When your cousin goes vegan

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I started noticing it six, or so, months ago: some particularly “veggie heavy” recipes in the annual family exchange, a few Pinterest posts tagging “Meatless Mondays.” It was a slow build, but soon enough my teenage cousin was visiting my family, sitting at my mother’s Sunday table and refusing bacon: “I’m a vegetarian.”

“Excuse me, what?”

It’s true, came the reply—she’s sworn off turkey on Thanksgiving, her beloved ham roll-ups, burgers, hot dogs, and of course, bacon. The only silver lining is that she’s still eating cheese (otherwise I don’t know if our home state of Wisconsin would ever forgive her!).

My cousin is off to college this fall and will likely be packing newly acquired vegetarian habits in the U-haul along with her bedding and shower caddy. I’m all for choice, so don’t mistake this commentary as a means of publicly shaming my cousin into changing her ways (she doesn’t even know I’m writing it), but rather as a means of illustrating a growing trend—and target for animal activists: students who want to try vegetarianism.

We’ve seen the advertisements: PETA claiming that dairy products cause teen acne; the Meatless Monday campaign which blatantly targets school-aged children with cartoons and caricatures; and visits from activists like the Humane Society’s CEO, Wayne Pacelle, to college campuses like, most recently, Colorado State University.

Teens and young adults make fabulous targets for animal rights activists because, according to speakers at the 2013 Animal Rights National Convention, they are incredibly susceptible to trends. It’s sad, but true: The more the animal rights activists can make “going vegan,” hip, sexy and trendy, the more likely they are to attract new members and the next generation of activists.

Groups like PETA have a long history of not only targeting teenagers and young adults, but also of objectifying women in an effort to produce catchy advertisements that generate a lot of buzz, both positive and negative. Certainly, it would seem clear that PETA subscribes to both the theory “sex sells” and that “all press is good press.”

However, a few weeks ago, I saw an advertisement that really crossed the line, and, at the risk of generating more buzz for the undeserving animal rights organization, I just had to blog about it.

The advertisement features 16-year-old singer Samia Najimy Finnerty posing with her guitar and a boldface slogan that reads "Vegans Go All The Way.” The idea behind the campaign is to encourage vegetarians to take the next step — go all the way — and cut out all meat and dairy from their diets. Yet the play on words has sparked polemic due to Finnerty's age and the message the poster could be sending to its young, impressionable demographic. 

PETA even went so far as to call Finnerty their “youngest pinup” in press releases and interviews about the campaign.  

Their controversial advertisements tread a dangerous line between tongue-in-cheek and legitimately inappropriate —oftentimes the latter. This advertisement is particularly harmful because it plays on the sexualization of young women in order to garner appeal for the vegan lifestyle. What message is this sending to youth?

Sending the implied message that vegan girls are “sexier” or somehow sexually promiscuous sends the completely wrong message. It's not even about alleged health benefits or consumer choice any longer; instead, advertisements like this suggest that living a vegan life makes young females more attractive to males. Sexist much? 

I find it astoundingly hypocritical that an organization claiming to care about animal welfare and the non-exploitation of animals chooses to routinely exploit women’s (and now girls’) sexuality in order to produce inflammatory and outrageous material, and then bask in the press and attention.  I also find it ironic that the members of PETA, particularly female members, stand for this blatant hypocrisy day in and day out, one advertisement after another.

I can’t help thinking of my cousin when I see an advertisement like this and worry that she’s become caught up in the sensationalized version of the “truths” that PETA and other animal rights organizations tell about the animal agriculture industry.

I think the real reason I’m most upset is because smart, beautiful, confident young women like my cousin will unfortunately be lumped into a movement that routinely exploits one group of beings to elevate the status of another.

You can bet your bottom dollar that when Thanksgiving rolls around she’ll go toe to toe with me in a debate about animal welfare, health and the merits of the animal rights movement.  While I don’t agree with her decision, I am proud that she’s not making it to garner male attention and appear more attractive to them.

The only real attention whore here is PETA, and I for one think they should “stop going all the way.” 


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Mike S    
August, 15, 2013 at 02:32 PM

I don't think the general trend toward veganism and vegetarianism in the US has ANYTHING to do with animal activism. It's because people want to lose weight and live longer. Now, yes, there are some people who are animal activists. I think it is quite natural for humans to sympathize with pigs. They are intelligent, expressive creatures. I know because I grew up around them. I had favorites who treated me differently than the others. So now, as a adult responsible for my own actions, I have decided to not eat them. It's not political. I'm not trying to run pork producers out of business. I'm just eating with my conscience.

Brett    
August, 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Unfortunately Mike you are one of the few. Most, if not all vegetarian groups in the US, like PETA or Mercy for Animals, has the clear vision of wiping meat off America's dinner plate, and they are vocal about it.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  August, 15, 2013 at 05:30 PM

Being that there's no author's name - I can see how "your cousin" would never know you were writing this piece. Thankfully though there are many, many more groups other that peta that she could seek information about a plant based life-choice. The internet is full of them... peta is actually a very small voice in this ever-growing debate. While it's not at all about "sexy" teens or body-exposing females - There are abundant good reasons to opt for the vegan choice. I hope your cousin finds that helping the planet heal, keeping her body healthy and promoting a generous world for nonhumans are the main part of her choice... It *IS* a fun lifestyle, filled with lots of tasty food adventures and an over-all harmonious way of living. Hooray for your cousin for being courageous enough to challenge the outdated "meat" paradigm.

Jay    
August, 16, 2013 at 09:31 AM

Blog was written by Emily Meridith and was stated in the daily newsletter notice at top of article. Vegetarism isn't the only way to a sustainable, happy and healthy life. I know many people who eat meat - including me - that live healthy lives, care about the environment, feeding the hungry, caring about animals and creating a sustainable livelihood. If you looked at credible third party research and not activism opinion, an open minded individual will see the value of meat consumption to our society

anonymous    
August, 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM

You are not shaming your cousin at all. You are showing that she is a person of higher ethics in choosing a diet that is cruelty free and worthy of praise. Her food choices are moving to compassion over her own selfish desires. Bravo to your cousin!

Jean    
Milwaukee  |  August, 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM

There is not a single vegan I know who supports PETA. PETA utilizes fat-shaming, sexist, misogynistic, and irresponsible campaign tactics and anyone who is a true vegan boycotts this organization as well. Veganism is about non-exploitation of non-human animals. And PETA is very exploitive of both humans and animals. People begin eating plant-based diets for many reasons... but true vegans go vegan for the animals. I'm sorry the author groups all who choose to participate in the non-exploitation of animals with PETA. And I'm sorry your cousin has such "concerned" family members surrounding her and writing articles on the internet grouping her in with an organization that any true animal activist would not associate with. Vegan =/= PETA. Can't wait for that to get through to people.

Lisa    
August, 16, 2013 at 01:08 PM

Bravo to your cousin. I'm glad you're giving her some credit that she doesn't buy into PETA's offensive campaigns. I'm another vegan who finds PETA ads abhorrent; we're not "a movement that routinely exploits one group of beings to elevate the status of another." Most vegans I know openly criticize those PETA ads. I admit that I find it baffling that you care about issues of exploitation and female rights issues and you write for the "porknetwork"... Do you really just believe that exploiting animals and their reproductive systems is completely OK because they're not human? And that palate pleasure is an adequate justification?

Kathi    
Detroit  |  August, 16, 2013 at 01:08 PM

I sympathize with animals and I felt a moral disconnect. So I stopped eating animals products. This feels better to me. But I also respect human beings. There needs to be patience and understanding all the way around. I am not a fan of PETA primarily because of these audacious campaigns that create so much divisiveness and opposition to a plant based diet.

JR    
New Jersey  |  August, 16, 2013 at 01:16 PM

Thank you Jean! I live on a vegan diet and do all in my power to make my entire lifestyle cruelty free (however there are items that I would not even think have anything to do with animals and they in fact DO!!). We are furthering our sustainable living and re-use to reduce constantly. I at one time thought PETA was "good" but I was sadly mistaken. It is no more "good" than a farmer defending the constant milking of cows who live a life of engorged utters up to 5 times the size they naturally are in order for humans to eat ice cream, etc... Farmers use animals and PETA uses people! PETA doesn't educate but rather criticize anyone who has another view. I am an aspiring vegan and I do NOT support PETA!

Scott    
San Diego  |  August, 16, 2013 at 01:22 PM

How ironic, don't pig farmers have to completely control the reproductive cycle of female pigs? Interesting how you are so concerned about human females right not to eat pork, yet care absolutely nothing about the inhumane practices you profit directly from. You really don't have much ground to stand on in this issue, since you enslave females, impregnate them against their will, lock them into gestation crates so small they can barely move, and then ultimately kill them after their usefulness as "mothers" runs out! This whole article sounds like you are subconsciously compensating for the horrors you condone. Heart disease is the #1 killer in this country, and the pork industry is somewhat responsible for the deaths of thousands of female humans everyday who eat your product. The sooner we take pork off our plates, the sooner we start to heal as a people, and regain our sense of empathy for all of Gods creation.

Andromeda Brown    
August, 16, 2013 at 01:27 PM

Well...that makes your cousin a billion times better than you!! Get an education.

Maria Helena Rodrigues    
Brazil  |  August, 16, 2013 at 01:47 PM

Have you ever seen an slaughterhouse? Do you know about the damage that livestock brings the entire planet? Children, teenagers and adults need to know what they are eating and how that food gets to your plate. They need to know all the pain and cruelty involved in this process. Only then can consciously choose which direction to take. If livestock is something so innocent and good, why do people get so angry when the truth is exposed by the activists?

Melissa    
Maine  |  August, 16, 2013 at 01:51 PM

so, is everyone eating candy just following a fad because the green M&M is supposed to be sexy? just because one organization has created an ad does not mean that vegans in general have crossed the line. PETA does not represent me, and I am a vegan. in fact, i do not like or support PETA at all, and most educated vegans dont! but chastising a whole entire group of people because one company made an ad using the "sex sells" philosophy is silly, considering every other company in the world is doing it. and accusing people of making a major life change for the sake of a fad or just to be cool? while i understand that yes, some people do this, have a little more faith. i mean, do you eat meat just because everyone else does it? does it make you cool?

Richie Fruitbat    
Bulgaria  |  August, 16, 2013 at 01:55 PM

I'm yet another vegan who disagrees strongly with PETA's modus operandi. (Note to animal abuse apologists. Vegan does not equal PETA). Still, when you say "... A movement that routinely exploits one group of beings to elevate the status of another" the irony and lack of awareness you display is quite shocking. Pot, meet Kettle! Full respect to your cousin for making a kinder, more humane choice.

Maria Helena Rodrigues    
Brazil  |  August, 16, 2013 at 01:56 PM

Please, explain to me how can you eat meat and say that care about the animals? Or do you care about only dogs and cats?

Larry P    
Las Vegas, Nevada  |  August, 16, 2013 at 02:26 PM

I have been happily vegetarian for over a year now, or should say, octo-lacto. Hope that's right. Anyway, I started when I saw how meat was raised and prepared in the US in a inhumane way to boot. This convinced me, as well as staying slim, keeping my cholesterol and TG in check, my doctor is very pleased. Now Vegan is another territory. I have toyed with it, and I support Animal rights, etc. but to me is a bit too radical. I will not buy leather, animal skin shoes or coats etc. I was not aware of the slogan, vegans go all the way, and I must say I do not condone it. I am just old school. Then again, I am not at the forefront of the movement trying to get new converts etc. I would be very uncomfortable with my 16 year old daughter , wearing that on a tee shirt, for instance.

Maureen    
Calgary  |  August, 16, 2013 at 02:33 PM

Care to share links of all this "credible" research?

Norma    
Niagara Falls Canada  |  August, 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM

The 'trend' of compassion is growing- if that is activism, so be it. It is the truth. My body is not a graveyard, I don't want to fill it with the corpses of animals that have suffered. It is unhealthy and it is cruel. We don't need meat to survive and we can feed a lot more starving people in this world if we stop using resources to produce factory meat.

Maureen    
Calgary  |  August, 16, 2013 at 02:43 PM

Hi Larry I was an ovo- lacto vegetarian for more than 20 years. I finally faced what I really knew all along but wouldn't admit to myself. Eggs and dairy products are just as cruel as meat. If you care concerned about animals there is no possible justification for eating any animal products. The egg industry is terrible. All the male baby chicks are disposed of like garbage as they are useless to the industry - they are gassed, suffocated in plastic bags or thrown alive into grinders. Male dairy calves have a similar fate; they typically end up torn from their mothers (causing great distress to mother and baby) and isolated in veal crates until being butchered. This is so people can drink the milk nature intended for them! There is nothing radical about cutting such products out of your life and living cruelty free. It is also healthier for you. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine would be a good site for information on health aspects; so would the "Forks over Knives" documentary.

Mark    
Boston  |  August, 16, 2013 at 02:46 PM

Jay, ethically, you can't care about animals and eat them, too. You can "say" you care about animals, but then again anyone can say anything they want. If you really cared about animals, you wouldn't eat them.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  August, 16, 2013 at 04:09 PM

Mark. YOu are wrong. I care about animals and I eat meat. I worry about their wellbeing. I worry about preservation of the various species. I understand that they exist to serve mankind. consuming meat does not make a person unethical.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  August, 16, 2013 at 04:13 PM

Maureen, Physicians Commettee for Repsonsible Medicine is not a good information source because the organization seeks to advance only the information that agrees with a non-factual agenda. Even the name of the organization is misleading. Very few of members of the organization are physicians.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  August, 16, 2013 at 04:20 PM

Norma, it would help if you would turn down the hyperbole a bit. Meat isn't a corpse and relatively few of the animals that become meat suffer. Consumption of meat is perfectly healthy and it isn't cruel. As far as your comment that youdont' want to fill your body with a corpse, what is the differnce if the corpse is an animal or a plant? All of the plant material that you consume is dead. Your contention that we can feed more people if we stop producing meat is overly simplistic. Even with meat production, North America has a surplus of food. Yet we have hunger here. So it is clear to anyone willing to think through things that hunger is a problem of many causes. ONe of the primary causes is the disparate distrubution of population and food production.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  August, 16, 2013 at 04:24 PM

You can't equate humans with animals.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  August, 16, 2013 at 04:33 PM

It is always interesting to see how many animal rights activists become incensed when the read Emily's blogs. Many of them like most vegans and a lot of vegetarians are pagans or at least atheists, althought they don't recognize it. They put animals on the same intrinsic plane as humans. It is also interesting the look into how many vegans site world hunger and food shortages as one of their justifications for objecting to meat consumption, yet they vehemently object to the use of biotechnology to increase crop yeilds and food quality. In my opinion, they are a disturbed and self-contradictory lot.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  August, 16, 2013 at 04:36 PM

Lisa you post is interesting. You rail against PETA's extremism then finish up by espousing one of their primary arguments, ie pigs are people too.

Kate    
Pittsburgh  |  August, 16, 2013 at 05:13 PM

Meat isn't a corpse? What is it then? Meat is the muscle and fat taken from a dead being, ie, from a corpse. And "relatively few animals suffer???" You clearly have never actually stopped to consider what happens on the way from a living, feeling, being to become an inanimate object on your plate. Let's start with the rounding up, often roughly, the being taken from their companions to whom they may have a close bond (especially family members), the filtering into a kill chamber, the bolt or knife going into their head and not always completing the job... This is terrifying, no matter how "good" of a life they had, which MOST did nkt . I recommend you take a moment to actually think about the animals that have been in your life, your connection to them, and how they may have suffered if faced with the prospect of becoming a burger.

Corey Waters    
August, 16, 2013 at 05:36 PM

"I think the real reason I’m most upset is because smart, beautiful, confident young women like my cousin will unfortunately be lumped into a movement that routinely exploits one group of beings to elevate the status of another." Emily: I encourage you to research veganism as a social/cultural movement. You will find that the vast majority of vegan advocates do not "exploit one group of beings to elevate the status of another." As a vegan advocate, I resist domination in whatever form: speciesism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, classism, ableism, ageism, citizenship-ism, lookism, etc. I advocate veganism as conscious harmlessness, as an act that recognizes that nonhuman animals as well as human animals have an interest in their own lives, an interest we can respect. PETA does not even qualify as a vegan advocacy group. It annually murders thousands of animals and, as you effectively demonstrate here, perpetuates other forms of oppression.

Biotchtwitt    
planet Earth and you?  |  August, 16, 2013 at 06:20 PM

Hahahahaha what a load of crap! Guess what! NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO the next generation is SMARTER than yours and the KIDS THAT COME AFTER THAT WILL BE EVEN SMARTER AND MORE CARRING AND NO ONE WITH HALF A BRAIN EATS MEAT ANYMORE OR THOSE WHO CHOSE TO KNOW IT"S NOT GOOD FOR THEM!!! SHUT UP

DougV    
August, 16, 2013 at 06:36 PM

Unfortunately, even those who are choosing vegan for health reasons are getting one-sided info from the fervent that tend to ignore the downsides. It all seems good for the first few weeks and then the build up of nutrients they need starts to deplete. Someone can definitely get past that depletion with the right supplements or meal planning. But for the 90%+ that simply end up malnourished as a result of vegan eating that is hardly comforting. Veganism works fine for a short cleanse. It is very problematic for the vast majority that end up needing to recover after they suffer from it. And for those wanting to reply to "help me understand"... I have a masters in Nutrition and help thousands of people. I already understand it can work. So if it is working for you that is wonderful. I also understand for the vast majority it leaves them worse off and in need of recovery. It is definitely not the right way for the majority of those wanting to be health conscious.

Kelly    
Wisconsin  |  August, 16, 2013 at 06:54 PM

Ohhhhhkay let's be clear: PETA does NOT represent all vegans nor all abolitionists. The majority of us think it is counterproductive to try to communicate a message of anti-speciesism (of "don't objectify animal bodies, no sentient being is ours to use") with the sexist objectification of the female human body. If you want more information on the health and environmental reasons plant-pure diets are taking off and the ethical reasons people are adopting entirely vegan lifestyles (which means no support of any animal exploitation, for food, clothing, hygiene and cosmetics, or entertainment) you are welcome to peruse the resources linked in the description of my Facebook cover image, which includes information from major health organizations (like the American Dietetic Association, NIH, and Kaiser Permanente) and investigative documentary footage about what exactly we are paying for when we purchase animal products! :) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=10200955195855898&set=a.2860056934307.2137304.1046160372&type=1&theater

Kelly    
August, 16, 2013 at 06:57 PM

Just not the value of flesh consumption to the animal we killed to eat it. Nor the value of any discriminatory violence in a society already full of it. Speciesism = sexism = racism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvxUbYO48Dw

Ana    
London  |  August, 16, 2013 at 07:13 PM

Bravo for your cousin!! Whatever the reason she went vegan, she's showing more compassion and probably more brain than you. To be vegan is not a trend, so please get inform before you judge. And for those ones who are talking about the lack of proteins, Vit B12, ...and blah blah blah, don't look for excuses, get informed as well please. Anyway it was funny to read so many ridiculous comments.

Ana    
August, 16, 2013 at 07:24 PM

And by the way, watch Earthlings, and then let me know what you think about it.

Andrew    
New York  |  August, 16, 2013 at 07:40 PM

Most teens in the US are having sex by 13 now... not that I agree with it but the reality is, it's not really shocking given what's happening. Also hilarious a pork group finds a "go all the way" line to be shocking but killing a pig [which is smarter and more tame than a dog] isn't shocking? Tazing a pig and torturing it for your taste buds isn't shocking?? Time to rethink your priorities.

Andrew    
New York  |  August, 16, 2013 at 07:42 PM

Speciest... no different from someone saying you can't equate whites with blacks. They all feel pain and all want to be happy, you are no different from any animal in that they do not want to suffer.

Maureen    
Calgary  |  August, 16, 2013 at 07:46 PM

The President is a physician. I am not sure how many other physicians they have on board, but I believe it to be at least a couple of thousand based on a breakdown of their membership I saw a few years ago.

POBOX4666    
Southern CA  |  August, 16, 2013 at 08:53 PM

When your cousin goes vegan Please read the sequels: When your cousin goes triple bypass When your cousin goes diabetic When your cousin goes on statin drugs When your cousin needs a heart transplant When your cousin enjoys kidney failure When your cousin goes septic When your cousin goes "Ring Around the Stomach" When your cousin goes morbidly obese When your cousin goes dead When your cousin needs 12 pallbearers to assist the forklift on a dead lift.

Norma    
Niagara Falls Canada  |  August, 16, 2013 at 08:55 PM

Thom, you are hilarious. Yes we are all pagans and athiests.... So what are you- a Christian? Showing your wonderful compassion to all? God , I'm sure- is very proud of your lovingkindness. Get an education.

Vegan girl    
August, 16, 2013 at 08:58 PM

Actually veganism doesn't leave you in need of nutrients. Maybe you need to do some research. Many people have lived a vegan lifestyle for decades and are fit and healthy. There are vegan body builders and athletes. I'm sure that just because you have a masters doesn't out weigh all the other nutritionists (who also have them) that are involved in research who are saying a vegan diet is fine. Choosing to eat meat because you 'need' the 'nutrients' is false. All the protein, iron and the good fats are available in a plant/nut based diet. I'm sure you have helped thousands but it sounds like your thousands are being told a one sided story if all you are soon is promoting the use of animal products in a diet.

Bethany mell    
Australia  |  August, 16, 2013 at 09:08 PM

Ann 2 things....since when would or has any vegan been "publicly shamed" into carnism? It is a mark or how brainwashed by the current hegemony regarding the status of various species on this planet you are that somehow you think refraining from discrimination...is shameful? Sound like any other early stages of a fight against some particular for of discrimination 2. "Groups like PETA have a long history of not only targeting teenagers and young adults, but also of objectifying women in an effort to produce catchy advertisements that generate a lot of buzz, both positive and negative. Certainly, it would seem clear that PETA subscribes to both the theory “sex sells” and that “all press is good press.” - See more at: http://www.porknetwork.com/blogs/When-your-cousin-goes-vegan- 219808901.html?ref=901#sthash.MhsXTCEu.dpuf" lets just replace the word PETA with any meat, dairy, egg, car, technology, cultural institution and probably any other group commercial or otherwise and it is the same. It is interesting that you pinpoint.a particular organisation and accuse it of such "heinous" crimes....as if it were weird or strange. I guess it's one rule for when making money matters and another when its making connections.

BrendaC    
Augusta  |  August, 16, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Ronald McDonald, Jack in the Box, The Cartoon of Wendy's - the endless commercials telling people meat, dairy and eggs are good for them...The images of animals beckoning you to "eat me" - they're on all the time. People are waking up and realizing what's up. Deflecting the topic of cruelty and blaming the messenger demonstrates the reader's belief that to kill or pay to kill another to consume their body is her right. PETA doesn't speak for me, nor do I speak for PETA. Unlike people who eat animals, I've done my own research and I'm capable of formulating my own thoughts. People will indicate that it's their "choice" to eat another being. When an action results in imprisonment, torture, pain and death it's no longer a "choice". A "choice" is defined as "An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities." If you think eating a dead body is a choice, why would you choose that which causes so much death and destruction? Kudos to your wise cousin for choosing compassion. The world is waking up and there's no stopping the truth.

cath hurwood    
st catharines  |  August, 16, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Hmmmmm, I've been vegan for over 30 years ...never "suffered" from it and am not in need of recovery. I do this with minimum effort. I notice all around me those suffering from meat based diets, looking aged before their time and in-and-out of hospital....masters in nutrition or no - you have the wrong end of the stick.

cath hurwood    
st catharines  |  August, 16, 2013 at 11:22 PM

....you 'care' about animals - how much do you 'care' when you eat them??

Rick    
North Hollywood  |  August, 17, 2013 at 12:41 AM

Yeah, most of them are atheists because they are intelligent and don't believe in medieval fairy tales. BTW, animals have the same right to life and happiness as we do. You are no better than any animal, in fact you're worse, because you should know better.

Melissa    
Canada  |  August, 17, 2013 at 01:36 AM

I am curious if you are aware of the practices involved in getting your milk and milk products? I only ask this because you mentioned your reasons for going vegetarian revolved around the treatment of the cow. If you were truly concerned about the treatment of animals you would think twice before consuming milk, or any animal by-product for that matter. I always find it mind-boggling when people label veganism as 'radical'. If people were a little more willing to make the connection between their food and the animals that provide it I believe they would reserve the word 'radical' for those who consume the meat, not the ones who show compassion for more than their own species.

Kelly    
August, 17, 2013 at 05:11 AM

This woman needs to go vegan.

Ms Vanilla Rose    
South of England  |  August, 17, 2013 at 05:33 AM

I don't like the advert either. As an actual vegan, I wish to point out that people who eat cheese are, by definition, not vegan. I appreciate that, as people who wish to kill animals for the sake of your tastebuds, you don't approve of veganism. But please take the trouble to use the term correctly. Thank you.

Bob    
Minnesota  |  August, 17, 2013 at 06:40 AM

Emily, Nice article. Well stated. I find many ironies in the vegetarian story. I had not thought of perverse sexual irony. You have been a breath of fresh air. I can't imagine all the hate mail you must get. Stay objective and balanced in your thoughts. THX

Corey Barnes    
United States  |  August, 17, 2013 at 07:49 AM

Why do you find offense from people trying to end cruelty? What could possibly be wrong with trying to be as kind as possible to the animals. How unfortunate that you are so incredibly selfish. Have the courage to watch some video footage of factory farms and then decide that Vegans are uppity.

Shashika    
Cape Town, South Africa  |  August, 17, 2013 at 07:55 AM

Mark, you are one of the reasons we are failing as human beings. They do not exist to serve us and if you truly believe that, please do not call yourself as animal lover. You exploit them to serve your selfish needs.

onestep31    
southeast  |  August, 17, 2013 at 09:38 AM

What's the difference? Have you ever compared the smell of rotting flesh with the smell of rotting vegetation? Which would you rather have inside you?

POBOX4666    
So CA  |  August, 17, 2013 at 11:49 AM

The author is making some brash presumptions, and directing them as absolute truths. So, here is what I have to say: 1) If you've got it, flaunt it. Clearly the author ain't got it. 2. VEGANs Do taste better..........

Hari    
McLean, VA  |  August, 17, 2013 at 03:34 PM

Please do consider doing some further research. Kaiser Permanente just issued a report to physicians within their network that asked the physicians to recommend plant-based, vegan diets for all their patients, even the healthy ones. The report was based on research conducted at Harvard School of Medicine as well as Johns Hopkins University and a few other institutions. I can't put links here but if you google it it's the first few hits I might also question your conclusion that meat consumption adds value to our society and environment as a whole, but I'd have to see the research you looked at to arrive at this conclusion.

    
August, 18, 2013 at 08:29 PM

It's clear you don't know what you are talking about. You need to back to school and learn something about nutrition this time.

Joe    
Texas  |  August, 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

I agree. I find the author's hyprocrisy overwhelming. She can identify the sexism of PETA but does not acknowledge the inherent sexism in animal production. Egg, dairy and pig production is all about exploiting the female reproduction system for profit.

Joe    
Texas  |  August, 19, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Larry P, I encourage you to go Vegan. You are just about there. When I was vegetarian, I used to think that Vegan was radical and too much, but once I tried it for a month I realized that it was so easy. Then I regretted not going Vegan earlier. The health impact of going vegan was remarkable. Moreover, egg laying hens and dairy cattle suffer horribly and going vegan is the only way to not take part in their misery. Also, check out humanemyth.org. There are many other non-judgemental animal rights organization that are respectful to women, and I wouldn't mind if my 16 year old daughter wore their shirts!

Ed Smith    
Texas  |  August, 28, 2013 at 06:41 PM

Unfortunately, you do not know what you are talking about. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD. (Cleveland Clinic), Neal Barnard, MD. (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), John Robbins, (Author, heir to Baskin and Robbins), among others, all have been vegan (whole food plant based vegan as opposed to junk food vegan) for more than 30 years and are in excellent health. In fact is those individuals that eat a diet primarily of meat that are deficient in nutrients. There are very little nutrients in meat. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are full of protein, minerals, micro-nutrients, and phyto-chemicals provided in the right amounts so that our immune system is not compromised. That is why individuals who eat a primarily meat based diet have heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and autoimmune diseases that whole food plant based vegans do not. I challenge you to show me one vegan who eats a whole food plant based diet that is malnourished. On the other hand, I can show you thousands of malnourished, overweight, obese, sick people with all sorts of chronic maladies that can be traced to their diet. Go to any mall in America and they are everywhere. More than 2/3rds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. Most of them have high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and/or the symptoms of heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and/or type 2 diabetes. These diseases resolve themselves once someone changes their diet to whole foods plant based (Fruits, vegetables, legumes and small amounts of nuts and seeds and grains. - No processed foods or refined foods or refined sugars). There are numerous peer reviewed published studies that support a whole foods plant based diet - see NutritionFacts.org

Casey    
OHIO  |  October, 08, 2013 at 01:55 PM

I thought this was drovers? why are there so many comments from non-animal/food producers? I have read alot of internet scholars leaving their so called knowledge every where on the Internet, come out and visit us if we are all so evil, we would love to share our ways if your open minded we will gladly be open minded! We love our animals and land like our children and the large majority of us strive to provide the best care possible! Stop biting the hand that feeds you (we grow the veggies too)!

Jonathan    
illinois  |  December, 11, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Why can't you? Who are you to decide that? Something tells me that Thom Katt = Emily Meredith. Try not making it so obvious. How pathetic....

Jonathan    
illinois  |  December, 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM

LOL! Well said

Emily Meredith    
Washington, DC  |  January, 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

If I comment on my blogs I use my name--just as I do on Meatingplace. Not sure who Thom Katt is, but I own my comments and am willing to put my name behind them. Thanks for reading!


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