Plant-Based Eating Is Not Unethical

Plant-Based Eating Is Not Unethical

In fact, it will save the world.
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There is presently a well-circulated post on Tumblr making certain claims about veganism, its industry impact, its alleged elitism, and its impact on health. Many of these claims are false.

When I first saw it I laughed but it keeps coming back and people keep sending it to me. While I may not be the type to introduce myself headfirst with the vegan label, I become the ‘token vegan friend’ that gets sent a constant strain of memes from my chops-busting carnist friends.

I generally think people understand I’m a skeptical, thoughtful person who doesn’t take stances lightly and cares about truth, objectivity, and sometimes to the annoyance of others - hearing everyone out. I hope that reputation gives you all reason to withhold preconceived notions about “vegans” and hear me out with an open mind.

Respectfully, this post is at times untrue, and others misleading about the conclusions you should draw. (This is pardoning the valid point of outrage at child labor and the exploitation of immigrants in US agriculture. The entire post can be found screen-shot at the bottom of this post.)

The statistic right now is that the US could feed 800 million people with the grain that used to feed its livestock. The same grain that the above commentators say are feeding this tiny minority of vegans so unethically when it’s the cattle next door messing up our ability to feed our population.

Saying “growing plants kills animals” because of farmer practices (wild animals - not mass industrial slaughter with violence and rights violations beyond your ability to fathom without diving into the topic and evidence), presuming that point is meaningful for you despite subtext, is not a good argument to kill even more animals. It should be considered the lesser of two evils.

Anyone who told OP that they can only eat non-animal protein in nuts was certainly not a nutritionist. Protein in animal products comes from animal bodies, and animal bodies get that protein from plants – just as the human body can. The only thing humans can’t get protein without some animal protein without using supplements is B12, and the only reason why is we used to eat the soil in the water and on plants (just as animals do with grasses, and btw – now their vitamin enriched grains, no different than ‘unnatural’ vitamins and vitamin enriched grains vegans eat) but now utilize treated water and water-washed vegetables that makes it hard for us to naturally gain the vitamin the same way.

Also, the animal exploitation and human exploitation behind animal agriculture is horrific and just as bad as that happening in plant agriculture. I’m not trying to be salty but honestly, that’s a bunch of people arguing on Tumblr who do not have sources, and a lot of people sharing for its confirmation bias because we live in a society with media and congress as actively lobbied by Big Food as it is by Big Pharma and the NRA.

It is capitalism, systemic abuses and marginalization in our culture and industrial system that exploit and abuse those people, not veganism.

In fact, global veganism could end world hunger if supported by systemic overhauls of wealth inequality and hoarding and significantly delay climate change. As much, if not more, than the entire transportation sector. Hence the documentaries (Cowspiracy for one) funded/directed by Leonardo Dicaprio and James Cameron being added alongside What the Health and other noteworthy investigative looks into the abuses and exploitation (for people and human health as much as animal lives) of the food industry, esp. animal agriculture. And as a kid who grew up on food stamps and relying on food shelters just to get by, and a low income first gen college student very familiar with food insecurity and financial struggle – with self-education (and in a perfect world, public health efforts, not to mention the irrelevant but still ‘ideal world’ food industrial overhaul), it is cheaper to go vegan.

Iif you would like to test the validity of these points with research (and please do, because honest and educated research will bring you towards factual points that you can’t dispute – and I strongly encourage anyone still believing these Tumblr posts to do the same too), I invite you to read any variety of the Cornell studies on animal ag ecology (especially on the extreme surplus of food we waste and lose in energy transfer from plant to livestock to people – and make no mistake, you don’t make less of those crops if you eat meat instead, you make more to feed that meat).

I especially invite you to look into the research of R Campbell PhD at Cornell, and the medical advice, clinical research, and advocacy of Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Michael Klaper. The sociological work on the intersections of human marginalization and speciesism from BU Professor Melanie Joy is also worth your time.

A final point on allergies: 40 million Americans are lactose intolerant for a reason, and that’s because we’re not "built" for drinking cow milk made for cow babies. Morally, the fact cows forcibly impregnated and unable to save their young from immediate seizing and violence makes it not only unhealthy, but ethically compromised.

If it disturbs audiences of Blackfish at Seaworld, or when it happens to abused dogs and cats on the street in everyday viral Instagram videos, why would it not disturb yus for cows? We’re socialized to think those are “edible” animals and we’re not meant to love them in the US. Which is exactly the same way our beloved pets are looked at in some cultures, which we think is soo barbaric comparatively.

Please do not take medical advice from Tumblr. It’s a great discussion starter and way to promote information. It is not a valid source. Further, making a fact and sourcing it, then telling you what conclusion to take from it without justifying a context to take said conclusion, does not make their entire argument true by extension.

Yes, we need a whole new system. Yes, there is a chronic injustice in human exploitation by these industries. Yes they matter. Yes, helpless animals do too.

Vegans are activists, seeking information and exploring injustice, protesting and practicing conscious consumerism. We are all on the same side.




Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches "New Girl" knows about True American. This crazy, nonsense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in season one, episode 20.

The game, as described by "New Girl" character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1 to 5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game No. 1: The player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game No. 2: The player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game No. 3: The player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places, or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."


Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your "New Girl"-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly, and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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'Oh, You're A Vegan?'

When I tell people I'm vegan, people give me that exasperated look.

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When I first decided to try and become vegan, I got a lot of mixed results. Some people were extremely for it, while other people looked at me like I had gone off the deep end. After a while and even now, I like to play a game of guessing what reaction I will get from people when I tell them about my dietary habits. Unlike a lot of other people who decided to go vegan for the ethical reasons, I kind of fell into it based on me realizing that half the stuff I was putting into my body was making me want to curl up in a ball and only come out for dollars on Wednesday nights at Taylor's. Through the last year and a half, I have learned a lot, from tips and tricks to making food taste good, to some added benefits of being on a plant free lifestyle. So for all the haters, vegan enthusiasts and people looking into making the leap, enjoy!

1. Trust me, its not all just vegetables.....there's other stuff too.

One of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions about being vegan is that all we eat are plants or vegetables. I will be the first to assure you that that piece of information is not true. There are tons of things we can eat if you are creative. Learning what you like and what you can eat will all come with practice. You might have to experiment a little before you find your groove, but it will happen. I would also put money on the fact that you might find yourself having that moment halfway through a bowl of Cornbread Cafes vegan Mac and cheese. Just saying.

2. No allergies in Eugene, too good to be true!

One of the best things that I noticed about becoming vegan didn't become obvious until a few months later. For anyone who has lived in Eugene, OR through the springtime, you know what I am referring too. Allergies are monstrously bad here as we are in the middle of a basin and many people have to shut in themselves to not like, die. I was always one of those people, but last spring and this one so far as well I have noticed a crazy change. While I still get itchy eyes and sneeze occasionally, I no longer want to live in my bed where the pollen can't reach me! The vegan diet has been proven to reduce the levels of allergy issues that people have faced so basically if you're driving people crazy with your sneezing, maybe cut out the glass of milk in the morning.

3. Happy skin, happy day! 

Another benefit to being vegan is clear skin. A lot of people who are vegan tend to have clear skin that is acne free. That is not always the case, but there is 1 key reason why shiny skin comes from veganism. Dairy and meat products are not the skins best friend according to dermatologists. Both are chock full of hormones that aren't good for our bodies. Dermatologist William Danby even calls cow's milk "nature's perfect food for the creation of acne." So you might want to kiss that ice cream goodbye.

4.  There are lots of Vegan options, you just have to look!

Like I said above, there is a gross misconception that the only things Vegans eat are vegetables. There are so many different things that are incredibly good and don't have any animal products in them. Also, vegan restaurants are popping up all over the place now so you will able to eat out in peace and rest easy knowing your environmental footprint will be smaller. Some of my personal Eugene favorites are Cornbread Cafe, Morning Glory, the Veg and surprisingly Tacovore. Their tofu tacos are to die for! If you're more of a homebody though there are a lot of different well-known brands such as Ben and Jerrys and Carls Junior that are coming out with vegan alternatives!

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