Montreal Canadien enforcer Georges Laraque is down to a relatively svelte 245 pounds after adhering to a vegan diet this summer. Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS
After watching the documentary, Earthlings narrated by Joaquin Phoenix – Montreal Canadiens Forward, Georges Laraque, committed himself to a vegan lifestlye. That’s right – no dairy, no poultry, no fish, no more leather shoes or animal byproducts for this hockey tough-guy. And it’s not for his health (although he is benefiting) – it’s for the animals.
“It’s unconscionable what’s happening to animals in this country and the way we treat animals we eat. … I realized I had to make some big changes…I’ve lost some weight, but I’ve been working with a really great nutritionist and I’ve never had this much energy,” - Georges Laraque
• Michael Vick will now fight with Eagles instead of dogs. After doing jail-time and anti-dogfighting campaigns with the HSUS and PETA, Vick has returned to the NFL and joins the Philadelphia Eagles. Will the Eagles be able to dodge the press about this, and furthermore, was it a wise decision when they already have an amazing QB Donovan McNabb, and considering Vick won’t be allowed to play for another seven months? What do you think?
• Speaking of Fighting Eagles, get this organic Loomstate tee at 25% off! For Kaight’s third anniversary, enjoy 25% off all purchases through Aug. 31. Online customers use coupon code “three” to redeem at www.kaightshop.com.
• Raise your hand if you think Crayola supports “terrorism”. Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) and civil rights attorneys will make oral arguments before the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is unconstitutional. The AETA is being used for the first time since its passage by Congress in 2006 to do exactly what civil rights advocates feared it would do – criminalize activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – activities like writing slogans in chalk on the sidewalk.
• SolarRolls are not eco-friendly sushi. Meet the first flexible solar panel. Waterproof and durable, this gadget gives you portable electricity anywhere there’s sun. You can charge your car battery, run a video camera, or use it to power cell phones. The possibilities are endless. Starting at $295
• An elephant known as Jewel, who IDA has been working to rescue for over two years, was attempted to be confiscated from her abuser by the USDA. Her abusive handler, Will Davenport – who has a history of abusing animals and violating the endangered species act in the illegal purchase of elephants Tina and Jewel from the Cole Brothers Circus. Read the whole article.
Father’s Day is this Sunday. If you haven’t gotten anything for dear old dad yet, in addition to making a donation to your favorite organization in your father’s name, here are some good gift ideas:
Bid on one of a million amazing things at CharityBuzz. Check out the Dads & Grads auction. From hanging out with Patrick Dempsey at Daytona to meeting Bill Clinton, sitting in box seats at the US Open, watching the Yankees play the Red Sox, taking a swimming clinic with Michael Phelps, or a Kenny Chesney autographed Guitar! There is more cool stuff than I can list here. Just don’t bid on the fishing trip. Ugh.
BREAK THE BANK! If you are loaded, your dad might like a Tesla Roadster (starts at $101,000) or Model S – both electric performance vehicles from Tesla Motors. The Model S is capable of rocketing from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and traveling up to 300 miles on a single 45 minute charge (starts at $49,900 which is not that bad)!
For the rest of us who can only afford to splurge a little bit…
Organic Dress Shirts form CULTURATA (check for local stockists)
Make a donation to Mercy For Animalsbefore Father’s Day on June 21st and Rory Freedman, co-author of Skinny Bastard will match your contribution, dollar-for-dollar – totaling up to $5,000! Donate $100 or more and you will receive an autographed copy of Skinny Bastard – a guide for macho men on eating well and getting in shape the healthy and cruelty-free way!
Get dad into shape w/ The Engine 2 Diet, Thrive in 30, and Skinny Bastard!
Kicks! Check out our favs for dad from Bourgeois Boheme, NOHARM, and NOVACAS:
Skinny Bitch and friend of The Discerning Brute, Rory Freedman has done it again. But this time, she’s going for the family jewels! I had some time to call up this savvy bitch on Skype and get the scoop on everything from erectile dysfunction and ‘whack & sniff’ testing, to prostate health and the hundreds of buff vegan athletes. If you’re a guy that doesn’t want a gut to be your rite of passage, then check this out. Skinny Bastard will knock your jock-strap off with hard-hitting truths and no-nonsense advice. Say goodbye to that beer-gut and hello to hard-bodied handsomeness. Your heart, your brain, and your libido will thank you.
1. Rob Bigwood is a professionl arm wrestler. That’s right, and he’s vegan. Rob is a 26 year old Brooklynite who has been winning titles and making a name for himself in the arm wrestling community. Watch out for this guy, and for my interview with him soon!
2. Owain Yeoman and Jamie Bamber are only two of the Discerning Brutes that PETA has featured in their recent campaigns. Jamie, who plays Lee “Apollo” Adama in Battlestar Galactica is calling attention to the use of bear-fur on the hats of the Royal Guards in the UK. Owian, star of The Mentalist, is featured in a vegetarian testimnial ad, and his video has an eloquent expression of why this dude is veg.
These guys rock, and you should check out their videos with PETA:
3. Custom Vegan Seaks? That’s right, artist Tony Price will make you a pair of custom-painted Vans at his Etsy shop!
4. Non-Silk Ascot from Jaanj. Don’t act like you never considered wearing an ascot. You can make it rock-n-roll, and you know it.
5. Tie-Ups makes recyclable belts. The color combos will make you trip, but the facts that you can stick these Italian-made accessories in the recycling bin, and that there’s no animal products is great! Tie-Ups won’t go off in a metal detector, they are weatherproof, hypoallergenic, and just really cool! $89 at Nordstrom
6. Check out FRESH: New Thinking About What We’re Eating
Saturday, May 30th, 2009
What could be better than mixing a spring Saturday, a yummy vinyasa flow yoga class with Kendra of Barefoot Tiger, and a scrumptious vegan brunch by the Discerning Brute himself, Joshua Katcher? You won’t want to miss this event! If it’s your first time trying vegan food, you’ll be blown away – you’ve never tasted vegan deliciousness like this before!
$45 per person
We’re limited to 20 people for this event, so book your spot now!
To sign up and get directions, contact Kendra, or call (646) 526-8445
*If you need a mat please let us know ahead of time, mat rental will be $2 / mat.
Professional Ironman Triathlete Brendan Brazier is dispelling myths faster than a speeding bullet. He is a superman of sorts, and his empire of books, supplements, energy products and vegan handsomeness is not to be taken lightly – because as far as the stopwatches are concerned, faster and stronger is simply that. I chatted with Brendan recently about being a vegan athlete, nutrition, his new book, and how we can all learn to thrive. Listen to our conversation:
He has a huge beard, a knack for being photographed mid-air, and more counter-culture punch than any rebel I’ve met. He’s also challenging the television and film industry to be more green, starting an eco-skateboard line, and making more videos than a vlogger on speed. This west-coast boy was raised vegetarian, became vegan, and thinks driving a veggie-diesel car and everything from Gypsy Music to Nick Nolte is cool. Meet Laban Pheidias. And remember his name, ’cause you’ll be dropping it later.
Discerning Brute: Hey Laban! Good lord, you have so many things going on. How do you make time for it all? Tell us about your recent projects, what you’re the most stoked about, and whether you were always an over-achiever? Laban Pheidias: I enjoy having a lot of things on my plate. Not every project or thing I do gets to see the light of day, or at least not right away. It has to be the right time for certain projects. Right now, 2headedhorse (our production company) keeps me and my biz partner, Ted Newsome, pretty slammed. We just moved 2headedhorse into a big building in Echo Park. It’s cool because now our employees don’t have to see me in my underwear at our house. We’re currently wrapping up season 2 of Stupidface (our crazy comedy show). The series premiere is on 1/1/2009 at 1:00am et (10:30pm pt)on Fuel TV. We also just inked a deal for Built to Shred season 2. And we’re also gearing up for American Misfits season 3. This is very exciting to us because we’ve taken such a long break from it and we’ve got a bunch of new ideas that will invigorate it. I can’t say to much about it now, but let me put it this way, we’re getting out of the bosses clutches and steering it in a new direction. Also, on the horizon are two very unique projects that entail music videos and a feature film.
DB: Wow…you are busy. Skating is clearly a total lifestyle for you. When did you get into skateboarding, and did it have anything to do with your veganism, or vice versa? LP: I grew up with skateboards in sunny California, but I really got into skateboarding when I was about 14 years old living in Maine. Rob Collinson (Lowcard zine) was the local outcast skater kid in town. We became friends and skated (and ran from cops) every day. I was born and raised vegetarian so I’ve never eaten meat, but it wasn’t until I was living in Oregon when I was around 16 that I became aware of the vegan lifestyle. I met this over the top punk rock activist dude with a big spiked mohawk and a “leather” jacket with the words “Fuck you! It’s not leather” written in red on it. He told me about all the terrible things that happen to dairy cows and egg laying chickens and how those industries are tied to the meat industry. From that day on I couldn’t ignore this link and the unnecessary cruelty that these animals suffer.
DB:I had a similar experience at 18. I finally had to live in consistency with the knowledge I gained from watching a doc on factory farms. I got my sleeve as a big reminder to stay true to those values. Speaking of ink, who does your ink, and what tatt is your favorite? Any good stories behind them?
LP: The first tattoo I got was when I was fifteen and it’s the words “No War, No KKK, No Fascist USA” across my back. This is one of MDC‘s songs. My brother gave it to me with a whole made tattoo gun. I returned the favor and tattood the same statement across his back. I get tattoos from different artists. It really depends on where I am. The last three tattoos I got were in Oregon. I got a camping goat on my side from Roll Hardy at Atomic Art Tattoo Studio, a raven on my shoulder from Ryan Mason at the all vegan tattoo shop Scapegoat, and some finger tattoos from Steve Fuller at Triple Six Tattoo in Ashland, Oregon. Right now my favorite is probably the trident on the back of my arm.
DB: The camping goat seems really anti-establishment.Does counter-culture still exist? LP: Yeah, I definitely think counter-culture exists and hopefully it always will. Counter-culture keeps people in check, because they know that at the right time an idea sparked from the subculture can explode in the face of convention and social norms. There are plenty of ideas that run counter to the mainstream and I know a lot of these things will eventually get their time to shine.
DB:That’s a pretty eloquent expression with both realism and optimism. It’s refreshing. What made you start giving a crap about ecosystems and animals? And do you think other people are finally ‘getting it’ with environmentalism? LP: I’ve always cared about ecosystems and animals. My parents were a big part of shaping my compassionate point of view towards this planet. The environmental movement is great but I don’t think a lot of people really get it. There’s a lot of people who call themselves environmentalists because of their Prius and then eat a bloody hamburger. This is the epitome of hypocrisy. You’d be doing the world better by driving a fleet of gas guzzling Hummers while eating a veggie burger. Frankly, I’m sick of the green movement trying to sweep under the carpet and blatantly ignore one of the biggest environmental disasters of this century – factory farming and slaughter houses. It’s time for people to become aware of this fact. But to end on a more positive note I just worked on a great project with the director Henrik Hanson at RSA films. It’s a psa on driving veggie oil cars (click Vegetable Oil). It just aired on the Sundance channel and has gotten a lot of good feedback.
DB: The meat/global warming connection is so frustrating! Especially when people like Al Gore are not making it priority number one. Cool vid! I made a similar PSA for CurrentTV about oil addiction. We should collaborate someday soon! Is there anyone you’ve worked with that totally blew your mind? Who do you want to meet or work with that you haven’t yet? LP: My business partner Ted Newsome continually blows my mind with his dedication and creative touch. One of these days I would like to work with Nick Nolte. I wish I could go back in time and work with WC Fields. That would be amazing.
DB:How did you come up with your eco-skateboarding company? Where the hell can I buy one of these boards, and who are the artists doing board graphics for your shred sticks? LP: Me and Ted have some good friends that don’t have a skateboard home right now and we thought why not channel these guys into a new deal. It’s called Shred for Life. Right now the team consists of myself, Chris Lambert, Jesse Hotchkiss, and Chuck Wampler. No boards or merch are for sale yet, but it’s all in the works and hopefully stuff will be available in the near future. Right now Hotchkiss is on graphic duty and coming up with some good ideas.
DB:You’ve also won an EMA award for doing a really green production. Tell us about how you did that, and how I can that too on my next production! I’m so jealous! Green with envy… derr.. LP: We’ve always tried our hardest to be a green production company. It’s basically being conscious of every part of production and trying cut waste wherever possible. One of the first things we did was to convert all our cars to run on veggie oil. Now we have a 250 gallon tank in our car port filled with veggie oil that we get delivered from a company called green diesel (greendiesel1.com). There is a lot of recycling, vegan catering, and common sense things like using environmentally friendly paint for sets. We took it to a whole other level on one of our episodes of Built to Shred. It’s the episode called “Solar Shred”. Check it out. You can watch it for free at hulu.com.
DB:What advice do you have for anyone who wants to make more ethical lifestyle choices, but still wants to have fun and be cool, AKA a Discerning Brute? LP: To me the only way to have fun and be cool in life is to be ethically conscious. Of course in art I like to break all the rules. Also, I think it’s a hell of a lot cooler to do what you believe even if everyone seems to diss you because of it. Granted, sometimes it won’t be a lot of fun, but hey, doesn’t mean you can’t have ball anyway without the haters.
DB: Who you are listening to, what you are reading, what you are eating a ton of, and should we do it too? LP: I’m listening to my favorite band Taraf de Haidouks. I’m reading about anything that interests me on wikipedia.org. I’m eating a lot of homemade hot sauce. And you should check it all out.
DB:Lastly, give us a super-easy recipe. LP: Here’s a recipe for radness: one vegan potluck, two quarter pipes, four cases of New Castle, one bottle of absinthe, and the Petrojvic Blasting Company playing the party.
Helmet of the Will makes 100% organic cotton Tees right here in Brooklyn. These are images from their upcoming Spring’09 collection. Get them at these stores.
This ‘Ain’t No Prius. TheTesla Roadsteris a sheep in wolf’s clothing. In fact it is a sheep that has mastered the walk and the talk of the wolf. It is even offered with a vegan, microfiber interior. As quiet and under-the-radar as a Stealth Bomber, and so efficient it gets 244 miles per charge. To top it off, it goes 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and is now in production. If you’ve got $109,000 to play around with, and you’ve already given to every charity you can think of, go for it!
Veg News FREE giveaways. For the month of November, VegNews Magazine will give away a prize every day to people who leave comments! Click HERE and look for “Today’s Giveaway”.
He’s anything but beefy. Jake Shields is the clean cut, handsome, Mixed Martial Arts champ that has more buzz floating around him than a beehive. Raised in the mountains of northern California, home-schooled, and brought up vegetarian since birth, Jake is rocking both the MMA world and the vegetarian community. He is the Elite XC Welterweight Champion, and he holds one of only three Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belts ever earned. Jake voted Yes on Prop 2 in California, and he’s just opened his own gym in Berkley, where he teaches jiu jitsu and plans on taking his career all the way to the top. Like Mac Danzig and the Diaz brothers, Jake Shields is yet another pro fighter responding to the cliché myth that vegetarians are weak with a swift kick to the head.
I got a chance to catch up with Jake recently about fighting, food, and teaching. Here is the interview:
Discerning Brute:Why do you fight? Jake Shields:I’ve always loved to compete and MMA is competition to the max.
DB: There are so many myths about being vegetarian like you can’t get enough protein or you will be sick and weak. How would you respond to this as an athlete? JS:Well I’m a life-long vegetarian and the diet obviously works. I also have two brothers that are strong and healthy. But you do have to have a good balanced diet and eat healthy foods. There’s plenty of ways to get protein other than eating meat.
DB: What was it like growing up veg? JS: Never really felt any different. I never thought anything about it and nobody ever bothered me about it.
DB:What’s been your greatest accomplishment as an athlete? JS:A lot of different things come to mind in grappling and MMA. But winning the RUMBLE ON THE ROCK TOURNAMENT was probably one of the best. It was an eight man tournament with 5 top ten fighters, Anderson Silva, Frank Trigg, Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Dave Menne & Renato Verissimo. I fought two really tough fights in one night against Yushim Okami and Carlos Condit in the finals.
DB: What kind of slack have you taken from teammates or opponents about your veg diet? Was your lifestyle ever an issue with your trainers or coaches? JS:I haven’t really ever had any problem with anyone about my diet. The only problem is sometimes it’s hard to find good food when I’m traveling.
DB:What advice would you give anyone who wants to start training in martial arts? JS:Find a good school and go for it. Train hard.
DB: What other veg fighters have you met or do you know. Is there a camaraderie there? JS: There’s actually a number of them. Nick and Nate Diaz are practically vegetarian. There’s a lot of camaraderie among all the fighters, veggie or not.
DB: Would you consider fighting Mac Danzing in a VeggieBattle? That would be fun!
Ya, that’d be great–then I’d be King of the Vegie Fighters! But he’d have to come up, I’m not going down in weight.
DB: What’s next in your plans. Do you have an ultimate goal? A retirement plan? JS:I just want to fight the best and be the best. I really love fighting. I won’t be retiring until I don’t love it anymore. I also like to teach. I’ve been teaching Gracie jiu jitsu and MMA since 2002 and just opened my own gym in Berkley a couple of weeks ago.
DB:Complete the sentence: In a perfect world… JS:…I’ll be the UFC Champion next year.