Number of animals killed in the world by the meat, dairy and egg industries, since you opened this webpage. This does not include the billions of fish and other aquatic animals killed annually.

Based on 2007 statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas.

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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Open Letter to Ariel Kaminer and the New York Times

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Dear Ariel Kaminer,

I am writing in response to your contest, “Calling All Carnivores.”

Why must the NY Times encourage readers to eat meat?  Why was the contest not called, “Ethical Reasons to Stop Eating Meat?”

Those two are rhetorical questions.  The answers are because the NY Times does not want to award people for insisting eating meat is unethical.  On the contrary, this contest is strong evidence the NY Times wants to reward people for insisting eating meat is ethical.

In your article, you assert that “those who love meat have had surprisingly little to say.” How can you make this assertion and live in the United States, where every meal is pig, chicken, fish or cow, and where bookshelves are crammed with titles encouraging popular but illogical “compassionate carnivorism?”

My complaint is not that you believe meat fans are silent, or under-represented. As a meat eater, you are likely as unshaken by Turduckens and bacon as the rest of America, so your belief that meat-eaters have “had surprisingly little to say” is understandable.

My complaint is about the end goal. The result of this contest, intentional or not, is an article which causes readers to think, “Ah-hah. So that why eating meat is ethical. I knew I was right for doing it.”

The world does not need more reasons to eat meat, much less a contest recruiting the most convincing and popular logical fallacy.  The world is not better for increased demand of dead or dying animals.

The world needs people who, as you said in another article, feel crummy when unnecessarily ending the life of another, and it needs articles from those people saying why they refuse to repeat the act.

Related reading:

Lying about Food Coloring Lies about Junk Food

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Fresh from Obvious Pile, “Color additives are an inexpensive way to simulate absent fruit or vegetable ingredients, make white bread look more like whole wheat, or make sugary cereals more appealing to young children, according to CSPI.”

The result is that people eat garbage they might not normally eat because the garbage doesn’t look entirely like garbage.  For instance, and with emphasis added:

Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix has no carrots, as such. Instead, it has “carrot flavored pieces” made with corn syrup, flour, corn cereal, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or soybean oil, a small amount of “carrot powder,” unspecified artificial color, and Yellow 6 and Red 40. Most varieties of Mt. Olive and Vlassic pickles appear greener and fresher thanks to Yellow 5. Kraft Light Catalina Salad Dressing contains Red 40. And caramel coloring and cocoa darken Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel Bread.

More at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

What can you do?  Eat fresh meals made from whole ingredients.


Saturday, September 12th, 2009

What arguments could you present to a highly sentient and aggressive alien invader that he should not kill and eat you?  Here’s your handbook.

A voracious, all-powerful alien from the planet Snargleplexon is about to throw you and your family into a souped-up wood chipper. He gives you a few minutes to convince him why he should not. This is not out of charity or mercy. The delay is only because his sausage press, known as the Happy Happy Humane Human Protein Mercyplexer 9000, takes a few minutes to warm up.

Besides telling him you’re an aspiring heavy metal guitarist and the universe will be that much poorer without your sweet riffs, can you convince him of mercy? What arguments could you present to a highly sentient and aggressive invader that he should not kill you? When you pose absolutely no threat and he derives great pleasure from devouring your charred remains, what words could possibly sway him toward compassion?

In real life one cannot simply shoot coworkers to “solve” a conflict (though the temptation never quite abates). For this reason, the Snargleplexonians have been rendered invulnerable to physical attack. You also cannot bribe them: what do they care about our money? You cannot guilt them into mercy. They are immune to guilt. So what do you do? You have to appeal to both logic and emotion, and the only way your message will sink in is when it’s delivered with humor and compassion.

This is the handbook for such a situation. By no coincidence, the handbook works out great for vegans who are bombarded with so-called jokes such as, “I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.” That’s right. You didn’t. You don’t even have claws. Go eat a banana.

You can reach Snargleplexon via both and You can even reach the Facebook Snargleplexon page or find our illustrious humanoid leader tweeting non-stop.