Paw-Talk Interview

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I did an interview over at Paw-Talk. Hopefully I didn’t come off too jerky!

What do you say to people who argue that vegetarians don’t get enough protein?

This may sound a bit snarky, but when someone says that, I know that I’m arguing with someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

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I thought it had been a few weeks since my last post, and I chalked it up to a summer vacation from the blog. Then I looked and realized my last post was at the end of July. Yikes.

I have a bunch of longer posts lined up to get things back into gear, but let me just start you with an amusing dream I had the other night.

I was hanging out at Food Fight chatting with some folks there about how I was thinking about moving to Portland (in real life, I’m not, but if I were moving to the west coast, it would be my first choice). Then all of a sudden, Chad comes over and drops an almost cartoonishly large ham hock in my lap. I almost jump out of my seat, but then realize that, of course, it was a giant vegan ham hock. A mock hock, if you will.

Hey, they carry vegan haggis, so it could happen!

New look

I was getting really tired of the old template, so I installed a new one. There’s definitely tweaking to be done, so let me know if anything looks particularly awry.

Veg Bloggy Awards

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VegBloggyCIRCLE I joked around last year about how it was odd that The Veg Blog didn’t win a VegNews Veg Bloggy Award* based on the name alone.  Well, this year it did!  (It won, I mean.  I don’t think it was for the name alone.)  Along with 20 other great blogs, this humble l’il site will be featured in the July/August 2008 issue of VegNews, on newsstands in a few weeks.  SuperVegan has the scoop on the full list of winners.

Like Eric, I’m not sure exactly what VegNews said about the site, but I’m looking forward to seeing the issue and want to welcome all readers from VegNews.  If this is your first time here, let me point you to a few posts to get you started so you can get a feel for what I do around here:

About
My about page gives a good intro to who I am and how I transitioned to veganism.  I’ve been meaning to update it for a while now, but it’s not like any of it is untrue now.

Why Veganism Is Not Extreme
I got tired of hearing people claim that they could understand being vegetarian but that veganism was just “too extreme.”  I argue that it’s meat-eating that’s really extreme, because veganism explicitly opts out of the death and torture.

Why We Need to Rethink Welfare
My thoughts on why claiming welfare changes as “victories” is doing more to hurt the cause in the long-term.

On Fishing and Entitlement
When I hear someone say something like, “The fish just eat and eat and eat because there’s no one there to catch them” to their kid, I can’t just let it go.

Know Thy Enemy Week
As activists, we need to know more about who we’re working against.  This 5-part series takes a shot at it.

I love the fact that there are enough veg-themed blogs out there that they’re able to choose 21 without any trouble.  Thanks to VegNews for the award and congrats to all of the other great sites mentioned.

* Though they told me that this was the “First Annual Veg Bloggy Awards,” I could swear they did something like this a year or so ago with the same name…

A week, recapped

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Downtime, part 2

The server the Veg Blog is hosted on hit some rough patches over the last few days. There was the 36 hour outage to start the weekend and then a disk failure to start this week. Fortunately, data was moved safely (with no loss, as far as I can tell) and things seem relatively stable now. Remind me to make a backup of things just in case, OK?

My presentation

Thanks to everyone who asked how my presentation at UMW went. While the crowd wasn’t enormous, about ten people, it was a decent enough size for me to start getting more comfortable talking about veganism and animal rights in front of a group. About half of the attendees were vegetarian or vegan and the other half were meat eaters, with one or two of them falling under the “considering vegetarianism” heading. I think the presentation itself went relatively well… I was a little nervous, probably went overboard with “um”s, and could stand to make more eye contact, but overall I think I hit a decent enough balance of information and humor.

Afterwards, there was a discussion amongst the veg*ns in the group about challenges faced with family, at school (like the cafeteria staff using “vegetarian” and “vegan” interchangeably when labeling food), and even a little talk about the welfare vs. abolition argument that was the fancy trend in 2007 and may rear its head again now that the AR and TAFA conferences are in sight. It took a little prodding to get an omni to talk, but eventually one did speak up and say while she respected vegans a lot, she “liked meat too much” (slide 3!) and wouldn’t ever give it up. While I didn’t get to delve into that any more deeply, she did say she thought that vegans needed to be more active than just being vegan. This sparked some good responses. Morgan, who organized the talk and heads up the AR group at UMW, said she thought that being vegan was the most active thing one could do because it’s taking a belief and living it every moment of your life. Another recently converted vegan spoke up and said she thought it was hypocritical for people that protested for animal rights to not be vegan.

All in all, it was a good talk and I hope everyone there enjoyed it. Thanks to the UMW crew for having me out. Let’s do it again.

I’d hoped to record my talk, but completely forgot until about 1/4 of the way through. Here are the slides if you want to take a look.

Lunch with Bazu

Today I had lunch at the always-excellent A Taste of Burma (their site is down as of this posting) with Bazu of Where’s the Revolution. Bazu’s been a long-time commenter on the Veg Blog, so I was happy she was able to take some time out of her visit with family to meet up for lunch. She’ll be posting pictures of our food over on her blog when she gets home.

A few minutes before she arrived, I had a chance to talk with the owner of A Taste of Burma, who’s possibly one of the nicest guys on the planet. I asked him a question that had been burning on my mind for the last couple of months. You may remember I wrote a while back about the amazing fermented tea leaf salad that they make using really hard-to-get leaves from Burma. I’d gotten addicted to it and eventually looked up the recipe only to be shocked to see that every recipe called for fish sauce and dried shrimp powder. I feared the worst, but was pleasantly surprised when he told me that while that’s the traditional way of making Lephet Thote, A Taste of Burma doesn’t use fish sauce or the dried shrimp. Phew. Crisis averted.

Guess what I ordered for lunch today.