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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Brock-o-Slaw


Awesome as a side with vegan sloppy Joe sandwiches, or as a filling quick snack.

Broccoli Cole Slaw! Eat it with your whole family! (Also eating it - not chopped up in it)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (total) shredded broccoli, carrots and cabbage.
  • 1/2 cup (or more of your prefer) Vegenaise or cashew-based vegan ‘mayo’
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Put everything in a bowl.
  2. Stir it up and then eat it.
  3. Do not share any with that creep from work, but make sure you do eat it near him.

Sag Aloo (Spinach Potato Creamy Goodness)


Sag Aloo

Sag Aloo! Not only does it sound funny, it also cures boredom.

This is a delicious Indian-inspired meal for lunch or dinner. I wouldn’t want it for breakfast, but I hear it has magical hangover cures. This recipe makes enough to feed about 8 people.

Big Stuff

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen spinach
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

Flavors

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 tablespoon fresh crushed garlic)

Hardware

  • A big pot
  • A big skillet
  • A cereal bowl

Action!

  • In the pot, add as much water as you need to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Start boiling.
  • In the skillet, sautee the onion in water (you could use oil but I’m trying to keep this recipe low fat) on about medium heat. You probably don’t want to try to caramelize them in water.
  • Chop the potatoes into cubes or pterodactyls or whatever shape is your favorite.
  • Add potatoes to water even if it’s not perfectly boiling yet.
  • Open can of coconut milk. Pour into cereal bowl.
  • Add powdered stuff to cereal bowl.
  • If you don’t have a mortar-n-pestle, fold the coriander seeds and clove in a paper towel and beat them like they’re an obese relative asking you where you get your protein.
  • Shake the atomized coriander and clove dust into the bowl.
  • By now the onions should be softened up. Shake the spinach and peas into the skillet. Add a little more water (1/3 cup should do) and cover to steam.
  • Once the skillet of green stuff has softened up a little, the potatoes should be nearly done cooking.
  • Make sure you whisk the cereal bowl nicely. Tumeric is really fine and doesn’t immediately blend with the coconut milk.
  • Fun part! Dump the cereal bowl into the skillet!
  • Stir it around while it simmers and feel like a cook.
  • Enjoy compliments from roommates/family/dogs/ghosts about the lovely smell.
  • Drain potatoes when they’re soft enough.
  • Add potatoes to skillet. That’s right. Add potatoes and greens in the same skillet. This craziness cannot be contained.

Ta da!


Vegan French Toast


Vegan French Toast

Vegan French Toast. Pardon the blurry picture!

You do not need eggs for French toast! This post’s recipe is based on a vegan French toast recipe at VegWeb.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups vanilla nondairy milk (coconut seems to taste best here, but soy, hemp, rice, almond, etc., would also work)
  2. 3 teaspoons vegan sugar
  3. 4 to 5 tablespoons flour
  4. dash cinnamon
  5. Half a loaf of bread
  6. nonstick spray

Instructions

  1. Spray skillet with nonstick spray. Heat up your skillet to about medium-high. Don’t let the oil smoke!
  2. Put everything but the bread in a bowl. Stir until it’s all mixed up.
  3. Dip a piece of bread in the mix, drop it in the pan. Flip when you think it needs flipped.

No-Egg Salad


No-Egg Salad Recipe! Pic courtesy of My Recession Kitchen.

Based on a recipe at My Recession Kitchen, this No-Egg Salad is delicious and can be mixed up in under five minutes. You don’t even need a power tool. A bowl and a fork are all you need to combine the ingredients. Speaking of ingredients:

  1. 1 14 oz block of firm tofu
  2. 6 tablespoons Vegenaise(or the cashew mayo on Recession Kitchen’s site)
  3. 4 tablespoons minced onion
  4. Sprinkling of celery seed to taste
  5. 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. Recession Kitchen recommends paprika for garnish, but I’m cheap, so I say the fewer ingredients the better.

Assembly is simple. Put it all in a bowl. Mash with fork. Chill and smear on bread or just shovel it into your salivating face with a soup ladle.


Vegan-themed Baby Names


I asked my Twitter friends, “What are some cool vegan kid names?” Here are the responses:


Vegans are Regular People


Vegans are Regular People - the shirt!

It’s true. Our bowel movements are healthier and typically faster than those of meat eaters, but otherwise we are exactly the same.

Vegans are not super heroes. Although directly reducing the demand for animals to be exploited is a super thing to do, it’s easy. Veganism is a moral baseline; it’s not exactly heroic.

We do not possess superhuman willpower. If you want a demonstration, just tell a recently awakened vegan that Oreos have no animal products in them. See how long it takes before he looks like he just ate, well, a box of Oreos. We struggle with restaurant and junk food marketing like anyone does. We do have it a little easier in that area: most of the ads are targeting a different demographic.

Vegans have no keener empathic abilities than the rest of the world. We are not Cow Whisperers. We do not hear the cries of corn as it’s fed to pigs on feedlots. Vegans are not so delicate and refined that they run in terror from the company dinner table when someone orders steak. Nor do we possess the hardened, bleached souls of war criminals. Seeing graphic video footage of animal slaughter bothers us as much as it does anyone.

Like meat eaters, vegans are not necessarily eating perfectly balanced diets, either. A huge percentage of the United States suffers from Vitamin D deficiencies, despite what the dairy industry would have us believe their fortified products will do.

Vegans are Regular People


Is a Matter of Personal Choice


Calf Roping

Whose "personal choice" are we talking about? Pictured above: a calf roping at a rodeo.

The act of exploiting animals is often justified as a “personal choice,” but personal choices stop being personal when they affect others.

When we eat a vegan diet, when we refuse to attend rodeos and zoos, when we pass up leather jackets, wallets and shoes in favor of synthetic or plant-based goods, we are practicing peace.  We are behaving consistently in a manner that directly fosters justice.

It is ironic to hear people use their power of choice (typically, only as consumers) in and of itself to justify harming animals.  “It’s my choice to eat or not eat animals,” they assert.  But this directly violates the freedom and choices of another living being who has every right not to suffer.

Only the aggressor, or the more powerful, can choose to inflict misery and death upon others.  By definition, victims are victims, they do not have a choice in the matter of being used.

What about crimes against our fellow humans?  We do not say that rape is permissible because rapists are “making a personal choice,” yet rape is absolutely what is done to female cows to force them into pregnancy and thus eventual lactation.  We do not say thieves and murderers are excused of their crimes because they chose to commit them.  Yet what is more theft and murder than stealing breast milk and killing the children, then their mother when her body is too worn out to produce milk at a profitable rate?

The aggressors want to wiggle out of the truth of using words like “rape” and “murder,” because of a simple speciesist view that only rape and murder can be done to humans.

One fact which cannot be wiggled out of is by enslaving others, we strip them of their most basic choice: to be free.  Actions we take are only a “personal choice” until they infringe upon the freedoms of others.  Freedom to move about, freedom to avoid pain, freedom to reproduce (or not) at will: these are all choices denied to enslaved animals who would naturally make them if left alone.  When we confine and eventually kill our powerless captives, we deliberately and irreversibly engage in violence that annihilates all of their choices.

We all have the capacity to inflict harm.  We all have the capacity for enormous good, as well.  Abraham Lincoln put it perfectly when he said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”


Well, It Could Have Been Worse


Crime

This scene is acceptable because it could have been worse. The attacker could have been driving a dump truck over infants while shooting the man on the left. That imaginary scenario makes everything better.

The could-be-worse reasoning is applied every day to attempt justify exploiting cows, chickens, geese, sheep, mice, rats, dogs, elephants, women, minorities, the old and the young.  With animals, people compare current, “humane” slaughter methods to some horrible alternative, and then state that snuffing out the life of an enslaved, helpless creature is now honorable and free from any moral condemnation.

Let’s go back to the analogy of theft.  If I steal your television, I don’t get out of jail by stating I could have also emptied your bank account.  When we do something wrong, we do something wrong.  It’s as simple as that.

Moral relativity to encourage animal exploitation is simple manipulation to keep us dim-witted and spend-thrifted (say that five times fast).  Many people want to believe they can make a difference without changing a thing.  As Gary Francione says, the “happy meat” and “humane” slaughter ideas are nothing more than the modern day equivalent of the church selling indulgences.

When we hear ourselves or others saying, “well at least I buy organic eggs,” or “at least this was free-range beef,” we need to remember that those allegedly great strides in animal freedom are illusions.  We do not free animals by encouraging people to eat more of them.  “Free range”, “grass fed”, “organic” and “humane” labels encourage consumption.  These labels move us in the exact opposite direction of liberation and justice.

At the core of this issue is the notion that people are still okay with using the animals, it’s the “excessive” suffering they’re uncomfortable with.  This is simple speciesism.  Except in extremely trivial cases, no one would wave away a crime against a human because “it could have been worse.”  That would not even work in small claims court.  When the crime is against those who cannot speak for themselves, it seems, we sing a different tune.

The could-have-been-worse perspective backfires on meat eaters and works against exploiting animals; we can always define “do not interfere with them at all” as the relative comparison.  Why must the relative marker be placed closer to torture, and not closer to amnesty?  Easy:

The goal of arguing in favor of exploiting animals is never on behalf of the animals.

It is our duty to remind people that treatment does not need to be “worse than” to be wrong.  Slavery is slavery.  Nutrition options exist.  Let’s use our options, not individuals.

No justice exists when crimes are dismissed by simply dreaming up “worse” crimes that could have happened instead.


The Magical Morality Organ


Chick and Kitten

The one on the left will be ground up with about a thousand siblings so you can eat his mother's eggs.

Is it immoral to cut a dog’s throat because we like the sound of the blood gurgling onto the soil? To stomp on a box of kittens because the squishing under our feet is lovely and refined? To sever a lizard’s tail and legs, leaving her to bleed to death, because the trail of blood she leaves behind makes interesting patterns?

Most of us would say yes, these acts are immoral.  Would they be any better if the aggressor was paid to do it? If a young man is paid ten dollars every time he crushes a kitten to death, is the act then acceptable? How about ten thousand dollars? Of course not.

We agree that receiving pleasure from the sound, sight or feel of bloodshed is immoral (if not downright creepy), as is profit.

What if the pleasure is taste?

If the pleasures on our ears, under our feet, or upon our eyes are unacceptable reasons to inflict harm, why do we make exceptions for the pleasures of the tongue? It is just another organ.

Eye, nose and skin pleasure may be seen as entertainment.  If we agree that killing for mere entertainment is bad, then certainly crushing kittens to death is bad.  Stabbing a cow to death for entertainment, then, is also bad because a cow is no different a moral specimen than a kitten is.

The difficult part of talking to meat and dairy consumers is helping them understand that eating flesh and non-human milk are unnecessary.  Because these food items are not necessary, they are entertainment.  Buying steak at a grocery store which also sells beans and fresh vegetables is no more defensible than stomping on a box of kittens.

We must reject killing not just kittens, but also cows, chickens and all living beings, in pursuit of the specific sensations given to our tongues and noses.

There is no magic morality purifier device built into our taste buds. Criminals are not released on the condition that they greatly enjoyed the crime. And, despite what the bacon advertisements tell us, pigs are not happy to die today because a plate will hold their body parts tonight.

Our enjoyment is as irrelevant as profit. The price paid per kitten squished has no effect on the immorality of the act. Be it ten dollars or ten thousand dollars, funding murder is funding murder. In the same way, a tickle or a taste does not change the exploitation.

Let us be consistent with our beliefs. Being so is much easier than trying to explain to our children why assaulting kittens is bad, but assaulting pigs is okay, provided we eventually eat them, too.

A Tongue

Summary: Do not blame being an asshole on this organ.

See Also


Seeds


Who could predict this thriving, fantastic outcome based only on looking at the seeds?

All seeds for one plant pretty much look alike and, until we engage them, all people’s minds pretty much look alike as well. We sometimes make the mistake of assuming people are completely closed off to veganism when in fact they are not. And sometimes we spend all our time trying to educate completely disinterested captives (coworkers, family members, schoolmates).

But regardless of success or failure, we should never be discouraged, because that next vegan blogger, fitness guru, grandma or executive is probably not going to come from where you imagine.

People will surprise you. The man you would never discuss veganism with because of his demeanor or background might actually be completely disgusted with meat, only able to eat carefully disguised bodies in the form of hamburgers or nuggets. Or you might just catch him at a particularly receptive moment. The sweet vegetarian mother of two active children might just be completely shut off to the idea of animal rights, with no concern for the direct relationship between cheese and veal. We never really know until we engage others.

We should approach every opportunity for advocacy as the sowing of a new seed. Even when speaking about veganism with people who have heard it before, consider that maybe circumstances have changed.

The sprouts from nonviolent, intelligent discussions are fantastically creative and different and inspiring for each person.

All growth requires a little seed, or seed energy, and steady nurturing. As advocates for peace and justice, vegans are asking people to grow and expand their circles of consideration. And if the animal’s lives mean anything to us, they should mean, at a minimum, the willingness to engage people in whatever comfortable way we feel is appropriate.

Let us be kind and honest with people and about the animals we represent. We don’t need bullhorns, we need dinner parties.