Robbins vs. Cohen

Just because you’re a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you’re automatically aligned with every other vegetarian on the planet, and nothing makes that plainer than the current battle between VegSource and John Robbins and the “NotMilk guy” Robert Cohen.

While the whole article is interesting, this series of e-mails between Robbins and Cohen is particularly telling. Cohen took extreme offense when Robbins asked him to remove an article from his site and rather link to the original article on the Food Revolution web site. For some reason, this flipped Cohen out, thinking it was an agressive, self-serving ploy by Robbins. It seems to me that Mr. Cohen (whose site is, if I may say, painful on the eyes) overreacted big time. Linking to an original article simply ensures that readers who stumble across the link are always provided with the most up-to-date, corrected version rather than a “cached” version that may contain typos or inaccuracies that were later corrected.

This isn’t to take away from what Mr. Cohen’s done—he’s been a visible opponent of the dairy industry—but the tone in his letters to John Robbins is just plain childish.

So you have both sides of the story, here’s a link to Robert Cohen’s take on things.

Animal fat for heat?

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Do we really need to start looking towards animal fat to heat our homes? I think the time and money spent researching this might be better spent looking towards more sustainable forms of energy. And, quite frankly, we don’t need yet another industry indirectly supporting the meat industry. (link via Kristoffer)

Jackass opinions from “Dr. Bill”

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Diets without animal products can be very complicated

I’d be nervous about having a doctor with “Dr. Bill”‘s outlook on diet. In this article, Dr. Shockey challenges another article titled “Vegan teens: They can give up meat, dairy and stay healthy” but rather than providing any truly sound reasoning, he instead insults the vegan lifestyle with meaningless attacks.

“For calcium, Kelln recommends dark leafy vegetables, broccoli and fortified orange juice,” Dr. Bill starts. “A cup of raw chopped spinach contains 56 mg and a cup of raw chopped broccoli contains 42 mg of calcium. So my teen-ager would only have to consume 21.5 cups of raw spinach or 28.5 cups of raw broccoli to meet their calcium requirement. Hope they’re hungry.” Of course, this is assuming that spinach and broccoli are the only source of calcium. Notice how he left out the fortified orange juice? It contains somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 mg of calcium. The vitamin D required to absorb calcium can be obtained via fortified soy milk or sunlight (vegansociety.com).

He goes on to make similar comparisons with beans, bread (choose white bread rather than whole wheat bread, no doubt so he can inflate his numbers even more), and takes another shot at dark, leafy vegetables. It leads me to think that he’s rather averse to eating his veggies. Of course from a doctor that coldly declares, “Personally, I believe that meat animals are alive for the sole purpose of consumption by humans, and I am pleased to contribute my fair share,” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at his anti-vegetarian rhetoric.

Tofu… like animal fat!

A while back I bought some soft, silken tofu with the expectation of using it in a smoothie or a soup. This past weekend I was preparing a recipe that called for firm or extra firm tofu, so I reached in my fridge and grabbed the box, totally forgetting that it was of the soft, silken variety. Unfortunately, I cut it open before I realized my mistake. I cursed myself, put the tofu in a container with some water and substituted some three-grain tempeh in the recipe.

I made a small batch of soup the following night, so I was able to use some of the submerged tofu. But, by last night I began to worry about the tofu growing mold, so I forced myself to look online and find a simple recipe I could prepare that would use the rest of it up. I came across the oddly named Hefner Tofu.

So, with visions of the Playboy Mansion dancing in my head, I made the stir-fry with a few modifications based on ingredient availability. I used a few slices of an organic leek in place of the green onion and Shoyu as my soy sauce of choice. I also left out the MSG (which, though listed in the ingredients, isn’t listed in the poorly constructed instructions). Predicting a bland result from this dish, I added some garam masala, fine white pepper, and a couple other random spices.

It came out pretty well. It was mushy, but had a nice flavor to it. It probably would have tasted especially good over rice. Huyen tried it out and really liked it, saying that it had the consistency of animal fat. Of course, I don’t look at that as a good thing, but to each their own. :)

“I have never been so glad to be vegan…”

“I have never been so glad to be vegan in my life.”

Scott, a friend from college who is vegan, recently posted this entry in his blog about his experience driving behind a truck of chickens being transported to the slaughterhouse. You can imagine that as a vegan, just being behind the truck of chickens must have been difficult… now imagine that the chickens start falling out of the truck.