Hacked

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The WordPress theme I’ve been using has been hacked for a second time, so clearly there’s an exploit they’re not correcting. This resulted in my host shutting me down temporarily with a DMCA takedown notice (!). I’ve temporarily switched the theme in order to get rid of the exploit and I’ll be finding a new theme shortly.

Challenged by a talking hen

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I’ve been reading the Oz books with Rasine for about a year now. There have been some animal-friendly parts in the first two books, particularly with the Tinman, a gentle pacifist of a character that never wants to harm a living being.

We’re on the third book, Ozma of Oz and we came across an interesting passage where Dorothy’s own eating habits are challenged by a talking hen named Billina:

“What are you doing?” asked Dorothy.

“Getting my breakfast, of course,” murmured the hen, busily pecking away.

“What do you find?” inquired the girl, curiously.

“Oh, some fat red ants, and some sand-bugs, and once in a while a tiny crab. They are very sweet and nice, I assure you.”

“How dreadful!” exclaimed Dorothy, in a shocked voice.

“What is dreadful?” asked the hen, lifting her head to gaze with one bright eye at her companion.

“Why, eating live things, and horrid bugs, and crawly ants. You ought to be ‘SHAMED of yourself!”

“Goodness me!” returned the hen, in a puzzled tone; “how queer you are, Dorothy! Live things are much fresher and more wholesome than dead ones, and you humans eat all sorts of dead creatures.”

“We don’t!” said Dorothy.

“You do, indeed,” answered Billina. “You eat lambs and sheep and cows and pigs and even chickens.”

“But we cook ’em,” said Dorothy, triumphantly.

“What difference does that make?”

“A good deal,” said the girl, in a graver tone. “I can’t just ‘splain the diff’rence, but it’s there. And, anyhow, we never eat such dreadful things as BUGS.”

“But you eat the chickens that eat the bugs,” retorted the yellow hen, with an odd cackle. “So you are just as bad as we chickens are.”

This made Dorothy thoughtful. What Billina said was true enough, and it almost took away her appetite for breakfast. As for the yellow hen, she continued to peck away at the sand busily, and seemed quite contented with her bill-of-fare.

It might be tough for even the most hardened meat-eater to justify their habits if they had to explain them to the animals they were eating.

Seven years vegan

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Today marks seven years from the day I drew the line in the sand and said, “That’s it. I’m vegan.” I’d been vegetarian for four years, doing a super-gradual transition to veganism. It’s a change I haven’t regretted a single time.

More posts coming here soon.

(Also, happy 7-year veganversary to Lindsay at Vegan Chai, who went vegan on the exact same day. I cheated a bit this year, prewriting this entry the night before so that I could be the first to wish her our yearly congratulations.)

Vegan Music Options

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Thanks to Paul for pointing out the very fun #veganmusicoptions hashtag on Twitter today. Here are some of my favorites (I stayed away from any that were already vegan, like Ice-T… and, yes, I included a lot of my own here… sue me):

More here

Updated (12/23/2016): This was revived in 2016 with the hashtag #MakeBandsVegan.

My Five-Year Veganversary

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Five years ago today, I came home from work and sat at my computer. I’d been vegetarian for four years and in recent months had been really transitioning away from dairy and eggs. I was consuming very little and writing even less about it (readers of the Veg Blog thought I was vegan long before I actually was), but I hadn’t made the firm commitment to completely forgo all animal products. This night, something wasn’t sitting well with me as I thought about it. It was the eve of my 29th birthday and I wasn’t quite sure what was holding me back.

For some reason, I watched Meet Your Meat. I may or may not have watched it before and I’d surely seen similar footage a dozen times since I went vegetarian. But something about this viewing on this night was different. I finished the short video and declared to myself (my wife hadn’t returned home from work yet), “I’m done. No more messing around. I’m vegan now.” And I never looked back.

I’ve been vegan now for longer than I was vegetarian. That feels significant. I think it’s because the only regret I have is that I didn’t go vegan sooner, that I messed around for so long, avoiding the commitment.

Over those five years, my outlook on things has changed significantly. I’ve become much more aware of how connected our exploitation of animals is to our exploitation and mistreatment of humans and the environment. My views on the role of animal welfare activism have changed. Most certainly, my tastes have changed and I’m eating and enjoying foods I wouldn’t have touched ten years ago. My relationship with animals (of all species) has changed. I’ve made some of the most incredible friends and acquaintances in “the movement,” people that inspire me with their words and actions every single day. I have an amazing family, including a daughter we’ve raised vegan from birth. And though I still have days where I feel cynical and hopeless about the way things are, most of the time I’m filled with hope, knowing that even if we don’t completely eliminate the use of animals in my lifetime, there are a lot of good people out there and things are changing.

Five years isn’t long in the grand scheme of things, I realize, but I know I’ll never go back. There’s lots to be done and five years is just a start.

As the Roots Radics said: forwards ever, backwards never.

(Also, happy 5-year veganversary to Lindsay at Vegan Chai, who remembers every year that we went vegan on the same day. This year, it’s my turn to remember!)