Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

wtf seriously August 12, 2008

Filed under: vegan — Noemi M @ 2:31 pm
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PETA wants to advertise vegan message on border fence

While many view the contentious border fence as a government fiasco, an animal rights group sees a rare opportunity.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans today to announce an unusual marketing pitch to the U.S. government: Rent us space on the fence for billboards warning illegal border crossers there is more to fear than the Border Patrol.

The billboards, in English and Spanish, would offer the caution: “If the Border Patrol Doesn’t Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan.”

“We think that Mexicans and other immigrants should be warned if they cross into the U.S. they are putting their health at risk by leaving behind a healthier, staple diet of corn tortillas, beans, rice, fruits and vegetables,” said Lindsay Rajt, assistant manager of PETA’s vegan campaigns.

The Department of Homeland Security is working to meet a deadline to complete 670 miles of fencing and other barriers on the Southwest border by Dec. 31. The fencing operation has run into stiff opposition by landowners fighting government efforts to obtain their land through condemnation.

PETA says its billboards would picture “fit and trim” Mexicans in their own country, where their diet is more in line with the group’s mission. Another image on the sign would portray obese American children and adults “gorging on meaty, fat- and cholesterol-packed American food.”

PETA’S offer to the feds is expected to arrive in a letter to Border Patrol officials today.

But a government spokesman in Washington said the request will be rejected because it would limit visibility through the fence. And Border Patrol does not allow advertising on its property or installations, the officials added.

“The fencing being put in place is, in many cases, mesh fencing to allow our officers to see what’s happening on the other side and to better secure the border,” said Michael Friel, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

One property owner on the Texas-Mexico border laughed at PETA’s proposal.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Noel Benavides, who is contesting the construction of a fence dividing his family’s 145-acre ranch in Roma on the Rio Grande. “I can’t see the point of something like that.”

But Rajt said the rent money they’d pay would help offset the huge costs of the fencing — and the advertising message “might even be frightening enough to deter people from crossing into the U.S.”

PETA has often been criticized for its aggressive animal rights crusades. It’s used billboards to push many of its controversial positions such as “Buck Cruelty: Say NO to horse-drawn carriage rides” or “Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse.”

I have no coherent thoughts on this right now.


Food Porn and Reconstructing Our Meals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Royce @ 2:08 pm
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I used to look at vegan food porn and think that it was a waste of time. I didn’t understand how it could really accomplish anything except make me hungry.

But now I’m thinking about the ways that foods, and the meal, are socially constructed. We live in a very carnicentric world. And the construction of food, has been limited to a handful of grains, greens, fruits, and of course, animal flesh and excretions. And for some of us– the diets of our families and/or communities were very carnicentric. And of course many omnivore’s, at least in my family and communities, wonder what one eats if one doesn’t eat flesh or excretions.What does a vegan eat at a barbecue, or a picnic, or even a home cooked meal. If you’re used to your meal looking like this:

Carnicentric dish

Carnicentric dish

Then its pretty hard to imagine a meal without flesh.

Meanwhile food porn gives us a multitude of images that are (nicer to look at and) that reconstruct the meal to make flesh unnecessary.

So perhaps food porn has a purpose, besides making me hungry. Because at this point, I’ve reconstructed the meal for myself to the point where putting flesh into it seems silly. So perhaps I need to share food porn with more people in my family, so that they can get turned on to a new diet.