    There’s a lot of food research out there that tells you to calibrate your diet precisely to this recommended daily intake of something and that suggested daily range of whatever, and honestly I think it’s probably all bullshit. Food is very chemically complex (see for example Michael Pollan’s paragraph-long list of just the antioxidants in a sprig of thyme) and no one knows much about how those chemicals all interact with each other. Eat what makes you feel good. Eat a lot of fresh food.

    I’m with Sasha on this one. (Also, do you live in PA? Because we have lots of Amish farmers around here.) But I went on and on about it on the Stanley thread, so no need to repeat myself.

  115. Rob Taylor

    Are you really comparing the suffering of my ancestors who were dragged here from Africa to cows? Really?

    And are you also saying that they, who ate meat or my family who enjoys a good BBQ are essentially morally equivalent to the slave owners? This sound suspiciously like a way for Whites to minimize the history of racism in America and the current enslavement and murder of Black Africans by Arab Muslim states by creating an asinine distraction that can occupy their time.

    Thanks for this though, I finally was able to convince my cousin who was a “liberal” that White liberals didn’t really see her as an equal. More like a cow I guess. I’ll send ths to my uncle next, he’s a Clinton supporter.

    But since this is pedantic assholery go ahead and delete it, that’ll help convince any other Black folk I show this to (via screen shot) that people like you and your friends don’t even want to hear form Black people when they’re disgusted and offended by your equating their rapes and murders, rapes and murders that go on even today, to the “plight” of cows and chickens.

  116. Suzz

    I agree with what North said about the protein and calibration thing. It’s not usually an issue until you hit long-term high levels of protein consumption. Then there are a variety of things it can affect. In addition to the bone thing, I’ve heard about high levels of animal protein being linked to heart problems and cancer (the former of which could conceivably be linked more to cholesterol than to protein, and the latter to other carcinogenic factors associated with the consumption of animals products). Again, as North noted, food is very chemically complex, and can be hard to pinpoint a singular, exact cause of health problems or well-being. The one-nutrient-one-problem approach is very common in mainstream Western medicine, which is one of the reasons that I don’t always trust mainstream Western medicine.

    The only other thing I have to say at the moment is that just because a farm is Amish and less technological doesn’t mean that they don’t engage in cruelty or excessive exploitation. Have you ever seen the horribly overworked draft horses that once pulled Amish plows? I grew up between King of Prussia and Lancaster (near the larger Amish settlements in PA) and also remember that our family dog was rescued/adopted from a Lancaster farm as a puppy. She was with the rest of her litter in a tiny, fenced, silo-shaped area in a field with no access to shade or heat, and apparently that is just how they kept their dogs on that particular farm. I am not saying that all Amish farms overwork their horses or leave puppies utterly exposed to the elements, but I am also saying that just because a farm is Amish doesn’t mean it is considerate to its animal members.

  117. Eric Prescott

    I late to this party. Just found out about the blog from pattrice jones (thanks, pattrice!).

    Congrats on the connection, and thanks for writing about it.

    I just wanted to remind anyone else who stumbles across this post at this late (or later) date that there is no such thing as humane meat, as I would have thought your post made clear, AND those cows involved in the recall were first exploited for several years in order to steal the milk that rightfully belonged to their calves (which were also stolen from them and chopped up into veal). It seems many people are forgetting this fact.

  118. Lucija

    Thanks, North and Suzz. I know what you mean about food being chemically complex. It’s all pretty confusing, to me at least. Since I’ve known I’m hypothyroid I’ve read so much contradictory information about what to eat and what not to eat, it’s driving me nuts.

  119. Stella

    Just chiming in (late) – also a vegetarian, almost one month dairy-free for Lent (I’m an atheist), very pleased with it. I’ve spent many a late-night moment wondering how Twisty can be so enlightened and radical while posting pictures of fois gras, etc. Welcome, Twisty! There are **plenty** of tasty veg*n tacos in Austin. A glut, in fact. To me, guacamole is the new cheese.

    Also, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in January of 2006 – I would be interested in talking to others. An endocrinology specialist I saw told me to avoid soy and walnuts (I eat both, and have seen no shift in my blood test numbers), but my local pharmacist told me he’d never heard of any soy-related prohibitions for hypothyroid people. I have also not been very successful in finding much information (much less non-contradictory, well-researched information) about this.

  120. Marigoldie

    I’m so happy the Twisty fingers have returned to the keyboard and thrilled out of my mind to read this post! Count me as one who thinks feminism and veganism go hand in hand. Go Revolution Go.

  121. Personb

    Hi there; this is the first time I have been to your website and I like what I see. I got here through a Media Matters post about Dowd and skimmed around. As a long-term vegan and “blamer” I can’t help but smile ear to ear reading this phrase:

    “Thus we can but conclude that hamburgers and radical feminism are mutually exclusive.”

    Thanks also for linking me here http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/?p=133. It’s given me something to think about re: postmodern/radical feminism and abolition/welfare for animal rights. They don’t teach this stuff in school (at least not where I live)

    p.s. “and, if you are a dude, not to be yet another fucking pedantic asshole” —-ouch

  122. Personb

    after more carefully perusing the FAQ I see that I failed to point out I am a white male in my early twenties; this is apparently relevant.

    I am sorry for being The Patriarchy; I honestly would have chosen to be a lady if anyone had asked me, and I struggle daily with what to do about what I can only identify as the privilege of class membership in my life. I can see from experience the truth that it is quite easy for a clean, well-spoken white dude to get a relatively high-ranking position compared to equally capable non-whites and ladies. It’s wrong.

    Please don’t take it out on all white dudes in our early twenties! Regardless of your prior experience with fucking pedantic assholes, that’s stereo-typing.

    anyway, men don’t hate you any more than you hate men (conjecture). try not to lose the message in the medium

  123. Hillary Rettig / The Lifelong Activist

    Hi Twisty – I’m late to the game, but add me to the ranks of the thrilled! Your coming over to veganism is simply wonderful – for you, the animals and the planet.

  124. ginmar

    Well, I’m going to get in my non-existant car and spend the gas to go to the other side of town to get to a health food store and buy expensive vegan food. Oh, wait, don’t have a car. Also have agoraphobia. That means a bus ride. That means the whole morning is shot, assuming I can get out the door. Oh, yeah, and the health food store is expensive. Or I can take a cab to the shitty grocery store that’s here in the hood.

    I’m not making excuses for what I eat and why, but I do think there’s unexplored class issues here. I don’t have kids. What if I did? Talk about fun, taking kids on a long bus trip, both ways. Or there’s cab fare. Or there’s being disabled. Basic groceries are out of range for poor people. Health food might as well be on the moon.

  125. Victoria Marinelli

    I think the openness to new information and the willingness to stand corrected when appropriate is at least as revolutionary a quality as one’s capacity to stand one’s ground.

    I had not thought it possible that I could love this blog more than I already did. I stand corrected.

  126. Sinatra

    oh sure, I may be a good month and a half late, but have to say:

    if you’re looking for an excellent soy-free cookbook, check out Dino Sarma’s “The Alternative Vegan”.


    it’s all veggies and good stuff, no over-processed fake meats or soy products.

  127. Uppity

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart, the ethics of raising animals for food, provoking me to comment despite the date on the post. Hey, if Jill hadn’t linked it (twice) I wouldn’t have seen it at all.

    I happen to be One of Those who suffer from poor health when living a vegetarian lifestyle. It’s not just the anemia, it isn’t something that can be managed with the right supplements, food is complex! So, in effort to eat as ethically as I can, striving to avoid the global megameatyocracy, I moved to a farm so I could raise my own animals. Here is what I’ve learned:

    – Here in the North, where the heating season is longer than the growing season, we can’t grow soybeans or many other popular legumes and nuts. Eating local (which is another priority altogether), makes eating vegan a damn hard proposition. The resources we do have available are well suited and efficiently used to raise animals.
    – Animals are not people. They deserve proper housing, nutrition and access to exercise and socialization because they are living things of course. They do not think about the future or fear their deaths, on the other hand.
    – Animals choose safety over freedom. Ready buckets full of grain are much more attractive than scrounging. Occasionally it happens that someone breaks free, choosing to be eaten by bears, coyotes or eagles instead of me, but as a whole, domestic animals are content with domesticity.
    – On this farm, meat animals are the by-product of breeding for milk and eggs. Female animals are far more useful providing protein rich food in other ways. Because babies come in both kinds, something has to happen to the males, which leads me to –
    – Individual animals may not want to be butchered, but, the flock or herd as a whole is MUCH happier to have excess males removed. Too many males in a population only causes hardship and stress, if you can imagine. Only the best males are kept for breeding, the rest are eaten (or castrated) to the general relief of everyone. This is what led me to finally take the first step and butcher a chicken. It became clear that it was the most humane thing to do.
    – The best way for the animal to end its life is usually the hardest on the person and vice versa, what’s easy on the person is hardest on the animal. Handling this responsibility is the difficult part.


  128. Imaginary

    I don’t really understand the argument for “humane killing” for meat. Either it’s okay to treat them as objects and use them for your convenience and momentary pleasure, or it’s not.

    Nor do I understand feminist meat-eaters feeling all upset when vegans/vegetarians criticize their meals. It’s not a right to kill an animal for your pleasure, just as it isn’t a right to watch porn of a girl forced into sexual slavery. One persun abstaining from the horror of these industries but keeping their mouth shut isn’t going to make the problems go away.

  129. Hey Now

    I don’t really understand why someone would go vegetarian but not vegan. Egg and milk production is far worse than meat production. And I don’t really understand the argument for “humane killing.” Perhaps there could be such a thing as “humane child abuse?”

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