Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Animal, Vegetable, Miserable

In keeping with the theme and interest of Orren Fox's read, posted yesterday...... here is a submission from Kellie Wilcox-Moore regarding the expressed interests and concerns of "where does the meat we eat come from and how were those animals treated and raised?" Also, in this read the ethical and moralistic questions are raised about "why do we humans feel it necessary to kill animals just to have something to eat?" And, "why do we feel simply because we are intelligent humans, we have the right to abuse, to torture and to kill animals.... just to have something to eat?"

Here now, submitted by Kellie is Animal, Vegetable, Miserable. Thank you Kellie!!

LATELY more people have begun to express an interest in where the meat they eat comes from and how it was raised. Were the animals humanely treated? Did they have a good quality of life before the death that turned them into someone’s dinner?

Some of these questions, which reach a fever pitch in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, pertain to the ways in which animals are treated. (Did your turkey get to live outdoors?) Others focus on the question of how eating the animals in question will affect the consumer’s health and well-being. (Was it given hormones and antibiotics?)

None of these questions, however, make any consideration of whether it is wrong to kill animals for human consumption. And even when people ask this question, they almost always find a variety of resourceful answers that purport to justify the killing and consumption of animals in the name of human welfare. Strict ethical vegans, of which I am one, are customarily excoriated for equating our society’s treatment of animals with mass murder. Can anyone seriously consider animal suffering even remotely comparable to human suffering? Those who answer with a resounding no typically argue in one of two ways.

To read the rest, click here.

Bless the Beasts, Bless our Children and Bless this Earth

Monday, November 23, 2009

Talking About Food and Farming with Orren Fox

Charlie Lindahl sent this to me this past week. Much like our own young visionaries we have in this fabulous group, Orren Fox is 12 years old and has an amazing fore site into the philosophy of food and intuitively recognizes, acknowledges and respects the intelligence of all living creatures. Some call him the next Michael Pollen.

Orren is the creator of "Happy Chickens Lay Healthy Eggs." He is a self taught expert in these "funny little birds," as he calls them, & raises chickens for the eggs. You will enjoy this read and appreciate the kindness and acute intelligence of this 12 year old.

In his own words:

When I was in 5th grade, we were asked to do a big research project and I, obviously, did mine on chickens. During that time, I learned a lot about different breeds and how to care for birds, but I also learned a lot about how terribly most of the hens in this country are treated. The hens raised for meat and for eggs are not treated humanely. So, after this project, I began to do more and more research.
The following year, I did a "persuasive essay" for my English class and I learned even more about the issue. Slowly, slowly, I began to wonder not only about hens, but also about other food. Then I saw Food, Inc. and it really opened my eyes to what is happening. I can't figure out why people aren't more pissed off about this. Factory farming makes animals objects - not living, breathing, creatures. People say to me "But, it's just a chicken"... Right, it is a chicken, but I wouldn't say "just." I would say, it's a funny, bossy, silly animal that I am not willing to torture for the sake of cheap, tasteless meat and eggs.

I suppose I do. However, the big difference is that hens don't live in your house and I imagine that makes a big difference. The hens don't just wander over while I am doing homework and sit on my lap, but when I arrive at my coop they definitely sing out "hello", "Glad you are here". Sometimes, on beautiful days, I let my hens out while I am cleaning their coop. They wander around and explore. Every now and then, someone will find a worm and whistle over to the others to come see what she has found. Often, when I am at the back door of the barn scrubbing bowls, a hen will come over and tell me she needs to lay and egg, so I let her in and she heads straight to the nesting box.

For the rest of this story, click here.

And....to read more about this amazing youngster..... check out his blog.
Thank you Charlie for submitting this enjoyable read!

Bless the Beasts, Bless our Children and Bless this Earth

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

God Bless Texas A&M University

In the very early morning hours of November 18th, 1999 at 2:42a.m., Texas A&M University and its family was brought to its knees in disbelief, shock, despair and horror. For it was at that moment the great two-million pound “stack”, known only as “Bonfire,” collapsed and crashed to the ground taking the lives of 12 men and women and injuring 27 others.

Let us always remember. Let us never forget that early morning and the lives lost. On this, the 10th anniversary of the horrific tragedy... let us pray for their families, their loved ones and their friends.

Bless the Beasts, Bless our Children and Bless this Earth

Friday, November 6, 2009

Little Unexpected Surprises

I really enjoy the opportunity to speak about Veganism and our group, VISION VOICE VEG*N’z for the Brazos Valley. This is World Vegan month and one of the ideas is to get out and share your knowledge and experience as a Vegan.

I had an opportunity to do just that yesterday. My good bud over at KAMU, Vicki Holloway, asked me to speak at the Leadership Brazos Alumni Association luncheon about our group’s upcoming event, Bless the Beasts and the Children. It was a great looking crowd. Unfortunately, I did not take my camera. There were about 45-50 folks there enjoying lunch and chattin’ it up. And not a one Vegan. Did not surprise me at all.

I shared info about me and that I was a Vegan. Then I talked about our group. We are a friendly activist group with lots of ideas for events. We want to be a part of the community and have an impact on the community by creating an acute awareness and respect for our environment, our children, all living creatures, our bodies and our Earth.

Then I got into the holiday donation drive thru event, Bless the Beasts and the Children. Described what it was, who the benefactors were and gave kudos to all the sponsors and community partners that are helping us to make this an annual success.

I got a few laughs and lots of interest in what we are doing. I thanked the group and then had to leave. As I walked out the door into the hallway, a young woman approached me from the group and was just beside herself with excitement. She said, “thank you so much for coming and talking to us today. I am a vegetarian and I have felt so alone since moving here from California.” I was thrilled beyond words. I just hugged her and said “thank you so much for catching me.” Anyway, she works for the Chamber and wants to become a member of our group and is ready to help with the December event! YAY! Her name is Franchesca... WELCOME FRANCHESCA to our group!!!

This was the 2nd serendipitous occurrence this week. On the night of the meetup, a young college student walked into the Village Cafe. I asked her if she was there for the meeting. She said, “No, I don’t think so.” I asked if she was Vegan or Vegetarian... and she said, “Why yes! I am Vegetarian!” Well, I snagged her like the spider snagged the fly. She came to our meeting and is now a member of our group!!! WELCOME BRANDY!!!

I love it when life gives you little unexpected surprises that make you smile.

Bless the Beasts, Bless our Children and Bless this Earth

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Meetup Vision Voice Veg*n'z for the Brazos Valley

"THE" famous Village Cafe was the place to be last night.... if you were Vegan or Vegetarian that is.

WOW!! We had 15 at the VISION VOICE VEG*N’z meetup! That is fantastic considering there were like 6 MIA regulars. And what else is so awesome.. we had TEN new people!!!! YAY!!!! Big welcome to these folks:

*John Borden, Edible Aggieland, native New Mexican, of course, I am a big fan of that, and guest speaker
*Kristen Williams, Vegetarian Nutritionist major at TAMU and John’s bud
*Brandy Kelly, who was just passing thru the VC, thinking about having some dinner and I snagged her as she just so happened to be vegetarian!!
*Boots McCann, PhD student at TAMU and works for the Rodale Institute
*Alicia Redden, local farmer
*Irene Erin, Postal worker who works horrible hours and can never make our meetups, but did last night!!!
*Jo Evans and her friend Joy
*Shohn Trojacek, IS manager for Pivot Point
*Tammy Jackson, Psychologist

And of course we had our very own photographer, my hubby Bear, again, taking fantastic pics of everything.

My contribution to the meet ups is a little glass of vino to take the edge off the day and to help relax and enjoy the evening.

Another fine menu was prepared for us by the great folks at the Village Cafe, including an “off the hook” black bean burger. I had the sweet potato hash with black beans and jalapeños and the fabulous squash soup! YUM-OH!!! For sure.

We got caught up on the progress of the big event for our group, Bless the Beasts and the Children, coming up Saturday, December the 12th in the Village Foods parking lot. You can check out the latest news on this awesome event at the group’s blogsite.

The donation list is also on our blogsite.

John Borden, head of Edible Aggieland, shared the ideas for developing local farming and the advantages and needed benefits of local farming and farmers markets for low income neighborhoods. He took us back to the “roots” of agriculture and how critical the health of this Earth is to the success of farming. John discussed the spiritual aspects of agriculture and its role representing a rebirth and hope for the health and wellness of all people. BIG THANKS, JOHN!

We also discussed upcoming events for our group:

*Saturday the 14th of November is the Household Hazardous Waste Collection at the old TI building on Hwy 30. Great opportunity to recycle your old computers, oil, batteries, paint, etc. I’ll be working 10am to 2pm if anyone wants to join me, just let me know. To find out more about this event, you can check out their website.

*Saturday the 5th of December, Frances De Gelia and Chrispy Carter are hosting a garage sale to benefit the Great Pyrenees Rescue Society. This is another opportunity to clean up and clean out your stuff! Contact me for more info!

If you guys have any events you think we should be involved in or any ideas for creating an event of your special interest, please... speak up and let’s discuss!

Also.. If you don't want to miss out on all the great blogs people post and on the latest updates.....you can get our blog "delivered" to you via email everyday. Just enter your email address and click on "subscribe."

If you have something you want posted on our blog or have recipes to share or events ... please just send them to me and I will take care of posting for you!! That is YOUR blog.... not mine :-) But, if you want to look at mine.... :-) HumbleVegan

No meeting in December as the Bless the Beasts and the Children will be our focus.

January’s meetup guest speaker will be Laura Thomas, PhD student of nutrition and dietetics and she is VEGAN! She will speak to us about Pro and Prebiotics. The meeting will either be January 5th or the 12th, depending when everyone gets back from holiday break!

You all met Cheryl Anne Chandler last night, this wonderful 15 year old that inspires our group and impresses us with her talent..... if you've not looked at her school project that she won the grand prize for.... I invite you to do so! It will leave you speechless.

Ok, so, another great meetup with a lot of wonderful folks!! Thanks again for joining me last night. I really think you guys ROCK!!

Here's more random shots of you great folks!!

Bless the Beasts, Bless Our Children, and Bless This Earth

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd, is the 3rd meetup for our group! YAY!!!
The wonderful Village Cafe is the place at 6:30pm. Chef Martin and the great folks will prepare another fantastic special menu for us as great prices. You DON’T have to order if you don’t want to.

JOHN BORDEN, of Edible Aggieland, will be our guest speaker. He’ll talk about what his group is doing in the community in the way of edible landscaping. YAY, John!

We’ll also talk about Bless the Beasts and the Children holiday donation drive thru, which is coming along nicely! I am impressed with the organization’s volunteers that are stepping up to help with this event. We still need some of YOU to step up and volunteer for this great event. To catch up on the latest.. check out the blog.

There are a few more events our group can get involved in that benefits some great causes. If you are interested, just contact me.

Look forward to seeing all of you at tomorrow night's meeting!

Bless the Beasts, Bless our Children, and Bless this Earth

Monday, November 2, 2009


Holiday Drive thru DONATIONS NEEDED

Saturday 12th of Dec. 8am – 5pm VILLAGE FOODS parking lot


*Cat Food (any kind, wet or dry)
*Kitten Food (any kind, wet or dry)
*Kitty Litter (any kind)
*Money for medical supplies & care for
the fosters & feral cats

*Bowls, Feeding stainless Steel
*Bowls, Water stainless Steel
*Puppy feed pans, large shallow (Wal-Mart)
*Blankets, new or gently used and clean
*Towels, new or gently used and clean
*Pooper Scoopers
*Dog food (NOT OLD ROY)
*Money for a new bath house

*Wire Crates, extra large *Doggie beds, extra large (check Sams/Wal-mart)
*toys *bowls, stainless steel *Leashes *Collars, adjustable
*Doggie Treats (NO OLD ROY) *Tent, portable and retractable
*Money for vaccinations, spays, neuters, vet services/hospitalization of sick
Pyres. Medicines/surgeries for injured or sick Pyres. Wormer & antibiotics.
Transportation costs to new adoptive homes (gas).

*Crates or kennels, new or gently used all sizes, especially X large wire kennels
*Cat and Dog Treats *Toys, durable dog *Kitty Litter
*Carpet Cleaner *Paper towels *Cat trees * Scratching posts
*Treat bags for training *Haltis, new or gently used *Leads, new or gently used

*Juice drinks, individual *Snacks, individually wrapped *Band-aides *Coloring books
*Neosporin *Alcohol swaps *Tempra paints *Finger paints *Play station games
*Socks and underwear, boys & girls, all sizes *Action Figures for the playroom
*Basic office supplies: manila folders, pens, pencils, etc.
*Sponsorships: children to participate in extracurricular activities (karate, dance,sports)
*Money for medical supplies



Hosted by VISION VOICE VEG*N’z for the Brazos Valley

Sunday, November 1, 2009


HAPPY WORLD VEGAN DAY!!!! and the beginning of WORLD VEGAN MONTH!!!

World Vegan Day/Month was established November 1st, 1994 & celebrations are world wide. This day and month recognizes Veganism as a lifestyle that honors and respects all animals, the environment and our Earth. Vegans don't eat animal flesh, animal by products, or dairy. Most Vegans don't wear clothing made from animal skin or fur, nor do they "sit" on animal skin or fur.

Some Vegans don't use any products that have been tested on animals. We celebrate healthy and compassionate lifestyles. World Vegan/Day month was "born" to create interest and awareness in Veganism and the positive, healthy impact it has on the health of our bodies, all living creatures, the environment and our Earth. This month gives we Vegans a chance to share our lifestyle and knowledge with people that may not have heard of Veganism or those that don't understand the difference between Vegans and Vegetarians.

So celebrate this day and the rest of this month!!! Go hug a Vegan!

And... stop by Village Cafe today for a very special "Celebrate World Vegan Day" lunch!
Don't for get to turn your clocks back one hour!

Bless the Beasts, Bless our Children and Bless this Earth

Let Them Eat Dog!

This request was submitted by Kellie Wilcox-Moore, owner of the fabulous and wonderful Village Cafe. Thanks Kellie.

An interesting, yet disturbing article in the WSJ this past week.... Please note the writer is a Vegetarian and is NOT promoting the idea of eating "Fido."

Let Them Eat Dog

Despite the fact that it's perfectly legal in 44 states, eating "man's best friend" is as taboo as a man eating his best friend. Even the most enthusiastic carnivores won't eat dogs. TV guy and sometimes cooker Gordon Ramsay can get pretty macho with lambs and piglets when doing publicity for something he's selling, but you'll never see a puppy peeking out of one of his pots. And though he once said he'd electrocute his children if they became vegetarian, one can't help but wonder what his response would be if they poached the family pooch.

Dogs are wonderful, and in many ways unique. But they are remarkably unremarkable in their intellectual and experiential capacities. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by any sensible definition of the words. They can't hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run and play, be mischievous and reciprocate affection. So why don't they get to curl up by the fire? Why can't they at least be spared being tossed on the fire? Our taboo against dog eating says something about dogs and a great deal about us.
Photo illustration by Darrell Eager

Read More
Mixed Grill: Unusual Foods Around the World
Journal Community
Vote: Would you eat dog?
The French, who love their dogs, sometimes eat their horses.
The Spanish, who love their horses, sometimes eat their cows.
The Indians, who love their cows, sometimes eat their dogs.

While written in a much different context, George Orwell's words (from "Animal Farm") apply here: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
So who's right? What might be the reasons to exclude canine from the menu? The selective carnivore suggests:
Don't eat companion animals. But dogs aren't kept as companions in all of the places they are eaten. And what about our petless neighbors? Would we have any right to object if they had dog for dinner?

OK, then: Don't eat animals with significant mental capacities. If by "significant mental capacities" we mean what a dog has, then good for the dog. But such a definition would also include the pig, cow and chicken. And it would exclude severely impaired humans.

Then: It's for good reason that the eternal taboos—don't fiddle with your crap, kiss your sister, or eat your companions—are taboo. Evolutionarily speaking, those things are bad for us. But dog eating isn't a taboo in many places, and it isn't in any way bad for us. Properly cooked, dog meat poses no greater health risks than any other meat.

Dog meat has been described as "gamey" "complex," "buttery" and "floral." And there is a proud pedigree of eating it. Fourth-century tombs contain depictions of dogs being slaughtered along with other food animals. It was a fundamental enough habit to have informed language itself: the Sino-Korean character for "fair and proper" (yeon) literally translates into "as cooked dog meat is delicious." Hippocrates praised dog meat as a source of strength. Dakota Indians enjoyed dog liver, and not so long ago Hawaiians ate dog brains and blood. Captain Cook ate dog. Roald Amundsen famously ate his sled dogs. (Granted, he was really hungry.) And dogs are still eaten to overcome bad luck in the Philippines; as medicine in China and Korea; to enhance libido in Nigeria and in numerous places, on every continent, because they taste good. For centuries, the Chinese have raised special breeds of dogs, like the black-tongued chow, for chow, and many European countries still have laws on the books regarding postmortem examination of dogs intended for human consumption.

Of course, something having been done just about everywhere is no kind of justification for doing it now. But unlike all farmed meat, which requires the creation and maintenance of animals, dogs are practically begging to be eaten. Three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized annually. The simple disposal of these euthanized dogs is an enormous ecological and economic problem. But eating those strays, those runaways, those not-quite-cute-enough-to-take and not-quite-well-behaved-enough-to-keep dogs would be killing a flock of birds with one stone and eating it, too.

In a sense it's what we're doing already. Rendering—the conversion of animal protein unfit for human consumption into food for livestock and pets—allows processing plants to transform useless dead dogs into productive members of the food chain. In America, millions of dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters every year become the food for our food. So let's just eliminate this inefficient and bizarre middle step.

This need not challenge our civility. We won't make them suffer any more than necessary. While it's widely believed that adrenaline makes dog meat taste better—hence the traditional methods of slaughter: hanging, boiling alive, beating to death—we can all agree that if we're going to eat them, we should kill them quickly and painlessly, right? For example, the traditional Hawaiian means of holding the dog's nose shut—in order to conserve blood—must be regarded (socially if not legally) as a no-no. Perhaps we could include dogs under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. That doesn't say anything about how they're treated during their lives, and isn't subject to any meaningful oversight or enforcement, but surely we can rely on the industry to "self-regulate," as we do with other eaten animals.

Few people sufficiently appreciate the colossal task of feeding a world of billions of omnivores who demand meat with their potatoes. The inefficient use of dogs—conveniently already in areas of high human population (take note, local-food advocates)—should make any good ecologist blush. One could argue that various "humane" groups are the worst hypocrites, spending enormous amounts of money and energy in a futile attempt to reduce the number of unwanted dogs while at the very same time propagating the irresponsible no-dog-for-dinner taboo. If we let dogs be dogs, and breed without interference, we would create a sustainable, local meat supply with low energy inputs that would put even the most efficient grass-based farming to shame. For the ecologically-minded it's time to admit that dog is realistic food for realistic environmentalists.

For those already convinced, here's a classic Filipino recipe I recently came across. I haven't tried it myself, but sometimes you can read a recipe and just know.

Stewed Dog, Wedding Style
First, kill a medium-sized dog, then burn off the fur over a hot fire. Carefully remove the skin while still warm and set aside for later (may be used in other recipes). Cut meat into 1" cubes. Marinate meat in mixture of vinegar, peppercorn, salt, and garlic for 2 hours. Fry meat in oil using a large wok over an open fire, then add onions and chopped pineapple and sauté until tender. Pour in tomato sauce and boiling water, add green pepper, bay leaf, and Tabasco. Cover and simmer over warm coals until meat is tender. Blend in purée of dog's liver and cook for additional 5–7 minutes.

There is an overabundance of rational reasons to say no to factory-farmed meat: It is the No. 1 cause of global warming, it systematically forces tens of billions of animals to suffer in ways that would be illegal if they were dogs, it is a decisive factor in the development of swine and avian flus, and so on. And yet even most people who know these things still aren't inspired to order something else on the menu. Why?

Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity. Responding to factory farming calls for a capacity to care that dwells beyond information. We know what we see on undercover videos of factory farms and slaughterhouses is wrong. (There are those who will defend a system that allows for occasional animal cruelty, but no one defends the cruelty, itself.) And despite it being entirely reasonable, the case for eating dogs is likely repulsive to just about every reader of this paper. The instinct comes before our reason, and is more important.

—Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the novels "Everything is Illuminated" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." His new book, "Eating Animals," a work of nonfiction, comes out
next week.

Bless the Beasts, Bless Our Children and Bless this Earth

Sully Needs a Home.....

Frances De Gelia is one of our members and heads up the Great Pyrenees Rescue Society here in the Brazos Valley. She is on a mention to find one of her Pyre's, in need of a prosthesis, a home. Sully's story showed up in this morning's Eagle. If you did not have a chance to check it out.... here is the link.

You can catch Frannie D and Sully at Petsmart today from 2pm to 6pm!

Good luck, Frannie, hope you find Sully a home very soon!

Bless the Beasts, Bless Our Children and Bless this Earth