White Castle goes highbrow? Now famous slider can come with fake beef

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The new wave of plant-based “meat” is going mainstream — and straight into one of America’s most iconic fast-food burgers, the White Castle slider.

White Castle is announcing it is introducing a vegetarian fake-meat version of its famous mini-burgers. The burger uses a patty made by a California-based start-up, Impossible Foods, which is one of several scientifically engineered products made to make plant-based ingredients taste uncannily like juicy ground beef.

Called the Impossible Slider, it will be initially sold at 140 White Castle eateries in the New York, New Jersey and greater Chicago areas with the potential for a nationwide rollout.

The White Castle Impossible Slider — made with smoked cheddar cheese, pickles, onions and a bun — features a 2-ounce patty and costs $1.99. That compares to the chain’s traditional 0.9-ounce mini-cheeseburger at about 94 cents, depending on the store location.

The new choice might come as a surprise to White Castle devotees, especially since the fake-beef burgers have largely been confined to more highbrow burger chains and restaurants until now. But White Castle executives figured it was time to give fake beef a try.

“Plant-based proteins are growing. We felt it was a good opportunity to test it with our customers,” CEO Lisa Ingram said. “We think it will appeal to a broad range of customers — those that are meat eaters who want to try something different and non-meat eaters who want this.”

She also said the new sliders might bring in new customers, too.

This isn’t White Castle’s first foray into meatless. It has been selling a Veggie Slider since 2015.

The new Slider is bigger, because “the new taste comes through more fully” when that size patty is on the regular 2-inch-squared bun, according to the company.

Until now, Impossible Foods’ faux meat was served in more upscale chains, such as Fatburger, Umami and actor Mark Wahlberg’s Wahlburger restaurant.

Competitor Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burgers joined the TGI Friday’s menu in January and can be found on shelves of large stores such as Kroger and Target.

Animal-protein titan Tyson Foods, which acquired a 5% ownership stake in Bill Gates-backed Beyond Meat in 2016, increased its investment in December to an undisclosed amount. Last fall, Nestle announced plans to acquire Sweet Earth, a plant-based foods manufacturer.

The Impossible Slider represents what few in the traditional beef industry thought possible — that cowless meat would be a hit in a country known for its meat-and-potatoes diet and love of burgers.

Plant-based meat alternatives are growing at rate of about 11% a year, according to the research firm Acosta. The market isn’t just vegetarians: Some 71% of people who buy plant-based meat also eat the real thing.

The meat imitators present enough of a threat that in February, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, asking that the terms “meat” and “beef” be applied only to food made directly from animals. Impossible Foods’ burger is made of water, wheat protein, potato protein, coconut oil and heme, an iron-heavy molecule that gives it its meaty taste.

“Interest in meat alternatives seems to be driven by consumers at large, not just those looking for vegetarian lifestyles, but looking for diversification of tastes and health benefits,” said Billy Roberts, senior food and drink analyst at the global market research firm Mintel.

More: Where’s the beef? Not in these new plant-based burgers

More: Burgers now outselling classic jambon-beurre baguette sandwiches in France

More: Lego bricks will soon be plant-based, but don’t eat them

“Our business is a growth business. There’ll be increased demands for products like the Impossible Burger,” Impossible Foods Chief Operating Officer David Lee said. “People are increasingly asking about what impact food has on the environment and our health.”

His company recently expanded its manufacturing facility in Oakland and can produce 1 million pounds of its meat alternatives a month. That’s what will enable Impossible Foods to produce all the patties White Castle needs, though the privately-held Columbus, Ohio-based 376-unit chain declined to say how many it needs to sell to say the new product is a success.

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50 Shades of Veganism Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

No automatic alt text available.

by Captain Paul Watson

I have seen the steady evolution of veganism in my lifetime. In the Seventies we had vegetarians but practically no one had ever heard of a vegan.

As a vegetarian in 1979, I was hard pressed to find a decent meal and at dinners I would find myself ordering an omelette for lunch or dinner which actually was considered somewhat unusual. Finding a vegetarian meal was possible but almost always restricted. Finding a vegetarian restaurant was more of a challenge but there was always Indian and Japanese vegetable sushi.

But I have seen the movement grow and although it began slowly, in recent years it has accelerated rapidly to the point where traditional meat venues like MacDonald’s and others have seen the writing on the wall and now are offering vegan burgers and the dairy industry is totally freaking out over coconut, soy, almond, hemp, oat and pea milk.

Vegan scarcity has evolved into a cornucopia of vegan alternatives. The movement has exploded and due to many considerations like animal rights, health, the environment etc, the movement is becoming stronger with each passing day.

My prediction is that by 2030, western society will be predominantly vegetarian and veganism will be the norm and not the exception.

Being a vegan sometimes appears to be a complicated affair. People seem to be vegans for different reasons and there does seem to be a bit of bickering amongst vegans on just how vegan one should be.

The only negative aspect of veganism is intolerance. And it’s not just intolerance by vegans towards meat eaters and vegetarians but intolerance of other vegans.

Sea Shepherd ships have been vegan since 2000 and we have had thousands of crew participate in campaigns so we have had plenty of opportunity to see the various factions of veganism in relationship to each other.

People do not have to be vegan to be crewmembers but they must be vegan on the ship as crewmembers. Because of this over the years we have introduced hundreds of meat eaters to veganism and as a result many have made the decision to adopt veganism as a life style.

Given the opportunity to eat real vegan meals by excellent vegan cooks it is amazing how many people have discovered veganism as a real option – healthy, delicious and easy to do.

But we have also discovered a major obstacle to people embracing veganism and that obstacle is vegans with hostile, holier than thou, angry and judgemental proselytizing attitudes.

I tend to look at this from the point of view of both the animals and eco-systems which really means I do not give a damn why anyone is vegan. The motivations to me are irrelevant. Anyone who is vegan is good for animals and for the environment. Vegetarians are also good for animals and the environment and even people who refrain from eating meat once or twice a week or who cut down on their meat consumption are good for animals and the environment.

Abstaining 100% is wonderful. Abstaining 50% is good. Abstaining 25% is helpful.

Most vegans were once vegetarian and/or meat eaters. People can change but they change best by seeing examples from others. Those who lead by example are helping to recruit more people to a vegan life style than those who try to recruit though shaming, anger and ridicule.

Every vegan meal consumed is a bonus for animals and for the environment.

It’s easy to tell when someone is a vegan because they will damn well tell you but it is somewhat more difficult to determine what kind of vegan a person might be.

Just for fun, I thought I would prepare my 50 Shades of Veganism to illustrate the wide diversity within this thing we call veganism.

VEGANISM

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” Definition of veganism by the Vegan Society in 1979.

1. True vegan – Absolutely no animal products used in any manner without the need for any justification, explanation, defensiveness or offensiveness.
2. Level 5 Vegan. … A Level 5 Vegan was defined as someone who never eats anything that casts a shadow. While this definition is nonsensical the Level 5 term as it’s used today is a mostly tongue-in-cheek reference to someone who refuses to make any compromises at all in their vegan lifestyle.
3. Paleo-vegan – The Paleo diet without the meat – unprocessed foods.
4. Compassionate vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals.
5. Compassionate Ethical vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals and a deep concern for the lives and welfare of animals.
6. Compassionate Ethical Health vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals and a deep concern for the lives and welfare of animals and sees veganism as a healthy life style.
7. Compassionate Ethical, Health, Environmentalist vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals and a deep concern for the lives and welfare of animals, sees veganism as a healthy life styleand is concerned about the impact of the meat and fishing industry on the environment and climate change.
8. Activist vegan – a vegan who is an actual activist for animals. An on-the-ground-gets-things-done-in the-face-of-the-enemy-vegan.
9. Enemy Identification Confused vegan. A vegan who is unable to actually identify the real enemy i.e. the animal abusers, meat producers, hunters, and abusers and instead sends time and energy attacking vegetarians and other vegans.
10. Ethical Environmentalist vegan – does not consume animal products out of concern for the lives and welfare of animals and because they are concerned about climate change and the environment.
11. Ethical Environmentalist Health vegan – does not consume animal products out of concern for the lives and welfare of animals and because they are concerned about climate change and the environment and they also want to have a healthy lifestyle.
12. Raw vegan – A vegan who only consumes raw fruits, nuts and vegetables.
13. Raw till 4 vegan – Raw until 4 and cooked vegan after.
14. Raw Ethical vegan – A raw vegan who adopts a raw vegan diet out of concern for animals,
15. Fruitarian – Vegans who eat only fruits and nuts.
16. Raw Environmental vegan – a raw vegan who adopts a raw vegan diet out of concern for ecology and climate change.
17. Raw health vegan – a raw vegan who adopts a raw vegan diet for health reasons.
18. Organic vegans – only organic vegan foods
19. Organic Raw vegans – only raw organic fruits and vegetables.
20. Home Grown Vegans – Vegans who only eat food locally grown and preferably organic.
21. Competitive Purist Vegan – An ethical vegan who is constantly comparing themselves to other vegans and pointing out how they are better vegans than other vegans.
22. Veggie Jesuit – An ethical competitive purist vegan whose mission is to convert all of humanity to veganism through intimidation, shaming and bullying.
23. Proselytizing vegan – They just really have to preach – all the damn time.
24. Angry vegan – Constantly angry with anyone who is not a vegan.
25. Health Vegan – A vegan because it is healthier but could not give a damn about the environment or animal rights or welfare.
26. Annoying vegan – a person whose advocacy is just damn annoying.
27. Celebrity vegan – Promotes veganism in an attempt to be cool.
28. Compassionate celebrity vegan – Promotes veganism because they are actually cool.
29. Athletic vegan – A vegan who sees veganism as providing their body with more endurance, stamina and overall health.
30. Ethical Athletic vegan – An athlete who embraces veganism and promotes it because of concern for the lives and welfare of animals.
31. Environmental vegan – A vegan who is vegan because they are concerned about the impact of the meat industry and fishing on the environment and climate change.
32. Trendy vegan – A vegan who is a vegan because it’s like – well, trendy to be vegan.
33. Straight Edge vegan – A vegan who does not smoke or drinks alcohol but loves coffee.
34. Plant based vegans – These are vegans who do not like to be called vegans primarily because they are environment or health motivated vegans. Like it or not they are still vegans.
35. HCLF vegans – High Carb low fat vegans.
36. Honey eating vegan – A vegan who for different reasons justifies the consumption of honey. One reason put forward is that there is a need to support bee colonies for pollination.
37. Non-Face Eating vegans – People who view themselves as vegans but will eat animals without faces like oysters, clams and scallops for example and will insist it is still a vegan lifestyle.
38. Leather wearing vegans – People who refrain from eating animals but continue to wear leather clothing like belts and shoes.
39. Flexitarian – A person who is a vegan sometimes but not always depending upon circumstances.
40. A Freegan vegan – A person who views themselves as vegan but eats anything as long as it is free.
41. Fall off the Wagon vegan – a vegan who decides to no longer be a vegan but intends to become vegan again. ]
42. Revengeful ex-vegan – a vegan who now eats meat and passionately embraces carnism.
43. Goth vegans – Goths who practise veganism. It’s kind of their thing.
44. Nazi vegans – Yes there are indeed vegan Nazi cults because they claim Hitler was a vegan.
45. Hindu vegans – Not all Hindu’s are vegan but there is a movement to embrace veganism in Hinduism.
46. Krishna vegans – Hari Krishna, hare veganism.
47. Infiltrating vegan – someone who nefariously pretends to be a vegan for the purpose of infiltrating vegan activist groups.
48. Pervy vegans – Males who pretend to be vegan in order to pick up vegan females.
49. Norvegans – not real vegans just Nor vegans.
50. VEGANS – aliens from the star system Vega.

How plant-based diets can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-plant-based-diets-can-help-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-70-percent/70004227

By Jennifer Fabiano, AccuWeather staff writer

Vegan and vegetarian diets are not just the latest trend. According to climate experts, these diets could actually help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“From a greenhouse gas standpoint and a climate standpoint, there are many advantages to a vegetarian diet and a vegan diet,” Rob Jackson, chair of the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford, said.

Transitioning towards a more plant-based diet could reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Agriculture fast facts

The agriculture industry has major anthropocentric impacts, which are impacts originating in human activities. Reduction of greenhouse gases is the most prominent effects of vegan and vegetarian diets; others include reduced destruction of rain forests, increased efficiency of food production and cleaner, more abundant water.

Reduction of greenhouse gases

Methane is generated in the guts of animals, according to Rob Jackson. The livestock sector of agriculture emits 37 percent of anthropogenic methane, which has 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report.

The livestock sector is also responsible for 64 percent of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.

Agriculture’s effect on land

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the livestock sector is the single largest anthropogenic user of land. Livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land and 30 percent of the land surface of the planet.

According to Jackson, the most extreme example of animal agriculture’s effect on land is tropical deforestation. Chopping down forests, and especially rain forests, releases carbon dioxide from the trees and soil into the atmosphere.

The greatest amount of deforestation is occurring in Latin America, where 70 percent of previous forested land in the Amazon is occupied by pastures, according to the FAO. About 20 percent of these pastures and rangelands have been degraded through overgrazing, compaction and erosion created by the livestock sector.

MethaneEmissions

A bull stands in its paddock in Neu Anspach, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Cattle produce methane gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Efficiency of food production

This effect boils down to the logic that we can feed the animals the food we would have eaten or we can eat that food directly, which saves resources and reduces emissions during production.

In addition, a plant-based diet would reduce the amount of land used and the amount of food needed to be produced.

Cleaner, more abundant water

According to the FAO, freshwater shortage, scarcity and depletion are becoming an increasing world problem. Accounting for over 8 percent of global human water use, the livestock sector plays a key role in increasing water use.

In addition to water use, the livestock sector also is a huge source of water pollution. Pollutants come in the form of animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides and sediments from eroded pastures.

In the United States, livestock are responsible for an about 55 percent of erosion and sediment and 37 percent of pesticide use, according to the FAO.

RELATED: 
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“Even as we green up our energy use, which we’re doing with solar and wind, one area where we are going to massively increase both greenhouse gas emissions and water use is from our diet,” Dana Hunnes, assistant professor in the Community Health Sciences Department, said.

Some argue that other dietary changes, such as purchasing only locally sourced food, can reduce one’s carbon footprint but only to some extent.

According to a Carnegie Mellon study, greenhouse gas emissions associated with food are mainly created by the production phase which contributes 83 percent of a U.S. household’s carbon footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents on 11 percent of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions.

The authors of the study suggest that a plant-based diet can be a more effective dietary shift compared to “buying local.”

“Shifting less than one day per weeks’ worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food,” the study says.

“People are better off eating meat if they can’t get what they need from a vegan diet, but certainly in a country like the U.S. that’s not really the issue,” Jackson said.

Still No Life of Pie

 

Film Review and commentary by Jim Robertson

Life-of-Pi-Richard-Parker

Spoiler Alert:

If you haven’t seen the movie, Life of Pi, and you plan to, don’t read this post yet. In discussing what I feel is the story’s theme I will end up revealing some of its major plot points, and I don’t want to spoil the experience just to make a point about ethical veganism…

Still here? Ok, assuming you’ve seen the film (or read the book on which it’s based), you’ll recall that there are essentially three parts to the story, ending with what many critics felt was a disappointing and even unnecessary “alternate” account of events to explain how Pi survived such a long ordeal at sea. Personally, I didn’t find the ending a disappointment, perhaps because I may have been one of the few people who got the message the movie was trying to make. After reading dozens of reviews fawning over the special effects (the computer generated middle act was indeed amazing) and decrying the ending, I found only one review that saw it the way I did: the “alternate” story (told by Pi to a pair of Japanese Ministry of Transport officials) was really what happened.

Now, you might be thinking, why does it matter; why ruin a fun thing (especially when it looked so astounding through 3-D glasses, so I hear)? To answer that, I’m going to try to make a long story short and hit its key points (many of which were completely missed by most mainstream film critics, and movie-goers).

The film starts off with an introductory act in which we learn about the early life of the main character, Pi, through a series of flashbacks as told to a visiting writer who wants to write his biography. We are told that Pi spent his childhood trying many of the world’s religions on for size, hoping to get to know God (his atheist father tells him, “You only need to convert to three more religions, Pi, and you’ll spend your life on holiday.”) At one point he jokes that as a Catholic Hindu, “We get to feel guilty before hundreds of gods, instead of just one.”

Of note is the fact that Pi is an ethical vegetarian. He’s also fascinated by a tiger (named Richard Parker, after its captor) stuck in a zoo owned by his father. When Pi is caught trying to befriend the captive tiger, his father decides to teach him a lesson by making him watch Richard Parker kill a goat, thus instilling a morbid fear of tigers in the curious boy.

The movie’s second act begins after it’s revealed that the zoo must close and the father decides to move the animals, and his family, by ocean-going freighter across the Pacific from India to Canada. En-route, the ship is swallowed up in a massive typhoon and Pi—according to the version of the story he is telling the writer, as we witness it—is the only human to make it onto a life raft. Somehow some of the zoo animals  must have escaped their pens in the ship’s hold, and he finds himself adrift with only an injured zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and Richard Parker—the 500 pound Bengal tiger—for company.

It’s during this portion of the movie that viewers are drawn in by its startling special effects; and it’s also when the main character learns that sometimes the world is no life of pie (my interpretation of the title, as a play on the expression “easy as Pie”).

Driven  by hunger, the hyena soon feeds on the zebra and, as it turns on the orangutan, Richard Parker rushes out from under the lifeboat’s only cover (where he has stayed out of sight until now) and quickly dispatches the hyena. This chain of events is essential to the plot since, skipping ahead to the third act, it mirrors Pi’s “alternate” story: substitute the zebra for a deckhand, the orangutan for his mother, the hyena for the cook and Richard Parker for Pi’s alter-ego.

The symbolism here is that after witnessing the cook kill his mother, Pi summons his tiger-inner-self to kill the cook. And eat him. That’s right, to survive his 227 days at sea, Pi had to turn to cannibalism. Incredibly, though it’s critical to the story’s theme, nearly none of the film reviews I read even mentioned cannibalism, since most critics didn’t realize that the second “alternative” version of Pi’s plight was what must have actually happened. I thought it was pretty obvious when an adult Pi asked the writer, “So which story do you prefer?” to which the writer answered: “The one with the tiger. That’s the better story.”And so it goes with God” was Pi’s reply, meaning that, people believe what they want to believe. In order to cope with the sometimes harsh realities of life and death, in this case, resorting to cannibalism for sustenance—and still retain one’s sanity—people often cling to a fantasy world and make up stories which are easier to stomach.

Life of Pi is more than just a happy little special-effects film about a vegetarian boy and a computer-generated, 3-D tiger surviving on computer-generated, 3-D tuna and flying fish. It’s about the kind of anguish any sane person would go through when forced to eat the flesh of another human being. Perhaps the reason I could more easily relate to the story’s deeper meaning (that so many carnivorous critics failed to see) is because, having eaten only plant-based food for the past decade and a half, I feel that same sick revulsion every time I pass the meat isle in the neighborhood grocery store and imagine people actually consuming the flesh so brazenly displayed there.

264431_455824994498980_1177070538_n

“Clean Meat”? – Two Animal Rights Advocates Say “NO”

[This mirrors my views on the subject.]

*Why “growing meat without animals” is NOT a solution: two views*

On Jan. 10, we published “Slaughter-Free Flesh for Humanity
<http://www.upc-online.org/broiler/180110_slaughter-free_flesh_for_humanity.html>”
which drew fire
from some animal rights advocates including Joan Harrison, whose letter,
“When
Even ‘Clean Meat’ Isn’t Clean Enough,” appeared in *The Wall Street Journal*
,
January 13, 2018, as follows:

Regarding Matthew Scully’s review of Paul Shapiro’s “Clean Meat” (Books,
Jan.
6): I’m afraid I cannot agree with my fellow activists’ enthusiasm about
so-called clean meat. The new technology may relieve animal suffering to
some
extent in the short term by using donor herds, which would suffer and be
enslaved to provide cells out of which meat is then laboratory grown.
Though
this may end factory farming, which would be a blessing, it will do
nothing to
end the public’s identification of animals with food. Indeed, it will
likely
confirm this.

The object is not to end factory farming; the object is to end animal
farming
as such. The promoting of meat of this sort is thus a pernicious
undermining
of animal liberation. According to psychology professor and animal
activist
Bill Crain, experiments show that people eating the flesh of animals
generally
perceive animals in a negative light in contrast to people who don’t. Is
this
something we really wish to encourage? What about flesh emerging from a
bioreactor? Why not promote Monsanto’s GMOs? And what about developing
meat
from human cells? If the latter is repulsive to you, and clean meat from
cows,
pigs, chickens and lambs nevertheless seems okay, you are still under the
sway
of speciesism, the evils of which are well known. A simpler solution is
available, though it’ll take some time, one that is consistent with and
would
facilitate the liberating of animals both nonhuman and human: adopting a
plant-based diet. It’s already happening.

Joan Harrison
New York

_______________________

*On Jan. 25, UPC President Karen Davis asked Philosophy Professor, John Sanbonmatsu – who will be speaking at our March 10, 2018 Conscious Eating*
*Conference in Berkeley, CA – what he thinks of “clean meat.” He wrote
back:*

John Sanbonmatsu, PhD:
http://www.upc-online.org/forums/2018/index.html#john_sanbonmatsu

RE: “Clean Meat,” I think it is folly, for several reasons:

* I think too many vegans are thinking of this as the Holy Grail, which may
subtly be taking pressure and urgency off of other modes of action and
analysis.

* The framing of the discourse as “clean” vs. “unclean” meat aestheticizes
meat,
which is already an aestheticized commodity. The reality is, one form of
“meat” is based on genocidal violence, exploitation, and injustice, and
the
other isn’t. So it should be framed as a choice between violence and
nonviolence, not “cleanliness” in either an aesthetic or “morally
virtuous”
sense (as in, I have a “clean conscience”). One of the cafes here in
Cambridge
[MA] is called “Clear Conscience Cafe,” and naturally they serve grassfed
Angus beef, etc.

* I think it’s a terrible mistake to confuse the issue in consumers’ already
confused minds between “good” and “bad” forms of animal products. I was
in NYC
over the weekend, and one of the grocery stores had organic turkey and pig
sausages literally mixed in with the vegan “meat” products. So the
messaging
is, “This is where you get the ‘alternative’ and ‘healthy’ stuff, take
your
pick.” The last thing we need is to have ontological meat (i.e. flesh)
being
sold to consumers as more “ethical” meat.

* Most higher-end consumers will continue to choose “organic” and “local”
animal
flesh over synthetic, lab-grown meats. Why? Because they are figured as
“authentic.” Michael Pollan sneers when the topic of syn-meat comes up:
like,
who would want THAT? Just think about how educated Americans have been
steering away from “processed” and “artificial” foods for a generation.
And
now we want them to eat burgers made with lab-grown cow cells? No way. The
meat industry will turn right around and promote authentic meat even more
heavily than they do now.

* The whole synthetic meat movement is perpetuating the lie that the only
reason, or main reason, we can’t have universal veganism and an end to
animal
agriculture is because there are no “good” alternatives. That, and the lie
that the reason people “can’t” (or won’t) give up eating animals is
because
animals just taste TOO GOOD. Well, I don’t believe that. Yes, there are
undoubtedly some people so hooked on the exact specific taste of bacon or
whatever that they will cling to it until Doomsday. But I don’t think that
accounts for most or even a big part of resistance to Animal Rights or to
veganism specifically.

* What’s going to happen with this stuff is precisely what happened to Whole
Foods and the whole “humane meat” industry: synthetic meats will not be
competing with cheaper meat commodities; this industry will be competing
with
the chi-chi market for specialized foods. So the price point is going to
be
set high, because that’s where the market is going to be most lucrative
(because this is capitalism). Meanwhile, as I said, if the typical
consumer is
faced with a menu of “real” chicken and “synthetic real” chicken, he/she
is
going to choose the real chicken most of the time, or so I believe.

* If humans think so little of the dignity or suffering of animals that they
can’t or won’t countenance giving up farmed animal flesh until and unless
there is an exact, one-to-one replacement, in taste, texture,
availability,
etc., then what are the odds that they will make any concerted effort to
switch to synthetic meats at all?

* Against the odds, somehow, we need to smash speciesism as an idea and a
set of
institutions and beliefs and interpellated identities. If we don’t
challenge
that, if we can’t undermine it, I think it’s going to continue to be Game
Over
for animals, and all of the synthetic meats in the world won’t amount to
anything.

John Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Department of Humanities and Arts
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA 01609

_______________________

Register NOW for UPC’s Seventh Annual Conscious Eating Conference:

*What are the Most Compassionate Choices? *

Berkeley, CA, March 10, 2018.
Information & Registration
<http://www.upc-online.org/forums/2018/index.html>


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Don’t just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
http://www.UPC-online.org/ http://www.twitter.com/upcnews
http://www.facebook.com/UnitedPoultryConcerns

View this article online
<http://upc-online.org/diet/180126_clean_meat-two_animal_rights_advocates_say_no.html>


 

Hollywood actress Maggie Q on how becoming vegan can help save the planet

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/2116303/hollywood-actress-maggie-q-how-becoming-vegan-can

The Mission: Impossible star tells City Weekend of her passion for animal welfare and why she became a vegan

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 October, 2017, 9:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 October, 2017, 2:54pm

 

The Mission: Impossible III star views her acting career as a stepping stone to pursuing her true passion – environmentalism.

From supermodel Gisele Bundchen’s eco-friendly flip-flop line to a Leonardo DiCaprio film on global warming, those in the limelight are leveraging their celebrity status to push causes close to their heart.

For Q, promoting veganism is her way of doing her bit to build a sustainable future. She says carbon emissions from animal farming are “the real issue driving climate change”.

“Once you’ve done the research you can’t unlearn what you know,” says Q, who became a vegan 20 years ago.

A report by the United Nations in 2010 said a global shift towards a vegan diet would be vital to save the world from hunger and the worst effects of climate change.

One lesser known cause of climate change is raising animals for food consumption, which requires huge amounts of land, food, energy and water.

Over half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture, according to a report by research organisation the Worldwatch Institute, and more than 90 per cent of the Amazon rainforest land cleared since 1970 has been used to raise livestock.

Q tells City Weekend that kicking our meat habit will be the most important building block towards preserving our planet for future generations.

How do animals relate to environmental sustainability?

We are seeing climate change right in front of our eyes. One of the things that is missing from political discourse, from policy, from government, is the fact that the leading cause of carbon emissions in the world is animal agriculture and no one is talking about it. This is the real issue that is driving climate change.

Ninety per cent of rainforest destruction is caused by animal agriculture. We raise 70 billion animals for food annually – this is using up 45 per cent of the world’s land mass and most of our water. In the United States, 5 per cent of our fresh water is used in homes and 55 per cent goes to animals so that we can eat richer foods.

About 18 per cent of emissions are from animal agriculture, and 13 per cent are from transportation. That 18 per cent is from the methane, the ammonia, the nitric oxide which is being put into the air by animal waste.

It’s not a sustainable way to live. First world countries are very spoiled: we can eat richer foods because we have the money to attain them. You have to remember there is a cost, it doesn’t come for nothing: 80 to 90 per cent of the fresh water in the US goes to agriculture.

I understand it’s a topic that makes people uncomfortable. Food is a comfort thing and we associate it with being cared for. But the truth of the global impact cannot be denied any more. The science is there.

What is the main thing we can do in everyday life to pass on the Earth in a sustainable way to future generations?

I can’t tell anyone else what to do, but I don’t eat animals: that is my daily solution. As a vegan I save 1,100 gallons of water a day. It takes 440 gallons of water to produce a pound of eggs, 1,000 gallons to produce a gallon of milk, 900 gallons to produce a pound of cheese, and 2,500 to produce beef. If we are talking about a sustainability message, you cannot leave out the animal message – absolutely impossible.

I don’t have the power to make the change I want to. I can only wake up every day and look in the mirror and say I am making the best decision. I worry about the world I am leaving. We are looking at a world that is facing ultimate destruction if we don’t make better, smarter choices, and that starts with you. Every dollar you spend goes to feed a corporation that is either responsible or not responsible. I have felt in life very underpowered in moments because it can be a very overwhelming issue. In the absence of my power in some areas, I know that every single day my dollar is a vote. And I don’t want to contribute to anyone who is not responsible. That is the power I have. Know that every day when you wake up you have those choices, and those choices can become very powerful for the future of our environment.

What is the main issue China, or Hong Kong, needs to address when it comes to the environment?

With China being the leading population in the world, when you talk about carbon emissions from food, this is the largest footprint in the world. Meat consumption in China has gone way up because of the influence of the Western diet. The No 1 restaurant in China is KFC, which I find completely disgusting, but they are being influenced by our fast food. So there is no country in the world that has a bigger carbon footprint than China.

What are your thoughts on China’s Yulin dog meat festival?

Any kind of cruelty for me is off the table. I understand that culturally certain people do certain things, but when I speak to my Chinese friends they say that this is not cultural, this is new. This is not something that is ancient, that they have done forever. A lot of times these practices spring up because they make money. If you’re just collecting animals off the street or stealing people’s dogs, that is not a lot of overheads.

What does it mean to use your platform to speak out, and do you feel pressured to do so?

Passion – that’s all I feel. Our rainforest, the lungs of the planet, are disappearing because we need to feed our cows. That’s not worth it, a steak is not worth that.

I sort of feel like my career is a stepping stone to talk about the things I really want to talk about. I enjoy my career – I’m an artist, a creative person and obviously that fulfils a certain part of me – but at the same time we have a social responsibility as people in the public eye to speak of the things we are passionate about, the things we believe can make a difference. And if we are not doing that, why do we even have a public platform?

How do you influence people around you to lead a green life?

With the facts. The thing is, now we have statistics that are undeniable. I used to try to influence people to be more compassionate in their lifestyle and their diets, but you can’t always influence people to be compassionate the way you are. We are different people for different reasons, but now with the environmental impact and footprint that a meat diet has, you really can’t look at the facts and not care what is being done to our planet.

A meat diet is the No 1 destroyer of our planet. No 2 is transportation, and even 25 per cent of that transportation is meat transport, so now we are talking about the No 1 and No 2 killers of our planet. This is unacceptable. We know the facts, and if we are not doing anything about it, not making individual decisions to be better, we are guilty of destroying our planet.

It is difficult to eat cheaply as a vegan. How do we get companies to supply more options?

There is a way to eat sustainably that is not super fancy, where you don’t have to shop in Central. I was talking to someone the other day about his rice and beans supply: US$20 a month feeds him all the beans and protein he needs. He buys vegetables at the farmers’ market – grains in bulk. That’s really how you bring the price down. If we don’t demand it, the price is not going to come down.

There is a fear in the business world – no one wants to be on the outside of what people want. You guys in Hong Kong had the massive protest a few years ago that was so impressive, I started crying when I saw. The Hong Kong people so impressed me, because it was something they truly believed in. They took to the streets and they said, this is not something we can accept. That is what you do with your dollar; silently, in your homes, on your credit card, at the ATM – you can protest daily through your decisions, or you can do it en masse as you did, but again, the power is in our hands.

Do you have any future plans for movies in China, or about the environment?

If the script is good, I’ll work anywhere. I am talking to different movie companies in China and Hong Kong all the time, but it’s hard because of the timing. When you’re on a television show, you work nine or 10 months of the year, so it’s hard to find the time.

There are three things I want to make movies about: environmental problems, animals and human rights. Those are the three things I look out for all the time.

You were selected by Jackie Chan in Hong Kong as a future action star. How does it feel to be back in the city?

For me it’s very personal because I’ve met some of my best friends in the world here. I have people here who are like family, so coming back is important to me. It’s been a long time.

MAKING SENSE OF MAGGIE

Maggie Q was born in Honolulu in Hawaii to an Irish and Polish father and a Vietnamese mother.

The 38 year old left the islands as a youngster after her family were unable to support her through her course studying veterinary science at university, and so she started modelling in Tokyo aged 17.

She later undertook modelling work in Hong Kong where she began going by the surname Q after finding Asian audiences had trouble pronouncing her actual surname, Quigley.

She was spotted by Jackie Chan as a potential action movie star and later worked alongside him in Rush Hour 2. Next came a role in spy thriller Mission: Impossible III, in which she starred opposite Tom Cruise. Since last year she has been seen in the drama series Designated Survivor as FBI agent Hannah Wells.

Q was named by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) as 2008’s Asia-Pacific person of the year. Last year she appeared on a billboard for the NGO to promote diet change in aid of climate change.

Facts about Q:

At one stage she took care of eight rescue dogs, and now has two

She has three tattoos: one on each arm, and a phoenix on her left hip

She won an athletics scholarship to university

She got engaged to her fiancé, American actor Dylan McDermott, after four months dating

Yoga is her main form of exercise

She has been trained in sword fighting

Vegan Demographics 2017 – USA, and the world

http://veganbits.com/vegan-demographics-2017/

vegan demographics

 It’s been a long time since I’ve written about vegan demographics. Do we care? Should we care? Probably not, but since Jane and I are coming up on ten years as vegans in a few months, I figured now was a good time to look at the vegan demographic statistics. As you might suspect, it’s not easy to determine how many vegans there are. It’s not like you enter that information on your census report. There are all sorts of polls on vegetarians and vegans. I like getting my data from faunalytics.org. Most, but not all of the following information is from their site.

We are the one (half) percent

So how many vegans are there in the USA? Based on a sampling of 11,000 adults, aged 17 and over, only two percent of Americans are vegetarian. Only one-in-four vegetarians — or 0.5% of the USA adult population — is vegan. Only half of one percent of the USA population — or 1.62 million of us — is vegan.

(Is 11,000 a reasonable sampling? Perhaps you are think that this sampling is too small and is therefore skewing the results. I suspect otherwise. This sampling is, by far, the largest such sampling that I’ve found. Most other such polls are usually only looking at about 2,000 people.)

There are many former vegans than there are current vegans; there are more than five times as many former vegetarians/vegans than there are current vegetarians/vegans. Said differently, 84% of vegetarians/vegans abandon their diet. Extrapolated out, that means that there are 8 million lapsed vegans as opposed to the 1.6 million current vegans.

Only about one-in-eight Americans has ever considered themselves vegetarian/vegan. Roughly 88 percent of Americans have always considered themselves omnivorous/carnivorous.

Vegan Demographics

So who are the 1.6 million vegans? You might be surprised to find that the average age of a vegan today is 42. I suspect that many people think that most vegans are in their 20’s and 30’s. According to this research, those young adults only account for about half of all vegans.

What is less surprising is that 74% — almost three-in-four vegans — are female. Most vegans are left leaning politically and are not religious.

So perhaps it comes as no surprise that the typical vegan is female, left learning, non-religious. Let’s look at longevity. As we have seen, there are many more former vegetarians/vegans than people who currently eat this way. The survey suggests that for many, it’s fleeting. Only about one-third (34%) maintained the diet for three months or less, and more than half (53%) of former vegetarians/vegans adhered to the diet for less than one year. So it appears that people try this lifestyle on for size and for one reason or another, half of them go back to their normal, traditional diet after a year or less.

If you are thinking that the current vegetarians/vegans might return to their former omni eating ways, only 12% of the current vegetarians/vegans in the survey have been eating this way for less than a year. Therefore, 88% of those who claim to be vegetarian/vegan have been so for over a year, presumably many have been eating this way for several years.

Income

While this might come as a surprise to some, there are more vegans in the lower end of the income range. The average American earns $54,000. The largest concentration of vegans is in the sub $50,000 income range.

This, according to data gathered by VRG as reported by the Huffington Post.

Why the discrepancy? It’s probably age related; there are more vegans in their 20’s and 30’s than there are in their 50’s and older. Older adults are more likely to have higher incomes than younger adults.

The Huffington Post article suggest that younger people are more likely to be vegan and tend to have lower incomes than older people:

Six percent of survey respondents between 18 and 34 were vegetarians compared to only two percent who were over 55. Young people are also more likely to make less money than older adults as more of them are students or are starting their careers.

(The information reported above from Faunalytics indicated that the average age was 42. This survey from VRG suggests that there are far fewer vegans in their 50’s than in their 20’s. The VRG survey which sampled 2,000 adults also found a closer ratio of vegans based on gender than the Faunalytics survey of 11,000 found. The VRG survey suggests that women make up only 55% of vegans. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that Faunalytics determination that women account for 74% of vegans seems more accurate to me.)

Why are you vegan?

Participants in the study were asked about their motivations for eating a vegetarian/vegan diet. A great many people indicated that they are vegan for health, taste, and humanitarian reasons.

The same questions were asked of former vegetarians/vegans. There is a statistically significant association between nearly all of the motivations tested and whether an individual is a current or former vegetarian/ vegan, with the exception of cost, social influence, and wanting to follow a food trend.

Most Vegan Friendly Cities in America

According to PETA, the most vegan friendly cities in America are:

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. New York City, New York
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Nashville, Tennessee
  6. San Diego, California
  7. Honolulu, Hawaii
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Seattle, Washington
  10. Richmond, Virginia

There are many websites which have their own way of determining which cities are most vegan-friendly. Having never been to Detroit or Richmond, I have to say that those locations come as a surprise to me. Several of the other large cities appear on everyone’s list.

Vegan Demographics: Largest Concentration of Vegans (by country)

The following two tables are derived from data gathered by Wikipedia

  1. United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Poland
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Israel
  7. Italy
  8. Sweden
  9. Spain
  10. Finland

These are the only ten countries that they have listed for vegans. It comes as a surprise to me that there are so many vegans in Japan. Maybe it’s just the volume of people that skews this data somewhat. According to this table, there more than 3 million of the 127 million residents of Japan are vegans.

Vegan Demographics: Largest Percentage of Vegans (by country)

As you can see, Israel has the largest concentration of vegans, with five percent of the population indicated to be vegan. The USA only ranks fifth on this list.

Please not that the data from Wikipedia suggests that 1.5% of the USA population is vegan, whereas the data from Faunalytics indicates that only 0.5% of the USA population is vegan; just one-third as many.

Why do vegans allow vegetarianism to define veganism?

http://www.thisishopethebook.com/vegans-allow-vegetarianism-define-veganism/

Shake hands, declare independence 

 

We must end our non-critical acceptance of vegetarianism’s influence and power over veganism. Though unintentional, vegetarianism will continue to harm and subvert veganism’s progress until vegans stand up to claim and control veganism’s definition and affirm that it is an entirely different belief system and way of life. It’s been this way so long that it may not be obvious, but it’s there for all to see.

By definition, vegetarianism allows the option of consuming animal products, which is a direct and open acceptance of the violence and endless harm it does. In the minds of its practitioners, vegetarianism is an intention to create good as an improvement in one’s health, a belief it will stop the suffering and killing caused from eating flesh, and perhaps to believe it is a temporary place for transition to veganism. Those assumptions don’t stand up to scrutiny. What vegetarianism does is transfer predation through eating flesh to predation through dairy and egg consumption. Cows and their calves, chickens and their chicks are still harmed and slaughtered at a young age in animal agriculture due to the demands of vegetarianism.

 

Veganism up to now has allowed itself to be associated with and defined as just one of many types of vegetarianism whosepractitioners overwhelmingly consume dairy and/or eggs, honey—and sometimes outside of vegetarianism’s expectations—also eat fish and other animal-derived substances.

Lumping types of vegetarianisms together causes havoc with food labeling and consumer understanding of what is and is not effective to reduce suffering and end the killing of source animals. Vegetarianism causes unnecessary destruction to ecosystems that in turn impoverishes wildlife and people alike. Because we care to our core about these tragedies, we have a duty to turn this around and prevent them with veganism.

The Vegetarian Society, founded in 1847, is still home to the 1800’sdevelopment of the concept of vegetarianism and sees it this way: “A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs [my emphasis]. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish*, insects, by-products of slaughter or any food made with processing aids created from these.”

That the Vegetarian Society and many similar organizations believe stealing calves’ milk from the females’ udders, and eggs coming from an ovulating bird through her uterus do not come from “any part of the body of a living…animal” is preposterous. Their milk and eggs are biologically intimate and as necessary for cow and chicken existence as blood and muscle. The simple fact that the business of stealing calves’ milk and chickens’ eggs harms them to an early death should end this nonsense. 

Being consistent, the Vegetarian Society offers their, “… Approved trade mark… [for]… products containing free-range eggs” in addition to vegetarian (and vegan) product certification. One of their certification criteria, “Free from any ingredient resulting from slaughter,” ignores that the fact that their approved ingredients and certifications cause the slaughter of spent chickens, cows and their calves, and other species. This magical thinking dominates many vegetarian organizations. Those with certification programs actually make money from exploiting animals. The European Vegetarian Union also specializes in logos that certify products as being “vegetarian” (and “vegan”) using the same misleading, illogical standard that screams approval. Why, why, why would vegans enable them in any way?

 

The Vegan Standard

Veganism easily and powerfully stands on its own; so how did we inherit the junior status within the list of vegetarian choices? Since vegetarianism was historically (in the European context) first on the scene in the early 1800s before Donald Watson and others coined “veganism” in 1944, perhaps we have fallen into accepting veganism as secondary just as it was in its historical timeline. That is beginning to change, thankfully.  

In 2016, the Council of the Consumer Protection Ministers who represent German states proposed official definitions for vegan and vegetarian food labeling. Though not legally binding, the Council realized what vegans and vegetarians alike should remember: the German state ministers used “vegan” as the baseline definition and then described what is not vegan to define vegetarian.

The European Vegetarian Union translation of those definitions from German:

(1) Vegan are foods that are not products of animal origin… [full text is in the link]

(2) Vegetarian are foods which meet the requirements of paragraph 1 with the difference that in their production

  1. milk,
  2. colostrum,
  3. eggs (No. 5 of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004),
  4. honey (Annex I to Directive 2001/110/EC),
  5. beeswax,
  6. propolis or
  7. wool grease including lanolin derived from the wool of living sheep or their components or derivatives may be added or used.

Compare that translation to Vegan Germany’s:

(1) A food is vegan if it is not an animal product and if the following substances are not used and not added in any step of production or processing, if they are from animal origin:
– ingredients (including additives, carrier materials, flavourings, enzymes) or
– processing agents or
– items what are not additives, but that are used in the same way and with the same purpose as processing agents

(2) [vegetarian products – not relevant]

That’s right, not relevant. They have refused to define veganism by referencing vegetarianism. That’s how it is done.

The multitude of disastrous possibilities within vegetarianism’s fog of eggs, milk, and other transgressions is a problem for vegetarians to solve. Our first responsibility is to insist that vegans are not vegetarians by definition or reference. Vegans create that clarity by never again referencing veganism as a type of vegetarianism and ask vegetarians to respect that. Vegans own veganism.

 

 

For Whom the Bell Pepper Tolls

This is an essential but maybe scary change for some because it challenges friends and organizations that we love and support. Yes, relationships might be strained or even ended but not by us. People face social pressure when they are perceived “different,” and that’s always been part of the social environment during societal change. We are humbled and motivated by the power and immense importance of veganism to transform human behavior away from violence and towards justice for all life on Earth. Remember that the visionary founders of veganism—Donald Watson, Leslie Cross and othersؙ—stood up in 1944 out of necessity to differentiate veganism from vegetarianism.

Our responsibility is to make it easier for hundreds of millions of people to embrace veganism and create the global tipping point. We must not operate from a sense of weakness out of fear that the vegetarian and vegan movements will be unavoidably jeopardized if we stand up for making veganism the primary concept that actually stops exploitation and ecological destruction as vegetarianism never will.

A social movement cannot function at its best and hope to succeed if it doesn’t know how to define itself so others can understand and be motivated by the vision it advocates. Let’s remove the word “vegetarian” from our speech and writing, from the names of our organizations, and not use that term to define veganism because they are nothing alike. In the end, it is not about us, but what we must do. END

Short videos that inspire veganism:

These two videos will reinforce your convictions (both videos have some animal distress portrayed despite being tagged as “not graphic”):