September 25: Poplar Spring Open House

Any veg blog readers in the DC/MD/VA area, I invite you to come and visit Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary’s open house this coming Sunday. Erik Marcus will be the speaker and there will be music and food and plenty of rescued farm animals for you to meet. It’s a great event and I highly encourage you to come out. If you’re thinking of attending, please RSVP to info -at- animalsanctuary.org and also let me know that you’ll be there so I can look for you and say hi.

Here’s the official announcement/invitation:

Dear Friend of Poplar Spring,

Join us for Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary’s eighth annual Fundraiser and Open House, to raise funds to continue the organization’s important work of rescuing abused and abandoned farmed animals.

Please bring a friend and join us for an educational and entertaining afternoon with delicious food, a live band, silent auction, entertainment for the kids, and an opportunity to visit with the Sanctuary’s many rescued residents.

Our keynote speaker will be Erik Marcus, author of Meat Market.

Sunday, September 25, 2005
1:00 to 5:00 p.m., rain or shine
Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary
15200 Mt. Nebo Road, Poolesville, MD 20837

RSVP to Poplar Spring at 301-428-8128 or email info -at- animalsanctuary.org

No dogs, please.

For more information, including directions to Poplar Spring, please visit: http://www.AnimalSanctuary.org

Honey

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This is in response to the 100th Vegan Freaks blog entry, which discusses an article where Dr. Michael Greger argues that honey is vegan. I was going to post it as a comment, but it ended up being kind of long, so I’m posting here instead.

For the longest while, I always presented the “honey issue” as “not a big deal” to people when I told them what a vegan was. “Most vegans don’t even really make a big deal of it,” I told them, for the very reason that I thought it marginalized us even more. I’ll even admit to eating trace bits of honey for a few months after becoming vegan. I figured, “insects, eh… no central nervous system, it’s not a big deal to use their vomit.”

These days, I’m not so sure. Now, I avoid honey altogether, even when it means not eating my favorite whole wheat bagels. I scoot bugs out of the house rather than squash them. I’ll avoid stepping on a cricket not just because it would be messy, but because, eh, it’s just a little extra effort to avoid getting death on my shoe. I still don’t think the issue is a big deal, but the difference is that now it’s not a “big deal” to avoid honey rather than it not being a “big deal” about whether somebody does or doesn’t. Does that make any sense?

It’s one of those things that just seems to make sense. It seemed like a hassle at first, but before long it just seemed like the obvious thing to avoid honey. While I don’t break into tears if an insect hits my windshield, giving up honey’s simple… it ain’t a thing but a chicken wing. Or something.

National Chicken Month

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This morning, I saw an announcement that my local library was going to be having a special event for kids to celebrate “National Chicken Month.”

“Sure, there’s bound to be some hypocrisy in celebrating the lives of animals that most people eat,” I thought, “but hey, it’s still kind of cool. It’ll raise some awareness, right?”

Turns out that National Chicken Month comes to us courtesy of The National Chicken Council and US Poultry and Egg Association. Sadly, the group says that in the past “the campaign has helped increase chicken sales by more than 50 percent1 in September.”

Fortunately, the HSUS has a press release speaking out against National Chicken Month. They suggest alternate ways to celebrate this industry-created month, like writing to Trader Joe’s to ask them to stop selling eggs from cage-confined birds or signing a petition to help give birds equal protection under the Humane Slaughter Act.

1 Isn’t it pretty evil that ThePoultrySite.com has pictures of cute little chicks when they refer to “broilers” and “layers”2 as types of birds? There’s something wrong with classifying an animal based solely on how we use them.

2 This site says that in a layer house, “[s]ince the [chickens’] manure is often stored for long periods of time, farmers only empty the manure storage a few times a year.” That’s kind of gross.

Relief Efforts

I haven’t commented here yet on Hurricane Katrina and the many, many animals that had to be left behind during the evacuations. I think it’s partially because I can’t look at the pictures or read the stories and still get it together enough to form a coherent thought about the whole thing.

So, I won’t attempt to. Instead, I’ll just encourage you to donate some time or money to Noah’s Wish or the HSUS. Don’t forget about the members of the families that had to be left behind.

Also, please read some thoughts from other bloggers who verbalize what I’m thinking better than I can at the moment:

I also want to remind you not to forget your local charities. Non-relief charities were hit particularly hard after September 11th and the tsunami as most of people’s charitable giving was directed at relief efforts. I suspect the same will hold true with this disaster.