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Monday, February 9, 2009


Posted by on Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 11:21 AM

With Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) protesting Lark over Foie Gras, and the (expected) backlash, I feel like it's time to have a pro-animal rights post. Not pro-NARN, mind you. I want to praise the animal rights activists who created, implemented and supported the research animal use regulations.

Rather than go after an outright ban on animal use in labs, these effective activists came up with a regulatory structure—a set of rules an overwhelming majority of people could agree with. Animals used in laboratory research have strict housing and care guidelines—requiring a vet checking over things, no overcrowding, fresh food and water and as disease-free of an environment as can be created. All animal research must be pre-approved by a panel—including vets, fellow scientists and citizens (i.e. animal rights activists.) Everyone working with animals must undergo extensive training—renewed at least once a year. And so on. Animals used in a lab are treated better than children in the care of most States.

It was an adult path to take—recognizing the ethical interest in both developing new cures or health knowledge through scientific study of animals and the preventing cruelty to animals. This path took much work—time spent talking to vets, scientists, reading and writing laws, lobbying politicians and building public support. It's much less fun than meeting up with your buddies for a Friday night protest outside a small business.

It worked in almost every way possible. By forcing all labs to engage in the highest level of animal care practices, animal research became more expensive and onerous. As a result, the decision to start an animal study is a profoundly serious one in labs—with every alternative exhausted. Fewer animals are used, and those used are cared for in the best and kindest way possible. Labs that violate these rules are subject to the severest penalties—including a total loss of funding.

Imagine what the twenty or so NARN activists—currently wasting hours with childish comments on SLOG, or purposeless protests of a single restaurant serving a single dish—could do if they switched tactics. Most of us—omnivores and vegetarians (such as myself)—are totally and completely disgusted with the practices of industrial farms: the use of hormones and antibiotics, the use of disgusting industrially rendered and non-physiological feeds, the overpacking, the mutilation to allow overpacking into cages, the total lack of concern about disease and health. The details coming out about this month's salmonella outbreak could be applied to outbreaks in hamburgers, berries, or a dozen of other abusively produced foods.

How about NARN—these same small handful of people—sitting down with vets and food safety experts and drafting up a set of realistic regulations for industrial farms: no clipping of beaks, no overcrowding of animals, no pro-acidic diets for ruminants, no autophagy—for example. Demand that any industrial farm directly or indirectly receiving federal subsidy follow these guidelines. Go after people's hearts through their stomachs.

It would take work—long boring hours reading scientific documents, writing proposals, lobbying politicians, and educating the public. More importantly, it'll take an adult recognition that while you might not want to eat meat, others will. If you are serious about the betterment of animals—instead of whining about silly bans—focus on small, broadly agreeable changes in how food animals are treated. By crafting regulations that both vegans and omnivores can agree upon, you'll genuinely help animals and actually advance your cause in a meaningful way.

It worked for your fellow activists concerned about laboratory animals. You should learn from them, NARN.


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Posted by Chicago Fan on February 9, 2009 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Nicely done, Jonathan. But... Berries are abusively produced?! I'm gonna go cry in a corner now.

Posted by lily on February 9, 2009 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Awesome, Jonathan.
Posted by Abby on February 9, 2009 at 11:31 AM · Report this
@2, Good find!
Posted by I love when people find stuff like that on February 9, 2009 at 11:33 AM · Report this
A new book that addresses this issue in an accessible way is The Compassionate Carnivore, by Catherine Friend. She and her partner raise lamb and chickens in SE MN, and she writes eloquently about the ethics of raising animals and how we can support small farmers that do so. I found her advice even more helpful than Pollan's on much the same subject.
Posted by judybusy on February 9, 2009 at 11:33 AM · Report this
I totally agree. These are very reasonable proposals.
Posted by Heather on February 9, 2009 at 11:33 AM · Report this
Jonathan, stop being realistic. You're freaking me out.
Posted by You mean the entire world doesn't respect MY ideals? on February 9, 2009 at 11:35 AM · Report this

Posted by merry on February 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM · Report this
Gee, The Stranger thought street protests were so valuable in the aftermath of Prop 8. Remember that, Mr. Golob? Where were you then, telling Savage and Holden and Sanders to stay out of the streets and spend their time being well behaved little queers politely lobbying for their rights?
Posted by next gay rights march, the tune will change... on February 9, 2009 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Agreed. It's interesting, if people really were successful in reining in factory farms and creating regulations for the meat industry regarding the ethical treatment of animals, then, presumably, the same thing would happen as happened with animal studies. The price of meat would go up, and people would less inclined to buy it.

The issue with factory farms is that people want their meat and they want it cheap. They value buying cheap meat more than they value having the animals treated well. My guess is that there will be a huge backlash to any kind of regulations on the meat industry -- it's all well and good to affect people's hearts and stomachs, but they still don't like being hit in their wallets. Regulations of lab animals did not directly affect consumers, but regulations of the meat industry will...
Posted by Julie in Eugene on February 9, 2009 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Do Pediatricians check on the Homo Sapien embryos in research labs?
Posted by who tucks them in at night? on February 9, 2009 at 11:43 AM · Report this
@9- You're missing the point. Go read the post again, but pull your head out of your ass first.
Posted by Raymond on February 9, 2009 at 11:44 AM · Report this
this is all inspiring.
'Cause we really want to be humane to creatures we are going to grind up into sausage.
Posted by ouch on February 9, 2009 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Thank you Dad for the lecture. Adults will surely appreciate being told to "act like adults." I'm sure your lecture will be very effective.

Three cheers for Dad.
Posted by Medina on February 9, 2009 at 11:47 AM · Report this
@13 Yes, we do. It's no different than a hunter respecting the deer he shoots and takes home to eat. Even if you don't believe in that "circle of life" hoodoo, we would be improving the quality and naturalness of the food by not pumping animals full of antibiotics or hormones or transgenes.

Well said, Jonathan.
Posted by kebabs on February 9, 2009 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Maybe everybody could sit down over a nice, yummy dinner of Sea Kittens and get their differences worked out.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on February 9, 2009 at 11:55 AM · Report this
This is actually a pretty big debate in the animal rights world--welfarism versus abolitionism.

Abolitionists (who aim to get rid of animal-based agriculture) feel that welfarism (e.g. "happy meat" or "humanely raised meat") is a waste of time, that pushing for better standards for animals that exists only to be killed an eaten is not as effective as getting others to accept that animals have a right to live their lives as nature intended, without extensive human intereference. Some folks feel that "happy meat" will cause increased consumption of meat and related products. Which is certainly appears true after reading over recent slog posts.

That said, there are a whole lot of reasons to avoid or reduce animal foods in your diet: there are environmental and health concerns, in addition to the moral arguments that people may or may not buy into.
Posted by practicalveganinseattle on February 9, 2009 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Protests are an Americian tradition - from unions to Mothers Agaist Drunks.

True and tried. Tens of thousnds of time in every city, over and over. They work.

What the fuck is wrong at the Stranger? You all are so fraked by protests, kind of un American.

You all too hip to protest, fine, show your ass and tits in a Porn show.

But, get real, your activist street smarts shit is nil.

Even dull witted.

I eat meat of all kinds, love fish and chicken, then lean beef.

Too rich liver paste, never.
Posted by Adam on February 9, 2009 at 12:02 PM · Report this
@12 Golob's point was classic GOP Bushism: industry can regulate itself. Let's sit down with the energy companies and they can help us write a set of rules we can all live with. Let's sit in the offices of the polluters and beg them nicely to choose to do the right thing. Golob works for these people; you can't expect him not to take the side of the scientific establishment.

How come nobody at the Stranger made fun of activists waving signs and chanting to support Mayor Sam Adams? What was different about that?
Posted by next gay rights march, the tune will change... on February 9, 2009 at 12:03 PM · Report this
Come on. Like I said in the other thread, I'm not a member of NARN and don't know anybody who is, but animal testing, existing factory farming, and the spread of new cruel practices are different things.

Along with reforming existing slaughterhouse practices, we have to curb the spread of new cruel slaughterhouse practices like foie gras production (which isn't new, but its surging popularity in America is new).

Say a new cruel form of laboratory testing started gaining popularity because of a legal loophole. Would you say, "focus on existing animal testing procedures" or would you take measures to stop the new cruel form of animal abuse as well?
Posted by lizzie on February 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Amen, Jonathan. One of the promises of the Obama campaign was that we would once again put the adults in charge. Maybe that means that I, a carnivore with significant concerns about the way meat is produced, could actually join forces with animal rights groups without it degenerating to them calling me evil and me calling them stupid.

But I'm sure that's too much to hope for.
Posted by F on February 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM · Report this
@18 Do protests actually work?

Case in Point, Iraq War.
Posted by The Bums Lost on February 9, 2009 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Well said- thank you Jonathan!
Posted by AC on February 9, 2009 at 12:12 PM · Report this
Julie in Eugene, you've nailed it. Nobody is against animal cruelty until they have to pay $25 for a chicken at Safeway.

This whole debate seems like something that would be at home on "What White People Like". If relatively affluent folks want to pay top dollar for free range animals that's their call, but poor folks are going to be priced out of eating animal protein if every animal is produced in this way.
Posted by Westside forever on February 9, 2009 at 12:13 PM · Report this

You are making the assumption that foie gras production is inherently cruel. There's no research that show that it is. People need to stop anthropomorphizing the birds. They have no gag reflex, and their liver was designed to become fatty. It would be cruel to force feed me with a tube down my throat, but I alas am not a duck. It would also be cruel to make me float naked in Lake Washington.
Posted by arbeck on February 9, 2009 at 12:14 PM · Report this

Protests helped stop the vote count in Florida in 2000. Those were street protests organized by the Republican Party, who usually mock protesters.

You always see this: snide cynics saying protests are stupid until one day it's their issue on the line, and all of a sudden they're calling all their friends and wanting them to show up carrying a sign.
Posted by next gay rights march, the tune will change... on February 9, 2009 at 12:14 PM · Report this
Well Put!
Posted by gfrancie on February 9, 2009 at 12:15 PM · Report this

And of course in your scorn, you should note that the anti- war folks staged VERY FEW in eight years .... they sure worked to end the war in Vietnam ... hey ... and post Prop 8 they sure have worked very well ... not to mention Act Up and its fame in creative street protest ...

You are not a natural protest person, fine. But the technique is true and tried.

By the way, modern media really amplifies the message of a good protest ... h'mmmmmmmmm

Posted by Adam on February 9, 2009 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Will the NARN nuts be happy with this reasoned and intelligent posting? I doubt it. That's why they're nuts. They're like pro-lifers and abortion clinic bombers and protestors: people so convinced with their own morality, they simply can't be reasoned with. But then they'll start comparing their struggle with geese with black civil rights, gay rights and Jews in the Holocaust: they'll never do that in front of a actual black, gay or Jew mind you.

And FYI everything recommended here means our food tastes better, and ultimately, that's what makes live fun. Just remember that when you see how miserable and cold the NARNits are standing outside in the rain protesting at Lark.
Posted by Finger my Fois on February 9, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
I, like Matt Taibbi, believe that street protests (against the Iraq war, for gay rights, against animal cruelty--whatever) are ineffective.

Anticipating the passage of prop 8, I suggested a different tactic than ill-advised protests....
Posted by Jonathan Golob on February 9, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
Quoting from someone up higher:

"Abolitionists (who aim to get rid of animal-based agriculture) feel that welfarism (e.g. "happy meat" or "humanely raised meat") is a waste of time, that pushing for better standards for animals that exists only to be killed an eaten is not as effective as getting others to accept that animals have a right to live their lives as nature intended, without extensive human intereference."

Except, of course, in the case of dogs and cats who must all be neutered until it is no longer possible to breed them, and they will all die out. (This IS some animal rights activists' stance, and the main reason I don't support HSUS or PETA, though I DO support my LOCAL shelters, which don't get a dime from the national organizations).

If everyone stopped eating meat or other animal products tomorrow, the pigs and cows and chickens would all die out. They are not "as nature intended".
Posted by Nora on February 9, 2009 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Great ideas Jonathan, but unfortunately, they seldom are effective when groups like NARN are involved, for the simple reason that they tend to be more about making their constituencies feel good about themselves than they are about effecting any sort of positive change.

You're absolutely correct in that bringing about these kinds of changes requires a great deal of work, and most do-gooders, for all their talk, aren't really into putting a great deal of time and effort into their "causes". Their idea of effecting social change only requires them to devote one or two hours a week, at most, after which they can pat themselves on the back for "fighting the good fight", and return home to the comfort of their white, urban, middle-class lifestyles, where they'll devoutly listen to "Democracy Now!", whilst perusing the latest copy of "Mother Jones", and smugly consider themselves "soldiers for the cause" for having put in the absolute minimal effort on its behalf.

The other thing reaching such agreements requires is compromise; the recognition that effecting meaningful change requires some give-and-take between the opposing groups. The old saw that, "if both sides are unhappy with the outcome, it's probably a good one" usually applies in these cases, but it's extremely difficult for the True Believers to let go of even the smallest iota of their moral agenda, lest they be seen by their peers as having "sold out the cause". And so they stick to their "all or nothing" guns, which, while it inevitably results in little, if any real progress being made, but which still lets them cloak themselves in the shroud of moral superiority.

Because, in the end, it's all about maintaining 100% idealogical purity for these folks. In their minds achieving 90% of the goal is tantamount to collaboration with the enemy, because they know there will always be that handful of hold-outs who will cling to the last few percentage points as proof of their own moral superiority.
Posted by The Chronicles Of NARNia on February 9, 2009 at 12:18 PM · Report this

You will never convince most people not to eat meat. Regardless of what rhetorical devices you use. If you really want people to eat less meat, you need to make it more expensive.

That's the only way. Period.
Posted by F on February 9, 2009 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Jeez, you people. Nobody is being an extremist for some kind of hippie ideological purity. Foie gras is incredibly cruel and it's very reasonable to add foie gras production to our many existing animal cruelty laws. It's a very moderate stance, just like previous animal cruelty laws that have already passed.

It's very simple: Don't torture animals unnecessarily. Do you really think that is extreme?

Here's a video for people who doubt how cruel foie gras production is:…
Posted by lizzie on February 9, 2009 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Julie in Eugene:

That's a great point. I've been thinking about it, and doing a bit of reading on the subject.

Factory farming, as currently practiced, relies on monoculture and massive scale--having a huge farm producing only one product. The overall agricultural system connects one monoculture megafarm to another--resulting in vast amounts of waste and inefficiency. It's only cheap when oil is cheap.

Given the advances in information technology and our knowledge of plant and animal physiology, it seems like we could devise a more efficient polyculture system--a farm where cows eat grass, chickens eat grubs from the cow feces, the chicken droppings fertilizing the soil for example. Such a farm would be inherently kinder to the animals--allowing them to live in a manner much closer to their physiology--eliminate the massive waste lagoons as well as the terrifying dependence upon oil in the current industrial food system.

If you could do something like this properly, I think you could make food cheaper than it is now as well as healthier and with a better respect for the animals.
Posted by Jonathan Golob on February 9, 2009 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Sorry @19, classic Bushism was only inviting the people who work in their own industries to draft regulations, excluding activists and other critics, and doing it in secret. Golob's post described a process where activists and others were part of the legislation process, with results satisfactory to all parties involved.

And as far as the Stranger not criticizing protests related to prop 8 or Sam West, those are highly visible, publicly debated issues that have broad ramifications within state and local government. These are issues being actively debated by the public. They are not narrow focus pet issues. If prop 8 protesters only picketed , say, 1 person who voted for prop 8, to the exclusion of other businesses and large donors, I'm sure you'd hear the Stranger ripping those people a new one. Ditto if the only protest supporting Sam West only involved picketing the house of one newspaper editor who suggested West step down.

And Jonathan, sounds like you've been reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma."
Posted by my arm is numb on February 9, 2009 at 12:31 PM · Report this
@37: My thoughts exactly on all three points.
Posted by facet on February 9, 2009 at 12:35 PM · Report this
"Here's a video for people who doubt how cruel foie gras production is:"

Lizzie, if I showed you a video of a late term abortion, would you change your mind on your right to choose? Oh that's right, killing geese for food is unacceptable, killing babies for convenience is fine.
Posted by Freebie on February 9, 2009 at 12:43 PM · Report this

Ask Golob how you decide which activists get a seat at the table. Probably the "reasonable" ones, right? The ones who aren't asking for anything too, you know, significant. Meaningful. Expensive.

How do you think they got so many people to vote for animal rights initiatives that recently passed in California and Arizona? Not by listening to the hypocrites who write for the Stranger.

There's a whole slate of animal rights questions on various ballots around the country next time around. Watch and see how they do compared to your pet issue.
Posted by next gay rights march, the tune will change... on February 9, 2009 at 12:45 PM · Report this

It's the "animals have a right to live their lives as nature intended" point where the Absolutionist argument breaks down, IMO, because "nature" is inherently ambivalent in the sense that, depending on where a species falls in the food-chain, it is destined, at best, for a rather short, cruel, bleak, disease-infested life that inevitably ends in the stomach of a larger predatory species. What nature is NOT is some romanticized, anthropomophicized world where cute little bunnies and birdies merrily frolick in a sunny, daffodil-carpeted meadow, ala some Disney cartoon, although I get the sense that's the image many animal-rights activists form in their heads when they hear the word.

The truth of the matter is that, outside of the admittedly cruel realities of the industrial livestock industry, most animals raised for human consumption have a much higher quality-of-life than they would if left to fend for themselves in their "natural habitat".
Posted by COMTE on February 9, 2009 at 12:56 PM · Report this
@40, umm, yeah, the reasonable ones sound good to me. As opposed to the unreasonable ones. You can tell the difference because the reasonable ones are trying to come up with a functional solution, while the unreasonable ones are standing in the street waving a sign around and screaming at people. Mike O'Brien, reasonable. Juan The Frye Apartment Guy, unreasonable. Its not hard to tell the difference.
Posted by blank12357 on February 9, 2009 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Freebie @39:

Please provide links to stories of or testimony by women who had late-term abortions for convenience.

Lacking that, fuck off.
Posted by elm on February 9, 2009 at 12:58 PM · Report this

Your farm is the romantic illusion, circa. 1870, of the urban nerd know nothing, circa. 2009.

Is there a reason farmers must live in dire poverty? Or, that many people starve, can't pay the expensive price of under production. Too say nothing about feeding millions in the third world?

As a farm boy, living the whole thing for years, you are just too silly to imagine.

By the way, no farmer does pesticides, only in the most dire situation. VERY expensive. Nor do they ever mistreat animals, very expensive property and neighbors who might react with violence.

To survive in the real world of modern family farming, per thelast 6 decades, you need brains, brawn, machines, luck and good weather. Fools do not survive.

They move to the city ....
Posted by Adam on February 9, 2009 at 1:07 PM · Report this
The main reason these whackos hate fois gras is 1). it's expensive and they hate wealth and 2). it's pleasurable to eat.

These folks hate wealth and pleasure. Look at their angry, stupid, cold asses out on the sidewalk next week if you don't agree. Sex and food are the two things all humans can find immensely pleasurably.

The right-wingers want to end sex and pleasure (along with some feminists) and these far left wing animal-fuckers wants to kill off the pleasure of food. Puritans of the same cloth.
Posted by Finger my Fois on February 9, 2009 at 1:07 PM · Report this

Like "Don't ask don't tell." That was a reasonable compromise agreed upon by reasonable people. The ones who opposed it were called radicals and shut out. Just like the ones who said there were no WMD in Iraq were shut out.

I'll take being right over what you industry toadies call "reasonable."
Posted by stupid fucking credulous hack of the day on February 9, 2009 at 1:09 PM · Report this

Fine by me. I already buy expensive, designer, free range, organic, cuddled to death while having sex so it dies happy meat. (Interesting fact: Caviar harvested from Sturgeons that die in distress is spoiled by chemicals the Sturgeon releases.) I think it tastes better. But by your own admission, wouldn't forcing all farms to engage in the highest level of animal care practices cause meat production to became more expensive and onerous.

Won't effect my lifestyle, other than it may give me more expensive better quality versions of the food I buy, and I've always said I don't want more choices just better things.

But what about the people who rely on inexpensive mass produced food to feed their families?... I don't know what a Happy Meal costs these days, but I bet its a lot less expensive than the equivalent allowance of protein under your proposed production methods.

Or is it morally acceptable to let the poor starve if it means better lives for chickens everywhere?

As to Foie Gras. Love the stuff! It tastes fucking awesome. What other meat can legitimately be served as dessert? But think about it for a minute. Its targeted by nutters like NARN largely because its viewed as an unnecessary luxury for the rich. Why? Because it's expensive. Why? Because (cruel or not) its method of production (like Caviar) is very expensive. (Not unlike what your proposal would result in.) I guarantee that if Tyson could mass produce the stuff at the cost it does chicken, Froi Gras McNuggets would be a huge hit with the McDonald's class.

NARN isn't interested in your proposal primarily because their real goal is the elimination of choice. Regardless of production method, they don't want people to be able to choose to eat meat (at all (ever (because they find it morally reprehensible) period) hard stop), and Froi Gras is just a first step on the slippery slope they would like to drag us down. Just like pro-lifers don't want people to be able to choose abortion (at all (ever (because they find it morally reprehensible) period) hard stop), and late term abortion is just a first step on the slippery slope they would like to drag us down.

I am deeply disturbed by anyone who wants to eliminate any other persons ability to choose based on their own certain moral proclivities.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on February 9, 2009 at 1:09 PM · Report this
"animals have a right to live their lives as nature intended"

What about me then? My nature is to eat other animals (as it is for many animals). My nature is to enjoy pleasuable food and sex. My nature is to eat fois gras. What about my natural rights or do they not apply to humans? You sound like a religious nut.
Posted by Finger my Fois on February 9, 2009 at 1:10 PM · Report this
Well, I'll give credit to Jonathan for replacing the denial and outright hostility of previous posts with just, well, dismissiveness. But even Jonathan is guilty of somewhat of a rationalizing lens.

He appears to be assuming--not just with the treatment of animals but in general--that there is no practice, however incorrigible, that should never be banned, as long as it doesn't directly harm another citizen. This takes a woefully simplistic view of the responsibilities of a government and civilized society.

Sure, the animal activist movement has had a lot to gain by securing legislation that ensures the humane treatment of animals. California's Proposition 2 is an awesome example of that.

But there are certain practices that can never be made humane, that are inherently cruel, and which civilized society has every right and duty to ban. I can think of:
* steel-jaw leghold traps
* cockfighting
* dogfighting
* canned hunts
* pigeon shoots

Unlike beef or chicken or even veal perhaps, there is just no way for foie gras to be produced in a humane way. Coming up with a humane way to produce foie gras is a bit like trying to devise a form of waterboarding or sleep deprivation or electric shocks that would not constitute torture.
Posted by cressona on February 9, 2009 at 1:20 PM · Report this
To follow my previous post @49...

I can assure you that there was no ban--or, for that matter, no piece of humane legislation--that ever happened without some kind of protest, that happened only with animal activists being strictly polite, little lobbyists.

Sure, there are effective protests and ineffective protests. There are protests that just turn more people off than they win over. But find me any great social or reform movement in history that happened without protest.

This in itself suggests a pretty ill-formed view of human nature and history on Jonathan's part.
Posted by cressona on February 9, 2009 at 1:22 PM · Report this
YGBKM @ 47,

Modern factory farming, along with government subsidies, have created the current model where cheap (and very unhealthy) meals exist. Besides e coli and other problems that didn't exist in food til recently, these unhealthy meals are the cause of our ballooning rate of obesity and all the health problems related to it. (Ever wonder why so many poor people are fat?)

I'm guessing that the compassion for the poor you express is disingenuous, and I know that your understanding of the problem is nonexistent. Read up on this before you comment.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 9, 2009 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Meanwhile, as NARN unfairly targets one chef, true horrors are occurring around the globe.

Hey NARN, try this on for size, a story from the BBC on those who clean the sewers of New Delhi:…

Picketing one local chef is the singularly least effective way you can come up with to achieve your goal - in fact, your tactics have increased consumption at Lark.

There are atrocities occurring on an unimaginable scale around the globe - foie gras production doesn't even rate.

How about helping to unionize slaughterhouse workers in the deep south, who are injured and maimed at an alarming rate, while working for minimum wage? Successfully unionizing those workers would do far more to slow industrial farming practices than your little self indulgent snit in front of Lark.
Posted by worf on February 9, 2009 at 1:26 PM · Report this
@36, We tried that. It resulted in mad cow disease and bird flu.
Posted by Hot Animal on Animal Action on February 9, 2009 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Another lecture by a Stranger writer not involved with activism telling activists to grow up. Thanks, Science! That's really helpful.

Why is it people at the Stranger seem so daft when it comes to the role that activists play in our society? Do you think that social change comes from the top down? Without street heat, so to speak, do you think we would even have these "adult" regulations of animal testing? And do you think, once you pass a law, that it just enforces itself, and that the need for activism disappears and the only thing left to do is become a bureaucrat?

It is misleading and cynical to use a truism-- that activists need to work with people in power and not completely alienate the people whose behavior they seek to reform-- to then basically argue that there is no need for activism.
Posted by Trevor on February 9, 2009 at 1:36 PM · Report this
@51- I too am very concerned about obesity among the poor. (As a top bracket tax payer their enlarged livers wind up costing me a hell of a lot more that Foie Gras.) However, I am more inclined to lay blame for that problem at the feet of cheap government subsidized corn syrup than cheap poultry.

And don't tell me when I'm being disingenuous. You know nothing about me.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on February 9, 2009 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Lizzie, have you ever actually been to a farm where ducks and/or geese are raised for foie gras? It's not torturous at all. The animals are very well treated and they coming running for the feeding. You really are much better spending your time, as Jonathan suggests, focusing on the cruelty of factory farming. The foie birds are plenty happy.
Posted by PJ on February 9, 2009 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Our Action Plan: Once Foie Gras is no longer served at Lark, we'll move on to another restaurant, then another, and eventually nobody anywhere will ever be cruel to animals again.
Posted by Narniot on February 9, 2009 at 1:57 PM · Report this
56, treatment of animals at Sonoma Foie Gras (which supplies Lark) is one of the reasons for the statewide California ban on production and sale of force-fed foie gras taking effect in 2012. Happy geese? Not so much.
Posted by for your info on February 9, 2009 at 1:57 PM · Report this
But what about the people who rely on inexpensive mass produced food to feed their families?... I don't know what a Happy Meal costs these days, but I bet its a lot less expensive than the equivalent allowance of protein under your proposed production methods.

Yes, but we really don't need much protein. USRDA is less than a gram/day/kg. That's 6 ounces of meat for an average individual (less than a half pound). No one will be unhealthy if they can't eat a Happy Meal for every meal.
Posted by F on February 9, 2009 at 1:58 PM · Report this
protesting fancy foo foo restaurants because they use foie gras is a hell of a lot easier than picketing/persuading hard core bikers not to wear black leather jackets.
Posted by scary tyler moore on February 9, 2009 at 1:58 PM · Report this
@ 56,

I alluded to cheap corn syrup in my post. You must have missed that. Anyway, cheap corn syrup can be found in happy meals (the burger and fries, not just the soda) and many other cheap foods you wouldn't think of, so while you're sights are set on the right culprit, you were also (inadvertently) defending it in the 3rd paragraph of your first post. You'd remove the choice of cheap food more effectively than anything being proposed here.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 9, 2009 at 1:59 PM · Report this
@ next gay rights march, the tune will change...multiple posts

Bring something relevant to the argument or fuck off, your condescending tone makes you sound like an ass and your illogical comparisons are tired.
Posted by drone5969 on February 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM · Report this

scary tyler moore, how many cows would be saved if everyone quit wearing leather?
Posted by stupid fucking credulous hack of the day on February 9, 2009 at 2:02 PM · Report this
jesus christ, do we need Foie Gras? i like my pork, but i'm sure as hell ain't going to eat live baby butter injected pig eyeballs just because they "tasted soooo good." And I think standing outside of a restraunt to:

"focus on small, broadly agreeable changes in how food animals are treated." don't serve Foie Gras because these animals aren't treated well...

would eventually work. this is how i choose to do it, and not stay in the background wispering to the live baby butter injected pig eyeball producer on why he should change and quit the business.
Posted by Dan Savage protested not 3 weeks ago! And the result? WIN! on February 9, 2009 at 2:10 PM · Report this
@63 more than if everyone quit eat foie gras.
Posted by infrequent on February 9, 2009 at 2:13 PM · Report this
To whomever dared an animal activist to compare the struggle for animal rights with rights for african americans, homosexuals, holocaust victims etc. you should probably do a little more research:

Charles Patterson: A jewish vegan. Author of Eternal Treblinka

Coretta Scott King: Ethical vegan. Wife of Martin Luther King Junior. "King called her adoption of a vegan diet in 1995 a blessing. Her son, Dexter, had been vegan since 1988, saying that an appreciation for animal rights is the "logical extension" of his father's philosophy of nonviolence."

Vegans of Color: Network of non-white vegans, cataloging and discussing the implications of animal abuse and the struggle for the rights of all living beings.

Nathan Runkle: Founder of Mercy for Animals, an animal rights based group with 25,000 members nationwide. Brutally attacked for his homosexuality.

Not only are these people not offended by the relationship between human and non-human oppression, but they have made it their life's work to help others understand that the same ideology and prejudice that allows humans to abuse one another is what allows us to commodify animals for our own selfish desires.
Posted by No, really on February 9, 2009 at 2:19 PM · Report this
infrequent, quitting foie gras and leather would both save an equal number of cows: zero.
Posted by Dan Savage's protest march road crew chief. on February 9, 2009 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Golob, just wondering, did you actually speak with anyone at NARN? It seems like there's a whole lot of judgment going on from the Stranger - telling NARN what they should and shouldn't protest, how to protest, what other issues they should be focused on, etc. And yet I haven't seen that a single Stranger writer has actually had any sort of discussion or conversation (face-to-face, phone, email) of any sort with anyone from NARN. It seems like poor journalistic practice to condemn or criticize a group without actually learning anything about them first.
Posted by What is going on over there at the Stranger?? on February 9, 2009 at 2:22 PM · Report this
@66. You forgot Hitler.
Posted by Finger my Fois on February 9, 2009 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Hitler's vegetarianism was a hoax propogated by his team of image consultants to make him more likeable. That shit was de-bunked years ago. Nice try though.
Posted by No, really on February 9, 2009 at 2:30 PM · Report this

Your only "allusion" was to "modern factory farming, along with government subsidies".

Even the most modern factory farm does not grow Corn Syrup. It is a processed product manufactured by refiners. As such, I would not count Corn Syrup as food but a chemical additive and on that basis I am completely in favor of criminalizing.

Not because its cruel to the defenseless corn. Or even because its cruel to the uneducated and/or poor (and you would have to be uneducated to eat anything with it in it). But because it is an unnecessarily costly burden on society (The obese poor are expensive to maintain and provide little or no return on that investment) and the void its absence would leave can be easily filled by a healthier and equally equivalent ingredient (Sugar Cane) that could be equally cheap and available if Big Corn's subsidies were rerouted to its producers.

Unfortunately you can't grow Sugar Cane in Iowa and Hawaii is not a caucus state.

The example of the Happy Meal was not meant to describe the ideal meal of the poor, McDonald's was meant to represent a dinning out option that is as accessible to the poor as somewhere like Lark is to myself.

But I would venture to guess that pound for pound Foie Gras and Happy Meals are comparably unhealthy (in cholesterol content alone) and as such completely agree that they should be consumed only in moderation.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on February 9, 2009 at 2:31 PM · Report this
"Not only are these people not offended"

3 people out of 6 billion on the planet. I'm impressed.
Posted by Freebie on February 9, 2009 at 2:32 PM · Report this
" to make him more likeable. "

Yes, apparently being a fascist vegetarian makes you more likeable to fascists.
Posted by Freebie on February 9, 2009 at 2:34 PM · Report this
@72: yes, because we all know that it's the majority opinion which is most often correct and just.
Posted by No, really on February 9, 2009 at 2:35 PM · Report this
"majority opinion which is most often correct and just."

Being an omnivore is not an opinion, it's our nature. It's how we evolved. Being a vegetarian, however, is just an opinion, like being a Jesus freak.
Posted by Freebie on February 9, 2009 at 2:46 PM · Report this
What @68 said.
Posted by Trevor on February 9, 2009 at 2:49 PM · Report this
you forgot Rush Limbaugh
Posted by Rushhhhhhhhh on February 9, 2009 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Freebie: You are correct. Humans evolved to include some animal products in our diets. What seems to be missing from this discussion though is the reality that, much like apes (you remember them right? closest living relatives and all that?), our diets have historically consisted of almost exclusively fruits and vegetables with a small amount of foraged meat once or twice a month.

Does it really seem like a coincidence to you that eating as much meat as we do, colon cancer is so prevalent? Does it seem like a concidence that we regularly consume the mammary secretions of pregnant animals and have seen a near-epidemic rise in breast and ovarian cancer, not to mention early onset of menses in young girls?

Also, humans are the only animals ever to continue drinking milk past infancy. Does that seem natural to you? Name a single other species that has seen the disease rate that we have. Do you think evolution is really on our side right now??
Posted by No, really on February 9, 2009 at 3:07 PM · Report this
@78. I agree No, Really, eating too much of anything is bad for you but thanks, I will continue to eat meat and fois gras in moderation as both grandma (94) and grandpa (97) have for decades.

FYI most causes of cancer are genetic, not dietary.
Posted by Freebie on February 9, 2009 at 3:30 PM · Report this
hey stupid fucking credulous hack, be honest and use your real slog name, bellevue avenue.
Posted by scary tyler moore on February 9, 2009 at 3:33 PM · Report this
This could go on forever.

The last thing I will say is that history has revealed that our oppression of non-whites, non-christians, non-heterosexuals, non-males, and so forth is essentially bankrupt from an ethical perspective. Recognizing the right for non-humans to preserve bodily integrity as so many humans have asked from each other will be the next major hurdle for us to climb as a civilized and reasoned species.
Posted by No, really on February 9, 2009 at 3:38 PM · Report this
lol @ "real slog name"
Posted by Charles Winston Emerson, III on February 9, 2009 at 3:49 PM · Report this
@ 71, that quote was where my allusion to corn syrup was. Corn subsidies may well be the number one reason modern industrial food production is the way it is today.

I'm not talking about the animal rights angle; I'm actually in full agreement with your conclusions about NARN's motivations and aims. (I am opposed to cruelty to animals and most factory ranching practices as a result, but don't consider the act of taking their lives and eating them "cruel.")

The Happy Meal comment was more apt than you seem to think, however. Subsidies for corn have resulted in corn syrup being used in almost every processed food, and processed foods are all that the poor can afford. It also has resulted in more naturally produced foods to see their costs become artificially high. "Organic" and "cruelty free" ought to be affordable, but in our free-market-rules, let's-make-a-maximum-profit culture it is not.
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 9, 2009 at 3:56 PM · Report this
" our oppression of non-whites, non-christians, non-heterosexuals, non-males, and so forth is essentially bankrupt from an ethical perspective. "

You know lots of non-whites oppress other people and animals, too right?

Ever met been to China or Korea? I'll tell you from first hand knowledge, dog is greasy and gamey, and not really my taste. The mink whale I had in Shibuya? Oily, not to my taste. Snake in Cambodia? Yikes, no seconds please. Crocodile I ate in Laos? Tasted like chicken. The dolphin I hate in Lamalera Indonesia? Superb! Of course, you probably want to impose your white, American values on these people too.

And you realize we're living longer and healthier lives now as humans than in any time in human history right?
Posted by Freebie on February 9, 2009 at 3:56 PM · Report this
it's not my fault repeating that biker canard makes you look foolish, scary tyler moore. you could have thought about it instead of just saying it. funny how certain gay rights activists get respect for taking the low hanging fruit and marching forward one tiny step at a time but when animal rights activists start with the low hanging fruit certain silly people want to mock them for it.
Posted by my real slog name on February 9, 2009 at 3:58 PM · Report this
"The last thing I will say is that history has revealed that our oppression of non-whites, non-christians, non-heterosexuals, non-males, and so forth is essentially bankrupt from an ethical perspective. Recognizing the right for non-humans to preserve bodily integrity as so many humans have asked from each other will be the next major hurdle for us to climb as a civilized and reasoned species."

It's a crying shame you'll be worm food before that even comes close to happening.
Posted by Finger my Fois on February 9, 2009 at 4:05 PM · Report this
Jonathan - are you high or just really, really, really stupid? Seriously, those regulations you praise have done NOTHING to help animals in labs. Have you ever been to a IAUAC meeting at the UW? They meet every third Thursday at the UW - check out the NARN website for details. Do you have even the slighest CLUE what goes on at the University of Washington Primate Lab? Horrible, horrible things that sometimes comply with these fabulous regulations you talk about and sometimes don't. NOTHING ever happens to the researchers that break the rules. NOTHING. The USDA comes in there and gives them an "all good here", and then a private, animal experimentation loving organization comes in and says "wow - things are fucked here, your cages are dirty, you have diseased animals housed next to "healthy" ones the very next week. Wow - I'm aghast that you think these regulations work. Clearly you have done no research whatsoever. A simple google search would have done the trick, really
Posted by use your brain on February 9, 2009 at 4:06 PM · Report this
@ 78
Where are you getting your information?? You make it sound as if the entire human population thru out history only eats a miniscule amount of meat and thats simply not true, thru out history or now. Look at the inuit population that historically has thrived on eating whale, or any of the other indigenious peoples of N America. Yes sustained nutrients are provided by fruits veggies and berries but only sustained not maintained. Only in today's supplement happy ecosystem buffered w grocers able to get a variety of veggies and fruits in year round are veggitarians getting their required nutrients.
It can also be historically shown that puberty in both males and females has gotten earlier and later depending on the time frame in question, putting other factors like access to food, stress, quality of life and such as mitigating factors pointing to a cause for the shift...not just an utter puss diet. (milk is gross)
no really.
Posted by drone5969 on February 9, 2009 at 4:09 PM · Report this
So No REally, another vegan who finds drinking milk offensive but late term, partial birth, brain evacuation abortions are just splendid.

How's that degree from Evergreen State helping you out there in the job market?
Posted by Minger on February 9, 2009 at 4:21 PM · Report this
vegetarians don't need supplements, drone
Posted by my real slog name on February 9, 2009 at 4:25 PM · Report this
@75 oh shit! i totally forgot that it's our evolutionary legacy to eat fatty liver. every since hunter gatherer days when the men of the tribe would go hunt elk and the women would pick berries, fatty liver and butter off of the trees in the nearby wood.

the fact that human beings are capable of digesting meat doesn't imply that any non human animal on the planet lacks a central nervous system or natural lifestyle of it's own.
Posted by olive on February 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM · Report this
oh wait now some armchair biologist will point out that our canine teeth are sharp and that means we eat meat and then somebody else will say that gorillas are vegetarians and they have pointy teeth. i forget what comes after that.

did you know that one of the earliest legendary trolls was when someone in an artificial intelligence newsgroup got marvin minsky into this same meat/veggie debate?
Posted by you can't mess with a classic on February 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Two points:

First, with respect to the Animal Welfare Act and its associated regulations, they are largely ineffectual. Although they regulate cage size and provide modest welfare improvements, they have a very small effect on the state of animal experimentation in the U.S.. For example, they do not prohibit any type of experiment, no matter how painful, how speculative the outcome, or how tangential the benefits to human health. They also exempt mice, rats, and birds, which are the subjects of the vast majority of animal experimentation. The the function of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) that approve experimentation protocols is largely to rubber stamp research proposals. I encourage anyone who thinks that the AWA has improved animals' lives to read protocols that have been approved by the University of Washington's IACUC and the documents about animal experimentation that animal rights groups have obtained from the USDA under the Freedom of Information Act to understand the magnitude of suffering that is permitted under the AWA.

Second, Mr. Golob's accusations that NARN does nothing more than engage in protests and that we don't have the patience for arcane research are simply untrue. In fact, NARN is the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the exemptions to the state animal cruelty statute for routine practices in animal agriculture. NARN has also challenged cruel treatment of animals under complex environmental laws. As an attorney on NARN's board, I have worked on litigation under the Animal Welfare Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and other animal welfare legislation. Although we do engage in protests when we believe that they will be an effective avenue, our twenty-two year history of litigation, legislative efforts, educational events, and outreach belies Mr. Golob's claims that protesting is all we do.
Posted by Jenn Kaplan, NARN board officer on February 9, 2009 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Christ, how much does money does Lark spend to advertise with you guys? Bethany's logically-challenged posts weren't enough, so you brought out a token "vegetarian" serious person who decides Narn are simply little children who really know no better and deserve nothing but ridicule. I think child or childish or other variation appears several times in this post.

For such a presumably silly and ineffectual action by NARN, it sure seems to have upset the Stranger staff to no end. And you do know that NARN's position re: fois gras is not compatible with political dialogue or the oh-so-adult crafting of regulations, don't you, Mr. Golob?

Just come out and say what you want to directly: direct action against restaurants that serve foie gras is counterproductive to the vegetarian cause. It's a debatable assertion, and intelligent, well-meaning people may agree or disagree... but at least you won't come out looking like a condescending asshole with inane suggestions about crafting regulations that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Posted by b on February 9, 2009 at 5:54 PM · Report this
Bethany's argument in a nutshell: Rick Steves and Anthony Bourdain say foie gras is not cruel. End of argument. That's all she wrote. See ya. Buh-bye. No research, no acknowledgment that countries and states are banning foie gras production because of the cruelty involved; no research or outside opinions other than those that support her argument; nada, zip, zero. Anthony Bourdain says it's okay, so it's okay.

OH - she did quote the web site of Sonoma Foie Gras, which claims that its foie gras production is humane. Not once, but twice. Because we all know that a producer would never, ever, ever fib or lie or distort the truth about their products or practices.

Bethany, if you believe that, I've got a peanut factory in Blakely, Georgia to sell you.

What's even funnier is that her colleagues, the very ones who invented "Stupid Fucking Credulous Hack", and who lob that term at any reporter they think is guilty of one-sided hack reporting, swarm around her in support. Isn't that precious? They can create all kinds of standards for others, but they themselves are above such petty conventions. I'm starting to see how things work over at the Stranger. It's kinda pathetic, because there used to be some smart people running the show.
Posted by Bethany and Dan are the new Ken Schram on February 9, 2009 at 6:51 PM · Report this
@93 Sorry, you are incorrect.
No, mice, rats, and birds are NOT the most-used laboratory animals. Fruit flies and roundworms make up over 99.9999% of all lab animals. I grow more roundworms on a single Petri dish than there are mice in our entire animal facility. But worms and flies aren't cute, (thank goodness), so nobody is protesting their use.
And I can't speak for UW, but our IACUC does turn down some proposed experiments, and all NIH grant panels I've been on do look at how to use the minimum number of mice required to make an experiment work.
Of course, the number of mice that all research uses is dwarfed by the number that can be legally tortured or killed by householders who find them in the kitchen, where there are no regulations at all on how you can trap, poison, torture, or squash them. But I haven't heard of anyone proposing to outlaw killing rodents or insects in those situations. At least in the university, you have to justify the experiments as having potential benefit to human health.
Assuming that researchers go into it out of a desire to torture animals is as insulting as assuming that all animal rights groups value cute furry animals above human lives. It's easy to point out disgraceful examples on both sides, but dehumanizing the "enemy" is inconsistent with the goal on both sides, to make the world more humane, don't you think?

Posted by Biologist in the stix on February 9, 2009 at 6:51 PM · Report this
#96, as someone who has read the minutes from the IACUC meetings at the UW, I can tell you that they don't have to try very hard to justify the scientific merit of their experiments. Dr Fuchs for example, sticks metal coils into the eyes of monkeys. He has been doing this for 30 years. It's bad enough that he has been doing this for 30 years, but he doesn't even have the decency to properly sanitize the coils. Is this good laboratory practice? I don't think so. And even though I think that what Dr Fuchs does is horrible, I don't think Dr Fuchs or his colleagues are evil people. I can't. I truly think that they believe that what they are doing is justified. Why? Because in order to work towards a better world, I have to believe that people are capable of doing good, and that animal researchers aren't monsters. We need to find better ways of conducting scientific experiments because regardless of how you feel about animals they make very poor research models. I've been working in the science industry for awhile and I have lost count of the number of scientists that say "yeah, mice, dogs and monkeys, aren't good models, they produce results that aren't well extrapolated to humans, but what else are you going to do?" Which face it, is a very very lame excuse. Science should be about finding that better way, not sticking with an old method because you are too lazy to work on finding alternatives. If we can find alternatives to fetal stem cells, we can find alternatives to using animals to test the toxicology of that new heartburn medication.
Posted by use your brain on February 9, 2009 at 7:53 PM · Report this
Right, Golob. It's fool-proof system they've got worked out there.…
Posted by Don't they teach Google searching at the Stranger? on February 9, 2009 at 8:09 PM · Report this
Wow, yet another Slog post about how ineffective NARN is. Strange how much NARN talk there is, about how ridiculous they are and misguided....seems like you wouldn't take the time to take them seriously with all this attention.

It's like you are validating what we are doing.

Thank you.
Posted by P on February 9, 2009 at 11:44 PM · Report this
the ban on steel-jaw leghold traps.

man, that caused a huge financial catastrophe at the Acme Corporation. Next to go are the anvils, I reckon.
Posted by Mr Fudd, esquire. on February 10, 2009 at 6:15 AM · Report this
95 - yes, it is cute.
Posted by your point? on February 10, 2009 at 7:13 AM · Report this
Protesters like NARN go after Foie Gras because its easy not because facts are on their side. Its trivial to spin about a product few people eat. The thing is that they can't even get Foie Gras banned then they are not going to be effective actually impacting real change in the food industry. NARN's priorities are completely out of wack.

Without these protests - I wouldn't of known of this restaurant in Seattle. I'm out there in a few weeks - I'll make sure I stop buy and order some.
Posted by yoshi on February 10, 2009 at 10:13 AM · Report this
I'm wondering how we can add bacon to this ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 10, 2009 at 12:50 PM · Report this
I don't comprehend why people see vegans as this aggressive force that "hate your freedoms." if you are keen on meat, ok! I do find your activities unnecessarily cruel, certainly. but I absolutely do not judge you. I would hope to engage you in meaningful conversation about my convictions but I by no means feel that you are less moral than me, nor would our relationship be based on evangelism. I am excited about veganism, damn it, and I'm tired of people being so fucking dismissive.

if you want to check out a little more about it, not so much to "convince" you, but simply to engage in higher dialogue, please take an hour and download an episode of the "vegetarian food for thought" podcast. it is a very positive podcast that discusses veganism in simple, kind terms. check it out and please stop calling vegans "insufferable."
Posted by yrnordicfriend on February 10, 2009 at 1:08 PM · Report this
"If I offer a child the choice between a pear and a piece of meat, he'll quickly choose the pear. That's his atavistic instinct speaking."
- Adolf Hitler. December 28, 1941. Section 81, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"The only thing of which I shall be incapable is to share the sheiks' mutton with them. I'm a vegetarian, and they must spare me from their meat."
- Adolf Hitler. January 12, 1942. Section 105, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"One may regret living at a period when it's impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there's one thing I can predict to eaters of meat: the world of the future will be vegetarian."

Adolf Hitler

"At the time when I ate meat, I used to sweat a lot. I used to drink four pots of beer and six bottles of water during a meeting. … When I became a vegetarian, a mouthful of water was enough."
- Adolf Hitler. January 22, 1942. Section 117, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"When you offer a child the choice of a piece of meat, an apple, or a cake, it's never the meat that he chooses. There's an ancestral instinct there."
- Adolf Hitler. January 22, 1942. Section 117, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"One has only to keep one's eyes open to notice what an extraordinary antipathy young children have to meat."
- Adolf Hitler. April 25, 1942. Section 198, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"When I later gave up eating meat, I immediately began to perspire much less, and within a fortnight to perspire hardly at all. My thirst, too, decreased considerably, and an occasional sip of water was all I required. Vegetarian diet, therefore, has some obvious advantages."
- Adolf Hitler. July 8, 1942. Section 256, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"I am no admirer of the poacher, particularly as I am a vegetarian."
- Adolf Hitler. August 20, 1942. Section 293, HITLER'S TABLE TALK

"An extended chapter of our talk was devoted by the Führer to the vegetarian question. He believes more than ever that meat-eating is harmful to humanity. Of course he knows that during the war we cannot completely upset our food system. After the war, however, he intends to tackle this problem also. Maybe he is right. Certainly the arguments that he adduces in favor of his standpoint are very compelling."

Joseph Goebbels
Posted by Hitler was a vegetarian on February 10, 2009 at 4:54 PM · Report this
I guess I'll keep posting this in every foie gras post on Slog just like the lunatic that is posting this b.s. Hitler was a vegetarian nonsense.

Free postcards from The Humane know, that radical terrorist fringe group? You can fill them out and send them to restaurants that serve foie gras and urge them to stop.

Order them here:…
Posted by P on February 10, 2009 at 6:25 PM · Report this
The irony of this is that fatty livers were one of the most highly prized parts of the aniimal for our hunter gatherer ancestors, precisely because it was rich in essential fats, oils and nutrients our brains needed to grow. In fact there is more of an argument to eating liver than there is flesh, going by our evolution.
Incidentally, despite apes being our nearest ancestor, our guts are closer to that of a lions than an apes. Why? Because we evolved into dedicated omnivores, apes are herbivores with the occassional bug thrown in. Bug eating was how our ancestors most likely became omnivores, so in few million years our simian cousins may be chowing down on steak (or fois gras) too.
Also the statement that Hitler's vegeterianism is untrue is an absolute, shameless, outright, lie. Should Hitler's vegeterianism be used to discredit vegeterianism? NO! Can it be used to poor scorn on the argument put forward by SOME vegans that being a vegan makes you a more moral person? Yes. Was Hitler a vegetarian? Yes. Does this make him any less evil? No.

Please bear in mind that because some fois gras manufacturers abuse animals, not all do. I can show you videos of ecstatic geese waddling to the gavage as fast as they possibly can. There are fois gras producers out there which mistreat their animals, and more regulation is required, not bans and not petty protests. Protests may work when the overwhelming weight of public opinion is behind them, but a few dozen vegans complaining about a food the majority have not even heard of is not effective.

Historical debate= B.S? Nice logic. He was not a strict vegeterian, and sometimes ate meat, but bearing in mind vegans do not consider people who eat cheese proper vegetarians there is some leeway in definitions. I know people who call themselves vegetarians who do sometimes eat meat, most often to fit in and not ause trouble for caterers or because their will power simply lapses. Hitler was not always a vegetarian, and by some definitions could not be considered a vegetarian, by others he could. The simple fact is it is utterly irrelevent to the modern debate. Stalin was a meat eater, that does not make meat eaters evil. Hitler had vegetarian tendencies, that does not make vegetarians evil. But BS? No.
Posted by AussieFarmBoy on February 10, 2009 at 10:00 PM · Report this
106 ...and urge them to stop dolloping out butter to fat people, and rich desserts to adiopose diabetics, and brains to the mindless. Yes - do that...make those restaurants bow to your will. Make them think about getting into a different business like making retread tires or aluminum siding. Show them how you will improve the world by forcing everyone to eat Grape Nuts washed down with Evian water.
Posted by Rhett Oracle on February 10, 2009 at 10:06 PM · Report this
Godwin's Law has been invoked approximately 25 times so far in this particular discussion.
Posted by Geni on February 11, 2009 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Read the P-I article about the litigation NARN is spearheading against animal cruelty exemptions, filed on 2/6/09:

"In an attempt to expand animal cruelty criminal laws to cover the treatment of livestock, a Seattle-based animal rights group has filed a lawsuit arguing that existing laws give industry undue control over how animals are housed and slaughtered."…
Posted by David, NARN Board Member on February 22, 2009 at 11:33 AM · Report this

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