Cool 2B Real parody

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The Morning News comes through again, as they take the time to imagine the discussions that go on behind closed doors during the evolution of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s hilarious Cool 2B Real site.

NCBA Rep: So I ordered some surveys. We found that well above one percent of pre-teen girls, are questioning a lifestyle rich in beef. To the point that they don’t eat meat at all.

Salesperson: That’s vegetaria…

NCBA Rep: We don’t use that word. We use “terrorism.” This is cattle country.

Taro Burgers

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After seeing this VegSource.com article about Taro burgers, I was a bit intrigued. I hadn’t heard of them, but apparently they’re very popular elsewhere in the world and are pretty healthy, too, providing 3g of fiber and 20% of the RDA for vitamin A with only 2g of fat (0 sat fat). The ingredient list is simple: Taro, Luau Leaf, Brown Rice, Carrots, Corn, Onions, Sunflower Seeds, Oats, Tomatoes, Canola Oil, Garlic, Sea Salt, Natural Herbs & Spices (from the Hawaii Taro Company). Sounds good!

Has anyone tried a Taro burger before?

Could the beef industry be more lame?

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If you want a good laugh, check out this Time article about the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s attempt to make meat eating “cool” amongst teen girls. As you might expect of a cattlemen’s attempt to look “cool” to a young crowd, their site, Cool-2B-Real fails miserably. Apparently, you can only be “real” (and healthy) if you eat beef.

I would have loved to sit in on the meetings between the NCAB and the site’s designers… imagaging the archetypal Texas cattleman, donning a cowboy hat, telling the designer, “No, no, son… I think we need lots more pink. Yeah, pink. And girls building pyramids. And don’t forget the flowers!”

Dealing with frustration

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I guess it’s only natural to feel frustrated sometimes when you’re part of a minority of any sort, whether it’s one by birth (race) or by choice (diet/beliefs). I mean, while articles like Is the meat-free diet for the chop? (an article about the decline of vegetarianism in Scotland which includes choice quotes like “There is a feeling that vegetarianism isn’t such a big deal any more. I’ve noticed a lot of people turning back to meat.”) are a dime a dozen and just serve to show that if you look at vegetarianism as a trend or a quick-fix diet rather than a life-long change, you’ll eventually “get tired” of it. Whatever. Articles like this one are just nonsense filler with no real point or, forgive the term, meat.

What really gets me frustrated is in-fighting. I’ve been seeing in it amongst all sorts of groups, including some you’d never expect there to be such anger being tossed around. An appropriate example to share here is the hot topic in the vegetarian movement: the disbursement of money from the McDonald’s beef-flavored-fries lawsuit amongst “vegetarian groups.” The long argument made short: some vegetarian activists were angry at how the money was being distributed, with certain organizations getting a lot and some other worhty organizations getting none. There’s also controversy about the ethics of the lawyers involved, but I’ll leave it to you to read the full story on the link above. The VegSource folks have struck hard at McDonald’s and groups like the Vegetarian Resource Group (one article VegSource wrote was titled “Sleeping with the Enemy”) for their stance in the issue and their own willingness to accept such a large sum of money for themselves.

I get frustrated because all this fighting, mudslinging, and name-calling takes away focus from what’s really important: getting information out to the public that speaks well for the vegetarian movement. And don’t get me wrong: I’m not taking sides here. I think Jeff Nelson has a point and he articulates it well, and I also think that the manner in which the lawsuit was handled is shady. But when I visit web sites to read about vegetarian food, animal rights issues, or battles against big business, I don’t want my attention to be drawn to in-fighting amongst groups that should be on the same side, you know?

Anyway.

As all that was getting me riled up, Erik posted a link on Vegan.com to a well-written op-ed piece in a University of Texas at Arlington school paper titled Thought Food: Alternative eating habits not only save animals but save on the bottom line. Taking a pro-vegetarian stance in Texas takes some guts. Of course, when the rebuttal uses the incredibly tired “animals exist for human use and consumption, which is simply proven by the fact that every human being possesses carnivorous incisors in their mouth” argument, a pro-vegetarian stance will make sense to all but the most staunch meat-eaters.

So do me a favor: find some “happy news” or share some information about good food you’ve been eating. Let’s brighten things up around here…