Saturday, December 6, 2008


Every holiday meal my Grandma would make several Jello dessert molds, which I always ate right up. You could count on finding at least 10+ boxes of said "food" in her cupboard at any given time. It is fascinating what we will eat when we are children...perhaps it is more amazing what people will continue to eat as adults when they have the ability to make choices for themselves and understand exactly what they are using to fuel their bodies.

Now, Kraft has a very glossy website detailing their Jello products, but, surprisingly, nowhere (that I can find at least) do they state what Jello actually is made of. But it does include this in its history section:

"During the early quarter of the 20th century, immigrants entering Ellis Island in New York City were served JELL-O gelatin as a 'Welcome to America.'” Nothing says welcome to a new home like desserts made out of animal bones, tissues, and other tasty treats!

Wait, so what exactly is gelatin? "It is derived from collagen found in the bones, cartilage, connective tissue, and skin of animals, traditionally cows. Most commercially produced gelatin nowadays is produced from pig skin. If you have ever roasted a chicken or ham, you made your own gelatin. The juices in the bottom of the pan contain gelatin rendered from the collagen, and if you put the roasting pan in the refrigerator, you'll find some of the juice setting into a gel."

Oh, and the Jello site also features a "Flavor Finder." Hizzah!

Jello is certainly the most famous gelatin based product, but I'm sure most people have no idea the sheer number of products that use it. I can't find a great list, but here is a decent discussion - Yahoo Answers. Just look at labels when you buy things, especially candy. I used to work in a cafe and would entertain myself by reading the labels of the food we sold, and explaining to my coworkers what exactly was in what they were eating. I was not being mean and never told anyone not to eat anything - I simply told them what they were putting in their bodies. This led one girl to storm out of the cafe yelling at me, "YOU RUIN EVERYTHING!" Unfortunately I'm not the one who filled the foods she eats with shit. Ah ignorance.

For vegetarian alternatives to traditional gelatin, check out this article.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meanwhile a football star is in trouble for dogfighting.

"I want to apologize to the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model," Vick told the judge. - AP

I love dogs as I do any animals. But why are they afforded the "luxury" of animal cruelty laws while the 300 million turkeys mentioned in the post below do not?

They aren't supposed to be "cute animal cruelty laws" or "domesticated animal cruelty laws" but ANIMAL cruelty laws, no hyphen necessary.

I often hear from meat eaters how it is disgusting that other countries eat dogs, cats, etc, but they see no issue with eating cows, pigs, etc. Is there not some fundamental issue here that needs to be dealt with? Any adult is intelligent enough to see (as long as they choose to) that meat is meat, no matter what animal it comes from. Nonsense.

A slap in the fucking face to 300 million turkeys (and anyone who cares about living creatures)

So President Bush continued the tradition of pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving. His kind heart actually pardoned two turkeys. Lucky birds, huh?
I find this an absolutely appalling practice. Of course I am glad to see these two turkeys live through the only holiday when people eat the fucking mascot, but it is disgusting to see them put these two beautiful birds before the public in a nonsense ceremony while they will all be going back to the dinner table and feasting on the slaughtered bodies of the same birds. I absolutely don't fucking get it. It's not funny, it's not cute, it is sickening.

Meanwhile, the turkey pictured above, "Pumpkin," will be made the grand marshall of the Thanksgiving parade in Disneyland. Speaking as someone who worked in a Disney Theme Park, that is absolutely pathetic and hypocritical. Disney sells thousands upon thousands of turkey legs a year, from birds that are horribly altered to produce huge legs. The great majority of turkeys raised in the United States are pumped with so many drugs and genetically altered that they normally cannot stand up under their own weight. They're so heavy that their legs break under the strain.

To try to put it in context, we, in popular culture theory, celebrate Thanksgiving as the time the pilgrims and Indians came together and shared a meal. Of course, we slaughtered most of them, and put the rest on reservations. We raise millions of turkeys a year, only to slaughter them and make a holiday out of it. Wouldn't it be similar if, before driving the Indians from the land, the president would have pardoned two of them? Not because they committed any crime, but simply because they were Indians?

300 million turkeys slaughtered for no other reason than people get pleasure out of eating their flesh. 300 MILLION FUCKING TURKEYS that can feel pain.

300 million.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Excuses for Eating Meat #4 - I was raised eating meat

So was I.

I was also raised Catholic.

Now I am a vegan atheist. Go figure.

Next please....

Monday, November 17, 2008

I love Cattle Decapitation!!!

For those of you unfamiliar with vegetarian death metal, I highly suggest going to check out Cattle Decapitation.
They're on Metal Blade records and have been going strong for over a decade. Social consciousness is not something normally related to genres such as death metal, and i'm sure most of their listeners still eat meat. However, it's absolutely fantastic shit. The lyrics usually deal with topics such as treating humans how we treat animals, which means like shit. They have a new record coming out next January called "The Harvest Floor" which features artwork of humans being herded into a slaughterhouse:
That makes me happy.

Cattle Decapitation interview on PETA2

Friday, November 14, 2008

But cheese is okay...wait, what is "rennet" ?

While I no longer eat it, cheese kept me from being a vegan for many years. I had given up all other animal products, but as a midwestern boy with an Italian mother and grandma, I was raised on it, and found it the most difficult thing to give up. I figured it was alright since nothing had to die to make it...then I found out about rennet.

"Rennet is an extract from the fourth stomach of young ruminants, such as cows, goats, and sheep. This extract contains a number of enzymes which are designed to help these animals digest their mother's milk, and when added to milk, rennet will cause the milk to coagulate, forming the curds and whey which are so essential in the cheesemaking process." -

These stomachs are the by-product of making veal, which comes from slaughtered baby cows, sometimes only days old, depending on the type of veal. Yup, like these little guys -
Unfortunately, most cheese is produced in this method, thus most cheese could not be made without slaughtering baby cows. That was enough to get me to stop eating it...well, and the fact that cow's milk is in no way fit for human consumption.

BUT, cheese lovers do not despair. If you can't get yourself to give up cheese, at least do the baby cows (and yourself) a favor by purchasing cheese made without stomach rennet.
Here is a solid listing of cheeses made with vegetarian rennet. I know the Whole Foods by me has their cheeses labeled as either "traditional" or "vegetarian" rennet. Of course it would be more truthful if it was "dead baby cow stomach" rennet, but oh well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anyone who calls themselves "pro-life" is a vegetarian!!! (Or a liar).

In the spree to demonize things we do not like, words are changed or substituted in order to either put down an opponent, or make yourself feel better. Thus, dead cow flesh becomes "steak," and dead pig flesh "pork." Likewise, if you're against abortion you become "pro-life" and if you're for abortion in any fashion, you are "pro-choice." Of course, both of these are nonsense terms.

This is not trying to open any debate on abortion in any manner, just to show the nonsense of labels and point out more positives for our animal friends and more negatives for our human actions.

So, it seems to me that if you are calling yourself "pro-life" you would have to be a vegetarian. There is no way around it. If you eat meat, you are agreeing to the butchering of innocent creatures, and in no way could this practice be defined as "pro-life." However, i doubt many in the pro-life movement see it this way, so these ones are outright liars. (Somehow animals aren't really alive...well, you know, unless they live in our houses and do cute things).

This does not put the "pro-choice" crowd off the hook, however. (Well, I guess it does for eating meat, as I can't find a way to tie them together at the moment, but...) If you call yourself "pro-choice" and say things such as "it's a woman's choice to do with her body as she wants," then she should be able to legally choose to do drugs and put any substance she wants into her body. It's her choice.

Personally, I'm a big fan of choice and believe we should be able to do whatever we want as long as it does not interfere with the right of anyone else to do exactly the same thing. Thus, if you want to shoot heroin into your eyeballs, go for it. In a truly free society you should be able to do as you please as long as you do not physically hurt the person or property of another.

So, if you call yourself "pro-choice" but are for drug prohibition, you're a liar. Both sides lose with their inflammatory labels.